2/19/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

This weekend has been the mirror image of last weekend, with very warm temps (51ºF yesterday and 49ºF today). The warm temps and bright sunlight has certainly helped melt away the snow and ice covering The Manse's driveway, making it possible for the missus to make it up and down the driveway in her FWD Honda. (I think her next vehicle will be either 4WD or AWD which will solve part of the problem.)

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Mike Hendrix looks at something most of the MSM-DNC and the Ninth Circuit Court overlooked, Or chose to overlook), that being Trump's executive order to halt immigrants, visitors, and refugees from the seven Muslim countries was perfectly legal and constitutional. How can that be?

Under Title VIII, Chapter 12, Sub-Chapter II, Part II, § 1182 of the U.S. Code, “Inadmissible Aliens”, if the President of the United States “finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

It was passed by Congress and signed by the President back in the 1950's. It has been used by a number of presidents since then, including President Obama. But now , all of a sudden, it is illegal for the President to issue such orders? Under which part of the US Constitution?

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It's bad enough radical feminism has managed to make just about any kind of sexual contact between men and women on college campuses the equivalent of rape (but lesbian sex is perfectly OK), they now want to extend that same silliness to high schools in Maryland.

I dare say they'll also push to make that true throughout society in general.

They have pushed the false “Rape crisis on campus” narrative every single day. They haven't been able to prove their claims except by misquoting a non-scientific survey that even the researchers have strongly stated should not be used as it was highly subjective and misleading for the purposes the gender feminists have been using it.

I have a feeling this is going to backfire on them and destroy what little credibility they have (if they ever had any). It's just another witch hunt, no different from the day care child molestation frenzy that swept through the nation a couple of decades ago. It destroyed countless lives and sent innocent people to prison for crimes they did not commit. The only difference with the present day witch hunt is that it is politically motivated and that makes it suspect right from the beginning.

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Oh Noes!

The GOP wants NASA to focus more on space rather than climate science...or Muslim outreach.

That seems like a good idea considering NASA's charter is to expand mankind's understanding of space and to “boldly go where no man has gone before”. That's what NASA used to do. Then they got caught up ina lot of the political and ideological BS that infected so many other parts of government and they forgot that space is what they were supposed to be doing.

It's about time someone reminded them of that.

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I found it refreshing that Trump's rally in Florida began with First Lady Melania Trump reciting the Lord's Prayer.

Of course the usual suspects have been hammering her and the President for doing so.

Too bad.

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This is a somewhat abbreviated TOAS as we had company for most of the day – a good friend I hadn't seen in some time came up from the flatlands and we caught up on a number of things. It's always good to see old and dear friends, so I am not going to apologize for a foreshortened post today.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the warm weather will be leaving for a couple pf days but returning by Wednesday, where the February Vacation skiers have been crowding the ski slopes, and where once again Monday has returned all to quickly.

2/16/2017

The Oroville Dam Debacle - A Big Question

Watching the continuing drama at the Oroville Dam in California has been showing all of us one big example of hubris. Between the lack of much needed maintenance (“We're in drought that will never end. Why do we need to fix something that's never going to be used again?”), ignored warnings, the focus of much needed funds towards pipe-dreams, I'd say the state of California is finally receiving the bill for their hubris.

Looking at the original problem, the collapsing main spillway, I have one simple question that no one has answered, to the best of my knowledge, that being “Where the hell is the rebar?”

Watching the videos and numerous pictures that have been appearing on the news and the 'Net, the one think that I have noticed is the total lack of reinforcing bars in any of the failed concrete. If that was part of the original design I have to say that's one heck of a design flaw. If it was part of the original designs, then who remove it, or worse, decided to 'save' some money by eliminating it and compromising the integrity of the spillway?

In either case, a properly designed spillway should not have collapsed like that. In fact, it should have been stronger than the surrounding soil and withstood any undermining. Instead, there is a gaping chasm where there should be a spillway and the structural integrity of the entire dam has been compromised.

2/15/2017

Voter Fraud In New Hampshire

You've heard the claims made by Donald Trump about voter fraud in New Hampshire and Fergis Cullen's challenge to pay $1000 to anyone who can prove voter fraud. Cullen states there is not on jot of evidence such fraud took place.

