A Look Back

It’s December 31st as I write this, and as many others in the blogosphere have been doing, it’s time for me to take a quick look back at 2019.

First, let me state that for me 2019 was a pretty good year, personally, professionally, and politically. There were a few negative events during the year, the most personal one being the unexpected death of one of the WP feline contingent – Hilda – back in May, she having passed away during a routine appointment at the veterinarian. Even the vet was shaken by her passing as she did.

Second, while things looked dire for my home state – New Hampshire – as Democrats in the state House and Senate went on a spending, taxing, and regulatory spree, the governor wielded his veto pen and killed off their efforts to turn us into yet another Massachusetts or Vermont. They tried to repeal tax cuts that spurred on economic development, attempted to sneak in an income tax, passed a budget with an almost $1 billion deficit based upon “friggin’ magic” revenues that didn’t exist (and would give them an excuse to raise the stealth income tax and the business taxes that had been cut by a previous legislature), passed laws that would severely restrict the right to purchase and own guns in a state with constitutional carry, high per capita gun ownership, and one of the lowest violent and property crime rates in the nation. The governor vetoed every one of those ill-advised (and in some cases, unconstitutional) bills. Only one veto was overridden – repeal of New Hampshire’s narrowly defined death penalty. (We only have one inmate on death row, a criminal that murdered a police officer while the officer was attempting to arrest him. His sentence was not commuted by the repeal and he will “die by the numbers” when his appeals run out.)

Third, my work has been getting busier, though my employer has been undergoing a reorganization to move parts of the operation to other facilities to reduce costs and maintain our competitiveness. Those whose positions were being eliminated or relocated have been given generous severance packages and help to find new jobs. So far no one has failed to find new employment as there are a lot of jobs going begging for people to fill them, with most of our displaced employees having had new jobs lined up before they left our company. (New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is under 3%.) I work in the telecommunications industry and with the continuing expansion of Fiber-To-The-Home and deployment of new 5G cell systems, we’re busy meeting the demand of the various operators. I expect that I and my fellow engineers will be plenty busy for the foreseeable future.

Fourth, the Clown Car show that has been the impeachment of Donald Trump by the Democrats has brought to light so many abuses by elected officials (Democrats), law enforcement agencies (FBI and DOJ), federal bureaucrats (State Department), that a separate investigation by a US attorney has been convened and criminal indictments are expected.

Fifth, on a more personal note, the summer up this way was spectacular. BeezleBub and I spent a considerable amount of time out on Lake Winnipesaukee on the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka The Boat. This was probably one of the busiest summers we’ve ever had and The Boat was used 4 or 5 days a week from the day it went into the water until the day it was pulled out almost 5 months later. We watched fireworks from The Boat on the Fourth of July as well as spending a good portion of that day anchored off Stonedam Island swimming, lounging, and eating. Hours on end were spent tubing, towing a three-person tube behind The Boat and having a great time while doing so. There were also a number of meals eaten at seasonal eateries and cookouts, and more than a few ice cream cones consumed during some of the warmer summer days.

To close out, here’s to hoping that 2020 will be as good as 2019, if not better.


The Law Of Unintended Consequences Strikes California...Unexpectedly

Despite decades of evidence showing small crimes lead to bigger crimes, the Progressive California Assembly passed laws that decriminalized a number of crimes based on the ‘logic’ that enforcing laws is somehow racist.

A few years ago, California passed one in a series of bills aimed at emptying the jails and prisons. Proposition 47 carried the disingenuous name of “the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act and its stated purpose was to keep non-violent offenders out of jail. To achieve this goal, the state decriminalized a number of lesser offenses, including retail theft. The law raised the value of the amount of merchandise someone could steal while still only being charged with a misdemeanor to nearly one thousand dollars.

As mentioned above, one of those crimes is theft of store merchandise - shoplifting – of goods worth less than $1000. The result?

Shoplifting has skyrocketed in California.

The shoplifters are smart enough to not steal above $1000 worth of merchandise on an individual basis. The side-effect is that groups of shoplifters hit a retail store at the same time, overwhelming the store staff, and making off with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise and doing so in only a couple of minutes. Some of the high-end stores have lost $40,000 during every mass grab and dash theft, something that is unsustainable.

What’s worse is that other blue states have been following in California’s footsteps and are seeing the same thing.

The fact is that there are always going to be a certain number of people who will be willing to break the law if they don’t feel the risk of significant punishment is too high. An understanding of this fundamental principle is why the “broken windows” policies enacted in New York City and other municipalities in the 90s were so effective.


Sadly, liberal elected officials paint a picture of racism and inequity behind effective law enforcement initiatives….This leads to laws like prop 47 hoping to keep more of them out of the “school to prison pipeline.”

But when you make it easier and less risky to steal larger amounts of goods, people will steal more merchandise. Did it really take a rocket scientist to figure this out? California basically incentivized crime and potential criminals answered the call.

There are a couple of possible outcomes should California or any of the other blue states refuse to undo such foolish legislation: 1) Stores realize the losses are unsustainable and either relocate to lower crime areas or close their doors, or; 2) Do as many jewelry stores have done and limit the number of people allowed in the store at any one time, being buzzed in and out remotely, reducing or eliminating the possibility of shoplifting. It also adds cost and reduces profits.

Of the two, the first is more likely than the second. Thriving retail areas will become ghost towns of boarded up store fronts. It will be a return to the big city malaise of the 70’s and everything that goes with it, and every bit of it will have been the result of Progressive laws and government policies.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a quiet week for me, taking some vacation time to close out my year. Yes, there was quite a bit of traveling I had to do prior to and on Christmas Day, but I didn’t mind it as it was for family. I still have a few more vacation days I’ll be using to close out the year.

We do have a two-day storm window to deal with starting Monday, with some sleet, snow, and freezing rain on the first day and 8 to 14 inches of snow expected on Tuesday. I expect we’ll just hunker down and watch the storm from The Gulch. It’s not like there’s anything we need to do or anywhere we need to go on either day.


Impeachment isn’t turning out to be the game-winner the Democrats were expecting it to be. Instead, the Congressional dog-and-pony show has been working against them as more of the American public finds it to have been a nothingburger and they’re holding the Democrats responsible for the waste of time and taxpayer money because the DNC is pissed off that their Golden Girl isn’t in the White House as anything other than a visitor.

It will be interesting to see what the election results show come next November. It would not surprise me if the Democrats see their House majority disappear and see other Democrats being voted out of state houses across the nation.


I can get behind this idea.

If Trump wants to lock in the votes from some of the cold weather states all he needs to do is do for gas cans what he’s doing for dishwashers.

If Donald Trump wants to ensure he recaptures the 2020 electoral votes in the Great Lakes states he won in 2016 - and possibly add Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Maine - there is one simple thing he could do that would make him a hero to every snow-blowing American - issue an executive order to restore functioning gas cans.

To be clear, this would also make him a hero to tens of millions of other Americans throughout the country who use lawn mowers, power tools, etc around their homes or in their jobs. In 2009 the EPA banned the sale of gas cans that functionally pour gas. To be specific, the scientifically illiterate bureaucrats at the EPA outlawed gas cans with vents, mandating that all new gas cans must have crazy contraptions that require three hands to operate. Unlike the old gas cans, the new ones spill gas all over the user and onto the ground. The result of the EPA’s incompetence is a new gas can that is much worse for the environment than the one it replaced.

I can testify just how bad gas cans are these days. I dislike them intensely as they have always been a pain-in-the-ass to use and tend to spill gasoline whenever they are used.


Gee, who would have thought it would come to this?

How an unlimited supply of cash is destroying higher education.

I’m thinking it has already destroyed a number of colleges and severely damaged many other colleges and universities. Institutions of higher learning became centers of Progressive indoctrination, mistaking socialist polemics for education and feelz for critical thought. They have done a great job of creating perpetually offended snowflakes incapable of surviving in the real world, unqualified for jobs in anything other than the service industry (baristas, pizza delivery drivers, convenience store clerks, etc.) or grievance politics.

While the intentions behind student loans may have good, we all know where that road leads and we are seeing the destruction it has sowed.


Is a supernova in our future?

Betelgeuse, a star in the Orion constellation, is a red giant and a variable star, meaning its output shifts up and down over a period of time. It is one of the brightest stars in the sky and recently it has been dimming...a lot. Some think this signals that Betelgeuse is in the final stages of its life and will go supernova, perhaps in our lifetimes. If it does, it could end up being the second brightest object in our skies, with only our sun being brighter. It would also be visible even during daylight hours.

The last supernova observed was in seen 1987 and it was nowhere near as bright as Betelgeuse will be when it finally goes.


