Thoughts On A Sunday

The bout of good weather continues here in the Lakes Region, with sunny and warm days being the rule rather than the exception. While the humidity hasn't kicked in yet, it will make its presence known during the week. It's a good thing that BeezleBub got the rest of the air conditioners put in to their appropriate windows last week as I think we're going to need them.


Summer is now in full swing with the last schools having closed for the summer a little over a week ago. The beaches are full, the lake is seeing a lot of boats, summer food venues are open and are not wanting for customers, and I've heard more than a few fireworks shows over the weekend.

It's also time for a lot of road repair/construction, something we've been seeing all over the area. Many of the roads are receiving badly needed repairs after the harsh winter tore them up. Some of the roads in my neighborhood are being repaved for the first time in 20 years because they can no longer be patched. (In some cases the road is nothing but patches!) A dangerous intersection in my town is being reconstructed to help decrease the number of traffic accidents due to limit visibility. The state is also patching up and repaving highways, working around the summer tourist traffic.

As one of the jokes here goes, there are four seasons here: Winter, More Winter, Even More Winter, and Construction. This year that old joke is closer to the truth than many would care to admit.


I overheard a conversation while at one of the stops I made while running some errands yesterday. The topic of discussion was about how “there's an increasing amount of severe weather being seen” on the news every day. One of the parties involved in the conversation then laid the blame on global warming.

I have a retort to that explanation: It merely appears there's more severe weather, not because there is but because what was once regional news is now national and it's instant. NOAA records show the amount of severe weather has actually been decreasing steadily since the 1950's (or earlier). But with the 24/7 news cycle, the instant availability of amateur video, and better news-gathering abilities, it only appears that is the case. Weather events that might have only received a small blurb in the big city papers or a passing mention on TV news are now seen in high definition color and computer generated graphics five minutes after it happens.

But as we all know, perception is reality and the perception being put forth by the news media is that there are more severe weather events than we've ever seen before. But the reality is that it's not the case.


Jason Riley asks one of the most important question in regards to the government assistance to minorities and the poor: “At what point does helping start hurting?”

We've gone well past that point starting back in 1965, but Riley believes it started well before then, starting with the federal minimum wage laws.

“Up to the 1930s,” Riley says, “black Americans had a lower unemployment rate than white Americans. Up to the 1950s, the unemployment rates were roughly the same. But for the last five decades, black unemployment has been roughly double the white rate.

“And the turning point,” he says, “was in the 1930s, when Congress passed minimum-wage laws.”

He’s similarly scathing about those who tout the minimum wage as an antidote to poverty. “For most black households,” he says, “the problem isn’t a worker not earning enough. The problem is no one in the household has a job.”

In case you're wondering, Riley is black, a conservative, who came to his views as a college student. Of course that makes him a traitor to the Progressive narrative because he's not touting even more government 'help' for the poor oppressed minorities. But it is those same people who might condemn Riley who continue to push the same broken and deceptive agenda that keeps those very same minorities “in their place.”


Megan McArdle has two related posts dealing with three recent Supreme Court decisions.

Her first deals with the Aereo decision, which she believes used the Rumpelstiltskin Gambit to get around copyright law. As she states, “That’s not to say that this ruling was inevitable; I could have seen it going the other way.” As could have I and many others.

The second deals with the Court decisions slapping down Obama's 'recess' appointments when the Senate wasn't in recess and overturning a Massachusetts law that restricted free speech on public property by mandating protestors outside abortion clinics must keep at least 35 feet away from the entrances, even if those entrances were on public sidewalks. Here too she references the Rumpelstiltskin Gambit as a reason for the SCOTUS decisions.


As David Starr reminds us, it's not the number of executive orders the President issues, it's what's in them.

I have no problem with settling bureaucratic turf battles by executive order. I do have a problem with over riding Congressional votes by executive order.

The second is something the present occupant of the White House seems to have no problem with at any level.


Since when do gun-grabbing Democrats care when the 'statistics' they use to put forth their gun control agenda is so full of holes that if it were a boat it would sink right to the bottom? Never, if history is any indicator. Looking at their statistics, their definition of school shootings is so broad as to be meaningless.

From my reading, it appears that if gunshots can heard on the grounds of a school it can be considered a school shooting. By that definition our town has suffered hundreds of school shootings every year when the local sportsman's club has their shooting range open or when some of the local police officers are practicing at our town's police shooting range. It doesn't matter that both shooting ranges are on the other side of town.


Eric the Viking comments upon Chris Cillizza's analysis of why the people don't trust the news media.

What does Cillizza expect? For years most of the media has been editorializing the news rather than reporting it. The people know when they're being preached to rather than informed. Trivial events are blown out of proportion while important events are trivialized, or worse, are 'disappeared' because they don't fit in with the political leanings of the media outlet.

As an aside, have you noticed how the newspapers and TV news shows that are tanking in circulation and viewership happen to be very liberal and the same that are doing well tend to be conservative?

And then there's this: Drudge says the “news business is 'psychotic' now.”


Moonbattery asks us some really important questions about Global Hotcoldwetdry, including video.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


JustOneMinute addresses the question of the definition of “rich”, which appears to be “someone else”. Personally I've always thought the left defines it as “anyone with a job we can tax into oblivion.”


Mike at Cold Fury questions the patriotism of the Left. As Mike writes:

Of course, it’s because of their puerile, adolescent conception of themselves as “citizens of the world,” for whom patriotic sentiment is gauche and “unsophisticated,” the ugly habit of unevolved Neanderthals and such. How they square this with their insistence on “tolerance” and “respect” for gay-murdering, woman-subjugating, child-mutilating “religious” fanatics is another question entirely.



Call this yet another example of Democrat “Do as we say, not as we do” policies.

None of this surprises me as I've been watching it happen since I was in junior high school and became aware of politics.


I have to agree with Roger Kimball's observations about the rot of intolerance at Swarthmore.

For institutions of higher learning who spout off about “diversity” and “tolerance”, the reality is far too often just the opposite, and Swarthmore College is no different in that regard. What's ironic is that neither the faculty or the students are aware of the cognitive dissonance of their mutually exclusive viewpoints. Then again, deep thinking has never been a characteristic of many of those afflicted august institutions.


I knew the time was coming, but I tried to put it off as long as I could.

Deb's computer, a machine we bought 7 years ago, has finally reached the end of its useful life, at least as a Windows machine. With the end of support for Windows XP and the computer's inability to handle Windows 7, it was decided it was time for us to replace it. I placed the order earlier today and included a new monitor as the existing one has been having problems of late.

While the new computer is by no means a bleeding edge machine (it's not even close), it is more than capable of handling Windows 7 64-bit handily. Most of Deb's computing consists of web surfing, e-mail, writing papers, paying bills, balancing our accounts, and some light gaming.

The old computer will be repurposed after reformatting the drive and installing Linux. (For general use I prefer Linux Mint as it seems less daunting to Linux neophytes than some of the other versions I've been using.)

Thinking back, the new computer will have more than 6 times the power and speed than the one it's replacing, yet costs less than what we spent on the old computer, not even taking inflation into account. That price includes the new monitor, something we didn't need to buy 7 years ago.

Computers are indeed commodity appliances these days, just as predicted by the folks at Xerox PARC over 30 years ago.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summer weather is here to stay, preparations for the Fourth are under way, and where I can hear the beach calling my name....


Reid's Move For An Anti-Koch Amendment Will Kill Free Speech

At first glance while looking out of the corner of your eye while blinking, the proposed amendment to the constitution put forth by Senate Democrats looks..umm...funny. (Funny 'strange', not funny 'Ha ha'.) When you take a closer look it's easy to see what it really is is a means of Democrats silencing the GOP or any other party they don't like. It is what has come to be called the “Anti-Koch Amendment” and it doesn't bode well for our nation that the Leftists in the Senate believe this is a good idea. (Well, it is....for them.)

