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

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

While Obama's Visit To SW Virginia ...

... was virtually ignored a few weeks ago (rumor has it, the Roanoke Civic Center audience was comprised mostly of a fawning press corps, former Weatherman terrorists, and ACORN volunteers), Sarah Palin's appearance at the Salem Stadium yesterday brought out a crowd of enthusiastic supporters - real Americans all - that was of Biblical proportions:
Thousands turn out for Palin
By Mason Adams, the Roanoke Times

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin blew in and out of Salem on Monday night like a brisk Alaskan wind, calling on Virginians to vote her and presidential running mate John McCain into the White House next week.

On an evening where the wind chill approached freezing, Palin fired up an estimated crowd of 16,000 with a half-hour speech that focused largely on taxes and energy policy.

Palin touted the McCain campaign as one of reform. She said times have been tough economically, requiring someone with "experience and courage and good judgment and truthfulness" as president. Palin said the McCain campaign offered "a bold and a fair and a free plan to take this country in a new direction." (link)
A direction other than one that Karl Marx would enjoy, I'm sure.

Sarah rocks! And so does Southwest Virginia.

- - -

It seems that there were those in attendance whose focus was elsewhere. Female blogger Roanoke RNR came away from the event with this report:

First Dude Rocks Salem

She even has photos. Of the vice presidential nominee Todd Palin. With nary a word mentioned of the star attraction.

Get your mind back on the business at hand, girl.

---

Contrast this story with one that appeared in the Kingsport Times a week ago (see "Warner, Boucher fire up Democrats at Wise County rally") that addressed a rally here in Southwest Virginia that was headlined by two of the state's most prominent politicians that attracted, by my count, according to the accompanying photo, a whopping total of 21 people, though there may have been a few more out of range of the camera.

Another indication that most Southwest Virginians have good taste.

- - -

For a really exhaustive batch of photos of the Sarah Palin event, scroll through Collegiate Times.

SW Virginia Blogger Bows Out

I guess it shows how often I visited his website that former state Senator Brandon Bell decided to cease operations over at Roanoke Red Zone nearly three weeks ago and I'm just now noticing.

But he's shut the doors and turned out the lights.

At least for now ...

Another Manufacturer Calls It Quits

This one in Bristol. 75 employees are affected:
Bristol plant’s closing will be costly for city utilities provider
By David McGee, Staff Writer, Bristol Herald Courier

Bristol, Va. – A decision to close a manufacturing facility will cost the city utilities provider more than $400,000 annually, while impact to the city could be even greater, officials said Monday.

H.P. Hood, the parent company of Crowley Foods, announced last week it plans to close its Bristol, Va., plant and lay off the 75 people who work there.

Crowley manufactures cultured dairy products, including sour cream, dips and cottage cheese at the Bristol facility.

The shutdown is expected to begin in January and conclude by March, according to Lynne Bohan, the company’s vice president of public relations and government affairs. (link)
Another one bites the dust. Where will it all end?

- - -

When reading this account, one of many that have to do with plant closings around Southwest Virginia in recent years, the thought came to me that I should be thankful that our congressman, Rick Boucher, is running unopposed for reelection. Why? Because it allows him to avoid making that totally ridiculous claim that he's single-handedly created 40,000 new jobs in his district.

I'm not sure my blood pressure could take another pack of lies coming from this guy.

Thanks, Republican Party, for making my life stress free. I guess.

Human Waste

There are brief moments when I am a supporter of abortion.

Well, to be specific, I support what might be called postpartum abortion.

This idiot, for example, is a prime candidate, in my mind:

This asshole's claim to fame:

ATF: Plot by skinheads to kill Obama is foiled

Bullet. Brainpan. Garbage heap. Humankind better for it.

The End Of The Story

Those bones that turned up in the mud of a receding Mountain Lake bed a month ago now have a name - and photos - associated with them.

S.C. woman believes remains are her great-uncle's

May Samuel Ira Felder rest in peace.

Hey, That's Not Fair!

Cartoon courtesy of the Augusta Chronicle and Rich McKee
Click on the image to enlarge.

A Transformation

Since my freshman year in college, Renaissance painter Raphael has been my favorite artist of all time. His focus on personality, his use of characters that were fluid and dynamic in their actions, the bold application of light and shade, the ever-present emphasis on the human form, and - most importantly - the dazzling colors, make him the most brilliant artist to ever put paint to canvas. Or wood, as the case may be. My opinion anyway.

That's why this story caught my attention this morning:
Technology helps restore Raphael masterpiece
By Philip Pullella, Reuters

Florence (Reuters) - After 10 years of painstaking study and restoration that tested both cutting edge technology and human patience, one of the greatest masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance is returning to the public.

