Another Case Of NIMBY

I believe we can safely say that the conventional wisdom is that most folks support the development and use of alternative/renewable energy technologies to bolster power production in the US. After all it makes sense since some of them have reached the point where they compete rather handily with conventional power producers.

One of the more advanced, as well as most visible forms of alternative energy production are wind turbines. They can generate large amounts of electrical power. The larger wind turbines out there can each generate 3.5 megawatts of electricity or more, enough to provide power for over 1000 homes. There are many decent locations where wind turbines could be built. But they won't.

Far too often wind farms, large or small, are opposed by the very people who say they are all for renewable energy sources. It all comes down to NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard.

We've seen it writ large down on Cape Cod where the Cape Wind project has come under fire from Senator Ted Kennedy (D–MA) because the wind farm might ruin the view from the Kennedy Family compound in Hyannisport. Massachusetts. Surprising, considering Kennedy has been a supporter of renewable energy sources.

The same kind of problem has also made its presence known here in New Hampshire.

For some time a company called Community Energy has been trying to build a number of wind turbines on a ridge in the small rural town of Lempster, New Hampshire. The local residents haven't had any problems with the idea of wind turbines along the ridge considering that the owners of the 1500 acres of ridge property have allowed the public to use it for recreational purposes for years, including hiking, snowmobiling, ATVing, and so on. However the taxes on that property have been heavy. Allowing Community Energy to lease space for a test turbine would provide the owners of the property to gain some income and make it easier to pay their taxes, which in turn would allow them to keep the property and allow the public to continue using it. And if the entire wind farm were built, it would add considerably to the town's tax base. But there are spoil sports trying to keep that from happening. What's worse, they aren't year round residents, but summer residents.

A small handful of wealthy summer residents and out-of-towners have deluged local select boards with letters trying to stop a project that would benefit us all.

Among these are a summer resident, who spends most of the year in Florida, who has decided that he doesn't want to see a wind farm on "his ridge line" that my wife and I pay taxes on. Another is a person who lives 100 miles away whose sole purpose in life seems to be to stop wind farms in their tracks.


These people who have come out against the wind farm say that the state has to be involved because we don't have any zoning in Lempster and therefore don't know what we are doing or can't "protect" ourselves.

The fact is, our town has voted against zoning laws time and time again, even when last year the proposed windmills were the reason for taking the vote on zoning.

So the summer folk...er...'summah people' are trying to say that the townsfolk don't know what they're doing even though it is quite obvious that they do. Is it ignorance or arrogance that makes them come to this conclusion? I'd say that it's more the latter than the former.

This won't be the first time that seasonal residents have tried to push aside the needs of the year round residents in order to shove their 'needs' down the town's throat. It won't be the last. But in this case they're messing with the town's tax base, choking off potential tax revenues the town could really use. Will these 'summah people' make up the deficit from the lost taxes? No. Why should they? After all it's not their problem, is it?

The amount of permitting a project like this has to go through is mind boggling. Community Energy has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on studies and engineering and shared the information with the town.


We'd like to think that the state Site Evaluation Committee will understand this when it comes to Lempster tonight, but the way things appear to be going, the "Not in My Seasonal Backyard" people will probably talk the loudest and the longest.

And as we know, money talks. Many of these 'summah people' have deep pockets and they're quite vocal about things they don't like, particularly if it's the townspeople where they have their summer camps. It's not like they'll have to carry the burden being forced upon the year round residents, will they?


Thoughts On A Sunday

It seems New Hampshire has weathered the heavy rains and winds, though there were two fatalities associated with yesterday's storm.

The first was a kayaker who drowned after his kayak overturned on the East Branch of the Saco River in North Conway.

The second was a passenger on the M/S Mount Washington who fell overboard last night during a Halloween party cruise. Ironically, this cruise was the last trip for M/S Mount Washington this season. Searches for the missing passenger was suspended after one hour this morning due to the hazardous conditions out on the lake.

The high winds yesterday and today knocked out power all over the state, some of which won't be restored until late tomorrow at the earliest.


The mid-term elections are 9 days away. Looking at the myriad TV ads playing for the three biggest races – governor, and the two congressional districts – it's been eye opening to see the difference in campaign strategies for these three offices. Two of them, the gubernatorial and 1st congressional district races have been positive, for the most part. There have been a few negative ads, but they have been infrequent and tame. However, the race in the 2nd couldn't be more of a contrast.

The incumbent, Republican Congressman Charlie Bass, has been running a positive campaign, talking about his accomplishments and his independent streak. On the other hand, his Democratic opponent Paul Hodes has been on full power negative since his first ad. Every ad slams Bass. I haven't seen one ad from Hodes that is positive in nature. It all comes down to a campaign slogan of “I'm not Bass!”

That is not a winning strategy.

If I am going to vote for someone, I want to know what they're going to do and what they want to accomplish. I don't give a rat's ass that he or she is not their opponent. It's a given.


