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

Friday, June 18, 2010

Elk In Southwest Virginia?

Hunters say yes.

Farmers say no.

And the most influential people in the area - the tourism crowd - say "bring it on."

Sorry, farmers. You lose.
Elk reintroduction plan announced for Southwest Virginia
By Debra McCown, Bristol Herald Courier

Wise, Va. – The draft plan to restore elk herds in three Southwest Virginia counties will be outlined and discussed at a series of public meetings scheduled by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

While several counties were considered as a home for reintroduced elk, Regional Wildlife Manager Allen Boynton said Wise, Dickenson and Buchanan counties are the best fit because they have less agriculture and significant quantities of reclaimed surface mine land, which can provide ideal habitat.

“To be successful at this, we would have to have community support,” Boynton said, “that’s why we haven’t made a decision. We need public input, not just from local governments but also the citizens in the county, the businesses in the county, everybody who has a stake in it or could be affected.”

The big push behind the idea is hunters, Boynton said; the biggest opponents are farmers concerned about crop damage and competition with domestic livestock for the same grazing land.

“It’s not just hunting,” he said of the animals’ tourism draw, “It’s also people coming to see them.” [link]
I'll give the tourism experts (who have yet to lure a tourist to Southwest Virginia) this much:  Northerners would be far more apt to come see Elk babies frolicking in Scott County meadows than they would be - or have been - to come down here and watch our trees and boulders do their thing.

And hunters are a crazy bunch, willing to spend thousands just to have thirty seconds of bliss.  And that's just for bunny rabbits.  Imagine what they'll spend to shed blood in Dickenson mud if they're given the opportunity to bang away at the biggest of North American critters.

Hell, I may become a tourist myself and drive over there just to watch the fireworks.

Way To Go, Perriello

Just what we need.  More federal land in Virginia.

You'd think Boy Wonder - known to his Democrat friends around Charlottesville as ... well, Boy Wonder -  over in the 5th Congressional District would be focusing on the disastrous economic situation folks in Southside are suffering with.  After all, Martinsville's unemployment rate stands at a staggering 21.7%.  And that figure doesn't include all those who will be looking for work when Stanley Furniture finally shuts down.  A quarter of the population being without employment is realistic soon.

You'd be thinking wrong, though.  Tom Perriello has more important concerns:
Groups try to protect Booker T. Washington National Monument
By Janelle Rucker, Roanoke Times

Supporters of Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy have enlisted the help of their congressman to try to stop potential commercial development surrounding the 225-acre park.

In January, William Nissen of Moneta purchased a little more than 2 acres just west of the park on Virginia 122 and has begun to strip trees from the property, Tully said. And five years ago, with much opposition, developers were successful in getting land to the east of the park rezoned from agriculture to commercial for Westlake Village Business Park South. The development was to include retail buildings and residential town houses.

A bill introduced by Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Albemarle County, would allow the National Park Service to expand the park's boundaries by acquiring 67.5 acres of the commercially zoned property approved in 2005.

If the bill passes, Perriello said he would then work to get government money to purchase the land ... [link]
Let it be stipulated that Booker T. Washington, because of his successful efforts to guide freed slaves through the post-bellum, post-slavery period in American history, and because of his contributions to America's education system, deserves recognition.

On a plaque. 

Or a bust, if one feels that strongly about his accomplishments.

Maybe even a statue in his honor.

Okay, a 225-acre park.  He was that influential a long, long time ago.

But why isn't even that sufficient?

Perriello and his supporters want to "acquire the neighboring land to conserve the green space, expand the nature trails and build an additional educational center."

One education center ain't enough.  And "green space" must be protected.

So what if that green space costs upwards of a million bucks?

Meanwhile, Tom Perriello's district is hurting.  Martinsville and Danville lead the state in unemployment (and if you look at job losses as a percentage of total population over the last fifteen years, they lead the nation).  The local economies are wracked by plant closings and depopulation.

And this kid wants to spend Southside tax dollars on green space.

By the way, so you know, the greatest presence in American history, the man who actually freed the slaves, he who formulated the most breathtaking document in American history - the Emancipation Proclamation, the president who tore our country apart so as to put it back together again in a fashion that set our nation right and made it whole...

... is honored with merely a 100-acre memorial site.  Not even one education center.  No nature trails.  Adequate "green space" not a problem.

Someone needs to get a grip.

- - -

Ya gotta love that headline: "Groups try to protect Booker T. Washington National Monument."

Protect the monument? Pigeon poop, as best I can tell, is the only thing assaulting Booker T's statue. But it needs protection just the same apparently.  Good grief.

It's a Good Day For America

Here's to gridlock:

They could have only taken things from bad to worse.  This is the best we can hope for until the wreckers are cast out of Washington.

You go, guys.

Quote of the Day

From Charles Krauthammer:

"The gulf is gushing, and the president is talking mystery roads to unknown destinations. That passes for vision, and vision is Obama's thing. It sure beats cleaning up beaches."

Pardon me if I'm not awe-struck by his ability to envision.

The Gulf Coast Is Doomed

Obama inaction is one thing.  We can - and must - endure him until 2012.

But interference is intolerable.

