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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ah, Local Politics

Choices. Choices.

Down in Damascus, according to the Bristol Herald-Courier, you have to choose between these two towering figures for the position of mayor, both of whom, it would seem, have a big future in Virginia's Democratic Party (we'll just make the assumption that both are Democrats; it fits):
... a knock-down, drag-out fight to be mayor. The race pits incumbent Creed Jones, 81, against challenger Chad Byron, a 27-year-old Iraq War veteran.

Neither candidate is ideal. Jones raised eyebrows with his off-the-wall pledge to fire the entire town police force if he is re-elected. (For the record, we oppose this concept unless there is proof that officers are neglecting their duty or breaking the law.) His opponents also are making much of his apparent "support" for a liquor-by-the-drink

Byron, meanwhile, is embroiled in a flap about his use of a town fire truck to fill up his personal swimming pool and a possible debt to the fire department’s bingo hall. (link)
I think the good people of Damascus should have access to liquor-by-the-drink. They sure need it.

An Epitaph

The Washington Post sums up the Obama backpedal that took place yesterday:
Did Mr. Obama climb out of that hole yesterday? It seems to us that the whole sorry episode raises legitimate questions about his judgment. Given the long and close relationship between Mr. Obama and the Rev. Wright, voters will ask: How could Mr. Obama have been surprised by the Rev. Wright's views? How could he not have seen this coming? Mr. Obama didn't help matters much by initially seeming to dismiss the furor building over the Rev. Wright's Washington performance, just as he did with the initial uproar last month. At a media availability at an airport Monday afternoon, he displayed none of the anger and sorrow that etched his face in North Carolina one day later. (link)
The Post goes on to praise Obama for being a racial healer all his life, which is a bit of a stretch since the man's past is pretty much a blank slate. Take away his hopey audacity-filled speeches and you get ... Reverend Wright to explain who the man is.

Anyway, this ain't going away.

Headline Of The Day

I never had sexual relations with that pastor.

True To Form

Of all the things that Hillary should be ashamed of - not the least of which is being married to that sorry sack of bones she calls a "husband" - this ranks right at the top:

Clinton: $2.3B in earmarks
By Manu Raju and Kevin Bogardus,
The Hill

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has requested nearly $2.3 billion in federal earmarks for 2009, almost three times the largest amount received by a single senator this year.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s staggering request comes at a time when Congress remains engaged in a heated debate over spending federal dollars on parochial projects.

The total amount Clinton requested greatly surpasses the $837 million secured last year by Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee who took home the largest dollar amount of earmarks in the current fiscal year’s spending bills. (link)
Cochran was savaged for abusing his appropriations responsibility. Hillary should be treated no less harshly.

This is absolutely shameful.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The People Respond

The boys over at The Roanoke Times want you to be thankful that taxes are so high (see "Where did your federal tax dollars go in 2006?") . Why? Because more federal tax dollars flow into the commonwealth of Virginia than flow from it - us - into Washington coffers. My favorite line:

"Would the commonwealth's economy be humming as well as it is without all that federal funding?"

An interesting challenge. For another day.

In response to the Times's notion that we should all genuflect and thank Go ... the government for the breadcrumbs we're thrown, a commenter - Josh - quotes from the column and offers this insight:

"The next time you hear a Virginian complaining about federal taxes, remind him that his state receives more back than it pays. Would the commonwealth's economy be humming as well as it is without all that federal funding?"

You mean we're awash in all this federal money and the Democrat leadership STILL can't make ends meet without wanting a tax hike?

Can you say "incompetence?"
Good point. One these guys will never consider.

Why Bother

Rick Boucher is going to provide the funds (probably from the next Transportation Bill intended to secure funds for road and bridge repair) so just skip all this silliness about "studies" and "input" and build the damn thing. What harm could another tourism center (our 25th and counting) do?

We enter the realm of farce:

Tourism professionals want input on Rocky Knob project
By Wanda Combs, The Floyd Press

Blue Ridge Heritage, Inc, the legally functioning arm of the Rocky Knob Advisory Group, has contracted with a team of tourism professionals from Virginia Tech and Clemson Universities to assess and define the traveling public’s interest in a mountain heritage-based destination and education center. This study is a major step forward in helping Blue Ridge Heritage choose a viable and sustainable project from among the early concepts identified by the Rocky Knob Advisory Committee.

Rick Boucher, Virginia’s 9th District US Congressman, called together the Rocky Knob Advisory Committee in 2004 and made federal funds available to finance the planning and early development of a tourist destination center in the vicinity of Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway to aid economic development in both Floyd and Patrick Counties. (

And what would a tourism plan be without wishes and dreams?

In addition, the results of the study will be a major economic development asset for Floyd and Patrick Counties. The data from the study can be used by economic development professionals to attract private developers of tourist-related businesses to the area. These businesses may include hotels, restaurants, and other visitor support services.
Yes. They may include all of that. They may include a Trump Tower too. A Taj Mahal. A Great Wall of China Floyd. A Wendy's franchise.

They may. They may not. But no matter. We have no other solutions to our problems so let's have another worthless tourism project. It's federal dollars and, as the Roanoke Times will attest, we benefit greatly from such wasteful spending.

So shut up and build it.

93% of Republicans Don't

34% of Democrats Want Clinton to Drop Out


In a sane, rational world, this would have been a no-brainer. And wouldn't have required the involvement of the Supreme Court.

But this isn't a sane country we live in. Instead it's run by Democrats - in actuality.

Thus we have to defend the obvious:
Supreme Court says states can demand photo ID for voting
By Mark Sherman, Associated Press Writer

Washington - States can require voters to produce photo identification, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, upholding a Republican-inspired law that Democrats say will keep some poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots.

The ruling means the ID requirement will be in effect for next week's presidential primary in Indiana, where a significant number of new voters are expected to turn out for the Democratic contest between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. (
There are those who contend that such a law puts an undue burden on potential voters. Particularly the elderly and the infirm. This despite the fact the those who brought suit against the state of Indiana (the Indiana Democratic Party, couldn't you guess) were unable to produce even one person who would be so harmed.

So the Hoosiers are going to require that you prove that you are who you say you are.

