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

Friday, November 09, 2007

Memo To The Virginia GOP

Someone once wrote: "To be ready to fail is to be prepared for success."

I think it's high time the Republican Party of Virginia - at the state AND local levels - started preparing for success. Put up no fight, as it did in 2007, failure is guaranteed.

Take a look at this (rather too busy) map of Southwest Virginia, by House District. (You may want to click on the map and enlarge it) I've included Tuesday's election results for each district.

Democrat wins are in blue. GOP wins are in pink. Here's what leaps out at you: In every district where the GOP put up a candidate, that candidate won. The six districts carried by the Democrats featured no Republican opposition.

Do you guys want to win? Or are you accepting defeat?

Another quote that you boys need to absorb:

"Unless you're willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won't happen."

You fellas are a hair's breadth away from failure. But you're just that close to spectacular success as well.

To you folks in Richmond, come on down to Southwest Virginia sometime. You'll find the area to be less inhospitable than you think. To local officials: The area is chock full of dissatisfied conservatives who are crying out for change. Tap that resource, as some are doing, as some are having wondrous results. Destiny awaits.

Come On, Bob

This is the sort of silly bullshit that Democrats dream up. Not Republicans:
Goodlatte Wants Shipments to Strategic Petroleum Reserve Paused
WSLS NewsChannel 10

Roanoke Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R) says he has a plan to help lower gas prices. Goodlatte sent a letter to President Bush asking him to temporarily suspend oil shipments to the United States' Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Goodlatte believes if more oil stays in the market, prices will drop.

In a news release, Congressman Goodlatte says, "I hear from my constituents who are struggling with high gas prices. Filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, without regard to oil prices and the availability of supplies drives oil prices higher and ultimately hurts consumers." (link)
For those not familiar with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, its purpose is to have available for our use, should it become necessary, large quantities of oil in case of national emergency - war, hurricanes, etc. The price of regular unleaded at the Shell station hardly qualifies.

Beyond that, if we drew the reserves down completely, the price of oil will continue to rise.

The problem has to do with demand, Bob. (see below) Demand is on the rise. A rapid rise. Releasing a few million barrels of oil to slow demand is wrong-headed. To do it to lower prices would be like removing a cup of water from the Atlantic Ocean's morning tide, thinking it will hold back the sea for a while.

No gimmicks, Bob. Either we find more production capacity, and more oil, natural gas, and coal reserves - and harvest them - or prices will climb. And climb. And climb. There is no alternative.

Well, there is. One. And none of us wants to get to that point.

Your Congressman, Voting Your Interests

Congressman Rick Boucher voted to protect gays and lesbians in the workplace yesterday.

Does the drinking water there in Callahan Creek still have turds floating in it?

Your Senator, Protecting Your Interests

Do those 6,000 homes in Southwest Virginia that had no indoor plumbing still have no indoor plumbing?

No matter. Our junior Senator has bigger things to worry about:

Webb joins fight for federal recognition of Va. Indians

Christ almighty.

Even ANWR Is Looking Like a Small Thing

The environmental chickens are coming home to roost:

Rising Demand for Oil Provokes New Energy Crisis
By Jad Mouawad, The New York Times

With oil prices approaching the symbolic threshold of $100 a barrel, the world is headed toward its third energy shock in a generation. But today’s surge is fundamentally different from the previous oil crises, with broad and longer-lasting global implications.

Just as in the energy crises of the 1970s and ’80s, today’s high prices are causing anxiety and pain for consumers, and igniting wider fears about the impact on the economy.

Unlike past oil shocks, which were caused by sudden interruptions in exports from the Middle East, this time prices have been rising steadily as demand for gasoline grows in developed countries, as hundreds of millions of Chinese and Indians climb out of poverty and as other developing economies grow at a sizzling pace. (link)

You folks over in Wise County who worry about the landscape being altered by that new coal-fired power plant that's going in, you might want to consider the big picture. The future is a frightening thing. From the International Energy Agency:

- China's energy demand will surpass that of the United States soon after 2010.

- Chinese energy demand will grow by 3.2 percent every year and double between 2005-2030.

- Chinese oil demand for transport quadruples between 2005-2030.

- New vehicle sales in China exceed those of the United States by 2015.

- Oil production in China peaks at 3.9 million barrels per day "early in the next decade."

- China needs to add 1,300 gigawatts to its electricity-generating capacity, more than the total installed capacity currently in the United States. [my emphasis]

- To meet demand on current trends, China needs to invest 3.7 trillion dollars in energy infrastructure between 2005-2030.

And add India to the equation:

China's and India's oil imports soar to 19.1 million barrels per day in 2030 on current demand trends, more than Japan and the United States today. [again, my emphasis]
Makes all that coal over in Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan, Tazewell, and Russell Counties look mighty inviting, doesn't it?

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The Roanoke Times is more concerned about "greenways."

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The Richmond Times-Dispatch writing our epitaph this morning: "Only a fool would wish for decline -- or stagnation -- in place of growth."

On The Upcoming U.N. Climate Meeting In BALI

Glenn Reynolds:

"I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who keep telling me it's a crisis start acting as if it's a crisis."

