Another Bad (And Unconstitutional) Biden Idea

Just when I thought Joe Biden/WRBA (Whoever is Running the Biden Administration) couldn’t get any stupider, he/they proved me wrong.

The latest bit of stupidity being pushed by SloJo is a wealth tax, though he is calling it “a tax on unrealized gains”.

What are “unrealized gains”? A simple example: You buy stocks as an investment, purchasing 100 shares of XYZ Corporation stock for $10 per share ($1000 total). You hold onto that stock and over time the price per share increases to $100 per share. You keep that stock which is now worth a total of $10,000 with the intention of letting the value grow rather than selling it. Your unrealized gains are the $9000 of increased stock value. But remember, your actual gains won’t be real until you sell the stock.

Now a 20% tax on unrealized gains is imposed and you are expected to pay 20% of your $9000 stock value increase, or $1800. You haven’t sold any stock. You don’t have any money from the value of that stock because you haven’t sold it. It’s only a gain on paper. Not one penny has gone into your pocket/wallet/bank account. The government has taxed your wealth, not what you’ve earned. However, there’s a problem with that tax.

It’s unconstitutional.

Nowhere in the US Constitution is there anything that allows a wealth tax. Nowhere. Nothing in Article I, Section II or Section IX, or the Sixteenth Amendment gives the government the power to impose such a tax. Of course that won’t stop SloJo, WRBA, or the Pelosi/Schumer cabal from trying to do so anyways. We already know they have little use for the Constitution unless it works in their favor.

While this proposed tax will only be imposed on ‘billionaires’ – those with incomes above $100 million (yeah, right) - it will have a number of negative effects. They will come under the sway of the Law of Unintended Consequences, something the Left tries to ignore but always ends up suffering for doing so. (The problem is the rest of us will be suffering even more, though we will know why and who did this to us. The Left won’t care.)

Wealth taxes have been tried in other countries. They have failed to garner the revenues promised every single time. They drive the wealthy to leave and take their wealth with them every single time. Investments decline and investors invest their money elsewhere every single time. Businesses large and small decline and either relocate or close every single time. Economic activity in the countries where the taxes been imposed decline every single time. All one has to do is look at what happened to the UK in the 1970’s and France in the late 2000’s/early 2010’s when they imposed a wealth tax. (Hint: It didn’t work for either of them.)

So, will SloJo and WRBA push this?

If it’s ruled unconstitutional, will they try to ramrod through a Constitutional Amendment enabling a wealth tax? (I doubt they’d get the states needed to ratify such a horrible and damaging Amendment.)

One has to remember that this really has nothing to do with a revenue shortfall. It has everything to do with excessive spending by an administration that can’t seem to read a spreadsheet, has little understanding about how economies work, and really doesn’t care what happens to the economy as long as they stay in power.


Who Are You Going To Believe, Me Or Your Lyin' Social Media?

I saw this over at Powerline and it was such an apt demonstration about how what we see in social media quite often is not real.

Remember, just because we see it on social media does not automatically mean what we see is real.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The ice on the big lake is getting thinner, with much of it appearing dark blue. There are more openings in the ice sheet, with some areas being totally ice-free. Some of the small bodies of water are already ice-free, though one pond that I use as an early indicator of Ice Out on Lake Winnipesaukee still has a rather large ice sheet. (The pond is usually free of all ice about a week-and-a-half to two weeks before Ice Out is declared on the big lake.)

In anticipation of Ice Out and the start of the boating season, all arrangements have been made to get the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout ready with the anticipated launch date being early in May.


The rhetoric about Ukraine continues, with clashing news reports painting entirely different pictures about how well/poorly Russian forces are doing with their invasion. We are now 30 days into the 3-day “military operation” to ‘save’ Ukraine from its people and government. Things have not gone well for the Russians at all. Even Russian propaganda can’t paint their failure to achieve their objectives in a positive light. They can’t hide the casualties – wounded and KIA – no matter how hard they try. When sons and husbands stop writing, texting, or calling home, it’s a sure sign something is wrong.

Ukrainian troops have managed to push back Russian forces east of Kyiv while Russian forces to the north of the city appear to have made little or no progress toward Kyiv for weeks.

Then SloJo pays a visit to Poland and spouts things that are going to make things even worse.


Like Covid-19, the Joe Biden “I Did That!” stickers are evolving new variants.


By way of Powerline comes this thought from Kevin Sorbo:

“You think your job is hard? Try being the sign language interpreter for Biden.”


Senator Liawatha is at it again.

