Thoughts On A Sunday

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend winds to a close, and many holiday travelers are on their way home. The malls and outlets are jam packed, making it seem the economy may not be as bad as some have been reporting, at least not here in New Hampshire.

The holiday also heralds another yearly event: Beezlebub's assembly of the Christmas Village and the erection and decoration of the Official Weekend Pundit Artificial Christmas Tree. (I am of two minds about this. It seems too early to me to put up the Christmas decorations, far too early. But I also see BeezleBub's reasoning about it, trying to extend the holiday feelings.)

At least I don't have to worry about putting up outside decorations, something neither my or Deb's family ever really got into.


WKRP in Cincinatti is back on the air. No, not the TV show, but the TV station!

(H/T Instapundit)


You know criticism of the Indian police and their reluctance to open fire on the terrorists is valid when those critics start quoting Heinlein.



In light of the events in Mumbai, neo-neocon gives us an important bit of advice when it comes to responding to terrorist attacks: If the Israelis give advice, take it.


There's always one aspect of heating with wood that we conveniently forget...until the next heating season arrives: cleaning.

When we're running the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove it's necessary to vacuum and dust every other day, if not every day. We also have to sweep up around the wood box and stove at least once a day.

There are definitely advantages to just being able to turn up the thermostat when we want heat. Unless we go solar or geothermal, I doubt we'll see that here at The Manse any time soon.


In contrast to this tragedy, Bogie reports her experience of shopping on Black Friday was relatively quiet, with crowds large yet well behaved.


Now that we've gotten past the first blush euphoria of Obama's election to the highest office in the land, members of the MSM have started admitting they were completely in the tank for Obama. Some are even admitting to feeling shame, though not necessarily for themselves but for others in their profession.

Time magazine's Mark Halperin, one of the most respected political editors in America, said at a recent Politico.com conference that the media bias in favor of Obama was "the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war."

Big surprise there.


Speaking of media spin for the Obamessiah, now the New York Times is trying to give him and the Democrats credit for the victory in Iraq.

Uh, weren't they the ones working very hard to make sure we failed in Iraq? This spin wipes out the last shred of credibility the Times may have had.


The New England Patriots took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Foxboro today. As I wrote this the Pats are ahead 7-3 in the first quarter.


The snow started flying here at The Manse around 3PM. While we're not expecting to see much in the way of accumulation before it changes over to rain, it is a preview of what to expect over the next four months.

One thing both BeezleBub and I have pondered is if we will see a repeat of last winter's snowfall. We had over 150” of snow here at The Manse last winter, the storms coming so often and dumping so much snow we were exhausting ourselves trying to keep up with it. If we'd had just one more storm we would have been in trouble because we had no place to put it.

We know we'll be seeing a 'colder' than normal winter, normal being a relative term. (We blame global warming!)


Bob Parks reminds the Electors of their duty and the need to make sure the candidate for which they are obligated to cast a ballot on December 15th is constitutionally qualified to be POTUS.

The question of Obama's birth certificate isn't going away despite claims by many on the Left it's a non-issue.


Megan McArdle takes a brief break from packing for her move to quote and comment upon a piece by Yglesias about “first principles on markets, property rights, and air pollution.”

As Yglesias points out:

On one conceivable conception of property rights, the Sierra Club could buy up a field somewhere and then assert that its property rights over the field give it the right to exclude any form of air pollution from wafting into its field. On that definition of property rights, which is the one "the Greens" would favor if we really wanted Stone Age economic conditions, industrial production would swiftly become impossible. You couldn't so much as warm yourself with a fire before neighbors were accusing you of trespassing for depositing microscopic soot particles in their lawns.

So obviously we don't define the property rights that way.

But I wouldn't put it past “the Greens” to try something like that at some point, likely in California or Oregon. Then it would likely come down to a suit in court about property rights and eminent domain exercised by a private concern to force abutters to do the bidding of the so-called aggrieved party.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow is flying, the ponds and lakes are freezing, and the woodstoves are keeping homes warm.


Black Friday Bargain Hunting Gone Too Far

I know people really wanted to get an early start shopping on Black Friday, but knocking down and killing store employees is not a good way to do it.

Apparently a mob of shoppers waiting outside a Long Island, New York WalMart figured they'd waited long enough and forced their way into the store, knocking down several employees and trampling one of them. 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour, to death.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Wal-Mart worker Jimmy Overby, 43.

"They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me.

"They took me down, too ... I didn't know if I was going to live through it. I literally had to fight people off my back," Overby said.

Damour, a temporary maintenance worker from Jamaica, Queens, was gasping for air as shoppers continued to surge into the store after its 5 a.m. opening, witnesses said.

Even officers who arrived to perform CPR on the trampled worker were stepped on by wild-eyed shoppers streaming inside, a cop at the scene said.

I know people are looking for bargains during their Christmas shopping, but this is taking saving on their purchases to a new low. It is depraved behavior.

I wonder how many kids would want their Christmas presents if they knew their parents actually killed someone to get it?


Thanksgiving And America - An Englishman's View

The WP family is away, visiting the WP In-Laws for Thanksgiving. As such I am taking a short break from blogging, returning sometime Friday.

Before I head off to bed, I thought I'd repost something written by Andrew Sullivan way back in 1996 for the Times of London and posted on his blog in 2002 about Thanksgiving. Call it an Englishman's view of that holiday and about America in general. I've posted this before back in 2002 and once or twice since then, but it deserves a repeat appearance.

A THANKSGIVING POST: My old colleague, the legendary British journalist and drunk Henry Fairlie, had a favourite story about his long, lascivious love affair with America. He was walking down a suburban street one afternoon in a suit and tie, passing familiar rows of detached middle-American dwellings and lush, green Washington lawns. In the distance a small boy - aged perhaps six or seven - was riding his bicycle towards him.

And in a few minutes, as their paths crossed on the pavement, the small boy looked up at Henry and said, with no hesitation or particular affectation: "Hi." As Henry told it, he was so taken aback by this unexpected outburst of familiarity that he found it hard to say anything particularly coherent in return. And by the time he did, the boy was already trundling past him into the distance.

In that exchange, Henry used to reminisce, so much of America was summed up. That distinctive form of American manners, for one thing: a strong blend of careful politeness and easy informality. But beneath that, something far more impressive. It never occurred to that little American boy that he should be silent, or know his place, or defer to his elder. In America, a six-year-old cyclist and a 55-year-old journalist were equals. The democratic essence of America was present there on a quiet street on a lazy summer afternoon.

Henry couldn't have imagined that exchange happening in England - or Europe, for that matter. Perhaps now, as European - and especially British - society has shed some of its more rigid hierarchies, it could. But what thrilled him about that exchange is still a critical part of what makes America an enduringly liberating place. And why so many of us who have come to live here find, perhaps more than most native Americans, a reason to give thanks this Thanksgiving.

When I tuck into the turkey on Thursday, I'll have three things in particular in mind. First, the country's pathological obsession with the present. America is still a country where the past is anathema. Even when Americans are nostalgic, they are nostalgic for a myth of the future. What matters for Americans, in small ways and large, is never where you have come from - but where you are going, what you are doing now, or what you are about to become. In all the years I have lived in America - almost a decade and a half now - it never ceases to amaze me that almost nobody has ever demanded to know by what right I belong here. Almost nobody has asked what school I went to, what my family is like, or what my past contains. (In Britain I was asked those questions on a daily, almost hourly, basis.) Even when I took it on myself to be part of the American debate, nobody ever questioned my credentials for doing so. I don't think that could ever happen in a European context (when there's a gay American editor of The Spectator, let me know). If Europeans ever need to know why Ronald Reagan captured such a deep part of the American imagination, this is surely part of the answer. It was his reckless futurism (remember star wars and supply-side economics?) and his instinctive, personal generosity.

