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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, February 05, 2009

Point Counterpoint

Roanoke Times editorialist Elizabeth Strother:

"The Washington Post quotes Rep. Tom McClintock of California moaning that the program [the State Children's Health Insurance Program] was 'slowly replacing employer health plans with government-paid health plans, with spiraling costs to taxpayers.'

But more and more, employers are trying to hold down costs of health care benefits by shifting them to employees, many of whom can't afford to participate.

What world do these guys live in?"

Webloggist Jerry Fuhrman:

They live in a world that includes Canada and Britain, where government-run health care necessarily involved the rationing of precious care. They live in a world that includes health care systems that "these guys" want no part of.

A recent study revealed that the socialization of health care in Britain - with its heart-rending rationing - brought improved services to 15% of the populace. And poorer service to 85%. But all are treated equally now. Except for the well-connected, who can work around the system, are given special dispensation, or fly to the United States where they can expect magnificent care.

Magnificent care at least until Obama brings an end to the best health care delivery system ever devised by man.

America In Flames ...

... and Congressional Democrats all drive down to a posh resort in Williamsburg, where they'll meet with President Obama, who lives just down the street from them in Washington, and who'll helicopter down to a posh resort in Williamsburg, to tell them that the excesses enjoyed by America's CEO's must come to an end.

Are these guys serious?
President Obama makes Williamsburg stop today
Associated Press

Williamsburg -- President Obama is coming to Williamsburg for a meeting with Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives.

Officials said that the president will speak today to lawmakers as part of an annual retreat at Kingsmill Resort & Spa in James City County. Details of his schedule have not been released and the appearance will be closed to the public. [link]
Got that? These guys all work within walking distance of one another and run down to a lavish resort - en masse - to have a meeting. And probably not by bus.

Strictly business, of course.

- - -

Obtuse
Adjective: obtuse äb-ˈtüs, əb-, -ˈtyüs
1. Lacking in insight or discernment
2. Slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity

Cute

An eye-catching headline in today's Investor's Business Daily:

Russia Buys A Vowel In Kyrgyzstan

It's a story about Russia closing off a NATO supply line to Afghanistan that goes through ... Krg ... er, Kgr ... Krigy ... uh, ... Krgrzzst ... some country whose name has an unnatural number of y's and z's.

So We're Not All Going To Die?

You may have read the other day the dire prediction that came from Obama's new energy secretary* that global warming is going to end life on this planet. Or something.

But a new study makes one wonder if global warming isn't a good thing for the future of the world's species:
Fossils of Largest Snake Give Hint of Hot Earth
By Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times

Some 60 million years ago, well after the demise of the dinosaurs, a giant relative of today’s boa constrictors, weighing more than a ton and measuring 42 feet long, hunted crocodiles in rain-washed tropical forests in northern South America, according to a new fossil discovery.

The fossil find — a batch of super-sized vertebrae pulled from an open-pit coal mine in northeast Colombia — is remarkable enough just as a paleontological extreme. The species, given the name Titanoboa cerrejonensis, is now the largest known snake species ever discovered.

[T]he existence of such a large snake may ... help clarify how hot the tropics became during an era when the planet, as a whole, was far warmer than it is now, and also how well moist tropical ecosystems can tolerate a much warmer global climate.

An independent critique of the work by Matthew Huber, an earth and climate scientist at Purdue, also published in Nature, said the findings provided a hint that the tropics could get a lot warmer than they are now, but also “attest to the resiliency of tropical ecosystems in the face of extreme warming.” [link]
What to take away from this?

a) The planet has cooled after it had warmed. Long before human activity had any impact.

b) Scientists haven't the first clue as to whether warming is a good thing for the planet's species or a bad thing.

c) Obama is going to draw wildly absurd - and completely insupportable - conclusions anyway, and wreck the economy in an effort to solve a problem that probably doesn't exist.

d) For the love of God.

- -

* It should be noted that this climate expert won a Nobel for work trapping atoms with laser light, which makes him, in this our enlightened era, an expert on climate.

Like I Said ...

... just yesterday:

"Unprepared. Unqualified. Inexperienced. You were warned."

Today, Victor Davis Hanson has similar thoughts:
The Impending Obama Meltdown
National Review

Some of us have been warning that it was not healthy for the U.S. media to have deified rather than questioned Obama, especially given that they tore apart Bush, ridiculed Palin, and caricatured Hillary. And now we can see the results of their two years of advocacy rather than scrutiny.

We are quite literally after two weeks teetering on an Obama implosion—and with no Dick Morris to bail him out—brought on by messianic delusions of grandeur, hubris, and a strange naivete that soaring rhetoric and a multiracial profile can add requisite cover to good old-fashioned Chicago politicking.

At home, Obama is becoming laughable and laying the groundwork for the greatest conservative populist reaction since the Reagan Revolution. Abroad, some really creepy people are lining up to test Obama's world view of "Bush did it/but I am the world" ...

This is quite serious. I can't recall a similarly disastrous start in a half-century ... [link]
Serious indeed. At a time most perilous when we need a steady, fearless, experienced hand at the helm, we get ... Junior.

So What's Plan B?

If electric cars are grossly expensive*, inefficient, and hard to find, what are we supposed to be buying in the future, Barack? Bicycles?

You're making it clear that you don't want us driving gas-powered cars. What's your alternative, big guy?
Drilling Leases Scrapped in Utah
By Leslie Kaufman, New York Times

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday canceled leases to drill for gas and oil on 77 parcels of public land in Utah.

The leases, which cover more than 100,000 acres, including lands near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, were auctioned in the last weeks of the Bush administration. They were among 11th-hour actions taken by the Bush Interior Department that have been criticized by environmental groups and are being reviewed by Obama officials.

