Global Warming And The Precautionary Principle

In a follow up to yesterday's post about a clueless greenie, one commenter may have hit the nail on the head as to 'why' of the urgency so many of them have been pushing Cap-and-Trade and a host of other environmental legislation: the Precautionary Principle.

Basically, the Precautionary Principle says that it something might conceivably cause harm, you must assume it does cause harm until someone proves it doesn't cause harm. This is true even if there is little or no objective evidence that it causes harm in the first place.

Unfortunately, the Precautionary Principle now forms the basis for a large portion of environmental laws and regulation, as well as being what undergirds the Global Warming Hoax and various other environmental disaster scenarios.

Thus, for "Global Warming," although the observed evidence increasingly does not support the theory, the disaster predictive models (much of it based on faulty computer models such as the infamous "hockey stick," or incomplete or selective data sets) say it could be true and therefore must be assumed to be true until proven not to be true.

In logic, the precautionary principle is known as the "fallacy of arguing from ignorance."

Indeed. I have come across a rather large number of people that have bought the Global-Warming-Is-All-The-Fault-Of-The-Evil-Humans propaganda hook, line and sinker. They are truly ignorant of the science, the actual theories, the preponderance of data that go against the theories, the inability to distinguish between local phenomena and global trends. They also tend to look at climate history over a shorty period of time, meaning their lifetimes, without looking at the long cycles of climate variation over hundreds or thousands of years. The have no true perspective. It is that which can be called “arguing from ignorance.” Of course that's never stopped anyone before.


No Answer

I loved this from Maggie's Farm.

I posed this question to a very nice, well-intentioned but scientifically-illiterate Greenie lady I sat next to at dinner on Saturday night:

"What if there really is dangerous global warming, but it turns out it isn't caused by man, but instead by natural variation from other factors that are too complex to be understood? Then what?"

There was no reply. Her brain appeared to short-circuit.

I am a fun dinner companion.

I wish I'd been there to see that.

A Weird Radio Day Today

It's bee a warm and humid day here at Lake Winnipesaukee. Thunderstorms are forecast for later. Nothing unusual about that by any means. But one unusual thing for those of you out there not being some kind of radio hobbiest: picking up FM radio stations from up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

While I was heading to the farm to pick up BeezleBub, the local NPR station was being interfered with and then disappeared, only to be replaced by yet another NPR station. (Yes, I admit it. I do listen to NPR. How else am I going to find interesting blog fodder without spending a lot of time online?)

WEVO, based in Concord, New Hampshire was drowned out by WUFT in Gainesville, Florida.

Another 'local' Boston station was overpowered by Ocala, Florida's WOGK.

Stopping on every frequency in the FM broadcast band I found a radio station. Every one. That isn't how it usually works because the FCC wants to maintain what are called 'guard channels' between radio stations, so you will rarely, if ever hear two FM stations on adjacent channels in the same area (an example: one station on 97.5 and another on 97.7. The other station will usually be at 97.9 or 97.1 on the FM dial. This keeps local stations from interfering with each other. But that isn't what I found today. The nearby stations came in loud and clear, but the weaker stations were either drowned out by the distant station, or you'd hear three or more station signals fading in and out as propagation changed.

I haven't heard radio propagation like that on the FM broadcast band in some time.

There are a number of causes, including thermal inversions in the atmosphere (colder air sits on top of warm air, creating something like a tunnel that allows radio waves that wouldn't normally follow the curve of the earth to travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles), weather front ducting (similar to an inversion, but it follows along the line where a weather front has formed), or the aftermath of a solar flare. Since we haven't had any solar flares in a long time (the Sun is the quietest it's been in almost 200 years), I think they can be ruled out. So that means it can be either of the other two, thought I'm not sure which one.

But still, it's kind of neat, isn't it?


The PC Virus Is Still Spreading, But There's Still Hope

One place I thought might be resistant to the scourge of political correctness – colleges and universities focusing on science and technology – have turned to to be as vulnerable to that mind and soul killing virus as any of the other institutes of higher learning. It saddens me to find this is indeed the case.

At least two former students at the Georgia Institute of Technology haven't let the hostile PC inhabitants on campus silence them going so far as to file a federal lawsuit against the school, citing the university's speech code as being unconstitutional and discriminatory. (Just about every university or college speech code brought before the courts has been found unconstitutional for violating the First Amendment, and in some few cases, the Fifth Amendment as well.)
Represented by the Alliance Defense Fund’s Center for Academic Freedom, with David French as lead counsel, the case took over two years from the time it was filed in March 2006. They charged that Tech’s speech code, a speech zone, the “safe space” program, and the student activity fee violated their rights to free speech and religious liberty; the policies were selectively enforced against conservative groups. As a result of the lawsuit, the university was forced to repeal its speech code, alter its restrictive “free speech zone,” and eliminate the unconstitutional portion of the “safe space” zone.

One would think Georgia Tech would be focusing on things like, oh, maybe technology rather than the crap that passes as critical though these days. Such foolishness has no place at the university, or any institute of higher learning. Political correctness is a disease that should be eradicated, just as smallpox has been. However, unlike smallpox, the cure is not a vaccination nor, as some of the more radical PC folk have suggested for conservatives, imprisonment, re-education, or liquidation. Instead we should use the one weapon available to us that will stop that crap cold in its tracks: ridicule.

Anyone espousing politically correct rhetoric or using PC terminology should be laughed at. Not just the snicker behind a shielding hand, but a guffaw, a lengthy chuckle, or better yet, a sidesplitting run of laughter that brings tears to the eyes of the one laughing. To ensure there's no doubt about who it is being laughed at, pointing a finger as one laughs at the one uttering such foolishness is a sure fire way to ensure everyone knows who it is that has inspired such hilarity. If nothing else it might silence the PC idiot long enough for others to make their escape or, better yet, to join in ridiculing the buffoon.

If political correctness were treated in a manner befitting its importance it would soon be out of favor because people don't like being treated idiots...even if they are idiots. And the politically correct are the biggest idiots of all.

So from here on out, I will make it my mission to heap as much scorn and ridicule upon the self-important politically correct as I can. And I will invite all of my non-PC friends and relatives to join in on the fun. Who knows, we might be able to show the rest of the world political correctness is something truly moronic.


The First (Tax) Shot Across The Bow

We've been fortunate, my family and I, being able to weather the downturn in the economy without too much discomfort, for the most part. But it hasn't been easy.

Back in March every employee of the company I work for, from the CEO on down, took a 10% pay cut. We all saw that as being far better than being laid off. As things turned around a bit, our pay was restored. However we were all told that until further notice there would be no pay raises, again something that did not surprise us.

The small business my wife and I own (my wife is the CEO and I'm the handyman and IT guy) has felt the effects of the economic downturn, with business falling off about 40% from a year ago. Deb took on more hours to keep the payroll low and carefully managed what income was generated and what was spent to support the business. Even with the fall off in business we've been able to pay the bills and pay the loan we took to purchase the business. Then the legislature of the state of New Hampshire decided that in these tough times they needed to increase the state budget by over $1 billion, a 13% increase over the previous budget. The legislators and the governor claimed they had actually cut the budget, though I can't figure out how a $1 billion+ increase can in any way, shape, or form be described as a budget cut. To pay for such a generous budget increase the legislators and the governor decided it was quite alright to tax the bejeezus out of small businesses in the state to pay for all these “invisible” budget cuts, hitting over 45,000 small businesses in the pocket book at a time when many of them are struggling to survive. It certainly has hit us hard.

Starting on August 1st my wife stops taking a salary from the business. She had earlier cut her own pay to make sure we maintained a cushion to keep the business in the black. With the additional taxes imposed by our state she has had to cut her pay to zero. Without the cut we would be in trouble, unable to pay all the bills, the rent, franchise fees, payroll, loan payments, or any of the other dozens of expenses running a business entails.

If this is how the Democrat majority in the New Hampshire Legislature think they're helping us, then they are deluded. All they've managed to do is put the squeeze on the very businesses they're relying on to help turn the economy around. How stupid can they possibly be?


