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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Works For Me

On first read, this would seem to be a (mild) attack on the area's coal companies and their raping of the land.

But when you think about it ...
UN lauds effort to reforest Appalachia's mountains
By Roger Alford, Associated Press Writer

[Sam Adams] was one of about 70 people gathered in Blackey [Kentucky] last week to plant thousands of trees on the barren grasslands* left behind by mining companies that have ripped the mountaintops apart to unearth coal, decimating entire forests.

"We've got an estimated 741,000 acres in Appalachia that are barren," said Adams, the Kentucky coordinator for the conservation group Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team. "If we put a dent in that, if we could correct that, I think it's well worth doing."

Adams and the others were volunteering for the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, a movement led by the U.S. Office of Surface Mining and several Appalachian states to replace trees uprooted in the search for coal. The campaign is being lauded by the United Nations Environment Programme, which wants to plant 7 billion trees worldwide in the next three years to combat global deforestation. [link]
Why, those rotten coal companies.

But wait.

Take out the pejorative phrases ("barren grasslands" "ripped the mountaintops apart" "decimating entire forests") written by this objective reporter and you find a quite hopeful story. A story about renewal:
The overall goal is to plant about 38 million trees on Appalachian mine sites.

The U.S. Office of Surface Mining, armed with university research debunking the myth that trees won't grow on the played-out mine lands, has been encouraging coal companies to restore the forests. Patrick Angel, a Kentucky-based forester for the federal agency, said native trees can grow as long as the soil and rock isn't so heavily compacted that their roots can't penetrate the reclaimed land.

University of Kentucky forester John Lhotka said research over the past 25 years shows it can work.

"In terms of the growth rate, some of them are similar to natural forests," Lhotka said.

The coal industry supports reforestation, said Luke Popovich, spokesman for the National Mining Association in Washington.

Preparing the mine land for reforestation is no more expensive than compacting the ground and turning it into grasslands, Popovich said.

So Appalachia can be mined, the citizenry therein can be fruitfully employed, and the land can then be returned to its natural state.

Who knew?

In reality, all of us who don't live in Manhattan or on some insular college campus know it.

I think we all know, too, that my reading of this story isn't what the blind-to-reality environmentalists want us to take away from this story.

"Barren grasslands ..." "Ripped the mountaintops apart ..." "Decimating entire forests ..."

- - -

* Earth to reporter: Grasslands can't be barren. Barren means lifeless. Soil that is able to support plant life is just the opposite of barren. Perhaps you simply meant treeless. Either that or you took your cue from the morons who lead the environmental movement.

On This We Disagree

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson thinks we are making a mistake in believing that Obama's reliance on his teleprompter signals a weakness in intuition:
What the Teleprompter Teaches

The issue gathered momentum when Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen read 20 seconds of Obama's teleprompter remarks at a White House ceremony before realizing his mistake. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, at her nomination as head of Health and Human Services, was made to wait in awkward silence while Obama's teleprompter was adjusted. Then came Obama's use of the big-screen autocue at Tuesday night's news conference.

Coverage by Ron Fournier of the Associated Press began: "What kind of politician brings a teleprompter to a news conference?" A recent Politico story asserted, "President Barack Obama doesn't go anywhere without his teleprompter," calling it a "crutch."

But it is a mistake to argue that the uncrafted is somehow more authentic. Those writers and commentators who prefer the unscripted, who use "rhetoric" as an epithet, who see the teleprompter as a linguistic push-up bra, do not understand the nature of presidential leadership or the importance of writing to the process of thought.

Governing is a craft, not merely a talent. It involves the careful sorting of ideas and priorities. [link]
No argument there. All that's well and good - if Obama wrote what he reads to us.

But he doesn't. From his teleprompter we get thoughts directed at us from some faceless committee. We get poll-tested rhetoric. We get carefully crafted nuances written by operatives whose goal it is to not let Obama say anything that might affect his popularity numbers. Goofy things such as "It's like - it was like Special Olympics or something." He reads the approved message.

What we don't get are Obama's thoughts.

And that's fine too, if one understands that Obama - lacking any real leadership capabilities - is going to rule by committee in the coming years and we might as well know what that committee's attitude is on subjects of the day.

So Obama reads what's written for him. Don't object to it. But don't make it out to be something it's not.

Beware That Which You Hope For

Investor's Business Daily brings some sanity to the discussion about America's awful, AWFUL health care delivery system:
How U.S. Health Care Really Stacks Up

Manipulative filmmaker Michael Moore says "we have the worst health care in the Western world" and has offered up Cuba as a paradigm for the U.S. to follow.

The kindest thing most Democrats will say about health care in the U.S. is that it's broken.

But what we spend isn't thrown down a rathole. The National Center for Policy Analysis has published a study, "10 Surprising Facts About American Health Care," that shows how Americans get something for the extra dollars they lay out. To wit:

• "Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers."

• "Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians."

• "Americans have better access to treatment of chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries."

• "Americans have better access to preventive cancer screenings than Canadians."

• "Lower-income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians."

• "Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom."

• "People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed."

• "Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians."

• "Americans have much better access to important new technologies like medical imaging than patients in Canada or the U.K."

• "Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations."

