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

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Engineers With Time On Their Hands

This is a very cool Honda commercial. Apparently it took 606 attempts to get it right.

Key word to think about when watching this: PRECISION

Double-click on the triangle to activate.

Someone's Probably Right

Retail sales skid in January

Retail Sales Increased 5% in January

Retail Sales Probably Fell in January

Retail sales rebound in January

January's retail sales weakest in nearly four decades

Retail sales flat but Fed positive on growth

Kinda makes you wonder who's piloting this plane ...

How To Lose a Gun Ban Argument

Start a paragraph with:

Seung-Hui Cho did not purchase his firearms from a gun show. However ...

Anything after that is just blather.

The Evangelicals Give a Shout-Out

Here in Bland County, you either walk with Jesus or with that McCain character. There is no compromise.

Yesterday's primary results in Virginia's most-watched contest: Who would take Bland?

Jesus wins again.

Election results courtesy of the Virginia State Board of Elections

There Are Republicans In D.C.!

About enough to fill the hot tub on a warm, sunny day.

This is almost pathetic:

Chart courtesy of the Washington Post and the AP.
Click on the image to enlarge.

This Was Bound To Happen

Anyone who has ever flown across our western desert into either Phoenix or Las Vegas must have wondered, upon viewing the arid nature of the expanse, when this headline would someday appear:
Lake Mead Could Be Within a Few Years of Going Dry, Study Finds
By Felicity Barringer, The New York Times


Lake Mead, the vast reservoir for the Colorado River water that sustains the fast-growing cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas, could lose water faster than previously thought and run dry within 13 years, according to a new study by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The lake, located in Nevada and Arizona, has a 50 percent chance of becoming unusable by 2021, the scientists say, if the demand for water remains unchanged and if human-induced climate change follows climate scientists’ moderate forecasts, resulting in a reduction in average river flows.

Demand for Colorado River water already slightly exceeds the average annual supply when high levels of evaporation are taken into account, the researchers, Tim P. Barnett and David W. Pierce, point out. Despite an abundant snowfall in Colorado this year, scientists project that snowpacks and their runoffs will continue to dwindle. If they do, the system for delivering water across the Southwest would become increasingly unstable.
(
link)
I'll let that crack - a sop to those who promote the fad of the day - about "human-induced" climate change pass.

But the fact that we have grown massive, sprawling cities in the middle of a vast desert has to someday present a problem.

That someday may be sooner rather than later.

Quote Of The Day

Anne Applebaum on the Archbishop of Canterbury's notion that British law should be accommodating to Islamic sharia law):
Many explanations for the archbishop's statements have already been proffered: the weakness of the Church of England, the paganism of the British, the feebleness of Williams's intellect, the decline of the West. At base, though, his beliefs are merely an elaborate, intellectualized version of a commonly held, and deeply offensive, Western prejudice: Alone among all of the world's many religious groups, Muslims living in Western countries cannot be expected to conform to Western law -- or perhaps do not deserve to be treated as legal equals of their non-Muslim neighbors.

Every time police shrug their shoulders when a Muslim woman complains that she has been forced to marry against her will, every time a Western doctor tries not to notice the female circumcisions being carried out in his hospital, they are acting in the spirit of the archbishop of Canterbury. So is the social worker who dismisses the plight of an illiterate, house-bound woman, removed from her village and sent across the world to marry a man she has never met, on the grounds that her religion prohibits interference. That's why -- if there is to be war between the British tabloids and the archbishop -- I'm
on the side of the Sun.
"A Craven Canterbury Tale," The Washington Post, February 12, 2008

Head-Up-His-Ass Quote Of The Day

Yes, from a Democrat:
"In the digital age, an American's rights shouldn't depend on their physical geography."

-- Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., arguing that Americans traveling abroad shouldn't be subject to search or surveillance without court permission.
"Talking Point," The Roanoke Times, February 13, 2008

The Anti-Bob Dole Strategy

It begins:
Blood-and-guts politics
By Camille Paglia, Salon.com

John McCain's courage under torture during the Vietnam War deserves everyone's gratitude and respect. But as a national candidate, the stumpy, uptight McCain is a lemon. Oy, that weaselly voice and those dated locutions and stilted intonations. Who needs a weird old coot with a short fuse in the White House? (link)
A weird old out-of-touch war hero who deserves our gratitude - and sympathy - but never our vote.

Bob Dole. John McCain.

You were warned.

Let It Be Duly Noted ...

... who the racists are and in which party they lurk:
Rendell: Race Factor Could Hurt Obama
Associated Press


Harrisburg, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Ed Rendell, one of Hillary Rodham Clinton's most visible supporters, said some white Pennsylvanians are likely to vote against her rival Barack Obama because he is black.

"You've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate," Rendell told the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in remarks that appeared in Tuesday's paper. (link)
Me? I voted for Alan Keyes over George Bush in 2000 and was prepared to vote for Condoleezza in 2008 (before she broke my heart) - because they were the best candidates in large fields of candidates (of assorted and varying skin colors).

Oh, both happened to be black.

Rendell, it seems to me, is sending a message. For which he should be profoundly and forever ashamed.

They Should Think This Through

It's comforting to know that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have created conditions in this country such that doorknobs like these have nothing better to do for their local constituents.

From Boulder, Colorado:
Boulder: Impeach Bush?
By Ryan Morgan, Rocky Mountain News (Daily Camera)

Boulder's elected leaders are expected to decide next week whether to draft and vote on a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. (
link)
All their real problems must be solved, thus they turn to those imagined ...

Hollywood Was On Strike?

STRIKE OVER: Hollywood Back To Work!

Don't Let The Door Hit You ...

From the contentious atmosphere created by the removal of a Christian cross in the Christian chapel on the William & Mary campus (the cross that had been there for decades but suddenly caused someone's undies to bunch) to the latest foolishness, the "sex workers" show, College President Gene Nichol has seen brought about his share of controversy. Fortunately, we have now seen the last of it. He's gone.

Delegate Tim Hugo says goodbye (in a press release sent via email):
"I appreciate Gene Nichol's service to the College of William and Mary, but I think for the good of the College, he made the best decision by resigning.

"Unfortunately, his tenure has seen an unending string of political controversies. He is a nice man, but, I do not believe that he ever made the successful transition from political activist to college president. I wish him well in his future endeavors." (emphasis in the original)
Nichol will now have plenty of time for his activism. Hopefully, somewhere far far away.

It Didn't Take A Rocket Scientist ...

... to predict the train wreck that was coming with regard to the Virginia state budget. Spending increases have been out of control for years and, with the downturn in the housing markets, that train has gone off the rails.

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling responds (via email):

“When Governor Kaine released his proposed budget in December of 2007, I expressed concern over the huge increase in spending that he had proposed for the upcoming biennium, as well as the manner in which he proposed to balance the state budget. I warned at the time that the Governor’s revenue projections would ultimately have to be revised and that reductions in his proposed spending initiatives would have to be made. Unfortunately, those warnings have come true, and we are now left with a budgetary mess.

“I am confident that the members of the General Assembly will do what has to be done to bring the state budget into balance without raising taxes. However, to do this we will have to make many difficult budget decisions in the coming days, including significant reductions in the Governor’s proposed spending initiatives, as well as the adoption of a realistic revenue projection for the upcoming biennium. Unfortunately, we are placed in this position because of the Governor’s failure to bring us a realistic and structurally sound budget to begin with.

“This will not be an easy task, but we remain committed to balancing the budget without raising taxes, adopting a budget that directs as many resources as possible to the Commonwealth’s highest priorities, and scales back spending in other areas. We ask for the patience and support of the people of Virginia as we begin making these difficult decisions.”

With the Democrats now in control (more or less), this should be interesting.