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.

What Causes Poverty?

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Poverty is not caused by a lack of money; rather; it's caused by bad behavior.

Here's an anecdote showing a typical liberal response to help Atlantic City over the decades. Hint: throwing money didn't help.

And the evidence is undeniable that since the fifty years of the Great Society programs, throwing money at the problem doesn't make a difference. We have a higher poverty rate now than when we started in the mid 1960s.

Remember the Rule of Three, especially important to reinforce to people on the left-hand-side of the IQ bell curve. To almost guarantee not being poor do three things: 1) graduate from high school or complete the GED; 2) get married before siring children; and, 3) work a job, any job, for at least a year. On a related note, the late great social scientist James Q. Wilson writes,

Former Clinton advisor William Galston sums up the matter this way: you need only do three things in this country to avoid poverty--finish high school, marry before having a child, and marry after the age of 20. Only 8 percent of the families who do this are poor; 79 percent of those who fail to do this are poor.
No, not really. That's why right-to-work legislation has gone down to defeat. Workers should have the freedom to choose. Calling such an idea "radical ideology," as Democratic Party Chairman of NH Raymond Buckley does, is odd. Twenty-four states have already embraced this concept.

Unions survive by thuggery and coercion. Cast and crew found out first-hand by their treatment at the hands of my distinctly classless Teamster brothers in Massachusetts.

And comparing the troubles of pro-union, high-tax Illinois to right-to-work Indiana, it appears that freedom of association attracts both jobs and people.
As the national debt keeps growing because our government can't seem to spend within its means, one has to ask how much longer our once free enterprise state turned welfare state can support the increasing number of recipients with a shrinking number of taxpayers? Not much longer, if Michael Tanner is right.

According to calculations by Harvard's Greg Mankiw, based on data from the Office of Management and Budget, roughly 60 percent of Americans receive more in government benefits than they pay in federal taxes. A Tax Foundation study suggests that as many as 70 percent of Americans are net recipients of government largesse. Those numbers will only grow worse in the future.

These numbers should scare us for two reasons. A healthy economy cannot realistically depend on an ever-shrinking number of people to produce the wealth that will be distributed to the larger population. As Margaret Thatcher reputedly said about the problem facing modern welfare states, eventually they "always run out of other people's money."

When government funded entitlements take up a bigger piece of the budget every year, the point will be reached when the government itself won't have the funds it needs in order to perform even its constitutionally mandated functions. Almost every penny collected in taxes or borrowed from others will go to paying the entitlements - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Veteran's benefits, government pensions, food stamps, subsidized housing, and hundreds of other 'benefits' the government provides - leaving very little left over to perform the duties the government should be performing. Think it won't happen? Recent history proves otherwise. All one has to do is look at the recent examples of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. All of those countries were forced into taking severe austerity measures because they "ran out of other people's money." Greece was the most hard hit, with many government-paid entitlements cut back or eliminated entirely. Thousands of government employees lost their jobs because there was no money to pay them. The Greek economy, already on shaky ground, collapsed. Only bailouts by the EU helped them survive. Unlike Greece, we have no one to bail us out.

Some may think all we have to do is increase taxes, but when we've already reached the point of diminishing returns where raising taxes will actually decrease the amount of revenue collected and have a negative effect on the economy. That will push some in government to raise taxes again which will do nothing but fuel the vicious death spiral that ends up with a bankrupt government and an all but moribund economy.

A perfect example of one of the long standing benefits that will have to be curtailed is Social Security. If the taxes collected from workers had been invested in simple interest bearing accounts or mutual funds rather than spent as fast as they came in, Social Security would be solvent and almost every retiree would have a sizable stipend to support them in old age. Because they weren't the money needed to pay benefits in the not too distant future won't be there. I doubt I'll see a penny of the money I've paid into the system since I was 15 years old.

Only a major upheaval in our system will force Congress to make the needed changes to prevent our growing welfare system from collapsing and taking our economy with it. Without those changes a repeat of the situation in Greece will be the best case scenario and Atlas Shrugged will be the worst case. Neither is an attractive outcome.
Once again all I need to do to find posting fodder is turn to one of our local newspaper's Letters section and one or two will present themselves that deserve a response...usually ridicule pointing out the author's ignorance - willful or not - about the realities behind their accusations.

