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

Friday, August 07, 2009

Boucher's Coming To Visit

This is your chance to meet your 9th District congressman and ask him any questions you might have, such as:

· Rick, are you and your wife going to give up your gold-plated Congressional health care plan in exchange for that which the rest of us get stuck with when your buddies pass ObamaCare?

· Rick, you're a strong advocate of Cap-and-Trade, a bill designed to stop global warming. Since the globe hasn't warmed at all this century, what exactly is your bill supposed to stop?

· Rick, you said in that sniveling letter you sent to the Dickenson Star recently that your climate bill would enable "growth in our region’s coal industry." Why then does your legislation also provide for extended unemployment benefits for all those thousands of miners who will be laid off by your legislation? Which is it? Growth? Or collapse?

· Rick, you recently announced your opposition to Appalachian Power's proposed rate increase. Yet experts agree that your cap-and-trade legislation will raise utility rates significantly. Which is it? Are you for them or against them?

· Rick, you have scheduled two town hall meetings during the Congressional recess. One up in Dublin and the other in Abingdon. Is there a reason why you chose to go nowhere near the coalfields while here?

· Rick, young, white, unmarried males would be foolish to purchase health insurance since statistics show the chances to be extremely slim that they'll ever get out of it what they put into it. Yet Obama's health care program will require that they all purchase coverage or be saddled with punitive taxes. Is that true? And do you support Americans being punished in such a way by their own government?

There's the short list. We can all add to it. We have a bit of time. You see, Rick Boucher's comin' slummin', but not for a few weeks.

Edgycater brings us the news:
In southwest Virginia's 9th congressional district, Democrat congressman Rick Boucher likes to fly under the radar. Avoid controversy and regularly remind folks of all the pork he brings home to the district. Boucher is holding two town halls on health care:
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
9:00 AM Edwards Hall
New River Valley Community College
Dublin, Virginia

Thursday, August 20, 2009
9:00 AM Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
Abingdon, Virginia
Of course, this seems like Boucher is making himself available to the people. However, there are a couple problems. First, both town halls are at 9:00am when most folks are working. Maybe Boucher is depending on the unemployed and the government-dependent to be his choir for the day. Over the course of a month, don't you think a Saturday morning or weekday evening town hall could be arranged? The answer is, of course, "yes" if Boucher actually wanted to hear what the constituents have to say.
Good points all. The fact that Boucher has scheduled his get-togethers during the week and in the morning means I won't be able to attend. Nor will most working stiffs. And because both meetings will be held on college campuses, it can be assumed that he's angling to have a supportive crowd of fellow Democrats, academic types, students, and lots of others who don't hold down a real job show up.

But that'll be up to you, won't it?

I'm looking for a couple of volunteers to attend these two town hall meetings and report back to us what went on, in detail.

The meetings could be a real hoot.

Or, if Boucher goes unchallenged, they could be the normal snoozefest.

Again, it's up to you.

- - -

I had never heard of this Edgycater until his weblog was pointed out to me by "Salt Lick" yesterday. Not much is made known by his personal profile other than the fact that he lives here in Virginia and is a high school history teacher. I like him regardless. And I've included his site on my Blogroll of Fame off to the left.

Keep up the good work, Edgycater.

Lost In The Wilderness

in 2005 then-Delegate Benny Keister (D-Pulaski) came up with a brilliant idea. He decided that a road that ran through his district should get a name. And be promoted. So that tourists would flock to the area. To see road signs hanging above the road ...

Two things resulted from Benny's effort:

1) The naming of Hwy. 11 "the Wilderness Road" resulted in a deluge of tourist traffic two years later ... in Jamestown. 292 miles east. Not one has yet to travel Hwy. 11 looking for his road signs to economic prosperity.

2) Keister was kicked out of office the same year he came up with his stratagem by the voters of his district (VA-6).

Oh, and there may be a third outcome. An historian declared the Wilderness Road initiative to be a hoax anyway. It never ran through Pulaski County.

Bu then, it never ran through Roanoke County either, but that's not stopping planners there from going down ... The Benny Keister Road to Economic Recovery:
Roanoke to promote spur of Wilderness Road
The Associated Press

Roanoke, Va. (AP) -- Roanoke leaders hope to draw tourists by promoting a spur of the Wilderness Road.

