11/10/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a busy weekend for yours truly, between trips to the dump, Walmart, the hardware store, one of our local diners, a friend’s home to fix a wireless network problem, and delivering some surplus Android tablets and Pelican cases to another friend. There was also a birthday party for my grandniece and grandnephew to attend at my dear brother’s place.

It’s been interesting weather-wise as we’ve been seeing winter temperatures months early, just like a number of other areas of the nation. While some of those other areas received substantial snowfall, we got a dusting of snow. However, we didn’t escape the windchill seen elsewhere. I have to wonder whether the weather we’re seeing is a precursor to a very cold and snowy winter. NOAA has predicted a warmer than normal winter, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a colder and wetter winter than normal. If what we’ve seen so far is an indicator, I am more inclined to believe the Almanac.

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I must agree with Skip on this one.

It’s time to start prosecuting public officials who violate their oaths of office.

According to 5 U.S. 7311, it is a federal crime to violate your oath of office. The punishment? Removal from office, prison, and fines.

When we have politicians who willfully and knowingly violate their oath of office, specifically about “defending and protecting the Constitution of the United States”, it’s time to start holding their feet to the proverbial fire. When they had no intention of adhering to their oath because they don’t believe in the constitution (unless it meets their needs at the time).

Unless a winning candidate takes the oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, he cannot take office. But there is more to the law than that. In order to take office, a candidate who has won an election must take the oath honestly, free of perjury, and without reservation. If a candidate takes the oath with the intent not to keep the oath, the oath is invalid, and the candidate is ineligible to hold office, per the law. Yet the governments of America are rife with officials who violate their oath. Not only that, but candidates are permitted to take the oath, and then to take office, about whom it is well known before the fact that they do not bear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States.

How is this known? In many cases, the candidates tell us frankly that they are opposed to all that. But even though they tell us, no one in authority is willing to prevent them from taking office, as per the requirement of the law and common sense.

It’s time we hold our officials to the standards they seem to believe they can ignore with impunity. After a few of them have been ousted from office and thrown into prison, maybe the rest will get the message. But I won’t be holding my breath.

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Cap’n Teach reminds us that the no matter what the weather is – hot or cold – it’s all caused by anthropogenic CO2 driven climate change.

I like how we’re about to do the annual one-eighty from “hottest October in history because of climate change” to “coldest snowiest November in history because of climate change.”

Their “science” turns on a dime!

Everything is caused by climate change.

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The WP Mom and I had planned to see Midway. But after reading this roundup of some reviews, we have changed our minds.

I’m not looking for an action movie, something that more than one reviewer and commenter had mentioned this movie was. I’m looking for something that has historical accuracy and real characters, not artistic license with historical facts and shallow portrayals of real people.

The original 1976 Midway movie wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t an action movie. It was historically accurate. There was some poetic license taken with some of the side stories, but nothing that changed the accuracy of the actions taken by the forces on both sides of the battle.

I think we’ll wait until it’s available on streaming. Maybe.

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Something that we must be reminded of is the difference between many politicians and the Trumps: The Trumps were wealthy long before they went into government service. The Bidens made money because of their government service.

(H/T Instapundit)

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter has made an early visit, thoughts of a snowy Thanksgiving intrude, and plans to have the pickup truck undercoated have been made.

11/07/2019

Socialism Is A Disease

We’ve been hearing that a goodly portion of the Millennials believe that socialism is the answer to all our problems. I have two questions for these Millennials:

First, what “problems” is it supposed to solve?

Second, what has socialism’s history when it comes to solving the supposed “problems”?

Ironically, many of the problems that socialism is supposed to cure – inequality, oppression, poverty, poor health, privation, and joblessness – are worse under socialism. While some reading this may ask me how I know this, my answer is “Look at its history”.

No one can point at any socialist country or society and say “See, socialism works! Look how prosperous, how happy, how healthy, how well housed the people here are!” In over 400 years, socialism has never prospered. While some may try to use countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway as examples of socialist success, those countries will tell you they aren’t socialist states. Rather, they are welfare states because they do not and haven’t controlled their economies or the means of production like socialist states do. They have incorporated some aspects of socialism such as cradle to grave health care, welfare benefits, free college education, and free elderly care, those welfare states are paring back the benefits they have provided their citizens because their system isn’t sustainable. They are running out of other people’s money and they have realized they can’t continue as they have. They’re going broke.

But wait! There’s more!

Multiple forms of socialism, from hard Stalinism to European redistribution, continue to fail.

Russia and China are still struggling with the legacy of genocidal communism. Eastern Europe still suffers after decades of Soviet-imposed socialist chaos.

Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea and Venezuela are unfree, poor and failed states. Baathism -- a synonym for pan-Arabic socialism -- ruined the postwar Middle East.