He's wrong.

Evidence of voter fraud resides in the thousands of affidavits filed by new voters during same day voter registration on election day. However the New Hampshire Attorney General's office hasn't moved to investigate a single one. Not one. So how can anyone say that not a single case of voter fraud was committed during the past couple of elections?

One way to do away with part of the problem is to eliminate same day registration, something authorized by the New Hampshire Legislature back in 2011. The following year over 20,000 affidavits were filed during the 2012 elections, and of those 20,000 plus affidavits, a fifth, or over 4,400 could not be verified. While the claim has been made that even if all 4.400+ ballots cast had gone to one party or the other that it wouldn't have influenced the presidential race, and maybe the congressional races, there were plenty of lower level races that could have been greatly influenced by those fraudulent votes. In the recent election, one of the big race- that between Maggie Hassan and then-incumbent US Senator Kelly Ayotte was decided by a mere 743 votes. It wouldn't have taken too many fraudulent votes to sway that outcome.

One of the biggest problems we have is that New Hampshire's present laws do not prevent out-of-state college students from voting as residents of New Hampshire. Same day voter registration doesn't help that one bit. In fact, it is quite possible for an out-of-state college student to vote here in New Hampshire and their home state by use of an absentee ballot. But the one thing that makes what they're doing questionable is that college dormitories should not be considered legal domiciles, meaning someone living there cannot use it as the basis for claiming residency in the state of New Hampshire. It would not surprise me that in some college towns there are town ordinances that state that to be the case. One has to ask how many of those out-of-state students that register to vote here also have New Hampshire driver licenses? If I had to guess, I'd say very few, if any. If they haven't bothered to get a New Hampshire driver's license after all the time they've been in state, then how can they register to vote? I would be surprised if they would be able to get a drivers license because they don't actually have a legal domicile.

In most towns hotel rooms can't be considered legal domiciles, that's why a lot of out-of-state campaign workers rent rooms at someone's home for the duration of their stay, register to vote on the day of the election using that address as their domicile (this usually happens during the New Hampshire Primary), then moving on to the next state the day after the election is over. In some cases that means a campaign worker may be able to vote in more than one primary during the primary season. Think it can't happen? You'd be wrong as there have been more than a few examples of multiple campaign workers for a candidate using the same address as their legal domicile even if they aren't actually living there. While this would have little effect on the elections in November, it still skews results during the primaries.

I think it's time that New Hampshire do away with same day registration and put in place some kind of residency requirement that bans out-of-state college students and transient (campaign) workers from being able to register to vote in New Hampshire elections, be they local, state, or federal contests because they aren't really residents.

It's but one small step, but we have to start somewhere.

2/12/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

I admit that I started this on Saturday mid-afternoon. I figure the snow will be falling hard enough come this time Sunday to make maintaining power, and hence Internet connectivity, an iffy thing. If the forecast snow was going to be light and fluffy this might not be an issue, but the Weather GuysTM have been saying it might be wet and heavy snow. If that is indeed the case, and adding in the high winds also forecast for this storm, fallen tree limbs and power outages are a given. So I figured I'd start this early and get it posted some time before the snow starts to fall.

Better safe than sorry.

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If you need an example of how not to run a school system, particularly when it comes to maintaining discipline, one only need look at the St. Paul, Minnesota school systems.

By embracing a pie-in-the-sky feel good racial equity system of discipline, meaning the problem wasn't the fault of disruptive, unruly, and dare I say, criminal students, but of the inherent racism of the teachers and staff. The results?

Chaos.

There was a precipitous drop in student enrollments as parents removed their kids from the toxic and violent environment. No learning took place. Teachers were ignored, minimized, and assaulted. The thugs knew they wouldn't be punished for their actions, so they ran the schools.

To say this was a failed experiment would be an understatement. It should the moral bankruptcy of the Progressive line that racism is institutional and the only way to cure it is to allow the so-called victims free rein as a means of balancing it out. It is pretentious poppycock. It is pseudo-intellectual drivel masquerading as science.

