Quote

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

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ordinary Men In An Extraordinary Time

This goes out to the good folks over in Wythe County.  It's about one of yours, of whom you should be very proud:
Universally esteemed and beloved, Albert Haller Gibboney died at his home, in Wythville, Va., on June 1, 1917, after a brief illness.  He was born in Wytheville April 16, 1845, and there grew to manhood.  When Virginia seceded and cast her lot with the Confederacy, he volunteered his services, enlisting at Lewisburg, Va. (now W. Va.), in Company H, 22nd Virginia Regiment.  He later transferred to the staff of Gen. Henry Heth, by whom he was held in the highest esteem and who said of him: "Mr. Gibboney when a mere boy became a member of my military family at Wytheville, an aid on my staff, and remained with me during the entire war, participating in all the battles that I was engaged in, from the battle of Giles Courthouse to the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, in April, 1865.  He discharged every duty imposed upon him in the most gallant manner and was faithful to every trust.  During a long life of nearly seventy years I have never met a man I could more cordially indorse [sic] for any position of trust."

In the battle of Gettysburg Mr. Gibboney carried General Heth from the field after the latter had been knocked unconscious by a spent ball.  Although he participated in many hard-fought battles, among which were Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Second Cold Harbor, Spottsylvania, and the siege of Petersburg, he was never wounded.

Mr. Gibboney came from a long line of devout Lutherans, his great-great-grandfather, Rev. John Nicholas Kurtz, having come to America as a Lutheran missionary in 1745.  In the years since the war he had become one of the most popular citizens of his section.  He was public-spirited and patriotic, kind and affectionate to his family, and an unswerving Christian.  The home in which he died has been in possession of the family for over a hundred years.
Reprinted from Confederate Veteran magazine, November, 1917.

- - -

A side note: The Henry Heth quoted above, at least as it has come down in history, has the distinction of being the only person in Robert E. Lee's entire army who the legendary Confederate commander addressed by his informal surname - Henry.

No, No Bias Here

The website Politico has been accused by many of being biased in favor of the left for a long time now.  And for the longest time I didn't believe it.

But the boys there are making it difficult.

You all know by now that the government reported another massive deficit year for the fiscal period just ended.  If not, here's the news as the Detroit News delivered it:
Government reports $1.3 trillion budget deficit

Washington — The Obama administration said Friday the federal deficit hit a near-record $1.3 trillion for the just-completed budget year. That means the government had to borrow 37 cents out of every dollar it spent as tax revenues continued to lag while spending on food stamps and unemployment benefits went up as joblessness neared double-digit levels in a struggling economy. [link]
Straightforward, with added perspective.

Now here's how Politico headlines the story:


A lie?

Nope. It was smaller than the reported deficit from the previous year. By 9%.

But put in perspective, how much smaller was that "smaller"?

Here's a chart showing annual deficits over time:


That precipitate drop-off reflects the explosion in federal spending that occurred as soon as Obama came into office (along with a severe recession that ushered him in).

And that microscopic upturn at the end?  That's the "smaller" deficit that Politico highlights.

Biased?

Well, if you're not convinced, how 'bout this?

The headline, once again, is "Government reports smaller deficit." You'd expect that news to be reflected in its first paragraph, no?

No.

Here's the first paragraph:

"The cost of bailing out Wall Street, and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was a little cheaper than the government expected, resulting in a smaller federal deficit, the Obama administration announced on Friday."

Well, surely the deficit is enumerated in the second paragraph, right?

Uh, no:

"Saving billions on emergency stability programs did the most to reduce the deficit in fiscal year 2010 to 8.9 percent, down from 10.0 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2009, according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffery Zeints."

Nice rah-rah.  But the deficit-as-percentage-of GDP?  Why?

Where's the deficit number?!

Third paragraph?

No.

Fourth?

No?

In any paragraph?

... NO.

That smaller deficit we're never told.

Politico's message: It's important that you know that the deficit was $1,300,000,000,000 that we are in the best of hands.

Bias?  "A rose by any other name would ..."

Graph courtesy of Charting Stocks
Click on the image to enlarge it.

As Goes Europe ...

... so goes Southwest Virginia.

I read with interest this story in The Guardian ("Europe on track for Kyoto targets while emissions from imported goods rise") for one good reason. That which has affected the "Old World" environment has, I'd suspect, affected ours as well.

Basically what the article says is this: Europe's environmentalists are all orgasmic over the fact that the continent's output of CO2 has declined a bit in recent decades.  But only because the goods that European citizens are seeking and using are now made in China, where carbon dioxide emissions are rising dramatically.  Is that a triumph for the environment?  Or is it hiding the problem in a place where no one can find it?

As to our plight, you can probably bet with confidence that some whacked-out environmentalist here in Southwest Virginia will try to convince us that we are doing good by reducing emissions too, now that our manufacturing base has collapsed.  Consumption remains constant (amongst those who haven't left the area anyway) but output has plummeted.

So that's a good thing?  That we forced jobs to flee to China?

The Sierra Club will probably say yes.  That the environment (here) is more important than jobs.

Those 300 good citizens who worked for the Brown Shoe Company in Chilhowie, jobs that now thrive in China, might disagree. 

Some consolation: Chilhowie's carbon footprint has been reduced.

This One Brought Tears To My Eyes

Tears of laughter.

Go to "Contest: Guess Which One Is Ahmadinejad's Wife."  And read the comments

Uproariously funny.

That Was Then ...

"We’ll guarantee health care for anyone who needs it, make it affordable for anyone who wants it, and ensure that the quality of your health care does not depend on the color of your skin. And we’re not going to do it 20 years from now or 10 years from now, we’re going to do it by the end of my first term as President."
-- Barack Obama,  July 14, 2008 --

... this is now:

"Health Care Reform Blamed for Huge Hike in Premiums"
-- NBC Connecticut, October 15, 2010

Homosexuals Invent a New 'Right'

The right to ... serve?

(Remember when the Clintons were in office and controversy erupted when it was found out that uniformed Marines were being used to serve food at White House social functions?  What is it about Democrat administrations that makes the United States military nothing more than a toy?  Or a political ploy?)

NRA Responds

Hey, I heard from Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, this morning.  He sent me an email asking ...

... for a donation.