The EPA Wants You To Freeze To Death

Just when you think they couldn’t get any stupider…

Anyone paying attention to the Obama Administration over the past eight years has seen the overreach of various government agencies expand to the point of ridiculousness. A perfect example of such overreach is the EPA, a rogue agency that has come to believe it doesn’t need to follow the law, can ignore Federal and Supreme Court rulings with impunity, impose regulations that have not been authorized by Congress, and can ignore science when it is in opposition to the agency’s agenda.

The latest bit of regulatory insanity from the EPA has a likelihood of making sure a number of Americans in Alaska will die of the extreme cold seen there during the winter. How will the EPA pull that off?

By banning them from burning wood to heat their homes.

…now comes the federal government to tell the inhabitants of Alaska’s interior that, really, they should not be building fires to keep themselves warm during the winter.

Like most people in Alaska, the residents of those frozen cities are burning wood to keep themselves warm this winter. Smoke from wood-burning stoves increases small-particle pollution, which settles in low-lying areas and can be breathed in. The EPA thinks this is a big problem. Eight years ago, the agency ruled that wide swaths of the most densely populated parts of the region were in “non-attainment” of federal air quality standards.

The problem is, there’s no replacement for wood-burning stoves in Alaska’s interior. Heating oil is too expensive for a lot of people, and natural gas isn’t available. So they’ve got to burn something. The average low temperature in Fairbanks in December is 13 degrees below zero. In January, it’s 17 below. During the coldest days of winter, the high temperature averages -2 degrees, and it can get as cold as -60. This is not a place where you play games with the cold. If you don’t keep the fire lit, you die. For people of modest means, and especially for the poor, that means you burn wood in a stove—and you keep that fire lit around the clock.

Even though it doesn’t get quite that cold here in New Hampshire, or at least not for weeks at end, heating with wood is quite common here. While a number of people here use wood pellet stoves, most of us heating with wood use a woodstove. Yes, there are particulates in wood smoke, particularly when you first fire it up. But once it’s burning and up to temperature the smoke diminishes. I know I rarely see smoke coming from our chimney except right after I’ve added more wood. It heats well, is much less expensive than heating oil or propane. Natural gas isn’t available outside the few cities or larger suburbs. So those of us with limited means or frugal natures (or both) heat with wood. It is abundant. It is carbon neutral, if that’s important to you. It’s renewable. More importantly, it works even if there is no power, something that can happen during a blizzard or ice storm.

Of course the EPA’s fixation on preventing people from heating their homes with wood has even hit here in the lower 48, banning the resale of older but still serviceable woodstoves. If you decide to trade in your old woodstove for a new EPA-approved low emission, catalytic converter equipped, much more expensive woodstove, your old stove will be scrapped rather than resold even though it is still useable, perhaps by someone who cannot afford one of the new stoves but still needs to heat their home.

Then again, since when would an EPA bureaucrat care one whit about someone trying to keep their family warm in the depths of winter? We’ve certainly seen that with the action the EPA has taken in Alaska.


Thoughts On A Sunday - Monday After Christmas Edition

Now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas has passed (and the hustle and bustle of gift returns and post-Christmas sales starts), I actually have a few minutes to put together this somewhat abbreviated Day-After-Christmas Thoughts On A Sunday.

While I didn’t have to travel, much of the rest of the WP Clan did. At this point it appears everyone got to where they were going and back home again without incident. I hope that is true for you half-dozen or so regular readers of this humble blog.


While being ensconced on the recliner and watching Fox News this morning, I found it interesting, though not unsurprising claim by the White House press secretary that the Obama Administration has been one of the most open and transparent administrations in American history.

The video clip with that pronouncement had barely concluded when a number of Fox commentators and liberal media pundits blasted the claim, with more than a few stating the Obama Administration had been one of the most closed, opaque, and obstructive administrations ever, with one or two stating the Nixon Administration was transparent in comparison to this one.

This also makes one wonder just how many last minute “Eff You” actions Obama will take prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration next month.


China has taken the next step in building its navy’s reputation, in this case having its new aircraft carrier steaming through the South China Sea.

Influential state-run Chinese tabloid the Global Times said the exercise showed how the carrier was improving its combat capabilities and that it should now sail even further afield.

