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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We Are Where We Were Destined To Be

I shook my head in dismay after 9/11 when the Bush administration and Congress began to ramp up our anti-terrorism efforts by building a whole new federal bureaucracy.  A bureaucracy that became - largely - the Department of Homeland Security.  My thought: Another feckless, unwieldy behemoth in Washington the main purpose for which is to reward political cronies and expand the (unionized) federal workforce is exactly what we didn't need.

But there were those, including Mr. Bush, who thought it was a swell idea.  So we now have the behemoth in place.

The end-result?
The System Failed
New York Times editorial

Only luck and the courage of passengers on Northwest Flight 253 averted a tragedy on Christmas Day. When a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow a hole in the airplane’s side, the explosive powder he had concealed failed to detonate properly and passengers subdued him before he could do any more damage.

Terrorists will always look for new ways to breach security, and let’s hope luck and courage don’t ever run out. But as this case makes chillingly clear, the airport security systems put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks — complicated, expensive and hugely onerous for travelers — have serious flaws. And so do the bureaucracies that run them.

Let us be clear: the system did not work. It is disturbing that Janet Napolitano, the secretary for homeland security, seemed to suggest, even briefly, that it had.

What makes this so much worse is that officials had something they can’t always expect: fair warning. [link]
It's refreshing to think that the New York Times is on the side of those who see the government having taken a step backward in its terror fighting efforts when it developed the massive DHS.

Or not.

The Times editorialists' recommended solution to the problem?
As soon as Congress gets back to Washington, it must confirm the heads of the T.S.A. and the customs agency, both of which have been under interim management for a year. There is no excuse for more politicking or delay with the nation’s security.
Lost in the wilderness.  My God, they're all just lost in the wilderness.

Maybe He Should Look For Another Profession

Music To My Ears

With echoes of "Drill, baby, drill," the commonwealth of Virginia is finally developing an energy policy that didn't have its antecedents in fairy tales:
McDonnell seeks offshore drilling leases
By Anita Kumar, Washington Post

Gov.-elect Robert F. McDonnell (R) recently sent a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking him to allow for the exploration of oil and gas off Virginia's coast.

In the letter dated Dec. 23, McDonnell urged him to avoid any further delay in granting offshore leases, now scheduled for 2011.

"It is time to develop our off-shore energy resources to create new jobs and provide necessary new revenue for schools, roads, public safety and alternative energy research and development in Virginia," he wrote. "I respectfully request that you direct the U.S. Minerals Management Service to expedite its preparatory work in support of the lease sale in 2011. The leasing process should not be further delayed."

McDonnell's letter comes months after outgoing Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) sent his own letter to Salazar earlier this year asking for a delay in drilling off the Virginia coast. [link]
Kaine is the guy who talked a lot about "green energy" and "green jobs" though no one was ever sure what exactly they were. And no discernible change in our approach to energy production or in the number of jobs - at least in a positive way - ever materialized while he was head of state.

McDonnell, on the other hand, seems to know exactly what he's doing.  And he's doing it.  Here's to Governor Bob.  Here's to energy independence and cheap gas.

Soon They'll Be Calling Him White

The left in this country is getting more and more worked up over our (half white) president's shifting - on issue after issue - to his predecessor's position.  They hated Bush; they loved Obama; now what?

In today's news, more bad news for the haters.  Obama is coming around - if ever so slowly - to Bush's position on Iran:
Iran Arrests Opposition Aides, Ex-Minister
By Chip Cummins, Wall Street Journal

President Barack Obama on Monday joined other world leaders in condemning Sunday's attacks, offering his strongest support yet for Iran's opposition movement and possibly signaling a less accommodating approach to Tehran.

Speaking in Hawaii, Mr. Obama for the first time publicly demanded Iran's release of "unjustly" detained political opponents. He joined with European leaders in calling for Iran's leaders to abide by international conventions on the treatment of political activists.

The Iranian people wish for "justice and a better life for themselves," Mr. Obama said, adding that "the decision of Iran's leaders to govern through fear and tyranny will not succeed in making those aspirations go away."

During the turmoil after Iran's controversial presidential elections in June, Mr. Obama -- then in the midst of a diplomatic outreach to Iran -- was criticized for his relative silence on the protests.

Senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration recognizes that it is now at a "pivot point" in its strategy toward Tehran. This shifting U.S. position, said these officials, has been driven by Iran's rejection of direct negotiations over its nuclear program and its crackdown on democracy activists in the country. [link]
They'll never admit it, but that "pivoting" is in the direction of the Bush policy on Iran.  That "cowboy" position that the left ridiculed and denounced.  The sane, realistic position.

How happy the leftists in this country must be that Mr. Hope&Change is evolving into Mr. Hope&ChangeNothing.

They Voted For Him. They Never Knew Him.

But that didn't matter.  The color of Obama's skin was all that mattered.

Shelby Steele:
America's primary race problem today is our new "sophistication" around racial matters. Political correctness is a compendium of sophistications in which we join ourselves to obvious falsehoods ("diversity") and refuse to see obvious realities (the irrelevance of diversity to minority development). I would argue further that Barack Obama's election to the presidency of the United States was essentially an American sophistication, a national exercise in seeing what was not there and a refusal to see what was there—all to escape the stigma not of stupidity but of racism.

Barack Obama, elegant and professorially articulate, was an invitation to sophistication that America simply could not bring itself to turn down. If "hope and change" was an empty political slogan, it was also beautiful clothing that people could passionately describe without ever having seen.

Mr. Obama won the presidency by achieving a symbiotic bond with the American people: He would labor not to show himself, and Americans would labor not to see him.
It's interesting that most defenses of the man, to this day, have the word "Bush" in them.  Because the defenders know so little about Obama and realize that, in terms of his actions, there is not much to defend.

Steele says The Chosen One may be " the least known man ever to step into the American presidency."  That is not a good thing.  Yet his supporters remain blissful in their ignorance.  An odd circumstance indeed.