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

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Truth About Energy Independence

Don't listen to all the naysayers - like Barack Obama - who try to convince you that drilling for oil here or sinking a well there will only impact the price of gas at the pump by "a few pennies a gallon," and won't have any impact for many years to come. If we hadn't had our heads buried up our asses for the last forty years, we would be energy independent today and we wouldn't be facing the crisis we find ourselves in.

Charles Krauthammer:

Gas is $4 a gallon. Oil is $135 a barrel and rising. We import two-thirds of our oil, sending hundreds of billions of dollars to the likes of Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. And yet we voluntarily prohibit ourselves from even exploring huge domestic reserves of petroleum and natural gas.

At a time when U.S. crude oil production has fallen 40 percent in the past 25 years, 75 billion barrels of oil have been declared off-limits, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That would be enough to replace every barrel of non-North American imports (oil trade with Canada and Mexico is a net economic and national security plus) for 22 years.

That's nearly a quarter-century of energy independence.
"But even if we started drilling today, we wouldn't realize any savings for at least a decade," they whine. The same whine we've been hearing now for four decades.

Drill here. Drill now. Let them whine.

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Then there's the non-solution to the supply/demand dilemma. Senate candidate Mark Warner's laughably ineffectual proposal relating to tax incentives, making more demands on automakers, and closing speculator loopholes. All of which will find more fuel for a petroleum-starved planet.

Come back to us, Mark, when you're serious about the issue.

A Step Back Into History

A fascinating mystery solved:

Grave site puzzle solved
By Markus Schmidt (reproduced in the Washington Times)


Petersburg, Va. - The nearly 200 year-old mystery of Blandford Cemetery has been solved. No one knew what happened to the grave monument of Maj. Erasmus Gill, one of the two known Revolutionary War veterans buried in the cemetery. But David Via from Albemarle County found the answer that had eluded local historians all that time.

He found Maj. Gill's monument.

Mr. Via is a popular man these days. He calls himself a monument conservator, one of the few of his kind. He constantly travels throughout the southern United States restoring tombstones and grave monuments. He is so busy that it took the Historic Blandford Cemetery Foundation almost two years to get him to come to Petersburg. His first one-week visit was not cheap.

Mr. Via was aware of Petersburg's history, but he did not expect to find a small historical sensation.

"I really just came here to stabilize some of the monuments so I can come back later to work on them," he said. "But once we found this wonderful piece, everything else stopped."

Maj. Gill was born in July 1752 and died in March 1807. He was buried at Blandford Cemetery, and the monument was put above his grave. Mr. Via suggested that when Maj. Gill's wife, Sarah, died in 1826 she wished to be buried the English way, i.e. on top of her husband.

Their graves are still there, crowned by a newer monument with both names on it.

"The question was what happened to the monument that was on Gill's own grave for 19 years," Mr. Via said.

The new discovery happened by accident. "I was working on a monument close to Sarah Gill's grave," Mr. Via said. "I took it apart to clean it up, and I noticed some writing on the inside of the monument's sidebars."

Mr. Via quickly understood what happened. After Mrs. Gill's death, someone took her husband's monument, cut it through the middle and used the two halves as sidebars for another grave, with the writing facing to the inside.

"It's amazing. They basically recycled it," Mr. Via said. (link)

Aren't there some kind of rules that apply here? Can you just take someone else's grave marker and "recycle" it for your own purposes? A bit seamy, if you ask me.

Anyway, mystery solved. Great story.

Think These Guys Aren't Politicians?

The timing is no coincidence. The Commonwealth Transportation Board gave the Republicans in Richmond a not-so-gentle nudge yesterday just as the legislature is about to convene and try to hammer out a funding compromise:
Virginia panel cuts road projects
By Bob Lewis, Associated Press

Richmond - The Virginia highway planning panel cut hundreds of projects for lack of money Thursday as lawmakers prepared to return Monday for a special session to consider transportation funding.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) voted unanimously to divert $2.75 billion in the next six years from new road construction to cover soaring costs of maintaining the state's network of highways and bridges, a problem Mr. Kaine called "significant and undeniable."

That means 503 road building projects the CTB approved a year ago and which were already under way are now either dead or delayed indefinitely. Another 104 projects the board had identified as priorities for inclusion this year were dropped. (link)
I'd be greatly surprised if the CTB approved 503 building projects a year ago and that those projects are "already underway." But the message is clear: Fix the problem or see our roads crumble.

The Republicans in the House of course will see this stunt for what it is - a ploy intended to influence public opinion rather than a decision based on pressing issues of the day.

We'll see where this goes.

Ya Don't Mess With The Godfather

I'm actually a bit surprised by the headline in the New York Times this morning. But then Barack Obama should have known he was messing with a program that the big-government types there have promoted for years. And you screw with the boys at the Times at your own risk. Get this:

Obama’s Decision Is Biggest Threat Yet to Public Financing System
By Leslie Wayne

From the moment that the public financing system was created in the wake of the Watergate crisis, it was viewed as an imperfect way to rid politics of the excesses of special-interest money.

But now, with the decision by Senator Barack Obama to become the first presidential candidate to forgo public money, the system is facing the most critical threat to its survival. (link)
Someone feel like they've been shafted?

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Interestingly, the editorial page moderates its reaction with:

"The excitement underpinning Senator Barack Obama’s campaign rests considerably on his evocative vows to depart from self-interested politics. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama has come up short of that standard with his decision to reject public spending limitations and opt instead for unlimited private financing in the general election." (link)

He came up short? He broke his word, fellas. His verbal and written vow. That ain't "coming up short." Barack Obama lied. No other way to phrase it.

He Brings Change All Right

But is this the kind of change you all want?

Muslims barred from picture at Obama event
By Ben Smith, The Politico

Two Muslim women at Barack Obama’s rally in Detroit on Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women’s headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate.

The campaign has apologized to the women, both Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally.

“This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is ... (link)

This is too funny. Obama and his campaign are tied in knots, and the season hasn't even begun.

When you run with the big dogs, Junior ...