Thoughts On A Sunday

We dodged a bullet, weatherwise. It snowed yesterday in New England, but for the most part we were on the fringes of the storm and got about an inch of snow. But because it was so fine (due to the well below freezing temps), the roads got pretty slick in a short period of time. The few errands I had to run yesterday required me to use 4WD most of the time while I was out on the road.

The small snowfall didn't mean I didn't have to clear off the driveway as the few inches of snow we received Friday was still there.

Call me lazy, but I didn't want to clean the driveway twice. Clearing off 4 inches of snow is actually easier than clearing 1 inch, so I waited until the snow stopped Saturday afternoon before finally firing up the snowblower.


It appears Chicago-style politics has made its way to Iowa, with a former Obama staffer and Democrat Party apparatchik arrested for identity theft. In this case the identity he tried to steal was that of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz. His plan was to use the stolen identity to frame Schultz (a Republican) for unethical behavior in office.

It sounds like a play right out of David Axelrod's Chicago politics playbook.

As an aside, I have to wonder whether it might be fun to start a betting pool whose sole purpose will be to bet how many Obama staffers, czars, and cabinet members will be investigated, indicted, or convicted and sent to prison.

Nah, probably a bad idea. It will be a sucker bet.

(H/T Instapundit)


Victor Davis Hanson likens Greece to a modern day Cassandra, showing us the future but being ignored.

The United States should pay heed to the modern Greek Cassandra, since our own rendezvous with reality is rapidly approaching. The costs of servicing a growing national debt of more than $15 trillion are starting to squeeze out other budget expenditures. Americans are no longer affluent enough to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars to import oil, while we snub our noses at vast new oil and gas finds beneath our own soil and seas.

In my state, Californians for 40 years have hiked taxes; grown their government; vastly expanded entitlements; put farmland, timberland and oil and gas lands off limits; and opened their borders to millions of illegal aliens. They apparently assumed that they had inherited so much wealth from prior generations and that their state was so naturally rich, that a continually better life was their natural birthright.

It wasn't. Now, as in Greece, the veneer of civilization is proving pretty thin in California. Hospitals no longer have the money to offer sophisticated long-term medical care to the indigent. Cities no longer have the funds to self-insure themselves from the accustomed barrage of monthly lawsuits. When thieves rip copper wire out of street lights, the streets stay dark. Most state residents would rather go to the dentist these days than queue up and take a number at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Hospital emergency rooms neither have room nor act as if there's much of an emergency.

And his list goes on and on. These scenarios are being played out in Greece today, and California is following not too far behind. To say the Greek/Euro debacle can't happen here is just another form of denial, one we cannot afford to ignore.


R.L Polk reports the average age of a car on the roads of America is just under 11 years.

This is not as much as a surprise as it might have been considering cars are better built than they were in the past, meaning they last longer than they used to. The ongoing recession hasn't helped things either because people are less likely to buy a new car when they can't be sure whether they'll still have a job six months down the road.


The New England Patriots played the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC Championship in Foxboro today. The hype leading up to the game kept mentioning it was the #1 offense (Patriots) against the #1 defense (Ravens). Most folks would agree that it's defense that wins championships.

But as more than one commentator has mentioned, even though the Patriots have the #31 defense in the league due to the amount of yards they have allowed, passing and rushing, they don't let their opponents score very often. As some of those same commentators have said the scoreboard doesn't show the yards, only the points scored.

From watching some of the press conferences over the past week, neither team has been taking anything for granted. Both teams appear to have great respect for the other, knowing the game would likely be a tough one.

In the end the Patriots won it, 23-20, in a squeaker of a game. Only a missed field goal attempt by the Ravens with 51 seconds left in the game kept the game from going into overtime.


Bogie shares a picture of her three cats enjoying a treat of canned cat food.

We do something quite similar here at The Manse, with all 63/4 cats sharing a can of “wonderful food” in the late afternoon/early evening. It's not meant to be a meal, just an appetizer before their regular evening meal.


John Stossel makes the case for his claim that everything we know is wrong, at least when it comes to trusting our instincts in regards to our increasingly complex world. As he says, simple answers are satisfying, but often wrong.

Simple answers are so satisfying: Green jobs will fix the economy. Stimulus will create jobs. Charity helps people more than commerce. Everyone should vote.

Well, all those instinctive solutions are wrong. As Friedrich Hayek pointed out in The Fatal Conceit, it's a problem that in our complex, extended economy, we rely on instincts developed during our ancestors' existence in small bands. In those old days, everyone knew everyone else, so affairs could be micromanaged. Today, we live in a global economy where strangers deal with each other. The rules need to be different.


It's not what people don't know that gets them into trouble. It's what they know that isn't so.

That certainly seems to be the case today, where more often people will support programs, laws, ideas, spending, and “revenue enhancement” without having a clue about the effects of any of them, intended or otherwise. That's true from the local level all the way up to Congress. That's why we're in the trouble we're in now.


You can't say we didn't see this coming.

Labor union quits alliance with greens over Keystone pipeline.

While some unions still support the greens opposition to the pipeline, a number of large labor unions see Obama's decision against it as costing jobs their members badly need.

Some unions, like a couple of the transit workers unions, support the green position. (There's no word whether the SEIU supports the greens or the laborers, at least not yet. But I expect they'll end up supporting the greens on this one because they have no real skin in the game.)


The Obama Administrations plan to destroy the economy continues apace, with the closing of the oil refinery at St. Croix, USVI, and the continuing delays and increasing legal maneuverings upon at least one new refinery slated for South Dakota.

By destroying the energy infrastructure and reducing the supply of crude and refined products by fiat, Obama's EPA is doing a great job dismantling the US economy one power plant, one refinery, one pipeline at a time. If I didn't know better, I'd say this was a long term plot by the old Soviet Union to destroy the West. But then we've had far too many of their programmed “useful idiots” getting involved with government for decades. So even though the Soviet Union is gone, their drones are carrying on with their mission.


Democrat racist wacko Shiela Jackson Lee is at it again, claiming Newt Gingrich is using “secret racist encryption” because he called Obama the “food stamp president”.

As Doug powers writes:

And “Sheila Jackson Lee” is poorly disguised code for “pathetic race baiter.”

Yeah, I'd say that about sums it up.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


Somehow California's Governor Jerry Brown thinks that more of the same failed policies of the past that have brought his state to the brink of failure will miraculously fix the Golden State's economic problems.

He's rightly earned the long running sobriquet of “Governor Moonbeam” because he's still living in the past.

I wonder when that acid he dropped back in the 70's will finally wear off?


At least someone in New York is paying attention to the coming state pension debacle. Believe it or not, it's (Democrat) Governor Andrew Cuomo.

There may be hope for the Empire State yet...but I'm not holding my breath.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter has finally arrived, snow is covering the ground, and where the lake has finally frozen over.