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

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Tourism Initiative Is Showing Results. Or Not.

9th District Congressman Rick Boucher on The Crooked Road's remarkable success at luring tourists to Southwest Virginia:

The creation of new jobs for Southwest Virginia is my highest priority, and the promotion of our region's tourism economy is essential to achieving our goals for the region. Southwest Virginia's many natural assets afford residents with new and greater economic opportunities including the creation and expansion of small, locally owned businesses. Our region possesses Virginia's best outdoor experience, with the highest mountains, most interesting rivers and most scenic vistas. In addition, we have a truly unique history and culture which visitors are just beginning to discover.

Across the region, collaborative efforts to promote these assets are receiving national and international attention. The Crooked Road: Southwest Virginia's Heritage Music Trail has been featured in several widely-read national publications and was recently named by USA Today one of America's 15 Unforgettable Summer Vacations. Communities along The Crooked Road are experiencing more and more visitors, and new businesses such as restaurants, shops and lodging are opening. This new development attracts not only new visitors but also new residents and improves the already excellent quality of life for existing residents. (link)
Tell that to the former residents of Haysi and Grundy, Rick. New development? New residents? New businesses? Improves the quality of life for whom? You mean the former residents of the area?

Statistics, pal, don't lie. Only politicians do.

This from yesterday's Bristol Herald Courier:

Southwest Virginia experiences a population crunch
By Selena Wiles

Southwest Virginia is in a population crunch. While the rest of the Tri-Cities is busting at the seems with new transplants from Florida and New England, small towns near us, and across the state line, are on the verge of collapse. According to the latest census numbers, Grundy, Virginia and Haysi, Virginia have experiences the greatest decrease in population.

Here are some numbers to consider from the United States Census Bureau. From 1990 to 2006, Johnson City grew by more than 17 percent and so did Kingsport. During the same time period, Grundy, Virginia lost more than 24 percent of it’s population. Haysi, Virginia lost nearly 19 percent of it’s population.

Both Haysi and Grundy, VA were booming in the early 70’s, and even before, because of a booming coal industry. (link)
Let's revisit Boucher's statement:

"Communities along The Crooked Road are experiencing more and more visitors, and new businesses such as restaurants, shops and lodging are opening. This new development attracts not only new visitors but also new residents and improves the already excellent quality of life for existing residents."

A map for your use: So you know, The Crooked Road runs directly through the soon-to-be abandoned town of Haysi and near that of Grundy. The towns that are "experiencing more and more visitors, and the opening of new businesses such as restaurants, shops and lodging."

The towns that have lost a fifth to a quarter of their populations in recent years.

How long are we going to allow area politicians to get away with these lies?

Click on the image to enlarge it.

What Does It Say About His Career?

It would be crowded, but country music singer and songwriter Aaron Tippin says he could play a concert in a phone booth.

And I'll Bet It Makes Sense To Them

This bizarre argument put forth by Washington Democrats in response to the plea from the American people to solve the oil crisis is astoundingly weak, pathetic, and boneheaded:

We will let you drill for oil. But not necessarily where there is any.

What?
Dems try to spur oil exploration on available land
By Andrew Taylor, the Associated Press

Washington (AP) - Seeking to blunt GOP efforts to permit oil exploration off Atlantic and Pacific coasts, House Democrats are pushing legislation they say would spur oil drilling on already available lands in Alaska, the West and the western Gulf of Mexico.

Republicans scoffed that the so-called Drill Act, imposing a tougher "use it or lose it" rule on leases already held by oil companies, would do little to boost oil exploration, saying current policies are aimed at the same goal. A vote was set for Thursday.

Democrats are scrambling to appear pro-drilling, hence the "Drill Act" title for Thursday's bill, even as their leaders appear dead set against reversing the long-standing drilling bans along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. (link)
We know there are rich deposits of oil - perhaps vast deposits - in the Gulf, in ANWR, and off the east and west coasts, but the Democrats choose to ignore them, adopting instead a plan to have the oil companies drill where - more often than not - there won't be any found.

And the Democrats are in charge in Washington.

Can it get any worse ...

Guns = Crime?

The British thought so. That's why their politicial leadership (virtually) banned the private ownership of firearms a number of years ago. Because of their actions, crime in Britain disappea ... uh, continues to plague the now-defenseless citizenry there:
Officials Struggle With Rise in Knife Crimes Among Britain’s Youths
By Sarah Lyall, the New York Times

London — Every day, it seems, there are more victims. Shakilus Townsend, 16, stabbed to death by a masked gang. Ben Kinsella, also 16, fatally stabbed during an argument outside a pub. Victims in Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow. Four people fatally stabbed in London in one 24-hour period alone last week.

In a country where few people have guns or access to them, a spate of knife attacks, many involving teenagers, has forced the issue to the top of the domestic agenda. The Metropolitan Police are so concerned, they said recently, they have made knife crime their top priority, along with terrorism. Government and law enforcement officials are scrambling to produce plans to allay public fears.

On Monday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a series of measures that he said would make it “completely unacceptable to carry a knife.” (link)
Didn't these fools say the same thing about guns not long ago?

Meanwhile, nothing is being done about the criminals who now own the streets.

For the love of God.

Smackdown

I'm not sure what to make of the boys over at the Washington Post. They've been rather brutal of late with the Democrats' messiah-in-waiting. The harsh criticism of Barack Obama erupted again yesterday (see "The Iron Timetable"):
Barack Obama yesterday accused President Bush and Sen. John McCain of rigidity on Iraq: "They said we couldn't leave when violence was up, they say we can't leave when violence is down." Mr. Obama then confirmed his own foolish consistency. Early last year, when the war was at its peak, the Democratic candidate proposed a timetable for withdrawing all U.S. combat forces in slightly more than a year. Yesterday, with bloodshed at its lowest level since the war began, Mr. Obama endorsed the same plan. After hinting earlier this month that he might "refine" his Iraq strategy after visiting the country and listening to commanders, Mr. Obama appears to have decided that sticking to his arbitrary, 16-month timetable is more important than adjusting to the dramatic changes in Iraq.

"What's missing in our debate," Mr. Obama said yesterday, "is a discussion of the strategic consequences of Iraq." Indeed: The message that the Democrat sends is that he is ultimately indifferent to the war's outcome -- that Iraq "distracts us from every threat we face" and thus must be speedily evacuated regardless of the consequences. That's an irrational and ahistorical way to view a country at the strategic center of the Middle East, with some of the world's largest oil reserves. Whether or not the war was a mistake, Iraq's future is a vital U.S. security interest. If he is elected president, Mr. Obama sooner or later will have to tailor his Iraq strategy to that reality.
I think we can consider the Post editorial staff to be less than overwhelmed with.their party's candidate. Interesting.