**************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.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.”
“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.”
**************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.Indeed.
**************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.