7/13/2024

Heroes

I was planning to post this new music video from Tom McDonald for tonight's post. Now it seems it may be even more appropriate considering the extraordinary event that took place earlier today - the attempted asassination of Donald Trump - as heroes, some being just ordinary people attending the rally in Pennsylvania and others being the Secret Service agents, EMS personnel, local police officers, and a whole host of others who were there.

Trump Wounded At Rally In Pennsylvania

I am not going to delve deeply into this incident as the news coverage is ubiquitous. It appears Trump was grazed either by a round from the sniper's rifle or from shrapnel caused by one round hitting another object. One rally attendee was killed and two others wounded. The sniper was neutralized by the Secret Service.

Apparently the sniper was on the roof of a building outside the rally venue. There has been a lot of speculation about the sniper, but I am not going to add to that speculation as we'll (hopefully) find out more about him/her/it soon enough.

Instapundit has been covering this story since shortly after it occurred and has been updating information as it has become available.

7/12/2024

Friday Funny - Uh Oh

It seems that Blogger has got problems as it won't let me upload this week's picture. It asked me to log out and log back in...but I couldn't even log out as it keep telling me it can't access my account in order to log out. So something is indeed "busticated" or Google doesn't like me any more. I will attempt this post this again tomorrow.

7/07/2024

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s the post-Fourth of July weekend and it’s been quite busy, something that was not exactly unexpected. Lots of fireworks just before, during, and after the Fourth, with some last night on the lake just below the Gulch. There’s been a lot of traffic, again not unexpected. At least it’s been heavy, but there have been very few people driving stupid, at least from what I’ve seen and from what I’ve been hearing from neighbors, friends, and townsfolk. It has been one of the better Fourth of July holidays over the past few years, even with the spate of showers and thunderstorms that graced us here and there. The only thing we have to deal with is the exodus as visitors head for home, something that started late this morning. It’s one reason I handled all of my Sunday errands early and had them done before 9am which means I shouldn’t need to head out onto the roads for the rest of the days.

One of the other things that has been different this summer also has something to do with traffic, but not in the way you might think. In this case the one that that stands out is the unusual number of deer I’ve seen lying dead on the side of the road that passes by The Gulch. Over a ~2 mile stretch the state road that can have a lot of traffic I’ve seen at least 8 dead deer over the past month. Eight. I haven’t seen that many dead deer along that stretch of road over the 20 years I’ve lived in my town. I don’t know if it means there’s been more traffic which could lead to more road kill or that there are just a lot more deer around this year. Perhaps it’s a combination of both. But it is disturbing to see a surge of deer being hit and killed along a road that hasn’t seen that many in the 20+ years prior to that.

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After the Debate Debacle I posted about last week the shockwaves about Biden’s disastrous performance at the debate. It has the Democrats scrambling, with some trying to explain away Biden’s poor outcome and others trying to find a replacement for the top of the ticket because they know Biden is only going to get worse. You know it’s really bad when even the usually Democrat-friendly media outlets – the NYT, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and others – are making noise about Biden needing to drop out of the race.

Those pushing for Biden to drop out are also scrambling to find a replacement. The problem is that no one, including poison pill VP Harris, is likely to draw as many votes as Biden. Harris isn’t popular, even among Democrats, because she’s an idiot and everyone knows it. California’s Destructor – Gavin Newsom – isn’t a viable candidate because of the damage he’s done to the Pyrite State and wants to do to the rest of the US. Neither is Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer, one of the biggest reasons being that she isn’t well known. One possible replacement isn’t liked by the Democrats, RFK Jr., as he isn’t Progressive enough for the DNC.

Can the DNC come up with a candidate to replace Biden that won’t be buried by Trump in November and allow them to retain the White House? I haven’t a clue...but then, neither do the Democrats.

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On more than one occasion I have made mention of the problem with the locations of weather stations which record temperatures, humidity, wind speed and direction, rainfall, and so on, that problem being poor siting. A perfect example of this is the difference between two weather station locations seen here. Both of these locations are in the UK, but one is for the UK Met Office and one for the University of Hull’s Environmental Department.

