Thoughts On A Sunday

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The last weekend of astronomical summer is here all too soon, with fall coming tomorrow evening.

I wish I could say the weather was still summer-like, but Saturday wasn't summerish though today was, with temps well into the upper 70's, humid, but cloudy for most of the day. I'm not complaining.

The only color we're seeing on the leaves are on the swamp maples and some of the sumac, so not much has changed since last weekend.

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As bad as the campaign TV ads were during New Hampshire's primary campaigns, they are far worse now that the candidates have been selected. It seems to me that there are 10 negative/attack ads for every positive ad and they have already gotten old. Boht parties are guilty of this, but I think the Democrats are running a lot more negative ads, particularly for the US Senate race, with Harry Reid's Senate Majority PAC running such ads against Scott Brown at what seems to be every commercial break. What I find to be disturbing is that many of the 'references' seen running in fine print in those ads are either incomplete, making it impossible to look up, or are highly misleading. On more than a few I have found that Brown's Democrat opponent, incumbent Jeanne Shaheen voted the same way on much of the same legislation. So it's perfectly OK for a Democrat to vote for or against some legislation, but it's bad if a Republican voted the same way.

The Democrat double standard lives on.

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You know we're in trouble when our President, someone who was supposedly an constitutional law lecturer, refers to our Constitutionally protected rights as 'privileges'.

If he truly sees our rights as nothing but privileges, then I doubt he would have any qualms about taking actions that will strip us of those privileges if it suits his needs. Given the proper conditions, I have no doubt he would try to do just that.

How this putz got elected eludes me. That this putz got elected twice is shameful and shows just how shallow and uninformed the electorate has become.

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Many of the Democrats in our state legislature, both the House and the Senate, have been pushing for casino gambling for a long time, claiming the income from gambling will help fill state coffers. Fortunately both other Democrats and Republicans have managed to keep casinos out of our state, knowing it wouldn't bring in as much money as proponents have been claiming and that there were many downsides proponents chose to ignore.

Now it looks like the anti-casino forces are being proven right as a number of casinos across the nation have been closing after losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Four casinos in Atlantic City alone have closed their doors because revenues haven't been there to sustain them. Some of that comes from more competition as other states have opened casinos of their own. (Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut drained away a good portion of Atlantic City's gamblers.)

New Hampshire has two neighboring states that have authorized casino gambling, Maine and Massachusetts. Maine already has their casino up and running. Massachusetts has yet to build their first. (They've authorized three.) Somehow I think neither the Oxford Casino in Maine of the still unbuilt casinos in Massachusetts will do as well as they think. Adding yet another casino in New Hampshire will merely saturate the market, driving revenues down. However the downsides of those casinos will still be felt, something we don't want or need here in the Granite State.

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David Starr has his take on the opinion of one of the talking heads on Meet the Press.

I have to agree with David on this one: sometimes compromise is a bad thing.

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"Most Women Have To Be Coerced Into Heterosexuality."

That sounds more like wishful thinking from Marilyn Frye, author of A Lesbian's Perspective on Women's Studies. And here it is we've been told for a couple of generations now that homosexuality isn't a choice, that they're born that way. Talk about turning the narrative upside down! So it's only women who are all homosexual but are 'coerced ' into heterosexuality? Really? If that were the case I would expect the percentage of openly lesbian women to be closer to 20 or 30%, not the couple of percent we see today.

Moonbattery at its finest!

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I can agree with the paradigm that many of our economic woes have been self-inflicted.

...it's a lousy recovery, and one that most people find unconvincing as hell. Whatever else the sort-of recovery, not really recession may be, it's strong evidence of self-inflicted economic wounds. America may be limping along, but we did it to ourselves.

The White House and its allies tried to make hay over the summer with terrible tales of "corporate deserters" who are, as the president put it, "fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes."

But those formerly American companies setting up shop in Ireland, Canada and elsewhere weren't jumping--they were pushed.

Punish businesses and corporations enough and they'll get the message they aren't welcome. Is it any wonder many of them have decided that if they aren't wanted that they'll pull up stakes and move someplace they are? Yet when they do, they're further vilified because they left or moved some of their operations overseas where they're welcomed with open arms.

It's a no-win situation for those corporations, particularly with a hostile administration in the White House, government agencies and bureaucracies carrying out the dictates of the administration, and one chamber of Congress willingly doing the bidding of an anti-capitalist president. Do these folks believe that somehow these corporations are obligated to remain someplace that treats them as if they are nothing more than vassals and ATMs for the government?

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Color me surprised.

A John Hopkins study shows there is a huge gulf between the political class and the rest of America.

Surveying 850 people who either work in government or directly with it, researchers found that the inside-the-Beltway crowd has very little in common with America at large. Washington insiders are more likely to be white. They are more educated. Their salaries are higher, they vote more and have more faith in the fairness of elections. They are probably Democrat and liberal. They more diligently follow the news. And they think the mechanizations of government couldn't be easier to comprehend.

Gee, could that be why the decisions they make and the policies they put forth tend to cause more harm than good? When their understanding of "the people" doesn't extend outside the capitol, then they're going to make a lot of poor decisions, many that will piss off most of the rest of the nation. Just because something is true in Washington DC does not automatically make it true in the rest of the nation.

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It doesn't help that our educational system has dumbed down the curriculum so much that a little over a third of Americans can't name the three branches of government, and a third can't name a single branch. They also have poor understanding of Congress power to override a presidential veto or that a Supreme Court decision cannot be "sent back to Congress for further discussion and reconsideration."