Thoughts On A Sunday

We're in store for a little more actual summer weather over the upcoming week, the first real batch of summer weather we've experienced rather than the day here/day there kind we've had so far. We haven't even had to install the window air conditioners so far...and it's the last week of July.


Deb has returned to school in her first part of an effort to become an RN. As she put it, “I finally know what I want to be when I grow up!”


Resistance ever more intrusive federal government mandates has been growing over the years, with over 37 states are working on resolutions that reaffirm their rights under the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution. Seven states have already passed Tenth Amendment resolutions. Alaska was the most recent state to pass such a resolution.

Both chambers of the Alaska State Legislature passed House Joint Resolution 27 without a single 'no' vote. The House vote was 37-0 (3 did not vote) and 40-0 in the Senate. Governor Sarah Palin signed the resolution on July 10th.

Alaska's HJR27 reads:

WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; and

WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS some federal actions weaken states’ rights protected by the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS art. IV, sec. 4, Constitution of the United States, reads, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

WHEREAS the United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S.Ct. 2408 (1992), that the United States Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS all states, including Alaska, find themselves regularly facing proposals from the United States Congress that weaken states’ rights protected by the Tenth Amendment;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature hereby claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution serves as Notice and Demand to the federal government to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.

New Hampshire had the chance to pass its own resolution, House Continuing Resolution 6 (HCR6) during the present legislative session, but the Democrat majority New Hampshire House killed it, seeing it as “imprudent” to tie the hands of the federal government. Needless to say there were a lot of people in the state disappointed by the vote, seeing it as a vote for a more powerful and intrusive federal government at the expense of local control.

The failure of HCR6 hasn't deterred supporters from planning to resubmit the resolution during a future legislative session.

Of course the resolutions will have little effect upon a President and Congress that repeatedly ignores the US Constitution, at least when it comes to the Rule of Law and the need for bills being voted on to actually be written down before the vote.

Call me old fashioned, but I would think it's necessary for legislation representatives will be debating and voting on actually be written down somewhere.


When I saw this post I almost spewed ice tea out of my nostrils. I particularly loved the second picture.

Note to Skip: You should give your readers a little more warning before showing us things like that! Put it 'below the fold' to give us a moment to prepare ourselves.


This would be funny if it wasn't so true.


Obama is finding out being a great orator is not enough to actually be President. He actually has to perform his duties, make difficult decisions, and “be there” when the nation needed him. But his history indicates he is more form than substance.

[W]hen he was at the HLR [Harvard Law Review – ed.] you did get a very distinct sense that he was the kind of guy who much more interested in being the president of the Review, than he was in doing anything as president of the Review.

A lot of the time he quote/unquote "worked from home", which was sort of a shorthand - and people would say it sort of wryly - shorthand for not really doing much. He just wasn't around. Most of the day to day work was carried out by the managing editor of the Review, my predecessor, a great guy called Tom Pirelli...

He's the one who did most of the day to day work. Barack Obama was nowhere to be seen. Occasionally he would drop in he would talk to people, and then he'd leave again as though his very arrival had been a benediction in and of itself, but not very much got done.

Sounds like Obama, alright.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


I have no reason to doubt this.

Based on his policy positions it is apparent that the President is an economic illiterate. Because a person's economic and business philosophies are often the sum of their experiences, it should be expected that a background check would easily reveal what could be expected from a politician on economic issues. The problem with Barack Obama is that he has no background in promulgating important economic policy.

It would certainly explain things like the stimulus 'plan', cap-and-trade, and health care reform because the economics of these programs make no sense. When the CBO says the numbers don't add up it's a pretty good bet the numbers don't add up.


We've been hearing about the concept of the Smart Grid, a highly automated electrical grid that would allow better use of existing generating facilities, transmission lines, switchyards, and substations.

As good an idea as it might be, there are questions about its vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks and EMP.

The prudent thing to do would be to harden our electrical grid against EMP and make sure the network controlling the Smart Grid is totally isolated from the Internet, a stand alone system for the electrical grid alone. That would make it far less vulnerable to cyber-attacks (unless it's an inside job). And while it's very difficult to protect the grid from EMP, it can be hardened so the recovery time is measured in minutes or hours rather than days, weeks, or years.


It appears ACORN has met their match when it comes to their shilling Obama's health care destruction plan, being outnumbered 10-1 by Tea Party counter-protest participants.

ACORN and their new front group Act Now were pwned by Tea Party Patriots again on Long Island!

When they couldn’t win their arguments with facts, the ACORN employees tried to intimidate the Tea Party folks. No way that could work with dedicated Patriots! So ACORN cut and run when the going got tough, and repeated that sorry performance twice in one day.

It appears they don't like their own tactics used against them. What's worse for them is that they were outdone by a bunch of concerned Janes and Joes who have had enough of ACORN' and their messiah's b******t, particularly now that ACORN is beholden to the President because of his multibillion dollar taxpayer-funded 'gift'.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


Parting words from Sarah Palin: “Never apologize for our country!”

That's a lesson our President still needs to learn.


I thought the idea was to encourage the use of alternative sources of electricity, like PV panels. Apparently someone didn't get the memo.


I'd hoped to make it out on the lake sometime during the day today but the weather didn't cooperate, with showers and thundershowers making a trip out unlikely. The weather forecast predicts showers and thundershowers every afternoon over the next six days. This is the same pattern that plagued us all last summer, making after work boat trips problematic at best.

With the un-summerlike weather we've been experiencing, with cooler than normal temperatures and above normal rainfall, many of our usual summer activities have been difficult to enjoy. We've been experiencing weather more like that of the Pacific Northwest rather than New England. I expect we'll soon see moss growing on the roofs of houses much as I've seen happening in Washington state.

Does anyone want to tell me about global warming again?


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summer weather has been deranged, the boating has been less than optimal, and where we might actually get a chance to experience some actual summer...maybe. Sort of.


Democrats Watch As They Drop In The Polls

Democrat politicians are seeing a big drop in their popularity as the economy continues its suckage and the actual cost of health care reform and cap-and-trade have come into public awareness.

Obama has seen his popularity and support drop off, with many of the independents and moderates shying away from Obama's shift to the extreme left. Obama's Congressional support has also been falling away as Blue Dog Democrats have balked at the price tag and the accompanying erosion of rights his aforementioned programs entail.

Those on the Right have had enough of the Obamessiah too, with a number of them borrowing a page from the Left's playbook and showing their support for the President.

The falloff in the popularity of Democrats has also been seen in lower level political circles.

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, while seen as a nice guy, has seen his popularity numbers slide from solid majority favorable numbers in April to a majority unfavorable this month. One big factor seen in this decline is his poor handling of the state budget process, his unwillingness to tell the state legislature he'd wield his veto pen like a machete in order to hold the line on state spending. Instead, he signed a bloated two-year budget that included a 13% spending increase and related tax and fee increases during a deep recession. That hasn't set well with New Hampshire voters, meaning the governor will be vulnerable during the 2010 election. Fiscal responsibility will be his greatest weakness.

The same can be said of many Congressional and Legislative Democrats as well. Could this mean long-time Congresscritters like Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, and Reid could be vulnerable during the 2010 elections, too? If they keep spending money we don't have on programs no one wants or needs, they may have to start looking for new jobs in 2011.

One can only hope.


A Conservative Among Liberals

I decided I needed to take a small break from posting my thoughts about Obama, health care reform, the non-stimulus stimulus package, and a host of other Obama-driven topics. There are plenty of others out there covering those topics far better than I. Instead, I'm going to cover a topic near and dear to my heart, something I have experienced first hand (as I am sure more than a few of you out there have as well).

What am I talking about?

Being a conservative surrounded by those of a liberal bent.

I got to thinking about this when I came across a number of references in the blogosphere to Harry Stein's I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next To A Republican!

On more than one occasion I have found myself to be in a social situation where I am one of the few conservatives (if not the only one) among a group of liberals. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it has always been an uncomfortable situation.