“The Chinese fleet will cruise to the Eastern Pacific sooner or later. When China’s aircraft carrier fleet appears in offshore areas of the U.S. one day, it will trigger intense thinking about maritime rules,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

I would expect that when that day comes China will find it being shadowed by at least one US carrier group (the US Navy presently has 11 carrier groups), and more than one Los Angeles or Virginia class submarine.


Could the reason the Left are so fearful of the resurgence of the Deplorables is because they expect us to treat them the way they had planned to treat us?

I believe that is the case, something psychiatrists call projection. Too bad they don’t understand (or don’t care) that most of us just want to be left alone and not bothered by their utopian idea of Nanny State Socialism.


As Glenn Reynolds headlines a number of education posts, this is yet another example of the Higher Education Bubble.

When a high level college student with a 4.0 average at Kansas State University is dropping out because his belief that college is a scam and that he can learn more by starting his own business than wasting 4 years at college, that’s a danger signal to the institutions of higher learning that they aren’t providing what it is our kids need to make it in the real world.

It doesn’t help that we’ve been sold the lie that the only way we can get ahead is with a college education, and that the Uncle Sam has flooded the country with so much money to finance student loans. Between those two factors is it any wonder the higher education system is breaking down?


And that’s the abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’re recovering from the pre-Christmas shopping fatigue, the snow is falling now and then, and where there are still plenty of Christmas treats to eat.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Due to the Christmas holiday and time with family, the usual TOAS post has been delayed until Monday,


Leading Up To Christmas

In case you’ve noticed, posting has been a little sparse. Much of it can be attributed to preparations for Christmas. Another part can be attributed to the end of the year push at work.

Between people trying hard to make it home for Christmas and the last minute shoppers crowding the stores, as well as inclement weather, traffic has been heavy, making it difficult to get around.

Earlier this week an incident made it even more difficult to get around. I wish I could say I was doing some manly task that caused my injury. But I was merely bending over to put ice cleats on my boots in preparation for spreading sand and ice melt at the bottom of our driveway.

As I started slipping the cleats on to my right boot, there was a cracking sound and intense pain in my left knee. I had just ruptured the quadriceps tendon. One fortunate thing – the pain dropped off to a dull ache after a few minutes. The bad thing – I will have restricted mobility for the next few months. That means not being able to clear the snow from our driveway, move firewood from the garage to the woodbox in the living room, and in general being relegated to a semi-invalid status. It also means making alternate arrangements to get things done.

And how is your Christmas going?


Thoughts On A Sunday

The latest winter storm made its way through New Hampshire, dropping about 6 inches of snow here at The Manse. Cleaning up was easy, making use of the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower to move the snow out of the way. The driveway was quite passable after that.

However, the follow-on freezing rain last evening made it very difficult to make it up the driveway and out onto our road. So far I have not been able to get the trusty F150 4X4 more than 20 feet up the drive before losing traction, even with sand applied to the surface. (This is as of 11:10AM this morning.) I expect that with the rising temperatures and rain much if the sheet of ice that is our driveway will thaw to the point where making it up the 23% grade of our driveway will be possible.

Welcome to winter in New England.


I saw the TV ad where liberal/Progressive/lefty celebrities have demanded the Electors of the Electoral College to not vote for Donald Trump. They cover their asses by saying they don't have to vote for Hillary, but we know that's exactly what they want. After all, why should they care if they create a Constitutional crisis as long as they get their way? Then again, they've never really been fans of the US Constitution...unless it works in their favor.


Speaking of the Electoral College, there is actually a law professor, in fact the dean of the University of California Irvine Law School, who claims it is unconstitutional.
Really? Even though it is quite clearly spelled out in the Constitution itself, specifically Article II, Section 1 as amended by the Twelfth Amendment?

I must assume that this professor is one of those who believes the Constitution is a living document and needn't go through the amendment process to change it. A judge somewhere can declare parts of the Constitution null and void even though it is the supreme law of the land? Really?

Maybe this dean should be fired because it appears he has no use for our constitution or our laws derived therefrom.


Will burger-making robots be replacing humans at our local fast food joints should the minimum wage be raised to $15?

