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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

These Guys Crack Me Up

I wonder if they realize how silly they come across:
Climate change alters behaviour of wild animals
By Abiud Ochieng', Business Daily

Animals are becoming bolder and more violent as the effects of climate change take their toll on them.

Hippopotamus have been witnessed eating fruits on farms such as pawpaws and bananas, while elephants have become more violent.

Dr Judith Nyunja, a senior scientist at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), said some animals were altering their behaviour to adapt to the changing climate.

She said that up to 35 per cent of birds, 52 per cent of amphibians and 71 per cent of reef-building corals were threatened by climate change. [link]
Too funny.

Here We Go Again

Some little twerp with time on his hands is causing a big stir on the Virginia Tech campus.  Someone call the Diversity Police!
Threatening graffiti found at Tech
By Shawna Morrison, Roanoke Times

Virginia Tech police are investigating a rash of vandalism containing racial slurs in university buildings.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court, the vandalism began appearing Aug. 17.

Inside McBryde Hall, Johnston Student Center, Major Williams Hall and Engel Hall, racial slurs and swastikas were found as well as the phrase "A Cho reborn, it will be avenged," an apparent reference to student Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 students and faculty members before killing himself on April 16, 2007.

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said the vandalism was found on bathroom walls except in one case. In Randolph Hall, threats to blow up the building were found written on a desk, according to the affidavit.

The vandalism began after an upset student left Cook Counseling Center on Aug. 12, according to the affidavit. A slur directed at center Director Chris Flynn was found in a bathroom that afternoon.

It was determined that the same student has classes in all the vandalized buildings except Engel Hall, the affidavit said. [link]
So paddle him, kick him out, and get on with business.

This Is The Commander of Our Armed Forces?

Where's Hillary when we need her?  This dude needs some coaching on the fundamentals of leadership:
Gibbs Explains Why the President Has Only Talked to General McChrystal Once in 10 Weeks
By ABC’s Jordyn Phelps

The White House today pressed back against speculations that General Stanley McChrystal is not highly influential in guiding the President’s Afghanistan policy decisions.

General Stanley McChrystal signaled that his consultations with President Obama on Afghanistan have been limited in a 60 Minutes interview Sunday.

“I’ve talked to the president, since I’ve been here, once,” McChrystal said.

David Martin, the CBS reporter who interviewed McChrystal followed up by asking, “You’ve talked to him once in 70 days?”

“That is correct,” McChrystal answered.

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs in a briefing Tuesday dispelled speculations that the President isn’t consulting with the general.

“The president receives a memo every week from General McChrystal,” Gibbs said. [link]
A memo a week?

For God's sake, the New York Times at least gets a daily briefing.  Does that mean that Pinch Sulzberger is capable and qualified to order men and women into battle?  Is this Obama guy for real?

American lives are at stake and he is getting a weekly memo about evolving circumstances on the ground.

How utterly wrong.

Headline of the Day

Iran responds to west’s sanctions threat by, um, test-firing nuclear-capable missiles

Ahmadinejad sits back and laughs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We Need More Prisons

And we need to fill them with people like these:
Program provides little help for soldiers
By Joseph Neff, Raleigh News and Observer

In 2004, U.S. Rep. David Price inserted a $10 million program into the federal budget, sending the money to UNC-Chapel Hill for a new effort to help deployed soldiers of the National Guard and Army Reserves.

Five years later, the Citizen Soldier Support Program has spent $7.3 million, but the money has accomplished little for the people it was supposed to help. One-quarter of the money has gone to the university for overhead, and a large part of the rest has been spent on well-paid consultants, six-figure salaries and travel.

Half of the eight full-time employees are paid more than $100,000 a year, including a deputy director who has been reimbursed $76,000 for food, travel and lodging when she commutes from her home in northern Virginia to North Carolina. [link]
Money provided to help the families of soldiers deployed to the war front goes instead to maintain fundraisers' lifestyles.

My God.

Global Warming Fraud?

Well, this would lead one to believe that the best known study on the subject - one that Al Gore relied on extensively to make his case - is heavily steeped in statistical manipulation.

Not a confidence builder, fellas.

In The Battle Of Political Ads ...

... whose is more effective?


Three points:

1) Views held a quarter century ago on social issues are a talking point, not the cornerstone of a campaign.

2) Taxes are now. Taxes bite (most) everyone.

3) "Pictures speak a thousand words."  Deeds looks "Dazed and Confused."  McDonnell looks intense.  Surely there's a photo out there of him picking his nose or something.

What genius is running the Deeds campaign?

Headline Of The Day

Iran smolders, Afghanistan burns, and Obama heads to...Denmark

Headline Of The Day - Runner Up

Celebrities, diplomats unite behind convicted child-raping degenerate

Quote of the Day

From a stripper at Club Velvet in Richmond, which is under attack for hanging a banner outside its establishment that depicts Barack Obama as "The Joker":


"Mr. Moore would like to say that anyone who believes that his banner is racist is an ignoramus." 

(source

- - -


For more on the controversy, go here.


The People Have Decided

They've gotten the facts (despite what the TV talking heads want to believe) and have decided that the Democrats' solutions to our health care woes are worse than the woes:
Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low
Rasmussen Reports

Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

Senior citizens are less supportive of the plan than younger voters. In the latest survey, just 33% of seniors favor the plan while 59% are opposed. The intensity gap among seniors is significant. Only 16% of the over-65 crowd Strongly Favors the legislation while 46% are Strongly Opposed. [link]
I'm surprised that there are still that many elderly people in this country who support Obama's proposal.  They, after all, are the ones who will be sacrificing their care in order to achieve his "universal coverage" goals.

There's still time, though, for the president to lose them too.  The more he talks, the more they walks.

Egos Run Amok

It would be laughable if it weren't for the fact that their efforts will kill people:
An Exercise in Ego Gratification
By Robert J. Samuelson, Real Clear Politics

Washington -- What's driving the great health debate of 2009 is not a popular clamor for universal insurance. The underlying driver is politicians' psychological quest for glory.

"My colleagues, this is our opportunity to make history," implored Chairman Max Baucus as the Senate Finance Committee last week opened consideration of his bill. Politicians, in their most self-important moments, see themselves as instruments of national destiny. They yearn to be remembered as the architects and agents of great social and economic transformations. They want to be at the signing ceremony; they want a pen.

Ordinary Americans are rightly suspicious of this exercise in collective ego gratification, which has gripped Obama and many of his congressional allies. Even when the goals are worthy -- as they are here -- the temptation to exaggerate, simplify and sugarcoat often proves irresistible.