With the change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time having just taken place, there is again a question about whether Daylight Savings Time should be year round. The argument goes that it would save energy because lights wouldn't have to be used until an hour later than during Standard Time, particularly in the depths of winter. One study done by the California Energy Commission suggests that we stay at one hour ahead of Standard Time during the winter and two hours ahead in the summer.

Both the year round DST and two hour jump ideas have been tried before. During the Arab Oil Embargo in late 1973 and 1974, President Nixon ordered year round DST in order to save energy. And during World War II the two hour jump was made (called War Time), in order to shift the number of activities taking place after dark in order to reduce domestic energy usage, amongst other reasons.

Both of these ideas are worth looking into.


A neat thing I came across was that Star Trek: The Original Series has been digitally remastered, including new CGI special effects.

I recorded the latest released episode, Cat's Paw, last night. Looks pretty cool!


Glen Reynolds links to an article that asks “Is the Euro slowly killing half of Europe?”

Considering that most economic decisions are now made in Brussels and the Maastricht Treaty lays down some rather heavy handed requirements, I'd have to say the answer is 'yes'.


What if everything you knew about the environmental movement was wrong?


The New England Patriots meet the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football.

I'm looking forward to that game.


The two feline members of the WP Family, Bagheera and Cole, have been staying busy chasing bugs. In this case ladybugs. We've seen far more in the house this year than last, but the boys are taking care of them, either pointing them out to us so we can return them to the outdoors or by eating them. Of the two, Cole tends to eat them while Bagheera looks at them and occasionally 'plays' with one or two.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the winds are blowing, the leaves are falling, and where a little black cat has helped me finish this post.


Shooting Themselves In The Foot?

I can understand volunteer organizations that provide emergency support to the public wanting to make sure that its volunteers are on the up and up by performing background checks on those volunteers. But I think this one may have gone too far.

Unless I've misread the article from one of the organizations to which I belong, the American Red Cross will be doing more than running a criminal background check, the organization they have performing the background checks will also be checking credit reports and investigative consumer reports.

I'm sorry, but what the hell do those have to do vetting volunteers that support the efforts of the American Red Cross?

I don't know about you, but I am less inclined to use my knowledge and expertise to support Red Cross operations under these circumstances. They have no need to know my credit score. My credit score is no indicator of how well I'll perform my duties. Quite frankly, it's none of their damn business.

Am I missing something here?


What About Our Sensibilities?

With the situation in France with un-assimilated Muslim immigrants getting perilous, it has made me ponder possible future situations that might occur here in the US. We've already seen examples of like problems, where a local government or quasi-governmental agency seems likely to bend the laws of the land in order to appease the religious demands of intolerant Muslims trying to impose their beliefs upon the rest of us.

One of the most egregious examples of this is the case of Muslim cab drivers in Minneapolis refusing to drive passengers that “offended their Muslim sensibilities.”

Well what about our sensibilities?

How is it that the Metropolitan Airport Commission in Minneapolis-St. Paul even considered violating state laws and the US Constitution in order to appease Muslim cab drivers trying to impose their beliefs upon the public? If it had been a Jewish or Christian cab driver refusing to drive someone who offended their sensibilities you know there would have been such a new and cry by all the so-called “right-thinking people” and the ACLU that it would have deafened everyone within a hundred mile radius. The MSM would be all over the story about how a hate-mongering, politically incorrect Judeo-Christian Fascist-Nazi cab driver discriminated against someone the driver found offensive to their beliefs.

Never mind that our laws and our constitution applies to everyone living here. Nobody gets a pass because of their religious or cultural beliefs. Their beliefs end where my nose begins. If they are supplying a public service licensed by a municipality or state, they have no right to discriminate against the public they serve. In the case of those cab drivers, the appropriate agency should have sanctioned them according to the laws. In most states, that means suspending or revoking their hack licenses. Let them earn a living doing something else.

Giving way on this one issue would be just the start. What will it be next, women being forced to wear head scarves or veils just so they don't offend these same Muslims? Will they demand a separate justice system outside our constitution in an effort to promote sharia? If they do not want to live by our laws then perhaps they should consider relocating someplace where they only have to worry about other Muslims wanting to kill them because they offend their sensibilities.

They want freedom. That's fine. But they have no right to demand that we give up our freedoms in order to assuage them.

This is a trend that must be stopped now. Despite what the multiculturalists are always bleating, multiculturalism of this sort is destructive to our society and our way of life. And despite what many of these same multiculturalists believe, it is our society that is far and away better than almost all of the others because our society has striven to incorporate the best of all of the immigrant cultures over the generations. We are already a multicultural society and have always been one. But it seems the multiculturalists want to make sure that we allow immigrants to bring the worst of their cultures with them, too, and want us to be tolerant of them. How is it we must be tolerant of an intolerant culture/ideology/belief system?

It makes no sense.

UPDATE 10/28/06: Glenn Reynolds linked to a TCS report which covers a few recent incidents in the UK that show that the people there realize that multiculturalism has gone too far.


