FairPoint Communications - I Told You So!

I promised myself I wasn't going to say this again, but I lied.


The questionable sale of Verizon wireline assets in northern New England (Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont) to FairPoint Communications was something I was against from the beginning. The price tag was too high and FairPoint was buying into an operation that was many times its size, but an operation that was already suffering a decline in customers as they fled to wireless (cell phone) or digital phone services provided by the cable companies because they were far cheaper, more convenient, or both. That decline accelerated after FairPoint took over operations and quality of service declined.

Now unless FairPoint can renegotiate its loan terms it won't be able to make the interest payments due this October. This could force them into bankruptcy.

Fairpoint Communications could file for bankruptcy before the end of the year, if its debt holders don't agree to allow the company to postpone interest payments, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The North Carolina telecommunications company, which took over Verizon's landline phone network in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, has faced continual service, technical and financial problems. According to the filing, the company does not expect it will be able to pay the interest due in October on $530 million in loans. The SEC filing, submitted Wednesday, asks the company's lenders to exchange their notes for new loans that would give FairPoint more time to repay.

Prior to the sale in April 2008, the utility regulators of all three states questioned the original $2.7 billion sale price agreed to by Verizon and FairPoint, saying it was too much for the assets being sold. The sale price was renegotiated to just above $2.1 billion, a value that many believed (including me) was still too high. Financing also hit a snag when interest rates for the loans climbed from 8% to over 13% just days before the sale, making the costs higher.

This sale has been a bad deal for the consumers right from the beginning. FairPoint promised deployment of broadband technology to areas not covered by any kind of broadband services. Unfortunately they chose to use DSL, a technology that is already considered to be obsolete because it cannot provide the bandwidth necessary for many present and future broadband services. Other technologies have already passed them by, particularly wireless.

My mother-in-law recently subscribed to Verizon's Wireless Broadband service, which became available in her rural town (population ~700) late last year. FairPoint hasn't deployed DSL there yet and isn't likely to any time soon. They're having trouble enough trying to maintain telephone service in the area, let alone deploy DSL. She has connection speeds that are faster than FairPoint's DSL service in a lot of towns presently being served by them.

FairPoint's financial problems do not bode well for the consumer, particularly if they end up filing under Chapter 11. I expect they'll end up selling of some of the assets they bought from Verizon. Perhaps Verizon will buy them back, specifically the FiOS FTTH services in southern New Hampshire and southern Maine, making Verizon a direct landline competitor of FairPoint. (Verizon is already a phone service competitor through Verizon Wireless).


There Was No Military Coup In Honduras

I find the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration has reached new heights, particularly in regards to the arrest and exile of Honduran President Zelaya by the Honduran Army.

The media has called it a military coup. But it was the Honduran government following Honduran law and the Honduran Constitution, keeping democracy alive in a nation that had come under the power of a nascent Hugo Chavez.

Zelaya was not deposed on a whim of the Honduran Supreme Court. He was warned that his efforts to subvert the constitution in order to become a long-term president (maybe President-For-Life) would not be tolerated. More than once he tried to dismantle the government institutions that ensured the laws of Honduras would be followed. More than once he tried to replace army officers with those that would be loyal to him and not Honduras. When he tried to hold an illegal referendum (with the help of Hugo Chavez, dictator of Venezuela and a close ally of Zelaya), the court acted, ordering his arrest.

That Mr. Zelaya acted as if he were above the law, there is no doubt. While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. (Emphasis mine - ed). A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.

But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.

So a president fancies himself above the law, tries an end run around the constitution, and is arrested for breaking the law. How is this a coup? It certainly is allowed under the Honduran Constitution. Nowhere does it say in their constitution that they must sit quietly while their president tries to make himself President-For-Life and turns their country into a clone of Venezuela or Cuba.

Neither Obama nor Secretary of State Clinton should be condemning the moves by the Honduran government to ensure democracy stays alive in their country. But then again, Obama is on overt socialist and sympathetic to Marxist ideology (by his own admission).


Thoughts On A Sunday

Yesterday was BeezleBub's first day back at the farm after his week long post-school vacation down at the WP In-Laws. From now on most of his days will be filled with farm work, something he actually enjoys. At least he'll be inside one of the greenhouses today, staying out of the damp weather that has descended upon us yet again.

We've had all of two real days of summer weather this past week, with the rest of it resembling early to mid May: cool temps, lots of rain.

I don't think we'll make it out on to the lake today considering the forecast.


You know America's screwed when even the Europeans are looking upon Obama's planned spending and social programs with alarm.

This proves to me that Obama and his advisors really haven't an effin' clue about how economies work and where all the money actually comes from.

(H/T Instapundit)


On a related note, it appears Obama is ignoring the lessons of California, New York, and New Jersey, three states that tried living the tax and spend lifestyle, but in the end failed. Now Obama is espousing the same kind of tax and spend lifestyle for the entire nation. Does he really think he can pull off what others have tried and failed to do?

Of course he does. And he'll fail, just like they did. The only problem is that he'll take all of the rest of us with him when the US goes bankrupt.


The Obama Administration is showing its arrogance towards our allies, particularly the Germans. As an article in Der Spiegel illustrates, the Germans don't have a very good impression of Obama or his staffers, and rightfully so.

(H/T Rachel Lucas)


Barney Frank is still trying to sell the idea that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should loosen their lending standards for those wanting to buy condos. Isn't this how we got into trouble with the housing bubble to begin with?

A reminder: Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting the results to be different this time.

I'd say that pretty well sums up Barney. It also applies to President Obama (see above).


The TaxProf points us to a study that shows high taxes tend to cause small business bankruptcies. Seeing how my home state of New Hampshire has just imposed taxes on over 45,000 small businesses for the first time, I expect many of those barely holding on and making a small profit during these tough times will be forced into bankruptcy, courtesy of the state legislature.

Deb and I own a small business and with the taxes we will now have to pay we will see our small profit disappear. We'll be lucky if we break even unless Deb stops drawing a salary. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of owning a small business? It goes to show you that far too many legislators at state and federal level really don't understand where the money actually comes from, or that they really don't care.


Is the honeymoon between Obama and the press over? It would appear so.

One job of journalists is, to borrow a horse racing phrase, to "call the turns" of developing news. Yesterday, the White House press corps called the end of the Obama honeymoon.

By peppering the President with forceful questions on Iran and other big topics and by challenging some of his slippery answers, reporters captured the changing tone in the country. Like the end of a real honeymoon, blind infatuation is giving way to a more accurate view of reality.

Not that there won't be members of the MSM that will still carry water for Obama, but for the most part members of the media won't be looking the other way or letting Obama get away with giving non-answer answers.


