Here We Go Again...Again

Yet another winter storm is bearing down on New England, with snowfall here in central New Hampshire expected to be between 10 and 12 inches. While the TV media isn’t pushing the whole Storm O’ Doom scenario. Whether it is because even they are tired of the overblown doomsday scenario, knowing no one will buy it. There isn’t that sense of urgency we usually see. Folks aren’t scrambling about, stocking up on bread, milk, ice melt, snow shovels, or any of the other usual storm fare.

Despite the size of the storm, expected snowfall totals, and high possibilities of the power outages, it seems everyone is acting resigned to the fact. Call it storm fatigue. Everyone is tired of winter weather. We’ve had more than a few weeks of warm spring-like weather, only to be hauled back into winter with cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls.

Once again I will break out the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower, a snowshovel and spade, as well as another 50 pound bag of ice melt and a hundredweight of sand. Once again I will spend a couple of hours clearing away the snow and making our driveway passable again.

I would like to think this will be the last big storm to close out winter weather…but I’m not holding my breath because I know Mother Nature is a bitch.


Thoughts On A Sunday

We survived yet another fading gasp of Old Man Winter, receiving 6 inches of snow on Friday. Much of that snow is already gone. With temps predicted to be in the 50's most of the week I expect we'll see quite a bit more of the snow remaining from the Nor'easter we had over a week ago to diminish as well.

One advantage of the extended warmer temps is less reliance on the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove to keep The Manse toasty warm. Our most recent propane delivery this past Thursday was only 104 gallons. That covered over 9 week's worth of propane use for heating, hot water, and the clothes dryer, even through some bitterly cold temperatures. At the end of the heating season I expect we'll still have close to one cord of wood left.


With the failure of the Ryan Bill to repeal Obamacare, it appears that which is old is new again. In this case a replica of a repeal bill that passed in 2015 and was vetoed by President Obama sits in committee and may be fast-tracked for a floor vote.

There was heavy support for the 2015 bill, but unfortunately not enough votes to override Obama's veto.

Maybe the third time for repeal will be the charm.


This bears repeating again and again: Venezuela used to be the richest nations in South America. Now it is the poorest. What's worse is that it was done to the Venezuelan people on purpose.

See what happens when those in power ignore both history and Ayn Rand's warnings?

What's making it even worse is that they government has stepped up punishing the very few who are still capable of feeding the hungry citizens.

That will turn out well.


What happens when a bunch of anti-Trump protesters make the mistake of pepper spraying some Trump supporters at a pro-Trump rally?

They get their asses kicked, and rightfully so.

These wannabe fascists are used to facing people who won't fight back, so they're surprised when their intended victims “punch back twice as hard.”

Like Glenn Reynolds, I expect to see less of these types of tactics if the Progressive protesters consistently get their heads handed to them.


“If there is no God, then murder isn't wrong.”

Some of the more lunatic Progressives might actually believe that...until someone decides to test their belief by trying to murder them.

Here's Dennis Prager's take on the issue:

What “sounds good on paper” rarely works that way in real life. It's time the Progressives/Socialists/Communists/Anarchists come to realize that as there are more than a few examples in history. Then again, they tend to ignore history, particularly history that refuses to back up their ideology.

(H/T GraniteGrok)


As if no one saw this one coming.

A new Rasmussen poll shows that only 35 percent of those likely US voters polled favor living in a so-called “sanctuary city”.

Apparently the other 65% understand the major downsides to living in such cities and want nothing to do with it.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where warmer weather is returning, dreams of boating have returned, and where the woodpile is shrinking at a much slower pace.


Friends In Safe Spaces

It seems it's another day for a timely video, in this case by way of GraniteGrok.

All I can say is that it is an appropriate commentary on the state of our colleges and universities and the precious fragile snowflakes who infest them.

Yup, I'd say they nailed it.


Domino's Tribute Ad

I've seen this ad a couple of times over the past two days and I had to post it.

