One of the best definitions I've read in regards to conservatism versus liberalism:

Conservatism is an intellectual exercise. Liberalism is limbic system feeling reaction.

Indeed.
As has been happening across ever-widening portions of the blogosphere, we are starting to ask the question "If the government doesn't follow the law, why should we?"

Call it an unintended consequence of the Obama Administration's flouting of the law, be it the refusal of his Attorney General to investigate egregious crimes perpetrated by various government agencies or ignoring cases of widespread voter fraud, or the President himself by setting aside portions of a law that bears his name for political advantage despite not having the power to do so. Even a number of government agencies have descended into breaking the law, going outside their charters or ignoring court decisions (EPA) or targeting political opponents of the President and the Democrats (IRS).

When the government itself ignores the law, then the law (and the government) becomes increasingly irrelevant to the rest of us. This is particularly so for those of us who do not live anywhere near Washington DC, a place that has become so divorced from the realities the rest of us deal with every day.

We're seeing this with the Cliven Bundy brouhaha out in Nevada, where the rancher has declined to pay the Bureau of Land Management for the use of federal lands to graze his cattle.

Is Bundy right to do this? No. Not in the least. But are those who are protesting against what many see as an over-reach by the federal government doing the right thing by backing Bundy in his fight against the increasingly monolithic, less competent, and in the end, less responsible government? Yes.

[We] must realize that in about 1990 we decided to focus on the misdemeanor of the law-abiding citizen and to ignore the felony of the lawbreaker. The former gave law enforcement respect; the latter ignored their authority. The first made or at least did not cost enforcers money; arresting the second began a money-losing odyssey of incarceration, trials, lawyers, appeals, and all the rest.

Mr. Bundy knows that the bullies of the BLM would much rather send a SWAT team after him than after 50 illegal aliens being smuggled by a gun-toting cartel across the southwestern desert. How strange, then, at this late postmodern date, for someone like Bundy on his horse still to be playing the law-breaking maverick Jack Burns (Kirk Douglas) in (the David Miller, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Abbey effort) Lonely Are the Brave.

It's easy to go after the little guys because it's cheaper (and less risky) than going after the real criminals. Heaven forbid the government actually spend time, money, and manpower to put the real bad guys in jail. (Then again, seeing how well they pulled off Fast and Furious, maybe it's better that they haven't!) They can still use the SWAT teams and all of the military gear used to outfit them, but they don't have to worry about firefights or casualties (except for civilian casualties) because most little guys won't fight back, at least not with guns, the protesters at the Bundy ranch notwithstanding. (Many were armed, legally, but none made any threatening moves. I guess that makes them domestic terrorists, at least in Harry Reid's eyes.)

As we get closer to the mid-term elections this year and then the Presidential elections in 2016, I expect to see even more of this as it will give the Democrats some "law and order" street cred...unless of course it backfires, as it has with the Bundy case. Then I expect the Democrats will backpedal and try to distance themselves as much as possible. I have no doubt they'll try to lay the blame for any debacles that may come of it at the feet of the GOP, and particularly George W. Bush.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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The battle between winter and spring has continued through the week, with warm temps on some days and below freezing temps on others. I know that eventually the warmer weather will win out, but it just seems the winter is reluctant to loosen its grip.

The ground around The Manse has almost dried to the point where I can start on the yard work, something I hope to deal with before everything starts greening. If the weather cooperates, I can get started on that tomorrow. (I'm taking a mental health day tomorrow, using up a very small portion of the large number of vacation days my employer provides.)

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I had the opportunity to chat with one of the 'regulars' at the local laundromat yesterday, and one of the subjects that came up was education, and particularly the push towards Common Core. I didn't hear anything different from them, meaning they didn't like it and thought it was yet another attempt to destroy what's left of our public education system and replace it with even more 'feel good' indoctrination.

You'd think that with the disastrous results from the self-esteem building curriculum foisted upon us in the previous decade that this one would have been a non-starter. But since the reason for this push is to replace education with indoctrination, I expect the pressure for school systems to adopt it will increase.

As more than a few web pundits have put it, sending your kids to public schools should be considered child abuse.

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If I were you I wouldn't take the White House claims about the number of ObamaCare enrollees without a huge frickin' grain of salt. After all, it's in their best interest to lie about it because the truth will be unpalatable to the Obama faithful and prove the the rest of us what a disaster it really is.

What's particularly galling is when ObamaCare causes widows of municipal retirees to lose their health insurance coverage.

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By way of Maggie's Farm comes this quote from Frederic Bastiat that is becoming increasingly true, particularly when applied to the Obama Administration:

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

Indeed.

These days it also hard not to break at least 5 laws a day just living our lives...but then that's just what the authoritarians/totalitarians in government need. It gives them ever more control over every aspect of our lives. And of course they make sure they exempt from those same laws.

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By way of Skip at Granite Grok comes this piece of irony from the mis-titled Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has nothing to do with protecting consumers finances.

It appears the folks at CFPB are renovating a building that has housed a number of small businesses, some of which have been operating since the early 20th century. Those businesses are being forced out by the government, which means most of them will close because they have no place else to go, putting a number of people out of work. Yeah, like that ought to help them protect their finances, right?