Skip at GraniteGrok reminds us that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, particularly when it comes to socialism. That certainly hasn't stopped our Socialist-in-Chief from trying to make America into yet another socialist hell, much like the America in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.


Neoneocon gives us a preview of how well Obamacare will work and what it will actually cost by looking at how well RomneyCare (Obamacare Lite) is working in the People's Republic of Massachusetts.

We really don't want to go there, particularly in light of the problems with the UK's National Health Service and the over $3.6 billion in negligence claims filed against the NHS. Should we duplicate the NHS in the form of Obamacare, I would expect negligence claims would total in the hundreds of billions of dollars (we being the litigious society we are).


How is it Obama thinks he'll get his way on Cap-and-Trade (Waxman-Markey)? It's simple.

He think's you're stupid.


Obama is showing more of his socialist sympathies when he condemns the actions of the Honduran Army in ousting and exiling Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

Zelaya was trying to force passage of a constitutional amendment that would made him President-For-Life, much like his left-wing socialist ally Hugo Chavez. The Honduran Supreme Court had already ruled Zelaya's actions illegal.

Wow, the Obama administration springs immediately into action to succor a wannabe Marxist dictator, yet Beloved Leader Barack couldn't find it in his heart to say a few "just words" when Iranians were dying in the streets under the thumb of the mullahs.

That's because he really doesn't believe in freedom for anyone but the elite, meaning him and his devoted followers.


Rachel Lucas feels the same way I do about the outpouring of grief over the death of Michael Jackson.

It is pathetic how the media is fixating on Michael Jackson. Forget Iran, forget everything that truly matters to the future and well-being of millions if not billions of human beings. The King of Pop has died! OMG! Honestly it makes me want to throw up.

Imagine what could be accomplished in this world if all those people - who are out there on the streets, gathering at his house and the UCLA hospital, making signs and bringing flowers, crying, hugging each other, talking to the news - imagine if all those assholes used that time, energy, and emotion on things that actually matter.

Have you noticed how the reports and tributes to Jackson have blown just about everything else off TV? Maybe that's just what the Obama Administration wants because it takes the attention of the American people off what's going on in Congress and the White House.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where rainy weather has returned, NASCAR fans are departing, and where Monday is returning all too soon.


Is The Tide Turning Against AGW?

As Kimberly Strassel reports, the number of Anthropogenic Global Warming skeptics is growing by leaps and bounds, despite what you may have heard from the MSM.

Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as "deniers." The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)

What is driving the growing number of skeptics? Evidence. Worldwide data that disputes or invalidates many of the clams being made by AGW proponents, and in turn, putting the various theories about AGW to the test. In this case, a test they are failing.

But that hasn't stopped the US Congress from going forward with legislation that is based upon the ever less relevant AGW theories. After all, Congress doesn't want to be confused by facts. Instead, they'll push to throw a monkey wrench into the US economy that will do nothing to abate AGW, but it will make them feel better. After all, the Left is all about feelings.


Will Australia Settle The Global Warming Debate?

With the continuing brouhaha about whether Anthropogenic Global Warming is real or a hoax, it could be that it will be Australia that will finally end the debate, and not the way that AlGore or Dr. Hansen want it to be.

As the US Congress considers the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, the Australian Senate is on the verge of rejecting its own version of cap-and-trade. The story of this legislation's collapse offers advance notice for what might happen to similar legislation in the US—and to the whole global warming hysteria.

Since the Australian government first introduced its Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation—the Australian version of cap-and-trade energy rationing—there has been a sharp shift in public opinion and political momentum against the global warming crusade. This is a story that offers hope to defenders of industrial civilization—and a warning to American environmentalists that the climate change they should be afraid of just might be a shift in the intellectual climate.

Much of this shift is due to a book authored by Australian scientist Ian Plimer, Heaven and Earth, Global Warming: The Missing Science. When a staunch global warming advocate like Australian Paul Sheehan is swayed by Plimer's book and comes to realize global warming is a crock, then it's a pretty good indication that Plimer may have more than enough verifiable evidence that disproves global warming, at least as it applies to human activity. Sheehan writes:

Much of what we have read about climate change, [Plimer] argues, is rubbish, especially the computer modeling on which much current scientific opinion is based, which he describes as "primitive."…

The Earth's climate is driven by the receipt and redistribution of solar energy. Despite this crucial relationship, the sun tends to be brushed aside as the most important driver of climate. Calculations on supercomputers are primitive compared with the complex dynamism of the Earth's climate and ignore the crucial relationship between climate and solar energy.

To reduce modern climate change to one variable, CO2, or a small proportion of one variable—human-induced CO2—is not science. To try to predict the future based on just one variable (CO2) in extraordinarily complex natural systems is folly.

But that one factor is the entire basis of AGW theory. All other factors are ignored or marginalized. Skeptics are labeled as 'deniers' or 'tools of the oil and coal companies.' No debate is possible because the so-called warmist doctrine must not be questioned in any fashion. But supporting such doctrine becomes more difficult when former supporters of AGW theory look deeper into the data and research and find it doesn't match the theory.

But things like facts don't matter much to many in the US Congress. Instead, it is feelings that matter and if they feel that global warming is the greatest danger (or the greatest opportunity to grab power), then that's all the justification they need to pass draconian measures like the Waxman-Markey “cap and trade” bill. Never mind there's no real need for it.

Obama's "Prescription For America": Cyanide

I watched a portion of ABC's Obama love-fest, Prescription For America.

Can you say “Handpicked, softball questions?” Sure you can.

The dead give away was the question asked by one young woman that started with an outright and verifiable falsehood: “Knowing that the health care systems in European nations are much better and less costly....”

Ask anyone in Europe if their health care is better than that available in the US and the likely answer is “no”, and that's because access to a waiting list in order to be treated for what ails you is not the same as actually being treated.

The contention that US health is somehow inferior is a convenient lie being used by those wishing to make sure we end up with an inferior and ineffective single payer system, i.e. socialized medicine. It is the inefficiency of providing treatment that is the problem, not the level of care or quality of treatment that is the problem.

The American health care system is in need of reform. It's inefficient, its costs are rising at unsustainable rates and it leaves too many people uninsured. But for all of that, most Americans do get something for the fortune they pour into health care — pretty good treatment, at least compared to the rest of the world.

Some will try to point out that the 'free market' system isn't working when it comes to medical care, but their assumption is false. For the most part health care is in no way a free market system. The various medical facilities and practices are not charging what the market will bear nor setting the prices for their services. Instead the costs of various treatments and medical procedures are being determined by insurance company or the government care program (Medicare and Medicaid) bureaucracies. Such a set up can in no way be called a free market system.