Americans worried about this legislation may not know its details or may even be misinformed. Still, their skepticism is justified. Grandiose rhetoric obscures unflattering reality. The proposals don't force the major structural changes in the delivery system that might curb uncontrolled health spending, which is the central problem. The bills Congress is now considering might marginally improve Americans' health but would worsen the federal budget outlook and squeeze other public and private spending. Whatever bragging rights result will quickly erode in the face of the health system's continuing problems. [link]
In other words, it won't work.

All the effort.  All the speeches.  All the charges and recriminations.

And, in the end, they will only make matters worse.

For the love of God.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I ... Don't ... Know

This will come as a shock.

On one subject, I have no opinion.

Not because I don't want to have an opinion, but because I can't make up my mind as to which side to be on.

It has to do with an ongoing struggle between business and government over something called "net neutrality."

The Roanoke Times editorial page makes its position clear this morning with "Net neutrality would protect consumers."

And I must say, I agree with most everything written.

But then I think about the other argument.  The one having to do with businesses being allowed to fashion their businesses in any way they see fit.

Should users dictate to providers how they deliver their product?

I want to say no, but the internet has thrived over the years because of its free and unfettered nature. So ...

- - -

For more information, go here.

A Little 'In Your Face'?

I was curious when I read in the Roanoke Times that two of Virginia's NAACP local chapters, along with its state conference, planned on picketing in front of a Richmond strip club.  Odd thing is, the good folks at the nation's largest civil rights organization aren't upset about what unthinkable sins are being (or allegedly might be) committed inside its four walls.



No, it's what's hanging outside.

This:



From the back of the strip club's building it looks like this:



Well, we can't be havin' that.

But there may be more to this (RACISM!) than meets the eye.  It turns out that there had been another sign hanging above that strip club - a locally notorious establishment known as Club Velvet.  Had been until local authorities got involved and launched an investigation, that is.

From River District News:
“No stadium in shockoe” sign has Club Velvet in trouble

Zoning violation or free speech? A large sign hanging on the side of Club Velvet proclaiming “No Stadium in Shockoe” has earned the night club a zoning violation for exceeding the allowed size and not receiving approval from the city. However, owner Sam Moore is appealing based on a political campaign sign exemption. [link]
 Here's how the building looked before the government stepped in with its heavy hand:

Without getting involved in legalities, it's fair to say those local busybodies brought this on themselves.

Oh, and Club Velvet now has masses of free advertising as the NAACP action rockets across the internet.

Smooth move, dudes.

* Photos courtesy of River District News.
** Click on images to enlarge.
*** For the record, Club Velvet won its fight against the city back in May.

ELC Goes Episcopalian

With the same results obtained.

Everyone has read the accounts in recent years of the Episcopal Church (USA) disintegrating over the issue of "inclusion."  Inclusion of openly gay clergy, that is.

Well, the issue is now having a similar impact on another leftist church denomination - the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

(I should mention the fact that I grew up in the Lutheran faith.  But the churches I attended were of the Missouri Synod denomination, or LCMS.  It and the Lutheran Church-Wisconsin Synod are historically conservative - seriously so - and thrive because of it.)
Roanoke County church votes to break with ELCA
By Courtney Cutright, Roanoke Times

One of the largest evangelical Lutheran churches in Western Virginia on Sunday afternoon took the first step to split from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

By a majority of 70 percent, members of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Southwest Roanoke County, voted to separate from the largest Lutheran church in North America.

The move comes on the heels of the ELCA's decision last month in Minneapolis to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy. Previously the ELCA had required gay clergy to remain celibate.

Senior pastor Mark Graham said his church does not "want to be seen as anti-gay or against homosexuals," but the ELCA's statement goes against the church's interpretation of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. [link]
This, again, is the predictable result of liberal churches' efforts to be more inclusiveIt drives loyal parishioners out.  Odd definition of the word, if you ask me.

Anyway, the Evangelical Lutheran Church is now inclusive.  Probably happily so.  Contentedly.

And when all those happy, contented churchgoers next meet in that phone booth, they can celebrate their effort. They are now ... inclusive.

Communism Loses

Again.
Cuba Pins Hopes On New Farms Run for Profit
By William Booth, Washington Post Foreign Service

Ceiba Del Agua, Cuba -- Faced with the smothering inefficiencies of a state-run economy and unable to feed his people without massive imports of food, Cuban leader Raúl Castro has put his faith in compatriots like Esther Fuentes and his little farm out in the sticks.

If Cuba is searching for its New New Man, then Fuentes might be him. The Cuban government, in its most dramatic reform since Castro took over for his ailing older brother Fidel three years ago, is offering private farmers such as Fuentes the use of fallow state lands to grow crops -- for a profit.

Capitalism comes to the communist isle? Not quite, but close. Raúl Castro prefers to call it "a new socialist model." But Fuentes gets to pocket some extra cash. [link]
Not quite is right.  The Cuban government still controls the means of production and siphons off the top what it considers necessary to feed the starving masses.  But it's a start.

Castro's Cuba enters the 20th century.  Who'da thunk it?

Can New York Times columnists be far behind?

Quote of the Day

From the Washington Times:

"Israel is looking like the new leader of the Free World. The previous leader, the United States, resigned this role last week at the United Nations to take the position of global community organizer."

"Leader of the Free World no more," editorial, September 28, 2009

Socialist Wants Action On Global Warming Now!

The truth about global temperatures are of no consequence.  We need to have sweeping government intevention in all aspects of our lives. If we don't act, catastrophe looms!

So says New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

It must be Monday.

We're All In This Together

Well, in Germany they realize that they're all in it together. Here in the USA a large portion of the population still thinks that the road out of the wilderness involves taxing the hell out of another segment of the population:

Here's to Germany's awakening:
Merkel Wins Majority for Tax-Cut Coalition in Germany
By Tony Czuczka and Brian Parkin, Bloomberg

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’ll press ahead with tax cuts and labor-market deregulation after winning re-election with enough support to govern with the pro-business Free Democrats.

With Germany struggling to recover from the deepest economic slump since World War II, voters spurned plans by Merkel’s Social Democratic challenger to raise taxes on top earners. Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s SPD had its worst postwar result in what he called a “bitter day” after sharing power with Merkel for four years and governing for the previous seven. [link]

So high tax, ponderous regulation Germany has seen the light and is mending its ways.

Meanwhile, here in the U.S. the Democrats are working feverishly to devise a host of tax increases that will make things worse.

Merkel needs to have a talk with these geniuses.

The Demise of the Entry Level Job

"Minimum wage workers are men and women of dignity, and they deserve a fair wage that respects the dignity of their work.  It’s time to do what’s right for working families.  It’s long past time to give minimum wage workers a raise."

He got his wish:

First Minimum Wage Increase In A Decade Signed Into Law.