The Met Office site reads two degrees Celsius warmer than the University site. Take a look at the photos in the linked post and I think you’ll be able figure out which site belongs to the Met Office and which belongs to the University.

This is a problem in the US to an even greater degree. I know one of the weather stations near The Gulch is located at the local airport amid the runway, taxiways, and aircraft ramps. In other words it’s surrounded by large areas of paving. That means any temperature readings from that weather station are suspect. The same is true of weather stations located on building roofs, next to parking lots, near HVAC equipment, and near buildings on the same side of the building with sun exposure. The number of stations with ‘pristine’ sites, meaning sites that aren’t anywhere near any of the influences listed above, has been shrinking as urban and suburban sprawl surrounded those locations over the years. That makes all of the readings from those stations suspect, something that has been devoutly ignored for years. After all, it helps sell the narrative of global warming.

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This can’t be repeated enough:

46% of American electric vehicle owners are considering returning to gasoline-powered vehicles for their next purchase.

So much for EVs being The Next Big Thing.

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In a related subject, it looks like the $7.5 billion set aside to build 500,000 EV charging stations across the nation has seen only seven stations built so far. It must also be stated that this is the second year of the program, yet only seven stations have been built so far. To quote the post, “At this rate, it will require thousands of years to build all 500,000 charging stations, assuming there are sufficient funds to do so.”

Global consulting firm McKinsey and Company estimates that the U.S. will need 28 million charging ports by 2030. There are just two million charging ports today. To meet the goal, about 12,000 new public and private charging ports will need to be added every single day to reach the goal by 2030.

It is true that significantly more government funded charging stations are in the works and will be opened. The stations completed so far cost significantly more than what has been promised. With retailers contributing land to the projects opened so far, the cost of each station has averaged one-million dollars, with the government participation of 80% of the cost. Eight-hundred-thousand dollars for each station is significantly more than the $15,000 committed by the administration. At this rate, the 500,000 charging stations will cost the government $400 billion, not the $7.5 billion the President has promised.

As it goes with any government mandated program, it always costs more and is always over budget. This is something that should be handled by the free market, not by government, and particularly through mandates. The government is ‘stupid’ when it comes to what is needed for some types of markets. EVs is one of those markets.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the Fourth of July crowds have been departing, the lake is ours again until next weekend, and where Monday is coming up to ruin yet another weekend.

7/06/2024

Restaurant Closings Increasing

I saw this over at Instapundit and I thought I had to comment on it, particularly since I live in a semi-rural area in New Hampshire that has a lot of seasonal tourist traffic. “This” is the increasing number of fast-food chain restaurants closing as a result of inflation/Bidenomics (aren’t they the same thing?) and California’s ill-advised increase in fast-food worker minimum wages to $20/hour.

While some of the focus of the post covered the issues in California, it isn’t just California seeing issues. It’s a nationwide problem which signals economic problems, not just ‘policy’ issues.

They have been putting up prices over the past two years – as they pass on higher costs to customers. But these price hikes have led to a fall in visitors.

Bigger chains like Applebee’s, TGI Fridays and Boston Market have have all recently shuttered restaurants, as have smaller chains like BurgerFi.

Red Lobster filed for bankruptcy in May and also shuttered almost 100 restaurants.

Chains have been worst hit in California where the minimum wage for fast food restaurants jumped to $20-an-hour from April 1. In early June, Mexican chain Rubio’s shut 48 locations in the state and also filed for bankruptcy.

Two weeks ago, it emerged that almost 150 Pizza Hut restaurants are set to close due to an ongoing financial dispute with one of its major franchisees.

McDonald’s is abandoning menu changes that were made in an attempt to turn it “into a ‘modern, progressive burger company’”, something that has seriously hurt their bottom line as no one, at least in the US, has been buying the new menu items.

‘And so if people really want salads from McDonald’s, we will gladly relaunch salads. But what our experience has proven is, that’s not what the consumer is looking for from McDonald’s.’

