Animal’s Daily Insurrection News

Before we start, go check out the latest in my Allamakee County Chronicles over at Glibertarians!

Here’s how Merriam-Webster defines “insurrection“:

in·​sur·​rec·​tion | \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-shən

an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government

Now, compare those words to the powers given to the President by the 1807 Insurrection Act, as modified in 2006:

(1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to–

(A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that–

(i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and

(ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or

(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition described in paragraph (2).

(2) A condition described in this paragraph is a condition that–

(A) so hinders the execution of the laws of a State or possession, as applicable, and of the United States within that State or possession, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State or possession are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or

(B) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

And before you bring up Posse Comitatus, that Act specifically states “…except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress…”  This means that suppression of domestic insurrection is specifically exempted, as an Act of Congress – the Insurrection Act – allows the use of the military.

Now, I’m not generally in favor of government, at any level, using force unless met first by force.  But dip me in shit if the events of the last few days ain’t been different.  There is an organized, armed, destructive rebellion going on, against civil authority, funded and supported by unknown parties (as evidence, see pallets of bricks delivered in advance to riot locations) and enormously, wantonly destructive of property both public and private.

If the President won’t authorize the use of soldiers and Marines to quell the burning, rioting and looting, then the only recourse is for private citizens to arm themselves in response, and to use deadly force themselves in defense of the life, limb and property of themselves and their neighbors.

That’s not something that will end well for anyone.

Senator candidate Tom Cotton yesterday tweeted:  “If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let’s see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they’re facing off with the 101st Airborne Division.” That’s one option.  Civil war may be the other – and you all know I’m no wild-eyed conspiracy theorist predicting a second civil war over the normal acts of an increasingly-overbearing government.  But this is something else; this is the utter breakdown of the rule of law in several major cities, coordinated, funded, organized and supported deliberately by parties unknown.

We have two choices.  So, Mr. President – which will you have?

Goodbye Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Whores and Ale, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  And if I’ve missed anyone who links to us weekly (or whatever periodically) due to the vagaries of the WordPress and Disqus systems, let me know in the comments and I’ll get you in the weekly acknowledgements.

This Monday finds us back in our own Colorado, which may be increasingly nutty but is still head and shoulders more sensible than New Jersey.  One of the few good things about our recent stay in the Garden State is learning that, even in New Jersey, there are big red swaths in that otherwise blue state.  Just as Colorado’s state government is increasingly dominated by the Denver/Boulder Axis, New Jersey is dominated by Newark, Trenton and Camden, and the folks in towns like Raritan, where you see a surprising number of Trump signs, are overwhelmed.

And here’s a great example; our Governor, elected in large part by the Denver/Boulder Axis, has blown through the a big wad of Imperial cash without consulting the state legislature in the slightest.  Excerpt:

The state legislature returns today but they needn’t have bothered.

The King of all Pandemics, Jared Polis, already spent the entire $1.7 billion pot of emergency federal funds without consulting the people’s representatives or utilizing any of those pesky Joint Budget Committee procedures.

Polis’s actions are so egregious, even the Denver Post editorial board threw a flag on the play and insisted the governor “undo” his order.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton also criticized Polis’s questionable use of the relief fund, saying the billions Colorado received could only be used for expenses due to the coronavirus public health emergency that was not accounted for in the most recently approved budget.

“Nothing about this executive order is collaborative or bipartisan, and local officials I have heard from-on both sides of the aisle have expressed frustration about being kept in the dark,” Tipton said.

Tipton says the U.S. Treasury will be examining how Polis used the money.

“I challenge the Governor to explain how money for colleges to ‘increase student retention and completions’ is an allowable use of this money,” Tipton added.

One wonders if Governor Polis’ response will be some variation of “We are not amused!”

This isn’t unique to Colorado.  The Moo Goo Gai Panic has resulted in all sorts of overstepping by elected officials and petty bureaucrats all over the country, and has even given rise to a new internet meme, that of the “Karen,” a type formerly immortalized by the Gladys Kravitz-style neighborhood busybody, now grown louder and more confrontational.

The question is this:  How do we roll this back now that the Panic is ending?  Frankly, given the choice between the Kung Flu and the ever-increasing political power grabs, I’d just as soon take my chances with the virus.