Harry Reid's absolute hatred for the Koch brothers is something he has never hidden from anyone. That he is openly hypocritical about what little money they have actually contributed compared to Democrat multibillionaires Steyer and Soros doesn't seem to bother him in the least. It is only those who wish to contribute to conservative candidates or causes that will be banned from doing so.

While the chance of any such amendment making it out of the Senate is extremely slim unless he somehow 'convinces' a good number of GOP senators to vote for it, it will die in the House because there's no way it will receive the required two-thirds vote in the House. And even, by some dark miracle, it did, does Reid really think 3/4ths of the states will ratify such a amendment that will literally gut the First Amendment?

Like many in the comments to the linked post have stated, what it appears to be is posturing by the Democrats in an effort to boost their chances in the mid-term elections this November, trying to show the low-information voters that they're trying to keep big money out of politics. But those who pay attention will realize that all it will do is keep any money to support non-Democrats out of politics. For the Democrats it will be business as usual, collecting millions in contributions from the Steyers/Soroses and their ilk, funding the Leftist agenda of the party.

Silencing the opposition always works...until it doesn't. And then there's usually hell to pay.


Observation Of The Day

While this comes from the comments of an otherwise interesting post over at Watts Up With That, it covers the mindset that we see all to often when it comes to controversial and politically charged issues.

The 2 reactions our fellow (but unthinking and/or uneducated) humans usually have when confronted by topics they don’t understand but somehow get convinced are important, seem to be:

1) Pseudo intellectual – people actually convince themselves they understand the “essence” of the issue, and consider their uninformed/uneducated opinion to be as valid as that of any “expert” in the subject.

2) Witch doctor – whomever scares them the most wins, especially if it’s a trivial but apocalyptic explanation.

Both of these reactions involve over-developed self esteem and loss of faith in “experts”.

Goodness knows I've seen both again and again over the decades.

When it comes to the first, the less they know about the subject, the more they pontificate about it and the louder (and more profane) they become. At some point they invoke Godwin's Law and you know any chance of debate is over, as if it existed to begin with.

As to the second, fear is a great motivator. But as always, when fear takes over the truth of the facts become meaningless, and again any chance of rational debate is gone.

If nothing else these two reactions show the outcome of falsely building self-esteem, a virus that infected our public schools a couple of decades ago and continues to plague us to this day.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The 91st Annual Laconia Motorcycle Week is winding down. After a week of great weather I think I can safely say it was one of the better ones I've seen in a while.

It appeared traffic was down, but only at the 'center' of Bike Week, Weirs Beach. But bike traffic was great all throughout the state as the visiting bikers took the opportunity to ride the highways and back roads across the state. Officials estimate about 300,000 motorcycle enthusiasts visited New Hampshire over the past 9 days.


BeezleBub and Horse Girl attended an after-work First Day Of Summer gathering at the farm which included food, drink, music, and a fire in a fire pit. The local fire department also took part as someone apparently mistook the fire in the pit for a fire at the farm and called 911. It might have had something to do with the fire being a bit larger than usual (but still safe), visible from the state highway that passes nearby the farm.

Farmer Andy did have a fire permit, the conditions being a little dry, and all was well.

Still, it's nice to know someone is keeping an eye out for unusual events. Better safe than sorry.

Oh, yeah, BeezleBub and Horse Girl had a great time.


It seems someone in Congress is paying attention, stymieing the Pentagon's plans to kill the A-10 Warthog, one of the most effective and devastating close air support aircraft to ever fly. While the USAF is claiming they can save approximately $3 billion by eliminating the A-10, they also state that it will take about $35 billion more to get its purported replacement, the F35 Joint Strike Fighter, on line and ready to fly.

This isn't the first time the USAF has tried to kill off the A-10, that being just prior Desert Storm. But the A-10 proved to be so effective that they canceled their plans to 'retire' it. I guess it just wasn't sexy enough or high tech enough for the higher ups in the Air Force even though it was the most effective close air support aircraft ever.


A Harvard staffer adds his 2¢ to the “rape culture” debate, opining that the meme is seriously flawed and out of control, helping no one, generating nothing but a lot of acrimony, the result of two clashing principles and the reality that conflicts with those principles.

Feminism is in control of America’s colleges and universities, where its principles at least are held as dogmas unquestioned and unopposed. Yet in what should be a paradise with those principles at work, women speak of a “rape culture” that sounds like the patriarchal hell we thought we’d left behind.

To look at the principles of feminism will help to understand the situation. Two of them are most relevant: that there is no essential difference between men and women, and the corollary that men and women are not real beings but arbitrary “social constructions” containing nothing “natural” or permanent. Then the second has the function of guiding the construction of a society in which women’s independence will be secured. The two are maintained without proof and to the exclusion of doubt, and are not subjected to debate.

The trouble is that the two do not work in concert. The unintended result is that women are defined by their listeners, by their desire to imitate men, not by themselves. The feminist desire for independence is defeated by the feminist principle of social construction that was designed and adopted to achieve it.

He goes on to pull apart the arguments put forth by modern feminists (not to be confused with classic feminists), showing that what they want isn't going to be achievable not because of the “patriarchy”, but because of their own flawed perceptions and refusal to accept human nature. They put forth conflicting and mutually exclusive ideals and then wonder why they aren't getting their way, or worse, see a backlash.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.


Cap'n Teach gives us a twofer, with two posts dealing with climate change alarmists and how they're putting forth their agenda even though real world data tells us (and them) they're wrong.

The first equates the moves by the AGW faithful to an old style Mafia “protection” racket.

The second delves into the efforts of Jon Stewart to convert climate skeptics into climate change alarmists. (Talk about a major #FAIL!)


The “dog ate my e-mails” excuse proffered by the IRS sounded fishy from the get go. Now it turns out there were offsite third-party backups of IRS e-mails, something the IRS conveniently forgot to mention to Congress. What we don't know is if they backed up all IRS e-mails or just those from certain offices or districts.

I hope the subpoenas are on their way before those backups mysteriously disappear, too.

(H/T Instapundit)


Tom Bowler adds his thought about the “dog ate my e-mails” excuse, and he's not buying it either.

It so happens that the emails requested by Ways and Means included Lerner's communications with the White House, the Treasury Department, the Department of Justice, the Federal Elections Commission and the offices of congressional Democrats. Just those communications, for just that particular time period when the IRS was admittedly targeting Tea Party and conservative groups, are the ones that the IRS now claims were lost because of the crash. How is that possible?

If she did indeed e-mail others in those departments and agencies, then wouldn't they have backups of the e-mails they received from Lerner as well as any replies they might have sent? Or did the dog eat those e-mails, too?


Another thing to remember about the IRS scandal, something history should have taught the alleged perpetrators: The cover-up is usually worse than the crime.

It wasn't the Watergate break-in the brought Richard Nixon down, but the cover up. Like Santayana said, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”



What he said.


And what he said.


What he said, too.


Assistant Village Idiot delves into the subject of accents, something near and dear to my heart. As AVI writes, accents can give the wrong impression about someone's intelligence or worth. (As I've heard more than once from some of our Southern brethren, “Just because I speak slow doesn't mean I'm stupid.”)

I have no problem with them, be they regional accents here in the US or foreign accents. (I grew up around a lot of people with foreign accents – English was their second or third language – so I usually have little problem with them even if their English isn't all that great.) I can mimic most American accents as well as the variety of British accents. I can even pull off an Australian accent..at least for a little while. Of course my favorites are the N'Hampsha and Down East Maine accents. They're great for storytelling, making the stories much more humorous. Or at least I hope so.


