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

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Watch.  Be shocked at the power of nature:

May we never see the likes of this again.

Who Would Have Ever Thought?

In this the land of opportunity:

In my neighborhood it's 25%. With no prospects of it ever improving.

Meanwhile, see the post below. You can bet, as those houses deteriorate because of their long-term neglect, property taxes on them will continue to rise.

In this the land of opportunity ...

Muslims Are No Different From The Rest Of Us

The Gov't Maw Must Be Fed

I was driving down a horribly maintained West Virginia Turnpike (I-77) yesterday and was thinking about the fact - as I was paying my toll - and gaining some composure after having my teeth jarred and my brain rattled by the poor quality of the highway - that the Turnpike was - long ago -  intended to be a TEMPORARY toll road.

It is now a permanent toll road.

Because?  Well, you know the because.  The state can't do without the money.

Such it is with property taxes too.  How long are we going to put up with this?
Something remarkable happened to property taxes in the U.S. while housing lost 31% of its value from 2006 to 2009: they went up by $100 billion (27%).

[E]ven as the net worth of property has fallen by a third, the property taxes collected from the owners have risen 27%.
Taxing us into oblivion.

And they don't care.

The Leader of the Free World Speaks

Barack Obama:

I’m not ruling it out, but I’m also not ruling it in.

Europe needs to return his phone call before he decides.

So he waits ... and waits ... and ...

Jimmy Carter II.  May God have mercy.

Worlds Apart

Politico's liberal "reporter" James Hohmann, in writing glowingly about gun-controllers Jim and Sarah Brady:

"The assault weapon ban expired in 2004 — and even the near assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in January hasn’t galvanized a meaningful push for new legislation."

The way the rest of us see it:

... and especially the near assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in January has galvanized a meaningful desire on the part of the citizenry to arm itself against insane people who are allowed by law to walk our streets.

Hohmann has his interests - to disarm us; we have ours - to survive.

He wants 'em?  He can come get 'em.

Reaction To Obama's Energy Speech

With gas prices here moving toward the $4 mark (!) and Obama doing everything he can to make it 5 ... and 6 ... and 7 ... what's his plan to alleviate our suffering?

To replace oil with ... stuff.

In truth, he doesn't have one.  He's looking to the energy fairy.  Doug Powers has the empty suit pegged:
What will the US replace almost four million imported barrels of oil per day with if we’re not going to drill more domestically? Ingenuity. Sounds reasonable, provided anybody can invent a car or jet that runs on ingenuity. Drill for oil domestically in the interim at least? Nah, we’re way too ingenious to have to resort to that.

“Ingenuity” is vague and unquantifiable, which makes it the perfect product for greens to peddle — because it isn’t a product at all, just a promise of a product somewhere down the line. Eventually it’s discovered that the only ingenuity involved in any of this was in putting together the scheme itself, but by then we’re faced with a choice of paying $10 a gallon for gas or spending $50,000 on a golf cart electrified by kumquats and burning coal, but mostly burning coal. If that’s ingenuity, we need to find some stupid, and fast.
Barack Obama yesterday:
So today, I’m setting a new goal: one that is reasonable, achievable, and necessary. When I was elected to this office, America imported 11 million barrels of oil a day. By a little more than a decade from now, we will have cut that by one-third.

[O]ur best opportunities to enhance our energy security can be found in our own backyard. And we boast one critical, renewable resource the rest of the world cannot match: American ingenuity. To make ourselves more secure – to control our energy future – we will need to harness that ingenuity.*  
 Platitudes.  To replace a $5 gallon of gasoline.

You were warned a long time ago about this guy.  And now it's too late.  Shame on you.

* Harness ingenuity?  Don't you want to do just the opposite?  Never mind.  He's the gifted speaker, not me.

** On  a separate note: "Obama in 2002: Toppling Brutal Dictator a ‘Dumb War’."  You were ... oh, never mind.

*** See also "Gasoline up 100% under Obama." Ingenuity. Can will change the name of our petroleum to ingenuity and drill for it now? Fast?

**** With gas prices skyrocketing and Obama's only response being a call to "harness" "ingenuity," does this surprise anyone?  "Poll: Obama's approval hits new low."  I think we're on our own, folks.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

As a Public Service

Senator Phil Puckett (D-38) (Bland, Buchanan, Russell, Tazewell, Wythe, and part of Washington County) has a new website up.  You can access it here at www.senatorpuckett.com.  There's nothing cutting-edge about it, but it does feature an on-line petition you might want to sign.  It's here at www.senatorpuckett.com/petition.  It simply reads:

"I understand that our Coal Industry [sic] is vital to our local economy. We must stand together as a community to ensure its progress and success. You can do your part by signing the petition below."

Perhaps with the recent ouster of longtime Democrat - and sometimes coal supporter - Rick Boucher in mind, Puckett wants everyone to know:
In Richmond, I have been a forceful advocate and protector of our region's coal industry and the thousands of jobs it provides to our people. I am fighting to ensure that our economic and energy future includes the thousands of Southwest Virginia coal jobs and the coal that powers nearly half the nation's electricity. The coal industry is the economic engine of our area. By supporting the coal industry we are supporting affordable electricity and are protecting our energy independence. I am strongly opposed to any proposed regulations and legislative efforts that are trying to eventually shut down our coal industry and in the process destroy jobs, dismantle the economy of Southwest Virginia, and devastate our way of life. I strongly support the coal industry of Southwest Virginia and the quality jobs it provides.
He doesn't mention Barack Obama by name, which is too bad. If the petition is a fund-raising effort, there's no better draw than the despised Obama here in Southwest Virginia. Still, Puckett is on our side in the fight against cap-and-trade.

If not on taxes and regulation.

For being there for the beleaguered coal industry, show him some love.

Why I Don't Tweet

We're in a communication age the likes of which humans even fifty years ago had no inkling of.  The computer, the satellite, and electronic messaging have linked the far corners of the Earth.   We are now treated to conversations taking place each day throughout the day and night - by the millions - that are occurring between individuals, groups, nations.  Bytes.  Kilobytes.  Megabytes.  Gigabytes.  Terabytes.

So I'm going to force myself to cram my thoughts into 140 typed characters for others to read and attempt to comprehend?  Why?

I was reminded how silly a notion this is with an exchange of "tweets" that Politico provides this morning - using 6,398 characters to convey the message - between Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Eric Cantor.
Schumer: "Tks w/ @SpeakerBoehner were going well- serious budget cuts discussed until Tea Party forced him 2 move goalposts TP is only obstacle 2 deal."

Cantor: "If @SenatorReid @ChuckSchumer force gov to partially shut down b/c they oppose sensible spending cuts, Americans will hold them accountable."
Say what?  What in God's name does "Tks w/ @SpeakerBoehner" even mean (much less the rest of the garbled message)?  "Thanks with Speaker Boehner"?  No.  It seems Schumer means to say "Things with Speaker Boehner ..."  But how does "things" become "Tks"?

And why am I supposed to try to decipher this silly gibberish?  What, Schumer couldn't find a news camera to bark toward?  That would be a first.

This makes my head hurt.

Want to communicate with me?  Give up the 19th century Morse Code and use any of the myriad tools that 20th and 21st century geniuses have provided us.

