Dangerous Enviro-Wackos

Over the years we've seen more than a few enviro-wackos. Many are harmless (mostly just annoying). Some are earnest in their desires to “save” the Earth (which doesn't need saving, at least not from us). And there's a small group that are very dangerous, either due to their actions (Earth First, ELF, ALF, etc) or their ideology. It is latter of this last group which I find to be the most dangerous.

In particular this last group sees mankind as something to be tightly controlled, if not eliminated from the face of the earth. Their hatred of the human race is almost pathological. One such 'psychopath' is Bill McKibben, who 'advised' the White House in its decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline.

McKibben's hope?

This the alternate food reality McKibben wants for America: "Local, labor-intensive, low-input agriculture." And this is how he sells it: "You'll be standing guard over your vegetable path with your shotgun, warding off the marauding gang that's after your carrots." Yes, seriously: A man that has heavy sway in the Obama White House wants you to drop that grocery bag and go load up on bullets and carrot seeds.

According to McKibben's twisted math, the poorer we are, the better for the planet, because "one-seventieth the income means one-seventieth the damage to the planet." And he doesn't just want to shrink our incomes. He's also looking to shrink the size of human civilization overall. As he's put it, his environmental vision means "the human population would need to get gradually smaller."


No kids. No progress. No income. Working intensively in subsistence farming. Hiring militias to enforce anti-progress social norms.

It seems to me this has been tried by someone before and the outcome was horrific to see. To whom am I referring?

Pol Pot.

He and the Khmer Rouge tried to do just that in Cambodia as a means to ensure ideological purity. Everyone had to become a farmer. Anyone with 'dangerous' knowledge had to be re-educated, in this case “re-educated” being a euphemism for “killed”. Does the phrase Killing fields ring a bell with anyone?

Over 1.3 million Cambodians were executed for not adhering to the strict rules the Khmer Rouge imposed. Up to an additional 1.4 million died of starvation as subsistence farming wasn't able to raise enough food to feed everyone. The utopia of the type McKibben would like to see eliminated over a third of the population of Cambodia. Life was harsh, miserable, brutal, and short.

But of course I doubt McKibben would be one of those 'fortunate' enough to have to live that kind of lifestyle. After all someone would have to keep an eye on the rest of the serfs and that kind of responsibility requires special consideration.

So until McKibben and those of his ilk are willing to do more than talk the talk and actually start living the type of life they want the rest of us to live, we're going to ignore them...or kill them if they try to impose their beliefs upon us. Of course I would expect that once they actually had to live a subsistence life style they would quickly show their hypocrisy by abandoning their utopian ideals and returning to the modern conveniences of civilization.


Sandy's Here!

I just got home after a somewhat longer than usual drive from work. The driving rain greatly reduced visibility and I kept my speeds to about 40mph, even on the stretches of highway where 55 to 60mph is the rule. The rain was coming down hard enough that even at stop lights it was like I was driving at highway speed.

It's also pretty much as I thought it would be here at The Manse – heavy winds experienced during the drive home were barely noticeable once I got into the lee of the hill upon which The Manse sits. The treetops are barely swaying compared to what I saw less than a mile from here on the state road.

I'll try to update from time to time as Sandy's rains continue to fall and as power and Internet connectivity allow.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The weather has been beautiful here in the Lakes Region over the past few days, just the opposite of what's coming on Monday and Tuesday with the outskirts of Sandy making themselves known with heavy wind and rain.

Deb, BeezleBub, and I spent part of the weekend getting the last of the outdoor chores done, taking advantage of the good weather. We also made preparations for the bad weather by clearing off the The Manse's three decks and storing the patio chairs and other accoutrements in the basement. The Official Weekend Pundit Gas Grill has been secured on the main deck, making sure it won't roll around should the winds be heavy enough to move it. (Yes, that's happened before which is why we make sure it's lashed to one of the heavy uprights that are the anchors for the deck railings.)

Other than that, there's little we need to do to prepare. We have batteries, we have propane for the gas grill, the laptop and cell phone batteries are all charged, and we have ample food (we always do).

Frankly I think some people go a little overboard whenever there's even a hint of a hurricane or blizzard. It doesn't help that the local TV news outlets make it seem as if Armageddon is descending upon us even if we're only going to experience the outer edges of such a storm system. (Cue ominous weather disaster hysteria music...)


Today the farm where BeezleBub is employed closed their farm stand for the season, selling off the last of their vegetables, baked goods, deli stuff, and ice cream. Now that the retail operation has finished for the year, BeezleBub and the other farm hands still working at the farm will clean everything out and prepare the farm stand for winter, draining out the water pipes and winterizing all of the equipment.

BeezleBub will also be spending the next couple of weeks doing maintenance on all of the farm machinery before it is stored for the winter. He will also be dealing with cutting and splitting firewood for next year and delivering hay to customers. Until Christmas he will only working 40 hours a week with Saturdays and Sundays off, something he isn't sure he can get used to.


It appears there are problems with voter fraud in North Carolina, with 758 individuals who are 112 years old having voted. The only problem is that there are only 330 people in the entire US over 110 years of age according to the US Census Bureau.

Fraud, anyone?


Bogie is still on the job hunt. She's had quite a few interviews, with some multiple interviews from some potential employers. But she has not landed a new position.

As she states, some times companies will take a long time to fill a position, either because they can't make up their minds, can't find qualified applicants, or are reluctant to hire due to too many economic and regulatory unknowns that may affect their bottom line.

Welcome to the Obama Economy.


Oh, I think this says it all in regards to Government Motors and its merely delayed implosion.

(H/T The Jawa Report)


From Comic Economics comes this “attempt at a non-partisan examination of the US debt problem.”

At least it's in a form that even a recent college grad can understand.


Is another swing state switching over to Romney? It appears so.

My home state of New Hampshire now seems to be in the Romney column.

That isn't all that surprising to anyone paying attention here in the Granite State. While New Hampshire wasn't hammered as hard as many other states during this Great Recession, we still got hit. People remember the promises made by Obama and those same promises broken.

While traveling through a number of towns across the state I have seen a dearth of Obama-Biden signs but numerous Romney-Ryan signs. The only exception to that was in the capitol city of Concord, where it was rare to see Romney signs, but that's nothing new.

Being in touch with a couple of fellow New Hampshire bloggers and other friends, they have reported the same lack of Obama signs and large number of Romney signs. Whether that really means anything is anybody's guess. But during the 2008 campaign the ratio between Obama and McCain signs was roughly even.

If Romney wins New Hampshire, the only question I have is whether he will just squeak by or win by a decisive margin?


