Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

This weekend just past was my last in New England for this gig.  Saturday I was the proverbial barracks rat, as the weather was awful; cold, windy, rainy.  I ventured out to eat and otherwise hung around the hotel.

Sunday was a different story.  The day dawned bright and clear, still windy but sunny and pleasant.  So, with nowhere to go and all day to get there, I piloted my rental car down into Connecticut.  I went far a long tramp in that state’s Bigelow Hollow State Park, then wandered back roads back up to Massachusetts and (eventually) my temporary digs in Braintree.  Nice day.  Photos follow.

Rule Five Electoral Map Friday

2016_10_21_rule-five-friday-1It will be a few days before we see any polling results from Wednesday night’s debate, so let’s take a look at the electoral map as it stands right now.  In brief:  It’s not looking good for The Donald.  On the other side, there is much cause for optimism in the camp of Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I.  We have a tad over two weeks until the election, but early voting has begun all over the place, and it’s beginning to look like it’s all over but the shouting.

2016_10_19_rcp-electoral-mapHere’s the RealClearPolitics electoral map as it looks now, with tossups:

Take a look at those tossups.  If you’ve followed the last few election cycles, it’s a familiar picture.  The West likely isn’t going to figure into this much.  East of the Mississippi, the key states are (again) Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  This year North Carolina 2016_10_21_rule-five-friday-2is also in the tossup column.  If the Dowager Empress carries three of those four, the election is over before polls west of the Mississippi close.  At the moment the status of the RCP average in those states are:

  • Florida:  Clinton + 3.6
  • Pennsylvania:  Clinton +6.2
  • Ohio:  Trump +0.7
  • North Carolina:  Clinton +2.5

2016_10_19_rcp-electoral-map-no-tossupsThis is a big hill for The Donald to climb.  It gets worse when you apply today’s polls to the map; here is the same RCP map with no tossups:

That, True Believers, is a blowout.

So how likely is The Donald to flip any of those four states?

2016_10_21_rule-five-friday-3His best chance is to flip Florida, North Carolina and keep Ohio in his column.  Ohio is the bright spot; he’s been ahead in that state for some time, although the lead there is narrowing; and Ohio is a long-standing bellwether for Presidential elections.  North Carolina is a historically red state that has recently gone purple, and Her Imperial Majesty’s lead there is not insurmountable.  Florida will be harder; Her Highness has a stronger lead there.  The big Cuban expat community is a reliable GOP voting bloc, but The Donald doesn’t poll well with Latinos of any origin.  It’s unclear whether he can flip Florida.

Still – if he can keep Ohio and flip Florida and North Carolina, he has an excellent shot at carrying the day.

2016_10_21_rule-five-friday-4If he loses any of those three, his odds narrow to almost nothing.  He would have to carry almost every state west of the Mississippi except California to win.  In this case, we’d better all get used to hearing “Madam President” for at least four years.

It still remains to be seen whether or not the final debate will move the poll numbers any.  I’m guessing they won’t; it’s just too late in the game, and The Donald has wandered too far off track.  His third debate performance was his strongest, but he still wandered off track and left a few key issues laying on the table; and, historically, final debates don’t change things very much.

I could be wrong; I hope I am.  I’m not a particular fan of The Donald, but I prefer him over Her Imperial Majesty by a wide margin.  But then again, this is by far the most bizarre election of my lifetime, fought out by the two weakest candidates in living memory.

It ain’t over yet, but the fat lady is warming up in the wings.

Animal’s Rule Five Debate Recap News

2016_10_19_debate-totty-1We’re all getting tired of this freak show of an election, I think; so while taking notes last night, I decided that I would forgo my usual images of emoting ursines in accompanying last night’s notes.  (I identify with bears; like them, I enjoy scratching my back on trees, roaring, eating and I sleep a lot in the winter)  Instead, I placed some strategically-placed Rule Five totty in the midst of my debate notes.

