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

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The View From My Window

With the exception of a brief period after Christmas, we've had a heavy snowpack on the ground here in Southwest Virginia for nearly two-and-a-half months now, with no end in sight.  Again, this is southern Virginia.

A look outside reveals ...

For this I could be living in Nome, Alaska.  
I decided, actually, to do this post to show off another photo.  Click on this one to enlarge it.

Paula has been trying to keep the wildlife alive through this trying winter.  Imagine, the deer have not been able to forage for food around here for over seventy days.  The photo actually shows quite a collection around her feeding station behind the house.  Four deer, two bunnies, cardinals, doves, junkos, and a fox squirrel in the bird feeder to the right, gobbling down sunflower seeds.

It's tough out there, folks.  Paula is doing her part to save a few of God's creatures.  If only a few ...


How humiliating it is when a columnist sticks his foot in his mouth and everyone is there to see it.  A predicament I do know something about. It draws my sympathy.

The following (as it originally appeared), though, involving a rabid anti-gun nut who writes for the Roanoke Times, is better than anything I've ever had the opportunity of involving myself in.  It's downright sweet:
Crooks buying guns at gun shows
By Dan Casey, Roanoke Times

The state Senate didn't have the cajones to try and close the so-called "gun show loohole" this year, under which criminals can purchase guns from unlicensed sellers with no criminal background check.

If you doubted that shady characters go to gun shows for this purpose, I would refer you to a story by my colleague Neil Harvey in today's newspaper. It happened Jan. 23 at a gun show at the Salem Civic Center, where a man tried to buy a gun with counterfeit cash.

From The Roanoke Times:

"Police were also called to the Salem Gun Show on Jan. 23 where a man was trying to purchase a gun with a large amount of what proved to be forged currency. [Salem police Lt. Mike] Green said the buyer cooperated with police and told them he had received the bills from another man, now considered a suspect, in a separate private transaction.."   [link]
Now I know you're wondering at this point what on God's green earth the "gun show loophole" has to do with a purchase involving counterfeit money. Well, don't wonder too hard.  It's the best this guy's got, so he's going with it.

But about that "shady character" who Casey wants us to believe is some kind of gun crazy, he - Dan Casey - had to make a subsequent mea culpa.  In an update we learn this:
UPDATE: Neil Harvey [the reporter who wrote the article Casey cited] has informed me that the "separate private transaction" in which the counterfeit currency initially changed hands was not a gun transaction, and that the guy who tried to buy the gun with fake money didn't know it was counterfeit."
How disappointing facts prove to be.  The "shady character" didn't even know he had acquired the funny money that he was trying to use at the show to make his purchase.

Well, Dan.  Don't feel bad.  The dude was at a gun show.  That in itself makes him a "shady character," right?

My.  My.

This is a learning moment: Mr. Casey probably thinks of himself as being "open-minded."  This embarrassment, I would charge, says otherwise.  For obvious reasons.  His mind was closed around the caricature it had created, and facts weren't going to abuse the imagery, no matter what.

And, as I've written before, to be open-minded, like having a bird cage that is open-door, is to be woefully empty-minded.

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* As for the header - "Crooks buying guns at gun shows," something that Dan Casey is not necessarily responsible for (it might have been a copy editor that tagged his piece with the title), it should be noted that a citizen attempting to transact with counterfeit money unknowingly is not considered by law enforcement to be a "crook."  He is, however, a poor schmuck who finds that the bogus cash he possesses is worthless and he's out whatever he had invested in it.

And While We're On The Subject of Handgun Derangment ...

... let's put things in perspective.

Roanoke Times columnist Dan Casey enjoys citing a slimy and deceptive "study" that was released by the wildly anti-gun Violence Policy Center that purported to provide the "body count of people killed by concealed-carry permit holders."  Slimy and deceptive because in many of the instances cited in the "study" handguns weren't involved at all, and in some cases it was determined that crimes weren't even committed and the individuals implicated by the VPC were actually found to have used weapons in self-defense.

But to the deaths themselves that Casey orgasms over, some perspective:
Handgun Derangement Syndrome Grips Restaurateurs
By Chuck Rogér, American Thinker

How many permit-holders use guns to commit crimes?

The Violence Policy Center found that in the United States between May 2007 and April 2009, fifty-six deaths resulted from gun crimes committed by CCW permit-holders. Whether this anti-gun organization derived its number objectively or creatively, we accept the claim. Using the VPC data, U.S. Department of Justice statistics on nationwide gun murders, and Arizona's 290 firearms homicides spread over a population of 6.5 million, your chances of being gunned down by a CCW permit-holder in that state are a bit more than one in ten million.

