Rule Five Campaign Speech Friday

2016_02_05_Rule Five Friday (1)The current state of the 2016 race, and all of the bloviating by the candidates, got me thinking:  What kind of a campaign speech would I give if I, your humble servant, were running for President?  It might go something like this:

Ladies and Gentlemen – friends – Americans – citizens.

I stand before you on this two hundred and twenty-eighth year of our Republic.   I stand before you to announce my intention to seek the Presidency of our Republic.  Most important of all, I stand before you to tell you why I intend to seek this thankless, stressful job, and what I intend to do with it.

I’d like to take this time to  tell you the undying principles upon which I will base my policies, and upon which I will base legislation that I will propose to Congress:

First:  Liberty.

Liberty means you are free to do as you please, so long as you cause no harm, physical or financial, to anyone else.  As Thomas Jefferson said, “If it neither picks my pocket nor break my arm, it’s not my concern.”  This is a coin with two sides:  Nobody gets to tell you what to do, but neither do you get to tell anyone else what to do.2016_02_05_Rule Five Friday (2)  Marry who you like.  Work where and how you like.  Start businesses and create new products and services are you like.  It’s nobody else’s business – and it sure as hell isn’t the government’s business – until you hurt someone else.  We currently live in a nation where you are required to obtain permission from a government bureaucrat to cut hair, to paint fingernails, to sell lemonade.  I call bullshit.  This has to stop.

Second:  Property.

That means the following:  The fruits of your labors are yours.  They do not belong to some government bureaucrat, nor to some shouting agitator, nor to some ivory tower academic.  They are yours.  Government, to be effective at the few things they are required – absolutely required – to do, must tax you for some small amount of the fruits of your labors, but that taxation must be strictly limited, strictly fair, simply defined, and some must be collected from every single citizen.  Everybody contributes.  Nobody skates.  There are too many in the nation who have no skin in the game, and our elections have become auctions, with candidates falling over each other promising voters more of other peoples’ property.  I call bullshit.  This has to stop.

Third:  Accountability.

Government, at all levels, serves you.  You do not serve the government.  I stand here today not as someone seeking to be your master, but as someone applyin2016_02_05_Rule Five Friday (3)g for a job – and you will be my employers.  I am applying for the job of CEO of the world’s largest Republic, and you, the citizens of the Republic, are the world’s largest Board of Directors.  I answer to you, not the other way around.  Every single government employee, from the President to the third assistant dogcatcher in Leaf Springs, Arkansas, answers to you.  And so as one of my first acts in office I will personally visit every office, every facility, and every installation that falls under the control of the Executive Branch.  I will personally speak with the Federal employees at those offices, facilities and installations.  Any employee that cannot satisfactorily answer two questions:  “What is your purpose?  What are you doing right now?” will be fired on the spot.  Any Executive Branch employee at any level who breaks the law, any law, will be fired and prosecuted.  Government employees have, for too long, been held to different standards than the electorate.  I call bullshit.  This has to stop.

Fourth:  Efficiency.

The Federal government has become a bloated Colossus.  Washington is littered with extra-constitutional agencies, the purpose of which is to regulate, to dictate, to interfere with the free citizenry.  There is no constitutional justification for many of them, and ma2016_02_05_Rule Five Friday (4)ny of them actually work at cross purposes.  The result is that every single business enterprise in the nation has to have an army of accountants and attorneys to help them navigate the twisted pathways of regulation and taxation; that every citizen has to puzzle through pages upon pages of Federal guidance in so prosaic an action as filing their annual tax return.  The Federal government has only a few, a very few, legitimate roles:  To protect private property, to ensure liberty, to protect the citizens from foreign interference.  That’s all.  But not today; no, not today.   The Federal government has indeed become a bloated Colossus, but I intend to cut it down to size.  As one of my first acts in office I will call upon Congress to eliminate the Federal Departments of Commerce, of Energy, of Education, and any others that I deem to be extra-constitutional and that add no value to the proper roles of government.  Our government 2016_02_05_Rule Five Friday (5)is too big.  I call bullshit.  This has to stop.

So, if you value liberty and property, and want accountability and efficiency in your public servants, vote for me.  If you want Free Shit, vote for someone else.  That’s all.

In all honesty, even if I wanted the job of President, I’m effectively unelectable in any case (think the country would elect an atheist President, even a right-of-center one?  Not hardly!)  But I’d love the opportunity to give this speech in a big enough venue to make media talking heads explode and proggie commentators start running around like their hair is on fire.  As my kids say, just for the lulz.

