1/21/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been quiet around New Hampshire this past week, with much of any excitement coming from the NFL playoff games taking place today. The weather certainly hasn't been much of an issue with two different bouts of warmer weather over the past week. There was a little snow the other day but in the end it didn't cause anything like the disruptions we saw earlier in the month.

We did get a bit of sticker shock when we finally had our propane tank refilled after our two week long experience with sub-zero temperatures. Our provider pumped 400 gallons of propane into our tank, about twice the amount one would normally expect for one month's worth of heating. We weren't the only ones to see an inordinate amount of fuel used during that cold spell. Almost everyone I talked to about about it related a similar story.

I expect we'll see one more period of sub-zero temps before we get through winter, something that usually takes place in late January/early February. Even then it usually lasts only a few days, not for week after week as we saw at the end of December and beginning of January.

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Talk about the chickens coming home to roost!

It seems that former US Senator Harry Reid did not truly understand what he wrought when he created the so-called 'nuclear option' as a means of choking off a filibuster by the other side as means of pushing through legislation the GOP found reprehensible.

Now that Senate Democrats are grandstanding about the “Schumer Shutdown”, trying to extort the GOP into attaching poor DACA legislation onto the budget bill, President Trump has made the suggestion that Senate Republicans exercise the nuclear option to get a budget passed.

I don't blame either the President or congressional Republicans from wanting clean bills for both the budget and DACA. They want to make sure everyone knows who voted for what. With a combined bill you will have Senators and Representatives voting for legislation they really don't like just to get the money flowing again. It's a bad deal for both the GOP and the American people.

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Will the next Civil War take place in California?

I think the answer is a qualified 'yes'.

Perhaps the most accurate way to state the main causes of the Civil War was the South wanted to preserve slavery under “states’ rights” and the North wanted to protect and preserve the Union.

It is therefore repeating history that the new battleground over “states’ rights” is California.

--snip--

While most people will concentrate on the immigration issue, we believe there is a First Amendment component to California’s actions as well.

Think about this for a second: California is censuring people for reporting crimes and criminals.

In order to censor speech, there must be a compelling governmental interest. There is not one here.

--snip--

Secondly, immigration is a Federal concern, not a state concern. Back in 2012, the US Supreme Court decided the case of ARIZONA et al. v. UNITED STATES, in which the Court held that Arizona could not create or enforce its own laws on immigration. Only the Federal government could deal with immigration as required in the Constitution.

It seems to us that California is trying to usurp Federal authority established by the Constitution as well as going against Supreme Court decisions.

Read The Whole Thing.

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Will the FISA Memo fully expose the abuses by the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Hillary?

The way everyone involved seems to be going into 'duck and cover' mode, I'd have to say that even if it doesn't, it will expose most of it and who is responsible for those abuses.

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I tired not to watch, but I found that it was impossible.

The New England Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 and will move on to the SuperBowl in two weeks. Now it's a matter of who they will be facing as the NFC playoff is being played as I write this. Will it be the Vikings or the Eagles?

Frankly, I'm hoping it's the Eagles, my favorite NFC team.

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And that's the (somewhat)abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the warm weather over the weekend took care of some of last weeks snowfall, more snow is on the way, and we still have 8 weeks of winter left.

1/14/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

New England weather can be fickle, particularly during winter. In less than 24 hours we went from temperatures in the upper 50's to mid-teens in less than 24 hours. It brought the January thaw to a halt.

A good portion of the snow cover has melted away, between the warm temperatures and heavy rain. Mostly it's the snow banks that we still see. At least the thaw didn't greatly affect the ice on top of the lake, meaning it's highly likely the annual Ice Fishing Derby will take place as scheduled.

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I did watch the AFC Divisional game between the Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots. Listening to some of the commentators the Patriots were outgunned by a much stronger Titans defense and offense.

The Patriots won 35-14.

The first quarter pretty much belonged to the Titans as they managed to score one touchdown and prevented the Patriots from reaching the end zone. But the next 3 quarters belonged to the Patriots as they scored 35 unanswered points before the Titans managed to score their second touchdown towards the end of the fourth quarter.

Now we wait the outcome of today's game between Jacksonville and Pittsburgh to see who the Patriots play next week.