The New England Patriots played the St. Louis Rams in Wembley Stadium in London this afternoon. Every year the NFL plays one game in the UK, where there is an ever growing following of the NFL.

For this game the Rams were considered the home team. That didn't bother the Patriots as they beat the Rams 45-7.


And to think they let folks like these vote!

It doesn't matter which party or candidate they support, these folks shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a voting booth.


If global warming 'denialists' are being well funded to deny climate change as is claimed by Climate Science Watch, then Cap'n Teach wonders where his money is. He's still waiting for it. (So am I.)

His most telling observation: “All this sounds more like projection on the part of Warmists.”



GraniteGrok provides samples of the intolerance of the 'tolerant' Left who are letting slip their outer cover to show the Brown Shirts underneath.

Have you ever noticed that the only ones demanding tolerance of their ideas and political beliefs are also the most intolerant of those who might actually disagree with them?


A few weather related things before I close out.

I must mention that I've just gotten off the phone with a family I've known for almost 30 years who live out on Martha's Vineyard. They told me they've just finished packing their car and will be heading to the ferry terminal to get off-island. It's been a rare storm when they evacuate from the island, but in this case there were extenuating circumstances and they couldn't sit out the storm.

I've also noticed that with the change in the arrival time of Sandy that both high-wind and flood watches have been posted for all of New Hampshire. Originally a flood watch was posted for just one county in the southeastern corner of the state but it has since been extended to all ten counties with this particular addendum: the east-facing sides of hills and mountains may experience flooding due to the wind-driven rains that are expected. Since The Manse is located on the west side of a hill it's likely we will see much less wind and rain.

It has been my experience in the 7+ years we've lived here that we are shielded from the winds out of east, particularly those associated with a Nor'easter. The local TV station reported some wind gusts at our local airport has already seen some winds in excess of 20mph. I can see the airport from our decks (now that most of the leaves are gone from the trees), and there has been little if any wind here, even now.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where folks have been preparing for a lot of wind and rain, the TV stations are scaring the bejeezus out of viewers with their weather reports, and the rest of us are just chilling while waiting for Sandy's arrival.


Yet Another Preview Of Obama's America?

If we need yet another preview of what Obama has in store for us should he win a second term, all we have to do is turn our eyes towards his home state of Illinois.

Decades of Democrat rule have turned that state into an economic basket case with unsustainable spending, annual tax increases, state and municipal employee pay/benefits that suck an increasing amount of tax dollars out of the economy, and a failing pension program that will never meet its future obligations to retirees (and by future, I mean near future).

Writes Walter Russell Mead:

Three states form the base of Democratic political power in the United States: California, New York and Illinois. All three states are locked in an accelerating economic, demographic and social decline; all three hope that they can stave off looming disaster at home by exporting the policies that have ruined them to the rest of the country.

Mary Williams Walsh, a talented reporter who is doing much to sustain the luster of the New York Times brand these days, has a must-read piece on the mess that is Illinois, and it is a compelling description of the misery and ruin that well-intentioned liberals combined with aggressive public sector labor unions inflict on the poor they ostensibly want to serve.

Ah, yes. Good intentions. We all know where that road leads, don't we? We also know that liberals have a major blind spot when it comes to the Law of Unintended Consequences, ignoring factors that have a negative impact every time they try to 'help' the poor and downtrodden. (Here again, it comes down to ignoring human nature, or worse, believing they can change human nature through legislation or government programs.)

The perception by too many Democrats is that the answer to all of the problems they helped create is to pour more money into solving these problems despite the large amounts of money they've already wasted on them. The problem isn't a lack of money so much as the structural defects in they systems and programs they're supporting. Simply put, it's not a revenue problem but a spending problem. It's also an insanity problem as they keep doing the same thing over and over again yet they expect different results this time. The madness has got to stop...but it won't until everything grinds to a halt because they run out of other people's money. And when it does happen, they will be surprised and shocked. Then they will point their fingers at everyone except those responsible – themselves.

Is this the future we want for America? Of course not. But that's where we're headed if we don't stop the liberals from promising things we can't possibly provide and bankrupt those who actually make things run. Take the lessons of Illinois, New York, California, as well as Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy to heart.


Off Their Meds?

As we draw closer to Election Day, the voices from the Left have become more shrill and, to my ear, even less connected with reality. This is particularly evident in some of the various forums, blogs, and comments to opinion pieces I've been reading over the past few days. A few in particular stand out, making me wonder what world some of these folks are living in or whether they've cut back too much on their meds.

One troll totally disconnect from reality tried to make the case that everything was just hunky-dory and that Obama should remain in office to finish the job. Writes Paul Maakestad in response to this WSJ opinion piece:

Here are some broad themes:

* DJIA way up since Obama took office
* Consumer confidence way up since Obama took office
* Strong and growing energy sector, including less dependence on coal, since Obama took office
* Auto industry preserved since Obama took office
* Manufacturing growth since Obama took office
* Housing market on the rebound since Obama took office
* Number of federal employees down since Obama took office
* Economic bleeding stanched via $800B in stimulus funding since Obama took office
* Initial steps taken to address health care affordability and access issues since Obama took office
* Steady progress toward enabling/forcing Middle East countries to deal with their own problems since Obama took office
* Reductions in defense spending to pre-war levels since Obama took office

Sure, there's lots left to be done, but we're well on our way. We're doing our best to unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit, but as President Clinton said, who knew just how bad the mess was that Bush left behind?

We just need a little more time.

After all, success is a journey, not a destination.

Yes, some missteps have been made, but they're nothing we can't fix during a second term.

At first I thought he was being sarcastic. It certainly seemed like sarcasm and it sounded like sarcasm. But as I read more of his comments and searched his comment history I realized he meant every word. How sad. Yet I still find it interesting reading Paul's comments if for no other reason than it proves how deluded some poor folks on the Left have become.

One of the points he listed in his comments generated a response from James Beard, with whom I wholeheartedly agree:

Uh, two big companies bankrupt. BO's intervention preserved UAW privileged status, but that move may prove the undoing of Government Motors irrespective of how much the Administration is willing to lose in selling GM shares to friends and associates. Chrysler is now in foreign hands, and probably will not go bankrupt again for a while, but Government Motors may have to go through bankruptcy a second time to get wages and benefits down to the point that it will be viable.

GM is in trouble again as the President's unconstitutional intervention on GM's and Chrysler's behalf short circuited the usual bankruptcy proceedings. The bond holders who should have have been first in line were “ripped off”. On more than one occasion I've heard the economically illiterate make the comment that it was “only the rich” were affected and that they didn't need the money anyways. But who were a majority of those bondholders? Pension and retirement funds.