I have to admit to not linking to Mike of Cold Fury more often. I used to link his stuff all the time, but for some reason my visits to his blog dwindled away to once in a while even though his stuff is pretty darned good. So in order to rectify that failing on my part, I'm going to link to this piece about Liberty versus Equality.

...[I]t’s worth pausing to admire anew the very different, and very realistic, modesty underlying Thomas Jefferson’s deathless declaration that all men are created equal. We are equal, he went on to explain, in having the same God-given rights that no one can legitimately take away from us. But Jefferson well knew that one of those rights—to pursue our own happiness in our own way—would yield wildly different outcomes for individuals. Even this most radical of the Founding Fathers knew that the equality of rights on which American independence rests would necessarily lead to inequality of condition. Indeed, he believed that something like an aristocracy would arise—springing from talent and virtue, he ardently hoped, not from inherited wealth or status.

Of course the Left wants equality of outcome, something entirely different from what Jefferson hoped for us. We have seen such egalitarian “utopias” in the past and without fail Every. Single. One. turned out to be a totalitarian society where everyone one was equally miserable, equally poor, and equally under the boot of government. Two still exist in the Western Hemisphere – Cuba and Venezuela – and they are such good examples of why we should strive to stay as far away from turning the US into yet another egalitarian hellhole as we can.


Fire Andrea Mitchell has a great comparison between the first week sales of Hillary's book versus Sarah Palin's.

They ain't even close.

Which one sold more books? Do I really need to answer that?


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the sound of motorcycles has faded away until next year, traffic is slowly returning to normal, and where the yard work is never really done.


Preserving The Feminist Narrative

I suppose we must call this a case of “Must protect the narrative even if it's false” by the feminist arm of the progressive movement.

In this case a piece in Ms. magazine repeats the canard that “one in five” women on college campuses are sexually assaulted on the very first line of the article. Never mind that claim is based upon very iffy data, questionable math, and an overly broad interpretation of the term. It all goes down hill from there.

While I am not trying to diminish the problem of sexual assault by any means, whether on campus or off, the colleges have gone way off the rails both in defining it and dealing with allegations of sexual assault, much of this at the behest of the Dear Colleague letter from the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. That letter basically gave colleges carte blanche to redefine sexual assault in ways that would take an expert in abnormal psychology to unravel (assuming they didn't give up in frustration) and to institute a hearing system that is nothing more than a kangaroo court, denying an accused offender any means of defending themselves. With no means of mounting a defense, all that's required for conviction is an allegation because the burden of proof is incredibly low. It's one of the reasons more colleges are finding themselves on the receiving end of lawsuits by 'convicts'. But that doesn't seem to bother Emily Shugerman, author of the Ms. piece.

A handful of male students are suing their universities, claiming that they were falsely accused of sexual assault and unjustly punished by their college’s judicial system. Cases have been filed against Occidental College, Columbia University, Xavier University, Duke, Vassar and more. Most colleges adjudicate sexual assault cases as they would other serious disciplinary infractions: with a trial conducted by a panel of professors and administrators. This system is meant to protect victims from the time-consuming and potentially traumatizing process of a criminal trial.

First, Ms. Shugerman doesn't see the either the danger or the hypocrisy of granting institutions that are not part of the judicial system the power to adjudicate what are in fact criminal cases. No such power can be granted to any non-governmental agency or institution, particularly by a department within the Executive Branch of government. It would take an amendment to the US Constitution and an act of Congress to do so. Then again we're dealing with an administration that has already shown its contempt of the constitution and the rule of law, so the Dear Colleague letter certainly makes sense in that regard. With the lack of due process protections in these extra-legal 'courts', is it any wonder there's a push back by a number of men convicted?

Second, Ms. Shugerman doesn't address the laughable definition of sexual assault, either because she hasn't looked into it or has chosen to ignore it. In either case, her discounting that factor weakens her argument that the colleges are taking the right course of action. The definitions can be so vague and all encompassing that a somewhat salacious invitation to go out can be considered sexual assault. Are college women really that thin skinned? Apparently so.

Third, Ms. magazine allowed one token comment with an opposing view. Others were deleted. How do I know this? It's simple, really: Mine was deleted. I have no doubt there may have been others but we'll never know because they never appeared. (Comments are moderated and don't appear until approved.) I also found that I have been banned from commenting because all of my follow up comments were never saw light of day, not even informing me whether they were waiting moderation. So much for having an open discussion. However, I did manage to save a copy of my original comment just in case it disappeared into the bit-bucket.

With the definition of sexual assault being so widely defined ("I didn't like the fact that he asked me out. It made me feel uncomfortable!") as to become meaningless, how can one possibly defend one's self against an allegation of an offense? To say there is due process when there is no means of conducting a competent investigation, no means of deposing witnesses, no means of verifying the allegations, and no right to cross-examine any witnesses or contest evidence, is at best a delusion and at worse a canard.

To say that these 'crimes' are being handled in the same fashion as other disciplinary problems on campuses is a stretch of the imagination. Under the sanction of the "Dear Colleague" letter, the only evidence the offense took place is the allegation. No proof is required. The defendant is guilty as accused. If the colleges handled it in a fashion that allowed true investigation and due process, then the 50.01% 'proof' might be enough. But since they aren't, the 'judicial' actions put forth by the colleges are nothing more than a DOE sanctioned kangaroo court. Truth need not apply.

One more thing: Why does the author insist on using the long discredited "one in five" statistic? It has been disproven more than once, the methodology being poor and the analysis so fraught with errors as to be laughable.

Maybe it was my last paragraph that doomed my comment to oblivion despite including a link that looked into that oft-quoted statistic and found it wanting.

Like any claim like that, if it's repeated again and again as if it's true, eventually becomes true, even if it is indeed a lie. Because it serves the narrative, anyone questioning its veracity is accused of sanctioning rape and being part of the “Rape Culture” so decried by radical feminists.

What a travesty. Is it any wonder there is a backlash? Is it any wonder more men are going their own way, refusing to become nothing more than a scapegoat for everything that is wrong in women's lives?


Has Pay TV Reached A Tipping Point?

One more than one occasion I have pontificated over the growing dissatisfaction with cable TV rates, something that only seems to know one direction: Up.

While some lay the blame at the feet of the cable companies, it is the content providers who must shoulder the blame. It is they, after all, who have the greatest effect on cable TV subscription rates. All the cable companies do is pass on the cost, so as what they are charged by the content providers goes up, so does what you pay to the cable companies.

While some can try to make the argument that the cable companies should be able to absorb the costs, and in the past they have, there is little more they can do in that regard because their profit margin on video has shrunk to the point that there's no more they can absorb. The content providers haven't quite realized that they've already reached the point of diminishing returns as every time they raise the cost of their programming, the more subscribers they lose. Eventually it will reach the point where every rise in what they charge for their programming will bring in less money. For some, that point has been reached.

One content provider, Viacom, wanted such large rate increases that a number of smaller cable companies balked. Sixty rural cable companies have decided it isn't worth carrying Viacom's programming, which includes such channels as MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and others. Instead of caving in to Viacom's demands for more money, the cable companies decided they would no longer carry their channels.

Viacom demanded a large rate increase for programming rights and a deal was eventually cut between them and NCTC. Apparently a fair number of rural cable operators said enough is enough with regards to the rate increases, and have decided to not renew their programming agreements.

According to the WSJ report, the moves have resulted in about 900K subscribers no longer having access to Viacom programming. During the initial impasse, I’m aware of several rural cable companies who polled their subscribers to see if the Viacom channels were important enough to keep, given the much higher programming fees associated with them.

