Thoughts On A Sunday

BeezleBub made it back from the WP In-Laws Friday and was back at his job at the farm first thing Saturday morning. He's now working his summer schedule, meaning Wednesdays through Sundays in the fields. I'm also starting my summer work schedule after Fourth of July, working 4 days a week – Tuesdays through Fridays – meaning BeezleBub and I will have Mondays off together all summer.

It's going to great summer!


I loved this “cheap shot” handed out by Tom Maguire during his Heller post because it's all too true:

The same folks who can read the Constitution and Bill of Rights and find an unassailable right to abortion and gay marriage can't find a right to possession of a firearm.

All too true.


It's been another NASCAR weekend here in New Hampshire. The new owners of the local track, New Hampshire Motor Speedway (formerly the New Hampshire International Speedway), have done a lot of upgrades and renovations in order to make the fan experience better. It would have been nicer if the weather had been a bit more cooperative, the rain on Friday delaying qualifying for the Lenox 301.

The race today was shortened by thunderstorms, ending after 280-some laps. That's how it goes in New England.


Have you wondered what's really driving the rising cost of oil? While some point the finger at the “greedy” oil companies, others to speculators, and yet others to simple supply and demand, the answer isn't necessarily all that simple. At least Coyote gives it a shot, and his ideas sound a lot more likely than some I've heard.


One not entirely unexpected side effect of higher oil prices is the move of some manufacturing from overseas back to the US. While many goods can still be manufactured cheaper overseas, the cost of transporting them to US markets has skyrocketed, making those goods more expensive than if they had been made here. If oil prices remain high, and it is expected they will, we may see a long lasting resurgence in American manufacturing.


First Chicago mayor Richard Daley goes ballistic about the Heller decision. Then San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom loses his mind, blathering about the rights of the housing authority versus the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Is one of the requirements to be a mayor of a major city to have their common sense surgically removed?


Paul Marks asks whether collectivism is triumphing in Europe and the US?

...in the United States the totalitarians look set to take over soon. I have presented evidence that they (both key members of Congress and others) are totalitarians in a previous posting and I will not type it all out again - so I will content myself with wondering whether, when the spiritual son of Saul Alinsky becomes President of the United States, he will invite Bill Ayers (and the other comrades he left Harvard to join in Chicago) to his inauguration.

Let us pray it is not so.


Former New Hampshire Governor and Democratic US Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen has pledged to severely trim oil company profits in an effort to lower fuel prices. Sounds like a great idea until you do the math and find out that even if the oil company profits were cut to 0%, it would only drop gasoline prices by approximately 36¢ at best (assuming gas is $4 per gallon). 36¢.

That's not a big drop in prices, is it? Like too many Democrats, Mrs. Shaheen has overlooked two important facts about the price of any product for sale: profits are usually a small percentage of the sale price; and what profits are made are used to pay stockholders and to invest in future projects.

A 9 percent profit margin is pretty common for just about any business. Some have higher margins, some lower. Do you hear anyone complaining about other businesses with 9% profit margins? I certainly haven't.

If Jeanne Shaheen gets her way, how will she explain it to the millions of stockholders why they'll now receive little or nothing in return for their investments?

Who are the biggest investors in oil companies? Retirement and pension funds.

How will she explain to millions of retirees that their retirement funds have been confiscated by the government? Oh, wait! I almost forgot. That's exactly what Democrats like Shaheen want. It gives them even more control over the American people. Control their money, control the people. After all, we aren't intelligent enough to spend our own money.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the thunderstorms have been having their fun, the NASCAR fans have left until September, and where we're still wondering how we'll pay for heating fuel next winter.


The Gun Ban Dominos Start To Fall

There's been a quite a bit of fallout from the Heller decision, with some of the more vocal opponents of the Second Amendment squawking about blood on the streets even as a number of towns and cities have decided to suspend enforcement of their handgun bans. One commenter had an interesting take on it.

There’s a little town up the street, Kennesaw, GA, that has a city ordinance REQUIRING homeowners to have a gun. After the ordinance took effect, burglaries ceased in Kennesaw, completely.

“An armed society is a polite society.” Robert A. Heinlein

“When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” unknown

“The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s goodbye to the Bill of Rights.” unknown

“Hell, when the man said Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, I just thought he was making a delivery!” James Wesley Rawles

“Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms should describe a convenience store, not a government agency.” unknown

Guns: Keep ‘em, shoot ‘em, clean ‘em. Git ‘r done America!


Obama's Tax Hike Plan Scares Even The French

You know it's got to be a bad idea when even the French say so.

Apparently Democratic Presidential Candidate To Be Barack Obama's plans to hike taxes should he gain the Oval Office shocks even the French, knowing it will make Americans “fiscal prisoners” in their own country, burdening them with taxes surpassing those imposed in the French Republic.

...make no mistake, taxes under a President Obama could be truly à la française. The top marginal tax rate, including federal, state and local levies, could approach 60% for self-employed New Yorkers and Californians. Not even France's taxes are that high now that President Nicolas Sarkozy has capped the total that high-earning Frenchmen like Mr. Ducasse can pay in income, social and wealth taxes at 50% of earnings.

When taxes go that high, people find ways to get out of paying them usually moving someplace else where they will be able to keep more of their hard earned money. If Obama wants to see even more American jobs and industries to go overseas, all he has to do is raise taxes as he's outlined during his campaign. If you think that won't happen should he implement his tax hikes, all one need do is look at what French President Nicolas Sarkozy discovered when he visited London earlier this year.

[Sarkozy] observed that the British capital is now home to so many French bankers and other professionals seeking tax relief that it's the seventh-largest French city. Those expatriates choose not to use their creativity and investment capital to benefit France and its economy.

So because French taxes were so high, the people needed to help the French economy to grow left France and put their talents to use in a place where they'd be able to keep more of their hard earned money. And why shouldn't they? Why stay in a place that punishes success? This also shows Obama's ignorance when it comes to easily foreseen consequences of confiscatory tax policies.

Senator Obama's plans to raise income, Social Security and capital-gains taxes amount to a belief that people don't react to punitive tax rates. If so, he needn't worry about people leaving the country and could let them pay taxes in whichever part of the globe they choose to live in.

A President Barack Obama will become all too familiar with the Laffer Curve, seeing tax rates go ever higher and tax revenues going lower and lower. He'll also oversee the once vibrant American economy looking more like the one experienced during the Carter Administration: in deep recession with little hope of recovering. The recession back then didn't end until Ronald Reagan took office and he did away with the taxes that were strangling the economy. You'd think an intelligent man like Barack Obama would understand the cause and effect of tax policy. But it's become evident with time he must have skipped more than one economics course during his time in college.

