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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why The Chinese Are Winning

We Americans have sustainability directors.

It's that simple.

You may have seen the story on the CBS Evening News website that foretold of calamity befalling the world's coffee bean crop when global warming heats up.

If not, turn to "Climate change pushing coffee to extinction?".

The shocking news is delivered by "the director of sustainability for Starbucks, Jim Hanna."

Now I've been in the corporate world for more than a few years. (Although I've been out of graduate school, where such bullshit is given birth and thrives, for eleven.) And I've never heard the term "sustainability director."

So I looked it up.

Kevin Doyle, with something called "Experience Green," (one's first clue ...) gives it definition in "Job Market Sees Growing Demand For Sustainability Managers":
Here's a fairly typical example from a currently posted job description at a major university.

...[T]he coordinated institutional sustainability effort [is]...focused on greenhouse-gas emissions reduction, transportation planning, green building, procurement, waste management, energy and water conservation, and other cross-disciplinary initiatives. The Director of Sustainability will provide leadership and coordination...and develop a consistent plan to reach...goals. The Director also coordinates with the...community to integrate sustainability into the curriculum.
Here you thought Starbucks would be focused on freaking coffee.

Not even.

I think executives there realize that anyone willing to pay four bucks for six ounces of flavored water isn't really interested in the product.  It's the thrill, the experience, the adventure, the sustenance of our way of life.

How comforting it is knowing that the outfit that puts ground-up beans in a pot, nukes 'em, and sends the end-product your way in an environmentally friendly paper cup is shepherding the planet at the same time.

My heroes.

Meanwhile, at the same time that Americans are feeling good about themselves and the environment they're helping to ... sustain ... one frappuccino elcamino pathetico latte - with a twist of fair trade caramel - at a time, Chinese workers drink water, work their asses off each day, and will soon own our environmentally pure world.

The final rapier thrust through the heart?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average "Sustainability Manager" makes $161,000 a year.

For the love of God.  Can it get any more crazy?

Occupy Wall Street Reaches Its Goal

I saw a video yesterday of some young protester in New York City who said one of the solutions to the world's problems is to eliminate money.

No money.  No personal property.  No problems.

Well, he's getting his wish.

And he ain't happy about it:
Thieves preying on fellow protesters
New York Post

It’s a den of thieves!

Occupy Wall Street protesters said yesterday that packs of brazen crooks within their ranks have been robbing their fellow demonstrators blind, making off with pricey cameras, phones and laptops -- and even a hefty bundle of donated cash and food.

“Stealing is our biggest problem at the moment,” said Nan Terrie, 18, a kitchen and legal-team volunteer from Fort Lauderdale.

“I had my Mac stolen -- that was like $5,500. Every night, something else is gone. Last night, our entire [kitchen] budget for the day was stolen, so the first thing I had to do was . . . get the message out to our supporters that we needed food!”

Crafty cat burglars sneaked into the makeshift kitchen at Zuccotti Park overnight and swiped as much as $2,500 in donated greenbacks from right under the noses of volunteers who’d fallen asleep after a long day whipping up meals for the hundreds of hungry protesters, the volunteers said.

“The worst thing is there’s people sleeping in the kitchen when they come, and they don’t even know about it! There are some really smart and sneaky thieves here,” Terrie said.

“I had umbrellas stolen, a fold-up bed I brought because my back is bad -- they took that, too!”

Security volunteer Harry Wyman, 22, of Brooklyn was furious about the thievery -- and vowed to get tough with the predatory perps. [link]
Kinda sad, in a way.  These people took John Lennon's words to heart ...

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

And suddenly, sharing isn't sharing anymore.  It's thievery!

Look, sharing's fine, but they're sharing MY possessions! They're not sharing the world! They're sharing MY laptop! And MY sleeping bag! And MY food!  And ...

Tsk.  Tsk.  Such greed.  So unbecoming.

Why The Chinese Are Winning II

Because the United States Military Academy, while once focused on defense of this the land of the free and home of the brave, and where once focused on killing all enemies with extreme prejudice, now holds freaking diversity conferences and asks that all participants be kind and gentle and loving and sharing and expansive and open and caring and empathetic and reflective and compassionate and giving and ministering and nurturing and ...

... and Oh My God.

Something just isn't right here.

