7/31/2014

Because They Don't Do Anything!

I found one guy who gets it, who understands liberals and uses Alinsky's rule about ridiculing your opponents to show them for the idiots they are.

This guy, Evan Sayet, brings up one of the questions that has been bothering me for quite some time, that being how is it that these liberal morons rise to the top considering they really don't know anything?

The answer: “Liberals reach the tops of their profession because they enter only those professions where you don’t ever actually DO ANYTHING. When you don't do anything, what can go wrong?!”

When you think about it, he's right.

I could go on, but I'll let him explain it instead.


(H/T Instapundit)

7/30/2014

Commentaries On The Constitution

More than once over the years we have heard various members of the Left make the claim that the U.S. Constitution is a “living document”, implying there was no need to amend that august document because it could merely be reinterpreted by the courts at all levels. But all that means is that they know they could never make the changes they demand because the amendment process is onerous, just as the Framers designed it to be. They understood the dangers of making our founding document, our Constitution, easy to change. Such ease would make it meaningless.

As Joseph Story, a Supreme Court Justice, wrote in his Coometaries on the Constitution in 1833:

Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected. And if these, or either of them, are regulated by no certain laws, and are subject to no certain principles, and are held by no certain tenure, and are redressed, when violated, by no certain remedies, society fails of all its value; and men may as well return to a state of savage and barbarous independence.

Or as Rob Schwarzwalder to put it in more colloquial terms:

...if justice is not grounded in dependably permanent laws that themselves are grounded in the Constitution, all of our rights become matters of any given jurist’s, president’s, or legislator’s whim.

But that's exactly what those who are trying to push the idea of a “living document” Constitution want. They want our Constitution to become meaningless, and in doing so, make it easier to rule through law, meaning they can say a law means whatever they want it to mean at any given moment and penalize citizens, businesses, and organizations as they see fit. At that point our nation becomes an oppressive dictatorship because the laws can be used to silence dissent, either by imprisonment or death. No action will be forbidden by the state because it can reinterpret laws willy-nilly to suit its needs whenever it wants. Our rights disappear and the Constitution becomes nothing but a piece of old paper that is no longer of any significance.

Ironically the same folks who believe the “living document” line being sold by the Left really don't understand that the rigid Constitution and the laws derived from it are the only things protecting them from the Leftist dystopia. All the “living document” doctrine will do is slowly destroy everything our nation is and has stood for until we're no different from the very totalitarian nations we fought against and shed blood to defeat.

7/27/2014

Thoughts On A Sunday

This edition of Thoughts On A Sunday may be abbreviated due to a line of thunderstorms making their way across New Hampshire this morning with more due later some time in the afternoon.

I am loath to leave things like computers and other expensive electronic gear turned on or plugged in when weather like that is coming through considering the damage we had here at The Manse a little over a year ago when lightning struck a utility pole at the top of our driveway. I have no desire to have to replace our electronic appliances again.

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It seems the Obama Administration can learn a lesson after all.

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli was evacuated due to the heavy fighting taking place around the city between rival militia groups trying to seize control. Unlike the debacle of the Benghazi consulate, the State Department decided enough was enough and made the arrangements to get the embassy staff and their families out of Libya rather than allowing a repeat of Benghazi.

The evacuation entailed a heavily guarded convoy driving through the streets of Tripoli. Air cover was provided by two F-16 fighters and a Predator drone and Marine rapid response teams carried by V-22 Ospreys were on alert should the convoy get into trouble during the evacuation.

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The News Junkie links to a Slate article and comments upon the question: Who are the poor?

As he states: “Everyone wants to 'help' the poor. But who are they?”

When one looks closely at the question , the poor aren't who most people think they are. It is that disconnect that is causing those who wish to help the poor get it wrong when it comes to aid.

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David Starr gives us an abbreviated lesson and some tips about electricity, specifically the electricity in your home, how it should be wired up, and reminders that if you don't know what you're doing it's best to call a professional.

Having helped to restore a number of older homes over the decades, I could tell you horror stories about the gerry-rigged electrics I've found over the years, many which had me wondering why the place hadn't burned to the ground years ago. Others were still using turn-of-the-century wiring and 60-amp fuse boxes that had been 'converted' to 100-amp fuse boxes by replacing the 10 and 15-amp fuses with 15 and 20-amp fuses along with the main 60-amp fuses being replaced with 100-amp fuses.

The original Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Manse had just such an electrical system and it made me nervous every time I turned on a light or used the microwave oven or TV or computer.

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Bogie took some much needed break time and mowed her lawn, washed her motorcycle, and got a nice picture of her cat Tory in the process.

Her description of Tory's habits, that being going out only now and then and sticking close to the house when doing so, reminded me a lot of our dear departed Bagheera the Magnificent. He rarely ventured far and preferred to hang out under one of the hostas in front of The Manse.

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This isn't news to me: The typical American household is worth a third less than it was 7 years ago.

That's certainly been true for us. Just the value of our home is about 35% less than it was then and 20% less than when we bought it in 2005. Our incomes haven't kept up with inflation, and by inflation I mean the real rate which includes food and fuel prices, not that piece-of-crap inflation rate the government has been peddling over the past 7 years.

About the only durable good purchases we've made over the past 7 years has been a new clothesdryer, bought just this past spring to replace the deceased one, and a new water heater bought three years ago to replace the one that was failing. We've purchased used vehicles rather than new because, quite frankly, we had better things to do with our money than making new car payments, like buying propane and cord wood to heat our home. (Those vehicles were bought to replace older vehicles that either wouldn't pass the state safety inspection without major repairs or required maintenance that would cost far more than the vehicle was worth to fix. One was starting to nickle-and-dime us to death, with monthly repairs costing twice what a car payment would even after figuring in the increased insurance cost.)