Raphael's "Madonna of the Goldfinch" is a survivor.

The 107 cm by 77 cm (42 inches by 30 inches) oil-on-wood, showing the Madonna with two children caressing a goldfinch, has outlived everything from the collapse of a house in 1547 that shattered it to the ravages of time and the mistakes of past interventions.

The result of the restoration is stunning. Centuries of brown film and grime are gone. The Madonna's cheeks are pink. Her robes are deep red and blue and one can almost hear the cascade of a stream in the background Tuscan countryside. (link)
For a closer look at the transformation that has taken place ...

Beautiful.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Here's The Next Bailout Recipient

In a sick sort of way, the financial crisis has been a good thing for government pension fund administrators. Now they have a great excuse for their reserves being alarmingly underfunded.

It wasn't me! It wasn't my political friends in high places making short-sighted decisions! It was those greedy Wall Street muckers!!

And milk that story they will:
Downturn Clobbers Public Pension Funds
By Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post Staff Writer

The market downturn is ravaging public pension funds across the United States, with many state and local governments seeing more than 20 percent of their retirement pools swept away in the turmoil.

Even before the financial crisis, many large pension funds already were considered to be inadequately funded, according to the Government Accountability Office. The losses could force some states and local governments to ask taxpayers to pay more into the funds or to demand more contributions from the police, teachers and other government employees whom the benefits cover.

Public pension funds dropped 14.8 percent in value for the year ended Sept. 30, according to Northern Trust, an investment company. The funds, which typically have most of their money in stocks, have probably dropped far more than that because the markets have dropped 20 percent more since then.

Virginia's retirement fund, for example, has dropped about 20 percent since July 1, plummeting from $55 billion to $44 billion. Most of that fund was invested in stocks. (link) [my emphasis]

So how are these retirement funds to be made whole again? Well, we could hope that the stock market rebounds to its former heights. But that won't be enough. Remember, a slew of America's public pension funds were in crisis before the crisis.

No, there's only one way to set things right (since a reduction in future benefits for government retirees ain't gonna happen) and refill those coffers.

Bend over, sweetheart.

The Verdict ...

... on Obama's meaning of the word "change" comes from Investor's Business Daily:
Too many Americans think this radical urban organizer is just another Clinton or Gore. But a vote for Obama is a vote for socialist "spreading of wealth," as Obama admitted to Joe the Plumber, and a vote for "major redistributive change," as he put it in 2001.
"The Real Obama," October 27, 2008

Will The GOP Do The Right Thing ...

... and exile this guy?
Sen. Stevens guilty on all counts, career in peril
By Matt Apuzzo and Jesse J. Holland, My Way.com

Washington (AP) - Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted of seven corruption charges Monday in a trial that threatened to end the 40-year career of Alaska's political patriarch in disgrace. The verdict, coming barely a week before Election Day, increased Stevens' difficulty in winning what already was a difficult race against Democratic challenger Mark Begich. Democrats hope to seize the once reliably Republican seat as part of their bid for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Stevens, 84, was convicted of all the felony charges he faced of lying about free home renovations and other gifts from a wealthy oil contractor. Jurors began deliberating last week. (link)
The Democratic Party accepts miscreants - be they thieves or murderers - into its ranks without question. The Republican Party must rise above this. And corruption is only half of Stevens's problems. There's also that Bridge To Nowhere national embarrassment.

May Ted be shown the door.

- - -

The Wall Street Journal provides an epitaph:
Senator Stevens has served in Washington for seven terms. That means his tenure extends back to the building of the Great Society political edifice of the 1960s. His career rose alongside a Washington that grew from a relatively modest capital city on the Potomac into what it has become -- a Beltway colossus of overlords and rent-seekers. Members of Congress, charged with dispensing the federal budget, sit at its apex. Senator Stevens is but the latest to have mistaken himself for one of the marble statues in the Capitol dome.
A colossus with many, many such marble statues ...

And They Say Conservatives Are Being Nasty

Can anyone think of anything a conservative has done to Joe Biden that compares to this?
Halloween Palin Prop Sparks Controversy In WeHo
CBS2.com

West Hollywood, Calif. (AP) ― A Halloween decoration showing a mannequin dressed as vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hanging by a noose from the roof of a West Hollywood home is drawing giggles from some passers-by and gasps of outrage from others.

The mannequin is dressed in brunet wig, glasses and a red business suit. Another mannequin dressed as John McCain emerges from a flaming chimney.

Chad Michael Morisette, who lives in the house ... (link)
Unbelievable.