6/26/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been hot and humid here, with temps in the 90’s and dewpoints in the 60’s.

I’m loving it.

Summer has finally arrived and we are enjoying the weather. This includes time out on on the lake in the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka The Boat. The WP Mom and I availed ourselves of some ice cream from one of our local ice cream stands.

While a lot of summerfolk are here this first full weekend of summer, it’s next weekend that we’ll see a lot of them as they’ll be up to celebrate the Fourth of July. I am looking forward to this, including fireworks viewed from the lake. I also expect to fire up the Official Weekend Pundit Gas Grill to cook up some burgers, hot dogs, and maybe a few steak tips.

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This month has been a banner month for the Second Amendment, between the SCOTUS New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision and New Hampshire’s governor signing a bill that makes New Hampshire a Second Amendment Sanctuary state by prohibiting New Hampshire law enforcement agencies and officials from enforcing federal guns laws or presidential executive orders that violate the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, Part 1 Article 2-a of the New Hampshire State Constitution, or New Hampshire gun laws.

While New Hampshire gun control advocates have denounced the governor for signing the bill, the protests have fallen on deaf ears. Considering New Hampshire has one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the nation, it seems silly to advocate for laws that will do nothing but raise those violent crime rates as the populace is disarmed. Cities and states with highly restrictive gun laws also have the highest rates of violent crimes, and particularly crimes committed using an illegally obtained gun. Those restrictive gun laws have had just the opposite effect that was claimed by its supporters. The other effect? Those same gun control advocates push for even more restrictive gun laws that leave only the criminals armed and the law-abiding citizens defenseless.

Yeah, that’s a winning message.

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Just how wrong can legal ‘analysts’ get about the New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision?

This wrong.

Tell me you didn’t actually read the NYSRP v Bruen decision without saying you didn’t read the Bruen text. It’s one thing for commentators and pundits without legal degrees to overlook the clear text of a Supreme Court opinion in jumping to conclusions. It’s quite another to have an attorney working as a major media outlet’s “Chief Legal Analyst” to get this much wrong.

Here’s CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, insisting that the Supreme Court just struck down all firearms restrictions in Bruen, before semi-correcting and saying that’s where the decision leads:

You know, we know that in the United States, you have the right under the First Amendment to say pretty much anything anywhere, because we have freedom of speech in the United States. What the conservatives on the Supreme Court are saying is that we want the Second Amendment to be a first-class right like the First Amendment. And we want to be able to carry guns anywhere, any time, without any sort of regulation by the government, without background checks, without restrictions on where you can take a weapon, without restrictions on how you can carry a weapon.

Now, they haven’t gone that far yet, but they are clearly moving in that direction. And, you know, we can’t separate this issue from what’s going on in the world, where we have a tremendous problem with gun violence in this country, we have mass shootings, we have 18-year-olds with access to AR-14s, 15s, and the Supreme Court is moving in the direction of saying the government cannot regulate that traffic at all.

Right off the bat, pun intended: What in the world is a “first class right” in constitutional terms? An enumerated constitutional right should have more weight than a derived right, but in this case the right to keep and bear arms is an enumerated right.

One would think that a lawyer, particularly one acting as a legal analyst on a once-major news network, would know this, right?

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I find it ironic there is more rioting over the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade going on in the Blue bastion of Portland than most other cities. Then again Portland is the Leftist Riot Capitol of the nation, so rioting, burning, and looting are an almost weekly event.

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The following makes me think that a proposal my Dear Brother and I have been putting forwards for going on three decades is making more sense every day.

The problem?

The Lack of Competition for House Seats.

Lee Drutman has a piece at FiveThirtyEight worthy of attention: What We Lose When We Lose Competitive Congressional Districts. It highlights a problem I have frequently noted–that far too many of the 435 seats in the US House of Representatives are linked to non-competitive districts. We know the partisan outcome of those districts well before the candidates are selected, let alone actual elections held.

The way to solve the problem? This is where our proposal comes into play.

The solution is to not elect House members, but to draft them. Every year 145 Members would be drafted which replaces one-third of the House every year. Since they aren’t elected they wouldn’t have to follow the usual election cycles, so replacing a third of the House very year is easy to do. You get a better cross-section of the American populace. You get people who really don’t want to be there so they want to get the People’s business done as quickly as possible so they can go home.

One of the hard fast rules of a draftee House: No Lawyers. Let the lawyers inhabit the Senate.

I would like to think we have competitive Congressional Districts here in New Hampshire, all two of them. They change hands from Republican to Democrat and back again, though it does tend to go in cycles where one party will dominate for a few years, then the other. It is looking good for both Congressional districts to change hands this coming November. We may also see a change in one of our US Senate seats as well since Maggie Hassan is vulnerable. Only time will tell.

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One last thing, something I picked up over at Knuckledraggin:


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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summerfolk are enjoying their pre-Fourth of July weekend time at the lake, the ice cream joints are doing a lot of business, and preparations for the Fourth of July continue.

6/25/2022

Short Term Rental Crisis

One of the issues we’ve been dealing with in my small town that has been causing an increasing number of problems: Short Term Rentals. Also known as AirBnB’s (and VRBO’s), it has been a growing phenomenon here in some parts of New Hampshire. Where I live - the Lakes Region - it is a three-season tourist/recreation destination with numerous lakes and ponds for swimming and boating and fishing, hiking trails, camping areas, and other amenities during summer; colorful foliage for fall; Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing in winter. All of this has driven demand for vacation rentals and this has in turn driven growth in Short Term Rentals.

Some are vacation homes owned by private parties who rent out their places when they aren’t using them. That’s nothing new. Others rent out their own homes for a couple of weeks or so while they are away on vacations of their own. Both sets of these owners rent their properties to help pay their property taxes, their mortgages, or both. (I have friends here in town that do this and neither I or their neighbors have any problems with it.)

But there is another group of folks offering Short Term Rentals who have been driving up the cost of housing while at the same time decreasing the supply of housing for families: commercial operators.

Most of them are corporations, large or small. When properties come up for sale they offer above asking price and will pay cash. In some cases they offer well above asking price. (I have seen a few homes going for twice the asking price - or more - when two or more corporations get into a bidding war over the property.) Most of them have no connection to our town. Others have no connections to New Hampshire at all. They don’t care that their purchases remove yet another home from the market that won’t be housing a family. Some don’t seem to care if there are issues with neighbors. (One couple I am familiar with have had to deal with three neighboring Short Term Rentals that appear to be used as party houses weekend after weekend after weekend. My friends couldn’t sleep for all the noise they made. The owners didn’t seem to care.)

Our town has been working to rein in some of these commercial operators, ensuring they take the necessary actions to preserve the quality of life in the neighborhoods where they operate, don’t allow too many people into the places they rent (20 people staying in a place that can accommodate 8 at best in turn causing the septic system to be overloaded), prevent on-street parking overnight that blocks the road, and to deal with a whole host of other issues that have been brought up by those living next to some of these Short Term Rentals.

Some in our town would like to see the commercial Short Term Rentals disappear entirely, something that isn’t going to happen. Some towns have imposed draconian regulations, with at least one of them being sued by Short Term Rental owners because they see those regulations as a ‘taking’ under the Fifth Amendment, preventing them from using their property as they had previously. Non-regulation is also not an answer since hotels, inns, and bed-and-breakfasts are all regulated and a New Hampshire Supreme Court decision (Working Stiffs LLC vs Portsmouth) defined Short Term Rentals, particularly commercially owned/operated Short Term Rentals, as hotels.

Most of the Short Term Rentals haven’t been causing any problems, but our town wants to make sure to stay ahead of any potential problems by getting some regulations in place. Most of those regulations will be aimed at the commercial operators, not the owner-occupied operators. Only time will tell if the town is successful in striking the right balance.

Note: I had my ‘J. Geils Band My Angel Is A Centerfold’ moment when I saw The Manse, the former Official Weekend Pundit Residence, listed for rent on AirBnB….for $2600 a week.

6/19/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

The 99th Annual Laconia Motorcycle Week is winding down. It’s been busy all week with hundreds of thousands of bikers visiting New Hampshire. For the most part it’s been good, it’s been relatively quiet (except for the roar of bike exhausts), but there have been some accidents, with five of them ending in fatalities. At least one involved an intoxicated driver – someone driving an SUV crossed over a double yellow line and hit a motorcycle head on – killing the motorcyclist and severely injuring the bike passenger. What’s disturbing is the driver of the SUV was driving a vehicle without a breathalyzer interlock, required for him to drive due to a previous DWI conviction.

