Thoughts On A Sunday

We got past the end-of-the-workweek rain and we’re having great weather. While a little cooler than it was last week, it’s still in the 70’s but quite cool in the evening. It’s typical early fall weather.

Another sign of fall is the increasing number of boats being pulled from the water by owners and boatyards. The one that services and stores the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout has more than two dozen in its temporary storage area awaiting winterization and shrink-wrapping. That number is increasing daily even as the storage racks and trailer yard are filling. My boat won’t be pulled out of the water until a couple of weeks after Columbus Day, giving the boatyard plenty of time to work through the backlog that will build up over the next few weeks.

As I have mentioned before, the Leaf Peepers will soon be arriving in growing numbers as the fall foliage colors emerge. One thing that is different between the Leaf Peepers and summerfolk is that Leaf Peepers are here for only a short time, they envy the people living here and admire our beautiful landscapes. They also leave behind a lot of tourist dollars, something that is always appreciated. We also only have to deal with them for a few weeks as foliage season passes pretty quickly.


The claims that the only way to stop the spread of Covid-19 is to wear masks are accepted by so many without questioning them. Yet study after study shows the efficacy of masks (except for the N-95 masks) is minimal at best. We’ve seen more than a few videos with practical demonstrations of just how poorly the masks most of us use work. There have been the studies that show the same thing, both by experimentation and statistical analysis. Yet the gullible don’t question the claims by questionable ‘authorities’ or bow to the demands of the mask “Karens”.

I know I am sick to death of people spouting the “masks will prevent the spread of Covid” line when an increasing amount of evidence says otherwise.


While not exactly fresh news, it is still disturbing that we’re seeing blatant racism in the UK, in this case in the form of 14 white musicians working for an opera company being fired solely based on the color of their skin.

Their excuse? The opera company claims they are following diversity guidance from Arts Council England. However, the Arts Council said they did not instruct the opera company do so.

‘Woke’ has claimed even more innocent victims.


To see just how crazy it’s gotten down in New Zealand, this is a perfect illustration.

Three Auckland residents attempting to cross into an Auckland Level 4 Lockdown Zone with a significant amount of food from Kentucky Fried Chicken were arrested by police. Why would these three people attempt such a thing?

Auckland New Zealand was placed in a level-4 lockdown, meaning all restaurants are shut down even for takeout, and people within the L4 zone are to remain in strict isolation bubbles and quarantine confinement.

After an extensive sting operation and police chase, law enforcement announced today they successfully arrested three men who were attempting to gain re-entry into Auckland with a significant amount of contraband Kentucky Fried Chicken, ten tubs of coleslaw, and a large amount of illegal french fries.


As a result of the ‘level-four’ restrictions, the people in New Zealand were instructed to stay at home, “Do not talk to your neighbors”, wear a mask, maintain 2 meters social distance, and stay away from others if you leave your home for the three approved reasons: Emergency food shopping, healthcare or testing.

What, a food run isn’t considered part of emergency food shopping? Hmm. I guess tyrants really don’t care if their people suffer under draconian laws that reduce citizens to nothing but prison inmates.

What’s ironic is that it has been shown that lockdowns don’t work, and in fact actually make things worse, including damaging the economy.


Something that has been evident to anyone paying attention is that China isn’t the economic juggernaut everyone thinks it is. One indicator is the impending crash of Evergrande, the Chinese property giant that the government is on the verge of abandoning, leaving it billions in debt.

Evergrande is proving to be the first big victim. As the company falters, its undoing raises a fundamental question for the world’s second-largest economy: has China’s property-driven growth model – the global economy’s most powerful locomotive – run out of road?

Yes, says Leland Miller, chief executive of China Beige Book, a consultancy that analyses the economy through proprietary data. “The leadership in Beijing has been more worried about Chinese growth than anyone in the West.

To quote Stephen Green, “Authoritarian regimes often look invincible until shortly before they unravel.”

Then there’s this:

Not only is Evergrande possibly facing complete liquidation, but word came down that the company might make payments on Chinese-owned debt, but stiff foreign debt holders.

But the word this morning is that the Chinese government is now telling them to avoid default on dollar-denominated bonds. After all, if investors worldwide decided that all Chinese debt was potentially toxic, that would leave connected Chinese communists in a world of hurt.

If the Chinese economy has become so fragile that the downfall of a single firm could take the Chinese economy with it, that is a signal of economic weakness, one the Chinese government is trying hard to hide. But it can only hide it for so long.


Oh, yeah, this certainly has a ring of truth to it:

Professionalism and working together peacefully together is no longer the acceptable social norm.

Nobody is immune. It is cancel culture made into everyday office life. It is a high school behavior sanctified by corporations.

It seems no one is allowed to grow up anymore. Then again, being ‘woke’ means you never have to actually grow up. You can remain a whiny spoiled child and never become a mature adult.


On my pre-church shopping trip to Walmart this morning I noticed a lot more empty shelves. There was plenty of toilet paper and paper towels, unlike the last time we went through this. What was missing?

- Frozen foods. There were more than a few empty frozen food shelves, something I have rarely seen at Walmart. It isn’t unusual to see one or two empty sections as they are always rotating stock and need an empty freezer section to move stock into. But over half of one side of an entire aisle was empty.

- Distilled water. They usually have a couple of hundred 1-gallon bottles on the shelves, but for the past 3 weekends, there have been none.

- Spring water. With the exception of a couple of the local suppliers, there was none to be had. Of what was available, there wasn’t much, maybe a dozen gallons of each.

