When 2 - 1 Doesn't Equal 1

When is 0.01 not 0.01?

When Microsoft Excel says it's really 0.009999937.

I found out the hard way that's what Excel has been doing to data I've been analyzing at work. I kept getting inconsistent and outright incorrect results when I was trying to generate a histogram, used to show the distribution of the measurement errors in a circuit. This little problem kicked my butt for over two hours towards the end of my work day. What's worse is that when I went over results I'd charted last week and the week before I realized the same thing happened with those as well.

The only way around the problem was to manually enter the data values rather than using a formula to generate them. (I can see a formula causing rounding errors, but not when the formula is straight forward arithmetic and all the numbers entered have only two decimal places.)

I haven't tried this using Open Office Calc yet, but I'll be curious to find out whether this is specific to Excel or to spreadsheet applications in general.

Has Al Gore Converted?

You know the winds have shifted when Al Gore says the ethanol industry serves no useful purpose.

What? The sainted AlGore is against all these government subsidies for ethanol because it's a fraud?

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm stuck in an episode of Fringe.

Said AlGore:

"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Al Gore told a gathering of clean energy financiers in Greece this week. The benefits of ethanol are "trivial," he added, but "It's hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going."

That's true of any government subsidy. All anyone has to do is look at farm subsidies in general, a practice that has been going on for generations. All such subsidies do is waste tax dollars propping up some operation or industry that will no longer feel the need to change or innovate to the point where it no longer needs subsidies.

All of that aside, one must wonder if Al Gore has realized the error of his ways, or is he positioning himself to make another few hundred million dollars with government subsidies for yet another alternative energy scheme?

Only time will tell.


Food Court Flash Mob

I guess this must be a day for videos.

We've all heard of flash mobs and the like. This is one I think you'll enjoy, particularly in light of the coming Christmas season.


TSA Incompetence On Display

It is becoming increasing apparent the TSA has no regards for their own rules. This video is but one example of the ignorance of some TSA personnel when it comes to their own procedures. What's worse is the TSA supervisor seen in this video is the worst of the bunch, ignoring federal law and imposing his own rules.

And we want to entrust our safety to these people? Frankly, they make it less likely that I'm going to take a commercial flight anywhere, even for work.

(H/T GraniteGrok)

Wikileaks - I Have To Wonder....

With the Wikileaks controversy growing and their determination to publish classified State Department and US military documents regardless of the cost in human lives and international relations, I have to wonder whether it's time to classify Wikileaks as a hostile foreign intelligence operation and to sanction them just like any other such operation.

They have certainly shown disregard for international law and have worked with anti-American elements within this country, trying to cover themselves as some kind of journalism organization. If I recall correctly, using a cover as a journalist in order to perform espionage is a hostile (and illegal) act. Maybe it's time to be hostile in return and to terminate their operation “with extreme prejudice.”


Thoughts On A Sunday

We experienced a brief preview of winter yesterday by way of some snow squalls that covered the ground with white and made the roads slippery. Fortunately for me I had already completed what outside work I wanted to get done so I was able to watch it from the warm confines of The Manse while sitting near the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove. Unfortunately BeezleBub was working outside in the midst of the squall, splitting firewood for next year's heating season.


Glenn Reynolds links to and comments upon the question of allowing states to declare bankruptcy and the consequences of such a move. A number of suggestions by readers and from other blogs include breaking up larger defaulting states into two or smaller states. And then there's this:

“Any law that lets states be bailed out should require them to renounce their state status and revert to being territories, to be reorganised by the federal government as new states. That has the advantage of getting rid of the old, dysfunctional, state government, removing the state and its inhabitants from national influence until they’ve had a chance to learn some wisdom, and being enough of a penalty to make bailouts unattractive to other states.” I see many problems with this approach, but I admire its spirit.



At least we don't have to worry about how the New England Patriots will do today as they're off until next week following their Thanksgiving Day pasting of the Detroit Lions.

From the score at the end of the first half I thought the Lions were going to make a game of it, but the second half belonged to the Patriots alone.


It appears that Iran's nuclear program has suffered a number of setbacks due to a rather vicious computer virus known as Stuxnet. While I've heard the buzz about Stuxnet over the past couple of weeks, I didn't make the connection between it and Iran's nuclear program until reading this piece describing the havoc created by the virus. As the article states, it wasn't created some hacker sitting in his parent's basement.

Welcome to the world of cyber warfare.


Isn't it interesting to see yet another doomsday prediction about global warming fall by the wayside? In this case claims about California's giant redwoods being negatively affected by increased CO2 and the reduction of fog the redwoods need in order to thrive, all due to global warming have been found wanting. Scientists have found just the opposite is occurring, with redwood growth increasing due to increased CO2 and more frequent fog.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


And that's the abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter weather has made its presence known, there's still some fall yard work to do, and where Christmas is coming all too soon.


Dispelling The Myths About The Tea Party - Part VIII

Bill Whittle addresses American Exceptionalism, something we know our present President doesn't like and has been working hard to destroy. But I think Obama will find that while he may dent it a bit, he doesn't have the wherewithal to overcome the sheer inertia of American Exceptionalism. American know-how and those providing it will always find a way around those in this country working hard to bring about its downfall.

One thing I found interesting: With only 5% of the world's population, American produces 24% of the world's GDP, which is 3 times more than China produces even though it has over 4 times as many people.