How happy those men and women of dignity must be:
The dead end kids
By Richard Wilner, New York Post

The unemployment rate for young Americans has exploded to 52.2 percent -- a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. -- meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time.

And worse, without a clear economic recovery plan aimed at creating entry-level jobs, the odds of many of these young adults -- aged 16 to 24, excluding students -- getting a job and moving out of their parents' houses are long. Young workers have been among the hardest hit during the current recession -- in which a total of 9.5 million jobs have been lost. [link]
The inclination is to blame Obama for this.  But the last increase in the minimum wage was signed into law by George Bush.

However, Obama is on record as favoring another raise.  To $9.50 an hour.  I guess 52.2% of our young people being unemployed isn't enough for him.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Perception vs Reality

The leader of the free world, as his supporters would like to see him:

The same guy, as the Iranians and North Koreans see him:

One is indeed a photo of our president.

The other ... isn't.

Publicity still courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

On Leaders & Cheerleaders

Being the leader of the free world is a tough job. It requires ... well, an extraordinary ability to lead.

Not cheerlead.

Not the ability to charm, praise, or consort.

Not Obama, as exemplified by his frat house speech to the U.N. last week:

"Now, like all of you, my responsibility is to act in the interest of my nation and my people ... But ..."

There are those on the world scene, however, who are there to fill the void left by Mr. Can't-We-All-Just-Get-Along.

I give you two of them this morning.

Both of whom also spoke at the U.N. last week.

Both of whom showed backbone.

Leadership.

First, a man whose speech reminded me of another that was made before another feckless and corrupt world body, the League of Nations, many years ago.
("No subtlety can change the problem or shift the grounds of the discussion. It is in all sincerity that I submit these considerations to the Assembly. At a time when my people are threatened with extermination, when the support of the League may ward off the final blow, may I be allowed to speak with complete frankness, without reticence, in all directness such as is demanded by the rule of equality as between all States Members of the League?

Apart from the Kingdom of the Lord there is not on this earth any nation that is superior to any other. Should it happen that a strong Government finds it may with impunity destroy a weak people, then the hour strikes for that weak people to appeal to the League of Nations to give its judgment in all freedom. God and history will remember your judgment.") [my emphasis]

That was Emperor Haile Selassie in 1936.

Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday:

The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events. Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth.

Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.

But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency? A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state. What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations!

Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong. History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

For those of you not familiar with your history, the League of Nations member-states ignored Haile Selassie's warnings.

And his Ethiopia was subjugated.

And World War II erupted.

And in a few short years, fifty million human beings lay dead.

But Mussolini and "his odious regime" only threatened Selassie's Ethiopia, you see.

Today Netanyahu warns of extermination. And shames those who are spectators to the event.

How will the history books read?

Here are video excerpts of his powerful speech:



Then there's another political leader who came to the U.N. last week - this time to a meeting of the Security Council - who shoved aside all the pleasantries and pleas for peace and made clear to those in attendance - including our We-Are-The-World Cheerleader-in-Chief - that dialogue with tyrants is fruitless.

Nicholas Sarkozy:
We are here to guarantee peace. We are right to talk about the future. But the present comes before the future, and the present includes two major nuclear crises. The peoples of the entire world are listening to what we are saying, including our promises, commitments and speeches. But we live in the real world, not in a virtual one.

We say that we must reduce. President Obama himself has said that he dreams of a world without nuclear weapons. Before our very eyes, two countries are doing exactly the opposite at this very moment. Since 2005, Iran has violated five Security Council Resolutions. [Ed note: Sarkozy then listed international proposals for dialogue with Iran attempted in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.] I support America’s extended hand. But what have these proposals for dialogue produced for the international community? Nothing but more enriched uranium and more centrifuges. And last but not least, it has resulted in a statement by Iranian leaders calling for wiping off the map a Member of the United Nations. What are we to do? What conclusion are we to draw? At a certain moment hard facts will force us to take decisions.
"Hard facts will force us to [m]ake decisions."

Obama's response:

"Words alone will not get the job done, but, ..."

BUT.

Again.

No decisions were made. No actions were taken.

But a fun time was had by all.

And the process proceeds.

Sarkozy and Netanyahu. Two leaders with wake-up calls to a miserably disinterested and hopelessly impotent world.

World War III fast approaches.

Your Gov't Looking Out For You

It appears the Obama administration is doing its level best to support the hard-hit manufacturing sector by providing half a billion taxpayer dollars to a start-up auto maker.

Oh, I should mention the fact that it makes its cars in Finland.

Oh, and the cars it makes will sell in this country for $89,000.

Hybrid cars that only the wealthy can afford.

You think I'm making it up ...
Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan
By Josh Mitchell and Stephen Power, Wall Street Journal

Washington -- A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster.

The awards to Fisker and Tesla have prompted concern from companies that have had their bids for loans rejected, and criticism from groups that question why vehicles aimed at the wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized by taxpayers.

"This is not for average Americans," said Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, an anti-tax group in Washington. "This is for people to put something in their driveway that is a conversation piece. It's status symbol thing."

The Karma will target an exclusive audience -- Gore was one of the first to sign up for one. [link]
The government - well, actually, it's you and me - subsidizes a company so as to drive down the price on a vehicle made by foreigners so that one of the world's richest men - Al Gore - can afford to buy it.

Makes perfect sense to me.

What's the national debt at now?

So You Know

I'll bet Pelosi won't have a problem with this kind of venom:
This is what they do. O'Reilly inspires people to go kill doctors who provide private abortion services, legal services to his patients; and then O'Reilly stands there with that dung-eating look on his face -- what a SOB he is. ‘It wasn't me; of course it was you, you thug!’ And the suicide-prone Glenn Beck rails against Census workers, and inspires his people to kill one for sport; I bet you O'Reilly and Beck and the rest of these monsters on the neo-fascist right in this country love this stuff. It gives them something else to talk about. It's sport. [source]
That comes from a left-wing radio talk show host named Mike Malloy.

One who, I'll bet, decries all the name-calling and hate that comes from right-wing radio.

For the love of God.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Virginia Tech Begrudgingly Opens The Door

Or not.

You may remember the decision made by the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences to make "diversity" a litmus test for its faculty. Which a reasonable person would assume meant if you held views contrary to those outlined by the dean of the school, you had no chance at being hired or promoted. And you may have even been subject to dismissal.

An odd definition of the word "diversity," but this - the university - is the world of illusion.

