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

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good For Him

I must admit, I talked to Jim Monroe a few years ago about his (actually his wife's) new business venture - an upscale garden center to serve the upscale clientele that he felt existed in Southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia and I was, to say the least, a bit skeptical. After all, what kind of person would pay big bucks for flowers and crap?

But then I'm a plastic bouquet kinda guy. I guess I should have taken his word for it.

I'm glad to see his research and development are paying off:
Nursery sales of 'Hort Couture' plants soar
Associated Press

Beckley, W.Va. (AP) -- Nursery owners with operations in Virginia and West Virginia have created a line of plants that caters to style-conscious gardeners.

Jim and Jennifer Monroe created the "Hort Couture" line two years ago. It now includes more than 500 varieties sold by 1,300 retailers in the United States and Canada.

Jim Monroe says he and his wife expect to sell 8 million plants this year, up from 6.5 million in 2008.

The Monroes own Greenbrier Nurseries in Beckley, W.Va., and in Roanoke, Va. [link]

If memory serves, Jim Monroe has the largest nursery stock of Japanese Maples there in Greenbrier County of any supplier on the planet. Not a bad distinction.

Now he's into Hort Couture. Very cool.

* For more information on his new venture, go to hortcoutureplants.com.
It appears that the Monroes are wholesaling Hort Couture products as well as retailing them. Double cool.

We Are Losing The Battle

I'm still worked up over that town hall meeting that took place in Roanoke on Saturday. The one in which state officials heard from local residents their ideas on prospective "poverty solutions." Fifty solutions in all, to be exact. Not one of which was a solution. Everyone of which would simply mitigate the symptoms. Lessen the pain. Make poverty more tolerable. Entrench its permanence.

The conference where an array of "solutions" to poverty were discussed and the word "JOBS" never entered the discussion.

I'm reminded of how suicidal that sort of mindset is again today by this (appearing in "China Knows Climate Deals Are Ruinous"):
Almost one year to the day after the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace predicted "China's economy will surpass that of the United States by 2035 and be twice its size by midcentury," three ominous events may have been largely missed by the American people after the Independence Day holiday.

At a July 7 Senate hearing on the effect cap-and-trade would have on global carbon output without cooperation from China and India, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared, "U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels."

On July 9, the Sierra Club issued a statement celebrating that 100 planned American coal power plants have been "defeated or abandoned."

And then, on July 8, Fortune magazine released its annual ranking of the world's 500 largest companies. The number of American companies on that list dropped to its lowest level since Fortune began its review.

The Chinese are kicking our ass. Stealing our jobs. Destroying our children's future.

And we jack around with CO2 initiatives.

And we dick around with light bulbs.

And we rejoice when plans for new power plants in a power-starved nation are defeated.

And we hold conferences in Roanoke, Virginia to talk about solutions to poverty that don't include solutions. We talk about making it easier to get welfare checks and universal health care. We talk about public transportation and felons' rights (!).

But we never talk about creating conditions such that poor people in Southwest Virginia are put to work. Given gainful employment. Presented with an opportunity to provide for their children. Furnished a chance to make for themselves a future! A future that precludes the need for welfare checks and public transportation and government-provided health care.

The Chinese are focused on job creation. We're focused on group hugs.

They deserve to rule the world.

And they will.

They are.

Quote of the Day

From Robert J. Samuelson:
It's not surprising that the much-ballyhooed "economic stimulus" hasn't done much stimulating. President Obama and his aides argue that it's too early to expect startling results. They have a point. A $14 trillion economy won't revive in a nanosecond. But the defects of the $787 billion package go deeper and won't be cured by time. The program crafted by Obama and the Democratic Congress wasn't engineered to maximize its economic impact. It was mostly a political exercise, designed to claim credit for any recovery, shower benefits on favored constituencies and signal support for fashionable causes.

