9/20/2019

US Court Slaps Down California's Unconstitutional "Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act"

The wackos in California tried an end run around the US Constitution by passing legislation that required presidential candidates make public their tax returns. This was an effort to keep Donald Trump off the California ballot. However, US District Judge Morrison England, Jr. told California “Not so fast there, bucko!”

While states have control over the mechanics of voting, such as filing petitions with a certain number of signatures, they can’t impose eligibility requirements beyond what Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution provides…:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

A tax-return requirement on presidential candidates bears no relationship to the mechanics of voting, and is an unconstitutional eligibility test. A state can no more limit eligibility to candidates who disclose tax returns than it could require that only candidates who can run a mile in under 8 minutes are eligible for the presidential ballot.

If California and other Blue States want to impose such a condition, then the US Constitution would need to be amended to allow them to do so. The chances of them getting such an amendment through Congress and then ratified by 3/4ths of the states before the 2020 election cycle is zero. The chances of getting it ratified at all is pretty close to zero.

The court issued a Temporary Restraining Order from the bench and Judge England has stated he will issue a final ruling by the end of the month. Of course, I have no doubt California will appeal and I expect this case will make its way to the Supreme Court where it will die a well-earned death when they tell California “Shame on you! What the hell were you thinking?”

I expect the bleating from the California Kooks to start in 3…2…1….

9/18/2019

MSNBC Gun Poll Backfires

From Legal Insurrection comes this gem:

MSNBC poll about guns backfires fabulously.

The folks at MSLSD decided they would ask the people what they thought about guns in public, so they hosted a poll that asked but a single question:

Do you think people should be allowed to carry guns in public?

There were three answers to choose from:

Yes! The Second Amendment guarantees it.

No, it’s too dangerous.

Only for self defense.

I figure they were expecting to see a majority of those answering the poll to say “No”. I have no doubt the folks there were hoping to see that their dwindling number of viewers would agree with their viewpoint that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens was a bad idea.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

After more than 547,000 responses, the results showed that 92% of those voting answered “Yes”, the remaining 8% split evenly between “No” and “Only for self defense”.

I guess MSLSD doesn’t really understand the American public anywhere near as well as they thought. (That goes for the rest of the MSM-DNC as well.)

9/16/2019

It's Not The Economy, Stupid

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the one thing none of the Democrat presidential candidates (except one) are talking about is the economy? Could it be that they know that trying to use the economy as a campaign issue is a losing strategy?

Yeah, I’m betting they’re smart enough to know that.That isn’t stopping many of their sycophants from trying to make it an issue, even if they must tank the economy to do so.

The media has been pushing the idea that we’re entering a recession, citing some minor indicators that there may be a correction coming, despite none of the major indicators like a falloff in existing home sales, contractions in business purchasing, falling consumer confidence and spending, and decreasing business investment being present. None of that has stopped the media from pushing the idea that we’re on the verge, if not in a recession. Maybe they figure that by repeating the Big Lie often enough and loud enough that they can get people to start acting as if there is a recession, and by doing so, create a recession in time for the elections in November 2020.

That’s how much they hate Trump and we deplorables. They are willing to damage the economy, destroy millions of jobs, see other millions lose their businesses and homes, all to help the Democrats gain the White House. That’s just not just awful, it’s sick. Those pushing this narrative see nothing wrong with what they’re willing to do. But then the kind of Progressivism being pushed is a form of mental illness.

9/15/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was another quiet weekend here in central New Hampshire, with summerfolk scarce and our usual hangouts back in our hands again. While the weather on Saturday was cool and rainy, today more than made up for it with warm temps and sunny skies. I even made it out on to Lake Winnipesaukee for an hour or so before getting back to The Gulch in time to watch the New England Patriots shut out the Miami Dolphins 43-0 down in Miami.

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From the Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider Department:

California’s Legislature embraces far-ranging measures that will disrupt the gig economy, depress housing markets, and destroy school discipline.

Leave it to the Kalifonia Kooks to make the once Golden State even more of the Pyrite State, further weakening its economy, it’s housing market, and destroying what’s left of its educational system. What’s worse they see it as a victory for Progressivism, for taking yet another step towards their Great Socialist Paradise. Too bad their ‘paradise’ looks more like hell.

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Who was it that made the drone strikes against Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities which affect the 5% of world’s oil supply? Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lays the blame at the feet of the Iranians.

Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.

I wouldn’t put it past the Iranians to allow their proxies to take responsibility for the drone strikes they committed. It’s called “plausible deniability”.

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Will Chicago be the biggest US city to declare bankruptcy? I believe the answer is yes.

Considering it has been following in Detroit’s footsteps politically and financially, is it really any surprise that is heading for the same fate as Detroit, that fate being bankruptcy? I think the only reason Chicago has managed to survive to this point is because the state of Illinois has been bailing it out. But that revenue stream is drying up as Illinois struggles with financial problems of its own. Since the city government is so in the pocket of the unions, its hands are tied. It can’t cut back services without pissing off the unions. It can’t really raise taxes any higher than they are because they have already passed the point of diminishing returns. The high tax burden is driving residents and businesses out of Chicago, something that further stresses the city’s finances.

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It was a very busy week for me last week, between a trip back to Washington DC for my employer, numerous duties performed for my town, and family matters to deal with.

The trip to Washington DC was my third in six months, all to determine what was causing an enigmatic problem at a customer’s site. It looks like the third time was the charm as it seems we may have found a two-fold cause, something that can be corrected with a software fix (we hope).

Town stuff took half a day to deal with, something that required me to take some time away from work get to. I wish I could say that the town stuff came to a proper conclusion, but it hasn’t yet. It looks like it will take some more time to deal with.

Family matters are family matters, not usually exposed to the public. Fortunately it is nothing earth shattering or nefarious, just family stuff.

And so it goes.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’re still enjoying the end of the summer tourist season, preparing for the arrival of the leaf peepers, and making preparations for the end of the boating season in a few weeks.

9/12/2019

This Isn't The Future I Was Picturing

As cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle abandon the precepts of modern hygiene all in the name of some vague fairness/freedom doctrine, they are also seeing the return of diseases that used to plague medieval Europe: typhus, typhoid, and hepatitis. It is expected that the bubonic plague will also make a reappearance at some point. (I can picture a cart rolling down the street with its attendant calling out “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!”)

Another ancient disease that may soon join the others and make a reappearance in Los Angeles?

Leprosy.

I have been covering the typhus and typhoid outbreaks that have hit Southern California as a result of the rat-infestation around homeless encampments.

Now an outbreak of a notorious disease, leprosy, is being reported. A recent study published as a Reuters Health report indicates the bacterial infection is emerging in the Los Angeles area.

Leprosy, more formally known as Hansen’s Disease, is caused by the Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. These pathogens grow slowly, and it can take up to 20 years before the first signs of the infection occur. Perhaps the most infamous aspect of the disease is the loss of fingers, toes, and other extremities if the infection is left untreated.

One has to wonder if another old thing will make a reappearance, that being a crier preceding a leper as they walk down the street, calling out “Unclean! Unclean!”, giving the populace time to avoid them as they make their ways to the leper colonies on the outskirts of the city. After all The Powers That Be in Los Angeles, as well as San Francisco and Seattle have been working so hard to bring back other historical events and activities.

9/11/2019

Eighteen Years

It's been eighteen years.

Or was it just yesterday?

As more than one person has told me it feels like it was only yesterday, not eighteen years ago. It was only yesterday America found itself at war with an intractable, brutal enemy that recognizes no innocents, sees murder as a way to some vaguely pornographic glory, and holds life cheap.

The words that follow I wrote quite a few years ago. But I also wrote them just yesterday. They express exactly what needs to be said about That Awful Day.

It's hard to believe it's been years.

It still hurts, that heartache that never really goes away.

Remembering That Awful Day still brings tears to my eyes.

So many gone.

So many died.

So many hearts broken.

So many families torn asunder.

So many heroes that never thought twice about their own safety working hard to save the lives of so many others.

Other heroes whose last words were “Let's roll.”

Let us never forget that day of thunder, fire, smoke, heroic deeds, tearful goodbyes, and at the end, mournful silence.

Let us never forget.

9/09/2019

New York Is Reaping What Its Leaders Have Sown

A lot of people have said at one time or another “New York doesn’t get half the abuse it deserves”. It is, after all, the seat of the Evil Empire (the New York Yankees), which is reason enough to be punished. But New York doesn’t need to rely on outside forces to receive its punishment because it is being punished by the very people it has elected to govern it.

