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

Sunday, January 13, 2008

On Those 'Eco-Mentalists' In Wise County

This goes out to the good people of Wise County who are having to deal with all those environmentalist scaremongers these days what with Dominion Power intending to build a power plant - a power plant!!! - in St. Paul.

You're not alone in having to put up with them.
This has been my perfect week
Jeremy Clarkson, writing in the Times of London

A couple of weeks ago, plans for a wonderful new coal-fired power station in Kent were given the green light and I was very pleased.

This will reduce our dependency on Vladimir’s gas and Osama’s oil and, as a bonus, new technology being developed to burn the coal more efficiently will be exported to China and exchanged for plastic novelty items to make our lives a little brighter.

It’s all just too excellent for words, but of course galloping into the limelight came a small army of communists and hippies who were waving their arms around and saying that coal was the fuel of Satan and that when the new power station opened, small people like Richard Hammond would immediately be drowned by a rampaging tidal swell.

They argued with much gusto that if Britain was to stand any chance of meeting Mr Prescott’s Kyoto climate change targets then we must build power stations that produced no carbon emissions at all.

You’d imagine then that last week, when Gordon Brown announced plans for a herd of new nuclear power stations, they’d have been delighted. Quiet power made by witchcraft, and no emissions at all. It’s enough, you might imagine, to make Jonathon Porritt priapic with pleasure.

But no. It turns out the eco-mentalists don’t like nuclear power either for lots of reasons, all of them stupid. (link)
Read the whole thing. It's quite poignant. And provides more than a few chuckles.

Those environmentalists that you're having to endure - you know, the ones who fear the kind of power generation method we've used in this country for 200 years - are not all now camping out in Wise County, Virginia. Though you may at times think so. A few are actually huddled together awaiting impending doom in England as well.

Maybe we should get them all together and ...

Hat tip to WD.

All The Laws In The World ...

The Washington Post is a few weeks late in reporting this story, but better late than never:
At Va. Tech, Near Silence For a Student's Anguished Cry
By Marc Fisher

After April, after the shootings at Virginia Tech, this sort of thing should not happen anymore. So everyone thought. But Dan Kim, a 21-year-old Virginia Tech senior from Reston, shot himself in the head last month while he sat in his car in a Target parking lot in Christiansburg, Va. The suicide came after at least one and possibly two students at other colleges had contacted Virginia Tech to say their friend had bought a gun and was talking about killing himself.

"Daniel has been acting very suicidal recently, purchasing a $200 pistol and claiming he'll go through with it," wrote Shaun Pribush, a senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., in an e-mail to Virginia Tech's health center. "We are very concerned for his safety. . . . please forward this to who can give him the best care." (link)
So you know, after Seung-hui Cho's problems went unchallenged and the tragedy of April 16 occurred, after all the lessons were learned, politicians, businessmen, and community leaders got together and ...

... Virginia Tech now has a new "violence prevention" center ...

... and Congress has now made it more difficult for the mentally disturbed to buy a firearm ...

... and Governor Tim Kaine is closing that mythical gun show loophole ...

... and nothing has changed.

Ah, Capitalism

While tens of thousands of politicians and bureaucrats around the country - most of them Democrats - try to figure out a way to make our health care delivery system more costly, less effective, and highly restrictive, a grocery store down the street from you is reaching out to those in need and providing quality care at low prices.

Say what?


First retail health clinic opens in area
Redi-Health at Kroger treats minor ailments for a flat fee.
By Christina Rogers, The Roanoke Times

Sitting on a vinyl bench covered with tissue paper, 13-year-old Abby Sneddon found herself having her pinkeye examined last week in a rather unlikely setting -- the local grocery store.

In a cramped exam room near the store's pharmacy aisles, a physician assistant peered into her ears and nose, and asked her to open up and say "ah."

The low-cost clinic designed for treatment of minor illnesses is among the first of six planned for Kroger stores in the region under the locally owned Redi-Health Clinic brand, said Dr. Murray Joiner, founder and president of the Roanoke-based company. The first one opened in late December at the Cave Spring Corners Kroger on Brambleton Avenue.

Although new to the Roanoke Valley, store-based clinics have already begun to alter the health care landscape nationwide. And now Joiner, a physician with practices in Roanoke and Lynchburg, is bringing the medical model to the Roanoke Valley by starting a regional chain. (link)

This is the sort of affordable care clinic that the governor of Massachusetts wants to ban, as I made mention of yesterday. It doesn't fit into the one-plan-fits-all big-government mold. And someone makes a profit. Can't be having that here in Democratistan.

Like Massachusetts, Virginia is growing increasingly liberal. Therefore, you can kiss these affordable clinics for the underinsured and uninsured goodbye. Big Brother has a better idea ...

The Scourge Of Southwest Virginia

Anyone living here who doesn't think we have a serious - and growing - problem is deluding himself. This morning the Washington Post outlines it in painful detail:

A Dark Addiction
Miners Caught in Western Va.'s Spiraling Rates of Painkiller Abuse

By Nick Miroff

Tazewell County, Va.

Work in the mines hasn't been as good as it is now in a generation. With per-ton prices doubling in the past six years, Virginia unearthed about $1.6 billion worth of coal in 2006, much of it to feed the growing energy demands of the Washington region.

Wages are up, bosses are hiring and rookie miners can start at $18 an hour -- a small fortune in a region where, [as one miner says,] "if you ain't working in the mines or in the prisons, you don't make money."

But it is a boom clouded by drugs. Nearly a decade after OxyContin slammed into southwestern Virginia and much of Appalachia, the abuse of prescription painkillers in the region is worse than ever, police and public health officials say.