In the end St. Paul had to buy out the superintendent who pushed this drivel, one Valeria Silva, to the tune of $800,000. It will take millions more to undo the damage done to the city's schools by this idiot.

One has to wonder how it is so many have forgotten Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's dream, that being judged by the content of one's character and not the color of one's skin.

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If you want to see what kind of debate goes on at a New Hampshire Town Meeting, take a look at these two posts from Skip (Part 1 here and Part 2 here) to get a taste of what we discuss, debate, argue about, and eventually vote upon.

This is small town America democracy in action. The local townspeople have a direct say in how much the town and school will spend over the upcoming year. They can approve or disapprove a budget item, change it, or even eliminate it. They can approve, disapprove, or modify new ordinances, eliminate old ones, or even file a petition warrant article to change some aspect of town governance.

As I like to ask folks who call my office to complain about spending or property taxes in our town, “Did you show up for town meeting and did you vote?” If they answer 'No', then I tell them politely that they have no right to complain. They had the opportunity to make their opinion known and to vote on spending measures which in turn affect out property taxes. They may think that their vote doesn't count, but I've seen more than a few warrant articles pass or fail by only a few votes, or in a very few case, one vote. But if they can't be bothered to vote then they have no right to complain.

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Helping the missus with her math homework has reminded me just how much I had forgotten about some of the simpler math. While calculus is the working math for much of what I do for work, math consisting of complex fractions had the rust falling away from the long unused math machinery.

It's nice to be reminded of the beauty of basic mathematics.

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Just when I thought they couldn't get any stupider.

The Progressives keep pushing the meme that “White Privilege” and “Cultural Imperialism” are the cause of all of our social ills. They're even making 'social justice' classes that explore these memes mandatory at some colleges, like UMass Amherst.

What they never are willing to admit is that the very people they say they are trying to help, basically anyone who isn't a white heterosexual male, are being hurt far more then being helped. When you make everyone a victim, then no one is a victim.

If WHM's become the new Jews, how long before they are targeted for elimination? That eliminationist rhetoric has been on the rise among the SJW Geheime Staatspolizei should be sending warning signals to everyone. After all, should they make their dream come to fruition, who will be next on their hit list?

The one difference between the Jews of Nazi Germany and the WHM's of America that will not make it easy for these fascist pigs? We have a boatload more guns than they do and we know how to use them. They depend upon others to fight their battles while we do our own fighting, and a lot of us have combat experience.

(H/T Instapundit)

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That federal civil servants are filled with “a sense of dread” since Trump took office shows me that something is right in Washington.

Trump promised to slash the federal bureaucracy that has been increasingly choking off business, the economy, and our every day lives. It is something that is long overdue>

Across the vast federal bureaucracy, Donald J. Trump’s arrival in the White House has spread anxiety, frustration, fear and resistance among many of the two million nonpolitical civil servants who say they work for the public, not a particular president.

At the Environmental Protection Agency, a group of scientists strategized this past week about how to slow-walk President Trump’s environmental orders without being fired. At the Treasury Department, civil servants are quietly gathering information about whistle-blower protections as they polish their resumés.

At the United States Digital Service — the youthful cadre of employees who left jobs at Google, Facebook or Microsoft to join the Obama administration — workers are debating how to stop Mr. Trump should he want to use the databases they made more efficient to target specific immigrant groups.

I find it interesting that the USDS, an agency under the control of the President, would work to undermine the person who is their boss. They work for him, not the other way around. If Trump wants to use the databases they improved to go after illegal immigrants, people who broke the law to get here, then that is prerogative and perfectly legal under the law.

That employees of the EPA are worried about their jobs is also a good thing, seeing as how the EPA has been a rogue agency for the past 8 years and they feel they are not beholden to the law. If they go outside their charter, ignore court rulings, and run roughshod over the people of the United States, then they should fear for their jobs because they aren't doing them. They have their own agenda that has nothing to do with the charter of the EPA and should be fired.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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The snow from the Storm O' Doom started falling just around noon, about two hours before I wrote this. It has been slowly ramping up but is not bad at the moment. The tough part will come when the winds start howling a few hours from now.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow is falling, the winds are quiet (for now), and where we're all hunkering down for yet another snow storm.