A lot of leisure activities we used to take part in are a thing of the past. The Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka The Boat, hasn't been out on the lake for over four years because we couldn't justify the cost. We haven't taken a vacation in over 4 years because we just haven't had the extra cash we used to have back then.

So that the average American household is worth less than it was when The Won took office is not a surprise to me and my family.

(H/T Instapundit)

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Is it any surprise that young, uniformed Democrats support the Palestinian side in the present conflict with Israel?

Of course not. After all they have no historical context and easily buy into the MSM and Leftist online media hype.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the skies to the west are darkening, the wind is picking up, and where it's a good time to get off the lake and away from the beaches.

7/26/2014

Liberalism Versus Conservatism - (Religion Versus Culture)

In light of my previous post about the awakening of a Leftist mind to the hypocrisy of the Left's ideology, I thought it would be a good idea to link to Assistant Village Idiot's e-mail debate with his uncle on the differences between conservatives and liberals.

Liberalism is a religion.  Conservatism is a culture.  You might choose different terms for the distinction I am making, but there is a qualitative difference in how they go wrong.  Conservatives are notorious for mixing God, Country, Military, and Tradition, being unable to even perceive that these might be at odds in America at times.  Liberals are notorious for thinking that their values are simply Right, and that Jesus, Moses, Buddha, and Whoever taught those things, or would have if they had the benefit of modern wisdom.  (Alternatively, some liberals believe that those worthies were All Wrong, but we've got it right now, and those who disagree are some sort of phobe or bigot.)

I have seen both sides of this myself, though I must agree with one commenter who responded with:

While this [ - mixing God, Country, Military, and Tradition - ] may be true of some self-described conservatives and may be the general perception of non-conservatives it is at variance with the beliefs and inclinations of philosophical conservatives.

AVI does a pretty good job of delving into both the misconceptions liberals have of conservatives, but of the depth of the willful ignorance many on the Left embrace and the hard road those who end up leaving liberalism behind face.

This is why leaving liberalism is always a personal journey that requires painful self-observation.  It is not a set of intellectual principles, but a religious faith.  It is impossible to leave liberalism without personal struggle.

We certainly saw that in Danusha Goska's self-described journey from lock-step Leftism to free-thinking adult. Others that have made the same journey have also described how many of their deeply ingrained beliefs they had to leave behind in order to start seeing the world the way it is rather than the way the Left portrays it, to unlearn knee-jerk emotional reactions and to start really looking at what was happening and making up their own minds about what they observed.

7/24/2014

Ten Reasons Why A Leftist Abandoned Leftism

It is amazing to me, even after all this time, to see what happens when someone comes to realize that everything they've been taught to think, say, or feel since they were young adults has been a lie. Some are aghast at the realization that those they thought of as friends, mentors, or fellow believers are in truth close-minded bigots filled with hatred and capable of spewing invective towards those they see as the “other”. They find that many of the actions they thought were “helping the downtrodden” were in fact keeping many of those same people trapped in a life poverty, ignorance, want, hopelessness, and oppression. And so it is with Danusha V. Goska.

How far left was I? So far left my beloved uncle was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in a Communist country. When I returned to his Slovak village to buy him a mass card, the priest refused to sell me one. So far left that a self-identified terrorist proposed marriage to me. So far left I was a two-time Peace Corps volunteer and I have a degree from UC Berkeley. So far left that my Teamster mother used to tell anyone who would listen that she voted for Gus Hall, Communist Party chairman, for president. I wore a button saying "Eat the Rich." To me it wasn't a metaphor.

I voted Republican in the last presidential election.

What led to her change of viewpoint, one she'd held almost her entire life? One could say that reality finally intruded in her life and she was no longer able to deal with the cognitive dissonance that so many on the Left blissfully ignore every day.

Goska didn't make the change from idealistic leftist drone to free-thinking adult in one fell swoop. It took a series of events over a number of years that motivated her to question the path she'd been on, to cause her to analyze the basic assumptions about people that had been drummed into her since she'd been a child. Over time she found that almost every assumption she made were not just wrong, but egregious in the depths of their wrongness. She goes on to list ten reasons why she is no longer a Leftist and provides a lot of context behind each reason. It's well worth delving into as I found myself nodding in agreement with every point she brought up, every anecdote that led to her change of heart.

In descending order they are:

10. Huffiness
9. Selective Outrage
8. It's The Thought That Counts
7. Leftists Hate My People
6. I Believe In God
5. Straw Men
4. “In order to make an omelet you need break a few eggs”
3. It Doesn't Work
2. Other Approaches Work Better
1. Hate

It's not a real surprise to me that Hate is the number one reason Goska is no longer a Leftist. When you think about it, hate can be found to be a motivation behind the other nine reasons. They merely refine the hatred into specific categories and targets.

If hate were the only reason, I'd stop being a leftist for this reason alone.

I experienced powerful cognitive dissonance when I recognized the hate. The rightest of my right-wing acquaintances -- I had no right-wing friends -- expressed nothing like this. My right-wing acquaintances talked about loving: God, their family, their community. I'm not saying that the right-wingers I knew were better people; I don't know that they were. I'm speaking here, merely, about language.

But language defines thought, does it not? Otherwise why does the Left try so hard to impose politically correct speech? Their argument is that it's to prevent offending anyone. However it has nothing to do with preventing offensive language and everything to do with controlling thought. Control language long enough and it will become impossible to express dissatisfaction with, or worse, expose the corrupt motivations and totalitarian actions of those in power. Words have meaning. Words have power. Eliminate some words or phrases and dissent becomes nearly impossible. That is the aim of the Left – eliminate any dissent to the creation of their Socialist Utopia. (As one of my dearest friends once told me, “Politically correct speech is fascism!”)

