ReactionsTo Eastwood's Speech

I've been reading the commentary on Clint Eastwood's speech at the RNC convention and it is not surprising to me that the Democrats went absolutely apes**t about his put down of President Obama.

I could go into detail about my thoughts about it, but I won't other than to say he was masterful with his humor, his pointed jibes at the President, and his homage to Jimmy Stewart as done by Bob Newhart.

I will however link to a piece by Stuart Schneiderman, giving his analysis of both Eastwood's speech and the reaction by the ever humorless Left.

A small portion of his post:

Representing President Obama by an empty chair is salient, high concept, and very much to the point.

It offers an image that conceptualizes the Republican critique of the Obama administration. It says that President Obama has failed to lead and has failed to discharge the duties of his office because he is more interested in being out and around campaigning than sitting at his desk in the oval office being the president.

Obama and his campaign staff were sufficiently torqued by the trope to have felt a need to tweet back a picture of the president at a cabinet meeting.

When you have to point out that the chair is occupied, that means that it isn’t.

'Nuff said.

A Lesson To Be Remembered For November

I find that more often words of wisdom come not necessarily from those writing the op-ed pieces in the various publications – both hardcopy and online – but from those commenting upon them. In a recent WSJ piece by Kimberly Strassel about how it is the various state governors who are leading the way in reform, showing the federal government how to put the country's fiscal house back into order, two particularly astute observations were made by her readers – one stating the choice we have before us this coming November and the other quoting Thomas Sowell in relation to the first.

Stated the first, Steve Korn:

We have a choice between government that works and government that doesn't.

To which Gregg Sanderson replied:

Thomas Sowell had the best answer I've seen:

"Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good."

And so it has been in our nation and others of the West. It has become less about logic and using the lessons from the past, showing us what works and what doesn't, and more about already dis-proven means of doing things that are implemented anyways because of how it makes someone (or a group of someones) feel.

As history has shown again and again, and particularly over the past few decades, making choices based upon or heavily influenced by feelings is almost always the wrong thing to do. The unintended consequences almost always outweigh any perceived benefits and end up doing more harm than doing nothing while providing little good.


Ann Romney 'Palined' By The Left

The echoes of Ann Romney's words had barely stopped reverberating at the GOP Convention before the Left's long knives were drawn, working to draw blood by doing to Ann what they'd done to Sarah Palin – dehumanizing her.

Jennifer Rubin covered Ann's speech, stating:

She showed a determination and soberness that was appropriate to a still doubting public. No one speech is going to turn an election. But Ann Romney delivered as promised. Romney and his team should consider themselves lucky to have a candidate’s wife who can look her fellow Americans in the eye and sound both sincere and ebullient. She is indeed his greatest asset.

But to read the comments to Jennifer's post, you'd think Ann was something that crawled out of a sewer, becoming someone even more reviled than Palin. But what do you expect from readers of the Washington Post who are “true believers” in the cause of Progressive Socialism, (thought they don't call it that...assuming they even know what it is.)

All kinds of accusation were leveled at her, all kinds of claims about her background made, and attacks made against her sons. But every single one of those supposedly enlightened bits of information were so easily debunked with just a little bit of search time on Google or Bing. But the facts don't fit with the narrative and therefore must be discarded.

What it comes down to is the folks posting those kinds of comments ceased thinking for themselves years ago and are capable only of regurgitating what they've been told by their leaders/friends of a friend/etc. If what they hear backs up their 'beliefs', then it must be true, right? After all, the Democrats and the Left never lie about anything, do they?

I expect that the closer we get to the election the worst the attacks against Mitt, and particularly Ann will become, harking us back to the days of the character assassination of Sarah Palin and her family. And like the last election, I expect the Obama campaign to go after the Romney kids and grandkids. But I also expect to hear a hew and cry if anyone were to make cracks about Michelle or the Obama girls. After all, the rules only apply to the GOP and not the Democrats, right?

And considering some of the other activities seen by the Left and their lapdog media, I expect the racist looting hypocrites to pull every dirty trick in their book to keep the Narcissist-in-Chief in office, including making sure all of the dead, the non-citizens, and other ineligible people 'vote' for their guy as many times as they can. After all, aren't the Democrats, and particularly the Chicago machine, the party of voter fraud? (See, I can make accusations, too. But at least I can prove mine.)


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was Old Home Day in our small town yesterday, a gathering of town residents past and present to celebrate our little town. There was everything from a pancake breakfast at the village church to a parade in the morning, vendors selling everything from arts and crafts to all kinds of food, and games and other competitions in the afternoon, to a band concert and fireworks in the evening, The local historical society had its buildings open to the public, giving residents and visitors a view of town life over the past 200 years.

I made it to the festivities only for an hour or so in the afternoon (a lot of chores to take care of back at The Manse), and BeezleBub and Horse Girl were there for the band concert and fireworks in the evening. (BeezleBub remarked that privately-funded fireworks shows, which these were, always seem to be bigger and more impressive than the publicly-funded ones. Call it yet another lesson in economics.)

Unfortunately Deb was working this weekend and was unable to attend. Maybe next year.


Call it what you will, but Chris Muir has it right: Just Think.


I was sorry to hear that Neil Armstrong had passed away.

I remember watching the moon landing and the following walk that July evening back in 1969. (Yes, I'm that old!)

We were at our family's beach house in Connecticut and were preparing to leave for home when we heard Armstrong and Aldrin were going to leave the LEM and venture out on to the Moon's surface. We delayed our departure because we didn't want to miss a minute of it.

I, like many kids of that era, were big fans of NASA and the moon program. I even had a four-foot tall model of the Saturn V in my bedroom that I'd built. And on that July evening the culmination of all our dreams came to be with those famous words: “That's one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.”

The Eagle has landed one more time. Godspeed, Neil Armstrong....


Harvard economist Greg Mankiw points us to a paper showing the proper way to the government budget deficit: Cut spending. Don't increase taxes.