Bottom line: The root word of twitter is twit.

Enough said.


This is particularly tasty:

The "weiner" referred to is New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, one of those malodorous Democrats who feel that it is their calling in life to tell the rest of us how we are going to live ours.

Another do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do story involving a Democrat. I get so tired of these people ...

You Knew It Was Coming

I came into the room last night just in time to see a hatchet job being performed on the nuclear power industry here in the USA.  It was, naturally, being spewed by CBS News.  You can read about it here: SoCal nuclear plant's safety questioned.

The (deceptive) thrust:
The explosions at the Fukushima nuclear complex in Japan terrified people as far away as San Clemente, Calif., home to the San Onofre nuclear plant.

"Japan is an exact, perfect example of what can happen. We are less than two miles away, and we're scared." said resident Dagmar Foy.

The crisis unfolding in Japan has put a spotlight on nuclear safety in the United States. Yet at a Senate hearing Tuesday, a top federal regulator said it will have no effect on the re-licensing of the 104 nuclear plants in the United States.

CBS News correspondent Terry McCarthy reports the San Onofre plant has a history of problems that, some whistleblowers claim, were ignored for years.

The 28-year-old plant is just five miles from an earthquake fault. Like Fukushima, it has ...
""Japan is an exact, perfect example of what can happen." "Like Fukushima, it ...." Like Fukushima? A once-in-a-thousand-years earthquake and tsunami have ripped the San Onofre facility apart?

This is the sort of wild-eyed, leftist, environmentalist crap that I came to expect from CBS News long ago. That's why I quit watching. Long ago.

I immediately turned the TV station. To something far more fair and balanced.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On Obama's Speech

Well, this will piss off every Democrat in America.  The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin declares:

"George W. Bush certainly must be smiling ..."

Smiles all around, truth be told.

Along with more than a small amount of confusion.

Smiles all around except in anti-war land, that is.  There is no joy there.  Peace Warrior Obama has turned out to be War God Obama. 

My. oh, my.

I'm Not Alone

Over at Powerline there's an interesting discussion about the mannerisms Barack Obama exhibited in the (illogical) speech he offered up last night. Steven Hayward is annoyed by The Messiah's hand gestures and distracting desk-thumping.

He has a point.

I was admonished many years ago to make sure, when I'm writing a business letter or memo to employees, to see to it that there are no grammatical, spelling, or syntax errors contained therein that might distract from the message.  Distractions making the effort counterproductive and, therefore, a waste of time.  Excessive use, or inappropriate application of hand gestures when delivering a speech also falls into that category.

It was in the follow-on comments to the weblog post that I found something that was even more interesting.  It has to do with something I've mentioned before.  Something that should be - admittedly - unimportant.  But it's distracting just the same.  And, to me, just as annoying.

Obama whistles his "s's."

The comment:

"I find Obama's whistling 's' sounds to be very distracting. Every time he pronounces a syllable ending in an 's,' he includes a high pitched whistle. Anybody else find his whistling diction annoying?"

I sit in front of the TV and wonder: How does he even do that?  While the president of the United States is telling me why he is sending brave American men and women into harm's way, I'm trying to whistle my words like he does.

I don't think that's why Obama wanted me listening to his speech.

But there it is.  Criticize me for being petty if you want.  Or, better yet, get the dude to quit whistling his "s's."

- - -

I remember being equally distracted by then-presidential contender John Kerry's penchant for swaying back and forth, left to right, as he was delivering speeches.  What was that all about?  I remember nothing about the words he spoke, but I remember vividly his rocking to and fro.  If only Aerosmith had been playing in the background.

Speaks volumes.

Beam Me Up, Scotty

From the Future Leaders of America file:
Deputies: 17-year-old girl assaults mother with gun to get new vehicle
The News-Press

A 17-year-old girl was charged Friday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm and battery after deputies say she pulled a gun on her mother during an argument.

Rachel Anne Hachero was upset because her mother wouldn't co-sign on a vehicle purchase, according to a Lee County Sheriff's Office report.

The teen's mother told investigators Hachero threatened to kill her when she refused to co-sign for the vehicle.

Hachero then confronted her mother at home with a gun and pistol-whipped her head, according to the report.

After pistol-whipping her mother, Hachero pointed the gun at her mother's head and stomach and told her she was going with her to sign for the car, according to the report.

The mother told investigators she went through Hachero's purse Friday while Hachero was at school and located the gun, drugs and drug paraphernalia.

The mother told investigators she did not want to press charges against Hachero, because she had recently been accepted to several Ivy League colleges. [link] [emphasis mine]
Idiocy. Drugs. Guns. Assault. Pending criminal record. A résumé any Harvard recruiter could love.

Expect this gal to be making decisions for us when we get old and feeble.

And may God be there to watch over us as she does so.

The Evil Koch Brothers

As a followup to yesterday's post about liberal paranoia and the Koch brothers, give this from Greenpeace a read and you'll understand what I was getting at:

It's revealing that the Greenpeace "report" that the article cites begins with a quote from an employee of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company.


The exhaustive study exposes all those scientists who have discovered global warming theory to be ... flawed as being shills of Big Capitalism  - the Kochs! - because they receive funds from companies and associations that are companies and associations, and are, therefore, to be rejected. 

That makes one wonder, of course, where that leaves Greenpeace, since it isn't self-funded either.  I'm sure the folks there would argue that they are not at all influenced by the mountains of cash that are dumped on them  by the "save-the-planet" crowd.  Unlike skeptics who are more than susceptible to such enticements.

Look up the definition of the word paranoia.  Somewhere in it you'll surely find another word: Greenpeace.

The Obama Doctrine

Try not to read too much into what I tell you is U.S. government foreign policy.

The president of the United States last night, trying to explain why he sent American planes to attack Libya:

“I’ve made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests ..."

Which part of that "our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests" does a foreign country's internal civil war fall into? It is a mystery to all. It can't be one of the first three. So, if Obama is telling us that we have a "core interest" in stopping repression of citizens by foreign governments, let's start a list of countries he will then surely need to invade. Starting with Sudan. And North Korea. And Cuba. And Syria. And Bahrain. And Iran. And Saudi Arabia. And Russia. And China.

Besides that, he really isn't attempting to stop repression. By not putting "boots on the ground," he'll at best make it more difficult for Khadafi to kill those who oppose him. From 10,000 feet.

But the killing will continue just the same.

Had Obama made the case that the USA had a vital interest in keeping Libya's oil flowing freely, there'd be some weight to his argument. And I would be enthusiastically supporting his enterprise.

But no. We, apparently, have a core interest in stopping bloodshed.

Good luck with that doctrine, Mahatma.

Monday, March 28, 2011

One Of These Guys Is Probably Right

Barack Obama on our mission in Libya:

I said at the outset that this was going to be a matter of days and not weeks."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates yesterday, when asked on ABC's "This Week" if American military involvement in Libya might go on for months:

"I don't think anybody knows the answer to that."

But his boss, the commander-in-chief, knows, right? Right?

Nuclear Goes Back On The Shelf

Just when we were making progress in our effort to bring clean, affordable energy to an energy-starved world, a tsunami smashes into the Fukushima complex and everything changes.

Humans are frightened by nuclear power - again - and won't countenance its use.