The soft-socialist European Union countries are stagnant and mostly dependent on the U.S. military for their protection.

In contrast, current American deregulation, tax cuts and incentives, and record energy production have given the United States the strongest economy in the world.

Yet many in our country are clamoring to emulate those failed socialist states because they see capitalism as the cause of all the world’s ills when in fact it has done more to raise people out of poverty across the world than any other economic system, ever. But apparently that isn’t enough for some folks. They figure they’re owed more. But there’s more to it than that.

Add up a lost generation of woke and broke college graduates, waves of impoverished immigrants without much knowledge of American economic traditions, wealthy advocates of boutique socialism and asleep-at-the-wheel Republicans, and it becomes clear why historically destructive socialism is suddenly seen as cool.

Regrettably, sometimes the naive and disaffected must relearn that their pie-in-the sky socialist medicine is far worse than the perceived malady of inequality.

And unfortunately, when socialists gain power, they don't destroy just themselves. They usually take everyone else down with them as well.

We’ve already seen that outcome recently, that example being the once prosperous and wealthy nation of Venezuela. It was once the richest nation in South America. It has larger proven oil reserves than Saudi Arabia. It is now the poorest nation in South America. Its oil infrastructure has fallen apart and is capable of pumping only a small fraction of the oil it once could. Its electrical grid is barely functional, and blackouts are a regular event. There’s no work because there are no raw materials available, there’s no reliable electrical supply, and no motor fuels.

There’s little food because farmers either can’t get seed, get fuel for their farm equipment, or they don’t have the money to pay for those things when they are available because the socialist government set food prices so low that farmers earn so little, they can’t pay for what they used to grow their crops. There are no medical supplies for hospitals. All of this can be attributed to the socialism. It is the socialism the people of Venezuela voted for because they thought it would solve all of the problems they thought they had.

And now we have ill-educated debt-ridden spoiled children thinking that the answer to the problems of their own making is to try socialism again. It won’t work. It hasn’t worked. It will never work. But just like any infectious disease, every time we think it’s under control and close to eradication, it re-emerges in a new place, infecting the unwary and, in some cases, becoming virulent and killing economies, freedoms, and people.

11/05/2019

Weekend Pundit's Guide To Country Living - Part II

I figured I'd add some advice about surviving the severe weather we can see around here. This is for those folks “from away” thinking about moving to the country and living in a little town. And just to make things clear, by “from away” I mean not just people living in the big cities, but those also living in the more heavily settled suburbs surrounding the big cities.

During severe weather it is quite common to lose electricity and sometimes telephone, cable, Internet, and cell service. The farther away you live from 'civilization', the more likely you are to lose power. Heavy thunderstorms, ice storms, snow storms, or heavy winds can knock tree limbs down, taking power lines with them. It's a common occurrence out here. Eventually you'll learn to live with it and be prepared for it. Or you won't.

Be aware that many homes out in the country have wells rather than municipal water. Wells use pumps and pumps use electricity. Remember this phrase: “Generators and gas caddies are your best friends.”

During a heavy snow storm there is no such thing as a short trip to the store. If you know a storm is coming, get everything you need well beforehand. A trip that normally takes 10 or 15 minutes can take up to 2 hours if the roads are covered with a foot or more of snow. Of course that assumes you don't get stuck somewhere along the way to or from the store. (That also assumes the store is open.) If you do get stuck you might be lucky and they'll find your frozen corpse before the spring thaw.

Regardless of the season, four wheel drive doesn't mean you'll still be able to get where you're going. Too many folks have found out the hard way that all four wheel drive means is getting stuck deeper in the woods. Just because four wheel drive vehicles have more traction for getting moving, particularly in the snow, they don't stop any better than two wheel drive cars or trucks because all vehicles have four wheel braking. Inertia is a bitch.

A flooded road, isn't. If you can't see the surface of the road ahead of you because a river or stream has overrun its banks and washed over the road, there's no guarantee that the road is still there. If you like the role of a crash test dummy, go right ahead and give it a try. But don't be surprised if the road disappears from beneath your wheels and you find that you're now a boat, and a quickly sinking one at that.

Though a bit dated, this advice still applies: Cordless phones are nothing but an ornament if the electricity goes out. Have at least one wired phone somewhere in your house. And if you live in a town fortunate enough to have cell service, don't count on it being available if regular phone lines are knocked out by bad weather. Everyone will be trying to use their cellphones the same time you are and the cell site will be overloaded. That's assuming, of course, that the cell site is still functioning and hasn't been knocked out by the bad weather. Some additional (updated) advice: Unless it is absolutely necessary, text rather than call someone you're trying to reach. Texting takes a lot less bandwidth than a voice call and places less of a burden on the local cell site. Your message is more likely to get through.