2/11/2017

The Next Oncoming Storm O' Doom

Speaking of climate change in my previous post, I must address the next oncoming “Storm O' Doom” that forecasters say will hit New England starting some time late tomorrow morning/early afternoon. While southern New England will see a small amount of snow and quite a bit of rain, this part of northern New England should see between 12 and 18 inches of snow before it all ends sometime Monday.

Depending upon which TV station you watch the level of storm hype runs the gamut from “It's another Nor'easter, so take the necessary precautions” to “Stay home and indoors or you're gonna die!” The local New Hampshire station has taken the first stance, seeing as we get Nor'easters every year, summer and winter. It's nothing new for us.

About the only precautions we're taking is making sure the woodbox stays filled; our cell phones, tablets, and laptops are fully charged; there's gas in the gas can for the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower (which needs some minor repairs but still functions adequately); making sure the sand and salt buckets are full; and keeping the shovels and push plow handy.

I expect the storm-insecure folks out there will be out clearing the supermarket shelves as if they're going to be snowed in for a few weeks even though it might be for all of a day, maybe two. Every loaf of bread and gallon of milk will be stripped from the shelves (along with beer and chips, of course).

I wonder how long it will take before this Nor'easter is attributed to climate change? Failing that, how long will it be before they blame Trump's policies or cabinet picks for the winter weather we're having...in winter...in New England? I figure in five...four...three...two...one....

The Sahara Is Greening - Thank Climate Change

I figure it's only a matter of time before someone finds a way to blame Donald Trump for this.

With all of this man-made global warming, it appears the Sahara is slowly returning to it's pre-global cooling condition, that being that it's greening up.

A few thousand years ago, a mighty river flowed through the Sahara across what is today Sudan. The Wadi Howar—now just a dried-out riverbed for most of the year—sustained not just fish, crocodiles, and hippopotamuses, but also agriculture and human settlement. As late as 1,000 B.C., a powerful fortress stood on its shores. But then the Sahara dried out, turning from a green savannah into an inhospitable desert. The culprit: climate change. According to desert geologist Stefan Kröpelin, who has studied geological data for the eastern Sahara going back 6,000 years, the desert spread as temperatures dropped. Global cooling meant that the air had less capacity to hold moisture from the oceans, leading to fewer rains and more arid climes.

Now, that same process is happening in reverse. As temperatures rise, the Sahara and other dry areas are greening on the edges. “I’ve been studying the Sahara for 30 years and can definitely say that it’s getting greener,” says Kröpelin, who specializes in desert archaeology and climate history at the University of Cologne. Where there used to be nothing but desert, he says, there is now not just grass but shrubs and acacia trees–and he has the photos from 30 years of extensive field study to prove it. “The nomads are taking their camels to graze in areas where they’ve never been able to graze before.” Satellite data showing more green on the southern edge of the Sahara also bear him out. “There are always winners and losers if weather patterns change,” he says. “But as a general rule, warmer temperatures inevitably mean that the air picks up more moisture from the oceans, which will lead to more rainfall. If you look at the geological records in the Sahara, there have been repeated periods where the Sahara was greener when temperatures were warmer than today.”

This is something the warmists will not admit because, after all, it doesn't fit their narrative. They automatically assume that a warmer world will lead to more desertification. Yet both paleoclimate studies and present day observations point to just the opposite. That the world is 'greening up' due to higher CO2 levels – CO2 is a plant food and also lessens plants' need for water – is something the warmists devoutly ignore. Again, it doesn't fit their We're-All-Gonna-Die-If-We-Don't-Force-Everyone-To-Live-An-Eighteenth-Century-Lifestyle-Except-Us-Of-Course narrative.

But as the Insataprof has stated more than once, I'll start believing it's a crisis when the people who keep telling me a crisis start acting like it's a crisis. Until then, it's all government funded smoke and mirrors and I'm not buying any of it.

