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

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Spot a Career Politician

The mindset escapes me.  What government gig is worth this?
Armstrong will run again, but where?
By Michael Sluss, Roanoke Times

Democrat Ward Armstrong of Henry County is running for another term in the House of Delegates.

But the House minority leader hasn’t decided what district he will seek to represent.

Armstrong said today that he is considering moving to an adjacent district rather than staying in a redrawn district and battling Republican Del. Don Merricks of Chatham.

He’s thinking about moving into the 9thHouse district, represented by Republican Charles Poindexter of Franklin County, or the 14th District, represented by Republican Danny Marshall of Danville. Staying put also is an option.

“I’m considering all three districts,” said Armstrong, who intends to make a decision in early June. [link]
Is he serious?  Would Armstrong pack up and move so that he can keep his part-time, $18,000 a year job?  Is his life outside government that meaningless?

Seems so.

Kinda pathetic when you think about it.

- - -

* At least when I made household moves (many times) over the years, a lot more money was dangled in front of me.  Armstrong's motivation?   Helping the downtrodden?  Couldn't he do more good as a nun?

I just don't get it.

Speaking of Hysterics

Are we to believe one word of this?
Environmental report aimed at Va. coal-fired plant
Associated press

Norfolk, Va. (AP) -- A report by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation concludes a $6 billion coal-fired plant in Surry County would create a range of negative health and economic impacts.

The report released Monday in Norfolk says pollution from the power plant could trigger hundreds of asthma attacks, cause dozens of premature deaths and cost millions in health care costs. [link]
"[H]undreds of asthma attacks, dozens of premature deaths and cost millions in health care costs [sic]"?

A two word response is in order:



Or, better yet:



No.  Even better:



Reality TV

Only this one was really reality.

I tuned in to the Weather Channel yesterday evening to catch the local weather radar and found myself riveted - for the next few hours - to the story coming out of Joplin, Missouri.  The unfolding story of widespread devastation and human tragedy.

As it turned out, the WC had a reporter, Mike Bettes, tracking the storm on the ground as it pushed through Kansas and into Missouri, and, as events unfolded, he arrived on scene before most any first-responders did, no more than half an hour after the incident occurred.  Shocked and awed by the destruction around him, Bettes at one point broke into uncontrollable spasms of tears and pleaded for help from local, state, and regional authorities.  Help that was painfully slow in coming.

I too was shocked and awed by the desolation left in the twister's wake.

I had to wonder, as Bettes stumbled through the debris that, moments before, were homes, what was happening at that hospital that was just across the street. The one that looked to have every one of its windows blown out and with smoke rising (apparently) from an auxiliary building at its rear entrance.

A hospital.  Presumably full of patients.  With not one ambulance light flashing around it or emergency crew member responding to its obvious needs.

The feeling of helplessness ...

Well, here's the rest of the tragic story:
Death Toll Rises to 89 From Missouri Tornado
By Noam Cohen, New York Times

The tornado that steamrolled over Joplin, Mo., late Sunday night killed at least 89 people and left much of the small town in ruins, the city manager, Mark Rohr, told reporters early Monday morning.

The twister, which touched down at around 6 p.m. on Sunday, spread its destruction over a wide swath of the town, ripping apart buildings, touching off fires and tossing cars into mangled stacks of metal. Television images and video posted to the Web captured scenes of devastation that hinted at the storm’s power as neighborhoods appeared to vanish into violent piles of lumber and debris.

A major hospital in town, St. John’s Regional Medical Center, had to be abandoned, witnesses said, and the triage unit set up on its grounds to care for the patients had to be temporarily moved across the street when the hospital caught fire.

Joplin, which was in the direct path of the tornado, was left isolated and in the dark after the destruction, with telephone connections largely cut off and many homes without electricity.

Initial reports from Joplin said that schools, apartment buildings, megastores and fire stations were ravaged by the tornado. [link]
The storm moves east.

Joplin tries to dig out.

And soon will begin burying its dead.

Life goes on.

May God have mercy.

Why Do We Put Up With This?

Barack Obama's words about "the social compact" occasionally come to mind:

"This story could not exist without a basic social compact in this country. That compact says that if you work hard, your work will be rewarded. That everybody has an opportunity to make a decent living, to raise a family, to give their children the best chance at success, and to look forward to a secure retirement. That people like Fraser and Marian Robinson can give their children the chance to dream bigger, and to reach new horizons.

"That social compact is starting to crumble

And what's causing that "social compact" to crumble?

People like him.  And other people like that 350-pound waste of human flesh who leaches off the American taxpayer.  And who demands to do so:
Senator questions benefits to ‘adult baby’
By Stephen Dinan, Washington Times

A key senator has asked the Social Security Administration to investigate how people who live their lives role-playing as “adult babies” are able to get taxpayer-funded disability payments — after one of them was featured on a recent reality TV episode wearing diapers, feeding from a bottle and using an adult-sized crib he built.

Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and the Senate’s top waste-watcher, asked the agency’s inspector general to look into 30-year-old Stanley Thornton Jr. and his roommate, Sandra Dias, who acts as his “mother,” saying it’s not clear why they are collecting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits instead of working.

“Given that Mr. Thornton is able to determine what is appropriate attire and actions in public, drive himself to complete errands, design and custom-make baby furniture to support a 350-pound adult and run an Internet support group, it is possible that he has been improperly collecting disability benefits for a period of time,” Mr. Coburn wrote in a letter Monday to Inspector General Patrick P. O'Carroll Jr. [link]
The most enraging part?
In an email response to The Washington Times, Mr. Thornton threatened to kill himself if his Social Security payments are taken away, and said the television episode showing him doing woodwork oversold his abilities.

“You wanna test how damn serious I am about leaving this world, screw with my check that pays for this apartment and food. Try it. See how serious I am. I don’t care,” the California man said. “I have no problem killing myself. Take away the last thing keeping me here, and see what happens. Next time you see me on the news, it will be me in a body bag.”
Let me speak for those who pay for this sack of shit's way of life. We're no longer interested in keeping you in diapers. We will, however, pay for that body bag.

So please, do us a favor. End it now. We who nurture that "social compact" that Obama is fond of babbling about are tired of working 50 hours a week so that you can lay in bed and suck from baby bottles.

Make good on your threat.

Or man up.

Either way.

- - -

A picture speaks a thousand words. This one courtesy of NatGeoTV and the Washington Times:

What a miserable excuse for a human being.

Maybe I'm Cold-Hearted ...

... but the most interesting aspect to this story about police officers in Tucson shooting a bad guy was the fact that officers fired 72 rounds from outside the perp's residence and hit their target with 60 bullets.

(Overkill?  You stand in their shoes for a day.)

60 hits out of 72 shots fired.

I want those guys on my side when the revolution comes.

How Much Are You Willing To Sacrifice?

Let's talk about inconvenience.  Drive a conventional gasoline-powered car and your biggest gripe might be with "git-up-n-go" or with the rear window defogger taking too long to clear the glass of morning haze.  Or with the floor mats.  Or getting 23 miles to the gallon instead of the advertised 25.

But one of those electric cars that are all the rage?

The word "inconvenience" takes on a whole new meaning.

If you're willing to put up with this  - "Review: Nissan Leaf: Day Three" - you're a masochist.

Or a loony environmentalist.

Or both.

For $35,000 I'll stick to something that will get me to the grocery and back, without fear of being stranded on the interstate, thank you.

To Those Who Think 'Climate Change' Is Settled Science

Princeton PhD William Happer asks that you think again:
The Truth About Greenhouse Gases
The dubious science of the climate crusaders.

I want to discuss a contemporary moral epidemic: the notion that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, will have disastrous consequences for mankind and for the planet. The “climate crusade” is one characterized by true believers, opportunists, cynics, money-hungry governments, manipulators of various types—even children’s crusades—all based on contested science and dubious claims.

The earth’s climate has always been changing. Our present global warming is not at all unusual by the standards of geological history, and it is probably benefiting the biosphere.

The supposed reason for limiting [CO2] is to stop global warming—or, since the predicted warming has failed to be nearly as large as computer models forecast, to stop climate change. Climate change itself has been embarrassingly uneventful, so another rationale for reducing CO2 is now promoted: to stop the hypothetical increase of extreme climate events like hurricanes or tornados. But this does not necessarily follow. The frequency of extreme events has either not changed or has decreased in the 150 years that CO2 levels have increased from 270 to 390 ppm.

Let me summarize how the key issues appear to me, a working scientist with a better background than most in the physics of climate. CO2 really is a greenhouse gas and other things being equal, adding the gas to the atmosphere by burning coal, oil, and natural gas will modestly increase the surface temperature of the earth. Other things being equal, doubling the CO2 concentration, from our current 390 ppm to 780 ppm will directly cause about 1 degree Celsius in warming. At the current rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere—about 2 ppm per year—it would take about 195 years to achieve this doubling. The combination of a slightly warmer earth and more CO2 will greatly increase the production of food, wood, fiber, and other products by green plants, so the increase will be good for the planet, and will easily outweigh any negative effects. Supposed calamities like the accelerated rise of sea level, ocean acidification, more extreme climate, tropical diseases near the poles, and so on are greatly exaggerated.

“Mitigation” and control efforts that have been proposed will enrich a favored few with good political ties—at the expense of the great majority of mankind, including especially the poor and the citizens of developing nations. These efforts will make almost no change in earth’s temperature. Spain’s recent experiment with green energy destroyed several pre-existing jobs for every green job it created, and it nearly brought the country to bankruptcy. [link]
Read the whole thing.

You'll be seeing a whole lot more articles like this now that the global warming hysteria that gripped the scientific community for the last several years is waning, and science kicks in again.

And none too soon.  The hysterics were on the verge of destroying the planet to save us from - as it turns out - them.

A lesson to be learned.  Names to be taken.  Punishments to be handed out.

Let's not let this ever happen again, what say?