She wants SloJo to cancel student loan debt, all $1.5 billion of it. Her reasoning?

Student debt is a gender justice issue.

Umm, say what?

I tried to follow her ‘logic’ for making the claim, but it was seriously flawed. She states “Women owe over two-thirds of student debt”. Could it be because almost two-thirds of college students these days are women? Could it be because so many female college students got degrees in majors that are not what many would consider useful? (Most of those majors end in the word “Studies”.) It isn’t easy to pay off those student loans when working low paying jobs – barista, food delivery driver, waitress, etc. - the only jobs their degrees qualify them to work.

Considering a good percentage of male students enter STEM or Business majors, their ability to pay off their student loans is certainly better than the women with “Studies” degrees.


Remember when Coca-Cola announced their requirements for racial quotas for outside law firms representing them?

It appears the folks at Coca-Cola would like everyone to forget that. They now deny they had any such policy. The problem (for them) is that the Internet is Forever.

On January 29, 2021, we covered a new diversity plan implemented by then Coca-Cola General Counsel Bradley Gayton that imposed racial quotas for attorneys at outside law firms that wanted to do business with the beverage behemoth, Coca-Cola Imposes Racial Quotas On Outside Counsel Staffing.

The letter (pdf.) to outside counsel provided a chart and description of the quotas, including who qualifies as a “diversity” attorney and what the minimum percentages need to be...

It will be interesting to see how Coca-Cola is going make this go away. It’s almost as embarrassing as their “Try to be less white” diversity training debacle.


The evidence keeps mounting that lockdowns driven by Covid-19 didn’t work and haven’t prevented anyone from dying from Covid.

For the past few weeks, in a series of reports probing the science that has underpinned key pandemic decisions, The Mail on Sunday has investigated the accuracy of PCR tests and the chaotic way Covid-related deaths were recorded.

Today, in the final part, we talk to the growing number of experts who say that lockdowns had little benefit – a cure that was worse than the disease.

One of them is Professor Mark Woolhouse, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, who has recently published a book, The Year The World Went Mad, about the UK's pandemic policy failures.

Speaking this week on The Mail on Sunday's Medical Minefield podcast, Prof Woolhouse said: 'I think that lockdown will be viewed by history as a monumental mistake on a global scale, for a number of reasons.

'The obvious one is the immense harm the lockdown, more than any other measure, did in terms of the economy, mental health and on the wellbeing of society.

But there will be those here who will insist we have to lock down to protect people. I can see that if you isolate infected patients, but quarantining healthy people makes no sense. Over 100 years experience with previous pandemics – the Spanish Flu and Hong Kong Flu, just to name two - has proven that. But The Powers That Be decided to ignore that experience and instead listened to those not-in-the-know. (Worse, they listened to Dr. Fauci, a bureaucrat that hasn’t practiced medicine for 40-some years.)

Those areas that didn’t lock down didn’t see more cases or more deaths from Covid-19. In many cases, they saw less. They also didn’t see the follow-on surges experienced by those that did, and if they did, they weren’t anywhere near as severe as experienced elsewhere.

Of course, I expect the Feds will ignore any such evidence and impose lockdowns should another Covid-like pandemic occur. The states, on the other hand, may be less likely to do so, seeing how much damage was done to their economies and the health of their residents the last time. Or at least I’d like to think so.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the temperatures are yo-yoing up and down, the ice is breaking up, and Ice Out and Tax Day will be vying for each other in the news headlines.


What A Buncha Maroons

I was in the midst of my regular weekend Wally World run this morning, picking up my usual goods – some frozen foods, a six-pack of Dr. Pepper, a gallon of spring water, some cat food, and a few other odds and ends – when I ran across a friend. We exchanged pleasantries and expressed our laments about skyrocketing prices, especially for cat food. She then said exactly what I was thinking.

“People wonder why this is happening. What’s happening is that we have morons running things in Washington. Biden’s the biggest moron of the bunch. He doesn’t have a clue that he’s the cause of our present problems.”

Indeed. What’s more telling is that it isn’t just we Deplorables saying this. The Saudi’s are saying the same thing.

In a March 22, 2022 article in Arab News, Saudi Arabia's leading English-language daily, the daily's editor Faisal 'Abbas states sarcastically that, if American author Toby Young ever wanted to write a sequel to his book 'How to Lose Friends & Alienate People,' he would find a rich vein of content in U.S. President Joe Biden’s foreign policy, which consistently contravenes the interests of America's allies and of American itself.