Tourism and city representatives plan to erect signs marking the Carolina Road, which crosses the city and Roanoke and Franklin counties and eventually runs into North Carolina.

Mayor David Bowers says the first sign will be erected in downtown Roanoke. All the signs should be installed by late summer or fall.

The city is paying for the signs. Bowers said he didn't know what the cost will be.

The Wilderness Road traveled by early settlers begins in Philadelphia and ends in Louisville, Ky. The route includes 500 miles through Virginia, from Winchester to Cumberland Gap. [link]
Let's leave the historical record out of this for a moment. The "Wilderness Road" never went through Roanoke but maybe there were two of them. Or something.

But help me with this: I know I'm not very bright but if the original Wilderness Road ran from Philadelphia to Louisville - essentially east to west - how is a road that runs from north to south - Roanoke to North Carolina - to be considered part of that same road? Did pioneer settlers detour from their westerly trek to take in the sights in and around the Biltmore Estate in Asheville?

I don't want to be considered a skeptic but isn't this pushing the envelope? Grasping at straws? Chasing rainbows?

Making shit up?

Benny Keister's example should have provided some kind of lesson plan for the deep thinkers in Roanoke who plan its future. A road map, if you will. Instead, it appears that city planners are simply ...

... lost in The Wilderness.

For the love of God.

Man, You Gotta Do Better Than This

I was intending to write something about how Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds should be ashamed of himself for appearing on the same stage as Barack Obama, what with Obama working overtime these days to destroy the America we know and love. But then I read the write-up in the Washington Post that outlined the Deeds/Obama rally in Tysons Corner yesterday (see "President Tells His Backers To Get 'Fired Up' for Deeds") and came away with a different thought:

Creigh Deeds needs to get "fired up."

And he needs to come up with a reason for us to vote for him.

Right now this is the best he's got:
Deeds used his speech to focus on education. He called for increasing spending on preschool programs, raising teacher pay to the national average and forgiving the student loans of educators who agree to teach at-risk students.

"We should make changes that bring innovation and greater accountability to our schools," he said. "Changes that ensure our education dollars are being spent wisely and where most needed -- in the classroom."
That'll secure for him the teachers union vote, but what about the other 98% of us?

In what should be a wake-up call to the Deeds campaign, the rabidly liberal editorial page editor of the Roanoke Times, Dan Radmacher, took their man (and his candidate) to task last Sunday, saying:

"Maybe it's well placed, but Deeds' shy-on-specifics strategy demonstrates a fundamental lack of faith in Virginia's electorate. He doesn't trust the people of this state to listen to straight talk and make rational decisions."

Again, that's not from some irrationally conservative blogger (though I wish I'd thought of it first); that's from Creigh Deeds' strongest supporter in Southwest Virginia.

But no. Deeds is hanging his hat - and political future - on improving the babysitting happenstance of Virginia's four-year-olds.

Dan and I agree: You need a Plan B, man. Now. Today.

So What's Got Them Rattled?

The left in this country - in Washington and in America's news rooms - are obviously unnerved by the uprising that has taken place and is manifesting itself at every town hall meeting that's going on each day. You can read all about the left's irrational lashings-out below.

But should they be fearful?

YES and NO.

NO because they should be well aware of how peaceful protest works. After all, it was the left that perfected the maneuver in the 60's with their anti-war rallies. Those on the right didn't participate back then, but they took notes. And they apply the methods of the angry left in the town hall confrontations today.

See "Getting In Their Faces For A Change."

YES they have reason to be fearful because they've lost control of the discussion. Notice how so much of the information that is flowing these days - in this particular instance with regard to the details that are hidden in Obama's health care monstrosity - is not coming from the mainstream press or from our elected representatives but from millions of Americans bringing the news and commentary to us via the internet?

YouTube gets a workout each day with ordinary citizens, having read the minutia, bringing the facts to the people. Uncensored. Unfiltered. No liberal bias.

Weblogs - hundreds of thousands of them - pass on information each day about Congress's machinations. And the narrative flows from there.

