Thoughts On A Sunday

Yesterday was a time of sprucing up The Manse in anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving gathering of the WP clan.

One thing that required quite a bit of work was cleaning up around the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove. I'd forgotten how messy they can be, requiring quite a bit more cleanup due to the ash. Of course it didn't help that on a prior emptying out of the accumulated ash BeezleBub thought he'd be clever and put some water in the bottom of the ash bucket to quench the coals. When the hot coals and ash hit the bottom of the bucket, the ensuing steam explosion spread ash all over the room, coating everything with a fine layer. That was part and parcel of the cleanup in the living room yesterday.


Captain Ed gets into the lengthy debate about global warming, opining that instead of a drastic warm-up we might be heading for another “Little Ice Age” like the one that we suffered between the 1300's and 1850.

Ed started by quoting Reuters about the 'disappointing' hurricane season and how they failed to mention global warming, unlike during last year's record hurricane season. How quickly they forget.

One commenter to Ed's post nailed it right on the head.

Oh Ed, global warming causes global warming, except when it doesn't, which is when it causes hurricanes, and other times the Seminoles. Don't you understand that? It was global warming undid the ancient Mayans. They lived on frozen french fries, made from potatoes donated by the Irish in County Derry. When the wind patterns changed, the coracles of the Irish were blown off course, and the Irish landed in Ireland in the 6th century BC, just in time to become Druids, conveniently later converted to Christianity by Saint Patrick, himself blown off course in a global warming caused storm as a 'yout' and enslaved by the Romans, whose galleys would reach Britain years later. They would have crossed the English Channel in operation "See, Lyin' " in 482, except it hadn't quite warmed up enough for the glaciers to melt, so they walked. However at the same time off the Coast of Chile, people who lived only on clams were inventing Guiness (sic) to drink with their clams. But global warming frustrated their attempts to make glass, so they left Chile in balsa wood rafts, left their giant carvings on Easter Island and became Polnesians (sic). The plaques beneath the statues, proving all this are in a sub-basement of the Vatican to this day.

So there!


Emily at it comes in pints? brings up one of the most annoying things about people that insist on using the cell phones no matter what. The fact that this incident pushed her past the breaking point only illustrates that it's gotten worse as the damn things have become ubiquitous.

Some people seem to have their cell phones permanently grafted to one ear or one hand, making it impossible for them to put them down or hang them up. It also makes it impossible for them to pay attention to whatever it is they're supposed to be doing.

While I am no technophobe (hell, I'm an engineer!), I don't like the damn things. While we do have one, or more accurately Deb has one, I rarely use it. I refuse to carry one. The closest I come to something like that is a pager, and that one was given to me by a state agency that I work for on a part time basis.


Who knew that silicone gel breast implants were such a social and political issue?

As far as I'm concerned, a poor FDA decision and a lawsuit based upon junk science have been reversed. Now if Dow could only get its money back....


The New England Patriots shut out the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, 35-0. It didn't help that Brett Favre was playing hurt, with bad ankles and a possible injury to one of his elbows during a sack. I like that the Pats beat the Packers. I only wish that it had been more of a game.


There has been considerable controversy about what has been called the “view tax” here in New Hampshire, something I've covered before here, here and here.

Now the so-called view tax is hurting even more people, particularly farmers. One in particular has seen his property taxes go up from ~$22,000 to $70,000 per year in one year. While his property has a nice view and would be worth millions to a developer, he runs an orchard that has been in business for 242 years. But it won't be in business much longer.

How did a 242-year-old orchard have its property taxes jump by $50,000? A little thing called the view tax.


The view tax as applied is rapidly destroying agricultural land and family estates across New Hampshire. If local or state officials do not act, there won't be any hillside farmland left in the state.


Gould Hill Orchard has been around longer than the United States. In all those 242 years, the owners never had to destroy the orchard to pay their tax bill. Now that appears likely.

The view tax is a historical aberration. Its shockingly high assessments cannot be sustained. Eventually it will have to be reconceived to bring property values more in line with reality. It would be a travesty if, in the meantime, the trees of Gould Hill Orchards fall to the cold steel teeth of the developer's bulldozer.

The view tax is something that is applied arbitrarily and is totally subjective. Taxing agricultural land as if it were residential property is madness. Tacking on the ever more hated view tax is adding insult to injury. If the various revenue-hungry town governments don't watch it they may end up taxing themselves right out of their jobs.


The Dems are making a bonehead move, pushing to reinstate the military draft. Charles Rangel (D-NY) is trying to force the draft, not out of the kindness of his heart but to drum up even more anger and resentment towards the war in Iraq. This is nothing new for him as he's tried this once before, claiming that too many minorities were serving on the front lines. This was proven to be patently false and the bill he filed back then languished in committee and died a lonely death.

He and the Dems are trying to recreate the domestic conditions that existed during the Vietnam War and the quickest way to do that is to reinstitute the draft.

What a putz.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where road traffic has dropped considerably since the summer folk and leaf peepers have left until next year, thoughts of snow are still in the future, and where preparations for Thanksgiving are in full swing.

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