Obama's Numbers Plummeting - And Rightfully So

While killing a little slow time at our business this morning, I came across this at Instapundit, and it stuck a chord. Let's face it, despite what the media is reporting and the government is claiming, we're still within the grips of a what feels like a never-ending recession. The American people's confidence in the President is plummeting as he fails to deal with the economy.

One of Glenn's readers, Bill Archer, e-mailed him, telling him that the latest Quinnipiac University poll is right on target:

As a PA resident I can attest to the sea change in attitudes towards Barack Obama here.

It’s public, it’s palpable and it’s entirely due to inflation.

It’s astonishing to me that a bunch of guys who are supposed to be so smart think that women aren’t going to the grocery store and leaving in a state of shock, disbelief and, occasionally, panic.

And a Democrat who frightens women cannot win anything. Period.

I just started playing a sort of instant citizen poll at stores. It began a week or so ago at Sams’ Club:
I was in one of THOSE lines and ended up chatting with a well dressed middle aged woman with a cart half full of grocery items.

I made mention of the fact that while I didn’t normally make the hike to Sams’ that with prices going up I figured I had to make the effort.

She exploded: Prices are sky high, she’s feeding three kids, eating store brands and sale items but can’t afford to stock up, on and on.

Then the lady in front of HER piped in: if prices keep going up she doesn’t know what she’ll do, their budget is already at the breaking point, trying to keep a daughter in college, off she goes.
Then a man in the next line over heard them and HE jumped in: this is ridiculous, Washington is killing us, economy broken, he’s off to the races.

I thought maybe this was just a coincidence, so I’ve started the same conversation in store lines twice more in the past week and it’s exactly the same: people are frightened and EVERYONE wants to talk about it out loud.

The interesting thing to me is that everyone used to be very reluctant to speak out in public against Obama. You were always afraid some leftie whackjob would hear you and tear into you. You know what I mean.

But now the gloves are off, people are freaking out and Obama can raise FIVE billion dollars for his campaign and organize until the cows come home and call everyone in the country a racist until he turns blue but it’s not going to convince anyone that they’re not paying an arm and a leg for half a cart worth of food.

There is no more basic thing to people, and it’s off the hook.

I don’t see how the Republicans could possibly mess this up. Then again, after a lifetime of watching them do just that, if there’s way they’ll find it.

I have heard many of the same things at the local supermarkets, WalMarts, and the BJ's discount club. The subject also came up with some of our customers this morning. A few that I knew had been staunch Obama supporters have stated quite openly that they won't vote for him again, particularly if energy and food prices keep going up as they have.

Around here pay raises (assuming anyone actually gets one) aren't keeping up with the rise in prices. Gas prices are expected to be double what they were around here last summer, which will put something of a damper on some activities. (A lot of folks aren't going to be willing to pay $5 or even $6 per gallon for gas to run their boats, particularly if a fill up will cost $200 or more for a day out on the lake. Of those vacationers visiting this area over the summer, most will be from New Hampshire, staying close to home because they can't afford to travel very far for vacation. Even one of the biggest summertime events in central New Hampshire – Bike Week – is expected to have lower than average attendance this year due to the general economic conditions and the price of gas and amenities.

If prices continue to rise and the economic situation does not improve greatly, Obama will see his presidency end in January 2013, no matter how much money he spends on his re-election campaign.


Dealing With Boeing - The Chicago Way

If we need even more proof President Obama is assuring his union supporters receive payment for services rendered, then all we need to do is look how one of his recess appointees to the National Labor Relations Board, one Lafe Solomon by name, has decided to do things the Chicago Way.

Solomon, a former SEIU labor leader, has decided Boeing Aircraft Company has denied his union brethren the chance to extort more money from the company, filing a complaint stating Boeing 'retaliated' against the International Association Of Machinists and Aerospace Workers by building its second 787 Dreamliner plant in right-to-work state South Carolina. He wants Boeing to abandon it's billion dollar plant just outside Charleston and move the operation to Washington State.

But we must ask the question, does the federal government, and more specifically, an as-of-yet unconfirmed and wholly union-owned member of the NLRB have the right to tell a private company where it can site its factories and build its products? Apparently this union stooge seems to think so. Never mind that federal law nor the Constitution gives the NLRB the power to do so.

It might be a different story if Boeing had closed down the existing Dreamliner plant in Washington State and moved it lock, stock, and barrel to South Carolina. But that's not the case. Instead, since the existing plant did not have the capacity to meet the demand, Boeing decided to build a second plant. And because the aircraft manufacturer had problems with union strikes and work slowdowns in the past, they decided to build the new plant someplace where such shenanigans were not likely take place. Hence, their decision to build the plant in South Carolina.

Is it any wonder why Boeing made that move?

But that didn't sit well with Solomon, so he decided he'd put a stop to it. But not one worker in Washington State has lost a job due to the South Carolina plant. Not one. In fact Boeing has hired around 2000 more workers to help meet its delivery schedules. So how can the NLRB claim the company has retaliated against the union?

What's worse is that President Obama has decided to remain mum on the subject, giving tacit approval to Solomon's actions.

Writes South Carolina governor Nikki Haley:

While silence in this case can be assumed to mean consent, President Obama's silence is not acceptable—not to me, and certainly not to the millions of South Carolinians who are rightly aghast at the thought of the greatest economic development success our state has seen in decades being ripped away by federal bureaucrats who appear to be little more than union puppets.

This is not just a South Carolina issue, and President Obama owes the people of our country a response. If they get away with this government-dictated economic larceny, the unions won't stop in our state.

Reading some of the comments to Governor Haley's WSJ opinion piece made by pro-union readers makes me wonder if they really understand the law and the Constitution. Unfortunately the answer appears to be no.

One kept making references to international agreements and UN resolutions as justification for forcing Boeing to knuckle under to the unions. Never mind that those agreements and resolution have no power under the Constitution. Never mind that those same agreements and resolutions do not require anyone to join a labor union even if they don't want to do so. Nothing in those agreements or resolutions forbid right-to-work laws, though that hasn't stopped one commenter from implying that they do.

Read the whole thing, particularly the comments as that's where the meat of the subject can be found.


Blame The 545

I've seen this on at least one other occasion, but it's still as powerful as when it was first published back in 1985, and again in both 1995 and 2008 (with some additions and changes).

“This” is an editorial written by Charley Reese and it rightly attributes all of this country's problems to the 545 people in Washington who are, at the heart of it, responsible for the ills we've suffered for decades (and particularly the past few years). Reese doesn't play the partisan card, blasting both Democrats and Republicans for the troubles they've caused.

The portion quoted below is from the 1995 version.

Politicians, as I have always said, are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Everything on the Republican contract ( Newt Gingrich's Contract With America – ed.) is a problem created by Congress.

Too much bureaucracy? Blame Congress. Too many rules? Blame Congress.

Out-of-control bureaucracy? Congress authorizes everything bureaucracies do. Americans dying in Third World ratholes on stupid UN missions? Congress allows it. The annual deficits? Congress votes for them. The $4 trillion debt (now $14 trillion -ed.)? Congress created it.

