May 2010 Archives

I could have easily gone of on some diatribe about the goings on down in Washington DC or the Gulf Coast or a whole host of other subjects and events, but decided to run a special edition of Thoughts On A Sunday on Memorial Day. I'm not saying there won't be diatribes within. It's likely there will be more than one.

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From the LA Times: Memorial Day's Changing Meaning.

To many, it's the start of summer or a day off from work. But as American wars come and go, more families experience Memorial Day in a deeper and more tragic way.

Where I grew up in the Midwest during the 1950s and early '60s, Memorial Day was no more about remembering the nation's war dead than Labor Day was about honoring working stiffs. It was a "free day." Falling on a Monday, Memorial Day made possible that great innovation, "the long weekend." As a family, we gathered in backyards for barbecues and to celebrate the informal beginning of summer. We did not gather in cemeteries to pay homage.

Three years ago this month, my son was killed while serving in Iraq. His death changed many things, among them my own hitherto casual attitude toward Memorial Day.

For us, personal loss has rendered the last Monday in May into the day of remembrance that it was originally intended to be.

Amen.

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David Starr recounts a little bit of American exceptionalism during World War II.

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Something non-Memorial Day related: the past two mornings we've smelled smoke when we woke. Yesterday we weren't quite sure if someone was burning brush illegally (the fire department isn't issuing burn permits at the moment due to the dry conditions) of if there had been a fire somewhere in the neighborhood. I even called the local fire department to ask and they said something about a forest fire...in Canada.

We checked the news and sure enough there were reports of large forest/brush fires in Quebec. Apparently the fires are so widespread the smoke has caused quite a bit of haze down here in New England. It also explains the smell of smoke. Some have reported the smell of smoke all the way down to the Massachusetts border. The haze has been quite noticeable here and was far heavier than could be explained by humidity (it's been quite low the past few days).

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The latest report of The Great New Hampshire Blogger Weight Loss Challenge won't be posted until tomorrow. (The program I use to generate the graphic is on my computer at work so it will have to wait until I return on Tuesday).

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Don Surber's evaluation of President Obama's performance in response to four different crises?

Massive FAIL.

From the London Telegraph, now comes Toby Harnden, who parsed Obama and found, well: "When any political leader feels they have to declare that they are 'fully engaged' in an issue, it is clear that they are in trouble. Talking about it undermines the very point you are trying to make -- not to mention that pesky Oil Spill Cam showing that, 38 days into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, not a whole lot had been achieved."

The old if-you-have-to-say-it-then-it-is-not-true truism, which holds that when a president has to remind people that he is still relevant, he is not.

--snip--

So we have seen Four Crises as handled by The Won in the last 6 months: The Fort Hood Massacre, Christmas Day Bomber, the Times Square Bomber, and the BP Oil Spill.

The president has underestimated the problem each time out.

Even his nominal supporters are beginning to question his judgment and abilities.

As we're hearing more and more, Obama is in over his head.

(H/T Instapundit)

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Add the Democrats in the New Hampshire Senate to the list of those wishing to kill the First Amendment rights of free speech.

Obviously they think they can get away with it. After all, you do have the right to speak freely...as long as you agree with them.

But another New Hampshire legislator, House Representative Jim Splaine, a Democrat, does not support such an unconstitutional and anti-American move. What's worse is the New Hampshire Democrat leadership apparently does support the move and they have castigated Splaine for defending the First Amendment. Gee, I could have sworn the oath of office all legislators took included the phrase "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Then there's Michigan's ploy to stifle free speech by requiring journalists to be licensed. The proposed law might also include bloggers.

Glenn Reynolds' retort: "How about requiring that all sitting legislators pass a test on the constitution? And maybe an IQ test, too . . . . " That would work for me, and probably the rest of America, too.

We must not forget the federal efforts to regulate journalism, too, using the Federal Trade Commission to do the dirty work.

It seems the First Amendment is under attack from all government quarters. Maybe it's time we explain things to them, if need be, by exercising our Second Amendment rights.

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Is it any surprise that states rights and the Constitution are affecting local politics? Not around here it isn't.

When the American people feel the politicians in their town, city, state, and country are ignoring them or worse, are condescending, the people will find some way of letting know their displeasure. Quite often it can be seen at the ballot box. But other times the people get angry enough that they organize and push to "throw the bums out", all of them, regardless of party.

We're seeing this in the form of the TEA parties and the 912 Project groups across the nation. We seeing it in angry 'town hall' meetings with members of Congress, where our elected representatives are put on the spot for votes made that spend money the nation doesn't have, raise taxes that further weaken the economy, or weaken the Constitution and the people's rights.

While there have been grumblings for the past few years on the federal government's profligate ways, they finally became outright defiance after the elections in 2008 when we all saw how the President and his allies in Congress sought to shift the entire country to the left in direct opposition to long held beliefs and principles that have made this nation a great power. They saw each move as one meant to turn the United States into a leftist nanny state, where the government would control every aspect of our lives, something anathema to a great majority of Americans. They finally had enough and are moving to restore the founding principles that made America what it is.

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Seen by Deb on a bumper sticker on a car with Massachusetts plates in Central New Hampshire today: "I Think. Therefore I'm Liberal."

Excuse me? I've always thought it was: "I Emote. Therefore I'm Liberal."

The other bumper sticker on the car: "Have you threatened your children with eternal damnation yet?"

Yeah, I like those open-minded liberals. Yes I do....

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That's all, folks! And now back to the daily grind.....

Memorial Day

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I think this music video made by four veterans, all of whom served in Iraq (and one in Afghanistan as well) explains it all.



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As a side note, Deb is working today. Normally one might think she wouldn't want to work on Memorial Day, but that's not the case. You see, Deb works at the New Hampshire Veterans Home, taking care of those who served so gallantly. Most of those she takes care of in her ward served in World War II and Korea. She knows their histories and how they served. And now, at the end of their lives, she is honored to take care of them as they have taken care of us.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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Here we are in the second day of the Memorial Day Weekend, and we've had to modify our usual weekend activities. While we often have Sunday brunch at our favorite restaurant, we've decided not to do so this week as we already know it will be packed from the time it opens in the morning until it closes at 2 in the afternoon. (It might also have something to do with BeezleBub working at the farm today. He usually has Sundays off while school is in session, but with the three day weekend, he's working his first Sunday of the season.)

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The latest addition to our feline population has been settling in with little fuss.

Miley has made the adjustment from a home filled with dogs to one filled with cats. She's already managed to school Henry, one of our more aggressive male cats, that she's no pushover and has sent him running off on more than one occasion. She's used to handling a pair of boxers, so dealing with him is no big deal for her.

She's still a little skittish with the others but has managed to reach a point where she gets along with at least two of her fellow residents: Bagheera (the old man of the bunch) and Pip (the youngest). She's still working things out with Minnie, the one cat that Miley most resembles in regards to temperament, affection, activities, and size.

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As if President Obama is getting hammered enough due to his wishy-washy and long delayed response to the oil spill in the Gulf, he's now being compared to King Canute.

As Eric writes, "If there's one thing more ridiculous than being King Canute, it's believing in King Canute."

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Is it possible claims made in a study about the loss of sea ice are erroneous, overstating the actual loss of summer ice?

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I have to agree wholeheartedly with this comment to this post about refugees from communism have to say about the efforts of our Dear Leader to lead us down that particular rat hole.

Foreigners who have come here to be Americans because they experienced the wonderfulness of socialism and communism are appalled at the stupidity and ignorance of the utopianists here.

What was it like in Russia, the Ukraine, Czechaslovakia (sic), etc.? Was everyone "working together for the common good"? Or, was there a two percent who had fabulous living while the prols (sic) lived in third world misery as documented in their newly opened files?

At least here 10% have fabulous lives, 80% have nice lives, and 10% sit on their ass and bitch that their welfare checks aren't big enough because they only have one large screen color TV.

Delusion always has its place in the attempted creation of utopian states. The problem is that utopian states always end up being hell on earth. But that doesn't stop the deluded from trying.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

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Skip Murphy keeps us up to date on his youngest's deployment to Afghanistan.

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While I am not normally one to visit yard sales, I made an exception this weekend. One of my neighbors up the road (actually, up the hill) had a few items that fit in rather nicely with our needs. The first item we picked up was a nice leather office chair that brought our complement to a total of three in the Official Weekend Pundit Office, meaning there's now one chair for every computer in the room. Not bad for $20.