Both sides seem to agree that pulling the content is a non-issue. Viacom says the disconnected subscribers represent less than 1% of their audience and are somewhat immaterial. The cable companies who have moved on without Viacom report little customer backlash. “My customers have proven to me that they are OK without it,” Chris Lovell, general manager of Coaxial Cable of Pennsylvania told the WSJ. Coaxial reports losing less than 1% of their customers due to the loss of Viacom programming.

While 900,000 lost customers may not seem like much to Viacom, it should be a troubling indicator that they may have pushed too far. How many more cable companies will balk the next time Viacom or other cable content providers raise their rates beyond the cable companies ability to sustain? Considering more alternatives are coming on line every day, one would think the content providers might want to rethink their business plan. Like the cable operators mentioned above, how many subscribers will actually miss the channels, particularly if their cable bill goes down?

High cable TV rates have already driven many to “cut the cord”, dropping their cable or satellite TV service and using streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and a host of others to get their TV programming at a fraction of the cost. As rates continue to climb this trend may grow.

One thing that I find interesting is that a growing number of TV viewers are going retro, installing outdoor TV antennas to receive over-the-air broadcasts rather than keeping their pay TV service. One of my co-workers has done that, finding that he can receive more than a dozen TV channels. Between that and video streaming over the 'Net, he can find just about everything he wants.


Local Progressive Shows The Breadth Of Their Ignorance

As has been said by those much wiser than I, one cannot reason with someone who has none. And so it is with some of the more vocal progressives who spend an inordinate amount of time telling us how mean, nasty, greedy, and racist we are because we don't agree with their ideology. Of course it seems that it is they who exhibit the very traits they decry, never realizing just how hypocritical they are.

One of the local big-mouthed/small-brained variety of progressives has been lecturing us ad nauseum about how to fix the problems of poverty, particularly if the greedy business owners would be willing to just give all of their employees more pay. Much of this 'advice' is aimed at the service industry, meaning restaurants, stores, hotels, and so on.

But as usual she puts forth straw man arguments to bolster the correctness of her viewpoint, choosing to ignore the economic realities of what she's proposing.

Take a good look around and notice the age range of the employees. Ask them if they are free to speak with you for a couple of minutes without fear of 'being caught'. Ask about their hourly wages, or if they have any medical and dental benefits, vacation time, or personal leave.

Go a step further. Make appointments with the store managers. Let them know that you'd be interested in working for their company. Fill out an application and take whatever test is required. Ask about their wage and benefit package. Ask how they designate part-time and full-time employees. Oh, and don't forget to ask if they are unionized.

I particularly liked that last line: “Don't forget to ask if they are unionized.” As if that is actually going to indicate anything other than they are behind the times. Unions rarely work on the behalf of the rank and file. They work for what benefits the union leaders and rarely take into account the actual wishes of the people they represent. (I say this as a former 20-year member of a labor union. They are not your friends.)

While this clueless person brings up the age of the employees, she should ask why most of them tend to be older. Could it be that older workers are more reliable than teens and are, quite frankly, worth what they're being paid? Could it also be that many of those older folks would be more than happy to work jobs that weren't low-paying if the Obama Administration and at least one of the preceding administrations hadn't worked so hard to make better paying middle class jobs disappear by creating huge incentives for business to move many of the good jobs overseas by creating disincentives to keep their operations here in the US? She and her ilk rarely mention that little item when they talk about jobs, do they? Or if they do, they lay the blame on NAFTA which in fact helped create more jobs here in the US.

By proposing to raise the minimum wage to an unsustainable and arbitrarily high level, this loudmouth thinks all of our problems will be solved. But all one has to do to see the falsehood of that belief is to look to Washington state, particularly Seattle and the Seattle-Tacoma area where the minimum wage is headed up to $15/hour. (It's already there in the SeaTac area.) What's been the effects? Lost jobs, lost benefits, shorter work weeks, and a lot of full-time jobs being turned into part-time jobs. In hotels and restaurants tipping has all but disappeared. Free meals to employees are a thing of the past. Some employees in the local hotels now have to pay for parking that was once part of their compensation. Businesses have decide not to expand, with some leaving the area altogether. The price of artificially raising the cost of labor is less jobs because those jobs have been priced outside what business owners can afford to pay.

But wait, there's more!

Compared with other developed countries our wages and benefits are an outright insult to lower and middle class working families. It used to be that if someone worked hard they would be able to make a good living, increase their financial standing, and be able to pass on a better life to their children.

This pompous ass then goes on to (yet again) lay the blame solely at the feet of Republican lawmakers, choosing to ignore that many of the problems were created by members of their own political party, passing laws, rules, and regulations that kept making it more difficult to run a business, specifically a small business. Members of the Democrat party talk about protecting jobs, but kowtow to crony capitalists and rent-seekers who want to make sure no one can compete against them, which in the end costs jobs and causes higher prices. They labor under the false impression, one carefully crafted by their ideological masters, that wealth is a zero sum game, and all of their actions are based upon that mistaken belief. Ironically, one of their icons, John F. Kennedy, understood that wealth is dynamic, that it can shrink or grow, and that if it grows, that “rising tide” of growing wealth “raises all ships.”

But to this close-minded drone, the only way to achieve prosperity is for the government to mandate it. Never mind that every single time that has been tried over the past 400-some years, it has failed miserably and created more poverty, more want...and in the end, more death. What's ironic is that this progressive genius has never so much as run a lemonade stand, let alone any business...just like their progressive savior, Obama.

That right there says a lot.


Thoughts On A Sunday

This weekend marks the beginning of the 91st Annual Laconia Bike Week and it's quite evident from the roar of thousands of motorcycles as they travel the highways and byways here in the Lakes Region. It is also Father's Day, the traditional end of Bike Week, but the organizers decided to shift the beginning of the annual event since Fathers Day is so early this year. It's a good thing they did because the weather last week wasn't conducive to a good turnout, with rain on and off all week. But the weather this week looks like it's going to cooperate and give the ~300,000 expected to visit New Hampshire good weather all through the week.

Over the years the focus has shifted away from Weirs Beach, the traditional center of all Bike Week activities, and has spread all throughout New Hampshire, with additional activities taking place up in Conway and North Conway, the centers of many tourist activities in the Mount Washington Valley.

It looks like it's going to be a great week!


Speaking of Father's Day, I spent part of it with the WP Dad and my Dear Brother over at the WP Nephew's abode for a cookout in nearby Laconia.

At least knowing the back roads made it possible to avoid most of the bike traffic on the main roads.


It's Millah® Time, indeed!


I find it ironic that we may end up being allied with Iran in efforts to stop the ISIS jihadists from overrunning Iraq and turning it into a extremely fundamentalist Islamic state. The ISIS crowd is so extreme that even Al Qaeda wants nothing to do with them, which should tell you something about them.

That Iran wants to help Iraq defend itself against the ISIS extremists tells us that they are concerned that the ISIS insanity might cross the border to challenge their fundamentalist Islamic state. If Iran is worried about them, then so should we.


Honestly, this is what I thought might happen in a home populated with Internet connected devices.

While technological and scientific progress can be a wonderful thing, there are still times we must pause and ask the question “Should we?”

Should such a thing come to pass I think I'd prefer to remain in a technological backwater where no one but me can control the various electronic and electrical devices in my home, thank you very much. That I actually have to flip a switch or push a button is not an inconvenience to me.

The last thing I want is for someone to hack into my home and force me to watch endless reruns of The Gong Show.


