October 2011 Archives

Is it possible the Occupy Wall Street protests might succeed where indoctrination has failed?

While the OWS protests are obstensively supposed to show "the people" the evils of capitalism, it is having an unexpected side effect. It's teaching the OWS protesters the evils of socialism up close and personal, by way of Ayn Rand.

Not surprisingly, Occupy Wall Street has become a magnet for thieves and con-men. As one organizer complains, "Stealing is our biggest problem at the moment."

Then there are the bums. Originally, from what I can tell, street people were actively recruited by the Occupiers as a way of adding to their somewhat anemic numbers. But the naïve young hippies who make up the bulk of the movement are quickly discovering what the rest of us, with the benefit of actual life experience, already know about "the homeless."

Over at Occupy Boston, a protester complains, "It's turning into us against them. They come in here and they're looking at it as a way of getting a free meal and a place to crash, which is totally fine, but they don't bring anything to the table at all." Another report concludes with a similar sentiment.

"We have compassion toward everyone. However, we have certain rules and guidelines," said Lauren Digioia, 26, a member of the sanitation committee. "If you're going to come here and get our food, bedding and clothing, have books and medical supplies for no charge, they need to give back," Digioia said. "There's a lot of takers here and they feel entitled."

These kids had better watch out. If they start thinking that like this, pretty soon they might find themselves at a Tea Party rally.

"There's a lot of takers here and they feel entitled." Gee, that sounds familiar. Could it be because the very ones complaining about the takers are themselves takers of a higher order? What hypocrites. They're finding out that the socialist/marxist creed of "From each according to his ability. To each according to his need," does nothing but create a large amount of 'needy' while diminishing the number filling the needs. It's right out of Atlas Shrugged, where the takers (looters) take more and more while creating a huge disincentive for those producing what is taken to keep working. At some point the producers end up becoming nothing more than slaves to the takers, as Rand outlined in her novel.

It seems the OWS protesters are "dominated by 20-year-old white middle-class college boys ." What the hell do these college boys know of real life and how economies actually work? From what they're showing the world, not much. But they're sure as heck learning the hard way that nothing free is actually free. Someone else has to pay for it. This time around, it's them.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

Thoughts On A Sunday

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
The snow certainly arrived earlier than usual this year, at least snow with a substantial accumulation. The lack of a snowblower certainly made cleaning up after the 12+ inches of heavy wet snow deposited by the storm a rather difficult task. Bogie has even more snow to move than we do.

While Deb and I accomplished our primary mission, finding replacements for the furniture that was damaged when the bathtub in the master bath sprung a leak, we didn't get the chance to go out shopping for the new snowblower yesterday.

You know this latest weather 'calamity' will be blamed on AGW. It's only a matter of time.

UPDATE: See, that didn't take long.

***********

Considering most of the leaves were still on the trees here in northern New England the snow caused a lot more power outages than a snowfall like this would under normal circumstances. Over 200,000 were without power in New Hampshire, with the total number in the millions across the Northeast.

***********

It's Halloween tomorrow night, which brings to mind an old saw: "You know you live in New Hampshire when you make sure your kids' Halloween costumes will fit over their snowsuits."

***********

There is a rebellion brewing in rural California, with the ever increasing hardhanded edicts from Sacramento being felt by folks in rural counties causing them to fight back, along with help from their local law enforcement.

The state government decide to cave to the watermelon environmentalists and start destroying hydroelectric dams along the Klamath River, taking away both power and water resources from a number of farms and ranches in the area. (It seems hypocritical to me, destroying a renewable energy source all in the name of the environment.)

These rural folks, living in the shadow of the majestic Mount Shasta, believe that they are being driven away so that their communities can essentially go back to the wild, to conform to a modern environmentalist ethos that puts wildlands above humanity. As the locals told it during the Defend Rural America conference Oct. 22 at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds, environmental officials are treading on their liberties, traipsing unannounced on their properties, confronting ranchers with guns drawn to enforce arcane regulatory rules and destroying their livelihoods in the process.

The evening's main event: a panel featuring eight county sheriffs (seven from California, one from Oregon) who billed themselves as "Constitution sheriffs." They vowed to stand up for the residents of their communities against what they say is an unconstitutional onslaught from regulators in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. In particular, they took issue with the federal government's misnamed Travel Management Plan, which actually is designed to shut down public travel in the forests.

Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood related the stir he caused when he said he "will not criminalize citizens for just accessing public lands." Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey reminded the crowd that county sheriffs are sworn to uphold the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." These are fighting words.

I think we always knew the lunatic fringe seemed to thrive in California, now we're seeing they've taken over the reins of government and are doing their best to destroy what little is left of liberty and rights in the Golden State.

***********

Bill Whittle schools the Progressives about the actual meaning of the Commerce and General Welfare clauses of the Constitution, and warns them that "if the social compact is broken by the government, then we don't have to live by their laws," something that could easily lead to rebellion and the end of the rule of law. But then Progressives seem to like that idea. They have certainly worked hard to make the Constitution nothing more than a worthless piece of paper interesting only in a historical perspective, and to replace it by the rule of the politically correct courts and edicts from politically correct Progressive leaders...like Castro, Stalin, Breznev, Chavez, Hitler, Mussolini, Obama, etc.

***********

Thought this is a little dated, it's still indicative of the problems facing a lot of American cities who for years spent far more than they could afford. In this case it's Detroit (again) having troubles keeping the streetlights on.

This is yet another ongoing example of the result of years of Democrat governance and union in the Motor City. I have a lot of sympathy for present Detroit Mayor Dave Bing seeing as he has decades of damage and neglect to undo.

***********

The liberal meme that supporting Herman Cain for President proves the Right's racism is growing. Never mind that they have to twist their logic in ways that would have caused such folks expressing it to be involuntarily committed to a mental institution only a few decades ago because they would have been seen as being totally disconnected from reality.

***********

Cap'n Teach tells about a woman who left her 11-year old son with strangers at a convenience store so she could go to the OccupyPortland site and wash dishes.

What a moron.

***********

Wizbang has an interesting and simple comparison by the numbers between the OWS and the Tea Party protests. OWS doesn't come out looking very good, but then I really didn't expect them to.

***********

Watching the New England Patriots play the Pittsburgh Steelers was painful. Neither the defense or the offense were working. During the beginning of the second quarter the only way the Patriots seemed to be able to get first downs was due to Steeler penalties.

The second half wasn't much better. In the end the Patriots lost.

Just before the game started one of the TV commentators mentioned that Bill Belichick had checked the stats of all 12 teams coming off a bye week and found that the win-loss records of such teams was only 3-9. It looks like the Pats fell victim to that statistic.

***********

Speaking of the Patriots, Bob Parks brings us this story of Marcus Cannon, whom the Patriots drafted even though he'd been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The thirty one other teams decided he wasn't worth it. Bill Belichick decided he was.

He was right.

***********

One thing I have to admit to: being weirded out by seeing all of the snow on the ground along with the trees still bearing green, red, yellow, and orange leaves. It was while BeezleBub and I were heading to the local Big Box Hardware/Appliance/Lumber/Garden Supply store to get a few 2X6's and 2X4's for a little project in the garage that we saw the paradox of snow and leaves.

As an aside, while at the BBH/A/L/GS store we decided to see what they might still have in the way of snowblowers. Last week they had a couple of dozen lined up out in front and another dozen just inside the main entrance. Today, they had four. And one of the helpful BBH/A/L/GS store employees tried to convince us to buy one of four the leftover snowblowers even though none of them were big enough to do the job at The Manse. Needless to say we took a pass.

We'll give them a few days to replenish their supply and then maybe we'll finally be able to replace our defunct snowblower.

***********

And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow is melting away, the temperatures will be rising back into the upper 50's, and where we still need yo lay up our supply of firewood.

Some Harsh Truths

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
I saw this by way of Instapundit. It reveals some harsh truths the #OWS folks won't admit to, but something We The 53% understand completely.

We are Wall Street. It's our job to make money. Whether it's a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn't matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn't hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone's 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I've never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.

Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.

Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you're only going to hurt yourselves. What's going to happen when we can't find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We're going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work until 10pm or later. We're used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don't take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don't demand a union. We don't retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we'll eat that. For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We're going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime, and double time and a half. I'll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.

So now that we're going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we're going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren't going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We're going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it's really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.

We aren't dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply...will he? and will they?"


So if the OWS folks get their way and kill off Wall Street and the corporations, what they'll get in return is an economic collapse that will make the Great Depression look like a minor market correction in comparison. But what do you expect from economically illiterate and spoiled children who feel entitled to what the rest of us earned?

An Early Snowfall

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

While snow is expected here in New England every winter (and sometimes in late fall), I admit to a little surprise and dismay to find snow on the ground when I left for work this morning and another 4 to 8 inches expected to fall by sometime Sunday.


We have not yet secured a new Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower, but the missus has suggested buying it sometime tomorrow (but not until after we finish doing some shopping to replace the furniture damaged when we suffered the 'flood' inside The Manse last month).


Tonight was also the first time we fired up the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove. With all the post-flood repair work done, the new paint dried, and the chimney having been cleaned by the chimney sweeps earlier this week, it seemed the time had come to fire it up and to stop burning expensive propane to heat The Manse. At least we have just under a cord of firewood stored in the garage. We're still waiting on the first delivery of the four cords of wood we ordered from Farmer Andy, something he usually starts just after Halloween.


I have a feeling it's going to be a long cold winter.



I don't rightly recall, but I may have mentioned that one of the Weekend Pundit nieces is in the United States Army and presently deployed to Afghanistan.

I recently received an e-mail from her by way of my sister-in-law and my lovely missus which points to a WaPo piece about her unit and the training she and the others went through to prepare for their tour of duty. The article covers the specialized training and evaluation these troops went through in order to qualify for one of these special units. Those who made it through are some tough cookies.

My niece appears in a number of pictures in the accompanying photo gallery, but I am not going to reveal her name.

We've always thought she was special, and this and her present duty post certainly prove it without a doubt.

The Walken Dead...

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Something I got from a friend at work.


"More cowbell!!"

I'm beginning to wonder if President Obama will end up being the president to issue more executive orders than any other. It certainly seems he's headed that way.


With his latest I-won't-waste-my-time-going-through-Congress-to-get-this-passed edict that changes the entire student loan system, including payment caps and 'forgiveness' clauses, he shows he really doesn't like the rule of law. Not surprising for an Alinskyite leftist trying to buy his re-election through giveaways to the naïve and willfully ignorant.


But I still am not sure whether his actions are made through ignorance of how the real world works coupled with incompetence, or through the belief in a failed ideology of greed, envy, and elitism, i.e. Marxism. I'm not sure which would be worse, unless it's a combination of both.

Taking a look at many of the protesters involved with #OWS, you realize most of them are quite young, generally college age. This is quite telling as in the past it has been the so-called 'enlightened' youth that have led protests and revolutions. But in this case their cause célèbre is not one of justice or rights or racial harmony. Instead it's borne of a belief in entitlement to things of which they have not earned. In other words, they want someone else to pay for the things they want.

Bill Whittle does a pretty good job of explaining what it is the protesters want: More. He also tells them what it is they need: To grow up.

Thoughts On A Sunday

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
It's another typical fall weekend here in New England, with cooler days predominant and fast fading foliage colors.

The foliage wasn't as good this year as seen in past years, not so much for the actual colors than the scattershot timing of it. Usually the leaves will change in rough unison, but not this year. Instead the timing of the change has been far more random, as seen here in the Lakes Region. We still have quite a few trees sporting green that are just now beginning to change while others changed a couple of weeks ago, hit their peak color, and are now shedding their leaves.

***********

My dear brother and I were at the WP Parents yesterday, taking care of a number things that needed doing. John cleaned windows as I dealt with some minor computer issues.

When he was done with the windows, we both tackled a semi-daunting problem with configuring our parents' new Sony media player so they could stream Netflix movies. This required replacing an existing wireless router (an early version of an 802.11g wireless access point) with a new one capable of connecting to the media player. I also helped the WP Dad finish assembling his new computer desk and getting everything on his old one moved over to the new one. This move also allowed me to untangle the rat's nest of wires that seem to grow all by themselves as time passes. (This always seems to happen, no matter how careful we are to prevent it. Maybe we've discovered a new universal physical law or a new twist on an existing one.)

The first movie we watched once everything was up and running was The Expendables, with Sly Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, and Mickey Rourke. Lots of really neat explosions in that one! (A dislaimer: we watched that movie to test the system and make sure everything was working. No, really!)

***********

It looks like the conflict between Nevada and New Hampshire in regards to the Nevada caucuses has been resolved, with Nevada deciding to hold their contest in early February, negating the need for New Hampshire to move its primary to sometime in December.

This decision by the Nevada GOP may have had something to do with a number of leading GOP candidates stating they wouldn't participate in the caucuses if Nevada didn't back off.

***********

In regards to yesterday's post about the supposed dangers of Smart Meters, here's another large study showing no link between cell phone use and brain tumors.

Considering the RF field generated by cell phones is 125 times that of a Smart Meter (assuming the meter is transmitting 100% of the time, which it doesn't), I'd say the anti-Smart Meter folks have got some explaining to do.

***********

Reason presents a poll that asked Americans to state in their own words the biggest problems they are facing today. The three biggest in order were jobs, the economy, and debt/deficits/spending.

One thing that wasn't on the list? Climate change.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

***********

Also at Maggie's Farm comes this analysis about the #OWS protesters and their lack of self-esteem. Most of them are young adults stuck in an extended adolescence with no real identity, many of them in college. As Bulldog writes:

[Eric]Hoffer pointed out that blue collar workers rarely joined protest movements. Since they tended to join the workforce at a young age, they developed their identities earlier than protesters. Their self-esteem was in place and didn't require an outlet for juvenile behaviors.

Indeed. RTWT.

***********

The We Are The 53% site is still quite active, with more posts from those who are the 53% paying the taxes for those 99%-ers who don't.

***********

You have got to be kidding me.

Is this yet another example of the failure of our educational system or is this guy just a moron?

Unfortunately the answer is probably both.

***********

It seems these days that if you want a shot at business success without all of the government roadblocks standing in your way, the place for you is Estonia.

[Spaniard Naphtali Peral] says that he established his company here in only half a day, mainly online. The record for establishing a company, he adds, is only 18 minutes. In other words, the government doesn't say: Hey, Peral, who do you think you are, starting a company, just like that? No, he says, the state actually encourages entrepreneurship, and says things like: So you have an idea, Peral! Go for it! And then he says that it takes him 20 minutes to prepare his semi-annual tax return, and that when it was time to slash the government budget, Estonia's cabinet ministers started with their own salaries.

I don't see anything like that happening here, even in my home state of New Hampshire which has less government regulation of business than most other states in the US. Starting a business in the US can be daunting, particularly in states with a heavy-handed bureaucracy, high business taxes and fees, and too many politicians more than willing to choose the business winners and losers. And since BHO has taken office it has become more so, with his blessing.

***********

This past Friday it became official: Deb and I are no longer small business owners.

We sold our business to one of our customers, someone who believes she can put the time, effort, and money to grow it even during these tough economic times. Both Deb and I will be working with the new owner to help her do just that. (I'll be handling tech support for the computer systems used by the business.)

It wasn't that we didn't want to do it. Quite the contrary. But Deb wanted to go back to school in pursuit of a nursing degree and between her regular job, our business, and school, she didn't have enough time to devote to all three. Giving up her 'regular' job wasn't an option as we receive our family's medical benefits through her job (one she absolutely loves, by the way), and our business wasn't making enough money pay anything more than the bills, payroll, rent, and franchise fees. There was nothing left over to pay ourselves. And with my job the hours didn't allow me to put in time at our business except on weekends and some evenings. In order for it to grow we each needed to put in more than 40 hours per week, something we just couldn't do. So we had only three options: keep limping along, close it, or sell it.

