Rule Five Loony California Friday

So now California’s legislature has decided “you know what, fuck the First Amendment!”  Because, I guess, California.  What the hell, California?  Is it something in the water?  Is smoke from all the fires killing brain cells out there?  What is is?  Excerpt:

California is one step away from going down the unconstitutional road of government-mandated censorship of Internet speech. The California Senate and State Assembly recently passed S.B. 1424, the “Internet: social media: advisory group” act. This fake news advisory act is now on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

According to Section 3085 of the legislation:

The Attorney General shall, subject to the limitations of subdivision (d), establish an advisory group consisting of at least one member of the Department of Justice, Internet-based social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars, to do both of the following:

(a) Study the problem of the spread of false information through Internet-based social media platforms.

(b) Draft a model strategic plan for Internet-based social media platforms to use to mitigate the spread of false information through their platforms.

It’s hard to imagine those voting for the bill were motivated by good intentions. In any case, good intentions are not enough. Is it hard to imagine the results of the law will be censorship of views that politicians disagree with and views critical of politicians?

Most likely, Californians are not concerned about “fact-checking” content like “a mile is 5290 feet” or an appeal to form a flat Earth Facebook group; such content poses no threat to entrenched interests. Instead, “fact-checking” will be deployed against those who express doubt, for example, about climate change, vaccine safety, or “educating” children about gender dysphoria.

Seriously, now, even the oft-overturned Ninth Circuit should strike this down in a trice.  But, again, what the hell?

This is, again, an argument for making sure governments at all levels are well and truly bound within very, very narrow limits of power.  Otherwise you get shit like this; assholes thinking, “you know, people put out all kinds of stuff on the internets; someone should be keeping an eye out to make sure only government-approved information is on there.”

Look out, Alex Jones.

What’s left unsaid is the very real likelihood that the California Legislature, having ensured one-party rule through the jungle primary system, is now aiming at a system that will let them silence their political opposition for good and all.

But there’s a bright side:  It’s going to be fun watching them get slapped down by the liberal Ninth Circuit.

Animal’s Daily Staggering Lack of Self-Awareness News

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, is at it again.  Relevant quote from Her Imperial Majesty, with my comments:

“What I would like to see is a democratic majority that actually has the chance to make that choice right now the Democrats have very few tools at their disposal to stop the Republicans from going full speed ahead and engaging in the kind of unprecedented behavior as they did with the Garland nomination. So I’m not in favor of either unilateral disarmament or Defcon-10. I think there has to be some effort to try to get back to regular order, try to get back to having a system, a process in place so that we are not subjected to the hardball behavior of the Republicans that we saw in the Garland nomination, and we’re not subject to the outrageous denial of the information that was requested on Kavanaugh.

It’s worth pointing out that Senate Democrats had several times as much data on Judge Kavanaugh as was presented for prior candidates.

“I mean, there can’t be one set of rules for Democrats and one set of rules for Republicans.”

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

“That’s one of the reasons why people don’t have any confidence in the Congress. How can you? You don’t know what’s going to happen from day to day.”

This is true; back in the day you didn’t have shrieking maniacs being led out of Senate hearing chambers in handcuffs during the confirmation process of a Supreme Court justice nominee.  And, pray tell, who were those shrieking maniacs?  Hint:  They weren’t NRA members or College Republicans.

I remember back in the Thomas hearing when senator bird was asked what he was going to do, and he said in a situation like this we should give the benefit of the doubt to the court and the country. And that’s what the Republicans should be doing right now, from the White House down Pennsylvania avenue to the Senate, give the benefit of the doubt to the court and the country.

You mean like you gave the benefit of the doubt to Paula Jones?  To Kathleen Willey?  To Monica Lewinsky?  Care to remind us, Your Royal Highness, how you reacted to your husband’s bimbo eruptions?

So, True Believers:  Is Her Imperial Majesty running again in 2020?  Because this interview sure seems like it’s intended to position Herself for another run.  Republicans all over are salivating at the thought, but who knows?  Besides, a nasty primary  fight between Her Royal Highness and Fauxcohantas Warren would sure be entertaining.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Since the city of Los Angeles has apparently solved every other problem a major city could have, they are now taking steps to ban fur.  Yes, really.  Excerpt:

A proposal to ban the sale of fur products advanced in the City Council on Tuesday. The council voted unanimously to direct the city attorney to draft an ordinance that will prohibit the manufacture and sale of new fur products. The ordinance must be presented to the council at a future date for final approval.

