Monday, November 29, 2010

Food Court Flash Mob

We've all heard of flash mobs and the like. This is one I think you'll enjoy, particularly in light of the coming Christmas season.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Have We Forgotten The Lesson Of Thanksgiving?

I could have gone with my traditional Thanksgiving Day post, a repost of one of Andrew Sullivan's Thanksgiving Day posts from long ago, but this year I felt I needed to take a different tack and remind you of the forgotten lesson of the first Thanksgiving.

Had today's political class been in power in 1623, tomorrow's holiday would have been called "Starvation Day" instead of Thanksgiving. Of course, most of us wouldn't be alive to celebrate it.

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. But the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn't happen.

Long before the failure of modern socialism, the earliest European settlers gave us a dramatic demonstration of the fatal flaws of collectivism. Unfortunately, few Americans today know it.

The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share the work and produce equally.

That's why they nearly all starved.

Is this Thanksgiving Day message a politically motivated one? Of course it is. After all, the history of the first Thanksgiving gives us much to ponder about present day conditions and those wishing to repeat the failed social experiment tried by the first English settlers in New England.

One of the reasons the Pilgrims nearly starved to death was because unlike today, they had no one else's largess to 'appropriate' in order to survive. It wasn't like they had the means to take what Indians had from them. (Yes, I wrote 'Indians'. I refuse to use politically correct terms just to not offend those who would gladly be offended on behalf of the original indigenous inhabitants of the North American continent.)

This experiment in socialism/communalism proved the innate falsehood of “From each according his ability, to each according his needs,” as well as hard proof of the tragedy of the commons. The first illustrates the shortsightedness of Marx and his followers who, either by chance or choice, ignored the one thing that made Marx's theories totally unworkable – human nature. The second defines that shortsightedness. If nothing else, the Pilgrims were the first society to try living under what would later become part of Marx's theory. Because they were an insular society at the time (there were no real neighbors to go to for aid as there are today), the falsity of the theory was there for everyone who survived the famine to see.

But do the modern day socialists/communalists/communists take a lesson from that failure? Of course not. Over the past 100 years or so they have tried to run the experiment again and again, which always ends with the same tragic results, but at the cost of millions of lives. Members of our own government seem to think they can make it work when history proves otherwise. They have refused to learn from lesson of the first Thanksgiving. I have no doubt they will continue to ignore it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Let The Budgeting Begin!

The budget season has started here in New Hampshire, with towns, cities, and the state working to put together budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.

It may be the recent win by self-declared fiscal conservatives in state and national elections that have driven home the point that the taxpayers have had enough of profligate spending and will be watching their elected officials much more closely than they have in the past.

Our little town has been way ahead of the pack, with the selectmen and the budget committee scrutinizing every penny and making cuts to keep spending in check during these difficult economic times. Should both entities get their way, our town's budget for the next fiscal year will be smaller than this year's, the third year in a row for that trend. The same is true of the school budget. (Like most towns and cities in New Hampshire, the municipal and school budgets are entirely separate. But in towns like ours with an elected budget committee, the committee reviews and votes whether or not to recommend the warrants articles from both.)

At the state level the governor has already warned state agencies to prepare for tough choices they'll have to make.

The previous two budgets increased spending by more than 30% over the past 4 years (New Hampshire has a two-year budget), but this time around the Democrat governor has to deal with an overwhelmingly Republican legislature (74.5% of the seats in the 400 seat New Hampshire House are in the hands of the GOP, as are 79% of the seats in the state Senate). During the previous two budgets the governor had a Democrat majority in the legislature to back up his spending plans. Assuming the Republicans in the legislature follow through on their promises to keep spending in check, if not roll back some expenditures and the taxes that go with them, it can be expected that state spending will remain flat, if not decrease from the present biennial budget. And should the governor veto a lean GOP budget, both chambers of the legislature have the votes to override it.

It will be interesting to watch the budget deliberations at the local and state level and compare it to what will be going on in Washington during the 112th Congress. Our Representatives and our Senators in Congress know we will be watching closely and will be more than willing to throw them out if they don't do as so many at the state and local level have done: keep spending and taxes in check.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bruce Wins!

I am pleased to announce that one of our better known New Hampshire bloggers, Bruce (MacMahon) of No Looking Backwards fame, won a seat in the New Hampshire House, representing the town of Brentwood in Rockingham County District 10. Bruce defeated incumbent Democrat Don Petterson.

Not bad for someone who just 4 years ago fled the tyranny of the People's Republic of Massachusetts, smuggling his family across the border to freedom.

Congrats, Bruce!