At the same time as he said the chain was ditching salads, [McDonald’s USA president Joe Erlinger] said that McDonald’s had given up on its bid to sell meat-free beef burgers in America.

He said the McPlant has been ditched because customers did not want fake meat.

The chain had been testing the McPlant at several hundred restaurants in California and Texas since trials began in late 2021.

Developed with Beyond Meat, it was made from pea and rice proteins.

At least McDonald’s is going back to a more traditional menu which may help slow or reverse the decline. If they really wanted to boost sales they should dump using vegetable/seed oils to deep fry their french fries and go back to using beef tallow. I remember when a number of McDonald’s franchises somewhere Down South offered such french fries for a limited time and they had lines out the door.

One restaurant chain that is in trouble that surprised me?

Hooters.

As one commenter put it:

Even Hooters is shuttering locations en masse. Hooters, for pity's sake.

If it's possible to lose money, in the United States of America, with a USP of wings, beer, sports on the tube, and curvaceous waitresses, you know the economy is officially going t*ts-up.

Indeed.

While I haven’t seen any of the chain restaurants closing in my part of New Hampshire, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened elsehere. I haven’t seen any of our locally owned restaurants closing either, but that also doesn’t mean much as it must be remembered that this part of my state is a popular tourist area, so we might not see much in the way of closures as might be seen in other parts of New Hampshire.

However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen here if our economy can’t get out from under the destructive effects of Bidenomics.

6/30/2024

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s the last day of June which makes me wonder “Wasn’t Memorial Day just last week?” With July 4th just four days away it seems that June slipped away on the blink of an eye.

Other than tomorrow, I have the coming week off, so I will be spending time out and about visiting friends in a number of towns as well as being out on the lake from time to time. I might even catch a fireworks show from the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, weather permitting. I will also be attending chores here at The Gulch, said chores helping to free up more attic space so I can empty out what remains in my rental storage unit.

My ex and I still have to sort through some items in the storage unit to determine what will be done with them – take home, sell, donate, or dump. If we can get through all of that I can have the storage unit emptied by Labor Day weekend and I can save myself $170 a month in rental fees.

Speaking of rental storage, I don’t know what all 15 or so of my readers are seeing where they live, but there are a lot of self-storage units being built, at least in this part of New Hampshire. I’ve seen large number of storage units being built in my town and in three surrounding towns. Is this a nationwide event or is it limited to certain parts of each state or to certain regions of the country?

Storage in this area – a very popular seasonal tourist area – makes sense, at least in part. I know a lot of folks with vacation homes have storage units to store summer items that it may be difficult to store at those vacation homes. This is particularly true at dual-season vacation homes – summer and winter – where items for summer are stored in the winter and vice versa. (My town is one of those towns which has two and a half tourist seasons, those being summer, foliage, and winter. Foliage season only lasts a few weeks, hence its ‘half season’ designation.) At least some of our storage facilities look nice, with one new site using buildings that look like large barns rather than the single-story beige boxes with white, orange, blue, or tan overhead garage doors, such storage buildings spreading like weeds on an unattended lawn.

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In yesterday’s post recounting my impressions about the debate I mentioned there were times when Joe Biden didn’t blink for extended periods of time. It turns out that it wasn’t just me who noticed that as Glenn Reynolds linked to a TikTok counting the seconds between Biden’s eye blinks which proves something just wasn’t right. One has to think he was juiced to the gills.

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This isn’t exactly news as a number of news outlets and blogs have been brought it up, “it” being a poll showing that about half of present EV owners stating they want to go back to gas/diesel-powered cars and trucks.

The CEO of Toyota has reported most of his colleagues do not think EV-only transportation is sensible, practical, or realistic. EV drivers are experiencing “range anxiety,” and short trips have doubled or more in time due to charging times. Blackouts, especially during the summer heat waves, make reliance on EVs impractical.

Now, a new study shows that a significant share of Americans who own an EV have buyer’s remorse and want to switch back to vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines (ICE).

EVs are not the panacea proponents try to make them out to be.