Going into the debate:  The Donald needed a miracle to overcome Her Imperial Majesty’s growing lead in the polls.  The conversation on the various news networks covering the debate focused on that and how he could achieve such a miracle.  So did he?  My notes on the debate follow.

2016_10_19_debate-totty-2The Donald started things off with a live Facebook video feed.  I long ago eschewed Facebook, as it has the worst noise-to-signal ratio on the internet except for YouTube comments, and yet – and yet – events like this caused me to register a phony Facebook account to monitor them.  So I watched.   What I saw was a couple of Trump surrogates complaining about media bias; a valid point, but not one that’s going to sway many undecided voters.  A few guests provided commentary, most notably Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and General Michael Flynn.  Ivanka appeared in a recorded message seeking donations.  All in all, fairly pedestrian pre-debate chatter.

Chris Wallace sets the stage – he decided the question, neither candidate nor their campaigns know what will be asked.  And, no handshake between the candidates.  I think they have come to really detest each other.

First up:  The Supreme Court and how they should interpret the Constitution.  Her Imperial Majesty talks in platitudes:  The Court should “Corporations!  The wealthy!  Stand up on behalf of (enter your favorite special-interest group here.)  No mention of the Constitution except as regards to confirming Her Majesty’s picks.  Drink!  The Donald:  “Justice Ginsburg said something mean about me!”  Then:  The Court should uphold the 2nd Amendment a2016_10_19_debate-totty-3nd all the other Amendments – special mention to the 2nd, as it is “under attack.”  No argument there.  The Donald is calm, reasoned, talks in a measured tone about his list of judges, how they will interpret the Constitution as it was written; mentions the Founder’s intent.  Good opening.

On gun control, Her Majesty:  “I support the Second Amendment.”  Spit-take.  She goes on about loopholes that don’t exist.  She thinks it’s OK to have a gun in your home for defense, as long as it’s secured so you can’t use it.  The Donald on the 2nd Amendment:  “D.C. v. Heller was correct, a well-crafted decision, and Hillary was extremely upset about it.”  Her Highness goes on again about toddlers injuring themselves with guns, and repeats “…there is no doubt that I support the Second Amendment.”  Spit-take.  Again.  More talk about loopholes that don’t exist and “common-sense” measures that aren’t.

Trump counters with Chicago.  Good call.  “I’m proud to have the endorsement of the NRA.”  Point to The Donald.

On to abortion.  A bit surprised to see this as a debate topic, as it hasn’t been a big issue in the campaign.  Wallace asked him, “do you want to see Roe v. Wade overturned?”  He says yes, because he will put pro-life judges on the Court – and if it is, the issue will go back to the States.  Her Imperial Majesty:  “I strongly support Roe v. Wade.”  Talks about states 2016_10_19_debate-totty-4putting restrictions on women’s reproductive rights, which usually means states trying to keep taxpayers from subsidizing those treatments.  Still, this is (in my opinion) a losing issue for the GOP, especially with the sought-after Millennial vote.  I’ve got to give Her Highness this point.

Moving on to immigration.  Wallace:  “Secretary Clinton, you have offered no plan to secure the southern border.”  Trump goes first; hammers the Dowager Empress on amnesty, hammers her on crime committed by illegal immigrants, hammers on the drug trade:  “We have no country if we have no border.”  Touts his ICE endorsement, correctly mentioning that ICE has never before endorsed a candidate.  Also, The Donald did a neat lateral arabesque to attack the Obama/Clinton foreign policy failures.  Nicely done.

Her Imperial Majesty again brings up the girl she “…just met” in Las Vegas who is afraid her parents will be deported.  I’m calling bullshit; I’m guessing that girl doesn’t exist.  Her Majesty’s penchant for lying is well-documented.  But she hits him on separating families, a point that has some legs.  “I’m strongly for border security.”  Spit-take.  She goes on to repeat some platitudes.

The Donald circles around to hit Her Majesty on NAFTA (“the worst deal of any kind ever made”) and her previous support for a border wall as recently as 2008.