The latest round of self-inflicted wounds plaguing the people of New York City? A natural gas shortage.

New York’s drive to wean New Yorkers off fossil fuels has been pushed at both the city and state level. Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned fracking in his state and killed the idea of new pipelines from being built in or through New York. His push to make New York run on 100% renewable energy sounds like a laudable goal, but anyone with any kind of engineering background could tell him it is an unachievable goal because the amount of energy required to meet needs of New Yorkers is staggering, and the needs are growing. The anti-climate-change activists inside and outside of government are working hard to ensure that energy isn’t going to be there, and they’re succeeding.

New Yorkers are now playing the price for the activism that has blocked a number of needed pipelines.

So how are things going out there in Brooklyn, Queens and the rest of Long Island? The issue of natural gas has suddenly sprung back into the news over the last week, but for a new reason — people are starting to scream that they can’t get natural gas hookups.

Among various tales of woe, one of my favorites is this one, reported at NY1, from a woman named Julie Levin from Park Slope, Brooklyn:

"I didn't know what it was until I researched it, and I actually, loving our environment, am against this pipeline, but I do need gas," Park Slope resident Julie Levin said at the news conference. "We have nowhere to go. Our lease is up in a month. We have no more money left. We need to move into our house."

Well boo-hoo! But you can’t really blame Julie. Pretty much everyone in Park Slope thinks that natural gas comes from the tooth fairy.

Needless to say, New York politicians — most particularly the ones that have been the most vociferous opponents of the pipeline and supporters of the New York “climate leadership” law — have rushed forth to blame National Grid for the crisis. Governor Cuomo led the charge.

Other politicians who were also vehemently against the proposed pipelines are now the ones raking National Grid over the coals because they can’t supply the natural gas customers’ needs. As the linked article asks, “Can the pols really have no idea that when they block natural gas infrastructure, sooner or later someone is going to be denied service?” Of course, they can. They’re totally oblivious. It is apparent they are incapable of seeing cause and effect, nor do they want to. After all, it wouldn’t serve them if they could because then they wouldn’t be able to keep their cognitive dissonance in place and wouldn’t be able to work at cross-purposes to the needs of their constituents.

9/08/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s the first post-summer weekend and it’s quiet here. Most of the summerfolk are gone and we won’t see them again until next May. Those summerfolk with cottages and camps will still be using them for another few weeks, with most finally closing them up over the Columbus Day weekend in six weeks. Many of the seasonal shops and restaurants are closed with a few others opening only on the weekends for the next few weekends.

Road traffic is way down as is boat traffic on the lake, but it’s still above the usual ‘non-summer’ traffic levels and will be until after Columbus Day weekend. Fall foliage season is approaching so we’ll see an uptick in traffic starting at the end of September until after Columbus Day.

While many of the local diners were as busy as usual, it was seeing the year round residents filling the seats rather than summerfolk. It’s nice to have our eateries back again!

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This week’s Comment Of The Week comes from this story about vegan protestors storming a Spanish rabbit farm and being surprised when the farmers fight back.

The comment from Pamazon:

It's almost the basic definition of the difference between Cons and Leftist. Cons just want to be left alone, and leftist DEMAND you do it their way. About EVERY freaking thing.

Yup, seems that way to me as well. I’ve known more than a few that believe it wholeheartedly. I know others who are horrified at the idea that their fellow Progressives feel that way. But the ratio of the first to the second is seriously lopsided towards the first.

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As if the A-10 Warthog isn’t lethal enough on the battlefield, there are new weapons and cockpit upgrades are on the way that will make it an even better and more lethal.

After decades of the USAF brass trying to kill off the A-10 and ground forces wondering why the USAF was stupid enough to want to do so, it looks like the Air Force has finally realized the A-10 is as effective and as lethal an aircraft as has ever been seen on the battlefield. It has even gone as far as ordering wing upgrades to increase the Warthog’s combat capability and longevity.

As ‘cool’ and as high tech the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is, it still doesn’t have the loiter time, weapons load, or survivability of the A-10. The A-10 is a close-in combat air support platform that the F-35 can’t come close to matching.

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It was time.

I had to face the fact that my old flip phone, my “Gibbs” phone, wasn’t capable of doing some of the things I need it to do, particularly since I have started travelling for work again. It uses the 3G cell network which the cell carriers are going to start shutting down towards the end of this year. (It makes sense to do so as most 3G phones have ‘aged out’ and been replaced by 4G/LTE phones.)

While I haven’t replaced it with the latest whiz-bang Does Everything 5G phone, it is new enough (4G/LTE) for me and does what I need it to do. (It also costs a fourth of the 5G phones.) Of course, I have no doubt that some folks are probably thinking “It’s going to take that old fossil forever to figure out how to use it”, but they’d be wrong. The new phone is an Android phone and I have a few Android tablets, so it isn’t all that strange to me. The thing I’ll have to get used to is the size of the phone, seeing it’s more than twice the size of my old phone. It doesn’t fit easily into any of my pockets. I’ll have to get something that will let me clip it to my belt.

Not that I expect that I’ll become yet another Smart Phone Zombie as I still have better things to do than have my nose buried in my phone for hours on end. It is purely driven by the need to replace my less than capable flip-phone, period.

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It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that Donald Trump is a racist. After all, his efforts have brought down the unemployment rate of black Americans to record lows. By reducing the number of black Americans who require government assistance to support their families it is clear that he hates the poverty which blacks have been trapped in by their saviors, the Democrats. It’s apparent that a number of Democrats see raising black Americans from poverty as their purview and that anyone else doing so must be racist. (No, I don’t understand the logic of that belief. But then we aren’t really dealing with logic, are we?)

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Gee, it turns out a study purporting that ‘hate’ crimes increase by 226% after Trump rallies is “fatally flawed in its methodology” according to two Ph.D. students at Harvard University.

[Harvard P.h.D. candidates Matthew Lilley and Brian Wheaton] were able to replicate the initial study’s findings with respect to Trump rallies, but found an even greater increase in hate crimes in counties that hosted Clinton campaign rallies during the same period.

Once the researchers controlled for population size, the effect of Trump rallies on hate crimes became “statistically indistinguishable from zero.”

Heh.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the crowds of summerfolk have melted away, the restaurants and lake are ours again, and where we still have some summer weather to enjoy for another few weeks.

9/06/2019

Why Socialism Keeps Raising Its Ugly Head

Einstein is reported to have defined insanity thus: “Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results this time.”

And so it is with socialism. Socialists have tried the same thing over and over again, failed miserably, sometimes spectacularly, but expect when they try it this time they will succeed.

But they don’t. Ever.

How is it they don’t realize that socialism doesn’t work? How can they believe something that has been tried for almost 400 years and has not succeeded once will do so on this attempt? It’s simple: They forget history as if it has no bearing on their closely held beliefs.

What would you say to an amateur chef who baked a cake following a certain recipe only for everyone who ate a slice to fall ill quickly afterward? Being such an enthusiastic baker, they bake the same cake a second time just a few weeks later, again following the same recipe, but this time with one or two slight adjustments. Unfortunately, the result is the same – everyone who eats the cake soon ends up feeling sick.

The cake baker repeats this more than two dozen times, always modifying the recipe a little, but the basic ingredients remain more or less the same despite the fact that their guests throw up every time. Of course, there’s no way such a thing would happen. The cake baker would soon realize that there is a major problem with the recipe and throw it away.

Yet this is exactly what socialists have done.

--snip--

The latest example of socialism’s failings is Venezuela, which just a few years ago was being hailed by leading intellectuals and left-wing politicians as a model for “Socialism of the 21st Century.”

How do they explain the failure away?

“It wasn’t true socialism!” “It was undermined by capitalist saboteurs!” “It would have worked if it hadn’t been for the boycotts by US imperialists!” “It wasn’t being run by the ‘right’ people!” “We didn’t suppress/imprison/kill enough of the enemies of socialism!”

But no matter how many excuses they come up with, it doesn’t change the fact that socialism doesn’t work.

One of the things I have learned after studying socialism and its endless failures is the reason it fails is easy to figure out. As I have stated many times in the past, socialism fails because it chooses to ignore human nature, tries to get around it, or worse, tries to change it. In the end, human nature always wins the fight just as it did during the first experiment in socialism way back in 1621.