It's not that once they find out I am conservative I end up having to defend my beliefs, or that I am looked upon with something akin to pity, disgust, or a little of both. I can handle that. What I find truly disturbing is that far more often than not they talk about how they feel about a particular issue rather than what they think. After a few minutes of being lectured to about how evil and unfeeling I must be, I find it disturbing to realize far too many of them are parroting the same words and phrases as if the only ones they know were the ones they were programmed to utter. I've come across very few that had come to their political points of view through through debate, careful thought, and actual experience. (I have a profound respect for liberals of that kind even if I disagree with them as they tend not to be knee jerk reactionaries and are able to have a thoughtful non-emotional debate about the issues. But these days they are a rare breed.)

What doesn't surprise me all that much is that by far there are far more conservatives in occupational fields that require a firm understanding of the hard sciences or the technologies derived from them. That could be because people in those fields must learn to think critically in order to be successful in their endeavors. Emotion, political dogma, and political correctness have no place in such fields because they can't be quantified and because no amount of emotion or political rhetoric can change the value of pi. No matter what, the value of pi will be 3.1415926535897932.... There are no surveys or polls or legislation that will change the value of pi no matter how hard we wish or how many signatures are gather on petitions to change it.

The ability to think critically crosses over into our politics, where we can look at the issues with the same eye as we do our work and come to conclusions based upon facts, prior history, and other indicators.

Is this the only reason conservatives are conservatives? No, of course not. The example above was merely one avenue where people come to see the value of conservative political beliefs.

Others come to the 'dark side' as liberals call it, through personal experiences. How many times have we heard this old saw? “Conservatives are liberals mugged by reality.” Maybe the reason we hear it as often as we do is because it's true. Maybe what some of our more vocal and less thinking liberal brothers and sisters need is a dose of reality. It would probably shake many of them to their very core and awaken a part of them that has been subsumed and buried by years of liberal indoctrination. But that's not likely to happen any time soon.

So in the mean time we conservatives will have to keep plugging along, listening to the liberal drivel that passes as profound thought among them, and be prepared to show them at every opportunity that they've confused emotion with actual thinking.


Obama Tries To Shill Health Reform

I couldn't listen to the Obamessiah's plea to the American people tonight because I didn't want to listen to the BS I knew would be coming out of his mouth. All it would have done is make me angry. Can you blame me?

He's cranking up the rhetoric to sell a very bad piece of legislation that will do nothing more than destroy one of the best medical systems in the world and burden the American taxpayer with over a trillion dollars of more debt and increasingly heavy taxes.

This isn't so much an effort to do good in his eyes as to make sure his presidency is seen as something akin to that of JFK's. He won't let anything stand in his way, even his fellow Democrats. He sees their reluctance to push through this bloated, wasteful, and damaging piece of legislation as an attempt to destroy his presidency. But the only one that can do that is Obama himself.


Health Care Reform - Malice Or Stupidity?

Over the past few month sit has become apparent to anyone really paying attention to the machinations of Congress and the Obama Administration that one of two scenarios are playing themselves out.

The first one – Congress and Obama really haven't a clue about how an economy really works, where the money comes from, and who it is that creates real jobs, meaning jobs that actually add to the Gross Domestic Product. (There are a few exceptions to this, such as police, fire, and other vital municipal services that keep our towns and cities running). To the Dems running the show, the money just appears as if by magic, or they take it away from the wealthy.

The second one – Congress and Obama really do understand all of the above, but they don't care because they have socialist agenda they're going to push even if they have to destroy the greatest nation on Earth to in order to achieve it.

A philosopher (which one, I don't recall at present) once said something along the lines of “Do not ascribe to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.” Therefore, I am leaning more towards the first scenario rather than the second, though the roots of the second could easily be the cause of the first.

A perfect example of this is the so-called health reform legislation being pushed by the White House and slavishly written by the Democrats in Congress. As the WSJ called it, it is reckless of Congress to do it.

Say this about the 1,018-page health-care bill that House Democrats unveiled this week and that President Obama heartily endorsed: It finally reveals at least some of the price of the reckless ambitions of our current government. With huge majorities and a President in a rush to outrun the declining popularity of his agenda, Democrats are bidding to impose an unrepealable European-style welfare state in a matter of weeks.

They are setting us down a path that Europe has followed, one that hasn't worked, is still a drag on the EU economy and they are doing it as quickly as they can they know that there will be a backlash by the American people once they see what all of these programs will cost and how it will negatively affect their lives. The Democrats have forgotten that one does not create prosperity by impoverishing the people, particularly those who actually create the jobs. (Of course I am assuming they knew it to begin with, a bad assumption, I admit.)

Opposition to the spending spree and destruction of the health care system is growing, even among Democrats. While wholesale defections haven't happened, with a little more time to digest what the health care reform bill really says and what it will cost, more than a few Congressional Democrats may balk at supporting something that will more than likely get them voted out of office.

Even staunch liberals are horrified at what they see and are blanching at the costs of Obamacare.

It's pretty bad for the Democrats hoping to cram through a massive reform of the entire health insurance industry in just a few weeks when they lose a die-hard Democrat like Susan Estrich. But she's extremely skeptical of this whole health care fantasy that her pals in Washington are trying to peddle to the country.

The idea that somehow you're going to tax the "rich" enough to pay for quality health care for every American who doesn't have it, can't afford it or stands to lose it, not to mention for all of the undocumented aliens who receive it for free now and presumably will continue to in Obama health land, is almost laughable. It's one of those things candidates say in campaigns, ignoring the fact that it doesn't add up. But in a bill that might pass? Add a 5 percent surtax on every small business in the country that makes $250,000 or more? This is going to create jobs? What am I missing?

We're being promised pie in the sky - health care that won't change for all those who like their plans and low-cost health care for everyone, including those who are uninsured now. And no taxes on anyone except for those despicable rich people who should pony up as their patriotic duty. It's a fairy tale and one that won't end with everyone living happily every after.

It's obvious no one bothered looking at the real numbers for what all of this will really cost, ignoring the other tax hikes to pay for all of the other Hopey-Changey programs and cash giveaways Obama's been trying to sell to the American people since before he took office. Neither he or the Democrats in Congress seem to understand that the piggy bank is empty and that the rest of us aren't going to bankrupt ourselves in order to pour even more of our hard earned money into that bottomless pit. There's no way they'll be able to spin this as being good for anyone but them.

I recall that at one point it was estimated that if the government took all of the income from the rich to pay for all of these wonderful 'free' programs the IRS would collect about $400 billion. As compared to what Obama wants to spend that's a drop in the bucket. (We could also count on the amount the IRS collected the second year from the rich would come to, oh, let's see...umm...carry the 1...to about $0. The rich would either be poor and have no more money to take or they would have fled with their wealth and taken their businesses to friendlier tax climes. I certainly wouldn't blame them.)

Never mind that health care reform will neither reform nor provide adequate health care unless one defines such reform as “destruction of a very good health care system that is by no means perfect, and replacing it with system that is very poor at providing health care and cuts costs by denying care to those most needing it.” I guess we should also ignore another side effect of such reform : stifling medical innovation and research. That has certainly happened in every other nation that has imposed this kind of health care system upon its populace. Most of the medical advances now come heavily from the US. It is moribund in the UK, Canada, France, and most other nations in the EU.

That is the fate of the American health care system if Obama and his Democrat lemmings in Congress get their way.


"That's One Small Step For A Man..."

...One Giant Leap For Mankind.”

It was July 20th, 1969 when those words were spoken by Neil Armstrong as he first laid his foot upon the Moon's surface. Any of us that were old enough remember exactly where we were when mankind first stepped foot upon a world that was not Earth.

In my case my family and I were in the living room of my grandmother's beach house in Madison, Connecticut, watching the grainy black and white video from the Moon on her huge 25” color console TV.

