It's Not About Facts, It's About Feelings

How many times hove you entered into a debate with someone with a different viewpoint from yours only to realize they really didn't have a valid argument to put forth because their opinion was based solely upon something they were spoon-fed and not upon their own experience or research? It's happened far too often to me to count. One more than one occasion my opponent's argument was based entirely upon emotion and not upon fact or even anecdotal evidence. How is it possible to enter intelligent debate with anyone about anything under such circumstances?

The answer: You can't.

Skip over at GraniteGrok illustrates just such a scenario, relating the experiences of a retired career military officer invited by a professor at California State University in Chico to discuss his experiences with culture in the military community. The phenomenon I mentioned above became quite apparent to this retired officer in a very short time.

A few years ago I was asked by the instructor of a philosophy class, then titled “Roots of War,” to discuss with his students the culture of the U.S. military community. After identifying myself as a former career military officer, I discussed my impression of our military’s culture. When I was done, a young woman who had been glowering at me and holding her arms tightly across her chest raised her hand. When called upon she vehemently said, “I don’t agree with you. I don’t think it is anything like that. You have just been brainwashed by the military.”

“OK,” I said, “what do you think our military’s culture is like?”

“Well, certainly nothing like that,” she sputtered. I could see some heads in the class nodding in agreement.

I asked, “Could you share with us your experience in or around the military?”

“I haven’t had anything to do with the military,” she indignantly replied.

“Have you extensively studied the U.S. military or worked with current or former members of the military?”

“No,” she angrily said.

“So where have you gotten your impression of the military’s culture?” I tried to ask softly.

“I am entitled to my opinion, and I think you are a Nazi!” was her voracious reply. The class was clearly enjoying her attack on me at this point and the philosophy professor sat smugly satisfied.

I decided to end this ridiculous exchange: “So let us review. You have no personal experience or knowledge of the military. You have not studied the military. You cannot explain why you disagree with me. And you think you are entitled to your opinion. Well, I agree with you on one point. You do have a right to an opinion, and I have a right to point out that yours is an ignorant opinion—ignorant because by your own admission it is not based on any facts, education, research, or experience. Your opinion is apparently based on nothing more than simple ignorant prejudice.”

The class was silent for a moment. The young woman began to sob and yell at me, “You can’t say that to me!”

I replied, “Yes I can, because it is the truth.”

Perhaps that was his crime, using the truth rather than his emotions to put this poor ignorant lass straight. But wait! It gets even better!!

The now visibly upset philosophy professor said, “Doug, you are being a little harsh on her.”

“No...I am just stating the truth.”

“Well Doug, you have to respect her feelings.” Much of the class was nodding in agreement while attempting to soothe the young woman who was now obviously enjoying the attention.

“Gee Ron, I thought this was a university where we discussed subjects rationally using facts and logic.”

“A lot of us feel the same way she does,” the philosophy professor responded, as if that were justification for her ignorance and her personal insults.

Fed up with the charade, I walked out of the class.

Later, I sat in the campus office of a friend, relating the story. He smiled and occasionally laughed as I recounted what happened. “Of course you were right Doug, but you can’t say that here. Where do you think you are, America?” We both laughed, while knowing that it was no laughing matter.

His friend's last statement is probably one of the scariest things I could imagine anyone saying under the circumstances. ”Where do you think you are, America?”

While not the most egregious example of leftist indoctrination I've come across, it's pretty telling.

Somehow facts and truth have become less important than feelings and indoctrination. Never mind that no matter how much one might believe they can fly by merely flapping their arms, the laws of physics and the force of gravity will stand in their way. There's no getting around either regardless of how much someone says otherwise.

I've noticed the same thing when it came to the debate about nuclear power many years ago. The argument hasn't changed all that much since then.

People protested against nuclear power, not because it was unsafe, but because they were told it was unsafe, the incident at Three Mile Island and bonehead moves (and piss poor design) at Chernobyl not withstanding. The protests were driven purely by emotion, making any kind of rational debate impossible. Never mind that people protesting at nuclear power plants were more likely to die driving to and from the protests than they ever were from a nuke plant. All they knew is that nuclear power was BAD BAD BAD!!! They couldn't explain why it was bad. Many couldn't even tell you how a nuclear power plant actually worked. Someone told them they would all die if nuclear plants weren't shut down and that's all they needed to know.

The same disease, for that's what it is, has also torpedoed any rational debate about anthropogenic global warming. Another example from Douglas Campbell:

Not very long ago a student approached me, pointed at my office door, and announced, “You can’t say that!” She was pointing to some articles taped to the door that challenged the foundations of global warming theory.

“I believe the arguments presented in those articles are scientifically sound, and I am not at all convinced that human-caused global warming is occurring,” I replied.

Much to my surprise her outrage suddenly faded and, smiling, she said, “Yes, but if people don’t believe in global warming they won’t stop polluting.”

Quickly recovering from my initial shock, I replied, “So the end justifies the means? You would lie to people just to advance your agenda?”

She smiled sweetly and said, “Well, people don’t know what is good for them.”

As she departed, I turned to a colleague standing across the hall who had overheard the entire exchange. “Can you believe that?” I sputtered.

“She is right Doug, and you should take that stuff off your door before you get in trouble,” he replied as he turned, walked into his office, and closed the door.

It was suddenly very obvious to me why that young woman believed that “people” could not be told the truth and that the end justifies the means.

So “people don't know what is good for them.” That is one of the more typical beliefs the Left holds, believing they know more about what you or I need than we do. That belief reduces most of the population to the status of children in their eyes. Only the Left are adult enough to tell us what to do.

Here's a little secret folks like that won't believe: They are less competent to run our lives than we are because they are no different from you and me. In fact, it is my belief they aren't competent enough to run their own lives because they can't tell the difference between fact and fiction, particularly when they let their “feelings” decide things for them. None of their decisions can be trusted because they ignore facts when making decisions about their lives and, even worse, our lives.


The Big Kite

Just for a change of pace...

I received this via e-mail and later found it on YouTube. This is very cool!

It can also be downloaded from here. (5MB)


View Points From Two Countries - New Tax/Spending Policies

There are at least two people around that have an understanding about bad tax policy and the effects such policies can have. One is in the UK and the other in Washington, DC.

Andrew Lloyd Webber – yes that Andrew Lloyd Webber – writes in the Daily Mail about the British government's foolish move, boosting the maximum income tax rate to 50%, and how it will hurt Britain.

[B]efore you lynch me as a rich b*****d flying a kite for my own cause, let me beg you to believe that I am not.

I believe that this new top rate of tax could be the final nail in the coffin of Britain plc.

I am 61 years old. I have lived and worked in Britain all my life. Not even in the dark days of penal Labour taxation in the Seventies did I have any intention of leaving the country of my birth.

Here's the truth. The proposed top rate of income tax is not 50 per cent. It is 50 per cent plus 1.5 per cent national insurance paid by employees plus 13.3 per cent paid by employers. That's not 50 per cent. Two years from now, Britain will have the highest tax rate on earned income of any developed country.

I write this article because I fear the inevitable exodus of the talent that can dig us out of the hole we find ourselves in. It is inevitable, given that other countries are bidding for entrepreneurs.

Aye, there's the rub. If taxes are raised to the point of punishing success, the successful will pull up stakes and take their business, as well as their money and the jobs they provide, some place where their efforts are appreciated. Elsewhere in his piece he mentions the draconian taxes placed upon the successful back in the 1970's. It destroyed the British economy as wealth fled the UK for tax havens. Businesses closed, jobs were lost, and the UK entered a period of economic decline not seen since just after the end of World War II.

And now the Obama Administration wants to the same thing to the US.

Just as Labour swept into power in Parliament and 10 Downing Street, the UK and has been drastically changing tax, trade, and industrial policies to reflect their socialist bent, so too have the Democrats swept into power in Congress and the White House been doing the same thing. About the only sure thing about this in both countries is that it spells big trouble for their respective economies. As Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) has said, elections have consequences.

We are certainly seeing the consequences of Democratic power running unchecked in Washington. Just about every leftist dream on their long standing wish list is being brought up in bill after bill in Congress. Never mind they haven't thought about how the US will actually pay for all this unneeded and unwelcome social spending. Too many American voters bought the hype being sold by the Democrats last November and now the bills are coming due, in spades.

