4/13/2021

Promoted From "Promoted From The Comments"

To borrow a subject line from Skip at Granite Grok, the following was promoted from the comments at GG about a subject near and dear to yours truly, that being the problem when folks “from away” relocate here to New Hampshire. We aren’t the only ‘locals’ that worry about such problems as we see the same concerns in places like Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Wyoming worried about folks relocating from California trying to turn their states into the very place the fled from. In our case it’s folks from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York coming here and trying to recreate the very places they came here to get away from.

Over the years, I have seen many folks from away move into our town and they can be categorized into three different and distinct groups.

The first group are those who move here, do their best to fit in and enjoy their new home town, and after a few years you’d swear they’ve always lived here. That’s a good portion of the folks coming here from away.

The second group are those I call “drawbridge” folks.

They move into town and then want to freeze everything, allow no changes of any kind. In effect, they want to ‘raise the drawbridge’ to prevent change from entering the town. While I can understand this mentality, it isn’t realistic. Change is inevitable. Some changes will happen quickly, usually forced by circumstances. Other changes will take place slowly, a little at a time and barely noticeable, but it will happen.

Most “drawbridge” come to realize their expectations are unrealistic and eventually come around. Those who can’t come around fight against every change, large or small, and tend to be unhappy about the changes they see. There is no mollifying them. Fortunately they tend to be a very small minority of those moving here from away, but they can be the most problematic.

The third group tends to be the loudest, most disruptive, and least likely to listen to reason. It is this group that Skip and commenter NHNative address (hence the “Promoted from the Comments” tag) .

They are the folks that move here to get away from wherever they came from, and the first thing they do I try to recreate the very place they fled, recreating the very conditions that caused them to flee “back where they came from” to begin with. They want all of the amenities of their old home towns and expect the rest of us to pay to provide them, amenities the rest of us couldn’t possibly care any less about than we already do. They make a big stink if we bumpkins don’t automatically bow to their ‘superior’ wisdom, not understanding that their wisdom isn’t all that wise and rarely applicable to their new situation. Those with lots of money tend to be the most obnoxious, not understanding that some of the bumpkins have even more money than they do or, lacking that level of cash, have far more influence in the town/county/state than the newcomers could ever hope to have.

It is to this group the following message is addressed:



They should take the message to heart.

4/11/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

We’ve seen a preview of summer with nice sunny weather with temps in the 70’s, light winds, and the wide open lake. Very few boats have been venturing out on the lakes, and those that have have been mostly fishing boats, trailered in and launched by their owners for the day. I have seen only a handful of boats at their slips in the marinas and coves here in my town, but that will be changing with every day as the boatyards, marinas, and residents launch their boats and get them to their summer berths.

About the only dark cloud making itself known is the cost of gasoline, up about $1/gallon from a year ago. (Gee, I wonder why that might be?)

Despite the higher gas prices, the enthusiasm for the upcoming boating season here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire is quite high, with the demand for new boats outstripping supply.

Despite the age of the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout (28 years), it is still quite serviceable and I expect to get quite a few more years out of it. (I would like to get a new boat at some point, but I have other priorities for my money for the time being.) With regular maintenance I should be able to keep it in running shape for as long as necessary, something that, for the time being, is a lot cheaper than buying a new boat. But some day...

==+==


Are we seeing yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences coming to bite President *’s administration in the butt? Of course. This isn’t the first such instance nor will it be the last. This latest iteration?

His threat to order the banning of a whole host of ‘scary’ guns has driven the sales of AR’s, ammunition, and “ghost” guns to unbelievable levels.

Then again, SloJo has already stated he believes the Constitutional restrictions on government can be ignored because none of them are absolute. It seems he (or WRBA) thinks the Second Amendment can be ignored despite the phrase “Shall not be infringed” being part and parcel of the Amendment. In effect, Biden’s proposed gun policies will treat everyone as a criminal, except for the real criminals, of course.

Once he disposes of the Second Amendment the focus will shift to the First.

They are about to find out the hard way that a majority of the American people won’t stand still for that.

==+==


At least our governor has gotten one thing right: He says New Hampshire will not have so-called “vaccine passports”.

Requiring citizens to have a government-issued vaccine passport to travel and to attend public events would needlessly stir more controversy over the risk of contracting COVID-19, Gov. Chris Sununu said Tuesday.

“Washington is so removed from what is happening on the ground. We shouldn’t be mandating anything. These vaccine passports, creating the haves and the have-nots, you are just going to create a lot of problems and anxiety,” Sununu said.

Sununu said the passport runs counter to New Hampshire’s tradition of treating vaccines as voluntary.

“I am very hesitant about any of that. At the end of the day, it is an individual choice,” Sununu said.

Of course the Left will need to silence the Governor because he is refusing to follow the narrative, refusing to create or follow a system that will ask “Papiere, bitte!”

==+==


A quote from Pete Buttigieg: “Freeways were built on a “racist” system, and built at the expense of communities of color.”

So now even highways are racist? What’s next? Water mains and sewers? Electricity?

If everything is racist, then nothing is racist.

==+==


One of my friends was up visiting today and on his way back home he called me on the phone to share a sign he saw outside a business:

We warned you about Joe Biden, but did you listen?

No. No they did not.

==+==


One thing that has become a concern, at least here in New Hampshire (but also seen in other places), is the spreading phenomenon of short-term rentals, particularly those booked by way of services like AirBnB, VRBO, and other similar operations. There has been a growing problem with such short-term rentals, both here and in other towns, one of them being poor behavior by those renting the short-term rentals. None of those problems are the fault of the rental servcies. Some of the problems are resolved by the owners of the short-term rental properties, particularly those who also reside in or nearby them. (Some owners only offer to rent their properties during certain time periods such as for a couple of weeks when they are away on their own vacations.)

A more recent phenomenon has been properties bought for the sole purpose of using them as short-term rentals. That has been seen here on an increasing basis. What’s even more disturbing is corporations – LLCs – buying up such properties, sometimes paying well above the market value for ‘vacation’ homes, then listing them via the aforementioned services. This has certainly skewed the housing market, making homes that would have been occupied by owners, i.e. families, unavailable, particularly since some corporations have been paying well above market value to acquire them.

The problem we’re seeing with this? If there are issues regarding the property, who do the parties concerned contact? Some anonymous LLC in Boston or New York whose only concern is that they keep making money back from their investment and not quality of life issues caused by those renting their properties? Will it be a property management company who will handle it? One of the members of the LLC? A law firm representing the owners? Who does a municipality contact of there are immediate problems...or chronic problems that constantly plague neighbors, and by extension, the town?

We haven’t figured out the answer to that question...yet.

==+==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer has been been giving us sneak previews, summerfolk have been showing up to get their vacation homes ready, and where everyone is anticipating the summer restaurants reopening in a few weeks.

4/10/2021

4/04/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

It is Easter and we are celebrating the Resurrection, something that has brought Joy to many throughout the centuries. He is Risen!

==+==


This will be a short TOAS as we are on the road, visiting family to share Easter Dinner. Since most of those participating have been immunized, we believe the risk is small. Those who aren’t yet immunized have been working from home for months.

==+==


One of the side effects of last week’s visit to Southwestern New Hampshire was a couple of tires in the trusty RAM 1500 being out of balance. I thought I had managed to get all of the mud and gravel out of the wheels after our trip down there (the last mile or so of our trip to our family’s home was on muddy dirt road), but I was wrong. I didn’t manage to get the last of it removed until Saturday afternoon, being aware of our trip to the older WP Sister’s place for Easter dinner would be much less comfortable if I didn’t restore the wheel balance.

==+==


Is it just me or have our adversaries realized that no one really appears to be in charge at our highest level of power? Certainly China and Russia understand this.

The new administration started off using virtue signaling as an important component of foreign and domestic policy. But now even the “only adults in the room” suddenly suspect that Woke garlic doesn’t repel vampires. Russia and China continue to defy the rules of the Biden-Harris administration despite their expectation that the world would return to its pre-2016 order.

--snip--

Russia and China — not to mention North Korea and Iran — are all on the move and don’t seem deterred by Washington. If disaster overtakes the Biden Harris restoration future historians will conclude that organized self delusion played a leading part. The cultural and political establishment belief in the Great Reset after Trump sputtered and instead of the predicted return to normal the global world has continued its descent into crisis.