Can the nationalized, universal systems in Britain, Canada or anywhere else improve on this? No, but we can ruin our health care by following the policies of countries where medical treatment is far below the American standard. [link] [my emphasis]
The U.S. has a high number of (temporary) uninsured. To "correct" that, we're going to destroy the best system ever devised by humankind? Have we gone mad?

It Figures

The New York Times is more fearful of incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu than it is of the terrorist group Hamas.

See "Being a Partner for Peace."

See how screwed up east coast liberals are.

Why Not

It serves no other purpose ...

Tourist and 2 Others on Way to Space Station

Surely space exploration has a higher purpose.

Or not.

Quote of the Day

If you've been following the economic trade wars that the Democrats in Washington have precipitated, particularly with Mexico, you'll understand this from John J. Miller:

"Democrats seem more intent on keeping Mexican trucks out of the United States than illegal aliens ..."

The age in which we live ...

Crunch Time

We all know that Hillary has balls. But Hillary is in charge of nothing. We'll soon be finding out if Obama is as courageous as so many of his sycophants have been telling us:
Clinton: NKorea plan to fire missile 'provocative'
By Matthew Lee and Pamela Hess, My Way.com

Mexico City (AP) - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday warned North Korea that firing a missile for any purpose would be a "provocative act" that would have consequences.

North Korea is loading a rocket on a launch pad in anticipation of the launch of a communications satellite between April 4 and 8, U.S. counterproliferation [sic] and intelligence officials said. North Korea announced its intention to launch the satellite in February, but regional powers worry the claim is a cover for the launch of a long-range missile capable of reaching Alaska.

Clinton told reporters during a visit to Mexico City that the U.S. believes the North Korean plan to fire a missile for any purpose would violate a U.N. Security Council resolution barring the country from ballistic activity. She linked a missile launch to the future of talks between the U.S., North Korea and four other nations aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

"We have made it very clear that the North Koreans pursue this pathway at a cost and with consequences to the six-party talks, which we would like to see revived," Clinton said. [link]
Uh, that's it? If North Korea launches its missile, we are going to bar them from participating in sure-to-be fruitless talks ... about North Korea? What's that?!

Obama's gotten to her. That has to be what's going on here. This isn't even tough talk, much less a tough response. This is mindless idiocy. Jimmy Carter idiocy.

For the love of God. It's no wonder ammunition sales in this country have gone through the roof since November. It's every man for himself.

What Are These People Doing?

Sick. That's what Obama's people are. Demented.
Terror inmates may be released in US: intel chief

President Barack Obama's intelligence chief confirmed Thursday that some Guantanamo inmates may be released on US soil and receive assistance to return to society.

"If we are to release them in the United States, we need some sort of assistance for them to start a new life," said National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair at his first press conference.

"You can't just put them on the street," he added. "All that is work in progress."

The Obama administration is currently evaluating what could be done with the prisoners, he said, but pledged that if they are sent to another country, "we have to be sure that that country will treat them in a humane fashion."[link]

This slimeball is nothing more than a social worker disguised as an Obama bigwig.

Treat them in a humane fashion? Will they treat our children and grandchildren humanely when they succeed in their ultimate mission? Their avowed mission to slaughter our loved ones in our streets?

They've gone mad. Our elected leadership in Washington has lost its collective mind.

This Should Fry Their Eggs

As Obama's poll ratings head into the nether regions, Rush Limbaugh's soar. I have to tell you, there is satisfaction in this that goes beyond words:
Rush's Ratings Bonanza
By Brian Maloney, The Ratings Equalizer

Will the White House ever learn its lesson?

A combination of several powerful forces has resulted in explosive talk radio ratings growth, with indications of much more to come in the months ahead.

Primary factor driving the upward move? You guessed it: Rush Limbaugh. That's in contrast to declining support for Rush's arch-rival Obama.

With Limbaugh at the top of his game, including a more deeply loyal audience than ever, the numbers were expected to be strong. The beginning of the Obamist era, combined with a direct White House campaign targeting the talk titan, however, provided rocket fuel for El Rushbo's ratings. Even to seasoned industry veterans, this data should prove stunning.

Some specifics:

In New York City, WABC has experienced huge gains during Rush's noon- 3pm timeslot: from 4.6 to 6.7 overall ...

In the second-largest market, Los Angeles, KFI-AM has surged into the number one position ...

Chicago, saw another huge move, with Rush affiliate WLS also taking first place during his timeslot ...

KSFO / San Francisco saw similar results, despite the extreme-left bent of the Bay Area: 4.7 to 6.0 share, now ranking second overall ...

In Dallas - Fort Worth, 4.8 to 6.4 men 35-64 and fourth overall ...

Houston's results were truly blockbuster: 6.0 to 9.8 overall, ranking number one with a bullet ...

Keep in mind that these numbers don't even include Limbaugh's strongest markets, medium-sized cities such as Reno, Albuquerque, Boise, Fresno, Bakersfield and hundreds of others where his program dominates local radio. [link]
It's unfortunate that my work precludes my catching much of his show, but it's heartwarming knowing that the man's unwavering devotion to his country (first) and to conservatism (second) is followed - and greatly appreciated - by so many. Rush is a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Obama would do well to pick on those that can't fight back - like Wall Street executives - and leave the "lovable little fuzzball" alone.

Publicity photo courtesy of Rush Limbaugh.