11/20/2014

I'm Gonna Do It My Way!

I listened to President Obama's speech about the executive action he will be taking in regards to the illegal immigration problem we have. As expected he laid the blame at the feet of the GOP. He also kept emphasizing that his actions were “lawful”, maybe not so much to convince the American people but to convince himself and his sycophants. He tried to sound reasonable, but then he always sounds reasonable, even when he's pushing damaging legislation or foreign policy decisions that come back to haunt us.

I've said it before and I'm going to say it again: What a putz.

11/18/2014

What They Really Think Of Us

Between David Gruber's admission in front of a camera that he thinks the American people are “too stupid” to make decisions for themselves, and stating outright that the Obama Administration had no problems lying to the American people in order to pass legislation that no one in their right mind would support, it gives us a snapshot of just what our political elite - our self-anointed “betters” - really think of us. That in itself should give us pause to reconsider what we think of them.

They do not have our best interests at heart despite their claims to the contrary. They think of us as incompetent children who need to be led down the right path in life, that being obeisance to the state and perpetual dependence upon it. They really don't like us very much. But the thing is that we outnumber them. As such we have the power to tell them to “shove it”, take their power away from them (either by the ballot box or the gun), and then get back to our lives and our work undisturbed by these 'intellectual' know-nothings. When one compares the lives of Americans in fly-over country to the lives of the political elites, you'll find that the elites' lives are no better than anyone else's. The big difference is that they have more money – usually ours rather than theirs – but their lives are little different. They experience they same ups and downs, joys and sorrows, triumphs and failures as the rest of us. However their worries tend to be different as they rarely have to deal with the effects of government over-reach into the economy and our lives. They have in effect carved out exemptions that allows them to skirt the effects of the actions they've taken to control the rest of us.

Socialists are one of the more hypocritical groups within the political elite. Have you ever noticed how many of the most vocal and adamant socialists all have one thing in common? That commonality: wealth. Their wealth insulates them from the effects of the very socialist agendas they're pushing. (The wealthy generally aren't socialists, but all of the more prominent socialists are wealthy. That's one of those examples of cognitive dissonance for which the Left is so famous.)

So the next time we hear the Obama Administration or the Democrats in Congress say they're trying to “help” the American people we'll know they only thing they're trying to do is help themselves to our money, our health care, and in the end, control over our lives.

11/16/2014

Not My Usual "Thoughts On A Sunday" Post

Normally I start my Sunday post with some reference to the goings on around The Manse or in our town, usually covering something mundane or mildly humorous. But I can't this time.

You see, my father - the infamous Weekend Pundit Dad - passed away Friday morning. His passing was not an unexpected event seeing as he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. He was given two to three months before the cancer would kill him. It took a little over three weeks.

He wasn't afraid of dying per se. It was more that he was afraid his mental faculties would be seriously affected, leaving him non compos mentis for weeks before he finally shuffled off this mortal coil. Just last weekend he was hale an hearty, at least for him, enjoying a visit from two of his nephews from Connecticut.

He hated being fussed over and there were times when he said he felt smothered, but that was just Dad expressing his need to show he was still capable of doing things for himself. Thursday that all changed.

My sisters, my brother and his wife, and me along with BeezleBub were there to help rearrange things in the house to make it easier to take care of him, including a hospital bed to make it easier for him to get in and out of bed. He looked drained, as if he'd spent all day laboring at some great task. He dozed now and then, but would fully engage when anyone spent time talking with him. When it was time for me and BeezleBub to leave, he took my hand in a shake and I said “I love you, Dad. I'll be by tomorrow.”

Just a little before 7AM the next morning one of my sisters called to tell me that Dad had just passed away. He went in his sleep, his mind intact, just as he wanted.

One can't ask for more than that.

I love you, Dad.

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My normal Thoughts On A Sunday post will resume next weekend.

11/13/2014

"I'll Grind Their Bones To Make My Bread..."