You may also remember how, in April, the dean of the school, under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, felt it necessary to clarify the school's position in memo form to its faculty (seen here as reproduced by FIRE):
Memo from Virginia Tech Dean Sue Ott Rowlands to CLAHS Colleagues

April 30, 2009

Dear CLAHS Colleagues,

In the media recently, some have mischaracterized our college's commitment to diversity as a rigid requirement for promotion and tenure. That has never been our intention and we will make sure that our P&T document makes that clear. At the same time, please know that our commitment to equity and inclusive excellence has never been stronger. One of our greatest strengths is in our commitment to embrace cultural differences, varied talents, and multiple ways of thinking and being. I particularly resonate [sic] with one of the paragraphs from the "core values" section of our soon-to-be-unveiled strategic plan. Here it is: "In the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences we strive to promote an environment in which learning, discovery, and engagement are created and sustained by a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff. The value we place upon equity obliges us to challenge systems of oppression and privilege...(Moreover) in CLAHS, service is not just a path we choose but a perspective we consciously adopt - one that enables us to discover and critique ourselves, our world, and others." We all have within us the ability to create a college that is welcoming and affirming of difference -- a place where we all can survive and thrive. Thanks for your efforts toward this end. [my emphasis]
The UniversitySpeak is annoying, but this is her world, and I'm the intruder. So this gal can speak in whatever language she wishes, as long as those to whom she's communicating understand what it is she's trying to say.

Beyond the annoying, the emphasis on "equity" is concerning. In a memo that was written to dispel any notion that the college's commitment to diversity is "a rigid requirement for promotion and tenure" the dean makes clear that she is still "obliged" to "challenge systems of oppression" on campus. How her "obligation" to challenge oppression manifests itself isn't made clear, but if I were a conservative in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, I'd be sharpening up my curriculum vitae and packing my bags.

So, after this memo was made public and criticisms of the school's skewed definition of the word "diversity" came pouring in, the dean gave more ground.

But FIRE remains unconvinced. From its website:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: "Diversity" Requirement for Faculty Assessment Violates Academic Freedom and Freedom of Conscience

Since Virginia Tech first rescinded its ideological litmus test for faculty in its liberal arts college under pressure from FIRE, the school has slowly been making progress toward intellectual freedom. Most recently, Virginia Tech removed a politicized elaboration of "diversity accomplishments" from its university-wide tenure and promotion guidelines. A separate document still contains the diversity guidelines, however. The university also has yet to retract its demands that faculty demonstrate such "diversity accomplishments" when seeking raises, tenure, or promotion. These demands violate faculty members' freedom of conscience and academic freedom by politicizing the consideration of their teaching, scholarship, and personal development activities.
Adam Kissel, director of FIRE's Individual Rights Defense Program, has followed that up with a letter to the the university:
Mandatory ‘Diversity Accomplishments’ at Virginia Tech Violate Faculty Rights; FIRE Details Violations in 15-page Letter to Board of Visitors

FIRE has sent Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors a 15-page letter with 13 enclosures detailing how administrators have begun to demand "diversity accomplishments" from faculty members across the university over the past several years. Professors are expected to alter their own research, teaching, and personal intellectual development in order to prove their loyalty to Virginia Tech's political agenda. Those who lack the right "diversity accomplishments" will see diminished career prospects, including for tenure and promotion. FIRE is calling on the Virginia Tech's board to rescind the coercive elements of its diversity agenda.

In FIRE's September 14, 2009, letter to John R. Lawson, II, Rector of the Virginia Tech (VT) Board of Visitors, FIRE makes clear that it has no position on the university's diversity agenda. We do, however, strongly oppose the coercive means being used to accomplish it. We also sent copies of the whole file to all VT department chairs and to several elected officials of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

FIRE first became involved in this issue in March, after a faculty member wrote to FIRE about proposed changes to faculty assessment policies in VT's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS). FIRE wrote President Charles Steger and engaged other national higher education organizations, particularly the National Association of Scholars (NAS), to fight the coercive elements of the changes. By mid-April, the proposal was withdrawn pending further review.

Further research by NAS and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni revealed that the proposed CLAHS policies were just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, we found university-wide policies that demand "diversity accomplishments" of all faculty members seeking tenure or promotion. FIRE's additional research this summer revealed a constantly increasing set of demands by Steger and VT's provost, Mark McNamee, that go far beyond the non-mandatory institutional mission that the Board of Visitors approved in 2005.

When VT withdrew the CLAHS proposal, VT stated that "The fundamental problem was a requirement to produce materials in support of diversity." (Emphasis in original.) It's now clear, though, that VT was trying to slip one by FIRE and by the public, as it maintained a similar university-wide requirement.

America has room for universities that require students and faculty members to agree to support a particular religious or political agenda. However, this power is (for good reason) forbidden to educational institutions run by the government. To its shame, VT seems to have ignored this fact. VT must stop pressuring and requiring faculty members to change their personal and intellectual work to conform to the university's diversity agenda. We look forward to seeing Virginia Tech's response.
See the 15-page letter in its entirety here.

Surreal, yes? The university, in an effort to promote diversity, demands conformity. As the dean might say, I don't "resonate" with that.

The fight continues. Stay tuned.

Blind Faith

Fanaticism
Noun: fanaticism fə-năt'ĭ-sĭz'əm
1. Excessive, irrational zeal.
2. Excessive intolerance of opposing views
3. A belief or behavior involving uncritical zeal, particularly for an extreme religious or political cause or in some cases sports, or with an obsessive enthusiasm for a pastime or hobby.

And speaking of environmentalists:
The Branch Carbonian Cult
By Jim Guirard, The American Thinker

The Global Warming Movement (AGW) has taken on the worrisome attributes of a pseudo-religious cult, which operates far more on the basis of an apocalyptic "belief" system than on objective climate science.

Since this worldwide Movement and its strident policies of Less Energy at Higher Prices (in order to achieve reductions in everyone's "carbon footprint") are at the heart of America's enormous energy shortfall, it poses a national security threat of major proportions.

And in this context, the AGW Crusade should be understood in a "Know Thy Enemy" frame of reference -- perhaps not in terms of a fully conscious or intentional enemy of the American people at a time of war and economic crisis but as a deadly threat to our economic stability and national security, nonetheless.

Here, therefore, in far more detail than any routine allegation of "cultism" conveys, are no fewer than ten of this AGW ideology's very specific characteristics ... [link]
For the ten characteristics, you'll have to go to the link. But I'll give you part of the first one:

"Leadership by a self-glorifying, manipulative New Age Prophet -- in this case, former Vice-President Al Gore ..."

Glaringly accurate. Eerily accurate. Frighteningly accurate. Seriously accurate.

