Thoughts On A Sunday

Here it is, the last Thoughts On A Sunday for 2015, and it seems the year has passed by so quickly. I always have to wonder whether the perceived passage of time is due to age, meaning that as we get older a year doesn't seem nearly as long as they used to because we've experienced so many of them.

To kids, a day can seem like a week and a week can seem like forever. I know when I was a kid summer vacation seemed to last a really long time even though it was really just about 8 weeks in length. Today it passes in a blink of an eye and then we're back into fall. Call it all a matter of perspective.


Gee, if human-caused global warming is real, then how do you explain the data that shows both the number of warm winter days (those over 60ºF) and hot summer days (those over 95ºF) measured at all US HCN weather stations have been declining since the 1930's?

Like some others, I figure NOAA or NASA or someone will 'adjust' the data to show that the number has been increasing rather than decreasing in order to fit the narrative.

(H/T Granite Grok)


Feminists complain about the so-called “rape culture” here in the US, but they ignore the real rape culture that exists amongst Islamic 'immigrants'. This is something Sweden found out the hard way and Germany is experiencing now now that they've allowed thousands of 'refugees', mostly young men, into their country.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


“Male feminist”? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

No matter. They get no respect...nor should they.


David Starr offers this advice top the presidential poll watchers – The only polls that count right now are those for Iowa and New Hampshire.

Writes David:

...after New Hampshire and Iowa everything will change.  Losers will be gone, and their loser's voters will go somewhere else, where, no body can tell.

Both Iowa and New Hampshire tend to clear out those who can't garner support no matter what they do. It helps that such candidates didn't have to spend a ton of money they don't have to campaign here. All such politicking is retail, meaning they have to go out and actually meet the voters. No amount of campaign ad buys will win them either Iowa or New Hampshire.

For those who come in a close second and/or third, it can kick their campaigns into high gear.


I don't know how the Socialists are going to spin this, but I have no doubt they'll give it a try: Capitalism is Killing Absolute Poverty.

The Socialists always make noise about “greedy capitalists”, but they totally ignore the “greedy cronyism” that is so ingrained in socialism. Another issue with Socialists is their greed when it comes to other people's money along with making sure they keep all of their own.


Thomas Sowell tears into the 200+ years of the Left's attempts at central planning and control of economies and shows that it never delivers what's promised. It doesn't even come close.

If the preconceptions of the Left were correct, central planning by educated elites who had vast amounts of statistical data at their fingertips and expertise readily available, and were backed by the power of government, should have been more successful than market economies where millions of individuals pursued their own individual interests willy-nilly.

But, by the end of the 20th century, even socialist and communist governments began abandoning central planning and allowing more market competition. Yet this quiet capitulation to inescapable realities did not end the noisy claims of the Left.

All one needs to do to get a modern example of just how badly planned economies fail is to look south to Venezuela to see just how bad a job the Chavez socialists did, turning a vibrant national economy into a poverty-stricken basket case.


At least there's some good news in regards to nuclear power in the US, that being the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is revising its rules to allow nuclear power plants to operate for 80 years.

Commercial nuclear power plants in the USA are initially licensed to operate for 40 years, a time period reflecting amortization of capital rather than the design life of a reactor. Regulations allow the NRC to extend licenses for additional 20-year periods provided the reactor is deemed safe to continue operating.

A number of nuke plants were closed prematurely, one being the Vermont Yankee plant. There were some reliability issues with the outside cooling systems, but ones that could have been fixed with a new system. But the anti-nuclear movement pushed hard in Vermont, inducing the state to withdraw permission for the plant to operate any longer despite an extended operating license from the NRC.


Those who protest Western culture here in the US must have a suicidal bent. That's all I can come up with for a reason why so many know-nothings have come to believe Western culture is more evil and corrupt than any other.

I have to wonder how many of those protesters have actually had to live under the rule of non-Western cultures, particularly harsh totalitarian/theological cultures where none of the freedoms and rights that exist because of Western culture exist.

I have a feeling many of them would find themselves missing the much-hated Western culture and the rights and freedoms that go with it were they to fins themselves in places like Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, North Korea, and other cultures that eschew our culture.


Doug Ross offers us the 10 Dumbest Political Cartoons of 2015.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where warm temps have lingered, cold temps are coming, and where the snow may fly this coming week.


Quotable Quotes

Seeing the quote at the top of the list below at Maggie's Farm a couple of days ago made me look back through their archives to pick over some of the more memorable quotes posted there over the years.

“I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.” - Anon

I don't know how many times I could have used that line over the years because it would have saved me a lot of time.

“Beware the intellectual who seeks power over our decisions and over the persuasion to which we can respond, especially when he seeks this power to prevent us from doing what he thinks we should not desire to do.” - Harold Demsetz

This is an ongoing battle that will never end and one that has caused hundreds of millions of deaths over the past two centuries.

“For every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD.” - a commenter at Zero Hedge.

Call it the intellectual variant of Newton's laws of physics.

“I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.” - Thomas Sowell

That's because the folks who believe it think they know how to spend your hard-earned money better than you do. They are wrong, of course.

“I am not here as a serf or vassal. I am not begging my lords for mercy. I’m a born free American woman, wife, mother and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place. It’s not your responsibility to look out for my well-being, and to monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. Your post, the post that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty. And you have faltered.” - Becky Gerritson

Not much I can add to that, so I won't.

“The C student starts a restaurant. The A student writes restaurant reviews.” - P.J. O'Rourke

Those who can't do, criticize. It's been like that forever.

“The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” - C.S. Lewis

Could this be the reason why we see so many Western youth heading off to Syria to take up with the monstrous minions of ISIS? My guess – YES.

“Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.” - Thomas Jefferson


“Everything government touches turns to crap.” - Ringo Starr

If anything Ringo understates the problem. There's very little government does that it can do well, and the higher the level of government the worse it performs. This is not exclusive to democracy as it's even worse for socialist governments, as history has shown us over the past 100+ years.

“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.” - William F. Buckley

That is the problem today in our colleges – Indoctrination masquerading as “independent intellectual exertion.” And once indoctrinated, the possibility of logical thought or the ability to “think outside the box” is almost zero. The indoctrinated become nothing but drones, programmed to infect others with the intellectual virus they carry.

“Those who inherited the leadership of the Civil Rights movement looked deep into the content of their character...and decided they'd best be judged by the color of their skin or they were in trouble.” - a Maggie's Farm reader

After all, there was far more money in it for them than if they finished the mission set forth for them by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If they had, they would have had to get real jobs.

“Never trust anyone who doesn’t eat cheeseburgers.” - Steven Hayward

I have to agree with this one as I have seen it proven out many times over the 7 decades I have been on this Earth.

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him had better take a closer look at the American Indian.” - Henry Ford

As I have stated to many supporters of cradle to grave care by the government, abundant examples of why this doesn't work exist. All we have to do is look around at the world today and throughout the past to see how well that's worked out, which is to say that it hasn't, ever.

“It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.” - George MacDonald

Considering I am a selectman in my little town, I see the wisdom of this. I did not run for office because I wanted to. I had no intention of doing so. When the sitting selectmen asked me to do so to fill the seat of one of them who was retiring, I didn't answer right away. I didn't decide until just before the filing deadline. My 'victory' was a very narrow one, besting my opponent by only 7 votes. I always remember that when I think I'm getting too used to my position in town government. And if the time should come when I think I can do the job better than anyone else it will be a sure sign it's time for me stop serving and step down. I never want to become comfortable in an elective office where I think I know more than the rest of the people in our town. It's a mirage and a dangerous one at that.

“If a foreign country tried to impose upon Americans what the Democrats have done over the past few decades, Americans would fight a war to stop it, and be proud of it.” - a reader comment

Indeed. They keep telling us they want to help the little guy, but what they don't tell you is that they want anyone who isn't them to become little guys and to keep them there, all under the guise of 'help'.