On that day we were supposed to have been on our way back home to southeastern Pennsylvania, where we were living at the time. But because we weren't sure when the two American astronauts were supposed to leave the LEM and venture out onto the Moon's surface, we'd left Madison, figuring we'd be home before they did. But we weren't more then 20 minutes from the beach house when we heard they'd be exiting the LEM within the hour. So my father turned our behemoth of a 1966 Chrysler Town and Country station wagon around and headed back to Madison.

The anticipation as we sat in front of the TV made all of us a little jumpy.

I remember Armstrong slowly descending the ladder on the LEM's landing gear, a hop down from the bottom rung to the circular foot resting on the lunar soil, and then back up to make sure both he and Buzz Aldrin would be able to make it safely from the foot of the landing gear back up to the ladder. Once that task was completed, we could see him take a careful step off of the landing gear and onto the moon. And then he said the words.

“That's one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.”

At that moment we weren't just Americans. Nor were the Russians just Russians or the Chinese just Chinese. At that moment we were all just humans, citizens of Earth.


Thoughts On A Sunday

We appear to be reaching the end of our first full week of summer weather, though the temps have been well below normal. One of my less humorous co-workers put it, “It looks like we'll have three full weeks of summer this year.”


Could it be the reason Obama wanted the health reform bill on his desk before the August recess was to leave little time for congressional opponents and the public go over and understand the legislation before it's voted on? Haste appears to be the method he's been using to push through the huge social spending and tax legislation he wants, making it difficult or impossible for opponents, both Democrat and Republican, to understand what they're actually voting on.

Obama has already seen opposition ramp up against health care reform, with many people taking to the streets outside the offices of members of the House and Senate to voice their opposition to the draconian bill as it stands.

Could it be the vote could be delayed because Obama realizes he doesn't have the votes, particularly among the Democrats?

(H/T Instapundit)


And here's another set of views about health care reform from John Stossel and Penn Gillette.


Nanci Pelosi is finding out the hard way that payback is a bitch.

She may have shot her wad by ramming Cap-And-Trade down the throats of the Democrat caucus, causing them all kinds of grief with their constituents. Now that she's trying to do the same thing with health care reform her fellow Dems are fighting back, not wanting to have to face their constituents yet again on such a contentious issue.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


For yet another preview of how universal health insurance will turn into health care rationing, all we need to do is look at that's happening in Massachusetts.

We should heed it as a lesson of what will happen in the rest of the nation should Obamacare come to pass.


At least one Iowa farmer is working to pay his grandson's share of the Obama deficits by selling Hopey-Changey Lemonade.

In the mean time Obama is selling koolaid by the same name.


The WP Father-In-Law and I made it out onto Lake Winnipesaukee today on the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout aka The Boat.

There was a little maintenance to perform prior to heading out, that being checking the gas tank for water. This was required because the gas filler cap was left off after someone decided the gas in The Boat's fuel tank belonged to them rather than me. After the removed about 10 to 15 gallons of gas, they left the filler cap off, which allowed a considerable amount of rain water to enter the tank. The water had been drained earlier but the engine had not been started until today.

Fortunately the engine fired up the first time, but she did cough and hiccup a few times as some of the residual water filled up the water separator and made its way into the carburetor. Once the water cleared out everything ran smoothly.

We headed over to one of the fuel docks at Weirs Beach to top off the tank with marine gasoline (it includes a number of additives peculiar to marine environments to help remove water, clean the fuel system, and stabilize the gas).

By the time we made it back to The Boat's slip the engine was running smoothly, better than it had earlier in the season.


You know Obama is in trouble when even Democrat activists are questioning his lack of experience and his inability to compromise with his political opponents.

This is not a man who has faced intense ideological criticism or practiced, as he instructed American Jewish leaders to do, "serious self-reflection." He is certain of his liberal views, contemptuous of people who are stuck in "old thinking," annoyed with even the minimal press criticism he receives and unpracticed in accommodation and negotiation with his political opponents.

And people have complained that Sarah Palin was inexperienced! She had far more experience in this particular circumstances than Obama could ever hope to have.


You'd think the President would be spending more time at home rather than gallivanting around the country and the rest of the world, wouldn't you? He has enough to deal with in Washington without being on the campaign trail constantly.

But then again that's all he really knows how to do, campaign. To this point he's never really needed to actually perform the duties of any of the offices to which he's been elected.


Bob Parks comments upon the passing of Walter Cronkite and remembrances of various media networks. He also points out that President Obama gets into the act by not letting Cronkite's death go to waste by making sure the story is about Obama (with the help of the AP).

Can you say 'narcissist'? Sure you can!


Blond Sagacity gives us the chance to play the Obama Caption Game.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer is still showing itself for now, boating is actually happening, and where Monday is almost here all too soon.


Socialized Medicine - First Hand Experience

Want yet another preview of the hell that is government run health care will be like? Then take a look at this, a view of socialized medicine though the eyes of a recipient.

One point made again and again during the interview was that uninsured patients in the US receive far better medical care than “insured” patients in Canada and the UK receiving “free” care as part of their respective national health services.

I still fail to understand how destroying good health care as presently received by 260 million Americans in an effort to cover the purported 50 million uninsured in America is such a good thing. That's one thing Obama and Congress have failed to explain. While they do keep using the word fair they haven't explained how making medical care ineffective and almost barbarous in nature is supposed to help anyone.

I always thought it was in the best interests of everyone to raise everyone up, not reduce everyone to the lowest common denominator. But then, the Dems have never been able to see past their false assumption that by doing so everyone else will be better off. But then it never was about that. It's all about taking control of the American people's lives because they are so much wiser than the rest of us.

Yeah. Right.


A Brief Encounter At The Airport

It was while perusing the comments to this piece in the WSJ about our reckless Congress that I came across a comment that struck right to the heart of the matter.

This evening about six o'clock, standing in the security line in the Atlanta airport, the man in front of me, looking deflated and motioning toward the hassled travelers in line ahead of us, turned to me: "Pretty soon this is what our health care and banks are going to look like."

He didn't know me from Adam. But this middle-aged American needed to vent. He found a sympathetic ear.

Turned out he was an investor for major institutions and deals often with Pacific Rim investors and governments. "So what do your Asian friends think about what we're doing here in the U.S.?" I asked.

"THEY THINK WE'RE CRAZY," he boomed. "They know this is undo-able. The taxes, the debt, the government intrusion. . . . ."

His voice trailed off. He looked down. He shook his head, and his eyes kind glazed over in a daze of despondence and disbelief. We gathered our shoes and laptops and marched in different directions to board our planes.

The only consolation: this appears such a gross overreach, the whole program could crash.

We should be so lucky.

An Evening Out

BeezleBub and I were out last evening, attending a showing of Harry Potter And the Half-Blood Prince at the movie theater in Plymouth, NH. It's become a tradition to see the Harry Potter movies at the Plymouth theater, something I've done since the first one came out. And as tradition also demands, we saw it with Submarine Tim, his boss Dawn, and their #2 son, Paul. Their #1 son, Peter, who bears a striking resemblance to Harry Potter as portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe, was unable to join us as he's presently serving in the US Navy.

I liked the movie, but I do have to say it was a rather dark film. But then anyone reading the Harry Potter books would know this particular movie would be so.

After we left the theater we were treated to another show of sorts – a severe thunderstorm passing to the north of town. The lightning display was spectacular, lighting up the sky from horizon to horizon. I've not seen a storm like that since one particular Fourth of July way back in the late 1960's when I was still a kid. That one scared the bejeezus out of me as I'd never seen a storm so violent in all my 12 or 13 years. The one last night reminded me of that one, though at a much more respectful distance.

Still, it was awesome, in a literal sense.


FairPoint Coming Under Closer Scrutiny

Is it the beginning of the end for FairPoint Communications in northern New England?

Vermont's Department of Public Service is asking for an investigation because FairPoint has been unable to correct problems with customer service and billing issues. The issue is not unique to Vermont as New Hampshire and Maine have also suffered ongoing problems with the beleaguered telecommunications company.

