Fred Makes His Case

If this doesn't make the case to Iowa voters that Fred Thompson is in the race to win the White House, nothing will.

Note: This is a lengthy video, running about 16 minutes. But it's well worth watching.

(Via Instapundit)

A Chicago Lawyer Gives Scumbags A Bad Name

There are lawyers. There are scumbag lawyers. Then there are lawyers like this guy.

Marine Sgt Mike McNulty is on activation orders to Iraq (second tour). On December 1st, 2007, Mike went to visit a friend in Chicago before deploying to say goodbye. In order to get to his friend's residence, and keep in mind that Chicago is a myriad of diagonal and one-way streets, the front entrance (right way) to the one-way street was blocked. Mike, being a Marine, overcame and adapted by driving around the block to the other end of the street and backing up all the way to his friend's place.

While saying goodbye, at about 11am, he noticed a man leaning up against his car. Mike left his friend's apartment and caught the man keying his car on multiple sides.

After caught in the process, the man told Mike, "you think you can do whatever you want with Department of Defense license plates and tags". (In Illinois you can purchase veteran, Marine, or medal plates. Mike has Illinois Marine Corps license plates.) During the exchange, he made additional anti-military comments.

Mike called the Chicago police and had the man arrested. A citation against the man was issued for misdemeanor criminal damage to private property.

As it turns out, the man is Chicago lawyer Jay R. Grodner, who owns a law firm in the city and has offices in the suburbs.

This piece of s**t figures because Sgt McNulty has to deploy and can't show up in court that he will get off scot-free. But readers of Blackfive have turned the tables on this turd and are making his name and his actions known to all who will listen.

This guy is toast.

He's already had his office and home phones disconnected, shut down his law firm's website, and appears to have disappeared off the face of the earth. While the Illinois State's Attorney office has tried to get McNulty to accept an insulting offer from Grodner to cover the deductible of McNulty's auto insurance, they have done nothing about this jerk.

This is not reflecting well upon the legal profession. It doesn't look good when lawyers close ranks in order to protect a lowlife like Grodner.

Read the comments to Blackfive's post and you'll find that Jay R. Grodner, Esq. has a long history of screwing clients, filing false petitions, and a host of other legal shenanigans that would have gotten anyone else thrown into prison.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The Patriots have done it! A perfect 16-0 win-loss record for the regular season.

Next stop, the Super Bowl!


Bagheera is a bit miffed that the Mount Washington Observatory hasn't contacted him yet about the open position of Chief Observatory Cat.

I have told him more than once that he really isn't cut out for life at the Obs, but he denies it. I don't think he really understands what the obligations of the job entail. Frankly, he's too lazy to fulfill the duties of Chief Observatory Cat. Oh heck, he's just plain too lazy, period.


The Christmas decorations gracing the Manse came down today. As always they come down a lot faster than they went up. The artificial (but real-looking) Christmas tree and all of the ornaments that go with it, the snowy village and nativity scene have been returned to their boxes and stored away in the basement have been packed away for yet another year.


It started as an offhand comment from BeezleBub; “I wonder what the living room would look like if we moved the TV from that wall over to the corner?'

Five hours later and we were pretty much finished rearranging the furniture in the living room and the dining room. The new arrangement makes better use of the space in both rooms but has created a problem: I can't run the wires for the rear speakers of the surround sound system where they need to go without cutting holes in the drywall and drilling some holes through a few floor joists.

I'll bite the bullet and do the work the right way, but it might have to wait until spring.


Fred Thompson slams a reporter that reported on one of Fred's town hall meeting in Iowa and got it wrong. In fact she wasn't even there.


John Stossel has Part 3 of his interview with Ron Paul, whom he has dubbed “Dr. No.”


I just happened to catch a YouTube of Michael Jackson's Thriller. It's easy to forget that at one time he was the number one entertainer on the planet. The video of Thriller was one of the most elaborate and expensive at the time it was released. It was an awesome production and stands up to any that followed.


It appears that we are in danger of having the third, or maybe even the second snowiest December on record. With up to eight inches of new snow forecast for early to mid morning on Monday. The “normal” New England Winter is holding up so far this year. Goodness knows the ski areas are loving it, as are the businesses that cater to them and the snowmobilers.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where Patriots fans are rejoicing, New Year's is rapidly approaching, and where even more snow is on its way.


Confession Of A Fred Head...Or Two

As any of you reading this blog on any kind of semi-regular basis knows, I am I dyed-in-the-wool Fred Head. I support Fred Thompson's run for the presidency. I am not a rabid supporter of Fred. I just think that he's one of the best choices for the Republican candidate for President of the United States.