The Only 'Fair' Way To Go

Why I support the "Fair Tax":
The Political Basis for the FairTax
By Robert E. Dell and David G. Tuerck, American Thinker

As the current debate over fiscal reform suggests, very few proposals for fundamental changes in tax policy have the potential to command support across the ideological spectrum. The "FairTax" is the great exception. Correctly understood, the Fair Tax Act (HR 25, S13 with 67 cosponsors), which would replace almost all federal taxes with a direct tax on consumption, should appeal to conservatives, progressives, and libertarians alike.

Let's start with conservatives. The FairTax enjoys more support from this quarter than any other tax reform proposal, including the flat tax and the reforms outlined in Congressman Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity. The latter two reforms provide for large personal exemptions and do not specifically tax imports. By taxing a wider base with a lower comprehensive average marginal rate, on the other hand, the FairTax encourages more new hiring and faster economic growth. Several dynamic simulation studies suggest U.S. GDP could be 10% higher in a few years under the FairTax than under the current tax code.

But the FairTax should appeal to progressives as well. It eliminates subsidies to Cadillac health plans and millionaire mansions, along with the regressive Social Security tax. It makes the wealthy pay taxes on their consumption while permitting the poor to consume tax free. It eliminates every vestige of corporate welfare that is embodied in today's tax code.

Libertarians, for their part, should celebrate the end of income tax withholding. As FairTax proponents Neal Boortz and John Linder have put it: "[I]ncome taxes are seized. Consumption taxes are paid." Equally celebrated should be the end of the practice of ratcheting up the tax rates on top earners in the pursuit of new revenues and of selling tax expenditures to special interests for votes or campaign support. The FairTax calls for one universally transparent rate to be paid by everyone on all final consumption. Thus, everyone acquires an economic interest in all government spending decisions and the tax code disappears as a playground for special pleaders. There should be a natural convergence of conservative, progressive, and libertarian pundits who oppose the blatant cronyism that goes on now. [link]
There's another reason to support the Fair Tax.  One I've mentioned on more than a few occasions.  When all the other taxes are ended, and when paycheck withholding comes to an end, and support for federal government spending is levied at the time consumers make a buying transaction (in the form of a sales tax), only then will they face the stark reality as to just how much they are paying the government to "invest" in everything it spends our money on.

When that $30,000 car costs an additional $12,000 in federal sales tax, then the reality (the reality being this: that's essentially what we're paying now in taxes) will set in.  In a big, big way.

Maybe those same consumers will take a more active interest in Democrat proposals to raise taxes at that point.

That's also why - despite the author's suggestion that progressives should support it - they never will.  Higher taxes - especially the hidden kind - allow them to spend more.  And control our lives more.  Which is their ultimate goal.

So, even though it's a great idea, I don't see it happening.  At least not until enough Democrats are driven from office and America can get back down to the business of making America a better place to live.

Here's to the Fair Tax.  May it some day before I die become a reality.

Revisiting ObamaCare

It's a simple question.  Now that it's been the law of the land for a good length of time, is Obama's plan to rein in costs and provide for more recipients of free health care working?

The Wall Street Journal provides the answer (in "Republicans and Mediscare"):
This reality is underscored in the just-released annual report of the Medicare trustees. Democrats sold ObamaCare as a way to slow the growth of costs, but the report shows that the program's finances have deteriorated even since last year. Medicare is carrying $24.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities through 2085, and chief actuary Richard Foster says even that does "not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations."

As a matter of simple arithmetic, this problem can't be solved with tax increases, because health costs and thus government spending on health care are rising so much faster than the economy as a whole is growing. The U.S. capacity to pay for Medicare on present trend diminishes every year.

With ObamaCare, Democrats offered their vision for Medicare cost control: A 15-member unelected board with vast powers to set prices for doctors, hospitals and other providers, and to regulate how they should be organized and what government will pay for. The liberal conceit is that their technocratic wizardry will make health care more rational, but this is faith-based government. The liberal fallback is political rationing of care, which is why Mr. Obama made it so difficult for Congress to change that 15-member board's decisions.
Also comes a warning:
The political forces unleashed by ObamaCare will grow unimpeded if Republicans now retreat from offering an alternative. Once the White House's efforts to limit costs by fiat fail—as they inevitably will—liberals will turn to even harsher controls. This future is already emerging in post-Mitt Romney Massachusetts, and also in Vermont, which wants to move to single government payer.
There's this nagging thought that I can't shake that makes me think that the Democrats - at least a good number of them - intended for ObamaCare to be a massive failure all along, so as to be able to kick their effort up a notch and create their beloved single-payer system.  When that happens, our once-great health care delivery system will finally and forever be doomed to mediocrity and ineffectiveness.

Is our health care system to be nothing more than one that rations poor care like that of Britain?

Another question: When that happens, to what country will Obama and Pelosi travel to get competent, quality doctor care?

Would It Be Courage or Stupidity?

Really, Andrea?

History tells us that when the Republicans agree to a tax increase - which they've done way too many times over the years - the Democrats spend it. And more.

As that saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me eighty-five time, shame on me.