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

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Quote of the Day

A gutsy call for all parties concerned to get a life.

Hans Christian Rott, professor in the School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech, on the hyperbole, recriminations, lawsuits, and ... yes, hatred evinced since/from the April 16, 2007 Tech massacre (See "Only Cho is responsible"):
The gratuitous attacks on Virginia Tech President Charles Steger's integrity must be met with stern reproach. The revenge suits against him and the other such accused members of Virginia Tech's administration are just that ...

If finding the truth and a return to normalcy is the goal of the suits and accusations, why not sue for just that purpose? All doubt about motivation would be eliminated at once, no matter how misguided the assumed causal relations are. Let the justice system and the jury of peers be the final arbiters of truth, not tools of revenge and monetary gain.

Witch hunts and lynchings are part of our national history. We routinely apologize for them and routinely demand legislative action to give gravity to this symbolism. At the same time, we go and do precisely the same despicable acts to individuals who we neither know nor have any reason to persecute for acts they clearly did not commit.

To look for responsible parties in the April 16, 2007, mass murder is actually quite easy: Seung-Hui Cho is the sole responsible party. No one can anticipate the actions of an evil mind; just as little as one can find anyone responsible for the beheading of a student in the graduate life center except the murderer.
In one word: WOW.

Speaking of witch hunts and lynchings, expect Professor Rott to be hanged from the nearest yardarm for his blasphemy. He should have realized that lunatics like Cho Seung-hui are never to blame for their actions. In this case, school administrators are. As are government officials in Richmond.  As is the psychiatric community.  And by God, blood - and money - shall flow in retribution.

This whole story - once evil - gets more malevolent as time goes by.

Those who cry out for heads to roll are too late. He who was responsible for the Virginia Tech massacre rolled his own with a 9mm slug to the brain pan that infamous afternoon.

Let it go. Let it go.  We've had all the madness we can handle.

- - -

UPDATE 01.02.11: It must be noted that I have no way of verifying the following, but it's worth passing on.  It appeared in the "comments" to this post:
Rott's fought like this for 20 years now. He's one of the good guys.

Did y'all know that all staff and faculty at Virginia Tech got hazardous duty pay for being on campus the day of the massacre? Extra money for sitting in lockdown in their offices on the other side of campus.

Remember, that's the university which refused to send notice to its members of an on-campus memorial service for a former cadet killed in Iraq, probably because of anti-war and anti-Bush sentiment.

VT actually turned its back on a cadet KIA, a cadet and later young officer who swore no allegiance to the Dems or Repubs, but only to protect and defend the Constitution. Turned its back on our soldiers, while collecting extra pay for... something.

That's a shameful act I will never forget.
I missed that story in the papers.  I wish I hadn't.

Good Luck With That

A headline from 1911.
And 1951.
And 1991.

And today:


Maybe the same task force can also stop the sunrise.

Or not.

Griffith To Rein In The EPA

Here's another battle that's shaping up:  Liberty vs. the Environmental Protection Agency.

Joining that battle is Morgan Griffith, Republican congressman, Virginia's 9th District.

Here's the latest from his office (in a press release):
Last week, 14 of my colleagues joined me in sending a letter to Chairman Mica of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has direct jurisdictional authority over the Clean Water Act. The recent revocation of the water permit for the Spruce No. 1 Mine is a clear example of the EPA’s overreach. Following an extensive environmental review and final approval by the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA swooped in and took the unprecedented step of rescinding the permit after it had already been granted. If a permit can be granted and then be allowed to be taken away by the EPA, small businesses and working families are assured of the one thing they don’t need more of – uncertainty.

I urge the committee of jurisdiction to review the Clean Water Act, and more specifically, the EPA’s ability under Section 404(c) to revoke permits for projects the Army Corps has previously researched and approved. I look forward to working closely with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to investigate these actions taken by the EPA.
His letter to Chairman Mica:
January 26, 2011


The Honorable John L. Mica
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
U.S. House of Representatives
2165 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Mica:

Based upon its claim of authorities under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on January 13, 2011, took the unprecedented step of rescinding a water permit for the Mingo Logan Spruce No. 1 Mine, issued in 2007 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). This decision has enormous implications, and we urge you to fully and thoroughly investigate this action by EPA and, if necessary, make appropriate clarifications to the law.

