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

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Move Over, Fellas

There's a new editorial page in town.

It's called the weblog.

It has to be tough these days to write commentary for a newspaper. News breaks, information is compiled, information is checked, sources are checked, the editorial committee bats around an editorial response, proofreading, editing, rewrites, more committee discussions, final proofs ...

By then everyone on the planet has heard the news, read the analysis, absorbed the implications, and moved on. Everyone, that is, except the newspaper editorial page.

Case in point: The poor Roanoke Times.

The following is an editorial about a subject that the Democrats brought up a long time ago, one that was subsequently dropped - because it was found to be completely baseless. A long time ago.

And the boys at the Times are just now getting around to addressing it. Heck, it's been so long since I covered it, I had to go to the archives to refresh my memory:
Cheney and the CIA
editorial

President Obama's reluctance to investigate the possible legal wrongdoings of his predecessor is understandable, if unfortunate.

Understandable because such an investigation would heighten partisan rancor and detract from Obama's broad, forward-looking agenda.

Unfortunate because evidence continues to mount that the Bush administration abused executive authority and trampled the law.

Obama's reluctance may need to be overcome to get to the bottom of the latest revelation: Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly ordered the CIA to keep a secret counterterrorism program shielded from congressional oversight.

Details of the program are murky ... [link]
Actually details of the program became unmurky a week ago when it was determined that the program was never even a program. It was a discussion. Nothing more.

But the Times - a week late and a story short - comes to us with pithy commentary about what ought to be done to correct this grievous wrong. The one that the rest of us quit paying attention to when Michael Jackson died. The wrong that everyone now knows was never a wrong.

I expect a response from the Times to this weblog post sometime around November.

Of 2010.

They're Blind

A state government task force came to Roanoke the other day trying to get its arms around the issue of poverty. Commendably, it was seeking solutions to that seriously growing problem. Predictably, the government task force was presented with a range of government solutions.

More of the same, in other words:
Officials hear 50 solutions to poverty
By Mason Adams, Roanoke Times

Finding problems associated with poverty during this national recession isn't difficult.

On Saturday, state officials visited 25 localities around the commonwealth seeking a much rarer commodity: solutions to those problems.

They found 50 at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, where individuals and representatives from local government and nonprofit agencies stepped up to give two-minute spiels on their ideas.

The suggestions -- which ranged from streamlining the welfare application process to reinstating the 36 percent annual interest rate cap on payday and car title loans -- will be compiled by the Virginia Poverty Reduction Taskforce into a report that will be delivered to Gov. Tim Kaine and the two major-party candidates for governor. Kaine will subsequently make recommendations to the Virginia General Assembly, probably by this fall.

Many of the suggested poverty solutions involve more state funding, which will likely be a tough sell during a time when lawmakers have been faced with cutting programs and services because of shrinking revenues.

TAP [Total Action Against Poverty] President Ted Edlich called for universal health care and better regional cooperation.

Correlli Rasheed, who also works with TAP, said that public transportation should be expanded and that rights to felons should be more quickly restored once they leave prison.

Jo Nelson, who helps with TAP's work force-development program, said that welfare requirements should be changed to allow ... [link]
We need more government help.

We need more government help.

We need more government help.

We need more government help.

Meanwhile our governments are on the verge of implosion because of a lack of funds because they have provided more help - trillions of help - to the poor - an ever-expanding demographic - than they have available to them.

Government poverty programs have failed us over the last four decades.

So let's do more of them!

Someday someone is going to stand up at one these bullshitfests and ask: How do we get all those thousands of employers who left here and moved their jobs to China back here to the USA?

I guarantee you this: The answer doesn't involve ...

... streamlining the welfare application process, or ...

... reinstating the 36 percent annual interest rate cap on payday and car title loans, or ...

... more state funding, or ...

... universal health care, or ...

... regional cooperation (?), or ...

... public transportation needing expansion, or ...

... welfare requirements needing to be changed.

The government - THE PROBLEM - taxes too much. The government regulates too much. The government badgers too much.

You want answers? China - where taxes are lower, regulations are less onerous, and where government allows commerce to thrive unimpeded - China - where thousands of Virginia jobs have fled - is expanding like crazy. This isn't rocket science. Look to China. Do what China does. Do what we once did. In a day when we were rolling in jobs and poverty wasn't nearly the problem it is today.

A day when we knew what we were doing and didn't need silly government conferences to figure that out.

Quote of the Day

On ObamaCare, Investor's Business Daily:
When it's all whittled down, as few as 12 million are unable to buy insurance — less than 4% of a population of 305 million. For this we need to nationalize 17% of our nation's $14 trillion economy and change the current care that 89% like?
"Reformers' Claims Just Don't Add Up," July 17, 2009

At Least They're Honest

This comes to us - via the New York Times - from an infamous Princeton PhD - the one who not only supports infanticide but encourages it - Peter Singer. I bring that up because it makes his call for cutting the elderly loose when it comes to nationalized health care more readily understood.