The second item was something quite simple: a boat seat cushion/throwable PFD (Personal Flotation Device). I have two on The Boat now, but a third one will come in handy. It was only one dollar and well worth every penny.

Now if I can find a few 4" fenders for The Boat....

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Both Iowahawk and Kim Priestap prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Palin Derangement Syndrome is alive and well within the minds of Liberals.

(H/T HughS at Wizbang)

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I knew it was only a matter of time, and Nancy Pelosi did not disappoint.

Apparently she wholeheartedly believes the BP oil spill in the Gulf is all George W. Bush's fault!

And Bush Derangement Syndrome lives on and on, a gift that keeps on giving to the Left.

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It appears President Obama is so busy thinking about the Gulf oil spill and planning a tribute concert for Paul McCartney at the White House that he barely has enough time to snub Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Considering his comments about Arizona's immigration law (the one that mirror's US federal law), one would think he'd at least make some time to talk to her about it when she's in Washington, keeping his continuously broken "reach across the aisle" campaign promise.

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Claims by the academic Left that domestic terrorist are all a product of the Right notwithstanding, Blue Crab Boulevard looks at the claim and sounds the "B******t!" alarm and breaks down the list of the FBI's Most Wanted Domestic Terrorists and shows that all of them are from the Left.

But when have academics from the Left ever let facts get in their way?

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Count Vermont among the states finding out they won't be able to keep all the social spending they've instituted over the years because tax revenues aren't keeping up to expenditures, nor are they likely to any time soon.

New Hampshire has the same problem as the governor and the legislature have so far been unable to close a projected $295 million budget gap. At least the governor appears to understand that raising taxes any further is a non-starter, seeing as earlier tax and fee increases have not raised the revenues expected and have had the not unexpected side effect of hurting already struggling businesses and residents. Most of the people of New Hampshire understand how to fix the problem, but the folks in Concord aren't listening. The answer?

Cut spending until expenditures meet revenues.

The same answer applies in Vermont, but I have no doubt it will be ignored there as well.

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Who'da thunk it?

Apparently all this stimulus spending is actually costing jobs, not creating them. At least that's what a study by the Harvard Business School reports.

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As the true costs and the non-health effects of ObamaCare have come to light, it has become quite apparent that its unintended consequences will have profound negative effects on the American economy as well as American society.

Rather than being a solution to a perceived problem, it has become a problem in and of itself.

This is not what the American people wanted.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer has finally begun, the summerfolk have arrived in droves, and where we plan to make use of The Boat as much as possible this summer.
Austerity sets in a couple of generations after below-replacement birth rates have set in. That's 2.1 births per female. But the welfare state discourages the old-time virtues that gave impetus to larger family sizes in the first place. Akin to The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism by Daniel Bell, the middle class civilization is self-defeating for its inability to do what seemingly comes more natural to more primitive and less advanced ones--although the whole world is experiencing a fall in birth rates--have babies.

Or, as Mark Steyn is able to say it so well, even if he is johnny-come-lately to the issue:

The 20th-century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to.

UPDATE: Robert J. Samuelson on the welfare states entering a "death spiral."

Baltimore City Cops

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I know the inner city is a "war zone," the actual words used to describe it by a nun in Sister Teresa's Catholic order, but do the police there have to be this bad? An arrest at the Preakness Race Track where apparently a lithe white woman mouths off to several female police officers who give her several shots to the face that leave her lying in a pool of blood. These black female cops sound crude and uneducated, apparently a product of the ghetto; and some of the lackadaisical white guys posing as cops look extremely unfit, with hamburger bellies hanging over their belts. And a pig-headed view of recording an arrest in a public place.

It's only a matter of time as NH becomes more diverse that its police become less professional. The racism of affirmative action and the dangerous & dubious theory of disparate impact are twin annihilators of effective policing, where an emphasis on the quality of the recruits gradually recedes. Hey, it's a strong opinion, but there you have it.

I've seen it happen in DC and heard about it in other cities where a policy is implemented that cops have to live in the city they work in, an obvious attempt to reduce the number of white males who happen to live in the 'burbs yet work for the metropolitan police force.

And you end up with written exams for the police with no math whatsoever, as is the case with DC. Criminal record? No problem. And that was Atlanta. It was apparently worse in DC twenty years ago, as this 1994 Washington Post article has to be read to be believed, where up to forty percent of the cops hired had a criminal record during Mayor Marion Berry's tenure.
Seven killed overnight. But the score from the Brady Campaign is probably quite high. That's the correlation: the higher the Brady score=the higher the body count. Is it any wonder public support for gun control legislation is at an all-time low?
BeezleBub and I managed to beat the Memorial Day Weekend holiday rush, launching the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout (aka The Boat) Thursday evening. Even so we had to wait in line to use the town boat ramp as there were two other town residents ahead of us, one launching their boat and the other pulling it out of the water. After a 20 minute wait (the fellow pulling his boat out of the water didn't realize he needed to winch it tight up against the bow stop while most of the weight was still supported by the water) we were backing The Boat down the ramp and, just like that, it was afloat and BeezleBub piloted it to one end of the two docks flanking the ramp.

A few minutes later we were motoring slowly to our slip in the nearby cove.

We got The Boat tied up at its slip and headed home.

Yesterday we took it out for a quick 30-minute shakedown cruise to make sure everything was working properly. We did find a couple of minor problems, including a loose connection on the gas gauge sender and a broken bezel on one of the instruments at the helm. One will be fixed over the weekend and the other will be fixed once the new bezel arrives.

All in all, not a bad start to the boating season.

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This weekend also signals the unofficial beginning of summer, meaning a lot of the summerfolk are here, opening their camps and cottages (assuming they haven't done so already). Resort owners have also gotten their lodgings squared away, anticipating a decent summer...if the weather isn't a repeat of the last two summers, which both suffered from a plethora of rainy days in June and July.

The corporate jets started arriving at the local airport just past noon yesterday, signifying the well-heeled folks owning lakeside McMansions have made their appearances as well. This weekend also means the ever dreaded "summah people" have arrived as well. (I've covered these folks more than once, so I'm not going into any detail other than to describe them as obnoxious boors with some money who lack common sense or manners, and are condescending as hell towards year-round residents, seasonal tourism workers, local business owners, and the 'normal' summerfolk.)

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This being the 'start' of summer, many of the local ice cream stands/burger-hot dog-lobster roll joints are now open all week long. This makes it easier for those of us working during the week to partake of their offerings during some of those long, nice-summer-day lunches we'll take between now and Labor Day.

It helps that some of those places happen to be close to where we dock The Boat, meaning we can sample the great summer fare while cruising the lake. There are a few places that are right on the water with their own docks, making it even more convenient.

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One of our favorite summertime haunts is the town boat ramp. It may sound like a strange place to hang around, but the entertainment makes it worthwhile. The breadth of hilarious events as people launch their boats (or pull them out) never ceases to amaze me. The two most common occurrences that bring on barely suppressed laughter? Boaters forgetting to install bilge plugs that cause their boats to start filling with water the instant they're launched; and failure to remove the tie-down straps attaching at the stern of the boat to the trailer before backing them down the ramp. The ensuing scramble from these two oversights never ceases to amuse.

(Am I being cruel? Not really. Just about every boater has experienced one or both of these oversights at one time or another during their years of boating. That being said, there are only two kinds of boaters out there: those that have done them, and those that will.)

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We stayed away from the lake today, and are likely to do the same on Sunday. The last thing we need is dealing with all the other boats out there, generating all kinds of wake-driven chop. It's no fun being out on the lake when the water is rough. It makes for an exhausting trip.

One of the advantages of living here is that we can avail ourselves of the opportunities to head out on the lake during the week when the traffic will be a fraction of what it can be on weekends.
Brent stole my thunder, at least a little bit, when it comes to Obama and the increasing appearance that he's in over his head.

Obama talks a pretty good game, but when it comes to actually performing his duties as President of the United States he isn't walking the walk. Seeing that he's sided with Mexican President Calderon against Arizona's immigration law that mirrors the federal immigration law that goes back 70 years doesn't exactly endear him Middle America, either.

The economy was a shambles and what did Obama do? Spent almost a trillion dollars the government didn't have on half-assed 'stimulus' programs that did nothing but stimulate pork-barrel spending on a scale not seen since FDR, but did nothing to create anything but more government jobs. Then, rather than focusing his efforts on actual economic programs that would get government out of the way of economic recovery, he has Congress ramrod through a health care reform package that has had the effect of damaging economic recovery even more than if he did nothing, and in doing so will be spending trillions more the government doesn't have.

