10/15/2019

End Of A Season

It was perfect weather – sunny with temperatures in the upper 50’s, no wind, and not a cloud in the sky.

It was a little past 4PM when I started the engine on the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout - aka The Boat - letting it warm up as I waited for my son and his girlfriend to arrive. The engine burbled quietly as I stowed the gear I’d brought onboard, making sure it wouldn’t be in the way. Fenders were removed and stowed, the mooring lines were prepped to be cast off, and then BeezleBub and his girlfriend arrived.

Once they were ready, lines were cast off, the throttle set to reverse, and we slowly backed away from the dock. Once clear, the throttle was set forward and the wheel turned to port, swinging the bow towards the channel that would lead out onto the main body of the lake.

It was quiet as we slowly made our way down the channel, the burble of the water being stirred by the prop and the low rumble of the engine being the only sound.

Once we cleared the channel and were outside the No Wake Zone I throttled up and the boat surged forward, slowly rising, then riding on top of the water as the engine RPMs wound up.

The water was smooth, with barely a ripple to be seen. Once on plane I trimmed the boat to raise the bow a little and the speed picked up. We cruised, heading east towards Alton Bay, the sun lowering towards the horizon behind us.

The breeze coming over the bow, caused by our passage over the lake, was cool. While not chilling, it did hold hints of the coming winter.

We came to the mouth of Alton Bay and changed course to the north, heading towards Wolfeboro for a while until we cleared the east end of Rattlesnake Island and turned west. Our course took us north of the island, well within a part of the lake called The Broads, the widest part of Lake Winnipesaukee.

The setting sun now sat just off our port bow, dipping above and below the hilltops as we headed back to home port.

Approaching Locke’s Island we turned south and entered into the cove where our town docks awaited. Rather than returning to our dock, we headed there instead. As we approached we maneuvered between two of the docks and finally tied up on the starboard side dock. This had been the last time out on the boat this year.

It was time to pull it out of the water and get it ready to store for the upcoming winter. Our boating season was done, ending weeks earlier than usual.

BeezleBub retrieved his truck and the boat trailer, backing the trailer down the ramp and into the water. The boat was untied from the dock and maneuvered to the boat trailer, the winch attached to the bow eye, and the winch cranked to pull the boat into position on the trailer. A few moments later BeezleBub pulled the trailer up the ramp, we secured the stern of the boat to the trailer, and then were on our way away from the lake.

Another summer has faded away. Another boat has been pulled from the water until next spring. All that remains are our memories of our time on the lake, and photos and videos taken during our excursions out on the water. They will have to suffice until we’re back out on the water next spring.

10/14/2019

We're Done Being Suckers

With the continuing Washington soap opera of the “We’re Gonna Get Trump No Matter What, Even Though We Need To Make S**t Up” impeachment circus getting more ridiculous and insane, is it any wonder the average Joe and Jane Q. Public have been fed up with the whole thing and a sick to death of our supposed “betters” trying to overturn the 2016 election? I call it the “We’re Done Being Suckers” election. (Yes, I stole that line from the piece I’ve linked below, but it fits.)

Why are we seeing this ongoing farce? Because the elite hate the Trump doctrine: Put America first. Anything that diminishes their influence and power must be destroyed, and Trump is doing just that. Therefore he must be destroyed.

The elite scoffs at the notion of a “Trump Doctrine,” imagining that no one but them could construct a coherent geopolitical paradigm. Of course, their neo-Wilsonian faculty lounge geopolitical paradigm has been a disaster, but if there’s one thing our garbage elite is good at – it is certainly no good at its core responsibilities of preserving American power, prosperity and freedom – it is weaseling out of accountability for its myriad failures.

Yet the Trump Doctrine – the notion that American power should be directed toward serving the interests of the American people – is a coherent foreign policy vision of the kind we have not had in the United States for decades. For the last 35 years, since the Reagan Doctrine of using American power to bring down the Soviet Union, we have had no coherent framework within which we could develop sensible national strategies.

If the average American has to pay the price for the ‘ideals’ of the political elite, the elite are perfectly fine with that. After all, we’re just deplorables who are undereducated, inbred, mouth-breathing morons with no political savvy who require leaders who “know better” what the deplorables need. Not that their superior ‘knowledge’ has anything to do with reality. Not that their policies will help insure the health and welfare of the country. THEY. DON’T. CARE.