--snip--

While Biden-Harris sees itself as “back” in charge, recent Great Power challenges treat them as a fading, decadent relic. At a top-level diplomatic meeting in Alaska, the Chinese envoy said: “The United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength” according to the New York Times.

They realize the US is no longer cohesive, that those in power are nothing like the previous administration, the one they disliked but respected since it spoke from a position of power and strength. Now we have SloJo “in control” and Whoever is Running the Biden Administration believes they can make nice with China, Russia, and even scarier, Iran and, that because they’ve done so, they will fall in line. But not so ancient history (just 5 years ago) shows they won’t. They will exploit the Biden Administration’s focus on making sure no Democrat will ever lose an election again and fomenting a for-the-moment cold civil war.

One thing we can count on: If the feces hits the rotary oscillator and adversaries like China and Russia make moves against Taiwan and Ukraine respectively, SloJo and WRBA will find some way of blaming Trump...and will do absolutely nothing about it.

==+==


And that’s the abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where there’s still snow on the ground here and there, Ice Out is close, and where boats are already being unwrapped and prepped for the upcoming boating season.

4/03/2021

Irony...Writ Large

How does one define irony? Let’s give it a try, shall we?





(H/T Powerline)

4/02/2021

Prepping For Summer

Normally I would be writing about this subject on Sunday, but with it being Good Friday today and Easter on Sunday, I figured I’d delve into this subject today, that being preparations for the upcoming summer. There was another motivation for this subject, that being a discussion with an old friend, talking about Covid-19 and the differences between the mandates here in New Hampshire and her home state of Connecticut.

One big difference – restaurants and bars are fully open here, but still locked down in Connecticut.

That got us talking about summer in general and what I’ve got planned.

The first thing: Ensuring the slip for the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout – aka The Boat – will be ready. The rent for the upcoming boating season has already been paid and the owner has already made arrangements for any repairs that might be needed to ensure the docks are serviceable.

The second thing: Calling the boatyard where The Boat is stored and asking that it be taken out of storage and serviced by the second weekend in May. (It needs to be unwrapped, the hull acid-washed to remove the algae buildup that collected during last boating season, and the oil changed in the engine and stern drive.)

The first and second things are probably the biggest things that need to be taken care of before summer since boating is one thing we do a lot from May to October.

The third thing: Since it looks like summer will again be summer around here, that means we’ll see cookouts again. One thing we lack here at The Gulch is a grill, a lack I plan to correct sometime in the next week or two. (When we left The Manse a little over two years ago, we left our gas grill behind at the request of the new owners. We have been grill-less since then and last year it didn’t seem like we really needed one since cookouts were strongly discouraged...and we didn’t have too many family or friends visiting.) I have seen some nice ones over at Lowes and Tractor Supply Company, so time permitting, I will swing by sometime this weekend to see what’s available and how much they want.

The fourth thing: Spring cleaning. There are a number of items in the attic and the storage area above the garage that we neither need or want, so would be better off going to the dump, Goodwill, or St. Vincent de Paul. A few more will go to rental storage. There are some items elsewhere in The Gulch the WP Mom would like to see go away as she has no use for them and they are doing little more than taking up space. Some will go to family members as they are family heirlooms. Some will go to the Goody Shack at the local dump, some will go to Goodwill, and others will be sold. We hope to have more friends and family visiting, but we need to make room and make sure we have the amenities available for guests. As part of this effort I will be bringing a few items from storage to The Gulch to help with those needed amenities.

The fifth thing (sort of): It looks like I will be residing here longer than originally planned. With the housing market being what it is and the high demand (and costs) for building materials, starting construction on The New Manse makes absolutely no financial sense. Finding a general contractor has been a problem as well as many of them are booked out until next year. Better to maintain the status quo for the time being and wait until the housing bubble deflates. I don’t want to spend a penny more than necessary so I am willing to wait this out.

And so it goes for the upcoming Summer of 2021.

3/31/2021

Scary Thought Of The Day

Seen over at the comments at Knuckledraggin comes this scary thought of the day:

Every time you say this year's name, it reminds you that 2020 won.

Next year? That's 2020, too.

It. Is. Never. Going. To. End.

3/28/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

We had a lot of warm spring weather this past week, ending with a number of thunderstorms rolling through Friday afternoon.

Driving around portions of Lake Winnipesaukee yesterday while running some of my weekend chores/errands I saw that large portions of the lake were now ice free. I figure the heavy rain and the high winds helped break up the thinner sheets of ice. Much of the ice seen from The Gulch and along the southern shore had been a darkening blue as of Thursday afternoon. Most of that ice is now gone.

The cove where the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout docks during the boating season is mostly ice free, with a sheet of mushy ice along one side of the cove, pushed there by the winds.

Last week I figured Ice Out would be called on April 12th. I’m beginning to think it’s going to happen a lot earlier than that.

==+==


It seems Nancy Pelosi is bound and determined to foment the Second Civil War.

First with the execrable HR 1, and then with her move to unseat a duly elected Representative from Iowa from the House because she only won by 6 votes. I guess that means that even if a Republican wins, it only counts as a win if the Republican wins by a huge margin...and even then only temporarily until the Speaker can invalidate the election results by decree.

Every time I think Pelosi couldn’t be a bigger scumbag than she already is, she proves me wrong.

She needs to go before she destroys what’s left of our Republic and turns it into a Leftist dictatorship. She has already shown she has no respect for the law, the US Constitution, or the American people, at least not those who are not part of the Progressive ‘elite’. The rest of the people are just deplorables to be abused, ignored, or both.

==+==


Yeah, I see this, but I have a different take on it than Skip.

Skip writes:

The problem isn’t the number of guns in the US (estimated now at around 400 million) but the culture of those that have them. Culture counts and a culture that doesn’t value life has chart results like this. If you need any more proof, look at the stats in Chicago after almost every weekend.

And that Culture is? Gangbangers. Get rid of them (which Chicago assiduously refuses to do), and the chart goes flat.

Take away the top 5-10 counties in America where gun CRIME (not violence, CRIME) is tops, the chart goes flat.

But we can thank Progressives for moving the Overton Window to the left and removing Societal norms, like marriage, like respect, like Judeo-Christian values, like valuing Private Property Rights, like behavior, and all the other bricks that used to make up the Wall of Society.

And this is what we’re left with – chaos. For we Normals, a disaster. For Progressives wishing to both remake us AND remake our Society, a manmade opportunity not to waste.

The culture the Progressives have in mind is not a new one by any means, their protestations notwithstanding. They want a culture that is the recreation of a society that vanished 30 years ago, a society of misery and terror, of show trials, of the brutal repression of human rights, with a nomenklatura that saw themselves as an elite that tried its best to separate themselves from the proletariat, a society that was so dysfunctional its economy was wholly dependent upon its greatest adversary’s largess, a society that poisoned its own environment “for the Glory of the State”, a society that was so repressive that it killed the souls of so many of its people that it finally collapsed because no one believed anything its rulers said anymore.

They want to recreate the old Soviet Union, pine to replace it with their own version, because they will do it better. Of course they won’t because they will make the same mistakes, will ignore the same factors that destroyed the previous version of their Socialist ‘Utopia’, and will suffer the same fate. Only millions more people will be dead and they will have killed them, either directly or indirectly through neglect. That is what they want for us...because they know better.

Thanks, but no thanks.

==+==


By way of Chris Muir comes this, the New Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events which impelled our Founding Fathers to form a new Nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created free and equal and endowed by their Creator with the inalienable Rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, they determined to declare the reasons which inspired them to such a noble cause.

Because we hold to these same self-evident truths, we seek to adhere to these same timeless principles and to conduct our lives in a way which shows ourselves worthy of the precious legacy which has been handed down to us by such brave and honorable men.

WE are the worthy posterity of our noble Founding Fathers.

WE are the ones who have kept their Covenant and Constitution.

WE are the ones who recognize and revere the God of nature who has blessed us with the fruits of their labor.

All we have ever required of our fellow countrymen is to respect our Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and, in turn, we have respected theirs.

Now our endowed Rights have been stolen by those especially entrusted for their protection.

Those who were created equal to us now think they have been elevated above us merely due to the office they have acquired solely through our good graces.

The Governments which have been instituted among us exclusively for the protection of our Rights, have become destructive of those very ends.

