10/02/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

We experienced the remnants of Hurricane Ian yesterday: It was cloudy until around noon and then the sun came out.

Somehow we survived it.

Ironically it’s been quite windy all day today with temps in the 50’s, but not due to Ian. We can thank Canada for today’s fall weather.

==++==


One thing that happened Friday was the Official Weekend Pundit Computer went down. It froze and accepted no input. A reboot didn’t help.

Looking at my records I realized I’ve been using that computer – an HP – for 10 years. I have dug deeper into the problem with the help of my dear brother. What’s ironic is that I had planned to restage the computer with a new hard drive loaded with one of the Arch Linux distributions – probably Garuda Linux – a little later this year. It is fortunate I had made backups of all the data on the computer, missing only a few of the more recent files. I don’t think it will be an issue to recover those last few files since the crash of the Official Weekend Pundit Computer was not due to a hard disk failure.

It looks like I will have to come up with a new computer if I cannot correct the hardware error that caused the crash.

==++==


When I first saw this I thought it might have come from the Babylon Bee since there’s no way it could be true.

It turns out that it’s true...and does not bode well for our nation: The Democrats are pushing an American apartheid.

In this case Kamala Harris announced that federal aid for Hurricane Ian will be distributed based on skin color.

The Biden administration will focus on “giving resources based on equity” by directing funds to “communities of color”. pic.twitter.com/uixPpyQWdU

Yeah, that will help generate more racial harmony...and help cement a GOP victory in November.

They just can’t help themselves, can they?

==++==


I can agree with this wholeheartedly.

Only the Western Woke think the world loves them for their virtue. The rest know that the world really loves them for fried chicken, video games and consumer goods. What used to be called whiskey, democracy, sexy.

The only thing virtue signaling does for these mentally ill woke a**holes is make themselves feel better. No one else gives a sh*t and they cannot be made to do so. It’s time to heap as much derision and abuse upon the woke as we can as it may be the only way to make the woke realize that they’re ill.

Everyone is sick to death of the self-righteous woke. It’s as Tom Knighton stated, “Only the woke don’t know they’re over.”

==++==


It looks like Dish Network is going through the periodic pain of negotiating with a content provider asking for a large fee increase, the content provider in this case being Disney. Because they can’t reach an agreement, Dish has been forced to remove all Disney network programming which includes channels like ESPN, Disney Channel, Freeform, and ABC.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this happen to Dish or our local cable TV provider. I’ve also seen it happen to DirectTV. Of course when the satellite or cable operator caves and agrees to pay the higher subscriber fees, the customers see their satellite or cable bills go up and blame their satellite/cable operator. This is a dance that occurs every few years between the content providers and satellite and cable operators. It doesn’t always lead to programming being blacked out, but it happens often enough because the content providers know they’ll get their subscriber fee increases.

I can only recall one time where a small number of service providers refused to bow to a content provider and had no problem dropping programming. If memory serves, the content provider was Viacom who provided channels like MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon, just to name a few. The service providers were small rural independent cable operators who couldn’t justify the fee hike Viacom was demanding, so they dropped all Viacom programming. What’s ironic is that the cable operators only received a couple of complaints about the dropped programming and their customers actually saw the video portion of the cable bills drop.

Considering how awful a lot of the TV programming is these days, I’m surprised more cable and satellite operators aren’t telling the content providers “We’ll be willing to pay more once you start providing decent content rather than the garbage you’re peddling now.”

==++==


The Climate Change faithful keep making the claim climate change is fueling more and more powerful hurricanes. However, there are peer-reviewed papers that say just the opposite.

With Hurricane Ian (now a tropical storm) exiting the east coast of Florida, there is no shortage of news reports tying this storm to climate change. Even if those claims actually include data to support their case, those data are usually for cherry-picked regions and time periods. If global warming is causing a change in tropical cyclone activity, it should show up in global statistics.

The latest peer-reviewed study (March 2022, here) of the accumulated wind energy in tropical cyclones since 1990 (when we started have sufficient global data) showed a decrease in hurricane activity. There was an increase in Atlantic activity, but this was matched by an even larger decrease in Pacific activity, due to a shift from El Nino to La Nina conditions during that time.

So, yes, there is climate change involved in the uptick in Atlantic activity in recent decades. But it’s natural.

We haven’t been seeing nearly as many hurricanes (and a smaller number of tropical storms), and those we do see aren’t making landfall as often as in the past.

==++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the leaves are changing color, the cooler weather is here, and Halloween is 4 weeks away.

10/01/2022

This Is Why

It seems to me that many young women - well, young to me at least – are asking the question “Where have all the good men gone?”

I could delve into the many reasons why this question has become far more common over the past 20 years or so, but that would be a 30,000 word essay, something that I wouldn’t want to write and that you probably wouldn’t want to read.

More young career women are finding themselves without a mate or a family of their own and wondering why. Bishop T.D. Jakes may have one of the answers to that question:

“We are raising up women to be men. And you are not applauded for your femininity. You are applauded in the contemporary society by how tough, rough, nasty, mean, aggressive, hateful, possessive you are as you are climbing the corporate ladder.”

“But we are losing our families.”

“I know you can buy your own car. I know you can buy your own house. But until you create a need that I can pour myself into, I have no place in your life. So stop coming home bragging to me about how much you don’t need me and wonder why I shy away.”

Unfortunately his observations may be all too true. We are certainly seeing the outcome of the mindset Jakes describes and it is only getting worse. But fortunately more young women (and men) are waking up to this truth.

There may still be hope.

9/25/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

We experienced a blackout here at The Gulch Friday evening, the lights going out just past 7PM. It had been very windy and cool all day and apparently a tree limb decided it was time to break loose and take down some power lines on the other side of the shoreline road. After a call to the power company to report the outage, apparently limited to just our small neighborhood here around The Gulch, they contacted me a few minutes later to let me know it was going to be at least three hours before power would be restored.

It was time to break out the Official Weekend Pundit Portable Generator.

This would be the first time it was used to power The Gulch as we hadn’t had any outages requiring me to take it out of storage. It has been run a few times in the two years I’ve had it, either as a test or to power equipment at a remote project.

I pulled the genset out of the garage, retrieved the 40lb propane bottle, connected it to the genset, switched off the main house breaker, connected the genset to the outside house connector, fired up the genset and then flipped on the breakers on the genset. The lights in The Gulch came on.

The genset handled the power draw of The Gulch without a hitch. The only things the genset couldn’t handle were the stove and clothes dryer, but it wasn’t like we would have needed to use either of them over that short span of time. For a longer outage it still wouldn’t have been an issue because I can use the microwave or cook with the Official Weekend Pundit Gas Grill and take any washed clothes down to the laundromat to dry them, assuming I couldn’t use a laundry rack and dry them out on the porch.

All in all, it was a good full-up test of the generator’s capability to power The Gulch.

==++==


It now officially being Fall, foliage season around here can’t be too far behind.

We’re already seeing the swamp maples changing color to their brilliant red. They start a few weeks ahead of all the other trees, a harbinger of what’s to come.

Peak foliage color around here usually occurs between October 10th and October 20th. Some have been concerned the drought experienced in New England will affect both the intensity and peak foliage timing, but central and northern New Hampshire weren’t affected by the drought – rainfalls were normal or slightly below normal – so there are expectations the brilliance and timing of the foliage will be normal as well.

==++==


I don’t see how anyone but the willfully ignorant or the deluded couldn’t see this coming.

Why the mass exodus of law enforcement from blue cities? Blame the blue city officials driving it.

Democratic city mayors continue to complain about astronomical police overtime expenditures and dismal recruiting numbers in the post- George Floyd era of unrest. But this is a Frankenstein monster of the " progressive " Left’s own making. For the past two years, leftist activists have relentlessly vilified law enforcement and pushed policies to strip them of their funding and authority. So it’s no mystery why many are retiring or leaving hostile jurisdictions for a more hospitable environment in the suburbs.