9/04/2019

Question About Solar Power That Need To Be Answered That Aren't Being Asked

Earlier I addressed some of the issues I have with wind power, particularly the “elephant in the room” that too many proponents choose to ignore. It is now time to turn attention to solar, a vastly overrated renewable energy source that is seen as means of ‘saving’ the Earth that has downsides that are being devoutly ignored. In my opinion those downsides outweigh the positives.

There are four issues I have with solar that too often are ignored in the rush to go green, those being cost, availability, efficiency, and the toxic elements in solar panels that require them to be disposed of as toxic waste.

Regarding cost, my big problem is that no one really knows how much solar costs. I am talking about the real cost with subsidies stripped away and without net metering supporting grid-tied systems. A lot of solar PV systems would be unaffordable without the tax subsidies, be they systems installed on homes or solar farms. Others would be find themselves being less than affordable without net metering laws forcing utilities to buy electricity from grid-tied systems, with some having to pay above market rates and driving the cost of electricity upwards. Those receiving the payments think they’re great. But those of us paying for their solar systems don’t think so.

Availability is a big issue with me. By availability I’m talking about when power from solar is available. While places with a climate that allows for high availability for solar (California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida, just to name a few) might make it more viable, a lot of places like my native New England are not conducive to solar, between short days during the winter and bad weather that can keep solar from providing needed power for days on end when it’s needed most.

Efficiency is a problem in general. Today average solar panel efficiency is around 20% which means that it takes 5 watts of solar energy to produce 1 watt of electricity. Considering a 1000-watt solar panel is 18 square feet in size and taking into account a number of factors like availability of sunlight throughout the year (this includes hours of daylight and weather conditions throughout the year), using solar to replace a 1000 MW nuclear power plant would require between 4.5 and 6 square miles of solar panels at minimum. How is that efficient?

Finally, there’s the issue of disposing of old solar panels once they’ve reached the end of their service life (usually between 10 and 20 years depending upon operational conditions). The materials like cadmium, selenium, gallium, antimony, lead, and other materials used to make solar panels and contained in solar panels are quite toxic. When panels are taken out of service they must be handled and disposed of as toxic waste. The one thing no one seems to want to talk about is the costs associated with that disposal. I haven’t been able to come up with any consistent details or projected costs of doing so, and that’s something that should bother everyone, proponent or critic.

Like wind, solar is a diffuse energy source. Sunlight is free, but the means to convert it into a useful form – electricity – is not, costing many times what conventional power generation sources cost to generate an equivalent amount of power. Both take up a lot of space. Both are variable sources that are not dispatchable. Both require other traditional sources of power as back up when they aren’t available.

While solar power sounds great, the reality is far from being great.

9/03/2019

5G Service Is Coming...Or Not

We’ve all seen the ads: “5G Is Coming!” We’ve seen the various cell companies hawking their latest 5G phones, even though it’s really only partially 5G. (More on that later.) It’s going to be the end all and be all of cell service, at least until 6G comes out. (Yes, they are already working on 6G even though 5G hasn’t been even been deployed yet.)

While 5G is the latest and greatest in the way of cell technology, it is unlikely that many of us will be enjoying everything 5G has to offer, including 1 Gigabit connectivity to the ‘Net. The reason this will be an issue comes down to one simple thing: bandwidth.

Initial 5G deployments will use the existing cellular radio bands in 600MHz, 700MHz, 800MHz, 1.9GHz, 2.5GHz and the new 3.7GHz band. The present 3G and 4G/LTE cell services use some of these bands. (It is my understanding the cell carriers will start shutting down 3G services later this year as 3G phones are aging out and they are being replaced by 4G/LTE and 5G phones.)

One of the aspects of 5G is the use of new millimeter-wave radio bands that offer more bandwidth that existing cellular radio bands cannot provide. With frequencies allocations in the 28GHz, 36GHz, 40GHz, and 72GHz bands and making use of phased array antennas to steer signals towards 5G enabled phones. While having some of the same characteristics as the MIMO style antennas used with some 4G systems where the antennas can be used to do some limited signal steering, phased array antennas used for 5G can steer signals in both azimuth and elevation, creating separate signal beams for each phone or groups of phones in range of a 5G cell station. This is one of the enabling technologies of 5G that will help it provide the services 4G cannot. However, this is only the plus side of the use of millimeter-wave frequencies.

The down side?

One of the biggest problems with the millimeter-wave frequencies being used for 5G is the high signal loss over distance, it being higher than that seen in 3G and 4G. Because of that higher path loss, the number of 5G cell sites required to provide coverage similar to present 4G systems is greater, somewhere on the order of 5 to 20 times the number. There are presently somewhere around 350,000 3G/4G/LTE cell sites in the US. To provide the same coverage using millimeter-wave frequencies would require 1,750,000 to 7,000,000 cell sites, something that isn’t likely happen any time soon. As such it’s a pretty good bet that 5G millimeter-wave cell sites will only be deployed in urban and more heavily settled suburban areas. Deployment in more thinly settled suburban and rural areas is probably a money loser for carriers so it is unlikely we’ll see such deployment in those areas any time soon. Those of us living in those areas will have to settle for slower data speeds because we’ll be relegated to the existing cell phone bands. Then again how many of us really need 1 Gigabit/second service, at least at this point? Many of us don’t even have that kind of service from our ISPs and we don’t seem to be suffering too much. (For full disclosure, I do have that type of service available from my ISP, but I don’t want to pay that kind of money when 100Mbits/second seems to work just fine. Better that we see an improvement in latency (time delay) which can have a bigger effect on effective data speeds than the raw data speed itself.

Another issue that has raised its ugly head is the possible health effects of the millimeter-wave radio signals on biological systems. There have been many claims regarding the biological effects of exposure to millimeter-wave radiation running the gamut of headaches to cancer to having kids with three heads. (OK, so maybe I am exaggerating about three-headed kids.) However, there have been some concerns with the effects of millimeter-wave radiation on human health and some doctors and scientists have been calling for a moratorium on deployment of millimeter-wave 5G systems until further studies have been completed. The problem could lie with the RF radiation from the cell phones, not the cell sites if there is indeed a problem.

Not much in the way of 5G millimeter-wave cell sites have been deployed as there have been some technical issues with the ability of the phased array antenna systems to track faster moving mobile customers and maintaining connection with the cell phones. There have been a small number of cities that have been used as testing sites by the cell carriers, but widespread deployment hasn’t really started as best I have been able to determine.

5G is coming…but it’s coming really slow.

9/01/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s the last ‘official’ summer weekend, meaning it’s Labor Day weekend. With a lot of schools having moved their starting dates to after Labor Day (as they were for decades and decades) the number of folks making the best of the last week/weekend of summer.

Road traffic has been very heavy as has boat traffic on the lakes. (This last is why we tend to go out on to the lake during the early evenings on weekends – little boat traffic – unless we’re planning on going to one of our favorite places on the lake and anchor for some swimming, eating, and recreating.) The seasonal restaurants and food shacks have been busy since Friday afternoon. Some are closing for the season after Labor Day and others will be open only on weekends until Columbus Day weekend.

It’s been a great summer up here in New Hampshire, probably one of the better ones we’ve had for some time. The weather has been cooperative. Visitors had more money to spend and they certainly did so. Restaurants were busy. (The only exception I can think of is one that closed for the summer because they couldn’t get the help they needed to be able to operate. They had less than half the staff they required to be able to meet the needs of their customers and the owners decided it would be worse to be open and not be able to serve their customers than to be closed for the summer.) Campgrounds were full. Other tourist attractions saw big crowds all through the season.

Despite that, a lot of us are looking forward to having our towns, our roads, our lakes, and our hangouts returned to us now that many of the summerfolk will be gone. We’ll still be out on the lakes for another few weeks.

About the only complaint I have is that summer passed by so quickly. It seems as if Memorial Day was only a couple of weeks ago and the Fourth of July was just this past week. Where did the time go?

In the meantime we’ll be preparing for the invasion of the leaf peepers once the foliage starts changing into its fall colors.

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As I write this the National Weather Service has declared Hurricane Dorian is a Category 5 hurricane. Of course, I expect the AGW faithful to declare that Dorian is proof that climate change is All-The-Fault-Of-The-Evil-Humans and that we must act NOW to ‘save’ the Earth. That we haven’t seen the number or severity of hurricanes the AGW faithful said we’d be experiencing means nothing to them. If anything the number and severity of hurricanes has been decreasing, but they won’t let those facts get in the way of the narrative.