We didn't want to close it as we had a group of customers we didn't want to let down. We didn't want it to just keep limping along because we knew that eventually we would have to close it, just much later. So the only option was to sell it. Fortunately we had someone who saw the potential and made us a reasonable offer.

Deb admits she didn't expect the sale to be so emotional for her, but the moment she walked into the business for the last time she broke down. So did a number of our employees (friends she made while running and later owning the business) and some of the customers who were present.

But the business lives on. The new owner sees this as an opportunity for her and we're willing to help her succeed in any way we can.

And so it goes in small business America.

***********

While I and many of my fellow conservative bloggers have railed against the Main Stream Media and their all but publicly announced left bias, my fellow Granite Stater Jay Tea goes to town against the NYT and their attempted hatchet job on Senator Mark Rubio of Florida.

Then again, the Times lost all credibility years ago after numerous plagiarism scandals and episodes of reporters just making stuff up. You'd think they would have learned their lessons, but no, they pushed the Rubio story without doing any fact checking and now every claim they made about Rubio has been found wanting.

Is it any wonder why people distrust the media?

***********

One last bit of information before closing things out.

Repairs to The Manse started last week. A plumber was in to fix the leak that caused all the problems, and the main contractor has had his guys put up, tape, and mud the new drywall on the dining room ceiling. Half the hardwood flooring has been torn up with the rest to be pulled up starting sometime Monday morning. Once the ceiling has been completed the new flooring will go in and then the walls will be repainted. If things hold to schedule the work will be completed in another week and a half.

It will be nice to have everything back together as it was before the Great Flood.

***********

And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the fall foliage is still changing, the weather has cooled somewhat, and where we expect to see our first delivery of firewood sometime next week.
Oh my, here we go again.

It seems the pseudoscience quacks are at it again, this time decrying the dangers of Smart Meters used for Smart Grid applications.

To hear them tell it Smart Meters will irradiate you with high levels of RF, causing all kinds of maladies including cancer, high blood pressure, scurvy, baldness, erectile dysfunction, higher taxes, and chronic halitosis. (Yes, I know these are ridiculous exaggerations, but so are the claims being made by this latest group of Luddites.) From their descriptions, you'd think these things were pumping out power equivalent to that of a microwave oven. They don't. They seem to believe they're transmitting constantly. They aren't.

To address their first point, Smart Meter transmitters have a maximum output of a watt or less on the two radio bands used for this purpose. In most cases Smart Meter transmitter output is in the milliwatt range (thousandths of a watt) because they don't need to transmit very far. Your cell phone transmits more power than that and you hold it against your head. A Smart Meter is usually located outside your home and is nowhere near the occupants.

Second, Smart Meters only transmit when commanded to do so by the utility, generally a few times a day. Even so, the exposure from Smart Meters is still a small fraction of that from a number of other RF sources in and around the home even if it transmits 100% of the time (See Figure 1 in linked PDF above.) With the low duty cycle of Smart Meters (each transmission lasts less than a second), the maximum exposures experienced will be even less. Your laptop or tablet using its wireless connection will expose you to more RF than a Smart Meter ever will. Yet none of the Luddites using them complains about this RF exposure. (Maybe it's because laptops and iPads are useful to these science-ignorant do-gooders, so they're willing to overlook the 'dangers' they pose.)

The pseudo-scientific crap these folks are peddling will do more harm than the Smart Meters they're condemning.

This is the price we pay for indoctrination masquerading as an educational system.

Quantum Levitation Rocks!

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
I saw this over at Maggie's Farm and knew I had to share it.

We've all seen pictures and videos of magnets suspended in mid air over some superconducting material bathed in liquid nitrogen. That in itself is pretty neat. But the video below goes beyond that, showing something called quantum levitation, where the superconducting material is held in place over magnets in such a way that it keeps its orientation above them. The superconducting 'puck' keeps the same height or tilt or other orientation due to quantumtatively locked levitation, even if it's moving.


Neat stuff indeed!

Late For Work

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

One would think that if the Obama Administration was serious about jobs that it would at least make sure that it didn't do anything to make it more difficult for those Americans who are fortunate enough to still have jobs to actually get to work.


Just before 3 this afternoon I received a phone call from my missus, informing me she was stuck in traffic on her way to work. As she described it, there were dozens of police cars blocking traffic as a series of limousines, vans, and large SUVs made their way along US Route 3 and Interstate 93 in Tilton, New Hampshire. Traffic was blocked for quite some time, making it impossible for anyone to get where they were going. As it is the missus made it to work late.


It wasn't until later that she found out the cause for the massive traffic tie-up: Vice President Joe Biden.


It appears he was here in the Granite State for two purposes - file papers on behalf of President Obama for the upcoming New Hampshire Primary, and promote the President's dead-on-arrival jobs bill Biden claims will prevent a rise in violent crime. Never mind that his little trip caused a number of still-working Americans here in New Hampshire to be late getting to work or getting home from work.


One does not promote jobs growth by preventing those who still have them from getting to them.

As the presidential campaigns heat up, charges of racism are being thrown by the Left towards the right because in their twisted view of reality, everyone on the Right are racists. It doesn't matter if the Right supports a black candidate. The fact that the candidate is a Republican automatically equates to racism by the Right. And if the Right doesn't support a Leftist black candidate then it's because they're racists.

As far as the Left is concerned, everyone on the Right is racist.

Too bad for them that they're wrong.

In their efforts to show they aren't racist, the Left has become a parody, treating minorities as a wronged group incapable of fending for themselves and needing special treatment as if they weren't smart enough to do things for themselves. Call it what it is - backhanded racism. By treating them as an oppressed class and providing them with special protections and privileges, they are basically saying to them "You are inferior and therefore need our protection and help because everyone else will discriminate against you unless we're here to stop it." After the Right fought hard for civil rights to remove institutionalized racism, the Left has brought it back under another guise - affirmative action.

In an effort to make up for past sins, the Left decided it was a great idea to practice reverse racism by giving preference to the oppressed minorities over the majority (meaning whites) as if this would somehow make reparations for previous wrongs. But this didn't just discriminate against whites, it did the same to blacks, latinos, and asians because it treated them as somehow too incompetent to fend for themselves. Isn't that a definition of racism, prejudice, and bigotry? What ever happened to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's dream that his "children would be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin"? The Left has worked hard to kill that dream.

And to the those on the Left that think racism is something practiced only by whites, you're sadly mistaken. I can provide personal experience on his point.

Many years ago when I was working for a defense company that shall remain nameless, one of my co-workers went off on a rant about "crackers" and "white KKK mother-f*****s" and racist honkies. After listening to his increasingly angry rhetoric I got tired of it and finally managed to shut him up by telling him that the only racist mother-f****r in the room was him, spouting racist crap just like he was wearing a white sheet and burning crosses on someone's front lawn, and that he was the bigot, and a loudmouthed bigot at that. He stood there open-mouthed with an angry look on his face as I left the room. A few days later that he came to me and apologized, saying that he realized that he was doing the very thing that he was accusing the rest of us of doing.

To add some insult to injury, some on the Left have taken discrimination even farther, treating women of all races the same way by trying to re-victimize them, passing laws and instituting policies that are supposed to 'protect' women when what they're really doing is treating them  like the minorities - inferior beings incapable of taking care of themselves. We've seen that in a number of places like college campuses where men are always treated as rapists or potential rapists and women are treated as helpless victims. How pathetic and insulting to both men and women.

But then, that's what the Left is all about, isn't it?
As the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests continue, the media still tries to paint them as something entirely grass roots despite the fact that many of them are anything but grassroots. As Bruce Kesler put it, they are nothing more than "Potemkin" protests.

[Occupy Wall Street] is a big media promoted event, one that fits its liberal-left memes, organized by radical "community organizers", funded and added manpower from government-union thugs (just look at the size of the OWC (sic) bouncers).

--snip--

As Glenn Reynolds comments about major media coverage of OWC protests, "When lefties want to make the Tea Party fit their preconceptions, they have to make things up. When righties want to exercise their preconceptions about the Occupy movement, on the other hand, they just have to take a picture."