His "main concern," he says, "is that if you look at the Obama budget, it projects on average about a $1 trillion deficit [every year] over the next 10 years." And as a result of all that spending, "You see the size of government growing from 21% [of gross domestic product] to 22%, to 23%, 24%, 25% . . . toward 30%."

Set against this spending growth, Mr. Gregg points out, "the revenue base is only so big. Granted, right now it's way down because of the economic situation. But even if you took it back to an economy that's performing extremely well, say [revenues of] even 19% [of GDP], you can't close that gap under the present projected situation. And so we're in trouble. And the policies of this administration are driving that to an even more acute situation." Spending and deficits are both heading skyward, and government debt held by the public is heading toward 80% of GDP.

For Mr. Gregg, this is like living a nightmare. He has been a hard-nosed advocate for government spending restraint since his days as a Congressman (1981-87) and governor of New Hampshire (1987-93). At times, his commitment to fiscal responsibility led him to oppose tax cuts when they weren't matched by spending restraint. Those stances incurred the ire of his Republican colleagues, but he always stuck to his fiscal-responsibility guns. Now he's staring down a spending explosion that makes those battles look picayune.

The only way to pay of even a small portion of those huge deficits will be to raise taxes. As I mentioned in an earlier post, even raising the tax rate on 'the rich' to 100% would only raise an additional $400 billion in revenue, theoretically. (If the tax rate were actually raised to that point, the revenues collected would most likely be zero.)

It appears that both nations are on a collision course with financial ruin, with their respective governments being the ones setting that course. How is it the people in either government think that this is somehow good for their countries and the people they are supposed to be serving? That's the way it usually is with socialists. They really don't believe there's no way the money will eventually run out because they know the rich (meaning anyone with a job) have an endless supply of money that can be taken away “for the good of society.” As history has shown on more than one occasion, that usually leads to abject poverty. Since when does poverty benefit anyone...except the socialists?


Thoughts On A Sunday

The warm temperatures we've been experiencing have been welcome, allowing us to shut off the furnace and allow the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove to go cold. The windows were opened, the screen doors put in, and the patio furniture returned to the main deck behind The Manse.

Despite the warm temperatures, BeezleBub and I spent a few hours moving firewood from the Official Weekend Pundit Woodpile into the garage. While mostly dry, it still needs some time to be properly seasoned. The warm, dry conditions in the garage will speed the last of it and ensure we'll have a least two and a half cords of perfectly seasoned wood for next winter. The last two or so cords will continue drying outside. We expect to get two more cords before fall to ensure we have enough for next winter.

But until then we'll focus on getting things ready for the coming summer.


Speaking of the coming summer, we have secured a new slip for the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka The Boat. Unlike last year, The Boat will once again be berthed close to The Manse, just across the cove where we'd berthed in previous years. Last year we returned to a slip located outside the Original Official Weekend Pundit Manse. While inexpensive, it was not a convenient location, taking over 20 minutes to get there from The Manse and another 40 minutes to get out onto the main part of Lake Winnipesaukee. The new location is only 5 minutes away and it takes only a few minutes to get from there to the big lake. The great thing is that it costs only a tiny bit more than the slip we had last year.

We still have work to do to The Boat to ensure it will be ready for the upcoming boating season, but nothing major. It should be ready to return to the water sometime in the next two weeks.


Now there's another debate about global warming..er..climate change. With the sun at a solar minimum not seen for over 100 years, global temperatures falling, and increasing doubt about Man's part in climate change, the battle is centering on the Sun's effect on climate. If I had to guess, I'd say it has everything to do with it.

There are plenty of records showing a strong correlation between solar activity and global temperatures. (Yes, I know correlation does not imply causality, but it does mean we need to explore this correlation to determine if there is another mechanism driving the phenomenon.) During the last solar minimum, titled the Maunder Minimum, solar activity was very low. It coincided with the “Little Ice Age”, which brought far colder temperatures worldwide. Some solar scientists believe that Cycle 24 (the 11-year sunspot cycle) has not started its upward swing. In fact it is over 18 months overdue and not showing any signs of starting any time soon.

Gee, could it be the warmists are wrong and that climate variation over time is natural?


Obama's first 100 days...and his first 100 mistakes.

(H/T Michelle Malkin)


Via Maggie's Farm: “President Pantywaist does not know who the Enemy is.”

You know it's bad when even the UK press is lambasting President Obama's policies.

If al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the rest of the Looney Tunes brigade want to kick America to death, they had better move in quickly and grab a piece of the action before Barack Obama finishes the job himself. Never in the history of the United States has a president worked so actively against the interests of his own people - not even Jimmy Carter.

President Pantywaist's recent world tour, cosying up to all the bad guys, excited the ambitions of America's enemies. Here, they realised, is a sucker they can really take to the cleaners. His only enemies are fellow Americans. Which prompts the question: why does President Pantywaist hate America so badly?

Said one commenter, “It's a sad state of affairs when this opinion is published in the UK, rather than being trumpeted in the MSM by the Republicans, Libertarians and Independents in the US.”

Nothing more need be said.


Is it a surprise to anyone that federal tax receipts have plummeted, particularly in light of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy? As Tom Blumer puts it, tax receipts are down because Americans are 'Going Galt'.

Even more importantly, they started doing so last summer with good reason.

Starting in June and all the way through to Election Day, Pelosi, Obama, and Reid — but especially presidential nominee Obama — told the country that they were ready, willing, and would soon be able to punitively tax the 5% of the nation’s most productive so they could redistribute money to everyone else. Enough high producers to make a difference believed them and abandoned their previous guarded optimism[...] not because of then-current economic conditions, which were at worst mediocre. They did so because of their assessments of what economic conditions would be in the not-too-distant future, based on the perilous pronouncements of Pelosi, Obama, and Reid. Many of those who didn’t catch on during the summer did so after observing the reckless September-October actions of the Washington establishment.

As a result, they took steps that businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and investors ordinarily take when a serious recession takes hold — not hiring, not expanding, letting people go and not replacing them, making worn-out equipment last longer instead of buying new, and others — before the serious recession took hold. They deliberately downsized in response to stated promises by powerful government officials Pelosi, Obama, and Reid to penalize and punish them and the economy as a whole, if and when they gained power.

In other words, enough high producers to make a difference preemptively “went Galt.”

The end result? A recession of the likes we haven't seen since the 1970's. The cause? The socialist punish-the-rich plans put forth by the Democratic triumvirate.

This shows two things: First, that George Santayana was right. Second, that Pelosi, Obama, and Reid never took (or passed) an economics class in school, or even worse, have had no real world experience running a business and understanding what motivates business owners to do well.

Coming across as a government sanctioned protection racket is not how one spurs business owners to do well.


Just to break up this Obama love-fest, I must relate this Sunday morning experience that illustrates what happens when you can't get good help.

My lovely wife and I decide to have breakfast out this morning, so we went to one of the local eateries, one I happen to frequent once or twice a week. As we entered we could see it wasn't busy, with maybe a third of the booths/tables/counter stools occupied. We thought it wouldn't take long for us to have breakfast. We were wrong.

We sat at one of the booths, which still had dirty dishes from the previous occupants. After 15 minutes of being totally ignored and seeing other diners entering and being treated the same way, we decided to seek our breakfast elsewhere.

The diner was not undermanned by any means. But even with all the apparent activity, I came to realize they really weren't getting anything accomplished. Tables were not being cleared, orders weren't being taken, and patrons had to wait to pay their bills.

This is not a model for success.


From Bruce comes this story about the People's Republic of Taxachusetts and their plans to raise their sales tax from 5% to 6%...or maybe even 7%. As he points out, all this will do is induce even more Massachusetts residents to make the drive to New Hampshire to shop, which has no sales tax. It will also induce Rhode Island residents to spend their money in their home state since Massachusetts sales tax will now equal Rhode Island's.

It appears no one in the Massachusetts legislature or the governor's office has ever heard of the Laffer Curve.

As Bruce says, the alternative title to his post should be “The Great New Hampshire Stimulus Bill Rolls On.”


Raven let's us know the danger of having a narcissist for a president. For one thing, he misses things like the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, which has now made its way into the US. He is also unaware of the protests symbolized by the Tea Parties.