While I am not a Domino's customer (they're too far way for delivery), nor am I promoting their products, I felt it was necessary to post this video as it does pay tribute to one of my favorite John Hughes movies*. It even includes one of the original cast members from that movie.

*For those of you unfamiliar with Hughes' litany of successful movies, particularly those of you in your teens, the movie is Ferris Bueller's Day Off. If you haven't ever seen it, you should.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Much of the Lakes Region of New Hampshire is still recovering from last Tuesday's Nor'easter, with some folks not having seen their power restored until today.

At least the roads are all free and clear of any residual ice and snow. Even the very steep driveway here at The Manse was passable the day after the storm passed, though it took a bit of effort on my part to make sure that was so. Moving 19+ inches of snow with a balky snowblower was an adventure in and of itself. Without the help of my neighbor, Oracle Al, it would have been much more difficult. (I refer to him as Oracle Al because he works for Oracle. 'Al' is not his real name, but I had to call him something!)

Warm spring-like weather will be here for Monday and Tuesday, helping even more of the snow to melt away. It is appropriate as the first day of spring is Monday!


I'm not sure I like this modern version of the Good Samaritan. It's nothing more than yet another version of virtue signaling, something that does no one any good.


The News Junkie asks “Why does climate alarmism look like a scam?”

Because it is!

It's a multi-billion dollar scam being perpetrated by people who really don't give a s**t about the climate or the people they're scamming. They just want the money.

If they say it isn't about the money, it's about the money.


Who says there's no such thing as karma?

Rachel Maddow thought she had the dirt on President Trump when she got a copy of his 1995 tax returns. She played it up on MSLSD as if she would be revealing some dirty laundry and have the President by the short and curlies.

It turns out there was no 'there' there. His return was pretty straightforward and plain vanilla.

After this fiasco, Maddow's ratings have plummeted. (Not that they were all that good to begin with. Now they're even worse.) She's also a laughing stock.

It couldn't happen to a 'nicer' Progressive apologist/propagandist.


When virtue signaling turns to rape.

I'm sure some of those same folks will be trying to explain to the 14-year old victim that she shouldn't be upset by being raped by two illegal immigrants in her school.

These 'More Virtuous Than Thou' assholes need to get a clue, but I'm not holding my breath that will.


And anti-capitalist leader demands “unapologetically” that white men and women pay her “because they consume intellectual, emotional & creative labor 24/7 w/o my consent.”

If she wants me to pay her, particularly for things that I have created. I have one question for her - “Do you want that payment to be in .308 or .40 caliber?”

This deluded soul needs some mental help. I suggest involuntary commitment until she's rational again.


Joel Kotkin has the right of it as Hollywood becomes less important and less influential due to it's self-inflicted wounds.

No industry is more identified with Southern California than entertainment. Yet, in the past, the industry’s appeal has lain in identifying with the always-changing values and mythos of American society. But, today, that connection is being undermined, not just by technology, but also by a seemingly self-conscious decision to sever the industry’s links with roughly half of the population.

As Glenn Reynolds comments, “Also, their movies mostly stink.”

Yes. Yes they do. It's one reason I have only been to a movie theater once in the past two years.


David Starr tears into Obama's 54.5 MPG mandate, telling us we really wouldn't want to drive a car that gets that kind of fuel economy,particularly if it can't carry the spouse, kids, and all the luggage on a road trip. As he writes, “Heck you cannot get 54.5 MPG out of motorcycle, let alone any sort of decent car.”



And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the local ski resorts and snowmobile trails have received a boon from Mother Nature, preparations for boating season have ceased (for now), and where the woodpile is shrinking a somewhat slower pace.


Venezuela Closer To The Brink

It is fascinating watching as Venezuela collapses, seeing it as yet another real life example of what Ayn Rand warned us about 60 years ago. It went from being one of the wealthiest nations in South America to the poorest. It wasn't happenstance or natural disaster which brought about this transformation from wealth to poverty. It was caused by deliberate actions taken by Venezuela's socialist government.

