November 2009 Archives
The WP Parents and my dear brother's family made the trip down to my youngest sister's place south of Boston for the 'big' gathering.
All in all, it was a great holiday (and my personal favorite).
*********BeezleBub was back working at the farm yesterday. His boss needed him and one or two others for hay and firewood deliveries as well as some odds-and-ends work that needed to be completed before winter arrives.
That pleased BeezleBub to no end as he's been feeling a little out of sorts without his weekend job.
*********It was quite windy here in the Granite State yesterday, causing power outages all over the state.
During one of my trips out yesterday I was able to look out onto Lake Winnipesaukee and see whitecaps, rollers, and even some much larger breakers. It was almost like watching Deadliest Catch, the water was that rough. I wouldn't have wanted to be out there even on the Marine Patrol's 41-foot patrol boat.
*********It would be best if I do not allow the feline members of the WP household to see this article about cat-friendly house design. I thought our cat condo and the connecting catwalk to the penthouse BeezleBub designed and built was pretty cool. But the features I saw in the article make the accommodations at The Manse look lame in comparison.
*********And the hits keep on coming.
Reboot Congress has extensive links and quotes to a number of Eric S. Raymond posts and comments about ClimateGate, the fraud committed, analysis of the computer code used to create the required AGW results, and the damning e-mails from the perpetrators.
This is an issue that isn't just going to go away, and is something that must be addressed, particularly at the upcoming Copenhagen conference. To base both an international treaty and US policy on a fraudulent theory is madness and will, in the end, come back to bite us all in the butt.
*********Will the US be able to turn things around and become economically and politically robust like Texas, or will we continue on our present path and end up being an economic/political basket case like California?
I'm hoping and working for the former rather than the latter.
*********This doesn't surprise me in the least.
The poor in America today are better off than the average American in 1971.
Of course the Democrats in Congress are working hard to change that...and not for the better. That doesn't surprise me either.
*********William Briggs offers up some predictions of the aftermath of ClimateGate. The first one rings all too true:
Die-hard "activists" will develop a conspiracy theory of how skeptics are deliberately misinterpreting and/or inventing the emails/computer code to confuse the public. A rumor will float that Big Oil, or other "denialist" bugaboo, was involved in the conspiracy.I've already seen some inklings of this in comments made to a number of blog posts and on-line articles, claiming the CRU data hacked from the University of East Anglia was a hoax. Never mind the University has admitted the files were likely accurate. (That must mean the University is in on the hoax!! OMG!!!!)
(H/T Maggie's Farm)
*********In light of ClimateGate, Senator Jack Inhofe (R-OK) says the Cap-and-Trade bill is dead, particularly if Democrats want to remain in office after 2010.
*********Yet another hit from Climategate - the torturous code used to analyze the climate data that gave them their original results was so complex and convoluted even the CRU's own programmer couldn't recreate it.
*********It's a shame that Washington no longer believes in Main Street, USA. But that's all right because Main Street, USA no longer believes in Washington, DC either.
"Elites like President Obama see government as a force for protecting the little guy," explains University of Arkansas political scientist Robert Maranto. "But regular folks on Main Street see government as incomprehensible and unpredictable."Even here in New Hampshire we see the same thing, with the exception of Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties (the two southernmost counties and closest to Boston). It's not uncommon for families in those two counties to require two incomes to survive. It's also not all that uncommon for one or both breadwinners to work over the border in the People's Republic of Taxachusetts. The political divide is just as broad, with a far more registered Democrats in those two southern counties while independents and Republicans tend to be the majority in the remaining eight counties. So even though we are on the East Coast, we tend to look at ourselves as also living in flyover country, just like the folks in Indiana, Pennsylvania. And like them we just want the government, both state and federal, to leave us alone.
Much of the nation can buy a nice house for $150,000, live in a safe neighborhood with good schools and in general have peace of mind - and do it on one income.
For folks in places like Indiana, Pa., the economic insecurity of Chicago or both coasts - where people may work two jobs to live in a safe neighborhood - is totally foreign.
From one of the comments:
[Main Street Americans] are really tired of being told their values and way of life are not politically correct.Amen.
We are tired of being told what [to] think, period.
*********From our friend Skip over at GraniteGrok: Who went to Fort Hood when it mattered?
You can probably guess the answer to this one.
*********At least one part of New Hampshire state government is moving into the 21st Century.
Now if we can get the rest of it updated the cost of state government will fall. To quote former New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson, "Clicks, not Bricks."
*********Representative Paul Hodes (D-NH) of New Hampshire's 2nd Congressional District (Yes, there actually is a 2nd Congressional District in New Hampshire) tries to spin his support of and vote in favor of the g*d-awful PelosiCare bill.
From the comments many of his constituents aren't buying it. The few that are are showing the typical symptoms of having imbibed on Leftist kool-aid, using the typical and tired platitudes and accusing anyone opposing health care reform as written as being un-American.
*********And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the power is back on, BeezleBub is working again, and where we're still feeling the dietary aftereffects of Thanksgiving.
As an infant my family lived in a Detroit neighborhood. People started leaving. They called it White Flight, but it was really middle class flight. People just wanted to be safe and their property secure from vandals and falling prices.
Mayor Coleman Young was the Barack Obama of the 1970s. Light skinned though with a potty mouth that played very well to his constituents. He began with great promise, much ballyhooed by the libs. What did he do? The city's decline picked up steam and became non-reversible.
The Spauldings with their five sons moved to California. The Italian family to the 'burbs. What had been a bucolic melting pot rapidly disappeared. We went to Novi--number "six" stop on the train ride out of the city--which was then cow pasture land but has been completely turned into suburbia now. The last holdout was an elderly Polish couple. Their home and lot was vividly neat--neighboring townhouses were unkempt and even boarded up. So Gran Torino.
It's entered family lore along with my long-held childish belief that "tube steak" was a true delicacy. What ever happened to that family? It couldn't have been pleasant.
Considering how gubmit has traditionally grossly underestimated health care costs in its programs, starting with Medicare, I think this is more honest analysis than what comes from the bureaucracy. Michael Cannon is doing excellent work at the Cato Institute.
"The American people have an anger about the growth of the deficit because they're not getting anything for it. ... If somebody has the idea that the percentage of GDP of what our national debt is will go up a bit, but they will now -- and their neighbors and their children -- will have jobs, I think they could absorb that, and then we ride it out and bring money in," she said.She's kidding, right? (Unfortunately, she's not.)
This statement and the others in Eric's post and link shows me three things about our Speaker of the House:
a) She really has little understanding of economics.
b) She really has no idea what motivates average Americans, particularly when it comes to matters economic.
c) She really doesn't care because she knows better than everyone else in the nation, including the very folks she claims she wants to 'help'.
The angry American taxpayers don't want Congress to spend even more money we don't have on more stimulus, health care reform that will reform nothing, or any other dubious and expensive government programs.
Sucking over $1.4 trillion out of the economy (the present budget deficit figure) is not helping the economy in any way, shape, or form. Pulling even more out of the economy with higher deficits and higher taxes in a second effort to 'stimulate' the economy will only make the recession worse. This is something Pelosi, as well as Reid and Obama, do not understand. I find that difficult to believe considering there's plenty of history to show previous attempts to do just that have failed miserably and, in fact, made things worse.
Here's the final nail in the coffin, if you were to ask me. How long can Ireland continue importing African priests to minister to empty pews? Secularism can occur with amazing swiftness. Wales, for example, went from being predominantly Christian with the majority attending weekly church to overwhelmingly secular in a remarkably short period of time. Something like twenty years. Just amazing. Without Christianity, though, the West stops being coherent, what it once was. Much of what's wrong with it results from this. Notice how ersatz religious crusades are made by the left. Global warming has been hysterically proclaimed with huge gaps in the purported scholarship, for example. The computer models can't even account for documented weather patterns of the past.
Too, if Ireland can't make it, what makes you think America will? I happen to work at an all-boys' boarding school for a Catholic religious order. It's been a wonderful experience for the past twelve years. But now it's up in the air because of the possibility of unspeakable abuse by the order's founder, now deceased, who was called "Our Father" in Spanish during his lifetime and considered a living saint. It turns out he may have preyed on young boys under his tutelage and then, at some point in his life, turned to young girls. It's all so vile that if contained in a novel I would reflexively accuse the author of an egregious bias. Simply put, one can't make this stuff up.
If one accepts the allegation that the West faces a civilizational conflict with Islam, then one needs to worry. How can secularism defeat a religion that apotheosizes death? Secularism is more of an interregnum. We suspect that it's the religious who are the ones who have a disproportionate number of the children. It may be too much d-mn work and expense without being of that frame of mind.
A Desert Rat who battled his way through El Alamein, Sicily, Italy and Greece was in despair.
'This is not the country I fought for. Political correctness, lack of discipline, compensation madness, uncontrolled immigration - the "do-gooders" have a lot to answer for.
'If you see youngsters doing something they shouldn't and you say anything, you just get a mouthful of foul language.'
It seems elites everywhere in the West are immigration enthusiasts, not even considering cultural compatibility or education levels of the new-comers. The Catholic Church's insane pro-immigrant stance is alienating this RCer. (Evidence of this liberalism are here and here.) Our post-industrial economy needs unskilled laborers less and less.
But the appalling truth of the cult of diversity needs to be defended at all costs, labeling anyone who questions it by the worst epithets that come to mind.
Now the stakes are too high. And, yes, John Bolton was right after all.
Where is the Obama Administration's pressure on Iran to stop enriching uranium? Sadly, the Americans are getting hoodwinked by Iran and Europe is [sic] happy that they don't have to vote for more sanctions or enforce the ones that are in place now. While the President gives up our missile shield to Russia, relaxes financial restrictions on Cuba, allows North Korea to violate their signed agreements and breaks campaign promises on a Sudan no-fly zone, the world applauds the most popular American President in history.Right now there are only 2,190 Google hits for the search "obama shmendrik." I expect that to grow exponentially in the coming months, alas. HT: Instapundit
And here at home, Fareed Zakaria continues to call for more American compromises and more talk while characterizing Conservatives as unwilling to talk. It isn't that Conservatives think speaking to Russia about Iran is bad, a claim Fareed Zakaria erroneously tries to tag Conservatives with, it's that giving something without getting something in return is foolish and naïve.