Great comment from fellow Colorado blogger Stephen Green, who is live-blogging the debate:  “Clinton’s at her best tellin2016_10_19_debate-totty-5g stories about actual people, which is ironic given that she hates almost every actual person.

The Donald makes clear the difference between legal and illegal immigration, which point he has not clearly made in the past.

Oooh!  Wallace hits her on a mega-buck speech where she advocated for open borders.  Trump:  “Thank you.”  Her Majesty complains that Wallace is quoting Wikileaks, blames the Russians for hacking American emails.  Note:  That doesn’t mean that the material in Wikileaks isn’t true.  The Donald:  “That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders.”  Zing.  “I don’t know Putin.  If we got along well, that would be good.  If the United States and Russia got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good.”  Agree.  “Putin has no respect for the President, no respect for her (Clinton.)”  The Dowager Empress repeats her complaint about the Russians.

The Donald:  “She doesn’t like Putin because Putin has outsmarted her every step of the way…  She has been proven to be a liar.”  Her Majesty:  “The United States has kept the peace through our alliances.”  Where?  Iraq?  Syria?  Libya?  Yemen?   Point narrowly to The Donald here; he hammered Her Highness on some good points, although she got some good slams in too.

On to the economy.  Her Imperial Majesty goes on about infrastructure, clean energy, investing, raising the minimum wage… In other words, spend and regulate.  “We’re going to have the wealthy pay their fair share.”  Drink!  The Donald had a tight little smile during that last, as though she was playing into his hands.  He replies:  “Her tax plan is a disaster.”  Well, yeah.  “Why aren’t other nations paying th2016_10_19_debate-totty-6eir share in defense?”  But then he inexplicably invokes NATO – where some NATO members have long sheltered under the U.S. defense umbrella.  Touts his plans on free trade, on commerce, but offers no specifics.  Cut business taxes – a good plan, since our ridiculous tax policy is driving businesses overseas.  But he was a little unsettled on that point.

Her Imperial Majesty:  “He’s advocating for tax cuts!  OMGWTFBBQ!!!!1111!!!”  Well, yes.  That’s one of the big reasons he has the support he has.  Her Majesty:  “Investments!  Investments!”  Translation:  “Spend!  Spend!”  Wallace hits her on the similarity on her plan to President Obama’s 2008 stimulus, which was followed by years of 1-2% growth.  Her Majesty’s reply:  “Buuuuusssh!  President Obama saved the economy!  We need to spend more!”  Claims her plan won’t add a penny to the Imperial debt, which is laugh-out-loud absurd.  Wallace to Trump:  “Even some conservative analysts say your plan won’t achieve what you claim.”  The Donald:  “India is growing at 8%.  China is growing at 7%.  We are growing at 1%.  We have an anemic jobs report.”  Zing.  Repeats his usual points on trade and the loss of American manufacturing.  These are his strongest points in this campaign, and he hit them well.  Point to The Donald.

2016_10_19_debate-totty-7Her Majesty slams Trump for using Chinese steel in building.  “You made it impossible for me to do otherwise.”  Slams Her Majesty for being in the Imperial City for thirty years and achieving little or nothing.  Her Majesty deflects by touting fluff work she did as First Lady?  Really?

On to fitness to be President; Chris Wallace (who, by the way, has been tough but fair to both candidates” asks The Donald about his behavior with women.  He deflects, blaming the Clinton campaign and invoking the Project Veritas tapes of Clinton campaign staffers provoking violence at Trump rallies.  Good pivot.

Her Imperial Majesty says in effect, “All women should be believed when they allege sexual assault, unless they are accusing my husband.”

This is The Donald’s weakest point, and one of the biggest reasons he’s struggling in the polls right now is because a plurality, if not a majority, of American women don’t want to vote for him because of 2016_10_19_debate-totty-8these allegations.   He could have done a better job of deflecting, but honestly he doesn’t have a lot to work with.  Point to Her Imperial Majesty in that round.

Her Imperial Majesty:  “He applauds pulling, pushing and violence at his rallies.”  The Donald:  “Amazing that she talks about that, since her campaign caused the violence.”  Zing.