Anyone even slightly cognizant of Socialism's major fault, that being that eventually the run out of other people's money and everything then falls apart, could see that Hugo Chavez and his minions chose to ignore the lessons history has taught about that gawd-awful ideology. It's like Chavez, Maduro, and the other Chavistas used Atlas Shrugged as a how-to manual and not a warning.

Their latest dive into Ayn Rand's dystopian tome: Arresting bakers because they can't make enough bread.

Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

Juan Crespo, the president of the Industrial Flour Union called Sintra-Harina, which represents 9,000 bakeries nationwide, said the government’s heavy hand isn’t going to solve the problem.

“The government isn’t importing enough wheat,” he said. “If you don’t have wheat, you don’t have flour, and if you don’t have flour, you don’t have bread.”

He said the country needs four, 30-ton boats of wheat every month to cover basic demand.

So it isn't that there isn't enough wheat, and hence flour to bake bread. It's that the greedy bakers are 'destabilizing the country'. To me it appears the Venezuelan government has no understanding of cause and effect, meaning that they either don't know or don't care that no amount of coercion can force bakers to make enough bread if there are no ingredients available.

We've seen that before when the Venezuelan government chastised, and in some cases, arrested factory owners and managers because their factories weren't producing any goods. That there were no raw materials available and/or the electrical supply was spotty or non-existent didn't make any difference. It was the fault of the 'greedy factory owners destabilizing the country' that was causing the problem. Funny that the arrests did not motivate other factory owners to get their factories operating again seeing that they were in exactly the same situation as those who were detained – no materials and no power.

That the Chavistas were the ones who created this crisis to begin with is something they can never admit. It has to be the fault of someone else. Therefore there will be no changes until a revolution takes place that removes the Chavistas from power.


Yet Another Storm O' Doom

The snow started falling right around 7 this morning just as the WP Mom and I were making our way to our local polling place to participate in our town elections and town/school warrant articles voting. In an amazingly short period of time the road conditions deteriorated.

Less than a mile from The Manse we came across a bad accident, one that turned out to be fatal. That was after all of 15 minutes of snowfall.

Now one might ask why we were braving the increasingly bad conditions on such a day. As I mentioned above, it was our Town Meeting day which included electing town and school officials as well as voting on various warrant articles that covered the gamut of town/school spending, changes to zoning ordinances how certain default budgets would be prepared. While Town Meeting has no implications at state or federal level, meaning a delay in holding the meeting would have no impact at the state or federal level, New Hampshire state law doesn't allow 'snow day' adjustments during elections. But a contradictory state law gives the town/school moderator the power to reschedule town/school meetings. Which one holds sway?

Of course the governor and the Secretary of State say the first has precedence. But a number of towns around the state ignored that 'advice' and rescheduled their town meetings/elections until Thursday.

You might ask why we here in the Granite State aren't prepared for snow storms like the one we are experiencing at the moment? We are. But with the rapid snowfall rate and even more rapidly deteriorating road conditions one should ask why we would put our fellow townsfolk at such a risk for something that could be postponed for a day or two. When the snowfall rates are high enough the plow crews can't keep up and the road become slick, and in some cases, dangerous to travel. Considering the Weather GuysTM have forecast up to 2 feet of snow in our area with high winds (up to 50MPH gusts) to start a little later in the day, traveling will become even more dangerous than it has already been. This morning's traffic fatality and other accidents is proof of that.

As an aside, the local TV news operations haven't been going over the top with their all too common “Storm O' Doom” coverage. In fact, most have been rather low key. So far I haven't seen a single on-the-scene reporter reach down to pick up a handful of snow to show that it is indeed snowing and accumulating. They and the talking heads at the studio have merely reminded folks to stay off the roads if they don't need to be out, and if they do, to exercise caution and common sense, and to take their time getting to their destination.

Frankly, that's quite refreshing.


Thoughts on A Sunday

It's been a cold and windy weekend here in central New Hampshire, with winter letting us know it isn't done with us yet. Large snowstorm is headed our way and is supposed to drop between 12 and 18 of snow starting some time Tuesday morning.