A decade of political correctness.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’re waiting on a winter storm, the Patriots are playing against Miami in the last regular game of the season, and I don’t care if Monday is coming tomorrow because I’m on vacation.


It's Still The Economy, Stupid!

Whether anyone realizes it or not, just about every presidential election over the past 100 years or so has been about the economy. When the economy is bad, the election is about turning the economy around. When the economy is fair, it’s about improving it. When the economy is good, it’s about maintaining the economy. As James Carville said during Bill Clinton’s run for President in 1992, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Any halfway competent presidential candidate knows a good economy is everything. So I have ask why are some of the present Democrat candidates promising to damage the economy and reverse the gains we’ve seen over the past 3 years? Do they really think that the people want them to return us to the days of $140/barrel oil and $4+/gallon gasoline by banning fracking and shutting down existing fracking operations? Do they honestly believe the people want us to return to unemployment rates in the double digits? Do they honestly believe the people want us to return to a stock market as it was back in 2016? Do they honestly believe that empty storefronts and shuttered factories are something the people miss? It’s apparent that Bernie, Liz, and Pete certainly believe so.

Just how is it that they can be so disconnected from reality? If you remember that they’ve imbibed in the Marxist Economics Kool Aid, it becomes obvious. A strong economy does not help them take control of our lives, so the first thing they have to do is undo all of the gains and return us to the days of economic malaise.

It’s the only way Bernie can promise “Free Shit” like free college educations, free housing, free ‘this’ and free ‘that’ and to pay for it by impoverishing the billionaires he so despises (and envies) and the corporations he blames for everything bad in the world. Liz and Pete aren’t all that far behind him.

So keep up the good work, Democrats! Let’s see how your “We’re Going To Wreck The Economy For Your Own Good” campaign strategy works for you come November.


Watermelon Environmentalists Want To Tell Us Where We Are Going To Live

Now that we’ve made it past the Christmas holiday, we can see the watermelon environmentalists have recovered from their holiday digestive torpor. Their newest campaign?

Doing away with single family homes, even in rural areas, and forcing people to live in high density housing, i.e. apartment blocks.

In many Democrat areas, they are attempting to force multi-family housing in areas that are typically single family in suburban and rural areas, because single family housing is raaaaacist and bad for ‘climate change’.

I do not understand how single family residences are ‘raaaaacist’. Many people of various races own single family residences. Many people of various races own units in condo buildings. Many people of various races rent single family residences. Many people of various races rent units in duplexes, triplexes, and apartment buildings.

If there issues with racism in housing, then perhaps the people making the accusation should look to the very people who created that situation – city officials and the rent seekers – as well as the very same watermelon environmentalists making those accusations. Between restrictive housing regulations and environmental restraints, building affordable housing isn’t possible. Thinking it will be any different in thinly settled suburban and rural areas is laughable. In a lot of cases there is no infrastructure to support high density housing, meaning municipal water and sewer systems. But the watermelons don’t care about that. I am also going to assume they don’t care about taking away people’s property without compensating them for it. Certainly the Soviets didn’t care, seizing property “in the name of the State”. They even went so far as to execute landowners when they protested. They murdered farmers and seized or burned crops in Ukraine – the so-called “Holomodor” - when the farmers refused to collectivize. Millions died of famine. And all of it was “in the name of the State”.

The watermelons aren’t much different, at least from what I’ve heard more than a few of them write about or say. More than a few have stated that two-thirds of the human population should be eliminated in order to “save” the planet. (Sound familiar?)

Am I being over the top here? Maybe. But maybe not.

In my home state there’s been a move to allow the state to override local zoning or housing regulations and apply a one-size-fits-all solution in order to ‘encourage’ more affordable housing to be built. The problem is that such encouragement usually means taxes will go up to pay for it all, but very little benefit will be gained from all those new taxes and the towns will have little or no control over any of the money collected or where such housing will be built.

...it could have dire consequences for a state that currently stands out from others economically, simply because we have avoided these types of mandates in favor of organic development trends.

We reported on the Governor’s October 30 announcement regarding his bi-partisan plan to mitigate the “housing shortage” in NH. It is a bold plan to defy the voting rights of the townspeople while stealing their money for redistribution to reward developers.

The left-wing Carsey School of Public Policy claims that only 2% of the housing stock in New Hampshire is available for sale or rent. The problem? The government has NO constitutional right to step in and interfere with the ebb and flow of housing availability, specifically with regard to what types should be built and where, and for whom. Nor does it have the right to redistribute our tax dollars to developers as incentives to flood the state with low-income/high-density housing where it is NOT wanted.

Considering a large majority of the towns here in New Hampshire have populations under 5,000, with most of those with populations of 1,000 or less, such low-income/high-density housing may not be a viable because of the aforementioned lack of supporting infrastructure. Not that it would stop the developers from building it anyways, using state funds, of course.


LED Headlights - Hate Them Or Hate Them

Over the past few days I’ve found it needful to do a considerable amount of driving at night. There have been times when I’ve found it annoying, specifically when I’ve been behind someone feeling the need to drive 10 to 25 MPH below the posted limit. It seemed that everyone with a paucity of night vision just had to be out on the very evenings I needed to run errands or finish the last of my Christmas shopping. I found it difficult to believe that so many people had some form of night blindness. Or at least I did until I was driving back from visiting family in the southwestern part of the state this evening.

On the 90-minute drive home the one thing I noticed was how many drivers had a tendency to slow down when traffic was approaching from the other direction. But the one thing I observed during the first half of the trip was that it didn’t happen every time there was oncoming traffic. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the differences. It was not too long after that I finally figured out why.

LED headlights.

You know the ones I’m talking about: dazzling blue-white points of light that are both bright and distracting. It’s worse when the high-beams are on. The after-image can last just long enough to make it difficult to see.

Drivers would slow down when approaching vehicles had LED headlights, but not when they had halogen headlights.

I’ve always disliked the LED headlights and the HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights that preceded them. Too bright. Dazzling. Distracting as hell as the eye tends to be drawn to them even when one tries to keep from gazing that direction. It’s apparent The Powers That Be believe the blue-white light illuminates better, but they have chosen to ignore the downside – dazzling oncoming drivers.

The problem can be solved a number of different ways, but two are likely to be most effective: Change the color of the LEDs to more closely match that of halogen headlights or make everyone wear the yellow night-driving glasses.

Of the two, the first is the most appealing to me. While the second will work (I have a pair of those glasses because I’ve found they do help knock down the glare from LED headlights), they are not the best answer. If an illumination system for vehicles requires the use of protective eye-wear, then the illumination system design is defective. Maybe it’s time for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Society of Automotive Engineers to step up and realize that the LED headlights as they are employed now are a bad idea and need to be re-engineered to remove the deficiencies affecting so many.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The pre-Christmas insanity is making itself known, with people rushing around trying to find almost last-minute gifts or the just about unattainable toy that people are almost willing to kill for.

I can safely say all of my Christmas shopping is done, completed yesterday with the purchase of the last gift on my list. I traveled with BeezleBub to look for and decide on which gift to purchase, and we had a good time. We even had a little bit of time to swing by the former Weekend Pundit Newfound Lake property to see what kind of house had been built on it by the folks who purchased the land from me 14 years ago. I can honestly say I was...umm...underwhelmed. Basically it’s a plain white box with dark blue doors, no picture windows that allowed any view of the surrounding mountains or of Newfound Lake , and flat ‘landscaping’, if you can call it that.

Such a waste of a great property, even if I say so myself...and I just did.


California’s new law that effectively bans the gig economy hasn’t worked the way Gavin Newsom and the state legislators promised it would.

Many of those working in the gig economy are now jobless.

Either they didn’t think this through, or the outcome of their legislation is exactly what they wanted because it gives them even more power over great unwashed middle class. Of course the smart middle class folks have been abandoning California in increasing numbers and taking their businesses (an taxes) with them.

Like that’s helping California’s increasingly fragile economy.


John Miltimore has a roundup of the 10 worst state laws, proposed or passed, for this year. Some I’d heard of (California’s anti-Gig Economy law mentioned above being one of them). Others were surprising and stupid.

One such ‘stupid’ law passed in two states – California and Oregon:

3. & 2. Oregon and California's Statewide Rent Control Laws (Passed)

Economists disagree on a lot of things, but they pretty much all agree on this: Rent control is really harmful. “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing,” observed Swedish economist (and socialist) Assar Lindbeck. Alas, new laws in Oregon and California, the first of their kind, show how little politicians understand about economics. The caps on rent are sure to further reduce housing supply and quality, and increase housing prices in the long run. California's housing problems are well documented. Unfortunately, they’re about to get a lot worse. (As FEE has observed, the solution to high housing costs is more housing, not price controls.)