The contrast is telling. As Mary Grabar notes from her observations of the Occupy Atlanta protests:

As I watched the ragtag group file in, escorted by police, I remembered a Tea Party rally in front of the state capitol in downtown Atlanta, only a few blocks away. There the police and state troopers were omnipresent amidst a group of suburbanites occupying flag-adorned lawn chairs on the sidewalk and listening to speeches about politically legitimate efforts in overturning health care legislation and enforcing immigration laws. Complaints from the podium were specifically about government actions, like taking over the private company, General Motors.

Back then, amidst the flags and bunting, the police were omnipresent, with prison vehicles at the ready and parked along the streets that were the pathway to the prearranged site. Police were omnipresent as the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. They were quite visible as the National Anthem and America the Beautiful were sung, and as prayers for our country were sent up to heaven.

The police stood around, looking relaxed.

The Tea Partiers never blocked a street, and left quietly down the sidewalks after their allotted time, leaving no traces, picking up trash that may have been dropped inadvertently.

The Tea Party never occupied public land illegally. They assembled peacefully with permits arranged beforehand. Yet the media repeatedly characterized them as "angry," "extremist," and "racist."

Tea Party protestors didn't defecate on police cars, didn't disrespect men and women in uniform, didn't try to foment confrontations with police, didn't turn public parks into pig sties, and they didn't use the restroom facilities of local businesses as if they were nothing more than public restrooms.

At least Tea Party protestors abide by the law (for the most part). If they don't like a law they'll try to change it as the Founders intended, by using the ballot box rather than ignoring it as if it didn't apply to them. Tea Party supporters understand where the money comes from to pay for all the "free stuff" many the OWS folks are demanding. A majority of Tea Party supporters are part of the 53% who actually pay income taxes. Most of the young OWS protestors are not. That they believe they are entitled to receive that "free stuff" the rest of us pay for shows us they've been cheated, either by parents that indulged them far too much or schools that filled their heads with that nonsense. And when reality finally slaps them up side their heads it's somehow the fault of the people who make it possible for them to live their indigent lifestyle and they demand that they be "given" jobs they really don't want (because then they'd actually have to work) or aren't qualified to perform.

And so it goes.

Thoughts On A Sunday

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
It's been blustery all weekend, with the temps hovering at the point where you can't decide whether it's just a little too cool or just warm enough. The wind and the temperature allowed me to hang two loads of laundry on the Official Weekend Pundit Clothesline to dry, but I still had to put them into the clothes drier to 'finish' them.

For most of the day yesterday we had the windows open while we were cleaning up the inside of The Manse. Once we got into the late afternoon it had definitely cooled off and the windows were closed. Last evening it was quite windy with brief bouts of rain thrown in here and there just to make things interesting.

***********

Speaking of the Official Weekend Pundit Clothes Drier, it has been making ominous noises while running. I don't know if it's one of the rollers supporting the drum, or plenum rubbing against the inside rim of the drum. In either case, the drier is making a lot of noise that is quite annoying. I'm just hoping we can get it repaired for a reasonable price because we aren't in a position to replace it right now seeing as we need to get a new snowblower for the coming winter.

***********

The Occupy Wall Street protests have gone global, with protests in Germany, Italy, the UK, the Philippines, and a number of other countries. The protests in Rome became violent, with store windows smashed and cars burned.

***********

Glenn Reynolds has a number of links covering various aspects of the Occupy Wall Street movement throughout the US, covering everything from Al Sharpton, Nazis, Communists, Obama, Think Progress, and spreading anti-semitism.

This bodes well for the still unfocused anti-capitalist movement.

***********

The New England Patriots played the Dallas Cowboys this afternoon in Gillette Stadium. It was an ugly game, with the outcome decided by the defense on both teams. In the end the Patriots won it 20-16, the first time they haven't scored 30+ points in a game for some time.

Next week the Patriots have a bye week.

***********

One big surprise from this year's NFL season: The Detroit Lions are 5-1 after losing to the 49'ers 25-19 earlier today. Despite the loss, the Lions played a heck of a game and I think they'll do far better this season than they have in years.

***********

Liz Trotta shows up the oh-so-self-righteous Left as being the actual racists in this country.

That some are surprised that such a thing could be, all one has to do is look at the history of the Democrat party during the past 100 years or so to see that almost everything they've done to "help" black Americans has instead hurt them, keeping them in poverty and dependent upon them. How that isn't considered racism is beyond me.

***********

Smitty has some ideas about how we can make peace with stupid, in this case the Occupy Wall Street idiots.

One of his best suggestions is to "put the little jackwagons in a Gunny Ermey situation, where they can find out what real authoritarianism is like. I have it on some authority that a boot camp environment can be a great way to go 'cold turkey' on stupid."

Amen.

***********

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I have been going through the blogroll to find blogs that have either gone inactive or disappeared. I have been remiss in cleaning house for over a year so this is long overdue. This time around I've gone through the Wicked Good Blogs and found a number of blogs that need to be removed. These include:

The Truth Laid Bear (inactive), Tinkerty Tonk (inactive), OxBlog (inactive), The Middle Ground (inactive), Mean Mr. Mustard (gone), Innocents Abroad (inactive), INDC Journal (closed), The Happy Carpenter (inactive), The Chip Mathis Experience (inactive), Bad News Hughes (inactive), The Autonomist (rarely active), and Albion's Seedlings (inactive).

Andrew Olmstead is remaining on the blogroll even though he was KIA back in 2008. His Final Post remains as a tribute.

A number of blogs have changed their URLs and the blogroll has been updated accordingly. These include Risawn's Incoherent Ramblings, Pejman Yousefzadeh, and DaGoddess. Kami, aka Risawn, will be blogging intermittently as she is undergoing a rather difficult pregnancy. Pejman blogs as his time allows, meaning about once a week.

More changes, deletions, and additions will be made as time allows. I am in the process of 'reviewing' some possible additions to the blogroll. Primarily I won't add someone who blogs infrequently, or is too new to blogging (meaning someone with only a month of blogging under their belt), or someone who can't seem to make up their mind about what their blog is about. (For folks like that I suggest Facebook.)

***********

Our friend Ruth over at Scary Yankee Chick has learned about the meaning of "Harrop", or more accurately, "pulling a Harrop."

The term comes from Australian entrepreneur Barry Harrop, a staunch supporter of the "settled science" of Anthropogenic Global Warming, who comments regularly over at the Wall Street Journal Online opinion section whenever the topic of climate change comes up. His tactic is to constantly cut and paste his own comments on the subject matter in response to others' comments in opposition to his, figuring that by saying the same thing over and over again will somehow make it true. And so it goes for Ruth on one of the pets forums she reads.

I must mention that the Harrop is also a rating system used by commenters on WSJ Online, where the more "Harrops" one receives about one's comments, the more ludicrous and uninformed it is it is understood to be.

***********

Flopping Aces has a telling comparison between the Tea Party and the OWS mob. About the only thing I've seen that have in common is that they both protest, and that's about it. After that the differences are staggering.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

***********

And also from Cap'n Teach comes this startling headline: 9 Billion People To Die From Climate Change Hoax.

As he writes:

So, 9 billion will die over the next 88 years. Apparently, Mankind will be unable to adapt to changing climatic conditions, after being able to do so for millions of years without the benefit of modern technology. We've survived warmer periods and colder periods. At this point, the AGW movement isn't jumping sharks: they're jumping rabid, blood covered unicorns the size of a T-Rex, with the same type of teeth.

Indeed.

***********

Wizbang catches the AP doing some creative editing about how part of the ObamaCare program was killed because it was unworkable. Paul provides the before and after showing how the issue was spun to blame Congressional Republicans for killing that portion of ObamaCare.

You can't tell me the MSM isn't firmly in the pocket of Obama and the Democrats.

***********

Here's yet another example of the Obama Administration's "smart diplomacy."

Yeah, let's keep insulting our allies and sucking up to our enemies. It's worked so well in the past.

***********

It's about time someone debunked the phony beliefs of the modern green movement, showing most of them to be based upon a quasi-religious ideology and gee-wouldn't-it-be-great belief rather than actual facts and science.