One of the issues with the high winds has been downed tree limbs and power outages. Power was out here at The Manse this past Thursday for a couple of hours, caused by the winds dropping one of those aforementioned tree limbs onto power lines nearby.

Another issue has been spotty Internet access. It started a few weeks ago and it wasn't until recently I was able to figure out that we kept losing connection to the 'Net every time it was windy out. That tells me there's some kind of problem outside The Manse, likely a loose or bad connector either on the side of The Manse our out at the pole.

I have had this problem once before when I resided at the Official Weekend Pundit Lakeside Manse some years ago. It took a while for the local cable company to figure out it was a bad connector on a splitter box out on the street. The cable guy is supposed to be here first thing Tuesday morning (just ahead of the storm) to fix the problem...I hope. Until then posting will be problematic. (I couldn't post anything last night because I had little or no connectivity most of the day.)


I found it interesting that The New Republic has propose a so-called Bluexit to separate the Blue States from the Red States. It reads a little tongue-in-cheek, but I do have one complaint about the premise, that being that they included New Hampshire as a Blue State. We are not.

While our congressional delegation is all Democrat, something that happens now and then in our contrarian state, our state legislature, executive counsel, and governor are Republican. Our legislature recently passed Constitutional Carry and our governor happily signed it. The governor is working hard to trim back if not eliminate some of our corporate taxes as well as do away with our Interest and Dividend taxes. (New Hampshire has no income tax on wages but it does tax the interest and dividends paid out to residents. If it goes away then no income by an individual would taxed by the state. So far there's heavy support for the measure.)

While our previous governor, Maggie Hassan - now one of our two US senators - tried hard to make New Hampshire a carbon copy of the People's Republic of Massachusetts, the legislature dismantled many of her proposals and they never saw the light of day. She did manage, however, to create a huge budget deficit at one point, cooking the numbers on projected revenues including some from casino licensing. One problem – casino gambling is not legal in New Hampshire and I hope it never will be.

How does any of that make New Hampshire a Blue State? It must be wishful thinking on the part of The New Republic.


Frankly, I'm expecting a civil war in California.

How could it not happen when California's Democrats in the Golden State have been waging war on the poor and middle class for years?

California Democrats frequently bloviate about helping the poor and downtrodden, yet two recent examples — a campaign by the nation’s second-largest public-school district to crush charter alternatives and new state legislation that will boost the cost of housing development — demonstrate how liberal policies can be a direct assault on the financial prospects of the state’s lowest-income residents.

Some of the sore losers on the Left Coast talk about #Calexit, but I think they'll find that most of the counties and communities away from the coast will fight that tooth and nail, knowing that if #Calexit became a reality most of them would be relegated to the status of serfs (as if they aren't already). It would be The Hunger Games brought to reality.


So it's come to this.

The USDA threatens to shut down a farm for opposing gay marriage.

How is it the USDA has any say in the matter? How is it it can violate the First Amendment rights of the farm owner with impunity?

Oh, that's right. I forgot. The USDA isn't bound by the law because it believes in administrative law rather than constitutional law. It makes up its own rules and laws as it sees fit.

I see a class action suit in the future. Or may President Trump can issue an Executive Order overturning the USDA's stand and fire the bureaucrats behind this debacle.


Talk about irony!

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, Nancy Pelosi wants to know what's in a bill before it's passed.

Where was that concern when she was Speaker of the House and pushed that gawdawful ObamaCare bill? As we know, it was nowhere.


I covered the subject of China'[s so-called 'Ghost Cities' in the past. One would think that by know there would be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people now living in them, but you'd be wrong.

When I covered this issue, there were maybe a dozen such ghost cities. Now there are at least 50.

It looks like the trend is accelerating with even more cities planned to be built.


Want to see the negative effects of gender feminism? Then just look here at the Before and After photos of these poor women who don't realize they've been lied to.