In an October 16, 2009, letter to the Huntington District of the Corps, the Acting Region III Administrator for EPA – William Earley – acknowledged both: “that the project has been modified to reduce projected impacts” and that his office was “aware that EPA has never before used its Section 404(c) authority to review a previously permitted project since Congress enacted the Clean Water Act in 1972.” As such, we believe this action by EPA will have a chilling effect on any entity regulated under this section of the Clean Water Act, sending the message to all American businesses that EPA does not consider ANY validly issued and adhered to permit to be immune from revocation.

With the unemployment rate at an unacceptably high rate of 9.4 percent nationally and manufacturing employment remaining flat, the federal government should not be looking for ways to use its authority to destroy the jobs of hardworking Americans in work it approved after a 10-year environmental review, including a 1,600 page Environmental Impact Statement in which EPA both participated in and agreed to its terms. According to figures published in a January 14, 2010, Minority Staff Report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Spruce Mine project would provide 253 mining jobs -- with long-term employment opportunities projected to have a duration of 13 to 15 years -- and 298 indirect jobs in the community. Moreover, according to the National Mining Association, the jobs at the mine would pay $65,000 a year plus benefits, and EPA’s permit revocation will prevent the investment of $250 million in the Mingo Logan community.

In addition to the quite troubling economic impacts for the affected community, we are also disturbed by the lack of transparency showed by EPA in taking this action. In a written response to questions from U.S. Senator James Inhofe, dated December 2, 2009, the West Virginia Secretary of Environmental Protection, Randy C. Huffman made three (3) disturbing points:

1. His state department never heard from EPA directly before EPA initially took action. Mr. Huffman’s department received a copy of a September 3, 2009, letter the EPA sent to the Corps, requesting that the Corps suspend, revoke or modify this permit, not from EPA, but from the Corps.

2. Although EPA had suggested to Mr. Huffman’s department and the owner of the mine that changes in the mine’s operation might mollify EPA’s views on permit revocation, EPA was unable to articulate what changes were required or to identify any clear criteria it would use in judging what was acceptable.

3. The EPA had not expressed its concerns about the mine permit to Mr. Huffman’s department before supplying his department with a copy of its October 16, 2009 letter to the Corps.

For an Administration that campaigned on government transparency and recently issued an executive order concerning the review of hundreds of federal regulations to make sure they are not impeding economic growth, this action by EPA represents a dramatic disconnect between words and deeds.

The United States Constitution explicitly gives Congress the power to write laws, not the Executive Branch. We believe this action raises several issues with other Federal laws including whether EPA has authority under the Clean Water Act to revoke a permit once the permit has been issued in the absence of any allegation that the permit was violated; whether EPA can use the Section 404(c) process to usurp the states’ authority over its own water quality decisions; and whether EPA’s veto action substantially interferes with the mineral owner’s property right giving rise to a “taking” claim against the Federal government.

We respectfully urge you and your committee to fully and thoroughly investigate this action by EPA, and we stand ready to help you should you wish.
The way of life in the coalfields of Virginia is threatened by a far-removed, out-of-touch, out-of-control federal bureaucracy that has as its only concern, based upon the flimsiest of evidence, the misguided preservation of our boulders and mountain gullies, and the human inhabitants of Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise Counties be damned. That bureaucracy must be stopped.

Here's to Morgan Griffith for championing that cause.

One More Thing On The Morgan Griffith Front

Something worth noting.  In an interview with the Martinsville Bulletin the other day, one that covered a wide range of subjects, Mr. Griffith addressed redistricting.  We all know it's coming now that the 2010 census is complete.  So what can we expect?  To quote from Paul Collins's article:
Griffith said he believes that between 67,000 and 79,000 people will be added to the 9th District, the least populous congressional district in the state, as a result of redistricting following the 2010 census. Although the General Assembly and governor have to approve any redistricting plan, “I think it’s almost impossible not to take in Martinsville and Salem,” he said.

He also believes several more precincts in Henry County, but not the entire county, will be among the areas added to the 9th District. Several precincts in western Henry County already are in the 9th District.
As has been mentioned here many times, the 9th Congressional District continues to lose population, while most of the rest of Virginia (thrives and ...) grows. So it is expected that more geography will have to be thrown into the 9th to balance things out (at least until there is no 9th district and Southwest Virginia is absorbed by the 5th and 6th).