- Carbonated drinks. I’ve found that a number of brands of soft drinks are only available in plastic bottles. Aluminum cans for those brands have disappeared. I haven’t seen any a couple of weeks.

- Canned cat food and dog food. The feline contingent here at The Gulch consume both wet and dry cat food, with a majority being dry food (also know as “That nasty dry crap”). The pickings were slim today, with over two-thirds of the shelves being empty. The brand didn’t seem to matter. I noticed the same thing in the adjacent dog food aisle.

- Dry cat food and dog food. While I didn’t need to buy any during this trip, I saw a lot a few empty shelves as well, but it seemed it was primarily certain brands that were in low/no supply. The IAMS and Blue Buffalo shelves in the cat food aisle were the only ones fully stocked. It was similar in the dog food aisle, but there was also plenty of Walmart’s Ol’ Roy house brand available.

There were empty shelves here and there throughout the store as well, though I didn’t spend the time to see which items were missing. (Hey, it was a pre-church shopping trip and I generally know exactly what it is I want and where it is, so I don’t spend a lot of time taking care of it. I’m usually in and out in less than 15 minutes.)

I haven’t walked through any of our other local supermarkets, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I saw similar things there as well.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is more fall-like, there’s still plenty of boat traffic out on the lake, and the boats of the summerfolk being removed from the water are stacking up quickly in the boatyards and marinas.


Aw Nuts! - Part 3

The last time I delved into the the subject of acorns, I wrote about the the heavy crop of acorns falling from the oaks surrounding The Gulch. I thought we had reached the peak of the rain of acorns.

I was wrong. Again.

If anything, the number of acorns falling has increased.

Yesterday there was a stretch of 10 to 15 minutes during a windy rain shower where it sounded like golf balls hitting the roof, parked vehicles, and the ground. I can’t remember a time I’ve ever heard or seen that many acorns falling at the same time. I wouldn’t have wanted to be outside during that ‘acorn’ shower.

One of my neighbors, a fellow from away, texted me yesterday afternoon letting me know he was going to be coming up for the evening. (He does that so I can move the trusty RAM 1500 4x4 since I usually park next to my home on our shared driveway when he and his family aren’t up, doing so to make it possible for the WP Mom to get her car in and out without me having to move my pickup.)

I answered him, asking of he would be able to park in his garage, explaining the heavy acorn fall we’d been experiencing and how it might damage his vehicle. (One of my neighbors is the Deputy Police Chief on our town and we discussed the heavy acorn crop including how his daughter’s car had dents on its roof, hood, and trunk from the acorns.) I also suggested that if there was no room in the garage that he should park where I usually park the trusty RAM 1500 4x4 because it would not be anywhere near any of the oaks here. Instead, he changed his mind and decided not to come up.

If I park the pickup in front of the garage I don’t have to worry about it being pelted directly by acorns falling from the trees. But if they hit the roof of the house they end up bouncing off and up in the bed of the pickup. There have been more than a few mornings where I have come out to make the drive to work to find dozens, if not hundreds of acorns in the truck bed.

And so it continues...


Privilege? What Is Privilege?

As shamelessly stolen from Knuckledraggin’:

What is privilege?....

Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job.

Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance.

Privilege is having a smart phone with a data plan for which you receive no bill.

Privilege is living in subsidized public housing where you don’t have a water bill, where rising property taxes and rents and energy costs have absolutely no effect on the amount of food you can put on the table.

Privilege is the ability to go march against and protest against anything that triggers you without worrying about calling out of work and the consequences that accompany such behavior.

Privilege is having as many children as you want, regardless of your employment status, and being able to send them off to daycare or school you don’t pay for.

Pretty harsh, right? But not untruthful. But we can’t forget the other side of the above listed privileges, can we?

Here’s my additions to that list.

Privilege is you and your kids sleeping on the floor because it’s too dangerous to sleep in a bed or on a couch because a stray bullet fired by the local gangbangers might come though the window or wall and wound or kill whoever is sleeping there.

Privilege is being accosted or beaten for working hard so you can get out of your dangerous neighborhood, i.e. for “acting too white”.

Privilege is being egregiously lied to by your ‘alleged’ leaders about how the problems in your neighborhood will be solved if you elect them/give them money/support their organization when what they are really doing is making sure you stay put so they can stay in power. Oh, and things only get worse once you’ve done so.

Privilege is being forced to send your kids to substandard and underfunded schools that are more like a babysitting service rather than an institution of learning, and what learning they do receive won’t prepare them for the real world.

Privilege is being told you can’t get ahead without the helping hand of your ‘betters’, but that helping hand is only holding you back.

Privilege is being told all your problems are caused by racism, but the very folks telling you that are choosing to ignore that many of those problems are caused by your poor choices fomented and encouraged by those same people.

I could go on and on, adding to both lists of ‘privileges’. You get the idea.


Germany Is In Trouble...Of Its Own Making

I had an interesting ‘discussion’ with a solar power proponent, specifically about solar power’s overblown ability to meet our energy demands in the US. She insisted it could meet all our needs and I countered with “Then you are grossly underestimating the electrical demand, both as it exists now and the projected demand to recharge all of the electric vehicles being rammed down our throats by Biden, and the efficacy of solar, particularly in the climate here in New England.” She then cited Germany’s switchover to solar and wind as an example of how it can be done.

The only problem with her claim?

Germany hasn’t been able to meet the electrical demand and, in fact, has had to ask heavy industry in some parts of the country to shut down to prevent blackouts. As part of a twofer, it also has some of the highest electricity rates in the world.

