11/27/2014

Thanksgiving Day In The Aftermath Of a Nor'easter

Thanksgiving Day started early here at The Manse, beginning with a text from the youngest WP Sister at 5:44AM: “Power out as of 3AM. Turkey in precarious state. Do you have power?”

Thus began the Great Nor’easter Thanksgiving Day ‘adventure’.

I had to roust BeezleBub out of his slumber to fire up the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower to clear the snow that had fallen since last night, making it possible for my sister to make it down the driveway. I got the oven prepped and cleaned up the of last of last night’s dishes before the WP Sis and the turkey arrived.(Note: We had over 12 inches of wet, heavy snow, hence our problems with over 200,000 power outages all over New Hampshire .)

The youngest WP Sister, aka ‘Bean’, packaged up our 36lb turkey and brought it to The Manse. At 6:45AM the turkey was in the oven.

At 8AM the power here at The Manse went out. A call to the power company and we found out power wasn’t likely to be restored until 11AM.

Texts back and forth and a few phone calls later and the turkey was on its way to the WP Nephew’s home on the other side of town and into its third oven.

Because of the lack of power, Bean and the WP Mom were at one of our local eateries for breakfast. It turns out it was the same eatery from which we had ordered some pies for our Thanksgiving feast, so they picked them up on their way out, saving us a trip.

At 10AM the power came back on! That meant the turkey needed to come back here since the WP Nephew had a turkey to cook for his family, too. So once again the 36lb bird traveled from one oven to another.

All of our plans were for Thanksgiving dinner at the WP Mom's. But the lack of power at her abode made that impossible, so all of our celebrations had to be moved to The Manse. The problem: we'd made no preparations to receive the dozen or so guests, the house was not set up (or cleaned) to accommodate guests, and we lacked the tables and chairs needed. We had quite a time picking up the needed items and getting them to The Manse.

The WP clan was able to move the feast location, ensure the huge turkey was cooked to perfection along with all the trimmings, all while making accommodations for extra guests who were forced to abandon their original Thanksgiving plans, and do this in less then two hours.

As more than one family member stated at the end of the festivities, this will be one of those Thanksgivings that will be remembered by all for years to come.

11/26/2014

On Thanksgiving Eve...And After

The snow is piling up outside The Manse, here on the eve of Thanksgiving, making travel treacherous for those attempting to get to their Thanksgiving destinations. As I write this there is over 5” of wet, heavy snow piled up outside. I have already been required to pull out a ladder and climb up a few steps to clean the snow off the satellite dish to allow proper reception.

Like many of you out there, I am looking forward to tomorrow's Thanksgiving gathering. It is one of my favorite holidays, surpassing even Christmas and the Fourth of July.

I will admit to dreading the Black Friday shopping traffic that will abound even up here in central New Hampshire. I, for one, will do my best to avoid the retail shops and malls on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. About the closest I will get to any of them will be as I take the back roads to the dump on Friday and Saturday.

One place that will not have to worry about Black Friday traffic will be one the few malls in central New Hampshire, specifically the Steeplegate Mall in Concord. Seeing it has become yet another of the many so-called 'ghost' malls in the US, I doubt it will see all that much in the way of the Christmas retail sales.

When Steeplegate opened Aug. 1, 1990, plenty of people said it was a good idea. The mall would create jobs, attract tourists on the way to Lake Winnipesaukee and provide shopping for state workers toiling in the area. The Sears on Concord’s Main Street became Steeplegate’s main anchor. The local J.C. Penney and Steinbach, a regional department store based in Asbury Park, N.J., followed suit.

About half of Steeplegate’s 80 spaces were vacant when the mall opened. In the coming years, the proprietors struggled to fill them.

It didn’t help that Best Buy, Target, Home Depot and Toys “R” Us opened nearby. The big boxes siphoned off the mall’s customers. Chain restaurants like Olive Garden and Applebee’s emptied out the food court. Meanwhile, regional malls stepped up their game, including the Mall of New Hampshire. In 1994, an outlet mall opened about the same distance to the north.

While the idea sounded great when it was proposed, and a number of stores in Concord's downtown area moved to the mall on the other side of the city, it never really generated the buzz so many other malls within the state did. Over the years a number of the retailers who made the move to the mall moved back to the city's downtown and saw their sales rebound.

The mall is gorgeous. It's clean. It has easy access to one of the Interstates and a major state highway. And it's virtually empty.

There's something sad about such a mall. It's as if it's slowly fading away from neglect.

11/23/2014

Thoughts On A Sunday

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and preparations for Thursday's celebration are ongoing.

The WP clan will be gathering at the WP Mom's abode to celebrate, with much of the food preparation taking place here at The Manse or at my dear brother's place. After this past week we didn't want to burden her with the stress of having to coordinate anything, considering the goings on over this past week.

While it will be bittersweet, it will be a celebration nonetheless.

