Animal’s Daily Sendai News

As mentioned yesterday, we spent last weekend in the northern city of Sendai.  And, as it happens, there is a lot more noteworthy in that city than just the opportunity to partake of whale sushi.

Sendai is also home to the remains of a historic castle and the largest statue of the Shinto goddess Nyoirin Kannon in Japan.  It’s home to one of the biggest traditional shopping arcades I’ve ever seen – and to lots of great restaurants serving a variety of fare, in the case that whale isn’t your thing.

If you’re ever in Japan, I recommend a visit to Sendai if you can make it happen.  Mrs. Animal and I hope to come back some time when we have more than a weekend to spend.  Photos follow – enjoy!

Continue reading Animal’s Daily Sendai News

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Our usual thanks go out to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

This Monday finds us way up north in Miyagi Prefecture, having spent the weekend in Sendai.  Sendai is an interesting town, known for (among other things) it’s fine dining, which includes whale.

Yes, whale.  And yes, I partook.  This first taste was in a sushi joint in Sendai just a few blocks from the shinkansen station.  Whale was surprisingly tasty, although it was lightly cooked in the Japanese style and therefore undercooked by American standards.

Whale sushi. Delicious, delicious whale sushi.

These are little strips of whale meat, lightly braised and served on little beds of rice.  I don’t know what kind of whale it is but I suspect it would be minke whale, since that makes up most of the Japanese harvest.

Note that the minke whale is listed as an animal of “Least Concern” by the IUCN, which should (but probably won’t) fend off most of the squealing by the “save the whales” crowd.  And I confess, pissing off that subset of greenie nutbars is one of the reasons this has long been on my Japan bucket list – precisely so that when I run across one of the “save the whales” crowd, I can agree enthusiastically, adding, “yes, by all means – they’re delicious!”

Yr. Obdt. enjoying whale and Japanese beer.

So, True Believers, if you’re ever in the Sendai area up here in Miyagi Prefecture, the city is known for its whale sushi and various other whale dishes.  It’s also known for beef tongue dishes, but only the real nutbars object to beef.  In either case – try some!  If you piss off only one radical Sea Shepherd type, wouldn’t it be worth it?

Rule Five Age of Majority Friday

Florida has raised the age for purchasing a long gun to 21.  The drinking age is technically set by the several States, but back in the early Eighties the Imperial government used highway funds to blackmail the states to raising that age to 21.  Imperial law has for years stated the age to buy a handgun at 21, and now croakers in the Imperial City are talking about following Florida in the case of long guns.

I’m wondering if that’s such a bad idea.

Now, before you square away at me, let me explain.

Our society seems to have arrived at the conclusion that kids from 18 to 21 years of age are fundamentally irresponsible.  We don’t allow them to drink, to gamble, to purchase handguns; we don’t allow them to adopt children or (in most states) rent cars.

But at 18, we allow these kids to sign contracts.  We allow them to drive; we allow them to join the military.  We allow them to vote, for crying out loud.

Last month, over at, A. Barton Hinkle weighed in on the whole gradual age of majority issue.  Excerpt:

The U.S. already has raised the drinking age to 21. But as is often noted, you need be only 18 to enlist in the armed forces—i.e., to volunteer for missions that could entail not only losing your own life but taking others’.

The age of enlistment offers two rationales for not raising the age at which someone can buy a gun. If you’re mature enough to enlist, goes one, then you’re mature enough to own a gun. (Rebuttal: Enlistees’ lives are regimented to a ridiculous degree. Unlike civilian 18-year-olds, they’re not being given free rein.)

The second rationale holds that if you are old enough to sacrifice your life in America’s defense, then you should have access to all of America’s constitutional rights. Indeed, that was largely the rationale behind lowering the voting age once the age of conscription had been lowered.

Of course, nobody ever died because somebody picked up a ballot in a moment of anger. Nor has an improperly or accidentally used ballot ever killed anyone. People die from gunfire under those conditions all the time. So there might be some sense in leaving the voting age at 18 but raising the age of access to devices that can kill.

Except that most states let teenagers drive without supervision at age 16—and sometimes earlier—even though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points out that “teenage drivers have the highest crash risk per mile traveled.” In fact, the Institute says, the fatal crash rate for drivers age 16-19 is “nearly three times as high as the rate for drivers 20 and over.”

So, the answer is obvious.  The age of majority should be regularized.  Teenage drivers are dangerous, it seems; obviously the Tide-Pod Eating Generation can’t handle rifles or shotguns, or a glass of beer.  Good, then; take this to its obvious conclusion.  Congress should immediately act to raise the age of majority overall to 21.  Prior to that age youths will not be allowed to drink, to drive, to sign contracts, to join the military, to purchase firearms and, most important of all, to vote.

At least then our idiotic graduated-age-of-majority system will be gone; at least then we will have some damned consistency.

