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

Monday, August 18, 2008

Quote of the Day

Here's Barack Obama answering a question about gay marriage at the weekend presidential debate in Orange County, California:
"The reason that people believe there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because, uh, of the concern that, uh, uh, about same-sex marriage. I'm not somebody who's [sic] promotes same-sec [sic] marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not, um, that that for a gay partners [sic] to want to visit each other in the hospital, for the state to say, you know what, that's all right, I don't think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are [sic]."
Didn't someone once describe this boob (who makes George W. Bush seem downright articulate by comparison) as the leading orator of our time?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

A Waste Of Taxpayer Money

The science behind the technology is so baseless, and the effort behind it is so off-base, with absolutely no chance of success, that I'll simply throw it up and let you read it, and go about your day:
Va. project aimed at reducing carbon footprint
The Associated Press

Roanoke, Va. (AP) -- A yearlong project is set to begin in southwest Virginia that's aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal.

The U.S. Department of Energy is sponsoring a test that will begin Monday to determine whether carbon dioxide can be captured in an unmineable coal seam.

U.S. Representative Rick Boucher of Virginia will be on hand for ceremonies to launch the Russell County project.

The Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech is the lead body for the testing, according to Assistant Director for Operations Margaret Radcliffe.

Scientists are seeking a way to capture large quantities of carbon dioxide, the chief man-made global warming gas. (link)

It should be noted that Senator James Webb is big on this piece of idiocy as well.

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Noun: boondoggle ˈbün-ˌdä-gəl
1. Work of little or no value done merely to look busy

Verb: boondoggle ˈbün-ˌdä-gəl
1. Do useless, wasteful, or trivial work

A Bridge To The Past

Well, sorta:
Confederate widow, 93, dies in Ark.
By Martha M. Boltz, The Washington Times

Maudie Cecilia Hopkins of Lexa, Ark., one of the last known Confederate widows, died Sunday at the Helena Medical Center in Helena, Ark. She was 93.

[William] Cantrell had served in the 7th Virginia Infantry, and the aging veteran first hired Maudie Acklin to cook for him and do his laundry.

As time passed and he became more feeble, he asked her to move in with him, and when Miss Acklin declined for reasons of propriety, he suggested that they marry, saying he would deed his house and lot to her if she would.

They were married in August 1934 in Baxter County, Ark., when he was 86. Their married life continued until he died in 1937. (link)
Interestingly, though the article has Cantrell serving in the renowned 7th Virginia Infantry in the Civil War, a unit that was formed from militia organizations then in operation (1861) in Rappahannock, Madison, Green and Albemarle counties, other sources tell us that he enlisted right here in Southwest Virginia near Wise, in French's Battalion,* which disbanded after being captured en masse near Pikeville, Kentucky in 1863. Cantrell then served (apparently) in Prentice's 7th Cavalry Battalion, Virginia State Line.**

But 7th cavalry, 7th infantry, what's the difference?

Anyway, one has to wonder what stories this Civil War veteran - and his wife who just died - must have told.

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* James Milton French was born in 1835 right here in Bland County, Virginia, though it wouldn't actually become a county until 1861. (source)

** Apparently, the unit that was recruited here in Southwest Virginia was intended to be called the 7th Regiment, Virginia State Line, the State Line being a quasi-Confederate Southwest Virginia "corps" that was closer to a militia organization than a military unit. French was unable to muster enough men, so his companies became French's Battalion instead. That's probably where the confusion arose.

*** Interestingly, major news publications have gotten Cantrell's service wrong (see here and here ...). It's only on the Web where the truth is told.

Obama Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot. Again.

I think it would do The Deliverer Of Harmonious Peace well to not venture into discussions regarding Washington figures who have the requisite amount of experience for the job, and who don't. As the Wall Street Journal makes painfully clear, in analyzing last week's "debate" with John McCain:
Obama on Clarence Thomas

Pastor Rick Warren asked each Presidential candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. Mr. McCain said, "with all due respect" the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.

Mr. Obama took a lower road, replying first that "that's a good one," and then adding that "I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he, I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution."

So let's see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General's office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's second most prominent court. Since his "elevation" to the High Court in 1991, he has also shown himself to be a principled and scholarly jurist.

Meanwhile, as he bids to be America's Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn't yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a "community organizer" and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas's judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama's Presidential résumé by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas's rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama's story look like easy street.

Even more troubling is what the Illinois Democrat's answer betrays about his political habits of mind. Asked a question he didn't expect at a rare unscripted event, the rookie candidate didn't merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court's black conservative isn't up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are. (link) (my emphasis)

By today's standards, that makes Obama a racist. In addition to being woefully unqualified for the job. In addition to being not very adept at thinking on his feet in such debate fora.

And this guy thinks he should be president? Why again?

Out Of The Mouths Of ... Liberals

And this babe is about as liberal as they come. Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn on last week's debate in which John McCain crushed his opponent:

By the time McCain finished his interview with pastor Rick Warren at the Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, Saturday night, part of a forum that also featured Barack Obama, I was curled up in a fetal position in my chair, wrapped in a mohair throw, practically sucking my thumb.

McCain did a great job of making me feel confident. He was clearly in his element at Saddleback, among supportive evangelical Christians, and he went a long way toward alleviating their fears about his inability to communicate with them in their own language.

Obama came first, and he handled himself well in front of an audience that clearly disagrees with him on many issues. He was low-key, thoughtful and nuanced.

That kind of nuance is hard to understand sometimes -- it's unclear, complicated. (link)
And, it might be added, the last thing a presidential candidate needs to do in a debate being televised to a national audience is to come across as being both unclear and complicated. Another Washington Post columnist, Michael Gerson, compares Obama's performance to the persona projected by twice-defeated presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson. That has to hurt.

As the Post writes, McCain 1, Nuance 0.

Not Going As Planned

The Russians (rightly) counted on the West to do nothing about its invasion of the sovereign nation of Georgia. What it didn't expect was the reaction of its immediate neighbors. This, coupled with the swift actions of Poland, is rather astounding:
Ukraine offers satellite defence co-operation with Europe and US

Ukraine inflamed mounting East-West tensions yesterday by offering up a Soviet-built satellite facility as part of the European missile defence system.

By Damien McElroy, London Telegraph

The proposal, made amid growing outrage among Russia's neighbours over its military campaign in Georgia, could see Ukraine added to Moscow's nuclear hitlist. A Russian general declared Poland a target for its arsenal after Warsaw signed a deal with Washington to host interceptor missiles for America's anti-nuclear shield.

The move came as the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, signed a cease-fire deal that sets the stage for a Russian troop withdrawal after more than a week of warfare with its neighbour Georgia.

Ukraine said it was ready to give both Europe and America access to its missile warning systems after Russia earlier annulled a 1992 cooperation agreement involving two satellite tracking stations. Previously, the stations were part of Russia's early-warning system for missiles coming from Europe. (link)

Will the Russians now invade Ukraine? I wouldn't put it past them.