But as we have known for some time and what Goska has discovered on her own is that such utopias can only exist within the Leftist mind. The reality of such utopias is harsh, totalitarian, and bleak. There certainly are enough examples of this throughout history, and some few still cling to a miserable existence to act as modern day examples of why we don't want any part of such dystopic “utopias”. If history nor some of the present day socialist havens aren't example enough, we have some right here in the US that give us a taste of just how effed up the Leftists are.

I went to hear David Horowitz speak in 2004. My intention was to heckle him. Horowitz said something that interrupted my flow of thought. He pointed out that Camden, Paterson, and Newark had decades of Democratic leadership.

Ouch.

I grew up among "Greatest Generation" Americans who had helped build these cities. One older woman told me, "As soon as I got my weekly paycheck, I rushed to Main Ave in Paterson, and my entire paycheck ended up on my back, in a new outfit." In the 1950s and 60s, my parents and my friends' parents fled deadly violence in Newark and Paterson.

Within a few short decades, Paterson, Camden, and Newark devolved into unlivable slums, with shooting deaths, drug deals, and garbage-strewn streets. The pain that New Jerseyans express about these failed cities is our state's open wound.

Once great cities have decayed into No Man's Lands, all under the governance of the Left, something Goska experienced first hand. To see that those of the same political bent, the so-called “Defenders of the Downtrodden”, are the ones responsible for the downfall of those cities, as well as Detroit, a prime example of the effects of decades of Leftist leadership. Is it any wonder Goska now sees the folly of her earlier beliefs?

We can only hope others with the same close-minded belief system can find the wherewithal to closely examine themselves and the truth of their ideology to see it for what it is. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, it is a philosophy of failure, a creed of ignorance, and a gospel of envy whose only virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

7/23/2014

Using Atlas Shrugged As A Manual

If anyone is looking for an example of how not to regulate an economy, the the perfect example exists in South America.

Once a country with a bustling economy and rising per capita incomes, Venezuela has become an economic basket case as government control crippled wider swaths of the economy to the point where nothing works, prices are skyrocketing, goods are scarce and becoming more so, and where what few factories have managed to survive to this point are grinding to a halt because they have no way to pay for parts and other supplies needed to continue production.

The Socialist Utopia ushered in by the late dictator Hugo Chavez has finally reached its goal with the total destruction of the “capitalist hell” the Venezuelan people were forced to live in under previous governments. Now that everyone (except the elites) are equal, they know share equal amounts of misery, privation, poverty, lack of necessities, and lack of rights.

One has to wonder whether Chavez and his successor read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and mistook it for a manual rather than a warning. From what I've seen of the results of Chavismo in that once wealthy country, I'd have to say that's exactly what they've done. Considering Venezuela's oil reserves are huge, one would think there would be more than enough money coming in to support government spending. But oil production has plummeted as the country's oil infrastructure has started failing because those who knew how to keep it running were kicked out, cronies moved in, and hard cash needed to buy parts to keep it running has become scarce.

And to think our President admired Hugo Chavez.

7/20/2014

Thoughts On A Sunday

The weather has been a little schizo over the weekend, with sun, high clouds, borderline humidity (almost dry but not quite), and no wind. Not that it's affected any summer weekend activities with the exception of hanging out laundry to dry. Under those conditions it takes hours to dry. It certainly put a crimp in my usual laundry routine.

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It was 45 years ago today that man first landed on the Moon.

I remember watching it on my grandmother's big 25-inch console TV at her home on the Connecticut shoreline. Our whole family was supposed to have been well on our way home from there after having spent three weeks there. But because Armstrong and Aldrin were going to step out onto the Moon, we ended up staying to watch the whole thing.

I had always been a big fan of space exploration. I even had a model of the Saturn V rocket in my bedroom. The whole thing stood over three feet tall and the various stages could come apart just like the real thing. The Apollo could even dock with the LEM. I spent countless hours playing with that thing. But on this day back in 1969 I didn't have to imagine anything. I could see it all on TV and listen to the commentary of Walter Cronkite as everything unfolded.

The memory is as clear to me as the day it happened all those years ago.

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Russia's propaganda war over the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 continues. Russia still insists it was Ukraine that shot down the airliner even though that makes no sense.

Considering the flight was coming from the Netherlands and was on a East South Easterly course, there's no reason Ukrainian air defense would have engaged the airliner, particularly after it had already overflown most of the country. But if the Russian separatists saw an aircraft on that course coming from central Ukraine that might conclude it was a Ukrainian Air Force aircraft and shot it down.

More than one TV news report showed a Russian mobile SAM transporter leaving the area from where the missile that shot down the airliner had been launched. What made it unusual was that two of its missile were no longer on its launch rails. That implies the missiles had been expended, possibly with one or both of them having destroyed the airliner.

Frankly, it would have been better for Russia if Vladimir Putin admitted up front that the 'separatists' had shot it down in error and expressed dismay that such a horrible event took place. But by using the same old Cold War tactics of deny and accuse, it makes Russia appear to be complicit in the downing of MH17 and that they're covering it up.

One would think that Putin would learn from our history that the act itself may be bad, but the cover-up is even worse.

Of course this just backs up the impression that Russia has become dangerous again, just as Mitt Romney predicted.

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The Greens are at it again, this time setting their sights on New England and its electricity supply.

The delusion that all of the electricity that we need can be generated by 'green' means is just that, an illusion. A number of power plants have been shut down because they no longer meet the even stricter EPA regulations. The problem is that not much in the way of new capacity has been built to replace them even as demand for electricity grows. Natural gas-fired plants are in abundance now, but the problem is that there isn't a single pipeline that brings that gas into New England and plans to actually build one have been opposed by the Greens at every step. That makes the supply iffy at best. Wind and solar are a bust because they aren't always available when needed and they cost a hell of a lot more than traditional means of generating electricity. Wind also has a downside in that the turbines kill a lot of wildlife, specifically birds, including a number of endangered species, and the infrasound generated by the blades as they turn has deleterious health effects on animals and people.