One would think that with the hundreds, if not thousands of empty government-owned buildings in the greater Washington DC area they could find one for the new home of the CFPB that wouldn't destroy existing businesses.

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What does the White House think this means?

I'm just waiting for Russian troops with no insignias on their uniforms to start landing in Alaska in order to "protect ethnic Russians." Not that I would expect the White House to do anything other than send yet another strongly worded message to Putin by way of John Kerry.

Such are the spoils of Smart DiplomacyTM.

I think it's time to return to the time of Roosevelt, in this case Teddy Roosevelt - "Talk softly and carry a big stick" - rather than staying in the Obama era - "Talk a lot and Kerry a Big Shtick."

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It seems that hypocrite Harry Reid is upping the ante in his ethically-challenged behind-the-scenes dealings with the Bundy Ranch, painting the anti-government protesters as "domestic terrorists." As Glenn Reynolds states, "That's a lie, but it's a dangerous one, since it seems to pre-justify government violence while egging on tension. That's unwise. If they decide to actually become domestic terrorists, Harry, I expect you'll be among the first to know."

It's time for Harry Reid to step down, or to be investigated by the Congressional Ethics Office, or maybe even the DOJ. (Yeah, like that will ever happen while Holder is the AG.)

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Bogie shows us the even in 'urban' areas of southern New Hampshire there are plenty of natural wonders to be seen.

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Yet another male wonders why he can't get the women he'd like to date out of the so-called "Friend Zone". It's simple, really, there being two reasons:

First, he's a gamma male. Strike one.

Second, he somehow has come to believe "he's entitled to be with good-looking women, rather than being forced to make do with the ordinary-looking women who are actually interested in him." Strikes two and three.

If he allowed himself to go after ordinary-looking women he may find that once he gets to know them he'll see they're really quite attractive, but that he just hadn't noticed at first.

For me Deb was like that. One of the first things I noticed about her is that she had a beautiful smile. The second was that her eyes were also quite beautiful, even hidden behind the glasses she wore.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow is almost gone, the ice is still covering portions of the lake, and where the yaerd work is commencing in earnest.
I haven't posted in the past few days due to some work commitments, but also because I have had to deal with some very difficult, close-minded people and I needed to back away from the keyboard to prevent me from writing something that would inevitably lead to something that I would come to regret. Hence my dearth of posting. However, once I cooled down enough I felt I could finally put down into words my thoughts. So here goes.

I have to admit that I am becoming increasingly frustrated with level of willful ignorance, closed mindedness, and belief in things that "just ain't so" amongst our more leftist brethren. I see it again and again and I end up shaking my head and muttering something along the lines of "How can some of these folks be so effin' blind?"

I am not implying or stating that I am much better or smarter or superior to anyone. (I let others tell me that.) I have traveled across this nation and across the world, seen amazing places and met equally amazing people. I have also been to some real s**tholes and met people I wouldn't turn my back on on a dare...or unarmed. I'd like to think this gives me better insights than those who have never left the comforts of their home towns except maybe for a vacation at the seashore or Disney World or some other sanitized vacation spot. (I don't consider places like Cabo San Lucas or the Bahamas or other highly developed tourist destinations as real travel to foreign lands. They tend to cater to the stereotypical "Ugly American", and therefore don't count towards traveling abroad.)

This trend towards what I'm going to call Knownothingness has accelerated and has created a political divide that hasn't been this deep since the Civil War. This knownothingness has infected so many and skewed their perceptions of reality that it becomes almost impossible to have a conversation without it devolving into a lecture by a Knownothing telling us how bad/evil/stupid/inhuman anyone who has the temerity to disagree with their oh-so-learned 'opinion'. No one escapes their disdain, even people with similar political or ideological leanings. (Maybe the Knownothings believe their fellow travelers just aren't committed enough or smart enough or compliant enough to the 'correct' viewpoint as defined by them.)

One of the more egregious groups displaying an almost pathological adherence to Knownothingness are the perpetually offended. I'm not talking about the perpetually offended Muslim extremists as they are afflicted by a different flavor of Knownothingness. I'm talking about the homegrown version, those who can turn even the most innocent words or phrases or acts into Yet Another Cause That Needs To Be Dealt With Immediately. We've seen plenty of examples of this, with the most recent one being the totally effin' clueless students (members of the 0.01%) at Dartmouth College demanding all kinds of concessions (70-some, if I recall correctly), many of which are so laughable that one has to wonder how they can actually believe what they're demanding is somehow the most important thing on Earth.

Another version of the perpetually offended are what I have called back-handed racists. These are the folks who always find racism in anything anyone not from the Left do or say. They claim there are racist 'code words' and that any setback experienced by anyone not white must be because of racism. They claim all of the ills suffered by anyone who is not white must be the result of racism. But these very same race-hustlers are the racists in the room. They do not believe minorities are capable of doing anything of note without their guiding hand. This is particularly so of blacks and latinos. (Many of these same back-handed racists consider asians to be "almost" white because so many of them succeed while blacks and latinos do not.) By keeping their favorite minorities "in their place" they have a built-in constituency and don't want anyone to do anything that would actually help them get out from under their thumb. And should any of them stray off the plantation they are portrayed as race traitors, or even worse, of "acting white".