“This is something that is not just a good legislative win, it’s a moral win,” Councilman Bob Blumenfield said. “We feel like we’re evolving as a city as people to stop this kind of unnecessary cruelty.”

The vote also directed the city attorney to report back to the council on several issues, including how fur apparel is utilized by religious organizations, and possible exemptions, as well as potential conflicts with federal and state laws relating to sale of fur products derived from legally trapped animals.

A ban would take effect two years after final approval of the ordinance.

The ban would cover apparel made in whole or in part of fur, including clothing, handbags, shoes, hats, earmuffs, jewelry and keychains. Only used fur products could be sold.

Councilmen Bob Blumenfield and Paul Koretz submitted the motion.

Blumenfield said there’s no reason to wear fur in 2018. “Certainly not in sunny Los Angeles,” he said.

I have a reason for you, Mr. Blumenfield:  Because fuck you, that’s why.

There’s nothing like the real thing, baby.

This is what happens, True Believers, when a paternalistic, statist government runs amok and has to control every aspect of people’s lives – including, now, what clothing they choose to buy with their own money.

What’s it going to be next?  Outlawing anything not certified “organic” or “free trade?”  How about outlawing the products of Asian sweatshops, which will eliminate, oh, maybe 50 to 75% of the clothing sold in the United States?

Or how about just telling idiot, intrusive local pols that they should get a long running start and go fuck themselves?

Animal’s Daily Recovered Memories News

By now most folks have heard of the latest sudden drama surrounding the Kavanaugh nomination.  Robert Stacy McCain weighed in the other day.  Excerpt:

Did you know that “trigger warnings” are actually harmful? The trendy academic practice of alerting students to “problematic” material “reinforce the fear and compound anxiety.”

This information is highly relevant, I believe, to the claims surrounding the 11th-hour hit job on Brett Kavanaugh. We are expected to believe that the accuser, Professor Christine Ford, suffered emotional damage because she was groped by Kavanaugh at a 1982 party when they were both teenagers. The “evidence” of this alleged trauma is her therapist’s notes from when she and her husband were in couples therapy in 2012.

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection is skeptical:

If this is a “repressed memory” case, then it changes everything against the accuser’s veracity — repressed memory is of highly questionable admissibility and credibility.

Exactly. Why would 30 years elapse before the accuser mentioned this incident to anyone? Beyond that, does it comport with our common-sense understanding of human behavior to think that the alleged incident, even if it happened exactly as it is now being described in news accounts, would be so traumatic as to be relevant to whatever marital problems Christine Ford and her husband were experiencing in 1982?

Now, regarding the “recovered memories” angle, I think there are better than even odds that the whole thing is horseshit; incidentally, some folks educated in head-candling agree with me.  But that’s neither here nor there, in whatever long-ago year “there” may be.

“Now, Animal,” you might ask, “why would you say that?  These are serious allegations.”  Well, sure, the allegation of sexual assault is normally a serious matter, and I agree with most of the croakers around the Imperial City that Dr. Ford should be allowed – nay, encouraged – to come state her case, mostly because I suspect it will become obvious that there’s no there there.

But I have seen some other facts that should also come to light.  Like how Dr. Ford’s students offer reviews of her teaching averaging 2.3 out of 5, normally a failing grade, with statements like:

“Christine (F)ord is the worst educator I have ever experienced.  Avoid taking her class and avoid any interaction with this person.  I feel like she has something wrong with her and I am surprised no one has caught this.  Also avoid fullerton’s (sic) MSW program as long as she is there.”

“Prof. Ford is unprofessional, lacks appropriate filters, and I am honestly scared of her.  She’s made comments both in class and in e-mails, if you cross her, you will be on her bad side. I fear to think of the poor clients that had to deal with her while she got her MSW and her LCSW. Absolutely the worst teacher I ever had.”

And:

“She is unclear with directions. Hard grader and talks for 2hr 45min without giving a break. she is exact opposite of what she teaches. empowering??? not at all.”

So, it seems her teaching career is not going well.  But wait – there’s more!  It seems Brett Kavanaugh’s mother, Judge Martha Kavanaugh, ruled against Dr. Ford’s parents in a foreclosure case.