Don't be bashful about asking a neighbor for help. The corollary to that is don't be bashful about offering a neighbor help. Sometimes they have knowledge, skills, or tools that you don't have and vice versa. You're all in this together.

Chainsaws are your friend. They have multiple uses and come in handy of you have to clear a fallen tree from across your driveway, car, or roof of your house. Just make sure you know how to use them and wear the proper protective gear – safety glasses, earplugs or muffs, leather gloves, shin guards, and a hard hat. They also come in handy when you're cutting up your soon-to-be firewood. In a pinch they can also be used to help dispose of evidence....

There are also tools you'll need for winter, some of which you'll only see around here. One is a snow shovel. There are many types, so you'll have to shop around to find the one that works best for you.

Another tool, nice to have, but not always necessary is a snowblower. If you have a long driveway or large parking area in front of your garage, the last thing you'll want to do is shovel it all by hand. A snowblower does the trick and is far cheaper than a snow plow. Of course you could always hire someone else to plow your driveway, but it's not as much fun as using your toy..uh..snowblower and you're entirely dependent on someone else's schedule.

Last, but not least, the one tool you'll need to buy, beg, borrow, or steal is a roof rake. It's not something you use to remove leaves from the roof, but for raking snow. “Now why would anyone want to rake snow?” you might ask. The last thing anyone wants is snow piling up on the roof. It's heavy and can get heavier if there is any rain or freezing rain after a snowfall. You don't want to find out how strong your roof really is by testing it to destruction. And then, there's something called ice dams.

Ice dams form as the snow on your roof melts. As the water from the melted snow reaches the edge of the roof it can refreeze, forming a ridge of ice, just like a dam across a river. As more snow melts and starts to back up behind the ice dam, the melt water can work its way under roof shingles and start leaking inside your house. It's can be expensive to fix and is damned inconvenient (no pun intended....well actually, yes it was). Snow rakes can remove the snow from your roof and help prevent roof collapse or ice dams. Roof rakes are far safer than going up to shovel the snow off your roof . Trust me, I know from first hand experience. I've got the two plates and twelve screws in my ankle and lower leg to prove it.

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And so ends another episode of The Weekend Pundit's Guide To Country Living.

11/03/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

We had our first real hard frost overnight, as evidenced by the frost on the windshield of the trusty RAM 1500. It was the first time I saw the temperature reach below freezing here at The Gulch this fall. Obviously it won’t be the last.

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I must state I do not like the change back to Standard Time, particularly in light of the fact that Standard Time only lasts a little over 4 months. The time change is disruptive, and nobody likes it. I know I prefer light in the afternoon when it benefits me and others rather than in the morning when it benefits few.

And then there’s this:


It’s time to end the madness!

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From the Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider department comes this latest missive from New York Governor Cuomo: We Didn’t Have Hurricanes or Tornadoes Before Climate Change.

Except of course for Hurricane Bob in 1991, Gloria in 1985, Belle in 1976, Agnes in 1972, Esther in 1961, Donna in 1960, Gracie in 1959, Connie in 1955, Carol and Hazel in 1954, or the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944.

This is the same clueless governor that banned new natural gas pipelines into New York then ordered the affected gas companies to hook up new customers even though they didn’t have enough gas to supply them.

It’s time for a regime change in New York.

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Don’t you love these guys who assault elderly people who are wearing a MAGA hat? I guess they feel safer going after the elderly because they figure they can get away with it. That will work right up to the point where one of their elderly victims plugs them with a few rounds from the 9mm their assailant didn’t see.

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It appears the Left is no longer trying to deceive the American public about its efforts to stifle free speech, particularly the speech of their political opponents. After all, it’s the only way they can maintain their narrative that they are the “One True Way” to utopia, even if their definition of utopia is the definition of hell for everyone else. If they have to kill the First Amendment to get their way, that’s fine with them.

In other words, [Twitter CEO Jack] Dorsey thinks that political candidates should only be able to communicate with voters if their messages are vetted by and filtered through mainstream media gatekeepers. There’s no doubt that he would gladly ban President Trump from the platform completely if he thought he could get away with it.

--snip--

The Democrats view free speech as a threat to their political ambitions — and they’re absolutely right. But banning political ads on Twitter won’t be nearly enough to save the Democrats in 2020.

“Vetted by and filtered through mainstream media gatekeepers.” Hmm. And who will keep an eye on those gatekeepers? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or are we supposed to trust these gatekeepers to do their jobs without bias?

Not in a million years.

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It sounds like Joe Biden is sticking by his belief that “the truth is more important than facts.” However, his definition of truth is likely very different from most other folks’ definition. His latest application of his belief is in regard to the unemployment and labor participation rate numbers. As he says:

"Look, go back to your old neighborhood. Find me middle-class folks who think they’re better off. Find me anybody out there who thinks their children are going to be as well off as they are," Biden said. "Do you think they are in fact actually able to benefit from what’s happening here?"

