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

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On This Thanksgiving Day ...

... we have much to be thankful for.


"We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing."

Their Only Hope. A Bright, Shining Hope.

Every town in Virginia - and across America - has a Pulaski Theater. Or, in some cases, HAD a Pulaski Theater, that downtown establishment that residents flocked to in the 40's and 50's to catch the latest offering coming out of Hollywood, that cinematic oasis, that respite in a world of woes where the not-so-elite and not-yet elite met to be seen and to be entertained. Many - too many - of our movie houses, like the Pulaski, have gone dark. Some long ago, like the Appalachian Theater down in Appalachia, the Cameo Theater in Bristol, the Coeburn Theater in Coeburn, the Pearis Theater in Pearisburg, the Salt Theater in Saltville. (Such creative names they had too ...)

In other cases, movie houses, like the Millwald Theater in Wytheville, have gone dark and been converted to something else; in its case, a church.

Others went out of business and were forever destroyed, like the American Theater in Roanoke, the Bolling Theatre in Norton, the Clinch Theatre in Tazewell, the Colonial Theater in Galax, the Palace Theater in Christiansburg, the Scott Theater and Taylor Theater in Gate City, the State Theater in Chilhowie, the Zephyr Theater in Abingdon ...

The Pulaski Theater, in ... guess where ... may, however, defy the odds. It is reopening, with a twist. One that may just keep it from going the way of all the others:
Pulaski's theater returns to glory
Amy Matzke-Fawcett, The Roanoke Times

Pulaski -- A Pulaski landmark, dark for 16 years, will soon reopen.

The Pulaski Theatre on West Main Street showed movies from 1937 to 1992. The Friends of the Pulaski Theatre formed in 1993 to keep the theater from demolition.

But Friday, years after the last show and many renovations later, the theater reopens to host "Holidays at the Pulaski Theatre," a fundraiser featuring live music. Additional fundraising shows will take place in December and January.

Building renovations are complete, but the theater still needs full sound and lighting systems for live performances and a projector and screen to show movies, said Pam Austin, a board member of the Friends of the Pulaski Theatre. [link]
Live music. Live performances. That just may bring the kind of success that had eluded all those other long-departed theaters. And, though the fund-raising organization had to exclude plans for the Pulaski to become a civic center, why not make that work as well? After all, just up the road in Princeton, WV, town managers saw enough opportunity in the prospect to build a marvelous new Chuck Mathena Center that is reported to be packin' 'em in (if you didn't get tickets to see Lee Greenwood, you're out of luck; he's sold out). If Princeton can do it, why not the Pulaski?

Anyway, the Pulaski Theater is reopening. Here's to its sweeping success. May it regain its once-great renown. And live forever.

Words Well Writ

I commend this letter-to-the-editor of the Roanoke Times and recommend that the paper consider hiring the author as a columnist to replace some of the dead weight that exists there. This gal can write!

"The nation needs such giants," by Jan VanHorn.

Good stuff.

Why I Never Read David Broder

How does one respond to this without bursting into uproarious laughter
... I am struck at how lucky this country is, at the moment, that the president-elect of the United States is a supersmart person like Barack Obama.

With each passing day, it becomes more evident that the smartest and most experienced managers of the American economy are struggling to understand — and fix — what has gone wrong in our markets.

I attempt to follow the discussion in serious newspapers and on the Jim Lehrer "NewsHour" and other deeply serious television programs about the latest moves of the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury — and I am stumped.

Obama is not similarly handicapped. Even in the emotional maelstrom of his election victory, and even with the pressures of assembling his administration, everything points to his managing to focus on the policy choices looming in the economic field.

I have talked to two people on the fringe of the transition team — both members of Congress with major responsibilities in the economic area. Both have been asked for input by Obama and both say that the quality of his questions — and the follow-ups — were a measure of the depth of his knowledge of the situation. [my emphasis]

Good God.

Is there any doubt that Broder voted for Obama? Is there any doubt as to why?

It's that silly hope & change crap again. Obama has no answers but he's asking a lot of the right questions. All hail Barack.

The rest of us who are less ethereal expect just a tad more from our leaders, Davey. Beginning with leadership.

Obama. Broder. Butt, meet nose.

They Just Don't Get It

Studies are coming in that confirm the FACT that the globe is not warming. Despite the empirical evidence (as opposed to those notorious computer models that global warming alarmists have been using) that temperatures around the planet have been declining, not increasing, the New York Times calls upon Barack Obama to bring forth legislation that will correct that which doesn't need correcting - at horrendous expense:
Save the Economy, and the Planet
editorial

Environment ministers preparing for next week’s talks on global warming in Poznan, Poland, have been sounding decidedly downbeat. From Paris to Beijing, the refrain is the same: This is no time to pursue ambitious plans to stop global warming. We can’t deal with a financial crisis and reduce emissions at the same time.

