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

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Too Clever By Half

I ask you, can someone take the need to come up with a cute acronym for another worthless government program too far? How about this for pushing the envelope?

Commonwealth’s Health Approach and Mobilization Plan for Inactivity, Obesity and Nutrition

The acronym?



There may be method to the madness, though. If the intent of the "plan" is for Virginians to lose weight, it may work. I think I lost eight ounces just typing the name of "the plan."

But couldn't the commission have come up with something shorter? Like FLAB?

Fat Losers Against Burgers. Pretty bad, isn't it?

Say What?

I wanted to make this a post about the ever-rising cost of electricity and how it relates to the fact that energy is increasingly scarce now that America has decided to give up on Drill Here! Drill Now! and chosen instead to believe that power generation can come from Barack Obama's magic wand.

But I quickly recalled that power plant furnaces generally use coal and not petroleum fuel.

And I was struck by something else when I read this:
Requesting 16 percent rate increase APCO cites ‘no-growth’ budget
By Charles Owens, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Tazewell, Va. — Residents of Southwest Virginia could soon see another increase in their monthly electric bills.

Appalachian Power announced Friday it had filed for an approximate 16 percent rate increase with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

The company is seeking an adjustment to the fuel factor component of rates equaling to an increase of about 12 percent to be effective July 1. The company also is seeking a 3.5 percent increase in the environmental and reliability surcharge. [link]
It was at this point that I thought of Obama and Kaine and Warner and every other IQ-challenged Democrat and how they are causing these increases in electricity costs by sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to energy resources and the acquisition thereof, preferring instead to drool over wind and french fry oil and "green" energy, and all that.

But then I read APCO's explanation for the need to increase everyone's electric bill and everything changed:
The company is citing two reasons why the adjustment is needed, including an increase in actual fuel costs that are higher than the cost level reflected in the current fuel factor and a decline in the economy and off-system sales profits that serve as an offset against fuel factor costs. As a result of those two factors, the company is currently under-collecting at a rate of approximately $8 million.

"The cost of the level of factors and offsets are reflected in the current profit adjus ..."


I've now read that ditty five times. I think, translated, it means:

"Shit costs more."

Could be wrong though.

Personally? I'd give APCO its rate increase just for having come up with the brain-shriveling explanation.

Art Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

And we get to be beholders.

Question: Can one be arrested for obstructing a sidewalk?

Guess we'll find out.

The Roanoke Times editorial staff is in a dither this morning over a stunt "performed" by a group of "artists" in downtown Star City that led to one of the "artists" being handcuffed and arrested. It just ain't "hip" (Is a person "hip" if he uses the word "hip" in the year of Our Lord 2009? It's s-o-o-o-o 1980).
Arrested for art
editorial comment

We're writing an editorial for Monday about the arrest yesterday of a performance artist in downtown Roanoke. Civic leaders want the city to be hip, but apparently the police didn't get the memo. In a hip city, artists put on shows in public places. When the police crack down on them for failing to produce identification and "impeding the sidewalk" it sets back the city's hip quotient a decade. It is, in a word, embarrassing.

Sure, the artists could have notified the city about what they were doing, but it never should have come to this. [link]
They are right, of course. It shouldn't have come to the point where someone had to be busted (another 1980 word). But as the video shows, one of the "artists" refused to cooperate with a police officer who wanted her to take her show elsewhere and chose instead to defy the man in blue. The result was predictable.

Here's the video:

I'll tell you what the arrestable offense is: Calling a handful of people staring at (unplugged) TV sets while sitting in the middle of a busy downtown sidewalk art. It's a lot of things, but it ain't art.

As to whether it's "hip" or not, I'll leave the decision to those who consider themselves such.

A question: Will the upcoming editorial coming on Monday address the fact that the police officer's actions were performance art as well? Does that make him hip? Should his actions therefore be supported? If not, why not? What are the rules governing hipness?

Video courtesy of the Roanoke Times.

