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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, April 30, 2009

It's Good To Know Who Your Enemies Are

While we're on the subject of Democratic candidates for governor ...
Va. Democratic candidates target gun control
By Bob Lewis, AP Political Writer

Blacksburg, Va. (AP) -- Gun control shot to the forefront of the fourth Democratic Virginia gubernatorial debate Thursday less than a mile from the deadliest campus shooting in American history.

State Sen. R Creigh Deeds, former Democratic national chairman Terry McAuliffe and former House of Delegates Democratic Caucus leader Brian Moran all agreed on closing the loophole in state law that exempts gun shows from background checks on buyers.

"Anyone who purchases a firearm should go through a background check. You can't determine whether a person is a felon or suffers from a mental defect," Moran said.

McAuliffe agreed, saying the private dealers who sell a wide array of guns from antiques to assault weapons at the bazaars should be required to query the past of purchasers.

Both Moran and McAuliffe are from the populous suburbs of northern Virginia where gun control sentiment runs strong. [link]

I feel the need to correct that last sentence:

"Both Moran and McAuliffe are from the liberal northeast - Massachusetts and New york respectively - where draconian gun control laws rule the everyday lives of the citizenry and crime is rampant."

Both want to do for Virginia what their compatriots have done for their home states.

May God help us.

I Can't Wait

Want to be bored to tears? Head over to Virginia Tech today (oops, it was yesterday. Shucks.):

Virginia Tech will hold a public forum today on the legacies of segregation and integration in Virginia public education.

"Forum"? My guess it took the form of "lecture." As these things always do.

Anyway, the world is a better place today. Virginia Tech offered up its 24,565th "forum" on race relations yesterday. And we are a better people for it ...

It's A Good Day

Planned Parenthood closing Lynchburg slaughter house:

Planned Parenthood closing Lynchburg health center

Perhaps they'll turn it into a church. The circumstances seem to cry out for it.

The Facts Just Keep Getting In The Way

Much has been made in recent years by those who want us to believe that the planet is warming, resulting in (and exemplified by ...) the melting of the Arctic ice caps (while curiously ignoring the growing Antarctic ice caps, but whatever). To capture the general hysteria one need only look at breathtaking headlines like this: "Arctic melt 20 years ahead of climate models."

Well, it turns out that even the Arctic may not be melting. Al Gore, phone home:
North Pole Sea Ice twice as thick as expected
Radio Bremen

The research aircraft “Polar 5” today concluded its Arctic expedition in Canada. During the flight, researchers measured the current ice thickness at the North Pole and in areas that have never before been surveyed. The result: The sea-ice in the surveyed areas is apparently thicker than scientists had suspected.

Normally, newly formed ice measures some two meters in thickness after two years. “Here, we measured ice thickness up to four meters,” said a spokesperson for Bremerhaven’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. At present, this result contradicts the warming of the sea water, according to the scientists. [link]
Oh, poo. That's just science talking. We all know the Earth is warming. Politicians in Washington say so.

The Road To Perdition

Not one "reporter" asks where the money is going to come from:

Congress Clears $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan

Suicide.

Quote of the Day

From Investor's Business Daily:
Cap-And-Trade: Al Gore's Cash Cow

At the cap-and-trade hearings, it was revealed that not everyone will suffer from this growth-killing energy tax. A congresswoman wanted to know why sea levels aren't rising but Gore's bank account is.

When Gore left office in January 2001, he was said to have a net worth in the neighborhood of $2 million. A mere eight years later, estimates are that he is now worth about $100 million. It seems it's easy being green, at least for some.

Gore has his lectures and speeches, his books, a hit movie and Oscar, and a Nobel Prize.

Last May, we also noted that on March 1, Gore, while speaking at a conference in Monterey, Calif., admitted to having "a stake" in a number of green investments that he recommended attendees put money in rather than "subprime carbon assets" such as tar sands and shale oil. [link]
In a different era this huckster would have been run out on a rail. Today he is awarded a Nobel.

For the love of God.

Why The GOP Can't Beat The Press

Big. Bold. Blaring. Headline:

GOP Stripped Flu Pandemic Preparedness From Stimulus [!!!]

Buried in the "Health" section. Much smaller. No emphasis. No blaring. Days after the first article appeared:

Containing Flu Is Not Feasible, Specialists Say

Will the next headline read "GOP Lauded For Not Wasting Taxpayer Dollars"?

I'll certainly be holding my breath ...

Birds of a Feather

This seems so ... right:

For the first time since the Bork hearings in 1987 there'll be no confusing which side the liberal from Pennsylvania is on.

"The one consistency in the history of Arlen Specter has been his willingness to do whatever will best protect and advance the career of Arlen Specter."

Now live with it.

Photo courtesy of the New York Times

Down A Rat Hole

At least the leadership of General Motors can argue that the company is dumping brands and is desperately trying to downsize as fast as possible. Not that it'll make any difference in the end. But Chrysler - with all that money that we "lent" it - has done little to nothing to stave off bankruptcy. And bankruptcy it's headed toward.

As we warned you before our tax dollars were dumped down that sewer:
Chrysler Bankruptcy Looms as Deal on Debt Falters
By Zachery Kouwe and Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Detroit — Last-minute efforts by the Treasury Department to win over recalcitrant Chrysler debtholders failed Wednesday night, setting up a near-certain bankruptcy filing by the American automaker, according to people briefed on the talks.

Barring an agreement, which looked increasingly difficult, Chrysler was expected to seek Chapter 11 protection on Thursday, most likely in New York, these people said.

A bankruptcy filing by Chrysler would be the first by one of Detroit’s three auto companies amid a devastating slump, and could serve as a preview of what a filing by General Motors might look like. G.M., which like Chrysler received federal assistance last year, faces a June 1 deadline for its own restructuring. [link]
The problem is in the fact that many of Chrysler's debtholders are secured creditors and can get a better deal through bankruptcy than that which the government is offering on behalf of the doomed auto maker.

Doomed being the key word.

By the way, Chrysler also wants an additional $7 billion from the taxpayers. Reasons unclear.

Bullet. Brainpan. End the suffering.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

They Never Listen To Me

I said back in the mid-80's that GM was making a big mistake by creating another brand to add to its already faltering lines of market-share-losing behemoths. But Saturn it did create anyway.

I said at the time that GM needed to do just the opposite - drop certain of its weaker brands and concentrate on developing and promoting them, if they wanted to compete with Honda, Toyota, and Nissan.

Now, after billions have been sent down the poop shoot and with bankruptcy looming, GM finally heeds my advice:

GM ends Saturn brand in restructuring; PHEV Vue, we hardly knew ye

A day late. A dollar or two short.

If only they had listened ...

My Thought Exactly

I feel like I should be building pyres of dead bodies right now ...
A pandemic of panic -- are we dead yet?
By Wesley Pruden, Washington Times

We were all supposed to be in the graveyard by now, done in by AIDS, SARS, bird flu, poisoned peanut butter, Hong Kong flu, killer tomatoes, global warming and strangulation by kudzu. But here we are, proof that there really is life after death.

Now we learn that we might freeze before the pigs get us. (The chickens failed.) NASA scientists have observed that the solar wind is the weakest since we began keeping such records, that the magnetic axis of the sun is tilted to an unusual degree, and Ol' Sol is the quietest he has been in a century. A chill, say the solar scientists, may be on the way. (Or not.) Worse, says one of them, this could compel reappraisal of the science of global warning. Try as he might, poor old Al Gore just can't keep the cosmos in line.

But this week Ol' Sol has been put in the shade by a new panic du jour. The cable-TV networks and the Internet are bubbling with sunspots, even if the sun isn't.