The question of climate change is, from a purely scientific perspective, a very difficult one to answer. The only way that we can even approach the truth is to take an open, collaborative attitude to research - basically we have to use the classical scientific method.
This method, where data is openly shared, where theories are constantly questioned - is what has allowed the Western world to make the quantum advances it has in less than a century. What the Climategate emails show is that the supporters of the globalwarmism are not interested in real science. Their agenda is too important.
They are driven by a moral certitude that is so overwhelming that it renders facts unimportant - it's bigger than such trifling considerations. There is also a "bunker mentality" at work. These people simply cannot handle the thought of being proved wrong. They must be right, they have to be right, they know they are right - so they believe they are permitted to use any means necessary to win the public debate.
What has been buzzing away in the blogosphere (It's my opinion most journalists are too lazy and intellectually incurious to even read Instapundit.) is treated at most as a very minor blip in the dinosaur media's coverage of climate change. CNN, for example, takes a very leisurely path to report the leaked e-mail news after only six days. Only to downplay it, of course.
Climate czar does her best Valley Girl imitation at Climategate: Whatever.
The AGW skeptics, including yours truly, can point to the files to show that scientific integrity has been lost, that all AGW alarmist doom-and-gloom predictions are based upon fraudulent, cherry-picked data and algorithms designed to produce a predetermined outcome regardless of the data fed into them.
That in itself might be a major news story, but the deafening silence from the MSM implies the fix is still in. Other than Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and a few other news outlets, there has been little, if anything from the major media. About the only exception has been the New York Times, and that surprised me (though it appears they tried to downplay the significance of the leaked data). The rest of the media are acting like nothing's changed, still publishing iffy reports laying out "We're all gonna DIE if we don't impoverish ourselves NOW!!" scenarios. But readers/listeners/watchers aren't buying it, making comment after comment about Climategate and lambasting the media for acting like it doesn't exist.
But what disturbs me more than lack of attention by the MSM and the governments of the UK and the US are the comments posted by the faithful AlGoristas, bending over backwards to explain away the leaked e-mails, data, and jiggered computer code. Reading the comments to the WSJ article linked above, it is quite apparent that quite a few of those trying to debunk the leaked information have an ax to grind, their reasoning having absolutely nothing to do with the AGW fraud exposed. They blame the WSJ (as if reporting about the hacked and leaked data was somehow 'just not done'). They blame George Bush (I haven't quite figured that one out). They blame a nameless conspiracy bent on the destruction of the human race (I haven't figured out the logic of that one, either). Others seem to be lamenting the fact they won't receive the financial gains they expected due to AGW carbon credits/alternative energy schemes/complete control over the energy production portion of the economy. And yet others claim the multi-megabytes of e-mails, data, and computer code is all a hoax, created to discredit the researchers and their sainted AlGore. Never mind that the folks at the University of East Anglia say it appears the files posted onto the 'net are genuine. That will not deter the true believers.
As the old saying goes, don't confuse the issue with facts. The Warmists will not be denied despite evidence saying their beliefs are based upon falsified data and computer climate models that are little more than means of manipulating other data to 'prove' AGW regardless of what the data really says.
Everyone follows the bell curve distribution of activity, regardless of custom, heritage, intelligence, and so on? Um, please.
But Special Forces soldiers and SEALs are disproportionately white. Hardly any black SEALs. Under disparate impact theory, that can only be explained by barriers to entry and racism. But anyone who earnestly believes this is simply wrong.
Thomas Sowell, the smartest man in America, has destroyed the intellectual underpinings of disparate impact theory by empirically demonstrating that's not how the real world works.
The Fourteenth Amendment--guaranteeing equal protection under the law--is at odds with disparate impact (DI) that led to the injustice of throwing out all the test results for fire department lieutenants in New London, Conn., simply for fear of being sued under stupid DI. Discussion of it can be found here, here, and here.
Could this have occurred to a white guy? Probably not. Sorry for the cynicism, but when my West Point roommate flunked out it wasn't a hindrance to him whatsoever getting wined and dined by Emory University in Atlanta and receiving a full scholarship.
Yours truly, on the other hand, with significantly higher grades and a much stronger high school background and board scores was ignored by Miami of Ohio, laughed at by Indiana University, and felt sorry for by the University of Wisconsin.
What's Rule One in Charles Sykes's most recent book?
It's about what's in the best interests of the child which, should be trumpeted from the hills, is a stable husband-and-wife family. You've already done enough, Daniel, to threaten that.
Go get your own wife and start your own family. Move on. Life is also about letting go of dreams, expectations, etc.
The only changes made to the comment were for formatting and spelling errors.
An Open Letter to "Aye" Voting Senators & Specifically, Kay Hagan - NC
============With Saturday's vote, you have threatened the ability of every small business in America to maintain their current employment level.
============The vote was a dishonest cram-down against our need for lower cost & more competitive health insurance, and a lower tax burden to help keep our doors open. A tax credit is of no use, when we are counting our sales each day and each week during the month to meet expenses.
============Politicians need to understand that we can't print money, we can't ignore expenses and financial obligations, and we don't have access to credit - ANY credit. So while Washington - and Democrats specifically, are BURNING cash with excessive spending, driving down the value of the US dollar, quadrupling the national debt in the first 4 months of this year... Small Business USA, is dying.
============We are trying to take care of our employees and their families. Your vote,in the name of party unity, for some 1930's goal, was a betrayal of us all.
============If you wanted ANY public or republican input, it would have been in conference and in deliberations, and there would be PLENTY OF TIME to analyze and refine any bill - in advance, and without any gimmicks.
============But no, it had to be done in secret. It had to be released at the last minute, with a rushed vote - just like the destructive 'stimulus' bill - on a Saturday night with a minimum of publicity.
============Don't think you can vote "NO" later and have political coverage. Come January, my employee's health insurance premiums are going to go up, my business and personal taxes are going to go up, and my business, as an ongoing concern, remains uncertain.
============The healthcare bill should have been fully discussed and deliberated by BOTH democrats and republicans BEFORE it came to a cloture vote. You made my decision tonight.
============I am either going to have to try to get my employees to voluntarily reduce their hours to 32 per week so they can retain their full time benefits, or I am going to have to let some of them go. I am sick to my stomach.
============My business is carrying over $ 2.5M in debt and we are struggling to survive. I can't handle any more expense - regardless of your good intentions.
============For the first time in 8 years, we will not be having an office Christmas lunch. We moved it to Thanksgiving in appreciation of each other and in consolation for the difficulties ahead. It feels like a 'Last Supper', in that we may not be around by next November.
============Do NOT be surprised when our unemployment rate in North Carolina exceeds 20%. It's nearly there in some counties. Forget about SPENDING and TAXING. The political class is robbing us of our hopes and dreams, and the future looks bleak.
============All of us EXISTING small business owners IN EVERY COMMUNITY, need a means to refinance our debt with extended terms and/or a lower interest rate AND lower tax burdens. We need to lower our operating costs so we could stretch our sales dollars a little further and maintain the security of our employees.
============Instead ... we got 2,100 pages of MANDATES, ADDITIONAL TAXES, worthless PROMISES of less spending in the future, MORE bureaucracy and regulations, and a (wink, wink) "debate" to make it better. I can hardly wait. Maybe an additional 1,000 pages will make it better ...
============Your vote betrayed us all. Want to try for 30% unemployment with Cap n' Trade ???
From him I really developed a fondness for the free market, and eventually discarded my liberal political beliefs very forcefully after reading Charles Murray's Losing Ground, which another Boston-based radio broadcaster praised to the hills, the erudite late David Brudnoy of WBZ AM 1030, whom I still miss a great deal. I mean this was all before the emergence of Rush Limbaugh whom I considered an interloper for years.
(I only recently accepted him when he defended business as not the enemy that government is, after having an exasperated conversation with a good friend--and one of the few fellow liberals at West Point--who asserted that Microsoft was more powerful than the federal government. I spit out my tobacco at that one.)
Holy Moses, has Gene become a Democrat more than just nominally, as he became one in opposition to the Iraq II Attack. Here is gloats at the prospects of national health care's passage last Friday by calling various Republicans "liars" with very few if any valid examples other than Palin's "death panel" argument which I suspect is valid, as Charles Rice of the Notre Dame Law School read the whole bill in September and quotes that that is exactly what will transpire and by urging his listeners to go the this op-ed by Nicholas Kristof, showing how the arguments against the current health care proposal are eerily similar to those that were used in the 1960s against Medicare. You know, that gloriously successful program now hemorrhaging money?
Nonetheless, a fair and good point as far as it goes. But that's the problem--we are living forty-five years later and the bills are truly coming due. (And the estimated costs were wildly off the mark as Kristof noticeably omits.) If Gene had waited four days he could have added this New York Times article that Glen Beck referenced this morning.
I mean when SNL gets it on the health care bill and a former presidential candidate from the Libertarian Party doesn't, it truly is a topsy-turvy world. A mad, mad, mad world.
Gene, I've outgrown you and moved on to people like Charles Rice. You dismiss the "Birther" movement that is not without some evidence when you treated the dubious Gary Sick book as worthy of an open-minded hearing. George Bush flying in an SR-71 to negotiate the release of the Iranian hostages for his boss Ronald Reagan? That's when you started losing me, Gene.
It's certainly screwed up his circadian rhythms, so it was questionable whether he was going to be able to sleep.
********Could it be entrepreneurs have gone on strike? It appears they don't like the idea that know-nothings in Washington are deciding the government can run businesses better than they can. I'd say history is against the know-nothings on this one.
********The Climategate scandal is spreading, showing the cover-ups and deceit extended beyond the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit.
Will this be the final nail in the coffin of AGW alarmism? If not, it has certainly damaged the credibility of the AGW cause. It appears the skeptics were right to question the validity of AlGorism.
********Anyone familiar with Obama's political history in Chicago should not be surprised at his actions since he's taken office as President. The 'Hopey-Changey' candidate has stayed with what has worked for him in the past - throwing his friends and associates under the bus when it's convenient.
Is it any wonder he's doing the same thing to the entire country?
********As if it wasn't bad enough, it also appears Obama has thrown fellow Chicagoan Oprah under the bus. Of all the celebrities that helped him get elected, she probably had the greatest impact. Cynthia Yockey also adds quite a bit of her own thoughts about this, showing she wasn't surprised that it happened.