An abundant supply of clean, renewable hydropower is available just over the border in Canada, but the Greens don't want anyone building the transmission lines needed to get it into New England.

Of course there is nuclear power, one of the greenest supplies of energy around, but the Greens have a hatred for nuclear that borders on the pathological.

No matter what, the Greens, and most particularly those “upper-educated elites snugly ensconced in the digital economy or sitting in Washington writing regulations telling everybody else what to do,” are against anything that might actually bring reliable power to New England. They don't have to deal with the consequences of their actions. We do, which is why these idiots should be the last people making decisions that affect us negatively while they are safely insulated from damage they are causing.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

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Remember how the claim that ObamaCare would drive up costs was called “a lie” by supporters? It turns out it was the truth, at least in Louisiana where health care premiums are expected to are expected to increase by between 15.5 and 24 percent.

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Gateway Pundit gives us a comparison between Elizabeth Warren's 11 Commandments of Progressivism and Adolph Hitler's 25 Points of the Nazi Party and points out the eerie similarity between the two.

Cap'n Teach has his own take on the matter.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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Eric the Viking offers a twofer in regards to the national debt and the nation's unsustainable deficit spending. He explains it with a simple three word phrase: “We're Going Broke.”

You know the problem is getting bad when even the Washington Post is slamming Congress, the White House, and the rest of the Washington naysayers for not addressing the problem now before it becomes bad enough that it can no longer be ignored, or worse, it becomes to late to do anything about it and country goes bankrupt.

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Why do liberals think “profit” is a dirty word? They certainly seem to use it in their efforts to disparage or discredit people, corporations, and even court decisions. If a business isn't profitable how is it supposed to survive? Or do they think all businesses should lose money and become dependent upon government to survive? (That's my take on it.)

They are hinting that profit is different from other motivations. Less noble. Maybe even wicked.

As Glenn Reynolds so aptly put it, “A company that turns a profit is self-sufficient.” Aye, and there's the rub. They don't need government to survive and can choose their own course.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is going to get hotter and more humid, the sound of corporate jets leaving the local airport is building, and where yet again Monday has returned too soon.

7/19/2014

Summer In The 603


As Bogie writes: Money quote in my book: The Devil Went Down to Georgia because Daniel Webster kicked his ass!

Indeed.

Does Socialism Breed Dishonesty?

As if we need even more evidence that socialism is a system of failure, ignorance, and envy, there this experiment run by the University of Munich and Duke University to determine people's willingness to lie for personal gain.

Some 250 Berliners were randomly selected to take part in a game where they could win up to €6 ($8).

The game was simple enough. Each participant was asked to throw a die 40 times and record each roll on a piece of paper. A higher overall tally earned a bigger payoff. Before each roll, players had to commit themselves to write down the number that was on either the top or the bottom side of the die. However, they did not have to tell anyone which side they had chosen, which made it easy to cheat by rolling the die first and then pretending that they had selected the side with the highest number. If they picked the top and then rolled a two, for example, they would have an incentive to claim—falsely—that they had chosen the bottom, which would be a five.

Honest participants would be expected to roll ones, twos and threes as often as fours, fives and sixes. But that did not happen: the sheets handed in had a suspiciously large share of high numbers, suggesting many players had cheated.

The authors found that, on average, those who had East German roots cheated twice as much as those who had grown up in West Germany under capitalism.

All the same, when it comes to ethics, a capitalist upbringing appears to trump a socialist one.

None of that surprises me. I've known more than my share of dyed-in-the-wool European socialists, and very few of them displayed what I would consider ethical behavior, particularly in regards to those who might not be of the same political bent as they.

That also brings up the question: Would they lie for political gain? From my experience, the answer is 'Yes'.

(H/T Instapundit)

7/18/2014

California Catch-22

This could only happen in California.

Considering the once Golden State is in the midst of a severe drought, the drive to conserve water has been taken up by local municipalities and residents. But what happens when the actions homeowners are taking to conserve water under the direction of state government mandates conflict with local ordinances that require residential landscaping be kept looking healthy and green? They get stuck in a Catch-22 situation: no matter what they do they'll be fined $500 either by the state or their home town. The state will fine them for watering their lawns during the water restrictions and the town will fine them for not watering their lawns.

How is it that the folks running these towns and cities can think it's a good idea to use what little water is available to water lawns rather using it for drinking, cooking, bathing, or doing laundry? These nuts need to get a clue and focus on what's really important, and it ain't lawns.

7/17/2014

Quote Of The Week

There's nothing I can add to this:


Indeed.

7/16/2014

Is The Tea Party A Religion?

Is the Tea Party a religion as the Daily Beast claims? Or is it something else?

Says the Daily Beast's Jack Schwartz:

America has long been the incubator of many spiritual creeds going back to the Great Awakening and even earlier. Only one of them, Mormonism, has taken root and flourished as a true religion sprung from our own native ground. Today, however, we have a new faith growing from this nation’s soil: the Tea Party. Despite its secular trappings and “taxed enough already” motto, it is a religious movement, one grounded in the traditions of American spiritual revival. This religiosity explains the Tea Party’s political zealotry.

But when religion is thrown into the mix, all that is lost. Religion here doesn’t mean theology but a distinct belief system which, in totality, provides basic answers regarding how to live one’s life, how society should function, how to deal with social and political issues, what is right and wrong, who should lead us, and who should not. It does so in ways that fulfill deep-seated emotional needs that, at their profoundest level, are devotional. Given the confusions of a secular world being rapidly transformed by technology, demography, and globalization, this movement has assumed a spiritual aspect whose adepts have undergone a religious experience which, if not in name, then in virtually every other aspect, can be considered a faith.