The earth trembles.

Obama's Pastor Blames 'The Black Church'

To listen to Jeremiah Wright, anti-American, anti-white, anti-Jew hatred is just part of the black church experience in this the year 2008. But then this is the same scumbag who tells us the government invented AIDs in order to destroy the black race.

What a miserable human being this ... mentor and spiritual advisor to Barack Obama is:

Wright says criticism is attack on black church
By Nedra Pickler, The Associated Press

Washington (AP) - In a defiant appearance before the Washington media, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright said Monday that criticism surrounding his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church and he rejected those who have labeled him unpatriotic.

Wright spoke at the National Press Club before reporters and a supportive audience of black church leaders beginning a two-day symposium. He said the black church tradition is not bombastic or controversial, but different and misunderstood by the "dominant culture" in the United States.

Wright says black church traditions are unknown to many Americans, as they have been throughout the country's history. He said he hopes the controversy "just might mean that the reality of the African-American church will no longer be invisible."

"It is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright—it's an attack on the black church," he said to applause. (link)

Unfortunately, Wright's wishes for a divided America have, to an extent, come true. Barack Obama's campaign - launched with proclamations of "hope" and "audacity" - has degenerated into a divisive discussion about bitter race relations in this country - both real and imagined. We're back to 1968.

Still, for those of us who refuse to play his game, those who refuse to return to yesteryear, we'll have no part of it.

It's not about the black church, old man. It's about you. As it's always been.

- - -

The New York Times tries mightily to separate the bigot from the man who is forever tied to him at the hip with "Not Speaking for Obama, Pastor Speaks for Himself, at Length."

As Goes Race Relations, So Went Sexual Harrassment Law

Food for thought from "Transterrestrial Musings":
Younger people might not be aware, but there was a time, back in the early nineties, when feminist principles like opposition to sexual harassment in the workplace (including consensual sexual relations between people of widely disparate power relations) were viewed with widespread societal approval, and even made subject to civil law suits. It was considered intolerable by many to have any physical contact in the work place whatsoever. Beyond that, women who accused men of sexual impropriety were to be protected and provided with credibility, not derided and slandered in an attempt to reduce their credibility. Whether one agrees with it or not, this was the cultural norm, and became established law.

Then came Bill and Hillary Clinton, ostensible supporters of all of this. Until...until...it became inconvenient for them.
"What The Clintons Did For Feminism, Could Obama do for race relations? "April 28, 2008

Alas, The 'Hope' Is Gone

Quote of the day from Karl Rove:
Four months ago, you took the political world by storm in Iowa. The media were agog. They called your words "gorgeous," your victory "a message to the world." You "made history" and Americans could "look at ourselves with pride" in "a moment to marvel."

Times change.
"Dear Senator Obama ... , " Newsweek, April 28, 2008

George Will Weighs In

In this morning's Washington Post:
When North Carolina Republicans recently ran an ad featuring Wright in full cry, McCain mounted his high horse, from which he rarely dismounts, and demanded that the ad be withdrawn. The North Carolinians properly refused. Wright is relevant.

He is a demagogue with whom Obama has had a voluntary 20-year relationship. It has involved, if not moral approval, certainly no serious disapproval. Wright also is an ongoing fountain of anti-American and, properly understood, anti-black rubbish. His speech yesterday demonstrated that he wants to be a central figure in this presidential campaign. He should be.
"A Pastor At Center Stage," April 29, 2008

Just What Is Obama Willing To Fight For?

This from Joe Katzman:
Obama wants me to believe that a candidate who: (1) was utterly supine and silent for 20 years in his own church as racial hate was propagated by the pastor; (2) who refuses to condemn a prominent supporter and fundraiser for whom bombing American sites is still seen as a good thing, and (3) who has said not a single word on the campaign trail as his party heavyweights removed post-Abramoff earmark reforms... is a candidate who will stand up to Washington interests and change the way business is done. While helping get America past its racial issues, and healing its political divides. That a candidate talking up charter schools as part of the solution, who has received positive ratings from teachers unions for blocking them, is to be taken at face value.

Winds of Change, "Straining Belief: The Obama Campaign & Michelle's UCLA Speech," April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

He Has Nothing Better To Do

Congressman Rick Boucher has a regular column in NRV Today. Why, you ask? Well, it's hard to say. Rarely does he provide any insight that we couldn't get from the back page of any respectable newspaper. Usually, all we get is the "Hi, we're all having fun here in Washington D.C., wish you were here!" kinda stuff.

His most recent offering is particularly ... perceptive. It's about allergies and how to deal with them. From our one and only Congressional representative.

What in God's name is this?

Capitol Commentary
Written by Congressman Rick Boucher

Thursday was the first day of spring. As the weather becomes warmer, the days become longer and the beauty of spring becomes more evident, the seasonal allergies that plague millions of Americans are poised to strike.

The most common condition attributed to the high pollen counts found during early spring is known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. The condition is characterized by ...

One way to lessen the severity of seasonal allergies is to ... (link)
Rick Boucher - tackling the crucial issues of the day.

What war in Iraq? What recession? What budget deficit?

Seasonal allergic rhinitis. That's the most critical issue.

For the love of God.

I Take Back What I Said

I was encouraged recently when I read that Sullivan County, Tennessee (Bristol, Kingsport, Blountville, etc.) officials had decided to eliminate the position of tourism director for lack of funds. The move made perfect sense since tourism directors in this area have little to nothing to show for their efforts besides getting fast food restaurants and motel chains to build along our interstate highways - like they wouldn't have had we not had tourism directors directing.

Well, hold that expression of encouragement:
Sullivan County leaders call for tourism director post to be filled by July 1
By J.H. Osborne, Kingsport Times News

Blountville — Last month, Sullivan County Mayor Steve Godsey dismissed the county’s tourism director and said he had eliminated that position.

Some county commissioners are now calling for the opening to be filled.