While some out there may say am merely projecting my patriarchal definition of beauty on these womyn, I can say that I am not. I just don't like seeing people purposely mutilating themselves in order to meet someone else's definition of what's acceptable. (See, it works both ways. My definition of what is acceptable versus someone else's definition. Which one is right? I don't really care, but at least I don't expect women to mutilate themselves in order to 'fit it' unlike those who want women to meet the gender feminist ideal.)


Listening to the bleating from the LSM-DNC, one would think that a new president has never fired US Attorneys appointed by their predecessor.

Bill Clinton fired every sitting US Attorney, some 90+ of them, after he took office and there wasn't a peep out of the media other than reporting that it took place. But Trump asks for the resignation of 46 of them and it's 'unprecedented' or 'purely political' or 'illegal', particularly after one of them balks and Trump fires him.

The LSM ignores the fact that they serve at the pleasure of the President, period. Appointments to these positions are political and always have been. But the fact that a bunch of very liberal US Attorneys have been told their services are no longer required is now seen as wrong. To quote The Won, “Elections have consequences.”

Indeed they do.


I liked the title of this op-ed piece in the NYT Sunday magazine: The Dangerous Safety of College Campuses.

The moral of the recent melee at Middlebury College, where students shouted down and chased away a controversial social scientist, isn’t just about free speech, though that’s the rubric under which the ugly incident has been tucked. It’s about emotional coddling. It’s about intellectual impoverishment.

Somewhere along the way, those young men and women — our future leaders, perhaps — got the idea that they should be able to purge their world of perspectives offensive to them. They came to believe that it’s morally dignified and politically constructive to scream rather than to reason, to hurl slurs in place of arguments.

They have been done a terrible disservice. All of us have, and we need to reacquaint ourselves with what education really means and what colleges do and don’t owe their charges.

Physical safety? Absolutely. A smooth, validating passage across the ocean of ideas? No. If anything, colleges owe students turbulence, because it’s from a contest of perspectives and an assault on presumptions that truth emerges — and, with it, true confidence.
Indeed. Coddling these fragile snowflakes helps no one, leaves them crippled and unable to deal with real life, and pushes them down a destructive path that will lead to something far worse than what they've been 'protesting' against.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter weather is returning with a vengeance, dreams of spring have retreated, and where we're keeping the woodstove well stoked.


Thoughts On A Sunday

We've dived back into winter temperatures with a 60ºF change in temperatures between Thursday and yesterday. We went from 64ºF to 4ºF along with plenty of high wind to make the wind chill somewhere around -20ºF.

I don't mind the cold all that much, but this swing from cold to warm to cold and back again is getting pretty old.


This follows some of what I posted yesterday about too many people not knowing how stuff works.

In this case it appears there are people who actually take pride in not knowing how to do things those of us of the older generations can do without even thinking. Being intentionally ignorant about such things merely tells us you're too frickin' immature and are incapable of dealing with life as it is.

It's time to grow up, snowflakes!


You know the oh-so-tolerant campus Progressives are showing their true colors – pure fascism – when they become violent and start sending non-progressive college professors and average American Trump supporters to hospitals after having beaten them all in the name of anti-fascism.


Are America's self-anointed elite really elite?

No, not by a long shot. They aren't even close. What they are are run-of-the-mill snobs holding a belief that they are somehow better than those outside their circle...or perhaps I should call it what it is, a bubble.

The other question is are they ready for the rude awakening they're about to receive?

Again, the answer is no.


Here's your Whining Whiner of the Day.


Talk about the Law of Unintended Consequences coming to bite you in the ass, there's this little tidbit from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota.

Tribal leaders say a slowing economy and a snowy winter contributed to losses at the Prairie Knights Casino. Also, the closure of the casino’s main access road due to the oil pipeline protest hurt the facility’s bottom line.

“It’s like it’s fallen off a cliff,” said tribal financial officer Jerome Long Bottom. “When the bridge was shut off, the numbers just plummeted.”