Now that the extent of the damage the Left has wrought is becoming apparent, the same mayors and city councilmembers who voted to slash police budgets are backtracking and suddenly acting to increase funding. It’s no coincidence that their change in heart occurred during a consequential midterm election year. President Joe Biden, for example, is calling for more police funding. This is curious, especially since he delivered an insulting diatribe at the Police Week memorial ceremony last year, in which he chose to highlight police abuses and misconduct rather than the sacrifices made by officers.

This mass exodus has had the expected side-effect in those urban bastions of blue-think: rising violent crime rates, dropping property values, an exodus of businesses and workers along with a similar exodus of residents seeking a safer living and work environment. Yet those same blue city officials are baffled by the results of their actions and the anger being directed towards them by their subjects. (I refuse to call them constituents since so many of these officials treat them more like subjects.)

==++==


Is conservatism being prohibited?

Yes. Yes it is.

First, Scott Adams’ “Dilbert” comic strip has lost 77 newspapers, apparently because it ridiculed “woke” doctrine…

A second case comes from the U.K. and involves PayPal. The Telegraph reports:

It all moved up a gear this week when PayPal closed the accounts of the Free Speech Union and the anti-lockdown Daily Sceptic with no explanation given. The latest victim is the UsForThem campaign, which sought to highlight the impact of school closures during lockdown. They use PayPal to fundraise, but the account has been suspended. Given PayPal’s dominance of the market, it’s quite a problem.

Tech giants are universally hostile to free speech, so shutting down the Free Speech Union–which gets a third of its membership fees through PayPal–is no surprise. The other two are anti-lockdown and anti-school closure organizations.

Finally, Mike Lindell is back in the news. You may remember that the FBI caught Lindell red-handed driving through a Hardee’s and confiscated his cell phone. The warrant supporting that seizure has now emerged.

--snip--

Of course the “identity theft” and “damage to a protected computer” have to do with Lindell’s role in questioning the integrity of 2020 election results.

Mike Lindell is a wealthy man who wasn’t trying to steal someone else’s identity for fraudulent purposes, and he doesn’t go around bashing computers with a baseball bat. This all has to do with his opposition to the regime.

I think Lindell’s theories about Dominion are probably wrong. Dominion has sued him and others, I believe, for vast amounts of money. Those issues presumably will be thrashed out in court. But why does the FBI swing into action to suppress any suggestion that our loosest election ever might not have been on the up-and-up?

Then you have Twitter and Facebook declaring verifiable facts and events as mis-/disinformation, even info that came from the US government because it doesn’t fit the Progressive narrative. Any questioning of the narrative must be quashed and those doing the questioning must be silenced, or worse, prosecuted and imprisoned.

It looks like the Democrats are trying very hard to make any opposition to their political ideology be declared ‘extremist’ and therefore illegal.

That whirring sound you’re hearing? That’s the sound of the Framers of the Constitution spinning in their graves.

==++==


The electricity rates here in New Hampshire went up 100% last month, much of it attributed to the spike in natural gas prices. Much of the natural gas in New England comes from overseas – Libya and Yemen – thanks to the efforts of the NIMBY’s, BANANA’s, and Watermelon Environmentalists block construction of a new pipeline into New England. The foreign natural gas costs a lot more than US natural gas and has to shipped across the Atlantic.

These same folks also blocked transmission line construction that would have brought cheap green hydro power into New England from Quebec.

Now it’s Massachusetts’ turn to deal with higher electricity rates, with rates slated to increase by 64% on November 1st and for the same reasons.

It doesn’t help that the natural gas prices have spiked due to actions taking by SloJo his first day in office and much later, the sanctions placed on Russia after they invaded Ukraine. (To be fair, most of the price increases happened well before Russia invaded, Biden’s claims notwithstanding.)

==++==


I guess it’s never too early to start with a disinformation campaign based upon TDS.

In this case it’s focused don Ron DeSantis and it’s claiming he’s “worse than Trump”.

I figure this theme will soon be cranked up to ‘11’ the closer we get to the Presidential primaries which start in January 2024.

==++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where Fall has finally arrived, there’s still plenty of boating to do, and the foliage will start changing in a couple of weeks.

9/24/2022

Indeed

We had a power outage in our little neighborhood last night so I didn't have a chance to post anything as I was busy dealing with the outage. I came across this image over at GraniteGrok and, having showed it to a co-worker, he spewed coffee all over his computer screen because he couldn't help but laugh.


9/18/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

We’ve had a short preview of fall weather over the past few days, with nighttime temps in the 40’s (and some up north in the 30’s) and daytime temps in the upper 50’s and low 60’s. However, today we’ll see temps in the 80’s. But we’ll be back in the 60’s tomorrow with rain all day and 60’s the rest of the week.

I have already seen the swamp maples turning color, but they are usually a good month ahead of most of the other trees when it comes to the fall foliage color. I expect we’ll see heavy tourist traffic with the so-called “leaf peepers” arriving from all over the world. Colors are expected to be a bit muted in the southern part of New Hampshire due to the drought stress the forests have been subjected to, but central and northern New Hampshire should see spectacular color since there was little if any drought stress. I know I will be using the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout to view the foliage colors when they are close to peak, something that I look forward to every year.

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The TV media has been busy covering the preparations for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Seeing the lines of people waiting to pay their last respects to the only monarch many of them have ever known has been eye-opening.

I will admit to feeling sorrow at her passing. She always reminded me of my own grandmother, and I’ve thought of her as “America’s Grandmother”. Yeah, it sounds strange, I know, but that’s how I’ve thought of her.

She was gracious, but she also had a wicked sense of humor which she showed the world now and then.

I will miss her.

==++==


It’s interesting seeing Bill Maher’s ‘awakening’ to the perfidy of the Left. While still a Leftist himself, he has been pointing out the extreme views and measures of the radical Left that had had him rethinking his positions and questioning the motives of those presently running the nation.

Maher also had strong words for Leftists who refused to consider the possibility that what he was saying was true: “And that’s why you seem like you have such contempt for half the country. I don’t think that’s going to get us where we need to go.” Speaking about the deep political divisions in the country today, he asked: “I think we’ve crossed this line and now the question is, how do we walk it back? How do we walk it back from, ‘I hate you so much that I can’t live with you?’ And we have to live with each other. This is not an apartment where we can put the tape down the middle of it. We have to find a way.”

--snip--

In other words, Leftists have completely departed from reality and from a rational assessment of the contemporary scene. While Maher is correct that we have to live with them, it’s like having to live in a house with an insane person: one must always be on guard, for one never knows what the insane one is going to do, or how much damage he is going to cause. It is at least refreshing that a committed Leftist such as Maher can show signs of waking up from the insanity and deciding that he doesn’t want to along with it any longer. Maybe others will follow. We can hope.

If committed Leftists like Maher can see that he path other Leftists are leading us down will lead to the destruction of the United States and to a ‘woke’ totalitarian state, then there may be hope that just a few more like him will also wake up and realize where we’re headed down the wrong path.

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We keep getting the “We all have to switch over to EVs” meme rammed down our throats. Of course those saying we have to make the switch are ignoring the downsides to EVs, one of the biggest being the cost of replacing the battery pack when the time comes. Just one example: The cost to replace the battery pack for a Tesla is $26,000.

That’s not a typo.

It will cost $26,000 to replace the battery in a 2014 Tesla. That’s more than I spent to buy the trusty RAM 1500. I could replace the engine and transmission and gas tank in the RAM for what that battery pack costs and have a lot of money left over. (Not that I should ever need to do so. As long as regular maintenance is performed, they should last another 10 years or so.)

Numbers-wise, EVs make no sense to me. The cost of battery pack replacement makes those numbers make even less sense.