In a “justification” for filling the position, [Sullivan County Commissioner Dennis] Houser wrote “Sullivan County is in need of a professional staff member who can develop and be responsible for promoting and marketing all the historical sites, special events, recreational areas and untapped natural resources to attract visitors” and “Sullivan County is in crucial need of the immediate hiring of a full time tourism director to continue programs and coordinate operations that would improve the quality of life in Sullivan County and secure federal/state monies for restoration of historical sites and trails, recreation, economic development and educational opportunities.” (link)
A tourism director is crucial to the improvement of the quality of life in the area.

My. My. My.

The Man Is Nuts

Here I thought Reverend Jeremiah Wright was a bigot. Turns out he may simply be crazy.

This is rather revealing about one of the most divisive men in America:
Former Pastor of Obama Says He Isn’t Divisive
By Nick Bunkley, The New York Times

Detroit — The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Senator Barack Obama’s former pastor, whose sermons have been criticized as inflammatory, anti-American and racially polarizing, described himself on Sunday as “descriptive,” not “divisive.”

Speaking to nearly 10,000 people at a fund-raising event for the Detroit branch of the N.A.A.C.P., his largest audience since the controversy over his comments broke, Mr. Wright did not offer an apology. Instead, he faulted news organizations for putting his comments in a political context. (link)
Yeah. His comments about the government inventing AIDS wasn't political. News organizations made them political. And somehow got the words to come out of his mouth.

Is it possible that he's that delusional?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Next Generation

It seems like only yesterday that the young man in the photo was me. Today it's Kaid Fuhrman starting his baseball career. This is from his first game ever:

Not to be outdone, Jayla had her second game ever yesterday. She quickly found a unique way to wear her batting helmet:

Ah, life goes on ...

- - -

A side note: Kaid is left-handed. Like me. Jayla, though right-handed, seems to want to bat left-handed. She was 2 for 2 yesterday (she's in a slow-pitch softball league for girls) so who's to argue?

I've Been Waiting For This

If American Electric Power were to announce that it was going to carve out of the pristine Smyth County forest a site for a new power substation, environmentalists in the area would be up in arms over the destruction that would be wreaked. As they are in Roanoke County for that very reason.

Well, I've been waiting for those same environmentalists to express similar outrage over Congressman-for-life Rick Boucher's unrelenting effort to have Southwest Virginia's virgin forestland permanently scarred with a bewildering network of hiking trails and bike paths, as well as that now infamous horseback riding trail in Scott County, an environmental devastation that dwarfs AEP's measly effort, a crusade that can only be explained as providing a considerable level of self-gratification for our esteemed representative because it sure as hell hasn't brought us our first tourist to the area, as he's promised now these 20 years.

Oh, and such shenanigans get him reelected. Not a small matter that.

Looks like my wait has not been in vain. Sorta. There are some folks in Smyth County who are indeed opposing the construction of another hiking trail for environmental reasons - though not the specific reason I'd expected.

Still ...
Residents simply concerned about trail's environmental impact
By Matthew B. Crum, writing in the Bristol Herald-Courier

On March 24, the Bristol Herald Courier published a front-page article presenting an inaccurate depiction of the controversy surrounding the proposed rails-to-trail project in Saltville. The article stated that “a group of more than 40 area residents, represented by an Abingdon lawyer, continues to actively oppose the trail. The group claims the town doesn’t own the rail bed, and they have environmental concerns.”

A group of 43 Saltville residents has retained an attorney to investigate and advise them with regard to public health and environmental impacts of the proposed trail. This group is concerned about contaminants that may be present in the rail bed and the threat such contaminants may present to users of the trail and adjoining landowners. (link)
I'm not sure why this group would turn to an attorney for expertise on "public health and environmental impacts" unless they had sought the advice of a hydrologist for advice on tort law.

But to the point, I'm enjoying the irony here. There are those in the area - legions, it sometimes seems - who promote the idea that we can sell northern tourists on the notion that they will feel better about themselves if they come down here and hike our environmentally friendly "nature" trails, the same trails that nature had to sacrifice dearly to create in order to bring the dream to reality.

Now, a group is opposed to one particular nature trail on the grounds that it may be harmful to nature - and to any humans who come in contact with it. It don't get better than this.

From here I expect some politician to soon come forward and advocate the removal of all the trails that have disfigured this already-tortured region and call for the return of the land to its original natural condition. It's the right thing to do.

Call it fighting fire with fire.

Yeah. Make It Worse.

I made mention recently of the trifecta that is being ... won? ... by homeowners up in Montgomery County as property values decline, property assessments skyrocket, and - remarkably - property tax rates are increased. Apparently, they ain't alone:

Property Tax Revolt
The Wall Street Journal

Arizona has been hit hard hit by the real-estate bust, with the average home value down 17% in a year and a record number of foreclosures. So Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano has devised a clever way to revive the housing market: Raise property taxes.

Last week Ms. Napolitano vetoed a bill that would have made a two-year suspension of the state property tax permanent. "It's untimely. It's untenable. It's unwise," she said of her untimely and unwise veto. So as housing values slide, Arizonans next year will get walloped with an extra $250 million property tax bill.

Arizona is one of a growing list of states and big cities looking to raise taxes on homes to close budget gaps in 2008 and 2009.

In recent weeks, Fairfax County in northern Virginia, Washington state, Chicago and Memphis have announced proposals to increase residential property tax rates to offset declining revenues. So at the very time that states and cities are begging for money from Washington to help distressed homeowners pay their mortgages, property tax hikes could push hundreds of thousands of homeowners under water. (link)

It's worth noting that Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Memphis, Chicago, Washington, and Arizona have one thing in common: Democrats rule.

So folks in all these locales will soon find themselves paying considerably more for considerably less. In order to perpetuate government.

I'm not sure but don't they have this ass-backwards?

The Court Needs To Right This Wrong ...

... a grievous wrong that it - the Supreme Court - and George W. Bush, and John McCain, and Congress brought about.

George Will, writing in this morning's Washington Post:
Parker North [Colorado] is a cluster of about 300 houses close to the town of Parker. When two residents proposed a vote on annexation of their subdivision to Parker, six others began trying to persuade the rest to oppose annexation. They printed lawn signs and fliers, started an online discussion group and canvassed neighbors, little knowing that they were provoking Colorado's speech police.