That said, I have a confession to make. Well, more of an admission.

Fred isn't going to win the New Hampshire Primary.

I'm not the only Fred Head that knows this. So does Belknap County chairman for Fred Thompson, Joe McCormack.

As he said on today's Meet The New Press, Fred won't win here. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have a chance of winning the follow on primaries, particularly in the South.

Time will tell.



The first time I heard the ad on the radio I thought I was mistaken. But hearing it the second time removed all doubt. (The quote below is not verbatim. I don't remember the exact words, so bear with me.)

“I will end George Bush's war against science. I will end the ban on stem cell research.”

So which candidate's ad was this?


My problem with the ad? Both statements above are pure political BS.

First, there has been no administration war against science, unless Hillary considers that scientific ethics stand in the way of certain kinds of research as “a war against science”. Of course we could ignore ethics and go the route others have followed, conducting inhumane experiments upon the unwilling much as Josef Mengele did in Nazi Germany. Do we want to follow in his footsteps? Of course not. That's one reason why many condemn stem cell research that requires the creation, cloning, and destruction of human embryos.

Second, there is no government ban on stem cell research. However there is a ban on federal funding for research that creates and destroys human embryos in order to harvest their stem cells. Research with existing stem cell lines is being funded with tax dollars. To say this is a ban on stem cell research is disingenuous at best.

The ad is pure deception. No amount of spin can say it is otherwise.


Thoughts On A Sunday

BeezleBub and I spent a good portion of the day yesterday cleaning up from Thursday's snow storm. There was snow to shovel from the decks, snow banks to cut through in order to reach the front door, snow drifts to remove, and plenty of slush on the driveway to get rid of.

All of this was in preparation of the rain that's forecast for later today and tonight. Removing the snow was necessary to prevent one of two possible problems: the decks collapsing due to the heavy load of water-laden snow, or said water-laden snow freezing and turning into something resembling concrete. Neither is an acceptable outcome, so we spent the day clearing what we could.

As a back up I picked up 100 pounds of calcium chloride (also called Super-Melt) in case the driveway ends up being one big sheet of ice come morning.


The New England Patriots are 14-0. With such success, the Patriots have become universally reviled by fans of the other NFL teams. It's a burden the Pat's and their fans are willing to bear.

The Patriots are going up against the 1-14 Miami Dolphins today at Foxborough.

UPDATE: The Patriots beat the Dolphins 28-7, moving the Pats to 15-0.


There are times when school zero-tolerance policies can backfire, punishing victims of violence as well as perpetrators. I can see where there's no evidence showing which party was the aggressor. But when there's video showing clearly perpetrator and victim, punishing the victim is stupid and unfair.

One parent fought back after his daughter was attacked, beaten by another girl. The incident was caught on the school's video surveillance system. The high school suspended both girls, but the father of the victim informed the school he intending to charge the aggressor with assault and battery and sue the high school for failure to protect his daughter while she was in school. The school backed down, dropping his daughter's suspension.

Frankly, I see so-called zero-tolerance policies as nothing more than a crutch of the lazy.

(H/T Instapundit)


Nuclear power is poised to make a comeback. It seems that the TVA is ahead of the game, with a utility in Texas following not too far behind.

It's about time.

While the article linked above talks about the resurgence of nuclear in the US, it gets some things exactly wrong – nuclear waste. For one thing, the only reason nuclear waste is a problem is politics, not technology. By reprocessing spent fuel, much of the waste is eliminated and what remains consists mainly of short half-life radio-isotopes that require short term storage before they decay into harmlessness.


Michelle Rhee is shaking up the education bureaucracy and taking on the teacher's union in Washington, DC. In the process she's been turning around the school system and making long overdue changes.


If global warming is a fact then why haven't temperatures risen since 2001?

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


John Stossel has Part 2 of his interview with Ron Paul.

I have to say that Mr. Paul is incredibly ignorant when it comes to the motivations of our enemies, particularly the Islamofascists. Our very existence is reason enough for them to plot our destruction for we represent everything they find abhorrent and un-Islamic, or at least in relation to their twisted version of Islam. He makes the assumption that if we leave them alone they'll leave us alone. I can't even begin to list all of reasons why he's wrong.


I've mentioned before how we've used far more firewood than we had thought we would. At first I thought it was because of miscalculation or faulty memory on my part. However, after a discussion with a number of friends and acquaintances it appears everyone has been using more firewood. heating oil, or propane than they had the past few winters.

It's been far colder this year up to this point and we haven't even reached the coldest part of the winter. The colder temps would certainly explain why we've used as much firewood so far as we did for the entire winter last year. In another couple of weeks we'll be heading back to the WP In-Laws with the deuce-an-a-half for another load of wood.


