9/20/2019

US Court Slaps Down California's Unconstitutional "Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act"

The wackos in California tried an end run around the US Constitution by passing legislation that required presidential candidates make public their tax returns. This was an effort to keep Donald Trump off the California ballot. However, US District Judge Morrison England, Jr. told California “Not so fast there, bucko!”

While states have control over the mechanics of voting, such as filing petitions with a certain number of signatures, they can’t impose eligibility requirements beyond what Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution provides…:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

A tax-return requirement on presidential candidates bears no relationship to the mechanics of voting, and is an unconstitutional eligibility test. A state can no more limit eligibility to candidates who disclose tax returns than it could require that only candidates who can run a mile in under 8 minutes are eligible for the presidential ballot.

If California and other Blue States want to impose such a condition, then the US Constitution would need to be amended to allow them to do so. The chances of them getting such an amendment through Congress and then ratified by 3/4ths of the states before the 2020 election cycle is zero. The chances of getting it ratified at all is pretty close to zero.

The court issued a Temporary Restraining Order from the bench and Judge England has stated he will issue a final ruling by the end of the month. Of course, I have no doubt California will appeal and I expect this case will make its way to the Supreme Court where it will die a well-earned death when they tell California “Shame on you! What the hell were you thinking?”

I expect the bleating from the California Kooks to start in 3…2…1….

9/18/2019

MSNBC Gun Poll Backfires

From Legal Insurrection comes this gem:

MSNBC poll about guns backfires fabulously.

The folks at MSLSD decided they would ask the people what they thought about guns in public, so they hosted a poll that asked but a single question:

Do you think people should be allowed to carry guns in public?

There were three answers to choose from:

Yes! The Second Amendment guarantees it.

No, it’s too dangerous.

Only for self defense.

I figure they were expecting to see a majority of those answering the poll to say “No”. I have no doubt the folks there were hoping to see that their dwindling number of viewers would agree with their viewpoint that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens was a bad idea.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

After more than 547,000 responses, the results showed that 92% of those voting answered “Yes”, the remaining 8% split evenly between “No” and “Only for self defense”.

I guess MSLSD doesn’t really understand the American public anywhere near as well as they thought. (That goes for the rest of the MSM-DNC as well.)

9/16/2019

It's Not The Economy, Stupid

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the one thing none of the Democrat presidential candidates (except one) are talking about is the economy? Could it be that they know that trying to use the economy as a campaign issue is a losing strategy?

Yeah, I’m betting they’re smart enough to know that.That isn’t stopping many of their sycophants from trying to make it an issue, even if they must tank the economy to do so.

The media has been pushing the idea that we’re entering a recession, citing some minor indicators that there may be a correction coming, despite none of the major indicators like a falloff in existing home sales, contractions in business purchasing, falling consumer confidence and spending, and decreasing business investment being present. None of that has stopped the media from pushing the idea that we’re on the verge, if not in a recession. Maybe they figure that by repeating the Big Lie often enough and loud enough that they can get people to start acting as if there is a recession, and by doing so, create a recession in time for the elections in November 2020.

That’s how much they hate Trump and we deplorables. They are willing to damage the economy, destroy millions of jobs, see other millions lose their businesses and homes, all to help the Democrats gain the White House. That’s just not just awful, it’s sick. Those pushing this narrative see nothing wrong with what they’re willing to do. But then the kind of Progressivism being pushed is a form of mental illness.

9/15/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was another quiet weekend here in central New Hampshire, with summerfolk scarce and our usual hangouts back in our hands again. While the weather on Saturday was cool and rainy, today more than made up for it with warm temps and sunny skies. I even made it out on to Lake Winnipesaukee for an hour or so before getting back to The Gulch in time to watch the New England Patriots shut out the Miami Dolphins 43-0 down in Miami.

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From the Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider Department:

California’s Legislature embraces far-ranging measures that will disrupt the gig economy, depress housing markets, and destroy school discipline.

Leave it to the Kalifonia Kooks to make the once Golden State even more of the Pyrite State, further weakening its economy, it’s housing market, and destroying what’s left of its educational system. What’s worse they see it as a victory for Progressivism, for taking yet another step towards their Great Socialist Paradise. Too bad their ‘paradise’ looks more like hell.