Here, as elsewhere, there's a gap between Obama's high-minded rhetoric and his performance. In February, Obama denounced "politics as usual" in constructing the stimulus. But that's what we got, and Obama likes the result. Interviewed recently by ABC's Jake Tapper, he was asked whether he would change anything. Obama seemed to invoke a doctrine of presidential infallibility. "There's nothing that we would have done differently," he said.
"The Squandered Stimulus," Washington Post, July 20, 2009

What's He Been Doing?

President Is Set to 'Take the Baton'

Some of you might have thought he took the baton back in January.

You were wrong.

Shocking Statistics

Provided by Martin Luther King's niece:
The abortionist's eye is on us
By Alveda C. King, writing in the Washington Times

Abortion and racism are evil twins, born of the same lie. Where racism now hides its face in public, abortion is accomplishing the goals of which racism only once dreamed. Together, abortionists are destroying humanity at large and the black community in particular.

Abortion has taken a gruesome toll on the black community, killing more than AIDS and crime combined. Some 14 million black babies have been aborted since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all stages in all 50 states. That's equal to one-third of the number of blacks living today.

By the abortion industry's own statistics, black women are 4.8 times more likely to abort than are non-Hispanic white women. Blacks comprise about 13 percent of the population, yet have 37 percent of all abortions.

When dramatic racial disparities like these appeared in employment and education, it was enough to conclude that institutionalized racism and discrimination were present in our corporations and colleges. Why should we apply a different standard to the abortion industry? [link]
It's instructive to remember that this was the plan all along. Ms. King:
The abortion movement in this country was started by Margaret Sanger, the founder of an organization known today as Planned Parenthood. Ms. Sanger was quite open that she wanted "more children from the fit, less from the unfit." The unfit, she made clear, were blacks and poor whites.
A quote from the founder of Planned Parenthood:

"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

Fourteen million blacks in this country have been exterminated since 1973.

Twice the number of human beings that Adolf Hitler sent to the ovens.

Margaret Sanger looks on with admiration.

ObamaCare: The Big Lie

Michael Tanner:
Perils of ObamaCare: The Three Big Lies
New York Post

In making his case for a government takeover of the US health-care system, President Obama is going far beyond the usual Washington truth-stretching.

Take a look at just a few of the most common claims:

"If you like your current health-care plan, you can keep it." Even White House spokesmen have said that Obama's oft-repeated pledge that you can keep your current insurance isn't meant to be taken literally. The reality is that millions of Americans -- perhaps most Americans -- will be forced to change insurance plans.

"You will pay less." The Congressional Budget Office has made it clear that the reform plans now being debated will in crease overall health-care costs, yet President Obama on Friday repeatedly said that his reform would reduce costs and save Americans money.

But no matter how many times he says it, the truth is you will pay more -- much more -- both in higher taxes and in higher premiums.

"Quality will improve." Anyone who thinks a government takeover of the health-care system will improve quality of care has only to look at the health-care programs the government already runs: The Veterans Administration is overwhelmed with problems, Medicaid is notorious for providing poor quality at a high cost -- and Medicare has huge gaps in coverage.

The truth about Obama's lies.

He must not get away with this.

Kill All Environmentalists

This is rather timely. I mentioned yesterday the efforts of current-hemorrhoid and then-Senator Tim Wirth to fix the problem that never existed with the ozone layer in the Earth's upper atmosphere (he succeeded, by the way; the day the U.S. Congress passed its CFC ban in the 80's, the global ozone problem miraculously disappeared).

Well, guess what's back in the news. The ozone layer. And Wirth's "fix." And the damage that it has (supposedly) done to the environment. You can't make this stuff up:
Chemicals That Eased One Woe Worsen Another
By David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post Staff Writer

This is not the funny kind of irony: Scientists say the chemicals that helped solve the last global environmental crisis* -- the hole in the ozone layer -- are making the current one worse.

The chemicals, called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), were introduced widely in the 1990s to replace ozone-depleting gases used in air conditioners, refrigerators and insulating foam.

