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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seems Right To Me

Say you sold the mineral rights to the coal on your property to a coal company.  Does that coal company then have a right to seize any and all gold deposits?  Uranium?  Precious gems?

Natural gas?
Changes needed to Virginia’s gas and oil act
Bristol Herald Courier editorial

If state legislators don’t fix the Virginia Gas and Oil Act, here’s what’s going to continue to happen:

Thousands of Southwest Virginia landowners, many of them forced by the state to lease their mineral interests to private companies, will not get paid for what rightfully belongs to them. And the escrow fund that now holds their royalties – currently more than $24 million – will continue to swell to the benefit of no one but the bank that manages it.

For almost 20 years, energy corporations have pocketed enormous profits from natural gas belonging to these mineral owners, some of whom have died without seeing a penny. This is a colossal failure of government to pay people for their property, and it requires immediate action from state lawmakers.

At the heart of the problem is the lingering question of coalbed methane ownership – an issue the 1990 legislature left to the courts to decide. And more than four years ago, the Supreme Court of Virginia did decide – in favor of landowners. The high court ruled landowners were entitled to full rights to the coalbed methane beneath their land, even if their ancestors had sold the coal rights a century ago.

There is a simple fix, recommended by at least one area legislator and the attorney who won the Supreme Court ruling for Buchanan County surface owners: amend the law to reflect the high court’s ruling that if you sold only your coal, you have full rights to coalbed methane royalties. [link]
My guess is this issue gets bogged down in arcane language and legal precedent and implied consent, and quickly goes beyond my legal training (both graduate level classes in business law).  And probably has as much to do with who has the most cash, the best lawyers, and the most pull in Richmond.

But right is right.  If a person sells the rights to the coal beneath his property to a mining company, it seems only right that the seller would maintain ownership of everything outside of that which is contracted for.  Including one's first-born child.

This seems like a no-brainer.  What am I missing?

Our Best Guvnah Evah

In a piece in the Roanoke Times about soon-to-be Governor Bob McDonnell's pledge to focus on job creation in economically depressed Martinsville (don't bother reading it; he offers no specifics other than to pledge to bring jobs to economically depressed ...), I found one bit of information highly informative.  It's about the man they say was the best governor Virginia ever had.

Reporter Rex Bowman on the King of Razzle Dazzle:
The area has been mired in an economic despair that dates to 1993, when the North American Free Trade Agreement became a cornerstone of U.S. trade policy and local textile companies began folding or moving overseas.

Years later, no one has a road map to recovery for ailing Martinsville. One in five city residents is living in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; the city's population has shrunk by 5.7 percent since 2000 as residents have moved out in search of jobs; and the labor pool isn't as educated as residents elsewhere in the state: 31.5 percent of Martinsville residents 25 or older have no high school diploma, compared with 18.5 percent statewide.

Previous efforts suggest McDonnell will have difficulty bringing about any lasting change to Southside's economy. Warner, for instance, led the cheerleading for Martinsville while he was governor and funneled money from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to the area to attract businesses.

At the end of his term, his office claimed that it had created more than 16,000 jobs in the area, saved an additional 3,370 jobs and witnessed $1.6 billion in capital investments. Yet Martinsville's unemployment rate during Warner's last year in office was 9.9 percent. The year he was elected, the city's unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. [link] [emphasis mine]
But Warner was the best governor we ever had, right?  Isn't that what the mainstream press keeps telling us?

He did, after all, lower taxes.

He did, after all, reduce the bloated bureaucracy in Richmond.

He did, after all, cut spending.

He did, after all, eliminate waste.

He did, after all, get his photo on the cover of New York Times Magazine.

So Mr. Walk On Water made promises he never kept.  And in fact, made things worse.  Who'da thunk it?

- - -

On a side note, there is mention above about the fact that the North American Free Trade Agreement (signed into law by another great politician - Bill Clinton) did sweeping and grievous harm to the economy of Martinsville and all of Southside Virginia.  And it certainly did.  You might be interested in knowing where Virginia's 9th District Congressman stood on that issue back in 1993:

Rick Boucher voted against Slick Willy.