Our Safety and Happiness have been abused and usurped.

The principles upon which our Country was established are now distorted and derided, if they are remembered at all. As all of history shows, the pursuit of such a Government is designed to reduce us to absolute despotism.

Because we understand it is no light thing to alter, abolish or institute new Government, for far too long we have tried to content ourselves while evils were sufferable. But now there is no rule of law and our patience is viewed by our abusers only as consent to more abuse.

It is strongly suggested you Read The Whole Thing, particularly before it disappears.

==+==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the rains are heavy, the winds are getting heavier, and where the ice on the lake will soon be gone.

3/27/2021

The Freedom Of Speech Is Becoming "You Are Free to Speak Only If You Agree With Us"

I have been watching Pat Condell’s videos for some time. While his point of view is quite often that of a UK citizen cover subjects of import to the UK, the points he brings up quite often apply equally to the US, Canada, and a whole host of other western nations.

His latest diatribe covers the constant erosion of the freedom of speech, where a small minority can control the content of speech by declaring anything they disagree with, anything they don’t like, or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable as “hate speech”. Such oversight stifles the free exchange of differing ideas, something every healthy society needs. In turn, censoring differing speech also stifles the society, something that is never good.



While Pat believes the US First Amendment will protect the free speech of those of us in the US, he is wrong. There are those among us who have been working hard to make the First Amendment moot. They have been trying to get their fellow travelers to push the idea that “hate speech” is not constitutionally protected. One example: they have tried to use the “Yelling ‘Fire!’ in a theater is not protected by the First Amendment” argument as if it is somehow germane to the discussion. I have responded “But there is a fire in the theater...and you set it,” to more than one woke snowflake who would like to control every aspect of our speech to prevent any ‘uncomfortable’ speech. Eliminating any speech they don’t like is their goal and the First Amendment be damned.

Think it won’t happen here?

It already is, with heavy censorship of posting to places like Twitter and Facebook, and the actions taken by those same media platforms, backed up by Amazon/AWS, Google, and Apple deplatforming and demonetizing websites, apps, and YouTube channels of those they disagree with. Their terms of service have been changed to the point that any speech used that their anonymous and ignorant censors deem offensive can be removed.

An example of this I came across personally: Someone writing a comment to a post about cats and the discussion was comparing the size and characteristics of Savannah and Maine Coon cats. The comment was removed “due to the use of offensive language”. The ‘nanny algorithm’ the censors used apparently didn’t like the name of the Maine cat breed, seeing part of the breed name as being racist in nature. Even an appeal to the human censors elicited a “continued use of the offensive term could result in termination of offending account” response.

How. Effin’. Stupid.

Now apply that to everyday speech. Think it won’t happen? It has already started. On YouTube you find that some YouTubers can’t mention terms like ‘feminism’, ‘sex’, ‘sexism’, and ‘MGTOW’ just to name a few, without YouTube algorithms/human censors tagging/removing their videos. Not all YouTubers, just some. It has also led to YouTube demonitizing their channels, while leaving others employing same language and terms untouched. The difference as best I can tell? Those allowed to keep using the questionable language appear to be the ‘correct’ kind of YouTuber.

Another place we see this, and it is nowhere near as subtle, is the halls of academia. Faculty, students, and guest speakers are silenced on campuses because many of the aforementioned woke snowflakes are so offended (or so triggered) they can’t allow those with differing viewpoints to speak. They label those differing opinions as “hate speech” and will do anything they can to stifle it. It has gone as far as physical attacks to prevent those they see as ‘whateverists’ from speaking.

It is as Pat described in his video – the claims that the speech they disagree with is “hate speech” is a lie, a pernicious lie. It’s only purpose is to silence those with differing opinions, period. Silencing free speech doesn’t make things better. It makes things worse. It always makes things worse.

3/26/2021

Two Accomplishments Of The Biden Presidency...So Far

Shamelessly stolen from Instapundit:

Harsh...but fair.



And these are just the latest. One of his first accomplishments was when he made tens of thousands of good paying union jobs disappear with a stroke of the pen. (Keystone XL pipeline cancellation.)

3/23/2021

Real Common Sense Gun Legislation

This post was inspired by a comment made in an Instapundit post dealing with the shooting in Boulder, Colorado. One comment dealt with “Every Democrat-elected NPC has already has rushed to a microphone to urge “common sense” gun legislation.” This response to the comment offered some truly “common sense” gun legislation.

Hmm. Common sense gun legislation. Let's see.

How about this?

"Every able-bodied adult not otherwise restricted by law (convicted felons and those under DV Restraining Orders) shall be required to carry a loaded firearm when out in public. Accommodation will be made for religious belief exemptions. Those who cannot afford firearms or ammo will report to their nearest police station where loaner weapons and ammo can be signed out for not more than 4 days. Loaner periods can be extended but the requests must be made in person and cannot exceed 28 days. Loaner weapons and ammo will be returned to the PD in the same condition as they were issued. The cost of any loaner ammunition expended shall be reimbursed to the PD within 90 days of use."

Will that do?

It certainly makes more sense to me than the “common sense” gun legislation that disarms law-abiding citizens but leaves armed criminals armed.

All such legislation has ever done is increase the incidence of gun violence. Our self-anointed ‘betters’ always focus on the wrong word in the phrase “gun violence”, that word being “gun” rather than “violence”. Eliminate the violence and the gun problem goes away. ‘Eliminate’ the gun and the violence problem is still there…and will get worse.

3/21/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

Spring is finally here, at least according to the calendar. We’ve certainly had spring weather, seeing temps in the mid 50’s yesterday and low 60’s today. The ice on the lake is getting thinner and I’ve seen a lot of bobhouses being pulled off the lake over the past 2 days. A few more days of this kind of weather and some wind would help the ice start breaking up.

We’ll be waiting for Ice Out (defined as when the M/S Mount Washington ship can make all five ports of call on Lake Winnipesaukee). This means boating season won’t be too far behind.

There is an annual Ice Out contest, calling for the date and time when Ice Out is declared. I’ve picked 1PM on April 12th. Now only time will tell.

==+==


Is South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem being condemned unfairly for her opposition to South Dakota House Bill 1217 as it was passed by the legislature? The bill deals with banning transgendered athletes from competing in sports on teams that do not match their biological gender, i.e. transgirls competing on girls’ teams. The bill is meant to protect women’s sports, but as passed it has some problems and unintended consequences that will do more harm than good, something Governor Noem wants corrected before she signs it. As she posted to her MeWe page:

I believe that boys should play boys’ sports, and girls should play girls’ sports. I'm returning House Bill 1217 with the following recommendations as to STYLE and FORM.

As the legislative findings in the original version of the bill set out, “[w]ith respect to biological sex, one is either male or female[,]” and “[p]hysiological differences between males and females include ‘those most important for success in sport: categorically different strength, speed, and endurance.’”

That is why House Bill 1217 properly provides that females should have opportunities to play youth sports on teams comprised of females and against teams of females. Unfortunately, as I have studied this legislation and conferred with legal experts over the past several days, I have become concerned that this bill’s vague and overly broad language could have significant unintended consequences.

(I do not have the direct link to the Governor’s MeWe page, but the quote above came by way of a screenshot provided by a commenter linked above the quote, so take it as such. - ed.)

The linked quote includes more information from the Governor regarding the changes she states need to be made.

Better the bill be fixed beforehand rather than scrambling later to deal with the unintended consequences.

==+==


Registration for Covid vaccinations for my demographic group (Misanthropic and Surly Curmudgeons Above the Age of 50) opens tomorrow in New Hampshire.

I will be registering, but I will admit I will be looking for vaccination sites that will be offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There are a couple of reasons for my decision which include that it is a single dose vaccine (so I only have to make one appointment, not two) and that its creation and manufacture uses a process that is very similar to that used for making flu vaccines rather than one that employs genetic engineering/gene therapy. (I choose not to be a test subject for a vaccine that makes use of mRNA to create immunity.) One has to remember these vaccines have not undergone the full testing suite usually required by the FDA. They received emergency authorization for use.