I know this report comes by way of the National Enquirer, but these days I have far more respect for the Enquirer than for a good portion of the MSM.
********Is PDS really just an extension of BDS?
Here's proof that hatred of Palin is so ingrained into the Left that it seems pathological.
********I can understand typos creating a few 'phantom' Congressional districts on Recovery.gov, but 440 of them? Here in New Hampshire we have two, but somehow we've ended up with four more, the 00th, 4th, 6th, and 27th.
Taking advantage of the new districts, friend Grant Bosse has decided to run to represent the New Hampshire Zero-eth Congressional District.
Run, Grant! Run!
********And speaking of New Hampshire news, the US Navy has announced that the Portsmouth, NH Naval Shipyard will become the home port of the USS Virginia (SSN-774), the lead boat in the new Virginia-class nuclear submarine fleet. The Virginia-class submarines will be replacing the Los Angeles-class subs as the newest and most advanced fast-attack submarines in the fleet.
Some here in New Hampshire are wondering whether the state's namesake USS New Hampshire will also be stationed out of Portsmouth as well.
********Right Wing Sparkle gives us a comparison between Bush and Obama during the first year of each president's administration. One damning statement:
But it is amusing to go back and look at the news when Bush was running for re-election in 2004. The economy was in recovery, but the Democrats were moaning about the 2.3 million jobs lost under Bush in his first term, calling it the worst job creation record of any president since Herbert Hoover. 2.3 million is the number of jobs lost under Obama in his first year. I shudder to think of what the number will be when his term ends.How soon they (choose to) forget.
(H/T Pirate's Cove)
********There's no doubt this is an accurate depiction of how Congress (and the rest of government in Washington DC) works.
(Also via Pirate's Cove)
********Jay Tea, another WP friend, has noticed a disturbing trend in politics, namely that the politicians pandering for our votes and the parties they belong to have become hostile to the common people. That's no way to stay in office or in power. Jay offers a couple of examples of this hostility. This one in particular grates on me:
[I]n politics, there is a growing trend to take that nobody, that average person, and treat them just like we do hardened political professionals -- and attempt to destroy them in the process.It only got worse from there. And all this average guy did was ask a question.
Take, for example, this guy named Joe. He's playing with his kids in his front yard one fine fall day a bit over a year ago when this horde descends on his neighborhood. He recognizes the guy at the head of the mob -- it's the Democratic nominee for president, and Joe doesn't particularly like the guy. So he figures he'll ask him a rather pointed question, take what will likely be his only shot in life to make a big shot squirm a little. It's not the greatest of questions, but the big shot bobbles it a little -- and suddenly Joe finds that he's the talk of water coolers across the nation.
For Joe's impertinence of helping Mr. Big Shot make himself look like a fool, he must be punished. No, he must be destroyed. Every aspect of his life must be ripped apart and laid bare for public consumption. Why, did you hear that he's behind on his taxes? That he's not even a fully licensed plumber? Hell, his legal first name isn't even Joe!
********The New England Patriots played the New York Jets in Foxboro this afternoon. The Pats lost their first game against the Jets earlier in the season, being able to score only field goals against the Jets defense. This time the Patriots were able to put 24 points on the scoreboard before the Jets could score in return.
Unfortunately during the second half the Patriots followed a more than occasional pattern seen this season of not being able to score or defend after the half. It's like they lose their rhythm or their energy during half-time. At least they managed to get their rhythm back during the last 6 minutes of the 4th quarter, scoring another touchdown and winning 31-14.
********It's a very short workweek for me this week, being off from Wednesday to the following Monday.
Goodness knows I could use the time off.
********And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where preparations for Thanksgiving continue, the good weather is holding, and where winter will arrive all too soon.
Sui generis, as I said. Some think ancient Rome suffered similar population displacement, but I think that's erroneous for the countryside.
It's not only recently that the US has been on the path to national suicide and immoral, un-Constitutional governance. I learned the former from reading this booklet that I found devastating in 1991. And I sadly acknowledged the latter in the decision to void Texas's sodomy law in Texas v. Lawrence (2003). Health care is merely an extension of a Congress now completely untethered to Constitutional enumerated powers, leading Nancy Pelosi's shocked reaction to a conservative questioner on this very point.
And when an Army general bleats an inane PC message--political correctness is essentially anti-knowledge--we have to wonder if we could take him at his word. How many four-star generals are plebes at West Point? None? We could use some diversity there, General Casey. How about it?
Maybe a stronger moral stand like Bishop Tobin's will cause confused and imprudent Catholics to lean more heavily to Republicans in states where they have large numbers. Notwithstanding this, however, some have swung to the Democratic side. I'm thinking of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Massachusetts is a lost cause.
HT: Lucianne. Some of the comments, which will only be available for several days, are very interesting. Here's one that I particularly like:
Reply 33 - Posted by: muggy, 11/22/2009 8:26:29 AM
I love this from the AP:
"The decision by the outspoken prelate..."
I guess it's "outspoken" these days for any institution to stick to its values and mores.
The first candidate slept until noon, probably because he drank an entire quart of brandy every night. He began his career at one end of the political spectrum then switched to the other end. He used to smoke opium. He presided over one of biggest military disasters in history. Twice, he was booted out of office.Three different people, three different lifestyles. The first two had personal lifestyles that would have been abhorrent to most people. The third sounds like someone most folks would get along with.
The second candidate cheated on his wife. He listened to astrologers. He chain smoked, talked compulsively and drank between 8 and 10 martinis a day. On top of all that, he was suffering from a debilitating illness.
Candidate three was a decorated war hero and an astonishingly successful leader of singular determination. He had a sweeping world view, ambitious goals, a plan for reaching those goals and the determination to follow that plan. He never committed adultery. He didn't eat meat, didn't smoke, and seldom drank, never to excess.
Care to hazard a guess as to who they were? The answers are below the fold.
The chief criticism of Plimer seems to be his assertion that volcanoes release more carbon dioxide--plant food last time I checked--than all of man's activities. He's been excoriated for that. I'm not sure we are all that knowledgeable about volcanic eruptions, though. They tend to be very nasty places for man or machine.
Since "economic growth" is today's great problem, and our present Administration is promising to "stimulate" it--to achieve general prosperity by ever wider government controls, while spending an unproduced wealth--I wonder how many people know the origin of the term laissez-faire?It seems that we still haven't learned that lesson four decades or four centuries later. As the late Ronald Reagan said more than once, "Government isn't the answer. Government is the problem." It was true back during Louis XIV's reign and it's true today. Our government is bent on controlling more businesses, either through direct take over like GM, Chrysler, the banks, and health care, or through onerous regulation and taxation, all in the name of 'stimulus' and 'fairness'.
France, in the seventeenth century, was an absolute monarchy. Her system has been described as "absolutism limited by chaos." The king held total power over everyone's life, work, and property--and only the corruption of government officials gave people an unofficial margin of freedom.
Louis XIV was an archetypical despot: a pretentious mediocrity with grandiose ambitions. His reign is regarded as one of the brilliant periods of French history: he provided the country with a "national goal," in the form of long and successful wars; he established France as the leading power and the cultural center of Europe. But "national goals" cost money. The fiscal policies of his government led to a chronic state of crisis, solved by the immemorial expedient of draining the country through ever-increasing taxation.
Colbert, chief adviser of Louis XIV, was one of the early modern statists. He believed that government regulations can create national prosperity and that higher tax revenues can be obtained only from the country's "economic growth"; so he devoted himself to seeking "a general increase in wealth by the encouragement of industry." The encouragement consisted of imposing countless government controls and minute regulations that choked business activity; the result was dismal failure.
Colbert was not an enemy of business; no more than is our present Administration. Colbert was eager to help fatten the sacrificial victims--and on one historic occasion, he asked a group of manufacturers what he could do for industry. A manufacturer named Legendre answered: "Laissez-nous faire!" ("Let us alone!")
Apparently, the French businessmen of the seventeenth century had more courage than their American counterparts of the twentieth, and a better understanding of economics. They knew that government "help" to business is just as disastrous as government persecution, and that the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.
Regardless of the purpose for which one intends to use it, wealth must first be produced. As far as economics is concerned, there is no difference between the motives of Colbert and of President Johnson. Both wanted to achieve national prosperity. Whether the wealth extorted by taxation is drained for the unearned benefit of Louis XIV or for the unearned benefit of the "underprivileged" makes no difference to the economic productivity of a nation. Whether one is chained for a "noble" purpose or an ignoble one, for the benefit of the poor or the rich, for the sake of somebody's "need" or somebody's "greed"--when one is chained, one cannot produce.
There is no difference in the ultimate fate of all chained economies, regardless of any alleged justifications for the chains.
Apparently our leaders have learned nothing from past attempts to tighten control over economies and businesses that their attempts won't work, won't create the results they want, and won't lead to anything but more poverty, less business, and a weaker economy than if they'd just left everything alone. But government is incapable of not fiddling about with things they really don't understand. And that's our biggest problem today.
Democrats' health bills depend on forcing individuals to buy insurance or face severe fines or imprisonment. In 1994, the Congressional Budget Office said forcing individuals to buy insurance would be "an unprecedented form of federal action," adding: "The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States."Nancy's reaction to the question illustrates either her ignorance of what the Constitution actually says or her willful choice to ignore it in favor of her own agenda and the American people's rights be damned.
This year, the Congressional Research Service delicately said "it is a novel issue whether Congress may use the (Commerce) Clause to require an individual to purchase a good or service." Congress has the constitutional power to "regulate commerce ... among the several states." But a Federalist Society study by Peter Urbanowicz and Dennis Smith judges it perverse to exercise coercion under the Commerce Clause "on an individual who chooses not to undertake a commercial transaction." As Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says, there is "a fundamental difference between regulating activities in which individuals choose to engage" -- e.g, drivers can be required to buy auto insurance -- "and requiring such activities" just because an individual exists.
When asked whether any compulsory insurance purchases are constitutional, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was genuinely astonished: "Are you serious? Are you serious?" In 1803, in Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote, "The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the Constitution is written." He was serious.