Yet another group of the perpetually offended are the back-handed sexists. Like the back-handed racists, anything negative that allegedly happens to any woman is caused by sexism and is part of the patriarchal 'rape culture'. They have undone decades of progress by trying to portray women as being fragile hot-house flowers incapable of standing up for themselves needing special protection from the predations of the males who, as everyone knows, are rapists. They have managed to get discriminatory legislation passed that automatically assumes men are guilty of all kinds of offenses. We have seen it institutionalized by the federal government in the form of the "Dear Colleague" letter to colleges that removed all pretenses of fair trials and due process by making accusations of sexual assault tantamount to convictions, with no actual evidence required.

Then there's my favorite group of Knownothings, the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming alarmists who have no understand of what it is they're alarmed about, no understanding of science, no understanding of the differences between observations and computer models and that computer models are not science. They constantly rely upon Appeal To Authority, even though that authority has been shown to lie, destroy data that doesn't fit their theories, blackball authors and editors, rig peer review, and refuse to release their data, algorithms, and test methods for review by the science community. They quote long discredited claims as if they are gospel, shout down skeptics, and try to shut down debate with claims that "the science is settled so the debate is over." Call it the Knownothing equivalent to putting their fingers in their ears and screaming "I'm Not Listening! La-la-la-la-la-la!" They demand we make sacrifices they themselves won't make all in an effort to Save The PlanetTM. As more than a few have written in the blogosphere, I'll start believing it's a crisis when they start acting like it's a crisis. Until then they can be ignored.

Yet another group of Knownothings that is deserving of nothing but disdain are those who believe the Constitution is a living document and can be changed at the whims of a court. In effect what they are saying is that the Constitution is irrelevant and that it can be reinterpreted for the convenience of those who know they wouldn't stand a chance of changing it through the amendment process. Two of the Bill of Rights most of these would love to see be interpreted out of existence are the First and Second Amendments. After all they can't have people freely saying things this group of the perpetually offended disagree with, nor can they allow the knuckle-dragging troglodytes to defend themselves because, after all, the All Powerful All Knowing Ever Wise State will protect them, particularly from themselves. Many of these same folks seem to think that guns are the root of all evil and if they just got rid of them everything would be perfect, despite years of history and crime statistics that prove just the opposite.

I could go on and on about the Knownothings, but frankly I find dealing with them, even in something as simple as this post, to be an exhausting experience. The amount of stuff they know that just ain't so increases every day, and their fervent belief and over the top bleating about how government is the answer to all our ills is grating, particularly to those of us who understand that government is neither smart enough or wise enough to run anyone's life. And as their 'benevolent' government grows it becomes less capable, less knowing, more corrupt, and so inertia-laden that it can't even perform its simplest functions adequately. And no matter how much evidence, data, or first hand experience you give them, they are incapable of absorbing it and perhaps changing their viewpoints. As John Maynard Keynes once said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?" To answer his question, the Knownothings seem to dig in and cling to their Knownothingness even tighter, and worse, become even more vocal about it.
The boys at the boarding school where I teach English will be taking the Scholastic Aptitude Assessment Test the first Saturday in May over at Squire Livermore's place. We've begun preparing, first by studying the booklet mailed by the test's maker.

The College Board, the Princeton, NJ, outfit that produces the test, does a big song and dance, protesting that the test isn't an IQ one. Yeah, right.

One of the many lies told by those in authority. I first learned this from the poet Charles Bukowski, who mentioned in a documentary that a doctor lied to him. I believe him. And that was eye-opening: medical doctors intentionally misleading. Just like the blue bloods in Princeton.
Et tu, Tilus? This is an older entry I thought should still be published. It urges me to proclaim that the blatant lies told about human nature, race, IQ are in large part dispelled in the upcoming publication of Nicholas Wade's book, coming out this May 6. I've preordered it.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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Spring temps have arrived with a vengeance, with daytime highs in the 60's over the weekend and forecasts saying it could reach the 70's during the week. Considering just a couple of weeks ago we still had below normal temps, I'm not complaining. The warmer weather has certainly done a number on the snow cover around here, with areas that receive little direct sunlight during the day and the snow banks being the only snow still visible around here.

This has prompted me to break out the Official Weekend Pundit Clothes Line yesterday and to make use of it for a few items not requiring rapid drying by way of a clothes drier. This isn't the earliest I've hung the clothes out to dry, nor is it the latest. On the whole I'd say it's right about average.

With the warmer temps has come the start of Spring Cleaning. While the ground outside is still too waterlogged to allow yard work, there's plenty inside The Manse that needs squaring away. One of the biggest cleanups will be the mud room, the one place that gathers all of the mud and dirt from outside. It's also difficult to adequately clean during the winter, between the low temperatures usually seen in there as well as a lack of room to move the various items that will allow a good cleaning.

You know it's Spring when the mud room is being mucked out!

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The farm stand for the farm where BeezleBub works opens its doors in two weeks, yet another sign that Spring has arrived. At the moment he's only putting in hours on Fridays and Saturdays as he's still taking his college courses. But once he finishes the semester in May he'll be back working at the farm 6 days a week.

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Maybe this helps explains how Harry Reid has managed to amass a fortune while serving in the US Senate.

It all comes down to nepotism and his "Do as I say, not as I do" mentality.