His tax plans will do far more harm to the American people than just about anything else I can think of short of a nuclear terrorist strike.


A Badly Needed Translation

On more than one occasion I've had people ask me bout the use of certain phrases or words used by the Left when it came to them describing an event or the actions with which the Left agrees or disagrees. Far too often they'll use terms that sound like they mean one thing when they really mean something entirely different. It was while reading this comment to this post on Just One Minute that I found just what was needed.

At some point there needs to be an English-Leftist dictionary so that you can look up words and phrases used by the Left and find the conventional meaning of them.

Such a dictionary would help lessen the confusion when reading a diatribe or holding a one-sided “conversation” with a Lefty blogger, politician, or brainwashed drone.

I'm willing to give it a try, starting with a few of the more overused terms or phrases that fall from the lips of the anointed. Feel free to add a few of your own, or if need be, pull a few from George Orwell's 1984.

“Progressive” - this term sounds like it means the idea or the person(s) are for making progress on social and economic issues. Unfortunately this term often means the opposite, with Progressives usually standing for reversing two centuries of progress made in political and economic freedom in favor of their idea of freedom, which usually means the freedom to hold one's tongue should you disagree with them.

“Freedom” - Anything but. The Left believes the average person is incapable for making their own decision, therefore they will make them for you, “freeing” you from the burden.

“Free Speech” - You can say anything you want....as long as you agree with them. Otherwise, shut up.

“Fascist” - Anyone disagreeing with Progressive ideals, particularly Republicans and libertarians.

“Nazi” - See Fascist.

“Political Correctness” - An idea or thought that meets the approval of Progressives.

“Politically Correct Speech” - a more modern term for NewSpeak, a term coined in Orwell's 1984, which removes any negative connotation or terms from the language. It's purpose is to ensure that Progressive ideas cannot be described in anything but positive terms, even if the idea engenders horrors not seen since the Holocaust or the Inquisition.

“ChimpyMcBushHitler” - a rather poor attempt at satire by the Left, showing they really have no sense of humor at all.

“Obscene Profits” - profit of any kind is bad, therefore all profits are obscene. These obscenities are easily cured by taxing them out of existence.

“Rich” - anyone with a job making more than minimum wage.

“Racist” - any white male, particularly if he is a Republican. Men and women of other races cannot, by definition, be racists, even when they are.

“Multiculturalism” - placing other cultures before American/Western cultures, even those odious misogynist theocratic tyrannies who believe freedom is just a word in the dictionary.

“Green” - adheres to the AlGorista dogma that all climate change (warming or cooling) is All-Our-Fault. Has nothing to do with real environmentalism.

These are just a few of the terms and definitions I was able to come up with on the spur of the moment. There must be hundreds of others just as twisted and misdirecting as the few I've listed above. Feel free to contribute any you may have come across.


SCOTUS Decision Proves Second Amendment Is An Individual Right

There's been a wealth of posts about the Heller vs. DC Supreme Court decision handed down today, where the Court found the Second Amendment applies to individuals, overturning the belief of many anti-gun advocates that the amendment is a collective right that does not allow the average citizen to keep and bear arms.

Frankly, I believe the Court made the right decision, putting the Second Amendment in the same frame of reference as the First Amendment – an individual right – along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. However I am surprised that a larger number of the justices did not support the majority opinion.

A number of anti-gun advocates voiced their dismay over the decision, including Chicago mayor Richard Daley, who seemed to think this decision would return us to the days when the Code of the Old West reigned supreme, meaning there'd be gunfights on the streets of the city. Unless he's been asleep at his desk, that's exactly what's been happening around cities that had heavy restrictions on gun ownership. Unfortunately the law abiding citizens were the ones required to dodge the bullets of rival gangs and other criminal miscreants. Now they'll be able to shoot back. (Hey, if Mayor Daley wants to overstate the case, then I'm allowed to do the same. See how ridiculous it sounds?)

I expect the hand-wringing and tooth-gnashing of the anti-gun groups to continue for some time, particularly as more gun-bans and ownership/carry laws are challenged in light of today's decision on Heller. Many of the anti-gun groups, including the Brady folks, aren't willing to admit that when law abiding citizens are allowed to protect themselves by carrying their own guns, the crime rates go down. Every state that has concealed carry and shall issue laws on the books tends to have lower crime rates than those states/cities that don't. There have been no bloodbaths on the streets, no showdowns at the OK Corral, and far more cases where a criminal predator has ended up being the prey for a citizen able to defend his/herself.

And that's just the way it should be.


A McCain X-Prize?

While I may not agree with everything John McCain proposes for his presidency, I have to say I think he's come up with a good idea to help promote the creation of electric vehicles. By proposing an equivalent to the X-Prize, in this case $300 million for the first automaker to create the next generation car battery that would wean us off of oil.

Of course there are still a number of details that would have to be worked out, but that's something that can wait until after McCain takes office.

Labor Unions Are Not Friends Of The Working Man/Woman

A series of TV ads by UnionFacts.org has been hitting the airwaves lately, slamming the labor unions for their attempts to make changes to the way employees can decide to form a union.

One of those changes is to do away with secret ballots, long a mainstay of American democracy. Union leaders say secret ballots allow employers to threaten potential union members, though how that can be is something I've puzzled over for some time. Instead, the unions want to replace the secret ballot with an “open” voting procedure which consists of merely signing a card. If this method doesn't lend itself to intimidation, I don't know what will. And in this case the intimidation will more likely come from the union organizers and not the employer. It's strong arm tactics they want written into law.

Here's one ad run by UnionFacts.org showing how it would work:

You think it wouldn't be like that? You're wrong.

Having been a member in good standing of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for 20 years, I can say from first hand knowledge that it probably would be, at least in some areas of the country. And while union membership can have its advantages, there are plenty of disadvantages, too.

In my local, if you didn't have a certain ethnic last name (no, not Italian, but Portuguese), you had zero chance of being elected as a steward or any kind of union official, unless of course you married onto one of the families that were the backbone of the local. Needless to say, my experience with union stewardship soured me on unions.

While there are still a few professions where I believe unions are a necessity, for the most part they have far outlived their usefulness. While they purport to protect working Americans, most of the protections they used to provide are now codified in labor law, something the unions themselves pushed for.