To put it into perspective just remember that 100 percent of the power of the federal government comes from the U.S Constitution. If it's not in the Constitution, it's not authorized.

Though a little dated, the points Reese brings up are just as valid today as they were 16 years ago.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.


When The Poor Aren't Really Poor

One of the strange things I've noticed about America as compared to many other countries is this: our perception of poverty is quite different than anyone else's. It's not that our definition of 'poor' is any different, but how we look at it.

When Americans think of poverty, for the most part they think of the starving multitudes in places far away. Of American poor many Americans will think about those living in the run down sections of our metropolitan areas or the more rural areas of the country (Appalachia comes to mind). Even then the perception is skewed.

While our 'poor' are poor in relation to the average American, they are still far wealthier than the so-called middle class in a lot of other countries.

Let's look at a few examples.

Probably one of the things that used to differentiate our poor from the rest of us was our material wealth, things like homes, cars, TVs, air conditioners, other appliances, and phones (of all things).

But looking at the poor here in the US, we find that a vast majority of them have all these things. While they aren't the fanciest or most expensive, a large majority of those we call poor have them.

Among "the persons whom the Census Bureau identifies as 'poor,' " 38% were homeowners. Among "poor" households, 62% owned a car, 14% two or more cars, nearly half had air-conditioning, and 31% had microwave ovens. "Nationwide, some 22,000 'poor' households have heated swimming pools or Jacuzzis."

While I find it hard to believe the last item, it does illustrate that our definition of what it is to be poor in America is seriously skewed. In John Barron's Mig Pilot, Lt. Viktor Belenko relates his impression of America he gained while watching a propaganda film showing how poor and oppressed the American people were. But what the film showed him was that even the 'poor and oppressed peoples' in America had their own apartments, automobiles, TVs, refrigerators, and stoves, something the average Soviet citizen could only dream about. The poor in America were wealthy compared to average Soviet citizen.

One thing that has come full circle (or should I saw has flipped upside down) is phones. Yes, phones.

Starting some time in the early 20th Century and lasting through the early 1960's, it was quite common to find people with telephones quite often had them in their front hallway, where it sat on a small table. It wasn't uncommon for there to be a chair next to the table. These furnishings accomplished two things: it established that the homeowner had enough money to afford a telephone and it gave them a place to sit while they used it. It wasn't common that the average homeowner had more than one phone, and the one they had was in plain sight of any visitor entering the home.

Then when mobile telephones became available, it was primarily the wealthy who had them. At the same time the average American family, even the poorer ones, all had telephones in their homes.

Today, that trend has reversed, with the average American carrying a cell phone, even the poorer Americans, while wired telephones are fading away. (We here at The Manse have just canceled our landline service. It made no sense to be paying for a landline and our cell phones when we rarely use the landline any more.)

One thing only rich people had back in 1990, though, was portable telephones. That's changed, hasn't it? If you're reading this column, you very likely have a cellular phone. You may even be reading this column on your cellular phone.

But cellphones aren't just ubiquitous. In what the New York Times calls "a strange twist," they've become symbols of poverty. Arkansas and Mississippi, those perennial economic laggards, "find themselves at the top of a new state ranking: They have the highest concentrations of people in the nation who have abandoned landlines in favor of cellular phones."

Cell phones are cheaper than wired phones, and with the many pre-paid plans out there, is it any wonder the poor have taken to them?

Soon, only businesses and the 'wealthy' will still have them.

I could go on and on, making one comparison after another. The fact is that poverty, while it still exists in the US, is not anywhere near the same as it was back in the 60's, 70's, or 80's. Most of today's poor in America are better off than many of the middle class in the 70's.

Are there still pockets of abject poverty in the US? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean we need to spend billions trying to remove those last bastions of true poverty. It won't work. Better that we let the economy recover and do its best to eliminate the problem.


Thoughts On A Sunday

When I woke up at 6 AM yesterday, imagine my dismay when I saw it was snowing. What's worse is that it kept snowing well into the afternoon.

While there wasn't much in the way of accumulation, it did make the roads slick, which meant on two separate occasions yesterday the road conditions required me to put the trusty F150 into 4WD. The F150 gets poor enough fuel economy when it's in 2WD, but it really gets bad in 4WD. At $2.75 per gallon, the last thing I want to do is have the fuel economy drop below the already not-so-great gas level.

At least Easter started bright and sunny!


BeezleBub and Twirl Girl are on vacation this week. BeezleBub is working at the farm all week, helping Farmer Andy and his missus get everything ready to open the farm stand next weekend. Twirl Girl is in Maine, visiting family.

It's going to be quiet around here this week.


Don Surber proves that Paul Krugman is not an economist, Nobel prize in Economics, and degrees from Yale and MIT notwithstanding.

For an economist he fails to see that medical patients are consumers. After all they 'consume' medical services and the goods that go with them. The services and goods must be paid for, one way or the other.

As Surber explains:

His argument that patients are not consumers is so foolish that he cannot wage it for more than two paragraphs before contradicting himself.

If there are prices to control then there is a product or service being purchased by a consumer and he should stop the charade.


(H/T Instapundit)


Arthur Brooks tells us why Americans choose opportunity over “fairness” every time.

The one truism in life is that life is not fair. That hasn't stopped President Obama from trying to make it so, even if his definition of fair is to lower everyone to the lowest common denominator, that being poverty. He still hasn't learned that an egalitarian society is always an impoverished society, and more often than not, a totalitarian one as well. He, and the progressives like him, are always striving for equality of outcome. That is a disastrous goal.

Better that there be equality of opportunity. Then it's up to the individual to choose whether or not to make the best of it. But Obama and the others prefer to believe that we are neither smart enough or wise enough to make that decision for ourselves, therefore they have to make it for us. The problem is they are neither smart enough or wise enough to make those decisions either. But that won't stop them from trying.


Bogie has some slo-mo video that is “just full of cute.” Some of the follow on videos are just as much fun.


One thing President Obama said recently that I can agree with: There's nothing we can do to drop gas prices any time soon.

With the major oil companies getting ready to report their quarterly earnings (and profits), we should expect the MSM and every conspiracy theorists to cry foul once those figures are released.

I expect to hear the phrase “obscene profits” again and again. (I don't know how a 6% profit margin can be considered obscene as it's lower than most other commercial businesses.) The oil companies do not control the price of crude oil, the one thing over which they have no control. Oil is bought and sold on the open market and two things affect the price: supply and perceived threats to that supply.

At the moment supply really isn't an issue, even with Libya's production off-line during its civil war. Instead it is the perceived threat of unrest in the rest of the Middle East that might affect the supply in the future.

It doesn't help that our president is against us developing our own sources of oil in the US, which certainly would have an effect on gas prices here.

Also check out Viking Pundit's links on the subject matter.


Think the premise in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged could never happen in real life? Think again.

