Animal’s Daily News

Smiling BearThis just in from Reason.com’s John Stossel:  There’s Nothing Mysterious About The Market.  Unless you’re in Congress.  Excerpt:

People have long lists of things they think the market can’t possibly do—from building subways to fighting wars.

Sometimes, the market does them anyway.

War, for example. Even conservatives, who often praise markets, assume that only government can fight terrorists. Tell that to Matthew VanDyke.

VanDyke and his group, Sons of Liberty International, spent the past months in Iraq training the Nineveh Plains Protection Unit, several thousand Christians willing to risk their lives fighting against ISIS’s brutal forces there.

I don’t know if Sons of Liberty are as competent (or more competent) than the U.S. military, but they’re not using taxpayer dollars or getting the U.S. involved in a wider war.

My TV show on “market magic” this week looks at other things markets do that we’re always told only government can do—like run courts.

There’s one thing the government can do very well:  Restrict personal freedom and choice.  And boy howdy, do they ever.  And that’s the primary difference between markets and government.  Markets increase choices; government reduces them.  Markets increase economic opportunity; government decreases economic opportunity.

Thoughtful-BearThere’s no reason that, for example, highways couldn’t be privately built and operated.  Railroads operated that way for many decades, in spite of ever-increasing government interference; in fact, the only railroads in the 20th century that were profitable were railroads built and operated with no government preferences or subsidies.  Why?  Because they were built in response to a market need, not a political need.

As a general rule, we need less government and more free markets.  Can someone get this message to the Imperial City?  We’ve tried?  Never mind.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

The controversy around Her Royal Highness Queen Hillary I’s email saga thickens.   Excerpt:

A review of recently released e-mails shows that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly originated and distributed highly classified national security information. Clinton’s classified e-mail missives were not constrained to State Department staff, either. She also sent classified information to Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton White House operative banned by the Obama White House.

An analysis by The Federalist of e-mails released by the State Department late Monday shows that scores of e-mails sent by Clinton contained highly confidential national security information from the beginning, even if they weren’t marked by a classification authority until later.

The original date of classification of Hillary’s e-mails can be discerned by noting the declassification dates noted next to redactions in the e-mails. Under a 2009 executive order signed by President Barack Obama, classified material in most circumstances is to be automatically declassified after 10 years. In some instances, that duration may be extended up to 25 years. In certain circumstances, classification authorities may adjust the classification duration based on the nature of the underlying information.

In 1996, I was recalled into the Army for the Balkans fracas, and ended up on the staff of the Command Surgeon, U.S. Army, Europe (USAEUR).  I was assigned to be the Command Surgeon’s representative on the CINC-USAEUR Crisis Action Team.  The room I worked in was tightly controlled; every item in that room, every map, every file folder, every notepad, was classified.  I  had to have my security clearance bumped up before I was allowed in.  To get in the room you had to go past two MPs; the one who checked badges had a holstered Beretta M9, and behind him in the wire cage stood a second MP with a 12-gauge shotgun.  The computers in the room were networked with each other (mind you the Internet was still Excellent Bearrelatively in its infancy then) and that network had no connection outside the room.

If I had violated any of the rules regarding classified information while I worked there, I would have spent some time at Ft. Leavenworth making big rocks into little rocks.

So why, then, is Her Royal Highness able to play fast and loose with classified information and not pay any sort of price for it?  Because the Clintons have always played by their own rules – rules that are different than the ones us regular schmucks have to adhere to.  Why?  Because they’re the Clintons.  I can see no other reason.

Animal’s Daily Shooting Iron News

I think I may need one of these. In fact, if I still lived in a shotgun-only big game state, I’d probably already own one.  M_1887trophy

This interesting looking firearm is the Chiappa Arms 1887 Trophy Hunter, and yes, it’s a shotgun.  A six-shot, 12 gauge, rifled barrel shotgun with rifle sights, great medicine for deer in states that restrict rifles.

In fact, it would be good medicine for grouchy Alaskan grizzlies.  A 12-gauge slug hits pretty damn hard.  There’s a weight factor – the Trophy Hunter weights a hefty nine pounds – but a big thumper like this shouldn’t be a lightweight.

The Trophy Hunter is a replica of (of course) a John Browning design, the 1887 Winchester.  The 1887 was the first commercially successful repeating shotgun, which was fortunate for Winchester as they initially resisted the preference of the Da Vinci of firearms to design

Winchester 1887s.
Winchester 1887s.

them a pump gun.  Winchester was a lever-gun company, they said, so a lever-action shotgun they would have.   There were some refinements made to the design later, which resulted in the 10-gauge Model 1901, but by then John Browning’s excellent black-powder 1893 and the redesigned smokeless-powder 1897 Winchester pump guns were on the market, and the age of the lever-action shotgun came to a close.

Chiappa made an interesting decision in bringing back the 1887, which is also available in more traditional shotgun trim.  It’s a neat piece for the antique shotgun aficionado who doesn’t want to take a chance finding a shootable antique example of this unique firearm – or who wants an excellent short-range deer and bear gun.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain and Wombat-socho for the Rule Five links!  Check out the link for hot babes in space.

Portrait of a beta male:  What Your Whining About My NRA Sticker Says About You.  Full disclosure:  My own indomitable Rojito has an NRA Life Member sticker on a side window. Excerpt:

When I read a blog post that by a confused beta male in which he describes all the thoughts and fears running through his head the moment he sees my NRA sticker on the back window of my car, or my wife’s minivan, I feel sad for his two sons who look to this “man” as their role model.

That you (the author) fear the driver of a car because of a sticker, and are thus trapped in a recurring series of thoughts and fears, based on lies and misinformation, has you so distracted as a driver that you are now a threat to yourself, a threat to any passengers in your car, a threat to all the other drivers sharing the roadway with you, and a threat to any pedestrians who happen to be nearby.