Second, I'm thankful for the American talent for contradiction. The country that sustained slavery for longer than any other civilised country is also the country that has perhaps struggled more honestly for the notion of racial equality than any other. The country that has a genuine public ethic of classlessness also has the most extreme economic inequality in the developed world. The country that is most obsessed with pressing the edge of modernity also has the oldest intact constitution in the world. The country that still contains a powerful religious right has also pushed the equality of homosexuals further than ever before in history. A country that cannot officially celebrate Christmas (it would erase the boundary between church and state) is also one of the most deeply religious nations on the planet. Americans have learnt how to reconcile the necessary contradictions not simply because their country is physically big enough to contain them, but because it is spiritually big enough to contain them. Americans have learnt how to reconcile the necessary contradictions of modern life with a verve and a serenity few others can muster. It is a deeply reassuring achievement.

Third, I'm thankful because America is, above all, a country of primary colours. Sometimes the pictures Americans paint are therefore not as subtle, or as elegant, or even as brilliant as masterpieces elsewhere. But they have a vigour and a simplicity that is often more viscerally alive. Other nations may have become bored with the Enlightenment, or comfortable in post-modern ennui. Americans find such postures irrelevant. Here the advertisements are cruel, the battles are stark and the sermons are terrifying. And here, more than anywhere else, the most vital of arguments still go on. Does God exist? Are the races equal? Can the genders get along? Americans believe that these debates can never get tired, and that their resolution still matters, because what happens in America still matters in the broader world. At its worst, this can bespeak a kind of arrogance and crudeness. But at its best, it reflects a resilient belief that the great questions can always be reinvented and that the answers are always relevant. In the end, I have come to appreciate this kind of naivety as a deeper form of sophistication. Even the subtlest of hues, after all, are merely primary colours mixed.

At the end of November each year this restless, contradictory and simple country finds a way to celebrate itself. The British, as befits a people at ease with themselves, do not have a national day. When the French do, their insecurity shows. Even America, on the fourth of July, displays a slightly neurotic excess of patriotism. But on Thanksgiving, the Americans resolve the nationalist dilemma. They don't celebrate themselves, they celebrate their good fortune. And every November, as I reflect on a country that can make even an opinionated Englishman feel at home, I know exactly how they feel.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


Americans Flunk Basic Civics Test

Why does this not surprise me?

The average American citizen flunked a civics test given by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. What could be worse than that? Our politicians, the ones running our country, did even worse.

How can the average American or our politicians be trusted with preserving our nation, our rights, if they don't even know what either entails?

This is the worst part for me:

The question that received the fewest correct responses, just 16 percent, tested respondents’ basic understanding of economic principles, asking why “free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government’s centralized planning?”

I blame the universities and the public schools. I mean, Marxist economic theory is routinely taught in classes but naming an economic institute after Nobel Prize winner Milt Friedman? Well now that’s controversial.

That's scary, to think that the folks making the decisions in Washington DC and our state capitols have a poor understanding of history or basic economic concepts. No wonder we're in the mess we're faced with. The boobs in Congress went against basic economic principals and in the process screwed up the economy. Such are the wages of ignorance.

If you want to test yourself, the test can be found here.

In case you're wondering, I passed the test with a score of 33 correct out of 33, or 100%. I give credit to my parents and the public schools I attended (well before the disease that started afflicting them took root in the 1970's).


A Different View Of US Troops

Our friends at Granite Grok steered me to this, a translation of an article by a French infantryman serving in Afghanistan along side soldiers from the US Army (from what I could tell from the article, the US soldiers are from the 101st Airborne Division). The original article is in French and was translated by Jean-Marc Liotier over at Serendipitous Altruism.

I have included the translation in its entirety.

“We have shared our daily life with two US units for quite a while - they are the first and fourth companies of a prestigious infantry battalion whose name I will withhold for the sake of military secrecy. To the common man it is a unit just like any other. But we live with them and got to know them, and we henceforth know that we have the honor to live with one of the most renowned units of the US Army - one that the movies brought to the public as series showing “ordinary soldiers thrust into extraordinary events”. Who are they, those soldiers from abroad, how is their daily life, and what support do they bring to the men of our OMLT every day ? Few of them belong to the Easy Company, the one the TV series focuses on. This one nowadays is named Echo Company, and it has become the support company.

They have a terribly strong American accent - from our point of view the language they speak is not even English. How many times did I have to write down what I wanted to say rather than waste precious minutes trying various pronunciations of a seemingly common word? Whatever state they are from, no two accents are alike and they even admit that in some crisis situations they have difficulties understanding each other.

Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine - they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them - we are wimps, even the strongest of us - and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans.
Here we discover America as it is often depicted : their values are taken to their paroxysm, often amplified by promiscuity lack of privacy and the loneliness of this outpost in the middle of that Afghan valley. Honor, motherland - everything here reminds of that: the American flag floating in the wind above the outpost, just like the one on the post parcels. Even if recruits often originate from the hearth of American cities and gang territory, no one here has any goal other than to hold high and proud the star spangled banner. Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location : books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission. And that is a first shock to our preconceptions : the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.

And they are impressive warriors ! We have not come across bad ones, as strange at it may seem to you when you know how critical French people can be. Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seem to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest. On the one square meter wooden tower above the perimeter wall they stand the five consecutive hours in full battle rattle and night vision goggles on top, their sight unmoving in the directions of likely danger. No distractions, no pauses, they are like statues nights and days. At night, all movements are performed in the dark - only a handful of subdued red lights indicate the occasional presence of a soldier on the move. Same with the vehicles whose lights are covered - everything happens in pitch dark even filling the fuel tanks with the Japy pump.

And combat ? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all - always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay. That is one of their tricks : they switch  from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes. Arriving in contact with the enemy, the way they fight is simple and disconcerting : they just charge! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later - which cuts any pussyfooting short.

We seldom hear any harsh word, and from 5 AM onwards the camp chores are performed in beautiful order and always with excellent spirit. A passing American helicopter stops near a stranded vehicle just to check that everything is alright; an American combat team will rush to support ours before even knowing how dangerous the mission is - from what we have been given to witness, the American soldier is a beautiful and worthy heir to those who liberated France and Europe.

To those who bestow us with the honor of sharing their combat outposts and who everyday give proof of their military excellence, to those who pay the daily tribute of America’s army’s deployment on Afghan soil, to those we owned this article, ourselves hoping that we will always remain worthy of them and to always continue hearing them say that we are all the same band of brothers”.

I have had the honor and privilege of meeting men like those described above, from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Any words I may add would be pale in comparison to the those written by that French comrade-in-arms, so I'm not even going to try. All I will say is “Godspeed!”


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's the weekend before Thanksgiving, but it feels more like the weekend before Christmas, temperature-wise. Highs have been in the 20's and lows have been in the teens and single digits all week. It's also been quite windy, making it feel even colder. The Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove has been running continuously for days, sometimes requiring me to stoke it in the middle of the night. Usually night time stoking isn't required until late December. (Does anyone want to tell me about global warming again?)

The chilly temps and the wind certainly have been a damper to getting the last of the outside work done. Beezlebub and I still have some work to finish on The Boat before it goes under cover. At least the firewood is now under cover, thanks to BeezleBub's efforts.