2/10/2017

New Hampshire Poised To Become Next Constitutional Carry State

Once Governor Chris Sununu signs Senate Bill 12, just passed by the New Hampshire House yesterday on a 200-97 vote, New Hampshire will join the ranks of Constitutional Carry states, meaning no permit is required by law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm. While many of the anti-gun hysterics have decried the measure as the gateway to 'blood on the streets and shootouts like the OK Corral”. Considering other states with CC have seen no such occurrences, including neighboring (and quite liberal) Vermont, I doubt we'll see such a debacle here in the Granite State.

That New Hampshire has been a Shall Issue state for concealed carry permits, the percentage of gun ownership is quite high, and the violent crime rate has been one of the lowest in the nation, I doubt that Constitutional Carry is going to affect that at all.

Now all the New Hampshire House has to do is pass the Right To Work Legislation to make the Granite State an even more inviti9ng state to live and work.

2/09/2017

Another Storm Of Doom...Or Not

We were graced with the presence of another Nor'easter and the local news stations went into their usual “Storm Center” mode, with regular updates about the storm as it approached and the conditions as it finally arrived and dumped up to 15 inches of snow in portions of New Hampshire.

One thing that was different this time, at least for our local ABC affiliate, was that there wasn't the usual We're-All-Gonna-DIE semi-hysteria that is all too common. In this case they stated that there was danger, suggested people stay home if they could, and take extra caution if they couldn't. There were none of the obligatory scenes of one of the one-the-scene reporters bending down to show us that, yes, there was indeed snow on the ground. It was all petty low key.

Maybe they've learned that this kind of hype doesn't play all that well in a state that measures annual winter snowfall in feet....

...but probably not.

2/05/2017

Thoughts On A SuperBowl Sunday

Today is SuperBowl Sunday and much of New England is focusing on the upcoming game in Huston later today and not anything else that might be going on in the rest of the world. I know I am getting ready for the game, having donned my New England Patriots tee in support of the home team. I dare say all eyes in New England and Georgia will be turned to the game come this evening.

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It is no surprise that the Left is casting the violent riots in Berkeley by those protesting against a speech to be given by Milo Yiannopoulos as a false flag operation by the Right, said operation meant to discredit the Left. I find it interesting that they can’t even list a single incident of right –wing protesters rioting on college campuses.

Considering that the Left is famous for pulling such operations, something we saw a lot of during the presidential campaign season starting back in beginning of the primary season, I think it is more of wishful thinking (or projection) on their part at best, and disinformation at worst. Then again the Left isn’t exactly known for being either ethical or moral in the pursuit of their Socialist Utopia.

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A proposed law in Florida would make private business that ban the carrying of firearms by their patrons responsible for their safety.

I think this should become law in every state, particularly those with heavily restrictive laws that make it difficult for law abiding citizens to defend themselves. If the government or business owners restrict the rights of citizens to be able to protect themselves, then they should be held liable for their safety. After all they disarmed them and left them defenseless. There should be a price to pay if those now defenseless citizens are injured or killed.

There should be consequences for such actions, be they be made by government or private businesses.

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Now that the Obama Era is over, federal government bureaucrats are learning the hard way that they do answer to the President and that they can be fired.

Certainly acting Attorney General Sally Yates found that out after she advised Justice Department attorneys that they should not defend President Trump’s executive order about banning immigration and refugees from seven Muslim nations. Even if she didn’t agree with his EO, she was obligated to support it and defend it in court. Instead, she let her personal bias rule and Trump rightly fired her. This should be a lesson to the rest of the self-important bureaucrats who think they answer to no one.

The days of administrative law and rogue actions by agencies that were not authorized by laws passed by Congress, by executive order from the President, or as the result of actions by the courts are over. Go against the boss’s orders and expect to be canned.

That’s how it works in the private sector and it’s time the bureaucrats learn that it’s also true in government service.

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New Hampshire is on the verge of becoming a Constitutional Carry state, meaning that now law abiding citizen would be required to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Neighboring Vermont, a liberal bastion, has Constitutional Carry. Yet you don’t hear about anti-gun groups trying to do away with it. Nor do they have bullet-riddled corpses lying on the streets. In fact, they have one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation.