Witness the election results in Germany yesterday:

It was a referendum on nuclear (and on Chancellor Angela Merkel's handling of the issue). And nuclear lost. BIG.

So we're back to windmills.  Or solar.  Or switchgrass.  Or some other nonsense.

And the world will become evermore energy-starved.

We were so close.  So close.


- - -

Closer to home, you can kiss that initiative in Southside Virginia to begin harvesting uranium goodbye too.  Mines being susceptible to earthquakes.  Uranium being evil.  Children being born with two heads ...

Academic Thinks Academics Should Be Shielded From Criticism

And you'll understand why he thinks so when I reveal his name.

The man who, more than any other academic living in this country today, opens himself up to criticism because - when it comes down to it - he's a nitwit who makes the most outlandish and unsupportable claims:

Paul Krugman.

Get out your hankie. Read "American Thought Police." Grieve for those in academia who dare to venture forth from their caves and express opinions in the public arena of ideas, and get criticized for their beliefs.

Oh, the humanity.

The Left & Its Problem With Paranoia

Not long ago it was this business organization that was seen by the paranoid leftists in this country as being all kinds of evil incarnate:

That was yesterday.  Did Halliburton change its way of doing business?  No.  The paranoia simply shifted to this business organization:

Is it the money that Halliburton and Koch Industries have?  Can't be.  Their favored institutions on the left are awash in capital too. Is it that these protesters don't want corporations involved in politics?  If so, why aren't they just as worked up over George Soros's MoveOn.org, a corporation if there ever was one.  A corporation that devotes itself entirely to politics.

No.  There is only one explanation.

It's a matter of fear.  Anxiety.  An irrational sense of foreboding.  An unreasoned, unjustified feeling that evil lurks all around us.  Even in the strangest of places.

There's no explanation beyond that.

We're all going to die a horrible death.  It begins and ends there.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Is Radmacher Gone From The Times Already?

This is so unlike the Roanoke Times editorial page. 


I'm not sure I can deal with it.

See "Blacksburg's traitorous celebration"

I thought, before I read it, that the city of Blacksburg had committed the unpardonable act of purchasing incandescent light bulbs for Jamerson Athletic Center to accommodate Virginia Tech's annual Hokie Celebration, or had announced plans - the nerve! the treachery! - to celebrate the Ten Commandments (upon which our country was founded, ahem).

But no.

It's about Blacksburg's decision to celebrate the wedding of Britain's Prince William. And it's all tongue-in-cheek (I hope).

Not bad.

Keep this up and I may have to take back every rotten thing I've ever written about the Roanoke Times.

Or not.

Obama - and the American People - Win One

Message to GE Aviation: If your new jet engine is that promising, invest in it.  Don't make the American taxpayers pay for it unless and until that time comes when it actually has a purpose.

Remember that F-35 fighter engine that the Pentagon didn't want but members of Congress - including some of those stalwart spending-cutter Republicans we keep hearing about, like Eric Cantor - insisted on funding anyway?

Well, it looks like we may be off the hook for it (excepting of course the billions that we've thrown at the project to the present):
Obama wins F-35 engine battle with Congress
By Stephen Dinan, Washington Times

The F-35 fighter jet’s alternate engine has survived White House veto threats and knock-down congressional budget battles, but on Thursday the Pentagon finally said it is halting spending — delivering a major, albeit short-term, victory to President Obama.

Using Congress‘ ongoing budget stalemate as cover, the Defense Department said it was issuing a 90-day stop-work order on the second engine production line run by GE/Rolls-Royce.

“In our view, it is a waste of taxpayer money that can be used to fund higher Departmental priorities, and should be ended now,” the department said in a statement announcing the decision, which leaves the F-35 to rely on just one engine supplier, Pratt & Whitney.

With billions of dollars already sunk into the second engine, it has become a key battle in the test of wills between the president and Congress. Mr. Obama wants to find some defense programs to cut, while many lawmakers have balked. [link]
This engine development project, sadly, was viewed by a large contingent of Republicans here in Virginia as a public works project, providing jobs to needy citizens. Despite the fact that the engines those needy Virginians would be building would become boat anchors because there would be no other use for them. For that kind of thinking we need Republicans?

"Workfare" died with (the most liberal Republican in American history) Richard Nixon. Welfare was killed off by Bill Clinton - welfare, that is, "as we knew it."

What say we not resurrect either?

- - -

If we are going to have our government pay for the manufacture of products that nobody will ever use, may I respectfully suggest that Congress fund my new company?

The Bland Buggy Whip Manufactory, manufacturer of the world's finest ... back scratcher ... or fly swatter ... or ... toe tickler ... or ...

Please, Mr. Cantor. You only get one chance at this. And you're blowing it.

We're Killing Babies?

This is beyond laughable.  It's bewilderingly ludicrous. Republicans want to poison little babies? Would anyone take such nonsense seriously?

Some group called "American Family Voices" thinks so:

So who runs American Family Voices? Some dude whose past gigs include work for Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and "progressive" lobbying groups like People for the American Way.  And some gal whose past includes stints with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the now-notorious SEIU, and who these days "works with Democratic candidates, party committees, initiative and referendum campaigns, trade associations, labor unions and public interest groups."

Both, by the way, live in Washington D.C.  Which says a lot about their mindset.  And about their target audience with this silly ad.

Do the two of them really think they will change anyone's mind by charging that conservatives are trying to kill little children?


No one said you had to be bright to be a "progressive."

For This I Can Be Black

And a farmer.

The government is handing out cash to anyone who meets those two criteria?

Bring it, honey:

The United States government has shelled out billions to a group of people who claimed to be black and who claimed to have at least attempted to be farmers.

I hereby claim to have "attempted" both. Make that check payable to:

Jerry Fuhrman
Bland, Virginia

For the love of God. What are we doing?

Jerry The Movie Critic

Well, no, I'm not here for that.  But I did want to mention this: Have you ever sat down to watch a flick that you didn't think you'd want to see, only to find out that it was really engrossing?  It happened the other night here at Netflix Central.  Paula had included on our list of rentals the Denzel Washington action thriller, "Unstoppable."  A movie about a runaway train.

(A runaway train?  Ugh.)

Turns out, it was action-packed, heartwarming, and darn good, start to finish.

I was taken by surprise.  And was pleased.

If you're looking for good entertainment, I give "Unstoppable" ☺☺☺☺.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Let There Be Light

I was startled when I saw this snapshot of the Earth from space:

See South Korea? It's glowing with activity.

See North Korea?  No?

It's a socialist paradise.

And, if the world's environmentalists have their way, North Korea is to be considered an environmentalist's paradise as well.

This evening brings "Earth Hour."  The hour when they intend to sit in the dark and celebrate ... the darkness.

A quote from Alan Caruba, who provided the photo on his weblog, Warning Signs:
For all those Green morons calling on us to turn off our lights Saturday evening from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM to celebrate "Earth Hour", this is what it looks like every night in North and South Korea. The North is in the grip of a Stalinist dictator and the South is a thriving democracy.

Like fire, electricity is truly a gift of the gods. It is the difference between the Dark Age and the present age...but not for everyone. Much of Africa is in darkness. too. People who hate civilization and the humans who created it are welcome to live out in the wilderness or in some primitive backward country where they burn dung to cook their meals.