Thoughts On A Sunday - Black Friday Edition

Here it is, the day after Thanksgiving, and we're still feeling the after-effects of the Thanksgiving repast.

BeezleBub and I spent Thanksgiving Day down at the WP In-Laws, while Deb was at work at the local Veterans Home.

Our trip down to the In-Laws and then back to The Manse was incident free as traffic was almost non-existent. I guess everyone got to where they wanted to be on Wednesday.


One thing that greeted us this morning that we could have done without: freezing rain.

The roads are nothing but sheets of ice, leading to accidents when the laws of physics – specifically friction and inertia – asserted themselves and reminded drivers that they aren't necessarily in control. There were a number of accidents overnight, including a multi-vehicle pileup on one of the Interstates early this morning.

Our driveway was a sheet of ice and I must admit to a bit of laziness as I waited until early this afternoon spread sand and ice melt. (It wasn't like any of us needed to go anywhere this morning, so why bother doing it any earlier than necessary?)


I have to admit I like Bobby Jindal's idea about making Congress part-time. It would solve a number of problems including the propensity for members of Congress to spend money we don't have because they feel they need to justify their existence. If Congress isn't in session year round then they won't have enough time to get into mischief.

Over the years my brother and I have discussed a number of ways to reduce the amount of time Congress meets, including the removal of the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems from the Capitol Building and all Congressional offices. That would mean there would be only a few months every year when the temperatures would not be unbearably hot and humid or frigidly cold, in turn limiting the amount of time Congress would be in session. That also means they would have to devote what time they did have to actually doing the work the were elected to do, not wasting time on things most Americans feel is a waste of time and tax money.

A number of states have part-time legislatures, including New Hampshire (though 'part-time' appears to mean they meet for 6 months every year rather than 5 months every two years as in the past) and Texas. For the most part states with part-time legislatures appear to be doing better than states with full-time legislatures. Maybe there's a lesson to be learned here.

(H/T Instapundit)


Is it time for Great Britain to leave the EU? Taking a look at what's been happening over the past few years, the economic crises befalling a number of member states, and Brussels ever more heavy-handed dictats, I'd say the answer is not just “yes”, but “Hell, yes!” At least the UK didn't make the mistake of adopting the Euro and stayed with their own monetary system, which would make it easier for them to withdraw from the European Union.

If they desire to belong to a larger common cause group, then maybe some kind of Anglosphere union maybe be the answer.


It seems the mayor of Burlington, Vermont is about to learn a harsh lesson about economics and the consequences of not making loan payments. Somehow he seems to think that some other lender will come to the rescue in order to save Burlington's municipal broadband network. He's about to find out they won't. Who wants to lend money to a city that has failed to make payments to a previous lender?


Why is it I have no difficulty believing this?

Upper-class people have trouble recognizing other people's emotions.

[The study] results suggest that people of upper-class status aren't very good at recognizing the emotions other people are feeling. The researchers speculate that this is because they can solve their problems, like the daycare example, without relying on others -- they aren't as dependent on the people around them.

Interestingly enough, when many upper-class people were made to feel as if they were now in a lower social class, their recognition of other people's emotions increased. Could it be that money insulates them from the many social interactions that help promote emotional awareness, meaning their 'emotion translator' atrophies?


Raising taxes to reduce the deficit? As Skip explains, it's a sucker bet.


It appears Sarah Palin is kickin' elite asses...again. I guess some of them really don't understand things like copyrights, theft, and other laws dealing with intellectual property.


After all the time, effort, and money spent on promoting solar energy, Spain is finding out that it doesn't pay for itself and will require continuous subsidies at a time when the Spanish government doesn't have the money to do so.


Have We Forgotten The Lesson Of Thanksgiving?

I could have gone with my traditional Thanksgiving Day post, a repost of one of Andrew Sullivan's Thanksgiving Day posts from long ago, but this year I felt I needed to take a different tack and remind you of the forgotten lesson of the first Thanksgiving.

Had today's political class been in power in 1623, tomorrow's holiday would have been called "Starvation Day" instead of Thanksgiving. Of course, most of us wouldn't be alive to celebrate it.

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. But the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn't happen.

Long before the failure of modern socialism, the earliest European settlers gave us a dramatic demonstration of the fatal flaws of collectivism. Unfortunately, few Americans today know it.

The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share the work and produce equally.

That's why they nearly all starved.

Is this Thanksgiving Day message a politically motivated one? Of course it is. After all, the history of the first Thanksgiving gives us much to ponder about present day conditions and those wishing to repeat the failed social experiment tried by the first English settlers in New England.

One of the reasons the Pilgrims nearly starved to death was because unlike today, they had no one else's largess to 'appropriate' in order to survive. It wasn't like they had the means to take what Indians had from them. (Yes, I wrote 'Indians'. I refuse to use politically correct terms just to not offend those who would gladly be offended on behalf of the original indigenous inhabitants of the North American continent.)

This experiment in socialism/communalism proved the innate falsehood of “From each according his ability, to each according his needs,” as well as hard proof of the tragedy of the commons. The first illustrates the shortsightedness of Marx and his followers who, either by chance or choice, ignored the one thing that made Marx's theories totally unworkable – human nature. The second defines that shortsightedness. If nothing else, the Pilgrims were the first society to try living under what would later become part of Marx's theory. Because they were an insular society at the time (there were no real neighbors to go to for aid as there are today), the falsity of the theory was there for everyone who survived the famine to see.

