Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been a fifty-fifty weekend here at Lake Winnipesaukee, with one gorgeous day (Saturday) and one cloudy and damp day (Sunday). Not that we're really complaining because we've really needed the rain.

While we aren't officially in drought, we are close. Southern parts of the state have been in drought conditions for some time, with some towns now imposing water use restrictions as a precaution. Even though we are getting some rain, it won't be enough to relieve the drought though ti will put a dent in it.

At least we aren't seeing the type of drought conditions that exist elsewhere in the country.


This isn't news to me as I've been seeing this for years...and it's been done to us on purpose.

Teacher Duke Pesta has given his juniors and seniors a ten question American history test and found that nine out of ten students believe slavery didn't exist anywhere else in the word prior to the existence of the United States.

So they've been taught that we, America, created slavery. They are ignorant that it has existed practically since man existed. They have been taught something that is entirely untrue, easily proven to be untrue, yet they believe it. So that begs the question, how much of the rest of American history have they been lied to about? How can they form proper opinions when what they've been fed to them is a tissue of lies?

The answer: they can't. And that's the way the Left wants it because it means they can be more easily controlled and manipulated because they are ignorant of what's really happened.


Oh,no! Say it ain't so! Snopes.com has been caught lying about a report from the Daily Caller which stated there was a lack of visible American flags inside the DNC convention on the first day.

Snopes claimed “an image from the second day of the convention was actually from the first day in an attempt to debunk a factual story from The Daily Caller.”

The problem is that the DC report was made during the first day of the convention.

Several flags were briefly on stage for the national anthem and pledge of allegiance, at which point they were carried off stage, as the C-SPAN video for Monday clearly shows at the 35:40 mark. Even PolitiFact, which tends to lean to the left, noted that “when the color guard left, so did the physical flag.” After that point, the stage was devoid of any American flags for the remainder of day one.

So which is it? Is the C-Span footage wrong (unlikely) or did Snopes lie (likely)?

I used to be able to take Snopes at their word, but that's been changing over the past few years as I noticed more discrepancies between what was seen and what Snopes reported, even after inaccuracies were pointed out to the Snopes folks. Now they've been caught is a lie and any last shreds of credibility they've had is now gone.


When any SJWs make the accusation about America's 'cultural appropriation', a good counter to that accusation might be to ask them about these foods which might appear to have been 'stolen' from another culture, but are a purely American creation.

On the other hand, America is based upon cultural appropriation, something that has helped make America great. Too many of the SJWs offended by cultural appropriation also tend to be racist as they want to make America a balkanized nation with no interaction between the various groups. One of America's greatest strengths has been the melding of these various ethnicities and cultures together to create something greater than the whole.

But then again SJWs don't believe in that, and they never have.


How many times during the DNC convention did we hear the refrain about closing the gender wage gap?

The idea that women are paid on average 81¢ for every dollar a man makes sounds like a no-brainer. It also plays well in the press and in political speeches. It's also absolutely true.

But, and this is a big 'but', that 81 cent figure is based upon the average of women's pay versus men's pay and not the per job pay, meaning if a man and a woman have the same job it's likely they have equal pay. (This obviously doesn't take into account things like time in position, education, hours worked, and effort.)

So why the apparent disparity? Because it plays better to the press.

The Labor Department classifies “full-time” work as any workweek of more than 35 hours; but men typically work more hours than women. Among full-time workers, men work 43 hours per week, on average, and women, 41 hours per week. Women who work exactly 40 hours per week earn 89 percent of what their respective male peers earn. (When unmarried, childless workers under 30 are compared, a “reverse wage gap” appears, with women earning $1.08 for every dollar earned by comparable men.)

The causes of the remaining 11 percent wage gap are numerous. Take men’s and women’s field of study in college. Men outnumber women in nine of the ten highest-paying majors, while women outnumber men in nine of the ten lowest-paying majors. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, women make up a statistically insignificant share of petroleum-engineering majors and only 7 percent of electrical-engineering majors—degrees that open the door to lucrative professions. On the other hand, women account for 59 percent of studio-art majors, 56 percent of drama majors, and 88 percent of elementary-education majors—degrees that lead to relatively low-paying careers.

Men also take more dangerous jobs, such jobs usually paying more than the average wage. Some of those jobs include oil rig roustabouts, high steel workers, electrical linemen, construction workers, and commercial fishermen, just to name a few. While women aren't banned from such jobs, few actually take them. That certainly skews the averages quite a bit. There are also a number of other factors that skew the results that many do not take into account.

So the next time someone throws the “Women make less pay then men for the same jobs” line, hit back with the facts and show 'em they're full of it.


I'd say the chance was 100%.

David Starr figures the hacked DNC computers were running Windows.

As I commented to David's post, it takes a really good IT team and constant vigilance to keep Windows networks and machines secure, and even then they're vulnerable. If you don't have a good IT team, then you're screwed.


Tom Bowler points to some uncomfortable truths about America's growing entitlement rolls and the coming collapse.

It isn't hyperbole, but straightforward math that shows our entitlement spending isn't sustainable because we have an increasing number of people collecting entitlement payments with a decreasing number of working people contributing to the system. We've seen this problem in other countries and without making some long overdue changes, we'll suffer the same fate – the entitlement system will fail and likely take the economy with it.