The latest perpetrator, one Paul, writes:

I know a little bit about the time of the $787 billion stimulus plan.

At that time banks, the insurance companies behind the banks and the U.S. automobile industry were all in trouble. The stock market was below 7,000 and we were losing jobs at an alarming rate.

Today our financial institution are stable, the stock market is flirting with 17,000 and the private sector has been growing jobs every month since the middle of 2009. The U.S. automobile industry is alive and kicking.

As for the so called "Disastrous Obamacare" please look at the numbers. Thousands and thousands of people without insurance now have insurance. They have a chance at better health care and now have a better chance at early detection of serious illness. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) saves lives.

As to Paul's first point, almost everyone, including a lot of Democrats, know the $787 billion was wasted taxpayer money. Of that total, only $55 billion had any direct effect on the economy as it went towards actual work, in this case the repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure and the creation of new infrastructure. It was a drop in the bucket. The rest? Payoffs to Obama supporters, crony capitalists, and grifters who took hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and pissed them away, creating no new jobs, no new economic activity, but a boatload of new debt our children and grandchildren will have to pay off. The recovery of the stock market happened in spite of the stimulus, not because of it.

Of the two auto companies that went into bankruptcy, one of them - GM - was bailed out illegally by the President, who unconstitutionally interfered with the normal bankruptcy proceedings as a payoff to Big Labor. Chrysler survived because it was bought by Fiat. Ford was smart and didn't go bankrupt or require a government bailout. Kudos to them.

And as far as the stock market recovery, all it signifies at this point is the recovery in the value of assets and nothing more. That the Dow Jones is around 17,000 points is not an indicator of the health of the economy. It does not signify the jobless rate (the U6 unemployment rate, not the oft touted and totally bogus U3 rate), nor actual economic activity.

Next, his crowing about how Obamacare his provided insurance to "thousands and thousands" ignores the "millions and millions" who lost their health insurance because of Obamacare and now have to pay much higher premiums for 'new' policies that provide less coverage, won't let them keep their doctor or use the local hospital. As an added insult, access to health insurance does not automatically equate to access to health care. A lot of medical practices aren't taking new patients, with or without health insurance. Others that are may be an hour or two drive away. So it helped "thousands and thousands" at the cost of hurting "millions and millions". Yeah, that was a great tradeoff, and we still haven't seen all the effects as some mandates have been postponed - again unconstitutionally by Obama - and others due to go into effect at the first of the year will knock a lot of employers and their workers for a loop as new taxes, fees, and other requirements kick in.

Before praising the success of the stimulus and Obamacare, maybe Paul should have looked into all the effects rather than just the positive ones. I think he would have found the negative far outweighed the positive.

Emily Does Freddie Proud

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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.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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It was a wonderful weekend here in our home town, with Old Home Day taking place Saturday and great summer weather on Sunday. Not that the weather Saturday wasn't good, being in the upper 70's, but there was some cloudiness that made it feel a little cool during mid afternoon. If that's the worst I can say about the weekend, then you know it was a good one.

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Stacy McCain posts about the Madness of "Gender Theory", its roots in fascism (which he describing even if he doesn't realize it), and the thorough brain-washing of radical feminists. All one has to do is read their screeds and you will come away with the same conclusion as Stacy:

No normal person talks this way. People must be taught to babble this ideological nonsense, which always reminds me of George Orwell's aphorism: "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that; no ordinary man could be such a fool."

Then again many of the self-anointed intellectuals are so disconnected from the rest of the population they have no understanding that it is they who are the fools. Then again, being an intellectual does not imply they have intelligence.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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Eric the Viking has this one right.

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Kevin Williamson asks "Who lost the cities?"