This paper studies whether fiscal corrections cause large output losses. We find that it matters crucially how the fiscal correction occurs. Adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly in terms of output losses than tax-based ones. Spending-based adjustments have been associated with mild and short-lived recessions, in many cases with no recession at all. Tax-based adjustments have been associated with prolonged and deep recessions.

Cut spending. It's what we do on a personal, individual level, particularly when we cannot increase our 'revenues'. It's something we've had to do here at The Manse, cutting back on all kinds of non-essential expenditures to be able to meet all of our other obligations (read 'bills'). Government at all levels has to do the same thing. There are plenty of examples we've seen of what happens when they don't – California (including a number of now bankrupt municipalities there), Illinois, and the cities of Cleveland and Detroit, just to name a few. Raising taxes during a recession only makes it worse and makes it last longer. How does that help anyone?


I want one of these!

This wouldn't be called a bike in my home state of New Hampshire because by statute a bike has 2 or 3 wheels. The contraption in the link above has none, therefore it can't be called a bike. (Thanks, Bogie!)

(H/T BogieBlog)


Also by way of Bogie and Jeff Soyer comes this photo essay explaining 19 reasons cats are better than dogs.


Stuart Schneiderman asks What Do Feminists Want Women To Want?

If we ask what feminists want women to want, the answer is clear: feminists want women to repress their feminine mystique, the better to be good feminists.

They do not just want women to adhere to feminist ideology, but they want women to live their lives as feminists want them to live their lives.

No men need apply, as too many so-called feminists see all of their problems being caused by men. So all they have to do is cast off traditional relationships and adopt the “hook-up” mentality and everything will be just great. But as Stuart explains, it doesn't really work out that way in real life and too many of the women following this path will find themselves unprepared to have a real relationship should they decide they want one, leaving them fundamentally unhappy....but at least they'll have great careers!

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


A couple of days ago I wrote about the dearth of Obama campaign signs in some sections of New Hampshire, while Romney signs are seen everywhere, as are those for many from both parties running for Congress, the New Hampshire legislature, and various county offices.

Yesterday I made an inquiry of fellow New Hampshire blogger David Starr up in the northern tier of the Granite State, asking whether he'd seen the same thing. His response:

Well, I haven't seen diddly in the way of Obama signs, anywhere from Manchester all the way up to Littleton. But then I haven't seen all that many Romney-Ryan signs either. Not compared to the number of signs for Jerry Thibedeau, Ovide Lamontagne, and Charlie Bass ( Second Congressional District representative of the US House – ed.) . On the other hand, the sign printers are just now, this week, getting Romney-Ryan signs into production, so I expect those to increase shortly. There aren't many signs up for democrats for governor, US rep, or other state offices. To temper that, remember this is Grafton County which is still pretty Republican.

It appears the wave of Romney signs hasn't quite made it up to the northern counties of New Hampshire yet, but neither have Obama signs.

Yes, this is an unscientific anecdotal survey, but it can be telling.


Speaking of Romney and Obama, there's this by way of Tom Bowler about electoral college predictions made by two University of Colorado political science professors. The two used a prediction model based upon economic indicators and they claim their model has correctly picked the winner of every presidential election going back to 1980.

Their call: Romney, with 320 electoral votes and that he will win in every swing state – Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Colorado.

Writes Tom:

I happen to believe the election outcome will be worse than the model's predicted 320-218 Obama loss. This will be the very first Tea Party presidential election. Tea Partiers are much better organized than they were going into 2010, and they aren't any less motivated. There has never been such a huge movement of conservative activists before, at least not in my lifetime.

But, to quote Glenn Reynolds, “Don't get cocky, kid!”


Is Obama's relentless negative campaign backfiring on him? From the poll numbers, I'd have to say the answer is yes.

As I and many others have written before, Obama can't campaign on the economy. Everyone but a few narrow-focused and blindered supporters understand that when it comes to the economy, Obama hasn't anything to crow about. So he tries to hit Romney on everything but the economy. But when the voters are focused on the economy, as are Romney and Ryan, then the other issues he's trying to run on are losing him voters.

(H/T Instapundit)


Q&O delves into the question of the definition of the word “compromise”, at least when it's used by Obama and congressional Democrats. All to often it's the Republicans who are expected to compromise, but not the Democrats.

I've believed for some time that when Obama uses the word “compromise” he means “Sit down, shut up, and vote the way I tell you to vote!” That isn't compromise, that's capitulation.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has been delightful, the summerfolk are still here enjoying themselves, and where kids start school on Monday.


Already Getting Tired Of It

For the most part I have been trying to avoid many of the campaign ads running on TV. But they are so pervasive that it is almost impossible to do so unless I'm watching something recorded on the DVR so I can skip right past them.

But I have noticed the tone and I have to say I'm not liking what I'm seeing.

It isn't that many of the ads are negative. That's pretty much par for the course. It is the focus of the ads and some of the outright falsehoods and very creative editing being put forward as the “Truth”.

Before I go any farther let me give you this warning – I am not non-partisan. I am not going to pretend I'm non-partisan and I'm going to admit right up front that I am biased.

The upcoming elections in November are driving a great big wedge between those who believe the big issue for this election is the economy and those who think it's about anything but the economy. The first group is right and the second is wrong.

As I have said time and time again to many of the anti-Tea party folks (most who seem to believe the Tea party wants to impose some kind of Christian theocracy), the social issues don't matter worth a damn if the nation is bankrupt. If the economy collapses things like abortion rights, same-sex marriage, drug laws, ObamaCare, Social Security, and a whole host of other social issues will become marginalized because everyone will be too busy just trying to survive. None of that crap will matter to anyone. As Democrat consultant James Carville famously said, “It's the economy, stupid!”

