Unless you've been in coma over the last year or just returned from being off-planet, then you know gas prices plummeted and, even though they are creeping back up, are about $1 a gallon cheaper than this time last year.

One would think that with fuel prices in general being a lot lower than they have been that people would be spending some of the money they've saved because of lower fuel prices on things they've needed (or wanted) but had to put off when prices were higher. But that hasn't been the case.

...40% of Americans are using the money they've saved from lower gas prices to pay for necessities like groceries and rent payments.

Fewer than 20% of people are banking that extra cash, and fewer than 5% are investing it. Bankrate found that only about one in seven of people are spending that extra money on discretionary purchases like dinner out or a vacation. "Household budgets remain very tight," McBride says. "People don't have a lot of extra money to throw around, and that's why we've had this slow growth."

For months, Americans have displayed a reluctance to loosen their purse strings even as gas prices fell. The recent increase in prices at the pump has only confirmed what many people suspected -- that those super-low prices weren't here to stay. More importantly, paying for necessities or socking away those dollars isn't helping the economy the way economists had hoped.

That wages haven't grown might also be a part of the problem.

While the government reports the Consumer Price Index hasn't changed all that much over the past 6 years or so, it must be remembered that things like the cost of food and fuel aren't part of the CPI calculations. Though the inflation rate has appeared to be low, the actual rate was quite high once those two commodities were figured in to inflation. Even though gas prices have fallen, the cost of food has not, some of that caused by the continuing drought in California.

The lower fuel prices have certainly helped families stretch their dollars a little farther, it hasn't been a boon to the economy. As fuel prices rise again, most families will go back into full austerity mode and rein in their slightly higher spending once again.
Foam Nerf bullet with a tooth pick in it? Yep, that's dangerous, according to the brain-dead, common sense-absent zero tolerance policies.
I always have a good day if it starts with a rustic poop in the woods. I make sure to cover it properly, unlike some who don't.

I really, really hate it when my dogs roll in that stuff. Evidence here.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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After the little bit of rain we had last weekend everything has 'greened' up over the past week. Bare branches with just some buds on them have sprouted leaves and the countryside has exploded with green, along with the yellows, violets, and reds of flowers blooming.

Spring has finally sprung.


I saw this quote in a piece about another topic, but it perfectly illustrates my beliefs about sanity and insanity.

Insanity is the pursuit of delusion at all costs while sanity is the pursuit of reality at all costs.

That fit's in so well with Einstein's commentary on insanity:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result this time.

That is indeed the pursuit of delusion at all costs. Too bad none of our Progressive brethren understand that's exactly what they're doing, trying the same policies and strategies again and again even after watching them fail time after time. The expect that it will work this time because, after all, they're on the side of all that's right and good.

Yeah. Right.


Flopping Aces asks the important question: Who created ISIS?


As per usual, Dear Leader took an event that involved the death of a public figure and made it all about himself.

So what else is new?


Have you noticed that when climate scientists adjust climate data, they never explain why they need to adjust it? Could it be that without that 'adjustment', the data shows little or no change in things like temperature or sea level?

Why, exactly, is the satellite data "adjusted" in such a manner? The data is the data, yet, Warmist "scientists" will trot out all sorts of excuses as to why their adjustments are needed, though they never answer "why" the data ends up being so far above the reality of the raw data.

With no adjustments, there is no 'there' there.


Bird Dog dusts off this oldie and updates a little bit to keep it current.

If nothing else it serves as a lesson that observations colored by emotion can be drastically in error.


Some feminists really don't get it, nor will they ever get it because they live in an alternate universe of their own making where the laws of physics and biology are severely distorted out of all proportion.


Airbus may be trying to create a competitor for the venerable C-130 Hercules (in service since the 1950's and through numerous revisions and variations), but it isn't as easy or as cheap as they may have thought.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where green is breaking out all over, Monday won't be as nice as this past weekend, and where Memorial Day weekend fast approaches.
Wonder how far the paranoia has spread in regards to men being falsely accused of improprieties towards women?

Some male members of Congress are making sure they won't be alone with female staffers.

Can you blame them? Seeing how male college students are automatically assumed to be rapists, molesters, or unduly privileged due to their gender, it's no wonder male Congresscritters are taking the initiative before that sick psychopathy infects the halls of Congress as well.

