Thoughts On A Sunday

We had a little bit of snow on Saturday, just enough to remind us that winter can still come back for one last blast. At least today it's warmer with some sun.


This letter appeared in one of our local papers. Reading it shows that this guy understands the perverse incentives government subsidies provide.

Subsides only mask the true cost of everything. They do not make products or services cost less. Grants from government and states with the intent to reduce costs only increase them. Handouts to education from government have never been greater while the cost of education has never been higher. The more government interferes in private markets to distort or control price, the faster prices rise and the poorer quality becomes.

This is one of the first things that any economics class should teach.


As a follow up, here's another bit on economics and specifically how an MIT grad student demolished Thomas Piketty's theory on income inequality.

[Matthew] Rognlie’s blockbuster rebuttal to Piketty is that “recent trends in both capital wealth and income are driven almost entirely by housing.” Software, robots, and other modern investments all depreciate in price as fast as the iPod. Technology doesn’t hold value like it used to, so it’s misleading to believe that investments in capital now will give rich folks a long-term advantage.

Rognlie goes on explain how one way to remedy the situation is that “policy-makers should deal with the planning regulations and NIMBYism that inhibit housebuilding and which allow homeowners to capture super-normal returns on their investments.”

Read The Whole Thing.


If Obama thought his betrayal of Israel would go unnoticed, he was wrong.

It is also sending a signal to the rest of our allies, what there is left of them, that the Obama administration will have no qualms about betraying or abandoning them should it fit Obama's narrative.

Assuming Obama leaves office in January 2017 (I wouldn't put it past him to create a crisis that will somehow keep him in office), his successor will have to spend their entire time in office repairing the damage this narcissistic ass has done to our country. Obama was right when he said he was going to fundamentally transform America – he's been turning it into a pariah.

Bob Belvedere adds his two-cents worth to the subject as well, asking “Has the Despot, known as ‘Barack Hussein Obama’, damaged the reputation of America beyond repair?”

Unfortunately I have to agree with his answer: “Yes.”


I have to agree with Glenn Reynolds' title on this one: How to read Pravda.

Writes Stacy McCain:

Whenever I see the liberal media jumping to a particular conclusion, my instinct is that the opposite must be true. Whenever I see the liberal media ignoring a story, I figure that story must be very important. Is it possible that the liberal media sometimes might be correct about one of these ‘social justice’ narratives? Hypothetically, I suppose, but you’re seldom going to lose money betting against them.

I've been seeing this writ small here in New Hampshire where the local paper in the state capitol is often referred to as “Pravda on the Merrimack”. Quite often they get the narrative wrong but are loath to admit they have done so, and worse, were wrong on purpose because the paper is all in to push both the SJW and Progressive narratives and the hell with the truth.


Harry Reid has announced he will not run for re-election in 2016.

So ends the tenure of one of Washington’s most petty, mercurial, and frustratingly (for Republicans) successful figures.

He's also damaged the Democrat party with that pettiness and his condescending attitude towards anyone he disagreed with. Even members of his own party could be targets of his spite. And while a self-professed “faithful steward of the 'War on Women'...he wasn't exactly a feminist warrior.”

He will not be missed.


This proves to me that those corporations taking actions to prove they're green really don't understand math.

It appears Six Flags Great Adventures in New Jersey plans to cut down more 18,000 trees in order to build a 21.9 megawatt solar farm.

How much CO2 will no longer be absorbed by those 18,000 trees that are no longer there? How much tax money is Six Flags receiving to subsidize that solar farm? Doesn't Six Flags realize just how hypocritical (and stupid) this move appears to be?

Is it really just a PR stunt to help Six Flags gain some 'green' cred? I'd say the probability is quite high.


Also by way of Cap'n Teach we find yet another reason why zero-tolerance policies in schools should be banned, in this case an 11-year old boy was suspended for a year because a single leaf of marijuana was found in his backpack.

What's worse is that it turns out that leaf wasn't marijuana, but the school still maintained the suspension because they also prohibit imitation drugs. It is suspected the leaf was planted as a prank, but the school demanded the child undergo a substance abuse evaluation.

As I've said again and again ad nauseum, zero tolerance policies tend to hurt the innocent far more often than they prevent criminal acts by miscreants. They are merely a crutch for the lazy administrators who don't want to make a judgment call. I also have to lay a lot of blame on the tort lawyers, too, as they helped create this situation.


Will Nevada make the same mistake as Seattle and San Francisco and raise their minimum wage to the point that it prices unskilled labor out of the market?

One thing the minimum wage boost proponents never tell you is just how many jobs will disappear when the wage is raised, particularly if it is raised to ridiculous levels. Seattle is finding out the hard way, as is San Francisco. All it will do is drive up teen unemployment, and particularly minority teen unemployment. How are these kids supposed to learn the needed job skills if they're priced out of the market right from the get go?


Seeing the state of freedom of speech on college campuses, I have to agree with F.I.R.E. co-founder Alan Charles Kors on this one.

Kors, the University of Pennsylvania historian....has long argued that colleges systematically engage in false advertising. That is, they tell parents and prospective students that they offer wide-open educational experiences while in fact harshly limiting and circumscribing all sorts of expression and inquiry.

Today, colleges and universities are some of the most close-minded and authoritarian institutions in this country. They do not believe in actual freedom of speech. Rather, they believe you have the right to agree with the Progressive agenda and if you don't then you must be silenced because [insert Leftist and SJW cause du jour here].

