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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, March 01, 2011

What Boneheads

The Roanoke Times this morning takes the case of a scam artist who was able to swindle (allegedly) hundreds of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting citizens and makes it a case for ... campaign donation restrictions?

See "U.S. Navy Vets case argues for campaign limits."

To anyone with a brain the case actually argues in favor of stricter enforcement of existing laws against fraud. The perp, who used the alias "Bobby Thompson," gathered up $2 million, purportedly to help needy veterans, not needy politicians, and pocketed the cash, never to be seen again.

A call for a change in campaign finance laws, when one knows the circumstances of this saga, is truly bizarre.

How Cool Is This?

Want to get a good - and simple - idea as to how population changes have affected the various parts of Virginia over the last fifty years?  The Virginia Public Access Project (referenced by the Roanoke Times) has this wonderful interactive map that clearly shows the trends - both the migration out of Southwest Virginia and the growth in the D.C. suburbs brought on by the ever-expanding government colossus there - as they played out over time.

Just click on a date at the bottom and watch the size of each region change.

Though not heartwarming, it's still nicely done.

I Wish I Could Be There

I've read all his books.  He ranks in my Top Five Fiction Writers Alive Today.  (We pause for a moment to remember Michael Crichton.)  And he's coming to Christiansburg.  Drop what you're doing!
'Absolute Power' author to read at library fundraiser
By Mary Hardbarger, Roanoke Times

Best-selling author David Baldacci is coming to the Christiansburg library as a fundraiser for the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library Foundation.

Baldacci will talk May 7 about and read from some of his novels on the library's lawn. Following the program, he will be available to sign autographs inside.

A percentage of the net sales of all Baldacci books purchased during this time will benefit the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library Foundation. [link]
Meet the author.  And donate to a worthy cause.

A fun time to be had by all.

* His best, by the way?  The Camel Club.

The Cart Leading The Horse

How often do you hear of a business manufacturing a product that it has no market for?  Not often, right?  And what happens to those companies when they go down that road?  Remember Flooz?  Neither does anyone else.  How about the Apple Lisa?  Great idea.  But who wants to sell their house in order to afford a computer?

Well, to me, until General Motors figures out that its target customer is not the Birkenstock-clad environmentalist dot.com wunderkind (a demographic that constitutes all of twelve people) but Joe Six Pack (98 million), it will continue in its financial slopfest.  Government bailout or no.

When do you suppose the geniuses there are going to get off this kick?
Consumer Reports: GM's Volt 'doesn't really make a lot of sense'
David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Consumer Reports offered a harsh initial review of the Chevrolet Volt, questioning whether General Motors Co.'s flagship vehicle makes economic "sense."The extended-range plug-in electric vehicle is on the cover of the April issue — the influential magazine's annual survey of vehicles — but the GM vehicle comes in for criticism.

"When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it doesn't really make a lot of sense. The Volt isn't particularly efficient as an electric vehicle and it's not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy," said David Champion, the senior director of Consumer Reports auto testing center at a meeting with reporters here. "This is going to be a tough sell to the average consumer." [link]
Chevy. "The average consumer." There was a time when those two concepts were legitimately used in the same sentence. But not any more. Now Chevy markets its wares to "the socially conscious" (a group whose members would never be caught dead driving a Chevy in the first place). To seal its fate, GM markets a product - its "flagship vehicle" no less - that is expensive, inefficient, annoying, and "doesn't really make a lot of sense."

Own GM stock?

Oh, Those Poor State Employees

They march in the streets.

They rally in statehouses.

They show up on the governor's doorstep.

They are not going to take it anymore.

Life for America's oppressed public employees has become unbearable.

Just ask Susie Giurlani:
Struggling just to get by
Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial

An Associated Press story datelined Carson City last week spelled out the concerns of some legislators that changes to state employee health insurance costs and benefits might be onerous to lower-salaried workers.

To support this concern, there was testimony from a tearful Susie Giurlani. She and her husband are both state employees whose pay has been reduced by mandated furloughs since 2009.

"We are not the rich state employees that some people think we are," she told the joint Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance subcommittee.

"I'm punished because I chose to get a job with the state, 30 years ago, believing that I'd have reasonable health coverage," AP quoted her as saying through tears, adding she's "having a harder time in my life than when I was single."

On the Nevada Policy Research Institute website called TransparentNevada, her 2009 pay is listed as $70,213.02 and his as $93,689.45. [link]
Oh, and this is worth mentioning. The average annual wage of those paying this couple $163,902 a year? $41,464.

Oh, and this is worth mentioning too: There are 13,900,000 Americans with no paychecks at all coming in right now, all of whom would love to have her awful, awful job with no questions asked.

March.  Rally.  Whine.  We don't care.  We can no longer afford to keep you in the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed.

Hat tip to James Taranto.

The New Civility

We don't hear liberals whining a whole lot these days about how uncivil political discourse in this country has become. Why is that?

Could it have anything to do with the fact that they've come to realize - thanks to alternative media and no thanks to the fossil press - that it is their kind who are, in fact, the only uncivil lowlifes around?

The latest:

Wisconsin Democrat Assemblyman Tells GOP Assemblywoman 'You Are F--king Dead,' Media Mum

It wasn't that long ago that our president said this about civility:
The second way to keep our democracy healthy is to maintain a basic level of civility in our public debate. These arguments we're having over government and health care and war and taxes are serious arguments. They should arouse people's passions, and it's important for everyone to join in the debate, with all the rigor that a free people require.

But we cannot expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down. You can disagree with a certain policy without demonizing the person who espouses it. You can question someone's views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism. 
He, of course, was flinging his comments toward Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly and Fox News.  And Sarah Palin, of course.

It becomes apparent, though, with light-of-day now shining upon the subject, that it is his own house he needs to put in order.

That's not enough for you?  How about this, having to do with Obama's closest allies - organized labor:
Protesters did their best to prevent [Fox News Channel's] Mike Tobin from reporting on the protests ...

A few protesters even struck Tobin ...

Another protester threatened to break Tobin's neck ...
Each day we get stories like this.  Yet, oddly, the mainstream press has now dropped the subject.  I wonder why.

- - -

And speaking of blind, deaf, and dumb, here's what Obama had to say on the subject yesterday:

"I don’t think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon."

That's right.  In his delusional world, the thugs are the victims.