Does that make me a conspiracy theorist? No. I don’t believe Bill Gates is using the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines to insert chips into the populace to track and control the population. We all know it’s really the CIA and the Illuminati! /s

My decision is based upon my own research, a medical background (I was a EMT/Paramedic for over 15 years), I have old friends who are medical professionals (including one who is an epidemiologist), and an ingrained distrust of an ‘authority’ that keeps changing its mind (sometimes on a daily basis) about what is and is not effective regarding Covid-19 precautions and treatments.

==+==


It seems Senator Rand Paul can’t catch a break.

First, a little over three and a half years ago he’s assaulted by a neighbor while mowing his lawn, the assault breaking five of his ribs.

Now he has a self-righteous Karen harassing him about not wearing a mask while he’s working out on a treadmill at a gym.

Senator Paul was fully vaccinated and as such, wearing a mask is merely a psychological sop to someone else that provides no additional protection. The Karen harangued a physician with more knowledge about infectious diseases, the efficacy of vaccines and precautions like masks and washing one’s hands than she could ever know. I guess Karens have got to Karen.

I know that two of our local gyms require masks when moving from one workout station to another and when entering or leaving the gym. They do not require them while actually exercising.

==+==


Jo Nova has hit it on the head: The Chinese have nothing but scorn for our self-hating ‘woke’ upper-class.

That’s OK. Most of us in the US also have nothing but scorn for those same scumbags.

The Chinese know our leaders well. In fact, they have a name for our self-hating professional class.

They call them “baizuo.” The rough translation from Mandarin is “White liberal,” and it is definitely not a compliment. Chinese state media describes baizou as people who, “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment, who have no sense of real problems in the real world, who only advocate for peace and equality to satisfy their own feelings of moral superiority, and who are so obsessed with political correctness that they tolerate backward Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism.”

As Chinese state media notes, “former US [sic] President Obama was considered an advocate of baizuo ideology.”

So is “German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her decision to welcome more than one million third-world [sic] immigrants to Europe.”

Other observations about baizuo, as reported by Chinese state media, include the fact that they “advocate inclusiveness and anti-discrimination but cannot tolerate different opinions.” Baizuo’s political opinions are “so shallow that they tend to maintain social equality by embracing ideologies that run against the basic concept of equality.”

According to one scholar from Peking University, “[B]aizuo are phony and hypocritical and will make the situation in the West go from bad to worse.” And so on.

It is rare I would agree with something from official Chinese state media, but in this one case I have to agree with their assessment of our ‘betters’. It seems everything they do makes things worse for everyone, including themselves. They won’t recognize they are doing that because they are too busy congratulating themselves and virtue signaling for having “done something” about a problem, real or imagined. However, that ‘something’ usually comes back to bite them, too, but by then it’s too late to undo it. So what do they do?

They double down on stupid.

They “do something” that’s worse than the original ‘something’ they did, and perpetuate the cycle. Things get worse, they get crazier, and all of us suffer for it.

This is something we need to stop, and the sooner the better for everyone, even our ‘betters’.

==+==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where spring has arrived in earnest, the ice on the lakes is melting away, and we’re enjoying the weather...even if it’s on a Monday.

3/20/2021

It's Time To Address "Offense Culture"

As is my habit, I tend to watch TED Talks and TEDx Talks on YouTube. These talks, each around 20 to 30 minutes in length, can be quite informative. They cover a wide range of subjects from cosmology to suicide to families to math to social issues, past and present. I don’t always agree with what the presenters say, and when that is the case the disagreement is often a matter of degree, not magnitude. (Not that there haven’t been those occasions where the presenter and I have diametrically opposed views. Even then, I usually learn something new.)

I was perusing a TEDx Talk this morning and came across this one hosted by Jess Butcher, MBE and her guest, Claire Fox. The subject of Claire’s talk – How Offence Culture Stifles Progress.

She mentions the pervasiveness of what she calls the “Snowflake Generation”, those who are offended by speech that presents ideas with which they disagree. This is done not to foster debate and discussion about the ‘offensive’ idea, but to stifle it in its entirety and to silence those who caused the ‘offense’. They demand safe spaces, not to protect them from some physical threat, but to shield them from offensive subjects.



How is it so many, more specifically college students, have become so psychologically fragile they cannot ponder the idea of debating subjects they disagree with without feeling anxious, nauseous, or ‘fainting away’? One does not treat such a malady by kowtowing to their demands to never be offended. All that does is feed their neurosis and make it worse. To hold the rest of the population hostage to their psychological fragility is madness in itself. Better to see they get the treatment they need to reduce, if not eliminate this fragility. Otherwise they will not make it out in the real world, as Claire stated in her talk.

3/14/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

We went from winter temps, to mid-spring temps, and back to winter temps in only four days – the upper 20’s to the 60’s and back to the lower 30’s. We enjoyed our preview of weather to come over the next few months, saw the last of the snow on roofs melt away and snowbanks shrink in size. The ice on the lakes also showed more openings in various places along the shorelines. The number of bob-houses on the ice has been shrinking as the ice has been getting thinner and should all be off the ice before April 1st. (Our state law requires them to be off by then or the owners can be fined because after that date it can be too dangerous to venture onto the ice to remove them.)

I spent the day yesterday traveling around the Big Lake with an old friend, catching up and making plans for a business venture. What better place and time to discuss the future than while traveling around on a nice day?

==+==


I was saddened to hear of the passing of ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler, a boxing great, a gentleman, and a fellow New Hampshire resident.

I remember watching his fight against Tony Sibson at the Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts when he pummeled him into submission in 6 rounds. As Sibson said after the fight, it was the first time he’d ever been hurt like that in a fight. Hagler’s win against Tommy Hearns was even more impressive, defeating Hearns in 3 rounds.

==+==


Just when I think things couldn’t get any weirder I am proven wrong.

The latest weirdness?

Adding details on pricing labels that inform consumers of the sex and skin color of the companies owners of the products being sold.

I’m sure they thought this was a great idea when they came up with it. No one will be as #Woke as us after adding details on our pricing labels...

The only products exempted from the scheme are white-owned businesses which are the same as labeling them, yes?

If one makes their purchasing decisions based solely upon the race/gender/LGBTQ status of those who own the company that made/provided the product and not upon the quality, cost, or efficacy of the product, that is their choice. But couldn’t that choice be seen as being based upon racism/sexism/whateverism and not upon the quality, price, or availability of the product regardless of the sex, race, or LGBTQ status of the manufacturer?

Somehow I doubt that observation will be brought up by our increasingly judgmental Progressive ‘betters’.

A few other questions:

So what’s next?

Tracking your purchase based on the race of the companies that own or operate them? The #Wokeistan equivalent of a social credit-system like the one in China?

Will banks cancel your credit card if you don’t buy a racially diverse selection of products? You’re buying too many products made by white men. You’ve been scheduled for mandatory sensitivity and diversity training.

But you weren’t even looking at the labels? Too bad.

Do you think it can’t happen? How many other things that we thought wouldn’t happen are now reality?

==+==


Daylight Savings Time has returned and once again people are asking why we even bother with the change. Frankly, it’s a pain in the butt, it’s disruptive, and changing between Standard and Daylight Savings serves no real purpose, at least for those of us living in the extreme eastern edges of each time zone. (It’s ironic that ‘Standard’ time lasts four months and one week while DST lasts seven months and three weeks. Which is really Standard Time?)

More than a few of us here in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts have expressed the desire to remain in Daylight Savings Time or to switch to the Atlantic Time Zone. We would much prefer to retain daylight at the end of the day considering we see sunset as early as 3:30PM during the depths of winter. For some of us that means we see no sunlight at all during the week, driving to and from work in the dark. I know I don’t like it.

Remaining on Eastern Daylight Time or switching to Atlantic Standard Time year round helps solve that problem, at least here in the Tri-State area. Some will argue that the kids going to school in the dark will be a problem, but it wasn’t a problem back in the 1974 when Congress passed a bill in 1973 keeping DST in effect for a full year due to the effects of the Arab Oil Embargo. However, this wasn’t the first time the US remained on DST year round.

The US also remained on DST from 1942 to 1945, also known as “War Time”, at the urging of President Franklin Roosevelt.

It’s time to reconsider the twice-a-year change. I know these guys would appreciate it:


==+==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the ice is getting thinner, the temperatures will be getting warmer, and where once again Monday will return to ruin everybody’s weekend.

3/13/2021

Who Supports Violence For Political Goals?

