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

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Well, It Was On The Verge Of Bankruptcy

Virginia Tech poised for a piece of stimulus pie

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* Special note:

"As of June 30, 2008, the market value of all endowments held by the Virginia Tech Foundation Inc., including pledges to endowments, totaled $527.6 million. Of the total endowment, $487.8 million is invested in the foundation´s pooled consolidated endowment fund, while $39.8 million is held separately in real estate partnerships, notes, deeds of trust, and contributions receivable, as well as other corporate securities."

The Vilification of America's Lepers Continues

Another day, another smoking law:

Democrats Target McDonnell As Va. Smoking Ban Is Signed

So what, in practical terms, has been accomplished by this new law?

Smokers are humiliated. Again.

And we feel good for having done it.
There were strict rules which a leper had to observe. The person had to live outside the camp away from other people so the disease would not spread. If the sores went away, the leper had to go to the priest to be examined. If the priest said that the man was no longer contagious, he could go back and live with his family.

Sometimes people got the disease because they had disobeyed God. Miriam, the sister of Moses, got leprosy because she and Aaron, her brother, said that God should be speaking through them as He did through their brother Moses. [source]
Lepers. Smokers.
Primitive times. The "enlightened" age.

The Campaign Rolls On

Haven't we gotten enough of Obama's meaningless pledges by now?

Obama Pledges to Limit Use of Signing Statements

And, unlike all the other pledges he made - and broke - in the past, he really, really means it this time.

Out Of Their Minds

Remember the good old days when American trade policy focused on economic matters?

No longer. Now the United States government is going to stress "social issues."

And global warming.

In the midst of a disastrous economic recession.

That is consuming the entire planet.

May God have mercy on us:
U.S. to Toughen Its Stance On Trade
By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post Staff Writer

The Obama administration is aggressively reworking U.S. trade policy to more strongly emphasize domestic and social issues, from the displacement of American workers to climate change.

Even as world trade takes its steepest drop in 80 years amid the global economic crisis, the administration is preparing to take a harder line with America's trading partners. It will seek new benchmarks before supporting already-written trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea and is suggesting that it will dig in its heels on global trade talks, demanding that other countries make broader concessions first. [link]
So Obama is doing everything he can to drive American jobs overseas through his sweeping, punitive tax and regulation proposals and, at the same time, he is going to sit down with our trading partners and demand that they quit stealing American jobs. Oh, and they need to fix the "global warming" problem.

Hope and change? How about freaking and stupid?

Food For Thought

Amid all the euphoria over Obama's reversal of George Bush's ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, it would do everyone well to remember: That research has accomplished nothing since it began. N-o-t-h-i-n-g.
Bailing Out Bad Science
Investor's Business Daily

The president keeps a promise by lifting restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research — what he calls "the gold standard" of such research. Judging by results, fool's gold is more like it.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama said: "I believe that the restrictions that President Bush has placed on funding of human embryonic stem cell research have handcuffed our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations."

With all due respect, that is nonsense. With Obama lifting the restrictions on Monday, we will now be federally funding research that has yet to produce a single therapy or a single treatment of an actual human being, at least one that works. It has generated a lot of hope but very little change. It is he who is putting ideology over science. [link]
Not only has the research produced no positive results, but the euphoria over Obama's action is wrong-headed as well:

The typical reaction to Obama's move was represented in a Los Angeles Times sub-headline in its Saturday piece describing Obama's decision. It read, "Lifting Bush's limits on research will reopen a door for science." But no door had been closed.

Bush's executive order banned federal funding only of new stem cell lines. Neither federal funding of existing lines nor private funding was banned. In fact, Bush was the first president to spend any money on ESCR at all. Clinton spent zero.

That's what makes this Drudge headline laughable:

Or pseudoscience, as the case may be.

Headline Of The Day

Obama: I Am Not a Socialist, Because Bush Expanded Medicare!

Shouldn't a 'Stimulus' Stimulate?

Well, it appears we did, in fact, pour money (over a trillion dollars, counting interest) down a rat hole. That "stimulus" that Obama forced us to pay apparently will do absolutely no good. Except to line the pockets of favored Democrat constituencies.

Go figure.
US Recession Could Last Up to 36 Months: Roubini
ByJane Wells, CNBC

The man who predicted the current financial crisis said the US recession could drag on for years without drastic action.