Bob Parks slams Shane Murphy, second in command of the Maersk Alabama, for his diatribe against Rush Limbaugh's reporting about the rescue of Captain Phillips and the death of the three pirates. Murphy believes Limbaugh's characterization of the pirates holding Phillips was racist. Never mind that Limbaugh's identification of the pirates was 100% accurate.

As one commenter to Bob's post wrote, “[Murphy] is just a tool.”

He'll get no argument from me on that one.


Fred First over at Fragments From Floyd reminisces about the loss of his dog Buster six years ago. The memories came flooding back when he came across a wonderful picture of Buster he'd misfiled on his computer.


Rachel Lucas gives us some insight into the European view of Americans, particular those of us too darned ignorant to not vote for the Obamessiah.

Rachel also lays a smackdown on Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and her complete ignorance about matters dealing with national security.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is more like summer, thoughts of boating intrude on a regular basis, and where work to put up firewood for next winter continues.


Tide Turning Against Gun Control?

Now even the media appears to be turning against gun control...for now.

Of course 'gun control' means different things to different people. For instance, here in New Hampshire gun control means putting all 5 rounds in the center of the X-ring at 50 feet in less than 2 seconds...using your off hand.


Is A Constitutional Amendment Needed To Restore Federalism?

I've heard a lot of ideas about how to reinstate the federalism our Founding Fathers envisioned. Some were quite tame, being the passing of resolutions in various state legislatures restating their belief and adherence to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution. I've heard some crazy ideas about secession (At times I've espoused New Hampshire's secession and the reforming of the Indian Stream Republic).

One of the better ideas I've heard is a Constitutional Amendment that asserts the individual states rights to regulate their own affairs as is presently defined by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, and putting the federal government, and particularly Congress, back in their places where they belong. There's a certain appeal to the idea.

...state legislatures have a real power under the Constitution by which to resist the growth of federal power: They can petition Congress for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution.

Article V provides that, "on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states," Congress "shall call a convention for proposing amendments." Before becoming law, any amendments produced by such a convention would then need to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.

What sort of language would restore a healthy balance between federal and state power while protecting the liberties of the people?

One simple proposal would be to repeal the 16th Amendment enacted in 1913 that authorized a federal income tax. This single change would strike at the heart of unlimited federal power and end the costly and intrusive tax code. Congress could then replace the income tax with a "uniform" national sales or "excise" tax (as stated in Article I, section 8) that would be paid by everyone residing in the country as they consumed, and would automatically render savings and capital appreciation free of tax.

That's something I think a lot of people could get behind. It will get away from the idea that the more you make the more the government steals from you. Instead, taxes will be based upon what you spend. While some of the bleeding hearts will claim such a tax will “hurt” the poor, I can see exemptions of necessities, such as food, clothing, and medications. Just about everything else will come under the umbrella of the consumption taxes. Savings will promoted rather than punished as it is under the present tax code. It will certainly eliminate the dreaded Form 1040 nightmare every April 15th.

More on the proposal for an Amendment:

Alternatively, to restore balance between federal and state power and better protect individual liberty, the repeal of the income tax amendment could be folded into a new "Federalism Amendment" like this:

Section 1: Congress shall have power to regulate or prohibit any activity between one state and another, or with foreign nations, provided that no regulation or prohibition shall infringe any enumerated or unenumerated right, privilege or immunity recognized by this Constitution.

Section 2: Nothing in this article, or the eighth section of article I, shall be construed to authorize Congress to regulate or prohibit any activity that takes place wholly within a single state, regardless of its effects outside the state or whether it employs instrumentalities therefrom; but Congress may define and punish offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States.

Section 3: The power of Congress to appropriate any funds shall be limited to carrying into execution the powers enumerated by this Constitution and vested in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof; or to satisfy any current obligation of the United States to any person living at the time of the ratification of this article.

Section 4: The 16th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed, effective five years from the date of the ratification of this article.

Section 5: The judicial power of the United States to enforce this article includes but is not limited to the power to nullify any prohibition or unreasonable regulation of a rightful exercise of liberty. The words of this article, and any other provision of this Constitution, shall be interpreted according to their public meaning at the time of their enactment.

Except for its expansion of Congressional power in Section 1, this proposed amendment is entirely consistent with the original meaning of the Constitution. It merely clarifies the boundary between federal and state powers, and reaffirms the power of courts to police this boundary and protect individual liberty.

Might this be the only way to send the federal government a message it can understand?


High Taxes = High Unemployment

One thing you never hear the Democrats talk about is the connection between high state income taxes, high unionization rates, and high unemployment rates.

This connection is not a recent phenomenon, having been proven to me back in the 1970's when the People's Republic of Taxachusetts boosted taxes across the board during a deep recession and saw unemployment skyrocket well beyond the national average as businesses closed or moved out of state (usually to New Hampshire and Vermont, neither which had income taxes). And as revenues fell they raised taxes again and saw unemployment rise again.

Is it any wonder we're seeing the same effect again? California has very high taxes, a high level of unionization (particularly among state employees), and has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the nation. There has also been a net outmigration of people and businesses from the Golden State, which shows how badly the economic conditions created by state government over-spending and over-taxation have become. It's not much different in a number of other states.

The aforementioned Massachusetts, as well as New York, New Jersey, and Michigan are suffering from the same malaise, as are a number of other states. Just look at the tax burden state by state and compare it to the present unemployment rates for each state. The comparison should be proof enough that high state tax burdens tend to kill jobs and weaken businesses.

Of course I expect this lesson to be wasted on the tax-and-spenders.


Absolutely Clueless

I know some Democrats are totally friggin' clueless, but this guy's picture is in the dictionary next to the definition of clueless.

Chairman of the New Hampshire Democrats has got his priorities screwed up. Last year he claimed New Hampshire's Civil Union law was the most important business the state legislature handled. Never mind the overblown state budget and revenue shortfalls that affected everybody, civil unions were far more important to this jerk.


More Funding For Bussard Fusion Project

Some good news on the energy front for a change.

The Bussard Fusion project, also called Polywell or Inertial Electrostatic fusion has received an additional $2 million in funding from the Department of Defense.

Originally proposed by the late Dr. Robert Bussard, polywell fusion uses a far simpler mechanism than either tokamak or laser fusion to achieve a fusion reaction.

Ironically polywell fusion has shown greater promise than the more traditional (and long running) programs all while costing a fraction of the other programs. To date, Bussards theories and calculations have held up under testing, having gone through 7 iterations of reactor, with each one performing as Bussard had predicted they would as they increased in scale. The latest reactor, the WB7 (which stands for Wiffle Ball 7, as the reactor resembles a large wiffle ball), has performed well and had few, if any surprises.

After Dr. Bussard's passing, a number of scientists from the Los Alamos National Lab took leaves of absence to carry on Bussard's work.

Should Bussard's theories hold up this could mean almost unlimited energy for the human race without the problems of waste disposal or greenhouse gases. Of course I expect some of the less stable environmentalists to decry such a breakthrough, claiming that we'll be using up valuable and limited resources better used elsewhere. Of course those resources might run out in a few hundred million years if we aren't careful, but I doubt it will be a problem.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was definitely a mixed bag for weather this weekend, with temps in the 70's on Friday, in the 50's with clouds and intermittent rain on Saturday, and sunny and in the low 60's on Sunday.

BeezleBub worked at the farm all day Saturday, getting back onto the swing of farm work with most of his day spent out in the field pulling plastic 'mulch' from the soil in preparation for plowing. He'll be spending most of his April vacation working at the farm, getting things ready for the farm stand's opening on May 1st.

Today we took a drive around the lake, checking out the scenery and the preparations being made for the upcoming summer tourist season. We also stopped at the Old Country Store in Moultonboro to pick up some Vermont sharp cheddar cheese and some homemade chocolate.


While there has been wide coverage of the Tax Day Tea Party protests on blogs like Instapundit and blog media like Pajamasmedia, two New Hampshire blogs have links to the Tea Party activity in the Granite State – GraniteGrok and Amy Kane'sAtlantic Avenue. Both also have extensive coverage of the Tea Parties, and Amy's blog has links to Tea Parties in Boston as well.


Pam Meister explains why she, I, and so many others are now considered radical right wing extremists by the Obama administration.