It's Worse Than We Thought

Don't let them tell you "Cash for Clunkers" was a great success (except for those who were able to get more for their clunkers than the market would have allowed). The economy is still very weak and, therefore, auto sales are still not rebounding. As it turns out, they just blipped:
September sales rate may be lowest on record
Edmunds' SAAR of 8.8 million would be lowest in nearly 28 years
By Chrissie Thompson, Automotive News, as reported by News Busters

September's light-vehicle sales rate will fall to 8.8 million units, consumer auto site Edmunds.com said. That would be the lowest rate in nearly 28 years, tying the worst demand on record.

After the cash-for-clunkers program boosted August sales to their first year-over-year increase since October 2007, demand has plunged. In at least the last 33 years, the U.S. seasonally adjusted annual rate has only dropped as low as 8.8 million units once -- in December 1981 -- with records stretching back to January 1976.

Amid a global recession, U.S. sales fell to 13.2 million units in 2008, from 16.2 million in 2007. The slide continued, with demand ranging from 9.1 million to 9.9 million in the first half of this year. [link]
So this effort at economic "stimulus" proves to be a dismal failure too.

When will Obama learn?

Quote of the Day

From Grover Norquist:

"Senator Baucus, do we not deserve a few extra days of your time given that you and your fellow Democrats are setting out to completely overhaul our entire health care system funded with our tax dollars?"

"Baucus claims it's too difficult to put health care bill online," Washington Examiner, September 24, 2009

Getting To The Nut

UN presenting 'best science politics can manufacture'

Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Doin's In Wythe

Want to meet the best that the Republican Party has to offer?

Mark this on your calendar:
MEET & GREET THE 2009 CANDIDATES EVENT!

WYTHE COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY FALL BBQ

FREE ADMISSION

Date: October 11, 2009
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Where: 7951 W. Lee Highway 2.1 miles west of Rural Retreat crossroads

Guest Speaker- The Honorable George Allen

Invited Guest:
Bob McDonnell, Candidate for Governor
Bill Bolling, Candidate for Lt. Governor
Ken Cuccenelli, Candidate for Attorney General
Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark, 6th District
Delegate Bill Carrico, 5th District
It's on a Sunday, so most of you should be able to attend. I may be conducting business that day but I'm going to try and be there.

Should be a hoot.

And free barbecue? Oh yeah.

- - -

Update: OOPS. It's on a Sunday, not Saturday. Correction made.

Information received from Anne B. Crockett Stark.

Here's To Their Success

They're going to need more than our good wishes, I'm afraid:
Stanley is banking on U.S. plants
Martinsville Bulletin editorial

Stanley Furniture Co. believes its employees in Stanleytown and Robbinsville, N.C., can produce youth furniture that will set the standard for the industry. We think its faith is well-founded.

The company announced Monday it would produce all its Young America products in this country as of Nov. 16. Previously, about one-third of the lines were made off-shore or purchased from other U.S. vendors. That same ratio still holds true for the company’s other lines of bedroom, dining room, home entertainment and home office furniture.

To meet its goal of becoming “the most trusted name in infant and youth furniture,” Stanley decided that it had to regain control of the entire production process. It will do that in Stanleytown and Robbinsville.

The change means the creation of 99 jobs here. [link]
The gurus there have obviously run the numbers and decided that they can do what few manufacturers - especially in their business - have been able to do - make stuff in the USA at a profit.

Let's hope they make a bundle from their efforts.

I Guess That's Your Answer

I letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times pleads for a "moderate" response to those who call Obama a racist socialist:
Let's remember who we are

The neocons have gone beyond the pale and the media want to know where the "backlash" is to the "backlash." For the most part, reasonable people do not distort the truth and they also repudiate baseless name-calling, but some of us are being pushed beyond that.

School districts have reported that parents called in -- using the exact same language (organized, would you say?) -- to protest the president's address to schoolchildren. President Obama has been labeled a socialist and anti-white racist. So where is the liberal, middle-of-the-road response? [link]
And in response to her plea?

As of this morning: "No comment yet."

Which suggests that there's no such thing as a middle-of-the-road liberal.

Or, as many of us suspect, middle-of-the-road is a euphemism for clueless and indifferent. What do they care if Obama is a socialist and a racist? They have Oprah. So leave them alone.

Fear As Foreign Policy?

I'm reminded of yesterday's Quote of the Day:

"Why don’t Obama and Hillary like our allies?"

It may go beyond dislike. It may go to fear.

Fear of our adversaries.

How else to explain this?
A Cold Shoulder To Liberty
By Michael Gerson, Washington Post

Two Octobers ago, the Dalai Lama received the Congressional Gold Medal, one of America's highest civilian honors, in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Speaker Nancy Pelosi talked of a "special relationship between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the United States." President George W. Bush urged Chinese leaders "to welcome the Dalai Lama to China. They will find this good man to be a man of peace and reconciliation."

This October, on a scheduled visit to the United States, the Dalai Lama will not be welcomed at the White House.

Which raises the question: What is left of foreign policy liberalism when a belief in liberty is removed? [link]
A bigger question: What does Obama think he's going to gain from the Chinese by banning the Dalai Lama?

And this one: What must the Chinese think of an American president who cowers before them?

American Comintern

Why does the Congress of the United States remind me of the Congress of the Communist International? Could it be because the members therein are not expected to be active participants in the formulation of policy but are instead required to simply rubberstamp the directives that come down from on high?

This (from "No, you can't read the legislation") is astounding:
Democrats don't want lawmakers to know what's in health care legislation before Congress votes on it.

On Wednesday, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee killed a Republican amendment to Chairman Max Baucus' health care proposal that would require a three-day waiting period between when the bill is completed and a committee vote could be held. This short waiting period would allow panel members time to examine the actual legislative language and full cost of the Baucus bill before voting on it. [link]
It's one thing for the Democrats to vote to keep from Republican (and American) eyes the details of the plan that will nationalize (ultimately) our health care delivery system. But they voted to keep the details from themselves as well.

How stupid are these people?

Give Us Back Our Lightbulb!

I can't believe I had to write that header. In the United States of America, 2009. Land of the free. Cradle of democracy. Beacon of liberty.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

The government has taken away our lightbulb.

We humbly beseech those in power to let us have it back. Because the one we've been stuck with is extremely expensive and gives off a very dull light.

In other words, it sucks.

But, since the United States government has deemed it necessary to remove from the marketplace the incandescent bulb, because it causes global warming upsets environmentalists, what alternative do we have?

None.

We're all to go blind and broke by government decree.

Or ... could it be ... hope?
Build a Better Bulb for a $10 Million Prize
By Eric A. Taub and Leora Broydo Vestel, New York Times

Philips, the Dutch electronics giant, ... announced on Thursday that it had submitted the first entry for the L Prize, an Energy Department contest that will award up to $10 million to the first person or group to create a new energy-sipping version of the most popular type of light bulb used in America.

