Welcome back, bud!
************The summer-like weather is gone, replaced with more normal temps. It's been dry, though we've had some snow - a dusting to half an inch - twice over the past week, with more coming overnight tonight.
The cooler, more normal weather hasn't stopped trees from budding and some plants from putting out green shoots. I expect we'll see more this week as temps climb back into the 50's for most of the upcoming week.
I haven't made the mistake of thinking Old Man Winter is done, keeping the Official Weekend Snowblower in the garage and ready to go just in case. Winter has come roaring back on more than one occasion over the years, so I'm not taking any chances.
************The Trayvon Martin issue has taken on a life of its own, with race-baiter Al Sharpton trying to up the ante. (I wonder when the black community will come to realize he's nothing but a charlatan, in it only for the power and the money that comes with it and not for "his people".) Calls for the arrest of George Zimmerman abound despite the fact that the investigation is ongoing and that the narrative from the media may not reflect the reality of what happened.
If Zimmerman is indeed guilty of shooting the unarmed teen because he was "guilty of being black", then the full weight of the law should fall upon his shoulders. But if Zimmerman did act in self-defense, an arrest made because the media and the community demand it may add more fuel to the fire and leave Zimmerman even more vulnerable to being lynched.
As Glenn Reynolds mentioned last week, this incident is starting to smack of the Richard Jewell case, where the media indicted him, tried him, and convicted him despite the fact that he was innocent and later fully exonerated.
Should something happen to Zimmerman I have no doubt the media will claim "But we didn't know anyone would do this!" despite all their efforts to make sure just such a thing would occur.
************Jim at Parkway Rest Stop adds his 2¢ worth to the Trayvon Martin incident, wondering why the State of Florida isn't taking action against the New Black Panther Party, who have posted a $10,000 reward for Zimmerman. Then he remembered that the NBPP have a get out of jail free card from USAG Eric Holder.
************To look elsewhere for a different type of insanity, all we have to do is cast our gaze in the direction of Wisconsin.
The public employee unions have lost their minds and are trying anything they can think of to unseat Republican governor Scott Walker. Unfortunately everything they've done to this point has weakened their position and strengthened his. They've also lost support from the private sector labor unions after throwing the unions under the bus, getting their puppets in the state legislature to kill a bill that would have brought 3000+ union jobs and billions in economic activity into the state all in an effort to "get" Scott Walker.
The public employee unions also tried thug tactics, informing business that if they didn't post pro-union fliers or posters in their windows they would be boycotted, something illegal under Wisconsin law. (I don't recall which statute covers this other than it had something to do with racketeering, specifically 'protection'.) The public employees unions had to backpedal and issue apologies to the businesses they tried to strong-arm into compliance.
In the meantime a growing majority of the Wisconsin electorate have been backing Walker and his actions to bring the runaway state spending and taxation under control.
Call it a major FAIL for the Wisconsin chapters of the SEIU and their affiliates.
************Glenn Reynolds has more on the higher education bubble, particularly the Clery Act expansion and the actual causes driving skyrocketing tuition costs.
************The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down a law that made it illegal for teachers to have sex with students who are 18 years old.
Their finding stated that "people 18 or older have a constitutional right to engage in a consensual sexual relationship."
This doesn't mean that teachers can't be disciplined for such actions, but it does mean they can't be jailed because of it, something that happened to an Arkansas teacher who was sentenced to 30 years for having a 5 month long consensual affair with an 18 year old student at his school. With the law struck down, the imprisoned teacher will have his conviction overturned and will be released from prison.
Does this mean that it's now OK to be hot for teacher?
(H/T Maggie's Farm)
************Bird Dog over at Maggie's Farm tells us how to become one of the 1% "working in your basement in your underwear, in your spare time!"
I like the idea, but I prefer to do it in my sweats rather than my skivvies. They're more comfortable.
************Is Spain the new Greece? Looking at the numbers it appears the answer is 'yes'.
Germany has already stopped accepting bonds issued by Ireland, Greece, and Portugal as collateral for loans, and that may soon be the case with Spanish bonds as well. None of this bodes well for the Eurozone.
As Steven asks:
Oh well, that's just the European weenie socialists who can't put their house in order. Can't happen here, could it? Well, it turns out that last year the Federal Reserve accounted for 61 percent of purchases of U.S. Governemnt debt. In other words, we're just printing money-lots of it. Hard to see how this doesn't end badly. And then the big question is: who bails out the United States when it becomes Greece? Anyone? Buehler?Who, indeed?
(H/T Viking Pundit)
************Only in California... Because of the new minimum wage that took effect in San Francisco this past January, Subway can no longer afford to sell their much touted $5 Footlong subs there any more.
The new minimum wage in the city by the bay is $10.24/hour. That entirely changed the business model for Subway and the $5 Footlong became a money losing proposition for the chain in San Francisco.
Yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences coming into play in California.
Hmm, it seems California itself is one big example of that law, so maybe this problem, like so many others in California, has become a foregone conclusion whenever cities or the state try to 'fix' something by making it more expensive to do business there.
(H/T Scary Yankee Chick)
************The always excellent Bob Parks links us to the PDF of the day. The abstract reads:
In recent years, study after study has found that a college education no longer does what it should do and once did.This doesn't just apply to the University of California, but to colleges and universities across America. It just seems there's a lot more of it in California than anywhere else. (UC Berkeley anyone?)
This report is concerned with the corruption of the University of California by activist politics, a condition which, as we shall show, sharply lowers the quality of academic teaching, analysis, and research, and results in exactly the troubling deficiencies that are being found in the studies to which we have referred. We shall show that this is an inevitable consequence of any substantial influence of radical politics in academia, because its characteristic interests and modes of thought are the very antithesis of those that should prevail in academic life.
For the most part the serious STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medical) colleges (MIT, Cal Tech, RIT, WPI, Georgia Tech, etc) have managed to avoid much of this, though there are still elements within those halls of academia that would like all STEM studies to be politically correct and fall under the sway of leftist ideology. However STEM studies deal with measurable realities and the Lysenkoism being pushed by the left doesn't fare so well.
************Cap'n Teach tells us why some people believe we're racist if we want cheap energy.
Yup, better to keep African Americans and their African cousins in poverty than to let them have cheap energy. After all, it's for their own good. Or that's what the Left claims. But then the Left wants everyone (but them) to be kept in poverty. It gives them so much more control over everyone else.