Detroit Is Chicago's Future

Is Chicago going the way of Detroit?

The short answer: Yes.

Detroit at its height had 2.1 million residents. After decades of one party rule it is a bankrupt city with a little over 600,000 residents and tens of thousands of abandoned homes and buildings. The city has actually paid people to leave almost empty neighborhoods and move to others within the city limits so utilities could be shut off and other services terminated in order to save money.

Chicago is headed down the same path if it doesn't change its direction, stop punishing its residents and businesses, and dismantle the Democrat Party machine that has ruled the Windy City for decades.

A sign of trouble: people are leaving the city and its population has declined for the first time since the early 90's. It's not just the city of Chicago losing population but the state of Illinois as well. It is an indicator that something is seriously amiss.

The biggest loser in the latest demographic analysis is the city of Chicago. Of all the metropolitan areas that lost population in the last year, it lost the most—more than the greater Los Angeles area, more than Boston, more than Minneapolis.

By almost every metric, Illinois' population is sharply declining, largely because residents are fleeing the state. The Tribune surveyed dozens of former residents who've left within the last five years, and each offered their own list of reasons for doing so. Common reasons include high taxes, the state budget stalemate, crime, the unemployment rate and the weather.

Are any steps to change this being taken? There have been a few, but lawsuits filed to stop changes to things like Chicago's severely underfunded pension plans succeeded and the financial juggernaut that is threatening the city is picking up speed. Much of this failure can be attributed to the public employee unions infesting the city and wielding unprecedented power. This is the same infestation that doomed Detroit to bankruptcy, failure, and decay. It has also led some of those same unions to demand the city double down and dump even more money it doesn't have and can't raise into retirement plans that will themselves go belly up once the city can't meet its growing obligations.

We've already seen the start of the decay with the crime rate skyrocketing (homicides and shootings have increased while elsewhere in the US the trend has been in the opposite direction), schools are under-performing and the worst are being closed, overloading the remaining schools, always increasing taxes and business 'fees', and increasingly draconian business regulations. This is exactly the same path that brought down Detroit.

Unless some major changes are made – one of them being getting rid of the entrenched special interests and cronies - Chicago will fail and it will end up looking more like decaying Detroit every day. That would be a shame.


Thoughts On A Sunday - Monday Edition

Here it is, the Thoughts On A Sunday – Monday Edition.

Our Easter festivities lasted longer than we had anticipated here at The Manse so I didn't get the chance to post anything yesterday.

We had two visitors from Malaysia join us for Easter dinner, making an low-key holiday even more enjoyable. (It's one reason we didn't finish as early as we had anticipated, and I'm not complaining!) More on them in a later post.


I have tried to re-enable comments on the blog, but have gotten stuck as I can't seem to find where to make them reappear! This is something I've been working on for a while and have hit a brick wall time and time again. I'll get it figured out sooner or later.


Joe Biden was all for it back in 2005.

Joe Biden is against it in 2016.

What am I talking about? Why the 'Biden Rule', of course!

It's the typical Democrat double standard.


If you aren't sure of the difference between fascism, communism, socialism, or democratic socialism, I hope the below will remove any misunderstanding.


Why are Millennial Men such wimps?

That's an easy answer: Because Gender Feminists made them that way.

What's worse is that now many women can't figure out why they can't find manly men...or any non-PW'd men at all. That's also an easy answer: Because the non-wimps want nothing to do with you because they know you for what you are.


When Title IX first became law in 1972, it helped right some wrongs in regards to sex discrimination within our educational system.

Here it is, 44 years later and it has gone from helping to create a level playing field to being used as a bludgeon to stifle due process on college campuses and stifle free speech in our institutions of higher learning. It's original purpose has been perverted by our 'betters' and is used to discriminate against men and those who believe in the freedom of speech.

It no longer serves the purpose for which it was created. Maybe it's time to amend it to eliminate these issues. If not, then maybe it's time to repeal it.


While the argument can be made for building large nuclear plants (1000MW+), the biggest one being economy of scale, there is a case to be made for building smaller reactors. One factor favoring smaller reactors is the same as that for large reactors – economy of scale.

However 'scale' in this case means being able to use modular construction to lower construction costs because being able to build the various portions of the reactor in a factory and performing final assembly at the plant site. Creating parts for four small reactors is cheaper than doing so for one big reactor. The volume of parts decreases the per part cost.

The smaller reactors also allow more decentralized power generation as a larger number of small reactors spread out over a wide area is less vulnerable to disruptions, natural or man-made, than one big reactor at a central location.


Oh, this will help entice more qualified women top enter STEM fields of study....or not.

Whenever one lowers standards for whatever business, trade, profession or school, the results are always the exact opposite of what those proposing such an action expected to occur.

Dumbing down STEM courses of study in order to 'protect' women from the expectations of professors and make it more “inclusive” will not garner the results the person who has put forth this proposal expects. It will merely make the problem of lowered expectations in our education system even worse and turn out unqualified graduates who will not be capable of performing the duties and tasks expected of them in the real world.


Sociopathic feminism, indeed!

Not every narcissist is a sociopath, but all sociopaths are narcissists. Like every other manifestation of identity politics, feminism is ultimately about narcissism, a celebration of selfishness masquerading as “social justice” in which identifying yourself as suffering from oppression serves not only as a rationalization of one’s personal failures, but also as a justification for antisocial attitudes and behaviors.