How the hell can voters make informed decisions if they don't even understand how our government is supposed to work?

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I thought this was funny, and unfortunately, all too true.

"A full 66 percent of all adults suffer from nomophobia."

What is nomophobia? The fear of being disconnected from your smart phone.

Fortunately I am one of the 33 percent who has no such fear because I don't have a smartphone. I have a cell phone that lets me make phone calls and text. That's it. At times it seems more like a ball and chain rather than a tool which is why every now and then I shut it off. If we still had a landline I would likely only turn it on only when I left home. As it is my only phone and I have elderly parents and in-laws, shutting the phone off for extended periods of time is a non-starter.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer weather has returned, the air-conditioner units have been removed from the windows, and the number of summerfolk has finally dwindled away.
This straightforward survey of over 1400 adults conducted by the Annenburg Public Policy Center, asking them to name the three branches of government--something that is a mere base line of civic knowledge that requires only about three synapses to be functioning to answer correctly--returned with the disturbing results:

Only 36% could name all three branches, while 35% couldn't name even one. Ye gads! We're doomed.
That's like having a mechanic not know where the engine is when these non-information voters go to the booth to vote. Calling them low-information is giving them too much credit. And to think that these are the people having the most children. Wonderful.
As just about anyone who's been paying attention over the past few years, the number of new rules, regulations, and 'laws' put forth by Washington has increased at a rate that staggers the imagination. What's worse is that a solid majority of them were not instituted by Congress. Instead they were created and imposed by the ever growing ranks of bureaucrats at both federal and state level. (This is not a new phenomenon as it is a problem that has existed as long as there have been governments.) The US has experienced an explosion of these new administrative edicts not seen since FDR was in office. What's troubling is that many of them violate federal law, endowing many of the various government agencies and departments with power far outside their charters and exceeding the limits set by the US Constitution.

You may not be interested in administrative law, but administrative law is interested in you. Administrative law is unrecognized by the Constitution, but, according to Columbia Law School Professor Philip Hamburger, it "has become the government's primary mode of controlling Americans." He observes that "administrative law has avoided much rancor because its burdens have been felt mostly by corporations." This is where you come in: "Increasingly, however, administrative law has extended its reach to individuals. The entire society therefore now has opportunities to feel its hard edge."

Professor Hamburger's assessment of the proliferation of administrative law may be an understatement. Formal administrative law -- the regulations promulgated by the alphabet soup of federal agencies -- dwarfs the laws enacted by Congress. To take one vivid example from the front pages of the news in the Age of Obama, the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) runs for 2,800 pages. Democratic House majority leader Nancy Pelosi famously predicted that we would have to pass the bill to find out what was in it. Pelosi was right in more ways than one. By one count published last year, the regulations implementing the act have consumed 10,000 closely printed pages of the Federal Register, at 30 times the length (in words) of the law passed by Congress.

Obamacare is but one example of bureaucratic runaway. Another more poignant and damaging example is the EPA.

This rogue agency has done more damage to the American economy than just about any other except the Federal Reserve, imposing draconian rules that have seriously affected industries and individuals alike with the regulatory overreach. Electricity shortages last winter in the US can be directly attributable to the forced closing of numerous coal-fired power plants, those closings brought about by over-the-top and poorly thought out regulations imposed by the EPA without the sanction of Congress and in some cases, in violation of court orders and lawsuit decisions that enjoined the EPA from imposing such regulations. What did the EPA do after losing those cases?

They doubled down on stupid, tightening the screws even more. I have a feeling we're going to see forced blackouts over the upcoming winter because much of the generating capacity lost with the shutdown of those plants was replaced with...nothing.

This scenario has been repeated with numerous other agencies writing regulations and laws that are not back up by legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President. I could list the same type of abuse after abuse by the various government agencies, but that could take hundreds of pages and weeks to put together.

It's time to put this abuse of power to a stop. If not, the very fabric of our society could end up being outlawed by some faceless bureaucrat who believes he/she knows better how to live our lives than we do. It must be remembered that bureaucracies have caused more civil strife, corrupted governments, and brought down entire societies than invading armies.

Common Core Math Agonistes

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Another innovative endeavor by dumb educators that will almost certainly fail, as Greg Gutfield entertainingly demonstrates. The way common core math is being taught is stupid.

Meanwhile, other countries are far, far ahead of us relying on older methods, tools, books, and instruction.

Parapundit agrees, giving another video how dumbed-down math instruction is, well, stupid. I'm convinced the desire is to close the racial gaps in educational achievement by lowering everyone to a common denominator.

This commentator agrees, saying,

The incentive structure for the Education-Industrial Establishment is fairly clear. It will be very difficult to get tenure by trying to publish "duh" research that confirms that an oft-used traditional method is effective. It will be much easier to win by submitting exciting manuscripts that prove that some new, Blank-Slate-friendly scheme propels students to new heights while promoting diversity and closing the gap.
We keep hearing how inflation has been flat for the past few years. At least the government has been telling us so. But when food prices and energy costs keep climbing at a prodigious rate, there's no way anyone can retain a straight face when telling us inflation is low.

One telling point: a new price record was set for ground beef - $4 a pound.

As Glenn Reynolds writes: "Inflation is basically nonexistent, though, so long as you don't eat, drive, or heat and cool your home."