There is a bucketload of reasons to vote the bum out of office, but this isn't one of them.

Look it up.

Poorest Nation on Earth Pledges Billions to Others

Someone should tell Obama that the United States government owes its creditors an amount that exceeds all the debt of all the world's impoverished countries put together.  If Junior understood that, he wouldn't be making empty promises that any intelligent person knows he'll (we'll) never be able to keep.

Sounds good though:
U.S. pledges billions; China says climate pact is doubtful
By Juliet Eilperin and Anthony Faiola, Washington Post Staff Writers

Copenhagen -- The United States on Thursday announced it would help build a $100 billion annual fund by 2020 to help poor countries cope with climate change, but said its commitment depended on whether the nations gathered here could reach a substantive pact that includes "transparency" on tracking emissions cuts.

The $100 billion annual fund endorsed by [Bill's wife] Clinton would help poorer countries switch to less environmentally harmful forms of energy production and prepare for the impacts of rising seas and warmer global ... [blah blah blah] [link]
Someone should tell this dynamic duo that they don't have a pot to piss in, much less $100 billion.  If they ever got a clue, they'd instead be begging for a loan from the Zimbabwean ambassador.

But such is life in this crazy, mixed-up country we call Obama Island, Land of Enchantment.

Total Breakdown

On the day we learn that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has been named Time magazine's "Person of the Year," we learn this very troubling news:
4 Big Mortgage Backers Swim in Ocean of Debt
By Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times

Even as the biggest banks repay their government debt in what is being heralded as a successful rescue program, four troubled giants of the financial world remain on government life support.

These companies, the American International Group, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and GMAC, are not only unable to repay the government, they are in need of continuing infusions that make them look increasingly like long-term wards of the state.

And the total risk they pose to the taxpayer far exceeds that of the big banks. Fannie and Freddie, in the final days of the year, are even said to be negotiating with the Treasury about greatly expanding the money available to them.

Like the big banks, these four companies would no doubt prefer to be free of government assistance, which comes with pay and other restrictions on their executives. But they appear at risk of getting onto a debt merry-go-round, where they have to draw new money from the government just to keep up with their existing government debts. [link]
In the real world, when you hear of someone (usually either a teenager or a moron) obtaining a new credit card so as to be able to exercise a new line of credit so as to be able to pay the interest on existing credit card debt, your reaction is to buy flowers and send a sympathy card.  And paddle him or her for being stupid.  Well, that's what's going on here.  Asking for an expanded line of credit so as to be able to pay off debt.

It's suicide.  And it's ours.

For the love of God.

Fix Bayonets

Want to know what the Tea Party movement is all about?

Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Allen West:

"If we are not willing to take a stand right now, and take this country back, and put it back on the right track with the principles and values that it was established upon, you're complicit ..."

Music to my ears.

Why Copenhagen Is a Joke

If we were to start executing those who offend the planet most, the first to get a bullet in the brain pan would be those who whine the loudest about how we're the rest of us are offending the planet.

In the "They Just Don't Get It" category:
Prince Charles" Executive Jet With Big Carbon Footprint Gets Him To Climate Change Talks
By Richard Palmer, Daily Express

Prince Charles used up seven months’ worth of the average British person’s “carbon footprint” yesterday flying to Copenhagen on an executive jet to make a speech on climate change.

The heir to the throne, who prides himself on his green credentials, cost taxpayers an estimated £12,000 and racked up a 6.486-ton carbon footprint in one day by taking a seven-seater RAF Royal Flight HS125 jet to the summit in the Danish capital.

Charles, who made an impassioned speech to world leaders on the need to agree drastic cuts in carbon emissions, decided against taking a more environmentally-friendly train or scheduled airliner, arguing it was impractical.

“We looked at the possibility of flying scheduled but due to the usual considerations of security, punctuality – we could not afford a delayed or cancelled flight – and practicality, using the Royal Flight was seen as the best option,” his spokesman said. [link]
Punctuality trumps the environment.

What's laughable (I think ...) about this is the fact that it's pinheads like Prince Charles who will be at the forefront applauding the jackbooted thugs who are dispatched to punish those of us who sneak an incandescent light bulb into the hovel to replace one of those god-awful curlicue bulbs so that our children can see to read and not go blind in the attempt.