Their attitude can all be summed up with a single phrase: “Screw you buddy! I got mine!

As long as you keep that in mind, everything the elite does makes more sense. We aren’t going to be suckers for their long con game anymore.

To delve deeper into this, make sure to Read The Whole Thing.

10/13/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

The fall colors are very close to peak and the leaf peepers are everywhere, though they aren’t crowding our restaurants like the summerfolk do. But since they’re only here for a week or two, we can deal with it.

I was hoping to get at least one foliage trip out on the lake this weekend, but a busy schedule and not always optimal weather prevented a timely cruise. It’s also a bit frustrating as the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout will be pulled from the water this coming Tuesday, almost a month earlier than usual.

I stopped by the boatyard which handles the winterization and storage of the boat for me, making an appointment to have the boat serviced and stored. The proprietor told me he was seeing a lot of boat owners pulling their boats much out earlier than usual this year which has meant he and his staff have been overwhelmed and his itinerant boat trailer lot is full, leaving no room. He’s had his crew working overtime to stay ahead of the workload. Could this be some subconscious reaction to a possibly harsher (and earlier) than normal winter?

Only time will tell.

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Speaking of a harsher than normal winter, it might be time to for all of you to consider getting snow tires for the upcoming winter, at least in areas that see regular snowfall. While all-season tires are a decent compromise in some parts of the country, honest to goodness snow tires can make the difference between getting stuck and getting home in the northern climes.

If predictions about an extended solar minimum are correct, we are likely to see colder and longer winters for the next few decades. Winter tires will become a necessity for more of us as time goes on.

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One thing anyone considering creating Gun Free Zones has to keep in mind before doing so is what kind of obligations and liabilities they will likely be taking on, particularly as lawmakers in Michigan consider legislation to make commercial property owners declaring their properties gun free zones liable for security and any injuries on their property. It makes sense when you think about it.

If property owners (including government) strip away the right of patrons and visitors to protect themselves by bearing arms, then it should be up to them to provide protection. Those failing to do so should be held liable, period.

How many would declare their operations gun free zones under those conditions? My guess: very few, if any.

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Women are finding out that they can’t have it all, despite what they’ve been told.

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The Left still tries to sell the lie that rent control will somehow lower the cost and increase the availability of affordable housing. This, despite that fact that it has been proven on more than one occasion that rent control doesn’t work, doesn’t lower the cost or increase the availability of housing. It tends to have just the opposite effect.

Reams of research show that removing rent control laws raises rental property values, encouraging construction and leading to an increase in the supply of rental housing. That increase in supply, if not artificially restricted, puts downward pressure on rents.

A Stanford University study published in March found that rent control in San Francisco reduced the supply of rental housing by 15 percent. “Thus, while rent control prevents displacement of incumbent renters in the short run, the lost rental housing supply likely drove up market rents in the long run, ultimately undermining the goals of the law.”

“In addition, the conversion of existing rental properties to higher-end, owner-occupied condominium housing ultimately led to a housing stock increasingly directed towards higher income individuals. In this way, rent control contributed to the gentrification of San Francisco, contrary to the stated policy goal. Rent control appears to have increased income inequality in the city by both limiting displacement of minorities and attracting higher income residents.”

With the state of Oregon imposing statewide rent control we are about to see a large-scale experiment in rent control, one fated to fail just like all of the others have. What’s worse is that one of the Democrat presidential candidates have proposed nationwide rent control (I don’t recall whether it was Sanders or Warren who suggested such a stupid thing), which will kill development of affordable rental housing everywhere. Then again, no one ever accused any of the Democrats of having any understanding of real world economics.

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I made a trip down to southwestern New Hampshire today, visiting the In-Laws and taking them out for lunch. I had to brave the leaf peeper traffic, but fortunately for me it was heading in the opposite direction, so I didn’t have to deal with much in the way of delays or slow traffic. It also helped that I knew many of the back roads, so I was able to avoid most of the tourist traffic. The fiery foliage colors certainly made the trip down and back worthwhile.

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Yet another clueless Democrat Congresscritter doesn’t seem to understand that Congress has no arrest powers. The clueless Democrat?

Rashida Tlaib.

As Rick Moran calls it, it is “a quick way to a major constitutional crisis and perhaps even civil war.”