One of my favorite quotes seen today on Instapundit in regards to Scott Walker::

Does Walker sizzle? Not exactly. Is he a particularly charismatic speaker? No, he isn’t. But does he sit upon a throne made of the skulls of his enemies? Yes, yes he does.

Every time Wisconsin Democrats and their union cronies think they have Scott Walker on the ropes and on the way out, he proves them wrong. Every time they lose to him they become weaker and less relevant. Every time they go up against him they lose even more support, and more imprtantly, they lose more money.

You'd think they would have figured this out by now, but it's apparent they haven't. They also don't have the support they thought they did. Those public employee union members who used to have their money taken from them non-voluntarily in the form of union dues have repudiated them, gladly giving up union membership now that the unions can no longer force their employers (the state or local governments) to collect dues for them. They haven't realized the voters have derailed their gravy train, a long overdue event.

11/12/2014

At The End Of The Day....

It was the end of my work day. I was heading out the side door to our building when I looked over towards the Belknap Mountains and saw something that stopped me in my tracks.

The mountains were illuminated by the setting sun, something I've seen many times before. But what had me stopping and gawking were the juxtaposition of some of the lower clouds flowing over the tops of the mountains, lit up by the setting sun, and the darker sky above that, providing a contrast that is very hard to describe.

I stopped long enough to pull out my cell phone and take a few pictures, knowing even as I was did so the quality of the photos would be poor at best. (Indeed, they were. No amount of working on them with my photo editing suite could make up for the poor image quality.) With the flowing of the clouds over the mountains I knew that if I went back inside to grab the high-res digital camera from our engineering lab, the beautiful scene would be gone. Instead, I stood there for a few minutes longer, imprinting the scene upon my memory until the clouds drifted to the other side of the mountains and the light from the sun faded away.

It was the perfect way to end the work day.

11/09/2014

Thoughts On A Sunday

Winter preparations continue here at The Manse.

One thing I had to do was remove the blowers on the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove again to take a second crack at cleaning them out. While first attempt did increase the airflow, it wasn't enough, so a second and more thorough cleaning was warranted. After it was done the airflow was restored and the blowers were much quieter than they have been in quite some time.

A lot of stuff went to the dump on Saturday, consisting mostly of unwanted and non-repairable items from the basement as well as some items from the WP Parents' abode as well. There was also a trip to the recycling center as well.

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Even though we haven't had any significant snowfall here at The Manse yet, there was some the other evening, giving us a small preview of what's coming over the next 4 months. If the Weather GuysTM are right, we're due for some bone-chilling temperatures later this coming week as a northern Pacific hurricane pushes the jet stream, creating a large dip well into the south and east. I have no doubt there may be some snow to go with that.

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After the killing of Honor Guard Corporal Nathan Cirillo in front of the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa, a retired United States Marine felt he had to do something to honor Corporal Cirillo's sacrifice.

On October 31st, Major R.E.G. “Fox” Sinke, Jr. (USMC Retired) with dual American and Canadian citizenship, donned his dress blues and stood guard by himself at the Memorial until a Canadian honor guard joined him. Sinke is a much decorated war veteran, having been awarded five Purple Hearts.

Sinke received death threats for his actions. His response: “If they're looking for a fight, they came to the right guy...I promise you this: If they come here, they'll die here.”

Ooorah!

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Gee, yet another one of Obama's favorite green energy projects, in this case the $1.6 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Power Plant, is bankrupt, can't pay its bills, and wants a $539 million government bailout.

Hmm, where have we heard that before? Solyndra, anyone?

(H/T Instapundit)

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Of course he'll ignore the polls showing huge opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants. After all, he's supposedly smarter than everyone else in America and he knows better.

Yeah. Right.

