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

Friday, December 07, 2007

Making 'Box Office' History

A bit of data you might find interesting regarding movie viewership:

The anti-American, anti-Bush, anti-U.S. military flick, "Redacted," as has been
widely reported, has proven to be a box office flop, attracting a paltry 3,000 viewers its first weekend.

"Battle on Haifa Street, Baghdad, Iraq," about Operation Tomahawk Strike 11, a YouTube video showing members of the 3rd Stryker Brigade battling terrorists in the streets of Baghdad, has had 1,854,854 viewers.

Rumor has it that Hollywood was not involved in its production.

3,000 ......1,854,854. When we say we support the troops, we mean WE SUPPORT THE TROOPS.

There's some consolation to be had for the Hollywood left. I hear that "Redacted" is a big hit over in Islamabad.

By the way, you can view the video here:

Double-click on the triangle to activate.

Whether They Like It Or Not

I've heard tell of ranchers out west who, once they discover that they've got some kind of endangered toad or weed on their property that might fall under the purview of the federal Endangered Species Act, go about slaughtering all the evidence just to keep the government from meddling in their private affairs. Not exactly what the nature-loving legislators who fostered the act had in mind, I'd bet.

An unrelated thought: Perhaps this church congregation should have taken a page out of that playbook:
Church Awarded Landmark Status Despite Objections of Congregants
By Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post Staff Writer

A District preservation board yesterday conferred landmark status on a 36-year-old downtown church, despite opposition from congregants and community leaders, who dismiss the building as an architectural blight.

The Historic Preservation Review Board's 7 to 0 ruling bars the Third Church of Christ, Scientist from redeveloping the fortresslike sanctuary at 16th and I streets, two blocks north of the White House. (link)
The article goes on to point out that the church building is dysfunctional, poorly designed, in great need of repair, and has few congregants these days. But the owners of the property cannot tear it down a or develop the real estate. Others who don't have to pay for its upkeep or take the loss because the property is now of no use to anyone want to be able to look at it on occasion.

For the love of God.

A Confidence Builder

The Washington Post editorial page this morning comes out in favor of President Bush's plan to have lenders defy the laws of capitalism and bail out hundreds of thousands of borrowers with subprime loans (by freezing their "adjustable" mortgage interest rates for five years). Loans they can no longer afford. Loans they shouldn't have secured in the first place but were too stupid or greedy to turn down.

The Post is in favor? I now know that I'm right in opposing the plan.

Here's What I think

Because of the massive intelligence failures that allowed 9/11 to occur, and because our "intelligence community" that made the errors was later confident that Iran would have nuclear weapons at its disposal within 10 years, make that three years, uh ... five years (as of twelve years ago), okay ... five or six, but now has a "high level of condidence" that Iran has no weapons in development at all, I've decided that these jokers in our intelligence community have no more "intelligence" than God gave a beansprout.

To top it off:
NIE authors accused of partisan politics
By Jon Ward, The Washington Times

Several current and former high-level government officials familiar with the authors of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran described the report as a politically motivated document written by anti-Bush former State Department officials, who opposed sanctioning foreign governments and businesses.

The authors" aim is to undercut the White House effort to increase pressure for sanctions on Iran and to argue that Iran dropped its nuclear-weapons program in 2003 because of diplomatic efforts in which the authors had participated, the officials said. (link)
For the love of God. I'm for firing the whole lot of them and starting over.

Episcopal Church Disintegrating

Interesting word. To "disintegrate." To decay. To decompose. To break into parts or components or lose cohesion or unity. The opposite of "integrate."

The Episcopal Church (USA), in an attempt at what it considered "integration" by championing its homosexual contingent, is disintegrating instead because of its attempt.

The latest:
Episcopal diocese set to vote to depart
By Julia Duin, The Washington Times

The 8,500-member Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin in Fresno, Calif., is expected to vote to secede from the Episcopal Church on Saturday, the first diocese in the country to do so in the civil war among Episcopalians over biblical authority and the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop.

Besides San Joaquin, three other dioceses — Pittsburgh; Fort Worth, Texas; and Quincy, Ind. — have all signaled their intent to depart. (link)
Funny thing is, the church hierarchs seem just fine with this. Integration is the overriding issue for them. Disintegration or no.

'Pay As You Go' ... Went

Another day, another broken Democrat promise:
Senate Backs Freeze on Tax Without Cost Offsets
By Carl Hulse, The New York Times

Washington, Dec. 6 — Trying to find a way out of a sticky tax problem, the Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to prevent the alternative minimum tax from hitting millions of middle-class Americans without replacing the $50 billion that would be lost.

The move represented a bitter retreat for Senate Democrats who, in taking over Congress this year, pledged to pay for new tax cuts or programs rather than add to the federal deficit. But with Republicans refusing to go along, most Democrats joined them in endorsing a temporary fix of the alternative minimum tax without corresponding offsets rather than be held responsible for a surprise tax burden falling on 19 million taxpayers. (link)
For the record, stalwart Democrat and rumored-to-be-a-different-kind-of-politician James Webb voted to rescind that Democrat promise.

Looks like he's found his rightful friends.

Franklin County Virtually Abandoned

Franklin Co. indicts 51 in drug inquiry

Rescue The Rescue Boat!