Power supply for critical industrial companies disconnected from the grid On Saturday, August 14th, the network operators disconnected several industrial companies from the power grid in the evening. The electricity generation could no longer cover the current electricity demand in Germany. The power supply was critical and it was no longer possible to secure the supply even by importing electricity.

A break in solar power triggers the shutdown of industrial companies. The generation of electricity in Germany on this Saturday was downright chaotic. During the day, the solar systems generated a lot of electricity due to the almost optimal solar radiation. Between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., the solar power reached a peak output of more than 30,000 megawatts. In the evening, the power generation of the solar systems collapsed drastically. Between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., they delivered around 3,000 megawatts, just 10% of the output from the afternoon. Demand for electricity not covered by electricity imports either.

However, the demand for electricity in the evening was almost unchanged at a good 50,000 megawatts. The network operators therefore had to call up all available reserves. But the output of the pumped storage power plants and the lignite power plants run up to their maximum load was not enough to compensate for the deficit between electricity demand and electricity generation. The still missing amount of electricity could not be compensated by importing electricity from abroad. Therefore, shortly before 8 p.m., loads were shed from larger, energy-intensive industrial plants, such as aluminum and copper smelters.

This isn’t a one time event as it has happened before. It will happen even more often as Germany shuts down and decommissions its last nuclear plants, reducing its available generating capacity more than it already has. It has also been removing coal-fired generating plants from the grid, though it has suspended those plans for the time being.

They are finding out their whole ‘green’ energy dream isn’t working the way it was promised, that it is far more expensive than they were told, isn’t as reliable as it should be - even with storage - and isn’t dispatchable (can be brought on line as needed, when needed). They're finding out energy from outside Germany isn’t readily available either, be it electricity from French nuclear plants or natural gas from Russia for combined-cycle natural gas turbine plants within Germany. All of this has led to Germans paying astronomical rates for electricity.

A new addition is the annually increasing CO2 tax on electricity generated from fossil fuels, which is one of the reasons why the electricity price has reached a new record.

Germany has the highest electricity price in an international comparison. However, a new peak was reached in August, higher than ever before. According to a current analysis by the comparison portal Verivox, one kilowatt hour of electricity now costs an average of 30.4 cents for private households.

The wholesale prices for electricity rose significantly in 2021 and are therefore the main reason for the current rise in electricity prices. In January the average price on the EEX electricity exchange was 45.29 euros per megawatt hour and had already risen to 50.81 euros by July. This corresponds to a price increase of around 12 percent. The electricity providers are now passing the price increase on to the end consumer.

This is the same fate AOC has in mind for us with her Green Nude Eel - A faltering electrical grid incapable of meeting demand - present or future - at prices that a lot of people won’t be able to afford, a changeover to electric vehicles which we won’t have the electricity to recharge, and a collapse of our economy because there won’t be enough reliable energy to run it. Germany is a preview of what we can expect here. It’s not anything we want to emulate.

It all comes down to this – renewable energy is incapable of meeting our energy needs unless we want to do incalculable damage to our environment because we’ll need massive tracts of land for all the solar panels and wind turbines, all the storage. A ‘back of the envelope’ calculation showed that under perfect conditions (12 hours of noontime illumination, 1000W/m2 of solar energy hitting panels with a 30% conversion efficiency [and that’s being generous], meaning it takes 3.3 square meters of panels to generate 1000 watts of electricity, panels set up so the sunlight would only hit panels and not the ground, i.e. edge-to-edge, and enough storage to store 12 hours of output), it would take solar panels covering approximately 3.3 square miles of land to provide the same amount of electricity of a single 1300MW nuclear plant for 24 hours. The panels would need to generate twice the output of that 1300MW plant because half of that power would be needed to charge the storage batteries or the pumped storage required to provide electricity for the 12 hour of darkness. In the real world, much more than that would be needed because sunlight isn’t illuminating the panels at noontime levels for 12 hours. Instead you have to design for the shortest illumination period of the year (about 8 hours up here on either side of December 21st), the varying illumination between dawn sunrise and sunset, and the clouds that cover a portion or all of the solar arrays, so figure an array 3 times that size, or about 10 square miles. In comparison, a nuclear power plant takes up a couple of square miles (including the security exclusion zone surrounding the plant), can run 24/7/365 at 100% power output, and is not affected by the vagaries of weather. It also has a service life of 60 years. Solar panels have a service life of 15-20 years, tops.

Which would I prefer? I’m sure you know my answer.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a relatively quiet weekend here at the lake. It’s been mostly chores, a little shopping (beyond my weekly Sunday morning trip to Walmart), and some time out on the lake.

It’s hard to believe the first day of fall is only a few days away. It feels like summer started only a couple of weeks ago, yet the kids are back in school. This has certainly been one screwy year so far, with timelines skewed in such a way that time is passing by quickly and slowly at the same time – summer went by in an eye blink yet SloJo’s first eight months in office feel like eight years.

One good thing about the end of summer is that it’s become a lot quieter around here. There’s not quite as much traffic, we have easier access to our favorite eateries, and checkout lines at the supermarkets aren’t nearly as long. Yes, some of these things are small, trivial things, but they add up to a quieter, calmer climate around the lake. It will let us ‘rest up’ until next summer and the return of the summerfolk.

I do have to admit that we do look forward to the return of summer and the summerfolk. But when the summerfolk return, we look forward to their departure...and when they finally leave we look forward to their return. It’s contradictory, but that’s just the way it is.


