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

Sunday, March 01, 2009

We're Doomed

From the Roanoke Times this morning:
Stimulus for the New River Valley
By Christian Trejbal

The federal dump trucks full of stimulus cash will pull into Richmond any day now, and Gov. Tim Kaine needs help spending the billions. He wants Virginians to pitch ideas at the Web site stimulus.virginia.gov.

Already Virginians have suggested thousands of ways to boost the economy and save state services, including dozens of suggestions for the New River Valley worth more than $500 million. We are, after all, a region accustomed to government subsidies.

The most popular requests for the New River Valley are trail improvements. [link]
Trail improvements.

To stimulate the economy of Southwest Virginia.

Added to the myriad trails and paths that are already here.

In a region that is imploding.

Despite the myriad trails and paths.

That these geniuses want to add to.

To stimulate the economy.

I have a better idea.

Take that $500 million and rent one of these for every family in this troubled area:

That would stimulate an already burgeoning migration effort.

Blacksburg Celebrates Its Elitism

It looks like Wal-Mart may not find a home in Blacksburg after all. The town council there has won its case that found its way to the Virginia Supreme Court:
Blacksburg town council wins supreme court case against superstore
By Tonia Moxley, Roanoke Times

Blacksburg -- In a landmark decision on Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court handed the town council -- and residents who sided with it -- a major victory in their two-year fight to regulate a big-box store widely thought to be a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

The ruling, posted Friday on the court's Web site, affirmed the council's right to require Fairmount Properties of Ohio and partners to apply for a special-use permit to build a 186,000-square-foot store off South Main Street. [link]
The article goes on to say that this won't prevent Wal-Mart (or the developer) from seeking a special use permit from the town of Blacksburg, which is true, but if you understand that the reason the council threw up this latest impediment was to keep Wal-Mart out, it becomes fairly obvious that the effort will do the retail giant no good.

So the taxpayers in nearby Christiansburg - and its Wal-Mart - will benefit from the elitist attitutes of the people of Blacksburg. Both are happy.

And, as long as the snobs in Blacksburg can continue to suck from the teet of its primary benefactor, the state of Virginia and its deep pockets - think Virginia Tech - they will continue to
block progress. If preventing a Wal-Mart from coming to town discourages poor people from living there too, well, it's a win-win for the ... liberals ... there. Right?

Shed no tears for Wal-Mart. They'll do just fine. Here's hoping they locate property just outside Blacksburg town limits and build a colossal Super Center, with the myopic town leaders realizing not one red cent from the effort.

Newt In '12?

I wish Newt Gingrich didn't come with some serious baggage. He'd make the perfect president. And, based on the way things are going, we are going to need the intellect, experience, and leadership capabilities that he would bring to the job. All traits that his predecessor woefully lacks. A predecessor who is - unwittingly - wrecking this great country of ours.

That baggage? He cheated on his wife a number of years ago at a time when he was out pounding the podium, extolling the virtues of "family values" and such. A hypocrite? Of the first order.

But then, he wasn't best buds with domestic terrorists. And he didn't have as a mentor one of the most hate-consumed pastors in America. And he didn't skyrocket to the top without qualifications or experience. He worked his way up.

So ...
Eyeing Newt For '12
Investor's Business Daily editorial

As the Republican Party hunts for new faces for 2012, an old face has intruded from out of right field. Clearly, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is running for president.

Can the man who a decade and a half ago led Republicans to control of Congress for the first time in over 40 years perform another unlikely feat and replace Barack Obama in the White House?

Gingrich gave the speech of his life Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

Again and again, he referred to the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress as the "left-wing machine." Repeatedly he referred to Attorney General Eric Holder's accusation that America is a nation of cowards — challenging him to a one-on-one "dialogue about cowardice anywhere and anytime."

Gingrich suggested that the best locale for such a talk might be a poor neighborhood in Detroit, a city whose once-prosperous population of 1.8 million was halved by liberal policies that "trap children in schools that are disasters."

The former speaker taunted President Obama for opposing earmarks yet supporting spending legislation containing 8,000 such items, contending that the nation would rally behind this president "if he were to take on the Democratic machine" against wasteful spending.