Should the awful and onerous ObamaCare/PelosiCare bill become law I hope it will be challenged on constitutional grounds and struck down for being overreaching and in violation of the Constitution. But we can't count on such a thing happening. Therefore we must strive to let our Senators know how displeased we are with this legislation because we know its a disingenuous attempt to do an end run around the people's wishes, a flagrant attempt to violate the Constitution, and a blueprint for medical and financial disaster.
In the Battle of the Health Bills, the Senate wins out, bulk-wise - weighing in at 2,074 pages. The House health reform bill was a mere 1,990 pages when introduced. The table of contents alone is 14 pages.
Seriously. I think I just died a bit inside while reading this. If the President wishes to pass a bill for healthcare, by all means, he's more than welcome to try and do so. After all, that is the beauty of the American system. We elect a president, he tries implementing his ideas. They work, we're happy, he's reelected. They don't work and/or he can't push them through, we find a replacement. That's how's it's been done, and how it was designed to be done. However, what we're seeing here is far beyond simple "pushing ones own politics", but rather, it's becoming more and more like a childish game. "If I cant have my way, you cant have your way either".
"Read the bill!" was a rallying cry of some health reform opponents over the summer. And if Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) gets his way, senators will get a chance to hear every word of it. He's threatening to the read the legislation from start to finish, which by some estimates could take as long as 48 hours.
My god! Read the bill? Who would've thought of such a thing. Seriously, times are changing. Clearly our founding fathers didn't bother reading anything they wrote, they just had a few drinks, got some guys together, drew rude pictures of the king and sent them over. They most definitely did not spend... oh... 116 days or so on the constitutional convention alone. This "reading the bill" thing is clearly a sign of our "enlightened", modern status.
My problem here is not with the "read the bill" remarks. Clearly, if we're spending $2.24 million dollars per WORD on a bill, I would think it would behoove us to know what is in it. My problem here is the childish manner in which these senators insist on conducting themselves with. "Threatening" to read the legislation?! Isn't that like a bus driver "threatening" to drive his route? Or an electric company "threatening" to power a city? What is this? This is not a man talking about doing the job we pay him well over six figures for, this is a man trying to pull a political maneuver, at high cost to taxpayers, to prevent legislation from reaching a vote. Good sir, if you do not believe this is in the best interest of this country, by all means, debate your ideas. Put them in the public forum, convince your fellow senators to see things your way, and vote it down. The worst part is, this isn't the first time this "reading block" has happened. My question is now, what is going to happen next? Say they read the bill, and there's still support. Are they going to hire someone to translate it into Spanish, and then have all the senators learn Spanish, and then re-read the bill again? Then perhaps Portuguese? Then, just to ensure that the bill has been completely read, how about Mandarin?
The problem today isn't that the politicians are cheapening themselves. The problem today isn't even the childish antics that seem to be the proverbial rule of thumb. The problem today is that those elected are far more bent on what is good for party than what is good for country. America, as I have said so many times before, was founded on debate. From the first day of our sovereignty, there were opposing political parties. However, the difference between the parties then and the parties now is that back then, at the end of the night, it was about what was good for America. The parties fought for their ideas because they thought their ideas were best for America. Now, it seems more and more evident that the parties and party leaders are pushing their ideas for their own purposes. America, the land of the free, and the home of the brave... How long can you expect to continue playing your juvenile games in blissful ignorance while the rest of the world breaks, crumbles, and collapses around you?
Last week on "The O'Reilly Factor", we talked about California's and New York's enormous budget deficits and planned tax increases. Those states would have big surpluses had they just grown their governments in pace with inflation. But of course they didn't. Now the politicians act like their current deficits are something imposed on them by the recession.The need for all those extra taxes would be reduced if government at state and federal level could get their spending under control. For the most part that's not going to happen because far too many of those in power like to "bring home the bacon" regardless of the actual costs to their constituents. Only those states forced to address their spending issues, like California, New York, New Jersey, and Michigan, to name a few, will actually have the opportunity to trim spending by billions of dollars. They won't have a choice because if they don't cut spending higher taxes won't fill the empty coffers and the states will face bankruptcy. They simply don't have the money to pay for all those really 'neat things' everyone thought they could afford during the good times. But the good times are gone and with them, the revenues the states had gotten used to having.
But that's nonsense. They created the problem with their reckless spending.
O'Reilly told me that America is ready for a tax revolt. I hope he's right. But I don't think it will happen until more people see the ruling elite for what it is: a gang of arrogant bullies that has the audacity to believe that they know how to direct our lives better than we do.
That's why, bad as the taxes are, I'm more upset about ObamaCare, Medicare, the "stimulus," the auto bailout, the bank bailouts, the Fannie/Freddie bailouts, the trillions in guarantees, and on and on.
To paraphrase James Carville, "It's the spending, stupid!"
I tell you, I'm just chomping at the bit to attend a traditional Anglican service, which promises to have much more elevated language and decorum than my liberal local parish where on Respect Life Sunday my priest went off on an impassioned plea against the death penalty. Catholics can still debate that. Anyway, it hasn't been administered for decades and decades and decades in this diocese, but every year innocent unborn babies get...
Heller was groundbreaking in breaking apart the liberal interpretation that had become increasingly precarious that the Second Amendment was a collective thing good only for state police powers or the National Guard, not an individual right. Liberals were hogwash.
We have gotten incorporation from an activist though now venerable interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment--to include the provisions of the Bill of Rights (those of you who attended gubmit schools let me explain: the first ten amendments of the US Constitution). That's key.
At stake is the draconian gun ban in Chicago that's been stalwartly defended by such luminaries of Rod Blagojevich and Richard Daley. And it also is useful to the criminal element who find it such a drag when the people they are attempting to kill, rape, abduct, or steal from have the means at their disposal to fight back. Heller applied only to DC, which is federally administered and not (yet) a state. May it never become one.
Ah, the no-longer-forgotten Second Amendment, that inalienable right many of the states south of here hold is some degree of contempt. Yes, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, I'm talking about you. Do you know I can travel through RI with a pistol in the car but I can't stop. Not even for a bathroom break? Then I'd be technically in violation of the law. It's nuts.
NYC? Total contempt. One can receive a license for concealed carry if one is a billionaire or a very big actor, e.g. Donald Trump or Robert Di Nero. The "little" people? Fuhgetaboutit. You're not worthy enough to be able to choose to defend yourself--just hope a cop is nearby when you need him.
He will eventually be there with a body bag, though. That's a guarantee.
Well, according to Cato Institute's Robert Levy in a podcast I listened to many moons ago incorporation is a "slam dunk." He was instrumental in pushing forward in what would become the famous Heller decision. DC had a total ban on handguns and guess where I saw more handguns before in my life in the hands of teenage boys? I lived there in 1990.
Here's the latest. Godspeed, Second Amendment. I can't live without you. Maybe the dangerous so-called "gun free zones" will become a thing of the past like mood rings.
What could she be talking about? The above book is tremendous. I finished it last night. I'll have more quotes from it in future.~ Oriana Fallaci in The Rage and The Pride, p. 176 (hardcover)
Is it just me or does it appear to anyone else that every time President Obama leaves the US the stock market goes up?
It wasn't the review itself that made me want to do so. It was the comments made of the review by those still suffering from PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) that moved me in that direction.
Not one of those commenting that posted negative reviews of the review itself had actually read Palin's tome. Not one of them posted anything that was any different from the same tired and long discredited tripe they wrote before the 2008 elections. Not one of them posted anything original. Just about every negative comment was a retread. No original thought was required. Only hatred, envy, and disdain made it into the comments.
So much for polite discourse or agreement to disagree.
The pathological hatred of Palin displayed by the Left is disturbing. It goes beyond all reason. (Yes, I know. I'm trying to ascribe reason to those showing absolutely none whatsoever.) It shows the old saying is true - We Hate That Which We Fear. The Left must be truly scared of Sarah Palin.
At least today will be a nice day, allowing us to take care of more of our pre-winter work outside The Manse. We even let the fire go out in the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove, it was that nice a day.
*********While President Obama dithers about Afghanistan, troop morale there is plummeting. Between long and repetitive tours of duty and a Commander-in-Chief incapable of making a decision in regards to their mission, is it any wonder morale is deteriorating?
It all comes down to this: "Mr. President, make the g**d*** decision!"
The longer he waffles, the harder it will get for our troops and the stronger the Taliban will become.
He's starting sound and act more like Jimmy Carter every day.
*********If this isn't a case of hypocrisy, I don't know what is.
*********What happens when supporters of Obama/PelosiCare hold a rally and no one shows?
When the anti-Obama/PelosiCare rallies turn out hundreds or thousands and pro-Obama/PelosiCare rallies can only scare up a couple of dozen, one has to wonder if Congressional Democrats' claims of broad support of Obama/PelosiCare refelct reality to any degree.
I'd have to say the answer to that is a resounding 'no'.
*********I have to admit to thinking the same thing as these folks on more than one occasion. I may have even thought it out loud. I'll even admit to thinking it far more often over the past few years.
Every year since he was 13, Henry Ladd Sr. has hunted deer, moose, bear and whatever else the forest provides. And each year, like clockwork, Ladd has hung the catch in front of his home, where it was gutted and drained of blood before the meat was cut.One thing that's always bothered me has been the folks moving up here to New Hampshire from Massachusetts and then trying turn their new home town into a clone of the very place they fled. As I've said to the them more than once, "If the place you came from was so d*** good then why don't you go back there?"
That was until last week, when a neighbor who spotted a hanging doe called the police to complain about Ladd, who is now 81.
For the police, the call was a minor animal complaint, just one of many on Oct. 31, according to Sgt. Margaret Lougee. An officer spoke to Ladd, but there was nothing illegal about using his own property to process venison.
However, the idea that a neighbor would not understand a hunting tradition the Ladds have passed on for 68 years left a foul taste in their mouths.
"Did you tell them to go back to Massachusetts? That's what we do up here," Henry Ladd Jr., 43, recalled saying to the officer.
(emphasis added - ed.)
(H/T No Looking Backwards)
*********You'll get no argument from me on this one.
Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
Until they start speaking out, their silence will be taken as tacit approval of the actions of the militant jihadist factions within Islam.
*********Obama has tripled the national deficit in less than a year yet Bush is still given the blame for everything regarding the economy. I still can't fathom the idea that people still believe the government can spend tons of money we don't have yet that such spending will somehow 'cure' the recession. That might work in the short term, but once the bill comes due the damage will be worse than the original problem.