There was a time when the New York Times set the parameters of debate and controlled the dissemination of information. Congressional liberals took their marching orders from the Times, as did local news outlets and the other print organs of the state.

No longer.

Now We the People communicate with each other. In a daily inundation.

And it drives the left batty.

YES or NO, the reality is WE RULE.

Get used to it.

Or don't. You really don't matter that much any more.

Something To Consider

The Wall Street Journal, "France Fights Universal Care's High Cost":
France claims it long ago achieved much of what today's U.S. health-care overhaul is seeking: It covers everyone, and provides what supporters say is high-quality care. But soaring costs are pushing the system into crisis. The result: As Congress fights over whether America should be more like France, the French government is trying to borrow U.S. tactics.

The French system's fragile solvency shows how tough it is to provide universal coverage while controlling costs, the professed twin goals of President Barack Obama's proposed overhaul.

The problem is that Assurance Maladie has been in the red since 1989. This year the annual shortfall is expected to reach €9.4 billion ($13.5 billion), and €15 billion in 2010, or roughly 10% of its budget.

The most troubling quote from the article:

"If you are in medical care for the money, you'd better change jobs."

That's just swell. When ObamaCare kicks in, I'm going to have a neurosurgeon open up my skull, with drill in hand, and who's waiting for his phone to ring in hopes that he's landed that sporting goods department manager job at Wal-Mart.

Consider me less than thrilled.

Quote of the Day

Charles Krauthammer (to Hugh Hewitt) on the environmentalist left:
It’s a religion, Hugh. It’s not facts, it’s not science. It’s a religion. And they’ll do human sacrifice if they have to. The numbers are made up. They know, for example, I mean all of the cap and trade stuff, which would really destroy our economy, they know would be swallowed up in a week or two of India and Chinese emissions. China is starting a coal fired plant every week on average, and that is just throwing all that CO2 into the atmosphere, of which our reductions would be negligible. It would simply end up as a great transfer of wealth out of the West into the third world on a scale never seen. But it’s a religion. So they are impervious to empirical evidence.
"Charles Krauthammer on cars for clunkers, and the clunker health care for bills," Town Hall, August 1, 2009


This is an interesting development:
Edwards' ex-mistress appears at federal courthouse
WRAL, Raleigh

Raleigh, N.C. — Rielle Hunter, John Edwards' former mistress, went inside the federal courthouse in Raleigh Thursday morning. A grand jury is meeting in the courthouse.

Hunter was taken into a back entrance at the courthouse shortly after 8:30 a.m. by her New Jersey-based lawyer, Michael Critchley, an FBI agent and an agent with the Internal Revenue Service. She was carrying her 18-month-old daughter, Frances.

Hunter left the courthouse about nine hours later without comment. [link]
Will John Edwards soon be going to the slammer? The mind reels.

Stay tuned.

Racist Sees What He Wants To See

Washington Post staff writer Phillip Kennicott must be a joker.

Pun intended.

He took one look at that poster of Barack Obama (seen here to the right) that showed up mysteriously in Los Angeles recently, and that has subsequently been reproduced all over the blogosphere, and he sees in it the theme of racism raising its ugly head.

But I don't think he's joking:
Obama as The Joker: Racial Fear's Ugly Face
By Philip Kennicott, Washington Post Staff Writer

Good posters lead on the viewer and tease us with hints about the unseen hand that has crafted the image. The Obama Joker poster leaves you with the sense that it has said everything it has to say, and waits only for the media to endorse the message through the legitimizing process peculiar to our new age of rapid-response journalism: that we are talking about it because you are talking about it, which means it must be worth talking about.

So why the anonymity? Perhaps because the poster is ultimately a racially charged image. By using the "urban" makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character, the poster connects Obama to something many of his detractors fear but can't openly discuss. He is black and he is identified with the inner city, a source of political instability in the 1960s and '70s, and a lingering bogeyman in political consciousness despite falling crime rates.