So much of the green meme is based upon conjecture, unsubstantiated theories, and outright greed and the quest for political power.

***********

And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the foliage is approaching peak, the weather is schizophrenic, and where Monday has arrived far too early...again.

We Are The 53%

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (1)
I've seen this both at Instapundit and on a friend's Facebook page. It's too good to pass up, so I knew I'd have to link it.

While the so-called 99% are protesting for free stuff, we, the 53% who actually pay for that 'free' stuff, are voicing our own opinions about it. One shot from the site:

tumblr_lsvt51CrgE1r4yt21o1_500.jpg
Yup, I'd say that covers it.

Tear 'Em Down

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
As the foreclosure crisis drags on, it appears banks holding some of the foreclosed properties are taking drastic measures to lighten their burden.

As we've seen in Detroit, foreclosed and abandoned homes have been demolished. In a number of the hardest hit suburbs empty housing developments, some with hundreds of empty never-occupied homes, are being bulldozed to remove the need for the banks or the towns to maintain and police them. (Some of these upscale homes have turned into squatters dens, housing drug dealers and prostitution operations.)

The trend has been spreading, with a number of cities passing legislation to enable them to work with banks to demolish foreclosed properties that are unlikely to ever be occupied before they molder away from neglect. One of the latest to deal with this issue has been Cleveland.

The sight of excavators tearing down vacant buildings has become common in this foreclosure-ravaged city, where the housing crisis hit early and hard. But the story behind the recent wave of demolitions is novel -- and cities around the country are taking notice.

A handful of the nation's largest banks have begun giving away scores of properties that are abandoned or otherwise at risk of languishing indefinitely and further dragging down already depressed neighborhoods.

Four years into the housing crisis, the ongoing expense of upkeep and taxes, along with costly code violations and the price of marketing the properties, has saddled banks with a heavy burden. It often has become cheaper to knock down decaying homes no one wants.

As the linked article states, a number of other states and cities have passed laws allowing the same kind of operations to demolish distressed properties and ease the burden of supporting empty properties.

One area I predict will see such demolitions in the near future is the Las Vegas area. Entire neighborhoods sit empty, with street after street of new homes never sold and never occupied gathering dust and becoming the icon for a modern ghost town.

While not nearly as eerie as the modern ghost cities seen in China, it's still a sad testament to the housing bubble enabled by Congress with their weak oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Herman Cain's move up in the polls now has him in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney.

Not bad for someone who's never held public office.

His 9-9-9 plan is taking some heat, though the more I look at it the more I like it. Like any plan, it isn't perfect and it needs some tweaking, but it's a lot better than any of the others I've heard, including Obama's "secret plan" that is still secret.

Is Cain the best candidate we can put up against President Obama next November? Of those running, I believe the answer is yes. He certainly has a handle on the cost of government, at least as it affects business and the economy. He has accomplished great things while working in the real world. What did Obama accomplish before he was elected to office other than make $110 million of Annenberg Foundation funds disappear with nothing to show for it?

While Cain is not perfect, neither are any of the other candidates. Every one of them has flaws, weaknesses, and blind spots. But the ability to succeed despite them shows us something about their character and their drive. That's certainly true of Herman Cain.

The shoving match between states in regards to the upcoming presidential primaries and caucuses is heating up, with New Hampshire threatening to move their primary to early or mid December if Nevada goes forward with their plans to move their caucuses to early January. That is certainly going to screw up campaign schedules and make the campaign season far too long. It's too darned long now, and the bigger states like Florida figure they should be the ones to set the tone despite the fact they'll kill off any of the retail campaigning so prevalent in smaller states that helps less well known candidates gain some traction. Should Florida succeed, the only viable candidates will be those with huge bank accounts at the beginning of each campaign season. Better, but less well funded candidates will be locked out because campaigning in states like Florida at the beginning of primary season requires more money than most candidates will have available to them that early in the campaign. Voters already complain that political contributions corrupt the process as it is now. What will they be saying when only the well funded will be able to campaign at all?


This does not bode well for the election process.


It's another in an irregular series - it's another Tech Tuesday!

We've all seen how computer hardware has progressed at an astronomical rate over the past 40 years or so, going from something that would fill a room and use magnetic core memory, reel-to-reel magnetic tape drives, and fanfold paper pouring out of printers to something that fits in the palm of your hand with millions of times more computing power than those old mainframes.

But despite all of the progress, the basic technology behind it hasn't changed all that much, only gotten smaller. The CPUs and peripheral ICs that are the heart of any computer are all based upon silicon semiconductor material technology that's been around since 1948. The supporting electronic circuitry uses the same resistors, capacitors, and inductors that have been around since the electronics age started, though again in smaller form. Nothing really new has been added to the repertoire in some time...until now.

Enter the memristor, the fourth basic electronic component to add to the aforementioned resistors, capacitors, and inductors.

While memristor theory itself has been around for 40 years, it wasn't until 2008 that it became a reality. And now the same folks that brought it to life, Hewlett Packard, have plans to use it to create better solid state memory devices which can be used in place of flash memory (used in a host of devices like iPods, smart phones, USB thumb drives, and the newer solid state hard drives), as well as other types of computer memory such as DRAM (this includes most of the various types of SDRAM used in computers today and over the past few decades) and SRAM.

One of the disadvantages of flash memory is that each 'memory' cell that records a bit has a limited number of write cycles before it wears out. This weakness means some kind of algorithm must be used that assures each cell is written to no more than any other. This is also known as wear leveling. Memristors do not suffer from this problem, meaning the number of write cycles is unlimited.

Another advantage of memristors: they can be put on the processor chip itself, making for very fast systems-on-a-chip that do not require external memory to operate.

The days of spinning magnetic storage medium (meaning the traditional hard-disk drives we all know and love) are numbered, and memristor technology may be the last shove that sends it to a long overdue retirement as it replaces memory technology at all levels. The days of waiting for your computer to boot up may also be coming to an end as memristors replace the RAM in your computer, because memristors don't lose the data stored in them when the power is shut off. You'll be able to turn your computer on and it will come up exactly where it was when you shut it off. Of course that might not be a good thing you're running Windows, if you know what I mean.
This theme - Higher Education Bubble - is appearing more often, maybe because it has a heavy dose of truth buried within it.

As so many of us have written again and again, we've all been sold the idea that in order to get a good job that we had to go to college to get a degree. It's almost become gospel. The only problem with that idea is that it is dead wrong.

While some kind of education after high school is a good idea, it needn't be in the form of college. It could be trade school, including apprenticeships (something that has fallen out of favor over the past century or so), or military service, or going out and doing.

We've seen the effects of this wrongheaded thinking, where students come out of college with their sheepskin, a large amount of student loan debt, and no prospects for a job. It's not that college in and off itself is a bad idea, it's what the courses of study the students pursue that are a bad idea. As I mentioned in a section of yesterday's post, one of the protesters at the Occupy Wall Street tantrum was concerned because she was going to be thousands of dollars in debt once she completed her Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree, but had few prospects in the way of finding a job. What kind of job did she think her degree would help her find? You don't need a BFA to work at McDonald's or Dunkin' Donuts or any of the other 'menial' jobs she's likely to have. The same is true of those whose degrees end in the word "Studies", or degrees in Philosophy or Sanskrit or Medieval European Husbandry and so on. Unless all those students plan on careers in academia, most of those degrees are useless in the real world. (One of BeezleBub's friends from the farm had a degree in philosophy from Trinity in Dublin. The only problem was that none of the philosophy companies were hiring, so he ended up with a job as a farm hand.)

Now don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with studying those subjects. But they should be secondary majors or post-grad courses of study. After all, I am a firm believer that all science and technology without the humanities is a bad idea.

What America needs more than folks with college degrees is people who know how to do things with their hands, be it in the trades (construction workers, plumbers, electricians, masons, steelworkers, mechanics, HVAC technicians, etc.) or in factory work (machinists, assemblers, inspectors, etc.). How many times have we seen reports of companies wanting to hire workers, but too many of them are inexperienced, unqualified, or don't have the right training to do the job? Some have gone so far as to hire qualified workers they don't need at the moment because they know they'll need them soon and they want to make sure they'll have them when they need them.