For decades now labor union membership has been shrinking. Some of that can be attributed to the loss of jobs in the so-called Rust Belt, and some to foreign competition. But other losses can be attributed to union abuses that ended up forcing businesses that had employed their members to close their doors or to relocate because they couldn't meet the demands of the unions. If that isn't an example of how the unions aren't really looking out for the welfare of their members, then I don't know what is.


If Your Going To Borrow Ideas, At Least Borrow Good Ones

As I've mentioned before, some of Barack Obama's ideas seem to have been borrowed from the LBJ play book. But it's worse than that, with some of his ideas appearing to have been borrowed from Argentina. What makes this bad is that those ideas turned that country into an economic train wreck.

As the presidential campaign drones on, Barack Obama and the Democrats are fleshing out the promise of "change" with some specific, big-government policy proposals. Many are familiar, perhaps because they already have been tried – in Argentina.

That country has gone from South American breadbasket to world-class basket case.

It doesn't appear to bother Obama or the Dems one bit as they continue to lay a path that will lead a return to bad economic times reminiscent of the Carter Administration. The campaign promising “change” isn't telling you that it will be a change from good economic times to those of a deep recession, high taxes, rising unemployment, and economic disincentives not seen since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. It's kind of like someone slapping you in the face again and again, telling you it's a change that's good for you even though you were just fine before they started punishing you.

I think you'll see the a good portion of American people presently supporting Barack Obama, or those thinking of doing so, will wake up to the reality of what his ideas represent and back away in horror, knowing he will do his darnedest to make this nation an economic basket case. What's worse, he'll do so believing he's actually doing the right thing.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Our family reached yet another milestone Friday: BeezleBub graduated from 8th Grade! He also found out that, contrary to his beliefs, most of the girls in his class do like him, and at least half of those want to date him.

Thank goodness he's not following in my footsteps in that regard. My belief at that age wasn't a misconception and I didn't really start dating until I was a senior in high school. Even then I had to date girls from another town. (It's a long story with which I have no intention to bore you)

He's off to the WP In-Laws for the week, returning next weekend to work full time at the farm.


Today was the last day of the annual Laconia Motorcycle Week. Most people expected the number of bikers attending this year to be down considerably from previous years, but it appears those expectations were wrong as officials are saying the number of visitors was pretty much the same as last year. Most of the vendors have reported record sales, so it appears high gas prices did not have as much of an effect as most people expected.

No one knows if this will be true of the rest of the summer tourist season, but I believe Motorcycle Week will be the exception. There are still too many unrented summer cottages and boat slips for this time of the season.


Unless you've been completely disconnected for the past few days, you've probably heard about the so-called “pregnancy pact” made by a number of teens in Gloucester, Massachusetts. As Rachel Lucas comments, “I can’t possibly fathom why this situation is a mystery to anyone who is paying attention to popular culture. Frankly, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often and on a grander scale.”

As one commenter puts it:

Politically incorrect and entirely accurate. The academics, in step with Hollywood, have destroyed our culture. Anything Christian is vilified while the poorest and most base behavior is celebrated.



Do you want a preview of what a single-payer health care system would look like, at least on the financial side? Then look no further than California, and the financial train wreck such a system will create.

The People's Republic of Massachusetts is already feeling the effect of similar system, the so-called RomneyCare system, where the Commonwealth is finding mandatory health insurance is adding almost half a billion to the state budget above and beyond the projected cost.

The question is whether the proponents of a single-payer system are paying attention. At present I see no evidence they are.


Eric the Viking clues us in the Jeff Jacoby's latest about the coming population bust and what it means for society.


George Will points out Barack Obama is having problems with crime statistics, preferring to ensure the victimization of an entire class of young men, black young men, rather than allow it to be known the opposite is true.

Is this a tactic the Dems will use in the presidential campaign, trying to create entirely new classes of victims in order to claim they have the remedy for all those new “victims”?


I know this to be true – attractive women prefer plain men – because it's certainly true in my case. Deb has been getting more attractive, while I look more like Fred Flintstone.


It appears there is now a link between Iran and Venezuela, with Hugo Chavez providing support and protection to Hezbollah fund-raisers and facilitators.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


There are two question both Obama and the Democrats have to answer:

How much will oil prices and supplies be affected five or ten years from now if we start drilling for oil now?


How much will oil prices and supplies be affected five or ten years from now if we don't?

I don't expect a cogent answer from them any time soon.


High gas prices are inducing people to drive less? Who'da thunk it?

(H/T Instapundit)


The weekend here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire came to a close with a bang. A line of thunderstorms came through the area with heavy rain, high winds, lightning and thunder. It wasn't exactly the kind of ending to the weekend we like to see here. One casualty was the Official Weekend Pundit Deck Canopy, which collapsed under the weight of the heavy rain and high winds. I still don't know if it's salvageable.


Why is it when Republicans cut budgets they're accused of being cold-hearted and uncaring, but when Democrats cut budgets they're seen as forward looking and responsible?

And so the double standard lives on.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer officially arrived this weekend, the motorcycles have come and gone, and where the call of vacation is starting to come through loud and clear.


Iraq Has Become A Non-Issue

As I've mentioned before, it looks like Iraq will be a non-starter for the Democrats this fall, particularly since things have gotten so much better.

Though there are still pockets of insurgent activity, they are limited to a few areas and seem less coordinated than in the past. Al Qaeda has been all but wiped out as an effective force, particularly once Iraqi Sunnis turned on them once Al Qaeda started murdering Sunnis. Sunnis have started taking an interest in government, both local and national, having come to realize it's one of the best ways to make their voices heard.

Shiite militias have also come under increasing pressure by US forces, the Iraqi military, and Shiite leaders in Iraq. While some renegade bands of Shiite militiamen are still planning and carrying out attacks in Baghdad, their activities in Basra have all but ceased, particularly after Iraqi Army forces carried the battle to them and proved to be an effective force. Moqtada al Sadr extended a cease fire, more than likely realizing he was losing followers to effective Coalition and Iraqi countermeasures while antagonizing the people he purportedly was “protecting”. It didn't help his credibility that he was still in Iran after fleeing from Baghdad, knowing Coalition forces were closing in on him.

It's not often we hear reports from the MSM any more about how bad things are in Iraq. In fact, we hear very little from the media about anything happening in Iraq these days. Only one network, ABC, has actually made an effort to show some of the progress that's been made there, though they still couch it in tentative terms.

An issue the Democrats thought would usher them into the White House has instead turned into a non-issue for the American voters, leaving the Democrats to scramble to find some other ills, most of their own making, to blame upon the GOP.