Rule Five 1776 Friday V

For the past few weeks RealClearPublicAffairs has been running what they are calling the 1776 series.  I recommend reading them all.  Here’s the description:

The 1776 Series is a collection of original essays that explain the foundational themes of the American experience. Commissioned from distinguished historians and scholars, these essays contribute to the broader goal of the American Civics project: providing an education in the principles and practices that every patriotic citizen should know.

This week I’ll be providing some commentary on the final issue of this series, Self-Government, the American Way, by Will Morrisey.  Excerpts follow, with my comments:

After winning the independence they had declared in 1776, Americans had to prove that they could sustain self-government in peace. They’d governed themselves already, as colonists, but now the British government no longer protected them from the other European powers, and indeed remained a potential enemy of the new country. It’s easy for us today to wonder why American statesmen from Washington to Lincoln seemed obsessed with building and sustaining “the Union,” or why President Jefferson so readily bent his constitutional scruples to purchase Louisiana from Napoleon to extend it. But to Americans then, looking at maps of North America, seeing their republic surrounded by hostile empires and nations whose rulers viewed republicanism with fear and contempt, maintaining the Union meant survival—survival not just of their way of life but of their very lives.

It’s important to note that the formation of the American republic was an existential threat to kings, emperors, dictators and despots all over the world.  Not only was there now a nation with government by the people, of the people, for the people, it was a nation whose governing documents included strict prohibitions against its interfering with the fundamental natural rights of its citizens.

To understand American self-government, one should begin with the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  These rights stand at the center of republicanism considered as an activity of self-government. They limit the power of Congress, the branch of the federal government charged with legislating. They prevent Congress from legislating republicanism out of existence.

As I’ve pointed out before in discussing other articles in this series, the first five words of the first amendment in the Bill of Rights is key and cannot be emphasized enough:

Congress Shall Make No Law.

No law, as I’ve said, means no damn law.  But during the Kung Flu crisis, that didn’t stop  state governors and local pols and bureaucrats from trying all manner of power grabs; many of those were challenged in court, many were protested with vigor by the citizens, but court cases take time.

Freedom of speech and of the press must not be prohibited—they cannot even be abridged by Congress. Here, we must know what the founding generation meant by such a formula: freedom of political speech and publishing. Slander, libel, and obscenity were universally banned by state and local law, and could potentially be banned by federal law, too. Republican government requires discussion and deliberation by the sovereign people. How else could citizens make their sovereignty effective? This is why the Preamble to the Constitution begins with “We, the People of the United States.”

Now, today, here’s the question:  Have we been successful, as citizens, in making our sovereignty effective?

I’d argue that today we can only say “somewhat.”

Congress routinely runs roughshod over the Bill of Rights.  The several states, maybe even more so.  During the earlier part of the Moo Goo Gai Panic, the Governor of New Jersey – the chief executive of one of the fifty states – replied to an interviewer that the Bill of Rights was “…above his pay grade.”  What an idiotic reply!  The Bill of Rights is not above anyone’s “pay grade,” it is a compendium of our natural rights with which no pol or bureaucrat at any level of government may legally interfere – a part of the Constitution which this stupid ass took an oath to support and defend!

The essay and the series concludes (emphasis added by me):

It remains for American citizens to live in the structure the Founders designed by respecting its features, a respect that can only be maintained by what one Founder called “a moral and religious people”—which is to say, a people who perpetuate the American effort at self-government in their private, civil, and political lives.

That last sentence, that’s the part that scares me.  More and more, I fear, more Americans are lured away from the “American effort at self-government” by the siren song of Free Shit, and more and more, the Bill of Rights is forgotten.

Animal’s Daily Dirty Rats News

Thanks to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the linkback.  If you aren’t reading The Daley Gator every day, you should be!

Now then:  There has recently surfaced another unexpected result of the Kung Flu; urban rat populations are going hungry and becoming increasingly aggressive.  Shades of Willard!  Excerpt:

Rats are growing increasingly aggressive in their hunt for food as restaurants across the US remain shuttered to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned. 

With many restaurants now only open for takeout services, the bins that used to be filled with scraps and refuse the rodents once feasted on are much emptier — and they are getting desperate. 

“Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior,” said the CDC in their release last week. 

It advises that “sealing up access into homes and businesses, removing debris and heavy vegetation, keeping garbage in tightly covered bins, and removing pet and bird food from their yards” to ward off the pests. 