==++==


I wonder if they realize just how stupid they sound?

NY Times: American Democracy Is In Crisis From Republicans Adhering To The Constitution.

Apparently the NYT doesn’t like things like the Electoral College, something that helps prevent a tyranny of the majority, or Freedom of Speech, or the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, or protection against Unreasonable Search and Seizure and so on. It gets in the way of creating the “Perfect Socialist Utopia”, also known as Hell on Earth.

Those of us in the know understand what really needs to be done to save our nation from those who hate it so much:

1- Repeal the 17th Amendment, allowing state general assemblies to appoint senators to represent the will of the state, ambassadors to the federal government, as intended. They will do what their states say, not what the big money donors.

2- Term limits for Representatives. Eight years.

3- Federally elected positions and appointed administrators will not be allowed to trade stock while in office. Period. No trading stock for any federal employee if it is related to the agency they work for Balanced budget amendment.

4- Those running for the House may not take in more than 10% of their campaign donations from outside of their district. How does it help the people of that district when a goodly chunk comes from outside?

5- Allocation to federal agencies will be based on what the agencies need, not what they want, reducing overspending, just like at private sector companies.

6- No more allowing cost over-runs when contracting something, unless the agency requests it. If the contractor is running late and over-budget, tough. Fulfill your contract, eat the money.

7- Fed govt needs to stop funding everything local. Which gives them power over the towns and cities. Such as all the money to police depts, giving the feds power over the police.

8- Lower taxation. Money should be going to your town and state, not so much to feds.

I would probably change #2 to incorporate one of my suggestions, that being members of the House of Representatives should be drafted, not elected. We’re likely to get a better class of people that way.

==++==


By way of Maggie’s Farm comes this image:


What’s scary is that this is closer to the truth than most people realize. But there there’s also this truth:


‘Nuff said.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where most of the summerfolk are gone, die-hards are still plying the waters of the lake, and where we’re waiting for foliage change to take place.

9/17/2022

Let's Call It What It Is

I found it interesting to see the outrage of some of the residents on Martha’s Vineyard when they got a taste of what so many others have had to deal with regarding illegal immigrants being shipped into their neighborhoods.

It seems most of the outrage is coming from people who own second homes on the island rather than year-round residents. Of course the hypocrisy is strong considering Martha’s Vineyard is allegedly a sanctuary community. But once illegal immigrants actually arrive there, their virtue signaling sanctuary status magically disappears...at least until the illegals are kicked off the island.

I had the chance to ask a friend of mine who is a native Islander (fifth generation) about her reaction to what happened out there and she was not surprised at the outrage. However, she did mention that most of those expressing outrage are from “off-island” (the Martha’s Vineyard equivalent of New Hampshire’s “folks from away” or more derisively “flatlanders”). They have vacation homes on the island and don’t live there. They tend to be the most vocal when things don’t go the way they think they should.

I have dealt with some of those folks on Martha’s Vineyard in the past, having spent a lot of time on the island in my teens, 20’s, and 30’s, mostly during the off-season. I’ve been dealing with the equivalent up here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire for the past 30 years. The only difference between the two is the folks on Martha’s Vineyard have even more money and tend to be snootier and more entitled than the folks here.

Why do folks who think being a sanctuary community is fine...until actual illegal immigrants show up? Let’s call it what it is:

Hypocrisy.

9/16/2022

Red Pill Blue Pill Choice

“Take the Blue Pill and you’ll wake up in your bed and will live an 18th century life in California, believing you are living a virtuous life of onerous labor, privation, illness, and premature death. Take the Red Pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes, finding a long and healthy life in a modern, clean, high energy technological society in Florida that will someday reach the stars.”

“Choose wisely, for once you take the pill there’s no going back.”

9/11/2022

A Remembrance Of That Awful Day

This past Friday I was speaking with one of my co-workers about the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, someone we both admired. We talked about how she had been the only Queen we had known all our lives. We talked about the things we remembered about her and since September 11th was only a couple of days away, I mentioned seeing the Guard at Buckingham Palace play the Star Spangled Banner at her request, the day after the September 11th attacks. Just talking about that moment had tears brimming in my eyes as they did my co-worker. Even writing about it has me feeling a little choked up.

Seeing as today is the 21st anniversary of That Awful Day, I thought it fitting that I replace my usual Sunday post with this remembrance.

I have to start with saying that until September 11th, I never understood the folks who had experienced the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 saying that they remember exactly where they were when they heard the news, remembered their feelings on that day. The one thing that so many of them said that to them, it hadn’t happened ‘x’ years ago, but ‘yesterday’.

On September 12th, 2001, I understood what they meant. In the 21 years since That Awful Day I know exactly what they meant when they said it didn’t happen all those years ago. To me That Awful Day happened yesterday.

Twenty one years later when I see the Twin Towers on an old TV show or movie I catch my breath. I flash back to That Awful Day, remembering exactly where I was when I first heard of a plane hitting the North Tower and the subsequent report of another plane hitting the South Tower. I remember watching TV as the towers fell. I remember seeing the report of a plane hitting the Pentagon and another crashing in the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. I remember my pager going off again and again and again as I was called in to our state’s Office of Emergency Management. (I was a staff member back then.) I remember the faces of the people in my workplace and the Emergency Management office.

It was yesterday.

Over the years we have heard the stories of the heroes, both individuals and groups, who did amazing things to help the people they didn’t know under daunting circumstances. But it is those stories that have been a silver lining on an otherwise horrific and horrifying day. It is something that when the memories and feelings start weighing me down, I watch this story, one that exemplifies the selflessness of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It allows me to see the good things that happened on That Awful Day.

9/10/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday Saturday

This is a special Saturday edition of Thoughts On A Sunday, the reason being that Sunday is September 11th and I will be dealing with that anniversary on Sunday.

As such, I am going to mention that even with the nice late summer weather, much of the usual weekend visitors we would see have not been here. I’m not complaining as it means we have fewer clueless boaters on the lake and we can actually enjoy some weekend boating again.

It hasn’t lessened the lines at the seasonal restaurants, at least on the weekends. But the usual 10 AM Saturday morning traffic ‘crush’ didn’t materialize. It is usually caused by locals taking care of their grocery shopping and other errands and seasonal renters departing or new seasonal renters arriving. While there will still be a couple of weekends that will see that type of traffic crush, it still won’t be anything near what we see during the June, July, and August.

Our local farm stand was a busy as ever and will likely stay that way until Halloween.

==++==


From the “Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider” Department comes this gem from Illinois. The only thing I can think of is that the Illinois legislature is working their hardest to make their state as bad as California. Certainly their latest bit of legislation is going to spread the misery already being felt in Chicago to the rest of the state.

The legislation that will add to Illinois residents’ misery is called the “SAFE-T Act”. It was passed in the middle of the night after only 40 minutes of review. Forty minutes.

This is what the misnamed bill will do to help spread violent crime through the entire state, with the three main points being:

- The new law eliminates cash bail for almost every crime, including 2nd-degree murder, kidnapping, and armed robbery.

- Criminals with ankle bracelet locators who don’t show up to court can’t be pursued for 48 hours, giving them ample time to drive almost anywhere in North America.

- Police will no longer be able to remove trespassers from your property.

We already know the first point hasn’t worked out anywhere it’s been implemented. All it has done is allowed violent criminals back out on the streets to re-offend. The second point is just outright stupid.

I could get behind the third point if it the law also allowed property owners to use the force necessary to remove trespassers, up to and including lethal force, without consequences. Otherwise the third point is going to be used to embolden squatters, burglars, and a whole host of other miscreants.

I think we’ll see a rise in gun purchases in The Land Of Lincoln going forward.

==++==


By way of Libs Of TikTok we find out that the MSM isn't mad about gender surgeries on teens, they're mad you found out.