“There are many things the government can't do, many good purposes it must renounce. It must leave them to the enterprise of others. It cannot feed the people. It cannot enrich the people. It cannot teach the people.” - Lord Acton

Government is always inefficient when it comes to the needs of the people. That's assuming it really knows what the needs of the people are in the first place, a dangerous assumption.

“All government spending is campaign spending.” - Bird Dog of Maggie's Farm

Truer words were never spoken. Think of it as bribing the people with their own money and it becomes abundantly clear the quote above gets right to the point.


Merry Christmas

Greetings from the Weekend Pundit staff. We want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Now a question: Why are you reading this blog when you should be spending time with your family?


Cultural "Appropriation" Is What Made America What It Is

For months now we've been hearing the plaint about “cultural appropriation” from the Social Justice Warriors as if it were a Bad ThingTM.

But if one looks at the history of the United States, one can see that our culture is made up of bits and pieces of cultures around the world, taking the best from each and adding it to our own. Yet to the SJW's this is some kind of theft, as if we are in some way offending other cultures by adding theirs to ours. This “theft” is used as justification for actions taken on behalf of the cultures the SJW's think have been offended. But to the best of my knowledge, the SJW's have never asked anyone from those cultures if they are offended by such theft. I bet if they did, those people would look at them like they were nuts.

One of the latest cultural appropriate “crises” comes from Oberlin College, the crisis being the horror of cuisine from other cultures being adapted by the staff of Bon Appétit, something some of the students at the college deemed inappropriate.

But not everyone on campus is offended.

Still, some students are not convinced that Bon Appétit’s menu qualifies as cultural appropriation. Arala Tian Yoon Teh, a College sophomore from Malaysia, said the dining service’s food selections are a reflection of cultural collision, not cultural appropriation. She added that she thought Bon Appétit was inspired by Asian cuisine and just made dishes with the available ingredients.


This is something Alexis de Tocqueville addressed in his book Democracy in America back in 1840.

Writes Carlos Lozada on the subject:

Even as you pledge allegiance to the flag, it is hard to always feel welcome in the republic for which it stands. “As Americans mingle, they assimilate,” Tocqueville assures. “Differences created by climate, origin, and institutions diminish.” But he doesn’t think those differences are all that vast; and in his time, he was right. “All the immigrants spoke the same language,” he writes, referring to English, and “all were children of the same people.” And he praises America’s homogeneity — of interests, origins, language and education — as an enabler of federalism. “I doubt that there is any nation in Europe, however small, whose various parts are not less homogeneous than the people of America.” Americans today speak of diversity with reverence, but also with the comfort of an eternal aspiration.

The differences are what make us stronger in the end.

There's no need for the SJW's to take this to the extreme, where they see any assimilation of people of different cultures into American society as some kind of crime, perhaps even genocide. Certainly de Tocqueville didn't see it that way.

He saw it as a strength, seeing such assimilation as taking the best from each and adding it to our own. That the SJW's seem to think a culture in other lands will be damaged if immigrants from those lands surrender a small part of the culture in which they were brought up to adopt that of their new land show just how ignorant they are. The cultures back where the immigrants came from will survive just fine. It isn't as if it is somehow diminished every time someone from there comes here until there will be nothing left of the original culture. You couldn't tell that from the way the SJW's overreact about cultural appropriation. It's almost as if they want to Balkanize the US in an effort to keep all of the different cultures apart as if the US were some kind of a nature preserve. They still don't get the idea that the reason we are the way we are comes from all of those from different cultures who came here to become Americans. It doesn't fit their narrative and never will, so the bitch, moan, and complain about something over which no one really has any control...unless draconian measures are taken that will dismantle this nation. Only then will they feel vindicated, that is until they become outraged about some other trivial social ill and move on and create another false crisis.

Frankly, I like that we adapt things from other cultures and make it part of our own. Otherwise many of the things that make America what it is would never have come into being and the world would likely be a much poorer and dangerous place than it is now.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Christmas preparations started here at The Manse yesterday, with a thorough cleaning before setting up the Christmas tree. We still have some decorating to do as we wanted to wait until BeezleBub got home from visiting the WP In-Laws.

One thing that was a pleasant surprise this morning – snow on the ground. Mind you, it was really just a dusting but it was a start. However it won't last as we'll be back into the 40's and 50's the rest of this week, very unChristmas-like in the way of weather, at least here in New England.


It's official: My home state of New Hampshire has one of the lowest homicide rates in the nation. It also has one of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation and a high percentage of gun ownership as well.

I find it to be an interesting correlation, that being as gun ownership rates across the nation have gone up over the past 20 years, the number of homicides has gone down, now being 50% of what they were over that same period. Of course we must understand that correlation does not imply causality, but so far I haven't seen any other factors that might be a cause that track those two trends.


David Starr has his take on last night's Democrat debate. He breaks it down into one simple sentence: “All three of 'em are four square for tax hikes.”

Yeah, that will do wonders for an economy that has still not recovered after seven years or 'recovery' and government interference.


Seeing the state of television these days, none of this surprises me.

Of all channels available to viewers these days by way of cable, satellite, and streaming, it turns out only three networks have seen an increase in viewership: HGTV, Fox News, and Discovery.

Other networks/channels have been experiencing declines, with TNT and History suffering double digit declines (16% and 20%, respectively). ESPN has seen viewer numbers decline by 8%.

What's ironic about a lot of this is that many of those networks in decline are demanding higher per subscriber fees from the cable and satellite providers. One of them is AMCN (AMC, IFC, BBC America, and WE TV) which has seen a 2% decline in viewers yet are demanding a 350% increase in fees as well as adding additional demands to present carriers to take on a number of its less performing niche channels as a condition for continuing to receive AMC programming.

Considering many cable operators have limited bandwidth and would not be able to carry the additional channels, it seems this is a suicidal move by AMCN.

Viacom learned that lesson not that long ago when 60 smaller cable operators refused to bow down to their extortion and stopped carrying Viacom programming. Ironically, there were very few complaints made from subscribers when Viacom channels (Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and others) disappeared from the programming lineup.

I think the viewing public has had just enough from the pay TV content providers and are voting with their feet, metaphorically speaking. Is it any wonder the number of cord-cutters is rising?


Voters are furious that Washington is ignoring them. The anger cuts across all party lines as a majority of the electorate think the US government is focusing on trivial matters rather than what Americans see as important – the looming threat of ISIS, a continually weak and handcuffed economy, bogus unemployment numbers, bureaucratic inaction and malice, and cronyism writ large, just to name a few.

Is it any wonder some states are no longer looking to Washington for anything other than interference and overreach? Rogue federal agencies have gone well outside their charters and pushed forth agendas that violate the law, and in some instances, the US Constitution. We have a president that actively works against the best interests of the American people, an ineffectual Congress that talks big but does little to actually solve the problems we face.

I say, throw ALL the bums out!


Stacy McCain delves into the problem of dating for today's “empowered” women, and particularly when it comes to advice from a woman who has failed miserably when it comes to dating.

As Stacy writes:

The only dating advice young people should ever listen to is advice from happily married people. Their advice will likely be “old-fashioned.” Why? Because old-fashioned works. Old-fashioned is good.



The New England Patriots beat the Tennessee Titans this afternoon at Foxborough, but at a price. Yet another group of first-string players left the game due to injuries, something the Patriots do not need.

As good as the Patriots have been this season, I have some doubts they'll make it through the playoffs unless they get some of their first and second string players back on to the field.


Glenn Reynolds' USA Today column blasts Bernie Sanders for his “Go to college or go to jail” comment. That Sanders made such a comment shows just how disconnected from reality the Socialist candidate happens to be on this matter.

Sanders’ remarks created a similar backlash. They’re wrong on two levels: First, going to college doesn’t necessarily keep you out of jail; there are plenty of criminals with college degrees. Second, not going to college hardly puts you “on a path to jail.”