"We are in the 15th month of a recession," said Nouriel Roubini, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, told CNBC in a live interview. "Growth is going to be close to zero and unemployment rate well above 10 percent into next year."

Echoing a speech he made earlier in the day, Roubini said he sees "no hope for the recession ending in 2009 and will more than likely last into 2010." [link]
I know. I know. It would have been much worse if Obama hadn't done what he did. He "saved" 3 million jobs and all that.

But no matter. The stimulus bill is ancient news. Nobody will be held accountable. Especially our power-forward-in-chief.

Odd how we allow things like this to continue without a peep.

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* To show that this Roubini fella may not be all there, he has, according to the article, made this proposal to solve the economic crisis:

"Among his solutions: fix the housing market by breaking 'every mortgage contract.'"

Which is tantamount to declaring anarchy. Oh, well, take his musings for what they're worth.

I Love these Guys

A true story:

In addition to communicating with the local Air Traffic Control facility, all aircraft in the Persian Gulf AOR are required to give the Iranian Air Defense Radar (military) a ten minute "heads up" if they will be transiting Iranian airspace. This is a common procedure for commercial aircraft and involves giving them your call sign, transponder code, type aircraft, and points of origin and destination.

I just flew with a guy who overheard this conversation on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5 MHz while flying from Europe to Dubai.

The conversation went like this...

Iranian Air Defense Radar: "Unknown aircraft, you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself."

Aircraft: "This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace."

Air Defense Radar: "You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft."

Aircraft: "This is a United States Marine Corps FA-18 fighter. Send 'em up, I'll wait!"

Air Defense Radar: (no response ... total silence)

* Author unknown.

Annie B Opposes Rest Area Closings

Personally, I think VDOT is just trying to get more funding by threatening to close rest stops along Virginia's interstates. But that's just an opinion.

Here's Anne B. Crockett-Stark's (R-Wytheville):
Crockett-Stark opposes safety rest area closures
Delegate encourages citizens to participate in public comment period.

Wytheville, Virginia- State Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R-Wythe) announced today her opposition to the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) decision to close 25 of the 43 safety rest areas in the state. As part of that decision, VDOT has proposed closing all but three of the rest areas along the I-81 corridor. The only rest stops that would remain open would be at Bristol, Abingdon and Winchester.

"VDOT needs to reconsider their decision to close this significant number of rest areas in the state," Crockett-Stark said. "Especially the disproportionate number of closings along Interstate 81. This 300 plus mile stretch is a very long drive for truckers, which causes them to have fatigue levels that can endanger them and others. It also encourages them to rest in shopping mall parking lots, which causes many other issues."

"These rest areas are a vital part of the safety and economic infrastructure in Virginia. They provide a safe and clean environment for tired travelers and truckers to stop. They are also an important amenity in our tourism industry," Crockett-Stark noted.
I think the good delegate should threaten to reduce funding to VDOT if the leadership thereof wants to see this game of bluff through. "Two can play," as they say.

Such The Shame

Time magazine has published that which an outfit called "24/7 Wall St." claims are the ten most endangered newspapers in America. On that list of truly great newspapers from a bygone era, at number four, is the Detroit News.

This to me is particularly sad (but not surprising) in that I once considered the Detroit News to be the second best paper in the country (and in my extensive travels, I regularly read most of them). Second only to the incomparable Wall Street Journal.

I've told the story a number of times about my being in Detroit on occasion, opening my hotel room door to head out in the morning, only to find that rag of a pretender of a "newspaper," USA Today, hanging from the doorknob. I would toss it in the trash and go down to the lobby and buy a Detroit News instead. A real newspaper. It was that much better.

But then something tragic happened in 1995 to destroy the paper forever. Unions struck both the News and the Detroit Free Press, demanding whatever it is that unions routinely demand. It was a long, drawn-out, vicious strike that lasted for many months. When it was ended, the paper came back on line, but it never came back to life. It was no longer the same paper. It's soul, as well as its leading reporters and columnists, had disappeared. It's talent looking for paychecks. USA Today became the better choice. The News was - it is - that bad.

So rumors abound that the Detroit News is soon to be history. I've got news for these folks: the Detroit News died a long time ago.