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

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What Collapsing Bridges?

That fire trap of an abandoned building in downtown Roanoke - the Virginian Railway Station - the one that the homeless people enjoy relieving themselves in - is going to be repaired soon. This article provides detail about the renovation, though no good reason for it:

Repairs to the old Virginian Railway station will soon be under way

Seven years after the old Virginian Railway station went up in flames, efforts to restore the Roanoke landmark are gaining momentum.

The building burned in January 2001. A homeless man started a fire to keep warm, but the flames quickly spread out of control. On Friday, veterans of the Virginian Railway were on hand for the announcement that design work and basic repairs will soon be under way. (link)
You're saying "Hey, what a neat idea."

Yeah. And guess who's paying for it?

Thank God for the U.S. Department of Transportation, where money is in fertile abundance and departmental transportation projects need have nothing to do with transportation.

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Meanwhile, in less important matters: Bridge Collapses, Freight Train Dangles Into D.C. River

Virginia Tech Student Makes Startling Discovery

Real world shows no mercy

Pandemic Just Around The Corner

Virginia has yet to confirm a flu case

A Strange Definition of Tolerance

It is being reported in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning that a protest took place yesterday on the University of Mary Washington campus over in Fredericksburg, after a racist flyer was found in a communal refrigerator in a residence hall after the students left for fall break. Can't be having that.

First the story:

Protest is held over racist flier
By Kiran Krishnamurthy, Times-Dispatch staff writer

More than 100 students marched in protest yesterday after a University of Mary Washington freshman was accused of posting a racist flier that mentions slavery.

[Acting college President Richard] Hurley said housekeeping staff discovered the 8.5-inch-by-11-inch flier in a community refrigerator in Jefferson Hall, after students had departed for fall break. He said the flier depicted a white coach with his arm around a sobbing black athlete and read: "Slavery Re-Instated: Catch Yourself a Strong One." (link)

Looks to be the standard campus fare. Punk prints flyer; students outraged.

What caught my eye was a quote from a Mary Washington student, one Whitney Roberts:
"This is a respectable place, and we need to hold each other accountable for our actions. As a student, I would like to hold accountable students who practice intolerance. I feel like there's no room for that in my community, in the Mary Washington that I know and love."
There's no room for intolerance in her community.
We need to be more intolerant of the intolerant.

Want to think that through, babe?

We've come so far yet we have so far to go.

Is Nothing Sacred?

I am holding in my hand a bottle of bourbon. A plastic bottle. With a plastic cap. It looks to be the size of a fifth but I may never know. The label tells me the bottle contains 375 mililiters of Kentucky's finest. Whatever a mililiter is. My question: Can it be Kentucky's finest (the brand is "Kentucky Gentleman") if it's in a plastic container?

What's this world coming to?

A Tangled Web

In case you haven't noticed, the dollar has been falling precipitately against foreign currencies in recent months, causing more than a little upheavel on Wall Street and sending Chinese officials off to find other places to stash their mountains of foreign exchange reserves (not a small matter). Entrepreneurial investments are sure to be affected. Investors follow the money, to be sure.

But there is an upside to this growing menace, sorta:

Trade Deficit Shrinks as Exports Continue to Surge
By Bob Willis and Courtney Schlisserman, Bloomberg News

The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in September as the strongest global economy in almost three decades and a weaker dollar fueled exports, prompting economists to raise their estimates for third-quarter growth.

Customers abroad snapped up U.S. exports as varied as cotton and semiconductors, offsetting the deepening housing recession that is eroding consumer confidence. Exports have reached a record for each of the past seven months, the longest surge since 2000. (link)

This makes all the manufactured goods coming out of Southwest Virginia very attractive in foreign markets.

Oh. Wait. There are no manufacturers in Southwest Virginia any longer. They all moved overseas.*

Well, the cotton and semiconductor exporters will prosper anyway. Wherever they are.

* I know it's an exaggeration. The timber industry should be reaping the rewards flowing from a lower dollar. But woe be unto the once-proud textile and furniture sectors.

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If only we could stop reading stories like this: "Boucher and Goode announces (sic) Federal Benefits for Dislocated Stanley Furniture Employees"

Shuttle 'em To Fairfax

If the road to Canada for these illegal immigrants has been blocked, I know where they'd be welcome with open arms. And all the monetary assistance in the world.
Florida Ends Shuttling of Refugees to Canada
By Monica Davey, The New York Times

A Florida organization that assisted hundreds of illegal immigrants in fleeing to Canada must close and return thousands of dollars it collected from the immigrants, who believed they would be given legal status in that country, Florida’s attorney general said yesterday.

The authorities in Windsor, on the Canadian side of the border at Detroit, complained that they could not afford the costs of social services if the arrivals continued. Most of all, advocates for refugees in Canada warned that the odds of such immigrants being granted asylum were poor. (link)
Well, those who run Fairfax, Virginia have the cash. Lots of it. And the desire to ease the plight of the less fortunate who find themselves trapped by a harsh and unjust legal system. Send the illegals there.

And keep sending them, by the hundreds of thousands, until the do-gooders living in dreamland wake up and realize what they've brought on themselves.

'Political drama feels more like a lecture'

The new Robert Redford movie, "Lions For Lambs," that has the Iraq war as a backdrop is getting butchered by critics. This from the Boston Globe:
The great movies about Vietnam either were not about the war or were made once it was over.

This time around, documentary filmmakers have beaten the major movie studios to the punch with hastily made, mostly left-leaning rants and mini-exposés that about 35 people have seen. In principle, Hollywood had time, distance, and money on its side to process the many tentacles of this imbroglio into compelling entertainment. Instead, for the most part, we're getting handsome-looking fictional versions of the docu-rants. "Lions for Lambs" is the gassiest yet.

... after about 20 minutes, you realize, despite the good lighting, syrupy music, and Hollywood stars, Redford doesn't care whether it's good. He just wants it to say something relevant. This is a movie that likes the sound of its own voice. (link)
Lectures on the war we get every day. I see no need to pay for the privilege, thank you.