To the folks in Martinsville and Salem: Welcome to the "Fightin' 9th," where we are indeed in the fight of our lives. Glad to have you with us.

Virginia's 5th District 'In The Crosshairs'

Obama and his ilk just aren't going to let go of their stinging defeat in Southside Virginia last November.  Tom Perriello, darling of the radical left in this country, was that beloved.  They want him back.  So the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has "targeted" 19 purportedly "vulnerable" Republican districts around the country - including Robert Hurt's VA-5 - the man who kicked Perriello into early retirement - for special consideration.

Speaking for Robert Hurt and all the good people of Virginia, I say:

Bring it.

Oh. Darn.

The mainstream press was so hoping that the man who was arrested with a trunk full of explosives out in front of a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan had the last name Beck.  Or Limbaugh.  Or Teabagger.  Or Palin.  Or ...

Alas.  He was - at minimum - another lunatic.

Key word being ANOTHER:

See "Doesn't fit the narrative: CA man arrested for explosives in front of Dearborn mosque served time for threatening President Bush. He was Bill Ayers, not Tea Party."

See also: "Suspect facing terrorism charge in Dearborn mosque plot has history of mental illness."

Of course, that doesn't mean that his mental illness wasn't brought on by Palin or Bush or Cheney or Limbaugh or Beck or some flag-waving, Constitution-quoting Tea Partier or Speedy the Alka Seltzer character or ...

Expect the nitwits on the left - and in the media - therefore, to continue spewing their narrative.

Now Here's a Guy Who's 'Electable'

He's also an environmentalist and big on gay rights.  A sure-fire combination for a man who wants to be ...

... the Republican nominee for president?

Meet John McCain, Jr.:
Jon Huntsman resigns; may run
By Mike Allen, Politico

Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the U.S. ambassador to China, sent a resignation letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House said. Huntsman now is likely to explore a Republican presidential bid, according to supporters.

Huntsman boasts the most foreign policy experience of any of the likely GOP candidates, and would be a formidable entry to the unformed GOP field. He had a fiscally conservative record as governor, opposes abortion and is a strong supporter of gun owners’ rights.

The ambassador has moderate views on gay rights and the environment, which would be an asset in a general election but could be a hurdle in the primaries. In a campaign, Huntsman could be expected to point out that he has created jobs in both the private and public sectors. [link]
Right. We saw how much "moderate views on gay rights and the environment" did for President McCain.

What we don't need in 2012 are moderate views on gay rights and the environment. What we need is a presidential nominee who will restore America to its rightful place in the world order (as opposed to being a passive spectator of world events) and who will focus like a laser beam on pulling our country back from the brink of fiscal disaster.

We have a president today who, while talking big about creating jobs, gives us the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and almost forced "Cap-and-Trade" down our throats.

If we want more of the same come 2013, we sure don't need Jon Huntsman. His clone is already in the White House.

Obamacare In Flames

Great news for those who cherish the finest health care delivery system the world has ever known:
Judge: Obama's health overhaul unconstitutional
By Melissa Nelson and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press

Pensacola, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge in Florida ruled Monday that President Barack Obama's entire health care overhaul law is unconstitutional, placing even noncontroversial provisions under a cloud in a broad challenge that seems certain to be resolved only by the Supreme Court.

Faced with a major legal setback, the White House called the ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson — in a challenge to the law by 26 of the nation's 50 states — "a plain case of judicial overreaching." That echoed language the judge had used to describe the law as an example of Congress overstepping its authority.

Vinson ruled against the overhaul on grounds that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring nearly all Americans to carry health insurance ... [link]
It's too bad that we have to rely on the judiciary to do what members of Congress - those with common sense anyway - should have done.  That is to stop this monster in its tracks.  But we'll take the victory however it is fashioned.  It's that important.

Now on to a higher court ...

- - -

George Allen released the following statement on the ruling:
Today’s ruling by Judge Roger Vinson in Florida is another victory for the voices of Virginians and Americans who oppose this unfair, anti-job, unconstitutional federal government dictate. The constitutionally sound judgments made by Judge Vinson and Judge Hudson echo what Americans have believed all along – that this health care bill and its odious mandates exceed the constitutional bounds of the federal government.

