Thoughts On A Sunday

Last week I had posted that the local ice fishing derby was likely to be canceled due to the lack of safe ice, but the derby Powers-That-Be decided to go for it and it seems their gamble paid off. While there are a number of places on the big lake where it would be suicidal to go out on the ice, there are a number of coves and bays where the ice is thick enough to support people and bob houses. However, cars and trucks won't fare well so no one has been seen out on the ice with either.

On top of that, the temperatures today are expected be in the 50's, meaning the ice will be melting even as the derby continues.


Hillary won the South Carolina Democrat primary by a huge margin. No real surprise there.

It will be interesting to see how they fare during Super Tuesday.


From the mouths of babes comes the answers we seek, in this case from 16-year old British teen Lexie Hill, who appears to have the answer to the UK's (and perhaps the US's) immigration problem.

(H/T Powerline)


I hear the cri de coeur from the SJW's, yet shake my head in disgust and amazement when one compares what the SJW's are 'fighting' compared to what took place during the Civil Rights movement in the 50's and 60's.

I am not the only one to have commented on this, but it seems the SJW's have to make stuff up in order to justify their existence, be it the “rape crisis” or the “inherent racism in our society” or the way overblown “LGBTQ” issues. What's worse is that many of the solutions SJW's propose go in direct opposition of what the people involved in the Civil Rights movement paid for in blood and tears.

Such are the wages of willful ignorance and leftist indoctrination in our education system.

From my observations, the very SJW's looking for “social justice” (whatever that is), tend to be the most intolerant, misinformed, closeminded, and racist people in the room. Then again, when does reality or truth mean anything to these idiots?


At least one Hollywood Social Justice Warrior is finding out that actions have consequences, that being Patricia Arquette. According to Variety, her speaking out about faux gender equality has cost her more than one job. But fear not, she's not suffering as her net worth is still in the double digit millions.

Her present role on CSI: Cyber where she plays the head of the FBI's Cyber division, has run afoul of reality where her character repeated the long discredited 'statistic' about 1 in 4 women on college campuses being sexually assaulted. That the character is in the FBI should have meant she should have known that statistic is bogus, but stated it as if it were gospel. It's one reason I stopped watching the show – embedded SJW propaganda.

One thing that turns me off more than anything else when it comes to entertainment is being preached to by people who are in no way wise and far less informed than I. In regards to Ms. Arquette, I blame that on the isolated bubble that is Hollywood, a place known for make believe and self-congratulatory “people in the know” who don't really know anything and are more than willing to prove it at every opportunity.

(H/T Ed Driscoll)


Ain't this the truth!

A liberal utopia can't have a reminder of their failed policies.

That certainly explains why San Francisco is moving to remove a tent city under a highway overpass housing numerous homeless denizens. What did the city think would happen when they made it so attractive for homeless people to come to their city? And then one of the tech startup crowd complained about having to “see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people” on his way to work.

So rather than actually solving a problem they helped create, they'll merely hide it away...just like socialist always do.


I decided to pass on the Oscars tonight with the exception of Chris Rock's opening monologue. It was enough for me as I didn't need to hear the bleeding heart liberal politically correct dreck from the mouths of the Hollywood ignorati.


It amazes me how many people can't tell the difference between capitalism and crony capitalism. About the only thing they have in common is the word 'capitalism'. Beyond that they're nothing alike. In cause you're one of those still confused about crony capitalism, here's a little primer courtesy of Prager University.

There, does that explain it good enough for you?


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter weather cannot seem to make up its mind, the warm weather is welcome, and where we eagerly await spring.


Bernie's Supporters Hatred Of Work Is No Surprise

When one thinks about it, there is a perfect correlation between Bernie Sanders' “Free Shit” campaign and his supporters' hatred of work. After all, the two go hand in hand. Why should they work if Bernie is going to take stuff away from those who do work and give it to them?