Who is it who is increasingly believing violence in support of political goals is acceptable? Here’s a hint:

It’s not the so-called ‘Conservative Right-Wing Extremists/Nationalists/Whateverists’.

Despite what the DNC-MSM has been promoting over the past 4 years, it turns out that particular ‘group’ does not support the idea of violence to promote politics, according to a study by Stanford University and the University of Michigan.

...It asked people if they consider violence acceptable in achieving political goals.

- Among whites, 86.8% of moderates in 2016 said "not at all," meaning violence is never acceptable. This means 13.2% did think violence is sometimes okay.

- In 2020, the number of moderates who believe violence is "not at all" justified went down, meaning the number of moderates who believe violence is acceptable went up (14.2%).

- The number of "somewhat conservative" whites who believe political violence is never justified went six points down from 2016 to 2020. Only 5.8% now consider such violence acceptable.

- "Very conservative" white people were the least likely to approve of political violence, with only 4.2% in that category.

- "Somewhat liberal" whites had a slight decrease in people who tolerate political violence, while solidly "liberal" whites actually had more acceptance of violence – up to 17.2% in 2020 from 11.9% in 2016.

- "Very liberal" whites had the biggest change, with 33.5% believing political violence is sometimes justified compared to only 13.1% in 2018.

While this doesn’t automatically equate to people actually committing violence to support their political viewpoints, one does have to ask if it means they will actually support violence should it take place as long as it is done in order to push their political viewpoints. It’s scary that some groups are more willing to support political violence than they were four years ago.

It must also must be understood that just because someone does not support political violence doesn’t automatically mean they won’t defend themselves, their families, or their communities from those who have no compunction against committing acts of violence to force their political viewpoints on others.

3/11/2021

3/10/2021

Disqus Strikes Again

Are any of you out there using Disqus for commenting at various websites?

If so, I must ask if any if you have had issues with posting comments that are either immediately removed or ‘held’ for moderation? I know I have.

My most recent experience has proven to me the algorithm they use to ‘censor’ comments needs to be adjusted. The comment I posted that got removed by the electronic busybody?

I had a comment held for 'review' just yesterday. It was immediate which meant it was an algorithm that put it into that status and not a moderator. The comment had to do with two breeds of cats, Maine Coon Cats and Savannahs.

A follow-on comment was also removed immediately, and I followed up with:

I just tried responding to you and my comment was immediately removed. It concerned another comment I posted yesterday about two breeds of cats. I guess the algorithm doesn't like the cat breed from Maine.

It seems the Disqus algorithm doesn’t like the word “Coon” even though it is in relation to a breed of cats, specifically Maine Coon Cats. I guess it sees that word as racist or derogatory regardless of context. It isn’t, specifically when referring to a breed of cat. Or maybe the folks at Disqus just don’t like Maine Coon Cats.

For your information, ‘Coon’ in Maine Coon Cats refers to racoons and is not a racial slur. But try telling the algorithm that…or anyone on the Disqus staff. They don’t even have a contact e-mail address or link on their website, so filing complaints or asking questions not covered by their FAQ is impossible.

3/09/2021

Small Town Democracy In Action

It was Town Meeting Day here in our little town.

It is low-level democracy in action where the townsfolk vote for town officials, spending measures (town and school budget, special expenditures - police cruisers, fire trucks, plow trucks, other equipment or items – and petitioned expenditures for non-government organizations, special events, and so on), changes to zoning ordinances or town ordinances and regulations, or approving union contracts for town or school employees.

In our case, this was the second part of our two-part town meeting process, that second part being actual voting. The first part was the deliberative session last month where interested townsfolk would meet to go over all of the various warrant articles that covered the topics mentioned early, debating them, and if deemed necessary, amending them. (I wish I could say the deliberative session was well-attended, but this year there was little in the way of controversial warrant articles, so we saw maybe 70 people in attendance and there was little discussion about the 20-some warrant articles. The session lasted less than a half hour.)

Today’s voting started at 7AM and lasted until 7PM. I certainly didn’t expect a large voter turnout like we saw back in November. We usually get about a sixth to a third of the town’s registered voters showing up for Town Meeting voting unless there’s a controversial issue or two that draws out a larger number of voters. Since this year’s warrants were rather benign, I figured we’d see the usual number of voters participating this year.

In general, this is the a case where direct democracy works. The people gather to decide how their town will spend their tax dollars, what changes will be made in how the town does things, and how/if any other items of import will be handled. It works because it is such a small version of democracy. Much bigger than that and it becomes less effective. It is also what I call “intermittent democracy” since it is exercised only once a year, not every day and not for every decision that needs to be made by the various town and school officials throughout the year.

The townsfolk have done their duty until next year. They have cast their ballots and decided what the town will be doing over the next 12 months. Then the process starts all over again, just as it should.

3/07/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

Just a fair warning: This week’s TOAS is going to be an abbreviated version as I have been busy most of the day. I spent some time with a couple of friends I have mentioned once or twice, these friends being refugees from San Francisco. They relocated to New Hampshire at the end of last summer, taking up temporary residence in the city of Portsmouth. (I think I may have also mentioned they were closeted conservatives, something that made life in San Francisco even more daunting.)

Between breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast eateries (an actual diner, not a wannabe) and a few hours at one of our local ski resorts, it took up a good portion of the day, hence a shortened post today.

==+==


One observation from today’s activities: a lot of people are still making best use of the outdoor recreational facilities. Lift tickets, cross-country passes, and snow-tubing tickets at the ski resorts were all sold out. (We were smart enough to buy our tickets online a few days ago.) The parking lots were full and the lifts were busy as was the food court/restaurant. Some of this was likely due to it being close to the end of the resort’s ski season, with it being open only on weekends going forward. That we’ll also be seeing three days with temps in the 50’s and 60’s later in the week may also have something to do with it because who knows how much that will affect the snow cover on the trails and slopes.

One thing that didn’t make sense was the requirement to wear masks...outdoors. It makes sense if customers were inside the rental office, welcome center, or food court/restaurant. But wearing them outside when on a lift or coming down the slopes?

Then again, there wasn’t heavy enforcement of the mask mandate. So it might be seen more as a “We have to go through the motions to placate The Powers That Be, but we’re not going to be obsessive about it” action.

==+==


First it was Dr. Seuss. Then it was Mr. Potato Head.

Now it’s Pepe Le Pew.

This has gone beyond ridiculous and well into the absurd...and insane. Then again, it’s the New York Times Charles Blow making a big deal about this, and that explains everything.

==+==


And that’s the (very abbreviated) news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it’s still quite chilly, it’s been sunny all day, and where Town Meetings start this coming week.

3/06/2021

The $15 Minimum Wage - The US Senate Gets It Right For Once

I’m glad to see that my home state’s US Senators (Democrats both) didn’t drink the Progressive Kool-Aid...this time...and voted against including the $15 minimum wage embedded in the pork-ridden $1.9 trillion Covid ‘relief’ bill pushed by President * and Speaker Pelosi, and passed by the House. They understood it was a non-starter and should be debated on its own merits.

A lot of people keep making a big deal about passing a $15 minimum wage, focusing on one small aspect of the issue while ignoring the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room: the 107% increase in the federal minimum wage will hurt far more people than it might help. They purposely try to believe the Law of Unintended Consequences will not come into play...this time...and that the effects of such an unprecedented increase in the minimum wage will have no negative effects across the economy and leave the working people this increase was supposed to help worse off than they were before. Will the proponents like Congresscritter AOC (Clueless - NY14) and Senator Bernie Sanders (CPUSA - VT) apologize to those who lose their jobs because of their actions? Of course they won’t. After all, their intentions were good, and that’s all that counts, right? Results aren’t important, right?

What is the reality?



The changes in the minimum wage since the 1950’s has run between 9% and 13%, sometimes changed on a specific date and at other times phased in over a period of two or three years. The changes caused some disruptions, but not all that many. But more than doubling the minimum wage is supposed to have little or no negative effects? Yeah. Right.

3/03/2021

University Of Texas Cancels Cancel Culture

Has ‘cancel culture’ gone too far? Yup. It did that a long time ago.

The ignorant have tried to cancel Dr. Seuss, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and even Mr. Potato Head.

The latest target?

The University of Texas and its well-known song “The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You”.

It’s more than that, of course, It’s a Texas institution and now, cancel culture hysterics have come for it.