*********There certainly was a lot of hullabaloo about the possible federal bailout of a number of failing newspapers, which many feared would mean a media beholden to the government (specifically the Obama Administration) making them de facto propaganda arms of the government. But it turns out it wasn't the feds we had to worry about. Instead it was the Executive Council of the state of New Hampshire that voted unanimously to approve a bailout for a local failed newspaper in the western part of the state. This move was so out of character that it received coverage on Glenn Beck's show on Fox.
The statewide newspaper, the Union Leader of Manchester, NH is against the idea because it sets a bad precedent.
*********Speaking of a bad precedent, the idea of using GPS in vehicles to allow taxation by mileage has two effects:
It will reduce traffic, and...That sounds too 1984 for me. Big Brother will definitely be watching everything you do and every place you go.
..it makes tracking the activities of citizens very easy.
*********I'm sure their parents are so proud.
New London, N.H., police have arrested 105 students at a party where officers say underage youths were drinking.What lesson will these college students learn from this incident?
Police said 91 of the youths arrested Friday night are from Colby-Sawyer College. Police said 55 students were charged with alcohol possession after their blood-alcohol levels registered at 0.02 percent or higher. The rest were released to their parents.
Don't let your kegger get so loud the police can hear it from the police station.
*********Could the Democrats lose Obama's old seat in the US Senate?
That would be a real kick in the teeth if the GOP takes the seat.
*********The New England Patriots played a late game against the Colts in Indianapolis tonight. As I write this the game is tied 7-7 in the first quarter.
*********BeezleBub and I finished cleaning out the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, removing the cushions, life jackets, tools, anchors, and just about everything else not otherwise attached. We also started assembling the winter storage frame, used to support the large tarp we use to shelter the boat over the winter. But unlike past years where we used store-bought lumber, we decided to use the materials we had at hand.
If you read last week's Thoughts On A Sunday I mentioned we were cutting brush around The Manse. There were a lot smaller trees Beezlebub downed that were originally destined for the burn pile or the wood pile. Instead we're using them to build the frame. On top of that we aren't using any metal fasteners (screws or nails) to put it together. Everything is being held together with wooden pegs and sisal rope (the only item we bought). The pegs have been fashioned from the smaller tree limbs trimmed from the trees taken down last week.
While it isn't beautiful it will serve the purpose for which it was constructed - protect The Boat.
*********And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather was warm, the stove has been allowed to go cold, and where our boat will soon be under cover for the winter.
Experience the inexhaustible hatred of the preacher who became a dear friend, a role model, to our current President. Why this didn't prevent Obama's election is a mystery to me, except for the fact that white people are even stupider than I think.
There's a lot of hatred in this video against the white race. Notice some in the audience standing there in a Nazi-like salute of approbation? You can't make this stuff up. Is it any wonder guns sales are through the roof since Obama was the winner of the presidential race? No one wants to meet an individual late at night in an alleyway who happens to think that the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright is a man of profundity, peace, and principle.
If LA is correct, then it his explanation--on the surface hysterical and unreasonable--may help explain this bit of idiocy and failure by the President to sound coherent when responding to the Japanese questioner about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
A responder at Lucianne's writes:
If Barack Obama can't stick up for the country he represents when he goes overseas, he should resign.
Notice how Captain Sullenberger sounded calm, cool, and collected in his communications with New York Departure Control. Nerves of steel, the mark of a professional.
That's not surprising considering federal revenues were 18% below projections. At least it didn't surprise me considering Congress and the White House ignored the Law of Diminishing Returns: Once you raise taxes and fees above a certain point the amount of revenue you collect will fall. It's a perfect example of the Laffer Curve in action.
On the other hand government spending hasn't dropped off nearly enough (only about 3%) to make up for the revenue shortfall. I have no doubt Congress will act to correct the problem...by raising more taxes and fees. This will have the effect of causing an even greater falloff in revenue. Congress shouldn't be raising taxes during a deep recession. They also shouldn't be spending money we don't have, either. But I don't expect Congress or the White House to do the necessary things to stem this flood of red ink.
Here in New Hampshire the state is seeing a similar falloff in revenues, being short about $38 million so far. A number of people within the New Hampshire legislature warned that revenue projections were unrealistic, particularly in light of the hefty increase in taxes and fees. This is the second budget cycle where the Democrat dominated legislature overestimated revenues and used those projected revenue figures to increase state spending by amounts that far exceeded the inflation rate. Over four years state spending has increased by 30%, but revenues haven't come anywhere near to covering the larger expenditures.
The state ended it's last budget cycle (New Hampshire has a two-year budget) over $100 million in the red. The legislature still has that budget gap to fill and has been trying to do so by raiding $110 million in surplus insurance premiums being held by the state chartered Joint Underwriting Association, a private organization created by the state to ensure doctors, medical practices, hospitals, and other medical facilities and personnel could get malpractice insurance. So far the state has failed in its attempts to confiscate those funds. A Belknap County judge ruled in a suit filed by the JUA that the state had no rights to those funds because the law that set up the Association states surplus funds must be returned to the policy holders, past and present. The judge also ruled the state had no other claims to the funds because the JUA is a private entity, particularly in light of the fact that no state funds or state personnel are used to administer the Association. The state disagreed and has taken the case to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
You know it's getting bad when the state legislature figures it can raid private funds to plug a budget gap. I believe that's called theft. Of course the Democrats in the legislature see it as monies being withheld from them by greedy doctors when the state can make far better use of that money. Never mind that state law says otherwise. Never mind that the money isn't theirs to begin with.
It's going to be interesting (in the old Chinese curse definition) to see how the financial situation at the federal and state level will play out.
Update: A number of states are looking at growing revenue shortfalls, with some heading towards bankruptcy because of pension funding obligations and state union contracts that leave them with little wiggle room.
Um, here's my explanation. It's more than political correctness, though that plays a large part. It's the desire to avoid being seen as "judgmental." But even that's not adequate, though Theodore Dalrymple has written a very good book on the topic.
Westerners are "Eloi," or sheeple, as Michael Savage rightly calls many. Lawrence Auster (LA) describes the Eloi:
As white America has progressively lost its belief in God, in objective truth and morality, in law, in nationhood and in race, whites have acquired an increasingly bland, complacent, pacific aspect. This seems to be true not only in the United States but in the white West as a whole. One is especially struck by this enervated quality in contemporary whites when observing them at their leisure, on Sundays, or on their innumerable vacations, or when they are shopping. In the all-white or predominantly white pockets of society, the environment is orderly and peaceful and aesthetically attractive, but something vital is missing....Whites seem have lost the energy, confidence and leadership qualities that once created a civilization.Der Untergang des Abendlandes by Oswald Spengler comes immediately to mind.
Here is a link to two liberal Huffington Post writers quoting conservatives who are seeing the light. I feel like Ben Franklin reading a book attacking deism but being persuaded by quotations provided of the deists designed to be attacked.
The aftermath of Kelo is the latest example of the futility of using eminent domain as corporate welfare. While Ms. Kelo and her neighbors lost their homes, the city and the state spent some $78 million to bulldoze private property for high-end condos and other "desirable" elements. Instead, the wrecked and condemned neighborhood still stands vacant, without any of the touted tax benefits or job creation.New London may have won the case, but it lost the war, ending up with a part of the city now vacant and generating no tax revenue at all. Millions of dollars were spent and all the city has to show for it is a desolate section of the city that is now nothing but empty lots. So much for their grandiose plans.
One positive effect of Kelo vs New London: many states strengthened the limits of eminent domain with new laws or amendments to their state constitutions to prevent such abuses from happening again. Ironically, Connecticut was one of them.
Too bad it was too late to help the citizens/taxpayers of New London.
Here's another lesson can we take from the aftermath of Kelo that should act as a precautionary tale for those believing government is the answer to all our ills:
If there is a lesson from Connecticut's misfortune, it is that economic development that relies on the strong arm of government will never be the kind to create sustainable growth.We've seen that far too often. As soon as the government money runs out, the growth stops or even reverses as the government funded/subsidized jobs end. Better that the private sector create sustainable growth if for no other reason that it also creates wealth and, in the end, more jobs.
While she has crowed her success into forcing the passage of an onerous and deceptive bill the American people don't want, at least one liberal has the courage to state exactly what Pelosi's health care reform legislation is really all about: making the American people more dependent on the US Government against their will...and not for their own good.
[John] Cassidy is more honest than the politicians whose dishonesty he supports. "The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment," he writes. "Let's not pretend that it isn't a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won't. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration . . . is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind.""Making the United States a more equitable country?" Who decides what is 'equitable'? And is equality as Obama and his minions define it really a good thing?
Why are they doing it? Because, according to Mr. Cassidy, ObamaCare serves the twin goals of "making the United States a more equitable country" and furthering the Democrats' "political calculus." In other words, the purpose is to further redistribute income by putting health care further under government control, and in the process making the middle class more dependent on government. As the party of government, Democrats will benefit over the long run.
The answer to this last question is 'no', for Obama's equality has nothing to do with equality of opportunity and everything to do with outcome. We've seen such equality many times, both in the past and present, and it's nothing anyone should aspire to because all it really means is equality of misery.
Everyone will be equal...except of course the ruling elite. Nothing will be denied to them because, after all, they are more equal than the rest of us.
In making health care reform a misplaced priority, he and Pelosi and Reid have shown us what it is they really want to do is to make sure we are all good little proles on the hook to the 'benevolent' dictatorship that is The State. They have come to believe they know what's good for the masses better than we do, therefore they must control every aspect of our lives. Such is their arrogance. But like all statists their beliefs have one major flaw: they are no better at running our lives than they are their own. In fact, they are totally incapable of making our lives better by the means they have been pushing for all these decades. [/rant]
As more than one commenter to the Cassidy piece noted, the last thing we want to do is to be like everyone else.
We are the EXCEPTION. Who cares if the rest of the world has universal health care? The United States of America has been the exception since it was first created. What is sad is that we have idiots in our government who do not believe in American exceptionalism and think that we need to be just like the rest of the world. Did the founding fathers believe that we needed to be like Europe when we declared independence? NOOOOOOO!!! Why should we become like them now?We already know how well such a system will run. Examples abound, both here and in other countries, showing us that they work well...if you aren't sick or hurt. Otherwise all bets are off. Do we really want a system like that?