It's the dichotomy between the makers and the looters, just as Ayn Rand laid out in both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. And somehow I have no doubt many of Bernie's supporters would have no issue if he issued his own version of Directive 10-289 in order to make sure there is no disruption in the supply of Free Shit.

And so it goes in the Socialist Utopia of Bernieland.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Unseasonable warmth has returned, but I'm not complaining. Any time we don't have to stoke the woodstove or turn up the thermostat is a plus in my book. The warm temps did manage to melt away the couple of inches of snow we'd received from Friday night into Saturday morning.

While it will be chilly over the next couple of nights, we might be back into the 50's by Thursday.


Trump won in South Carolina, garnering about a third of the vote, driving Jeb Bush to end his campaign. Hillary won the Democrat Caucuses in Nevada, but it certainly wasn't a blowout, with Hillary defeating Bernie by only 4 points.

This is beginning to resemble the old Chinese curse - “May you live in interesting times.”


Yet another college kangaroo court has found itself on the losing side of a lawsuit,” settling out of court for $245,000 for mishandling a rape allegation. The unfortunate part of this is that the student involved in this debacle has no way to get his reputation back.

I expect it will take the loss of millions of dollars from lawsuit after lawsuit for the colleges to finally learn that the Department of Education does not have the power to force colleges to create these kangaroo courts because of a perceived wrong they felt had to be addressed by railroading college students, specifically male college students, and expelling them.

As I and many others have said over and over again, it's time to abolish the Department of Education and to prosecute the staffers in its Office of Civil Rights for civil rights violations.


Oh, I like this one!

The Unbearable Asymmetry of Bullshit.



Before we let the MSM and the anti-gunners start making the claim that the Kalamazoo Uber shooter was some kind of Right-Wing Hater, it appears the guy is a self-proclaimed Progressive. But I expect we'll still hear from the usual suspects that the NRA is behind it all.


I just caught the trailer for the remake of Pete's Dragon. It's one that BeezleBub and I have decided we're going to see.


One thing that I believe is driving Trump's popularity is the urban elite's belief that the rest of us are ignorant mouth breathers who need people like them to run our lives.

But we don't need these close-minded bigots making our decisions for us because, quite frankly, they are neither as smart or as wise as they think they are. Trump is the antithesis of these elites and that's why he's getting the support he is. He's a businessman and knows how to make money, how to create jobs, and most importantly, to leave those things best handled by the average Americans to average Americans. We know what we need and how to get it.

Does that mean I support Trump? Nope. But if he ends up being the GOP nominee, I will vote for him.


I have already used this from Chris Muir more than once since I've seen it.

Morlocks, indeed.


Why are Progressives pushing for segregation? Is it that they really have chosen to ignore our own history in regards to segregationist abuses? Or are they hoping to foment greater racial tensions so they have something to campaign on, ignoring the fact that they're the ones who caused it to begin with?

Knowing a goodly number of Progressives, I'm willing to bet it's more the former than the latter as most of them appear to have no understanding of history at all.

That whirring sound you hear is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spinning in his grave.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where sled dog races and ice fishing derbies have been canceled due to the warm weather, ice on the lake is retreating, and where thoughts of an early spring are filing our heads.


Smart Phones Are Killing Social Lives

I wonder how many of you out there have had this experience:

You're at a family gathering, perhaps the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, with parents, in-laws, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins by the dozens attending. But rather than hearing the banter that usually takes place at such gatherings, most of the kids and some of the adults have their heads bowed over their smart phones, texting, Instagramming, or Facebooking to friends far away rather than actually paying attention to and talking to the people around them. I know I've experienced that more than once. I find it both rude and annoying.

Welcome to 21st Century social interaction.

The scene above is but one small example of how smart phones have drastically altered how we interact with each other, and not for the better.

Who do we have to blame for this problem?