FINALLY, a debate moderator hits Her Majesty on the Clinton Foundation, pointing out that contractors for rebuilding in Haiti were selected from Clinton Foundation donors.  “I’m so proud of the Clinton Foundation!”  Uh huh.  Wallace:  “You didn’t answer the question.”  Trump:  “It’s a criminal enterprise.”  Observes that the Foundation took money from people who push gays off buildings and brutally suppress women – which is true.  Points out that Haitians hate the Clintons, which jives with what I was told by a Haitian Uber driver a few weeks back.  That’s a sample size of one, but still.  Good pivots and counter-punches by The Donald.

Her Imperial Majesty:  “He has not paid one penny in income taxes in years.”  If he hasn’t released his tax returns, how does she know?  The Donald:  “The tax code makes that possible.  If you don’t like it, you should have changed the law when you were a Senator.  You 2016_10_19_debate-totty-9won’t, because your donors take the same tax breaks.”  Zing.  Point to The Donald.

On the “rigged election,” The Donald claims “She shouldn’t have been allowed to run, because of her recklessness in handling secure documents.”  Good point, but then he says, when asked if he will accept the results of the election, “I’ll tell you at the time.”

Huh? That won’t play well in Paducah. My jaw dropped a little at that one.

Her Imperial Majesty cites the FBI investigation, which is now tainted by outspoken FBI agents accusing Comey of being a creature of the Clintons; that dulled her counter-attack, but not completely.  The Donald cited the Tarmac Summit, but it fell kind of flat.  Point to Her Majesty on that one.

Next:  “Will you put U.S. troops into the Middle East to fill the vacuum once ISIS is defeated?”  Her Majesty:  A flat no.  She manages a quick pivot to “if you’re on the no-fly list, you can’t buy a gun,” without explaining which other Constitutionally defined rights she favors restricting with no due process.  The Donald:  “We had Mosul.  When she (actually, President Obama) took everyone out, we lost Mosul.”  A fair point; nature abhors a vacuum, and the Middle East really, really abhors a power vacuum.  “The Obama Administration is only going after Mosul now to make her look good.”  I suspect that’s not the only reason.  Pivots to the Iran nuke deal, another strong point for The Donald; that was a catastrophically stupid deal, although the Obama Administration bears the blame for that.

Her Majesty tells people “Google Trump in Iraq.” Huh?   “We got Bin Laden!”  Funny, I didn’t know Her Imperial Majesty was ever a Navy SEAL.  “We can take Mosul and then move into Syria and take Raqqa.”  The old soldier in me wants to ask “What’s this ‘we’ shit, Kemosabe?”

Now they’re both talking over each other; for once, Her Imperial Majesty seems to have lost her temper.  The Donald on the Wikileaks emails2016_10_19_debate-totty-10:  “John Podesta said some horrible things about you, and boy was he right.  He said you have terrible instincts.  Bernie Sanders said you have bad judgement.  I think they are right.”  Her Imperial Majesty:  “Ask Bernie Sanders who he’s supporting for President.”  That one’s a wash.

On to Aleppo.  The Donald:  “We’re backing rebels (in Syria.)  We don’t know who they are!  We may end up with someone worse than Assad.  If she did nothing, we might be in better shape!”  Invokes the piss-poor screening of Syrian refugees – again, one of his strongest points.

Her Imperial Majesty on a no-fly zone over Syria; Wallace asks “If a Russian plane violates the no-fly zone, would you shoot it down?”  Her Highness:  “We’d have to make some deals.”  Uh huh.  Not really her strongest point.  “We’re not going to let people in to our country who isn’t vetted.”  The Donald:  “We had a cease-fire three weeks ago.  During the cease-fire, Russia took over vast swaths of land.  We are so outplayed.”  Admits she wasn’t part of that.