But it’s very hard to cancel an institution. Knock down a few statues, erase the history books — these are easy. But the history, tradition, and sheer emotion tied up into an institution — even the barbarians will have trouble canceling that.

--snip--

Now, on the 185th anniversary of Texas independence, controversy threatens it. But the song won’t be canceled without a fight.

--snip--

Do these children really believe they’re fighting racism by canceling a song? Tearing down a monument? Scrubbing a history text? Racism is a disease of the heart and soul and isn’t cured by inflaming passions against the fight against it by attacking symbols that have nothing to do with racism unless the meaning or context in which they appear is horribly twisted by those not seeking to heal but to hurt.

At bottom, cancel culture is cruelty writ large. Symbols that have deep personal meaning to perhaps millions of people are attacked with full knowledge that they are injuring their feelings. That’s cruel and unjust.

Right now, fear of being seen as “racist” is what’s driving this effort forward. Perhaps fear of suffering financially is the antidote. Neither solution is optimal and none will be found as long as the goal isn’t ending racism, as much as it is revenge against those who perpetrated historic injustices.

Cancel culture is part and parcel of so many SJWs, pushing ‘social justice’ that so often has little or nothing to do with actual justice. You don’t right past wrongs by committing new wrongs “in the name of justice”. The new wrongs fix nothing and generate even more animosity and harsh feelings, just the opposite of what should be taking place.

But apparently those new wrongs make those participating in cancel culture feel better about themselves for having done ‘something’, even if it’s the wrong something and everyone else can go screw themselves.

Yeah, like that attitude is going to help fix things.

2/28/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a 50:50 weekend in the weather department, with snow yesterday and sun today. No complaints, at least not from me. We got about 2 inches of snow yesterday, an amount that is on the verge of the “Do I shovel this or not” amount. Since I didn’t have to go anywhere yesterday, I didn’t shovel...much. I just cleaned up what was left after clearing off the trusty RAM 1500.

Since this is the last weekend of the school vacation weeks (New Hampshire this past week and Massachusetts the week before) things will calm down a bit and we’ll see most of the ski folk only over the next few weeks. (Our local ski resort closes the first weekend of April to start prepping for the summer season.)

Thoughts of the upcoming boating season have been intruding and I have been making plans for the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout to be taken out of storage, serviced, and prepped for being returned to the water in a little over two months.

==+==


It seems that one state, Georgia, is taking the 2020 election irregularities seriously and changing its election laws to address them. Not surprisingly, the Georgia Secretary of State isn’t behind the changes and thinks they go too far. What are these ‘radical’ changes the SoS is against?

One such bill that has passed in the state senate would require all voters to present either a driver’s license number, a state identification card number, or a photocopy of some other approved form of identification in order to be allowed to cast an absentee ballot. Another bill, which has been approved by a state senate subcommittee, would force voters to provide a legitimate reason for voting by absentee ballot rather than in-person. The swath of new bills is in response to widespread allegations, backed by credible evidence, of voter fraud in the state in last November’s elections.

I wish New Hampshire’s legislature would take action to close the non-resident voting loopholes that presently allow out-of-state college students, campaign workers, and other ‘temporary’ occupants to vote in our elections. There are actual requirements that need to be met in order to be eligible to register to vote, but the same-day voter registration part of our election laws have created one heck of a loophole that allows these otherwise ineligible non-New Hampshire voters to cast ballots in our elections. I think we are the only state in the country that allows ineligible voters to vote in our elections, an abuse that must be stopped.

==+==


Another state looking deeper into election irregularities is Arizona, particularly after a Superior Court judge ruled that Maricopa County must turn over 2.1 million ballots to the Arizona State Senate as part of their investigation into ballot count irregularities during the November 2020 election.

The county fought the state senate subpoenas for the ballots, but the judge ruled “There is no question that the Senators have the power to issue legislative subpoenas. The subpoenas comply with the statutory requirements for legislative subpoenas. The Senate also has broad constitutional power to oversee elections.”

What are the county election officials so nervous about? If everything is on the up and up there shouldn’t be any problems, right?

==+==


This says it all.

Leftists Cook Up Crazed Fever Dream to See Nazi Symbolism at CPAC.

Leftists are convinced that the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is a nefarious conclave of secret Nazis plotting an insurrection. Many activists on Twitter have seized on the shape of the CPAC stage at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Fla., claiming it is shaped like a secret rune to cater to Neo-Nazis. Partially for this reason, activists have demanded that Hyatt Hotels stop hosting this “hateful” confab. Hyatt rightly stood up to this absurd cancel push.

--snip--

Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union (ACU), which organizes CPAC, definitively debunked this absurd conspiracy theory.

“Stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous,” Schlapp tweeted. “We have a long standing commitment to the Jewish community. Cancel culture extremists must address antisemitism within their own ranks. CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage.”

It seems the just about anything can be called a “Nazi symbol” and used by the Left to cast conservatives as Nazis. Yet it is the Left who have the thugs who resemble the Brown Shirts of Nazi Germany. It is the Left who shelter blatantly antisemitic members of Congress from their party. It is the Left that uses eliminationist rhetoric against the Right. It is the Left that censors speech.

It comes down to this simple rule they follow: “Accuse your opponents of acts you are committing.”

==+==


From The People’s Cube:

Could Comrade Biden be our first Neuro-Proxy “President”?

I’d say the chances are even.

==+==


From the “Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider” Department comes this little gem.

Two California Assembly members have proposed legislation that will fine stores for having separate boy’s and girl’s clothing sections.

WTF?

What’s next? Legislating what goods or brands will be allowed to be sold in various stores? Legislating that all foods being sold will have to be organic and farmed in a sustainable fashion (‘sustainable’ being defined by the legislature and not reality) or they can’t be sold? Making it illegal for deliveries to stores to be made by anything other than electric trucks?

I wouldn’t put it past them as they’ve done stupid things like this before.

==+==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is trending warmer, the skiing is still great, and where Town Meeting season starts soon.

2/27/2021

Not Just "No", But "Hell no!"

It isn’t often I post a rant, at least not here. I will occasionally rant when making a comment on one of the Wall Street Journal forums or at one of the various blog/news/opinion sites. It isn’t my usual form of commenting. But every so often a blog post, comment, Tweet, e-mail, or face-to-face discussion will trigger a rant. This is one of those times. I must warn you that this rant won’t necessarily be in logical order and will be tinged with emotion. Rants in general tend to be so, and mine are no different. Here we go...

[rant]

I was pondering a topic worthy of posting, wondering if I should delve into my being reduced to a “stick figure” judged entirely by the color of my skin, such skin color being the sole defining factor of my “beliefs, biases, and prejudices”. The content of my character doesn’t matter, just my skin color. How screwed up is that?

My life experiences no longer matter, nor do the people with whom I associate, or my political leanings, or my actions, or my work. Because I am white I am automatically a racist, a “white supremacist”, and I must atone for my supposed racism be it explicit, implicit, subconscious, or imaginary, and I must do so in a fashion someone else has decided for me. I have been judged guilty for no other reason than I am a white heterosexual male of Northern European descent. I haven’t abased myself before those who deem themselves ‘woke’, those who believe themselves of superior wisdom, knowledge, and foresight and I will not be considered worthy of them until I do.

They have a long wait ahead of them because I will not bow to the deluded visions of the willfully ignorant and indoctrinated ‘true believers’ of what has become something akin to a politically active religious cult.

I do not bow to the ‘enlightened’ when their actions are contradictory to their stated goals. None of what they want from me or anyone else ‘not them’ will eliminate or reduce racism or any other “-ism” that is their cause du jour. It doesn’t bring people together. Rather, it divides them, generates intolerance, hatred, and prejudice all in the name of correcting some wrong, real or imagined, or for some elusive and twisted idea of equality.

They seek equity which has nothing to do with equality, though you might have a tough time convincing them otherwise. Equity is nothing we want as it is nothing anyone should inflict on others.

They seek to silence those who do not bow to their beliefs. (See cancel culture.)

Some of them feel any actions they take upon the “unwoke” are justified, including violence. Some have even suggested “deprogramming” for the unwoke (Katie Couric being just one of them doing so in public). Others have gone so far as to suggesting re-education “camps” for their opponents. (We’ve seen these before. Does the Gulag Archipelago ring a bell? How about Sobibor, Dachau, Bergen Belsen, or Auschwitz? For a previous generation of willfully ignorant and indoctrinated ‘true believers’, these “camps” were a solution to a very similar problem as they saw it.)

