6/13/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

The roar of motorcycles filled a good portion of last evening, just as they did during the day today. The weather has been great all weekend and looks to be good all week (except for Monday, maybe). That will certainly help the visiting bikers plenty of time to enjoy the amenities (and spend a lot of money). It does mean the rest of us will likely be avoiding our usual haunts, giving them over to the visitors. (This is nothing new. While we love our local restaurants, we don’t always like dealing with the folks from away, so we tend not to visit them nearly as often between mid-June and Labor Day. The one exception is the seasonal restaurants that are only open during the summer.)

One of the important tasks I did take care of this weekend was assembling the new Official Weekend Pundit Gas Grill. I have been without a grill since we sold The Manse (the new owners wanted to keep the grill, so I left it behind), and the WP Mom convinced me it was time to bite the bullet and acquire a new one. A George Foreman grill can only go so far when it comes to grilling some nice marinated sirloin tips. A good flame does it better. All I need to do now is pick up a 20lb bottle of propane and it will be ready to go.

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By way of Instapundit comes this confession by one of the people responsible for the kangaroo kourt konvictions of young male college students on vaguely defined sexual assault/sexual harassment charge, asking “How much damage have me and my colleagues done?”

The possibility that this young woman held in her hands the power to derail their son’s education, something these parents might have been imagining since he was in utero, was untenable. The possibility that the process designed to respond to exactly these sorts of accusations already appeared to presuppose his guilt — that was unimaginable.

No amount of assurance on my part convinced them that their son would be treated fairly. If that were the case, why were they already being told he had to leave campus and his classes before there was so much as a preliminary hearing? . . .

“My son’s hearing was a joke,” she said. “He never stood a chance. Do you know that the hearing officer and the investigator are good friends? And that the ‘advocate’” — she practically spit out the word — “they assigned to him was also a friend of theirs? I found them all on Facebook, attending the wedding of the person who is supposed to hear appeals. All friends. I saw them leaving together after the hearing, and in the parking lot of a restaurant heading in together. We decided to eat somewhere else.”

Thus was the “presumed guilty until proven innocent...and are still guilty even if proved innocent” attitude that came to exist on college campuses due to that damnable “Dear Colleague” letter. It also led to lawsuit after lawsuit against colleges and universities for ‘convictions’ based on nothing but an accusation, the so-called courts ignoring due process, meaning the accused was always assumed to be guilty, had little or no opportunity to question the accuser or present exculpatory evidence. The telling event about these kangaroo courts is that the plaintiffs won case after case after case against those institutions of higher learning, in some cases receiving millions of dollars in damages. Yet the kangaroo courts continued unabated and an untold number of young college men have seen their lives turned upside down based solely upon an accusation, no proof required, no actual investigation performed.

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More counties (and states) are declaring themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries, a growing trend as Americans see the federal government (including Congress and especially the President) willfully ignoring the Constitution by trying their best to eliminate one of our enumerated rights. If the feds succeed in this effort, the next one in their sights will be the First Amendment, and after that maybe the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. (Remember that President * has stated that a constitutional amendment isn’t ‘absolute’, meaning he believes the Constitution can be ignored by the government as needed. Then again we know the extreme Left Wing of the Democrat Party doesn’t believe in the Constitution and would love to be able to ignore it entirely.)

The legislature in my home state passed a bill that makes New Hampshire a Second Amendment Sanctuary state. We’re just waiting for our governor to sign it. (We expect he will as he has been a strong advocate for the Second Amendment, for the most part.) If he does sign it, I would push to see an amendment in the state constitution to strengthen the Second Amendment sanctuary status so a future Democrat majority legislature can’t remove it at whim.

If we don’t defend our Rights now, there may not be a later to do so, or it will require armed rebellion, bloodshed, and a lot of death, something none of us wants.

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For anyone who’s been paying attention over the past year, this won’t be a surprise.

It turns out everything President Trump claimed prior to the election last November was true. Even the DNC-MSM is now admitting he was right, though reluctantly.

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You know it’s bad when a member of a foreign government friendly to the US states Biden “is so senile that he probably won’t remember what we tell him.”

Those of us paying attention have known that for well over a year, ever since SloJo started running for the Democrat nomination. He’s displayed classic symptoms of dementia, has had limited exposure to the public, calling a ‘lid’ on his appearances early in the day. He has memory lapses that can’t be covered up, even by the leftist DNC-MSM. He appears confused, doesn’t seem to know where he is from one moment to the next, and has difficulties with his vocabulary, and you rarely, if ever, see him evenings. (Those suffering from dementia tend to be worse late in the day/evenings, something called ‘sundowning’ or ‘sunsetting’.)

How can anyone believe SloJo is running anything if he’s having problems dealing with everyday activities? When our allies comment on SloJo’s diminishing capacity, one has to think they are seeing the same things we are, but up close and personal.

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I’m sure the business owners in San Francisco are pleased as punch about the ‘new normal’ when it comes to selling their goods, that being looting/shoplifting. California’s changing the definition of felony theft by setting a much higher felony threshold for the value of goods stolen ($950) has certainly helped fuel the problem. Then there’s also this:

An organizer for Black Lives Matter has informed us that such activities are to be regarded not as theft but as “reparations” owed to those who are oppressed according to liberal doctrine.