Final segment:  The national debt.  Wallace points out that debt is now 77% of GDP.  “Why are both of you ignoring that?”  Trump cites a message of growth, of jobs.  Again one of his better points.  “Political hacks are making deals – we don’t use our business people to make deals.”  This will play well to his base; unsure how it will appeal to any undecided voters out there.  But the pro-growth message is a good one.

Her Imperial Majesty:  “I wonder when he thought America was great.”  “I do not add a penny to the national debt.”  That doesn’t even begin to pass the giggle test.  She continues:  “Invest, invest, wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, rebuild the middle clas2016_10_19_debate-totty-11s, spend spend spend spend.”  Pure Keynesian malarkey.

Wallace points out that neither candidate addresses that entitlements are the biggest Imperial payout – by far.  Final question:  Would you make a deal to save Medicare and Social Security that would involve tax increases and service cuts?”  Trump deflects by talking about growth (somewhat valid; robust growth would increase Imperial revenues) and Obamacare.  Her Imperial Majesty:  “I will raise taxes on the wealthy.”  Again?  “We (have to) have sufficient resources.”  Meaning, more suction on everyone’s wealth from the Imperial City.  “I won’t cut benefits.”  But when she says in effect “Obamacare is good,” Trump interjects “…your husband disagrees.”  Heh.

Stephen Green again:  “Clinton says she’ll save entitlements by raising taxes on the wealthy, which is like putting an eyedropper of scotch in my glass and telling me it’s a drink.”

Both candidates are in denial on this issue.

One minute apiece for closing statements, which was not planned on.  Her Imperial Majesty largely repeats her opening platitudes.  The Donald repeats his boilerplate “Make America Great Again” and slams Her Imperial Majesty as a continuation of the Obama Administration.  No handshake between the candidates.

Summary:  The Donald probably turned in the best performance of all three debates.  Her Imperial Majesty was well rehearsed, well prepared, but in this debate, for the first time, she was a) hit on the Clinton Foundation and 2) appeared to lose her cool.  Both candidates hit their strongest positions and deflected their weakest points.

Still; Trump needed a slam-dunk in this debate, and he didn’t get it.  I’m guessing that it won’t bump him much in the polls.  His single biggest gaffe:  Refusing to state that he will accept the results of the election.  That’s going to hurt.  He scored a bunch of points, but Her Imperial Majesty just needed to show up and not actually have a seizure on the stage; he needed a big win he didn’t get.

This was not a game-changer.  Unless something dramatic and unexpected happens, Her Imperial Majesty will stay in the lead.


Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

The last Presidential debate is tonight – watch tomorrow for my notes and reactions.  The Donald, if he harbors any hopes of staying in this thing, needs a big, big win tonight.  We’ll see if he has it in him.

But enough of that until tonight.  For now, enjoy some science-ey tidbits.

Have sex with Neandertals – get genital warts.  One wonders if that would be the worst aspect of schtupping a Neandertal, but it’s not likely we’ll be able to test this experimentally.

But H. sapiens-type people 100,000 years ago may have known what that was like.

 Headline of the day:  New Moons in Rings Around Uranus.  ‘Nuff said.

Berries Turn Birds Red.  Not really red, but apparently dietary items 012_yellow_shafted_flickercan turn the typically yellow wing feathers of the eastern Northern Flicker orange or red.  One wonders about the western version of the same bird, who typically have orange-red wing shaft feathers.

Speaking of critters:  Meet Arizona’s Adorable (Gila) Monster.  The Gila Monster actually reminds me of someone I used to know…  But in the unlikely event they read these virtual pages, I’ll leave them unnamed.

But if they are reading…  You know who you are.

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

Animal’s Daily News

bears-cute-awesome1-11Guess who won the Nobel Prize for Literature?  None other than America’s Songwriter – Bob Dylan.  Noted libertarian, magician, Las Vegas entertainer and debunker of bullshit Penn Jillette weighs in.  Excerpt (Article is by Nick Gillespie and Meredith Bragg, not Jillette):

Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

As justified as the prize is, the award committee’s words are an understatement. In a career that spans 50-plus years, Dylan’s impact has long exceeded popular music, influencing every arena of creative expression, from film to writing to politics.