If America doesn't start building more coal-fired plants, nuclear plants, and other generators of electricity, we too shall live in darkness when the sun goes down. Be warned, the present administration is doing everything possible to make that future happen.
Professor Ross McKitrick in "Earth Hour: Why I will leave my lights on":
In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour. Here is my response.

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity. Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water. Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases. Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness.
Ignorance, poverty and backwardness. The impetus, the goals of the environmentalists among us.

Me? I choose to not participate.  I will be celebrating the last best hope of Earth: Us.

Why Would We Be Skeptical?

This is from a supporter of legislation intended to combat "climate change":

"If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years."

This is from a supporter of legislation intended to combat "climate change."

Liberals Really Are Stupid

Raise taxes.  Raise taxes.  The government needs the money.

But what happens when there's no one left to tax?
Caterpillar CEO's letter talks of leaving Illinois
By Kurt Erickson, Pantagraph.com

Springfield -- The chairman and CEO of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. is raising the specter of moving the heavy equipment maker out of Illinois.

In a letter sent March 21 to Gov. Pat Quinn, Caterpillar chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said officials in at least four other states have approached the company about relocating since Illinois raised its income tax in January.

"I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what's right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest," Oberhelman wrote in the letter obtained Friday by the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau. "The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business and I'd like to work with you to change that." [link]
Liberals in this country will read that and say, Just another evil corporation.  Fine.  Leave.  But where will their beloved government institutions get their revenue then?   The wishing well?

Before they consider taxing corporations out of some need to punish, maybe they could think about who it is that really gets punished by their efforts.  The corporations?  Hardly.

Going Where He's Appreciated

This seems like the right thing to do:

A long visit, we hope.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I apologize if I alarmed you yesterday when I suggested that no one was at the controls in the tower at Reagan National airport, leaving pilots of commercial airliners coming in to land on their own.

As it turns out, the controller there wasn't absent.  He was sound asleep.

Sorry if we sounded unduly ... troubled.

Anyone Who Says He Knows Doesn't Know

If you were to go back and read my pronouncements on the subject of "the Arab uprisings" that have been occurring in recent months - from Tunisia to Bahrain and Syria - you'd find one thing to be true: I've avoided making any kind of prediction as to what in the heck is going on there.  Because I haven't the first clue.

But then neither does anyone else.

I can tell you this, though: Be wary of any "expert" who tells you the revolutionary (reactionary?) movements that we are witnessing are in some way a move toward democracy.  Though they may be, they may not be just as readily.

In fact, that which we may have as a final outcome may be far worse than the original.

Is this the future of the Middle East?

I don't know. But there's a growing possibility that we'll look fondly on the "reasonable" days of Hosni Mubarak and Moammar Khadafi. "Reasonable" being a relative term.

Oh, I should probably mention this too. Our ally in Libya? He fought alongside the Taliban - against us - in Afghanistan.

And now he's our friend?   Please.

Here's what I know: Nobody knows.

When Can We Expect The GOP to Start Honoring Its Commitment?

Mark Tabscott:

"Here's the problem that Hing and too many House Republicans still don't seem to understand: When the deficit is more than a trillion dollars a year, comparatively modest spending cuts are nothing to boast about. They might as well be shooting BBs at a charging elephant."

That's the galling part.  The boasting.  Not only have Republicans done little so far to curtail out-of-control government spending, they brag about how successful they've been at drawing down the deficit.  A draw-down, in order to be seen, that requires a magnifying glass.  Hey, we've cut $61 billion!

Out of a budget that this year exceeds $3,820,000,000,000.

Get serious with us, will ya?  And quit playing us for fools.


What do you want to bet there was someone in the Obama White House who encouraged our community-organizer-in-chief to go to war in defense of Libya's rebels because the effort would be seen by the Muslim world as a defense of Islam against brutal dictatorial extremism.

So how's that working out?

Perhaps Obama hasn't read that chapter in "World Geography for Dummies" about Moammar Khadafi's loyalists - the ones Obama is killing in droves with his no-fly zone (?) - being Muslims too.

Quote of the Day

From New Jersey Senator, and star of the Democratic Party, Frank Lautenberg:

"The Tea Party Republicans in Washington claim they're concerned about the budget balance. But it's a disguise! It's not true! It's a lie! That's not what they want. They want to--they want other people not to be able to have their opinions."

At the risk of being accused of representing something I'm not - that being a Republican - I can charitably assume that Lautenberg - if he's to be accepted as being anything other than a moron or a lunatic - means Republicans want everyone to adopt their conservative opinions and abandon all others, because they are the right opinions to support.  Which is why people enter the debate arena, if you think about it.  I don't want you to have your opinion; I want you to adopt mine.  Because it's the right opinion to have.

If I weren't so charitable, however, I might be inclined to believe that this old man is nothing more than a gasbag spouting absolute nonsense.

This Man Needs A Political Adviser

When I read the story, I thought this Democrat couldn't be that obtuse. I was obviously wrong:
NRSC: Tester was '60th vote' for ACA
By David Nather, Politico

Here’s a line Democratic Sen. Jon Tester can expect to hear a lot from Republicans over the next year and a half: He was “the 60th vote” for the health care law.

That’s how the National Republican Senatorial Committee phrased it Wednesday to remind Montana voters that Tester — who’s facing a tough race for reelection next year — supported the law. His opponent, Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, not only opposed the law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but is also trying to cut off the funding for it.

Tester’s office was ready, though. His aides e-mailed the video of the Senate roll call vote in December 2009 — which clearly shows Tester casting the 52nd vote. [link]
52nd or 60th, this dude is admitting that he voted in favor of the most detested piece of work to come out of Washington since Dred Scott.  As if conservative Montanans in a very conservative Montana needed to be reminded.

Ed Morrissey has this take:
For the past year, the NRSC has run ads against Senate Democrats labeling them as the “60th vote” for ObamaCare, the enabler of the legislation to pass into law. Until now, none of them have been foolish enough to dispute this claim and engage the NRSC on its own terms. Thankfully, Jon Tester of Montana has decided to clarify matters … by producing video of his vote to support the bill.

Who was the actual 60th vote? Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who would have plenty of problems even if he and Tester had switched positions. Between the vote itself, the Cornhusker Kickback, and Nelson’s sell-out of his stated pro-life principles, he’ll be lucky if he can buy pizza in Nebraska ever again.

But in truth, every Democrat in the Senate was the 60th and deciding vote. Had one of them decided not to vote for cloture, the bill would have died on the floor of the Senate, and Barack Obama would have had to work with Republicans for actual reform in health-care finances. Whether that vote got cast as the 52nd vote, the 14th vote, the first or the last, each and every Democrat in the Senate had the personal and individual opportunity to stop ObamaCare.

If Tester wants a public debate on the relative merits of voting 52nd instead of 60th on ObamaCare, though, I’m sure the NRSC would be happy to oblige him. [link]
Maybe this Democrat needs to think this through.

As Hot Air puts it: "They're all number 60."

I'm Embarrassed For My Country

A screen-capture from Drudge last night tells the deplorable tale of Obama's "foreign policy":

He's done it.  He's actually made Jimmy Carter look like a shrewd statesman by comparison.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hey, It's Not His Money

But then, it's not mine either.

