Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been one of those days where the weather can’t seem to make up its mind. It’s been switching between rain and snow since late this morning. Not that the Weather GuysTM are predicting much in the way of snowfall here at The Gulch. If nothing else it’s a good excuse for not venturing out today.

It’s hard to believe that Christmas only 3 weeks away. Where has the year gone? Summer was too short because of the lousy weather. I didn’t do much in the way of boating because of that weather. I did a lot more boating after Labor Day...which is why it felt like fall was also too short. An extra four weeks of fall would have extended my boating season, but as we know it doesn’t work like that.

As such, it seemed the Thanksgiving leftovers were still cooling when the WP Mom had me taking out some of the Christmas decorations from the attic. It always seems too early to me.


I am a die-hard New England Patriots fan, but I have not been watching the games this season as it appears the guys in the Patriots uniforms aren’t really football players. I don’t want to torture myself as they blow game after game after game. The Pats haven’t been this awful since the 1970s.

At least for today’s game they pulled Mac Jones from the starter QB position and have put second-string QB Bailey Zappe as starter.

As I finish this up the Patriots are behind at the end of the 3rd quarter, 6-0.


It’s one thing to hear foolish people supporting Palestine (without realizing or caring they by doing so they are also supporting Hamas) versus what Arab nations are telling Israel privately. They aren’t even close to being the same thing.

It feeds into everything that’s been reported about Israel’s Arab neighbors and why they don’t want Palestinian refugees roaming wild in their country: they bring trouble. The late King Hussein had to declare war on them and successfully drove them out. The problem is the Palestinian Liberation Organization set up shop in Lebanon, where they caused problems for the government while also attacking Israel from the southern part of the country. Israel had to invade in 1982 and remained in Southern Lebanon until 2000. Egypt has closed its border with the Gaza Strip in Rafah due to terrorism concerns.

In the days after the brutal October 7 attacks executed by Hamas, Egypt knew what was going to happen. They deployed tanks to the border while their prime minister vowed that his country would sacrifice millions to keep their borders safe. He was not referring to Israel. So, what’s the latest? Well, Haaretz is reporting that Israel’s Arab neighbors are telling Jerusalem privately that they shouldn’t stop military operations until Hamas has been annihilated. They view them as a domestic threat.

They understand just how dangerous the Palestinians are, the unrest and death they bring with them.

As one commenter put it:

Who are the biggest killers of Arabs in the world today?

Other Arabs.

This is something the Egyptians, Iraqis, Lebanese, Libyans, Jordanians, Syrians, Yemenis and others know all too well.


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

Moonbats Transsexualize Dinosaur

WTAF?? Was there a note with the 65 million year old fossil stating its preferred pronouns?

These woke lunatics need to be hospitalized until they are no longer delusional.


From the “Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider” Department come this second bit of insanity:

The Washington Post “Fact Checks” San Francisco Poop Map

Really? Umm, okay...but why?


Just how bad is *Resident Biden’s approval rating these days?

This bad:

F. Joe Biden, the worst president in American history, has seen his worst approval rating in his idiotic presidency. At the moment, Biden is sitting at a twenty-seven percent approval rating.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think he can get that down closer to 20% if he stays the course. With only a few exceptions, I don’t know of any of the Democrats that I know up here in New Hampshire that will support SloJoe in 2024. My only concern is that it will get so bad that Michelle Obama will become the candidate who won’t be much different than Biden when it comes to policies and programs. At least she’s not demented...but that’s no reason to vote for her.


Normally I would have saved this for a Friday (Not So) Funny, but somehow it felt like an appropriate way to close out this week’s edition of TOAS...because it is so true. We see the truth of this every day.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’ve been seeing thin skins of ice on some of the ponds, the snow is falling lightly, and once again Monday is returning to foul up our weekend.


Was Black Friday In The Red?

It was while I was out running errands and doing some of my usual weekend shopping that I thought to ask a number of staff at the stores I frequent how they fared during Black Friday, knowing that it is The Big Shopping Day For Christmas with all kinds of deals and discounts. The answers I got were surprising.

One of my regular shopping destinations – Walmart – saw an above average number of shoppers that day, but nowhere near what they expected. As I mentioned in a previous post, I postponed making an early shopping trip to Walmart the morning of Black Friday because I didn’t want to fight the frenzied crowds as I picked up my victuals. Since I was off that day it almost made sense to make my usual Sunday morning shopping trip on Friday morning instead...until I remembered what day it was.

It wasn’t until I was out shopping today that I remembered I should ask about Black Friday. One of my friends (and a former neighbor) who works at Walmart told me it had been “uncharacteristically quiet” for a Black Friday. It was pretty much the same thing at some of the local outlet stores, at our local BJ’s (Berkley-Jensen’s) discount store, as well as a couple of others. The crowds usually seen out on Black Friday weren’t quite as large as usual.

Seeing a few YouTube reports and blog posts that reported similar shopper turnouts in some areas begs the question, “Is inflation and the recession the Biden Administration and WRBA say don’t exist affecting the willingness of consumers to open their wallets, wallets that don’t have nearly as much cash in them as there was in previous years?” From what I’ve seen the answer is a qualified “Yes”. Other reports say in-person purchases were up as compared to last year, but it must be remembered the previous couple of years we were still dealing with Covid.

Seeing the numbers for Cyber Monday’s sales, it looks like some portion of Black Friday in-person sales were shunted to online purchases, including those made on Cyber Monday even though the discounts weren’t as big as they have been in the past.

According to Adobe, shoppers spent a record $9.8 billion online Friday — marking a 7.5% jump from last year. Meanwhile, Salesforce, which also tracks online shopping, estimated that Black Friday online sales totaled $16.4 billion in the U.S. and $70.9 billion around the world. And Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks in-person and online spending across all payment forms, reported that overall Black Friday sales excluding automotive rose 2.5% from a year ago — a smaller but still notable jump compared to 2022’s double-digit growth.

According to the firm, online sales rose 8.5%, while in-store purchases were up just 1.1%. Those numbers are not adjusted for inflation, which means that real sales in-stores could have dipped due to high prices.

Other data showed Black Friday saw some increases in store traffic — with large crowds in stores nationwide feeling more similar to pre-pandemic days.

RetailNext, which measures real-time foot traffic in stores, reported that store traffic rose 2.1% on Friday. Sensormatic Solutions, which also tracks store traffic, saw a bigger increase — reporting a 4.6% jump in shopper visits on Black Friday compared to a year ago. That also marks a turnaround from an average decline in store traffic seen throughout 2023 to date, Sensormatic said.


Retailers began offering holiday deals in October this year, continuing a trend that started during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been resurrected multiple times due to supply chain clogs or inflation woes. But many consumers waited to buy until Black Friday.

It will be interesting to see what the actual sales figure are once the feds are able to run the numbers.

All I know is I won’t be spending as much on Christmas presents this year as money is tight and I have to keep my spending under control...so no Porsche Boxster for the WP Girlfriend (if I had one) unless it is one of the Hot Wheels models.

Friday (Not So) Funny (I Can Be Such An Idiot Edition) - Top 5

I wish I could say I just forgot to click the "Publish" button or was too busy or out on the town. But I was too smart by half, figuring I'd put together this post Thursday evening and schedule it to be published Friday night. The problem is I set the date wrong, setting it for Friday...December 8th.

Imagine my surprise when I didn't see it this morning when I checked the blog.

I can be such a maroon.

Click on image to embiggen


Thoughts On A Sunday

As I mentioned in my belated Friday post, I partook of the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert Friday night. It is a concert I have attended three times over the past five years and it’s been a better show each year. I went down to the big city of Manchester, met up with one of my oldest friends, had dinner and then headed to the concert.

It was over two hours of wonder and delight.

I look forward to seeing them again next year around this time.