That certainly sounds a lot like the SJW feminists to me.

Read The Whole Thing.


And that's the belated and abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the rains have arrived, the warmer weather is arriving, and where Monday can't end too soon.


Thoughts On A Sunday - Or Not

Due to the lengthy Easter Sunday celebration, I did not get a chance to put together my usual Sunday post. I will, however, make up for it with a Monday Edition of Thoughts On A Sunday.


American Fascism - Fascism With Better PR

We keep hearing that Donald Trump is a fascist, but I haven't heard anyone actually define fascism with anything other than the phrase “It's what Trump will do to us.” Others have taken a stab at it, included the 33rd Vice President of the United States, Henry A. Wallace, who stated:

If we define an American fascist as someone as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States.

By that definition, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the US Congress, and the US Supreme Court are all fascists.

Unfortunately, that may be the truth. As Tyler Durden writes, “However, what we failed to realize is that the fascist coup took place long ago. It was that subtle and that incremental.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing. I have no doubt you will get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach much as I did once you come to realize Mr. Durden may be right.


Media Instigates Feud Then Pours Fuel On The Fire

The one hard, fast rule I thought that everyone in politics at the federal level agreed on was that family members were off limits. Of course we saw put to one side by the MSM when they went after Sarah Palin's children during the 2008 campaign. It's gone down hill ever since.

Now one of the scandal rags has started a war between two presidential candidates by going after one of the candidate's wives and it too has degenerated into family bashing.

I know this is 'politics', but frankly I liked to believe we were far more mature than this. But it has deteriorated into something that no one likes while the MSM is pouring gasoline on the fire they started.

No wonder no one trusts the media any more. The scumbags don't get half the abuse they deserve.

Real Rape Culture

We hear the Third Wave Feminists using the battle cry of “Rape Culture” as a means of destroying yet another part of our culture, meaning men, by trying to paint all of them as rapists. Every little twitch, facial expression (or lack thereof), word, or action made by men are seen as yet another form of sexual assault. They scream about patriarchal 'control' everyone with a 'Y' chromosome is trying to impose upon them.

They don't know or understand jack about rape culture. It's a smokescreen, a distraction used to gain more control over everyone's lives, even those of other women by trying to paint them as perpetual victims of the non-existent “Rape Culture.” They really have no clue, or choose to have none, about actual rape culture. Whether it's because it doesn't fit their narrative or doesn't give them a political advantage, they ignore the brutality of an actual rape culture, one that has been brutalizing women in entire regions of the world.

This is what “Rape Culture” actually looks like.

It looks like an ISIS fatwa that details the regulations in which its followers are asked to consider when raping their female “slaves.”

Among the rules: You can only rape a mother, or daughter, but not both. You can only rape one sister, not two. A father and son cannot both rape the same woman. But wait, there’s a proviso to that. If the father sells the woman to his son, the son can then rape her.

Raping children is also acceptable: “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty, if she is fit for intercourse.”

The TWF's won't talk about it. They won't even admit it exists because, after all, it takes away from their narrative that the women here are all victims a “Rape Culture” that doesn't really exist anywhere but in their imaginations.

Do we have problems with sexual assaults? Yes. No one has claimed otherwise. But it is overblown by two orders of magnitude, and is redefined so broadly that every social interaction between men and women constitute rape.

These women need to get psychiatric help before it's too late.


Thoughts On A Sunday

One of the biggest news items up here in New Hampshire, or at least nearly as big as Owen Labrie's incarceration for violating the terms of his probation om multiple occasions, has been the earliest Ice Out declared on Lake Winnipesaukee since records started being kept in 1888.

Ice Out is defined as when all five ports of call for the Mount Washington cruise ship are free of ice. It was declared at 11:15AM Friday morning, the first time it has been declared while it is still winter. However that hasn't really been a surprise up here as Ice In wasn't declared until one month before, one of the latest dates it's been seen.

Some are claiming it's global warming, mostly made by those who are too young to remember previous El Niño years. Most years when we experience an El Niño cycle we have warmer temperatures, less snow and more rain though the winter months. This El Niño was a very strong one, so our relatively mild winter was not a surprise by any means.

What does this early Ice Out mean for us? An earlier start to the boating season!


I like Sultan Knish's take on adulthood.

Adulthood means doing things you don't want to do and discovering that they can make you the person you want to be. That's how virtue is born. Perpetual childhood prevents virtue from ever forming. Instead public life is cluttered with oversized children who have the language skills, resources and political power of adults, but none of the virtues that come with maturity.

I've had to deal with an increasing number of these “oversized children” and it makes me doubt our nation or society will survive if the trend of extending adolescence by a couple of decades or so isn't overturned. We're certainly seeing the outcome of this trend on college campuses where the fragile snowflakes we've created are incapable of dealing with the harsh realities of life and try to force the institutions of higher learning to coddle them and “make all the bad mens go away!”

There's only one piece of advice I can offer these big crybullies: “Grow up, dammit!”


I agree with Skip wholeheartedly on this one.