In Charlottesville, I found myself having a lunch conversation one day with some folks who are involved in Christian education at the elementary and secondary level. They were talking about the challenges they face today. One of the biggest is the ubiquity of smart phones in the hands of kids. Parents think nothing of giving them to their children, the educators said, and many kids have virtually unlimited access to the Internet. There’s the “older brother porn problem” in which younger kids get turned on to porn by watching it on an older sibling’s smart phone. And there’s the problem of “After School App,” an anonymous bulletin board service designed for high schoolers, one that allows them to gang up on other kids in their class and trash them mercilessly.

Parents, I was told, are typically no help at all. They don’t want their kids to be out of step with their friends, so they give kids smart phones, which is a technology the kids aren’t emotionally prepared to use. There’s all kinds of bullying, and accessing porn — but parents don’t seem to want to know about it because they don’t want to have to tell their kids no.

One of the educators at the table added that the problem is not limited to the content accessed through the phones, but to the way using these devices is radically distorting the way kids communicate with each other, or fail to. Even if the kids only accessed benign content, and did not use social media to attack each other, they nevertheless spend enormous amounts of time on their smart phones, ignoring everyone around them. Some of them have trouble sustaining an actual conversation for more than a few minutes. All of them are losing the habits of common courtesy that has since forever been how human beings in social situations treat each other.

The normal social cues we grownups take for granted are indecipherable to too many of these kids. They can't easily read facial expressions or body language, missing non-verbal messages or misinterpreting them. This can lead to social ignorance and the inability to interact with others unless it's through a smart phone screen. How many times have we seen a bunch of kids together, hunched over the smart phones and texting to each other even though the person they're texting is close enough to reach out and touch? They don't speak to each other. They don't look each other in the eyes. It's like they've become 'electronically' autistic.

The linked article goes on to mention that parents who are techies limit their kids access to smart phones, assuming they allow them to have them at all. Even people like Steve Jobs didn't allow his kids to use iPads even though he was the driving force behind them.

I know my son didn't get his first cell phone until he was a senior in high school. Even today, almost 4 years later, he still doesn't have a smart phone. He's using the flip phone, just like his old man. However that is about to change, not because he wants to “be like everyone else” but because it will make Skyping with Polka Girl a lot easier. (She is presently back home near Gdansk, Poland and they Skype two or three times a day.) He presently uses his laptop to do that, but it's problematic at times, so he's going to switch over to some kind of smart phone. In this case he has a good reason to get one and he's getting it himself. His mom and I have nothing to do with it. If it weren't for his need to Skype, he said he wouldn't even be bothering to get one.

Will this problem get worse? Unfortunately, I expect it will, but eventually I believe the trend will reverse itself and this problem will resolve itself. If not, we may find our society becoming more insular and less robust, leaving too many of our people incapable of interacting directly with each other. This problem may also resolve itself as many of the people with this problem will not have kids because they won't be able to interact directly with members of the opposite sex.

Let's hope it doesn't get to that point.


Sanders Supporters Ignore Socialism's Dark Side

One thing I find to be common amongst many of Bernie Sanders' young supporters that disturbs me to no end is their total ignorance of history, particularly when it comes the subject of Socialism and the horrors it has visited upon hundreds of millions of people. Socialists of all stripes are either ignorant or willfully ignoring the dark side of their political ideology. I guess it lets them sleep at night.

Writes James Freeman on this subject:

Joseph Epstein marvels at the way Bernie Sanders has caught on with young voters. “Does this generation that has grown up with a greater sense of entitlement and protection than any other in history really want the revolution Mr. Sanders is selling? Can they have so little sense of the past not to know that the promise of socialism—’democratic socialism,’ the senator would interject here—has ended up in gulags and brutal cultural upheaval?”...We also feature today a 2003 observation from historian Alan Charles Kors: “No cause, ever, in the history of all mankind, has produced more cold-blooded tyrants, more slaughtered innocents, and more orphans than socialism with power.”