If the cost of food and energy were factored in to the Consumer Price Index, I bet you'd see inflation has been somewhere between 7% and 10% per year. As is mentioned in the link about meat prices, the cost of a pound of ground beef was around $2.13 in August 2009. So in 5 years the cost has climbed by 88%.

While it appears that other food prices haven't really changed all that much, they really have because a lot of food producers have reduced the size of their packages but are charging the same amount as before. An example is ice cream.

You use to be able to buy a half-gallon of ice cream. Now it's 3/8ths of a gallon for the same price. Something as simple as pudding cups have also been downsized, in this case where once you got a package of 6 cups you now can only find packages containing four pudding cups, but your paying the same price as you did for 6. There are hundreds of examples I could cite, but you get the picture.

I had mentioned in an earlier post that even the cost of firewood has gone up, with prices rising about 18% as compared to last year. At the moment heating oil and propane aren't too bad, but they're still a lot higher than they were in 2008. (once winter gets here I expect to see the prices approach $4 per gallon.) One of the reasons we heat with wood here at The Manse is because for the cost of one month's supply of propane I can heat my home for 6 months with wood. While propane is convenient, all I hear every time the furnace starts is money going up the flue. A lot of money. Frankly I have better things to spend our hard earned money on rather than propane. But at least I have an alternative. A lot of other folks don't and that can put them into one heck of a financial bind.

Welcome to Obama's Economy.
No need to see anything, says the Lame Stream Media. I was waiting for Chan to report on this in his Sunday column. Nothing. Anything over at Granite Grok?

The case is certainly worthy of hearing about. But first you'll have to google "ali muhammad brown." Precursor to something far larger? ISIS? We're big, fat, easy marks, Americans.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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It's been cool this weekend, cloudy yesterday and sunny today.

For the first time in a long while I didn't have to hang laundry out on the Official Weekend Pundit Clothesline or make a trip down to the local laundromat to dry the wash. We finally got the last pieces in place and made some 'adjustments' within the laundry niche to get the new clothes-dryer installed. An initial test showed there was little air coming out of the vent, so the the vent pipes were disconnected and cleaned out with a mass of lint plugging up the outside vent entirely! Once cleaned out and reassembled, the air exited freely and the dryer was ready for use. I did a single load yesterday and the dryer worked just fine.

Woohoo! No more trips to the laundromat to dry clothing!

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As the President tries to assemble a coalition to deal with ISIS in both Iraq and Syria, a number of potential partners for the coalition are balking, and rightfully so.

Why would they want to be involved when our recent history shows our President is worried more about his legacy than about doing the right thing? He says he doesn't like war, but what if the war comes to him whether he wants it to or not? What's he going to do, go play a round of golf? That's certainly the impression he's been giving both our allies and adversaries.

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I saw a story on the local TV news that the price of firewood has gone up quite a bit since last year and that the supply is going to be tight.

I placed our order for firewood last month and was told the price had gone up by $50 per cord because of the demand. What caused the huge rise in price? Green energy.

There are more power plants burning wood chips, a renewable fuel, to produce electricity than ever before and they're willing to pay more for wood than many of the firewood suppliers. Despite our nation now producing more oil than even Saudi Arabia, the price of heating oil and propane is still sky high and likely to remain that way. Now the price of one of the last relatively inexpensive heating fuels is going up much to the detriment of those who cannot afford to pay for oil or propane to keep themselves warm over the winter.

Call this yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences coming around to hurt the people green energy was supposed to help.

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Along with the above story, there's this from Powerline digging into the lies the watermelon environmentalists tell themselves in order to keep working to impoverish everyone....except themselves.

There's an old line that environmentalists are "watermelons"--green on the outside, red on the inside. A lot of environmentalists will take great offense if you say this: No no! We like economic growth and capitalism just fine! We just want it to be "sustainable," whatever that means. And don't ask for specificity about what "sustainability" means in detail, unless you have a lot of time and a full bottle of hootch handy. Before long you'll figure out that "sustainable" is just a code word for green things we like, and that it has no rigor whatsoever aside from old-fashioned factor-efficiency, which economists figured out over a century ago at least.

But anyway, environmentalists resist being called socialists.

Yet that is exactly what many of them are. They've just donned camouflage by using the environment as an excuse to institute socialism by a different means.

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Has the time come for statehood for Puerto Rico? Their former governor certainly thinks so.

Former Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño said Congress and President Obama should make Puerto Rico a state before any immigration bill is signed into law.

"In the case of the Puerto Rican citizens that reside in Puerto Rico, you are dealing with American citizens, natural-born American citizens, so if you're ever going to deal with illegal immigrants, which is, I'm not saying you should never deal with the issue, but shouldn't you first deal with your own?"

In a November 2012 two-part nonbinding referendum, a majority of Puerto Ricans, 54 percent, voted against preserving the territory's present status. In the second part, 61 percent voted for statehood as an alternative to the current status.

Fortuño certainly has a valid point.

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Is Nancy Pelosi insane?

Yes. Nancy "You Have To Vote For It To See What's In It" Pelosi is insane. Next question?

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Is Radio Shack on the brink of bankruptcy?

Unfortunately it appears the answer is yes. The once great brand has languished, its sales have been flat, its profit margins have shrunk, and the products it offers are available so many other places for a lower price. All of this was a formula for disaster and I believe there's little Radio Shack can do to stop it.

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The Obama's are Tone Deaf, Blind, and Dangerous.

Gee, tell us something we don't already know!

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but a petition to put a ballot question asking whether California should be broken up into 6 different states has fallen short. More than a couple of commenters thought this first effort may have been a bit premature, but that it will come around again as California continues to punish residents of large swathes of the state for the benefit of the more affluent areas.