The only 'free market' medical care is concentrated in two specialties: plastic surgery and ophthalmology (specifically LASIK). Their costs have continuously gone down because health insurance doesn't pay for such surgery unless it is reconstructive, such as after traumatic injury or cancer surgery.

Another free market medical practice making inroads: walk-in medical clinics that provide basic primary medical care. They are usually located in pharmacies, large retail operations (like Walmart), or store front locations. Their costs are low because they don't take insurance. It's cash or credit card. There are also a few medical practices, mostly family medicine, that also do not take insurance. Like the walk-in clinics, they post their prices right in the waiting room. They provide basic primary medical care at low costs because they don't have the excessive costs associated with handling and filing insurance claims. (John Stossel has covered this topic a number of times.)

If Obama really wanted to reform health care, he would move to do away with health insurance except for that covering catastrophic or chronic care. But we know he won't do that because it means the government will not be able to take over the health care system.


Barney Frank - Economic Moron

I have to wonder why Barney Frank is still in office.

First, he torpedoes any effort by Congress or President Bush to tighten controls on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, declaring they were both financially sound even though their lending practices were sketchy at best.

We all know what happened to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Now dimbulb Barney wants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to loosen their lending standards again.

Back when the housing mania was taking off, Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank famously said he wanted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to "roll the dice" in the name of affordable housing. That didn't turn out so well, but Mr. Frank has since only accumulated more power. And now he is returning to the scene of the calamity -- with your money. He and New York Representative Anthony Weiner have sent a letter to the heads of Fannie and Freddie exhorting them to lower lending standards for condo buyers.

You read that right. After two years of telling us how lax lending standards drove up the market and led to loans that should never have been made, Mr. Frank wants Fannie and Freddie to take more risk in condo developments with high percentages of unsold units, high delinquency rates or high concentrations of ownership within the development.

Isn't this how we got into trouble in the first place? He doesn't get it, does he? He really doesn't get it.


Questions About Cap-And-Trade

With Obama's push for a “cap and trade” system for dealing with the Evil Human's carbon dioxide, there are some questions that must be asked.

With the onerous Waxman-Markey bill that would set up the cap and trade system, we must know what the actual effects of such a tax (for that's what it really is) will have on the US economy. After reading a number of articles, blog posts, as well as the actual language of the bill, I have to say that Henry Waxman and Ed Markey haven't really thought this through. Their bill will have more far reaching effects than they expect, including reducing the US to a Third World nation due to the overly restrictive conditions while countries like India and China won't be bound by such restrictions. But from what I've seen of Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, they really don't care as long as they can gain more control over our economy, and through it, our lives.

They do not seem to believe that energy is of any significance to our economy or our people. But the truth is it matters to all of us--to those who drive, heat our houses and run businesses, cities, towns, hospitals and schools.

The Manhattan Institute's Jim Manzi concludes that the benefits of Waxman-Markey would not be much. Historical data show that the average rate of warming in the 30 years from 1977 to 2007 was just 0.32 degree Fahrenheit per decade. The expected warming in the next hundred years is estimated to be about 0.50 degree Fahrenheit per decade, and the new bill is estimated to lower global temperatures by about 0.18 degree Fahrenheit by 2100. Manzi estimates the additional economic costs of the bill would be 0.8% of gross domestic product, while the economic benefits would be just 0.08%--so the costs would be 10 times the benefits.

Energy development and creation have been essential to America's success over the past several centuries, and they are important for America's future. But the Obama-Waxman-Markey legislation has it backwards: By reducing energy availability, their proposals would kill jobs, reduce purchasing power, shrink the economy, and raise the cost of every fuel we use.

The Waxman-Markey bill seems more like a “We've got to do something!” bill, to make it look like Congress cares about the unproven and ever more questionable theories on anthropogenic Global Warming. But it's a sham meant to separate us from even more of our money...assuming we'll be able to keep our jobs once the energy we need is no longer available.

This bill also raises another question: What if global warming is disproved and we find we're entering a decades long period of global cooling? Will Congress repeal Waxman-Markey if it turns out we've been sold a lie?

Of course not. Once the Left has control over such a big portion of our economy and our lives, they would be unlikely to give it up, nor stop pushing their agenda.

Fallen Angels indeed.


Thoughts On A Sunday

School has ended for the year for BeezleBub and he's spending a week down at the WP In-Laws before returning to work at the farm full time. I expect he and his grandfather will spend a good portion of their time together working in BeezleBub's Jeep. (Yes, he bought a 1975 Jeep CJ5 with money he earned working at the farm. As he said, “Most kids in our high school have drivers licenses but no car. I have my own car, but no drivers license...yet.”)

This will be a year long restoration project, meaning that by the time BeezleBub gets his license his Jeep should be ready for the road.


The weather has not been conducive to celebrating Bike Week 2009, with two days during the week and most of Saturday during both last and this weekend. Also, the Official Weekend Pundit Camera has not recovered from our trip to Florida. Therefore, I also have no photos of my own to show.

That sucks.


It turns out that one of my favorite conservative members of the MSM now has his own blog. Stop by John Stossel's new digs and check it out.


Tom Bowler offers his opinion on the Trojan Horse that is Obamacare, showing that it is merely a deception designed to move the US to a single payer medical system, also known as socialized medicine.


Blackfive schools us, and in turn a certain US Senator from California, about respect and how the military shows respect by their forms of address for individuals. This is something I learned as a teen while a Civil Air Patrol Cadet back in the late 1960's/early 1970's. I have never forgotten.


Bill Whittle deconstructs revisionist history in regards to the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are some people today that believe there was no need to drop the bombs on Japan, that it was immoral to drop such a horrible weapon without warning the Japanese people living there.

But they were warned 5 days before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima that they were targeted for destruction by American bombers. Dropping those bombs also did away with the need to invade the Japanese home islands, meaning over 1 million+ casualties on both sides did not occur.

As the saying goes, “Read The Whole Thing.”


Why is anyone surprised at Obama's moves, dismissing or firing anyone having the audacity to investigate his actions or the actions of his cronies or associations connected to him? After all, it's The Chicago Way.

I wonder how many of the dead will vote for him during the next presidential election? That's also The Chicago Way.

(H/T Instapundit)


Are the days of the mullahs numbered? As protests across Iran spread even as the government forces have turned their guns on protesters, the number of protesters has increased. Unconfirmed reports also have protesters seizing weapons from police and basij and defending themselves against them.

If the protests continue to spread in defiance of the Ayatollah Khamenei's orders, a second Iranian revolution could be in the making.