Obama ripped off retirees in order to pay back the unions for their generous support during his first run for president. And now it looks like GM is going to go under, again. Maybe during the next bankruptcy proceeding it will be done according to law and GM will be able to get out from under the onerous UAW stranglehold.

But wait, there's more!

Another Obamabot seems to be a mind reader and has told us everything Romney has planned. Never mind that his numbers don't even come close to adding up. He knows their true because they have to be! Otherwise the fantasy world in which he lives will crumble away and he'll have to face reality.

Do you really think that cutting the deficit and the National Debt is the top priority for Mitt Romney? ROFL.

Tax cuts for the super rich are Mitt's Priority #1, Priority #2, and Priority #3. They ALWAYS are the top priorities whenever a Republican gets elected President.

I guess spending insane amounts on the military is his Priority #4 even though they say they don't need $2 trillion more in defense spending. Priority #5 is doing the bidding of whatever industries and companies that he likes the most. Dealing with the deficit almost always goes to the bottom of their priority list.

Guess what? All of these things will run up the deficits and the National Debt sky high! Guaranteed.

A quote from one of those responding to the deluded troll:

Spending insane amounts on defense? Hmmm. Let's see. The budget outlay for FY 2012 for defense was 24% of the total budget. But entitlement spending (including welfare) during that same period was 56% for the federal budget. Defense is one of the few constitutionally mandated duties of the federal government. Entitlement spending is not. The total budget for FY2102 is $3.8 trillion. So defense spending was ~$910 billion. Entitlement spending was $2.1 trillion. With this in mind I have to ask you, this Jeff:

Did you just pull those numbers you cited out of your a**? If I had to guess, I'd say the answer is yes.

This Jeff guy figures it's OK to bankrupt the country paying for entitlements but thinks spending money to protect the gravy train is a bad idea?

This is but a tiny example of what I've been reading lately, and the above were from just one publication.

Does any of this tell you that the folks on the Left are disconnected from the harsh realities of life, particularly in the area of economics?


Romney Not For Education? Not Likely

It didn't take very long for the Obama campaign to take video from the last night's Presidential Debate, twist it, and try to make it seem that Romney is against education. That's stupid (not that some people won't believe it).

What Romney said is that we don't need more teachers. He's right, we don't. We have more than enough. What we need are better teachers, particularly those unencumbered by union rules. Better teachers deserve better pay, not pay dictated by union contracts. We also need to be able to get rid of mediocre and bad teachers (hence getting rid of union encumbrances).

Education doesn't need even more money as we spend more per student in constant dollars than we ever have and test scores keep going down. We need to spend it more wisely. As the amount of educational spending has increased so has the administrative costs. The portion of education funds spent on actually educating out children hasn't risen nearly as much as those spent on 'administering' our schools. That's a problem.

Class size isn't nearly as much of a predictor of scholastic performance as is the quality of the teachers. (To show how ancient I am, I remember more than a few of my grammar school and junior high school classes having as many as 35 kids, with most around 30. It wasn't considered unusual and kids actually learned something.) Many of my teachers back then were a much better than a lot of BeezleBub's teachers when he was in middle and high school. The teachers I had had a better understanding of their chosen profession and subjects they taught.

Better Romney's version of education than Obama's and the NEA's.


Will Obama Pull A Chamberlain?

Is it any surprise there's been an announcement by the Obama administration that there will be 'One on one' talks with Iran about their nuclear program? Not really.

But that news shouldn't sway anyone at the polls, at least not if they've studied history.

These 'talks' have the smell of Munich in 1938, when Neville Chamberlain, then Prime Minister of Great Britain, had talks with Adolf Hitler. An agreement was signed that Chamberlain claimed would guarantee “peace in our time”. A little over a year later Britain was at war with Nazi Germany.

Now we have President Obama, a total incompetent when it comes to foreign policy, wanting to repeat history by talking to a hostile nation that wants nothing more then to build their own nuclear weapons so they can wipe Israel off the map. Obama may think this will gain him a major bump in the polls, but it may end up placing him in the same position as Chamberlain after Germany reneged on their agreement – out of office.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a gorgeous day yesterday here at Lake Winnipesaukee, being sunny and warm. We had the windows open to enjoy the fresh air. I even managed to hang a couple of loads of laundry on the Official Weekend Pundit Clothesline to dry. (I think this may be the last or next to last time I'll be able to do that and have the clothes actually dry.)


You know winter is closing in when BeezleBub takes his 1975 Jeep CJ5 to the WP In-Laws to store it away for the winter. He and one of his friends from the farm made the trip this past week during one of his rare days off from work.

We still have to move, service, and cover the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka “The Boat”. While it hasn't been on the lake over the past two years our plans are to take it back to its usual berthing place next spring now that finances are in a little better shape than they have been over the past three years.


Unless you've been locked away in solitary confinement or sequestered away in a hermitage, pretty much everyone knows the EPA has been doing its best to make sure energy costs will skyrocket and jobs will go away. Supposedly all of this is to 'protect' the environment. But in reality the EPA has gone rogue, driving the President's agenda and thwarting both Congress and ignoring Supreme Court rulings. It's all about political power and has little to do with protecting the environment.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


I was watching one of the local politics TV shows this morning and it gave me some insight into one of the false accusations made against the GOP candidate running for the office of Governor here in New Hampshire.

Maggie Hassan, the Democrat running for governor, has ads accusing her GOP opponent, Ovide Lamontagne, of wanting to gut Medicare and do away with it here in New Hampshire. On today's Close Up on WMUR-TV, Lamontagne answered the allegation, stating that as governor he would have absolutely no control over Medicare as it is a federal program. So how can he possibly “gut Medicare and do away with it” if he has no power to do so? The answer: he can't, and Maggie Hassan knows that. But then she really can't run on her record in the state senate as she was one of the architects of the state spending explosion (up 37% in 4 years) and heavier taxation that occurred between 2006 and 2010, which still left an $800 million budget deficit which wasn't corrected until she and a majority of the Democrats in the New Hampshire House and Senate were voted out bag and baggage in 2010. (The GOP had a super-majority in the House, Senate, and Executive Council after the 2010 elections. State spending and taxation were reined in by the GOP dominated legislature and the deficit erased in only 2 years.)

As we can see the outright lies being fostered as truth have trickled their way down from the national level.


Is lefty attorney Gloria Allred getting ready to spring her “October Surprise” in an effort to ruin Romney's chances in November?