The GOP ticket is focusing on the right issues, specifically the economy, jobs, and overreaching government regulations that have only hurt the economy. The Democrats want to focus on anything but the economy, and that's understandable. It's a losing issue for them. So they'll focus on all kinds of social issues that most Americans could care less about. They'll put forth ads and whispering campaigns about how Romney wants to take us back to the Middle Ages, ban all contraception, put women back in the kitchen, and steal lollipops from the mouths of children. (The last is more likely to happen, but it will be Mike Bloomberg doing that, not the Romney.)

Accusations of tax fraud, FEC and SEC violations, and wrongful death have been flung at Romney, yet every one of them has been found to be without merit. But that doesn't mean the Dems won't keep throwing those kind of accusations his way.

Romney's life is pretty much an open book, unlike our present President who is one of the most secretive persons to ever sit in the Oval Office. We know nothing about him other than what he wants us to know, and that's not much. But to hear it you'd think Romney was hiding all kinds of secrets. It's the standard Democrat tactic of accusing others of doing what they themselves are doing.

I've seen my share of presidential campaigns, but I have to say that this one is probably one of the most divisive and nasty ones I've ever seen. I also expect it to get worse, particularly if the Dems and their 'supporters' (the unions) decide to use their proxies (anarchists, OWS, etc) to up the ante and start with physical threats, voter intimidation, and outright acts of violence. Of course I also expect that if such a thing happens they'll get a pass from AG Jeffrey Holder, much as they did during the 2010 elections.


The Presidential Campaign - Something Is Missing

It wasn't until I was running some errands after work that I finally noticed something that had been just at the edge of conscious thought, bugging me over the past couple of weeks.

It wasn't something that was there that had been rattling around in my subconscious, but rather the lack of something.

What was it?

Obama campaign signs, or rather the total lack of Obama signs anywhere I've been over the past couple of weeks. There are plenty of Romney signs, Ovide LaMontagne (running for the GOP nomination for governor of New Hampshire), Kevin Smith signs (ditto), Maggie Hassan and Maggie Cilley signs (ditto, but for the Democrat nomination) and a spray of campaign signs for those running for offices covering the US Congress, the New Hampshire House, Senate, and Executive Council, to county commissioner. But I haven't seen one Obama sign. NOT. ONE.

I must remind you that I am only talking about a half dozen towns in one county of central New Hampshire (which happens to be heavily Republican), but still I would expect to see a few signs here and there. (I am not counting the various campaign offices, of which there is one in Laconia, I think.) Other than a few deluded souls who believe Obama is their Messiah, writing letters to the editor in our local papers, I haven't come across anyone I know who voted for Obama in 2008 that are planning to vote for him this time.

This is something the polls have failed to show. But then my 'data' is anecdotal and covers a very small portion of one small state. But that doesn't mean it's wrong.

UPDATE 8/24/12: I talked to a number of co-workers about this subject and they've noticed the same thing. One co-worker lives in the Capitol City area (Concord) and he's noticed a dearth of Obama signs. Another lives down near the Massachusetts border and he says he's seen a couple of signs in the city of Nashua, but that's it.

Computer Fun - A Follow Up

As a follow up to this post, I have found by way of Scary Yankee Chick's comment that Deb's computer problems were being caused by a bad update to the McAfee Antivirus suite. The update blocked all access to the Internet. I had to uninstall and reinstall McAfee and the problem went away.

Thee McAfee website has a workaround to reinstate network access and to force a new update to fix the problem.


Rogue EPA Slapped Down In Court Ruling

Finally, some good news about the EPA.

In this case, the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia slapped down the rogue federal agency, ruling that it had exceeded its legal authority in regards to application of its new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

Under the Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision, the EPA is authorized to regulate sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions that cross state lines. But the Obama EPA ignored legal precedent and the plain text of the statute by enacting limits that far exceeded the scope of the law.

While the EPA has not yet responded to Tuesday's court ruling, I expect it will do as it has in the past – ignore the court and continue to push more onerous regulations upon industry and impose fines and penalties on industries failing to meet the impossible conditions of some EPA rules.

One “impossible” condition we've heard mentioned in the media and the blogosphere in the past is the EPA penalizing the petroleum and refining industry for not using a mandated biofuel that doesn't exist. Talk about a Catch-22! But the petroleum industry is fighting back with the American Petroleum Institute filing a lawsuit against the EPA mandate in the D.C Circuit Court.

“EPA’s unattainable and absurd mandate forces refiners to pay a penalty for failing to use biofuels that don’t even exist,” said API Director of Downstream and Industry Operations Bob Greco. “The mandate is effectively an added tax on gasoline manufacturers that could ultimately burden consumers.”

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to determine the mandated volume of cellulosic biofuels each year at “the projected volume available.” There was no commercial supply of the fuel in 2011, according to the EPA's own records. However, EPA required refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel to use or pay for credits to cover 6.6 million gallons of the nonexistent biofuels.

This sounds like an “protection” racket, something right out of Chicago.

Hey, wait a minute!!! It is right out of Chicago! In this case the corrupt and mob-owned political machine has wormed its way into the EPA, turning it into nothing more yet another mob operation. And who helped turn it into such a thing but Chicago's wholly owned stooge, Barack Obama.

In any case, I expect the court to rule against the EPA on this suit too. I also expect the EPA to ignore it as well, should it come, and continue its destruction of the American economy one rule, one regulation, one fine at a time.


Computer Fun

It appears we've had a bit of a networking problem here at The Manse.

Deb's computer has stopped communicating with the outside world and I've been delving into the problem. What I thought would be a job that I could quickly wrap up has turned into a three hour nightmare. Her machine now communicates with our router, but not beyond that. I've checked cables, rebooted her machine and the router, uninstalled and reinstalled drivers, and a host of other things, but nothing works. The only thing I haven't tried has been another NIC because I don't happen to have one handy (her machine has an integrated NIC on the motherboard).

Isn't owning computers fun?


George Carlin On "Saving The Planet"

From the comments to the original WSJ opinion piece by Fred Krupp I posted about this past weekend comes this piece of wisdom from the late George Carlin. This was also linked by Instapundit. Warning: Strong Language.