The Joker's makeup in "Dark Knight" -- the latest film in a long franchise that dramatizes fear of the urban world -- emphasized the wounded nature of the villain, the sense that he was both a product and source of violence. Although Ledger was white, and the Joker is white, this equation of the wounded and the wounding mirrors basic racial typology in America. Urban blacks -- the thinking goes -- don't just live in dangerous neighborhoods, they carry that danger with them like a virus. Scientific studies, which demonstrate the social consequences of living in neighborhoods with high rates of crime, get processed and misinterpreted in the popular unconscious, underscoring the idea. Violence breeds violence. [link]
Absolute rubbish.

"Good posters lead on the viewer and tease us with hints about the unseen hand that has crafted the image."

First time I've ever heard or read that. Where's that rule written?

"Although Ledger was white, and the Joker is white, this equation of the wounded and the wounding mirrors basic racial typology in America."

What? In which insane asylum?

Ignore what you see. Here's what you don't see but see.

"By using the 'urban' makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character, the poster connects Obama to something many of his detractors fear but can't openly discuss. He is black ..."

What in God's name does painting Obama's face white have to do with racism? Picturing him with a bone through his nose and wearing a grass skirt, yes. Providing an image with a barefoot Obama lazing under a large elm tree eating watermelon on a hot Mississippi day, yes. The image of Obama superimposed over that of Stepin Fetchit, maybe.

But a white face?

Only those consumed by racial prejudices will see what this small mind sees.

I see what's there. I see what was meant to be there: A frighteningly dangerous man who is hellbent on turning America into a socialist state. Thus the Ledger-as-Psychotic-Joker imagery and the word SOCIALISM.

I also see a man who sees this poster as challenging his worldview. A cowering man.

Thus his need to make this preposterous story up.

Laughable, man. Truly laughable.

- - -

I remember during the campaign when darkening Obama’s skin was racist. Now it’s racist to paint him white. You wanted Change, you got it.

This reminds me of when McCain’s “Celebrity” ad debuted and the left went on a three-day bender trying to top each other with ever more inventive theories about the alleged racial subtext. It’s a parlor game for progressive nerds: Take any conservative attack on Obama, assume racism, and then connect as many dots as you need to in order to get from point A to point B. Here it’s Obama = Joker; Joker = terrorizes city; terrorizing cities = stereotype of blacks; ergo, Obama = stereotype of blacks. It’s like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” but with political benefits. And as always with these things, the ease and almost eagerness with which the author perceives the nastiest racial stereotypes is unsettling. If you showed someone an inkblot from a Rorschach test and they told you “I see a violent Negro!”, you’d be forgiven for thinking they have issues. Yet that’s what all these pieces boil down to.
Like I said ...

It Comes Down To Race

As many of us predicted before Obama was sworn in, to be opposed to his policies on taxes, health care, and global warming is to be in favor of hooded klansmen terrorizing black schoolchildren.

It was foreordained: Oppose ObamaCare and be called a racist.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in "The Town Hall Mob":
Now, people who don’t know that Medicare is a government program probably aren’t reacting to what President Obama is actually proposing. But they’re probably reacting less to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s doing, than to who he is.

That is, the driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the “birther” movement, which denies Mr. Obama’s citizenship.

And cynical political operators are exploiting that anxiety to further the economic interests of their backers.

Does this sound familiar? It should: it’s a strategy that has played a central role in American politics ever since Richard Nixon realized that he could advance Republican fortunes by appealing to the racial fears of working-class whites.

Many people hoped that last year’s election would mark the end of the “angry white voter” era in America. Indeed, voters who can be swayed by appeals to cultural and racial fear are a declining share of the electorate.
You expect this sort of response from someone who lives in the insular confines of Manhattan and who doesn't know the first thing about those common folk who are genuinely angry at their government taking over their lives, as Obama is clearly intending to do, folks who show up at these town hall meetings demanding an end to the USA's movement toward socialism.

I can accept Krugman's charge that the town hall demonstrations that are taking place around the country are driven by "cultural fear." After all, most of those who are demonstrating against ObamaCare are concerned that the America they know and love is being ruined, and that their children will be afforded much less in terms of The American Way of Life than they and their parents and their parents' parents were. That is certainly cultural and it certainly can engender fear.

But racial fear? Please.

That's the response of a desperate and addled man.

And Krugman won't get away with it.