Click on image to embiggen


I don’t know about the rest of you, but I still can’t get used to all of the Christmas decorations already up and the Christmas music in all of the stores...all while we’re still eating leftovers from Thanksgiving Day.

Yes, I know Black Friday took place with loads of people trying to get Christmas gifts with a heavy discount. (As a side note, I almost forgot about Black Friday and was going to make my usual weekend shopping trip to Walmart a day or two early. But the WP Mom reminded me and said that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea, so I went this morning instead.) This morning’s trip to Walmart didn’t see the frenzied shopping, but as soon as I walked into the store the Christmas music slapped me across the face. At least it wasn’t loud, one saving grace. I didn’t have to wrestle a pint of Half-and-Half away from a Black Friday crazed shopper or elbow my way towards the cat food aisle or beat someone semi-conscious when they tried to take the two gallons of spring water from my shopping cart.

I’d like to think that the Internet won’t be overloaded on Cyber Monday.


Ed Driscoll is on a roll and delves into the past, specifically Salon’s past when it comes to their push to make the US a socialist state.

A few of their ‘headlines’ over the past 10 years:

“Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle.”

“Let’s nationalize Fox News: Imagining a very different media…Excerpted from ‘Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA.’

“Let’s nationalize Amazon and Google: Publicly funded technology built Big Tech. They’re huge and ruthless and define our lives. They’re close to monopolies. Let’s make them public utilities.”

Give it a rest, Republicans — no one wants to take away Turkey Day.

Salon Magazine Warns of ‘Democracy’s Last Thanksgiving’ If Trump Becomes President.

What a bunch of leftist losers.


And one more thing from Ed Driscoll about defunding police and the results thereof.

It all breaks down to this: Those blue cities that did that are finding out their crime rates have skyrocketed and police are quitting in increasing number, adding even more to their problems.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch. Those suffering under these conditions must remember that they bought the woke bullsh*t and voted for this...and are getting it good and hard.


This isn’t exactly news since this has been happening since shortly after SloJoe became *Resident:

Democrats See Mass Exodus Of Black Voters

Left wing New York Times is recording that as much as 22% of black voters are supporting Trump for 2024. Those numbers, if they are accurate are historically high for any Republican candidate. Black voters are slowly growing tired of communist Democrats and old, senile Joe Biden, though not fast enough. Despite constantly voting for communist Democrats for more than the last 50 years, black voters have remained among the poorest demographic in the country. Democrats have done nothing for the black voter despite the claims of how “racist” Republicans are.

Interesting that the racists in the room – Democrats - are calling Republicans “racists”. The Democrats are the party of the KKK. They are the party that practices “soft racism”, the racism of low expectations, the racism that puts forth the belief that Black Americans cannot get ahead without their guiding hand – a hand that more often than not holds them back – all while decrying how the “Evil Republicans” are going to “put y’all back in chains”. (Biden actually said that during Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.)

It will be interesting to see how many Black Americans will actually vote for the GOP nominee as well as Hispanics, another demographic that has been abandoning the Democrat Party in increasing numbers.


Steve MacDonald asks “Is it just me, or are there fewer EV car commercials airing?”

He’s not imagining it.

I like to sneer and make snide comments when commercials for Electric Vehicles interrupt whatever I happen to be streaming. My wife has learned to ignore them, and I am trying to keep those opinions to myself, but recently, within the past few weeks, I’ve had no need.

There has been no shortage of commercials or ads for cars and trucks. Christmas is coming, and they pepper the breaks more frequently than Pharma or food ads (only barely). But not one of them has been for Electric Vehicles. This is very odd.

In the recent past, it was unlikely for a spate of ads to pass without someone pimping an EV, typically doing things EVs can’t do, like traveling long distances, climbing rocky slopes with a trailer or something heavy in tow. It would be more realistic if they showed drivers looking for a charging station, stranded, or watching from a distance as their car ignited a parking garage full of other people’s cars and trucks.

The past few weeks? Nothing. Zilch. Naught, nix, nil, nada! No hay coches eléctricos. Not a one. And they aren’t appearing while I sneak off “during the break” to relieve myself or grab a snack. I ask.
I know I have certainly seen a lot less ads and I know the reason why: EV sales have tanked big time and automakers have dialed back or even halted production of EVs.

Despite the ads, the motoring public isn’t buying. Despite claims to the contrary, EVs ‘aren’t ready for prime time’. There are too many downsides for most motorists, one of the biggest ones being the cost to buy one. Then there’s the cost to repair them and, increasingly, the cost of insuring them which have driven potential buyers away. Charging can be problematic, particularly during longer trips.
It doesn’t help that our electrical infrastructure isn’t up to handling the demand that EVs will add. It isn’t even close to being able to do so.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the battle between fall and winter continue, Black Friday is just a fading memory, and where Christmas is a lot closer than many of us realize.


Is What She's Saying True?

I can’t believe this is now in the open, but it appears the conspiracy theorists were right about January 6th, at least according to Nancy Pelosi’s daughter who said on video the whole thing was “a marketing gimmick to propagandize the public for the benefit of the Democrat Party.”

The video, apparently filmed surreptitiously in the style of Project Veritas and released by CitizenLens, reportedly between Pelosi and a January 6 defendant she was courting so as to appear in her documentary of the event, featured Pelosi discussing the political implications of the Jan 6 show trials and their effects on the upcoming 2022 mid-term elections.


She then goes on to explain how she knows Gavin McInnes (the purported former leader of the Proud Boys) and used, in fact, to party with him. She knows that he’s a provocateur and doesn’t actually mean what he says.

It’s all bread and circuses, people.

Were FBI provocateurs the only ones behind much of the chaos? We know from video and photos that quite a few known Antifa instigators were among the crowds, wearing MAGA hats and carrying Trump signs. (Hmm, weren’t some of the FBI guys doing the same thing?)

If what Alexandra Pelosi said on video is correct, then there are a lot of people that need to go to prison, and it’s not those who are being charged with insurrection and those already imprisoned by the Democrats.

Personally, I think Nancy Pelosi would look good in prison orange...

Friday (Not So) Funny - What A Difference Four Years Make - (Post-T.S.O. Concert Edition)

No, I did not forget to hit the 'Publish' button or forget that yesterday was Friday. I was out most of the day yesterday, ending the day down in the "Big City" - Manchester, NH - to dine with friends and then attend the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. I didn't get back until almost midnight as it took longer to leave the venue and get back to the trusty RAM 1500 than I had anticipated.

So without further ado:

Click on image to embiggen it.


Thoughts On A Sunday

I was surprised to see how much the temperature changed between Friday and Saturday, being in the upper 50’s/lower 60’s on Friday but in the upper 30’s and breezy on Saturday. Such is fall in New Hampshire.

Since I am off for the coming Thanksgiving week I have been doing work around The Gulch in preparation for the upcoming winter. Much of that deals with rearranging things in the garage, moving things used during spring, summer, and fall out of the way and making sure all those things needed for winter are easy to reach. Not that there’s a lot that needs to be moved, but it’s where it needs to be moved that takes time – from the garage up into the attic and vice versa. A few things will also need to be moved between the garage and the Official Weekend Pundit Storage Unit.

There will also be some last cleanup around the outside of The Gulch, mostly cleaning up the last of the leaves from both the ground and out of the gutter along the front side of the roof.

And then during the rest of the week…


It looks like the kid gloves are coming off as Elon Musk is filing a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters and "all those who colluded" for "completely misrepresenting" the real user experience on X.

Musk is saying Media Matters falsely pushed ‘news’ that X was supporting "white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories" when in fact no such support was given or implied. This in turn triggered a number of corporate advertisers to pull their ads (and the revenue that goes with them). Says Musk:

X has seen a number of attacks from activist groups like Media Matters and legacy media outlets who seek to undermine freedom of expression on our platform because they perceive it as a threat to their ideological narrative and those of their financial supporters.