What's worse is that some parents are paying through the nose to send their children to these institutions, or worse, these college students are indebting themselves for the next 20 to 30 years to pay for their overpriced and inadequate education.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the warm sun has reappeared, bare patches of ground are appearing, and where it will soon be time to take the boat to the nearest marina for its pre-boating season checkup.


Is Magnetic Cooling In Our Future?

This is kind of cool (pun intended).

Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found a possible means of using magnetic fields along with something called the Kondo Effect to cool materials.

The new physics identified through this work suggest a road map for the development of materials with strong “magnetocaloric” properties, the tendency of a material to change temperature in the presence of a magnetic field.

“The Kondo Effect in YbInCu4 [Ytterbium Indium Copper four] turns on at a very low temperature of 42 Kelvin (-384F),” said Hancock, “but we now understand why it happens, which suggests that it could happen in other materials near room temperature.” If that material is discovered, he adds, it could revolutionize cooling technology.

Household use of air conditioners in the U.S. accounts for more than $11 billion in energy costs and releases 100 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Use of the magnetocaloric effect for magnetic refrigeration as an alternative to the mechanical fans and pumps in widespread use today could significantly reduce those numbers.

If such a material comes out of this research, air-conditioning units would shrink in size because the need for a bulky compressor and heat exchange tubing would disappear and the only moving part might be a fan to move the cooled air. While there are semiconductor materials presently available that use the Peltier effect to heat or cool, they aren't terribly efficient as compared to standard cooling techniques, at least not at a large scale. They work well at a small scale to cool electronics or diode lasers.

It will be interesting to see if the researchers will be able to find the proper materials to make the magnetocaloric effect work at room temperatures.


Another Obama Betrayal Of Israel

It appears Obama's hatred of Israel is deeper than anyone thought, exposing its nuclear capabilities.

...[T]he Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel’s nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth.

As Stephen Green writes, the disclosure is a sellout of Israel all in order to help to close out a deal with Iran, “no matter the cost to Israel's security.” If Obama and Kerry wanted to ensure peace in the Middle East, they may have succeeded with their betrayal of Israel, but not the kind of peace they might have hoped. If this leads to war between Iran and Israel, particularly a nuclear armed Iran, there will be peace....of death. I would expect Israel would go nuclear the instant the Iranians unleash a nuclear strike anywhere in Israel, and it would hit not just Iran, but Syria, parts of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, perhaps Libya, and any other hostile Muslim state within the reach of its arsenal. The Israelis won't go down without taking as many of their enemies with them as they can.


Poor Babies

Seeing the growing calls from perpetually offended and aggrieved college students to silence, censor, or expel those who expose them to the harsh realities of life, meaning they expose these poor innocents to ideas and realities that reflect real life, one has to wonder how it is these enfants terrible ever made it through middle and high schools unscarred.

Once they get to college they are exposed to people who fill them with the idea that no one should ever be exposed to things that make them uncomfortable, even if those things are real and truthful. They demand “trigger warnings” and “safe zones” to prevent anyone one from exposing them to differing viewpoints that cause them stress and make them feel like they need to curl up into a ball until the bad things go away. Conversations and discussions are impossible unless they are insipid and bland and uncontroversial (at least to them).

What we're seeing is young adults acting like young children, demanding to be protected from the reality of adult life and trying to make sure they never ever have to deal with adult things.

Boy, are they going to be surprised when they finally leave the safe and secure halls of academe and find they are unprepared to deal with the real world where no one cares whether they're offended by normal everyday topics of conversation, particularly in a business setting. They will find no one will be willing to accommodate their demands because, quite frankly, it is not their job to do so. They'll find no one willing to address their complaints about “micro-aggressions” or “hate speech” or a whole host of other normal every day actions that traumatize the poor dears.

If folks like that don't want to deal with real life, I doubt they'll have much luck convincing all of the regular folks to drastically alter their behavior just to prevent these poor kids from being traumatized. More likely the response they'll receive after making these demands will equate to “Sod off, Swampy!” or even more profane responses.

If these young men and women want to be spared being exposed to such behavior, then I have two suggestions to make that will help them avoid all such traumatizing experiences: 1) cloister yourself away from the real world in a convent or monastery, or 2) go live by yourself in the wilderness far away from everyone else so you'll be safe and the rest of us won't have to give you the spankings you so richly deserve because you are such overly sensitive assholes.

So endith the lesson.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The cold winter temps have returned, with highs in the low 20's and wind chills in the single digits above and below zero. I have to say without a doubt this has been one of the most brutal winters I can remember. That we have these kinds of temps into late March, with only a couple of warmer respites here and there, is something I do not recall happening during my lifetime.

It certainly explains the state of our firewood, with less than half a cord remaining out of the four we started out with. Usually by now we'd be heating almost exclusively with the furnace as the only time we'd need heat would be a bit in the evening and first thing in the morning. But for now we still have to run the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove 24/7. I just hope the cold temps will leave before we exhaust our supply of firewood.


When I heard this I realized the friggin' PC police have taken over the schools in Lexington, Massachusetts.

It appears the high school administration banned a planned “American Pride” dance because “it excluded other nationalities.”


First, that the school officials in one of the two towns that saw the first battles of the American Revolution would ban something that should be celebrated as much as possible shows just how far the PC rot has progressed.

Second, they seem to have forgotten that Americans are made up of all kinds of nationalities that came here to be American. (My maternal grandparents were just two of them.) If people of other nationalities are attending the high school, could it be because eventually they will become Americans? If they're exchange students, does it really matter?

I have to wonder whether they're putting “other nationalities” ahead of Americans. Do they allow celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the school? (If they do, do they ban the wearing of American flags on that day because it might offend those of Mexican descent, just as has happened in Arizona?)