We've got to stop buying into idea that the only way to get ahead is to have a college education. For some job openings, the need for a college degree is overblown, as illustrated by this example. Since when does a receptionist require a college degree?

Hey, maybe that woman with the BFA can apply for the job! I'm sure her expensive college education will qualify her to answer the phones.

Thoughts On A Sunday

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Summer weather has returned to Lake Winnipesaukee, with temps both yesterday and today well into the 80's. It has certainly had an effect on both the tourist trade, with leaf peepers showing up in increasing numbers, and summerfolk working to close up their camps and cottages for the winter.

Yesterday one of my friends posted on her Facebook page that it was what she called "a Donzi day", meaning rather than working to get her boat pulled out of the water and prepped for winter storage, she was going to spend the day out on the lake. It wouldn't surprise me is she spent today out there as well.

The vehicular traffic has been heavy since Friday for the aforementioned reasons. It certainly has been heavy at the public boat ramp and docks in our town, with a lot of people pulling their boats out of the water for the year and many of the islanders going back and forth between their cottages and their cars and trucks on shore as they move stuff out in preparation for shuttering their places for the winter as well.

It seems strange for them to be doing that considering the warm weather, but then that's New England for you.

***********

Speaking of the summerlike weather, you'll get no complaints for us in that regard. Last year we started heating The Manse with the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove at the end of September. This year we might make it until the end of October before we need to fire it up. In light of that, we do have an appointment for the chimney sweep to clean our woodstove chimney this coming Friday. We're also making preparations for the delivery of the first of the four cords of wood from Farmer Andy sometime later this month.

We still have just under a cord left over from last year that I'll need to restack in the garage to make sure it's accessible. And like last year we'll have at least a cord and a half stacked outside after all four cords are delivered. And like last year we will use the cordwood stacked outside first before pulling from the 3+ cords inside the garage. That way we won't have to go outside during the coldest and snowiest part of the winter to get firewood.

***********

Why doesn't it surprise me that solar panels don't work as well as the public has been told?

Like any product, particularly something as sophisticated as photovoltaic panels, the specifications tend to be optimistic, based on 'perfect' conditions. However there are very few places where perfect conditions exist for any length of time. For instance, here in New England we have to worry about obstructions such as leaves (shadowing the panels or covering them during the fall) and snow. The short daylight periods during the winter certainly decrease their capacity just when they're needed most.

Should we abandon such technology? No. I think there's still years of research and development needed to bring them to the point where they are more cost effective and efficient. Right now they aren't, despite the fact that they are being used across the globe, particularly in places where traditional power grids aren't available. But at the moment they require government subsidies to continue production, meaning they aren't ready yet. If they were, they wouldn't require any government incentives at all.

***********

Now that the media is paying more attention to the Occupy Wall Street protests, there's a few things I'd like to point the protestors are overlooking.

First, perhaps they should be protesting along K Street and the outside the Capitol Building in Washington DC. That's where all the problems started. Maybe they've chosen to ignore Barney Frank's and Chris Dodd's contribution to the whole mess, between Frank's denial and unwillingness to deal with Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's financial shenanigans and the horrid Frank-Dodd bill that pushed banks to do what they are now being demonized for.

Maybe they should protest outside Bill Clinton's offices (where ever they happen to be), because he helped set up the financial collapse by signing the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which had kept commercial and investment banks as separate entities. Once that separation was removed, the funds and assets of the two operations could be blended, which in turn allowed the investment sideto use depositor money in risky investments, like the fatally flawed Mortgage Backed Securities being packaged and sold by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

And maybe, just maybe, they should realize it is corporations that create almost everything these protestors use every day. Make the corporations go away and all of their fancy iPads, smart phones, laptops, cars, trucks, lattés, blue jeans, and so on will go away, too.

Oh, and let's not forget the astroturf protesters. You know, the union folks out there with their union-shop printed signs bused in to the protests, as well as the non-union protesters hired by some of the protest organizers?

Doug Mataconis has his own take on the ongoing protests, wondering if it's really a protest or a temper tantrum.

One of those he quotes decries the fact that she will be thousands of dollars in debt with few job prospects once she gets her BFA degree. I have to ask her this question: "What did you plan to do with it once you got it?" Unless she was planning on a career in academia or a museum, I don't know if too many other businesses out there looking for someone with a BFA.

Cap'n Teach also adds his 3¢ worth on the subject.

***********

Harry Reid's problem? Like too many in Washington he's willing to give up long time Senate rules for short term gains. Now that he's pulled the 'nuclear' trigger, the Senate is now no different from the House, removing its oversight from House actions and silencing any minority opinions. It's become the House-Lite, with 335 fewer members. That's going to backfire on Reid in the Democrats in the future.

Maybe it's time to restore the Senate to its original function and repeal the 17th Amendment. Or maybe it's time for Harry Reid to retire.

***********

The New England Patriots played the New York Jets in Gillette Stadium this afternoon.

There has been a long running rivalry between the two teams for years. Some of that may have to do with two of the Patriots head coaches - Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick- both came to New England from the Jets.

It was a back and forth game, with both sides making mistakes and drawing penalties that hurt them. In the end the Patriots won 30-21.

***********

Oh, yeah, like this is going to help the economy and consumers:

EPA regulations will shut down 28 Gigawatts of electricity production.

Maybe it's time to tell the EPA to shove it. After all the EPA has been told by both Congress and the Federal courts they do not have the power to apply the Cross State Transport Rule in the fashion they've been using it, giving unrealistically short deadlines (6 months) to implement changes to bring them within compliance.

Call it yet another FAIL for the Obama Administration.

***********

Can we now make sure that tolerance is a two-way street? At the moment, it isn't, as demonstrated by these two incidents.

First, a student at the University of Minnesota - Duluth was accosted by a Black Panther because he was handing out pocket-sized copies of the United States Constitution. This was followed up by the UMD Director of the Office of Cultural Diversity questioning the student about whether he was part of a white supremacist group. When he answered in the negative, she responded "It looks like one." (See the video at the end of the linked post.)

Second, in Wisconsin a man was attacked by a Muslim for supposedly criticizing Islam, which the victim denies. This begs the question: "Will the attacker be charged with a hate crime? Probably not. You see, he's really the victim here. Islamophobia and all that...."


Indeed. Like I said, it appears tolerance is a one-way street in America.

***********

Fred Lapides links to a great piece by Albert Clawson, explaining his job as a "closer", someone who inspects homes that have been foreclosed upon by a lender. As he explains:

I am the final period on so many significant chapters. I feign dispassion, but I'm not fooling anybody. There is no difference between myself and these people.

The house keys are peeled from a ring. Sometimes they thank me. Sometimes they cry. I wait for their car to vanish before I put up the sign. To most everybody else it is just another house on just another block in just another city in just another financial catastrophe.

But I was there. I saw the dream end.

At least I don't make them turn out the lights one last time as they leave. That's my job.

That's one job I'm not sure I could do. I would feel too much empathy, would be able to put myself into their place, feel their anguish, their sense of loss.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

***********

Now that he's settled any doubt about whether he will run for the GOP nomination for President, New Jersey governor Chris Christie has plenty of work to get back to in his struggling state.

There are still billions in pension shortfalls to deal with, a poor business environment due to the heavy taxation imposed upon businesses and residents, struggling schools, cash-strapped towns and cities now paying the price for decades of fiscal mismanagement at all levels, and unfunded state mandates.

If he can pull this off I'd say he'd be a shoe-in for the GOP nomination should he decide to run in the future.

***********

I plan on performing the last mow of the lawn for the year tomorrow. Normally I would have done it today, but there are one or two sections that require two of us to handle because of the steep slope. While mowing the slopes can be done by one person it takes a lot of extra effort and entails a lot more danger, and these days I much prefer the safe route. And since BeezleBub was working at the farm today and has the day off tomorrow, it seemed prudent to put it off until then.

We will also be trimming back the sumac along one edge of our lawn, It's been growing like a weed (because it is one), and it's been choking out the other trees we want to grow in.