We haven't seen a panic quite like this one since the last one. SARS was once thought to be the ultimate panic, though the longest running panic was the AIDS scare, when big media set out to convince us that "now we are all at risk." SARS was never a threat in the United States, and worth the P-word only in China and even there a risk confined mostly to people who sleep with their chickens. [link]

Does this mean that some of us might actually survive this?

Gosh, that would be great. And so unexpected.

What Kind of Idiot ...

Is there any intelligent life running this country?
Air Heads In DC Terrorize City
By Murray Weiss, David Seifman, and Jeremy Olshan, New York Post

"Air Farce One" played out over lower Manhattan yesterday -- in a terrifyingly bizarre military photo op that sent office workers fleeing from their buildings fearing a new 9/11-type attack.

But it turned out that the backup Air Force One jet and the fighter that appeared to be pursuing it only 1,000 feet above Ground Zero were staging the spectacle to get publicity shots of the presidential plane with a New York backdrop.

"We all ran to the window, and I thought, that's it, we're all dead," said Chris Biancamano, 36, who works at a brokerage in Jersey City. "It brought back all the memories of 9/11. I said, 'I have to get out of here now!' " [link]
Obama has used the following line so many times in his first 100 days in office (see "100 Days, 100 Mistakes") that he should just have it engraved on the one dollar bill:

"President Obama called the incident a 'mistake' today and said it would not happen again."

There's a mistake here all right. And its name is Obama.

---

"Felony Stupidity."

All Is Lost!!!

Arlen Specter is now a Democrat?

The Republic is teetering on the brink!

Oh, wait ...

I want to know when it was that Arlen Specter wasn't a Democrat?

Who Rates & Who Doesn't

You may remember that an estimated crowd of 500 area residents gathered together a few weeks ago in Roanoke to protest government (isn't that the best umbrella under which all the different reasons that the good citizens assembled could be placed? "The government.").

Well, another crowd gathered on Monday in Roanoke to welcome a former president of the United States and a potential governor. That crowd?

200 to 350, delpending on who you rely on for a solid number.

Elena over at Roanoke RnR had my sides splitting with this summation of the "historic" event:
Bill Who?

In case you missed all the media coverage about this event...Bill Clinton was in Roanoke today to campaign with McAuliffe, drawing a whopping crowd of 350. Wow, considering all the media hoopla and bloggers' giddiness before the event, it's actually pretty amazing that a former President of the United States, and potential Governor, drew a smaller crowd during lunchtime in the busy downtown area than a couple of cranky nobodies hanging by a river on April 15th did. Go figure...

***UPDATE***

This was just too rich not to post... from the Collegiate Times..."Over 200 people braved unseasonably warm temperatures to attend the campaign event"...yeah, it was like what, 80-something degrees and sunny? How did they endure that??? Wow...
Too funny.

So God's gift to the Democratic Party slithered into Roanoke and a couple hundred reporters showed up to capture the event for all posterity. Pinch me. I must be dreaming.

Whether there were any actual human beings in attendance as well is yet to be determined.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

So Little Time

For those of you who noticed that I hadn't blogged anything this morning and thought that I must be dead, sorry, no such luck. I'm just really busy.

It happens to the best of us.

I'll be back in the swing of things by Thursday.

Signed: The Blog From On High "organization."

Monday, April 27, 2009

The One & Only Solution

I must be honest. I have no patience with people who think universal health care is the answer to our problems. If it were, Canadians and Brits wouldn't be flocking to the U.S. for specialized care. And Canadians and Brits wouldn't be dying from government hospital care.

Dying from government hospital care.

Dying from government hospital care.

Dying from government hospital care.

Dying from government hospital care.

Despite the evidence (and the common sense that cries out), there are those (twits) who see the dark side and still think universal health care is just the answer to our problems.

Roanoke Times editorialist Elizabeth Strother:

"People need health care that's affordable and accessible to all."

No. People want health care that's affordable and accessible to all. But what they end up getting in the way of health care that's affordable and accessible to all is ... Britain.

Dying from government health care.

Dying from government health care.

Dying from government health care.

Dying from government health care.

Dying ...

A Broken Record

Because the data that continues to pour in proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the planet is not warming, "climate scientists" have to revert to to the old tried and true method of scaring the crap out of people: "There's no actual evidence to support this supposition but here's the catastrophe that is SOON going to unfold according to our computer models ..."

For the love of God:
Study Says Warming Poses Peril to Asia
By Thomas Fuller, New York Times

With diminished rice harvests, seawater seeping into aquifers and islands vanishing into rising oceans, Southeast Asia will be among the regions worst affected by global warming, according to a report scheduled for release on Monday by the Asian Development Bank.

The rise in sea levels may force the sprawling archipelago of Indonesia to redraw its sea boundaries, the report said.

All these changes will occur progressively over the next century, the bank estimated, giving countries time to improve their flood control systems, upgrade their irrigation networks and take measures to prevent forest fires, which the report predicts will become more common.

“Our modeling shows that sea levels will rise up to 70 centimeters,” or about 28 inches, said Juzhong Zhuang, an economist at the bank and one of the authors of the report. “That will force the relocation of many millions of people.” [link]
Despite the fact that actual data show the planet to have been in a cooling spell for a decade, and despite the fact that the computer models that these geniuses devise to predict the weather have been grossly in error over and over again, there are still seemingly smart people who buy into their voodoo.

We're all going to die. Still. Who got kicked off American Idol?

Environmentalist Snake Oil

Robert J. Samuelson, writing in this morning's Washington Post:
Selling The Green Economy

Few things are more appealing in politics than something for nothing. As Congress begins considering anti-global-warming legislation, environmentalists hold out precisely that tantalizing prospect: We can conquer global warming at virtually no cost. Here's a typical claim, from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF):

"For about a dime a day [per person], we can solve climate change, invest in a clean energy future, and save billions in imported oil."

This sounds too good to be true, because it is.

In truth, [the computer models upon which this claim is based] have a dismal record of predicting major economic upheavals or their consequences. They didn't anticipate the present economic crisis. They didn't predict the run-up in oil prices to almost $150 a barrel last year. In the 1970s, they didn't foresee runaway inflation. "General equilibrium" models can help evaluate different policy proposals by comparing them against a common baseline. But these models can't tell us how the economy will look in 10 or 20 years because so much is assumed or ignored -- growth rates; financial and geopolitical crises; major bottlenecks; crippling inflation or unemployment.

The selling of the green economy involves much economic make-believe. Environmentalists not only maximize the dangers of global warming -- from rising sea levels to advancing tropical diseases -- they also minimize the costs of dealing with it. Actually, no one involved in this debate really knows what the consequences or costs might be. All are inferred from models of uncertain reliability. Great schemes of economic and social engineering are proposed on shaky foundations of knowledge. Candor and common sense are in scarce supply. [link]
Those infernal computer models again.

When will we finally decide to ban them?

And when will we tell the environmentalists among us to shut up and go away?

Going John Galt

A quote from Ayn Rand's epic tome Atlas Shrugged from a character - accomplished in his field - who is expected by the government to provide more and more to "those less fortunate":

"I'm tired of providing assistance to those who hate me."

In today's news:
The last thing this country needs is a pirate raid on the wealth creators who still dare navigate our stormy waters
By Andrew Lloyd Webber, writing in the London Daily Mail

The opinion polls have uttered. The country loves the new 50 per cent top rate of income tax. Soak the rich. Smash the bankers. So Government spin doctors are in second heaven. The Conservatives' silence redefines a tomb. And I suppose there'd be quite a turnout for the public flogging of Sir Fred the Shred.

But before you book your tickets, hold hard. And before you lynch me as a rich b*****d flying a kite for my own cause, let me beg you to believe that I am not.

I believe that this new top rate of tax could be the final nail in the coffin of Britain plc.