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By way of Wirecutter comes this story from Michigan where an active duty Marine has been charged with multiple felonies after protecting his family and home from and armed intruder. Ironic considering the miscreant was wounded by the Marine after he had fired into the house after trying to kick in the door, and then released after posting a $500 bond on an illegal weapons charge. The Marine, one Joey Nelson, has been charged with 5 felonies and is being held on a $150,000 cash bond.

WTF?

But wait, it gets worse!

They denied him access to his lawyer, chose to ignore a judge's writ of habeas corpus to release him, and acted as if the law didn't apply to them.

Apparently the police department in Westland, Michigan, where this all took place, has a history of abuse and incompetence. These are the types of guys that give the rest of our nation's police officers a bad name.

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Want to see how some towns and their school work their budgeting? Then take a look at one brief view of our schools budget from the viewpoint of the budget committee, a group of our townsfolk elected to review, modify, and recommend/not recommend certain budget items.

The attendance at our three schools has been declining for years, dropping ~13% over a period of 8 years, but the school budget keeps climbing.

The school board and the superintendent's office have told us that the proposed school budget is just under 1% smaller than the budget approved for the current school year, but they're wrong. It's actually up almost 1% from the budget approved by the town's voters. It's only 1% down from what they've actually spent, meaning they've spent more than the amount approved by the voters last year. That's not the same thing.

While I understand that not all spending is under their control, an example of that being special education expenditures, a lot of the rest is. Special education is funded by the federal and state governments, not directly by the taxpayers in this town. That still doesn't explain the expected expenditures until the end of the present school year being 2% above what was approved by the voters.

I always find it interesting how a budget increase can be portrayed as a budget decrease even though it really isn't.

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I find it interesting that the only person who says President Trump labeled a number of countries as s**tholes is Senator Dick Durbin (D), someone not exactly known for his veracity. That it appears that no one else in the meeting where Trump allegedly uttered that term actually heard him say that means that either they are all lying and Durbin is telling the truth, or that everyone else is telling the truth and Durbin is lying.

Of the two, I am more inclined to believe that it is the latter and not the former.

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Antifa better be careful what they wish for, because if they get it I can guarantee that not long after that they'll wish that the very same folks they want to incinerate were there to protect them.

They really believe that somehow they'll be the ones in control if they get their wish. Instead they'll be the second round of victims once the rest of us decide that “they just plain need killin'”, to use a Southern aphorism.

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The latest thing on the list of things that are racist?

Not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Really? Hmm, if that goes forth then I guess I am a racist and that will give me power the non-racists won't have, that being knowing what works and what doesn't.

To think that folks actually believe this drek. If nothing else it shows just how mentally deranged and dangerous these idiots have become. It's time to put them into mental institutions to make sure they don't hurt themselves or others due to their mental state.

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Yup, it must have been Donald Trump that forced that employee at Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency to push the wrong button which sent out the false missile attack warning.

Is there nothing the president can't do?

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the January thaw has ended, things are freezing up again, and where the level in the propane tank is dangerously low.

1/07/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

Here it is, the end of the first week of 2018 and I am glad of it.

Between the heavy snows and sub-zero temperatures (that's not counting windchill), the coming respite over this week will be gladly accepted. It will give me time to finish clearing out the snow from around The Manse, particularly from the decks and the front entry way. With rain forecast for Friday I have to make sure the snow has been removed in order to keep the weight of the rain-laden snow from causing damage to the decks. Fortunately I should be able to finish that task tomorrow after work.

I believe this coming week can be classified as the January Thaw, a period of a few days to a week where the temperatures rise well above freezing. This allows ice and snow to melt off of the roads and people to wearing much lighter outdoor attire.

We'll take what we can get before we plunge back into the deep freeze...which we will.

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This merely proves the lunatics are running the asylum.

A Yale psychiatrist wants to have the Democrats to restrain and force President Trump to have a medical exam. How absolutely Soviet of them!

Considering most of her colleagues thinks she's a disgrace and willfully ignoring the Goldwater rule, I think we can dismiss her as nothing more than yet another delusional Progressive suffering from TDS. Tie this in with Michael Wolff's book where all he offers is accusations about Trumps mental health while not a sign of any alleged afflictions have been seen in public, and it's all beginning to sound like a smear campaign writ larger than we've ever seen before. I wonder how much Soros money has been funneled to the DNC for this effort?

The louder the Democrats and their Progressive masters screech, the more they are showing us it is they who need to look at their own mental health.