While it’s impossible—and perhaps ultimately pointless—to distill the essence of the figure behind songs, albums, and prose as different as “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” Blood on the Tracks, Slow Train Coming, Time Out of Mind, Chronicles, and Shadows in the Night, I’ll take my chances. Among other things, Dylan incarnates the urge for endless self-discovery that is at the very heart of America’s mythic identity. We are a nation that is always in the act of becoming something different, something new, something at once influenced by the past but free (or struggling to be free) of it. “He not busy being born is busy dying,” he sings in “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding).”

And Mr. JIllette’s comments:

 I don’t know as I’d call Dylan Shakespeare’s equal; not quite.  But he is, as I mentioned earlier, America’s Songwriter.  His genre-hopping, constantly re-inventing style has now spoken to several generations.  What’s more, even in his seventies he has stamina matched by few musicians half his age.  He is still touring all over the world, doing a concert every few days.

It’s an interesting choice for the folks in Stockholm.  The Nobels in softer disciplines have been downgraded in credibility quite a little bit in the last few years.  The Peace Prize lost all meaning when they gave one to Yassir Arafat, and that prize was further degraded when they awarded one to the newly-inaugurated President Obama for, apparently, existing.

But the Literature prize still means something.  Picking a poet, musician and voice of America is an interesting choice.  I like it.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Our thanks as always to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

And now:  Another early Monday trip to our own Denver International Airport beckons; I go thence to Boston’s Logan International Airport and back to work.  That’s the Traveling Life for you; it’s busy enough at DIA on Monday mornings that the United ticketing and gate staff refer to it as “Premiere Monday,” in honor (?) of all us wild geese who travel for a living.

There are benefits to this lifestyle, of course; it’s not uncommon to accumulate airline and hotel chain award credits faster than one can use them, especially if, like yr. obdt., you keep up a steady pace of taking all the work that will physically fit in the calendar.  But occasionally there’s a break; a few years back on one such I took Mrs. Animal to Hawaii for five days, paid for with United award miles and Marriott points.

Of course, TANSTAAFL applies; you pay for everything you get one way or another, and I paid for that “free” trip with many hours sitting in narrow, cramped airline seats and many, many nights away from home, bunked down in hotel rooms.

Nights away from home are part of the deal, as is too much fast food, too many early mornings, too much time spent on airplanes, especially when working overseas.  Some time back I spent a few weeks in Johannesburg, South Africa, doing an audit in a pharmaceutical plant; that involved thirty hours in airplanes just getting from hither to yon before the gig could even start.

Excellent BearBut, as said, there are perks.  I’ve seen places that I never would have seen if not for this line of work.  Japan, China, Africa, I’ve been to all those places.  I’ve seen Montreal (I don’t recommend going there in the winter) and Guadalajara (I do recommend going there in the winter), Boston and Los Angeles, and about everywhere in between.

It’s a demanding life, but not without its rewards – self employment ain’t for everyone but it is for me.

And now, off to the airport.  Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more!

Rule Five 911 Friday

2016_10_14_rule-five-friday-1The New York Times is a pale shadow of the tome of journalism it once was, and jackwagons like Matthew Desmond and Andrew V. Papachristos are why; they recently penned an article for that paper entitled “Why Don’t You Just Call the Cops?” recently debunked their article here.  Excerpt:

This is the kind of settled, suburban question that can be asked by people who do not face frequent violence and who regard law enforcement – agencies as a whole and officers in particular – as trustworthy.  What isn’t so often brought into the discussion is the truth of human psychology that when in a moment of emergency – such as what a violent crime creates – we will reach out to anyone available, even strangers and rivals.

2016_10_14_rule-five-friday-2And this is what makes the reluctance of many in our nation to call the police all the more poignant.  The research of Desmond and Papachristos, along with David S. Kirk, found that in the case of a Milwaukee man, Frank Jude, who was beaten by off-duty police officers who accused him of stealing one of their badges, though eyewitnesses rejected that claim, in a period of over a year following, calls to 911 saw a decline of more than 22,000 from what was expected.  This specific result fits in with a general pattern the researchers have seen among the poor in this nation to have a distrust of law enforcement.

