Thoughts On A Sunday

You can tell the summer season has indeed arrived if for no other reason than the traffic.

Starting Thursday afternoon the traffic around the Lakes Region has been heavy and the usual summer haunts have been busy. While the lake temperatures are still too chilly to indulge in some summer activities, hasn't had any effect on the boat traffic.

About the only activity I haven't 'indulged' in yet has been mowing the lawn. The Official Weekend Lawnmower is still non-functional and I might have to resort tu breaking out the weed-whacker to trim back the ever-lengthening grass.


While the resignation of VA head Eric Shinseki was no surprise, the departure of Obama press secretary Jay Carney was.

I don't know if Carney just burned out or if he finally had had enough of having to spin Obama's BS. It certainly seemed like he'd been struggling over the past few months trying to make even the most outrageous Obama statements (or mis-statements), policy debacles, and administrative over-reaches sound reasonable in the face of an increasingly hostile media.

As Stacy McCain notes, Shinseki's resignation changes nothing.

Carney's resignation, on the other hand, may signify...nothing. Unless, of course, Carney decides to spill his guts about what he knows about the Obama White House.


While the pronouncement from the Belarus government banning farm workers from leaving their jobs and moving to the cities seems to be a step back to serfdom, and it is, it is also something right out of Atlas Shrugged, specifically Directive 10-289.

First it will be the farm workers and then other occupations as the government takes over control of a widening swath of the Belarus economy.

That's going to work out well, or at least as well as it did in the novel.


Space-X has unveiled it's Dragon V2 crew capsule that will be used to ferry astronauts to the ISS.

Unlike the Soyuz spacecraft presently used to bring and return crew from the space station since the retirement of the Space Shuttle, the Dragon will have soft-landing capabilities, using the new SuperDraco rocket motors to safely land the spacecraft after it deploys its landing gear. That new capability means the spacecraft will be able to land just about anywhere.

It's about time.


During lunch today one of the more 'cheeky' members of the feline contingent here at The Manse decided he really liked what I was eating.

Henry, the brother of Pip, leaped up on to my lap, grabbed one of the marinated steak tips on my plate, a leftover from last evening's repast, and ran off with it. This happened in a flash, meaning I didn't even have time to brush him away before he made off with part of my lunch.

I had to chase him down and retrieve the piece of steak he'd absconded with.

Usually he isn't so bold, but he must have liked what he sniffed to have taken such a chance. Did he really think he would get away with it?


Did Woodrow Wilson destroy the American Presidency? Yes. Yes he did.

You might say he was the blueprint Obama has used to continue the Progressive agenda. (Wilson was a Progressive in the modern sense.)

Wilson had little use for the Constitution and worked to get around it.

Both Professor Wilson and President Wilson believed that the Constitution was not fit for the complexities of twentieth-century American life. A document written at a time when the horse and buggy was the main mode of transportation was seen as an obstacle to creating an activist government capable of checking big business. Wilson held that it was the responsibility of the president to break the gridlock caused by the Constitution’s separation of powers and unleash the power of the federal government to restrain the barons of industry.

The president would break this gridlock by serving as his party’s leader, thereby bridging the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature, and would preside over an executive branch composed of experts who would regulate the economy in the interest of the common man. In addition to presiding over this regulatory state, the president would serve as an educator and visionary who would lead the nation through his oratorical skills.

The president would no longer be indebted to a political party for his selection, for presidential nominees would be chosen through primaries and the nominee would then impose his will on his party, not the other way around. Wilson’s chief executive was free to be as big a man as he wanted to be, with his power no longer anchored in the Constitution or in his party, but rooted in his personal charisma; presidential effectiveness would hinge on his personal attributes, not on any formal grant of power.

Gee, does that sound like anyone we know? We've certainly seen that conceit in the present occupant of the White House. The only problem is that he's far less competent than Wilson.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


The first step to clean up the blight that is Detroit's abandoned neighborhoods and commercial districts is going to cost $850 million. That means demolition of long abandoned homes and buildings that are unsalvageable, or around 85,000 buildings. The $850 million only addresses the residential buildings. The old commercial buildings and factories will cost hundreds of millions more to deal with, particularly if there are contamination issues that must be addressed.

I wonder if it might be cheaper for Detroit to rent out those locations to Hollywood for use as movie sets. There would be little work required to make them look like a post-apocalyptic world because they already look that way. (From what I understand a number of movies have used the blighted sections of Detroit for just that purpose.) Maybe they could even create a post-apocalyptic theme park, letting people pay good money to enjoy living in such a world where everything is scarce and where survival means recycling everything from the pre-apocalyptic times. If nothing else it will give them good training for when the real thing happens should all of Obama's policies come to fruition.


Bogie is keeping us up to date on the renovations on her new home, including a new front door, removing old insulation and putting in new insulation and plywood, re-keying all the doors to the same key, as well as a little post-lawnmowing relaxation.


Speaking of renovations, I got the first estimate for repairing and paving our driveway. I don't think it's going to happen this year, as bad as we need it to. It doesn't help that when the original paving was put in the contractor didn't finish the job. Only the base layer was put down, the one with all the heavy aggregate, but they never came back to put the final layer down. That's why sections of our driveway have crumbled and come apart.

The homes to either side of The Manse were built at the same time and their driveways were done properly, which means they are still in great shape.

I'm going to have to get a few more estimates to see if we can find a way to get it done without the need to finance it.


This goes to show you that even Splodey Dopes can have workplace accidents.


Legal Insurrection asks “Hey, whatever happened to the Coffee Party?”

I guess like most astroturf organizations, it has whithered away to a shadow of its former self. In the mean time the oft-declared dead Tea Party has been flexing its muscles in a number of states, including Texas.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer activities are increasing, summerfolk traffic likewise, and where my lawn still needs mowing.