When I point out Socialism's dark side, I am usually brushed off with the usual refrain: “But we're smarter than they were. We won't make the mistakes they made!”

But they're wrong. They aren't any smarter than their ideological ancestors. If anything, they're stupider. As such, that also makes them that much more dangerous because they believe the drivel being foisted upon them as “An Important Truth”, a concept which I always find to be anything but the truth, and they never question any of the tenets of that “Truth”, no matter how inhumane or monstrous they may be. Then again, they really aren't smart enough to figure out their being lied to. It also lets them get away with not having to think for themselves, something many of them have never really had to do before.

Being one of the most coddled generations ever, they're all for “someone else” - meaning you and me – to take care of them for the rest of their lives. No wonder they're all over Bernie Sanders and his “Free Shit” campaign. He won't tell them that all that free stuff will end once his administration runs out of other people's money, but he'll blame all of those from whom he took all that money to pay for all the “Free Shit” he promised everyone, calling them greedy and evil and unfeeling, being unwilling to work as slaves to the state. They will either have gone broke (and their businesses with them), or they'll have gone Galt and let the Sanders Administration try to figure out who to rob next to pay for all the “Free Shit”, which it won't be able to do because there will be no one left to rob.

And then it will get worse.


Gas Can Hell

While this is not an new story, it is one that still pisses me off. What am I talking about?

Gas cans.

You know what I'm talking about – the red containers with a spout used to fill the gas tanks on all kinds of power equipment ranging from leaf blowers to lawnmowers to snowblowers, chainsaws, lawn tractors, and a whole host of other equipment and small vehicles.

It used to be that they held gas and allowed you to fill a gas tank with little muss or fuss. But seven years ago the EPA got involved with gas cans and everything has gone to hell.

While they still can hold gasoline, they no longer allow easy transfer of fuel from the can to whatever gas tank you're trying to fill. Where it once could be done easily, it now requires two hands to even open the gas spout (you have to slide a toggle before you can press the handle that opens the spout..and that toggle is rarely easy to move). And because the vent that used to allow gas to flow freely is no longer allowed, gas flows poorly, in surges, and usually ends up everywhere but in the gas tank you're trying to refill. It spills, sloshes, and ends up places it's not supposed to.

The new gas cans were supposed to help prevent gas spills while at the same time eliminate gas vapors from escaping into the air. But between the now increased number and volume of gas spills and the big whoosh of gas vapors that are expelled from the cans when the spout valve is opened, I'd say they've been a complete failure.

If nothing else this works as an example of how government doesn't make things better but worse, due entirely to its intervention. Government didn't know better and actually made the situation worse than if they'd left well enough alone.


Make Sure You Choose The Right Adversary In The Class War

Despite what Bernie Sanders and his fellow Progressives/Socialists/Communists claim, our economic problems are not the result of the rich screwing over the poor and it never has been.

It's the looters and moochers who use the power of government to make sure they're always the winners and everyone else, including the rest of the rich, are the losers. It's called cronyism, rent seeking, and 'industry' protection.

If the Progressives/Socialists/Communists want to target the right group, they have to understand just who the real adversary is. Here's a little graphic to help them with this problem.

See, that isn't so hard, is it?


Thoughts On A Sunday

The Deep Freeze has hit New England, meaning we're seeing actual temperatures below zero and wind chills down to -40ºF on top of it.

I made sure we had extra firewood stacked in the wood box next to the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove so I wouldn't have to go out during the night or early morning to refill it.

It must be global warming.

One real downside to this bitterly cold weather has been losing the use of two of the bathrooms in The Manse. The pipes are frozen with no hope of thawing them because the Pex tubing used to plumb The Manse is inaccessible without opening walls.

When we had our little interior flood a few years back I could see how much of the plumbing was against the outside wall. I should have had it fixed then.


It was reported last evening that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away during the day yesterday.

Scalia has been known as a scion of the conservative wing of the court, being a firm believer in strict interpretation of the Constitution as written by the Founders and its Amendments.


