Never mind that I had a small accident that damaged the garage at The Manse. (Note to self: don't wear the big-ass snow boots when driving the trusty F150, even if all you're doing is pulling it into the garage.)
***************Hearing the news about the crackdown and arrests of terrorist sleeper cells across Europe evokes only one response from me: It's about time.
The virtually unrestricted of Muslim immigrants and their refusal to assimilate was a formula for disaster. All one has to do to see the bad effects of that is Sweden, where the crime rate has skyrocketed, particularly sexual assaults, almost all of which were committed by unassimilated Muslim men.
***************A 25-year old “Gender & Migration Consultant” working for the city of Boston was fired by the mayor after she took part in the I-93 protests that blocked traffic into the city the other morning.
Two questions brought up about this consultant:
What the hell is a “Gender & Migration Consultant” from Finland doing working for the city of Boston?Indeed.
Don’t we have enough Barnard graduates with useless degrees born in America who can do this job?
***************Glenn Reynolds comments upon a Washington Post article that reports a majority of children in public schools are in poverty, stating that “[T]he WaPo has missed the big story — it’s not that so many students are poor, it’s that the non-poor students, and parents, are exiting the public schools.”
I wonder what the teachers unions have to say about that?
***************That the US is not building more really tall skyscrapers is not a sign of American decline, but rather an indicator of maturity, specifically when it comes to performance versus cost, according to Coyote Blog.
Many of these super-tall building projects make little economic sense, but are completed to validate the prestige of emerging nations, like teenage boys comparing penis sizes.Performance over pretty is a good metric for any kind of economic activity.
I discussed this in the context of rail a while back at Forbes. In that case, it seems everyone thinks the US is behind in rail, because it does not have sexy bullet trains. But in fact we have a far more developed freight network than any other country, and shift of transport to rail makes a much larger positive economic and environmental impact for cargo than for [passenger] rail. It comes down to what you care about -- prestige or actual performance. Again choosing performance over prestige is a sign of maturity.
***************I watched Senator Rand Paul (R -KY) on our local TV station's Close Up program and I have to say I think he has a good view about what is needed in the way of a GOP presidential candidate, and it isn't the 'same old, same old' the GOP has put up over the past two election cycles.
That Romney is considering a third run for the Oval Office has generated some buzz, particularly since everything he predicted would happen in regards to the economy, foreign relations, and terrorism has come to pass. But I think he may be past his 'expiration date'. On the other hand Ronald Reagan didn't win until his third run for the White House.
***************Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) describes herself as “always an outsider”, but looking at her history I'd have to say that's a delusional viewpoint. While she is keeping the pressure on Hillary and the Democrats in regards to 2016 and the Obama Administrations close ties to Wall Street, she is not really an outsider but a stealth insider. She just hides it better than most.
***************While the EPA is tasked with protecting the environment, will it be the cause of a increasingly unreliable electrical grid as it forces more of our power generation stations offline?
With the EPA pushing new mandates and deadlines that are impossible to meet, more generating capacity is going offline just as demand is increasing. With shrinking capacity margins it may be only a matter of time before demand exceeds supply and utilities will be forced to employ rolling blackouts, something we usually see in Third World nations, not here. Then again the EPA has become less about protecting the environment and more about taking more control of the populace be strangling our energy supplies. Then again we've known the EPA is a rogue agency under control of no one. It ignores court decisions, congressional regulations, and even some executive decisions.
Maybe it's time to defund the EPA and start with a clean sheet of paper to create a new EPA that is severely limited in its scope and understands that it exists at the discretion of Congress.
***************While both the wealthiest and poorest Americans have fared better over the past few years under Obama, the middle class has taken it on the chin and isn't likely to fare any better of over the rest of Obama's term. It explains why Obama's lost the middle class.
One of the emerging ironies of the Obama presidency, in fact, is the sagging fortunes of the American middle class while those on either end — rich and poor alike — have arguably fared better under Obama.As much as Obama claims he's trying to help the middle class, his actions have been proving just the opposite. But that's not surprising considering a strong middle class is anathema to his beliefs because they don't need him or his cradle to grave help and therefore not beholden to him. That's why he really doesn't care about them because the poor are easy to please and the rich will give him all kinds of money. The middle class will give him nothing so he has no need of them.
It’s no surprise, then, that Obama is most popular with the lowest earners, with an approval rating of 52% among people earning less than $2,000 per month. That’s the highest approval rating of four income brackets. Obama’s lowest marks come not from the wealthy, as conventional wisdom might suggest, but from middle earners with incomes between $5,000 and $7,499 per month, who only give Obama a 44% approval rating.
***************David Starr comments upon the possibility the UK may leave the EU should the United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP, gain enough seats in Parliament in the upcoming elections.
I certainly understand the UKIP's stand in regards to the EU bureaucratic strangulation of the economy. They see the UK being slowly wiped away by unelected government officials in another country and they're having none of it. Frankly I would welcome them into a NAFTA-like agreement that opens the entire North American market to them and the UK market to us. They would likely do better considering the North American market is much larger than the EU market and not burdened by nearly as much bureaucratic inertia as in the EU.
***************With somewhat warmer temperatures forecast for the next few days I've taken the opportunity to let the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove to go cold, allowing me to perform some needed maintenance.
Unlike some forms of heating, woodstoves require more maintenance. In this case I've had to remove the air tubes and fire bricks at the top of stove's interior to clean out the accumulated ash. Without this bit of work the stove won't heat as efficiently as it did at the beginning of the heating season. So once during the winter, usually during the January thaw, I let the stove go cold and clean out the not so easily reached parts to remove the accumulated ash. It also allows me the time to apply more adhesive to the door gasket to ensure it remains in place for the rest of the heating season.