This loser is facing a number of felony charges and a long time in prison.

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I’ve kept hearing that our fuel problems aren’t really due to tight oil supplies but that refinery owners are keeping their refinery resources offline to shorten supplies and drive up prices. But is that true?

While refineries are running at 93% capacity, the number is misleading, though not purposely.

The problem is that some refineries were shuttered because of the pandemic due to staffing shortages, other refineries presently have some units shut down for maintenance, upgrades, or replacement, and others have been converted due to a transition away from petroleum processing. All in all, around 11 million barrels of daily refining capacity no longer exists. So a 93% refining capacity of a total capacity that has shrunk by 11 million barrels a day isn’t as good as an 89% refining capacity with those 11 million barrels still online.

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

Male blood donor turned away from clinic after he refused to answer whether he was pregnant.

Over nearly 50 years, Leslie Sinclair has given a formidable 125 pints of blood.

But on his last trip he was turned away after refusing to answer a question on whether or not he was pregnant.

Mr Sinclair, 66, was told to fill in a form which asked whether he was expecting a child or had been pregnant in the past six months.

When he complained that as a man in his 60s this question did not apply and he should not have to answer it, Mr Sinclair said staff at the clinic told him they could not accept his blood.

This took place in the UK which shows the woke disease has spread there, too. Is there nothing ‘woke’ can’t destroy?

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I’m glad to see an idea I have been promoting for decades is starting to gain some traction...at least partly.

I have always thought that one way to get our ‘betters’ in DC, specifically our Congresscritters, under control is to ban HVAC in the Capitol Building, Legislative Office Buildings, and Congressional residences. With no heat or A/C most of those Congresscritters would return to their home districts/states which means they wouldn’t be spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need and that a vast majority of the American people don’t want. If they’re there most of the year they try to justify their presence in Congress by doing the very things I listed above.

Now comes the suggestion from Glenn Reynolds to ban A/C in DC. While his suggestion doesn’t go quite as far as mine, it would be a good start.

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From the “Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider Department” – Part 2 comes this gem:

Journalism professor suggests young reporters fabricate stories because of racism, high standards.

So, rather than reporting the news, something reporters are supposed to do, this ‘Journalism’ professor wants them to become propagandists, to lie about events that did or did not take place through the lens of racism. That’s what totalitarians do when they want to control the narrative about the events of the day. The truth isn’t important, particularly if it doesn’t support the narrative of the totalitarians.

The professor should be fired since it is quite evident is she defrauding the university and the students.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where the roar of motorcycles is fading away, the local restaurants are available to us again, and where planning for the 100th Annual Laconia Motorcycle Week is already under way.

6/18/2022

It's Not Just Fuel Prices That Are Skyrocketing

Gas, diesel, heating oil, propane and natural gas prices have skyrocketed, just as planned by WRBA. At the moment a gallon of regular costs about $4.979 (average) here in New Hampshire, down 2¢ from yesterday.

One of just many side-effects of rising fuel prices is rising electricity rates. Three of the four major electrical utilities in New Hampshire have applied for rate hikes with the Public Utilities Commission. (The fourth utility has a different schedule for electricity rate adjustments than the other three, but is expected to ask for a similar rate hike in September.)

The average rate hike request from the three utilities?

100%.

Electricity rates are going to double and all of it can be laid at the feet of President * and his disastrous and destructive energy policies, his claims to the contrary.

6/17/2022

From The Archives - How To Annoy Progressives: Ask Them Questions

I have been looking through the Weekend Pundit Archives and I when I came across this I realized that it was just as true today as it was when I originally posted it back in March 2011. Nothing has really changed other than the progressives have gotten louder, more in-your-face, more immoral, more hypocritical, and much more violent. They are also willing to make anyone they disagree with “unpersons” by running them through the whole cancel culture meat grinder.

Note: The embedded link in the original article is no longer active so has been removed.

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Over the years I have had interesting conversations and not a few heated discussions with progressives of all stripes. Far too often their arguments devolve into what they feel about something rather than what they think about it. Other times it's one lame talking point after another, many which sound good on the face of it but aren't backed up by personal experience, or history. It's all theory and feel-good sound bites. Failures in practical applications of their beliefs are explained away with excuses like “It was implemented poorly” or “Everyone has to be brought into the fold otherwise it doesn't work” or “We won't make the same mistakes the others made.”

That last one is always my favorite, allowing me to use one of two rejoinders, those being: “Yeah, you'll make worse mistakes!” and “Do you know the definition of insanity? It's doing the same thing over and over, but expecting the results to be different this time.” That always brings them up short.

But I am not the best person to speak on such matters. That title belongs to those who lived under the oppressive regimes of “progressive” or “socialist” Utopian countries. More often than not they're capable of skewering ever single talking point or nonsensical utterance brought forth by the 'enlightened' progressives because they suffered under the very system the progressives wish to force upon us.

One such is ex-Soviet immigrant Oleg Atbashian, who poses a number of questions progressives are loath to answer:

Dear Americans, these are some questions I have collected in 16 years of living in your country. Please see if you can answer them for me:

If all cultures are equal, why doesn’t UNESCO organize International Cannibalism Week festivals?

If all beliefs are equally valid, how come my belief in the absurdity of this maxim gets rejected by its proponents?

Once a politician labels the truth as hate speech, can anyone trust him to speak the truth afterward?

If a politician gets elected by the poor on a promise to eliminate poverty, wouldn’t fulfilling his promise destroy his voting base? Wouldn’t he rather benefit from the growing numbers of poor people? Isn’t this an obvious conflict of interests?

How did the “war on poverty” end? Has there been a peace treaty or a ceasefire? Who is the occupying force and who are the insurgents?

Why weren’t there demonstrations with anti-feudal slogans under feudal rule? And under Stalin, no anti-communist demonstrations? And under Hitler, no anti-fascist demonstrations? In a free capitalist society, anti-capitalist demonstrations are commonplace. Is capitalism really the worst system?

If the poor in America have things that people in other countries can only dream about, why is there a movement to make America more like those other countries?

If diversity training benefits everyone, why do those classes mostly consist of white heterosexual males?

How come those calling Sarah Palin a “bimbo” often look like part of Paris Hilton’s entourage?

How come the unselfish Americans hate their country out of personal frustrations, while the selfish ones defend America with their lives?

If being a winner in nature’s struggle for survival is selfish, does being extinct make you an altruist?

How come so many anti-American radicals are wearing American brands, listen to American music, watch American movies, and play American video games on computers designed by American engineers?

And finally, if all opinions are equal, how come a liberal who disagrees with a conservative is open-minded, but a conservative who disagrees with a liberal is a bigot?

Indeed. Read the whole thing and if there are any questions you can think of that might also annoy progressives, add them to the comments of Oleg's post.

Here are a few questions gleaned from the comments:

Why are gun control advocates so violent?

Why is it that the Left’s mantra is “Celebrate Diversity” yet they all think the exact same and anybody who has a “diverse thought” is taken to the town square and hung?

Why is it I’ve never worked for a poor person?

If Communism was such a shining example for everyone, why didn’t they put up a “Picture Window” instead of an Iron Curtain?

If all cultures are equal, then why are the liberals down on red-necks and conservatives?

Why do all leftist states have to build walls to keep their own people in, whereas rightist states have to build walls to keep other people out?

Why is leftism never judged by its reality but only by its lofty promises?

And the list goes on and on. Can any of you think of questions that would annoy progressives?

6/16/2022

The Future Is Electric...But Not The Way They Expected

I normally don’t do two day in a row ‘image’ posts, but this image by way of Knuckledraggin seemed fitting, particularly in light of the push by WRBA (Whoever is Running the Biden Administration) to force us to go electric. I think we should oblige them.

6/12/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

Yesterday started Laconia Bike Week, the 99th annual gathering.

Motorcycles started arriving in numbers Friday afternoon and have been seen and heard all over the Lakes Region of New Hampshire all weekend. The majority of the bikers will be arriving starting this coming Thursday as most come up for a long weekend rather than the full 9 days of the rally.

If tradition holds there will be a Hillclimb at the Gunstock Ski Resort this coming Wednesday, an event I have attended many times over the years. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend this year as I have too much work awaiting my attention at the lab.

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It seems more Congressional Democrats are showing their true colors, a standard in red, white, and black dating back to the late 1920’s in Germany. The latest Democrat to do so?

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA).

Despite being an advocate of “civility,” “decency,” and “unity” in the past, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) has apparently been so radicalized by her caucus that she now says the Republican Party is “diseased” and must be “cleansed.”

