6/25/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday - Abbreviated

This will be a somewhat abbreviated TOAS post as I was busy with a number of tasks both inside and outside The Manse today and just finished the last of them (it's 9:34Pm EDT as I write this). Between running errands, trying to clean up the garage and sort through items – some to the “Throw it out” pile and others to the “I may need this but it's likely to be thrown out too” pile – all in preparation for putting The Manse on the market, it's taken a lot of my time over the weekend. It's time for us to downsize as it no longer makes sense to keep the house we've called home over the past 12 years. It's too big and the yard work is no longer easy for me to take care of (not that it ever was due to the steep slope of the property upon which The Manse sits).

*****************


I haven't been paying a lot of attention to the national news because it has become quite boring, repetitive, and even more disturbing to me, predictable. The propaganda division of the DNC, aka the MSM, are devoting far too much time trying to tear down the president while ignoring everything else going on around the country. The only exception to that being stories about tornadoes, heavy rains with flooding, or brush fires, all of which have been caused by Donald Trump withdrawing the US from the Paris Accords. (Yes, it is sarcasm. I wouldn't think I would actually need to tell any of you this, but better safe than sorry.)

*****************


Sometimes people need to be reminded that if existing laws have problems, more often than not they can be corrected by legislative action. The newest jurist on the US Supreme Court offers his dissenting opinion on a case that the Supreme Court just ruled on in a 7-2 decision, and addresses this issue in a forthright and clear manner. Writes Justice Neil Gorsuch in his dissent in the Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board mentions the plaintiff took the convenient action rather than the correct action:

Anthony Perry asks us to tweak a congressional statute—just a little—so that it might (he says) work a bit more efficiently. No doubt his invitation is well meaning. But it’s one we should decline all the same. Not only is the business of enacting statutory fixes one that belongs to Congress and not this Court, but taking up Mr. Perry’s invitation also seems sure to spell trouble. …

Mr. Perry’s is an invitation I would run from fast. If a statute needs repair, there’s a constitutionally prescribed way to do it. It’s called legislation. To be sure, the demands of bicameralism and presentment are real, and the process can be protracted. But the difficulty of making new laws isn’t some bug in the constitutional design: it’s the point of the design, the better to preserve liberty.

Indeed.

(H/T GraniteGrok)

*****************


The Left is constantly screaming at us to “check our White Privilege”, but maybe it's time for the Left to check their Anger Privilege, or so writes Sultan Knish.

If you want to know who has privilege in a society and who doesn’t, follow the anger.

There are people in this country who can safely express their anger. And those who can’t. If you’re angry that Trump won, your anger is socially acceptable. If you were angry that Obama won, it wasn’t.

James Hodgkinson’s rage was socially acceptable. It continued to be socially acceptable until he crossed the line into murder. And he’s not alone. There’s Micah Xavier Johnson, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Dallas, and Gavin Long, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Baton Rouge. If you’re black and angry about the police, your anger is celebrated. If you’re white and angry about the Terror travel ban, the Paris Climate treaty, ObamaCare repeal or any leftist cause, you’re on the side of the angry angels.

But if you’re white and angry that your job is going to China or that you just missed being killed in a Muslim suicide bombing, your anger is unacceptable.

Then again, if the Left didn't have double standards then they'd have no standards at all.

*****************


I remember when Portland, Oregon used to be a pretty nice place. Now it has poo-flinging leftist Antifa scumbags and a homegrown terrorist who likes killing people on a public bus. I wonder how far it will have to go before the Progressive mayor of Portland will crack down on these fascist s**theels? How many will have to die at their hands or how many city blocks will have to burn before the idiot in charge stops worrying about offending the antifa thugs and their ACLU buddies? This is Portland Freakin', Oregon, not Detroit, Michigan.

*****************


And that's the (greatly abbreviated) news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where a long Fourth of July weekend is on the way, the grills will be ready, and where time on the lake will take precedence over all other things.

6/24/2017

Testing A Gun Myth - Gangsta Style

I know I've heard the claim about how “gangsta's” can't shoot straight when they hold their pistols “gangsta style”, meaning they pistol is rotated 90º so it is parallel to the ground rather than perpendicular to it. That may indeed be the case. However legendary marksman Jerry Miculek decided to put the myth to the test, comparing normal shooting with “gangsta” to see if the 'can't shoot straight' claim is true. This is what happened:


Miculek, who holds numerous world shooting titles and records, had a couple of issues with “gangsta” shooting, the two biggest that his aim was off axis to the right and that he couldn't see any other target that might be to his right because his hand was in the way.

Another 'myth' I've heard is that with some semi-auto pistols, the “gangsta” style has another drawback, that being the ejected brass hitting the shooter in the face after each shot, something that would certainly affect one's aim. It may look cool on the street and on the TV or movie screen, but in real life most gangsta's wouldn't be able to hit the broad side of a barn. Then again, most gangsta's don't practice shooting regularly like many legal gun owners do, and they certainly don't practice anywhere near as much as Jerry Miculek.

6/18/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was the last day of the 94th Annual Motorcycle Week here in the Lakes Region. For the most part the weather has been cooperative with only one day of rain during the nine days of rally.

By the end of the day the roar of motorcycles will fade away as the 300,000+ bikers head home after another successful Motorcycle Week ends.

*****************


It has cost Wesleyan University $400,000 after it arbitrarily shut down a fraternity on campus even though it had fully complied with a mandate handed down by administrators.

It turns out the real reason for the fraternity's attempted expulsion by the university president?

He wanted their property. It was an underhanded land grab, not a punishment as the administration had said.

It seems kleptocracy exists even at vaunted universities.

*****************


I don't think the NYT has thought this one out.

The New York Times published an editorial about the need for mass deportation of native-born Americans because they don't live up to Ruling Class expectations.

Really, and just who will deport them all? Considering a vast majority of those Americans they think should be deported are well armed, with many being combat veterans, as well as red states rebelling against such a thing, it would be an opening salvo in the Second American Civil War.

Thinking more on this matter, I have to wonder whether 'deportation' is merely another word for moving the so-called undesirables to concentration camps and deporting them by way of a crematorium's chimneys? Seems this was tried in Europe and it didn't turn out so well for those behind such 'deportations'.

It's time for us to end the existence of the cancer that has become the New York Times. They are consistently showing themselves to be enemies of the American people, being nothing but a propaganda organ for the ProRegressive Left.

*****************


The vitriol and incipient violence from the Left has been making it's presence known here in the Granite State, with both Democrat lawmakers and Progressive special interest groups excoriating and trying to bully both the Republican majority legislature and the Republican governor into giving them what they demand. They seem to have no issue with twisting the truth, trying to paint legislation that's supposed to help minorities as legislation that will leave them lying dead in the streets, or using religious bigotry to try to paint a state official as some kind of monster because of some religious postings by a 3rd party that had absolutely no connections to that official. (Then again it was this same religious bigot that helped damage the state's education system, all in the name of 'fairness', in a lawsuit which then obligated the state to adequately fund education, 'adequate' being defined by this same religious bigot. Of course he didn't send his kids to public school.)

We've had a Democrat state representative state she's felt homicidal against Republican legislators, particularly male Republican legislators, then tries to play the victim card when she's called out for her violence-laden rhetoric. Then she went over the egde when she found out the shooter in Alexandria who targeted Republican representatives was a white male, then changed her tune when she found out he was a Bernie Bro.

I could go on and on and on, but it's the same story over and over again. And should their bleatings and rhetoric turn someone towards violence against Republicans, they'll either try to explain it away or blame the victims for getting in the way of Progressive ideology, as if that's all that's needed to excuse murder.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

*****************


Despite the ongoing hysteria about America's withdrawal from the seriously flawed Paris Accord, something would obligate America to all kinds of economy damaging actions while allowing China and India to continue down the path unrestricted air pollution and CO2 emissions, there are actual scientists who still do not buy into the CAGW scenario. Not one of them is a political scientist. They are actual scientists with decades of research and data analysis experience who say the whole thing is overblown and serves no purpose other than raking in millions, if not billions of dollars in the way of research grants.

The do not deny that the climate has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age. Such warming would be expected. But to attribute it to a single factor, anthropogenic CO2 is both misleading and willfully ignorant.

Who are this miscreants of science?

Richard Lindzen, Emeritus Professor, PhD Mathematics. Was a professor of Atmosphere Physics at MIT.