But do the modern day socialists/communalists/communists take a lesson from that failure? Of course not. Over the past 100 years or so they have tried to run the experiment again and again, which always ends with the same tragic results, but at the cost of millions of lives. Members of our own government seem to think they can make it work when history proves otherwise. They have refused to learn from lesson of the first Thanksgiving. I have no doubt they will continue to ignore it.


Is It Time To Do Away With Daylight Savings Time?

As I wrote here and here, I am not dealing well with the change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. I'm not the only one.

Frankly, I think the change back and forth between Standard and Daylight Savings Time has outlived its usefulness. Maybe it's time to do away with the time change entirely and stay with DST year round.

Historically, daylight savings time was proposed by Benjamin Franklin as a way to maintain agricultural productivity and reduce the need for costly candles (they really were a major household expense, back in the day). People rose and worked with the sun, and wound their days down as the sun set. As for resetting their clocks and watches: that wasn't a problem, since most people didn’t own one. They assessed time by the sun, or by the sound of church bells.

But that was then, and this is now. We live by electric lights, we live 24/7, we don't start our day with the sun and end it as darkness approaches. To steal a quote from Einstein: "Everything has changed, except our way of thinking."

So here's my proposal: do away with Daylight Savings Time altogether. It's an empty, possibly counterproductive gesture to "saving energy". If people in some areas are worried about the children waiting in the dark for the school bus, they can just start school an hour later. After all, the numbers we assign to the clock and to appointments are human creations and artifacts, which we can redefine and re-label as needed.

I know I prefer daylight later in the day, particularly during the winter months. If DST became the new 'Standard' Time, that would suit me just fine.


Ireland To Become Economic Vassal Of Brussels

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Morgan Kelly, an economics professor in Dublin, Ireland, warned the Irish government about the impending economic meltdown because of laws enacted to protect Irish banks from failure. He was derided as a crank and alarmist. Now that the meltdown has occurred just as he predicted, he's warned the government not to take a bailout from the EU and the IMF because in the long run it will hurt the Irish economy worse than if they did nothing and leave the economy under the control of Brussels. Did the Irish leaders listen?

Of course not.

After months of trying to go it alone, Irish officials have relented and are officially asking Europe for a bailout that could top the $110 billion dished out to stave off bankruptcy for Greece.


The request for help was a humbling turnabout for Ireland, which just last week was insisting it could manage its own finances. It does not view itself as being as profligate or irresponsible as Greece was in running up deficits, and has been preparing a four-year budget plan filled with sharp cutbacks that is intended reduce its deficit from 32 percent of gross domestic product to 3 percent.

But the government has been sinking further and further into debt since its 2008 decision to protect its banks from all losses. The banking system had become so weakened that it could not afford to wait any longer for help.

Ireland is suffering from the Law of Unintended Consequences, where legislation designed to prevent bank failures and help prop up the economy had just the opposite effect. That's what happens when stopgap measures brought forward by those with too little understanding of economics and monetary policy try to fix a problem they don't understand.

Ireland's calamity should be seen as a cautionary tale, showing us how government intervention in markets as a means of protecting the economy quite often creates more problems than it solves.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Today I went to see the new Harry Potter movie with Submarine Tim and his boss, Dawn. That in itself isn't unusual as the three of us have always gone together to see each Harry Potter movie.

What was different this time was that the theater in downtown Plymouth where we've seen all the previous movies no longer shows first run films. It was a tradition we started when the first Harry Potter movie came out and we never missed a single one. Instead we had to go to the local 297-screen Mega-Cine-Plex not too far from The Manse.

While the movie was great, it wasn't quite the same as seeing it in the old theater.

In case you're wondering, BeezleBub didn't come with us. Instead he went to see the movie with some friends from school (though we saw him there).


Jim Simpson wonders whether Gadsen flag license plates are becoming a national movement. I can see where they would become quite popular, particularly in red states. As I wrote lase Sunday, I'd gladly get one for the trusty F150.


Bogie's making plans for Thanksgiving. She's actually going to be staying home an preparing a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner, something she says she rarely does. But this year she has a good reason.


David Starr questions the problems with the Rolls-Royce Trent jet engines used on the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787. But it looks like the problems may not reside just with Rolls-Royce. As David mentions, when the crew of that Qantas A380 that blew an engine tried to shut down the fuel flow to the disabled engine, the flight control computers wouldn't let them.

That's not a hardware problem. That's a software problem, something Airbus has had to deal with in the past.


At least one Democrat says he isn't going to underestimate Sarah Palin.


Even as we read about California's economic suicide versus the economic resurgence of Texas, we can't forget that another much smaller state is also surging forward as well.

The WP home state of New Hampshire has managed to keep some semblance of a business friendly state despite four years of Democrat tax-and-spend policies doing its darnedest to change that. Now that the GOP has control of both chambers of the state legislature it's possible that much of the damage of the four past years of profligate spending can be undone and, perhaps, prevented from happening again any time soon.

New Hampshire has been one of the economic powerhouses over the past 40 years or so, with low taxes, small government, and business friendly policies. While many of the other states in the Northeast suffered the vagaries of the series of recessions since the 1970's, New Hampshire managed to avoid them for the most part. And when it still felt the sting of economic turmoil, it felt it to a much lesser extent than the rest of the Northeast, coming out of the recession many months ahead of its neighbors.