“This is, in my opinion, a diseased Republican Party. And it needs to be cured and cleansed,” Houlahan said on the Daily Beast‘s The New Abnormal podcast last month. “So the stakes of having a Republican, as an example, in my seat are more than just policy differences. They are democracy, in my opinion.”

The GOP is “diseased” and must be “cleansed?” Where have you heard such rhetoric before? It bears a shocking resemblance to the rhetoric of the Nazi Party.

We’ve known many Democrats are totalitarians at heart, wishing to cast off the restraints of the Constitution and to rule the Deplorables as they see fit. Would cattle cars, concentration camps, gas chambers, and cremation ovens be all that far behind were Representative Houlahan to get her wish?

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This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention.

Most voters believe the Biden administration is allowing gas prices to rise to force Americans to use less fossil fuel, a Convention of States Action/Trafalgar Group survey released Friday found.

The survey asked, “Do you believe the Biden Administration is intentionally letting gas prices rise to make Americans use less fossil fuels?”

Most, 53 percent, said “yes,” they believe the Biden administration is allowing it to happen purposely to force Americans to use less fossil fuel. Another 39.6 percent, however, do not believe that is the case, and 7.4 percent are unsure.

--snip--

The survey was taken May 25-29, 2022, among 1,091 likely general election voters and has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent. It comes as gas prices broke yet another record high on Friday, jumping to $4.986 overnight, according to AAA. That reflects a 22 cent rise in the last week and a 61 cent rise in the last month.

Starting with the Executive Orders President * signed on his first day in office, the first blows were struck against domestic oil production. What did people think would happen?

Gasoline prices have more than doubled since SloJo took office. Despite SloJo and WRBA trying to lay the blame for rising fuel prices on the war in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin, the rise started well before then and the amplitude was high well before the whole Ukraine kerfuffle started. It has also fueled a large portion of the inflation we’ve been suffering, despite Biden’s claims to the contrary.

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I wish I could say this story surprised me, but seeing how “Get woke, go broke” is being proved again and again, this one doesn’t. However, seeing who the subject of this story is saddens me.

Disney.

It appears the magic that has made visits to Disneyland and Disney World a wonderful experience has faded, and it was done on purpose.

Disney has taken more than its share of hits lately after sticking its nose in Florida politics and coming out against the state’s Parental Right in Education law. Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature ran circles around Disney, first by passing the legislation and then by revoking Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) has suffered financially as a result of its far-left stance against protecting children from grooming, and the public has in the wake of its wokeness as well.

One of Disney’s points of pride — no, not that kind of “Pride” — has been its theme parks and their ability to make guests feel like they’ve left the outside world behind and entered an immersive escape. Disney has traditionally thought of every detail and worked hard to accommodate guests at every turn, but as I’ve written before, TWDC has made it harder for guests to make the most of their hard-earned vacation. And I’m not the only one who has noticed.

Inside the Magic, one of the fan sites I follow, included several stories in Saturday’s email about guests who had less-than-magical experiences at Disney’s theme parks and resorts.

It only gets worse from there.

I remember when my missus, our son, and I spent a week at Disney World back in 2007. We spent a lot of time there, with some visits to family members and friends squeezed in between our time in the park. We have a lot of fond memories of our visit. I had hoped to go back again sometime, but reading about what’s been happening there has me rethinking that.

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The Democrats’ Hail Mary attempt to paint a protest as insurrection took to the airwaves Thursday night to broadcast their version of a Soviet-style “show trial”, causing a number of TV networks to pre-empt their normal programming. I guess they were expecting everyone to tune in so the Dems could sell their B.S. as actual news.

But it looks like American TV viewers chose to ignore it in droves.

Television networks that broadcast the Jan. 6 Committee’s first summer hearing in prime time Thursday night failed to attract more viewers than on a typical weeknight.

“The world is watching what we do here,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in his opening statement. “America has long been expected to be a shining city on a hill, a beacon of hope and freedom, a model for others when we are at our best.”

Thompson’s viewership, however, missed the mark.

According to preliminary ratings figures from Nielsen published by The New York Times, more than 19 million tuned in for what was anticipated to be a blockbuster event. While 19 million may seem high at first glance, a look at what cable and broadcast networks typically pull for an average evening reveals Thursday’s viewership as little to brag about, especially when all but one, Fox News, aired the livestream.

They expected everyone to tune in. However, the interest by average Americans wasn’t there. Most people don’t care because they have far more important things to deal with, like energy prices that have doubled, double-digit inflation, shortages of goods, food, employees, and a federal government that is trying to shred the Constitution and turn the US into a totalitarian state.

The January 6th hearings clown show pales in comparison to any of that.

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In case you haven’t received your latest update, the following two items are now defined by the mentally ill ‘woke’ as racist:

Obesity.

Asking people to renew their voter registration.

Make sure to update your “These Things Are Racist” list!

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That’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where the roar of motorcycle engines fills the air, more are expected over the coming week, and where we know most of our favorite restaurants will be crowded with the visiting bikers until after Father’s Day.

6/11/2022

Cognitive Meltdown

I saw this elsewhere on the ‘Net and my first thought was that it was truly representative of the mental state of Presidentish Biden, aka SloJo. It friggin’ scary...

6/08/2022

Where Has The Time Gone? Twenty Years Of Blogging

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since my Dear Brother started this blog. There have been well over 6000 posts over that 20 years, most of them written by yours truly. (My brother had started another blog dealing with his literary pursuits, so he veered away from this one to do so.) There have been over a million blog views in that 20 years, almost 700,000 of them here on Blogger alone. (Nope, I am nowhere near Instapundit or GraniteGrok or any of the other high volume blogs out there, but that’s okay. I’m not doing it for the numbers.)

It started here at Blogger, moved to another host for a few years, then to yet another host (Thanks, Skip!) when that host went defunct. (I also posted at the ‘backup’ blog site, the resurrected Blogger site). Finally I ended up back here at Blogger as the primary.

I’ve posted on all kinds of topics, be it politics, human nature, technology, history, and a host of other topics. I have gone through cycles where I’ve posted every day, just on weekends, and in between those two extremes.

I admit that there are times when I look through the archives to remind myself of things we’ve written in the past. On more than a few occasions I was surprised to read something and find out that I had written it rather than my Dear Brother. Frankly, I have never believed I was that wise. Heck, at times I even sounded ‘wicked smaht’. It also surprised and saddened me how some topics from 20 years ago are still relevant today. Some were prophetic. Some were absolutely and completely wron….worng….incorrect, though that hasn’t happen too often. (Note: I do have a niece who would disagree with that statement.)

One of my posts that is still relevant today was my fourth post, posted back on June 18th, 2002. Here it is in its entirety (minus an embedded link which is now dead):

Freedom of Speech…But Only if you Agree with Us.

Despite what David Horowitz wrote in his article, he has overlooked one salient point about the radical left taking over our university and college campuses— The First Amendment doesn’t exist when someone disagrees with them.

How many times on how many campuses around the U.S. have conservative (or even moderate) campus newspapers been confiscated and destroyed by the radical left in the name of ‘Free Speech’? How many times have learned and erudite speakers invited to campuses been heckled and shouted down by the radical left, in effect silencing them because they hold a viewpoint different from the leftists?

Too many times.

What can be done to stem the tide of leftist-think in such situations? The answer is quite simple.

Prosecute them.

Haul them before a court for civil rights violations. Their right to free speech ends where someone else’s begins. This is something that they seem to forget. We should do it before the radical left uses more draconian measures to silence the critics. Think ‘gulag’ or ‘brain hemorrhage’ of the 9mm variety, or a ‘mental hospital' where psyche-destroying pharmaceuticals are used on the poor deluded souls having the audacity to speak out.

What has changed since that post 20 years ago? Those trying to silence free speech have gotten louder, more confrontational, and in more than a few cases, violent.

This has made me think I should go through the Official Weekend Pundit Archives and repost some old posts with some updates every now and then. I have done so in the past every now and then, but not on a regular basis. That I have 20 years of posts to draw from should make it easier to do so. Who knows, it might even be fun.

Twenty years down. Plenty more to go.

6/05/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

This first weekend after Memorial Day was quiet in comparison to last weekend. Yes, the weekenders were still here in numbers, but the frantic energy of trying to cram a week’s worth of recreation into three days wasn’t there. It’s been a mellow weekend, something the year-round residents appreciate.