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It appears the backlash from the #MeToo movement is worse than some researchers thought it would be. Anyone paying attention to what’s been going on, particularly on many of our nation’s college campuses, knew just such a response was coming. It’s called “survival” and that men (and some women) have been taking precautions to prevent the possibility of even a hint of impropriety. While some people have ridiculed the so-called “Pence Rule”, many are embracing it if for no other reason than to protect themselves from false accusations or misperceived words or gestures being turned into sexual assault or harassment accusations.

It has led to tighter scrutiny in hiring, particularly of female applicants. It has led to the reluctance of male executives to mentor female executives trying to work their way up. It has led male executives refusing to make business trips with female colleagues. Ironically, it has hurt the hiring prospects for attractive women in some industries, with HR not wanting to hire someone that could be a target of harassment or bait for creating false harassment/sexual assault claims.

That #MeToo supporters didn’t see this coming shows just how shortsighted they’ve been and continue to be.

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What gets me about the shootings in Midland and Odessa, Texas that took place yesterday is that the gun-grabbers went into full “We gotta DO SOMETHING!” mode. They want to make it even more difficult for anyone to buy guns, this before anyone knows anything about the now-dead shooter.

The whole thing started when Texas state troopers made a traffic stop and the driver of the vehicle they were stopping opened fire on the officers. From there it turned into a mobile shooting rampage, with the shooter firing randomly from his vehicle. Some of the wounded are police officers, shot by the miscreant.

What prompted the shooter to open fire on the police officers? Were there arrest warrants out for him? Was he a wanted felon? Was he an ex-convict carrying a gun he shouldn’t have had? Was a he a drug courier carrying drugs, cash, or both? Or was he someone who was pissed off at the entire world and wanted to go out in a blaze of gunfire? Nobody knows at this point. Nobody.

Yet that hasn’t stopped the same folks who have little or no respect for the US Constitution, either the First or Second Amendments, from going into full meltdown mode in an effort strip even more of our rights from us. No crisis is too good to pass up if it promotes their cause. The truth of the matter is unknown yet they will push the narrative that the shooter represents every gun owner in America.

Yeah. Right.

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Speaking of guns and how bloodthirsty all of us gun owners are, there’s this little disconnect from that narrative that shows just the opposite.

The three states in the US that are supposedly “lawless” regarding gun ownership and the right to carry are three of the safest states in the country.

Those three states have something else in common. Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. They are all next to each other, and they all have Constitutional carry.

With armed citizens wandering about sans the consent and constant annoyance of busy-body liberals trying to turn them into victims.

The Safest States in the nation. Again! And New Hampshire, making the list (again) in the same year it passed Constitutional Carry into law.

No wild west, no blood in the streets.

You have to go to places like Detroit or Chicago for that. Where they have plenty of the restrictions for which New Hampshire Democrats are pining. And record-high crime, violent crime, property crime, and (no coincidence) Democrat party leadership. Proudly riding high on their superiority complex as everyday citizens suffer under their brutal regulatory mandates.

If there is any connection between gun ownership and crime, it is this. The more law-abiding gun owners, the fewer the crimes.

These stats disprove the narrative that law abiding citizens cannot be trusted with guns and must be stripped of their rights. Leaving citizens defenseless does not decrease violent crime rates as the crime statistics in places that have very restrictive gun laws show us every day.

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


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where folks are enjoying the last weekend of summer, cash registers are ringing, and where we’re looking forward to the peace and quiet that will return to us on Tuesday.

8/30/2019

Another Look At The Religion Of Recycling

It’s time to be rational, not religious, about recycling. So writes Chris Reed.

Author Michael Crichton’s notion that environmentalism is “the religion of choice for urban atheists” is readily apparent to anyone who researches the fact-challenged crusades that environmentalists have launched over the last half-century.

--snip--

…once the demonization starts, it doesn’t stop, no matter what science says. Famed atheist Richard Dawkins once wrote, “Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.” This is what many environmentalists regularly seek to do.

This refusal to acknowledge contrary facts is now on display with recycling, which is facing a crisis in California because so many recycling centers are closing. Advocates who want Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature to increase payments to keep these centers in business — restoring the recycling status quo — typically rely not on facts from recycling’s mixed history but on moral exhortations.

Such persuasion is often very effective. The idea of recycling waste so materials can be used again seems a practical way to display virtuous behavior. It resonates with people because environmentalism, at least the objective version, is a great cause. Everyone should be aboard.

But if you want an example of how environmentalists skip objectivity and act like religious fundamentalists, recycling is near the top of the list. It is routinely depicted as an answer or the answer to climate change, pollution, both water and energy conservation, and more, and lauded for the jobs it creates and the money it saves. But there is a Grand Canyon-sized gap between what environmentalists say and what research based on hard evidence finds.

And therein lies the problem. While recycling sounds like it’s the end-all-and-be-all of environmentalism, the truth is that it tends to cost more than it saves and there isn’t as much of a market for some recycled materials as people believe there is. But that hasn’t stopped the faithful from insisting that there must be a market, even if the government must artificially create one. There are three materials that have seen a big drop-off in demand: plastics, paper, and glass. Metals are still in demand, though the prices are lower than they have been. So is corrugated cardboard.

But the facts haven’t dissuaded the faithful. They still want people, businesses, and government to waste time and money to recycle materials that have no value, no market. They want to force people to recycle even though it won’t make one bit of difference. That is a religious belief, the litany of their ideology. You will be made to believe even if the evidence says “It just ain’t so”.

Recycling makes sense when it’s cost effective to do so for materials being recycled. But if it costs more to recycle materials than to dispose of them and replace them with new materials, then there’s no economic reason to do so. While an environmental case might be made for doing so, it would have to be compelling and not just “because we say so”. The case for recycling has to meet a number of conditions before it becomes reasonable to do so, among them that it is cost effective and environmentally positive. Without those two elements recycling is less about the environment and more about dogma.

If recycling is more polluting, more damaging to the environment than disposal, then why recycle? (Some plastics cannot be recycled safely. Some are not cost effective to recycle.)

Glass has no market in some parts of the country because there is absolutely no demand. New glass is far cheaper than recycled glass, so why use recycled glass?

Paper is a problematic material. There is a surplus of recycled paper out there and not nearly enough demand for it. Some paper goods cannot be made from recycled paper because they won’t meet the requirements demanded by customers. Other types of paper like newsprint has seen demand plummet as there are fewer newspapers are out there these days and more of their content is being distributed online.

But that won’t stop the faithful from pushing their faith upon others.

8/28/2019

What Capitalism Has Wrought

It seems so many of our young people have been told that capitalism is bad for everyone and the socialism is the only way to make everything better. Of course, they are never told of socialism’s history or track record, that it kills by the millions, generates and spreads misery and privation, rewrites or erases history to fit its needs, lies to get its way and doesn’t mind eliminating its opponents should they become ‘inconvenient’, and controls every aspect of your life including the economy.

They are also never told about the successes and triumphs of capitalism, like having reduced poverty across the world to the point where today only 9% of the world’s population lives in poverty as compared to about half 40 years ago. It’s job isn’t done, but it’s still getting there.

Socialism means government control of everything versus a free market economy with very limited amount of government control.

So where do our young think all of the wonderful things they use and freedoms they take for granted come from? Which system would they prefer if they truly understood the differences between the private enterprise and government operations?

Do you use an iPhone, Android, MacBook, PC, read on a Kindle, watch TV and movies on Netflix? Do you watch videos on YouTube, shop on Amazon, listen to Spotify or search on Google? How about send money on Venmo, or ride with Uber? Do you drive with Waze or book a room with Airbnb? Are you on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat?

Probably you use many of these things. Do you find they’re practically necessities? Where do you think they came from? These organizations came from an individual who, rather than working as an employee, founds and runs a small business.

These founding individuals assume all the risks and rewards of the venture. That’s right they came from someone like you. They came from people with great ideas and the freedom to test them in the marketplace. That is what is known as… wait for it… drumroll please… capitalism.

Now consider some other things you probably use. Have you been to the DMV, or gone through airport security? How about mailing a package at the Post Office, or calling the IRS customer service line? Have you called any government office, for that matter? What’s different when you reach out to a private business?

Now take the government style of service and expand it to cover everything we take for granted. Which of the two would you prefer?