They aren’t eco-friendly by any means, particularly in light of the materials needed to manufacturer the EVs and the battery packs. That one of those materials – cobalt - is mined using both child and slave labor is something being devoutly ignored by those same proponents. That mining for the other materials would need to be expanded by an order of magnitude or more to meet the demand is ignored, such expansion having negative environmental issues exceeding that of ICE vehicles.

Then there’s the issue of being able to charge those EVs, something that has been an increasing problem. There aren’t anywhere near enough working charging stations available and the electrical grid couldn’t handle the load of the mandated EVs as it isn’t being expanded to meet future needs. And don’t think that renewables will be able to handle the load because the numbers don’t add up. Oh, and there’s a big competitor for electrical power that has been coming to the forefront, that competitor being data centers, and more specifically, those data centers supporting AI. Which of the two do you think will take priority? Hint: It won’t be the EV charging.

Then there’s the second part of charging EVs, specifically the amount of time it takes to charge an EV versus filling the gas tank.

How long does it take to charge an EV, even with a super-charging station to travel 200 miles? 20 minutes? 30 minutes? An hour?

How long does it take to put enough gas – less than 10 gallons - into a pickup like my 2014 RAM 1500 to go the same distance? Less than 3 minutes, including the time it takes to use an ATM card and pump the gas. If I fill the tank – which takes just under 30 gallons – it will take maybe two minutes longer, I can travel another 600 miles before I need to fill up again. The EV would require at least 2 more stops and maybe another hour of time. How many people would be willing to add that much time to their driving during a vacation or business trip just to be ‘green’? My guess – not too many.

EVs sound good. But aren’t really. It’s like Thomas Sowell said, “The past [few] decades have seen things that work being replaced by things that sound good.”

==++++==


I have to agree with Chicks On The Right that AOC is “being all around insufferable human”. Then again, she’s always been that way.

Her latest bit of (racist) nonsense?

In today’s episode of AOC is insane and needs to be voted out in November, she has a breakdown about how there are too many white men in Congress. This is not satire. This is real life.

--snip--

I don’t want the people representing me to be diverse just because it hurts AOC’s feelings that it’s not. I want the people representing me to be the best people for the job and who are going to get stuff done, no matter what they look like.

We have to remember that AOC is a deluded ‘woke’ piece of work who really doesn’t care about what’s actually important, only about what appears to be important...but isn’t.

Here’s hoping the voters in her congressional district wake up and kick her out bag and baggage and let her get back to her real calling – bartending. Goodness knows she’s not very good at being a Congresscritter. She’s not even all that good at being a bad Congresscritter.

Need I say any more?

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where June has fled, the weather is going to see thunderstorms later today, and even though Monday is returning it is the only day this week that I am working.

6/29/2024

It Was Painful

I listened to the debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump this past Thursday and my first impression was that it was painful to watch...which is why I was glad I was just listening to it. I’m glad I’ve had a day or two to ponder this debate as I think we can all agree that it was a proverbial sh*t show, pretty much as I expected it to be. Have my impressions or opinions about it changed in the two days since it took place?

Not in the least.

My first impression was that much of it seemed to be a repeating loop of “He’s a liar!” “No, he’s a liar!”

Biden couldn’t seem to remember what he was supposed to be talking about from one minute to the next. Trump didn’t seem to be willing to stay on topic, not answering questions he was asked but instead returning to comments Biden had made and that Trump had already rebutted.

I later watched some of the video of the debate, not so much to rehash anything in the debate itself but to see body language and facial expressions. One the first things I noticed was Biden’s eyes since at times he looked like he was giving a glassy-eyed stare as he was addressing the moderators. Another thing that I noticed, though it took a while, was that when he was addressing a question by the moderators his eyes didn’t blink.

It may be just me, but if it wasn’t for the fact that it was Joe Biden I was looking at, I would immediately made the assumption that this person was ‘juiced’ by a cocktail of pharmaceuticals to keep him upright and semi-cogent. That is not good. With that in mind I know that members of governments around the world, both allies and adversaries, were seeing a man who was not competent to be in office, let alone up on that stage. He wasn’t really there.