We keep hearing about the so-called “Rape Culture” on college campuses. But it looks like the only ones being 'raped' on a regular basis are male students who end up in the college kangaroo courts where all that's needed for a conviction is an accusation. The backlash has started with more colleges and universities being sued by 'convicts', many of whom were expelled with little or no evidence that they had done anything wrong. I expect this list will grow by leaps and bounds as the “Dear Colleagues” letter continues to do damage to campus life and the colleges credibility...and bank accounts.

As they saying goes, punch back twice as hard. It's the only way to end this witch hunt.

(H/T Instapundit)


If we need yet another example of the insanity of the true believers in “rape culture”, then all we have to do is look how many of the loons involved with pushing this false narrative have pushed it even further by stating that “Only white men can rape.”

As Daniel Greenfield so aptly puts it, the social justice warriors have lost their minds. I don't know which reality these folks live in, but it sure as hell isn't the same one as the rest of us.

These folks have got to get back on their meds.


After reading this, I agree with those who believe it's time to defund and dismantle the EPA.

The EPA is a rogue agency, going so far outside its charter and its regulatory limits as to have become a criminal organization, just like the IRS. What's worse is that Obama is giving them as much leeway as they want, which to me indicates some of what they are doing is either at his behest or with his blessing.

The EPA is supposed to protect the environment from easily dealt with issues, not become a dictatorial behemoth which uses 'environmental protect' as its justification to do things which are not within its purview, and in some cases, are unconstitutional.

And if you need any more proof the EPA isn't interested in the truth, there's this. NOAA says this past winter was one of the coldest on record. The EPA says it was one of the warmest. Of the two, I am inclined to believe NOAA.

It sounds like the EPA is trying to justify taking over even more of our lives in the interest of “saving the Earth” from the predations of we Evil-Gaia-Hating-Humans.


I'm sorry, but this doesn't fit the Progressive Gun Grabber narrative: Gun Crimes Plummet As Gun Sales Soar.

That's something we've known here in New Hampshire for a long time. A lot of us own and carry guns, and we know how to use them. Some criminals may have guns, but I doubt they spend much time down at the local range practicing. At best I'd say their technique is more “Spray and Pray” than “One Shot, One Kill.” It might explain why we have one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.


I have written about the problem of low-information voters, but what about low-information representatives?

The money quote from New Hampshire State Representative Sandra Keans (D):

“I don’t try to justify anything by the Constitution, it’s not my job and I don’t want to do it”.

Umm, excuse me, but I'm pretty sure that her oath of office included a phrase stating “support and defend the constitution”, meaning both the state and US constitutions.

I guess we know what she thinks about the constitution and that she doesn't take her oath seriously. She is yet another Progressive Obama Democrat showing her true colors. This type of 'representation' we don't need.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the roar of motorcycles signal an inflow of tourist cash, the roads are going to be crowded, and where returning to work on Monday will seem like a vacation.


Is Cheap Fusion On The Horizon?

One of my favorite 'alternative' energy technologies is back in the news after a hiatus. It wasn't that nothing has been happening on that front, but that the U.S. Navy wanted to keep progress on this possible energy source out of the eyes of the media.

It appears polywell fusion is still alive and well. First theorized by physicist Harold Grad back in the 50's and pursued by the late physicist Robert Bussard until his death in 2007, polywell fusion could well be the means by which we finally achieve the holy grail in nuclear power: a fusion reaction that generates more energy than it takes initiate fusion, the so-called break even point. Since Bussard's death, other scientists have continued his research.

While not the only approach to fusion, it may well be the least expensive and easiest to build. Two other major fusion efforts, magnetic plasma containment in Europe and laser fusion in the US, have each spent billions trying to achieve the break even point. Polywell fusion, on the other hand, has spent somewhere on the order of double digit millions, with the last funding round of only $12 million provided by the U.S. Navy.

In comparison, Polywell fusion is a bargain-basement technology. It combines two design concepts: One of the concepts involves an unorthodox containment device that's called a Wiffle-Ball, because the magnetic field pattern produced by the reactor looks like the well-known perforated plastic ball. The other concept is the Farnsworth fusor, which uses a high-voltage cage to direct beams of ions to a fusion reaction. Fusor technology is so well-understood that a teenager could do it.

The late physicist Robert Bussard worked for decades to try to show Polywell fusion could work, using a variety of Wiffle-Ball configurations. Just before his death in 2007, he claimed that he was getting close to solving the challenge with his WB-6 device.

A follow-on to Bussard's WB-6 reactor was built – WB-7 – and the results of testing with that device have validated Bussard's WB-6 results. That means that so far, Bussard's calculations have scaled up exactly as he predicted. EMC2 Fusion Development Corporation is now seeking funding to build the WB-8 reactor to continue Bussard's work.

Should polywell fusion work as has been theorized, very cheap and safe nuclear power will become available planet wide is short order. The fuel needed is readily available and unlimited. The problem of high level nuclear waste doesn't exist, meaning the threat of nuclear terrorism is greatly reduced. The cost of building a polywell fusion reactor-based power plant will be a small fraction of that of a traditional fission reactor system. They can also build much smaller and more numerous polywell plants, making our electrical grid more decentralized and robust. It could also provide a better means of powering and propelling spacecraft, particularly if joined with another of Bussard's ideas: the Bussard Ramjet, a spacecraft capable of interstellar flight.


Is Voter Ignorance Slowly Killing America?

Many of us, meaning moderates and conservatives, constantly bemoan the existence of low-information voters. It is they who tend to vote for initiatives and candidates who in the end prove harmful to us and our nation, damaging out freedoms, our economy, or our diplomatic standing throughout the world. How else can you explain the election of Barack Obama, not once, but twice?

Much of this ignorance of low-information voters is by design, put forth for decades by the con men (and women) who see themselves as our betters. Now we're seeing the fruits of their labors, with an economy in shambles and falling increasingly into the hands of cronyism, freedoms to make our own choices being eroded away, and any remaining good will from other nations being discarded like a used tissue.

One would have thought the Founding Fathers would have foreseen such a thing and would have tried to prevent it from happening.

It turns out, they did.

Writes Ilya Somin:

It is indeed true that Framers sought to “engineer” the Constitution around the problem of political ignorance, thereby diminishing its harmful effects. But they did so in part by trying to do the very thing I advocate in [my] book: placing tight limits on the power of government, especially the federal government. James Madison famously emphasized in Federalist 45 that the powers of the central government are to be “few and defined.” In a passage from Federalist 62... he emphasized that “[i[t will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read." I doubt that Madison meant that adequately informed voters literally need to read every provision of every law. But he did clearly imply a tradeoff between the quantity and complexity of law and the ability of voters to understand it. He clearly was not confident that what Rogers called "canary in the mineshaft" democracy would work well in a situation where the role of government in society is massive and complex. The greater the size and scope of government, the less likely it is that rationally ignorant voters will pay attention to more than a tiny fraction of the many canaries competing for their attention.

Moreover, Madison ultimately concluded that increasing political knowledge was an important objective for making representative democracy work effectively. As he explained in an 1822 letter advocating the use of publicly financed education to increase political knowledge (I quote the letter at the start of my book): "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the Power that knowledge gives." Thomas Jefferson and some of the other Founders expressed similar views. Unfortunately...public education has been much less successful in increasing political knowledge than Jefferson and others hoped.

Indeed. In fact, over the past 50 years or more public education has done just the opposite, replacing the teaching of what our children needed to know in order to make them good citizens – understanding the tenets of our laws and constitution as well as the history behind them – with feelgood indoctrination that tells them what to think rather than how to think. How else can one explain the dismal understanding of our citizenry about the things they need to know in order to ensure our nation remains a bastion of freedom and the economic powerhouse of the world? Their ignorance of history and economics, and the disdain they have been taught to feel about many of our institutions at all levels are all symptoms of a 'progressive' education that seeks not to enlighten, but to enslave.