Presidential Candidates

Will these two be the candidates running on behalf of their respective parties in 2008?

That's Gratitude For You

As the saying goes, all politics are local.

And so it was when the New Hampshire congressional delegation fought hard to keep the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard from closing. Representative Jeb Bradley (R – NH 1st) probably fought harder than most to keep the shipyard open as most of the New Hampshire employees reside in his Congressional district.

The fight was ultimately successful as the shipyard was spared.

How did the grateful shipyard workers repay Jeb Bradley?

They endorsed his opponent in the upcoming elections.

Paul O'Connor, president of the shipyard's Metal Trades Council, said it was all about support of "working people." Bradley, he charged, does not support working people.

Right. Except for fighting to save their jobs. Except for fighting to keep taxes low so that more jobs are created. Except for opposing economic policies that will slow economic growth and reduce job opportunities for everyone.

It makes one wonder about the mentality of those workers. You know, the ones whose jobs were saved by Congressman Bradley?


Thoughts On A Sunday

There was a somber event in Manchester, NH yesterday – the funeral services for slain Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs. Thousands of police officers from around the nation attended.

Briggs was laid to rest with full military honors. Briggs once served in the Marine Corps.

(More reports, photos, and video can be found here.)


Talk about irony.

The man accused of killing officer Michael Briggs was saved by Briggs after a shooting three years ago.


The WP Family headed out in different directions yesterday.

Deb was down in the southern part of New Hampshire for the day, attending a training session.

BeezleBub and I were in Concord in the early afternoon for WP Nephew Michael's birthday. Later we headed down to the WP In-Laws in the Keene area so we could attend the annual Keene Pumpkin Festival. After sunset, over 24,000 jack o' lanterns were lit. They lined the streets, were set up on scaffolds, some of which towered into the night sky.

If you've never heard of it, it is an awesome sight. (A slide show can be seen here.)

While wandering around downtown Keene, we came across the police chief from our hometown. He and a small number of other officers from our town were helping keep the crowd of 80,000 people under control.


The November 7th elections are two weeks away and while the focus for many in New Hampshire have been the races for state and local elective offices, some are pushing hard to make sure that voters remember the two ballot initiatives that many see as far more important than who wins what office. The two ballot questions deal with amendments to the New Hampshire state constitution.

The first deals with modifying eminent domain to prevent the state or municipalities from taking private property for private development, such as happened in Kelo vs New London. The amendment would limit the taking of private property for public use only, things like schools, hospitals, roads, and so on.

The second tries to address the growing problem of towns and communities losing representation in the New Hampshire House as population grows and shifts. The amendment seeks to ensure that every community will have at least one representative in the House. (The New Hampshire House, also known as the General Court, has 400 members, making it the third largest legislative body in the West, behind only the US Congress and the British Parliament).

Each of these ballot questions require 66 2/3% of the voters voting in favor of the amendments in order for them to pass.

One group is making sure that everybody knows about the first question by running TV ads until election day in an effort to inform voters about the issue and to get out the vote.

Voters in 11 other states also will consider ballot questions next month to strengthen property rights. All are in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that let New London, Conn., take a group of older homes along the city's waterfront for a private developer who wanted to build offices, a hotel and convention center. The city wanted to bolster its sagging economy and make itself more competitive with suburban communities that have more land available for similar projects.


Once I read this editorial in one of our local papers I knew I had to share it. It deftly defines a problem that we have today: we have become a 30-minute society.

This election season, at least as it involves seats in Congress, has taken on a myopic if not simplistic view of the problems that face the United States.

Eliminating turmoil in the Middle East is as easy as pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be solved if King Solomon simply cuts the baby in half.

Since there have been no terror attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, we must be safe.

High fuel prices can be lowered by convicting Big Oil's corporate officers of price gouging and going green, overnight.

Making a college education affordable is as simple as making the government (other taxpayers) subsidize loans to students at below-market rates.

Rising health-care costs can be capped by allowing the U.S. government — the inventor of the $100 toilet seat and $10 nail — to take over the nation's health insurance system.

Everyone in Congress is corrupt and must have done something untoward to a page — or intern.

The list goes on.

One letter writer posed the theory that America has become a 30-minute society, that the problems of the world must, and can, be solved by the end of "The Simpsons" or, at worst, an hour long "Desperate Housewives."

It seems that too many people have no patience and want everything fixed now. My fear is that many will never learn the lesson that most of our problems can't be solved overnight and that to expect that they can be will leave many of them perpetually disappointed.


If you like dogs, you'll love this. It brought a tear to my eye.

(H/T James Hudnall>


The New England Patriots met up with the Bills in Buffalo today. Their first drive put them ahead 7-0. By the end of the game they lead 28-6. It was a tough game for Buffalo, and particularly their quarterback, Losman.

Next week the Pats go up against the Minnesota Vikings.


The Yankees are invading the South again.

