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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, November 22, 2008

Where Have You Guys Been?

Do you get the feeling that the boys in the editorial boardroom of the Roanoke Times never read the papers?

What's up with this?

It's an ill-wind that blows no good*

The economic downturn, combined with a dramatic decrease in violence in Iraq, is making it far easier for the military to meet its recruiting goals. As hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost in the national economy, many job-seekers are turning to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Every branch has met or exceeded its recruiting goals for the year.

News flash: Each and every branch of the United States military has exceeded its recruiting goals since the war began in 2001. Long before the economic downturn. So quit the crocodile tears.

"As hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost in the national economy, many job-seekers are turning to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines"? Where have you guys been?

Since 9/11 hundreds of thousands of brave American men and women have not only turned to the military for career opportunities, they've served - proudly and honorably - in defense of the United States of America.

Put down the dope, fellas. There's news unfolding out there.

- - -

* Could I make a suggestion? "It's an ill-wind that blows no good"?

Try this:

"A Foul Wind Blows."

Consider it a freebie.

This Should Be A Good Thing

Two hundred years ago, announcements were posted on the court house door for all the villagers to see. Today ...
New town Web site expected to launch in January
By Lerone Graham, The Roanoke Times

Christiansburg -- Though the development of the town's new Web site has faced some setbacks, it is now expected to launch in January.

The site was originally supposed to be up and running in October but has faced delays because of the enormity of the task, said Vice Mayor Brad Stipes.

"It's a bigger undertaking than we were expecting. We've never done anything like this before," said Stipes, who is also a member of the Web site committee.

Stipes said he has spoken with other localities that have built similar sites and was reassured that these types of delays are normal.

The committee embarked on the project of developing a new Web site in earnest in April. Christiansburg Town Council allocated a $40,000 budget to build and launch the site, with a recurring annual budget of $6,000 to go toward maintenance. (link)
$40,000? $6,000 annually? Hell, I'd a' done it for free (with a little brushing up on my HTML skills) (If I were a Christiansburg resident).

But to the point, this is a good thing. As the killing of trees becomes ever more verboten and the newspaper business dies, these websites will become ever more necessary.

You go, Christiansburg dudes.

We Fund Abortions?

For the love of God:
Group targets Planned Parenthood funds
By Julian Walker, The Roanoke Times

The anti-abortion Family Foundation has one idea to cut money from a state budget facing a revenue shortfall: Eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood.

As part of a campaign to restrict abortions in Virginia, the socially conservative advocacy group has long called for the end of taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood.

While past arguments have been ideological, foundation officials seized on state budget woes to make their case anew on Thursday.

"Virginia taxpayers should not be asked to subsidize the activities of the nation's largest abortion provider," Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb said during a news conference. "They should not be asked to subsidize their partisan political activities."

Jessica Honke, policy director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, said cutting the group's state funding would reduce some women's access to health care. (link)

I had to shake my head when I read that crack from the head of Virginia's number one baby slaughterhouse. Women go to Planned Parenthood for health care? Please.

In any case, I find out that my tax dollars are going to fund abortions here in the state. That's ... just ... swell.

It's Going To Be Like This

For four long years we can expect the mainstream press to deliver objective, hard-hitting, smash-mouth, take-no-prisoners commentary about the decisions that come out of the White House, despite the fact that their main man has been elected. They are professionals, after all

Yeah, okay.

This comes from today's Washington Post:
Mr. President-elect, we advise you to think carefully about the dog you promised to get when you move into the White House.
I may just turn on the gas, stick my head in the oven, and ...

It's Going To Be Like This 2

Remember all the thunder and grumble that came out of the Washington Post in recent years about the Republican White House, the conflicts of interest, the scandalous abuses of power, the ineptitude, and the reckless approach the President took with regard to the rule of law?

Well, all that ain't no problem no mo':
The Cabinet So Far
Washington Post editorial

Assessing the emerging Obama administration is a bit like judging the design of the elephant without the trunk or tail. The president-elect's choices for some key posts, notably at the Defense Department, have yet to be leaked; few of the others have been formally announced. Nonetheless, an outline is taking shape, and it is encouraging in a number of ways.

President-elect Barack Obama's picks thus far are experienced, capable, smart and pragmatic. Those adjectives apply to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (State Department), ... former deputy attorney general Eric Holder (Justice), former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle (Health and Human Services) and ... (link)
Abuses of power? Lawlessness? Conflicts of interest? Bumbling? Missteps?

Clinton, Holder, Daschle?

"Uh, well, we're willing to overlook certain human frailties ..."

It's Going To Be Like This 3

So now experience and qualifications matter.