Speaking of Thanksgiving, we will be headed down to the WP In-Laws to celebrate the holiday. This will be the first time in the past few years we won't be hosting the Thanksgiving feast. At least the trip down and back won't be taxing as it's less not a long drive as compared to some we've taken in the past. At least we don't have to cross any state lines to get there.


Glenn Reynolds links to a story in the Detroit Newsthat points the finger at Congress rather than the Big Three for the problems in Detroit.

The article names names, including Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.


At least Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is flying commercial, unlike some folks we could mention.


Will the anti-gun Attorney General designee also try his hand at stifling free speech on the internet?

Obama lost any credibility with me once I saw he was selecting Clinton retreads. “Hope and Change” indeed. Obama was hoping we wouldn't notice the change he was taking us back to the days of the Clinton administration. That's not so much change as sleight of hand.


And speaking of the incoming Obama administration, the Left nutroots are already displeased with their 'messiah'.

Gee, what a shock!


I find it disturbing the 'Meanest SOB in the House' is expanding his power at the expense of fellow Democrats.


The New England Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins in Miami, 48-28.


An opinion piece in the LA Times by Professor Alexander MacPherson of UC Irvine explains how sexual harassment training is “is worthless, a childish piece of theater, an insult to anyone with a respectable IQ, primarily designed to relieve the university of liability in the case of lawsuits.”

I agree.


Skip at Granite Grok tries to answer the question, “What is a conservative?” He points out that far too many people, particularly liberals, believe “they only have the same old rhetoric that dates from the Reagan era and is no longer applicable.”

And sometimes, we fall for it. But that is not what Conservatism is. Rather, it is a way of thinking, of believing, and most of all, activating. I was going to say acting, but that seems to be what a lot of faux conservatives seem to have been doing for a while - merely acting.



Rachel Lucas is dismayed about one aspect of her upcoming move to the UK: the dearth of Mexican restaurants. I did let her know of one out on the Isle of Wight in the town of Ryde run by a Texas ex-pat from San Antonio. It has some of the best Tex-Mex food outside of Texas.

Of course she'll have to have a major Mexican food jones to justify making the trip out to the Isle. It isn't like a trip to the local take out place, that's for sure.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where ponds and bays are freezing over, the winds are whipping, and where Thanksgiving won't arrive soon enough.


Spread The Wealth

Received via e-mail:

Behold the new “Spread The Wealth” pencil sharpener. Every U.S. Taxpayer will receive one along with their 2008 1040 forms.


Dating - Why Bother?

After reading this report about the dating scene by Kay Hymowitz, it makes me glad I'm not in my 20's. The last thing I'd want to go through is the crap a lot of men are dealing with these days.

Is it really as bad as it's made out to be? The only evidence I have beyond Hymowitz's report is anecdotal in nature. And it echoes a lot of what was in her report, at least in the urban areas. It's not quite as prevalent out here in the hinterlands.


Are Conservative Beliefs Immoral?

In Sunday's post I made mention of Dr. Lyle Rossiter and his contention that today's liberalism is akin to a mental illness. Prior to that I posted about how, according to psychologist Jonathon Haidt, conservatives are capable of thinking like liberals, but liberals aren't capable of thinking like conservatives.

Now Ace of Spades follows up with paper by that same Jonathan Haidt, and asks “How can some liberals hold such visceral and vitriolic hatred for us and our beliefs?” It boils down to this: conservatives tend to have a far stronger and broader moral framework than liberals.

In a 2007 paper, Jonathan Haidt and Jesse Graham, a couple of social justice researchers, managed to come up with an explanation. Brace yourselves: it turns out that our beliefs are immoral.

Well, at least as far as liberals are concerned. These researchers determined that "there are five psychological foundations of morality, which we label as harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity." Conservative morality is based on some combination of all five of these moral foundations. There may not be an exact 20% input from each one, but they are all present. Liberal morality is based on only the harm/care and fairness/reciprocity foundations.

Liberals are only concerned about harm/care and fairness/reciprocity. When we talk about patriotism, or respect for the country, or abortion, we are speaking from a set of morals and values that liberals simply do not see as being moral at all. In fact, liberals often believe that we have "non-moral motivations—such as selfishness, existential fear, or blind prejudice."

It doesn't surprise me, having had more than my share of run ins with more than a few modern liberals totally incapable of understanding my point of view and the beliefs that drive it. They have no concept of my morals and where they come from, nor do they wish to. Instead they blow them off, explaining them away as was done in the last sentence of the paragraph above - “selfishness, existential fear, or blind prejudice.” Such condemnations must save them from having to think about their own moral and intellectual shortcomings.

Oh, wait a second, I made a mistake. I almost ascribed 'thinking' to their beliefs when it has become evident over the years that modern liberalism isn't about thinking at all, but about “feeling”. One thing I learned a long time ago is that feelings can distort one's reasoning, and reason should be the driving force for what is right and wrong. But reason takes effort. Feeling takes none.

Need I say more?


Thoughts On A Sunday

Yesterday Deb, BeezleBub and I had to make a trip down to the big city – Manchester – to attend the state PTA convention luncheon, where BeezleBub received award for a video he made for one of the PTA sponsored arts contests. We braved the foggy rainy conditions, arrived just as the luncheon began, munched on our rubber chicken meals, and sat through the series of awards for the various winners in each category.

Once done we departed for our humble abode back in our little town.

So ended our annual/semi-annual trip to the big city.


Despite the rainy conditions yesterday, it was quite warm with the temps being in the lower to mid 60's. Just before midnight it was 64ºF here at The Manse. By this morning the temps had dropped to the lower 50's and continued to drop throughout the day. The windy conditions also helped dry things out, making it easier for BeezleBub and I to start stacking the last cord of firewood and finally remove the last of the equipment from The Boat.


The possible bailout of the Big Three automakers is generating a lot of discussion in the blogosphere and the media, with a majority of opinions appearing to favor letting them go through bankruptcy in order to come out leaner and more competitive. Quite a few opined that giving the automakers a bailout will only delay the inevitable while leaving the taxpayer in the lurch for billions of dollars. Others believe the bailout is more to meet the demands by the UAW to keep their overpaid members on the job rather than rescue the companies they work for.


Bird Dog over at Maggie's Farm comments in regards to Obama's decision not to attend his grandmother's funeral:

There's a pattern of family disconnection here which seems odd to me.

It's not the first time I've seen this kind of disconnection from Obama. He's shown the ability to 'disconnect' from people no longer of any use to him or his career. You know, people like William Ayers, Reverend Wright, and a host of others too long to list here. His grandmother is just the latest.


Bogie reminds us why the season is called 'Fall'.


They've got to be kidding about this, right? It must be a joke.

If it isn't, then all it can be is one more sign that Britain is doomed.


Does anyone else other than me remember when MTV actually played music videos?

(H/T Eric the Viking)


Just as I've always suspected, today's version of liberalism is akin to mental illness.

[Dr. Lyle] Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by both Barack Obama and his Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton can only be understood as a psychological disorder.

Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

* creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
* satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
* augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
* rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

“The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind,” he says. “When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”

What he said.

Anyone wanting to force adults to act and be treated as children does not have their best interest in mind. They want control, figuring they know better how to live our lives than we do. I find that amusing considering more often than not their lives are worse than ours. Maybe it's schadenfreude which drives their desire to make sure we're more miserable than they are, but justifying it by believing it's for our own good.


Since the New England Patriots played this past Thursday night, unfortunately losing to the New York Jets 34-31 in overtime, they did not play today.