On the other hand that gives him and the Democrats a built-in constituency for the next couple of generations. He must be pulling a play from the LBJ playbook.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

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Mike Hendrix shows us how badly deluded some of the Democrats are in regards to the mid-term election results, acting as if it's their party that won at both state and federal level, denying that the voters have shown their displeasure at Obama's policies, as well as being totally wrong about which party has been obstructive in regards to getting legislation passed. (Hint: It wasn't the GOP. Just ask Harry Reid about all of the votes on House-passed legislation he's quashed over the past 4 years.)

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David Starr asks a truly important question in regards to the just-completed election season: Should TV stations air deceptive ads?

Down at the bottom, the local station owners can decide to air, or not to air, any ad.  Is it ethical for them to air ads that they know, and everyone knows, are deceptive? Like half the political ads aired this last election (like just this week). Most of the ads accused the other side of illegal, improbable, and unprovable crimes. If you bothered to watch, most of 'em were so far out that anyone knew they were false.

But none of that stopped the TV stations from airing them. After all, the money was too good to pass up. During this particular election cycle millions upon millions poured into our state to help decide the US Senate race and those in the two Congressional districts. Just about every negative ad was untrue, twisting statements made by the candidates into something other than what they were, or taking quotes and/or actions out of context as a means of painting a political opponent as an unindicted quasi-criminal. I expect it will be worse for the 2016 campaigns.

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The announcement of the death of the TEA Party is premature, particularly in light of eleven TEA Party Republicans being elected to Congress – two in the Senate and nine in the House.

It odesn't help that far too many people have absolutely no idea what the TEA Party platform is, assuming it has something to do with all kinds of social issues. Instead, it breaks down to three defining principles: Fiscal frugality, government staying within its constitutional limits, and free markets. If anyone else claims the TEA Party is working towards limiting women's rights, access to contraception, abortion, and a whole host of other social issues, then they are lying, either deliberately or due to being seriously misinformed by those who have lied to them.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the last of the boats have been removed from their berths, leaf raking is continuing. And preparations for winter continue in earnest.

11/08/2014

Is Obama Incapable Of Negotiating?

The question that has been percolating on the right-leaning web asks whether Obama even knows how to negotiate.

Unfortunately for everyone the answer is a resounding “No!”

There's a simple reason for that: He's never had to negotiate anything in his life. Despite the stories of his 'disadvantaged' upbringing, he was anything but disadvantaged. Many things in his life were handed to him and he never had to meet anyone's expectations. We've seen that just during his political life, where every time he was elected to office he rarely performed the duties of that office because he was preparing to run for the next higher office. To him, negotiation, which at times includes compromise, is something others have to do. As I've stated more than once, to him compromise means telling his opponents “Sit down, shut up, and do what I tell you.” That's no way to negotiate and it isn't going to work with the new GOP majority in the House and Senate.

It’s a little late in the president’s career to learn the fine art of making deals with people who fundamentally disagree with you, but might be willing to work on whatever small goals you might share. I suspect it feels more comfortable to go along with the strategy that has worked decently well over the last four years: hold your ground, complain about Republican intransigence, and hope that Republican legislators give you another opportunity to play long-suffering adult in the room.

I’m not sure that it’s wise to go back to the well. Mitch McConnell has already announced that he is not going to allow shutdowns, impeachment, or other theatrics that will hurt his party in the eyes of swing voters, even if doing so would please the base. Maybe he can’t make good on that promise. But what happens if he does? What happens if Obama signs his executive order, and voters decide that he’s the one who’s acting like a toddler?

He's been acting like a spoiled child since he took office, starting with his first inaugural speech. (In case you've forgotten, he slammed hes predecessor and his administration while he was standing behind him. A real class act, I tell you. It was all down hill from there.)

The next two years are going to be interesting, at least for the GOP. I have a feeling it's going to be a nightmare for Obama and his administration.

