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

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our Mfg Base Continues To Crumble

Another day, another closing:
New River Foundry shuts down
By Amy Matzke-Fawcett, Roanoke Times

Radford -- For more than 100 years, a foundry has operated in Radford. But after today, the last of the machinery will be silent.

Intermet Corp. will close the New River Foundry, its remaining operation in Radford, today and lay off its last 76 workers. The company closed the neighboring Radford Foundry in 2003.

The foundries made cast-metal components for automotive and commercial vehicle manufacturers and may have employed as many as 1,500 combined many years ago. [link]
76 more Southwest Virginians unemployed.  Time for another hiking trail.

Robin Hood In Inverse

One of the first things Obama did when he came into office in January was to break his promise to not raise taxes on poor and middle class Americans.  He signed into law the biggest tax increase on tobacco in U.S. history. And, as we all know, the preponderance of that hammer blow will fall on those least able to afford it.  The poor.

Obama and those who support him cheered his deceit.  Which says a lot about them.

Here's the really galling part:

The rate of poverty in Southwest Virginia is 75% higher than in Virginia as a whole.

In the heart of Southwest Virginia, Buchanan County, per capita income, as of the last census, is $12,788.  Fully 23.2% of the population there lives in poverty41% are dependent on Medicare and Medicaid.

According to a University of Virginia study completed in September, 47.1% of the adult population in far southwest Virginia either smokes cigarettes or uses smokeless tobacco.

Do the math and you realize how devastating this tax is on those least able to afford it.

But that's not the most galling part.  This is:

While the United States government is worsening the poverty problem here, seizing income at the point of a gun from those least able to afford it, it is enriching those who are supposed to be the servants of those poor people in Appalachia:
For feds, more get 6-figure salaries
Average pay $30,000 over private sector
By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data.

Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months — and that's before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.

Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.

The highest-paid federal employees are doing best of all on salary increases. Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most recent figure available.

When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.

The trend to six-figure salaries is occurring throughout the federal government, in agencies big and small, high-tech and low-tech. The primary cause: substantial pay raises and new salary rules.

The growth in six-figure salaries has pushed the average federal worker's pay to $71,206.  [link]
Robbing from the poor to pay the rich.

For the love of God.

What Could Go Wrong?

This does not give one confidence.  The American Physical Society is launching an investigation to see if it needs to modify its previous endorsement of global warming theory in light of recent allegations of misconduct on the part of key climate researchers.

Only one problem:

"[T]he ostensibly neutral person charged with evaluating a statement endorsing man-made global warming is a leading proponent of precisely that theory whose funding is tied to that theory."

That would be like letting tax cheat Congressman Charles Rangel write federal tax law. 

Uhhhh ...  Skip that.

No.  Don't skip that.  It makes as much sense and inspires as much confidence.  Besides the fact that it's just plain wrong.

Surely the APS can come up with a scientist who doesn't have a pocketbook interest in the outcome of its review.

Liberal Hypocrisy

When I read this American Canadian gal's call for the countries of the world to adopt China's one-child policy yesterday, I immediately went to her website to find out how many children she had.  Oddly, there was no mention of family whatsoever.

Maybe for a  good reason:  Hypocrisy for all the world to see.

Jim Geraghty:

"The whole world needs to adopt China's 'One-child policy' writes Canadian journalist Diane Francis, mother of two."

After a time, you start to get jaded to the idiocy.

On Obama's 'Safe Schools' Czar

This is so twisted, I'll not even describe it.  If you're eighteen years of age and have a strong stomach, go here to see who it is that's making decisions for your child's school.

In decades past, this guy would be labeled a pervert (and, not that long ago, imprisoned).  But today he's heading up the "safe schools" initiative in Obama's Education Department.

For the love of God, what have you done?

Vexation Mixed With Sadness

Promising political careers cut short because their drifting dicks domimated their daily deeds.

First there was Newt.

Now this:
SC first lady files for divorce from cheating gov
By Bruce Smith, Associated Press Writer

Charleston, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's first lady, a former Wall Street vice president who helped launch her husband's political career, filed for divorce Friday more than five months after his tearful public confession of an affair with an Argentine woman.

"This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family," Jenny Sanford said in a statement.

A divorce complaint filed in Charleston County Family Court did not mention money, property or custody arrangements for the couple's sons. [link]
Bye, Mark.  Nice knowin' ya.  

Food For Thought

It's fair to say, both Virginia senators, Mark Warner and James Webb, are prepared to vote for ObamaCare however it is finally packaged.  Whatever the cost.  No matter how punitive it is.  Regardless how damaging it will be to our way of life.