One side effect of this CYA measure is that there are sure to be discrimination lawsuits filed against these defensive tactics because female staffers are not being allowed to spend one-on-one time with their male bosses. It's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation where in the end everyone loses.

Thank the Third Wave Feminazis for this particular debacle as it is wholly of their own making.
One has top wonder about the veracity of this video, specifically the one student who keeps changing the answers on the career placement test. Unfortunately I think it's probably accurate.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)
It is obvious to anyone readings this blog that posting by me has been sparse. A simple explanation: I had no connection to the 'Net due to circumstances beyond my control. Unexpected and unplanned time away from home, the lack of the laptop I usually use when I'm away, and no wired/wireless connection to the 'Net precluded any posting over the past three days.

It sucks.
The Left in the West has been more imbued with Marxist assumptions than they are willing to admit.

I remember the concept of a Nuclear Winter, which came out of nowhere in the early 1980s. A lot of the liberal talking heads, the hive mind, picked it up seemingly one day and bleated hysterical warnings--much like global warming today.

According to the prominent Russian defector "Comrade J," it was hatched by the KGB.

Now, Jack Kenney, NH's own--he used to have a column in the Union Leader--has a story that the powerful Catholic/Marxist "liberation theology" is another KGB creation. Wow.
Earlier last month, the Daily Telegraph's Sarah Knapton reported on the study conducted by Oxford University and Sweden's Karolinska Institute that linked a forty percent genetic component to reported sex crimes. Fathers and brothers of convicted of sex criminals are nearly five times more likely to have themselves committed a sex crime. LINK: Chris Brand

Thoughts On A Sunday

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It was a busy day for the WP clan yesterday. We gathered in a church yard in Connecticut to inter the remains of the WP Dad.

Though he had passed this past fall, it wasn't until yesterday he was laid in his final resting place. And while a solemn and bitter-sweet event, we remembered him with joy in our hearts for he was finally home.


It boggles my mind that there are so many people in America who seem perfectly willing to greatly restrict or even get rid of our First Amendment Right of free speech. They don't want speech they consider offensive to be uttered by anyone, with 'they' being the only arbiter of what's offensive and what's not.

Following their illogic on this matter, I feel it is their speech which is offensive, willfully ignorant, and purely emotion-driven. Should they succeed, they will find themselves in the cross-hairs of the state as there will be times they utter 'illegal' speech and find themselves locked away for 'counter-revolutionary and incendiary' speech. May the burden of their chains weigh heavily upon them.


This proves that Noam Chomsky is doing his best to bring about Orwell's 1984.

Then again Chomsky's always been a fascist, so it's no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention.


Maybe it's time to "tell [Ms.] Grundy to go fly a kite."

It's bad enough when white heterosexual male college students are automatically assumed to be violent rapists, but when a college professor sees them as the cause of all problems, then one has to wonder whether she's qualified to teach them or is capable of keeping her biased in check when grading them.

My guess is "no".


Court orders are for the "little people", not the US government.

As has been asked by Glenn Reynolds more than once, if the government doesn't feel the need to follow the law, then why should we?


Despite decades of effort to stop the "blame the victim" tactic when dealing with rape - "The notion that a rape victim deserved to be raped because she was wearing a tight outfit" - something that has, for the most part has been accomplished, that principle was abandoned wholeheartedly in regards to the two Islamofascist pinheads who decided they were going to shoot up a gathering of First Amendment supporters.

That they ended up dead and their plot thwarted is not what the Democrats are talking about. Instead, they're blaming the organizer of the event for the attack, basically saying "She was asking for it!"

The ugly Democrat double standard asserts itself yet again.


We finally got some rain this evening, the first appreciable rain in almost a month.

Like many areas around the country it's been dry, leaving the conditions right for brush fires. We've certainly experienced a few, though not like some parts of the country.

While the amount of rain we received won't solve the problem with dry conditions over the long run, it does mitigate them for the next day or two.


And that's the travel and thunderstorm abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the the lawns are still a bit brown, the brush piles are growing at the local dump, and where summerfolk are busy working on getting their summer camps ready.
One is supposed to hike 12 miles with full ruck sack and be combat ready in the U.S. Army test. IAh, she's not. Watch the video for yourself. It speaks volumes.