On Trump’s side I have to think he made a ‘yuge’ mistake in not prepping for the debate. His responses and rebuttals were too off the cuff and in too many cases were incomplete, not germane to the topic at hand, or an emotional outburst. He seemed to be playing a game of “Got ya last!”, not something that should be part of any presidential debate. He should have addressed the questions of the moderators, shown that he knew what he was talking about and that Biden didn’t. But instead he got into that “You’re a poopyhead!” mindset and couldn’t seem to put it aside.

Frankly, I expected much better from Trump.

If this first debate is an indicator, I have to think that there won’t be a second debate between these two in September for a number of reasons, the biggest being that Joe won’t be capable of handling it. Then there’s the possibility that Joe will make the decision, or have the decision made for him, that he will not run for re-election. From what I’ve seen in the media from the usual suspects – CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others – the Democrats have realized they have a major problem on their hands.

If they do keep Biden, they’ll need to find someone other than Kamala Harris as the VP because it’s likely Biden won’t finish out a second term. Harris is an idiot and always has been. At least Biden has his dementia to blame for his idiocy. I always saw Harris as a ‘Poison Pill’ VP, meaning someone absolutely no one (including the Democrats) wanted to see become President as a means of keeping Joe in the Oval Office.

If Joe ‘decides’ not to run, then who would replace him?

We already know that Gavin Newsom is waiting in the wings so he can do to the US what he’s already done to California – turn it into Venezuela del Norte. Hillary is a non-starter because too many people in both parties hate her and no one wants to be ‘arkansided’ if she takes office. (It also doesn’t help that she apparently has health issues of her own.) I have no idea if the Democrats would try to get RFK Jr. to fill in even though he isn’t nearly as far Left enough as some in the DNC would like to him to be.

It looks like we may be living out the reality of that old Chinese curse – “May you live in interesting times.”

6/23/2024

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a wet weekend here at the lake, with rain on and off yesterday, some steady rain this morning followed by thunderstorms this afternoon. The way the Weather GuysTM were talking about the severity of the storms, I moved the Official Weekend Pundit Generator to make it easy to access should the power go out. The thunderstorms were forecast to be spotty and hit-or-miss, but with high winds, heavy rain, hail, along with the possibility of tornadoes. So, better to be ready and not need it than need it and find you know have to move all kinds of stuff out of the way to get to it.

One of the effects of today’s forecast was NASCAR moving up the start of the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to just after 2pm, a full hour earlier than originally scheduled.

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Need any further proof that the Biden administration is spending money it doesn’t have like a drunken sailor on shore leave? The federal budget deficit forecast has jumped an additional $400 billion, approaching $2 trillion. (That’s trillion, with a ‘t’.) What’s driving this increase?

Biden’s unconstitutional student loan forgiveness program.

I think it’s time to end the student loan program as it exists because it’s so ‘easy’ that college students will take on loan debt equivalent to a home mortgage for degrees that do not prepare them for the real world. (Those particular degree programs most often end in the word “Studies”.) It makes no sense to take on $100,000+ in loan debt to find that after they receive their degrees that the only jobs they are qualified to hold are as a barista at Starbucks, a Door Dash driver, waitstaff at a restaurant, or checkout clerk at a convenience store or supermarket.

That it also adds to the budget deficit which has been out of control for years, with the largest deficits in US history taking place during the Biden Administration. And people wonder why inflation is not going away.

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I remember when NASA was a “can do” agency, doing things that had never been done before and getting us to the moon in 1969. They managed to cobble together repairs and make-do modifications to help the Apollo 13 crew make it back to Earth after the service module explosion. Then there was Skylab, the Space Shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ISS. However, these days NASA can’t seem to find their collective butts with both of their hands. It doesn’t help that part of their problem ties in with Boeing’s woes, with the latest being the Starliner.