It won’t remain that way for long because once the kids are out of school – something that takes place over the next couple of weeks - that frantic energy will be back, and not just on weekends. In other words, we’ll be back into our normal summer environment with summerfolk galore and the ever annoying “summah people” making their presence known, lots of boats out on the lake, beaches full of folks, and lines at the ice cream (black raspberry is my favorite flavor), seafood, and takeout joints.

I know I am looking forward to Fourth of July and our town’s Old Home Day this summer. Hopefully Katy will be able to join us for both of those. I also look forward to spending time on the lake, either solo or with friends and family, even with the astronomically high gas prices putting a bit of a damper on our boating season.

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Elon Musk is a class act. Joe Biden is a crass and doddering fool.

How do I know this?

Musk’s graceful reply to Biden’s snide insult.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk did not come to enjoy his fiscal success by ignoring trends or dismissing troubling projections.

He recently indicated that Tesla will be pausing hiring worldwide and that jobs cuts are coming next, based on a ‘bad feeling’ about the economy.

Biden, of course, knows that this is as close to a “no confidence” vote in his economic leadership as one gets in the country. So at a recent press conference, the Curmudgeon-in-Chief took a question from a reporter, so he could launch a snarky retort (probably worked on for hours by his incompetent staff).

Asked by Reuters about Musk’s comments, Biden suggested maybe the issue was with Tesla.

“While Elon Musk is talking about that, Ford is increasing their investment overwhelmingly,” Biden said. “Ford is increasing investment and building new electric vehicles. Six thousand new employees, union employees I might add, in the Midwest.”

“So, you know, lots of luck on his trip to the moon,” he added.

Musk’s reply?

Thanks Mr President!

Like I said, a class act.

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This means war!

From Cap’n Teach comes this latest bit of climate doom-and-gloom:

Climate Cult Gets Dirty, Claims Pizza Sauce Is Next On The Hit List.

The Watermelon Environmentalists are claiming the climate change will greatly reduce or eliminate the tomatoes needed for making pasta and pizza sauce. But they are making a mistake by pushing the idea that those tomatoes only grow on one place on Earth: California.

Increasingly hot and dry climate conditions are withering Californian tomato crops on their vines — a crisis that could leave pizza and pasta without a key ingredient: Tomato sauce.

One has to remember that much of California is arid and semi-arid climate and always has been. Great public water projects capable of ensuring 20 million California residents had enough water as well as providing enough water for the agriculture sector were built. However, there are now 40 million people living in California, water resources are being stretched to the limit, with water for the agriculture sector being cut again and again. Then to add insult to injury, many of those same Watermelon Environmentalists have succeeded in their push to dismantle many of the water projects, decreasing an already tight water supply even more. This leads to even more cuts to the water provided for agriculture. Then add in one of the cyclical multi-decade droughts to add even more stress to the water supply. (The drought that wiped out the Anasazi civilization in the Southwest - California, Arizona, New Mexico and into Mexico - lasted over 350 years, hundreds of years before we all started driving SUVs.)

I think most of us realize that tomatoes grow in more places than just California. Heck, they’re grown here in New Hampshire and the other New England states. They’re grown in a lot of the states here in the US. Somehow, I doubt tomato sauce is going to disappear if California’s tomato crop keeps shrinking. If California can’t tell their Climate Cultists to piss off and start rebuilding and expanding their water projects (including desalinization plants), the water problem there is only going to get worse.

==++==


This is an idea I think we can all get behind.

If there are waiting periods for buying guns, also known as a cooling off period, then there should also be one for new laws and government regulations.

How many bad laws and regulations have been passed or issued after some bad event? Too many, in my opinion.

In some states, you still have to wait several days to pick up a firearm after you’ve bought it from a dealer. The idea is that you might need a ‘cooling-off period’, if you were considering using the firearm in some illegal way — to commit a robbery, to confront an ex-spouse, and so on.

Basically, if you were thinking about doing something stupid, you get a little time to reconsider. Ten days, say. Time to let reason catch up with emotion.

--snip--

...waiting periods would be appropriate when considering new laws or regulations.

That is, whenever some legislature is thinking of enacting some legislation (or some regulatory agency is thinking of issuing some regulation) in response to that we have to do something feeling that so often follows a tragic event, it should have to go through a cooling-off period first.

Basically, if it’s thinking about doing something stupid — whether unconstitutional, or unlikely to have the intended effect, or untethered from reality — it should get a little time to reconsider. Six months, say. (Or until after the next election.) Time to let reason catch up with emotion.

For example, New York is about to enact a law increasing, from 18 to 21, the age at which someone can buy an AR-15 rifle. But just a couple of weeks ago, the same kind of law in California was ruled unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

That the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (also known as the 9th Circus Court) has made such a determination, one more in line with many of the more conservative courts, implies New York’s proposed law is likely to meet the same fate, perhaps at the US Supreme Court level.

This is a perfect example of a law that needs a cooling off period before going into effect. There are a lot of other proposed laws and regulations that should also fall under a cooling off period if for no other reason that they are so awful and won’t do what the sponsors say they will.

One other suggestion I am going to make, something that we used to do here in New Hampshire and should be taken up to federal level is a Sunset Commission, one whose sole purpose is to suggest the repeal of laws and regulations that either no longer serve a purpose or work at cross-purposes to other laws and regulations. Perhaps add the power to suggest the dissolution of departments, agencies, and bureaus that no longer serve any purpose or duplicate the efforts of other departments, agencies, and bureaus.

==++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weekend weather has been superb, the traffic hasn’t been awful, and where Monday is making its appearance again all too soon.

6/04/2022

Hateful White Men Question How Hateful They Really Are



The problem is that I can actually picture people having this discussion because they've been inundated with all of the propaganda about how evil and racist and sexist and whateverist and hateful white men are being peddled every day.

5/29/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

The Memorial Day Weekend began a little earlier than I had expected. The holiday traffic started showing a little after 10am Friday morning with heavy traffic on two of the major routes leading towards the lake. (One of them passes in front of my workplace so it was quite easy to see traffic was a lot heavier than usual for that time of day.)

My early Saturday morning shopping run to Walmart wasn’t as smooth as usual. I’m usually pulling into the Walmart parking lot at 7:30am and there are maybe a dozen cars in the lot. My shopping takes all of 15 minutes including going through the single checkout lane that’s open. But this time the lot was almost full, with most of the cars and trucks sporting out-of-state plates. There were a lot of shoppers already making their way up and down the aisles when I got inside, and there were seven checkout lanes open. It took me an extra 10 minutes to complete my shopping. The trip home also took some extra time as traffic on the main route through town was also quite heavy. I noticed on my way home that the parking lot at one of my favorite diners was full and there was a line waiting to get a table or a seat at the counter, far earlier than is usual.

This is one reason I am otherwise staying away from my usual weekend haunts. The summerfolk have arrived in force, it being the unofficial beginning of the summer season. All of the summer seasonal restaurants, shops, and attractions are open. The high gas prices haven’t seemed to have an effect on the number of people visiting the lake this holiday weekend. I have no idea if the even higher gas prices at the gas docks around the lake will have a negative effect on the number of boats out on the lake at any one time.

==++==


From the comments to this piece at GraniteGrok comes this observation:

If it is above normal temperature, it's climate change.

If it is below normal temperature, it's climate change.

If it is normal temperature, it's climate change.

If it's too dry, it's climate change.

If it's too wet, it's climate change.

If it's just right, it's climate change.

If it's sunny, or rainy, or cloudy, or snowy, or windy, or calm, it's climate change.

I remember when they used to call it weather.

Ayuh.

==++==


As the not-so-old joke goes, “What did socialists use for light before candles? Electricity.

So many of those pushing for an all-electric future either haven’t thought through the implications, have thought it through but are working from a series of false assumptions, or have thought it through and want everything to come apart for everyone...except them.

The push for changing all vehicles over to EVs and eliminating non-electric stoves/rangetops, clothesdryers, water heaters, and furnaces has chosen to ignore two big problems: 1) the electrical grid as it stands now isn’t capable of carrying the power needed to meet the goals and 2) the generation capacity to meet the needs doesn’t exist...and will never exist if we have to make use of ‘sources’ these same people insist must be used, i.e. renewables.

It’s purely a numbers game and the numbers do not add up no matter how much the All-Electric proponents try to twist them to fit their vision. (Or is it delusion since their vision does not come anywhere near meeting the harsh reality of the numbers?)

As I have stated here and elsewhere, both the electrical grid and generation capacity need to be increased three-fold to meet the demand. (As a reminder, both need to be able to handle peak demand, not average demand, otherwise the grid will fail.)