While I haven't always agreed with Carlin's viewpoints, I agree with him about this topic, though maybe he didn't go quite far enough. A lot of the folks predicting the end of the world because of AGW are no different that those Carlin excoriates, except they may be even more clueless and self-serving.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The dry weather has returned to the Lakes Region which means that once again I can get some work done around the outside of The Manse. It also looks like the weather will continue through next weekend, meaning I will finally get the chance to stain the main deck!

Of course I wish I'd been able to do this at the beginning of summer rather than the latter half of it, but there was far more work involved in setting things right that I had thought.

And so it goes with the joys and obligations of home ownership.


Traffic around the southern side of Lake Winnipesaukee has been disrupted by the annual Timberman Triathlon, one of the qualifying events for the famed Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. Fortunately I was able to get all my errands completed yesterday, working around the bicycle portion of the Half-Timberman. (The full triathlon is today.)


President Obama visited New Hampshire yesterday, making a campaign swing through parts of the southern tier.

I have only one question for the Obama campaign in regards to this trip: Will the towns be stuck with the costs of providing extra security as has been the case in the past, or will it pay up as does the Romney campaign? It doesn't seem fair to stick local taxpayers with the cost of a campaign trip.


Eric the Viking gives us an interesting comparison between the paradigms of GM and Volkswagen.

As Eric writes, “More than anything, the Volkswagen chief's pique illustrates the difference between car companies gaining market share (VW) and those losing the market (GM).”



We're already seeing the effects of the entitlement/dependence culture being promulgated by the Obama administration and the Left. Two examples come to the forefront, one in Brooklyn, New York and another right here in New Hampshire.

In Brooklyn, a patron slashed the face of a deli clerk when he refused to sell the man a beer he wanted to buy with food stamps. The clerk had seen the man receive cash from a teenaged girl outside the deli and knew the beer was for her. The man obviously wanted the cash, which is why he tried to use his food stamps. (New York recently passed legislation that makes it illegal to use their taxpayer-funded benefits for cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, or strip clubs.)

In late June in New Hampshire, a man tried to buy cigarettes with his EBT (Electronics Benefit Transfer) card. The clerk refused to sell them to him because he was using the card. The clerk was fired because it is perfectly legal for welfare recipients to use their EBTs for this purpose. However New Hampshire is looking into restricting the use of welfare benefits to essentials and banning their use for cigarettes, alcohol, and other non-essential items or services. Federal law already requires states to pass legislation that prohibits the use of welfare benefits at liquor stores, casinos, and adult entertainment venues.


You know it's really getting bad in Detroit when a pizza joint has to impose a “no deliveries after dark” policy in order to protect their delivery drivers.

But then it's not been a good idea to go out in the dark in Detroit for some time, particularly when they have been shutting off street lights in order to save money.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Bill Whittle has some real issues with the lease on his new place of residence in California.

I have to agree with him on this one: Savages!


This ought to get the watermelon environmentalists knickers in a twist: US Carbon Emissions Hit 20-Year Low.

And to think we did it without the need to resort to carbon trading schemes, draconian government intervention, or buying into the Kyoto Treaty. Yet other signatories have seen their carbon emissions go up, and those 'exempt' from those limits (China and India, to name two) have seen their emissions skyrocket.

How did this happen? Natural gas, that's how.

For years, American greens have pushed carbon-trading as the best way to reduce carbon emissions. Yet now carbon emissions are dropping, thanks not to an intrusive government tax on carbon, but to the brown industry and fracking technologies greens vociferously oppose.

It appears the greens only want renewable sources that don't provide the energy needed when it's needed and work against building the power distribution systems required to use the very alternative energy sources they've been promoting.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer is getting short, the kids will be back in school in a couple of weeks, and where there's still plenty of summer chores to do around the house.


And The AGW Debate Continues...Some More

After a week long hiatus I feel refreshed and ready to get back to blogging. I can see that Brent more than filled in while I was off doing other things.

One of those things was delving yet again into the morass that is AGW. A number of columns and blog posts have certainly been stirring the pot, bring even more debate about this issue to the forefront. One column in the Wall Street Journal certainly garnered a lot of comments. There are so many I still haven't finished reading through them all.

The column in question, written by Fred Krupp, claims that many skeptics about AGW have since come around to the AGW camp and that it's obvious the debate is over. But it must be noted that Krupp isn't exactly impartial as he is president of the Environmental Defense Fund, an organization not known for being impartial about the ongoing debate.

One of Krupp's biggest flaws with his opinion piece is that he's confusing agreement that climate change is occurring with agreement that climate change is caused almost exclusively by man. An example:

Respected Republican leaders like Govs. John Kasich of Ohio and Chris Christie of New Jersey have spoken out about the reality of climate change. Rupert Murdoch's recent tweet—"Climate change very slow but real. So far all cures worse than disease."—may reflect an emerging conservative view. Even Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, during public comments in June, conceded the reality of climate change while offering assurances that "there will be an engineering solution" and "we'll adapt."

Not one of the people he cited agree with the It's-All-The-Fault-Of-The-Evil-Humans claim about climate change. Not one. But he implies that they've “come around” to that way of thinking. They haven't.

I certainly don't believe climate isn't changing. Of course it is, just as it has for almost all of Earth's existence. Do humans have an effect on climate change? I will agree with the statement that humans have a non-zero effect on climate, but so far no one has proven that it's anything but miniscule. Yes, humans can have a profound effect in very small areas. A perfect example of that is the urban heat island effect, where the concrete, pavement, and rooftops in an urban area can multiply the effect of the sun, making it much warmer during the day and, as the concrete and pavement radiates the heat it collected during the day, making for much warmer nights as well. Once you get out of the urban area, the day and nighttime temps fall back to 'normal'. It is this effect, along with the higher energy usage that goes along with it, that has boosted many of the surface temperatures, giving a false increase in average temperatures, something else addressed in the comments to Krupp's piece.