Look, we don't want a government run system that will give us mediocre care and only give the best care to the rich, famous, and the Washington elites. We want to be able to have choice. The healthcare legislation that the Democrats are trying to pass will not give us choice. It is designed to make private insurance obsolete and eventually put everyone on a government run system.
The average pay for a coach in the NCAA's top-level, 120-school Bowl Subdivision is $1.36 million -- up 28% in the last two years and up 46% in three years.
Some may say that this example and the one I posted yesterday are atypical of what occurs under Canada's socialized medical care system. But I know far too many friends north of the border that tell me it is all too typical. I've heard the same thing from friends in the UK about the NHS as well.
I vividly remember watching this the first time it was nationally aired on the series by Ken Burns. I joined an entire nation in getting verklempt. Today just after The Writer's Almanac Maine Public Radio broadcasted it. How the letters were once written! It was a different age, filled with story-telling and the King James Bible. With all our years of education, many of us can't duplicate what our forebears were able to do when they took pen to paper.
Barack Obama is incapable of doing anything so smart [triangulate--reaching across the aisle]...Unlike Bill Clinton, Obama is a committed ideologue--a man raised by Marxists and mentored as a youth by a communist, who sought out similar types in college by his own admission in the autobiography he may or may not have actually written himself. He's a man who ran on the ticket of an avowedly socialist party in the 1990s. He's a man who sat in the pew of a racist, anti-Semitic, America-hating demagogue for two decades with no objection, until he discovered that it was becoming inconvenient to his political goals. He's a man who has willfully marinated his entire life in an ugly stew of socialism, racialism, victimology, class warfare, and other "progressive" tropes fashionable in academia and elite America but abhorrent to many of the rest of us.That's it in a nutshell.
ABC News reported Monday that U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Maj. Hasan was attempting to contact al Qaeda, for reasons unknown but presumably not about Osama bin Laden's plans for Brotherhood Week. Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, requested a CIA briefing on what was known about Maj. Hasan, and was told no. Mr. Hoekstra on Saturday sent a "document-preservation request" to the directors of the Department of National Intelligence, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the CIA to prevent a rush to the shredders to destroy embarrassing evidence of malfeasance.~ Washington Times column by Wesley Pruden how stalinist political sensibilities, which is how I characterize political correctness, is preventing officials from properly acting on reasonable "red flags."
It's not new. Mark Steyn wonderfully writes on the media's role ten years ago covering another mass murderer who tonight has been executed:
After weeks of assurances that the sniper was an "angry white male", it turns out the only angry white males connected to this story are the ones in America's newsrooms. On Thursday, after being informed that the two suspects were a black Muslim called Muhammad and his illegal-immigrant Jamaican sidekick, The New York Times nevertheless reported in its early editions that the pair were being sought for "possible ties to 'skinhead militia' groups". The Feds had already released a photo of Muhammad looking like one of the less goofy members of the Jackson Five and, though one should never rush to stereotype, it seems unlikely that a black Muslim with big hair would have many "ties" to skinhead militias.
It never ceases to amaze me how much effect our four-footed family members can have on us. It's also surprising how much we hurt when they hurt...and how much we grieve when they are taken from us.
And so it has been with Shawn Mallow and his cat, Treasure.
Go read their story.
Keep a hanky nearby.
The only problem we'll have is that we'll have no place to go to get the care we want, unlike our Canadian brethren do now. Hmm, maybe some of the more enterprising physicians in the US will move their practices offshore to one of the Caribbean islands in order to give the care we Americans will soon be deprived of by the oh-so-caring US Government.
Under questioning, Attorney Gen. Holder was surprisingly forthright in admitting that the hate bill is not intended to protect everyone, or even the majority. He said only historically oppressed minorities were to benefit. This means Jews, blacks, homosexuals, women, etc. Holder made it clear that if a white Christian male, including a serviceman or police officer, was the victim of a violent hate crime by any minority he would have to find redress from traditional law. He could not avail himself of the triple penalties and rapid government/justice system response given a protected minority.This might explain Wichita or Knoxville:
In Cobbins' August trial, Judge Baumgartner had abused the jury selection process, in order to rig the sentencing options. Although the victims were both white, and the assailants had committed the atrocity in a jurisdiction that is 88 percent white and only 8.8 percent black, Baumgartner went to 27.5 percent black Davidson County, to fetch a majority-black jury, which he bused in to Knox County. That jury convicted Cobbins of 33 out of 38 felony charges, but sentenced him only to "life without parole". In Gomer Pyle's immortal words, "Surprise, surprise, surprise!"Imagine a jury pool being racially reconfigured in such a blatant way if the races were reversed! Can't we just treat people as individuals and dump the identity, group-based politics? You know, judge each other by the content of our character, not the color of our skin, as some great Americans have said?
It's also one of the great messages from Harper Lee's classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, which devastatingly chronicles when individuals aren't treated with equality under the law, a central American republican demand.
But two other psychiatrists who had worked closely with Hasan when he was training at Walter Reed told NPR that the suspect could be belligerent. The two asked not to be identified because the military had ordered them not to talk to the media.
They said Hasan would sometimes belittle colleagues without provocation.
The psychiatrists also said Hasan once gave a bizarre lecture to the medical staff in which he said the Quran teaches that infidels should have their heads cut off and set on fire. [emphasis mine]
"When I heard the news about Hasan, honestly, my first thought was, 'That makes a lot of sense. That completely fits the person I knew,' " one of the psychiatrists told NPR.
The segment this morning on the Army Maj. who is a mass murderer was a whitewash as I expected it would be. It brought up the fact he may have been a Muslim extremist. But it didn't bring up any evidence that has been circulating in mainstream publications, such as this one, where he's reported to have told colleagues that "infidels should have their throats slit" and that suicide bombers who kill innocents are equivalent to soldiers who sacrifice themselves by throwing their bodies on a grenade ready to explode in order to save their buddies. Does NPR think we're stupid and lack an Internet connection?
But it did bring up the unsubstantiated claims he was harassed for being Muslim. They're quick to do that. It's the Christians who incited him!
Lawrence Auster puts it with wonderful acerbic wit:
[The liberal mainstream] media establishment are saying that the mass murder is bigoted America's fault, because the man's Army colleagues "harassed" him as a Muslim and made him lose his mind. In reality, far from being harassed, he was allowed complete freedom to make his numerous blood-curdling and treasonous statements, since everyone in today's diversity-cowed Army was afraid to make a formal complaint about him. Think of it: a jihadist enemy ensconced as a major in the U.S. Army makes classic jihadist threats against America, and then carries them out, while other Army officers do nothing to stop him; and now the U.S. establishment accuses the very people who did nothing to stop him of harassing him and so turning him into a mass murderer!The other news account of interest to me is the US Supreme Court deciding to hear the disgraced former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skillings, who will receive a hearing for, among several things, the principal fact that the media circus of his trial in Houston prevented a fair trial.
I think there may be something to that in fact, having witnessed it at first hand. Years ago, in the early '90s, I was a bit disappointed the same court decided not to hear Pamela Smart's appeal on similar grounds: the truly bizarro media circus in that trial and the fact that the judge's seemingly questionable decision not to sequester the jury, may open up reasonable doubts that they were swayed.
What year was that, 1990? Coincidentally, I was a student at UNH and was interning at the NH public television station in Durham and the women there were glued to the TV. When the verdict came out, everyone came out and watched it on a huge screen and screamed with joy, hearing "Guilty."
I think it was ridiculous that when the media frenzy is in full gear a jury wouldn't be sequestered.
While BeezleBub tackled the brush out back I took care of cleaning out the more noxious and tenacious brush that have invaded the front. While we could have done this during the summer months, it has turned out to be easier and more efficacious after the leaves have fallen. It's easier to remove the vegetation when we can actually see what we're working on.
While we haven't gotten it all done, we did make a major dent in our task. I figure we'll be at it for another couple of weekends before we can declare success.
*********It was a nice warm day here in central New Hampshire today, with temps in the low 60's. It's supposed to be even warmer tomorrow and Tuesday. I'll take it. While we have been running at below normal temperatures since mid September, we are being graced with a few days of above normal temps. Then we'll be back into the colder than normal temperatures. But at least we won't need to run the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove during the day until Wednesday. That works for me.
*********Late last night I saw Nancy Pelosi crowing her success in extorting and strong-arming enough Democrats to vote for her 1990+ page "Destruction of the American Health Care System and Daunting Deficit Spending To Pay For It All" bill. In my opinion it shows her delight in sending the US down the path of economic ruin for our health care system. The Speaker obviously has no understanding of economics and what motivates and demotivates people to do what they do when it comes to economic activity.
We know her intentions are good (after all, she says so), but we all know the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Unfortunately she will be dragging 300+ million Americans to Health Care Hell with her.
Now all we can hope for is the bill's failure to pass in the Senate. I'd like to think there will be enough opposition to kill it despite Harry Reid's arm twisting.
Obama praised this soul-killing bill as one "desperately needed by the American people." Unfortunately he's wrong (or disingenuous). This isn't what was needed by anyone but him. What the American desperately need is for him to stop screwing around with the economy and to stop spending money we don't have.
*********Sarah Palin makes known her thoughts about the just passed Pelosi health care bill:
Despite Americans' decisive message last Tuesday that they reject the troubling path this country has been taking, Speaker Pelosi has broken her own promises of transparency to ram a health "care" bill through the House of Representatives just before midnight. Why did she push the 2,000 page bill this weekend? Was she perhaps afraid to give her peers and the constituents for whom she works the chance to actually read this monstrous bill carefully, if at all? Was she concerned that Americans might really digest the details of a bill that the Wall Street Journal has called "the worst piece of post-New Deal legislation ever introduced"?I've turned manure piles at the farm that did't stink anywhere near as much as this socialist piece-of-crap legislation.
*********You know it's bad for Obama when even the Chicago press is criticizing him for his reaction (or lack thereof) to the shootings in Fort Hood. Some have even called this his "My Pet Goat" moment. (For those of you out there not familiar with the reference, President George W. Bush was reading "My Pet Goat" to a bunch of elementary school students Down South when he received word of the first attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th. Some criticized him for not leaving immediately, possibly scaring the hell out of the kids, even though there was no definitive information about what had happened at that time.)