I am 61 years old. I have lived and worked in Britain all my life. Not even in the dark days of penal Labour taxation in the Seventies did I have any intention of leaving the country of my birth.

I write this article because I fear the inevitable exodus of the talent that can dig us out of the hole we find ourselves in. It is inevitable, given that other countries are bidding for entrepreneurs. [link]

The character to whom those words were spoken in Rand's novel, by the way, quit the corrupt and dying world of looters around her and left to help form a new civilization of entrepreneurs and achievers.

That, of course, could never happen here ...

Who Are They Going To Battle?

The Democrats are in charge of the White House. The Democrats are in charge of the House. And in charge of the Senate. They are in charge.

And they've vowed to raise taxes. As always.

And the people who elected them in big numbers are fine with that.

So who are these guys to turn to to carry on this "battle" and what chance do they think they have of achieving anything?
Small Businesses Brace for Tax Battle
Under Obama Plan, Some Entrepreneurs' Bills Would Soar
By Lori Montgomery and V. Dion Haynes, Washington Post Staff Writers

Gail Johnson doesn't think of herself as wealthy. The former pediatric nurse has spent 20 years building a chain of preschools and after-school programs that accommodate sick children so working parents can keep their jobs.

But, like most small-business owners, Johnson reports her profit on her personal tax return. In a typical year, she and her husband make more than $500,000, according to her accountant, a figure that throws them squarely into the ranks of the richest Americans -- and makes them a prime target for the Obama administration's tax policy.

Since last year's campaign, President Obama has vowed repeatedly not to increase taxes for families making less than $250,000 a year. That pledge, while politically popular, has left him with just two primary sources of funding for his ambitious social agenda: about 3 million high-earning families and the nation's businesses. [link]
Hey, that's the breaks, babe. Obama needs the money to keep the rotting corpse of GM from stinking up the landscape. And to change the Earth's climate. And to keep the Palestinians from blowing themselves up.

You too would do yourself a favor and "go John Galt" by giving up the business - and the headaches - and the 60 hour weeks - and kick back like everyone else.

Father Obama wants to take care of you.

A battle? That battle was lost last November when the American people decided that being a welfare state wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

On Being Narrow-Minded

As the saying goes, it takes one to know one.

This comes from a message left on Craig's List (Blacksburg section) about the people of Southwest Virginia by an individual who was born in New York and was apparently raised in Appalachia (grammar and syntax from the original):
I've lived in this area for most all of my life. I was born in New York and was moved down here when I was a kid. So, I've considered myself a local for almost all of my life, but lately, the ire and the frustration that I've been harboring for most of my life is finally mounting. I absolutely abhor Rednecks.

I'm sorry, but regardless of how much education you have or how intelligent you may be, but if you use "Ain't" in normal everyday conversation, as well as "y'all" and other southern vernacular, I immediately lose all capacity to listen to you as a fully trained or intelligent adult. There really is something to be said about the intelligence level of people around here. I've spent my entire life living among you guys, and still I have gained absolutely no respect for the ignorance and intolerance of people in this area.

This area is so narrow minded, full of good-ole-boys rolling around the hills in their pick-up trucks having a jolly ole time. It must be relaxing not using your brain, auto-pilot must be an enjoyable state. No wonder no one else in the entire country (Not to mention the world) holds any respect or interest in Appalachia. It's the armpit of the U.S.

I can't wait until May when I graduate from here and can get as far away as possible from this reeking filth pot.
Ah, yes. We're narrow-minded.

Well, take your ... open-mindedness ... somewhere else. Somewhere where others like you, equally open-minded all, reside. New York comes to mind. Ain't no narrow-minded rednecks up there. No armpits either. Or intolerance. You should fit right in.

See y'all around.

Slowly They Come Around

We have for decades had to endure the leftist cries of woe with regard to the environment. Cries that, make no mistake, were picked up and acted upon by a Congress more than willing to pass laws in response. You have a problem? Congress has the solution.

In the case of one of their many cries, about pesticides, one book, "Silent Spring," led to a complete ban on a very effective deterrent to the spread of malaria. A pesticide called DDT. It was harmful to the environment. Or so the author, and her environmentalist sycophants, and Congress said.

The ban took effect in 1972. The remainder of the developed world followed suit in the 70's and 80's and shipments to "undeveloped" areas most in need - those with serious mosquito problems in Africa - were prohibited thereafter.

And millions of children died from malaria.

But, hey, despite that downside the bald eagle has made a comeback, they will tell you. So there's a trade-off.

Black children in Africa die by the millions so that enlightened people in Oregon can go out on a weekend and see an eagle flying around in a park.

Well finally, FINALLY, some bit of sanity is returning to the issue:
The environmentalists' epidemic
Washington Times editorial

World Malaria Day was observed yesterday, and finally real progress is being made on eradicating this killer disease - no thanks to environmentalists.

Exaggerated fears about the pesticide DDT spread by Rachel Carson's 1962 book, "Silent Spring," prevented this solution from being used for many years. For decades, a million or more people died from malaria annually in Africa, with children accounting for 80 percent to 90 percent of those deaths. When South Africa temporarily stopped using DDT in 1996 and switched to another insecticide, the number of malaria deaths increased 500 percent by 2000.

Countries in southern Africa and parts of Swaziland, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Madagascar led the way back to using DDT. They funded their own eradication efforts to get around international aid bans that forbid using the chemical. Their success was difficult to ignore, and international organizations grudgingly flip-flopped in favor of the chemical. The dam broke in September 2006 when the World Health Organization switched from a neutral stance on DDT to actively backing its use.

The United Nations' goal is to reduce malaria deaths in Africa to zero by Dec. 31, 2015. It's a tragedy that millions of victims died before simple, sensible, known weapons were used in this war against disease. In this era of climate-change scaremongering, this is a cautionary tale about acquiescing to the extreme measures environmentalists insist are necessary. Green ideas can kill people. [link]

"Green ideas can kill people." Just as "green" fears are, more often than not, unfounded. Can we talk about nuclear power?

Anyway, common sense - and science - slowly return to their rightful places of prominence with regard to the pesticide debate.

The same will occur with "global warming."

But millions of babies had to die before the knuckle draggers were put back in their caves.

On that note, I wonder how many are soon to die to save the planet from that potential 2˚ increase in temperature that the environmentalists are now whining about.

Well, They've Got Their Pandemic

Four years ago:

The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu

Four years later, after millions 50 people died of bird flu:

WHO Cites Potential for Swine Flu Pandemic

If these people didn't always race off the cliff, we'd probably have a little more faith in their judgments.

Only In The New York Times

Do you ever remember any Bush administration official getting this kind of headline in the New York Times?

On Iraq Trip, Clinton Reassures a Nation Still Jittery After Recent Suicide Attacks

Like the average person in Iraq gives a rat's butt who Hillary Clinton is or about what she says.

This Is 'Rational'?

Gun control proponents have a weird understanding of the word "rational." Take one of the biggest of them all, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. He considers it rational for private gun sellers to have to complete background checks at gun shows. And anyone who disagrees is ... yup ...being irrational:
Gun 'loophole' challenged again
By Chelyen Davis, Fredericksburg.com

Virginia lawmakers have resisted pressure from the governor, from gun-control advocates and from Virginia Tech victims' families to require private sellers at gun shows to run background checks on buyers.

Now a federal bill could take it out of Virginia's hands.

Rep. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, has introduced a bill to close the so-called "gun show loophole."

The "loophole" is that federally licensed gun dealers are required to run instant background checks on people buying guns, but those who are selling guns privately and are not dealers do not have to run such checks.*

In a press conference this week to announce the bill, Lautenberg was joined by some relatives of victims of the shooting at Virginia Tech two years ago.