Two weeks ago you may have seen a lot of news segments surrounding Boston Children’s Hospital. Deleted videos and archived web pages pointed to the fact that they were providing “gender affirming” care to young people including puberty blockers, double mastectomies, phalloplasties, and hysterectomies.

The Left immediately seized upon the wording of one tweet in regard to hysterectomies and argued that it’s only done on 18-year-olds. Because they apparently think that’s okay.

This week we learned that that’s not the case. I dropped a bombshell report with a recording of 2 hospital employees admitting in no uncertain terms that they do hysterectomies on 16-year-olds and younger kids in the name of transgender healthcare. There were also archived web pages alluding to that fact. The media panicked. I couldn’t wait to see how they would spin this one.

We can’t trust the hospital, we can’t trust the media, we certainly can’t trust the more radical members of the LGBTQ community.

==++==


This is something I can wholeheartedly agree with. I think most people would also agree with it, that being the world is not going through an energy crisis but a ‘crisis of common sense’. Goodness knows we’ve seen more than enough blatant and very public evidence that the totally clueless have been making decisions about energy policy that are devoid of a lick of common sense.



We have certainly seen that since SloJo took office, issuing Executive Orders that have crippled our energy industry and then goes begging for more oil from the Saudis. The Germans decided to dismantle their nuclear plants and make a deal with the devil (Russia) for natural gas despite warnings the Russians would use that natural gas as a weapon. They also went heavy into renewables, specifically wind, which has left them with electrical supply shortages. Despite their severe electrical supply shortage, they have not stopped their plans to decommission their last operating nuclear plants. We have seen California make many of the same mistakes which has left them with extreme electricity supply shortages during a heat wave all while passing legislation that will mandate the sale of EVs only starting in 2035. They have also made sure their grid won’t have enough capacity to charge all of those EVs...unless they can drive 13 million people out of the Pyrite State before then which might leave them enough power to do so...unless they do even more to cripple their electrical grid between now and then.

It seems that so many energy policies are being driven by feelz rather than data, logic, and reason. Now that more of those policies are making their effects known we’re finding out those polices are incredibly deficient of common sense. Unfortunately, I see even more such energy policies being developed and implemented.

==++==


And that the ‘early’ news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’re enjoying the departure of the regular summerfolk, our restaurants are slowly being returned to us, but our boating is getting better.

9/09/2022

Unconditional Versus Conditional

Call me a surly curmudgeon, an unabashed cynic who has earned his right to be cynical over almost 70 years on this earth, someone who has seen social mores eroded away, ethics cast aside for expediency’s sake, the relationships between the races torn asunder by the intolerant woke, and the covenant between men and women destroyed by those who see no issue with tearing apart families all in the name of ‘equality’ that has nothing to do with actual equality.

I have seen what we used to call dating devolve into what has become to be called ‘Hookup Culture’, with dating apps used not to meet up with potential romantic partners but for casual sex. I have heard more than a few young women state openly “The first marriage is for money. The second marriage is for love.” They were not being funny or facetious. I have heard young men declaring they have no desire to date or get married because they don’t trust women and have decided they have better things to do with their time.

Probably one of the worst things I have seen is the increasing divide between men and women, driven by those who see men and women as different species, with men being monsters who cause all of women’s ills. But men and women are human and like all humans there are differences between them. Yes, they communicate in different ways and that sometimes causes misunderstanding, but that’s something that has been understood for generations. Yet some folks try very hard to increase the misunderstanding and the negative emotions that go with them.

Then there’s love, something that has also been under attack. I could try to explain it, but I think that would be better explained by this meme rather succinctly:


How sad is that?

9/04/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a busy weekend for yours truly, and it’s still only Sunday morning when I wrote this.

Yesterday saw a gathering of the WP clan to celebrate the wedding of the the older of the two WP nieces. For reasons I won’t go into, the wedding was held at a beer garden in the the town of Oxford, Maine. This meant a 2+ hour trip from The Gulch, though it wasn’t a bad trip since most of it was cross-country that stayed away from the main highways. I know the WP Mom enjoyed the trip, particularly since there was a lot of beautiful scenery.

The wedding itself was a lot of fun, a non-traditional one in some ways. I could go into a lot of detail, but frankly I doubt anyone would be interested...except for the fact that the food was pizza. Lots of different pizzas. It helped that there was a portable wood-fired pizza oven at the venue that made all of the pizzas we consumed.

I can safely say everyone had a great time!

It’s also a reason why there was no post last night as we didn’t get back to The Gulch until late in the evening.

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It being Labor Day weekend, I can say I have seen the summerfolk making the best of it. Even here at The Gulch I have seen everyone’s homes with extra cars in the driveway.

I did swing by the town beach (purely for research purposes) late this morning and it was already crowded. (Some of that may be due to the fact that rain is expected later today, but not until very late afternoon/early evening.) There were a lot of boats out on the lake at 9 this morning, far more than I would have expected. During our travels to and from Maine we saw a lot of folks making the best of the beautiful weather, the last blast of summer. It makes sense considering that Monday is supposed to rainy all day.

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To quote The Won, “Never underestimate Joe’s ability to f*ck things up.”

We can certainly apply that quote to Biden’s Reichstag blunder. Seeing the staging for that gawdawful speech had me wondering if someone was borrowing heavily from Leni Riefenstahl’s book regarding imagery. It was not a good backdrop for Biden’s hateful speech.

President Joe Biden’s Thursday speech in front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall would have been a disturbing abuse of presidential power had it not been so ineptly bungled in every phase of execution.

Paid for by taxpayers as a supposedly nonpartisan speech, Biden attacked half the country as extremists who "threaten the very foundation of our republic." Sure, Biden tried to limit his attack to just MAGA Republicans. But this is the same Joe Biden who insisted every Republican in the Senate who voted against the Democratic Party’s anti-voter identification bill were domestic "enemies" who were trying "to suppress your vote and subvert our elections."

Biden can’t travel down to Georgia and label the election integrity laws supported by all Republicans "Jim Crow on steroids" and then turn around and say he is only trying to demonize a small section of the party. That’s malarkey. No Republican has fought against the lawlessness of former President Donald Trump harder than Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Still, given the opportunity to praise Kemp’s integrity and honesty, Biden called him a neosegregationist instead.

Biden went on to say that MAGA Republicans want to take us "backwards to an America where there is no right to choose." This is how Democrats describe anyone who wants to regulate abortion a single second before a mother gives birth. But again, restricting abortion is a position held by the vast majority of Republicans. Biden can’t pretend he is only attacking a small minority of the Republican Party when he labels a mainstream policy position a threat to "the very soul of this country."

He decided a winning strategy is to demonize half the American people, to paint them as “the other”, all while borrowing heavily from Nazi imagery? I figure it’s only a matter of time before he starts referring to that half of the American people as untermenschen.

What follows after that? A modern day Geheim Staatzpolizei? (FBI or the 87,000 new IRS agents?) Einsatzgruppen? Cattle cars and ‘relocation’ camps?

Or could it lead to a civil war, hot or cold?

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I’m getting tired of saying this: Trump was right.

In this case, his warning to the Europeans about being dependent on Russian natural gas was right on target.

While he was President, Trump created an international furor when he told Germany they were vulnerable because of their dependence on Russian natural gas. Merkel, Macron, and the others thought he was a nutjob. But with the war in Ukraine and Russia’s constant shutdowns of the Nord Stream I Pipeline, they are singing a different tune. Trump was right again, and Europe is paying a frightening price as winter approaches.

Gazprom claimed it was a leaking turbine that had to be repaired, but Siemens, the company that manufactures the turbines, says it was likely political.

“Likely political”? It was purely political, as anyone who has been paying attention understands.

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Here’s yet another story about an armed citizen who stopped a mass shooting in Detroit, a story that hasn’t made the national headlines.