I can get behind this: Let’s make Orwell fiction again!


This is something else I can also get behind.

Women now account for nearly half of all new gun owners.

More women should own, learn to shoot, and carry a firearm. It certainly ‘levels the playing field’ when it comes to crimes against women. Not that many of them would ever need to fire their weapon to protect themselves. Most often showing they are armed is enough for the smarter miscreants to decide to seek victims elsewhere. But if it comes to that, being armed is much better than being unarmed.

Katy is a gun owner, something I wholeheartedly support. She has a CCW permit (something she doesn’t need up here). She practices now and then. But she’s not nearly as good a shot as I am. (This is one of the few things she doesn’t do better than I can. A couple of the others are pilot an aircraft and pilot a boat. Of these three things, I know she can – and will - get better at the first and the third. She hasn’t expressed any interest in the second. Will she become better than me at shooting and driving a boat? Maybe...but I do have decades more experience and that counts for something, right?)


Skip Murphy reminds us it is the so-called “Party Of The People” (the Democrats) who are the racists in our nation and have been for two centuries, being obsessed with the color of people’s skin.

It seems their definition of untermenschen has shifted, with the new one being people with white skin as it seems only white people can be racists. (Yes, it is paradoxical. Don’t try to apply logic to this because there is none involved, just feelz and prevarication.)


I admit to stealing this word-for-word from today’s Day By Day cartoon.

I normally don’t do that, but being a big fan of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone I knew I had to do so this one time.

In Rod Serling’s voice:

“Imagine if you will a malevolent cabal where cruelty is compassion, depopulation is destiny, killing a kindness, and words are weapons.”

“A place where if masks work, why stay six feet apart?”

“If six feet apart, why the masks?”

“If they both work, why the lockdowns?”

“If more people die from the vaccines than the virus, why use the vaccines?”

“If people took vaccines to keep other people safe, why are they now very sick ‘superspreaders’?”

“In this dark utopia of government ‘care’, the elderly are targeted, cures denied, doctors & nurses silenced by threat of job loss.”

“A place where logic is criminal, reason a crime, and hysteria a virtue. This...is The Covid Zone.”

What’s scary is that while Chris Muir is pointing out the absurdity of the feddle gummint’s response to Covid-19, and the more recent nastiness coming from The Swamp, he is also pointing out reality.

How does Washington respond to yet another wave of Covid, one of a weaker variant than the previous waves? By doing the same things everybody knows don’t work and they expect everyone to toe the line and do what they say. That there’s pushback at the local and state level tells us people have had enough and that they do not trust feddle gummint edicts or listen to the politically driven ‘science’ being sold as real science, even with increasing evidence the government’s ‘science’ is not based upon facts.

And so it goes.


Ann Althouse asks the question “What if they gave a riot and nobody came?”

It appears all the hoopla about the preparations made around the Capitol to qwell rioting by “MAGA hat wearing, Socialism denying, “F**k Joe Biden!” chanting, mask and lockdown hating, Second Amendment loving, hard working Deplorables” far outweighed the number of the protesters who actually showed up. With so few protesters – somewhere around 400 or so – it made it impossible for the antifa/FBI/ATF instigators to goad the protesters into taking actions so they could be arrested and charged. It could be there were more instigators in attendance than actual protesters.


It seems the the “F**k Joe Biden” chant phenomenon is spreading, with the chant being heard at more college football games and other large public gatherings.

I never heard about anything similar when Trump was in office except at Democrat Party gatherings and rallies. If there had been, you know the DNC-MSM, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook would have reported on “F**k Trump” chants ad nauseum when he was in office.

It only took 8 months for Biden to go from being the supposed ‘Savior of America’ who would undo “all the damage done by Trump” to ‘Joetato’ and ‘SloJo’. His popularity has tanked faster than his mental faculties have deteriorated.

“Undoing all the damage” hasn’t endeared Biden to anyone considering undoing the damage has made things far worse by damaging the economy, igniting inflation by printing money like there’s no tomorrow, seen a humiliating and poorly planned withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan while abandoning American citizens and our allies, purging the military of personnel who believe in America and the Constitution so only Progressives remain within the command structure and in the military academies, an erosion of Constitutional rights, and an ever lengthening list of things that makes American society what it is.

Is it any wonder no one likes Biden (or Harris), even an increasing number of Democrats? They see them for what they are – looters and wreckers. (Ayn Rand described Progressives as we know them as ‘looters’ in Atlas Shrugged.

If nothing else this means the mid-term elections in 2022 are going to be interesting.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is great, the lake has been quiet, and where I wish I could put Monday off for one more day.


I Hate My Cable Company

It’s official.

I hate my cable company.

It’s not news that a lot of people have a dislike of their cable provider ranging from a mild disdain to a burning hatred. I didn’t come to hate my cable company until a few months ago and I have a darned good reason for it: a lack of customer service.

My cable provider used to be pretty good. I could call them with any question, any problem, and I could usually get an answer or get the problem resolved. Then, the cable company was acquired by another cable provider.

At first, there was no apparent change other than a different logo on the cable bill and on the the cable company’s trucks. And then things started changing. Customer service wasn’t quite as responsive as they had been in the past. The same was true of technical support. More automation, meaning automated phone systems and an expanded website to handle customer requests, payments, service changes, and technical support.

Then Covid hit.