Harrison Schmitt, PhD Geology

Will Happer, Professor Emeritus, PhD Physics, Princeton University

Neil Frank, PhD Meteorology

Roy Spencer, PhD Meteorology, University of Alabama, Hunstville

And I'm going to add another that a commenter suggested adding, that being Dr. Judith Curry, PhD Geophysical Sciences. Until recently she was the chair of the Earth and Atmospherics Sciences at Georgia Tech.

These aren't some unknown hacks from research institutes no one has ever heard about. Two had worked for NASA in the past (Schmitt and Spencer). These aren't lightweights in regards to climate science by any means, but they are seen a heretics or deniers because the don't agree with the so-called consensus. But they are doing exactly what they should be doing by questioning the consensus because, as anyone versed in science knows, consensus isn't science. Consensus has been wrong may times before and will be again. Even Albert Einstein knew consensus wasn't science, once stating “It doesn't matter if ten thousand scientists agree with me. It only takes one to prove me wrong.”

*****************


We had the opportunity to head out on to Lake Winnipesaukee early this evening with two of BeezleBub's co-workers from the farm. While there were still a few boats out on the lake as we departed the cove where we berth The Boat, most had left the lake by the time we were making our way back to port. While breezy out on the water, it was calm, meaning no real chop or boat wakes out there. It made for a pleasant two hours with family and some new friends.

While the weather forecast doesn't look promising for Monday, we will get more than a few opportunities to make it out on to the lake later this week. It is, after all, summer (or will be come the 20th of June). We've got to take advantage whenever we can.

*****************


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has been sunny, cloudy, hot and humid, where almost all of the motorcyclists have gone home, and where we look forward to our next jaunt out on the lake.

6/17/2017

It's Time For Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity

Considering so many states have liberalized (the old fashioned meaning) their gun laws, with some not even requiring its citizens to have permit in order to carry a concealed firearm (my home state is one of them), I can see the wisdom of passing legislation to make reciprocity – a CCW permit in one state would be honored by all other states – a reality. It's something that should have been done years ago. It already exists in regards to driver's licenses, so why not permits to carry?

While some will make the argument that the two are not the same thing, one has to remember that driving is not a right, but a privilege. Bearing arms is a right. We've certainly seen enough US Supreme Court decisions in the past decade or so that have certainly proved that the Second Amendment means what it says. So why shouldn't there be reciprocity for something that is a constitutional right?

Some may bring up the point about the Constitutional Carry states not having permits and how to handle reciprocity, but even my home state still issues concealed carry permits just for that reason as some states have reciprocity agreements with their neighbors. New Hampshire has reciprocity with 28 other states.

Should Congress pass such legislation and the president signs it, I expect the howling from the anti-gun lobbies and organizations will be deafening. They will trot out the usual “Shootout at the OK Corral” scenario and the use “rivers of blood in our streets” ploy in an effort to misinform the public. In every state that has changed from 'may issue' states to 'shall issue' states those same claims have been made. Yet those scenarios have never materialized. The same claims, though much louder and more forceful, were also used in those states where constitutional carry was made the law. Again, nothing happened...except that the violent crime rates went down.

It's time to make concealed carry reciprocity a reality.

6/11/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

This weekend signaled the start of Motorcycle Week here in Lakes Region of New Hampshire. With the weather looking to be sunny and warm almost all week, I expect we'll see a very large turnout. I have already seen large groups of bikers as they've made their way here to the big lake, with may of them taking advantage of the many amenities.

As many motorcyclist we have already seen, the bulk of them won't start arriving until this coming Thursday. From that point on it will be wall to wall motorcycles until they start their departures next Sunday and the following Monday.

*****************


This concept for a hybrid air taxi looks pretty cool. Almost as cool as the 'electric VTOL jet' I linked to a few months ago.

Of the two, give me the VTOL jet any day. But the air taxi is still cool.

*****************


While the ever present and screechy “But guns don't solve problems, they cause problems” anti-2A crowd blathers on about armed citizens being a danger to us all, here's a personal account from one of Skip Murphy's sons, a former Marine, who stopped an incipient robbery at a convenience store by walking from the back of the store and next to the checkout counter, allowing the miscreants see the 9mm Sig Sauer on his hip.

He didn't have to pull his weapon. The mere sight of gun and his attitude, being that of a Marine, motivated the miscreants to put down the merchandise they had taken, put it down on the counter, and leave.

No gun play involved. No shootout at the OK Corral. No one being hurt. Just a man with his sidearm, an attitude that showed he knew how to use it, and an incipient criminal act ended before it started.

*****************


Hey, I only believe in the Constitution when it affects me, or so it seems Bernie Sanders believes since he seems to think that there should be a litmus test for a potential office-holders religious beliefs before they would be allowed to serve in any capacity. There's only one teeny tiny problem with that proposal.

Article VI, Section 3 of the United States Constitution states:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Oh, too bad Bernie. That pesky US Constitution getting in the way of a politically/religiously correct totalitarian state...again.

*****************


Is the fifth time the charm?

It looks like voters in Puerto Rico will be deciding whether or not to become a state. The previous four attempts failed, but seeing Puerto Rico's present financial state, no one seems to know how the vote will go this time.

*****************


Oh, yeah, this is creepy indeed.

Guys Reveal The Creepiest Way Girls Have Hit On Them.

You may think it's only the guys that have lame come-on lines, but you're wrong. Some of these are totally cringeworthy.

*****************


If you need a means of describing Portland, Oregon, use this – Like San Francisco or Berkeley, but with less tolerance for non-progressive ideas, more violent 'antifa' thugs, a large dislike of freedom of speech, and a close-minded authoritarian as mayor. Oh, and it isn't hilly like San Francisco.

*****************


Uh-oh. This is going to upset the “science is settled” warmists.

I find it interesting that there are 20 new peer-reviewed papers out there that posit climate change has been driven entirely by solar changes and not anthropogenic CO2.

I can hear warmists heads exploding in rage because, after all, everyone knows we evil humans are the cause of all climate change over the past few thousand years, even on Mars!

*****************


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the rumble of motorcycles can be heard, the really warm weather has arrived, and where I am anticipating a post-work jaunt on the lake tomorrow.

6/10/2017

An Astute Observation

By way of Fred Reed comes this observation from none other than Robert E. Lee:

The consolidation of the states into one vast empire, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of ruin which has overwhelmed all that preceded it.

Never have truer words been spoken. As Fred writes in response to Lee's observation, “The man was perceptive. Amalgamation of the states under a central government has led to exactly the effects foreseen by General Lee.”

It used to be solutions to state problems were either handled by the state affected, or the state directed the federal government in regards to the help it needed. Those days are long gone>

Today it's a “one size fits all” solutions handed down by Washington DC even if the solutions don't apply to specific states. An illustration of one of the silliest solutions to a problem that really only affected one region in the country can be summed up in two words: flush toilets.

You may think I'm being facetious or playing the wise ass, but I assure you I am not. Since some time after 2001 the manufacture and sale of flush toilets that were not low water use toilets has been illegal. Under EPA regulations, flush toilets cannot use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. This was done to help save water, which makes perfect sense for arid and semi-arid parts of the US like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. But to apply it across the board doesn't. In fact, many of those low flush toilets cause problems when used with older sewer and septic systems because there's not enough water being used to make sure the 'effluvia' moves along to where it is supposed to go. That more than one flush may be necessary to get the waste from Point A to Point B is well known to those who have had the misfortune to replace an older toilet in their home with one of the new 'efficient' flush toilets.

Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

Another observation made by Fred:

In, say, 1950, to an appreciable though imperfect extent America resembled a confederacy. Different regions of the America had little contact with each other, and almost no influence over one another. The federal government was small and remote. Interstates did not exist, nor of course the internet, nor even direct long-distance telephone dialing. West Virginia, Alabama, Massachusetts, New York City, Texas, and California had little in common, but little conflict arose since for practical purposes they were almost different countries. They chiefly governed themselves. The  proportion of federal to state law was small. 

It is important to note that regional differences were great. In 1964 in rural Virginia, the boys brought shotguns to school during deer season. Nobody shot anybody because it wasn’t in the culture. The culture was uniform, so no one was upset. It is when cultures are mixed, or one rules another, that antagonism comes.  Such shotgun freedom would not have worked in New York City with its variegated and often mutually hostile ethnicities.