Posting will be light for the next day or two, for obvious reasons.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where last minute Christmas shoppers are making the rounds, families are finalizing plans for Christmas Day, and where this part of the Weekend Pundit Team will be making merry for the holiday.


Holiday Wishes From Fred Thompson

Unlike those of Clinton, Obama, Giuliani, Huckabee, et al, Fred Thompson's holiday video is far more powerful and thought provoking.

No self aggrandizement. No pithy words. No false humility. No reminiscences of childhood Christmases. If only more political candidates were like this.....


The Endless Campaign Goes On And On

It appears I'm not the only one already tired of the Presidential campaigning.

Every four years the campaigns start earlier, run longer, and the primary/caucus schedule becomes more compressed. The madness has got to stop. Even Karl Rove agrees with me.

The Iowa caucuses are 14 days away, with the New Hampshire primary five days later. And what follows from there won't be pretty. The way Americans are selecting our presidential candidates in 2008 is, frankly, a mess.

The first problem is the overall length of the campaign. There are few more demanding physical activities than running for president, other than military training or athletics at a very high level--and this will be the longest presidential contest on record. The first candidate this season announced Dec. 12, 2006; virtually all the Democrats declared by late January, and almost every Republican by mid-March. So next fall we'll elect a president who's spent two years rocketing around the country in an aluminum tube and sleeping in strange hotel rooms on a brutal, exhausting campaign trail.

This gives America the longest leadership selection contest in the democratic world.

The joke making the rounds lately is a number of presidential hopefuls have been trying to make sure they won't miss any of the upcoming debates...for the 2012 elections.

By the time November 2008 rolls around most people will be bored to death with the lengthy campaigns. Most won't really care who's running. They'll just want it all to be over. So will I.


Some Fred Links

I have been remiss in keeping up with Fred Thompson's campaign. Call me lazy. So here are a few links that you might find interesting.


Proving once again that he does indeed have a sense of humor.

While addressing the issue of habeas corpus for Gitmo detainees, Fred said:

“The detainees at Guantanamo are not American citizens, they are enemies of this nation and they do not enjoy the rights of American citizens,” he said. “And they are not entitled to habeas corpus protection.”

The crowd of a little over 100 people in Waterloo applauded the line, as they did several others on the last stop of first day of “The Clear Conservative Choice: Hands Down!” tour across Iowa. Thompson also clarified when he would he would be willing to raise his hand. “When Chief Justice John Roberts swears me in, I won’t mind raising my hand.”


Avoiding a Mike Dukakis moment, Fred decides not to don a fire helmet during a visit to a fire station in Waverly, Iowa.


Fred managed to pick up the endorsement of four major bloggers from the conservative side of the blogosphere. Pejman Yousefzhadeh, Polipundit, Frank J of IMAO, and Jonathan Adler of the Volokh Conspiracy have endorsed Fred's run for the White House.


Fred's campaign appears to be picking up steam now that he's spending far more time in Iowa than in the past.

He won't be visiting New Hampshire again until after the Iowa Caucuses, appearing in a debate with his fellow Republican candidates on January 5th.


More to follow.


NHPUC Raises Questions About Verizon/FairPoint Deal

As the date of the proposed sale of Verizon's wireline system in northern New England to FairPoint approaches, regulators have some questions and some doubts about the wisdom of the sale.

In New Hampshire, the state Public Utilities Commission has serious doubts about the sale as proposed.

Public Utilities Commissioners worried aloud about FairPoint Communications Inc.'s promises of expanded broadband, financial viability and changing terms of its proposed $2.7 billion purchase of Verizon's landlines in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

"One conclusion has become clear, and that is that the petition as filed is not in the public interest," Commission Chairman Thomas B. Getz said.

"Given that conclusion, the question then becomes is there some set of conditions that would satisfy the public interest," he said.

The biggest problem New Hampshire has with the deal is the price of the sale, $2.7 billion, which the PUC believes is too much for the assets being acquired, which will leave FairPoint unable to service their debt, pay expected dividends, and expand broadband access as they have promised.

My problem with this sale? FairPoint is buying an increasing share of a decreasing market. Even with their plans to make DSL widely available, it will be too little to late. DSL is a soon to be obsolete technology. It is incapable to providing the bandwidth that will be needed in the near future. Only fiber optics, in the form of Fiber To The Home, can provide the voice, data and video bandwidth the future demands. FairPoint will not be deploying fiber, meaning they won't be able to keep up because they will be deploying the wrong technology that will quickly leave northern New England behind the rest of the nation when it comes to broadband access. That's not in our best interests.