What has been the unintended consequences of the new normal?

Walgreens has been closing stores because it is effectively legal to shoplift in Democrat-dominated California. Thieves are expected to limit themselves to swiping less than $950 worth of merchandise at a time. However, if you allow any crime, you get a lot.

This was the insight behind the Broken Windows approach to police work that allowed Rudy Giuliani to clean up New York City, which has since slipped back into dysfunction thanks to liberal rule. The current War on Police and ever more lenient treatment of criminals puts Broken Windows into reverse by encouraging crime.

Then when crime is rampant and society is coming apart, they will ‘crack down on crime’ using draconian measures, with crime being redefined to mean anything they want it to mean, including exercising the freedom of speech. Then again, that’s exactly what they want, as most incipient totalitarians do.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the rumble of motorcycles is constant, the weather is great, and where The Day That Shall Not Be Named has returned...again.

6/12/2021

Motorcycle Week Has Returned!

It started yesterday just prior to noon.

At first it was just an occasional rumble passing by my place of employment. Over the next few hours the occasional rumble became a steady stream, passing from south to north. It was interspersed with occasional light showers lasting only a few minutes.

No, it wasn’t lines of thundershowers working their way through central New Hampshire.

It was thousands of motorcycles making their way to Laconia for the 98th Annual Laconia Motorcycle Week. Today marks the beginning of 9 days of celebrating the love of motorcycles.

Laconia Bike Week is one of the Big Three gatherings of motorcycle enthusiasts taking place in the US every year – Daytona, Laconia, and Sturgis.

Last year’s celebration was delayed due to Covid, taking place in a greatly attenuated form during the fall. Less then 25% of the usual number of attendees made the trip, something understandable under the circumstances.I have a feeling this year’s attendance will be close to a record as people are shaking off the last vestiges of Covid lockdown/lockout from their systems.

We’ve certainly seen record numbers for vacation bookings in this area this year, with every seasonal rental booked months ago from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and heavy bookings between Labor Day and Columbus Day. The restaurants, food shacks, and food trucks are all busier that we’ve ever seen. That leads me to believe this will apply to Motorcycle Week as well. I am certainly seeing more motorcycles on a first Saturday than I recall seeing during previous Bike Weeks. All parking lots at some of my favorite breakfast eateries were full of motorcycles. There were a lot of bikes in the Walmart parking lot late this morning. The same was true of the lots at our two supermarkets at the edge of town.

Things are getting back to normal. It’s about time.

6/09/2021

Proposed New Gun Legislation - New Hampshire

This is a comment I made to an Instapundit post dealing with the aftermath of the shooting in Boulder, Colorado three months ago. Seeing as it is likely our governor is going to sign a bill that makes New Hampshire a Second Amendment Sanctuary State, I thought I would bear repeating as a proposal for new gun legislation here in the Live Free Or Die state, to whit:

"Every able-bodied adult not otherwise restricted by law (convicted felons and those under Domestic Violence Restraining Orders or Mental Health 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."

Yes, it needs some work, but I figured I could lay out the basics here for your perusal. As comments [still] aren’t working, you can e-mail your suggestions to the e-mail address in the ‘Contributors’ link to the right.

6/06/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a typical summer weekend, being hot and humid (more so today rather than yesterday). Plenty of summerfolk were about over the weekend, though it wasn’t as crazy this weekend as it was over the Memorial Day weekend even with the better weather these past two days.

We are also likely to see our first official heat wave (three consecutive days of temperatures 90ºF or above) which started today and is supposed to last through Tuesday. The hot and humid weather is likely to generate thunderstorms each day, a not atypical effect of this type of weather. It will mean keeping an eye on the sky, particularly while being out on the lake. Being caught out on the lake in a thunderstorm is no fun. (I can speak from experience about this.)

I am still surprised to see how many boats are still in storage at some of the local boatyards/marinas and how many slips are still not occupied despite there being a shortage of available slips. The pier where I berth the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout – aka The Boat – would normally have all of the boats tied up at their usual berths. But as of today mine is the only boat there, one of the last things I expected to see at this point. Usually all the berths are occupied before Memorial Day.

It is a paradox – a very high demand for boat slips, a lot of boats still in storage, and a lot of boat slips are still empty. The boat yards and marinas are very busy trying to get the boats still in storage ready to launch. They had a bit of a head start since the winter weather was pretty much done by mid/late March. (That’s when I called the boat yard that stores and services The Boat and made arrangements to have it pulled out of storage and readied to launch by the second weekend of May. They weren’t able to get it ready until the third weekend!)

I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of paradoxes this summer.

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The housing crunch continues, both here in northern New England and elsewhere in the rural and semi-rural areas, so-called ‘Flyover Country’.

People are fleeing the cities...blue cities… and blue states for red states and cities and Flyover Country to escape the effects of Covid, the overbearing taxes, the high cost of living, the rising crime, the spreading mental illness of the ‘woke’, increasing populations of homeless, and a whole list of other self-inflicted blue state/city ills. By doing so, the demand for housing in the non-blue areas has skyrocketed.