"There is no rational reason to oppose closing the loophole," Lautenberg said in a release. [link]
I can think of a rational reason for opposing your misguided bill, pal. It'll be easily gotten around. You're going to require that a private individual go to the trouble of seeking a background check on a transaction that is taking place in the parking lot of the exposition center where the gun show is taking place? What's to stop a private gun seller from walking out onto the sidewalk or across the street and selling that gun, just to avoid the hassle?

And a hassle it is. An intrusive hassle at that.

I guarantee you, that's exactly what I'd do.

By the way, the fact that you had relatives of victims of a shooting that had nothing to do with gun shows or loopholes, Frank, standing with you at this press conference speaks volumes about what's rational and irrational.

* My hat goes off to the reporter for getting this right. Usually the kinds of private transactions that take place at gun shows are distorted by an ignorant press.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Loons

You can always expect some kind of asinine response from the Charleston Gazette editorial staff to the days events. Today is no different.

On the controversy that rages over Barack Obama's decision to release those CIA memos, the idiots there have this to say:

As for the decision not to prosecute CIA agents, the [New York] Times added: "At least Mr. Obama is not following Mr. Bush's example of showy trials for the small fry -- like Lynndie England of Abu Ghraib notoriety."

The West Virginia soldier went to prison for doing essentially what the secret Bush memos approved. What a travesty.

You saw the photos. Was the sadistic partying that went on in that prison what President Bush, key members of Congress (including, ahem, the Charleston Gazette's own Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller), the Pentagon, and the Justice Department approved?

If only the Wal-Mart in South Charleston sold brains ...

Creigh Deeds Touts his Losses

I wasn't going to comment on the news that Congressman Boucher and gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds made a quick stop in Wytheville several days ago because ... well, nobody bothered to show up other than a few reporters and, let's face it, nobody cares.

But a reader thought that a particular quote from Deeds (see "Deeds stumps with Boucher") deserves mention:

"I’ve proven I can win statewide."

Uh, Creigh. Buddy. The only time you've ever run statewide, you lost.

Martinsville Hammered Again

It just doesn't stop:
E-commerce firm GSI closing Martinsville call center
By Jenny Kincaid Boone, Roanoke Times

GSI Commerce, a Pennsylvania-based e-commerce and multichannel services company, said Tuesday that it will close its call center in Martinsville, eliminating 279 jobs.

The news is the latest significant blow to this Southside city and Henry County, where thousands of people have lost jobs in recent years. Martinsville holds Virginia's worst jobless rate of 20.2 percent. [link]

Meanwhile Congress works diligently to control the climate.

For the love of God.

Doomsday Scenario

Obama has embarked on a spending binge the likes of which this country has never experienced before. Trillion dollar deficits - once thought to be impossible - are now the reality he has brought down upon us.

A cold, harsh reality. While government spending explodes, revenue is plummeting:.
When Will the Press Catch On to Uncle Sam’s Collections Meltdown?
By Tom Blumer, News Busters

This year, it's shaping up to be the "Bailout Year Bummer." Uncle Sam's fiscal year began on October 1 of last year, mere days before Congress passed the legislation that has come to be known as TARP, and a bit more than three months after Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid promised to starve the economy of energy and punitively tax its highest producers, creating what I have since called the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy.

Through March, federal receipts were running 14% behind the previous year. Each month during the fiscal year has trailed the previous year, and degree of the difference has steadily increased.

Now look at what we're facing in April:

My estimate of April's final result is almost 40% lower than April 2008, and further ratchets down the trend of collections decay that goes back to last summer. The receipts shortfall is far more than one would expect from an economy that shrank only 1.74% in the final half of last year (without annualization, the economy shrank 0.125% in the third quarter, and 1.614% in the fourth). It is also probably far greater than the White House and the Congressional Budget Office are anticipating. [link]
Down 38.6% this month? Is that even possible?

If these numbers hold, the fiscal deficit (between outlays and revenue) for 2009 will be far worse than any experts imagined.

Expect to hear Bush's name mentioned a lot in coming months.

But this is Obama's doing. Pig and lipstick notwithstanding.

When It Rains ...

What's this? I thought the "stimulus" bill was a "big transportation bill":
Congress gears up for big transportation bill
By Joan Lowy, Associated Press

Washington -- A House committee chairman wants to spend close to a half trillion dollars to solve the nation's transportation woes, but first he has to sell the public on what they'll get for their money before asking Congress to pay for it.

Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told reporters Friday he plans to introduce a six-year highway and transit construction bill some time in May and win swift House passage. The House likely will consider the gargantuan bill in early June. [link]

Another gargantuan bill.

We can't afford all these gargantuan bills.

How Difficult Was This Decision?

If there was ever a no-brainer:
Petraeus: Shippers should consider armed guards
By Lara Jakes, Associated Press

Washington -- The global shipping industry should consider placing armed guards on its boats to ward off pirates who have become increasingly violent, the U.S. military commander who oversees the African coastline said Friday.

Gen. David Petraeus, who came to the Capitol to talk about a wide variety of issues, told a House committee Friday that just trying to outrun or block pirates from boarding cargo ships isn't enough to deter sea bandits off the Somali coast who are becoming more aggressive. [link]
Duh.

Why We Have Weblogs

Congress doesn't want you to know the truth about "global warming." The press is a willing accomplice in their scheming and duplicity. So you have to get news like this from the planet's weblogs:
Report: Democrats Refuse to Allow Skeptic to Testify Alongside Gore At Congressional Hearing
By Marc Morano, Climate Depot

Washington, DC -- UK's Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, claimed House Democrats have refused to allow him to appear alongside former Vice President Al Gore at a high profile global warming hearing on Friday April 24, 2009 at 10am in Washington. Monckton told Climate Depot that the Democrats rescinded his scheduled joint appearance at the House Energy and Commerce hearing on Friday.

“The House Democrats don't want Gore humiliated, so they slammed the door of the Capitol in my face,” Monckton told Climate Depot in an exclusive interview. “They are cowards.”

“Waxman knows there has been no 'global warming' for at least a decade. Waxman knows there has been seven and a half years' global cooling. Waxman knows that, in the words of the UK High Court judge who condemned Gore's mawkish movie as materially, seriously, serially inaccurate, 'the Armageddon scenario that he depicts is not based on any scientific view,'” Monckton explained. [link]
What are these cowards so afraid of? Global warming is a fact, right?

Or perhaps ...

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Don't Get The Mindset

When the economy was humming along, did the Roanoke Times editorial team advocate for a balanced budget? I'm trying to remember. Hmm.

Well, today the boys at the Times do.

"Washington needs to worry about balancing the budget ..."

Oh, but there's a qualifier:

"... but that will take years and a healthier economy."

Yeah. We'll worry about saddling each of our grandchildren with $100,000 in federal debt, the collapse of the dollar, and hyperinflation ... another day.

My guess is we won't be seeing these fellas at a Tea Party rally any time soon.

All Things Are Relative

So let's see.

The current rate of inflation, annualized, is hovering right around negative 0.10% so far this year.

In 2007, the most recent year for which numbers are available, the median annual household income rose 1.3%.

So what's wrong with this picture?
Va. Tech, Radford tuition increases relatively modest
By Greg Esposito, Roanoke Times

Virginia Tech and Radford University passed relatively modest tuition increases Thursday, thanks in part to federal stimulus money designed to hold down costs of in-state students.

The executive committee of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors voted to increase tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates by 5 percent next year, the lowest percentage tuition and fee raise at the university since 2002.

Tuition and fees at Radford will go up 5.6 percent next year for in-state undergraduates. [link]
Bankruptcies. Unemployment. Mortgage foreclosures. 401K's obliterated. Life savings vanished. Stocks in the toilet.

And a 5% (or 5.6%) increase in tuition is "modest"?

What would be considered draconian?

McAuliffe Created Jobs?