If this isn't incompetence, I don't know what is.

Then there's his latest show of incompetence: the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Some have called it Obama's 'Katrina', and they're right. It is just one more example of his many mistakes.

I don't see how the president's position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president's political judgment and instincts.

There was the tearing and unnecessary war over his health-care proposal and its cost. There was his day-to-day indifference to the views and hopes of the majority of voters regarding illegal immigration. And now the past almost 40 days of dodging and dithering in the face of an environmental calamity. I don't see how you politically survive this.

The president, in my view, continues to govern in a way that suggests he is chronically detached from the central and immediate concerns of his countrymen. This is a terrible thing to see in a political figure, and a startling thing in one who won so handily and shrewdly in 2008. But he has not, almost from the day he was inaugurated, been in sync with the center. The heart of the country is thinking each day about A, B and C, and he is thinking about X, Y and Z. They're in one reality, he's in another.

It seems the every day duties and requirements of being President do not interest him. Then again, he's never really needed to actually perform the duties of the various offices he's held, being busy with running for the next higher office and all. But here he is, at the pinnacle of elective office in the United States, and he finds he actually has to work for a change. Somehow I doubt this is what he really signed up for. He's discovered he has to work every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and he's not liking it one bit. He's learned the Utopia he thought he'd be able to create once he got in office is beyond his abilities. The more he tries, the worst his failures become. It doesn't help that he's been leaving much of the decision making in regards to all the 'wonderful' programs and entitlements he believes the taxpayers should be funding in the hands of even less competent advisers and, even worse, Congressional leaders with less economic savvy than the average person on the street. He's living in a dream world.

An assessment of President Barack Obama's speech on Saturday to the graduating class at the United States Military Academy leads to one of only two possible conclusions:

Either Obama does not live in the real world, or he wants Americans to believe that they don't live in the real world.

Neither possibility is comforting.

The speech has been described as a repudiation of the doctrine of pre-emptive war to prevent attacks on U.S. soil, and so it is.

But it is so much more.

In what it contains, in what it ignores and in what it willfully misinterprets, it stands as a remarkably clear and forthright statement of the utopian mind.

The question of whether the president actually believes what he said is immaterial. The question that matters is how far this wistfully self-destructive longing for an internationalism that works will be allowed to drive American policy.

Never mind that history shows that every attempt to 'create' a utopian society has always ended in disaster, sometimes with far reaching consequences outside the society in question. Sometimes those consequences include the deaths of untold numbers of people wishing nothing more than to be left alone to live their lives. Others have tried internationalism (or at least their version of it) and it, too, ended with the deaths of millions. Such societies always have the tendency to appeal to the lowest common denominator, which has never been a good idea as it usually leads to despotism, corruption, diminution of the value of human life, and in the end, horror for those within the society.

Obama has become a walking, talking object lesson, showing everyone, including the Democrats, how to lose public support in a very short period of time, even among your own party members. He's focused on the wrong issues, gone about trying to fix the wrong things at the wrong time using long disproven methods, while ignoring the public will at every turn. He has tried to ignore problems even the usually supportive MSM have been hammering him about.

Again, his performance during the Gulf oil spill has been, shall we say, underwhelming, as has been his responses to a number of other events. As Michelle Malkin puts it, "America has become accustomed to President Obama's crisis face: eyes glazed over."

At his first press conference in 308 days, Obama fielded questions about the Gulf oil spill, immigration, the war in Afghanistan and the mounting outrage over Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak's job-trading allegations with a sluggishness bordering on geriatric. His aplomb was a bomb.

The commander-in-chief's mumbling, diffident tone contradicted the "I CARE" message of urgency that drifted across the teleprompter screen and rolled languidly off his tongue.

It seemed to me that he really didn't care all that much because dealing with all these pesky Presidential duties is taking him away from the really important things, as he sees them. I'm not sure what those 'important' things are, but I doubt they really have anything to do with the good of the American people. Rather, could they be things that have to do with the good of Barack Obama? If his known history is any indicator, I'd have to say "Yes". Then again, isn't that like anyone in over their heads, having reached their highest level of incompetence?

UPDATE: Ann Althouse also piles on with "Obama tells us he thinks that if he somehow gets people to think about him and how much he's thinking about what he thinks they think he should be thinking about, then he's done his job.

Yeah. Right.
White Aussie women apparently find the Zimbabwean circus hand irresistible: hundreds feared at risk for his HIV. And he's only 32. He's been busy, though he can only remember a small fraction of his lovers' names.
It started with Savage. This awful oil leak is increasingly highlighting the do-nothing "symbol over substance" administration.

Then the Fourth Estate...woke up at today's press conference.

Now it's becoming apparent to more and more that we have a left-wing lawyer and community organizer, rather than a President.

He's in over his head.
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Is that a lurch to the right, or a dance move, John McCain? Oh, he's flanking his more conservative challenger in his re-election attempt. Such palpable disingenuous! Story here about his campaign ad having him say, "Complete the danged fence."
If you're like 99.8 percent of people, you can find the answer here. Excellent Dennis Prager column!

Judges in America

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These demigods need a bitch slappin' real, real bad. The Smartest Man in America lays 'em out with a two by four:

Just saying the magic word "change" does not justify judges grabbing the power to make whatever changes they please in the law. There are, after all, two other branches of the federal government, specifically charged with legislative and executive responsibilities and powers, not to mention the Constitutional amendment process.
Here we are, twenty weeks into our challenge and Skip has widened his lead. Not that it really matters because "even the losing loser wins!"

My weight didn't change much from last week, but I expected it considering some of the things I ate over the weekend. So I am not disappointed that I at least maintained my weight. I'll be back on track next week.

Here's this week's results:

dual thermometer - pounds large - Week 20.jpg
Click on the pretty picture to actually see what's written there

I just finished watching the final episode of Lost with BeezleBub. (Thank goodness for DVRs!)


We both agreed it was a fitting end to such a great series: poignant, joyful, yet bittersweet.


While there were still some unanswered questions, both us thought they didn't matter.


We're going to miss it.

Does NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg wants to do that with his dubious "Firearms Free Airport Act"? Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell writes:

Lautenberg is a snake when it comes to this stuff. It's amazing how just about every piece of gun control legislation he introduces makes it easy to commit an accidental felony. That's probably the idea, really.
I heard the law is similar to nuclear power plants. There's a visitors' center at Seabrook, that's separate from the nuclear power plant. Total max security separating the two. Yet, if I had my J-frame revolver at the visitors' center--voila--I'm a felon, even though I'm not violating NH law.
So says Doug Bandow. Twenty-seven percent of likely voters, according to Rasmussen, are reasonably confident that Congress has a good handle on the economy. He's right--esp. in questioning the prudence of letting them vote.

On the other hand, the same polling group has found out there's much more rationality in people's view of Social Security. Fuhgehdaboutit!

Thoughts On A Sunday

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A busy weekend for us all, especially for BeezleBub. He worked the farm all day Saturday and spent a good portion of the day today driving, working towards increasing the total of hours he needs in order to qualify for his drivers license. A good portion of that time was spent on the road between The Manse and the WP In-Laws in the southwestern part of the state. He also had a driving lesson later in the day.

If he's lucky he'll have his license by the end of June. It also means he'll be driving his Jeep, assuming all the work needed to get it ready to put back on the road is done.

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You know government is broken when bedbugs have more rights than humans.

The EPA also has a propensity to kill jobs for no good reason.

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Pun Salad has the right of it: Michael Kinsley's article in The Atlantic about the Tea party and its many supporters was poorly researched and does not reflect the reality of the movement.

As the post says, "Kinsley got sloppy." I'd say he also got lazy.

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Bogie reminds us that if you have to hit a moose with a vehicle, it's best to hit one while driving a truck or SUV. Cars don't do very well against moose.

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Could the type of rioting we saw in Greece in response to the government's austerity programs happen here? It appears the SEIU is working hard to make sure it does.

Here's a taste of what they have in store for us:

The SEIU sent four busloads of Washington D C protestors (sic) to a Bank of America attorney's home last week, where they stormed his property and had the homeowner's teenage son hiding in a bathroom until they left. Fortune Magazine's Nina Easton lived next door and documented the attack. As one blog commenter noted, there are thousands of towns and cities in flyover country where this sort of assault would not have ended well for the SEIU thugs. The union's leadership knew that, however (they had a District of Columbia police escort) and terrorized a citizen's home safe in the knowledge that no violence would be visited upon them.