Krupp also mentions physicist Richard Muller's Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, where Muller and his team reviewed surface temperatures and the means for measuring them. This project was supposed to address the issue of poorly located measuring stations (next to AC exhausts, paved parking lots, or among encroaching buildings in urban areas). Muller published his non-peer reviewed findings which basically stated there were no errors in measurement and that surface temperatures are rising, satellite temperature measurements to the contrary notwithstanding. One of Muller's colleagues, Dr. Judith Curry, chair of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, disagreed with Muller's conclusions and believed he was premature in releasing the results.

When asked whether the rate had stopped over the last 10 years [Muller] said they had not. “We see no evidence of it having slowed down,” he replied and a graph issued by the BEST project suggests a continuing and steep increase.

But this last point is one which Prof Curry has furiously rebuttted. In a serious clash of scientific experts Prof Curry has accused Prof Muller of trying to “hide the decline in rates of global warming”.

She says that BEST’s research actually shows that there has been no increase in world temperatures for 13 years."

So you have two scientists on the same research project who disagree with each other. Which one do you believe? Curry blogs about why she disagrees with Muller's conclusions and Muller's response.

One of the strongest voices criticising the study comes from the BEST team itself. Dr Judith Curry, head of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, declined to be a co-author on the latest BEST study, and says on her blog she does not “see any justification in [BEST's] argument for” the group’s statement that its warming data fits with manmade carbon dioxide. Curry’s not alone: former climate scientist William Connolley claims BEST has done “none of the attribution work you’d expect”.

Muller says Curry distanced herself from the paper because she disagrees with the findings, and that she has an alternative theory – that the climate is random, so any correlation between increases in carbon dioxide and warming is an accident. His response: “‘I’ve said to her that the unfortunate aspect of her theory is that it’s untestable. Now a theory that’s untestable is not something I consider to be a theory.”

No one who frequents this blog has ever seen me refer to climate as ‘random’.  I have an email discussion with Muller, who said he used the word ‘random’ in the interview since it is more easily understood by the public.  He has read my post Trends, Changepoints, and Hypotheses.  Re the climate shifts hypothesis, he is concerned that it is not testable.  I argued that it is just as testable as the other two hypotheses, and observations are not currently sufficient to distinguish between these three hypotheses.

She goes on to ask “So, is Muller’s primary interest in the science, or in establishing himself in a position of power at the climate science/policy interface? The press releases and op-eds suggest the latter.” So has Muller “sold his soul” to gain power as Curry suggests? It wouldn't be the first time a scientist has fallen under the sway of that particular vice.

Another skeptic voicing his dissent at the consensus is Dr. John Christy, the Alabama State Climatologist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. In testimony he gave before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee earlier this month, Christy brings up new discoveries that explain part of the warming found it traditional surface temperature data and decouples some of the warming and the “extra” greenhouse gases. His testimony can be found here. It's well worth reading and brings up some question we should all be asking the AGW supporters.

So the debate continues, with some folks “switching sides” (Krupp doesn't mention the numerous former AGW proponents that have since changed their minds), and the the faithful still chanting the mantra that unless we “Do Something!” now, we're all gonna die.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Very little got done around The Manse this weekend as yet again the weather has not been cooperative. The lawn did not get mowed, the main deck has not been stained nor have the smaller decks been fully stripped of their old stain. Only one load of laundry was washed and hung to dry (and even then it had to be finished off in the rather balky clothes drier).

All in all, most of the activities have been in The Manse rather that around it.


Now that the initial hub-bub over Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate has died down, it appears the MSM is already returning to form, with much of it criticizing his choice because Ryan isn't black, Asian, female, or other supposedly underrepresented or 'oppressed' minority.

I seem to recall the last GOP running mate was excoriated (and still is) for being female and an unapologetic successful businesswoman and governor.

Nothing new to see here folks. Move along....


And then there's this from Ryan, going after President Obama's campaign:

“Obama has gone from 'Hope and Change' to 'Attack and Blame.'”

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


I also find it interesting that the Dems have rolled out the “Romney and Ryan are going to cut taxes for the rich!” gambit.

My response to that: “Well, DUH! That makes sense considering they're paying most of the taxes as it is!”

Cutting taxes for people that already pay no income taxes makes no sense and doesn't help the economy in any way.

Another reminder for the Obama team about how things really work: “I've never been hired by a poor person.”

It's the class warfare, divide and conquer tactics that have been part and parcel of the Obama administration from Day One. They want to continue pushing economic policies that have been proven not to work time and time again throughout our history. As much as the Obama administration claims Romney-Ryan want to “roll us back to the bad old days”, it is this President that has taken us back to the bad old days of the economic malaise of the 1970's, using the same old disproven policies, punative regulations, and confiscatory taxation that crippled the US economy back then.


Assistant Village Idiot gives us a twofer today.

First, he delves into the “lie” he told when he said “I care only about the theological connection when people reflexively prefer the natural to the artificial. I also care about the poor logic that boils down to "Well it only stands to reason that...”

Odd that [liberals] should prefer lots and lots of human intervention and control by large, distant entities when it comes to an economy, but not when it's food or medicine. I imagine that's related to their dislike and distrust of corporations (because they don't understand how they work) contrasted to their trust and confidence in nonprofits and ahem, Public Servants.

And then there's AVI's confession that he used to be a pacifist until he read C.S. Lewis's “Why I Am Not A Pacifist.” As he writes, it “was one of the most powerful single reading experiences I have ever had.”


Though this dates back to March of this year, I have to say I have used this guide about “How To Have A Rational Discussion” on more than one occasion since then. It has saved me from wasting precious minutes and hours better used for other purposes. I saved and printed out the flowchart just to make it easier to remember, hanging copies here in my office at The Manse and at work near my desk and in our engineering lab.

