Only three of the top 260 shows at Fashion Week had black designers. And an African-American has never kicked an extra point in NFL history as far I can tell. This is racism! Boycott 'em!
This is kind of cool (pun intended).

Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found a possible means of using magnetic fields along with something called the Kondo Effect to cool materials.

The new physics identified through this work suggest a road map for the development of materials with strong "magnetocaloric" properties, the tendency of a material to change temperature in the presence of a magnetic field.

"The Kondo Effect in YbInCu4 [Ytterbium Indium Copper four] turns on at a very low temperature of 42 Kelvin (-384F)," said Hancock, "but we now understand why it happens, which suggests that it could happen in other materials near room temperature." If that material is discovered, he adds, it could revolutionize cooling technology.

Household use of air conditioners in the U.S. accounts for more than $11 billion in energy costs and releases 100 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Use of the magnetocaloric effect for magnetic refrigeration as an alternative to the mechanical fans and pumps in widespread use today could significantly reduce those numbers.

If such a material comes out of this research, air-conditioning units would shrink in size because the need for a bulky compressor and heat exchange tubing would disappear and the only moving part might be a fan to move the cooled air. While there are semiconductor materials presently available that use the Peltier effect to heat or cool, they aren't terribly efficient as compared to standard cooling techniques, at least not at a large scale. They work well at a small scale to cool electronics or diode lasers.

It will be interesting to see if the researchers will be able to find the proper materials to make the magnetocaloric effect work at room temperatures.
It appears Obama's hatred of Israel is deeper than anyone thought, exposing its nuclear capabilities.

...[T]he Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel's nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel's nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth.

As Stephen Green writes, the disclosure is a sellout of Israel all in order to help to close out a deal with Iran, "no matter the cost to Israel's security." If Obama and Kerry wanted to ensure peace in the Middle East, they may have succeeded with their betrayal of Israel, but not the kind of peace they might have hoped. If this leads to war between Iran and Israel, particularly a nuclear armed Iran, there will be peace....of death. I would expect Israel would go nuclear the instant the Iranians unleash a nuclear strike anywhere in Israel, and it would hit not just Iran, but Syria, parts of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, perhaps Libya, and any other hostile Muslim state within the reach of its arsenal. The Israelis won't go down without taking as many of their enemies with them as they can.
Some states in the U.S. produce over half their electricity from coal-burning plants, which are not good for the environment. Electric cars are then coal powered. What's so good about that?

In fact in some cases a gasoline-powered car is better than an electric one, argues Canadian engineer Chris Kennedy from the University of Toronto.

And don't forget the onerous job of recycling these heavy duty batteries.
If one reads the law of the state disinterestedly, one could only come to one conclusion: We should be like Vermont when it comes to allowing non-felons to conceal carry a loaded firearm without the "mother may I?" approach we've had since 1923.

Susan Olson, who spoke Tuesday, March 24, in rooms 206 and 208 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord, made the startling point that the 1923 law, which goes against section 2A of the NH state constitution, was enacted to keep the undesirables in check, those unruly drunkards (Irish) and swarthy anarchists (Italians). The venerable group Jews for the Preservation of Firearms has made the same point regarding southern US states and "negroes."
 
And the national 1968 gun control act has its antecedents in Nazi German law. I kid you not. Google it yourself.

Anyway, I am standing at the doors with the salt and orange goatee listening to the testimony. The antis of SB 116 (constitutional carry) are liars, emotional wrecks, or psychological misfits. The only one who wasn't is the police chief of Franklin, who made some good points about keeping the current procedure in place. The proponents of constitutional carry, however, are generally cogent, lucid, and compelling.

None more so than Ian Underwood who is a philosopher worth listening to, which one can at 7:40 into this video. I encourage you to delve into his first principles of constitutional governance. Words should have meaning. The second smartest man who ever lived whole heartedly agreed. I'm talking about Confucius. (Aristotle is number uno.)
Maine, which is very high in food stamp usage rates, had to re-impose a federal requirement on those in the program who are able-bodied adults between the age of 18 and 50 with no children. They had to do twenty hours a week of volunteer work, job training, or job searching. This federal stipulation has been on the books for twenty years and the feds granted a six-year waiver because of the bad economy.