After all of this is done, the Official Weekend Pundit Lawnmower will have its winter storage maintenance performed (change the oil, drain what little gas is left in the fuel tank, spray some Marvel Mystery Oil in through the spark plug hole on the cylinder head, replace the spark plug). After that it will be relegated to the basement until next spring.

One thing I have been considering doing that I haven't done the past few falls - install the driveway edge reflectors on our driveway.

We have a very steep driveway and unless you are familiar with it it can be daunting for someone driving down it the first time. For the uninitiated it can feel like you're driving off the edge of a cliff when you first start down the slope. With the reflectors in place a driver will have some feedback showing them there is actually a driveway on the other side of the dropoff.

The reflectors also serve a secondary purpose by showing us where the edge of the driveway is after a snowfall, giving us some guidance when were out clearing it with the soon-to-be new Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower.

***********

And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summer weather has returned, the summerfolk are leaving, and where I have the day off tomorrow.
Via Facebook:

Get a job.jpg
That's the best way I know to do that. Unfortunately too many on the Left seem to think it's easier to steal...uhh...tax it away from the very people who made it to begin with.

They Are Not The 99%

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
By way of Instapundit comes this from Professor Jacobsen in response the rather vague Occupy Wall Street protests.

The silent majority.

The ones who pay the bills, and the taxes, and the tuitions, and the pensions, and the benefits, for the people who falsely claim to be the 99%.

The ones who did not graduate from the school of perpetual expectations and handouts.

The ones who falsely have been called terrorists and extremists and racists because they dared to object to trying the same socialist policies here that have failed everywhere they have been tried before.

The ones who showed up at the polls in 2010.

The ones who will show up at the polls in 2012:

#OccupyWhiteHouse2012

Looking at the photos of those protesting, I am struck by how many of them are obviously college age. If I had to guess, few if any of them have ever had to do a hard day's work in their lives. Yet somehow they feel qualified to judge those of us who've never had it easy, who work hard every day to make ends meet, and actually made it possible for them to be free from want.

While the media has been playing up the OccupyWallStreet protests across the nation, the video, pictures, and press releases have been showing that most of the folks joining the protests are absolutely clueless about what it is they're protesting for/against, or the irony of their protests.

Let's hope they never wise up.

It was just before lunch when I received a phone call from my wife, Deb. She was taking a lunch break from her microbiology class at the local college when she called.


You may ask "What was so important that she had to call DCE during lunch?"


I can tell you on three words: She. Was. Livid.


During the morning lecture her professor, in the midst of talking about microbiology, went off on a tangent. That in itself isn't all that remarkable. It happens from time to time. But this time was different.


The 'tangent' in this case was a political diatribe that lasted quite some time. All the professor did was spout vitriol and vile slanders on Republicans, praise the all-knowing and caring Democrats, demonized anybody who disagreed with Leftist ideology, and so on. Some of the other students were overtly agreeing with the professor, but others were uncomfortable as the diatribe continued. As the vitriol continued, Deb started getting mad.


I have to explain that while Deb is fiscally conservative, she has her liberal side (and by liberal I mean a classic liberal, not a "government-knows-best" liberal). I guess that makes her libertarian.


Did what the professor was saying piss her off? No, not really. As she told me the professor did have a few valid points (though very few). So what was it that was pissing her off? Simply this:


She had paid good money that we could not easily afford to take a microbiology class she needed in her quest to become an RN. She hadn't paid that money to be subjected to a leftist political diatribe that belonged in a Marxist Political Science 102 lecture.


She called me again a couple of hours later, telling me that she'd gone to her adviser to complain about what had happened in the class. At that point her adviser started spouting off as well. Needless to say, that pissed off my wife even more.


So what has she learned from this episode in her college career?


Institutions of higher learning are not about education, but political indoctrination.


So endith the lesson.

Passing Of An Icon

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Steve Jobs has died.
Earlier today Chris Christie pulled the plug on any chance of him running for President in 2012. Frankly, I don't blame him.

As he's said more than once, he's not ready to be President after only two years as governor of New Jersey. Plus he's still got plenty of work to do in the Garden State.

Unless someone else, like Sarah Palin, jumps in in the next couple of weeks, the slate we have is going to be the one we'll have to pick from for a challenger to Barack Obama. Looking at the present field of candidates, there are only one or two I might feel comfortable supporting.

At the top of my very short list, Herman Cain. Second is Rick Perry. The rest of the existing field I find wanting. While Ron Paul has some great ideas I think far too many people will feel uncomfortable with his ideology. Michelle Bachmann garnered a lot of interest in the beginning, but I never thought she had the staying power. So far the polls show I'm right. (It must be understood that poll numbers now really have little meaning. At this point in the 2008 campaign Hillary Clinton was way ahead of Barack Obama in the polls and we see how that turned out. Need I say more?)

Mitt Romney is just a little to slick for me.

The rest are political non-entities.

Herman Cain, on the other hand, is generating some buzz. While not a professional politician, he has the street cred Obama dreams of having. This is a man who has accomplished things. He speaks plainly (without the need for a teleprompter). He actually has plans for dealing with our overly complicated and confusing tax code, our economy, and has stated them plainly. There is no "secret plan" so often touted by the Obama Administration. And recent polls have him a close third behind Romney and Perry. He's also generating buzz amongst Democrats, with some of them trying to paint Cain as a racist because he had the audacity to say black Americans have been brainwashed for years to vote for Democrats, many of whom do not have their best interests at heart. So if telling the truth is racist, then I guess Cain is a racist. And by extension, it means telling a lie is not racist, therefore Democrats are not racists, right?

If you want to get a better idea about Cain and how well he understands the costs of government, look at this video of him debating Bill Clinton about HillaryCare back in 1994 and schooling the president about the real costs of his health care program.

This guy is getting more interesting...

The Presidential Primary shenanigans have started. Again.


Florida has decided they want to push the selection process up in an effort to become the deciding factor in the GOP primary process. Never mind that front loading the primaries hasn't worked out so well for either party. Never mind that campaigns in larger states tend to be totally media driven and that average voter rarely has a chance to meet the candidates. Never mind that the best candidate won't necessarily be the one who's selected.


How many times have we seen states jump the gun, pushing the start of the primary season up by months? As it stands, both Iowa and New Hampshire will have to put their respective caucuses and primaries up to early January rather than February. And New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has stated he'll move the New Hampshire Primaries up to December if he has to in order to stay within New Hampshire election law.


Both the DNC and RNC have stated they won't seat all of the convention delegates from any state that holds their primaries ahead of the schedules set by both parties. That isn't good enough. They shouldn't seat any of them, period. After states start losing their delegates because of their decision to go against their party leadership in this regard, they'll stop all of this nonsense.


The original schedules from decades ago worked quite well and allowed candidates to stretch out their campaigns (and their campaign funds) between March and June. By front-loading the primaries only candidates with a large campaign war chest wile be able to afford to run campaigns in all of the states in such a short period of time (the three months running from January through March). The so-called Super-Primaries, those where a multitude of states run their primaries on the same date, have had the same effect, causing candidates to spread themselves thin because they have campaign in all of those states at the same time. That means less well-funded candidates won't be able to compete effectively against those with the money to burn.


Another negative side effect: with the presumptive candidate all but nominated by April the long campaign to November begins and by the time the election actually takes place just about everyone is sick and tired of it all. The seemingly 'perpetual campaign' gets old real fast. It wouldn't surprise me if a number of voters are so turned off by the time election day arrives they don't bother to vote because they're so sick of the unending media blitzes.

Thoughts On A Sunday

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
I was solo today, with BeezleBub and Deb off to Vermont for the funeral of her Aunt Becky's mother. It wasn't that I didn't want to go so much as I really wasn't up to it.

I'm still feeling the aftereffects of a nasty chest cold that's been kicking my butt since last weekend. It was bad enough that I was out of work for two days, and would have been out for four, but I had a hard deadline to meet at work, so I dragged my sorry self into work the other three days and managed to get enough work done to file a preliminary report and meet my deadline. I've been paying the price for it all weekend.