The people who lost their lives are on the mind of neighbors on Pennington, where the gunman shot and tried to kill a fourth victim, but neighbors fought back. Detroit Police describe the man as an 80-year-old. He and his dog were shot but survived.

“He saw my weapon and he went from predator to prey. He had that look of shock,” said a neighbor who grabbed his gun and shot back, to protect his elderly neighbor.

“The neighbor, he fired a shot and the guy turned around and took off. He scattered like a jack rabbit,” said Wallace Pleasant, who witnessed it.

Self-defense narratives don’t fit the anti-gunner narrative and for the most part the media ignores such stories. There have been millions of defensive use of firearms in the US (‘defensive use’ includes actions that run from actual discharge of a gun to merely showing that one is armed), none of which make the news.

Three of those uses are mine, with one showing someone that wanted my money that I was armed, another time I actually had to draw my sidearm, and then another time I actually had to point my sidearm. Three uses, yet not once did I need to fire. That is the case with most defensive uses, yet they are dismissed as not relevant since they don’t fit the narrative. That serious skews the stats which makes them totally useless because they are a lie.

I’ve had discussions with acquaintances, friends, and family about this topic. One, I can’t remember who, asked me “Are you willing to kill someone to protect your (property)?”

My response was along the lines of “You have that question backwards. It should be ‘Are they willing to die to take my (property) from me?’”

That is the question more of us should be asking.

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The New Republic asks the question “Can the American Mall survive?”

One of the problems of malls, like so many American things, is the discrimination embedded in them from the start. They originated in the suburbs, where white Americans fled in the postwar decades, building segregated communities in the process.

An interesting take, one I can neither prove or refute. But I remember when malls really started popping up all over New England. Some of those from the 1970’s are still operating. Others built in the 80’s and 90’s have closed, some repurposed and others abandoned.

Seeing some of the malls here in New Hampshire now being classified as ‘dead malls’, meaning they have either closed entirely or have a small occupancy with a lot of empty stores, shows us how much our ‘love affairs’ with malls have dwindled away.

One of the malls with which I am familiar, the Steeplegate Mall in Concord, NH, opened to much fanfare back in 1990. A number of stores in downtown Concord relocated to the mall, including Sears, probably the biggest retailer in the city at the time. Yet, despite the hype that went along with the opening, the mall never had full occupancy. The food court was never fully occupied either, with maybe 75% at best.

Today it is a shadow of its former self, with only 20 of its 62 storefronts still operating. The food court is empty and has been for years. The last time I was there – about three years ago – there were no kiosks. It is a dead mall.

Some dead malls are repurposed, being turned into business centers – offices and such – and others have become multi-use centers. Far too many are empty, unoccupied, and some are unmaintained and are deteriorating, abandoned by their owners. However other malls are still thriving. It may come down where they are located, keeping up with the times by shifting their focus as consumer tastes changed, making sure they stayed relevant.

There are a number of YouTube channels that cover dead or dying malls. They have highlighted some malls with which I was familiar and it was sad seeing some of those malls now just empty shells.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where everyone is trying to cram as much summer into these last couple of days of ‘official’ summer, the rain is coming, and fall isn’t all that far away.

8/28/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

Yesterday was our little town’s Old Home Day, a celebration of our town, it’s people – both present and past residents – and its history. There’s a parade, all kinds of food trucks/trailers, crafts, music, games, and during the evening, a band concert and fireworks. Each year Old Home Day has a theme, with this year’s being The Movies.

We had a number of politicians in our parade, folks running for both state and federal offices – New Hampshire House and Senate, and US House of Representatives. I had a chance to speak with a number of them which cemented my decisions about which ones I would be voting for in the upcoming state primaries next month.

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It looks like hot, hazy, and humid weather is on its way back to New Hampshire this week, though it won’t be nearly as hot as what we experienced earlier in the month nor will it be around for more than a couple of days.

I was discussing the summer weather and its effect on boating traffic on the lake with an acquaintance of mine at the aforementioned Old Home Day. He works for one of the local radio stations and we got to talking about boating and I mentioned that I haven’t been out on the lake anywhere near as often as I usually am, between the high gas prices and high temperatures we’ve experienced.

He mentioned his discussions with a number of marina operators, particularly regarding boat traffic and he was surprised to find that the number of boaters out on the lake during hot weather is actually lower than during more normal temps. It seems counterintuitive, but on really hot days the last place some people want to be out in the sun with no shade, even with all that water surrounding them. It is not a comfortable place to be, even with shade.

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I saw this great sarcastic ad lambasting Biden’s decision to ‘forgive’ portions of student loans by making the rest of us pay for it.



This should be played at every opportunity between now and the mid-terms in November.

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Is this the beginning of the end for the Big Three networks?

Apparently, NBC is seriously considering cutting prime time programming hours by one hour.

It’s no secret that the major, over-the-air TV networks are losing viewers to streaming services and cable TV. But almost from the start of the television age, ABC, CBS, and NBC have broadcast three hours of programming in prime time, 7–10 p.m. (8-11 p.m. on the East Coast – ed.)

Now NBC is seriously considering dropping programming in its 10–11 p.m. EST slot. It’s expected that NBC would return that seven hours a week to local broadcasters.

The move would certainly save money. Not having to program an hour-long drama in that slot will be a huge cost-cutting measure, considering the average hour-long TV drama episode costs around $4.5 to $5 million. Multiply that by 20–25 times a season and the savings would be significant.

Cable TV has been pulling viewers away from the traditional networks for decades, but with streaming services offering a wide range of programming on demand, is it any wonder the traditional networks are losing viewers? Considering the quality of some of the programming on the traditional networks, that fewer people are watching is also not a surprise.

I looked at my own viewing habits and came to realize I watch very few hours of ABC, CBS, or NBC programming these days. I watch some local programming, primarily our local news and New Hampshire-centric shows like New Hampshire Chronicle and New Hampshire Life, the first on our local TV station and the second on NESN. I also tend to watch shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a couple of other streaming services.

One has to wonder if ABC and CBS will be be following NBC’s lead on this.

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

Whiteboards are racist because 'they collaborate with white organizational culture'.

Did a recent physics study argue that whiteboards are racist?

"Observing Whiteness in Introductory Physics: A Case Study" was published last month in Physical Review Physics Education Research. The study observed three students as they worked to solve a physics problem and analyzed how "whiteness" is present in academia.

The study found that whiteboards can have racist undertones and perpetuate whiteness.

Seattle Pacific University Research Associate Professor of Physics Amy Roberton served as lead author. W. Tali Hairston, director of community organizing, advocacy, and development at Seattle Presbytery, served as the co-author.

Hairston told Campus Reform that although whiteboards "are not inherently racist," the common classroom object can perpetuate racism.

What about blackboards? Are they racist, too? What about large LCD screens used for the same purpose as whiteboards/blackboards? Can a sheet of paper be racist? Where do we draw line?

What the study (and a lot of the wokerati) ignore is that objects cannot be racist. They are inanimate objects. Only people can be racist. What’s worse is that the very people assigning racist attributes to objects are quite often “the racists in the room”...and they don’t even realize it. If they do, they don’t care because they ‘support the narrative’ or are just stirring up s**t.

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To close out this week’s TOAS, there’s this little bit of advice:

This isn’t how you’re supposed to launch your boat.



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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has been great, we’re heading back into HHH weather, and where once again Monday is returning all too soon to punish us for having a good weekend.

8/27/2022

A New Take On An Old Theme


Unlike painting oneself into a corner and waiting for the paint to dry, these guys will have to find a way to remove one or more of those bollards in order to get that van out...and that isn't going to be easy.

8/26/2022

From The Archives - Diminishing Returns And Perceived Risks

This post from January 2012 is still germane since both concepts are still problems, perhaps even more so today than they were 10 years ago.

As has been with other From The Archives posts, dead links have been removed and related text has been edited (slightly) to ensure the text makes sense. Only one link (from Futurepundit) is dead, but that shouldn’t change the context.

