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

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Yeah. It'll Be Temporary.

Did you know that the federal income tax was - explicitly - a temporary measure that was to have ceased to exist four years after passage?

And here we are, 143 years after it was to have died, watching it grow.

And grow.

And grow.

So when I read about a government effort that is supposed to be temporary, I strap myself in for a long, long ride.

In this morning's Roanoke Times:
Government Motors

General Motors has essentially been nationalized. With the bankruptcy of GM that includes a second bailout from the taxpayers, the government stake in the once mighty American manufacturer is $50 billion and 60 percent of the equity in the corporation.

If this was expected to be a permanent situation, then those accusing President Obama of being a socialist-gone-wild might have a point. But the president made clear this is a drastic but temporary measure, and the United States will divest itself of its share of GM as soon as it is feasible. [link]
Right. Temporary. But only if Obama is soon driven from office. He has every reason - 50 billion of them, and counting - 464,910 loyal UAW members, and counting - to perpetuate the gift-giving. And no real good reason to stop.

So, if he's made emperor-for-life, as I suspect he may, we will see government ownership extend into coming decades.

150 billion ...

150 trillion ...

On and on and on and ...

The Sad Truth About Government Motors

Those who will be most supportive of General Motors' future success - besides the UAW, which gained a temporary reprieve from extinction - will be those who wouldn't be caught dead driving a General Motors product. That would be the enthusiastic UAW supporters who overwhelmingly drive Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, BMW's, and Volvos.

In other words, liberals.

A fact that doesn't bode well for the company's future, wouldn't you say?

Then there's this:
'Green' cars will go flat
By Lawrence Kudlow, Washington Times

[W]ith CAFE mileage standards ratcheting up - all while GM is going down - Team Obama's green vision for the economy will soon be crystal clear. With President Obama in the driver's seat, we will get little green two-door cars that most folks won't want to buy.

Even worse, United Auto Workers chief Ron Gettelfinger has made it plain that his powerful union won't let these cars be manufactured in low-cost nonunion plants overseas. The result? Mr. Obama's little green cars will be unprofitable, as well. [link]
So, can Obama supporters be expected to buy Mr. Obama's little green cars in the future? If the past is any indication, there ain't a prayer. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda will, without doubt, continue to make them greener and smaller and less expensive than GM.

And liberals still won't want to drive them under any circumstance.

The rest of us? We are $50 billion poorer for Obama's effort. Sigh ... How many curlicue light bulbs could we have purchased with that kind of cash? How much beer?

Who Knows?

This guy may be on to something. I bought a brake light housing for my tractor once over the internet. On eBay. Is that the same thing?
Advance's CEO touts future in Web sales
By Jeff Sturgeon, Roanoke Times

The Minnesota-based chief executive officer of Advance Auto Parts said Wednesday in Roanoke that the company is in no hurry to build stores on the West Coast but wants to equip itself more fully for Internet sales.

Darren Jackson -- not known for his visibility in the Roanoke Valley business community -- gave the keynote speech at the 49th annual meeting of Downtown Roanoke Inc., a nonprofit development and advocacy group.

n response to another query, Jackson said the company has a team in California developing Web-based applications to enable customers to purchase auto parts. "On the Internet, we're behind, and we're not behind by a small gap. We're behind by a large gap," he said.

"The forces of innovation will change that industry," he said. [link]
"The forces of innovation will change ...". An eternal truth in the business world.

Here's to Advance Auto's future. *

* Long may it stay in Roanoke.

I Saved The Planet!

Said the environmentally aware dim bulb:

"I am one with the planet. I bought an extremely expensive, poor light-emitting lightbulb!"

George Will:
Green With Guilt

In "The Green Bubble: Why Environmentalism Keeps Imploding" [the New Republic, May 20], Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, authors of "Break Through: Why We Can't Leave Saving the Planet to Environmentalists," say that a few years ago, being green "moved beyond politics." Gestures -- bringing reusable grocery bags to the store, purchasing a $4 heirloom tomato, inflating tires, weatherizing windows -- "gained fresh urgency" and "were suddenly infused with grand significance."

Green consumption became "positional consumption" that identified the consumer as a member of a moral and intellectual elite. A 2007 survey found that 57 percent of Prius purchasers said they bought their car because "it makes a statement about me."

Nordhaus and Shellenberger note the telling "insignificance," as environmental measures, of planting gardens or using fluorescent bulbs. Their significance is therapeutic, but not for the planet. They make people feel better:

The point of "utopian environmentalism" was to reduce guilt. Suddenly, commonplace acts -- e.g., buying light bulbs -- infused pedestrian lives with cosmic importance.

The dark side of utopianism is "escapism and a disengagement from reality that marks all bubbles, green or financial." Reengagement with reality is among the recession's benefits. [link]
George mentioned those reusable grocery bags that champions of the environment buy, but few ever reuse. A glaring example of the shallow nature of the environmental movement if there ever was one. It was the in-the-moment self-gratification that mattered. "I bought a reusable shopping bag. I'm saving the environment." And a few years later the bags are tossed into the landfill. They had served their purpose.

Human beings. You gotta love ... us.

A Good Question

Offered by Investor's Business Daily, in "Nukes Are OK For Iran, But Not For Us?"

"If Iran has 'legitimate energy concerns' that make its nuclear plants OK, doesn't the energy-starved U.S.?"

Where is Obama in the quest for U.S. energy independence?

Frightened Children

If this weren't so pathetic, it would be laughable:
Princeton Gun Scare Ends With 4 in Custody
By Brian Thompson and Jennifer Millman, NBC New York

Princeton University was in lockdown after a person holding what appeared to be a handgun was spotted on campus, school officials said. The lockdown lasted for nearly an hour.

Police took four juvenile suspects into custody just before 11:30 a.m. None of the four suspects were students. One had a dark green toy gun in his waistband that school officials said could have been mistaken for a real gun.

The four kids were apparently rummaging through some sort of trash dumpster and told cops that's where they found the toy gun, police sources told NBCNewYork.com. One of the juveniles picked up the fake gun, put it in his belt and started walking away with the other three kids when a woman spotted the gun in his waistband and called police.

No shots were fired. [link]
For the love of God.