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The New England Patriots played the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota. Unlike last week's game, the Patriots handled the Vikings, beating them 30 to 7.

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It seems Obama figures he can win the war against ISIS by use of air power alone. But as anyone who is a student of history, particularly military history knows, air power alone cannot get the job done. It takes boots on the ground to dig 'em out and kill 'em.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where many of the summer places have closed for the year, some of the first frosts are expected, and preparations for the upcoming winter have begun in earnest.

Theory Versus Practice

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Having dealt with some rather accusatory and close-minded academics venting their fact-deficient and emotion laden vitriol in the Letters pages of one of our local newspapers over the past five years or so, it became apparent to anyone reading their diatribes that they had no experience dealing with the real world. After reading them for a while it became a sport to predict what any one of them would write about a particular subject or cause du jour.

All of their arguments are based upon theory, not practical experience. It certainly explains why all four of them espouse the supposed virtues of socialism. They don't come right out and say that, but they go on and on about the evils of capitalism and how it must be replaced with something else. (Too bad they can't tell the difference between capitalism and crony capitalism. As far as they are concerned they are the same thing...which they are not.) This 'something else' is socialism, a failed ideology that has killed far more people than just about any other political system in history. But that doesn't seem to bother them...or they refuse to believe that such a system can be far more brutal than anything they've been railing against.

The one thing they all have in common: they are incapable at looking at things from other people's point of view. As academics one would think they should be able to do so. But has become all too common these days, academics in subjects other than the hard sciences tend to be close-minded and blind to the fact that they are so. (I'm not saying the same type of academic doesn't exist there as well, it's just much less prevalent.) On more than one occasion when I've had the opportunity to debate one of them face to face they have been incapable of actual debate. All they could do was repeat the same old canards as if by repetition others would somehow "see the light" and what they were saying would be true. They didn't feel the need to back up any of their points with verifiable evidence. More often than not their 'debate' degenerated into laying blame for every evil, real or imagined, on Republicans, George W. Bush, Halliburton, Big Oil, and a whole host of other leftist imaginary bugaboos that needed to be eliminated in order for everything to be perfect. But from history we know no such thing will occur. Their perfect world is nothing of the kind. Instead it is a world of misery and tyranny.

The academics fall under the sway of the Non-Reciprocal Theorem Of Theory Versus Practice which states: "In theory, theory and practice are the same thing. In practice they are not."

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September 11th, 2001 8:46AM

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Nothing more need be said.....

Bush Was Right On Iraq

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In light of the President's hollow address to the nation about actions to be taken against ISIL, I must remind you all what has transpired before. The President tried to sound presidential, but to me it sounded like the same old rhetoric he's been spewing since he took office. Strong sounding words that have no real steel behind them convinces no one.

Despite the continuation of the tired old canard "Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq!", Dubya comes across as a man who understood what was really needed in Iraq, particularly in light of what has transpired there since Obama withdrew all our troops. With the exception of some support troops to help secure the US embassy and to train Iraqi army forces, they're all gone. What Obama chose to ignore was a State Of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government which has led to the rise of Iraq as a new haven for the brutal extremist Islamic State.

George W. Bush warned back in 2007 that premature withdrawal of US troops from Iraq would have dire consequences. He was right.

When former President George W. Bush makes a rare visit to Washington today, he won't criticize President Obama for the bloodletting Obama unleashed with his withdrawal from Iraq. After leaving office, Bush promised Obama his silence. He is a man of his word.

But if Bush did speak out, here is what he ought to say:

I told you so.

In the summer of 2007...all of Washington was telling Bush that the surge he had launched would fail and that the time had come to withdraw from Iraq and accept defeat.

At a White House news conference on July 12, 2007, Bush declared: "I know some in Washington would like us to start leaving Iraq now. To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we're ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al-Qaeda. It would mean that we'd be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It would mean we'd allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It would mean we'd be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous."

He knew even back then what we would face of American resolve crumbled, and it did, starting with his successor and spreading through the rest of his administration. They weren't in this struggle for the long haul. They just declared victory and withdrew our troops. Now the price of those actions is being paid with the lives of innocents. The price we'll have to pay when we end up having to go back will be greater than the one we paid when we defeated Saddam's regime and then fought off Al Qaeda in Iraq, taking down a majority of their leadership and ushering in a prolonged period of peace. But because we left prematurely, a large power vacuum was left behind and the sectarian bloodshed restarted. It also gave ISIL a chance to develop into something heinous and outright effin' evil.

Obama's continuing shortsightedness has put us into peril and he's acting like all we have to to is throw tough sounding words at a brutal and debased opponent and all will be fine.

What a putz.
The polls have closed in New Hampshire, today being the state primary. It's all over but for the results to be tabulated.

I haven't paid much attention to the polls because they've been so up and down. I have watched the various campaign ads which reached a peak between yesterday and today. I still find it amusing that one Democrat, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has been running attack ads against one GOP senatorial candidate, Scott Brown, former US Senator from Massachusetts who relocated to New Hampshire some time ago. I guess she fears his candidacy over the others because he's been polling pretty well against her.

While the turnout was expected to be around 20%, it wouldn't surprise me to find that a larger number of Republicans turned out to vote than Democrats. The main reason for that is that many of the Democrat incumbents are either unopposed or their opponents are relatively unknown. Of course once the results of today's primary is known, I expect the campaign machines of the winners to crank it up to '11'. That means far more attack ads will be seen and heard and most of us will be tired of them before the first one hits the airwaves.