 2016_02_05_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Daily News

Space ChicksWhat should we look for, if we’re looking for life somewhere besides Earth?  Well, that’s a matter of some debate.  Excerpt:

After millennia of wondering whether we’re alone in the universe — one of “mankind’s most profound and probably earliest questions beyond, ‘What are you going to have for dinner?’” as the NASA astrobiologist Lynn Rothschild put it — the hunt for life on other planets is now ramping up in a serious way. Thousands of exoplanets, or planets orbiting stars other than the sun, have been discovered in the past decade. Among them are potential super-Earths, sub-Neptunes, hot Jupiters and worlds such as Kepler-452b, a possibly rocky, watery “Earth cousin” located 1,400 light-years from here. Starting in 2018 with the expected launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers will be able to peer across the light-years and scope out the atmospheres of the most promising exoplanets. They will look for the presence of “biosignature gases,” vapors that could only be produced by alien life.

They’ll do this by observing the thin ring of starlight around an exoplanet while it is positioned in front of its parent star. Gases in the exoplanet’s atmosphere will absorb certain frequencies of the starlight, leaving telltale dips in the spectrum.

As Domagal-Goldman, then a researcher at the University of Washington’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL), well knew, the gold standard in biosignature gases is oxygen. Not only is oxygen produced in abundance by Earth’s flora — and thus, possibly, other planets’ — but 50 years of conventional wisdom held that it could not be produced at detectable levels by geology or photochemistry alone, making it a forgery-proof signature of life. Oxygen filled the sky on Domagal-Goldman’s simulated world, however, not as a result of biological activity there, but because extreme solar radiation was stripping oxygen atoms off carbon dioxide molecules in the air faster than they could recombine. This biosignature could be forged after all.

“Forged” isn’t the right word; that implies the act of some intelligence with the intent to deceive.  But, I digress.  This finding is probably causing no small amount of consternation, as it has been the conventional wisdom that oxygen in a planetary atmosphere is a sure sign of Earth-type life.

Now we find, as a the saying goes, “it ain’t necessarily so.”

So what would be a sure sign?  Radio signals, of course, or signs of artificial lighting on the night side.  But those would be signs of intelligent life, and odds are much higher for a planet to hold life than for a planet to hold intelligent life.

Is this a “back to the old drawing board” moment?

Science!Well, atmospheric oxygen on Earth is the product of a biological process – photosynthesis.  The article linked above goes on to speculate:  On methane-rich planets, as the researchers argued in 2014, photosynthesizers might harvest carbon from methane (CH4) rather than CO2 and spew hydrogen rather than oxygen, leading to an abundance of ammonia.

If life exists elsewhere in the Universe, it would more surprising than not if it were anything but infinitely varied.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

So, Round One of the 2016 elections is over with the wrap-up of the Iowa caucuses, and the story of the night is Ted Cruz.  Here are 13 quick takeaways from that night; my two favorite follow:

Ted Cruz won Iowa handily, despite taking fire from all sides in the waning weeks of the campaign. Donald Trump threw everything — everything — he had at the U.S. senator from Texas, resorting to slurs about Cruz’s citizenship that were fueled by an eager media. In the last debate, Cruz was on the receiving end of attacks from every other candidate on stage. 

But there is no substitute for having teams of people who know what they’re doing and can organize caucuses. The Cruz campaign is agile, strong, and — unlike nearly all other GOP campaigns — not distracted from the fundamentals. Investing in Iowa was a smart strategy, and it was well-executed.

Ted Cruz has the Tea Party vote pretty well locked up, he spent a lot of time in Iowa throwing lots of Jesus-ey red meat to evangelicals – and the Iowa GOP is heavy on evangelicals.  I should know, I grew up there.  And Cruz has been solidly on message through most of his campaign.

On the other side of the aisle, Her Majesty Hillary I didn’t have such a great night:

Hillary Clinton couldn’t have more advantages. No one has more establishment credentials, from former first lady to U.S. senator to recent secretary of State. She brings in money from all of the establishment donor groups. The media have all but coronated her. Her only opponent, essentially, is a Democratic Socialist senator who is older than she is.