Because the main street economy is failing, the nation’s entitlement rolls have exploded. About 110 million citizens now receive some form of means tested benefits. When social security is included, more than 160 million citizens get checks from Washington.

The total cost is now $3 trillion per year and rising rapidly. America’s entitlements sector, in fact, is the sixth biggest economy in the world.

We must remember, that which cannot continue, won't. Our entitlement spending can't continue on this path and at some point in the very near future, it won't.


They are only two days into their campaign and the Clinton-Kaine ticket has already canceled an appearance. In this case, their Cleveland appearance has been canceled after a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania had only a few dozen supporters show up. The speculation is that the Cleveland stop was shelved “due to a lack of interest.” Others are saying it could be due to an undisclosed health condition.

Either way, it is not an auspicious start to their campaign.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where July has passed, August will start, and where summer is passing all too quickly.


The Last Straw For Venezuela's People?

It isn't as if anyone paying attention to the situation in Venezuela didn't see this coming.

Venezuela declares forced labor in the farm fields for all citizens.

International humanitarian organizations have been mostly blocked from assisting because Maduro doesn't trust them. Instead, Maduro issued a decree recently ordering citizens to leave their jobs in the private sector to be put to work in the fields.

I seem to recall something like this was used in the Soviet Union to help with what was called “The Battle of the Harvest” because the central planners had forgotten to make sure there were enough people and enough equipment to harvest crops. So the Politburo ordered its citizens, including members of the military, out in the fields to harvest crops before they rotted in the fields. One would think they'd know well ahead of time that crops didn't harvest themselves and would have planned accordingly.

As one commenter to the post linked above wrote:

We had a word for this, wait let me think of it and get my shocked face ready.

Oh, that's right, slavery.

Such is the glorious future of the socialist utopia – becoming a slave to the (greedy/corrupt/incompetent) state.

If the conditions in Venezuela hadn't been bad enough to create an exodus from that benighted country already, this action will likely be the tipping point. I expect refugees may start exiting Venezuela any time now.

The other possible reaction: rebellion. It's not difficult to see pro-democracy/pro-capitalist groups arming themselves and going head to head with the corrupt Chavistas that run the country into the ground.


Time To Think About A Change

As the presidential primary campaign season ran it course, followed by the RNC and DNC conventions, I have come to a conclusion that almost everyone I've talked to agrees with, be they Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. I think you will to.

Our problem is that it takes too damn long to elect a president.

More than one candidate has talked about the eighteen months they spent running for office, between the first official actions they took seeking the office and election day in November.

Eighteen months. Eighteen. Months.

At best that's the bare minimum amount of time needed to run a successful campaign. Some start laying plans to run three days after presidential elections are over. There's no reason it should take that long. None. There are a number of reasons the long election process is working against us, making it difficult to find good candidates who would make a great president.

First, most of the people who would make a great candidate, and hopefully a great president, don't want to spend that kind of time running for office because they're too busy doing the job they were hired or elected to do. They don't want to take time away from a job they like (or even love) to put themselves under a microscope for a year and half or longer where everything they or their family say, do, or don't do will be covered by the media and analyzed to death. Every problem they had in their lives, even as children, will be used as a weapon to show the American people just how unfit they are to hold the highest office in the land. Who in their right mind would want to do that?

Next, running for office, particularly for the Office of President of the United States takes money, even in small retail politics states like my home state of New Hampshire. Unless they are already wealthy with a bank account with hundreds of millions of dollars, they will have to sell themselves to everybody, including the special interests who will expect something in return for the money they've given even if it is against the best interests of the nation and its people. It also means they have to spend time glad-handing with people that, under other circumstances, they wouldn't turn their back on.

This has to be one of the worst ways to elect our president.

It didn't take so much time, effort, and money to elect presidents in the past. This was all before there were such things as radio, television, airplanes, and the Internet. The whole thing was done in a few months, beginning to end. With all of the modern conveniences and means of communicating with large numbers of people quickly and inexpensively, it should take at most three to four months to do all of this. However, changing this would be difficult. We have to consider the huge amounts of money extended campaigns can generate, how much graft and influence peddling that takes place during extended campaigns, and the level of cronyism and rent-seeking that extended campaigns allow to take place.

That everyone I talked to agreed with me and would like to see the election process change was not surprising to me. I know a lot of those folks are already heartily sick of the campaigns and we still have a little over three months until the November elections.

There has to be a better way.


A Brief View Of Day One Of The DNC Convention - Hypocrisy All Around

I caught the last half hour or so of the first evening of the DNC convention.

My impression of what I saw during that time?

Hypocrisy, envy, greed, and drooling media sycophants.

Did I miss anything?

The topics brought up by the two speakers I heard, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, had me both angry and dismayed at the same time.

Warren talked about getting corporate money out of elections, particularly Wall Street money, when one of the biggest recipients of that ‘dirty’ money is Hillary Clinton. In the same vein Bernie brought up the Koch brothers, choosing to ignore the huge amounts of money George Soros and Tom Steyer have bestowed upon the Democrats. The money the Kochs have donated is a mere pittance compared to what those two have given. And unlike Soros and Steyer, the Kochs have donated money to campaigns of both Democrats and Republicans. But no mention of any of that was made. I figure the whole “Let’s overturn Citizens United” shtick will disappear should Hillary be elected.