Updating and expanding the capacity of the grid is a non-starter since many of the same people pushing for an all-electric future also fight tooth-and-nail against the needed power line projects, one of the first examples of the cognitive dissonance that plagues so many of those same all-electric proponents. (Northern Pass or CMP projects, anyone?) The same is true of many of the renewable energy projects (solar nd wind), but the opposition to these isn’t just from the usual suspects - NIMBYs and BANANAs - but from people who fully understand the downsides to such projects, who understand the numbers and know they don’t add up.

Keeping all of this in mind one will need to ask the question “Where were you on The Day The Electricity Died?” when that day comes.

==++==


Here’s yet another example of the cognitive dissonance infecting so many of the Green Energy Faithful, where a 1000-year old ‘fairy tale’ forest in Germany is being clear cut for a large scale industrial wind farm.

In the Reinhardswald, which covers an area of around 200 square kilometers, there are centuries-old oak trees, a highly developed natural biodiversity that is home for example to rare wild cats and populations of white red deer – a balance which has taken 1000 years to establish. But now it’s all being industrially raped, gangbang-style, by crony, greedy bastards under the guise of environmental virtue. It’s a grand swindle that in normal times would have everyone enraged.

But these are not normal sane times. The NZZ reports: “Yesterday, trees were planted as climate savers; today, only plastic rotor blades count.”

This is just another version of the old Vietnam War trope, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it,” but this time applied to the environment.

==++==


Weasel Zippers asks the important question regarding the Robb Elementary School shooter in Uvalde, Texas:

This kid’s kit was like $5,000. [H]ow the hell did a broke kid from a border town with a job at Wendy’s get such stuff?

Indeed.

==++==


Yet another Marxist professor from Boston University mouths off about yet another thing that is ‘racist’. In this case, property.

A Boston University professor recently said the concept of property is “racist” … because blacks “historically have been property.”

--snip--

“If we’re going to talk about George Floyd and really understand it, then we need to understand community reactions to it,” Grundy said. “And we often hear politicians, we hear civic leaders from inside Black communities and from outside of them as well… we hear President Biden say, ‘Y’know I understand your frustration, but don’t destroy property.’

“Well, when you say that to Black people, who historically have been property, one of our greatest weapons was the looting of ourselves as property from the system of slavery. And what we see in communities is they are reacting to the very racism of what we call property.”

“I think it's very important for people who see reactions in communities not to judge or make assumptions about what is good and not good reactions. And not actually re-victimize communities by saying there's an acceptable and not acceptable way to react.”

Really? That last statement certainly got a response from a comment at linking post at Instapundit, the commenter making an excellent point:

“So you’re admitting blacks are subhumans who aren’t capable of living up to the basic expectations made of the poorest and least-educated white people.”

As we see yet again, it turns out the racist in the room is often the one spouting off about racism. What’s worse is they don’t even realize (or care) that they are racist, even against the very people they say they are speaking on the behalf of.

==++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summerfolk are crowding the roads and restaurants, the tills of the local businesses are filling, and where we don’t have to worry about Monday...this week.

5/28/2022

Guns Aren't The Root Cause Of Mass Shootings

The anti-gunners have been going out of their minds, cranking up their “Guns Kill People!” rhetoric to ‘11’ since Uvalde. They still act as if these inanimate objects can jump up all by themselves and start shooting indiscriminately. People kill people, whether they use a gun, a knife, a baseball bat, explosives, or a shod foot.

The yells of “We gotta do something!” has filled the air and the airwaves. The problem has always been that when that “something” is done it is quite often the wrong thing. That “something” doesn’t do what those screaming for that “something” said it would. Sometimes that “something” does nothing, but makes those who screamed for “something” to be done feel better for having done something. Sometimes that “something” makes things worse than if nothing had been done at all.

The “something” this time is calls to weaken, if not do away with the Second Amendment entirely. Oh, it won’t happen all at once.

First, it will be a call to ban assault rifles. (What it’s really a call for is banning SBRs – Scary Black Rifles.) Of course there is no real definition of ‘assault rifle’, though some folks thing that the ‘AR’ in AR-15 means ‘Assault Rifle’. (It actually stands for Armalite Rifle, for the company that originally made it.)

Then, there will be a call to register all guns.

Then finally, confiscation.

What will the results of those actions be?

Even more mass killings, more murders, more violent crimes, and law abiding citizens left unprotected. With the defunding of police, Progressive DA’s unwilling to prosecute violent criminals, and bail reforms that put violent criminals back on the streets without bail, it would continue to get even worse.

But then, that’s the plan.

They will ignore the real cause of mass shootings: a society that is suffering from mental illness imposed upon us by our Progressive 'betters'.

5/24/2022

The Cat Strikes Again...And Fails Again

Up here in N’Hampsha (and Maine...and parts of Vermont) one of the worst types of people “from away” we have to deal with are folks we call flatlanders. They come here and the first thing they do is complain about how we don’t have something or do something the same way as “Back where we come from”. Whether they are merely visiting or moving here to live and make a living, they can be the worst of folks. What’s worse is when someone moves here with the intention of dismantling the unique culture of northern New England and replacing with their version of what they consider ‘correct’.

We had to deal with one such flatlander who decided New Hampshire was just too unlike her native California and decided to move here change that. As was seen in the comments, she – one Gracie Gato by name - became the proverbial “ugly American”, denigrating everything here, our traditions, our institutions, our political beliefs, and our culture, all in the process pissing off people on both the Right and the Left. (See, some folks can bridge ideological differences and offer bipartisan disdain of someone who so richly deserves it!)

She did her darnedest (I can’t say she did her best by any means) to make New Hampshire as blue as California and failed miserably. She finally gave up after four years of one failure after another and returned to California. I’d like to say she left with the sounds of derisive laughter in her ears. She deserved no less.

We hadn’t heard much from her in some time until we found out she was trying to raise money to make a ‘documentary’ about just how awful and corrupt it is in New Hampshire (meaning we didn’t come close to listening to her Progressive drivel or recognize that she was right and everyone else here was wrong). She’s trying to raise $575,000 on Kickstarter to make her film...and has raised $1 so far.

That should tell you all you need to know just how seriously to take her...which means not at all. After all, what can you expect from a clueless, close-minded and intolerant flatlander?

5/22/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

The summer heat that was forecast to arrive yesterday didn’t materialize until today. “Highs in the 90’s” for Saturday turned into “highs in the low 70’s” instead. It was quite humid throughout the day, so it wasn’t quite as comfortable as it might have been. Because of the forecast of a hazy, hot, and humid day to deal with yesterday I made sure to get all of my weekend chores done by 1PM. (Fortunately the forecast was wrong, at least as far as the temps were concerned, both yesterday and today. It did reach into the mid 80’s today, but with the humidity it felt oppressive.)

One of those chores was paying the boatyard for winter storage and pre-launch maintenance of the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout. BeezleBub picked it up from the boatyard after work yesterday, taking it to his place so I can load all of the gear onboard. (I usually remove all of the gear from the boat before it is stored away for the winter. This includes the cushions from the cuddy cabin and the stern seats.) Today I am focused on cleaning the aforementioned gear before returning it to the boat. At least I am able to do the work in the garage which kept me out of the direct sunlight.

The plan is to launch the boat after work on Monday as there’s no way I or BeezleBub wanted to go anywhere near the boat ramp at our town docks on a sunny and warm weekend. I’m not that much of a masochist.

==++==


The endless war in Ukraine continues, with the Russians making little if any progress in the south while the Ukrainians have pushed the Russians back in the north and east and continue destroying Russian trucks, tracks, aircraft, missile launchers, anti-aircraft systems, and fuel and ammo dumps.

What I find surprising is the calls for Ukraine to “lay down and play dead”. To quote Glenn Reynolds, “Why would they do that when they’re winning?”

==++==


Gas at my local reference gas station hit $4.799 for regular Friday. The station where I buy gas for the trusty RAM 1500 (which uses 89 octane) was charging $4.849. This was 15¢ cheaper than 89 octane at the reference gas station.

Gas prices are even worse at the gas docks, with my reference marina (across from where I dock the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout) charging $5.179, but the highest price for 89 octane on the lake $5.899, in this case on the north side of the lake. The overall highest price seen was $6.259 for 93 octane.

The ‘official’ start of summer, Memorial Day Weekend, will likely see even higher prices. I’m betting regular will $6 by July 4th and gas dock prices will be closer to $7.

It’s this that makes me glad I can work from home 2 or 3 days a week and that my boat doesn’t use nearly as much gas as so many others.

