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

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trying To Hold Back The Tide

If you've ever been near the Fredericksburg, Massaponax, Spotsylvania area lately, you understand the problem here. They's just a whole lotta people living there now. And that fact brings about the inevitable clash with those who want to preserve the commonwealth of Virginia as one big battlefield park.

Case in point:
Historians fight proposed Wilderness Wal-Mart
Associated Press

Orange, Va. (AP) -- Many of the nation's top historians are urging Wal-Mart not to build a 53-acre Supercenter complex near the Wilderness battlefield, the site of a pivotal Civil War skirmish.

The 253 historians who signed Wednesday's letter to the Bentonville, Ark., retailer included Pulitzer Prize winners David M. McCullough and James McPherson, Emmy-winning filmmaker Ken Burns and Edwin C. Bearss, chief historian emeritus of the National Park Service.

They're asking Wal-Mart to move its complex farther away from the currently proposed distance of within a quarter mile of the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. [link]

I have to tell you, it pains me to know that I'm on the opposite side of this issue from four of the five most renowned Civil War historians alive today - well, three and Ken Burns - (Virginia Tech's James I. Robertson's name is conspicuously absent from this article and both Douglas Southall Freeman and Shelby Foote are dead).

But wih them I disagree.

And my disagreement goes to the heart of their objection, to be found in that "...proposed distance of within a quarter mile of the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park." Hell, there's not an acre of property in this state - including my 22 - that don't have ties to Civil War history (even here in remote Bland County - the Raleigh Grayson Turnpike that circles around my property was used by Union cavalry in 1864 to reach Wytheville, the intentions of which were to burn the train station, which they did; and Civil War Captain Andrew Jackson Grayson, Company E, 52nd Virginia Volunteers, lays at rest within eyesight. Preserve it!). If we were to try and set aside areas of the state "within a quarter of a mile" of some significant Civil War site, we might as well declare the whole state one big park and kick every business and homeowner out.

Look Ken, James, David, and Edwin (can we historians be on a first-name basis?), history is best left in the history books. Let other histories be made. We have parks (and libraries/museums) to house memorabilia. That will have to suffice. As much as we'd like to preserve the past, it's history.

Live with it.

California On Its Way To Third World Status

The state budget has an estimated $20 billion shortfall (on its way to $41 billion ...). Businesses and middle-class taxpayers are leaving the state in droves. And the "Big Three" auto makers are about to begin closing factories in this the state with the heaviest concentration of auto-related jobs in the country.

So how does the legislature there respond?

By accelerating California's doom:
Despite downturn, Calif. adopts tough climate plan
By Samantha Young, The Associated Press

Sacramento, Calif. -- California on Thursday adopted the nation's most sweeping plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, issuing rules that could transform everything from the way factories operate to the appliances people buy and the fuel they put in their cars.

The Air Resources Board unanimously approved the plan despite warnings it will put costly new burdens on businesses at a time when the economy is in extreme crisis, with California forecasting a staggering budget gap of $41.8 billion through mid-2010. [link]
Extreme crisis? Who cares? They have bigger issues to deal with. Curlicue light bulbs. French fry oil fuel. Solar-powered calculators. Global coo ... er, warming. Mandates. Mandates. Mandates.

This may be harsh, but I do believe the people of California who elected these nitwits deserve their fate. I just hope they don't bring their afflictions here when they abandon California for good.

NY Times Doing Damage Control

This is disgraceful. And pathetic.

Without having all the facts (with having pitifully few facts, to be accurate), the New York Times this morning tries its best to put distance between Barack Obama and the mess in Chicago, despite the fact that he's up to his eyeballs in it:
Ex-Obama Fund-Raiser Was Close to Illinois Governor, but Kept Ties Separate
By Christopher Drew and Mike McIntire

Chicago — The criminal complaint this week against Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois has once again brought to the fore a prominent figure in the corrupt political world here that President-elect Barack Obama had been eager to leave behind.

The document confirmed that Antoin Rezko, a former Obama fund-raiser, has been cooperating with federal authorities, though the government took pains to note that “his reliability has yet to be fully determined.” Mr. Rezko, 53, was convicted in June on charges of fraud and abetting bribery in state government.

For much of the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama was dogged by questions about his long friendship with Mr. Rezko, a real-estate developer who was involved in a deal related to land next to Mr. Obama’s home.

And as the 76-page complaint against Mr. Blagojevich makes clear, Mr. Rezko was also one of the governor’s closest advisers, making him one of the few people in Illinois politics who was an insider in both the Blagojevich and Obama camps.