One proponent of annexation sued them. This tactic -- wielding campaign finance regulations to suppress opponents' speech -- is common in the America of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

John McCain bears principal responsibility for legitimizing the idea that government should have broad powers to regulate political activity in the name of combating corruption. If his wanderings take him to Parker North, he can make partial amends by congratulating the Parker Six on defeating annexation and by endorsing their federal lawsuit, which is supported by the libertarian Institute for Justice, to overturn Colorado's
regulations as unconstitutional burdens on the exercise of fundamental rights. That last might be too much straight talk to expect from the perpetrator of McCain-Feingold's restrictions on the quantity, timing and content of political speech. (
James Madison and Thomas Jefferson must be shaking their heavenly heads in dismay - not just because John McCain was able to foist this harmful legislation upon an undeserving people, in defiance of everything that our founding fathers held precious, but also because he may very well be our next president.

May God have mercy on us should that occur.

A Homecoming

Chances are there'll be no flags waving or bands playing, but a heroes' welcome awaits the return of these brave American warriors:
WWII crew's remains coming home
By Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times

Capt. Robert L. Coleman and his crew were right on target that day [Dec. 3, 1943]. They radioed home once with the good news, made contact again, a third time — then nothing. "The Swan" never made it back, the fate and whereabouts of aircraft and crew a mystery.

Until now. After 64 years, the 11 lost airmen have at last come home.

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) said Friday that their remains, classified as "missing in action from World War II," have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors. (link)
Lost in the jungles of New Guinea for 64 years. Lost but now found.

Welcome home, fellas. Mission accomplished.

This Gets a Little Silly

There are those - lots of those - who are calling for either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race - to stave off utimate defeat and ensure victory. I call on both to drop out for the same reason.

So Does The Entire Western World

G.O.P. Now Sees Obama as Liability for Ticket

Still A Topic Of Discussion

I remember being mildly shocked in the late 80's and early 90's when GM announced that it was going to create and promote a whole new brand at a time when executives needed to be thinking about consolidating its many offerings, what with foreign competitors nipping at its heels.

That brand became known as Saturn.

That nipping became carnivorous feasting.

And those executives ain't learned a thing from the experience.

Did you know that the average Buick dealer sells a whopping four cars a month?

Perhaps it's time to add another brand, eh boys?

Democrats Doing What They Do Best

Confiscating and spending your hard-earned income like they own it. This from the Washington Post:
Who'll Cover the Checks?
The Democratic candidates' tax and spending plans are costly and ambitious -- and probably short on fiscal realism.


The Democratic presidential candidates have some big plans -- with big price tags attached. By our calculations, using figures supplied by the campaigns, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) has proposed new spending and tax breaks that would amount to almost $265 billion a year when fully implemented, while the initiatives proposed by Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) total nearly $333 billion. Those initiatives, which would be phased in over time and which the candidates say they have identified ways of funding, don't include billions of dollars more in one-time spending.

In addition, both candidates would extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year, at an annual cost of another $140 billion in 2012, and renew the research tax credit ($9 billion). And both say they would take steps to prevent the alternative minimum tax from sweeping in additional taxpayers, adding $50 billion or so to the annual price tag. So the deficit -- even before any new spending -- would be that much deeper than it would have been if the tax cuts were permitted to expire.

These numbers, moreover, don't include ... (link)
Actually, I see this as an improvement over the last viable candidate the Democrats put up for the highest office in the land. Remember when Bill Clinton promised a middle-class tax cut if elected and, upon being elected, raised taxes instead?

At least Hillary and Obama are telling us up front how we are going to be raped and down which ratholes they'll be pouring our money.

The Reason Philly Has Become Lawless

The top law enforcement officer there sees no reason for his police department to obey the laws either. This, from the NRA, is troubling:

As we recently reported, the Philadelphia City Council passed five gun control measures, which were subsequently signed by Mayor Michael Nutter in direct violation of Pennsylvania’s state preemption law.

And while District Attorney Lynne Abraham previously advised Philadelphia’s city council and mayor that their gun control proposals were unconstitutional, the city pressed on, defying the state’s firearm preemption law in its attempt to circumvent the Pennsylvania legislature.

Enter [Philadelphia Police Commissioner, and former Washington, D.C. police chief, Charles] Ramsey, whose anti-gun leanings and arrogant, above-the-law mentalities have followed him to the City of Brotherly Love.

Not content with his city passing illegal gun control “laws,” Ramsey is actually encouraging the City Council and Mayor Nutter to ignore the legal advice of city attorneys against enforcing the ordinances. Not only is he in favor of enforcing the illegal measures, he was recently quoted as saying, “As far as I am concerned, the laws are valid, and we will act as if this whole conversation with the D.A. just didn't take place.” (link)

And America wonders why Philadelphia is the dangerous city that it has become, with the lawless, seemingly, running things. This proves it to be true.

The lawless do run things in Philadelphia.

Looking In From The Outside

An interesting perspective on American life from a British expatriate, writing for BBC News:

Why is it ... that so many Americans - and foreigners who come here - feel that the place is so, well, safe?

A British man I met in Colorado recently told me he used to live in Kent but he moved to the American state of New Jersey and will not go home because it is, as he put it, "a gentler environment for bringing the kids up."

This is New Jersey. Home of the Sopranos.

I have met incredulous British tourists who have been shocked to the core by the peacefulness of the place, the lack of the violent undercurrent so ubiquitous in British cities, even British market towns.

Wait till you get to London Texas, or Glasgow Montana, or Oxford Mississippi or Virgin Utah, for that matter, where every household is required by local ordinance to possess a gun.

Folks will have guns in all of these places and if you break into their homes they will probably kill you.

They will occasionally kill each other in anger or by mistake, but you never feel as unsafe as you can feel in south London.

It is a paradox. Along with the guns there is a tranquillity and civility about American life of which most British people can only dream.

What surprises the British tourists is that, in areas of the US that look and feel like suburban Britain, there is simply less crime and much less violent crime.
We Americans live our lives in relative peace and tranquility without fear of violence AND there are tens of millions of guns in circulation.

Naaahh. There couldn't be a correlation.