This just don't seem right:
Lake's fire-and-rescue boat sinks 2nd time
By Jessica Marcy, The Roanoke Times

A fire-and-rescue boat that sank seven years ago has done it again.

Firefighters found the 30-foot Munson boat underwater at Smith Mountain Lake late Wednesday night.

The boat is one of seven owned by Smith Mountain Lake Marine Fire/Rescue and carries the same items that a fire truck would. It is used to fight house, dock and boat fires on the lake.

After being purchased in 1999, the boat sank on Jan. 14, 2000, Gautier said. The cause was a bow thruster malfunction that let water into the boat.

Gautier estimates the damage this time to be at least $200,000, and he said a new boat would cost about $350,000. (link)
I think I'd be asking for a refund.

Mom & Pop's Worst Nightmare

Government regulation.

From Radley Balko ("The Death of Main Street: Are big chains to blame, or is excessive regulation?" Reason magazine):
[In Old Town Alexandria, Virginia] if you want to do something as simple as change the lettering on, or repaint the sign outside of your business in Old Town, you need to both apply for and pay $50 to obtain a "ladder permit," and apply for and pay $55 for a "building permit."

It can take more than two weeks to get the proper paperwork, even if all you want to do is replace the "e" on your "Ye Olde Sandwich Shoppe" sign. More significant changes, obviously, require more bureaucratic hassle.

People who decry the Wal-Mart-ification and Gap-ification of America need to realize that regulation often does more harm to local businesses than predatory pricing, loss-leader business models, or some other imagined corporate evil.
And it doesn't end with retailers. I work for a multi-national corporation with ties to several local communities in the area. We don't like having to jump through all the regulatory hoops either (in fact, we're in manufacturing; the hoops are mind-boggling). But with $25 billion in market capitalization and $25 billion in annual sales, we can afford to pay the fees and the lawyers and the lobbyists and the accountants ... necessary to keep our doors open.

Ernie's Bait & Tackle? Can Ernie afford all that? Truth is, Ernie struggles to pay the electric bill. Goodbye, Ernie. Hello, Wal-Mart.

We have only ourselves to blame.

She Should Be Committed

It's almost not fair to pick on that batty old fruitcake of a White House correspondent, but Helen Thomas keeps injecting herself into my daily life, spoiling my morning Wheaties.

Today's indigestion: Part of an exchange that took place on the Huffington Post:
Q: Do you think technology is changing [journalism]? That a good reporter will always find a venue because there are so many media outlets now?

A: No, but I do think it is kind of sad when everybody who owns a laptop thinks they're a journalist and doesn't understand the ethics. We do have to have some sense of what's right and wrong in this job. Of how far we can go. We don't make accusations without absolute proof. We're not prosecutors. We don't assume.

Q: So if there's this amateur league of journalists out there, trying to do what you do...

A: It's dangerous.
This is the goof who throws out wild accusations (in the form of questions) (a good example) "without absolute proof" at every White House press conference.

Journalists. It's "journalists" like Helen Thomas who give bloggers their upstanding reputations.

Déjà vu

To those of you over at Virginia Tech, does this sound familiar?

And the mass murderer was apparently a mental case as well.

For the love of God.

When The Gov't Refuses To Protect The People ...

... the people protect themselves:
Bolivian Mob Attacks Venezuelan Military Plane With Rocks
Agence France-Presse

An angry mob of Bolivian civilians threw rocks at a Venezuelan military plane refueling at an airport in northeastern Bolivia, forcing the unwelcome aircraft to fly out of town, according to a Dec. 6 report.

A Bolivian aviation source, who requested anonymity, confirmed that the plane was a Hercules airplane belonging to the Venezuelan air force.

Up to 200 people with signs saying “Enough interference!” threw stones at the plane, which left to an unknown destination amid rumors it was carrying weapons. (link)
The implication is that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez was trying to resupply Bolivian guerillas with weaponry and ammunition. The Bolivian people have had enough of it. They responded with stones.

Here's to them.

A Better Idea

How about if we only ask you to go away?

Bill Clinton: I'd Sit in on Hillary's Cabinet Meetings 'Only If Asked'

Just what this country needs. Again. Mr. Indecision helping to make decisions.

Saving Mankind ...

... one hell-raisin', ass-kickin' party at a time:

Hot Air Emitted by Climate Summit Equals 20,000 Cars
By Alex Morales and Kim Chipman, Blommberg.com

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Government officials and activists flying to Bali, Indonesia, for the United Nations meeting on climate change will cause as much pollution as 20,000 cars in a year.

The delegates each will produce an average 4.07 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or CO2, to reach the resort island 950 kilometers (600 miles) from Jakarta, according to estimates e- mailed to Bloomberg by the UN agency holding the conference. (link)

Oh, and get this:
Some of the 187 nations participating in the two-week forum promised to offset their so-called carbon footprint by planting trees or buying emission credits. The symbolic actions won't help stop global warming, some scientists say.
Yeah. I'm going to try that next time I get pulled over for DUI. "Officer, I'm planning to offset my alcohol intake when I get home by vomiting into the rhododendrons." Who knows ...

These guys crack me up.

Ever Done This? How Embarrassed You Are.

Double-click on the triangle to activate.