Bernie brought forth his “We’re gonna give you free shit” talking points, between ‘free’ college tuition, ‘free’ health care, and ‘free’ money in the form of a $15 minimum wage. And like anything that’s ‘free’, it’s going to be expensive and it isn’t going to deliver on the promises as anything that’s ‘free’ is worth what you aid for it, meaning it’s worthless. The college degree will be worth nothing, the free health care will provide neither health or care, and the very people the $15 minimum wage is supposed to help will help them…right on to the unemployment lines and the welfare roles.

And then there was the media.

During the RNC convention the usual suspects of the MSM were serious, wearing disapproving expressions on their faces and giving lip service to the idea of unadulterated coverage. But during the first night of the DNC convention one could see the unabated excitement and, dare I say it, adulation of the MSM drones.

And so it goes.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The heat and humidity has been with us since just before the weekend, but it hasn't been like that felt in other parts of the US. With heat indexes above 110ºF, numerous people were affected with heat exhaustion and heat stroke. While these temps are not unprecedented, they are still daunting.

At least we haven't seen temps or heat indexes like that. We also have the nearby lake helping cool things off as well as occasional showers and thundershowers cooling things off as well.


The Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka The Boat, is finally ready to again ply the waters of the lake. A considerable amount of work was needed before it was seaworthy and the work wasn't completed until this past week. It now sits on its trailer waiting for me to perform the last tasks needed before we put it back into the water, that being putting the various cushions and seat covers back into place, checking the anchor rodes (no, that isn't a typo) and replacing them is need be, locating the mooring lines and getting them back where they belong, replacing the horn, and one or two other minor bits of work.

I hope to launch The Boat this next weekend.


Have you noticed that a lot of modern cityscapes are starting to resemble the dystopian visions of a number of science fiction stories and movies?

Science fiction cityscapes have awed audiences since Metropolis debuted in Germany in 1927. These amplified skylines provide a visual shorthand for change, depicting a sort of physical and political accretion. The future Los Angeles of Blade Runner (and Blade Runner 2) implies the end of nationalism. The flooded New York of Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence implies climate change and loss. The upper middle class verticality of Spike Jonze’s Her implies the economic and cultural results of widespread automation. These cities aren’t just predictions, they’re caricatures of our culture that eventually inform real world decision making.

The article is eye-opening, so Read The Whole Thing.


I think we can call this either an oxymoron or a paradox.

Hillary has pledged to “end the epidemic of violence” while Obama says crime is down substantially. So which is it?

Could it be the media is playing up any act of violent crime, making it bigger than it is as a means of giving Hillary a talking point? Once she's elected, much of this reporting would fade away, giving everyone the impression that she's somehow brought down the crime rate. The first reaction might be “The news media would never do that!” But as we've come to see, much of the MSM are merely Democrat operatives with bylines. They don't report the news. They shape opinion, even if it's wrongheaded or even based upon a lie. (Two examples – the Black Lives Matter movement and the many times disproven Gender Pay Gap.)

So what's the truth? You won't find the answer from the news media.


On the other hand, City-Journal's Heather MacDonald delves into the other side of the coin, that being the big part of the crime rate story the rest of the media is purposely ignoring.

It is remarkable how little black lives matter when they have not been taken by a police officer. The mainstream media is foaming at the mouth over Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s warnings about rising crime during his Thursday night convention speech. Trump pointed out that homicides were up nearly 17 percent in the largest 50 cities. (The latest research actually shows a nearly 17 percent increase in the 56 largest cities). There have been more than 2,000 shooting victims this year in Chicago, he said, and more than 3,600 killed in Chicago since President Obama took office.

The overwhelming majority of the victims in this post-Ferguson shooting and homicide surge have been black. In Baltimore, for example, 45 people were killed in July 2015 alone; 43 of them were black. Baltimore’s per capita murder rate was the highest in its history in 2015. In Chicago, 2,460 blacks were shot in 2015—lethally or non-lethally—or nearly seven blacks a day. By contrast, 78 whites were shot in Chicago, or one every 4.6 days. Twelve cities with large black populations saw murders rise anywhere from 54 percent—in the case of Washington, D.C.—to 90 percent, in Cleveland.

If the Black Lives Matter movement were truly serious about saving black lives, it is these crimes they would be protesting about and working with the police to stop. But we hear nary a word which tells me that to BLM, black lives don't really matter as blacks killing blacks is perfectly OK with them.

What a bunch of hypocrites.


Another paradox? It appears Tim Kaine, Hillary's running mate, took some common sense and perfectly constitutional measures to address gun violence when he was the mayor of Richmond, Virginia that brought the firearms homicide rate down in that city by 41 percent.

Of course some of the die-hard liberals see him as being racist for supporting the laws that put people in jail for illegally possessing firearms.

Seems like a pretty good idea. Convicted felons, at least ones that have been convicted of violent crimes, shouldn’t be allowed to own or possess a weapon. Nor are they. Increasing the penalties certainly won’t stop all illegal activities….murder is illegal but people still do it….but, if it brings down the crime rate, that is a good thing, right? Right???