I wouldn't put it past her. She pulled the same stunt against John McCain in 2008 (a bogus claim of an affair), Meg Whitman in 2010, and Herman Cain earlier this year, making accusations with no evidence to back them up. It was all innuendo and fluff with no substance behind the allegations. Meg Whitman lost her bid for California governor to Jerry Brown after Allred's accusations about a housekeeper who was fired after Whitman's family found out she was an illegal immigrant. (What's wrong with that?) Herman Cain was brought down by Allred's accusations of numerous extra-marital affairs, including the names of women with whom he'd supposedly had those affairs. It wasn't until after Cain suspended his campaign that the allegations fell apart.

I wouldn't put it past her to cook up something against Romney that will be found to be a fabrication, but not until after the election is over.

Seeing her actions as well as some of the clients she's represented and cases she's tried over the years, Allred is the definition of a scumbag lawyer.


Apparently Sandra Fluke (she of the “I want you to pay for my birth control so I can screw anyone I want” fame) is so over, drawing a crowd of 10 (ten) people to hear her speak in Reno, Nevada.


I've been watching the New England Patriots play the New York Jets in Foxboro. (It's half-time as I write this.)

I thought the Pat's were going to have problems defending against the long pass as they have all season, but it seems they've managed to figure out how to do just that, at least during the second quarter. Let's see if they can pull off a win this time.

UPDATE: The Patriots managed to pull off the win in overtime, 29-26. It was a near thing.


Apparently Obama has his own 5 point plan for his second term. However his isn't nearly as good as Romney's. If fact, it sucks.


Soccer mom Opus tells us about how she was threatened by a leftist thug after she took a picture of an Obama sign. I guess this jerk just doesn't like anyone who doesn't think just like him.

Yup, just another 'tolerant' Democrat showing their true colors.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the fall colors are still pretty, the weather has been warm, and where there's still plenty of getting-ready-for-winter work to do.


Ignore Human Nature At Your Own Peril

I have to say that I have been a student of human nature since I was twelve. Not that I knew I was studying human nature at that tender age, but looking back from 44 years later I see that even then I wondered what made people tick, what made them do what they do. Not that I was delving into individual behavior so much as human behavior in general.

Over the years I've realized that much of human nature cuts across all cultural and racial lines. There are cultural differences, but for the most part the variations are minor compared to baseline human nature.

I'm not going to get deeply into this subject as it could easily exceed 100,000 words. Besides, I know you do not have either the patience or the time to red something that long. I won't be dealing with psychology as I have no expertise in that area.

Before I continue let me state that I am in no way professionally trained. All of my 'expertise' is derived from over 4 decades of observation, personal experience, and deductions derived from that. Please keep that in mind as you read my non-scholarly scribblings.

First and foremost, people will act in their self-interest or the interests of their family and friends above all else. Altruism, as nice as it sounds, is something that we humans will express now and then, and then only under certain conditions or circumstances. No one can be altruistic 24/7. It isn't possible as it makes them either doormats or slaves to others wants and needs to the detriment of themselves or their families. Yet this little bit of human nature is something oft ignored. Over centuries there have been many attempts to create altruistic societies, some by mutual agreement and others by force of arms and 're-education'. Every single attempt has failed.

One of the better documented attempts at all-altruism-all-the-time took place in the American Colonies, specifically in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the early 1620's. They predated Marx's axiom “From each according to his ability. To each according to his need” by 350 years. All colonists would supply the common larder and all colonists would draw from that larder as needed. The problem this created was that more people were willing to draw from the larder than to fill it. It lead to famine and the colony almost died out. Only help from the local Indian tribe prevented them from starving to death. Once they abandoned that philosophy and went back to doing things on an individual basis did the colony flourish.

Over the centuries other countries and cultures have tried the same thing and all their 'experiments' have ended the same way – utter failure, economic collapse, and many times, armed revolution. We've seen it again and again just in the 20th century: the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Cuba (falling apart), and Venezuela (also falling apart). The People's Republic of China, while still a Marxist state, has abandoned most of the Marxist economic policies because they knew they didn't work and saw the results of not making a change. And while their economy is now more capitalist and the economic riches they have brought has made China an economic powerhouse, they still cling to some of the Marxist economic oversight/planning and much of the political baggage that goes with it. In the end it is still likely to come apart as world economics change around them.

And now we get to the crux of the matter – politics. It is here where politicians of all stripes get it wrong in regards to human nature. (Well, not all politicians. Just most of them.) And because of this lack of understanding, much of what they do at the local, state, and federal level falls prey to the Law of Unintended Consequences. This in turn tends to create more problems that what they thought they were fixing (if indeed anything really needed to be fixed in the first place).

During the 20th century a number of attempts have been made to improve the conditions within our society. Some have worked. Many have not. Those that succeeded tended to work with human nature. Those that failed chose to ignore it, or worse, those supporting them believed that human nature could be changed.

Many of the welfare programs that existed prior to 1965 worked, for the most part. Both control and funding were provided locally and the welfare officials knew their clients. Except for those truly incapable of supporting themselves, most folks weren't on welfare long. In fact, the welfare rolls had been decreasing starting just before the Korean War. The welfare system as it was was working. True, there were more than a few that weren't very good, but they were the exception, not the rule. Then came along Lyndon Baines Johnson's Great Society, a massive takeover of welfare by the federal government. It's theme was “The War on Poverty.” It looked good on paper, but it overlooked human nature in regards to how the programs were regulated and structured. While the new welfare system was supposed to help those in need, it ended up trapping many of them in poverty, providing too much in the way of help and making remaining one welfare preferable to working. The laws and regulations also had the effect of breaking up many families as too often the only way a family with children could receive assistance was if the father was absent. Other 'incentives' such as increasing benefits with each additional child perversely created more single parent homes with each child fathered by a different man. This was not the original intent of the Great Society (at least I'd like to think it wasn't), but that's what we ended up with. The people 'stuck' in the welfare system decided it was in their best interest to stay within the system rather than taking jobs that provided far less than their welfare benefits.

And so it is with many other 'gifts' bestowed upon the populace by the government. Things that were supposed to help end up making the problem worse as more people come under the sway of things that appeal to their self-interest, not realizing that by taking advantage of these gifts they are giving up some things even more important, namely their independence and self-respect. How often has it happened that the very folks who are 'helped' come to resent those who have provided the help in the first place? How often do they come to feel perpetually entitled to that help? Call those but two of the many unintended consequences of political action taken to fix a problem that didn't need to be fixed.