By that definition the Democrat Party is a religion, and the Progressives within that party are a cult, a deluded and deadly offshoot that “knows the Truth Revealed!” One of those commenting to Breitbart piece covering this particular view from Schwartz nails it perfectly:

The DB is also using V.I. Lennon's dictum: "Call your enemy what you are." Liberalism is a designer substitute for revealed religion. It has an apocalypse called "climate change". It has a system of indulgences called "carbon credits". It has a messiah named Obama and an enemy it holds to be demonic known as the Tea Party. Liberalism has a blood sacrifice called abortion and an inquisition known as political correctness. Liberalism has a tithe known as the income tax and and a confession called criticism of privilege. In every respect, and in every way, the corrupt religion of Liberalism serves it's jealous and devouring god of secularism such that no competing faith is allowed in the public square. So the acolytes of Liberalism seek to defame and destroy all who refuse to bow before their religion and all who refuse to give them the pinch of incense.

Isn't that always the case with the Leftist “faith'? - Turn truth upside down, make what was considered to be good to be bad, do away with the concept of good and evil and replace them with vaguely defined concepts that are nothing but shades of gray, and profess tolerance for other's beliefs while at the same time doing their best to silence those very same “others”? They profess to care for the poor, yet do everything they can to keep them poor and enthralled to the government all while pointing their fingers at the ones who truly care and have better ideas (and means) to lift the poor out of poverty and declaring them to be “greedy business owners whose only concern is making a profit.”

Oh, yeah, give that ol' time religion!

The list of grievances against the Religion of Leftism is long and could easily take up pages and pages, but I have better and more productive things to do.

7/13/2014

Thoughts On A Sunday

We've had yet another weekend with great weather, a big plus on a NASCAR weekend.

NASCAR is in town, or at least down at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, its first of two weekends here. (The next one is in September).

While my enthusiasm for NASCAR has waned over the years which translates as watching the races on TV rather than actually attending them, I never miss them when they're here in New Hampshire. After all, I have the best seat in the house, have instant replay, a fridge full of cold drink, and a bathroom with no line.

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This weekend also celebrates the 25th anniversary of the retail farm stand that is part of the farm where BeezleBub works. Farmer Andy and his missus had a real blowout party for all the farmhands, bakers, and retail employees.

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Dr. Roy Spencer, long a critic of the alarmism by the We're-All-Gonna-Die-If-We-Don't-Go-Back-To-Living-In-Caves Anthropogenic Global Warming proponents, asked a very important question at the recent Heartland Institute International Conference on Climate Change: What do we really know about Global Warming?

...the Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville began his July 9 address by warning attendees that the "science" of global warming really isn't much by way of science and that bias is everywhere in the field.

"Too many people think that all areas of science are created equal," Spencer said, "and that scientists objectively look for the answers, but no, there's two kinds of scientists, male and female. Other than that they're the same as everybody else, and in many instances [in the climate sciences] more biased than your average person."

He then delves into the issues that put much of the 'data' used by the alarmists into question, one of th biggest being discounting the Urban Heat Island Effect, something that has seriously skewed temperature readings over the past century.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

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David Starr comments on the Federal Highway Trust Fund, its original purpose, and how it is now being used for anything but maintaining our highways. He also has some suggestions about dealing with it now that the money is running dry.

Better, would be to shut down the Highway Trust Fund altogether.  Lay off all the bureaucrats who run it. Cancel the Federal gasoline tax.  Let the states, who do the roadwork, pay for road maintenance out of state funds.  The states could even hike their gas taxes if needed.  With the Federal gas tax removed, the states could take a much bigger bite without raising the price of gas. 

Indeed.

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Nelson Abdullah presents us with some photos and tweets that show us what is wrong about liberals.

Two of their biggest problems: they often have problems telling fiction from reality; they have poorly developed critical thinking skills that prevents them from being able to tell the difference between a devout Christian mother who is pro-life and believes in the Second Amendment and an Islamofascist Pinhead woman who had no problems blowing herself up and killing three other people.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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Sarah Palin again makes her case for the impeachment of President Obama, pointing out his dereliction of duty, violation of his oath to “protect and defend our Constitution.”

Between his illegal actions delaying or overturning law by decree, making recess appointments when law clearly states Congress was not in recess, selective enforcement of the law, and an almost non-existent foreign policy that endangers Americans everywhere and makes our allies doubt us, there's no doubt to me that he's committed impeachable offenses.

Unfortunately the chance Obama would actually be impeached are almost zero despite him having committed far worse acts than Bill Clinton.

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Speaking of selective law enforcement, more about the IRS oppression of conservative political organizations keeps coming to light in spite of the “my dog ate my e-mails” excuse still being sold by the IRS.

That there appears to have been coordination between Democrats and Lois Lerner is becoming even more evident as investigations continue.

Even Nixon wasn't this brazen, nor did the IRS bow to his demands to 'audit' his political enemies. However, these days the IRS is little more than an extension of the Democrat Party.

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I spent a good portion of my free time this weekend configuring Deb's new computer, a replacement for her 7-year old XP machine, The file transfer between the old and new machines went without a hitch, though a number of programs from the old machine either had to be installed or updated to newer versions. About the only program I had to purchase was Quicken as the program on the old machine just wouldn't run on Windows 7.

So far Deb loves the new computer, it being so much faster than the old machine. The one thing she noticed immediately: it's a lot quieter than her XP machine. I don't think I've heard the cooling fans run once except at initial power up.

While it only has 4GB of RAM (the same amount in the old computer), it's still much faster. Of course the 64-bit version of Windows 7 might have something to do with it.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has gotten rainy and humid at the end of the day, the NASCAR folks are leaving, and where Monday has once again returned all too soon.