As if we need even more evidence that the Progressives in our country have no problem with using totalitarian means to achieve their aims, there comes a call from the George Soros funded Center for American Progress for President Obama to use the US military to push the Progressive agenda, bypassing Congress and the Supreme Court.

I believe that's called a dictatorship. But then again, Progressives love dictatorships. Witness how the Left has sucked up to fellow Leftists like Castro, Chavez, and a host of other Central and South American leftist dictators or dictator wannabes.

Of course the Progressives may have forgotten something: there's no guarantee the military will follow orders that contradict the oaths they took to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Under the above circumstance, I think the Progressives and the President would qualify as domestic enemies.


Victor Davis Hanson explains why the world we read of does not resemble the world we see about us.

At least the Internet has made it more likely we will question reports and claims made by government and the media when we can see for ourselves that what they tell us must be taken with a very large grain of salt.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Eric the Viking sends an open letter to NASCAR explaining why he will no longer attend or watch any more NASCAR races.

While I won't necessarily stop watching the races, I do agree with his reasons.


It is often said that a prophet is never honored in his own country. That is certainly true of Morgan Kelly, a professor of Economics at University College in Dublin, Ireland.

The so-called “nutty professor” had been warning the Irish government for some time that Ireland's economy was headed for a meltdown. He was derided as “of being ridiculous, alarmist, a scare-mongering Jeremiah. He was laughed at, even sneered at, by other financial experts who regarded him as a maverick.” Despite the claims of his detractors, it turns out he was right. Those same detractors are now curiously silent.

It makes one wonder if they will listen to his latest warnings about accepting an EU/IMF bailout which will have the effect of turning control of the Irish economy over to Brussels. If history is any gauge, the answer is “no”.

(H/T Vermont Tiger)


Despite claims to the contrary, it appears Sarah Palin is far more popular with the American people than some are willing to admit.

As many of us have asked since the 2008 Presidential campaign, if she is so bad and so incompetent, then why have so many – particularly Democrats - been working so hard to discredit her? It seems there's a disconnect there somewhere.

At least Joe Biden appears to take her seriously (see above).

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


The New England Patriots managed to hold off the Indianapolis Colts today down in Foxboro, beating them 31-28, giving them an 8-2 record.

Hopefully the Pats will be able to rest up enough as they'll be playing again on Thanksgiving Day, taking on the Detroit Lions in Detroit.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the temps have been below freezing (at least at night), the woodstove has been running 24-hours a day, and where we're looking forward to a very short work week.


Let The Budgeting Begin!

The budget season has started here in New Hampshire, with towns, cities, and the state working to put together budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.

It may be the recent win by self-declared fiscal conservatives in state and national elections that have driven home the point that the taxpayers have had enough of profligate spending and will be watching their elected officials much more closely than they have in the past.

Our little town has been way ahead of the pack, with the selectmen and the budget committee scrutinizing every penny and making cuts to keep spending in check during these difficult economic times. Should both entities get their way, our town's budget for the next fiscal year will be smaller than this year's, the third year in a row for that trend. The same is true of the school budget. (Like most towns and cities in New Hampshire, the municipal and school budgets are entirely separate. But in towns like ours with an elected budget committee, the committee reviews and votes whether or not to recommend the warrants articles from both.)

At the state level the governor has already warned state agencies to prepare for tough choices they'll have to make.

The previous two budgets increased spending by more than 30% over the past 4 years (New Hampshire has a two-year budget), but this time around the Democrat governor has to deal with an overwhelmingly Republican legislature (74.5% of the seats in the 400 seat New Hampshire House are in the hands of the GOP, as are 79% of the seats in the state Senate). During the previous two budgets the governor had a Democrat majority in the legislature to back up his spending plans. Assuming the Republicans in the legislature follow through on their promises to keep spending in check, if not roll back some expenditures and the taxes that go with them, it can be expected that state spending will remain flat, if not decrease from the present biennial budget. And should the governor veto a lean GOP budget, both chambers of the legislature have the votes to override it.

It will be interesting to watch the budget deliberations at the local and state level and compare it to what will be going on in Washington during the 112th Congress. Our Representatives and our Senators in Congress know we will be watching closely and will be more than willing to throw them out if they don't do as so many at the state and local level have done: keep spending and taxes in check.


Homeowner Imprisioned For Defending His Property

Is Ward Bird a gun-toting criminal nutcase or a citizen defending his property against an intruder?

According the both the Carroll County (New Hampshire) Superior Court and the state Supreme Court, he's a criminal.

The case, in which Bird was accused of criminal threatening, pits the rights of gun carrying homeowners against criminal statutes that could easily see them prosecuted and convicted for protecting their property. Bird was convicted of threatening his accuser after the women drove on to his property and to the front of his house despite numerous No Trespassing signs posted along the edge of his property and along his driveway.

I have to ask this: What part of No Trespassing did this woman not understand? The 'No' part or the 'Trespassing' part?

What makes this case more controversial is that Bird had never been in trouble with the law before this incident while his accuser had a criminal history. Even more tragic, the presiding judge in the criminal trial wanted Bird to have minimal incarceration (30 days) in the county jail and then work release or home confinement. But the law tied his hands and the Department of Corrections said Bird has to serve a minimum of two years of his mandatory seven year sentence before he's eligible for release. He'll be serving his time in the state prison.

Quite a few people believe there has been a miscarriage of justice and that Bird should be pardoned. Count me as one of them.