8/27/2019

Bride's Special Day Ruined By Self-Centered Sister-In-Law

Anyone who’s been through the trials and tribulations of planning a wedding knows that, in most circumstances, the dates for things like the bridal shower, bachelor’s party, rehearsal & rehearsal dinner, and the wedding and reception are planned well in advance. They aren’t secrets. Everyone involved knows what’s happening and when.

So what happens when the sister of the groom decides she deserves all of her family’s attention and not the bride and groom at their nuptials?

She uses her pregnancy to tank both the bridal shower and wedding.

After she got engaged last November, she and her fiance had set a June date almost immediately. Unfortunately, her time in the spotlight didn’t last long.

“A few weeks (after announcing the date) my brother-in-law and sister-in-law announced the pregnancy of their first child,” her story began.

--snip--

The problems apparently began with the wedding shower. After the soon-to-be bride set a date for May and sent out invites, the pregnant sister-in-law made a shocking decision. “About two weeks before my shower my sister-in-law sent out invites for her baby shower-for May 19th,” the post explained. “My husband's relatives who I had invited and who had RSVPed my shower skipped my shower for hers.”

Things somehow got even worse. “About a week before my wedding, (my sister-in-law) announces that she scheduled her C-section for (the same day as the wedding),” the [bride] explained, adding that a health condition led to the decision to have the C-section. “My mother-in-law and father-in-law told us that if they had to choose between the first grandchild and our wedding they'd choose the baby. Then his grandparents, his three aunts and two uncles and several cousins all said they wanted to be at the hospital for the baby.”

Basically, after having the baby shower on the same day as the bridal shower, the bride’s new sister-in-law ended up scheduling the C-section for the same day as the wedding, and the bride didn’t feel like it was a coincidence. Apparently, the sister-in-law had other options recommended to her by her doctor for the date of the C-section, but she chose to have it on the same day as the wedding.

None of that is coincidence. No one can tell us the sister-in-law didn’t do this on purpose. The focus had to be on her and her pregnancy, not her then future sister-in-law and brother’s wedding. She did everything she could to undermine the nuptials…and succeeded.

Either she has some unresolved psychological issues that need to be addressed, or is a spoiled brat…or both. After all, who in their right mind does that, and to her own brother and sister-in-law?

I can see there are going to be problems with that family.

8/26/2019

Wind Turbines Aren't All They're Cracked Up To Be

We can’t but help hearing about how renewables will save the Earth, cause the waters to recede from the flooded cities due to sea level rise, cure halitosis and male pattern baldness, and help with the “heartbreak of psoriasis”. But the reality is that renewables, specifically wind power, can’t meet the needs of our increasingly technological civilization. Wind is too diffuse, unpredictable, and without an inexpensive and efficient means of storage, unreliable and non-dispatchable.

Another problem? The performance, mechanical reliability, maintenance costs, and service life of wind turbines aren’t what has been promised. A study of onshore wind turbines in Denmark and the UK conducted back in 2012 show that turbine performance falls off with age, producing less than half the power of new turbines after being in service for 10 years.

So why do they keep building wind turbines even though they don’t even come close to meeting performance and reliability projections? The answer is simple.

Government subsidies.

It’s no different here than in the UK. Without government subsidies, renewables wouldn’t be profitable. Without things like net metering laws forcing utilities to buy electricity from renewable sources at above market rates which in turn drive up electricity rates while at the same time making ‘traditional’ generating facilities unprofitable because they can no longer operate in an efficient manner.

How is any of that helpful to ratepayers? How does any of it help power our high-tech civilization? Unreliable, intermittent, non-dispatchable energy sources incapable of meeting the energy demands as our only source of energy? Wind turbines that affect the health of wildlife and humans due to infrasound and the endless light-flicker as the turbines rotate.

Doing some further research (anecdotal, so far) it appears the trends noticed in the 2012 study have continued, but the turbines have been getting larger and more expensive, as have the subsidies.

It all boils down to this: Renewables are a scam for raking in millions of dollars in government subsidies and the ratepayers, and particularly the poorer ratepayers be damned.

8/25/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was Old Home Day in our little town on Saturday. Old Home Day is a celebration of our town by residents, past and present, as well as showcasing our town to visitors. It included a parade, games, food, music, crafts, more food, fireworks, and more food. As it was our town’s 100th celebration of Old Home Day, it was bigger than some of our previous Old Home Days. I think everyone who attended will agree a great time was had by all.

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


So we’re supposed to take the word of a fashion expert when it comes to steps to take to reduce the impact of climate change?

What advice did this newly named Chancellor of the University of London come up with to fight climate change?

Banning beef on campus.

Yeah, that will solve the non-existent crisis.

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


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

At Baylor University it appears it is perfectly OK for female professors to fool around with students while it punishes male professors who do the same thing, or so a lawsuit filed against the university claims.

Baylor University created a campus-wide “culture of anti-male bias and intimidation” in response to criticism about its handling of sexual-assault reports, according to a federal lawsuit filed last week.

“John Doe,” a former assistant professor of economics, not only claims that the Christian university ignored evidence that contradicted his student accuser, a former lover. He says female professors are tacitly allowed to date students in violation of school policies, to the point where some have married their male students.

The “biased and flawed” Title IX investigation, in which Baylor refused to give him a “language accommodation,” stemmed from pressure the school faced between 2015 and 2016 to clamp down on alleged sexual assault by student athletes.

A “language accommodation”? I’m not sure what that is, but it seems to be a problem with the plaintiff.

Reading further, it looks like the professor got caught up in an overreaction after the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights three-year long investigation saw Kenneth Start removed as university president and athletic coach Art Briles fired.

Was this a case of anti-male bias fueled by the OCR’s findings?

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


Is it any surprise the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the effort to eliminate the Electoral College through what is called the National Popular Vote compact, to assign a state’s electors based solely on the national popular vote total? While this ruling is specific to the state of Colorado, it does punch a hole in the NPV compact.

The other states that have signed on to the NPV compact: Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Washington, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, California, and New York.

Notice anything about that list of states?

Every single one is a Blue state.

It looks like they can’t be bothered to try to amend the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College. Instead, they’re trying an end run around it that the 10th Circuit has just ruled is unconstitutional.

As I mentioned earlier, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeal ruling applies to Colorado and doesn’t directly affect the other 13 states in the compact, I expect its decision will eventually make its way to the US Supreme Court where it is likely it will uphold the decision. If that is indeed the case, then NPV is dead. This despite millions if funding from the Soros Foundation and Silberstein Foundation, both big donors to liberal causes, constitutional or not.

Should the Electoral College ever be dismantled, we can expect the small states will be marginalized in presidential elections and only those with huge war chests will have any possibility of running. In turn the presidency will become even less an elective position and more of a bought-and-paid-for office.

That won’t bode well for our Republic.

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


It still boggles my mind that some of our fellow citizens can hold to opposing viewpoints at the same time without seeing the paradox. This is called cognitive dissonance.

The latest bit of this cognitive dissonance comes by way of Granite Grok, specifically a post dealing with “Reparations Pandering”:

Democrats claim DACA kids shouldn’t be held responsible for their parent’s crimes, but white people are still responsible for 17th century slave owners?

What about those white people whose ancestors didn’t arrive until well after slavery had been abolished in the US? Are they still responsible? What about those of African descent whose ancestors were never slaves or hadn’t arrived in the US until some time in the 20th or 21st century? Are they eligible to be paid reparations? So far I haven’t found anyone who wants to answer those questions.

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


In other legal matters, a federal judge has ruled the Obama Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is unlawful.

US District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood stated that the rule, “which was intended to provide better protection of the nation’s water, violated the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, and she remanded it back to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers for further work.”

The Obama era WOTUS rules stated the EPA had control over all of the waters of the US, including things like farm ponds, drainage swales, and mud puddles. Previous WOTUS rules included the phrase “navigable waters” which removed a lot of creeks, farm ponds, fire ponds, drainage swales, and other seasonal or ‘occasional’ bodies of water (like mud puddles) from the scrutiny and control of the EPA. That phrase was removed by the Obama Administration which opened up the abuse of the Clean Water Act by the EPA.

There is such a thing as bureaucratic overreach and the WOTUS rule fueled enough of that by the EPA. Let us hope this returns us to more sane application of the CWA going forward.