But this time, rather than Union troops marching their way through the South, it's doughnuts. In this case, Dunkin' Donuts.

Dunkin' Donuts is making a concerted effort to muscle in on Krispy Kreme territory.

From its first store in Quincy, Mass., Dunkin' Donuts has become the quintessential Northeastern doughnut shop, with working-class credentials and obsessed customers.

But now the Canton, Mass.-based chain plans to expand south and west across the country, and that begs the question: Will Southerners, with their long-standing love of Krispy Kreme's sugar-glaze, find room for another doughnut?


Stan Parker, senior vice president of marketing for North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme, said many Southerners have grown up with their doughnuts and think of a trip to Krispy Kreme as more than just breakfast or a snack.

"For many people, Krispy Kreme has been part of their lives for a long time," he said.

Rosemary Evans was clearly in the Krispy Kreme camp as she shared a dozen doughnuts with her children on a recent Saturday morning.

"Dunkin' Donuts just don't have much flavor," said Evans, who grew up in Alabama. "These are just more moist. You can fold them up and stuff a whole one in your mouth."

Dunkin' Donuts fan Jack Lehnhart disagrees. "Wax doughnuts," he says about Krispy Kremes.

Having availed myself of both, I can say that I prefer the Dunkin' Donuts. But that's just my Yankee stubbornness, sticking with something I've known for decades.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the leaves are dropping from the trees, the last vestiges of summer have disappeared, and where preparations for winter are well under way.


Engage The Cloaking Device, Part Deux!

I posted about this bit of Star Trek technology back in May: a cloaking device.

The post talked about a theoretical cloak. It didn't yet exist.

Now it does.

Duke University took the wraps off invisibility cloaks Thursday (Oct. 19), announcing that researchers managed to cloak a five-inch-square area from microwave detection.

The cloaking technique worked by using a metamaterial as a shield to redirect microwaves around the cloak. Duke researchers said they hope to create invisibility cloaks for other types of electromagnetic radiation, causing even visible light to flow around shielded regions.

Hmm. I wonder if I can retrofit the trusty Intrepid with one of those and dump my radar detector?


I Want My MTV...er...Satellite TV!

Bruce at mAss Backwards brings up the possibility that the city of Boston may try to ban satellite dishes from locations where they may be seen by the public.

While at first glance this may seem like a good idea, one has to wonder if the local cable franchise(s) might be behind this move. After all, the cable companies have been slowly losing ground to the satellite providers and this is one way slow down or reverse those loses, at least in Boston. Keeping dishes from the front of buildings, where they are visible, may make it impossible to use them because they depend on a direct line of sight to the satellite. Move the dishes to the rear of a building and it may make it impossible to receive the satellite signal.

But wait! There may be a problem with this plan.

As I wrote in a comment to Bruce's post, there is a federal pre-emption when it comes to outdoor antennas used to pick up 'free' or for-pay broadcast services. Any such ordinance passed by the city could be challenged in court and mostly likely struck down.

The pre-emption was created when some homeowner/condo associations and a few towns banned external TV antennas which, in effect, forced residents to subscribe to cable TV or to do without. The FCC saw that as restraint of trade and regulation of radio and TV by non-FCC agencies. Only the FCC has that power, as laid out by the Communications Act of 1934.

The city of Boston doesn't have the power to restrict or ban the use or location of satellite TV dishes. Of course I expect that they won't let that little inconvenience stop them from trying.


Anti-WalMart Groups Aren't What They Appear To Be

WalMart is in the news again. Or rather, should I say anti-WalMart groups are in the news....again..

While I can understand why some folks might not like seeing a WalMart in their community, for the most part families like seeing them because they know they mean lower costs for many of the things they need and use every day. They also mean jobs.

Many of the anti-WalMart groups try to demonize WalMart, claiming they don't pay a living wage even though they pay between $7 and $12 an hour, with an average wage of $10 an hour. But whenever WalMart opens a new store they have applicants many times the number of jobs available. If WalMart is so terrible to work for then how do they fill all of the jobs? The answer is that it is only in the eyes of the anti-WalMart groups that they are so terrible.

Who are these groups? Not the grassroots you might think they are. Instead, they are groups funded by the labor unions. Who says so? The Wall Street Journal, for one. (Subscription required)

Wal-Mart may be expanding in the People's Republic of China, but here in capitalist America the low-price retailer has become the Democratic Party's favorite piñata. The media like to portray this as a populist uprising against heartless big business. But what they don't bother to disclose is that this entire get-Wal-Mart campaign is a political operation led and funded by organized labor.

We've done a little digging into the two most prominent anti-Wal-Mart groups, and they might as well operate out of AFL-CIO headquarters. An outfit called Wal-Mart Watch was created by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), probably the most powerful union in America after the National Education Association. Wal-Mart Watch is backed by Five Stones, a 501(c)3 organization that received $2,775,000 in 2005 from the SEIU, or 56% of its $5 million budget. According to financial records, SEIU also gave Five Stones $1 million in 2004 to launch the anti-Wal-Mart group, and SEIU president Andy Stern is the Wal-Mart Watch chairman.