Kaine's move defined illegal possession of firearms by convicted felons a federal crime, meaning they went to federal prison and were incarcerated for longer than they would have been under state law. All Kaine did was refer the cases to the federal prosecutors and they did the rest.

Of course the usual suspects tried to paint the move as racist since a majority of those convicted under the federal law were black. But they chose to ignore the little fact that these were convicted felons in possession of firearms, something that was already illegal.

Yet another example of the liberal double standard.


Toni Airaksinen is telling feminists that the feminist war on college men must end. If it does not, everybody loses.

One of the biggest issues is the fallout from the Dear Colleague letter from the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, where due process was set aside in order to ensure more college men were found guilty of sexual assault based solely upon mere accusation. Two problems with this is that the definition of sexual assault on college campuses has been broadened to the point where it is meaningless, and if a true assault took place, it should be a matter for the local police and judicial system to deal with, not a star chamber tribunal where guilt is assumed and innocence is rarely found.

These two issues have already cost a number of colleges and universities their reputations, and in some cases, large sums of money after male students accused and expelled sued their colleges and were found to have been railroaded, then suspended or expelled without cause while damaging the reputation of the accused student.

This isn't going to end well if this nonsense doesn't stop.


Despite years of propaganda pushing the meme “Keep it in the ground”, the American people aren't buying it. They're saying 'Yes' to energy, and 'No' to keep it in the ground.

There are still problems to be addressed, particularly the rabid NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) and BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Neat Anything) that have worked hard to kill any energy project, including renewables and/or the power lines needed to get that electrical power from where it's generated to where it's needed, or pipelines that bring much needed natural gas to power plants, factories, and homes. They have bought into the know-nothing propaganda with little or no thought.

These deluded souls seem to think that the electricity that comes out of their outlets appears because of magic and not because of power plants, power lines, and transformer/switching sub-stations. They are also the ones who scream the loudest when they throw that power switch and nothing happens. But they'll still fight any project that adds capacity to our increasingly stressed power grid.

They also don't like the idea of fossil fuels in any form even though there is nothing they can propose to replace them. Even electric cars require power from the very same power grid they want to make sure becomes less capable every day.

I think these folks need a much needed dose of reality. Maybe then they'll come to realize that they are the cause of many of the energy problems we have. However, I'm not holding my breath.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the hot humid weather is returning, thunderstorms will follow, and where a bad day on the lake is better than a good day at work.


The New Face Of The $15 Minimum Wage Cashier

It's both interesting and disturbing to me that the DNC platform includes the push for a $15 minimum wage. Such a position may sound great on the face of it, but anyone who knows anything about economics or has run a business knows it will have some dire side effects the Democrats either don't know about, or worse, don't really care about as long as they win the election in November.

The biggest side effect the Democrats are ignoring – the hit to minimum wage earners many of whom will lose their jobs because their new wage makes it more attractive (and cheaper) to replace them with machines. This hit will be hurt those between the ages of 17-24, the group that makes up a large majority of those with minimum wage jobs. It will be jobs like those in fast food restaurants, convenience store/gas stations, supermarkets, and farms that will take the biggest hit. Most of those jobs are entry level jobs, in other words first jobs, that will go the way of the dodo and passenger pigeon. Those jobs helped train those with no experience about the responsibilities any job entails, and hopefully teaches good work habits. But those jobs will be gone, unemployment will rise, and all of the supposed 'benefits' of the more than doubled minimum wage will never materialize.

Instead, this is what we'll see:


Liberals, Conservatives, And The Gun Conversation That Needs To Take Place...But Won't

In an editorial by Dr. R. B. A. DiMuccio, the topic of guns and the outlook by two opposite ends of the political spectrum are covered, including some harsh truths about guns and crime.

Today’s political landscape is rife with puzzles and paradoxes in desperate need of Rosetta Stones. The one that I want to discuss is this: Why are we so profoundly incapable of having a reasonable dialogue about guns? National Review writer David French describes the “conversation” as hopelessly polarized. It’s as if, he laments, we are coming from entirely different worlds when processing events like the massacre that took place in Orlando.

The basic facts of that incident are not in dispute: A self-professed ISIS jihadist indiscriminately slaughtered dozens of innocent people at a gay nightclub, literally pledging his loyalty to ISIS via a phone call to a 9-1-1 dispatcher as he was committing the atrocity. Seeing this, conservatives generally zeroed in on the evil of the perpetrator and addressed the broader war on terror. Viewing the same facts, leftist commentators and pundits invariably settled on a narrative driven by a fixation on “America’s gun culture,” a narrow focus on stricter gun control, and blanket calls for “tolerance” of the “LGBTQ” agenda by conservatives and Christians.

It is no wonder that David French refers to the liberal reaction to this and other similar incidents as a “bizarro morality.” The level of disconnect has been truly mind-boggling.

A single tragic event. Two entirely different takes on the event – one rational and the other purely emotion-driven, with the usual “Do Something!” demands upon government. Ironically, that 'something' merely makes those demanding action feel better, but does absolutely nothing to fix the actual problem. Then it happens again and the demands to “Do Something!” become more strident. Another 'something' is done, the demanders feel better that someone has done something even though, like the previous time, that 'something' does nothing to fix the actual problem. And the cycle continues.

