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

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Virginia Tech, Land Of Make-Believe

This is such bullshit:
Multinational corporations exact a human toll
By Suchitra Samanta, writing in the Roanoke Times

Samanta, of Radford, is on the faculty of both the women and gender studies program in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech.

[Let me stop there. Virginia Tech has a women and gender studies program in the Department of Sociology and a Department of "Religion and Culture" at Virginia Tech? Does Governor Bob want to know where he might begin to find ways to cut the state government deficit?]

While the focus of the American media has been on containing the massive environmental and human disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and BP's culpability in managing a crisis caused primarily by cutting corners on safety, there is only passing mention of the 11 men who died in the initial explosion.

The frightening question is one of the power of multinational corporations, the politicians who are in their pay and nations who need their business.

That is a nexus that packs quite a punch, at a terrible human cost ... [link]
A frightening question?  Only if you reside in the monastical caverns of Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Eleven men died in the explosion of that BP well.  Let's indict the entire corporate world.

Good God.*

What do you suppose this gal has to say about the hundreds of millions of human beings - mostly children - who have been killed worldwide by government decree?  The world's corporations were there providing a product - DDT - that effectively prevented the spread of malaria.  Governments around the world - led by our own in 1972 - stopped its use.  The slaughter then began.  Slaughter that corporations were there to prevent and government instigated.

Suchitra Samanta mourns the deaths of eleven oil workers (as do we all).  But it'll be a cold day in hell when she gives a damn about hundreds of millions of Africans who were sentenced to death by do-gooder politicians.

Get out of my world.  Go back to Virginia Tech, where your idiocy is accepted as fact.  I've no patience for it.

* On a side note, I wonder if God ever enters into discussions in the Religion and Culture Department at Virginia Tech?  Or is it all Gaia all the time?

Food For Thought

There are the movie depictions of the great struggle between the North and the South ...


And then there was reality.

From an editorial in the monthly "Confederate Veteran" magazine, January 1894:
A Most Worthy Plea For Help

Capt. John M. Sloan, Pontotoc, Miss., Dec. 27, 1893, writes to comrades:

I was Captain of Company G, Forty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, Wood's and M.P. Lowry's Brigade, Pat Cleburne's Division, in our great war. I was fearfully wounded and disabled in the memorable battle of Chicamauga, September 20, 1863. When in command of my company, in front of the enemy's lines, and under a heavy fire of shot and shell, I had the misfortune of having my under jaw, upper teeth, and part of my tongue shot away, and my face terribly mutilated by the explosion of a shell from one of the enemy's guns. Since that time I have had to lie on my back when taking my meals and be fed by others on fluids. I cannot masticate any food whatever. Notwithstanding my unfortunate and irreparable condition, I managed so as to support myself and family for twenty-five years, but am unable to do so longer without assistance.

Comrades, I dislike to beg. I had rather that it was different, but I cannot help it. I received this ugly and unfortunate wound in a just and honorable cause. I did my duty in defending our beloved Sunny Southland, homes, property, and firesides. Will you please see to it that myself and family do not suffer for the necessaries of life? I have a wife and two daughters dependent on me for support, and one of the daughters has been an invalid for the past eighteen years. Please contribute something to our relief, and I assure you that the amount will be gratefully appreciated by us. [Signed] Your comrade, John N. Sloan.


Rev. Chas. H. Otken, Summit, Miss., Jan. 4, 1894:

I was the Chaplain of the Forty-fourth Mississippi Regiment. I saw Captain Sloan on the field of Chicamauga, Sept. 20, 1863. Four surgeons pronounced his case hopeless. The chin dangled in front of his breast. The shell made a gash from the outer edge of the right eye to the corner of the mouth. From Sunday noon until Tuesday about 2 p.m. no relief was given him - not a drop of water could be given him. I obtained private physicians from Ringgold, Ga. They cut away the chin and sewed the nose to the face. Captain Sloan was frightfully mutilated. For over thirty years he lies down supine three times a day on two chairs and is fed as a child.

Dear Comrades of the Lost Cause! I know not how to commend my friend to your generous consideration. He is now an old man, has an afflicted family, and is poor. I am sure that as long as there are surviving Confederates who can aid, Captain Sloan ought not to suffer for material comforts. Shall we not let a little sunshine into his dreary home?


Since receipt of above I learn the State has given Capt. Sloan $150. Contributions will be accepted for him at this office.
There were an estimated half million Americans wounded in battle in the Civil War.  Captain John N. Sloan, Forty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, was but one.

Democrats & Billy Sunday

George Will, on those who would rule over our every waking moment, for our own good:
Another round of Prohibition, anyone?
Washington Post

The evening of Jan. 16, 1920, hours before Prohibition descended on America, while the young assistant secretary of the Navy, Franklin Roosevelt, drank champagne in Washington with other members of Harvard's Class of 1904, evangelist Billy Sunday preached to 10,000 celebrants in Norfolk, Va., : "The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be only a memory. . . ." Not exactly.

