Speaking of freezing temperatures, the indoor supply of firewood for the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove has dwindled, meaning that BeezleBub and I will soon be uncovering our outdoor stash of firewood and moving some of it in to the garage. The old saying about firewood is inaccurate. It does not warm you twice – once will cutting and splitting it and once when you burn it. Instead it warms you three or four times – once when cutting and splitting it, once when you stack it the first time, once when you move it and stack it again, and finally when you burn it.
The WP Mom-In-Law made the trip home to the southwestern part of the state after a three-and-a-half day visit. Unlike many movie/TV/book stereotypes, she's a peach. I think we'll keep her.
*********How many times have we heard about the Law of Unintended Consequences? Too many to count. But that doesn't stop me from posting about another one.
It appears a law passed in response to deal with lead found in toys made in China back in 2007 will be forcing the closure of small shops catering to customers seeking homemade children's clothing. It isn't that the homemade goods have lead in them that's causing the problem. It's the testing mandated by the law that is killing the businesses and the homecrafters supplying them. Each type of item made or sold for children under the age of 12 must be tested by a third party, which can cost $350 per item or more. Small businesses like the shops or the homecrafters can't afford to spend that kind of money to prove that the items they sell or make does not contain above the allowable amount of lead. Somehow I doubt things like wool sweaters, clothing of woven cloth, or rag dolls made by homecrafters will contain any lead. But the law has no exceptions.
How is it a law that intended to protect children is also wiping out honest and responsible small business owners? Simple. It was the need to “Do Something!” that caused the lawmakers to do a poor job of writing the legislation and creating a situation that is crippling small businesses at a time when we need them more than ever.
*********I have just started re-reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. I had forgotten how dark a picture it paints about the economic conditions existing in the novel. I guess I can forgive myself for that considering it's been 35 years since I read it last. But it acts as a cautionary tale about how the government and political correctness can destroy an economy all in the name of “fairness”. Isn't that what we're seeing now? After all, the liberal Democrats in Congress want to make sure the economy is fair, at least as they define it. But then we've known for a long time that their idea of “fair” is equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity.
Maybe that's why I've been drawn back to it after all this time.
*********Keeping in mind Atlas Shrugged, I believe Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) is probably the most dangerous man in the country.
Known for using his power as a battleaxe against people he doesn't like (particularly Republicans and businessmen), as the new chairman of the House committee on Energy and Commerce we can count on him to use the committee to force industry to invest in energy efficiency in a manner he sees fit rather than letting industry do it as their funds allow and their management and stockholders decide.
He isn't known as the meanest man in Congress for nothing.
*********Apparently I'm not the only one that's been pondering this: Obama = Carter?
There are too many parallels to Jimmy Carter's policies in regards to those being put forth by President Obama. While the economic problems we're facing today are nothing as compared to the ones Carter was facing when he took office in 1977, the are just as daunting. Unfortunately if Obama follows the same course as Carter, the economy will not recover any time soon and he could end up being a one-term president like Carter.
*********Speaking of Jimmy Carter, there's something I have to get off my chest.
Many of the Dems decrying George W. Bush as the worst president ever either chose to ignore Jimmy Carter's dismal record or weren't alive when he was President.
Carter had one problem that is a major failing of anyone sitting in the Oval Office - he was a detail man rather than a big picture kind of guy. A president has to be a big picture kind of guy. He can't waste his time with detail. That's what his staff is for, to handle the details. Carter couldn't see the big picture, which is why he failed as president. He managed to accomplish little, failed to act when the US Embassy in Iran was overrun by the Revolutionary Guard (an act or war), kept a tight control over the economy and energy policies which strangled its recovery, and basically did just about everything wrong.
*********Is the expansion of SCHIP by Congress to cover a large portion of the American people merely a ploy to create a socialized medical care system on the sly?
Grace-Marie Turner, a student of health care policies, says this SCHIP expansion is sensible -- if your goal is quickly to get as many people on public coverage as possible, and to have children grow up thinking that it is normal for them to get their health insurance from the government. That is the goal.That's all we need. As I commented to a co-worker sometime last week, why would we want to recreate a health care system we already know doesn't work and does nothing but prevent actual health care from being delivered, creates artificial shortages, and discourages people from going into medicine as a career? Both Canada and the UK have already crippled their health care systems, so why should we do the same?
*********I am sick to death of hearing the present recession is the worst one we've seen since the Great Depression.
The recession in the early-mid 1970's was far worse, with unemployment rates of up to 14% in many states, taxes at state and federal level going through the roof, businesses going bust or moving out of high tax states at an alarming rate, inflation running rampant, and mortgage interest rates above well 10%. This was a time when the steel industry took major hits, with large numbers of steel mills closing across the nation. The auto industry also took a hit, with sales falling and the products they made not much better than nicely painted junk.
During part of that time I was living in the People's Republic of Massachusetts (I didn't have a choice because I was still a minor at the time), and I remember the fear and anxiety everyone felt as job losses mounted, energy prices spiked, and money became increasingly in short supply.
While the present recession may be painful, it isn't as bad as many in the media are making it to be. But then the media has always had a short memory.
*********The Cape Wind project is in the news again, as it appears it will finally receive the OK from the federal government to move ahead with construction.
What has always amused me about this project is the objections and protests coming from self-important pseudo-environmentalists, decrying the “destruction of Native American burial grounds.” \
I didn't know the tribes on the Cape and islands buried their dead at sea. I guess I must have missed that lesson during my American history classes at school.
One of the biggest opponents to the Cape Wind project has been the biggest pseudo-environmentalists of all time, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). His real objection appears to be that he might actually see the wind turbines from the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport on the Cape. I guess he believes such views are only for the little people.
A real class act, Ted.
*********Why is it Obama appears to be afraid of Rush Limbaugh? Could it be Rush is 'speaking truth to power', in this case the Democrats entrenched in Congress and the White House?
We already know Speaker of the House Pelosi is working hard to make sure the Republican minority in the House will be silenced by changing the House rules, making debate and dissent difficult, if not impossible. We also know President Obama dislikes dissent as well, particularly when it comes to his ideas about how things should be done. If Rush is silenced, then the Democrats know they'll have an open field and will be able to do what they have worked so hard to do for so long – create a socialist utopia in the US.