Apparently the fix is in with the National Labor Relations Board, with Big Labor getting a ruling from them that demands Boeing move production of the 787 Dreamliner from its new non-union plant in South Carolina to a union-controlled plant in Washington State.

How the hell can the government tell a commercial business where it has to site its production plants, particularly if that move will cost the company billions in increased costs and leave it open to union extortion? The Charleston, South Carolina plant is nearly complete, so what is it supposed to do if the government forces it to move?

It's one thing if the company had a contract with the union stating the aircraft would be built in one of its Washington plants, but then moved it. Instead the company shelved plans to expand capacity near its existing facilities. It had no agreement with the unions to build the Dreamliner in Washington State. It's another thing if Boeing laid off workers in its Washington facilities, but it hasn't. In fact, its added over 2000 new employees to its Puget Sound plant.

It doesn't help that one of the members on the NLRB is a former union stooge leader from the SEIU, appointed by Obama by way of a recess appointment. This is the same guy who filed the complaint that brought about the action by the NLRB. Isn't that a conflict of interest?

Is this a payoff by the Obama Administration for support by the labor unions? It certainly appears that way, particularly if Boeing is in fact forced to move the plant.

I see a legal challenge coming, one that will likely reach the Supreme Court.


Bruce Kesler gives us a functional analysis of President Obama's foreign policies.

In short, in functional analysis, President Obama really acts to lessen the power of the US and its exertion and to increase the power and exertions of those opposed to the US and its allies. The rationalizations he has inculcated from his leftist past try to publicly justify this in evasions and euphemisms. Indeed, he may not consciously want the defeat of the West and victories by its foes. But that is the result and it is all rooted in his leftist world view.

Those, of whatever political orientation, who avoid calling him out as, functionally, the foe of Western values and US national interests are doing their listeners a serious harm by reducing the justified wholesale rejection of President Obama’s foreign policies. Worse, they mask the cause and its rejection, allowing it to reappear among others and further harm the US, its values and its allies.

In other words, FAIL.


It seems the good folks in the UK have learned a lesson we're still trying to teach the Democrats in this country: Welfare handouts aren't fair.

The average Brit is sick and tired of those gaming the system. Those same gamers are ably supported by the so-called poverty lobby, which is doing its best to make sure the tax money still flows to those who need it, whether they really do or not.

Like a mythical traveller seeking truth, a think tank has asked a profound question: what is fairness? And lo, the people have answered with (almost) one voice: what “fair” means is that those who are deserving shall receive, and those who are not shall be – well, not exactly cast out, but certainly not entitled to everything that’s going.


After all these years of being morally blackmailed by the poverty lobby, harried by socialist ideologues and shouted at by self-serving public sector axe-grinders, the people are not cowed. Even after being bludgeoned by the BBC thought monitors and browbeaten by Left-liberal media academics with the soft Marxist view of a “fair” society – from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs – they have not bought it. They do not believe that if people are poor, it is necessarily society’s fault, and therefore society’s duty to deal with the consequences.

Within the UK, as here in the past, many of those receiving welfare benefits have come to see them as something they were owed. They hold those supporting them in contempt, seeing them as nothing but wage earners to be exploited.

Welfare reform in the US during the Clinton Administration was based upon breaking the generational dependence upon government handouts, excising the able-bodied from the welfare roles and supporting the truly needy. And so the average Brit sees it now. Is it any wonder they are demanding changes in the welfare system as it exists now?


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter made a brief reappearance, yesterday's snows are gone, and warmer temperatures have returned.


Effects Of Higher Fuel Prices Being Felt Elsewhere

We've watched as gas prices have climbed rapidly over the past three months. While we here in New Hampshire aren't seeing the highest prices in the nation (or New England) they are approaching the highs seen in 2008. Yesterday I filled up the trusty F150 for $3.69 per gallon. The highest price I saw today here in central New Hampshire for 87-octane gas was $3.75. Highs elsewhere in the nation top $4. Some are expecting gas to hit as much as $6 this summer.

As painful as the rising gas prices are, some side effects are being felt elsewhere in the economy.

Deb and I went grocery shopping at our local chain supermarket today. One of the first things Deb noticed was many food prices were higher than only two weeks ago. Much higher. Most of that can be directly attributable to higher transportation costs because of rising fuel prices.

The higher gas prices are also expected to have a negative effect on the summer tourist season. The last time prices were this high a lot of families changed vacation plans, staying closer to home. In 2008 we saw a lot more 'local' folks vacationing here rather than the usual people from elsewhere in the US and Canada. Boat traffic on the lake was down considerably because marine gas prices approached $5 per gallon. I have no doubt we'll see the same thing this summer, only worse.

As the higher gas prices have hit everyone in the wallet, people have been cutting back in other areas to make up for it. One of the biggest areas where people are cutting back is eating out. It's one of the 'luxuries' most of us can do without and one of the first thing people cut out when money is tight. Other than some of the ice cream stands, most restaurants will be taking a double hit of higher prices for the food they prepare and fewer customers to fill their tables.

It's not going to be a good summer for most of us.


FAA To Blame For Sleepy Controllers

There's been a lot of media coverage over the past few weeks about air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job, specifically those working the so-called graveyard shift (approximately 11PM to 7AM). While the media coverage makes it seem as if this is a new problem, I have a feeling it's far more common than the FAA is willing to admit.

Working the midnight shift is tough. Not everyone can do it. It takes a certain amount of discipline to make it work. I know this from personal experience as I worked the graveyard shift for a number of years when I was employed in the defense industry.

The FAA had controllers working swing shifts, meaning their work schedules rotated so they worked all three shifts over a period of weeks or months. That's a formula for chronic fatigue, higher absenteeism, and higher accident rates. Put another way, it's a formula for disaster, particularly for such a critical job like air traffic control.

Instead, controllers should be working the same shift all the time. It makes it easier to adapt to the off hours.

When I worked graveyard shift you could always tell when someone new to the shift would make it or not. All you had to do was ask them when they slept. If the answer was anything other than “I go to sleep at the same time every day” you knew they wouldn't last long. That was the secret to surviving the graveyard shift: going to sleep at exactly the same time every day, followed only by making sure you got enough sleep. For me it was going to bed around 8:30 in the morning and waking up sometime between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. Some of my co-workers would bed down some time after noon and wake sometime during the early evening. It was different for all of us.

What the FAA has done is make it almost impossible to set a schedule that would allow their controllers to get enough sleep. Constantly changing shifts makes it impossible. Physiologists claim it takes approximately one day for every hour of time 'shift' in our wake/sleep cycles. That means if you go from a day shift to graveyard shift, it will take a little over a week to adjust to the new sleep time (assuming bed time is now sometime around 8 in the morning rather than midnight). If the shift changes every week, then you will never adjust to the changed hours and you will be tired all the time.

Even if the shift change is on a monthly basis, there will still be at least one week where everyone will be 'off' until they adjust. It plain doesn't work that well.

Maybe it's time for the FAA to change how they do things.