A few months later the results are in

Poor Babies

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Seeing the growing calls from perpetually offended and aggrieved college students to silence, censor, or expel those who expose them to the harsh realities of life, meaning they expose these poor innocents to ideas and realities that reflect real life, one has to wonder how it is these enfants terrible ever made it through middle and high schools unscarred.

Once they get to college they are exposed to people who fill them with the idea that no one should ever be exposed to things that make them uncomfortable, even if those things are real and truthful. They demand "trigger warnings" and "safe zones" to prevent anyone one from exposing them to differing viewpoints that cause them stress and make them feel like they need to curl up into a ball until the bad things go away. Conversations and discussions are impossible unless they are insipid and bland and uncontroversial (at least to them).

What we're seeing is young adults acting like young children, demanding to be protected from the reality of adult life and trying to make sure they never ever have to deal with adult things.

Boy, are they going to be surprised when they finally leave the safe and secure halls of academe and find they are unprepared to deal with the real world where no one cares whether they're offended by normal everyday topics of conversation, particularly in a business setting. They will find no one will be willing to accommodate their demands because, quite frankly, it is not their job to do so. They'll find no one willing to address their complaints about "micro-aggressions" or "hate speech" or a whole host of other normal every day actions that traumatize the poor dears.

If folks like that don't want to deal with real life, I doubt they'll have much luck convincing all of the regular folks to drastically alter their behavior just to prevent these poor kids from being traumatized. More likely the response they'll receive after making these demands will equate to "Sod off, Swampy!" or even more profane responses.

If these young men and women want to be spared being exposed to such behavior, then I have two suggestions to make that will help them avoid all such traumatizing experiences: 1) cloister yourself away from the real world in a convent or monastery, or 2) go live by yourself in the wilderness far away from everyone else so you'll be safe and the rest of us won't have to give you the spankings you so richly deserve because you are such overly sensitive assholes.

So endith the lesson.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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The cold winter temps have returned, with highs in the low 20's and wind chills in the single digits above and below zero. I have to say without a doubt this has been one of the most brutal winters I can remember. That we have these kinds of temps into late March, with only a couple of warmer respites here and there, is something I do not recall happening during my lifetime.

It certainly explains the state of our firewood, with less than half a cord remaining out of the four we started out with. Usually by now we'd be heating almost exclusively with the furnace as the only time we'd need heat would be a bit in the evening and first thing in the morning. But for now we still have to run the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove 24/7. I just hope the cold temps will leave before we exhaust our supply of firewood.

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When I heard this I realized the friggin' PC police have taken over the schools in Lexington, Massachusetts.

It appears the high school administration banned a planned "American Pride" dance because "it excluded other nationalities."

WTF?

First, that the school officials in one of the two towns that saw the first battles of the American Revolution would ban something that should be celebrated as much as possible shows just how far the PC rot has progressed.

Second, they seem to have forgotten that Americans are made up of all kinds of nationalities that came here to be American. (My maternal grandparents were just two of them.) If people of other nationalities are attending the high school, could it be because eventually they will become Americans? If they're exchange students, does it really matter?

I have to wonder whether they're putting "other nationalities" ahead of Americans. Do they allow celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the school? (If they do, do they ban the wearing of American flags on that day because it might offend those of Mexican descent, just as has happened in Arizona?)

These people need to be fired because it is quite obvious that they have become deluded and, dare I say it, hostile to our immigrant American roots. These people should have no contact with children...even their own.

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I missed this post by Skip the other day, where he skewers the "socialism works" meme and uses the self-made economic debacle in Seattle as an example of how far too often emotions override facts (and math) and the socialists in charge decide that ignoring the laws of economics are already learning about the Law of Unintended Consequences first hand.

I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who noticed this fantasy-based 'solution' to a problem that can't be solved by putting even more people out of work. (Scroll down.)

Then again, it never is about logic. It's always about "what can we do to 'help' the 'poor' that will make us feel better about ourselves even though it won't really help anyone and, will in fact, make things worse."

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I think my family is going to have to rethink using these.

Wet Wipes Are Forming Sewer-Destroying 'Superknots'.