The anti-gunners are certainly out in force here in New Hampshire, trying their best to make it seem that we will have the problem of “bullet-riddled corpses” should Constitutional Carry become the law here. One of their mouthpieces is even willing to lie by omission as a means to prevent it from happening, if not trying to ban ownership or carry of firearms of any kind. The again, Progressives believe only the government should have guns because it makes it easier to control the population.

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As a twofer, New Hampshire is also on the verge of becoming a Right To Work state. With the NH Senate having passed SB11 on a 12-11 vote, the measure has moved on the the NH House where labor lobbyists are expected to pull out all the stops. Governor Chris Sununu has said he will sign the legislation should it pass in the House.

If New Hampshire becomes a RTW state, it will be the first one in the Northeast to do so.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter continues, some more snow is coming, and where we’re hoping the Patriots win their fifth SuperBowl.

2/04/2017

Epidemic Of Campus Sexual Assault Isn't

We’ve all heard the ‘statistic’ that 1 out of 4 women on a college campus have been sexually assaulted. That the generally accepted 1 in 4 figure is totally bogus, based upon a non-scientific poll that even the researchers who ran the poll say is not representative of actual sexual assaults on college campuses. Even the definition of sexual assault was assigned by the researchers and was overly broad by their own admission. Things such as an unwanted advance or being asked out by someone a woman disliked was considered assault, something that heavily weighted the numbers. But that hasn’t stopped the media from pushing the idea of rampant sexual assaults on campuses across the nation.

This has led to a wide range of unintended consequences, including our colleges and universities being shoved into creating kangaroo courts and star chambers where the only evidence of sexual misconduct required is the accusation. No actual evidence or witness testimony is required. No questioning of the accused is required, nor is cross-examination of the accuser. Investigation, if there is any, is performed by personnel who are neither qualified nor capable of running what is in reality a criminal investigation. In too many cases the investigator is openly biased in favor of the accuser. What’s worse is that a government agency, the Department of Education, has pushed this with their “Dear Colleague” letter that threatened loss of federal funding if out institutions of higher learning didn’t start dealing with the ‘epidemic’ of sexual assaults because these assaults were somehow a violation of Title IX protections.

The result has been a large number of male college students being accused, suspended, or expelled for sexual assaults that, in the eyes of law enforcement, never occurred. Due process was ignored. The rights of the accused didn’t exist. One unintended consequence – a large and increasing number of lawsuits against those same institutions of higher learning that are costing these same institutions millions of dollars in settlements or damage awards, as well as damaged reputations of both the accused student and the college.

As I have heard more than one person opine, if colleges and universities were truly centers of a 20% sexual assault rate, parents should be charged with child neglect for sending their daughters to them. I agree wholeheartedly.

It’s time for the media to stop pushing this false narrative. It serves no purpose other than to create more discontent and mistrust, setting back relations between the sexes decades.

2/02/2017

It's Getting Worse...Not Unexpectedly

It’s been an education, being relegated to working at home over the past few weeks. As I have made myself comfortable on one of the recliners in our living room, laptop in place and logged into work via our VPN, I have had the opportunity to catch some of the morning news programs, particularly Good Morning America and Fox and Friends, as well as an occasional look at Today and CBS This Morning.

One of the things I noticed was the shift in the reporting and commentary, with the usual suspects becoming heavily negative after Donald Trump’s inauguration. With the exception of Fox News, the MSM-DNC have gone into full attack mode, declared war on the Trump Administration, and have absolutely nothing positive to say about him, his cabinet picks, and his Supreme Court nominee.

It has gotten so bad that I can barely tolerate more than a few minutes of their barely disguised hostility and increasingly shrill pontificating about what’s wrong at the White House and their smarmy insistence that the American people need to start thinking like they do…or else.

Over the past couple of mornings I haven’t bothered looking at any of the morning ‘news’ shows and I feel a lot better. Instead I record a few programs overnight and play them back during the day, keeping me from being tempted to turn to the news.

In case you’re wondering, I have the TV on more for background noise rather than entertainment, but I want it to be good background noise, not the kind that gets me riled up.