As the article also goes on to say, in other parts of the country (specifically flyover country) such an action would be met with well deserved gunfire. That would certainly be the case if a bunch of union thugs tried that here at The Manse.

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Cap'n Teach tells us the story of a rapist who also happens to be an illegal immigrant. What makes it worse is that this scumbag has been deported nine times yet he's still walking the streets.

If nothing else this guy is a prime example of why we should lock down our borders and stop the flood of illegal immigrants.

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Count musician Dave Mathews as yet another celebrity environmentalist hypocrite.

About the only celebrity I've ever come across that also walks the environmentalist walk is Ed Begley, Jr. He doesn't just talk about environmentalism, he lives it.

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In America's present culture war, which side will win: Free enterprise or Washington's version of Euro-socialism?

(H/T Instapundit)

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Is it arrogance or hubris driving both Mexico and the racists in Washington DC to condemn Arizona for passing a law identical to federal immigration law? (Yes, I called the leftists in Washington racists because they do not actually believe all races are equal. Therefore, they believe all minorities need to be 'protected' by means of discriminatory laws that do not create equality but institutionalize racial discrimination against non-minorities.)

Mexico's protest is hypocritical considering its immigration laws are far more harsh and draconian than US law. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

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Speaking of Arizona's immigration law, what about California's immigration law which closely resembles it? Why isn't Mexico or Arizona or Washington DC making a fuss over their law?

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BeezleBub and I watched the season finale of Lost, or at least the first two hours of it which consisted of a retrospective of all six seasons. We'll watch the last two and a half hours some time tomorrow evening, as well as the Jimmy Kimmel special that will air after the late Sunday news.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer weather has reasserted itself, our boat is almost ready to launch, and where Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching.
The Legionaries of Christ, the Roman Catholic order that employs me to teach English to seventh-graders and high school-aged boys (along with a smattering of Spanish and Greek), is in big trouble. Lauren Collins of NECN does a very credible job providing the background last February, going so far as to be filmed on the edge of the driveway of the Center Harbor, NH, school where I work.

Here's the latest.

The view of the school is just about the best in all the Lakes Region. I have never gotten sick of it. It reminds me that the best real estate in the world is owned by the Catholic Church and the U.S. Navy.
Has anyone done it better than Mark Twain?
This blog entry is dedicated to Professor John Cerullo, a wonderful lecturer whom I had the pleasure of encountering at the University of New Hampshire for several years, in history classes, including one memorable one (which I felt impelled to take twice) on the development of intellectual thought in the West. We respected one another, though we came at most issues from opposite sides of the political spectrum. He a Marxist and me a conservative with fears of excessive democracy. This entry touches on issues we dealt with during our free-ranging discussions, which are far better than mere classroom time, one can sometimes be privileged to have in the professor's office. The ensuing years have likely given strength to one position or the other. I'll leave it to you, gentle reader, to decide which one.

Read this, a jarring look at "Achievement Gap Politics," echoes of which can be found at your nearest place of "higher" learning.

...academic achievement is primarily explained by cognitive ability, and therefore the achievement gap is also most likely caused in large part by differences in cognitive ability. People with this view don't promote solutions, primarily because in order to even start thinking about solutions one has to be able to discuss the possible cause and mentioning this cause is politically unacceptable. People who think it likely that the achievement gap is primarily cognitive don't usually risk mentioning it in public because it's a career destroyer.
Although I was aware of the Left's obsession with race and identity politics and the need to demonize the white male, I guess I never realized how obsessed these people are at closing the racial gap in educational performance. They must be hysterical now that the evidence has only increased, since the September 1994 publication of _The Bell Curve_, that there's an explanation that can't be accepted: It's in our genes. Tepidly referencing Stephen Jay Gould's _Mismeasure of Man_ , an intellectually duplicitous book, or wishing it away by enforcing speech codes against it, a desperate reactionary move by a nomenklatura held together by financial motive and the lies they've propounded for decades, will come cascading down by the very force they thought was on their side. Science.

HT: What's Wrong with the World
"The 'Greecing' of America"--we're almost there, too. Some reports put it at 2013 when our numbers are the same as Greece's, debt as a proportion of the economy.

Days later, I'm still in a state of shock about the facts and figures I've learned from Gretchen Hamel--who best can be accessed at bankruptingamerica.org--in a segment from the May 12, 2010, G. Gordon Liddy Show (13-minute podcast here):

New Jersey teachers retire with an average personal contribution of $62k into their pensions while receiving back an average of $1.4 million. Additionally, they also receive an average health cost spending averaging $250,000.
Simply unsustainable, folks. Down with the public sector unions bleeding us dry!
Isn't it ironic that just as President Obama plans to make a push for Cap-and-Trade in an effort to generate "green jobs" and develop alternative energy sources the Spanish are ready to abandon their efforts to do so?

Apparently the Spanish program has failed miserably, driving up energy costs, putting a big drain on their already fragile economy, while creating very few green jobs. Their intentions may have been good but the actual results have been poor, with none of the promised benefits materializing.

This is the program Obama wants to emulate? Even the Spanish know that isn't such a great idea.

The president of the United States, Barack Obama, doesn't seem to have chosen the right model to copy for his "green economy," Spain. After the government of José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero demonized a study of different experts about the fatal economic consequences of renewable energies, an internal document from the Spanish cabinet that it is even more negative has just been leaked.

The internal report of the Spanish administration admits that the price of electricity has gone up, as well as the debt, due to the extra costs of solar and wind energy. Even the government numbers indicate that each green job created costs more than 2.2 traditional jobs, as was shown in the report of the Juan de Mariana Institute.

But none of this has deterred Obama's plans to lay a heavy burden upon the American people and the American economy all in the name of "saving the planet."

Why is it our President feels the need to do everything he can to cripple the economy with pie-in-the-sky feel-good laws that, in the end, do far more harm than good? Until recently I would have said it was due to his blindness to the evils of socialism. Instead, I have to think that it is something far more basic: he's an incompetent surrounded by incompetents (his advisers).

As the old saw goes, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

Obama may have book smarts, but he has never exhibited one ounce of intelligence or aptitude when it comes to governing the country. Then again, he never had any executive or economic experience before he was elected to the Oval Office. The only thing he's been good at has been getting elected.

Isn't it interesting that while the White House is telling us things are so much better that the Dow closed down almost 400 points on Thursday, dragging the rest of the world markets with it? Even with the recovery of one-third of Thursday's losses on Friday, the market is still jittery. Jobless claims are up and businesses are wary of claims that the economy is turning around, not willing to go out on a limb by investing what money they do have on something that so far appears to be wishful thinking.


I don't know about you, but a lot of the business owners I know aren't buying the "Economy's getting better" mantra. While a few of them have seen a slight uptick in business, most haven't.


The price of oil has dropped almost 20% since April. Even gas prices at the pump have been falling at a time when they usually rise. (The price locally hit $2.599/gallon today, down almost 20¢ since last week.) We should keep an eye on the price of gas as we approach Memorial Day weekend, which signals the unofficial start of the summer tourist season. It usually starts heading upwards in earnest in anticipation of the increase in demand usually seen between then and the end of August.


So far I'm not seeing much of a recovery, at least not here in New England.

Whoa!

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Richard Russel, a DOW analyst, goes Rambo:

Do your friends a favor. Tell them to "batten down the hatches" because there's a HARD RAIN coming. Tell them to get out of debt and sell anything they can sell (and don't need) in order to get liquid. Tell them that Richard Russell says that by the end of this year they won't recognize the country. They'll retort, "How the dickens does Russell know - who told him?" Tell them the stock market told him.
I'm out of debt except the house. But I'm in single digits (in years) on that. I'm worried about our financial future. I learned from Gretchen Hamel of ThePublicNotice.org that the average teacher in New Jersey retires with a total of $62,000 directed to her retirement, while collecting $1.4 million in pension benefits and $250,000 in medical benefits. Is it any reason NJ has the highest property taxes in the country? This can't stand, this excessive spending and over indulgent packages given to public sector employees with greedy unions doing their bidding.

The top one percent of earners paid more income taxes than the "bottom" 95 percent. And I bet they don't use services like the rest of us. Aren't they usu. into private schools, gated communities with its own private police, private transportation, etc.?