It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of dictators.


One thing Congress isn't telling you about the health care bill intended to provide health insurance for the American people: Congress and federal employees will be exempt.

It should apply to everyone or no one.


Our latest addition to The Manse's feline menagerie, Charlotte, has been integrating well into the household. She still hisses and growls at the others, but only now and then. I figure it will take another week or two before she stops doing that and feels more comfortable with her new family.

Like Hilda, Charlotte is a Maine Coon Cat, but with different coloring. We believe she is older than five of our six cats, but much younger than Bagheera The Magnificent.


It's interesting that when Republican legislators propose budget cuts to help balance a state budget, they're called immoral , unfeeling, and cold hearted. But when Democrat legislators propose the exact same budget cuts, they're called “tough cuts that had to be made.”

All of this is not simply to point out the hypocrisy of politicians who portray themselves as noble defenders of children, the poor and the infirm only to cut programs for those same people when times are tough. It is to note that so many funding decisions cast in stark moral terms are not about morals at all, but about basic economics. In flush times it is easy to pretend that government spending is all about morality. When money is tight all around, that theory is exposed for the canard that it is.

So it's moral and right if the Democrats propose cuts, but immoral and cold heated if the Republicans propose the same cuts.


It's Father's Day today. It's also the first day of summer, though you wouldn't know it looking at the weather we've been experiencing here in New England. There's been lots of rain, below normal temperatures (lower 60's rather than lower 80's), and not a whole lot of sunshine.

Does someone want to tell me about global warming again?


As Rand Simberg reminds us, the economic crisis was not caused by the free market.


They have got to be kidding, right?


Like many others, neo-neocon wants Obama to fix Medicare first before tackling the health care for the rest of us.

President Obama hasn’t given up on his plans for sweeping reforms—including a public option—in health care and health insurance. But if Obama would slow down and work on Medicare first, and actually succeed in cutting costs there, he could actually garner some bipartisan support for his plan as well as some perception that he might really know what he’s doing.

Of course, that would mean actually showing some concrete results in tackling a very knotty problem, not Obama’s strong suit.

Indeed. Our president is very good at talking about 'solutions', but has a poor track record for actually carrying through and finishing what's he's started. I doubt that will change, even with Pelosi and Reid doing much of the work.


Hotspur points us to a list of Toys That Would Be Illegal Today, including this one. I remember most of them and owned or used a like number.

How any of us survived to reach adulthood remains a mystery.


The rumble of thousands of motorcycles has faded away for yet another year as Motorcycle Week 2009 ends. Attendance was down, as expected, though the rainy weather had more to do with it than the economy, in my opinion.

Hopefully next year's Motorcycle Week will more than make up for this year's dismal weather.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where bikers are heading home, rain has been coming and going, and where we're still waiting for summer weather to arrive.


Yet Another Questionable Climate Report

The latest federal report on climate change gets a drubbing from one of the researches quoted in the report.

Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. says the report “misrepresents his own research and that it wrongly concludes that climate change is already responsible for an increase in damages from natural disasters.”

Says Pielke:

[Why] is a report characterized by [White House] Science Advisor John Holdren as being the “most up-to-date, authoritative, and comprehensive” analysis relying on a secondary, non-peer source citing another non-peer reviewed source from 2000 to support a claim that a large amount of uncited and more recent peer-reviewed literature says the opposite about?

It's because there's money to be made and power to be taken by the Warmists and their socialist allies. Truth and scientific integrity have absolutely nothing to do with the AGW debate, at least as far as the Warmists are concerned.

Listening on NPR the other day, a report about on a meeting by those looking to find ways to offset global warming through climate engineering got my hackles up. The report was based upon the assumption that AGW is real, that the science has been settled, and that no other discussion is required or wanted. Yet the reality is that many actual scientists (unlike many of the so-called scientists involved with the IPCC report that were instead economists, journalists, financiers, or politicians), particularly those involved in fields actually related to climatology and meteorology, have grave doubts about AGW and the UN IPCC report. Some of those scientists originally supported the IPCC report, but now question the conclusions and the 'science' behind them.

As an aside, I do have questions for the Warmists they have failed to answer so far:

Why do you assume a warmer world will necessarily be a Bad Thing™? History shows that warmer climates in the past (the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period) were quite beneficial to just about everyone on the planet. How can you say that this time it will be just the opposite? How did you reach your conclusions?

I won't be holding my breath waiting for answers.

(H/T Instapundit by way of Maggie's Farm)


Two States Finally See The (Financial) Light...Maybe

With the prospect of the US Government deciding enough is enough when it comes to bailouts, it looks like Governor Schwarzenegger has finally remembered that he is indeed the governor and is finally doing something that might actually help California out of the $40 billion hole it dug for itself.

With a restructuring of the state income tax to a flat 6% that covers a much wider portion of the wage earners than the existing progressive (and very high) income tax and the willingness to lay off state employees, it could be the Governator has finally seen the financial light and is doing something he should have done after taking office: rein in profligate spending and stop tapping the taxpayer's wallets again and again and again.

Will these measures erase California's budget deficit? No, but they will make a significant dent. They also set a precedent that should be carried forward until state spending is under control.

Another state has also reached the conclusion that layoffs and furloughs of state employees are necessary at a time when the state's taxpayers are telling the legislature and the governor “Enough!”

The proposed budget for New Hampshire includes more job cuts after a conference committee couldn't agree on a wide swath of tax and fee increases many saw as a a detriment to the states economy because they were business hostile. Things like video slot machines at the state's race tracks (dog and horse tracks) as well as two other locations in the northern tier of the state were shot down, as were efforts to remove a tax credit that offset the Business Profits Tax,. An increase in gasoline taxes, as well as new taxes on capital gains, estates, and mortgage refinancing were defeated in committee.

Neither state has gone far enough to balance their budgets. New Hampshire will still see a substantial increase in state spending on top of the 17.5% increase it had to endure in the last state budget. California still has billions it must shave off of its state budget if it wants to avoid bankruptcy.

Hopefully both states have learned a valuable lesson. The question is whether they will remember that lesson.


No Bailout For The Golden State

One thing I agree with wholeheartedly: California must not be bailed out by the US taxpayers.

Such a bailout would set a bad and unsustainable precedent.

For one thing it would delay the time California would have to deal with its financial crisis, that being spending far more money than its taking in from tax revenues. It's not like they can raise taxes much higher as they already have the highest tax burden in the US. Instead, they have to get their spending under control even if it means laying off state workers, closing down state programs, and learning to discern between nice-to-haves and need-to-haves. Somewhere along the line the California legislature and governor(s) have forgotten how to do that.