The answer can be found in places like Detroit, San Francisco, Chicago, Newark, Patterson, Camden, and an increasingly long list of cities. The common denominator has been decades of institutionalized racism perpetrated by one Democrat administration after another, making promises and buying votes with money they had to take from the productive citizens and businesses, driving them out and drying up the supply of other people's money. The race-baiters and hucksters have made sure they get their cut even as they betray the very people they supposedly represent. If the people they want to help actually managed to make it out of the perpetual cycle of poverty, these same folks would lose their constituency and their income, so it's in their best interest to keep the downtrodden in that state, their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

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AVI delves into the issue of the differences between liberals and conservatives and how the respective groups spread their beliefs to others (socially versus intellectual argument and reasoning) . While I don't agree with everything he posits, I have to say that for the most part he's dead on target.

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I agree with Bird Dog 100% on this matter in regards to ordering at Dunkin Donuts...or anywhere else, for that matter.

Don't wait until you're at the cashier to make up your mind what it is you want to order and, if there's a long line behind you, think twice about 'custom' orders that take a lot of time to order and make, okay?

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It's only bad when the GOP does this to Liberals. If it's the other way around it's perfectly OK, right?

Unsealed documents are revealing the political corruption in Wisconsin behind the "John Doe" investigations into supporters of Republican Governor Scott Walker.

Did they really think they were going to get away with it? Of course they did, just as it's been going in in neighboring Illinois for decades. But Wisconsin isn't Illinois and the Democrats got caught pushing malicious investigations with the sole purpose of suppressing any support for GOP candidates and office holders.

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And that's the (abbreviated) news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the last full weekend of summer is fading away, the kids are returning to school this week, and where summer weather is expected to hang on for at least a few more days.
Now that the narrative on the shooting of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri is starting to unravel, one has to wonder if when the entire truth is revealed whether it will quell the unrest seen there or spur on even more violence.

It has already been seen that the so-called "Gentle Giant", Michael Brown, wasn't as gentle as some believe, having been an active participant of a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store with his friend, the same friend who was with him when Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson confronted the pair as they were walking down the middle of a street, asking them to get out off the street and onto the sidewalk.

Allegations have been made that the shooting of Brown by Wilson was unprovoked and racially motivated, but now it appears that Wilson may have been beaten by Brown, evidenced by the broken bones in his face.

Somehow I doubt that even if there was video of the altercation from multiple viewing angles with the video showed Brown attacking Officer Wilson in his vehicle and Wilson responding with deadly force that the calls for Wilson's death would lessen, particularly with the media egging on the residents and protesters in Ferguson. It doesn't fit the "America is the most racist country in the world" narrative.

Frankly, I will wait until all the investigations have been finished and the conclusions made public. Until then no one really knows what happened that fateful night in Ferguson.
Received via e-mail:

Oil train.jpg
How many more 5'6" leaf blowers from Central America do we need?

We have been given the mantra at state-supported institutions that diversity is a good thing. Peter Wood effectively writes about this "invented" concept. Several years ago Robert Putnam, a liberal held in high repute, finally released the data of his very large study, with dim results. According to Steve Sailer Putnam sat on the results for several years, despondent.

Blogger Luke Ford fleshes out as only he can do the ill effects of what the out-of-control immigration and low white birth rates are giving us.

The U.S. is committing suicide by all this unskilled, non-white immigration, both legal and illegal. I agree with John Derbyshire: manipulating people by feel-good stories is no way to tell the truth, journalists.

We were told the truth way back in 1991 by Lawrence Auster in his devastating booklet The Path to National Suicide, which he recounts the genesis of here.
As the costs of video programming has been climbing, the number of subscribers to that programming on cable and satellite systems has been dropping. That's no secret, nor has it been unexpected. A side effect has been the number of subscribers to broadband has been climbing as more consumers drop their video services and use video streaming services like, Netflix, Hulu+, Amazon Prime, iTunes, and others instead.

As this change has been happening it's been inevitable that at some point the number of video subscribers would drop below the number of broadband subscribers. That point has been reached.

Leichtman Research Group (LRG) says the largest U.S. cable TV operators now have more high speed access customers than they do video customers, according to  Bruce Leichtman, LRG president and principal analyst.

Not only are the largest telcos and cable companies dramatically changing their revenue sources, but the basic "product" has become a bundle of services, anchored by broadband services of two types: high speed Internet access and video entertainment.