*********But wait! It gets even worse for Obama!
It's not good for the President when even Democrats state they miss George W. Bush.
In a sign that the Obama honeymoon truly is over, I began to hear this week the first stirrings of a wistfulness about Mr Bush. "I never thought I'd hear myself say it," one Democrat told me. "But Obama makes you feel that at least with Bush you knew where he was on something."This makes me want to buy one of these.
You know Obama's luster has indeed faded when the cool demeanor he displayed during the presidential campaign is now being criticized because he's seen as too cool, too passionless.
When Mr Bush's Republicans were defeated in the 2006 mid-term elections, it was the President himself who stepped up and declared that his party had received "a thumpin'". The Democratic defeats on Tuesday were not on anything like the same scale but Mr Obama acted as if nothing at all had happened.This sounds like denial, where someone will ignore an event or events in the hope that it will all go away all by itself.
I don't think that's going to work in this case.
*********Glenn Reynolds has a series of links decrying the Department of Homeland Security's focus on Tea Party protesters while ignoring online posts and rants of those glorifying suicide bombings and jihadist attacks against US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Says Instapundit reader C.J. Burch, "Ah, but those middle class protesters are a threat to politicians' power. Terrorists are just a threat to their constituents' lives. See the difference?"
*********One must wonder what the heck the Obama Administration thinks the First Amendment - and particularly Free Speech - means. From what I've been reading lately I get the impression they see it as something that should be greatly curtailed...unless someone is speaking in favor of something the Administration wants.
*********If this were really the case:
I've always liked the VW's.
(H/T Maggie's Farm)
*********This is how President Obama should have handled the shootings at Ft. Hood.
Are we missing Dubya and Laura yet?
*********The New England Patriots played the Miami Dolphins in Foxboro today, beating them 27-17. While still not perfect, the Patriots have shaped up nicely after a few stumbles at the beginning of the season.
*********And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where above normal temps are visiting for a few days, the depression over PelosiCare is setting in, and where ammo is still in short supply.
My dad keeps telling me to buy gold. But I'm more into ammo and guns. When the fecal matter hits the cylindrical fan that'll probably be more useful. But people obviously don't trust the U.S. dollar. As G. Gordon Liddy keeps saying, the Fed is printing money on toilet paper in the basement of the Treasury.
similar to this recently when a NH cop received a suspension because of his outspoken opinion against the drug war.
I think it goes hand-in-hand: the loss of economic freedoms with our personal ones as espoused in the First Amendment. Can the Second be far behind?
This 2,000-page bill goes in exactly the wrong direction: it means higher premiums, higher taxes, Medicare cuts, more debt & huge new health-care costs for state taxpayers. Instead we should start over and go step by step. Specifically, we could start with small business health care plans that would lower premiums, cover up to 1 million new small business employees, and reduce spending on Medicaid.
God help us. My children are inheriting a worse country than I did. I think I may apologize to them like Dennis Prager did to his children in the wake of the LA riots.
I'm extremely troubled by it. It's one of those news stories that gets you, grabs your attention, and forces you to stay up watching Fox News way past one's bedtime. I admit slubbering at the coverage, how liberal everyone is--And this Fox is supposed to be conservative!--in not "jumping to any conclusions."
Since when did tolerance become the chief of the virtues?
The truth was staring at us all along, right beneath our noses.
In a profound blog entry, which is nearly an oxymoron, Lawrence Auster brings us the disaster that is liberalism:
Read the rest. Of course, if multiculturalism teaches us that taking a particular interest in the West's history, even though we are part of the West, is to be frowned upon if not actively discouraged, names and incidents such as this are doomed to be meaningless. As John Derbyshire writes in his new book, We Are Doomed.Would Charles Martel, who drove an invading Muslim army back from France, have commissioned Muslim officers in his army? Would King Jan Sobieski, who defeated the Muslim Turks at Vienna and gave Europe 300 years of safety and freedom from Islam, have allowed Muslim doctors to enter his headquarters and move about at liberty among his men on the eve of deployment for battle against Muslims? Of course not.
HT: What's wrong with the world. One of the commentators writes, "If Islam is the religion of peace, then the Ku Klux Klan is a fraternity."
UPDATE: The Left loves to mock World Net Daily, probably because it's one of the few online newspapers that knows how to make a profit. And they break stories, such as this one, that go against what liberalism tries to control. I'm not going to wait with bated breath for co-religionists to condemn this one imam's statement, as did a broad swath of Christians in the wake of the despicable Timothy McVeigh's bombing. Nonetheless, the Left still attempted linkage, even in the absence of evidence.
Lawrence Auster makes another excellent point how liberalism presents a false dichotomy, not realizing how the ideology of jihad--which I have learned from Andrew Bostom is traditionally understood in Islam as attack against nonbelievers, not the struggle within against one's own sinful inclination, the other meaning of the word which in Arabic means "struggle"--may invite actors to act as they do, not in a vacuum:
"Either he's a member of a terrorist group, or he's a lone, troubled man. This is the standard liberal false choice with which we are presented. An act is designated as a terrorist act only if the perpetrator was part of a formal terrorist organization. The idea that a Muslim individual may pursue a jihad operation is precluded."UPDATE II: Diana West, whom I called on the Granite Grok radio program a couple of weeks ago, is totally brilliant. I can't refrain from linking to her blog on the US Army and political correctness. Where's Douglas MacArthur when we need him?
After making all kinds of noise about the supposed "coup" and how the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court removing Zelaya under their own constitution and laws were somehow wrong, the Obama Administration now concedes their actions were lawful and will magnanimously allow them some say in their own affairs.
Gee, isn't that just swell?
So much for "smart diplomacy."
As the official unemployment rate tops 10% in more than one quarter of all states, the hot topic of the day increasingly moves toward how to stimulate more hiring. This is particularly true in states hit the hardest in the economic downturn.Of course it was the politicians in Congress that pushed through the raise in the minimum wage, using the excuse that no one could support a family making the minimum wage as it was before they took action. However, it is rare that anyone making minimum wage is also supporting a family. Such jobs are usually entry level positions for people taking their first jobs. But with the increase of the minimum wage over the past couple of years many of those jobs have disappeared. As illustrated above, when the costs go up employers find ways of cutting costs. Whether that means trimming jobs or replacing personnel with machinery, the end result is the number of jobs at minimum wage shrink.
With this in mind, consider the annual trade show put on by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute last month. Despite the punk economy, show attendance was healthy. Many exhibitors reported a lot of interest in the packaging and food-processing equipment they had on the show floor.
One might wonder why, with manufacturing companies in such terrible shape, makers of food-processing and food-packaging equipment seemed to be doing relatively well. Part of the answer, according to a longtime PMMI board member, is that makers of automation equipment for the food industry are being helped along by recent legislation, but not in the way you might think.
This board member, who has held management positions in the foodprocessing- equipment industry for many years, wasn't referring to stimulus spending. He was alluding to the rise in the minimum wage which took effect this past summer. The food industry is characterized by a significant number of low-wage workers, he points out. In the past, he'd noticed that every increase in the minimum wage resulted in an up-tick of orders for automation equipment designed to eliminate a few more jobs. He figures this past summer's wage hike is shaping up to be no different. Of course, you'll likely never read this explanation for economic activity in newspaper headlines. One suspects that machinery manufacturers asked to publicly explain their improving business conditions tend to avoid giving politically incorrect answers. It is generally unwise to point out that your own good fortunes are partly due to missteps by politicians that have brought misery to others.
(emphasis added - ed.)
I have no doubt the members of Congress that ramrodded this change will now claim the decrease in the number of minimum wage jobs is solely the fault of the greedy business owners. But the one thing they constantly overlook is that businesses, particularly small businesses, are not charities. If they don't remain profitable they go out of business, and those working for them will be out of jobs. This is something that seems to have escaped the notice of the Congresscritters when they passed the minimum wage increase legislation.
No further comment required.
It's not often we think of batteries until we need them (usually when they've just gone dead at exactly the wrong time).
Over a couple of hundred years batteries have evolved from carboys or jars filled with acid and metal plates to compact cells with high energy capacity installed in packs for all kinds of equipment, from laptops to cell phones to iPods to hybrid autos, just to name a few.
The battery chemistry of choice these days is lithium ion, also called Li-Ion. Li-Ion batteries have very high capacity while having little weight in comparison to other chemistries like lead-acid, alkaline, zinc-air, carbon-zinc, or nickel metal hydride (or NiMH).
Early Li-Ion cells were temperamental and not forgiving of abuse, often catching fire if they were over charged or physically damaged. But better electrode materials and electrolyte chemicals have greatly reduced that danger, making them far safer than they used to be. (That's not to say they're perfectly safe.) The big attraction of lithium-ion batteries, as anyone using batteries on a regular basis can tell you, is the high capacity, which allows longer time between recharges for the electronic and electrical equipment that uses them. That's why Li-Ion batteries have supplanted most other rechargeable battery types in portable equipment. But as good as Li-Ion batteries have become, they are slated to become >even better.
Researchers at the Institute for Chemistry and Technology of Materials [at Graz University of Technology in Austria] have developed a new method that utilises silicon for lithium-ion batteries. Its storage capacity is ten times higher than the graphite substrate which has been used up to now, and promises considerable improvements for users.Researchers at Stanford University have developed something similar, using silicon nanowires to coat the graphite, potentially boosting the battery capacity by a factor of ten. If either of these methods become commercially available, we could see cell phone batteries that will give a user 24 hours of talk time, and laptop batteries with 20 hours or more of run time. It could also make hybrid or all-electric automobiles far more cost effective, using smaller battery packs, all while extending the range between charges.
In the newly developed process, researchers utilise a silicon-containing gel and apply it to the graphite substrate material. "In this way the graphite works as a buffer, cushioning the big changes in volume of the silicon during the uptake and transfer of lithium ions," explains Koller.
Silicon has a lithium-ion storage capacity some ten times higher than the up-to-now commercially used graphite. The new material can thus store more than double the quantity of lithium ions without changes to the battery lifetime.
Who knew that battery technology could actually be exciting?
Venezuelans in the capital are bracing themselves for drastic rationing as public services in the oil-rich nation sink ever deeper into crisis, threatening to undermine President Hugo Chávez's support."High economic growth"? Really? In Venezuela?
