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

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

'In The Not-Too-Distant Future'

Rick Boucher said it in 1985. His misguided pals continue the mantra two decades later:
Trail System in Southwest Virginia Would Spearhead Growth
By Larry E. Smith, writing in the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thanks in part to actions by the Virginia legislature, areas of economically depressed Southwest Virginia may receive an influx of visitors, along with their vacation budgets, in the not-too-distant future.

Legislation that took effect in July created the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority (SRRA) to develop a system of multiple-use trails in several southwest counties. SRRA has chosen the name Spearhead Trails, since a map of Southwest Virginia resembles the head of a spear.

Spearhead Trails is envisioned as a system of managed, sustainable trails for all-terrain vehicles and off-highway motorcycle riders, hikers, bikers, and equestrians that will ultimately link to the popular Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in West Virginia. The trails will provide a wealth of recreation opportunities close to all Virginians and will likely attract visitors from all over the Eastern U.S. and beyond. [link]
What's the word I'm looking for ...

BULLSHIT.

We need more trails? We now have more trails and bike paths crisscrossing Southwest Virginia than we have jobs created by them. If you want to call part-time bicycle repairman and minimum wage canoe livery rental agent "jobs" jobs. Oh, lest I shortchange the effort, there is a guy who sells backpacks down in Damascus. If you want to run down and get his autograph.

This after Congressman Boucher made trails and paths his hallmark economic stimulus effort - to coin a phrase - many, many years ago.

This after he's poured millions of federal tax dollars into the campaign.

Now, a quarter century later, clueless individuals - without any viable economic proposals to make - still give us this:

"... may receive an influx of visitors."

"...
the not-too-distant future."

"...
is envisioned..."

"...
will ultimately link ..."

"...
will likely attract visitors ..."

"...
will be an economic boon for Southwest Virginia."

"
Similar growth could be expected ..."

"...
will provide all Virginians..."

Woulda .

Coulda.

Shoulda.

Yada.

Yada.

Yada.

Here's the best line in the article:

"While trails on the ground may still be a couple of years off, now's the time to get behind the Spearhead Trails project."

All that's preventing us from realizing economic vitality here in Southwest Virginia is a lack of trails. That, of course, necessarily makes the fifty or so trails that exist here - most of which go virtually unused each day - what? Well, we'll need another commission to tell us that. Has this guy ever even been to Southwest Virginia?

A rather brilliant (former) Roanoke Times columnist wrote on this subject two full years ago (August 11, 2006), saying:
Politicians down this way sing that same song, because they too have no clue as to how to solve our problems. So they all talk of developing our tourism trade, of greater promotion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and of developing more opportunities relating to the Appalachian Trail. Of lots and lots of bike paths and hiking trails.

In case you haven’t noticed, we now have dozens of local, state, and federally funded trails crisscrossing Southwest Virginia. Some are little more than cow paths while others, like the Virginia Creeper Trail down in Damascus, have come at great expense. There are now even plans in the works to link many of them to one another. And there are still more trails in the development and construction stages.

To what end? Well, nobody’s sure. “Tourists/hikers/bikers” are the answers you get - whoever they are; however that’s measured; whatever good they bring.
So just a few more trails are going to finally bring prosperity to this tortured region? Gimme some of what you're smokin'. Make the pain go away.

Better yet, you go away. You're just pissing me off.

'Hope & Change'

Investor's Business Daily:
ABC News reported this week that many upper-income taxpayers already are planning to cut back on work and investments to stay under $250,000 in income — the point where Obama's punitive taxes kick in. No one wins from this, yet Obama seems oblivious.

The economy shrank 6.2% in the fourth quarter, worse than first expected. Home sales continue to fall, unemployment is rising sharply, and business investment is prostrate. Such an economy cries out for tax cuts, but we get none. Just punishment of those with wealth who might be able to pull us out of the slump.

Barack Obama won the presidency by vowing to bring "hope and change" to America. We've seen the change as the economy's deterioration accelerated. Now where's the hope?
We have to hope we can make it to 2012 and put someone in the White House who knows what he's doing and can straighten out this awful, awful mess.

I Offer a Compromise

Virginia's leading Republicans have thrown down the gauntlet:
Don’t send Guantanamo prisoners to Va., say Cantor, Wolf, Forbes
By Neil H. Simon, Media General News Service

Washington -- Virginia Republicans yesterday called on Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to join them in opposing the incarceration in Virginia of any prisoners now held at Guantanamo Bay.