The increased rodent activity around residential neighborhoods has health authorities concerned, with rats known to spread illnesses including salmonella and Weil’s disease, according to pest control firm Rentokil. 

In several major cities in the US, reports have emerged of desperate rats swarming the streets in the search for food. 

Here’s the funny thing; rats aren’t as different from us, behaviorally, as we’d like to think.  If we cut off the flow of food into the major cities, you’d see food riots within a matter of days.

Most folks don’t realize what an enormous, teetering stack of cards our modern society is based on.  The cities are literally fed and watered by a massive, complex and fragile logistics chain, and were that chain to be broken, the rats wouldn’t be the only ones affected.

And here’s the thing:  No matter what else happens, the rats will come out all right.  We might not, but the rats will.  Humans have been contending with rats for many millennia, and the best we’ve ever been able to do is to fight them to a draw.  The shutdown of rat food sources by the Kung Flu is a great illustration on just how easily the human/rat balance can be tipped.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

This week’s links will be slightly abbreviated, as I’m splitting the week between work and visiting with our daughter’s family in Iowa on our way back to Colorado.

With that said…

On To the Links!

The Kung Flu seems to be evaporating.

And, the Kung Flu appears to be less deadly than advertised.

Andrew Cuomo admits how badly he messed up.

Washington state has been massively over-reporting Kung Flu deaths.

New Zealand recently passed some draconian gun control laws.  Guess what happened to the crime rate.

Rose McGowan on the New York Times’ questions to Tara Reade.  Hint:  She’s not impressed.

President Trump’s new press secretary is a hoot.

To save time, the Babylon Bee will now just reprint everything Joe Biden says verbatim.

This Week’s Idiots:

The New York Times editorial board is staffed with idiots.

Robert Reich is an idiot.

Anyone who places any credence in the words of some horse’s ass who styles himself as “Charlemagne tha (sic) God” is an idiot.

Salon’s Chauncey DeVega is an idiot.

And So:

I really don’t have anything more to add, and I have some Grandpa-ing to do, so I’ll  just leave you with this:

On that note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Municipal Meltdown News

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  Also, make sure to check out the latest in my Gold Standards series over at Glibertarians – this one discusses the great Winchester Model 52.

City Journal’s Michael Gibson chronicles the utter disaster that is San Francisco.  Excerpt:

Even before the current Covid-19 pandemic, San Francisco was a deeply troubled city. It ranks first in the nation in theft, burglary, vandalism, shoplifting, and other property crime. On average, about 60 cars get broken into each day. Diseases arising from poor sanitation—typhoid, typhus, hepatitis A—are reappearing at an alarming rate. Fentanyl goes for about $20 a pill on Market Street, and each year the city hands out 4.5 million needles, which you can find used and tossed out like cigarette butts in parks and around bus stops. The city’s department of public works deploys feces cleaners daily—a “poop patrol” to wash the filth from the sidewalks.

This is just a brief summary of the lack of hygiene and common decency. A reasonable person might declare an emergency, but in her first official act, Breed swore in Chesa Boudin, San Francisco’s new district attorney, before a packed house at the Herbst Theater. “Chesa, you have undertaken a remarkable challenge today,” said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a congratulatory video message. “I hope you reflect as a great beacon to many.” Boudin’s résumé boasts of a stint working directly for the late dictator Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, who turned a once-rich nation back to the dark ages. “We will not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes,” Boudin promised during his campaign. He must have witnessed the success of that policy in Caracas, which was voted the world’s most dangerous city in 2018.

Even the sights and sounds of the city suggest a certain derangement. When the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system was first built in the 1970s, its designers failed to understand the acoustics between wheel, track, and tunnel. Since the nineteenth century, competent railroad engineers have known that a tapered, flanged wheel will handle turns better and generate less noise. For some reason, BART designers ignored this design in favor of a cylindrical wheel with a straight edge. Years of wear and tear have degraded the screech into a mad howl. According to a recent count by the San Francisco Chronicle, BART has lost nearly 10 million riders on nights and weekends because of the noise, grime, and lack of safety. It doesn’t help that it has also become a de facto shelter for drug addicts and the mentally ill.