Maybe they can use the extra time between games to heal up a bit more.


Now that the elections are over, some of us can now focus on economic issues, specifically those dealing with municipal and state budgets.

Both my town and state are looking at tighter budgets due to higher costs, lower revenues, and more demand for services. It will be a daunting task for all concerned. My little town is looking at keeping the town and school budgets level, scrutinizing every line of every budget or funding request. On top of that our town is trying to renovate and add on to our police station, something the town has been attempting to accomplish for over 6 years. Though everyone realizes this work is desperately needed, they may be reluctant to spend the money, even though it's not like the town will have to put up the cost of the project in one lump sum.

Our town is not the only one that will be making tough budget decisions for the coming fiscal year. Plenty of others will be tightening their belts in order to keep from burdening the taxpayers with higher property taxes.

Our state has a bigger problem, with a looming $200-$250 million deficit to contend with. The governor has already told the legislature that creating new taxes, such as an income or sales tax, are not the answer and that he would veto any such bills. Instead he is expecting the legislature to cut spending. (Of course this wouldn't even be a problem if the governor had vetoed the last two-year budget, which increased state spending 17.5%, which works out to about a $300 million increase.) He's already told the department heads of all the state agencies to expect budget cuts.

Let's hope they can all pull it off.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where campaign signs are finally disappearing from roadsides and front lawns, colder weather will soon be arriving, and where belt tightening has just begun.


Some More Post-Election News

Three posts of interest came to my attention in regards to the incoming Obama Administration, the smear job on Sarah Palin, and questions about voting irregularities and auditing Obama's campaign for financial misdeeds.

First, there's this by Stephen Green at Pajamas Media, talking about Obama's bad start by picking unnecessary fights with allies and adversaries alike.

One example:

Obama doesn’t seem to have a clue on how to treat American allies. During the primary race, he threatened to crack down on major threats like Canada — a position he probably/maybe/sort of backed off from in backdoor talks with the Canadian government. In Europe, Obama is already to the left of most every major EU leader. Then last week, Obama told Poland one thing about missile defense in private and told Russia quite another thing in public. In other words, he’s doing his best to spoil relations with Poland, which will have repercussions throughout Eastern Europe, too. Our allies have got to wonder where Obama stands. I think we all do.

He's not even in office and already our allies are questioning his leadership. This is not a good sign.

Then neo-neocon lets us know thatnow it can be told, that is things about Obama's plans, taxes, voting irregularities, the bank and auto industry bailouts, and hoaxes about Sarah Palin the in-the-tank press failed to fact check and took as gospel, spreading them around the globe.

And last, but not least, Kyle-Anne Shiver explains how Sarah Palin nearly saved John McCain's campaign.

From the beginning of ‘08, the accepted wisdom was that no matter whom the Democrats nominated, they would deliver to the Republicans an ignominious defeat. But this year’s defeat was anything but the complete rout it was supposed to be.

And the person who nearly even saved the day — and the election — for Republicans was Sarah Palin.

This is not a minority opinion. When Rasmussen conducted detailed exit polling among Republicans, they found that a full 69% of respondents thought Sarah Palin helped — not hurt — McCain. Governor Palin has not garnered the status as America’s most highly regarded, most popular governor for nothing.

His failure to get elected wasn't her fault. Rather, he wasn't blown out in a landslide because Sarah Palin fired up many Republicans and got them out to vote. Unfortunately she couldn't carry the load all by herself. McCain's failure was his alone.

As Shiver says:

The woman, in my opinion, is a natural Patton. A fighter to the core. Palin seems to instinctively know that when one is hip-deep in a culture war and a fight for the survival of American exceptionalism, then one must do more than defend, defend, defend.

If one is not willing to attack in defense of one’s cause, then he ought to get out of the way at the very least — or consider joining the other side.

If she decides to run for President in 2012, this is one blogger that will support her.


Yet Another Bailout? Not With My Money!

The media is still covering the story of the $700 billion+ bailout of banks and other financial insitutions, and others are starting to clamor for one of their own. The biggest bunch next in line are the Big Three automakers, saying they will go bankrupt unless they get billions in aid from the taxpayers. My response to this?


They gambled and lost, and now they want us to bail out three failed businesses and the unions that have hamstrung them. The reasoning for the bailout is that millions are employed by the auto industry, directly and indirectly, and that they would all lose their jobs should the Big Three file for bankruptcy. The only problem with that claim is that it just ain't so.

Sure, quite a few will lose jobs as the Big Three reorganize and streamline their operations, cut costs, and actually start offering cars and trucks the American motorists actually want. Goodness knows Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and other foreign auto companies with factories in the US are doing quite well, not requiring taxpayer money to stay afloat.

But it isn't up to the taxpayers to support the commitments GM, Ford, and Chrysler have made to the UAW. Like any other business in trouble, painful changes need to be made. The UAW members will have to bite the bullet, accept smaller wages and less generous pensions, otherwise no amount of taxpayer money will save the automakers. A smaller cut of the pie is a lot better than no pie at all, and all a bailout will do is delay the inevitable unless major changes are made by management and the union. All the bailout will do is reward failure. It's no different than the bailout of the banks: a taxpayer funded reward for failure. It's got to stop somewhere. The taxpayers are not a bottomless ATM, nor is the government.

Our first mistake was the $700 billion bailout. Let's not follow that with yet another. Tell the automakers 'no'.

Intellectuals - Form Rather Than Substance?

Thomas Sowell takes Nicholas Kristof to task for saying that with the Obama administration, the “the anti-intellectualism that has long been a strain in American life” will end. The only problem is with such a pronouncement is that it is wrong.

There has been little problem with intellectuals during the Bush Administration. The only “intellectuals” feeling the heat over the past 8 years have been the ones described by Sowell are those with “the form, rather than the substance.”

Intellectuals, according to Mr. Kristof, are people who are "interested in ideas and comfortable with complexity," people who "read the classics."

Adlai Stevenson was certainly regarded as an intellectual by intellectuals in the 1950s. But, half a century later, facts paint a very different picture.

Historian Michael Beschloss, among others, has noted that Stevenson "could go quite happily for months or years without picking up a book." But Stevenson had the airs of an intellectual -- the form, rather than the substance.

What is more telling, form was enough to impress the intellectuals, not only then but even now, years after the facts have been revealed.

That is one of many reasons why intellectuals are not taken as seriously by others as they take themselves.

As for reading the classics, President Harry Truman, whom no one thought of as an intellectual, was a voracious reader of heavyweight stuff like Thucydides and read Cicero in the original Latin. When Chief Justice Carl Vinson quoted in Latin, Truman was able to correct him.

Yet intellectuals tended to think of the unpretentious and plain-spoken Truman as little more than a country bumpkin.

And that's the problem. Far too many self-defined intellectuals believe that unless one has attended the proper schools and have made themselves part of specific social circles, there's no way anyone else could possibly be their intellectual equal. Harry Truman is certainly one example of how mistaken that belief is among them. There are plenty of others, Calvin Coolidge being yet another fine example.

[N]o one ever thought of President Calvin Coolidge as an intellectual. Yet Coolidge also read the classics in the White House. He read both Latin and Greek, and read Dante in the original Italian, since he spoke several languages. It was said that the taciturn Coolidge could be silent in five different languages.

He sounds like my kind of guy.

There are plenty of other examples showing us many of the faux intelligentsia have gotten it wrong over the years, taking positions so antithetical to American thought and common sense that one would think that they were the mental defectives.