As I mentioned above, Scalia was a constructionalist when it came to the Constitution. One of my favorite quotes from Scalia:

A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless.

That also applies to the Constitution in general. He didn't believe the “living document” argument put forth by the Progressives, knowing that it meant anarchy because the laws could be reinterpreted at whim to mean the opposite of what the law, and hence, the Constitution meant.


Writes Ed Driscoll about the “one fun element of the Democrat presidential primaries”: Reading how much left wing elites truly despise the base of Democrat voters.

Yeah, that's a winning strategy. Somehow I doubt they'll be able to keep up the “We Truly Care” false front long enough to win the White House or make gains in the House and Senate.


Who are the real sexists in the room when it comes to politics?

Hint: It's not the GOP.


By way of Susan Olsen comes this from Antonin Scalia: “Good intentions are not enough.”


Death threats from vegans? What the heck is this world coming to?


James O'Keefe returned to New Hampshire last week to test its Voter ID law, one driven by his Project Veritas video exposé back in 2012 showing how easy it was for non-residents and non-eligible voters to vote.

I thought we had a pretty good system set up here in the Granite State...until James O'Keefe showed us we still have some problems in regards to voter fraud.

But at least we're not hearing about the wholesale disfranchisement of the poor and minority voters that so concerned the Left. I guess it means they were still able to pull off their voting scams.


Recovery? What recovery?

With the world economy softening, how close are we to a downward economic slide to rival that of the beginning of the 9-Year Recession we're still dealing with?

Pretty darned close, from what I've been seeing.



Unfortunately it may be closer to the truth than anyone cares to admit.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the temps are below zero, pipes have been freezing, and where even going into the garage can be painful.


A Good Explanation Of Socialism's Failures

As a follow up to my previous post, there's this little gem from the comments that explains the biggest flaw of socialism that socialists, past and present, have chosen to ignore, and with good reason.

Socialism is all about making everyone materially equal, not prosperous. There is no concern for the poor or oppressed, just enmity to the materially advantaged. A world where everyone is impoverished is more desirable and just than one that had a strata of poor to rich. Capitalism is the greatest system to improve the welfare of the impoverished but it does result in material inequality. This is why the left hates it while perpetually praising all those "workers paradises" that barely produce even life's most basic staples. Venezuela is the latest unlearned example.

Of course many crypto-socialists, also known as egalitarians, subscribe to the idea that “making everyone materially equal” means pulling the bottom strata of the socioeconomic scale upwards, at least in theory. But practice has shown that it actually means pulling everyone except the elite down to the bottom of the socioeconomic scale all while making sure the floor of that scale moves downwards at the same time. How that helps anyone is something none of them, including certain members of my own family, have ever been able to explain to me. It all sounds like wishful thinking on their part, ignoring human nature and how it makes their solution totally unworkable.

Question To Ask Progressives

Now that the hubbub over the New Hampshire Primary has faded away and the focus has shifted to Nevada and South Carolina, I can finally think straight and the compulsion to sow expletives throughout my speech and writing has diminished...for the time being.

One of the more interesting activities in which I indulged during the run up to the primary was skewering both Clinton and Sanders supporters about their support, knowing or otherwise, for an all-powerful all-encompassing totalitarian nanny state.

More than a few denied any such support, but follow on questions shredded those denials and made them feel either uncomfortable or angry that I dared to question their beliefs.

I wish I had read Oleg Atbashian's (of The People's Cube) treatise on What To Ask Progressives, particularly on their ideological beliefs and how it is they could possibly defend them.

I found I had asked a couple of the Clinton/Sanders supporters some of these questions listed by Oleg. A sample of a few Oleg has suggested:

Why do those who decry modern civilization never live far from shopping centers and why don't grind their coffee with a stone ax?

If Hollywood types are so opposed to capitalism, why is there a warning against unauthorized distribution of their movies?

