Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tomthemick@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Time To Pare Back Government

Been spending a lot of time up on a ladder lately, scraping and painting. State and federal regulations dictate that only the homeowner may scrape, repair and paint over any house built before 1978 unless he’s willing to fork over lots of money to a government-licensed contractor. That contractor would have to take needlessly-extensive, government-required measures which drive up costs enormously because our South Portland house was built in 1920 and could, therefore, have lead paint on it. It’s covered with aluminum siding except for window frames and soffits, but it has a hip roof and a two-foot overhang all around that I don’t think had been painted for thirty years. There was a lot of scraping to do.
When I told my wife that I’d be doing it she pressured me to hire someone. “You’re too old to be going up that high,” she said. “You should get my brother to do it.” When I pointed out that her brother is three years older than me she said, “Yeah, but he does it all the time.” Still, he’s a painting contractor without the special license the feds require and he’d be liable to a huge fine if he were caught working on our house. So, I did it myself.

It’s mindless work, and I spent several days high up there to think about how much I resented our huge, intrusive government. Then I used my iPod to listen to talk radio, specifically Rush Limbaugh and Howie Carr on the local WGAN AM. On Sundays they broadcast audio from NBC’s “Meet The Press” followed by ABC’s “This Week,” both of which parroted Democrat spin on why the federal government was shutting down. I’d listened to Limbaugh and Carr excoriate Democrats and praise Senator Ted Cruz as he railed against our huge federal bureaucracy. The more I listened, the angrier I got. Trouble is, the streaming signal cut out every ten minutes or so. I couldn’t reset it without reaching into my pocket and manipulating the iPod and my hands were full. One held the scraper or paintbrush and the other held tight to the ladder twenty-five feet up.
So, I switched to downloaded audiobooks which didn’t cut out. I listened to a biography of Saint Paul, then “Intellectuals and Society” by Thomas Sowell, and finally David Stewart’s “Summer of 1787,” this last about the men who gathered in Philadelphia and created our government. Stewart relied on James Madison’s accounts of how state delegates took special pains to limit federal government power. Here it was 226 years later and federal power was out of control. That’s why I was up on the ladder.
The more I listened, the more pissed I got. Delegates agreed that all money bills had to begin in the House, which most closely represented the people - more than the Senate. They called it “The People’s House” and intended that it check and balance the power of both the Senate and the President. If those entities wanted something to pass the House, they had to negotiate. Under Harry Reid and Barack Obama, however, they were refusing. The Mainstream Media - especially David Gregory and George Stephanopoulos - were either ignorant of how the Constitution came to be, or they were willfully misrepresenting the shutdown by repeating Democrat talking points.
Mount Chocorua in the White Mountain National Forest

I finally finished the job and last Saturday my wife wanted to explore a smokey quartz mine on New Hampshire’s Moat Mountain. Driving over there, it occurred to me that it was in the White Mountain National Forest and the National Park Service had been shutting down access to parks. They had barricaded the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC - an open-access facility that previously anyone could walk into 24-7. They closed highway pull-offs from which people could view Mount Rushmore. They even tried to close off access to the ocean in Florida. All this to follow an Obama Administration directive that they make the shutdown as painful as possible for ordinary citizens. And closing the National Mall to citizens and then opening it up to illegal aliens to demonstrate? That's going to piss off a lot of Americans. So I’m thinking: what if we get over there and they tell me the National Forest is closed? Well, I decided, then there’s going to be some civil disobedience perpetrated by your’s truly.
But it wasn’t necessary. Going up an access road, I noticed a ranger’s SUV behind me so I stopped in the middle of the road, walked back, and asked him if the mine was nearby. The uniformed young man behind the wheel smiled and said, “You’re headed in the right direction.” Then he told me to take a left at the next fork which would take me to the trailhead. A nice kid.
After hearing about those WWII vets that went through government barricades in Washington, DC last week, I was ready to do something similar. Something is brewing out there. Can you feel it?

Labels: , , ,

36 Comments:

Anonymous Texas Transplant said...



YES...

10/9/13, 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a flaming liberal I very much agree about too much government.

Truly limited government means not only staying out of peoples' bank accounts and businesses, but also out of peoples' consciences, homes and family lives and not dictating our personal habits and lifestyle choices if they are not harmful to others.

10/9/13, 9:52 AM  
Anonymous CaptDMO said...