Over the objections of consumer advocacy groups and numerous residents in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, FairPoint Communications bought the wireline assets of Verizon in northern New England. Many, including yours truly, were against the sale because it was a matter of a small rural telephone company with a spotty track record taking on the assets (and problems) of a much larger competitor and paying far too much money for them.

Since the changeover from Verizon's to Fairpoint's system at the beginning of this year, the number of complaints has skyrocketed and the slow bleeding off of wireline customers has turned into a hemorrhage, with many customers dumping their FairPoint landlines in favor of cell phones or VoIP digital phone service from their local cable companies.

FairPoint has tried to answer their critics with campaign ads, while adding an executive position created to solve the ongoing problems with customer service.

That's all well and good, but TV ads and the addition of yet another vice president in and of themselves do not solve the problems. If FairPoint doesn't get its act together it can count on at least one state – Vermont – to invalidate its license to conduct business there, meaning they would no longer be allowed to provide telephone service within Vermont.

This is no surprise.

It's Too Expensive

You know our government has a problem when even something that's free is too expensive for it to use.

QUESTION:Can you please let the staff use an alternative web browser called Firefox? I just (applause) I just moved to the State Department from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and was surprised that State doesn’t use this browser. It was approved for the entire intelligence community, so I don’t understand why State can’t use it. It’s a much safer program. Thank you. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, apparently, there’s a lot of support for this suggestion. (Laughter.) I don’t know the answer. Pat, do you know the answer? (Laughter.)

UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: The answer is at the moment, it’s an expense question. We can --

QUESTION: It’s free. (Laughter.)

Your tax dollars at work.

That's sad.


What's Next For Sarah Palin?

The fascination with Sarah Palin by many in the GOP (as well as many independents) continues, as does the vitriol and hatred for her my the Left. Despite the numerous writings by the We-Hate-That-Intellectual-Lightweight-Bitch-Sarah-Palin Democrats disparaging everything about her, here are a number of people out there that like her and what she stands for.

Does she have the chops to become President of the United States? Maybe. Can she be a help when it comes to fundraising and supporting GOP candidates with her speaking engagements? Absolutely. Is she just going to go away? Much to the Democrats disappointment, no.

Here are a few takes on possible futures for the soon-to-be former governor of Alaska.

David Harsanyi presents a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at Palin, wondering what it would be like if she were president.

Can you believe the gall of these Sarah Palin cultists? Presidential aspirations? This is a woman who named one of her kids "Track," for God's sake. (Well, if it really is her kid.)

...running government is no longer a suitable vocation for the bumbling proletariat. It's for folks with schoolin' and such. It's a job for herculean thinkers with degrees from Ivy League schools. In other words, no one from Alaska need apply.

Former sports reporters certainly won't do. We need former constitutional scholars. Who else, after all, has a better understanding of how to undermine the document?

Really, where would we be if a bumpkin like Palin were president? With her brainpower, we probably would be stuck with a Cabinet full of tax cheats, retreads and moralizing social engineers.

If Palin were president, chances are we'd have a gaffe-generating motormouth for a vice president. That's the kind of decision-making one expects from Miss Congeniality.

The job of building generational debt is not for the unsophisticated. Enriching political donors with taxpayer dollars takes intellectual prowess, not the skills of a moose-hunting point guard.


Seriously, could it be that Sarah Plain, by stepping down as governor of Alaska, could become a formidable force within the GOP?

...Sarah Palin has moved herself from the periphery to the center of power in the Republican party. The Party just doesn't seem to know it yet.

By resigning as the Governor of Alaska, Palin has positioned herself as the single most valuable power broker for the GOP in the 2010 elections. Simply put, in close primaries pitting Republican against Republican, and in close general elections for the Senate or Congress, Sarah Palin's endorsement and/or campaigning for a candidate can get that person elected. In addition, Palin can also raise money for a party and for candidates who would otherwise be strapped for cash. These are formidable political powers and only by freeing herself from Alaska will she be able to exercise them.

She draws large crowds when she speaks at party functions, something that became evident during the 2008 presidential campaign. Now that she will will be free of the office of governor, something that became a prison for her due to the harassment she and her office have suffered in the form of endless FOIA requests and numerous ethics violations complaints file against her (all of which were found to have no merit), she will have the time to rally the party faithful. Many of those 'faithful' are the mainstream Americans, those without the Ivy League educations working and living in “flyover country”, a part of the American public too often ignored by the Democrats and, increasingly, the Republicans as well. She appeals to the average American because in the end we see ourselves in her and her family. I doubt that can be said about Barack Obama, John McCain, or any of the other Inside-The-Beltway types from either party.

She's drawn a lot of fire from both the Left and the Right, both for her actions during the campaign and after the election. Both were horrified she could draw support from middle America without the benefit of being vetted or 'prepped' by the Washington elitists.

Peggy Noonan did a hatchet job on Palin in one of her latest columns in the WSJ, trying very hard to discredit her as nothing but an unintelligent country bumpkin with few accomplishments and a sub-standard education because she didn't graduate from the one of the 'right' schools.

She was hungry, loved politics, had charm and energy, loved walking onto the stage, waving and doing the stump speech. All good. But she was not thoughtful. She was a gifted retail politician who displayed the disadvantages of being born into a point of view (in her case a form of conservatism; elsewhere and in other circumstances, it could have been a form of liberalism) and swallowing it whole: She never learned how the other sides think, or why.

Apparently neither has Peggy. She still thinks the Inside-The-Beltway types are the only ones that matter and that no one else need apply. This from a former speech writer for President Ronald Reagan.

As one of the local political pundits here in New Hampshire put it, Sarah Palin has a natural kind of charisma politicians would kill for. It isn't something that can be learned. And that has to piss off a lot of the insiders in both parties because they believe she doesn't deserve it. As if it's their call to decide that one way or the other.

This same pundit stated that while Palin wasn't necessarily up to speed on every aspect of domestic or foreign policy, it was something corrected. (Goodness knows Vice President Joe Biden needs that kind of help.)

I think far too many people have figured she's now done with politics whether she wants to be or not. They have tried their best to destroy her image, to paint her as an idiot (how many on the Left have stated she said she could see Russia from her house when it was really Tina Fey making that claim during an SNL skit), to disparage her family, her background, her ethics? What many of these critics have failed to mention (or admit to themselves) is that none of them would be able to put up with the kind of scrutiny Palin has had to live under.

It would be a mistake on the part of the anti-Palinists to count her out. She may just come back to prove them wrong and to show the rest of America what kind of holier than thou snobs they really are.

I'm looking forward to it.


How Low Can They Go In Order To Get Funding?

Two Boston areas zoos threatened to euthanize a number of their animals unless some of their funding cut by the state were restored. Basically it was a version of “Don't make us shoot this dog.”

Talk about emotional blackmail.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Sunny weather has returned to Lake Winnipesaukee, though temperatures are still a but below average for July. Now that the sun has returned to the skies, everything is growing like crazy, meaning a lot of work weeding and mowing needs to be done around The Manse. Prior to that was too wet to mow and the cloudy conditions meant that grass and weeds weren't growing all that fast. The same was true down at the farm where BeezleBub works. Now that the sun is out the crops are finally growing at rate that allows for decent harvests.

I'd like to say we've also had a chance to make it out on the lake, but other things needing doing take precedence. Hopefully we'll make it out later this week.


Last month I linked to a post at neoneocon about how Massachusetts RomneyCare was a preview of what Obamacare would be like.

Now the Wall Street Journal is taking a look at it as well and it doesn't like what it sees.

In a rational world, the prognosis for ObamaCare would wait on the evidence in Massachusetts, given that the commonwealth's 2006 program closely resembles what Democrats are trying to do in Washington. If the results were widely known, it might be dead on arrival.

Frankly, it isn't working well at all, costing far more than the original estimates and people using it have been gaming the system to the detriment of the insurance companies.


Taking a look at another government run health care system - Medicare- shows it isn't working well either, driving many doctors and medical practices to stop accepting it.