If more of my liberal friends and acquaintances adhered to this guide I dare say many of our more political, ideological, and 'science' discussions would have been more enjoyable, assuming we had any 'discussions' at all.


Oh, here's a great idea!

Take the Malthusian population trap theory, add a few modern touches, and what do we end up with?

An eco-blogger who believes our 'problem' with over-population can be solved by denying medical care to everyone over 50. As one commenter wrote, “Done! It's called "Obamacare".”

Of course over-population isn't much of an issue in developed countries as population growth tends to self-correct and levels off towards zero. It's in poor undeveloped/underdeveloped nations run by despots and dictators where over-population is an issue.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Apparently woman-hating feminist Erin Gloria Ryan needs therapy. It seems the appearance of sexy female Olympic athletes makes her nauseous.

It must be some kind of psychosis that makes her hate the beauty of her own gender. Maybe she wants all women to start wearing burqahs so neither men or women will have the chance to appreciate the appearance of a pretty woman.

She seriously needs help.


Sarah Palin weighs in on the Romney-Ryan ticket and warns us the media will do all it can to distract us from the really important issues in the upcoming election, the biggest being Obama's failed record and his flawed vision for America.

Obama’s vision for America will make the rest of the country look like California, minus the beautiful scenery and warm weather.

Obama’s America is today’s California – complete with $100 billion taxpayer funded bullet trains to nowhere; out of control environmental extremists who have destroyed family farms and left some of the most fertile farm land in America fallow in order to protect a three inch fish; permanent high unemployment; government policies hostile to small business job creators; crippling high taxes; an abysmal real estate market; bloated government that wastes taxpayer money; endless budget shortfalls due to massive unfunded liabilities; city after city declaring bankruptcy; and a state government run by, in the words of one Wall Street Journal writer, “a brothel of environmentalists, lawyers, public-sector unions and legislative bums.”

I'd say that pretty well describes it.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summerfolk are staying busy, the retailers and hospitality folks are liking it, and where once again Monday is returning all too soon.


By way of Maggie's Farm comes this illustration, showing all too well the contempt which the present occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue feels for our hard-earned and long-defended Constitutional Rights.

Romney, Ryan, and 1200 Days

As more than one blogger has noted, Romney's choice of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate is one that will make Team Obama sweat, particularly in light of the fact that Ryan has been a pitbull in regards to the out-of-control spending perpetrated by Congress since 2007 and the Obama administration in particular since January 2009.

It doesn't help Team Obama that Congress hasn't passed a budget for 1,200 days and counting. And Obama's official term runs 1461 days.

Here's some sobering facts about it:

The last time the Senate passed a budget was on April 29, 2009.
The Outstanding Public Debt as of 11 Aug 2012 at 12:38:57 AM GMT is: $15,920,131,113,709.46
The estimated population of the United States is 313,295,427, so each citizen’s share of this debt is $50,815.08
Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal was defeated this year in the House of Representatives by a vote of 414-0.
Obama’s FY2012 budget was defeated last year in the Senate, by a vote of 97-0.
By 2050, the national debt is set to hit 344 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
By around Election Day, the total debt of the United States will be $16,394,000,000,000.00 ($16.394 trillion).

The first point brought up overlooks the fact that the budget passed then was a carryover from the end of the Bush administration, due directly to the machinations of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. The majority Democrat House and Senate delayed a vote on a budget they knew George W. Bush would have vetoed. Instead they relied on six months of continuing resolutions to keep the government funded until after Obama's election and inauguration. That is the major reason “Bush's” last budget was $600 billion in the red - it wasn't his budget, but Pelosi and Reid's.

It's also interesting to note that the last attempt to pass Obama's budget died without a single Democrat vote in favor in either the House or the Senate. Is it that they didn't like it any more than their Republican brethren or that they thought it would be easier to hide increasing deficit spending through the use of continuing resolutions? I'd like to believe they thought it was as much of a stinker as the GOP did. I'd like to. Really.

Should Romney and Ryan be elected to office, and with Ryan added to the ticket it seems to be more likely, I think we can expect the budget hammer to fall. No more trillion dollar plus deficits (we hope). No more “Let's tax the s**t out of the job makers!” No more unfunded mandates or multi-billion dollar government giveaways to industries incapable of standing on their own under any circumstances. No more interference in the energy markets. No more “the government knows best how to run the economy and your lives” BS.

Are Romney and Ryan the perfect candidates for the GOP? No, not by any means. But as we have to be reminded constantly, we can't let perfect be the enemy of good enough. Romney and Ryan are good enough.


Going Out Of Business

Bill Whittle has another great video, this time dealing with “Going out of business”. In this case he's not talking about a company or corporation, but...well, I'll let him tell it.

(H/T Instapundit)


How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

David Starr comments about the good ol' B-61 H-bombs in the US nuclear arsenal and how the Pentagon plans on spending billions to refurbish and upgrade them.

The B-61 is an unguided gravity bomb whose design dates back to the early 1970's. It has a maximum yield of 340 kilotons, about 34 times that of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

As David writes:

Although it has never been used in action, some forty years in service ought to indicate that it is fairly satisfactory, and they are all built and paid for.

In Washington there is a move afoot to spend another $10 billion dollars on the B-61's. The Air Force wants to add a guidance system to improve accuracy. We really need that. These are nukes, with a total destruction radius measured in miles. Get the bomb with a mile or so of the aim point, and that target is vaporized. World War II mechanical bomb sights were good enough for that.

I can understand why the Pentagon might want to add precision guidance packages to these bombs. While David makes a good point that WWII-era bomb sights were good enough, the biggest problem is that the aircraft carrying them still has to fly over the target to drop the weapon. Turning the B-61 into a PGM (Precision Guidance Munition), the need to fly over the target is greatly reduced, if not eliminated, which in turn reduces the danger to the crew of the aircraft carrying it.