Do I think they would go so far? Ninety-nine percent wouldn’t...but that remaining one percent wouldn’t think twice about doing so. Certainly 20th century history has proven that more than once.

I have some very firmly held beliefs, these beliefs being derived from my upbringing and my experiences, some from those whose experiences and knowledge far exceed my own, and from a couple of thousand years of history, with a focus on the past 600 years. From those sources I have come to see what works, what doesn’t, and more importantly, why. I have seen that history does indeed show us what will come again if the lessons it teaches are not heeded.

What I see from many of our ‘woke’ brothers and sisters is nothing new, despite what they might believe. It was seen in Russia starting prior to World War I. It was seen in Italy starting in 1919 and in Weimar Germany around 1925. It was seen in China in 1949 and again in 1966. It was seen in Korea in 1950, in Vietnam in 1956, and in Cambodia prior to 1975. Nothing our present day ‘woke’ have been taught or are doing is unlike what has been done in those other times and places.

Getting back to the main theme of my rant, it seems everything is being examined by the ‘woke’ for any hint of racism, sexism, and whateverism, then denounced when ‘someone’ finds any such hints, even if they aren’t there. The subject of such scrutiny is either canceled or pressured to change into something unrecognizable. The two latest victims of this deluded scrutiny?

Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head.

I kid you not.

To quote one of my favorite politically incorrect movies, Johnny Dangerously: “This is fargin’ war!!”

This ridiculous crap must come to a stop. It serves no useful purpose, causes hate and discontent, and fixes nothing. It’s only purpose is to destroy, period.

As such, there are two questions that must be asked.

The first: Cui bono?

I know who.

The second question is: Do you know?

[/rant]

2/21/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

As I know many of you (all 17 of you reading this blog) may have noticed, I haven’t been posting as much as I usually do. Between a heavier workload at my primary job and additional work at my secondary job, I am generally busy 12+ hours a day, 6 days a week. On the ‘free’ day I have I am usually busy around The Gulch, helping the WP Mom clean the house, making a dump run, a Walmart run, a Tractor Supply Company run, a grocery run, or any other duties or chores needing to be done. It doesn’t leave me nearly enough time to take care of things like starting up a new business (in the works), working on my third novel, or blogging.

Once we get past mid-March I’ll be back to a normal workload (whatever ‘normal’ is these days) and I can devote more time to this...and corresponding with one of the WP Nieces with whom I have been discussing and debating the events taking place as well as politics, ideology, and history.

==+==


This must be true...or rather, it needs to be true, at least for President *, AOC, and the DNC-MSM propaganda machine.

DHS has released a statement reporting that “right-wing extremists were responsible for the majority of fatal domestic terrorist attacks last year.”

But there’s a problem with that statement, being that “It’s long on vague assertions and decidedly short on facts.” “...as Yahoo News points out, “the government has released no data on historical activity or the current threat landscape.” Apparently we’re just supposed to take their word for it.”

The attacks by antifa and BLM – hence referred to as “Burn, Loot, and Murder” – are downplayed, minimized, if not devoutly ignored by the media, local government, and bought-and-paid-for DA’s and prosecutors (elected using George Soros’s money). While some members of antifa and BLM hew to their original raison d'ĂȘtre, both organizations have abandoned any pretense and are openly Marxist, anti-government, anti-capitalist, and anti-constitutionalist. The leaders now come right out to say their purpose is to dismantle the country. Of course they don’t say what they’ll replace it with, but then the New Bolsheviks rarely do.

==+==


Remember this?

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

With the push to force Critical Race Theory down everyone’s throat, that dream is dead.

Under Marx’s Critical Race Theory (also used by the National Socialists in Germany), just the opposite is pushed: The color of one’s skin is the most important thing as it defines who you are. Rather than uniting people, it divides them, separates them, limits them. But to hear the proponents tell it, this racist theory is the only way to solve the racism problem.

Excuse me? The only way to solve racism is to commit racism?

This issue has become more telling when Jody Shaw, a staff member at Smith College in western Massachusetts, resigned in protest over the college’s “hostile atmosphere”.

It appears that Ms. Shaw ran afoul of critical race theory fanatics who forced her to “participate in racially prejudicial behavior as a condition” of her employment.

Shaw, being a normal, intelligent, woman rebelled. She blew the whistle on the racialists at Smith College in a scathing video she posted to YouTube.

“I ask that Smith College stop reducing my personhood to a racial category. Stop telling me what I must think and feel about myself,” she said. “Stop presuming to know who I am or what my culture is based upon my skin color. Stop asking me to project stereotypes and assumptions onto others based on their skin color.”

This is the essence of critical race theory. In order to make “progress” in “combatting racism,” everyone is reduced to a stick figure. It’s so much easier to define individuals when you identify them as members of a specific group, with specific beliefs, biases, prejudices.

In her resignation letter to the university president, she didn’t pull any punches.

Every day, I watch my colleagues manage student conflict through the lens of race, projecting rigid assumptions and stereotypes on students, thereby reducing them to the color of their skin. I am asked to do the same, as well as to support a curriculum for students that teaches them to project those same stereotypes and assumptions onto themselves and others. I believe such a curriculum is dehumanizing, prevents authentic connection, and undermines the moral agency of young people who are just beginning to find their way in the world.

It’s important that we realize that this didn’t have to happen. Small-minded, even ignorant people see salvation in controlling the minds and lives of others. Is it a mass delusion that they believe they are actually “fighting racism,” that they’re doing this for white people’s own good? Or are these the same efforts at control that have been around since humans created civilizations?

Fighting racism by committing acts of racism?

Yeah...that’ll work.

==+==


And that’s the abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter weather keeps coming and going, we’re in the midst of the second week of February school vacations (Massachusetts last week, New Hampshire this week), and the ski areas are very busy.

2/16/2021

Has Venezuela Finally Figured Out A Socialist Economy Doesn't Work?

Imagine that. It appears the Socialists running Venezuela have come to the conclusion that top to bottom Socialist control of the economy, particularly when it comes to the means of production, doesn’t work.

So what are the Venezuelan socialists going to do to fix this problem of their own making?

They are abandoning socialist doctrine by offloading key enterprises to private investors.

In 1998, Venezuelans voted in [Hugo] Chavez, a populist and self-described Marxist. He was re-elected in 2000 (59.8% of the vote) and in 2006 (62.8%), at which point he began to nationalize various sectors of the economy—including agriculture, the steel industry, transportation, and mining—and confiscating more than a thousand companies, farms, and properties.

At the time of Chavez’s death, his socialist policies were heralded by Salon as an “economic miracle”—but in reality the Venezuelan economy was already in a free fall.

By 2014, with the price of oil collapsing, Maduro’s government admitted it was in severe recession and Venezuela was suffering from the highest inflation in the Americas. By January 2016, the country was on the verge of “complete economic collapse.” Not long after, the Venezuelan government abandoned any pretense of being a “democratic” regime.

--snip--

The collapse of Venezuela, once the most prosperous country in Latin America, is hardly a secret. But Maduro’s pivot toward private enterprise in an attempt to stabilize the collapsing country is a new revelation.

--snip--

Maduro’s effort to quietly form private-public partnerships, a strategy that began in 2017, reveals the total failure of Venezuela’s command economy. Bloomberg points out, for example, that once-successful food processing plants have been “mostly idle” since being seized by the government, plants that could have been feeding a starving population.

This revelation is both tragic and infuriating, but it’s not surprising. By their very nature, command economies are doomed to fail because they lack the basic incentive and price structures that are present in a market economy.

But what Maduro is building is something that has been done before, something dating back to the 1930’s…in Italy and Germany: Fascism. Is Venezuela’s economy shifting to fascist economy, once described by Sheldon Richman as “socialism with a capitalist veneer”?

Time will tell.

2/14/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been colder than normal here in central New Hampshire for this time of year. It has meant the lakes have been freezing up hard, with ice thickening quickly. On most parts of the Big Lake the ice is thick enough to support vehicles, so we’ve been seeing folks pulling their bob houses out onto the lake in order to partake of ice fishing. The timing is good because the annual Meredith Rotary Club Ice Fishing Derby started Saturday and concluded today.