What is “it”?

Arresting and jailing White House aides who refuse to comply with subpoenas and testify in the House impeachment inquiry.

One of my biggest problems with this is that Congress doesn’t have arrest powers. My next biggest problem is that there is no impeachment inquiry because the House never voted on the matter. No vote, no inquiry, period. So how can someone be arrested for refusing to comply with subpoenas for an inquiry that doesn’t exist?

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the fall foliage is spectacular, the lake is being emptied of boats, and where one of my favorite ice cream joints is closing for the season.

10/10/2019

We've Seen This Play Before...Many Times

I’m tired.

No, I’ve been sleeping with no problem. I’m not overworked or overcaffeinated.

So what has me tired?

The so-called Impeachment Inquiry.

First, while the Democrats and the MSM keep calling it an impeachment inquiry, it isn’t. It isn’t an inquiry until the House votes to open such an inquiry. No such vote has taken place. So I am tired of hearing it called something it isn’t. It is an inquisition.

Second, because there is no inquiry, any ‘inquiry’ subpoenas are invalid. The White House is under no obligation to respond to any of them, period. If the Democrats don’t feel obligated to follow the rules in regards to such an inquiry, why should the White House be obligated to respond to any demands made by the Democrats?

Third, congressional Democrats seem to think that they operate under a different set of rules, rules that resemble those of Calvinball more than anything else. They change at whim, with things that were forbidden are now allowed and rules that were ironclad in the past can now be ignored…unless they apply to Republicans.

That gets old pretty darned quick. It’s frustrating. It’s just so much bulls**t and serves no purpose other than to make those who hate the President and Republicans feel like they’re in power.

It’s tiring and I’m fed up with it all.

10/09/2019

Deep Fakes Are Getting Better

In an earlier post I wrote about “deep fakes”, videos that had been altered in such a way that it made someone in that video appear to be someone else.

Since then the deep fakes have gotten even better with not just someone’s visage being changed, but their voices as well.



While not perfect (yet), it will get there eventually. Once it reaches that point no one will be able trust anything they see on TV or YouTube or any other streaming video service.

10/06/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

The fall foliage color is getting closer to peak here in central New Hampshire. I figure it will reach peak just before the upcoming Columbus Day weekend.

We are seeing more leaf peepers making the rounds here as the colors move south. I figure we’ll see a lot of foliage tourists here next weekend, filling the restaurants and factory outlets, one last gasp of the summer tourist season. The last of the seasonal businesses still operating will be closing their doors after Columbus Day, not reopening until late spring.

Ski areas have already started prepping for the upcoming winter, servicing and testing their lift equipment, snowmaking gear, and snowcats even as they dismantle and store all of the summer equipment and winterize their summer attractions.

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Oh, this will go over well with those who love their Big Macs.

A small number of Muslim activists are demanding McDonald’s change their menus to meet halal standards.

The company makes burgers, and earns billions of dollars in the process. Now, activists want them to change their business model to appease a small percent of the population.

When asked why their London branch did not serve food that met Halal standards, McDonald’s simply responded that it didn’t make financial sense to change things up…

Turn their supply chain and menus upside down to meet the demands of a very small percentage of their customer base? Yeah, that’ll work…and McDonald’s will fade away as the rest of their customer base dwindles away.

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The city government of San Francisco did everything it could to make it comfortable for the chronically homeless. The end result has been a huge increase in homelessness and drug use. (Link may be paywalled.)

This city has been conducting a three-decade experiment in what happens when society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior. It has done so in the name of compassion for the homeless. The result: Street squalor and misery have increased, while government expenditures have ballooned. Yet the principles guiding city policy remain inviolate: Homelessness is a housing problem, it is involuntary, and it persists because of inadequate public spending. These propositions are readily disproved by talking to people living on the streets.

--snip--

The city sends the message relentlessly that drug use is not only acceptable but expected. The Health Department distributes 4.5 million syringes a year, along with alcohol swabs, vitamin C to dissolve heroin and crack, and instructions on how to tie one’s arm for a hit. Officials have installed 17 needle-disposal boxes and kiosks throughout the city, signaling to children that drug use is a normal part of adult life.