7/12/2014

Earth's Magnetic Field Weakening - Film At 11

It's been no secret Earth's magnetic field has been shifting. A few years ago both maritime and aeronautical charts had to be revised to include new magnetic deviation lines (the difference between Magnetic North and True North) and some airports had to have their runways renumbered because of the shift. (Airport runways numbers are derived from their magnetic compass headings.)

I has also been understood by scientists that Earth's magnetic field will 'flip' every so often, reversing the north and south magnetic poles. It happens about every 200,000 to 300,000 years, but the last time it shifted was over 750,000 years ago, so we're long overdue for the next one. It also appears that it's going to happen again sooner than scientists had originally predicted.

Earth’s protective magnetic field has been weakening at a faster rate than expected, according to data from newly launched European Space Agency satellites. The finding may indicate that Earth’s poles will switch sooner than scientists thought.

It was previously thought that the field was weakening by about 5 percent each century, LiveScience reports, pointing to a flip in about 2,000 years. But the new data shows a much more dramatic weakening, at a pace of 5 percent per decade — 10 times faster than previously thought.

So rather than taking place in about 2,000 years it will be around 200 years. That's certainly going to make it interesting to use magnetic compasses over the next couple of centuries. But then there's also the issue of how such a thing might affect life on the planet.

Though a magnetic flip sounds dramatic, no evidence indicates that it would cause any harm to life on Earth, according to Wired. Past flips are not associated with any mass extinctions or radiation damage. But changes could disrupt power grids and communications networks, which have been damaged by strong solar storms in the past.

I'm sure someone will find a way to blame this all of this on Anthropogenic Global Warming, too. Is there nothing it can't do?

7/10/2014

US Has Cooled Over The Past 10 Years - Warmists Heads Due To Explode

This must be an inconvenient truth for the doom-saying warmists.

If this article is accurate, and so far I haven't found anything that suggest otherwise, it may put one of the final nails in the coffin for Anthropogenic Global Warming. In this case is reporting that records from 114 “pristinely sited temperature stations spread out fairly uniformly throughout the United States” have shown temperatures in the United States have declined over the past 10 years.


Because the network, known as the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN), is so uniformly and pristinely situated, the temperature data require no adjustments to provide an accurate nationwide temperature record. USCRN began compiling temperature data in January 2005. Now, nearly a decade later, NOAA has finally made the USCRN temperature readings available.

According to the USCRN temperature readings, U.S. temperatures are not rising at all – at least not since the network became operational 10 years ago. Instead, the United States has cooled by approximately 0.4 degrees Celsius, which is more than half of the claimed global warming of the twentieth century.

What is meant by “pristine” is that none of the stations are situated near urban areas, parking lots, HVAC exhausts, or other artificial means that will skew the temperature readings. It is this siting that makes adjustments to temperature readings unnecessary. It is also these sites that are putting the claims made by the AGW alarmists into further doubt. But, as the article states at the end, “Of course, to global warming alarmists, all real-world data are irrelevant.”

Any data that doesn't fit the narrative must be ignored, destroyed, or discredited with a harshly worded retort. After all, they can't have reality intruding upon their agenda and mucking it up, can they?

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

7/07/2014

The Twisted Logic Decrying The Hobby Lobby Decision

Now that the initial hysteria over the Hobby Lobby decision has died down a bit, Clarice Feldman offers her take on the matter, including something too many on either side of the debate have ignored: the supposed 'law' Hobby Lobby was fighting wasn't one passed by Congress (no where in ObamaCare does it mention coverage for birth control ), but an administrative 'law' handed down by a committee created by then HHS head Kathleen Sebelius.

In any event, like most of the breezy, ill-considered language in this 2000-page law, great discretion was given to the unelected secretary of HHS and Sebelius quickly acted to make sure the pro-abortion crowd, increasingly unpopular with voters, had the upper hand. She appointed a 15-member committee, eleven of whom  “demonstrate a more than casual commitment to the furthering of the abortion lobby” and unsurprisingly, the group issued a report  that “not only favored contraception, but indicated that surgical abortion coverage would have been a viable candidate, had federal law not stood in  their way.”

It was this committee’s report -- not a Congressional decision -- which HHS used in mandating that employers provide coverage for 20 kinds of birth control for women, including 4 which are abortifacients, devices which lead to the destruction of fertilized eggs.

Feldman goes on to explain the hypocrisy of the 'outrage' at the Supreme Court's decision, asking why nary a word was heard about the “204 outfits favored by Democrats granted waivers by the president from ObamaCare, which means their employees do not have the right to employer provided birth control.” These outfits included “upscale restaurants, nightclubs...hotels, labor union chapters, large corporations, financial firms, and local governments.” But not a peep was heard from the Sandra Flukes and the other semi-hysterics who have so lambasted the Hobby Lobby decision. The only explanation can be that the other exceptions didn't fit the narrative, and therefore were ignored despite those waivers having an effect magnitudes greater than the Hobby Lobby decision.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

7/06/2014

Thoughts On A Sunday

Our Fourth of July celebration had to be postponed due to Arthur's rain, but that didn't dampen the mood.

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On the other hand we were spared the negative effects of the rain by the timely emergency repairs made on the roof of The Manse until the insurance adjuster can inspect the damage, inside and out, and make a determination of what our insurance will cover and what it won't.

In any case, The Manse is going to need a new roof sooner than we'd thought as the shingles used when it was built were substandard, at least according to the roofer. The supposed 20-year shingles last about 12-14 years, tops, and we just reached the 14-year mark. (This could be yet another reason why the general contractor who built The Manse ended up in prison.)

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The bleating from the Left continues unabated in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. It also appears they really don't understand or don't want to understand that the decision was based upon laws and parts of the Constitution that override the mandates of ObamaCare. Then again, they only like the court decisions that back up their increasingly authoritarian bent and restrict the constitutionally enumerated rights of the people.