When nothing more than the appearance of a sticker on the rear of a car sends such fear through someone, does that say more about the person with the sticker, or the person who fears it?

Facepalm-bearThe sad fact of the matter is that all those fears he has listed, which he not only feels himself, but is helping to spread by sharing his wussified musings, absolutely none of those fears are based remotely on reality.

All of this things that he “knows” about me, based on a sticker, are nothing more than his imagination, and him projecting his thoughts onto me.  Not a single one of the things he “knows” about me is true, not remotely, yet he truly thinks they are, and that is sad, and says a lot about him.

The beta male in question is almost certainly a symptom rather than a cause, but sadly he’s a symptom that is being seen all too much these days.  But it’s not a recent thing.  The wussification of the American male goes (at least) as far back as the Seventies, when head-jarring rock & roll of the type put forth by immortal hair bands from  Led Zeppelin to the original Van Halen began to be replaced on popular radio stations by the touchy-feely, lovey-dovey horseshit that typified the early Eighties.

But what’s the cause?  When did we stop encouraging boys to be boys?  I suspect it has something to do with the increasing urbanization of American society.  Not many kids today are enjoying a rural childhood, as yr. obdt. did; not many boys (or girls) are growing up dealing with livestock, wandering the countryside with a .22 2014_03_12_Shotguns (1)looking for woodchucks, fishing and camping.  That’s part of the issue; another part in this specific case is the unfamiliarity with firearms.  Most rural homes have at least a shotgun around the place, and that firearm is generally regarded as a standard tool, no different than a chainsaw or scythe – dangerous only if misused.

They say familiarity breeds contempt; in the case of the beta male hoplophobe described here, I’d say the opposite is true.

Rule Five Friday

2015_08_28_Rule Five Friday (1)Worried about the decline of the rule of law in the United States?  Maybe you should be. Excerpt:

The most disturbing aspect of the scandal around Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during her tenure as secretary of state is not the former first lady’s penchant for secrecy. In fact, we all ought to be a little taken aback that Mrs. Clinton’s poll numbers are declining as a result of that storyline. It boggles the mind to imagine that, after a quarter-century, there’s a slice of the elector are just now coming to the realization that she is not a terribly forthcoming politician.

What’s truly unsettling is that it has been widely taken as read among both the media and the general public that Mrs. Clinton will likely avoid serious legal consequences for her behavior because the Justice Department is ultimately answerable to President Obama – and Democrats will not use the instruments of government to destroy one of their own. Whether that eventually proves true, the sentiment itself reveals a troubling trend in 2015_08_28_Rule Five Friday (2)American politics.

While it’s far from unheard of for public officials to apply less-exacting standards to their partisan allies, it’s unnerving that the segments of society charged with keeping those officials in check – namely, the media and the voters – now regard such lack of principle as so unremarkable that it barely merits mention. We have transformed into a country in which it’s difficult to imagine precisely what kind of official malfeasance would be met with more than a shrug of the shoulders.

2015_08_28_Rule Five Friday (3)There is a basic principle here, one that is inherent in being a nation of laws, not men:  What the government does for anyone, it does for anyone, or it does for no one.  The corollary of that is, what the government does to anyone, it does to everyone, or it does to no one.

That means, when Her Highness Hillary I violates Imperial law and compromises secure communications, she should be prosecuted, just as General David Petraeus was.

Does anyone want to place a small wager on that possibility?

This goes way beyond Her Majesty Hillary I.  It goes back to Richard Nixon’s Watergate coverup, to Jimmy Carter’s imposition of 2015_08_28_Rule Five Friday (4)unConstitutional Cabinet-level bureaucracies, to George W. Bush’s imposition of yet another bureaucracy not authorized by the Constitution.  But more recently, we have the Obama Administration’s refusal to address blatant voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers, his Justice Department’s meddling in the Zimmerman case, and his (probable) refusal to deal substantively with Her Highness’s email shenanigans.

The Imperial Federal government now selectively applies the law:  Certain categories of citizen are exempt from statutes that others are 2015_08_28_Rule Five Friday (5)strictly held to.  And make no mistake, both parties are complicit.

The linked article concludes:  There are only two options available here: Either the country returns to a form of government bound by the strictures of the Constitution and its subordinate laws or we give up the ghost and accept the fact that our politics are now entirely about power rather than principle – that we live in a nation where the president, whether his name is Obama or Trump, is limited only by the boundaries of imagination.

There are a lot of ways to describe that form of government. “Constitutional republic” isn’t one of them.

That, unfortunately, may be where we are headed.  Hold on to your butts, True Believers.

2015_08_28_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Daily News

Excellent BearJust some random notes this morning.

Her Highness Hillary I to the Biden camp on a possible entry into the Democrat nomination:  “That’s a nice possible candidacy you have there. Wouldn’t want anything to… happen to it.”

California is sinking faster than we thought.  For once, we aren’t talking about the Golden State’s economy.

Breaking news from the Paleolithic:  Romantic opportunities appear to influence women’s sexual identities, but not men’s.  No shit.

How to cure Windows 10’s worst headaches.  I’ve been using Windows 10 for a while now, on all three machines:  My desktop Frankenputor in the main office, my big hotel room laptop and my little Envy tablet laptop.  I like it.  With some tweaking to address usability and privacy, it’s a good OS:  Clean, quick, efficient.

BearLaughing1Finally:  Is Donald Trump and Obama for the Right? Food for thought, but there’s one big difference:  The Donald has actually produced value in the marketplace.  He has achieved things in the private sector, things that resulted in a great personal fortune.  Obama?  Not so much; he, like all too many denizens of the Imperial City, has never worked even one day in the private sector.

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

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