Heavy rhetoric? You betcha. But that doesn't mean it isn't true. I have certainly seen it here even in my home town and elsewhere in my home state. I see it in plenty of places across this country. I see it every day on television, in the newspapers, and on the 'Net.

I'd like to think we're coming close to a tipping point where the people will finally declare “We've had enough of this crap and we're not going to take it any more!” and that they will start acting in their own best interests and tell our so-called betters to “Piss off!”


Worst. Generation. Ever.

When I read Mark Bauerlein's essay about the problem with why the so-called Millennial Generation is doing so poorly, I realized I'd been nodding my head, he having struck upon something that had been bothering me for some time, that something being the deteriorating intellectual and civic capacities of our younger generation.

Some of that blame can be laid at the onslaught of digital media that has replaced the ability to think for one's self for 'belonging' to one online group or another, with everyone falling into the trap of groupthink. Some of that can be laid at the feet of our educational bureaucrats, replacing the curriculum that taught our young our history with pseudo-intellectual claptrap that in no way exposes our children to the roots of our country, our society, or our form of government. Writes Bauerlein:

In colleges, for instance, U.S. history general education requirements have given way to some version of a "History, Society, Culture" umbrella which covers copious identity and diversity offerings, in part because my colleagues have lost faith in American greatness and feel that it would be chauvinistic and authoritarian to impose a core tradition of events, figures, texts, and values upon the rising generation.  In high school, too, instruction in the Puritans, the Founding and Founders, natural rights, World War II, the Cold War, and other accomplishments of the nation has diminished, and when they are taught, the manner of presentation is often skeptical and critical, highlighting the sins and victims of the past.  Students leave school feeling little pride in their country.  The Gettysburg Address is just a syllabus assignment, that's all.  Youths complete their homework as quickly as possible, then get back to reading and writing the 3,500 text messages they rack up each month.

When they are thus uninformed it is unlikely they will be able to discern for themselves what is and is not good for them, particularly when it comes to things like the economy and government. They can't tell the difference between a good idea and a bad idea because they have no frame of reference. Why do you think so many of them believe giving government even more control over the economy is a good thing? Because they haven't been exposed to the historical examples showing why this is a bad idea. What's worse is that even when they are exposed to these examples, they are explained away with a glib “They just weren't committed/smart/ideologically pure enough to make it work!” They are never shown just how morally and ethically bankrupt the concept is and how much misery and poverty such control has spawned. Even modern day examples like Cuba and Venezuela are glossed over.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how unprepared and intentionally ignorant the Millennial Generation is. About the only ray of hope is that some of them are waking up to the reality of how they have been betrayed by their 'betters' and they have some to realize their betters are nothing but con men.


Ballantine Ale, Ernest Hemingway, And Broken Green Glass

In response to this post by Bird Dog about Ballantine Ale, Ernest Hemingway, and BD's use of the 40 ounce glass empties for target practice, he received this missive from the EPA:

Dear sir or madam:

Consider this a summons to

EPA Office of Compliance
Fines and Sentencing Annex @ Building 2R
10023846 Federal Way Boule Vard
Washingtorn, DC

The issue is your admitted production of (1) Glass, green, broken.

This material, production or possession of, is illegal under the Safe Trash Dump Act, often referred to as the What About The Children Law.

The fine assessed is $500,000 ("Five Hundred Thousand Dollars"), negotiable in the event of pre-existing penury to cash-value property in kind or in the event, whatever you got on you.

Based on the probability of a possible claim to a variance based on a claim on the religious grounds variance claim, please be aware that any special pleading claim within the Special Pleadings Claims section of the EPA Regulatory Publication 889-C3P0, we warn you ahead of time that any claim of Party Membership must be verified by signed and stamped memorandum of your address Block Party Chairman or agent thereof.

Additionally, EPA counsel is been to date unable to find text in the Code reference specific alluding on this so-called "Earnest Heming Way" so to that end please accompany your person with all pertinant documentation and stuff.

Thank You,

Milo Minderbinder, Assistant Deputy Vice Counsel

Command III of The Dep't of Enforcement
Environmental Protection Agency
Washingtorn, DC

Oh, Lord, I needed that!


Thoughts On A Sunday

We've had beautiful weather all weekend which has allowed me to take care of some long overdue outdoor chores. While the Official Weekend Pundit Lawnmower is still hors du combat, I did manage to hit the grass with the weed-whacker to cut it back to a reasonable length. That should allow me to mow it once I have the lawnmower up and running again.

At least the good weather has made it possible to hang the laundry out to dry, something I doubt many of the more rabid warmists are willing to do to “save Gaia”. Even though we have a new clothes dryer being delivered this upcoming week, we'll stay hang much of the laundry up to dry during the warm weather months, just as we did when we had a working dryer.


In his essay about why he is not scared of climate change, Walter Starck sums it up with one single phrase: “Models aren't evidence.”

Too much of the hysteria being generated by the warmists is based entirely upon climate models that are known to be seriously defective. Why anyone would take them seriously is beyond me.


You know it's getting bad in our public schools when they ban students from bringing sunscreen for a class outing because it's 'toxic.'

Yeah, like a severe sunburn is so much better than a little sunscreen. About the only thing toxic about the whole thing is the stupidity of the school administrators.

As Glenn Reynolds asks, “Is it parental malpractice to send your kids to public schools?”


Assistant Village Idiot has some thoughts on The Way New Hampshire Used To Be.

I have to agree with a lot of the issues he brings up, but I still see the New Hampshire Presidential Primary as one of the better means of an unknown or underfunded candidate to gain some traction.

While some think a bigger state should have the opportunity to go first, that would lock out anyone without deep pockets and little name recognition. Most larger states require a candidate to spend a lot of money on radio, TV, and newspaper ads because they can't possibly trek across that state to meet enough voters.

When it comes to town meeting, I both agree and disagree with him, but that's a topic for another post.


Bill Whittle reminds us that being an intellectual does not equate to being intelligent. It's our misfortune that too many intellectuals believe it does.


“Male Privilege” indeed.


The headline reads “Dems Are Glum About Economy Despite Upbeat Jobs Report.”

I should say so considering it's really only upbeat if you squint hard and look at it out of the corner of your eye. Between no change in the U3 unemployment rate and a record low labor participation rate, I wouldn't consider the report 'upbeat'. The U6 unemployment rate remains unchanged – still over 12% - something no Democrat wants to run on. Inflation is there as well, it's just been masked. (See what food prices have been doing lately? They aren't counted as part of the inflation rate. Some food prices have remained stable, at least on paper, but when you look at the details you find you're paying the same price for less food. The package sizes have decreased while the prices have remained the same.)

The numbers are upbeat in name only. The reality of them still sucks.


As a follow up to the 'upbeat' jobs report, there's this chart from Doug Ross that shows us a most disturbing economic trend during the Obama era, that being the job participation rate numbers (adjusted for seasonality) has never increased.

It has been a downward slope from the moment Obama took office in 2009. The chart shows the labor participation rate back to 2004 which shows it hovering right around 66% from 2004 through 2008. It's now at 62.8 percent.


I have to admit that I no longer have any patience with the either the easily offended or perpetually offended. Too often they are offended by little things that are either meant to be sarcastic or humorous. (They understand neither.)

One of the latest examples of this phenomenon is the offense they took to a tee-shirt.

I have a suggestion for these folks: If you are easily or perpetually offended by the words or actions of a majority of other people, don't try to force your viewpoints on those people. The problem isn't them, it's you. I suggest in order to prevent any of your sensibilities from being offended from here on out that you move away to some rural, remote location where no one else lives. By doing this you can live your life without the fear of being offended by anyone and in turn you will stop offending us with your nonsensical and humorless belief in how our lives should be lived. A reminder to you – nowhere in the Constitution or in our laws does it state you have the right to not be offended. I know. I've looked.