It’s all about control, not housing. It’s always about control. They really don’t care about affordable housing despite what they might say. As they used to say in Rome, “Dominus iudicat populos iudica illos per actus, non suis verbis.”


I have to agree with Jeff Minick on this one: What’s so wrong with using plain ol’ English?

It seems these days using gobbledygook employing English words to make it seem that the speaker/writer is more intelligent than they really are is becoming more common. But rather than conveying more precise information, it tends to make things less precise and muddies the meaning of what someone is trying to say. Here’s an example:

A specter haunts our culture--it is that people will eventually be unable to say, 'They fell in love and married,' let alone understand the language of Romeo and Juliet, but will as a matter of course say 'Their libidinal impulses being reciprocal, they activated their individual erotic drives and integrated them within the same frame of reference.'

Twenty words were used to try to convey the same information as provided by six words in Plain ‘Ol English. But the twenty words were less precise and tended to muddy the meaning of what was being communicated. Other than making it appear that whoever said/wrote those words are more intelligent

Keep this in mind: It’s the same method used by politicians to make it seem they are promising one thing when they really mean something else, particularly when it comes to spending other people’s money.


Want more crime? Then this is how you get more crime.

Suburban retailers have blamed the increase on a decision by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to take a softer approach to shoplifting cases. Foxx has instructed her attorneys to reject felony-level retail theft charges unless a person is accused of stealing more than $1,000 in merchandise at a single event.

What has been the result of Foxx’s decision? The same as seen in some California cities that have done the same thing: a drastic increase in shoplifting from area stores. When shoplifters know they won’t be charged with a felony for shoplifting less that $1000 worth of merchandise, they will steal just under that amount. What will happen going down the road? Even more crimes will be committed, most of them more serious than shoplifting.

What Foxx is doing is ensuring the crime rate in Chicago will skyrocket as more than a few studies have shown that if the ‘small’ crimes are ignored, the number of big crimes will increase. Chicago already has a major crime problem that State’s Attorney Foxx is making much worse, something it can ill afford.


Any time I think the New York Times can’t sink any lower, they prove me wrong.

Their latest dive into depravity? Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, a hard Leftist, explains that impeachment offsets the tyranny of the Electoral College, giving losers their rightful victory.

So is it going to become a nightmare version of “Heads, we win. Tails, you lose,”? That seems to be what Ms. Goldberg is advocating. She doesn’t seem to care that the very thing she’s advocating is what will lead to tyranny. I guess that’s okay with her as long as she is on the side of the tyrants.


Seeing as we are seeing the last full week of 2019, I have taken vacation time until after the first of the year. I won’t be lounging around, wasting time surfing the web or excoriating trolls whose entire purpose is to perform drive-by accusations with no links or other proof who then demand that everyone else prove their points for them.

I will be spending time with family, visiting long-time friends I haven’t seen in years (we’ve kept in touch, but haven’t been able to get together), catching up with chores here at The Gulch, and putting in some time writing something other blog posts.

The only company I have at the moment is the feline contingent here at The Gulch as the WP Mom is down at one of my sisters’ place until at least Christmas (if not until New Year’s).


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the lake is freezing over, the scent of smoke from woodstoves is wafting on the air, and where Christmas decorations abound.


This Isn't Persistence. It's Obsession.

The House vote on impeachment is only hours away and House Democrats have assured they have the votes to impeach, but it is apparent that they have a Plan B should their first vote fail or the Senate refuses to convict, that being to start the process all over again…and again…and again until they get their way. Some may call that persistence.

In reality it is an unhealthy obsession that has blinded them to the reality that Trump has done nothing impeachment-worthy and that the American people do not support their efforts. It is all about Orange Man Bad and that he is in office rather than their chosen one - Felonia Milhouse von Pantsuit.

Think once impeachment passes and Trump is acquitted by the U.S. Senate that impeachment will be a thing of the past?

Don't count on it. In fact, House Democrats are already preparing to impeach Trump a second time. According to Law & Crime, they're currently suing to get access to more grand jury materials from the Robert Mueller investigation in the hopes of building a case for obstruction of justice. "In a 66-page filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, attorneys for congressional investigators led by House General Counsel Douglas N. Letter vowed that Democrats on the Judiciary Committee would continue their impeachment inquiry into whether Trump committed obstruction of justice–regardless of the outcome of the House’s current 'narrow impeachment' process premised on the president withholding military aid to the Ukraine in an apparent scheme to obtain an investigation into Joe Biden‘s son," Law and Crime reported.

So they’re going to keep at it until they get the results they want? Yeah, that’s real healthy. However, all they are doing is making certain that many of their number may start seeing their “Career Dissipation” light blinking in the corner of their eyes as I have a feeling a lot of them will be fired by their constituents come next November. How can they vote for impeachment if they’re no longer in office? The first two that should be fired are Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff as they have shown they are so delusional that they cannot see the hypocrisy in any of the statements they’ve made about impeachment. So they will keep at it until they get the results they want.

Hmm. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results this time?

This is going to end badly…for them.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The weather here in New Hampshire has been somewhat schizophrenic - freezing cold to unseasonably warm, with snow or heavy rain (along with local flooding) – and the madness isn’t likely to end anytime soon. To add to the craziness, the Weather GuysTM have forecast temperatures in the teens for a high on Thursday, with high winds generating wind chills well below zero (-20ºF or lower). The lows that day will be in the single digits, both above and below zero, and that’s before the wind chill is factored in.

With the rains we’ve experienced here, most of the snow we had on the ground has disappeared. We still have ten days before Christmas so we still have a shot at a White Christmas, and if the Weather GuysTM are right, we may get some this coming week.


Speaking of Christmas, I have most of my Christmas shopping done. There are only a couple of more to collect (they are waiting for me to pick them up later this week).

One thing I have done that I have never done before for this Christmas: shopping at one of our local gun shops for presents. I am not going to mention here what it is I bought because I know the recipients occasionally read my scribblings here, so I don’t want to spoil the surprise.


Seeing the results of the elections in the UK, the Tories winning in a landslide, and the machinations of the ‘sour grapes/witch hunt’ impeachment of President Trump by the Democrats, one has to wonder if the Left in both countries have lost their collective minds.

Labour was certainly gobsmacked that the ‘proles’ didn’t sweep them into power, particularly after they promised to destroy what remained of their freedoms and British culture, favoring inimical immigrants over British subjects and ceding power to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels. That the Tories slapped them down and stiffened the resolve of those wishing for ‘Brexit’is evident and it looks like Great Britain will be out from under the EU’s thump after the first of the year.

Here in the US, it looks like the Democrats are working hard to insure the destruction of their power, pushing impeachment to a vote in the House, sure that they’re going to “get” Trump and get him kicked out of office. But the polls, even those friendly to the Democrats, are showing the American people aren’t supporting their efforts.

It seems the die-hard Democrats are ignoring what their constituents are telling them and are moving forward, wasting time and taxpayer money in order to overturn the results of the 2016 elections. Moderate Democrats, particularly those representing districts that voted for Trump, must be feeling the pressure to vote against impeachment, particularly if they want to remain in office. (One Democrat congressman has even gone so far as switching parties.) I have a feeling that Pelosi, Nadler, and Schiff may be disappointed should the vote go against impeachment, something I think is quite possible. But even if the House does vote for impeachment the chances of the Senate convicting the President is effectively zero. If the Democrats believe enough Senate Republicans will defect to vote for impeachment, then they’re either on drugs...or off them when they should be on them.


If this is true, then it tells me Trump made the right move.

Bureau of Land Management bureaucrats are quitting rather than relocating west close to the land they actually manage.

Some folks have opined that it is a bad idea, not necessarily because it will help decentralize government but because some folks are worried that the relocated bureaucrats will ‘infect’ the places to where they relocate, turning them blue. But some are overlooking the likely possibility that many of those bureaucrats won’t relocate and will be replaced by locals. It’s also likely they won’t need nearly as many personnel, a further saving for the taxpayers.

Now all we need to do is get more federal agencies and departments out of Washington and closer to the people they serve and away from the Beltway mentality that has so suffused them.


“Quantum supremacy” is racist?

My response to such a ridiculous thing: So what?

These ‘academics’ calling it racist need to buy an effin’ clue.


By way of Maggie’s Farm comes this quote from Scott Adams:

Incompetence is the most massively common problem in the world.

Indeed. All we have do to see the truth of that is look at Washington, DC...or the UN.


