Thursday, August 18, 2005

Boucher Throws More Tax Dollars Away


Remember that bit of advice that was provided the fictional character Tom Sanders by an anonymous co-worker, via email, in the Michael Crichton novel Disclosure? Sanders was being admonished for focusing his time and effort on circumstances surrounding a sexual encounter with a female superior at his place of employment and its subsequent devolution into a charge - and countercharge - of sexual harrassment. The "friend" was trying to get Sanders to focus on the solution to "the problem," which would in itself resolve his other issues.

I feel the need to send the same email message to Congressman Rick Boucher.


We are suffering from a precipitate and accelerating decline in our manufacturing base here in Southwest and Southside Virginia. Plants are closing and owners are shipping jobs overseas. The problem, put simply, is this: the cost of manufacturing a product here is higher than is the cost to manufacture that same product in Indonesia and to have it then shipped here. Fixing the problem requires that we reduce the cost of manufacturing.

And Boucher could help by working to reduce government taxes, fees, and costly mandates, if he weren't obsessed with throwing tax dollars down the drain in his ongoing - and completely fruitless - campaign to lure tourists to the area; an effort that has thus far generated few jobs and absolutely no measurable uptick in economic vitality.
$2.56 Million Going to D-B Project
Lisa Watson McCarty, Publisher Scott County Virginia Star

The long-anticipated Daniel Boone Visitors’ and Exposition Center earned a big boost Tuesday as Ninth District Congressman Rick Boucher announced receipt of some federal dollars to jumpstart the project.

“Congress at my request has appropriated $2.56 million in federal funding for the development of the Daniel Boone Visitors’ and Expo Center in Scott County,” the congressman explained. “These federal funds will finance the early work on the project, including among other activities site selection, acquisition of the property and detailed planning including engineering and design work. With these funds in hand, we can be assured that the project will proceed to become a reality.” (
Another tourist attraction. It'll go well with all the others that Boucher has funded that sit idle here in Southwest Virginia. So how many Scott Countians can expect to benefit from this new expo center? Nobody knows of course, but 3 is a good guess. If a McDonald's goes in next door then we can boost that number considerably. In addition to convincing the citizenry that tourists will - someday soon - come flocking down here to gawk at what are promoted to be our bib overalls-clad men and perenially pregnant women, he's also been able to convince them that flipping all-beef patties leads one down the road to success.

Of course Boucher and the recipients of his - our - largesse are effusive in their extolling of the virtues of this latest tourist boondoggle.
Bob McConnell of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association said the vision of the association has been transformed into tremendous opportunity for the region, thanks to the efforts of Congressman Rick Boucher.

“I truly believe this is the economic stimulus that will be driving the ongoing growth of tourism and economic development in Scott County,” McConnell added.
Alchemy had its "true believers" too, as I recall. Alchemists thought they could turn rocks into gold. Sound familiar?

Dr. David Redwine, chairman of the Scott County Board of Supervisors, provides us with a hint of the wishful thinking behind this indulgence in irreality.
“Today marks the start of reality."

In the meantime, UVA-Wise provides us with a real reality:

The population of Scott County is less prosperous than the population of Virginia. Scott County's poverty rate is 75% higher than the Virginia poverty rate and the per capita income of Scott Countians is only 63% of the per capita income of Virginians. Relatively fewer people are enrolled in the labor force in Scott County than in Virginia and far fewer people in Scott County have completed high school than in Virginia as a whole. The relative poverty and poor health status of the population indicates a need for increased and sustained access to primary care in Scott County. (link)


The Big Picture. Again.

Someone should head down to Crawford, Texas and hand a copy of this article to Cindy Sheehan and the other "anti-war protesters" and make them understand why her son chose to fight for her country.
More Than 100 Synchronized Bombs Kill 2 In Cities
By Julhas Alam, Associated Press

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- More than 100 homemade bombs planted by suspected Islamic militants exploded nearly simultaneously across Bangladesh yesterday, killing two persons, including a young boy, and wounding at least 125.

About 50 people were arrested, a state-run news agency reported. There was no claim of responsibility, but leaflets from a banned group seeking the imposition of Islamic law were found at many blast sites. (link)
The idiots on the left think that if we retreat from Iraq, all will be well again. What they don't understand - and will never be able to comprehend - is that these terrorists will go on killing. And they don't care who they kill. Those 100 bombs were set off in cities whose populations consist almost entirely of Muslims. But this is of no concern to the Cindy Sheehans of the world. Or to her allies in the Islamist world.