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Now that BeezleBub has adopted a dog from one of our local animal shelters, I think he needs to consider showing him how to do this.

Considering BeezleBub works at the local ski resort grooming trails having his dog know how to snowboard might be a good thing. But I wonder if he'll have to buy him a lift ticket?

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As Skip Murphy asks, “Could my favorite movie of all time be made today?”

Unfortunately for everyone, the answer is 'no'.

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First, Trump fixes global warming, then he does something for African Americans that The Won wasn't able to do in 8 years.

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Another thing I have to say about President Trump is that he's managed to shift the attentions of liberals away from the things that matter and towards himself. That certainly gives him and Congress a chance to get the things done that need to be done all while the Democrats are focusing on his non-legislative efforts.

It could be called political prestidigitation where he gets the Democrats and the rest of the Progressives to focus on the shiny thing in one hand while he takes care of the business of getting America back on track with the other.

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I am trying Mozilla's latest version of the Firefox browser, Quantum (version 57 of Firefox).

One thing I can say for sure about it is that it is many times faster than many of the previous versions I've used. The one thing that almost had me abandoning Firefox altogether was its slowing response/rendering and increasingly higher resource loading, at times using up to 75% of the CPU for certain video or graphics intense websites. Quantum isn't the resource hog previous version of Firefox had been.

I wonder if this reboot of Firefox is an attempt to regain market share lost when the founder/creator of Mozilla/Firefox was booted from the organization because of a perceived politically incorrect faux pas.

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Cap'n Teach points us to the increasing chasm between California and the rest of America.

It appears California's state government has come to believe it can ignore federal law when it suits it, even in areas where the Constitution says the federal government has supremacy. One example is immigration. Only the federal government has control of immigration, but California has decided it can safely ignore federal law in that regard. Of course the feds retaliated by making sure that numerous 'sanctuary cities' have seen their federal law enforcement dollars dry up as a result. And now that the state has declared itself a sanctuary state, I expect the feds will be seeing about withholding even more federal funds from the rogue state. I also expect the state government and its congressional delegation will be screeching about that and how 'unfair' the feds are being.

Too bad. So sad.

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Oh, yeah! Show Me The Money!

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the grip of arctic temperatures is giving way, melting of snow and ice on road surfaces will commence, and where we're still digging out from the Nor'easter that pummeled the East Coast.

1/06/2018

New England's Energy Shortsightedness - Who Will Pay The Price?

I sit here in my office at The Manse, which is situated near the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire, looking at the outside temperature and being glad that I am indoors. It's a balmy -4ºF (-20ºC) at 1PM, with windchills at -25ºF (-32ºC) or worse. My trips outside have been limited by these conditions. I am reluctant to go out unless I have a darned good reason, with clearing the driveway of the snowdrifts in a little bit being one of them. That's something I'll be attending to shortly in order to make sure Deb can make it up the driveway in order to get to work.

While temperatures this low this early in the winter is unusual, it isn't unheard of. Tying them together with the big honking Nor'easter we experienced has merely made those well below average temperatures even more daunting because it's very difficult to spend time clearing away the snow. And that brings us to another problem – energy.

The one thing that has had anyone in the know here in New England to worry has been energy, specifically natural gas and electricity. At one point New England had many nuclear power plants which provided a large percentage of its electricity. A number of those have now closed. The same is true of a number of coal and oil-fired power plants. What has replaced some of that now off-line capacity has been natural gas-fired dual cycle power plants. They burn cleaner than either coal or oil plants and they can throttle up and down easily, something that nuclear plants can't do. But they do have one problem: they require natural gas in order to operate. That's the crux of New England's energy problem.

New England doesn't have the pipeline capacity to provide enough natural gas to feed both power plants and provide heat to residences and businesses. Due to bitterly cold winters like this one has been so far, ISO New England has stated that there may be issues with being able to meet the electrical demand because there may not be enough natural gas to go around. With a number of nuclear plants now in the process of being decommissioned and coal and oil plants also being dismantled, switching to anything other than natural gas is problematic. The natural gas supply situation is such that quite often natural has to be imported from Yemen on huge LNG tankers at a huge cost. That's ironic considering the US is now the largest producer of natural gas on the planet.

What would be the answer to solving this particular problem? That's simple: build more gas pipelines into New England. It solves a number of problems, drops the cost of both electricity and heating, and ensures the lights and heat will remain on during extremely cold weather like we've been experiencing since Christmas. Makes sense, right?