The "video entertainment" is the aforementioned streaming video and its share has been growing at a rate far above that of regular video subscription falloff.

It would not surprise me if at some point cable operators stop carrying traditional video programming altogether and switch all of their operations over to broadband.
This is how rockets are supposed to come back to Earth...sort of.


This was the first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9R after launching the ORBCOMM satellite, re-entering the atmosphere, and soft-landing on the ocean.

Future launches will attempt a soft-landing on the ground, something that, if successful, can further decrease the cost of launching payloads into orbit. There will be no need to use a new first stage booster for every launch, something that can dramatically reduce the costs and turnaround times associated with space flight.

(H/T NextBigFuture)
Wisconsin, the home of progressivism early in the Twentieth Century, is now leading the way with conservatism. Truth is stranger than fiction. And I'm keeping abreast of it by being a faithful listener to Charlie Sykes on WTMJ in Milwaukee. He and Jeff Wagner, along with a Green Bay's Jerry Bader, form a vibrant talk radio culture, reminding me of Boston in the late 1980s of Gene Burns, David Brudnoy, and Jerry Williams--may they all rest in peace.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke was victorious, notwithstanding the anti-Second Amendment money Bloomberg poured into the campaign to Clarke's feckless opponent and white liberal hysterics to the black man's law-and-order approach; Gov. Scott Walker is simply the most promising Reaganite politician in the country today, bar none, and is running against an empty suit woman who inherited Trek bicycles; and Glenn Grothman, a policy wonk and erudite conservative politician, has emerged victorious in a razor-thin, 200 vote lead in a crowded field of two other well-known conservatives to replace 35-year incumbent Tom Petri in Wisconsin's Sixth District.

It may have been in no small part to Charlie Sykes's endorsement, an influential talk show host.

Grothman makes provocative statements--like a blogger!--such as Head Start is a waste of money since there is no evidence it does long term good. The effects quickly fade. This has been shown to be true over and over again.

Politfact, the left-leaning fact-checking website, says he's partially wrong. But the by government's own reckoning, a HHS report, which indicates early education initiatives fail to delivery on their promises, Grothman is absolutely correct.

But a politician who isn't afraid to court controversy is extremely rare, unheard of in NH, land of milquetoast pols. How I'd love to pull the lever for a guy like Grothman!

Kudos to a guy willing to take a stand that will make the Huffington Post / Daily Beast crowd go apoplectic--but be backed up by facts. Grothman doesn't watch TV; rather, he studies policy and reads. Sounds like my kind of guy, one who lets the data lead him. He is also extremely wise on his plea for re-reforming welfare.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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It's been a fifty-fifty weekend here in the Lakes Region, at least in regards to the weather.

Nice, though a bit cool for August on Saturday and cloudy/sunny/showery today, again with temps below normal. Usually we see temperatures in the upper 80's and occasionally the 90's in the first half of August with 70's and 80's for the second half. But instead both the 80's and 90's have been replaced by the 60's and 70's, with August feeling more like mid-September. Then again, it has been a cooler than normal summer with only a few days hitting the 90's.

It has been quite humid through the summer which has meant air conditioning has been used to dry out the air rather than cooling it, and even then we used the A/C here at The Manse sparingly.

I'm hoping the cooler than normal summer isn't a harbinger of a colder than normal winter.

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You know people aren't buying the indictment of Governor Rick Perry when even Democrats are saying it's bogus and politically motivated.

I would expect the governor of my home state, Maggie Hassan, to do exactly the same thing as Rick Perry under the same circumstances and I would not consider those actions to be criminal. Perry was doing his job within the scope of his duties and everyone except the dipshit special prosecutor in Travis County, Texas knows it.

As Jonathan Adler calls it, it's "the criminalization of politics."

It's time to disbar some of these overly ambitious and politically motivated prosecutors.

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As a follow-on to my post yesterday, there's this from Commentary showing us that the Presidency has broken Obama even as he's broken the nation. All he wants to be now is an ex-president. His timing certainly sucks considering he's been backing away from his duties just when he needs to be at the top of his game. The world is descending into chaos and all he wants to do is take his ball and go home.