Reid has got to be one of the least ethical members of the Senate I can think of, between his behind the scenes deals, his use of his position to commit character assassination on the floor of the Senate without fear of repercussions, and his heavy handed rule in the Senate to block any legislation he doesn't like regardless of the wishes of the other 99 members of that chamber of Congress.

What a hypocrite.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

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Some people have no problems showing the depths of their depravity in public, particularly the CAGW "true believers". One such has stated publicly that he has no problems if "thousands of middle-class white people died in an extreme weather event."

Stated like a true watermelon environmentalist/totalitarian a**wipe.

My reply: "You first."

(H/T Instapundit)

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"Isn't this holding children responsible for their parents' retirement debts the governing model of the Democratic Party?"

Yes. Yes it is.

As Glenn Reynolds comments, "If the government isn't bound by the law, why should the rest of us be?"

Next question?

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Cap'n Teach delves into President Obama's belief that voter fraud is "the people passing laws that require people to verify who they are in order to vote."

Never mind the 36,000 cases of potential voter fraud during the 2012 election in just one state, North Carolina. How bad is it then in some of the Democrat strongholds where the dead vote on a regular basis?

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As a follow-on to Cap'n Teach's treatise comes this from J. Christian Adams about the "tragic phenomenon [that] has affected President Obama since he became President," that being the more radical his audience, the more outrageous his lies. In this case it relates to Obama's voter fraud and claiming it's "bogus" and the outright lie he told about the number of DOJ cases dealing with voter rights.

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Unless you've been in hiding, you know that Microsoft support of Windows XP ended this past week. No more updates. No more patches. No more service packs. Basically, if you're still using XP you're on your own.

Some machines using XP can be upgraded to Windows 7, but I doubt enough of them have the hardware necessary to allow it to run efficiently. Buying a new machine is an option, but if you decide to do so seriously consider spending a little extra money to have Windows 7 installed in place of Windows 8. (Windows 8 has a number of problems, with the biggest one being its awful user interface which was designed more to be used with tablets or computers with touch screens and not 'regular' desktops or laptops. If you're used to XP the chances are high you'll hate Windows 8.)

There is another alternative to trying to get your old machine to run Windows 7 or buying a new machine. If you use your computer for e-mail, web surfing, and for running general office programs and not much else, consider installing Linux on your computer.

The nice thing about Linux is that you can install it and keep Windows XP on your machine using what is called Dual Boot. (This assumes you have enough disk space left on your hard drive or are willing to spend less than $100 for an additional hard drive for your computer.) You can also "try it on for size" without installing it by running it from a CD or USB key, giving you an opportunity to use it without the hassle of actually installing.

I have used Linux on a number of machines here at The Manse, primarily installing it on older machines that do not have the horsepower to run the newer versions of Windows but are more than adequate for handling e-mail, the web, and office applications. That I've been able to keep these older machines running and still 'up-to-date' with a modern operating system has saved me (and others) a lot of money. So Linux might be worth looking into for you as well.

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I'm sorry, but this is just plain stupid. Call the fellow who lost his job just another victim of #rapeculture propaganda.

The woman who triggered this needs to get a life, and maybe some psychiatric help as well because she's just too damn sensitive about friggin' everything.

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This always works out well.

In the past debate between opposing parties on an issue were open to debate, and at times compromise.

But these days rather than being open to debate, the Left tries to control the debate by declaring there is no debate because the matter, whatever it is, is settled and whoever disagrees with them must be silenced. One way of doing that is to turn 'deniers' into pariahs, either through character assassination or intimidation.

This is nothing new for the Left. They've done it before.

The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences -- from social ostracism to vocational defenestration -- upon those who refuse to be silenced.

And sometimes they take it to an extreme, as they have in the past, by imprisoning or executing dissenters. Think it hasn't happened? Then let me remind you of places like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Kampuchea (Cambodia) under the Khmer Rouge, and the People's Republic of China under Mao. Over 100 million were silenced for the crime of disagreeing with them.

Think it won't happen here? There have already been demands by the more rabid leftists calling for the imprisonment of those who disagree with the religion that is CAGW. That's how it starts.

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Considering the social/financial downsides to marrying White City Women having driven down the marriage rate, is it any wonder more WCW's have traded bearing and raising children to having dogs instead?

I could go on about the various reasons they have given for having a dog rather than raising their own kids, but I have a feeling you'd become as bored as I did after reading the first one of two. Better to read the comments to the article as I feel they give a much better perspective on the phenomenon.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're waiting for the ground to dry out enough to start spring cleanups, the birds and bears have been making regular appearances at the birdfeeders, and where we're keeping an eye on the ice on the big lake.
In response to the apparent robbery and subsequent murder of a white 24-year-old soon-to-be-father Nathan Trapuzzano--Haven't heard about that, have you?--allegedly by Simeon Adams, a 16-year-old sociopathic smiling black punk--at nine he was caught throwing huge rocks on a highway overpass at unsuspecting commuters.

Paul Kersey at his site Stuff Black People Don't Like & VDare.com, a blogger specializing in these sensitive racial matters, indicates that Indianapolis has been ruled by Republicans 38 of the last 46 years. So what explains the massive white flight underway in that troubled city?

Seventy-six percent white in 1990. Fifty-eight percent today.