Then there are policies, laws, regulations, and taxes that move business owners to do just the opposite of what was intended by those same policies, laws, regulations, and taxes. As we have heard over the past four years all of the government's efforts (or should we say the President's efforts) have had just the opposite effect of what was intended. Call this another example of what happens when you don't understand human nature.

When success is punished by heavier taxation, when laws are passed that make it more attractive to do business elsewhere, when regulations make it difficult if not impossible to do business, one of two things will happen – businesses will move elsewhere or businesses that might have thrived will close. Yet those who figured these laws, regulations, and taxes that burden businesses would be gladly shouldered by them are surprised when they find it isn't so. But anyone who understands human nature knows they won't. We've certainly seen that in a number of places over the past few years. All we need to do to see examples of businesses giving up is to look to California, the EU, Argentina, Venezuela, and a host of other countries and states. If government goes against human nature when dealing with business, everyone loses as businesses flee or pull the plug and close their doors. It's happened again and again, yet the Powers-That-Be fail to learn the lesson: punish people enough for being successful and they'll stop being successful or move someplace else and be successful there.

Ayn Rand outlined that issue in Atlas Shrugged, where government took all kinds of actions “for the good of the people”, yet every action they took made things worse. All those efforts by the government had exactly the opposite effect, and businesses and business owners “went Galt”, meaning they refused to support the government and went on strike, denying the government the fruits of their labors. The business owners acted in their own self-interest – as is human nature – and told the government to go screw itself. The result – the economy, and with it the government, headed for collapse. (Rand certainly seemed to understand human nature as evidenced by Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.)

OK, enough said. I haven't covered anything I haven't covered before. But with the upcoming elections I have to remind everyone that the one thing we have to keep in mind is that one party has a somewhat better understanding of human nature than the other, and it's not the party that presently holds the US Senate or the White House. If nothing else they have ignored human nature and taken a course of action that has deepened the recession, driven prices up across the board (except for housing prices, which have collapsed), and made it very unattractive to do business here.


Met Office Report Embarrasses And Enrages AGW Faithful

With the latest, rather low key report about global warming being released by the UK's Met Office, the AGW faithful are trying very hard to put a major spin on the report which states there has been no global warming over the past 15 years.

Interestingly enough, one of the major parties in the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit's Climategate scandal, Phil Jones, is backing away from an e-mail he wrote back in 2009 where he stated “Bottom line: the 'no upward trend' has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.” Now that those 15 years have passed, he's now saying that period is 20 years. I expect that if the trend continues or takes a downward trend he'll push that back to 25 or 30 years. No matter what, he isn't likely to admit that he might be wrong. That's interesting considering he based his catastrophic AGW projections based on only 15 years of upward trends. He can't have it both ways.

I've gone all over the web over the past week or so looking at comments regarding the report. To read some of them you'd think the folks at the Met Office had committed high treason. But that's the way it is with fanatics of any stripe (and some of the AGW faithful are fanatics) – facts won't sway them from their firmly held beliefs.

The Met Office didn't make any predictions. It didn't say global warming was just so much bunk. All it did was report the results of many years of temperature readings from all over the globe and show that for the last 15 years there has been no upward trend. But because it doesn't fit in with the narrative the report must be wrong or someone (the Koch Brothers are always a handy target) must have bought off the folks at they Met Office. Those are the only two acceptable explanations to the AGW faithful. Their beliefs don't allow them to even think they might be wrong.

I wonder what these folks would think if the ice starts covering ever greater portions of the poles and makes its way towards the equator? I have no doubt it will be something right out of Fallen Angels.


Quote Of The Day

Received via e-mail from a co-worker:

“Don’t tell me you have a chocolate lab if you’re just talking about a dog.”



Obama's Debate Refrain - "He's A Liar!!

It looks like Obama's strategy during this second debate is to continuously counter any of Romney's pints and claims by calling Romney a liar. “What Governor Romney said is not true!”

In the first 20 minutes of the debate Obama has made that accusation 5 times. It doesn't seem to matter that Romney can back up his assertions with facts gleaned from government sources.
It looks like that's about all Obama's got left.

Update 9:43PM: I have been checking the blogs while listening to the debate on the TV in the other room. I realized that Obama was almost yelling, getting angry, his voice shrill while Romney has maintained his cool. I bet that isn't helping Obama at all.

We Felt The Earth Move Under Our Feet....

We had a little bit of excitement here in New Hampshire this evening, with the rumbling of a 4.3 Richter scale earthquake making us wonder whether the Official Weekend Pundit Propane Furnace was malfunctioning again.

Or maybe it was a precursor to the implosion of Obama's chances for re-election?


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a half-and-half weekend here in the Lakes Region, at least in regards to the weather. Saturday was sunny, but cool. Sunday was rainy and warm. Better that it had been sunny and warm on one day and rainy and cool on the other. But we take what we get, don't we?


I have been looking at a number of blogging programs to replace the 'broken' Moveable Type platform I've been using for the past few years. So far Wordpress is coming out ahead. The change over will take some time as I have to create backups of all posts and make sure they're in a format that Wordpress handles. Don't be surprised if at times the URL for this site takes you to the backup site. It will only be temporary until everything is properly configured in the new software.


Seeing that New Hampshire is considered a swing state (and one that is now classified as a toss up between Obama and Romney), the level of political ads playing on TV and radio has reached a point of saturation. It's gotten to the point that I no longer watch live TV, using the DVR to record everything I usually watch and skipping ahead to bypass the campaign ads.

I've never seen this much in the way of political advertising in all the years I've been a voter.


I know Bogie really likes to put a bit of herself into her work, but this is taking it too far.


“Leftover women?” Really? In a country with a female population deficit?

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Ed Driscoll delves into the mess that is the MSM, showing us why it is so out of touch with Main Street America to the point that at one time in 2004 David Westin, then president of ABC News said:

I think we don’t do that enough, and I’m not just talking religious communities. I’m talking all sorts of communities across the country. I think that… You understand this, Tina, living in New York or in Los Angeles, we have busy jobs. We go into the office every day. We tend to socialize with the same people, or the same types of people, and I think it’s terribly important for journalists to get out whether it’s overseas or domestically and try to understand.

So it turns out that even 8 years ago someone in the MSM understood that they didn't understand a majority of Americans, those being the ones not living in the liberal urban enclaves like New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and so on. That truth is as valid today as it was 8 years ago. Yet they continue to operate as if they know how everyone thinks. And they wonder why fewer people buy their newspapers and magazines or watch their newscasts.

As long as they continue to believe their own hype they will continue their long slide into irrelevance, and ultimately, oblivion.

It couldn't happen soon enough for me.