He apparently likes the perks and the trappings of the office but not the duties, finding them boring or beyond his abilities. But then aren't all narcissists like that?

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I must admit I have conflicting feelings over this story.

Verizon has been accused of allowing its legacy copper telephone network decay in order to force customers over to FiOS, its fiber optic network.

There are a number of advantages to the the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System), the primary one being that it will still function when many others won't because it supplies its own power, unlike the FiOS system where a backup battery at each customer's home will run the equipment for only a few hours if power fails. After that battery is discharged there's no phone. In many cases that's more than sufficient, but what of the power is out for a day, a week, two weeks, or more? POTS will still work and FiOS and cell phones will be nothing but decorations.

On the other hand I can see why Verizon would be pushing to move customers off of their copper network: it's expensive to maintain and becoming more so as the numbers of people with regular landlines has been falling, and doing so for years. Up to 40% of households no longer have landlines and are using cell phones exclusively. (Mine is one of them, having dropped our landline over 4 years ago. It made no sense to pay for a rarely used landline and our cell phones, so we got rid of it.) As soon as the last of the POTS customers are switched over to fiber, Verizon can decommission their old switching systems which means they'll have that much less in the way of legacy equipment to maintain. It also means they can sell off their copper network, either to a competitor or for recycling. (The copper is worth a lot of money on the scrap metal market.)

I'm sure there were plenty of people who didn't like the change over from manually switched systems (operators) to automatically switched systems (dial phone), or from dial phone systems to Touch Tone phone systems. There are always those who are comfortable with "the way it's always been." But some of that might be habit or nostalgia, and not an deeply ingrained refusal to embrace change. I know when we started discussing dropping our landline that I was reluctant, but I came to realize it was more habit and familiarity rather than an actual need to keep it, so out it went.

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I have to agree with Glenn Reynolds on his take on casinos. They do end up having a negative effect on the local economy as well as a rise in crime.

A number of Democrats here in New Hampshire have been pushing for casino gambling for years but have been held off, with a number of bills either being defeated in the legislature or vetoed by the governor. All they see is the revenues to be generated for the state but conveniently ignore or dismiss the negative effects that more often than not outweigh any economic gains.

Our present governor is all for casino gambling, having gone so far as to use projected revenues from casino licensing and parimutuel taxes as part of her budgeting process for the present biennial budget, but the legislature slapped her down, with the state senate killing casino gambling yet again.

Frankly, I don't want to see casinos in New Hampshire. I don't want it to become yet another "Me, too!" state, falling down the rat hole so many others have and finding out that gambling isn't such a great moneymaker once all of the costs are factored in.

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Meet the new "gringos."

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Mike over at Cold Fury delves into how Progressives have been shredding the US Constitution since 1913.

It is the actions started by Woodrow Wilson that have led our self-proclaimed 'betters' to push the idea that the Constitution is a "living document", meaning they believe it can be reinterpreted at will and that the amendment process is unnecessary and too slow. That also means that the Constitution means nothing and that the rule of law instead becomes rule by decree, something that always backfires and crushes freedom, even for those who think it's a great idea.

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Matt Walsh crushes a self-centered entitled jerk who believes that Walmart somehow owes him a lot more money for a job he admits he puts in very little effort.

Yeah, like that will happen.

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Star Parker reminds us that Obama is one of those people who still believes wealth is a zero-sum game. That merely shows he isn't the "most intelligent man in the room." Then again, he never was. But that never stopped him from believing it.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer continues, the start of school is less than two weeks away, and where plans for the upcoming winter are already being made.

Phoning It In

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As the clock on the Obama Administration winds down (not fast enough for me...and about 300 million other Americans), it's easy to look back to 2009 and discern the patterns and style of governing by the present occupant of the White House. I think I can describe it in two words:

Slacker chic.