Credentialed, Not Educated

Over the past few months leading up to the mid-term elections, Glenn Reynolds, amongst others, have been writing about and commenting upon the “Credentialed, not educated” meme in regards to the mass of nattering elite.

The Barrister over at Maggie's Farm takes a slightly different tack, asking the question “Which would do more for your career: A Princeton education but no diploma, or a Princeton diploma but no education?”

I have a feeling the answer is the former.

I've seen far too many people with diplomas from Ivy League schools and other high level educational institutions that haven't got the capability of actually doing the jobs they were hired to do. Some don't even have the sense to come in out of the pouring rain, metaphorically speaking.

I tried to post a comment to the Barrister's post about a fitting movie quote, but apparently the spamment system didn't like what I had to say. So I'll reproduce it here:

This reminds me of the scene in Good Will Hunting where Will (Matt Damon), goes head to head with a Harvard student at a Cambridge pub, leaving him with this thought:

“To think you blew $150 grand on an education you could've gotten from the public library for a buck-fifty in late fees.”



Let's Play The "Balance The Budget" Game!

Everyone seems to think it will be difficult to cut government spending enough to trim, if not eliminate the federal deficit. The thing is that belief is true...if you leave it to no one but the politicians in Washington to do so. But more than a few of us unenlightened mortals (meaning everyday folk) seem to have little problem with cutting spending.

Believe it or not, the New York Times has an interactive budget simulator that lets us take a crack at cutting the budget. One journalist, James Pethokoukis, took a stab at it and managed to balance the budget in one minute. One minute!

Glenn Reynolds took a shot at it and it took him two minutes. By his own admission it took that long because, unlike Pethokoukis, he's not a money guy.

While the budget simulator does limit the choices you can make, it still shows it can be done as long as you insulate yourself from outside forces (meaning special interests and lobbies).

If you're not beholden to them then you can make the choices dispassionately, unemotionally, and logically. But once you let them start playing the “But it's for the children!” game, the choices would become more difficult. And once you make one compromise, others become easier. Eventually you'll reach the point where you'll find you can make few, if any cuts because someone has convinced you that someone else somewhere will suffer. But what they won't tell you is that they'll suffer anyways but far worse than if you'd made the cuts. Emotion rather than logic rules and that's always the worst way to make the decisions like this.

If you want to see if you can balance the budget, give it a try.


Dispelling The Myths About The Tea Party - Part VII

Bill Whittle tackles yet another myth about the Tea party, specifically immigration and racism. As Bill tells us, far too many Tea party detractors have labeled us “stupid uneducated Neanderthals. We're white trash rednecks, knuckle-dragging proto-Nazis, KKK-loving violent extremists ready to execute anyone who won't bend their knee to the upcoming Christian theocracy...Oh, and we're domestic terrorists.” We've also been accused of being anti-immigration. We're not. We're anti-illegal immigration. There's a big difference.

I'll let Bill explain it as he does so far better than I can.

I must admit I like his suggestion about going to Jessica Alba or Lady Gaga's house and showing them up for the hypocrites they are.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a nice weekend weather-wise, allowing us to attend to stacking the last of the fire wood and moving The Boat moved next to the garage in preparation for winter storage.

BeezleBub had today off and only had to work on school work and his share of the outdoors work. Both of us even managed to watch the Patriots game this evening without having to resort to using the DVR for anything other than replaying a particular play now and then.


It's been a week since we made the change back to Standard Time and it's still throwing us off. At first I thought it was just me having those “It's 4 in the afternoon?!” moments, but I've found everyone is still dealing with it. I don't recall having the effects of the time change lasting quite this long.


Is California destined for bankruptcy? A number of people including California residents Allysia Finley and Victor Davis Hanson think so.

What's telling is reading the comments to both of their pieces and finding a number of other Californians believe it should be allowed to happen because they see it as the only way to restore fiscal sanity to California's government at state and county level. A few opposing the idea keep trying to play the “California pays far more in federal taxes than it gets back” card, using it as justification for the other 49 states to bail out its unsustainable spending. Not one of one of those trying to sell that idea included any mention of slashing government spending. Not one.

California is learning the meaning of Maggie Thatcher's warning: “Socialism works until you run out of other people's money.”


Greg Sullivan tells us about the New Prohibition: No Icky Boys, Please.

The thought of boys actually being boys is anathema to some parents, and the results of their efforts to change the nature of their sons are likely to be highly negative. At worse, they may be condemning them to a mateless life as most women like manly men (all claims otherwise to the contrary), not ambiguously gendered 'men' who avail themselves of the same pampering as women (mani/pedis, facials, hair highlights, waxing, etc). Women (for the most part) are looking for mates, not girlfriends.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Is President Barack Obama a malignant narcissist? You be the judge.


Could it be Democrats want to make sure any spending cuts made by the new GOP-majority Congress will be as painful as possible?

If I had to guess, I'd say the answer is an unqualified “Yes.”

I get the impression they want to ensure the American taxpayer receives the maximum amount of pain possible in order to keep as many of their tax-and-spend policies in place as they possibly can.


It sounds like the owner of this upscale grocery store in the South End of Boston has decided to borrow a page from Obama's book by placing the blame for its failure upon their customers.

Or maybe it could be because they were charging too darn much for their food in the midst of a recession. Nah, that can't be it. It must be because their customers were too stupid to realize they needed to spend a lot more for their groceries than they would shopping at the local supermarkets.


I wouldn't mind one of these on the trusty F150!