Maybe. Maybe not...at least not right now.


Save the Snowflakes!

After all, their feelings matter more...


And the hate keeps piling up, in this case, yet another hoax hate crime designed to discredit Trump and the Deplorables who voted for him.


Are you one of the folks that doesn't quite understand why raising the minimum wage, particularly when you double it, can hurt more people that it helps? Here's a handy video that explains why artificially raising the cost of labor always causes harm.

Who in their right mind would hire an inexperienced teen with no work history when they would have to pay $15 an hour? No one. That effectively locks out millions of teens from getting their first job.


The New England Patriots beat the Denver Broncos in Denver, clinching a first week bye in the playoffs.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're dealing with icy roads, the last few days of Christmas shopping, and yet another premature return of Monday.


The Continuing SJW War Against Small Businesses

As if we haven't seen enough small business bedeviled by small-minded Social Justice Warriors, there are now those that will do their best to damage the reputations of small businesses because their outrage is based upon a bald-faced lie. A case in point, a bakery outside the Oberlin College campus that was targeted after a 19-year old student from the august institution of higher learning was caught shoplifting two bottles of wine from the bakery by a shop employee.

The bakery's first reward: the employee, Allyn Gibson, being beaten by the shoplifter and two female accomplices.

The bakery's second reward: the SJW's on campus targeted the bakery, claiming it “had a history of discriminating against customers "of color."”

It gets worse. Leading the charge in the latest War on Small-Biz Bakeries is the Oberlin College dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, who joined the baying mob in bullying the Gibson family. She disseminated flyers libelously asserting that Gibson's is a "racist establishment with a long account of racial profiling and discrimination." Convicted in the crazy Oberlin College court of public opinion, the school refused to renew its longstanding daily order of donuts and bagels. For a small business with razor-thin margins, losing that order could be devastating.

Never mind that the "racism" charge is a brazen lie. As the police department pointed out, since 2011, there had been four robberies at the store including Aladin's, "and he was the only black person. There were 40 adults arrested for shoplifting in five years, and 32 were white. There were six adult black suspects arrested and two Asians, and 33 of the 40 were college students."

And never mind that Trey James, a Gibson's employee who is himself black, bluntly told the student newspaper that race had nothing to do with the incident. "If you're caught shoplifting, you're going to end up getting arrested," he told the Oberlin Review. "When you steal from the store, it doesn't matter what color you are. You can be purple, blue, green -- if you steal, you get caught, you get arrested."

There's also the fact that the shoplifter, Jonathan Aladin, was underage in regards to possession of alcohol. That he felt it was perfectly okay to steal the alcohol he wasn't able to buy or consume legally had nothing to do with it, right? There's also the fact that 82.5% of all of the shoplifters arrested for stealing from the bakery were students at Oberlin should mean that the rest of the SJW's at Oberlin should be keeping their yaps shut.

The SJW's should be called on the carpet for the false narratives they constant employ as justification for the their thuggish behavior, and dare I say, Mob-like activities. Maybe a few RICO prosecutions might get them to pay attention. Then again, maybe not. I believe that far too many of them are of the small-brain big-mouth variety of Progressive drones. I don't believe they're capable of learning anything but faux outrage.

I Couldn't Have Said It Better


Message To Maduro - Atlas Shrugged Is Not A How-To Manual

As we approach Christmas we come across Grinch who is working hard to steal Christmas toys from the kids of Venezuela.

In this case the government of Arturo Maduro, bus driver extraordinaire, decided to seize over 4 million toys from a toy distributor because the government “fair” pricing authority believed the owners were “promoting price speculation”. The government will hand out the seized toys to poor children in Venezuela. Of course these days almost every child in Venezuela is poor. The Chavistas made them poor.

While kids will get toys this Christmas, it is unlikely there will be any toys to be had next year. Why should anyone want to import toys knowing it is highly likely they will be stolen by the government...again. I can guarantee that the toy distributor, Kreisel, won't be bringing in any toys as it is quite possible they won't be in business much longer, at least not in Venezuela.

If that happens, I expect Maduro will blame the “greedy capitalists” for not ordering more toys to be stolen by the government. It won't matter to them that they drove the company out of business.