Sunspot Numbers On The Upswing

The long overdue upswing in the 11-year sunspot cycle has started, though many believe the solar maximum this cycle (Cycle 24) will be half that of Cycle 23.

Some of the AGW faithful are claiming this upswing disproves the link between sunspots and climate cycles, but if the lengthy solar minimum (when sunspots are at their minimum number) had the effect many solar astronomers and atmospheric physicists believe it did, then the future solar maximum (when sunspots are at their maximum number) should have less affect on Earth's climate (and that of Mars, the Jovian moons, and so on) than the previous solar maximum.

But I have a different reason than many others out there to be glad the number of sunspots on the sun's surface are increasing, that being radio propagation.

When the sun is quiet, as happens at the bottom of the aforementioned 11-year sunspot cycle, shortwave radio propagation on a number of radio bands won't be nearly as good as it is at the top of a cycle. Being an amateur radio operator since the 1970's, I have always looked forward to the peak of the sunspot cycles knowing the lower frequency amateur radio bands would experience good long range propagation, meaning more of the bands could be used to communicate across the globe.

Who cares if it affects the global climate? I want to see the 12 and 10-meter amateur radio bands open up so I can work some of those rare overseas stations reachable only during the peaks of the sunspot cycles.

Bring it on!


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been kind of quiet around The Manse this weekend, with BeezleBub and Twirl Girl off to the People's Republic of Taxachusetts for the New England Drama Competition, and the weather being less than optimal for any kind of outdoor activity. (Heavy rain has a tendency to disrupt things like raking or spreading mulch, and so on.) At least the sun made an appearance this afternoon.

The weekend activities were pretty much limited to housework and laundry. Not such a bad thing on (sorta) rainy weekend.


The ice is almost gone from Lake Winnipesaukee, meaning the Ice Out declaration should be forthcoming sometime this week.

An indicator of the impending Ice Out is the status of a body of water called Lily Pond, which is located at the end of one runway at the local airport. It becomes ice free about a week to 10 days before Ice Out is declared on the big lake, and it was ice free just this past Tuesday.

The latest Ice Out on record is May 12, back in 1888, the earliest on March 4, 2010, and the average date is around April 15.

Some may try to equate last year's record-setting early Ice Out to global warming, but it could also have been attributable to the heavy rain and wind that lashed the area the week prior that broke up ice sheet and hastened the declaration.


Eric the Viking is on a roll, slamming Obama for broken promises and lame complaints about White House phones.


Should we be taking The Donald seriously about his presidential ambitions? Certainly Karl Rove doesn't think so, calling it a distractive sideshow.

I have to agree.


There's been a long running debate about the viability of biofuels. Once seen as a possible answer to reducing our dependence upon foreign sources of energy, the promise has not matched up to reality, with ethanol being the biggest example. Corn-based ethanol is a loser, literally, with the energy required to grow it and turn it into ethanol being even with or greater than the energy we get out of it. It also takes a lot of otherwise productive farmland out of food production, increasing food prices and creating shortages.

A lot of hope has been placed upon algae-based biofuels. Again, certain assumptions have been made that as of yet have not come to pass, the biggest being the ability greatly increase the ability of algae to grow rapidly enough to provide even a moderate amount of fuel. Like other bio-fuels, algae will require a lot of water and space to be viable.

(H/T Instapundit)


Dan Pierce was not impressed with President Obama's speech, seeing it as nothing more than an opening salvo for his 2012 re-election campaign.

I have to agree. It set all kinds of goals, but was short on how to get there. He can't let Congress carry this one for him like previous 'goals' of his because the House is firmly in the hands of the GOP, Nancy Pelosi has become something of a non-entity there, and Harry Reid is incapable of carrying the ball alone. So it's unlikely much will come of it.

It all comes down to this: Obama has to actually lead, something at which he has shown very little capability. He's set all kinds of goals, but met few, if any of them.


Former New Hampshire First Congressional District Representative Carol Shea-Porter has announced she will run for her old seat in 2012. It is apparent from what I've heard and read that she really believes voters didn't really mean to replace her with Republican Frank Guinta.

I guess she figures that voting against the interests of her constituents and her state was something we should all overlook. The fact that she treated her Democrat constituents with disdain, her Republican constituents with contempt, and showed her outright disgust and hatred for the Tea party has nothing to do with her lopsided defeat (54% for Guinta, 42% for Shea-Porter) last November, right?

If she's going to run on her voting record I think she will be defeated again, but by a bigger margin this time around. (That's assuming, of course, that Republican Frank Guinta doesn't blow it down in Washington.)


Oh, this ought to go over well!

“Trust Fund Moonbats Lobby For Those Who Earned Their Wealth To Be Looted.

Taking the hypocrisy and depraved sanctimony that characterize liberalism to a new extreme of self-parody, useless trust fund moonbats have formed a tax-exempt corporation to enforce their demand that other rich people who unlike themselves actually earned their money turn over more of it to be flagrantly wasted by bureaucrats.

Yep, can't have those uppity nouveau riche workhorses to get any ideas, like being able to keep the money they've earned. I mean, how gauche is it to actually have to work for your money!

I expect most of those calling for such a move live on the Coasts, as most moonbats seem to do.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Also by way of Maggie's Farm comes this observation from Assistant Village Idiot:

One side seems able to do math, the other not so much.

AVI is referring to the the divide between conservatives and liberals, and his observations parallel mine.


Atlas Shrugged – Part I debuted in 300 movie theaters across the nation this past Friday. American Thinker has a review and comments about other reviews as published in the MSM.

Does it have blockbuster potential? No, probably not. It upsets too many apple carts and requires some folks to think outside their liberal box. That's a sure path to marginalization. But it does ask some uncomfortable questions that have been long overdue, particularly considering those who sit in the seats of power today.

We must also ask this question: Does Atlas Shrugged change lives?


As Sarah Palin stated this past Friday, it's time for the GOP to “fight like a girl.”



Bob Parks brings us this demonstration of the 'new' civility in political discourse. This took place in that bastion of liberal tolerance and inclusion, Portland, Oregon.

Warning: Adult language in use by the oh-so-tolerant Left. Viewer discretion advised.


Our favorite Texan is getting ready to depart from the UK and head to...Turin, Italy? I thought the idea of going to the UK for a couple of years was so she and her husband could return to the good ol' US of A, and the Houston area in particular. But no.

At least Rachel and Rupert got a little taste of Americana while visiting Turin to look for a new home. With gas there at $8 per gallon, I doubt their find gets driven very much.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where Ice Out is coming soon, the thoughts of getting boats out on the lake are intruding upon our thought processes, and where I'm actually looking forward to Monday for a change.


Parroting The Talking Points - No Thought Required

I was involved in a lengthy discussion with one of our customers this morning about the state of the nation, particularly when it came to the economy, the national budget, and taxes. To say that we did not see eye to eye would be accurate.

What set off the discussion was the customer's claim that the rich should “pay their fair share” of taxes. So I had to ask “What's their fair share?” The answer was, predictably, “More than they pay now.”