This is one deal that should die.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's snowing like hell this morning.

“Stay tuned to NewsNine for our Storm Watch Team coverage of the [add ominous news theme music here] Nor' Easter!

Give me a break.

It's not like we haven't had snowstorms before. It's not like we haven't had Nor'Easters before. And it's not like we really need to see hours and hours of coverage of the storm, ad nauseum. An update once or twice an hour should be sufficient, wouldn't you think?

Frankly, it looks more like we're going to have a real old-fashioned “normal” New England winter.



Speaking of snowstorms, I had thought that BeezleBub and I would be out at least two or three times to run the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower during this storm. But now I'm thinking I want to do it all at once. Maybe it makes me lazy. Maybe it makes me cheap (I only want to run the snowblower once rather than two or three times). In any case we won't be going out to clear the driveway until some time this evening.


The storm certainly hasn't stopped New England Patriots fans from making the trip to Foxborough to watch the Patriots play the New York Jets this afternoon. The aforementioned NewsNine interviewed a number of Pats fans heading south on Interstate 93. As more than one of them said, “What? We're not going to let a little snow stop us from watching the Pats go 14-0!”

UPDATE: The Patriots beat the Jets 20-10.


Our fellow Weekend Pundit team member Brent has been going to town with a number of posts yesterday and today. He'd already posted four times by the time I got up this morning and at least twice since I stared working on this post.

Way to go, Brent!


Yes, I know comments are broken. I'm hoping that they'll be fixed sometime soon.

I've also dropped a note to Matt, our blog host, about the new free version of Moveable Type 4.0. We never did make the transition to MT 3.x on this blog. That was more my fault than anything else. I think it's time to upgrade this blog.


This is no surprise.

Housing prices dip this year in New Hampshire.

Tell us something we don't know.


The move back to nuclear power in the US is picking up more speed and support.

Electrical utilities and environmentalists support the move, seeing nuclear power as a carbon free power source that can replace coal, oil, and natural gas fueled power plants. Advanced Generation IV plower plants will also be able to generate hydrogen in large amounts, allowing a move away from fossil fuels and further moving us towards more carbon neutral or carbon negative technologies.


John Stossel has Part 1 of his interview with Ron Paul.


The Top 10 Economic Myths of 2007.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


It looks like BeezleBub and I will have to plan another trip to the WP In-Laws with Submarine Tim's deuce-and-a-half sometime in the next three or four weeks. We seriously underestimated the amount of firewood we would use to heat The Manse. Last year we used about three cords between late October and the end of March. But last winter was relatively mild, with only a few nights below zero and a number of days/weeks of temps well above normal (January had a number of days in the 60's). With a “normal” New England winter and the temperatures to go with it, we'll have used three cords of wood by the middle of January!

With propane selling for over $3 per gallon, I'm in no mind to switch to using the furnace at this point. I'd rather spend $160 on gasoline for the deuce-and-a-half rather than $1500 to $2000 for propane.

We've been talking about upgrading to a better, more efficient woodstove. Unfortunately it will have to wait until next summer because it will require some renovations in The Manse's Not-So-Great Room in order to properly install it.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the lake is not yet frozen over, the snow is still falling, and where it looks like a white Christmas is guaranteed.


Report From Baghdad

Our friends at Meet The New Press had a very special guest on their show this morning – Major Kirk Luedeke of the Dragon Brigade, stationed in Baghdad.

Major Kirk, the newest contributor to GraniteGrok, brought us up to date on the progress being made by Coalition Forces .

Kirk covered a number of topics, including how the Iraqi populace has changed their allegiances, helping Coalition forces fight against the insurgency, particularly against Al Qaida forces. He related how on one foot patrol soldiers of the Dragon Brigade were warned by a number of Iraqi children and some of their parents about an IED that was located farther up the road they were patrolling. It prevented an ambush and saved the lives of US forces and, as likely, Iraqi civilians.

A link to the audio of the segment will be posted here once it becomes available. It is definitely worth listening to the whole thing.

Sometimes Fear Is A Good Thing

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Back in the days of FDR, those words range true....until December 7th, 1941. Then fear became a necessary emotion to ensure our survival against an intractable enemy.

The media uses fear to sell themselves and to expand their viewership/readership. The government uses fear to sell this program, that tax, or worse, a softening of our rights. And lately, some in both the media and government have been trying to make us fear our own country rather than our enemies, as if our enemies aren't trying very hard to kill us.

Ron Silver (yes, that Ron Silver) writes about how fear can be a healthy thing as long is the thing we fear is tangible and there is little doubt that the fear is not unfounded.