Of course this is the same Bernie Sanders who believes all college education should be free. But free is always expensive and free college is likely to cheapen any value a college education would have.


Dr. Judith Curry tells us of a new class of climate “deniers”. No, not those who deny there is any such thing as climate change or those who demand proof that climate change is caused primarily by humans. No, these deniers are far more insidious than the first two groups. Just who are they?

Renewable energy deniers.

These are those who claim right up front that renewable energy sources can't and won't be able to meet our energy needs. Who are these “deniers”?

James Hansen, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, Tom Wigley . . . and Bill Gates.

Yup, many of the same people who have been pushing the meme that climate change is all the fault of human activity, specifically fossil fuel use, are also heavy proponents of nuclear power because they strongly believe renewable energy cannot provide enough energy to meet demand and never will.

Of course I expect these guys to be drummed out of the ranks of the AGW faithful any day now because they have defied the narrative.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter temps have graced us during this weekend, warmer temps will prevail during the week, and where everyone is rushing about to finish their Christmas shopping.


The Democrats Still Get It Wrong

I made the effort to watch portions of the Democrat debate tonight, hoping to hear some ideas or plans that might actually work. Too bad my effort (and time) was wasted. All I heard from the three candidates were the same stale, unworkable, discredited ideas that have been tried again and again without success.

The most telling moment for me was the answers given to the question about higher education.

Bernie Sanders' answer proved to me he hasn't an effin' clue about the actual costs of 'free' college nor who will actually be paying for it all. Then again, socialists rarely give any deep thought about the matter. Hillary's answer wasn't any better because all she wanted to do was spend even more taxpayers' money and a higher education system that was broken by “even more taxpayers' money” being out there that drove up costs and decreased both the quality and value of higher education.

After that I couldn't watch any more.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The El Niño-driven warm weather continues here in New England even as we approach Christmas. Again, we aren't complaining as it means the wood piles are shrinking and the fuel gages on oil and propane tanks falling towards 'empty' at a much slower rate. I have another 2 cords of firewood scheduled to be delivered in a little over three weeks and I'm going to have a difficult time finding somewhere to put it all. But better to have that problem rather than worrying whether or not we'll have enough fuel to make it through the winter.

The one thing that will guarantee that we'll have a below normal snowfall this winter is not just El Niño, but the new tires I got for the trusty F150. That they have a much more aggressive tread to help with traction in snow is a sure sign that we'll have very little snow this winter.


Some people take this crap far too seriously. Moonbats get the vapors over Starbucks 'violent' polar bear cookies.

I strongly suggest they seek professional help...assuming it isn't already too late.


At least this year they're giving us fair warning.

It appears both FedEx and UPS are struggling to deal with the shipping deluge brought forth by the large increase in online shopping.

Last year both shippers (and to a lesser extent, the USPS) had difficulties getting gifts purchased online to their destination by Christmas. Between a very high volume of gifts and a number of weather related delays, a lot of people didn't get the gifts they ordered until a few days after Christmas. This year, even with additional staff, aircraft, and trucks, they're having difficulty keeping up with demand.

Let's hope they can get caught up by Christmas Eve.


Want to make sure your kids don't become liberal jackasses in college?

Click here.

Let's hope it will also help keep them from having to deal with the mentally ill fragile snowflakes on campuses as well.


Dinesh D'Souza shows a progressive student at Amherst College that it's one thing to talk about social justice and racial privilege and yet another thing to actually do something about it.

The first question is about American foreign policy in the Middle East and D’Souza dispenses that issue fairly quickly. The second question has to do with social justice and racial privilege.

D’Souza dismantles the student’s argument systematically but ultimately cites the Achilles’ heel of all progressive arguments for redistribution. Why doesn’t this student give up his place at this elite institution of higher education so someone of lesser privilege may step in?

According to the Amherst College website, cost of attendance for the 2015-2016 school year is over $60,000 and attendance there is a privilege, not a right.

Somehow I doubt the student in question did anything along those lines, instead deciding to keep exercising their white privilege. They can talk the talk, but aren't willing to walk the walk.

Why am I not surprised by this?


I guess we have to keep stating the obvious until the clueless idiots, particularly those supporting politicians like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, come understand that Socialism doesn't work, and never has. Even the 'soft' socialism of the Scandinavian countries has been unraveling and they're backing away from it because they have come to realize it doesn't work, primarily because they're running out of other people's money.

Of course the clueless idiots tell themselves that they can make it work because they're smarter and they won't make the same mistakes...but of course they will.

The biggest mistake socialists always make is that they ignore human nature, a force more powerful than any 'dream' they can concoct. That's why socialism always fails in the end.


This bodes well for housing in the Golden State...not.

It appears the California State Supreme Court just made an already difficult process to build lower and middle income housing even more difficult. It's all in the name of preventing climate change, of course.

Then again, there will be little need for more housing as the jobs that would normally pay for them are leaving California as the costs and regulatory burdens have gone past the point where businesses and the jobs that go with them abandon California for greener pastures.

This isn't much different from Portland, Oregon's 'smart growth' initiatives that made housing unaffordable for most folks.


Do they really think anyone will notice?

It appears the DNC has shot itself in the foot by booting New Hampshire's biggest TV station – WMUR - from televising the Democrat debate scheduled to be held in the state because of an ongoing labor dispute with the union representing a number of TV station employees. But even if it weren't banned from carrying the debate, I doubt many will be watching it as the debate starts all of 20 minutes before the kickoff of the New York Jets – Dallas Cowboys game.

As Sun Tzu (and Napolean and a few others) said, “Never interrupt your adversaries when they're making a mistake.”


David Starr laments the lack of push buttons and knobs in today's cars and trucks. I have to agree with him that far too many automotive designers overlook the fact that drivers shouldn't have to look away from the road in order to adjust controls that do everything between changing a radio station or music volume to turning on the heat and shutting off the A/C, and everything in between. BeezleBub has complained about the touchscreen setup on the 'entertainment' center in his F350, stating that it is not driver friendly. It is this reason that he primarily uses it in conjunction with his iPod and practically never uses the radio. It takes too many menu selections just to change the radio station.

I remember when all controls could be operated without looking away from the road and one control performed a single function. Some knobs were concentric so that more than one knob could be placed in the same location and each of those knobs performed its own function. Now there are buttons and touchscreens that call up menus that cannot be read by the driver unless they look away from the road or pull off to the side. Controls are no longer intuitive and that's bad design. It doesn't matter if they have a new wizbang look and can perform all kinds of functions if it is otherwise difficult or dangerous to use while under way.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has been much warmer than normal, no one is complaining much about it, and where we're making preparations for nasty winter weather anyways.


COP21 Misleads

I was watching Saturday's World News on ABC when the weekend anchor crowed about the 'agreement' reached in Paris at the COP21 meeting. That the newsies at ABC fervently believe the non-binding agreement will in some fashion have any effect on climate is no surprise. They take anything from the Left, particularly the watermelon warmists, as gospel.

But in the end the agreements do nothing. It is no different from the Kyoto Protocols signed by President Clinton, which the US Senate refused to ratify by a margin of 95-0. The US ignored Kyoto...and reduced its air emissions and CO2 emissions more than any country that was a signatory. And it did it all without crippling its economy, something Kyoto would have required.

The COP21 agreement isn't any different, replacing relatively inexpensive and plentiful energy sources with those that are expensive, unreliable, and subsidized to ridiculous levels because they aren't otherwise viable. At least China and India aren't buying into this pseudo-green crap. Neither should any of the other developing nations because all any of this will do is hold them back. Some of them are expecting big bucks from the West to help offset the costs of renewables. Too bad most of it will go into the pockets of those in power and the people will, as usual, get screwed.

