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

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Master Of His Domain



That's me with a maple tree on my property that has seen better days.  (It's still quite alive after losing a big chunk of itself a couple of years ago).

To think, this tree, which grows about twenty feet off of the old, long-ago-abandoned Raleigh Grayson Turnpike, was probably peed on by some yankee with the Union cavalry when they were riding by on their way to Wytheville to burn the train station there in 1864.

"Time is but the stream I go fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. It's thin current slides away, but eternity remains.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Where's Mr. Kaine?

I didn't check in on any of Sunday's TV talk shows.  Was Governor Kaine on any of them talking up Obama and his train wreck of a presidency?

I'm wondering because he sure wasn't doing what he was paid by the citizens of the commonwealth of Virginia to be doing:
Va. ranks last for spending transportation stimulus money
By Debbie Messina, The Virginian-Pilot

Virginia ranks dead last among states for spending transportation stimulus money, having used only 16.5 percent of its federal award through August.

The state and Gov. Timothy Kaine were scolded for the poor performance in a letter dated Oct. 1 from Congressman James L. Oberstar, chairman of the House transportation and infrastructure committee.

Nationally, 42.7 percent of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding has been spent.

“I strongly urge you to refocus your efforts to implement the Recovery Act and use the available funds to create and sustain family-wage jobs,” Oberstar’s letter stated. “These jobs are critical to Virginia’s and the nation’s long-term economic growth.” [link]
Nobody has complained more (and poked more fun at) Obama's economic "stimulus" plan than me.  But there is this "gift horse" thing too.

Nobody can argue about the fact that billions of dollars in aid to the state of Virginia have been handed to Governor Kaine, and Kaine has sat on it.  What is that all about?

You might want to remember this next time he complains about the commonwealth being starved for transportation funds.

You also might want to remember this next time you hear someone try to tell you how swell a job our part-time governor has done.

Good grief.

Kill It. May It Never Rise Again.

No, I'm not referring to a vampire.

But something just as evil and sinister:
Global warming fad not just cooling off, but dying
By Mark Landsbaum, Orange County Register

The furor about alleged global warming is declining even faster than global temperatures, which have been headed south for more than a decade.

“The great global warming scare is over - it is well past its peak, very much a spent force, sputtering in fits and starts to a whimpering end,” writes Lawrence Solomon. He adds that most Americans don’t blame humans for climate change and consider whatever warming may have occurred as natural.

In ranking peoples’ concerns, global warming came in dead last: “Fewer than 1 percent chose global warming as scare-worthy.”

“By the end of this year the whole charade of climate alarmism will be in tatters,” agrees Will Alexander, emeritus professor of Civil and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

“The whole climate change issue is rapidly disintegrating. There is no possibility of a meaningful agreement being reached at Copenhagen for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012. The developing nations have made it clear that combating poverty and increasing the welfare of their citizens are higher priorities.” [link]
At some point Crazy Al is going to start feeling a little embarrassed for having made the record books as being the biggest buffoon in planetary history.  But then he'll be doing it while sitting atop a pile of cash earned at the expense of equally buffoonish dullards (otherwise known as really smart and compassionate environmentalists).

Maybe he's not so crazy after all.

Crockett-Stark Receives Pro-Life Endorsement

This, to those who consider abortion to be the scourge of 21st century humankind, is of importance:
Virginia Society of Human Life endorses Crockett-Stark for Delegate

Wytheville- The Virginia Society of Human Life (VSHL) endorsed Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R-6th) for re-election to the Sixth District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

"We are grateful for the strong and consistent pro-life voting record you have compiled and the leadership you have demonstrated during your tenure in the House of Delegates," said Holly Smith, Chairman of the VSHL Political Action Committee, in a letter announcing the endorsement.

"You have shown a commitment to advancing and defending pro-life principles, which has earned you the gratitude and support of voters who are concerned with the right to life and the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family," continued Smith.

"It is important to have strong pro-life voices in elected office. I'm honored that the VSHL and pro-life voters throughout the 6th District feel that I am the candidate to best represent them," Crockett-Stark said.
Received from the office of Anne B. Crockett-Stark.