Regions differed importantly in degree of freedom, not just in the freedom of local populations to govern themselves but also in individual freedom. It made a large difference in the tenor of life. If in Texas, rural Virginia, or West Virginia you wanted to build an addition to your house, you did. You didn’t need licenses, permits, inspections, union-certified electricians. Speed limits? Largely ignored. Federal requirements for Coast Guard approved flotation devices on your canoe? What the hell kind of crazy idea was that? 

Indeed. And here's where Fred and I are on exactly the same page:

Democracy works better the smaller the group practicing it. In a town, people can actually understand the questions of the day. They know what matters to them. Do we build a new school, or expand the existing one? Do we want our children to recite the pledge of allegiance, or don’t we? Reenact the Battle of Antietam? Sing Christmas carols in the town square? We can decide these things. Leave us alone.

States similarly knew what their people wanted and, within the limits of human frailty, governed accordingly.

As Fred observes, democracy works pretty well at the small scale. I see it all the time in my home town. The townspeople decide how much the town will spend and on what, or what local ordinances they want to add or do away with.. The same goes for the school system. No input from the federal government is required or wanted. We know what we need and more importantly, what we don't need. To think that some faceless bureaucrat can have any understanding of what we need or want is ludicrous at best and deranged at worst. To think that we are a monolithic society where 'solutions' can be applied with a broad brush approach is the height of delusion (with a huge portion of arrogance thrown in). That type of approach creates more problems that it solves, pissing off a lot of people in the process.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

6/08/2017

Fifteen Years

It was fifteen years ago today that my dear brother started this blog. Fifteen years. That's quite a bit of time.

That has brought about over 5300 posts, between here at Blogger and two other hosts when we used Moveable Type as our blogging platform. We covered everything from war, politics, plain damnfoolishness, insanity, climate change, elections, mostly true stories, tragedies and triumphs, peeks into small town life, things profound, things simple, movies, music, books, births, deaths, pets, travel, philosophy, "what if" scenarios, the media, the East Coast, the West Coast, everything in between or so-called "Flyover country", guns, fascism, political correctness, science, pseudoscience, liars, thieves, con artists, 'true' believers, good people, bad people, outright effin' evil people, and a whole host of topics that I could go on and on about for pages and hours on end. In any case, you get the picture.

In all that time the world has changed, as has our country. Some changes have been for the good. Too many changes have been anything but good. We've seen groups of our fellow citizens deluded into thinking that everything is our fault. We've seen others work to prove them wrong. We've had political leaders who thought they didn't need to follow the rules because they knew they were better than us because they were smarter than the rest of us, then they found out they were wrong. We've seen attacks on freedom of speech all in the name of "tolerance". We've watched as government sanctioned kangaroo courts stripped college students of their rights all in the name of "fairness". We've watched as people were shouted down as racists by people who were indeed the "racists in the room".

But many of us haven't given up hope. It's one of the reasons this blog still exists. And while I haven't been as prolific in posting as I once was because life intruded, I still post. I still offer my opinions. I still try to point out things that are both wrong and right about my home state and my country.

Here's to another fifteen years.

6/04/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

We have reached (or will soon reach) a couple of milestones here at Weekend Pundit, one blog related and one season related.

First, on June 8th it will be the 15th anniversary of this blog. It was started by my dear brother, partly as a means of resurrecting our old Geocities website, World Domination, Inc. (Our motto was “Subjugating humanity one individual at a time.”) It was started here at Blogger, then migrated to another host – Blogmosis – and then to yet another, courtesy of GraniteGrok, and then back here to Blogger. In that time there have been over 5,300 posts, with approximately 3,200 of them here on Blogger alone.

While I do not post nearly as often as I used to, I still post at least twice a week, mostly on weekends (hence the apropos name “Weekend Pundit”). Life intruded and other activities took precedence, reducing the amount of posts from daily to two or three times a week. I have no doubt that the level of posting will vary now and then, but I am still plugging away, adding my 2¢ worth on topics of interest (at least of interest to me).

Second, our boating season has officially started with the launch of the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka The Boat. BeezleBub swung by The Manse after work early Friday evening with his semi-trusty F350 to tow The Boat and trailer to our town docks. By 8PM The Boat was tied up at its summer berth, ready for a spring/summer/fall of boating. The weather was cooperative early this afternoonn, meaning I was able to take The Boat out on the lake for an hour for its shakedown cruise, making sure everything worked and that nothing leaked.

*****************


Is the US education system producing a society of “Smart Fools”?

Yes, says Cornell University psychologist Robert Sternberg.

...Sternberg sounded an alarm about the influence of standardized tests on American society. Sternberg, who has studied intelligence and intelligence testing for decades, is well known for his “triarchic theory of intelligence,” which identifies three kinds of smarts: the analytic type reflected in IQ scores; practical intelligence, which is more relevant for real-life problem solving; and creativity.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

*****************


Who says there's nothing new under the sun?

The combination of a modern ballistic fabric and a good old fashioned mixture of corn starch and water may be the answer to light weight body armor.

It was an Air Force cadet who came up with the idea, then presented it to one of her Air Force Academy professors.

[Cadet] Weir's idea was to combine anti-ballistic fabric with what's known as a shear thickening fluid to create a less heavy material to use in body armor. She demonstrated the principle to [Professor Ryan] Burke by combining water and cornstarch in a container and asking the professor to jam his finger into the paste-like goo.

"I jam my finger right into this bowl, and I almost broke my finger! Hayley's laughing because I've got this finger that I'm shaking and I'm saying, 'You know, that's pretty impressive stuff.'"

Once they had the proper combination they tested it at a firing range, using both 9mm and .44 Magnum pistols against the armor. None of the rounds penetrated the ¼ inch design. Considering the new armor weighs a third of that of contemporary body armor, it could be a real game changer.

*****************


Reported by way of the Instaprof, it appears one of the first effects of America's withdrawal from the Paris Accords is being felt: Oil prices are falling.

The real, measurable impacts of Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement are going to be few and far between, but the first one we’ve seen thus far has been a drop in the price of oil. This won’t hurt Trump with his voters: market participants think that the U.S. will now pump more oil, leading to long term lower oil prices. . . .

Let’s not give the White House too much credit here, though. The Obama administration, for all of its gesturing towards renewables, was remarkably friendly towards the shale industry. The recent growth we’ve seen in American production is the result of innovation and falling costs in shale drilling, rather than the rolling back of regulations.

But perceptions matter to markets, and Trump’s announcement yesterday has further strengthened analysts’ belief that this Administration will do everything it can to help out America’s oil and gas industry (even though the natural gas boom is responsible for knocking Old King Coal off his throne in the U.S.).

Russia is paying close attention to U.S. oil production these days, and the CEO of the state-owned oil company Rosneft, Igor Sechin, publicly expressed concerns that surging American supplies could overcome petrostate efforts to cut production and push prices back up.

To quote the Professor Reynolds “That would be terrible.”

Heh.

*****************


This certainly falls within the realm of something Glenn Reynolds has stated more often than not, that being “I'll believe it's a crisis when the folks who keep telling me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis.”

Moreover, many voters don’t see Democrats acting like people who believe we’re facing an extinction level event. For instance, why aren’t we talking about adding hundreds of new nuclear power plants to our energy portfolio? Such an effort would do far more to mitigate carbon emissions than any unreliable solar or windmill boondoggle –certainly more than any non-binding international agreement. Maybe there are tradeoffs, who knows.

Read the whole thing.

Skip Murphy shows us an image about the Paris Accord withdrawal that sums quite nicely why President Trump pulled the US out of that P.O.S. Agreement.

*****************


And speaking of a crisis, remember when all of the warmists warned us ad nauseum that we'd see an increasing number and more powerful hurricanes because of AGW? I certainly do. All kinds of dire predictions were made about how bad it would be. But what's the reality?

There have been no increases in either the number or intensity of hurricanes.

In fact, the number of hurricanes has been decreasing, an 'inconvenient truth' for the warmist camp. But they will claim, if they haven't already, that the problem will develop some time in the future. That's what would be called a sucker bet because we know at some point that will be true....just as it was in the past. We've had more hurricanes and more intense hurricanes in the past which most folks would take to mean we'll likely have them again in the future. But attributing this 'future' to AGW is disingenuous at best, and a con game at worst.

*****************


Steve MacDonald has coined a new phrase that is quite fitting for defining “pseudo-intellectual leftists that can be used in polite company”: Intelleftuals.

It's so good that it really doesn't need to be defined because it defines itself. I think I'll be using it from now on.

