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

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Latest From Richmond

There is  a particular piece of legislation that was introduced in the Virginia Senate recently that you should be made aware of because, if passed, it could have a dramatic impact on your future, if you live and work in the coalfields. Sponsored by liberal Democrat Fairfax County Senator Patricia S. Ticer, it would have the effect of forcing all surface coal mining in the state to cease.

The bill - SB564 - reads as follows:
Prohibits the issuing of a permit for coal surface mining operations unless the applicant affirmatively demonstrates, and the Director finds in writing, that no spoil, refuse, silt, slurry, tailings, or other waste materials from coal surface mining and reclamation operations will be disposed of in any intermittent, perennial, or ephemeral stream. 
What caught my attention immediately was the inclusion of the adjectives "intermittent, perennial, or ephemeral" used to modify the word "stream."  Rather than just "stream," which is what those northern environmentalists think of when they get all worked up over mining operations.  They think they are saving trout and other fishes from extinction when in fact what the legislation would "save" would be nothing more than rocks and boulders.  In English those "intermittent, perennial, or ephemeral" streams are what we know as dry gully beds.  Washes.  Those cuts in the mountainside that were formed when, and only contain water when, heavy rains occur and the runoff hurtles down the mountain.  Gullies that immediately dry up again.

The dangerous aspect to this legislation is in the fact that every mountain in Southwest Virginia (and on the planet as a whole) has these gullies, these "intermittent, perennial, or ephemeral" streams.  The bill, if signed into law, therefore, would force surface mining to come to a halt.  Everywhere.

Why this woman couldn't have simply introduced legislation that called for the cessation of surface mining in the state, rather than take the cowardly route and disguise the language such that most folks would have to look up the words intermittent, perennial, and ephemeral to understand it is beyond me.

But then maybe it involves nothing more than that.  Maybe this liberal Democrat from breathtakingly wealthy Fairfax - this Senator Patricia S. Ticer - is a coward.  And she wanted to backdoor her radical environmentalism into law.

Having now made clear what her intentions were, I should give you the latest.  It comes from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:
Va. senate will not take up surface mining bill
By Bill Archer

Bluefield, Va. — After coal industry supporters from southwestern Virginia showed up in Richmond, Va., last week to voice opposition to a bill that would have had an incredible impact on surface coal mining in the Old Dominion, the committee that was set to discuss the issue on Monday, did not meet as scheduled.

Today is crossover day in the Virginia General Assembly, and since the bill — Senate Bill 564 — did not come before the committee for a vote, it is passed by until the 2011 session of the Virginia General Assembly.

“The bill passed by for the year with no meeting,” State Senator Phillip P. Puckett, D-Russell said. Puckett also serves on the Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee. “It was clear that there weren’t enough votes in the committee to get it passed. I voted against it once, and I was looking forward to voting against it again.”

Puckett was one of several regional legislators and coal industry supporters who spoke out against the bill during a public hearing on Feb. 11. “There was no discussion on the bill other than the discussion during the public hearing,” he said. “The committee passed it by for this year.”

Barbara Altizer, executive director of the Eastern Coal Council said that the committee’s action on Monday is a “wonderful” development. “Thank God this is over for this year,” she said. “Although we will probably see this bill again next session, we are very pleased that it was passed by for this year,” she said.
Ticer was apparently unavailable for comment.  She was off trying to keep warm in her cozy coal-heated home.

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You can see what radical Sierra Club-funded mouthpieces have to say about this environmentalist bill by going here and here.

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If you're keeping track, SB564 had five co-patrons.  They were:

• Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, Democrat, northern Virginia

• Senator Janet Howell, Democrat, northern Virginia

• Senator Ralph S. Northam, Democrat, eastern Virginia

• Senator David W. Marsden, Democrat, northern Virginia

• Delegate Charniele L. Herring, Democrat, northern Virginia

A note to those of you living in the coalfields: These six Democrats will tell you they are working to protect you and your way of life by throwing you out of work. You decide.

A World In Which Environmentalists Reign ...

... is a world that brings death and destruction to millions of innocent human beings.  Human beings that the environmentalists don't give two squirts about.