It will be interesting to see how well Musk does against the leftist media organizations, the same organizations that have no problems censoring ideas and opinions that disagree with their Marxist doctrine.


I am beginning to agree the only way to salvage the FBI as a law enforcement agency is to fire everyone and start from scratch. It has shifted from law enforcement to becoming the leg-breakers and a 21st century version of the Geheim Staatzpolizei, working on the behalf of the Party, in this case the DNC, SloJoe, and WRBA (Whoever is Running the Biden Administration).

What has me thinking this?

How about this?

On January 6, 2021, the FBI explicitly chose to abandon a sting on a child pornographer in Virginia who was messaging with an undercover agent about having sex with a nine-year-old boy, opting instead to focus on prosecuting Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol. Less than three years later, the FBI discovered the same man living in Alaska where he appears to have been performing sex acts on a 10-year-old boy, according to court documents.

On December 2, 2020, an internet user with the screen name “gayboy69freak” messaged an undercover agent with the FBI’s Washington Field Office, who was posing as a father pimping out his 9-year-old son, and told him that he wanted to travel to D.C. to have sex with the boy. The man also sent the agent a video of “a prepubescent minor male being anally penetrated by an adult male’s erect penis.” His IP address led the FBI to Brogan Welsh of Glenn Allen, Virginia.

What appears to be a slam-dunk case against a child predator was abruptly abandoned just one month later.

Yeah, it was far more important to railroad J6 protesters, particularly those who had done nothing wrong, to let the people know that no opposition to the Party would be allowed.

The only way to fix the FBI is to clean house.


As dumb as a box of rocks.


Do these people understand what the people they are supporting would do to them if they ever met?

I’m guessing the answer is a resounding “No”.


Gee, it seems California talks a good game...but they don’t deliver. Case in point: 40% of EV charging stations in LA don’t work.

As Cap’n Teach notes, “One would think that a place like LA would have operational charging stations, considering that California was the first state to mandate all of the peasants having to forgo petrol cars, well before Let’s Go Biden pushed his mandate.” I have to wonder whether those non-functional charging stations are located where most of the neo-serfs live. Only the New Nobility will have access to working EV charging stations. Let the peasants take the bus, or better yet, walk.

Joanna Stern, a WSJ reporter, visited over 120 EV charging stations throughout LA and found many of them didn’t work for one reason or another.

This is only part of the problem.

It won’t matter of charging stations aren’t functional if there’s no electricity to run them. Considering how fragile its electrical grid has become and it’s decreasing generation capacity – caused by California’s obsession with over the top environmental regulations and laws - even working EV charging stations will be unusable because there will be no electricity available to operate them.

As such, one has to wonder if that is the actual intent of California’s Progressive-run government.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where preparations for Thanksgiving continue apace, pre-winter cleanup continues, and where I don’t have to worry about Monday this week.


Smart Phones Are The Debbil!!

I feel I must put here what I’ve been posting in comments to a number posts elsewhere, ‘what’ being how destructive smart phones and social media have become, primarily among teens and young adults. Not that we more ‘mature’ adults are immune from the lures and traps they represent, but I’d like to think we wouldn’t be affected nearly as much as our kids and grandkids. I’d like to. Really.

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned this here, but I think it bears repeating – If you want to raise healthy kids and teens, ban them from owning smart phones or using social media. (I am going to include tablets in this as well since they are almost as ubiquitous as smart phones.) Once they turn 18 they can indulge to their heart’s desire.

Since the two are intricately linked together I shall refer to them as one or the other while meaning both.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but it seems so many kids, teens, and young adults are addicted to their smart phones and the ‘world’ it represents. The only problem is that world is not real. It is smoke and mirrors, a mirage, a fever dream, an illusion. A lie.

But to too many it appears to be real, to be more important than the real world. They are mesmerized by what’s presented on the screens, believing everything that appears on them. With social media I think some things are amplified. Observations, events, scandals, and disses are of greater import. People will say things on social media they would never say to someone’s face, even if their posts or videos aren’t anonymous. (It’s even worse when such postings are anonymous.)

People lie on social media, particularly when it comes to their lives and how they portray them. They rarely show real life, trying to portray their lives as perfect with never a worry or sorrow. However, as we all know life is rarely like that. But others may not realize that and they see the ‘perfect’ lives of others and wonder why their own is nothing like that. They don’t understand that those they envy are only showing one aspect of their lives, assuming what they are presenting on social media is the true. All too often it isn’t. But those viewing those perfect lives don’t know that and they see their own lives diminished in comparison.

Then there’s the dating apps, something that may have started as a something to help people interested in finding someone with whom to share their lives. These days they are little more than a means for arranging a hookup. They are grossly imbalanced with far more men using them than women...and with far more men being ignored by women. (You can’t tell me so many men being ‘left-swiped’, i.e. rejected, doesn’t have some effect on men.)

So much of social media is being used as a means of validation by men and women (though it seems mostly women) via Twitter/X, Instagram, Snap Chat, Tinder, Match, TikTok, and a host of other social media apps. They all can paint a false narrative, show a world that does not exist (in some cases should not exist), gives people the impression they aren’t good enough because they can’t meet impossible or unrealistic expectations.

All of this affects people, particularly teens, emotionally and psychologically. You can’t convince me that social media hasn’t driven an increase in mental illness among teens and young adults.

It must be said again and again that social media can be a disease driven by the need for validation or the Fear Of Missing Out. It is one we must work to lessen its effects, not by regulating or banning social media since the last thing we need is for government to get involved. It has to be driven by parents, social organizations, religious groups, and peers.

In the mean time it might be a good idea to take away your kid’s smart phone...until they turn 30.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The older WP Sister was up visiting this weekend and it was a pleasant one, for the most part. It’s always nice to see her as we don’t get a chance to do so as often as we might like.

The weather cooperated, being sunny though a bit cool, being only 27ºF this morning. However, it looks like it will be warmer as we go through the upcoming week. It will allow me to finish up some of the pre-winter cleanup including a last clean-out of the gutters, removing the last of the fallen leaves which had come down in large amounts just before last week’s snowfall. This will let me take care of all of that prior to going on vacation for a couple of weeks.


I came across the following comment on a YouTube video dealing with relations between men and women and how they have changed, and not for the better.

“Wanna know how to make a woman miserable? Give her everything she wants.”

I will admit that at first I nodded in agreement as I have seen more than a few instances where this was proven out. But the more I thought about it the less I liked it. Have things deteriorated to the point where this comment is the rule rather than the exception? If so, why has this happened? There are plenty of people out there positing all kinds of causes. I don’t know which, if any of them have brought us to this point.

I can honestly say that I am glad I am not a young man trying to date in today’s dating environment as it seems there are a lot of angry and/or delusional people out there.


We’ve seen major jumps in shoplifting in California after the ‘limit’ for felony theft was raised to $950 from $200. One of the biggest changes seen was ‘mob’ shoplifting when 20 or more people would come rushing into the target store grab merchandise, and run back out, making it difficult if not impossible to stop them. Add in Soros DA’s who were soft on crime and bail laws changed which saw perpetrators were back out on the street before the police paperwork was completed.

It seems that particular malady has spread to Texas, specifically Dallas, where shoplifting has increased by 73%.

The shopping experience in Dallas is starting to change as retail theft increased 73% through the first six months of this year, according to a report released Tuesday.

Dallas and Los Angeles, where shoplifting increased 109%, experienced the highest reported retail theft in the first half of this year, according to an analysis of 24 major cities by the nonpartisan Council on Criminal Justice.

The data helps to explain new scenes around Dallas.