A saner society would be not like ours--not oozing with feminist sentiments, proclaiming, "You go, girls!" when it's obviously a charade. She's not combat ready and, as such, clearly fails regardless of her admirable ability to gut it past the finish line. HT: Thinking Housewife
Funny tweet by Hondo Carpenter, the Lansing, Mich.,-based sports reporter on Michigan State.
Something new to consider if you believe not vaccinating you children is the best thing to do: Measles makes you vulnerable to other deadly diseases.

Apparently the disease has two side effects:

First, it leaves the immune system in a weakened state for some weeks after the disease runs its course, assuming it doesn't kill the infected child.

Second, it gives the immune system "amnesia", meaning that immunities to other diseases a child may have had are gone. In effect, it resets the immune system so it doesn't have any experience with other diseases. Any other vaccinations or immunities built up from exposure to diseases have, in effect, never happened.

Some 650 children a year used to die from measles in the US. When mass vaccination came in after 1960, measles deaths plummeted. But oddly, so did childhood deaths from infectious disease generally, in every country where the measles vaccine was introduced. This has been a major mystery in public health: the vaccine was supposed to protect you from measles, and nothing else.

[Michael] Mina [of Emory University in Atlanta, George] and his colleagues used a complex statistical model to analyze child mortality records from the US, UK and Denmark in the decades before and after measles vaccination began. They found that infectious disease deaths did rise and fall depending on measles cases. In all three places, the timing of this surge exactly matched what would be expected if immune amnesia after measles lasted on average 27 months. The biggest killer was pneumonia, followed by diarrheal diseases and meningitis. (Note: I changed the spelling of some words from British to American spelling. - dce)

This means that it leaves someone vulnerable to diseases to which they were previously immune. It also means that one would have to go through the whole host of immunizations again in order to be protected. But this is assuming, of course, that their parents believe in vaccinations to begin with.

Many parents who reject vaccination do so because they believe having measles is healthier than being vaccinated against it. They might, however, reconsider if there's clear evidence that measles leaves a child vulnerable to pneumonia, meningitis or diphtheria.

Or not. "People who reject vaccines don't think in terms of evidence, so knowing this might not change their minds," says Paul Offit of the University of Pennsylvania, who fights vaccine denial. But then, he says, "people are compelled by fear more than reason"

Ah, yes. The "feelings, not facts" logic that has caused more bad decisions, bad policies, and more harm than just about anything other than war.
I just urged this on my students yesterday.

Guy is set to retire this June 19 after twenty years as superintendent of the Belknap County Jail, heading off to Florida. He's 45 years old. How can he do that? His retirement is much better than what's usually found in the private sector. It starts right away, apparently, for the guy. Nice, if one can get it.

So he lives for another forty years collecting on twenty-some-odd years' labor? Yep.

Not a sustainable policy, but most people aren't aware of this.

I'm a few years older and, I can assure you, no where _near_ retirement. And I've been working two jobs for over 18 years, one of which has been a professional, salaried one.

File under: Good If You Can Get It. My best friend and former West Point roommate is a dual double dipper, federal DOT and Army Reserves, and will soon retire at $125,000 and medical coverage.
DsJCp.jpgKarel Crawford, who taught my oldest driver's ed and whose husband is a retired state trooper--nice work if one can get it (see entry above)--just voted against SB 40, although it passed, and a week or so ago SB 116. SB 40 is an effort for NH to join 38 other states in protecting unborn babies from certain criminal activities perpetrated against the mother. My understanding is an example of which would be a man assaulting and killing a pregnant woman. Two lives struck down. Doesn't everyone realize that, except for the most hardened of callous feminist sensibilities?

What's a woman doing voting against the life of a fetus when she teaches drivers' ed? Hasn't she heard of a drunk driver killing a pregnant woman? Shouldn't the law recognize that that is even more heinous?
Ludwig van Mises:

The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.

Yup. I'd say that sums it up pretty well.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

Traffic Stupidity

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At first I thought it was an isolated incident. However this morning the same thing happened in exactly the same place.

What am I talking about?

Traffic. In this case the traffic on a local bypass.

Part of my route to and from work is on a bypass that goes around the city of Laconia, eliminating the need to go through the city in order to get from one side to the other. There's nothing new or exotic about that. What's different is that lately it seems a number of drivers on the bypass have lost their friggin' minds.