Another Voice Against Anthropogenic Global Warming

Isn't it interesting that more and more reputable scientists, including climatologists, meteorologists, and solar scientists are speaking out, disagreeing with the “fact” of anthropogenic global warming. One of the most recent to speak out against those preaching anthropogenic global warming is the founder of the Weather Channel, John Coleman. He calls it what I believe it is, a scam to gain access to large amounts of money and to seize control of much of the world's population.

The UN IPCC has attracted billions of dollars for the research to try to make the case that CO2 is the culprit of run-away, man-made global warming. The scientists have come up with very complex creative theories and done elaborate calculations and run computer models they say prove those theories. They present us with a concept they call radiative forcing. The research organizations and scientists who are making a career out of this theory, keep cranking out the research papers. Then the IPCC puts on big conferences at exotic places, such as the recent conference in Bali. The scientists endorse each other’s papers, they are summarized and voted on, and voila, we are told global warming is going to kill us all unless we stop burning fossil fuels.

Carbon dioxide is not an environmental problem; they just want you now to think it is.

So now it has come down to an intense campaign, orchestrated by environmentalists claiming that the burning of fossil fuels dooms the planet to run-away global warming. Ladies and Gentlemen, that is a myth.

Frankly, I'm far more inclined to believe John Coleman than Al Gore.

Coleman has done far more research and review about something in which he has years of expertise, where Al Gore has none. John Coleman has nothing to gain from denouncing the global warming hysteria he sees. Al Gore has millions, if not billions of dollars to gain if he can sell his pitch that we're all to blame for climate change. So do many of the so-called scientists that have reached a consensus that we're to blame, even though a majority of those “scientists” have no background or training in climate science what so ever.

When the deniers with scientific background and knowledge about our climate far outnumber the proponents of global warming, I must go with the majority. This is particularly so because a significant number of the deniers were once proponents of global warming. But as they reviewed studies and conducted research of their own, they found the numbers didn't add up, that too many of the studies reached conclusions that we were the cause of global warming, conclusions that were not supported by the data. And some deniers have been stating that we are more likely entering a period of global cooling, an effect of the lower than average solar activity we are now experiencing.

If nothing else, it can be said that the debate about anthropogenic global warming is not over. It's nowhere near over.


A Night Out For The Boys

Not much of a post tonight, but I have a good excuse.

BeezleBub and I went to see Foghat and Lynryrd Skynyrd in concert. It was a totally awesome show. I'd forgotten how good Foghat is, but they reminded us. And Skynyrd just blew us away, finishing their show with Free Bird.

All in all it was a great night out “for the boys.”


Will Lawsuit Bring Digital TV To A Halt In The US?

Is it possible the transition to digital television in the US will be halted due to a lawsuit filed by a consumer electronics manufacturer?

Samsung, one of many makers of television sets and other consumer electronics claims, a number of their patents have been infringed indirectly by the Advanced Television Systems Committee, or ATSC, in the United States. I find it interesting, considering Samsung's patents are part of the patent pool incorporated into the America digital TV standard, meaning Samsung was part of the consortium that helped develop the ATSC standard.

Seems like it's a little late to say “We've changed our minds!”

Samsung's suit is directed towards Polaroid Corporation and Westinghouse Digital Electronics.

Should they succeed, it could mean that the digital TV transition could be stopped cold, leaving millions of consumers as well as broadcasters stuck in the middle.

Frankly, the timing of the suit seems a little suspicious to me.


Big Spending By Government Not The Answer

It will be interesting to see how Barack Obama is going to be able to justify higher taxes and more government spending when a study by Keith Marsden of the Centre for Policy Studies in London shows that countries with lower government spending and lower taxes have better economies and higher tax revenues than countries with higher government spending and higher taxes.

As Keith Marsden exaplins:

In the early 1980s, Ronald Reagan embraced the ideas of a small group of economists dubbed "supply-siders." They argued that lower taxes and slimmer government would stimulate growth, enterprise, harder work and higher levels of saving and investment. These views were widely ridiculed at the time, dismissed as "voodoo economics."

My study, "Big, Not Better?" (Centre for Policy Studies, 2008), looks at the performance of 20 countries over the past two decades. The first 10 have slimmer governments with revenue and expenditure levels below 40% of GDP. This group includes Australia, Canada, Estonia, Hong Kong, Ireland, South Korea, Latvia, Singapore, the Slovak Republic and the U.S.

I compared their records to the 10 higher-taxed, bigger-government economies: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Both groups cover a representative range of large, medium and small economies measured by their gross national incomes. The average incomes per capita of the two groups are similar ($27,046 and $30,426 respectively in 2005).

The early supply-siders were right. My findings firmly reject the widely held view that lower taxes inevitably result in cuts in public services, slower growth and widening income inequalities. Today's policy makers should take note of how tax cuts and the pruning of inefficient government programs can stimulate sluggish economies.

While Obama and the Democrats might try to dispute the conclusions of Marsden's findings, there's too much evidence that says frugal lean government is far better and more efficient than big spending bloated government.

The problem with any government, and national government is that the bureaucracies that take care of the day to day operations have the unfortunate tendency to expand in size and cost over time. The “mission” of any bureaucrat is to expand their portion of the bureaucracy and hence, their power. The main purpose of any bureaucracy is to be self-sustaining and grow as large as possible to ensure its own survival. It is not, as many believe, to serve the public (meaning the taxpayers).

While any government agency had as its original reason for beingto serve the public as efficiently as possible, bloat and creeping inefficiency is inevitable. It's a natural progression that very few bureaucracies are able to avoid. Every so often they must be trimmed back, made leaner and more responsive to the needs of the people and the government. One of those ways is to do away with the excess staff and functions the particular government agency has taken upon itself in its effort to make itself indispensable.

But there are plenty holding elected government positions that have come to believe bigger is better, and that throwing more and more money at a problem will cure it. In reality all any of that extra money does is perpetuate the problem while increasing the size of the government agency or department whose duty it is to deal with the problem. The problem won't be solved, but there will be plenty of people employed by the department that's supposed take care of it.

Claiming income inequalities can be solved by higher taxes and more government programs only exacerbates the very 'problems' Big Government proponents say they can remedy. Every time it's been tried it has ended in dismal failure, in the process making things far worse than if they'd left things alone. The situation then causes them to call out for even more taxes and more programs to solve the problems their first efforts created. It's a vicious cycle that can only be broken by showing the people the folly of such claims and getting them to demand action. It's something Ronald Reagan did and, despite the best efforts of the Democrats in Congress, proved that making government smaller and less expensive would bolster the economy while increasing revenues at the same time.