Too bad that virtue-signaling pseudo-greens and renewable energy con-men have decided we don't need no stinkin' pipelines. In fact they've fought tooth and nail to keep two major natural gas pipelines from being built, all in the name of 'saving' the Earth. That it helps the virtue-signalers feel good about themselves for preventing something they have no desire to understand while at the same time helping the renewable energy confidence men reap a huge payoff because they can prevent their competition from solving their supply problems has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Yeah. Right.

New England was warned that it's pipeline constraints could cause problems and now it's happening.

“During extremely cold weather, natural gas pipeline constraints limit the availability of fuel for natural-gas-fired power plants,” the grid operator [ISO New England] noted.

That’s exactly what is happening right now.

Unrelenting cold since late December has caused energy demand to spike, pushing up prices and straining supplies. New England power companies are struggling to keep up with demand.

New England’s current energy woes are the result of years of state and federal policies aimed at closing coal and oil-fired power plants, largely as part of the region’s effort to fight global warming.

In 2000, New England got about 18 percent of its electricity from coal plants. Now, the region gets around 3 percent — though it’s jumped to 6 percent in the recent cold snap.

Most of the shuttered capacity has been replaced by natural gas, but pipeline capacity has not kept up with demands from power plants.

--snip--

Gas supply constraints have made New England the the world’s most expensive power market. Some power plants have taken to burning oil to generate power, but supplies are running low. Federal air quality regulations are also keeping power plants from burning more fuel.

Who will be the first to complain should a power shortage cause ISO New England to resort to rolling blackouts? The very same people who did everything in their power to make sure natural gas supplies were strangled. The very same people who have worked so hard to kill nuclear power. The very same people who are working hard to make sure that transmission lines that would bring inexpensive and renewable hydropower from Canada will never be built.

Perhaps they should be the ones to bear the brunt of their closeminded shortsightedness by being the first to get their power cut and last to get it restored should rolling blackouts come to be. Let them bear the burden of what they've wrought.

12/31/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

Here it is, the final Thoughts On A Sunday for 2017. Where did the year go?

One thing we have been battling with since Christmas has been the sub-zero temperatures. Not that we haven't had below zero temps around Christmas before, but in this case it's been for days on end. To give you an idea, freezing rain fell at the end of the Christmas Day snowstorm and coated the trees with ice. None of that ice has melted and many of the trees coated with that ice are still bent over or have limbs that are sagging to the ground under the weight of that ice.

Another downside has been frozen pipes. One of the bathrooms here at The Manse has had a shower and a bathtub made unusable because the pipes feeding them have frozen and have not yet thawed. The earliest that might happen is later this coming week when the high temps will be in the 20's.

Another downside to the sub-zero temps has been the difficulty working outside. The wind chills make it extremely uncomfortable if not impossible (and dangerous) to work outside for more than a few minutes. There is still snow from the Christmas Day storm that I need to remove, but the cold has made it difficult to do so.

And so ends 2017.

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The 'swatting' death of a man in Wichita, Kansas has certainly brought out the cop-haters. Before any of the details about the shooting had been made public other than a man had been killed and that he was the apparent victim of a 'swatting', comments made at the post linked above had already condemned the police officer who fired the fatal shot. Some where making up all kinds of crap about the shooting, acting as if they had actually been there and witnessed what happened. Others misconstrued the contents of the 911 call, calling it an anonymous tip. (I think they confuse the meaning of 'anonymous tip' and 'reporting a crime'. They aren't the same.)

Lengthy diatribes against SWAT teams were posted even though not a single report that I could find mentioned anything about a SWAT team. (That doesn't mean it wasn't SWAT who was involved. I just haven't seen any reports that they were.) It just as likely that it was a patrol officer responding to the scene of the alleged hostage situation who fired the fatal shot.

But as so many on one side of the political aisle have said, why let the facts get in the way of promoting the narrative?

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Patterico has his views on the Wichita SWATting, he himself having been on the receiving end of a swatting back in 2011.

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I read this and realized the people making the claim still don't know the difference between climate and weather. What's “this”?

Heavy Erie Snow Is 'Totally' Climate Change.