Yet she at best eked out a victory with the tiniest of margins. Her “victory” speech was the most depressing of the night. The body language on the stage said it all. Clinton’s daughter Chelsea gave her a comforting — almost pitying — hug. Clinton’s husband Bill looked sad and had trouble keeping his mouth from sagging. The crowd was dejected. Clinton herself was tense, yelling at voters in seeming anger. She’s just a terrifically bad candidate who will also lose in New Hampshire. The establishment Democrats have much better control over their party than the GOP’s establishment does, but her campaign is deteriorating even as Bernie Sanders’ is improving.

Her Highness is without a doubt the weakest candidate in the race.  She should be walking all over the loony old Bolshevik Sanders, and she barely nudged him out in Iowa, and he is poised to hand her a shellacking in New Hampshire.  Queen Hillary I will probably show a lot stronger in the southern primaries in a few more weeks, but Bolshie Bern is giving her a lot m ore trouble than he should be able to.  Why?  Because she is fundamentally corrupt, and may well be under indictment by the time the Democrat convention rolls around.

Flag-of-IowaStateFlagWill the Dems have  a brokered convention?  Will they give the nod to nutty old Bernie, or will they try to bring in a candidate who actually stands a chance of election against Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, who didn’t show as strong as Iowa as he would have liked, but who is by no means out of the running yet?

It’s going to be an interesting campaign, and it’s barely getting started.  Interesting times, True Believers; interesting times.

Animal’s Daily News

Facepalm-bearThanks once again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Moving right along:  So now it seems that Facebook has banned the use of its service to legally buy and sell firearms.  Their announcement:

Facebook and Instagram users will no longer be able to offer or coordinate the private sale of firearms, gun parts and ammunition, the company said. That brings firearms in line with Facebook’s ban on the private sales of marijuana, pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs.

It’s important to note a number of things here:

  1. Facebook is a private company, and may allow or disallow what they like.
  2. Facebook does, however, err seriously in their statement above; as noted in the linked article, illegal drugs are illegal to sell anywhere, any time, online or not; the comparison to legally owned firearms is specious and idiotic.
  3. Facebook has the worst noise-to-signal ratio on the Internet, and that’s really something.

#3 above is why yr. obdt. eschewed Facebook early on, and have not used it in some years – although I do use Instagram for posting a few travel photos every now and then.

I think Facebook, in giving in to the arguing of anti-2nd Amendment groups, has seriously underestimated the backlash from the nation’s 200 million or so legal gun owners.  But my question is this:

Why the hell would you buy or sell a gun on Facebook in the first place?

There are several sites that specialize in the legal buying and selling of Girls with Gunsfirearms.  My favorite is Gunbroker, who not only provides an eBay-style auction forum for buying and selling guns and accessories but also maintains a database of FFL holders who will facilitate transfers.

Why not use these services, and tell Facebook to go suck it?  Tell Facebook’s advertisers to go suck it as well.

A constituency with 200 million members can speak with a pretty damned loud voice.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Ever wonder what the nutty old Bolshevik Bernie Sanders did before entering politics?  The answer is, “not much.”  Investor’s Business Daily took a look at the daffy old socialists’ history.  Excerpt:

Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances — “We will raise taxes;” he confirmed Monday, “yes, we will.”

One of his first jobs was registering people for food stamps, and it was all downhill from there.

Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail. “He was a shi**y carpenter,” a friend told Politico Magazine. “His carpentry was not going to support him, and didn’t.”

Then he tried his hand freelancing for leftist rags, writing about “masturbation and rape” and other crudities for $50 a story. He drove around in a rusted-out, Bondo-covered VW bug with no working windshield wipers. Friends said he was “always poor” and his “electricity was turned off a lot.” They described him as a slob who kept a messy apartment — and this is what his friends had to say about him.

The only thing he was good at was talking … non-stop … about socialism and how the rich were ripping everybody off. “The whole quality of life in America is based on greed,” the bitter layabout said. “I believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation.”

So, to sum up, The Bern is and has been a lifelong marginal with a serious case of wealth envy.  And that’s the whole problem with nutty old Bernie and socialists in general.

Relaxed BearWealth in a free market system is not distributed.  It is created and earned.  Bernie and his fellow socialists want to solve the “problem” of “distribution” by taking resources away from people who earned them, and giving them to people who have not.  They have some mystical view that wealth is just something that exists outside of human effort.  They also seem to think that the resources held by the wealthy would somehow magically be theirs if the people who created that wealth had not done so – when, in fact, the wealth in question would not exist at all were it not for those individuals of drive, creativity and talent who invented, innovated, and most of all worked to create value in the market.

