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

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Local History Comes Alive

Here's something you may not have known.  In World War II there were German prisoners of war and then there were German prisoners of war.  Most of those who surrendered to the Russians never made it home again, many thousands dying in faraway hellhole camps in Siberia.  (As an example, of the roughly 100,000 soldiers who surrendered at Stalingrad, only about 5,000 lived to make it back home after the war, the remainder dying of disease, starvation, cruelty, and exposure).

But those who (were lucky enough to have) surrendered to the American forces were treated to a whole different kind of incarceration.  See "German POWs aren't forgotten in Southwest Virginia" in today's Roanoke Times.

Fun. Entertainment. Friendships. Song. Good time had by all.

Salem Virginia.  Kolyma, Siberia.  Same story. Different chapters.

Fascinating stuff.

Over My Dead Body

In order to save the planet we must all be enslaved.

A few years ago the menace was "world Jewry."

Today it's global warming.

Then it was the rallying cry of German intellectuals.

Today it's the rallying cry of ... German intellectuals.

Then it was "Die Juden sind unser Ungl├╝ck."*

Today it's:

"The great transformation will require that 'The world citizenry agree to … surrender spontaneous and persistent desires' – i.e., citizens will need to accept that their lifestyles are unsustainable and collectively accept the need for government to make decisions on their behalf, without the public having a veto over government decisions that could 'impede the transition to a sustainable society.'

Ein Volk.  Ein Reich.  Einen Planeten. 

Sieg Heil.

* "The Jews are our misfortune."

Takin' It Right Back To 'Em

From one of the most brilliant beacons shining light on global warming orthodoxy, "Watts Up With That," comes a nice twist on Newsweek's latest effort to make something out of WEATHER that it's not.

The cover:

The Headline:


Alec Rawls's response::

Yes, impossibly stupid “weather panic” IS the new normal

Hysteria does seem to be the new normal, doesn't it?

On Weiner

I've been a bit perplexed by the awful responses that New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner has given in press conferences to reporters in recent days, responses to questions in which reporters want to know if he had done the things he's been accused of doing.  It's not simply that the man comes across as being guilty of participating in some lewd behavior; it's that he - a seemingly media-savvy politician - was caught totally unprepared when he was asked straightforward questions.  Like:

"Is that your junk the world has seen all over the internet?"

But I think I've figured it out.  Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one.

Anthony Weiner seemed to be unprepared for straightforward questions like those posed because he wasn't prepared for them.

Democrats, you see, aren't treated like that.

Here's the way the questioning normally goes:

"Congressman, some right-wing Christian is alleged to have abused your Twitter account and sent that photo to a young, innocent woman in Seattle.  How do you feel this is going to affect your effort to bring quality health care to those most in need in this country?"

"Congressman, do you see this as a Republican distraction from the real issues of the day?"

"Congressman, everyone knows there are people out there trying to get you because you are strongly pro-woman.  Is this an instance where your opponents are trying to demonize you?  And how are you going to get beyond the gutter politics and get back to doing the people's business?"

For a primer on how it's done, check out Matt Lauer's interview with Hillary Clinton after it was revealed on Drudge that her husband had been having sexual relations with a 21-year-old employee.  See Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

There was everything but a wet kiss.

Anyway, Anthony Weiner is startled by questions asked that are free from ambiguity and bias.

Frankly, I'm rather startled too.

- - -

A synopsis in today's New York Daily News.

- - -

A unique perspective, from Mark Steyn:

"It's the political class doing all this relentless 'work for the American people' that's turned this country into the brokest nation in the history of the planet, killed the American Dream and left the American people headed for a future poised somewhere between the Weimar Republic and Mad Max. So, if it's a choice between politicians getting back to work for the American people or Tweeting their privates round the planet, I say, Tweet on, MacDuff."

Not a bad point.

An Open Letter To Mark Warner

From a concerned and engaged constituent in Wytheville:
June 3, 2011
Office of Senator Mark Warner
459A Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Warner:

Thanks for your recent automated e-mail reply informing me you voted to remove long-standing, established tax breaks for those evil oil companies making profits too high for your tastes. Thankfully, the bill failed despite your support.

Your stated reasons for voting for this bill appear at best misleading and possibly deceptive. Doesn’t demonizing oil companies deflect attention from the real problem of increasing energy costs- burdensome and costly restrictions on current drilling, a de-facto moratorium on new drilling and an obsession with subsidizing grossly inefficient and expensive "green" energy crony capitalism? Would your vote to remove long-standing tax breaks actually force oil companies to pass along their huge risk-taking, regulatory and exploration expenses in even higher energy costs?

You claim to support an "all of the above" approach to developing domestic energy sources but you voted against expanding oil drilling off VA's coast. Please explain.

You say you voted to revoke tax breaks for oil companies because of our record deficits and debt levels. Please explain why you voted for TARP, bailouts, “cash-for-clunkers”, “Obamacare”, “stimulus one” and then “re-stimulus”. In fact you have voted for every single spending bill Obama and your party have put forth until your recent vote against Obama’s latest proposed spending disaster cloaked as a “budget”. Doesn’t a vote against companies that directly provide untold thousands of high paying jobs and the oil and gas required to power the rest of the job-creating private sector economy contribute to even more stagnant growth, reduced tax revenue and more deficits?

Now that deficit spending is suddenly on your radar screen will you be watching like a hawk to restrain run-away spending or are you a budget hawk only when voting to revoke long-standing tax breaks for companies already paying enormous amounts of taxes? In your view are corporate taxes already too high or too low? Do you really consider tax breaks to be government “handouts” or are individual and corporate earnings the peoples money? Have you or will you ever vote to reduce government spending? Why have you and your party not even passed a budget as required by law yet you voted against Representative Paul Ryan’s budget - the only actual proposal that seriously addresses the looming disaster your run-away spending has spawned? Again, please explain.

You are all over the media extolling your “radical centrist”, “bi-partisan” participation in the "gang-of-six/five" budget negotiations yet you have voted for trillions of dollars of spending on a strict party line since the beginning of the recession. Why do you continue to call yourself bi-partisan while consistently voting with the liberal wing of your party?

Please indicate which of your votes for bailouts, stimulus, financial reform, government worker union dues, government run health care, “shovel-ready” projects for tax delinquent companies, “cash-for-clunkers”…. you now have misgivings about considering our massive deficits and compounding debts.

Will you vote to confirm President Obama’s new Commerce secretary given his support for Cap and Trade and costly government subsidized energy?

Is there any chance you could give a thoughtful and detailed personal response to this letter?


Tyler Blount
Wytheville, VA 24382
A few comments:

1) Very well done.
2) There's not a hope in Hades that Warner will respond with anything other than one of those annoying form letters that all politicians now use.
3) A thought: Why don't they hire interns to write for them as "ghosts"? At least that wouldn't aggravate as much as a letter that spits out of a computer and doesn't address the issue(s) raised by those constituents who are troubled enough to sit down and write to them.

"Dear Fellow Virginia, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I too am concerned about fill in the blank and I want you to know that I'm working with indefatigable energy to ..."

Good grief.

4) Thanks for sharing with your fellow Southwest Virginians, Mr. Blount.