A blatant example, he says, is America's current eagerness to appease Iran in order to renew the nuclear deal with it. As part of this, the U.S. is even considering removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the terrorism list, a move that is likely to embolden Iran rather than restrain it. "Declassifying the IRGC simply to obtain a new agreement would be the equivalent of trying to put out a fire by spraying it with aviation fuel," 'Abbas says.

When a nominal on-again off-again ally is telling us Washington is being run by morons, agreeing with a good portion of the American people, then one has to consider that both groups are right. The 2020 election was indeed a debacle for the the country and the people. All we can hope for is that the 2022 mid-term elections will help turn the tide, assuming SloJo doesn’t get us into World War III before then.

The Tables Turn?

I offer this with no comment as it speaks for itself.


Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Climastrology

Here’s another one from the Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider Department comes this bit of nonsense.

It seems some genius over at the Cult of Climastrology has decided that an actual science discipline is contributing a ‘surprisingly high’ amount to climate change. That climate destroying discipline?


Say what?

The aforementioned genius has decided that stargazing by astronomers and astrophysicists is contributing to the supposed human-caused demise of Earth and all life on it by looking up at the night sky.

This genius must be off their meds...again.

It’s hard not to love the Kepler Space Telescope. Launched in 2009, the venerable spacecraft discovered nearly 5,000 suspected or confirmed exoplanets—or worlds orbiting other stars—during its 11-year lifetime. Built and launched at a relative bargain price of $600 million, it generated 4,306 scientific papers written by 9,606 authors. So all good, right? Well, not entirely.

In that same 11 years, the telescope that discovered so many other worlds did no favors for our own, generating an annual total of 4,784 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or a hefty 52,620 tons over its lifetime, mostly as a result of the electricity and supercomputing power it took to keep it operating. That also comes out to 12 tons of CO2 per paper and five tons per author.

Astronomy, in some ways, seems like the cleanest of sciences. After all, it costs nothing to look at the sky. But both ground-based and space-based observatories extract a huge environmental toll—in terms of construction, launch, energy generation and consumption, and even, at least before the pandemic, in the air miles burned as the world’s estimated 30,000 astronomers flew from conference to conference around the globe.

Does anyone see the sheer hypocrisy of this genius’s complaint?

He/she/it chooses to ignore the contributions to atmospheric carbon dioxide by members of that same Cult of Climastrology, between the thousands of papers written, the hundreds of global circulation models being run on similar supercomputers, and the thousands of attendees to various climate conferences around the world where no actual science is discussed.


Socialism Described

I wish I could remember where I heard this, but this is the best single-sentence explanation I have ever heard that so aptly describes socialism:

“Socialism is slavery by consensus.” - Unknown


Thoughts On A Sunday

Imagine my surprise to see gas prices have dropped about 10¢ a gallon across the area over the past few days. However, that drop in price applied only to Regular and not Mid-Grade or Premium.

I checked a half dozen gas stations in the area and confirmed that only the price of Regular has dropped. I would have expected the price of Mid-Grade to drop about 5¢ since it is usually made from mixing Regular and Premium grades at the pump. The price of Premium hasn’t dropped, Regular has, so I would have expected the cost of Mid-Grade to drop by some amount, but it hasn’t. (I have brought this up because the trusty RAM 1500 requires 89 octane. It will run on 87 octane Regular, but the fuel economy will drop by a couple of miles per gallon and its fuel economy is bad enough as it is.)

As an aside, yesterday I topped off the tank of the trusty RAM 1500 with gas from one of the gas caddies I have that is normally used to fuel either the Official Weekend Pundit Generator or the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout. Once boating season ends I cycle the gasoline in the caddies every couple of months or so to keep the fuel fresh. It was time to start cycling the gas in the caddies since the last time I filled them was in November. (Yes, I use gas stabilizer when I fill the caddies.) Once boating season starts they will be used regularly, particularly this coming season.

Buying gas at the gas docks of the marinas is always expensive. Marinas here on the Big Lake only sell 89 octane gas as there are a number of boats with high performance engines that can’t use 87 octane gas and providing more than one grade of gas is problematic. The Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout is one of those boats that only requires Regular, so BeezleBub and I buy 87 octane at one of our local gas stations for a lot less than we can buy 89 octane gas at a marina, the price differential being as much as $1.50 a gallon. Is it any wonder why we use the gas caddies to fuel our boat?


I am still getting used to the change back to Daylight Savings Time.