The Republicans raised fears that the presence of detainees could make domestic jails targets of international terrorists and create local security risks in cases of escape. The lawmakers also were concerned that terrorists would try to recruit gang members.

"We simply aren't willing to take those risks," said [Randy] Forbes, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He introduced a bill to prohibit federal funds from being used to imprison detainees from Guantanamo at any prison or military base in Virginia. [link]
Now let's not come across as being too harsh, boys. There are those here in the commonwealth who feel a kinship with those terrorists being warehoused at Gitmo and want only the best for them.

So I say we compromise. We don't allow the cutthroats and beheaders to be brought to Southwest Virginia, despite the existence of an abundance of prisons. (Listen to me: They're not coming to Southwest Virginia). But we give consideration to sending them to the Starbucks of James Moran's choice in Alexandria.

He loves 'em. He lives with 'em.

See? I can be magnanimous at times.

Depression Sets In

If not economic, certainly mental.

Donald Sensing on the unfolding financial disaster:

How low can it go? I don't think we're close to bottom. I used to think that this was just fearmongering - now I wonder whether it's prophecy.

One thing I am convinced of. I am now 53, and I will not see for the remainder of my life the value of my house return to the level that identical houses in my neighborhood were selling for in 2006.

Once the present administration gets through socializing the economy of this country, I am far from convinced that the DJIA will return to its previous peak, or even close to it, during my lifetime. What was that about hope again?
Well, we certainly got the "change." But who was expecting hope...lessness?

Chart courtesy of Sense of Events.

Obama To Mad Mullahs:

"Fire away."
Obama Makes Overtures to Russia on Missile Defense
By Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post Staff Writer

President Obama has sent a letter to his Russian counterpart that raises the prospect of the United States halting development of its missile defense program in Eastern Europe if Russia helps resolve the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program, senior administration officials said last night.

Obama's letter, delivered to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in mid-February, "covered a number of topics" of mutual interest to the two countries, "including the issue of missile defense and how it relates to the Iranian threat," a senior administration official said. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the matter.

This official and others said the letter repeated an assertion Obama administration officials have voiced in recent weeks: The missile defense system would not be necessary if the threat posed by Iran's long-range missiles and its nuclear program was eliminated. [link] [my emphasis]
What's the word I'm looking for ...

OBLIVIOUS.

First, the missile defense shield is being built to counteract an attack from any number of crazy Muslims, not just the Iranians. The Syrians would love to get their hands on nukes and be able to launch them as well. And God knows where the Pakistanis are headed, the Pakistanis who already have the bomb and the means by which to deliver it.

More importantly, Obama is going to kowtow to the Russians in hope of influencing the Iranians? Is Jimmy Carter involved in this idiocy? Are we going to boycott the 2010 Olympics next? Say bad things about the Ukrainians? That's going to stop the Iranians from building the bomb?

So we drop our defenses as a sign of ... what? Fellowship? Fealty? Fraternity?

Fecklessness? Frailty? Feebleness? Folly?

For the love of God.

Without Doubt

As the Dow keeps dropping, the President is running out of people to blame.

Quote of the Day

Allahpundit on talking-head Christopher Buckley - who claims to be a conservative - suddenly realizing that he might have made a huge mistake in endorsing Obama's presidency:
This, mind you, from a guy [Buckley] who declared in the aforementioned October piece, “I am a small-government conservative who clings tenaciously and old-fashionedly to the idea that one ought to have balanced budgets.” Exit question: Which of the right’s prominent Obamicans will be next to evince buyer’s remorse? Kathleen Parker’s ride on Air Force One should tide her over for a few more bailouts and The One’s speechcraft should give Peggy Noonan plenty to praise for the foreseeable future, so the smart money’s on Brooks. Welcome back, David!
Conservative supporters of Obama. Seems so bizarre now.

If Global Warming Gets Any Worse ...

... we're all going to freeze to death!

Sweet justice coming out of Washington D.C. yesterday:
Out With A Shiver: Global Warming Protest Frozen Out by Massive Snowfall
By Joseph Abrams, FOXNews.com

Global warming activists stormed Washington Monday for what was billed as the nation's largest act of civil disobedience to fight climate change -- only to see the nation's capital virtually shut down by a major winter storm.