'They' claim that because Lake Erie was warmer than normal (not that they've proved that), the lake effect snow that blanketed Erie, Pennsylvania was caused purely by climate change. However, I'd like to point out that it isn't often that sub-zero temperatures and winds out of the north hit Erie at this time of year, particularly at the same time. It's likely that this was a once-every-so-often event. But if it happens again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that for a decade or so, then climate change might be a cause.

One of the less credible claims is that “Normally, when air this cold arrives, much of Lake Erie is frozen solid, so the cold air would pass across the lake surface without gathering up much moisture. This year, the air drew up moisture from the warmer water — which then fell as masses of snow.”

First, Lake Erie is rarely frozen over in its entirety. The last time that Lake Erie froze over in its entirely was February 2010. Before that it was during the winter of 1995-1996.

Second, as best I have been able to determine it has never been frozen over by Christmas as it usually hasn't been cold enough long enough to do so. Even here at Lake Winnipesaukee, a much smaller lake of only 72 square miles as compared to Lake Erie's 9,940 square miles (larger than the entire state of New Hampshire), the lake's surface is not entirely frozen. There are still large patches of open water. Most of the bays and coves are frozen over, but not the rest of the lake.

Call this yet another blown out of proportion story to support the AGW narrative.

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At first, I thought the USPS trucks I saw making deliveries on Sundays were doing so just for the holidays. However I still have seen a number of mail trucks out today making regular mail deliveries. Some 'regular' mail deliveries have been coming quite late, with two occasions just this past week where the mail wasn't delivered until well past 8PM.

I don't know whether this has been just until New Year's or whether it's going to become a regular thing. Considering the USPS had talked about doing away with Saturday mail deliveries only a year or so ago, I have to think it is just for the holidays.

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Gee, the rabid moonbat professor who wanted nothing more than White Genocide for Christmas has resigned his position at Drexel University because of the 'harassment' from “the white supremacists (i.e., white non-leftists) he so stridently hates.”

I find it interesting that this particular professor who also happens to be white hates his race so much that he wishes nothing but its extinction at the hands of all the other races. I strongly suggest that if he hates whites that much that he should do all of us a favor and off himself. It is what he wants, isn't it?

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I like this idea.

A group called “Open The Books” is campaigning to open the financial books of government at all levels across the nation. This would give citizens and interested groups access to the financial records of government at federal, state, and local level which would show spending and income in almost real time. (Real time isn't necessarily possible because at times there are delays between an expenditure and when it shows up in the ledger. Usually that's a few days, at least on a local level.)

We do that here in our little town, where the town's ledgers are accessible via the town's website. It is almost real time, keeping in mind the small delay before expenditures and revenues show up in the ledger. It has certainly kept our spending under public scrutiny. Maybe it's time to do that across the board.

I do understand that some government spending, particularly for things like certain defense and related covert operations, would be exempt from open books. But for the most part I think it would be a good idea.

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I have to agree with Skip on this one with one minor correction.

Nikki Haley is one of the best UN ambassadors the US has had in some time. She's right up there with Jeanne Kirkpatrick and John Bolton.

I can see a possible run for the White House in her future.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the frigid weather continues, lots of outdoor chores aren't being done, and where 20ºF weather will be considered balmy.

12/30/2017

Frost Heaves In December? Uh-oh...

The subject of today’s post?

Frost heaves.

This is something that occurs to roads during the latter part of the winter as snow and ice thaws and the melt water works its way under the pavement during the day, and then freezes during the night. This causes the pavement to move, heaving upwards and creating ridges across the road. The pounding of traffic over these ridges can cause the pavement to break up. It also can lead to potholes as the broken pavement is displaced, leaving a void in the road surface. This void is a pothole.

So why am I bringing this subject up at the end of December?

Deb and I made the trip to the WP In-Laws in southwestern New Hampshire today. On our way there I noticed that the surface of some of the roads we usually take were rather rough. It took a few minutes to realize that the roads were suffering from frost heaves. It wasn’t just some of the town roads suffering from this malady, but some of the state highways were also afflicted.

In all my years I have never seen frost heaves in December. They usually start appearing in late February or early March as the sun gets stronger and the daytime temperatures rise above freezing, but not in late December.

The only thing I can think of is that the abnormally cold temperatures we have been experiencing have frozen the ground rapidly and any water that would normally have had time to drain away from under the roads froze in place instead. Hence the formation of frost heaves months ahead of usual. While I doubt they will get bigger as they have no additional supply of water, they have appeared far earlier and may cause more damage as both traffic and snow plows will have an extra couple of months to break up the pavement at the frost heaves.