How does dying at gunpoint stack up against other ways to go? According to the U.S. Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, from 1999 to 2003, the likelihood of being killed by lightning was one in 6,061,000, or 28 percent greater than the likelihood of being cut down by a licensed hand-gunner. During the same time frame, people in America had a one-in-18,700 chance of death by poisoning. The restaurant that doesn't nail you by taking your gun from your hand when you need it has a 400-times-better shot at killing you with over-the-hill thousand-island dressing. [link
For this Casey feels the need to waste his precious time?

And what about the flip-side to the story, the one that Casey will - to the day he dies - fight to ignore.  What about the lives that are saved by the use of guns?  From the same article:
The benefits of having decent citizens carry concealed guns outweigh the one-in-ten-million chance that one of those citizens will turn not-so-decent and shoot you. Law-abiding Americans brandish handguns in 2.5 million defensive incidents a year -- once every 12½ seconds. In most cases, a gun's mere appearance settles a brewing conflict. The National Center for Policy Analysis found that major crime plunges when law-abiding citizens carry concealed handguns . The same NCPA study, covering every American county, found that murders dropped by 8.5 percent, while rapes and serious assaults fell up to 7 percent in states with licensed concealed carry. Furthermore, if states without licensed concealed carry would institute it, then 1570 murders, 4180 rapes, and over 60,000 aggravated assaults would not happen each year.
1570 murders, 4180 rapes, and over 60,000 aggravated assaults are prevented.  Each year

And Casey wants to focus on the relative handful of instances where lives were lost.

Listen Up, Boucher

The fight against Obama's EPA has only just begun.

In today's news we learn that a group of scientists are calling on Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, to put up or shut up when it comes to her reasons bolstering the need to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

From a letter submitted to Ms. Jackson by 35 climate scientists asking for public hearings to be held on her controversial decision to regulate the air we exhale:
In light of the monumental importance of the EPA’s proposed rulemaking, we urge the adoption of the [U.S. Chamber of Commerce's] request [for hearings]. Additionally, we urge the EPA to address four critical questions, which, in addition to the issues enumerated in the Chamber’s Petition, are central to the EPA’s proposed rule-making. Indeed, these questions require careful analysis before intelligent public policy can be promulgated. They are:

1. Is the Earth’s climate changing in an unusual or anomalous fashion?

2. Does the science permit rejection of the hypothesis that CO2 is only a minor player in the Earth’s climate system?

3. Can climate models that assume CO2 is a key determinant of climate change provide forecasts of future conditions that are adequate for policy analysis?

4. Can we reject the hypothesis that the primary drivers of the Earth’s climate system will continue to be natural (non-anthropogenic) forces and internal climate variability?

The fundamental issue facing the EPA is whether or not human-caused CO2 emissions have already led to, or can be expected in the future, to lead to significant adverse changes in the Earth’s climate system. That is, in order to justify the current proposed Endangerment Finding, a very critical theory or assumption that must stand up to rigorous scientific analysis is that highervatmospheric CO2 levels will, with some appropriate level of confidence, lead to measurably higher surface temperatures.

This theory can only be tested or validated by testing the so-called null hypothesis that CO2 is a minor player in the Earth’s climate system. If this null hypothesis cannot be rejected, there is no basis for regulating CO2, particularly given the enormously negative implications of such regulation on the Nation’s Energy, Economic and National Security. [link]
If you ask me, it's time we got Al Gore out of the discussion and more of these experts into it.  I think we'd then quickly learn that this business about CO2 being a greenhouse gas that, by its elevated presence in the atmosphere, is causing global warming is, in fact, all a bunch of hooey.

Knowing the political driver behind the global warming movement, I fully expect there to be EPA hearings, and for Professor Al Gore to testify in defense of the indefensible.

More to follow ...

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* I mention Congressman Rick Boucher here because, as I've written before, he has abandoned all hope of stopping the EPA from regulating the coal industry into oblivion and is trying to cut the best deal - for his coalfields constituents - that he can.  Think welfare.

But hope is alive.  And can be found in scientific research.  Sooner or later - pray for sooner - the notion that there is any real link between (trace) CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and global warming will be found to be untenable.  And the environmentalists will move on to some other scare scenario.

Boucher may have given up but others fight the good fight.  Here's to them.

Hummer Not Dead After All?

It appears that there are investors out there after all who might be interested in buying the niche brand.

From Newsy.com:

If there's a market for it, someone is going to be there to supply it. I read that somewhere in Capitalism 101.

Is there a market for the brand that Desert Storm built?

Stay tuned.