It's a shame the Democrats haven't learned that lesson, or worse, have chosen to ignore it.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been a lazy weekend here at The Manse. I did my share of the housework, inside and out (the proverbial honey-do list), though there wasn't all that much on it. Deb has taken care of her part. Again, the list wasn't long. We need a lazy weekend now and then just to recharge the batteries. The last thing either one of us needs is one of those “I'm glad to get back to work so I can rest” moments.

I can safely say neither one of us will be thinking that this Monday morning.


It looks like Obama's campaign promise for a rapid withdrawal from Iraq is coming back to bite him. His claims about the situation in Iraq are quite out of date and less likely to be a factor in the upcoming election.


It also looks like Obama's plan for raising taxes will also be a non-starter.


Getting the new Weekend Pundit site configured is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. There are a lot of differences between Movable Type 2.63, which was used at the now defunct old site, and Movable Type 4.1, which the new site uses. The templates from the old site don't work with the new one, meaning a lot of reading and recoding on my part. Hopefully I'll get it all squared away and get the site looking more like the old one sometime soon.


Could it be we're due for a drop in crude oil prices?

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Is equality a myth? Has it outlived its time, or is it still attainable? Or have we confused equality of opportunity with equality of outcome?


I've been watching Discovery Channel's When We Left Earth, the saga of NASA's manned missions. To show you how ancient I am, I remember all of NASA's manned missions in the 60's and 70's, from the first one with Alan Shepard to Skylab and to the joint Apollo/Soyuz mission. It brings back many memories, including building a scale model of the Saturn V, which stood almost 5 feet tall and included the ability to separate the stages and remove the LEM and Command Module.

These days manned spaceflight seems so mundane, so ho-hum. Yet to me it's still exciting. It makes me yearn for the days when nothing seemed impossible, when we still set our sights on a permanent presence on the moon and exploration of Mars.

Those were heady days indeed.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the rumble of motorcycles can be heard for miles, the weather is cold and rainy, and where we have to get back to work tomorrow.


Motorcycle Week Has Begun

The rumble of motorcycles have been heard all day as the 85th Annual Laconia Motorcycle week begins. Even with the increase in gas prices and a somewhat sluggish economy, almost 300,000 motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to visit New Hampshire over the next nine days.

Laconia is one of the Big Three motorcycle rallies, with Daytona and Sturgis being the other two.

While most of the visitors will focus on the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, a number of other areas of the state have been working to attract some of those visitors. Over the past few years they've succeeded, drawing a larger crowd every year.

About the only downside to all these motorcycles being here will be the constant rumble they create as they travel about the area. Even here at The Manse we'll hear them as they wend their way along the roads that follow the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.

It is this event that I see as the true beginning of the summer season, one to which I look forward every June.


We Should Start Drilling Now

It has become less and less understandable to me why the US is not developing the vast energy wealth that lies off our coasts and under the very ground that is America. There have been a number of opinion pieces expounding why we should or should not make use of our own energy resources. I've even had lunchtime discussions with a co-worker about this topic. He's a firm believer we should drill for our own oil because it will merely delay the time it will take us to move beyond an oil economy. I countered that we can ill afford to leave our supply of needed energy in the hands of foreign powers not friendly to the US.

Let's face it, folks. There are a lot of people in the US doing their darnedest to make sure we remain dependent upon foreign sources of oil even though we have very large domestic sources rivaling those of all of the oil exporting nations combined. So what's keeping us from actually developing our petroleum resources?

Our Congress and some of our former presidents.

At this point in time, is there another country on the face of the earth that would possess the oil and gas reserves held by the United States and refuse to exploit them? Only technical incompetence, as in Mexico, would hold anyone back.

But not us. We won't drill.

California won't drill for the estimated 1.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil off its coast because of bad memories of the Santa Barbara oil spill – in 1969.

We won't drill for the estimated 5.6 billion to 16 billion barrels of oil in the moonscape known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) because of – the caribou.

In 1990, George H.W. Bush, calling himself "the environmental president," signed an order putting virtually all the U.S. outer continental shelf's oil and gas reserves in the deep freeze. Bill Clinton extended that lockup until 2013. A Clinton veto also threw away the key to ANWR's oil 13 years ago.

Our waters may hold 60 trillion untapped cubic feet of natural gas.

And that's barely scratching the surface of what we have sitting under our own soil. But we can't touch it. Not a single drop, not a therm, not a cubic foot, not one bit of it will be used because Congress has decided it would be bad for us and our economy if we were to achieve the ability to tell the Middle Eastern oil klepto-theocracies and Venezuelan dictator-in-waiting Hugo Chavez to eat their oil. The logic of this escapes me. No has been able to explain to me how putting our economic safety into the hands of countries that have no love for us in any shape or form is the right thing to do. Oh, I've heard the platitudes and the uneducated economic theories why this self-imposed economic threat is supposed to be good for us, but not one of them rings true and almost all of them I've heard have been disproven time and time again. Yet here we are. It's madness.

Even if we were to start drilling and exploring today, the first barrels of oil from our own wells wouldn't be available for at least 5 years, and more likely 10 years. This time lag makes it crucial for us to get started now, while foreign oil supplies are still available. Waiting until they are cut off, either from changes in hostile governments policies, or worse, due to war, is foolish. No, not foolish, but stupid.

Maybe it's time to tell Congress to stop being so obstructionist and allow us to develop our own petroleum resources, relinquishing the hold foreign sources of much needed oil presently have on us.


Minimum Wage Hike Is Hurting Teen Employment

A couple of days ago I wrote about the consequences hiking the minimum wage, with the first stage taking place last year, the second next month, and the third stage next year. Many argued against it, saying it would have a negative effect on those seeking their first jobs, most of those being teens. Those arguing for it claimed it would help those trying to support their families to make ends meet.

The first group was right. The second group was wrong.

Even with the need for more teens to fill some seasonal jobs, many employers aren't listing them because it makes no sense economically for them to do so. They'll try to make do with the employees they already have or will hire fewer teens and try to juggle the schedules (usually meaning longer work hours) in order to stay in business.

A guest post at Patterico illustrates the point about how some businesses just won't hire teens they might have otherwise because it's a losing proposition for them to do so.

Talk about yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.


It's Quiet...Too Quiet

The Sun's inactivity due to the long delayed start of solar Cycle 24 has got some scientists concerned, wondering if we might be entering another long solar minimum phase.