In February of 2004, NYU held a conference about fear. The conference was called “Fear: Its Uses and Abuses.” In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, posters with crude caricatures of Japanese and Nazis appeared with “Warning! Our homes are in danger now!” Exclamation points at the beginning and close of the warning, in case the message escaped us. It was called propaganda. As reported in the New York Times, in an article by Edward Rothstein, (propaganda’s) “accepted function was to galvanize, urge, justify, remind and yes, frighten.” (italics Ron's)

After September 11, with the emerging threat of Islamic terrorism becoming more manifest in the public mind (many of us took this threat more seriously than others prior to this atrocity), what sticks out most immediately is how, again according to Edward Rothstein, there were “[s]o few examples of graphic American propaganda and none using ethnic or racial caricatures. Yet beginning with Al Gore, who delivered the keynote address at the Conference, the former vice president asserted again and again that the American government is preoccupied with instilling fear.” The conference was essentially about fear being encouraged by our government and exacerbated by the media. It was compared with the irrational fear of Communism and the perversions of McCarthyism.”

The goal of the conference promoters was clear to me. Indeed we now all have reason to be afraid. But apparently we’re afraid of different things. Some factions are less concerned with the folks who have declared war on us and who are determined to kill us, our children and our civilization. These factions have chosen our elected government, chosen by us to secure and defend us, to be their adversary. Evidently my fear was rational. I just had the wrong enemy in my sights. To which my grandfather would have responded, had he been born elsewhere and not in a shtetl, “poppycock.”

So, rather than being afraid of the Islamofascist who have carried out attacks and still plan to do so, some of our progressive “intellectuals” are afraid of our government. The Islamofascists only want to kill us and everything we stand for. Our government is tasked with protecting us against them, yet they are the ones we're supposed to fear? Excuse me? The fear generated by the Islamofascists is something that is tangible, seeing their actions and their cruelty and inhumanity. Fear of our government is intangible and, while a little fear that our government may go too far is not unhealthy, to think that it is the greater evil is stupid, to say the least.

As one commenter to Ron's post wrote:

The Left are more afraid of what enemy might think of us then what they might do to us.

Rings true, doesn't it?


It's A Snowy Night

It's easy to forget that, according to the calendar, it's still fall. The winter solstice won't arrive for another 9 days. But looking out the window you'd think we were in the depths of winter.

The snow started falling here in central New Hampshire shortly after 1:30 this afternoon. While we aren't expecting a large snowfall in this part of the state, maybe four or five inches, it's that very fluffy light snow. It's the kind that makes for very poor snowballs and is no good at all for making snow forts. But it's great for skiing and snowmobiling!

Sometime later tonight I'll be outside, running the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower up and down The Manse's driveway. No reason for me to wait until tomorrow morning as most of the snow from this fast moving storm will have ended well before I go bed tonight. (Besides, I don't want to get up at 5AM to clear the driveway.)


It's on a snowy night like tonight that I think back to a winter many years ago when I was a kid. It was just before Christmas and we all sat in front of the TV to watch one of the first showings of A Charlie Brown Christmas. I remember looking out our living room window and seeing the snow falling. It was a weird kind of synchronicity – seeing it snow on the TV show and outside at the same time. Music from A Charlie Brown Christmas provided a soundtrack for this little part of my life. Since then, whenever it's a snowy night before Christmas I flash back to that night over 40 years ago. I feel like a kid again and Christmas takes on that magical feeling I remember so well.

And whenever I hear Christmastime Is Here by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, I see Charlie Brown walking through the snow on a winter night, carrying the pathetic little Christmas tree.


Know Nukes!

Isn't it interesting that more environmentalists have rediscovered nuclear power and are finding it isn't the bad thing they all thought it was. Many see nuclear power as one of the better solutions to meeting th energy needs while emitting no green house gases.

Third and fourth generation nuclear power plants are being planned to add to the existing second generation plants or to replace some of the decommissioned or soon to be decommissioned nuclear power plants.

Some of the new designs will lend themselves to generating hydrogen on a large scale, something necessary to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels and make a hydrogen economy possible. Gasoline and diesel fuel will slowly be replaced by hydrogen, and the internal combustion engine will be replaced by the fuel cell and electric motor. Most of that will be made possible by nuclear power.

Think where we might have been in regards to reducing carbon dioxide emissions if we hadn't stopped building nuclear plants in the 1970's?


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a very busy day for this member of the WP team, leaving no time for any blogging. It happens every so often.

Today's post will not be nearly as lengthy due to making up for the things I didn't get done yesterday and getting ready for the New England Patriots game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. We've also been keeping an eye on the weather as it looks like we'll be in for a little more winter weather overnight and into tomorrow morning.