Wastewater officials are begging people to stop sending wipes down the toilet and preparing lawsuits against manufacturers who refer to their sanitary products as "flushable." That word you keep using... I do not think you know what it means.

I have never felt the need to use them except on one or two very special circumstances. I also don't like what they do to our septic system though that hasn't stopped other members of our household from using them.

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Fun with Starbucks!

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Bird Dog reposts his treatise on Maple Syrup and Sugaring Season.

The sugar houses have started collecting sap (when it's running) and once they have enough they'll start boiling it down to get rid of the water. At the moment the weather here in New Hampshire isn't conducive to the sap running. It's too cold and it's windy. Sap runs best when it's warm during the day and cold (generally near freezing) at night, with little or no wind. But it's in the upper teens and low twenties today with high, gusty winds, so the sap won't be running.

Now all we have to do is watch out for the maple syrup cartel trying to horn in on our action.

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One thing neither the Department of Justice or the usual race-baiters (Sharpton and Holder) and Obamabots ever mention about the aftereffects of their efforts to stir up racial hatred for fun and profit after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson: The average property values have dropped 50 percent in the past seven months.

That will help those in Ferguson who would like to leave but are now stuck there because any equity they had in their homes has disappeared.

Call this yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences expressing itself in a way that hurts everyone.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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Here's another example of the Gore Effect, in this case in New York City at the United Nations.

You'd think the warmists would have learned their lesson by now, but we know they are incapable of seeing anything that goes against their religious beliefs.

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By way of Granite Grok comes this notable quote from Ace of Spades:

Yes, Establishment GOP, you can teach us that you will always lie to us, stab us in the back, humiliate us and crush us; but if you teach us that, be aware we are learning another lesson, too. Not just that "The Establishment Will Always Crush You," but the lesson that There is no hope in any kind of conventional politics for those of us who want better than this Pile of S&^% the two parties give us.

Indeed.

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I've been saying this for years, as have many others.

Islam needs a Reformation. Much as Christianity's Reformation changed the many of the tenets of Christianity and rejected its previous militancy, so must Islam, otherwise the never ending Holy War being fought by its extremists will lead to yet another Holocaust, this time killing billions.

Writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.

When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself.

She goes on to state that "we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice."

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

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Obama's anti-Israel rhetoric is cranking up, particularly since Israeli voters decided they liked the Prime Minster they already have, rejecting Obama's efforts to unseat him. The election results cause the Left here in the US to totally unmind itself, making them determined to throw Israel to the wolves.

The Left's hatred of Israel is no longer subtle or just under the surface. It is out there in the open and I have a feeling it will only end when Israel (and a good portion of the Middle East) is nothing but a radioactive wasteland. Even then, the Left will find some way of blaming Israel's destruction upon Israel itself, regardless of the fact they've pushed hard to make sure Iran acquired the means of making and using nuclear weapons. But then that's how the Left operates - create a crisis for a perceived enemy, assist in their destruction, and then rewrite history to absolve themselves of any blame.

With a friend like Obama and the Left, no one needs enemies.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where January temperatures are still here, the snow is slowly melting, and where thoughts of time out on the lake this summer are staring to make themselves known.
Initial reports I heard a month ago were very troublesome, almost a metaphor for declining American power. It was that an Iranian-backed militia group had overrun Sana'a, Yemen's capital city, quite unexpectedly, and the State Department ordered the Marine detachment from the embassy to relinquish their weapons at the request of the Houthis, the militia group supported by Iran.

What I heard on a John Batchelder podcast was that the Marines destroyed their heavy weapons but had to relinquish their sidearms and perhaps rifles as well. I mentioned this the other day at the barber shop and the young veteran, who was being shaven old school, nearly jumped out of his seat in rage.

It turns out, fortunately, that these initial reports were wrong, thank goodness. I left, saying, "I hope I'm wrong." And I was. And it's a good thing the hot-blooded American being shaved wasn't accidentally injured. He was apoplectic, dancing in front of the blade.
If nothing else, Bibi Netanyahu has proved to me once and for all that Obama really doesn't care for Israel in any way, shape or form. That he sent some of his campaign "consultants" to Israel to help the opposition unseat Netanyahu indicates to me just how much he hates the Jewish homeland.