So you people in Botetourt need to decide whether it's the proper role of government to have your paid employee therein to donate your hard-earned income to charity causes he deems worthy:
Botetourt County to match donations to Japan aid
By Duncan Adams, Roanoke Times

Botetourt County has a long-standing relationship with Japanese companies that have brought jobs and tax revenues. And that relationship has spurred county officials to offer a match for donations to support Japan's response to and recovery from the catastrophic combination of earthquake, tsunami and related nuclear reactor crises.

County Administrator Jerry Burgess said Wednesday that the county, drawing upon anticipated savings as the current fiscal year approaches its final months, is offering a match of up to a total of $10,000 for donations.

Checks should be made out to the American Red Cross and the memo line should designate the money for Japan earthquake/tsunami relief. [link]
The Red Cross part I understand.  Paula and I have written our check.

I even understand the effort to encourage private donations beyond the norm.

But a local administrator deciding to give away taxpayer money because he thinks it's a good cause?  What next?  PITA?  The NRA?  The Arkansas Paranormal Research Association?

My suggestion?  Roads, bridges, sewers, schools, man.

Is that too much to ask?

We Are Where We Were Intended To Be

One of our allies in the war on Libya?


Did you really doubt this outcome when Obama came into office?

Shoulder-to-shoulder, Obama and Osama look to changing the world ...

Can a Peace Prize for bin Ladin be far behind?

Call it the 'Joe Biden Line'

Can you say federal bankruptcy?

As Screwy Joe might put it:

Just think what another half-billion could have done.

What Next, Big Guy?

Here's a question, I'll bet, that neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton nor anyone else in the United States government has asked before:

After Gaddafi, Democracy or Jihadists?

I can see Bill's wife on the phone with Mr. Hope-n-Change this morning:

Boy, we showed them.

So, what now?

Good grief.

Gov't As We've Come To Expect It

Want a glimpse into your Obamacare world of the future?  Take a look at the government-run air traffic control system of today. 

Here's a conversation that took place over an airport - Reagan National - that handles some 18 million travelers a year, between a pilot who was attempting to land his commercial jetliner and someone at a nearby facility:
“So you’re aware,” the controller said, “the tower is apparently not manned. We’ve made a few phone calls. Two airplanes went in the past 10-15 minutes, so you can expect to go into an uncontrolled airport.”

“Is there a reason it’s not manned?” the American pilot asked.

“Well, I’m going to take a guess,” the controller replied, “and say that the controller got locked out. I’ve heard of it happening before.”

“That’s the first time I’ve heard of it,” the pilot said.

“Fortunately, it’s not very often,” the controller said. “It happened about a year ago. I’m not sure that’s what happened now, but there’s nobody in the tower.”
The pilot landed on his own.

The government is investigating ...


One of Obamacare's biggest supporters, Democrat Anthony Weiner of New York, may ask that his district be granted an exemption from Obamacare.  He's still BIG on Obamacare, though.  For the rest of us.

For the love of God.

Elizabeth Taylor Dies

This says more about me than about her.  After all, she did win two Academy Awards.  And deservedly.  She was one heck of an actress.

Oddly, though, of all the flicks she ever made, the only one that I ever cared to watch twice was "The White Cliffs of Dover" (1944).  One in which she played but a small part.

Her most famous?  "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," (1958) "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," (1966), "Butterfield 8," (1960) and "Cleopatra" (1963)?   Unbearable.

Each to his own.

Elizabeth Taylor is dead at the age of 79.  She will be missed by millions.


We Still Haven't Hit Bottom

This has to stop at some point:

Lord a'mercy.

War As Hot Potato

Can you imagine any other president in history (okay, there was Jimmy Carter) ever bringing this situation about?
'Gadhafi Is Facing a Coalition of the Unwilling'
By David Gordon Smith, Der Spiegel

The coalition military operation against Moammar Gadhafi has made good progress toward its goals of destroying the Libyan dictator's air defenses and establishing a no-fly zone over the country. But that, it seems, was the easy part. Far more difficult are the questions of who should now lead the mission and what the operation's ultimate objectives should be.

The US government, wary of getting stuck in another war in a Muslim country, would like to hand control of the mission over to NATO, but the alliance is divided. At a meeting on Monday, NATO ambassadors failed to agree on whether the alliance should take control of the mission. NATO involvement would require approval by all 28 members.

France has opposed handing control to NATO because of Arab skepticism about the alliance, which is perceived as being dominated by the US. Paris would prefer the current coalition of France, Britain and the US to keep political control of the mission, with operational support from NATO, according to sources quoted by Reuters. Turkey, an alliance member which sees itself as a bridge to the Muslim world, is opposing NATO control of the operation. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the United Nations should be in charge of an entirely humanitarian operation in Libya.

Britain and Italy want the alliance to be in charge of the operation, however. [link]
Mass freaking confusion.  Everyone following, no one leading.  Keystone Kops.

I fear for our planet.

Is It Still Considered Betrayal ...

... if Massachusetts' Republican Senator Scott Brown turns out to be every bit the liberal as some of us have come to fear to be the case?

Time for the Tea Party to gather up the fishing gear and head out again. Toss that one back. Go after another.

Eyes on the prize.

Welcome To Obama's World

You read stories like this and shake your head in disbelief.  A federal judge has ruled that old people are not allowed to opt out of Medicare if they expect to receive the Social Security benefits that they were (supposedly) promised.

The most startling sentence in the article?

"This is convoluted enough, but Judge [Rosemary] Collyer's truly novel finding comes with her implicit argument that to be 'entitled' to a government benefit is to be obligated to accept it."

A federal judge. 

My God.

That's Your Proof That NPR Isn't Biased?

Read this, from a National Public Radio morning host, and tell me what's wrong with his argument:
Liberal Bias at NPR?
By Steve Inskeep, Wall Street Journal

[L]et's consider the fundamental question: the accusation of "liberal bias" at NPR, which drives many critics calling to eliminate its federal funding. It's not my job as a reporter to address the funding question. But I can point out that the recent tempests over "perceived bias" have nothing to do with what NPR puts on the air.

The facts show that NPR attracts a politically diverse audience of 33.7 million weekly listeners to its member stations on-air. In surveys by GfK MRI, most listeners consistently identify themselves as "middle of the road" or "conservative." Millions of conservatives choose NPR, even with powerful conservative alternatives on the radio.

I've met an incredible variety of listeners in my travels. The audience includes students, peace activists, and American soldiers I met in Iraq. They're among many people ... [link]
Here's my take: This doesn't speak to NPR's bias as much as it does to the writer's intelligence.  Does he really think his argument that "millions of conservatives choos[ing] NPR" has anything at all to do with whether or not NPR employees are biased toward liberalism?  One has nothing to do with the other.


I'm as conservative as they come.  Yet, if memory serves, I was quoting from The Nation just yesterday.  The Nation being about as radically leftist as any publication in the United States today.   I read the New York Times and the Washington Post every day.  What does that say about my political leanings?  Nothing.  How does that speak to the biases that contributors to the Times and the Post maintain?  Nothing.  It simply means that we conservatives are willing to search out all opinions from all sides and draw reasoned judgments therefrom.