The last two times we suffered such long solar minimums we experienced Little Ice Ages, with much cooler global temperatures and major disruptions in agriculture leading to famine.

If the Sun is entering a prolonged minimum phase, global warming will be the least of our problems.


Hydrogen Made By...Ink Jet Printers?

What if one of the answers to our energy problems turns out to be nothing more than a fancy ink jet printer?

Researchers at Colorado State University have been using an ink jet printer to deposit materials on a substrate in order to create what has been called a photoelectrolytic solar cell. Rather than generating electricity when sunlight strikes the cell, the photoelectrolytic cell generates hydrogen by splitting water atoms into its constituent elements. The hydrogen released could be collected and stored for use by a fuel cell or hydrogen burning internal combustion engine.

To be practical, a solar-photoelectrolytic material must not only split water efficiently, but should have a bandgap that is not so large that it prevents most of the solar spectrum from being absorbed; the material should also operate stably for many years in harsh sunlight. The CSU group believes that a nanostructured oxide semiconductor will be the ultimate practical material; it will be deposited on the backside of a glass substrate—allowing for back illumination, which reduces scattering of sunlight. The material, they also believe, will contain multiple metals that, when added together, will create stability, high absorption, and efficient catalysis.

Such a system could be a more efficient way to store solar energy than batteries, such as is done now. It might also be able to generate enough hydrogen to fuel the family automobile, something that should appeal to just about everyone that drives.

Let's hope the folks at CSU succeed in their efforts.

Hmm. I wonder how easy it would be to retrofit my boat for hydrogen tanks, a fuel cell, and that big honkin' electric motor I've had my eye on....

Increased Minimum Wage Claims Its First Victims

When Congress decided to raise the minimum wage, many of the Democrats claimed it would help those heads of household trying to support a family making only minimum wage. That claim is a long used and many-times debunked canard. Very few, if any, heads of household are making minimum wage. And if they did their jobs well enough, they wouldn't be making minimum wage for long.

All raising minimum wage has ever done is make entry level jobs for teens go away. With the raise of the minimum wage last year, a second increase coming next month, and yet another following next year, is it any wonder many teens are finding that their prospects for summer jobs are evaporating?

While this problem isn't universal, it is widespread. Here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire a number of summer jobs are going unfilled. Part of the cause is the US government's tightening of visas for foreign seasonal workers, upon which much of the tourist and farm industry depends. The rest is many of the teens either already have jobs or are uninterested in working this summer. And some jobs will go unfilled because the prospective employers aren't willing to pay the new minimum wage for someone with little or no experience.

Finals week is over; summer is here. And thanks to misguided politicians, your teenager is more likely to be sitting in front of the television than waiting tables or scooping ice cream.

This year, it’s harder than ever for teens to find a summer job. Researchers at Northeastern University described summer 2007 as “the worst in post-World War II history” for teen summer employment, and those same researchers say that 2008 is poised to be “even worse.”

According to their data, only about one-third of Americans 16 to 19 years old will have a job this summer, and vulnerable low-income and minority teens are going to fare even worse.

So rather than easing poverty the increased minimum wage may have made it worse, closing the door to the low-income and minority teens looking for their first jobs. That's no way to help these kids get out of poverty.

And the Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again...or was it unintended? That's something better asked of the Democrats in Congress.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Summer weather has arrived, with temps in the 90's and humidity to match.

Deb is loving every minute of it.

We spent a few hours out on the lake yesterday afternoon, keeping cool and enjoying the peace and quiet. And I do mean peace and quiet. For a hot Saturday afternoon there were very few boats out on the lake. Normally it would be crowded, with boats queued up to go through the Weirs Channel, there'd be quite a bit of wake-driven chop, and boats would be waiting to get gas at the marinas. None of that was evident yesterday.

With gas on the lake anywhere from $4.20 to $4.96 per gallon, I'm not expecting to see a lot of boat traffic this summer. Yesterday proves to me that it's going to be pretty quiet out on the lake.


Now that Obama is the nominee-presumptive for the Democrats, I think we'll see that much of the luster of his is going to dull as he starts debating John McCain.

Looking at Obama's speeches and debate performances, it quickly becomes apparent he speaks in generalities, never really giving specifics about what he'll do or how he'll do it should he be the one to occupy the White House come next January. McCain, on the other hand, gives specifics on his plans, telling those who will listen exactly how he'll do what he's promised to do, and why.

From what little I have heard of Obama's plans, it appears he's going to borrow quite heavily from Lyndon Baines Johnson and his Great Society programs. What makes Obama think failed policies of the past will work any better 40-some years later mystifies me.


As much as many Democrats think that Hillary should be Obama's running mate, George Will says that all an Obama/Clinton ticket would do is ensure a McCain victory in November.


Thomas Sowell explains in three words why John McCain must become the next President of the United States – Iran's Nuclear Program.


It looks like the folks in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC have decided to go beyond No Child Left Behind and institute a No Slacker Left Behind policy.

[The] Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district...is considering making 61 the lowest possible grade students could receive — even if they turn in a blank test.

So even if a slacker decides he/she doesn't want to do any school work they won't have to worry about graduating? I always thought failure was part of learning. Instead Chapel Hill-Carrsboro will make it a goal.

Yeah, that will help America maintain its technological and scientific acumen.

It sounds like yet another attempt to artificially boost students self-esteem. One thing I've learned about self-esteem is that it is vastly overrated. Education is about learning, succeeding and failing, not about feeling good about yourself.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Yet another Democrat wants to do away with the electoral college. Of course the claim is that the popular vote is being subverted, that only the popular vote should count when it comes to electing a president.

But the idea is wrong. The electoral college was the means the Founding Fathers set up to prevent large states from dominating smaller states, Without it, most of the smaller states would forfeit their voices in selecting the president. Only the states with large populations like California, Texas, Florida, and a few others would actually be electing the president. The rest of us might as well stay home because our votes would be drowned out by those from the large states. And that's just what many Democrats want.

Their candidates would be able to skip campaigning in the smaller states because only the large states would matter. The small states could safely be ignored. It was for this reason the electoral college was created. Too many people still do not understand that it is not the individual voters that elect the president, but the states that do so. The voters in each state decide which candidate their electors will vote for. It is this that keeps the proverbial tyranny of the majority from holding sway in presidential elections.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer heat has arrived, as have Canadian tourists, and where we're loving every minute of it.


Oil - Back To The Future

Leland Teschler reminds us it's deja vu all over again, to quote Yogi Berra. In this case our struggle with rising energy prices, or more specifically, rising oil and gas prices is not new. As he writes, it's Back To The Future Of The 1970's. It starts off with an old joke that's new again.