It’s an article of faith among many in the gun community, particularly we who carry firearms for self-defense, that the choice to go armed is one that reduces overall violence, and while that is the subject of contention, the best estimates of defensive gun uses each year are in the hundreds of thousands.  But we have to go beyond this statement to a recognition 2016_10_14_rule-five-friday-3that a stable society creates the context in which self-defense has the best chance of succeeding.

Personally, my favored response to a petulant demand like that offered by Desmond and Papachristos would be “because fuck you, that’s why,”

But that’s not very amenable to a discussion of policy.

The sad and sorry truth is the police, no matter how good intentioned any individual cop may be, just can’t protect every  individual citizen.  There are too few cops and too many millions of miles of streets, highways and byways, alleys and walkways, too many houses, buildings, empty lots, meadows and barns.  There’s no way a cop can be everywhere.

2016_10_14_rule-five-friday-4Let’s say a pair of thugs is kicking in your front door.  By all means call the cops – but what happens in the ten or twenty minutes it takes them to get there?  Do you trust your wood-panel door to hold off the attackers until the police arrive?  Or would you rather trust a .357 Magnum or a 12-gauge pumpgun?

Too many pols of all stripes talk a lot about freedom of choice – unless the choice is one they disapprove of.  Then your choice must be restricted, regulated, outlawed, or (at least) taxed.

The article concludes:  We in the gun community have our 2016_10_14_rule-five-friday-5own reasons for doubting the intentions of government agencies when it comes to our rights, and in that, we have common cause with others who raise the same issue.  We’ll do a better job of protecting rights – the ones we exercise personally as well as others – when we work together with any group whose rights are being endangered.

Too bad that most of the elected officials in our Imperial City can’t learn that lesson as well as many of the voters have; maybe we wouldn’t feel the need to protect our liberties so vigorously.


Animal’s Daily News

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

I’m going to circle back to politics for one day, with this article from libertarian scribe John Stossel:  What Candidates Won’t Say.  Excerpt:

Clinton promises more than $1 trillion in new “investments,” free day care, maternity leave, an expansion of Obamacare, more funding for veterans, new solar subsidies, new bridges and tunnels and “college, tuition free!” Then she says, “We’re not only going to make all these investments, we’re going to pay for every single one of them!” But that’s absurd.

Sometimes she says money will come from new “taxes on the rich,” but America’s rich aren’t rich enough to fund her grand schemes. Even if they were, they’d move out of the country or use tricks to evade her high taxes. Even The New York Times admits that Clinton’s tax plan adds “so many new layers of complexity” that it would “be a huge boon for tax lawyers.”

Trump is as bad, promising tax cuts and new spending on the military, infrastructure and that giant wall. Other than promising that Mexico will pay (it won’t), he never says where he’ll get the funds.

The biggest chunk of America’s budget is entitlements: Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid. Trump never talks about making those benefits sustainable — in fact, he says he “won’t touch” Social Security.

Clinton rarely talks about entitlements at all.

Both major candidates are Santa Claus, promising different bags of goodies, but neither has a plan to pay for those goodies.  Both parties are running on the ticket of fiscal insolvency, both parties ignoring the massive heaps of debt we have laid on the backs of future generations.

But in this sort of a race it’s the Democrats that have the edge; Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I makes no pretense of fiscal responsibility, selling her bags of goodies as paid for by “making the rich pay their Sad-Bearfair share,” a nonsensical claim that has never been realized; the top 1% of income earners already pay for more than their fair share, and the more Congress tightens its grip on those producers, the more capital will flee the country for havens in other nations.

Maybe the Dowager Empress’s administration will finally be the one that runs up against Stein’s Law.  More likely, the fiscal can will be kicked down the road for at least another generation.

A nation’s got a lot of ruin in it.

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