At a Walmart in northeast Dallas flashing lights frame a camera above an aisle of locked cases holding men’s underwear, socks and wallets. It comes with a warning: “Security camera in use.” Electric toothbrushes are also behind locked cases. The electric razors are behind lock and key at a nearby Target.

Kroger has added security gates to some Dallas stores to prevent quick exits of full shopping carts of consumables such as laundry detergent. Tide and Oxi are behind new locked cases at a Kroger on Mockingbird Lane. A box asks shoppers to press the button if they need help. Armed guards in uniform are more visible in Dallas stores and malls.

Things are different in Texas, one of the biggest being Texas gun laws are far more liberal than the draconian gun laws in California. I figure it’s only a matter of time before someone gets stupid and tries to rip off the wrong store and gets ventilated by a store owner...legally.


Here’s yet another “stake through the heart” of EVs, in this case New York City giving up on EV snowplows.

Winter is on the way. Time to put away the asinine EVs and fall back on vehicles that work in the cold — or that work period:

Three years ago, the New York Department of Sanitation ordered seven electric rear loader garbage trucks made by Mack LR Electric. The department has not been able to find electric trucks that are powerful enough to plow snow like the original diesel ones.

No worries. According to The Experts, the climate will soon punish us for not fully embracing central planning by withholding snow anyway.

It seems the transition was more about virtue signaling and less about being ‘green’. As we’ve seen in one example after another, virtue signaling can be more expensive and less effective than solutions based on reality. That New York City decided EV snowplows would be a good idea baffles me. Snowplows sometimes have to operate continuously for hours or days, stopping only for crew changes, refueling and for those that also include sanders, refilling the hoppers with sand and road salt. EV snowplows can do everything ‘regular’ snowplows can do except refuel quickly and operating continuously. I’m not sure how well they can move snow or for how long.

At least someone in New York understands that EV snowplows aren’t going to work very well in a place that has frigid temperatures and can measure snowfall in feet.


Springtime for Hitler and MIT…


This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this and I doubt it will be the last:

Credit Card Debt has Skyrocketed Thanks to Joe Biden’ Horrendous Economy

Between inflation, a stupid energy policy that has done far more harm than good, a spendthrift administration and Congress, and the Treasury printing presses running at full speed further eroding the value of a dollar, that an increasing number of Americans are relying on credit cards to make ends meet is not surprising.

Paychecks have not kept up with the rising cost of living. I don’t know about you, but my pay hasn’t kept up with inflation. Over the past three years I figure I have lost about 10% of the value of my pay. My pay raises were wiped out in as few as 4 months due to inflation.

The only thing I’ve got going for me is that I have no debt. That includes credit card debt. The trusty RAM 1500 pickup is paid off. If I can’t afford to pay for something without using a credit card, then I do without. Unfortunately too many Americans can’t do that, still dealing with the effects of the Covid panicdemic.

I (and others) think it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better...if it ever does.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it’s still getting dark far too early, the last of the boats have been pulled from the water, and where we’re setting the thermostat a little higher to fend off the evening chill.


A Clash Of Civilization

It seems two opposing forces have been increasingly clashing against each other and that clash is getting noisier and more contentious. This clash is affecting more people all the time. What is this clash?

Here’s a hint: It isn’t in Gaza or Israel.

This clash is between the Biden Administration’s EV mandate and reality, specifically the reality of the high cost of EVs and the electrical grid’s lack of capacity to charge all those EVs we’re being told we’ll have to drive.

That clash is already having some fallout with one automaker after another rethinking their shift towards EVs. Ford has ceased production of EVs and GM is ramping down production of theirs. Demand is falling off and EVs are filling dealer lots with no takers.

Toyota and Honda are moving away from battery EVs and towards fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines. (Toyota has also been touting their new ammonia-fueled internal combustion engine.) Volkswagen dialed back EV production and may cease it altogether. BMW has seen EV sales fall off and has also reduced EV production.

There’s another downside of EVs, that being that most of them are heavier than an equivalent ICE vehicle which increases wear and tear on the roads and bridges. (Some have made the claim EVs aren’t any heavier than regular vehicles, but that claim is easy to debunk with a little research online.)

Range anxiety is also a problem, with EV owners/drivers worried about having enough charge left in the battery pack to make it to their destination. (At this point I have to bring up this joke: “95% of all EVs are still on the road. The other 5% made it to their destinations.”) They also worry about being able to find a charging station if it turns out that they don’t have enough charge left in their battery to make it back home.

I know one issue that is often ignored by EV advocates is the problem of temperature, specifically cold temperatures. The batteries don’t like below freezing temperatures, causing the effective capacity to decrease. In places like where I live, New Hampshire, the winter temperatures can get to well below zero. It is not unusual to see -20ºF in the depths of winter. At temperatures like that an EV battery pack can lose up to two-thirds of its capacity. You won’t go far. You aren’t likely to stay very warm as there may not be enough battery charge available to both move the EV and heat the interior. Being stranded on a lightly traveled rural road at night with very little battery charge available when it’s -20ºF is not anything I want to experience.

Yet there are those supporting the EV mandate that think that would be just dandy. And that is just one aspect of the clash taking place – What is demanded versus what is possible. The mandate ignores what is possible. Proponents don’t care whether or not what is mandated is possible. They just want it done. However, those who are subject to such mandates don’t care what the mandates being pushed on them say. They will either ignore them, if possible, or push back and tell The Powers That Be to “Piss off”.

This will be a long, drawn out clash. I have no idea who will prevail in the end, but I think it’s going to get nasty, it will be expensive, and it’s going to hurt a lot of people and a lot of businesses. But “They” don’t care as long as they get their way.


Thoughts On A Sunday

I don’t know about you, but I have an intense dislike for “falling back” to Standard Time. It’s much more disruptive than the other way around. New Hampshire being where it is in the Eastern Time Zone – the extreme eastern side of the zone, beaten out only by Maine being even farther east. The Eastern Time Zone is the widest in the contiguous US and New England is at the eastern edge. Looking at a Time Zone Map it makes more sense to either remain in Daylight Savings Time or move Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts into the Atlantic Time Zone.

I had to start ‘moving’ the Weekend Pundit Feline Contingent feeding times until they were an hour later so that when the clocks were set back I would be feeding them at the same time, at least in relation to Greenwich Mean Time. Neither Pip or Bailey can tell time, but their stomachs don’t care about whether we’re on Standard or Daylight Savings Time. They just know it’s time for food. Despite what those without pets might say, dogs and cats don’t like it when their routines are disrupted by things like time changes.

Neither do I.


Being that this is taking place in California, this doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Mask Mandates Return To California.

Study after study after study have shown masks don’t work, particularly the ubiquitous ‘procedure masks’ almost everyone was using during the panicdemic. That places like Sweden and Denmark didn’t take the extreme precautions like so many other countries like the US did and they saw a lower rate of infections and Covid deaths tells us that many of those precautions forced upon us were not effective.

What worked and what didn’t?

Masks? No.

Social Distancing? Questionable.

Lockdowns and quarantine of healthy people? No.

Washing hands? Yes.

Staying home when sick? Yes.

Vaccination? Questionable.

California is going back to mask mandates, but this time because of the annual flu bug. But I have no doubt it will be just as effective against the flu as it was for Covid, meaning not at all. Flu shots have a long history of being effective, but even that comes with a disclaimer, that being that the folks determining which strains of flu would be dominant for the coming flu season chose the correct ones. Sometimes they get it wrong and the flu shots won’t be nearly as effective. But for the most part they get it right.


Talking with acquaintances in Finland and Sweden, and business contacts in Finland, Sweden and Norway, none of the following surprises me.

Five Nordic Nations Agree to Collaborate on Shared Deportation Flights.

It seems Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have been having an increasing problem with illegal immigrants and have been working to return them to their countries of origin. The flood of illegal immigrants coming in by way of North Africa has burdened many European nations.