What makes this even sadder is that these folks actually buy into the fable of AGW even though data over the past 18 years or so show the doomsday predictions made many of the so-called climate 'scientists' have failed to materialize. Others are using the AGW doomsday scenario as a means to gain power, both economic and political, and the climate be damned.

Now that COP21 is done, all of the dignitaries, AGW faithful, and their hangers on can get back into their private jets and fly home while generating more CO2 than many families will in two years.

It's all “Do as I say, not as I do” with these people.

To quote Glenn Reynolds, “I'll start believing it's a crisis when the people telling me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis.” I haven't seen that to this point and I doubt very much I ever will.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The El Niño driven above normal temperatures continue here in New England, with the high today here in central New Hampshire expected to be well in the 50's. Not that we're complaining as they allow us to use much less firewood and propane to keep The Manse at comfortable temperatures.

Deb and I managed to get our Christmas shopping started yesterday, though we're nowhere near finished as we aren't ones to go out and get it done all at once. I figure we'll be at it piecemeal over the next couple of weeks. It helps that some of it can be done online, eliminating the need to go searching for some gifts.


You know the Progressive Left have shown their true colors when they start lambasting people for publicly expressing religious feelings - their “thoughts and prayers” - after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

WTF is wrong with these idiots?

First they want to cripple free speech, and now they want to eliminate any public demonstration of religious beliefs. In other words they have no belief in the First Amendment, particularly when it comes to anyone expressing opinions or beliefs different from their own.


David Starr gets to the heart of the matter when he delves into what he calls an “academic deathwish.”
Some college student demonstrators are calling for more "ethnic (black) studies" programs.  Talk about self destructive impulses.  Although a black studies course may make blacks feel better about being black, they won't do a bit of good when it comes to finding a job.

I will take it a little bit farther than he did by stating any major whose title ends in “Studies” is a loser right out of the gate as it will be a useless degree outside of academia. It won't prepare a student to survive in the real world. All such majors do nothing but create yet another bunch or permanently aggrieved Social Justice Warriors who will end up having to take menial minimum wage jobs because they won't be qualified for any other kind of work.


The ongoing battle between one of our local farm families and one of their neighbors – the neighbor being someone “from away”, in this case the Boston area - has reached an interesting point. The town's Zoning Board did not give the neighbor what they wanted, that being their desire that absolutely no activity that they deem disruptive or within their sight be allowed. Considering the farm in question has been operating under one owner or another since the late 1700's I think the Zoning Board made the right decision. What makes the neighbor think they should have control over someone else's livelihood? If they didn't want to be next to a working farm then perhaps they should have done their due diligence and bought a home somewhere else in town.

This isn't the first time this kind of issue has raised its ugly head, both here in New Hampshire and elsewhere in the US. I doubt it will be the last.


Why liberals have deluded themselves into believing that jihadist attacks in the US can be used to persuade the American public that it's in their best interests to disarm themselves is beyond me. I have to wonder: What color they sky is on their home planet?

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


I think this is a perfect example of exactly what the Progressive Left wants for the US.

Venezuela: A Dictatorship Masquerading as a Democracy.

I'm sure the Left would love to have control over all media, the economy, speech, elections, and a whole host of other activities that go against their narrative. Then again, that's been their aim since the days of Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

That such control in Venezuela has turned a once wealthy country into a economic basket case, has all but eliminated all human rights, all while letting its oil infrastructure crumble away is to be devoutly ignore by the Progressive Left in this country.


This would certainly have use in combat conditions, particularly when the bad guys outnumber you. If you you think mini-guns (Gatling guns) are bad-ass, this centrifugal gun, called the DREAD, will make it look like a flintlock. Gatlings are capable of firing up to a rate of 6000 rounds per minutes. The DREAD can fire at a rate of up to 240,000 per minute and can vary the velocity of the rounds it fires.

Another plus: the DREAD is almost silent because it doesn't use an explosive to fire each round unlike the Gatling guns.


I watched in horror as the New England Patriots folded in front of the Philadelphia Eagles onslaught. I don't know who those guys in the Patriots uniforms were during the second half, but they were totally ineffective against the 4-7 Eagles, losing 35-28.

If the Patriots can't get things back on track for the next game I have a feeling they'll end up 10-6 for the season.


There appears to be more calls for a revival of nuclear power due to its carbon free nature and high reliability and availability. Assuming the federal government can get off it's ass and streamline the draconian regulatory and licensing process as well as give the necessary approvals for new, safer designs in a timely fashion.

Thorium-based nukes do not have the problems that plague uranium-based reactors, the biggest one being the issue of nuclear waste. Thorium reactors can use the waste products of uranium-cycle reactors for fuel. Thorium is plentiful and do not require the expensive processing that uranium requires.

As much as people push for renewable sources of energy to power our technological society, the hard truth I that renewables can't provide the power needed to for today's society. To equal the power provided 24 hours a day by a single 1000 MW nuclear plant located on a square mile of land renewables would require 120 square miles of land. (The nameplate capacity of renewables is at best a third of its instantaneous capacity so you need three times the amount of renewable capacity to equal that of a single nuke plant.)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where Christmas shopping as proceeding apace, Christmas decorations are starting to appear on homes throughout the area, and where Christmas Day will arrive all too soon.


Thoughts On A Sunday - Monday Edition

We managed to survive another Thanksgiving, this time without the drama of a snowstorm-driven blackout. For the most part it was all very low key. I believe a good time was had by all of the WP clan at the various Thanksgiving gatherings across the Northeast.

One thing I did manage to get done outside of the Thanksgiving festivities was hauling away the last of the brush pile that accumulated since last spring, getting it all loaded on to the back of the trusty F150 and dumped at our town's brush pile for burning.


I have to admit my disappointment in the performance of the New England Patriots against the Denver Broncos. Too many missed opportunities and too many penalties as well as penalties missed by the refs along with a number of costly injuries stopped the Patriots winning streak, giving them a a 10-1 record.


After the heads of a number of universities caved in to the demands of the coddled special fragile snowflakes attending their institutions of higher 'learning', it's refreshing to see one who tells it like it is: This is Not a Day Care. It is a University!

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up.



This is something I will be sending to my very liberal brother-in-law who rants constantly about the Koch brothers and the political contributions they make, making it sound like they're they only ones supporting political candidates, particularly those he doesn't like. But looking at this list of top political contributors, you'll see the Koch's are small potatoes compared to those above them on the list.

The #1 contributor? The SEIU at over $224 million. About 99% of their contributions go to Democrats.

The next six are also heavy contributors, with a total of over $531 million of which 99% goes to Democrats.

Where are the Koch brothers on this list? At #49 with a total of $29.5 million in contributions, of which 94% goes to Republicans.

And what about George Soros? He checks in at #18 with $46.6 million in contributions of which 98% goes to Democrats.

As I have said to my brother in law, I'll start paying attention to the Koch's when he starts paying attention to George Soros.

All those numbers above are a total for all election cycles since 2002. If you look just at the 2014 election cycle, you'll find the top eight contributors gave over $285 million of which over 98% went to Democrats. Again the Koch's were dwarfed by these contributors, but they are supposedly the only ones buying the elections? Really?


Has Comcast found a major loophole in Net Neutrality? It could be.

Of course the whole Net Neutrality issue may go away if the federal court finds the FCC went well outside its charter and bypassed Congress and violating federal law.


Gee, if the poor fragile snowflakes on out college campuses really think that cultural appropriation is a bad thing, then I want everyone who has appropriated Western culture to give it all back.

First, let's start with modern medicine, planes, trains, and automobiles, computers, telephones, TVs, classical music, skyscrapers, and the Internet just for starters. Let's see how well these culturally illiterate snowflakes do once that happens, shall we?


Here's another example of snowflake neurosis: A woman was “horrified” to find a bible in her hotel room, calling it “bad manners.”

You know what’s also bad manners? Being such an insufferable douchebag that the mere sight of a Bible causes a meltdown.