I've had more than my share of run ins with folks like that, running their mouths and making obscure references to rare tomes or poorly reasoned philosophies in an effort to make themselves appear to be the intellectual superior to everyone surrounding them. While their command of such trivial knowledge may be commendable for someone wishing to compete on Jeopardy, it has little relevance to every day life and promotes nothing but that person's self-importance. True intellectuals are “doers”, not “sayers”. We have far too many of the first type and not enough of the second. Again, it's form versus substance. That's why intellectuals are held in contempt: too many of them aren't really intellectuals. They're poseurs. Unfortunately far too many of them are involved in government or academia.

Am I an intellectual? Not by a long shot. While I'd like to think I am more well read than many others, I am not so conceited to think that just because I've read books that others haven't even heard of that I have some special insight about the condition of mankind others don't. It just means I've read more books, that's all. A little less than half those books were either of a technical nature, science fiction, or history. Some few were the classics, but I read them for enjoyment, not for their quotability. There were even a few that were in French (my high school French served me well...as did a French to English dictionary). So what? It doesn't make me an intellectual. It just means I like to read...and write, as I do here.


The Left Still Suffering From PDS

One would think Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS) would fade away after the election, but the Left, the so-called “sore winners”, just won't let it die.

A piece in Politico reports on Sarah Palin's response to anonymous claims by McCain “aides” about her behavior during the campaign, calling her a diva, ignorant, stupid, and a host of other disparaging names. That in itself isn't the story.

It's the comments made by suffers of PDS that shows how far too many Democrats aren't willing to let it go even though their candidate won the election. They repeat long discredited rumors and claims about Governor Palin as if they were gospel.

Probably one of the most disturbing claims made is that she's racist because she didn't counter racial epithets and threats about Barack Obama by people in the crowd during one of her speeches. As one of the bloggers that attended that speech reported about the incidents wrote, there was no way she even heard those threats or epithets considering the people making them were nowhere within earshot of Governor Plain when they made them. According to the Secret Service they never heard them and they were in a much better position to do so than Sarah Palin. And you know they would have acted upon them if they had. The Secret Service doesn't screw around with things like that.

Other discredit claims still being bandied about by the PDS-blinded Dems: she had a witch doctor cleans her soul, had an exorcism performed on her, moved to ban books in the Wasilla Public Library, went on a $150,000 shopping spree for clothing, wants no sex ed or birth control for women, was affiliated with a secessionist political party, is obviously stupid because she attended a non-Ivy League 4-year school, has no regard for First Nation natives (even though she's married to one), and so on and so on. The list doesn't end.

Many of the over 700 comments tear her apart for things she never did, make assumptions about her life that aren't in evidence, disparage her family, question the parentage of her youngest son Trig (saying the baby is really Bristol's even though the math doesn't work out), condemn her for not aborting her Down's Syndrome son (a contradiction if the baby is supposedly Bristol's), implying she's a mindless bimbo with no critical thinking skills, only got where she is because she received special treatment her whole life because she looks like a porn star, and even worse, because she's the most popular governor of any of the 50 states with an approval rating of 80% and a Republican! How petty can these idiots get? What the hell is wrong with these people?

I only have two more things to say about this:




“Holy s***! I need a Tylenol......”


Thoughts On A Sunday

The weather here in New England has been milder than normal, with temps in the 60's. Not that I mind since it means we don't need to run the furnace or the woodstove. Any time we don't need to use either one means that much less of our hard earned money going up the chimney.

I've heard a few folks blaming it on global warming and more than once I had to stifle the urge to debate the issue with them. I didn't have the time to devote since I had my own errands to run. That, and I didn't want to waste my time debating with the media-indoctrinated.


John Fund explains why Barack Obama's choice of Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff is a smart move. Basically it comes down to this: Emmanuel will remind Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the Democratic Congress has a lower approval rating than President Bush, and that they not get 'uppity'.


Michael Crichton is remembered as “a champion of good science.”

"As the 20th century drew to a close," he warned, "the connection between hard scientific fact and public policy became increasingly elastic. In part this was possible because of the complacency of the scientific profession; in part because of the lack of good science education among the public; in part because of the rise of specialized advocacy groups which have been enormously effective in getting publicity and shaping policy; and in great part because of the decline of the media as an independent assessor of fact."

[His speech at Cal Tech in 2003] drew considerable criticism, as did "State of Fear," the 2004 novel that drew on the same themes. Al Gore, among others, was dismissive. Then again, Crichton had serious scientific credentials.


You've got to be kidding, right?


Bogie shows off a new addition to her family. Check out the nice photos!


California Yankee gives us the shocking news the Washington Post ombudsman admits the newspaper was heavily biased in favor of Barack Obama and neglected to do any in depth investigation of Obama or Biden while doing just the opposite in regards to McCain and Palin.

Ya think?


Jay Tea explains why Joe Biden's election as Vice President is an affirmation that White European Males like us are really OK.


I haven't checked Rachel Lucas's blog for almost a week and when I finally did I find she and soon-to-be husband Rupert are moving to the UK for three years.

A Texas gal moving to Britain? That will be interesting, particularly once she gets the UK to surrender to her rather than the Islamists.

She promises to keep blogging, partaking in some guerrilla journalism.

Britain will never be the same.


The New England Patriots have double duty this week, playing the Buffalo Bills today and the New York Jets Thursday night.

They beat the Bills 17-10.


Deb and I have been watching Ken Burns' documentary The War on PBS. While Deb knows a little about World War II, I have been interested in the history of that war for a very long time. I remember watching The World At War, a 26 episode BBC series, with my folks back in the late 1970's. It was a haunting glimpse into a horrific period in the 20th Century.

Burns' documentary looked at the war from an American viewpoint, while the The World At War looked at the war from both sides.


I finished stacking the latest delivery of firewood for the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove, listening to Patriots game as I did so. The game kept my mid off the work I was doing, allowing me to finish just about the time the game ended. It felt good to see all that cordwood stacked and covered.

They say firewood warms you twice, once when you cut, split, and stack it, and again when you burn it.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the warm weather lingers, the firewood is being carefully stacked, and where yet another weekend is winding to a close.


Oil/Gas Prices Continue To Fall

It's been interesting to watch the oil prices over the past couple of months. It wasn't all that long ago everyone was expecting gasoline to hit $5 per gallon, with heating oil and propane not too far behind.

Today we saw regular gas selling for $2.139 per gallon. We filled up the tank of the trusty Intrepid for $1.869 per gallon this afternoon (one of the local supermarket chains and oil companies have a promotion that gives customers of both up to 80¢ per gallon discount). $1.869!

One would think that with gas prices having fallen approximately 50% since the peak early this past summer that gas consumption would go up. But it hasn't. People are tightening their belts, cutting back on expenses in light of the recession we appear to be entering. Unnecessary trips are out, combined trips are in, no different than when gas was selling for over $4 per gallon this summer.

Heating oil and propane prices have fallen as well, though not quite as much as gas prices. This is one of those good news/bad news stories for homeowners. The good news is that the lower heating fuel prices won't put as much of a strain on the household budget. The bad news is that many homeowners locked in their fuel prices back in August/September, meaning they're obligated to pay the pre-buy price even though prices have fallen below that. That means some folks may have paid $4 per gallon for heating oil everyone else will be able to buy for $3 or less. It's a gamble homeowners take, and this time around they lost the bet.