How come industrial logging is a crime against nature, but the destruction of forests by wildfires is a natural cycle of life?

If Al Gore is right and our consumption of the planet's resources is a moral issue, doesn't that make genocide an ethical solution? How about an artificial famine? What would Al Gore choose?

Since our planet's resources are limited, wouldn't the ultimate act of environmental activism be to stop eating and starve to death?

How exactly does dependency on the government increase "people power"?

I particularly like that last one, having used a version of it myself. No one has been able to adequately answer is other than by using some convoluted explanation that boils down to “Because slavery is freedom!” How Orwellian.

In any case, Read The Whole Thing.


Unanticipated Rise In US Traffic Fatality Rates

An article on Jalopnik asks “Why are America's traffic deaths rising so fast?”

The piece delves into a number of possible factors including more people driving and driving more often. But that would normally not be reflected in the death rate, meaning the number of fatalities per millions of miles traveled. But the rate is rising, a trend opposite that of the past six decades.

One factor not mentioned in the article (but may be in the linked NHTSA report): increasing levels of driver distraction. Many of the electronic gizmos that can lead to driver distraction either didn't exist or weren't as ubiquitous as they are today. Once they reached critical mass, and tying in with the 'grafted to the hand' nature of smart phones used by teens and younger adults, the negative effects of chronic 24/7 connectedness is now making itself known by way of higher traffic fatalities. More than a few studies have indicated that driving while using these devices is tantamount to driving while intoxicated. If that is indeed the case it would be the equivalent of a substantial increase of people driving under the influence.

Maybe the way to help solve this problem would be to push this idea: “Put down the damn phone and drive, you damnfoolidjit!”


Thoughts On A Sunday

The aftermath of the 5 inches of snow that fell Friday morning left us with a bit of plowing and shoveling, but by Saturday morning the roads and driveways were pretty well cleaned off and the sun was able to melt what snow and ice remained on them. This was more of what we call a 'nuisance' storm, just enough to cause some poor road conditions and then it disappears. Not that I'm complaining.


BeezleBub is preparing for the arrival of Polka Girl. She'll be here tomorrow and will be departing for home next Sunday. BeezleBub will be traveling to visit her during Spring Break next month.

Long distance relationships can be hard, but not undo-able.


I almost didn't watch the GOP debate last night, but decided it would be interesting to see what the candidates had to say one more time before Tuesday's New Hampshire Primary.

Of them all, I had to say that Chris Christie kicked ass, and in particular Marco Rubio's ass. He was taking no prisoners and gave better than he got.

It will be interesting to see what the after-debate polls have to say.


One thing anyone who has been paying attention understands is that neither Democrat contender understands anything about economics and our economy except how to destroy it. Of the two, Bernie Sanders has the least understanding and the greatest desire to destroy what's left of our economy, finishing the work Barack Obama started.

The latest example of his economic ignorance is his tweet that tries miserably to tie imprisonment to unemployment and poverty as if either of those conditions automatically means you “Go directly to jail. Do not collect $200.”

I'm sorry, Bernie, but debtor's prison is just so 18th century!


Speaking of Bernie Sanders, we should all remember that he's never held a private sector job. All of his paychecks have come from government, be it the city of Burlington, Vermont or from Uncle Sam as a member of Congress, either in the House or the Senate.

He's never had to worry about making payrolls or having to deal with ever more restrictive or damaging regulations while trying to stay in business. He really has no clue what effect government spending, taxation, and regulation has on the average worker, and I doubt he really wants to know all of his rhetoric to the contrary.


Why doesn't this surprise me?

The White House is apparently upset that the House and Senate Budget Committee chairmen have stated they will not hold hearings on Obama's “worthless” budget.

Some may take this to mean that the GOP isn't interested in going over the proposed budget, but one has to look back through Obama's previous budget submissions to see that he usually didn't have a budget to have hearings on because he always submitted them months late, leaving little if any time to debate anything. This is the only time during his entire administration he's had a budget submitted on time, and in this case “on time” it means a week late.