I guess she's never been in a hotel room before. With few exceptions I have found a bible in almost every hotel room I've ever stayed in, almost always placed there by the Gideons.

I hope the hotel had a fainting couch handy for the poor woman!


And that's the (delayed) news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter temps have arrived, the last of the fall yard work is being finished up, and where the woodstoves are keeping our homes warm.


Thoughts On A Sunday....Or Not

Due to both an Internet outage and an ongoing computer problem, my usual Sunday post will be delayed until tomorrow.


Living For The Past

How many times have we heard someone say “Don't worry about tomorrow, just live for the moment”? I know I've heard it more than once during six of the seven different decades I've been on Earth, and quite often over the last ten years or so. It sounds profound, doesn't it?

Too bad it's a crock. There are many reasons why this is so and why we should stop listening to this nonsense.

Most lifestyle “gurus” have sold us on the idea of living for the moment — that right now is all that exists — and that we should only do that which makes us feel good.

Although this advice is alluring and justifying, it often fails to produce desirable results in the real world. Actually, in many cases, it ruins people’s lives.

Living for the moment is the reason people leave marriages, lose control over their health, and why America is trillions of dollars in debt.

Does the above sound a little over the top? At first glance it might. But when you think about it, particularly that first sentence, you come to realize there's a lot of truth there. There's nothing with living in the moment, but only if you apply all you have (hopefully) learned and understand that the trope of “ only do that which makes us feel good” is a trap, and is an insidious trap at that. As the linked post states, much of that 'feel good' crap is what has whittled away at our morals and ethics, diminished the concept of self-control, and has fooled many people into believing the “living in the moment, feel-good” meme also implies that there are no consequences for doing so. Too bad for them and the rest of us that they're tragically wrong.

Unless “living in the moment, feel-good” is reined in with some heavy caveats, we should strive to show those who believe it that it is trap, one they will not realize they have sprung until it's too late.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.


More Social Deconstruction By The Silly Progressive Youth

As the decent into the absurd continues on our college campuses, one has to ask why the series of incredibly dumb and trivial 'causes' has come to the forefront. Between the “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” being demanded by the mentally fragile snowflakes, and the progressively ridiculous claims of “racism”, “sexism”, and “cultural appropriation” being made by their brainless brethren, is it any wonder why we have to worry about our society?

Of the most recent silliness, the silliest has to be the cultural appropriation obsession that has infected our college campuses. It goes something like this:

Just when you thought uptight, fun-dodging, thought-policing millennials couldn’t get any worse, they go and brand yoga as racist. Apparently, when white people bend themselves bonkers while humming or thinking happy-clappy thoughts, they’re not only being self-punishing saps: they are also ‘culturally appropriating’ a practice that has ‘roots in Indian culture’.

That’s according to student leaders at the University of Ottawa, who put pressure on a yoga teacher at the uni’s Centre for Students with Disabilities to call off her yoga classes. She was told ‘there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice’. In these people’s minds, in which the Offence-Seeking Antenna is forever turned to High, a white person doing yoga is not that different to a white person donning blackface and singing ‘Mammy’.

I think these folks are overlooking one important point: almost every western nation 'appropriates' portions of the cultures of those who have come there from other nations. It is inevitable.

America has been called a melting pot, hopefully taking the best of other cultures to add to our own and making it better. But that doesn't interest these idiots. They want to balkanize every cultural aspect of our people, natural born or immigrant, creating ethnic, racial, and cultural enclaves. It will be Jim Crow writ large, with the divisions being more numerous. That is what the Perpetually Offended are striving for, not realizing they sow the seeds of their own destruction. Such segregation never works, leaving more strife and division in its wake and stifling many of the freedoms we hold dear.

There's another aspect of this as well, that being by working to deconstruct Western social values we will have no base for making moral and ethical decisions. When that base is gone any action can be justified, even genocide. We saw that in places like Germany, where the Nazi Party filled a gap left by the devastating terms of the Treaty of Versailles which bankrupted that nation, financially and morally. We also saw it in the old Soviet Union, where normal morality and ethics were replaced by those of the Party, none of which allowed the freedom of thought and expression many of the present day 'Progressives' take for granted. They mistakenly think such freedoms would apply only to them and not the rest of us. Unfortunately for them, history shows that they will end up being proles just like the very ones they look down upon.

Of course much of this could be attributed to the fact that many of the major social issues that drove the late 50's, 60's, and 70's have been resolved, leaving only these trivial and, in the end, totally unimportant 'issues' as the only things the Perpetually Offended have to justify their existence.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Preparations for Thanksgiving continue apace, with the WP clan going to be spread out all over New England and rural New York on that day. Deb will be working that day and I'll be holding down the fort here at The Manse, so our celebration will take place on Friday. Such are the vagaries of work schedules.


David Starr offers his views on the GOP candidates and I have to say I pretty much agree with what he says.

While I agree with David that Ben Carson is a little soft spoken, I have to counter with Teddy Roosevelt's line - “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” I'd rather have someone who speaks softly, means what he says, and is willing to back it up with the Big Stick.


While this article is not really new, being posted back in September, it is still germane to the discussion about Carly Fiorina and her time heading HP.

Was she a bad CEO? No, at least in regards to doing what was need to save HP. Those she laid off most likely see it differently, but a CEO's job is to do what's necessary to keep the company they lead viable, even if some of actions needed hurt some of the employees.

If the linked piece above isn't enough, here's a letter from a former HP employee that was published in one of our local papers. He was there prior to Carly taking the helm and dispels many of the conceptions of what HP was like pre-Fiorina.


Poor little fragile snowflakes!


Speaking of poor fragile little snowflakes, here's an example from Columbia University, where one has claimed she's “suffered severe emotional trauma from reading too many books by and about white people.”

If she's so traumatized by this, it points to an underlying untreated psychological condition, not an uncaring university faculty or administration. This means she needs to withdraw from Columbia until her psychological disorder has been treated and she's deemed healthy enough to resume taking classes.


Somewhere, Jimmy Carter is celebrating being dethroned – Barack Obama: Worst. President. Ever.

Even people I know who have been staunch Obama supporters are now looking at him with new eyes and aren't liking what they're seeing. Quite a few of them have said they've felt betrayed because the promise of what might have been was nothing but a smokescreen meant to keep them in line. Now he's seen as a patronizing, sometimes annoyed and dismissive towards people who didn't see him as the new Progressive Messiah.

Welcome to the real world.

Even Jimmy Crater has been getting in on the act, placing the blame for ISIS squarely on the shoulders of Obama.


For a country that was supposed to be full of children who would never know snowfall again because of Global Warming, the UK is suffering its share of snow storms and icy blizzards.

I wonder how long it will be before the Thames River freezes from bank to bank?


This is one more I have to steal from Instapundit, and the subject does not surprise me in the least.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows us that a majority of Americans feel like strangers in their own country. I know I do.

We've gone from a “Can Do!” nation to one whose motto now seems to be either “Gimme Dat!” or worse, “You Didn't Build That!”. Anyone showing a lick of innovative thinking is either marginalized, regulated, or sued to the point where they give up. That isn't what our nation was built on.

It doesn't help that both Democrats and Republicans are partly to blame for this, as are a large number of those sequestered away in the halls of academia, places that have rarely felt the effects of real life and continue to indoctrinate our young adults with 'progressive pablum' that has nothing progressive about it.

But what do you expect from a nation led by a man who has deep-seated hatred for the country he leads?


At least these masked bank robbers had a sense of decorum, declaring “Relax, we are not Isis. It is only a hold-up.”

You can bet more than one bank patron said something along the lines of “Thank God!”


This is so effin' stupid that I admit I almost wasted a good cup of tea, being tempted to throw it at my monitor.

By way of Dr. Helen comes this Fox News story about a “PC bullying assembly” and how boys were asked to stand and make a pledge to “never ever hurt a woman, no matter what.”