I wear the title proudly if it means someone who stands for the freedoms hard won by our forefathers and paid for with the blood of patriots. I wear the title proudly if it means someone who stands for the United States Constitution and understands it (particularly the Ninth and Tenth Amendments). I for one cannot stand idly by when tyranny comes to us in the guise of a charismatic socialist incompetent with delusions of adequacy.


To add more fuel to the fire: It looks like Obama is taking some pages from Atlas Shrugged. Unfortunately, he's taking the wrong pages and working to cripple the economy, not free it.


Here's a picture gallery of Philadelphia's Tea Party.

(H/T Instapundit)


Via Sissy Willis comes this observation by Andrew Klavan:

Zombies are dead creatures that don't produce anything and must devour the lives of others, even though once everyone becomes a zombie, there'll be nothing left for anyone to eat. Government is exactly the same. It doesn't start businesses, it doesn't create wealth, it doesn't invent anything. It devours all the stuff that you make.

You bar the door against property tax, they come in through a sales tax. You board the windows against income tax, they reach in through an energy tax.

Now, there are some differences between the movie zombies and the government kind. In the movie the zombies didn't try to tell their victims that being devoured was good for them … or, my favorite, let me devour your flesh because I know how to use it better than you do.

Thus it is always with the self-proclaimed elites. Too bad they're always wrong.


Despite claims to the contrary, the Tea Parties are far more diverse than the Leftist Anti-War/Anti-George Bush protests ever were.

(H/T Instapundit)


Yet another story via Instapundit, this time dealing with the poor protection our infrastructure possesses against Electromagnetic Pulse attacks. A perfect illustration of the effects of EMP on the US was the TV series Dark Angel, showing a post-'pulse' America.

While some telecommunications is becoming a bit less susceptible (more is switching over to optical fiber every day), the electronics that runs it all is still vulnerable. The same is true of our power grids for there is little built in protection to help the systems survive EMP, whether man-made or natural (massive solar flares can also generate EMP).

There may be some measures homeowners can take to protect their home electrical system and electronics from EMP.


Dr. Helen Smith points us to a new blog with a John Galt theme. Go check it out.


From the aforementioned Galtslist blog, a picture I wish I'd had for the Tax Day Tea Party protest last week.


A larger version of the picture can be found here.


In case you've never read Atlas Shrugged and don't understand the phrase “Going Galt”, the Atlas Society has posted an explanation.


There must be something in the water down in Texas because they've got a lot of beautiful women...and most of them appear to be conservative.

That certainly is true of Texas blogger RightWingSparkle.


Anyone that has a basic understanding of economics and the law of diminishing returns already knows this: Even if Obama taxed the rich at 100% the revenue collected won't even come close funding his planned spending.

Gee, ya' think?


Don Surber tells us of a smart move by the Montana legislature exempting Montana-made guns from federal gun laws within Montana. As Surber writes, it's “a move which underscores a state’s right to legislate commerce that occurs totally and exclusively within its own borders.”

New Hampshire should do likewise. Two companies – Sturm Ruger and Thompson/Center Arms – manufacture guns in the state. It's time to exercise our Ninth and Tenth Amendment rights.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where boats have already been making their appearance, businesses are already gearing up for the summer, and where we can still find ammo for our guns.


Henry Waxman Must Be Destroyed - Part 2179

As if we needed even more evidence that Henry Waxman (D-CA) is the most despicable member of the House.

He's shown more than once he doesn't give a rat's ass about our economy or the American people. All he's shown us is that he'll work hard to destroy anyone that tries to thwart his plans, inside Congress or out.

Physicians Pulling Out Of Medicare/Medicaid

What would you do in the following circumstances?

You have a business that caters to those seeking your goods or services. To help increase the number of customers you will see, you work a deal with a buyer's club to offer their members special consideration (better prices during sales or a small discount for some services or goods). Now, after a year or two, the buyer's club tells informs you that will give a 20-30% discount for all goods and services to their members or they'll make it difficult for you to do business.

If you're like most people, you'd tell them to take a hike and break off doing business with the buyer's club. From that point on any members of the club that show up at your business will be told you no longer take their membership card or coupons. They have to pay the same price as everyone else.

In effect that's what happening in health care, where doctors and other medical professionals are being told Medicare and Medicaid will only pay a percentage of what is owed for treatment. In many cases the reimbursement being offered by those two programs doesn't cover the cost of providing care, particularly when the cost of doing all the paperwork involved is so high.

Doctors are deciding they will no longer take Medicare or Medicaid patients because they lose money with every single one. Some doctors have gone so far as to become cash-only practitioners, taking no insurance and doing away with the exorbitant costs of processing insurance forms and justifying every little detail of treatment. Can you blame them?

Writes Dr. Marc Siegel, a internist and associate professor of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center:

Bottom line: None of the current plans, government or private, provide my patients with the care they need. And the care that is provided is increasingly expensive and requires a big battle for approvals. Of course, we're promised by the Obama administration that universal health insurance will avoid all these problems. But how is that possible when you consider that the medical turnstiles will be the same as they are now, only they will be clogged with more and more patients? The doctors that remain in this expanded system will be even more overwhelmed than we are now.

I wouldn't want to be a patient when that happens.

Neither would I.

John Stossel took a look at health care back in 2007, exposing the problems government is creating and how health insurance, particularly government health insurance, has drastically driven up costs of providing care. His report also highlighted a number of physicians who broke away from the health insurance feeding trough and take cash only.

An interesting side effect of this move was the how little these doctors charge patients for services rendered now that they are out from under the all-seeing eye of the insurance companies. They even post their fees in their waiting rooms so there's no question what the doctor will charge. Another side effect: patients got better care, even the poor patients. With health insurance, the actual cost of any given service or procedure is hidden from view because the of added costs of processing the insurance forms, justifications for treatment, and making the eventual payment to the provider. That's a huge overhead we're all paying just for health insurance.

We'd be better off without health insurance, at least for routine medical care. I can see health insurance for catastrophic care and for some kinds of chronic care, but that's it. Health insurance for anything else is a waste of money and time (and remember, time is money).

Update: For a preview of what government controlled health care (socialized medicine) is really like, here's a view from Canada:

Having worked closely with the Canadian government's healthcare, here are few telling quote from the health minister.

- 27%-33% of the population account for 90% of annual health care expenditures. The other 67%-73% are either well or undiagnosed.

- Canada population is smaller than California's and less homogeneous.

- US health care subsidizes the world's socialized health systems. Without the profits from health care there would be little or no research, drugs, protocols, procedures, or broad based care. All gov run systems would simply degrade and push people into more privatized care, while still paying taxes for our gov program.

- 30% of Canadians pay taxes for government care AND carry a private policy.

- Medicare/Medicaid's government programs are larger in expenditures than all the world's socialized systems combined.

- The US population is not as homogeneous as the other countries used the dollar-benefit calculations, regarding longevity, birth survivals, etc. Factor out illegals and the poor who, in many cases. have a family histories where no one has ever been to a doctor, then they walk in to emergency room and say fix me. Understand the drivers of "hidden" costs and the US will rank highest in options and outcomes for equivalent dollars.

When it matters, i.e. when its personal, Canadian officials secretly (to the average Canadian) send their children, themselves and friends to Cleveland or NY for care. Canadians in Ft Myers, FL, use a long-standing US billing service to remit their medical bills to Canada, while receiving treatment on "vacation" in the US.

If Bureaucrats can decree groups or individual as servants of the state, our history seems to indicate the subjugated do not remain so for long.

Do we really want to go down the path others countries have trodden and end up with a health care system that neither keeps people healthy or provides care.


Who's The Kook Now?

After Janet Napolitano's release of a scurrilous report calling veterans, pro-lifers, and anti-tax libertarians potential recruits for extremist groups, the Department of Homeland Security has had to do some major back peddling. It does not bode well for any Americans that might disagree with the present administration because they might be labeled as domestic terrorists.

Glenn Beck was called a kook for saying that the Obama administration was threatening civil liberties. Now John Zeigler gets handcuffed for the crime of journalism and Team Obama is turning Homeland Security loose against domestic political opponents. Who's the kook now?

Ironically, Zeigler was arrested at USC's Annenberg School of Journalism.

I guess I'll be on the DHS list of domestic political opponents soon, if I'm not already on the President's Enemies List.

Command Line Commandos

You have to wonder what was going through the minds of the Boston College Police Department when they decided it would be a good idea to arrest student Riccardo Calixte. Apparently his computer knowledge made him suspect, particularly his ability to use the command line in order to run programs or computer utilities.