Our fellow New Hampshire blog, GraniteGrok, has added a new member to the team – Major Kirk Luedeke, milblogger. He is presently stationed in Iraq and will be posting as he is able to, given he needs to pay attention to his duty while he is deployed. His posts will be titled “Dragon Soup”. Fitting title, isn't it?

His first post to the 'Grok can be found here.

Welcome aboard, Major Luedeke!


One of the side effects of the lack of affordable housing is the use of more energy because workers are forced to commute a longer distances to their jobs. So, in the end, affordable housing some distance away from the job may not be as affordable as it appears. One must include the costs of commuting, which are only going up.

In the long run it's cheaper to build workforce housing.


The Patriots beat the Steelers 34-13. They are now 13-0!


The proposed sale of Verizon's wireline assets to FairPoint Communications is generating a lot of advertising and op-ed pieces in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Both Maine and New Hampshire's state consumer advocates have voiced their doubts about the viability of the sale, citing the financial details of the deal and questioning FairPoint's capability to carry out their promised upgrades throughout the more rural areas of each state.

If any of the three states involved in the deal vote it down, the deal is dead. However, FairPoint has said that even if Vermont should vote against the deal, it might be possible for the sale in New Hampshire and Maine to go forward.

The decision in each state will be made soon, and I'm hoping they'll decide that the deal is not a good one for the consumers.


Deb and I have been contemplating switching from Verizon to our local cable company for telephone service. Regardless whether the Verizon/FairPoint deal goes though I have no doubt the telephone rates will go up. At the moment our cable company is offering rates for local and long distance service about 60 percent of what Verizon is presently charging. The only downside to the cable company as our phone provider: if the power goes out, so does our phone service, even if we have an emergency generator.

While our cell phone is a reasonable back up there's no guarantee it will work if the outage is caused by inclement weather.

Decisions, decisions!


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where more winter weather is on its way, the Patriots have proven triumphant again, and where we're one day closer to Christmas.


Back To The Future

How many of you out there have ever seen or read predictions of the future? I'm not talking about Nostradamus' predictions but those put forward by futurists, scientists, sociologists, automobile and aviation enthusiasts, and every day people? Have you ever looked back to see whether any of those predictions actually came to fruition?

You could use the 'net to track down predictions made over the years, but how much time would you want to spend doing that?

Now you don't have to.

For a trip 'back to the future' check out Paleo-Future, a blog that lets us Look Into The Future That Never Was.

You can browse by decade or by topic. Predictions run all the way back to the 1890's and cover all kinds of topics from technology, transportation, medicine, communications, and homes of the future.

Some of the links are to things I remember, including the CBS series 21st Century hosted by Walter Cronkite and Mike Wallace, which aired from 1957 to 1970. I remember watching the show from the mid 1960's until the program ended in 1970.

If you'd like to see what people in the past thought the year 2000 would be like, check out Paleo-Future.

(H/T Laser Focus World magazine)


Environmentalists Against The Environment

I find it interesting the schizoid tendencies of a number of environmentalists. They want to 'Save the Earth' - promote alternative energy sources, reduce pollution, and basically help Mother Nature survive. Except when they don't.

They don't like coal-fired or nuclear power plants. No real surprise there. Bit also appears they don't like alternative energy sources like wind, either.

A perfect example of this is a proposed wind farm with 600 turbines just south of Corpus Christi, Texas that will generate a lot of clean renewable power. But the environmentalists are against it because the turbines might kill birds. It's an argument used by those opposing wind turbines all over the country. But domestic cats kill far more birds than wind turbines ever will. Will the environmentalists support killing all of the cats in order to protect birds? Not likely. But if something made by man for man kills a small fraction of that number then it must be opposed by all “right thinking people.”

Those “right thinking people” aren't right in the head.


Election Burnout

It's a little over a month until the New Hampshire Primary and I can honestly say that I am bored out of my mind with the whole thing. Not just the primary, but the whole presidential election season.

In the past I enjoyed the campaigning, the debates, the speeches, the face-to-face electioneering.

But this time around I care very little about the process, the campaigns, the visits by the candidates. It's not that I don't have a favorite candidate. I do. Anyone reading this blog know I support Fred Thompson. I believe he's the best one to take over the Oval Office.

Despite Thompson being 'my man', I can't seem to call up the enthusiasm for this election season. I've puzzled over this malaise I feel. It didn't take me too long to figure out why I'm feeling out of sorts.

The election season is too damn long!!!