The more I read and hear about the government actions taking place in Venezuela, the more it proves that the people in power have absolutely no idea who economies work and figure they can just order factories to produce goods when they have no money to by raw materials, have no electricity to run the factories, or farmers to grow and harvest crops when there are no seeds, fertilizer, or pesticides to be had, particularly at the prices the government has set. Farmers can't sell their crops for what it cost them to grow and harvest them. Yet the government wonders why things keep getting worse.

I figure it's just a matter of time before Maduro issues the Venezuelan version of Directive 10-289.

Not that it will help.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The first blast of frigid winter air made its appearance, with night time lows in the single digits here at The Manse. We are also gearing up for 4 to 8 inches of snow overnight.

I made a couple of stops at two of the local Big Box scores to pick up during my usual weekend shopping (Walmart and Lowe's) and I noticed that most folks were buying things like shovels, salt, and windshield scrapers/brushes. While there were quite a few folks also doing their Christmas shopping at Walmart, more than a few of them also had the aforementioned winter implements in their shopping carts as well.

I can only hope that people up here won't “go stupid” in their efforts to make it into work tomorrow morning. It always seems to take a couple or three snowstorms before winter driving skills are reasserted in some folks.


I admit that I made a few small preparations for the coming snow, but most of them were along the lines of pulling snow shovels down from the rafters in the garage, filling a few sand buckets at our town's sand shed, moving the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower from its storage location in the back of the garage and making sure it was in working order.

Beyond that, nothing.

I just hope I didn't miss anything.


After seeing Mike Rowe's schooling of a woman who didn't like his pro-American flag stance, I have to wonder why Donald Trump didn't at least ask him to become Secretary of Labor. Mike Rowe knows a lot about labor, having done more than his share of...umm...dirty jobs.

While I doubt Mike would have taken the job, it certainly would have sent a message to the rest of America that Mr. Trump isn't fooling around and that he wants people who know how to get things done.


Skip over at GraniteGrok asks the question about gun homicides.

He writes:

For the amount of time the MSM spends on gun deaths and gun control, you’d think it was the number one killer.  Well, it may well be – but only if you’re an inner city gangbanger.

On the accompanying graph in Skip's post showing the top ten causes of death in the US, gun homicides are nowhere to be seen.


You know it's gotten bad when they have to open up a mental health facility in a trauma center just to deal with Millennial Snowflakes who cannot adjust to adult life.

Of course I expect someone at some point will be pointing the finger at Trump as the cause of this problem. But as the old saying goes, “When you point your finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you.”

The only ones to blame for this problem are the parents, the teachers, and the PC wackos who worked so hard to make sure the the Millennials were psychologically incapable of becoming grown ups. Now that the bill has come due for this abuse none of the parties mentioned want to pay it. How many of that generation will we lose because the only thing they are capable of is being whiny spoiled brats incapable of dealing with the word “NO”?


You'd think they'd be capable of learning from history, wouldn't you? Oh, wait! That's right...they don't actually know any history, do they?

It appears that yet another experiment in Marxism has failed. In this case, a vegan restaurant in Grand Rapids, Michigan using a Marxist business plan closed its doors because, quite frankly, it was awful. It had, as one critic on Reddit wrote, "Good riddance. The concept was terrible. Hours lousy. Service unacceptable.”

Call it a nostalgic look back on the bad old days of the Soviet Union. It sounds like the restaurant operated just like those in various cities across the now-defunct USSR.

Will they learn from this experience?

I'd say probably not.


Do you think the economy has fully recovered from the Great Recession?

Me neither.

I see too many signs that things aren't what they used to be pre-recession. The U6 unemployment rate is still way too high and is too far away from the U3 rate. Many jobs are going unfilled even though a lot of people are still out of work. The labor participation rate is still falling. Large amounts of government spending keeps growing the national debt to unheard of levels. Over-regulation and rogue federal agencies are strangling small businesses.

But to hear Obama tell it, the economy is just great. Too bad that isn't even close to being true.

