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.