One part of this old post deals with something I’ve discussing in the comments to other posts dealing with energy efficiency, specifically electrical efficiency.

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One of the most difficult concepts that many people have problems understanding is that of diminishing returns. This applies to many different areas in our lives and in our society. I don't know whether it's a lack of education, a failure in their upbringing, or something inherently lacking in the people themselves. Perhaps it's a little of all three.

Going hand in hand with this concept is one that has many of the same roots - perceived risk – something that has driven some folks into action to get the government to “Do Something!” about something that is a minor issue at best.

In case you're wondering, however briefly, how this particular subject came up, it was during a discussion at work about a post from FuturePundit dealing with the declining return on investment from electrical power efficiency.

My employer is always looking for ways to reduce our energy usage, something that appeals to the frugal Yankee in me. Over the past five or six years a number of measures have been taken to reduce our electrical usage, including the use of more efficient lighting at all levels, timers on our existing electric water heaters to shut them off when no one is in the building, on-demand water heaters replacing the older tank-type water heaters as they wear out, more energy efficient refrigerators (used for both food and for storage of certain manufacturing substances...though not in the same refrigerator!), and motion sensors to shut off lights in rooms when no one is in them, just to name a few of the improvements undertaken. All of this has helped reduce our electricity usage by over 20% as compared to 6 years ago. Will further investment reduce our electrical usage any more than it has? Sure it will, but (and it's a big 'but') we won't see anywhere near the savings we already have unless we spend a lot more money than has already been spent. We have reached the point of diminishing return. We'd need to spend many times more than we already have in order to achieve a small fraction of the savings already made. From a financial point of view the return on investment makes no sense, meaning further investment in this effort will not result in energy savings equal to what was spent to achieve them. Or put more simply, we'll spend more than we'll save. It's not worth it.

OK, back to the subject at hand.

We've seen more than a few times where some project has reached its original goals, whether it's a cleanup of some Superfund site or the closing of a municipal landfill. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the contaminants were cleaned up or the landfill might leak 0.001% of the liquids or decomposition products from the landfill. But for some folks that isn't good enough. They want 100%. Never mind that achieving that last little bit will cost as much, if not more, than what has already spent. Never mind that it will likely be the taxpayers footing the bill. Never mind that in the end it won't make one bit of difference. The project has blown past the point of diminishing returns and spending any additional money won't help...other than to make the folks bitching about it feel better. (It would be cheaper to give them some mood-elevating drugs to do that than wasting taxpayer dollars to 'fix' the last little iota of the problem.)

We see this lack of understanding about diminishing returns in all kinds of places and situations. It is also where the problem with perceived risk comes into play.

One of the biggest disservices ever perpetrated upon the public is the notion that life should be totally risk free. This meme started some time in the 1960's. (Yes, I know drives to improve safety started long before that, but the 100% risk free crap started in the late 60's/early 70's.) There's nothing wrong with reducing risk. But to think life can be made 100% risk free is ludicrous. It can't be done. But that doesn't stop people from trying to do so anyways. I wouldn't mind that so much if those same people understood the difference between real risk and perceived risk. The problem is that they don't and because of that lack of understanding money is wasted on slight risks while major risks are ignored.

An example:

Which entails more risk to life and limb: Driving a car or flying on a commercial airliner?

The answer is, of course, driving a car. (There were over 32,885 traffic fatalities in 2010, with many times that number of injuries. As an aside, that number is the lowest number of fatalities since 1949 despite more miles being traveled then ever before, giving us the lowest fatality rate ever.) But people perceive flying as more dangerous. Yet how many fatalities have there been in the US due to commercial airliner crashes over the past few years? None. A person is far more like to be injured or killed driving to or from the airport than they are by flying on a commercial airliner, but they're more afraid of dying in a plane crash. It's all perception, not reality.

Let's try another:

One person lives near a nuclear power plant. Another lives near a coal-fired power plant. Which one is at a higher risk of cancer, injury, or death?

The answer is the person living near the coal-fired plant. The effluvia from the smokestack and any runoff from the ash pile are a far greater hazard than anything coming from the nuclear plant under normal circumstances. Yet people perceive the nuclear power plant will cause them to get cancer and other illnesses. Even after the Three Mile Island accident there were no increases in cancer or other radiation related illnesses. (Some initial studies stated there were, but review of those studies by the CDC found some creative editing of the health statistics to 'prove' the case. Once all the raw data was reanalyzed those alleged increases in cancer cases disappeared.)

Over the years it seems to me the the perceived risks have received far more attention (and money) than actual risks. Efforts will be made to reduce risks that have little actual impact, but large risks will be ignored.

For instance, the NHTSA wants to ban the use of cell phones and other electronic devices by drivers of cars and trucks. All kinds of efforts are being made to codify that ban in to law across the nation despite the fact that the actual percentage of accidents caused by these distracting gizmos is unknown. The perception is that these devices are leaving a swath of death and destruction along the highways and byways of the nation to rival those caused by drunk driving. The NHTSA reports that 3092 traffic deaths were caused by distracted driving in 2010. That's one out of every eleven fatalities. How many of those were due to cell phone use or texting? The NHTSA doesn't actually say, though the article linked implies all of them were (but there was no actual number cited). The implication is that this is a major risk and that the government must “Do Something!' even though the actual risk is quite small.

But will the government spend a dime on something like removing homes from flood plains or barrier islands, obviating the need to constantly pay out to rebuild them again and again after they are destroyed? (Disclaimer: The gubmint did do that after the Mississippi River floods in 1993, relocating a number of towns to higher ground because it was cheaper to do so rather than paying out the flood insurance claims again and again and again and again, ad infinitum.)

Or will money be spent on things like crumbling roads and bridges, things that endanger us all? We must remember incidents like the Mianus River Bridge collapse on I-95 in Connecticut, the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis, or the Nimitz Freeway collapse during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 , all of which killed and injured motorists. (The Nimitz Freeway collapse occurred because necessary upgrades to the highway support pylons were postponed.) How many other others are out there waiting to happen because we haven't spent the necessary funds to reduce a very real risk? Maybe this is due to the opposite of perceived risk, where people see no risk and therefore think nothing needs to be done, yet the risk exists and is higher than many of the perceived risks people waste time and money dealing with. How much did these real incidents cost compared to what it would have cost to fix the problems in the first place? Do I really need to answer that?

The people need to learn how to discriminate between real risk and perceived risk, and to understand the relationship to diminishing returns. Otherwise we will continue to ignore real risks and waste ever more money on things that are minimal risks at best.

8/21/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

After a comfortable week the hot and humid weather has returned, with temps yesterday in the mid 80’s and today’s temps right in the edge of 90ยบ. I’m not complaining since I didn’t really need to use the A/C here at The Gulch on Saturday. A ceiling fan and two small floor fans were enough to keep The Gulch comfortable, something that has become more important since the electricity rates up here just doubled. Between the higher rate and the use of A/C during the over two weeks of hot, hazy, and humid weather the electricity bill more than doubled.

Considering the electricity rates here in New Hampshire have been some of the highest in the lower 48 for years, the result of decades of efforts by Watermelon Environmentalists to prevent expansion of the state’s generation capacity...unless it was unreliable, weather-dependent, non-dispatchable and expensive renewable sources, the doubling of our already high rates was adding insult to injury. (We know it’s their plan because they’ve fought tooth and nail against reliable, non-weather dependent, dispatchable and inexpensive sources like hydropower, successfully blocking two different powerline projects that would have brought that inexpensive green energy into the state.)

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What is it that has been causing homes to explode? We had one home here in New Hampshire that blew up (fortunately with no fatalities and only minor injuries) and another home in Indiana that exploded, killing three people and damaged 39 other homes.

