Thoughts On A Sunday

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

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

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

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


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

Yes, says Cornell University psychologist Robert Sternberg.

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

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.


Who says there's nothing new under the sun?

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Read the whole thing.

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Yay, cheered the crowd.

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

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


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