==++==


It seems the Covid train is running out of track, so The Powers That Be have come up with a couple of new diseases to use to assert control over the populace. One is the hepatitis afflicting young children and the other is ‘New And Improved Deadly Disease’, monkeypox.

I have to wonder how long it will take before the news media starts terrifying the populace with scenarios of people dropping dead in the streets.

==++==


I like the question Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been asking: Why is Biden begging other countries for oil production while stifling it here? That’s a question I’ve been asking for over a year. As a number of others have asked, why is it he thinks foreign oil will generate less CO2 than domestic oil?

CNN reports that Biden and his team have worked to arrange a kiss-and-make-up session with Saudi ruler Mohammad bin Salman, whose government Biden previously called a “pariah,” among other things.

When Biden needed some oil, he changed his tune … and got snubbed. With inflation being driven by high oil prices, suddenly MBS is a prince rather than a pariah...

What did everyone expect when Biden and WRBA decided to cripple our domestic energy industry with the stoke of a pen?

Oil producers need capital to explore leases, and they don’t have it — thanks in no small part to Biden’s oft-expressed hostility to new drilling. His EO 13990 makes it far more costly to explore and extract, and his promises to curtail drilling make capital investment in new oil production an investment dry hole. That is hypocritical anyway, given that Biden wants other countries to produce oil for our use anyway. It’s not the drilling and extraction creates emission concerns — it’s the end-stage usage of the products. And Biden wants more of it now because inflation from the predictable increase in gas prices is suddenly a problem for his political party.

It’s as if Biden and WRBA have no understanding of economics or the energy industry. Who’da thunk it?

==++==


And I am now off to clean the boat gear and get it to the boat, so that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where we’re seeing a preview of summer, the folks from away are everywhere, and where we shy away from looking a gas prices.

5/20/2022

New Hampshire Soon To Become Latest Second Amendment Sanctuary State

There are presently 16 states that have some form of Second Amendment Sanctuary legislation or gubernatorial proclamation that nullifies any federal laws or Executive Orders that violate the Second Amendment.

My home state of New Hampshire is about to become the seventeenth state with the passage of HB1178, a bill that prohibits the State of New Hampshire from “enforcing any federal statute, regulation, or Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

Federal Statutes, Regulations, and Presidential Executive Orders Relating to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Pursuant to the general court’s authority under Part II, Article 5 of the New Hampshire Constitution, the state of New Hampshire, a political subdivision of this state, or any person acting under the color of state, county, or municipal law shall be prohibited from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer, or cooperate with any law, act, rule, order, or regulation of the United States Government or Executive Order of the President of the United States that is inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms, ammunition, magazines or the ammunition feeding devices, firearm components, firearms supplies, or knives.

The anti-gunners, both outside and inside the federal government, will have a tough row to hoe if states absolutely refuse to enforce laws that violate the Second Amendment. “Because we say so!” isn’t going to fly in the states that have overtly declared they will not be coerced into enforcing unconstitutional laws.

HB1178 goes before the governor for his signature. Governor Sununu is a known Second Amendment supporter and is expected to sign the legislation into law.

5/15/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a trip to New Hampshire’s Seacoast for me and the WP Mom yesterday.

We attended the 80th birthday celebrations of my Dear Brother’s In-Laws since their birthdays were only a couple of days apart.

Traffic down and back really wasn’t bad considering the hot day and the open beaches. Then again, not too many people were partaking of swimming since the water temps are still in the 40’s.

All in all, it was a good day and it was nice to see some family members we hadn’t seen for a while.

==++==


Katy informed me that she had pulled her convertible out of storage Thursday morning in order to take advantage of the great weather. I have to admit that I am a little envious of her seasonal set of wheels. On the other hand I have the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout...and she doesn’t.

It all balances out in the end.

==++==


Dr. Helen has been promoting a dual camera dash cam via Amazon on and off for the past month or so and I can say I ordered one.

Why did I order a dashcam?

I guess I have to blame watching the plethora of dashcam videos on YouTube as a motivation. Seeing the accidents, dumb moves by clueless drivers, dangerous conditions created by dangerous drivers, and road rage incidents convinced me it was time to break open the Official Weekend Pundit Wallet and obtain one. It is now ensconced in the trusty RAM 1500.

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

==++==


I stopped at my local “reference” gas station/convenience store to pick up a few items (including a couple of lottery tickets) this morning on my way back from my “before church” run to Walmart. Imagine my surprise to see Regular was now $4.699 (up 40¢ since last week), Mid Grade was $4.899, Premium was $5.099, and Diesel $6.399. It is prices like this that make me glad I can work from home two or three days a week – reducing my commuting mileage by 40 to 60 percent. Not that I have all that long a commute – just under 10 miles one way – but the trusty RAM 1500 isn’t exactly fuel efficient. Then again, it is a work truck and is used to haul all kinds of stuff.

Seeing the prices at my reference gas station I had to check the price of gas at the gas docks around Lake Winnipesaukee and what I saw confirmed what I expected: even higher gas prices. (It must be understood that marinas tend to sell only one grade of gas, either 89 octane mid-grade or 93 octane premium.) Two of the marinas I sometime use for fueling up the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout listed 89 octane for $5.099 on the south side of the lake and $5.799 on the north side of the lake. It isn’t often that I buy gas at a gas dock as I tend to fuel my boat using a couple of gas caddies I filled up at a local gas station (but not my “reference station”), using 87 octane since that’s all my boat requires and saving anywhere from 40¢ to $1.50 a gallon. That’s anywhere from $10 to $45 I won’t have to shell out to fill the tank. That may not seem like a lot to some folks, but to this cheap...er...frugal Yankee, that’s a lot of my money I don’t need to give to someone else.

==++==


The following story certainly falls under the Treacher adage: “When Republicans screw up, that’s the story. When Democrats screw up, the Republican’s reaction is the story.”

AP Is Aghast That the GOP Would Use Biden's Failures as a Political Weapon. Aghast!

We already know if the parties were reversed we would not see such a story from the AP. Instead, the AP would be slamming the GOP for the failures of an under-performing GOP president directly, and not the Democrats’ reactions.

Double standard much?

The Associated Press is well known — and rightfully so — for writing long, detailed articles on “what it all means.” They’re called “thumbsuckers” in the news business, and the AP has perfected them.

A thumbsucker article presupposes that the reader is an ignorant rube and needs to be guided from Point A to Point B of a topic in order to have it explained to them. The problem for the reader is that the AP reporter writing the story — or most other mainstream reporters writing the story — almost always allows his or her own bias to permeate the story, making a “what it all means” story into a “what it should mean to you, you ignorant wretch.”

But the AP’s latest thumbsucker — “GOP’s new midterm attack: Blaming Biden for formula shortage” — makes a silly attempt to guide the reader to the conclusion that the Republican attack lines are politically motivated.

OMG! Really?

As long as one keeps in mind that much of the media are nothing more than part of the propaganda wing of the DNC, the AP’s reports make sense.

==++==


Speaking of the media, Powerline delves into just how much the American public distrusts the “credentialed media”.

...Rasmussen finds that “[e]ighty percent (80%) of voters believe ‘fake news’ is a serious problem in the media, including 56% who say the ‘fake news’ problem is Very Serious.” Not surprisingly, 89% of Republicans think fake news in the media is a serious problem, but 75% of Democrats also say that fake news in the media is at least a “somewhat serious” problem.

Did Donald Trump ever say that the news media are the enemy of the people? What I remember him saying is that the “fake news media” are the enemy of the people.

One thing Rasmussen found that surprised some people is that 58% of the poll respondents agree the media are the enemy of the people. “It is hard to imagine how any industry could so disgrace itself in the eyes of the American people.”

What does the media expect when they stop reporting the news and start ‘creating’ the news or generating spin that changes the meaning of events until they no longer resemble what actually took place or why?

==++==


This isn’t exactly new, but the story is still telling and points to problems the have created for that Utopian bastion of environmental wokeness, California. One of the biggest problems?

Lack of sufficient generation capacity to meet demand, particularly if there are any “heatwaves, wildfires, or other extreme events” this summer.

The update from leaders from three state agencies and the office of Governor Gavin Newsom comes in response to a string of challenges with the ambitious transition away from fossil fuels, including rolling blackouts during a summer heat wave in 2020.

California has among the most aggressive climate change policies in the world, including a goal of producing all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045.

In an online briefing with reporters, the officials forecast a potential shortfall of 1,700 megawatts this year, a number that could go as high as 5,000 MW if the grid is taxed by multiple challenges that reduce available power while sending demand soaring, state officials said during an online briefing with reporters.