Could it be that the protesters who were there to protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline might have had something to do with it. Could all of the trash, garbage, and human waste they left behind for someone else to clean up have caused the access road to the casino to be closed?

I am sure the Standing Rock Sioux are just overjoyed at the $6 million loss in revenue for their tribe caused by the oh-so-concerned guilty white liberals.


Due to some continuing connectivity issues I have cut this week's edition of TOAS short. It seems that any time the wind blows I lose my connection to the net. I have already contacted my provider, one of the local cable MSOs, and they have confirmed there is indeed a problem as they could not maintain contact with my cable modem. So with that, that is the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the warm weather has fled...until Wednesday, the local townsfolk are looking close at the town warrants, and where my woodpile has resumed shrinking.


Does The Fact That Clarke's Law Is Becoming A Reality Signal The Downfall Of Civilization?

A long time ago, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke posited that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” As Richard Fernandez has posted, we are seeing the return of magic, and it's not good.

The 21st century is turning out to be mix of incompetence and brilliance, high technology and primitivism, fastidiousness and brutality all coexisting side by side.


Too many everyday things are already indistinguishable from magic to the average man.  Four centuries ago everyone knew how everything in their village worked.  Even a hundred years ago an intelligent person could figure out how anything he would likely encounter, even the steam locomotive.  But today people are surrounded by things about whose workings they haven't a clue.  Medical devices, synthetic pharmaceuticals, designer pathogens.  The proportion of those who can explain the world is gradually shrinking.

This is something I have noticed over the years.

Just within my lifetime I have seen the increase in the level of ignorance about how things work. I'm not talking about just the high tech gizmos that have become ubiquitous, but items and technologies that have been around for generations. I'm talking about things like internal combustion engines, power generation (and the distribution grids that go with it), aircraft, radio and TV, telephones (the plain old telephone systems that require wires), telegraphs, film cameras, light bulbs, steam engines, looms, and a whole host of other tech that has been around for a century or more and are still in use today. When we get into the 21st century tech that we use every day the level of ignorance about how it all works is staggering and getting worse. As I have heard more than one colleague opine over the years, “People think all of this neat wiz bang stuff works by FM – F***kin' Magic.” It never ceases to surprise me how many people I know outside of the geek network haven't a clue how things work. They just know that it does neat stuff.

Many of these folks think that electricity comes from a wall outlet, food comes from a supermarket, gasoline comes from a gas station, and the Internet comes from thin air. They haven't a clue about all of the 'hidden' things that make all of those things possible or how any of it works.

As Richard has written, the number of people who understand it all and can explain it is shrinking. At some point those of us who do understand it, know how it works, know how to fix it, and know how to make new things will be looked upon with awe, and most probably, fear. We will have become the new wizards, or better yet, Techno-Mages, to borrow a term from one of my favorite sci-fi TV series, Babylon 5.

As I mentioned before, this is not a good thing. On the other hand, this could lead to something created from the mind of Ayn Rand – Galt's Gulch. Those of us who understand science and technology, who can actually create things never seen before and extend mankind's knowledge, will sequester themselves away from the growing ignorance and barbarity and wait for everything to fall apart. Or better yet, get ourselves off of this world and expand out into the rest of the solar system and beyond. But I digress.

Such a division is not a good thing as it can lead to unintended consequences. As Robert Heinlein noted:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

If you look at the above quote and then at Atlas Shrugged you'll see he is describing exactly what happened in Rand's dystopian tome.

Think it can't happen? You'd be wrong. We're already seeing the effect today as the willful ignorance typified by reliance on pseudo-science and so-called 'spiritual' beliefs supplant the knowledge of technology and science. The time will come when they denigrate those who are the keepers of all of that hard won knowledge, assuming it hasn't already reached that point.

Am I painting a dark picture of what ignorance about how things work might bring about? Yup, absolutely. Am I off the mark about a likely outcome if this ignorance continues unabated? No way in hell. If anything I'm probably understating the effects of the problem.