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Who was it that made the drone strikes against Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities which affect the 5% of world’s oil supply? Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lays the blame at the feet of the Iranians.

Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.

I wouldn’t put it past the Iranians to allow their proxies to take responsibility for the drone strikes they committed. It’s called “plausible deniability”.

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Will Chicago be the biggest US city to declare bankruptcy? I believe the answer is yes.

Considering it has been following in Detroit’s footsteps politically and financially, is it really any surprise that is heading for the same fate as Detroit, that fate being bankruptcy? I think the only reason Chicago has managed to survive to this point is because the state of Illinois has been bailing it out. But that revenue stream is drying up as Illinois struggles with financial problems of its own. Since the city government is so in the pocket of the unions, its hands are tied. It can’t cut back services without pissing off the unions. It can’t really raise taxes any higher than they are because they have already passed the point of diminishing returns. The high tax burden is driving residents and businesses out of Chicago, something that further stresses the city’s finances.

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It was a very busy week for me last week, between a trip back to Washington DC for my employer, numerous duties performed for my town, and family matters to deal with.

The trip to Washington DC was my third in six months, all to determine what was causing an enigmatic problem at a customer’s site. It looks like the third time was the charm as it seems we may have found a two-fold cause, something that can be corrected with a software fix (we hope).

Town stuff took half a day to deal with, something that required me to take some time away from work get to. I wish I could say that the town stuff came to a proper conclusion, but it hasn’t yet. It looks like it will take some more time to deal with.

Family matters are family matters, not usually exposed to the public. Fortunately it is nothing earth shattering or nefarious, just family stuff.

And so it goes.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’re still enjoying the end of the summer tourist season, preparing for the arrival of the leaf peepers, and making preparations for the end of the boating season in a few weeks.

9/12/2019

This Isn't The Future I Was Picturing

As cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle abandon the precepts of modern hygiene all in the name of some vague fairness/freedom doctrine, they are also seeing the return of diseases that used to plague medieval Europe: typhus, typhoid, and hepatitis. It is expected that the bubonic plague will also make a reappearance at some point. (I can picture a cart rolling down the street with its attendant calling out “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!”)

Another ancient disease that may soon join the others and make a reappearance in Los Angeles?

Leprosy.

I have been covering the typhus and typhoid outbreaks that have hit Southern California as a result of the rat-infestation around homeless encampments.

Now an outbreak of a notorious disease, leprosy, is being reported. A recent study published as a Reuters Health report indicates the bacterial infection is emerging in the Los Angeles area.

Leprosy, more formally known as Hansen’s Disease, is caused by the Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. These pathogens grow slowly, and it can take up to 20 years before the first signs of the infection occur. Perhaps the most infamous aspect of the disease is the loss of fingers, toes, and other extremities if the infection is left untreated.

One has to wonder if another old thing will make a reappearance, that being a crier preceding a leper as they walk down the street, calling out “Unclean! Unclean!”, giving the populace time to avoid them as they make their ways to the leper colonies on the outskirts of the city. After all The Powers That Be in Los Angeles, as well as San Francisco and Seattle have been working so hard to bring back other historical events and activities.

9/11/2019

Eighteen Years

It's been eighteen years.

Or was it just yesterday?

As more than one person has told me it feels like it was only yesterday, not eighteen years ago. It was only yesterday America found itself at war with an intractable, brutal enemy that recognizes no innocents, sees murder as a way to some vaguely pornographic glory, and holds life cheap.

The words that follow I wrote quite a few years ago. But I also wrote them just yesterday. They express exactly what needs to be said about That Awful Day.

It's hard to believe it's been years.

It still hurts, that heartache that never really goes away.

Remembering That Awful Day still brings tears to my eyes.

So many gone.

So many died.

So many hearts broken.

So many families torn asunder.

So many heroes that never thought twice about their own safety working hard to save the lives of so many others.

Other heroes whose last words were “Let's roll.”

Let us never forget that day of thunder, fire, smoke, heroic deeds, tearful goodbyes, and at the end, mournful silence.

Let us never forget.

9/09/2019

New York Is Reaping What Its Leaders Have Sown

A lot of people have said at one time or another “New York doesn’t get half the abuse it deserves”. It is, after all, the seat of the Evil Empire (the New York Yankees), which is reason enough to be punished. But New York doesn’t need to rely on outside forces to receive its punishment because it is being punished by the very people it has elected to govern it.