No matter that 61% of Americans are opposed to it.

Yet the mainstream press continues to refer to both - and particularly Warner - as being moderates.

The Washington Post.

Newsweek.

The Washington Post.

CNN.

Roll Call.

As governor, Warner raised taxes.  As senator, he's voted to raise taxes.  As governor he's dramatically increased spending.  As senator, he's voted to dramatically increase spending.

And now there's that train wreck we call ObamaCare.

I ask you: What does it take to be considered radically liberal?

Great Moments In Academe

The Science Is Unimportant

I was hoping that Rick Moran would be wrong in his analysis when he wrote:
For those who are celebrating the imminent demise of the global warming theory, I have some very bad news.

One illuminating aspect of the CRU email hack was that it revealed that climate change has never been about the "science" so much as it has been an ideological matter from the start. And because of this, a few thousand documents and emails are not going to alter the left's course.
But Al Gore touted the science!  His predictions were based on science!  Hundreds and hundreds - thousands - of scientists came to consensus grounded in science!

Or not:
The shocking lesson from the climate scandal
By Monte Kuligowski, American Thinker

In order to understand how the scientific scandal of the century could be ignored and swept under the rug by the ruling elitists in media and government [and the scientific community] one must first understand the fundamentals of liberalism.

Liberalism, progressivism, post-modernism or whatever you want to call the pathology, originated out of and is perpetrated upon fantasy far removed from reality. The counter culture revolution which produced the current phenomenom known as liberalism was based entirely upon make-believe. Specifically, the youth of the 1960s fancied themselves somehow smarter, wiser and morally superior to their elders and all the tradition that preceded them.

A baffling audacity of baseless arrogance is the progenitor and foundational principle from which contemporary liberalism is undergirded to this day.

No matter how ridiculous, fanciful, foolish, damaging, asinine or untenable the idea, once a consensus is reached among liberals they will not back down. There is a lot of pride associated with being the smartest people on the face of the earth.

As soon as the term "global warming" was changed to "climate change" we had proof that something unscrupulous was going on. Without a doubt, whether the earth's temperature is rising or falling, the narrative will remain the same: Man is causing the climate change; therefore government must tax and regulate emissions in order to save the planet.

The underlying assumption is that liberals are so smart that disagreement can only be attributed to irrational thought. After all, the "science" is settled and the argument is over.

Inconvenient facts will not change the narrative. [link]
In following this story, you're struck by the fact that the world's elitists have already dismissed the scandalous narrative that is Climategate.  James Taranto points out a bizarre moment in CBS News history in which Climategate is given short shrift and "climate change" is supported by citing one of those scientists snakes at the center of the controversy.  The science is sound because a primary fraudster says it is!

Bizarre being the key word.  Despite all the mounting evidence - cooling temperatures, CO2 increases/temperature declines, data manipulation, data destruction, data obscured - they still speak as if nothing has changed.  We must save the planet and that's that.

Truly bizarre.

Shame of the Ages

There was a story out of Massachusetts that made the news back in the 80's that had a profound effect on my worldview.  It was a lesson learned in how abusive the criminal justice system can be if it is manipulated by evil men and women.  Or by politically ambitious prosecutors.  Same thing. 

It was commonly known as the Fells Acres Day Care Center case.


Incomparable Wall Street Journal columnist Dorothy Rabinowitz followed the story and filed a number of articles on this travesty as it continued to play out into the 90's - and beyond.

See:

"A Darkness in Massachusetts." 

"A Darkness in Massachusetts--II." 
"A Darkness in Massachusetts--III."
"The Children Behind the Glass."
"A Citizen of Massachusetts."
"'Finality' for the Amiraults."
"The Pursuit of Justice, Continued."
"Cheryl Amirault Is Freed."
"Only in Massachusetts."
"A Juror Has Second Thoughts."
"A Hearing in Boston."


From "A Darkness in Massachusetts":

On Labor Day 1984, 60-year-old Violet Amirault--proprietor of the thriving Fells Acres Day School in Malden, Mass.--received a call about a child abuse accusation against her son. Two days later the police arrested 31-year-old Gerald (who worked at Fells Acres) on charges of raping a five-year-old boy, a new pupil.


In short order, the hideous crimes supposedly committed by Gerald began to multiply--as did the number of the accused. Soon, Violet Amirault herself and her newly married 26-year-old daughter, Cheryl, were also charged with having perpetrated monstrous sexual crimes against children ages three to five. Police asked the Amiraults no questions. Instead, they summoned parents of Fells Acres children to a meeting at the station house--where they were instructed to look for symptoms of sex abuse.