I am tired of making the change in November and March and would rather just stay on DST. I know a lot of other people feel the same way, particularly in this part of the US. Having sunset occur near 3:30PM during the depths of winter gets old real quick. Driving to work and back home again in the dark gets old really quick.

Year round DST was tried back in the early 70’s during the Arab Oil Embargo and it wasn’t popular. A good portion of that dislike was because it was imposed as a gimmick to ‘help’ save fuel. There was little support from the public.

The Senate recently passed legislation that will make DST year round and it’s headed to the House where it is expected to pass. The difference this time?

A majority of Americans support it, particularly those of us living on the eastern edges of the four time zones in the Lower 48.

Some folks have complained about DST causing children to have to wait for their school buses in the dark, overlooking the fix to that problem: start school later in the morning. The suggestion to make starting time for school later in the morning has been made for years, particularly in light of research showing later starting times for school improves grades and decreases absenteeism, particularly among adolescents. DST would be a good reason to make that change.


I have to admit that this is probably a great idea.

RNC Launches Voter Registration Drives at Gas Stations for Americans Who Are Fed Up With High Prices.

What better way to get the word out that there’s an alternative to the Democrats’ foolishness on inflation and energy costs than to register Americans to vote? That’s what the Republican National Committee is doing, and they kicked off a voter registration initiative at gas stations this weekend.

The Hill reports that the first voter registration event took place in the Phoenix area on Saturday afternoon, where staff and volunteers spent two hours registering Americans who are angry about gas prices.

As one commenter wrote, “There should also be a large supply of ‘I Did That!’ stickers available for those who register. They should also be applied liberally to the gas pumps in the area as a reminder.”

I have seen the stickers popping up all over the place. I have also seen the remains of stickers on gas pumps, usually partially covered by newer stickers. They’re being replaced faster than the gas station personnel can remove them. As the Instaprof has said, it’s a perfect guerrilla campaign. It’s cheap, it’s spontaneous, and it’s effective.


It seems Elon Musk has made it possible to for the Ukrainians to keep fighting and to keep information flowing in and out of their beleaguered country. It’s Starlink to the rescue.

I have to wonder if he’ll be able to smuggle Starlink ground stations into Russia to help maintain free exchange of information in and out now that Russia has been shutting down their Internet connections to the rest of the world. Call it a modern twist to the old samizdat during the Bad Old Days of the Soviet Union.


With this news, I can see that Putin has indeed gone too far.

Pink Floyd and David Gilmour have withdrawn their music from streaming platforms in Russia and Belarus.

David Gilmour said he and Pink Floyd are protesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by removing a large portion of their music catalog from streaming properties in Russia and Belarus.

"To stand with the world in strongly condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the works of Pink Floyd, from 1987 onwards, and all of David Gilmour's solo recordings are being removed from all digital music providers in Russia and Belarus from today," an announcement shared Friday to the band’s Twitter account states.

No Pink Floyd or David Gilmour in Russia and Belarus? Putin is doomed...


Steve Earle at GraniteGrok delves into the continuing rewriting of recent history by the * Administration and WRBA.

It all comes down to this: Nothing Biden did is Biden’s fault.


Steve lists some for those of you who may have forgotten, a few which include:

Been reading that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has been recalibrating the COVID death counts. Apparently, there were considerable overestimations.

If so I would not be surprised at often the officials were asked how many died with Covid as opposed to from Covid?


Remember “the border is under control” while over two million illegals, many criminals, none seeking to do America any good waltzed across? This was a bald-faced lie and said with straight faces while creating huge rises in crime and drug deaths.


Recently propagandist Mike Luckovich had a cartoon published in the Laconia Daily Sun blaming “Big Oil” for the shortages and high costs of oil. Now can anyone not see the absurdity of such a position? We were energy independent under the Trump Administration, prices were low and stable, jobs plentiful. Then Biden cut our production, catering to environmentalists, and the moment he did oil prices began to rise because like anything that becomes less abundant its price rises.


Let us not forget the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan which Biden tried to blame on Trump saying he followed Trump’s plan, a total lie. We left hundreds of American citizens behind and ten’s of thousands of our Afghan allies and their families who are being hunted and killed by the Taliban.

Steve could have spent a few thousand words listing the excesses of SloJo and WRBA, but I think those of us who are already cognizant of their sins can complete the list ourselves.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where the ice is slowly breaking up, the temps are rising, and Monday is once again arriving all too soon.


I Can't Argue With This

I was remiss in not having shared this on this past Monday as it was apropo for the date, but it is still just as valid today as it has ever been.

