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

Monday, August 25, 2008

If Only People Knew

One of the best kept secrets about Civil War history is the fact that Saltville, Virginia (as well as Lead Mines over in Wythe County, for a different but related reason) was as crucial to the Southern cause as was Robert E. Lee's plan of attack at Chancellorsville. The precious resource (one that we take for granted today) from which the town's name derived kept his army afield - literally.

That's why efforts to promote the town's history is a good thing. To wit:
Making the most of Saltville’s history
By Stephanie Porter-Nichols, Smyth County News

Saltville’s Civil War sites and battlefields will not become part of the National Park Service anytime soon if ever, but there’s much the town can do to preserve and share its historic features.

That was the central message of Phillip Thomason of Nashville, Tenn.-based Thomason & Associates, historical preservation planning consultants.

Thomason presented an outline Thursday of a plan developed for Saltville at a meeting attended by a handful of citizens and town council member Neil Johnson.

NPS oversight has been one of the ideas discussed in recent years as the town moved toward inclusion of tourism opportunities as a larger part of its revenue base.

Dr. Robert Whisonant, the Radford University geology professor who has led projects to map the Saltville battlefields, told a November 2006 gathering of local historians, re-enactors, Museum of the Middle Appalachians board members and others that the Confederate earthworks on hills surrounding the vital salt wells and evaporation furnaces is a defensive system important enough to understanding the area’s military actions to deserve national status. (link)
I wouldn't get too excited about those tourism prospects, if I were planning Saltville's future. A handful of historians visiting each year is not going to bring boom times.

But working toward preservation of the town's narrative is a commendable thing. It truly has a unique history unlike any other chapter in the Civil War saga.

And While We're On The Subject ...

... I wonder how true to history this reenactment was:
Re-enactment held in Saltville
By Mark Sage, Washington County News

Union soldiers march to the field of battle in Saltville’s 11th annual re-enactment of the two attacks – one repelled, the other successful—on the Confederate salt works in 1864. The soldiers followed the Well Fields Road from their camp to the battlefield, marking the re-enactment’s return from several years on the actual battleground in Broady Bottom. (link)
If these guys were going to provide an accurate recreation of the Battle of Saltville, they'd have to march over to Emory & Henry College and kill wounded soldiers lying in their hospital beds.

Bet you didn't read about that in your history books.

And my guess is, there'll not be a reenactment of this event that took place that day:
"After dark, Confederate Captain Edward O. Guerrant and his aide Trooper George Dallas Mosgrove of the 4th Kentucky Cavalry met Gen. Felix Robertson. During the meeting, Robertson proudly informed Guerrant that 'he had killed nearly all the Negroes.' Mays contends that Robertson saw no reason to take any prisoners. Private Lee Smith of the 4th Kentucky Cavalry later recalled 'we surely slew Negroes that day.'"
Reenact that, boys. That might bring throngs of ... tourists ... to Saltville.

Hippies Not Being Kind To Mother Nature

So what's with the residents of Floyd County? Isn't that where the really weird back-to-nature crowd lurks these days? Aren't they the bunch that pushes environmentalism?

Apparently not:
County falls short in recycling
By Roger Mannon, The Floyd Press

Floyd County failed to meet minimum standards for recycling, according to a report released recently by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and now the county must file a recycling action plan to bring its program into compliance.

However, County Administrator Dan Campbell told the board of supervisors Tuesday, there is some dispute over just how out of compliance the county might be.

The DEQ report said Floyd County recycled only 11 percent of solid waste in 2006, but Campbell said county studies suggest the percentage of more like 14.6 percent, which would be close to the 15 percent minimum required of rural areas.

“If DEQ rounded up, we would be there,” he said.

Either way, the county fell way short of the 32.2 statewide averages for 2006. (link)

So where's the other 85 to 89% of the solid waste going?

This being Floyd County, the inhabitants are probably drying it, shredding it, rolling it, and smoking it. Or eating it, for all we know.

Twisted In Knots

Get your gender right, fellas. Though I can understand the confusion.

This from the Bristol Herald Courier made me pause:
Female impersonator Angel Renee Rose holds her head and jaw to show injuries from an alleged assault Wednesday morning outside a Johnson City night club. Johnson City Police Department is working the case.
Her? Does the fact that this mixed-up excuse for a human being wears panties make him a her? Does that swinging little thingie between his legs count for nothing?

And Paula Is Very Upset About It

Is Wal-Mart going out of its way to piss off its most loyal clientele?
Wytheville Wal-Mart getting a makeover
By Jeffrey Simmons, Wytheville Enterprise

Wytheville’s Wal-Mart Supercenter is undergoing a facelift. The entire interior of the store is being remodeled.

“Every six or seven years the stores are remodeled,” remarked store manager Angela Powers. “It is a little frustrating. If we could shut down and do the remodeling, it would be better for the customer but we can’t. We’re trying to make the most of it by doing a lot of the work at night.”

The 156,000 square-foot store opened in the Wytheville Commons shopping center in 2001.

Remodeling began Aug. 11 and will be completed in October. A grand reopening is planned for Oct. 22. (link)
Yeah? Well, we've got a bone to pick.