A second group, Wake Up Wal-Mart, is more or less a subsidiary of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). Wake Up Wal-Mart refuses to divulge its funding sources, but here is what we do know: The group was founded by the UFCW, is housed at UFCW headquarters, and its campaign director's $135,000 salary is paid by the UFCW.

And that's only a few of the unions funding a number of anti-WalMart organizations.

Union membership has been declining for years as the original reason for the unions existence has been replaced by fair labor laws and other government protections for workers of all kinds. In some cases union pay is no better and, in some cases, worse than non-union wages. But that has given the labor unions incentive to make attempts at unionizing formerly non-union occupations.

One of their biggest targets has been WalMart. Never mind the fact that WalMart tends to pay higher than many of the unionized store chains. Big Labor wants a piece of WalMart's pie, seeing a potential payoff of hundreds of millions of dollars in union dues. And those extra funds can be used to pay lobbyists to push forward legislation that would benefit unions at the expense of non-union workers.

I don't know about you, but that smacks of mob-like extortion to me. “Hey, you pay us or you don't work!”

Sound familiar?


A Hero Falls

A criminal scumbag gunned down a Manchester, NH police officer who, with another officer, responded to a domestic disturbance report just before 3 AM. A few minutes later Officer Michael Briggs lay in a pool of his own blood, shot in the head by alleged shooter, career criminal Michael Addison.

Earlier today Officer Briggs died. But not before his alleged shooter was captured in Dorchester, Massachusetts, just south of Boston.

Listening to the news reports this evening, I was not surprised to hear that the New Hampshire Attorney General will seek the death penalty for Addison. I was not surprised to hear that Addison will fight extradition to New Hampshire. I must admit that I was surprised to hear some of Addison's close friends and relatives express shock and dismay that he was being charged with murder. More than one stated that he was a 'good man', and didn't believe he was capable of such a thing.

Yeah, a good man with a lengthy criminal record and a history of violence.

While New Hampshire has not executed anyone since 1939, it still has the death penalty on the books. Capital murder has a very narrow definition in New Hampshire and no one has been in jeopardy of the death penalty since the murder of Epsom police officer Jeremy Charron nine years ago. Murder of a public official while performing their duties is one of the four capital crimes in this state. Addison fits the bill.

Of course any trial or arraignment in New Hampshire may be delayed for some time because Addison is fighting extradition. That's not a surprise considering he could end up with a rope around his neck or a needle in his arm if he's convicted. Of course he could avoid the death penalty if he pleads guilty, just as Officer Charron's killer did.

But somehow I don't think he'll cop a plea.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Two events of great import took place yesterday – the Blog Free Or Die Con and the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout – aka 'The Boat' – was pulled from the water, bringing about the official end of summer.

The blog con took place at the Common Man Restaurant in Concord, NH, a WP favorite. We met blog friends old and new at the gathering, including Jay Tea of Wizbang, TJ of Better Living Through Chemistry, and personal friend Jay Solo of Dispatches from Blogblivion.

Well before the festivities at the gathering, BeezleBub and I saw to it that The Boat was pulled from the water, hauled to its place next to The Manse, and prepped for winter. The cooling system was flushed, the oil in the engine and stern drive was changed, as were the fuel and oil filters.

There's still plenty of work to do on The Boat, but mostly of a cosmetic nature. There will be a need to haul it to one of the marina's sometime before next boating season in order to have some mechanical maintenance attended to, but nothing that needs to be done immediately.


Hawaii was hit by an earthquake at 7AM this morning Hawaii time. It measured 6.6 on the Richter scale.

There are unconfirmed reports of injuries and one of the main highways on the island of Hawaii was closed due to debris caused by a landslide blocking the road.


With out a doubt this election season's campaigning has a far nastier tone to it that I have seen in the past. Not that there haven't been election battles that turned downright unforgivable and nasty in the past. (Election campaigning during the mid to late 1800's and early 1900's was far nastier and personal as compared to today.)

It's gotten so bad that one of the local newspapers has noticed it, even here in New Hampshire.

While there are no high-profile offices up for contention, in the past week or so the campaigning for the governor's office and the two congressional districts has become nasty on both sides.


It seems that Senator Chris Dodd (D – CT) needs to check his history.

By equating some of the actions that the US has taken against illegal combatants and terrorists to the what Nazi Germany did to its own people and evoking the Nuremberg Trials as well means that he has missed the point entirely. People seem to forget that illegal combatants and terrorists aren't covered by the Geneva Conventions, nor should they be protected by those rights enjoyed by American citizens and residents, particularly habeas corpus.

These are enemies of the US who do not abide by our laws or the protections laid out by the Geneva Conventions. Never in our past have enemy aliens been afforded the rights as guaranteed in the US Constitution. It is only now that such protections been pushed forward by the US Supreme Court, something I believe to be a grave error.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer dreams have finally ended, the foliage has just hit peak color, and where we will see very few summer folk until next May.