Publicized efforts to crack down on drug dealers and manufacturers through tougher street-level enforcement and tighter prescription regulations have failed to curb the crisis, and the result is a quiet catastrophe unfolding largely out of sight, in private bedrooms and isolated trailers far from the drug war's urban front lines.

A record 248 people died of overdoses in Virginia's western region in 2006, more than those who died from homicides, house fires and alcohol-related car accidents combined. That was an 18 percent increase from 2005 and a 270 percent increase from a decade ago, state medical examiner records show.

The problem is most acute in Virginia's poorest rural areas, and it is not limited to miners. In 2006, accidental pain pill overdoses killed more people in Tazewell County (pop. 44,000) than in Fairfax County (pop. 1.1 million). In Wise County, where ... the per capita income is $14,000 a year, the fatal overdose rate for pain pills was 13 times those of Loudoun and Fairfax counties. (link) (my emphasis)
Read the article. It's a well-deserved indictment of who we are and of what we've become.

A metaphor of our times: Dependent on Washington handouts. Dependent on Richmond handouts. Dependent on charitable handouts. Dependent on drugs.

We've become a region of dependents.

There was a time:

“Let us resolve that we will stop spreading dependency and start spreading opportunity; that we will stop spreading bondage and start spreading freedom.” - - Ronald Reagan

A time long passed ...

Yeah, That'll Work

The city of Roanoke is struggling mightily to overcome a decades-long economic decline. That struggle now enters the realm of the absurd:
Roanoke turning on the charm for bikers
Officials consider taking steps to become known as bicycle-friendly city

By Rex Bowman, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Roanoke -- City leaders are exploring the possibility of working to give Roanoke a reputation as a bicycle-friendly city.

The goal would be to improve the area's quality of life, keep more cars off the road, attract businesses looking for pleasant communities and earn some of the tourism dollars that vacationers spend on biking trips.

Roanoke has made several attempts recently to make itself more amenable to bicyclists. It recently opened a new stretch of the Roanoke River Greenway for walkers and bikers and hopes to expand it further, and it also blessed a nonprofit organization's creation of a bike-sharing program downtown. (link)
Oddly, there's nary a word as to how those efforts (which beat lowering the tax burden) have fared "recently."

But never mind that. Who exactly will be attracted to the area by this "biker-friendly" attitude the city is going to adopt? Well, bikers of course. Those young, long-haired, penniless (and from what I'm seeing, generally unhygienic) college-age bikers. The ones with enough disposable income (we call them "tourist dollars") to buy a Snicker's bar and an Aquafina down at the 7/11.


Let the good times ... roll.

The Hearts And Minds Being Won

In the Great War On Terror, the Battle of Iraq seems won:
Normalcy returns to Baghdad, block by block
By Richard Tomkins, The Washington Times

Baghdad — Signs of improved security in Baghdad go beyond the obvious dampening of street battles and bombings: It's in the smaller transformations taking place in neighborhoods that the seeds of possibility are starting to take root.

"When we meet and talk, we speak about how we must hold together in the future, and if we don't, the future won't be so good," said Thayia Aziz Kudam, a neighborhood leader in the East Rashid area of southern Baghdad.

"Gangs, militias, al Qaeda — all of us, we want them to go away. We don't want them." (link)
One former Islamist stronghold down, 35 to go.

To Those Who Would Have Us Emulate Canada

The Canadian who dared to publish those Danish cartoons in 2006 that so enraged the Muslim world has been called to answer for his transgressions before a provincial governmental body (that Orwell would find delicious) called the "Alberta Human Rights Commission." His transgression? Publishing something that offends. In this case, The Prophet Mohammed.

Here in a wonderful pair of video clips we see an exchange between publisher Ezra Levant - the accused - and "human rights agent" Shirlene McGovern - government bureaucrat.

and ...

Columnist Mark Steyn sums up the bizarre state of things thusly:

No "vulnerable" Canadian Muslim has been attacked over the cartoons, but the cartoonists had to go into hiding, and a gang of Muslim youths turned up at their children's grade schools, and Muslim rioters around the world threatened death to anyone who published them, and even managed to kill a few folks who had nothing to do with them. Nonetheless, upon receiving a complaint from a Saudi imam trained at an explicitly infidelophobic academy and who's publicly called for the introduction of sharia in Canada, Shirlene McGovern decides that the purely hypothetical backlash to Muslims takes precedence over any actual backlash against anybody else.

Thus the unending valse macabre of our times, as the supposedly progressive forces of tolerance are whirled around the floor by the avowedly intolerant. Ezra is rightly contemptuous of these "human rights commissions". Canadians should be ashamed of this show trial.
Coming to a free country near you.

What, you say it can't happen here? That we are allowed to print and air our political thoughts free of government repression? We're half way to Canada already:

And then of course there's McCain.

Government Run Amok

Don't let this news about California's looming fiscal disaster fool you ...

The governor's budget cuts nearly every state department
Tom Chorneau, John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle Sacramento Bureau

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, acknowledging that California faces tough economic times, proposed an austere budget Thursday for the next fiscal year that would take billions of dollars from public schools, shut down four dozen state parks and release tens of thousands of prisoners to close a projected $14.5 billion deficit.

Virtually every state department was required to slash 10 percent from this year's spending, a move that would cut services for many Californians, especially the poor, the elderly and the disabled. (link)
While Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (one of those "compassionate conservatives") is trying to tackle this $14 billion deficit, he's also hell-bent on passing a $14 billion universal health care plan with money the state of California doesn't have.

You think he and his liberal pals have created a mess? Stick around. You ain't seen nothing yet.