These people need to be fired because it is quite obvious that they have become deluded and, dare I say it, hostile to our immigrant American roots. These people should have no contact with children...even their own.


I missed this post by Skip the other day, where he skewers the “socialism works” meme and uses the self-made economic debacle in Seattle as an example of how far too often emotions override facts (and math) and the socialists in charge decide that ignoring the laws of economics are already learning about the Law of Unintended Consequences first hand.

I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who noticed this fantasy-based 'solution' to a problem that can't be solved by putting even more people out of work. (Scroll down.)

Then again, it never is about logic. It's always about “what can we do to 'help' the 'poor' that will make us feel better about ourselves even though it won't really help anyone and, will in fact, make things worse.”


I think my family is going to have to rethink using these.

Wet Wipes Are Forming Sewer-Destroying 'Superknots'.

Wastewater officials are begging people to stop sending wipes down the toilet and preparing lawsuits against manufacturers who refer to their sanitary products as "flushable." That word you keep using... I do not think you know what it means.

I have never felt the need to use them except on one or two very special circumstances. I also don't like what they do to our septic system though that hasn't stopped other members of our household from using them.


Fun with Starbucks!


Bird Dog reposts his treatise on Maple Syrup and Sugaring Season.

The sugar houses have started collecting sap (when it's running) and once they have enough they'll start boiling it down to get rid of the water. At the moment the weather here in New Hampshire isn't conducive to the sap running. It's too cold and it's windy. Sap runs best when it's warm during the day and cold (generally near freezing) at night, with little or no wind. But it's in the upper teens and low twenties today with high, gusty winds, so the sap won't be running.

Now all we have to do is watch out for the maple syrup cartel trying to horn in on our action.


One thing neither the Department of Justice or the usual race-baiters (Sharpton and Holder) and Obamabots ever mention about the aftereffects of their efforts to stir up racial hatred for fun and profit after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson: The average property values have dropped 50 percent in the past seven months.

That will help those in Ferguson who would like to leave but are now stuck there because any equity they had in their homes has disappeared.

Call this yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences expressing itself in a way that hurts everyone.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


Here's another example of the Gore Effect, in this case in New York City at the United Nations.

You'd think the warmists would have learned their lesson by now, but we know they are incapable of seeing anything that goes against their religious beliefs.


By way of Granite Grok comes this notable quote from Ace of Spades:

Yes, Establishment GOP, you can teach us that you will always lie to us, stab us in the back, humiliate us and crush us; but if you teach us that, be aware we are learning another lesson, too. Not just that “The Establishment Will Always Crush You,” but the lesson that There is no hope in any kind of conventional politics for those of us who want better than this Pile of S&^% the two parties give us.



I've been saying this for years, as have many others.

Islam needs a Reformation. Much as Christianity's Reformation changed the many of the tenets of Christianity and rejected its previous militancy, so must Islam, otherwise the never ending Holy War being fought by its extremists will lead to yet another Holocaust, this time killing billions.

Writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.

When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself.

She goes on to state that “we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice.”

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.


Obama's anti-Israel rhetoric is cranking up, particularly since Israeli voters decided they liked the Prime Minster they already have, rejecting Obama's efforts to unseat him. The election results cause the Left here in the US to totally unmind itself, making them determined to throw Israel to the wolves.

The Left's hatred of Israel is no longer subtle or just under the surface. It is out there in the open and I have a feeling it will only end when Israel (and a good portion of the Middle East) is nothing but a radioactive wasteland. Even then, the Left will find some way of blaming Israel's destruction upon Israel itself, regardless of the fact they've pushed hard to make sure Iran acquired the means of making and using nuclear weapons. But then that's how the Left operates – create a crisis for a perceived enemy, assist in their destruction, and then rewrite history to absolve themselves of any blame.

With a friend like Obama and the Left, no one needs enemies.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where January temperatures are still here, the snow is slowly melting, and where thoughts of time out on the lake this summer are staring to make themselves known.


Obama Is Not Israel's Friend

If nothing else, Bibi Netanyahu has proved to me once and for all that Obama really doesn't care for Israel in any way, shape or form. That he sent some of his campaign “consultants” to Israel to help the opposition unseat Netanyahu indicates to me just how much he hates the Jewish homeland.

Israel has been a staunch ally practically since its reconstitution in 1948. It has been the only nation in the Middle East to maintain the same form of government – a parliamentary system akin to Great Britain's – since its inception. The surrounding nations, with the exception of Jordan, have seen nascent democracies replaced with dictatorships or weak governments that inspire anarchy, or worse, nominally theocratic totalitarian rule. As much as Israel's enemies have decried its “brutal and inhumane” response to efforts to destroy it, it is its enemies who use brutal and inhumane means to wage war.

Now Israel has to worry about yet another mindless enemy, that being our President. This is a continuation of his policy of insulting our allies and sucking up to our enemies, all which is a part of his so-called Smart DiplomacyTM, something that is neither smart nor diplomatic.

My only concern is how much more damage Obama can do before he leaves office, assuming he doesn't find some way to remain in office as “President for Life” like so many of his 'friends' so he can continue his destruction of our nation all in the name of his nebulous concept of fairness.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Winter has returned to New Hampshire, albeit briefly. We've had a small amount of sleet and snow fall since yesterday afternoon, creating some slick roads and coating some of the tress with a thin layer of white (about an inch here when I wrote this). However temps will warm up on Monday and Tuesday, putting us back into melting mode.