For years, Americans were told that after the financial panic in 2008, the president’s policies had put us on a steady course to a strong economy. But in much of the country, people looked around them and thought, That just doesn’t seem right. Especially in those parts of the country hit the hardest by the transition from the Industrial Era to the Information Age, people asked a number of questions. If the economy is doing so great, why are my adult children not moving out? If the unemployment rate is declining, why are so many prime-age males not working? And doesn’t it matter that the quality of jobs for non-college graduates is so obviously worse than it was a generation ago? Why, instead of working, are so many people dependent on public benefits and falling prey to addiction?

If the economy was doing so well, then none of the problems cited above would be much of an issue. In fact most of them wouldn't even exist except in small pockets here and there. But the problems are widespread and the Obama Administration won't take the responsibility for any o fthem.

Is it any wonder so many people who otherwise might not have voted Republican did so for Donald Trump? They knew that 4 more years of Obamanomics would likely kill any hope of true economic recovery.


I had a discussion about carbon emissions with one of my co-workers, a true believer in the Kyoto Protocols and the Paris Accord. He thought we should have signed on to Kyoto and should adhere to the Paris Accords.

I had to burst his bubble.

After informing him that the US had reduced its carbon footprint to a level not seen since 1991, all while expanding its economy, he didn't want to believe it. He also didn't/couldn't believe that the US did better at reducing carbon emissions than every signatory of Kyoto. Every. Single. One. I even pointed him to the various reports from government sources that showed what I had told him to be accurate.

I thought his head was going to explode.

Even though he holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science, he has little experience in the real world. The level of wisdom he displays is less than I would expect for someone with his background or his age.


Do we need more proof that Progressivism is not very progressive? Not in my experience. But then I have traveled all over the world, met a wide range of people, and have seen what works and what doesn't.

My biggest gripe about the Progressive movement is that it has nothing to do with actual progress. In fact, it is more regressive, trying to push us back to more oppressive and authoritarian days. Much of it appears based upon stirring up emotion, pushing false narratives, constructing straw man arguments, and appealing to the lowest common denominator. Its economics is based upon some poorly defined sense of 'fairness' which usually means taking away someone's hard earned money and giving it away to cronies or supporters of the Progressive cause. More often than not it destroys charities and tries to replace them with government programs that are supposed to provide the same services as the charities they've replaced, but usually fails to actually do so.

Somehow that's all considered progress. But progress towards what, exactly?


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're awaiting the arrival of more snow, Christmas shopping is still moving at a bustling pace, and where happiness is a hot woodstove and full wood box.


Why The Electoral College Keeps California From Dominating Us All

The post-election fallout continues.

One of the biggest gripes I've been hearing about the election results is that even though Hillary won the popular vote, she lost due to Trump receiving more than the 270 votes in the electoral college needed to become president. I've heard more than a few of our more historically challenged and willfully ignorant youth protest, saying the presidential vote should be based solely on the popular vote. They either don't understand why that would be a bad idea, or they don't care. In my opinion it's most likely both.

Like the two chambers of Congress, the electoral college was set up to prevent large states from entirely dominating the political landscape in the US. I don't know of anyone who would want California deciding who will be our president or setting policy in our country. But that would be the likely outcome if we changed both the electoral college and/or Congress so that counterbalance against the tyranny of the majority were removed.

Our entire nation would look just like California if that were the case – punitive and confiscatory taxes, over-regulation of businesses to the point where can not survive, draconian environmental regulations, bankrupt cities/counties/towns because of of insane fiscal policies, and union domination of the civil service system which would be why the cities/counties/towns were bankrupt. Electricity would be in short supply and very expensive. So would water. Farms would lie fallow and the city elite would rule even those of us in rural areas. We would be living The Hunger Games if the historically challenged and willfully ignorant youth had their way.

However, I doubt it could be changed either quickly or easily considering it would take an amendment to the US Constitution. I doubt you'd find the requisite 35 states to ratify such a destructive and ultimately stupid idea. The rural states would fight like hell to keep such a stupid idea from becoming reality. It could even lead to civil war, should the non-blue states decide they won't have our self-anointed 'betters' deciding how we were going to live even though they know absolutely nothing about us. As Dana Loesch has written, “You can't run a country you've never been to.”