Maybe we can convince the New Hampshire Department of Safety to do likewise. I'd get one.

(H/T Instapundit)


Kathleen McKinley comments on (and links to) John Stossel's latest jab at affirmative action.

While Stossel's stunt was not original (a number of university students at various schools have tried the same thing over the past few years), he did make his point about affirmative action being inherently racist. Kathleen also offers a story about a friend of her son becoming a victim of affirmative action.


It looks like the voter fraud virus has spread from the general population in Minnesota to the campus of the University of Minnesota.

This from the same folks who managed to get Al Franken 'elected' to the US Senate.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


Cap'n Teach catches the New York Times committing yet another hypocritical pot-calling-the-kettle-black faux pas.

Their arrogance (or maybe it's a case of short-term memory loss) never ceases to amaze me.


Our favorite Texan in the UK makes some disturbing discoveries in a British grocery store.

Rachel, we hope you'll come home soon!


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the last of our firewood is finally stacked and under cover, The Boat is in its winter storage spot, and where we're still trying to adjust to the 4 months of Standard Time.


Marx, Global Communism, And the Left

Guest blogger Bill has contributed a few more thoughts definitely worth sharing.

What’s amazing about Marx is that he hit the nail on the head about Communism being Global. The reason is also a 100% exact parallel to Liberals. Marx did however wholly miss the nature of its world wide dominance.

Global Communism isn’t an inevitability, but it cannot exist in its self-conceived purity if there is any viable alternative. Its purity can only be achieved if no comparison can be had with a system allowing even remedial functional or inspired individuality. That is why Communist governments must keep its subjects as ignorant of the rest of the world as possible (North Korea, anyone? - ed.). Subjects of Communist rule cannot be trusted, only used and controlled. An Iron Curtain in any form is meant to enforce the captivity of its subjects. However it is easy to understand that it may actually be more important as a filter to keep the subjects ignorant of other peoples. After all “peace” for Marxists isn’t the absence of violence, only the absence of dissent.

Liberals congregate together not merely because they are like-minded, but because if they actually had to be “in” the world at large they would risk being cured of their self-centered intentions-based idealism. Insulation in all forms is the ever present requirement of a sustained Liberal environment.



Liberal 'Contributions' To American Culture

Occasional guest contributor Bill gives us these points to ponder.

What have Liberals contributed to the once proud American culture, aside from the HR 3200 abortion?

- “Putting others first” has become “Paying far more attention to how others live their lives than how they live their own.”

- Being open minded has become abject permissiveness.

- Deriding the smug holier-than-thou small-minded Christian faithful has been replaced with an ever increasing blind faith in anything wrapped up in saccharin faux-humanist pseudo-scientific garb. Genuine lack of critical thinking leads them to logic defying leaps of faith in the cult of Global Warming, and the wholesale unquestioned goodness of (of all things) Politicians. Boiled down, all the sins that some cast against Christians to discredit anything they have to say or believe, has come full circle to be held as badges of credit by those same people.

- “Question Authority” as a means of mutual recognition and respect on ethical, moral and functional grounds has become “Question It”. But if the answer isn’t served up to them on a platter and stated in kindergarten language, or challenges them in any way, then they never let the answer be tolerated.

- If history does not support their world view comfortably, then history must be changed.

- The phrase “a friend in need is a friend in deed” is utterly lost.

- They speak of the eternal myth of “fairness” as though it's not just real, but a cornerstone truth of morality. Their belief that earthly justice, real justice, is within mankind's ability to exercise regularly, let alone understand, is spoken of as though it should be as expected as the morning sun rise. It is delusional.

- They believe it's better to be a victim. It's easy, and morally righteous to boot.

- Having conviction in almost any belief is held in contempt as something selfishly fascistic. Ethical and moral ambivalence is the sign of real goodness and selfless thoughtfulness. To them it's much better to have a stalwart (and louder) conviction of being against others convictions.

- Having an opinion has become a tyrannically inspired judgment for no other reason than it's not couched in kindergarten-safe language, it's not Federation Starfleet approved (sorry Chan, Roddenberry didn’t do us any favors with that B.S.), UN sanctioned, or is a danger of possibly challenging anyone on any level...even if they are not in the room.

- “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” has become an all-consuming unquestionable moral good to not say anything harsh or uncivil to anyone at any time as you might commit the crime of hurting someone's feelings.

- It's acceptable to desecrate, warp or denigrate anything held as dear, sacred, or even functional by anyone espousing anything resembling a traditional American value, so long as the language used to do so is civil, i.e. politically correct.

- The phrases “Grow up!“, and “Get over it” has become instead “There there, it's OK. It's not really your fault.”

- Superiority by actual virtue rigorously exercised has become superiority by consensus of good intentions and emotional projections (and we all know where that road leads). However it's never actually tested lest it's proven fragile.

- Owning your life once meant acknowledging your place in your environment while understanding that God gave each of us enough of a spark of the divine so as to see our great individual potential, and actually setting yourself on a path toward it, beholden to none. Now we’re told it's defined by a collection of goods and 'service to our fellow man' that means “Shut up, do what your told, pay the government what we think you owe it, and maybe, just maybe we’ll keep patting you on the head and telling you how special you are.” Civilian defense corps my ass.

- Childhood now continues to age 26.…emotional maturity and personal responsibility is not required at any age.