Both appear to have been caused by gas leaks. Both had had recent work done to their gas appliances – the first to a stove and the second to a water heater.

I don’t like ‘splody houses. The former Manse used propane, but we never had any issues with the furnace, water heater, emergency generator, or clothes dryer. The Gulch uses oil for heat and hot water and all of the other appliances are electric. (Yes, we do have a generator that will run from gasoline or propane, but it isn’t a standby generator like at the old Manse.)

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Good is Bad. Bad is Good. Black is White. White is Black. Up is Down. Down is Up….

Pro-life proponents are Extremists. And Pro-abortion proponents who assault Pro-life proponents and firebomb their pregnancy centers are the Good Guys.

Notice that it is the folks who have no problem terminating innocent life also have no problems committing acts of violence against those who disagree with them...and have the backing of the Governor of New York while doing so.

What do you expect from worshipers of Moloch?

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How deluded is this?

It looks like an media institution, one dependent upon the Constitution, more specifically the First Amendment, has no use for the Constitution, as a recent op-ed in the New York Times shows us.

In recent years, many liberals have become openly hostile to the Constitution. The present moment in history, with the Democrats controlling the House by the barest of majorities, a 50/50 Senate with a Democratic vice president, and a Democratic president, has heightened liberal frustration with the Constitution. With their hands, for a brief moment at least, on all of the levers of power, why can’t the Democratic Party effect a total transformation of American society?

To a normal person, that question perhaps answers itself. But check out this op-ed in the New York Times, which is literally one of the stupidest things I have ever read. Its authors are Ryan Doerfler and Samuel Moyn, professors at Harvard Law School and Yale Law School respectively. The op-ed advocates doing away entirely with the Constitution. Why? The authors don’t quite put it this way, but the reason is that the Constitution fails to establish a pure democracy by plebiscite, and makes it difficult to use a transient majority to effect radical change. Those who had a high school civics class understand that this is more or less the point.

As anyone who has any understanding of human nature knows, the desired “pure democracy by plebiscite” can lead in only one direction – a tyranny of the majority. We’ve seen the results of that before, with the worst being The Reign of Terror. We’ve also been seeing it at the state level, specifically after the Reynolds v Sims and Baker v Carr Supreme Court decisions which created de facto tyrannies of the majority in the states.

Some of those states immediately started using those majorities to marginalize the rural areas, minimizing their power in the state legislatures and reversing the flow of tax revenues, making sure a majority of them left the rural areas to feed the ‘needs’ of the urban areas. All one has to do is look to New York as an example. Upstate New York – defined as any area not part of the Metro New York City area – is virtually invisible to the Metro area and the state government in Albany. The rural areas are getting poorer at the behest of said Metro New York City area with the help of Albany.

Need another example? Then look to California, a state that has done very much the same thing, with the coastal Blue enclaves ruling over the rural and agricultural areas of the state and, like New York, sucking them dry and imposing increasingly harsh regulations which crippled them, affecting both small businesses and agricultural operations.

Bring that to the federal level and I guarantee it would lead to civil war. Maybe that’s what the New York Times wants.

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In light of yesterday’s post about how climate change will be affecting ketchup and salsa, I had to include the latest bit of climate change idiocy.

It appears climate change is causing Muslims in Nigeria to kill their Christian brethren.

Is there nothing climate change can’t do?

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Is the FBI now Joe Biden’s Gestapo?

According to a new Rasmussen poll, a majority of voters believe that is indeed the case.

Up until recently, it would have been unthinkable, but one of the numerous catastrophic consequences of the Biden administration’s reign of terror has been a plummeting of trust in once-revered institutions. Former Trump advisor Roger Stone said it in November 2021: “We have a group of politicized thugs at the top of the FBI who are using the FBI … as Joe Biden‘s personal Gestapo.”

After the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Rasmussen Reports surveyed Americans regarding their attitude toward the FBI and reported on Thursday that “a majority (53%) of voters now agree with Stone’s statement — up from 46% in December — including 34% who Strongly Agree.” That’s an extraordinarily severe credibility problem for the FBI. But will they do anything to correct this impression? Almost certainly not.

Rasmussen noted that their “new national telephone and online survey” found that “44% of Likely U.S. voters say the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida home made them trust the FBI less, compared to 29% who say it made them trust the bureau more. Twenty-three percent (23%) say the Trump raid did not make much difference in their trust of the FBI.”

With the FBI acting more like secret police, working at the behest of the Biden Administration, and by extension the DNC, and less like an actual law enforcement agency, is it any wonder the public’s trust in the FBI and other government institutions has been crumbling as each one has become weaponized against the American people?

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summer heat and humidity have returned, the summer itself is slipping away all too quickly, and where we’ll need to jam in as much summer as we can in the remaining time before it fades into fall.

8/20/2022

More Climate Silliness?

From the ‘Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Sillier’ Department comes this bit of silliness.

Climate change is threatening ketchup, salsa, and California.

Honestly, I don’t care if climate change is threatening California. Much of that is because a lot of California’s problems are self-inflicted. It seems more than a few of those problems can be attributed to virtue signaling rather than actually solving real problems.

But the problem to deal with is the affects of climate on tomatoes. No tomatoes, no ketchup or salsa.

One-fourth of total tomatoes grown every year on our planet comes from California, but now tomato production is decreasing in the state at an unprecedented rate. The yield of tomatoes dropped by about 23% in 2021 as compared to the year 2015. Plus, the limited supply of tomatoes is further causing a never before seen jump in the prices of popular tomato-based products like ketchup, salsa, and pasta sauce in the US and elsewhere in the world.

The blame for this is being laid on climate change, specifically the drought that has been plaguing the Southwest. To read some of the reports out there, drought was never a problem until the evil humans caused the climate to change.

Then again, a lot of the Southwest is arid or semi-arid and has experienced more than a few megadroughts, some which lasted decades and few which lasted centuries, all of which occurred long before humans started pouring gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Some of the drought problem can also be laid upon the aforementioned virtue signaling which caused much needed water projects to be canceled and existing water infrastructure to be dismantled which has only added to the water supply problems. Somehow, I doubt we’ll hear anything about that from the media.

8/14/2022

Thoughts On A Sunday

The heat wave we experienced for two weeks is now long in the rear view mirror. It’s been pleasant since the heat and humidity departed at the beginning of last week. The cooler weather hasn’t dimmed the enthusiasm of the summerfolk as they’re just as busy at the beaches, out on the lake, in the restaurants, and at the ice cream and farm stands.

The summer has been passing so quickly as it seems Memorial Day was only a couple of weeks ago and the Fourth of July was just last wee. It’s hard to believe that Labor Day weekend is only three weeks away. The summerfolk are certainly cognizant that summer will be coming to an end all too soon and are making the best of the time we have left.

It always seems that way. This year it’s even more so considering neither BeezleBub or I haven’t spent much time out on the lake in the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout. Normally we’d be out two or three times a week, but with the high gas prices, particularly at the marinas (about $1 or more than at the local gas stations), a day out on the lake can run through $100 in gas. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford more than a few days like that, particularly in light of very high home heating oil prices of ~$6/gallon expected over the winter. For me that means around $1200 for each delivery.

Like a lot of folks up this way, I am on a budget plan, paying money every month throughout the year as a means of reducing ‘fill up’ shock when heating oil is delivered. This year that monthly payment is $350 versus last year when it was $168 and the year before when it was $110 a month. Thanks, SloJo!

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Now it seems a Marxist professor, Nina Turner, has decided there is no debate about forgiving student loans and leaving the American taxpayers to pay for them all.
That’s simply unhinged.

Student debt cancellation means spending trillions of the American people’s tax money to pay off the bills of a relatively affluent slice of society. One study even found it would benefit the top 20% six times more than the bottom 20%. It’s a regressive taxpayer bailout.