To the commenter from yesterday who wrote, "So jerry [sic] - for the record. Are you are ok with acid rain killing off the remaining streams in Appalachia?" I have the following response: Your na├»ve, ill-informed, and dangerous attitude toward this planet and its inhabitants is condemnable and I hereby condemn it.   

Read on and see what your belief system has wrought:
Who is the worst killer in the long, ugly history of war and extermination? Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pot? Not even close. A single book called Silent Spring killed far more people than all those fiends put together.

Published in 1962, Silent Spring used manipulated data and wildly exaggerated claims (sound familiar?) to push for a worldwide ban on the pesticide known as DDT – which is, to this day, the most effective weapon against malarial mosquitoes. The Environmental Protection Agency held extensive hearings after the uproar produced by this book… and these hearings concluded that DDT should not be banned. A few months after the hearings ended, EPA administrator William Ruckleshaus over-ruled his own agency and banned DDT anyway, in what he later admitted was a “political” decision. Threats to withhold American foreign aid swiftly spread the ban across the world.

The resulting explosion of mosquito-borne malaria in Africa has claimed over sixty million lives. This was not a gradual process – a surge of infection and death happened almost immediately. The use of DDT reduces the spread of mosquito-borne malaria by fifty to eighty percent, so its discontinuation quickly produced an explosion of crippling and fatal illness. The same environmental movement which has been falsifying data, suppressing dissent, and reading tea leaves to support the global-warming fraud has studiously ignored this blood-drenched “hockey stick” for decades.

The motivation behind Silent Spring, the suppression of nuclear power, the global-warming scam, and other outbreaks of environmentalist lunacy is the worship of centralized power and authority. The author, Rachel Carson, didn’t set out to kill sixty million people – she was a fanatical believer in the newly formed religion of radical environmentalism, whose body count comes from callousness, rather than blood thirst. The core belief of the environmental religion is the fundamental uncleanliness of human beings. All forms of human activity are bad for the environment… most especially including the activity of large private corporations. Deaths in faraway Africa barely registered on the radar screen of the growing Green movement, especially when measured against the exhilarating triumph of getting a sinful pesticide banned, at substantial cost to an evil corporation.
Tens of millions of human beings - mostly little children - were killed by blind environmental advocacy.  And the advocates don't give a damn.

You want my opinion on the record?  May all of you burn in hell.

Something To Scare Your Socks Off

From former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker:

"Within 12 years…the largest item in the federal budget will be interest payments on the national debt.  [They are] payments for which we get nothing."

And the people who are going to be asked to pay the bill are tapped out.

For the love of God.

Ah, Yes. Global Warming.

They can explain the record snowfall (or try but fail to).  But how do they explain this?

I'm sure Al Gore has the perfect explanation.

Hail The Partisans!

With the announcement from Indiana Senator Evan Bayh that he would not seek reelection in November comes a great deal of hand-wringing about the sorry state of politics in Washington these days.  Bitter partisanship, and all that.  My response?

It's about time.

Since the 60's Democrats and Republicans have worked in relative bipartisanship to create the mess that the United States of America now finds itself in.  Led by Democrats and supported - usually with professed reluctance - by Republicans, we now have a bloated, unwieldy, detached, and broken government that is intruding in every aspect of our daily lives.  A government that is spending far beyond its means.  At a rate that is unsustainable.  Intruding to the point where it is poised to declare the very air we breathe to be a pollutant (because it contains small amounts of carbon dioxide).

The American people look on in wonder and say to themselves, "My God, what happened?"

It's only been in recent years that the push back has begun to take place.  It began, some would argue, with the rise of Rush Limbaugh.  That "bitter partisanship" that those who created the mess wail about.  The bitter partisans many of whom go by the name Tea Party protesters today.

They know that it took years of bipartisanship to get us to this breaking point.  And that it will take many more years of struggle - and unwavering partisanship - to get ourselves pulled back from it.

Here's to partisanship!  May it save this once great and proud country!