- - -

There are exceptions of course. Chicago comes to mind, where gun ownership is virtually forbidden and the gun companies are causing unprecedented murder and mayhem in the streets.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Wake-up Call

For those who want us to migrate to government-run health care, consider:
Maryland loses track of state ID cards
By Tom LoBianco, The Washington Times

Annapolis — Maryland has lost track of an unknown number of identification cards granting bearers unrestricted access to secure government buildings and courthouses across the state, officials said yesterday.

The ID cards, issued to state employees, lobbyists, contractors and others, have also been issued without appropriate efforts to verify the identities of the applicants, according to a report by the Office of Legislative Audits. (link)
These are the same people who will be performing your open-heart surgery, so you know.

We Get a Triple Whammy

Here's something to cheer about:
Gas May Finally Cost Too Much
By Christopher Palmeri, BusinessWeek

Traffic levels are trending downward nationwide. Preliminary figures from the Federal Highway Administration show it falling 1.4% last year. Now, with nationwide gasoline prices having passed the inflation-adjusted record of $3.40 a gallon set back in 1981, the U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting that gasoline consumption will actually fall 0.3% this year. That would be the first annual decline since 1991. Others believe the falloff in consumption is steeper than the government's numbers show. (link)
High five, everyone! Consumption is on the wane! The environment is saved!

Of course, that means fuel tax revenue is going to decline here in Virginia ...

And it means that all those northern tourists who were going to be traveling to Southwest Virginia to take in the ambience created by our boulders, weeds, and abandoned hovels won't be ...

And it means that the poorest among us will be hoofing it from Tazewell County to their minimum wage call center jobs in Lebanon ...

Still, it's good for the environment. So savor the moment.

It may be your last.

Why They Can't Be Trusted. Reason No. 2,597.

Now that the environmentalists among us have brought on a global food crisis, it's worth reflecting on words spoken by the man who made it all happen:

"I was also proud to stand up for the ethanol tax exemption when it was under attack in the Congress — at one point, supplying a tie-breaking vote in the Senate to save it. The more we can make this home-grown fuel a successful, widely-used product, the better-off our farmers and our environment will be."

-- Vice-President Al Gore at the Third Annual Farm Journal Conference, December 1, 1998 (source)

And a pristine environment it is, Al. A bit smelly as a result of all the rotting bodies of third world peasants who starved to death because all our corn, wheat, and rice crops were consumed by your bio-fueled Gulfstream V instead of providing the great unwashed with the most basic of sustenance stinking up the environment, but an idyllic landscape it is you've created.

You should be very proud.

- - -

Then again, maybe this was his plan all along.

Dumb & Dumber

It looks like the citizens of San Francisco are going to have an impressive breadth of choices when they go to the polls. A radical anti-American Democrat will be opposing a radi ...

Uh, never mind.

It's actually going to be two loons of like mind:

Anti-war Cindy Sheehan files to take on Pelosi
John Wildermuth, San Franscisco Chronicle Staff Writer

Peace activist Cindy Sheehan wants to snatch House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional seat from her in November, but first she's going to need the help - and signatures - of 10,198 friends and supporters.

Sheehan was at San Francisco City Hall on Friday to take out papers for her independent run for Congress, but ... (link)

You're On Your Own

All you Republicans out there running for office in November had better get used to the idea that you'll be getting no help from the man who heads up the ticket. In fact, he'll be running in spite of you and will toss you over the side if you get in his way. Just ask the good people of North Carolina, who have now been told that there's no place for their views in HIS PARTY:
McCain says N.C. Republicans out of touch over ad

Washington (Reuters) - Republican U.S. presidential candidate John McCain accused North Carolina's Republican Party of being "out of touch with reality" over its refusal to pull an advertisement criticizing Democrat Barack Obama.

"They're not listening to me because they're out of touch with reality and the Republican Party. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan and this kind of campaigning is unacceptable," McCain told NBC's "Today" Show. (link)
This is just the beginning. It will only get worse.

Why That North Carolina Ad Matters

As Don Surber points out:
Add Dr. Hatem Elhady to the list of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s weird friends.

In the 1990s, the liberal mantra was “Sex is private.”

In the 21st century, it’s a new mantra: “That’s guilt by association.”

Thus Obama cannot be faulted for hanging out with slumlord/indicted sleazebag Tony Rezko.

Thus Obama cannot be faulted for hanging out with the pastor of hate, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Thus Obama cannot be faulted for hanging out with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers.

Thus Obama cannot be faulted for hanging out with terrorist fund-raiser Dr. Hatem El-Hady (yes, Hatem is his first name).

You know what? I think the North Carolina Republican party is correct to raise questions about who the heck Obama hangs out with. Their ad and statement are here.
To learn more about this El-Hady character and his relationship to the Obamas, go here.

We are all racists and McCarthyites, of course, for asking these questions about that person who may be our next commander-in-chief and leader of the free world. Obama - and Hillary for that matter - would just as soon we paid attention only to what they say today and vote accordingly.

Oh, and shut up. We're annoying them.

Friday, April 25, 2008

They Aren't Serious

The Bristol Herald-Courier editorial team is upset that Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Washington D.C.) steered precious tax dollars that could have been spent on desperately needed road and bridge repair to monumentally wasteful "transportation" projects like that horseback riding trail - now a network of trails, for God's sake - in Scott County and to some country music venue in Galax.

Well, no. On closer perusal, we find that the editorialists simply want another tax increase to fund road and bridge repairs.

Boucher and his antics are't mentioned.

Probably for a good reason.

It's difficult to communicate anything when the staff has its collective head buried up the man's ass. On a regular basis.

More On Pulaski's Claim To Infamy

As reported days ago, women in Radford and Pulaski County are in crisis. Their life expectancy, if this study is to be believed, has been reduced by a bewildering five years in recent decades. Roanoke Times reporter Donna Alvis-Banks hasn't found an explanation for the finding but not for want of effort. She's on the case:
Officials look at women's life spans

Christiansburg -- Are women in Pulaski County and Radford just fatter than other women?

Lazier? Do they smoke like chimneys? Have more stress than the average American female?

