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

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Coming To You From Planet Washington

I'm always amazed at how detached people become when they get elected to Congress, move to the big city, and quickly forget who they were, where they came from, and why they were sent to the Magic Kingdom in the first place.

Take my Congressman for instance. They don't get more detached from reality. Our reality.

What's the biggest - and fastest growing - concern that people here in Southwest Virginia have these days? The mortgage crisis? Not really. It has its devastating effects, but only on a small minority of citizens. The recession? Uhn uh. There isn't one. How you're going to unload that 5.7-liter V8 Toyota Tundra now that resale values on big vehicles have plummeted? You're getting close.

Gas prices.

$4.00 a gallon.

Projected to go to $5.00.

And this is rural Virginia where many of us have to drive 20 miles to buy a lightbulb.

So what is our Congressman's response to this very serious concern? You might guess:

Residents should take advantage of area’s beauty
By Rick Boucher, writing in The Dickenson Star

Every year, the first Saturday in June is designated as National Trails Day, an ideal time to take advantage of the outdoors and enjoy the scenery of Southwest Virginia.

Our region possesses the Commonwealth of Virginia's best outdoor experience, with the highest mountains, most interesting rivers and superb hunting, fishing, camping, biking, backpacking and hiking opportunities. With these rare treasures of Virginia's natural heritage, National Trails Day represents a special opportunity for Southwest Virginia residents to take advantage of the beauty of our region.

The goals of National Trails Day are to promote public awareness and appreciation for America's trails and to build partnerships among trail users, businesses and public land managers. Southwest Virginia's Trails are an excellent of example of what can be accomplished when local residents, businesses and officials at the federal, state and local levels work together in aid of a common purpose. (link requires paid subscription)
I'll not copy the whole text. It essentially goes on with a withering amount of blah blah blah. But the detachment, the insularity, that is on display here is breathtaking. The man doesn't get it.

People are worried. Parents here in Southwest Virginia are concerned that, for the first time in American history, unless things change, they'll not be able to deliver The Dream to their children, and Boucher (or one of his paid underlings) sends off a letter to The Dickenson Star encouraging everyone to take time out and hug a tree. On "National Trails Day."

I'll bet this sort of horse shit plays well over at the club. Boucher's club. Up in Washington D.C. Far, far away.

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A commenter the other day informed us of news I'd not read - that the Republicans will not offer a challenger to Boucher's reelection effort in November. I don't know who's more pathetic.

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"British pensioners who cannot afford to heat their homes. European hauliers and fishermen whose livelihoods are under threat. Palestinians forced to fill up their cars with olive oil. Americans asked to go down to a four-day week.

All around the world, in a multitude of ways, the soaring price of oil is hurting rich and poor alike. For the lucky ones, it is simply a matter of changing their lifestyle. But those most vulnerable to the price of oil have been driven on to the streets in angry protests, which raise a fundamental question: what can we do to survive in a world where a barrel of oil costs $127 (£64)?" (source)

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AAA: Va. families will pay $246 more for gas this summer

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Appalachian Power wants 23% increase

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Protests Over Skyrocketing Fuel Prices Spread to More Countries in Europe

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To show that Boucher's not alone in his land of delusion: "Federal grant to help build wetlands trail in Roanoke Co." That grant comes to us via Bob Goodlatte, Congressional representative for one of the poorest metropolitan statistical areas in the country in terms of Gross Domestic Product output.

Christ almighty.

Tyranny Of The Minority

If you're upset that a small handful of old people (four California Supreme Court judges) can defy the will of the people and enact laws that make gay marriage legal, you'll really be annoyed by this, brought to us by Dale Carpenter:
Gay marriage by executive decision in New York:

New York is next. State agency heads in New York have been instructed by Gov. David Paterson's legal counsel to begin recognizing same-sex marriages validly performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, Canada, and beginning June 17, California.

The memo (available here) relies on the decision of an intermediate appellate court and several lower courts in the state that have held that same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions are entitled to recognition in the state. The memo also notes that, in 2007, a state agency extended spousal benefits to married gay couples under the state's health insurance program.

Some activists opposed to gay marriage plan to ask courts to overturn the governor's action, but such challenges are given little chance of succeeding.
If you cherish our republican form of government, you should be frightened to death by these arbitrary and disreputable actions that a few liberal elitists in this country have taken. It's time to roll up the sleeves and fight them. At the ballot box. America will not be ruled by a despotic handful of tyrants. Now or ever.

Facts Get In The Way ...

... of a really good mainstream media smear campaign:

W Vs. Terror: Something's Working
By John Hinderaker, writing in the New York Post

May 30, 2008 -- It's an article of faith on the left that the Bush administration has done nothing that has enhanced our security - rather, its alleged blunders have only contributed to the number of jihadists who want to attack us.

Empirically, however, something clearly has made us safer since 2001. Successful attacks on the United States and its interests overseas have not increased, as had been widely predicted, but instead dwindled to virtually nothing.

A steady stream of terrorist attacks on America and US interests abroad were launched from the 1980s forward. A partial history:

1988: Marine Lt.-Col. William Higgins, chief of the UN Truce Force in Lebanon, murdered by Hezbollah. Pan Am flight 103 blown up, killing 270, including a number of US military personnel.

1991: American University in Beirut bombed.

1993: Pakistani terrorist kills two agents and wounds three outside CIA headquarters. World Trade Center bombed, killing six and injuring more than 1,000.

1995: Operation Bojinka, al Qaeda's plan to blow up 12 airliners over the Pacific, discovered. Five Americans killed in attack on US Army office in Saudi Arabia.

1996: Truck bomb at Khobar Towers kills 19 American servicemen and injures 240.

1997: Terrorists murder four American oil-company employees in Pakistan.

1998: US Embassy in Peru bombed. Simultaneous attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania kill more than 300 people and injure more than 5,000.

1999: Pilot of Egypt Air flight 990 crashes airplane into ocean, killing 100 Americans, while yelling "Allahu akbar!"

2000: Suicide boat explodes next to the USS Cole, killing 17 American sailors and injuring 39.

2001: Terrorists with four hijacked airplanes kill around 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The "shoe bomber" tries to blow up a transatlantic flight.

After 9/11, nearly everyone expected more such attacks to follow. Instead, the pace of successful attacks against the United States slowed - and decelerated further after the onset of the Iraq war. Here's the record:

2002: Diplomat Laurence Foley murdered in Jordan, in an operation directed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from Iraq.

2003: Suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia kill 36 Americans.

2004: No successful attacks by terrorist groups inside the United States or against American interests abroad.

2005, 2006, 2007: No successful terror attacks inside the US or against US interests abroad.

2008: So far, no successful attacks inside the US or against US interests abroad.

... [B]ased on the historical record, the Bush administration obviously has done something since 2001 to dramatically improve our security against terrorism. To fail to recognize this is to sow the seeds of greatly increased susceptibility to terrorist attacks in the next administration. (link)

Hinderaker might have mentioned that which is even more astounding - the fact that Global Terrorism is in Sharp Decline.

Though he'll not get credit for any of this, it is not arguable that President Bush is in fact doing something right. Thank you, again, Mr. President.

The Only Words I Have ...

... for the Scott McClellan affair will actually come from Mark Twain via Glenn Reynolds:

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."