How does that fix anything? It doesn't. All it does is create an increasingly wide divide and anyone addressing the actual problem and offering a workable solution are reviled as thugs, bigots, and haters.

And so it goes.


Who Is Selfish?

Which system creates more selfishness – capitalism or socialism? Dennis Prager has the answer...and it isn't what most people (on the Left) think.

I know I've always felt those things I have earned, be they a feeling of accomplishment or some new possession, are always more appreciated than things that were just given to me. As the saying goes, something that is free is worth what you paid for it. (For those Progressives who will have trouble parsing this, it means whatever it is, is worthless.)


Thoughts On A Sunday

The last of my time off from work is coming to an end. At least I managed to get all the work we'd planned for The Manse completed and the missus is pleased with the outcome.

I also found out that the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout – aka The Boat – has had all of the work it needed to make it seaworthy has been completed. That means we'll be able to ply the waters of the lake starting some time this coming week.


You know it's gotten bad when a newspaper apologizes for publishing an accurate headline.

The correct response the the BLM dupes who protested the headline should have been “Sod off, swampy!”


“Obama has lost control of the Middle East.”

It's not like he ever had it to begin with.

He pissed away years of progress paid for in blood and treasure for better poll numbers. That's not a leader. That's a narcissist with delusions of adequacy. Now we're paying the price for his abandonment of the Iraqis with more blood and more terror with more to come.


Undoing 50 years of race relations because Obama can’t help himself.

If there is no strife, no struggle, community organizers have no reason to exist. Race baiters like Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and Barack Obama would be out of a job.


David Starr offers a solution to getting rid of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the rest of the militant fundamentalist Islamic pinheads.

As he writes, it “might be a little costly.” But it would probably be cheaper in the long run.


Tom Bowler points us to a piece about Alan Greenspan and his warnings about the upcoming “crisis which has a way to go.”

Greenspan admits part of the problem is the very policies he helped implement. One of the issues he says that will bring down our economy is the rapidly growing entitlement time bomb. The bill for all of those promises made by previous generations of movers and shakers in Washington will be coming due and we won't have the tax revenue to pay it. Projections show that in 2032 every penny of federal tax revenue will be needed to pay out on the entitlements. Raising taxes will only delay the inevitable briefly and will have detrimental effects on an already stressed economy, meaning the anticipated tax revenues will not be anywhere near what they are projected to be.

Of course I have to lay some of the blame on Richard Nixon as it was he who took the US off of the gold standard in 1971 and made our money nothing more than fiat, backed by nothing but promises and perceptions. (Note: FDR did the same thing in 1933 but it was only 'temporary', meaning it ended just before the end of World War II under the conditions of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1944.)


As per usual, the Massachusetts legislature is blindly considering a renewable energy source mandate that will have a number of unintended consequences, including much higher electricity rates in an region that already has higher than average rates and indirectly forcing the closure of two non-CO2 producing power plants – the Millstone nuclear power plant in Connecticut and the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire.

One of the other side effects is that the demand for natural gas will skyrocket as base loads will have to be provided in some fashion and the over 2300 megawatts of base load capacity lost through closure of the two nuclear plants will have to be replaced by something, most likely natural gas dual-cycle plants. The problem? There isn't enough pipeline capacity to supply the amount of natural gas needed to run those plants (the local NIMBYs killed off the Kinder Morgan pipeline project through Massachusetts and New Hampshire) so it will need to come from Yemen on the huge LNG tankers at a premium cost rather than from domestic gas wells in Pennsylvania at a fraction of the cost.

The argument has been made that we'll be able to make use of Canadian hydropower, but there are two issues those making that argument are ignoring: access to that hydropower depends upon the building of the Northern Pass powerline project, something local NIMBYs are vehemently opposed to, and that the hydropower won't be cheap.

Either way, the mandate isn't a good or economic solution to a problem that really doesn't exist. It is merely yet another feel-good piece of legislation that will cause more harm than good.

But at least the legislators in Massachusetts will be able to use their support of the mandate as a means of virtue signaling. Too bad that a lot of ratepayers in New England will be paying through the nose to make them feel better.


Gee, as if we haven't known this for a while!

Eight Years After Hope And Change, Voters Are Angry, Anxious.

I remember watching Obama's first inauguration speech, figuring I'd give him a chance as it was quite possible he might do just fine. (I had voted for McCain and Palin). My hopes were dashed mere minutes into his speech when he attacked his predecessor's governance while George W. Bush was standing right behind him.

I knew then he was a classless boob, a narcissist (I knew that before the election but this confirmed it), close-minded, and likely to do a lot of damage to the country.

Time has proven me right, much to my and others' dismay.


Anyone paying attention to what's been happening in the US over the past 80 years or so realizes that the basis of our nation, federalism, has been slowly diminished by presidents, congresses, or overweening bureaucrats who believe that only the US government can handle all our nation's needs.

