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

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Virginia Treasure

If you've never been to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, make plans. It's a wonderful trip back in time. And it's a real-life testiment to those who served this country - and this state - honorably and at great sacrifice over the last few centuries.

I was reminded of my visit there a few years ago by this, from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Touring Hollywood Cemetery on foot
By Lindsay Machak, Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Although Liz Kashurba has lived in the Richmond area for more than 20 years, she had never been to Hollywood Cemetery until yesterday.

Kashurba, 50, of Chesterfield County was among 14 people who took a walking tour of the cemetery. She has a book about the cemetery's history but decided to take a guided tour so she wouldn't miss anything, she said.

The two-hour hike took her past the graves of Presidents John Tyler and James Monroe in the presidential loop, which at the highest point of the cemetery overlooks the James River.

The cemetery also is the resting place of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, surgeon Hunter McGuire and Gens. George Pickett and J.E.B. Stuart, along with about 18,000 Confederate soldiers.

Also buried there are patriot John Randolph; Lewis Ginter, who developed several Richmond landmarks including The Jefferson Hotel, property that became Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and the Ginter Park residential area; Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Ellen Glasgow; and Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. (link)

Many of those 18,000 Confederate soldiers buried in Hollywood Cemetery were brought there directly from the battlefields of 1862 to 1865. Seven Pines. Malvern Hill. Cold Harbor. Gaines' Mill. And from local hospitals, as soldiers wounded on the field were brought into Richmond to recover but, more often than not, die horrible deaths as a result of medical care at the time being tragically inadequate. Other Confederate dead were repatriated after the war ended, including 2,935 Confederate soldiers killed on the field of Gettysburg and brought to Hollywood nearly a decade after they were initially interred on and near the battlefield.

Virginia's most famous cemetery is a sight to behold. It would do you - and your chuildren - well to visit.

This Kid Has a Future

These days, one assumes college students to be illiterate boobs who are on track to becoming McDonald's hamburger flippers, if they are so fortunate and "study" really hard. But Stephen Miller, "a rising sophomore at Patrick Henry College," is destined for greatness. He is both literate and conservative. And he writes a mean refutation.

In an op/ed piece appearing in the Roanoke Times today, he takes on one of America's premier law professors, and does a pretty healthy job of smackdown, involving the 2nd Amendment case recently decided by the Supreme Court.

See "Argument flawed in dissecting Heller."

This young man has a future. He could even aspire to having his own weblog someday.

What, It's Not a Two-Way Street?

This is cute. The Republican House of Delegates passed a transportation plan that the Democrat Senate rejected. The Democrat Senate passed a plan that the Republican House turned down. So who do you think the boys over at the Roanoke Times blame for the impasse?

Need you ask?
Pointing fingers on transportation

The only things that came out of the General Assembly's special session on transportation were recriminations and accusations.

The people of Virginia deserve better, but it will almost certainly take an election for them to get it.

As long as the House remains in its current hands, there will be no statewide, comprehensive action on transportation. (link)
It's almost juvenile in the thinking that supports this argument. The Republicans and the Democrats disagree, therefore the Republicans (did we mention the fact that we detest them?) must go.

For the love of God.

What's With Republicans?

If Representative Don Young isn't embarrassment enough to the GOP, those who suck up to him surely must be. Aren't they? I wonder sometimes:
Hogs of a Feather
The Wall Street Journal

Since his GOP presidential campaign ended, Mike Huckabee has been busy with personal appearances, TV guest spots and setting up his own political action committee, known as Huck PAC. But the donations that his PAC has chosen to make are now drawing some fire. For example, Mr. Huckabee is endorsing pork barreling Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who is facing a GOP primary challenge next month from conservative Lt. Governor Sean Parnell.

Mr. Huckabee lauds Rep. Young, an original backer of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," as one of the few in Congress "who fully recognized the direct link between infrastructure and job creation and economic development." In other words, Mr. Huckabee considers money hijacked from taxpayers and used to fund Congressional earmarks to be an engine of economic growth. (link)
Huckabee and Young. May both enjoy a long retirement.

'But It's a Good Way To Save On Gas, Honey'

I'm thinking of trying that ploy on Paula. I hear one of these bad boys calling my name:

Riding High, Harley-Davidson Kick-Starts Museum in Milwaukee
By Carrie Antlfinger, Associated Press

"In many ways Harley-Davidson's story mirrors the story of America," said company spokeswoman Rebecca Bortner. "The company is 105 years old, has weathered recessions, depressions, wars, and ups and downs and highs and lows. . . . I think that's one reason people have a lot of pride in Harley-Davidson."