- - -

I bring this up to highlight an editorial in yesterday's Wall Street Journal:
Another Liberal Crackup

The political retirement of Evan Bayh, at age 54, is being portrayed by various sages as a result of too much partisanship, or the Senate's dysfunction, or even the systemic breakdown of American governance. Most of this is rationalization. The real story, of which Mr. Bayh's frustration is merely the latest sign, is the failure once again of liberal governance.

For the fourth time since the 1960s, American voters in 2008 gave Democrats overwhelming control of both Congress and the White House. Republicans haven't had such large majorities since the 1920s. Yet once again, Democratic leaders have tried to govern the country from the left, only to find that their policies have hit a wall of practical and popular resistance.

Democrats have responded by blaming "obstructionist" Republicans, who lack the votes to block anything by themselves; or a failure to communicate the right message, though President Obama is a master communicator; or even Madison's framework of checks and balances, though this system has worked better than all others for some 225 years.

The real source of this mess is the agenda that Democrats have tried to ram through the political system. Far from offering new ideas to reform the welfare state or compete better against rising global powers, Democrats have with rare exception tried to impose the same spending, tax and regulatory agenda that failed in the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s. Mr. Obama was a new face promising new hope, but his ideas are as old as the average Congressional Chairman.

The rest of Mr. Obama's liberal agenda has foundered on its own overreaching implausibility. To fight the speculative threat of global warming, Democrats have tried to impose vast new taxes to raise energy prices. To address rising health-care costs, they proposed huge new health subsidies and political control of medical decisions. Medicare is heading toward bankruptcy, yet Mr. Obama's response is to make the entire health-care system like Medicare. And to fix the financial system, they have declared war on bankers while proposing reforms that would do little to prevent future bank bailouts.

The central contradiction in modern liberal politics is that Otto von Bismarck's entitlement state for cradle to grave financial security is no longer affordable. The model has reached the limit of its ability to tax private income and still allow enough economic growth to finance its transfer payments. [link]
There is nothing more illustrative of the problems we face than that one sentence: "Medicare is heading toward bankruptcy, yet Mr. Obama's response is to make the entire health-care system like Medicare."  We are on a glide path to destruction and all Washington can think about is how to accelerate our doom.

So, yeah, we're partisan.  And bitter at that.  And we'll continue to be.  Until this awful situation is rectified and the perpetrators are banished to the nether regions from which they came.

Quote of the Day

From President Barack Obama yesterday:

"We’ll have to build a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in America.  To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we’ll need to increase our supply of nuclear power. It’s that simple.”

I think we're all beyond the silly "climate change" fad, but his actions are aimed in the right direction.  We need energy production in this energy-starved world, and lots of it.

Another Nail In The Coffin

Those pseudoscientists at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit apparently weren't alone in creating a fantasy when it comes to global warming theory.  You were too.  That is, if you're an American taxpayer who paid NASA "scientists" to cook its books and distort its findings.  This from Christopher Horner is absolutely shocking:
On New Year’s Eve, NASA finally provided the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) with the documents I requested in August 2007.

The emails show the hypocrisy, dishonesty, and suspect data management and integrity of NASA, wildly spinning in defense of their enterprise. The emails show NASA making off with enormous sums of taxpayer funding doing precisely what they claim only a “skeptic” would do. The emails show NASA attempting to scrub their website of their own documents, and indeed they quietly pulled down numerous press releases grounded in the proven-wrong data. The emails show NASA claiming that their own temperature errors (which they have been caught making and in uncorrected form aggressively promoting) are merely trivial, after years of hysterically trumpeting much smaller warming anomalies.

Under Dr. James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), NASA shepherds a continuing public campaign claiming clear evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) — climate change induced by human beings. The documents released via the FOIA request, however, contain admissions of data unreliability that are staggering, particularly in light of NASA’s claims to know temperatures and anomalies within hundredths of a degree, and the alarm they helped raise over a mere one degree of claimed warming over more than an entire century.

This is not science. It is debunked advocacy. The impropriety of such policy advocacy, let alone allowing unsubstantial scientific claims to become part of a media campaign, is self-evident.
Never forget, Obama wants to alter our way of life - and tax us to hell - to mitigate this problem that doesn't exist, one that we are now learning was nothing more than a base fabrication.