Thank goodness for Netflix!

Thoughts On A Sunday

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It was a fifty-fifty weekend here in the Lakes Region, with Saturday being in the upper-80's/lower=90's, humid, and showers in the afternoon and evening. Today it was much cooler, in the 70's, with much lower humidity. The A/C was shut off last night and I think it's quite possible this might be the last time we use it this year. The forecast shows the coming week being in the 70's during the day and the upper 40's at night, typical mid September conditions.

In preparation for the upcoming winter heating season, the chimney sweeps will be here Friday to perform their annual clean out for the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove. Fire wood has been ordered and will just around the time we'll need it.

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College administrative stupidity knows no bounds.

"Some of my best friends are people!" That a college might think that even that simple phrase is offensive just boggles the mind. Remember, these people run the colleges you're bankrupting yourself in order to send your kid.

Between the campus rape 'epidemic' and the stupidity displayed above, it should be considered child abuse if you send your kid to one of these institutions of higher learning.

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In a two-fer, the state of California has denied the requests of two Catholic religious universities to opt out of paying for abortion services for their employees.

This shows that California has indeed declined to the point where it can be considered nothing but a farce, where the state will force religious colleges to pay for medical procedures that go against deeply held religious beliefs. But then California has been hostile to Christianity for some time while giving a pass to deluded cults and forgiving transgressions committed by any non-Judeo-Christian belief or religion.

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Walter Russell Mead delves into the reasons why in modern America we can no longer have nice things.

It all boils down to one word: corruption.

There are many wonders in America built during the hundred years between 1875 and 1975 that would be impossible to build today. It isn't that we're technologically incapable of building them, not by any means. It's that we're politically incapable of building them because everyone wants a piece of the action which in turn drives up costs or places roadblocks in the way. There's no way we could ever build another Empire State Building that wouldn't take a decade or more to build and have cost overruns that are double, triple, or even quadruple the actual cost of building it. The Empire State Building was completed in 410 days - 15 months - from the start of construction. That could never happen today.

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It was opening day for NFL football. The New England Patriots played the Miami Dolphins in Miami. I wish I could say the Patriots won, but that wouldn't be the truth. While the Pats dominated during the first half, leading 20-10, both their offense and defense completely fell apart in the second half and Miami came back with 23 unanswered points, winning 33-20. Another thing the hurt the Patriots was a number of very costly penalties that killed any momentum they had, calling back a number of plays where they had made significant yardage.

What a disappointing start for the Patriots.

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A View From The Beach links to a post that asks if Liberals are the real authoritarians?

Yes. Next question?

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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Is wearing the ISIS flag or logo on your shirt the equivalent of wearing a Nazi swastika? Absolutely, and anyone doing so should be as reviled as any neo-Nazi.

As some of these folks should be reminded, ISIS seems to think the Nazis had the right idea, but the Nazis would have put many of the very same ISIS assholes in the same concentration camps, gas showers, and ovens as they put the Jews. To the Nazis these folks are untermenschen.

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You know it's getting bad for Obama when even Fauxcahontas (Sen. Elizabeth Warren D-MA) is slamming him for his inaction against ISIS.

It appears all he has in the way of a strategy to deal with them is yet another speech.

Does he really think that if we do nothing they will leave us alone? Talk about living in a dream world! The problem is that the rest of us will be the ones paying the price for his incompetence and nonfeasance in office.

But then again, what did we expect? After all it's all about him.

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Rick Perry has the right of it.

Too bad the possibility of that happening are slim, but not impossible.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summerfolk are still hanging on, some of the sumacs and swamp maples are just starting to turn, and where Monday has yet again returned too soon.


There's a good op-ed piece by Ross Douthat in today's NYT--as far as it goes--that deserves a wide reading since the rest of the media is understandably shying away from it. I asked my wife if she's heard anything about forced prostitution and rape and Rotherham. She hasn't.

However, Douthat ignores a fact that makes the multicultural madness even worse, much worse than the analogy he curiously uses with the Catholic Church: the active collusion by the police, even when teenage girls alleging abuse offered physical evidence. It's even reported the police viewed the white girls with contempt.

Even when a researcher blew the whistle on the problem in Rotherham in a 2001 report, she was exiled to Diversity Sensitivity Training Fascism for the Thought Crime.

That makes the whole thing infinitely more despicable: it shows how multiculturalism can corrupt much more than a few bureaucrats and politicians fearing being labeled as racist. Diversity is the new religion in our post-Christian age. These young girls were probably engaging in sexual contact with these Muslim men in an effort to comply with its very dictates. One could draw a parallel with young women here in the States having babies with Hispanic or Black hoodlums.

And will heads roll for this scandal? They certainly should.

And since many of these girls in Rotherham, a Labour stronghold, appear to be from single mothers relying on the state for financial support (while reciprocating by voting Labour) the role of broken families once again should be considered. When the daddy is the state girls are less protected; no arrangement other than the traditional one works as well: an intact family of a father and a mother.

That's something else Ross Douthat misses.

In Rotherham what's needed is apparently some White pride as an act of self-preservation. Consider what the last virile WASP holdout--Northern Ireland--does to its Third World immigrants: a racist beat down, courtesy of White hoodlums who haven't bought into Multiculturalism. I can't condone that brutal racist attack. But...could Rotherham have happened in Ulster?