And that’s the new from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather can’t seem to make up its mind, the shopping centers and malls (what there is of them) are packed, and where I’ll soon have all my Christmas shopping done.


Weekend Pundit's Guide To Country Living - Part V

I realize I've been remiss in regaling you with (mostly) true stories and northern New England wisdom, the kinds of things that will help visitors (or those thinking of moving here) survive...er...enjoy their time here.

Time: One thing that new residents and visitors seem to have a difficulty with is time. Not telling time so much as understanding that time moves at a different pace up here. While California is often seen as the capitol of 'laid back' it was actually invented here. The old saying “The hurrier I go the behinder I get” pretty well describes how we don't do things around here.

For instance I've seen too many people up here on vacation trying to jam in a month's worth of recreating into one or two weeks. They go home more exhausted than when they arrived and then they need time off to recuperate before they go back to work. It defeats the purpose of coming up here.

Folks have got to learn to slow down a bit. Not so much to the point that mañana becomes the theme of their stay, but more like not trying to do too much in a single day. No one needs to go skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, shopping, and ice skating all before lunch. Nor is it necessary to go swimming, boating, water-skiing, jet-skiing, and playing video games at the arcades all between lunch and dinner. It's OK to kick back, sit on a lawn chair in the shade and read a good book or watch other folks recreating hard or even lie back and do nothing at all. Heck, folks are even allowed to take a nap any time they want. It's not like we're going to tell on you if that's what you want to do. Take a walk. Take a hike. Ride a bike. Go to a movie, maybe even a drive-in! Stop at a roadside ice cream stand and indulge yourself and your family. But for cryin' out loud, don't try to do it all at once. All anyone trying to do that will do nothing but tucker themselves out.

For those moving here to live rather than to recreate, some of the same advice applies. Also. don't over-schedule things, particularly your kids' extracurricular activities. They don't need to play soccer, football, basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, golf, run track, cross-country ski, etc. in order to be 'complete'. Allow them some time to be just kids, to hang out and play with their friends. And whatever you do don't fall into the habit of 'play dates'. Save that crap for the city. You didn't move here just to do exactly the same things you moved from the city to get away from, did you? If you did, then why did you bother to move up this way in the first place?

Next, something near and dear to my heart – Driving:

One thing that visitors and new residents learn the hard way is that the posted speed limits are pretty well enforced on the smaller highways and town roads. The police seem to give more leeway on the Interstates, but even that is subject to change without notice. While there are stretches of road that appear to have an artificially low speed limit, it's usually because there are farm or logging operations going on somewhere along that road, so the speeds are kept down in order to make it easier for the farmers and logging truck drivers to pull out onto the road. Farm tractors don't move very quickly and fully loaded logging trucks take a while to get up to speed. Give them time and space to do so. It's the courteous thing to do, something that we take quite serious around here.

Another thing – that doodad on the left side of your steering wheel is called a turn signal. Learn how to use it, and use it before you actually make a turn rather than after in order to show us what it is you just did. (I believe that's something endemic to the People's Republic of Massachusetts because it's mostly folks in cars with Massachusetts plates that pull that little stunt.)

Even though we don't have many toll plazas on the highways here, we do have a few. A word to the wise – pay attention to the signs showing the EZ-Pass and the Cash lanes. Zipping across three lanes of traffic to get into the correct lane because you weren't paying attention during the two miles before the tool booths is not just uncool, but dangerous and likely to lead you to handing even more cash over the state for your bonehead move.

One thing that a lot of folks from away have a tough time getting used to is stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks. City folk might not think it's all that important, but around here the pedestrians have the right of way. That, and you must also remember that some of them carry guns. So be polite and stop for those crossing the street, even if they aren't in a crosswalk.

Okay, that takes care of the driving part of this post. Let's move on.

Trash: One thing that we really like up here in northern New England is the scenic beauty that surrounds us. We try hard to keep it clean for both visitors and the folks living here. All that we ask is that you do your part, too. In other words, clean up after yourselves. Trash belongs in a trash barrel, not along the side of a road or a hiking trail, and certainly not in the rivers, lakes, or streams. While we enjoy the fact that tourists like to come here, enjoy our scenery, partake of the various recreation opportunities, for the most part we are not your servants and we don't take kindly to people trashing our home. This applies to every country town, no matter where it is, so please clean up after yourselves.

I'll close out this post with a quote from Lorrie Baird that explains a very important concept that visitors must understand:

Only the people who live here and pay taxes have earned the right to complain about local services – which is almost a sport around here.

To be continued.........


Trump Is Doomed...Or Not

Listening to the MSM as they report that “Trump is doomed” now that the House will soon be voting on his impeachment, one would come to think that it’s all over but for the shouting. Only those who haven’t been paying attention would believe the Democrats have Trump’s impeachment in the bag.

More Congressional Democrats have been opining that impeaching Trump is either premature or a non-starter. The smart ones understand that hitching their re-election hopes to ‘getting’ Trump is going to be more like tying an anchor to their ankle and jumping into a lake. It is more likely to bring them down when their constituents vote them out of office because they wasted so much time (and money) trying to undo the results of the 2016 election.

What makes a lot of this even worse is that Democrats have been planning to impeach Trump since he took office. How do I know that? Because Nancy Pelosi said as much.

I have become convinced that when the time for the vote in the House comes, the Democrats aren’t going to have as many votes as they’re believe they will. It might even be possible the Democrats won’t have enough votes for impeachment. Should that happen, I don’t expect them to give up trying to unseat him.

Considering the slate of Democrat presidential candidates, it’s evident that Trump will be re-elected. And should he be re-elected, I expect they will spend the following four years trying to remove him from office. That may not necessarily be a bad thing because if they’re spending their time trying to get Trump, they aren’t doing things like spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need or passing laws that strip Americans of their rights.


We Wuz Robbed!

It was exciting to be watching the Patriots-Chiefs game Sunday, but I do have to say I was angry that the officiating was so gawd-awful.

The poor officiating costs the Patriots the win. Even the game commentators and the post-game show hosts stated as much. Between a blown fumble/down-by-contact call that was indeed a fumble (it stopped play and the Patriots had to challenge the call, which they won) and an Out-of-Bounds call that robbed the Patriots of a touchdown (video replay showed the receiver did not step out of bounds before breaking the plane into the endzone, but the Patriots had already used their two challenges so couldn’t challenge this one). There were also three defensive pass interference calls that should have been made against the Chiefs the refs somehow missed.

This one should have been a win for the Patriots. If the Kansas City Chiefs coach is as good a guy as I’ve heard he is, I have no doubt he’ll tell his guys “We were lucky on this one. The reason we won was because the refs made bad calls that hurt the Patriots, not because we were the better team.”


Thoughts On A Sunday

Deep winter cold hit New Hampshire, with some towns in the southwestern part of the state seeing temperatures below zero. It was sunny yesterday which helped melt away the snow we got throughout the day Friday. There is still some snow that needs to be removed from the roof of The Gulch in preparation of heavy rains heading this way starting some time Monday and lasting through the day Tuesday. Looks like the snow rake will be coming out of the garage for the first time this winter.


How much time does CNN have left?

Seeing that its already dismal ratings fell even lower during the ongoing impeachment circus, I doubt anyone can say I am being pessimistic about its chances of survival being as close to zero as it can get without actually being zero. A once great news organization that paved the way for the 24/7 news cycle that others followed has decayed, turning so far left that it has driven away most of its audience.

These days its heaviest viewership seems to come from a captive audience at airports around the world, abd even then no one is really watching. (This is an observation made during four trips down to Washington, DC over the past 6 months. I spent more than a few hours at Dulles Airport waiting for my return flight and noticed CNN was on just about every TV screen throughout the airport...and no one was paying any attention to it. It is anecdotal evidence, but I think it is indicative of how far the pioneering cable news channel has fallen.)

I think it is more a question of when, not if CNN will go dark, closing a chapter in the increasingly tawdry MSM story.


I am almost expecting House Republicans to show up at the impeachment in House carrying striped bags of Big Top popcorn and sticks bearing cotton candy to watch the circus that is the Democrats impeachment efforts.

Considering that work on impeachment started 5 seconds after Trump was elected based on the fact that the Democrats just didn’t like Donald Trump and the only thing they’ve been able to come up with little more than “I-heard-it-from-my-brother’s-barber’s-second-cousin’s-girlfriend-that-Trump-did-something” types of evidence of wrongdoing, one has to wonder if Congressional Democrats are hoping for some kind of ‘miracle’ to give them what they want. Maybe they believe their efforts to redefine “bribery” to mean something that is otherwise legal for everyone else but will be redefined just for President Trump will come to fruition.