The case in question deals with Calixte and an unnamed complainant making allegations about “suspicious” computer activities. Calixte is also accused of sending an e-mail to a mailing list that disparaged the complainant. That right there should have given the police some pause and made them investigate whether the suspicious activity allegations were payback for a perceived wrong.

Because Calixte allegedly is skilled with computers, has been seen with unknown computers, had "jail broken" iPhones, used different operating systems "to hide his illegal activities," and "illegally downloaded movies as well as music," among other supposed indicators of wrongdoing, college police seized the student's cell phone, iPod, computers, disks, and, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a "Post-it" note that Calixte was using to take notes about officers' actions during the search.

The crime being investigated is the sending of an e-mail to a school mailing list that identified another student as being gay. That student, the victim in the case, is the informant providing information against Calixte.

So, with little investigative work beforehand, the BC Police seize every bit of electronic equipment of the suspect. Their reasoning: he's a computer science student, knows how to use the command line, works with a number of operating systems, and probably knows how to write programs, too. By that twisted chain of logic, that makes me as much as a suspect as Calixte. It also makes Skip of GraniteGrok a suspect, as well as my dear brother, and a few million other people in North America.

The entire basis of the seizure of Calixte's equipment is this: “We think this guy sent an e-mail to an e-mail list.”

By that reasoning I should have all my electronics seized, too.

How stupid is that?

Message To The GOP - It's The Spending, Stupid!

A commenter to Mona Charen's opinion piece (lambasting CNN's advocacy of increased government spending and tax slavery) had the right of it: If the GOP wants to return to its roots and regain some power in Congress, then it must shift its focus.

You still don't get it.

Really, the road back for Republicans is not to champion lower taxes. Tell us something we don't know. That is way too narrow to appeal to ANYONE. The GOP must become conservative on many levels instead of a slightly right clone of the dems. Has no one figured it out? IT'S THE SPENDING STUPID. Every single congressional representative and every single senator MUST pay the price at the ballot box for supporting this insanity. They are all in the process of sinking this ship. Get the feds out of our lives and realize that no government can ever cure what ails this world. So stop taking all your little boo-boos to Uncle Sam and stand on your own two feet. You won't get dizzy, I promise.

While taxes are but one part of the problem, it is the spending that drives taxes. The GOP must focus on that aspect.

Compare between what the President and the Congress are planning to spend and average family and how they must handle their spending. Show the people what this profligate spending will do to them, how it will hurt them, hurt their employer, hurt their business, hurt their kids and their dreams. Show them how the plans of the Socialist-In-Chief will not bring about prosperity, but misery. Show the people that the government will end up holding a gun to their heads and emptying their wallets if nothing is done about the economy-busting budgets foreseen by the President and Congress. Show them the government has become a gang of looters that really doesn't have their best interests at heart.

Show them the GOP is just the opposite of that and maybe, just maybe we can stop this madness. And if the GOP can't or won't do this, then maybe it's time the party goes the way of the Whigs.

Tea Party Reactions From The Left

It seems the reactions of the Left and the media to the Tax Day Tea Parties are pretty much what many of us expected: ridicule, hostility, or outright refusal to acknowledge something actually happened.

Our local TV station, WMUR, had a crew at the Manchester, NH Tea Party for quite some time, but their newscasts made little mention of it, and then only in passing in relation to the tea parties held in larger cities.

Comments made by the Obama faithful to a number of posts and forums show the contempt the left feels for anyone having the audacity to question their beliefs and their leader. Many tried to minimize the significance of the tea parties, saying they don't measure up to the size of protests professionally organized by the Left over the past few years. Yet others keep running the old tired line about how the protests were being run by Karl Rove, Fox News, and a host of other conservative /right wing persons or organizations. They cannot believe these protests were grassroots efforts by people across the political spectrum dismayed and/or disgusted with the direction Congress and the White House have been moving, spending money we don't have on things we don't need, and bankrupting the country in the process.

Many on the Left have used the argument that President Bush ran up a huge deficit and 'we', meaning those protesting now, did nothing about it. Therefore we have no right to complain now. But their argument is based upon a false premise. Many of us did protest, writing to our Congresscritters and to the President about their wasteful spending, for all the good it did. But what many of these same Leftists fail to mention is that President Obama will blow past Bush's seven years of deficit spending in one year, and somehow that's just fine with them. An interesting paradox, isn't it? Of course the paradox doesn't bother them in the least because they're used to believing two contradictory things at the same time.


How Government Will Destroy Health Care In The Name Of Fairness

It seems that over the past 30 years or so the Democrats have been decrying the poor state of health care here in the US despite the fact that we have one of the best (and most expensive) health care systems in the world. They keep bandying about the “47 million Americans have no health insurance” canard without explaining where they came up with that misleading claim. They also don't explain how their cure for this “problem” is to ensure the destruction of our health care system in the name of fairness and to turn it into an even bigger disaster than the Canadian or British National Health Service.

How is it that providing equally poor or non-existent health care to everybody is a fair to anyone? The Democrats won't bother to answer that question because we know how in love they are with the idea of 'equal outcome' even if it means destroying something that works pretty well, even though it's not perfect.

One thing we know is when a British member of the European Parliament is warning us not to go down the same path as the UK in regards to health care, we should listen:

[John] Prescott is trying to fabricate a row out of my interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, in which I warned Americans against adopting a socialist healthcare system along British lines.

I wonder whether anyone still falls for this sort of stuff. For a long time, Labour politicians had two slogans which they would trot out whenever healthcare came up: "Envy Of The World" and "Free At The Point Of Use". These phrases were not intended to be arguments. Rather, they were ways of playing your trump, of closing down the debate.

The NHS, he says, is Britain's "greatest creation". Really? Greater than parliamentary democracy? Greater than penicillin? Greater than the discovery of DNA, or the abolition of slavery, or the common law? John, the NHS produces some of the worst health outcomes in the industrialised world. Britain is the Western state where you'd least want to have cancer or a stroke or heart disease. Ours is now a country where thousands of people are killed in hospitals for reasons unrelated to their original condition. If this is our "greatest creation", Heaven help us.

As for the second slogan, which [Prescott] renders as "need and not ability to pay", there is no health system in Europe or North America that leaves the indigent untended. What is at issue is not whether we force poor people to pay, but whether we prevent wealthier people from doing so. The British system treats everyone equally, it's true: we queue equally, we wait weeks for operations equally, we are expected to be equally grateful for any attention we get.

Any time government takes over a previously private enterprise, just about everybody suffers (except for the bureaucrats that end up running it...into the ground). And claims about how government will merely be another provider of health insurance to the contrary, the government will undercut the private health insurance providers until they pull out of the business or go under, and then “fill the gap” left by their departure. Once that happens, we'll be stuck with a massively inefficient and uncaring government bureaucracy that will see to making sure no one gets the health care they would otherwise be able to afford. This system will also drive people out of the medical profession, much as it has in Canada and the UK, creating a shortage of personnel that cannot be filled because of the disincentives the government has created for going into medicine.

A public program won't compete in a way that any normal business would recognize. As an entitlement, Congress's creation will enjoy potentially unlimited access to the Treasury, without incurring the risks or hedging against losses that private carriers do. As people gravitate to "free" or heavily subsidized care, the inevitably explosive costs will be covered in part with increased outlays to keep premiums artificially low or even offer extra benefits. Lacking such taxpayer cash, private insurance rates will escalate.

Much like Medicare, overall spending in the public option will be controlled over time by paying less for medical services, drugs and technology. With its monopsony purchasing power, below-market fees will be dictated on a take-it-or-leave-it basis -- an offer hospitals and physicians won't be able to refuse. Medicare's current reimbursement policies pay hospitals only 71% of private rates, and doctors 81%, according to the Lewin Group.

What we will end up is not health care, but access to a waiting list for health care. And like Canada and the UK, access to a waiting list is not access to health care, as far too many people in both countries have found out. Too many have died waiting for routine medical care that is readily available in the US. How is it the morons in Congress have come to believe this option is a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist? It's obvious they really don't understand the economics of what it is they're trying to do.