Today, you’ll find if you have a problem or a request that isn’t related to paying your bill or changing your service, you won’t be speaking to a human being. You can’t speak to a human being because there’s no way to connect to one. If you try to speak to one of the ‘payment’ or ‘change of service’ customer reps, you’re told they can’t help with any problems as they have no access to the systems that can provide any of the other services.

I have two problems I have been trying to resolve for seven months and I am no closer to getting them taken care than I was back in late February. One is a technical problem that is not a showstopper, but is annoying. The other is a big problem – my e-mail.

An increasing percentage of my incoming e-mail is bouncing as mail daemons (e-mail server programs) keep kicking the e-mails as they see my e-mail address domain as invalid. At this point I figure over half of the e-mails inbound to me are being rejected and the percentage is increasing. All I want to do is change my e-mail to the new cable provider’s domain. (I have a ‘permanent’ e-mail address with my own domain that forwards to my ‘real’ e-mail address, one I’ve used for many years. I did check to make sure it wasn’t the server forwarding my e-mail causing the issue.) I know I am not the only one having this problem as I have spoken to a couple of people I know that have been having the same thing happening to them.

Do you think I could get anyone in customer service to make the change for me? Nope. Not one. If I was a new customer it wouldn’t be a problem. But I am an existing customer and that somehow changes things. I can’t even add a new e-mail account because I can’t seem to talk to a human being. Their support website couldn’t handle it either.

My other problem dealt with the cable modem/router/wireless access point.

The wireless is active but I don’t want it to be. I want to shut it off for a couple reasons: 1) I cannot link to the wireless access point because the SSID doesn’t match the one listed on the cable modem nor does the password work, and 2) I have two perfectly good wireless routers that cover both floors of The Gulch while the cable modem’s wireless access point does not. It’s just eating up spectrum better used by the other wireless routers.

But like the wireless access point, the cable modem password doesn’t work because it doesn’t appear to have one. It is supposedly on the bottom of the cable modem, but unless the password is either ‘Made in Taiwan’ or ‘Property of [my cable company]’, the password is missing. Just for grins I did try the wireless password as the admin password and it didn’t work.

I had as much luck reaching tech support as I did a customer service rep. Calling the phone number listed merely pointed me to the cable company’s website which contained absolutely no helpful information to solve the problem I was experiencing. I needed to speak to someone in tech support who could access the cable modem from the “other” side and at least shut off the wireless access point. The best outcome would being able to reset (or read) the admin password so I could access the cable modem directly. But it appears no one human is available to deal with tech support requests not covered by the website.

So until I can talk to a human being at my cable company that can actually help I am stuck in limbo.

The bill gets paid every month but the amount of customer service has declined to almost zero.

That’s why I hate my cable company.


Tax 'Em Until They Leave...And Take Their Money With Them

It seems the Progressive Powers That Be are going to prove Einstein right yet again – “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result this time.”

Their latest insanity? Four Blue states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, and New York) could see a total tax burden on the wealthy rise to ~60%, between city, state, and federal taxes. Do socialists in Congress honestly believe those same wealthy will take it lying down? It’s obvious they do.

For one thing, successful residents can simply move to another state. It is only the combination of high federal income taxes and high state-level income taxes that leads to these combined rates of nearly 60 percent. Yet some states, such as New Hampshire and Florida, have no income tax at all.

We’ve already seen an exodus of wealth, people, and major businesses from states like California, and that trend will only accelerate if taxes are sent even higher by this new plan. It’s only logical: states that heavily tax something are discouraging it, while states that don’t tax it at all are welcoming it. Why would anyone want to discourage income-earning?

Punitive taxation has ramifications for more than just the high-earning individuals and families directly impacted by higher tax rates. If they leave the state, they take with them jobs, investment funds, and spending that would otherwise go back into their communities.

It’s true that not all high-earners will flee states with these punitively high taxes. Some, for a variety of reasons, will stay. But even for these individuals, the high tax rates will backfire, because they’ll create perverse incentives and discourage economic activity above a certain level.

The wealthy didn’t get that way be being passive or stupid. Once they see how much of their money they’ll be shelling out because the Dems have better use for it than the people who earned it. Of course that “better use” usually has nothing to do with making things better...except for themselves.

So many of our “Spend money like there’s no tomorrow” Democrats don’t seem to understand heavy taxation tends to drive away the folks with the money. If they do that then they won’t have as many rich people to tax to death. It’s a vicious cycle, one that is too often ignored. These are the same “tax and spend” folks with no understanding of the Laffer Curve. They don’t comprehend that they’re on the backside of the curve where increasing the tax rates further decreases the revenues collected.

Only time is going to tell if they will learn the lesson this time around.

If history is any indicator, they probably won’t.


Nine Steps

I am once again pointing to a Tom MacDonald video, but in this case part of the lyrics in one of his latest songs, Brainwashed. It it he lists the 9 steps* needed to destroy this nation, or any other nation the Fascists/Progressives/Socialists want to subjugate and rule. Take a look and you tell me if these 9 things listed below are not exactly what has been happening here:

Step 1: Train the people only to consume.

Step 2: Infiltrate the adults with the news.

Step 3: Indoctrinate the children through the schools and the music and the apps on the phones that they use.

Step 4: Separate the Right from the Left.

Step 5: Separate the White from the Black.

Step 6: Separate the Rich from the Poor. Use religion and equality to separate them more.

Step 7: Fabricate a problem made a lie.

Step 8: Put it on the news every night.

Step 9: When people start to fight and divide, take control. This is called Situational Design.