Years behind schedule and well over budget and they couldn’t get it to work. After years of delays they finally got its first manned flight, a mission to the ISS, off the ground. But now there’s a question whether or not it will be able to make the return trip to Earth’s surface.

As one commenter wrote:

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endeavour is currently docked at the ISS and could be used to return the astronauts or SpaceX might be able to reconfigure Polaris Dawn, which is scheduled to launch in a couple of weeks to accommodate extra passengers for return.

I have to wonder if NASA will make the call to SpaceX to ask if their two astronauts can hitch a ride home? If they do, then what to do with the docked Starliner? As another commenter wrote: “Yeah just fill the Boeing capsule with trash and jettison the thing.”

How much do you want to bet that is a more likely scenario than the Starliner being able to return to Earth in one piece?

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Is SloJoe going to use reparations to bribe black voters into voting for him?

I certainly wouldn’t put it past him (or WRBA) to give it a try.

==++++==


Another SloJoe-related item we need to consider, that being his upcoming debate with Donald Trump later this week. I have to say I have been of two minds about watching the debate: watching it because I think it will be a slow-motion train wreck, or not watching it because it will be a slow-motion train wreck and that is time I will never get back.

All that aside, one has to wonder how SloJoe is prepping for the debate. We must assume that prep will go beyond just the regular study and mock debate type of prep. Word has it that part of that prep includes practice standing up for 90 minutes.

I had low expectations for Joetato’s debate performance, but this is ridiculous… Joe Biden’s “debate prep” includes practicing how to stand up straight for 90 minutes. I kid you not, they even admitted this on corrupt left wing biased ABC “news”.

All Biden has to do is not fall over or fall asleep during the 90 minutes and the corrupt media will consider the debate won by Joetato. This must be a part of it.

I have to wonder if he also has to practice not wandering off stage in the middle of the debate?

==++++==


New Hampshire has been considering making recreational marijuana legal. It looks like that won’t happen this legislative session as there were too many differences between the two different versions of the enabling legislation. But before it is tried again the New Hampshire legislature should see how things have worked out for other states that have done so. It hasn’t worked quite the way so many proponents said it would. One of the biggest examples of reality not meeting the expectations of those who pushed for legalization has been California. The state hasn’t been seeing the expected windfall from sales nor has it seen a drop off in drug-related crime.

Six years after California legalized marijuana, the bodies keep piling up. Earlier this year, six men were murdered in the Mojave desert. Four of the Latino men had been burned after being shot with rifles. In 2020, seven people were killed at an illegal pot operation in Riverside County.

Violence like this was supposed to disappear after legalization. Legalization advocates argued that making the drug trade legal would end the grip of the cartels. Instead the legal market has failed and the cartels are taking over sizable parts of California and the rest of the country.

California’s legal drug revenues have fallen consistently as have those in other legal drug states including Colorado whose model helped sell the idea that drug money would fix everything.

Despite falling revenues, Colorado legislators brag about $282 million in drug revenue. That number may sound high, but it’s a drop in the bucket considering the money that the state and cities like Denver are spending on homelessness, drug overdoses and law enforcement.

While the legal drug business is also collapsing in California, the state is spending a fortune fighting marijuana even as it tries to tax it. Gov. Gavin Newsom paradoxically promised to close the budget deficit with $100 million in drug revenue meant to be used to fund law enforcement and fight substance abuse. The state seized over $300 million in illegal pot this year and uses satellite imagery and heavily armed raids to fight untaxed marijuana.

But despite all those efforts, illegal marijuana has won and legal marijuana has lost.

One of the reasons legal pot sales aren’t meeting projections is because illegal pot is a lot cheaper. It isn’t taxed and regulated to death like legal weed. So economy-minded customers seek lower cost marijuana from the same sources they always did, bypassing the state dispensaries and their high prices. Anyone with even a little bit of common sense could figure it would be a likely outcome, and particularly in California.

So maybe New Hampshire should reconsider legalizing marijuana and keep it as it is now – for medicinal purposes only.

==++++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where the weather is reminding us it runs the show, has us looking to the skies all afternoon, and mentally preparing us for Monday...again.