In a dreary "debate" yesterday before a throng of union members - a "debate" between the three Democrat gubernatorial hopefuls (shouldn't a debate necessarily involve differences of opinions?) - the Washington Post has this about former Clinton hatchet man Terry McAuliffe:

"McAuliffe brought some teachers to their feet with his cry to create new jobs that would generate tax revenue for schools. As a businessman, McAuliffe said, he knows how to create jobs."

Well, I don't know if the former "businessman" has ever created jobs, but I do know he knows how to create wealth. For himself.

A trip down memory lane:
DNC Chair Caught in Global Crossing Scandal
Judicial Watch

So why has the Democratic Party’s most spotlight hungry mouthpiece faded from view? Two words. Global Crossing.

While the SEC and FBI begin to probe the questionable accounting practices of telecommunications giant Global Crossing, Ltd., which went belly up on January 28, Judicial Watch has launched a full investigation into Terry McAuliffe’s ties to the company.

In what is an unprecedented case of political profiteering, McAuliffe turned a $100,000 initial investment in the company into $18 million in less than a year and a half—a nifty 18,000% profit. According to the New York Times, McAuliffe made millions more trading the stock and options after the company went public in 1998.

But McAuliffe’s shady ties to the company go beyond his questionable investment windfall. According to the press reports, McAuliffe also did “political work” for Global Crossing CEO Gary Winnick, working out of an office in downtown Washington owned by Winnick. On one occasion, McAuliffe set up a golf outing for Winnick and then-President Clinton. Winnick would later give a million dollars to Clinton’s presidential library. The question is: what did he and Global Crossing receive in return?

Like Enron, Global Crossing had artificially inflated its stock price while executives engaged in massive stock selling in the year leading up to filing for bankruptcy. While Global brass made billions, employees lost their life’s savings as their 401(k) retirement plans were casualties in the Chapter 11 filing. [link]
Shady backroom deals. Self-aggrandizement. Riches. Power.

The Democratic nomination?

Seems likely.

Don't be so glum, you Democrats. At least he hasn't raped anyone. Except the employees of Global Crossing that is, who all lost their jobs.

Now, what was that about "job creation" again?

A Humble Opinion

Well, okay:

Campbell Wants Out If Redskins Draft QB

Campbell should be out. And the Redskins should draft a QB.

Don't let the door ...

They're Not Really Serious

From CBS News:

Obama Earth Day Flights Burned More Than 9,000 Gallons Of Fuel

Wasn't that supposed to be about protecting the environment? Guess not.

You can tell that Obama took a lesson from Crazy Al Gore on how to save the planet, one carbon-spewing plane jaunt at a time.

- - -

Oh, and it was colder than heck and snowing like crazy as I drove into West Virginia Wednesday morning. The end of April. Global Warming Day.

Just As I Suspected

I wrote a few days ago about a story appearing in the New York Times having to do with espionage and California Congressperson Jane Harmon. The story stunk to high heaven. I quote myself:
I'm trying to figure out what the motive is behind the New York Times printing this as if it's some kind of shocking exposé.

...
Ms. Harmon did (allegedly) what congresspersons do. She (allegedly) offered to lend a hand and asked for support in return. Beyond that, you'll note the two men around which the story is built - Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman - are not charged with sharing state secrets; they're charged with sharing "with colleagues, journalists and Israeli Embassy officials information about Iran and Iraq they had learned from talking to high-level United States policy makers." They talked openly - Shocker! - to government officials and passed along some of that which they were told. Where's the crime?

This story smells of ulterior motives.
I'm not alone in finding this whole thing to be too contrived by half. David Frum:
The real Jane Harman scandal

Sometimes in Washington, what is most scandalous is the attempt to create a scandal where none exists.

Let me give you a current example.

Maybe you’ve heard about an allegation of scandal against Jane Harman, the California Democrat who served with great distinction on the House Select Committee on Intelligence until Nancy Pelosi gave her the heave-ho.

The story is almost insanely complicated. But the deeper you delve into the details, the more you see that if there is any wrongdoing in the case, it was done by Harman’s accusers.

In fact, this whole bundle of stories is one in which the designated targets of outrage are those who have behaved well—while those who behaved badly escape entirely. [link]
Always be wary when reading anything in the national press. It's often not what it seems to be.

Democrats Are Good For Business

Well, a business that might go the way of the cigarette business, that is, with the specter of ammunition being taxed through the ceiling (taxed by the guy who says he has lowered taxes for 95% of us non-smokers).

Obama says he supports the 2nd Amendment. The American people know what that means: Time to load up. Unfortunately ...

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
ANSWERS TO AMMUNITION AVAILABILITY QUESTIONS

NSSF has received numerous calls regarding shortages of ammunition. Many of these callers have expressed concern that the supply of ammunition is not able to keep up with the current demand.

In order to provide the best information possible on the issue of ammunition availability, NSSF interviewed ammunition manufacturers across the United States. Here's what we have learned:

Is there truly a shortage of ammunition?

The shortage of ammunition is real and is caused by several factors including:

  • A significant spike in consumer demand

  • Law Enforcement demand for training and readiness

  • Department of Defense demand for training and readiness

  • Higher prices from commodities

What calibers are in the highest demand?

The high demand for ammunition extends across caliber lines. The increase can be seen in most handgun, rifle and rimfire ammunition and on certain shot shell products such as buckshot.

What are manufacturers doing to keep up with demand?

In order to help keep up with demand for ammunition, manufacturers are working at full capacity (24/7). It is believed that any ammunition shortage is likely a temporary issue; however, it will take time for supply to catch up with demand.

How long will it take for supply to catch up with demand?

While it is believed that supply will be increasing, the great unknown is what demand will be later in the year. Since there is no way for manufacturers to predict how long consumer demand will be sustained at its current, unprecedented level, it is impossible for manufacturers to forecast the timeline for when the current backlog will begin to improve.

Buy 'em if you can get 'em. Obama is not your friend and they may soon be worth their weight in gold. Literally.



Boucher's Constituents Speak

Received via email:
With unemployment rising, oppressive tax burdens just around the corner, that stupid and silly cap and trade ready to be implemented, old roads and schools crumbling with new ones needed, this is what our caring and compassionate congressman thinks some of the poorest people in his district should focus on and be concerned with this week.

From today's (4-22-09) issue of the Dickenson Star [link requires paid subscription]:

Do Your Part to 'Keep America Beautiful'

By Rick Boucher, U.S. Congress

The month of April has been designated as a special time to encourage Americans to take greater responsibility for improving their local community environments. Keep America Beautiful Month is a great time for Southwest Virginians to volunteer in ways which will enhance the physical treasures found ... [blah blah blah]
Suppose he even remembers what conditions are like down here in Southwest Virginia?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why?

I'm now wondering who's advising gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

No. Scratch that.

I'm wondering if anyone is advising gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

It would certainly seem not.

In this bastion of conservatism we call Southwest Virginia the incredibly unctuous Democrat that even most Democrats don't want to be around decides he's going to bring the least admired political figure in modern history with him here to win votes?

Someone needs to get a hold of this boy and tell him what Southwest Virginia is all about. Arlington it ain't. Character still counts for something here.

And bringing a lying, conniving rapist here is not acceptable.

Nor is it all that bright:
Clinton to join McAuliffe in Roanoke
By Michael Sluss, Roanoke Times

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe will bring former President Clinton to Roanoke next week, the first time Clinton will campaign with his longtime friend and former fundraiser.

Clinton will appear at public events with McAuliffe on Monday in Roanoke and Richmond. McAuliffe's campaign will release additional details about the visits in the coming days.

McAuliffe, who lives in McLean, is one of three Democrats seeking the party's nomination for governor in a June 9 primary, competing with state Sen. Creigh Deeds of Bath County and former state Del. Brian Moran of Alexandria.