*****************


Considering where this took place, it is not surprising to me at all. The only surprise was how long it took for someone there to actually come out and say it.

Apparently for some of the oh-so-tolerant Leftists in Seattle it is taboo to be friends with a Republican. One Seattle city council member has boasted in public that “she doesn’t have any Republican friends.” Isn't that special?

Kshama Sawant wasn’t having any of that. She stood up and said Burgess wasn’t speaking for her with this “our Republican friends” stuff. Because, she assured the crowd, she doesn’t have any Republican friends.

Yay, cheered the crowd.

Now it’s hardly surprising that Sawant, a socialist, isn’t having GOPers over for mint juleps. But it’s pretty unusual to my ears for a politician to boast that her tribalism excludes even the possibility of warm feelings toward political opponents, even as humans.

What I find ironic about Ms. Sawant's claim is that there is a heavily Republican neighborhood in the district she represents. Does she answer their phone calls or e-mails if they have questions about Seattle 's policies, spending, or other governmental duties? Or does she act just like Democrat Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter who has declared on more than one occasion that the Republicans in her congressional district aren't her constituents? If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably the latter.

*****************


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where it's feeling more like October than June, the rain has returned (again), and where for once I don't mind going into work on a Monday because the weather is so cool and rainy.

6/03/2017

Hysteria Abounds Around US Withdrawl From Paris Accords

Over the past few days I have watched the outcry from the “We're-All-Gonna-Die-If-We-Don't-DO-SOMETHING-Like-Impoverish-Ourselves-While-Everyone-Else-Eats-Our-Lunch” envirowackos after President Trump announced the US is withdrawing from the Paris Accords. You'd think he had ordered the Black Helicopters to swoop in, take away the envirowackos' children, and use them as fuel to power his financial empire.

More than a few of the more level-headed environmentalists have stated that even with all of the draconian measures we could possibly take will not affect the wholly unreliable pie-in-the-sky projection of a 2.0ºC increase in global average temperatures, with all of a 0.015ºC difference. In my profession, 0.015 out of 2.0 would be considered signal noise. One must also remember that the oft repeated 2.0ºC increase is based upon climate models that have already been shown to be absolute crap as they don't even come close to matching the actual temperature data, NOAA's 'massaging' of previous temperature data notwithstanding.

Many of these same hysterical envirowackos have also conveniently forgotten the outcome of the Kyoto Protocols. Even though President Clinton signed on to Kyoto, the US Senate refused the ratify the treaty by a vote of 95-0. We didn't even come close to implementing the actions to which we would have been obligated under the conditions of the treaty, but unlike the signatories to Kyoto, the US saw its CO2 emissions drop to a much greater extent than they might have under Kyoto. In fact, some of those signatory nations saw their CO2 emissions rise and others that had garnered exemptions from Kyoto, primarily China and India, saw their CO2 emissions rise at a rapid rate.

I think the Trump did the right thing in withdrawing from the Paris Accords because as best I could see there was nothing but a downside for the US if it were to abide by them while giving our economic rivals a pass. And if history is any guide, I have a strong suspicion that we will again outpace the signatories of the Paris Accords in reducing our CO2 emissions footprint without the need to hobble our economy to do it.

5/28/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been very busy up here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, what with it being Memorial Day weekend and all. Between folks opening up their cottages and camps, launching their boats for the season, or just generally dubbing around, traffic has been heavy, the stores and restaurants have been busy, and the mass of summerfolk just hanging around, it's been a bit crazy around here.

One of the biggest events of the weekend has been the opening of the concert season at our local venue, with the first act playing here being the Zac Brown Band. That they're playing here for four nights straight also makes the crowds larger as many of their fans will attend two or more performances. If nothing else it's made both vehicular and air traffic around our local airport pretty busy. (The venue, Meadowbrook Farm, is next to the Laconia Airport.)

*****************


One task I had hoped to accomplish either prior or during this long weekend was launching the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka The Boat. However, between an emergency job at one of the local farms (their computer system for their point-of-sales system crashed big time), it taking longer for me to take care of the final clean up of The Boat and loading all of the gear on board, a missing anchor (which I found just a short while ago), and nary a mooring line in any kind of shape to be found anywhere, it didn't get done.

Hopefully I can swing by one of the various ships stores at a local marina and pick up some new mooring lines and a new anchor rode for one of our secondary anchors some time tomorrow or Tuesday. Then we'll see about launching The Boat some time Wednesday and get it to its summer berth.

*****************


It does not surprise me that all it takes for the Left to push for Trump's impeachment are unsubstantiated allegations and outright rumors that Trump has [fill in the blank for the allegedly 'treasonous act' du jour]. Considering much of those allegations seem to come from one of two sources, the New York Times or Washington Post, one should take anything coming from either one of those formerly prestigious publications with a huge grain of salt. So far they've been exactly wrong on just about everything they've claimed that Trump has done that was supposedly against the law. Or worse, they've tried to claim he doesn't have the power to do what he's done even though the US Constitution delineates that he can or that law and/or prior court decisions say a president does have the power to do what Trump has done. (The Left conveniently ignores Obama's forays into this area, even when he did things that weren't constitutional or allowed by law.)

*****************


You know PC has gone over the edge into full blown lunacy when the PC Police decide that cultural appropriation is verboten. It doesn't matter to them that cultural appropriation is a natural course of action, that all cultures incorporate bits and pieces from other cultures and have always done so. Instead, they want to pigeonhole the various cultures and punish anyone who tries to get out of those PC defined pigeonholes. In other words, they want to Balkanize culture,making sure no one can ever 'leave' their culture. They want to keep things static, to never change.

The one thing I learned in school (and in life) is that stasis is death. They don't want to 'preserve' the various cultures (as they define them). They want to kill them off. Oh, they will say that isn't their intent, and it may not be, but it will be the result. Every stagnant culture dies, as history has shown us.

The latest lunacy: 'shaming' restaurants because white people own and run restaurants that serve Asian, Latin, African, or Indian cuisine.

I recall reading a piece about a pair of women in Portland, Oregon who were attacked on social media because they ran a food truck and restaurant that made some of the best burritos. The problem? They weren't Mexican. How dare they make and serve Mexican food considering they were white? (As a side note, burritos aren't Mexican. They come from Texas originally. The only places in Mexico that serve burritos are tourist areas that cater to people from El Norte, meaning Americans.) So what happened?

The restaurant closed.

Some of the SJW's claimed these women 'stole' business from the women in Mexico who should have made money from making burritos. OK, fine. But where were those women? Back in Mexico. So the two politically incorrect white women making and serving burritos in Portland didn't steal anything from anyone, claims by the oh-so-PC SJW's to the contrary.

*****************


Bill Whittle deconstructs the 'science' of Bill Nye, The Science Guy (who isn't really a scientist, by the way).


Indeed.

*****************


Ben Carson is back in the limelight, this time for speaking an obvious truth about poverty, after which “the moonbats went ballistic”.

Mr. Carson, who oversees a department that handles housing for millions of low-income Americans, made the comments during a radio interview on Tuesday with Armstrong Williams, a friend and conservative media personality. During the talk, Mr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, said he thought some people were poor because of their outlook on life.

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind,” he said, according to a transcript of the interview that was released on Wednesday. “You take somebody that has the right mind-set, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”

He added that helping people may not better their lives.

“You take somebody with the wrong mind-set, you can give them everything in the world — they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom,” he said.

It is human nature that some will consistently make the wrong choices, sending them down the wrong path. No matter how much help you give them, they won't stop making those choices. And to top it off, they'll hate you for all the help you give, and then demand even more. Carson knows this as he grew up poor, saw what happened to those who made the wrong choices, and wanted nothing to do with it.

*****************


It's interesting to see what happens to indoctrinated college students when they are tricked into rejecting a socialist ideal – redistribution of wealth.

Many students at Davidson College recently responded in anguish and outrage after some conservative students filmed a video asking people on campus if they would sign a petition to redistribute GPAs for the sake of “education equality.”

Many students refused to sign the petition, saying it wasn’t fair for a variety of reasons, including that people who earned their As should keep their As, and that students who are given good grades without hard work might not be inspired to improve.

But after students discovered later the petition was a hoax played on them by conservative students in an attempt to illustrate the unfairness of wealth distribution, they hastily called a teach-in at the campus union at which they denounced the effort and vented their frustration.