An Interesting Proposal

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At first the idea sounds like a pipe dream, a joke. In fact, it sounds more like the story line from a novel (Night Probe) rather than an idea to be taken seriously. But someone is thinking it and the more I think about, the more sense it makes.

What is that idea?

The United States of North America.

Froma Harrop puts forth an idea from Diane Francis that maybe the time has come to consider merging the US and Canada.

What country do Americans overwhelmingly like the most? Canada.

What country do Canadians pretty much like the most? America.

What country has the natural resources America needs? Canada.

What country has the entrepreneurship, technology and defense capability Canada needs? America.

Has the time come to face the music and dance? Yes, says Diane Francis, editor-at-large at the National Post in Toronto. Her book "Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country" is both provocative and persuasive.

Indeed. One might think the cultural differences might be insurmountable, but the differences are much smaller obstacles than one might think. And the more I think about it the more I think the positives far outweigh the negatives for both nations.

I live in a state that borders Canada and we see a lot of Canadian business people and tourists. The same is true of Maine, Vermont, and New York. Sometimes the only way we can tell folks are from Canada is when we see the license plates on their cars or trucks. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario plates are quite common in this area. More than a few people here have close ties with family on the other side of the border.

But there's more.

What does each partner have to offer? "Canada's best assets include its resources, stability and banking system, its strong relationship with the United States and an educated, law-abiding people," according to Francis.

America offers a culture of risk taking and entrepreneurship. It leads the world in technology and defense.

"There's no excuse for two countries as similar as us to not get rid of the border after 26 years of free trade," Francis says.

A merged Canada and U.S. would occupy more land than Russia or all of South America. It would become an energy and economic powerhouse less subject to foreign intrigue.

Because both nations have similar cultural roots, being settled by both British and French colonists, have many of the same traditions, and speak the same languages (there's a lot more French spoken in Canada than the US...with the exception maybe of northern New England and Louisiana), a political union is more likely to work.

The forms of government are different, with Canada being based upon the British parliamentary system and the US on its constitutional republic system which has at its basic level the same roots - the British parliamentary system. The head of state in Canada is selected by its parliament while the head of state in the US is selected indirectly by voters by way of the electoral college. The differences shrink when you get down the the province/state level, though there are still differences. They all but disappear at the town level, with the variances being no wider than what we presently see within the US alone. The differences could be worked out over time, perhaps by taking the best from each system. But this is something that would have to be worked out once a decision to merge is made.

On the whole I believe both nations would be better off by creating one larger nation. There are some downsides, of course, but for the most part I think they are outweighed by the upsides. It wouldn't be an easy thing to do by any means and would likely take a decade or more to work out the kinks, but I thinks it is something Americans and Canadians should consider.
This is yet another step the US military is taking to make sure it is ready for 21st century warfare: the railgun.

The U.S. Navy is planning sea trials for a weapon that can fire a low-cost, 23-pound (10-kg) projectile at seven times the speed of sound using electromagnetic energy, a "Star Wars" technology that will make enemies think twice, the Navy's research chief said.

Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, the chief of Naval Research, told a round table group recently the futuristic electromagnetic rail gun had already undergone extensive testing on land and would be mounted on the USNS Millinocket, a high-speed vessel, for sea trials beginning in 2016.

The Navy research chief said that cost differential - $25,000 for a railgun projectile versus $500,000 to $1.5 million for a missile - will make potential enemies think twice about the economic viability of engaging U.S. forces.

Railguns use electromagnetic energy known as the Lorenz Force to launch a projectile between two conductive rails. The high-power electric pulse generates a magnetic field to fire the projectile with very little recoil, officials said.

"We're talking about a projectile that we're going to send well over 100 miles, we're talking about a projectile that can go over Mach 7, we're talking about a projectile that can go well into the atmosphere," Klunder said.

The video gives you a feel for what it can do and why it is so different from conventional naval guns.
Just when you think they couldn't get any stupider...

Yet another example of how zero-tolerance policies are a tool of the lazy and/or incompetent has presented itself, in this case in the form of 13-year old Jonathan Turley, who was suspended from his school because he was "twirling his pencil in a weapons-like manner."

My first reaction was "WTF?!!"

How does someone twirl a pencil such that someone thinks it's done in a "weapons-like manner"?

The school superintendent and any other official involved with this debacle should be fired. The level of stupidity shown in this matter goes beyond all reason and the people involved should be shown for the politically correct buffoons they are.

All these zero-tolerance policies do is hurt the innocent and make school officials look like idiots.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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With the warmer weather (for the most part), the snow has been melting away with abandon. There are a lot more bare spots than there were even a couple of days ago and we're in for some warmer weather during the upcoming week.

One thing that hasn't fared well with the now almost constant melting has been our roads. While I have mentioned that the extended below average temperatures were playing havoc with the roads due to frost heaves, the melting has now opened numerous potholes and other voids that make traveling the roads quite hazardous. Both the state and local highway departments have been trying their best to fill them temporarily, they haven't been able to keep up because of the sheer volume needing attention.

I have to say that this is probably one of the worst years I can remember in regards to frost heaves and potholes, and it isn't over yet.