This does not bode well for our roads this winter.

12/24/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday - Christmas Eve Edition

It is now certain that we will be guaranteed a white Christmas here in central New Hampshire, between the 7 inches of snow we received on Friday and the additional 4 to 8 inches forecast for Christmas Day.

I have to admit that I am not looking forward to the upcoming snowfall as the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower has suffered a breakdown and the parts I need to make repairs won't be in until the middle of the coming week. That means I'll be using a combination of a push plow and snow shovel to clear the driveway of The Manse, in turn making for a lot more effort to remove the snow.

However there has been a small saving grace, that being that I find it's faster to use the push plow to clear the snow from the driveway proper than using a snowblower. What can take 15 minutes to do with the snowblower takes all of 5 minutes with the push plow. It helps that the driveway slopes downwards, meaning that gravity gives an assist. On the other hand I still have to get the snow off of the pavement which means using the snow shovel.

Welcome to winter in New England.

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I find it interesting (but not surprising) that the leaders of the Democrat Party are rooting against the American worker and our country's success. After all, if American workers see the economy recover and more of them can find work (and keep more of the money they earn) what can the Democrats possibly run as a party platform?

“Hey, you stupid people, we're gonna raise your taxes and make sure your job goes away! So vote for us or else!”

Yeah, that will be a winning campaign.

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There was a length discussion on one of the Disqus comment sections in regards to the best (and worst0 Christmas movies. I don't remember where I saw it and, quite frankly, I was too lazy to go looking for it.

One of the better debates was about the best version of A Christmas Carol, with the opinions running from the version with Mr. Magoo through Alistair Sim to George C. Scott to Patrick Stewart, along with a whole host of variations on the theme, most of which I'd never heard of before. (One wag even suggested that Groundhog Day was based loosely on Dickens' classic.)

My two favorite versions were the ones starring Alistair Sim and George C. Scott. Sim's portrayal of Scrooge was very dark while Scott's Scrooge was by far the most human version I'd seen.

In any case, BeezleBub and one of his friends will be coming by the evening to partake of Scott's version, a tradition we've had since before I had married his mother. Who are we to break with tradition?

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At least one NFL team is admitting outright that the 'take a knee' protest has hurt them and their income. They've been seeing a lot of empty seats at their home games, concession revenues are way down as are sales of team paraphenalia. They'll know just how much of a bath they'll be taking when sales of season tickets begin prior to next season.

I'm expecting them to be shocked by the number of unsold tickets will be in their hands.

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Apparently this snowflake has never heard the warning “Be careful what you wish for...You just might get it.”

In this case BuzzFeed UK science editor Kelly Oakes tweeted “All I want for Christmas is full communism now.” It is clear to me that she has no idea of the history of communism and that were she to get her wish that she'd likely be one of its first victims, either being summarily executed or sent to a gulag for “re-education”.

I think I could explain it to her in one simple sentence, that being “The only problem with communism is that it involves people.” Communism doesn't work, at least not with human beings it doesn't. Insects like ants, termites, or bees have it down pat. But humans aren't insects. Nor will they ever be. She also has to understand that Marx was a misanthrope as he hated people in general, particularly those with whom he disagreed.

If she really wants to experience communism, then I'll see about getting the old WAYBAC machine fixed and I'll drop her off in the Soviet Union circa 1921 or so. I'm sure she'll enjoy the experience.

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I recently replaced my Netgear WNDR4300 dual-band wireless router with a new Linksys SA7400 dual-band wireless router. Not that there was anything wrong with the Netgear router, but I found that it never had the range on 5GHz that I thought it should and there were times when there was 'funkiness' when using a VPN to access my employer's data network.

The difference is day and night in regards to range and performance. I now have full 5GHz connectivity all throughout The Manse and have not had any issues with the VPN since I installed it.

I did not use the Linksys Smart WiFi Router website to configure the router as I had confidence in my ability to properly configure it without the need to go via a roundabout means to do so. It also meant there was no outside access to the router's administrative functions except by a direct connection to one of its Ethernet ports which closed what I saw as a potential security hole.

The Netgear router will be re-purposed as a dual-band wireless access point to enable a better connection to streaming video at a relative's home. (It never had any issues with streaming HD video from Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu. It just had the annoying deficiencies that affected my work that I mentioned above. It should be perfect for the purpose for which it will be used.)