Not on your life.
As it always does, the subject of the minimum wage crops up during campaign season, and this one is no different. But unlike some campaign years, an interesting petition drive in San Diego is pushing for a ballot initiative to revoke the City Council's Minimum Wage mandate. It seems that someone in San Diego understands that, in the end, the new minimum wage is actually hurting businesses and workers.

While I am not going to delve into the battle in San Diego which includes harassment and intimidation of petition gathering volunteers as well as theft of signed petitions, I will look into the false assumptions about and outright distortions used to push for higher minimum wages.

A video by Skyler Lehto explains a number of assumptions and distortions put forth by those supporting a higher minimum wage, dispelling much of the circular logic used politicians looking to cash in by supporting it.


One of the most common claims made by those supporting a minimum wage increase is that it will help lift people out of poverty, something that Lehto covered but that I am going to reiterate. But how does locking more people out of the workforce by artificially increasing the cost of labor help anyone? Who are a majority of the people who would normally have a minimum wage job?

To answer the first question, it doesn't and it never has. Most working poor aren't making minimum wage. So how does that help them?

To answer the second question, most holding minimum wage jobs are teens or people in entry level positions. A lot of them work in the food service industry. But as minimum wage goes up for what are truly unskilled/low skill jobs, the incentive to hire them decreases. One of three things will happen: a business owner will decrease the number of staff, perhaps offering more hours to those remaining (not always sustainable because most people don't want to work 50, 60, or more hours per week every week); a business owner will hire more skilled labor since he has to pay the wages of those with medium skills, displacing the unskilled/low skill workers; or a business owner will replace some unskilled/low skill workers with automation because the labor costs have reached the point where machines are less expensive than human workers. (Think it won't happen? Guess again. McDonald's did that in France and some franchises in the US are looking at doing so in places like Illinois, the Seattle/Tacoma area, and a number of other high minimum wage locations in the country.)

One point Lehto brings up during his presentation is that the number of minimum wage jobs that existed in the 1960's was much higher than the number that exist today, and I'm not talking about as a percentage of the labor force, but in actual numbers. (The percentage is, of course, much lower today than back in 1960.) According to 2011 statistics, approximately 1.5% of the labor force (2.1 million people) make minimum wage in the US. Back in 1960 the total employed labor force was a little over 68 million (versus approximately 141 million today) and 4.7% (3.2 million) of the labor force held minimum wage jobs. (A caveat: The 1960 minimum wage jobs figure came from a number of sources, none of which I could confirm via the Department of Labor or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so take them with a grain of salt. Also, the number of jobs covered by the minimum wage law were fewer in 1960 compared to today.)

The more we look at minimum wage and the efforts to increase it as a means of making people's lives better, the more it becomes obvious that it tends to have just the opposite effect, locking the people who need jobs the most out of the work force. People with little or no experience have even less opportunity to gain that experience because they've been priced out of the market. We're already seeing that in states and cities that have raised their minimum wage well above that of the federal minimum wage: unemployment goes up, particularly among teens and minorities. But that doesn't prevent proponents from pushing for yet another increase in the federal minimum wage. It certainly makes for good press and makes them feel like they've done something good. Too bad they're wrong.
Election insanity has reached a fever pitch here in New Hampshire as the state primary election draws near.

Many of the incumbents for both state and federal offices are seeing little, if any candidates running against them. Both of our Congresscritters, Carol Shea-Porter (D -NH1) and Annie Kuster (D-NH2), appear to have token opponents running against them in the Democrat primary. The same is true of both Senator Jean Shaheen (D-NH) and Governor Maggie Hassan. The GOP hopefuls for all four of those offices are going at each other hammer and thong, with endless attack ads trying to make it seem that this one is the true conservative while their opponents are really liberals in disguise.

What makes the primary campaign more interesting is that in the Senate race Democrat Senator Jean Shaheen is running attack ads against GOP candidate and former US Senator Scott Brown. It appears she's working hard to make sure he isn't her opponent come November because she knows that if he is the nominee she'll have a tough fight ahead of her. The other two GOP candidates, Jim Rubens and former Senator Bob Smith, don't poll nearly as well against Shaheen as Brown even thought they are considered more conservative that Brown.

In the First Congressional District, the three main GOP candidates have not been quite as combative as we're seeing in the Senate or Second Congressional District race. Former Congressman Frank Guinta appears to have a slight lead over his two opponents, though one of them, Dan Innes, has no government experience, but he is a an economics professor and successful business owner.

In the Second Congressional District it's two military veterans, Jim Lawrence (USAF), and Gary Lambert (USMC), facing off against 4-term state representative Marilinda Garcia. While I have been looking at the candidates in this race, I am outside their Congressional District. Of the three, my favorite is Marilinda Garcia, but only by a little bit. Next would be Jim Lawrence and last Gary Lambert, a dark horse than a number of people in both parties are saying may be the winner of the primary. I have to say I haven't cared for the campaign ads run by Lambert and Garcia, each with have been slamming the other by claiming their opponent is a closet liberal in Obama's pocket. Jim Lawrence has stayed out of the fray and tried to focus on the issues and the Democrat incumbent, Annie Kuster. Some that may be because Lawrence doesn't appear to have the funds to launch an ad campaign as expansive or contentious as the other two candidates.

In any case we won't have to put up with the noise and distraction for much longer as the election is this coming Tuesday. We'll have to put up with a much higher level of noise, distraction, and attack ads as the campaigns of the winners crank up to '11' in preparation for the November elections.
I have doubts that this story would ever be reported in the US media. That we have to go to overseas news organizations to find out what's going on in our own country is disturbing. Then again, knowing most of the MSM is in the tank for Obama (but less so these days), it's no wonder we'll see this story in a UK newspaper.