But while that could make him a potential bridge between the two men, people who worked with Mr. Rezko say his ties to them were largely kept separate, in part because Mr. Obama, a former United States senator from Illinois, and Mr. Blagojevich were never particularly close. [link]
Got that? Rezco was a crook, but only in his dealings with Blagojevich. He was a choir boy when it came to interaction with Obama.

So how do they explain that shady land deal between Obama and Rezco? Well, our future president was just "bone-headed" at the time. And that's all there was to it.

Lips. Butt. Kiss.

For the love of God.

- - -

The Washington Post does its own bootlicking this morning too:

Obama Worked to Distance Self From Blagojevich Early On

How do these "journalists" look themselves in the mirror at night?

Killer Chic

One of the many reasons I can't watch a movie starring Susan Sarandon or George Clooney or Sean Penn or Robert Redford or any of a number of other deluded leftists in it without having it clouded by their destructive politics:

Hollywood's Sick Love Affair with Che Guevara

The video:

These people are dangerous. To themselves and to the rest of us.

My Thoughts Exactly

So, is it possible that Barack Obama didn't know that his fellow Chicago politician Rod Blagojevich was a long-time crook, like he didn't know that his pastor of 20 years - his "mentor," for God's sake - was a flaming racist, that his friend and neighbor, Bill Ayres, wasn't a terrorist, and his beloved benefactor, Tony Rezco, wasn't an habitual lawbreaker? If so, it becomes clear that he's either (a) sleepwalking through history or (b) a blithering idiot.

It appears I'm not alone in wondering what's at the bottom of this story:
Prez-elect Ill.-advised
By Michael Graham, The Boston Herald

America, meet the new boss.

Just five weeks ago, in a fit of anti-Bush anger and liberal self-flagellation, 53 percent of the electorate voted to send an unknown, untested and inexperienced Chicago pol to the White House.

Who was Barack Obama? What sort of pol? Nobody knew or, apparently, cared.

Now America is learning to pronounce “Blagojevich” and discovering what The New York Times calls “the murky and insular world of Illinois politics.” It’s a realm of open corruption, boundless greed and contempt for the law. And it’s the lifelong political home of President-elect Obama.

Surprise! [link]
He would have us believe that he was surrounded by corrupt, perverted individuals, many of whom were responsible for his meteoric rise in Illinois politics, but was able to avoid being subverted by their wicked ways.

And I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you ...

Choose Your Bad Guy

The Senate shot down (at least temporarily) that bailout for the non-foreign auto makers in this country that pay out wages and benefits to current and retired employees that are considerably higher than those of their competitors after the auto workers union refused to agree to wage reductions.

So, who brought GM and Chrysler to the verge of bankruptcy?

If left up to the mainstream press, it'll be those dastardly Republicans in the Senate, of course. But ...
Union balks and $14B auto bailout dies in Senate
By Julie Hirschfeld and Ken Thomas, Associated Press

Washington (AP) - A bailout-weary Congress killed a $14 billion package to aid struggling U.S. automakers Thursday night after a partisan dispute over union wage cuts derailed a last-ditch effort to revive the emergency aid before year's end.

Republicans, breaking sharply with President George W. Bush as his term draws to a close, refused to back federal aid for Detroit's beleaguered Big Three without a guarantee that the United Auto Workers would agree by the end of next year to wage cuts to bring their pay into line with Japanese carmakers. The UAW refused to do so before its current contract with the automakers expires in 2011.

The breakdown left the fate of the auto industry - and the 3 million jobs it touches - in limbo at a time of growing economic turmoil. General Motors Corp. (GM) and Chrysler LLC have said they could be weeks from collapse. Ford Motor Co. (F) says it does not need federal help now, but its survival is far from certain. [link] [my emphasis]
How many times over the years have different unions faced the same decision - make wage and benefit concessions or lose your jobs - and the union leaders chose for their members to be unemployed? Too many to count. Ask the tens of thousands of (former) rubber workers in Akron.

So the Senate asked for a plan that makes the auto makers competitive. And the UAW refused to go along. The problem in microcosm.

A Question

I read this in the New York Times about our cold-hearted decision to not bail out Chrysler (again):
The failure to reach agreement on Capitol Hill raised a specter of financial collapse for General Motors and Chrysler, which say they may not be able to survive through this month.
And I wondered: Why should the American taxpayer shell out $4 billion ($3 billion?) to Chrysler when its parent company, Cerberus, has holdings estimated to be somewhere around $24 billion but won't inject the necessary funds to keep its own acquisition afloat? Do the partners who own Cerberus know a bad deal when they see one?