I'm down wid dat.

The Most Irresponsible Congress In U.S. History

Republicans joined Democrats yesterday to override the President's veto and pass the most shameful pork bill this country has ever seen. It was so bloated, the original intent of the legislation was lost in the waste.

Congress Hands Bush First Veto Override
By Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer

Washington (AP) - President Bush suffered the first veto override of his seven-year-old presidency Thursday as the Senate enacted a $23 billion water resources bill despite his protest that it was too expensive. (link)
So you know, the Army Corps of Engineers, with its current budget, will require 40.5 years to meet current - and now these - demands.

Out of control.

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Dana Milbank on the Senate vote:

"The veto override ... was less about balance of power than balance of pork. One after the other, senators took to the floor to note the bill's importance to their parochial concerns.

Some of the items in the bill stretched the "essential" label. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) took issue with a new visitor center in the bill for Morgan City, La. (the town already has two), and $8.5 million for "beach nourishment" at the Southern California site of the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition."

But That's A Good Thing, Right?

A cold, hard fact: If we don't keep people smoking cigarettes, we won't be able to pay for SCHIP-funded health care for the kids, seeing as how the program is supported - or soon to be supported - by a massive cigarette tax. That means this is a good thing:
U.S. smoking rate stalled at 21 percent, CDC says
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

Washington (Reuters) - Nearly 21 percent of Americans smoke, a number that has been stalled since 2004, federal researchers reported on Thursday in a study they said means governments must spend more to persuade people to kick the habit.

More than 45 million Americans smoked in 2006, or 20.8 percent of the population, 80 percent of them daily smokers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. (link)
This must be so discouraging to the smoke nazis. They've tried everything short of imprisonment to get people to quit and they just won't. At least 45 million won't.

Hmm. How much prison capacity do we have here in the USA?

Where Are Our Priorities?

I'm becoming ever more fond of federalism. If these beanbrains want to tax themselves into third world status, that's fine by me:

City unveils carbon tax plan
Going green - Portland wants to charge builders who meet efficiency rules and pay those who exceed them
By Dylan Rivera, The Oregonian Staff

In a bold move to curb the growth of greenhouse gas emissions from the Portland area, city officials plan to charge builders hundreds of dollars for each new home that is not extremely energy efficient. And it would require, as part of every existing home sale, that an energy efficiency report be done by home inspectors.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the carbon fee and inspection requirement would levy taxes upon builders who merely comply with the energy efficiency requirements of the Oregon building code, already one of the most stringent in the nation. It would then pay cash rewards to developers who make buildings that save at least 45 percent more energy than the code requires. (link)
Meanwhile, in China, where concepts like job growth and standard of living are still important:

China building more power plants
By Roger Harrabin, BBC Environment Analyst

China is now building about two power stations every week, the top climate change official at the UK Foreign Office, John Ashton, has said. (link)
The Chinese, so you know, are not going to get sucked up in Portland's game. They fully intend to take care of their citizens, the good old-fashioned way, through economic prosperity. Ruling the world may not be out of the question either.

I think we'd all better start learning to speak and write Mandarin. 正音書院

Starting with you folks out in Portland.

Beware The SW Virginians

Now I want to be careful and tiptoe through this because I know these people do good deeds. Most of you are probably not aware that an organization of volunteer health professionals - doctors, nurses, dentists, even veterinarians - exists here in Southwest Virginia that works through the U.S. Department of Health to bring medical assistance to our many poor and disadvantaged. And God love 'em for it. They do great work.

But I received an interesting correspondence the other day - indirectly - from the Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps unit based out of Bristol (overseeing the Mt. Rogers Health District, which many of you should be aware of). I'm reproducing a portion of it below (minus names and numbers) for your reading pleasure:

There are still seats available for this training event on Wednesday, November 14th at Virginia Highlands Community College, 11:30 - 3:30. If you are interested in registering, please contact me as soon as possible, [phone number removed] or swva.mrc@vdh.virginia.gov .

Thank you, [name removed] - SWVA Medical Reserve Corps.

Culturally Appropriate Public Health Training:

Open to the Virginia Department of Health workforce, the Culturally Appropriate Public Health Training will provide training on cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, cultural skill and cultural encounter in the public health setting. The curriculum, developed through the collaboration of VDH with ten Virginia institutions of higher education, is
specifically designed for VDH in response to the needs revealed in the Cultural Sensitivity Needs Assessment of March 2007. The framework for the curriculum is the
Campinha-Bacote model of cultural competency.

Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps
Volunteers Building Strong, Healthy & Prepared Communities
Cultural training? Cultural encounter? One wonders if they provide this kind of training in Omaha. Or Alexandria.
Want to work on my bicuspids? You'd better have cultural encounter training.
What the heck is that all about?
Do we speak a different language? Do they think we babble in tongues? Is it the smell? The in-breeding? Knuckle hair?

You can find out. The event is taking place next Wednesday down in Abingdon. Maybe we should all attend just to see how we are portrayed to the culturally deficient.

Sheesh is all I can say.

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Update: A reader seems to think this seminar is targeting immigrants, not us. Makes sense, I guess. I'm less offended.