This one started all of a day or two after Election Day November 2006. In the past it started sometime during the August or September before the primary. Oh, some of the presidential hopefuls would make low key visits to New Hampshire or Iowa before then, but they weren't in full on campaign mode. This time around candidate visits were more like the full court press one expects just before the election. It never let up. The compression of the primary schedule hasn't helped things either (something that is worthy of a post all on its own). At one point is was possible that the New Hampshire Primary would have been held this month due to other states trying to steal Iowa's and New Hampshire's thunder by moving their contests up on the calendar. And to top it off, the so-called Super Tuesday in early February makes it even worse because it forced a lot of the candidates to start campaigning earlier than ever.

Frankly, I'm tired of the whole thing and I'll be glad when it's all over..


Thoughts On A Sunday

You'd think a major month-long blizzard was coming from the way folks have been acting since yesterday. It's amazing what an impending snowstorm does to folks.

The supermarkets, hardware stores, WalMarts, and big box home improvement stores (Home Depot and Lowe's) were busier than we'd usually see on a weekend. Folks were stocking up on food, entertainment (DVDs), snow and ice removal implements (shovels, ice scrapers, bags of rock salt or calcium chloride, and maybe a snow-blower or two), and for some strange reason, toilet paper. Did these folks really believe that they'd be snowbound for so long a two month's supply of toilet paper was essential? You'd have thought that we've never had a snowstorm up here before.

Then again, the first real snowstorm of the season tends to make folks a little crazy.


Unfortunately we have to wait until Monday night to watch the New England Patriots play the Baltimore Ravens. But I suppose it's better than nothing.

Will they go 12-0?


Why is it the Democrats keep trying to blur the distinction between legal and illegal immigration? Could it be they can't tell the difference between the two? Or are they trying to paint those who want to stop illegal immigration as anti-immigrant?

Whenever a Republican presidential hopeful mentions stemming the tide of illegal immigrants pouring over our borders the Democrats jump all the candidate as if he'd declared an intent to deport all immigrants, even the legal ones.

It could be nothing more than campaign rhetoric. If it is not, the Democrats might actually believe there is no difference between the two.


The Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove has been doing a pretty decent job of keeping The Manse nice and warm. Even with the colder than normal temps and high winds yesterday the temperature inside The Manse was between 68 and 70 degrees.

Of course it might be it was warmer inside than it otherwise might have been because BeezleBub and I sealed most of the windows on the first floor to minimize the heat loss and any air infiltration. The second floor windows have heavy thermal shades that are closed once the sun goes down, keeping the warmth inside where it belongs.


Rachel Lucas (always a favorite of this member of the WP crew) lays a reverse hum-bug on those who worry about and work against public displays of any kind of Christmas celebration.

Says one commenter:

Really? So it’s “impolite” to make non-Christians look at a decorated tree and recognize its religious connotations, but it’s okay to piss off Christians by not letting us celebrate Christmas the way we want to?

This attitude just boggles my mind. When Christian schoolchildren are forced to acknowledge non-Christian holidays like Hanukkah, Passover, and Ramadan, they call it “diversity”. But when non-Christian schoolchildren are asked to do the exact same thing by acknowledging Christmas, suddenly it’s “impolite”.

I plan to be as “impolite” as possible this Christmas season.


Only the Belgians would think of barbecuing as a major contributor to global warming.

And only the Belgians would use a means of surveillance to spot such an activity that generated far more CO2 than the activity itself.


Canadians have been warned that this will be the coldest winter in years. By implication, that means we – 'we' meaning New England – probably will, too. Even the Old Farmer's Almanac is saying the same thing.

I have no doubt that someone will blame it on global warming.


And speaking of cold weather, is it possible that Hell will freeze over?

There's a move by taxpayers in the People's Republic of Taxachusetts to repeal the 5.3% state income tax.

A repeal of the state income tax would remove $11 billion of revenue from the state budget, something the tax-and-spend legislature and special interests say will destroy the Commonwealth.

I recall when so-called Prop 2 1/2 (Question 2) became a ballot issue in Massachusetts. It reduced the property tax rate to 2.5% of assessed value across the board. Doom and gloom became the mainstay of the anti-Prop 2 1/2 forces. They predicted severe cuts in police and fire personnel and a decimation of all public services in the municipalities. Despite this the ballot question passed overwhelmingly. The world did not end. None of the dire predictions came true and the taxpayers regained some small amount of control over their hard earned money.

Should the state income tax be repealed, I'm sure the Commonwealth will survive and the taxpayers will breath a sigh of (tax) relief.

(H/T Instapundit)


This is totally cool! I want one! I want one!