I can't possibly add anything to this.

Feminism is a synonym for 'Shut Up, Men'.

Read the whole thing.


Another factor affecting the so-celled wage gap between men and women: commute times.

Hillary has been hammering away on the 'wage gap' between men and women, ignoring all of the factors that create the perceived difference. When comparing like jobs, the wage difference between men and women disappears, with women earning slightly more money than men. Hillary ignores the fact that men take much more dangerous jobs, suffering a disproportionate number of job injuries and fatalities, jobs that due to the higher risks pay more money.

Now we can add commuting times as yet another factor that determines the income of men and women.

Why do men commute more? Part of the reason is likely that they place a higher priority in maximizing income, so are willing to travel farther to a job that pays more, while women would rather commute less and will accept lower pay in exchange for a shorter commute.

That longer commutes cut into leisure and family time is something else not mentioned by either Hillary or the rest of the 'women earn less money than men' feminists.


Then Left has long clamored on about how the GOP will bring back the days of Jim Crow, with racial segregation being the law of the land. Too bad for them that they got it entirely wrong.

I am ashamed to say our family's alma mater, the University of Connecticut located deep in the heart of the ultra-blue Nutmeg State, is building new segregated dormitories on campus.

First it will be this. Will it soon to be followed by segregated classes created to help African American students feel 'safe'? At some point will a Black-only campus be created? Does no one on the Left see either the irony or backlash this will incur?

Of course not. It's all about social justice, not racial equality or civil rights. It's all about feelz.

If this were happening only at UConn, we could look at it as a aberration. But it's not as it looks like the University of Iowa is looking to follow the same path. How effin' stupid is that?


I had hoped the Carolina Panthers would give the Denver Broncos a run for their money in the SuperBowl, but my hopes were dashed as Denver beat them handily, 24-10.


Democracy In Small Town America - 2016 Edition

Call it a twofer for American democracy, one for Small Town USA and the other for the entire nation.

Earlier this week our little town held it's school district and town meetings, the first steps in a two-step process that decides what our town will spend during the upcoming fiscal year. Each meeting of the town's residents deliberated school and town budgets and warrant articles that covered everything from zoning amendments to changes in how town government will run to funding outside agencies. One article even dealt with changing the classification of a dirt road from a town maintained road to an unmaintained road.

Some amendments to budgetary items and a few town warrant articles were made, those being the most debated issues addressed during the meetings. But for the most part both meetings were low energy with little real drama. Frankly, that's a bit unusual considering some of the school district and town meetings in the not-so-recent past.

It's amazing to see folks not blink twice when some spending articles total in the millions of dollars, with little discussion or debate, but lengthy and sometimes passionate debates over a spending article asking to spend a few hundred dollars. One would think it would be the other way around.

The outcome of these two meetings won't be known until we move on to the second step in the process next month, when the people in our town will vote to accept or reject all of the warrant articles as well as elect some town officials.

Early next week, specifically Tuesday, voters will head to the voting booths to vote during the New Hampshire primaries, helping to select the candidates from each party who are vying to be their party presidential nominees come this fall. Once done, the echoes of the candidates' speeches and campaign ads will rapidly fade away and be nothing but a memory by Wednesday evening, leaving us to recuperate in peace for the next few months until Election Day 2016 approaches.

And so it goes in small town America.


Faster Internet Speed Arrives In Town

I got a pleasant surprise today, that being the download speed from my ISP, the local cable company, has been bumped up to 40Mbs at no additional cost. The upload speed, however, is still where it was before at 4Mbs.

That will certainly help the cable company keep its present Internet customers, and maybe entice some of those still using DSL to make the switch.

Of course this speed increase could have been driven by the prospect of a new player entering the market. Ain't competition, even of it hasn't arrived yet, a wonderful thing?