This last little blast of winter did force me to make the trip to our town's public works department to fill up a couple of buckets with sand, something we use to ensure there will be enough traction on our driveway for Deb to make it out with her car. Hopefully this will be the last time I'll have to make that trip until next November or December.


This is something I could have added during yesterday's post, using it to illustrate just how often the 'ideal' progressive state deteriorates into a brutal dictatorship requiring gulags to 'house' and 're-educate' those citizens who see the truth about what their country has become.

Of course many of our own progressives keep telling us that won't happen here even as their brethren are working diligently to silence their critics and leach away one right after another until we have none left.

Think they aren't? Then how do you explain away this little bit of PC indoctrination right out of Huxley's Brave New World?

(H/T Instapundit)


I've noticed this, too.

From Thomas Sowell comes this observation:

Academics often defend tenure, despite its many negative consequences, on grounds that it allows academic freedom for independent minds. Yet there are few places in America with more taboos and intellectual intolerance than academic campuses. The young are indoctrinated with demographic "diversity" that contrasts with a squelching of diversity of ideas on social issues.

When they start talking about “diversity” and “inclusiveness” they usually mean just the opposite. I think just about anyone paying attention has noticed that both of these concepts usually mean excluding and/or silencing certain groups, and white heterosexual male college students in particular. It's even worse if they are conservative white heterosexual male college students. And it's even worse if they are conservative white homosexual male college students because they are seen a traitors by the diverse and inclusive college crowd.


And yet another observation by Sowell:

It is remarkable how the Internal Revenue Service has been "losing" e-mails that Congressional investigators want to see and how "global warming" researchers have been "losing" the raw data on which their dire predictions have been based.

I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to see a pattern here from these “losers”.


Our town had its elections this past Tuesday. It was the second session of our town meeting, where folks voted on the election of town officials as well as the various warrant articles that defined the town and school budgets, capital equipment purchases, funding of outside social agencies, and some zoning ordinance changes, amongst other things. (The first session was held last month – the deliberative session – where all of the warrant articles were presented and discussed, and if needed, amended.)

The most controversial warrant article had nothing to do with budgets, spending, funding, or zoning changes. It was the most discussed warrant article, both at the first town meeting session and around town prior to the voting during the second session. The topic of this controversial warrant article?


A few folks decided they didn't like the idea of anyone being able to set off legally obtained fireworks in our town, so they filed a petition warrant article that would have banned fireworks for anyone but licensed professionals. (Fireworks are legal in New Hampshire.) The ban would have included such Fourth of July staples like sparklers.

Fortunately the warrant article failed to pass, being defeated with 296 'Yes' votes versus 689 'No' votes.

Ain't small town democracy a great thing?


David Starr reports on town meeting in his home town, located somewhat farther north of here.


From Pam Gellar comes this: “More women fly F-16 in Israel than drive cars in Saudi Arabia.”

The youngest WP Sister has spent quite a bit of time in Israel on business and contrasts it to other places in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent, saying simply she'd rather go to Israel than any of the other of the places she has gone because it is, quite frankly, better.

It's telling that so many Israeli Arabs would much rather be Israeli than Palestinian or Lebanese or Jordanian.


Why didn't anyone tell these folks that raising the minimum wage to $15/hour would have such negative consequences? Oh, wait, they were. They just chose to ignore the warnings.

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop.

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.”

Artificially raising the cost of labor always has negative consequences, something amply demonstrated when San Francisco raised its minimum wage to $11 a few years back. A lot of jobs disappeared. Just recently the voters there approved raising it to $15 by 2018 where I expect even more jobs will go away. One San Francisco business has already announced that it will close its doors because it cannot afford the new wage rate.

Seattle is learning the same lesson as San Francisco: The Law of Unintended Consequences always wins in the end.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


As if we need yet another reason why our public schools should stay as far away from Common Core as possible, there's this plum from my home state of New Hampshire.

It appears one of the scholars who helped craft the Common Core standards for the state admits he crafted them in order to “knock white people down a few pegs in the Granite State.”

So rather than creating standards that are supposed to 'help' our kids get a better education (doubtful, in my opinion) they've been turned into a political tool by one of our self-anointed “betters” to cripple our public school system all in the name of some misguided effort to be fair?

[T]his is yet another example of how our schools are used for extremist, left-wing social engineering instead of education. “Teachers” like [Dr. David] Pook want to use our schools as a means to indoctrinate kids with anti-American, left-wing garbage. And don’t be fooled. This guy may be one of the few who openly admits that Common Core is meant to undermine the US, but he isn’t alone in that goal.

Is it any wonder parents are pulling their kids out of public schools and sending them to private schools or home-schooling them? They want their kids educated, not indoctrinated and unprepared for the real world.


Are people mistakenly calling Scott Walker the next Reagan when, in fact, he might actually be the next Calvin Coolidge?

The two most successful Republican presidents in the last century were Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. A serious look at the two of them sheds light on the current question of Walker’s viability as a presidential candidate.

Different as Coolidge and Reagan were in looks and personality, there were striking similarities between these two men and their presidencies. Success for both was marked by significant reductions in income taxes and domestic spending, strong economic growth in the private sector, reelection by huge margins, and the trust and affection of the American people.

Contemporaries often dismissed the New England puritan and the Hollywood B-grade actor as intellectual lightweights. Howard Dean’s recent sneers at Walker’s lack of academic credentials were reminiscent of the attacks on Coolidge and Reagan.