Deb and I did a pre-buy of propane and so far the 'street' price has not fallen below the price we locked in. Even if the price drops below that, it won't be all bad because we bought a minimal amount – enough to run the water heater, dryer, and if needed, the furnace (only needed on those days/nights where the temperature is below zero because our woodstove can't keep up when the temps are that low).

With the 'oil bubble' deflated and decreased demand, OPEC decided to cut production in order to prop up oil prices. Unfortunately for them oil prices continued to drop.

A downside that not too many of us think about when it comes to reduced demand for gasoline and diesel: fuel tax and toll revenues also drop. This drop in revenue can have an effect on road construction and repair, as one state has found out.

All in all, lower oil prices will certainly help the consumer stretch their dollars, though I doubt we'll see a return to higher consumption any time soon.


Responses From The Right Side Of The Blogosphere

I've been making the rounds, checking blogs for reactions to Barack Obama's victory over McCain. For the most part the moderate and conservative blogs have been gracious in defeat, with other remaining neutral, taking a wait-and-see stance. Obviously there were others that saw his victory as one more step towards America becoming a socialist state. Others saw it as just another part of the cycle America experiences, with swings between Left and Right over the decades. Surprisingly, the most vicious posts and comments came not from the Right, but from the Left.

A series of examples can be seen in a post by John Hawkins, showing a list of responses by conservative blogs, and more telling, comments by those on the left.

One commenter called the more vitriolic responses from the Left what they are: “Sore winners!”

More than one commenter noted the vile nickname the Left has applied to President Bush over the past 8 years – Chimpy McBushHitler, or variations thereof – and wondered if the Right would stoop so low as to come up with some equally vile epithet for the President-Elect. Somehow I doubt they will, other than to borrow a title first uttered by John McCain at the Al Lewis dinner - “That One!” Somehow I doubt we'll see the deranged apoplectic diatribes we've endured during President Bush's administration.

As an aside, I have to wonder why so many on the Left are still obsessing about the 2000 election and Bush's win over Al Gore in Florida. My advice: GET OVER IT! It's ancient effin' history! There's not a damn thing you or anyone else can do about it unless you manage to make repairs to your WAYBAC machine and travel back in time to 'fix' the election (and I don't mean 'fix' as in repair).


"It's Not The End Of The World"

For those of you out there lamenting the loss by John McCain and Sarah Palin, let me point you to a rare opinion piece by Steven Den Beste, probably one of the more astute political commentators I've come across on the web (with Bill Whittle being one of the other thoughtful and wise bloggers out there).

As Den Beste says, it's “not the end of the world.”

It's easy to let yourself go in despair and start thinking things like "We are well-and-truly f****d" or "This is the worst of all possible outcomes". But it isn't true.

I think this election is going to be a "coming of age" moment for a lot of people. They say, "Be careful what you wish for" and a lot of people got their wish yesterday.

And now they're bound to be disappointed. Not even Jesus could satisfy all the expectations of Obama's most vocal supporters, or fulfill all the promises Obama has made.

I think Obama is going to turn out to be the worst president since Carter, and for the same reason: good intentions do not guarantee good results. Idealists often stub their toes on the wayward rocks of reality, and fall on their faces. And the world doesn't respond to benign behavior benignly.

But there's another reason why: Obama has been hiding his light under a basket. A lot of people bought a pig in a poke today, and now they're going to find out what they bought. Obama isn't what most of them think he is. The intoxication of the cult will wear off, leaving a monumental hangover.

And four years from now they'll be older and much wiser.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

I know my 14-year old son, BeezleBub is far more upset at the outcome of the presidential elections that either Deb or I. It may be because he's a bit more perceptive to the political realities than many other kids his age and understand what might happen if President-Elect Barack Obama carries out all of his promises. He does get quite a bit of crap from some of his classmates at high school for his political beliefs, but as he says they're just parroting what they've been taught at home and in school. The same claim could be made about BeezleBub, but he doesn't take anyone's word about anything anyone tells him, including me and Deb. He actually asks questions if he doesn't understand something and if it still seems stupid to him, he'll say so and why he thinks it's stupid.

Way to go BeezleBub.

But I have also been telling him the it's not the end of the world. I think after he reads Steven's piece he'll come around.


Obama Is Toast?

Sean Malstrom has an interesting opinion about the polls we've been seeing in the media: they are absolutely worthless.

Sean contends the 'model is broken', meaning the model and the method used by the various polling agencies and groups has not caught up with reality. He should know, having been involved with polling for quite some time. He says the problem we're seeing now goes back to the 2000 elections, where the polls said one thing but the results said differently.

You will have to wait until Wednesday morning to see whether I agree with him that “Obama is toast.”


Inside The Liberal Mind

I had an epiphany, triggered by a comment to a post by one of my favorite conservative bloggers, neo-neocon. Her post asked, “Will the real Obama please stand up?”

There were a flurry of comments, the more insulting and intolerant ones coming from supporters of Barack Obama. (I've checked posts and comments on both sides of the blogosphere and I find far more often the Left resorts to invective and blind observance to the 'party' line than those on the Right.)

It was in this comment to neo-neocon's post that I realized one of the major differences between liberals and conservatives:

You might be interested in a study by psychologist Jonathan Haidt (Univ of Va, I believe) that demonstrated that conservatives can think like liberals (in other words, know how liberals think), but liberals have demonstrated that they simply can NOT put themselves in the shoes of the conservatives. This may account for much of the vitriol which liberals direct towards anyone who doesn’t follow their agenda lock step.

In case you're wondering, John Haidt is a self-described liberal. If he notices things like this, I'm more likely to believe he's right.

On more than one occasion when discussing politics with some of the less tolerant members of the Left, I've been able to counter their arguments about one issue or another because I understood their viewpoint. However, they didn't or couldn't understand mine. I guess one might say I was inside their OODA loop. Does this prove Haidt's hypothesis?

I'll let you be the judge.

A Letter To Barack Obama

The letter below was received via e-mail.

I do not know if this letter is genuinely from Michael Master as claimed. I checked it out on Snopes and Googled his name. Nothing specific was found. I also checked for a phone listing in McLean, Virginia and found none. That in itself doesn't mean anything because fewer people have wireline phones these days and as far as I know there are no directory listings for cell phones.

In any case I decided to post the e-mail here as it does make a number of valid points and asks questions that as of yet Barack Obama has either refused to answer or has tried to deflect. Obama is an enigma. I don't like the idea of an enigma sitting in the Oval Office.

So far I have been able to verify most of the points laid out in this letter, but not by using other blogs as sources. Verifications have come either from MSM articles/reports, US Government websites, and other non-blog websites. Take it for what you will. Take everything contained in this letter with a grain of salt. A BIG grain of salt. But I think you'll agree there are doubts raised by this letter that should be but have not been addressed by Senator Obama.


To Barack Hussein Obama,
The New York Times carried a story on Saturday, October 4, 2008, that proved you had a significantly closer relationship with Bill Ayers than what you previously admitted.   While the issue of your relationship is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about it.