At least Covid hasn’t stopped the Derby. Then again the Derby is outdoors, the participants are spread out all over the 72 square miles of the Big Lake and the temperatures are well below freezing. It certainly helps that these conditions work in favor of participants maintain social distancing.

==+==


One thing I have noticed since the first of the year has been a major change in the people commenting to various posts. Not so much the makeup as the names/ID’s people are using.

What do I mean, or in this case, who do I mean?

Trolls.

Any of you out there who have been around the ‘Net understand exactly what I mean: People commenting on posts and about other comments, such comments being basically contradictory, make false accusations about something or someone, make inflammatory statements, perform what I have seen called ‘drive-by accusations’ – drop an accusation with no corroborating links or evidence – then disappear for a while, try to present straw-man arguments, and worse, try to push outright falsehoods as ‘fact’ (think “Russia! Russia! Russia!” as one example).Many of these trolls spend hours online every day, posting dozens of comments every day, 365 days a year. One I found posted an average of 112 comments a day and did so for over nine years. That’s almost 41,000 posts a year. This one was most likely a shill, paid to post this kind of tripe and stir up trouble.

Trolls are a fact of life on the ‘Net.

But one thing started happening right after the first of the year – trolls started abandoning their IDs in large numbers and started using new ones. From my observations I’d have to say a good 75% of the trolls I am familiar with have ‘disappeared’, reappearing with new IDs.

It didn’t take long to figure out who was who, even with their new IDs because they all had their own commenting style. Some had created new IDs and within the first couple of days had posted several hundred comments. Others had ‘spare’ IDs they had created years ago, rarely used with just enough comments made to keep it active, then after they burned their old IDs their dormant IDs came to life, and again dozens, if not hundreds of comments were posted every day.

Fortunately it is usually easy to figure out someone is a troll because of the comments they post. One giveaway is those using the Disqus commenting system tend to have ‘private’ profiles which means no one can see their commenting history. They either have a very small Upvote-to-Post ratio or a very high Upvote-to-Post ratio (they will use their other IDs to up-vote themselves).

==+==


What’s worse than a sore loser?

A sore winner.

It seems the Democrats are famous for that and it’s no different this time. As Tucker Carlson has asked, “The Democrats 'Won Everything,' Why Are They So 'Crazy-Person Mad'?”

Fox News host Tucker Carlson began his opening monologue on Thursday with a simple question. “So why are the Democrats so angry?” “It doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

Setting aside the fact that liberals are, by nature, far more consumed by what angers them than by what makes them happy, Carlson noted that the Democrats “won everything” in November and now have full control of the federal government. “Winning seemed to enrage them even more,” he said — correctly so.

Why is this?

==+==


From Donald Trump after his acquittal in Impeachment 2.0, this one statement sticks out more than the rest:

It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree.

From a comment made to a related post in another blog comes this:

It is as if you need to have a scorecard to keep track of the whipsawing back and forth Democrats do on what is considered allowable.

2001 - 2008 Dissent is "Patriotic".
2009 - 2016 Dissent is "Racist".
2017 - 2020 Dissent is "Fashionable" and complete with pink headgear resembling genitalia.
2021 - ? Dissent is "Treason".

Democrats in autumn of 2020: Trump is using the USPO to rig the election.
Democrats in December of 2020: Claims of rigged elections are conspiracy theories.

It seems that it depends upon whether something works for or against the Democrats whether something will or will not be allowed, and that can change from moment to moment.

That’s one good way to destroy the cohesion of a nation.

==+==


Even with Trump’s acquittal, Pelosi and Schumer have promised to continue their campaigns to destroy Donald Trump. To me, this further proves that this has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with vengeance for slights real or imagined.

They are misusing their offices to go after someone they hate. They keep pointing a finger at Trump, not understanding (or caring) that three fingers are pointing back at them. Their persecution of Trump is not playing well with the American people, even among Democrats. There are far more important things Congress has to deal with, yet the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader are wasting their time and the taxpayers’ money on something that will be more divisive than what has already occurred.

During the defense portion of the impeachment trial, the attorneys representing Trump presented video showing various members of Congress using inflammatory, murderous, insurrectionist, seditious, and even treasonous language aimed at the President, the GOP, and anyone with the audacity to disagree with them or get in their way. Their language egged on antifa and BLM rioters, made it seem they were all in on the rioting, burning, looting, and murder that took place over the past few years. Their language was far worse than President Trump has been accused of using (but didn’t). Where are the impeachments of those elected officials, the censure, the condemnation? What do we hear from the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the DNC leadership instead?

Crickets.

As needs to be stated again and again and again, if Congressional Democrats didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

==+==


It looks like we’re in for a little bit of snow today and a bunch of snow on Tuesday, something we need. (Some folks may think I’m crazy for saying so, but we need the snowpack for a proper spring thaw come April.) At the moment it looks like we’ll be in for between 6 and 10 inches here at The Gulch. I am looking forward to it!

==+==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow will be falling, the snowpack will be growing, and where I’ll be shoveling some of it away once it’s all done.

2/13/2021

Coronavirus Rhapsody (With Apologies To Queen)

In light of the news of the presence of the the UK Variant of Covid-19 here in New Hampshire, I felt we needed a break from the incessant “We’re gonna DIE!” panic being pushed by much of the media. Instead, providing some levity seemed to be the correct response to this endless pandemic. (Or should we start calling Covid-19 ‘endemic’ rather than being a pandemic?)

2/08/2021

One Business Being Proactive About $15 Minimum Wage

One national business is taking action regarding a possible increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

What business am I taking about?

Kroger.

This is the same Kroger that is closing two of its marginally performing food markets in Long Beach, California after the City Council rammed a $4/hour pay increase – so-called ‘hero pay” - down the throats of only a few selected businesses in the city. Kroger decided it was no longer worth the effort to continue doing business there because the two marginal markets, Ralph’s and Food 4 Less, were now money-losing businesses and it no longer made sense to keep them open.

What is Kroger doing to help mitigate the effects of the possible rise in the federal minimum wage?

Launch a pilot test of a 100% self-checkout store in Dallas, Texas.

I expect the “usual suspects” will scream bloody murder about “greedy capitalists” stealing from and “exploiting the poor” for profits by eliminating all of the cashier/bagger jobs. But if businesses don’t make a profit they don’t stay in business long, something these economically ignorant/delusional Social Justice Warriors choose to demonize. If the cost of labor rises to the point where a business stops making money and is now losing money, the business has only a few choices: raise prices which may cause customers to go elsewhere; reduce costs by reducing staffing, i.e. lay off employees; go out of business.

The first choice is a ‘Devil’s’ choice, meaning all it may do is delay the inevitable, but the end is still the same: going out of business.

The second choice isn’t much better because people will lose their jobs, the business owners will have to put in more hours to cover the work an employee would normally cover, and maybe the business will survive.

The third choice is the worst of the three because the business owner will reach the conclusion it’s no longer worth the time and effort needed to keep things going, or will see that the only future for the business is bankruptcy and will pull the plug. The jobs the business was providing will disappear along with the business.

The argument could be made that raising the minimum wage hasn’t caused businesses to go out of business, but there have been times when it has cost people their jobs, and even then the increase in the minimum wage was nowhere near the level being suggested, in this case more than doubling the federal minimum wage. On average, federal minimum wage increases have been between 9 and 13% since the 1960’s. The minimum wage increase being proposed is a 107% increase, something unprecedented. It will also have a much larger effect on the economy than previous minimum wage increases since for a lot of younger inexperienced workers it means the end of their jobs even of they aren’t receiving the present minimum wage. (Someone making $10/hour would also get a hell of a pay raise – 50% - something many of the $15/hour minimum wage proponents have chosen to ignore.) They may also lose their jobs if they can’t return $15.01 in economic gain to their employers.

If Kroger’s experiment works well enough, we may well see more supermarkets going the same route – no cashiers, no baggers, and fewer jobs. That could extend to other retail operations if Kroger’s experiment succeeds.

As such, we need to remind the aforementioned economically ignorant/delusional Social Justice Warriors of one simple fact that no amount of ‘feelz’ or excuses can explain away:

The actual minimum wage is $0 and always will be.

(H/T Granite Grok)