- Ah yes, and my favorite: Liberals have given us the proof that it is actually possible to be strong in weakness. Various weaknesses can be maintained, cultured, and grown into a perceived strength given enough of a mindset constructed with tangential versions of actual virtues. They thrive in environments insulated against any challenges that allow such mental structures go unchallenged. Need proof? Just look at any environment where Liberal ideals are the mainstay: politics, academia, media, even science. It's nothing more than mental inbreeding.

- Journalism, once actually lofted as the crowning achievement of a civilized society, has become what is called the Lame Stream Media, a host infected with the virus of propaganda.

- Instead of accepting that God challenges each of us to be stronger in the blessed virtues, God must be challenged because, well, its far easier being pathetic and cozy.

- Somehow, somewhere, the word “humanism” changed markedly. It went from meaning a fan of mankind's innate good virtues along side all of its shortcomings, with a healthy respect of both. And though some innate virtues are not ascribed as coming directly from any godly belief system, they never directly opposed a belief system. Such virtues were in parallel. However, today the word has an undeniable dedication and near dogmatic belief in mankind's greatness, period. A belief its followers maintain less by action than by rigorous pursuit of insulated good intentions, hopefulness and large scale visions of some untethered joy and happy state created by means of some “thing”.

- It's actually possible to be a person motivated to help others while projecting virtuous attributes, and at the same time have a crippling self-centeredness that poisons those around them.

- Everyday words and phrases of the American lexicon have nearly disappeared. Some of those include “humility”, “the American way”, as well as “the American spirit”, “God-given”, “virtue”, “sin”, and to our own devastation, “sovereignty”. That word by itself on the tongue of an American once had tremendous power.

- Individuality was once consisted of basic decency and accountability before man and God. Individuality is now principally marked by self-gratification through commercial consumerism and reveling in the edginess of base impulses.

- God gave us free will so that our lives may have value. Liberals believe God was wrong. They believe free will is over-rated at best, dangerous at worst. Value is in the eye of the law holder.

- It's better to place all possible aspects of humanity under the jurisdiction of some law rather than letting humans and Humanity figure itself out.

I must agree with Bill's points.

His last one peeves me more than many of the others because Liberals have come to believe all that's needed to correct some perceived ill or injustice is to create new legislation to outlaw it. The only problem with that belief is that there are already so many laws that are poorly enforced or universally ignored (mostly by the Left) as to make any new ones just as meaningless. Frankly, we have better things to do with our time and our efforts than to deal with useless and toothless laws, or worse, laws that have far reaching consequences that go way beyond what they were supposed to fix.

And so it goes.


Dispelling The Myths About The Tea Party - Part VI

Far too many people really have little understanding of the Second Amendment and why the Framers of the Constitution included it. And many of those same people have the mistaken belief that disarming a law abiding citizenry will somehow lead to less crime and violence despite abundant evidence to the contrary.

In the next is his series, Bill Whittle explains why 'they' are mistaken and why so many of the rest of us own and carry guns.

As the old saying goes when it comes to dealing with violent criminal miscreants, “Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.”


Thoughts On A Sunday

Like many of the rest of you in the US, we've made the switch back to Standard Time. For the life of me I can't figure out why we even bother making the change any more. Standard Time only lasts a little over 4 months and Daylight Savings Time lasts just under 8, so why bother making the change at all?And since Standard Time isn't really 'standard' anymore, why call it that?

Yet another of the great mysteries of life to ponder.


I think everyone's heard about sore losers, but sore winners? It seems the Democrats have had more than their share of them over the past few years, with the latest being Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA4) who had a rambling, vitriol-filled 'victory' speech. It seems he was angry because had to spend his precious time actually campaigning in order to keep his job. I guess he felt he shouldn't have to because, after all, he's entitled to his Congressional seat.

What a twit!


Talk about sending mixed messages!

“Obama calls for compromise, but won't budge on tax cuts.

It sounds a lot like his version of “bipartisanship” which he defines as “Sit down, shut up, and vote the way I tell you to vote!”

Yeah, that ought to work...

(H/T Instapundit)


David Starr has a few suggestions about what the incoming Congressional Republicans should do once they're in office.

One of my favorites:

Refuse to pass omnibus spending bills. Each executive department (Defense, State, HHS, Energy, and so on) get one, separate, budget bill. If the bill fails to pass, that department can no longer write checks. This way the voters and the newsies have some idea of how much money gets spent on what. An omnibus spending bill for the entire federal government is so damn big that nobody can figure out how much is going where. Break it up into smaller pieces and it becomes manageable. Divide and conquer still works.

That works for me.


Will Connecticut become the next New Jersey? If the election results are any indication the answer is yes.

Solid Democrat majorities in the state legislature and a Democrat governor-elect beholden to the unions does not bode well for Connecticut taxpayers.

This good old independent Yankee state is now entirely in the pocket of the unions - especially the government unions - and the three corrupt urban train wrecks which, instead of being the dynamic centers of job and wealth creation that they once were, have become insatiable sponges for dollars: Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport. Their declines have been dramatic: In the late 1950s, Hartford was voted the most pleasant medium-sized city in America to live in - higher than Boston - and I was told about the lines of limousines parked in downtown Bridgeport.

Replace the three cities named above with Trenton, Newark, and Jersey City and you've got New Jersey. Too bad Connecticut doesn't have also have its own Chris Christie.