Singer:
Why We Must Ration Health Care

Rationing health care means getting value for the billions we are spending by setting limits on which treatments should be paid for from the public purse. If we ration we won’t be writing blank checks to pharmaceutical companies for their patented drugs, nor paying for whatever procedures doctors choose to recommend. When public funds subsidize health care or provide it directly, it is crazy not to try to get value for money. The debate over health care reform in the United States should start from the premise that some form of health care rationing is both inescapable and desirable. Then we can ask, What is the best way to do it?

As a first take, we might say that the good achieved by health care is the number of lives saved. But that is too crude. The death of a teenager is a greater tragedy than the death of an 85-year-old, and this should be reflected in our priorities. We can accommodate that difference by calculating the number of life-years saved, rather than simply the number of lives saved. If a teenager can be expected to live another ... [link]
This is what you can expect from government health care. Your age will determine the extent of care that you'll receive.

And America is rapidly aging.

The bottom line: Cut 'em loose. Cut us loose. Save money.

That's what passes for "health care for all" in leftistland.

Who Ya Gonna Trust?

Obama Says Health Plan Won’t Add to Deficit

CBO: House version of ObamaCare adds $239 billion to deficit

We're Back To That

It's time someone explained to the leadership of the Episcopal Church (USA) what the word "inclusivity" means. Last time I checked my trusty Webster's, it didn't define the word as having anything to do with driving a huge portion of your flock OUT.

Yet that's what those leaders have done over the last few years. Conservative members of this once-proud, once-large mainline church have fled in droves since it was decided to jam the homosexual issue down their throats. It being done, as bizarre as it sounds, in the name of "inclusivity."

So how is the leadership reacting to its plummeting membership count? What's it going to do to keep its members from all becoming Baptists?

Need you ask?
Pared-Down Episcopal Church Is Looking to Grow Through ‘Inclusivity’
By Laurie Goodstein, New York Times

Anaheim, Calif. — The Episcopal Church is betting its future on the hope that there are more young people out there like Will Hay.

Mr. Hay, 17, was one of the youngest voting delegates at the church’s 10-day triennial convention, which ended Friday. He has stuck with his church, even when the priest and most of the parishioners in his conservative San Diego parish quit the Episcopal Church two years ago in protest of its liberal moves, particularly the approval in 2003 of an openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson. Mr. Hay has helped rebuild his parish, which was left with 48 people and has since drawn nearly 100 new members.

Mr. Hay is no left-wing ideologue, and in fact fears that some of the convention’s landmark decisions last week may alienate even more conservatives. The church’s convention voted not to stand in the way if another gay bishop were elected and to allow for the blessing of same-sex couples.

But Mr. Hay was not troubled by those things. And he believes that the church can grow by emphasizing “inclusivity,” the favorite buzzword of Episcopalians.

Whether Episcopalians really can regenerate a church based on youth and “inclusivity” remains to be seen. [link]
This guy has a future in his church. He believes in "inclusivity" and thinks, at the same time, that his church made the right decision about embracing homosexuality, even though it will drive out - exclude - conservative members of that same church.

That's the Episcopalian definition of inclusion.

This kid will go far.

Though his church may not. A large percentage of its target audience - the gay population - never attends church.

But maybe he'll change all that.

Maybe he won't.

'America Is Not At War. America Is At The Mall'

That's a quote that I read the other day. Origin unknown.

It's worth mentioning, as you head out to church and then to the Mall this morning, that we are, in fact, still at war:
Captive G.I. on Video by Taliban
By the Associated Press

Washington (AP) — The American soldier who disappeared June 30 in eastern Afghanistan, and was later confirmed to have been captured, appears on a video posted Saturday to a Web site by the Taliban, two United States defense officials said.

The soldier is shown in the 28-minute video with his head shaved and the start of a beard. He is sitting, wearing a nondescript gray outfit.

American defense officials confirmed that the man in the video is the captured soldier.

The soldier says the date is July 14. He says he was captured when he lagged behind on a patrol. [link]
We hope for his speedy and safe return.

In the meantime, the war goes on.

Just Like That Hemorrhoid That Won't Go Away

This is truly déjà vu all over again.

I related the story on these pages long ago about the man and the incident that made me an enemy of environmentalists forever. The moment at which I realized they weren't just reckless; they were criminally dangerous.