From there it was the usual litany of liberal talking points, including the claim the Bush tax cuts only helped the rich. Never mind that those same tax cuts removed a number of those with middle and lower end incomes from the tax rolls. Never mind that the rich already pay a majority of the taxes. It wasn't enough for her.

A little further along in our discussion I had to ask how much money the higher taxes on the rich would collect. “It would erase the budget deficit!”

The answer merely proved she hadn't really thought it out and was merely parroting what she'd heard elsewhere. When I replied that even if the tax rate on the rich was raised to 100%, the theoretical income derived would cover about a fourth of the deficit, she didn't believe me. This is something easily verifiable and I even made a few suggestions of some websites where she could run the numbers herself. She wasn't interested.

That's when I realized I was wasting my time and, as politely as possible, ended the discussion.

As she was leaving she stopped at the door and said, “You sound like one of those f*****g Tea Party wackos!”

So much for polite political discourse.


Where Did Those Broadband Stimulus Funds Go?

If we need any more evidence that stimulus funds did little to stimulate anything other than bureaucratic incompetence then all we have to do is look at how the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service pissed away Broadband Initiatives Program money by allocating far too much of it to communities that already had broadband services available rather than to those with none.

I thought it was ironic that one rural town here in this state received RUS stimulus funds when it already had DSL available while another town not all that far away with only dialup Internet services received not one thin dime.

Which community needed broadband more? Not the one that received the stimulus funds.


Will Manufacturing Jobs Come Back To The US? Maybe...

Is it possible some types of manufacturing may return to the US? If oil prices and transportation costs keep climbing, then the answer is yes.

While a lot of manufacturing has moved overseas, primarily to China, the costs savings are starting to dwindle as Chinese workers are demanding and getting higher wages. And if transportation costs keep rising, then the lower cost of manufacturing goods overseas are offset by that and the goods start to approach cost parity with those made in the US.

There are a number of other reasons for some manufacturing coming back to the US, including shorter lead times, the ability to make custom versions of goods more quickly, and much more rapid response times to design changes, just to name a few.

Are there other reasons that might also bring more manufacturing back to the US? Undoubtedly. Is it something we can promote? Not likely...unless we can get government off our backs and make it more attractive for companies to do business here rather than overseas.


A Little Bit Of Wisdom

This has to be one of the best comments ever (made to this WSJ opinion piece):

It is no accident that the most heavily regulated sectors of the economy cause the most problems: healthcare, finance, energy. Let's admit the failure of the federal regulatory model for most problems, and openly and honestly look for alternative approaches.

It always seems to be that way.

Whenever we've deregulated sectors of the economy, they have always picked up momentum, served more people more efficiently, all while lowering the costs. One example that comes to mind: the airline industry.

All regulation has ever done is to short circuit the market feedback systems, making the regulated sector far less responsive to the needs of the people, more expensive, and closed to competition. In many cases government regulation was sought by 'rent-seekers', those wishing to prevent present or future competitors from expanding there presence within or entering the market. In effect, the government is asked to decide the winners and losers within that particular segment of the economy. Unfortunately the government usually chooses the wrong party to be the winner, all to the detriment of consumers. What makes it worse is that sometimes these winners also receive government subsidies (yet another market-skewing device), hitting the consumers in the wallet again. It's a lose-lose situation for consumer and the economy.

It's about time the government butt out of the economy and let the market decide who wins and who loses. In the long run the consumers and taxpayers will benefit.


Once More Into The Breach...

On Saturday I came to the aid of a damsel in distress.

Today, it was doing battle with a computer virus.

It appears one of the computers at our small business had problems with bogus virus warnings popping up. Something called XP Anti-virus 2011 kept warning us about all kinds of trojans, keyloggers, and other sundry malware on the computer in question, advising us the only way to rid ourselves of them was to subscribe (and pay for) a copy of this XP Anti-virus 2011. It looked as if it was from Microsoft, even displaying a replica of the Windows Security Center app. But what this supposed anti-virus program was doing was trying to extort cash from gullible computer owners in order to shut it up...until the next time they wanted money.

One of the side effects of this virus was disabling some of our regularly used programs, including one that allows us to track our customers patronage and generate business statistics for use in making projections for the coming months and quarters.

This virus was so persistent and well ingrained that our standard anti-virus app, which shall remain nameless, didn't even touch it. And from what I understand many of the other anti-virus suites were just as vulnerable.

It took quite a bit of research to figure out how to get rid of it, including how to shut it down so the programs capable of purging it from our system would run. A number of third-party programs used to shut down malware processes, including one of my favorites called Rkill had no effect on it at all.

In the end I had to kill the process by creating a file that would prevent the virus from starting when the computer rebooted. I found that file here (I used Method 2).

Once the virus was disabled, I downloaded and installed one of the freeware applications capable of purging it from the system and repairing the registry. (I used Malwarebytes Anti-Malware application.)

All in all it took almost 2 hours to get rid of the virus, with the longest part trying to disable the virus long enough to allow installation of the program used to purge it.

From reading some of the forums, it appears this nasty little beast installs itself by a number of means, including links on fake e-mails. Probably one of the more common fake e-mails is one supposedly from UPS, FedEx or some other parcel delivery service informing you of a package enroute to you. The e-mail includes a link to 'track' your package, but when you click on it it downloads and installs the virus while your web browser shows you some kind of message saying the server is busy or has timed out.

And so it went for me today.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The weekend weather has been awesome, with temps in the mid-60's. This has prodded us to start with some of the outdoor work here at The Manse, cleaning up the winter detritus and rest of last year's leaves.

One little annual milestone came to pass: the Official Weekend Pundit Clothesline went up today and I gave it its first workout of the year, hanging two three sets of wash to dry rather than using the clothes drier. I figure I can get at least one wash hung out tomorrow after I get home from work as the temps will be in the 70's.

I think this is the earliest we've ever put up the clothesline and been able to use it since we've been here.

We weren't the only ones taking advantage of the good weather as Bogie and her Wonderful Spouse were out and about cleaning up around their abode.


Gee, color me surprised:

Home inventories are still too high.

Although the median sales price of a new home declined 8.9% in February to $202,100, and the median sales price of an existing home dropped 5.2% from a year ago to $156,100, the tell-tale stats for prospective home buyers to watch are the new and existing home inventory numbers. Right now, the pair suggest that prices will stay soft through the third quarter of 2011, and possibly for longer.

I have to ask whether these inventories also include the so-called “shadow inventory”, houses held by banks that have not yet been put on the market? If they don't, then I believe the market will remain soft for a year or two longer regardless of how the economy fares as these homes are brought on to the market.

(H/T Instapundit)


By way of Viking Pundit comes this little bit of not-so-great news:

The federal debt increased $54.1 billion in the eight days preceding the deal struck last night by President Obama and congressional leaders to cut $38.5 billion in federal spending for the remainder of the fiscal year.

At this rate we'll be out of debt...umm...never!