They subsidize the homeless and get more homeless. They subsidize drug abuse and they get more drug addicts. Don’t they see any connection between what they’re doing and what they’re getting in return? Obviously not. They keep talking about spending even more money to solve the problem they themselves have created and they’ll only make it worse.

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First they went after Uber and Lyft. Then they went after Juul pods. Now New York City is going after food delivery services.

Their excuse? Food delivery is bad for the city’s restaurants.

Hmm. I thought food delivery service like GrubHub delivered food for restaurants of all kinds. They aren’t part of any restaurant chain like Domino’s or Pizza Hut. They deliver for just about everyone. It’s true they charge a premium for doing so, but so what? If people are willing to pay it, why should the city care? If they aren’t, then they won’t use one of the delivery services, will they?

Does the city council think that such a service will keep people from going to restaurants? It appears it does. I’m not sure I understand their reasoning. Between a $15/hour minimum wage decimating the restaurants viability and trying to rein in food delivery services that provide them with more customers, one would think they’re trying hard to kill of New York’s restaurant businesses entirely.

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Democrats are trying very hard to ignore the debacle of the video of Joe Biden coming right out and saying he threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid to the Ukrainian government unless they fired the prosecutor investigating dirty dealings by his son in Ukraine. What they’re doing by ignoring it is telling everyone that it’s OK for Democrats to demand a quid pro quo from foreign governments, but fake quid pro quo demands from Republicans are illegal.

If the Democrats didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

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Another note to the congressional Democrats: It’s perfectly legal to ask foreign governments to help in criminal investigations. It’s done all the time, and done so under the terms of treaties ratified by the Senate.

There’s no ‘there’ there.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the fall colors are getting brighter, the nights are getting colder, and boating season will soon be ending.

10/03/2019

When Is Compassion Not Compassionate?

Have you ever noticed when some folks say we should help the less fortunate, to show compassion for the poor/homeless/mentally ill/addicted, they really mean that someone other than them should be the ones to do the work? Once done, they then feel good about themselves for having “done something”. But do they ever really see the outcomes of all those things they’ve “done”? For the most part, no.

If they do, more often than not they’ll see that what help was given did help for a while, but the problem they induced others to help with has not gotten better. The number of poor/homeless/mentally ill/addicted will have stayed the same, or worse, will have increased. This will require even more “compassion”, which usually translates as “more tax money”. Then that help is provided which in turn leads to even more people ‘needing’ help. Then even of more money will be needed to provide even more help, and the cycle will continue.

By providing help the way it has been done for decades, we have merely made the problem worse. To paraphrase someone somewhen, “If you subsidize something, you get more of it.” We have been subsidizing the poverty-stricken, the homeless, the mentally ill, and the addicted. And what have we received for all the money, time, and effort that has been put into solving the problems of those unfortunates? More of them. Call it the unintended consequences of compassion, specifically too much compassion of the type that solves nothing.

It's time we measure success by results, not intentions. We've failed enough times to have learned our lesson. And those we profess to care about deserve better.

Indeed.

9/30/2019

Blue States Told 'No' By Federal Judge On SALT Deductions

A number of Blue States are singing the blues now that a federal judge has dismissed a case filed by four Blue States (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland) challenging the $10,000 deduction cap on state and local taxes (SALT) from federal tax returns.

They alleged that the new limit on the SALT deduction, part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, was “an unconstitutional assault on states’ sovereign choices.”

In the dismissal, U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken in Manhattan said the plaintiff states ultimately failed to show that the SALT cap was unconstitutionally coercive or that it imposed on their own sovereign rights.

Basically, they were upset that their residents could no longer write off the high taxes they were imposing upon them which made them more visible then they had been before. It also meant that residents of low tax states weren’t going to continue subsidizing the residents of high tax states because they didn’t have the tax deductions those in high tax states enjoyed. The four states thought it should be otherwise and filed suit to prevent it. The judge disagreed.

I have a suggestion for those high tax Blue States: Stop spending money on things you don’t need or things that ‘sound good’ and stop taxing the bejeezus out of your citizens to pay for it all.

9/29/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a busy weekend for yours truly, with a visit to the southern part of the state to visit some friends and stop by the local amateur radio shop to pick up some new equipment. One of my old standby rigs, a dual band HT started suffering from Alzheimer’s (none of the memory channels were working any more and replacing the memory battery didn’t fix the problem) and transmit audio has been problematic. Parts for it are hard to get (it is over 25 years old), and technology has changed considerably in the past 25+ years. So I made the decision to upgrade and get something that will (hopefully) make do for the next 10+ years or so.