It occurred on an episode of CNN's Crossfire show way back in the early to mid-eighties (I think). The guest was then-Senator Tim Wirth of Colorado. A big environmentalist then and now. He was being asked about legislation pending before Congress that had to do with the environment - ozone holes, as I remember.

The pivotal moment came about something like this:

Interviewer: "But there is no evidence to back up that which you claim."

Wirth: "We can't wait for evidence. If we wait for evidence to be brought forth, it will be too late. We must act."

There is no evidence to back up what I'm saying, so let's so let's do what I'm saying.

Which, if you think about it, is a great argument for burning witches at the stake and setting cookies and milk out on Christmas Eve for Santa.

The man shocked me into a lifelong reality: He is delusional, dangerous, and prepared to alter our way of life so as to conform us to his twisted worldview.

I now make it my business to do what I can to combat his kind at every turn.

So why do I bring this up now?

Guess who's back:
Wirth delivers ‘extreme words’ on climate change to energy execs at COGA conference
By Cathy Proctor, Denver Business Journal

Calling his own speech “extreme words,” Tim Wirth, a former U.S. senator from Colorado and now head of the United Nations Foundation, told natural gas executives Wednesday they are running out of time to position their industry as part of the solution to climate change.

“You don’t have the right to sit back and do nothing [about climate change],” Wirth told a crowd of nearly 2,000 people at the Colorado Convention Center, responding to a question about what the industry should do about climate change legislation in the U.S. Congress. “We are in very deep trouble, the edge of catastrophe, and you can help.” [link]
We're running out of time.

Again.

Or is it still?

With jokers like this, it may be a never-ending "edge of catastrophe."

I learned long ago to not trust a word people like Wirth say.

You'd do well to do the same.

Oh, Those Devilish Details

Get this:
With Push Toward Renewable Energy, California Sets Pace for Solar Power
By Felicity Barringer, New York Times

San Francisco — A decade ago, only 500 rooftops in California boasted solar panels that harvest the sun’s energy. Today, there are nearly 50,000 solar-panel installations in the state, according to a report to be issued Thursday by the research and lobbying group Environment California.

As a result, California, the longtime national leader in solar energy, has a capacity of more than 500 megawatts of solar power at peak periods in the early afternoon — the same as a major power plant.

The solar capacity in California grew by a third from 2007 to 2008. [link]
Jumpin' Jehosaphat! That's BIG!

Now I understand what Obama and his bunch are talking about when they extol the virtues of the renewable energy economy.

500 to 50,000 in ten years.

Rock on!

Uh, what?

Gimme that again?
But even with the increases of the last decade, solar power is a pipsqueak among energy sources; it represents about one-quarter of 1 percent of California’s total energy capacity, according to the California Energy Commission. Nationally, according to the Energy Information Administration, it represents about 0.02 percent of total capacity, but those federal figures are incomplete: they reflect only centralized facilities, not distributed rooftop installations.
0.02%? Is that even measurable? Can that be right? 1/5th of one percent? That must rank right up there with cow methane power. And turn-on-and-open-your-oven-on-a-cold-day power.

And what of those 50,000 rooftops in California that are now gathering solar energy?

It turns out they've been heavily subsidized by the state for years. The same state that is now broke.

So how different would the results be if California wasn't footing the bill?

"Cost is a major hurdle; installation of a rooftop system is likely to cost at least $20,000."

I think we've heard enough.

- - -

I particularly enjoyed this line:

"California, the longtime national leader in solar energy, has a capacity of more than 500 megawatts of solar power at peak periods in the early afternoon — the same as a major power plant."

Peak periods in the early afternoon.
And the other 21 hours in the day? Speaks volumes about its capacity, its scope, and its potential.

A Jolt Of Reality

My brief fascination with the new Camaro had me thinking that I might, despite all its problems, buy GM again some day.

But a Democrat has brought me back to my senses and reminded me why I'll never see the USA in a Chevrolet again:
Harkin wants ethanol measures in climate bill
By Philip Brasher, Des Moines Register

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Tom Harkin said he wants Congress to use a climate bill to force auto companies to make new cars and trucks capable of running on 85 percent ethanol as well as conventional gasoline.

"We own the automobile companies. Why not? I think that will be an easy one," Harkin said Thursday, referring to the government interests in Chrysler and General Motors. [link]
Yeah, so what if the thing runs like crap, gets terrible gas mileage, and requires an engine replacement at 120,000 miles. We all know that Chrysler and GM are now just welfare programs for otherwise dispossessed auto workers. So why not enrich our already fabulously wealthy corn farmers while we're handing out the public assistance checks?

For the love of God.

Ford is looking so much better by the day ...

- - -

I must correct Mr. Harkin. "We" don't own the automobile companies. We own failing automobile companies. There are lots of others that are doing just fine. And aren't controlled by the likes Harkin.