Should California receive such a bailout, there would then be a flood of other states demanding the same thing. Instead of showing fiscal restraint by cutting spending and reining in taxes, the bailout funds would allow them to put off making the hard decisions they were elected to make. It's time for them to start earning their pay.

Will such actions be hard to take and will there be pain involved? Certainly. But it will be far less painful to do it now than waiting until they are forced into it by circumstances beyond their control, like bankruptcy.

More Unintended Conseqeunces Of Obamacare

One thing most people are ignoring when it comes to Obama's plan for health care reform: unintended consequences. But from other countries that have implemented their own versions of Obamacare, as well as periods in our own past, we can predict that certain activities will change in the medical field, and not for the better. It is quite apparent that one thing that will be negatively affected is medical innovation and research, specifically in the area of the development of new drugs.

Scientific discoveries are neither inevitable nor predictable. What is more, they are affected, especially in our time, by forces outside the laboratory—in particular, the actions of politicians and government bureaucracies. The past quarter-century has offered several meaningful object lessons in this regard. For example, in the 1980s, the Reagan administration undertook a number of actions, both general and specific, that had a positive effect on the pace of discovery. On the general front, low taxes and a preference for free trade helped generate a positive economic climate for private investment, including in the rapidly growing health-care sector. More specifically, the Reagan administration engaged in new technology transfer policies to promote joint ventures, encouraged and passed the Orphan Drug Act to encourage work on products with relatively small markets, and accelerated approval and use of certain data from clinical trials in order to hasten the approval of new products. All of these initiatives helped foster discovery.

That which the government gives, it can also take away. As the 1990s began, a set of ideas began to gain traction about health care and its affordability (it seems hard to believe, but the first election in which health care was a major issue was a Pennsylvania Senate race only eighteen years ago, in 1991). Americans began to fear that their health-care benefits were at risk; policymakers and intellectuals on both sides of the ideological divide began to fear that the health-care system was either too expensive or not comprehensive enough; and the conduct of private businesses in a field that now ate up nearly 14 percent of the nation's gross domestic product came under intense public scrutiny.

A leading critic of Big Pharma, Greg Critser, wrote in his 2007 Generation Rx that President Clinton picked up on a public discomfort with drug prices and "began hinting at price controls" during his first term in office. These hints had a real impact. As former FDA official Scott Gottlieb has written, "Shortly after President Bill Clinton unveiled his proposal for nationalizing the health-insurance market in the 1990s (with similar limits on access to medical care as in the [current] Obama plan), biotech venture capital fell by more than a third in a single year, and the value of biotech stocks fell 40 percent. It took three years for the 'Biocentury' stock index to recover. Not surprisingly, many companies went out of business."

Actions have consequences, something the Obama Administration has not yet learned. If President Obama has his way, the fallout could include a big drop in R&D in medical and pharmaceutical fields. New discoveries would cease and 'state of the art' medical treatments would quickly become 'status quo' treatments. That does not bode well for any of us.

Another Victim Of Obamacare?

A few days ago I posted about one of the first victims of Obamacare – a planned hospital expansion in Knoxville, Tennessee was canceled.

Apparently that's not the only hospital expansion put on hold indefinitely.

The hospital local to The Manse, Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, New Hampshire, has put their expansion plans on hold due to further cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and Obama's plans to 'reform' health care, something the hospital board sees will result in even lower payments for services rendered. That makes any plans for expansion non-viable from a financial viewpoint.

Explain to me again how Obama's health care plan is supposed to expand health care coverage by driving hospitals closer to the financial brink?


More FUD From Democrats About Sarah Palin

It seems I can't get away from this subject for more than a week or so before it comes up again. What subject am I talking about?

The Democrats abject fear of Sarah Palin.

The Dems and their MSM allies have been all over her like nothing I've seen. They haven't been covering any of the future GOP Presidential hopefuls like this. All their efforts seem to be focused on Governor Palin. Here's why:

The left is telling us something many feel, many find as a hunch, that Sarah Palin is the most dangerous threat to the Obama administration with no close second. (Emphasis mine.) The left is telling us this by their "over the top" attacks. Not just the Letterman assaults, but the constant barrage of grievances filed against her in Alaska. The attacks every day on Palin for no apparent reason -- except that the left seems to see her quite differently from any Republican candidate.

They would never do this to Romney, Huckabee or Newt, at least not to this level. There is a clear reason -- these guys couldn't fill up a high school stadium unless they were giving out free beer.

Palin could fill a stadium if she were reciting a cookbook. But she isn't. She is delivering common sense to an electorate that is becoming ever more jaded every day with the Obama nonsense. Miranda rights for terrorists? $4 trillion deficit?

That could be one reason the Democrats fear her: she speaks plainly and with common sense, something that appeals to most Americans. But that's not the only reason the Dems have it in for Palin.

There are tens of millions of people who never voted for Obama, telling their friends "don't blame me." There is a growing number who did vote for Obama who have lost their jobs at car dealerships, who have not found work yet even after the massive spending, and there are those who just say "...this is not the change I had in mind."

The number of comments from the linked post are quite telling, with many seeing the Democrats are indeed afraid of Sarah Palin. Others tried to write her off as nothing but an underqualified, not too bright, unethical, bible-thumping pseudo-woman, who obviously must be crooked because of all of the unfounded ethics complaints filed against her by Alaskan Democrats. Never mind that every complaint filed against her has been found to be unsubstantiated or outright false.

One commenter made mention of the “I can see Russia from my house” comment, not realizing (or caring) that is was Tina Fey who made that statement during a Saturday Night Live skit. I guess it must be guilt by association.

But it might not be just Democrats that fear Sarah. There are undoubtedly a number of inside-the-beltway Republicans that would like to see her disappear, much the same way they wanted Ronald Reagan to disappear, too.

[Another] reason Palin is hated is that she hasn't been vetted by the political class, the inside-the-beltway types of both parties who profess love of the common folk, but in reality hold them in contempt. Palin arose from humble roots, rising farther and faster than many who attended the fanciest schools, come from old money, and so on. In short, she is seen as an interloper, a hick who accidentally got invited to the ball.

Never mind that most Americans have far more faith in a self-starter like Palin than the political elite in Washington. And that just makes the elite hate her even more because she appeals to the 'great unwashed masses' - average Americans. “But how can that be? Only we know what the proles..uhh...public really need!”