Generally when one is going to merge onto a limit access highway you are supposed to accelerate up to speed to match the speed of the traffic already on the highway. This is supposed to make it easier (and safer) to merge into traffic.

But what happens when one or more vehicles already on the highway decide they don't want to be 'stuck' behind the merging traffic and accelerate hard, bring their speed up by 15 to 20mph? One of three things will occur: the person trying to merge will either have to brake hard in order to prevent a collision, accelerate hard to make the merge, or collide with the jerk trying to prevent the merge.

What is it in a driver's psychology that makes them incapable allowing someone else to enter the highway without feeling the need to be in front of them? Is it competitiveness? Are they in some kind of hurry that even a few seconds delay will make them late? Or are they being jerks because they can be?

Let's face it, visibility for the driver trying to merge is limited. It isn't easy (or safe) to take one's eyes off of the road ahead for more than a fraction of a second to check the traffic behind and to one side when trying to merge on to a highway. If the traffic is moving at a steady pace it's easier to judge whether or not one can safely merge. But if the speed of the traffic changes as it approaches the on-ramp, it screws up the timing of the person trying to merge and creates a dangerous situation for both the person trying to merge and the idiot trying to make sure they stay in front. .
I have seen this scenario three times in the past three days, one of which was me having to take evasive action when the person on the highway felt they absolutely had to be in front of me, punching the accelerator on their Mustang and forcing me to abort the merge with a heavy application of the brakes. What made this action even stupider is that the Mustang driver then had to apply their brakes to keep from running into the traffic already in front of them on the highway. In other words, that less than swift move on their part bought them all of a fraction of a second in the bigger scheme of things, traffic-wise.

The summer-like weather has arrived, with temps in the 70's today and perhaps 80 tomorrow. We're not complaining by any means because it means the furnace won't be running again any time soon.

The weather has also meant more yard work, an ongoing task from now until fall. The harsh winter did far more damage to a lot of the perennial vegetation than I had originally thought, requiring a lot of pruning of tree limbs and removal of some shrubbery around The Manse.

Work has started on the boat, with the removal of the winter cover (again) and replacement of the canvas snap cover over the cockpit. Scrubbing away the inevitable mildew has also commenced, with a thorough cleaning of the carpet on the deck of the cockpit in the works.


Elizabeth Price Foley wonders whether Obama is actually going to create his "national" police force in contravention of Congress and the Constitution.

Then again, we already know Obama has no regard for the Constitution and never has. I figure if he succeeds in creating his own Geheim Staatz Polizei that the Obamajugend won't be far behind.

What makes all of this incredible to me is that he has gone out of his way to make sure that relatively small civil/criminal matters have devolved into crises he can exploit. To borrow a term from yet another language, I have to wonder whether all of this is what the Russians call maskirovka, using it as a means to further erode our rights up until the point where he can declare a state of emergency, cancel elections, or if this takes place after the 2016 elections, declares that the state of emergency makes it "unwise" for a new administration to take over until the emergency is over. Of course we know the "emergency" will never end, meaning neither will his reign.

We have to remember that most dictatorships are not often imposed by armed revolution but by the process of open and free elections, whereupon the elected leader changes the laws, in many cases by decree, until there are no more rights for the citizens and the nation becomes yet another police state. And those who elected the leader will wholly support many of the leader's actions...until he starts imprisoning and killing them. Then we'll hear the refrain "But we didn't know!" Yeah. Sure.


This makes me like Disney even less than I already do.

Walt must be spinning in his grave, knowing that his creation has become yet another corporation supporting indentured servitude of foreign workers.


On the bright side, we can take a look at the Seven Big Failed Environmental Predictions to see just how far off the mark they were, (Hint: They weren't even close.)


David Starr beats down the Sunday talking heads who bleated on about Baltimore and what needs to be done to fix the problem.

That Baltimore has been a one-party city (Democrat) since the Eisenhower Administration might have something to do with it.


Bogie, the Model!


Gateway Pundit asks "How does Barack Obama manage to insult and pi$$ off one group after another of working Americans?"

One has to remember he really doesn't give a rat's ass about working Americans despite the platitudes he's mouthed over the years. It's always all about him, period. If we keep those two points in mind it explains a lot.