For our anniversary my wife wanted to go someplace expensive, so we went to a gas station.

There are a lot of things about the 1970's besides jokes that would have a familiar ring. For instance, take the well-known straits of the US automakers. It's nothing new.

During the Arab Oil Embargo after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, oil prices spiked and supplies became tight. Many gas stations ran out of gas, partly because of hoarding and partly because there wasn't enough gas to go around. Gas lines were long and an impromptu gas rationing system sprang up in many states to help alleviate the shortages and the gas lines. The price of regular gas back then was as high, if not higher, than it is now, taking into account 35 years of inflation.

A lot of the proposed solutions to the problems back then never came to fruition, either due to fear, shortsightedness, or plain stupidity on the part of our leaders and the interference of special interests. If we had taken action back then many of our energy problems wouldn't exist today. We wouldn't have to scramble in order to squeeze every bit of useful energy out of our existing supply. Our vehicles would be more fuel efficient, and many of them wouldn't be running on fossil fuels. Few, if any, of our powerplants would use oil, natural gas, or coal.

My question: Will we learn the lessons of the 1970's or will we make the same mistakes again and miss yet another opportunity to move past fossil fuels that presently power our civilization? If history is any indicator, the answer is probably not. Never mind the still unproven and ever more questioned theories of anthropogenic global warming. It's not the environment that will drive the change over to less carbon intensive means of generating power. It will be the economic forces that will do so. That is, of course, unless the cost of oil plummets and those forces slacken, weakening the incentives to do so.

Frankly, oil has much better uses than burning it to make electricity or to use as a fuel for our cars, trucks, boats, planes, etc. It's time to move away from the fossil fuel era, regardless of how much oil there is still out there waiting to be discovered.


Climate And Oil

This is a two-fer tonight.

First, it appears it was quite cool in the month of May, one of the cooler ones on record. As Instapundit reminds us “ [T]hat's just weather, not climate.” Indeed. But there's also a growing consensus among solar scientists the Sun is entering a quiet period, with longer sunspot cycles, lower maximum sunspot numbers, and the cooler temperatures on Earth that go along with it.

The last time we saw something like this was during the Little Ice Ages, which occurred during the Maunder and Dalton Minimums (circa 1300 AD to 1750 AD), periods when the 11-year sunspot cycles were longer and the maximum number of sunspots were at their lowest point.

It could be the increased CO2 levels might help mitigate the colder temps, preventing us from reliving the disruptions suffered by our ancestors during the last round of solar minimums.

Second, speaking of higher CO2 levels, there's more activity coming to the Bakken oil field in Montana and North Dakota.

While in the past the recoverable reserves were estimated at 3.6 billion barrels, but that was based upon the drilling and oil recovery technologies in existence in 1995. Since then, newer technologies could make almost all the oil recoverable, estimated at 413 billion barrels. That's almost twice that of Saudi Arabia.

Should it come to pass we would then be able to tell oil exporting nations in the Middle East, as well as Venezuela, to keep their oil.

All of this is assuming the Democrats and their friends, the Watermelon Environmentalists, don't find some way of making it illegal to drill for oil anywhere on the continental US. I figure they'll try, keeping us in thrall to unfriendly foreign governments while telling us it's for our own good.


The Kid Gloves Come Off

Now that it appears Senator Barack Obama has sewn up the nomination as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate, I think we can safely take off the kid gloves.

While I am not a great fan of John McCain, I think he'll make a much better president than Barack Obama for a number of reasons. I could probably go on ad nauseum about how Barack has got it exactly wrong on almost every count.

We've all heard his campaign speeches talking about how the American people are ready for a change. But have those same American people actually listened to what he proposes this 'change' would entail. Listening to some of his ideas I had a feeling of déjà vu, wondering where I'd heard some of them before. And then it came to me: Lyndon Baines Johnson's Great Society, where the government would take care of all our wants and needs. It was supposed to be the War On Poverty. Unfortunately poverty won. Taxes went up. Spending went up. Unemployment went up. And nearly three generations of the poor were trapped in poverty because the same government programs that were supposed to help them made it difficult, if not impossible, to get out of poverty.

This is but one proposal Barack Obama has for our nation.

He talks about how our economy is a shambles, in a deep recession. If this is the case, then it's one of the least burdensome recessions I can remember, especially since the unemployment rate during this 'recession' is lower than during the economic heyday of the Clinton Administration.

I guess one of my greatest gripes is that he talks in vague generalities about what he's going to do, creating “change”. The only thing he's been clear about is that he's going to let the Bush tax cuts expire, raising the taxes on the rich. Unfortunately I think he defines “rich” as “anyone with a job.”

We can expect a hit to the economy and to tax revenues when the tax breaks expire because billions will be sucked out of an economy that he says is in trouble. I don't know if he can explain how he can turn the economy around by pulling hundreds of billions of dollars out of the economy that would otherwise be spent by businesses and consumers to sustain the it. The numbers don't add up.

His promise for a quick withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is foolish and dangerous because it would leave the job in Iraq incomplete, giving our enemies and those of the people of Iraq just the boost they need to ramp up the death and destruction and, in time, replacing the democratically elected government with a theocratic dictatorship. I know I wouldn't want that to be part of my legacy if I were to become President of the United States. It doesn't matter if the choice to go to war against Iraq was right or wrong. We're there now and we need to finish the job, clean up our mess, and leave peace and prosperity in our wake rather than shattered dreams and sectarian violence.

There are plenty of other problems I have with Barack Obama and his promises for change, something I'll be delving into the closer we come to the election in November.


A Note About Weekend Pundit

Just a quick note:

My new blog site is up, though I have a lot of work to do to it in order to get it squared away. It's using a minimalist template and style at the moment, but will hopefully be looking something like its old self soon enough. There's quite a bit of difference between Movable Type 2.63 and 4.1, so I have some things to learn in order to make sure everything works like it should.

Like the sideboard says, it can be found here.

A Good (Bad) Example Of Watermelon Socialism

It appears I'm not the only one decrying the actions of Watermelon Environmentalists. Bruce at No Looking Backwards tells us the story of a blatant Watermelon Environmentalist (heretofore referred to as WE's), expressing her dismay over people's freedom of choice to drive what they want, even if it isn't fuel efficient.

As Bruce writes, “Please check your freedom of choice at the door.”

