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

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Boucher Sticks His Nose Where It Doesn't Belong

I love you guys over in Wise County. And I hope you're able to raise the necessary funds to rebuild that tower that burned a few months ago. I hear it was a great place to visit and drink beer.

But I tossed my wheaties one morning when I read that Congressman Rick Boucher is planning on securing federal funds to have it rebuilt. Why is it up to people in Omaha and Poughkeepsie to fund the thing?

You want it? You build it.

Have we come to the point where nothing gets done unless a federal welfare handout is involved?

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I'll mention an organization that is working to rebuild the High Knob Tower the old-fashioned way - through hard work, community involvement, and local contributions:

Wise County can't do without lookout tower
By Rex Bowman, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Residents of Wise County are uniting to rebuild what might have been the area's most popular "romantic destination," the observation tower on High Knob.

For sure, the three-story octagonal building was no Eiffel Tower, but for decades -- before it burned to the ground on Halloween -- the High Knob observation tower inside the Jefferson National Forest was a magnet for lovers, newlyweds and young families.

[Gary] Meade, who lives in nearby Coeburn, has helped create the High Knob Tower Preservation Association (www.rebuildthetower.org) to raise money to rebuild the tower. (link)
Here's to Gary and his worthwhile efforts. His is a worthy cause because the people of Wise County consider it to be a worthy cause.

Let's hope Mr. Meade has the good sense and intestinal fortitude, when Rick Boucher comes knocking on his door with a suitcase chock full of other people's money, to tell our good congressman to take it back where he got it. Out of the mouths of America's children and grandchildren.

* This, folks, when it comes about - and it WILL come about - is a textbook example of earmarking and of how corrosive a practice it is.

The Plan Is Working

Legislators here in the commonwealth of Virginia have done an admirable job of avoiding the decades-old national trend of slopping gun laws on top of gun laws, in the forlorn hope of keeping firearms from committing criminal acts.

In fact, if anything, we've actually seen in recent years a relaxation in the restictions placed on gun enthusiasts and those who choose to not be victimized in their own homes, as well as legal guarantees being put on the books ensuring the free and unfettered right to keep and bear arms. Particularly with the passage of this.

All this being the case, headlines like this should surprise no one:

Roanoke homicides fewest in 4 decades

So you know, unlike Virginia Tech, Roanoke is not a gun-free zone.

Here's to freedom and the safeguards it provides!

- - -

Oh, and did I mention the fact that Richmond too is setting records?

Time To Clean House

Who wants to chip in a few bucks and help me make the world a better place?

Battens may sell The Roanoke Times' parent company

"Hi. I'm Jerry Fuhrman. I'm here to bring the Roanoke Times more in line with the community in which it operates. You're all fired."

The thing dreams are made of.

D.C. Wants To Hasten Their Demise ...

... and increase the pain and agony before the addicts there die their horrible deaths:

City to Spend $650,000 on Needle Exchange Programs

I guess since all of Washington D.C.'s other problems have been solved, why not tackle more obscure issues like clean heroin needles?

Quote Of The Day

From George Will:
[Ways and Means Committee chairman Charles] Rangel proposes reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 30.5 percent, a rate that still would be higher than the average corporate rate among major industrialized countries. Rangel would entertain arguments for an even lower rate if compensatory revenue could be found.

The rate actually should be zero, for three reasons: Corporate taxation discourages investment by reducing the return on capital; it is a hidden tax passed along to corporations' customers; it is double taxation because corporate earnings are taxed again as dividends. Still, it is heartening that the Democratic chairman of the tax-writing committee favors reducing corporate America's tax burden.
"Mr. Ways and Means: Charlie Rangel, Closet Reaganite?" The Washington Post, January 3, 2008

Let's Talk About That Global Warming Thing

It's 8° outside right now.

How do we encourage more of it?

A Great Business Model

I always knew (well, I suspected) that the Weather Channel was enjoying measurable success, as a result of the way it has modeled itself, and in the way it has been positioned in a sea of cable TV channels. And it's not just because I'm turning the channel to see the weather radar all the time with my remote. It's because I knew everyone else was doing the same. Advertisers, for some reason known only to them, appreciate such occurrences. Making the Weather Channel a very valuable commodity.

Like $5 billion worth:
Chain Said to Seek Bids for Weather Channel
By Andrew Sorkin, The New York Times

The Weather Channel, one of the last privately owned cable channels, is being put up for sale and could fetch more than $5 billion, according to people briefed on the auction. The channel and its rapidly growing Web site, weather.com, are already attracting interest from some of the biggest names in media, including NBC, a unit of General Electric; the News Corporation; and Comcast, these people said.

The sale of the Weather Channel, these people said, is part of a larger breakup of its parent, Landmark Communications, a privately held company controlled by the Batten family of Norfolk, Va. ...