Leaders of the New River Health District were still puzzling Thursday over a national study published Tuesday by researchers who found that women's life expectancy dropped from 1983 to 1999 in nearly 1,000 counties across America. The scientists from Harvard University, the University of California and the University of Washington noted that Pulaski County and Radford, which were combined for the study, showed one of the most dramatic decreases with women there believed to have shaved five years off their lives, presumably because of an increase in chronic diseases related to smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.

Dr. Jody Hershey, district health director for Radford, Montgomery, Floyd, Giles and Pulaski counties, said the issue isn't new. But whether Pulaski County and Radford are worse than other areas of Southwest Virginia is something Hershey and his colleagues aren't buying yet.

By pointing to preventable diseases as a cause for decreased life expectancy, the study released Tuesday pretty much confirmed what doctors have been saying for years. People should eat right, quit smoking and exercise.

But Hershey knows it's not as simple as that. (link)
Simple or not, this needs to be looked into. And fixed.

Welcome To Bizarro World

Otherwise known as Roanoke, Virginia.

Read this story carefully and tell me that you are less perplexed by the whole thing than I am:

Woman loses fight over Old Southwest window
By Mike Allen, Roanoke Times

A Roanoke woman who lives in Old Southwest ran afoul of the city's Architectural Review Board when she replaced a front window with French doors to help her mother, who uses a wheelchair, to have easy access to the porch.

Thursday, Paula Anselmo lost her fight in Roanoke Circuit Court, as Judge William Broadhurst found her guilty of violating a zoning ordinance and fined her $200.

Though the judge suspended the fine, Anselmo's risk doesn't end there. Assistant Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Bill Braxton said that so long as the French doors remain in place, she can be charged again until she puts back the window that she had removed.

Anselmo's attorney, Neal Johnson, noted that the vinyl window Anselmo removed was in itself out of compliance with historic district zoning guidelines, and that the construction work revealed there had once been a door there in the first place. "That makes it all sort of silly," he said. (link)
I understand that cities have historic district guidelines that restrict home remodeling and upgrade in order to preserve the "historical integrity" of the area. But this woman has been fined for replacing a window that was in violation of the Old Southwest historic district's rules with a door that is in violation of the Old Southwest historic district's rules. And she had the audacity to put a door where a door once stood.

This is one of many reasons I live among the cows. I'm not sure my blood pressure could deal with the ... bureaucrat rage.

- - -

I think if I were running the city of Roanoke, I'd be more concerned about public safety. Read Rhett Fleitz on Roanoke's "Proposed Budget Cuts" here.

- - -

The Times's editorial team is concerned about public safety as well. Or a lack thereof. But the concern doesn't rest on cuts in firefighter ranks. Or on the declining life expectancy in Pulaski County. They fret over a potential threat to public safety resulting from that mythical gun show loophole. The one that hasn't produced one documented incident relating to public safety in the history of the commonwealth.

Talk about majoring in the minors ...

Stuck On Stupid

One could have bet the ranch that this would have been the politicians' response to the crime wave that has put fear in the hearts of all the residents of the Windy City:

City misfires
on gun violence

By Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune

When a rash of gun murders takes place, it makes sense for the police to do one of two things: renew tactics that have been effective in the past at curbing homicides, or embrace ideas that have not been tried before. But those options don't appeal to Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis. What he proposes instead is a crackdown on assault weapons.

I'm tempted to say this is the moral equivalent of a placebo—a sugar pill that is irrelevant to the malady at hand. But that would be unfair. Placebos, after all, sometimes have a positive effect. Assault weapons bans, not so much.

If there are too many guns in Chicago, it's not because of any statutory oversight. The city has long outlawed the sale and possession of handguns. It also forbids assault weapons. If prohibition were the answer, no one would be asking the question. (link)
(emphasis mine)
How this mindless bureaucrat plans to "crack down" on that which has been absolutely prohibited in the city for a decade - the mythical "assault weapon" - is beyond the understanding of any normal human being. Perhaps he's going to take a cue from the movie Animal House and ask the legislature to pass Double Secret Prohibition.

Oh, and this point needs to be driven home - for the 10,000th time:

"There are just too many weapons here," he declared at a Sunday news conference. "Why in the world do we allow citizens to own assault rifles?"

Actually, in Chicago, "we" don't allow citizens to own assault rifles.

And its bark is worse than its bite. As of March 31, there had been 87 homicides in the city. When I asked the Chicago Police Department how many of the murders are known to have involved assault rifles, the answer came back: One.

And when Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis finds that one assault weapon that remains at large in his city, you can bet he'll throw the book at the owner.


If ever.

Meanwhile, the elderly cower behind locked doors, the wanton slaughter of innocent civilians continues unabated, and the gangs own the streets.

For the love of God.

Out Of Her League

Nancy Pelosi should stick to making anti-American pronouncements. And leave Bible verses to those who believe in God. And who know their Bible:
Biblical Scholars Challenge Pelosi's 'Scripture' Quote
By Pete Winn, CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is fond of quoting a particular passage of Scripture. The quote, however, does not appear in the Bible and is "fictional," according to biblical scholars.

In her April 22 Earth Day news release, Pelosi said, "The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.' On this Earth Day, and every day, let us pledge to our children, and our children's children, that they will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature."

" ... [S]cholars agree that nothing remotely resembling it can be found in any version of the Scriptures - Old Testament or New Testament. (link)
Those are scholars of the Christian Bible, of course. Pelosi, what with her propensity to side with the Islamists on issues of international import - always - may be quoting from her personal Osama bin Ladin autographed copy of the Q'uran for all they know.

The GOP Has Its Dupes As Well

So you wonder how it's possible that Barack Obama attended one particular church for twenty years, listening to sermons delivered by Reverend Jeremiah Wright week after week, without ever knowing what the anti-American, anti-white hatemonger was really all about?

As preposterous as the scenario seems, there is good reason to believe that such things could really happen.

Case in point, this bozo, a Republican candidate for Congress in Indiana, who either slept through all his history classes or who, like Obama, has jaw-dropping judgment problems and may be lying through his teeth:
Worst Campaign Idea Ever?
Hoosier congressional candidate speaks at birthday party for Hitler, in Chicago
By Jason Miller, The News-Dispatch

Crown Point, Ind. - If fans of Hitler held a party, and a candidate for federal office attended, would anybody notice?