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


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer is winding to a close (Labor Day Weekend is next week), summerfolk are trying to get as much summer in as they can by then, and where our kids don’t go back to school until after Labor Day, just like it used to be.

8/22/2019

It's Official: Los Angeles Is A Medieval S**thole

This is something that is becoming increasingly evident and more difficult to ignore. That ‘something’ is that Los Angeles is becoming increasingly medieval and more of a s**thole every day. What’s worse is that it’s happening on purpose, driven by city politicians wanting to ensure they remain in power and the increasingly bizarre and unworkable policies and regulations being imposed on Los Angelenos.


(H/T Knuckledraggin’)

8/21/2019

Laser Weapons Being Deployed?

Science fiction has been rife with laser guns and other high-tech weapons like stunners, blasters, phasers, and disruptors.

Here we are, in the second decade of the 21st century, and laser weapons are just now being deployed out in the field in significant numbers, employed by the US Army, Navy, and Marine Corp.

Used mostly to deal with drones, missiles, artillery and mortar shells, aircraft, and some watercraft, they have been changing the complexion and complexity of the battlefield.

Now where did I put my photon torpedoes?

8/20/2019

Breakup Of Canada?

It was while reading the comments to a post over at Instapundit about Trump purchasing Greenland from Denmark that I came across this comment - “Next: Alberta.”

This generated an off-topic thread that dealt with Alberta having threatened to leave Canada and apply for statehood in the US. Another commenter mentioned that 50% of Albertans are for separation from Canada and that the number could skyrocket if Trudeau is reelected.

Yet another commented “Most Albertans are pissed at Alberta as they're footing the bill for Ontario and Quebec's lavish social net. The demographic growth for Ontario and Quebec has been atrocious with a rapidly aging population and a declining working population (factories are disappearing because of it).”

Another comment mentioned the Atlantic provinces applying for statehood if Quebec had succeeded in leaving which would have left them cut off from the rest of Canada.

This begs the question: Just how fragile is Canada? Is what I am reading merely grumbling or wishful thinking, or have Canadians in a number of provinces had just about enough of Ottawa and Trudeau and want out? Would they want to go it alone or would they consider joining the US?

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about disaffected provinces eyeing departure, though it has been years since I last heard anything about it.

8/19/2019

Are EV Charging Stations A New Gateway To Hack The Electrical Grid?

It’s bad enough we must worry about cyber-crackers getting into the electrical grid and bringing down the grid across the nation. There could be a new gateway for hackers to clandestinely gain entry into the grid – Electric vehicle charging stations.

… a new report raises the specter that plug-in electric vehicles — and the charging stations that supply them — could be prime vectors for cyberattacks on urban power grids.

“In simulations using publicly available information about charging station usage in Manhattan and the structure of the island’s power grid, our research team found that a fleet of just roughly 1,000 simultaneously charging electric vehicles would be adequate for mounting an attack whose effects could rival the blackout that affected the city’s West Side last month,” said Yury Dvorkin, assistant professor in NYU Tandon’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

--snip--

Electric vehicle charging stations represent a link between plug-in electric vehicles and the power grid — a high-wattage access point that hackers can potentially exploit to manipulate the grid.

Electric vehicles using public charging station generate data that includes location, charging time, and power draw from the charging station, information that is useful for a cyber-terrorist to wishing to control demand at any specific charging station. All of the data is accessible via the wireless information sent to the EV owner’s smart phone via the appropriate apps.

Together, these elements allow an attacker to use charging stations as portals to remotely manipulate electric vehicle charging and the power grid by causing instabilities that could range from barely noticeable to significantly disruptive.

The number of EVs is quite small at the moment, but as the number of EVs grows the vulnerabilities grow with them unless a way to secure the charging stations is implemented. The question is, will the manufacturers take the time and money to do so?

8/18/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

We had one of the WP Sisters up for the weekend. We spent the visit catching up on family doings and heading out to one of our favorite local restaurants for dinner late last afternoon. My sister is planning to move up into town after she retires in a couple of years, having had enough of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts to last a life time.

We didn’t get a chance to get out on the lake last evening as we had planned because Mother Nature decided her thunderstorms were more important than out jaunt out onto the lake. She even went so far as to cause the cancellation of the Hall & Oates concert at the Meadowbrook concert venue in our town as the lightning, thunder, and downpours made performing a dangerous thing to do.

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


Is the reason health care costs have increased at well above the rate of inflation the always growing size of the health care bureaucracies, be they government, insurance, or hospital/clinic bureaucracies? It all depends upon who you listen to.

My personal experience tells me the number of administrators has increased at a far greater rate than the number of health care personnel. Every additional bureaucrat and paper-shuffler adds cost without adding any additional health care.

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


How sick and twisted is the Left that they are actively hoping for (and working towards) tanking the American economy just to get Trump?

If they’re willing to do that, what will they be willing to do to the rest of us to get their way? We already know from history that gulags, re-education ‘centers’, and death camps are in their list of tools to subjugate the non-elite. (That’s you and me, folks.)

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


You know it’s falling apart for the Left when Bill Maher slams his leftist brethren by telling them “BDS is a bulls**t purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class.”

Every now and then Bill Maher hits a left-wing dogma squarely on the head and it’s particularly persuasive coming from someone who is on the left. We’ve covered several such occasions, even if most of the time we disagree with Maher.

Maher just did it again with regard to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, setting off a fury of recrimination from Rep. Rashida Tlaib and other anti-Israel activists.

Is this yet another example of Leftist autophagy? Of course it is. Should Maher not fall back in line he will be made an “un-person” in the eyes of the Left.

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


Antifa is ‘peaceful’…if you describe an MMA fight as ‘peaceful’. They seem to have no problems with threatening bystanders, using pepper spray on them, chasing them while wielding a baseball bat, and worse, beating them unconscious. At least that’s what they’ve been doing in Portland…again.

For so-called anti-fascists, they are using fascist tactics and espouse fascist points of view. It’s like watching on old film about the SA (Sturmabteilung), the bully boys of the German Nazi Party’s early days. The only differences are that Antifa wears black while the SA wore brown shirts (hence the nickname “Brown Shirts”), and today’s video is shot in high definition and posted on the ‘Net in seconds while SA activities were shot on film in black and white. Otherwise, there’s little difference between them as best I can see.

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


The Left needs to get themselves a time machine so they can learn lessons of H. G. Wells’ A Time Machine.

It has become fashionable in recent years to condemn iconic figures from American history because they possessed slaves. “Progressives” wish to tear down statues now, even of Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the greatest contributor ever to the advancement of human liberty, because he had been a slave owner. What they fail to understand is that societal mores change over time. What is acceptable today may not be considered societally acceptable 100 years from now. And they may want to be careful with their retrospective moral outrage, as it may come back to haunt them.

--snip--

I want to offer this mental exercise to those who wish to condemn American giants like Thomas Jefferson and blather on about reparations over practices that took place in our country over two centuries ago: Place yourself into a hypothetical time machine, dial it to the year 2119, and find out what Americans have decided is an odious practice in Future America. I predict that you will find that abortion – that practice in which doctors punch a hole in the skull of a baby in the womb, vacuum out its grey matter, crush the skull, dismember the baby’s body, and extract the parts from its mother’s womb – has been deemed by society to be an outrageous, barbaric practice.

Americans who are down for that procedure, which includes virtually all Democratic politicians today, may find that society has decided they were ogres and, regardless of any great accomplishments they achieved in other fields of endeavor, condemn them as we do slave owners today. Americans may insist that statues of them be torn down, streets named after them be rechristened (as it were), and that any vestige of their existence be expunged from our national memory.

So be careful, and show a little humility.

As the old saying states, “What goes around, comes around.” And so it will be for our oh-so-woke Democrats living in these, the Crazy Years.

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


The Sean Spicier parody Twitter account has been active for years and the Leftist tweeters still haven’t figured out that it isn’t the real Sean Spicer, Donald Trump’s former press secretary.

Sean Spicier’s on a roll, hitting the Left for all it’s worth. He hits everything from tariffs, Beto’s umpteenth campaign reset, Fredo Cuomo, Epstein, Russia, to Elizabeth Warren running the Internet. The responses from the Left are comedy gold.

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


The gaffe-tastic Joe Biden’s aides are working hard to limit his exposure in order to reduce the number of gaffes he’s making in public.