So, why is all this relevant?  Because the “recovered memories” horse squeeze could just as easily be a dodge for a revenge stab at the judge who ruled against Dr. Ford’s family – or it could be an angle at a lucrative book deal – or it could be a political gambit, wherein she saw a chance to take a stab at the Trump Administration.  Who knows?  But this is all relevant information, and should damn well come out in any hearings.

But most of all, not one damn bit of it has any bearing on Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications to sit on the Supreme Court.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Moving along:  It seems beer has been with us for a lot longer than many folks suspected.  Excerpt:

A new study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports suggests beer brewing practices existed in the Eastern Mediterranean over five millennia before the earliest known evidence, discovered in northern China. In an archaeological collaboration project between Stanford University in the United States, and University of Haifa, Israel, archeologists analyzed three stone mortars from a 13,000-year old Natufian burial cave site in Israel. Their analysis confirmed that these mortars were used for brewing of wheat/barley, as well as for food storage.

“Alcohol making and food storage were among the major technological innovations that eventually led to the development of civilizations in the world, and archaeological science is a powerful means to help reveal their origins and decode their contents,” said Li Liu, PhD, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Stanford University, USA. “We are excited to have the opportunity to present our findings, which shed new light on a deeper history of human society.”

The earliest archaeological evidence for cereal-based beer brewing even before the advent of agriculture comes from the Natufians, semi-sedentary, foraging people, living in the Eastern Mediterranean between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic periods, following the last Ice Age. The Natufians at Raqefet Cave collected locally available plants, stored malted seeds, and made beer as a part of their rituals.

The only ritual I generally use beer for is the normal Friday night beer-and-pizza blowing off steam that is part of the normal routine at the Casa del Animal, wherever that Casa happens to be at the moment.

But it’s interesting to see how far back that highly enjoyable mug o’ suds goes.  One suspects that today’s aficionados would have a hard time recognizing what those long-ago folks called beer, but that doesn’t mean it might not be enjoyable.

And, of course, as with other alcoholic beverages (like wine, another adult beverage with a long history), in those long-ago times many folks quaffed beer because it was safe to drink.  That couldn’t always be said for the water.

Hell, it can’t be said for the water in plenty of places now.  Were I for some unknown reason having a meal today in, say, Flint, Michigan, I think I’d rather have some of Alley-Oop’s beer than the local water.

So, here’s to the suds!  May they long be with us.

Rule Five Why Socialism Fails Friday

Every time.  Every time socialism is tried, it fails.  You regularly here cries of “that wasn’t real socialism” or “we just need the right Top Men!” but that doesn’t change the fact that socialism fails every fucking time it’s tried.  And here’s why.  Excerpt:

The new “democratic socialists” want to make their followers believe that one could redistribute wealth and income and socialize a large part of the economy without harming production and productivity. They claim that a comprehensive control of the economy by the government would bring more justice and more prosperity. The democratic socialists want more planning and less market. Yet this postulate ignores that socialism does not fail by accident or circumstance. Socialism fails because it suffers from four fundamental design defects.

  • First, socialism eradicates private property and markets and thus eliminates rational calculation.
  • Second, socialism allows soft budgets, so there is no mechanism in place to discard inefficient production methods.
  • Third, abolishing private property and replacing it by the state distorts the incentives.
  • Four, the socialist system with its absence of private property and of free markets inhibits the economic coordination of the system of division of labor and capital.

The Importance of Market Prices

Socialism cannot bring prosperity because it destroys the market functions of private property. Under socialism, private ownership of the means of production no longer exists, and thus there are no market prices for capital goods available. Institutionally, socialism consists in abolishing the market economy and replacing it with a planned economy. By doing away with private property of the means of production, one wipes-out market information and valuation. Even if the socialist administration puts price tags on the consumer goods, and the people may own consumer goods, there is no economic orientation about the relative scarcity of capital goods.

I have one word for you:  Venezuela.

Some folks like to point out the various Scandanavian nations as evidence that the right Top Men can run a socialist nation and not crash into grinding poverty.  They don’t point out that:

  1. Personal taxes are generally sky-high, sometimes approaching 50% of income earned, while…
  2. Business taxes are generally on the low side, encouraging business growth and investment, because…
  3. Much of those state’s revenues come from extraction, mostly from North Sea oil and gas.

What works in Norway won’t work in the United States, in any case.  While there is an extraction boom in the U.S. right now, the fees and taxes from that won’t begin to cover our massive Imperial budget – and wouldn’t, even if that budget were trimmed to a more appropriate less batshit-insane level.