This weekend in my own neighborhood I observed one guy driving a Maserati with his top down. I counted three Hummers and I spied one couple pulling a powerboat behind a Cadillac Escalade. Far as I can tell, if Americans had any common sense, such behavior would have been banned years ago. Either that, or taxed into oblivion.

(Emphasis added by Bruce)

The quote above comes from Bonnie Erbe, a Scripps Howard columnist. It also shows she has forgotten one of the founding tenets of America, the freedom to choose. That she would so willy-nilly throw it away just because she is offended by someone else's choice of motor vehicle shows her for the socialist she is: Green on the outside, Red on the inside. You see, she knows better than the rest of us what we need to do.

She can go screw herself.

While she makes some exceptions for heavy equipment and tractor-trailers, she believes the rest of us should be buying a government approved, politically correct vehicle. She comes right out and says we have no common sense. Unfortunately for her most people have far more common sense than she.

People will change their behavior, their buying patterns only when it benefits them. Forcing something like that upon the American public will cause nothing but grief, discontent, and finally hatred and rebellion, even if it only takes the form of driving large land vehicles that guzzle fuel despite a government edict. She wants to use the stick, not the carrot. Bonnie makes the mistake most socialists make: trying to ramrod changes the people aren't going to like, nor put up with. One should appeal to the people's individual best interests, not the collective good. Frankly, too often the 'collective good' as it is understood by socialists of all stripes isn't good for anyone...except the socialists in power. And we've seen where that path leads, more than once.

Another quote from Bonnie Erbe, and Bruce's retort:

But given our present situation, the fact that people could be allowed to drive Maseratis as street vehicles or to spend $1,500 (as one newspaper recently recounted the cost) to fill up the tank of a power boat while the rest of us can barely afford $4 for regular gas, is obscene.

What's obscene is the fact there are meddling, socialist busybodies like Ms. Erbe here, who think the government should have the power to prevent American citizens from choosing how to spend their own money and to dictate to us which recreational activities will and will not be permitted.

Indeed. This is something government should not even consider. Government is barely competent to run itself, let alone everybody else's lives. They tried it before. (Remember the 18th Amendment, i.e. Prohibition? It didn't work at all and one of the major unintended consequences of it was the large boost it gave to organized crime. They certainly didn't see that coming.)

Perhaps Ms. Erbe and her fellow WE's should rethink their positions. That's assuming they think at all.


Environmental Socialism

Have you ever wondered what makes environmentalists tick?

No, not the We-Should-Prevent-Damage-To-The-Environment-By-Use-Of-Clean-Technologies kind of environmentalists, but the People-Are-Too-Stupid-To-Understand-That-We-Know-Better-Than-They-Do environmentalists. They are sometimes referred to derisively and deservedly as as Watermelon Environmentalists: green on the outside, red on the inside. They use environmentalism as an excuse to promulgate their socialist agendas since a straightforward approach would be rejected out of hand, particularly by those who suffered under the more extreme forms of socialism in the past.

A good example are the more rabid Anthropogenic Global Warming crowd, the Goristas, those wishing to drive us back 100 years or more to a version of Utopia that never existed. They figure that technology is the problem and that more technology, even green technology, isn't the answer.

Remember the great controversy over cold fusion? Two scientists, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, claimed that they had achieved fusion without high temperatures and elaborate magnetic bottles. If they were right — and very few scientists now think they were — we might have had a wonderful new source of cheap energy, with little pollution.

Not everyone thought that was a great prospect. In fact, a few extreme environmentalists openly said that they hoped that Fleischmann and Pons were wrong, that we did not have a wonderful new source of cheap, low pollution energy. (Even though it might displace other sources of energy that caused far more pollution.) For these extremists, providing more energy for people was wrong, in itself.

So when I saw these extremists oppose a potential source of cheap, clean power, I wondered what they had against civilization, and further advances in civilization. Reporters at the time did not share my curiosity, and so I never saw an answer to that question.

If a virtually inexhaustible, cheap, clean source of energy became available, civilization would be transformed. Our high-tech civilization might become a hyper-tech civilization, one that only large amounts of energy could supply. It might also mean we could finally spread out through our solar system, and beyond. This terrifies the watermelon enviros because it means they would be less and less likely to be able to control the people they see as the great unwashed masses, those not enlightened enough to understand that only they have The Answer to all of mankind's problems. They would prefer us to return to an agrarian society as it existed at the beginning of the 20th Century, or even earlier. Of course they forget to mention that our lifespans would also be reduced to that of our ancestors because much of the medical technology would also be banned at some point. The only ones receiving the benefits of 21st Century technology and energy would be the overseers, those same watermelon enviros. After all, they have to keep an eye on the rest of us, the unenlightened.

Some may remember a forced return to an agrarian society has been tried before. The Khmer Rouge tried it in Cambodia, killing about a third of their population in the effort. It didn't work. There's no reason to think the Goristas would fare any better.

I Love It When A Plan Comes Togther

It's slowly coming together.

The new home for Weekend Pundit will soon be online. There will be some major tweaking to do once I have access, some of which includes things like loading the templates which give WP its look and installing the 6 years worth of backups. It will take me about a week to get everything squared away, but it will be nice to have the new home up and running!


Thoughts On A Sunday

Weather over this weekend was definitely 50-50. Rainy yesterday, sunny and breezy today. Other than a little trip to a neighboring town, I've been here in The Manse all the time taking care of some 'homework' I brought from work. I wish I could say I got it all done, but I wasn't even close.

My co-worker said each one of the pieces I was working on would take about 90 minutes a piece. He lied. It was closer to 2 and a half hours, meaning there was no way I'd get them all done.

It's gonna be a late night for me tonight, and a truncated Thoughts On A Sunday this week.


One interesting item I caught on the news this morning: the 70's/80's rock band Boston has a new lead singer, replacing the late Brad Delp, who committed suicide last year.

The new lead singer in itself isn't the interesting part. What's interesting is the new lead singer has never sung with a band before. He's strictly been a karaoke singer. What's also interesting is that he sounds exactly like Brad Delp. Even Tom Sholz, one of the founders of Boston, says it's absolutely uncanny.

Tommy DeCarlo, 43, an employee at Home Depot in Charlotte, NC has been a fan of Boston since he was 12 years old. He has his daughter to thank for his good fortune because she posted one of his tribute performance to Brad Delp, his only time even performing with a band, on a MySpace page she created for him. And the rest is history.

I wonder if he's given notice yet at the Home Depot?


This is just sick. There's no other way to describe it.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


And that's the (greatly) abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer has finally kicked spring aside, weekends are far too short, and where we didn't manage to get out on the lake over the past two days.