What's fair about this? I think it's foolish to penalize success and mobilize the forces of envy, which democracy is so adept at doing.

At this rate we'll be seeing a talent drain like Britain's "brain drain" of the 1960s. Australia, New Zealand or some other places will benefit.
Dennis Prager has made the point recently that the bigger the gubmit the smaller the citizen. I agree. Men without chests is how moderns increasingly are, to paraphrase G.K. Chesterton.

And I have come across a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that points in much the same direction.

"The less government we have the better -- the fewer laws and the less confided power. The antidote to this abuse of formal government is the influence of private character, the growth of the individual." ~ American author Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
I don't often agree with Emerson, who is clearly a mixed bag though very influential--Christopher Lydon has memorably, and correctly, described him as the god for bloggers--but Emerson is correct.
While it isn't pretty, some close to the President's ear are still open minded. Yet, Diana West gives a couple of facts from yesteryear--How soon we forget!--that are truly disturbing. The year-long torture of William Buckley and the horrific (and apparently gigantic) truck bombing of the Beirut barracks occupied by U.S. Marines in 1983, killing 241. I know there was an audio of the tortures of Mr. Buckley that the evil scum sent to the Americans and CIA head Bill Casey was really shook up over it.

These and other attacks against us were all not responded to by Pres. Reagan, and now we have a hard leftist in charge. God help us!

And I'm tempted to talk about the State Dept. official who complained to his Chinese counterparts about Arizona's recent actions.

The people we entrust to guard us sometimes aren't up to the challenge. I have come to expect higher standards, alas, from the people working at my local supermarket.
Skip finally got back to me with his results. Unfortunately for him he backslid a little, but the reason is perfectly understandable. His youngest son has deployed to Afghanistan and he sought some comfort foods, like brownies. We'll cut him some slack...this time.

Here are this week's results:

dual thermometer - pounds large - Week 19.jpg
Click on image to embiggen it.
Funny comment here from SayUncle. NYC is ridiculously un-American about the inalienable right of concealed carry and gun ownership. Unless one is Robert Di Nero or Donald Trump. Rich and famous? Sure no problem. That, or have armed body guards like Rosie O'Donnell.
Now it's official: It's all George W. Bush's fault!

Just one year ago, fresh from his inauguration celebrations, President Obama was flying high. After one of the nation's most inspiring political campaigns, the election of America's first black president had captured the hopes and dreams of millions. To his devout followers, it was inconceivable that a year later his administration would be gripped in self-imposed crisis.

Of course, they don't see it as self imposed. It's all George Bush's fault.

George Bush, who doesn't have a vote in Congress and who no longer occupies the White House, is to blame for it all.

He broke Obama's promise to put all bills on the White House web site for five days before signing them.

He broke Obama's promise to have the congressional health care negotiations broadcast live on C-SPAN.

He broke Obama's promise to end earmarks.

He broke Obama's promise to keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent.

--snip--

Yes, it's all George Bush's fault. President Obama is nothing more than a puppet in the never-ending, failed Bush administration.

Read. The. Whole. Thing.

(H/T Instapundit)
I got the story, thanks to boortz.com. I have to say the Catholic Church, by being an immigrant pimp--it doesn't distinguish between legal and illegal so much--and by financially supporting Acorn in the past, doesn't respect private property. Neither do the union thugs.

But what happens when one trespasses on a church's property or the offices of groups like Acorn? They call the PO-lice, of course.
Hmm. I don't know what happened but I haven't received an update from Skip yet. Once I do I'll post the Week 19 results.
On a number of occasions I have mentioned the Laffer Curve, an illustration of the relationship between tax rates and tax revenues and how once tax rates fall above or below a certain point tax revenues fall off. It is a simplistic illustration but no less correct for its simplicity. Simply stated, if the tax rate for a given tax is either 0% or 100%, the amount of revenue collected will be zero. As the tax rate moves away from either extreme the amount of revenue increases. The trick is to figure out the magic tax rate that maximizes the revenue collected. And that magic number will be different depending on what kind of tax is being imposed, meaning the tax rate on income that maximizes revenue will be entirely different from the tax rate on sales of goods and services, and so on.

It can be argued that the taxes we pay to the federal government are well above the sweet spot, meaning that when the government increases taxes the expected revenues will not meet projections. Others seem to believe no tax rate is too high and that the rich, meaning those of us with jobs that actually pay taxes, should have even more of our money taken from us to fund things we neither need or want.

Now comes what is being called Hauser's Law, which states that regardless of the total tax burden of the American taxpayers (this includes all taxes imposed, and not just on individuals), the revenues collected will be less than 20% of Gross Domestic Product. The chart below, created by using the National Income Accounting method rather than the CBO or OMB methods, shows that since 1929 the revenues collected have always been below 20% of the GDP. (The chart isn't all that clear, but it is readable...sort of.)

Hauser Chart.jpg
Click on image to enlarge


As tax rates increase economic activity slows when billions are siphoned out of the economy and used for non-wealth producing activities. The more money siphoned out of the economy, the more economic growth declines and the less revenue is collected by the government. Hauser's Law implies the Laffer Curve, showing revenues fall as taxes rise or fall above a certain point.

What's the origin of this limit beyond which it is impossible to extract any more revenue from tax payers? The tax base is not something that the government can kick around at will. It represents a living economic system that makes its own collective choices. In a tax code of 70,000 pages there are innumerable ways for high-income earners to seek out and use ambiguities and loopholes. The more they are incentivized to make an effort to game the system, the less the federal government will get to collect. That would explain why, as Mr. [W. Kurt] Hauser has shown, conventional methods of forecasting tax receipts from increases in future tax rates are prone to over-predict revenue.

Far too often those projections fall victim to the Law of Unintended Consequences, where higher taxes on some economic activity discourages that activity, in turn lessening the activity being taxed and reducing the revenues expected. (Ayn Rand wrote about that over 50 years ago in Atlas Shrugged, though she's not the first to do so.)

But we know that won't stop our tax and spend Congress from taxing the hell out of everything that moves in an effort to pay for all the 'free' programs they and the President are trying to shove down our throats. Too bad they'll be limited by Hauser's Law, meaning they'll keep spending far more than they will ever be capable of collecting in taxes.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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It's been a good weekend with great weather. While we didn't do anything earth shattering, at least the housework got done and BeezleBub made a big dent in the work needed to get the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout ready for launching on the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend.

But for the most part I was really lazy, not doing all that much yesterday (some laundry and dishes were the about the extent of my exertions), I mostly read and napped. I'm not usually the napping type, but I've been dragging ass since Friday afternoon and felt tired even after a good night's sleep.

Do I feel guilty about it? Nope, not one bit. It's not like I do this on a regular basis so I figure a day like this once or twice a year can't hurt.

Yeah. Right.

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BeezleBub had his first driving lesson today with the Driver's Ed teacher. He's been driving with me for the past few months and has been doing pretty well. It helps that he's been driving various farm machinery over the past couple of years at the farm, including a number of the larger tractors, as well as his grandfather's tractor over the past seven or eight years, so he's had the basic mechanics of it down pretty well.

I have to admit that it will be a bittersweet moment for me when he finally gets his driver's license because I won't have to get up quite so early to drive him to school during the week or to the farm on the weekends and during the summer. But it also means that he won't need me or Deb to drive him anymore, meaning he will be far less dependent on his parents than he has been.

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I still see the regular 'reports' on the MSM about anthropogenic global warming and how we have to "do something" to keep us from destroying the planet. One would thing these bozos would be pulling back from that old propagandist mantra now that much of the 'science' has been unsettled.

While I have never denied that climate change has been taking place, I have been a firm skeptic when it comes to the claim the general warming trend over the past 100 years or so Is-All-The-Fault-Of-The-Evil-Humans.

Being the engineering type that I am, I have a pretty good head for analyzing data (though not nearly as good as Burt Rutan) and for understanding trends, both short and long term. How anyone can say "We're all DOOMED!" because warming has been taking place over the past 150 years is beyond me. Temps have been warmer than what we see now and human civilization didn't end (the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods). But the little Ice Age damn near did, particularly as it helped bring on the Black Plague which wiped out a sizable percentage of the European population.

Another thing, no one, and I mean no one has been able to prove the claim that warmer temperatures will bring about all the weather cataclysms. It's all conjecture based upon wishful thinking. (Remember the claims that the warmer weather we've seen will bring about more devastating and powerful hurricanes in greater numbers? But instead we've been seeing smaller storms and fewer of them.