The Old Man used to tell of visiting San Francisco briefly in 1945.  His one-day impression of that city was that it was a marvel, a booming metropolis, clean, shining and prosperous.  My Uncle George was stationed in the area in the early Fifties and spent a fair amount of free time mooching about the waterfront and in Chinatown, and spoke enthusiastically about what a great place the Bay Area was.

No longer.

Things were bad when I spent 2017 in the area, and the rot had spread as far as Silicon Valley, where bums sleep in the parks and along the trails and side streets are lined with parked RVs.  On our few ventures into the downtown area, we were treated to the sights, sounds and smells of Frisco’s bum, drug and feces-coated streets.  As Mr. Gibson points out, they have gone from bad to worse.

I’ve harped on this theme for some time now.  But it’s hard to watch what was one of America’s great cities descend into chaos; but holy crap, a DA who worked for Hugo Chavez?  That’s well past chaos and into enemy action.

It’s hard to find a good solution for San Francisco, where people keep voting in the lunatics running this asylum.  As Mencken pointed out, democracy is the idea that the people know what government they want and deserve to get it, good and hard.

San Francisco in particular and, honestly, California in general, seem determined to prove Mencken right.

Rule Five Sixth Annual Commencement Speech Friday

Thanks to The Daley Gator for linking up our fundraiser!  All of the help is appreciated more than we can say.

It’s that time of year again, when high school and college graduates all over the country are trying on caps and gowns and making post-graduation plans. Today, for the sixth year, I will present here my own carefully prepared commencement speech to those grads – presented here because there’s damn little chance of my being asked to deliver it in person to a group of impressionable yutes.

So, here it is. Enjoy.

“Graduates of the Class of 2020, let me be the first to extend to you my congratulations on this, your day of entry into reality.

For the last four years you have been working towards this goal, towards this day. That’s a good thing. One of the most important skills you will ever need, one of the most important ways to achieve success in the world into which you are about to enter, is the ability to formulate goals, to plan how to achieve those goals, and to see things through until you reach those goals. Today you’ve shown you can do that. Congratulations and good job.

Now, before you go out to enjoy the rest of this day, before you go out to celebrate this goal you have achieved, let me tell you a few harsh truths about the world you’re entering. I’m not going to give you any trigger warnings; if you can’t handle what I’m about to say, there’s damn little future for you out there in the real world, so cowboy up. Moments ago I congratulated you on your day of entry into reality, so to get you started off right, here is a hefty dose of reality for you.

In spite of what you may have been told during all your years of education, nobody owes you anything, and you aren’t special. Any perceived ‘need’ you may have does not entitle you to anything – most especially, not to one red cent of the product of anyone else’s effort. If any of your professors have told you that, then they are economic illiterates, moral frauds or outright charlatans.

Our wonderful Constitution, which has stood for well over two hundred years as the founding document of our Republic, guarantees you the opportunity to your pursuit of happiness. It does not require anyone to provide you the means to your happiness at their expense. You and you alone are responsible for your own life. You have no moral claim on anyone else’s productivity. Accept that fact and you are already one step ahead of most of your peers.

You are entitled to what you have earned through your own efforts, and not:

One.

Damn.

Thing.

More.

If you are accepting a degree today in LGBT Studies, or Women’s Studies, or any of the other assorted bullshit Underwater Dog Polishing degrees our universities crank out today, then you have my sympathies. You are the victim of a fraud perpetrated by our university system, a vicious and cynical fraud that has resulted in you spending a lot of money for no gain. But more importantly, you are the victim of your own poor judgement. You decided to pursue a useless degree, and now you’re stuck. Here is another harsh reality: You are responsible for your own situation. It’s not anybody else’s fault. Nobody else is responsible. You are.

Your university experience had one goal – producing a young adult with marketable skills, someone who can provide value to an employer and to the economy. In this your university has failed, and in choosing this degree, so did you. You have relegated yourself to uselessness in the workplace, and when a few years from now you are working as a barista or checkout clerk and crying over your six figures of student debt, remember what I said a few moments ago: You and you alone are responsible for your own life. You made a decision; now you get to deal with the consequences of that decision. Pull yourself up, look around at the other opportunities around you, and figure a way out of this mess your youthful indiscretion has landed you in.

But you still have one thing going for you. You have shown that you can set yourself a goal and achieve it. Do so now.

So, where do you go from here?

