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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Your Tax Dollars At Work

The headline caught my attention:


I know what you're thinking. The same thing I'm thinking. The town of Galax needs an armored vehicle?  Has the revolution begun?  Is the Old Fiddlers' Convention expected to get out of hand, requiring a SWAT team's presence?  Is the town needing an armored vehicle to transport to the bank all the loot being brought in by ... tourists?

Well, probably not. Not if the explanation for its purchase is any indication.  Here's the justification:
• The armored vehicle that the Galax Police Department is slated to receive in November could have been used to get some people out of the cold during a fire at an independent living complex in Hillsville in January, Galax Police Chief told city council on Monday.

• [The Police Chief] said it could have been used to extract individuals from two high-risk search warrant executions in the area, such as the hostage crisis at the Wytheville Post Office in December.
Had it been available, the new armored vehicle could have prevented the Galax goat shooting of 1948 also.  If we want to get completely unhinged.

Did I mention the price tag?

$251,792.

But not to worry. "Someone else" is paying for all but the steering wheel - the Department of Homeland Security. Which apparently prints its own currency and doesn't have to rely on precious tax dollars for its wasteful programs.

So what does Galax have that it didn't have before?

A "chemical-, biological-, radiological-, nuclear- and explosive-resistant vehicle, not quite as big as an ambulance, but able to hold up to nine people" with features that include "explosive gas detection, radiation detection, camera and intercom systems and a battery charger device."

And a coffee maker that plays "Dixie" while its doing Starbucks Ready Brew.

For the love of God, people. A chemical-, biological-, radiological-, nuclear- and explosive-resistant vehicle? In freaking Galax? Have you no shame?

Oh, I should mention, in fairness to Galax, officials there haven't cornered the market on abject stupidity. My own Bland County owns one of these jewels, courtesy of ... Rick Boucher.  A by-God Pierce Contender:

The price on this one in 2005 was $180,000.  One can only assume it was a lot cheaper because it wasn't "nuclear resistant."

It too came out of Homeland Security funds your grandchildren's college fund.

Seen occasionally outside the Bland County Volunteer Fire Department shed in downtown Bland being washed and made ready for the next chemical, biological, or radiological attack, this monster is perfect for hay rides and wet t-shirt contests, should anyone want to rent the damn thing, which sits idle otherwise.

Hope you folks in Galax enjoy your new truck, courtesy of  ... Homeland Security?

Enjoy but consider:

Not far down the road, in Henry County, Stanley Furniture announced just a few weeks ago that it was closing its plant and laying off another 530 Southwest Virginians.

There is a correlation.

There is a correlation.

From a Different Planet

As quote of the day, I offer up this doozy from former Alcoholic Beverage Control commissioner Vernon M. Danielsen:
Gov. Bob McDonnell continues to push for privatization of the Virginia ABC retail liquor operations. I was honored to have been chairman of the Virginia Department of ABC for four years during Gov. Mark Warner's administration. During that time I developed a deep understanding of the challenges surrounding the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. A key part of the responsibility of ABC is promoting moderation in the consumption of alcoholic beverages and being a steward of Virginian's health and safety as related to the consumption of beverage alcohol.
Horse shit.

The government here in the Commonwealth - the one you say "promotes moderation in the consumption" of alcohol - is in the booze business, Vern.  Nowhere in an ABC store do I see "moderation."  I see aisles upon aisles, shelves upon shelves, of hooch.  Beautifully displayed and labeled for the convenience of the customer.  And those attractive merchandising fixtures and presentations. Wow!  They make me want to buy even more!

Want to set an example that might actually send a message that promotes moderation?  Quit selling the stuff (by the case or truckload).

"The responsibility of ABC is promoting moderation in the consumption of alcoholic beverages."  Don't make me laugh.  The responsibility of ABC is to sell liquor.  Period.

Why Global Warming Lost

The data - the incontrovertible facts - never supported the notion.

March 16, 2007, ScienceDaily:

Arctic Sea Ice Decline May Trigger Climate Change Cascade

There were always a lot of  "mays" and "coulds" and "mights," supported by notoriously inaccurate computer model predictions, that propelled global warming theory.

At some point, though, one has to accept the raw facts of life (or fudge the data like Michael Mann is alleged to have done when he was at the University of Virginia).

Today:


That is called "ebb and flow." Some refer to it as "nature."

Whatever you call it, it ain't global warming.

Priceless

Words can't describe the scene.  A child hears his mother's voice for the first time:



His response is the stuff Kleenex was invented for.

Okay, Now They're Starting To Amuse

I'm thinking now of running for Congress.  So I can defund these twits:
NPR Paints Conservative Virginia Attorney General as Persecutor of Science in Climategate Suit
By Tim Graham, NewsBusters

Ken Cuccinelli, the conservative Attorney General of Virginia, came under attack on Friday night's All Things Considered on National Public Radio. This is one angle of Climategate the national media have noticed. But they pitch the battle as Cuccinelli vs. Science or Cuccinelli vs. Academic Freedom.

What's most infuriating is the notion that it's Cuccinelli who's "politicizing" science, and not Michael Mann's openly politicized e-mails explaining his data manipulations and plotting to censor his political opponents. Somehow, the Union of Concerned Scientists is painted as non-political.

Host Michele Norris began: "The University of Virginia says it will fight a demand from the state's attorney general. He wants the school to turn over private e-mails and documents related to a former professor's climate research. The case has sparked a national debate over academic freedom." [link] [emphasis in the original]
Earth to all morons in academe: If you decide to work for us (the public), you'd better be prepared to accept our oversight.  If you find that that might upset your principled stand on "academic freedom," get the hell out.  Nobody is preventing you from refusing our money.

Laws may have been broken.  We are going to get to the bottom of it.  Live with it or go away.