My only regret is that he hadn't passed before he damaged the world. One has to remember his adherents have killed 100 million+ people.

(H/T Knucklegraggin)


Thoughts On A Sunday

We experienced yet another snowstorm yesterday, seeing around two inches of heavy snow fall between late morning and mid-afternoon. The only issue we had with the storm was the high winds that followed the storm system.

I will admit I was lazy with this storm, not doing any shoveling until this morning because I knew the Plow Guys would be by to do 90% of the work. All I had to do was ‘clean up’ what they didn’t or couldn’t get and that took all of 10 minutes to take care of. Seeing that temps around here will be in the 60’s by the end of the week I figure everything that fell on Saturday will be gone, and then some. We still have three and four foot snowbanks here around The Gulch and I am hoping the warm temperatures will reduce them to almost nothing.


Speaking of warmer temperatures, I made arrangements with the boatyard that stores and services the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout to have it ready for launching by the second week of May. It helps that I am friends with the owners and have done business with them for almost 20 years, so there were no issues regarding getting the work done.

To think, boating season starts in a little over 7 weeks!


When I saw this, I realized it was so true.

Even incompetents can accomplish big things. In this case SloJo has managed to damage more than just our economy.


Have you noticed that climate change is being blamed for everything?

Claims have been made that it triggers earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, causes automobile accidents, male pattern baldness, high credit card balances, low marriage rates and related high divorce rates, Third Wave Feminism, the Red Sox not being in contention for the World Series, Tom Brady going to Tampa Bay, Hollywood putting out even worse crap than they usually do, cargo ships carrying $400 million worth of luxury vehicles (including some top end EV’s) to catch fire and sink in the Atlantic, discontent with the morons running the Feddle Gummint, voter fraud, erectile dysfunction, and a whole host of other ills.

Claims have also been made that the only way to reverse these ills is to impoverish ourselves and go back to living an Eighteenth Century lifestyle which also include reverting to technology and medical care from that time as well. The only ones exempt from those ‘cures’ will be those imposing those cures, of course. That’s the real motivation for pushing all of these cures for a problem that isn’t really a problem.


I wish I didn’t have to say this, but it bears repeating here: Americans Feel Less Free and Don't Trust Public Officials in Post-COVID Poll.

Considering how many times we’ve been lied to by the government (at all levels), how many times the so-called “experts” have been proven wrong, how studies have been proven that masks are all but useless and that lockdowns were equally useless and far more damaging than Covid itself, is it any wonder the feeling of freedom and trust in public officials is as low as it is?

While the legal basis for our rights is unquestioned thanks to the Constitution, how those rights are protected is causing people to question whether they mean anything anymore. The poll showed that 42% feel less secure about voicing their opinions, 43% feel less secure about their freedom to protest, and 36% feel less secure about their freedom to exercise religious beliefs.

While a healthy skepticism of government power is wise in a democracy, in a true crisis public officials must make snap decisions to protect the public. Whether people follow those decisions depends, in part, on their confidence in the leaders making them. Unfortunately, when asked about every single institution or office in the YouGov/AFP poll, the majority of respondents said their trust in those institutions had dropped.

Nearly three in five Americans said the government did a “somewhat” or “very poor” job clearly communicating to the public about data or reasoning regarding any pandemic restriction or requirement. And 54% thought government officials did a “somewhat” or “very poor” job applying any restrictions or requirements to all people (including themselves) equally.

None of this is much of a surprise except, perhaps, the margins that say they feel less secure in their rights. When more than four in ten Americans feel less secure about speaking their minds or protesting, the essence of freedom is under attack.

It’s even worse when one looks at the government’s crackdown on “misinformation”, meaning they only what their view about what’s true or not to be heard. That view is what is called propaganda and truth rarely has any relation to what is being peddled in that propaganda. The American people, at least those not under the thrall of our wannabe totalitarian masters, understand that “it’s hard to trust a government that doesn’t trust its citizens with the ability to tell the difference between misinformation and the truth.” The government doesn’t want the citizens to have the truth. The truth won’t let them get away with what they’ve been planning for us.


This is an abbreviated TOAS as I have work-related duties to attend to, specifically at the lab, and will shortly be on my way. I will endeavor to make up for it in the next day or two.


The Propaganda War Rages On

The propaganda war between Russia and Ukraine continues, with conflicting stories about victories and defeats. But then propaganda is always part of war. Watching the numerous videos of attacks by Russian forces, counterattacks by Ukrainian forces, and drone strikes by Ukrainian drones taking out Russian tanks, tracks, and trucks.

