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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Those Abingdon Segways

I've had a couple of posts recently that have touched on the subject of those Segway "vehicles" that the town of Abingdon has purchased. It's an effort, we're told, for the town to "go green." A photo crossed my desk yesterday of one of them in action at the recent Abingdon Tea Party:

According to a town official, the purchase is "part of Abingdon’s effort to be environmentally responsible and reduce its carbon footprint."

I wonder.

It would be worth some Bristol Herald Courier investigative reporter's time (I have a life; I don't have the time) to ask the good officials there if this purchase (along with that of a battery powered Volkswagen) actually replaced any gasoline powered vehicles or they are simply an addition to the fleet. If the town has the same number of squad cars in its police department, are the Segways really reducing anything?

Or are they just toys?

Or did they replace a couple of bicycles?

Or is this a feel-good effort that ultimately has no measurable effect on that carbon footprint that the town is supposedly trying to reduce.

Just asking.

The proof will be in the amount of gasoline (and diesel) that the town is consuming now (a very measurable piece of datum) as opposed to the period before the purchase.

This being government, I have my guess ...

Click on the image to enlarge it.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

The Roanoke Times has an interesting map that plots the locations of (some) of the many companies that have laid off or furloughed employees here in Southwest Virginia (and in part of Southside) ... since October.

3300 in all.

"With many more likely to follow."

See: Map: Layoffs in Southwest Virginia

As if we needed more of this ...

As You Would Expect ...

It's not in the Rust Belt.

And it's not union organized.

One Town’s Rare Ray of Hope: New Auto Plant

But it is in the good old USA.

Here's to Kia and the state of Georgia.

The 'Assault Weapons' Ban Debate ...

... like the misguided "gun show loophole" debate ...

... isn't at all what it appears to be.

Just ask those who are pushing both bans.

If This Is Change, Count Me Out

Every Democrat politician in the country, from Kaine to Obama, is now touting efforts to create and cultivate "green jobs." Of course, none of them have a clue as to what that really means. But it sounds good.

Now four university researchers have put together the data that revolves around this rather nebulous subject and have reached some startling preliminary conclusions.

Ready to have your bubble burst?

Here's their analysis (see "Green Jobs Myths"):
Myth: Everyone understands what a green job is.

Reality: No standard definition of a green job exists.

Myth: Creating green jobs will boost productive employment.

Reality: Green jobs estimates include huge numbers of clerical, bureaucratic, and administrative positions that do not produce goods and services for consumption.

Myth: Green jobs forecasts are reliable.

Reality: The green jobs studies made estimates using poor economic models based on dubious assumptions.

Myth: Green jobs promote employment growth.

Reality: By promoting more jobs instead of more productivity, the green jobs described in the literature encourage low-paying jobs in less desirable conditions. Economic growth cannot be ordered by Congress or by the United Nations. Government interference - such as restricting successful technologies in favor of speculative technologies favored by special interests - will generate stagnation.

Myth: The world economy can be remade by reducing trade and relying on local production and reduced consumption without dramatically decreasing our standard of living.

Reality: History shows that nations cannot produce everything their citizens need or desire. People and firms have talents that allow specialization that make goods and services ever more efficient and lower-cost, thereby enriching society.

Myth: Government mandates are a substitute for free markets.

Reality: Companies react more swiftly and efficiently to the demands of their customers and markets, than to cumbersome government mandates.

Myth: Imposing technological progress by regulation is desirable.

Reality: Some technologies preferred by the green jobs studies are not capable of efficiently reaching the scale necessary to meet today's demands and could be counterproductive to environmental quality.
For the details, go to the abstract to be found here.

In two words: Snake oil.

Thought For The Day

From Glenn Reynolds:
GOOD QUESTION: Why is it okay for Obama to oppose gay marriage, but not okay for Miss California to? “I didn’t hear the outrage when Joe Biden said that he and Barack Obama are against gay marriage. No incendiary language, no insults, no four letter obscenities.” Because people figure they’re lying, so it’s okay.
"People figure they’re lying, so it’s okay." Odd, isn't it? Nobody - including his die-hard supporters around the country - believes Obama is telling the truth about his opposition to gay marriage. Yet they lend their undying support to him anyway.

Me? I prefer that my heroes be honest and forthright. Call me old-fashioned.

You know, this says something about the other side. But I'll let you think it through.

I Knew There Was Something Different About Him

Can You Tell They're Frightened?

You've seen all the photos. You know what went on at the many Tea Party rallies around the country. That being understood, is this guy completely detached from reality or what?

New Hampshire Democratic Party Head: Tax Protesters an ‘Unhinged Mob’

It must have been the singing of the National Anthem that set him off.

Can You Tell They're Frightened? II

From Mary Kate Cary, US News blog:
Democrats Hysterical Over Tea Party Republicans

Why is the left so angry? It's a question posed by columnist Byron York today, and he's got a great point. With control of House, Senate, and White House, you'd think they'd be sitting on top of the world. Instead, they lash out in anger. York writes:

"If you doubt it, just watch a few minutes of MSNBC, where the recent nationwide series of 'tea parties' to protest federal spending and taxes set off an angry, almost manic response. The most telling came on Keith Olbermann's program, during which the actress Janeane Garofalo, who plays an FBI computer geek on '24,' denounced the tea parties as 'racism straight up.'

'Let's be very honest about what this is about,' Garofalo said. 'It's not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes...This is about hating a black man in the White House.'

Was she watching the same tea parties the rest of us were?

Similarly, longtime Democratic adviser Robert Shrum wrote in The Week about the tea parties, in a diatribe that seems to border on hysteria. Calling the tea parties 'insubstantial,' "incoherent," 'hate-filled,' and 'paranoia on parade,' Shrum compares those protesting Obama's tax-and-spend policies to those who supported McCarthyism, anti-Catholicism, and even those who distributed leaflets on the day of Kennedy's assassination accusing him of being a communist. He also throws in references to anti-Muslim rhetoric, swastikas, and rising gun sales as well. Clearly he doesn't think these protests were "insubstantial," or he wouldn't feel so threatened by them.

Isn't that what's going on here—that those who have a stake in a bigger government, higher taxes, and higher spending might feel threatened by what they saw last week?
I think she hit the nail on the head.

Come to think of it, they have a good reason to be fearful, if not deranged.

We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.