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

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jumpin' Ugly

I just love it when Alton gets fired up. He pulls out the daggers (and all the stops) and proceeds to slice and dice.

The latest: Some blogger over in Martinsville (he must be new; I've never heard of him) recently made some allegations about Congressman Virgil Goode that the rest of us thought had been knocked down long ago. And Alton gives him a good fanny smackin' for having done it:
Welcome to the digital age, James. As a relatively new blogger you must learn a few things. It's very easy to take five minutes and put up a "quick hit" such as you did yesterday on Virgil Goode. I'm sure you put in at least five minutes writing about Virgil's latest "lie". I can imagine you sitting back afterward while smiling smugly, thinking to yourself, "let's see how that goes over".

Responsible bloggers do not live for that quick, smug feeling of "gotcha" though. Most know that "gotcha" will all too often come back atcha. Responsible bloggers research their subjects and do not fall for the big lie. Not very often, anyway. I myself have done so, you and I both will again. But I resolved long ago not to resort to the smug name calling you've just enjoyed doing.
Ouch.

Read the whole thing. Unlike James, the Democratic sounding board, Alton provides exhaustive detail to bolster his argument.

Great stuff, Alton.

No Need To Read The Article

The headline says it all:

Richmond woman selected to meet with Obama in Denver

How appreciative she must be ...

You Might Want To Work On That Pitch

We have a new entrant in the 2009 statewide elections race here in the commonwealth. Some babe named Jody Wagner has announced her intention to be our next lieutenant governor. I wish her well but if the following is her "best foot forward," we won't be seeing much of Jody Wagner. From today's Roanoke Times:
Former state Secretary of Finance Jody Wagner launched her campaign for lieutenant governor Friday, touting her experience working for two Democratic governors and her desire to "keep Virginia's fiscal house in order."
Keep what? Where?

I don't know, toots. That's like employing John Edwards's "Two Americas Virginias" strategy. We all know how well that worked for Mr. Pretty & Vivacious.

It's Not Exactly New

Now where can energy companies go to get stocks of this renewable resource I wonder:
Primeval fuel gets 2nd look
By Jeff Sturgeon, Roanoke Times

With energy prices rising, backers of so-called woody bioenergy are proposing an energy-hungry nation take a fresh look at harvesting tree trimmings, construction scrap and other wood classified as waste that's often sent to landfills.

They see huge potential in burning wood for heat and power and using chemical processes to create ethanol-based motor fuel -- enough to make a dent in the nation's dependence on fossil fuels, which are growing impractical because of their cost and environmental effects.

"Wood energy is on the minds of many folks across the country," said Virginia state forester Carl Garrison. "Is Virginia on the front edge of this concept? Probably not."

But Virginia is stepping up efforts. (link)

I'm not sure what's really groundbreaking about this. Head on down to the local Tractor Supply in another couple of months and you'll come upon a mountain of wood pellet stoves on display, with skids of bagged pellets alongside (I assume those "wood" pellets have wood in them).

Still, if the burning of wood byproducts catches on on a grand scale, Southwest Virginia natural resources become all that much more valuable. We'll be harvesting timber for the masses, as well as all that coal.

Burn, baby, burn.

Was That a Shudder I Just Felt?

How long do you suppose this store is going to remain open?
Quebec Wal-Mart Workers Unionize
By Ylan Q. Mui, Washington Post Staff Writer

A small group of employees at a Wal-Mart store in Canada secured yesterday the only union contract with the company in North America, a victory for labor groups that have campaigned for years to organize the world's largest retailer.

The three-year contract covers eight workers in the tire and lube department of a Wal-Mart in Gatineau, Quebec, and increases starting wages from $8.40 to $10.89 an hour. The contract was imposed by the Quebec Labor Relations Board after negotiations between the company and employees fell apart. In its decision, the board called the contract "reasonable, realistic and equitable." (link)
How did the two sides in this dispute react to the decision?

Union bosses think it's a wonderful turn of events. The first of many:
"I think the employees at that particular location should be congratulated," said Michael Forman, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, which organized the employees. "I think no doubt what's happening at Gatineau will be encouraging." [my emphasis]
Wal-Mart executives? They ain't saying nothing ... yet:

Wal-Mart spokesman Andrew Pelletier said yesterday that the company was still reviewing the contract and its implications for employees.

"Our priority is to continue to run an efficient operation to ensure that we can fulfill our commitment to provide customers the everyday low prices they expect from Wal-Mart," he said.

Two things may very well result from this circumstance;

1) The soon-to-be "underperforming," soon-to-be "operating-at-a-loss" Wal-Mart in Gatineau is history.

2) Wal-Mart's presence in Quebec may be as well.

Those eight auto department employees in Canada might ask any of Wal-Mart's meatcutters how the mega-company handles such matters.

Oh ... wait. Wal-Mart no longer has meat cutters.

They Had Their Chance

And they blew it.