They have blown the import of the decision all out of proportion, equating it with a ban on birth control . This is where reason has fled and emotion is the driving force behind all of the protests and lamentations about the loss of 'a women's right to choose the method of birth control', which it is not. But if they do not get that out there they aren't fitting the feminist narrative and they could be drummed out of the feminazi corps. They refuse to understand that it isn't all about them. It isn't about them at all.

They somehow think it's perfectly OK to tell business owners they must surrender their religious beliefs just in order to stay in business. They honestly see no problem with this, particularly if the religion in question is Christianity or Judaism.

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Fewer Americans are saying America is the greatest nation on Earth. Unfortunately I have to agree with them on some points. Much of that decline must be laid at the feet of Congress, the President, and the courts (I'm not singling out any particular congress or president because a lot of them have had a hand in it). Many of the actions they have taken over the decades have hamstrung our economy, our education system, our foreign policy, and much else, all while trying to convince us it was “good for us.”

I'm not going to go into any detail, but I think this video, and excerpt from HBO's The Newsroom, says it best.

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Here's a review of Jason Riley's Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder For Blacks To Succeed which covers how the 50 years of LBJ's Great Society has harmed black Americans.

While the Great Society may have seemed like a humanitarian program, it was, at its base, a cynical means of ensuring a built-in Democrat voter base by ensnaring minorities into an endless cycle of government dependency...and it worked. Over $20 trillion has been spent on 'fighting' poverty since 1965 and the percentage of poor in our nation hasn't changed much since then. I'd say that qualifies as a failure.

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This isn't news to me.

Resenting the Republic: Liberals Take Exception To Exceptionalism.

Exceptionalism goes up against the equal outcome doctrine so many of them have been programmed to believe. It doesn't matter to them that it's been exceptionalism that made our nation to begin with.

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I find that any time the perpetually offended Left is offended by someone like a retail chain, they go all out, calling for a boycott of the offender. But it seems lately that these calls are going unheeded, particularly since they aren't even part of the demographic for the very businesses they've been so offended by. These businesses won't even notice the boycott because the change is sales, if there even is any, is lost in the noise floor.

A few examples: Chick-fil-A, Walmart, and now, Hobby Lobby. In the case of one of these, Chick-fil-A, the call had just the opposite effect.

After people started talking boycott over Dan Cathy’s views on gay rights, the stores were absolutely flooded with counterprotesters. The counterprotesters actually lived in the predominantly rural and Southern locations where Dan Cathy does most of his business, and they really liked Chick-fil-A, so it wasn’t much of a hardship to eat more of it. It is, of course, much harder to give up if you liked it enough to eat there regularly.

It’s not that literally none of the passionate boycotters live in prime Chick-fil-A territory. But in those areas, they’re greatly outnumbered by social conservatives. So most of the people promising to boycott were really promising not to eat there on the occasional road trip. That was no match for the hordes of locals who turned out to give the company some extra love.

And so it seems with Hobby Lobby, at least in regards to people saying they will buy more stuff there rather than less. Again, I doubt very much that the boycotters are within Hobby Lobby's target demographic.

(H/T Instapundit)

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As we can see from this post, Anthropogenic Global Warming has gotten so bad that there's been absolutely no warming for 17 years and 10 months.

We're doomed! DOOMED, I say!!

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The cognitive dissonance of the Harris vs Quinn Supreme Court ruling continues within the union halls.

A number of leading labor leaders stated the decision “was a blow for working families.” However they chose to ignore the inconvenient fact that the plaintiffs in the case “were eight people from working families that just didn't see a need to be in a union.”

The SEIU pulled a fast one when they got home caregivers who received state funds to help care for their family members declared state workers and then proceeded to collect union dues even though these 'workers' never had the opportunity to vote whether they wanted to become unionized. The SCOTUS decided that they had not been properly given the choice and that declaring them state employees was a stretch, and set them free from the obligation to pay union dues.

It appears the labor unions still haven't realized that their very reason for being no longer exists and that more often than not they are the reason so many jobs no longer exist is because of their actions.

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Bogie has her take on 'offensive' team names and even references yours truly.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the great weather continues, the grass is getting longer, and where the holiday weeked is slowly winding to a close.

7/05/2014

Teatopian America?

Slate's Reihan Salam offers us a vision of what America might look like if the Tea Party achieved its aims and was able to implement the necessary changes in how government at all levels operates and shifts more of the power and responsibility away from Washington and mack to the states and municipalities.

I have to admit that at first I thought this was going to be a snarky piece that would do its best to paint the Tea Party as some kind of right wing theocracy, but as I read it I found Salam did a pretty decent job trying to stay to the topic and not stray off into political diatribe. However there were times when he skirted at the edge of doing so, but then pulled back.

One reason it is challenging to describe Teatopia is that Republicans who identify with the Tea Party movement are diverse in their ideological inclinations. Some Tea Party conservatives favor limiting immigration. Others, including the deep-pocketed Koch brothers, believe that welcoming immigrants of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels is a bedrock principle of Americanism.

Deep divisions notwithstanding, there are a number of principles that unite the movement. The most important of them is a devotion to subsidiarity, which holds that power should rest as close to ordinary people as possible. In practice, this leads Tea Party conservatives to favor voluntary cooperation among free individuals over local government, local government over state government, and state government over the federal government. Teatopia would in some respects look much like our own America, only the contrasts would be heightened. California and New York, with their dense populations and liberal electorates, would have even bigger state governments that provide universal pre-K, a public option for health insurance, and generous funding for mass transit.

More conservative states, meanwhile, would compete to go furthest and fastest in abandoning industrial-era government. Traditional urban school districts would become charter districts, in which district officials would provide limited oversight while autonomous networks of charter schools would make the decisions about how schools are run day-to-day. Parents would be given K–12 spending accounts, which could be spent on the services provided by local public schools and on a range of other educational services, from online tutoring to apprenticeships designed to provide young people with marketable skills.

