Animal’s Daily News

Carl's Jr knows where it's at.
Carl’s Jr knows where it’s at.

Sanders supporters take note:  Here is socialism’s end game, in Venezuela where a burger now costs the equivalent of $170US.  Excerpt:

If a visitor to Venezuela is unfortunate enough to pay for anything with a foreign credit card, the eye-watering cost might suggest they were in a city pricier than Tokyo or Zurich.

A hamburger sold for 1,700 Venezuelan bolivares is $170, or a 69,000-bolivar hotel room is $6,900 a night, based on the official rate of 10 bolivares for $1.

But of course no merchant is pricing at the official rate imposed under currency controls. It’s the black market rate of 1,000 bolivares per dollar that’s applied.

But for Venezuelans paid in hyperinflation-hit bolivares, and living in an economy relying on mostly imported goods or raw materials, conditions are unthinkably expensive.

Even for the middle class, most of it sliding into poverty, hamburgers and hotels are out-of-reach excesses.

“Everybody is knocked low,” Michael Leal, a 34-year-old manager of an eyewear store in Caracas, told AFP. “We can’t breathe.”

triple-facepalmOf course you can’t – the richest nation in South America has been laid low by decades of market-crushing, socialist policies.  And there as here, when socialist policies inevitably fail, the response from the political Left has two parts:

  1. We just need the right Top Men in charge, then it will work.
  2. We just need to socialism harder.

I would almost be supportive of an initiative requiring anyone who is feeling the Bern to go spend a month in Venezuela, so they can see what they are really voting for.

On the burger tangent:  The CEO of Carl’s Jr gets it.  He is advertising his burgers with bikini-clad supermodels, and he doesn’t give two shits about who may be offended by it.  Good for him.

Interestingly, the music in the background is a cover of Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold.  Also, I’m suddenly hungry.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Moving right along:  I think I may have figured out the Trump phenomenon.

 In the great 1978 hit movie Animal House, a rogue fraternity (Delta House) took on the corrupt administration of Faber College, a small college somewhere in New England.  After all the members of the fraternity are expelled for their hijinks, they decided to engage in an act of vengeance – a comical take-down of the school’s Homecoming parade.  They were incited by the brilliant John Belushi as “Bluto” in a speech that has become iconic:

In this election cycle, the American people are the rogue fraternity; the Imperial City’s ruling class are the administration of Faber College.

 Donald Trump, of course, is Bluto.

For at least twenty years now, the Imperial government has layered on more taxes, more regulations, more interference in the lives of the American people who, like the Delta House members, are just trying to go about their business and have some fun along the way.  Things have gotten steadily worse, until the folks who pay attention to the constant erosion of our liberties have begun to wonder if it’s all over.

Then comes Trump, who stands up and shouts, “Nothing is over until we say it is!  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

He has been shouting long enough now that some voters – a strong plurality if one looks at recent polling – are beginning to react by metaphorically shouting back, “Bluto Trump’s right!  Psychotic, but absolutely right!  We’ve gotta take these bastards!”

And so the 2016 election may well be just what Delta House member Otter claims – a really futile and stupid gesture, on the part of the American people against Imperial overreach – but futile and stupid gestures sometimes draw attention to real problems.

And the world’s got no shortage of windmills to tilt at.

Animal House
American voters.

Rule Five Trump Cabinet Friday

2015_06_20_Rule Five Friday (1)Side note:  You may notice a… theme, to this Friday’s supporting Rule Five images.

The Donald’s candidacy is a done deal.  He’s within eighty points of locking down the nomination; the nightmares of the #NeverTrump crowd have come true, and almost certainly this fall’s race will be Donald Trump against (barring possible indictments) Her Royal Highness Hillary I, the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua.  With this matchup, due largely to the weakness of Her Majesty (as detailed in yesterday’s post) I expect that we will see President Trump inaugurated in January of next year.

So, who should The Donald appoint to key positions in the Executive Branch of the Imperial government?  Here are a few of my suggestions and comments.

2015_06_20_Rule Five Friday (2)Vice President:  This is a key position not ony policy-wise but campaign-wise; the Veep must not only bring policy chops but also some electoral clout.  The conventional wisdom here is to pick someone who can deliver a swing state, leading to a lot of talking heads mentioning Ohio’s John Kasich; but Kasich has said he doesn’t want the job, and Trump isn’t exactly one to go with conventional wisdom.  Therefore, were I Trump, I’d select former Speaker Newt Gingrich for the VP slot.  Set Gingrich on revising the 1994 Contract with America and let him leverage the VP’s only real Constitutional role as President of the Senate to push that through Congress.