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As it is Christmas Eve and I know that BeezleBub will be arriving at any minute, I want to take this moment to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the last of the Christmas shopping is winding up, people are trying to get where they need to go before the snow starts in the early morning hours, and where the children are all wound up on sugar and the anticipation of a visit by Santa overnight.

12/17/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

We survived the first real snowfall with only the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower suffering a breakdown in the midst of the cleanup. It appears the breakdown was caused by a broken drive belt that runs the auger and impeller, something I am hoping I will be able to repair during my upcoming time off from work. Fortunately we have little, if any snow forecast to fall over the next week so it shouldn't put me in a bind in regards to getting the snow cleared from the driveway.

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The more debate I hear over the GOP tax plan, the more I realize that most of the critics have been focusing on one particular part or another of the plan and ignoring the parts that offset the points they bring up. If you only focus on one section of any tax plan you will always miss something that mitigates the possible negative effects of other parts.

People scream about losing their SALT (State and Local Taxes) exemption, but remain silent about the doubling of personal exemptions. (SALT only helps in those states with high taxes, like California, New York, and Connecticut. Other states like New Hampshire with no state sales or income taxes end up subsidizing the high tax states because there are far fewer state and local taxes to write off.)

Then again, many of the critics don't care because all they want to do is raise taxes even more than they are now, claiming that we have a revenue problem. But what we have in reality is a spending problem, one that was made far worse under the eight years of the Obama Administration.

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Who helped win the war against Isis?

I'll give you a hint: It wasn't Obama.

It's amazing how well our armed forces do against monsters like ISIS when the rules of engagement make sense.

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It's not surprising to anyone who has been paying attention over the last few years that the Mueller investigations have seen cover up after cover up being committed by the very people who are supposed to be on the side of law and order. It is also devolving into a witch hunt, something that never turns out well.

The only question to ask at this point is how many 'witches' will end up being burned by the very organizations that were in fact the perpetrators.

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From The People's Cube comes this observation:

One after another, our glorious thought-leaders and heroes are confessing to terrible sexcrimes against their pussycomrades. Their heart-wrenching confessions are published on the front pages. The nation's headlines are filled with the names of beloved celebrities and politicians who from now on must be publicly hated, stricken from records, and condemned to oblivion. This may feel like Stalinism Lite because nobody is being executed or sent to the gulag. And yet, just like under Stalin, anyone naive enough to stand up for a friend or appeal to reason automatically becomes a traitor...

Indeed.

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As Skip writes, “Either you accept all of the Constitution, or none of it.”

And so on — ignoring the fact that the same progressives who’ve got their knickers in a twist about national concealed carry reciprocity fully support the Supreme Court decision forcing all 50 states to recognize gay marriage.

We don't get to pick and choose which rights we will honor and those we won't. It's no different that saying we will pick and choose which laws we will follow and those we won't. Trying something like that usually leads to time in a courthouse and then a stay at one of the other fine state institutions as a guest of the state.

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I find it ironic that someone whose company decides what people can see online says “Internet service providers should not be able to decide what people see online.”

Actually, I don't know if it's ironic or hypocritical that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg made such a statement. Considering he was commenting about the FCC's reversal of Net Neutrality, a solution to a problem that hasn't existed, I'm leaning towards hypocrisy.

One of my co-workers has lamented the reversal, noting that our ISP bills will skyrocket because now we'll have to pay for every site we visit, just like we had to before Net Neutrality came into play.

Oh, wait...that's not correct, is it? We didn't have to do that before, did we? And we had both Title I and the Federal Trade Commission keeping an eye on such things well before this Net Neutrality garbage came into being.

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She didn't leave the Democrat Party so much as the Democrat Party left her.

Gee, where have I heard that line before?

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First, math was racist. Then the colors red and green during Christmas were racist. Now it's “Jingle Bells.”

When will this Progressive insanity end? I think we need to build a lot of mental institutions because these folks are out of the effin' minds. What will it be next, water?

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're getting closer to Christmas, the stores are getting busier, and where I'm doing most of my shopping online.

12/10/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

The first substantial snowfall of the season arrived yesterday here in the Lakes Region, with our little town receiving about 5 inches. Clearing it away didn't take long and the late morning/early afternoon sun melted any of the snow left on the driveway, so there was no need to apply either sand or snow melt.