The plans to go green looked great on paper, but as often happens reality doesn’t care what anyone’s plans may say. The plans make assumptions that should not be made, many of those assumptions requiring suspension of disbelief in order to make them come to fruition. Some of those assumptions included wholly unrealistic projections about how much energy would be available if energy production switched to green sources. California is a living example of how not to make the transition. It is also an example of how wrong the definition of green energy is as it is applied by the Green Energy True Believers as they ignore sources like modern nuclear which emit no carbon dioxide, are reliable and unaffected by weather or time of day, and can even be used to dispose of nuclear waste from older reactors, ‘burning’ that so-called waste for fuel.

And so it goes.

==++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer has arrived, my boat still isn’t in the water, and Monday has arrived all too soon...again.

5/14/2022

Russia's Missteps

Depending upon which media reports you believe, Ukraine is kicking Russian butt or Russia is about to bury Ukraine with a massive offensive.

Of the two, I am more inclined to give credence to the former rather than the latter. Unless Russia goes nuclear, I am becoming to believe it has “bitten off more than it can chew” and may need to look for a way out.

It is seeing increasing losses, seems incapable of taking more territory, has been bogged down in Mariupol trying to take a steel mill still held by Ukrainian forces, and can’t even seem to be able to cross a river without losing men and equipment.

As if that isn’t enough their leadership feels the need to motivate two otherwise non-NATO countries (Finland and Sweden) to seriously consider joining NATO as a defensive move, threatening them with military action and other hostile acts when they started debate within their respective governments to do so. Is the threat of military action by Russia real? Most think it isn’t likely, particularly in light of Russia’s military failings in Ukraine.

All we can do is hope it doesn’t all turn to s**t.

5/10/2022

Using Less Energy Creates More CO2?

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

One of the things I thought the move to working from home during Covid lockdowns brought about was less CO2 emissions because people weren’t commuting to and from work and burning all those nasty fossil fuels, offices were closed which meant lights weren’t needed, heat would remain set to overnight temps if not lower, A/C didn’t need to run in empty offices, and computers weren’t being used on site. But according to the usual suspects, 2 emissions were higher because of home offices, something that doesn’t make sense.

Tech and financial companies leading efforts to cut climate changing emissions are finding a new challenge from remote work: the CO2 spewing out of home offices.

A few companies have begun counting what happens when employees boot up computers at home, turn up gas furnaces and ignore the world’s most energy-efficient corporate campuses. It turns out that home setups popularized by the pandemic are eroding some of the climate benefit of abandoned commutes.

“Emissions didn’t go away,” said Amanda von Almen, head of emissions reduction at Salesforce.com Inc. “They just shifted to another area.”

That emissions shifted isn’t in question. But to ignore the emissions from commuting is disingenuous. Assuming workplaces are far more energy efficient than homes is something one cannot automatically take as truth. They also assume everyone’s home office (or at least their home) is unoccupied during the day. They also make certain assumptions about the workplace energy usage.

Climate experts say those solutions scratch the surface: After pouring billions of dollars into traditional offices decked with rooftop solar, bathed in natural lighting and equipped with water recycling, employers transitioning to hybrid work need clear plans to make every location just as green.

I am not sure exactly where you find all of the offices/campuses mentioned above, but it sure as heck isn’t anywhere near here. I have no doubt it is more prevalent in places like California where energy prices are high, much of those high costs attributable directly to actions taken by the state government and not market forces.

Since I can only relate what I have experienced directly at my place of work, there is no rooftop solar, no large amounts of natural lighting, or water recycling...unless you’re talking about the septic system that treats and returns water to the aquifer that feeds our well. The “large amounts of natural lighting” can make our location even less energy efficient, particularly taking in mind the weather conditions and temperatures we experience from late fall to early spring. Windows do not insulate nearly as well 6 or 8 inch walls filled with insulation. (It can quite often reach temperatures well below zero Fahrenheit, even during the day, during the depths of winter.)

Then there’s this:

One roadblock to counting home office emissions is that there is no standard on how or what to count. Microsoft Corp, trying to solve the problem itself, concluded that remote staff work eight hours a day using a laptop, two monitors and three lightbulbs.

--snip--

But if heating a home office requires heating an entire house, how are emissions counted?

And if they are using a laptop, two monitors, and a bunch area lighting (or maybe task lighting), how much does that change emissions? I know that when I work from home here at The Gulch, I generally don’t need more than a single LED lamp in my office first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, and then mostly during late fall through early spring. As long as the sun is above the horizon I don’t need a light in my home office. I also don’t need to heat the entire house to heat my home office as we have zoned heating. (Even then, the heat from my computer helps maintains the temperature in the office as long as I keep the door closed.) It also turns out the heat is turned up on the first floor around 7am because my mother lives here and she doesn’t like to be cold.

Yes, I understand the conditions in my home aren’t all that common, at least not in whole country, but it’s pretty common around most of the northern tier of the US.

I think the folks mentioned in the linked article need to rethink their assumptions about energy consumption by corporate offices versus home offices. Using Salesforce, Microsoft, and Meta as their models isn’t realistic or representative of most businesses. It’s too small a sample.

This is just as bad, if not worse than the claims that science, specifically astronomy, contributes to climate change. Considering a lot of science uses energy, that claim could be made about science in general...even climate science.

5/08/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

There’s plenty of activity around Lake Winnipesaukee as we see the boat yards and marinas shifting into full summertime mode as they continue to prep boats for launching, and summerfolk opening their cottages and vacation homes and getting them squared away for the upcoming summer. I saw quite a few folks ‘from away’ at our dump...er...solid waste center dropping off the detritus of post-winter cleanup. (Property owners in our town, even if from away, have access to our dump since they are taxpayers.)

With the warmer weather forecast for the upcoming week, I expect we’ll see even more such activities leading up to Memorial Day weekend. We have certainly seen some of the seasonal businesses open on weekends, one of them being one of our local ice cream/take-out food joints, a sure sign of the upcoming summer.

The only question is how much the stumbling economy is going to affect the summer considering inflation, gas prices, and some supply chain issues. Some folks are predicting summer gas prices might exceed $5 for regular and prices much higher than that on the lake at the gas docks, both of which will put a damper on an otherwise busy season.

==++==


I have to wonder about the reports of a hepatitis outbreak infecting children. After looking at a number news sources about the outbreak, I didn’t really find any that didn’t try for some kind of sensationalism. So I stopped by WebMD to see what they had to say about it.

The worldwide outbreak of acute hepatitis in children totals nearly 200 cases in 16 countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified more than 20 severe cases in the United States, specifically in Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, New York, and North Carolina. In Wisconsin, one infant died of the disease. Of the worldwide cases, 17 have required a liver transplant.

While severe hepatitis with acute liver failure is rare in healthy children and the odds are greatly in your child’s favor should they get hepatitis, your best defense right now against the current, rare cases is information.

The cause is presently unknown other than it is not the usual strains of Hep A, B, C, or E. That there are less than 200 cases worldwide – at least as of May 3rd – so it doesn’t count as a major outbreak. Some have made the claim that it is a side effect of the Covid vaccines, but many of the children affected weren’t vaccinated against Covid.

My question is “Where did this start and how did it appear in so many places at roughly the same time?” I have no idea how much contact tracing has occurred to this point, but it is something that should be addressed if this at present small outbreak explodes.

==++==


Seen in the comments at Instapundit:

Leftist/Elitist/Journalist/Influencer: “Abortion is a right. It is in the Constitution.”

Normie Person: “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is in the Constitution.”

Leftist/Elitist/Journalist/Influencer: “That’s different. A gun may kill an innocent person!”

Normie Person: “An abortion WILL kill an innocent person.”

Leftist/Elitist/Journalist/Influencer: FASCIST! RACIST!

==++==


Yeah, I can agree with this:

Ex-spies and diplomats say the Biden administration needs to 'shut-up' after NYT report about US intelligence helping Ukraine kill Russian generals.

"Shut up about it," John Sipher, a former CIA officer who served in Russia, said in a tweet on the Times report.

Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia, in a tweet responding to Sipher said, "Exactly. No one should be talking to press about such things."

Striking a similar tone, former US diplomat Aaron David Miller tweeted that the "whole shift in tone" following Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's visit to Ukraine is "worrisome."

"Weakening Russia; winning; and now stories @NYT about killing Russian generals. Why can't we just shut up?" Miller said.