We’ve certainly seen that issue here in New Hampshire, with folks from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York buying homes here and driving up the prices since they seem to be willing to offer well above asking price to get a home they want. Of the three groups, it surprises me that a majority of those folks ‘from away’ are from Connecticut and that most of those are not from the cities. Please be aware this is anecdotal data, some from people whom I asked directly, other info from the real estate transaction data, and yet other data from a few realtors I know – though not from my realtor – so take my claim with a grain of salt. The balance come from Massachusetts and then New York and the few I know of personally from New York came from Upstate New York, not the Metro New York Area.

I have seen selling prices going through the roof, whether that’s because the folks ‘from away’ didn’t grasp that property prices here were a lot lower than where they came from or they want to make sure they get the house they’ve set their sights on. Perhaps it’s a mixture of both. All I know is that home prices have gone way up, locking a lot of locals out of the market. There’s also the the huge increase in the cost of building materials which is making things even worse.

I’ve postponed starting construction on The New Manse because lumber costs have gone up over 300%, and plywood prices are up over 400%, making it financially untenable for me to even consider building anytime soon. That’s true for a lot of other families wanting a new home. Developers aren’t necessarily going to dive in at this time either for the same reason. They know the demand and prices will fall, just like they always do, and they don’t want to be left with overpriced homes they can’t sell.

It’s not that new homes aren’t being built. They are. However, they tend not to be ‘spec’ houses but higher end homes that a lot of middle class families can’t possibly afford. Therein lies the problem.

The other problem is that corporations are also buying houses in ‘resort’ areas, turning them into short-term rentals listed via AirBnB and VRBO, just to name two online rental sites. That means homes that would normally house a family, be it year round or seasonally, is no longer being used as a normal residence. This has also driven up housing prices as these LLCs are willing to outbid other buyers as they see the home as a source of revenue. (We recently saw an ~1700 sqft chalet with a gravel driveway, no garage, and no view that would normally sell for ~$240k went for $700k to an out-of-state LLC who plans to use it solely for short-term rentals. In that general neighborhood there are just shy of 100 homes that are now short-term rental only. That’s 100 less houses available as residences for families.)

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Over the years I’ve had more than a few people ask me if I believe in UFOs. I have asked them in turn if they meant ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’ or ‘Little Green Men’.

If they reply with the first, I say “Yup. I’ve seen more than a few in my time.” If they reply with the second, I say “I’ve seen something, but I can’t say if it’s Little Green Men or not.”

Are they secret government craft? Are they of alien origin? Is it the “Russkies”, the Chinese, or someone else? (I’m thinking it’s Elon Musk and his SpaceX guys pulling it off.)

All we do know is that US Government is saying “We don’t know.”

The report concluded that the vast majority of the incidents did not originate with the American military or other advanced U.S. government technology. That some of them might have is an intriguing possibility. Just what is it that the U.S. military is flying around up there?

It should be noted that the intelligence agencies mostly examined incidents involving Navy pilots. Most of the incidents occurred at sea while a few of the occurrences were recorded by Navy vessels in the open ocean. A few other incidents studied came from foreign militaries.

Are they telling the truth? “We don’t know.”

So, basically they’re saying the same thing they did back in 50’s and 60’s with Project Blue Book: “We don’t know...and we wouldn’t tell you even if we did.”

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Maggie’s Farm asks “How far can social insanity go?”

I don’t think we’re anywhere near peak social insanity yet, but we’re getting there. When we do, it’s going to be ugly, and, unfortunately, likely to be deadly.

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Twitter is getting slapped around, being hoisted upon their own petard after the government of Nigeria banned it in their country because of the platform’s partisan censorship.

Twitter’s ‘policy police’ fired back with an unwittingly ironic response, stating “We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society.” The fact-deficient response to Nigeria’s action unleashed a well deserved flood of “Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black” responses.

Lauren Chen’s tweet slapped Twitter’s ‘thought police’ right upside their collective heads:

So why are you depriving President Trump, Laura Loomer, Mike Lindell, Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, and countless others of this "essential human right"?

I expect Twitter will ignore Ms. Chen’s tweet...or delete it for violating their ‘Terms of Use’ policy.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer has actually arrived despite what the calendar says, where I’ll be spending time out on the lake, and Monday is once again interfering with spending even more time out on the lake.

6/05/2021

Will New Hampshire Become The Newest Second Amendment Sanctuary State?

First, we were an Open Carry state.

Then we became a Constitutional Carry state.

Now, with the passage of SB154 in the New Hampshire House, we are going to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary state. (This assumes our governor will continue his track record of supporting the 2nd Amendment and sign the bill.)

More states are sending a signal that they will not tolerate or support the Progressives in federal government efforts to erase the Second Amendment, and with it the ability to protect the rest of our constitutionally enumerated rights.

(H/T GraniteGrok)

6/04/2021

Throw This One At Them

I think I can use this as a counter to the gun-grabbers' argument.