On Obama's Latest Stunt

Bill Whittle:
In other words, lead instead of cheerlead. But this President seems incapable of doing that. I don’t know how many days he has spent actually behind the desk in the Oval Office as — you know — Chief Executive, but given the number of town halls, events, ceremonies and other on-camera activities I would be willing to bet the number is not large.

Anyway, that was my hope: that humiliation on the cheap might persuade The World’s Smartest Politician to show some intelligence and change his mind based upon the evidence, the way his presecessor, The Greatest Moron in the History of The World, did when confronting a failing strategery in Iraq. That hope lasted for all of a few days. Now we see 150 doctors wearing white lab coats assembled to help Barack Obama give another career-saving speech, this time trying to get the 93% of Americans who are fundamanetally happy with their health care to act against their own self interests.

And by having them wear white lab coats, you see, he is making sure we realize they are doctors.  But I remain confused. Couldn’t they also be lab technicians? Perhaps they need to wear that reflector thing on their foreheads. Damn it, no — Dentists wear those too, and no one would be persuaded to give up their current insurance just because a hundred and fifty dentists wearing white lab coats and reflectors nod in agreement. What they should have had was stethoscopes around their necks! That would have gotten this bill passed!

And so it goes. Yet another speech, with props appropriate for a fourth grade show and tell, to sell the rubes on something they seem unwilling to want to buy. And another appeal to oratory in place of substance. [link]
My guess is, Obama has decided that campaigning is just a whole lot more fun - what with all that crowd adulation and such - and governing is such a drag.  So he's going to stay in campaign mode and let others run the country.

Uh, Barry ...

Copyright, the Weblog, and the 1st Amendment

There is a huge gray area, it seems, in the legal world right now as to what constitutes copyright infringement and "fair use" when it comes to weblogs and the quoting of news articles without prior authorization.  In the most recent dust-up over the issue, the Associated Press apparently took the position that "even minimal use of a news article online required a licensing agreement with the news organization that produced it."  See "A.P. Cracks Down on Unpaid Use of Articles on Web."  So you know, I make use of news articles every day without obtaining licensing agreements.

But, in reading opinions on the "fair use" of copyrighted material, it is my understanding that one major factor in determining whether an article can be "fairly used" without such an agreement has to do with whether or not money is being made in the effort.  That's why I go out of my way to never make a dime off the publication of From on High.  I consider it nothing more than the "Letters to the Editor" section of America's newspapers and, therefore, I feel it within bounds to quote newspaper articles and comment on them.  I seek no remuneration for doing it.  In fact, I'd turn down any offers of compensation because I don't want to have to justify the earnings in a court of law.  This is strictly a not-for-profit endeavor.

This means little to most of you but it's of concern to me.  So I'm careful when I come upon articles like this (that I copy here without a prior licensing agreement):
FTC: Bloggers, testimonials need better disclosure
By Deborah Yao and Emily Fredrix, AP Business Writers

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday took steps to make product information and online reviews more accurate for consumers, regulating blogging for the first time and mandating that testimonials reflect typical results.

The FTC will require that writers on the Web clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products. The commission also said advertisers featuring testimonials that claim dramatic results cannot hide behind disclaimers that the results aren't typical.

For bloggers, the FTC stopped short of specifying how they must disclose conflicts of interest. Rich Cleland, assistant director of the FTC's advertising practices division, said the disclosure must be "clear and conspicuous," no matter what form it will take. [link]
Seems rather straightforward.

Or not.

I play it safe.  I take no money from anyone.  And when I endorse a product (or candidate) I expect nothing in return.  And I'll accept nothing in return.  Not one penny.

For those of you who think Adsense is really cool idea, you might keep this in mind.

We live in a litigious world ....

Doing What Liberals Do

I'm reminded of a conference that was held recently in Roanoke that called upon local leaders to come up with ways to help Southwest Virginia's poor and displaced.  Among all the bright ideas that were espoused - food banks, more government training programs, free health care ... - not one word was mentioned about JOBS.  The one solution that would make void the need for all other potential "solutions."

It is with that thought that I read this headline in this morning's New York Times:


And when we're all caught in that net?  Who'll be there to "fix" it then?