Lifelong marginal Bernie’s economic policies would be a disaster.  He would accelerate the flight of businesses from the United States, he would send our already insane Imperial debt into hyper-drive, and would drive the least-capable in our society forever into government dependence.

Rule Five Friday

2016_01_29_Rule Five Friday (1)Now, before I post this story, I will point out that while I am a fairly staunch libertarian in most respects, I am not an anarchist; I do see a legitimate role for government, even though that role should be strictly limited.  With that said, I will admit to finding this a little intriguing, if not particularly realistic:  Why Do We Need Government?  Excerpt:

Rousseau was perhaps the first to popularize the fiction now taught in civics classes about how government was created. It holds that men sat down together and rationally thought out the concept of government as a solution to problems that confronted them. The government of the United 2016_01_29_Rule Five Friday (2)States was, however, the first to be formed in any way remotely like Rousseau’s ideal. Even then, it had far from universal support from the three million colonials whom it claimed to represent. The U.S. government, after all, grew out of an illegal conspiracy to overthrow and replace the existing government.

There’s no question that the result was, by an order of magnitude, the best blueprint for a government that had yet been conceived. Most of America’s Founding Fathers believed the main purpose of government was to protect its subjects from the initiation of violence from any source; government itself prominently included. That made the U.S. government almost unique in history. And it was that concept – not natural resources, the ethnic composition of American immigrants, or luck – that turned America into 2016_01_29_Rule Five Friday (3)the paragon it became.

The origin of government itself, however, was nothing like Rousseau’s fable or the origin of the United States Constitution. The most realistic scenario for the origin of government is a roving group of bandits deciding that life would be easier if they settled down in a particular locale, and simply taxing the residents for a fixed percentage (rather like “protection money”) instead of periodically sweeping through and carrying off all they could get away with. It’s no accident that the ruling classes everywhere have martial backgrounds. Royalty are really nothing more than successful marauders who have buried the origins of their wealth in romance.

The author, Doug Casey, is certainly correct about the earliest origins of autocratic government.  He is also correct about the formation of 2016_01_29_Rule Five Friday (4)the United States government – and, incidentally, about the correct role of government, which is to protect citizens against the initiation of violence.  That, in the case of a Federal government, primarily means running a military.

That’s the flaw in the anarchist/no government argument.  It’s hard to understand how a distributed interest like a national military could be handled by private means.  The capital costs are too high – no corporation or municipality is capable of investing several billions of dollars to build an aircraft carrier, especially when there is no means to return a profit (unless piracy is an option.)

2016_01_29_Rule Five Friday (5)There are two other legitimate roles of government that Casey doesn’t mention, and that is protecting private property and safeguarding the natural rights of the citizenry.  Here’s the onion:  It’s trivially easy to point out how badly the Imperial City is failing us in both of those obligations today.

Limited government is the answer, not no government and certainly not the debt-ridden Colossus that our Imperial Federal government has become today.  Our own Constitution lays out a framework for a Federal government strictly limited in the scope and framework of its powers – and that Constitution is, today, effectively a dead letter.

Is there any way back?

2016_01_29_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Daily News

Shy BearThis in recently from the always-worth-reading Dr. Thomas Sowell:  The Demand for Villains.  Excerpt:

The latest tempest in a teapot controversy is over a lack of black nominees for this year’s Academy Awards in Hollywood.

The assumption seems to be that different groups would be proportionally represented if somebody were not doing somebody else wrong. That assumption carries great weight in far more important things than Academy Awards and in places more important than Hollywood, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

 In an earlier era, the groupthink assumption was that groups that did not succeed as often, or as well, were genetically inferior. But is our current groupthink assumption based on any more hard evidence?

Having spent decades researching racial and ethnic groups around the world, I have never yet found a country in which all groups — or even most groups — are even roughly equally represented in most endeavors.

Nor have I been the only one with that experience. The great French historian Fernand Braudel said, “In no society have all regions and all parts of the population developed equally.” A study of military forces around the world failed to find a single one in which in which the ethnic makeup of the military was the same as that of the society.

Let’s focus for just a moment on the recent Academy Awards.

Peeking-Bear-150x99There has been a significant amount of whining over the whiteness of nominees.  For two entire years, the nominees for the self-congratulatory Academy awards have been people of pallor.  Is the Academy – all denizens of the notoriously liberal Hollywood – racist?

Probably not.

In fact, the protesters are turning Dr. King’s dream on its head, as are the rest of the professional racial grievance industry.  They want to be judged, not by the content of their character – or by the quality of their performance – but by the color of their skin.