One of the major downsides to this flood has been rising crime rates that have been driven by both legal and illegal immigrants. That has certainly been the case in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark where the number of sexual assaults have skyrocketed. My acquaintances in Sweden and Norway have mentioned that as being one of the big problems they’ve seen in their countries.


In this next item I’m going to throw you a three-fer, seeing as these three items are somewhat related dealing with EVs and renewable energy. (Knowing my disdain for EVs and renewable energy, specifically wind and solar - I still like hydro – I think you’ll see the connection between the two.)

The first item deals with the continuing collapse of the EV market as the EV bubble deflates.

It’s been a crushing week for the EV industry as the bad news that has been brewing for months was laid bare in the quarterly reports. Across the industry, corporate CEO’s are all admitting that demand is unexpectedly slow, orders are down, and suddenly projects are being delayed “indefinitely”.

Volkswagen admitted orders are down a shocking 50% and they are sacking 2,000 jobs in the software division. Ford posted an operating loss of $1.3 billion for the quarter — meaning they are losing $36,000 for every EV they sell. They face a ghastly full year loss of $4.5b, so not surprisingly, they are delaying battery plants, and plans to expand production. All up they are now holding off on $12 billion in investments.

The head of Mercedes-Benz described the market as “a pretty brutal space”. Harald Wilhelm hinted that some manufacturers won’t survive: “I can hardly imagine the current status quo is fully sustainable for everybody,” he said.

Panasonic has slowed EV battery production was reduced by 60% in Japan compared to the same quarter last year. While its US plants were OK, profit forecasts of the whole energy division were down 15% and depended on US subsidies.

News of cars kidnapping drivers, and airport car infernos have added to range anxiety and crushing interest rates to squeeze the EV bubble til it popped.

No matter how much the government pushes EVs on the motoring public, it cannot force the public to adopt something it doesn’t want and can’t afford, even with tax breaks.

Speaking of EVs, there’s this:

That this is taking place in California makes it even more enjoyable as the folks there aren’t getting half the abuse they voted for.

And finally, seeing that a major international energy corporation is pulling out of an offshore wind contract tells us that wind isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Shell’s finance chief said on Thursday the firm had exited a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the planned SouthCoast windfarm off the coast of Massachusetts, agreeing to pay a penalty rather than face rising costs for building the project.

Energy firms from BP (BP.L) to Orsted (ORSTED.CO) have announced hefty write-downs in recent days for their U.S. windfarm projects in the face of high inflation.

Windfarms aren’t as efficient, reliable, or as financially viable as has been touted. Without subsidies they aren’t moneymakers. Move them offshore and they become even less so as they are more expensive to build, require more maintenance, and have a shorter service life than land-based wind turbines. Add inflation and supply chain issues and windfarms make even less sense.

I’m not surprised Shell Oil pulled out.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee,where the weather has been very up and down temperature wise, Halloween has come and gone and Christmas decorations are already appearing in the stores and at the malls, and where we’ll still be complaining about the return to Standard Time...until next March.


Yet Another Much Needed Powerline Project Doomed To Fail?

It was announced last week that there’s a new powerline project that will bring clean renewable ‘green’ electricity into Vermont and New Hampshire.

More clean energy could be coming to New England with the approval of funding for a new transmission line that will mostly be buried underground.

The Twin States Clean Energy Link will stretch from the border with Canada in Canaan, Vermont, to Londonderry.

Officials said electricity has become expensive throughout the Northeast.

"A large part of that stems from our inability to deliver affordable and reliable resources into the region," Chris Ellms Jr., deputy commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Energy, said.

The lack of infrastructure to supply New England could change with the Twin States Clean Energy Link project. Federal funding has been approved for the mostly underground transmission line that officials said would allow Canada and New England to share clean energy.

This will be the third such project to bring such power into New England.

The first two – Northern Pass and the CMP project - were supposed to bring hydroelectric power from Quebec into New England, the first through New Hampshire and the second through Maine. Both were blocked by the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard), BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything), and so-called Watermelon Environmentalists (‘green’ on the outside but ‘red’ on the inside, using environmentalism as a means of pushing forth a socialist agenda). All worked to kill these previous two powerline projects and succeeded. (The CMP project was declared illegal ex post facto after a state ballot initiative. This is still going through litigation based upon the ex post facto law being unconstitutional.)

Goodness knows the region needs the power considering the number of generating plants that have been taken offline and not replaced. It doesn’t help that much needed natural gas pipeline projects were blocked which affected the ability to use existing natural gas fueled generators to provide electricity, particularly during the winter. New England is dependent on foreign natural gas brought in on LNG tankers from Trinidad and Tabago, Libya, or Yemen, and done so at world market rates rather than cheaper domestic rates. This happens every winter.

While this latest powerline project is badly needed and even though most of the powerline will be buried – out of sight, out of mind - I figure the chances of this one succeeding are poor. The same NIMBYs, BANANAs, and Watermelon Environmentalists who killed the first two projects will do their best to kill this project, too. (These are the same folks who will also complain about their electricity bills being so high, unable to make the connection between their actions and their sky high electrical utility bills.)

I hope my expectations regarding this new project will be proven wrong.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was indeed the last weekend of the boating season.

I spent some time out on the Big Lake yesterday, it being sunny and warm – in the upper 70’s – but windy in the afternoon. There were a lot of boats on the lake. I am assuming they were doing the same thing I was, that being one last trip out on the lake before putting our boats away until next spring. I know our town’s public docks were very busy yesterday as folks were taking their boats out of the water, not wanting to wait until today when the weather was much cooler – mid-40’s today – and rain.

On the other hand I pulled the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout this morning. It took BeezleBub and I about 30 minutes to get it out of the water, draining the water from the bilge and engine block, emptying all the gear out of the boat, and then hauling it to the boatyard for winterization. Then, to add to it all, it started to rain – a not unexpected event – but mixed with some sleet, something no one expected.

So my boating season is over for the year. I wish it had been a better one. With the wet summer I wasn’t out on the lake nearly as often as is normal for me. Most of my boating took place between Labor Day and this weekend. To give you an idea, I used not quite a single tank of gas between mid-May and Labor Day. But I’ve used 4 tanks between Labor Day and this weekend.


I and many other have been saying for decades that the US should leave the UN. It serves no useful purpose other than supporting tyrants, death cults masquerading as a religion, and pretending like human rights are nothing but a mythical concept. The US has provided a large portion of the funding for the UN. After what has happened in Israel and Gaza, there are others considering withdrawing from the UN. The latest to do so?

The Czech Republic.

One must not stand silent in the face of a second Holocaust, the Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová said as she called on her country to withdraw from the United Nations to protest its failure to condemn Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.

She spoke of her outrage one day after the UN General Assembly voted 120-14 for a ceasefire for the Gaza War, which focused primarily on the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza.

The UNGA resolution which also had 45 abstentions, did not mention or clearly call for the release of the 230 hostages the terror group took captive on that day.

"I am ashamed of the UN. In my opinion - the Czech Republic has nothing to expect in an organization that supports terrorists and does not respect the basic right to self-defense. Let's get out.”

“Exactly three weeks ago, Hamas murdered more than 1,400 Israelis, which is more victims per their population than the militant Islamist organization al-Qaeda murdered on 9/11/2001 in the USA.

It’s long past time for the US to get out of the UN. It’s long past time for the UN to get out of the US.


As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am not a fan of EVs. From an engineering, environmental, and financial point of view, they make no sense to me. Despite claims about how ‘green’ EVs are, anyone paying attention or willing to do a little research will find they are anything but green, are no better than fossil fueled vehicles, are more expensive to buy/maintain/repair, and under many circumstances don’t/won’t/can’t meet the needs of many motorists. Then add the rapidly increasing cost of insuring them, and they make even less sense. Many under-perform and won’t be able to do the jobs they’re supposedly designed to do, one example being the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup.