I am beginning to think the Democrats won’t have the votes they need in the House to impeach Trump and that their efforts will come to nothing but the loss of House seats to the GOP next November, and possibly loss of seats in the Senate as well. When more disaffected Democrat voters see their elected representatives wasting their time on a something that is nothing more than a vendetta because Felonia Milhouse van Pantsuit was elected, the less inclined they will be to vote for their do-nothing House Representatives and Senators.


"Actors are pretty stupid."

So says iconic actor Anthony Hopkins when he explained why he seldom -- actually: never -- talks about politics.

"People ask me questions about present situations in life, and I say, ‘I don’t know, I’m just an actor. I don’t have any opinions. Actors are pretty stupid. My opinion is not worth anything. There’s no controversy for me, so don’t engage me in it, because I’m not going to participate."


It is extremely refreshing to see an actor take this position. Sadly, the new generation of Hollywood stars has a different opinion. Take Mark Ruffalo, the millionaire actor who recently endorsed Bernie Sanders. This multi-millionaire (who's reportedly worth $30 million) wrote on Twitter that "it’s time for an economic revolution. Capitalism today is failing us, killing us, and robbing from our children’s future."

The general reaction to Ruffalo's tweet was one of amusement: the only person who didn't understand that it was slightly ironic that he was blasting the very system that made him rich and famous was Ruffalo himself. Everybody else was laughing at him.

Actors are people who pretend to be other people. They don’t say a word or take any actions that aren’t scripted by someone else. It’s rare that they can actually think for themselves, particularly when it comes to politics and those rare ones generally don’t speak about politics.


You know the climate change faithful have gone off the deep end when one of its congregates decides to ban the sending of Christmas cards by his students in order to combat climate change.

A primary school headteacher has been branded a “grinch” after banning pupils from sending Christmas cards.

Jonathan Mason, head of Belton Lane Primary School in Grantham, Lincolnshire, said the tradition was bad for the environment.

However, parents said the move is not in the Christmas spirit and accused Mr. Mason of “rank hypocrisy” after he reportedly announced the ban in a letter to all parents.

It sounds like he’s trying to use the Precautionary Principle to undermine yet another tradition. But then, to the faithful everything contributes to climate change, so everything should be banned.

Yeah, that will work out for them.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is going to swing from sub-zero to the 50’s over a couple of days, the lake is still not frozen over, and where preparations for Christmas continue.


Yet Another Close-Minded Leftist Troll

I was surprised to see that a comment I made to a post at Intellectual Takeout over a year ago has garnered some new replies. The post deals with the fact that most Americans, particularly younger Americans, have “almost entirely forgotten their history.” As George Santayana said, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” Or as Robert Heinlein once wrote, “Those who do not study history have no past...and no future.”

In America, we celebrate democracy and are justifiably proud that this nation was founded on the idea that the people should rule.

That’s why it is so important that Americans be informed about their government. They are partakers in it. In fact, they control it.

Under tyrannical systems, it matters little if the people are informed about political life. Autocrats make decisions for the people whether they like it or not. But in our republic, we rely on the informed decision-making of citizens to judge policies and the leaders who will implement them.

Unfortunately, we are not very well-informed.

According to a recently released survey, Americans are woefully uneducated about the most basic facts of our history, to the point where most couldn’t even pass a basic citizenship test.

Therein lies the problem. It isn’t just a lack of understanding of our history that’s a problem, but the related ignorance of our laws and of the Constitution that also pervert and twist American’s perception of what’s legal and what’s not. This was amply displayed by a series of exchanges in the comments of that year-old post, where one part, a self-described “70-something female that grew up in Virginia and I know our history.” This same female then went on to prove she doesn’t understand our laws or our constitution, or worse, that she does and wants to see both changed beyond recognition in order to fit her view of what should and should not be legal. Heaven help us if she ever gets her way.

Here are her comments and some responses to her comments:

Her: Liberals started this country.

Him: Yes, classic liberals who believed in the freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, that government that ruled least ruled best, and so on. "Liberal" doesn't mean what it used to and is in fact the antithesis of its original meaning. Liberals today are anything but liberal in their beliefs, the term having been suborned by the regressive Progressives.

Her: And you are expert on what liberals believe since you are one?? LOL. From my view most conservatives don't really believe in liberty. They are the real regressives. I am a 70 something female that grew up in Virginia and I know our history. Our forefathers are rolling over in their graves from the perversions of the right now.

Him: As compared to the Left doing everything it can to strip Americans of their rights while telling us to "trust" them because they know better what the people need than the people themselves? That's what has the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves, the very thing they fought against over 200 years ago.

Her: What rights are the Left trying to strip from you? Seriously? Please give specific answers, What I think is old guys are seeing the country getting more diverse and browner along with women becoming more powerful and it scares them. You do realize that when this country was formed there were no restrictions on immigration. Funny, the right wants gun rights with no restrictions yes wants to limit immigration. Why does the right think they define what being liberal is?

Him: Let's see:

Freedom of Speech is a big one. All one has to do is look what is happening on college campuses which has spilled out into society. You can only speak if you agree with us, otherwise you will be silenced, made an un-person. Owners and staff of social media do that day in and day out. Only viewpoints of those they agree with will be seen. Those with opposing viewpoints (most often conservative viewpoints) are blocked, taken down, removed or accounts are suspended because they disagree with the Leftist narrative.

Right to Keep and Bear Arms is another one. Strip law-abiding citizens of the right to defend themselves against miscreants and tyrants (these days often the same people). Certainly the government is incapable of protecting the citizens. And who protects us against the government? You?

How about the Rule of Law in general? The Left consistently wants laws that stand in their way to be re-interpreted to greatly weaken them or eliminate them entirely. An example: immigration law. It seems these days that illegal immigrants have more rights than citizens. Leftist judges block implementation of long standing laws or executive orders, often without stating what law or constitutional article/amendment is being violated.

If need be I can go on and on (after I get out of work). But those are the top three that come to mind. There are plenty of others.

Her: You need to read the Heller decision. Gun ownership is not unlimited.

Him: But states/cities legislating gun control laws that make it darned near impossible to buy or own a gun go too far. Then again, those states tend to have very high rates of violence and property crimes and it seems the Powers That Be want to keep it that way by making sure citizens will be incapable of defending themselves. Only the criminals seem to be allowed to own/carry guns there.

Heller has been studiously ignored by Washington DC, making law abiding potential gun owners jump through all kinds of hoops just as a means of denying them the right to own a weapon, something that Heller was supposed to eliminate. Heller also stated that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right, not a collective right.

McDonald was supposed to stop the abuses by the city of Chicago in regards to gun ownership by law abiding citizens. That city has also ignored the ruling by dragging its feet when it comes to following the SCOTUS decision.

Her: The current administration is ignoring the Rule of Law and our Constitution. Impeachment is constitutional. It is not a hoax or witch hunt. The left is not trying to strip you of the right to own guns. They just want better gun controls and gun control enforcement. I own a gun. Many liberals do. You seem to think if anyone on the left disagrees with you, exercises their freedom of speech, it is somehow an attack on your freedom of speech. It is not. Seems the right is guilty of that more so. The right is very quick to start name calling and being demeaning in my experience. I agree that younger Americans are not being taught history as well as I was. What is really astounding is the number of older Americans that do not really know the history of this country, or worse, twist it. I am very grateful my two sons have studied not only our history but world history. I promise you they can easily pass a citizenship test, as can I.

Him: Ignoring the rule of law? OK, you made the accusation, now provide proof. (Sorry, links to TPM, HuffPo, or CNN don't count.)

Or is this just your opinion masquerading as fact because you want it to be so?

Her: Link here This administration doesn't follow our asylum law. Asylum seekers can be IN THE COUNTRY BEFORE they ask for asylum.

Second example, calling the impeachment hearings a hoax. Impeachment is constitutional.

Third obstruction of justice by intimidation of witnesses and blocking witnesses testimony

For proof of these simply listen to Trump.

Him: To address your second point first, since when is opining about a law unlawful? Maybe on your world, but not mine. Calling the impeachment a hoax may indeed be the truth, but that doesn't mean it's breaking any law. If it is, then cite chapter and verse.

There is a thing such as executive privilege that every President can exercise. Until a court rules that the privilege doesn't exist in specific matters, it does exist. If anyone was intimidating witnesses it was Schiff, making all kinds of threats against potential witnesses, holding closed door interviews which the inquiry process does not authorize as all testimony is supposed to be public. (Star Chamber, anyone?)

