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

Monday, December 27, 2010

Yeah. Right.

New Yorkers don't want a Wal-Mart in town.  That ...

Oh.  Wait.

It's the rabidly anti-Wal-Mart New York Times pushing the tale.

Never mind.

For Those Who Love History

And intrigue:
Coded American Civil War message in bottle deciphered
BBC

A message in a bottle delivered to a Confederate general during the American Civil War has been deciphered, 147 years after it was written.

In the encrypted message, a commander tells Gen John Pemberton that no reinforcements are available to help him defend Vicksburg, Mississippi.

"You can expect no help from this side of the river," says the message, which was deciphered by codebreakers.

The text is dated 4 July 1863 - the day Vicksburg fell to Union forces.

The small bottle was given to the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, by a former Confederate soldier in 1896.

Earlier this year the museum's collections manager, Catherine Wright, decided to investigate the wrapped note it contained. [link]
"You can expect no help from this side of the river."  One wonders why that news had to be encoded.  After all, General Grant was sending that message to the beleaguered Confederates trapped in Vicksburg every day.  Without need of code.

Anyway, this makes for a nice story, don't you think?

There Is a Glimmer of Hope

Things are sure to start turning around now:
Kennedy's exit from Congress leaves a family void
By Andrew Miga, Associated Press

Washington (AP) - The Kennedys have held congressional seats, the presidency and the public's imagination for more than 60 years.

That era ends when Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island vacates his U.S. House seat next month, leaving a City Council post in California as Camelot's sole remaining political holding.

The son of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy says he has no qualms about walking away from politics. His departure marks the first time in 63 years that a Kennedy won't be serving in elected office in Washington.

The 43-year-old Kennedy says in his family, "the legacy was always public service, and that didn't necessarily mean public office."

Kennedy plans to continue the tradition by championing a national effort to boost brain research. [link]
(Kennedy is hoping that his brain research will lead to the discovery of one.)

So the Kennedys are out of politics.  Americans can rest a wee bit easier tonight.

Commerce Goes Underground

I read the other day an article that gave out the news that the rate of cigarette smoking in the state of California continues to decline.  While I have little doubt that that's true, my first thought was: At some point (and I think the city of New York has reached that point), so much of the business goes underground that there's no real way to tell.  Think of the burgeoning marijuana business as a good California example.  How much dope are they smokin' out there?  It's anyone's guess.

That thought takes us to light bulbs.  Soon they too will be sold on the black market.  And you might guess why:
Bootleg Lightbulbs Coming to California
American Thinker

Old reliable, the 100-watt light bulb -- safe, cheap, and bright enough to read, write, cook, shave, and put on your makeup by, will be gone January 1.

The California Energy Commission in September 2010 published its 226-page Appliance Efficiency Regulations, whereby the 100-watt incandescent light bulb will be outlawed at midnight on December 31, 2010.

Californians with self-imposed rationing, running out of both energy and common sense, have declared that consuming electrical power is a social vice. Electric power must be curbed, along with banning Dr. Pepper and Happy Meals. And it's not just light bulbs. These appliance standards will regulate and ban hundreds of products including ...

"... refrigerators, air conditioners, space heaters, water heaters, pool heaters, pool pumps, electric spas, pool pump motors, plumbing fittings, plumbing fixtures, showerheads, spray valves, faucets, tub spout diverters, water closets, urinals, ceiling fans, ceiling fan light kits, dehumidifiers, fluorescent lamp ballasts, lamps, general purpose lighting, emergency lighting, exit signs, traffic signal modules, traffic signal lamps, luminaires, torchieres, portable lighting fixtures, metal halide luminaires, high intensity discharge fixtures, HID fixtures, under-cabinet luminaires, dishwashers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, cooking products, food service equipment, electric motors, low-voltage dry-type distribution transformers, external AC to DC and AC to AC power supplies, consumer electronics, consumer audio and video equipment, televisions, compact audio products, digital versatile disc players, digital versatile disc recorders, digital television adapters, battery charger systems[.] [link]
In the land of the free. My God.