Watching video of Russian helicopters attacking Ukrainian positions and being shot down in turn by US-supplied Stinger missiles was reminiscent of similar scenes of Soviet helicopters and strike aircraft being shot down in Afghanistan by earlier generation Stingers supplied to the majuhadeen by the US. (As a side note, one of the missile programs I worked on back in my defense days was the FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS missile system. My work dates back to the early 1990’s and I have to assume there have been at least two or three generations of the Stinger since then.)

As much as the Russians try to make it sound as if everything is going swimmingly, reports from inside Ukraine from foreign media tell a different story. So who do we believe? I know I am disinclined to believe anything coming from Moscow, particularly in light of their more recent attempt at a false flag operation to drag Belarus into Ukraine. (The Russians really like using false flag operations to justify actions they want to take or to force others to act in ways they want.)


I Speak In English....

I saw this over at Knuckledraggin and it brought back memories, particularly of a little TV series called All In The Family on CBS that debuted back in 1971 and was an immediate hit. It crossed a lot of lines, spared no one, broke a lot of rules. Carroll O’Connor played the bigoted and opinionated head of the family, Archie Bunker.

While the meme below may not have been said by Archie, it certainly could have as he made his disdain of liberals known, particularly his liberal son-in-law, Mike ‘Meathead’ Stivic, played by Rob Reiner.

‘Nuff said...


This Is The Real Reason Our Gas Prices Are So High And Will Continue To Go Up

We keep hearing all kinds of reasons from WRBA why gas prices have risen so dramatically. But we never hear the real cause of the meteoric rise in gas prices from WRBA...because it was caused by WRBA. Below is a graphic which certainly backs up that claim. The included chart comes from GasBuddy.com.

With three of the numerous Executive Orders SloJo signed on his first day in office, he set into motion the inevitable rise in oil prices and the loss of our energy independence. He purposely destroyed our energy independence and made us beholden to countries that are not our friends - including Russia - for oil to make up for the supplies we used to get from our own oil fields.

Yes, I have mentioned the above more than once and I am going to continue to repeat it until it sinks in. This is something we need to keep repeating over and over again until after the 2024 elections.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was while I was out having breakfast with the WP Mom at one of our favorite diners yesterday when Katy texted me. She wrote, “So gas prices went from $3.66 to $4.04 within 36 hours this week. Didn’t look yesterday.”

I realized I hadn’t bought gas for the trusty RAM1500 for almost two weeks so I hadn’t been paying too much attention to gas prices around here.

I had errands to run after breakfast so I had the opportunity to check gas prices (and gas up the pickup). About a week and a half ago gas was going for $3.55 at my ‘reference’ gas station in my town. Yesterday it was $4.09. Mid-grade was $4.39. (The trusty RAM 1500 requires 89 octane.) I did not gas up there as I did find mid-grade for $4.30 one town over when I was running errands and topped off the tank. With prices this high I don’t like to let the gas tank get much below a half tank because if it does the total can exceed $75 and the pump will shut off, meaning I’ll have to run my debit card through the pump...again.

I figure we’re nowhere near seeing how high gas prices will go. (Thanks, SloJo and WRBA!)

At least I don’t need to drive anywhere near as much as I used to since my employer has made our hybrid work schedule – Mondays and Fridays working from home and Tuesdays through Thursdays at the lab – permanent. That knocks my commute down by 40%. (Not that it’s all that long to begin with, being a little over 9 miles door-to-door.) So between trips to and from work, running errands, and occasional town duties to attend to, it takes about 2 weeks for me to use a little less than a half tank of gas.

Update: I noticed the price of regular at my reference gas station went up another 8 cents to $4.17, seeing the new price this morning on my way back to The Gulch after finishing my pre-church run to Walmart.


Has Putin bitten off more than Russia can chew?

Seeing what has been happening to Russian forces in Ukraine I’d have to say the answer is yes. They expected a quick “Shock and Awe” victory but what they have instead has been an “Aww S**t!” slog.

While some folks have been pointing out that Russia is huge, and it is as far as land area is concerned, it doesn’t have the economic power it needs, nor is its military nearly as capable as they would have you think. The comments in this Instapundit post make the case that Russia has seriously misjudged their ability to take Ukraine and to do so quickly. They may find holding it will be even more difficult.

You would think they would have learned that lesson in Afghanistan in the 1980’s.


President * is told a hard truth by the President of Finland..