(H/T Wizbang)


The only downside to using a woodstove to heat your home is the extra cleaning around the house it entails. Bits and pieces of firewood are tracked all over the first floor of The Manse, meaning we are vacuuming far more often than we usually need to, often every or every other day. Dusting also needs to be done far more often due to the ash that is the waste product of burning wood. When either BeezleBub or I empty out the ash and clinkers from the woodstove, there is usually a small cloud of ash that rises from the ash bucket with every shovelful we put in there. It goes everywhere, meaning a lot of dusting. Of course I could just use 900 gallons of propane at $3.30+ per gallon to heat The Manse and avoid the extra work.

I'd rather do the extra house cleaning.


We're all prepared for 8-14 inches of snow the Weather Guys™ have predicted for the Lake Winnipesaukee area.

The Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower has been checked out, the oil checked, the gas tank topped off, and the tire pressure checked. Fifty pounds of snow melt has been distributed into the appropriate containers, the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout's trailer has been moved to one side, and both cars have had their snow tires mounted.

The snow is expected to start sometime around 9PM tonight and run through until sometime late tomorrow morning. It's a safe bet that there will be no school for BeezleBub tomorrow. I know he's hoping there will be no work for me as well, but in the ten years I've worked for my employer they've called off work for weather only once and then only because the peak of one particular Nor'easter last winter was during the morning commute hours. So my chances of a day off are pretty slim.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where pre-snowstorm madness has wound down, the road crews are ready to do battle with with snow and sleet, and where we're looking forward to the first real snowstorm of the season.


Speaking English In America

The controversy about using English here in the US appears to be growing. First, it's the EEOC going after the Salvation Army for requiring their employees to speak English when they're working. Now it's the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) chairman Roberto Fonseca giving his report in Spanish. That angered a number of parents attending the meeting.

The obvious question is this: why did Fonseca (who is bilingual) think it was appropriate to run the meeting in Spanish? After all, African-Americans are well represented on the council, and many of the Latino parents speak English. Furthermore, current bylaws stipulate that all parent meetings across the district be held in English.

Apparently Fonseca took the opportunity to challenge those bylaws, motivated by a lawyer’s conclusion that the English-only rule was illegal and impractical and the district’s assurance that it would not be enforced. The LAUSD probably fears the reactions of parents like Guadalupe Aguiar, who told the [L.A.] Times that it is “racist when parents are told that, in America, they have to speak English.”

...Hispanic Democrat [Rep. Charles Gonzalez of Texas] is quoted in the [Wall Street] Journal as saying, “If it is not relevant, it is discriminatory, it is gratuitous, it is a subterfuge to discriminate against people based on national origin.” This type of heated rhetoric made its way to the House Floor on Nov. 8, when Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois called English-only requirements symbolic of “bigotry and prejudice.”

But not all politicians think it’s racist to insist that employees speak English when working in America. In fact, Gonzalez and Gutierrez were reacting to an amendment introduced by Lamar Alexander from Tennessee. Alexander’s legislation would shield employers from federal lawsuits if they refuse to hire non-English speakers. The amendment passed the Senate by 75-19 last month, and, more recently, the House by 218-186, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is determined to kill it.

It figures that Pelosi wants to kill the bill. After all, why should we speak only English when dealing with government, business, or education? Instead, the rest of us should be forced to learn Spanish to make it easier for Hispanic immigrants (particularly illegal immigrants) to succeed in this country? What kind of madness is this?

It's liberal Democrat madness.

It is becoming more and more evident that many of those like the Speaker of the House dislike mainstream America with a passion. After all, all the world's evils are our fault and therefore we must make penance with the slow destruction of American sovereignty within our own country.


A Sure Sign Of Winter

It appears we'll be getting our first real snowstorm of the almost-winter starting sometime Sunday evening.

It's a good thing that Deb got the trusty Intrepid down to the tire store yesterday and had four new snow tires put on. The past three winters I stayed with the all-season radials and, for the most part, they were more than adequate. But the past three winters were below average for snowfall, so that might have had something to do with it. I doubt that I could have gotten away with it this winter as I have a feeling that this winter will more than make up for the lack of significant snowfall the past three years.

The front tires on the trusty Intrepid needed replacement in any case as they were worn to the point where the wear bars would have started showing at any time. So down to the local tire store the Intrepid went, the front tires were thrown away, the rear tires put into the trunk, and four new snows were mounted, balanced, and installed.

Unlike some snow tires I've had in the past or the like the ones on Deb's car, these are surprisingly quiet. There isn't that whine and rumble that one usually associates with snow tires.

Now that the trusty Intrepid is properly shod I can't wait to give the new snow tires a try.