6/22/2024

Is California Circling The Drain?

It’s been sad, watching the decay of California over the past 40-plus years. What’s worse is that its decaying state was self-inflicted. What was once the Golden State has gone through radioactive decay to become the Pyrite State. The politics has shifted from a nominally conservative state to one that appears to be to the left of the old Soviet Union. I swear it is even beginning to look something like the old Soviet Union.

I’m not the only one who sees California’s continuing transformation into something from a dystopian ‘future history’ novel. Victor Davis Hanson sees how California’s paradise has become purgatory.

California has become a test case of the suicide of the West. Never before has such a state, so rich in natural resources and endowed with such a bountiful human inheritance, self-destructed so rapidly.

How and why did California so utterly consume its unmatched natural and ancestral inheritance and end up as a warning to Western civilization of what might be in store for anyone who followed its nihilism?

The symptoms of the state’s suicide are indisputable.

Governor Gavin Newsom enjoyed a recent $98 billion budget surplus—gifted from multibillion-dollar federal COVID-19 subsidies, the highest income and gas taxes in the nation, and among the country’s steepest sales and property taxes.

Yet in a year, he turned it into a growing $45 billion budget deficit.

At a time of an over-regulated, overtaxed, and sputtering economy, Newsom spent lavishly on new entitlements, illegal immigrants, and untried and inefficient green projects.

A once vibrant state, both economically and culturally, is becoming a hellhole where infrastructure is failing, either due to neglect or “green” initiatives. The homeless population is skyrocketing and have taking over increasing amounts of the streets, parks, and the areas below the overpasses. It’s gotten so bad in San Francisco that there is a “Poop Map” app to warn residents about where the homeless have been relieving themselves.

Businesses are fleeing the downtown areas of San Francisco leaving much of the storefronts and malls empty. Even tech companies are leaving, with Google recently announcing it was leaving its 300,000 square foot office tower on the waterfront in less than a year. Other corporations and their employees have been making the move out of California as the business environment has become so hostile due to increasingly heavy regulation and constantly rising taxes and fees.

Newsom’s California has spent billions on homeless relief and subsidizing millions of new illegal migrant arrivals across the state’s porous southern border.

The result was predictably even more homeless and more illegal immigrants, all front-loaded onto the state’s already overtaxed and broken healthcare, housing, and welfare entitlements.

Newsome raised the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $22 an hour. The result was wage inflation rippling out to all service areas, unaffordable food for the poor, and massive shut-downs and bankruptcies of fast food outlets.

--snip--

California’s universities are hotbeds of ethnic, religious, and racial chauvinism and infighting. State officials, however, did little as its campuses were plagued for months by rampant and violent anti-Semitism.

Almost nightly, the nation watches mass smash-and-grab attacks on California retail stores. Carjackers and thieves own the night. They are rarely caught, even more rarely arrested—and almost never convicted.

Currently, Newsom is fighting in the courts to stop the people’s constitutional right to place on the ballot initiatives to restore penalties for violent crime and theft.

Crime has been legalized, at least when it comes to theft, and as a result, crime has skyrocketed and the state’s government can seem to figure out why. I have no doubt that other crimes have increased as well, particularly in light of a number of communities defunding their police departments and DA’s refusing to indict or try miscreants.

It doesn’t help that California has dictated a wide number of environmental initiatives that have put increasing burdens on residents and businesses, increasingly restricted energy supplies which caused energy prices to skyrocket, adding an even bigger burden to those residences and businesses.

California is entering a “doom loop”, a “situation in which one negative economic condition creates a second negative condition, which in turn creates a third negative condition or reinforces the first, resulting in a downward spiral.” It seems everything the cities and the state is doing makes things worse. Businesses and residents leave and then the cities and the state double down which makes things even worse. More businesses and residents leave and the cycle continues.

One has to wonder how long this downward spiral will continue, how long it will be before the Pyrite State implodes. And when it does, we have to worry if it will take other states, or worse, the entire nation with it.