"We're thrilled to have President Clinton join Terry on the campaign trail," McAuliffe campaign manager Mike Henry said in a statement. [link]

So you know, it is this same campaign manager Mike Henry who, as deputy campaign manager for another candidate a year ago, helped Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination for the presidency and saw her sweep to victory in November.

With his kind of help, and with boneheaded moves like this - the despised Bill Clinton campaigning for votes in conservative Southwest Virginia!? - McAuliffe is assured of the same kind of success that Hillary achieved.

A word of advice: Find Plan B.

Ah, Yes. Consistency.

A reader emailed me a link to a Roanoke Times editorial from yesterday that has him somewhat perplexed.

Here's a snippet from that editorial:
Recessions bring painful decisions

Roanoke council must resist the temptation to raise taxes or raid the emergency fund.

Every dollar has a constituency. Roanoke City Council should remember that as it logs complaints received about the $7.5 million in budget cuts.

Already, some council members are having second thoughts. It's only natural to feel remorse when programs that people rely on are mothballed, especially the library's bookmobile that serves shut-ins and the swimming pools that give children from poorer neighborhoods relief from summer's heat and boredom.

[An] option is for council to raise the meals or lodging taxes. A 1 percent increase in the meals tax would bring about $2 million in revenue. While just a penny on a dollar would be tacked onto restaurant checks, the raise -- during a time when people are cutting back -- could prove a psychological barrier and cause harm to struggling businesses. [link]
The reader comments:

"The Democrat controlled Roanoke City Council did the courageous thing by reducing government services and holding the line on tax increases during slow economic times. However, the Republican lead House of Delegates is cowardly and obstructionist for refusing to increase the gas tax, sales tax, cigarette tax, or any other tax during the same economic conditions. Now where did I put that psychologist's number?"

It won't help. I'm afraid they are a lost cause, my friend.

This Is No Way To Run a Country

As time goes by, it appears more and more obvious that we are going to be exposed to a political tactic we haven't seen in decades. The Obama administration creates the bogeyman and the press runs with it.

Bear witness: We have recently gone from from vilifying AIG executives a few short weeks ago to reviling former Justice Department officials today.

They should be called on it. It's a despicable strategy worthy of a James Carville but not of an American president who came into office telling us that he was going to unite the country, not further divide it.

Investor's Business Daily on the latest attempt to distract the American people from this administration's bumbling:
Prosecuting Heroes
editorial

The Justice Department may launch a witch hunt against those who organized the enhanced interrogation of terrorists. That's no way to treat people who saved so many lives.

The American public has just seen how policy based on campaign rhetoric can come crashing into the reality of a successful past policy.

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, as a retired admiral who commanded the Navy in the Pacific and served on the White House's National Security Council, must be smarter than his recent statements make him out to be.

In a private memo to spy agency employees last week, made public by Blair this week, he conceded that "high value information" was obtained by the enhanced interrogation techniques the Bush administration authorized the CIA to use on terrorist detainees.

They gave "a deeper understanding of the al-Qaida network," according to President Obama's choice to oversee America's network of 16 intelligence agencies.

Meanwhile, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., has released a report claiming that CIA and Pentagon officials prepared groundwork for the enhanced techniques before receiving a legal OK — as if being prepared to help protect the nation constitutes a smoking gun.

Levin contends they "bear significant responsibility for creating the legal and operational framework for the abuses."

Far from abuse, they were serving the nation more than the average senator. All those involved in this program are owed a debt of gratitude from all of us. [link]

Today they go after the heroes who saved American lives by using aggressive interrogation techniques on terrorists.

Tomorrow Obama goes after soldiers in the field who used aggressive military techniques to subdue a merciless terror foe while engaged in battle.

To McCain political strategists who advocated dilusory campaign advertising.

To fatcat doctors.

To fatcat pharmaceutical executives.

To global warming skeptics.

To anyone who disagrees with him ...

Boo. Hoo.

The lesson to be learned here:

There just aren't enough lesbians or loons in this country to keep a lesbian loon's ranting - and excruciatingly trite - TV show from going into the tank:
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow suffers big audience loss
By David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun

MSNBC show host Rachel Maddow has suffered some steep audience erosion in recent months, down more than 40 percent in viewership from her peak last fall during the election.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Maddow's audience has gone from a high of 1.9 million viewers in the fall to just over 1.1 million in March. That's a big drop.

"I think Rachel is a rock star," Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, told the Times.

That's one of the problems with MSNBC: It's looking for "rock stars" instead of journalists or analysts to host its shows. If a rock star's CD sales dropped by 44 percent, believe me, the record company would be worried. [link]

To be fair to Ms. Maddow, this debacle can't be foisted onto her shoulders entirely. MSNBC as a whole has tanked in recent years. She's just one of many hosts appearing on the far-leftist cable channel to see her viewer ratings go into the toilet.

Still, with all the hype that accompanied her grand entrance into cable talk, there is some sweet justice to be found in this news.

How's Hannity doing, by the way?

Nope. No Irony Here.

From a New York Times editorial a while back ("Another Coke Classic"):
Coke, America's most iconic brand, no longer seems to be it, or even the real thing. It isn't just Coca-Cola's lackluster performance that is worrisome. After all the attention placed on corporate governance in the post-Enron world, this blue-chip company's blue-chip board has become a weak guardian of shareholder interests. The board does not seem to have noticed that doling out tens of millions of shareholder dollars for mediocre results is no longer in vogue.
Biting.

Uh, wait.

It seems that same New York Times's top management doesn't read its own editorial page and hasn't gotten the message either:
Bonuses To New York Times Execs Under Fire
By Thomas B. Edsall, Huffington Post

At a time when New York Times managers are forcing all employees to take a five percent pay cut, and demanding even larger sacrifices from the NYT-owned Boston Globe, top executives of the beleaguered newspaper received substantial bonus and fringe benefit payments over and above their salaries, according to a proxy statement released on March 11.

These bonuses and benefits to top Times company executives have provoked growing resentment among Times staffers, and frank anger from Globe reporters who have been warned by Times executives that their paper will be folded if they do not come up with $20 million in pay cuts and layoffs.

According to the New York Times proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, corporate president and CEO Janet L. Robinson received a total compensation package valued at $5.58 million in 2008, up well over a million from the $4.14 million she received in 2007, and the $4.4 million she received in 2006.

A number of NYT staffers contacted said that there was considerably more resentment voiced on the newsroom floor, and in newspaper guild meetings, about Robinson's pay than about compensation awarded to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the NYT board chairman and publisher.

One NY Times reporter described the empathy for Sulzberger and the antipathy toward Robinson as follows: "Arthur [and his family] own the paper, but no one expects him to be a businessman. Janet was hired to be the CEO, she should know [how to run the business]." [link]
So. Is that which the New York Times considers good for Coke not good for the New York Times?

I think we all know the answer ...

Another Janet Reno?

The mainstream press gave Bill Clinton's pathetic and bumbling attorney general a pass for all those years she bounced off the walls at the Justice Department.

The question is: Will that same fawning press give our new Homeland Security Secretary a similar pass?

You'd think this would make it into American newspapers:
The border for dummies
National Post editorial

Can someone please tell us how U. S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano got her job? She appears to be about as knowledgeable about border issues as a late-night radio call-in yahoo.

In an interview broadcast Monday on the CBC, Ms. Napolitano attempted to justify her call for stricter border security on the premise that "suspected or known terrorists" have entered the U. S. across the Canadian border, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack.

All the 9/11 terrorists, of course, entered the United States directly from overseas. The notion that some arrived via Canada is a myth that briefly popped up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and was then quickly debunked.

Informed of her error, Ms. Napolitano blustered: "I can't talk to that. I can talk about the future. And here's the future. The future is we have borders."