Biden believes "wages are stagnant and they’re going up slightly but not enough." That sentence alone is contradictory. If wages were stagnant then they wouldn't be going up at all. In a sense, he proved Trump's policies are working in that sentence alone.

I can easily find plenty of middle-class folks in both my present and previous neighborhoods that would disagree with Biden, be they lower-, middle-, or upper-middle class. I know middle-class folks all over this country and I dare say they would disagree with him as well.

Despite that, I believe Creepy Uncle Joe will likely disagree with them, telling them they’re wrong. After all, facts don’t matter to him at all, something he’s already told us.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the frost has made its presence known, more boats are filling up storage yards, and most of the leaves have no fallen from the trees.

11/01/2019

Country Living - Part I

It appears that I once again must delve into the mysteries of how urban dwellers and Flatlanders can adapt to life in a rural state, and particularly New Hampshire. I have made similar posts in the past, but I have updated some of the information I am about to impart to you.

Much of what I'll cover also applies to Maine and, to a lesser extent, Vermont. You're on your own when it comes to other rural states, particularly those down south. Each area of the country has its own rules when it comes to country living, but there are also some universal rules that apply no matter which state you finally end up living in.

There are a lot of topics about 'country living' I can cover, many of which I've briefly written about before. But sometimes you have to repeat the lesson more than once before the information sinks in. Here's a list of do's and don'ts of country living. These are in order of descending importance, kinda sorta:

Once you've made the move to your new town, don't feel bashful about introducing yourselves to your neighbors, assuming they haven't already introduced themselves while they helped you unload the moving van.

Make the acquaintance of the Town Clerk, Tax Collector (many times it's the same person), the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, and at least one of the Selectman (or Town Councilor, depending upon the form of town government). This helps grease the skids and let's them know you're not too snooty to mingle with the locals.

Go to the dump. Many small towns have no garbage pickup and it's up to you to haul you're own trash to the dump/transfer station/etc. Don't hire someone else to do it for you because people will think two things – you're too damn lazy or snobbish to do it yourself; and you really aren't interested in town politics/social activities/etc. The one thing you have to realize is that in many small towns 90% of all town business is conducted at the dump, not the weekly Selectman's or Budget Committee meeting. If you want to find out what's going on in town, the dump is the place to go.

Read the weekly local paper. This is another place to find out when and where some of the social activities will be taking place. Also take close note of the Want Ads. You'll be amazed at some of the stuff you'll find there and can save yourself a bundle of cash when you're looking for that extra refrigerator or freezer or lawn mower or whatever.

Go to Town Meeting. This is very important. It only happens once a year so there's no excuse for not attending. Town meeting allows you to socialize as well as help decide what the town will spend in the coming year. Your first one or two years you should just listen and observe how things are done. If you can, latch on to somebody who can explain the whole thing to you. This will drastically shorten the learning curve.

Also, read the Town Report, usually mailed out to everyone in town well before town meeting. This gives you an idea of what the townspeople voted for and against the previous year as well as a list of what folks will be voting on this year.

And one last thing when it comes to town meeting: Never ever preface a statement with the phrase “Back where I/we come from....” This is the kiss of death for a newcomer. People in your new town don't care about where you came from, at least not during a debate over some warrant article. You're here now. If you insist on this kind of social suicide, be prepared to be immediately branded a “Flatlander” and never taken seriously again. (Note: There is only one exception to this rule – The phrase can be safely used if what you're going to say is going to be used as an example of why the town shouldn't vote for something. “Back where I come from, the town tried this and it was an utter disaster. It cost the town a ton of money to fix. Do you really want to do the same thing?”)

Find out which place serves the best breakfasts, then go there. Lots of people will dine out on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Ask them what place they'd recommend. You can make good contacts while schmoozing with the waitresses, cooks, or other patrons.

Use local contractors. Never mind that fancy construction firm, plumber, or electrician you've done business with in the past. Ask around and find somebody local. You'll find that they're just as good as the ones 'back home' and they'll probably cost less, too. They'll also be willing to come right out in an emergency. Sometimes the best places to ask is at that diner where you now have breakfast on Saturday mornings, or at town hall, the dump (or these days, the transfer station), or at the fire station. They'll know who's good and who to avoid.

If you're sending your kids to the local school, make sure you get involved with the school activities, and particularly the PTA or PTO. Get to know your kid's teachers. See them more often than just during parent-teacher conferences.

Get rid of the Lexus/BMW/Mercedes/Jaguar and get a more practical vehicle. Or if you're going to keep it, use it only when traveling long distance or on special occasions. SUVs are OK to a point (no Cadillac Escalades or Lincoln Navigators and the like), but pickup trucks are better. (It also makes it easier to haul your trash to the dump). A 4X4 pickup is even better, particularly during the winter as well as mud season.