Bill amd Karen Vaughn, parents of a fallen US Navy SEAL, wrote a letter to President Obama, expressing their anger and dismay over his lack of leadership, particularly in light of the actions of ISIS. Due to his failings, they've called for him to resign from his office and to let someone else willing to do what's necessary execute the duties of the Commander in Chief.

An excerpt from their letter:

After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.

My offering was my only son -- Aaron Carson Vaughn. Aaron was a member of SEAL Team VI. He was killed in action when a CH47D Chinook, carrying thirty Americans and eight Afghans was shot down in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.

Many times over the past three years, I have been asked what drove my son to choose his particular career. What made him want to be a Navy SEAL? My answer is simple.

Aaron Vaughn was a man who possessed the courage to acknowledge evil. And evil, once truly acknowledged, demands response. Perhaps this is why so few are willing to look it in the eye. It is much simpler -- much safer -- to look the other way.

That is, unless you are the leader of the Free World.

As Commander-in-Chief, your actions -- or lack thereof -- Mr. President, cost lives. As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole -- not only in America's security -- but the security of the entire globe. Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.

Please vacate the people's house and allow a man or woman of courage and substance to seize the reigns of this out-of-control thug-fest and regain the balance we, America, have provided throughout our great history.

They go on to list his deficiencies, his failures, his unwillingness to act when action is called for. It is apparent to them that the present occupant of the White House isn't up to the job, isn't willing to do what's necessary, and would rather let more innocents die than make a hard choice to end the actions of 7th century barbarians using their religion as an excuse to commit heinous acts.

I agree with every point the Vaughns and must add one of my own: better we fight them there than on our own soil. As the old TV ad states, "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later." The price of doing little or nothing (I do not consider air strikes as taking action so much as mere delaying tactics) will be greater when we have to deal with those murdering bastards once they bring the war here.

But then, wasn't Obama "playing nice" supposed to stay the hand of our enemies?

As anyone understanding human nature could have told him and his cronies, all playing nice has done is encourage our enemies to greater acts of violence and perfidy because they perceive us as being weak. They know the President will do nothing but posture, make speeches promising nothing, and then return to his golf game or fund-raising activities.

It's time for the bum to leave office before the war we should have been allowed to win comes here.
BeezleBub and I just finished watching the first semifinal round of America's Got Talent, something we watch every season.

Not once have I ever commented on any of the acts I've seen on the show or on any of the other competitions shows because, quite frankly, it has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. But after tonight's performance on AGT by Emily West I feel I must say something.

At this point I must state that I have been a fan of Queen since I first heard Killer Queen on the radio in the 70's. One of my all time favorites songs by them is Forever from the soundtrack of The Highlander. In all the years I've listened to that song I've always thought no one but the late great Freddie Mercury could sing that song and do it justice. I've heard dozens of covers by a wide range of singers, one or two who sounded something like Freddie but didn't have the range he did, and none of them pulled it off.

That is no longer true.

Emily West's performance was impeccable. She made the song hers rather than just another poor cover of Freddie's performance.

Once the video of tonight's performance is available I will update this post.

UPDATE Here's the video as promised. One thing I noticed after watching it again was she made a small mistake with the lyrics, but that didn't distract from her performance.

ISIS executes a second American citizen and Obama's response is to go on TV and look concerned.

Yeah, like that will have them shaking in their boots.

Glenn Reynolds was right when he stated that another Carter Administration was the best case scenario for Obama's tenure in the White House.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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Here it is, Labor Day Weekend, the official "end" of summer. More than a few people I've talked to over the weekend have wondered where the summer's gone. It seems like Memorial Day was just a couple of weeks ago and Fourth of July was just last week. I know I haven't done nearly as much as I had hoped to do when summer started, and here we are at the end of summer.

While summer doesn't end until the autumnal equinox in about three weeks, for all intents and purposes it's over. Schools are open or will be reopening this coming week. Vacations have ended and summer tourist attractions are closing their doors.

While I expect we'll still see quite a few weekenders still making the trip up here for some last-of-summer weather, including boating and swimming, for the most part it's over. The only thing we have coming up will be the fall foliage season which will see its peak here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire some time around the first week of October.

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Keith Koffler asks the very important question: "Do you want to know why there is no ISIS strategy?"

Could it be our President has none because he's in over his head? He thought his job was done when he pulled our troops out of Iraq and that everyone would play nice from that time forward. Unfortunately Reality WorldTM had different ideas and is showing our erstwhile Commander-In-Chief that there are truly effin' evil people out there who have no problem slaughtering people they don't like, including American journalists, in an effort to create yet another Evil Empire.

As Edmund Burke stated, "All that's required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Somehow I doubt making statements that "he's looking into the situation" means Obama is actually doing something about anything.

I figure one of two things will have to happen before TOTUS does anything beyond dropping some bombs: either an ISIS massacre of Americans over there or another 9/11 strike by them here. Even then I doubt he'll do much other than wanting to reason with people that cannot reason, only kill.

Despite what the MSM has decided, the is not "cool and calm in a crisis. It merely means he really has no idea how bad it is.