The amount of invective aimed at Palin from the Left is at levels difficult to comprehend, particularly since their demi-god Obama won the election and now sits in the Oval Office. It seems to be the political equivalent of a pre-emptive strike, an attempt to eliminate a viable political opponent before 2012 rolls around. In the pre-Internet age such character assassination might have easily worked, torpedoing a promising national political career before it got off the ground. But in these days of Google, YouTube, and a host of other websites, the dirty tricks are too easily countered and the perpetrators too easily exposed. That isn't to say that it could never work, only that it's much more difficult to pull it off. Just ask Dan Rather.

From the same commenter as above:

I can't put my finger on it, but there is something about a physically attractive, successful, conservative woman that drives some people over the edge, maybe it holds their own less-impressive accomplishments in greater relief. But, all I know is that I heard some of the most foul, disrespectful, [misogynistic] language I have ever heard, from from people whom I thought I knew, about Sarah Palin. At least one man I formerly regarded as a friend, is no longer one... not after "joking" he'd like to gang-rape Palin with some of his friends. He was/is an Obama supporter. As Letterman has shown, this sleazy attack was not an isolated incident.

Significantly, another strong conservative woman, Lady Margaret Thatcher, was viciously attacked in much the same manner by her foes in the U.K.

Comparing Palin to Margaret Thatcher certainly moves Sarah up to a higher plane in my eyes. Goodness knows Sarah didn't become governor of Alaska by being submissive or stupid. There's steel in her backbone, just like Thatcher. (Margaret Thatcher wasn't called the “Iron Lady” for nothing.)

From the other side of the aisle comes this 'observation':

Sorry, but a lot of Alaskans don't like or trust Palin. I have a friend who lives in Juneau, and I know first hand that many Alaskans do not appreciate Palin's rejection of stimulus money from the federal government, or her other decisions as governor. Don't attribute all state level actions against Palin to some kind of national plot.

It's true. About 20% of Alaskans don't like or trust Palin. However, the other 80% do. I'd call that a mandate. And I certainly “don't attribute all state level actions against Palin to some kind of national plot.” Instead, I only attribute most of them to a “national plot”. The rest come from her Democratic political opponents in Alaska. I also salute Governor Palin's rejection of stimulus money. Unlike the commenter, she knows that much of that money comes with huge federal strings, including the requirement to change laws that would in turn burden Alaska with continuing to fund programs or operations started with those stimulus funds. (More than one state has told Obama “No thanks!” when it comes to stimulus funds. The costs were too high.)

From another supporter among the commenters:

Sarah was not “educated” at an elite ivy-league university and has not risen in stature by ingratiating herself with Republican powerbrokers, much less the Georgetown and East and Left coast cognoscenti. She is not some artificially contrived political construct that was created solely to win votes. She isn’t snooty or condescending. She isn’t a career politician. She’s held real jobs just like you and me. She hasn’t spent her entire life collecting a payroll check from the government, lobbying or consulting firms, or universities and think tanks. Sarah connects with people because she is a real person herself, the genuine article.

And Obama is still a cipher. We know nothing of his years in college or at law school. No one really knows all that much about him. Despite his rhetoric, we know he holds most Americans in contempt. (Goodness knows he is certainly condescending to a large portion of the American public.) He's never had a real job. He's very good at wasting other people's money – just ask him about the $110 million of Annenberg Foundation funds he managed to make disappear with nothing to show for them. (And he's doing it again, this time with our hard earned tax dollars.) On the other hand Sarah Palin is an open book. What you see is pretty much what you get.

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to illustrate the differences between Sarah Palin and someone like Barack Obama is this: Who would you feel more comfortable having over for a cookout? Sarah and Todd? Or Barack and Michelle?

Give me Sarah and Todd any day.

One of the best comments I saw was this one, short and to the point:

(Sarah) Palin - (Liz) Cheney 2012!!!

That would certainly put the Democrats into a tailspin!

Sarah's charisma and leadership abilities combined with Liz's firm grasp of DC politics and her knowledge of foreign and domestic policy should, at least in theory, crush the Dims pathetic offerings. Of course, that ever happening would depend on at least a little cooperation from within the party. Or, it could happen that Sarah's popularity could overwhelm any in-party subterfuge and sweep her to the front. Liz Cheney's personality type, which is just like her dad's, makes her an excellent running mate. I hope that's the team we field against Obama/Biden. Imagine the debates! What fun!

That's a ticket I could support with no misgivings. I think many Republicans, Independents, and not a few Democrats would as well. Only time will tell.

Until then we can count on the Left to continue their assault on Sarah Palin's integrity, family values, intelligence, ethics, and a whole host of other things.


Opposition To Obamacare Growing

I'm dragging a bit tonight, so there will be nothing profound, thoughtful, or witty posted tonight. However, that doesn't mean there's nothing to post.

To wit, it seems opposition to Obama's plan to 'reform' health care by destroying it is building, even among Democrats.

Support for change is even lower than it was 16 years ago when the Clintons proposed “HillaryCare”. Even a solid majority of senior citizens aren't supporting Obama's plans for health care reform. In general, too many people see Obama's vision of reform as just another form of snake oil, very expensive snake oil.

It all comes back to this: If Obama can't (or won't) fix Medicare, what makes him think he can fix the rest of the health care system?


Thoughts On A Sunday

At least the bikers attending the first weekend of Bike Week 2009 got good weather for half the weekend. Today it's nothing but rain and clouds. The bulk of the attendees won't be arriving until next Thursday and Friday, when the weather is expected to be better than it is today and will be tomorrow.


BeezleBub is gearing himself up for making the switch from going to school to working at the farm for the summer. Yesterday he was coated from head to toe with dirt and mud and never seemed happier. Today he'll be spending all day in one of the greenhouses setting up trays of seedlings for weekly planting.

While not his favorite chore, I think he'll be more than pleased to be doing that today.


One thing I've noticed about President Obama's socialist agenda when it comes to all kinds of programs and spending: haste. He's been trying to ramrod through all kinds of major changes and expansions of government programs as quickly as he can. It leaves little time for thoughtful review and debate, meaning he can hide the 'ugly' side of his programs until it's too late. I believe he also realizes that if he doesn't get these changes through quickly he'll be unable to do so after the 2010 elections because he expects his Democratic majority in one or both chambers of Congress to decline or disappear.

Now that voters are finally waking up to the fact that many of them voted for the image Obama was portraying rather than the man, they're finding he isn't the guy they thought they were voting for. Even some in the media are starting to realize that while he creates great sound bites, he really says nothing. He's very good at talking about generalities and appearing to make promises, but once someone starts looking closely at what he says they realize he's promised nothing other than to take us one step closer into an unsustainable socialist future.


Physicist Freeman Dyson takes on the AGW faithful, questioning the climate models they're using to 'prove' their claims, calling them flawed, incomplete, and deceptive.