On Those Chrysler Dealership Closings

A cursory look at the list of 789 franchise dealerships that Chrysler has announced will be cut loose, there are five in Southwest Virginia (and one just across the border in Bluefield, WV). They are:

Dominion Car Company
Salem, VA

Nelson Auto Group South
Martinsville, VA

Pope Family Enterprises
Marion, VA

Scott Newcomb Motors
Bassett, VA

University Motors
Christiansburg, VA

T&T Pontiac-Buick
Bluefield, WV

Thought you might be interested.

* General Motors has notified 1,100 dealers that they will cease to see GM cars and trucks going forward. A list of those dealerships has not yet been released to the public.

** Update: Debra McCown, Bristol Herald Courier, advises that no Southwest Virginia GM dealers will be affected in the first round of closings.

Why We Have Electricity

I can remember many years ago, when we lived west of Detroit, the temperature hitting -15° Fahrenheit one night and the fuel oil turning to gel in the line going from the tank outside to the furnace, shutting it down. It gets that cold in Michigan.

Knowing that, I can't imagine anyone thinking that this would work:
Troy's celebrated solar house left in dark
Shawn D. Lewis, Detroit News

Troy -- It was supposed to be a shining example of the green movement -- a completely independent solar-powered house with no gas or electrical hookups.

Seven months ago, officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the $900,000 house owned by the city of Troy that was to be used as an educational tool and meeting spot.

But it never opened to the public. And it remains closed.

Frozen pipes during the winter caused $16,000 in damage to floors, and city officials aren't sure when the house at the Troy Community Center will open.

"It's not safe right now, and there's no estimated opening time because it depends on when we can get funding," said Carol Anderson, director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

Lawrence Technological University, with help from DTE, mostly paid for the building. Its students built the 800-square-foot home, which was supposed to be livable year-round, free from the grid and churn out enough solar power to support a home-based business and electric vehicle.

So what caused the flood?

The city says it was a mechanical problem. University officials heard it differently.

Jeff Biegler, superintendent of parks for the city, said the flooding occurred from a glitch in the heater.

"The system was designed to kick a heater on to keep water from freezing," Biegler said. "The heater drew all reserve power out of the battery causing the system to back down and the pipes froze." [link]
How awful is that? The ($900,000) system was designed to keep enough heat in the place, not to keep the building comfortable, but only to allow the room to reach a temperature that would keep the plumbing from bursting, and it sucked out all the life from the battery.

What exactly are these geniuses trying to accomplish? The Dark Ages?

Quote of the Day

From CIA director Leon Panetta, in response to the charge that the CIA had lied to Speaker Nancy Pelosi about having actually used "enhanced techniques" on detainees at Guantanamo:
Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values. As the Agency indicated previously in response to Congressional inquiries, our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing “the enhanced techniques that had been employed.” Ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened. [link] [my emphasis]
Keep on diggin', babe.

Those Sneaky Illegal Immigrants


"Be on the lookout for a `54 Chevy...... Red with White top"

W Is Looking Better All The Time

That's not me talking. That's Mr. Hope & Change:
Obama revives tribunals for Gitmo detainees
By Lara Jakes, Associated Press Writer

Washington (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday restarted a Bush-era military trial system for a small number of Guantanamo detainees, reviving a method of prosecution he once assailed as flawed but with new legal protections for terror suspects.

In a three-paragraph White House statement, Obama announced the decision that already has drawn criticism from liberal groups, arguing that it will ensure a legitimate forum to prosecute alleged terrorists being held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Obama had criticized the system established by President George W. Bush, and in his statement, he said it had only succeeded in prosecuting three suspected terrorist in more than seven years. [link]
Did you get that? Whereas Obama was, when he was in campaign mode, criticizing Bush for circumventing the judicial system by creating this military tribunal system, now he's criticizing Bush for having only prosecuted three bad guys through the military court system that Obama said should never have been set up and vowed to shut down when he became president.

Do you laugh at this or do you get angry?

I Like This Woman!

I hope you have a hi-speed connection. This is worth viewing.

Pajamas TV presents: "Sonja Schmidt offers a healthy portion of reality for Elizabeth Edwards’ book tour."

She says the things that I'd want to say, if I weren't such a gentleman.