Another point to make about the B-61 maintenance and upgrade program was expressed in this comment I made to David's post:

Nuclear weapons, and in particular fusion warheads, aren't like other weapons systems. They age and require refurbishment, particularly the deuterium and/or tritium that is the 'H" in 'H-Bomb'. Both isotopes degrade with time and must be replaced, otherwise the it becomes less of a fusion bomb and more of a fission bomb. (The fission bomb actually initiates the fusion reaction that increases the bomb's yield by an order of magnitude or two...or three.)

The electronics in the bombs would also be upgraded, increasing the reliability of the PALs (Permissive Action Links) and the fuzing of the bomb.

In the long run, it's a cheap and long overdue upgrade.


A Special Town Meeting

I am off to a special town meeting here in out little New Hampshire town to discuss a matter of great import – the replacement or refurbishment of one of our fire department's pumpers.

While this matter had been discussed and voted on during our regular town meeting back in February and March, the voters decided not to replace the 25-year old fire engine and considered having it repaired for a fraction of the cost of a new pumper. But the idea foundered when it was found the old pumper was in far worse shape than originally reported. And since the town can't make capital expenditures of this magnitude without a town meeting to discuss the matter and a follow-on vote the following month, our selectmen decided to call a special town meeting. They petitioned the court for permission to hold a town meeting off of the regular schedule and received the court's blessing to do so. (Towns can't just call a town meeting at anytime other than the designated dates, unless an emergency or other immediate need requires it. In this case the replacement of a vital piece of life-saving equipment was seen as meeting the conditions to allow this special town meeting to be held.)

I expect there will be lively discussions and debate at this meeting, if not some acrimony. (A lengthy series of letters to the editor in both of our local newspapers created an atmosphere that generated a lot of the aforementioned acrimony.)

If nothing else, it will be interesting evening.

And so it goes in small town America.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been hot and humid at Lake Winnipesaukee this weekend, though not as bad as some other places in the US have been experiencing. The weather has made it difficult to get some work around the outside of The Manse done. Not so much the actual work as the conditions haven't been right for the work to get done. Two examples: mowing the lawn and staining the deck.

The lawn (what there is of it) tends to be wet after a warm humid night, making it very difficult to mow in the morning. I usually have to wait until late in the afternoon mow, otherwise the Official Weekend Pundit Lawnmower bogs down with wet grass, greatly slowing down the mowing process.

The deck can't be stained when the surface is wet. It's wet due to the condenser runoff from the air conditioning in BeezleBub's bedroom. All I need is three dry days in a row and the deck will be dry enough to stain.


BeezleBub has learned yet another lesson in personal economics, in this case the cost of maintaining a vehicle. While he has had some experience with his 1975 Jeep CJ5, it's not quite the same thing as the Jeep is more of a classic vehicle used only during the summer months. However, his main ride, a 2003 Dodge Dakota 4x4, is his everyday transportation and it required quite a bit of work to make sure it passed its annual state inspection. BeezleBub dropped a substantial amount of his hard-earned money into his truck to have the upper and lower ball joints on both sides replaced and to have a new O2 sensor installed.

While I could have done both myself, I told him that it would take me considerably longer than our favorite garage and that I was not inclined to do so. It was his truck, his responsibility, and if he didn't want to have the garage do it that I would help him do it instead, but I wasn't going to be the one actually doing the work. After thinking about it for a few microseconds, he decided he had better things to do with his time and had the local garage do the work instead.

One of the lessons learned? Time is money. If he doesn't want to spend the time then he'll have to spend the money.

And so it goes with another economic lesson.


To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds quoting a line from Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, I'd have to say these folks chose poorly.

Immediately following the Rush Limbaugh/Sarah Fluke contraception controversy, a number of sponsors dropped Limbaugh in protest. But it turns out that may have been a hasty decision that in the end hurt them far more than it did Limbaugh. One example – Carbonite.

So how has dumping Limbaugh worked out for Carbonite? Not so well. Turns out alienating Rush’s fans may have been more damaging than alienating his critics.


On August 1 Carbonite released its 2d Quarter 2012 results, the first full quarter after dropping Limbaugh in March. The results shocked Wall Street, as Carbonite did not meet its growth targets, causing multiple analysts to drop the target price. The stock dropped 15% in a day.

What’s more, in a conference call, [Carbonite CEO David] Friend linked the decline to the Limbaugh action.

As is always said, actions have consequences. And as one commenter to the linked piece wrote, “It's true Darwinism at work!”

Later in the comments comparisons are made between Carbonite and Chick-fil-A and the moral stands between the CEOs of these two companies. The biggest difference? Chick-fil-A is a privately owned company and CEO Dan Cathy was risking his own family's money with his moral beliefs. Carbonite is a publicly owned company and CEO David Friend risked the stockholders' money with his 'moral' stand. That's not his job. His job is to make money for the stockholders, period. In this case, he didn't do that.


Assistant Village Idiot makes a comparison between the US Postal Service of the past and Britain's National Health Service, showing how the latter isn't as good as many in the UK (and elsewhere) believe it is, and showing how the former isn't as good as it once was, and why.

A good friend of us here at The Manse is married to a fellow from Eastern Europe and he commented upon the lack of socialized medicine here in the US and how great it was 'back home'. But my missus countered with, “Yeah, but how long do you have to wait to get treated if you were actually sick?”

There are lessons to be learned from both of these examples. Unfortunately the socialist Powers-That-Be in the US (the White House and Senate) have chosen to ignore them and are pushing hard for us to make the same mistakes again. (Insert definition of insanity here...)


Bogie disproves Obama's claim that “the private sector is doing just fine.” Thursday afternoon she became a part of that “fineness” when she was laid off from her job.

She spent part of her now-free time getting the last of her things from her former employer and taking care of a large number of chores around her home.

To quote Glenn Reynolds, “How's that hopey-changey thing workin' out for ya'?”


Harvard Economics professor Greg Mankiw points out how the Obama administration's rosy scenario about the economy doesn't even come close to what most private forecasters are predicting, and that overly optimistic forecast is being used to predict tax revenue. The problem: the projected revenues won't be there and that will drive the budgets that much deeper in to the red.