We know that plants do react very strongly to enhanced carbon dioxide. At Oak Ridge, they did lots of experiments with enhanced carbon dioxide and it has a drastic effect on plants because it is the main food source for the plants... So if you change the carbon dioxide drastically by a factor of two, the whole behavior of the plant is different. Anyway, that’s so typical of the things they ignore. They are totally missing the biological side, which is probably more than half of the real system.

You'd think climate models would include this kind of mitigating factor, wouldn't you? But it appears many of the models totally ignore it. How then can they possibly claim their models are anywhere near accurate? What else are they leaving out that has a major effect on the models?


Like many other states in the nation, New Hampshire is having problems balancing its budget. Yet despite claims to the contrary by the Legislature, the problem is not a shortfall in revenues but a problem with overspending. Both the Democratic-majority NH House and Senate and the wishy-washy do-nothing governor say there's no more spending to cut, even though the biennial budget is approximately 8% larger than the previous budget! (Tax-and-Spenders like to say a budget has been cut if a proposed 10% increase has been reduced to 5%, which is disingenuous at best. The budget is still increasing.) The previous budget increased spending 17.5%, but didn't have the revenues to cover the expenditures, leaving a $400 million deficit. Again it wasn't a problem with a shortfall in revenue, but overspending.

It isn't that tax revenues have fallen off drastically. It's that spending has increased dramatically. Yet the legislature has chosen to ignore that and is moving ahead with spending the taxpayers in our state can't afford. Unfortunately the same appears to be true in other states as well.


We've heard of umpires ejecting managers or players during a baseball game, but never ejecting the entire crowd in the stands.


At least Iran's fraudulent presidential election wasn't nearly as clownish as the late Saddam's final election. The mullah's made sure Ahmadinejad won only by a 2-1 margin, and not a 99-1 'margin' like Saddam. Now if the mullah's had said 51-49 margin, it would be likely there wouldn't be nearly as many protests or riots...unless that's exactly what they wanted in order to root out the 'troublemakers'.


Shamelessly stolen from Bruce, who stole it from ItalianBoston.


Click on image to biggify


I've been advocating high-speed optical fiber based Internet/phone/video service for years. Now others have picked up the cry for “fast service, now!” It would do more for helping the economy turn around than anything President Obama has proposed.


Dick Morris says the recession now belongs entirely to Obama.

As it becomes clearer that the deficit caused by spending has landed us in a new economic crisis, entirely of Obama’s own making, his popularity and job performance are likely to drop as well.

The old recession — that the public says was caused by Bush — shows signs of winding down. But the new recession and/or inflation — triggered by Obama’s massive deficits — is just now coming upon us.

He won't be able to blame the multi-trillion dollar annual deficits on Bush. They're his alone, despite what he might claim.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Glenn Reynolds has a round up and commentary on Obama's plan to for health care 'reform'. The consensus is that he should first fix Medicare before creating yet another bloated government bureaucracy designed to delay or deny health care to American citizens.

As one commenter put it “The great thing about government health care is...you can start denying coverage for demographics that don't vote for you.”


I'm not sure how it happened, but we've added yet another feline member to the WP family. Bagheera's going to have a fit.

Our latest addition was found abandoned in a foreclosed home, left with no food or water. She wasn't the only animal abandoned as there were also two dogs and two horses left to fend for themselves.

How do people do this to their animals?


The next round of Tea Parties are starting, with one here in New Hampshire scheduled for June 24th in front of the State House in Concord. This time the protests are aimed at profligate spending by the state legislature and the governor's unwillingness to use his veto pen. The state budget will have increased almost 25% in four years, well above the rate of inflation and population increase, should the proposed budget pass unaltered.

A number of Tea Parties are also planned across the nation for July 4th, an auspicious date.


Are the bad old days of “urban renewal” coming back? According to the Telegraph in London, those days may have indeed returned to the US.

(H/T GraniteGrok)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where 300,000 bikers are converging, the weather is wet, and where we hope to get some boating in during the week.


Obamacare Already Claiming It's First Victim?

Can it be that Obama's proposed health care reform is already having an effect? A negative effect? It certainly appears so.

Mercy Health Partners said Thursday it has shelved plans to build a new downtown hospital because of the economy and uncertainty over the national health care debate.

The unanimous decision made by Mercy's board of directors comes a year after the health system announced that it would build a $400 million replacement facility on the site of the former Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee if certain financial benchmarks were met.

"The economy has put us in a position where we can't do it," said Jerry Askew, senior vice president of external affairs for Mercy Health.

In addition to the economy, hospital officials also cited "the unpredictability of the national health care policy debate."

The Obama administration has announced its intention to enact sweeping health care reform this year.

"The only certainty is that reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid are going to go down," Askew said.

If I had to guess, this won't be the only hospital or medical facility to shelve plans for upgrades or expansions due to the economy and the proposed destruction of the health care system in the US.

This may be an indication that Obama will do for health care what he's done from GM and Chysler.

May God have mercy on us....

(H/T Instapundit)


Bike Week 2009

All these things I could write about and I choose to let everyone know the annual invasion of the Lakes Region by bikers has begun.

About 300,000 motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to attend the annual Motorcycle Week, which starts first thing Saturday morning.

While the crowd won't reach the all time high attendance record of 450,000 (hey, it's a recession!), over 300,000 are expected to make the trek to Laconia, New Hampshire and the surrounding towns.

We usually make it down to Weirs Beach, center of many of the Bike Week activities, some time during the festivities. However, unlike most of those visiting the Weirs, we usually arrive by boat (it takes a lot less time to get there as compared to taking a bike or other form of land transportation).

As I have in the past (on an on and off again basis), I will try to post as many pictures from the festivities as I can.


New Hampshire vs. Florida - A Few Comparisons

While our reason for our trip to Florida two weeks ago was vacation at Disney, we did manage to spend some time with friends and relatives. (It was probably the best part of our time there!)

One thing I have to say about the Disney folks – they know how to run a park. Even on rides or attractions with a long wait time (meaning 20 minutes or longer), the lines practically never stopped moving. Their ride engineering is that good.

While visiting Deb's relatives and family friends, I had the opportunity to talk with them about living in Florida and making comparisons with New Hampshire. There were also a number of observations made while we were traveling from place to place in central Florida.