This is outrageous:
BP Oil Spill: Against Gov. Jindal's Wishes, Crude-Sucking Barges Stopped by Coast Guard
By David Muir and Bradley Blackburn, ABC News

Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state's oil-soaked waters. Today, against the governor's wishes, those barges sat idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.

"It's the most frustrating thing," the Republican governor said today in Buras, La. "Literally, yesterday morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges." [link]
So why was the effort to protect Louisiana's fragile marshlands halted?

"The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board."

For the love of God.

Wrong Way Corrigan

He was lost too.

A "navigational error," no doubt.

The leader of the free world.  For the love of God.

It's Them Against Us

Do you get the feeling, as time goes on, that the Democrats who run our government see it as their obligation to police, bully, and otherwise punish us for transgressions past and present?

Where do they get off judging us - their employers - as the enemy?

And speaking of Hillary:

She says the Obama government is going to sue the state of Arizona over its wildly popular anti-illegal-immigration law.

Someone once said, "that government of the people, by the people, for the people ..."  Whoever said it didn't know Obama and his ilk. 

A Movie Review

Paula and I watched Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" last night.  It was juvenile, grossly amateurish, dopey, silly, and forgettable.  Overlooking those faults, though, it was mildly entertaining.

And what was Brad Pitt supposed to be?  Some caricature, one supposes.  But his effort was lost on me.  Undoubtedly he tried to copy the persona of Captain Jerome (played by Steve Kanaly) from "The Wind and the Lion."  He failed.  Pitt came across as an idiot with a strange southern accent that no human from the Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee ever possessed.  Unless they were from Hollywood, by way of Pigeon Forge.

This flick reminded me of "Plan Nine From Outer Space," a movie that was so bad it became popular for its worthlessness.  This one too is apparently popular amongst a certain crowd.  The same crowd, no doubt.

Says a lot about the crowd.

Hello, NRA. Anyone Home?

They were always so tenacious.  So savvy.  So relentless.

What has happened to the NRA?
The NRA's Political Sellout
By Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal

The National Rifle Association slipped into a Beltway backroom this week to cut a deal with Democrats on their new campaign-finance legislation. Conservatives are ripping the gun-rights group for selling out free speech, and fair enough. But don't underestimate the political sellout. The NRA has potentially armed unions and Democrats for the midterm elections.

The NRA's worst nightmare is that the courts strike down its blatant carveout and leave other parts of the bill intact. The group would then get to live under the same restrictions it helped imposed on the rest of the country. Until then, the organization can wake up each morning knowing it handed a bazooka to the unions that exist to elect Democrats who oppose everything it believes in. Some deal. [link]
Read the whole thing.

When the NRA decides its most important responsibility is to protect the NRA, the NRA is finished.

- - -

How important to Democrats was this NRA sellout?  Politico:
Many special interest groups would be affected by the DISCLOSE Act since they are registered as non-profit corporations, and literally hundreds of them had come out in opposition to the bill. But Van Hollen’s team was most concerned about the NRA, which in a show of strength in April forced Democrats to mothball a bill to grant Washington, D.C. voting representation in Congress by demonstrating that it had the votes to simultaneously repeal the District’s strict gun control laws. They calculated that the NRA’s opposition similarly could single-handedly sink the DISCLOSE Act by spooking conservative House Democrats whose support was needed to pass the bill, but for whom NRA opposition could be the kiss of death in an anti-incumbent election year expected to favor Republicans.
No problem with NRA opposition now.  But what of those hundreds of non-profit organizations that had been fighting alongside NRA to preserve our freedoms?  Tough toenails.  NRA is protected.  That's all that mattered.

- - -

American Thinker:

"Disappointment does not come from opponents; it comes from friends."


I've been telling you for quite some time now that this recession is different from any this country has ever experienced.  In the past we could always count on an economic downturn to eventually be followed by a robust period of growth.  Not this time.  We're well into the third year of weakness, with no end in sight.

This is not good.

The latest:
Weekly Jobless Claims Rise by 12,000 to 472,000 Total Claims, Highest Level in a Month
Associated Press

Washington -- The number of people filing new claims for jobless benefits jumped last week after three straight declines, another sign that the pace of layoffs has not slowed.

Initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 472,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the highest level in a month.

First-time jobless claims have hovered near 450,000 since the beginning of the year after falling steadily in the second half of 2009. That has raised concerns that hiring is lackluster and could slow the recovery. [link]
I see where a number of really smart economists are calling for another federal "stimulus."  To prime the pump.  Again.

I just want to puke.

What they don't grasp is this:  Whereas it was the general consensus over the years that the infusion of massive amounts of cash by the central government into the economy in times of trouble, an infusion intended to shock - or stimulate - the system and get it jump-started, something evolved over those years to make that working theory untenable.  The government on a regular basis - on an hourly basis - is already pumping mountains of dollars into the economy - good times or bad - and has been for years.  To think that increasing the stream of government outlays - when those outlays are already a huge portion of GDP - is going to make a difference is boneheaded.   And that's what Obama and his team of geniuses thought - think - they could do.  Up the voltage from four trillion to five trillion.  At that kind of "stimulus," we're well beyond numb.

Thus Obama's effort landed with a thud.

And we continue to struggle as a nation.

What say we try something different, fellas?