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

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's Come To This

Where once thousands were employed, this part of Virginia now looks for someone to kick in a few thousand ... dollars:
Railroading groups join to woo tourists
By Jenny Kincaid Boone

Tourism gurus have a plethora of options for marketing the Roanoke Valley and its surrounding areas as a worthwhile stop for out-of-towners to spend money.

Railroading is the newest push.

In March, the Virginia General Assembly agreed to tap the Roanoke Valley, Alleghany Highlands and parts of central Virginia as Virginia's Rail Heritage Region.

But they don't have all of the money they need. The next step is paying $1,000 to $2,500 to create signs with the region's new name and image of a train wheel, its official logo. The signs would go up on interstate highways and other roadways, said Bev Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation in downtown Roanoke.

a 7-month-old rail history museum in Clifton Forge is counting on the marketing strategy to revive interest in the faltering rail industry in the Alleghany Highlands.

In 1987, CSX Corp. closed the Clifton Forge Railway shops, which employed 4,800 people or about 80 percent of the area's work force. The closure was economically devastating, Tabb said.

Now, fewer than 200 people work for the railroad, he said.

Tabb said he hopes the appeal of the larger region's rail history will draw rail buffs to the small town of Clifton Forge, creating a new kind of "economic boom." [link]
We're down to wooing "rail buffs."

How many are there across the U.S.?  Dozens?

In an area that once employed thousands making things.  And repairing things.

But no more.  Now we hope to be a tourist attraction.  Like those Indians who sell blankets on the side of the road, hoping to make a few bucks a day.

The rail industry may be a thing of the past - there's no avoiding that.

But we could have avoided the loss of all those tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs had we not handed them to China.

Now we look for a benefactor to help pay for signs that pay homage to the area's past.

Reminds me of a cemetery.

Quote of the Day

From Charles Krauthammer:
Finally, there's the moral logic. It's not as if [Attorney General Eric] Holder opposes military commissions on principle. On the same day he sent KSM to a civilian trial in New York, Holder announced he was sending Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, (accused) mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole, to a military tribunal.

By what logic? In his congressional testimony Wednesday, Holder was utterly incoherent in trying to explain. In his Nov. 13 news conference, he seemed to be saying that if you attack a civilian target, as in 9/11, you get a civilian trial; a military target like the Cole, and you get a military tribunal.

What a perverse moral calculus. Which is the war crime -- an attack on defenseless civilians or an attack on a military target such as a warship, an accepted act of war that the United States itself has engaged in countless times?

By what possible moral reasoning, then, does KSM, who perpetrates the obvious and egregious war crime, receive the special protections and constitutional niceties of a civilian courtroom, while he who attacked a warship is relegated to a military tribunal?

Moreover, the incentive offered any jihadist is as irresistible as it is perverse: Kill as many civilians as possible on American soil and Holder will give you Miranda rights, a lawyer, a propaganda platform -- everything but your own blog.
"Travesty in New York," Washington Post, November 20, 2009

Like a Ping Pong ball

This was our foreign policy two weeks ago:

This is our policy today:

Two weeks from now?

If I were Karzai, I'd be finding a new "ally."


Go to "The Decline: The Geography of a Recession" to see an evolving map depicting the spread - by county - of the effects of the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress (and later of the White House) on the economy.

This should give you nightmares.

Obama Embarrasses Us All

This is humiliating:
Obama in China: A wake-up call!
By David Gergen, AC360

Barack Obama has recently been reading up on the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Coming home from China, he might well focus on Kennedy’s first summit overseas with the leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev. Indeed, we all could learn from that episode.

According to Kennedy biographer Richard Reeves, Khruschev left the meeting telling associates, “He’s very young… not strong enough. Too intelligent and too weak.” Khrushchev concluded that he could push Kennedy around and started causing mischief from Berlin to Cuba.

Why bring up that story now, as President Obama comes home from Asia? Because it has considerable relevance to his meetings in China with President Hu.

Obama went into those sessions like Kennedy: with great hope that his charm and appeal to reason – qualities so admired in the United States – would work well with Hu. By numerous accounts, that is not at all what happened: reports from correspondents on the scene are replete with statements that Hu stiffed the President, that he rejected arguments about Chinese human rights and currency behavior while scolding the U.S. for its trade policies, and that he stage-managed the visit so that Obama – unlike Clinton and Bush before him – was unable to reach a large Chinese audience through television.

It would seem wise not only for President Obama but for all Americans to treat this as a wake-up call.

For the President, the challenge is whether he will start approaching international affairs with a greater measure of toughness, standing up more firmly and assertively for American interests. Yes, he must still be the man of reason and peace, but that can easily be read as a sign of weakness by others unless he balances it with the inner steel that is essential in international affairs. [link]
To go into a negotiation with the attitude of a supplicant (see photo above) only one result will be obtained - disaster.

Obama thought that by acting in a subservient manner, he'd win over the sympathies of foreign leaders.  Sympathy, as he found out, wasn't to be part of the equation.  They walked all over him.

So now America as a symbol of strength is diminished in the eyes of those foreigners who count most.

Say what you will about George W. Bush, but he never bowed to anyone.

I Learn a New Word

Noun: intaxication  in-täx-sə-ˈkā-shən

1. Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

I Learn Another Word

Noun: palinoia pā-ly-noi'-uh
1. A psychological disorder characterized by delusions of persecution by Sarah Palin.
by Megan McArdle, The Atlantic

Y'all well know that I really don't like Sarah Palin.  In fact, more than one of you has yelled at me about this.  And I find the whole schtick about how the media is just a bunch of elitist hooligans who are out to get her really grating.