One of the first things that struck me as unusual (and expensive) are the large number of toll roads and the costs associated with them. Tolls ranged from 50¢ (usually at on/off-ramps) to $1.50. Toll plazas were spaced about every 8 to 10 miles. We spent far more on tolls than we did on gasoline, by a factor of three-to-one. The only non-toll roads we came across were the Interstates and the US highways (US 1, US 441, etc)

I can see using tolls to pay for new roads, but many of the roads we traveled had their bonds paid off years ago. From what one of Deb's friends said, the tolls were supposed to be removed once the bonds used to build them were retired, but apparently the state decided they were a good source of revenue and kept them.

Two things that were readily apparent as we traveled: the highways were in great shape, and there wasn't much traffic that we saw in our time there, even at rush hour. There are lots of highways criss-crossing Florida and all of those we traveled were in like-new condition. Of course they don't have the problems related to dealing with harsh winter conditions like those in New Hampshire. Even the county roads in Florida were in good shape. But as both the relatives and friends told us, it's because the county is taxing them heavily for them.

Upon returning to New Hampshire we were able to see highways and roads we'd thought were in pretty good shape to be shameful in comparison to those in Florida. New Hampshire's highways used to be some of the best in New England, but since the state legislature started raiding highway funds to pay for things having nothing to do with highways, they have deteriorated considerably. Maybe it's time for our legislature to start abiding by the state constitution, keeping their hands off of funds designated for highway maintenance and construction. (Yeah, like that will happen.)

Another thing that differentiates Florida and New Hampshire: local control.

In Florida control of spending and taxes lies at county and state level. The towns have little say in what will be spent or how much they'll be paying in taxes.

In New Hampshire, the towns control their own spending and hence, their property taxes. (The exception is the county and state portions of the property taxes.) Whether it's decided at town meeting or SB2 sessions ( a modified form of town meeting), the townspeople have ultimate control over what their towns and schools will spend and what their property taxes will be. If they're frugal and keep spending in check, taxes are likely to remain the same (or even go down). If they go on a spending spree and fund every nice-to-have that comes along, then their taxes will go up...and up, and up. They will have no one to blame but themselves.

One thing in common: the schools ( the teachers) keep demanding more and more money, as if money is the only determining factor in whether students get a good education or not.

These are merely a few of things that differentiate between the two great states. Of course New Hampshire doesn't need to deal with 'gators, and Florida doesn't have to worry about frost heaves or blizzards.


Obama's Plan For Destroying Health Care

While there's been much talk about Obama's move to 'nationalize' health care, others have been saying, “Fix Medicare first. Once you've shown us you can do that, then come talk to us about the rest!” I think that would be prudent, because if all he's going to to is foist an inadequate and underfunded health care system on us (all in the name of 'fairness') he better show us up front that's what he'll be doing.

The News Junkie over at Maggie's farm has a great round up about the issue, including bits on how 'health care' will really be rationing, only by a different name. And that, of course, means doctors won't be the ones making medical care decisions, but accountants and faceless bureaucrats. We already know how well that works! (It doesn't.)


Fear Of Guns - Now Pathological?

Why is it I find this so amusing? Maybe because truth is stranger than fiction. From BogieBlog:

I am training a woman to do my job. No, this isn’t a post about my job, but rather her husband’s job. Her husband is a Detective in Massachusetts (he has been a full time police officer of some sort for almost 20 years). She relayed a conversation that they had had a week or two ago.

It seems that the good Detective was at the police station and a lady came in to talk to him (don’t know in what capacity, but I am pretty sure it wasn’t as a suspect). She suddenly noticed the gun and holster on his hip. She asked him to remove it before she would talk to him. As you might have guessed, he declined the offer.

She then insisted that she was scared of guns and she would not talk to him unless he took it off.

Excuse me? I can’t imagine what must have gone thru his head. As the coworker was relaying the story, I was thinking things along these lines, “WTF, she’s talking to an on-duty policeman, in the police station, and she doesn’t expect a gun to be around? Does she think it will suddenly jump out of its holster and take over the place all by itself? Does she expect that if he takes it off, he will be less likely to shoot her? Does she think that regardless of where she is talking to a FREAKING policeman, that he should not have his weapon on him?”

When she found that no one in the station would comply with her request, she finally talked to the detective while he retained his sidearm.

The anti-gun proponents have done such a good job with the gullible that they fear guns even when carried by police officers. How stupid is that? Like the tee-shirt I used to wear from time to time said: “Guns don't kill people. I kill people.”

Guns have been so demonized that some of the less thinking people seem to think that they'll jump up all buy themselves and start shooting randomly.


Thoughts On A Sunday - Sickroom Edition

Post has been light, between our trip to Florida and my monster case of bronchitis I've been suffering with since our fifth day down there. It hasn't gotten any better with time. I fact, it's gotten worse, leaving me with little energy to do anything more than cough and hack. (It's also destroyed my voice, leaving me with the ability to speak only at a barely audible, raspy whisper.)

They say trouble comes in threes, and I guess they're right.

The second thing that occurred was the need of the WP Dad to go into the hospital for a triple bypass. This occurred while we were still in Florida.

The third thing: The WP Dad-in-Law suffered a stroke this morning and was air-flighted to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Deb traveled down to her mom's and then on to Boston to visit her dad.

It makes what I'm dealing with seem trivial by comparison.


I had to make my own trip to the hospital this evening.

My cough and hack was joined by a fever later in the day, and even worse chest congestion. The ER doc confirmed a bad case of bronchitis and prescribed some antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine to treat it. I'll be out of work for a couple of more days as the antibiotics do their thing.

See what happens when you go away for vacation? Somehow I doubt we'll be going away any where any time soon.


And that's the news from the sickroom here at The Manse on Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're all recovering, going to work actually seems like paradise, and where we hope to be back to a 'normal' schedule some time soon.


Obama's Cairo Speech

I had thought to comment last night on President Obama's speech in Cairo, but then figured I'd wait a day so I could see other people's reactions to it. The best one I saw was shown on ABC's World News, and it mirror's my own opinion. The comment came from a representative from Al Arabiya TV and shows the media in Middle East may be more savvy than the US MSM. To paraphrase the response (since I'm too lazy to look at it again on the Web):

“It was an interesting speech. Long on hope but short on promises.”

Obama does do that, painting a pretty picture with words, but promising little, if anything. He just makes the people think he's making promises. Once you go back and read the speech you realize it was semantically null.


It Ain't Any Better Elsewhere

We made it back in one piece from our vacation, however I seem to have picked up a rather bad chest cold that started kickin' the crap out of me our fifth day down there. (It made the trip home difficult.)

We had the chance to visit with friends and relatives during our time down south and invariably the talk turned to the economy. Things aren't much better in Florida than they are elsewhere. One thing that popped up one day while discussing the economy was this video by Hank Williams, Jr. that pretty much sums up the situation.