Israel has been a staunch ally practically since its reconstitution in 1948. It has been the only nation in the Middle East to maintain the same form of government - a parliamentary system akin to Great Britain's - since its inception. The surrounding nations, with the exception of Jordan, have seen nascent democracies replaced with dictatorships or weak governments that inspire anarchy, or worse, nominally theocratic totalitarian rule. As much as Israel's enemies have decried its "brutal and inhumane" response to efforts to destroy it, it is its enemies who use brutal and inhumane means to wage war.

Now Israel has to worry about yet another mindless enemy, that being our President. This is a continuation of his policy of insulting our allies and sucking up to our enemies, all which is a part of his so-called Smart DiplomacyTM, something that is neither smart nor diplomatic.

My only concern is how much more damage Obama can do before he leaves office, assuming he doesn't find some way to remain in office as "President for Life" like so many of his 'friends' so he can continue his destruction of our nation all in the name of his nebulous concept of fairness.
When reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes's Sign of the Four, chapter six, the Goethe quotation: Wir sind gewohnt dass die Mensches verhoehnen was sie nicht verstehen.

As far as I could cipher it was "we are" something "men" something "don't understand."

Thanks to this blog, I now know what it means more completely.
What appears to be an-all black middle school in Homestead, Florida, has some, ahem, "students" who needed a victim for its gang initiation. So who better than the new girl with the white mother? Vicious, savage, and unprovoked attack that youtube takes down, but can still be seen here.

Coverage nationally? Why do you think the Daily Mail, which does cover these stories that routinely never make it out of the local area, is the most popular American newspaper? And it's not even American, but British!

And the Padron family cries for help: "Get us out of this ghetto hellhole!"

Their mistake? Reconnoitering the neighborhood at 10 in the morning when things were nice and quiet. The troublesome, criminal-minded youth come out later.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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Winter has returned to New Hampshire, albeit briefly. We've had a small amount of sleet and snow fall since yesterday afternoon, creating some slick roads and coating some of the tress with a thin layer of white (about an inch here when I wrote this). However temps will warm up on Monday and Tuesday, putting us back into melting mode.

This last little blast of winter did force me to make the trip to our town's public works department to fill up a couple of buckets with sand, something we use to ensure there will be enough traction on our driveway for Deb to make it out with her car. Hopefully this will be the last time I'll have to make that trip until next November or December.

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This is something I could have added during yesterday's post, using it to illustrate just how often the 'ideal' progressive state deteriorates into a brutal dictatorship requiring gulags to 'house' and 're-educate' those citizens who see the truth about what their country has become.

Of course many of our own progressives keep telling us that won't happen here even as their brethren are working diligently to silence their critics and leach away one right after another until we have none left.

Think they aren't? Then how do you explain away this little bit of PC indoctrination right out of Huxley's Brave New World?

(H/T Instapundit)

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I've noticed this, too.

From Thomas Sowell comes this observation:

Academics often defend tenure, despite its many negative consequences, on grounds that it allows academic freedom for independent minds. Yet there are few places in America with more taboos and intellectual intolerance than academic campuses. The young are indoctrinated with demographic "diversity" that contrasts with a squelching of diversity of ideas on social issues.

When they start talking about "diversity" and "inclusiveness" they usually mean just the opposite. I think just about anyone paying attention has noticed that both of these concepts usually mean excluding and/or silencing certain groups, and white heterosexual male college students in particular. It's even worse if they are conservative white heterosexual male college students. And it's even worse if they are conservative white homosexual male college students because they are seen a traitors by the diverse and inclusive college crowd.

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And yet another observation by Sowell:

It is remarkable how the Internal Revenue Service has been "losing" e-mails that Congressional investigators want to see and how "global warming" researchers have been "losing" the raw data on which their dire predictions have been based.

I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to see a pattern here from these "losers".

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Our town had its elections this past Tuesday. It was the second session of our town meeting, where folks voted on the election of town officials as well as the various warrant articles that defined the town and school budgets, capital equipment purchases, funding of outside social agencies, and some zoning ordinance changes, amongst other things. (The first session was held last month - the deliberative session - where all of the warrant articles were presented and discussed, and if needed, amended.)

