Pulling Up Stakes

There comes a time when one must consider one's situation and weigh the options. The status quo, of course, is always an option, even if it's the least desirable one. And so it is that after much pondering, we have come to the conclusion that it's finally time to leave The Land of Enchantment for other environs.

The desire for freedom is not easily quenched. The political environment here in "North Mexico" had deteriorated over the years to where a freedom-loving person must ask whether the benefits are worth the cost. To be sure, the state has much to recommend it. We enjoy the outdoors and the open spaces. But that can only make up for just so much. Taxes and government regulation have greatly eroded the quality of life.

And so we have looked elsewhere for en environment more conducive to the sort of peaceful, libertarian lifestyle we've come to enjoy. There has been a temptation to join the Free Staters in New Hampshire, but the climate there is not to our liking. Likewise Wyoming. Other nearby states were considered. Colorado is going the way of New Mexico. Texas has a certain appeal, but no self-respecting New Mexican would willingly move there. (OK, that's largely a joke. The taxation and regulatory environment there are not significantly better than here, although the economy is better.)

Without going through all 50 options, we've been drawn toward Appalachia, mostly because of the spirit of the people. West Virginia is out, mostly because of its socialist leanings. Kentucky is inviting, but the economy is not so good. Southern Virginia is a temptation, but it's a bit too remote.

That leaves the Volunteer State. A huge plus is that Tennessee -- like six other states -- has no state income tax. The climate in the eastern half is rather mild, especially in the strip of mountains that runs from Birmingham up to Charleston, WV. The three largest cities in that area are Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. Nashville is out as being too expensive. Knoxville is tempting, but Chattanooga is less expensive. Although the economy in that area is doing poorly now, the coming VW plant promises to improve things and could have a ripple effect throughout surrounding counties.

A big plus will be the mountains themselves. Not quite like the Rockies, but at least it's not flat. The humidity will take some getting used to, though. Word is that the people in Tennessee are different from most areas of the South, particularly in the eastern third of the state. Nate lives up toward Nashville; we should probably try to make contact and get acquainted, as we only know each other from posts over at Vox's. Packrat has been considering a move to eastern Tennessee, and The Old Sarge has lived there for several years with no regrets.

All in all, it merits at least exploration. It will be difficult to leave this place. Ming the Merciless does not take well to road trips, and it takes at least two days to drive from here to Chattanooga, if one drives sensibly. He'll have to stay here for the nonce. Maybe Magic Fingers could take him in for a week or so. We'll see how it goes.


Because They're Wrong

Wherein we see that liberals still just don't get it.

They sit around scratching their pointy little heads and wondering how it is that they can't seem to pass legislation that takes away your rights or let terrorists into the country. Unfortunately, they reach all the wrong conclusions. Case in point:
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, (Socialist-NY) "placed less blame on the White House than on ordinary Americans and advocacy groups that are consistently outflanked by gun owners' groups, especially the National Rifle Association".
What this cretin doesn't seem to grok is that "ordinary Americans" are more allied with "gun owner's groups" than they are with big-government, socialist "advocacy groups".

Further, she believes that
"Until the American people say enough is enough, and get active in it," Democratic control of Congress and the White House will not be enough to turn the tide
When in point of fact, the American people have reapeatedly said "enough is enough" and that's why gun-grabbing legislation keeps going down to defeat.

Of course, as we've said for years, you can lead people to facts, but you can't make 'em think.


Our Daily Bread

Don't eat it.

We've done a little research on bread, and what we've discovered should make anyone think twice.

1. More than 98% of convicted felons are bread users.

2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.

4. More than 90% of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.

5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough". It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!

6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.

7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.

8. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.

9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90% water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.

10. Newborn babies can choke on bread.

11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400ø F! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.

12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.

In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions:

1. No sale of bread to minors.

2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.

3. A 300% federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.

4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which might appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.

5. The establishment of "bread-free" zones around schools.

Please send this to everyone you know who cares about this crucial issue.

Hat tip to Ted for getting us thinking about this, and to The Old Sarge for passing along the original joke.) From Ted's post:
Propaganda is based on a few solid facts marinated in preconceived notions and shoved at people with fear-mongering, high-pressure sales and scare-tactics.


Quote Of The Month

(Hat tip to The Old Sarge for this one, found in a local newspaper.)

"Any time you're having a bad day, and you think you've got problems, just remember that somewhere, there's a Mr. Pelosi."


Ain't That A Shame!

(Cue Fats Domino.)

Pity the poor, poor CEOs who have to try to scrape by on a paltry $7.6 million a year. With the price of Hamburger Helper being what it is, they could be in for a rough ride.

One of the few things the current administration is doing right: "pressure has grown from shareholders, Congress and President Barack Obama for boards of directors to rein in executive pay". Of course, this raises a rather appropriate question: whatever happened to that idea -- first floated back in the '80s? -- that shareholders should have a vote in the matter of executive compensation? The incestuous relationship between executives and boards of directors is part of what brought on this current disaster.

We've said it before and it bears repeating -- the number one economic problem in this country is greed. It also serves to confirm our long-standing belief that great wealth distorts one's perspective.

It's somewhat reminiscent of a joke The Old Sarge read years ago about a teacher in an upper-crust neighborhood who decided to help her students learn about poverty by having them write a short story on the subject. One student's essay began "There once was a family that was very, very poor. The mother was poor. The father was poor. The children were poor. Even the servants were poor."


What If They Gave A Speech...

...and nobody came?

Michael Calderone over at Politico tells what happens. Fox declined to air the propaganda press conference and took first place in the time slot.

Being the vindictive sort they are TPTB made sure that Fox's Major Garrett was the only one not allowed to ask a question. Looking at The Bigger Picture, why should Fox carry the piece if their own reporter is being snubbed?

As a side note, someone over at Fox has a wicked sense of humor. They ran an episode of Lie To Me, which might have confused viewers who thought they were tuning in to another TOTUS briefing.