And, yes, I am being sarcastic.  I actually am in favor of regularizing the age of majority for all things.  At eighteen.  But occasionally it’s useful to take an argument to its ultimate, ridiculous conclusion.

Animal’s Daily Civil War News

Here are two takes on a possible second American civil war:

Why Democrats Would Lose the Second Civil War, Too


Think They’ll Never ‘Come and Take’ Your Guns Without an Armed Revolt? Think Again

Here’s a relevant excerpt from the first:

There are two Civil War II scenarios, and the left is poorly positioned to prevail in either one. The first scenario is that the Democrats take power and violate the Constitution in order to use the apparatus of the federal government to suppress and oppress Normal Americans. In that scenario, red Americans are the insurgents. In the second scenario, which we can even now see the stirrings of in California’s campaign to nullify federal immigration law, it is the blue states that are the insurgents.

The Democrats lose both wars. Big time.

And the second:

So what will you do, dear AR-15 owner, when the ‘Cheka’ comes for your neighbor, and you know the laws are on the books to prosecute? Will a “buyback” and “amnesty” be enough to convince YOU to acquiesce? You’ve got a job, a wife, kids to raise. When they “come and take it,” is your family worth risking? 

No, when they take your guns there will be no civil war. There will be no large-scale revolution, because liberals are experts at pushing that Overton Window enough not to shock the system. Like frogs in water that’s about to boil, people won’t jump until it’s too late.

Of the two scenarios, I am (sadly) inclined to believe the latter.  Why?

Because I honestly don’t believe most American gun owners are quite ready to join an armed insurgency.  I’d like to think I’d be willing.  I know quite a few of my fellow veterans would be, enough to make things pretty hot for the would-be tyrants.  But in the end?

Fifty years ago we were a nation of outdoorsmen, farmers, tradesmen and woodsmen for whom strength was their stock in trade and for whom marksmanship and woodcraft were taken as a given.  Now?  We have a generation grown up on the Internet and game consoles, and while many of them are ardently pro-Second Amendment (yes, really) how many of these mall ninjas would give up their homes and all their possessions, taking the risk of being shot on sight, to go forth and join a cause where the odds are stacked against you?

I sure hope I’m wrong.  I sure hope we never have to find out.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Plenty of Democrats are talking excitedly of a blue wave this November, but if they keep letting the daffy old socialist from Vermont be the unofficial face of their party, they’ll fall pretty flat.  Excerpt:

With the economy roaring as it hasn’t in decades, the stock market at all-time highs, and unemployment (including for blacks and Hispanics) at all-time lows, the Democrats have just proposed to “fix things” by raising taxes.

Say what?

This proposal, which includes raising the highest bracket and the corporate rate (after years of trying to get it down), plus raising the rates for “30 million companies which are organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, Subchapter-S corporations, and LLCs” not to mention bringing back the alternative minimum tax (a boondoggle for preparers), will end up costing the vast majority of Americans most, if not all, of the money they just got from the Republicans’ tax reform bill.

Call it “Away with all crumbs!”

Only someone as terminally frozen in 1968 as Bernie Sanders, who has emerged as the spokesperson for the proposal, could think of this as anything less than economic suicide. It’s not for nothing ol’ Bern’ took his honeymoon in the former Soviet Union only a year before the wall came down, speaking of deep financial insight.

Do you want more Trump?  Because this is how you get more Trump.

Nancy Pelosi – who I increasingly suspect is suffering the first stages of some kind of dementia – dismissed the green wave of bonuses and pay raises due to the recent tax bill as “crumbs.”  I promise you, millions of working Americans don’t consider these raises “crumbs” and will be pretty pissed off at a clueless political party proposing to yank those raises away.

For a long time, the GOP carried the (deserved) title of “The Stupid Party.”  For a long time, there was no party like the Republicans for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

It seems that the Democrats have finally taken a page from that same stupid book.  We’re seeing falling unemployment, increasing labor participation, increasing wages, and over 3% GDP growth (which we never saw during the Obama years, even once.)  But sure, Dems, go ahead and propose taking all that away.  See how that electoral strategy works out for you.  Meanwhile, President Trump is planning his second inaugural gala.

Animal’s Daily Big Cougar News

Thanks to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

As for today’s headline:  No, dammit, it’s not what you think.

Biologists in Washington State have tagged a 197-pound tom cougar.  By way of comparison, the average such cat runs around 150 pounds.  Excerpt:

Washington state wildlife biologists have caught and tagged a 197-pound cougar. CBS affiliate KREM reports that the biologists tagged the massive cat on Monday north of Chewelah.

State carnivore research scientist Brian Kertson called the cat a “monster.” He said it’s so muscular that the first tranquilizer dart he shot at it popped out as the cat flexed.

Kertson says it’s the largest cougar caught in Washington state, as far as he knows.