See, this is why I (actual homeOWNER) use
my own (American made) scaffolding when ignoring dictates from subvention folk.
Now, about those Union rules.
How many Union folk (@?/hr.)does it take to change a light bulb on a "Broadway" stage?
Six. I kid you not.

10/9/13, 9:52 AM  
Anonymous CaptDMO said...

Anonymous: "As a flaming liberal..."

From what you wrote, you're really overlapping into the libertarian, "Tea Party", Founding Fathers zone.
Come over to the light.

10/9/13, 10:00 AM  
Anonymous liberal libertarian said...

Hello CaptDMO, it is me again, the flaming liberal. I actually do associate myself much more with the Libertarian party than I do with Democrats. I see the Tea Party as simply pissed off Ultr Neo Cons who have a blind hatred towards all things Obama. While much of what obama does turns me off, there are issues I agree with him on. In my opinion the 2 party system is a horrendous system that needs revamping. To tell the truth I see no need for "parties" at all.

10/9/13, 3:06 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Welcome back LL.

The Tea Party first formed in opposition to Obamacare, not Obama himself. They're against big government, and Obama has grown it more than any other president.

As for being neo-cons, the term as I understand it refers to Jewish Americans who push American foreign policies favorable to Israel. The Tea Party tends to focus on domestic policy and avoids foreign policy.

They're, or I guess I'd have to say "we're," ultra-small-government if we're ultra anything. There are lots of Libertarians in the Tea Party, which isn't really a party as such. It's a grass-roots movement that various other Republican factions have tried to co-opt, but it remains mostly amorphous as I see it, and that makes it hard to describe beyond what I've already listed above.

My experience with it leads me to believe, however, that members are not happy with Republican leadership such as Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, or Cornyn. Neither are they happy with McCain, and his ilk.

If I could pick people they'd support, they'd be Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in the Senate or people like Louis Gohmert in the House, not people like Paul Ryan.

We favor a strict interpretation of the Constitution. We'd love to take the 10th Amendment out of mothballs and apply it stringently.

10/9/13, 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot take seriously groups like the Tea Party which ignore science. People trying to discredit evolution and climate change are just as moronic as people claiming the world is flat. Money talks, and the Big Oil boys will pump out as much money as it takes, and spread as many lies as they can in order to discredit the overwhelming evidence.

10/10/13, 1:02 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Discredit evolution? Where the heck did you get that?

As for climate change, nobody denies that. Heck there was a mile of ice all over New England 15,000 years ago and not there isn't. That's climate change.

What you seem to swallow whole is the spurious contention that it's caused by human activity. Two things:

First, there has been no rise in global temperature for fifteen years despite increases in carbon dioxide. Explain that.

Second, there have been at least four ice ages going back millions of years, before there were any humans on earth at all. Explain that.

It's the left that's peddling human-caused climate change to push their bicycles, their wind mills, and their solar panels.

10/10/13, 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130925-global-warming-pause-climate-change-science-ipcc/

I'm not a climate scientist, and I haven't read all of these reports. But this article offers a couple routes to possibly answer your last two questions.

10/10/13, 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do I "swallow whole" what the overwhelming majority of scientists tell me? Usually, yes. And you are obviously swallowing all of what some groups are feeding you.

Explain the 15 year thing? In case National Geographic's explanation were not enough, here is another link:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/09/global-warming-pause-ipcc

I'm not sure where you are going with the Ice age thing. It is not ice we are worried about now.

And are you for real about most of the world's scientists being corrupt because they somehow plan to get rich off of windmills and solar panels??!!??

Think, man.

10/10/13, 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and about the evolution thing:

Washington (CNN) – Half of the people who identify with the tea party in a new poll reject the science of global warming (50%) and evolution (51%)

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/22/poll-tea-party-opinions-of-global-warming-evolution-problematic-for-gop/


More than half of Tea Partiers are therefore wacked out denialists. More of don't believe in evolution than don't believe in global warming!!!!!

10/10/13, 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Doug said...

The fact that more Tea Partiers think evolution is a greater hoax than global warming speaks volumes.

Unbelievable.

10/10/13, 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, why do you trust your little circle of "information" givers more than you do scientists? Aren't your people the ones that had you so convinced that Romney would win in a rout?

You are a classic case of believing what you want to believe, facts be damned.

10/10/13, 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Money corrupts. And there is WAY, WAY more money rolling around in the oil business than in alternative energies. And of course the oil people want to keep it that way. But you would have us believe that it is the windmill people who have bought off almost every scientist?