We often are asked in our practice, “Why don’t you accept Medicare?” The immediate answer is simple: we cannot afford to. We opted out of Medicare because the service won’t pay for phone consultations, won’t pay for email consultations, barely pays for an office visit, and does not pay nearly enough to cover a house call.

All of these services are critical to our medical practice. Medicare would require us to hire too many staff, as well as require us to do too much paper work and administration. I cannot afford to invest in either and still manage to operate in the black. Medicare has too many regulations and rules; we can’t understand a lot of them, and frankly, Medicare doesn’t seem to understand them most of the time either. If I would accepted Medicare, then they have the right to audit our notes and then fine us for non-compliance for infractions that are not readily clear.

This is the kind of system Obama and the Democrats in Congress want to impose upon us.


(H/T Instapundit)


As Bruce tells us, in most of the United States you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, while in Massachusetts you are presumed guilty until you pay up.


File this under the heading of What the hell were they thinking?

The organizers of the Bristol, Rhode Island Fourth of July parade have banned Tea Party members from future parades because they had the gall to distribute copies of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution from their float this past Fourth..

There seems to be a disconnect between the meaning of the holiday and freedom of speech, at least as far as Bristol, Rhode Island is concerned.


It's apparent Obama is scaring the hell out of small businesses, making them feel they are “doing business in a climate of fear, almost clandestinely, as if engaged in espionage rather than commerce.”

Such are the new policies and taxes coming out of the Obama Administration.


Via neoneocon: A non-conservative journalist is fair to Sarah Palin and lambastes his colleagues for playing fast and loose with the truth and overtly taking sides during the 2008 elections.

In the 2008 election, we took sides, straight and simple, particularly with regard to the vice presidential race. I don't know that we played a decisive role in that campaign, and I'm not saying the better side lost. What I am saying is that we simply didn't hold Joe Biden to the same standard as Sarah Palin, and for me, the real loser in this sordid tale is my chosen profession.

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


There's also this from Conservatives 4 Palin, comparing the musical Wicked to Sarah Palin.

Let's face it, we now live in a country that is very much like Oz. Our present leader is considered by many to be an infallible "Wizard"---one who can correct all ills and fulfill all needs from behind the facade of his teleprompter machine. He lives in a beautiful, rich, "emerald-like" city full of falsehoods, politics and elitism---a far cry from the regular munchkins and lesserlings that inhabit the majority of the country. At the same time, he and his liberal cronies are waging a war against conservative ideals (in the musical, the Wizard is persecuting all the talking animals of the country to unite the people against a common "enemy") and this war leads into an actual "witch hunt."

As conservative principles come under attack--a major tenant of conservatism being less government--the need for people to stand against big government grows daily.

Enter our hero: Governor Sarah Palin.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


The Left is at it again, targeting another private citizen for destruction in an effort to smooth the way for Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor.

Will this become the modus operandi of the Democrats from now on?

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


Has the Huffington Post thrown Iranian democracy bloggers under the bus? According to this, they have.


Is it possible liberals are learning to like the idea of a flat tax? It appears to be the case, at least in California.

But do they like the idea because it will provide a more stable revenue source, or because it gives them the opportunity to do away with a lot of business expense deductions and supposedly increase revenues?


If you'd like a detailed report about why Sarah Palin is stepping down as governor, Matt Continetti has a lengthy article at Weekly Standard.

One factor in her decision was the over-the-top personal attacks on her and her family. It's one thing to go after the politician, but generally the family, particularly children, are off-limits. But not this time.

Unable or unwilling to grasp her true accomplishments and character, the media shoehorned Palin into a ready-made caricature of the know-nothing Christian PTA mom who enters politics because of "those damned lib'ruls." The reality is far different. Palin is a savvy and charismatic politician whose career has been filled with courageous stands against entrenched authority. Ideological or partisan attachments do not concern her. She has her flaws--who doesn't?--but they should be measured against her strengths. Instead the media ignored the positives and colluded with Palin's adversaries to reduce her to a cartoon.

Over time, the attacks on Palin--on her character, intellect, appearance, femininity, and family--clearly got to her. One associate told me that, after the election, Palin made a habit of listening to talk radio, attempting to track what pundits were saying about her. Her Momma Grizzly instincts came out whenever her sons and daughters were mentioned.

In late June, an Alaska Democratic blogger pasted the face of a pro-Palin radio talk-show host on the body of Palin's son Trig. The governor's camp released a withering statement, saying, "The mere idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling. To learn that two Alaskans did it is absolutely sickening. .  .  . Babies and children are off limits." The blogger backtracked. She said she only had intended to ridicule the talk show host, like that made any difference. "What if I hadn't responded?" Palin said. "Well, then, the criticism would be, can't you stand up for the special needs community?" The constant bickering and shifting standards rankled her. "Well, enough is enough," she said. "I would like the opportunity to speak up and speak out."

In situations like that she was definitely stuck in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee (which is a long way from Alaska), where late spring weather has arrived, the need for air conditioners has not come about, and where we're still waiting for real summer to arrive.


The Party Of "NO"? No.

It seems I'm on a roll today, lifting yet another gem from the forums over at Politico.com.

This latest addresses the accusation by the Left that the GOP is nothing more than the “Party of 'No'.”

No, Republicans are still the party of NO.

No choice, No leadership, and No Ideas to help the country

One commenter took exception to that and posted this reply:

Proud to part of the party of No:

No innocent babies murdered

No giving my money to the lazy and worthless

No I will not give up my guns or religion

No I do not want to own GM

No I do not want to rely on foreign oil

No I will not be immoral

No I do not want to pay your mortgage or health care

No I am not going to support socialism

No I do not want my pres to kiss the butts of Muslim radical leaders

No I will not apologize for the sacrifices our grandfathers fought for

No I do not believe in man made global warming

No I will not drive to work in a tin can.

No I do not believe people who work hard and make more should pay more taxes.

No I am not envious of the rich.

No I am not a racist.

How's that for the party of No?

I guess that makes me a member, too.

Socialism: Theory Versus Practice - A College Experiment

An old story from 1994 has been resurrected and is making the rounds again. While it hasn't been confirmed as being true according to Snopes, it is illustrative of the dream of socialism versus the reality. Like my previous post I found this version on one of the Politico.com forums.

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism, the great equalizer, worked. That no one would be poor and no one would be rich.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.

The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise all failed and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.

Would that more economics or political science professors would run that experiment. It reminds me of something a resident of the socialist workers paradise of the Soviet Union once said: "We pretend to work. They pretend to pay us."

Three Men Arrive In Heaven...

Found on the Politico.com forums:

Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama go to heaven.

God addresses Al first. ''Al, what do you believe in?''

Al replies: "Well, I believe that I won that election, but that it was your will that I did not serve. And I've come to understand that now.''

God thinks for a second and says: "Very good. Come and sit at my left.''

God then addresses Bill. "Bill, what do you believe in?''

Bill replies: "I believe in forgiveness. I've sinned, but I've never held a grudge against my fellow man, and I hope no grudges are held against me.''

God thinks for a second and says: "You are forgiven, my son. Come and sit at my right.''

Then God addresses Barack. "Barack, what do you believe in?''

He replies: "I believe you're in my chair."

The problem with this one is that I don't really know if it's a joke or not.


Cross-Border Tax Grab Thwarted

At least one state is acting to head off a cross-border tax grab.

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch has signed a bill intending to protect retailers from becoming tax collectors for other states.

New Hampshire doesn't have a general sales tax, a selling point it uses to attract out-of-state retail dollars.

The bill was filed in response to action Massachusetts took against a Connecticut-based tire store chain. Massachusetts attempted to collect $108,000 in "use" taxes from Town Fair Tire for sales it made to Massachusetts customers at its New Hampshire stores.

Many years in the past the Massachusetts Department of Revenue sent agents across the border into New Hampshire to watch and record the license plate numbers of cars from Massachusetts purchasing goods in New Hampshire and then having them stopped once they crossed back into Massachusetts in order to access the use tax. Then-governor Meldrim Thomson had the New Hampshire State Police arrest the revenue agents and escort them back over the border, telling them they had no jurisdiction in New Hampshire and warned them not to return.