Because nobody owes you anything, including a living, one of the tasks ahead of you now is finding gainful employment. If you’re going to find employment, it will only be because you can demonstrate to the employer that you can provide value to him or her in excess of your costs of employment. Employment is an economic transaction. In any free market transaction, both parties have to realize a perceived gain in value or the transaction won’t happen. If a prospective employer doesn’t think you’re able to provide value to his/her business in excess of your cost of employment, which includes not only your salary but all the extra taxes, fees and other various government extortion that you never see in your pay stub – then they won’t hire you. So be able to present yourself as someone who can provide value, in whatever field you have been studying these last few years.

Once you have gained that employment, once you are in the workplace, remember these three rules for success:

Show up a little earlier than the other guy,
Work a little harder than the other guy,
Never pass up a chance to learn something new.

Words that should never pass your lips include such things as “that’s not my job,” and “I don’t have time for that.” Your reputation in the workplace should be, to put it bluntly, the one who can get shit done. Results matter. Be the one that the boss can count on. Be the one who brings things in on time. Be the one who finishes the job. Be the one that produces value and you will never have to worry about where your next meal is coming from.

Bear in mind also that you are entering the workforce as a tablua rasa as far as potential employers are concerned. You’re not going to leave these halls and be CEO of General Motors. You will be working in an entry level job, probably not making a lot of money, probably doing work your longer-term co-workers don’t want to do. Suck it up. There are no lousy jobs, only lousy people. Any work that produces value is worth doing. How do you know if your work is producing value? The answer to that is trivially easy: If someone is willing to pay you to do the work, then you are producing value. Bear in mind also that the job belongs to the employer, not to you, and if you don’t meet the employer’s expectations, someone else will.

How do you meet those expectations? Better yet, how do you exceed them? When you are doing that job, keep these things in mind:

Be known for your integrity. Don’t say anything you don’t believe and don’t make promises you can’t deliver on. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who means what you say and who delivers on your promises.

Be known for your reliability. Show up on time, every day, for every event. Show up on time for meetings. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who will always be there when you’re needed.

Be known for your responsibility. If you take on a task, finish it. If you commit to a timeline, meet it. If you accept responsibility for something, own it. It’s yours. Don’t expect anyone else to take care of it for you. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who, when put in charge, takes charge.

Be known for your dependability. Plan your tasks to bring them in on schedule. If that means long hours, work them. If that means working a Saturday, work it. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who can get the job done.

Success isn’t a mysterious thing. It’s not that elusive and it’s not even all that hard. I did it, and you can too, but it does involve one four-letter word:

Work.

Thomas Edison once said “people often fail to recognize opportunity when it knocks, because it usually shows up in overalls and looks like work.” At these commencement events it’s common to be told to follow your dreams, and that’s nice, flowery stuff, but in most cases nobody is going to pay you to follow your dreams. They will pay you to produce value, and that means work. Follow your dreams on your own time.

Finally, I will leave you all with some unsolicited advice:

All through your life, people will promise you things. Most of them won’t deliver. Many of those people will be people seeking political office, and many more of them will be people pushing some sort of supposed business opportunity. Some years ago the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein observed a fundamental law of the universe, which law is represented by the acronym TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Remember that; if someone offers you something for nothing, they are lying. If someone is offering you something at someone else’s expense, they are offering to commit theft on your behalf. The only moral answer to such offers is outright refusal.

There are only three types of economic transactions and only one of those – a free, unfettered, voluntary exchange of value – is morally acceptable. If a transaction is done by force, that is theft. If a transaction is done by deceit, that is fraud. Have no interaction with anyone who advocates either.

Accept responsibility for your own successes. Accept responsibility for your own failures. Learn from both. Rely on yourself. Rely on your own skills, your own abilities. Many other people will let you down, but you can always rely on yourself.

In her epic novel Atlas Shrugged, author Ayn Rand presents the protagonist, John Galt, describing his decision to solve society’s troubles by an epic act of creative destruction. He describes the ultimate moment of his decision process with two sentences, two sentences which I have found more inspiring than any long-winded ethical or political monologue ever delivered since the times of Plato and Aristotle. These words are the very essence of the self-directed man of achievement:

‘I saw what had to be done. I went out to do it.’

Those are good words to live by. Now, today, you graduates see what has to be done.

Go out and do it.

Thank you and good luck.”

If anyone was offended by anything contained in this hypothetical speech, too damn bad.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.