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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ya Gotta Love Presbyterian Ministers

How about this for a whiplash-inducing construct, found in a letter to the editor of today's Roanoke Times, written by a retired you-know-what:
A return to separate and unequal schools

An Associated Press report Jan. 29 told us about the appointments Gov. Bob McDonnell made to the State Board of Education, establishing his grip on the board.

"Separate but equal" schools were allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1890s, but declared unconstitutional in 1954.
Whoa! Is the room spinning?  What kind of segue was that?

McDonnell appoints someone to the Board of Education and ... Plessy v. Ferguson breaks out throughout the land like that rash on your butt that occurs when you don't shower after working out?

Get a grip, man.  

I don't think we need to worry about ol' Jim Crow a'risin' from the dead.  He's history.

As is anything you wrote after the words "McDonnell" and "separate but equal."

It Sounds So Simple

It sounds so appealing.

What could be wrong with this picture?
Regulations aren't evil
Roanoke Times editorial

During the past few months, "regulation" has become a dirty word. It has never been a popular word, but these days many politicians, especially Republicans, can barely spit it out.

They forget that regulations serve important purposes. They are not job-killing dampeners of the free market. Some might need to change, and a few might have outlived their usefulness, but most provide valuable protections for Americans. [link]
"Most provide valuable protections for Americans"?  No.  Most are supposed to provide valuable protections for Americans."  In truth, many are misguided.  Some do more harm than good.  Some are drivel.  And some are downright laughable.**

And in my experience, in dealing with too many OSHA inspectors, too many of those regulations are too open to interpretation.  Get a succession of inspectors coming to your site with the same regulations manual but with different renderings of the same written words and you'll find out what I mean.  Chaos - or at least befuddlement - ensues.

And of course they don't care.

As for that crack about government regulations not being "job-killing dampeners of the free market," the editorialist has a point.  In certain ways government regulations are, in fact, job-producers (of a sort) here in our "free market."  Any employer who has had to hire a body or two just to deal with the myriad Sarbanes-Oxley regulations will know what I mean.

It's worth understanding, though, that government-mandated (or instigated) job creation can also be a job killer as well.  Those employees of yours who are paid to keep you compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley?  They're accountants.  They produce nothing; they sell nothing.  They are a cost of doing business, not an asset.  How do you offset that cost?  By not hiring someone who could be out swinging a hammer or by not hiring someone who could be knocking on doors selling your widgets.  Your having a Sarbanes-Oxley policeperson on staff is non-negotiable.  Your having Susie Widgetmaker on third shift is.

So government regulations are a neat deal?  Tell it to those who - unlike newspaper editorialists - have had to deal with them.

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* I've repeated the story in the past, but it's worth mentioning again.  I made reference to a succession of OSHA inspectors paying me a visit.  Each had different emphases.  Each had his own interpretation of the regs we were to follow. And, too often, each left me scratching my head.  

Employee to Mr. Fuhrman:  "He wants us to do what?  I've never heard of such a thing.  It doesn't even make sense.  How do we even go about that?"

Mr. Fuhrman to employee:  "I don't know and I don't care.  Just figure something out and let's get back to work."

Life in America ...

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** Remind me some day to tell you my "All your employees are required to wear hard hats" story.

SW Virginia Elk Closer To Reality

This goes out to you women who like to see big hairy creatures in the forest. Other than their husbands:
Plans remain to reintroduce elk population in Southwest Virginia
By Greg Jordan, Associated Press

Grundy, Va. — Plans remain on track to reintroduce a native animal that the residents of Southwest Virginia haven’t seen roaming their land since the Civil War.

In August 2010, the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries voted unanimously to proceed with a plan for elk management in Buchanan County, Va. The program will introduce 75 elk to the county, forming the basis of a herd that could eventually include 400 animals.  [link]

Then there are the local residents who want to say NO but haven't come up with good reasons to do so:
Officials and residents of neighboring Tazewell County are concerned that elk introduced into Buchanan County could wander across county lines. In August 2010 the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors passed a motion in opposition to the project. Farmers fear that the elk could infect livestock with chronic wasting disease.

Southern District Supervisor Mike Hymes, said Friday that the board of supervisors has not changed its position regarding elk coming into Tazewell County.

“My district's farm residents are opposed to restoration due to the possible damage that the elk will bring to crops and property,” he said.
Some say the biggest crop in Tazewell County is marijuana.  Do elk eat marijuana plants?  And, if so, is that a bad thing?

Anyway, elk are coming to Southwest Virginia.  Should be fun. 

Gravitas & Résumé

Said the leftie:

Yeah. If only the Republicans had a candidate for president who spent his youth smoking dope and the entirety of whose qualifications for the gig amounted to little beyond the title of Southside Chicago community organizer.

Then they'd have the real deal.

It's almost amusing.

You'll Be Seeing a Lot Of This

Expect the mainstream media to put on a full court press in opposition when the Republicans actually start announcing their cuts in federal spending.

In fact, it's already begun, with:

Remember the "government shutdown" in 1995 that was blamed on Newt Gingrich and his gang of wreckers and anarchists? (The one that was instigated as much by Bill Clinton as by ol' Newt, but we'll save that for another day.) I remember the leftists in the press wetting themselves over the fact that the shutdown was causing those who wanted to get their passports processed to have to wait until the budget showdown ended.*

My thought at the time?

That's it?!

Passport processing is being delayed?

That's the best you got?

The world is coming to an end because Uncle Ernie might not be able to make his vacation trip to Paris?

That's the crisis?

We may soon see such ... breathtaking ... hype thrown at us again.

Be prepared this time for a good laugh.

* Provisions were made to keep the Social Security and sundry welfare checks coming during the "crisis" so there was no disruption for folks really in need.