Biden, speaking on the current situation [in Ukraine], said “You know my predecessor who sat in this seat, President Obama, used to say it would be alright if we left everything to the Nordic countries.”

Niinistö, responding, then said, “Well, we usually don’t start wars.”


I am proud to see the president of my mother’s homeland willing to not pull punches, particularly when it comes to SloJo.


I would have expected this is Russia, not in the US...well, except maybe California.

It looks like the totalitarians in New York, specifically the Rochester, New York school district totalitarians have decided they are going to disabuse parents of the notion that they have a right to freedom of speech, particularly parents of students within the Rochester School District.

It looks like the school district has been monitoring the social media of conservative parents, collecting information and then using it to silence those parents by trying to get them fired from their jobs. Just who the hell do these people think they are?

A New York school district has caused outrage among parents after it was discovered that the district set up a program to monitor the social media of conservative parents and then took that info to the parents’ employers in hopes of having the parents fired.

The spy program was created by the Rochester Community School District, according to a lawsuit filed by parent Elena Dinverno, according to The Center Square.

Dinverno said in her lawsuit that the school’s spy program caused her to lose her job in 2021.

Supposedly, posts by conservative parents, and particularly Elena Dinverno, critical of the school districts decision against returning children to in-school education were seen as physical threats against members of the school board by calling for protests outside the board members’ homes.

This isn’t the only report I’ve heard of school districts/school boards trying to intimidate parents who didn’t agree with the school district administration decisions and policies that parents saw as damaging to their kids and to their education.

Heck, one Wisconsin school district has decided that parents don’t have the right to know their children’s gender identity, taking the stance that children do not belong to their parents, but to the state in the form of the school district.

That proves to me that we have some major problems with our ‘betters’ that could be solved by kicking them out voting them out of office and replacing them with people who fully understand our rights, the rights of parents, and understand that children do belong to their parents and that the parents are responsible for raising and taking care of their children, not some self-important politically ‘woke’ moron with the morals of a pimp.


Anyone who has taken an economics course understands what causes inflation: a shortage of goods, an increase in the money supply, or both.

When goods are in short supply, the cost goes up because the people are willing to pay more to get those goods. Sometimes the shortages are caused by weather, transportation issues, raw materials shortages, natural disasters, war, and so on.

When the money supply is increased more quickly than an economy’s expansion, you have too many dollars chasing the same amount of goods and services. Prices go up to ‘absorb’ the extra money supply.

When both happen at the same time the inflation can be mindboggling. We’ve seen that at an extreme when hyperinflation occurs because the government cranks up the printing presses and cranks out bills that become worth less and less as the money supply explodes. (We’ve seen that recently in Venezuela and earlier in Zimbabwe.) As the money becomes worth less the cost of goods and services goes up. It can get to the point where the money’s value becomes so low that goods and services can no longer be produced or purchased.

But inflation isn’t caused by greed…except when it’s being used as an excuse by economists and politicians infected with the Marxist Economics virus.

We listened carefully to President Joe Biden’s Tuesday night State of the Union speech for what he plans to do about our growing inflation disaster. We were not impressed. Apart from paying lip service to inflation’s impact on working families, Biden’s proposals will, if anything, make the problem far worse.


To begin with, he blamed corporate “greed” for inflation, which is scapegoating of the worst sort. To fix this, he proposed price controls and government subsidies on “computer chips, prescription drugs, health care premiums, weatherization projects, renewable energy, electric vehicles and child care” to get companies to boost output.

Corporations don’t suddenly get “greedy.” And greed isn’t the cause of inflation, as Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman noted in perhaps his most famous pronouncement: “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” Many others have said the same thing.

Despite being in Washington when the last great inflation occurred, Biden is about to make the same mistakes made by multiple presidents that let the inflation problem go from being a brushfire to an all-out conflagration.

So SloJo, DaHo, Pelosi, Schumer, and the usual suspects wanted to severely damage the US economy. This is how they can go about it and do so while claiming they are doing everything they can do ‘save’ it. And once the economy is damaged, they can then implement new directives that will leave our ‘betters’ in charge and those of us not ‘them’ will be the new serfs in their new feudal state.

Sounds paranoid, right?

Then how does one explain the eight years of economic insanity during the Obama years and the stupid and ill-advised actions SloJo, Pelosi, and Schumer have been shoving down our throats since SloJo took office?

But one thing I have been keeping in the back of my mind about is an old saw that, knowing SloJo and the gang in mind, more likely applies:

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

These days I am more inclined to believe it’s stupidity, particularly in light of the SloJo’s/WRBA’s mis-steps since he took office.