As the first entrant, Philips will win the prize if its claims hold up. Testing of the Philips lamp will take close to a year to complete as the department independently evaluates the company’s claims.

“Philips is confident that the product submitted meets or exceeds all of the criteria for the L Prize,” Rudy Provoost, chief of Philips Lighting, said in a statement.

Philips has delivered 2,000 prototypes of its bulb to the Energy Department for testing. The company says the bulbs meet all the criteria of the contest, which specifies a bulb that reproduces the same amount and color of light made by a 60-watt incandescent bulb, but uses only 10 watts of power. The bulb must also last for more than 25,000 hours — about 25 times longer than a standard light bulb. [link]
Here's to Philps Lighting. Let's hope the company has come up with a light bulb that actually emits light and doesn't require a second mortgage.

A step in the right direction.

A candle in the growing darkness.

I wonder what the environmentalists will have to say ...

What Are You Going To Do About It?

I remember George W. Bush vowing to never allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.

But the whole time he was in office Iran kept its nuclear development project humming.

And now Mr. Bush is retired. With nothing having been done to back up his commitment.

One of many disappointments.

So Obama is in charge now. And we are subjected to more of the same:
U.S. to Accuse Iran of Having Secret Nuclear Fuel Facility
By David E. Sanger, New York Times

Pittsburgh — President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France will accuse Iran Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying it has hidden the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years, according to senior administration officials.

The revelation, which the three leaders will make before the opening of the Group of 20 economic summit here, appears bound to add urgency to the diplomatic confrontation with Iran over its suspected ambitions to build a nuclear weapons capability. [link]
Remarkable.

Until you read further and find out that Iran has already acknowledged that it has this plant under construction.

So this effort to "accuse" Ahmadinejad of doing what he's already admitted to be doing seems sort of ... what?

Feckless? Wimpish? Silly? Pointless?

How about doing something about it before millions of human beings are murdered by this madman?

The president of the United States: "Iran will not have nuclear weapons." Yet Iran is on the verge of having an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

The Chinese had a term for this. Turns out, it was probably accurate.

Quote of the Day

From Glenn Reynolds:

"Until we see scenes like this, I don’t want to hear yammering about the violence inherent in the Tea Party movement."

The media somehow take in stride the actual violence that takes place in efforts on the part of anarchists and Marxists to bring America to its knees (in this case at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh). Odd how it's the 70-year-old retiree - armed with a hearing aid and a walker - shouting at a Democratic politician at a town hall meeting that gets their undies in a bunch.

Well, maybe not so odd.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NRA Does Right By Us

An announcement from Annie B:
National Rifle Association endorses Crockett-Stark for Delegate

Wytheville, VA- Virginia State Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R-Wythe) announced today that she has received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA) for her re-election campaign to the Sixth District House of Delegates.

"Our campaign is very excited to once again earn the endorsement of the NRA," Crockett-Stark said. "Second Amendment rights are very important to the people of this district and I'm proud that our campaign has received its third NRA endorsement in as many elections."

In a letter from the NRA, Andrew Jennison, Virginia State Liaison, noted, "Your exemplary record of past service in the Virginia House of Delegates clearly illustrates your commitment to protecting the rights of law-abiding firearm owners and sportsmen."

"Based upon your proven record and firm pledge to continue to serve as an advocate for Virginia's law-abiding gun owners, you have earned and 'A' rating," Jennison wrote.

"The Second Amendment is a bedrock right guaranteed in the foundation of the U.S. Constitution. We will continue to work to make sure this most basic of personal liberty is protected," Crockett-Stark said.

"I look forward to working with NRA members around the district to advance the interests of Virginia's law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen," Crockett-Stark said.

The National Rifle Association is the premier firearms education association in the world. With nearly four million members nationwide and over 120,000 members in Virginia, the association is widely recognized as a major political force and America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights.

Crockett-Stark was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2005. She represents the counties of Bland, Giles, Pulaski, Tazewell and Wythe. Her campaign has also received the endorsements of the National Federation of Independent Business and the Virginia Farm Bureau.

It's good to see the NRA reaching into election contests on the delegate level and doing its best to influence outcomes. The strategists therein must recognize the fact that delegates of today are our leaders of tomorrow.
Here's to my NRA and Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark.

The World of Make-Believe

Guess who made the cover of Men's Health magazine again?

The Marlboro Man:

Someone needs to explain this to me.

Is it just the fact that he's skinny that makes him "healthy"?

The Planet IS GOING TO Warm

Someday.

They're still making wild predictions.

With straight faces.

Ed Morrissey:
National Geographic in summer 2008:

"Arctic warming has become so dramatic that the North Pole may melt this summer, report scientists studying the effects of climate change in the field.

'We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history],' David Barber, of the University of Manitoba, told National Geographic News aboard the C.C.G.S. Amundsen, a Canadian research icebreaker. …

"But this summer’s forecast—and unusual early melting events all around the Arctic—serve as a dire warning of how quickly the polar regions are being affected by climate change.

National Geographic this week:

"This year’s cooler-than-expected summer means the Arctic probably won’t experience ice-free summers until 2030 or 2040, scientists say.

"Some models had previously predicted that the Arctic could be ice free in summer by as soon as 2013, due to rising temperatures from global warming." [link]
When the computer models prove to be dreadfully wrong, adjust them to fit the argument. Did we say 2013? We meant 2030. It was a typo.

For the love of God.

I'm thinking we need to imprison all scientists for this. Before they have a chance to multiply.

Will The Chinese Keep Buying Our Debt?

This simple chart from Stanford professor John B. Taylor should keep you up nights:

A nightmare scenario.

Astonishing

I wonder, if this has been true all along, why we are talking about completely changing/wrecking our health care system, top to bottom?

80% of Americans are satisfied with the quality of care in this country and 61% are even satisfied with the cost, according to the most recent Gallup survey.

Yet, to hear Obama talk about it, our system is no better than the one his stepbrother and grandmother endure in Kenya.

If he's going to do for us what he's done for his family, count me out.

Meet George Hussein Onyango Obama:

Looks like Obama has done wonders for his own family.

America to Obama: Leave our health alone.

That's Rebuilding Alliances?

To renew American leadership in the world, I intend to rebuild the alliances, partnerships, and
institutions necessary to confront common threats and enhance common security."
-- Presidential candidate Barack Obama, August, 2007

That was then.

This is now:

Barack Obama snubs Gordon Brown over private talks

How to make friends and influence people.

Quote of the Day

From The Anchoress:

"Why don’t Obama and Hillary like our allies?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Out of the Frying Pan ...