I can see if the girls were also asked to make a similar pledge to never ever hurt boys, but that wouldn't fit the narrative. Boys are always guilty, even when they aren't. That over a third of all domestic violence is committed by women is totally ignored, as is that the percentage is increasing.

I would never take such a pledge because I am a gentleman and it is assumed gentlemen would never hurt a woman. Nor would I take it because it is a totally PC piece of bulls**t and I will not in any way support political correctness, which is nothing more than yet another form of fascism.


And that's the news from politically incorrect Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter is peeking around hillsides and over mountaintops, snow tires are being mounted, and where we're making sure our snowblowers are good to go.


Logical Fallacies

One of the issues we deal with every day in the blogosphere, the media, and real life is what are called logical fallacies. We hear them (and use them) all the time, be it in passing conversation, writing a blog post, debating with others, or commenting on news stories or articles/posts/screeds on the 'Net or the dead tree media. The problem is that most of the time we don't even realize we are using them, or worse, are being used against us. It's even worse when they're being used against us and the person using them is fully aware they're using such a fallacy as a weapon to either bash you or force you into defending a position you hold as if it is your opinion that is flawed even though it is perfectly valid and theirs holds no water.

But first, exactly what is a logical fallacy?

A logical fallacy is, roughly speaking, an error of reasoning. When someone adopts a position, or tries to persuade someone else to adopt a position, based on a bad piece of reasoning, they commit a fallacy.

We see them and are exposed to them all the time. Many are harmless, but others can be wielded as a weapon to force a shift in perception or opinions about topics of importance, even when the 'new paradigm' is woefully inaccurate or an outright lie. We've seen that time and time again throughout history, the two biggest examples being the rise and fall of both Nazi Germany and Communism, specifically as practiced in the defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Logical fallacies were used to drive the people of both nations in the directions their leaders wanted, even if the outcomes were abhorrent and, dare I say, genocidal. We still see it today in places like Venezuela, where deliberate logical fallacies have been used to control the perceptions of the people until the point where they could no longer ignore them. The nation's economy is a shambles, caused by the ideological blindness of those in power. They used all kinds of logical fallacies to convince the people that on Chavismo, the Venezuelan version of socialism could 'save' them from the predation of the 'Capitalist Yankees', all while driving the population into wide spread poverty and taking control of the wealth for the 'good of the Venezuelan people'.

There are a number of different types of logical fallacies, all based upon the type of reasoning used to create and support them. They run the gamut from formal (deductive) fallacies, informal (inductive) fallacies, and logical/factual error fallacies. I could try to parse them here, but it would be easier if you go to the site linked above and read the various descriptions there.

Probably the two most common logical fallacies we run across are the Straw Man Argument and the Appeal to Authority. We see both of these an the 'Net, in the Letters to the Editor in our newspapers, and even in debates amongst acquaintances. We've certainly seen a large number of examples of both of these during the ongoing debate about climate change.

The first is used when one's position is weak in order to make it appear as if it is stronger. The second is used most often when there is no “there” there so the argument is redirected towards the opinions of an authority figure even if that person has little or no real expertise in the subject being debated or has been proven wrong.

If we understand logical fallacies we can both protect ourselves against those used by others and prevent ourselves from using them ourselves.


Mog's Christmas Calamity

I'd thought to save this until some time in December, but it's so good that I couldn't wait.


Thoughts On A Sunday

While the weather has been nice, I haven't had the opportunity to finish the last of the yard work due to family and town commitments. That doesn't bother me as I have at least two more weeks to finish it and I figure all I really need is two days of decent weather to get it done before winter closes in.

One thing that needs taking care of is re-shodding the trusty F150 with new tires, preferably with something that has a slightly more aggressive tread. Not that the tires I've had on the F150 haven't been adequate for most of my driving, but there were more than a few times when I could have used the extra traction a more aggressive tread would have provided.


With the ISIS attack in France, a lot of people are wondering if there wasn't something that could have been done to prevent it.

Of course there was, but EU policies, lax immigration laws, and hubris finally caught up with the EU and a lot more people had to die.

I expect to see more of these coordinated attacks, but I doubt they will happening on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. Frankly, ISIS doesn't have the support or logistics to pull off numerous attacks without drawing the attention of numerous national and international intelligence operations.

As my dear brother opined to me last night, “In a head to head fight against a highly organized military, they lose.”

There are a number of ways to fight and defeat ISIS, but I doubt the present occupant in the White House has either the stomach for it or the conviction that it's needed to bring the fight to an intractable enemy. One of the more effective means of doing so hasn't been used since World War II and I doubt anyone would get behind such a means, except maybe for the Russians, that being total war: flatten everything under ISIS control, then bomb the rubble, then bomb it again. Encircle ISIS held territory and move towards the center, destroying everything that moves.

The problem with this type of warfare is that there is a lot of collateral damage. A lot of innocents die, and no one really wants that.

But if ISIS escalates, starts using weapons of mass destruction such as chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons within Europe and the Americas, all bets are off. At that point they will have lost because all ISIS held territory will likely find themselves on the receiving end of nuclear strikes, and I doubt if a lot of attention will be paid to the so-called battle lines, particularly if Russia is involved. (Frankly, I wouldn't blame them.)


I find this to be an intriguing question: Could the US double energy efficiency?

Of course that is a rather misleading question because it's too general. There are a number of areas where increased energy efficiency is possible, but it would be incremental and the costs wouldn't be worth it because the return on investment would be a negative number and, in the end, likely to create inefficiencies in other areas.

While more gains can be achieved with better insulation of buildings, I doubt that we'd see a 50% cut in energy use without there being some negative side effects. We've certainly seen that in many super-insulated buildings where even though energy consumption decreased greatly, the health of people inside those buildings were negatively affected because the buildings were “too tight”. To fix that problem better ventilation systems were needed which increased the energy usage and canceled out some of the benefits of the better insulation.

One of the few places where we could see some major gains in energy efficiency is transportation, specifically ground transportation. Internal combustion engines are still woefully inefficient, but much better than they used to be. If efficiency could be doubled, that could mean smaller engines to provide similar power to existing engines, but the cost of doing so shouldn't exceed the cost of doing nothing otherwise there's no incentive to do so.

And so it goes.


What happens when claims about the effects of global warming don't match reality? They disappear from the Internet.

But as more than one maven has stated, nothing really disappears from the 'Net...ever.


The New England Patriots managed to pull off a squeaker against the New York Giants, a team they've always had trouble beating. The Pats won it on a 54-yard field goal, leaving only 1 second on the clock at the end of the play. Now the Patriots are 9-0, but still only 1-3 against the Giants.


Moonbattery brings up a very important point in regards to the present occupant of the Oval Office:

Why only fools listen to Obama.

Obama makes a statement that is easily proven to be false, in this case shortly after the church shooting in Charleston, about “This kind of violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

The rebuttal: “If only France had rigid gun control, yesterday’s bloodbath in Paris could have been avoided. Oh wait, France is run by moonbats and does have rigid gun control. That’s why no one was in a position to fight back against the Muslims.”



I think Smitty over at The Other McCain may have hit upon a brilliant idea for solving two problems plaguing America at the same time: Radical Islam in the Middle East and the increasingly fascist academia infesting our colleges.
1. Trump is making waves about mass-deportation of illegal aliens. Let’s stipulate that, if they were packing the gear to get themselves here, they’ve already showed more capability than the current crop of college nitwits. Bear with me.

2. Instead of deporting illegal aliens, let’s deport all of academia! (Hollyweird: you’re on notice). Send all of these feckless administrators, Commie profs, and the minds they’ve polluted. . .to the Middle East.

3. I figure the encounter of Radical Islam and academia with be some sort of matter/anti-matter affair. Promises to be a jolly meltdown, but hey: haven’t they all earned it?