It's interesting to see how their viewpoint changes when it's their 'wealth' – be it grades or money – is being redistributed. It's supposed to be someone else's wealth being taken from them and given to the less deserving...as decided by those same indoctrinated college students.

*****************


Is this the New Puritanism? Or is it a perverse and bizarre mirror image of the original Puritanism? Of the two choices, I'd have to say it's the latter.

What we are observing is a bizarre form of Puritanism. The visceral yet denied fixation on sexual expression and behavior that we associate with the Puritan sensibility, especially as it manifested in the Salem witch trials, has morphed into its opposite, namely, a lubricious fixation that has become publicly endorsed and applauded. The gender mavens of our time are as prurient as the witch hunters of old.

They are the Puritans of the modern age who see sex under every stone while at the same time unleashing a campaign against all that is normal and fruitful in the relation between men and women. The delusion in which they have invested -- that sex and gender are conceptually unrelated and the latter trumps the former -- is not only an affront to common sense but leads by unrelenting increments to the displacement of the usages and conventions on which normative life and societal flourishing depend.

Eventually that is going to come back to bite them, hard. The “normal is abnormal and perverted and must be stamped out” movement will come to and end after the rest of us have had enough and turn on them to stop such foolishness. Hopefully it won't be violent and bloody when it happens, but I have my doubts.

*****************


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we got two out three days of good Memorial Day weekend weather, the cash registers are ringing up sales, and where boating commences anon.

5/26/2017

Unemployment Rate Is Down...Or Is It?

The news has been reporting that the unemployment numbers are down to the lowest point in 28 years. As of April, the national U3 unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, with my home state of New Hampshire seeing an unemployment rate of 2.8%.

Sounds great, right? Too bad the numbers the government is using doesn't tell the whole story.

The U6 unemployment rate which includes both those who are still collecting unemployment benefits as well as those whose benefits have run out, those have taken jobs that are well below those they held prior, and those who are working part time while still looking for full time employment, and those who have given up looking for work shows us things aren't all that rosy.

The U6 unemployment rate is always higher than the U3 rate, but historically has been about 3 percentage points higher than the U3 rate. Right now it stands at 4.2 percentage points higher, though one non-governmental organization – Gallup – puts the U6 rate as high 14.1%, or 9.7 percentage points higher than the U3 rate.

We still have a Labor Participation Rate that is as low as it has been for 40-some years. Our workforce is also aging, with more Baby Boomers not retiring, either through necessity or because they don't want to retire. We have the millennials, probably one of the least ambitious generations entering the workforce, who are either unwilling to get jobs or are woefully unprepared for the jobs that are out there. (Useless degrees whose title ends with the word “Studies” usually leaves such a college grad qualified to work only as a barista, pizza delivery driver, or Uber/Lyft driver – assuming that even own a car - and not much else.)

What will truly turn around our unemployment problems? All it takes is a couple of things, the biggest getting government off the backs of businesses, particularly small businesses. Another – drop the confiscatory corporate tax rate to be more in line with the rest of the world and let the American businesses with trillions of dollars sitting in banks overseas to repatriate those funds. That kind of money pumped back into the economy through investment would do more to grow the economy, and the jobs that go with that growth than any new 'programs' that regulate the bejeezus out of businesses, big or small.

But that's just my opinion, backed up with decades of historical perspective that too many of our tax/spend/regulate-to-death “betters” choose to ignore.

5/21/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

It's hard to believe that Memorial Day weekend is almost here. Where has the time gone?

Preparations for launching the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout (aka The Boat) continue. The winter cover has been removed, the interior and the hull cleaned, the various drain plugs reinstalled, the batteries charged, and some of the gear has been stowed on board. The rest of the gear will be put on board over the upcoming week, the gas tank will be filled, and given the time and good weather conditions, The Boat will be launched and will be berthed at its slip before the holiday weekend arrives.

The summerfolk have been making their presence known as they gear up for the upcoming summer. Camps and cottages have been opened up and aired out, boats have been launched or prepped for launch, and a good number of summer businesses have opened their doors.

While the calendar says summer doesn't officially begin until June 21st, for all intents and purposes it's already here. While the water temps in the lakes, ponds, rivers and streams are still quite cold, that hasn't stopped some folks from enjoying themselves, even though briefly, in the water. We have certainly seen a lot of boat traffic out on Winnipesaukee and 'official' summer is still over a month away.

I'm not complaining.

*****************


One has to wonder what the next thing the friggin SJW's are going t0 declare as racist? They've already said that math is racist. And so is wood paneling, apparently.

I have a solution for them if they really want to eliminate racism: go gather all of your like-minded SJW brethren, move to an island large enough to sustain you, and live the lives you are trying to impose on everyone else. Then we'll see if you can really actually survive.

My guess – most of you will be dead, killed off by one set of SJW's who feel the rest aren't really SJW's.

*****************


And speaking of Social Justice Warriors, here's one who finally took a close look at the entire movement and decided it was nothing more than yet another religious cult, one becoming increasingly violent and dehumanizing, and decide it was time to divorce herself from it.

I see increasing numbers of so-called liberals cheering censorship and defending violence as a response to speech. I see seemingly reasonable people wishing death on others and laughing at escalating suicide and addiction rates of the white working class. I see liberal think pieces written in opposition to expressing empathy or civility in interactions with those with whom we disagree. I see 63 million Trump voters written off as “nazis” who are okay to target with physical violence. I see concepts like equality and justice being used as a mask for resentful, murderous rage.

How easy is it for ordinary humans to commit atrocious acts? History teaches us it’s pretty damn easy when you are blinded to your own hypocrisy. When you believe you are morally superior, when you have dehumanized those you disagree with, you can justify almost anything. In a particularly vocal part of the left, justification for dehumanizing and committing violence against those on the right has already begun.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

*****************


This article points to a growing trend amongst millennial women – dating up. In this case it means dating men who are older than they are.

The reason? Here's a clue:

More and more women I know are dating men twice, yes twice, their age. In her...film, The Intern, Anne Hathaway stands with Robert DeNiro and a bunch of young male colleagues in a bar and draws a harsh comparison: “How in one generation have men gone from guys like Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford to . . .?” She gestures despairingly at the four men in front of her, archetypes of my generation in their hoodies, craft beer in one hand, iPhone in the other, with their untrimmed beards and general lack of ambition. I see what Hathaway means: Why put up with Tinder when there’s a whole generation of men out there who wouldn’t dream of using it?

In other words, they want real men, not a bunch of horny beta males.

*****************


I have brought this up more than once and to this day no one from the “Tax The S**t Out Of Everyone” Left has been able to explain this away, at least not to my satisfaction. Too many times I've heard them bleat about feelz and little else. They are sure want to be pretty free with the money they want take from the rest of us who earned it.

*****************


This is all too true. Too bad too many of our youth end up learning this years too late, if at all.

One of life's most important rules: You Must Learn To Live With the Consequences of Your Decisions…


She has a future working at Starbucks as a barista, or if she's really willing to dig deep, as an exotic dancer in a male privileged, misogynistic “gentlemen's” club...or a homeless bag lady.

*****************


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where wet weather is arriving for Monday, Memorial Day is just around the corner, and everyone's grill has been getting a workout regularly.

5/20/2017

A View From Edinburgh

From author Christopher G. Nutall comes this observation* about the reaction to Donald Trump's election, specifically the reaction from those whose candidate lost.

Writes Nutall:

Shortly after it became clear that Donald Trump had won the 2016 election, a campaign started in an attempt to convince the Electoral College to declare Hillary Clinton the President instead...on the grounds that Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote. This attempt failed and rightly so – the victory condition for a US Presidential election is not winning the most individual votes, but winning in the majority of the states. The President must command a broad swath of support from all over the country, not just the highly populated states. Like him or hate him, Trump won by the rules.

Indeed, if the rules were different – if an election could be won by individual votes – both candidates would have campaigned differently. Neither of them did because they both knew the rules.

--snip--

The point here is that the people involved – the political candidates as well as chess players and everything in-between - must have a shared understanding of the rules. If you go into a game of chess without that agreement, you're likely to run into arguments about legal moves or sensible tactics.

--snip--

In chess, the rules exist to allow two players to share a game without disputes; in politics, electoral rules exist to determine who actually wins and why. They impose order on a chaotic system. Breaking the rules – either by sweeping the pieces off the board or trying to redefine the victory condition when you're losing – should be punished. Why? Because if one side shows no respect for the rules, and if there is no punishment, why should the other follow the rules? And if neither side is willing to follow the rules, we have chaos.

