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.