There is a very different message coming from this country. President-elect Barack Obama is arguing that there is no better time than the present to invest heavily in clean energy technologies. Such investment, he says, would confront the threat of unchecked warming, reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil and help revive the American economy. [link]
This is the typical kind of idiocy that comes from these people. Energy independence? Windmills and solar panels are going to replace power plants and electric cars will make the internal combustion engine obsolete. This despite the fact that no scientist on said planet who has been involved in the research and development of both has been able to figure out ways to make either work cost-effectively. And they've been trying for 40 years.

But tax the hell out of the working stiff anyway. And blather on about energy independence. At least it'll keep 'em in power. And make the fools at the New York Times all tingly inside.

Pursuing non-solutions to a non-existent problem. While Rome burns ...

Still Trying To Put Lipstick On That Pig

Two New York Times articles, back-to-back:

Obama Picks Volcker to Head New Economic Panel

... and ...

Obama Describes Team as Experienced Yet Fresh

Paul Volcker is 81 years old.

Experienced to be sure. But fresh? Is an 81-year-old bottle of milk fresh?

Only in Obamazone. And now, therefore, in the world of the mainstream press.

On That Terror Attack In Mumbai

100 killed, purportedly by a radical Muslim terrorist cell. This frightening assessment comes from Bruce Hoffman, a professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the author of the book “Inside Terrorism,” as quoted in a New York Times report:

“It’s not often that things in terrorism alarm me. So much is a repeat of what we see almost every day, like suicide bombings. There’s no real innovation in terrorism, which is why 9/11 was so terrifying, because it was so innovative and heinously clever.

“But these attacks show how a handful of men, basically using weapons off the shelf, can paralyze a city and frustrate highly trained security forces. These attacks were calculated to spread alarm and anxiety — to put it quite frankly, to unhinge things — and that’s exactly what they’ve done.”
In other words, Mission Accomplished.

Which means there's not a hotel or restaurant or shopping mall that's now safe anywhere on the planet. Brace yourselves for more of the same.

On Gays, Hate Crimes, and the 1st Amendment

From a National Review editorial:
Last week in a Denver suburb, someone lit a Book of Mormon on fire and dropped it on the doorstep of a Mormon temple, presumably as a statement about the church’s support of Proposition 8 in California, an initiative that amended the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In a move that may make gay-rights supporters’ heads spin, the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Where do they go from here? Gay activists are already using the legal system to try to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Mormon church. If you believe that churches and synagogues, priests and rabbis won’t eventually be sued for their statements on sexuality, you’re kidding yourself. Chai Feldblum, a Georgetown University law professor and gay activist who helps draft federal legislation related to sexual orientation, says that, when religious liberty conflicts with gay rights, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.” A National Public Radio report on the conflict noted that if previous cases are any guide, “the outlook is grim for religious groups.”

Given their cavalier disregard for the freedom of conscience, it’s little surprise that the gay lobby is equally disdainful of democracy: They began pursuing legal challenges to Proposition 8 practically before they were done tallying the votes. Lamentably, the state attorney general defending the will of the people will be former Jerry Brown, the liberal former governor who was an open opponent of the measure and tried to sabotage it. The legal challenges will be heard by the same state Supreme Court that overturned California’s previous law forbidding gay marriage back in May. There’s a real possibility the will of the people will be spurned a second time, democracy be damned. They’ve already burned the Book of Mormon. The First Amendment is next.
"Legislating Immorality," November 24, 2008

What On Earth ...?

Someone needs to explain this to me.

Seems Fair

I was prepared to be outraged when I began reading this news item, but the accommodation that was made seems fair to all concerned:
Sour note: Md. mall quiets Salvation Army bells
Associated Press

Hagerstown, Md. (AP) - A Maryland mall says Salvation Army bell ringers are making too much noise, and that's striking a sour note with merchants.

The mall is asking the charity to replace the insides of bells with paper clips to keep the clanging down.

Maj. Robert Lyle says the three indoor ringers at Valley Mall have replaced the clappers inside their bells. Lyle says he sympathizes with merchants who get tired of the noise. But he says the two bell-ringers located outside the mall are still at full volume.

Salvation Army volunteers ring the bells to call attention to their red kettles. Shoppers drop donations for the poor into the buckets.

Mall Marketing Director Brian Kaltenbaugh says the noise complaints came from kiosk- and cart-based businesses in hallways near the bell ringers. [link]
My guess is, there are some guilty consciences in that building and the noise became an issue only because those bells reminded the complainers of just how cheap they are. It's Christmas, fellas! Rejoice! Enjoy the bells! And donate to a worthy cause!

Anyway, the retailers made noise about the noise. A settlement was reached. All's now quiet. Everyone seems happy.