They were equally convinced of the creative power of individual initiative. Coolidge explained, “I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. That is the chief meaning of freedom.” Similarly, Reagan famously admonished, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Walker echoes both of them and has the ability to communicate with the voters. Like them he also doesn't require public opinion polls before he makes a decision, something that certainly been lacking in the White House since the Reagan administration. And unlike some of the other GOP presidential hopefuls, Walker has street cred when it comes to dealing with intransigent public servants, just as Coolidge did in 1919 and Reagan did in 1981, in Walker's case with the public employee unions attempt to ouster him through a recall election after he reduced their political influence through legislation that broke their stranglehold on labor contracts with the state and municipalities and on the rank-and-file members of the unions.

More power to him.


And that's the news from Lakw Winnipesaukee, where the snow has returned, the lake isn't melting, and where it's almost time to brush the snow off the boats.


Socialism Doesn't Work And Never Has

A discussion about socialism with one of my older sister's friends brought up some truths with which she was apparently not very comfortable discussing, in this case how I have found socialism to be a morally bankrupt and historically corrupt ideology, quite often descending into tyranny and creating misery for the populace (but not the ruling elite, of course).

While she countered that not all socialist states devolve like that, I did bring up that a number of the modern socialist states are finding out that socialism is a very expensive way to run a society and that the supply of money to sustain them is not limitless. One example is Sweden which has long provided “cradle to grave” government support but that is now cutting back on what it has been spending because the costs have reached the point where any further increases will bankrupt the country. Another is Greece, which has already exceeded its ability to pay for all of its socialist programs and is now dependent upon bailouts from other EU nations, primarily Germany, in order to remain solvent. But even that line of credit is about to dry up and Greece is once again on the verge of bankruptcy. Call them the latest examples of the Thatcher axiom: Eventually they run out of other people's money.

I also brought up the example of Venezuela, a failed state whose socialist government made all kinds of promises to create a utopia but has instead destroyed its economy and lead to widespread misery and poverty along with corruption, political oppression, and drives to silence any dissent.

For many of those arguing for replacing what they see as a greedy and heartless capitalist system with a humane and caring socialist system, the one thing they are incapable of providing is a single example of where their proposed changes have ever succeeded...because there isn't one. Even the original socialist experiment – the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts – failed, leaving the colonists on the verge of starvation. If not for the intervention by the local Indian tribe and their abandonment of their experiment in socialism, they would have died out.

While my sister's friend tried to defend socialism by stating that what she was talking about and the examples I used (the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Cuba, China, Kampuchea, and Venezuela, just to name a few) were in no way related, I countered with that they are cut from the same cloth, that being the belief that government is the best arbiter of how we should live our lives, applying one-size-fits-all solutions to problems that do not affect everyone, causing far more in the way of problems than they solve. 'Soft' socialism of the type she supports ignores human nature exactly the same way its more extreme adherents did, creating an ever increasing dependency on a government that has an ever decreasing ability to meet the demands of its dependents. Eventually the system collapses when it can no longer meet its obligations to its citizens. We certainly saw that with the collapse of the Soviet Union and will see it again when Venezuela finally falls apart. (I expect Venezuela will see some kind of uprising, perhaps a civil war to unseat the inept government that has brought so much misery and strife upon its people.)

Socialism is a failed ideology, based upon false premises, envy, and greed. The sooner it breathes its last, the better.


Local Leftist Academic Wants All Opinion Letters Vetted By "Impartial" Panel

Once again I felt I needed to respond to one of our local clueless academics, Jon Hoyt, in this case for his 'suggestion' to the local paper that letters to the editor to one of our local papers be 'fact-checked' by an impartial panel before being printed. While his diatribe is aimed primarily at political “ads” (he also mentions the universally hated TV political ads) he leaves the door wide open for his panel to review all letters to the paper, political in nature or not.

I feel no letters — or more important, no TV-type ad — should be run until they are fact checked by a non­partisan panel of some type. Especially before an election. This might be the only possible way of getting something truthful out to the voters. For those of you that don't think this is important just look or listen to those elected. That should convince you beyond all doubt.

Frankly, I don't care about TV ads, particularly campaign ads. I think anyone with a smidgen of intelligence knows they are a bunch of malarkey. But if he really thinks that letters to the editor should be vetted, he really doesn't understand the definition of “opinion”.

Part of my response:

First, letters that appear here in the Sun or any other newspaper are considered opinions. They are not news articles, scientific or policy papers requiring deep background, fact checking, or peer review.

Second, one’s opinion is protected by both the US and New Hampshire constitutions, something which Mr. Hoyt seems to have forgotten. If I were opine that I think Mr. Hoyt is a horse’s patoot, I am not required to prove that he is with fact checking by an impartial panel. I would base my opinion upon his letters published here in the Sun. Would my opinion be correct? Who would care, other than Mr. Hoyt?

What if Mr. Hoyt got his way and every letter submitted to the Sun had to go through a vetting process and it was found that none of his were factually accurate, and therefore would not be published? Would he accept the “impartial” panel’s finding, or would he bleat about the unfairness of the panel’s decision to stifle his freedom of speech? Frankly, I think his reaction would be the latter, as would mine.

This Hoyt fellow has put forth all kinds of leftist drivel over the years, throwing out 'facts' that on further investigation either could not be backed up or were taken out of context. While not as bad as one of his fellow leftist academics, he still has that condescending “I know better than you do” air about him that proves to me that he is a close-minded individual incapable of forming his own opinions without first looking it up in the Progressive Academic Handbook.

And so it goes.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The weather has been warming up a bit over the past few days, but we're still below the average temps we usually see this time of year. However warmer weather is on the way later in the week. We juust hope it isn't too warm because if the snow and ice melt too quickly we'll be dealing with flooding and “ponding on area roadways” (one of Deb's 'favorite' weather report phrases).