All of these sound familiar to me. It’s something we’ve been living through for some time, but sometimes others have to point it out for us to realize that’s what we’re experiencing. The endgame is not inevitable, particularly if we realize what’s happening. If we stop letting them divide us, particularly over matters that, in the end, are not as big as they’ve been making them seem.

As Tom also says, they’re afraid “if we get along we’ll probably go against them.” There’s no ‘probably’ about it. None.

*Anyone having taken a Poli Sci course should recognize these. As I recall there was also a Soviet zampolit who described the steps required to overthrow a nation back in the late 70's/early 80's. Tom has merely updated them to reflect today's realities (and technologies).


Legal Sports Betting Paying Off

I find it interesting that even while a lot of folks have abandoning watching professional ‘woke’ sports, sports betting has been doing very well, particularly in my home state.

The local TV news reported legal sports betting in New Hampshire has been profitable, both for the state (which gets a percentage from every bet) and the sports book operator – Draft Kings.

Is this how professional sports will survive going forward? Will fans become less important as legal sports betting keeps expanding? I don’t know for sure, but I think the sports teams get some remuneration from the betting as well, something that can help make up for the drop in viewership and any ticket sales.

Why is it that this all sounds so familiar?

Ah, I have it! It’s part of the plot line from the movie The Last Boy Scout with Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans. In the movie pro football was a dying sport and the only way to save it was by legalizing sports betting which was going to be pushed by lobbyists in Washington. One of the teams had even bought off a US Senator to help with their efforts.

Is this what is happening in real life, with life imitating Hollywood? More states are legalizing sports betting. Could pro sports be behind this push as a means of generating more income? Am I being too cynical...or is my cynicism well deserved?


Last Days Of Summer

I mentioned the end of summer in part of yesterday’s post (the Last Rosé of Summer), something some folks think is defined by Labor Day weekend but to those of us here at the Big Lake takes place a few weeks later. There’s this song by Don Henley that paints a pretty good picture of what the end of summer means:

While not every summer business is closed yet, those that are still open are open only on weekends. Some will finally close by the end of September and the rest will celebrate their ‘last summer’ day on Columbus Day.

The traffic has fallen off quite a bit, even on this weekend. The beaches are empty during the week (though still open). The number of boats out on the lake are not what we’ve been seeing, meaning it’s mostly we locals plying the waters. Boats are already being pulled from the water and prepped for winter storage, with most of them belonging to summerfolk. Summer cottages and camps are being closed up. In a few more weeks our restaurants and pubs will see few folks ‘from away’ and it will be mostly we locals at the tables and counters. (We tend to shy away from our favorite eateries during the summer, letting the summerfolk spend their money and fill the coffers of those eateries. Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves.)

We’ll start to see the Leaf Peepers arrive towards the end of the month, the folks from away (in some cases from overseas) coming to enjoy the fall foliage. There won’t be the number of those folks here that we see during summer, a small blessing.

The leaves start changing here around the last week of September/first week of October at the earliest, but folks will be staying here and traveling up to the North Woods and North Country to view the fall colors until they appear here. (It’s one reason the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout doesn’t get pulled out of the water until after Columbus Day – the fall colors seen from the lake can look spectacular.)

Regardless, my summer really doesn’t end until my boat is out of the water.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a quiet, somber day yesterday. I know I wasn’t up for doing much, considering the day. I went for a drive, stopped by the local farm stand and then visiting one of the many lakeside parks to sit for a while. I had watched some of the 9/11 TV programming yesterday morning, but could only deal with it for so long. I had to get away from it all, hence my drive around town.

I talked to a few people while I was out and some of them were out and about for the same reason I was: Too many memories of That Awful Day.

When I got back to The Gulch I decided I didn’t want to turn on the TV. I did anything but that – clean up the garage, run some loads of laundry, and so on.

Katy did pretty much the same thing, getting out of the house and as far way from any of the 9/11 remembrances. She didn’t want to relive That Awful Day, either.

As she told me Friday night “They started doing news broadcasts this week because so many [local] people either lost their lives or went to help. Couldn’t help but tear up again and again. It greatly affected my life, with young kids. So I keep my ‘distance’. It sounds like you are, too.”

It is an understatement saying the 9/11 has had a profound effect on me and Katy. Even after 20 years it still affects me. That Katy and I barely spoke to each other yesterday tells me that it is something that dwells deep inside of us. I know that whenever I see a movie or TV showing scenes of New York City where the Twin Towers are still standing I get a lump in my throat. That’s after 20 years. I have no doubt there are plenty of others out there that get the same feeling.


I wrote about the heavy acorn fall we’ve been experiencing while totally ignoring the sound of the crickets and katydids we’ve been enjoying nightly since the beginning of August.

The chorus of crickets chirping on these late summer evenings is one of the finest things in life, and last night they were loud. That evening bug-song has followed me through most of my life, and fills me with joy.

Field Crickets are found across the US. In New England, we have the Black Field Cricket who is at his prime in early October until the first hard frost. They are mainly nocturnal insects and eat almost anything.

Around here, we still have the Katydids singing at night along with the rapidly-growing Field Crickets.

It’s nice falling asleep to the sounds of the crickets, something that lulls me to sleep every time I can leave my bedroom windows open. It’s always a little sad later in the fall on those nights when I hear only a solo cricket chirping away and no others answering. Later in the fall when the crickets are all gone, I know the last vestiges of summer are gone with them.