I could go on and on, but that's best left for a future post.

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On the other hand there are scientists warning that there will be food and ethanol shortages as Earth's climate cools.

I wish these guys would make up their minds.

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I wonder when/if the Obama Administration will stop blaming Bush for every failure that has occurred during Obama's time in office? It seems folks are even trying to lay the blame for the BP oil platform disaster and following oils spill on Bush. By that kind of reasoning, the claim could be made that 9/11 was all Bill Clinton's fault. But you never once heard the Bush Administration making such a claim, did you?

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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And that's the (abbreviated) news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we don't have an oil spill to deal with, the weather is warm again, and boating season starts (for us) sometime in the next two weeks.



A beautiful score. Schumann's not Haydn or Tchaikovsky. But I like this. I need to learn more about him, as I really like classical music. Haydn's symphonies and Beethoven and esp. Mozart are my favs. But researching Schumann I came across this phenomenal site that should quickly get me up to speed.
Boy, does Heather MacDonald have the goods. Telling such lies is unconscionable, Gray Lady. Here's a datum the newspaper doesn't want you to know when it's trying to show bias in black and hispanic frisking:

Together, blacks and Hispanics committed 98 percent of all shootings [in NYC].

HT: Lawrence Auster
Right here. Thanks, CBO, for finally telling us what we already knew. The deficit will grow as a result of covering more Americans and non-Americans with Nancy Obamareid Care. Good heavens! There's a reason these sorts of massive bill shouldn't be rushed through.
In the years I've been working in the high tech industry I've seen wondrous innovations created by a select few that were truly mind-boggling. Sometimes it would be the application of a new technology or the use of an existing technology in a fashion the creators had never envisioned.

It is innovation that has driven the US economy for decades, something that rolled on year after year. Unfortunately the conditions that allowed Americans to innovate such things has slowly been dismantled, primarily by those not understanding the creative process. They have tried to mandate innovation and schedule it, all to no avail. It doesn't work like that.

Managers need to hire innovative people if they want to get innovative ideas. But innovative people will be dreamers and tinkerers who often make mistakes and are not rigorous in their documentation or calculations. They refuse to wear the blinders required to complete day-to-day tasks. They become obsessed with ideas and work in bursts. If they can be paired with detail-obsessed workers who will document and keep projects on track, companies will get good products.

Unfortunately, we are plagued with managers who traded imagination for ambition and got ahead through aggression and checking boxes. These people create innovation programs that require committee approval before each step, so only the safest and most-obvious changes ever get through.

Innovation isn't always about asking "What if?" It's also about "Why not?"

Today not enough people are asking either of those questions because they would never make it past management, so they don't bother.

There's a story told about Henry Ford when he was showing some stockholders around one of his factories. As he was escorting them around they passed by an office in which a man was sitting behind a desk, leaning back in his chair, his feet on top of the desk and his hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling. When asked by one of the incredulous stockholders why the man they saw wasn't working, Ford replied, "He is working. He's thinking. The last time he thought he saved this company almost $2 million." ($2 million back then was equivalent to $23 million today.) The man was an innovator, finding new and better ways to do things. Most of his innovation process consisted of sitting back and pondering over a problem until he came up with a solution. It didn't matter if it took him a lot of time to do so, because in the end he helped the company make more money by making it less costly to build automobiles.
Doug hit one out of the park with this entry at GraniteGrok in 2008 about a suspicious and disturbing incident in Bristol, NH.

NH must consider doing what Maryland does with that state's recent passage of SB 447 in response to the summary execution of the Labrador retrievers: require detailed statements by all SWAT organizations every six months to the governor's office of crime control and prevention. As I currently understand it, Maryland is the first state in the union to have this level of oversight.

These paramilitary units need oversight. It's common sense. Their ability to inflict death, destruction, turmoil, and psychological terror is unprecedented. Second only to the KGB IRS. And I doubt the latter does the 3:43 am wake-up by the muzzles of M-4 carbines by men in combat gear. Some bullies grow up to be police officers and are too cowardly to face the enemy in real combat with the Army or Marines. It's much easier to take on civilians, even though they sometimes reach for a gun. In that case it's legit to riddle their bodies with bullets. After the dogs, presumably.

LONG, LONG OVERDUE, PEOPLE. Meanwhile, you can join the Facebook page of the mayor of the small town in Maryland who suffered the hideous execution of his dogs because of a botched SWAT raid. It's so easy for the testosterone-laden authorities to rain devastation on hearth and home and the peace in a way that lasts forever. I'm sorry for Cheye Calvo. What he had to endure is completely unacceptable in the United States. And it could happen to you.
Instapundit linking to the wonderful Radley Balko. I hope this will prompt a re-thinking of policy. The idea of acting on an anonymous tip, then merely finding marijuana residue in the now-suspected family's trash doesn't cut it for me before unleashing poor excuses for human beings who are pretending they are RoboCop. Not at all.

A year or so ago Balko covered one of these terrible operations where the two Labrador retrievers were both shot and killed even though they were running away from the police. See below:
black_labs-300x196.jpgI f---ing hate it to the core of my being that we allow the state to conduct this stupid war against drugs. When will people wake up and realize it's Prohibition II? Luckily, in response to our overlords in DC banning medical marijuana, there has been an unexpected and delightful pushback that should warm any Tea Party member's heart.

Crap like this will start happening in NH now that SWATs or, as Balko terms it "paramilitary police," have proliferated with very little public awareness.

"Liberal" Defined

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From IMAO comes this present day definition of the term liberal:

Someone who's still angry about slavery 145 years after it ended, but wants you to "get over 9/11″.

One of the comments breaks it down even more with this:

"So, you going to tell me that demanding that everyone has proof of health insurance on them is constitutional, but expecting proof of citizenship is not?"

Yup. I'd say that pretty much says it all.
Yesterday morning before the sun rose I read something good from the paper edition of National Review. Michael Knox Beran, an editor with City Journal, knows his stuff apparently in his article "The Descent of Liberalism."

In a review of David Remnick's "panegyric" of the president, "The Banality of Race," Mr. Beran questions the author's servile acceptance of the premise that to be a black man in America today is still to be greatly burdened by racism.

Along the way he unleashes this very fine paragraph worth remembering:
Skip has pulled farther ahead in our race to our mutual goal, but at least we're both still dropping weight.

As you can see I didn't fare nearly as well as Skip during the past week, but I'm still dropping the weight and that's what's important.

This weeks results:

dual thermometer - pounds large - Week 18.jpg
Click on image to enlarge
This Corner entry by NH's Mark Steyn is a keeper, "The Suicide Bomb," including a discussion of the Anglican Church in Australia counseling its practitioners to have fewer children lest they despoil the environment.

Burka and Go-Kart

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Despite draconian gun control laws, the city of Chicago sees no shortage of bad guys being armed and committing mayhem. Seven dead in 12 hours.

The only effective gun control is at the range.
Clearly a mixed bag. I read the politico story on the Union Leader website, then went immediately to National Review's The Corner, where I was not disappointed by Ed Whelan's summation.

I think Obama has fumbled badly on this one. There will be definite hand grips and toe holds for Republicans to oppose this lady. Her treatment of the military--so typical of snide, elitist establishment--will make her unpalatable to patriotic Americans.

That means Southern Congresscritters will be hard pressed to support her.
It's been a not so great weekend, weather wise. It was rainy and windy yesterday and cold and windy today, meaning neither day was good for working out of doors. No yard work was done, nor any pre-launch work on the boat completed.

About the only thing we managed to get done was the week's laundry.

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Believe it or not we've added yet another feline member to our family here at The Manse.

Miley, a three-legged cat originally belonging to a friend of ours needed a new home because she wasn't getting along with our friend's dogs. So we told her we'd take Miley where the worst thing she might have to deal with was the crowding around the supper dishes when we doled out The Wonderful Food (IAMS wet cat food, given more as an appetizer rather than the main course).

We picked her up this afternoon and once here she quickly made her initial rounds. Then holed up behind the washing machine for the rest of the day.

At least the other felines here didn't seem to have any problems with her. Charlotte, our last addition to the family, already knew Miley because the same friend had found her abandoned in a foreclosed home and fostered her until we were able to take her.

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I still haven't figured out the reasoning behind this, where apparently it's disrespectful to wear an American flag tee shirt...in America.