11/07/2014

Saudi Play To Regain Control Of Oil Market May Backfire

The global price of oil is dropping, causing ripples in economies all over the world. For some, the lower oil prices are a good thing. For others, the lower oil prices mean falling revenues. Russia's oil income has dropped to the point where it no longer provides enough funds to run the government. Venezuela's already pathetic economy is getting even worse as its oil income decreases and its ability to even provide oil diminishes. For some countries, like Saudi Arabia, oil is its only material export and when oil prices fall the Saudis can't keep paying for its inhabitants benefits. Under those circumstances the Saudis tend to do something that at first seems counterintuitive: pump more oil and force the prices even lower.

What this accomplishes is that it makes it unprofitable for oil producers requiring use of more expensive means of pumping oil to dial back production or to stop producing oil at all because the cost of producing it is higher than what they can sell it for on the open market. This has the effect of crippling other oil producing nations' petroleum sales and reducing the number of competitors in the world oil market. This isn't the first time the Saudis have done this. It's worked for them in the past. But there may be two problems with such a strategy this time that could just as easily cripple the Saudis, too: Even though the supply of oil has increased many fold, demand has not, at least in the US; and the cost of fracking is dropping at an increasing rate even as its ability to increase production goes up which in turn means the cost of producing oil from the shale formations will drop as well.

As more nations start to embrace fracking as a means of producing oil domestically, the downward pressure on oil prices will continue which would force the Saudis to try to produce even more oil. This would force oil prices into a downward spiral the Saudis might not be able to survive particularly, as their oil fields are older and their ability to produce more oil may not exist. When its competitors may have more oil reserves than they do, such a strategy can be a loser. With just the US now having oil reserves many times that of Saudi Arabia and that total going up every day, the Saudis are going to find their window of opportunity to take control of the oil market is closing. As other nations like Russia and China resort to fracking, the Saudis' grip on the oil market could end. That could leave them as minor players and their ability to buy off the more radical citizens could end.

This is one of those “Good News, Bad News” scenarios that could have effects far beyond the Middle East. It could be that over the next decade or so we will be living in “interesting times”.

11/05/2014

Ungracious In Victory

Like many others in America, I was glued to the TV last night, checking election results. While some of my picks won (Frank Guinta in NH’s First Congressional District, to name one), others didn’t.

I had hoped we’d replace Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) with Scott Brown (R), but after a very close race, Shaheen edged out Brown. Of course if the IRS had responded to Breitbart News’ FOIA request in a timely fashion, Shaheen would have likely lost because the information released showed that Shaheen had worked with Lois Lerner to target GOP, conservative, and Tea Party organizations for ‘special’ scrutiny. When was that information released? Tuesday morning after the polls had opened.

Our Democrat governor, Maggie Hassan, survived against GOP newcomer Walt Havenstein, but it wasn’t a blowout.

However the results of those two races didn’t bother me nearly as much as the aftermath of the results in New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District. I had hoped GOP challenger Marilinda Garcia would unseat Democrat incumbent Annie Kuster, but the numbers were against Garcia. Of all the races, this one was probably one of the dirtiest I have ever seen, with ads run by Kuster and those supporting her making all kinds of claims that a little research proved again and again weren’t even close to true. Ads run by Garcia and those supporting her were tame by contrast.

Watching the various victory and concession speeches, almost all were gracious. Almost all.

Kuster, always looking and sounding polite in her ads and at campaign speeches, is known to be condescending, rude, and confrontational under other circumstances. During her victory speech she didn’t waste any time slamming her opponent and those who supported her. It was one of those “Nyah nyah nyah…nyah nyah nyah!! I won, you loser!!” types of speeches. It could in no way be considered gracious. It was a poke-in-the-eye kind of speech, something beneath the dignity of the other candidates of either party.

And to the think we’re going to have to put up with this self-important condescending jerk for two more years.

11/04/2014

It's Finally Over...

...but for the counting.

The polls close in our state at 7PM, bringing the 2014 elections to a close.

It also means no more campaign ads of any kind for about 12 months. That's when the campaign for the New Hampshire Presidential Primaries will kick into high gear.

I. Can. Hardly. Wait.