In a lot of cases, yes, the Federal Government should be emasculated – it is too large, too powerful, too intrusive.  The problem is, however, is that it sticks itself into areas into which it has no Constitutional authorization to do.  For instance, where in the Constitution does it say it should be in charge of school breakfasts?  Is that one of the enumerated Powers listed?  And if so, please show me where it is?

I'd also like to see where it says the government can tell us what we should eat, what we should drive, where we should live, and what we can do with our own land.

'Nuff said.


If you want to get rid of the annoying Get Windows 10 popup and prevent it from installing on your Windows 7 or 8 computer without your permission, just follow the instructions on this webpage.

For almost a year the Get Windows 10 popup has been bugging us to update. Now it's become far more insistent, telling us it's a recommended 'update'. Some people have found their computers updated to Windows 10 without their consent, in some cases bricking their computers and in others rendering some of their software inoperable. Updates that do that should be actionable items, meaning the affected computer owners should be in that position should sue the bejeezus out of Microsoft, particularly if the affected computer was used for their business.

Just when I thought Microsoft couldn't get more arrogant, they prove me wrong.

Call this an echo of the Microsoft Windows Vista debacle when people found out that much of the software they already owned and used for business wouldn't run on Vista and that Vista-capable software wasn't available. The big corporate customers told Microsoft to “piss off” when they tried to get them to upgrade to Vista and it was forced to continue supporting Windows XP until just 2 years ago (2014). By then most of the corporate systems had upgraded to Windows 7.

Why Microsoft believes they can force customers to upgrade to a new OS every couple of years is beyond me, and particularly trying to do that to their corporate customers. A lot of them can afford neither the time or money to do that, Corporate IT departments want long term stability, meaning a decade between OS upgrades. That's also true of much of the software they use, specifically productivity software that covers design, sales, production scheduling, inventory control, and so on. They don't have the time or the personnel bandwidth to be constantly retraining employees every year or so when the latest greatest software upgrade comes along.


Glenn Reynolds delves into the phenomenon that is Donald Trump, explaining why it is David Brooks is wrong and why he has the support and the present momentum that might propel him into the White House. It can be explained thusly:

“Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them, so naturally they are looking for something else.”

The Tea Party movement — which you also failed to understand, and thus mostly despised — was a bourgeois, well-mannered effort (remember how Tea Party protests left the Mall cleaner than before they arrived?) to fix America. It was treated with contempt, smeared as racist, and blocked by a bipartisan coalition of business-as-usual elites. So now you have Trump, who’s not so well-mannered, and his followers, who are not so well-mannered, and you don’t like it.

If you keep denigrating and trying to marginalize a large percentage of the American public – those of us in 'flyover' country – this is the result. Anyone with half a brain could see this was coming. However the GOP establishment, the Democrats, the coastal “elites”, and the MSM refused to even consider there would be a backlash, and now that it's here they don't have a clue about how to handle it other than to double down, believing that will solve the problem.

It won't.


Oh, I loved this!

“Let's play another exciting round of Who Said It – Hillary or Trump?

This shows you just how uninformed potential voters are, in particular Democrat voters.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


Powerline illustrates yet another piece of federal government overreach, in this case the Department of Justice warning states and municipalities to not 'burden' the poor with fines.


The DOJ’s letter notes that poor people endure hardship as a result of being fined. When they steadfastly refuse to pay fines, the amount escalates. Eventually, an arrest warrant may issue. In the case of traffic and parking offenses, offenders eventually may have their driver’s license suspended.

The hardship is easily avoided, however. First, poor people can comply with the law — e.g. not speed, not park illegally, not disturb the peace. Second, if they violate an ordinance, they can pay the fine.

Anyone who can afford to buy or rent a car and pay for the gas can afford to pay a traffic ticket. People who refuse to do so aren’t refusing because they don’t have the $40 (say). They are refusing because they would rather not pay.

Call this yet another Progressive directive that will not ease the burden on the poor, but show them laws may be ignored with impunity. If there is no penalty, then the law means nothing. Why bather having laws at all under those circumstances.

It sounds like they're setting up the states and municipalities to fail, see crime increase dramatically, and then step in to “restore” order. Or it means they really have no understanding of human nature and are basing their directive upon feelz. I'm not sure which one scares me the most.

Am I being paranoid? Wrong question. The question is am I being paranoid enough? Since when can the DOJ dictate to the states what laws they can and cannot enforce, particularly when those laws are local? It doesn't have that power. There is no federal law that (falsely) gives them that power. The Constitution certainly doesn't support it. Call it yet another example of the rot infesting Washington caused by The One's disdain of the law and the Constitution. As the saying goes, a fish rots from the head down.


I'm sorry, but I feel little sympathy for this idiot.

His first mistake was going to North Korea.

His second mistake was thinking he could get away with things there that he might get away with here. Did he really think our laws and customs would apply in North Korea?

Now he gets to spend the next 15 years as a guest of the State.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where boats will soon be returning to the lake, the warmer weather is waiting to return, and where we've managed to dodge a major Nor'easter.


Renewables Not Living Up To The Hype - Yet Another Example

So many of the Greens keep touting the inevitability of renewable energy overtaking traditional energy sources, including the newer nuclear technologies. But time after time the favored renewables fail to live up to the hype and, more often than not, cannot survive without government subsidies. Any truly viable energy source should be able to survive without the need for government funding, but after many decades of pushing for renewables like solar and wind, they are no more viable than they were at the beginning. (One of the truly effective renewables, hydro, is scorned by many of the Greens because it isn't politically correct and, if they had their way, every dam in the world world be torn down, even those that provide water and flood protection for large populations. As it is, even if every viable hydroelectric location were used, it wouldn't be able to meet anywhere near the demand.)