He mocked the president's vow that taxes wouldn't be raised on those making under $250,000, saying the $650 billion pegged for energy tax revenues in Obama's budget would only hit those below $250k who use electricity, gasoline, heating oil or natural gas.

Those taxed the least under the new plan are apparently only "the Amish in central Pennsylvania," he quipped.

The most inventive content in Gingrich's electrifying address, however, was the political prescriptions for the coming Obama years. "We are bigger than the Republican Party," he said of the political movement that has found the GOP to be its most effective vehicle.

He accused the Bush administration of launching a "Bush-Obama continuity in economic policy" with its financial bailout last fall, noting Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's role in that government intervention.

The political division in America, rather than Democratic-Republican, he said, is "a party of the American people" and "a party of big government and political elites." And unfortunately, according to Gingrich, Republicans became "the right wing of that party" of massive government and elitism. [link]
Would Newt Gingrich make a great president? Without doubt.

Could he win in 2012? Maybe. The mainstream press would suddenly find fidelity to marriage vows to be an all-important prerequisite to high office (Bill Clinton? Who's Bill Clinton?), and he'll be excoriated for failing in that regard.

And he'll be demonized by the press as being like - no, worse than - that evil right-wing extremist Dick Cheney, with concentration camps and brown-shirted police coming our way, if elected. Yada. Yada. Yada.

But I've always liked old Newt. His prescriptions for fixing this sick puppy we call America have always been my prescriptions. And nobody can better articulate them than he does.

So, let's keep an eye on Newt Gingrich. This could be fun.

The NY Times Resident Bimbo

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd:
W.’s strategy was inspired by his insecurity. He has acknowledged that he went to war based on body language, without a full-throated debate or analysis; there was just a vibe coming from the general direction of the Pentagon and the vice president’s office that it was a good thing to do. His only real goal was to prove he was tough.
George W. Bush was insecure? I thought his overconfidence got the USA into the Iraq mess. Wasn't that the argument the lowlifes in the press have been making for the last six years?

There was no full-throated debate on Iraq? What was the Senate doing when John Kerry and Hillary stood up and argued in favor of invading Iraq? What was Secretary of State Collin Powell doing when he took the argument before the General Assembly of the United Nations?

No analysis? What were those detailed CIA briefings that were given to Bush and a number of members of Congress?

"There was just a vibe coming from the general direction of the Pentagon"? A vibe? Is she that dimwitted?

Maureen Dowd is generally considered to be a stupid person, but this tripe of hers takes the cake.

Memo To Tim Kaine and His Ilk

You want us to ignore all that oil sitting out there off the Virginia coast and, instead, concentrate on alternative sources of energy.

Like we haven't been?

For decades?
A Bet On Inefficiency
Investor's Business Daily editorial

The stimulus that the president signed after touring a solar panel installation in Denver throws billions at alternative energy. But after decades of existing subsidies, sources like solar are still being eclipsed.

President Obama has called the bill a "down payment" on the "new American energy economy" he is trying to create. He and the Democratic leaders in Congress say the bill's energy programs, which will get a total of $37.5 billion, will double U.S. alternative energy capacity over the next three years.

But that's not saying much. Solar and wind together provide less than half of 1% of our electricity. Hydropower provides 7%, natural gas and nuc-lear about 20% each, and coal about half.

Two projects in development will cover 12.5 square miles of central California with solar panels. At noon on a cloudless day they are designed to produce 800 megawatts of electricity, about as much as one large coal-fired plant. But actual production will likely be one-third that, and at uncompetitive rates.

The Energy Administration reported in early 2008 that government subsidies, before the stimulus bill, amounted to $24.34 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for solar and $23.37 per MWh for wind.

Continued subsidies for inefficient energy sources at the expense of reliable and abundant sources will only drive up energy costs and the national debt, while making it harder for the energy-starved American economy to recover. [link]
The USA has invested billions over the years to develop solar energy and, to date, we have little beyond the hand-held calculator to show for it. Now Obama is going to invest tens of billions more in the hope of having something even more utilitarian to crow about. A solar-powered back scratcher perhaps.