As if we need yet another reason to hate compact fluorescent light bulbs.

A study performed by Stony Brook University in New York has found "close, prolonged exposure to compact fluorescent bulbs "exacerbated skin conditions," including skin cancer."

Dr. Miriam Rafailovich, who conducted the study at Stony Brook...told First Coast News that she believes there are concerns with prolonged exposure to CFLs. "What we found was that these bulbs would emit radiation where if you were exposed to them you got your daily dose not in eight hours, but in minutes," she says. Her research found that cells exposed to close range compact fluorescent bulbs, "stopped growing and changed shape." The cause appears to be cracking or deterioration of bulb's protective white lining, which the study found could allow UVA and UVC to escape.

Yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences coming around to bite our wonderful federal government in the ass.


If anyone really needs to understand New Englanders, and specifically we tried-and-true old fashioned Yankees, this should give you some insight.

In regards to the picture accompanying the linked post, I think just about everyone in my extended family has a table and chairs very much like the ones in the photo. I even have a lot of the family pewter dating back to the late 1700's/early 1800's, much like what is seen in the background of the photo as well as an oriental rug also like the one in the photo. What I don't have (at the moment) is an old New England house. I have a new New England house built to look vaguely like an old New England house.


The more I hear about Scott Walker, the more I like him.

The latest bit of news that has me liking him: He's in debt, just like me and millions of other Americans.

He's not living high off the hog, has bills to pay just like we do (mortgage, car loan, credit card, etc), which tells me he's much more in tune with the problems those of us in flyover country have to deal with every day. (Yes, I consider New Hampshire part of flyover country because we are looked down upon by the flatlanders from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.) He's not wealthy (I'm probably a little better off than he is, financially, but that's not saying much), unlike many of his potential opponents for the GOP nomination. He doesn't have the financial baggage so many of the others do.


Yet another victim of the 'living wage' movement comes to light.

I'm wondering how long it will take for this really bad idea to die the death it so richly deserves. This is an experiment that has been tried before and failed miserably. (France has found out that between the so-called living wage and draconian employment laws and regulations that neither has helped the chronically high unemployment rate, particularly among the young and immigrant population.)


This shouldn't surprise anyone who's been paying attention.

It turns out that your 'green' cars won't actually save you any green and that they aren't as green as the Greens would have you think.

It's all about the narrative, not the facts.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the boat yards are busy prepping boats for the upcoming boating season, former frost heaves are slowly disintegrating into broken pavement, and where never-ending yard work continues.
Alex Epstein explains why we are not destroying the environment, using a simple time-traveler from the 1750's to prove his point.

While we have had effects on the environment, in some cases very bad effects on the environment, we passed the point where we have been lessening the effects some 40 years ago. The air is cleaner than it was. The rivers, ponds, and lakes are also cleaner than they were. The effects of pesticides and fertilizers in use have been diminishing as we have become smarter in their use.

Are we done in regards to reversing the effects of our past sins? No, of course not. But we are making progress.

However we must not buy the clap-trap passing as wisdom that we must hie back to the "good old days" of the 18th century in order to "save" the Earth. That way lies death, disease, and privation. Then again, some of the so-called environmentalists would see that as a feature, not a bug...unless they were also forced to live that way.

(H/T Walter Hudson)
Conservatives are apt to blame liberalism for the demise of major metropolitan areas. Glenn Reynolds does this morning, linking to a NR piece by Kevin Williamson.

There's certainly truth to this point of view. Indeed, I became a conservative in the late 1980s after reading Charles Murray's book, Losing Ground, empirically showing the welfare state ravaging families, principally black.

UPDATE: N. D. B. Connolly, a cultural Marxist writer for the NYT, says not to blame black culture for the rioting and property destruction in Baltimore. He blames the legacy of slavery, causing "the continued profitability of racism." Riiight. What's more profitable, Mr. Connolly (a young African-American male), is reverse discrimination against white males. And why do Asians, presumably also suffering mild racism, outperform whites?

However, unpleasant truth be told, there are liberal areas that continue to work, even prosper, notwithstanding their liberal/progressive politics. The meaningful variable that no one wants to talk about is whether or not there is the existence of a large African-American population. I think Paul Kersey's point is valid, although most won't be able to accept it:

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