So this news must be devastating to the Renewables_Can_Meet_All_Of_Our_Energy_Needs_Particularly_If_We_Kill_Off_Two-Thirds_Of_The_Human_Population cabal: The Ivanpah solar plant could soon be shut down because it isn't producing anywhere near the promised amount of electricity.

This solar-thermal plant located out in the desert in California has only been able to produce between 45 and 68 percent of the promised electricity. That's after receiving $1.6 billion in loan guarantees. (That's 'billion' with a 'b'.) They also asking for an additional $539 million in grants to help pay off the $1.6 billion the project owes. Between the cost of the plant, the cost of operation and maintenance, electricity from the plant costs almost six times the cost of electricity from a natural gas-fueled power plant.

These are your tax dollars at work, dollars that either could have been spent elsewhere more effectively, or better yet, not spent at all.

Plain Speaking About Deficit Spending, Taxation and Debt

This is someone who actually understands why governments can't keep spending money it doesn't have on things the people don't need or want for people who just don't give a s**t. Even though he's a Brit and he's talking about both the UK and the EU, it applies equally to the US.


The War On Men - Domestic Abuse Redux

I was reading a couple of posts about the continuing War on Men on college campuses and I remembered I had posted something back in 2013 about domestic violence and the misconception that almost all domestic violence is committed by men. In fact it is likely that almost half of all domestic violence is committed by women, in most cases against the men in their lives. Much of it is unreported because the male victims believe they would be emasculated in the eyes of the public should they reveal they were beaten by a woman. Many do not defend themselves because they know that if they did it they knew it was likely they would be seen as the aggressor. Of some of the others, I would hazard a guess they didn't defend themselves because they were raised by parents who believed men should never strike women, so they took the abuse rather than fight back.

So I pulled this post from Weekend Pundit Archives and present it again. Even reading it almost 3 years later gives me the chills as it has reminded me how the legal system has been increasingly stacked against men, and particularly white heterosexual men.


This is a follow up on one of my earlier posts about the ongoing War on Men.

I went back to one of the linked posts penned by Dr. Helen to read some of the comments made some time after I had posted my own thoughts on the matter. One of the most disturbing comments came from PJMedia member Steve S63 who overheard the soul-bearing tales of four young men as they were traveling together. (The below is edited for brevity and formatting.)

This pertains to an experience I had recently while travelling (sic) on a Public Transit bus in Fall of 2012.

Four male student's were standing just beside me in the isle. These young fellows obviously knew each other and were friends as part of their discussion was related to adventures between the previous year and the current one. Of course for me sitting there, it was hard not to overhear because they were right there and carrying on their conversation quite openly, so I listened a bit because honestly I was pretty well bored.

They started talking about their girlfriends and some general adventures, just the usual surface type of chat but that quickly changed. One of these fellows (Friend A) had a bruise on his face and he said to the others that his girlfriend had done that to him because he did something she didn't like. As this fellow related his tale and expanded on similar such occurrences, being hit with objects, punched and even kicked, another of his friends said, “Yeah my girlfriend is even worse than that, she has yours beat by a mile”.

Friend B started to relate a story of how he and his girlfriend went shopping and that on arrival at home he was going upstairs with the groceries and she was angry over not having picked up something or other at the store and blaming him for not thinking of it. He then related how after he put the groceries down at the top of the stairs and was about to go back down to get the last bags, she kicked him in the back and he went down the stairs hard which resulted in him breaking his leg and having to get a cast which ruined his summer. His friends asked him what he did about it and he related that the doctor at the hospital asked him how it happened and he told the Doctor he had a bicycling accident. His Friend C asked him why he said that to the Doctor and he replied with, if I told him what happened, he wouldn’t have believed me and likely I would have gotten into some kind of trouble. I looked up at this moment only to see all 4 nodding in agreement and a couple of them saying “yeah, that was smart thing to do”. I was to say the least “shocked” but not surprised given the issues I have been through personally.

So far two instances of domestic abuse perpetrated by the women in the relationship and these guys don't dare report it? Is this yet another example of how society has now been programmed to automatically assume something that isn't true because the victim happens to be male?

Friend C then related that a couple of years previously he was injured by his no[w] EX Girlfriend for not being on time for something or other and how she hit him with an object that had cut his arm open, requiring stitches at the hospital. He said that he went to the hospital and not thinking, he told them that his Girlfriend had done this to him because she was mad at him. [T]he hospital called the Police and the Police...questioned him and almost mocked him and told him that they thought she was defending herself from him and they wanted her phone number to talk to her, so he gave them the number. [W]hen one of the officer's went off to call, the other officer who stayed behind asked him very accusatory questions and...the hospital staff seemed to be hostile towards him while treating him... When the first officer returned he told him that he was lucky he wasn't pressing charges because his girlfriend confirmed what Friend C had told them. When he asked the police officer if they would charge her, they both laughed at him and said “Not likely” and they laughingly told the hospital staff, “This guy's ok, just stupid”. Again all 4 friends nodding even more vigorously in agreement.. and the others saying, yeah, don't ever do that again bud. None of them were laughing or obviously thinking it was funny. All the while Friend D was quiet but nodding in agreement and looking a bit disturbed by the conversation as it was proceeding.