Within three years, Gerald Amirault was convicted of assault and rape of nine children. In a second trial his mother and sister were convicted of roughly the same crimes against four children. Gerald, sentenced to 30 to 40 years, has now been in prison since 1986. His mother, now 71, and sister Cheryl, now 37, were given eight to 20 years. Both have been imprisoned, at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Framingham, for nearly eight years.


At the time of their sentencing, prosecutor Lawrence Hardoon complained that the punishment was too light for such crimes: and indeed, the prosecution had brought forth some remarkable accusations against the Amiraults.


Children had supposedly been raped with knives--which miraculously failed to leave any signs of wounding or other injury--and sticks, and been assaulted by a clown (allegedly Gerald) in a "magic room." Some children told--after interrogations by investigators--of being forced to drink urine, of watching the Amiraults slaughter blue birds, of meeting robots with flashing lights. Violet Amirault was accused of shoving a stick into the rectum of a child while he was standing up, and of raping him with "a magic wand." Mrs. Amirault was convicted of these charges. The child also testified he was tied naked to a tree in the schoolyard, in front of all the teachers and children, while "Miss Cheryl" cut the leg off a squirrel.


Who would have credited such witnesses, such testimony?
That wasn't the half of it.

But why bring this up now?  


This horrible tragedy makes the news once again.  A key player - a then-prosecutor - is likely to be Ted Kennedy's replacement as United States senator from the state of Massachusetts.


Here's Ann Coulter:


Martha Coakley: Too Immoral for Teddy Kennedy's Seat

In Tuesday's primary election, Massachusetts Democrats chose as their Senate nominee a woman who kept a clearly innocent man in prison in order to advance her political career.

Martha Coakley isn't even fit for the late Teddy Kennedy's old seat. (What is it about this particular Senate seat?)

During the daycare/child molestation hysteria of the '80s, Gerald Amirault, his mother, Violet, and sister, Cheryl, were accused of raping children at the family's preschool in Malden, Mass., in what came to be known as the second-most notorious witch trial in Massachusetts history.

Coakley wasn't the prosecutor on the original trial. What she did was worse.

At least the original prosecutors, craven and ambition-driven though they were, could claim to have been caught up in the child abuse panic of the '80s. There had not yet been extensive psychological studies on the suggestibility of small children. A dozen similar cases from around the country had not already been discredited and the innocent freed.

Of all the men and women falsely convicted during the child molestation hysteria of the '80s, by 2001, only Gerald Amirault still sat in prison. Even his sister and mother had been released after serving eight years in prison for crimes that never occurred.

In July 2001, the notoriously tough Massachusetts parole board voted unanimously to grant Gerald Amirault clemency. Although the parole board is not permitted to consider guilt or innocence, its recommendation said: "(I)t is clearly a matter of public knowledge that, at the minimum, real and substantial doubt exists concerning petitioner's conviction."

Immediately after the board's recommendation, The Boston Globe reported that Gov. Jane Swift was leaning toward accepting the board's recommendation and freeing Amirault.

Enter Martha Coakley, Middlesex district attorney. Gerald Amirault had already spent 15 years in prison for crimes he no more committed than anyone reading this column did. But Coakley put on a full court press to keep Amirault in prison simply to further her political ambitions.

By then, every sentient person knew that Amirault was innocent. But instead of saying nothing, Coakley frantically lobbied Gov. Jane Swift to keep him in prison to show that she was a take-no-prisoners prosecutor, who stood up for "the children." As a result of Coakley's efforts -- and her contagious ambition -- Gov. Swift denied Amirault's clemency.

Thanks to Martha Coakley, Gerald Amirault sat in prison for another three years.

Remember all that talk about President Bush shredding constitutional rights? Overzealous liberal prosecutors and feminist do-gooders allowed Gerald Amirault to sit in prison for 18 years for crimes that didn't exist -- except in the imaginations of small children under the influence of incompetent child "therapists."

Martha Coakley allowed her ambition to trump basic human decency as she campaigned to keep a patently innocent man in prison.

Anyone with the smallest sense of justice cannot vote to put this woman in any office. If you absolutely cannot vote for a Republican on Jan. 19, 2010, write in the name "Gerald Amirault."  [link]
If you don't fear your government, you have no understanding of the Fells Acres Day Care Center case.  If you're familiar with the case and you're not frightened by the unstoppable power government can exert over the citizenry, you're as blind - and as heartless - as were all those who perpetrated this crime.

One of those perpetrators - Martha Coakley - is up to her ass in this.  And she's going to the United States Senate.

My God.