As federalism has declined, so has our government's responsiveness and accountability. Too often solutions to problems in one area of the country are mandated throughout the rest of the nation even though the solutions make no sense (or cause bigger problems) in areas which do not suffer the maladies being 'cured'. We've seen this with the EPA, a rogue government agency that believes itself beholden to no one and immune from the checks and balances. We've seen it with a host of other government agencies or departments like the ATF, the IRS, Justice, Commerce, and Department of the Interior. Our present president doesn't believe in those checks and balances either, handing down decrees by way of executive orders when Congress doesn't give him what he wants when he wants it. It doesn't even matter to him whether his decrees are constitutional, he issues them anyway.

The states suffer under this federal overreach, some times having to implement policies and regulations which make no sense because otherwise federal funds that are supposed to be 'no strings attached' will be withheld. Our political system has become corrupt, unresponsive, and abusive, all supposedly “for our own good.”

I have a feeling the breaking point is approaching, where the states will finally say “Enough!” and tell Washington DC to “Piss off!”

It can't come soon enough for me.

One possible solution to the problem is Senator Mike Lee's (R-UT) proposal that will require removal of an existing government regulation for every new one added. This will be accomplished through what is being called regulatory budgets.

Regulatory budgeting thus seeks to apply basic budgetary principles, such as prioritization and trade-offs, to the management of existing regulations and to the development of new regulations. Departments and agencies are given “regulatory budgets” based on the number of regulations, rules, and directives they issue, along with their estimated economic costs, and they are expected to live within them. Any new regulations must be offset by “savings” realized by eliminating existing regulatory requirements. The goal is to bring greater accountability, discipline, and transparency to the regulatory process.

The United States increasingly is a nation of regulations rather than laws. The federal bureaucracy has become the de facto source of lawmaking, using vague and open-ended statutes to give itself seemingly unlimited powers to enact regulations, rules, and directives without congressional oversight. Federal bureaucrats have used the Clean Air Act alone to enact, on average, roughly 350 pages of regulations for every year the act has been in effect.But that is not all. The initiative also seeks to restore limits on executive action and promote Congress’s role in defending the public interest. Regulatory reform is at the heart of the effort to reclaim Article I of the U.S. Constitution.

Works for me.


Is there nothing Hillary won't do or anyone she won't pander to just to get elected? From what I can see, the answer is a definitive “Yes”.

In this instance, she's calling for a constitutional amendment that would reverse the Citizens United decision in order to “get big money out of politics.”

Of course I expect it's merely electoral rhetoric because she has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of big money to fund both her lifestyle and her campaign. If she is indeed elected, I expect that proposed amendment would die a quiet and lonely death...until she needs it again.

Such is the hypocrisy that is Hillary Clinton.


After the terrorist attack in Nice, France, I wonder how long it will be before the Left in the US starts calling for the banning trucks. After all, the terrorist killed more people with his truck than he did with his guns.


Obama has left us more racially divided than ever.

Yeah, he has, and it was done deliberately. He cries 'Racism' when he himself is the biggest racist in the room.

As Alinsky wrote, “Blame the opposition of the things you are doing.” Obama has followed that particular rule again and again since he became a community organizer. So what else is new?


Who is more anti-science: Democrats or Republicans?

To hear Democrats tell it Republicans are the anti-science party and they are pro-science. But it turns out that isn't even close to being true.

Members of each party have the science blind spots. One such blind spot is GMOs, genetically modified organisms. Republicans are split on the matter while ~75 percent of Democrats rate GMOs as unsafe despite more than decade of almost 2000 studies showing GMOs are safe for human consumption.

Climate science is another area where the two parties differ, with most Republicans being skeptical about AGW. On the other hand Democrats aren't particularly science minded when it comes to solutions to a problem that might not be a problem.

What it all boils down to is that members of both parties have problems with science, with the anti/pro-science attitudes being split evenly between them.


And that is the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the business jets are leaving the loocal airport after this afternoon's NASCAR race, the summer folk have been reveling in the hot and humid weather, and where yet another summer Monday has arrived too soon.


Coup In Turkey

Was the military coup in Turkey all that unexpected? Not to anyone paying attention. Between Erdogan's increasingly militant Islamic slant, the dissolution of Syria, the ISIS poison crossing the border, increasing Kurdish unrest, and the possible behind-the-scenes machinations of Vladimir Putin, I figured something along this line might happen. What is surprising is that US intelligence organs apparently had no idea such a thing might be in the works. Then again, US intelligence operations have become increasingly ineffective since The Won took office.

This isn't the first time a faction within the Turkish military staged a coup to oust a government they saw as increasingly problematic and not working in the best interests of Turkey.

It will be interesting to see how this all works out. If the faction that has taken power is nothing but a puppet of Putin, there is likely to be a civil war within Turkey. That certainly helps Putin weaken NATO and leaves him more room to exercise his empire building ambitions. If the faction is pro-Western, then it's possible we'll see closer ties with Turkey.

In the end, we'll all have to wait and see.


Caught In A Bind

As time has gone on since he graced Dallas with his presence, Obama continues to pile on law enforcement, in effect calling them an inherently racist institution. He ignores what he's done to help undo years of progress in race relationships, using every opportunity to widen the racial divide he created. He's put law enforcement in a bind.