The most controversial warrant article had nothing to do with budgets, spending, funding, or zoning changes. It was the most discussed warrant article, both at the first town meeting session and around town prior to the voting during the second session. The topic of this controversial warrant article?

Fireworks.

A few folks decided they didn't like the idea of anyone being able to set off legally obtained fireworks in our town, so they filed a petition warrant article that would have banned fireworks for anyone but licensed professionals. (Fireworks are legal in New Hampshire.) The ban would have included such Fourth of July staples like sparklers.

Fortunately the warrant article failed to pass, being defeated with 296 'Yes' votes versus 689 'No' votes.

Ain't small town democracy a great thing?

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David Starr reports on town meeting in his home town, located somewhat farther north of here.

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From Pam Gellar comes this: "More women fly F-16 in Israel than drive cars in Saudi Arabia."

The youngest WP Sister has spent quite a bit of time in Israel on business and contrasts it to other places in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent, saying simply she'd rather go to Israel than any of the other of the places she has gone because it is, quite frankly, better.

It's telling that so many Israeli Arabs would much rather be Israeli than Palestinian or Lebanese or Jordanian.

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Why didn't anyone tell these folks that raising the minimum wage to $15/hour would have such negative consequences? Oh, wait, they were. They just chose to ignore the warnings.

Seattle's $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop.

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the "impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour" is playing a "major factor." That's not surprising, considering "about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs."

Artificially raising the cost of labor always has negative consequences, something amply demonstrated when San Francisco raised its minimum wage to $11 a few years back. A lot of jobs disappeared. Just recently the voters there approved raising it to $15 by 2018 where I expect even more jobs will go away. One San Francisco business has already announced that it will close its doors because it cannot afford the new wage rate.

Seattle is learning the same lesson as San Francisco: The Law of Unintended Consequences always wins in the end.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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As if we need yet another reason why our public schools should stay as far away from Common Core as possible, there's this plum from my home state of New Hampshire.

It appears one of the scholars who helped craft the Common Core standards for the state admits he crafted them in order to "knock white people down a few pegs in the Granite State."

So rather than creating standards that are supposed to 'help' our kids get a better education (doubtful, in my opinion) they've been turned into a political tool by one of our self-anointed "betters" to cripple our public school system all in the name of some misguided effort to be fair?

[T]his is yet another example of how our schools are used for extremist, left-wing social engineering instead of education. "Teachers" like [Dr. David] Pook want to use our schools as a means to indoctrinate kids with anti-American, left-wing garbage. And don't be fooled. This guy may be one of the few who openly admits that Common Core is meant to undermine the US, but he isn't alone in that goal.

Is it any wonder parents are pulling their kids out of public schools and sending them to private schools or home-schooling them? They want their kids educated, not indoctrinated and unprepared for the real world.

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Are people mistakenly calling Scott Walker the next Reagan when, in fact, he might actually be the next Calvin Coolidge?

The two most successful Republican presidents in the last century were Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. A serious look at the two of them sheds light on the current question of Walker's viability as a presidential candidate.

Different as Coolidge and Reagan were in looks and personality, there were striking similarities between these two men and their presidencies. Success for both was marked by significant reductions in income taxes and domestic spending, strong economic growth in the private sector, reelection by huge margins, and the trust and affection of the American people.

Contemporaries often dismissed the New England puritan and the Hollywood B-grade actor as intellectual lightweights. Howard Dean's recent sneers at Walker's lack of academic credentials were reminiscent of the attacks on Coolidge and Reagan.

They were equally convinced of the creative power of individual initiative. Coolidge explained, "I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. That is the chief meaning of freedom." Similarly, Reagan famously admonished, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

Walker echoes both of them and has the ability to communicate with the voters. Like them he also doesn't require public opinion polls before he makes a decision, something that certainly been lacking in the White House since the Reagan administration. And unlike some of the other GOP presidential hopefuls, Walker has street cred when it comes to dealing with intransigent public servants, just as Coolidge did in 1919 and Reagan did in 1981, in Walker's case with the public employee unions attempt to ouster him through a recall election after he reduced their political influence through legislation that broke their stranglehold on labor contracts with the state and municipalities and on the rank-and-file members of the unions.