This comes from this morning's Washington Post:

Bush Appointees Land Career Jobs Without Technical Backgrounds

The article concerns the routine act that plays out at the end of each presidential stint. Bush is filling bureaucratic positions in government with his appointees before he leaves office. Some of whom are - according to the Post - less than qualified for the positions they are taking.

A question for the Post (which enthusiastically endorsed the least qualified candidate for President in history) :

Would that be kinda like supporting a commander-in-chief of the mightiest military force ever known to man who doesn't know one end of a rifle from the other?

Just wondering.

Not Seeing Past Their Noses

Folks like those sucking up oxygen over at the New York Times just don't get it when it comes to the Big Three auto makers and their plight. They fret over the possibility that there might be layoffs and wholesale unemployment should bankruptcies occur, while the marketplace is sending a clear and resounding signal:

With wage rates and retirement/health benefits such as they are, there are too many workers building too few cars these days. Unemployment is, without doubt, unavoidable for many of them.

The question before GM, Ford, and Chrysler is not even how many. The question is, will they be able to save ANY jobs.

The Times:
If Bankruptcy Hits Detroit
editorial

Congress has given Detroit’s flailing automakers less than two weeks to come up with a restructuring plan that would justify giving them tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and ensure that they have a reasonable path back to profitability. We hope it is a good plan, because the lame-duck Congress does not have a choice.

Michigan’s three car manufacturers have said that they would go bankrupt this year without an infusion of taxpayers’ money. Failing to provide it would be a truly irresponsible act that could obliterate one or more companies, potentially causing other bankruptcies and costing many hundreds of thousands of jobs. (link)
At best, Congress can prolong the agony. But there is going to be sweeping change coming to the auto manufacturing business, no matter what Washington tries to do.

Let me ask you: What makes the auto industry different from all the others that have crumbled in recent years? Just the fact that it's big?

In 1973 there were 2.4 million workers employed in the textile industry here in the USA. Nearly all of those jobs can now be had only if you're willing to move to Korea or Indonesia.

Add to the textile manufacturing sector, that of steel.

And automobile tires.

And tobacco.

And mining.

And electronics.

Shoes.

Soon, aircraft.

Here's an eye-opening fact:

"In 1965, manufacturing accounted for 53 percent of the economy. By 2004, it accounted for just 9 percent."

Much of that meager 9% is the auto industry.

It is, as can be discerned from the above, just catching up to the rest of the manufacturing world, folks.

Save those UAW jobs?

They were lost long ago.

Can You Blame Him?

Look, I'm not one of those guys who's going to jump on Barack Obama for his decision to avoid sending his kids to the awful, awful D.C. public schools. He can afford to allow them to escape a fate worse than death and he should. What I find ironic, though, is that, even with all the blather we've heard over the decades from Democrats - including Barack Obama - about fixing the public school system in the USA, and with the Democrats having been in total control of D.C. schools since Christ was a teenager, the Democratic President of the United States still has to run from them.

The story:
Obamas Pick Sidwell School, Ending a Washington Guessing Game
By Rachel L. Swarns, The Hew York Times

Washinton — After a school search that set off weeks of frenzied speculation among parents here, President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, announced Friday that their two daughters would attend Sidwell Friends School, the prestigious academy that has educated generations of this city’s elite. (link)
Much was made during the recent election campaign about repairing America's broken schools. Despite all the talk, Obama's choice for his daughters is a message to the citizens of D.C.:

I'm not going to fix them either. Sorry.

Still, he did the right thing for his children. Nobody who can afford to send their kids to a decent school should send theirs into that hellhole.

A Portent Of Things To Come ...

... when Washington Democrats take over General Motors too. This from MSNBC:
A UAW ally, Rep. Tim Ryan, D- Ohio, said enactment of the Employee Free Choice [Card Check] Act “would level the playing field. Each facility would be competing on the same playing field.”

He noted, “We have a (GM) facility in Lordstown, Ohio, where I’m from. GM just moved a lot of their production to build the new ‘Cruze’ in that facility and added a thousand jobs three or four months ago, and they just took them away” due to the economic distress.

“It’s a union plant; the union worked with GM; they took some concessions, they made the deal work, and GM invested in the plant,” Ryan said.

Given the UAW members’ willingness to cooperate at Lordstown, Ryan said, “It’s hard to say that somehow the South has an advantage.”

If the “card check” bill became law, then “I suppose they could share the misery and everybody could be stuck with $70 an hour labor costs,” said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., sardonically. [my emphasis]

And then, just like TV sets, there won't be any cars made in the USA.

Good grief.