I have noticed on a number of blogs over the past six months or so that a number of people are deleting their Facebook accounts. My dear brother has done that on more than one occasion as have a number of people where I work.

I have a Facebook account but I only log in about once a month. Frankly, not much there interests me and the only reason I've kept it is because it makes it a little easier to maintain contact with some of my friends. I don't spend time reading other people's posts or comments about the latest cute things their kids have done or about their changes in relationship status and so on. I won't waste my time playing the online games that seem to eat up so much time or that friends invite me to join. Frankly, I'd rather watch something on Netflix or go out to the lake rather than waste my time on that. I get more out of it.

My missus spends a lot of time on Facebook, though not nearly as much time as she used to. BeezleBub has dialed back his time on Facebook as well, though I think Horse Girl more than makes up for it.

I don't like the idea of baring the details of my life to everyone else as if it's the only way I can interact. I think people expose way too much information on social media like Facebook. Goodness knows more than a few people have had their lives upended because of things they've posted on their Facebook pages.

If I want to post about something I do it here on this blog or make comments on others. I have unlimited space to express my opinion on any subject and am not constrained by Facebook's Terms Of Use. If I want to offend or comment about controversial topics I can do so without the fear that some politically correct and easily/perpetually offended administrator will delete my post or my account because I've crossed some arbitrary line.

I have no plans to delete my Facebook account and I will continue to log in now and then. But don't expect me to keep updating my status. Don't invite me to play online games that I have no interest in playing. Don't expect me to interact on anything but a hit-or-miss basis. If I log in I may initiate a chat if one of my friends is online, but that's it. If you want to find out what I'm thinking or saying, come to this blog. This is where you'll find me...or maybe out on the lake.


Bogie took some time out from renovating her new home to make a trip to New York for Americade. She and her friends made a roundabout return to New Hampshire by way of a northern route that took them through the White Mountains and into Maine.

She has both narrative and pictures!

I wonder if she'll make a trip up to the Lakes Region of our home state for Bike Week which starts next weekend?


This does not bode well for seniors.

UnitedHealthcare is cutting 700 doctors in Massachusetts from its private Medicare plan network.

UnitedHealthcare says it will help trim costs, but it means a number of senior citizens have just lost their doctors. What's worse is that many of those seniors cannot change their health insurance plans until October, meaning some of them will be stuck without doctors within a reasonable drive until then.


Nothing more needs to be said about this picture.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


This morning I heard my neighbor's weed-whacker which reminded me I have to go out some time today and finish what I started yesterday. It also made me realize that I have never heard a lawnmower running at her place. That's when I realized she's been doing the same thing I have over this weekend: she uses the weed-whacker to 'mow' her lawn. I hadn't thought about it until today, but it makes sense.

As bad as the slope on my lawn is, the slope on hers is worse, making it even more difficult and dangerous to use a lawnmower. Under those circumstances I would use a weed-whacker as well.


Considering the Narcissist-In-Chief is who he is, it's no surprise to find that America has disappointed him. Then again, it's always about him, isn't it?

I find nothing paradoxical about Obama’s recent pattern of behavior, nothing mysterious about the golfing, partying, traveling. It is quite obvious: Obama has given up.

He knows that his agenda is now limited to executive orders and bureaucratic regulation, and that even these measures are likely to be in the courts for years. He knows that his foreign policy agenda of engagement with the enemies of America will prove controversial and unpopular. He knows his staff has been ducking-and-covering ever since Lois Lerner announced the IRS had targeted Tea Party groups, and that they have been playing defense through Edward Snowden and Syria and Healthcare.gov and Crimea and the VA and now Bowe Bergdahl. He knows there is a chance that the Republicans will control Congress next January, and he has said, according to Politico, that this “would make his last two years in office unbearable.”

Some think it is imperative that we do just that, make his last two years in office unbearable.

I wholeheartedly agree.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is gorgeous, yard work is getting done, and where the need to earn a living will be getting in the way of enjoying yet another day off.


It's Still All About Him

I thought that just this once The Won might be able to contain himself and not make a public event, in this case the D-Day remembrance in Normandy, all about him. I should know better by now.

Instead of focusing upon the brave men and women who were part of the largest amphibious invasion is history, he had to get a shot in about how he doesn't need Congress' approval to do anything, even though such 'things' are clearly delineated both in the Constitution and in law. In this case he was referring to the 'deal' for the prisoner exchange with the Taliban to get back Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five very dangerous Taliban leaders. As we have seen throughout his administration, he believes himself to be above the law and that he is not beholden to the Constitution, which I think we have all come to realize he thinks is nothing but an old piece of paper that means nothing.

When will our self-important, self-anointed, self-centered, egotistical and incompetent president come to realize that none of this, including the office he holds, is about him?

Never. He isn't capable and he never has been.

What will it take before Congress steps in and performs its duty and impeaches this arrogant son of a bitch?

At his worst even Richard Nixon wasn't this bad, and he was a competent leader for the most part. (Yes, his domestic policy sucked, but his foreign policy was top notch.)

Lack Of Caffeine Diaries

In case you're wondering why posting by yours truly has been spotty over the past week, I have an explanation. It hasn't been a heavy workload at work (though I have had to get into work early a couple days this past week.) It hasn't been because I've been nursing one of the feline residents back to health due to an upper GI tract infection. (Hilda is feeling much better now, particularly after her two days at the veterinary hospital.) It hasn't been because I've been busy plotting the overthrow of Venezuela. (That took all of five minutes.)

Nope. It hasn't been any of those things.

Earlier this week we had a catastrophe that shook the core of the WP household, causing a major disruption in our lives and making it darned near impossible to function with any kind of normalcy.

Our trusty coffeemaker died.

No amount of CPR could resurrect it. Nor did threats or bribes. It was D-E-D, dead.

Call it another belated victim of the lightning strike we took last summer.

Without our morning coffee we were bereft. That lack of our first-thing-in-the-morning caffeine jolt left us sluggish, non-communicative, and downright grumpy. Even coffee from the local Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru didn't help because it was too little, too late. This funk carried throughout the day.

I went to the local WalMart to acquire a replacement and was met with semi-empty shelves where boxes and boxes of coffeemakers usually resided. This particular WalMart was undergoing an expansion and renovation and the stock had been removed to facilitate the dismantling and relocation of the shelving. Just a few demo models remained and they weren't for sale.

I had thought to visit the local BJ's outlet after work, but the lasting effects of the lack of first-thing-in-the-morning caffeine robbed me of any ambition to do so.

Some time last night after returning from work, Deb was able to muster enough energy to go to Amazon and order a new one. In her lack-of-caffeine haze, she doesn't remember whether she was going to have it shipped overnight or by ground. I guess we'll have to wait and suffer through yet another few days of lack of first-thing-in-the-morning caffeine jolts until it arrives.

Heaven help us!


Yet Another Insane And Unenforceable Law To Address A Non-Crisis

You know it's getting stupid on college campuses in regards to sex between students when a state legislature believes it has to create a law that will require the male student to ask for consent for every action he is going to take.

The California Senate passed a bill that will require colleges receiving state funds to create an “affirmative consent” policy that will require "affirmative and unambiguous" throughout the entire sexual encounter.


I can see this law, should it pass in the California Assembly and be signed by Governor Brown, opening a legal and sexual can of worms. How can anybody prove that consent was sought before every sexual action was performed? I offered a solution in the comments of the linked article.