Of course there's also Daylight Savings Time we have to deal with this weekend. Frankly, I don't know why they even bother any more. The justification for it really doesn't do it for me and it causes problems twice a year when we have to make the change to and from DST. That 'Standard' time is in force for a little over four months and 'Daylight Savings' in force for eight months seems ludicrous on the face of it.

Maybe it's time to do away with it.


From what I've observed, this is no surprise to me.

It seems that American Millennials are “too proud” to compete.

One hesitates to look at the results of a test where America’s millennials competed against millennials around the world. After all, America’s millennials take severe offense if you dare suggest that they are chronic underachievers, even slackers. They have high self-esteem and do not care about how they compare with other people.

Apparently, American millennials are now too proud to compete. They might console themselves with their false pride, but that’s the only consolation they can draw from these tests. Compared to their cohorts around the world, America’s millennials come is last or near-last by just about every metric.

I haven't noticed this much in rural millennials, but urban and many suburban millennials have it in spades. Call it one of the outcomes of self-esteem based educations which didn't infect the more rural areas.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Could automation be the death knell for labor unions? From what I've been observing, I'd have to say the answer is yes.

The labor unions have been worried about automation for decades, but it hasn't been until recently the cost and sophistication of automation has reached the point where more and more jobs traditionally done by union members can be done through automation for a fraction of the cost.

Even traditionally non-union jobs are being replaced by automation, partly due to artificially increased labor costs caused by local minimum wage laws that raised the price of labor to the point where automation costs less. We've certainly seen that in the fast food industry. As benefits costs continue to rise, I expect we'll see even more of this occurring.


Apparently one city in Florida has decided it doesn't need any laws or the Constitution any more and can rule by decree.

The City of Lake Worth, Florida decided to attack a church requiring it to have a business license despite local ordinances saying the church was not required to do so.

Apparently [City Commissioner Andy] Amoroso doesn’t understand the concept that people don’t need his permission or the City’s permission to meet and worship. It’s that whole pesky First Amendment thing, you know.

Yeah, that whole freedom of speech and religion can be quite confusing to those in office, so it doesn't surprise me that rather than following the law it's far easier to just make up new ones on the fly.

That always works well.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


And here's yet another example of how the whole “freedom of speech” thingy in the US Constitution confuses people, this time at UC Irvine.

In this case a student association wants all flags, particularly the American flag, banned form an “inclusive place” on campus because they are “symbols of patriotism or weapons for nationalism.”

Personally I think these kids are idiots. Darleen Click has no problem with them doing that “as long as the “students” forgo all American taxpayer money …” Yeah, that would work for me as well, but we know these same students would then scream about how we're “oppressing them” because we won't fund their anti-American indoctrination.

What a bunch of hypocrites.


And that's the (abbreviated) news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where boats are still covered with snow, the ice on the lake is still three feet thick, and where spring is around 12 days away.

The PC Police Try Playing The Empty 'Race Card'

I had thought to write about one of the more pressing matters facing our nation or our world, but after reading this, I realized both just might be doomed.

When those who claim they are fighting racism start stating that things like food, language, globull warmening, and our moms are all racist concepts, then I know someone has let all of the lunatics out of the asylums. It is yet another push by the PC crowd to let us all know just how 'evil' they believe we are.

All of this crap basically boils down to the now multidecade long effort to change language to make sure no one is ever offending by anything anyone says. (But what if my purpose is to offend people richly deserving it? They've never adequately addressed that issue.) Unfortunately it has devolved to the point that everything is now considered offensive, not just language. Call the folks pushing this the perpetually offended and aggrieved.

These folks have lost their friggin' minds. They should be 1) committed to a mental hospital, or 2) ridiculed endlessly until they stop their nonsense, or 3) put out of our misery by giving them exactly what they want.

While the first two have a lot of appeal, they wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as giving these idiots exactly what they want. By that I mean let's give them an island someplace, one large enough to allow them to support themselves and build their perfect society. We'll give them all of the help they need to establish their society, and then quarantine them, sealing them away from the rest of the world so they can live without interference from the rest of us. It might also be worthwhile to have the island paradise wired for video and sound so we can watch the experiment unfold. Maybe even finance it by selling the TV rights to a network as the ultimate reality show. Then we let these perpetually offended folks live their lives.

My prediction? Within a few years their perfect society will descend into a totalitarian state with the governing elite imprisoning or executing those who are “impure”. The outcome of this experiment will be terror, misery, and poverty. It will also provide an object lesson to those who would try to ignore history and try yet again to create a politically correct 'utopian' society. (Of course we could look at some existing examples like Venezuela or Zimbabwe, but many of these perpetually offended people – almost all of them socialists of one stripe or another – try to minimize or deflect the blatant failure of these societies.)

I have to admit that I tend to use the second option I listed above, heaping ridicule an scorn upon the poor deluded fools. All it takes is to point at them, laughing, and telling them “That is the funniest and most ludicrous thing I've ever heard!” After a while they go away.


A Twofer

When it comes to both Obamacare and the Net Neutrality fraud, I don't think I could top this if I tried.


The True Destroyers Of Civilization

This comment comes from Tuesday's Day By Day cartoon by Chris Muir. It is quite fitting, considering the situation we find ourselves today.

The genuine destroyer of civilizations is psychopathic philosophies. Most of which come from the premise that a person, or group, or “movement” can be perfect, “sans pure et sans reproache”, and thus immune to criticism or any sort of alteration or correction.