Black communities condemn the police for black deaths at the hands of police (which is a small number compared to the number of whites killed by police), complain that the police have no interest in solving black homicides while at the same time refusing to give any aid to the investigations into those homicides. They are openly hostile to police yet expect them to perform miracles in regards to solving homicide cases. They wonder why police are wary of entering high crime rate “no go” zones where police have a target on their back.

And The Won keeps egging them on.

He wants a divided America. After all, it's easier to destroy our form of government and replace it with a totalitarian socialist regime much like that of his idols, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been a busy weekend for yours truly as I have doing a number of house chores including redoing one bedroom and emptying, prepping, and painting our office. It also meant that we did not have any computers online as both our cable modem and wireless router were located in the office and had to be taken offline in order to do the prep and paint work.

As such,this will be a somewhat abbreviated version of Thoughts On A Sunday. Regular blogging will resume once I have the office reassembled.


Despite the tragedy that was Dallas, I have to say I am getting heartily sick of hearing the same talking heads pontificating about “the meaning of it all.” Between fast, furious (and wrong) accounts of who, what, and where, the media played it up for all they could.

The shooter, a former army reserve soldier, had a mission to kill as many white cops as he could. It was racially motivated, period.

That race relations are at their lowest point in decades, all through the work of the present administration over the past seven-and-a-half years, was certainly one heck of a contributing factor.

Of course The Won deplores the racially motivated killings of the Dallas police officers, conveniently ignoring the fact that he helped create the very conditions that have cause race relations to tank in the first place.


The Black Lives Matter meme has certainly caught a lot of the public attention. Too bad it's premise, that blacks are disproportionately killed by police compared to whites, is false.

The truth is that whites are about half of those killed by police, with blacks coming in at about a quarter, Hispanics at a bit over an eighth, and the balance “other”, not including Asians, who are rarely shot by police.

That Black Lives Matter does not address the elephant in the room, that being the black homicide rate is almost eight times higher than the white homicide rate, tends to deligitimize their meme. Perhaps they should be focusing their efforts on black-on-black killings which would have a far greater impact on their families and neighborhoods.


This is something I've known for a long time.

Eat organic, kill the planet.

Organic foods aren't the answer, something Farmer Andy has been telling anyone who will listen for some time. The one big problem with organic farming? Crop yield is a lot lower so you need to cultivate a lot more land to get an equal amount of food.

Frankly, the whole 'organic' food thing is just another means of virtue signaling, significant of nothing.

As I have mentioned in other posts, slap the word 'organic' on something and the rubes will be willing to spend more for it. Farmer Andy proved that a number of years ago when he advertised “Organically Grown, Solar Dried Firewood” for $25 more per cord than 'regular' firewood. Both the 'organic' and regular firewood came from the same pile as I am not aware of any firewood that is not organically grown and most firewood is solar dried. Certainly his was.

He sold a lot of the 'organic' firewood.


Here are the 8 dumbest celebrity quotes gun control quotes you'll ever read. Of course most of them can afford to pay for private security so they don't need ot have guns...but their security guards do.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


And that's the (greatly) abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it's been raining all weekend, grilling has been taking place despite the rain, and where my vacation has come to an end far too soon.


Hillary Skates...Again

That Hillary Clinton dodged a federal indictment for her mis-/mal-/non-feasance as Secretary of State was not a surprise for me. Knowing she was being protected by The Won and his DNC cronies, I figured the best we could hope for was some kind of sanction, but we didn't even get that.

While the FBI Director 'slapped down' Hillary for her sloppy security in regards to classified e-mails, AG Loretta Lynch has declared the investigation closed.

Hillary skates again.

Anyone paying attention knows that if Hillary had an 'R' after her name or if it had been a Republican Secretary of State, she/he would have been hauled away in handcuffs, the media would have been playing it up, and slews of legal 'experts' would be pontificating about how awful it was that someone in a position of power like that should suffer the maximum allowable penalty for their 'perfidy'.

Such is the double standard under which we suffer. It also shows most of America that there are those who can tread the halls of power with impunity, knowing that the law of the land does not apply to them. Laws are for the 'little people'.

However, it is possible that this lack of action by our nation's highest law enforcement organization and the nation's top prosecutor could lead to a degradation of our legal system. After all, why should We The People be held to a higher standard than our so-called betters? Either the laws of our nation and our states apply to everyone, or they should apply to no one.


As Important Today As It Was Back Then

These are words that as as poignant now as they were 240 years ago. Too bad that many of the people living in America now have little, if any understanding of their import,

July 4, 1776

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton


Thoughts On A Sunday

The Fourth of July weekend started with great weather and it looks like it's going to continue past the Fourth. We've been hearing fireworks, both 'legal' and local since Friday and the weekenders arrived in droves starting late Thursday afternoon.

Listening to the local fire dispatch center which handles 30+ towns, it was a busy day and an even busier evening yesterday. Lots of falls, burns, breathing difficulties, allergic reactions, brush/grass fires, and at least one severe beating. (The first two and the last can probably be attributed to overindulgence in alcohol.)

Out first-responders have been kept quite busy so far,. I didn't hear this kind of call volume during the busiest time of Motorcycle Week a couple of weeks ago.


It was interesting to see a report showing that Miami, Florida is considered the rudest city in America, with Phoenix, Arizona taking the second spot, and perennial (and former) rudest city, New York, dropping to third place.