By controlling the prices and keeping the reimbursements artificially low (they call it keeping the price of services low), they are stimulating above normal demand for those services while at the same time ensuring the available supply of those services will dwindle. They will have created a shortage of health care providers in their efforts to make sure everyone has access to health care. That's what happens when people that haven't a clue about the laws of supply and demand start tearing apart a system they don't understand and replacing it with one they believe will work because they have the best interests of the people at heart. Their intentions are good.

We all know where that road leads. Unfortunately they're willing to drag us down there with them.

How Very Cool

I was going to write something profound (or snarky) about the government's moves to ensure equally poor health care to everybody. But then I received an e-mail from a friend of mine that included this clip and any thought of writing that post went right out of my head. As she wrote:

These kids are unbelievable! Most of you I am writing to (exception: PE teachers) have ***NO*** idea how incredibly hard these moves are. I did not catch even one mistake! ...and did you catch those smiles?
Be sure to watch the second "Freeze Frame" loop to see the close-ups. [Press the 'more' button at the end of the clip - ed]

The profound/snarky post will wait until tomorrow.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The first real sign of spring finally arrived.

It's not the first robin, nor the first shoots of perennial plants making their appearance. The real sign of spring is when BeezleBub goes back to work on the farm.

Yesterday was his first day back, spending most of the day setting seeds in the plug trays as part of the weekly plantings. While this is something just about every member of the field crew has to do, BeezleBub is one of the first of the crew called back, so he's the first to deal with this rather tedious but vital task. He also had to stoke the wood-fired boiler used to heat the greenhouses used to give the various flowers and vegetables an early start.

He was tired, but tired in a way that a good day's work gives one.

Spring has indeed returned.


One thing I've found is a number of people that are aware of the upcoming Tax Day Tea Party aren't aware that it's more than a local phenomenon. As I mentioned to one of them, the protests are scheduled to take place in more than 300 cities across the country. He was incredulous, happily so.

I for one will be attending the Tax Day Tea Party protest in Manchester, NH.


Does Obama's arrogance know no bounds? Apparently not.

During his recent European jaunt, Obama called America’s past attitude towards Europe arrogant. He failed to offer any particulars, and with his concomitant criticisms of predecessor George Bush, my guess is that he’s referring at least in part to that cowboy swagger Europeans so loved to hate.

But [my own observations] of Obama is as least as much (if not more) in line with the defintion of the word “arrogant”, which has always seemed to me a perfect description of the man: “overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors.”

George Bush may have been cocky. But I don’t recall him having an air of looking down on others. This is precisely the attitude Obama conveys, and it’s all the more strange since he is relatively devoid of real world experience other than the academic. But arrogance is a trait I’ve often noticed in academics, as well.

As have I. It has become quite apparent our President does indeed look down upon those he considers his inferiors, including the four still-living former Presidents.

What an arrogant jerk!


Even the Washington Post is now saying there's no way Obama won't be raising everybody's taxes. It will be unavoidable given the massive deficit spending he has planned for the next 10 years.

When even Obama's MSM supporters are calling him on his claims, you know there might be a paradigm shift in progress.

(H/T Viking Pundit)


Is this any surprise? Not to those of us that understand motivation and compensation.

Big banks lose top talent to foreign competitors and startups.

More than one bank warned Congress this would happen, but were ignored.

Here's more on the exodus.

The message couldn’t be clearer: no seasoned investment banker worth their salt wants to work for the government if they can help it. Unfortunately for the taxpayer, who now shares in the prosperity of Goldman Sachs and Bank of America via the recent bailout packages, the bankers who packed their bags and jumped ship last week are arguably some of the most seasoned professionals the industry has to offer.

There's no way such an exodus will be good for the banks or the depositors.

(H/T Instapundit)


I never thought it would come to this: competing protests. The Tea Party protests have been drawing hundreds, if not thousands. The pro-Obama/pro-socialism New Way Forward protests have been drawing...umm...a dozen or so.

Which ones do you think are truly grassroots protests?

Hint: It ain't the ones calling for more government control of everything.


It appears even the conservative media has had to cut costs, including laying off some of their personnel. Unfortunately one of the casualties was Ben Kepple, a reporter for the conservative Manchester, NH Union Leader.

As Benjamin reported on his blog:

ALL GOOD THINGS come to an end. In my case, the particular good thing that came to an end was my great job working as a reporter. It was interesting and engaging work, tough at times but also a lot of fun, and it was made even better by the great people with whom I worked. Plus, the pay and benefits I received were fantastic for the field, which made the work even better.

It wasn't entirely a surprise that I lost my job, of course. Since journalists love writing about themselves, the papers have been filled with stories about the troubles facing the media industry. So it's not as if I'm the only reporter to find himself studying up on rules and regulations about his unemployment benefit. Rather, I'm simply U.S. Media Sector Casualty No. 36,012 of the Global Economic Downturn. Business is business, and when you're at the bottom of the seniority list, these things can happen. So I certainly don't have any hard feelings about it, particularly since my employer kept me on as long as it could in my job.

Let's hope he won't be out of work for long.


BlackFive brings us another story of Jesse MacBeth-like douchebaggery by someone trying to scam money from the parents of a former NCO.

His parents were skeptical and scam artist got nothing from them (thank goodness).

Frankly, hanging is too good for a scumbag like this guy.


I just found out two friends of ours we met through the blogosphere way back when are in the process of divorce. Deb and I thought these two were in it for the long haul, so this is one heck of a surprise to us.


Bob Parks reports on the end of the Somali pirate saga, with three of the four pirates killed by Navy SEALS and the captain of the Maersk Alabama safe and sound.


One other bit of information from Bob Parks that I find interesting: It's become apparent the biggest racists are the lefty commenters.


Also from Bob Parks, an eerily clairvoyant quote from Ronald Reagan:

You cannot pour billions of dollars into make-work while destroying the economy that supports them and call that opportunity. And you cannot build up years of dependence on government and dare call that hope.

If only Barack Obama understood Reagan's words.


Henry Waxman (D-CA) must be destroyed.


An unusual and early review of the new Star Trek movie premiere (in Kuwait, of all places).

(H/T Instapundit)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the thermometer is saying it's still winter, the woodstove is still running, and where the countdown to the Star Trek movie is winding down.


Obama: Abandoning Our Allies And Other Incompetent Moves

Why is it President Obama is working so hard to abandon our allies and kowtow to our adversaries? What kind of leadership is this?

Can it be the leadership of someone ignorant of our history with our allies and incapable of understanding how diplomacy works? Unfortunately the answer is yes.

I wonder how long it will be before he pisses off our trading partners by pulling a Smoot-Hawley and further crippling our economy? He's already shown he really doesn't understand how our economy works, proposing unsustainable spending and taxation that will leave our children and grandchildren paying off debt we shouldn't even be considering under any circumstances.

Update: One commenter to Caroline Glick's piece hits it right on the head:

Barack Obama is setting the stage for another World War. His polices of appeasement, slashing conventional military forces and nuclear disarmament are all the signals that our enemies need to think that the United States has once again become a helpless giant.

As distracted, inept and undercut by his own Secretary of State as George Bush was in his second term, our enemies still had a chilling vision of what American military might can accomplish when is allowed to do what it was meant to do: to protect American citizens from attack by foreign attack by destroying them. Two supposedly invincible military obstacles, Afghanistan and Iraq, where collapsed in a matter of weeks. The leftist desires to see the U.S. military mired in “quagmire” became the butt of jokes. To this day the clueless MSM cannot understand why the United States has not come under attack since 9-11. Heightened security, collapsing terrorist sheltering countries and killing jihadis by the tens of thousands apparently have no meaning for them. In their view the best defense against people who hate us is a good round of self -abasement and appeasement.

Well, the lefties now have an administration in Washington that they have always sought. Disarmament and appeasement are the “new” progressive policies. Shortly we will get yet another demonstration of what these policies mean in real world. Israel is too close to the front lines to allow these woozy “love thy enemy” fantasies to set in. What better time could there be to break with Washington?

History has shown appeasement does nothing except bring about the very thing the appeasers are trying to prevent. Showing weakness to our adversaries does nothing but encourage them to press forward and force even more concessions until the appeasers are helpless and pose little threat of retaliation. And then the adversaries will strike without mercy. This is a pattern that has been repeated again and again through history.

When it comes foreign relations President Theodore Roosevelt had it exactly right:

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

For some, it's the only language they understand and the only language they respect. Yet our present President is going to throw it away and leave us open to attack and blackmail. That is not the mark of a leader.