Indeed. When many of Hillary's supporters tried to get around the rules inveighing the electors to ignore them and declare their candidate the winner, they were in effect saying to everyone “If you don't change the rules so I win, I'm gonna hold my breath 'til my face turns blue!” They also showed themselves to have little understanding about our electoral process, ignoring the fact that it is the states that determine the winner, not the individual voters.

The Framers of the Constitution understood the dangers of the tyranny of the majority and the tyranny of the minority which is why they designed Congress to have both a population-proportional chamber – the House of Representatives – and an equal-state chamber – the Senate. The two balanced each other so it was difficult for either a tyranny of the majority or the minority. It was also why they created the Electoral College and made the same arrangement – so that the large population states could not bully the smaller population states and force them into situations that was to the detriment of their citizens. Yet it it appears that's just what the folks complaining about Hillary's election loss want and are willing to abandon the rules to get their way.

I doubt any of them have thought what the outcome would be if they did get their way by throwing out the rules they don't like – a Second American Civil War. Of course if there was such a war, I have no doubt they would think that they would be the victors despite the fact that most of their opponents are better armed and that it is unlikely that most of the states themselves would go along with such an usurpation of the Constitution.

*This was in the afterword of his novel The Long Road.

5/14/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was an exciting weekend, with the missus and our son, BeezleBub, graduating from the same college at the same time.

Today they headed to Vermont for a 'gathering of the cousins' for a chance to meet up with family they don't often have an opportunity to get together. It certainly offset the heavy rain we had overnight and into this morning.

*****************


It looks like California is shooting its small businesses in the foot, again.

This time around the want to impose very strict rules on autographed books, requiring the same kind of measures usually reserved for sports memorabilia or classic items. The one side effect will be the virtual shutdown of book signings and yet another nail in the coffin for small booksellers.

Is there nothing the California legislature can't screw up while makes sure that the small business owners get the shaft? I would think they would focus on the important things like the huge pension deficit, crumbling infrastructure, and diminishing electrical and water supplies rather than trivial crap like this.

My message to the sane people still living in California: Get out now while you still can!

*****************


Skip Murphy over at GraniteGrok has covered an idea put forth by Representative Steve Pearce that I can certainly get behind, that being allowing a “virtual” Congress.

Rep. Steve Pearce, after more than a decade in the House, thinks he knows why people are so unhappy with Congress. Once elected, lawmakers become creatures of Washington and lose touch with the people who sent them there. To fix it, the New Mexico Republican has proposed a resolution that would let lawmakers work the way millions of others do: remotely. His resolution, H.Res. 298, encourages the House Administration Committee to explore ways to let members work in a “virtual setting.” That would include letting members debate, vote, and even attend hearings while they’re home.

As Skip mentions, he and millions of other Americans do it every day. Since this past January I have been doing so (in my case due to an injury that severely limit my ability to travel or negotiate stairs), and I found it worked pretty well for me.

If members of the House and Senate could telecommute to sessions, committee meetings, and hearings, it would allow two things that I think would help insulate members of Congress from falling under the sway of the so-called Beltway Mentality: maintain a close connection with their constituents because the would remain amongst them; be less influenced by lobbyists and rent seekers.

That would be fine with me.

*****************


Yeah, like this is the way for Democrats to win back the hearts and minds of rural American voters.

You know they're damn clueless when Democrat Representative Anna Eshoo (California) denigrates Middle America as “Podunk USA”.

I will admit to considering giving Democrats a pass since Eshoo is also from California, so it could be prejudice is based more upon the fact that she's from California and less that she's a Democrat.

No, just kidding!

*****************


This is no surprise to me, having been a former union member.

It turns out that union presidents are most often paid more than CEO's, with their average salary being almost $60K higher than that of chief executives.

Leading union officials earned an average salary of $252,370 in 2016, outpacing the average salary of private sector chief executives, according to a new report.

The Center for Union Facts compiled the salary information from federal labor filings of 192 of the largest national, state, and local unions. The report found that labor presidents enjoyed nearly a $60,000 advantage over the take-home pay of the nation's business leaders, who earned an average of $194,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I think it's ironic these union leaders are making many times that of their rank and file, and more than the 'greedy' CEO's from which the union is supposed to defend their union members.

What a friggin' racket!

*****************


This is a question that must be answered.

How the heck did climate scientists miss 5 million square kilometers of forests and trees? That's an awfully large amount of carbon sinking vegetation to just misplace, particularly when it can have a net positive effect in regards to carbon sinking. That would certainly affect the assumptions they used to create all of their grossly defective climate models that predict climate Armageddon (even though their models couldn't seem to predict what actually happened over a span of two decades, let alone 100 years).

Then again, could those newly 'discovered' 5 million square kilometers of trees actually be the result of the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? (Don't say that too loud, otherwise Michael Mann might come by your house and beat you senseless with one of his hockey sticks.)

*****************


This overly sensitive SJW triggered into a mental meltdown over a pro-Trump sign on campus doesn't need a 'safe space'. She needs a nice long stay in a mental facility and all of the anti-psychotic drugs they can pump into her before she is allowed to return to campus. Now we know where all of the people who used to be institutionalized went after the homeless people kicked them to the curb.

What a friggin' Looney Tune.

*****************


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the rains will be ending soon, the temps are forecast to get warmer, and where yet again Monday has come to damned soon!

5/13/2017

Bring Sanity Back To Setting The Speed Limits On Our Highways

Like the classic Sammy Hagar song, I always found it difficult to drive at the speed limit on our highways when Congress made the mistake of making the temporary 55MPH speed limit permanent back in the mid 70's. The excuses used to justify the permanent 55MPH National Maximum Speed Limit, or NMSL, were based upon false and misleading statistics compiled by what were later come to be known as the Safety Nazis, or more facetiously, the Anti-Destination League.

The argument was made that “55 Saved Lives”, using data that showed the number of traffic fatalities declined when the speed limit was dropped by an executive order issued by President Nixon after the Arab Oil Embargo in 1973 as a means of reducing fuel consumption. What those statistics used didn't show, and for good reason, was that the fatality rate itself didn't change, meaning the number of motorists killed per millions of passenger miles traveled. What caused the drop in fatalities was the drop in the number of miles being driven by the American public. With a decrease in the number of miles traveled the number of traffic fatalities also decreased.

That was then and things have changed considerably.

For one thing, cars and trucks are much more fuel efficient than they were 40-some years ago. They are also a heck of a lot safer, between structural changes affecting crash survivability, better safety design and equipment such as 3-point seatbelts and airbags, and better tires and braking systems. That maske much of the “55 Saves Lives” mantra even more obsolete.

Around 1985 the NMSL was modified to allow states to set the speed limits in their highways up as high as 65MPH. Then Congress got around repealing the NMSL in 1995. The hew and cry form the Safety Nazis was loud and long, with claims that “blood would cover our streets and highways” with the higher speed limits. The reality – the number of traffic fatalities dropped.

Some states raised the speed limits on their highways back to what they had been before the NMSL. Some almost did so. (My home state of New Hampshire has a maximum speed limit of 70MPH on the Interstates, though in some sections it used to be as high as 75MPH.) Some of the western states have no daytime speed limit on their highways other than “safe and prudent for the conditions”.

But are the speed limits set according to what this post by Erik calls Traffic Engineering 101? The answer is, unfortunately, no.

Every year, traffic engineers review the speed limit on thousands of stretches of road and highway. Most are reviewed by a member of the state’s Department of Transportation, often along with a member of the state police, as is the case in Michigan. In each case, the “survey team” has a clear approach: they want to set the speed limit so that 15% of drivers exceed it and 85% of drivers drive at or below the speed limit.

This “nationally recognized method” of setting the speed limit as the 85th percentile speed is essentially traffic engineering 101. It’s also a bit perplexing to those unfamiliar with the concept. Shouldn’t everyone drive at or below the speed limit? And if a driver’s speed is dictated by the speed limit, how can you decide whether or not to change that limit based on the speed of traffic? The answer lies in realizing that the speed limit really is just a number on a sign, and it has very little influence on how fast people drive. “Over the years, I’ve done many follow up studies after we raise or lower a speed limit,” [Lieutenant Gary] Megge [of the Michigan State Police} tells us. “Almost every time, the 85th percentile speed doesn’t change, or if it does, it’s by about 2 or 3 mph.”