So, it’s little wonder that this proposal is unpopular with voters. Full student debt cancellation—Turner’s position—is supported by just 37% of the public, NPR polling finds.

Like the typical Marxist, she believes no one should be able to profit from knowledge. She comes right out and says that in her tweet. So if I develop a technology that could create abundant and cheap green energy, I should not be allowed to profit from all my work and effort? Yeah, and you know what I would do then? I wouldn’t let anyone know I have it, would be clandestine about it, selling it on the black market. And if the thieving Marxists like Turner wanted to take it away from me I would make sure they got none of it and that all the records, prototypes, and designs would dissolve in nuclear fire...taking them with it.

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Here’s yet another example of just how well strict gun control has been working.

54 people in Chicago shot over the weekend.

It doesn’t help that the Chicago PD is further handicapped by strict limits on who they can pursue and under what conditions.

And people wonder why Chicago’s crime and homicide rates are skyrocketing?

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I’ve mentioned all kinds of double standards over the years. Some are small and trivial. Others are huge and entirely in our faces. This one is one of the latter.

Trump is hounded by the Democrats and his home raided by the FBI for documents ‘someone’ said are classified.

Obama takes over 30 million documents from the White House when he left office and never got audited or raided. No one knows how many of those documents are classified. Obama has never answered that question.

What’s the difference between Trump and Obama?

Trump is a Republican. Obama is a Democrat.

Double standard much?

And then there’s the questions about all of Hillary’s classified e-mails on her unsecured e-mail server...which were never answered and for which Hillary was never punished.

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It looks like California’s carbon offset program is in trouble.

California has been using its forests carbon dioxide uptake as part of their carbon offset. However, their forests have a problem: they’ve been burning down.

Researchers have found that California’s forest carbon buffer pool, designed to ensure the durability of the state’s multi-billion-dollar carbon offset program, is severely undercapitalized. The results show that, within the offset program’s first 10 years, estimated carbon losses from wildfires have depleted at least 95% of the contributions set aside to protect against all fire risks over 100 years. This means that the buffer pool is unable to guarantee that credited forest carbon remains out of the atmosphere for at least 100 years. The results, published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, illustrate that the program, one of the world’s largest, is likely not meeting its set requirements.

Carbon offset programs have become popular action plans to combat the climate crisis. California’s carbon offset program was established to utilize the ability of trees to absorb and store carbon and applies to around 75% of statewide emissions allowances.

The program allows forest owners to earn ‘carbon credits’ for preserving trees. Polluters buy credits so that they can emit more CO2 than they’d otherwise be allowed to under state law. Each credit represents one ton of CO2. This exchange is supposed to balance out emissions to prevent an overall increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

They don’t have enough trees in order to take up all that CO2 the carbon credits were sold to take up, and with one set of wildfires after another, the CO2 taken up by those trees have been returned to the atmosphere. Considering California’s recent records regarding wildfires, particularly since the state prevented reasonable forest management practices such as prescribed burns and brush cutting to remove fuel loading over the past couple of decades. A perfect formula for disaster.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is gorgeous, the summerfolk are enjoying themselves, and where I hear the call of the ice cream stand...

8/13/2022

This Hit A Nerve - Men And Women

I have to say that when I saw this post at Instapundit and read the linked article from Psychology Today, my first thought was “Oh, boy. This is gonna generate a sh*t storm...”

The post and article delve into the ‘Rise of Lonely, Single Men’ and the problems that go with it. There are almost 800 comments to the Instapundit post as I write this, some from men who fit the ‘lonely, single’ man profile, others from men and women who offer their observations (and criticisms) of the linked Psychology Today article, and yet others from older men who are, for the most part, past the age where the problems outlined directly affect them but can offer insight into the problems, and more importantly the causes.

I found the PT article to be incomplete and, quite frankly, trite. It seemed more like like a collection of platitudes and more than a few direct “It’s all men’s fault they’re alone and lonely and they need to step up” claims. The article ignores the other side, that being that too many single women have unrealistic expectations that very few, if any men could possible meet.

This is a major disconnect on both sides.

From the PT article:

Younger and middle-aged men are the loneliest they’ve ever been in generations, and it’s probably going to get worse.

This is not my typical rosy view of relationships but a reality nonetheless. Over the last 30 years, men have become a larger portion of that growing group of long-term single people. And while you don’t actually need to be in a relationship to be happy, men typically are happier and healthier when partnered.

Here are three broad trends in the relationship landscape that suggest heterosexual men are in for a rough road ahead:

● Dating opportunities for heterosexual men are diminishing as relationship standards rise.

● Men represent approximately 62% of dating app users, lowering their chances for matches.

● Men need to address skills deficits to meet healthier relationship expectations.

I have questions about the first and third bullet points, that being “Who has set the rising relationship standards and expectations men are expected to meet?” This brings on a follow-on question: What relationship standards and expectations are women expected to meet? It isn’t a one-sided problem, but the article implies that it is. That does not help solve the problem.

A number of comments to the Instapundit post delve into the issue that the PT article glossed over.

Writes one commenter:

“They prefer men who are emotionally available, good communicators, and share similar values.”

No they don’t. Such men do not command respect from women and such marriages tend to end in divorce.

What the fool writer is saying is that women want to have all the benefits of marriage without fulfilling the role of a wife.

Many women today are incapable of being a good wife.

That doesn’t mean the husband and wife won’t split household chores 50-50, but I have seen more than a few women state on various YouTube, Rumble, or TikTok videos that they won’t do household chores, won’t cook, won’t do laundry. They expect their husbands to do them or to hire staff to deal with it. What is the percentage of women who actually have that attitude? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me it to find that a majority of the women feeling this way live in urban areas.

Another commenter brought up something else the PT article ignores, specifically Dr. Helen Smith’s book Men On Strike, a tome written 9 years ago that delves into the reasons why men weren’t getting involved with dating, marriage, and fatherhood. What’s telling is that the issues Dr. Smith brought up back then haven’t changed. To think the issues brought up by Helen Smith aren’t still a factor today would be naive.

Another commenter broke down the statistics of online dating, based upon a study on dating apps like Tinder:

For the dating apps like Tinder, there was a study on likes that went the following (assuming a 70-30 male-female ratio [as] noted [elsewhere]...):

Picture 1000 users:

The top 10% of men get 50% of the women (70 men choose from 150 of the women)
The top 20% of men get 80% of the women (140 men choose from 240 women)
The top 50% of men get 95% of women (350 men choose from 285 women -- and the men in the 20%-50% "normie" range end up with the dregs already!)
Meaning the "below average" men (bottom 50%) get the BOTTOM FIVE PERCENT of women -- 350 men fight over a mere fifteen women, and they are the most likely the worst of the bunch.

Any wonder why dating apps are a complete joke? If likes were like water, men would die of thirst while women would die drowning in a flood.

This does not bode well for those men who want to date, want to get married. Then again, dating apps like Tinder, Match.com, and others aren’t really dating apps, but more like ‘hook up’ apps. The profiles are short on information and matches are based more on looks than the personalities of the people using the apps. This also ties in with the second bullet point in the PT article, that being that 62% of the users of dating apps are men. This means their odds are even worse.

This isn’t a “Men are all…” or “Women are all…” issue. Society has changed over the past 50 years, with rapid changes over the past 20 years regarding relationships, specifically dating and marriage. One other thing that changed during that time has been the Internet, creation of dating apps, and the rise of radical feminism. There are more single-parent families. Divorces have skyrocketed, with 70 to 80% of divorces filed by women. (Some of this seems to be driven by the “grass is always greener” principle, something too many find out is not the case after it’s too late.) Broken families are the norm, not the exception. Fathers are not part of many children’s lives, not because they don’t want to be, but because they are prevented from doing so by family courts. It’s only getting worse...and some people are trying hard to make sure that continues.

Thus endith my incomplete, somewhat disjointed, semi-rant...for now.