Apparently, yes.

U.S. Congressional candidate Tony Zirkle is facing criticism from one of his primary opponents, and a host of people on the Internet, for speaking at an event over the weekend that celebrated Adolf Hitler's birthday.

Zirkle confirmed to The News-Dispatch on Monday he spoke Sunday in Chicago at a meeting of the Nationalist Socialist Workers Party, whose symbol is a swastika.

When asked if he was a Nazi or sympathized with Nazis or white supremacists, Zirkle replied he didn't know enough about the group to either favor it or oppose it. (
Sound familiar? He didn't know that Nazis were - and are - wretched people who sought (and probably still seek) the destruction of whole races of human beings? Is that even possible? When he attended this meeting party rally, did he even wonder who it was glaring at him from that huge portrait looming behind him?

Obama: I didn't hear Reverend Wright ever say anything vile or hate-filled. Every Sunday. For twenty years.

Beanbrain: I didn't know Hitler was a bad dude.

For the love of God.

Image courtesy of the Michigan City News-Dispatch.

An Attempt To Elevate The Blog Content

Let's drag this weblog up out of the mud for a moment.

Am I the only person who thinks that a great injustice has been committed with the voting having eliminated the most talented contestant from American Idol?

Could it be that the liberals among us have been right all along? That the American people are too stupid to be allowed to make decisions for themselves?

Just asking.

And You'll Not Screw With It

As I've written many times over the years, we have the best, most effective health care delivery system ever known to humankind. Without question, the best on the planet today. And, to Hillary's everlasting consternation, most Americans know it:
Majority of Americans Satisfied With Their Healthcare Plans
by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup.com

Princeton, NJ -- Despite ever-increasing healthcare costs and widespread dissatisfaction with the U.S. healthcare system, a majority of Americans remain satisfied with what they pay for their own healthcare, the quality of the healthcare they receive, and their healthcare coverage.

Gallup's annual Healthcare survey, conducted Nov. 11-14, finds 57% of Americans saying they are satisfied with the total cost they pay for their healthcare, while 39% are dissatisfied. These percentages have been quite stable in recent years, after a slight dip in reported satisfaction between 2001 (64%) and 2002 (58%).

Americans may express a desire for changing the U.S. healthcare system but a perhaps surprisingly large number are content with the health insurance and health coverage they currently have. (link)
As a majority of Americans also realize, as the government tinkers more and more with the system, the more it becomes unwieldy, ineffective, and expensive.

Americans may have real problems with their health care delivery system, but they are smart enough to realize that any alternative to the present set of circumstances will only make matters worse.

The Media Come Around

The more we learn about the battle that took place in Basra between the Iraqi army and Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi army, the more we find out that a crushing government victory was obtained - and that the media completely missed it.

But it goes well beyond that, as a reporter for the Times of London suggests:

What a difference a month makes . . .
Richard Beeston, Foreign Editor

When Nouri al-Maliki launched his surprise attack against the main Shia militia in Basra, the operation appeared to be a disastrous miscalculation pitting inexperienced Iraqi soldiers against well-armed and battle-hardened street-fighters of the Mahdi Army.

Scores of soldiers defected from their ranks. Iraqi armoured vehicles were ambushed and destroyed by jubilant militiamen. An American general and several hundred US paratroopers had to race down to Iraq’s southern capital to rescue the operation with British forces offering air cover and logistical help.

One month on and Iraq’s leader can justifiably claim to have scored a stunning victory, probably the first of its kind by the post-Saddam Iraqi army. The most notorious areas of Basra are now under government control, the Mahdi Army of Moqtadr al-Sadr has been roundly defeated and the long suffering people of Basra are celebrating freedoms they did not enjoy during the four years of British military rule in the city. (link)

The Iraqi army did what the British military couldn't. Now that's progress.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

John McCain Doesn't Want You To See This Ad

But then John McCain may very well lose the election because he's trying to play Mr. Nice Guy and may get his head handed to him in the upcoming general election campaign ...

We should never forget who Barack Obama's mentor is.

Click on the triangle to activate.

I Call For Peace And Understanding

Are Africans who come to this country for permanent residency to be considered African Americans? Apparently not to African-Americans up in Roanoke:

African immigrants, black Americans at odds
By Rob Johnson, Roanoke Times

Graffiti on the Maple Grove Apartments street sign read "Americans only," and "Africans not welcome."

Maple Grove has been a favored destination for refugees from Somalia and other African nations since 2003, said Beth Lutjen ... "They have become a community here," she said, walking around the complex Monday after receiving several complaints from her clients. "But now the tensions between the Africans and the American blacks have reached a crisis point."

Hostilities between black Americans and African refugees aren't new or unique to Roanoke, said Carl Taylor, a sociologist at Michigan State University who studies youth violence. "There's a lot of ignorance on both sides about the different cultures." (link)
Ignorance on both sides. Sounds familiar.

To both ignorant sides I quote a famous American - Why can't we all just get along?

- - -

Meanwhile, the governor is calling for unity ... at UVa?

The Times Reads This Weblog

A few days late but the story is worth repeating:

Women see rise in diseases, study says

Frustratingly, there's no explanation provided - yet - for Radford and Pulaski County reportedly having the most precipitate decline in female life exectancy in the last decades of the 20th century of any locales in the USA.

Some reporter needs to get to the bottom of this - ahem, Donna Alvis-Banks.

We Need More Gun Control Laws ...

... in the city with the harshest existing gun control measures in the land.

What signals are the bad guys trying to send Mayor Daley and the other blockheads who have made Chicago what it is today?
5 Shot Dead On South Side

Chicago (CBS) ― Three men and two women were fatally shot Wednesday afternoon inside a home in the Chatham neighborhood, police said. CBS 2's Kris Habermehl reports the victims were all adults and it was possibly a domestic incident. Police say area residents have nothing to worry about, and the situation was contained to the home.

Wednesday afternoon's shooting comes on the heels of a particularly violent weekend in the city. Between Friday night and early Monday morning, 36 people were shot in Chicago, nine fatally, and two people were stabbed.

The beginning of the week saw continued violence. (link)
Chicago makes Fallujah look downright tame these days.