No.  There may be another message coming out of this bit of foolishness.  If the author, Mr. Inskeep, thinks those who hold biases, as I proudly admit to doing, refuse to listen to the other side, he may be inadvertently revealing a great deal about those of his political mindset.  Maybe liberals refuse to listen to opposing views and this guy assumes the other side does the same?

Can  we draw from this the conclusion that liberals don't watch Fox News because it is perceived as holding a different bias than that which they harbor?  That's the inference to be drawn.  A very ugly, small-minded one, if you ask me.

George Allen Favors Obamacare Repeal

He'd have my vote for this reason alone:
A year ago today President Obama ignored the objections of the American people and signed into law a $2.5 trillion health care monstrosity – one year later We the People are still being ignored. This unconstitutional, anti-jobs government mandate has resulted in a massive expansion of government, higher premiums, and rapidly growing debt. Twenty-eight states, including Virginia, are challenging the law for violating the constitutional rights and prerogatives of their citizens. It is clear to everyone but those in Washington that this is the wrong prescription to fix our health system. Before any more damage is done, we need to repeal and replace this monstrosity with reforms that will make health care more affordable and accessible for Virginia families and small businesses.
Repeal and replace. Anything less is as nothing.

Received via email.

Allen West Favors Repeal of Obamacare

Keep an eye on this guy.  He's going far.  Congressman Allen West of Florida:
There is no question that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an unpopular overhaul of the American health care system and threatens Americans’ access to quality health care," West said.

Since the passage of ObamaCare:

• Two Federal judges have found the individual mandate – the lynchpin of ObamaCare – unconstitutional.

• The House of Representatives has voted to repeal ObamaCare’s onerous 1099 tax reporting provisions that will saddle small businesses with oppressive paperwork, drive up costs, destroy jobs, and obstruct economic growth.

• The Obama Administration has had to approve more than 1,000 waivers for entities and states facing unworkable mandates under the law.

• A majority of Americans favor repeal of ObamaCare despite a year-long public relations campaign by the White House and others to turn public opinion.

While many may argue that this is a law about health care, it is truly an issue about the long term viability of our economy," West said.  "America’s unemployment rate has been close to 10 percent in 2010, while South Florida suffers with almost 12 percent unemployed. Many small business owners have expressed their frustration that this legislation is hurting their businesses. ObamaCare adds billions to our nation’s already unsustainable mountain of debt. Further, since the enactment of this law, health care premiums have actually increased and Americans will not able to keep the coverage they currently enjoy.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a costly and unworkable maze of new federal agencies and empowered Federal Government bureaucrats who determine the what, when, where, and how of health care," West said.  "While there are certain parts of the law that I support, including the segment on pre-existing conditions, I believe the bill overreaches the authority of the federal government.

It is for these reasons I stand by a vote in the House of Representatives to repeal ObamaCare. I will continue to work to replace this law with a patient-centered solution that restores health care choice for all Americans.
Keep hammering, man.   Our future depends on it.

Received via email.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Consider Me a Feminist

I think every woman should be able to mitigate the physical disparity with which Mother Nature has saddled her.  110 pounds soaking wet?  Going up against a "burly ex-convict" in combat?

Bring it.

Armed Beauty Queen Fatally Shoots Intruder in Florida Home Invasion
By Cristina Corbin, Fox News

When a burly ex-convict forced his way into a posh Florida home last week, he had no idea what awaited him -- a 25-year-old beauty queen with a pink .38-caliber handgun.

Meghan Brown, a former Florida pageant queen, shot and killed 42-year-old Albert Franklin Hill during a home invasion March 12 at the 2,732-square-foot house she shares with her fiance in Tierra Verde, Fla.

Hill barged into the home at around 3 a.m. after Brown responded to a knock at the front door, according to a police report. He allegedly grabbed the 110-pound Brown around her nose and mouth and dragged her to an upstairs bedroom.

The woman’s fiance, Robert Planthaber, said in an interview that he was quickly awakened by the altercation and ran to Brown’s side.

"I attacked him and took a severe beating to the head," Planthaber told FoxNews.com. "But I got him off of her long enough for her to scramble to the room where she keeps her pink .38 special.”

Brown, who reigned as the 2009 Miss Tierra Verde, snatched her gun from a nearby bedroom and shot the suspect several times – hitting him in the chest, groin, thigh and back, her fiance said. Hill was pronounced dead at the scene. [link]
Lessons to be learned:

1) Don't ever pull a gun on someone unless you're prepared to use it.
2) When you pull the trigger, keep pulling it.
3) "Aim small, miss small."  Go for the body - "chest, groin, thigh, back," groin again ...
4) Pink accentuates the curves.
5) 110 pounds?  It's amazing how adding 15.3 ounces will change things.


Want a reasonable justification for Obama's intervention in Libya's internal conflict?  This is as good as it gets:

One might argue, with reported atrocities being committed by the Sudanese government against its citizens in Darfur - over a period of years - making those that occurred in Srebrenica pale in comparison, that Darfur is Obama's Darfur, and he's done absolutely nothing to stop the ethnic cleansing there.

Little choice? Want to try again?

What Could Go Wrong?

Hey, don't laugh.  They deployed this strategy at the Maginot Line against Hitler's Wehrmacht in 1940 and that worked out well for th ...

Okay, maybe laughter is appropriate:

Obama has ceded control of the war in Libya to France, so the French proposal can be expected to be adopted by the French leadership.  A circumstance that reminds me of a Norman Schwartzkopf  quote from a few years ago:

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."

What could go wrong?

It's worth noting that George S. Patton and his 3rd Army liberated France in 1944 without assistance from that vaunted French political steering committee that was still kissing Hitler's boots as American troops rolled up to the Eiffel Tower.

So How's That Obamacare Thing Workin' For Ya?

It's been a year.  And what a year it was.  Health care costs for the average American have plummeted, as Obama promised, insurance companies have broadened their base of offerings, as Obama promised, people with pre-existing conditions can now buy insurance, and millions of workers have been allowed to keep their existing health insurance plans, as Obama ...

... what?


Never mind.
Obamacare: The One-Year Checkup
By Brian Blase, The Heritage Foundation

One year ago, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The PPACA was unpopular when it was enacted in March 2010, but its proponents believed that it would gain broad acceptance once people discovered the law’s benefits.

One year later, public opinion has not warmed to the law because many of its “benefits” have been either underwhelming or detrimental.

Obamacare has increased government control of Americans’ health care choices, raised the cost of insurance, forced insurers to stop offering child-only policies, broken the promise that an individual can keep his insurance unaltered, and bailed out underfunded union early-retiree health care plans. The early results suggest that Obamacare’s “benefits” are not worth their costs.

One year later, mandating certain benefits has raised the cost of providing insurance, and this higher cost has been passed on to policyholders in the form of higher premiums.

A child-only health insurance policy is a policy that parents or grandparents may wish to purchase to cover only one particular child. Obamacare requires insurers that sell child-only plans to offer coverage to all new applicants without regard to the child’s preexisting health condition. One year later, an unintended consequence of the ban on considering preexisting conditions is that insurers in at least 34 states have exited the market and 20 states now have no insurers offering child-only plans.