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In a follow up to my post yesterday about Charles Koch's WSJ opinion piece, I present to you a piece by Larry Kudlow which asks "Is Atlas Shrugging?" in regards to Koch's warning about how collectivism is seriously affecting job growth.

In my opinion both Koch and Kudlow are dead on.

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This is no surprise to me.

It appears a study has found that vegetarians are less healthy than their meat-eating counterparts.

A new study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria finds that vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol and smoke less tobacco than those who consume meat in their diets. Vegetarians also have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower body mass index. But the vegetarian diet -- characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products -- carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.

I've known more than a few vegetarians, some of whom were totally vegan, and I found they tended to be sick more often and required a lot more visits to the doctor's office.

One of the more personal examples of this is Horse Girl, BeezleBub's girl friend. She is vegetarian and has suffered a number of maladies directly related to her diet. Her physician has also told her than when the time comes when she wants to have kids her vegetarian diet may make it difficult to conceive (her BMI is low and that has ended up affecting her menstrual cycle, meaning there have been stretches of months where she hasn't had one) and if she should be able to conceive she would have a difficult time carrying to term because her diet wouldn't provide enough of the nutrients required.

This subject brings to mind a comedy routine by a stand-up comic whose name escapes me at the moment, where he made the observation that all the people you see in the health food stores look like death warmed over while the people eating normal food look to be in great health.

When ever I hear someone tell me that humans weren't meant to be meat-eaters I respond by telling them that their teeth give lie to that claim as humans have the teeth of omnivores, meaning they can eat a wide range of foods, including meat.

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I've covered this in one way or another before, but it bears repeating:

The EPA is proposing burdensome regulations on wood stoves.

Should the EPA follow through a lot of people are going to find themselves either freezing to death because they can't afford expensive new stoves that meet the regulations, going bankrupt to pay for expensive fossil fuel heating, or thwarting the regulations and leaving themselves open to fines and arrest.

Some aspects of the proposed regulations sound like a wood stove version of the infamous Cash for Clunkers debacle, where old wood stoves will have to be scrapped rather than resold.

This crap has got to stop. I think a number of EPA administrators need to go to prison. After all the EPA has ignored court rulings and federal law and gone rogue, writing themselves all kinds of new rules and regulations that are far outside their charter.

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This piece from Daniel J. Mitchell shows the combined state and local tax burden experienced by each of the 57..err...50 states, from Wyoming (the lowest) to New York (the highest). Mitchell gets his figures from the Tax Foundation and, as he says, since economic and finance numbers tend to lag the figures used are for 2011.

My home state of New Hampshire comes in at #44, just 6 steps behind Wyoming.

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It seems the #RapeCulture narrative is falling apart.

As the number of male teachers in our public education system declines because of the automatic suspicion that they are barely under control rapists preying upon our children, it appears female are stepping in to fill in that role.

Story after story after story of female teachers "who can't seem to be happy unless they've got a high school boy's penis in their mouth" fills the media.

It seems the men have been driven out to make room for the women who prey upon their students. I guess they didn't want the competition.

But does any of this poke huge holes onto the #RapeCulture narrative of the feminazis? Nope. Not one bit. It's still "Women are being oppressed by the patriarchy! Now, excuse me while I suck this teenage boy's penis . . .

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It finally happened.

The cell phone I've used over the past 3+ years bit it.

Three times in the past month I have dropped my trusty LG phone, with each drop degrading the performance of the displays on the lid. The third time was the charm as neither display would light up, though the phone still functioned. No amount of poking around after carefully dismantling the phone restored its displays. It was time to give up on this otherwise reliable phone and get a new one.

I didn't go crazy and get one of the newer smart phones. I don't need a phone that smart. I just need one that allows me to make phone calls and text, nothing more. I don't need web access. I don't need e-mail. I don't need to be able to watch videos or TV.

So I ended up with a Samsung phone that is a bit tougher than my old LG phone and has a better display to boot.

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Rather than reiterate what someone else has written about climate change and how things just aren't going the way of the Warmists, I'll just point to what Tom Bowler has written about the subject.

It all boils down to this: There has been no warming for over 17 years, something not a single climate model predicted, but we're still gonna die anyways because global warming is happening even though it's not, or something.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snowpack is melting away, the ice on the lake is still thick, and the ski areas are still open and doing business.
Catholics traditionally believe it's St. Peter.

I don't.

I think--in fact I know beyond a doubt--it was Jesus' brother James. And, yes, Jesus had multiple brothers. St. Jerome furiously flipped through an Aramaic dictionary to discover that "brother" can occasionally refer to a cousin, so he breathed a sigh of relief as the circle was squared, to preserve the incipient dogma of the virginity of Mary. (In fact he was so militant about chastity, he couldn't abide in the idea that they were children from Joseph's previous marriage!) Catholicism has really weighed itself down with the accretion of dogma that isn't as well suited for the secular modern age as it was in the dark ages.

Why do I arrive at that conclusion? Well, simple. Read Acts 15 where it's bloody obvious that James in Jerusalem is the final arbiter about the painfully important circumcision question. You don't have to be an intellectual peasant. Look at what ridiculous mental gymnastics Catholics do in response to the obvious: James is the ruler, the pontiff, the buck stops with him. Got it?