Presidents can issue executive orders that suspend existing laws. Obama did that when he created DACA out of thin air, something that violated existing immigration law. By your lights, Obama should have been impeached for that bit of legal legerdemain.

Think executive orders can't overturn established law? Think again. Lincoln suspended habeus corpus during the Civil War by executive order.

That Trump modified the asylum process temporarily by requiring asylum seekers to apply for asylum from outside the US rather than within its borders is minor by comparison. With the borders having been leaking like a sieve and activist judges blocking implementation of existing immigration laws, the President was well within his power to modify the asylum process temporarily. It did not ban anyone from seeking asylum, but changed the process on a temporary basis.

Her: When the one opining is President and should be aware it is constitutional and then proceeds to obstruct justice by demanding non compliance with lawful subpoenas. He took an oath "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." This violates his oath of office.

Him: Your first sentence in no way represents what you wrote earlier.

You stated, and I quote "...calling the impeachment hearings a hoax." It doesn't matter that impeachment is constitutional. Calling the present impeachment efforts a hoax, meaning its only purpose is to mollify those who didn't like the fact that Felonia Milhouse van Pantsuit is not in the White House, is not against the law, is not unconstitutional. I know you desperately want it to be.

A president stating his opinion about anything is legal, is constitutional. It's covered under that whole First Amendment thingy. It doesn't matter who is opining about the impeachment circus. They have every right to do so. You do. The President does. I do. Everyone does. That you don't like it is significant of nothing and doesn't change the fact that the President has every right to declare the whole thing "a hoax".

There has not as yet been a response nor do I expect there will be other than some kind of clueless off-topic comment or irrelevant comparison or appeal to authority. She tries to make it all about the constitutionality of the impeachment process while at the same time trying to twist the meaning of the Constitution to agree with her ideology, something that does not reflect reality.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been great to have time off from work over the week of Thanksgiving. It’s given me a chance to decompress a little, visit family, deal with some work around The Gulch, and to bring up my ‘new’ laptop.

This week’s TOAS is being written on the aforementioned new laptop, something I salvaged from work (after removing the hard drive and giving it to our IT guy). $99 for a new 1TB SSD, a copy of Ubuntu Linux (version 19.10), a USB thumb drive, and the laptop was up and running. It has an Intel i7 8-core CPU and 16GB of RAM. It was pretty fast running Windows 7 Enterprise and it’s a screamer running Linux.

I have been using Open Office on my home desktop for years. The laptop uses Libre Office and I find it to be as useful as Open Office. (I believe Libre Office was created by a bunch of folks who originally created Open Office which is now owned by Apache.) So that the two Office suites are very similar is not surprising. It will be fun putting Libre through it’s paces.


As much as the Congressional witch hunters are trying to keep their inquisition of President Trump at the forefront of the people’s interest, it hasn’t worked out so well for them. It seems more of the American electorate’s response to it is “Meh” or “Who cares?” or “Don’t you have something more important to do?”. They understand the Democrats are desperate to “get” Trump even if they have to make something up.

Do they realize the American people really don’t care for their posturing or endless bloviating about things that, in the end, aren’t important? Even Democrat voters are tired of it and becoming more so. So why do they keep pushing a busted narrative?

Because they have to or they lose face...and maybe their elective offices.

If they back down now they believe they will be voted out of office. What they don’t understand is that they are likely to voted out of office because they started this nonsense in the first place.


Who are the racists in this country?

Hint: It’s not the GOP, Trump, or a large majority of white Americans.

The guilty white Progressives are a good example of racism hiding in plain sight, employing the “soft racism of low expectations”, seeing racism under every rock, behind every door, in every glance or gesture, in every turn of phrase, as part of every historic event, and only committed by whites. As far as they’re concerned, only white Americans can be racist despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.


Glenn Reynolds asks “Remember when it was all about consent, which could be revoked or withdrawn at any time for any reason?” It appears the only ones not allowed to change their minds when it comes to sexual relations are heterosexual males.


Go woke, get fired.

That’s what a woman in San Francisco found out after harassing an elderly man wearing a MAGA hat at a Starbucks. What makes this story more remarkable is that she was fired by the music store where she works.

When the video of her harassment of the religious Jew and Trump supporter went viral, showing her calling the elderly man a “Nazi” and lambasting him for supporting President Trump, the music store where she works fired her.

Apparently there are still some sane people left in the San Francisco area. Too bad they appear to be few and far between.


Ashe Schow has a thread about “commercials she hates”. While I agree with some of her choices, the comments delve into most hated and most beloved ads.

My all time favorite? The Domino’s Pizza ad that paid tribute to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.


We are awaiting the first snowstorm of the season, with between 8 and 14 inches of snow forecast for this part of New Hampshire and 16+ inches for the southwestern part of the state. It’s going to be a slow moving storm, starting some time around 7 this evening and lasting until Tuesday morning.

While the TV stations have had a chance to use their ominous sounding Storm Center music and intros, they haven’t been pushing the “We’re-all-gonna-DIE!” meme. No one is rushing out to clean out the supermarket shelves of milk and bread. No one is stockpiling gasoline for their generators. About the only concessions I’ve made in the way of preparations for the upcoming snowstorm is filling the gas tank of the trusty RAM 1500 and taking the snow brush out of the truck and leaving in the foyer of The Gulch. (I won’t have to use my hands to clear away the snow from the trusty RAM 1500 in order to open door to get the snow brush out of the truck.)

I did have the trusty RAM 1500 undercoated last week, about a week earlier than I usually do, and had the front rotors and brake pads replaced while I was at it. It’s all set to go for the winter.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow will soon be falling, decorating for Christmas has started, and where I am glad Monday is returning for once.


Trump Makes The Media Look Like Chumps - Again

The headline reads “Afghanistan Thanksgiving: Trump makes the press look like boobs.

For the U.S. troops abroad, President Trump made a major personal sacrifice by skipping his own Thanksgiving in order to surprise them by helping to serve them theirs. Under cover of secrecy, he flew nearly 7,000 miles, met with them, praised and cheered them, took selfies with them, served them in the chow line, and generally gave the brave fighting men and women in the world's most forlorn hellhole something to smile about. It was a lovely presidential gesture, well in keeping with past presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who also made holiday trips to cheer the troops.

But unlike them, he also had a goodie for us back home: he managed to expose the press as presumptuous boobs.

Newsweek meant to criticize Trump for golfing on Thanksgiving, which actually would have been an acceptable thing for him to do, given that it was a holiday and every chief executive needs what project managers call "maintenance time."

What’s so remarkable about this? Nothing, really. Hasn’t President Trump been doing this since before he took office, making them report one thing as ‘fact’ when what they reported was nothing of the sort. This time it led to the firing of the Newsweek reporter who originally published the report stating Trump “spent Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing rather than visiting troops in Afghanistan.”

How many other news reports have been of the same caliber as Jessica Kwong’s? How many reporters and/or editors have been sacked for reporting like this? Is Ms. Kwong merely the latest to be canned by her employer? Or has she been the only one because there was no way Newsweek could spin Ms. Kwong’s fake story to mean something different?

I doubt we’ll see too many others “losing their situations” because of sloppy reporting. Otherwise we would have seen most of the staff of the New York Times and Washington Post losing their situations over the past few years.


A Reminder That Socialism's 400-Year Experiment Keeps Failing

It was around 399 years ago that the first known experiment in socialism started at Plimouth, Massachusetts. (No, that is not a typo. That’s how they spelled it back in 1620.) This is something I’ve referenced more than once in numerous posts in the past. The linked post goes into more detail than I ever have, so it seemed appropriate create a separate post to cover the topic in more detail.

In the diary of the colony’s first governor, William Bradford, we can read about the settlers' initial arrangement: Land was held in common. Crops were brought to a common storehouse and distributed equally. For two years, every person had to work for everybody else (the community), not for themselves as individuals or families. Did they live happily ever after in this socialist utopia?

Hardly. The “common property” approach killed off about half the settlers. Governor Bradford recorded in his diary that everybody was happy to claim their equal share of production, but production only shrank. Slackers showed up late for work in the fields, and the hard workers resented it. It’s called “human nature.”

The disincentives of the socialist scheme bred impoverishment and conflict until, facing starvation and extinction, Bradford altered the system. He divided common property into private plots, and the new owners could produce what they wanted and then keep or trade it freely.

The first socialism experiment lasted only two years, brought death and poverty to the people of the colony, and proved during that first experiment that human nature was stronger than the ‘ideal’ the Pilgrims tried to live by. This was a small group, not a nation, brought together by common cause and persecution back in England. These were people of faith, isolated from the other colonies with no “outside interference” so often blamed by socialist nations that fail to achieve their “utopia”, and they couldn’t make it work.