Yes, I am that much of a geek and always have been.

Deal with it.

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As if we didn’t see this one coming a mile away.

Now that the threshold for felony theft has changed from $450 to $950 in the state of California, shoplifting in the Pyrite State has skyrocketed. People involved in the retail trade warned lawmakers this would happen, but the California Assembly knew better and passed the legislation that changed the threshold. The number of thefts has increased while the number of arrests has fallen.

The Law of Unintended Consequences has come into full force and retail businesses are paying the price. As their inventory is stolen, their profits shrink, if not disappear. Insurance will cover only so much before their policy is cancelled because the insurance company is tired of having to pay out claims. The business closes its doors because no one wants to keep running a money-losing business that does nothing but provide booty for thieves.

So yet another indignity is perpetrated by the Progressive State upon the middle class, making it even more unattractive to remain. Is it any wonder the middle-class have been fleeing California in increasing numbers? My only concern is that many of those fleeing middle-class Californians are bringing their Progressive voting patterns with them to their new states and will slowly turn them into clones of California. We’ve already seen that in Colorado and in Austin, Texas, just to name two places suffering from Californication.

This merely increases my support of Glenn Reynolds’ Welcome Wagon idea for folks moving in to a new state from California.

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We don’t need a crystal ball or 24/7 surveillance to figure out what the Congressional Democrats are planning when it comes to subverting the will of the people. All we have to do is listen to Maxine “Mad Max” Waters as she has no problems telling everyone what the Democrat leadership has in mind.

Her latest:

…we know that Pence is in the line of Democrat fire. Remember Maxine Waters (D-CA) stating that once Trump is gone, they’ll “go after” Pence? She said it publicly not once, but twice, and we covered it here at Legal Insurrection.

The feeling that the Democrats have shot themselves in the foot by pursuing impeachment keeps growing stronger. Rank-and-file Democrats are becoming increasingly disenchanted with their elected representatives. You know it’s getting bad when Bill Maher is slamming Democrats for their hypocrisy over Hunter Biden’s Ukraine ties which is part and parcel of their drive to impeach Trump.

You would think that losing Bill Maher would tell the Democrats that they’re on the wrong side of this.

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Some have made the claim that Trump’s environmental record is dismal as compared to Obama’s.

Nice try, guys, but you aren’t anywhere near telling the truth.

It turns out Trump’s record is just as good as Obama’s, if not better.

EIA, for instance, reported in 2018 that per-capita greenhouse gas emissions hit a 67-year low at the beginning of the Trump era. Such emissions rose to historic highs globally by the end of that year, despite nearly 200 countries signing the Paris climate accord, which Trump promised to leave in 2017.

It is ironic to see that US emissions continue to fall while emissions elsewhere keep rising, yet the emissions increase is blamed on the US by US environmental activists. I have a feeling that if they had their way, we’d have to have negative emissions in order to make up for the emissions from other countries, otherwise it would still be our fault.

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This is good news, considering it is the second decade of the 21st century.

It turns out warp drive is theoretically possible.

I think the toughest part is generating the antimatter needed to provide the energy required power the warp drive.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the fall foliage is starting to make its appearance, the weather has cooled a little bit, and where boats are being pulled from the water in increasing numbers.

9/26/2019

Trump's Superpowers

I don’t know about you, but I know I’m tired of listening to the Left and Right talking/crowing/yelling about the Nothingburger that is Trump’s Ukraine Telephone Call and the third/fourth/fifth-hand “whistleblower” that heard from his/her brother-in-law’s barber’s cousin’s taxidermist that Trump tried to ‘Godfather’ Ukraine’s president into getting something on Joe Biden and his son.

So let’s talk about Trump’s superpowers, those being his ability to make his adversaries crazy all while making them to do stupid things. After all, how else can you explain Adam Schiff’s bizarre performance during the House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry, when he started making up quotes from the transcript of the telephone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky?

Did Trump cloud Schiff’s mind, making him see things that weren’t there? Did he use his powers to drive Nancy Pelosi to announce the impeachment inquiry when she knew it was likely to cost her fellow Democrats dearly next November?

Yup.