By way of Maggie’s Farm comes this Spiked post about wokeness’s “New Puritanism”, applying ‘woke’ standards against classical literature, including children’s literature. In this case the failure of Asterix and Tintin comics to pass the woke purity test. Wokeness has become a cult, a puritanical cult.

New political ideologies often veer towards extremes as adherents try to prove to each other who is the most devout. Woke believers, in particular, are caught in an intoxicating and competitive purity spiral, making them more belligerent and intolerant with every passing day.

An alarming story from Canada has recently emerged, showing that followers of this 21st-century cult have turned their attention to burning books. Two years ago, in south-western Ontario, the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence (Providence Catholic School Board), which brings together 30 schools, carried out a purge of its institutional libraries, removing and destroying nearly 5,000 books, 30 of which were burned in a ceremony. These books included Asterix and Tintin titles, because of their allegedly racist depictions of indigenous American people. (Emphasis mine – ed.)


The burning and destruction of books in the name of ideological purification and puritanical dogma has, of course, gruesome echoes of Nazi Germany. It at least belongs to the nightmarish science-fiction of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. That this is happening in modern-day Canada is a reminder that wokery is indeed a sinister, puritanical cult. And like classical Puritanism, it is a cult that demands total obedience in the name of righteousness.

I figure it’s only a matter of time before this kind of insanity arrives here. We’ve already seen cult-like activity by the woke on college campuses in the way of physical assaults against the “unwoke”. Burning books would be the next step. And should it go far enough, it won’t be a long trip to burning people, just like what happened in Germany from circa 1939 to 1945.

The Nazis were a puritanical political cult who killed millions as a means of ‘purifying’ the Reich. (Yes, I am equating the woke to the Nazis. After all, both groups are fascists, whether the wokerati will admit it or not.)

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.


I do link posts by Glenn Reynolds on a semi-regular basis. This one is poignant as it addresses the lessons we have learned over the 20 years after 9/11. What are some of the lessons we’ve learned?

1) That our enemies have taken our measure, and we never took theirs. Bin Laden’s strategic predictions vis a vis Afghanistan and the United States have been vindicated: 9/11 was for the other side a massive, generational strategic success.

2) That the entire American governing apparatus is incapable of real strategic thought.

3) That the federal government of the United States is much more inventive, determined, and relentless in curbing its own citizenry than it is in curbing those who would slaughter that citizenry.

4) That the federal government of the United States will allow foreign-power interests — specifically Saudi and Pakistani — to override and eclipse the just interests of the American citizenry.

5) The preceding item exists, of course, because we are ruled by an elite with much stronger social ties to other elites than to the people of our republic.

6) That our generational response to 9/11 guarantees that 9/11 will happen again and again.


What did we learn?

Twenty years later, we learn that the enemy won — and our ruling class was on their side.

There’s quite a bit more at the link and I suggest you Read The Whole Thing.

To provide an example of point #6 above there’s this from a Teen Vogue columnist which proves just how effin’ clueless some of our younger generation are when it comes to the realities of life.

“We have to be more honest,” Jackson wrote, “about what 9/11 was and what it wasn’t. It was an attack on the heteropatriarchal capitalistic systems that America relies upon to wrangle other countries into passivity. It was an attack on the systems many white Americans fight to protect.”

I’m sure if Jenn M. Jackson had an opportunity to interview the late 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta about why he and his fellow hijackers attacked the US that he would spout the woke bulls**t she claims as the cause of the attacks.

Yeah. Right.

To quote the great philosopher, Bugs Bunny: “What a maroon! What an ignoranimus!”


Bird Dog over at Maggie’s Farm talks about the Last Rosé of Summer for sunset boat drinks.

I know Katy would certainly enjoy such a thing...though it might take place in October after Columbus Day when it is time to pull the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout out of the water, something that will be the perfect way to close out the boating season and tie the ribbons on a great summer.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the madding crowds have thinned, the lake is ours again, and where the summer weather is hanging around.


The Unsung Heroes Of 9/11

There have been numerous stories about the heroes of 9/11, the actions of countless firefighters, police officers, passengers on United 93, workers in the doomed towers, and countless others.

One story I came across last year was something I’d heard about but some time ago but had never seen the story, at least not as told by the people whose story it is. Last year I came across a documentary which covered that ambitious impromptu operation and the people involved – The 9/11 Boatlift.

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?

Twenty years.

Twenty. Years.

It was twenty years ago That Awful Day happened.

It was a day of terror. It was a day of tears. It was a day of Heroes and heroic deeds by firefighters, police officers, and ordinary men and women.

It was a day of thunder, of smoke, of fire. It was a day of prayers, last phone calls, and hasty “I love you’s”.

It was passengers on United 93 knowing what was happening and deciding that they would “not go quietly into that goodnight”. It was Todd Beemer telling his fellow passengers “Let’s roll.” It was the end of the fight against the terrorists on the flight in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

It was firefighters in the North and South Towers climbing up the stairwells step after step, directing people heading down and hopefully to safety as they continued upwards to help the injured. It was police officers in the lobbies of the Towers and in the PATH station trying to make sure no one was left behind. It was ordinary people helping others they didn’t know flee the Towers.

It was hundreds of helmsmen and captains taking their boats, tugs, and ferries across the harbor to the south end of Manhattan, loading as many people as they could onboard and taking them to safety in New Jersey. Then turning around and doing it again...and again...and again until 500,000 people were evacuated.

It was the firefighters, police officers, and construction workers digging through the rubble piles after the Towers fell, hoping to find someone alive and removing the remains of honored dead.

It was twenty years ago...