President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that Obamacare would not affect individuals who were satisfied with their current health insurance. One year later, the President’s assurances have been disproven.

America urgently needs to reform health care, as increasing health care spending is consuming ever larger shares of household and government budgets. Obamacare falls short of genuine reform because its “benefits” will both increase the cost of private insurance and government spending on health care.

Congress should repeal the government-centric Obamacare law and replace it with consumer-focused reforms and sensible changes in health care entitlement programs. America simply cannot afford Obamacare’s “benefits.” [link]

Key sentence: "One year later, the President’s assurances have been disproven."

You were warned.  You paid no attention.  Now look what's happened.

Maybe next time you won't be taken in by all that hope 'n change blather?

- - -

Dupes in pinstripes:

Day late. Dollar short. Go away.

- - -

Add to all that the fact that costs of Obamacare to be charged to the taxpayer are exploding.  The Wall Street Journal:
We thought you'd like to know... ObamaCare will be far more expensive than advertised. To wit, [the Congressional Budget Office] says the entitlement's health insurance subsidies will cost $1.13 trillion between 2012 and 2021, not $1.04 trillion, the prior estimate. This 8.6% jump is the result of revised assumptions, the so-called technical factors in CBO's budget model. The bill's total cost now stands at $1.445 trillion, according to another recent CBO estimate.

Whatever politicians say, the American public instinctively understands that subsidizing health care for millions of people will be staggeringly expensive and only grow over time. But at least now CBO is starting to disclose how fiscally reckless government health care really is.
I remember writing, many times, that we can't pay for the health care of millions of uninsured Americans, expand coverage for all, and reduce costs for those paying the tab, as Obama was promising.  It was never going to happen.  That he was lying through his teeth.

It isn't happening.

In fact we're now much worse off.

We can no longer trust Obama, but where's that Republican promise to repeal this damn thing?

Speaking of Dupes

I wonder how the members of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee are feeling now that "Obama - its most recent recipient of their coveted prize - has fired more cruise missiles than all other Nobel Peace prize winners combined" and has involved himself in more foreign wars - all three of which bring about the killing of Muslims -  than any U.S. president in history.

We may soon find out:

It should be mentioned that the guy doing the asking is that Russian nut, Vladimir Zhirinovsky.  But still, you have to savor the irony.

Obama, man of peace.  Obama, war criminal.

Can he be both?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Obama, Typical Liberal NIMBY

Can you imagine the power company proposing to build a coal-fired plant up in Fairfax County?  Can you picture the outrage that would explode from within the bastion of really concerned environmentalists there?   Yeah.  I can picture that happening.


You see, it's like the prison system.  Liberals in Fairfax tolerate it, as long as "it" is located down here in Southwest Virginia, where we - the great unwashed - live.  Can't be havin' those scummy, smelly prisoners being warehoused down the street from their favorite Whole Foods store, for God's sake.  Why, what would the proximity do to the flavor of that Allegro coffee?

Same with coal.  They profess a hatred for it.  But that doesn't stop them from consuming great quantities of it to power their air-conditioned electric golf carts (you think I'm kidding).  Electricity is good.  It can stay.  Coal is bad.  It has to be used ... elsewhere.

Which brings us to petroleum(!!!).

Does this reek of liberal hypocrisy, or what?
Obama: Drill, Brazil, Drill!
Investor's Business Daily editorial

While leaving U.S. oil and jobs in the ground, our itinerant president tells a South American neighbor that we'll help it develop its offshore resources so we can one day import its oil. WHAT?!?

[I]n the process of making nice with Brazil, Obama made a mind-boggling announcement that should make even his most loyal supporter cringe:

We will help Brazil develop its offshore oil so we can one day import it.

Now, with a seven-year offshore drilling ban in effect off of both coasts, on Alaska's continental shelf and in much of the Gulf of Mexico — and a de facto moratorium covering the rest — Obama tells the Brazilians:

"We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers." [link]
Obama is on record as hating petroleum.  As evidenced by the fact that he has virtually shut down any exploration in this country.  He hates it, that is, until it squirts from the BP pump into his chauffeur-driven limousine.  Then he's a big fan.

Me?  I'm thinking we put up an oil-drilling derrick in his Chicago neighborhood.  Right next to a power plant.  Which sits atop a maximum security prison.  I want to hear the man howl.

He, and they, are, if nothing else, entertaining.

This Can't Be Good

Anything after the words "Obama embraces U.N." can only be bad news.

See "Obama embraces U.N. limits in Libya."

Those limits?  Destruction of the nation's infrastructure will be limited to vital roads and bridges and the loss of innocent life will be limited to men, women, and children.

This from the organization whose greater focus is to wage war on ... climate?

"Obama embraces U.N."

I can't bear to watch.

Can Our Foreign Policy Get Any More Confused?

Ya gotta give New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof credit.  For years he's been calling on western nations - including his own - to stop the slaughter of innocents in Darfur.  See, as but one example of his work,  "Genocide in Slow Motion."

His pleas for intervention, needless to say, have gone unanswered.

These days, Kristof must be asking those around him: Libya?  Why Libya?

And the sad truth is, there's not one person on the planet who could give him a reasonable answer.

Welcome to U.S. foreign policy.

To exemplify the bizarre nature of the thing, Kristof's own New York Times has this from a few days ago:
In a Paris hotel room on Monday night, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton found herself juggling the inconsistencies of American foreign policy in a turbulent Middle East. She criticized the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates for sending troops to quash protests in Bahrain even as she pressed him to send planes to intervene in Libya. 
Hillary, never one to be devoid of excuses, would probably argue that the difference between Libya and Bahrain is in the fact that lives are being lost in Libya, so the mission is an humanitarian one.  But really?

And if our Libya incursion is an humanitarian effort to save lives, why not Darfur?

Nicholas Kristof must be pulling his hair out right now, trying to rationalize all this.  I say, join the crowd, dude.

As Michigan Goes ...

I still shudder when I think how close Virginia came under Tim Kaine to becoming this:
Michigan's War on the Middle Class
By William McGurn, Wall Street Journal

The new Republican governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, likes to say that he's not interested in the confrontation with organized labor that we see in Wisconsin. That may be. Nevertheless, Mr. Snyder has become Public Enemy No. 1 for the protesters in Lansing carrying signs demanding that he "End the War on the Middle Class."

Here's a news flash: That war was lost long ago.

The costs of defeat are reflected in grim statistics that show a state that was once a powerhouse of the American economy sinking into stagnation reminiscent of the Old South. Today, average per capita income in the Wolverine State ranks just 37th in the nation—down from ninth in 1965. In terms of adults holding college degrees, Michigan ranks 36th. The areas where it ranks near the top are not happy ones: unemployment (fifth from the top) and outbound moves (second only to New Jersey).

And let's not even mention Detroit.

Michigan today is not a struggling state like California or New Jersey or even Wisconsin. It is a basket case, with worse to come if things do not change quickly—especially in the relation of the public to the private sector.

"Many of the protesters seem to think the war is between rich and poor," says Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Michigan-based Mackinac Center. "But the real class war today is between government and the people who pay for it. And the government's been winning."