The lack of a sales tax in New Hampshire has peeved the powers-that-be in Taxachusetts, the Pay State, for years. With the recent increase in the Massachusetts sales tax from 5% to 6.25%, even more Massachusetts resident are crossing the border to save money.

Can you blame them?

A Matter Of Grave Concern

I know things are tough all over, but this is just plain sick.

Four Chicago-area cemetery workers were accused on Thursday of digging up hundreds of graves and dumping the remains so the burial plots could be resold, prosecutors said on Thursday.

The scheme may have netted about $300,000 and gone on for four years. The workers targeted plots that were older and had not been visited recently.

Why does in not surprise me that this took place in Chicago?


Death By Chocolate

We've all heard the phrase 'Death by Chocolate,” usually used to describe a very chocolatey dessert dish. But in this case the cause of death was chocolate.

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- Authorities say a man died after falling into a vat of melted chocolate in a New Jersey processing plant.

A spokesman for the Camden County prosecutor's office says the 29-year-old temporary worker at the Cocoa Services Inc. plant fell after a blade used to mix raw chocolate hit him.

What a way to go...

Why Sarah Quit And Why The Left Is Still Out To Get Her

I've ceased to be amazed at how vicious the Left can be when it comes to Sarah Palin. In this piece by John Fund he explains why he believes she stepped down as governor of Alaska.

Contrary to most reports, her decision had been in the works for months, accelerating recently as it became clear that controversies and endless ethics investigations were threatening to overshadow her legislative agenda. "Attacks inside Alaska and largely invisible to the national media had paralyzed her administration," someone close to the governor told me. "She was fully aware she would be branded a 'quitter.' She did not want to disappoint her constituents, but she was no longer able to do the job she had been elected to do. Essentially, the taxpayers were paying for Sarah to go to work every day and defend herself."

Many of the more negative comments to the piece did little more than label her a weakling, a hack, stupid, corrupt, and so on. It was merely a continuation of the hatchet job perpetrated by lefty blogger/reporter Shannon Moore. Others called her a lightweight because she didn't “tough it out.” But almost all of them missed the point. The endless and frivolous ethics complaints made it impossible for her to govern, which was exactly the reason why the flood of complaints were filed. They couldn't get her at the ballot box (she's still quite popular in Alaska) so they used innuendo and a blizzard of paperwork instead.

One commenter, Kent Lyon, gives us an even more ominous view about who he thinks is behind it all.

One can only speculate how much of the vicious and frivolous attacks on Palin via the Alaska ethics laws were orchestrated out of the White House and the national Democratic party. This bears the finger-prints of a Chicago mob political hit job, just as much as the St. Valentine's Day massacre did those of the Chicago gangsters. This is gangster politics at its worst, and reflects a completely rotten political system. This smells of the kind of tactics Obama used in his Illinois State Senate campaign and his US senate campaign, e.g., destroy your opponent. Palin resonates with the heartland of America. The problem is that the attacks on her are perceived personally by a vast swath of the American Heartland. We see the message from the political elites, of both parties, that ordinary, decent, hard-working, honest, altruistic, talented, and dedicated Americans are not wanted in politics--leave it to the corrupt, crooked, prevaricating insiders who will govern us, against our wishes. The hostility of the political class toward ordinary Americans today, and their disdain for them, is far worse than the attitude of the French Aristocracy toward the peasants in 1789. The political class pursues these attack strategies at their peril. I don't believe the American people will tolerate their exclusion from governance, and the suppression of their interests to the political elite, who are extreme, incompetent, and in it for themselves and their cronies, forever.
If there are any investigations to be launched, perhaps they should be directed at those behind such an unethical and, in the end, an anti-democratic attack on an elected official.

I expect the attacks to continue on Sarah Plain over the next three years just to make sure the threat she apparently represents to the present occupant of the White House is minimized or eliminated. That is the kind of tactics I would expect, knowing the President is a firm believer (and beneficiary) of 'The Chicago Way' of politics.

Heaven help us all.


More PDS From The Left - Part XXXIII - The 'Feminists'

A bit busy tonight to post anything lengthy, but I haven't been able to get the thought that so many of the Left become unhinged at the thought of Sarah Palin, so I had to post something. We thought BDS was bad, but PDS is an order of magnitude worse. At least one staunch feminist has noticed it, particularly among the ranks of other feminists, and she wonders why so many of them Sarah with a passion.

Of course, the first answer you’ll get if you ask feminists why they hate Sarah Palin is that “it’s because she ____” — and then fill in the blank with the lie of choice: made rape victims pay for their own kits, is against contraception or sex ed, believes in abstinence-only, thinks the dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago, doesn’t believe in global warming, doesn’t believe in evolution, is stupid and can’t read, etc., etc., etc., etc.

But none of those things is true. None of them.

Even after her announced resignation, the hatred and vile rumor mongering of the Left continue unabated. If anything it's increased.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Another View Of Education Versus Intelligence In Politics

This was taken in its entirety from a comment to neoneocon's post about Sarah Palin. (Formatting and spelling errors have been corrected. All else is as written in the comment.)

Wandriaan wrote:

W.F. Buckley famously said he would rather be governed by the first hundred people of the Boston telephone book than by Harvard professors.

That says it all.

And Dennis Prager says that we live in the ‘age of stupidity’ and that one of the main reasons of that is that so many went to college and graduate school. From what I read and hear about US universities that seems perhaps not too far-fetched.

Anyway you have to be stupid to be impressed by outwardly polished speech, especially by a politician. In fact that is what scares me about Obama. It’s a shiny outside but after hours and hours listening to him I still not feel like I know the man. After listening to Sarah Palin one time for half an hour, I felt I knew her, I knew who she was.

I know who Sarah is, I don’t know who Barry or Barack or… is.

It is this kind of ‘wisdom of the street’ that you can lose by going to college as I know from my own experience.

I studied the humanities for more than three decades; it took me a long time to figure out how to become more ‘wise and perceptive on human nature’ by them. At first they only made me more arrogant and foolish.

But… I don’t know. Perhaps you simply can no longer function in US politics without becoming a soul-dead pretender like Hillary Clinton. I noticed Sarah gradually got worn out by the ugly, miserable business of national politics.

I don’t want her once again thrown out to the wolves of the libmedia. I want her to be happy with her family, friends and local community.

Let’s face it: the US, the world, we don’t deserve her. We deserve the cold fish voice of Hillary Clinton, and all the other Great Pretenders.

Indeed. At national level (and even state level in some states) we have groups of the elite who firmly believe they are the only ones capable of leading our nation. But to take a look at where we are now I'd have to say they are wrong. It appears all common sense has been bred out of those laying covert claim to American aristocracy. The days of political meritocracy have been pushed aside for now. Common sense approaches to the problems we all face have been derided and ridiculed at a time we need it most.


The Left Resorts To Libel And Slander Against Sarah Palin

I knew the Left had a hatred of Sarah Palin the surpassed that of George W. Bush, but I didn't know it went so far that leftist bloggers as well as certain members of the MSM made knowingly false allegations that she was the subject of a federal embezzlement investigation and that her resignation was to head off some law enforcement actions.

The allegations were made by Alaskan reporter and sometimes blogger Shanon Moore on Bradblog. Her post also made it to Huffington Post, and from the allegations spread to DailyKos, then to FireDogLake, and then spread like wildfire to other leftist blogs, eventually ending up being reported on MSNBC.

How do we know the allegations are false? Because the FBI says so.

A day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resigned, a federal official in her home state dismissed one potential explanation for her sudden and unexpected resignation: a rumored FBI investigation into the former Wasilla mayor on public corruption charges.

"There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we're investigating her or getting ready to indict her," Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. "It's just not true." He added that there was "no wiggle room" in his comments for any kind of inquiry.

Sarah Palin isn't taking this lying down, having her attorney issue a warning and letting the responsible parties know she's on the warpath.