The Chicago Sun reported on May 8, 2008, that FBI records showed that you had a significantly closer relationship with Tony Rezko than what you previously admitted.   In the interview, you said that you only saw Mr. Rezko a couple of times a year.   The FBI files showed that you saw him weekly.  While the issue of your relationship is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about it.
Your speech in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008, about 'race' contradicted your statement to Anderson Cooper on March 14 when you said that you never heard Reverend Wright make his negative statements about white America.   While your attendance at Trinity Church for 20 years is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America on March 14.
In your 1st debate with John McCain, you said that you never said that you would meet with the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea without 'preparations' at lower levels ... Joe Biden repeated your words in his debate with Sarah Palin ... while the video tape from your debate last February clearly shows that you answered 'I would' to the question of meeting with those leaders within 12 months without 'any' preconditions.  While your judgement about meeting with enemies of the USA without pre-conditions is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America in the debate with McCain.
On July 14, 2008, you said that you always knew that the surge would work while the video tapes of you from more than a year ago show that you stated that the surge would not work.   While your judgment about military strategy as a potential commander-in-chief is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America on July 14.
You now claim that your reason for voting against funding for the troops was because the bill did not include a time line for withdrawal, while the video tapes of you from more than a year ago show that you voted against additional funding because you wanted our troops to be removed immediately ... not in 16 months after the 2008 election as you now claim.  While your judgement about removing our troops unilaterally in 2007 is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about your previous position.
You claim to have a record of working with Republicans while the record shows that the only bill that you sponsored with a Republican was with Chuck Lugar .. and it failed.  The record shows that you vote 97% in concert with the Democrat party and that you have the most liberal voting record in the Senate.  You joined Republicans only 13% of the time in your votes and those 13% were only after agreement from the Democrat party.  While it is of concern that you fail to include conservatives in your actions and that you are such a liberal, the greater concern is that you distorted the truth.
In the primary debates of last February, 2008, you claimed to have talked with a 'Captain' of a platoon in Afghanistan 'the other day' when in fact you had a discussion in 2003 with a Lieutenant who had just been deployed to Afghanistan.  You lied in that debate.
In your debates last spring, you claimed to have been a 'professor of Constitutional law' when in fact you have never been a professor of Constitutional law.  In this last debate, you were careful to say that you 'taught a law class' and never mentioned being a 'professor of Constitutional law.'  You lied last spring.
You and Joe Biden both claimed that John McCain voted against additional funding for our troops when the actual records show the opposite. You distorted the truth.
You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted against funding for alternate energy sources 20 times when the record shows that John McCain specifically voted against funding for bio fuels, especially corn ... and he was right ...  corn is too expensive at producing ethanol,  and using corn to make ethanol increased the price of corn from $2 a bushel to $6 a bushel for food.   You distorted the truth.
You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted like both of you for a tax increase on those making as little as $42,000 per year while the voting record clearly shows that John McCain did not vote as you and Joe Biden.   You lied to America.
You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted with George W. Bush 90% of the time when you know that Democrats also vote 90% of the time with the President (including Joe Biden) because the vast majority of the votes are procedural.  You are one of the few who has not voted 90% of the time with the president because you have been missing from the Senate since the day you got elected.   While your absence from your job in the Senate is of concern, the greater concern is that you spin the facts.
You did not take an active role in the rescue plan.  You claimed that the Senate did not need you while the real reason that you abstained was because of your close relationships with the executives of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Countrywide, and Acorn ... who all helped cause the financial problems of today .. and they all made major contributions to your campaign.   While your relationship with these executives and your protection of them for your brief 3 years in the Senate (along with Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, and Chris Dodd) is of concern, the greater concern is that you are being deceitful.
You forgot to mention that you personally represented Tony Rezko and Acorn.  Tony Rezko, an Arab and close friend to you, was convicted of fraud in Chicago real estate transactions that bilked millions of tax dollars from the Illinois government for renovation projects that you sponsored as a state senator ... and Acorn has been convicted of voter fraud, real estate sub prime loan intimidation, and illegal campaign contributions.  Tony Rezko has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to your political campaigns.  You personally used your political positions to steer money to both Tony Rezko and Acorn and you used Acorn to register thousands of phony voters for Democrats and you.  While your relationships with Rezko and Acorn are of concern, the greater concern is that you omitted important facts about your relationships with them to America.
During your campaign, you said: 'typical white person.'  'They cling to their guns and religion.'  'They will say that I am black.'  You played the race card.  You tried to label any criticism about you as racist.  You divide America.
You claim that you will reduce taxes for 95% of America, but you forgot to tell America that those reductions are after you remove the Bush tax reductions.   You have requested close to $1 billion in earmarks and several million for Acorn.   Your social programs will cost America $1 trillion per year and you claim that a reduction in military spending ($100 billion for Iraq) can pay for it.   While your economic plan of adding 30% to the size of our federal government is of concern, the greater concern is that you are deceiving America.
The drain to America's economy by foreign supplied oil is $700 billion per year (5% of GDP) while the war in Iraq is $100 billion (less than 1% of GDP).  You voted against any increases to oil exploration for the last 3 years and any expansion of nuclear facilities.  Yet today, you say that you have always been for more oil and more nuclear.  You are lying to America.
Mr. Obama, you claimed that you 'changed' your mind about public financing for your campaign because of the money spent by Republican PACs in 2004.   The truth is that the Democrat PACs in 2004, 2006, and 2008  spent twice as much as the Republican PACs (especially George Soros and MoveOn.org).   You are lying to America.
Mr. Obama, you have done nothing to stop the actions of the teachers union and college professors in the USA.  They eliminated religion from our history.  They teach pro gay agendas and discuss sex with students as young as first grade.  They bring their personal politics into the classrooms.  They disparage conservatives.  They brainwash our children.  They are in it for themselves ..... not America.    Are you reluctant to condemn their actions because teachers/professors and the NEA contribute 25% of all money donated to Democrats and none to Republicans?  You are deceiving America.
Oh, Mr. Obama, Teddy Roosevelt said about a hundred years ago that we Americans should first look at the character of our leaders before anything else. 
Your character looks horrible.  While you make good speeches, motivating speeches, your character does not match your rhetoric.  You talk the talk, but do not walk the walk.
1.  You lied to America.  You lied many times.  You distorted facts.  You parsed your answers like a lawyer.
2. You distorted the record of John McCain in your words and in your advertisements.
3.  You had associations with some very bad people for your personal political gains and then lied about those associations.
4.  You divide America about race and about class.
Now let me compare your record of lies, distortions, race baiting, and associations to John McCain:   War hero.  Annapolis graduate with 'Country first.'   Operational leadership experience like all 43 previously elected presidents of the USA as a Navy officer for 22 years.  26 years in the Senate.  Straight talk.  Maverick.  54% of the time participated on bills with Democrats.  Never asked for an earmark.  The only blemish on his record is his part in the Keating 5 debacle about 25 years ago.
Mr. Obama, at Harvard Law School, you learned that the end does not justify the means.  You learned that perjury, false witness, dishonesty, distortion of truth are never tolerated.  Yet, your dishonesty is overwhelming.  Your dishonesty is tremendously greater than the dishonesty that caused the impeachment and disbarment of Bill Clinton.  Your dishonesty is tremendously greater than the dishonesty of Scooter Libby. You should be ashamed.
Mr. Obama, it is time for us Americans to put aside our differences on political issues and vote against you because of your dishonest character.   It is time for all of us Americans to put aside our political issues and vote for America first. It is time for America to vote for honesty. 
Any people who vote for you after understanding that you are dishonest should be ashamed of themselves for making their personal political issues more important than character.  Would these same people vote for the anti-Christ if the anti-Christ promised them riches?   Would they make a golden calf while Moses was up the mountain?   Would they hire someone for a job if that someone lied in an interview?  Of course not.  So why do some of these people justify their votes for you even though they know you are dishonest?  Why do they excuse your dishonesty?   Because some of these people are frightened about the future, the economy, and their financial security .... and you are preying on their fears with empty promises  ... and because some (especially our young people) are consumed by your wonderful style and promises for 'change' like the Germans who voted for Adolf Hitler in 1932.  The greed/envy by Germans in 1932 k ept them from recognizing Hitler for who he was.   They loved his style.  Greed and envy are keeping many Americans from recognizing you ... your style has camouflaged your dishonesty ... but many of us see you for who you really are   ... and we will not stop exposing who you are every day,  forever if it is necessary.
Mr. Obama, you are dishonest.  Anyone who votes for you is enabling dishonesty.
Mr.  Obama, America cannot trust that you will put America first in your decisions about the future.
Mr. Obama, you are not the 'change' that America deserves.  We cannot trust you.
Mr. Obama, You are not ready and not fit to be commander-in-chief.
Mr. Obama, John McCain does not have as much money as your campaign to refute all of your false statements.  And for whatever reasons, the mainstream media will not give adequate coverage or research about your lies, distortions, word parsing, bad associations, race baiting, lack of operational leadership experience, and generally dishonest character.  The media is diverting our attention from your relationships and ignoring the fact that you lied about those relationships.   The fact that you lied is much more important than the relationships themselves .... just like with Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon ... Monica Lewinski and Watergate were not nearly as bad as the fact that those men lied about the events ...  false witness ... perjury ..  your relationships and bad judgments are bad on their own .... but your lies are even worse.
Therefore, by copy of this memo, all who read this memo are asked to send it to everyone else in America before it is too late.  We need to do the job that the media will not do.  We need to expose your dishonesty so that every person in America understands who you really are before election day.
Mr. Obama, in a democracy, we get what we deserve.  And God help America if we deserve you.
Michael Master
McLean, Virginia