The [three] friends looked at the [four]th friend, Friend D, and asked him why he was so quiet. He answered with, “Well, I wish I had been smarter and knew better, if only I had known.” Well with their curiosity peaked (sic)...they pressed him to tell. Very uncomfortably he said that he's been charged and is facing court soon because his girlfriend went into some rage over him seeing another girl somewhere, but that she didn't know this girl was his cousin. Friend D said that when he went home she was in a rage and started throwing things at him and kicked & punched him and that he just tried to defend himself while attempting to explain that it was his cousin. She eventually hit him a pot or pan (I didn't quite catch it) which knocked him out. He then related how he hadn't hit her or anything and just put his hands and arms in the way of her blows and he showed his friends some bruises and cuts on his arms by pulling up his sleeves. But that after she knocked him out and he regained consciousness the Police had arrived on the scene because a neighbour (sic) had reported Domestic Violence going on. The Police, while arresting him, were talking to his girlfriend and she was telling them that “He didn't hit me or anything” and the officer said that he had to charge him anyways under the law and that she could not do anything about it because they were called to the scene.

Again, an assumption is made that it was the male who committed the acts of domestic violence even though the woman didn't have a mark on her, the man was beaten and lying unconscious, and the woman stated he hadn't done anything to her. They arrested him “because it is the law.” If that were indeed the case, with the law stating only the man must be arrested, then that law is unconstitutional. (Somehow I doubt that's the case. Rather it was the prejudice by the arresting officers assuming he was the violent one even though there was plenty of prima facia evidence that she was the perpetrator.)

But wait, it gets worse!

Friend D said that he's toast, [that his] lawyer said that he will be convicted no matter what at this point and that even with his girlfriend signing a statement that he never touched her and it was all a misunderstanding, he almost broke down... he said, “I'm not even going to be able to finish my career now because if I have a criminal conviction I won't be able to finish and get a job in what I want to do... It's all over because of that stupid B and now she's off doing whatever to some other poor Effer.” The 3 friends were consoling him as the bus arrived at their stop and the[y] debarked.

So it seems there's a presumption of guilt. If “Friend D” was indeed being truthful about what he experienced, then there's something seriously broken in our legal system. After decades of lobbying and pushing through legislation like The Violence Against Women Act that seriously skews the perceptions of domestic violence – that the man is always the perpetrator – the unintended consequences are now being felt by those who are on the receiving end of such violence.

How many men will put up with that kind of physical abuse because the legal deck is stacked against them? How many will remain silent because they know it's likely they will be punished for the acts of violence committed against them? How many will remain silent because they don't want to suffer the stigma of being abused, or worse, having members of society believing they're getting what they deserve merely because they have a 'Y' chromosome?

Is this problem widespread? No one really knows. It could be another one of those silent epidemics that won't come to light until someone goes too far and sheds light on the problem of domestic violence committed by women against men.

The pendulum has swung too far to one side, leaving almost half of the population under constant suspicion and presumption of guilt due entirely to their gender. Much of this was driven by the more radical feminists and the fascist PC movement. This insanity must be addressed soon or all we'll see is even more men dropping out, picking up their ball and leaving the field of play because the game of life (at least in this society) is rigged against them. And who can blame them?


The Downsides To The Internet Of Things

Any of you regular readers out there know that even thought I am a techie, I am not enamored of a lot of the technology that is available to everyone. Not that I am against it by any means, but I do understand both the good and the bad, particularly the downsides that many non-tech savvy people have no idea exist. It's one reason I don't have a smart phone – they're too vulnerable to hackers and crackers.

Here's another thing to be worried about – the Internet of Things, or IoT.

It is IoT that will help make it possible to network just about everything, running the gamut from the lights and thermostat inside your house to all of the electrical and electronics systems residing there. It sounds neat, being able to turn lights on and off, reset the thermostat, watch what's going on inside your house, or answer the doorbell even if your not home. Sounds neat, doesn't it?

But what if someone else were able to do those same things, too? And by that I mean controlling the lights, thermostat, and interior video cameras in your home. Not so neat now, is it?

Being able to hack into IoT networks isn't as hard as some may think. One fellow proved just how easy it was using his Android phone to hack into the control systems of his and just about every room in the hotel where he was staying.

I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to incorporate any form of IoT here at The Manse because, quite frankly, I know how insecure they can be. Besides, why would I need my phone or tablet just to turn on the lights? Can't I just use a light switch?


Thoughts On A Sunday

Here it is, mid-March and it feels more like mid-April.

Temperatures have been in the 50's and 60's and the overnight temps have been staying above freezing for the most part. I haven't had to run the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove for over a week now.

I can only hope we'll stay in this weather pattern for the rest of the month and into early April.


Apparently the over-the-top PC crowd have no use for Western Civilization, particularly Western Civ courses on college campuses. Never mind that it it wasn't for Western Civilization they most likely wouldn't be around acting as holier-than-thou a**sholes, preaching down to us as if they were the only arbiters of what is 'correct'. Certainly the feminists probably wouldn't exist because most of the non-Western civilizations still see women as barely above cattle.