As it is we already see the effects of that in California as the coastal elite make decisions for everyone else, in most cases hurting those who do not live along the coastal corridor of power. They do not see, nor do they care to see the actual effects of their poorly thought out and politically expedient laws, rules, and regulations. They don't have to look the people they have hurt in the eye tell them that “it's for their own good” when their jobs have just been legislated or regulated out of existence. They don't want to know the “little people” because, after all, we don't count.

That's just one small example of why we shouldn't abolish the electoral college.


Advice From "Mad Dog"

By way of Instapundit comes this little bit of wisdom from Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Defense, “Mad Dog” Mattis:



Thoughts On A Sunday

This weekend is the last we'll see of some of the better weather for a while. We have colder temps, higher winds, and the possibility of some snowfall over the next four or five days.

In other words, winter weather is arriving.

While not all of our winter prep is done, most of it is. The few things that still need doing aren't critical, but they'll still get done over the next couple of days.


I still find it interesting that, after all this time, it surprises me when I meet people whose scribblings I have read, either on blogs or in the local paper's letters to the editor. More often that not they are quite different in person and when discussing things with them face to face. I think it's the pseudo-anonymity that drives quite a bit of it.

My next-door neighbor, a transplant from the People's Republic of Massachusetts, sounds like a card carrying member of the Communist Party of the United States in his letters to the local paper. But when I have the opportunity to talk with him face to face, his positions seem much more moderate and far less emotional.

About the only person I have found to be exactly the way they have portrayed themselves on line or in the papers is a radical Leftist academic teaching in one of our local state universities. Even my neighbor thinks this guy is so far out there that he's lost somewhere in interstellar space.


Did Trump win Nevada?

If this is any indication of the voting problems in just one district in Las Vegas, I'd have to say the probability that Trump actually won in Nevada is pretty high.


Talk about a major #FAIL in regards to Europe's drive to preserve the environment!

They've been cutting down trees in protected forests to use for fuel in biomass electric generation plants. That's as bad as the UK importing wood from the US to do the same thing.

Didn't anyone realize just how disconnected and stupid the whole concept is? Obviously, not.


We've finished the last of our Christmas decorating, putting up the window 'candles' as a finishing touch. Our tree has been up and decorated since Friday evening as well as some of the other 'garnishes' to give The Manse a more festive look. We've never really been into outside decoration, preferring to keep what decorations that can be seen from the outside more low key.

However, BeezleBub and Red Head Girl have decorated the exterior of the barn where there apartment is located, mostly with white lights. Deb and I contributed a little splash of color with a green and red lighted Christmas wreath to hang near the peak of the barn roof just to provide a little contrast with the rest of the decorations.


The New England Patriots played the LA Rams in Foxborough this afternoon, beating them 26-10. This was quarterback Tom Brady's 201st win, making him the winningest NFL quarterback ever.


We already know many liberals and the LSM have a very low opinion of a good portion of the American people. But it takes testicular fortitude to actually say so on national TV.

And they wonder why Trump won.


Then as if that wasn't enough, here's what white liberals really think about black voters.

They really have a low opinion of the capabilities of black voters. Can it be the “soft racism of low expectations” that so many of the American Left practice?

Of course it is.


This is something I've known for a long time, have written about a number of times, and know to still be true. What is it I'm talking about?

The bogus unemployment numbers being touted by the feds.

The 'official' unemployment numbers come from what is called the U3 rate. The actual unemployment rate should be taken from the U6 rate, which encompasses not just those who are out of work and collecting unemployment, but those whose benefits have expired, those who have given up looking for work in their fields, and the underemployed who are working in jobs far below their previous level of employment.

Even Donald Trump knows the U.S non-farm payroll numbers and unemployment numbers are bogus.


Oh, I wish I had seen the looks on their faces when Dick Cheney said this to Barbara Starr on CNN in regards to Trump and the news media:

He's at the point where we don't need you guys anymore.

Of course Trump should thank the MSM for all of the free press he received during the campaign season. After all, it meant he spent only a fraction of what Hillary spent on her campaign. Then again, Trump is a master at manipulating the media and he played 'em like a fiddle.



Speaking of the relationship between Trump and the media, Eric The Viking has this take on it.

Yes, Trump is stirring the pot on some well-earned criticism on the media for political gain.  But his tactic would fall flat if Americans maintained trust in the media which they most definitely have not....