I think the school principal should be fired for caving to such racist PC bulls**t. He doesn't seem to realize that in this country we have something called free speech. Wearing the American flag on a tee shirt in America is part of that freedom of speech.

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This is something I've known for quite some time: Carbs are worse for us than fat.

Skip Murphy over at GraniteGrok and I have been in a competition to see which one of us will reach our target weight of 195 pounds first. (I think it will probably be him.) The only thing I did for my diet was cut out as many processed carbohydrates as I can and I've watched the weight drop off my frame. The few times I slipped the weight loss stopped or even reversed slightly. The rest of my diet has included both saturated and unsaturated fats, protein (in the form of beef, chicken, and pork), and some of the dense nutrition carbohydrates (broccoli, spinach, kale, green beans, etc).

There's also this: both my total cholesterol and HDL/LDL ratio have improved greatly since I dropped the processed carbs from my diet.

That doesn't mean I won't avail myself of cake, ice cream, or fries now and then, but those times will be few and far between.

(H/T Volohk Conspiracy)

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If you have a problem telling New Hampshire and Vermont apart, here's a guide that will help you do just that.

I have to agree with both the article and some of those commenting that my home state of New Hampshire is totally bad-ass as compared to Vermont. Heck, it's bad-ass as compared to most states. Even our state flag is bad-ass.

Those states more bad-ass than New Hampshire? Texas and Alaska.

(H/T Bogieblog)

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Speaking of New Hampshire, here's another thing that can be considered bad-ass: The New Hampshire Supreme Court has handed down a decision that states bloggers have many of the same rights as the conventional media, i.e. the Main Stream Media.

Unlike some states, this one believes in the freedom of speech and freedom of the press, even if the 'press' is some guy in his pajamas blogging about the events of the day.

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Also from Wizbang: Could it be that maybe liberals are just plain stupid?

I have to agree with a number of points brought up in the post. I also have to add that far too many times I've been in a debate with a self-professed liberal and more often than not they've prefaced their 'talking points' with the phrase "I feel that...." I've responded to that phrasing with the retort "I don't care how you feel about [place subject du jour here]. I want to know what you think about it." And more often than not they've responded with "What's the difference?"

At that point I know any further discussion is a waste of time because they are incapable of using logic. All they have going for them is emotion and that's an always disastrous basis for making any kind of decision that affects dozens/hundreds/thousands/millions of people. It doesn't have anything to do with their level of education as they let their emotions override their thinking.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has not been cooperating, the good weather is returning for the workweek, and where once again Monday has returned all too soon.
It's bad when the folks running the government here in the US choose to ignore what's happening in other socialist countries (something they're trying very hard to turn the US in to) in regards to what occurs when the socialist system runs out of other people's money to pay for all the services and entitlements the system put into place.

Greece is merely the latest example of that, where the government can no longer support all those people they've made dependent upon the state for everything. The proles are upset now that the Greek government is broke and is putting austerity programs into effect, cutting budgets with a meat ax and doing likewise with entitlements (pensions, health care, unemployment, graft, corruption, and a whole host of other things that go along with a socialist state).

When the proles found out that the nanny state could no longer pay for all those neat things they were used to getting for 'free', they revolted, rioting in the streets and burning a bank (or two or three). It is somewhat reminiscent of the collapse of the ultimate socialist state, the Soviet Union, when the biggest socialist experiment in history came to an end after 74 years because their economy collapsed, mostly because of their economic model was seriously flawed (We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us). Unfortunately Greece followed a similar model and we can all see how that's worked out.

Now Greece expects the rest of the EU (and the US) to bail them out of the economic problems of their own making. Frankly, I don't think anyone should bail them out because they won't learn anything if we do. All a bailout will do is delay the inevitable: another request/demand for another bailout later. Greece will have no real incentive to fix their economic problems if they know the EU and/or the US will come to their rescue. All it will do is make them as dependent on us as their people have become dependent on them. They'll still be using other people's money to fund their bankrupt policies. It will be a vicious cycle that will merely prolong the pain.

It's a scenario we could easily fall into if we follow the same path. But we'll have no recourse but to bite the bullet and discard socialism as the failed experiment it is because there will be no one out there capable of bailing us out. Greece is an object lesson that far too many in Washington are ignoring as much as possible because it goes against everything they've been indoctrinated to believe. Heaven forbid if their utopian vision should be proven to be nothing more than a pipe dream.
NOTE: Sorry for this slightly incoherent posting, but I threw out my back yesterday and am under muscle-relaxant drugs that are making me woozy.

In 2007 there was the now-famous "kitty corner shot," a rifle that can shoot around corners.

Now there's a new way to break down doors without the risk of having to go up to it and place explosives. HT: Say Uncle
I receive an e-mails every week about some of the more popular videos making the rounds on YouTube, Break, Yahoo, and a host of other video sharing sites. Most of the videos are quite entertaining, funny, or enlightening. And sometimes, they're not.

At first I thought this one was going to be one of the funny ones. But after watching for a few seconds I realized it was heart-rending and tragic in a way that people who don't have cats might not understand (we have seven living with us at The Manse). It brought tears to my eyes. (Yes, I know "it's only a cat", but that doesn't make it any less sad or painful.)

Could this be President Obama's worst nightmare? Could it be the Democrats may suffer from their own version of A Nightmare On Elm Street?

The answer is yes should these Republicans succeed in their efforts to gain the title of House Representative.

Among the many reverberations of President Obama's election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials.

The House has not had a black Republican since 2003, when J. C. Watts of Oklahoma left after eight years.

But now black Republicans are running across the country -- from a largely white swath of beach communities in Florida to the suburbs of Phoenix, where an African-American candidate has raised more money than all but two of his nine (white) Republican competitors in the primary.

While Democrat leaders try to downplay the chances of black Republicans running against incumbent Democrats, they are overlooking the increasing anger against Congress, and Democrats in particular. I have a feeling far too many Democrats feel that the American people will have gotten over the anger caused by Democrats in Congress (and the White House) ignoring the will of a majority of Americans and shifting the course of US hard to the left. Come November quite a few Congressional Democrats may find they're out of a job, with some of them replaced by conservative blacks.

Of course should a wholesale defeat of a large number of Democrats take place in November I expect the Democrat leadership to say something along the lines of "Obviously the electorate didn't understand our plans and failed to appreciate the new direction we're trying to move this country," or "The voters were stupid and bought the TEA party rhetoric hook, line, and sinker." But they would never admit they were wrong or that the American people didn't want this country to become another dystopian socialist economic hellhole the Democrats have been trying so hard to create.
Who says there's never a cop around when you need one?

As these two teens found out, a cop could be the guy in the car in front of you that you just harassed and threatened in a road rage incident.

Two teens who allegedly followed, then threatened an off-duty police officer at his home after a road rage incident were arrested Friday night.

Apparently they didn't like seeing the officer's car in front of them even though he had passed them while they were driving well under the speed limit. So they sped up, followed him home, and threatened him with a baseball bat once he pulled into his driveway.

My son is acquainted with one of the teens involved in the incident and was not surprised to find out he was involved. I know the police officer they threatened (he lives just down the street from us), and know he's a pretty cool customer.

Let's hope these two jerks learned a valuable lesson. But if what my son told me about one of them is true, it's unlikely.
Judging from the reactions to a Boston Globe story of dogs being attacked by coyotes in Amherst, Mass., when out with their owners on a hike, this is the case. The reader responses are very interesting. One guy from NH's Lakes Region, who could be me except for the breed of dog, says he always is armed in the woods.

Read how the libs react to that. Just childish.

I just had an incident where being armed led me to be grateful. BTW, the bears came again last night to raid my trash. This means I'm taking the ammonia out!
Here we are at week 17 of our battle against the bulge and both Skip and I are still managing to drop pounds. He's still out in front, but at least I'm not lagging too much.

Here's this week's results:

dual thermometer - pounds large - Week 17.jpg
Click on image to make biggerer
This fine Detroit cop is gunned down by a thug Hollywood couldn't do justice to, and the reader comments are absolutely blistering. How far have we come from the great Clint Eastwood classic, Dirty Harry? Not far at all. You really ought to read them. I guess a female liberal judge has blood on her hands.