EVs aren’t selling all that well. Dealers are seeing EVs going unsold and filling up their lots. With the exception of those who like ‘different’ vehicles, most motorists don’t like EVs. Once some of them find out what they really cost, they don’t want anything to do with them. Even the used EV market is moribund.

Then there’s this: Ford has cut back on production of the F-150 Lightning because of lackluster demand.

Then, to add insult to injury, GM has announced its intention to move away from EVs towards fuel cell vehicles (FCVs):

It’s ironic considering GM had done a lot of research and development of fuel cell vehicles many years ago. But GM isn’t the only automaker looking to FCVs. Honda, Toyota, and Kia are looking into FVCs, with Honda having fielded some for ‘real world’ testing. Japan has also pioneered methods for producing large volumes of hydrogen using gas-cooled nuclear reactors.

And then there’s this: Akio Toyoda, Chairman of the Toyota Motor Company, expressing his disdain for EVs. One point he made agrees with my analysis, that being hybrids make a lot more sense than EVs.

He explained that if the world were serious about climate change or reducing car emissions, we’d adopt hybrids instead. Hybrids are cars with both gas and electric engines. One of the things that he loved to say was that Toyota could make eight hybrids with the minerals required for one Electric Car.

Hybrids don’t require an updated infrastructure while EV’s require major upgrades to the electrical grid to meet the expected demand. The existing infrastructure – gasoline and diesel distribution – is more than sufficient to support hybrids. Knowing just how much the NIMBYs, BANANAs, and Watermelon Environmentalists will fight every single new powerline, substation, and powerplant, there’s no way the electrical grid will be updated to handle the projected demand.

In any case, it will be interesting to see how all of this will play out, particularly if we can get SloJoe and WRBA out of the loop.


One last thing before I close out this week’s TOAS: One last picture of the last day out on the Big Lake.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the boating season has ended, the temps have dropped by over 30 degrees, and where Monday will be as cold and rainy as it was today.


Is Work-From-Home Ending?

I have been hearing and reading more and more about companies demanding their employees who have been working from home return to the office. While work-from-home became de rigeur for many office workers during the panicdemic, a side effect of the lockdowns and over-the-top precautions. Now that the lockdowns have ended, many office workers have been reluctant to return to the office.

For those with a long commute this makes sense. Some don’t mind returning to the office on an as needed basis or only being in the office for only part of the work week. For others the thought of returning to the office does not fill them with joy. But some employers are giving their work-from-home employees no leeway and are demanding their return to the office. For some companies work-from-home has made their office space look like a ghost town. I know this has been the case in places like San Francisco and New York City where millions of square feet of office space has a lot of empty desks and conference rooms, something the companies still have to light and heat/cool even if no one is there. It has also had another side effect, that being a lot of businesses that served the needs and desires of those now absent workers are struggling, if not closed down.

The oldest WP Sister had to deal with traveling into the office once a week even though she was never together with the rest of her team, meaning they still had to video conference even though they were in the same building complex. She always said it defeated the purpose of coming back into the office, particularly in light of the fact that they no longer had assigned offices. Now that she is retired she no longer has to deal with that problem.

My job required me to be in my employer’s hardware engineering lab two or three days a week during the panicdemic for the mere fact that it wasn’t possible for me to haul $200,000 to $500,000 worth of electronic and optical test equipment home. Also, the WP Mom wouldn’t let me set up that $200,000 to $500,000 worth of electronic and optical test equipment on her dining room table. So I split my time between working at the lab and working from home. At least my employer decided to extend the hybrid work-from-home system after the panicdemic was over and I and my fellow engineers have been making the best of it. I work at the lab three of four days during the week and work from home on the other days, usually dealing with the paperwork that goes with all the lab work.

Employers seem to be of two minds about work-from-home. Some see it as a good thing, a recruiting tool and a means of retaining present personnel. Some see it as just the opposite because they can’t keep an eye on their employees every second of every work day and don’t trust that they’ll get their work done. The argument can be made for both points of view.

Elon Musk, for one, has disparaged work-from-home employees, calling them “detached from reality”. He brings up some valid points. But he also ignores others which validate some work-from-home positions.

One such occupation that lends itself to work-from-home? Coding.

My company has quite a few programmers who work from home. It makes sense because some of them are in other parts of the country and others are in another country. How would they ‘come into the office’ when the nearest office is hundreds or thousands of miles away?

It will take time, but work-from-home will shake itself out, with some companies leveraging it to keep existing employees and recruiting others. Others won’t or can’t embrace work-from-home, perhaps to their detriment. Only time will tell.


Friday Funny - Meat

Hey, I actually remembered to hit the 'publish' button this time!


Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a 50-50 weekend up here at The Manse: Saturday being rainy with an inch of rainfall and Sunday being partly cloudy with cooler temperatures and a stiff breeze. Temps barely reached 50ºF today, the first day I really needed to wear a sweatshirt to stay warm when out running errands.

The fall colors are really starting to make their presence known, but they’re still patchy and the colors are muted. (I am not the only one to notice that.) However, it appears that’s only around this part of New Hampshire as friends and relatives elsewhere in the state say they are spectacular. It’s true they are running a couple of weeks behind schedule, at least according to the Weather GuysTM. I have to agree with them as we are usually at peak or just past peak right about now, but we still see a lot of trees whose leaves are still green.

As I mentioned last week, the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka The Boat, is coming out of the water in a week. BeezleBub and I will haul it out of the water, empty out all of the gear – cushions, mooring lines, anchors, transom light, boat hooks, paddle, PFDs, fenders, etc. - clean the cockpit, and then haul the boat to the boatyard for winterization and storage. And so another boating season will end.


Oh, great! Just what we need…

Yet another way for our less than scrupulous citizens to collect insurance because their homes or businesses burned to the ground. In this case blaming the fires on the lithium-ion batteries in their EVs or e-bikes.

It is not uncommon for a business to burn legitimately, but there is always the chance it was an insurance fire—a way to get out from under a failing business. And not just a business. Homes too. I know that seems cynical, and my apologies. Many people lose much in any number of disasters. The flooding in Vermont this past spring was not as record-setting as advertised, but it was significant. It changed many lives, ended some, and washed out homes, businesses, and livelihoods.

Like the COVID response. The PPP Loans. Medical and bailout money fraud. The system increasingly lends itself to the means and opportunity to do better at someone else’s expense. The entire green energy net-zero movement also comes to mind. And with it, the volatile power cells upon which it stands—lithium Ion batteries. I had to get certified to handle them at the job I used to do. They are considered hazardous materials. They can start fires that take out freighters, trucks, and aircraft. Their ubiquity has taken cars, homes, apartment buildings, businesses, and lives.

Using them to start insurance fires seems logical, as “vehicles” for arson or to hide another crime. Instead of finding the body of the DNC staffer who leaked all the internal emails in a bathtub, they could leave him in his burning Tesla, even though he never owned one. No worries, the FBI is still convinced it’s not suspicious.

The “Gee, my house/business burned to the ground because my kid’s e-bike batteries ignited while they were charging,” claim will become the new mantra for those less than scrupulous citizens.

Then, there are the legitimate fires caused by lithium-ion battery pack failures to deal with.

Yeah, this is going to be fun.


It looks like Elon Musk doesn’t think much of the “work-from-home” crowd because they’re “detached from reality”.

"How detached from reality does the work-from-home crowd have to be? While they take advantage of those who cannot work from home. Why did I sleep in the factory so many times? Because it mattered," Musk said, while drawing a comparison between remote workers to factory workers, restaurant workers, and delivery workers.

Musk's comments marked an abrupt pivot from a prior discussion about the affordability of Tesla's cars. After sharing his thoughts on remote work, he resumed the pricing discussion by saying, "So, I just can't emphasize again how important cost is."