Prince Charles.  No clue.

Ridicule. The Most Effective Response To Climate Dogma.

Such a large target he is.  In so many ways:

The Clown Prince of Climategate.


Takin' It To 'Em

See the slimeballs at Greenpeace get a taste of their own medicine.

This is sweet:

The tide is indeed turning.

I Thought Bush Was Gone

Do As I Say ...

Climategate Grows

It wasn't just those hoaxsters at the Climatic Research Unit who were manipulating data to allow for certain conclusions.  Add this bunch to the expanding list:
Climategate goes SERIAL: now the Russians confirm that UK climate scientists manipulated data to exaggerate global warming
By James Delingpole, London Telegraph

On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century. [link]
I don't understand why they would have done that.  Was it a simple matter of greed?


This brings a chuckle.  And the shake of the head:
Beclowned: Michael Moore threatens to boycott Connecticut over Lieberman
By Michelle Malkin

Nutroots hero Michael Moore sent the state of Connecticut a boycott threat and demanded that voters there recall Joe Lieberman over health care.

His Tweet:

"People of Connecticut: What have u done 2 this country? We hold u responsible. Start recall of Lieberman 2day or we’ll boycott your state."

One itty-bitty problem: Connecticut has no recall mechanism. [link]

House Approves Creation Of Twelve More Jobs

Watching History Being Made

It bothers the Chosen Ones in Washington to no end that they are receiving all kinds of push back from the American people over a whole host of issues.  The primary two being, at present, health care and the climate tax.  But what they must come to realize is this:  Americans are more engaged in the issues of the day than at any point in time in this country's history.  When Tea Party protesters gather together and chant, "Read the bill!," they are not only demanding that lawmakers get up off their dead asses and do their jobs properly, but many of those who make that demand have actually done what those lawmakers haven't:

They've read the bill.

The advent of the internet has made possible what we might call participatory democracy. A strange term because we generally think of the system of democracy being participatory because that's at its essence.  But not like this. The American people are engaged like never before.  They know what's happening as it's happening.  As the sausage is being made, so to speak.  As the deals are being done.  And the citizens are reacting accordingly.

In decades past, legislators were elected and sent off to Washington with bands playing and flags flying.  Tailored messages were sent back home to local newspapers to be printed for the commoners so that they could be kept apprised of that which was going on in their capital.  Political leadership working diligently to right wrongs and make the blind see ...  The information was highly restrictive and the flow was essentially one-way.

Oh, sure.  People were encouraged to write their congressman.  And many played that game.  But that correspondence was nothing more than a cynical bit of let-the-fools-think-we-care-about-their-opinions constituent masturbation.

Well, kiss those days goodbye.

Today we know every move they make.  We are able to learn from experts what the ramifications will be if the politicians have their way.  And we know it almost as quickly as they can plot, plan, and execute.

We're on to them.

And they know it.

And they don't like it.

But live with it they are going to have to.

For the first time in American history, the people rule.

Ad they'd better get used to it.  Or else:
NBC poll: Public sours on health reform
By Mark Murray, NBC News

As the Senate sprints to pass a health-care bill by Christmas, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that those believing President Obama's health-reform plan is a good idea has sunk to its lowest level.

Just 32 percent say it's a good idea, versus 47 percent who say it's a bad idea.

In addition, for the first time in the survey, a plurality prefers the status quo to reform. By a 44-41 percent margin, respondents say it would be better to keep the current system than to pass Obama's health plan.

By comparison, in September's and October's NBC/Journal polls, the American public preferred changing the system to the status quo, 45 to 39 percent. [link]
This is an amazing point in time.  Our time.  The American era.  Despite the best efforts of the traditional media-politician cabal, word has gotten out.  Gotten around them.  Past them.  And the American people, having learned the particulars of this monstrosity, and have made up their minds.  They are increasingly in opposition.

Politics in this country will never be the same.  Before they go into their "smoke-filled room" to hammer out a deal, our elected representatives sure as hell had better clear it with us first.

We will not be jacked around ever again.