The Weather GuysTM say we have even more snow coming on Tuesday with 7 inches likely to fall in this area. This likely means we'll have a white Christmas this year!

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If you need yet another example of just how corrupt the MSM has become, all one needs to do is look at MSLSD's Joy Reid. She thinks that we non-urban Americans need to be brought under tight control by means of doing away with the electoral college. As she states:

The rural minority...have and will continue to have disproportionate power over the urban majority.” And, “That (ending gerrymandering) and the abolition of the Electoral College would be a start.”

She obviously has no understanding of the electoral college or why the Framers of the Constitution set up the election of President and the make up of the two chambers of Congress the way they did, that being that there could not be a tyranny of either the minority or majority. Or worse, she has a perfect understanding and wishes to impose a tyranny of the majority on those of us blessed enough to live in rural America. She wants to turn America into some version of The Hunger Games.

She says we are “the core threat to our democracy.” But America isn't a democracy like the one she thinks it is. It is a constitutional republic with a representative democracy, with the only thing in common between the two being the word 'democracy'. They aren't the same thing.

There are a number of things she has overlooked in regards to pushing her dream of marginalizing rural America – We have the food, the guns, and a large portion of our military comes from rural America. If she wants a civil war we'll give her one, one that she and her side will lose.

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As a follow on to the post above, there's this from John Hawkins that explains why the DC elite want our type of Americans to go away.

I get along with cops, soldiers, preppers and country boys -- the sort of guys who know how to shoot, know how to take care of themselves and would watch your back in a fight if it came to that. I don’t much like the government, but I do like small town government better than government in D.C. If someone has to be in charge, better the sort of guy you can run into at the grocery store who will give you an answer when you want to know why the potholes on your street haven’t been fixed. D.C.’s different. I know the Democrats there hate me because I’m a straight, white, Christian, Southern conservative and the people that run the Republican Party today would only care what I think if I had hundreds of thousands of dollars to give them. That’s why if I can make trouble for either group, I’m game.

There are always people in D.C. who think they have a better idea of what to do with my life and my money than I do. I don’t need any “help” from the government and I’m not okay with the government using my money to help people who should be helping themselves. When I want to give to charity, tithe to my church or buy Christmas gifts for a poor family, I do it. We may all have to pool our money to pay for street signs, the police and the military, but I don’t see any reason my money should go to people on welfare for years, the families of anchor babies or scammers doing Crossfit right before the government hands them a disability check for their “intolerable” pain. Go work for a living like the rest of us.

--snip--

We live in a country run by politicians and bureaucrats who can’t do anything right and yet they think the solution to that problem is to give them even more power over our lives. You feel the same way I do? Then you’re one of the Americans the elites in D.C. want to go away.

We're an embarrassment to the DC elite. They offer us 'help' and we respond with “Thanks, but no thanks. We got this.” They don't like hearing 'no', at least not from those they see as their inferiors. They want to be the only ones to use that word, and then only when it is directed towards us. These people need a dose of reality.

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From the Just When I Thought They Couldn't Get Any Stupider department:

A UK mother wants her six-year old son's school to ban Sleeping Beauty because she doesn't give consent to be kissed by the prince.

Really? That's what she thinks is important?

I feel sorry for her kid.

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This is just so wrong.

Muslim students at a Catholic university complain that Christmas is getting too much attention.

I wonder how it would work out if Christian students at a Muslim university complained that too much attention is paid to Ramadan? My guess is that they would be beaten or worse.

What did these students expect going to a college that is funded by one of the major religions on the planet? The whole foundation of Christianity is the birth of Christ. It's celebration is Christmas. (I mean that in the religious sense, not the secular/commercial sense that is so prevalent these days.)

Maybe we should give those poor students a few bucks so they could go buy a clue.

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Bill Whittle knows just how to end leftism. Give a listen.


See? All it takes is money...or in this case, lack of it.

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I find it interesting that the state that keeps telling the rest of us that it is going to be a 'socialist paradise' is looking more and more like literal Hell as the brush fires there engulf everything.

Maybe there's a message in those fires?

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter has definitely arrived, more is coming, and where we hope to finish our Christmas shopping this week.

12/09/2017

Irony As Only Government Can Provide


Maybe we should have the National Park Service run the welfare program in this country rather than Health and Human Services. It seems like a no-brainer to me.

(By way of The Federalist Papers Project)