Thoughts On A Sunday

BeezleBub returned from the Big City (Manchester) last night after participating in the FIRST Robotics competition.

While his school's team didn't do as well as they had hoped, the did have some triumphs, including winning the final qualifying round.


Yesterday's weather was quite variable, with a lot of mist, fog, and light rain in the morning, abundant sun in the afternoon, and warm and windy overnight. To say there was a lot of melting would be an understatement. There was even more melting today as temps reached almost 50 degrees and the rains fell all day.

The warm weather let us cut the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove all the way back such that it was giving off just enough heat to keep running but not so much that it made it too hot inside The Manse. We didn't need to use much in the way of fire wood to keep The Manse toasty warm.


Like some others, I think it's time we remember what Thomas Jefferson said in regards to the Barbary pirates and apply the lesson to the present day Somali pirates. To paraphrase: “Millions for defense. Not one penny for tribute.”

It's time to cut the Navy and Marines loose on these brigands and end their piracy by any means necessary, just as was done against the Barbary pirates in the early 1800's. Let the Somali pirates know the cost of committing such acts is too high a price to pay.


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been rereading Tocqueville's Democracy in America and finding it just as relevant today as it was when it was written in the late 1830's.

One passage that sticks out at this point deals with Congress, specifically the make up of the House and the Senate, and the dichotomy of the two:

When you enter the chamber of the House of Representatives...you are struck by the vulgar appearance of that august assembly. Often the eye searches in vain for a famous man. Nearly all members are obscure individuals whose names call no image to mind. Most are local lawyers or businessmen or even members of the lowest classes in society. In a country where education is almost universal, it is said that not all of the people's representatives are capable of writing correctly.

A short distance away is the chamber of the Senate, whose narrow confines contain a substantial proportion of America's famous men. Scarcely a man is to be seen who has not distinguished himself by some recent achievement. Among these senators are eloquent attorneys, distinguished generals, clever magistrates, and well-know statesmen.

About the only thing that has changed is the character of the Senate, which I attribute to the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, allowing the direct election of senators by the people rather than by the state legislatures. Now the Senate resembles the House and senators spend less time representing the needs of their home states and more their needs to ensure their re-election.

Maybe it's time to consider repealing that amendment.


Eric the Viking offers us some encouraging words from British historian Paul Johnson in regards to America.

Johnson is also a fan of Sarah Palin, saying “She's great. I like the cut of her jib.”


Dan Pierce points us to a TWeekly Standard piece on the real reason the public employee unions are fighting so hard against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and others (Kasich in Ohio, Christie in New Jersey, etc). It has nothing to do with wages, benefits, or collective bargaining and everything to do with the forced collection of union dues to ensure the unions can continue to buy politicians. Specifically Democrat politicians.

Remember, it's always about the money.

Skip also has his take on unions. I particularly like the photo included with his post.


Bogie tells us that cats tend to center on the human females in a household. She links to a Discovery magazine article about the phenomenon.

However, here in The Manse six and three-quarters of our seven and three-quarters cats tend to center on me, the great Fūd Giver Person, Cleaner of Litter Boxes, Brush Master Extraordinaire, Belly Rubbing Expert, and all around cat person.

So maybe I'm one of the exceptions that proves the rule.


Despite increasing amount of money being spent to educate our kids, we're not getting better results, but worse.

More than one study has shown that the amount of money spent is not an indicator of how well our kids are being educated. It's how the money is spent and how much autonomy the schools have that is the deciding factor. (By autonomy, I mean that the state is not the one setting the agenda, the goals, or the curriculum, but the towns.)

Right now not many of us are getting the best bang for the buck, and it shows.

(H/T Instapundit)


A report on this evening's ABC World News says the White House is considering dipping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a means of trying to control oil prices.

The White House does realize the problem is not a fall off in oil supply but the situation in Libya driving rising oil prices, don't they? How will releasing some oil from the reserve have any effect on world oil prices?

This tells me the the President truly has no idea what drives the prices of commodities like oil.


Cap'n Teach has more bad news from the Globull Warming front: Colder than normal temperatures in Costa Rica will adversely affect the price of coffee.

One has to ask : Has Al Gore visited Costa Rica lately?

Teach also gives us some good Globull Warming news: California's snowpack is above average this year, meaning there will be fewer problems with the water supply this year. Now all California needs to do is get rid of all those people sucking up water that should be used for growing food.

Oh, and let's not forget the hurricanes. Gotta remember the hurricanes!


The UK is smarter than we are, at least when it comes to the UN.

Citing problems with waste, fraud, and abuse of funds given to the United Nations, the UK is “substantially cutting” the funds it gives to the UN.

That's something the US should have done a long time ago. It might also be a good idea if the UN were to seek a new home outside the US as it has become nothing more than a pit of vipers unfriendly to America and supportive of brutal dictatorships.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow has been melting away at an astonishing rate, bare ground can be seen here and there, and where overnight winter snows are expected to miss us by miles.