Powerline reports that Obama is now biting the hand that feeds him, namely the Clintons.

Obama wants Bill's support but is willing to throw Hillary under bus for his mistake in Benghazi. This isn't a surprise by anyone who has paid attention to Obama's political career over the years.

To save his political career, Obama would throw his own grandmother under the bus she supposedly rode to her job at the bank everyday because his grandfather thought it would be racist to give her a ride. And Biden’s 2016 presidential ambitions (no, I’m not joking) provide him with an extra incentive to see Hillary Clinton become the fall-gal for Benghazi.

This may end up backfiring on Obama depending on what the Clintons decide to do, and when.


Cap'n Teach gives us a great quote of the day, this one by Patton Oswalt.

I agree with Oswalt.


The New England Patriots played the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, losing to them 24-23.

Frankly, the Patriots didn't deserve to win. Between a number of bad passes by Brady, in one case missing the same open receiver three times by severely underthrowing the ball, two interceptions, one of which occurred by again underthrowing the ball, and the almost non-existent pass defense, there was no way the Patriots deserved to win the game, and they didn't.

The Pats are now 3-3.



Once again we point to Cap'n Teach and his link and comments about how Climate Progress wants to use bribes to reduce power consumption.

Yeah, like that will work. As always, there are unintended consequences these folks haven't thought out. If they're so worried about so-called “vampire power”, the power that appliances and equipment use even when they're off, then maybe it would behoove manufacturers to redesign their equipment to reduce the vampire loads Climate Progress is so worried about. The solution could be as easy as adding a main power switch on each appliance that cuts off even vampire loads.

But just unplugging these appliances as Climate Progress wants us to do has its own downsides. Two I can think of right off the top of my head: greatly increased wear on electrical plugs and sockets; and increased inconvenience from those appliances that require a post-power-on reset/configuration. Of the two, the first is the most dangerous and the second is just a pain in the ass.

Most residential electrical sockets and plugs aren't made to withstand thousands of plug/un-plug cycles. Both the plugs and sockets will wear out, increasing electrical resistance and with it, increase the possibility of a socket or plug overheating and causing a fire. (No this isn't something I just pulled out of thin air. Most electrical fires that aren't caused by old wiring, improper use of extension cords, or the intentional overloading of sockets are caused by worn out sockets.)

So we'll save power but burn down our house as a result. As I said, unintended consequences.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is going to be nice once we get back to the work week, the tourist traffic has fallen off to nothing, and where we're still waiting to get our winter supply of firewood.


Post Debate Impressions...Sort Of

It appears my decision to stop watching the Vice Presidential debate after the first 15 minutes was correct one.

Sampling the posts of those multitude of bloggers, both liberal and conservative leaning, it looks like my initial impression of how it was going to play out was right on.

Biden was condescending, rude, loud, and willing to make accusations he knew were false or “inaccurate”.

Ryan was calm and collected, even when chastising Biden for constantly interrupting him.

Biden blew his cool. Ryan did not.

Biden was playing to the Democrats who would have voted for Obama in any case. Ryan was trying to sway everyone else.

That's pretty much what I expected, meaning I really didn't miss anything by not watching the rest of the debate.


Vice Presidential Debate

Basically I stopped listening when Biden said "What a bunch of malarkey!" after Ryan's response to Biden's contention that the White House hadn't tried to spin the murder of Ambassador Stephens and three other Americans in Libya. Biden then tried to blame the deaths on Ryan for "cutting $300 million of funding for embassy security." That's a bunch of malarkey!


' Truth' Is Too Flexible

I have to admit to being totally burned out in regards to the political ads running on TV. The truth contained in these ads, or in this case, partial facts masquerading as truth, has been far too 'flexible'.

Here in New Hampshire I have seen claims made about opposing candidates, citing publications, studies, or records of votes on certain legislation in small print at the bottom of the screen as if they lend a certain legitimacy to the claims made.

However, on more than one occasion I have actually searched for those articles, studies, and records, only to find that the cites referenced did not accurately reflect the claims made. In too many cases only partial quotes were used, the excerpts being edited in such a way to make them seem to say one thing when if the cite were read in its entirety the true meaning is revealed and the edited versions is proven to be false.

One of the favorite devices used by both sides is to claim candidate X voted for/against some piece of legislation that would have provided Y for the needy or given Z to the greedy. But when you look closer at the legislation cited you find that Y or Z were part of a larger bill that was seriously flawed or the portion of the legislation that supposedly was going to provide Y or Z had deficiencies that would not have provided Y or Z, at least not to the people for whom it was intended, or would have caused harm in ways not foreseen by the sponsors, or would have wasted millions on something that wouldn't work.

In New Hampshire and neighboring Massachusetts, I have to give the edge in misleading or creatively edited 'facts' to the Democrats. Over the past couple of weeks I have dug into the claims made by Democrat and Republican ads for state and federal offices and the ads run by Democrats have been far more deceptive and misleading than those run by Republicans.

Keep in mind that my study is by no means scientific. I cannot claim that bias has not crept in (though I tried very hard to keep my biases in check). I haven't looked at every campaign ad and researched their veracity. If I did that I would have to quit my job and stop sleeping. I have better things to do with my life. But during this campaign cycle I've found the Democrats to be much looser with the truth than the Republicans, by a factor of almost three-to-one.

How is it anyone can trust any of these folks when the willingness to use bits of the truth to create falsehoods is widespread? Once they gain office how will we know they won't use the same mechanism to lie to their constituents about bills they're proposing and causes they're supporting?

We don't, and that's the problem.


An Apt Illustration

It must be illustration day here at Weekend Pundit!

This second graphic aptly illustrations one of Winston Churchill's quotes about taxation*:

*In case you aren't familiar with Churchill's wisdom, the quote in question is “We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

Actions (And Graphs) Speak Louder Than Words

As if we need even more confirmation that Obama's words do not match his actions there's this little graph that illustrates his failure to keep one of his major campaign promises made four years ago:

I wouldn't call his deficits half of those seen during the Bush years. (The last 'Bush' deficit doesn't count because it wasn't Bush's budget, but Pelosi's, and that wasn't signed until three months after Bush left office. The budget was signed by Obama.)


Weekend Pundit Main Site Problems

It appears the main Weekend Pundit blog site has suffered some kind of problem, preventing me from posting anything other than brief posts. Skip of GraniteGrok, who has been graciously hosting Weekend Pundit from his account with a hosting company, has looked into the problem and it appears it may be a problem with the blogging software I've been using.

Until we can resolve this issue all blogging for Weekend Pundit will be done on this backup site. I will be making some format changes to add in the various links usually seen on the main site.