More power to him.

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And that's the news from Lakw Winnipesaukee, where the snow has returned, the lake isn't melting, and where it's almost time to brush the snow off the boats.
A discussion about socialism with one of my older sister's friends brought up some truths with which she was apparently not very comfortable discussing, in this case how I have found socialism to be a morally bankrupt and historically corrupt ideology, quite often descending into tyranny and creating misery for the populace (but not the ruling elite, of course).

While she countered that not all socialist states devolve like that, I did bring up that a number of the modern socialist states are finding out that socialism is a very expensive way to run a society and that the supply of money to sustain them is not limitless. One example is Sweden which has long provided "cradle to grave" government support but that is now cutting back on what it has been spending because the costs have reached the point where any further increases will bankrupt the country. Another is Greece, which has already exceeded its ability to pay for all of its socialist programs and is now dependent upon bailouts from other EU nations, primarily Germany, in order to remain solvent. But even that line of credit is about to dry up and Greece is once again on the verge of bankruptcy. Call them the latest examples of the Thatcher axiom: Eventually they run out of other people's money.

I also brought up the example of Venezuela, a failed state whose socialist government made all kinds of promises to create a utopia but has instead destroyed its economy and lead to widespread misery and poverty along with corruption, political oppression, and drives to silence any dissent.

For many of those arguing for replacing what they see as a greedy and heartless capitalist system with a humane and caring socialist system, the one thing they are incapable of providing is a single example of where their proposed changes have ever succeeded...because there isn't one. Even the original socialist experiment - the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts - failed, leaving the colonists on the verge of starvation. If not for the intervention by the local Indian tribe and their abandonment of their experiment in socialism, they would have died out.

While my sister's friend tried to defend socialism by stating that what she was talking about and the examples I used (the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Cuba, China, Kampuchea, and Venezuela, just to name a few) were in no way related, I countered with that they are cut from the same cloth, that being the belief that government is the best arbiter of how we should live our lives, applying one-size-fits-all solutions to problems that do not affect everyone, causing far more in the way of problems than they solve. 'Soft' socialism of the type she supports ignores human nature exactly the same way its more extreme adherents did, creating an ever increasing dependency on a government that has an ever decreasing ability to meet the demands of its dependents. Eventually the system collapses when it can no longer meet its obligations to its citizens. We certainly saw that with the collapse of the Soviet Union and will see it again when Venezuela finally falls apart. (I expect Venezuela will see some kind of uprising, perhaps a civil war to unseat the inept government that has brought so much misery and strife upon its people.)

Socialism is a failed ideology, based upon false premises, envy, and greed. The sooner it breathes its last, the better.
Once again I felt I needed to respond to one of our local clueless academics, Jon Hoyt, in this case for his 'suggestion' to the local paper that letters to the editor to one of our local papers be 'fact-checked' by an impartial panel before being printed. While his diatribe is aimed primarily at political "ads" (he also mentions the universally hated TV political ads) he leaves the door wide open for his panel to review all letters to the paper, political in nature or not.

I feel no letters -- or more important, no TV-type ad -- should be run until they are fact checked by a non­partisan panel of some type. Especially before an election. This might be the only possible way of getting something truthful out to the voters. For those of you that don't think this is important just look or listen to those elected. That should convince you beyond all doubt.

Frankly, I don't care about TV ads, particularly campaign ads. I think anyone with a smidgen of intelligence knows they are a bunch of malarkey. But if he really thinks that letters to the editor should be vetted, he really doesn't understand the definition of "opinion".

Part of my response:

First, letters that appear here in the Sun or any other newspaper are considered opinions. They are not news articles, scientific or policy papers requiring deep background, fact checking, or peer review.

Second, one's opinion is protected by both the US and New Hampshire constitutions, something which Mr. Hoyt seems to have forgotten. If I were opine that I think Mr. Hoyt is a horse's patoot, I am not required to prove that he is with fact checking by an impartial panel. I would base my opinion upon his letters published here in the Sun. Would my opinion be correct? Who would care, other than Mr. Hoyt?

