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

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Silence Broken

Not much has been heard from the Roanoke Times editorial team of late on the subject of the Iraq War. Maybe because we've been winning?

Well, our troops had a bad day there recently. So the editorial team is back:
A reality buffer in Baghdad

Mortar shells are dropping into Baghdad's Green Zone with regularity, threatening the $1 billion investment the U.S. is making in a new embassy compound. The answer? Build ... (link)
Expect another editorial next time the Islamists have a good day on the battlefield.

You Think Grocery Prices Are High?

Tough toenails.

Congressman Rick Boucher and his best buds in Washington intend to send them through the roof:

Sweetheart Deal
Washington Post editorial

The deadline for completion of a new farm bill has been pushed back to May 16. But the endless wrangling over a piece of legislation that Congress once hoped to finish in 2007 has not induced a significant change in the thinking of those who regard it as an opportunity to lock in lush new benefits for American agricultural producers.

Among the least defensible provisions under discussion is a plan by those lawmakers to prop up U.S. sugar cane and sugar beet farmers.

For decades, U.S. sugar policy has hurt sugar farmers and cane-cutters in poor countries and raised prices of candy and soda for U.S. consumers (admittedly not altogether a bad thing, given the obesity epidemic). It has also driven some U.S. candy producers either out of business or overseas.

The Sweetener Users Association, an organization of sugar-using industries, estimates that the farm bill will add $2 billion to grocery bills over five years. Commodity prices and farm incomes are exploding, imposing higher food costs on American consumers and threatening poor people around the world with outright hunger. Perhaps only in the U.S. Congress could it seem like a good time to compound the problem with a dose of sugar shock. (link)

Let's see if Boucher has the audacity to vote for this shameful piece of legislation.

You'll probably find his vote reported only here. It most assuredly won't appear on his website of self-congratulation. So stay tuned. I'll have plenty more to say on the subject.

How Much Was That Endowment Again?

Can this news be both shocking and fully espected?

Virginia Tech panel approves 10.8% tuition increase


What The Heck

It's only money:
Scrapped vessels haunt Coast Guard
By Jen Haberkorn, The Washington Times

Eight ships that were supposed to be the government's latest, best weapon for stopping terrorists, illegal immigrants and smugglers now float unused in a U.S. Coast Guard shipyard in Baltimore, the symbol of a nearly $100 million taxpayer debacle.

Instead of patrolling, the ships were deemed unfit for the high seas after just a couple of months of use and eventually will be dismantled without ever fulfilling their promise. (link)
If this were a private corporation, it would go out of business. It being the United States government, however, it will simply demand more money from us and provide more of the same results. Until the end of time ...

For the love of God.

And In Other Shipwreck News

While we're on the subject of those who waste our tax dollars, this is worth noting:

Warner kicks off Senate bid

Couldn't we just appoint him Coast Guard Commandant, where he'd be right at home?

The NY Times Gets It Right

Another tragedy on the horse race track. Another beautiful thoroughbred destroyed. Why? The New York Times editorializes:

Another Horse-Racing Horror

There is no reason why a race of one-and-a-quarter miles should be a death sentence for a horse, as it was on Saturday for the 3-year-old filly, Eight Belles. She was euthanized after breaking both front ankles immediately after coming in second in the Kentucky Derby.

The racing industry has claimed, as it always does after such a horrifying incident, that racing young thoroughbreds isn’t all that dangerous to their well-being. But the nature of racing and breeding has changed over the years. Good horses, whose careers often begin and end before their bones are fully mature, are racing less often than they used to, which means they only need enough endurance to last a few races. (link)

Actually, the Times gets part of that wrong. Injury to thoroughbreds has been a regular part of doing business at least for decades - probably since racing became big business in the 19th century. Anyone connected to breeding and training will attest to that.

But to the point - the Kentucky Derby - as well as the entire racing circuit connected to it - limits contestants to 3-year olds. That is the age at which they are probably at their fastest. It's also an age at which horses' bones are not yet fully formed.

Accidents waiting to happen.

Thus the Eight Bells tragedy.

And the Ruffian tragedy.

And the Barbaro tragedy.

And countless other less well-known tragedies. Thousands of them.

Will the carnage ever be stopped?

A hint: The Kentucky Derby is in its 134th year. I wouldn't hold my breath.

CNN Always There To Lend a Hand

You get the biggest interview possible and what do you do? In CNN anchor John Roberts's case, you declare to the interviewee - Barack Obama - that you are not going to ask questions about that which has damaged his campaign most - the Jeremiah Wright debacle.

Can a wet kiss be far behind?

See "CNN anchor reassures Obama: This is a 'Wright-free zone'."

A "Wright-free zone." A journalism-free zone is more like it.

Click on the triangle to activate.

Do As I Say, Not ...

This comes from the London Daily Mail regarding celebrities and the lifestyles they live preach. This is beyond words:

Campaigning against food miles might seem an unlikely cause for [Trudie] Styler, given that a tribunal last year heard how she ordered her personal chef to travel over 100 miles to make a bowl of pasta for her youngest child and has sold olive oil and honey from her Tuscan estate, Il Palagio, 1,000 or so miles away, in Harrods in London.

So it was hardly surprising that an alert journalist present at the lecture, which was being staged as part of the Earls Court Real Food Festival, had the wit to question the environmental record of Styler and her husband Sting.

The couple's carbon footprint, the impertinent ink-stained wretch pointed out, has been estimated at 30 times greater than the average Briton's. How did Styler and Sting - who have seven homes - square that with their environmental crusading?

Styler conceded that as Sting "has a 750-person crew to bring around the world, it is a difficult challenge".

Her rare moment of ecological candour was shortly replaced by the more familiar self-congratulation and justification, however.

"I would like to think that we both work pretty hard for the rights of indigenous people and for the rights of conservation of the Amazon rainforest, but we do need to get around," she said. (link)

Anything said in response to the journalist's question was going to be pathetically weak. But this. It reminds me of Al Gore and how detached he is from reality.