When It Comes To Combating Global Warming ...

... Europe is light years ahead of the USA.

Or not:
Europe Turns Back to Coal, Raising Climate Fears
By Elisabeth Rosenthal, The New York Times

Civilitavechhia, Italy — At a time when the world’s top climate experts agree that carbon emissions must be rapidly reduced to hold down global warming, Italy’s major electricity producer, Enel, is converting its massive power plant here from oil to coal, generally the dirtiest fuel on earth.

Over the next five years, Italy will increase its reliance on coal to 33 percent from 14 percent. Power generated by Enel from coal will rise to 50 percent.

And Italy is not alone in its return to coal. Driven by rising demand, record high oil and natural gas prices, concerns over energy security and an aversion to nuclear energy, European countries are expected to put into operation about 50 coal-fired plants over the next five years, plants that will be in use for the next five decades. (link)
Ya gotta love this. These are the goofwads that dragged poor George Bush and the American left into the fight against global warming, and, at the same time, intentionally ignored their own admonitions and continued spewing greenhouse gases into the stratosphere like never before.

It's just too precious.

The End Of An Era

Anyone who has ever spent time in the casinos in Atlantic City will attest to the pungent aroma and heavy murk that exist by late evening in every nook and cranny of every gambling house. To some, that sensorial adventure will be missed. To others ... not:
Atlantic City votes to ban smoking on floor of casinos
By Wayne Parry, Associated Press Writer

Atlantic City, N.J. (AP) - Gamblers on the floors of Atlantic City casinos will soon have to give up at least one vice: smoking.

Ending a battle that lasted more than a year, the City Council voted 9-0 Wednesday to end the last major loophole to a tough statewide ban on smoking in public buildings that had conspicuously exempted gambling halls. (link)
How will this affect business? Guess we'll find out. I'm sure, though, that all those elderly people who sit there at the slots for hours in their daze will, on occasion, have to walk outside to sate their nicotine needs, and then return to their daze - and to losing their fixed income.

Looks Like I'm Not Alone ...

... in feeling more than a little bit of discomfort over the heavy-handed approach that the state of Texas has taken toward that polygamous group that has been in the news now for weeks. This from Katie Allison Granju:

If the adults - mothers and fathers - in this polygamist, FLDS sect are encouraging sexual activity by teenage girls with adult men as part of their religious practice (as it appears they almost certainly are), this is criminally abusive. It needs to be stopped.

The individual men and women who have played a role in this abuse need to be individually prosecuted. Their other, younger children should be put into state custody. I cannot express strongly enough how much I believe the state needs to take a strong, unequivocal stance in going after any of these individual adults in this group who have
committed crimes against children in the name of religion.

However, I am increasingly disturbed by the way the state of Texas is handling this matter. The wholesale rounding up and de facto incarceration of hundreds of women and children - none of whom have been individually accused of any crime - is very troublesome.

And the matter moves to a whole new level of disturbing in my mind with word that the state now plans to impose across-the-board DNA testing on these women and children, without parental consent (meaning, the mothers have no choice in the matter), after which ALL THE CHILDREN, including nursing babies and toddlers, will immediately be separated from their mothers. (link) (emphases in the original)

There is something seriously wrong with the way this is being handled. I don't care how weird you think these people are.

Want To Combat Climate Change?

Buy a fur coat. A very heavy fur coat:
Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh
By Phil Chapman, The Australian

Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that 2007 was exceptionally cold. It snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries, the winter in China was simply terrible and the extent of Antarctic sea ice in the austral winter was the greatest on record since James Cook discovered the place in 1770.

It is generally not possible to draw conclusions about climatic trends from events in a single year, so I would normally dismiss this cold snap as transient, pending what happens in the next few years.

It is time to put aside the global warming dogma, at least to begin contingency planning about what to do if we are moving into another little ice age, similar to the one that lasted from 1100 to 1850.

There is no doubt that the next little ice age would be much worse than the previous one and much more harmful than anything warming may do. There are many more people now and we have become dependent on a few temperate agricultural areas, especially in the US and Canada. Global warming would increase agricultural output, but global cooling will decrease it. (
Okay, Phil got a little carried away.

But facts are facts (and computer models aren't). The planet is in a cooling trend. Perhaps a precipitate cooling trend.

If we were smart, we'd do everything we can to produce as much in the way of greenhouse gases as fast as we can. No. Faster.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I want to offer my sincere apology - on behalf of EMBARQ - for not having posted to this weblog earlier today. You see, I had no DSL service tihs morning. Thus no internet access.

Until this morning I had two active phone lines coming into my home office. I had used one for the fax and a business number and the other served my home phone number and the computer. I decided to roll everything over into one line.

And I thought I'd get Embarq's assistance in making it happen. I did, but, as it turned out, long after I'd left for work.

So, for those of you who were eagerly anticipating this morning's blather ... sorry.

Ever Heard Of This Flick?

"Battle For Haditha?"


Well, neither has anyone else, it appears. Like all the other two dozen anti-war/anti-Iraq/anti-American movies made in since 9/11, this one is destined for the trash heap.

From Bruce Kessler at Democracy Project:
British cinema verite director Nick Broomfield’s film “Battle For Haditha” is joining the rest of the wannabe Iraq-exploitation movie failures at reaching audiences with anything resembling truth or interest.

Flacks for the film or anti-Iraq war causes treat the film as a docudrama, or even a sequel to Battle For Algiers(!), and current Hollywood denizens interviewed by Variety trot out excuses for the crop of Iraq war bashing films’ box-office non-appeal as due to war weariness.

The liberal British film award panel for the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards decided to eliminate “Battle for Haditha” because of the inconvenient truth that it is a lie that the Haditha Marines were guilty of an atrocity.
Look fellas. This isn't rocket science. Produce movies that the American people would be interested in seeing and the seats at the box office will populate. Try making our brave soldiers the good guys. Try depicting the war the way it is actually being fought in terms of good vs. evil. Right vs. wrong. The civilized world vs. those who would have us revert to 9th century mores. Bring to us our heroes.

Or keep losing money and making yourselves look foolish. It's up to you.