Bart George, a wildlife biologist for the Kalispel Tribe, said the cougar was eating mostly elk.

It was captured as part of a predator/prey study.

Kertson has captured 20 cougars and collared 16 since December 2016.

On average, tom cougars weigh between 150 and 155 pounds.

That’s a damn big mountain cat.

Some years back, on a sunny late August afternoon, I was mooching around in the country around Hardscrabble Mountain in Eagle County, Colorado, supposedly scouting for that year’s deer and elk seasons but mostly just woods-loafing.  Right at the top of a 500-foot talus slope, a came across a big splash of dried blood and a bunch of elk hair.

I noticed some more elk hair on down the slope, so carefully, following the bits of elk hair and blood splashes, I followed the trail on down that talus slope.  At the bottom, I found a cow elk, dead, partially eaten and covered with pine needles.  “Cool,” I thought, “I found a mountain lion kill!  Before long he’ll be coming back to eat again…”

Then it hit me.  “…before long, he’ll be coming back to eat again…”

Now most of the big mountain cats are pretty shy and will avoid humans at all hazard, but the odd one won’t.  As usual when I’m out woods-bumming I had a .45-caliber friend holstered at my side, but I’d rather not ruin the day of a mountain lion who is, after all, just being a mountain lion, so I backed carefully away and did my best old Army Eleven-Bravo sneak out of the area.

I didn’t see that cat that day.  I’ve seen a few lions here and there in my Colorado mountain adventures, but never one as big as that Washington cat.  And maybe that’s just as well; I don’t know as I’d want to meet a cat that big, at least not face-to-face, up close and personal.  I’d just as soon he went his way and I go mine.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!

On this Saturday just past, my own dear Mrs. Animal and I moved from our temporary lodgings in Kinshicho over to the western Tokyo suburb of Akishima, where this job of work begins.  Yesterday we traveled to the mountain town of Takao, named for the mountain at the foot of which it resides.  It’s a beautiful area, and a great place to spend a beautiful Sunday.  Photography follows.  Enjoy!

Click for photos!

Rule Five Gunsplaining Friday

Apparently now “gunsplaining” is a thing, and raises objection to the idea that people advocating for public policies should actually know what the hell they are talking about.  Excerpt:

Pointing out inaccuracies in your opponent’s arguments is a cynical ploy to stop discussion. Or so I gather from Adam Weinstein, who just published a Washington Post op-ed taking gun control critics to task for “gunsplaining”—Weinstein’s name for when one is “harangued with the pedantry of the more-credible-than-thou firearms owner” after one makes some incidental factual error about guns, such as calling AR-15s “high-powered” or confusing clips with magazines.

“Gunsplaining,” Weinstein declares, “is always done in bad faith. Like mansplaining, it’s less about adding to the discourse than smothering it.” Were it not for those condescending gun snobs picking apart every rhetorical misstep, we would spend less time arguing over little details and more time having reasoned discussions over just which firearms restrictions we should implement next.

What an asshole.  It goes without saying, of course, that “reasoned discussion” is the last thing Weinstein wants.  But it gets better:

More recently, there’s the bump stock ban introduced by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R–Fla.) and Seth Moulton (D– Mass.) after the Las Vegas massacre of October 2017. Their bill was written so hastily, and so vaguely, that it not only retroactively criminalized the possession of bump stocks; it banned “any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle”—which could include anything from binary triggers to heavier recoil springs.

Something similar happened after the Sandy Hook shooting of 2012, when the New York state legislature passed a bill banning non-existent “muzzle breaks” (as opposed to muzzle brakes), semiautomatic pistols that are “semiautomatic version[s] of an automatic rifle, shotgun or firearm” (it was unclear what this was supposed to mean), and loading more than seven rounds in a ten-round capacity magazine. These provisions were later struck down by a U.S. District Court Judge for their incoherence. The difference between “brakes” and “breaks” may be a mere typo on Facebook; in legislation, it’s enough to undo a segment of a law.

With few exceptions, proponents of strict gun control laws know bugger-all about guns.  Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid laws like these mentioned above are are ample evidence of that; as a legislator, if you write a bill which is made law and then overturned because your language was sloppy because you couldn’t be bothered to take ten minutes to research the topic, then you deserve the gales of laughter that should accompany your resignation in disgrace.  Unfortunately, that almost never happens.

I’ve gunsplained to would-be gun banners before and I’ll continue to do so.  Public policy should only be decided on the basis of accurate information.  If someone doesn’t approve of that, then they are welcome to fuck right off.

But here’s the real gem in all this:  Gun control is almost exclusively an issue advocated by the political Left.  The Left loves to claim they are the side of science and reason.  And yet, on this topic alone, they repeatedly argue from pure emotion, and so many of their claims can be shown so easily to be… well, bullshit.

So much for their science and reason, eh?

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