Even the New York Times has tumbled to the fact that our education system is overmedicating boys, trying to make them fit the mold of well behaved girls. But boys are rambunctious, full of energy that needs to be burned off. In other words, normal kids. But instead of letting them be boys, the education elite seek to drug them into submission.

Like that's worked out so far.


David Starr offers his solution to the immigration problem. Frankly, I think it is a lot better than many I've heard and helps build this nation up rather than making it weaker by flooding the nation with unskilled labor.


By way of Facebook comes this photo, a perfect illustration of why socialism is a bad economic and political system.


Cap'n Teach points us to a story about a strain of bacteria that can eat plastic, specifically PET, a plastic most often used for packaging thinks like drinks, cosmetics, and household cleaners.

At first blush it sounds like it would be quite useful, but I think it has to come with some kind of caveat as it would have to be used in a fashion that makes sure it doesn't destroy plastic while we're still using it. If it is a natural bacteria then I doubt we have anything to worry about. However, if it is a genetically modified organism there would need to be some kind of a kill switch built in to destroy it if it got out of control.


I have to agree with Stacy McCain's take on modern feminism.

Feminism is an insult to the intelligence of everyone who has two eyes and a brain. Feminism’s ideology and rhetoric are insulting to every honest man who ever lived and to every honest woman who ever loved a man. Why do feminists today constantly denounce men as “misogynists” for disagreeing with them? Why do feminists claim to be victims of “online harassment”? Why do university students engage in disruptive protests whenever anyone who dissents from feminism’s anti-male ideology — George Will, Wendy McElroy, Christina Hoff Sommers, Milo Yiannopoulous — dares to speak on campus?

Feminism is a totalitarian movement to destroy civilization as we know it.

Of course they never really think about what would replace our present civilization. They assume everything would be better. But if history is any guide it will be worse, particularly for women.


Another bit by way of Cap'n Teach is this question: Did the Democrats abandonment of the working class lead to the rise of Trump?

Short answer: Yes.

Next question?


I know the EPA has been overreaching its charter on an ever growing list of issues, but the latest one takes the cake.

Now they want to crack down on manure. Yup. Manure.

Manure has been used for thousands of years to fertilize fields. But they doubt using it is a safe practice and are looking to due an assessment of the practice.

One has to wonder whether this is a different version of their overreach by way of the Clean Water Act when they have gone so far as to regulate puddles.

I guess the bureaucrats at the EPA have nothing better to do so they feel they have to justify their continued employment by regulating everything.

This BS has got to stop. (No pun intended.)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is above average, the last of the snow and ice is melting away, and where once again we have to suffer with the Daylight Savings Time switch.

Kasparov Slams Bernie And His Faith In Socialism

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Bernie Sanders is a true blue socialist and has never dissembled his admiration for the more brutal socialist states. (He honeymooned in the USSR and visited Cuba and Nicaragua during the Sandinista era.)

He thinks socialism is the cure for all kinds of ills he sees as being caused by capitalism. He ignores the greater ills brought about by socialism, including the hundreds of millions killed by socialism in its myriad forms.

But someone who was brought up in a purely socialist country tells Bernie “Don't lecture me about socialism. I lived through it.”

Garry Kasparov writes:

Last week I expressed some of these thoughts on Facebook after hearing a clip of “democratic socialist” candidate Senator Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday. This was already a rarity, considering how little time the networks have left after their blanket coverage of Donald Trump's latest outrages. My post on the nature of socialism was 113 words long, a quick response to critics of a cartoon I had posted of Bernie Sanders wearing a baseball cap reading “Make America Greece Again.”

My goal was to remind people that Americans talking about socialism in the 21st century was a luxury paid for by the successes of capitalism in the 20th. And that while inequality is a huge problem, the best way to increase everyone’s share of pie is to make the pie bigger, not to dismantle the bakery. Much to my surprise, my little rant went viral, as the saying goes. Instead of the usual few hundred Facebook shares, this paragraph quickly reached tens of thousands. By the next morning it had reached several million people, more than any of the day’s political posts by the leading candidates. A week later and it has over 3,000 comments, 57,000 shares, and a 9.3 million reach that is in the category usually reserved for photos of pop stars and kitten videos.

My conclusion that “the idea that the solution [to inequality] is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd” apparently had great resonance, and I think I know why. There is a growing consensus that America has deep troubles, and no one can agree on solutions. Everyone agrees that Washington should change, and some want the government to do much more while others want it to do much less.

Sanders also believes that impoverishing the rich will somehow enrich the poor even though there are hundreds of years of history that disprove that belief. All it does is make everyone poor. He also appears to believe in the Zero Sum Theory of Wealth, meaning that in order for someone to become rich it was necessary to make someone else poor. But that 'truth' died over two centuries ago after the Industrial Revolution picked up steam (no pun intended). However that won't stop Bernie and the other true believers from trying to sell their zero-sum snake oil.

Read the rest of Kasparov's words and take his opinion and experience to heart – Socialism isn't the cure, it's the disease.