What if Mr. Hoyt got his way and every letter submitted to the Sun had to go through a vetting process and it was found that none of his were factually accurate, and therefore would not be published? Would he accept the "impartial" panel's finding, or would he bleat about the unfairness of the panel's decision to stifle his freedom of speech? Frankly, I think his reaction would be the latter, as would mine.

This Hoyt fellow has put forth all kinds of leftist drivel over the years, throwing out 'facts' that on further investigation either could not be backed up or were taken out of context. While not as bad as one of his fellow leftist academics, he still has that condescending "I know better than you do" air about him that proves to me that he is a close-minded individual incapable of forming his own opinions without first looking it up in the Progressive Academic Handbook.

And so it goes.
Equal protection or equal outcomes--can't have both. One will necessarily suffer at the hands of the other. Can we go back to equal protection, that little ole Thirteenth Amendment that's been routinely violated because of preferential treatment of government-approved minorities?

The idea that Greek-Americans are three percent of the population, but are 0.3 of math Ph.D.'s supposedly shows, ipso facto, discrimination, is an idea that only an ardent egalitarian could accept on face value.

By this logic, (This example was given to me by a Thomas Sowell book.) since an African-American has never kicked an extra point in an NFL, despite being at least 12 percent of the population, then actionable discrimination is occurring. Right?

Not so fast. There are factors that are ignored, principally human nature, culture, and the most damning to the egalitarian position: IQ. The truth may hurt. You've been warned. The premise that groups of people will perform equally ignores all this. And I wonder why the first round of the NFL draft will be in excess of 80 percent black. Arthur Ashe's had an idea on why that is, physical superiority, though his heart balked at this, since it opened up a can of racial realism.

Well, don't tell that to the federal Department of Justice, who are going all Franz Fanon on us--much to the uncritical delight of Jon Stewart. And they are having a little problem with basic math that all the media, except the alternative right, can't seem to detect.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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The weather has been warming up a bit over the past few days, but we're still below the average temps we usually see this time of year. However warmer weather is on the way later in the week. We juust hope it isn't too warm because if the snow and ice melt too quickly we'll be dealing with flooding and "ponding on area roadways" (one of Deb's 'favorite' weather report phrases).

Of course there's also Daylight Savings Time we have to deal with this weekend. Frankly, I don't know why they even bother any more. The justification for it really doesn't do it for me and it causes problems twice a year when we have to make the change to and from DST. That 'Standard' time is in force for a little over four months and 'Daylight Savings' in force for eight months seems ludicrous on the face of it.

Maybe it's time to do away with it.

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From what I've observed, this is no surprise to me.

It seems that American Millennials are "too proud" to compete.

One hesitates to look at the results of a test where America's millennials competed against millennials around the world. After all, America's millennials take severe offense if you dare suggest that they are chronic underachievers, even slackers. They have high self-esteem and do not care about how they compare with other people.

Apparently, American millennials are now too proud to compete. They might console themselves with their false pride, but that's the only consolation they can draw from these tests. Compared to their cohorts around the world, America's millennials come is last or near-last by just about every metric.

I haven't noticed this much in rural millennials, but urban and many suburban millennials have it in spades. Call it one of the outcomes of self-esteem based educations which didn't infect the more rural areas.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

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Could automation be the death knell for labor unions? From what I've been observing, I'd have to say the answer is yes.

The labor unions have been worried about automation for decades, but it hasn't been until recently the cost and sophistication of automation has reached the point where more and more jobs traditionally done by union members can be done through automation for a fraction of the cost.

Even traditionally non-union jobs are being replaced by automation, partly due to artificially increased labor costs caused by local minimum wage laws that raised the price of labor to the point where automation costs less. We've certainly seen that in the fast food industry. As benefits costs continue to rise, I expect we'll see even more of this occurring.

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Apparently one city in Florida has decided it doesn't need any laws or the Constitution any more and can rule by decree.

The City of Lake Worth, Florida decided to attack a church requiring it to have a business license despite local ordinances saying the church was not required to do so.