Don't feel sorry for the evildoers* who guide Russia headlong into the 20th century:
No Cold War, but Big Chill Over Georgia
By Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times

Russia’s military offensive into Georgia has shattered, perhaps irrevocably, the strategy of three successive presidential administrations to coax Russia into alliance with the West and integration into its institutions.

From Russia’s point of view, those efforts were never truly sincere or respectful of its own legitimate political and security interests. Those interests, it is now clear, are at odds with those of Europe and the United States.

As much as Mr. Bush has argued that the old characterizations of the cold war are no longer germane, he drew a new line at the White House on Friday morning between countries free and not free, and bluntly put Russia on the other side of it. (link)

This is a huge setback for east-west relations. Not that the Russians care, apparently. They're more interested in Eurasian hegemony.

I expect the Chinese are watching closely to see how this plays out in the West. After all, Taiwan and Southeast Asia beckon ...

* The only person I've ever come across who actually uses that word in conversation is George W. Bush. Seems to work in certain situations though.

What Exactly Is He Changing?

I'm starting to have great difficulty understanding this business about "new politics" that Barack Obama prattles about. It sure looks an awfully lot like the same old same old:
Obama Bests McCain Among Bush-Backing Bankers, Drug Companies
By Jonathan D. Salant, Bloomberg.com

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- John McCain's presidential campaign lacks the support of several Republican-leaning industries central to President George W. Bush's record-setting fundraising four years ago.

Democrat Barack Obama has captured $9.6 million in donations from employees working for securities, mortgage and drug companies, compared with McCain's $6.6 million. In 2004, people in those industries gave $10.6 million to Bush and $5.4 million to Democratic nominee John Kerry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a research group in Washington. (link)

So Big Pharma and the Fat Cat Bankers are supporting Obama. That's got to give the lefty nutroots pause.

This coupled with the news that Obama has raked in more campaign cash from Exxon, Chevron and BP than McCain has is food for expansive thought.

The Miracle Man promised a new kind of politics when he first started on his journey toward coronation. This is new how?

They Still Wield That Much Power?

This, if true, is sobering in its implications:
Documentary blames Clintons for 9/11 miniseries' DVD holdup
By Lynn Smith, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

In Hollywood docudramas, when the phrase "miscarriage of justice" is employed, it usually applies to the film's subject, not its creators.

But a new documentary called Blocking the Path to 9/11," to be given a screening tonight, makes the case that former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have pressured television and studio executives into quashing the DVD release of ABC's 2006 miniseries “The Path to 9/11." The privately financed documentary argues that the Clintons, who decried the original miniseries as a right-wing hatchet job, are out to salvage their political influence and legacy at the expense of free expression.

Even before its network broadcast, "The Path to 9/11" sparked fierce opposition from Democratic leaders, who called on Disney, which owns ABC, to cancel the program. While those attempts eventually failed, ABC conceded to last-minute edits to the $40-million, five-hour miniseries, which aired over two nights. (link)
My guess is, those network executives didn't have to have their arms twisted too hard. This is Hollywood after all.

What Part Of 'Drill Now!' Don't They Understand?

While clueless politicians like Mark Warner try to confuse the issue with talk of windmills and french fry oil, the people of Virginia know exactly what will alleviate both the price pressure at the pump and the ever-worsening energy emergency. The latest Harris interactive poll of Virginia residents is clear enough for even muddle-headed pols like Warner to grasp:

Click on the image to enlarge it. Fully 70% of our brethren want the rigs pumping in ANWR and the Gulf and off the coasts NOW!

And when do you ever see a survey with 99% of respondents agreeing on a particular subject?

The Democrats will ignore this momentous shift in public opinion at their peril.

French fry oil. For the love of God.

Source: Energy Tomorrow

Is It Any Wonder ...

... that manufacturing jobs are being lost in unprecedented numbers* here in the USA?
America the Uncompetitive
The Wall Street Journal

The new international tax rankings are out for 2008, and congratulations to Washington, D.C., are again in order. Our political class has managed to maintain America's rank with the second highest corporate tax rate in the world at 39.3% (average combined federal and state).

Only Japan is slightly higher overall, though if you are silly enough to base a corporation in California, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or other states with high corporate levies, your tax rate on business income is even higher than in Tokyo. For the first time, the U.S. statutory rate is now 50% higher than the average of our international competitors, continuing a long-term trend as the rest of the world keeps reducing corporate tax rates. (link)
Accompanying this news is an astoundingly revealing line graph showing tax rates over the last three decades here as compared to the remainder of the industrialized world:

Other nations have gained an understanding over time that high (meaning uncompetitive) tax rates have a deleterious effect on growth and prosperity. It's only the USA that is stuck on stupid.

* I'm not talking about productivity numbers here. Those are all well and good (and they are well and good) for America's workers who are employed, but for all those who have been forced to find employment in the services sector because of a lack of availability of jobs in manufacturing, this is a travesty.

** Graph courtesy of The Tax Foundation.