10/10/13, 7:36 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

I'm saying that the oil companies finance themselves and they're continuing to develop new technologies like fracking to produce more energy with their own money. And, they're quite successful.

The Obama Administration has squandered more than $90 billion - of our money - trying to develop these anemic technologies with little or no success. The whole global warming/climate change campaign is an integral part of that effort.

Trouble is, all of its "scientific" underpinning are falling apart. The computer models are just as flawed as the software being used to implement Obamacare. And, the actual data from the past fifteen years is pointing in the opposite direction.

It's not just about ice. What do you think melted the glaciers at least four times? Global warming, that's what.

And Al Gore ignored the huge warming period centuries before and after 1000 AD which caused Greenland to be green when he made his film.

It's a huge scam. I'm a historian. I've seen through it from the beginning. I know it's hard to conceive of such a huge scam being perpetrated by "scientists" but, as you say, money corrupts. What these pseudo-scientists were after was research money to further their careers. All the grant money went to those who wanted to study "global warming" and "climate change" and link them to human technologies.

These "scientists" prostituted themselves to the latest scientific fashion and now they're being exposed for the common streetwalkers they are.

I know it's tough to admit you've been played for a fool, but it's time to look at things squarely. You're the one who needs to "Think, man."

And by the way, I never heard anyone who called himself a Tea Partier even mention evolution and I've talked to many. Where CNN came up with that polling data, I don't know.

10/10/13, 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

If you are still spouting off about data from the last 15 years pointing in opposite directions then you have not read the linked articles. Of course you haven't. You never do. Sometimes you actually link information yourself without reading it, and it turns out to be refuting your point! (Now that was classic)

I understand that you have dug yourself a deep hole, and are so emotionally invested in your "side" that it would take a big man to now admit that the evidence is stacked way against you. But to resort to the inane claim that almost every scientist in the world has been bought off with grant money...??!!??

You may have been a historian, but you were not a scientist. You are out of your field and floundering badly.

You don't know where CNN came up with that polling data? Why would you. You were just as flabbergasted when their election polls (hmmm, where did they get those polls?) turned out to be right on the button.

You don't seem to know ANYTHING unless it has been spoon fed to you by those inside your bubble.

10/11/13, 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the most telling thing about the CNN poll was that despite having a knee jerk reaction to being against anything Obama says or does, half of Tea Partiers still DO find the evidence so overwhelming that they cannot deny what is happening with our climate.

10/11/13, 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom sounds an awful lot like those that used to try and discredit all of the evidence stating that cigarettes were harmful.

10/11/13, 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

I hate how all those bought-off pseudo scientists are trying to claim that dumping raw sewage into lakes and rivers is somehow "bad" for them. Any fool can see that the world's scientists have been bought off by the American Fishing Federation.

10/11/13, 7:55 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

I read the links from Nat Geo and Mother Jones and I wasn't persuaded. They're both attempts to spin the latest data their way. The latest UN report did the same thing. They all remind me of the little Dutch boy with his finger in a disintegrating dike.

The greenie computer models are flawed. These must be the same geniuses who warned us of the millennium bug and who designed the Obamacare sign-up software.

None can explain the warming period of a thousand years ago during which the polar ice caps melted back much further than any time in the past two centuries. There wasn't much carbon going into the atmosphere then, right?

None addressed the global warming that melted glaciers at least four times over two million years. Their statistical graphing attempts to address the last fifteen years of static temperatures were artful, I'll admit, but unconvincing.

I take a long view of all this. I've taken courses in meteorology, climatology, and geology. Have you?

I've studied ancient history and keep up to date on the latest research into the earliest human habitations on all the continents, all of which describe extensively the climate conditions extant at the time. Have you?

Yes, I feel very comfortable with my skepticism about human-caused climate change. What I feel is stronger than skepticism, actually.

It's disdain.

10/11/13, 8:24 AM  
OpenID 972989a8-d210-11e2-ac4d-000bcdcb8a73 said...

"And by the way, I never heard anyone who called himself a Tea Partier even mention evolution and I've talked to many."
Gee, Me too. Mostly of the ilk that intersect with "Free State" crowd, AND those wacky Mensa folk.
On The Other Hand, there seems to be a new trend by SOME folks "adopting"
the "Tea Party's" meme by placing the phrase in front of THEIR name/"cause", In Name Only.(ie. Souhegan Tea Party, "Common Core" education standards: Not enough Liberal Arts/Humanities-Union Leader 10/11/13)

Once the heavy lifting has been done...