4. We can give American education a fresh kickstart by. . .educating the illegal aliens (who should be quite attentive to Americanization, having seen what just happened to academia.)

5. And we all live maturely ever after.

Actually his suggestions solve three problems, the third being illegal immigration onto the US. Way to go, Smitty!


Modern Educayshun indeed. This would be hilarious if it weren't so true.

Hmm. Maybe we should apply Smitty's solution to correct this problem?


After seeing the endless failures of zero-tolerance policies in schools that have harmed far more kids than any that might have been caused by transgressors, I have to wonder what dope this dope has been smoking that makes him want to expand such a disastrous policy.

I guess he really hasn't thought about the unexpected consequences of such an expansion. I can tell you one of them – unending and very expensive lawsuits against any of the institutions that implement such policies, particularly where they violate someone's First Amendment rights. Considering the exponential growth of special and fragile snowflakes now infesting our institutions of higher learning, this is a policy that will ultimately destroy the very institutions they are supposed to 'protect'.

Too often zero-tolerance polices merely show us the weakness and/or cowardice of administrators who don't want to be bothered with having to actually make a decision. They are also yet another means of stifling our God-given rights, including the right to offend those with whom we disagree.


More than a few people complained when the latest Democrat debate was scheduled for an evening when very few people were expected to actually watch. Whose great idea was this? If it was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then she should be fired.

How bad was it?

CBS ended coverage 7 minutes before the scheduled end of the debate. That's how bad it was.

More people were interested in the college football games than this drivel, hence the opinion that it was an awful time slot. Who the heck is going to watch three white socialists, two if which who are really getting up there in years and none who actually have any new ideas, debate of stuff no one cares about when they can watch a diverse and stimulating college football game?


Speaking of old white socialists, three young adults stopped by The Manse today to talk to me about Bernie Sanders, asking if I'd support him.

I will admit that I had a brief impulse to let them have it with both barrels of my rhetoric shotgun, but decided they might be examples of some of the previously mention special fragile snowflakes and I didn't want to cause them to go catatonic. So I listened politely, told them I am nowhere near close to supporting anyone, and that I am not going to commit to anyone at this point, and sent them on their merry way.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the last of the leaves have fallen, the winds have died down (for now), and where Thanksgiving is getting closer.


Ted Cruz's Best Line At The Debate

I watched the GOP debate last night and more than any other statement made by the candidates, this one by Ted Cruz stood out because, quite frankly, it hit the target dead center. The topic?

Illegal immigration.

Said Cruz:

When the mainstream media covers illegal immigration they do not see it as an economic issue, but I can tell that for millions of Americans watching this at home it is a very personal economic issue.

I will say, the politics of it would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande. Or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the press, then we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation.

I have a feeling he's right. If it's their ox being gored we'd never hear the end of it and they'd be pushing for stricter enforcement of immigration laws and the wholesale deportation of the illegal immigrants who took their jobs.

Turnabout it fair play, media drones!


Thoughts On A Sunday

The warm weather we experienced over last week has fled, with daytime temps in the upper 40's and overnight temps below freezing. This meant we had to fire up the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove to keep the chill off overnight.

The colder weather also brought a lot of gusty winds, meaning a lot of the leaves remaining on our trees came down over the weekend. The wind also meant it would have been futile to rake the yard, so no actual yard work was done.


Bird Dog points us in the direction of an old Yankee cuisine staple: Fluffernutters.


Oh, I like this!

Here's where you can find a list of gas stations in your state or province that sell ethanol-free gasoline.

Fortunately there's one in a town not too far from here that does so and I am up that way every other week or so.

I wish the US would end the stupid ethanol mandate because it doesn't do anything it promised it would do, particularly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce carbon emissions. We have plenty of oil here in the US and if we chose to do so, would not have to import a single drop of overseas oil. Corn-based ethanol is a loser from the get-go, costing the taxpayers a lot of money, taking otherwise productive farmland out of food production to produce corn for ethanol, and actually causes more CO2 to be generated than if we did nothing.


Another DNC media organ admits to fabricating a story about one of the present GOP presidential candidates. Sound familiar?

Politico‘s Kyle Cheney admitted that he fabricated a negative story about Ben Carson. At least, according to his own standards, he admitted the grievous journalistic sin.

In a story published early on Friday, Politico’s Kyle Cheney authored a piece headlined “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship” with a subhed “Carson’s campaign on Friday conceded that a central point in his inspirational personal story did not occur as he previously described.”

There were at least five major problems with the story:

The headline was completely false
The subhed was also completely false
The opening paragraph was false false false
The substance of the piece was missing key exonerating information
The article demonstrated confusion about service academy admissions and benefits
I'm wondering how long before Politico borrows the CBS News justification: “Fake, but accurate.”


David Starr makes a good case for repealing Dodd-Frank.

...we passed a law, Dodd-Frank, which makes bailouts policy.  Dodd-Frank  sets up which companies will get bailouts, how much.

The real problem with bailouts, is they urge on crazy behavior.  In no-bailout world, company management is pretty careful about the risks it runs.  If they do something really risky, and it fails, the company is toast, they and everyone in the company are out of work, the investors loose everything.  All around badness.

But when Uncle Sam says he will bailout companies, all bets are off.   Now management can do all those crazy things, and if they fail, the company survives, they keep their jobs, and the investors are untouched (mostly).  No pain.  And without pain, nobody learns anything. 

That's what happens when you privatize profit but socialize risk – Risk 'disappears' and the constraints on investments disappear with them. That's never a good idea.


You're kidding me, right?

As if we need more evidence that “much of the student body is mentally ill” at Yale, Glenn Reynolds points us to a Hot Air story reporting that Yale administrators have apologized for not creating enough “safe spaces” on campus.

Anyone requiring such safe spaces isn't competent to survive in the real world and, for the good of the rest of the student body, should be expelled until they can prove they are no longer mentally ill. It isn't fair to the rest of the students or the faculty to be forced to go out of their way to cater to someone who shouldn't even be there.


I think they're grading on a curve.

Obama earns a 'D' on handling the economy.

If he was being graded on how to weaken and/or destroy an economy, then he would deserve an 'A'.


Microsoft's “hit” OS, Windows 10, isn't much of a hit with a lot of PC support reps, with some of them discouraging their customers from upgrading to the new OS.

I know a lot of corporate customers are staying with Windows 7, seeing no good reason to abandon an OS that is stable and does what they need it to do.

I know my company has a few PCs running Windows 10, but mostly to help us ensure our software will work when run on a Windows 10 platform. All of the rest of our computers are running Windows 7 Enterprise and corporate has no plans to make the switch to 10 any time in the near future.


To make space more accessible we need a better way to get spacecraft into orbit. The old tried-and-true method works, but it's hellaciously expensive and inherently unsafe as compared to driving a car or taking a flight in a plane.

While some companies have been working on making spaceflight less expensive, too many of them are merely using a variation of the system we've been using since the late 1950's. Companies like Scaled Composites and Xcor are on the right track, but they aren't there yet and their existing systems are only good enough for sub-orbital flights. Others, like Reaction Engines Ltd, are working on better systems that work little different than existing airliners, albeit with a lot of upgrades to make orbital flight possible.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the last of the boats are being pulled from the lake, summer cottages are now closed up for the winter, and where the smell of woodsmoke is becoming more prevalent.


Drawbridge Mentality Strikes Again

I'm not going to address an issue of vital national interest, at least not in this post. Instead, I'm going to address an issue of vital local interest (though it applies all across America...or at least rural and semi-rural America).

What is it that I find so compelling that I feel the need to express it here? What drives me to tackle this subject...yet again?

Personal experience.