How dearly - and for how long - are you willing to keep pouring money down this rat hole?

'And Now You Know The Rest Of The Story'

Anyone whose listened to the radio over the last many decades will remember with fondness the most successful broadcaster (Rush Limbaugh excepted) in American history. What an entertainer he was.

Past tense:
Broadcasting pioneer Paul Harvey dies at age of 90
By Rupa Shenoy, Associated Press Writer

Chicago – Paul Harvey, the news commentator and talk-radio pioneer whose staccato style made him one of the nation's most familiar voices, died Saturday in Arizona, according to ABC Radio Networks. He was 90.

Harvey died surrounded by family at a hospital in Phoenix, where he had a winter home, said Louis Adams, a spokesman for ABC Radio Networks, where Harvey worked for more than 50 years. No cause of death was immediately available.

Known for his resonant voice and trademark delivery of "The Rest of the Story," Harvey had been heard nationally since 1951, when he began his "News and Comment" for ABC Radio Networks.

He became a heartland icon, delivering news and commentary with a distinctive Midwestern flavor. "Stand by for news!" he told his listeners. [link]
The legendary Paul Harvey, dead at age 90.

God to legend: "Page 2."

We're Not Talking Enough About Race?

Stuart Taylor on our being called "a nation of cowards":

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

Your speech commemorating Black History Month by calling America "a nation of cowards" because we "do not talk enough with each other about race" -- a topic about which we talk incessantly -- was unworthy of the admirable public servant I believe you to be.

The speech was, as others have pointed out, embarrassingly misinformed, hackneyed, and devoid of thoughtful contributions to racial dialogue.

The one point that you developed in a bit of detail in the February 18 speech was especially silly: "Black history is given a separate, and clearly not equal, treatment.... Until black history is included in the standard curriculum in our schools and becomes a regular part of all our lives, it will be viewed as a novelty, relatively unimportant and not as weighty as so-called 'real' American history."

Bosh. The reality is that our high schools and universities are quite clearly focusing disproportionate attention on black history.

The proof includes a poll published last year in which 2,000 high school juniors and seniors in all 50 states were asked to name the 10 most famous Americans, other than presidents and first ladies. The top three finishers were black: Martin Luther King Jr. (67 percent), Rosa Parks (60 percent), and Harriet Tubman (44 percent). So is the only living finisher, Oprah Winfrey (22 percent).

As for the universities, "the almost obsessive emphasis on race, class, and gender in the humanities and social sciences means that, if anything, black history is overrepresented in college history curricula," in the words of professor KC Johnson, a distinguished scholar of American history based at Brooklyn College.

To the contrary, this nation has adopted numerous civil-rights laws. It has replaced the once-pervasive regime of discrimination against blacks with a benignly motivated but nonetheless wide-reaching regime of discrimination against whites, euphemistically known as "affirmative action." It sometimes seems more interested in teaching children about slavery and segregation than about math and science. It has elected a black president.

For all of its flaws, this nation is "the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; [and] offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa," black sociologist Orlando Patterson wrote in 1991.

It'll do no good to bring all this up, Stuart. These people are fixated on the subjects of oppression and lack of opportunity. And you'll not get through to them.

The point hit home a number of years ago, in a very startling - laughable - way when I watched a Bryant Gumbel "Today Show" interview with movie director Spike Lee (both black). Lee, as is his norm, began his "America is a racist gulag" schtick, and told Gumbel that a black man has no chance of achieving the American dream, a declaration to which Gumbel agreed.

This from two of the most successful and wealthy men on the planet. Both Americans.

I knew right then that "dialogue" with these jokers was pointless. And hopeless. They live(d) in a world of illusion, detached from all reality. That detachment continues.

Stuart Taylor is right, of course. We've talked ourselves blue in the face about race in this country. And the Gumbels/Lees/Holders of this world don't see it.

So maybe the answer is to stop talking about it. And get back to living our lives. Want to "dialogue" about the color of one's skin and its implications? Leave me out. I've got a productive life to live.