As per usual, HuffPo get's it wrong, blaming the progressive's losses upon the well funded Tea parties and the Right Wing press. Never mind that the progressives received billions in support from folks like Soros, unabashed support from the Left Wing press (meaning most of the MSM) and they still had their heads handed to them.

They still see it as a well-funded minority that defeated them. Instead, it was a majority of the American people who saw that what the progressives were offering was nothing they wanted any part, particularly when they saw it would likely bankrupt the nation, and them personally.

What it comes down to is that if your message is the wrong one, no amount of money or support will win you elections.


The battle over speed limits in Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire rages on, this time with me adding my two cents worth.


And speaking of New Hampshire, here's a list of legislation filed and passed by the GOP majority in the New Hampshire House and/or Senate that many of us hope will put the Granite State back on the path to less government and usher in a return to fiscal sanity.

A few of my favorites:

For the first time in NH history, that included more that 50 attempts in the legislature, the House passed a constitutional amendment to expand local control of education funding by returning authority to elected officials, not unelected judges. (CACR 12)

Passed a fiscally responsible budget that, (1) was balanced by using realistic revenue figures; (2) did not increase taxes or fees; (3) does not downshift onto local property taxpayers; and (4) does not increase borrowing, setting New Hampshire on a financially sustainable path that will allow our economy to grow and create more jobs. (HB 1 & 2)

Passed a bill to allow local communities to enact tax and spending caps. (HB 341) Moving our economy forward, creating more jobs and putting out the “Open for Business sign” in New Hampshire once again.

Read the whole thing.


While on my way back home yesterday morning after closing our business for the day I was able to get a good view of a good portion of Lake Winnipesaukee. From the vantage point (not too far from The Manse) I could see there was little if any open water to be seen. In Alton there was some open water where the river emptied into the bay, but even so the open area was less than 200 feet long and a few yards wide.

I have a feeling Ice Out will be late this year, probably the last week of April.


Apparently anyone posting links to articles, blog posts, or comments skeptical of global warming on Facebook are being treated as “abusive”.

I guess that's one way of suppressing dissenting opinions, particularly if they have data backing up the skeptic's claims.

So much for free and open discourse.

I wonder if they'll ban links to the latest NOAA data showing this past March was 6.6 degrees colder than March 1910? Probably.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where more moderate spring temperatures have arrived, spring cleanup has started, and storage covers are being pulled off of boats all around the lake.


To The Rescue!

I had every intention of writing something scathing about some wrong or perceived wrong, or the 11th hour agreement that delayed a government shut down for another week. But forces beyond my control required me to put my efforts into a different area.

You see, I had to rescue Twirl Girl.

While her circumstances weren't as dire as that of many a literary or movie heroine, she was still stuck far from home with a broken down car. BeezleBub wasn't available to come to the rescue as he was busy at the farm (and without any form of transport), working on the new post-and-beam pavilion being built by Farmer Andy and his missus. Twirl Girl's dad couldn't help either because he was with Twirl Girl when her car broke down. So it was up to me.

So off I went in the trusty F150, bringing some tools and other sundry items that might allow a repair of her car. And failing that, the phone number of a local towing company.

Fortunately Twirl Girl had broken down in an area of New Hampshire with which yours truly was familiar, so I had no problem finding them.

To make a long story short, there was no way I was going to be able to fix her car and get it home as the diagnosis of the trouble was not forthcoming. That left only one option – to tow it home.

Before leaving The Manse to rescue Twirl Girl I had called a friend with a trailer capable of hauling her car. Unfortunately it wasn't available. So the only option was a tow truck. A couple of phone calls later we had made arrangements for Twirl Girl's car to be towed home. Then she, her dad, and I piled into the trusty F150 and I took them home.

A little more than four hours after embarking upon this mission of mercy I was back at The Manse.

For not really doing all that much today, I'm beat. Hero-type stuff takes a lot out of you!


The Clock Winds Down

As the clock ticks onwards towards midnight, Congress is still stalemated, with the possibility of a partial government shutdown looming.

The GOP wants to extend the continuing resolution that has funded government operations for the past 6 months for another week, but only if they can squeeze in $60 billion in spending cuts, which is about 1.6% of the total budget and 3.75% of this fiscal year's deficit.

But the Democrats want none of it. They want everything to continue as is. In fact, they have already stated the won't support cuts of any kind. That pompous ass Harry Reid has labeled the cuts as 'draconian', as if that piddling amount of money would be stealing the food out of the mouths of children and dumping the sick out of the hospitals and into the middle of the street. Harry Reid and his cohorts have pissed away over $4 trillion the government doesn't have over the past four years and he's complaining about cutting back spending by less than 2 percent?

I don't know about you, but my family and I have had to cut our budget by over 15% over the past 2 years, and while it hasn't been fun, we're surviving quite nicely, thank you. Is Harry and the rest of the Democrats saying it isn't possible to trim less than 2% from such a bloated budget? If so, then perhaps they should be fired.

Is it because he and the rest of the spendthrift Congresscritters in both parties have been in Washington far too long and have lost touch with reality? It's appearing that may indeed be the case.

When your elected representatives stop representing you and start representing a tax and spend-spend-spend ideology, it's time for them to be replaced with people who still remember what it's like out here in the real world.


It's The Spending, Stupid!

You know the President and Democrats in Congress are in trouble when the New York Times is telling them it's time to fish or cut bait.

As David Brooks writes:

Over the past few weeks, a number of groups, including the ex-chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers and 64 prominent budget experts, have issued letters arguing that the debt situation is so dire that doing nothing is not a survivable option. What they lacked was courageous political leadership — a powerful elected official willing to issue a proposal, willing to take a stand, willing to face the political perils.

Neither the President or the Democrats in Congress seem to be willing to take the necessary steps to actually fix the problem, particularly when the only answer seems to be to boost taxes. If it were that simple we would have had the problems fixed long ago. But it's not that simple.

Frankly speaking, Congress has been picking the pockets of the American taxpayers for so long they have come to believe the supply of money is endless. They certainly have been spending as if it were the case. Instead what we are suffering from is a spending problem rather than a revenue problem. To illustrate that point, assuming we were to tax the “rich”, meaning anyone with an annual income above $250,000, at a rate of 100%, the Treasury would theoretically collect about $400 billion.

The problem? That covers only one-fourth of this year's budget deficit. Where's the rest going to come from? So boosting taxes just on the rich to confiscatory levels won't do the trick. If we made sure everyone paid income taxes, then that might raise another $200 billion, still leaving us over $1 trillion in the hole. So raising taxes isn't going to be the salve some think it will. Instead, it's time to consider something drastic, like cutting the budget.

And in case you believe such a plan would be impossible to accomplish, Representative Paul Ryan begs to differ.

His plan isn't something he slapped together overnight. He's been working on it for years and put a lot of thought and effort into his proposal. It will require sacrifice by everyone, across the board. And even if every one of his ideas were implemented, we'd still have deficits for years to come. All this plan will do is buy us some time to incorporate institutional fixes that will help prevent future deficit spending by restricting what the government and Congress can do with the taxpayers money.