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Mike at Cold Fury dives into the EU's vacuum cleaner kerfuffle where the "we're much smarter than you are and you need us to tell you how to live your lives" EU bureaucracy is pushing for almost draconian home appliance efficiency standards that will make most of them perform poorly (if at all) but at a much higher cost. How is this supposed to help anyone?

It seems this cancer may also make its ways to these shores as Obama, not wanting to be outdone, wants to make us suffer under the same stupid and ineffective mandates.

This is as bad as the low-flush toilets that we're forced to buy. The idea sounds great but they don't really save any water because in many cases it takes more than one flush to evacuate the bowl of the effluvia. The end result is that they end up using more water than the old 'inefficient' toilets. I find this to be particularly galling in a part of the country that has no issues with water supply, nor has it for hundreds of years.

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It doesn't take much research to see that there are two possible outcomes to cities under blue rule: Deline and decay of the cities such as seen in Detroit; or rising housing prices and decreasing supply that drive out both the middle class and the poor such as is seen in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. Some may be blamed on draconian housing regulations, but most of the blame must be laid at the feet of the leftists running the cities.

Of the second type, many of those blue cities are becoming bastions of the wealthy socialists who are becoming increasingly disconnected from the rest of America and more divorced from the realities the rest of us must face every day.

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Call this another example of Leftist projection, in this case committed by Obama:

The biggest problems that we're facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that's what I intend to reverse when I'm President of the United States of America...

Projection indeed. Then again, from what I've observed over the past 5 years, Obama doesn't believe the rules, the law, or the Constitution apply to him.

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This is something I've known for years from direct observation both here and south of the border in the People's Republic: Massachusetts has the worst drivers.

More often than not I find Massachusetts drivers tend to act as if driving were some kind of a contest or form of combat, particularly when they're up here on vacation. It's even worse once you cross the border and approach the environs of Boston.

Whenever you see a vehicle with Massachusetts plates up here it's a good idea to give it a wide berth and to anticipate the driver will do something annoying, unexpected, and stupid.

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Note to terrorists: This might not be such a good idea.

Judicial Watch is saying a terrorist attack is imminent somewhere along the Mexico/Texas border.

Considering how many people are armed in Texas, that might be a much shorter - and suicidal - mission than they may have planned for. To paraphrase a line from one of my favorite original Star Trek episodes, A Piece Of The Action, "You try to hit here and you'll be opened up on from every window on the street."

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The idea of yet another war in Europe isn't as unthinkable as it once was, particularly in light of what Russia has done to Georgia and now Ukraine as well as Obama's show of weakness in the face of conflict.

As Glenn Reynolds writes, " If I were the Poles I'd be arming up bigtime. And if I were the Baltics, I'd be doing my best to become indigestible. I think I'd try to develop a special-forces capability to wreck Russia's oil pipelines and other facilities; that seems like the cheapest way to make a Putin invasion expensive."

Indeed. Goodness knows they won't be able to count on us for because our TOTUS has all but gone ROAD (Retired On Active Duty) on America. Then again Obama has shown nothing but contempt for our allies and has sucked up top our enemies. If war comes, it ain't gonna be pretty and may well be worse than what Europe suffered in World War II.

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When our roof leaked this past July after a heavy thunderstorm with lots of wind and rain - it was patched temporarily - we hemmed and hawed about having our roof replaced. My biggest concern was finding someone who would do a great job, not doing a crappy one that would only have to be done again in a few years because both the work and materials were deficient.

This past Wednesday we finally signed a contract to have the roof on the main part of the house replaced, including replacing some damaged sheathing. While the roof on the breezeway and garage are not in the greatest condition, it isn't in nearly as bad shape as the main house and could probably go few more years before it becomes necessary to replace them.

The work starts towards the end of September, just in time for us to get the rest of The Manse and its grounds to be prepped for the upcoming winter.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we have one more day summer, the summer weather is hanging around for at least another week, and where many a summer vacation has ended and will exist only in our memories.
Either we can be soul-destroying techno-secular crusaders or we can be low-IQ Nazis by identifying oneself with the tribe.

The late Lawrence Auster says that these two choices being the only two is idiotic. I was reminded of this last weekend visiting friends who had neighbors flying the Confederate flag. My thirteen-year-old son called them White supremacists. I suggested maybe they had pride in their race, something encouraged for Blacks. Or perhaps they were commemorating the 246,000 Confederate war dead. Trained in the government schools, he wasn't buying it.

I've realized the truth I've learned from Dennis Prager that in the micro one can be open to outsiders, embracing them as people, while arguing for a vast reduction in just these types of people invading the country. It's not hypocrisy; rather, it's micro versus macro. I can support a gay friend's wedding while simultaneously being against such a destructive innovation.

But if you experience, in some sense, humanity's oneness [Lawrence Auster writes], and at the same time you grasp humanity's actual differences in the present order of things, you see those two truths at the same time. You'll see the harmony on one level, the absence of hatred, our beautiful (potential) oneness as human beings, and on another level you'll see the legitimacy of distinct societies, distinct peoples, and the need to protect and preserve them. But without hatred of others. This is not rocket science. To say that on one level mankind is one, and that on another level mankind is divided by differences, is not rocket science. But for people today it does seem to be rocket science. They can't grasp it.

Contemporary people living under liberalism have two idiot alternatives: either we're liberal globalists or we're Nazis. That's the total universe of possibilities for modern liberal Westerners. And that limited view is killing us. Americans and other Westerners have to break out of that simplistic and false way of thinking and realize that the consciousness of differences, the desire to preserve our own distinctness, our uniqueness, is perfectly legitimate and moral.

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