Daniel Okrent's darkly hilarious "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" recounts how Americans abolished a widely exercised private right -- and condemned the nation's fifth-largest industry -- in order to make the nation more heavenly. Then all hell broke loose. Now that ambitious government is again hell-bent on improving Americans -- from how they use salt to what light bulbs they use -- Okrent's book is a timely tutorial on the law of unintended consequences.

The many lessons of Okrent's story include: In the fight between law and appetite, bet on appetite. And: Americans then were, and let us hope still are, magnificently ungovernable by elected nuisances.  [link]
And speaking of elected nuisances who think they know best what's best for the rest of us the great uneducated and stupid masses, Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, is right up there with Billy Sunday:


It's for your own good. So shut up.

Put Newsom's smug, condescending face to this speech from 1919:
I am the sworn, eternal and uncompromising enemy of the liquor traffic. I have been, and will go on, fighting that damnable, dirty, rotten business with all the power at my command. I shall ask no quarter from that gang, and they shall get none from me.

After all is said that can be said on the liquor traffic, its influence is degrading on the individual, the family, politics and business and upon everything that you touch in this old world. For the time has long gone by when there is any ground for arguments of its ill effects. All are agreed on that point. There is just one prime reason why the saloon has not been knocked into hell, in that is the false statement "that the saloons are needed to help lighten the taxes."

Say, will you line up for the prohibition? Men of Boston, Massachusetts and our nation, how many of you will promise that by the help of God you will vote against it? Stand up. Let me have a look at you! 
Billy Sunday felt obligated to interfere in Americans' daily lives a century ago. For our own good.  The spirit of Billy Sunday lives on.  In the character of Gavin Newsom.

You find one despicable?  You'd better find both such.

Here's How a Whitewash Is Pulled Off

Sounds so cut-and-dry:
British Panel Clears Scientists
By Justin Gillis, New York Times

A British panel on Wednesday exonerated the scientists caught up in the controversy known as Climategate of charges that they had manipulated their research to support preconceived ideas about global warming.

The new report is the last in a series of investigations of leading British and American climate researchers, prompted by the release of a cache of e-mail messages that cast doubt on their conduct and raised fresh public controversy over the science of global warming.

“On the specific allegations made against the behavior of C.R.U. scientists, we find that their rigor and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” said the new report, led by Muir Russell, a retired British civil servant and educator. [link]
There you have it.   A British panel of experts, after exhaustive investigation, has determined that those climate scientists at the center of the Climategate firestorm acted with rigor and honesty.

If only there were truth to this.  There was no exhaustive investigation.  A gang of scientists with a vested interest in climate research tailored a report to meet their preconceived needs.  Steve McIntyre:
They adopted a unique inquiry process in which they interviewed only one side – CRU. As a result, the report is heavily weighted towards CRU apologia – a not unexpected result given that the writing team came from Geoffrey Boulton’s Royal Society of Edinburgh.

In his press conference, Muir Russell said:

"We’re not going to get anywhere if this is just an ex cathedra* proposition."

Thus far, I’ve only seen the Report itself, which is more or less an ex cathedra proposition.
Russell was appointed by the institution to investigate an archive of source code and emails that leaked onto the internet last November. The source code is not addressed at all. His report suggests that the problems were of the academics' own making, stating that they were "united in defence against criticism". Yet the enquiry found that despite emails promising to "redefine" the peer review publication process, and put pressure on journal editors, staff were not guilty of subverting the IPCC process, and their "rigour" and "honesty" were beyond question.

Leading academics were called for written and oral evidence before the Russell enquiry, and in many cases the report accepts their account of events. The subjects of their criticism were not invited, not were climate scientists critical of their behaviour. For example, in their capacity as IPCC gatekeepers, the academics are cleared of excluding critical evidence, and yet bending the rules to include supporting studies. To reach this particular conclusion, for example, the report finds a criterion: a "consistence of view" with earlier work. The earlier work here was in fact produced the academics under scrutiny. So, having compared the CRU academics' work against their previous work, and found it to be consistent, they are cleared of malpractice.
Shameful.

There was a day when scientists would have held themselves to a much higher standard than this.

* Ex cathedra: "The term is often used ironically or sarcastically to describe self-certain statements, alluding to the Pope's supposed infallibility, as if an office or position conferred immunity from error."

And They Call US Racists

I get a kick out of liberals who have to resort to finding "code words" that conservatives use, to hear them tell it, to describe black Americans - like "poor," "urban," or "felonious" - in a disparaging way.  They think, when they read the words "violence" and streets" in the same sentence, we're obviously talking about black youth.  And we're obviously a bunch of flaming racists for mentioning it.  Even though the two words often have nothing to do with blacks (though they most often do have to do with youth).

They know what we're really thinking.

Hilarious.

But you want to know who the real racists are in this country?

Just ask Michelle Malkin.