Tea Party Protests A True Grassroots Effort

Gay Patriot brings up an interesting point about the Tea Party movement: It's a phenomenon based upon an idea and not a personality.

While Barack Obama’s presidential campaign did tap into a frustration with the-then incumbent Administration, that movement was built around an individual not an idea. Note how much the image of Obama was tied to the “ideas” of his campaign, “hope” and “change.” And those ideas were little more than bromides.

Obama's campaign was built upon a cult of personality, and not solid democratic ideals. While he made the appropriate noises during the campaign, they were merely empty promises made to cover his true agenda. The Tea Party movement however, is based upon the individual American's displeasure with the direction the President and his Congressional overlords are taking this country. They have a better understanding of the fallout from the socialist agenda of Obama Administration, both fiscally and constitutionally. It is a gut reaction from average American, a feeling that something has gone horribly wrong. This is their reaction.

Reactions from the nihilist Left seem to think this grassroots movement is nothing less than an effort to foment revolution.

Write that date down; people- it could very well mark the beginning of the end. With the notoriously conservative Tea Party movement gaining steam, is it time to take the ‘United’ out of ‘United States’?

The Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party-people consider themselves a coherent and diverse network of Americans from every conceivable walk of life. They are cultural warriors fighting against the tax-happy, spend-happy ways of the evil Obama cabal, real American patriots, and staunch defenders against the creeping evils of Socialism.

In reality, their ‘movement’ is incredibly divisive, a mindset that stands in sharp contrast to Obama’s calls for bipartisanship in this time of great national need. Their arguments have the potential to divide the country along titanic lines not seen since the bloody days of the Civil War.

“ Obama’s calls for bipartisanship”? Really? I guess that's true if your definition of bipartisanship is telling the Republican members of Congress to “shut up and do what we tell you to do!” Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have locked out Republicans from debate and compromise on the budget, the stimulus bill, and a host of other budgetary and lawmaking efforts. If that's bipartisanship, I want nothing to do with it.

It is the present administration and Congressional leadership that has acted in a divisive manner, ignoring those that disagree with them as if they have nothing worth listening to. It's starting to sound a lot like what we saw happen in Venezuela after Hugo Chavez took over – all things democratic were shoved aside or minimalized and replaced with Chavez's vision of a socialist Venezuela. Never mind that his 'vision' has all but destroyed his country's economy, curtailed civil rights, and visited misery upon the very people he claims he wants to help.

All that aside, the Tea Party movement is a grassroots movement. There are no political party organizers or funding behind it, unlike organizations like ACORN and OFA (remember ACORN got a couple of billion dollars of our tax money to help support The One's agenda).

The sheer number of scheduled rallies already shows the success of this truly grassroots endeavor. Unlike the Obama campaign, which was built around an individual, we don’t have a central organization in Washington, New York, Los Angeles or Chicago.. Our energy comes primarily from the citizens organizing in the various cities, not from the candidate around whom his supporters rallied.

And it takes effort to plan such a gathering. That we see such effort from coast to coast is testament to the concern of citizens about the ever-increasing size of the federal government. Another sign of the rallies’ success is further is the eagerness of some on the left to sabotage and/or smear our protests. They can’t fathom that conservatives, libertarians and even moderates would engage in the type of activity in which they delight.

Of course if the positions were switched, the Left would be going ape over the tactics being used to 'silence' them. But because it is they trying to silence the rest of us, it's perfectly fine for them to do so. As one commenter the nihilist diatribe linked above put it:

2002: Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

2009: Dissent is the highest form of treason.

Change we can believe in.

In other words, when we dissent against the leftist policies being implemented upon us against our will, somehow we have become traitors to our country. But what it really is is that our dissent is anathema to what all the socialist/progressive/cultist Left believe is the One True Faith, and that we must be marginalized or silenced because the One True Faith will brook no heresy. And that's what the Tea Party protests are – heresy against a long running, anti-human rights, impoverishing, murderous political ideology.

Therefore call me a heretic. I wear the title proudly.

Again from Gay Patriot:

To be sure, protest, to borrow an expression, is not really our cup of tea. We would really rather not rally; most of those upset by the proposed spending increases and certain tax hikes have real jobs. And we don’t have much nostalgia for the demonstrations of the 1960s–as do some on the left.

This is truly a grassroots effort if ever there was one. It shows that Americans’ love for freedom remains unabated, 236 years after our forebears protested British encroachments on our liberties.

And that's what we're protesting to protect: our lives, our liberty, our sacred 'fortunes'.


Tea Party On Tax Day

With Tax Day approaching and literally hundreds of Tax Day Tea Party protests scheduled to take place all over the country, we have to ask ourselves a number of questions. Some are simple. Others are profound.

One of the more interesting ones we should be asking our representatives in Washington is this:

Why is it you think that we, the American taxpayers, work for you? It is you who works for us, and we are hereby giving you notice that you better shape up and remember who's paying the bills, including your salary. Because if you don't, you're FIRED!

This is something the Founding Fathers tried to instill in all Americans when they authored the Constitution and its 'user guide', the Federalist Papers.

Here's a little reminder of what it is we're up against:



I hadn't thought of the Democratic Party this way, but one commenter to Bill Whittle's message to the rich summed it up this way:

It was with good reason that one of the Ten Commandments explicitly forbids envy. It is a poisonous emotion. We are now ruled by a political party based on envy.

I couldn't have said it better.

Message To The Rich - Leave While You Still Can

It appears Bill Whittle has taken a page from Ayn Rand and is advising the rich to get outta Dodge before it's too late:

Well, I read this article in the Washington Post, and I thought: there you have it. The top ten percent, that pays sixty percent of the total income tax and which allows the bottom half – HALF! – to pay nothing… Those horrible, greedy bastards are not using their free-will generosity as “efficiently” as the government can, so let’s just take more of their money and call it square.

So let me now send a personal message to The Rich in America…

As an American and a patriot, I implore you – I go to my knees and beg you – LEAVE NOW.

Leave. Just go away. Retire to the Cayman Islands or Bermuda or wherever, but do it now, please, while you still have some love for this country. Close your companies, fire your employees, shutter your factories and offices, sell your property, and take all of that somewhere else… better yet: somewhere scenic but poverty-stricken. Somewhere that could use some wealth creation. Somewhere that people simply are grateful to have a job in the first place. Somewhere where you will be appreciated.

As John Galt did in Atlas Shrugged, Whittle is telling the folks that actually produce a lot of wealth in this country to get out will they still have some of it left.

I don't blame him in the least, for the looters are running Congress and sit in the White House. They will steal every bit of wealth they can get away with, and then some, all while telling us “it's for the good of society”. The question is, which society? It certainly isn't the society of the the hard working, risk taking, self-made American. Instead it's for the society the looters see as deprived, exploited, and deserving of the results of the hard work of someone the looters despise intensely – the successful. It doesn't matter to the looters that their every action does more harm to those they profess to represent than anything the rich have ever done.

The looters have already started to wiggle their way into various parts of our economy, forcing themselves first into the financial sector, then the automotive sector, and soon into every other vital portion of our economy. Soon they will be in total control and our economy will start coming apart because the looters haven't got a friggin' clue how the economy really works. Oh, they have some nice socialist theories about the way it should work. The only problem is that every one of them have been discredit over the years because none of them work.

All they manage to do is create trickle up poverty and misery because they make the assumption people will work hard for altruistic reasons, for “the good of society”, and forgo the usual things that motivate them to succeed. There's one big problem with that theory: people aren't altruistic when their bellies go empty and their families suffer from the cockamamie theories and programs the looters foist upon them. Altruism is a fleeting thing. People can be and are altruistic now and again, here and there. But no one can be that way 24/7/365. It isn't in their nature. It's one major factor the socialist looters presently running two branches of the US government have conveniently ignored. (The Marxists-Leninists in the old Soviet Union tried desperately to instill such altruism in their populace, but failed miserably because they misunderstood human nature. Ultimately the Soviet Union collapsed because of that failure to understand 'how things work'.)

The looters are working overtime to instill hatred for the producers of wealth, because they need an excuse to seize ever greater portions of the wealth created, and use the confiscated wealth “for the good of society.”