Musk has made similar comments about remote work in the past. In May, Musk told CNBC he thought remote work was "morally wrong," and likened remote workers to Marie Antoinette's infamous "let them eat cake" remark.

The Tesla CEO's push for in-office work could stem from his own workaholic tendencies — like sleeping in the office — according to Walter Isaacson's biography of Musk.

His workaholic tendencies were also evident after he acquired Twitter last year — he announced in November that staff were expected to have 40-hour work weeks in the office. The company even transformed some offices into bedrooms, and a former Twitter executive went viral for sleeping on the floor to meet deadlines imposed by Musk.

I worked from home during the height of the Covid panicdemic, going into the lab only on those days I couldn’t do what work I couldn’t complete from home. While there were some upsides to work-from-home, the downsides outweighed many of them, the isolation being the worst aspect.

Once we were able to go back into work, I did, gladly. But corporate decided we could work a hybrid schedule from then on, allowing one or two days a week working from home. I will admit I do that, primarily to deal with data analysis, reports, and other paperwork that is part of my job. I find I can get it done in less time at home because I don’t have the distractions. So I work from home one day per week, usually a Friday, and am in the lab the other four days. It works for me, keeps me in touch with my fellow engineering geeks. (Yes, we can and do use electronic means for conferencing, in this case Microsoft Teams, but it isn’t the same as face-to-face cooperative work.)

Most of our software people work from home, particularly those who are across the country, across an international border, or on an entirely different continent. Then again, it seems many of the coders prefer to be ensconced in their basements, shunning daylight and direct human interaction, so coming into an office is a non-starter. (Yes, a stereotype. But it’s a stereotype for a reason.)

Some jobs lend themselves to work-from-home, so why not if there’s no issue with the employer?


Despite its prestigious marque, it appears even Mercedes-Benz can’t sell EVs.

Like most government agencies, NGOs, and publicly traded companies, Mercedes-Benz has made a promise to be all-electric by 2030. The automaker intends to have every newly launched vehicle architecture be electric-only after 2024 and to gradually wean itself off combustion engines.

Unfortunately, the brand’s sales trajectory doesn’t appear to be cooperating. Despite seeing a surge of interest in its electrified EQ products initially, Mercedes has started having trouble moving EVs.

It’s been a growing problem for several brands that have started to pivot toward all-electric products. However, luxury brands seemed to have the edge in EV sales — as their customer base is more willing to be early adopters and typically has more disposable income.

Automotive News recently conducted a series of interviews with Mercedes retailers. Citing Edmunds data that shows Mercedes-Benz dealers took an average of 82 days to sell the brand's battery-powered EQ models in September (double BMW's 38-day turnaround rate while also being above the luxury segment average of 57 days), the outlet was hoping to shed some light on the matter.

Why M-B thought they would be immune to the lack of enthusiasm for EVs escapes me. Even luxury market customers aren’t stupid, understand the pluses and minuses of EVs, and will make the same decision customers in other automotive markets have made: EVs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where fall weather has finally arrived, the foliage colors are still changing, and where we all have to put up with yet another Monday.


Scientific American Gets It Wrong

Years ago I was a devoted subscriber to Scientific American, an excellent magazine that delved into science of all kinds and made it understandable to the average person. However, in the 1990’s the publication became less about actual science and more about political correctness. These days it seems about the only relation to science it has these days is the word ‘science’ in its name. Lysenkoism and ‘woke’ that has replaced the science that was the raison d'être of the magazine.

How bad has the decline of a once great publication become?

This bad: It accepted and published an article that dismisses scientific rigor, specifically when it comes to the efficacy of face masks in preventing the spread of diseases like Covid.

In response, [Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard professor of the history of science] claimed that “[t]he Cochrane finding was not that masking didn’t work but that scientists lacked sufficient evidence of sufficient quality to conclude that they worked.” She continues, “Jefferson erased that distinction, in effect arguing that because the authors couldn’t prove that masks did work, one could say that they didn’t work. That’s just wrong.” But Jefferson didn’t simply say that masks don’t work; he said there’s “no evidence” they work. The burden of proof should be on the side of those advocating a medical intervention. Without remotely having met that burden, Oreskes asserts that masks do work. Cochrane, she writes, “gave the false impression that masking didn’t help.”

In fact, 16 RCTs have tested whether masks effectively reduce the spread of viruses. Not one has found compelling evidence that they do. Two have found statistically significant evidence that masks are counterproductive—that they increase the spread of viruses—probably because masks are frequently moist or dirty, and people often touch them. As for non-RCT evidence, check out this chart by Ian Miller, which shows that mask-mandate and mask-free states registered almost identical Covid-19 case rates.

Surgical masks were designed to protect patients from having open wounds infected by medical personnel, not to prevent the spread of viruses. N95 masks were designed to protect workers from breathing in fumes, smoke, or dust. When N95s were worn in hospitals pre-Covid, it was usually to protect against the spread of tuberculosis bacteria, not to stop the spread of viruses. As an article on the National Institutes of Health website puts it, “Viruses are tiny. . . . Billions can fit on the head of a pin.” Bacteria are huge by comparison: “Bacteria are 10 to 100 times larger than viruses.” Trying to block a virus with a mask is like trying to keep mosquitos out of your yard with a chain-link fence.

Many of the health professionals I know, including my ex-wife, told me over and over again that the disposable ‘procedure masks’ were not effective, particularly against viruses. They were never made to do that. They were made to be used for the duration of a procedure – generally 20 to 30 minutes – and then disposed of. However, during the height of the Covid panic, people would wear these masks for hours, some times for day after day before replacing them. Respiratory illnesses other than Covid became rampant. Yet without one jot of evidence that masks work against Covid, mask mandates were issued. I have to think it was more of some kind of “We’re all in this together” move by the local, state, and federal governments even though masks wouldn’t make a difference.

All the ‘experts’ said masks, social distancing, and hand washing were the only way to prevent the spread. They were right on two out of three. (Don’t even get me started on the experimental mRNA vaccines that were less effective than claimed, not to mention the side effects which seem to be worse than the disease they were supposed to protect against.)

And so it goes.

Friday (Not So) Funny - It's The Economy, Stupid

I can't believe I did it again - assemble the post, insert the photo, preview the post...and forget to hit 'Publish'. It seems if I wait until the end of the day when it's time to go to bed that will happen. So from hereon out I will need to do this much earlier in the day. With that in mind and without further ado:


Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a busy weekend here at The Gulch, getting summer things put away, cleaning up around the house, getting winter things out of storage, and finally, making arrangements for the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout to be pulled out of the water and winterized for storage. I figure two more weeks of boating and my boating season will be done. My ‘summer’ will be over.

On the other hand fall isn’t turning out the way I thought it would. Our weather has not been fall-like, being warmer than usual (but not ‘summer’ warm). We haven’t been seeing the usually vibrant fall foliage colors, either. They have been rather muted, at least here in this part of New Hampshire. They have also been patchy, showing up here and there while other areas remain green. That isn’t how it usually goes.

While some are pointing to climate change as the cause, I think it has more to do with the Tonga-Hunga volcano eruption last year which has caused warmer than normal temperatures and well above average rainfall all over the world. That much higher than normal rainfall affects the fall foliage (as does below normal rainfall). One of the things that has had some foliage going from green directly to brown as been a fungus that has infected leaves on some of the trees, the fungus due to the very wet summer. It looks like this year’s fall foliage season is going to be a bust, at least around here.


Why do the Woke support Hamas?

One has to remember the woke are delusional and are perpetually offended about everything on the behalf of others, even if those ‘others’ are genocidal terrorists who think the Nazis were too warm and fuzzy to finish eradicating Jews.