The latest round of self-inflicted wounds plaguing the people of New York City? A natural gas shortage.

New York’s drive to wean New Yorkers off fossil fuels has been pushed at both the city and state level. Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned fracking in his state and killed the idea of new pipelines from being built in or through New York. His push to make New York run on 100% renewable energy sounds like a laudable goal, but anyone with any kind of engineering background could tell him it is an unachievable goal because the amount of energy required to meet needs of New Yorkers is staggering, and the needs are growing. The anti-climate-change activists inside and outside of government are working hard to ensure that energy isn’t going to be there, and they’re succeeding.

New Yorkers are now playing the price for the activism that has blocked a number of needed pipelines.

So how are things going out there in Brooklyn, Queens and the rest of Long Island? The issue of natural gas has suddenly sprung back into the news over the last week, but for a new reason — people are starting to scream that they can’t get natural gas hookups.

Among various tales of woe, one of my favorites is this one, reported at NY1, from a woman named Julie Levin from Park Slope, Brooklyn:

"I didn't know what it was until I researched it, and I actually, loving our environment, am against this pipeline, but I do need gas," Park Slope resident Julie Levin said at the news conference. "We have nowhere to go. Our lease is up in a month. We have no more money left. We need to move into our house."

Well boo-hoo! But you can’t really blame Julie. Pretty much everyone in Park Slope thinks that natural gas comes from the tooth fairy.

Needless to say, New York politicians — most particularly the ones that have been the most vociferous opponents of the pipeline and supporters of the New York “climate leadership” law — have rushed forth to blame National Grid for the crisis. Governor Cuomo led the charge.

Other politicians who were also vehemently against the proposed pipelines are now the ones raking National Grid over the coals because they can’t supply the natural gas customers’ needs. As the linked article asks, “Can the pols really have no idea that when they block natural gas infrastructure, sooner or later someone is going to be denied service?” Of course, they can. They’re totally oblivious. It is apparent they are incapable of seeing cause and effect, nor do they want to. After all, it wouldn’t serve them if they could because then they wouldn’t be able to keep their cognitive dissonance in place and wouldn’t be able to work at cross-purposes to the needs of their constituents.

9/08/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s the first post-summer weekend and it’s quiet here. Most of the summerfolk are gone and we won’t see them again until next May. Those summerfolk with cottages and camps will still be using them for another few weeks, with most finally closing them up over the Columbus Day weekend in six weeks. Many of the seasonal shops and restaurants are closed with a few others opening only on the weekends for the next few weekends.

Road traffic is way down as is boat traffic on the lake, but it’s still above the usual ‘non-summer’ traffic levels and will be until after Columbus Day weekend. Fall foliage season is approaching so we’ll see an uptick in traffic starting at the end of September until after Columbus Day.

While many of the local diners were as busy as usual, it was seeing the year round residents filling the seats rather than summerfolk. It’s nice to have our eateries back again!

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This week’s Comment Of The Week comes from this story about vegan protestors storming a Spanish rabbit farm and being surprised when the farmers fight back.

The comment from Pamazon:

It's almost the basic definition of the difference between Cons and Leftist. Cons just want to be left alone, and leftist DEMAND you do it their way. About EVERY freaking thing.

Yup, seems that way to me as well. I’ve known more than a few that believe it wholeheartedly. I know others who are horrified at the idea that their fellow Progressives feel that way. But the ratio of the first to the second is seriously lopsided towards the first.

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As if the A-10 Warthog isn’t lethal enough on the battlefield, there are new weapons and cockpit upgrades are on the way that will make it an even better and more lethal.

After decades of the USAF brass trying to kill off the A-10 and ground forces wondering why the USAF was stupid enough to want to do so, it looks like the Air Force has finally realized the A-10 is as effective and as lethal an aircraft as has ever been seen on the battlefield. It has even gone as far as ordering wing upgrades to increase the Warthog’s combat capability and longevity.

As ‘cool’ and as high tech the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is, it still doesn’t have the loiter time, weapons load, or survivability of the A-10. The A-10 is a close-in combat air support platform that the F-35 can’t come close to matching.

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It was time.