I'll Never Patronize Whole Foods - I'm Afraid The Stupid Will Rub Off

I read this and didn't stop laughing for almost 30 minutes. I showed it to a number of my co-workers and they pretty much had the same reaction. What makes this worse is that we didn't even think twice about whether it was an accurate portrayal of the people in question because we've all witnessed similar actions by many of these same types of people in similar venues.

21 Reasons To Never Step Inside A Whole Foods Again.

I particularly like the willful idiocy of the laser quote at the very top of the post, which actually makes the total 22 reasons.

To paraphrase something someone once said, no one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the public, particularly that of our holier-than-thou 'betters'.

Is Daylight Savings Time Necessary?

It's that time of year where once again we have to adjust all of our clocks ahead one hour in order to 'save' daylight. Frankly, I think it's a pain in the butt as it really doesn't save anything but causes problems across all lines. That begs the question, is Daylight Savings Time really necessary or has it become nothing more than a government imposed annoyance?

Of the two, I think everyone will agree it's more the latter.

A growing number of people are asking the question and not getting any answers.

While Benjamin Franklin is considered the 'inventor' of the concept Daylight Savings Time, it wasn't really used to any extent until the early 20th Century, and then only in fits and starts. It didn't really become a regular thing until the Nixon Administration, and then it was used more as a PR stunt to help offset the effects of the Arab Oil Embargo in 1973 when Nixon ordered DST year round in order to help save oil supplies by shifting sunset one hour. (I say it was a PR stunt because no one ever showed that it saved a drop of oil.)

Other administrations have fiddled with it since then, with the last being George W. Bush asking Congress to extend an already extended DST from 7 months in length to 8 months. It's been there ever since. (I have to ask this – If DST is in effect for 8 months of the year, isn't it really Standard Time as it is in effect for two-thirds of the year? As I commented on the post linked above, couldn't the four months where DST is not in effect be called Daylight Losing Time instead? It would make more sense.)

While a number of people have justified the use of DST with a wide range of positive effects, none of which have been proven out, many of the rest of us see it as nothing more than an annoying phenomenon that forces us to shift our clocks twice a year. If the Powers-That-Be really want to keep the one hour shift, why not make it year round and be done with it? Or if they don''t want to do that, then keep the clocks set to Standard Time and let people and businesses shift their hours accordingly if they feel the need. This twice-a-year shift in our clocks really serves no purpose, is annoying, and in the end, has no real justification.


Pay TV Subscriber Numbers Continue To Decline

We've seen that for the past couple of years the number of pay TV subscriber have been falling, both for cable and satellite providers. The latest figures show that trend continued in 2015, with providers having lost an additional 385,000 customers. That's not surprising considering cable and satellite subscription costs have continued their upward climb. Streaming operations Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others have also eaten into the pool of subscribers.

While we haven't yet dropped our satellite subscription, we have dialed it back, dropping to a lower service tier and losing a few of our favorite channels. We could no longer justify paying over $100 every month for the 22 channels we actually watch, so we ended up dropping down two levels and cutting our monthly bill by almost $40. If streaming ever provides both our local channels and NFL games for a reasonable price, we will cancel our satellite subscription and not think twice about it.

It's up to the content providers to figure out how to lower the price of their programming because every time they raise their rates they lose viewers. Eventually they will price themselves right out of the market and other content providers will be more than willing to step in. This is already happening to Viacom as last year about 60 cable systems dropped their programming because of the over-the-top fee increases they tried to ram down the cable providers throats. This will happen again as prices continue to rise.

They might learn the lesson...or not. Only time will tell.


Don't Guess. Test The Models!

The one thing that anyone can do to solve a dispute over things like math, science, or engineering is to test hypothesis and see what type of outcome occurs. If the data doesn't match the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is wrong and needs to be modified.

This same principle should be used to settle one of the biggest disputes taking place today, that being climate change, is to test the climate models present being used to show that we are all doomed by comparing them against actual data. Someone, specifically Larry Kummer, has suggest just such a thing.

Do you trust the predictions of climate models? That is, do they provide an adequate basis on which to make major public policy decisions about issues with massive social, economic and environmental effects? In response to my posts on several high-profile websites, I’ve had discussions about this with hundreds of people. Some say “yes”; some say “no”. The responses are alike in that both sides have sublime confidence in their answers; the discussions are alike in they quickly become a cacophony.


The policy debate turns on the reliability of the predictions of climate models. These can be tested to give “good enough” answers for policy decision-makers so that they can either proceed or require more research. I proposed one way to do this in Climate scientists can restart the climate change debate & win: Test the models! — with includes a long list of cites (with links) to the literature about this topic. This post shows that such a test is in accord with both the norms of science and the work of climate scientists.

Not just any data should be used. Use the unadulterated, unadjusted raw data, particularly that from what are referred to as “pristine” stations, meaning those sited where there is no influence by creeping development, parking lots, HVAC exhausts, or other man made sources of heat. There are plenty of them all over the world. Plug in the raw data to the models and lets see what they project. If they fail to project the actual results within some predetermined margin of error, then we know the models are junk and any predictions they make should be ignored. Some of this can be performed using hindcasting, starting the model projections at a date from 40, 50, 60 years ago or more and see if the projections even come close to predicting what actually happened.

My guess? They will fail miserably.