That he’s making more ‘mistakes’ than I have ever seen him make, along with his advanced years makes me wonder if there’s something else going on regarding his health. If there is, then I must ask whether he’s fit enough to serve as President of the United States. The last thing we need is a president slipping into dementia.

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


Uh-oh. This doesn’t bode well.

I wonder when we might be seeing such signs posted on the outskirts of places like Los Angeles or San Francisco, considering what they’re already experiencing in regard to medieval diseases (typhus and hepatitis) that have been making a reappearance and the spreading failure to keep the streets clean from human waste. It’s only a matter of time before diseases like typhoid and bubonic/pneumonic plague return unless they start cleaning the piles of human feces and garbage from the streets and sidewalks.

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


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer is quickly passing, boating is increasing the closer we get to Labor Day, and where Monday again ruins a perfectly good weekend.

8/14/2019

Scary "Deep Fake" Video - Portents Of The Future

I saw this over at Powerline and I have to admit that it scared the bejeezus out of me. Not the interview itself as it’s years old, but the technology displayed that means we can trust nothing we see on TV or the Internet. It’s one thing to fake photos, but it’s an entirely different thing to be able to fake video like the one you’re about to see. Hint: Pay attention to Bill Hader’s face.

8/13/2019

EV Hypocrisy Paradox

What’s wrong with this picture?


In case you hadn’t noticed, the EV in the picture is being charged by a portable charging station. But where does the charging station get its power?

From the diesel generator behind the charging station pedestal.

(H/T Maggie’s Farm and Manhattan Contrarian)

8/12/2019

A Good Quote

Seen in a Disqus comment on PJ Media:

“…before you condemn someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Because then you’ll be a mile away from them...and you’ll have their shoes.”

8/11/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a quiet weekend here at Lake Winnipesaukee, with only a few events going on around the area. The biggest thing happening is the Alice Cooper concert at our local concert venue this evening. (Yes, Alice Cooper.)

One ‘event’ that has generated some excitement, at least for the WP clan, is BeezleBub’s purchase of a jet ski, something he’d been thinking about for some time. The numbers finally made sense to him and he didn’t hesitate. He picked it up late last week and has made use of it at least twice since then. I expect he’ll be using the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout less than he has been, particularly if it’s just he and his girlfriend heading out on to the lake for a late day cruise. That means it will be available for me to take out on the lake!

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


Uh-oh, one of their ‘hereditary’ constituents has escaped from the Democrat plantation!

On Thursday, Daniel Cameron, the Republican nominee for attorney general in Kentucky, urged his fellow black Americans to think for themselves and reject the Democratic Party's narrative.

"My message is pretty simple: The Democratic Party needs to stop telling black Americans how to think," Cameron told Brian Kilmeade, filling in for Tucker Carlson on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

--snip--

"The black community is told, day in and day out, that they have to speak with one voice and that’s the voice of the Democratic Party. I don’t subscribe to that belief," Cameron said. "I think we ultimately need to have a diverse group of folks that are on both sides of the aisle. I’m a Republican and proud of it, and stand with our president, day in and day out."

‘Nuff said.

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


How often have we heard or seen the demand “Do Something!” made by people, trying to prod politicians into acting? All the time.

It turns out “Do Something!” is a dangerous demand to make of politicians. How often does that “something” turn out to be the wrong thing, or worse, has unintended consequences that go beyond the original problem, perceived or real? More often than you might think.

While the linked article focuses on the gun control issue, the elements of the article can be applied to a wide range of issues.

Why do we have states? Why do we elect political managers of them? The elevator pitch is that the state protects us from violent disruptions in our attempt to live better lives in peace with others. This is the bare minimum that has always been asked of the state.

Evidently, the state is not doing its job. People are demanding to know why.

But here is a truth. The state is limited in its competence. Utopia is not born of more laws, restrictions, regulations, and prohibitions. For this reason, not every tragedy has a political solution.

--snip--

Communities, companies, surveilling technologies, punishment, and deterrence can assist in making the world a more peaceful place. Institutions that grant people opportunities in life so that they stop romanticizing death are essential. In the end, however, human evil and terrible tragedy such as we’ve seen have only one solution: a culture of peace and cooperation so widespread and so penetrating that the world around us is thereby made safe. There is no easy path to that place. But we must try.

What is not helping us get on that path is this politics of group-based revenge in which one tribe seeks the demoralization, degradation, and disempowerment of the enemy tribe. No matter how you slice it, such thinking can only lead to more abuse and violence, whether perpetrated by lone actors or whole legislatures.

Too often the “Do Something!” demand has just opposite effect of the one expected. It is time that those along the entire political spectrum to realize that and temper their “Do Something!” demands and seek solutions that do not require ill-advised and possible short-sighted legislative intervention.

How do we do that? I don’t know, at least not off the top of my head. But I bet there are a lot of people out there who do.

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You know it’s time to start questioning the validity of some of these drug field test kits when they identify bird poop as cocaine.

That’s what happened to Georgia Southern University quarterback Shai Werts when he was pulled over in South Carolina for speeding. He was arrested for the cocaine. However, subsequent lab tests of the suspicious substance on the hood of his car showed it was not cocaine, but seagull poop and charges were dropped.

As noted by the Washington Post, "In 2016, The New York Times and ProPublica found that field-testing drug kits, which cost about $2 a piece, are wildly inaccurate. False positives can result from officer errors, the weather or poor lighting, and are so common that as many as one in three tests might come back wrong,

It’s time to come up with better drug field test kits.

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This is what life would be like under Left-wing rule.

During the Obama Dynasty, his corrupt bureaucrats released privileged information to harm political opponents. It is the basis for all “transparency” narratives on the left. Not to make politicians accountable but to keep political opponents in line.

To secure unassailable power and control for the Left.

Today’s lesson comes courtesy of Texas Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro. He went out of his way to identify Trump’s top donors in El Paso. Individuals who maxed out their contribution to his campaign.

This “member” of congress then publicized the list.

It’s not precisely Doxxing. That information is publicly available. But anyone who has ever waded into the FEC data-mine knows it takes determination (and paid staffers) to do it effectively, which makes me wonder. Did Castro ask his staff to do his political work?

And regardless of who did it, the point of the exercise is obvious. Intimidation. Use the mob to frighten future donors or supporters of not just Trump but any political opponent the Democrats target. As in everyone who disagrees with Democrats.

Is this the direction we want out political system to take? Campaigns won’t be based upon the issues but on who has got what on who, and “Mob”-like intimidation against donors. (“That’s a nice business you got there. It would be a shame if something were to ‘happen’ to it.”)

This is speech suppression, plain and simple.
-Create a culture of fear that prevents people from donating to candidates the left likely opposes.

-Stop folks from publicly (or “privately”) speaking in favor of certain candidates or issues.

-Stifle free speech of any sort that is not aligned with the Left’s ideology.

-Prevent People from showing public support (wear a hat, carry a sign, show up at a rally, you could get beat up).

Not a pretty picture, is it? Yet it’s been happening and too many people (including the MSM) are condoning it.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weekend has been quiet, the weather has been cool, and where the summer has been passing all too quickly.

8/04/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a busy weekend up here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, with a visitor staying with us here at The Gulch. A long time friend of yours truly spent the weekend up here unwinding, travelling about, and looking at the some of the available real estate with an eye towards a possible relocation to this area some time in the future.

I did manage to get him out on the lake for a while after a driving trip around the lake for a look-see. He was also able to partake in some of the cuisine in a number of our local diners, something he enjoys.

While it made for a long and tiring weekend, it was still had a great time.

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It seems the economy is refusing to cooperate with the Democrats, stubbornly remaining strong with high employment, a high labor participation rate, high consumer confidence, and a strong stock market, just to name a few factors. It isn’t an issue the Democrats will be able to use other than making lame and unproven claims about how the economy isn’t making everybody rich.

Of course “rich” is a relative term, something the Democrats rarely if ever define other than it’s something bad…unless the person being described is a Democrat.

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Yet another example of Leftist autophagy: More of the 2020 Democrat Presidential candidates are turning on Obama.

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No, the United States does not have the most mass shootings in the world. It ain’t even close.

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Oh, by the way. The Dayton, Ohio mass murderer Connor Betts was a registered Democrat (and has been since 2012) despite what the Left has tried to claim.

One of his victims? His own sister.

Another thing to remember: Betts committed his murders in a gun free zone. Funny that a very large majority (>96%) of mass shootings in the US have taken place in gun free zones is something that is never mentioned by the Left.

