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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, July 26, 2011

Ever Been To Blacksburg?

Ever wonder why - in a part of Virginia that teeters on the edge of Depression II - Blacksburg thrives?

It's called "trickle down."*

You see, while the Consumer Price Index has risen modestly over the years, as has the average price of a new home, the cost of tuition at America's centers of higher learning - including Virginia Tech -  has mushroomed.**  Put to a chart - provided by The American - you can see the startling trend:

Yeah, millions of Americans are out of work.  Yeah, tens of millions of other Americans are underemployed.  And yeah, millions of our countrymen are under water on their mortgages.  But you'd never know it by looking at trends in college tuition costs.

Much is made these days about how out-of-touch our college campuses are.  See climate change.  See Obama the college professor.  See diversity curricula.  See free speech zones.

But nothing speaks more directly to how out-of-touch with America the college universe is in 2011 than this chart.

While we suffer, the educated elite are livin' large!

My.  My.  My.

- - -


* I get particular joy in writing this.  Reagan was vilified by the left in his day for adopting an economic model that called for wealthy Americans to become as wealthy as possible so that those less wealthy could reap tangible benefits from them - wealth trickling down to the masses.  All the really smart liberals in this country poo-pooed the notion as being - as George H.W. Bush (a liberal in his own right) called it - voodoo economics.  Yet here's Blacksburg - a very liberal Blacksburg - reaping the wealth generated by a massive infusion of tuition (and tax) dollars into its university system.  Now that's rich.


** See "Virginia Tech panel approves 10.8% tuition increase" from 2008, "Virginia Tech hikes tuition and fees 5%" from 2009, "In-state tuition at Va. Tech to rise nearly 10 percent" from 2010 and "Virginia Tech Boosting Tuition 9.4%" in 2011.

*** Click on the image to enlarge it.

Just When I Thought They Were Getting It ...

Welcome to the twilight zone.

The crazy-liberal New York Times this morning warns of Armageddon (see "The Republican Wreckage," which warns us that:

"House Republicans have lost sight of the country’s welfare. It’s hard to conclude anything else from their latest actions, including the House speaker’s dismissal of President Obama’s plea for compromise Monday night.

"This increasingly reckless game has pushed the nation to the brink of ruinous default."

And President Obama has discovered, after three years in office, that there's something called a budget, and he's alarmed by the news, saying last night:

"For the first time in history, our country's Triple A credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet. Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, mortgages, and car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people. We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis -- one caused almost entirely by Washington."*

Amen, brutha.

"We’re about to go over the cliff," said the usually clueless Harry Reid.

Well I say: Welcome to America, fellas.  Where you been all this time?  What, $14,538,364,353,809 in debt didn't get your attention but $14,538,364,353,810 did?

Finally, after all these years, they take notice and realize the error of their ways.

Or not.

Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California: Debt Crisis Has Been ‘Manufactured by House Republicans

For the love of God.

- - -

* Only in Obama's world.  Try to wrap your brain around this pronouncement that Mr. Professor read last night to an adoring nation:

"For the last decade, we have spent more money than we take in. In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts ..."

Is that like spending money on toilet tissue?  How does one spend money on tax cuts?

If only he'd paid more attention in class and spent less time shoving cocaine up his nose.

Why The Tea Party Thrives

It's this simple.  We're sick and tired of Washington pulling bullshit stunts like this:
Congress Warned of Credit 'Downgrade' if War Savings Counted as Deficit Reduction
By Judson Berger, Fox News

Senate Democrats' inclusion in their proposed debt package of $1 trillion in savings from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may not satisfy ratings agencies threatening a credit downgrade since the wars were expected to end with or without a debt deal.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is using the trick in his $2.7 trillion deficit-reduction plan, according to aides.

Nearly half of the deficit reduction in Reid's plan would come from phantom war savings ... [link]
I wouldn't doubt, if Reid's plan were scrutinized in detail, that he's included a $20 trillion savings from the fight that we're not waging against Robert E. Lee and his band of gray-clad Rebs. By God, we have a balanced budget!

This is reprehensible.

And it's standard operating procedure in the tower of babble we know as the Congress of the United States of America.

And it has to stop.

We're going broke because of worms like Harry Reid. And everyone now knows it.

Our message, made as clear as we can make it: Cut, sir, or we will.

He Should Have Been President

I would have voted for Fred Thompson in a heartbeat in 2008.  But, alas, he chose not to crawl into the sewer with Obama et al.  Can't blame him.

