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

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why Boucher Is Licking His Chops ...

... at the prospect that presents itself what with our soon-to-be president's impending "stimulus package," rumored to cost taxpayers as much as one trillion dollars, being laid in his lap. He can waste it with the best of them. And he's had lots of practice.

Take the latest news out of Bristol:
Train Station Open House Tuesday
By the Bristol Herald Courier Editorial Board

Fresh off a $5 million renovation, the Bristol Train Station is opening its doors to the public for an open house today from 4:30-8:30 p.m. If you’ve never been to see this historic site, get cracking and get down there this evening.

The 106-year-old station is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, train station board members will serve as guides. And Tim Buchanan, a local historian, will have a display that focuses on the train station’s history. [link]
$5 million! How in the hell did the local government come up with that kind of money - money that could have been better spent by employers in the area to keep layoffs from occurring right and left - to renovate a train station that is no longer in use? Has everyone gone stark raving mad?

Well, it can be said with a high degree of confidence that one individual has certainly gone mad. Professor Moriarty kind of mad.

Where'd that money come from?

A big chunk of it came from the federal transportation budget.

And who was the idiot who acquired it from desperately needed transportation funds?

Rick Boucher.

We're doomed. Everyone pack your bags. Flee. Spare yourself. Git while the gittin's good.

For the love of God. $5 million for an abandoned train station.

And soon Obama is going to hand Boucher $1,000,000,000,000 to play with.

Seems To Be a Minor Hole In The Story

Throw the book at him!
Suffolk police file gun charge against 9-year-old
Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Reports

Suffolk, Va. (AP) -- Suffolk Police have filed a juvenile petition against a 9-year-old boy who allegedly threatened to shoot seven elementary students at a bus stop.

Spokeswoman Debbie George says today's petition charges the Elephant's Fork Elementary student with brandishing a firearm. [link]
Throw the little squirt in prison! No, wait. Paddle the little squirt and then throw him in prison!

But wait ...
She says the youngster retrieved a video-game (sic) gun from his mother's car Tuesday morning after becoming upset. He allegedly pointed the chrome-colored toy at the other children and threatened to kill them. George said the children thought the gun was real.
A video game gun? The kid was arrested for "brandishing" a toy?

My guess is, the authorities over in Suffolk were trying to impress upon the little tyke some manners. And a respect for the law. But is this the proper way to go about it? By disrespecting the law?

Someone needs to take hold of the genius who conferred the charge upon the brat and give HIM a good paddlin'.

Headline of the Day

From the Washington Post:

Hollywood's Losing Battle: Creating a Nicer Nazi

It's about Tom Cruise's new movie, "Valkyrie." Tom plays a ... "nice" ... Nazi.

Quote of the Day

Investor's Business Daily on the coronation of Caroline Kennedy:
Sweet Caroline ... has announced she really, really wants to be New York's next senator. As she goes about learning the problems of the state, including those beyond New York City's Upper East Side, we hope she has a GPS with turn-by-turn instructions.

The New York Times described her qualifications thus: "Ms. Kennedy has much going for her. As a public figure, she carries the glamour and poignancy of her family." Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post gushes that our "tragic national princess," the "Cinderella Kennedy" is "finally rewarded" for "her years of quiet dignity." First a pony, now a Senate seat.
"Caroline Palin," December 19, 2008

Postponing The Inevitable

You know that dike that has an ever-enlarging leak in it? George W. Bush just gave it a fresh coat of paint:
Auto Makers to Get $17.4 Billion
By John D. McKinnon and Neal Boudette, The Wall Street Journal

The White House announced a $17.4 billion rescue package for the troubled Detroit auto makers that allows them to avoid bankruptcy and leaves many of the big decisions for the incoming Obama administration.

Speaking from the White House, President George W. Bush said the administration decided against forcing a bankruptcy to compel cost-cutting, in order to avoid the risk that consumers would desert one or more of the companies and touch off an industry collapse, deepening the current economic downturn.

The deal would extend $13.4 billion in loans to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC in December and January, with another $4 billion likely available in February. It also would provide the government with non-voting warrants, although the exact amount was unclear immediately. Ford Motor Co. has said it doesn't need short-term assistance.

The deal is contingent on the companies' showing that they are financially viable by March 31. [link]
Let me write the headline for the April newspapers:

Automakers Not Financially Viable Despite Massive Government Subsidy.

All this makes no difference. Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed.

They'll Never Understand

This is wrong. But never to those who believe government can actually solve problems:

Bush Aids Detroit, but Hard Choices Wait for Obama

Obama will allow himself some "hard" choices, and he'll anguish over them, as presidents are expected to do, but those choices, whatever they are, will be inconsequential to the outcome of the future viability of the Big Three automakers. For them (and, if they should decide not to commit suicide, the UAW), the truly hard choices await.

The government can (a) provide cash and/or (b) complicate the problem.

Expect both (a) and (b) to occur in a very big way.

Expect also (c) bankruptcy filings after all the hard choices are made and the problems continue.

Obama's Brainless Trust

There was what became a rather famous incident back a few decades ago involving America's first professional apocalyptic, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, and his prediction that in the then-near future, the world would see mass starvation like we'd never seen before, because of inefficiencies in the economic systems employed and because of "The Population Bomb."

It turns out that the genius who managed to frighten the bejeebers out of a generation of young Americans - and who proved to be absolutely wrong in his predictions - is in the news again, because of his associations with an Obama appointee. The appointee, John P. Holdren, was up to his eyeballs in the Ehrlich debacle.

John Tierney tells the tale:
Flawed Science Advice for Obama?
The New York Times

Does being spectacularly wrong about a major issue in your field of expertise hurt your chances of becoming the presidential science advisor? Apparently not, judging by reports from DotEarth and ScienceInsider that Barack Obama will name John P. Holdren as his science advisor on Saturday.

Dr. Holdren, now a physicist at Harvard, was one of the experts in natural resources whom Paul Ehrlich enlisted in his famous bet against the economist Julian Simon during the “energy crisis” of the 1980s. Dr. Simon, who disagreed with environmentalists’ predictions of a new “age of scarcity” of natural resources, offered to bet that any natural resource would be cheaper at any date in the future. Dr. Ehrlich accepted the challenge and asked Dr. Holdren, then the co-director of the graduate program in energy and resources at the University of California, Berkeley, and another Berkeley professor, John Harte, for help in choosing which resources would become scarce.

In 1980 Dr. Holdren helped select five metals — chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten — and joined Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Harte in betting $1,000 that those metals would be more expensive ten years later. They turned out to be wrong on all five metals, and had to pay up when the bet came due in 1990. [link]
And this hotshot is now going to be advising Obama, who has as much experience (but doesn't have the spectacularly flawed résumé - yet), with science as he does with anything else, on all matters "scientific."

May God have mercy on us.

And Speaking of Amazon's Kindle ...

... how about this for a deal? From Amazon.com:

12 volumes for 99 cents. I like it.

Screenshot courtesy of Amazon.com