... and into the fire:
Investors gird for post-recession inflation
By Patrice Hill, Washington Times

Brushing aside statistics that show an annual inflation rate of less than zero, investors already are selling off dollars and driving up the price of gold in anticipation of a surge in prices as soon as the economy recovers from its deep recession.

Many economists think deflation is still a greater worry, but the fear of inflation has prompted a reprise of last year's speculative interest in oil and other commodities, which this decade have proved to be good hedges against inflation. That, in turn, can be a self-fulfilling strategy, as pouring money into commodities drives up prices.

Energy prices rose sharply this spring and summer, driven by the revived speculative interest and expectations of a global recovery, but recently have leveled off to about $70 a barrel. [link]
These are strange times. The experts are worried about deflation and inflation at the same time. What's someone not in the know supposed to do?

Gold!

He Is Legend

While the mainstream press did its best to demonize the guy, Joe Wilson becomes a celebrity in the eyes of the voting public. And with celebrity comes cash:
No lie! Obama heckler aids Va. House GOP cash bid
By Bob Lewis, AP Political Writer

Richmond, Va. (AP) -- The South Carolina congressman who heckled President Barack Obama during his health reform speech is helping Virginia Republican legislative candidates raise money.

No lie!

Rep. Joe Wilson, who yelled "You lie!" at Obama during the televised address e-mailed a fundraising solicitation for Virginia Speaker Bill Howell's Dominion Leadership Trust.

Wilson begins by saying he's "learned what it's like to be the No. 1 target of liberal Democrats."

Those same Democrats, he wrote in his donor appeal, want to overtake a six-seat GOP majority in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Howell aide Paul Nardo said with Virginia House Republicans under attack from Democrats, big labor and others, the speaker needs the money and Wilson knows how to raise it. [link]
I think part of the winning strategy has to do with the fact that, when it comes to you Democrats in Washington, all America knows YOU LIE!

What a Bunch Of Hooey

I can't believe these fools even consider this to be anything other than laughable:
U.N. Sets an Example by Offsetting Its Carbon Emissions
By Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times

Like most large international conferences, the United Nations climate summit meeting in New York this week generated a hefty dose of greenhouse gas emissions.

Hundreds of presidents, prime ministers and officials from across the globe this week took airplanes to the United Nations meeting, some accompanied by dozens of people. Limousines and motorcades ferried the dignitaries from airports to meetings to hotels and back, often getting stuck in Midtown Manhattan gridlock.

But since the goal of this meeting was to reduce the global emissions that have been linked to global warming, the United Nations decided to try to do something about all the carbon dioxide produced by the delegates: it bought carbon offsets.

Under a new and expanding program for offsetting emissions, United Nations administrators calculated that the meeting would generate the equivalent of 461 tons of carbon dioxide, with air travel being the single largest component. They offset those emissions by directing money to a power project in rural Andhra Pradesh, India, through which agricultural leftovers like rice husks and sunflower stalks are turned into electricity for the local grid. [link]
I can't keep from smiling. These jokers are still polluting the planet. But they "offset" that pollution by giving taxpayer money to some faraway organization that turns rice husks into electricity? And that gets them off the hook?

Do they think we're all that stupid?

Quote of the Day

From Ken Shepherd:
"It's the most explosive moment for the soda industry since the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment," CBS's Katie Couric quipped of a proposed federal soda tax in her September 18 Notebook video on CBSNews.com (embedded at right).

While careful not to explicitly endorse a proposed one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, Couric hinted that taxing sodas could help curb obesity, because, after all, "some lawmakers say taxes on cigarettes have reduced smoking and raised revenues."

Pledging to help soda-drinking Americans lose weight while simultaneously thinning their wallets -- and fattening Uncle Sam's coffers -- certainly appeals to the self-appointed food police and tax-hiking liberals, but it's likely to cause average Americans to gripe about having to pay taxes for the harmless guilty pleasure of cracking open an ice-cold soda pop.

Yet Couric sees only a downside to that dastardly profitable soft drink industry, not average Americans tired of government intrusion into their personal choices.
She, like all her friends, lives in a land far, far away.

The Slide Continues

And it's a long way to the bottom.

Of course, we have plenty of time to watch the descent:
Poll Reflects Afghan War Doubts
By Jonathan Weisman, Wall Street Journal

President Barack Obama faces significant doubts from the American public about the war in Afghanistan and his handling of foreign policy, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. At the same time, he has shored up support for his top domestic priority following this month's health-care speech to Congress.

e poll of more than 1,000 adults, taken within the past week, shows growing optimism that the economy has begun to turn around. And the president's overall approval rating has held steady at 51% since August, as his message on health care has clearly begun to penetrate.

But the survey also has some strong warnings for Mr. Obama.

For the first time, independent voters -- who delivered Mr. Obama the White House and Democrats control of Congress -- disapprove of the job he is doing, by 46% compared with the 41% who approve. In July, 49% of independents approved of the president, against 38% who disapproved.

New doubts about the president have coincided with new hopes for Republicans, who appeared flattened by the election nearly a year ago. [link]
Maybe he should do himself a favor and go back to writing books about himself.

He had all the answers to the questions he was asking himself back then. Alas.

Seniors, Listen Up

I think it's high time Barack Obama read some of the health care bills working their way through Congress. In doing so, he wouldn't look like such a moron when his own people have to correct him:
Budget chief contradicts Obama on Medicare costs
By Erica Werner, Associated Press

Washington — Congress' chief budget officer is contradicting President Barack Obama's oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn't see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul.

The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators Tuesday that seniors in Medicare's managed care plans would see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee.

The bill would cut payments to the Medicare Advantage plans by more than $100 billion over 10 years.

Elmendorf said the changes would reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries.

Obama says cuts to Medicare providers won't reduce seniors' benefits. [link]
He's probably going to try and tell us that Medicare benefits won't be cut because he's going to offset rising costs with waste, fraud, and abuse control. Which is the first and last refuge of political scoundrels.

But if this passes, Medicare Advantage will be slashed. Pure and simple.

But to the point. Obama doesn't know what he's talking about. So why should anyone listen?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And If You Believe That ...

... I've got a bridge in the Mojave Desert I want to sell you:
Tourism strides hold steady in Virginia
Bristol Herald Courier editorial

Despite the prolonged recession, Virginia’s tourism industry remains strong and continues to be one of the state’s largest industries. Figures for 2008 show tourism generated $19.2 billion in revenue, supported more than 210,000 jobs and provided nearly $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenue, according to the governor’s office.

Virginia benefits from travelers taking trips closer to home and the fact that Virginia is within a day’s drive of 60 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Virginia also expects to see a tourism boost in 2009, thanks to the 40th anniversary of its “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign, America’s longest running state tourism slogan. [link]
Give me a second. I just blew Wheaties out my nose.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation. That state-funded organization that is long on cheerleaders and devoid of statisticians. It raises its ugly head again.