Thoughts On A Sunday

Did you remember to turn your clock back 1 hour last night?

I know BeezleBub is happy we're back on Standard Time, because he dislikes having to get up and go to school when it's still dark out. But I think he's forgotten the downside to the time change: it will be getting dark an hour earlier, meaning very little time to get work done outside after school/work.


We've started using the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove to heat The Manse, cutting back on the use of propane except for the water heater and the Official Weekend Pundit Clothes Dryer.

This year's firewood supply didn't come from the WP In-Laws, but from the farm where BeezleBub works between spring and fall. Farmer Andy gave us a good deal on wood, partly because BeezleBub helped cut and split a lot of it and partly because some of it is green (ash burns well even when it's green!).

Not having to travel to the WP In-Laws meant we also didn't need to borrow Submarine Tim's 1952 GMC Deuce-and-a-Half 6x6 to haul firewood back to The Manse. Instead Farmer Andy delivered, meaning all we had to do was stack it in the garage, the basement, or outside under cover.


I don't know about other states, but the various voting polls in New Hampshire have been all over the place when it comes to showing which candidate is ahead or behind. Looking at the sample number, it's become apparent why this is so. In the past you'd expect a sample of 500 to 1000 of likely voters throughout the state. This year the sample sizes are down to approximately 250, meaning the accuracy of the polls are suspect despite claims the margin of error is around ±5%.

The falloff of sample sizes could be attributed to one or more of the following: fewer people are willing to spend time answering polls, fewer people are answering their phones when they see unknown numbers popping up on their Caller ID during this part of the campaign, and fewer people have wireline phones (more people use cell phones exclusively, not bothering with wireline phones).


I heard from an old friend from my days working for a defense contractor. Luc and I have kept in touch from time to time over the years, bringing each other up to speed about what's been going on in our lives.

Luc's also a bit of a wiseguy, calling me last night and acting as an outraged reader of this blog, questioning me about my support of John McCain. It wasn't until he listed the qualifications he thought was needed to be President that I realized it was him

Hi, Luc!


Glenn Reynolds links to a Neil Munro piece that asks the question: Why is it Obama's campaign can't track online donations to names and addresses even when the technology exists to sort eligible donors from non-eligible donors?

McCain's campaign doesn't seem to have that problem. It certainly can't be that the Obama campaign doesn't have the funds to implement the use of that technology. Gee, could it be because they don't want to track those donors because too many of them have donated illegally?


Bird Dog from Maggie's Farm has a message for Barack Obama: “Redistribute this!”


Remember when Iraq was supposed to be a major issue in the presidential campaign? Since then Iraq has all but disappeared from the campaign rhetoric. Why? Because John McCain was right.


I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around this concept: Being against socialism and for charity is “selfish”, at least according to the gospel of the Obamessiah.

Excuse me? Hearing this from someone that gives a pittance in charity, someone nominally Christian, makes me question both his faith and his politics. Government 'charity' is nothing of the sort. It is merely government sanctioned theft masquerading as a social do-gooding.


If you think energy prices were high recently, just wait until Barack Obama works his magic on the coal industry and electric utilities.

We're acclimated to high electric rates here in New Hampshire, one of the side effects of the bankruptcy of Public Service of New Hampshire 20 years ago. At one point I was paying over 17¢/kWh (this was when I was up in the town of Plymouth, an area served by the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative. NHEC was one of the other utilities damaged by the PSNH bankruptcy). But even so, under the Obama plan we would likely pay well above that, and not just here in the Northeast.

High oil prices certainly didn't help our economy, so how is this supposed to help?


Boston icon Howie Carr gives us five reasons not to vote for Obama.

I agree with every one of them.


And if five reasons not to vote for Obama aren't enough, how about 50 more?


From GraniteGrok (again), here's another thing to think about before the election: Obama's fascist tendencies when it comes to dealing with people he doesn't like or those with the audacity to ask him questions he shouldn't have to answer in public.


It's down to a little over a day left of campaigning for candidates across the board. It will be the last ditch effort by those seeking office to make their pitch to the voters. On Tuesday the only polls that count will open and the campaigning will end. The negative ads will cease and we'll have peace and quiet...until the next batch of presidential hopefuls start their campaigning for 2012 three weeks after this election.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where Eastern Standard Time has returned, warmer weather will make an appearance later this week, and where we're all waiting for all those campaign signs to disappear...for now.


Obama Makes Some Members Of The Press "Unpersons"

While Jay Tea's latest post has a provocative title - Women In Chains - it covers what we can expect from an Obama administration, particularly when it comes to members of the press asking pesky questions Obama doesn't want to answer: banishment. Like the old Soviet Union, the reporter or their TV station/newspaper are declared to be unpersons and banned from coming near the Obamessiah or asking him questions forever.

Yeah, that'll play well in Peoria.

It's one thing for a candidate or his campaign organization to spin stories, it's another to decide which media organizations are worthy to cover every utterance of the great Democratic Savior and which are not.

Can we expect these same folks will react the same way when ordinary Americans start asking the same questions? Will Obama's elitist attitude finally become obvious to even his most ardent worshippers, showing their hero has all the same weaknesses as ordinary mortals? Or will they allow their devotion to blind them to the fascism of their Führer, excusing actions that would get anyone else skewered by the press or, even worse, the average American?

Obama has shown a propensity to damage or destroy those who would question his past or his motives. Even friends and political mentors are not immune, as some have found out the hard way.

Do we want someone this petty sitting behind the desk at the Oval Office?

Jay likens the treatment of the press by Obama and his campaign staff to that of women being abused by their boyfriends/husbands. Many of the abused make all kinds of excuses and allowances for their abusers, but aren't willing to do anything to stop the abuse even when it is in their power to do so. Is a wider swath of the press waking up to this and starting to turn on the Obamessiah? Even if this is so, is it too late to stop him from taking an office he neither deserves or is qualified to hold?

We'll know in a few days.