Detroit is scary. Great deals on houses, though.
writes the following:

Three cheers aren't enough for Arizona. It's the first state to defend American citizenship on the basis of identity, and American sovereignty on the basis of borders. In an age of blurred identities and undefended borders, Arizona has put itself in a good, old-fashioned state of revolt against the postmodern, global-minded state of being foisted on us by internationalist elites up to and including President Barack Hussein Obama.
I'm almost jealous--I'm sure the Harvard Law student would say, "Don't be."--at the brouhaha over the private email on the possibility that blacks are on average less intelligent than other racial groups. Hey, that's what the data says, get used to it.

The same date says whites aren't quite up to speed to East Asians. And Jews? Forgettaboutit. All that medieval oppression, as I once read from Ernest Van Den Haag, put severe pressures on weeding out their own Homer Simpsons.

But reading the sniveling, mean-spirited white liberals' reaction to it on gawker is all too familiar. Let's destroy her instead of looking at the issue. They are foul-mouthed hooligans.

So can I join in, having little prudence? Men are smarter than women. There. I said it.

So has Charlotte Allen; something like that:

The theory that women are the dumber sex -- or at least the sex that gets into more car accidents -- is amply supported by neurological and standardized-testing evidence. Men's and women's brains not only look different, but men's brains are bigger than women's (even adjusting for men's generally bigger body size). The important difference is in the parietal cortex, which is associated with space perception. Visuospatial skills, the capacity to rotate three-dimensional objects in the mind, at which men tend to excel over women, are in turn related to a capacity for abstract thinking and reasoning, the grounding for mathematics, science and philosophy. While the two sexes seem to have the same IQ on average (although even here, at least one recent study gives males a slight edge), there are proportionally more men than women at the extremes of very, very smart and very, very stupid.
The farm where BeezleBub works opened its farm stand yesterday. Goodness knows it was perfect weather for it, with temps in the 80's and mostly sunny from mid-morning onwards.

BeezleBub put in a full week in at the farm this past week, it being school vacation week. He's already looking forward to the end of school and the start of summer, as are Deb and I.

**********

The Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout is finally out from under the winter storage cover. The support frame is still up but will be dismantled some time during the week. Over the next two or three weeks the post-storage maintenance and clean up will be done and, assuming no setbacks, it will make its trip to the lake and its summer berth right around Memorial Day weekend.

It would have been nice if it had been ready to go this weekend, considering the great weather we've had the past three days. But there's no way we could have gotten it ready to go in such a short time.

Still it would have been nice.

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Bogie relates tales from her census training, listing some of the things the students in the class knew to be true...but weren't.

The most egregious? How about this:

Tea Partiers: They are likely to shoot any Census worker (or government employee for that matter) as to look at them. You will be lucky to leave with only a couple of scratches if you have to interview one of THOSE people. They will be hostile because they hate government and want to have anarchy.

No, this wasn't taught by the Census Bureau or any of it's Supervisors or Crew Leaders. This was common knowledge amongst the students. Out of 17 students, the only people that had a different opinion were myself and a farmer (as far as I could tell, I didn't really stick my neck out on this) Also, I couldn't tell about a couple of the college kids - but everyone older than 25 (besides myself and the farmer) were very addament (sic) that Tea Partiers were basically the lunatic fringe and dangerous.

Not surprising, somehow. But it's disappointing to see how many people out there have been thoroughly brainwashed and are now incapable of thinking for themselves.

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One more than one occasion recently, the Obama Administration's response to the oil rig disaster and the resulting oil leak may be seen as its version of Hurricane Katrina. In other words, the government response has been damn slow. That's surprising considering the administrations quick actions in other areas over the past 16-some months.

This administration has plans to use or already has used its power to muscle its way into the business of public and private institutions with impunity.

Now, when a serious accident happens, where the federal government has a responsibility to get involved, act quickly, mobilize its assets, and obtain the best, most comprehensive information it can possibly get, we are lead to believe that this particular administration is willing to take the word of British Petroleum with no follow-up procedures or tools to prove the veracity of this information?

Amazingly hypocritical when one considers just how hostile this administration has been in its demonization of "Big Oil."

It's one thing when they can posture and make moves to take over entire industries. It's another thing when the government actually has to perform and fails to do so.

**********

Senator Chris Dodd's (D-CT) financial reform bill is supposed to help protect taxpayers from future bank and insurance company bailouts, amongst other things. But as one looks at the details, it appears it rolls back a number of existing protections and gives a number of insurance companies a pass. Coincidentally, those insurance companies are headquartered in Dodd's home state.

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It isn't just American citizens who are fed up with illegal immigrants. So are legal immigrants.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

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Oh, yeah, like this will play well in Peoria.

It appears Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has asked the World Court to overturn the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

What's next, the First Amendment?

Apparently Daley has forgotten he swore to protect and defend the Constitution when took the oath of office...unless the Chicago oath is a whole lot different from those in the rest of the nation. (That might explain a few things if true.)

Daley is learning the same lesson the folks in Washington, DC learned so long ago: An unarmed population insures a high violent crime and murder rate.

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Q&O asks "Why are Democrats so tone deaf?"

When it comes to what a great majority of Americans believe are important (jobs, the economy, the deficit), the Democrats choose to ignore those concerns and instead tackle issues that Americans see as secondary or tertiary issues (health care reform, financial reform, cap-and-trade).

With that kind of focus is it any wonder why it's possible Democrats could be tossed out of Congress in large numbers come November?

**********

Frank J. gives us some interesting facts gleaned from Fred Thompson's new book, Teaching The Pig To Dance.

FUN FACTS ABOUT YOUNG FRED THOMPSON

* Young Fred Thompson was always getting in trouble for sneaking up and tackling grizzly bears, and it got to the point that they could never maul anyone in peace.

* Young Fred Thompson's elementary school science project nearly destroyed the sun.

* The first time Young Fred Thompson experienced taxes was when he was charged sales tax on a pack of gum, and he became so enraged that eventually the national guard had to be called in to stop him. The incident was what Rambo: First Blood was loosely based on.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

**********

And that he news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer-like weather has returned, farm stands and ice cream joints have opened for the season, and where boats have been venturing out on to the lake.
I don't do fadish diets. Period.

But after listening to a fascinating podcast with Russell Roberts and Arthur De Vany, who counsels eating like our stone age ancestors, I've given one a go. I know that a well-preserved body found in Europe five or six years ago shows our ancestors ate like wolves: lots of meat.

And I know I don't eat enough fruits and veggies, and the daily consumption of a bagel, which my farmer friend down the street used to feed to her pigs only to see them bloat up disgustingly (day-old products from a store), has been conducive to giving me a gut. I was receptive to the Evolutionary Fitness diet.

Well, after a week, the change in my energy level and the decrease in my belt size has been nothing short of dramatic. At this rate I'm going to blog topless and will need new belts.
Back in June 2008, I predicted the Law of Unintended Consequences would assert itself in regards to the increase of the minimum wage.

Time has proven me right.

A sign of those unintended consequences can be seen in a memo from an employer to his employees, explaining why he's cut back on their hours across the board even though he wishes he could give them all the hours they'd like.

This is yet another example of how government intervention in the economy has a negative effect that far outweighs any possible positive effect that was used as the justification for such an intervention. Something as simple as raising the minimum wage 40% over three years can turn a money-making business into a money-losing business in very short order. I don't know of any business (other than government) that can absorb a 40% increase in labor costs and not suffer the consequences.
This is a funny comment by a decidedly anti Taurus gun owner. I own two Taurus pistols, one of which I was carrying when I literally came face to face with a mother bear and her yearling cub, about 25-30 feet away. Both were already filling out from trash diving.

I was hiking the new lot in Center Harbor yesterday with the sun going down. Center Harbor Woods was recently acquired by the efforts of donors and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT). The trails are still really primitive and hardly used, which makes them great. There are free maps of it, including one listing flora and fauna, at the LRCT headquarters. (They've moved from Meredith to a formerly private residence in Center Harbor on Route 25B.)

These bears were likely the ones that have already raided my garbage once. My sidearm was a Taurus Millennium Pro PT 140, a ten-round .40 caliber double action semi-auto. Why the bears didn't run when my dog began frantically barking at them and waited until I approached from the south (wind was north-northeast) shows how territorial and aggressive they become when making a living off humans' trash.

The mother even angrily barked at me before reluctantly it seemed turning away. And I had felt like a fool strapping on! With the bile in my throat and ten ticks on me, I returned to the car with my knees shaking together, wishing I had had a more powerful revolver with me. Like the Ruger Redhawk in the .45 Colt. But that is difficult-to-find ammo.

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