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

Monday, January 12, 2009

We Got Hair On Our Chests

Can I be frank? Vodka is for pansies. It's like the guy who goes into a bar and orders one of those colored beers. Cinnamon brown something-or-other. Message? "I live with my mom and can't stay past nine." Vodka? "I'm going to show people how tough I am by ordering something with a smidgeon of alcohol in it. I just don't want to taste it."

Vodka drinkers? We don't even allow them here in Southwest Virginia. There's a law. We tell vodka drinkers to leave, to go to northern Virginia where they'll fit in. They're a bad influence on the young'uns, who are counseled at an early age as to the subtle but very real differences between bourbon, scotch (which gets special dispensation in Abingdon where our upper crust folk live), and sour mash whisky. Oh, and there's that separate category of refined spirits - moonshine. Corn squeezin's, as some call them.

Vodka? Put on a skirt, sweetheart. Call home; your mommy's looking for you. Before you go, shine my shoes. Is that hair on your chin or have you been kissing a rabbit's butt?

Here in Southwest Virginia, you're not even recognized as being a man:
The hard data on the hard stuff
By Matt Chittum, The Roanoke Times

Across Virginia, vodka is king when you measure liquor sales by volume.

Statewide, vodka is the big seller, with 28 percent of all liquor sales by volume. But around the southwestern part of the state, it's dark spirits, not clear ones, that rule.

"You're going to skew a lot more brown goods than in an urban area," said John Knutson, director of marketing for Jim Beam bourbon maker Beam Global Spirits & Wine.

But measure the top liquors by dollars spent, and the brown stuff rises to the top.

Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey is No. 1 with more than $22 million in sales. It was No. 1 last year, too. It's No. 5 in sales by volume.

Its chief competitor, Jim Beam straight bourbon, is No. 2 by volume, and No. 3 by gross sales, giving it an especially strong position in the state. [link]
And, to make my point:
"Vodka drinkers are very experimental," Knutson said. One reason vodka is so popular is the explosion of not only higher-end vodkas, but products such as flavored vodkas apple, melon, grape, chocolate, espresso, even sweet iced tea-flavored vodka, he said.

And that's one reason vodka is most popular in urban centers where trends are gleefully embraced.
Gleeful drinkers? Gleeful? "Gleefully embraced" drinkers? Take your hand off my thigh and get outta my bar. You want to be "gleeful"? Move to Fairfax.

"Experimental?" Experiment with Draino and leave us alone.

Chocolate vodka? Around here those two words put together will get you hurt, really bad.

Vodka. Rumor has it there was a vodka drinker down in Russell County a few years back. He came down with some communicable disease and had to be killed. Other than that one aberration, we are - to a man - whisky drinkers. And intend to stay that way. Want to order vodka and tonic? Move to New York City. Be some guy's girlfriend.

And while we're on the subject, let me put in a plug for that which has sustained my good health these many years:

Breakfast of champions.

Running Amok

The Democrats are in charge. Expect things to get much worse. Rules are changing. Rules are being broken. Rules are being thrown out the window.

And America's business leaders and bankers seem to be fine with it:
Bank of the United States
Wall Street Journal editorial

At first glance, Citigroup's endorsement last week of a Senate plan to allow bankruptcy judges to break mortgage contracts looks like a scene from "Goodfellas."

After years of resisting, Citi has suddenly signed off on Senator Dick Durbin's plan to allow judges to rewrite mortgage contracts for borrowers in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under the Illinois Democrat's plan, which is earmarked for inclusion in the pending stimulus bill, judges could reduce the amount of principal, lower the interest rate, and change the length of the mortgage term.

Until Washington embraced the politics of housing panic, even sensible Democrats recognized that allowing such mortgage "cramdowns" was a terrible idea, sure to punish future borrowers with higher rates as lenders calculate the increased risk. The Congressional Budget Office warned in January 2008 that such a change could result in higher interest rates for homeowners and bigger caseloads in bankruptcy courts. In 2007, 16 House Democrats signed a letter opposing similar legislation.

They realized that the consequences would fall hardest on those hoping to buy a home, if markets logically respond by setting mortgage interest rates closer to those on, for example, auto loans or credit cards. A bankruptcy judge is now free to reduce amounts owed on many types of consumer debt. For mortgages, the iron-clad requirement to pay off the loan or lose the house is precisely to encourage lower rates on a less risky investment. [link]

Just another instance of Democrats wanting to reward failure. At everyone else's expense.

And this is just the beginning.

This Guy's An Economist?

Tell me if this, from the Washington Post's resident "economist" Robert J. Samuelson ("Obama's Health-Care Headache"), makes any sense.

Samuelson's Problem:

"American health care has gone haywire. It provides much splendid care but has glaring deficiencies. It is so costly that 15 percent of the population lacks health insurance."

Samuelson's Solution:

"We could change this. We could charge the elderly more for Medicare. We could tax employer-provided health insurance as ordinary income. We could create a dedicated federal tax to cover government health costs -- if health spending increased more than revenue, the tax would automatically rise. People would quickly feel the costs of our present system. Of course, that would be unpopular, because it would compel Americans to face a discomforting issue -- how important is health care compared with other priorities?"

America's health care delivery system is so expensive that we need to make it more expensive.

Actually, Samuelson is arguing that the system is excessively expensive because - in part - Americans aren't complaining about the high costs and, therefore, there is no incentive to reduce those costs. Really? There's no one complaining?

What planet has this guy been living on?

The Pendulum Swings

One of the first items on the Democrat agenda as Congress reconvenes is to pass a bill to curb global warming. I wonder if they can just declare victory without screwing up the economy any more than they already have.

Here's their out:
Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age
Pravda

The earth is now on the brink of entering another Ice Age, according to a large and compelling body of evidence from within the field of climate science. Many sources of data which provide our knowledge base of long-term climate change indicate that the warm, twelve thousand year-long Holocene period will rather soon be coming to an end, and then the earth will return to Ice Age conditions for the next 100,000 years. [link]
An ice age! Congress won!

Good grief. The Democrats are working to prevent warming while the planet is going into a cyclical ice age. Swell. That's just swell.

At Least She's Up Front About It

While Obama (with the help of America's business leadership) is working to turn the USA into a socialist Garden of Eden but is afraid to call it what it is, one of his top picks for a key post in his administration has no such qualms:
Obama climate czar has socialist ties
By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times

Until last week, Carol M. Browner, President-elect Barack Obama's pick as global warming czar, was listed as one of 14 leaders of a socialist group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which calls for "global governance" and says rich countries must shrink their economies to address climate change.

By Thursday, Mrs. Browner's name and biography had been removed from Socialist International's Web page, though a photo of her speaking June 30 to the group's congress in Greece was still available.

Socialist International, an umbrella group for many of the world's social democratic political parties such as Britain's Labor Party, says it supports socialism and is harshly critical of U.S. policies. [link]
For the love of God. A socialist in Obama's inner circle. What would William Ayres and Jeremiah Wright say?