The WP Parents left Connecticut for New Hampshire 6 years ago after selling the family beach house when the ever increasing tax burden started eating into their retirement savings at an alarming and unsustainable rate. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more people (and businesses) fleeing Connecticut for similar reasons, just as happened in New Jersey.

As George Santayana said, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” And so it appears the people of the Nutmeg State have failed to learn the lesson of New Jersey.


It's well past time for me to correct an oversight in my blogroll.

There are two New Hampshire bloggers that are long overdue for adding to the New England Blogger list even though I've been reading and linking to them for quite some time.

Say hello to David Starr of News From The Northwoods and Dan Pierce of Granite Pundit.

It's been a while since I've gone through the entire blogroll to update things so I'll be spending some time over the next week or so doing just that.


Indian Parliamentarians to Obama: “WTF?”

This is in regards to his proven inability to give speeches without a teleprompter. Apparently members of India's Parliament have no problems giving long speeches without the benefit of electronic aids. Even Dubya was able to do so without teleprompter (though he did use them now and then).

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


I watched the New England Patriots play the Cleveland Browns today.

It. Was. Pitiful.

I had to stop watching towards the end of the 3rd quarter otherwise I was likely to throw something at the TV screen in frustration. (I did record the game so I can go back and watch the rest of it after I calm down a bit.)

I don't know who those guys in the Patriots uniforms were, but they sure as heck weren't playing like the Pats. Cleveland ran roughshod over them right from the first play. The Pats defense wasn't working. Neither was their offense. In fact, nothing was working for them. It was like they were just going through the motions.


Cap'n Teach comments upon the latest plea by “globull” warming alarmists to convince Conservatives it's in their best interest to bankrupt the nation in order to save the world.

Yeah. Right.


Maybe it's time to outsource some of the day-to-day government operations to WalMart. After all the guys running WalMart seem to have it all figured out, while the government can't seem to do anything well except spend even more taxpayer dollars while getting less in return for the money spent.

Goodness knows WalMart can't do any worse.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has been a bit schizoid lately, the woodpile has started its inevitable shrinkage, and where yet again Monday is returning all too soon.


Bruce Wins!

I am pleased to announce that one of our better known New Hampshire bloggers, Bruce (MacMahon) of No Looking Backwards fame, won a seat in the New Hampshire House, representing the town of Brentwood in Rockingham County District 10. Bruce defeated incumbent Democrat Don Petterson.

Not bad for someone who just 4 years ago fled the tyranny of the People's Republic of Massachusetts, smuggling his family across the border to freedom.

Congrats, Bruce!


Not So Much Voting For As Voting Against - Rasmussen

As I write this the polls in my home state of New Hampshire open in 12 and a half hours. I have a feeling the results are going to be shocking to some (particularly Democrats). But even if the Republicans do well and take control of the House of Representatives and make a dent in the Democrat majority in the Senate, it doesn't mean the GOP has a carte blanche to go back to the old way of doing things. Just as in the previous two elections, minority party victories can't be taken as the people voting for them so much as voting against the majority party.

But none of this means that Republicans are winning. The reality is that voters in 2010 are doing the same thing they did in 2006 and 2008: They are voting against the party in power.

This is the continuation of a trend that began nearly 20 years ago. In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected president and his party had control of Congress. Before he left office, his party lost control. Then, in 2000, George W. Bush came to power, and his party controlled Congress. But like Mr. Clinton before him, Mr. Bush saw his party lose control.

That's never happened before in back-to-back administrations. The Obama administration appears poised to make it three in a row. This reflects a fundamental rejection of both political parties.

More precisely, it is a rejection of a bipartisan political elite that's lost touch with the people they are supposed to serve. Based on our polling, 51% now see Democrats as the party of big government and nearly as many see Republicans as the party of big business. That leaves no party left to represent the American people.(emphasis added – ed.)

If neither party can shake itself of the political and philosophical dead weight that has made both parties disliked by the American people, the people themselves will push them aside. The GOP has already started seeing this, with what is in effect a civil war going on within its ranks.

The GOP establishment was being ignored by the rank and file (many of whom support the Tea party) during the various state primaries, electing candidates the establishment didn't want and wouldn't endorse, in turn knocking out a number of RINO incumbents. The same will likely be true during tomorrow's elections. If the GOP establishment doesn't start listening to the rank and file, they will either be replaced or the GOP will find itself going the way of the Whigs. The same could be said of the Democrats, too.

Far too many disaffected Democrats see the party they grew up with and supported being taken over by far left elements that also do a pretty good job of ignoring the American people. Is it any surprise there a number of Democrats supporting the Tea party as well?

It will be interesting to see what happens in Washington after the 112th Congress is sworn in and gets to work. (It will also be interesting, and a little scary, to see what Pelosi, Reid, and Obama will try to pull off during the lame duck session of Congress after the elections.) Both will bear watching. And if the Congresscritters haven't learned their lessons, we'll be more than happy to throw them out bag and baggage.

As a side note, I received this about Tuesday's elections from part time WP contributor Bill:

If it is truth that a strong centralized government of any kind can not occupy the same place as a strong self determined citizenry, then only one of two "fundamental transformations" will succeed: This Government's transformation of the American character and country, or We the People's fundamental transformation and restoring of the Government. There can be no middle ground, winner take all.

And then he ads this admonition to those not bothering to vote tomorrow:

Iraqi's and Afghani's risk being shot merely attempting to vote. What's our excuse? Voter apathy is, I believe, one of the most basic cornerstone's of the entire situation we find ourselves in.