So why not just start their own Academy Awards?  There’s plenty of precedent.  There’s a Black Entertainment Television.  Why not a Black Academy Awards?

You know, because, diversity, and stuff.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

The plot thickens! Tom Delay: FBI Ready to Recommend Indictment for Hillary.  Excerpt:

The FBI is ready to recommend that Hillary Clinton be indicted for mishandling classified information, former House majority leader Tom DeLay said on The Steve Malzberg Show Monday.  Delay echoed what both columnist Charles Krauthammer and famed attorney Joe diGenova have said in the past month about what will happen if Attorney General Loretta Lynch refuses to bring charges against Clinton. That is, FBI investigators are prepared to make a stink if Clinton’s offenses are swept under the rug.

“I have friends that are in the FBI and they tell me they’re ready to indict,” said DeLay. “They’re ready to recommend an indictment and they also say that if the attorney general does not indict, they’re going public.” The most recent revelations about the above-top-secret classification of some of the emails that ended up on Clinton’s private, unsecured system, appear to be, as PJ Media’s Andrew McCarthy described it, “gravely criminal.”

“One way or another, either she’s going to be indicted and that process begins, or we try her in the public eye with her campaign,” DeLay said Monday. “One way or another, she’s going to have to face these charges.”

BearLaughing1Here’s a fun exercise for the extraordinarily patient and/or those who are extraordinarily tolerant of stupidity:  Go to Slate, or Daily Kos, or HuffPo, and read any of the comments sections attached to any stories on this controversy.  The amount of mind-numbed proggie derp on those sites right now is staggering.

But that’s neither here nor there.

Best guess is that Her Royal Highness will try to run out the clock on this.  Note Her Majesty’s responses to any questions on the topic, and you’ll observe that it ain’t just a river in Egypt.  She will continue to lie, obfuscate and evade as long as possible – hopefully until she actually receives the nomination.  Her supporters will continue to run cover, and remember that a reliable 30% or so of voters will vote Democrat no matter what.   Her Majesty could set fire to a basket of kittens on live television and they’d still support her.

The wild card might be an open revolt on the part of the FBI, with the concomitant massive leaks of damning information.  That might drop Hillary I into the ash heap of history – where she well and truly belongs.

Animal’s Daily News

Smiling BearThanks again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Just when you thought the 2016 Presidential race couldn’t get any more surreal, New York Nanny-Stater Bloomberg makes noises about getting in. Excerpt:

A PRESIDENTIAL campaign season that is already a trifle too far-fetched for a movie script may soon get even more interesting. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, two men who were widely dismissed as novelty candidates when they announced their bids last year, are poised to do surpassingly well in the opening contests of the 2016 primary season. Mr Sanders and Mr Trump have narrow leads in the polls in Iowa, where voters caucus one week from today, and both are set to wallop their competitors in the New Hampshire primary on February 9th.

The unexpected rise of a self-avowed socialist and a bellicose billionaire who can’t seem to shake supporters no matter how outrageous his comments have the Republican and Democratic establishments worried. One notable moderate, business tycoon and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, is concerned enough that he is reportedly exploring the idea of jumping into the race himself. According to the New York Times, Mr Bloomberg “was galled by Donald J. Trump’s dominance of the Republican field, and troubled by Hillary Clinton’s stumbles and the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on the Democratic side”. His advisers are sketching out a plan for how he might run as an independent candidate, and a confidant says he plans to decide one way or another by the first week in March.

Confused BearLet’s clear one thing up right now:  Republican or not, Nanny Bloomberg is no  moderate; he’s an authoritarian, statist asshole.  He favors tightened gun controls, thinks it appropriate for government to limit the size of soft drink containers, and thinks most New Yorkers can’t be trusted to decide what they want to eat.

But, with all that said, I hope he enters the race.  I hope he goes absolutely balls to the wall with his independent run.  Why?

Because there isn’t much else anyone could do to better cinch the election for the GOP.  No matter who they nominate.  Look at Nanny Bloomberg’s policies and stated position on a variety of issues, and he won’t draw many votes from Republicans; but there are plenty of Democrats who are looking askance at Her Highness Hillary I’s legal shenanigans, and at the loony Bolshevism of daffy old Bernie, and finding themselves uncomfortable with both.

And, frankly, even Donald Trump would be vastly preferable to either of the Democrat candidates.

So, run, Nanny, run!  Let’s make 2016 even more surreal than it already is.

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