 … Years of observing traffic has shown engineers that as long as a cop car is not in sight, most people simply drive at whatever speed they like.

It all comes down to this: people drive at the speed at which they feel comfortable regardless of the posted speed limit.

Our town had a number of people that demanded that a approximately 1.5 mile portion of one state road that passed through our town have the speed limit lowered from 50MPH to 35MPH because of one intersection towards one end of that 1.5 mile stretch. The intersection was on the other side of the top of a hill and getting out was sometimes problematic with cars coming over the rise and down the hill at 50MPH. So their solution was to lower the speed limit almost a mile and a half away just to lower the speed at that one intersection.

At the public hearing held by our town selectmen, a number of people spoke in favor of lowering the limit. I was one of the few who spoke out against it and for one very good reason, that being that it would be universally ignored because that stretch of highway was four lanes wide with an unobstructed view, and driving that stretch at 35MPH would appear to be ludicrously slow. Not too many people liked my comment, but more than a few nodded their heads in agreement.

In the end the public hearing had no effect. The state DOT denied the request, stating the lower speed was too low for the road design and would likely see only a small percentage of motorists adhering to the lower limit. The rest would still drive up and down that state road at 50MPH just as they always did. The DOT understood the principles of Traffic Engineering 101 and used it to justify their rejection.

They did the right thing.

Now if they would only apply Traffic Engineering 101 to the Interstates and state highways and reset the speed limits to what they were before NMSL made driving so miserable for everyone.

5/07/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a fifty-fifty weekend here at The Manse, with the weather being a bit schizophrenic – warm and sunny part of the day, rainy, cool and damp another part of the day, and back again. Both Saturday and Sunday repeated this pattern, leaving little time to really get a good start on some of the yard work as the ground was still wet. The coming week is going to be rather damp, reducing the chance for outdoor work until next weekend.

And so it goes in New Hampshire.

*****************


As a follow on to yesterday's post about the passing of the AHCA and the long overdue repeal of ObamaCare, there's this little tidbit about how ObamaCare would have lead to the death of one woman's husband if it had been in effect when he suffered his heart attack.

I doubt anyone can tell me it hasn't led to countless deaths since it went into effect.

*****************


Dr. Helen comments upon the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, the story of a teenage girl who commits suicide and leaves behind audio tapes of the 13 reasons why she killed herself.

While she is concerned that it glorifies suicide, I don't see it that way. Then again, I am an old fart who hasn't had to deal with teen angst for over 40 years. The responses in some of the comments are telling, many of them pointing out that while the show deals with the suicide of a teenage girl, a vast majority of teen suicides are commented by teenage boys, by almost a 3-to-1 margin. But most of the focus seems to be on girls killing themselves. Boys appear to be ignored. But then that's what the focus has been on over the past few decades. One comment hit the nail on the head:

Boys today are indoctrinated that they are worthless to the human species. They are constantly harangued for acting like adolescent hormone driven males, even when they have done nothing to deserve scorn. Hopeless and despondent, they fall into depression which leads to a lose, lose situation. What they see is, no matter what they do, it is wrong. So, after contemplating this very uneasy position, that they have been forced into, they opt for the easiest way out to end their suffering. They are not mentally ill, they just want their suffering to stop and cannot see the alternative way out.

Then again, maybe the gender feminists see teen boy suicides as an answer to their prayers. I wouldn't put it past them.

*****************


I can agree with this: Get the US Government out of Washington DC.

As the Instaprof suggests, “...make the move in a way that takes federal employees out of Virginia, and puts them in the run-down parts of blue states. Fresno! Bakersfield! Utica! Lower costs, and a firsthand view of economic decline.”

Indeed.

*****************


One has to wonder how long those in power in Venezuela will stay in power as the country implodes around them? To hear NBC tell it, the problem isn't because of socialism.

*****************


As much as the greenies decry the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity, they always choose to ignore the actual efficiencies between the coal and gas-fired power plants and solar generated electricity. One of those efficiencies is the number of workers it takes for each source to produce the same amount of electricity.

Here are the cold hard facts: What takes 1 coal worker or 2 natural gas workers take 79 solar workers to produce the same amount of electricity. How is solar efficient at all, considering the amount of labor it takes compared to coal or natural gas?

I wonder how many nuclear workers it takes to produce the same amount of electricity?

If I had to guess, it's probably close to coal, if not better.

*****************


I've read this a couple of dozen times and I still don't understand how these idiots can possibly believe the horses**t they're trying to pass off as being thoughtful, being considerate of the feelings of others, or politically correct.

The scientific journal Pediatrics has published a study that claims “It’s “ethically inappropriate” for government and medical organizations to describe breastfeeding as “natural” because the term enforces rigid notions about gender roles.

Really? So what is it, unnatural? Seems to me that it's perfectly natural for all of the other mammalian species on the planet, but somehow it isn't for homo sapiens?

These folks need to get psychiatric help before they can do any more damage.

*****************


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where our boat's launch will be delayed a week, the college graduation of my son and my wife take place next weekend, and where we're planning a big party to celebrate.

5/06/2017

Fatally Flawed ObamaCare Is Repealed - Let The Bleating Begin

The fallout from the passage of the ObamaCare repealing AHCA continues. While some are decrying the possibility of many people losing the health insurance covered provided to them by the fatally flawed ACA, those same people have chosen to ignore the millions of Americans who were hurt by the ACA. Millions lost their affordable “junk” health insurance plans, only for them to be replaced with very expensive and unusable plans that bent or broke many a household budget.

One such victim of ACA was Mary Katherine Hamm.

You may know me as a political pundit and writer who has spoken publicly about how the Affordable Care Act negatively affected my family. What you might not know is two years ago, I was a seven-month-pregnant widow with one toddler who got a letter two weeks after my husband died, informing me I’d lost my third or fourth health insurance plan since the Affordable Care Act passed. If you’ll remember, the promise was that I could keep my plan if I liked it. I could not.

--snip--

It has come to my attention that, even among those who should know, or assert they know a lot about health care policy and the market, many don’t know that people like me exist. But there are many of us, many with far fewer resources than I, who now have much more expensive, less effective, junkier, nearly unusable plans than we had back when our allegedly “junk” plans were outlawed. Again, we are not the only ACA story. But we are part of the story, we were sold a bill of goods, and we’re often overlooked.

A family member of mine saw their health insurance premiums skyrocket along with the out of pocket deductible, meaning they would shell out for over $12,000 between the two before their insurance even kicked in. Considering that was about a fifth of their annual income, that's one hell of a kick in the teeth, financially. How was this either affordable or health care?

Those screaming the loudest about the passage of AHCA are those enamored by the possibility of losing yet another outlet for “Free S**t”. A close friend of mine had thought his 'free' health insurance was great...right up until the point where he wanted to use it and couldn't find a doctor who would take him on as a patient because the practices he called couldn't afford to take on any more of the folks who were now covered by the expanded Medicaid program.

As I wrote some time ago about this particular problem, having health insurance did not guarantee health care. My friend was living proof.

I expect we'll soon be hearing about millions 'dying in the streets' because AHCA passed.

4/30/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been quite a change in weather over the past 48 hours, with Saturday seeing temps in the upper 70's while today's temps were in the upper 50's. A little rain has rolled in after a mostly sunny day, so there are no complaints to be made about this weekend's weather.

*****************


The more I hear people opine that if we don't “do something” about climate change that we're all going to be doomed, the more I come to the conclusion that AGW faithful are not really interested whether or not human-caused climate change is real. For them it is their new religion.

They don't want to be confused with the facts or shown data that places doubt upon their firmly held beliefs. Even when confronted by the hard evidence that the sacred climate models upon which they base the faith are shown to be wildly inaccurate, meaning the projections don't even come close to matching the observed data (even the data conveniently 'adjusted' with no justification or methodology provided by NOAA).

They will go out and protest the so-called “climate-deniers”, make lots of noise about how we're all gonna die if we don't impoverish ourselves, and then go home feeling better about themselves for having “done something” about the issue. Of course they haven't really done anything to alleviate what they see as the problem. On top of that, most of them will make very few if any changes to their lifestyles to lessen their carbon footprint, except maybe for buying some LED light bulbs or some carbon credits. They won't reconsider taking their vacation in Cabo San Lucas or Key West, both of which would require them to catch a flight from where ever they live, giving them a huge carbon footprint. After all, they protested against climate change, so they've done their part.