One of the things that attracted me to him - besides his dashingly handsome good looks - is his wit.  With a hat tip to Robert Stacy McCain:


Smack. Down.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Our Small-Minded President

So you know, I read the New York Times front page every day.  Mostly for amusement.

And speaking of amusing, you'll probably not find this shocking but our president has no clue as to who we Americans are or how we approach our daily lives.  Get this from a speech he gave yesterday:

'You’ve got a media that has become much more splintered,' Obama said.  'So those of you who are of a Democratic persuasion are only reading The New York Times and watching MSNBC and if you are on the right, then you’re only reading the Wall Street Journal editorial page and watching Fox News.'”

Really.

That's called - according to Sigmund Freud - projection. He goes through life with blinders on, living in his little bubble, and assumes the rest of us do as well.

Kinda sad, in a way.  He is, after all, our leader.

Maybe some day, years from now, this wretched creature will get to know us.  Long after it stopped mattering.

Speaking of Psychos

This is so over-the-top, it's silly.  New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, who obviously never comes within a country mile of a conservative in this land of ours, much less know anything about how what we think or about what motivates us, nevertheless knows that we are no different from mass murderers in Norway.

Huh?

I should take offense.  But this is so laughable ...
Breivik and His Enablers

We’ve seen the movie. When Jared Loughner shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords this year in Tuscon, Arizona — after Sarah Palin placed rifle sights over Giffords’ constituency and Giffords herself predicted that “there are consequences to that” — the right went into overdrive to portray Loughner as a schizophrenic loner whose crazed universe owed nothing to those fanning hatred under the slogan of “Take America Back.” (That non-specific taking-back would of course be from Muslims and the likes of the liberal and Jewish Giffords.)

Breivik is no loner. His violence was brewed in a specific European environment that shares characteristics with the specific American environment of Loughner: relative economic decline, a jobless recovery, middle-class anxiety and high levels of immigration serving as the backdrop for racist Islamophobia and use of the spurious specter of a “Muslim takeover” as a wedge political issue to channel frustrations rightward.

Breivik has many ideological fellow travelers on both sides of the Atlantic. Theirs is the poison in which he refined his murderous resentment. The enablers include Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, who compared the Koran to “Mein Kampf” on his way to 15.5 percent of the vote in the 2010 election; the surging Marine Le Pen in France, who uses Nazi analogies as she pours scorn on devout Muslims; far-rightist parties in Sweden and Denmark and Britain equating every problem with Muslim immigration; Republicans like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Representative Peter King, who have found it politically opportune to target “creeping Shariah in the United States” at a time when the middle name of the president is Hussein; U.S. church pastors using their bully pulpits week after week to say America is a Christian nation under imminent threat from Islam. [link]
You'd think, in reading Cohen, that the streets of America flow red with the blood of Muslims slaughtered in the name of uniculturalism.

Oh. Wait.  It never happened.  It doesn't happen.

Look, I've come to realize over the years that it doesn't take much to be a newspaper columnist.  It's the last refuge of those who can't do anything else.  In fact, it doesn't really require any intelligence.  A fact to which this dude can attest. 

This blockhead will never be able to understand this, but I'm going to try to straighten him out anyway.  Yes, many of us have problems with Islam.  Especially as it's being interpreted today by millions of devout, fanatical Muslims.  But we accept this country of ours as being The Great Melting Pot.  It is who we are and have always been.  Cohen, more than most, should know that, since his brethren - Jews - are safer here, and have been more accepted here than in any other corner of the globe.  He is able to write freely because we are tolerant of all views and of all religions.  Even of those the world's Islamists want extinguished.

How do you go from making a reference to Barack Obama's middle name to being labeled a soul mate of a Norwegian madman?

Ignorance.  That's how.

Roger Cohen needs to get out more.

And he needs to get to know his neighbors.  Before he judges them to be akin to someone in Norway he knows little about as well.  

We're on his side.

- - -

Correction:  In the original iteration of this post I had made mention of the fact that Marine Le Pen was male.  A commenter set me straight.  Thanks.

They Have No Idea

So much of this applies to my growing up years. Some of it I'd just as soon not return to. We made progress and grew out of a lot of it. Still ...
The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to her and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."
The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.
In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then? 
I remember the pens that you put those large ink cartridges into.  More than once I ended up with ink all over my hands.  Boy, am I glad for Bic.

Anyway, times have changed.  For better; for worse.

Ah, Those Were The Days

But certainly not good days.

And now we find ourselves there - déjà vu - all over again. See Obama Carter 2012:



Brother, can you spare a dime?