The largest U.S. motorcycle maker is now a Fortune 500 company with nearly $6 billion annual revenue and a connection to its owners that is unrivaled in any industry. About half the motorcycles sold in the United States are Harleys, known for their sleek curves and roar. The company boasts more than 1 million members in its Harley Owners Group, or HOG. (link)

Just doing my part to save the planet. Honey.

Photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson USA.

Predictable Consequences

If there's anything that annoys me in the business world, it's when the boss (or his/her boss, or ...) calls a meeting and, when everyone is assembled, has nothing of importance to talk about. The reason for the meeting was to have a meeting. It is, to me, a telltale sign that the person who wasted everyone's time isn't worth the powder it would take to blow him up. And I've been in a lot of wasteful meetings.

That having been said, none of them compared to this:

Failed session costs taxpayers
Price of unsuccessful General Assembly nearly $117,000
By Gary Emerling, The Washington Times

Virginia lawmakers' failed special session this year will cost taxpayers more than just continued headaches in traffic.

The final price tag for the session - a summer assembly called by Gov. Tim Kaine that lasted six days as lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to find funding for state transportation projects - is nearly $117,000, according to administrative offices for the House and Senate.

Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, called legislators to convene June 23 to fund transportation projects and help fill what he projected as a $600 million deficit in funding for road maintenance over the next six years. (link)

$117,000. That could have gone to road repairs. If it were the private sector, someone would have been fired. But this is only government. So the man who is behind this fiasco is being considered for a much higher office. Swell.

When will critics come to realize that the problem in Richmond isn't with revenue. Or with the Republican House majority. It's all about the way in which the Democrats there so easily flush our money down the toilet.

Why Don't I Believe Him?

How long before he calls for surrender there too?

Troops in Afghanistan Need Help, Obama Says

Well, if recent history teaches us anything, they certainly won't get it from Mr. Cut & Run.

Right Under Our Very Noses

So which country on this planet has the largest reserves of oil yet to be recovered and processed? Saudi Arabia? Russia? Brazil?

Nope, nope, nope.

How about the United States of America. If we include the oil that can be extracted from western shale beds.

The only reason this massive reserve of desperately needed petroleum has not been tapped is because the Democrats in Washington refuse ... oh, you know the drill:

One Way To Get Serious About Saving Our Economy: Shale Oil
By John Hinderaker, Powerline

... Rocky Mountain shale is believed to contain the equivalent of 2 trillion barrels of oil. Is that a lot? The entire world has used around 1 trillion barrels since oil was discovered in Pennsylvania in 1859.

Can shale oil be developed economically? At today's prices, of course. A few years ago it was estimated that shale oil development would be competitive at around $40 a barrel. That figure may have risen a bit, but with world oil prices over $140 a barrel, shale oil development is a no-brainer.

Republicans in Congress like Utah's Orrin Hatch have been pushing for shale oil development for years. But, like drilling in the outer continental shelf and in ANWR, shale oil development is being blocked by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Democrats in Congress. The future of America's economy is at risk as a result. (link)

These people aren't just obstructionists. They're dangerous impediments to our way of life. Until Reid and Pelosi and their ilk are driven from power, the energy emergency that exists will only worsen. And it can get much worse.

To avoid catastrophe, we need to be drilling - and extracting - now.

Chart courtesy of International Energy Annual 2005.
Click on image to enlarge.

Lowlife Scum

The New York Times suddenly has an interest in the war:

9 Americans Die in Afghan Attack

May the person(s) who decided to take a brief interest rot in hell.

Is That Something Like Hitler's Brown Shirts?

I have, up to this point, been rather dismissive of Barack Obama, considering him to be nothing more than a little leaguer thinking he can play in the Bigs. But when I read quotes like the following from him, perhaps there is reason to take the man far more seriously. His words, taken at face value, provide reason enough to be scared to death.

This is from a speech in Colorado Springs recently (as reported in the Baltimore Sun):

"Loving your country shouldn't just mean watching fireworks on the 4th of July. Loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it. If you do, your life will be richer, our country will be stronger.

"I won't just ask for your vote as a candidate. I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I'm president of the United States. This won't be a call issued in one speech or one program. I want this to be a central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve.

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded."

What in God's name is Obama suggesting here? What can he mean by "a civilian national security force"? Would it be patterned after that which was set up by Adolf Hitler in the 20's and 30's to combat his chief rivals, the communists?

Hitler's sturmabteilungen (sometimes referred to as brown shirts) were members of a civilian - albeit paramilitary - force too. They wreaked havoc on Germany's civilian population, bringing death and internment camp incarceration to those who opposed the will of the new ruling party - the nazis.

We don't need to be going down that road, kid. Hear me: We won't be going down that road.

So give up the goofy notion - whatever it is that's bouncing around in that empty expanse that rests astride your shoulders - of establishing a civilian national security force. It ain't going to happen. Now or ever.