NY Times: Our Only Problem Is With Anti-Immigration Laws

12 million illegals wandering America's streets?  Who cares?  We have bigger problems than that.  We have Arizona:
The Constitution Trumps Arizona
New York Times editorial

The Obama administration has not always been completely clear about its immigration agenda, but it was forthright Tuesday when it challenged the pernicious Arizona law that allows the police to question the immigration status of people they detain for local violations.

In the meantime, there are steps President Obama can take. He can deny Arizona access to federal databases of immigration status and refuse to allow the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to cooperate with state officials in handling people detained under the law. The government should end the misguided program allowing local deputies to enforce immigration law after taking an educational course. [link]
Forget the lawbreakers.  Go after the law-abiding.  With a vengeance.

My God.

How out of the mainstream these New Yorkers are.  So very far out.

Manchin Makes His Move

And the only one he had available to him that worked to his complete advantage.  Get this:
Manchin supports special election
By Shira Toeplitz, Politico

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said Wednesday he supports holding a special election this year to fill the late Sen. Robert Byrd's (D-W.Va.) seat, and asked the state attorney general to determine if a vote could be held this fall.

The popular Democratic governor also overtly expressed his own interest in the Senate seat for the first time in a press conference, saying that he would be "highly" interested in running for the seat himself. In what sounded like the beginnings of a campaign stump speech, Manchin boasted that he has been able to keep the state in good shape during his five-and-a-half years in office and that he would be in a good position to fight for issues facing West Virginia in the Senate.

“I believe I can bring that debate to the forefront and I have respect for dialogue,” Manchin said.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant originally ruled last week that since the filing deadline for the 2010 election had passed, the special election for Byrd’s seat would not take place until November 2012. Also citing state law, Tennant said the governor “will appoint a replacement who serves the unexpired term until a successor has been elected.”

But since then, state politicians have increasingly come to the conclusion that West Virginia should have a special election this year—which would require a legislative fix to the state succession law. [link]
Here's how you should read that last sentence:

Democrat politicians know that nobody can defeat Governor Manchin in any kind of statewide election in West Virginia right now.  They also know that it is a seat that Obama needs desperately to keep in the "D" column come November.  Understand too that Manchin wants this more than anything.  Thus the sudden concern about an interim appointment, an election two years from now, and a change in the law.  A lot can happen in two years.  Ask Barack Obama's interim replacement over in Illinois.

The alternative, one that was rumored and then died quickly, was that Manchin would appoint himself to the open Senate seat.  He had/has that opportunity.  But the seamy nature of such a move would not have set well with voters.  And West Virginia voters are a surly lot right now anyway, what with Washington Democrats doing their darnest to destroy the coal industry, the state's number one revenue and jobs generator.

In the end, it's fair to say, Joe Manchin can do pretty much whatever he pleases and get away with it.  He's that popular in the state.  But the route he's taken is the most aboveboard - if self-serving just the same.

Can he be defeated in November?  No.

Unless news comes out that he once wore the white hood and bore the banner of the Knights of the KKK.

Oh, wait.  Even that didn't stop his predecessor.

America In Flames

You think Obama and his ilk aren't trying to destroy this country of ours?
The education debacle of the decade
By Bob Ewing, The Daily Caller

The Department of Education commissioned Wolf to conduct a series of detailed studies on the results of the Washington DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP). Established in 2004 as a five-year pilot program, OSP is among the most heavily researched federal education programs in history.

OSP targeted about 2,000 of the poorest kids in DC who were stuck in some of the worst schools in the country. It gave their parents a $7,500 scholarship to attend a private school of their choice.

The response was immediate. Four applications were filled out for every slot available. Parents loved the program, considering it a lifeline for their children, a way to escape failing schools and enter safe, functional schools.

Everyone knew OSP would be a bargain. DC has among the highest spending per pupil in the nation. At a conservative estimate of $17,542, the public schools spend over $10,000 more per child than the $7,500 spent through the scholarship program.

But would OSP achieve measureable results?

The answer is a resounding yes. Previous studies by Wolf showed an improvement in academic performance, to the point that a student participating in OSP from kindergarten through high school would likely be 2 ½ years ahead in reading. The key finding in this final round of research, Wolf told us, was the graduation rates. OSP dramatically increases prospects of high-school graduation.

Wolf pointed to research showing that high-school diplomas significantly improve the chance of getting a job. And dropouts that do find employment earn about $8,500 less per year than their counterpoints with diplomas. Further, each graduate reduces the cost of crime by a stunning $112,000. Cecelia Rouse, an economic advisor to President Obama, found that each additional high school graduate saves the country $260,000.

Simply put, OSP has a profoundly positive effect not just on students, but on the city and the country as a whole.

So when it came time for Congress to reauthorize OSP, it would seem to be a no-brainer: Expand the program.

Instead, they killed it. [link]
Next time you hear some Democrat talk about the need to help America's poor, think of those poor black kids in Washington D.C. who were thrown to the wolves by those very same Democrats. 

Despicable.