I suppose the answer to this should the legislation pass and be signed by the governor is to give the students in question the power to record every sexual encounter to 'prove' one way or the other whether there was continuous consent. It should be in high definition and 5.1 Surround, just to make sure the cameras and microphones don't miss anything. It should then be posted to the web for review by peers, administrators, and the general public to ensure such continual consent was indeed given.

Perhaps the legislation should be amended to mandate such recordings, all in the interest of reducing sexual assault claims, of course.

I would be more than willing to act as a review coordinator to ensure all such recordings are of high quality and that they meet the requirements of the law.

While my comment was sarcastic, it was meant to show the absolute lunacy of the legislation.

To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds, “They said if I voted for Mitt Romney the government would intrude into the privacy of our bedrooms, and they were right!”


Paying For It

It's amazing the outrage that's seen when tax-and-spend liberal voters find out that all of the 'wonderful' things they've voted for have to be paid for...by them. That is certainly the case in Austin where one resident was handed a large property tax bill for all the neat stuff she voted for.

“I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.

“It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.”

Does anyone else here notice the disconnect between having all those nice things and finding a way to pay for it? It appears Ms. Gardner thinks anyone else but her should pay for it all, something that far too many liberals also think should be the case. As long as someone else is paying for it they're all for it.

The suggestion has been made in some quarters to impose a state income tax, but all that does is mean that those with high property taxes will be paying an income tax...and high property taxes. (There is an issue with commercial property owners receiving huge tax breaks, paying taxes on property assessed at far below the market values, but that's something that needs to be addressed by the city of Austin and the state legislature.)

An income tax also means that those not living in cities like Austin will be paying for the amenities in Austin, something else that is just not fair. If Austinites aren't willing to pay for what they have, then maybe they need to consider voting for cutbacks in city spending rather than expecting someone else to foot the bill for all the niceties in their neighborhoods.

Here in New Hampshire most of the residents understand the connection between spending and their property tax rates: the more they spend the higher their taxes. It's a no-brainer, something most of the liberals in this state understand. Too bad the liberals down in Austin don't.


Thoughts On A Sunday

You can tell the summer season has indeed arrived if for no other reason than the traffic.

Starting Thursday afternoon the traffic around the Lakes Region has been heavy and the usual summer haunts have been busy. While the lake temperatures are still too chilly to indulge in some summer activities, hasn't had any effect on the boat traffic.

About the only activity I haven't 'indulged' in yet has been mowing the lawn. The Official Weekend Lawnmower is still non-functional and I might have to resort tu breaking out the weed-whacker to trim back the ever-lengthening grass.


While the resignation of VA head Eric Shinseki was no surprise, the departure of Obama press secretary Jay Carney was.

I don't know if Carney just burned out or if he finally had had enough of having to spin Obama's BS. It certainly seemed like he'd been struggling over the past few months trying to make even the most outrageous Obama statements (or mis-statements), policy debacles, and administrative over-reaches sound reasonable in the face of an increasingly hostile media.

As Stacy McCain notes, Shinseki's resignation changes nothing.

Carney's resignation, on the other hand, may signify...nothing. Unless, of course, Carney decides to spill his guts about what he knows about the Obama White House.


While the pronouncement from the Belarus government banning farm workers from leaving their jobs and moving to the cities seems to be a step back to serfdom, and it is, it is also something right out of Atlas Shrugged, specifically Directive 10-289.

First it will be the farm workers and then other occupations as the government takes over control of a widening swath of the Belarus economy.

That's going to work out well, or at least as well as it did in the novel.


Space-X has unveiled it's Dragon V2 crew capsule that will be used to ferry astronauts to the ISS.

Unlike the Soyuz spacecraft presently used to bring and return crew from the space station since the retirement of the Space Shuttle, the Dragon will have soft-landing capabilities, using the new SuperDraco rocket motors to safely land the spacecraft after it deploys its landing gear. That new capability means the spacecraft will be able to land just about anywhere.

It's about time.


During lunch today one of the more 'cheeky' members of the feline contingent here at The Manse decided he really liked what I was eating.

Henry, the brother of Pip, leaped up on to my lap, grabbed one of the marinated steak tips on my plate, a leftover from last evening's repast, and ran off with it. This happened in a flash, meaning I didn't even have time to brush him away before he made off with part of my lunch.

I had to chase him down and retrieve the piece of steak he'd absconded with.

Usually he isn't so bold, but he must have liked what he sniffed to have taken such a chance. Did he really think he would get away with it?


Did Woodrow Wilson destroy the American Presidency? Yes. Yes he did.

You might say he was the blueprint Obama has used to continue the Progressive agenda. (Wilson was a Progressive in the modern sense.)

Wilson had little use for the Constitution and worked to get around it.

Both Professor Wilson and President Wilson believed that the Constitution was not fit for the complexities of twentieth-century American life. A document written at a time when the horse and buggy was the main mode of transportation was seen as an obstacle to creating an activist government capable of checking big business. Wilson held that it was the responsibility of the president to break the gridlock caused by the Constitution’s separation of powers and unleash the power of the federal government to restrain the barons of industry.

The president would break this gridlock by serving as his party’s leader, thereby bridging the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature, and would preside over an executive branch composed of experts who would regulate the economy in the interest of the common man. In addition to presiding over this regulatory state, the president would serve as an educator and visionary who would lead the nation through his oratorical skills.

The president would no longer be indebted to a political party for his selection, for presidential nominees would be chosen through primaries and the nominee would then impose his will on his party, not the other way around. Wilson’s chief executive was free to be as big a man as he wanted to be, with his power no longer anchored in the Constitution or in his party, but rooted in his personal charisma; presidential effectiveness would hinge on his personal attributes, not on any formal grant of power.

Gee, does that sound like anyone we know? We've certainly seen that conceit in the present occupant of the White House. The only problem is that he's far less competent than Wilson.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


The first step to clean up the blight that is Detroit's abandoned neighborhoods and commercial districts is going to cost $850 million. That means demolition of long abandoned homes and buildings that are unsalvageable, or around 85,000 buildings. The $850 million only addresses the residential buildings. The old commercial buildings and factories will cost hundreds of millions more to deal with, particularly if there are contamination issues that must be addressed.

I wonder if it might be cheaper for Detroit to rent out those locations to Hollywood for use as movie sets. There would be little work required to make them look like a post-apocalyptic world because they already look that way. (From what I understand a number of movies have used the blighted sections of Detroit for just that purpose.) Maybe they could even create a post-apocalyptic theme park, letting people pay good money to enjoy living in such a world where everything is scarce and where survival means recycling everything from the pre-apocalyptic times. If nothing else it will give them good training for when the real thing happens should all of Obama's policies come to fruition.


Bogie is keeping us up to date on the renovations on her new home, including a new front door, removing old insulation and putting in new insulation and plywood, re-keying all the doors to the same key, as well as a little post-lawnmowing relaxation.


Speaking of renovations, I got the first estimate for repairing and paving our driveway. I don't think it's going to happen this year, as bad as we need it to. It doesn't help that when the original paving was put in the contractor didn't finish the job. Only the base layer was put down, the one with all the heavy aggregate, but they never came back to put the final layer down. That's why sections of our driveway have crumbled and come apart.

The homes to either side of The Manse were built at the same time and their driveways were done properly, which means they are still in great shape.

I'm going to have to get a few more estimates to see if we can find a way to get it done without the need to finance it.


This goes to show you that even Splodey Dopes can have workplace accidents.


Legal Insurrection asks “Hey, whatever happened to the Coffee Party?”

I guess like most astroturf organizations, it has whithered away to a shadow of its former self. In the mean time the oft-declared dead Tea Party has been flexing its muscles in a number of states, including Texas.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer activities are increasing, summerfolk traffic likewise, and where my lawn still needs mowing.