But in fact, we need look no further than the first bullet in the excerpt above for a reason to reject socialism.  Prosperous societies can only exist when private property rights are rigorously protected, and indeed, government really only has two legitimate reasons to exist:  To keep other people from hurting us or taking our stuff.

Socialist governments invariably do both of these things; they invariably hurt people and take their stuff.  And that’s why proponents of socialism need to be hounded to the ends of the earth.

Animal’s Daily Gun Advertising News

In California, a certain class of legally operating businesses selling a perfectly legal product were prohibited from advertising that perfectly legal product.  No longer.  Excerpt:

Back in 2014, four California gun dealers sued the the woman who was then acknowledged by presidential proclamation as the nation’s best-looking attorney general over a law that prohibited gun stores from displaying images of guns. On their stores. Or their signs.

Now, according to a press release from the Calguns Foundation, a federal judge has ruled that California’s law is a violation of the gun dealers’ First Amendment rights. Here’s that press release:

SACRAMENTO, CA (September 11, 2018)­­­­­­ – Today, federal Judge Troy Nunley ruled that a California law banning licensed gun dealers from displaying handgun-related signs or advertising is unconstitutional and violates their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit, Tracy Rifle and Pistol v. Becerra, is supported by Second Amendment civil rights groups The Calguns Foundation (CGF) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) as well as industry association California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL).

California Penal Code section 26820, first enacted in 1923, banned gun stores from putting up signs advertising the sale of handguns — but not shotguns or rifles. “But,” the court held today, quoting from the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment 2008 opinion in D.C. v. Heller, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.”

Imagine that.  A judge determined that states (and, presumably, other levels of government) can’t just wave away a Constitutionally-defined right by passing a law.

It’s important to note that this is a First Amendment case, not a Second Amendment case, but that doesn’t make it any less significant to gun owners.  Would-be gun controllers aren’t above chipping away at the edges of the Second Amendment, and stupid laws like this one do precisely that, by singling out gun retailers over all other legal businesses for special government-imposed restrictions on their right to advertise their legal wares.

California Penal Code section 26820 was of a piece with laws singling out firearms manufacturers for legal liability for the use of their wares in a crime, an onus placed on no other manufacturer of legal products, anywhere.  The anti-gun crowd sells this as “exempting gun makers from product liability,” which is a pernicious lie; gun makers are subject to precisely the same liability for faulty products as any other manufacturer.  What the gun banners is the equivalent of allowing families of people killed by drunk drivers to sue General Motors.  It’s stupid, it’s wrong, and it’s an attempt to curtail the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

So was California Penal Code section 26820.  This was a bad idea and a bad law.  It’s a travesty that it remained on the books for 95 years.   But it’s gone now.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Ever click through on a story because the wording of the link made you curious, then were presented with a photo that made you go NO NO NO NO KILL IT KILL IT WITH FIRE?

Well, have a look here.  Excerpt:

While recovering in hospital after a serious car accident, a 55-year-old woman from Missouri began to complain of nausea and a bad taste in her mouth. A subsequent oral examination revealed an alarming sight—the patient’s tongue had turned black and was covered in hair-like structures. But while this rare condition looks serious, it’s actually harmless.

A new case report published today in the New England Journal of Medicine chronicles a rare case of black hairy tongue, a condition otherwise known as lingua villosa nigra.

After a severe injury in which both of her legs were crushed, an unnamed woman was sent to hospital, according to the case study. While recuperating, an infection developed in one of her injuries. The medical team put her on an antibiotic regimen consisting of meropenem, which she received intravenously, and minocycline, which was administered orally.

A week later, the patient’s tongue began to take on a brownish-black hue. She complained of feeling nauseous, and said she had a bad taste in her mouth. The patient’s medical team diagnosed her as having black hairy tongue, with a reaction to the minocycline being the likely cause.

Yes, there are photos.

Any halfway competent stand-up comic could probably talk for fifteen minutes on this topic, but I confess to being a bit at a loss for words.  I mean – who knew that “black hairy tongue” was even a thing?

Yesterday’s post showed us an article which described how some syndromes can turn folks all kind of interesting hues, and it’s well known that in times past all manners of diseases and maladies could cause many kinds of disfigurements.  Nowadays we don’t see so much of that, so perhaps we aren’t as inured as we once were…

…Because black hairy tongue?  Eww.  Just…  Eww.

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