Get used to the idea of dirt roads. Most small towns have 'em and many have more than a few. Don't expect the town to pave them just for your convenience. Most times it's cheaper to leave dirt roads as dirt roads. The town will grade them a couple of times a year to keep them from becoming too bumpy or rutted. Plymouth, where I resided, has about a 80/20 mix of paved and dirt roads. My home was off of a dirt road and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Get used to the idea of dark. You won't necessarily find streetlights along roads in many small towns except near the town center and at a couple of intersections. It can get dark, and I mean really dark at night. When you look up you'll be amazed at the number of stars you can see. Please try to keep it that way. The last thing you're neighbors need or want is you lighting up your property like Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium. It will just annoy them and spoil the view of the night sky. (The folks who own the house just behind The Gulch are from away and tend to leave their outside lights on all night. They say it's because it will help keep burglars away, but I have to explain to them that most of those kinds of miscreants don't break into someone's home at night. They'll do it in broad daylight when nobody is home because it's easier to see and choose what stuff they're going to steal. Breaking in at night is likely to get a burglar shot by the homeowner.)

There are farms in small towns and they sometimes produce interesting smells. Get used to them. They've been here a lot longer than you and this is their livelihood. They won't take kindly to a newcomer trying to tell them what they should and should not be doing.

Sometimes there are also logging operations going on in some towns out in the country. Sometimes you'll see very big trucks loaded down with lots of logs. Get out of their way. With a full load they aren't going to stop very quickly and unless you're also driving a logging truck any argument over who has the right of way will end with them winning and you losing, big time.

Hunting is a fact of life. If you're a bunny-hugger and think hunting is wrong, keep it to yourself. Hunting is necessary to keep deer, moose, bear, turkeys, and other wildlife populations in check. If you don't want hunters on your property all you have to do is post your property with the proper signs at the proscribed height and intervals along the edge of your property. Also, don't go traipsing through the forest or fields wearing brown and white clothing during hunting season. It's a good way to end up dead or wounded. If you insist on taking your nature hikes during hunting season, remember these two words – International Orange. Vests and hats of this color are your best friend. So what if they make you look fat. At least you'll be alive to bitch about it.

Snow tires, your winter friend. Despite having your car/truck shod with all-season radials, you'll find that a good set of snow tires is worth the investment if you live in a part of the country where annual snowfall is measured in feet rather than inches. All-season radials are a compromise at best. Snow tires just plain work better in the snow. They can mean the difference between making it home safely or ending up in a ditch waiting for someone to (hopefully) pull you out before you become a corpsicle. Investing in a good set of tire chains is also suggested, but not required.

Food, particularly baked goods are always appreciated at the local firehouse, police station, town highway department, and town hall.

Bean suppers and pancake breakfasts are a mainstay of country living, whether they're put on by church groups, volunteer fire departments, or organizations like the Elks, the Masons, Odd Fellows, the Knights of Columbus, or others. They are good places to meet other townspeople, get a decent meal, and support community charities or civic associations. It's what's called 'networking', only you're doing it on a more personal level.

And yet another food related subject, in this case pizza and Chinese food deliveries – Don't count on it.

Gasoline, home heating oil, and propane. These will all become far more important to you than they have in the past, particularly in the winter months. You will learn to keep your gas tank at least half full. There are a number of reasons for this, one of the most important being your survival if you get caught out on the road in a winter storm. You will also learn the true worth of home heating oil and propane. Deliveries of these staples can be few and far between if you don't plan ahead. And if you don't plan well enough, you'll come to know your plumber all too well (frozen and/or burst water pipes).

Wells and septic systems are all you'll find in most small country towns. Many don't have a municipal water supply or sewage treatment plant. Your well is your water supply and the septic system takes care of your waste water. You will also become familiar the following terms: leach field, distribution box, Rid-X, submersible pump, well head, water softener, dry well, and pressure tank.

Cell phone service- In your dreams. While cell service is better than it was when I first covered this topic, it can still be spotty in some areas, and totally non-existent in others. It's something I warn folks about when they go out boating on Lake Winnipesaukee because there are a lot of areas on the lake where there is no cell service. The same is true for folks hiking the trails in an around New Hampshire.

Home security systems aren't really required unless your 'security system' consists of one or two middling to large dogs. Those fancy electronic systems send the wrong message to your neighbors. In this case it's “I don't trust any of you...”

I could go on and on ad infinitum in this post, but I think you catch the drift. If, after reading this, you still want to move 'to the country', then you're probably cut out for it. If any of this gives you the heebie-jeebies, then I suggest you keep your experiences of living in the country to those one or two weeks a year when you're on vacation.