And so it goes.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where it’s almost 50ºF and sunny, there’s more open water appearing on the lake, and where Town Meeting season is upon us.


A Quagmire For Russia?

I have no doubt you’ve been paying some level of attention to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I have, though not to the level of some folks.

There are a number of things I’ve heard about the battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces, with little of it showing the Russian military in a good light, specifically when it comes to their war-fighting capabilities.

It appears Putin and the military planners expected a quick and decisive victory in the manner of the US military’s “Shock and Awe” victory over Iraq’s forces during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. However, their “Shock and Awe” plans turned into “WTF?!!” when their expected cake walk into Kyiv turned into pitched battles against Ukrainian forces and experiencing destruction of tanks, armored vehicles, trucks, helicopters, and attack aircraft with progress towards Kyiv slowed to crawl, with some columns halted due to lack of fuel, ammunition, and fuel.

The Russians didn’t have their logistics in order for lengthy operation, basing it on the “cake walk” scenario. (That’s a mistake US forces didn’t make with any of their operations, be it in Iraq or Afghanistan.) So when things bogged down and the various Russian units didn’t meet their objectives there wasn’t enough materiel – gas, food, and bullets – in the supply chain to resupply them adequately. Trucks, tanks, and tracks were either parked or abandoned when they ran out of fuel and the troops ran out of food and were low on ammunition. Logistics can win or lose battles or wars. As anyone familiar with military operations knows, “Amateurs talk about strategy. Professionals talk about logistics.”

During World War II, the one thing that won the war, particularly in the European Theater, was logistics. The ability to get what was needed where it was need when it was needed in the quantities needed is what defeated Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The Allies could build ships, planes, trucks, and tanks faster than the enemy could destroy them. They could make bombs, bullets, and artillery shells and get them where they were needed in very large quantities. The could get food, fuel, and ammo where it was needed when it was needed. Germany and Italy couldn’t even come close to doing that, particularly after Normandy.

The Russians used to understand that lesson, but have forgotten it.

It also appears the Russians didn’t use their best trained troops for this operation, with a majority of the troops being conscripts and poorly trained ones at that. Highly trained Spetsnaz and paratroop units were going to be used to seize the Ukrainian government in Kyiv and the ground troops were supposed to support them. But between the paratroops being unable to reach their drop zones and the ground troops being bogged down and failing to reach their objectives due to the Ukrainian forces opposing them, the cake walk scenario died a much deserved death.

Because of this, the Russians now have to slog it out, reverting to old Soviet tactics of bludgeoning the Ukrainians with artillery, more artillery, and even more artillery, hitting all targets, military and civilian. (It seems artillery shells and rockets are about the only thing the Russian troops have in large enough numbers...for the moment. That can change at any time.) They will be stuck with ground action as the only way to ‘win’, and even then it will cost Russia dearly since the military will be destroying the very things Putin wants to control. Putin could end up taking control of a wasteland.

There’s also the question of just how long the Russian military will be able to sustain operations considering they do have a limited amount of funds to finance the war. The sanctions are hitting Russia harder than many, including the Russians, have expected. How much longer can Russia continue this war if it ends up destroying their economy in the process?

Putin is also making the mistake of trying to intimidate NATO, setting his sights on the Baltics (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) once he’s taken Ukraine, and then perhaps Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. It wouldn’t surprise me if he wanted Hungary as well. That he’s threatened Sweden and Finland doesn’t bode well for him either.

If he needs more troops, where will he get them? He can’t really strip them from Russia’s southern border with the ‘Stans’ and China. Despite Putin and Xi being ‘buddies’, Xi wouldn’t hesitate to exploit any of Russia’s weaknesses if it was to his advantage. Some of Russia’s putative allies have already declined to provide troops to help Russia take Ukraine since they see Russia’s imperial ambitions as Putin’s problem, not theirs. (Kazakhstan didn’t just say ‘no’, they said ‘Hell, no’.)

If Sweden and Finland decide to join NATO, what will Putin do? What can he do? He has threatened economic and military consequences, but just how much can he realistically do to them?

I find it interesting that an increasing number of Russians who oppose Putin are leaving Russia. It appears a lot of them are crossing into Finland on their way elsewhere because they don’t want to end up in a gulag...or an anonymous grave.

This whole Ukrainian debacle seems so 20th century. Perhaps the ghost of Stalin is looking over Putin’s shoulder. It certainly seems that way to me...and many others.