Just what does that mean, exactly? [link]
Trying to decipher a government official's ramblings.

It's déjà vu all over again.

And the mainstream press?

Not one word.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Those Abingdon Segways

I've had a couple of posts recently that have touched on the subject of those Segway "vehicles" that the town of Abingdon has purchased. It's an effort, we're told, for the town to "go green." A photo crossed my desk yesterday of one of them in action at the recent Abingdon Tea Party:

According to a town official, the purchase is "part of Abingdon’s effort to be environmentally responsible and reduce its carbon footprint."

I wonder.

It would be worth some Bristol Herald Courier investigative reporter's time (I have a life; I don't have the time) to ask the good officials there if this purchase (along with that of a battery powered Volkswagen) actually replaced any gasoline powered vehicles or they are simply an addition to the fleet. If the town has the same number of squad cars in its police department, are the Segways really reducing anything?

Or are they just toys?

Or did they replace a couple of bicycles?

Or is this a feel-good effort that ultimately has no measurable effect on that carbon footprint that the town is supposedly trying to reduce.

Just asking.

The proof will be in the amount of gasoline (and diesel) that the town is consuming now (a very measurable piece of datum) as opposed to the period before the purchase.

This being government, I have my guess ...

Click on the image to enlarge it.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

The Roanoke Times has an interesting map that plots the locations of (some) of the many companies that have laid off or furloughed employees here in Southwest Virginia (and in part of Southside) ... since October.

3300 in all.

"With many more likely to follow."

See: Map: Layoffs in Southwest Virginia

As if we needed more of this ...

As You Would Expect ...

It's not in the Rust Belt.

And it's not union organized.

One Town’s Rare Ray of Hope: New Auto Plant

But it is in the good old USA.

Here's to Kia and the state of Georgia.

The 'Assault Weapons' Ban Debate ...

... like the misguided "gun show loophole" debate ...

... isn't at all what it appears to be.

Just ask those who are pushing both bans.

If This Is Change, Count Me Out

Every Democrat politician in the country, from Kaine to Obama, is now touting efforts to create and cultivate "green jobs." Of course, none of them have a clue as to what that really means. But it sounds good.

Now four university researchers have put together the data that revolves around this rather nebulous subject and have reached some startling preliminary conclusions.

Ready to have your bubble burst?

Here's their analysis (see "Green Jobs Myths"):
Myth: Everyone understands what a green job is.

Reality: No standard definition of a green job exists.

Myth: Creating green jobs will boost productive employment.

Reality: Green jobs estimates include huge numbers of clerical, bureaucratic, and administrative positions that do not produce goods and services for consumption.

Myth: Green jobs forecasts are reliable.

Reality: The green jobs studies made estimates using poor economic models based on dubious assumptions.

Myth: Green jobs promote employment growth.

Reality: By promoting more jobs instead of more productivity, the green jobs described in the literature encourage low-paying jobs in less desirable conditions. Economic growth cannot be ordered by Congress or by the United Nations. Government interference - such as restricting successful technologies in favor of speculative technologies favored by special interests - will generate stagnation.

Myth: The world economy can be remade by reducing trade and relying on local production and reduced consumption without dramatically decreasing our standard of living.

Reality: History shows that nations cannot produce everything their citizens need or desire. People and firms have talents that allow specialization that make goods and services ever more efficient and lower-cost, thereby enriching society.

Myth: Government mandates are a substitute for free markets.

Reality: Companies react more swiftly and efficiently to the demands of their customers and markets, than to cumbersome government mandates.

Myth: Imposing technological progress by regulation is desirable.

Reality: Some technologies preferred by the green jobs studies are not capable of efficiently reaching the scale necessary to meet today's demands and could be counterproductive to environmental quality.
For the details, go to the abstract to be found here.

In two words: Snake oil.

Thought For The Day

From Glenn Reynolds:
GOOD QUESTION: Why is it okay for Obama to oppose gay marriage, but not okay for Miss California to? “I didn’t hear the outrage when Joe Biden said that he and Barack Obama are against gay marriage. No incendiary language, no insults, no four letter obscenities.” Because people figure they’re lying, so it’s okay.
"People figure they’re lying, so it’s okay." Odd, isn't it? Nobody - including his die-hard supporters around the country - believes Obama is telling the truth about his opposition to gay marriage. Yet they lend their undying support to him anyway.

Me? I prefer that my heroes be honest and forthright. Call me old-fashioned.

You know, this says something about the other side. But I'll let you think it through.

I Knew There Was Something Different About Him

Can You Tell They're Frightened?

You've seen all the photos. You know what went on at the many Tea Party rallies around the country. That being understood, is this guy completely detached from reality or what?

New Hampshire Democratic Party Head: Tax Protesters an ‘Unhinged Mob’

It must have been the singing of the National Anthem that set him off.

Can You Tell They're Frightened? II

From Mary Kate Cary, US News blog:
Democrats Hysterical Over Tea Party Republicans

Why is the left so angry? It's a question posed by columnist Byron York today, and he's got a great point. With control of House, Senate, and White House, you'd think they'd be sitting on top of the world. Instead, they lash out in anger. York writes:

"If you doubt it, just watch a few minutes of MSNBC, where the recent nationwide series of 'tea parties' to protest federal spending and taxes set off an angry, almost manic response. The most telling came on Keith Olbermann's program, during which the actress Janeane Garofalo, who plays an FBI computer geek on '24,' denounced the tea parties as 'racism straight up.'

'Let's be very honest about what this is about,' Garofalo said. 'It's not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes...This is about hating a black man in the White House.'

Was she watching the same tea parties the rest of us were?

Similarly, longtime Democratic adviser Robert Shrum wrote in The Week about the tea parties, in a diatribe that seems to border on hysteria. Calling the tea parties 'insubstantial,' "incoherent," 'hate-filled,' and 'paranoia on parade,' Shrum compares those protesting Obama's tax-and-spend policies to those who supported McCarthyism, anti-Catholicism, and even those who distributed leaflets on the day of Kennedy's assassination accusing him of being a communist. He also throws in references to anti-Muslim rhetoric, swastikas, and rising gun sales as well. Clearly he doesn't think these protests were "insubstantial," or he wouldn't feel so threatened by them.

Isn't that what's going on here—that those who have a stake in a bigger government, higher taxes, and higher spending might feel threatened by what they saw last week?
I think she hit the nail on the head.

Come to think of it, they have a good reason to be fearful, if not deranged.

We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph Gets It Right!

Why couldn't any of the big rags around the country grasp that which the good folks at Bluefield's teeny little paper were able to make of the Tea Party rallies that took place around the country last week?
Tea parties
Bluefield Daily Telegraph editorial

Tens of thousands of protesters staged anti-tax tea parties around the country last week — including gatherings in Charleston and Beckley — to express their frustration over taxes, government spending, federal bailouts and the bad economy in general.

For the most part, the rallies were peaceful — and welcomed. It is always good to see such public participation. More importantly, it is good to know that citizens are taking a keen interest in the actions of the federal government.

Many are concerned — and rightfully concerned — by what appears to be a new era of unprecedented government spending and corporate bailouts. [link]

Unlike those who see the movement as being only about taxes, or about the disaffected Republicans among us, or about neo-nazis, or about sinister corporate forces at work behind the scenes to ruin that which Obama is attempting to build, or about skinheads, or about rednecks, the Daily Telegraph understands that the Tea Party revolution is about regular American citizens rallying against our reckless government being out of touch with the people and in opposition to our politicial leaders doing things that will ultimately destroy our country.

It goes beyond taxes. It's about our very way of life.

Thanks, Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

Good Stuff

Words Well Writ. In this morning's Roanoke Times:
Through the power of his rhetoric, Martin Luther King Jr. led not only his people, black people, out of the invisible bondage forged by America's Jim Crow laws, but his nation onto a path toward racial reconciliation.