I'll have more words of wisdom regarding living in the country in follow-on posts.

10/31/2019

California Burns As Newsome And The Watermelon Environmentalists Fiddle

First, I have to apologize for a lack of posts this week as I have been under the weather.

Now, on to more important issues.

Seeing the fires being fanned by the Santa Ana winds, more blame is being heaped upon PG&E by Governor Newsom and the various climate alarmists infesting state government. One fix being proposed by the increasingly irrelevant governor?

Enticing multi-billionaire Warren Buffet to by PG&E.

Once again we have a socialist proposing an old solution: Capitalism solving socialism’s many problems.

There’s only one problem with this solution, that being that no capitalist in their right mind would go anywhere near such a self-destructive solution. Why would anyone want to buy an asset that has multiple lawsuits filed against it and is going through bankruptcy in order to protect itself from those same lawsuits? Why would anyone in their right mind want to take up ownership of a utility that is so hamstrung by overregulation and profit-killing state mandates that there’s no way the utility will be able to meet the needs of its customers, maintain its facilities, and not lose millions of dollars in the process?

Warren Buffet isn’t that insane. I can’t picture any other financier doing anything like that…except maybe Tom Steyer. After all, he’s always talking about bring back “power to the people”. Maybe it’s time for him to put his money where his mouth is. But the chances of that happening are…umm…zero. Even Steyer, Progressive as he is, isn’t that stupid.

Maybe.

PG&E has been stuck in a lose-lose situation for some time. As I have written before, PG&E has been fighting California environmental roadblocks that have made it difficult, if not impossible to cut back brush and tree limbs away from their power lines. Those same roadblocks have made it difficult for the utility to maintain their powerlines because they cannot get easy access to them. Then there’s the state mandates requiring PG&E to invest funds in “green” energy projects and rebates, funds that would have been better spent maintaining and upgrading their facilities.

Who ends up paying the price for these problems? Everyone except those in power.

10/27/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a rainy and cool day here in the Lakes Region today, the antithesis of Saturday. That fact makes me glad that the WP Mom and I visited the farm stand of the farm where BeezleBub works yesterday.

It is the last weekend of the farm stand’s operation for the year. That doesn’t mean the farm work itself is done for the year. There’s plenty to be done before winter arrives, including making sure the farm’s turkeys are well taken care of until the week of Thanksgiving and the rest of the livestock – cows, pigs, and chickens – will have the food and shelter they’ll need for the coming winter.

Planning for greenhouse operations are also under way, making sure the right crops will planted and that there will be enough firewood to fuel the wood furnace that heats the greenhouses through the winter. Work on sawing the timber that has been felled for use in a new barn will also be taking place, with enough being milled to start construction next spring.

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Yet another institution of higher indoctrination learning has learned the hard way that going “woke” is going to cost them plenty. In this case, the University of Michigan has spent $2.25 million in legal fees in defending itself in two “Dear Colleague Letter” kangaroo court cases.

How many millions have been spent by colleges and universities defending themselves against such lawsuits because they abandoned due process at the behest of the aforementioned “Deal Colleague” letter? How many of those lawsuits were won by the plaintiffs? (Hint: All of them.)

Will colleges and universities learn the lessons the others have learned and change how they handle sexual assault allegations, adhering to due process rather than their unconstitutional kangaroo court rules and investigation processes? Maybe. But until then they will continue to be sued and will continue to lose.

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Here’s yet another example of a college’s incompetence and malice when it came to convicting a male college student for a sexual assault.

In this case, Boston College convicted a male student of a sexual assault even after a police investigation proved the accused student couldn’t possibly have committed the assault.

Doe was a senior in 2012 when he went on a student-sponsored cruise for the school newspaper. With more than 600 passengers on board, the cruise dance floor was crowded. According to court papers, as Doe made his way across the floor, a female student, “AB,” started screaming at him. Doe’s acquaintance, “JK,” who had been walking in front of him, turned to him to say, “Sorry dude, that was my bad.”

Within minutes, the ship’s security guards detained Doe, placing plastic bags on his hands to preserve evidence and keeping him in custody overnight. The following morning, he was charged with indecent assault and battery; AB had reported that someone had digitally penetrated her anus. When Doe later phoned JK about what had happened, JK responded, “What a b-tch! What kind of girl goes to a dance floor like that and doesn’t expect to get touched or grabbed?” according to the recording of the call.

None of the evidence pointed to Doe. Footage of the event showed Doe several feet from AB. Forensic testing showed none of her DNA on Doe’s hands. So the district attorney dropped all charges. Boston College, however, proceeded to investigate on its own under Title IX and held a hearing within a month, where the adjudicating panel was told to put JK “at ease” when he testified, establishing that JK was only a witness and not a suspect. It then found Doe responsible and suspended him for more than a year, postponing his graduation until 2014.