Modern-day progressivism operates on the basic principles of a psychopathic philosophy:

1. Civilization is inherently evil.

2. Our philosophy is irrefutably good.

3. We are therefore perfect.

4. Thus, we have the privilege of deciding everyone else’s lives, up to and including the time and manner of their deaths.

5. Anyone who disagrees with our premise is evil and must be destroyed.

6. We will not kill those who obey us- unless it would amuse us to do so at some point.

Although a charismatic leader can be the trigger that sets off the bomb, it isn’t individuals who you need to worry about, as much as it is the philosophy that the individual latches on to. Stalin and Mao didn’t create Communism, Genghis and Timur were the results of blood feuds within tribalist cultures, and Hitler didn’t create German National Socialism, he just gave it a name.

Mass movements tend to begin with “philosophers” who rarely go on to lead them. Plato, Marx, Alinsky, Qutb, to name just a few. (I could list a dozen who sent Germany and the world into a nightmare, beginning in the mid-19th Century.)

“Charismatic” leaders don’t tend to be the philosopher type. They are by nature opportunists who seize on something that’s already there for self-aggrandizement, and to punish the world for not giving them what they think is their just due.

If you want to stop such men from creating holocausts (Genghis killed about 40 million, for instance), first keep watch for philosophies that they will be able to use to justify their actions.

Be particularly wary of those who claim “The old ways must be swept away, cleansed with fire so we may build paradise.” One must always ask these psychos “Paradise for whom?” because it sure as heck won't be for anyone but them. Goodness knows we saw that demonstrated more than once during the 20th century alone. Yet these guys think that under their reign they won't make the same mistakes made during previous attempts at a progressive utopia. But they will. They always do. And in the end it brings terror and death.

From that alone I think we can safely say that their vision of 'paradise' would be considered hell for everyone else. We're certainly seeing that play out in the socialist paradise of Venezuela, where their once thriving and robust economy is now a shambles thanks to the leadership of their departed hero Hugo Chavez. How anyone in the Venezuelan government can claim everyone is better off in comparison to the pre-Chavez days eludes me. Argentina is another example, though it hasn't fallen as far as Venezuela. But given the present political climate there it won't be much longer before it's on par with Venezuela. Such is the promise of the progressive socialist state.

I would hate to think the US is on the same path to destruction, but we are being lead by a charismatic leader who believes our laws, our constitution, and our institutions are something to be ignored in his quest to “fundamentally transform America.” Too bad his fundamental transformation means turning it into an economic basket case, a diplomatic pariah, and a militarily weak nation all in order to appease our enemies. How's that been working for everyone?


Follow The Money - Make 'Em Show Whose Paying Them To Smear Climate Skeptics

While the Warmists try to discredit AGW skeptics by trying to tie them to the oil companies, saying funding by them any work they produce is tainted, and therefore cannot be taken seriously. But very few people look into who is funding the Warmist climate research, and more importantly, why.

One of the latest victims if the smear tactics has been Dr. Willie Soon, skewered for his supposed ailure to disclose that funding for some of his research came from oil companies. But the AGW faithful lied, with Soon proving that the source of all funding provided to Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is available to the public. (A few minutes searching on their website would have located their list of donors and benefactors, so I'm not sure how much more disclosure is required.)

At least Dr. Soon hasn't taken the smear lying down, responding to the baseless and ignorance laden attacks with a statement he released through the Heartland Institute.

“In recent weeks I have been the target of attacks in the press by various radical environmental and politically motivated groups. This effort should be seen for what it is: a shameless attempt to silence my scientific research and writings, and to make an example out of me as a warning to any other researcher who may dare question in the slightest their fervently held orthodoxy of anthropogenic global warming.”

“I am saddened and appalled by this effort, not only because of the personal hurt it causes me and my family and friends, but also because of the damage it does to the integrity of the scientific process. I am willing to debate the substance of my research and competing views of climate change with anyone, anytime, anywhere. It is a shame that those who disagree with me resolutely decline all public debate and stoop instead to underhanded and unscientific ad hominem tactics.”

He goes on to challenge those attacking his integrity based upon their mistaken belief he's hidden the identities of those funding his work that “if the standards of disclosure are to change, then let them change evenly.” In other words those attacking him should disclose all of their funding as well.

Somehow I doubt that will happen any time soon. After all, it's easier for the AGW faithful to keep up the attacks on those who disagree with them than to openly debate their opponents. Heaven forbid they find out they've been lied to all these years by people who have a financial incentive to do so.


Thoughts On A Sunday

This past week was a record low...for blogging. But that is about to change now that things are returning to normal, relatively speaking.

The “We gotta get this done for the trade show!” pressure at work is now gone. Deb's radiation treatments have ended and she's feeling much better. Our local elections/town meeting will be taking place in a little over a week. (I am running for one of our local offices.)

Everything is settling down which means I'll actually have time to sit down and start writing again...assuming we don't get hit with a monstrous late-winter/early spring blizzard of epic proportions or an alien invasion.


It's official. This February was the coldest on record here in New Hampshire.

As I have written before, this is probably one of the more brutal winters I can remember. There have been some winters with more snow. There have been some with colder temperatures. But this one had the combination of high snowfall totals over a short period of time (a bit less than three weeks) and well below normal temperatures for even longer. It isn't often we'll see below zero temps all through February.


In relation to yesterday's post, here's another story about just how the eco-nuts false ideology has infected the general populace.

 Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist.He was at some environmental forum, and he said, “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” Nothing. Again: “Is there any evidence I could give you — anything at all — that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Not a stir. Simon then said, “Well, excuse me, I’m not dressed for church.”