Over the centuries, socialism has crash-landed into lamentable bits and pieces too many times to keep count – no matter what shade of it you pick: central planning, welfare statism, or government ownership of the means of production. Then some measure of free markets and private property turned the wreckage into progress. I know of no instance in history when the reverse was true – that is, when free markets and private property produced a disaster that was cured by socialism. None.

Why supposedly smart people think they can make it work when people even smarter and wiser than they are couldn’t baffles me. Whether it’s because they have never studied the history of socialism (most likely), were indoctrinated by ‘true believers’, or have chosen to ignore because the truth is inconvenient, arm-chair socialists push to do away with the capitalist system because they don’t like it, or just as likely, don’t understand it and don’t want to.

Almost 400 years of failure and yet some folks still think they can make it work. They fall under Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results this time.

Need I say more?


Real Life 101

On more than one occasion I have suggested that one course that needs to be taught in our schools and colleges is Real Life 101, aka Life Isn’t Fair 101. It is sad that so many of the kids in our schools have not been taught the harsh realities that entail life. This is something that parents and teachers should have been instilling in the children from day one. But teaching these truths has been sadly neglected to the point where students have come to believe that they should never have to deal with life’s unpleasantries such as receiving poor grades for poor work, having to listen to ideas or beliefs that disagree with theirs, finding out that their way isn’t the only way, and most important, the truth about Rule #51, that being that sometimes they are wrong.

As I have mentioned in other posts recently, I have been perusing the 17-and-a-half years of Weekend Pundit archives and have come across something from 2015 that is even more important today.

Were I a professor at one of these institutions that used to provide higher education rather than coddling these self-made 'victims', this is the what I would say to them on their very first day in my class:

“Welcome to Real Life 101. I am Professor Pundit and I'm going to tell you right now that I don't believe in trigger warnings.”

“You will be hearing and seeing things you should have been exposed to earlier in life, but that your misguided and ignorant parents chose to shield you from, meaning you arrived here unprepared to deal with life as it is.”

“I also expect that a good portion of you were told all through school that you were special and never had to worry about losing because 'everyone gets a trophy for just showing up'. Unfortunately, you were lied to because very few of you, if any, are special. Instead, you're average. No, strike that. You're below average because you have no idea what it's like to fail. When you do, you'll have no idea how to deal with it and you'll fall apart. You aren't prepared for failure and that's one of the biggest failings of your parents and teachers.”

“One of the first things I'm going to teach you is this one solid and perpetual truth: Life isn't fair. It never has been and it never will be. Get used to it. If you can't handle this, then I strongly suggest you drop this course and salve your wounded psyche by taking Basket Weaving 100 or Bunny Hugging 110 and leave real life to the rest of us.”

“I intend to flush out all of the crap that has been force fed to you over the previous 12 years of your scholastic life and teach you how to think, not what to think. I will help you develop the skills you need to survive out there in the real world where there will be no trigger warnings, no safe spaces, no college tribunals to take your side because you were offended by what someone said, wrote, or did that everyone else in the world sees as trivial and not worth mentioning.”

“I am going to shove reality in your face. I'm not going to sugar coat it or make it easy for you to coast through this course. I'm going to show you that not everyone can be reasoned with. I'm going to prove to you that there are people out there who don't give a good goddamn about you or your feelings, nor should they. I'm going to show you that there are evil fucking people out there who wouldn't think twice about raping you and then slicing your head off with a knife because it pleases them to do so to someone they see as sub-human. (Yes, this means you, Miss Sorority Pledge.)”

“I'm going to prove to you that the only person you can count on is you when you're out there in the real world. Your mommy or daddy won't be able to bail you out and none of the teachers from your schools will lend you a helping hand once you leave this place. You'll be on your own. If you fail to learn these lessons and the others I hope to teach you, then you will be truly and totally fucked. The only way you'll survive is to move back in with your mommy and daddy and live in their basement. At worst, you'll be curled up on your bed down there, stuck in a semi-catatonic state because you were set up by your parents and your teachers to fail, being totally incapable of dealing with real life as it is, not as you want it to be.”

“Any questions before we begin? No? Good. Then let's get started....”

I feel the need to add a list of a few topics that would be covered in such a course to bring this up to date: .

Grades are earned, not owed. They are based upon the work you do and are not based on your race, ethnicity, political leanings, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. This is particularly true out there in the real world. Employers expect you to do the work they hired you to perform and none of those things listed will matter to them, period.

Feeling is not the same as thinking. Too often you equate one with the other. They are nothing alike. Basing all your decisions upon feelz rather than facts and reasoning will lead you to make the wrong decision most of the time.

Opinions abound and everyone has their own. Your opinion is no more valid than that of anyone else. Get used to it. A lot of folks will have opinions that differ from yours, but that doesn’t automatically mean yours is valid and theirs are not. They may know things you don’t and have had experiences you cannot fathom.

Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they’re racist or any other kind of ‘-ist’. It just means they disagree with you, period. If you try to push the ‘-ist’ narrative, you’ll prove that you are willfully ignorant about the subject at hand and can be ignored because your opinion isn’t based upon anything but ‘feelz’.

Freedom of speech includes speech you may find offensive. The First Amendment also applies to speech you disagree with, even ‘hate speech’, a concept that is so vague that someone saying “hello” could be defined as having used hate speech. Get used to the idea that hate speech is constitutionally protected speech, not just the speech with which you agree.

Respect is earned. It is not owed nor can it be demanded, no matter what you may believe. If you show no respect, don’t expect to get any in return. If you demand respect, don’t be surprised if you receive only ridicule in return.

I could go on, but then I’d need a bigger blog.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a dark and stormy…day. It started with a little freezing rain which then turned into heavy rain later in the morning. Since I was driving the WP Mom to meet up with the youngest WP Sister at the half-way point between her home and The Gulch. The WP Mom will be spending a few days with my sister helping to get my sister’s place ready to host Thanksgiving this coming Thursday. In the mean time I’ll be ding some work here at The Gulch, getting Christmas items out of the attic and putting the last of the summer items away.


By way of Pirate’s Cove comes this from Irons In The Fire:

This kind of crap is what happens when a group has no actual problems to deal with, so they have to create something.

Students at a Virginia law school are asking the administration to remove 'controversial' figures George Washington and Robert E. Lee from their graduation diplomas.

That seems problematic considering the Virginia law school in question is at Washington and Lee University.

This is something I have noticed for a considerable number of years: Most of the problems we’ve struggled against have been solved, or at least minimized. With very few “Big Things” needing to be dealt with, the Social Justice Warriors have to find something to justify their continued existence. If that means taking small matters and blowing them way out of proportion, then they’ll do just that. Examples abound. Otherwise how do you explain:

Transgendered bathroom/locker room access?

Math being redefined as racist?

Preaching the Gospel being defined as hate speech?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being called an “oreo”?

All this “pronoun” nonsense using made up words no one can pronounce?

Using the wrong “pronoun” being either a firing offense or a criminal act?

The idea that there are eleventy-eleven genders even though biology only recognizes two?

All the silliness about “cultural appropriation” being bad when all successful and thriving cultures have appropriated all kinds of things from other cultures?

Demanding “reparations” for slavery committed by no one alive for almost 100 years and making claims that it didn’t even exist until America created it in the 1600’s?

Western Civilization has never created anything good…except everything being used by the SJWs including things like modern medicine, smart phones, automobiles, denims, TVs, iPods/MP3 players, modern philosophy, computers, the Internet, the U.S. Constitution, and an endless list of other concepts and items?

The idea that arresting underage shoplifters stealing alcohol from a local bakery is somehow racist?

I could go on because there is so many examples of this nonsense. The whole thing is silly, wastes time and money, and lets people who think they have all the answers feel better about themselves briefly before being offended by something new.


Gee, the barking moonbats can’t even leave Mr. Rogers out of their delusional hatred of Donald Trump.

That’s sad. They really need to get some help.


From the Weekend Pundit archives:

“I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.” - Thomas Sowell

That's because the folks who believe it think they know how to spend your hard-earned money better than you do. They are wrong, of course.


If for some reason you feel the need to visit San Francisco you might want to consider reading this item from Legal Insurrection first.

As distasteful as it may be to discuss, complaints to SF 311 about feces on city streets increased again in 2018, including a surprising surge in Glen Park.

The site also notes that so far for 2019, the count jumped to more than 25,000 calls, up seven percent compared to the same time in 2018.