Immigrant Assimilation...Or Lack Thereof

I have nothing against immigrants. Really, I don't. My grandparents were immigrants, coming to the US from Finland in the 1930s. Like so many immigrants before them, they sought the American Dream, to become American citizens, and to raise their kids to be Americans. In all of this, they succeeded. They made the decision to accommodate US customs and mores, to be assimilated by American society. They did keep a few customs from the Old Country, but for the most part they were Americans through and through.

If that were only true for some of today's immigrants. Some have no desire to fit in to American society, dragging many of their ill-fitting customs and beliefs with them and trying to make us conform to their beliefs. Jay Tea of Wizbang gives a perfect example of this, linking to and commenting on a story about Muslim cab drivers in Minneapolis refusing to drive some passengers because they offended their Muslim sensibilities.

Blind people with "unclean" seeing-eye dogs, people carrying liquor, folks with ham or sausage -- basically, the cab was being declared "Muslim territory" and all who entered had to abide by Muslim law and tradition. And the airport was on the verge of making concessions and accommodations to indulge this conduct.

The response was quite fierce. Passengers started refusing to ride with Muslim cabbies. There was talk about boycotting Muslim cabs entirely. There was even talk about lawsuits against the cab companies who allowed their drivers to act thusly.


I think that, as a general principle, folks have the right to a certain level of bigotry and bias and prejudice -- such things tend to be their own punishment.

But in this case, the law is clear: if you provide a public accommodation, you have to accommodate the public -- all of the public. A cabbie, like a restaurant or hotel, has NO right to refuse passengers purely on the basis of religion -- either the customer's or the provider's. Cabbies that wish to serve the public damned well better take ALL of the public, or surrender their hack license and find a new line of work.

While not all of these cabbies are immigrants, most are. They came here to be free, or so I must assume. So who the hell are they to tell us that we must conform to their rules, religious, social, or cultural? It works the other way around, friends. If you move here you abide by our rules, our laws. You left yours behind when you came here.

While there's nothing wrong with immigrants bringing parts of their culture with them when they immigrate, it's best for all concerned if they bring the best of their cultures, not the worst.


No Freedom Of Speech Here

I find it interesting that more and more, leftist college students and faculty try hard to redefine what constitutes free speech on campuses around the nation.

Anyone that disagrees with their viewpoint is either a fascist or a thug. Freedom of speech only exists for them. And should someone have the audacity to call them on it, they respond with bad manners or, even worse, violence.

This was the attitude at Columbia University, where a guest speaker invited by the College Republicans was harassed and shouted down, his voice silenced by the so-called defenders of free speech.

This is not freedom of speech by any means. It smacks more of totalitarianism. If these leftist morons are willing to promote violence in order to protect their twisted version of politically correct speech, how much will it take before they take that one more step and start killing those who disagree with them, those they see as 'impure'? It isn't all that much of a stretch. After all, there's plenty of historical precedent. (The “Weather Underground” split off from a leftist student organization and later became a domestic terrorist organization, bombing buildings and planning mass casualty attacks on military installations within the US.)

Really, what would it take for some of these 'progressive' students to cross the line, to maim or kill someone they disagree with? I'm beginning to think that it won't take much at all.

But should it come to pass, I'd like to think that it will be enough to shock the students and academics back into reality, to make them realize that they've taken the wrong path. I'd like to think that. But somehow I have a feeling that it would have little effect on those the most infected with the leftist PC mindset.

Mark Warner Drops Presidential Bid

The first casualty of the 2008 Presidential race has occurred.

Former Virginia governor, Democrat Mark Warner, has decided not to pursue a campaign to be the 2008 Democratic nominee for president. Citing the strain that such a campaign would put on his family, he decided not to run for president this time round. However, he has not ruled out running for a Senate seat or the governorship of Virginia again.

Warner said he arrived at his decision over several weeks. He said neither his wife, Lisa Collis, nor his daughters, ages 12, 15 and 16, discouraged him from running. In a written statement, he said he made the decision after celebrating his father's 81st birthday and taking his oldest daughter on a college tour.

"I know these moments are never going to come again," Warner said. "This weekend made clear what I'd been thinking about for many weeks — that while politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plunge, at this point I want to have a real life.

Warner is not expected to be the only presidential hopeful from either party to roll back their aspirations to the highest office in the country. He is only the first.


Winter Weather Forecast

The feds have come out with their forecast for the upcoming winter season, saying that it will be a warmer than normal winter, thought not as warm as last winter. (Yeah, instead of -23ºF, it will be -22ºF. Last year it was -20ºF......)

Apparently there is a weak El Niño in the Pacific, which will cause a slight shift in the jet stream. This will steer weather systems in a slightly different path and block some of the arctic air masses from traveling so far south. It also means that it's likely that some of the drought that has been plaguing parts of the US will be lessened by increased snow and rainfall over the coming winter.