Trust in the media is at an all time low. And why not? The media ceased being a source of information and became a propaganda wing of the Left decades ago. However, these days they don't even pretend to be unbiased anymore. That, and we already know just how much disdain they have for most Americans. Maybe that's why we have such disdain for them.


David Starr wonders who is the “Alt Right”?

Like him, I haven't a clue. They seem to be that always mysterious and invisible “They” that everyone is always talking about. Could they be, as David wonders, “just 50 Internet trolls?”


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter is going to make itself known for the next few days, woodstoves will be running 24/7, and where a whole lot of people will be wishing they had their snow tires on their cars and SUVs.


Which Pipeline Are You Protesting Again?

With the on and off stories about protests about various pipelines, the latest being the Dakota Access Pipeline, one has to wonder just how many pipelines there really are. The handy-dandy map below certainly brings the matter into perspective:

One of the proposed pipelines that made quite a bit of news here in New Hampshire was the Kinder Morgan pipeline that would have brought large amounts of natural gas into New England. Looking at the map above it looks like there are few serving New England. That certainly explains why natural gas prices always skyrocket during the winter around here as most of it comes into the area on huge LNG tankers...from Yemen. Yet the very same people who complain about the spikes in natural gas prices (along with the same for electric rates as a lot of power plants in the Northeast run on natural gas) have worked hard to prevent any new pipelines from being built that will carry natural gas from Pennsylvania into this area.

Talk about a major disconnect from reality!


The $15 Minimum Wage Is Already Killing Jobs And Businesses

Prior to the election, the Left and their minions have pushed for a $15 minimum wage, selling it as a means of “lifting the working poor out of poverty.” Since very few of the working poor were making minimum wage, it was a specious argument. Of the 2.4 million people in the US making minimum wage, most of them are between 17 and 24 years of age, meaning that most of them are likely in entry level jobs. But that hasn't stopped the Left from pursuing a nationwide minimum wage of $15 ignoring the major downside to such a large increase – increased unemployment. They honestly don't believe it will actually be a problem. However there are many examples showing how the artificial doubling of the minimum wage is already having an negative effect in cities and states that have already raised their minimum wage to well above the federal minimum wage. One of the biggest examples of the downside to this outrageous hike in the minimum wage – McDonald's is replacing some of their staff with self-serve ordering kiosks, nationwide.

Let’s start with automation. In 2013, when the Fight for $15 was still in its growth stage, I and others warned that union demands for a much higher minimum wage would force businesses with small profit margins to replace full-service employees with costly investments in self-service alternatives. At the time, labor groups accused business owners of crying wolf. It turns out the wolf was real.

Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced the nationwide roll-out of touchscreen self-service kiosks. In a video the company released to showcase the new customer experience, it’s striking to see employees who once would have managed a cash register now reduced to monitoring a customer’s choices at an iPad-style kiosk.

But wait, it gets worse!

It’s not just McDonald’s that has embraced job-replacing technology. Numerous restaurant chains (both quick service and full service) have looked to computer tablets as a solution for rising labor costs that won't adversely impact the customer’s experience. Eatsa, a fully-automated restaurant concept, now has five locations—all in cities or states that have embraced a $15 minimum wage. And in a scene stolen from The Jetsons, the Starship delivery robot is now navigating the streets of San Francisco with groceries and other consumer goods. The company’s founder pointed to a rising minimum wage as a key factor driving the growth of his automated delivery business.

Some businesses have been driven out of business or been forced to relocate due to the new minimum wage driving their labor costs upwards, in some cases more than doubling. This has meant many of the low margin businesses have either cut staff hours, cut staff numbers, closed their doors, or moved. Raising prices to cover the much higher labor costs were a non-starter because now their goods or services are too expensive for some of their customers.

To see just how many businesses have already been affected, the website The Faces Of 15 lists a number of businesses in a number fo cities and states that have been adversely affected by these higher minimum wages. Some might surprise you.

While a $15 minimum wage will make those on the Left feel better about themselves because the believe they have 'helped' those less fortunate than themselves, the reality is that millions of gainfully employed people will lose their jobs because of this supposed 'help'. Of course the Left won't see that it was their actions that actually caused the problem to begin with.