I have only two words to add to this: Poop map.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it’s raining very hard, the lake was showing big white caps, and where I don’t have to go to work tomorrow because I’m on vacation.


Weekend Pundit's Guide To Country Living - Part IV

Here we are, the fourth in a series of knowledge and a little advice for those contemplating a move away from suburbia or “The Big City” and out into the country. I've covered a few subjects including such things as neighborliness, winter survival skills, a few hints here and there on small town politics, and more importantly, how not to act.

Now we get into something that most folks in urban and suburban areas rarely have to deal with.


I'm not just talking about the cute little furry animals that you might see around town, like squirrels, chipmunks, or the occasional raccoon, but others like skunks, porcupines, bats, weasels, fisher cats, coyotes, ferrets, deer, moose, and bears.

Let's start with some of the smaller but no less troublesome animals you'll come across if you decide to relocate to the country.

Squirrels and chipmunks, though 'cute and furry' can be both a real nuisance and quite entertaining at the same time. One of the biggest problems they pose is when they decide that your house also makes the perfect home for them, too. Squirrels are particularly good at chewing away at boards and beams in order to make an entrance. Here at The House the upstairs neighbors were surprised to find a family of squirrels had managed to chew their way into their kitchen and tried to set up housekeeping. The were quickly evicted with the appropriate amount of force and their entryway was boarded over.

Chipmunks can be almost as tenacious, but they tend to limit their forays into human habitation to cracks and holes close to the ground.

Raccoons, another animal of the 'cute and furry' category, are quire clever and can wreak havoc with your trash cans and their contents. It's not often that they cannot find a way into even the most 'secure' trash can in their efforts to score a meal. They also have a propensity for carrying rabies, something you don't want to mess with.

Skunks pose their own set of problems, the most obvious one being their ability to spray the unwitting person or pet with their noxious, odious, sinus-clearing weapon. Should you have a run in with one, you'll learn that one of the few things that will help remove the smell from you or your pet is tomato juice. Your clothing, however, may be a lost cause. Skunks are another of those critters that seems prone to carrying rabies, so there are two good reasons to avoid them. In any case should you inadvertently come across a skunk, back away. Make no sudden moves and back away. Usually a skunk will stamp its front feet as a warning before resorting to spraying. Take it to heart and back away.

Porcupines are not something you'll see all that often except as road kill. For the most part they're reclusive. More often than not it will be your dogs that will run afoul of porcupines, if at all.

Bats are one of those animals that people either love or hate. There doesn't seem to be an in-between when it comes to these furry insectivores. My advice to you - get used to them. They help keep down the bug population which means you'll have fewer bugs trying to dine on you.

Bats are nocturnal and come out shortly after sunset so it's not often that you'll see or hear them. In a few places you'll find people have built bat houses to encourage bats to take up residence near their homes. If nothing else they're far less expensive than running a bug zapper...and quieter, too.

Weasels and fisher cats are related, but the fisher is a nastier animal. It can make a meal out of your lapdog or kitty cat. They are voracious and vicious. Weasels on the other hand, tend to be quieter and don't show themselves all that often. While also predators like the fishers, it's rare that they'll go after other predators (like dogs and cats).

Coyotes are more numerous than most folks would think. When people think of coyotes they think of them as being primarily a western animal. But you'll find plenty of them around here. It's not uncommon to hear them barking and howling off in the distance on summer evenings. They are also another critter that will think nothing of helping itself to your trash can, assuming you actually make the mistake of leaving it outside. They will also have no problem making a meal of your dog or cat if they come across them.

There are also coyote hybrids to look out for, such as coy-dogs and coy-wolves. These are mixed breed animals, much as their names suggest. Of the two, the coy-wolves are probably the most dangerous as they combine the characteristics of the coyotes and wolves, and are bigger than coyotes. While not as numerous as the coyotes, there are plenty of these hybrid breed running around.

Wolves have been making a comeback, something obvious considering the presence of coy-wolves. While not numerous and more likely to be inhabiting the less settled areas due to the abundance of game, they still make their presence known at times. Like coyotes, they'll have no problems going after you pets, chickens, or other domesticated animals you may have around.

Many people think of deer as another member of the 'cute and fuzzy' club. It's what I've heard called “The Bambi Factor.”

For the most part deer tend to stay away from people, but there are always exceptions. As some with vegetable gardens have found out, deer will be more than happy to strip their gardens of anything edible. They can also do a great deal of damage when you hit one with your car or truck.

Since most of their natural predators have been wiped out, that leaves only us humans to help keep their populations in check. That means hunting.

Mmmm. Venison....

Moose, a relative of deer, are big. I mean reallybig. A full grown bull moose can top out at over 1000 pounds (454 kg). And unlike their smaller relatives, moose do not run away when they face anything they consider a predator. They stand their ground. That means if you come across one standing in the road while out driving, don't honk your horn. You'll only piss 'em off and make 'em try to flatten your car like a pancake. Moose can be particularly dangerous under two conditions – during mating season (also called rutting season), and if cow is protecting her calf from a perceived threat.

One of the biggest dangers that moose pose is collisions. Moose tend to blend into the background, making it more difficult to see them. This is particularly true near dawn and dusk. It is also when most moose versus automobile collisions take place. Picture hitting a thousand pound moose at 30 or 40 miles per hour. Now picture having that same angry, hurt moose crashing through your windshield and ending up in your lap after you've hit it. Not a pretty picture, is it?

Bears, as slow and as cute as they may seem are damn dangerous. For the most part bears are shy and don't usually come near human habitation. But if they are hungry enough they get over their shyness.

During the spring months bears are particularly hungry and will go through trash cans and pull down bird feeders looking for a meal.

The one thing you never want to do is feed them. Once they know that you're a soft touch for food they will always come back expecting more. If you don't continue feeding them once you've started they may invite themselves into your home by pushing in a door or window. Once that happens they have to be put down. If they learn that there is food to be had inside a house they will break in whenever they're hungry enough. And they won't care if you're inside when they do it. So don't feed the bears!

Another thing to avoid is bear cubs. Every so often hikers come across what they think is an abandoned cub. Trust me when I say that it ain't so- Mama bear is somewhere nearby and the last place that you want to be is between Mama and her cub. So if you're ever taking a walk through the woods and come across a cub, turn around and walk away or it's possible you could become bear food.

The other thing you never want to do while taking your constitutional is to startle a bear. It can have a similar deadly outcome. If you're out walking in the woods make sure you make some noise. This will alert the bear to your presence and give them enough time move away. Remember, bears tend to be shy of humans.

And then there's the mountain lions making the presence known again....


That about does it for this round. There's not a whole heck of a lot more that I can cover about critters at this point. Maybe I'll have more later. Maybe I won't.


Cuomo Blaming Utilities For His Failings

Just when you think New York Governor Andrew Cuomo couldn’t get any worse, he says “Hold my chianti,” and proves us wrong.

After banning fracking in the Empire State, then banning construction of pipelines in or through New York, then blaming the natural gas companies like National Grid and Con Edison for their inability to connect new customers in the greater New York City area because they don’t have the supply capacity to do so, Cuomo quadruples down on stupid and threatens to yank National Grid’s public franchise and get someone else to provide natural gas to New Yorkers. (Link may be paywalled.)

Yeah? Who? No one else can supply any more gas than either National Grid or Con Edison if they can’t build the pipelines they need to get the gas from the Pennsylvania gas fields to their customers. Using trucks, trains, or barges is a non-starter because too many New York watermelon environmentalists are against building the facilities to make any of that feasible. Those methods are also quite inefficient compared to pipelines as a lot more infrastructure is needed for the other methods. They can also be more dangerous.

But that doesn’t concern Cuomo. He really wants to make sure one of the cleanest and most efficient fossil fuels (which he hates with a passion) will become less available and more expensive for his constituents.

The Governor’s response: Who cares?


National Grid already plans to deliver compressed natural gas by truck during the winter, but what if a snow storm closes roads? Perhaps “heat pumps and renewable sources” could alleviate the gas shortage, Mr. Cuomo says.

Heat pumps? Really? Considering what electricity costs in New York and that Cuomo has no use for nuclear power, where is the electricity to run those heat pumps supposed to come from? Renewables like wind? Yeah, considering renewables aren’t reliable, costs many times what electricity from nuclear, coal, and natural gas-fired plants costs, and hydro-power is committed elsewhere, heat pumps aren’t the answer.

On has to wonder what the anti-fossil fuel governor is going to ban next and do so without spending even a microsecond pondering the side-effects. He certainly didn’t waste any time thinking about the bad effects of the fracking and pipeline bans on his constituents.

Is Cuomo trying to out-California California?