To them, the ongoing slaughter is all that matters. Blood flowing in the streets. Splattered on schoolhouse walls. Arabs or westerners; it doesn't matter.

I look over all these news stories relating the details of the ongoing carnage and I don't simply want to drive down to Crawford, Texas and hand Cindy Sheehan a copy of the latest list of the dead.

I want to shove it down her throat.

And I Am Not Alone

My feelings of anger and disgust toward the anti-war left are shared by many. Including those who have, like Cindy Sheehan, lost loved ones in the war on terror. Like Ronald Griffin, whose son was killed in Iraq:
'Cindy Sheehan Does Not Speak For Me'
By RONALD R. GRIFFIN, writing in The Wall Street Journal

I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me.

I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers. (link requires subscription)
It is for Mr. Griffin and the son who will never return to him that we must stay resolute in the face of the whiners, the appeasers, the anti-Americans, and - especially - those, like Cindy Sheehan, the weak of mind and spirit.

Mexican Outrage

What in the world is up with this?
Mexico Funds Staging Area For Illegals
By Jerry Seper, The Washington Times

The Mexican staging area for illegal aliens that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson demanded this week be bulldozed is among hundreds of similar sites along the border sponsored and maintained by the Mexican government.

Many of the sites are marked with blue flags and pennants to signal that water is available. Others, such as the Las Chepas site that Mr. Richardson denounced, are a collection of old, mostly abandoned buildings or ranch houses where illegals gather for water and other supplies ... (link)
The Mexican government has - for decades - fostered economic stagnation as well as civil and governmental corruption to the point where a massive percentage of the population there lives in abject poverty.

So how does the Mexican government deal with the poverty that it has helped create? It facilitates the exit of its poor to the USA and hands each miserable wretch a bottle of water on his and her way north.

Well, we have a few miserable wretches of our own. Let's send them to Chihuahua and teach these people a lesson.

Jerry Provides a Diagnosis

Doctors in New York are stumped. Perhaps I can help.
Health Mystery in New York: Heart Disease
By FORD FESSENDEN, The New York Times

Death rates from heart disease in New York City and its suburbs are among the highest recorded in the country, and no one quite knows why. (link)
I wanted to suggest that the reason New York has such a problem with heart disease has to do with global warming. Heck, we blame everything else on this pseudo-calamity.

But heart disease is a serious concern.

So I blame it on vegetarianism.

There are whole stretches of New York City where you can't buy a nice juicy steak. You can order chicken; they've found 127 ways to prepare and serve chicken. As if Colonel Sanders' secret recipe needed improvement. Or you can order the latest trends in leaves and twigs, if you prefer to diet on roughage. But no steak.

It's no wonder they're dying off in droves. No red meat.

You won't find that problem around here. No sir.

We prefer to die of lung disease.

Such a Shame

The 9/11 Commission was supposed to, if nothing else, allay some of the anguish felt by 9/11 survivors and the relatives of those slaughtered by Islamists on September 11, 2001. Instead, it has brought more grief. And rage.

Today's news in the New York Post:
By IAN BISHOP, Post Correspondent

WASHINGTON — Sept. 11 families said yesterday they are outraged that military spies were blocked from sharing key intelligence that they say could have foiled the terror attacks — and are calling for a new commission to investigate.

Families of the 9/11 victims have been rocked by revelations that the elite military intelligence unit Able Danger had identified four hijackers more than a year before the attacks — but were blocked by Pentagon lawyers from sharing their information with the FBI.

A coalition of family members known as the Sept. 11 Advocates blasted 9/11 commission leaders Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton for pooh-poohing Able Danger's findings last week as not "historically significant."

"They somehow made a determination that this was not important enough. To me, that says somebody there is not using good judgment. And if I'm questioning the judgment in this one case, what other things might they have missed?" Mindy Kleinberg, a member of the Sept. 11 Advocates, told The Post.

"I think we do need a new commission, and that's really sad." (link)
Sad is not the word I would use. The 9/11 Commission was an outrage. From the day the panel was formed.

The person primarily responsible for the intelligence breakdown that prevented the apprehension of Mohamed Atta and his band of assassins - one Jamie Gorelick - instead of being imprisoned, sat on the commission. She was appointed to her post by the Democratic party to prevent any attempt by the other members to find fault with the Clinton administration. She succeeded. Marvelously. To the point where the commission chairman, Tom Kean, defended her against attacks and refused to countenance even the slightest accusation of impropriety.

Now he and she and the entire commission are disgraced.

It should not have been this way.

Sad? No. Enraging.