Thoughts On A Sunday

If you haven't read my previous post, you're unaware that yesterday was my guest appearance on Meet The New Press a local radio show about the new media and how we're changing the face of journalism.

I had a great time with the three hosts, Skip, Doug, and Pat, and hope to join them in the studio for future broadcasts.


Gary of Ex-Donkey Blog fame is pulling the plug on his blog. But despair not, for he's joining the Llama Butchers. As Gary explains it, time constraints and family obligations won't allow him to keep up the pace he'd been keeping with his own blog. By joining the Llamas he can post at a much more leisurely pace .


Glenn Reynolds has a longer than usual post about global climate change with a goodly number of links. He and I are on the same page.


I must claim here and now that I do not, in any way, shape, or form, write what Bagheera The Magnificent posts on this blog. At best I may edit it since he can't spell worth a damn, but it's all him, despite what Skip Murphy may claim.


It looks like we're going to be going through he coldest week of this winter, with temps between now and next weekend staying in the teens during the day and at or below zero during the night. Usually we see temps like these in late December and January, not February.

We'll be keeping the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove stoked all the time during this cold blast.


The excitement for Super Bowl XLI has been building all week and it all comes together this evening. Frankly I'm going to be far more interested in the gee-whiz factor of the TV ads running during the game. The one I'll be looking for in particular is the winning ad that the NFL chose to close out the season. The NFL chose the ad idea from a New Hampshire ad exec who lives and works in the Seacoast area. After seeing his pitch I can see why it was chosen.

It was scheduled to be aired during the 2 minute warning break.


Kin Priestap believes that Nancy Pelosi is letting her power go to her head.

I think she's right. It's one thing to use military aircraft for flights to and from her district or for other official duties, something the Speaker of the House has been authorized to do since after 9/11, but to demand the same for members of her family and other members of the California congressional delegation is going too damn far.


Bruce of mAss Backwards has renamed his blog to reflect that he is now a resident of New Hampshire. Mass Backwards is now No Looking Backwards. Hopefully he'll keep pointing out the absurdities of politicians and government within New Hampshire much as he did while he was serving his sentence in the People's Republic of Massachusetts.


Speaking of Bruce, he has an excellent analysis of a suggestion made over at Blue New Hampshire about how to turn New Hampshire into a clone of Massachusetts. The suggestion was to implement a 5.3% income in order to eliminate the property taxes in the state. Anybody with a sense of history and an understanding of how much politicians love taxpayer money will know that something like that will only add to the tax misery, not cure it. I believe my comment to his post highlighted an example of why it would be a bad idea here.

The "income tax will eliminate/reduce property taxes" argument was used in New Jersey a few years back because education was funded largely from local property taxes and property taxes were rising at a rate well above inflation. The income tax became law, more money was forthcoming from the state for education, and property taxes went up. All the income tax did was increase the tax burden on New Jersey residents with little added benefit.

The same would happen here. Now, if such a tax were implemented here and constitutionally mandated to go to education, it might, just might do as the folks over at Blue New Hampshire suggested. It would take the legislature out of the loop, meaning that they would have no control over those funds, much like the highway funds are protected now. But it would create such a powerful non-governmental group in the form of a state education lobby that in little time the tax burden would become draconian and we'd be right back where we started. We'd also have mediocre school systems replacing good and excellent school systems because all control of education would be held at state level. There would be no local control.

There are plenty of examples of just such a thing happening. All one would need to do is look at the aforementioned New Jersey situation.


The death penalty as it stands in New Hampshire appears to be up for discussion again.

New Hampshire's death penalty has rarely been imposed or carried out, with 24 executions since 1734, the last one being in 1939. One New Hampshire lawmaker is out to do away with the death penalty, saying that life imprisonment without possibility of parole is the same thing. However, there are those who believe that the death penalty should remain on the books as there are some crimes so heinous that death is the only fitting punishment. It also gives the Attorney General's office leverage to use when dealing with perpetrators of capital crimes.

There are only four crimes for which the death penalty can be imposed: murder of a public official during the performance of their duties, murder during kidnapping, conspiracy to commit the prior crimes, including murder for hire, and treason. That's a pretty small list for crimes warranting the death penalty.

Personally I am for retaining the death penalty as it is on the books here in New Hampshire, if for no other reason than that it works, giving that the prosecutors one more weapon against criminals.


For the longest time there was little, if any, ice on Lake Winnipesaukee. A little less than two weeks ago it was open water as far as the eye could see. There was ice in some of the smaller bays and coves, but the rest of the lake was open water. Then we got the cold snap last week. A couple of days into it and the entire lake was frozen over. There was no open water to be seen anywhere from the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Overlook. It happened just that fast.

The ice formed quickly and is now several inches thick just about everywhere, meaning that the ice fishermen are making up for lost time. It also means that the Rotary Ice Fishing Derby will be held next weekend, right on schedule.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the lake is finally frozen over, the bob houses are out on the ice, and where the deep freeze has returned.

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