If I don't have to burn as much firewood or propane this winter, that will be just fine with me.


How Europe Views Americans

Dave Schuler over at Dean's World posts about how our European brethren see us, particularly when it comes our reactions to 9/11.

Dave says that, as usual, they got it wrong.

Last week in response to this observation from an overseas blogger:

Fear and hysteria are the two words often mentioned in the wake of 9/11. To this I would add ‘insecurity’.

By and large my few readers had similar reactions to mine and they weren't “fear and hysteria”.

Nor was mine. I felt horror at what had been done. I felt rage at those who had perpetrated such an atrocity. And a quote from Admiral Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor popped into my mind:

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a slumbering giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”

Those behind the planning of the attacks on 9/11 are either dead, in custody, or hiding out far from civilization. Those that helped protect them are either dead or out of power.

That does not come from being fearful or insecure.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The leaf peepers are here in New Hampshire in abundance.

The fall colors are magnificent this year, better than I have seen over the past couple of years.

Deb and I had a chance to converse with family up from Texas while we were partaking of our breakfast at the Paugus Diner this morning. They really enjoyed both the foliage and the lakes and mountains during their vacation trip. I gave them a few tips on some routes they should take that would keep them off the main roads but still give them plenty of nice views.


The Patriots pulled off a win against the Miami Dolphins, 20-10.

Th Pat's have a bye week next week.


The fallout from the Kelo vs. New London eminent domain case continues to be felt.

On November 7th New Hampshire voters will have have the opportunity to vote on amending the state constitution in order to prevent such an abuse of eminent domain from occurring here.

Let's hope that the required 66 percent of the voters approve the amendment.


It appears that colleges are now competing for home-schooled students.

Home-schooled students — whose numbers in this country range from an estimated 1.1 million to as high as 2 million — often come to college equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in higher education, said Regina Morin, admissions director of Columbia College.

Such assets include intellectual curiosity, independent study habits and critical thinking skills, she said.

"It's one of the fastest-growing college pools in the nation," she said. "And they tend to be some of the best prepared."

Under those circumstances I can understand why institutions of higher learning want such students.


It's getting to be that time again – updating the blogroll. Look for changes sometime in the next wee or ten days. (I still have to change the banner pics!)

I've been looking over a number of New Hampshire based blogs and I'll be adding quite a few of them. It may be time to break down the New England Bloggers links into individual states.

Then again, maybe not.


Bruce at mAss Backwards posts about Mayors Thomas Menino (Boston) and Michael Bloomberg (New York) trying to entice the mayors of a number of New Hampshire cities to enact draconian gun control ordinances much like those in Boston and New York.

I guess they figure we don't have enough crime in our state, so they want to make it easier for scumbag criminals to commit crimes in New Hampshire by disarming law abiding citizens.

New Hampshire has some of the most unrestrictive gun laws in the US. It also has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation. Could there be a connection?

As I commented to Bruce's post, if any mayor in New Hampshire wanted to enact such legislation they'd first have to amend the state constitution, specifically Article 2A.

[Art.] 2-a. [The Bearing of Arms.] All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.

December 1, 1982

There are only two chances of such an amendment happening – slim and none.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the leaf peepers are checking out the foliage, folks are starting to pull their boats out of the water, and where most of us still carry guns.


Pataki Opens Campaign Office In New Hampshire

New York's governor George Pataki has opened a campaign office in New Hampshire. But Pataki has been downplaying the opening.

N.Y. Gov. George Pataki became the first potential presidential hopeful to open an office in New Hampshire on Monday, though he insisted his sites aren't set any further than the election five weeks away.

"This is about '06," he said. "It really is."

The office will be headquarters for Pataki's political action committee, the 21st Century Freedom PAC, and will offer space and resources for Republicans seeking state and federal office from New Hampshire.

It may be about 2006, but even he must admit that he's looking towards 2008.

Wednesday Night Shorts

There's a lot I could post about tonight. However I'm going to take the easy way out tonight by linking to a few news stories of interest instead.


It's one thing to ask a county outside of Atlanta to stop funding Spanish language books and publications in the county's libraries, but one woman went too far by asking that all Harry Potter books be banned from public school libraries because “the popular fiction series are an 'evil' attempt to indoctrinate children in the Wicca religion.”

To quote John Stossel, “Give me a break!”


One would think that with most of the summer people long gone from Lake Winnipesaukee that the possibility of an accident on the lake would be pretty small. But you'd be wrong.


My favorite morning radio show has a feature called “What Hotwings Thinks”. Wednesday's edition rants about global warming and how the dire predictions of a severe hurricane season this year have turned out to be just so much hot air.


I don't know about you, but after hearing about this woman's past as well as herv present legal troubles, I wouldn't want to go anywhere near her unless I was heavily armed.


Is it possible that Bob Woodward made up some of the quotes in his book State of Denial?


Now here's a campaign I can really get behind.