Another One Bites The Dust

Don't forget.  It's your money Obama's blowing on these "green" disasters:
Your Cash for Their Clunkers
Wall Street Journal

Here's some investment advice: When looking for tips on green technology plays, steer clear of the stock pickers located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They've made a habit of investing your cash in their clunkers.

Following on Solyndra's great success comes Ener1 Inc., a lithium-ion battery maker also promoted by the White House. President Obama gave the company's subsidiary, EnerDel, a shout out in August 2009, in a speech in which he announced $2.4 billion in grants "to develop the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks powered by the next generation of battery technologies."

EnerDel snagged a $118 million grant, and Vice President Joe Biden toured one of its two Indianapolis-area factories as recently as January, citing it as proof that government isn't "just creating new jobs—but sparking whole new industries."

He didn't say profitable industries. Ener1 was founded in 2002, went public in 2008 and has never turned a profit. In August, it restated its earnings for fiscal 2010 at a $165 million loss—nearly $100 million more than previously reported. On September 27 it ousted its CEO, and its share price yesterday was 27 cents—a 95% decline from its 52-week high of $5.95 in January. Nasdaq is threatening to delist the stock, and Ener1 disclosed in a mid-August filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is "in the process of determining whether the company has sufficient liquidity to fund its operations." [link]
Here's what Obama and his ilk will never comprehend: Government cannot create demand.  (In fact the private sector has a pretty sorry track record in that regard; just ask Steve Jobs ... uh, sorry.)

Our president and his buddies decided that it was time that America went to "alternative energy,"

America replies, politely, NO.  Come back to us when your alternative is cheaper or more effective, or both, rather than neither.

The sad irony?  America is paying dearly for Obama's foolishness.

Occupy Wall Street - A Developing Theme

As each day goes by it becomes ever more clear.  You know those youthful slugs who are camped out, living in their own filth, complaining about how tough life is now that they've found out that money doesn't grow on trees and is no longer coming from Daddy?

They ain't bright.

Yesterday Howard Stern told us how appalled he is at the ignorance.

Today it's New York magazine:
New York Mag Finds 'Occupy Wall Street' Ignorant About Top Tax Rate, Federal Budget
By Ken Shepherd

New York Magazine, no right-wing rag by any stretch, recently asked 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters some basic questions about U.S. fiscal policy. While the survey is not scientific, the rank-and-file protesters in Zuccotti Park seem to be woefully ignorant on such basic questions as what the SEC stands for (Securities and Exchange Commission), what the top marginal income tax is (35 percent), and how much money the military gets from the federal budget.

Just 28 percent got the SEC question correct while 10 percent correctly knew (or guessed) that the top marginal income tax rate falls somewhere between 25 and 50 percent. Somehow, however, I doubt the broadcast and cable media will pick up on this item to attack the protesters as ill-informed pawns of the Left.

What's more, nearly every protester got wrong the question "What does the government spend more on? Health care and pensions, education, or the military?" Ninety-four percent answered the military, when in fact health care and pensions account for the bulk of the federal budget.

The magazine also asked protesters what they the capital gains rate should be, given that it currently stands at 15 percent. While 14 percent answered "zero percent," six percent wanted a 100 percent rate while the vast majority wanted between 25 and 80 percent.

That's fully 64 percent who want to drastically raise the rate above where it stands right now.

Ill-informed and gung-ho for massive tax hikes. That's the Occupy Wall Street movement in a nutshell.
My favorite New York magazine poll question, the responses to which were translated into pie chart form?


If you consider the fact that their whole reason for "occupying Wall Street" has to do with "rich people not paying their fair share," and the morons doing the occupying haven't the first clue as to what the rich are actually paying, well ...

... just how smart are these geniuses?

By the way, the answer to the top marginal tax rate question is 35%.

Virtually none of these class warriors knew that.

Seems like it might have been important ...

Occupy Wall Street's Rallying Cry

You've got it.  I want it.  And I'm going to sit here and whine until you give it to me.

P.J. O'Rorke understands how things work in this country now:

"The whole idea of our government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it."

How did we get here?

Rats Fleeing The Ship

Political loyalties run deep.  About as deep as the thickness of the paper the last public opinion survey was printed on.

That was then.

Now this.

It was only a few short years ago that all of Virginia's Democrats couldn't get close enough to Mr. Messiah.  When his poll numbers were sky-high.