One potential suitor approached by Landmark described the Weather Channel as “beachfront property.”

Its audience has mushroomed as the channel has expanded its coverage of hurricanes and others storms around the world and created programming about climate change, taking an aggressive and sometimes controversial role in the global warming debate.

The channel is also a godsend for advertisers. Like live sports, it is largely immune from TiVos and other digital video recorders. The channel has 800 employees; 125 are meteorologists. (link)
That "godsend for advertisers" thingie is no small matter.

Who would have thought? A show that has as its most exciting segment, Weather On The 8's - every ten minutes - every hour - 24 hours a day, is now worth $5 billion.

Hats off to the guys and gals who dreamt this one up.

NY Times Admits Defeat

It doesn't get any clearer:

Iraq War Taking Back Seat to Domestic Issues

I wonder why that is ...

The Path To Our Salvation

The late, great Milton Friedman on economic freedom and how, when allowed to flourish, it has impacted the human circumstance in a wonderfully positive way - always:


Oh, and watching the video producers spank the fannie of some socialist bimbo in the process ain't bad viewing either.

Double-click on the triangle to activate.

In So Many Words

David Limbaugh, in his most recent column, outlines perfectly my attitude toward the field of candidates running for the highest office in the land. Starting with this: "All of the GOP candidates are vastly superior to all of the Democrat candidates ..." and concluding this:
I must confess that Fred [Thompson] is the only one I don't have major reservations about -- apart from his electability. Yes, I worry that he supported McCain-Feingold and that he might not be a strong supply-sider. But on most issues, he seems reliably conservative and appears to have a solid and strong character. I do believe that with Fred, we know what we are getting.

I find his lack of "fire in the belly" refreshing. He strikes me as one of the few presidential candidates since Ronald Reagan whose primary motivation is not personal aggrandizement but rather serving and leading the nation in very troubled and dangerous times. I see him as almost being drafted into this project, and his refusal to drool publicly over the prospect of becoming the most powerful man in the world is positively delightful.
I hate to use the term that was sullied when George Bush picked Dick Cheney as his running mate, but there's no escaping the fact that Fred Thompson has gravitas like none of the other candidates exhibits (especially the lightweights on the Democratic side).

And when it comes to the man's guiding principles and his seeming ability to stick to them, well, as Limbaugh says, "he seems reliably conservative and appears to have a solid and strong character." Not a resounding cheer but a thoughtful acceptance.

That's my take as well.

I think we've found our candidate.

- - -

Is Thompson experiencing a "late-breaking surge"?

Where's Cindy Sheehan?

I wonder why Mother Peace hasn't been out there decrying the slaughter that is taking place in ...

... Venezuela.

From Gateway Pundit:
Venezuelan Politics blog reported that an average 33 Venezuelans were murdered each day last year, which comes to 1000 murders per month.

Iraq’s and Venezuela’s populations are roughly comparable: 27.5 million versus 27.7 million. In the last three months, there have been 1498 civilian fatalities in Iraq. During this same time, roughly 3000 Venezuelans have been murdered.

For the last three months of 2007, a Venezuelan was twice as likely to lose his life to violence as an Iraqi. It looks like its time for Hugo to put more attention on his abysmal security situation and less attention on Hollywood. (link) (emphasis in the
Of course, we all know that Iraq was never about Iraq. It was always about George W. Bush.

That's why the silense emanating from the peace crowd is deafening.

D.C. Gun Ban Legal Team In Disarray?

This, to say the least, is a puzzling development in the 2nd Amendment case that is to go before the Supreme Court:

Alan Morrison is Benched
The Blog of Legal Times

Veteran Supreme Court advocate Alan Morrison has been fired and apparently won't be arguing on behalf of the District of Columbia this spring in the pivotal Second Amendment gun rights case D.C. V. Heller. Morrison, who was named special counsel to D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer last year, told Legal Times this morning "I've been told to clear out of my office by next Monday."

The district's brief in the case involving D.C.'s handgun control ordinance is due this Friday and will carry Morrison's name, as well as that of Singer, who announced her resignation Dec. 17 in frustration over clashes with Peter Nickles, Mayor Adrian Fenty's general counsel. Singer's last day on the job is this Friday.

Morrison says Nickles sacked him without giving a reason, "but I assume it is because I was seen as a Linda loyalist." Morrison says he is saddened by the firing and its timing. "I wanted to argue the case and thought I could help the District." Morrison argued 16 cases before the high court as an attorney for the Ralph Nader-founded Public Citizen Litigation Group. (link)

Not being a lawyer, I don't know if this will bring about a setback to the preparedness of the legal team that will be arguing in favor of maintaining the city's (virtual) handgun ban or not.

But we can hope ...