Recently Senator Webb said he would ‘prefer’ to let the bill play out in the courts and then ‘adapt.’ It is past time for Senator Webb and his liberal colleagues to ‘adapt’ and work to repeal this monstrosity. Rather than dictates and dependency, we need to replace this massive, expensive experiment with reforms that foster more affordable and accessible health care opportunities for families and small business owners. [received via email]
- - -

Attorney General Cuccinelli had this:
I am heartened by the fact that another federal judge has found that the individual mandate forcing citizens to buy private health insurance is unconstitutional. The judge also found that the individual mandate could not be severed from the remainder of the law, so he declared the entire act invalid.

Constitutional principles have scored another victory today. Liberty has scored another victory today.

I congratulate Florida Attorney General Bondi, former Attorney General McCollum, and the attorneys general and governors who joined the Florida suit, on their victory. [received via email]
- - -

The Wall Street Journal this morning:
Federal Judge Roger Vinson opens his decision declaring ObamaCare unconstitutional with that citation from Federalist No. 51, written by James Madison in 1788. His exhaustive and erudite opinion is an important moment for American liberty, and yesterday may well stand as the moment the political branches were obliged to return to the government of limited and enumerated powers that the framers envisioned.

As Judge Vinson took pains to emphasize, the case is not really about health care at all, or the wisdom—we would argue the destructiveness—of the newest entitlement. Rather, the Florida case goes to the core of the architecture of the American system, and whether there are any remaining limits on federal control. Judge Vinson's 78-page ruling in favor of 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business, among others, is by far the best legal vindication to date of Constitutional principles that form the outer boundaries of federal power.
It's a good day.

- - -

When kids are given keyboards ...

See the Washington Post's Ezra Klein try to make a legal defense of Obamacare without having a shred of legal experience or understanding ("GOP judge rules against Affordable Care Act").

Amusing.  In a pathetic sort of way.

- - -


Best of all?  Judge Vinson used as one of his arguments to throw Obama's signature legislation out ...

... Obama's own argument (back when he was Candidate Obama). How sweet is this?
Judge rules against health law, cites Obama’s words
By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times

In ruling against President Obama‘s health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s own position from the 2008 campaign against him, when the then-Illinois senator argued there were other ways to achieve reform short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday. [link]
That's right.  In the mold of John Kerry, Obama was against it before he was for it.

And now a federal judge has used Obama's argument against a portion of Obamacare to toss out all of Obamacare.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Climate Theologians Are Getting Desperate

This is amusing:
Climate Alarmist Blames Egypt Crisis On Global Warming
By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters

On Friday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews blamed the crisis in Egypt on George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

Two days later, climate alarmist extraodinaire Joe Romm blamed it on - wait for it! - global warming:

"This summer’s extreme global weather raised fears of a 'Coming Food Crisis,' as CAP’s John D. Podesta and Jake Caldwell warned in Foreign Policy: 'Global food security is stretched to the breaking point, and Russia’s fires and Pakistan’s floods are making a bad situation worse.' Earlier this month I discussed how, in fact, 'Extreme weather events helped drive food prices to record highs.' Back then, experts were worried about food riots. Now they are happening."

After quoting various liberal media sources such as the Post and NPR, Romm reached this hysterical conclusion:

"Energy insecurity and climate instability have now become key factors in food insecurity, which in turn has become a key factor in toppling governments. [...]

"Those who think that the serious impacts of climate change — and our inane energy policies — on the world economy and U.S. national security are decades away are simply not paying attention.
"

Those of us that have been monitoring this insanity for years have regularly laughed at all the world's maladies these folks tie to global warming.

Dr. John Brignell, a British engineering professor, publishes a growing list of such conspiracy theories at his website Number Watch.

I guess if Egyptians, after decades of poor treatment by a corrupt, authoritarian government, revolt and possibly topple said government, it's because in the past 160 years, the planet's temperature has risen by approximately (and debatably!) one degree Celsius. [link]
That's right.  Amidst all the hysteria over global warming, it needs to be remembered that the planet has "warmed" something in the neighborhood of 2° Fahrenheit.  And even that's a guess.

Causing food riots?

Please.

While the upheaval we're witnessing in the Arab world - from north Africa to Jordan - is no laughing matter, "climate scientists" are.  What moron could look at a global temperature change that amounts to virtually nothing and see dire consequences having resulted?

Only those of the fanatical global warming religion kind, for sure.

Entertaining bunch, aren't they?