You are not welcome in America any more. Take your wealth and prosperity and inventiveness and hard work and vision and insight and bold risk-taking and joy in seeing growth and wealth creation and just go away – right now, before it’s too late. Because if you stay, Joel Berg and Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd will continue to come after you for more and more and more and they will not ever stop – not ever – until you are forced to flee. And when that day comes, you will go with not with fond remembrances and a desire to return home, but rather a black heart and hard and bitter memories.

So on behalf of those few of us who still believe in the Land of Opportunity, I beg you and implore you, in the name of our common patriot ancestors who worked so hard and sacrificed so much so that we could become so spoiled and ungrateful: take your 60% of the total income taxes and just go away.

Because if you do, then there will no longer be an Enemy for the Left to stick it to. Then, perhaps, the half of the country that pays no income tax might have to put some skin in the game. Then, perhaps, with most of the wealth generation gone we will turn to our community organizers to provide the wealth creation, and the tax dollars, and the innovation. When you have gone the President of the United States, supported by an army of little acorns like Joel Berg, will have to start calling for the rest of us to be taxed more to address the inequality gap.

Without a foe, the looters will have a tough time selling their message. But maybe all they'll need to do is to find new foes. For example, more than a few states have already redefined “millionaire”, allowing them to tax even more people under their “stick it to the rich” tax codes. It's just a matter of time before the federal level looters do likewise. Of course they might decide to redefine the greedy rich as “anyone with a job.” (I know of a few that already consider anyone with a job as the privileged elite. Of course these same folks also advocate for the poor and are trying to make sure even more of us become that way. How twisted is that?)

Bill Whittle is right. The rich should get the hell out of the US while they still can. Don't let the looters have it their way. It's time for them to 'go Galt'.


Thoughts On A Sunday

I've been 'bach-ing' it since yesterday afternoon, with Deb and BeezleBub off to visit the WP In-Laws over the weekend. It's too quiet with them gone, even with our six feline family members keeping me company.


It's been some time since I started using Linux on a couple of the Weekend Pundit computers. A new release of the Ubuntu distribution, version 9.04, will be coming out in a couple weeks with some new features that look really neat.

With a few minor exceptions, I have found Linux to be more than adequate for almost 95% of the tasks I need to perform. The 5% of the tasks Linux can't handle are work related, using specialized software with Windows specific security keys. But it's rare I need to bring that kind of work home, so Linux does what I need it to do and does it well.

About the only negative I can report is that what anti-virus software is available for Linux (Clamav and AVG) isn't user friendly. One, Clamav, requires recompiling the kernel in order to enable a graphical user interface rather than using a command line. But viruses that affect Linux are few and far between...so far.


Even though the warmer weather has arrived, we're still using the woodstove, though only in the evenings. We'll still have almost 4 cords of firewood left by the end of the heating season, enough to get us through most of next winter, if not the entire winter. We haven't used nearly as much wood as we did last year.


President Obama has learned his charisma doesn't have any affect on other heads-of-state, being limited to the suckers that voted him into office back on this side of the pond. His pimping for other members of the G20 to pump trillions of dollars into the world economy as a “stimulus” has been rebuked. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded:

“I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money...We must look at the causes of this crisis. It happened because we were living beyond our means...We cannot repeat this mistake.” Germany has set aside about 4% of GDP for stimulus so far and has resisted increasing that to the extraordinary American level of about 8% of GDP.

The President is learning his oratory has little effect on those outside the US. Could it be because people elsewhere have a better read on Obama and realize he's a poseur, in over his head?

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


This morning's Good Morning America reported on the killings in Binghamton, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, and Oakland, CA. Part way through their report they made the statement that there are “renewed calls for more gun control.”

How disingenuous is this? Who is calling for more gun control? They haven't told us this. Could it be it's mostly the MSM making these calls? Are they being joined by the usual suspects?

Without a doubt.

I have to ask them this: Why is it that states with very minimal gun laws also have very low crime rates?

That's a question they haven't answered to date, nor do I expect to receive one because it flies in the face of what they've been preaching all these years.


More people in the Obama camp are wising up to the sleight-of-hand being pulled by the President and Congress when it comes to the historically large and deficit-ridden $3.5 trillion budget. A number of lies have been told in an effort to get support for the economy busting spending plan of the Socialist-In-Chief.

Congress has agreed to spend $3.5 trillion of American taxpayer money -- 34 percent of it borrowed -- for the purpose of economic recovery. Or so we are told.

Speaking of the President's budget, which both the House and the Senate passed on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "It's going to take a lot of work to clean up the mess we inherited, and passing this budget is a critical step in the right direction."

That was a deliberate lie, exposed as such by the budget itself. The bulk of its so-called recovery spending occurs years down the road, well after the administration predicts the economy will have begun growing again.

It's smoke and mirrors, folks. The present administration figures it can spend your money better than you can. Never mind the fact that you earned it. They want it, and the money your children and grandchildren will earn for the next few generations or so.


To give you a preview of what the future holds should the unions get their way and EFCA passes, Mayor Frank Guinta of Manchester, New Hampshire has been handed an ultimatum by the city's unions, making it very difficult for him to make necessary budget cuts in order to prevent an unaffordable rise in property taxes. Somehow the unions have come to believe they are immune from layoffs and pay cuts, and can dictate to the mayor and aldermen whether or not there will budget cuts or tax increases.

I could have sworn our elected officials were supposed to control spending and taxes, not the unions.


Another Obama tax pledge bites the dust.


The real reason the government doesn't want banks to repay TARP funds?

They want to control the banks directly.

The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough. The White House wants to tell 'em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.

If the banks are forced to keep TARP cash -- which was often forced on them in the first place -- the Obama team can work its will on the financial system to unprecedented degree. That's what's happening right now.

If I didn't know better I'd swear Obama and his advisors are acting more like a Chicago mob crime family, taking control of legitimate businesses and skimming money off the top.

The government is even threatening healthy banks, forcing them to take TARP funds they don't need, don't want, but can't give back, giving it control of those banks. In effect Barack Obama is nationalizing the banks through threats and subterfuge, bypassing the legislative process and oversight by the legislative and judicial branches of the government. It's an extortion racket, plain and simple.

There is simply no authority in the U.S. Constitution for Congress to exercise the level of control it now seeks over private industry. In fact, this level of control will wind up costing the businesses that took TARP (voluntarily or involuntarily) money since they will lose key employees who will go to work elsewhere and because the reporting requirements will take time and time is money. The Constitution basically says that if the government wants to take time or freedom or money from someone or something, it must sue for it. It cannot just give itself the authority to do so via legislation.

I wonder if or when the MSM will wake up to the fact that Obama has fooled them all, made them willing dupes in a campaign to radically make over the US into a socialist hell run by a creation of the Chicago political machine. Hopefully they'll realize it before he actually controls them, too.

Are you scared yet?


More on narcissism.

Sound like anyone we know?


Here's an indicator of “bipartisanship” in Congress.

Not one Republican in the House, not one, voted in favor of Obama's $3.5 trillion budget. Twenty Democrats also voted nay. Can you blame them? They know this budget is an economy-killer and want nothing to do with it.

Will this be setting up a mid-term election sweep in 2010, removing a large number of spend-and-tax Democrats from the House? I hope so. It may be the American taxpayer's only hope to undo the damage Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are doing to the economy.


There's no way we should let Obama control the Internet. He's been seizing too much power that isn't his to begin with. The last thing we need is to give him the ability to shut it down during an ambiguously defined “emergency”. Knowing his proclivities, “emergency” could be defined as too many blog posts criticizing him and his plans to create a socialist America.


Sales of Atlas Shrugged now ranks #18 at Amazon.

What do you think that means? (As if we didn't know.)


If the government takes control of the health care system, will they withhold treatment for otherwise healthy elderly citizens because it would be cheaper to make sure they die? Glenn Reynolds argues the point that if life-prolonging medical treatment keeps the elderly healthy and active, they are more likely to keep working and paying into the system rather than being paid by the system.

I can see where that would be the case, knowing quite a few retired folks that wish they were still healthy enough to keep working. (No, I'm not kidding. As more than one person put it, being retired is great for the first month or so. After that it can get boring.)

If life expectancy increased by twenty or thirty years, I doubt very much people would still be retiring at 65.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where mud season is upon us, thoughts are turning to the upcoming boating season, and where the ice is quickly disappearing from the lake.