Here’s one example, a tweet posted by author Dylan Evans, since deleted:

It appears the Nazis went undercover after WWII and have now decided to crawl out of their subterranean lairs and try to restart the Holocaust.


Talk about hypocrisy!

It appears a number of women’s rights groups are remaining silent about the rape and murder of women by Hamas.

Does this mean they endorse Hamas’ actions during the attack on Israel?

They claim to be “women’s rights” organizations, but so far, almost none of them have spoken out to oppose the rapes, murders, and kidnappings of Israeli women and girls.

Gee, don’t you wonder why that might be?

Is it because they are leftists before they are women?

It seems these days that too many leftists don’t really believe there is any such thing as women since they are no longer capable of actually defining the term ‘woman’.


Due to today’s lengthy activities this TOAS post is going to a bit brief. I still have distaff duties to attend to before the day comes to an end.

As I mentioned at the top of this post, my ‘summer’ is coming to and end. As such, the following seems an appropriate way to close it out:


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the number of boats in the water continue to dwindle, the fall foliage isn’t up to snuff, and where we’re hoping for good weather this week so we can get a little more boating in before the boat comes out of the water.


Is Gaza Housing A Dying Culture?

Stuart Schneiderman delves into the the attacks on Israel by Hamas, commenting on a piece by David Goldman in the Asia Times which blames the horrific attacks upon a failing culture trying to assert itself.

After reading his reasoning, I have to say it makes sense.

David Goldman has rendered us an inestimable service by conjuring the ghost of a famed seventeenth century French statesman, Cardinal Richelieu.

Considering the strange things that are happening in the world today, getting a ghost’s opinion does not seem completely out of line.

Richelieu’s theory seems original. At the least, it is uncommon. It wants us to be aware of the danger posed by dying cultures. When your culture is dying, when your language is becoming useless, when you are about to be absorbed in a larger, more successful culture, you might think that you have little choice but to go to war.

Since war is the ultimate form of competition, a failing culture might resort to it in order to assert its putative greatness.

The Palestinians, at least those within Gaza and other refuges around the Middle East, have been stuck in what we now call a ‘doom loop’. Gaza has been a source and refuge for Islamic fundamentalist militants like Hamas for generations. The more power the militants gain the worse it gets for the the residents in Gaza.

Was the purpose of Hamas’ attack to inflict damage on Israel as part of a larger war, or was it a means of generating a lot of casualties in Israel and Gaza, the Gaza casualties to be used solely for solely for propaganda purposes? Seeing how previous Hamas propaganda has used staged scenes, old photos of previous actions as ‘new evidence’ of Israel’s inhumanity, or employed Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals ploy of blaming Israel for acts Hamas in fact committed.

As for Palestine, Richelieu remarks that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. It was invented recently to cover up the simple fact that the Arabs who were displaced in the founding of the state of Israel were rejected by their fellow Arab states.

When Jews were expelled from Middle Eastern Muslim countries, Israel accepted them. When Arabs chose to leave the Jewish state after its founding in 1948, they were not accepted by other Arab states. Many of them ended up in camps.

If this refugee population cannot settle in Israel, it will need to find homes in other Arab states. And, according to Richelieu, the Arab states still do not want them.

Ironically, Arabs who remained in Israel after its founding in 1948 and became Israelis have done quite well, as well as any other Israeli citizen. I have no idea if they have any respect for their refugee relations, but if their reaction is like that of Arabs in the other Middle Eastern and northern African nations, the answer is likely that they do not. Are the attacks by Hamas a “last gasp” action of a dying culture, a culture that cannot survive without the support of other terrorist states?

Only time will tell.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a busy weekend for yours truly. Today was Part 1 of our neighborhood fall cleanup – cutting back brush and removing dead limbs from nearby trees around the homes around The Gulch. This is an annual ritual of which I have been partaking since having moved here after selling The Manse a few years ago. It’s a good way to get things cleaned up, speak with the neighbors (many whom are here only seasonally), and get to know each other better.

Part 1 didn’t take long, maybe 2-1/2 hours, and we got to the things that needed to be done with little fanfare and no drama. The weather was cooperative, yesterday’s rains having ended by early morning and leaving dry and partly sunny conditions for the cleanup. It wasn’t all that warm, maybe 52ºF with a breeze, but it wasn’t unseasonably cool. It made for pleasant working conditions.


I’d like to see how the Democrats and SloJoe are going to explain away Trump’s on-the-nose prediction of what would happen if the US released $6 billion of frozen Iranian assets.

“[One] month ago Trump predicted the $6 Billion that Biden gave Iran would be used for terror attacks across the Middle East and specifically kidnapping,” conservative Jack Posobiec captioned a screenshot of Trump’s prediction on X. “This is exactly what we are seeing in Israel this morning.”

Biden released the $6 billion to Iran in exchange for the regime releasing five American prisoners it had detained for years.

Trump’s post, which was published on September 11, said, “Can you believe that Crooked Joe Biden is giving $6 Billion to the terrorist regime in Iran? That money [will] be used for terrorism all over the Middle East, and, indeed, the World. This incompetent FOOL is absolutely destroying America. He had the audacity to announce this terrible deal today, September 11th.”

“To pay for hostages will lead to kidnapping, ransom, and blackmail against Americans across the globe,” Trump added. “I freed many dozens of our people from various unfriendly countries and never paid a dime!”

I was not surprised at such a prediction as anyone with a bit of understanding of human nature knows that if you reward bad behavior you get more of it. That Iran knows it can kidnap and hold American citizens hostage for ransom means there will be more of this. Even as the Americans were released after Biden handed over the $6 billion, Iranian officials were detaining yet more Americans. I expect they’ll be demanding even more money. The same goes for Americans taken hostage by Hamas and Hezbollah during the attacks on Israel yesterday.

Yet another reason why the Dems and the Biden Administration need to be kicked out of Washington.


Here’s another hit to SloJoe’s delusional view of his presidency.

Joe Biden: Media to Blame for Why Most Americans Don’t Feel Good About the Economy

Biden actually thinks things are better economically. But ask just about any American wage earner and you’ll get a different picture of the economy: It sucks.

The numbers Biden touted “shows it’s not as rosy as it first appears.”

It makes me wonder if we’ll hear SloJoe utter the phrase “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

All I know is my eyes have shown me that my money isn’t worth what it was at the beginning of the year and that my pay raise during the first quarter of this year was canceled out by inflation by the start of the fourth quarter.


If offshore Big Wind is supposed to be so wonderful, then why does it require constantly increasing amount of subsidies to even get started even though it won’t provide the amount of power promised? Governors have requested additional funding because the cost of their offshore wind projects skyrocketed. Is the cost worth what the coastal states will receive in return?

30,000 megawatts. Wow, that’s a lot. Or is it? According to the American Public Power Association, as of February 2023 the U.S. had some 1.3 million megawatts of electricity generation capacity. So the 30,000 MW of new offshore wind would be an increment of something between 2 and 3% to existing nameplate capacity. And since wind turbines only function about 30-40% of the time (optimistically) when averaged over the year, the 30,000 new MW of capacity of offshore wind would really be equivalent to at most 9-12,000 MW of dispatchable generation, so will at best add about 1% to existing capacity, and even that at random times that would require backup to assure reliability.

But is the 30,000 MW of new offshore wind capacity even real? Yes, big subsidy numbers got put into the fraudulently-named “Inflation Reduction Act” of 2022 for the purpose of getting the offshore wind projects built. Lots of offshore wind projects in the mid-Atlantic and New England areas then got put up for bid, and contracts for construction of the turbines were issued. Can we get an update on that? Is anything actually getting built?

So far it appears the answer is ‘No’.


Since I have been piling on pResident Biden, I figured I’d take one last shot before closing this edition of TOAS:


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is now fall-like, the foliage colors are changing more rapidly, and most of us do not have to worry about Monday this week.