That's why I really wish the media wouldn't act like, well, a bunch of elitist hooligans who are out to get her.  I've coined a new phrase to cover the situation: Palinoia.  It's when you think people are out to get you, and then they do their best to justify your erroneous belief.

The Newsweek cover was a sexist embarrassment.  Hell, they wouldn't have highlighted an article about Hillary Clinton with that stupid nutcracker, yet there's apparently a photo of "Sarah Palin doll as slutty schoolgirl".  This is enormously disrespectful to someone who, like it or not, was a vice presidential candidate, and deserves to be treated the same way that her predecessors were.  If you wouldn't put a photo of Joe Biden in his running shorts on the cover, you should damn well extend the same courtesy to Palin, however much you dislike her. [link]
Of all the people in this world they could hate - bin Ladin, Hasan, Ahmadinejad, that rotund little shrimp who dresses funny, needs a hair transplant, and runs North Korea - they choose to despise Ms. Palin, a private citizen who is doing nothing to them and couldn't if she wanted to.

And such hate it is.

Palinoia.  That's the only explanation.

Symptom?  Check for a shriveled wiener.

Antidote?  Love.

Giving New Meaning To a Word

Noun: watchdog wŏch'dôg'
 1. What Obama's Stimulus Watchdog ain't.
Watchdog Urges Caution on Claims of 640,000 Stimulus Jobs
By Michael Cooper, New York Times

Washington — The government watchdog overseeing the federal stimulus program testified Thursday that he could not vouch for the Obama administration’s recent claims that the money had saved or created 640,000 jobs. He suggested that the administration should have treated the number with more skepticism.

The 640,000 figure, announced by the White House with some fanfare last month, came from reports filed by recipients of the stimulus money, many of which have been shown to be inaccurate or overstated since they were made public. But the watchdog, Earl E. Devaney, the chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, said that it was also possible that the figure understated how many jobs were affected. [link]
In other words, he hasn't a clue.

What exactly is this "watchdog" watching over, one wonders.

And why are we paying him?

Global Non-Warming Gaining Mainstream Attention

Hey, Al.  Want an inconvenient truth?
Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out
By Gerald Traufetter, Der Spiegel

Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents.

Ironically, climate change appears to have stalled in the run-up to the upcoming world summit in the Danish capital, where thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, business leaders and environmental activists plan to negotiate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The planet's temperature curve rose sharply for almost 30 years, as global temperatures increased by an average of 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit) from the 1970s to the late 1990s. "At present, however, the warming is taking a break," confirms meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in the northern German city of Kiel. Latif, one of Germany's best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. "There can be no argument about that," he says. "We have to face that fact."

Just a few weeks ago, Britain's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius -- in other words, a standstill. [link]
Of course, even with all that having been written, we're still subjected to this:

"Even though the temperature standstill probably has no effect on the long-term warming trend, it does ..."

Probably has no effect?  Says who?  The same "scientists" who have been telling us that the earth is warming when it hasn't been?  I probably wouldn't - based on the data captured to date and the track record their predictions have established - believe a word any of them had to say from this point on. 

Anyway, the mainstream press is acknowledging the fact that the planet is not warming.

We make progress.

These People Have a Screw Loose

From the lunatic asylum:
‘Climate change pushes poor women to prostitution, dangerous work’
By Joseph Holandes Ubalde, GMANews.TV

Effects of climate change have driven women in communities in coastal areas in poor countries like the Philippines to risk dangerous jobs, and sometimes even into the flesh trade.

Suneeta Mukherjee, country representative of the United Nations Food Population Fund (UNFPA), said women in the Philippines are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the country.

“Climate change could reduce income from farming and fishing possibly driving some women into sex work and thereby increase HIV infection," Mukherjee said during the Wednesday launch of the UNFPA annual State of World Population Report in Pasay City. [link]
Moron.  Suneeta Mukherjee, U.N. representative, is an utter moron.

How They've Changed Their Tune

Whereas in 2006, Democrats were admonishing young Americans to "study hard, do their homework, and make an effort to be smart," or they'll be forced to go into the military, today the Democrats see those in uniform differently.  Now that Obama's in charge, they're useful tools:

"You guys make a pretty good photo op."

 Still considered little more than potted plants.  But useful backdrops anyway.

We Love Her In The Heartland

Truly a phenomenon:
Palin's Gold Mine
by Duff McDonald, The Daily Beast

Going Rogue is going gangbusters, and it looks like both Palin and her publisher, HarperCollins, are going to make some serious money off of it.

A HarperCollins insider told The Daily Beast that the book sold a staggering 300,000 copies on the first day alone, which was Tuesday. “Sales are phenomenal, and we are convinced that the book will continue to sell phenomenally for some time to come,” says the insider. They’re not prevaricating: As of 2:30pm today, the book was #1 on Amazon, ahead of both Stephen King’s new novel, Under the Dome, and Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.  Any way you carve it, Going Rogue looks to be a $12 million goldmine. [link]
What an accomplishment.  She's done this with the mainstream press spewing nothing but contempt for her 24/7.

It's you guys who are making Sarah a success.  Real Americans.  Here's to ya.

- - -

I'm trying to remember.  How many showed up to see the vice president in Watertown the other day? (no need to look it up; it was 200)

See "1500 wait in freezing weather to meet Palin on book tour."

See "Thousands cheer Palin in Mich. for book tour."

See "Palin attracts Fort Wayne throng."

And in Roanoke: "Barnes & Noble at Valley View Mall is bracing for a crowd that could easily top 1,000 people wanting Palin's autograph Sunday."