And now I'm off to watch the season premiere of Lost.

Regular blogging continues tomorrow.


More Troops, Please

While there has been some making the case for maintaining or slightly decreasing the troop levels in Iraq, there's at least one Iraq War vet that thinks what we need really is even more troops in theater. Lt. Pete Hegseth makes a compelling case.

I volunteered to serve in Iraq because I believe in our mission there. I share the president's conviction about the Iraq war--we can and must win, for the Iraqi people, for the future of our country and for peace-loving people everywhere. But I'm frustrated. America is fighting with a hand tied behind its back. Soldiers have all the equipment we need--armored humvees, body armor for every body part, superior technology, etc.--but we simply do not have enough troops in Iraq, and we need them now.


...because of a lack of troops, American military leaders are forced to make a choice between mission objectives and self-preservation. Many of our leaders are opting to guard supply routes and coagulate on sprawling military bases, rather than consistently moving into dangerous areas and fighting the insurgency. In our case, we had 500 soldiers stationed outside Samarra who made infrequent trips into the city center. There is little reason why most of these troops were not stationed inside Samarra, canvassing every neighborhood with platoon-sized patrol bases and suffocating insurgent operations. Rather than take the risks necessary--like small patrol bases and frequent foot patrols--our unit opted to secure itself and its supply routes rather than commit resources inside the city. And while this approach is safer in the short run, it only prolongs mission accomplishment, ultimately endangering more troops. We often speculated our unit would be back next year, driving the same streets with even fewer guys.

So it seems plausible that our mission in Iraq may actually take longer than necessary because we lack the manpower to effectively take the fight to the insurgents.

Quotes To Live By

Sometimes e-mail provides serendipity. This occasion is no different.

In this case I received the latest DNRC (Dogbert's New Ruling Class) newsletter. One of the gems of the somewhat irregular newsletter is called “Induhvidual Quotes”, something that is always enlightening.

Here are some more true quotes from people who put the DUH in In-duh-vidual, as reported by DNRC field operatives.


"Well that really throws a wrench in the ointment."

"I think there's something wrong with my alarm clock; it keeps making this really loud noise in the morning!"

When talking to a colleague about my newborn twins, she asked what genders they were. “A boy and a girl,” I answered. My colleague’s next question: “Are they identical?”

"That's water over the bridge."

"You're dead meat in the water."

"That stands out like a diamond in a goat's butt!"

"You shouldn't violate the law because that's illegal."

"They have us by the balls of our feet."

"Never pet a burning dog."

"It's hotter than a French hen."

"They should lock him up and throw away the book."

"They cooked themselves. Now they have to lay in it."

“Make sure you cross your p's and q's.”

"Don't look a blind horse in the eye."

"I put my wrong foot in the wrong mouth at the wrong time!"

"Cows died to give us that cheese."

"Don't slap the hand that milks you."

"Call me back at your least convenience."

"It's six of one and one of the other."

"I can't do it in the spur of a hat."

"That's going to change the whole ball of works."

"They're not the brightest box of cookies."

"The pro's for are more than the pro's against"

“I wouldn't touch him as far as I could throw him.”

And so it goes.....


Thoughts On A Sunday

The fall colors have started appearing here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. While driving around town yesterday taking care of errands, I noticed that a lot of trees were changing, particularly the sugar maples.

It's time for me to change the banner pics again.


Sgt. Mom over at Sgt. Stryker's wonders if Muslim rage is hiding the fact that Islam may be a hollow shell, a shadow of its former self ready to crumble under the slightest outside pressure.

She makes a compelling argument for the case.


The housing boom is definitely over in New Hampshire.

Catching a report this morning on WMUR-TV, a representative for a realtor's association mentioned that the inventory of unsold homes has doubled in a year, from a 5-month inventory to 10 months. Also, a report on prices is expected to show prices decreasing by 6 percent as of July.

A related report tells us how much the housing market has cooled in New Hampshire's Seacoast area.

Anecdotally, I can see the effects of the cooling market. A house just three doors up from The Manse is having its third open house in six months and from what we've seen there has been only one visitor today. Many other properties for sale in my immediate area have price reduced their homes in an effort to move them.

It's a buyer's market now.


Though I've seen this before, I figured it couldn't hurt to share it. It's priceless.


The fact that prisons may be breeding new harabahi terrorists is no surprise to me. Prison is one of the best recruiting tools for criminal gangs, so why would it be any different for a criminally twisted fascist ideology?


You wouldn't think that falling gas, oil, and propane prices would make consumers angry. But if you're one of those consumers that locked in their heating oil or propane prices via a pre-buy and didn't have a downside protection option that would, in effect, rebate the price of their pre-paid heating fuel if the prices fell, you might end up paying more than the present price per gallon.


The New England Patriots managed to pound the Cincinnati Bengals 38-13.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where fall is making itself felt, firewood is being carefully stacked for easy use, and where all too soon boats will be coming out of the water.