10/11/13, 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disdain? It is no surprise that you feel other's opinions are not worthy or consideration or respect.

What do I feel for those that don't believe science like evolution and human caused climate change?

Pity.

And a feeling of sadness about the extent of lack of education and the amount of ignorance that exists.

And a guess a little disgust with the thought that some would risk the future of the children's planet on the hope that their hunch is correct.

10/11/13, 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

Only a complete nitwit would be sucker enough to buy into the asinine claim that 97% of the worlds scientists have been bought off by windmill and solar groups.

As for the 3 percent of scientists who remain unconvinced, studies found their average expertise is far below that of their colleagues, as measured by publication and citation rates.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/06/scientists-overwhelmingly-believe-in-man-made-climate-change/1


Flabbergasting. Mind boggling.

This is exactly like earlier attempts to dismiss the dangers of smoking - and yet some are still getting fooled by others putting money before what is right.

Between 2002 and 2010, conservative billionaires donated nearly $120m to more than 100 anti-climate groups casting doubt on the science behind climate change.

Groups like the Marshall Institute have campaigned against environmental issues from acid rain, the ozone hole, second-hand smoke and the dangers of DDT on to a campaign against global warming. In each case their argument was the same: simply that the science was too uncertain. Every time they have been proven to look like idiots. But this time is different, eh Tom?

Break free of the bubble.

Free your mind.



10/11/13, 1:22 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

We'll just have to wait and see who is right, won't we. Yes, I'm confident that I'm correct and you're not. My side has won for the past 15 years. And where are all the hurricanes? all the superstorms? Pretty quiet out there this year.

Trouble is, I'll be dead before I win the argument so I'll just say "I told you so" in advance, all right?

$120 million of oil company money? Hardly compares to Obama alone spending more than $90 billion of OUR money on R&D for "alternative" energy systems, and "green jobs" that have cost US $2.5 million apiece!

And now he's shutting down coal plants.

I can see the future all right. It's going to be very, very expensive. I don't want to ride my bike around in the winter. I don't want to shiver in my house waiting for the wind to blow or the sun to come out. You can, if it makes you feel green.

10/11/13, 2:04 PM  
Anonymous aaron said...

Your side has NOT won the last 15 years. It is just to dumb to examine the evidence carefully. The more you speak the more you prove how little you actually know.

The fact that you are still regurgitating stupid statements Romney made (The 90 Billion) shows how insulated you are in your bubble, and that you do not care about the truth. Here is what PolitiFact said:

"That is incorrect in several ways. That $90 billion, as described in a report provided by the Romney campaign, wasn’t provided in one year, wasn’t distributed primarily via tax breaks, wasn’t primarily provided directly to companies, wasn’t primarily spent on solar and wind...In reality, most of it was directed to state and local governments and utility companies for energy efficiency, transportation and electrical infrastructure .

We rate his claim FALSE."

Wait and see? Are you still waiting to see if cigarette smoking is bad for you? That DDT is harmful? That the world is round?

Yes, you will be dead before you admit you are wrong, but your grand children will suffering the consequences and wishing their grandfather wasn't such an ignorant putz.


10/11/13, 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is something peculiar: I wonder why it is that the windmill people only had success buying off the most qualified 97% of the scientists, but were not able to buy off the remaining 3% whose expertise was way below the others.

Tom's lack of thinking things through is amazing.

10/11/13, 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would think that the 3% of lesser qualified scientists would be easier to corrupt than the more established ones. They probably need the money more and have less to lose if caught.

Oh wait, perhaps they WERE bought off. By the oil companies. That 120 million went somewhere... Seems a lot more plausible then having the other 97% bought off.

10/11/13, 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perspective, please! You are not nor have you ever been a "historian" Tom. Please....you taught jr. High history from a textbook full of lies and misinformation!! Historian! unbelievable........

10/13/13, 7:37 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

You're right about the textbook. Like most such texts, it was written and edited by liberals. Most historians are liberals.

I used the text as a foil, point out to students how much was left out and how things that were covered were delivered from a leftist perspective.

What's your definition of an historian?

10/13/13, 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...

A historian? Someone wth a phd in history, maybe?

You highlight exactly what I detest about this system. No, liberals didn't write history. Neither did conservatives. Actually, those groups exist only to divide and conquer. It's all absurd theatre. Actually, I have no idea who "wrote " the history books. But I do know they are chock full of lies and bs. It's all revisionism. We live in a corporate fascist police state right now. It's like orwells 1984 is actaully happening.