Apparently [City Commissioner Andy] Amoroso doesn't understand the concept that people don't need his permission or the City's permission to meet and worship. It's that whole pesky First Amendment thing, you know.

Yeah, that whole freedom of speech and religion can be quite confusing to those in office, so it doesn't surprise me that rather than following the law it's far easier to just make up new ones on the fly.

That always works well.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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And here's yet another example of how the whole "freedom of speech" thingy in the US Constitution confuses people, this time at UC Irvine.

In this case a student association wants all flags, particularly the American flag, banned form an "inclusive place" on campus because they are "symbols of patriotism or weapons for nationalism."

Personally I think these kids are idiots. Darleen Click has no problem with them doing that "as long as the "students" forgo all American taxpayer money ..." Yeah, that would work for me as well, but we know these same students would then scream about how we're "oppressing them" because we won't fund their anti-American indoctrination.

What a bunch of hypocrites.

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And that's the (abbreviated) news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where boats are still covered with snow, the ice on the lake is still three feet thick, and where spring is around 12 days away.
I had thought to write about one of the more pressing matters facing our nation or our world, but after reading this, I realized both just might be doomed.

When those who claim they are fighting racism start stating that things like food, language, globull warmening, and our moms are all racist concepts, then I know someone has let all of the lunatics out of the asylums. It is yet another push by the PC crowd to let us all know just how 'evil' they believe we are.

All of this crap basically boils down to the now multidecade long effort to change language to make sure no one is ever offending by anything anyone says. (But what if my purpose is to offend people richly deserving it? They've never adequately addressed that issue.) Unfortunately it has devolved to the point that everything is now considered offensive, not just language. Call the folks pushing this the perpetually offended and aggrieved.

These folks have lost their friggin' minds. They should be 1) committed to a mental hospital, or 2) ridiculed endlessly until they stop their nonsense, or 3) put out of our misery by giving them exactly what they want.

While the first two have a lot of appeal, they wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as giving these idiots exactly what they want. By that I mean let's give them an island someplace, one large enough to allow them to support themselves and build their perfect society. We'll give them all of the help they need to establish their society, and then quarantine them, sealing them away from the rest of the world so they can live without interference from the rest of us. It might also be worthwhile to have the island paradise wired for video and sound so we can watch the experiment unfold. Maybe even finance it by selling the TV rights to a network as the ultimate reality show. Then we let these perpetually offended folks live their lives.

My prediction? Within a few years their perfect society will descend into a totalitarian state with the governing elite imprisoning or executing those who are "impure". The outcome of this experiment will be terror, misery, and poverty. It will also provide an object lesson to those who would try to ignore history and try yet again to create a politically correct 'utopian' society. (Of course we could look at some existing examples like Venezuela or Zimbabwe, but many of these perpetually offended people - almost all of them socialists of one stripe or another - try to minimize or deflect the blatant failure of these societies.)

I have to admit that I tend to use the second option I listed above, heaping ridicule an scorn upon the poor deluded fools. All it takes is to point at them, laughing, and telling them "That is the funniest and most ludicrous thing I've ever heard!" After a while they go away.
If you're an American, thanks to this country's media ignoring of the country and its struggles with the Islamic take-over of northern Mali in western Africa, led by the "Blue Men of the Desert," the Tuareg, only to have France enter militarily to restore order, you may want to learn more. Mali is considered the ancestral home of America's blues music. And the fabled Tuareg are warrior gypsies, bleeding caravans passing through, disdaining labor in favor of poetry, and dancing beautifully when the spoils are in. Lord Byron would have been charmed, I'm sure.

The problem is that for Islam they're an ace in the hand for the region, which is ramping up in importance, called the Sahel. Just like informed Americans now know about Boko Haram, which I reported on very early, they'll learn more about this region and the Tuareg.

The latest Muslim atrocity is worrisome in that it occurred in the southern capital city of Bamako, which has been, until recently, a safe refuge. I even know a Jewish family that moved back there a handful of years ago from my New Hampshire town in the Lakes Region.

I have to ask, When will they be coming back?

A Twofer

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When it comes to both Obamacare and the Net Neutrality fraud, I don't think I could top this if I tried.

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