“This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who republish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law,” Van Flein warned, citing Alaska liberal blogger Shannyn Moore.

“Just as power abhors a vacuum, modern journalism apparently abhors any type of due diligence and fact checking before scurrilous allegations are repeated as fact,” the Anchorage attorney wrote.

It's time the Left realize that “words mean something.”

Thoughts On A Sunday

The Fourth of July weekend is winding down, and with it, the weekenders have been departing. (All day we've been hearing the corporate jets as they take off from the local airport.) Only those summerfolk on vacation or taking up residence in their summer houses will be with us a bit longer.

The weather has cooperated for the most part, with a few thundershowers making their appearance late in the afternoon yesterday. At least they cleared out well before it was time for fireworks around the lake, making for a good evening to watch them.


It's quite breezy today, making an outing on to the lake in the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout less likely despite the nice weather. Because Deb prefers to cruise the lake at what we've come to call memé speed, i.e. really slow, it makes for a lot of work at the helm to keep the boat pointed where we want it to go. Venturing out in windy conditions triples the workload at the helm, making for a tiring trip. We'll probably delay our trip out onto the lake until after work during the week when boat traffic (and wind velocity) will be down compared to what we usually see on weekends.


Despite the claim that the Cap-and-Trade program being pushed by Obama will create lots of new “green” jobs, there's plenty of empirical evidence that it won't. All one needs to do is look at Spain to see how that turned out.


How well does socialized medicine really work? Not very well, particularly as shown by these two examples.

One commenter tried to poo-pooh them away, saying they were atypical. But another one in the know said that they were all too typical.

The point that both the UK and Canada ration care was somehow equated to health insurance companies in the US doing the same thing, but that isn't true. Insurance companies in the US may decline paying for certain procedures or treatments, but they are still available to the patient. It's just that the patient or their family will have to figure out how to pay for it. Care isn't denied by the insurance company. They're just saying they won't pay for it.

In the case of the UK and Canada, it is care that is denied. That's a big difference.

(H/T Viking Pundit)


Bruce has his own take on Sarah Palin's resignation:

I'll say this. The last time we had someone on the national political stage who could generate this much press and [I]nternet buzz, simply by giving a five minute speech, the sumbitch became president.



Neoneocon gives us her view of Sarah Palin's move and her remembrances of how far too many of the highly educated ultra liberal women looked down upon her for her humble background and non-Ivy League education.

My retort to women like would have been something along the lines of “So, how many of you have ever been governor of a state?”

Neo also makes this observation:

[E]ducation and intelligence are hardly mutually exclusive.

There was book learning and then there was smart, and the one didn’t always have that much to do with the other, although sometimes it did. I also found myself thinking that the highly educated could be dangerous in their hubris if their schooling wasn’t accompanied by a deep thoughtfulness, because it could instead be accompanied by arrogance and the idea that because they had that elite education they knew far more than they really did.

Far too often I have seen people with elite educations lacking a drop of common sense or experience also lacking the ability to put what they've learned to any good use. Instead they used it as a club with which to beat down those whom they perceive as inferior.

To quote C.S. Lewis, “Education without values only serves to make Man a more clever Devil.” (Shamelessly stolen from one of neo's commenters.)


The questions over at Wizbang: Are you better off than you were two years ago? How about six months ago?

My answers: “No,” and “Hell, no!”


Just for a change of pace:

Could it be that anthropogenic global warming is the cause of both higher than average and lower than average water levels in the Great Lakes over the past 40 years?

How can that be? It's either one or the other, not both. If all added up does the average water levels over those 40 years equal the long term averages? If so, then aren't the variations in water levels normal?

Now do you see why global warming 'science' is so difficult to comprehend? No matter what, every effect, positive or negative, is the fault of AGW.


BeezleBub is learning first hand the some hard truths about working, particularly when working with a large group of people.

His problem? Some of the field crew he works with have a severe aversion to actually working. This is particularly true of some of the Europeans hired to work the fields. According to BeezleBub, they'll use any excuse to stop working: it's too hot (Huh? That certainly hasn't been true around here until this weekend.); it's too cold; it's too wet; I don't want to get muddy; it's too close to quitting time; it's too early; and so on.

This litany of complaints has left BeezleBub and the couple of other regulars picking up the slack, making for long hard days for them. He and the others have gotten tired of having to do so.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the sun is finally shining, the weekenders are heading home, and where boating will resume this week.

Palin's Move - Fatigue Or Genius?

To say the reaction to Sarah Palin's announcement that she's stepping down as governor of Alaska covers a broad spectrum would be an understatement. It's run from the Left saying “Good riddance to the Right Wing lightweight!” to the Right saying“This is a brilliant move to set herself up for a White House run in 2012!” and everywhere in between.

I must admit it certainly caught me off guard. A number of the media pundits have been scratching their heads, with more than one proclaiming she's finished in politics because some still unknown scandal has driven her out of office. (Always going for the sordid, aren't they?)


MamaPundit thinks it's a stroke of genius, a “brilliant strategery”.

Unless the real reason she’s stepping down is that the National Enquirer is about to publish a cover story revealing that she’s actually a man who became a woman to escape his history as a Sandinista guerrilla fighter, her resignation is flat-out brilliant. It’s certainly possible that she’s leaving her post in advance of some big, ugly, serious scandal becoming public, but I suspect not. And if not, then she’s made the best political move I can imagine in her plan to run for president in 2012.


The Anchorage Daily News proclaims “Palin Decision Mystifies Some, Thrills Others.”


The liberal Wa$hington Po$t givers her an off hand compliment with the headline “Once Again, An Enigma Plays It By Her Rules.”

Sarah Palin demonstrated once again yesterday that she is one of America's most unconventional politicians, following an unpredictable path to an uncertain future.

That Alaska's Republican governor has a flair for the theatrical -- and plays by her own rules -- was underscored anew by her stunning announcement that not only will she not seek reelection in 2010, she will resign her office this month.


Politico believes her resignation is splitting the GOP. They may be right and it may end up being just what The Republicans need to rejuvenate the cachet of the party.

But her defenders believed an unorthodox move, even if risky, has a clear logic and may only further increase her standing with conservatives who don’t care what establishment figures in or out of the GOP think. Leaving the governor’s office at the end of this month leaves her free to travel the country, command large speaking fees, and begin the process of rallying her devotees without pesky home-state opponents criticizing every move.


Mark Steyn comments in NRO's The Corner that “as a political move for anything other than the 2010 Senate race, today's announcement is a disaster.” But he also says it may be something quite simple that has driven Sarah Palin to pull the plug:

So Occam's Razor leaves us with: Who needs this?

In states far from the national spotlight, politics still attracts normal people. You're a mayor or a state senator or even the governor, but you lead a normal life. The local media are tough on you, but they know you, they live where you live, they're tough on the real you, not on some caricature cooked up by a malign alliance of late-night comics who'd never heard of you a week earlier and media grandees supposedly on your own side who pronounce you a "cancer".

Could it be she's merely had enough of the BS flooding Alaska from the Lower 48? Goodness knows the so-called party elite from both sides have been trying to make her life a living hell.


The UK's Guardian calls it simply Sarah Palin's bizarre bombshell.


From the Daily Beast comes two opposing possible explanations why Sarah Plain is stepping down.

Max Blumenthal seems to think it's because of an as of yet undisclosed scandal that will rock Alaska and the GOP. (I call this the usual scandal-by-innuendo drive-by shooting by the Left.)

However, John Batchelor sees it not as a blow to her career, but as a smart opening move in her quest for the White House in 2012.


It appears Newsweek agrees with John Batchelor, saying “her resignation speech sounds like the first shot of her Presidential bid.”


Only time will tell the real motivation behind Governor Palin's resignation. Before too many people read anything into her speech, they should remember that she pretty much says what she means. If she did it, it was for the good of the people of Alaska. How can someone adequately govern a state like Alaska while being under the constant focus of the media and cynical political pundits across the political spectrum? The answer: you can't.