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

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ah, The Memories

I was talking to a friend not long ago about McDowell County, West Virginia, a part of the United States of America, not far up the road from me, that time forgot a long time ago.  You think Detroit is a wasteland?  you ain't been to McDowell County.  It says to the uninitiated all they need to know when I tell them that prosperity in McDowell County, brought on by World War I and the need for massive amounts of labor-intensively mined coal, peaked and began to decline when the war ended.  In 1917.  Nearly a century ago.

So I was telling my friend (who grew up in Mt. Hope, WV) over dinner one night (I think we were in Atlanta but it might have been Philadelphia) about my travels through the land that God forgot and he asked me:

"Hey, have you stopped by the whore houses in Cinder Bottom?"

I responded, after a pause:

"Say what?"

"The whore houses in Cinder Bottom, are they still there?"

Not being one to know of such vices, much less indulge in them, I replied:

"I have no idea."

But now I was intrigued (not that I would ever set foot in one of those dens of iniquity).  I asked:

"Where's Cinder Bottom?"

"Just past Keystone.  On 52.  Between there and Kimball."

I replied, with a high degree of confidence:

"No.  They must be gone.  There's nothing on 52 anymore except some abandoned buildings (until you get to the metropolis of Kimball where there's a by-God Wal-Mart).  That includes most of what was once the bustling town of Keystone.  It's nearly all gone."

He then proceeded to reminisce:

"What a place.  When I was young and attending seminary over in Welch [I am not making this up] we would drive over to Cinder Bottom on the weekend and get our horns tooted for seven bucks."

My mind reeled.  My thoughts turned to toothless, ill-kempt, smelly crones lolling on porch steps waiting for young seminarians who were looking for communicable diseases to drive over from Welch for .. spiritual guidance

His story rang true, at least in part - a priest he ain't.

As you might imagine, and as any red-blooded American might do, next time I was driving west on U.S. 52 past Algoma, past Northfork, past Keystone, I'm craning my neck looking for ... red lights flashing or something.

But all I saw was rugged mountain wilderness.  Interspersed with the occasional abandoned structure.

I must say, a certain amount of disappointment settled in.

And I had to put my seven bucks back in my wallet.

- - -

From Coalfield Jews: An Appalachian History:

Ah, the good old days.

* Click on the image to enlarge it.
** Just kidding about the seven bucks.  Honey.

Your Gov't Looking Out For Your Money

You know that federal building up in Roanoke that will soon be mostly vacant when the Veterans Administration moves out?  The one that the federal government is pouring 51 million renovation taxpayer dollars into anyway?  The one that has Congressman Bob Goodlatte worked up into a lather (not something you'll see often)?

Well, it appears that the federal waste doesn't stop there.  Now some bureaucrat has decided that a determination needs to be made as to what must be done with the artwork at the site once renovation takes place.  Can't have too much pre-planning, you see.

And for that, we need experts.

To decide what to do with a monstrosity of a sculpture contraption out in front of the building.

And, as you might expect, experts don't come cheap.

Art study upgrades cost of Roanoke's Poff Federal Building project
By Laurence Hammack, Roanoke Times

The two pieces of curved steel standing in front of the Poff Federal Building were designed, in the words of the artist who crafted them in 1976, "so that the viewer could relate the sculpture to the building."

That may be more true now than ever.

At a cost of more than $7,200, the federal government is having an arts conservation firm determine how the sculpture will be affected by planned renovations to the Poff Building, estimated to cost $51 million.

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who has called the building renovations a waste of taxpayer money, laughed -- but was not very amused -- when told last week of the cost to inspect the sculpture. [link]
Remember, the VA is soon to vacate the building.


For an evaluation?!

You want an evaluation?  I've got your evaluation.  And it's free:

Melt that piece of shit down and make boat anchors out of it (now there's an art form).  Sell the finished product for twenty bucks a pop.  Put the proceeds in the treasury.  Balance the freaking budget.

$7,200 to evaluate the future of this:

My suggestion?  A bunch of these:

With the first one coming out of the mold being tied around the neck of the artist huckster who sold the "sculpture" to us in the first place, accompanied by a taxi ride to the Roanoke River.

- - -

* Adding insult to injury:

"Not included in the sculpture study's price tag is the cost of dismantling, moving, storing and reassembling the work."

I say we burn the place down.  Scrape the rubble.  Plant some grass.  Now there would be a work of art.

The Most Pressing Issue Of The Day

Unemployment?  The quagmire that is Afghanistan?  The deficit?

To those at the Washington Post, ever vigilant, always on the cutting edge ...

Coming tomorrow: The latest on the macaca scandal.

Good grief.

The Photo That Speaks A Thousand Words

Yahoo News provides this precious - breathtaking, really - snapshot taken at the Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally on Saturday:

So many messages.  So much to be proud of.

- - -

By contrast, here's John Avlon of The Daily Beast writing about the event before it even took place:

"Tomorrow on the site and anniversary of MLK's greatest speech, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and 100,000 friends will rally against everything the civil-rights leader stood for."

Look up the word bigot. Then read that sentence again. Then concentrate your attention on the photo of little Pashai Oway.

Nothing more need be said.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.


Is it even possible that Glenn Beck could assemble an army of 300,000 supporters in Washington D.C. last weekend and the media couldn't find one nut in the bunch?

Seems so.  See "Leftists Search Desperately for 'Racists' at Restoring Honor Rally."

The one criticism that all the morons on the left seem to have seized upon is that those in attendance at Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally were mostly all white, making it divisive, or something. Which then makes major league baseball, the American environmentalist movement, and the United States Senate cesspools of bigotry and hatred, using the same logic, one must suppose.

Anyway, 300,000 patriots get together and Katie Couric couldn't find one racist, homophobe, or gun nut.

America, you guys rock.

Obama Takes Up Hammer & Nails ...

... to seal the coffin closed:
The really bad news, however, is that things are going to get worse before they get better unless President Obama and the Democratic Congress reverse course and abandon their plan to impose a huge tax increase on Jan. 1, 2011. That's the day the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire. Tax rates on all five income brackets, not just those paid by "the rich," will increase by 2 to 4 percentage points, thereby blowing a $921 billion hole in the nation's ailing economy. Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have sent federal spending skyrocketing, from 20 percent of the gross domestic product to 25 percent. The coming tax increase will drive the cost of government even further into the stratosphere, which will deprive the private sector of nearly a trillion dollars that could have gone to job creation.

"Think the economy is bad? Worse is coming," Washington Examiner, August 27, 2010