I wondered how long it would take before Hillary was questi...err...interviewed by the FBI about her questionable practices while serving as Secretary of State.

The interview lasted over three-and-a-half hours and dealt with one specific issue, that being whether she mishandled classified information on her unsanctioned and unsecured e-mail server.

Should the FBI go forward, I have no doubt AG Loretta Lynch will quash any indictments.


One unintended consequence should Hillary skate on any charges dealing with her lackadaisical security of her classified e-mails? A lot of otherwise law-abiding Americans are going to start seriously questioning the Rule of Law. And why shouldn't they? If the big wigs in government can ignore the laws of our land with impunity, then why can't everyone else.

As the saying goes, a fish rots from the head down. If government officials break the law and get away with it, then any laws they try to enforce will be seen as hypocritical and selective enforcement. One of two things will happen as a result – the Rule of Law will be replaced with cronyism, anarchy, and/or tyranny, or there will be a revolt and the people will restore the Rule of Law by force, displacing those in power with those who will enforce the laws equally.

Neither outcome is desirable and can be avoided if the present government stops showing preference to the political class and starts enforcing the law across the board. No one should be immune from the Rule of Law.


As is often the case after a tragedy or near-tragedy, the perpetually aggrieved start with their usual plaint - “Do Something!” - even though no action one way or the other is either needed or wanted. The latest tragedy being exploited is, of course, the shootings at the Pulse club in Orlando.

The congressional Democrats played their parts, trying to evoke memories of the 1960's sit-ins as a means of moving poorly crafted or innately unconstitutional legislation through Congress.

The usual platitudes are voiced, the most odious one being “If it only saves one life, it's worth it!” But in the process of saving that theoretical “one life”, many others are lost and rights we've held dearly since the beginning of the Republic are eroded away.

One of those rights they have been trying to eliminate is that of due process. Call it a back-handed means of weakening or eliminating the Second Amendment by making it easy to add citizens to the so-called “No Fly” list and then denying them the right to buy or own guns because they're on the list, didn't know they were on the list, and have no means to appeal their inclusion on the list.

They know they'll have little or no luck coming right out and openly pushing to eliminate the Second Amendment in its entirety, so they'll do it little by little, piece by piece, hoping no one will notice until it's too late to do anything about it.

Such is the long term goal of our political 'betters'.


I saw this over at Maggie's Farm.

The question asked is “What do most Americans do that most other people do not?”

A few answers:

- Americans have bake sales to raise money for their kids' schools
- Americans start businesses, fail, and try another one
- Americans start charities for people who died of rare diseases and have bike rides and runs to raise money
- Americans love to support their high school sports teams just for the fun of it
- Americans have millions of clubs and churches, and join them and work at them
- Enjoy many firearm sports
- Americans are ashamed to receive charity, and ashamed when they do not contribute to their community in positive ways.
- Bitch about government constantly
- Give hundreds of thousands of our sons and daughters to die for the freedoms of others, and ask nothing in return
- Americans are peculiarly patriotic when compared to most countries

What are some of yours?


Also by way of Maggie's Farm comes this little bit of trivia: Hillary Clinton is spending about $500,000 a day on TV ads while Trump is spending zero.

Yet some of the latest polls show Clinton and Trump running neck and neck.

So who's the stupid one?


And here's one last bit of wisdom to close out this week's edition of TOAS by way of Granite Grok:

The left loves power, not people. Repeat: The left loves power, not people. If that is not understood, the left is not understood.



And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where celebrations of our Independence are in full swing, there is nary a pound of hamburger or a package of hamburger rolls to be found anywhere, and where the smell of meat on grills wafts across the lake on every breeze.


It Turns Out Election Fraud Does Exist

Time and again we have heard the claim from Democrats that voter fraud is non-existent, or nearly so. That claim has been made in an effort to do away with Voter ID requirements, stating they aren't needed to prevent voter fraud or that they are racist.

Too bad they're wrong, either through ignorance or complicity with those who have committed voter fraud or aided its commission.

A case in point, Minnesota.

Same day registration and other liberal “reforms” have made it easy for ineligible voters to cast ballots in many states.

Here in Minnesota, a case is pending in our Supreme Court that challenges same day registration and various actions by our Democratic Secretary of State that have enabled illegal voting.

According to allegations made by the plaintiffs in this case voter fraud was large enough to affect a number of election results.

A new voter fraud case before the Minnesota Supreme Court claims 1,366 ineligible felons have cast at least 1,670 fraudulent votes in recent statewide elections, possibly tipping the outcome of close contests, including the 2008 U.S. Senate race.

The state's Secretary of State has merely added to the controversy by interfering with the investigation “by refusing to turn over either to polling places or to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit the complete list, which the state maintains, of those who have lost their voting rights. It is hard to see any possible reason why this list should be a secret, other than the Democrats’ desire that convicted felons, who overwhelmingly vote their way, get away with voting illegally.”

If it hadn't been for the alleged fraud, it's quite possible sitting Senator Al Franken (D-MN) would not have been elected and Obamacare wouldn't have passed in the US Senate. If it turns out that Franken was indeed elected fraudulently, then as John Hindraker writes, “Al Franken should be turned out of the Senate.”