Obama who?
In tight Virginia races, Democrats cutting ties to Obama
By Anita Kumar, Washington Post

Rocky Mount, Va. — Three years ago, Democrats in Virginia couldn’t get enough of Barack Obama — a popular, transformational figure running for his first term as president.

But as Obama arrives in Virginia Tuesday for a two-day swing to promote parts of his jobs plan, some Democrats are distancing themselves from him — even in supposedly blue Northern Virginia.

Less than a month before critical legislative elections, several Democratic legislators say they have reservations about the president and will not commit to supporting him next year. At least one longtime state senator has announced he will not vote for Obama in 2012.

“He’s frustrating me, just like he’s frustrating others out there,’’ said Sen. Linda T. “Toddy” Puller, a Democrat who faces Republican Jeff Frederick in a tough reelection campaign in Fairfax and Prince William counties.

House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D), who is fighting for reelection after Republicans eliminated his district during redistricting, released a TV ad in response to an attempt by his Republican opponent, Del. Charles D. Poindexter, to tie him to Obama in the Southside district.

In the ad, Armstrong dismisses the notion. “That’s a stretch, Charles. I’m pro-life, pro-gun, and I always put Virginia first.”

Even before the president’s trip was announced, Republicans in Virginia had been tightening the screws, aggressively challenging Democrats’ hold on the state Senate in part by tying them to the president. Recent polls and interviews with voters show that Republicans may have had some success.

“The last thing they want to do is be tied to the hip of an unpopular president,’’ Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) said. “If he wanted to help these Democrats, he would stay far away from Virginia. They’re trying to save their skin.”

Obama began a three-day bus tour Monday in North Carolina and will continue Tuesday and Wednesday in Virginia — two critical swing states he carried in 2008 that remain just as important in 2012.

The White House had considered stops in Danville, Newport News, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg. But prominent Democrats in Virginia — where Obama’s approval rating hovers around 50 percent — encouraged the White House to alter the schedule so he would no longer visit districts where members of his party were involved in tight elections.

State Sen. George L. Barker (D-Fairfax), who is in danger of losing his seat, said Republicans who supported him in 2007 have told him they will not vote for him because of Obama.

“Clearly, I’m going to lose some Republicans who would have otherwise voted for me,’’ he said.

en. Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell), who faces a tough reelection battle in Southwest against Republican Adam Light, became the first Democratic legislator in the state to say he would not be supporting Obama in 2012.

Puckett made his comments last month after Republicans put up billboards in his rural district showing him campaigning for Obama in 2008.

“It’s very clear to me that the administration does not support the coal industry in a way that’s beneficial to our area,’’ he said in a taped TV interview. “So, I don’t plan to support President Obama for reelection.’’

In an interview with The Washington Post, Armstrong declined to say whether he would support Obama next year.

“I am who I am and I am for what I stand for,’’ he said. “I am interested in being the best delegate that I can be in Richmond. I’m about a race that’s going on in 2011; 2012 will be 2012.”

Sen. William Roscoe Reynolds (D-Franklin), Sen. R. Edward Houck (D- Spotsylvania), Barker and Puller also declined to say if they would vote for Obama next year. [link]
And it's only going to get worse ...

You're Paying Her Paycheck

You might want to remember that next time you think about going to the theater and forking over that eight bucks to watch one of this despicable human being's flicks:
Catholics, Jews condemn Sarandon's pope Nazi quip
The Associated Press

New York (AP) — Catholic and Jewish groups are condemning actress Susan Sarandon for referring to Pope Benedict XVI as a Nazi.

The head of the Catholic League says her comment was "obscene" and the Anti-Defamation League released a statement calling on the actress to apologize to the Catholic community for the "deeply offensive" remark.

Sarandon, who won an Academy Award for her role in the 1995 anti-death penalty film, "Dead Man Walking," made the comment during an interview Saturday at the Hamptons Film Festival on Long Island.

As first reported by Newsday, Sarandon said she gave a copy of the book on which the film is based to the German-born pope, referring to him as a Nazi. [link]
Susan Sarandon is one of those "one-percenters," by the way, one of the world's wealthiest people, the kind of people that she and her soul mates in the "Occupy Wall Street" movement hate so much (figure that out).  One who was made rich by the movie-going public.

Me?  I decided to never contribute to her comfortable life of riches - and hatreds - long ago.