He did not rule out drilling on the lands in the future if a review found it feasible. He said, however, that the Obama administration would find a “new balance” between protecting environmentally sensitive park areas and opening public lands to energy exploration and drilling. [link]
Let's see. We "balance" environmental concerns in America's wastelands with our growing energy shortage by protecting rock formations, making the energy shortage worse by the day.

For the love of God.

- - -

GM's tiny little Volt, which will go on the market soon, with great fanfare, will cost between $30,000 and $40,000. Compare that to Nissan's 1.6 liter Versa that has a base price 1/3rd to 1/4th the cost of that Volt, but runs on gasoline.

'Poor Man's Cocaine' Takes Its Toll

We needn't be told what price is being paid as a result of the most pervasive illicit drug-of-choice here in Southwest Virginia being so readily available. We read about it in the newspapers far too often. But the Rand Corporation has gone to the trouble to remind us. The toll is devastating:
Societal Cost of Meth Use Is Gauged in New Study
By Erik Eckholm, New York Times

In the first effort to calculate the national price of methamphetamine abuse, a new study said the addictive stimulant imposed costs of $23.4 billion in 2005. While the authors, from the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif., caution that many impacts were difficult to quantify, their study suggests that methamphetamine takes an economic toll nearly as great as heroin and possibly more.

Methamphetamine was named the primary cause of some 900 deaths in 2005, and the report estimates that premature mortality alone cost $4 billion.

About 400,000 Americans are believed to be addicted to methamphetamine, but a rising number are smoking it rather than taking it orally or snorting it. Smoking brings a faster, jolting high, quicker addiction and more ill effects.

Several potentially major costs were not factored in because they could not be measured. These include, for example, the burdens imposed on the families and friends of addicts, and the burdens of children who are not taken into the foster system. [link]
On that last point, the break-up of the family is a very serious, and growing problem, and children's services programs here are stretched to the limit. Meth is a major factor.

And it's only getting worse.

Paint That Fence

It's amazing what Matt Drudge, Fox News, and a million weblogs can do to get around the mainstream media's effort to canonize Barack Obama and paint his "stimulus" plan as an act of pure genius.

To those who used to have their way with us: Sorry, fellas. There's a new sheriff in town:
Support for Stimulus Package Falls to 37%
Rasmussen Reports

Support for the economic recovery plan working its way through Congress has fallen again this week. For the first time, a plurality of voters nationwide oppose the $800-billion-plus plan.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 37% favor the legislation, 43% are opposed, and 20% are not sure.

Opposition has grown from 34% two weeks ago to 39% last week and 43% today.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of Democrats still support the plan. That figure is down from 74% a week ago. Just 13% of Republicans and 27% of those not affiliated with either major party agree. [link]

Again, this collapse has taken place over a two-week period of time. And it has come about right after the mainstream press's coronation of the All-Knowing, All-Seeing, Really-Smart Point Guard - Emperor Obama. The man behind the plan.

Is it any wonder that he wants Congress to pass the thing before anyone's had a chance to debate the details? Is it any wonder that he wants us silenced?

Expect support for this atrocious plan to be in single digits in another two weeks.

What again was that comment about putting lipstick on a pig, Barry? Katie Couric may be stupid enough to fall for it, but I got news for you ...

'Then They Came For Me'

This is a little note to flight attendant Dawn Berry from Scotsdale, AZ.

You cheer the president's decision to cap executives' pay, because you're not an executive, and, obviously, because you never intend to be. Besides, the bastards don't deserve the kind of pay they're getting, right? Someone needed to do something about it. Right?

And Obama - and the United States government - were just the ticket.

Right?

A quote from "U.S. sets executive pay limits for bailout companies":

"Thank you Mr. President. It is definitely time," said Dawn Berry, a flight attendant from Scottsdale, Arizona.

"Maybe it will send a message to the other CEOs and decision makers at top levels of management. ... Don't go around living high on the hog when you have employees who are wondering each day if they come in to work, if it's going to be their last day."

So what if Obama decides to put a limit on flight attendants' pay? Would you still be as enamored of the idea?

"But that's different. Those Wall Street executives make so much more than I do. That's not fair."

Fair? Okay.

Should Tiger Woods' annual income be capped?

Willie Nelson's?

Stephen King's?

If yes, whose income shouldn't be capped? Is there some threshold? Are there other groups of individuals you don't like? How about negroes? Should their wages be controlled by the government? Jews! Yeah, the Jews! They deserve it too! Nail the Jews! And fags! We all hate fags!

Me? I'm for capping the salaries of stupid women.*

Want to play this game? You put together your list; I'll do mine. We'll meet at the bottom of the cesspit.

* See next post.

Headline of the Day

Nancy Pelosi: Dumber than Soap

What's Up With This?

You can't tell me that retired Marine major generals can have amassed tax problems that compare to Tom Daschle's. Or can you?

What in God's name is this all about?
Obama backs out on Iraq appointment
By Barbara Slavin, Washington Times

The Obama administration asked retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni to be U.S. ambassador to Iraq but abruptly withdrew the appointment without explanation, Gen. Zinni said Tuesday.

Gen. Zinni, a former commander of Central Command, told The Washington Times that he had been offered the job by the White House national security adviser, retired Marine Gen. James Jones, two weeks ago and that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed the offer on Jan. 26.

"I started making arrangements," Gen. Zinni said, but became concerned because he heard nothing further from the State Department or White House. He called Gen. Jones Monday night and was told that Christopher Hill, the outgoing assistant secretary of State for East Asia, was getting the job.

Gen. Zinni said no explanation was given. "That kind of bothered me," he said. "I was told that I had it."

The State Department had no immediate comment. [link]
They're out of control.