All we need to pull this off is for the adults to step up and take over the process.


A New Way To Fight Fires?

For as long as man has used fire, he has also had to deal with fire when it is out of control. Usually that means dowsing it with water, dirt, or other means of snuffing it out.

Over the past two hundred years or so fighting fire has meant using some kind of apparatus to move large amounts of water, allowing those fighting the fire to put out the flames. While quite effective, it has a number of downsides, including soaking everything anywhere near the fire. This usually damages objects and possessions within a structure almost as badly as if they had been burned. A limited source of water can also severely restrict the effectiveness of this method. While fire departments and fire engineers have been working to develop new ways of putting out fires more effectively, progress has been slow...until now.

Instead of using water, researchers at Harvard University have found a way of extinguishing flames using electricity.

No, that isn't a misprint. They're talking about using electrical fields to put out fires.

Firefighters currently use water, foam, powder and other substances to extinguish flames. The new technology could allow them to put out fires remotely — without delivering material to the flame — and suppress fires from a distance. The technology could also save water and avoid the use of fire-fighting materials that could potentially harm the environment, the scientists suggest.

In the new study, they connected a powerful electrical amplifier to a wand-like probe and used the device to shoot beams of electricity at an open flame more than a foot high. Almost instantly, the flame was snuffed out. Much to their fascination, it worked time and again.

Ironically, the effect of electric fields on fire was observed over 200 years ago, but little research has been done on the phenomenon until recently.

Using such an apparatus would certainly solve a number of problems, including eliminating the need for large amounts of water to fight fires or risking the lives of firefighters to enter burning structures in order to attack the fire more aggressively.

As Glenn Reynolds would say, “Faster please.”

The Hypocrisy Of The White House

I find it interesting seeing President Obama blasting the House Republicans for their attempts to rein in profligate spending by attempting to cut a piddling $60 billion from the present budget, when he himself has run the country deep into the red with his $1 trillion-plus annual deficits.

To quote the President, twice: “Elections have consequences” and “We won”. Both of those quotes have come back to haunt him. The GOP swept the House and gained seats in the Senate, a clear message the American people don't like what he, Pelosi, and Reid have done to us, our economy, and our pocketbooks. Yet he is unwilling to allow cuts of any kind even if those cuts amount to nothing more than a rounding error in comparison to the entire deficit.

He says wants to be able to bring about a 'compromise' with the GOP. Unfortunately it appears his definition of the term is still “Sit down, shut up, and vote the way I tell you to vote.”

What an arrogant ass.


The End Of Manufacturing As We Know It?

Many of us are worried about manufacturing here in the US, seeing many of the mass production jobs leaving and moving overseas to lower cost countries. But what if manufacturing itself were to be transformed from goods being made in a factory employing hundreds or thousands to goods being manufactured in your home?

Rapid prototyping systems in use today maybe a harbinger of the future of manufacturing. Today rapid prototyping systems can make solid three-dimensional models of CAD drawings residing in a computer. While the various technologies for RPS differ from each other, they all have one thing in common: they can create almost any part that can be designed on a computer. In some cases they can make parts no machine shop could hope to make due to the interior structures impossible to machine.

In effect, future RPS technologies could be “factories in a box”, making most of the things we need on the spot. Larger products would still require a more traditional factory-like facility, but even they would use RPS technologies to make their products.

While the materials used in rapid prototyping systems today (primarily plastics) aren't tough enough to take the punishment many of the things we use are subjected to every day, that could change as RPS technology evolves.

Who knows, the day of the Star Trek replicator might not be all that far off.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The remains of the snowstorm we experienced this past Friday are quickly melting away. Hopefully this will be the last measurable snowfall we'll see this part of the year.

One reason I hope for this is because the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower has become a casualty of eleven winters hard use. It finally 'gave up the ghost' and is now more suited as parts. (BeezleBub already has plans for the engine, which is still in good shape.)

So this coming fall we'll have to make a trip to one of the local snowblower retailers and select a new Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower.


Speaking of BeezleBub, he and Twirl Girl have been busy all weekend at the State Drama Festival, both competing and playing host to other high school drama departments and their one act plays. Both had to be at our high school at 6AM yesterday, staying until almost 11PM last night, and getting there again at 8AM this morning.

Fortunately things go back to normal after today, with BeezleBub returning to work at the farm after a two week hiatus, and Twirl Girl getting ready to resume her summer job at the local DQ.


Jay Tea has a passive-aggressive means for responding to the Wisconsin public employees union 'requests' for support.


Could Los Angeles become the next American ghost town in a long line of new ghost towns?

While the second linked article lists the top 10 'new' ghost towns/counties, I have to take issue with at least one of them: The County of Dukes County in Massachusetts (no, that's its real name, not an accidental redundancy) which includes Martha's Vineyard Island, is listed as No. 7. Considering it has a very high percentage of summer vacations homes, is it any surprise there aren't all that many people around during the off-season? By that criteria, my little home town here on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire would be considered a ghost town. The town population doubles in the summer and is pretty quiet during fall and spring. (We have the county ski resort that generates a lot of traffic on one of our main roads, but it's mostly daytrippers, so they don't count.)


The battle between the New Hampshire Legislature and the public employee unions continues, with some Democratic leaders trying to use Ronald Reagan's words about collective bargaining to justify the continuation of the practice for the public employee unions within the state. Never mind that Reagan was talking about private sector unions. They have also chosen to ignore one of their Democrat icons – FDR – when he warned against public sector unions, as did AFL-CIO head George Meaney.

What most people outside of the debate don't realize is that public sector employees are covered by the civil service system, which already gives them protections not afforded to those in the private sector.

I would have no problem with keeping public employee unions under one condition: the unions (or their national organizations) would be outlawed from giving campaign contributions to anyone running for office. They would, however, be allowed to contribute to the federal election fund, period. This would make it more difficult (but not impossible) for unions to buy politicians. It would also prevent them from financially supporting candidates whom some members of the rank-and-file do not support. (That was one of my biggest gripes when I was a card-carrying member of the IBEW – supporting candidates with the most abhorrent political beliefs only because they toed the union line.)

But I'm not going to hold my breath that any of this will come to pass.


Oh, yeah, this is going to come back and burn them.

It seems the DSCC is trying to obtain copies of the medical insurance records of Senator Scott Brown's (R-MA) family.

You know that if the GOP tried something like that the Democrats would be having fits and raving about “invasion of privacy” and “unethical campaign tactics” to the MSM and every other Democrat media organ. But because the target is a Republican and the perps are Democrats it's perfectly OK to do this.

And so the double standard lives on.


If you haven't seen this yet, Bill Whittle channels Iowahawk, explaining how we can pay for the coming fiscal year's $3.4 trillion (that's trillion with a “t”) budget.

While doable, it doesn't answer an important follow-up question: How do we pay for the following year's budget? Everyone will be broke.