I much prefer the mix as described above as it does foster innovation in government and does not apply a one-size-fits-all solutions to problems that tend to be regional in nature. That has certain been a failing with the federal government since the late 60's and it's gotten nothing but worse since then.

Will all of the social engineering programs that have had the opposite effect from the intended ones survive such a change? Obviously not. Many of the existing federal agencies agencies and programs would disappear, some devolving to the states deciding to keep them as is and others either ending or modifying them to serve the needs of a state's citizens, staying with the state's means of funding it, and ensuring it doesn't mutate into another unresponsive and expensive bureaucratic monster.

But the big issue is that the existing government as it is structured, meaning primarily the Executive branch, would change in ways that are long overdue. Power that had been usurped by the federal government would return to the states where it belongs. Again, the one-size-fits-all mentality would end.

The goal of Tea Party federalism is not for states to serve as “laboratories of democracy,” in which programs that work in Houston are eventually adopted across the country by dint of federal pressure. State governments wouldn’t serve as a kind of minor-league farm system for the big leagues in Washington, D.C. Rather, the goal would be for different states to offer different visions of the good life. Citizens would vote with their feet in favor of the social-democratic societies that would emerge in Vermont and the Bay Area or the laissez-faire societies that would emerge in large stretches of the Mountain West. The Tea Party movement sees this approach as the best way to honor and reflect what you might call America’s normative diversity—a diversity that has less to do with ethnicity and race and more to do with the virtues that we as communities want to cultivate in our children, and that we want to see reflected in our collective institutions.

I disagree with the “laboratories of democracy” statement, at least when it comes to successful experiments being adopted by other states. I agree with the premise that the federal government shouldn't mandate adoption across the board because, yet again, the one-size-fits-all solution doesn't work, particularly in those states that don't have the problem the solution is supposed to address. It will be up to the individual states to decide what they will or will not adopt, period. Creating a homogeneous society with identical laws, regulations, and societal structures means that we would become a boring, and in the end, moribund country. It is the differences that makes this country an interesting place, not the similarities. Not that similarities are automatically a bad thing, but they shouldn't be the only thing that defines us.

Would “Teatopia” be a perfect place? No, of course not. No such place exists. But I think we'd find it to be a much more vibrant, open, and welcoming place to those who value their freedoms and have the drive to succeed. Not that a social safety net wouldn't exist, but it would be much smaller because a larger one wouldn't be needed. The multigenerational government dependence would no longer exist, nor would the entitlement mentality so aptly fostered starting with the Great Society 'reforms' of 1965. We would be a nation of doers, not whiners.

Does the article linked at the top paint a fairly accurate picture of what Teatopia might look like? Probably not. It borders on snarkiness, but still tries to stay on target. In the comments, on the other hand, the long knives come out and we see the same tired and inaccurate depictions of Tea Party beliefs (“They want to create a Christian theocracy and keep women barefoot and pregnant!”). I support the Tea Party, specifically its focus on the Constitution and smaller government. I could care less about the social issues as in the end they are unimportant if government at the federal, state, and local level is too big, too inertia laden because of multiple layers of unneeded bureaucracy, and incapable of responding or performing its duties in a timely and efficient fashion. If government fails to perform its function, then the rest of those oh-so important social issues don't matter.

We are very close to that point, at least at the federal level, because the proverbial left hand of government has absolutely no idea what the right hand of government is doing, and more often than not they work at cross-purposes without even realizing it. Is iy any wonder the grassroots Tea Party wants to change that? Goodness knows we aren't getting our taxpayers dollar's worth as it is now.

7/03/2014

Ummm...No

OK, now this is just ridiculous.

By way of Cap'n Teach we're seeing Warmists are claiming that Hurricane Arthur is due entirely to global warming.

Hmm. Somehow I find this to be...what's the word I'm looking for?...moronic.

Are we to believe that this hurricane would not have formed if it weren't for global warming...err...climate change? That never before during the North Atlantic Hurricane Season has a hurricane formed and made landfall on the US East Coast?

Only these idiots could state something like this with a straight face. If nothing else this adds yet one more bit of evidence that the “It's-All-The-Fault-Of-The-Evil-Humans” warmists are not in any way, shape, or form grounded in the real world and may be safely ignored, or better yet, pointed to and laughed at.

Storm Damage At The Manse

The line of thunderstorms that came through this part of New Hampshire yesterday did a number on many of the surrounding towns. It also did a number on The Manse, damaging the roof and allowing rain water to make its way inside.

I spent this morning on the phone with the insurance company, filing a claim and seeing about getting some emergency assistance. The urgency is due to forecasts for more thunderstorms this afternoon and the possibility of high winds and heavy rains on Friday due to Tropical Storm/Hurricane Arthur. The last thing I need is more water making its way inside and causing even more damage.

Oh, the joys of home ownership!

"Right Away" Signifies Something That Need Not Be Done Right Away

Have you ever noticed that when Obama wants something “right away” he will go around Congress if they don't give it too him on his timetable? It's like the actions of a spoiled child who doesn't get the new toy or piece of candy he demands.

Part of the problem is that Obama believes that everything he wants must be done right away, ignoring the fact that there's little that needs to be done that quickly when it comes to the day to day operation of the federal government.

My problem with “right away” is that, more often than not, it glosses over negative consequences that would normally be addressed by Congress. Whether that is by design or through ignorance doesn't really matter. The President still seems to believe that he doesn't answer to anyone, particularly Congress, the courts, or the American people, and that all he needs to do is proclaim “make it so” in order for his will to be carried out. Is it any wonder that even some of his staunchest supporters have been backing away from this increasingly imperial, divisive, and incompetent president?