(H/T Viking Pundit)


Neo-neocon posts about “speaking truth to perceived lack of power” and the risks that entails, using both Bill Cosby and Mitt Romney as examples of how outrage can be directed towards people telling an unwanted and unpopular truth to the so-called victim classes.

Telling them that their misfortunes are based upon their own uninformed decisions and allowing those who say they are 'helping' them to take control of the narrative isn't something they want to hear. But that doesn't make what they're hearing any less the truth.


Mike Rogers of GraniteGrok quotes from David Brinkley's book, Washington Goes To War. It's telling, at least to me, that Brinkley and I were on the same wavelength when it came to the installation of air conditioning in our nation's capitol.

I have always believed that HVAC in the Congressional offices and the Capitol Building was the beginning of the end for our great nation. After all, it gave the Congresscritters more time to come up with unnecessary laws, over the top spending, political machinations, and ways to take even more money away from the American people. I firmly believe HVAC should be outlawed in all Congressional offices and residences. That way, when it's too hot or too cold, they'll go home. If they're home they can't cause problems or do things in an effort to justify all their time in Washington.

Congress doesn't need to be in session most of the year. It doesn't even need to be in session for half the year. Almost all of the important things can be handled in only a few months. Everything else is surplusage, wasteful, and in the end, non-productive.


Amy Payne asks, “Has any administration policy not killed jobs lately?” Unfortunately the answer is a resounding “NO!”

She goes on to list just a few of them, including foot-dragging on free trade agreements, moratoriums and new heavy-handed regulations on offshore oil drilling, delaying the Keystone XL pipeline, over-reaching regulations imposed by the EPA that go well beyond their charter (both Congress and the court system has tried to rein it in, to no avail), greatly extending unemployment benefits (something that always seems to make unemployment last longer), the “stimulus” program that did nothing but stimulate graft and corruption, and of course, ObamaCare. And it appears Obama and the Congressional Democrats want to do even more to kill jobs, one of the biggest being increasing taxes on small businesses. It's the small businesses that create most of the jobs and Obama, Reid, and Pelosi want to add an ever greater burden upon them.

Talk about a disconnect from reality....


I managed to finish up most of the outdoor work here at The Manse just before the skies opened up and dropped a lot of rain. Deb had been lounging out on the main deck out back and managed to get herself and her things back inside just as the rain started to fall.

Not a bad way to end a Sunday afternoon.


And that's the nes from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the hot and humid weather is departing, the rain is falling, and where we got almost all of our weekend chores done.


Bomb-Maker Ayers Predicts US Collapse - Again

That fount of Marxist wisdom, 'former' Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, is trying to sell his fantasy of US economic collapse, something I think he's been hoping for for a long time. But rather than citing financial shenanigans by Wall Street, draconian government economic regulations, unsustainable spending on entitlements, or government cronyism, he states the cause will be runaway spending on another arms race. He doesn't say who else will be involved in this arms race (Russia doesn't really have the capital and China's economy is teetering on the edge).

He continues to spout his disconnected-from-reality beliefs that the US is a greater threat to world peace than Iran. Then again he's always seen the US as a threat to everything he's believed in since the 1960's. But the one thing this bomb-thrower he hasn't been willing to do is to go live in one of the Marxist utopias he wants to see the US turned into to see if his beliefs match reality. Over the past 5 decades he's had the chance to go live with his brethren in socialist harmony in the many Marxist/socialist utopias, but has turned down the opportunity. Could it be because he knows that those 'utopias' are really nothing more than brutal police states with no freedom to speak one's mind? Where the only equality is the equality of misery and fear?

If the US is such a horrible place, then why isn't he languishing in some super secret super-max facility as political prisoner? Why hasn't he been killed by right-wing death squads? Because this guy has become nothing more than an armchair revolutionary.

His bomb-throwing days are long gone, and he wants others to fight his fight for him. Could this scenario he's selling be his way of trying to remain relevant? Bill Ayers only problem is that he hasn't been relevant for over 40 years.


Obama Campaign Working Furiously To Spin Bad Economic Numbers

Have any of you out there noticed that no matter how bad the economic numbers are, the Obama administration (and campaign) try to twist them around to make it seem things are getting better? That's certainly the case with both the latest jobless numbers, retail sales numbers, food prices (and by extension, gasoline prices), and manufacturing output. They're all heading in the wrong direction and Obama's folks trumpet them as if they're a prelude to the Second Coming.

One interesting spin on the latest jobless figures? “It's not 8.3%. It's only 8.254%!” Yeah, that makes it better.

Then there's the “unexpectedly” poor sales and manufacturing numbers. How is it explained away? Well, it's like this...ummm...uh...I guess they can't explain it away.

Perhaps they can borrow a lesson from California. After all, the Golden State political machine has gotten pretty good at taking bad economic news and making it sound good. Take one of their latest ploys, stating the state's falling population is a good thing because “it gives the state and the municipalities the time to rebuild and replace infrastructure for future good times.” But they never explained that with falling population they also have falling tax revenues to pay for it all. Even Detroit never tried to pull that, knowing it would never fly. Perhaps the Obama camp will say the fall off in sales and manufacturing will allow retailers and factories to prepare for future demand? I wouldn't put it past them.

With the drought taking a toll on crops throughout the Midwest, you'd think Obama's administration would allow corn to be used primarily for food and feed rather than being burned in our fuel tanks. But that isn't going to happen and the result has been a spike in food and fuel prices.. I expect Obama will explain that away by saying “it's good for you” without really explaining why. That's pretty much par for the course for him.


Something New

A few months back I had written about adding a new feature to this blog, particularly some kind of cartoon. The concept was discussed with a friend of mine, GG, who happens to be a very good artist and we figured that between the two of us we could probably come up with a good one now and then. We think this one is a good one to start with.