And I've read some marvelous books by revisionist scholars such as Jeffrey Butz, Geza Vermes, E.P. Sanders, James Tabor, Hyam Maccoby, Robert Eisenman (not him yet), and others who are winning the day. I heartily recommend Butz's book, about the grossly neglected James. I am in a reading group--a retired psychiatrist and I--intensely studying the origins of Christianity. Like the IQ debate, the evidence has piled up to towering heights that a "paradigm shift" may be occurring very soon.

In 1973 it was controversial to say the title of the recently published Jesus the Jew, according to its author, Geza Vermes, a former Catholic priest who reverted to his ancestors' Judaism. His autobiography is tremendous, Providential Accidents. I was saddened to learn recently that he passed away last May.

Now everyone with a scintilla of intellectual honesty admits the truth to this. But they have a long way to go for the full realization of this to become apparent. Jesus. Was. A. Jew. His idea about the messiah--an anointed king in the line of King David--would have been the traditional Jewish belief. He never called himself a Christian and the Jerusalem church led by his family and intimate followers never were baptized. Try that on for size, Mark Shea. (Shea's argument about the gospel of John not being anti-semitic is a steaming pile of horse excrement.)
It is generally known the Koch brothers are universally reviled by the Left as "evil vote-buying election-rigging union-busting wannabe air/water polluters" or some such nonsense. It matters not a fig that the portrayals of the Koch's and Koch Industries in general is not much more than propaganda of the "Big Lie" kind so well used by Left over the past 100 years or so.

Imagine the hew and cry should the Koch's actually speak out about their beliefs and how they've been portrayed. Well, actually you don't have to imagine because Charles Koch penned an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal and the response by the Left has been anything but welcoming, but not unexpected.

Most WSJ opinion pieces garner all kinds of comments from across the political spectrum, but this one has over 80 pages of comments and still counting, something I haven't seen in years of perusing the Opinion section. I wish I could say there was reasoned debate, but that was only wishful thinking on my part.

The invective within the comments was predictable, with many of those commenting negatively using copy-and-paste tactics to repeatedly tell us how the "evil" Koch brothers were corrupting everything or pointing to reports in such 'unbiased' media outlets as Mother Jones, HuffPo, Daily Kos, MSNBC, and the other usual suspects as the only proof needed to back up their accusations. In other words, they were responding just as programmed "useful idiots" would - with unthinking and irrational emotion.

Any counterclaims against leftist multi-billionaires were sloughed off because, after all, their politics were correct. One of the better counters I saw related the differences between George Soros and the Koch brothers, showing that Soros was a destroyer, a looter, making his billions by manipulating currencies and bringing down banks, bankrupting businesses and individuals, in turn leading to the loss of jobs over a wide swath of the world. The Koch's, on the other hand, provide jobs, are known as being highly ethical in their business dealings, and do what they can to make things better for their employees and the communities where they live. But because Soros is a self-proclaimed socialist he gets a pass from the self-righteous Left.

Reading the comments I wish I could say the leftists commenting there brought up anything new, but there wasn't. Some of the pro-Koch commenters anticipated what the Leftists would post, pre-empting some of their invective and showing the anti-Koch commenters as unimaginative since they used the same old tired accusations without providing a shred of proof or a single cite from a reputable source about the supposed wrongdoings of the brothers. Not one. It was all feelings, not facts from the usual suspects. In other words, it was nothing new.

And so it goes.....

Danish scientist Helmuth Nyborg delivers a total ass whooping on an embarrassing clown arguing that human brains haven't changed for tens of thousands of years, brains are genetically identical, there are no racial differences in brains, and the fool lies about the robust connection (.0.45) between brain size and intelligence. When I debated this in college, lazy profs would invoke the name of Stephen Jay Gould and his revered book The Mismeasure of Man. Turns out Gould did the incorrect measuring, not the man, Samuel George Morton,  he attacked from the 19th century.

Going to the Wikipedia page for Gould's book makes one realize the intellectual holes and shortcomings and evasions of this book are Big Lie big.

The Acme of America

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It's been a steady downward trajectory for this once-great country. But in 1973 or 1974 there was wonderful opportunity that's almost completely vanished with mountains of bureaucratic red tape, excessive diversity fostering lack of social cohesion, security fears, and globalist pressures on the middle class.

The setting is really unbelievable. The hideous plaid pants worn by the coaches of Michigan State. The fans arbitrarily running onto the field before the game is over, with players jumping on top of them. The scoreboard back at the New York studios having cardboard inserts for the scores. Coach Woody Hayes--G-d as a college football coach--with his windbreaker buttoned wrong, Forrest Gump style. It's a beautiful piece of Americana, and probably the best college football every played, eclipsing the famous Michigan State-Notre Dame tie in 1966 or the miracle finish by Auburn over Georgia this year or even Doug Flutie's miracle pass to beat Miami in 1984.

When Levi Jackson, a Detroit-native fullback for Michigan State, ran 88 yards down the field with an absurd Olympic sprinter's speed, it was a more momentous moment then the people at the time realized. When the coed's hair swooshed with the run, and pandemonium spread in Spartan Stadium, the halcyon days were here in earnest.

But when the pleasure is being experienced, the sadness sets in with the realization that it will all be over soon enough.

The USPS Has A Problem

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I know the United States Postal Service is struggling, but one would think they would be trying to not piss off their customers, something that certainly isn't going to help their situation.