Yeah. Right.

*****************


Speaking of the AGW faithful, why is it that they leave so much trash behind for someone else to pick up rather than doing it themselves? It would certainly reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere because cleanup crews using gas and diesel powered vehicles wouldn't be needed to pick up after these hypocrites.

Then again, we've seen the difference between rallies held by Left and those held by the Right, and for the most part there's very little to clean up after the latter. For the former, it's up to “someone else” to clean up their messes as that's what they've been taught. It's always up to “someone else” to clean up this, fix that, or to make the sacrifices they deem necessary to maintain the status quo.

*****************


Sometimes Reality slaps some of the deluded Left in the face in a fashion they cannot ignore.

The latest example is the lesbian couple from London who found out that being lesbians in a Muslim country is a very dangerous thing.

I didn’t plan to preach a sermon when I started writing this post, but the escape of this naïve couple from the trap set for them by [one of the couple's] father is a latter-day parable, a warning to those in the West who think they can advance “human rights” by destroying Western civilization. Your rhetoric about “human rights” is utterly worthless in those parts of the world where the brutal regime of Islamic sharia law is enforced. If you want to preserve your life and liberty, you may need to reconsider your politics, because modern liberals are never going to summon the courage necessary to stand up to the Islamic menace.

Heh.

*****************


Is Fox News slated to become the next MSNBC or CNN?

If what I've been reading is even half true, yes it will.

With Rupert Murdoch having turned the reins over to his liberal son, James, the purge of conservatives has already begun. First, Bill O'Reilly. Next they've set their sights on Sean Hannity, using the false and misleading reports of his supposed sexual harassment of a woman, something the woman in question has strongly denied ever took place.

Not that I have been a regular viewer of Fax News, but to lose one of the last conservative news outlets to the likes of James Murdoch and his very liberal wife, Kathryn, a former Director of Strategy & Communications for the Clinton Climate Initiative, is disturbing.

*****************


Hey, Colorado did something that was actually smart! And to top it off, even the more liberal politicians (formerly from California) agreed I was a smart thing.

What was this miracle thing that the state pulled off?

Abolishing free speech zones on college campuses.

But taking a closer look, did they really pull it off?

One part of the legislation, Senate Bill 62, still allows public universities to impose “reasonable time, manner, and place” speech policies. Like that isn't going to be twisted and abused by the college policy makers and the usual PC crowd in the institutions of higher indoctrination.

I'm not holding my breath on this one.

*****************


Is there another American Civil War in the offing?

According Faith Goldy, that war is already been here and it will be one fought by the Millenials.


Faith states it all started back in the 60's, the movement by the Cultural Marxists, but it's coming to a head now.

*****************


By way of the Jeff Reynolds come this little tidbit of advice when it comes to arguing with Liberals, that being the Eight False Pretenses Liberals Use to Frame an Argument.

Keep them in mind and you will be able to demolish any argument they put forward, and make them look deluded while you're doing it.

*****************


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where more boats are making an appearance on the lake, summer businesses are gearing up for their openings, and where we're looking forward to even more great weather.

4/29/2017

Measles Outbreak In Minnesota - Anti-vaxxers Stike Again

It looks like the anti-vaxx chickens have come home to roost, with 32 children now suffering from measles in Minnesota. (The linked post states 28, but that number now stands at 32. I expect we'll see more.)

While a majority of the affected children are those of Somali immigrants, it isn't limited to just them, nor is it limited to just the US as over 1500 cases have been reported in the EU.

As I have written before, though measles itself can be a killer, it is the aftereffect of measles that tends to kill those affected, that being a reset of the patient's immune system. Most or all of the acquired immunity of the patient can be wiped away, leaving them vulnerable to the infections and diseases to which the once had immunity. That has been a bigger killer of measles patients than the measles itself.

To think that we have the means to prevent this and other diseases through immunizations, but parents have been sold on the idea that the vaccines are far more dangerous than the diseases they prevent. A bunch of pseudoscience and falsified studies made links to vaccines and autism, something that years of clinical studies have disproven again and again. What's worse is that this junk science has been sold to immigrants who are in no position to be able to tell fact from fiction, hence a higher percentage of infections by otherwise preventable diseases.

Jenny McCarthy and her fellow anti-vax idiots should be flogged in a public square for all the harm they've caused.

4/24/2017

The Lame Stream Media Is Peddling Fake News...Again

It seems the 'fake news' onslaught from the Left has tried to collect another conservative scalp. However it seems that reality kicked in and showed the sexual harassment accusations against Sean Hannity made by the Lame Stream Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of the DNC, were totally bogus.

The plot is thickening in the Debbie Schlussel-Sean Hannity sexual harassment incident. Schlussel was interviewed this morning by Lawnewz and said she was never "sexually harassed" by Hannity, that he invited her back to his hotel, not his hotel room, but that she thought Hannity "weird" and "creepy."

--snip--

Note that anti-conservative media leaped to the conclusion that Schlussel was sexually harassed by Hannity despite her never using that term in her interview.

This incident says a lot more about those wanting to smear Hannity using spurious charges of sexual harassment than it says about Hannity himself.

I expect the 'usual suspects' will start bleating about how Debbie Schlussel is wrong and that she was sexually harassed, she just doesn't know it. This will be explained by them as one of two possible scenarios: 1) She was threatened by Hannity et al to keep her yap shut;or 2) she's too stupid or too 'indoctrinated' by conservative thought to understand that she's a helpless female victim of the patriarchy.

It still all boils down to this – The LSM ain't got nothing and the crap they make up is so blatantly false that only the other members of the LSM, their masters, and the Progressive lamebrains who slurp up every bit of dreck that flows from the LSM actually believe it.

Is it any wonder the LSM is losing readers and viewers at an increasing rate?

4/23/2017

Thoughts On A Sunday

The warm weather has returned after a few dreary and wet days here in central New Hampshire. I wish I could say I made the best of it, getting started on the spring yard cleanup. But as I am still recovering from a knee injury I suffered just prior to Christmas, my mobility is somewhat limited. That certainly has limited my ability to do much in the way of yard work, particularly considering the wet ground and steep slopes upon which The Manse sits.

Looks like I’m going to have to hire some folks to help me out this spring.

*****************


One of the latest SJW ‘causes’ – cultural appropriation – has gone from the merely ridiculous to the extremely ridiculous. Case in point, the Tiny House movement has been labeled as ‘poverty appropriation’ by the SJW idiots.

Yes, believe it or not, some of them actually believe that bulls**t. They want to enforce cultural balkanization as if it were some kind of sacred duty, not understanding that that kind of stasis is death for any culture, or worse, not caring. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s both. Then again most of these willfully ignorant morons seem to wish for the destruction of everything that has allowed them to become willfully ignorant morons.

*****************


As if the SJW madness hasn’t infected colleges here in the US, the same virus has also made its presence known in the UK. The latest example comes from Cambridge University where students who do not make eye contact could be considered racist.

So what they’re saying is that someone who is somewhere on the autism spectrum is automatically guilty of racism? That someone who is deeply introverted and uncomfortable among people in general can be considered racist? What about blind people?

I have only one comment: WTF?!!

*****************


I was going to opine about the so-called March for Science, but David Starr beat me to it.

I wonder how many of the marchers had a minimum of scientific education. I strongly feel that all high school students should take chemistry, physics, and biology. In the 21th century when so many policies and issues have science (or claim to have science) at their base, all citizens ought to have some science at the high school level in order to understand the arguments pro and con.

Too many haven’t had that education. What’s worse is that some that have had it still don’t understand that in regards to climate science that climate models aren’t science, but they base all of their closely held beliefs on the defective climate models that do not track reality. What’s worse is that many of the same climate scientists they believe wholeheartedly have no problems with ‘adjusting’ climate data to meet AGW theory rather than adjusting the theory to match the climate data. On top of that they will not release the reason why past data needs to be adjusted or the algorithm they used to adjust the data. In other words, they told the faithful “Trust us!”

But science isn’t based on trust. It’s based upon verifiable data, experiments, and the ability for others to reproduce the results. But too much science is based more politics and funding and not actual science.

*****************


Speaking of (climate) science, it turns out the global warming hiatus is real, at least according to science.

*****************


I think this explains it a lot better than I can.


Heh.

*****************


This is just so cool!


I. Want. One!

*****************


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where boating season fast approaches, the yard work needs doing, and where the Boston Bruins are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.