Schools and businesses were shuttered, lawmakers cancelled numerous appearances and the city came to a virtual standstill as Washington was blasted with its heaviest snowfall of the winter.

The snowy scene, with temperatures in the mid-20s, was reminiscent of a day in January 2004, when Al Gore made a major address on global warming in New York -- on one of the coldest days in the city's history. [link]
If you watched the video footage, you'd note that most of the protesters were college-age twits. Probably on their way to spring break where they'll kill even more of their precious few brain cells.

A couple of photos for your viewing pleasure. First this. The Associated Press provides the caption:

"Owen Burke, left, and Ephrata Wood, hold on to a tarp to drape around a stage they are installing during a windy snow storm outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Monday, March 2, 2009. The men were installing the stage for a global warming rally of college students happening later in the day."

Brrrrrr. Suppose they were wishing for a little of that global warming about then?

And this, also from AP:

"A view of the Capitol building in Washington, as seen from a pile of snow after a snow storm hit the Washington area, Monday, March 2, 2009."

On Global Warming Protest day. Suppose God is trying to tell these kids something?

Oh, yeah. They don't believe in God. Their belief system revolves around weather prognostications.

Well, see photos above, fellas.

And finally, we have a photo purported to show two leaders of the global warming protest arriving in Washington D.C. for their speech to their useful idiots (who were gathered around bonfires in order to stay alive).

I love it.

* Photos courtesy of Powerline.

That's More Like It

In response to Tim Kaine's effort to block offshore drilling for oil, and even the exploration for oil off the Virginia coast, gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, who doesn't have his head buried in the sand, released the following statement:
McDonnell Calls On Democratic Candidates to Support Offshore Energy Exploration and Development

Proposes Joint Letter to Secretary of the Interior Following Request by Governor to Delay Process

Development will Create Thousands of Jobs; Produce Hundreds of Millions in Revenue

Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Attorney General of Virginia, today asked the three Democratic candidates for Governor to join him in requesting that Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar reject Governor Tim Kaine's recent errant request to further delay the sale of a lease for exploration and development of energy resources off the Virginia coast.

Last year the 25-year-old federal moratorium on energy exploration and development off the coast of Virginia was allowed to expire by the United States Congress and the Presidential ban was also lifted. The leasing of exploration and development rights off the Virginia coast is scheduled for 2011, giving Virginia an extremely valuable advantage over other states along the Eastern Seaboard as the first state to explore and drill. However, the delay advocated by Governor Tim Kaine would eliminate Virginia's ability to start early, and place the Commonwealth into the same five-year program underway for other Atlantic states. This inexplicable obstruction of Virginia's advance towards energy independence and economic development cannot be permitted.

The development of Virginia's offshore energy reserves would mean thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenue. A recent study on the issue, produced in 2005 by a professor at Old Dominion University, estimated that offshore natural gas production off of the Virginia coast would, over a 10-year period, likely create 2,578 new jobs, induce capital investment of $7.84 billion, yield $644 million in direct and indirect payroll, and result in $271 million in state and local taxes. The numbers were based on a conservative projection of the possible cubic feet of natural gas existing in the targeted area offshore.

Three years ago, the Virginia General Assembly approved legislation to allow for natural gas exploration off of Virginia's coast. Due to this proactive move Virginia was included in a 5-year-plan announced by the Interior Department in 2007 to allow for oil and gas drilling in federal waters off the coast of Virginia. (Oil and gas exploration and drilling must be done in tandem under federal regulations) This head start, which the Governor's request for delay would eliminate, provides Virginia with the ability to be the national leader in offshore energy exploration off the Eastern Seaboard. New industry will move to Virginia if we act now, bringing much needed jobs to the Commonwealth.

McDonnell continued, noting, "I urge the Democratic candidates for Governor to put aside their pandering to special interests and do what's right for Virginia families. Democrats need to stop saying no to new jobs and revenue for Virginia. Offshore production of natural gas and oil is not the entire solution to our economic and energy challenges, but it is part of the solution and we need to stop with the delays and start making progress. Along with nuclear, solar, renewable and other sources offshore production helps us move toward energy independence and create jobs to get our economy moving again."
Sanity. How refreshing.