Two points:

1) The smell test. Does it pass the test if all of America saw a serious reduction in automobile travel in the USA last year but the Virginia tourism industry didn't?

Nationally, highway travel was on the decline every month last year.

How fortunate we were to still maintain our tourist traffic.

If only ...

2) An amateur statistician of some repute convincingly refuted the VTC's statistical methodology a while back as it pertains to those "travelers taking trips closer to home." If I were to drive from my home in Bland to the Home Depot in Blacksburg to buy a Ryobi Speedload drill bit set, I'd be considered a tourist by VTC standards and criteria.

I'm not making that up.

See "Tourism' Ain't What It Used To Be."

See also "Drilling Down."

A question: When does promotion become propaganda?

Another: When does the Virginia Tourism Corporation get real?

And It's a Good Thing Too

The Republicans need all the help they can get:

White House Is Taking a More Aggressive Role in State Races

Bob McDonnell should invite Obama down here to campaign. His victory in November will be assured.

What Kind of Human Being ...?

She'll probably make a bundle on her book:

Abortion Addict Confesses 15 Procedures in 16 Years

There are no words to describe the depravity.

How Humiliating

George Bush may have scared the heck out of them but at least he got their attention and earned their respect.

This is getting embarrassing. Hot Air:

This would make me a believer in reincarnation if it weren't for the fact that Jimmy Carter is still with us.

With Shades of Marie Antoinette

Ten percent of America is out of work.

Seven million jobs have been lost in the last two years.

The United States of America will rack up a $1.4 trillion deficit this year alone.

The Chinese now own $7 trillion of the USA.

Our largest auto maker, once our largest corporation, went bankrupt three months ago.

94 banks have failed since the recession began.

The value of Americans' homes has dropped $5.4 trillion since 2007.

The average paycheck in this country has been reduced by 5.2%.

And we are subjected to this:
Hi-Ho, the Derry-O
By Dana Milbank, Washington Post

Let's say you're preparing dinner and you realize with dismay that you don't have any certified organic Tuscan kale. What to do?

Here's how Michelle Obama handled this very predicament Thursday afternoon:

The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. They swept the area, in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with bomb-sniffing dogs and installed magnetometers in the middle of the street, put up barricades to keep pedestrians out, and took positions with binoculars atop trucks. Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.

Then, and only then, could Obama purchase her leafy greens. "Now it's time to buy some food," she told several hundred people who came to watch. "Let's shop!"[link]

I don't even know what organic Tuscan kale is.

But then I'm probably not supposed to.

* The print, Memorable Day at Versailles, October 5, 1789, can be seen here.

And While We're On The Subject ...

... of our exploding national debt:

The Senate votes to keep funding Jack Murtha's weekend landing strip

For the love of God.

- - -

For the record, your two senators, Warner and Webb, voted to continue funding this airport that has 3 scheduled flights and that sees 30 passengers a day at the taxpayer expense of $100 per passenger per day. Murtha and staff being its primary customer base.

Facts Are Not Debatable

This should alarm those who put their faith in the "experts" who sold global warming theory.

Terri Jackson, Director, Independent Climate Research Group:
The four major global temperature-tracking outlets ... have released updated information showing 2007 global cooling, ranging from 0.65C to 0.75C, a value which is large enough to erase nearly all the global-warming recorded over the last 100 years. This occurred in a single year. [link] [my emphasis]
We are where we were. Nature is like that.

- - -

* Go to Climate Realists for more info.

What? The Planet Isn't Warming?

So why all the frenzy and hair-pulling leading up to Copenhagen?

Well, it's going to be warming some day soon, you see ...
As U.N. Meets on Climate, Momentum Is Elusive
By Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times

The world leaders who are meeting at the United Nations to discuss climate change on Tuesday, are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years.

The plateau in temperatures has been seized upon by skeptics as evidence that the threat of global warming is overblown. And some climate experts worry that it could hamper treaty negotiations and slow the progress of legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.

Scientists say the last decade of climate stability ... is a result of ... [link]
STOP. Do we really want any more explanations from "scientists" as to why the past wasn't what they told us it was going to be or predictions as to what the climate is going to be like someday? Haven't they embarrassed and discredited themselves enough? They made their predictions. Their predictions were dead wrong. They admit it. So now they have more predictions?

Give me a break.

You lost your chance. You blew your credibility. I now put you guys in the same category with the tea leaf readers and eye-of-newt, toe-of-frog, wing-of-bat prognosticators.

So go away and find some sucker who still believes the bullshit you sell. I hear Al Gore is still an easy mark. Go peddle it to him.

Joe Wilson, The Adjective

I like it:

Associated Press goes Joe Wilson on President Obama

You may be interested in knowing that it has to do with Obama's "It's not a tax" lie. But the Associated Press does it ... civilly, of course.

It Wasn't Supposed To Be Like This

To renew American leadership in the world, I intend to rebuild the alliances, partnerships, and
institutions necessary to confront common threats and enhance common security."
-- Presidential candidate Barack Obama, August, 2007

Remember all the criticism the mainstream press dished out just months ago of George Bush's "go it alone" strategy that had alienated our European allies? Well, that was like a family reunion compared to this:
US-EU rift clouds climate summit
By Fiona Harvey, Joshua Chaffin, and Edward Luce, Financial Times

A growing rift between the US and Europe is overshadowing Tuesday’s United Nations climate change summit in New York, further damping hopes for a breakthrough at the Copenhagen talks in December.

Connie Hedegaard, the Danish environment minister, lowered expectations, saying: “Things are looking difficult and too slow, that is the fact.”

The downgrading of expectations comes as relations between the US and Europe, which started the year of talks as allies, near breakdown.

In Brussels, European Union officials have grown increasingly frustrated at the US stance, saying it has fallen short on both its level of ambition to reduce emissions and on offering aid to developing nations.

“So far, we thought the basic problem was the Chinese and the Indians. But now I think the problem appears to lie most clearly with the US,” a European Commission official said. Talks were “not going well”. [link]
(A side note: Boo freaking hoo)

NBC, CBS, CNN, and ABC advised us back in January that this president was going to unite the allies - nay, the entire world! - like it hadn't been since ... the last Democrat was in power! Now look at things.

Oh, and here's the best part:

"European officials say the Obama administration lacks focus because its top talent is wrapped up in the all-consuming debate over healthcare."*

And that - along with our relations with our European allies - is in the toilet too.

"Hope and change." I hope you're enjoying the change.

- - -

* America's "top talent" is wrapped up in health care? That doesn't speak well of Hillary, does it?