Boston College convicted and suspended the student even though there was unequivocal evidence he couldn’t have possibly committed the assault. So the student did the only thing he could do.

He sued Boston College for malicious prosecution and won. The jury awarded him $100,000 for lost income and a semester’s tuition.

This is an example of how the “porous Title IX processes at Boston College and around the country fail to protect against malicious or false accusations.” The “Dear Colleague” letter strikes again and another college has to pay out due to its own malfeasance.

Boston College didn’t get a fraction oi the abuse it deserved.

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"If you only listened to MSNBC, you would never know that the United States currently has the strongest economy in the history of human civilization." - Scott Adams

(H/T Maggie’s Farm)

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Do you want to see what our ‘betters’ in New Hampshire have planned for we Granite Staters in regard to energy? Then all we have to do is to look towards California’s present situation (minus the brush fires) to see where we’re headed, both energy-wise and politically.

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is warning citizens that they could be in for a long weekend as the state’s public utility announced Saturday plans to shut down huge sections of the electric grid.

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s move could black out an estimated 940,000 homes and businesses in parts of more than 30 counties up and down California. PG&E is trying to prevent potential wildfires from spreading through the state while keeping tabs on downed power lines.

Newsom, who is under pressure as gas prices increase, told Californians things are going to be tough for the next few days.

Next few days? I have a feeling Californians will be having these problems for years and they’re only going to get worse. All these problems can be laid at the feet of years of California’s Progressive government overreach and their kowtowing to watermelon environmentalists, basing decisions on ‘feelz’ or ‘how it should be’, and not on hard science and how it really is.

This is the fate that many of the same forces wish for us here in New Hampshire, including business-killing taxes and regulations, removal of local control and imposition of state control from top to bottom, and dismantling of our energy infrastructure and increasing dependence on unreliable and inadequate energy supplies, be it electricity or natural gas. (Certainly our US Senators, Shaheen and Hassan, have been working hard to destroy the New Hampshire Advantage and make us just another failing Blue State.)

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It appears the only way the Democrats can pull of their coup is by using secret proceedings in their “star chamber” impeachment inquiry, preventing the public, and just as importantly, Republicans from having access to testimony transcripts even though House Rules state quite clearly all members of the House “shall have access thereto”. But Schiff has such a hard-on to get Trump he’s willing to violate House Rules, ignore ethics rules, and toss the Constitution out the window. I have a feeling that Schiff and other House members as well as former and present DOJ, FBI, and State Department staffers are going to go to jail because of their illegal activities leading up to and after the 2016 and 2018 elections.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it’s raining heavily, the leaves are coming off the trees in large numbers, and Halloween is this week!

10/26/2019

Lay The Blame Where It Belongs

In light of the latest round of brush fires in California, one has to look at the causes, both natural and man-made, to determine why they happen and do the work needed to prevent them from happening again, at least to the magnitude we’ve seen over the past couple of years.

California’s government and the media (there really isn’t any difference at this point), have laid the blame entirely at the feet of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), saying they’ve been negligent. According to Sacramento, PG&E hasn’t been performing enough maintenance or clearing the brush from their rights of way to help prevent brush fires. With the lengthy drought being experienced by California literally adding fuel to the fire, it’s been a perfect storm of conditions to make even small brush fires potentially disastrous.

Anyone paying attention to the situation out there knows that PG&E has been taking precautions to help lessen the danger, though those precautions are drastic – shutting down the power into areas experiencing high winds to prevent the power lines from sparking and igniting fires.

The big problem has been that the state of California has been laying the blame on the wrong party – PG&E – when the blame should be laid entirely at the feet of Sacramento. (Link is paywalled.)

Gov. Gavin Newsom is trying to deflect political blame. “It’s about dog-eat-dog capitalism meeting climate change. It’s about corporate greed meeting climate change. It’s about decades of mismanagement,” Mr. Newsom declared. But Democrats for years have treated PG&E as their de facto political subsidiary. The wildfires and blackouts are the direct result of their mismanagement.

The state Public Utilities Commission is in charge of enforcing state safety laws and regulations, which can carry penalties of up to $50,000 per violation per day. Yet PG&E received no safety fines related to its power-grid management over the last several years. The commission has instead focused on enforcing the Legislature’s climate mandates.

State law mandates that utilities obtain 33% of electric generation from renewables such as wind and solar by 2020 and 60% by 2030. Utilities must spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to reduce the cost of green energy for low-income households. PG&E has prioritized political obeisance over safety.

Money that was needed to perform maintenance and upgrades was diverted to meet the state mandates. Brush cutting that needed to be done to reduce the fire hazard was hindered by environmental regulations.