On more than one occasion over the past 13 years of blogging I have written about life in a small town along with the ups and downs that go with it. One of the more insidious factors that can have negative effects on any small town is what I call drawbridge mentality. It can be a complex subject, so rather than boring everyone with a long and convoluted definition of the term, let me try to simplify it for you and explain it thus:

It is an attitude most often held by newcomers to a town that now that they have found their perfect little piece of Americana, they want to 'raise the drawbridge', let no one else in, and most often, don't want there to be any change ever. Call it a more subtle version of “I got mine, buddy, so screw you!”

While this is an attitude most often held by newcomers, it isn't limited just to them as I've seen a number of towns where life-long residents fall into that same trap. I know of at least one town down in southwestern New Hampshire where the residents have done that and now they wonder why no new families are moving in, why their elementary school is closing, and why what few businesses that used to be located in town have either closed their doors or relocated to another town.

I mentioned earlier that personal experience has driven me to address this topic, in this case a battle here in my little home town that pits a newcomer (the family has only been here for a few years) against a local business that has been run by the same family for generations. This in turn reminded me of a situation in a small town northwest of here where I once resided where a retired couple bought their 'dream home' near the town green.

Not once did they give any thought to the working farm that was across the road from them...until their first spring in their new home when the farm owners started their annual preparations for the coming growing season. Between removing the winter crop of rocks from the fields, plowing, seeding, fertilizing, and a lengthy list of other activities that take place on a working farm, there was noise and interesting 'aromas' emanating from the farm, something to which they took exception. It didn't matter to them that the farm had been in the same family and operating since the late 1700's, they wanted all of the activities that bothered them to stop. It didn't matter to them that the farm was the family's livelihood, how they made their living. They wanted their “peace and quiet” and were willing to do anything to get it. However they got nowhere with their complaints and found no sympathy in the town because they were, after all, flatlanders. They even made threats to sue, but from my understanding they couldn't find a lawyer willing to take their case because they all knew it was a loser right out of the gate.

In the end they stopped trying to shut down the farm operation and eventually settled in, acclimating to their new environs. I'd like to think they came to the point where they rarely even noticed the farm operations anymore...or perhaps they just shut off their hearing aids.

This situation has occurred in one form or another in small towns all across America. It's disheartening, disruptive, and at times, destructive.

The only other type of behavior that can cause havoc in small towns are when newcomers decide they want the same services and amenities to be made available as the place they fled, finding that small town life isn't everything they thought it would be. If they succeed they then complain about how much their property taxes have gone up, not making the connection between increased services/amenities and increased taxes. The level of this type of disconnect can be amazing, even when it is pointed out to them that they are the cause of the constantly rising property taxes.

I am not one who believes any town can become static and survive just as I do not believe a town's character can survive if it becomes just another clone of the places everyone has left. Towns will change with time. They always do. The towns that survive adapt with the times and do well if they can make any necessary changes while also maintaining its character. It's not easy, but it can be done and has been done. It's also worthwhile.


A380 Flying Formation With Guys In Jetpacks

This is just so cool!

Well, it is the 21st after all! But what's even cooler?

How they shot the video, of course!


Thoughts On A Sunday

We have survived another Halloween without incident, the farm stand of the farm where BeezleBub works closed the stand for the year, and we will be Patriot-less this weekend since the Pats played Miami this past Thursday evening.

All in all, not a bad weekend.


I don't know about you, but I really like Mike Rowe. If nothing else he gets right to the point, is not pretentious, and actually knows how to work hard and get dirty.

So when he responds to MSLSD's Melissa Harris-Perry's contention that the phrase “hard work” is a racist term that in some way equates to slavery, it is something to behold.

As Ed Driscoll writes, “...the average plumber is also likely much more respected than the average journalist these days — and for good reason: plumbers by and large seem much more competent and trustworthy when it comes to their jobs compared to the average Democrat operative with a byline.”



The real reason the last gun shop in San Francisco closed it's doors: The city has mandated that gun shops hand over information about its customers to the cops.

The owner wasn't about to do that because there was absolutely no legal reason (city ordinances not withstanding) for doing so.

For a city that prides itself on being tolerant of all kinds of beliefs and perversions, San Francisco is one of the least tolerant cities I've ever visited.


Since the New England Patriots were off this weekend after their 36-7 win over Miami this past Thursday, I decided to catch the Detroit Lions/Kansas City Chiefs game from London.

I've seen the popularity of American football growing in the UK over the years, evidenced by the increasing number of games being played in London. (I believe this one was the fourth of the season.)

I believe it's only a matter of time before London gets its own NFL team, whether it is an expansion team or a US team moving to the UK.


With two states having passed “Yes means Yes” legislation (California and New York), I expect the number of sexual assault cases on college campuses to skyrocket. I also expect the number of lawsuits against colleges in those states to also skyrocket as more students will be convicted by the kangaroo courts run by those same institutions of higher learning.

One of the big problems with the legislation is that very few, if any college students really understand what it means or entails. They're confused, and rightfully so, because the laws in both states are so ambiguous that they are open to abuse.

Writes Greg Lukianoff about one student's response to the law in New York:

As one student said, “That’s what scares the sh*t out of me. Because if anything happens, if someone says I did anything or something is misconstrued, I’m automatically the villain, I’m automatically the bad guy, and it’s up to me to prove that I’m not—which is interesting, because in America it’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.”

And even if found innocent, they're still guilty and any reputation they may have had will be gone, never to return.

The only ones that will be profiting from these laws are the tort lawyers, and rightfully so.


What's the real reason Obama has sent Special Forces into Syria? Allan West knows, and it ain't pretty.

Writes Col. West:
This is just a band-aid on a sucking chest wound and the LAST thing I EVER want to see are our combat warriors being used like pawns in a very dangerous game by inept and incompetent folks. History is sadly repeating itself.


(H/T Pirate's Cove)


Of all of the GOP candidates for president, it appears the one the liberals are having a tough time coming to grips with is Ben Carson.

How strange it must be for people who comfort themselves with the slander that the GOP is a cult of organized racial hatred that the most popular politician among conservatives is a black man. Better to ignore the elephant in the room than account for such an inconvenient fact. The race card is just too valuable politically and psychologically for liberals who need to believe that their political opponents are evil.

The only racism that is allowed is the soft-racism as practiced by the Left. Without that their constituency will fade away because they won't need the Left any more.


The Daily Gator wonders why the members of Cult of Gun Control are so violent?

Could it be they don't want any competition or that they want free rein to commit acts of violence without the fear of being stopped by armed citizens?


Listening to the promises being made by Bernie Sanders at his campaign stop brings up memories of other politicians here and abroad bringing up the very same promises over the past six decades. He is offering nothing new. The only thing that's changed are the numbers. He never offers to anyone how we're supposed to pay for everything he's promising, nor does he really seem to care.

The big problem: all of those previous politicians who kept their promises to create the socialist paradise being put forth by Sanders have instead destroyed their economies, weakened civil rights, and in many cases , turned into tyrannies rivaling those or previous eras.

If this is what Bernie is offering then my answer must be “Hell, no!”


Here's a list of 10 shambling technologies that refuse to die.

I'm not sure about including USB 2.0 on the list because, quite frankly, there are numerous devices out there that neither need nor can support USB 3.0 or 3.1. They are overkill for the purpose of transferring small amounts of data from a device to a PC or network. Some of the instruments made by the company where I've worked the past 18 years don't need anything beyond USB 2.0. Heck, some don't need anything beyond USB 1.1!


While Vladimir Putin gives me the willies seeing as it appears he's trying to restart the Cold War, the one thing I agree with him on is Anthropogenic Global Warming: It's a fraud.


Skip of Granite Grok offers us a lesson in economics, one that has be be learned again and again:

When government stops supporting winners, they oft become losers.

In this case Skip is talking about electric cars and what happened to sales in one state – Georgia - once it stopped subsidizing their purchase: sales dropped by 88.9 percent.

So endith the lesson.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where warmer weather has returned for the coming week, the Halloween decorations are being put away, and where preparations for Thanksgiving have begun.