Water is to be cut off in Caracas for up to 48 hours a week from Monday, possibly lasting until next May or June. Power rationing is also starting this week, aiming to reduce national useage by 20 per cent.
Venezuela's populist leader says the water shortages are a result of the driest weather in 40 years, which has also intensified the problem of blackouts. The country relies on hydroelectricity for about three-quarters of its power and reservoirs are at record lows. Increased consumption due to high economic growth has exacerbated the problem, he says.
Hmm. Somehow I find it difficult to believe there is economic growth of any kind in Venezuela, particularly when price controls for various commodities (like food) have made them very scarce. Graft, corruption, and incompetence have severely limited or destroyed various segments of the economy. Even Venezuela's oil reserves, claimed by Chávez to be greater than that even of Saudi Arabia, have been unable to support the government's growing social and economic engineering programs. Of course it doesn't help that their petroleum infrastructure has been decaying since Chávez took power and nationalized the oil companies. Most of the personnel that used to run and maintain the infrastructure have either quit, been fired, or fled Venezuela. The missing workers have been replaced by many of Chávez's political cronies, few of which know anything about running or maintaining the wells and equipment needed to keep the oil flowing.
I wonder how long it will take their wells, pipelines, oil terminals, and other equipment to deteriorate to the point where it doesn't work? All one need do is look at how Iran's once profitable oil infrastructure has crumbled to the point where they can't even refine enough of their own oil to meet their domestic needs.
His fellow Venezuelans haven't been buying his line about the causes of the various shortages, knowing many of the problems they are suffering are due entirely to his actions.
Government critics say that, despite Venezuela being flooded by oil wealth in recent years as energy prices rose, persistent under-investment in maintaining and expanding water and electricity networks lies at the root of the problem. They also point to chronic mismanagement, poor planning and even corruption. Furthermore, frozen tariffs have provided no incentive to conserve water or electricity.Eventually Chávez will run out of excuses. He won't be able to blame the rich because there won't be any left, except for his cronies (he'll have made sure of that). He won't be able to blame a drought if the electrical and water systems finally break down and provide neither to the populace even though there's plenty of water available to drink and generate electricity. He won't be able to blame the farmers for the shortage of food if he's driven them all out of business due to his fixing prices at such a low level that the farmers go bankrupt.
Many remain unconvinced by Mr Chávez's attempts to brush off responsibility for the shortages by attributing problems to the climatic phenomenon known as El Niño .
"It's not the root of the problem," says Norberto Bausson, director of the Municipal Institute for Water and Aqueducts of Sucre, an opposition-controlled municipality in eastern Caracas. He says the rationing is caused by rising demand due to population growth and increased consumption per capita, while an absence of infrastructure investment has caused supply to be lower now than a decade ago.
The time will come (if it hasn't already) when the only one left to blame will be Chávez himself. But he won't (or can't) admit he's been the cause of Venezuela's economic ills because when it comes to economics he's a total moron. But then most dictators are when it comes to understanding how economies work.
To help with his feelings of loss, we ended up making a trip to the WP In-Laws for the day, something that always makes him feel better.
*********Speaking of yesterday, the weather was definitely schizophrenic, with the day looking like it should have been a cool, windy, rainy day. Instead it was a very warm, windy, rainy day. Coats and sweaters were not required because it was in the upper 60's/lower 70's. The Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove was allowed to go cold and wasn't restarted until late today. The brief reprieve from the cool temperatures lasted until today, when things returned to normal.
*********As often happens during family trips, discussions about various topics take place. During our trip home from the WP In-Laws I made mention that I was having trouble seeing because of the dark and rain. At first I thought it was just me and my aging eyes. But both Deb and BeezleBub said they were also having a tough time seeing as well. The recently painted markings on the roads were barely visible (the rain deflecting the reflections from the markings), the winds causing the rain to wash across the windshield in ways that made it difficult for the wipers to keep it clear. It quickly became apparent we weren't the only ones having that problem as more than one car or truck we encountered on our trip home were driving slower and more carefully that they otherwise might have.
New pavement was more difficult to see because it is darker than older pavement, making it tougher to see the edges of the road. There was lots of new pavement along our route of travel (so maybe it's Obama's fault we couldn't see because of all the ARRA funds made available for road construction/reconstruction!).
*********Oh, yeah, like this bodes well for the state of California.
Starting Sunday, cash-strapped California will dig deeper into the pocketbooks of wage earners -- holding back 10% more than it already does in state income taxes just as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks into gear.Yeah, like that will happen. Knowing California's deep budget deficit, I doubt they'll have the means of paying that money back any time soon, if ever.
Technically, it's not a tax increase, even though it may feel like one when your next paycheck arrives.
Think of it as a forced, interest-free loan: You'll be repaid any extra withholding in April. Those who would receive a refund anyway will receive a larger one, and those who owe taxes will owe less.
*********Tammy Bruce confirms a prediction I made way back when that the Cash For Clunkers program would end up screwing both the taxpayers and the used car market.
*********I just upgraded our Linux computers to Ubuntu 9.10. The laptop had no problems and sailed through the upgrade with no problems. BeezleBub's computer, on the other hand, is now reporting a number of bad sectors on its primary hard drive. It also freezes when he tries to start an application. Ironically, it only happens on his account. When I log onto his computer on my account, everything seems to work just fine.
And people wonder why I hate and love computers at the same time.
*********First, there was Bush Derangement Syndrome. Then came Palin Derangement Syndrome (an ongoing affliction). Now there's (Liz) Cheney Derangement Syndrome.
Those hate-filled misogynists at MSNBC just can't handle it when a conservative woman dares utter an opinion. After Liz Cheney rightfully criticized Barack Obama's cheesy photo-op at Dover AFB the other night, MSNBC clown Lawrence O'Donnell, filling in for the insane Keith Olbermann, goes on this lame rant last night. O'Donnell is technically correct on one point: Yes, neither George W. Bush nor Dick Cheney ever pulled a stunt like Obama's. Likely because they realized buffoons like O'Donnell would have gone wild about "monsters" like Bush and Cheney showing up to greet the soldiers "they killed" in their "illegal war for oil" or some such nonsense.'Nuff said.
(H/T Pirate's Cove)
*********The White House has claimed a large number of jobs have been 'saved' by the stimulus bill. What they don't tell you is that most of them were government jobs.
It sounds like they've been taking a page from the book of New Jersey governor John Corzine.
*********Speaking of John Corzine, the gubernatorial race in New Jersey is a close one.
Corzine has ponied up over $30 million of his own money, while Republican challenger Chris Christie has been using public funding. Ironically, in a state with a 2-1 advantage of registered Democrats to Republicans, Christie is giving Corzine a run for his money. It all comes down to who the voters believe can turn New Jersey around and help the state economy recover. If Corzine's record in that regard were the only criteria for deciding who to vote for, he'd lose by a landslide. Unfortunately this race is about more than that...and that's the problem.
*********Has anyone else other than me and Don Surber noticed the White House really doesn't like criticism?
*********Ford Motor Company managed to avoid bankruptcy, managed to stay in business, and is making and selling cars consumers want to buy. So what happens?
The UAW figures Ford must be punished for its success.
With the rank and file voting down a contract negotiated between the unions and Ford, I would not be surprised to see demands for high pay, a wider swath of benefits, and more crippling work rules. The UAW played its part in bringing down Chrysler and GM, now they want to do the same thing to Ford.
*********Bruce points out the greed of Massachusetts shoppers crossing the border into New Hampshire to do their shopping, depriving their beloved Commonwealth of much needed revenue required "For The Children!"
In the photo included in his post, you see the owner of the vehicle is a proud member of a union, an Obama supporter, and definitely not a fan of George W. Bush. To me it illustrates their hypocrisy, apparently being for all kinds of liberal spending (and the taxes that go with them), yet stiffing their own home state of tax revenues to benefit themselves.
*********Bogie and her WS are making preparations for the coming winter, getting their firewood supply stacked and under cover. As she says, "This is stuff of warm and cozy winters!"
Here at The Manse we have two-thirds of our firewood supply stacked and ready to go, with the last third being delivered sometime in the next week or so.
Unlike last winter, we will be doing almost all our heating using the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove. About the only time we'll turn up the thermostat is when it is below zero outside (the woodstove can't quite keep up when it's that cold) and when we leave The Manse for more than a day, like over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (we'll be at the WP In-Laws). We plan to limit our use of our propane supply to the water heater and the clothes drier. If this winter's usage holds to previous winters when we used only wood to heat, we won't go through more than 200 gallons of propane between our last fill up in September and our next one in late April/early May next year.
*********Are this week's elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and upstate New York a prelude to 2010? They will certainly be an indicator of whether President Obama still has any pull with the electorate. If Republicans win in all three races it would show the luster has begun to fade from Obama and that independents and moderates are abandoning in large numbers the left-center shift they showed last November. If Republicans win in two of the three races (figure Virginia and upstate New York) it points to the growing problem the Democrats have been having with independent and moderate voters. If a Republican wins only one of the races (likely Virginia), then it means Obama still has some pull, Corzine's millions spent on his own campaign notwithstanding.
*********One of the aforementioned races - New York's 23rd Congressional District - has had a number of twist and turns, one being the GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava dropping out of the race, leaving the way open for Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. A lot of people thought Scozzafava was more of a RINO (Republican In Name Only), so her backing by the state GOP and RNC was puzzling (the county GOP endorsed Hoffman).
The latest twist: Scozzafava has endorsed the Democrat candidate. Scozzafava made fools of the GOP, and particularly Newt Gingrich, who endorsed her over Hoffman.
I'd say this shows the RNC is seriously out of touch with the rank and file.
*********One thing I must admit: I hate having to change clocks twice a year, particularly from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. I'd rather keep the extra hour of daylight in the afternoon and deal with the extra morning darkness. The shift from DST is always the most difficult one for me, the family, and particularly the feline members of the household. (Dinnertime is very important to them, but with the change to Standard Time their dinnertime has been delayed an hour because no one is home to feed them. They aren't happy about that at all.)
*********And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where Standard Time has returned, the weather has been kind of weird, and where our firewood stacks are getting bigger.
Too bad the Spartans aren't a good football team this year. The defensive backfield is a shambles and they lose in the trenches against good teams.