But PG&E's equipment couldn't start these huge wildfires without a bunch of dead brush fueling the flames. As Chuck Devore writes in Forbes, "the outrageous cost to remove a few dead trees from private land is a consequence of California's Byzantine environmental regulatory patchwork." It's not climate change that's responsible for these massive fires, "it's decades of environmental mismanagement that has created a tinderbox of unharvested timber, dead trees, and thick underbrush."

As Devore writes, "forest management is so bad on public lands that a new report, ordered by the California legislature in 2010, shows that the portion of California's National Forests protected from timber harvesting is now a net contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fires and trees killed by insects and disease." So if environmentalists really believed climate change was causing the fires, they would be calling for more timber harvesting to stop it.

Funding diverted from maintenance to state mandated feel good projects. Unnecessarily difficult environmental regulations severely restricting much needed brush cutting and tree trimming.

A perfect storm, indeed.

10/25/2019

How Dare You Use The Law To Investigate Our Wrongdoing!

I find it amusing, but not unexpected, that Congressional Democrats are complaining that their machinations and those of their fellow travelers and Deep State operatives are now being investigated by a US Attorney as criminal activity.

That there were abuses of the FISA process by using unvetted opposition research which led to illegal surveillance (including wiretaps) of the Trump campaign is not in question. That there is criticism from those who either committed those acts or sanctioned them, the same folks who thought it was perfectly OK when AG’s Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch targeted Obama opponents and critics, are showing their hypocrisy. The only ones they want to see investigated and intimidated are their GOP opponents even if they have committed no criminal acts. (One must remember Obama used the IRS to punish and block conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, groups that were mirror images of progressive political groups that received their tax-exempt status with little or no delays.)

Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff are condemning the transformation of John Durham's investigation into the origins of the Russia probe into a criminal investigation.

When challenged, attack. The two issued a joint statement saying that the Justice Department has become a “vehicle for President Trump’s political retribution.”

Note that the congressmen are not talking about what Durham is investigating, only how he's doing it.

It seems they think that only they can disparage and investigate their political rivals. It is time they learn that they are as beholden to the laws of this nation as everyone else, even if they must learn it the hard way when a jury declares them “guilty as charged”.

10/23/2019

Organic Farming Isn't All That Green

A lot of people have been pushing for more farmers to switch to organic farming because they believe it is greener, better for the environment, and produces superior quality food. But if you ask any farmer, they’ll tell you that none of these beliefs are true. The “organic” folks will try to sell you on the idea that farmers don’t want to be bothered with organic farming for several reasons, one of them being that they don’t want to make the effort. But if you talk to the farmers it tends to boil down to one specific reason: They make less money. In some cases, a lot less money. That’s a good way to go out of business.

While the big commercial farms might be willing to lose profit because they are such large operations, the smaller family farms don’t necessarily have that kind of financial wiggle room. However, there are other reasons why organic farming isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. One of the biggest: It isn’t as green as everyone believes it is.

Because yields per acre are lower using organic methods, more land is required to provide the same amount of food. One estimate is that between 16% and 33% more land would be required. That in turn means more labor, more energy (meaning more CO2 generated), and most important, more water.

So land that isn’t presently being used to grow food would need to be converted to farmland, be it grasslands or forests. That removes land acting as a carbon sink into one that will generate more CO2. More land will need to be tilled, planted, and weeded, more pests will need to be removed which means more pesticides (they can be used in organic farming if they are the proper non-persistent type) applied more frequently. More water will be needed to irrigate larger tracts of land, water that will need to be pumped from the source which means more energy to run the pumps. More energy to run the pumps, whether they are electric, or gasoline/diesel powered, means more CO2 generated. All of this only addresses the issues with growing crops. It doesn’t even touch upon raising livestock, assuming the farm is going to go organic in this area as well.

The emissions impact of the meat, milk, and eggs produced from organically raised livestock is more complicated. On the one hand, emissions can increase because animals don’t plump up as fast without hormones, supplements, and conventional feed. That, for instance, grants cattle longer lives in which to belch out methane, another especially powerful greenhouse gas. On the other, allowing animals to spend more of their lives grazing on open grasslands may stimulate additional plant growth that captures more carbon dioxide, while cutting emissions associated with standard feeds.

Raising livestock also requires more land because without using feed, the cattle, sheep, goats, and other ruminants require a lot of grazing land. Farmers will need to grow hay in order to feed the animals during the winter. That means even more land converted to agricultural use. Here in New Hampshire, that means cutting down trees since the state is 85% forest land.

It seems that too many people do not think things through, one of those things being organic farming. They look at only the upsides while devoutly ignoring the downsides. Then again, that’s nothing new and it will continue to be the case as long as people exist.

Now, about that problem some people have with nuclear power……