It was yesterday….



Aw Nuts! - Part 2

About three weeks ago I wrote about the abundant crop of acorns I was seeing/hearing. Every time the wind blew you could hear the acorns dropping from the surrounding oak trees here at The Gulch. You’d hear them hitting the roof, hitting the tops of cars, trucks, and SUVs parked nearby. You’d see them on the ground, either whole or in pieces, on the driveways and yards, and in some cases in the bed of my pickup truck.

I thought the ‘rain of acorns’ would taper off after a couple of weeks.

I was wrong.

If anything else, the numbers of acorns dropping from the oaks have increased, and not by a little bit. After the rains we’ve had over the past couple of days (which also contributed to the rain of acorns), the winds that came out of the northwest starting this morning have been causing bouts of heavy acornfall. It is times like this that I’m glad we don’t have a metal roof here at The Gulch. The acorns hitting our roof sometimes sound like gunshots. Hearing some of them hit one of our through-wall A/C units certainly gives me an indication of what it would sound like if our roof was metal rather than wood and asphalt shingles.

If this keeps up at this rate I’m going to have to start shoveling acorns off my driveway.

This is the worse I’ve ever seen it in all these years.


Corporate Conspiracies Abound

I have always believed that various corporate cabals have been trying to force us into wasting our money on otherwise stupid or useless products or services. But there is one I’ve always had my eye on but wasn’t able to prove anything.

And then Stephen Kruiser uttered the words I’ve been thinking for decades:

Big Silverware is just ripping us off with the salad fork nonsense.

It proves I am not the only one thinking this is a conspiracy!


Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a great Labor Day Weekend for me and it’s not even over yet. Why am I saying this?


She made the trek up from Connecticut Friday after work. What was normally a 4-hour drive for her turned into a 6-hour marathon in holiday traffic, something neither of us had expected. That she’d left work a couple of hours early made it even more surprising that the traffic was as heavy as she experienced. It made me appreciate her presence even more.

We had a great day yesterday, between having breakfast at one of our favorite diners, making it to a craft fair here in town, making it to a pig roast at one of the local farms (a farm-to-table event), and meeting some new friends while there. (The new friends are from away but have a summer place up here and plan to retire here in a couple of years.)

The pig roast was great – good food, good music, good company – and Katy won a drawing for some nice perennials from the farm stand greenhouses (which she is taking home with her).

After a great breakfast at our favorite diner this morning, she headed home. (Yes, the weekend doesn’t end until tomorrow, it being Labor Day and all, but she didn’t want to deal with the heavy homeward bound holiday traffic tomorrow, and I don’t blame her.) I would have liked it if she’d stayed another day, but her heading home today made sense.

It was a great weekend!


What happens when natural processes prevent or reverse global warming?

It must be explained away, of course!


Is fall football on borrowed time because of climate change?

According to climate alarmists, the answer is ‘yes’.

It must be understood that these climate alarmists are friggin’ morons. They are acting like supposedly human-caused climate change will have such an effect on temperatures that fall temperatures in future that temps will be more like late July/early August. Yeah, maybe in a few hundred years...assuming the AGW faithful are right. Too bad the models they like to use to predict future climate haven’t even come close to matching reality, even with some after-the-fact data ‘editing’ to try to hide the decline (see ClimateGate 1.0 and 2.0 e-mails).

This sounds more like a “We should say something about climate change, too” story rather than a real concern.

And so it continues….


Is there anything Elon Musk can’t do?

By way of PJ Media comes this about one of the reasons why it is a good idea for Starlink to start using lasers for intersatellite communications which reduces the need for ground stations to link the satellites to the ‘Net:

It makes it a lot more difficult to censor the Internet, particularly in nations that heavily censor or even block the Internet.

Elon Musk is building his satellite-based Starlink service, but he paused launches until some new spacecraft are ready. Quarts reports that those spacecraft give Starlink a new capability — the ability to bypass the ground stations that Starlink currently depends on.

Starlink users need to be within several hundred miles of a ground station that is plugged into the internet, so the satellites can relay data back and forth between them. SpaceX is not going to be able to set up these stations in authoritarian countries, or likely many of their neighbors.

That’s not just a technical issue, it’s also a regulatory and censorship issue. For instance, Afghanistan’s internet and smartphone access went from near zero to about 90% during the war that Joe Biden just threw away. The Taliban are heavy into censorship and are expected to clamp down very hard on free speech. That’s easier to do against conventional, terrestrial internet service. But Musk’s Starlink with its laser system may be able to elude Taliban censorship.

Hmm, could the ability to bypass censorship be one reason why Jeff Bezos wants the FCC to block Musk’s implementation of his new generation of Starlink satellites?




And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the Labor Day weekend isn’t over yet, the weather is getting better, and I don’t have to deal with Monday this week.


Fake Woke

In my last post I included a video from rapper Tom MacDonald who presented truths that too many of our ‘elite’ choose to ignore or refuse to admit exist and truths we need to pay better attention to. What I found interesting was reaction videos to his song from people across the spectrum of personal and political beliefs. With only a few exceptions most agreed with much of what he stated. I’d like to think he opened a few eyes with his lyrics. (I have to admit I haven’t been a fan of rap or hip hop, but Tom’s videos have spoken to me and so many others.)

A preceding video, Fake Woke, delves into the cancel culture, ridiculous demands from the ‘woke’, most of which are using their ‘wokeness’ as a means of taking control of our society.

Without further ado, here’s Tom’s Fake Woke.