Thoughts On A Sunday

The leaf-peeping season is in full swing, with tourist traffic clogging the roads (and with it some truly clueless drivers doing dumb things behind the wheel), crowded restaurants, and full parking lots at the outlet malls. The farm stand at the farm where BeezleBub works was quite busy on Saturday, with a full parking lot forcing folks to park across the street on more than one occasion. (The stand doesn't close until the last weekend in October, but Columbus Day weekend is usually their 'last blast' in regards to high customer volume.)

While the color hasn't reached peak here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, it's pretty close. I saw a blaze of colors here and there as I was running errands over the past couple of days.


As I mentioned above, traffic has been very heavy. Both Deb and I experienced this first hand on Friday as we both had occasion to travel south of the lake for appointments, she in Manchester and me in Concord. The trips home for both of us were crazy. Deb told me that her trip home took much longer due to the back up of traffic heading into the tolls. It took her almost 45 minutes to reach the tolls once she reached the traffic backup a mile or so south of the tolls.

On my trip home I had to deal with three separate traffic jam ups at two different Interstate junctions and at a set of traffic lights on one of the state highways.

At least we aren't likely to see traffic like this again until Memorial Day or Fourth of July.


I have to say the 'Romney debated an empty chair' meme has grown legs, making the rounds even in nominally liberal publications. Even the New Yorker got into the act with a cover even I never thought I would see. I've seen variations on that cover art, too.

After reviewing the debate again (Thank goodness for our DVR!), I have to say that Obama voted “present” at the debate. But then that's how he's operated during most of the time he spent in various elective offices.


Further signs of California's internal rot: Another city on the verge of bankruptcy.

That which cannot go on, won't. This is a lesson municipalities all over the Golden State are learning the hard way. Now if only the state assembly and public employees unions in California were capable of learning the lesson before everything falls apart.


Gee, it's nice to see that David Starr agrees with me on this topic: get rid of farm subsidies.

Despite claims to the contrary, subsidies do not help small family farms. The receive few, if any of them. It is the big agri-businesses receiving almost all of them. Subsidies have far outlived their usefulness and do nothing but short-circuit market feedbacks and drive prices up. I can't think of a single farm product that actually requires subsidies in order to be produced. If some agricultural product can't survive without them then perhaps they shouldn't survive. They aren't economically viable and it isn't up to the taxpayers to support then through corporate welfare.

It's time for the agri-businesses to get off the government gravy-train and to stand on their own.


I have to admit I've been enjoying the Obama spin machine trying desperately trying to explain away Obama's dismal performance against Mitt Romney at their first debate, putting forth claims that the altitude affected him; he was distracted because of his anniversary; he had to deal the situation in the Libya/Egypt/Afghanistan; lack of sleep; lack of preparation time; (excuse du jour here).

One has to wonder whether it was because he really isn't what the MSM has been pumping him up to be and that the real Obama was on display sans teleprompter. The adoring crowds and entourage of sycophants could not shield him from the harsh light of reality shining down upon him to show him for what so many of us have been claiming for over four years: an empty suit.

Or to put it terms of the meme making the rounds these days, “The clothes have no emperor.”


A piece in the NYT covers a topic near and dear to my heart: fraudulent science papers.

While the Times piece covers retracted papers in the biomedical and life sciences disciplines, I have no doubt it isn't limited to just those two areas of study. (AGW, anyone?)

Some papers are retracted due to errors discovered after they've been submitted or published, a not uncommon occurrence. But it turns out in a study of 2,047 retracted papers, over three-quarters of them had been retracted due to 'misconduct'.

The article doesn't go on to say what percent of all papers published can be considered fraudulent, so at the moment we have no means to measure how widespread the problem might be.

I'd like to think it's a small problem. I really would. Yup. A small problem. But then I start thinking about Climategate versions 1.0 and 2.0 and how much corruption was involved in vetting seriously flawed papers and articles for inclusion in various publications.

Draw your own conclusions.


Bogie would really like to share our previous 10 days of dark and wet weather with the folks out in the West still having problems with wildfires.

So would I.

A lot of end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall chores were left undone because of the wet weather conditions. (Yes, we had a few warm and sunny days in there, but not enough to dry things out sufficiently for me to complete the 'dry weather' chores.)


Tom Bowler points us to and comments upon a WSJ piece covering the real cost of ObamaCare.

While the conclusions are not surprising to those of us who have been paying attention (and particularly those of us who actually spent the time reading this abortion of a bill), it certainly has surprised the hell out of those who are just now finding out what it's really going to cost.


The sun peaked out late this afternoon, inducing me to fire up the Official Weekend Pundit Gas Grill and grill some burgers. It had been kind of gloomy all day so the brief period of sunshine was welcome.

While some folks will soon be putting their grills under cover until some time late next spring, we will be using ours all throughout the winter. It will require us to move it to one of the other decks because we seal off the slider leading to the main deck for the winter. (I have never come across a slider that seals all that well so we get out the heat shrink and cover it once we get into the colder weather.)

Not that we can actually use it all winter. On those days when it's below zero it can't put out enough heat to cook anything, but it can be used all the rest of the time.


So far the game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos has been pretty good. (It's half time as I write this.) It isn't a blowout by either team, making for a much more interesting game.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the leaf peepers are here in droves, the weather has been up and down, and I have the day off tomorrow!


Five Easily Debunked Economic Claims From The Obama Campaign

By way of Glenn Reynolds comes this article from Investor's Business Daily showing how the Obama campaign is based upon 5 phony economic claims, all easily debunked.

Obama's claims:

The Bush tax cuts and deregulation caused the recession.

I stopped a second Great Depression.

My policies are working.

A slow recover was inevitable.

Nobody could have done any better.

Let's take a look at two of my favorites, being the first and last claims on the list. First, the first claim:

The Bush tax cuts and deregulation caused the recession.

It's a standard Obama talking point. But it's not true. Bush's tax cuts did not cause the last recession.

In fact, once they were fully in effect in 2003, they sparked stronger growth — generating more than 8 million new jobs over the next four years, and GDP growth averaging close to 3%.

Those tax cuts didn't explode the deficit, either, as Obama frequently claims. Deficits steadily declined after 2003, until the recession hit.

Most of the deregulation that Obama blames on Bush took place during Clinton administration. If anything, regulation grew during Bush's time in office. Obama needs to retire this phony claim as it's too easy to prove it's false.