So it is dismaying to learn the family of the slain civil-rights leader is charging licensing fees to a foundation for use of his image and words in its fundraising campaign to build a memorial to King on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The honor is well deserved, but tarnished by heirs who over the years have cashed in on the man's achievements.

The memorial's themes, according to the foundation's Web site, will be "the Man, the Movement and the Message." To which, sadly, the family might add, "the Money." [link] [my emphasis]

Well done. This actually rises to the level of "From On High." A welcome change from the past.

Does the Times have a new editorial writer?

Consider My Conscience Shocked

The Washington Post offers up what has to be its 80th editorial on the practice of waterboarding this morning. See "Shocking the Conscience."

I chuckled throughout.

My only question is: With the excellent results obtained, why isn't waterboarding used more routinely on those terrorists who have vowed to slaughter us all?

Oh, yeah. It's "torture."

So how many of these assholes died or were maimed or disfigured?

0.

How many were made to feel uncomfortable?

Not nearly enough.

Torture. Gimme a break.

Who's Side Is He On?

Lest everyone - including the Commander-in-Chief - forgets, we have men and women in harm's way this morning, fighting to protect the country they love. In coming days, heartrending news will reach us of the deaths of some of them in combat in either Afghanistan or Iraq. Yet they persevere. Heroes all.

Knowing that, am I the only person who was outraged by the fact that Obama sat on his hands and did nothing to defend his country - our country - as foreign dictators attacked us at that meeting in Trinidad last week?

Is there no circumstance that he might confront in which this guy will defend the country he is sworn to protect? Is he on our side?

Our best and brightest are giving their last full measure for us. For the U.S. Their commander didn't lift the first finger.

What's wrong with this picture?

Hmmm

I'm trying to figure out what the motive is behind the New York Times printing this as if it's some kind of shocking exposé:
Lawmaker Is Said to Have Agreed to Aid Lobbyists
By Neil A. Lewis and Mark Mazzetti, New York Times

Washington — One of the leading House Democrats on intelligence matters was overheard on telephone calls intercepted by the National Security Agency agreeing to seek lenient treatment from the Bush administration for two pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage, current and former government officials say.

The lawmaker, Representative Jane Harman of California, became the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee after the 2002 election and had ambitions to be its chairwoman when the party gained control of the House in 2006. One official who has seen transcripts of several wiretapped calls said she appeared to agree to intercede in exchange for help in persuading party leaders to give her the powerful post.

It is unclear when this conversation was supposed to have taken place, but [Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman] were fired from Aipac in March 2005 and indicted a few weeks later. They were charged with violating the World War I-era Espionage Act when they shared with colleagues, journalists and Israeli Embassy officials information about Iran and Iraq they had learned from talking to high-level United States policy makers. [link]
This is unusual in that the person being skewered here is a Democrat. A high ranking Democrat to boot. And the Times, as a rule, never goes after Democrats.

But more importantly, Ms. Harmon did (allegedly) what congresspersons do. She (allegedly) offered to lend a hand and asked for support in return. Beyond that, you'll note the two men around which the story is built - Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman - are not charged with sharing state secrets; they're charged with sharing "with colleagues, journalists and Israeli Embassy officials information about Iran and Iraq they had learned from talking to high-level United States policy makers." They talked openly - Shocker! - to government officials and passed along some of that which they were told. Where's the crime?

This story smells of ulterior motives. Somehow I'm getting the impression that Ms. Harmon has whizzed in someone's Wheaties at the Times and he or she doesn't like it one bit.

Odd.

Obama's Balanced Budget Effort Is a Joke

Did he think this was going to be received well by the American people?
Obama demands 0.0029% budget cut after running up spending
By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air

How can Barack Obama demonstrate his fiscal-responsibility creds after pushing through Porkulus, a pork-filled omnibus spending plan, and a $3.5 trillion budget that far outstrips even the last spending plan from the Democratic-controlled Congress? Demand a big reduction in spending through budget cuts at federal agencies. Obama has done just that — with cuts that amount to a whopping 0.0029% of the budget ...

The cuts that Obama proposes don’t even amount to 1% of the pork Obama signed into law last month in the omnibus spending bill.

This is an insult to the intelligence of fiscal conservatives. If Obama wanted to demonstrate some fiscal responsibility, he could enforce the George Bush executive order instructing federal agencies to ignore pork line items in their budgets. Better yet, he could have honored his campaign promise by vetoing the pork-filled omnibus spending bill, let alone refrained from leaping into the discredited statist spending policies that have been the hallmark of his administration thus far. [link]
To put it in terms Democrats might be able to grasp:
It's an insult.

Put In Different Terms

Harvard Professor Greg Mankiw on Obama's effort to make people believe he's not proposing an enraging budget plan of $3,500,000,000,000 for the coming year (see "Obama To Order $100 million in Budget Cuts") :
Just to be clear: $100 million represents .003 percent of $3.5 trillion.

To put those numbers in perspective, imagine that the head of a household with annual spending of $100,000 called everyone in the family together to deal with a $34,000 budget shortfall. How much would he or she announce that spending had to be cut? By $3 over the course of the year--approximately the cost of one latte at Starbucks. The other $33,997? We can put that on the family credit card and worry about it next year.
Three bucks.

Obama is certainly changing government as we know it. It's now become a complete laughingstock.

The Great Divide - There's Them & Us

Senator's husband cashes in on crisis

Monday, April 20, 2009

You Ask, I Answer

The subject came up yesterday in a blog post about the town of Abingdon having a couple of police officers show up at the Tea Party rally held there last Wednesday on Segways. See photo to the right.

It turns out, those Segways are one piece of an effort on the part of the town to "go green."
Va. town wants to set green example
Associated Press

Abongdon, Va. (AP) -- Abingdon officials are working to reduce the town's carbon footprint and to set a green example for others to follow.

As part of that effort, the town has acquired an electric car for its information technology department.

Information Technology director Floyd Bailey says the VerdeGo [a Volkswagen conversion] produces no emissions and no noise. It cost about $15,000 and is about the size of a tall picnic table.

Abingdon also has acquired two Segway battery-powered scooters. Town Manager Greg Kelly says the town may purchase two more Segways and a second electric car. [link]

Now, you're probably wondering how an officer of the law is supposed to hop on one of these little doohickies and pursue a scofflaw who happens to be speeding down the street at 75 miles an hour in a 225 horse 5.0 liter Mustang.

No worries. Abingdon has no crime or criminals.

Which makes one then wonder ...

One By One, They Leave Us

But what a wondrous record of accomplishment our exalted heroes of World War II have left behind:
Last surviving WWII "Bedford Boy" Elisha Ray Nance dies at 94
By Courtney Cutright, Roanoke Times

Elisha Ray Nance died at the Elks National Home in Bedford on Sunday, less than two months before the 65th anniversary of D-Day.

Nance, 94, was the last surviving officer of Company A and the last surviving Bedford Boy. He was one of 34 servicemen from the Bedford area who landed on the beaches of Nazi-held France during World War II in the first waves of the largest land, air and sea invasion in military history.

On June 6, 1944, 19 of the 34 Bedford men in Company A of the 116th Infantry were killed on Omaha Beach. The death toll is considered one of the largest per capita suffered by any American community during the invasion, a fact instrumental in establishing the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford.

Nance and the other Bedford Boys were members of the Virginia National Guard. The young men joined the Guard to earn an extra dollar during the years after the Great Depression. Before D-Day, none of the Boys had seen combat. [link]
Yon marble minstrel's voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell,
When many a vanquished ago has flown,
The story how ye fell;
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter's blight,
Nor time's remorseless doom,
Can dim one ray of glory's light
That gilds your deathless tomb.