Some may ask why the NYT even published such a report. All one has to remember that the NYT is not a friend of America. It seems to work to dismantle America, kowtowing to America’s enemies and working to destroy its friends. Then again, it is not much more than one part of the propaganda operation for the Progressive DNC-MSM.

==++==


It seems this must be repeated again and again until it sinks in: Organic farming cannot meet the food needs of the world.

By now everyone should know that the Biden Administration is a ship of fools. When you choose officials in order to fulfill diversity quotas, it’s what happens.

Among the idiots running the administration is one Samantha Power. She is the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.

Now, what does this serious nitwit have to say about the pending worldwide famine, caused by the absence of nitrogen based fertilizer? Why she has declared that this absence will facilitate the transition to more organic fertilizers.

Anyone who knows anything knows that this is a formula for mass starvation.

As I have written elsewhere, it has been shown again and again that organic farming doesn’t scale well. It works fine for your backyard vegetable garden or small truck farm. It doesn’t work so well for large scale farm operations.

The farm where my son has worked since he was 13 tried going organic on just under a quarter of their fields. After 3 years they abandoned organic farming because they couldn’t make it pay. It took more labor, more organic fertilizer (compost) and more water, but provided lower yields, a losing proposition.

==++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer-like weather is on its way, my boat will be ready to launch this week, and where the upcoming Monday is already harshing my mellow.

5/07/2022

The System

It’s been a while since I’ve touted any of Tom MacDonald’s music videos, but his latest one – The System – is worthy of viewing. This one, like many of his other more popular videos, tells us some harsh truths which people on both sides of the political divide can agree.

Without further ado, here’s Tom’s latest.

5/05/2022

This Explains It

Seen in a comment to an Instapundit post:

Biden is a dictator.

Half dick.

Half tater.

'Nuff said.

5/01/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

We’re finally back into a warm weather cycle after dealing with days of temps just above freezing, including a few days with high winds which made it feel even colder. A portion of the day today was spent on the first round of spring cleaning here at The Gulch, dusting off the window screens and washing the windows – inside and out on the first floor and inside on the second floor – dusting the blades on the ceiling fans, and cleaning the filters on the A/C units. (Not that we need the A/C very often up here in N’Hampsha, but when we do it’s great having it.)

We’ll also be spending a little bit of time storing our winter apparel away – parkas, heavy gloves, winter boots and the like - and pulling out our summer stuff, including the boating gear.

Speaking of boating gear, the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout is scheduled to to be pulled out of storage this week and prepped for the boating season. If things go according to plan and the weather cooperates we’ll be able to launch the boat next weekend.

==++==


Work was very busy last week, though not so much with actual work. We were moving.

A couple of years ago our division went through a reorganization which saw our production and shipping operations moved to another underutilized facility. Our engineering department remained which meant a building designed to house a business with up to 140 personnel now had 12 full-time employees and another dozen ‘floaters’, employees who primarily work from home but come to the facility now and then for one function or another. Our building went up for sale about the same time with the idea of leasing back some of the space from the buyer unless they were going to occupy the entire space.

Two years later and the building finally sold.

The new owner had no problem leasing space to us, but since we didn’t need the entire facility, we chose to lease part of the second floor. That meant moving surplus equipment, furniture, and other gear we didn’t need someplace else. This usually meant selling it and letting the buyers move it out rather than disposing of it or storing it. The things we did need were moved up stairs over a period of a month. Old files that were no longer needed were shredded and disposed of, old prototypes and samples were recycled, offices and labs were moved, test equipment and lab benches were relocated and set up. There’s still some electrical work that needs to be done as part of the move, but for the most part we finished the move before the end-of-the-month deadline.

At least we didn’t have to fill moving trucks.

==++==


I have to agree with Elon Musk on this one.

And then there’s this from Elon: The far left ‘hates everyone, themselves included.’

It seems the Left is doing everything it can to try to paint Musk’s purchase of Twitter as a move to ‘silence free speech’ on the platform. That’s ironic considering Twitter as it presently operates doesn’t believe in free speech. It only believes in Leftist disinformation and propaganda. Based on their actions on Twitter, actual free speech is tyranny, particularly if such speech disagrees with them or their narrative.

Hypocrites.

==++==


Today is Victims of Communism Day.

I think it should be amended to be called Victims of Socialism Day. Socialism has killed untold millions, directly and indirectly. Communism is just another form of Socialism.

==++==


Yup. I’ll call it what it is – The Student Loan Scam.

Currently there is somewhere around $1.6 trillion outstanding in unpaid student loans. That is approximately twice the amount of all credit card debt. And many thousands of college graduates and dropouts find themselves unable or unwilling to repay their student loans.

How did we get into this mess? It goes back to the Higher Education Act of 1965, but, as with so many government programs, the senators and representatives who voted for it never imagined how it would transform higher education, in part by driving costs relentlessly higher. Now the Biden administration is trying to buy votes in the midterm elections by promising to cancel the entire $1.6 trillion outstanding debt.

While student loans to pay college tuition may have sounded like a good idea, in practice they have devolved into something that indebts students to pay for college degrees with values far less than the value of the loans taken. The loans created a ocean of cash from which colleges and universities hungered to drink. Tuitions increased well above the rate of inflation. New courses of study were created, with far too many of them ending in the word “Studies”. To me, such courses of study are useless since the only thing they seem to provide is resentment and intolerance towards a specific group or groups who are seen as the reason(s) for the troubles, real or imagined, being experienced by the subjects of the “Studies” courses. (Yes, this is a bit of hyperbole...but only a little bit.)

In short, Biden threatens (or promises) to take patently illegal action in order to buy votes, in the expectation that his wrongdoing won’t be checked until after November–and perhaps not at all. We live under a scofflaw government.

Canceling student debt would be a bad idea. It sets a bad precedent. It will also give future students the idea that they can get a ‘free’ education by taking out student loans and then not having to pay them back.

==++==


Geez, now you can’t even go on vacation without worrying squatters will break into your home, steal all of your belongings, and attack you when you get home.

A Maryland woman returning from vacation got a nasty surprise when she walked in her door. Her residence had been emptied of everything but her bed. And on the bed, she found two squatters.

The unidentified woman apparently tried to leave but was tackled by the male squatter. There followed a bizarre sequence of events where the male squatter gave the woman advice on how to keep people from breaking into her home.

“Not only were they in my home, but everything in my home was gone except for my bed because he details how he loved my bed so much. And I’m like who are you? And he says my name. He’s like you didn’t pay your rent. I’m like what are you talking about? I paid my rent.”

The victim left for vacation on March 28 and returned on April 5. The woman says she doesn’t know where her belongings are and doubts she will ever recover them. As for the criminal squatters, they’re still at large after they promised they were going to do the same thing to another homeowner.

In some states (like California) it can be a lengthy and expensive process to evict squatters. In others all it takes is a call to police. In yet others simply showing your sidearm is enough to get them to leave. Of course, the folks in the story weren’t just squatters, but thieves. They took $50K of her belongings, leaving her apartment bare.

==++==


I’d say this is a fair statement.

The Democrats have become the party of miserable, whiny grumps.

The hatred, anger and resentment of liberals is not exclusive to the extreme Democrat. It’s now the entire party.

When was the last time anyone encountered a happy Democrat? They don’t exist. They’re perpetually miserable, annoyed that normal people have moved on from COVID, offended that anyone objects to public schools teaching 7-year-olds about sexual identity, and frustrated that their fetish with “critical race theory” (also known as “how to properly hate whites!”) isn’t as widely shared as they thought.

Consider the response to a Florida judge recently striking down the Biden administration’s loathsome air-travel mask mandate. Social media was immediately flooded with videos of flight attendants and passengers overjoyed that they had unfettered access to oxygen again. Liberals could only sulk.

Similarly at The Washington Post, columnist Kate Cohen wrote Wednesday how awful it is to see Americans ditching their masks in celebration. “I still planned to wear a mask while COVID circulated in my community because I was afraid of spreading the virus to vulnerable people,” she said. “Surely we can personally be ‘done’ with this pandemic while respecting the fact that others are not.”

What she means is something more along the lines of: I don’t like that I can’t morally nag people about masks without the backing of the State anymore.

“I don’t like that I can’t morally nag people about masks without the backing of the State anymore.” Hmm, almost sounds like a description of a state-sanctioned Karen. As if we need even more Karens than the ones we already have to deal with.

I have found that even when some Democrats get their way they are still unhappy, are “sore winners”. I have found them to be particularly annoying.

==++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where the warmer weather has returned, more boats are showing up at slips, and summer cottages are being prepped for opening.