From The Archives - Consumer Spending Is Weak

As I have promised, I have been looking through the Weekend Pundit Archives to find some older gems of wisdom that are relevant to where we find ourselves today.

This one dates back almost 11 years to the day and addresses the fall-off in consumer spending back then, something we are starting to see here, particularly when inflation is eating away at people’s bank accounts and fuel prices are the highest in US history which also adds to the pain people are feeling today.

As with an earlier peek into the past, the original links in this post are dead so they have been removed.


Is this yet another bit of “unexpected” news?

Apparently consumer spending is down, again. It's at its lowest pace in two years and not getting any better.

While consumers haven't stopped spending, they are being more careful. They also have changed their spending habits, with more online spending and less in the way of trips to the mall. As one of Glenn Reynolds readers explained it:

I realize it is a cliche for a woman to say she has nothing to wear; but I have literally only bought one new item of apparel for myself in the past three years. I had a pair of shorts that was more patches than original cloth, so I determined I had to buy some new ones. But after three years of mall avoidance I found the idea of going to one to be impossibly fatiguing. So I checked Overstock and Landsend (sic) clearance and bought myself some new shorts for about $10 each.

But of course since I was online I just typed in women’s shorts and that’s all I bought. If I had been at a mall I would have found a cute top and an adorable little skirt and etc. etc. My shopping habits have been completely altered, and I think its a good thing.

I can't remember the last time I went to one of the malls to shop. It's either WalMart or online shopping for us here at The Manse. If I buy something I know what it is I want, where I can buy it, and how much it costs. I know all of that before leaving The Manse (assuming I actually go to a store to buy what I need). Otherwise we buy it online.

One of the other things driving lower consumer spending is consumers paying off debt, getting those credit cards and car loans paid off. And when consumers do spend, they're paying cash or doing without. As Instapundit reader Robin Lyons writes:

Instead of spending, I have been taking all my disposable income and paying off debt. I have a good job and have disposable income every month. But I have decided that I am not buying anything not absolutely necessary in protest of the Obama economy. Not that my single participation makes any difference, but who knows how many of me there are out there?

We've had a tight budget here at The Manse over the past two years. After a mortgage refinance at a much lower interest rate, we're paying off all of our other debt and freeing up $1000 a month or more because we won't have those payments. Our mortgage payments will remain the same and that's the only debt we'll have, one we're willing to carry. From this point forward we'll be paying cash or doing without. We'll keep one credit card (the one with both the lowest credit limit and lowest interest rate).

Even though reducing the number of credit cards we have to one may adversely affect our credit rating, the missus and I much prefer to limit our exposure in the future rather than worry about what Experion and the others credit bureaus might have to say about us. Freeing up $12,000 of cash a year makes me feel a whole lot better than worrying about our credit rating dropping 50 points. It seems quite a few others are taking the same route we have, at least from what friends and acquaintances have been telling me.

So the fact that consumer spending has dropped isn't a surprise to me or anyone else paying attention to the Obama economy.


At least this time I don’t have a mortgage to pay, my only credit cart has a $255 balance (which will be paid off tomorrow, it being payday), and I only have one more payment on the trusty RAM 1500 pickup (due next month), and I am out of debt. Yes, I still have a few outstanding bills to pay, but they are my regular monthly bills, things like insurance, utilities and the like. Yet, I am still cautious of my spending, and nervous about where our economy is heading – a recession – which would have been avoided if WRBA hadn’t decided to do everything it could to tank the economy. We’re right back where we were 11 years ago. Then again, remember who was Vice President 11 years ago...


Thoughts On A Sunday

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

I’m loving it.

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

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


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

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

Yeah, that’s a winning message.


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

This wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

The problem?

The Lack of Competition for House Seats.

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


Short Term Rental Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thoughts On A Sunday

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


It's Not Just Fuel Prices That Are Skyrocketing

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

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

The average rate hike request from the three utilities?


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a few questions gleaned from the comments:

Why are gun control advocates so violent?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Thoughts On A Sunday

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

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

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


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

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA).

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

It only gets worse from there.

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


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

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

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

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

Thompson’s viewership, however, missed the mark.

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

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

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


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


Asking people to renew their voter registration.

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


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


Cognitive Meltdown

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


Where Has The Time Gone? Twenty Years Of Blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Too many times.

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

Prosecute them.

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

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

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

Twenty years down. Plenty more to go.


Thoughts On A Sunday

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

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

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


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

How do I know this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Musk’s reply?

Thanks Mr President!

Like I said, a class act.


This means war!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Hateful White Men Question How Hateful They Really Are

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