It has become, for all intents and purposes, a religion and a close-minded and hateful one at that.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Poor Nancy Pelosi, being forced to live paycheck to paycheck. Apparently this is a problem with Congress in general, at least according to Pelosi.

Hell, Pelosi is so down on her luck these days, she had to burn the Constitution just to keep warm. Also, because she hates it.

Frankly she'll get no sympathy from me as too many of the rest of America has had to do that since Obama took office and stifled any economic recovery.

(H/T Instapundit)


The latest attempt by the Democrat operatives with bylines to smear Governor Scott Walker has failed again.

As more than one person commented, 20 seconds on Google would have helped Jezebel writer Natasha Vargas-Cooper to get her facts straight and not make the false accusation that Walker wanted colleges to stop reporting sexual assaults on campus.


The totalitarians-in-training at Clemson University are calling for stripping everyone on campus of their First Amendment rights, making sure no one can voice opposing viewpoints they may find offensive, or worse, true.

What shocked the Clemson community was the professors’ support of the students’ first demand, which called on the university “to prosecute criminally predatory behaviors and defamatory speech committed by members of the Clemson University community (including, but not limited to, those facilitated by usage of social media).”

Unfortunately this idea is not restricted to Clemson alone. There are plenty of colleges and universities where the same push to censor free speech reside. I remember having a conversation with a college student on the campus of the University of New Hampshire a few of years ago. He was protesting the freedom of people to voice opinions that he found to be “hate speech” and “contrary to progressive beliefs” and a bunch of other such drivel.

At one point after he had ranted about all of the offensive speech he thought should be banned, I gave him a reality check when I told him that if he succeeded in destroying the First Amendment that I would exercise my Second Amendment rights and kill him, much as members of the Greatest Generation did to the Nazis who believed many of the same things as he did. Obviously he didn't like the idea, but as I reminded him, the only reason he could even speak the way he did was because of people who killed our enemies who would be more than willing to silence those who disagreed with their totalitarian ideology. That I would be willing to kill him for the same reason shut him up.


Tractor p*rn, indeed!


You can't tell me with a straight face that the reason there are so many 'scientists' claiming that AGW is real is because it's true. The real reason there are so many is because that's where the money is.

99+% of all climate funding goes to alarmists rather than skeptics. Greenpeace laments donations of funds to skeptics by Exxon of a million dollars or so and wants to drive out all such funding when Greenpeace and Tides and the US Government are giving literally billions to alarmists. Despite this staggering imbalance, the only stories you ever see are about the dangers and bias introduced by that measly 1% skeptics get. I guess that 1% is spent pretty well because it sure seems to have people running in circles declaring the sky is falling.

One would think that at some point the world would wake up and realize that criticizing the funding sources behind an individual does not actually rebut that individual's arguments.

Beyond the strange implicit assumption that fossil fuel funding would automatically "disprove" a research paper, there is also an assumption that oil company funding is "unclean" while government or non-profit environmental group funding is "clean".  Remember the last time you saw a news story about a climate alarmist's funding?  Yeah, neither do I.

It appears that in regards to climate alarmism, the only way you'll get funding for research is if you're willing to provide 'evidence' that proves the predetermined results rather than using the evidence to generate unbiased results and prove or disprove the AGW hypothesis.

That isn't science. That's propaganda.


As a follow on to the above, ut appears one Congressman – Raul Grijalva (D - AZ) – has decided it's time for a 'climate inquisition'.

Grijalva has sent seven letters to seven universities about researchers who, in Grijalva's eyes, have been having “impure thoughts about climate change.”

Science as an enterprise usually doesn’t need political enforcers. But proponents of a climate alarmism that demands immediate action to avert worldwide catastrophe won’t and can’t simply let the science speak for itself.

In fact, for people who claim to champion science, they have the least scientific temperament imaginable. Their attitude owes more to Trofim Lysenko, the high priest of the Soviet Union’s politicized science, than, say, to Gregor Mendel, the founder of modern genetics, whose work was shunned by Lysenko for ideological reasons.

The climate change debate ended long ago and has devolved into nothing more than an inquisition. Science has been set aside for politics and ideology. When that happens one of the first casualties is truth followed by the destroyed reputations of those who dare question ' the one true faith'.

With apologies to Monty Python, “No one expects the Climate Inquisition!”


Now that the FCC has voted 3-2 along party lines to bring the Internet under Title II regulation, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai destroys the net neutrality claims with three easy points.

1. The Internet has grown rapidly, creating untold economic benefits, largely because the government.

2. Title II regulations attempt to solve problems that don't exist with enough consistency to address.

3. Title II regulations will lead to new taxes and slower broadband speeds for consumers.

Since when has government regulation ever helped any business do things better/faster/cheaper? Never.

This regulatory grab by the FCC will have just the opposite effect and will give the government too much control over the 'Net which has done just fine without government control It is nothing more than a naked power grab at the behest of the White House.

I have a feeling we'll see this change overturned by the courts once all of the players, big and small, file their lawsuits against the FCC on this matter, or by Congress once their donors start screaming at them to undo this bit of regulatory idiocy.


This example proves the much-praised (at least in the US) Canadian health care system isn't nearly as wonderful as many here in the US believe it is.


In regards to Obama, Flopping Aces reminds liberals that they voted for this.

“What we’ve done is we’ve expanded my authorities under executive action and prosecutorial discretion…”

In other words, Obama now rules by fiat and the rule of law and the Constitution be damned. Let's see how that works for you guys when he decides you are now a threat.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where many are wishing for warmer weather, more are still moving snow, and where our woodpiles are starting to look a little too small.