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It seems more snowflakes are doing their best to insult first responders, damage their employer’s reputation, and basically leave everyone with the impression that too many of our younger generation do not understand that their feelings do not take precedence at their workplace.

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And that’s the (abbreviated) news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it was a great weekend, the weather was perfect, and where I wish Monday was still two days away.

7/28/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

Another summer weekend has come and gone, with many things have been done and experienced, and another set of summer memories made.

We enjoyed an evening out on the lake Friday evening where we enjoyed one of the better sunsets I think we’ve ever seen.

One of the events I had the pleasure of partaking was the annual island cleanup day, where island residents load all their junk and castoffs onto their boats and offload them at the town docks for disposal. We saw everything from old mattresses and box springs to refrigerators, air conditioners, electric/gas ranges, old furniture, construction demo (old wood, old bags of concrete mix, doors, windows, water pipe, electric wiring, and even a kitchen sink), sailboards, and an old rowboat. It is amazing how much junk can be carried over from the islands in a little over three hours.

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President Trump is lambasted for labeling parts of Baltimore as “rat infested” in a tweet. He’s labeled a “racist” because the area of Baltimore to which Trump referred is in Elijah Cummings (D-MD) congressional district. That Bernie Sanders called that same district a “Third World country” back in 2015 is forgivable because, after all, he’s a Progressive and Progressives get a pass.

But it turns out that President Trump was right, something pest control company Orkin has confirmed – Baltimore is one of the “rattiest cities” in the US, coming in at No. 8. (That Los Angeles and San Francisco rank higher is not a surprise.)

So the Progressive media is wrong to flame Trump for telling the truth. But then, it isn’t their truth, so it’s okay to slam the President.

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Here’s a more local view of how the $15/hour minimum wage will hurt businesses and workers, this time in my home state of New Hampshire.

Of course, the victims of a $15 minimum wage can be safely ignored because it is the intentions that count, not the outcome.

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One would think now that Bob Mueller has been sacrificed on the Democrats’ Altar of Get Trump, that they could get back to working for their constituents as they were elected to do. But it seems that between the Mueller Report and Mueller’s “testimony” at the Congressional hearing, the Democrats have decided to double down on stupid and continue flogging a long dead horse, continuing their inquisition and wasting even more time and taxpayer money in order to “get” the President.

The Mueller investigation took 22 months and to all intents and purposes turned up nothing actionable. Millions of dollars were spent, wrongdoing by the Clinton campaign and the FBI was uncovered, yet it’s Trump who’s at fault for their wrongdoing because “Orange Man Bad”.

I expect these shenanigans to continue for years, maybe even after Trump leaves office in 2025.

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Speaking of 2025, here’s a story from that year related to the posting above.

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By the way, “not exonerated” means “innocent” in our legal system.

The anti-Trump forces wish that were not the case. Heck, I think even if he were exonerated they would still find him guilty…of something.

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As a change of subject, it must be noted that Socialism sucks the life from everything. It can’t help but do so considering its ability to spread misery, envy, greed, and fear everywhere it goes. It destroys economies, obliterates social contracts, replaces things that work with things that sound good because it supports the narrative, and tries to sell everyone on the idea that somehow they are better off even though it is obvious to anyone paying attention that they are not.

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If there weren’t double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

An Antifa student who tried to chain the classroom doors at a College Republicans meeting won’t be charged.

That’s the wrong message to be sending and will merely encourage more bad acts. What if the next Antifa activist tries to do the same thing and adds a gallon of gasoline to the mix? It would be foolish to assume some nut somewhere won’t try such a thing. After all, other Antifa ‘protesters’ have vandalized property, committed acts of arson, and have physically assaulted people they see as “not them”. Burning people alive that they see as Nazis in a room where the doors have been chained shut doesn’t seem like much of a step for some of these nuts.

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I’m glad to see CBS has cancelled the execrable The Code.

I gave it a go for three episodes as I understand that sometimes it takes time for a show to find its groove. It never found that groove and if nothing else got worse with each episode. It got so much wrong in such a short period of time. CBS did the right thing in killing it.

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I figure it’s only a matter of time before the Black Plague makes an appearance in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I figure Denver won’t be too far behind.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is perfect, the lake water temperature is likewise, and where I wish the weekend were a couple of days longer.

7/21/2019

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a three-fer weekend up here in central New Hampshire with dangerously hot temperatures, NASCAR weekend, and a Jason Aldean concert at out local venue. These three factors made traffic around here very heavy, between the folks seeking relief from the heat on and/or in the lakes around here and the NASCAR/Jason Aldean fans. It certainly made getting around far more difficult.

To add a bit of anxiety to the mix, we ‘misplaced’ one of the feline contingent here at The Gulch, with Pip disappearing and nowhere to be found. We thought that at one point that she had gotten out, something for which she was ill prepared as she has been an indoor cat since we took her and her brother Henry in as kittens. Fortunately she had merely found a new place to hang out and announced her ‘return’ some time after the cats’ regularly scheduled dinner time.

It’s amazing how they can work their way into your heart.

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It looks like an ancient mystery has finally been solved, that mystery being the components of Roman concrete which is better, stronger, and far more durable than modern day concrete.

Roman concrete, particularly that used in water, and more specifically seawater, is stronger than any concrete being used to day. It can last for centuries, with some examples of it dating back over 2000 years that show little or no deterioration. Modern concrete starts deteriorating from the moment it is exposed to the environment. (All you have to do is look at the concrete paving or steps leading up to the door of your house or business to see how quickly it starts spalling and crumbling away.)

Roman concrete may revolutionize construction, particularly along seacoasts.

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Now that Tom Steyer has entered the race for the Democrat nominee for president, I think we should remind him at every turn that the United States is not a democracy. He talks about wanting to preserve our democracy and to expand it.

But we aren’t a democracy. We are a republic. The last thing we want to be is a democracy because true democracies are dangerous and are more akin to mob rule. Mob rule is nothing we want or should desire as they tend to turn on the very people it is supposed to represent. One of the proofs of that is the aftermath of the French Revolution which replaced the monarchy with a true democracy and whose motto was “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” – Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. But the true democracy went too far, particularly under the influence of the Jacobins, and devolved into the Reign of Terror which killed thousands because the democratic mob demanded their deaths. One such death was that of one of Jacobin instigators - Maximillian Robespierre.

Mister Steyer had best learn the lesson of history lest he repeat it.

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How hot has it been up here in New England this weekend?>br>
This hot:

BRAINTREE (CBS) — The Braintree Police Department had some fun explaining to residents that they should “hold off” on any crimes they are planning this weekend.

In a Facebook post, they wrote, “Folks. Due to the extreme heat, we are asking anyone thinking of doing criminal activity to hold off until Monday.”

They said doing so would be dangerous because of the hot temperatures.

Instead, police provided alternatives: “Stay home, blast the AC, binge Stranger Things season 3, play with the face app, practice karate in your basement. We will all meet again on Monday when it’s cooler.”

The post was signed, “Sincerely, The PoPo. PS: please no spoiler alerts. We’re just finishing season 2.”

See, the police don’t want people, even criminals, to suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

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From the Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider Department comes this gem:

18 Ridiculous Bias Complaints Filed On College Campuses

Some of these folks should seriously consider checking themselves into a mental hospital.

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Is Oberlin College going to be able to pony up the cash it owes to Gibson’s Bakery? Gibson’s is owed $32 million, between damages and attorney’s fees and they are concerned that Oberlin is maneuvering to delay payment for three years. Gibson’s attorneys are having none of that.

Reading the motions of both parties it is quite evident Oberlin is stalling, putting together an appeal that may take up to three years to make its way through the courts, and as such, they want to forego having to post a bond for the amount they owe. This is something required under Ohio law for those who have been found liable and ordered to pay plaintiffs damages and attorney fees. That they are asking for relief from posting a bond tells me Oberlin doesn’t have the cash to spare.

It doesn’t help that Oberlin “has experienced a ‘significant’ and ‘steady’ decline in enrollment” over the past 4 years. That doesn’t surprise me much seeing as how other ‘woke’ liberal arts colleges have been experiencing similar enrollment declines. They still haven’t learned the “Get Woke, Go Broke” reality and it seems they won’t before it’s too late.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of ‘woke’ administrators.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where people are using every trick in the book to stay cool, NASCAR is running the Cup race today, and where I am looking forward to going into work on Monday in order to get some rest.