Thoughts On A Sunday

We're in for a stretch of warmer weather, with temps getting into the mid to upper 60's mid week. I'm certainly not complaining as the woodpile is shrinking a greatly reduced rate and our propane usage has also been a fraction of what it might have been otherwise. Even the middle section of Lake Winnipesaukee has open water. A few days of warm temps and wind will increase the area of open water considerably.


If nothing else, Super Saturday has proved that both Trump and Clinton are vulnerable and do not have the nomination sewed up. On the other hand I think Marco Rubio's days are numbered as he came away with nothing from this weekend. Whether he will stay in it along with John Kasich to force a brokered GOP convention is yet to be seen.


Voter suppression isn't just an urban phenomenon. It's happening in small town America as well, in this case in the town of Henniker, New Hampshire.

It appears the town officials have somehow made a petition warrant article that delves into the issue of agritourism disappear from the town ballots. As long as the petitions follow the state laws and meet the criteria for acceptance of such petitions that govern such warrant articles, the towns have no choice but to include them.

Town officials have not given an explanation why this warrant article disappeared from the ballots, so one has to ask what the heck is going on there? It doesn't matter if the town's planning board is going to be working on this issue, the warrant article must be on the ballot unless it's defective, meaning that it didn't meet the requirements under state law. Again, no one is saying that is the case here.


This is just stupid. But what do you expect from a Blue State, logic?

What will be next, arresting folks because some of the grass clippings from mowing their lawn happened to drift into a neighbor's yard?


Is it really a surprise to anyone paying attention that Netflix, as well as Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming services are negatively affecting network, cable, and satellite television viewership?

Other than the obvious factors driving increasing viewership on the streaming services, those being the lack of commercials, shows on demand, as well as exclusive shows not seen on linear television, one of the biggest factors is that cable and satellite television costs have been skyrocketing as content providers keep boosting their subscriber fees. It's reached the point where people aren't willing to pay exorbitant subscription fees for channels they don't watch and don't want. The streaming services offer an escape from the broken pricing model that has left cable and satellite service providers scrambling to realign and renegotiate programming packages in an effort to stem the tide of decreasing viewership.


This is something I linked to some years back, but it bears repeating.

Yes, we New England Yankees are tolerant, probably more so than some folks. But we're tolerant from a distance.


One question the Greens never seem willing to answer when it comes to wind power: Who will clean up the 14,000 abandoned wind turbines across America?

I find it ironic that the symbols of 'sustainable and renewable' energy are increasingly becoming a symbol of something else – an expensive boondoggle. The systems aren't as reliable as traditional sources of power. They require much more in the way of maintenance and their service lifetime is nothing to brag about, either.

I think it's well past time to rethink the push for wind power.


Former First Lady Nancy Reagan has passed away.


I'm just waiting for the final breaths of the long failing climate alarmism, letting it die a long overdue and well deserved death.

It can't happen soon enough for me.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the ice on the lake is melting, the daytime temps are climbing, and the need to stoke the woodstove around the clock is fading away.


Poor Progressive Snowflakes

The Progressive snowflakes on college campuses are a gift that keeps on giving, providing endless material for comedians and public detractors alike.

The 'hurt' and 'unsafe feelings' these precious know-nothings experience when they are confronted with topics, events, or people that threaten their weirdly distorted world view have become an endless stream of ammunition for anyone with a modicum of common sense to heap much deserved ridicule and derision upon these adult-looking crybullies.

In the case below, it was a forum at the University of Pittsburgh where Breitbart Tech editor Mile Yiannopoulos which traumatized a bunch of overly sensitive 'students'.

“During his talk, Yiannopoulos called students who believe in a gender wage gap ‘idiots,’ declared the Black Lives Matter movement a ‘supremacy’ group, while feminists are ‘man-haters,’” according to the student paper The Pitt News. prompting a handful of twenty-something-year olds to feel upset.

“So many of us shared in our pain. I felt I was in danger, and I felt so many people in that room were in danger,” proclaimed Marcus Robinson, student and president of the Pittsburgh Rainbow Alliance. Robinson also suggested that councilors should have been provided in another room to protect students who felt “traumatized” by Yiannopoulos’s opinions.

“This is more than hurt feelings, this is about real violence. We know that the violence against marginalized groups happens every day in this country,” claimed social work and urban studies major Claire Matway. “That so many people walked out of that [event] feeling in literal physical danger is not alright.”

President of the College Republicans and fellow student Tim Nerozzi responded to the complaints by proclaiming, “I’m not here to rain on your parade. We put a trigger warning on our fliers for the event. We never claimed it would be a family friendly or a politically correct lecture.”

Real violence? So Yiannopoulos physically attacked these poor snowflakes, leaving the victims with welts, bruises, and broken bones? No? So it wasn't real violence, but something uncomfortable that they are incapable of facing without a fainting couch nearby to catch their bodies when they suffer from the vapors brought on by this theoretical act of violence?

I have two words of advice for these children: Grow Up.

The real world isn't going to give a damn about their hurt feelings and it certainly isn't going to change to meet their demands for a world safe from any controversy or bad feelings. These idiots need to seek professional help. Perhaps they should be institutionalized for the remainder of their natural lives because they are incapable of dealing with reality.

It would serve them right.

A Dennis Miller Truism

By way of Maggie's Farm comes this from Dennis Miller:

If only the GOP had gone after Obama like they're going after Trump!