It is reported that the popcorn and nuts are no longer to be found displayed with the snacks; they are now merchandised over with the soft drinks. What's up with that? Don't these people realize there is a natural order to things and that you don't go changing the Wal-Mart on a whim?

It's my understanding (I'll leave my source for this information undisclosed) that a lot of regular customers are now wandering the aisles of the Wytheville store each day, trying to figure out where in hell they've moved stuff. This ain't right. We want things where we can find them. It's not supposed to be some kind of adventure and we don't want to have to carry a map just to locate the Charmin.

So quit. You're upsetting an increasingly surly populace.

You Call Yourself a Hunter?

Shooting animals that are trapped in a fenced-in enclosure isn't hunting. This despite the fact that area "businessmen" tout it to the wieners who come here from up north as being such.

You probably didn't even know this was going on:
North Carolina man sentenced for importing coyotes to the county
By Jim Talbert, Richlands News Press

Abingdon – A North Carolina man, who pleaded guilty to bringing coyotes and foxes into Southwest Virginia, will spend six months in prison.

Howard Glen Blevins, 67, of Asheville, NC, was arrested last December and charged with five counts of trafficking wild animals in interstate commerce. Evidence presented at Blevins’s sentencing showed that for several years he purchased coyotes and foxes in several states and brought them to Tazewell, Russell and other counties in Virginia for resale.

Blevins was selling the animals to fenced hunt clubs known as "fox pens." The owners of the pens would charge hunters a fee to enter their property and hunt the animals. (link)
"... enter their property and hunt the animals." You gotta love that. Why not just hand these hunters a dead fox carcass upon arrival and cut out all the work?

"Hunters." Give me a break.

Such Great Timing

Dan Radmacher, Roanoke Times editorial page editor asks:

Is a new kind of politics even possible?

He slams McCain for the old kind of politics ...

...at the very moment that Obama was picking a man to be his running mate who has been in Washington politics for 36 years.

There's your answer, big guy.

Never Forget

He should have gone into obscurity decades ago. Instead;

Kennedy's A Presence, Even if He's Absent
Ailing Senator to Be Honored With Tribute

Democrats honor him. And dishonor Mary Jo Kopechne in the process.

Kill All The Lawyers

Well, actually we'd have to kill all the "juries of our peers" too:
Trial Bar Tales
Investor's Business Daily editorial

Tort Reform: A man who blamed his compulsive gambling and the losses he incurred on a prescription drug was awarded nearly $8.2 million by a jury. It's a good bet that his jackpot comes at the expense of others.

Gary Charbonneau, a retired Milwaukee police officer, gambled before he took Mirapex and gambled after he got off the medication. According to reports, Charbonneau admitted that he took Mirapex for more than four years, 1997 to 2002, before he became a compulsive gambler.

Yet a Minnesota jury generously awarded him $204,000 on July 30 to cover his gambling losses, $175,000 for his pain and suffering — and $7.8 million in punitive damages. (link)

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
Robert A. Heinlein

You Guys Need To Decide

Two items appearing on this morning's New York Times op/ed page.

First there's this from "Mr. Obama’s Task":
Senator Barack Obama goes into the Democratic convention in Denver with a clear challenge: to match the soaring oratory that brought him to this moment in history with a strong and detailed explanation of how he will address the country’s many dire problems.
Then Times columnist Roger Cohen offers this advice in "Out of Africa":
Race, ... as lived by Obama, is a means to talk about reconciliation: of America with its past, of America with its ideals, and of America with the world. All three are necessary after the Bush years. Obama should keep saying so. Race hushed is race as quiet poison for him.
So which is it? Should Mr. Sunshine continue to maunder on about America's past transgressions, as Cohen suggests, or should he talk about the issues of the day, as Cohen's bosses - and the American people - are demanding?

You boys and girls at the Times need to get together and work this through.

You Thought I Was Kidding ...

... about the hair transplant thing. In the news:
Biden's helmet
By Avi Zenilman, Politico.com

It is a fraying, combed-back helmet that barely covers a longtime fact of Washington life: The senator from Delaware has taken steps to pre-empt baldness.

The most common hypothesis is that he received a hair transplant, where follicles from the bushier back of the head are grafted onto fading spots closer to the front of the dome.

In 1987, a Washington Post reporter asked him to confirm the theory. "Guess," he responded. "I've got to keep some mystery in my life." (link)
Biden's plugs were very noticeable 20 years ago. And they looked a bit freaky. Today, the plugs are not as detectable, making him look less ... well, no, actually he still looks frightening.

This Will Break Your Heart

Be forewarned. It's about Obama and infanticide. It won't be for the weak of spirit.

If, after watching this video, you're not enraged by this scumbag's position on the heinous, callous, and systematic slaughter of America's unwanted children, you're as lacking in compassion for the most innocent among us as he is:

This is shameful beyond words.

A Memorable Quote

From Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger * (in a letter she wrote in 1939 to Clarence Gamble, "with whom she was partnering to promote birth control and abortions in the black community")
"We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."
Who needs "colored ministers" when you've got this guy:

The term Judas Goat comes to mind.

* Source