I had to face the fact that my old flip phone, my “Gibbs” phone, wasn’t capable of doing some of the things I need it to do, particularly since I have started travelling for work again. It uses the 3G cell network which the cell carriers are going to start shutting down towards the end of this year. (It makes sense to do so as most 3G phones have ‘aged out’ and been replaced by 4G/LTE phones.)

While I haven’t replaced it with the latest whiz-bang Does Everything 5G phone, it is new enough (4G/LTE) for me and does what I need it to do. (It also costs a fourth of the 5G phones.) Of course, I have no doubt that some folks are probably thinking “It’s going to take that old fossil forever to figure out how to use it”, but they’d be wrong. The new phone is an Android phone and I have a few Android tablets, so it isn’t all that strange to me. The thing I’ll have to get used to is the size of the phone, seeing it’s more than twice the size of my old phone. It doesn’t fit easily into any of my pockets. I’ll have to get something that will let me clip it to my belt.

Not that I expect that I’ll become yet another Smart Phone Zombie as I still have better things to do than have my nose buried in my phone for hours on end. It is purely driven by the need to replace my less than capable flip-phone, period.

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It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that Donald Trump is a racist. After all, his efforts have brought down the unemployment rate of black Americans to record lows. By reducing the number of black Americans who require government assistance to support their families it is clear that he hates the poverty which blacks have been trapped in by their saviors, the Democrats. It’s apparent that a number of Democrats see raising black Americans from poverty as their purview and that anyone else doing so must be racist. (No, I don’t understand the logic of that belief. But then we aren’t really dealing with logic, are we?)

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Gee, it turns out a study purporting that ‘hate’ crimes increase by 226% after Trump rallies is “fatally flawed in its methodology” according to two Ph.D. students at Harvard University.

[Harvard P.h.D. candidates Matthew Lilley and Brian Wheaton] were able to replicate the initial study’s findings with respect to Trump rallies, but found an even greater increase in hate crimes in counties that hosted Clinton campaign rallies during the same period.

Once the researchers controlled for population size, the effect of Trump rallies on hate crimes became “statistically indistinguishable from zero.”

Heh.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the crowds of summerfolk have melted away, the restaurants and lake are ours again, and where we still have some summer weather to enjoy for another few weeks.

9/06/2019

Why Socialism Keeps Raising Its Ugly Head

Einstein is reported to have defined insanity thus: “Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results this time.”

And so it is with socialism. Socialists have tried the same thing over and over again, failed miserably, sometimes spectacularly, but expect when they try it this time they will succeed.

But they don’t. Ever.

How is it they don’t realize that socialism doesn’t work? How can they believe something that has been tried for almost 400 years and has not succeeded once will do so on this attempt? It’s simple: They forget history as if it has no bearing on their closely held beliefs.

What would you say to an amateur chef who baked a cake following a certain recipe only for everyone who ate a slice to fall ill quickly afterward? Being such an enthusiastic baker, they bake the same cake a second time just a few weeks later, again following the same recipe, but this time with one or two slight adjustments. Unfortunately, the result is the same – everyone who eats the cake soon ends up feeling sick.

The cake baker repeats this more than two dozen times, always modifying the recipe a little, but the basic ingredients remain more or less the same despite the fact that their guests throw up every time. Of course, there’s no way such a thing would happen. The cake baker would soon realize that there is a major problem with the recipe and throw it away.

Yet this is exactly what socialists have done.

--snip--

The latest example of socialism’s failings is Venezuela, which just a few years ago was being hailed by leading intellectuals and left-wing politicians as a model for “Socialism of the 21st Century.”

How do they explain the failure away?

“It wasn’t true socialism!” “It was undermined by capitalist saboteurs!” “It would have worked if it hadn’t been for the boycotts by US imperialists!” “It wasn’t being run by the ‘right’ people!” “We didn’t suppress/imprison/kill enough of the enemies of socialism!”

But no matter how many excuses they come up with, it doesn’t change the fact that socialism doesn’t work.

One of the things I have learned after studying socialism and its endless failures is the reason it fails is easy to figure out. As I have stated many times in the past, socialism fails because it chooses to ignore human nature, tries to get around it, or worse, tries to change it. In the end, human nature always wins the fight just as it did during the first experiment in socialism way back in 1621.