Call us racists till the end of time, little man. It won't phase us. Not anymore.

We oppose that which your ilk are attempting to foist upon us. We will continue to do so. You're going to have to do a lot more than call us names to stop us from squashing your efforts to ruin this country.

This Sounds So Much Like Boucher

I didn't want to do it. I didn't like the bill. But yes, I voted for it. But I hope it doesn't become the law of the land.

For the love of God:
Minnesota farmers are skeptical about cap-and-trade proposals
By Charley Shaw, Staff Writer, St. Paul Legal Ledger

Farmers peppered DFL U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson and Tim Walz on the bill that passed the House earlier this year, which they both voted for. The two representatives are members of the House Agriculture committee. Peterson, who is chairman of the committee, was a central player in negotiations on the sections of House bill dealing with agriculture.

However, Peterson said he wouldn’t want the bill that passed the House to become law. He noted that he will be on the conference committee if the Senate passes the bill. He’s hoping that some major concerns get worked out in the Senate.

“I think we could get there. But we’re not there yet,” Peterson said.

The bill creates a cap-and-trade system in which carbon emissions are capped and polluters can buy credits from entities that cut their emissions.

Peterson said he voted for the bill after allowances were made for farmers; before the allowances were inserted, he added, the bill was too expensive for farmers. [link]
Now there's a profile in courage.

Much like that exhibited by our own Rick Boucher when he tried to make excuses for his acquiescence on the same bill.

The EPA forced me to do it. Otherwise I would not have done it. It was something I was very much opposed to. Before I became an enthusiastic supporter of it.

There must be something in the water up there in D.C. that is making these once-intelligent men stark raving morons.

Not a Good Beginning

Now that we're past the hopey changey stuff, a whole lot of Americans are asking, What have we done?!
After 6 Months, More View Obama's Presidency as a 'Failure' Than Bush's
By Tom Bevan, Real Clear Politics

A rather surprising finding from the newly released CNN poll. Question three on the national survey of 1,136 adults (which includes an oversample of African-Americans) asks, "Do you consider the first six months of the Obama administration to be a success or a failure?"

Thirty-seven percent (37%) said they believe the Obama administration is a "failure," while 51% consider it a "success" and 11% say it's still "too soon to tell."

An identical question was asked of the Bush administration in an August 2001 CNN/Gallup/USA Today survey. At the time, 56% said the Bush administration was a "success" while only 32% considered it a "failure." [link]
Though the poll is virtually meaningless, I posted it just to ruin the day for every one of the Bush haters out there. Your man ain't even measuring up to "the worst president ever."

Tsk. Tsk.

We Did As Well As Can Be Expected

If you understand and accept the fact that Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court was a foregone conclusion, then I think we as conservatives did about as well as we could have with the circumstances presented to us.

Yes, there are those who will find solace in being able to say that they proved she's a far-left liberal. But what does that prove? Like Obama was going to nominate anyone who wasn't?

And there are those talk show hosts who demanded a scorched earth approach to her confirmation hearings. To arms!

But it would have come to naught.

No, I think victory came in bringing out the fact - and having her reinforce it in her confirmation hearings - that Sonia Sotomayor is utterly unqualified for the position of Supreme Court justice. Not because of her resumé, and not because of her lack of experience. But because of her lack of intellectual depth. It became clear, as America got to know the woman, that she is out of her league and, in a less politically correct world, wouldn't have risen past the position of prosecutor.

But she is Puerto Rican.
And she is female.

So now she sits on the highest court in the land:

Sotomayor OK'd for Supreme Court in historic vote

How proud I hear Obama and his ilk are. Another check mark on the quota chart.

- - -

It couldn't be made clearer than this, from the Washington Post this morning:
AT 3:15 P.M. Thursday, Aug. 6, the nation witnessed the confirmation of its first Hispanic justice to the Supreme Court. By a vote of 68 to 31, Sonia Maria Sotomayor, daughter of the Bronx and Puerto Rico, became the 111th person and only the third woman to join the highest court in the land.
· First Hispanic.
· Daughter of Puerto Rico.
· The Third woman on the court.

Can she tie her own shoes?

Nothing's said.

Nothing else matters.