They worked: The earth's protective shield seems to be recovering.

But researchers say what's good for ozone is bad for climate change. In the atmosphere, these replacement chemicals act like "super" greenhouse gases, with a heat-trapping power that can be 4,470 times that of carbon dioxide.

Now, scientists say, the world must find replacements for the replacements -- or these super-emissions could cancel out other efforts to stop global warming. [link]
Hey, I have an idea: How 'bout we replace those climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFC's) with chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's)? They're a lot more effective in their application, they are a lot less costly, and they'll save the environment!

Then, a few years from now, we can let the environmentalists tell us once again that we need to fix the fix that they imposed. And we'll let them impose a new fix. For the fix. For the fix. Then, several years from then, we can let the environmentalists ...

* I still get a kick out of this kind of drivel. Congress passes a law that affects only U.S. industry and the global problem with ozone holes evaporates. These geniuses actually believe it happened.

Define The Word 'Qualified'

The Washington Post editorial page, October 17, 2008:

"The nominating process this year produced two unusually talented and qualified presidential candidates. There are few public figures we have respected more over the years than Sen. John McCain. Yet it is without ambivalence that we endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president." [my emphasis]

Obama's qualifications? All of one full term in the Senate.

The Washington Post yesterday:

"After four days of often intense confirmation hearings, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor proved herself well-qualified and worthy of confirmation." [again]

Well-qualified? A woman who doesn't know the difference between the words "eminent" and "imminent"? "Providence" and "province"? "Store" and "story"?

Both Obama and Sotomayor have proven themselves to be qualified to play in my sandbox. Nothing more.

"Qualified." That's amusing.

This Should Make Caregivers Really Happy

It now appears, with Congressional Democrats finding out that even a massive tax increase won't cover the monumental increase in the cost of health care reform that Obama is proposing, that doctors and hospitals (and state governments) will be targeted for punishment.

And the New York Times is all for it.

This should make prospective caregivers want to join the profession:
Costs and Benefits
editorial

Democrats pushing for health care reform got serious jolts last week from critics who warned that their proposed legislation would do little to slow spiraling health care costs.

The ... problem is how to slow the rate of increase in health care costs. Those costs are growing faster than inflation, wages and the overall economy.

The House bill makes a good start in the right direction by proposing changes in Medicare reimbursement rates and various pilot programs to encourage greater productivity and less costly forms of care. But more could and should be done.

Medicare ought to be empowered, for example, to reduce its payment rates to the highest-cost hospitals and most inefficient doctors. That is probably the best way to get them to stop providing needless tests and treatments that don’t improve the health of the patient.* [link]
There's a reason we pay a lot of money to physicians for services rendered. We want only the best and brightest cutting us open and removing vital organs. Start reimbursing them at minimum wage rates and you get minimum wage butchers.

Which is where we're headed if all we want, in the end, are controlled costs.

This is not going to be good.

* A misguided notion. ALL doctors seek "needless tests and treatments" so as to cover their backsides in case malpractice lawsuits come up. It's not just "the highest-cost hospitals and most inefficient doctors." It's everyone.

Are These People Simply Stupid?

So how do we reduce the cost of health care?

By raising taxes.

Huh?

The very liberal Los Angeles Times:
Spread the pain of paying for healthcare reform
editorial

[I]f the healthcare system continues on its present course, its ever-rising cost will eventually drag down the economy. That's why it's worth making changes that slow the increase in spending down the road.

Ideally, lawmakers would finance those changes in ways that would increase consumers' sensitivity to healthcare costs without eliminating jobs and slowing economic growth. [link]
Got that? Lawmakers should reduce the cost of care for everyone by "increasing consumers' sensitivity." That's what we call a euphemism. A euphemism for "make them howl in pain" by raising their taxes. But don't make it so painful as to disrupt the economy.

Again: America's really smart liberals want to reduce your costs of care by raising your taxes.

I'd say this was a joke if I didn't know these people were dead serious.