In the past, the phrase "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night shall keep this courier from his rounds," meant something, tied in with the Post Office's mission to get the mail through no matter what. But it appears that motto no longer applies, as a resident of a neighboring town has found out the hard way.

I received a note from my carrier that there was a bee's nest near the box. The budding nest was removed and sprayed for within minutes of that day's mail. It resulted in over two weeks of suspended delivery.

Our mail carrier once told me that we weren't receiving mail because she, "couldn't turn around in our driveway." We live at the end of our street. I watch her turn around in our neighbor's driveway every day. When asked about the nonsensical nature of her response, she gave no explanation and left. For the record, I also joyously invited her to use our driveway at will, especially if it meant actually receiving mail.

I've been told my snowbank is not sufficiently cleared. I have my driveway and mailbox plowed during major storms, snow-blowed for others, and I am a 33-year-old male, lifetime New Hampshire resident who knows my way around a shovel all too well. My mailbox is clear, always. For the last month, the snowbank behind our mailbox is about 3-4 feet higher than anyone on our street, because of the extreme amounts of snow I've cleared from around it. My mailbox is much more accessible than most neighbors. Due to the previous difficulties with my mail, I'm very cognizant of it and spend extra time clearing it, making this claim all-the-more frustrating.

I understand the last point all to well, always endeavoring to make sure the mail carrier has no problem getting to our mail box. Our mail carrier usually leaves a note at the beginning of the winter weather season reminding us to make sure our mailboxes are clear enough to allow the mail carrier to reach the box. No problem. But apparently the standards for what is considered 'clear' differs entirely in the next town.

I have spoken with three different supervisors in the past two months about receiving my mail. The first time, I was told the supervisor would come check out my home personally and call me back. I never received a call. The next week I stopped by the post office to collect my mail, and asked the counter clerk if I could speak with a supervisor. She went out back, returned to tell me that he was "in a meeting," took my info and promised a phone call that never came. The third attempt, I finally did get a call back, another week later, from a man named Paul, who very clearly spoke to my carrier instead of inspecting my box himself, and was quite argumentative. At the end of the conversation, Paul instructed me to continue to pick my mail up at the post office, and "do a better job next year."

Today, despite the insulting nature of Paul's directive, I kindly stopped in to collect my mail, planning to leave before another frustrating encounter. Upon requesting my mail, I was told to wait for a supervisor. After a minute, a man came out front, threw a pile of mail on the counter in front of me, and barked at me to, "clear your mailbox." I briefly attempted to explain that I had spoken with somebody about my box already, and he interrupted me with a loud, angry declaration that, "You need to clear your mailbox." I would hesitate to allow parents to discipline a child with the tone of voice that this man used to speak to a grown man in public as part of his profession. It was probably the most egregious violation of every customer service law ever written, and I'm still a little in shock. Needless to say I don't know if it was Paul, as all I could think to do was kindly, quietly ask who his supervisor was. Surprisingly, he went to get her.

I finally got to speak to the postmaster today. While it was refreshing to finally speak to someone who seemed concerned about my predicament, it was also overwhelmingly obvious that she wanted the conversation centered on what I was doing wrong, and why this was all my fault. No apologies, no concern for the failures of her "supervisors," nor the inexplicable actions of her carrier. Just a calm, methodical discussion of my problems and what I have to do about my property.

See, it's always the customer's problems and not the fact that a mail carrier apparently doesn't want to be bothered to deliver mail to one particular postal patron even though that patron has done everything necessary (and then some) to make sure his mail box is easily accessible. How typical of a government bureaucracy. (Make no mistake about it, the USPS is a government bureaucracy even though it does far more for the taxpayers than many other government agencies are even capable of doing.) If the USPS wants to survive, it's going to have to stifle the blatant disregard of its mission by some of its employees. Otherwise it doesn't deserve to remain in business.
Gestapo land. The end result of having a gun registry. If you want to hear about a Kafkaesque nightmare, look into Emily Miller's brave reporting on businessman Mark Witaschek who, without a crime to his name, had his house trashed, his four children terrorized, while $10,000 of damage was done to his Georgetown home, all because his ex-wife falsely accused him of threatening her with a gun.

A muzzleloader ball or two of copper were found, however. Enough to prosecute him and potentially put him in jail for two years. Isn't the Second Amendment the Second Amendment, operable in DC as dictated by Heller v. DC? If only Heller were a gay man wanting to marry...
The welfare state is an addiction destroying whatever country becomes hooked. What's happening to France is the US in ten or fiffteen years.

And diversity, with its attack on white males, equals herd-like behavior. Half of what Whiskey writes, even if it's has a lot going for it, would result in my personal destruction at almost any institutes of Lower Learning (universities).

What Is Resurrection?

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Received via e-mail from a former co-worker:

The priest was presenting a children's sermon and asked the children if they knew what the Resurrection was.

Now, asking questions during children's sermons is crucial, but at the same time, asking children questions in front of a congregation can also be very dangerous. In response to the question, a little boy raised his hand.

The priest called on him and the boy said, "I know that if you have a resurrection that lasts more than four hours you are supposed to call the doctor."

It took ten minutes for the congregation to settle down enough for the service to continue.

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