Glenn Reynolds has a number of links, quotes, and comments in defense of anti-intellectualism.

One quote:

Part of the problem is that the American distrust of intellectualism is itself not the irrational thing that those sympathetic to intellectuals would like to think. Intellectuals killed by the millions in the 20th century, and it actually takes the sophisticated training of “education” to work yourself up into a state where you refuse to count that in the books. Intellectuals routinely declared things that aren’t true; catastrophically wrong predictions about the economy, catastrophically wrong pronouncements about foreign policy, and just generally numerous times where they’ve been wrong. Again, it takes a lot of training to ignore this fact.

Is it any wonder that the term “intellectual” is looked upon with disdain?

Another of his readers gives us this bit of historical perspective, quoting Neal Stephenson:

“But more importantly, it comes out of the fact that, during this century (meaning the 20th Century – ed.), intellectualism failed, and everyone knows it. In places like Russia and Germany, the common people agreed to loosen their grip on traditional folkways, mores, and religion, and let the intellectuals run with the ball, and they screwed everything up and turned the century into an abbatoir (sic). Those wordy intellectuals used to be merely tedious; now they seem kind of dangerous as well.”

“We Americans are the only ones who didn’t get creamed at some point during all of this. We are free and prosperous because we have inherited political and values systems fabricated by a particular set of eighteenth-century intellectuals who happened to get it right. But we have lost touch with those intellectuals, and with anything like intellectualism, even to the point of not reading books any more, though we are literate. We seem much more comfortable with propagating those values to future generations nonverbally, through a process of being steeped in media.”

Do we really want to commit the same mistakes as those made in the past by others, handing over control of our society to intellectuals of the same bent of mind as those who brought about the Holocaust and long dark decades of the Soviet Union?


Susannah Fleetwood reports on long overdue and much deserved smackdown of a Muslim cleric by Pakistani actress Veena Malik.

We have been far too tolerant of radical Islamists, all in the name of multiculturalism. It's time for liberals to wake up to the threat to everyone (including themselves) if we allow Muslim immigrants to dictate to us how our laws and customs must be subsumed to their own. If they don't want to assimilate into American society they can always move someplace that allows them to keep practicing their barbaric 7th Century customs.

The idea of America is to embrace the best of the cultures of those who come here to live in freedom, not to let our society and customs be swept away by something everyone (except liberals) sees as barbaric and criminal.

Message to multi-culti liberals: Stop betraying your own kind to those who would like nothing more than to cut your head off all in the name of God. You'd best come to realize that our culture is not inferior to all others. It is far superior in more ways than I can possibly list here. If you don't like American culture you can always move to one you believe is superior and see how you really like it. Then and only then can you make the determination which one is “superior”.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the bob-houses are off the lake, the snow is melting away, and thoughts of the upcoming boating season are becoming more frequent.


Wisconsin Public Sector Unions Use Old Tactic To 'Encourage' Support

The battle between Wisconsin Republican lawmakers (including governor Scott Walker) and the public sector unions continue.

It seems the unions have decided to borrow a page or two out of old-time union playbook by sending letters to small businesses that, in effect, tell them “Support us and our cause...or else.” Gee, it didn't take them long to resort to extortion to get their way, did it? While the unions could have claimed there was a misunderstanding, the union executive who sent the letters says he means what he wrote, so there's no possibility they can claim such a misunderstanding. The gist of the letter:

Dated March 28, 2011, the letter is addressed to "DEAR UNION GROVE AREA BUSINESS OWNER/MANAGER," in Racine County. And it begins with this warm greeting: "It is unfortunate that you have chosen 'not' to support public workers rights in Wisconsin. In recent past weeks you have been offered a sign(s) by a public employee(s) who works in one of the state facilities in the Union Grove area. These signs simply said 'This Business Supports Workers Rights,' a simple, subtle and we feel non-controversial statement given the facts at this time."

We doubt "subtle" is the word a business owner would use to describe this offer he is being told he can't refuse.

The missive concludes by noting that, "With that we'd ask that you reconsider taking a sign and stance to support public employees in this community. Failure to do so will leave us no choice but do [sic] a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means 'no' to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members."

The threat is implicit: put a sign supporting us in your window or we'll make sure it will negatively affect your business.

How...how...mob like. Vito Corleone would be proud.

Are we sure we want people like this to be working for us? Better yet, do we want them to have this kind of power over us?

Since this 'incident' the union has been back-peddling, removing signs from the businesses that knuckled under to the union extortion. But that doesn't undo the fact that they threatened business owners into 'supporting' them, meaning they've lost any credibility or moral high ground. They proven themselves be nothing more than thugs.

It wouldn't surprise me to find they've opened themselves to prosecution under RICO statutes. But somehow I doubt the US Attorney General will direct federal prosecutors to investigate such matters, considering his track record when it comes to dealing with corruption and coercion.


NH Public Sector Employes Protest Against Budget Cuts

There was a huge demonstration outside the New Hampshire State House yesterday. As the Republican majority House voted on two budget bills, one which does away with so-called “evergreen” clauses in public employee contracts, many of those same public employees were protesting against the move (and the budget), saying the budget cuts went too far and that their collective bargaining rights were being taken away.

The House passed a $10.2 billion biennial budget (New Hampshire state budgets run for two years), a decrease of $742 million from the present budget. This move was made to address an estimated $800 million shortfall within the present budget.

It was no surprise the Democrats in the legislature wanted to increase spending rather than cutting it, tried to revise the revenue estimates upwards to allow for more spending (something they did for the previous two budgets, which is how the state came to be $800 million in the hole to begin with), and raise taxes and fees again to pay for more spending (something they also did during the previous two budgets with the result of less revenue being collected than projected).

Some of the budget cuts will hit services hard, but many of those services were boosted beyond all reason during the previous 4 years. Some see these cuts as a return to more reasonable and sustainable levels until the economy recovers. During those 4 years the Democrat majority House and Senate increased state spending 30%, well above the rate of inflation or population growth over that time. The frugality usually seen in the State House was nowhere to be seen during those 4 years. Now it's time for the state to live within its means.

The public employees unions were not pleased with the move to strip evergreen clauses from contracts. Those clauses allow an expired union contract to remain in force until a new contract is agreed upon and ratified by the union members. With the removal of evergreen clauses public employees would become employees-at-will (like most of the rest of us) if the old contract expires before a new contract is ratified.

I have a question I must ask of those public employees protesting inside and outside the State House: How many of you took paid time off from work to be there?

While there were supporters of the bills also at the State House, they weren't nearly as numerous as those protesting against them. It wasn't that there weren't more supporters of the legislature's efforts. It's that most of us were at work, making the money taxed to pay the public employees salaries and benefits.

Talk about irony.

Bumper Sticker

I forgot to post this earlier, but better late than never.

By way of Viking Pundit:

Saw a red bumper sticker today with the text: If this bumper sticker is blue, you're driving too fast.

Lordy, but I love science geek humor!