Here's a telling anecdote from Monday's Detroit Free Press: An article on Michigan-bred Red Robin restaurants quoted its owner as saying he could not see expanding in Michigan, given its tax climate. An accompanying photograph drove home the point. It features the company accountant holding up its tax returns for Ohio and Michigan: While the former is five pages long, the latter clocks in at 270. [link]
Something's seriously wrong when a company has to employ more tax accountants and government regulation monitors (OSHA, EPA, EEOC ...) than sales staff.  But that's the situation facing America's corporations.  Especially those in Michigan.

Another reason why business is booming in China ...


I've been wondering how the anti-war, pro-Obama left in this country was going to reconcile itself to our president becoming the first in history to fight three wars at one time.  MSNBC analyst (and stalwart Obama sycophant) Jonathan Alter has done it!

How is The Nobel Peace Prize laureate different from his predecessor?
This is the hand [Obama's] been dealt by history. He's a reluctant warrior. So it's not as if he's converted to being a cowboy. So I think people recognize the difference between him and former President Bush.

I think we are beginning to see an Obama Doctrine, but I think it's less focused on humanitarianism than it is on multilateralism, which is a big $50 word that doesn't sound so good on television but it basically means that we work together with our allies and we don't go charging off alone. But right now it is a very uncomfortable transition from what was sort of multilateralism for appearances, which is the way it was mostly handled under Bush, to genuine multilateralism, where the president doesn't even announce the beginning of hostilities. It's announced by the French. And even though most of the weapons are being fired by Americans, at the beginning, in the first 48 hours, they didn't want to admit that, so Hillary Clinton for instance referred to "them, they, others" enforcing Resolution 1973 from the Security Council rather than us being the ones who were taking the lead. [source]
One's first inclination is to chuckle at how strained this explanation is.  Blood had to have been oozing from assorted Alter orifices as he came up with that ditty, he was trying so hard.

But then it is clever, no?  Bush was an eager warrior who preferred to "go it alone" while Obama is a reluctant soldier community organizer who genuinely encourages others to join in the fight.  Their actions may seem to be identical, but their motivations - their inner thought patterns - are totally different.

One has to marvel at the conceit.

- - -

I sort of admire this leftist approach to reconciling the Mahatma-Obama-the-war-president dilemma too:

Changing the subject.

It drips of servility.  Which is not a particularly endearing quality for a journalist.

But it is a neat ploy.

Perhaps Inevitable

The members of the Southwest Virginia Tea Party are not at all pleased with the to-date performance of our new congressman, Republican Morgan Griffith.  Who can blame them when fellow GOP members in the House are battling to achieve a $6 billion reduction in yearly federal spending while the federal deficit explodes at a rate of $4 billion per day?

For details of the growing unrest, go to the Abingdon/Bristol/SW Virginia Tea Party website.

Talk about an aroused electorate?  My, oh, my.

"These are the times that try mens’ souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."
-- Thomas Paine --

I Don't Know

Something about this just doesn't seem right:

To think: That father had to get a license to ride the bike ...

Ethanol v. Gasoline

This from Ecopolitology seems pretty straightforward:

Cornfields vs. Oilfields

If you're big on the environment, you'll probably love ethanol. If you want your car to get decent gas mileage and acceptable performance, you'll want to avoid it.

As for that greenhouse gas thing ...

Study: Grass Is Green

Monday, March 21, 2011

Not Worth The Paper They're Printed On

I mentioned a long time ago that, when reviewing résumés or poring over job applications, I give no credence to "educational background." I look for job experience (and then turn to criminal background). Why? Because America is awash in meaningless college degrees.

Check this out (from "Why Did 17 Million Students Go to College?"):
Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees), along with over 80,000 bartenders, and over 18,000 parking lot attendants. All told, some 17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS says require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.

The relentless claims of the Obama administration and others that having more college graduates is necessary for continued economic leadership is incompatible with this view. Putting issues of student abilities aside, the growing disconnect between labor market realities and the propaganda of higher-education apologists is causing more and more people to graduate and take menial jobs or no job at all. This is even true at the doctoral and professional level—there are 5,057 janitors in the U.S. with Ph.D.’s, other doctorates, or professional degrees.
Why do I ignore college degrees on a job application? Because they come a dime a dozen.

Me? Give me someone with five months of successful McDonald's experience any day. That person knows what work is all about.

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Here's a chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows how bad the education vs. employment chasm has gotten.  Click on the image to enlarge it.

I'll bet every one of these people had big plans once they graduated and had this sheepskin in hand ...

* I once had the opportunity of being escorted to my Enterprise Rent-a-Car by a nice young man who had graduated from Michigan State with a degree in International Politics.  To the school's credit, he drove responsibly and was well-mannered.

Tip of the Iceberg

Truth be known, this problem is far worse than the statistics let on:
Drugs driving crime in Galax
By April Wright, Reporter, Galax Gazette

Galax has experienced marked increases in reported crimes since 2008, including a 17 percent increase in “Part A” crimes — property crimes, crimes of violence, gambling, prostitution, extortion and narcotics, Galax Police Chief Rick Clark told city council during his annual report on March 14.

“We continue to believe that the crime is being driven by drug abuse,” said Clark. “In a 12-month period ending in 2010, members of the police department were involved in the arrest and federal prosecution of 10 individuals who, by their own admission, were responsible for the distribution of 367 pounds of meth in the City of Galax and Grayson County.”

Clark said that amount conservatively amounts to over $16 million in street value.

The police department has observed a measurable increase in the availability of diverted prescription drugs, as indicated by an increase in arrests and investigation of the sale of prescription narcotics.

Clark said many of the people who were arrested for a serious crime said they were motivated to obtain money for drugs or they were under the influence at the time of the offense. [link]
Despite valiant efforts on the part of law enforcement across the country and here in Southwest Virginia to control the sale and distribution of pseudoephedrine (and ephedrine), the primary ingredient for making meth, it still abounds.  And still wrecks lives.  With no end in sight.

Meth production and sales are up.  Crime is up.  There is a direct correlation.

As Long As It doesn't Cost Anything

We're about to have a new designation here in Bland County.  We're soon to be known - if all goes well - as an "Appalachian Trail Community.

Riches.  Fame.  Prosperity.  Soon to follow.

Thousands To Gather At Virginia Tech

Bill Bradley is scheduled to speak there on the 24th.

(Note to those who are thinking of attending: The guy bored people to sleep back when he was a presidential contender.  Now that he's been in retirement for decades?  Bring a book.)

Obama Lied, People Died!

God, I'm going to enjoy this.

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Obama's new "war" reminds me of the one which Bill Clinton conducted against al Qaeda in August of 1998 in retaliation for the terrorist bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed hundreds of people, and wounded over 4,000.  Wild Bill sent cruise missiles into Afghanistan and Sudan, blew up an aspirin factory and some training sites in the process, and ... then ... nothing happened.  That was it.  War over.

Except that it wasn't.  Clinton's rash and misguided* effort aroused and emboldened the very people he was trying to intimidate.  If that's what he was trying to do.  Nobody really knows.

So Obama is sending cruise missiles into Libya, his purpose being ... what?

Expect an apology and restitution to be forthcoming.

* Lliterally misguided - Clinton thought the aspirin factory was a nerve gas factory and "guided" U.S. missiles into it by mistake.