In regards to the last claim – Nobody could have done any better – I have only this to say:

I could have done better than you! I have a modicum of understand about how an economy works, how improper and overreaching regulations can hurt businesses large and small, and that punishing success and rewarding sloth and failure get you less of the first and more of the second, neither of which helps the economy. My wife and I have actually run a business, dealt with the headaches such a thing entails, worried about paying the bills and taxes, meeting a payroll, and dealing with an ever increasing litany of more intrusive (and expensive) regulations that affected our business. While you, on the other hand, haven't run so much as a lemonade stand. (But you did manage to piss away $110 million in Annenberg Foundation funds with nothing to show for it.)

And if you need even more ammunition to debunk the claims made by The One, there's this graphic that does a pretty good job of explaining why none of his claims are anywhere near the truth.

'Nuff said.


Post Debate Impressions

My two biggest impressions from the first Presidential Debate?

Obama constantly shaking his head 'no' as Romney spoke, and the one-way eye contact (Romney looked Obama in the eye as he spoke, but Obama looked at everyone but Romney as he spoke).

In regards to what was said, Obama constantly slammed Romney for not providing enough detail for his proposals even though Obama offered even less in the way of details when he first ran for President in 2008.

In Obama's Pocket

I happened to catch a snippet of ABC's World News and I could not believe what I was hearing.

To all intents and purposes, ABC has already declared Obama the winner in tonight's debate, a full 2-and-a-half hours before the debate has even started. George Stefanopoulos and Diane Sawyer gushed about Obama's commanding presence, how he is so good in a debate environment and that Romney appears weak in comparison.

Yet another bit of proof that the major media networks is firmly in the pocket of the Obama campaign.

I think that even should Romney crush Obama in the debate, ABC, CBS, and NBC will declare Obama the winner.


A View From Across The Pond...And A Response

I have been corresponding with friends in the UK, a couple of guys I met earlier this year who work for my company's European affiliate. We've become fast friends.

One of the latest rounds of e-mail turned away from some of the goings on with our families and at work and turned towards politics, specifically the race for the White House here in the US. This exchange inspired me to post portions of our e-mails. If nothing else it gives us an outsider's view of what they see happening here. It also gave me a chance to post a warning about what they see and hear coming from the US.

I won't bore you with things that are only of import to my friends and I.

Here's what “S” sent in response to an e-mail I sent over the weekend.

I have been reading quite a bit about your election campaigns. I am really surprised by the bias on FOX towards one party and other places towards the other. Do you have any public unbiased news reporters like we have in the UK (BBC)? It seems very important to me to be able to see larger perspective when it comes to this stuff to make your educated decisions. Is NH Republican or Democratic? International polls (outside US) suggest over 80% want Obama to win again, including me actually from what I have read. But internally it is always so close!

First and foremost his belief that the BBC is unbiased amused me. I didn't disabuse him of that belief. I also find it interesting that international polls seem to say that 'we', meaning Americans, want Obama to win again. Not even close.

My reply:

As far as the presidential campaigns are concerned, most of us ignore the media as none of them are trustworthy when it comes to politics. As much as some folks may bash Fox News for being too conservative, the other media outlets are just as far on the other end of the political spectrum. We don't expect the truth from any of them. They've all replaced reporting with editorializing masquerading as reporting, something that started back in the 1970's and has only gotten worse since then.

As much as the media has been playing up Obama's likely re-election, he isn't well liked here. I'll admit I didn't vote for him during the last election in 2008, but once he won I was more than willing to give him a chance. He's been a big disappointment.

With two exceptions he hasn't kept a single promise he made and the only ones he kept were the ones to make energy prices 'necessarily' skyrocket, which has seriously crippled an already rocky economy, and has managed to destroy the health care system by bringing it under even heavier government control. (Health care costs have increased by 50% but the availability and quality of care has decreased and is expected to decline even more than it already has.)

A lot of Americans don't like that he's insulted our allies (including the UK), run an "Apologize for America for being America" tour around the world, has been unwilling to deal with crucial foreign policy issues (he'd rather play golf), has shown he has no regard for the rule of law, ignores Congress and the Supreme Court, and worst of all, has not one bit of understanding of how the economy works.

Sorry, I've gone off on a political rant, and that's just plain rude of me. All I can say is don't believe half of what you read about what's going on here, and less than half of what you see on the telly in regards to the political silliness we're forced to suffer through until November 6th (Election Day). The truth is no one really knows what the outcome is going to be, the pollsters notwithstanding. As the saying goes, the only poll that counts is the one the voters will deal with on Election Day.

One of the biggest issues that most folks across the political spectrum agree upon is that Obama brought Mob-style Chicago politics to Washington, a place that was already a pit of vipers, and made it even worse, something no one wanted or needed.

It's going to be interesting around here over the next 5 weeks.

And “S's” response:

Wow, it’s good to hear an insider’s perspective! It will certainly be interesting, I hope you get the outcome you want!

I have noticed the extensive slagging match between the two. Rather than talking about the good they can do, they often talk more about the bad the others would do! That is completely justifiable, to a point. That’s how some of the websites portray it anyway, as you said, they try to make a total meal of any slight quote that could be in ones favour. I was also surprised when I was in the US at some of the election campaigns during the TV ad-breaks. Really harsh! But as long as it is the truth, the truth never hurts.

I sent in return:

There are times when I wish the candidates would square off in the boxing ring and slug it out. It would be far more entertaining! One of the big problems with many of the TV ads is that they're very good at distorting the truth, using sound bites or excerpts taken out of context to change the meaning of the words. Both sides use that tactic, unfortunately.

One of the biggest brouhahas over that kind of ad made the rounds here recently when a private meeting was recorded and then the recording used in an attack ad. That's bad enough. It's how it was massaged that caused a backlash. If you closed your eyes and listened to what was said you hear something quite different from the text displayed on the screen. It took something truthful and twisted it to seem like an insult to many Americans. The words spoken didn't match the words displayed on the screen. But people will pay more attention to what's on the screen rather than what they hear.

Of course some folks can never be convinced that "their" guy may be a bum. It doesn't matter what party they support, they seem incapable of changing their views no matter what.

And so it goes.

My friend is amazed at the vitriol seen in the TV ads. It has become all too common and is more the focus of every ad out there. The so-called positive campaign barely exists any more and just about everyone running for office at the state and federal level from both parties seem to revel in it. Facts go out the window, ads use references that, when checked out, don't say what the ads imply. (I think that the 'references' are included just to make it seem as if the accusation is legitimate.) When fact checkers for the Washington Post, a bastion of liberal think for decades, is slamming one Obama claim after another made against Romney for being untrue, you know it's gotten bad.

I can't wait for this to be over.