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The fallout from President Obama's decree on immigration continues. You know it's bad when even leading Democrats have been saying it was the wrong thing to do.

Then again, Obama has shown himself to be a hypocrite – stating at an earlier time when he was still a US Senator the President should stay within the law and work with Congress to hammer things out, then turning around and issuing an imperial decree when things don't go his way. Then again we've seen all throughout his administration that he has no use for the Constitution and will go around it when he doesn't get his way.

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Oh, this is going to sting!

Does anyone remember those 'missing' e-mails from Lois Lerner's 'crashed' computer that could prove that the IRS targeted GOP and conservative political groups for special scrutiny at the behest of the Democrats and the White House? They are missing no more.

Thirty thousand e-mails to and from Lois Lerner have been recovered.

The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed congressional staffers from several committees on Friday that the emails were found among hundreds of “disaster recovery tapes” that were used to back up the IRS email system.

Committees in the House and Senate are seeking the emails, which they believe could show Lerner was working in concert with Obama administration officials to target conservative and Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status before the 2012 presidential election.

I have a feeling this news will have a lot of Obama operatives and supporters diving for cover.

Let the subpoenas begin!

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A reader asks Dr. Helen whether “geeks are on strike.” This question was brought up due to the two most recent 'geek gaffes', namely the Shirtstorm and Gamergate scandals.

I probably have a unique perspective on it due to my connections to the young guys in the gaming industry. It’s bizarre how some of them are in their twenties, have graduated from good schools, and have simply zero interest in women. They just have literally nothing in common with them and no interest in them.

The biggest communication problem is that most women see “relationship” as a positive thing. Most men see it as an ambiguous thing. So, when the selling point of Little Miss Real Life over Jane Pornstar is “relationship,” you can see where it’s not going to be very appealing. I don’t think there’s much of a “fuck you” element, though. The guys who think that way tend to be the players, particularly the Sigma players. A lot of the guys who opt out aren’t particularly angry at women, they just don’t see much point to pursuing involvement with them.

Perhaps what the reader is observing in Gamergate and Shirtgate is that the geeks involved not only don’t have the social conditioning to “make nice,” but that they have less to lose than conformists such as the media or feminists who need other women and men to join their worldview.

The conformists hate that their groupthink doesn’t extend to everyone and are taken by surprise that the geeks don’t care if they are invited to the party. They learned long ago that they weren’t invited in the first place and many made their own world that didn’t depend on being popular. One thing about being on the outside is that it can be freeing and allow one to fight back without restraint. The conformists can’t forgive that. When you see people on Twitter and in the media calling these guys names and bellyaching about them, it just shows that the geeks have won.

Exactly. So it's not surprising the geeks are telling the perpetually offended feminazis to “bugger off!” I only wish the poor sod at the ESA who was the target in the #Shirtstorm debacle had told them the same thing.

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The University System As The Village Of The Damned indeed!

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A UC Berkeley alum shares his disgust for his alma mater, illustrating just how much worse it has become, illustrating just how bad it's become in a video, showing how it has become an anti-semetic and even more deeply anti-American institution of indoctrination.

If you support Palestine or other radical Islamic nations or causes, you are directly supporting genocidal, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, antisemitic, anti-Christian, anti-American, anti-Western, incredibly violent, sadistic regimes. Ask yourself what that says about you. I can assure you without any hesitation that you would be the same person who would have supported Stalin in the 1930s, Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s, and Genghis Khan in the 12th and 13th centuries. You are a person utterly bereft of any decency or morality, and this is true no matter how you try to use the battle cries of “imperialism” and “oppression” to dress up your perverse cultural predilections and moral vacuum.

What many of the Berkeley students don't realize is that if those same powers they support ever took control here in the US they would be the first ones to be imprisoned and, even more likely, beheaded.

Heh.

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Judge Janine Pirro slammed Obama on Fox News Opening Statement last night, comparing him to a mobster with contempt for the law.

Beginning her segment with a series of clips showing Obama himself declaring the action he took Thursday to be illegal, Pirro noted the president has been on the record stating at least 12 times that the solution to American immigration’s problems was to be found in Congress, not the Oval Office.

“This is not about the audacity of hope, Mr. President,” Pirro said. “This is about the tenaciousness of your lawlessness, the imbalance of your moral code, and the imposition of your political agenda.”

Actually, gangsters respect the law more. At least they don’t pretend they’re following it.

Has Obama ever had any respect for the law? Not that I can tell.

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The News Junkie expounds upon the infantile relationship we have with government.

Over 100 years, government trained the masses to think "government should do something" whenever life presents them with obstacles, challenges, heartaches, bad luck, and expenses.

Is it any wonder government, or at least those in government, believe they should be running every aspect of our lives?

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're getting a break from the chilling temperatures over the next few days, finishing up on the last of the yard work, and where preparations for Thanksgiving continue apace.

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.