Liberals wrote history? I can't imagine why you would think that. Where in the history books do they mention the sinking of the maine as a lie? Gulf of Tonkin? Another false flag lie. Do the history books tackle the mystery of building seven collapsing without being hit on 9/11? Or the real reason we fought the civil war?
Did you teach your kids, from the liberal text, about the illegal federal reserve act of 1913? And how for one hundred years we have been ruled by an international banking cartel? Did you point out to the kids that the constitution forbids outside banks printing money at interest? Did you have debates about why we continue to let this happen? And why the media portrays the fed as essential and somehow a govt entity? Hmmm?
Did the liberal texts explain the American banker connections to hitler? Or things like operation paper clip?

Tom, I could go on all day long providing the sick lies that pass for " history" in this once great nation but it makes me sick. It's all deliberate lies to dumb down the american population. The education system has been used by the corporate overlords to misinform and dumb down Americans. And it's working.

Charlotte iserbyt, who served as the senior policy advisor in the dept. of educational research under reagan, and had serious connections in DC, father and grandfather were yale bonesman, has been speaking the truth about our educational system for years. And she lives In Maine. Tom. She's right. As kooky as she comes across she seams to have nailed it. Kinda hard to deny it too.
Google the deliberate dumbing down of America by charlotte iserbyt and have fun. She has many YouTube videos as well.

10/14/13, 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...


Here’s an amazing quote from Charlotte Iserbyt’s tome, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.

“Many quotes in this book point toward radical restructuring of the nation’s schools in ‘the noxious nineties’.The one entry this author believes best illustrates this plan and how it would be implemented throughout the remainder of the 20th century and into the 21st century is taken from Conclusions and Recommendations for the Social Studies (Charles Scribner’s Sons: N.Y., 1934). This study was funded to the tune of $340,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, quite a sum of money in 1934 dollars! Professor Harold Laski, the philosopher of British socialism, said of this report: ‘At bottom, and stripped of its carefully neutral phrases, the Report is an educational program for a Socialist America.’ An important and revealing excerpt from Conclusions and Recommendations follows:

‘The Commission was also driven to this broader conception of its task by the obvious fact that American civilization, in common with Western civilization, is passing through one of the great critical ages of history, is modifying its traditional faith in economic individualism [free enterprise], and is embarking upon vast experiments in social planning and control which call for large-scale cooperation on the part of the people…(pp. 1-2)
…Cumulative evidence supports the conclusion that in the United States and in other countries the age of ‘laissez-faire’ in economy and government is closing and that a new age of collectivism is emerging.’ (p. 16)”

10/14/13, 9:33 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Most textbooks are written for and by teachers. Most teachers are unionized and they're overwhelmingly left of center. They and trial lawyers are the biggest source of funds for the Democrat Party.

As a conservative, I was an anomaly in the profession. It was my job to scan US history texts and select one to use, though I would rather not have used one at all. I tried to convince my building administrator to let me purchase two sets of books: copies of Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" and copies of its conservative counterpart - "A Patriot's History of the United States" by Schweikart and Allen. I would assign readings from two perspectives and discuss them.

He ordered me to buy a set of standard texts, so I did. I selected Prentice Hall's "American Nation," boring and liberal, but they all were.

The most commonly used history texts in public schools are all extremely boring - because their principal aim is to avoid offending anyone or any interest group.

You offered a litany of historical perspectives you think are true. So did Zinn, Schweikart and Allen (teachers all). So do I. So does anyone who thinks about history. All are historians.

I've lectured on history to various groups by invitation. I've written for history publications. I have degrees, but I don't thing those are necessary to study history. In fact, they can be impediments.

I have my own version of history - an imperfect one, as are all the rest. Our job is to realize this and strive to know the objective version - assuming, that is, that we believe one exists.

I do believe it, and that, too, makes me an anomaly.

10/14/13, 9:52 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Now I have to write this week's column, so I won't be commenting further on this thread until I'm done.

10/14/13, 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...

I didn't offer anything I "thought" was true I offered provable facts. Everything I mentioned. Everything. Fact. Not some subjective fantasy. Facts.

I assumed you wouldn't address any of the things I mentioned. Dismiss and redirect.

10/14/13, 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What? Tom is once again hiding from inconvenient questions? Tom doesn't not want to discuss further his wacky conspiracy theories about virtually all of the worlds scientists being bought off?

How surprising.

10/15/13, 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Yoda said...

Once again a beating Tom takes!

10/15/13, 6:01 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home