***********

The weekend weather was a drag, with rain, rain, and more rain. It certainly put a damper on the Deerfield Fair, one of the annual events we try to attend. I guess we'll have to save our fair attendance to the Sandwich Fair next weekend, traditionally the last fair of the year.

***********

It seems Obama's team is doing everything they can to demonize those who actually produce the wealth in an effort to justify what he plans to do to them...or at least the wealthy who do not support him, meaning most of them. Call it class warfare instigated by those who will profit by it, meaning Obama and his fellow Marxists.

All we have to do is remember that the ideology of the Left is one of envy and greed, the very things they say is true of their opponents, meaning the rest of us.

***********

As I wrote three weeks ago, we had to replace our 20+ year old Electrolux Renaissance vacuum cleaner, not so much because it didn't work than because it didn't work the way it supposed to. We ended up with a new Kenmore model that was highly rated by Consumer Reports.

Bogie also had to replace a vacuum cleaner (back in July), and like us, she ended up going to Sears for a new one. But she also got a "twofer" bonus - a handheld vacuum - when she bought hers and recently had the opportunity to use it. Her verdict: It is awesome.

***********

It's time to make a few changes to the blogroll, removing some now dead blogs - either inactive for quite some time, or just plain gone - and adding a couple of new ones.

We say goodbye the following: COTErack (inactive), Scotto Bloggo (inactive), No Looking Backwards (inactive), Pardon My English (gone), Hub Politics (inactive and for sale), Hub Blog (gone), Ex-Donkey and by extension Llama Butchers (inactive), Dog Snot Diaries (inactive), ConChrist (inactive), Blogmeister USA (inactive), Bitter Girl (inactive), Ben Kepple's Daily Rant (inactive), and the Accidental Verbosity archives.

I still have a whole host of blog sites to go through, but I figured I'd start with New England bloggers and work my way up.

I will be adding: Gonzalo Lira, someone who can give us a viewpoint from the eyes of a filmmaker.

***********

It seems the so-called Verizon Curse is continuing to claim victims. First, it was HawaiiTel, then FairPoint, and now Frontier (again), this time with labor problems.

A word of advice to anyone thinking about buying any Verizon landline operations: DON'T.

***********

Isn't it interesting that Herman Cain is gaining momentum in his presidential bid while both Rick Perry and Mitt Romney seem to be standing still?

The only thing that can explain his rising popularity? Tea Party Racism. At least that's what that fount of Leftist wisdom, Janeane Garafalo, claims.

But seriously, I think the folks in Florida know something the rest of the GOP establishment still refuses to acknowledge - Cain is a contender.

I know I've been paying more attention to what he has to say than either Perry or Romney. And should he win the GOP nomination, the 2012 race will be between Cain and Unable.

***********

It looks like the Weekend Pundit Clan will be gathering here at The Manse for Thanksgiving this year. As I have mentioned more than once Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, beating out Christmas. (I find the time leading up to Christmas to be quite stressful, even though I enjoy the holiday itself.)

I expect the repairs to The Manse will be completed before then, but even if they are not they shouldn't interfere with our plans.

***********

By way of Glenn Reynolds come this prediction by ECRI: A new recession is unavoidable.

ECRI has never had a false alarm, so I'm inclined to believe them. However, like Glenn, I think we never really got out of the last one.

***********

And now for a small bit of drama. I have to admit I didn't know what to expect and I found it surprising.


Very cool.

***********

The New England Patriots played the Oakland Raiders in Oakland today. These two teams have had a long time rivalry, and some bad blood between them. (It was Oakland's Jack Tatum, aka "The Assassin", who ended Darrell Stingley's career when he broke Stingley's neck during a game, turning him into a quadriplegic. Tatum ended a lot of NFL careers during his tenure as an 'enforcer'.)

The first half was very back and forth, with Oakland receiving seven penalties for a total of 70 yards, three of which were personal fouls, which cost them 45 yards alone.

In the end the Patriots pulled it off, winning 31-19.

***********

Jay Tea gives us yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences coming back to haunt the Democrats.

This time around it's the Bank of America hitting up their customers for a $5/month fee for using their debit cards to make purchases because they've been limited by law how much they can charge merchants for debit card sales.

This is a great thing B of A is doing for us. They're reminding us of some very important principles.

First up, pretty much any time the government interferes in business to "help the little people," it's more than likely to end up boning the little people even worse.

Next, whenever the government decides that it needs to cut into business profits (either through increased taxes and fees, or limiting their ability to charge), the businesses will try to find a way to make up for the losses.

Finally, this presents a grand opportunity for other banks to steal away Bank of America customers by plugging how they don't charge such fees, and actually care about their customers.

Jay Tea also reminds us of this truth the Democrats are working hard to forget: "Under the law, corporations have a legal obligation to their shareholders to make as much money as they can. This isn't a question of morality or fairness, but legal duty." (emphasis added)

Folks like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd chose to forget that in their efforts to "make things fair." But as usual, they also have a skewed idea of what is fair. Then again, they never really believed in market forces or profits or the law.

***********

And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the rains are still falling, the laundry is still in the dryer drying, and where we expect the leaf peepers to be showing up in strength in the next week or so.
Many reasons have been put forward to explain California's expanding fiscal disaster. Many have pointed to the California Assembly, a string of spendthrift governors, mandated spending due to voter initiatives, public employee unions, and, believe it or not, air pollution. But it all boils down to hubris.

But one of the biggest reasons has to be the the exploding and unsustainable level of spending at the local level, where safety services (police and fire departments) and the educational systems took up bigger and bigger portions of town and city budgets, particularly when it came to entitlements like pensions. It finally reached a breaking point when the national and state economies went into deep recession and tax revenues turned from a torrent to a trickle.

From 2002 to 2008, the states had piled up debts right alongside their citizens': their level of indebtedness, as a group, had almost doubled, and state spending had grown by two-thirds. In that time they had also systematically underfunded their pension plans and other future liabilities by a total of nearly $1.5 trillion. In response, perhaps, the pension money that they had set aside was invested in ever riskier assets. In 1980 only 23 percent of state pension money had been invested in the stock market; by 2008 the number had risen to 60 percent. To top it off, these pension funds were pretty much all assuming they could earn 8 percent on the money they had to invest, at a time when the Federal Reserve was promising to keep interest rates at zero. Toss in underfunded health-care plans, a reduction in federal dollars available to the states, and the depression in tax revenues caused by a soft economy, and you were looking at multi-trillion-dollar holes that could be dealt with in only one of two ways: massive cutbacks in public services or a default--or both. Whitney thought default unlikely, at least at the state level, because the state could bleed the cities of money to pay off its bonds. The cities were where the pain would be felt most intensely. "The scary thing about state treasurers," she said, "is that they don't know the financial situation in their own municipalities."

So demands from the state also added to the economic troubles facing the municipalities at a time when they had no spare funds to expend, adding an even greater burden on them and on the taxpayers supporting them. Another issue that hurt was the collapse of housing prices, meaning property tax revenues would oscillating, but with a downward trend, as tax rates fell behind the change in property values. Some property owners just stopped paying their taxes as they had no means of paying them or their mortgages as they saw their jobs disappear, and with them, their incomes. It was a "perfect storm" of economic problems that drove the municipalities and the state towards the fiscal brink. In California it was even worse because it is so dependent upon income taxes, one of the most volatile of taxes. Very high sales taxes also added to the burden, driving many people to cut back on their discretionary spending in an effort to keep their families clothed, housed, and fed. Revenues plunged even farther.

But California, at all levels, didn't seem to be willing or able to do the one thing that might have helped make ends meet - cut spending. We certainly haven't seen it at the state level, with the California Assembly making a lot of noise about cutting spending, but increasing it and a number of taxes at a time when neither will solve the problem.

And so the path to fiscal destruction is becoming steeper and the juggernaut that is default is picking up momentum. It seems such an unfitting end to a state that once held so much promise.

New Finds

Expatriate New Englanders

Other Blogs We Like That Don't Fit Into Any One Category

Categories

Sitemeter

    -->
Powered by Movable Type 4.1