The Won made all kinds of noise about remaking America, put forth all kinds of plans, threw trillions of dollars at the 'problems' he believed were plaguing this nation...and nothing happened. He was the "Idea Guy", not the "Get It Done Guy". He must have figured that as long as he had the vision that others would make the vision come to fruition. The problem is that these 'others' were no more capable of making any of it happen then he since most of them, like him, had little or no real world experience in actually doing things that mattered. That's what happens when you fill your cabinet, advisory positions, and 'czar' offices with academics rather than with people who have experience in getting things done, particularly in the private sector.

With one failure to execute after another, Obama looked increasingly like he was just phoning it in, not much different from a bunch of stoners phoning in a pizza order after doing ounce after ounce of choom and trying to quench their monster munchies.

The Won is a slacker, and he always has been. He just hid it long enough to get elected into one office after another. Once he actually had do something, he was lost. Not surprising, is it? After all he's never had to do anything his entire life, so he wasn't prepared to execute the duties of the highest office in the land. As he approaches the middle of his second (and last) term, he isn't even trying anymore, just going through the motions and making appearances at fund-raisers and on the links.

January 2017 can't come soon enough.
The possible merger between Comcast and Time-Warner is still looking like a possibility and I, for one, think it shouldn't happen. The last thing any of us need is and even bigger Comcast, particularly in light of their continued contempt for their customers.

How is it I can make the claim they have contempt for their customers? It's simple, really, as there are numerous examples of how poorly their customer service performs. One of the most recent was the poor guy who was put on hold for over three hours until the Comcast office closed. His crime? He wanted to cancel his subscription.

That's Aaron Spain of Chicago (holla!), who waited on hold with Comcast about as long as it takes some people to run a marathon, three and a half hours. Upon notifying Comcast that he was trying to cancel his service, he was in fact put on hold long enough that the Comcast offices had closed while the elevator music continued to play. Aaron confirmed this by calling back into Comcast with a different phone and getting the automated message that all the people tasked with helping him cancel his service had gone home for the day.

Now, you might be wondering why someone would wait on hold for three and a half hours with Comcast to begin with. I like to think that Aaron saw this as some kind of completely idiotic test of wills between a megalithic corporation and himself, and he'd be damned if he wasn't going to win. Call it the Chicago spirit. Call it boredom. Call it the opportunity for a great YouTube video.

Whatever you call it, don't call Comcast about it, because they'll put you on hold until they leave for the day.

He isn't the only one who has suffered at the hands of Comcast customer service while trying to cancel some or all of their services. While it is understood that any cable company will try to convince a customer canceling their service will try to convince them to remain as a customer, it appears Comcast takes this retention effort a little too far, with one customer service representative having gone so far as to insult and become belligerent with one customer trying to cancel his service. Even customers who are canceling due to a move out of a Comcast service area have a tough time of it, with Comcast charging them "Unreturned Equipment fees" for equipment they had already returned. More than a few commenters on the equipment fees have suggested a number of strategies to prevent this kind of abuse, running from making a video recording of the equipment being returned (including a return receipt from the customer service rep), demanding a "Retrieval Kit" (basically a pre-paid box for shipping your set-top box/cable modem back to them), or demanding that they send a tech out to retrieve the equipment since a tech had delivered and installed the equipment in the first place. (They hate the last one because a truck roll is always expensive and the equipment is probably worth less than the cost of a tech going out to retrieve it.)

Comcast has to get its house into order. If not, there's no way their merger with Time-Warner Cable should be allowed.

This Certainly Explains It

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Now we know the origin of the term "Feminazi".

Feminazi Origin.jpg
Click on image to enbiggen


(Found in the comments to one of Stacy McCain's posts)

Women Against Feminism

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This was a pleasure for me to go through. Some of the placards have, to my mind, compelling reasons not to be a feminist--even if one is female. HT: Oz Conservative

On a personal note, my wife and I picked up our third--and likely last--minivan, a 2009 Honda Odyssey EX-L with satellite navigation. The previous owners, who had traded it in at the wonderful Irwin Dealership in Laconia, neglected to remove their names and home address from the system. My fifteen-year-old son did so during the maiden voyage. Be careful, people!
While we've been waiting for the future to arrive, it snuck up on us without us realizing it. Need proof? Then peruse these 22 pictures that show it is indeed here.

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