Secretary of State:  Trump has been making overtures to Henry Kissinger, but the old Cold Warrior, while a valuable advisor, is too old for the stress of the SecState role, his extensive experience as such aside.  Were I Trump, I would pick former UN Ambassador John Bolton.  The SecState has the key roles of negotiating trade deals and dealing with possibly hostile foreign powers, and the last two SecStates (Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I and John Kerry, who by the way served in Vietnam) have been perfectly awful in this role.  Trump already has definite ideas on trade; those are ideas I don’t agree with, but he has already set his course there.  But Bolton has something neither of the previous two SecStates have had:  Balls.  He is the guy to negotiate with nations like Iran and North Korea.

2015_06_20_Rule Five Friday (3)Secretary of Treasury:  Senator Rand Paul.  Paul was my first choice among the GOP primary candidates, but it obviously wasn’t his year; but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a role to play.  Put Senator Paul in this role and give him his head to reform the IRS and our obscene Imperial tax structure, and oh by the way reform fiscal and monetary policy, including reforming or dismantling the Fed.

Attorney General:  Trump is rumored to be considering New Jersey’s Chris Christie for this role, but he wouldn’t be my pick; he is weak on the Second Amendment and would seek to aggressively ramp up the ridiculously failed War on Drugs.  Were I Trump, I would select staunch supporter and former U.S. Attorney Jess Sessions for this role.  Sessions sucks as much as Christie on the War on Drugs, but is stronger on the Second Amendment.   There are probably better candidates for this post, but I’ll have to give it some thought.

Surgeon General:  Dr. Ben Carson has come around to (tepidly) supporting The Donald; most important, he is widely recognized as a brilliant and innovative neurosurgeon.  He was among my last picks in the Presidential primary, but he would be well suited to be the 2015_06_20_Rule Five Friday (4)nation’s top doc.

Secretary of Labor:  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  Walker (among my first picks in the GOP primary, but there you are) is ideally suited to deal with the increasingly strident demands of the nation’s public sector unions.  Even FDR held the opinion that public sector unions represented a fundamental conflict of interest in that they negotiate contracts with the very pols whose campaigns they fund; let Walker reform that entire system.

Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine Corps Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis.  Mattis is the former Commander of Central Command, and is ideally suited to deal with the threats arising in that regions.  Trump should also give this heroic old bulldog the job of rebuilding our suffering military.  When Mattis led our forces into Iraq in 2003, he reportedly issued this statement:  “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: if you fuck 2015_06_20_Rule Five Friday (5)with me, I’ll kill you all.”  I’d like to see a SecDef with a little streak of Patton in him.

Secretary of Commerce:  Mark Cuban.  He is strongly libertarian and can help undo some of the horrible restrictions the last three administrations have placed on small business.  Were I Trump, I would put him in Commerce with one piece of guidance:  Shut it down.  Cuban should not only be Secretary of Commerce, he should be the last Secretary of Commerce.

Finally (I know there are a bunch more positions, but these are all I’ve given thought to so far) were I Trump, I would make it known that I intend to appoint Texas Senator Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court.  This brings rival Cruz into the Trump camp, but more important, it makes a fitting replacement for Justice Scalia in appointing another strict Constitutionalist to the Court.

Comments?

2015_06_20_Rule Five Friday (6)

Magnificent Remade Seven

I’m not always a huge fan of remakes, but I am a huge fan of Westerns, and the Coen brothers’ remake of True Grit forced me to admit that remakes don’t always suck.  That said; here is the trailer for the upcoming retooling of The Magnificent Seven.

I’ve seen both the original and The Seven Samurai, which was the source of both.  I liked them.  I think I’ll like this.

A Day At The Range

Another ‘tween projects morning at the range today saw me burning up a few hundred .22LR rounds, first with a Ruger 10-22 with an Adams & Bennett .920 target barrel, a Fajen thumbhole stock and a 6-24X target scope.2016-05-19 10.08.22

One problem:  The tight target chamber in the Adams & Bennett barrel doesn’t like the CCI Standard Velocity loads I was using.  It functions flawlessly with CCI Green Tags, but those have been damnably hard to find lately.  Still, when it functioned, it functioned great:

2016-05-19 10.34.44

These were 10-shot groups, at 25 yards, from the sitting position, not rapid-rapid fire but pretty much as fast as I could resight and squeeze.  This is one hell of a good shooting rifle.

I finished up the morning by busting some stationary clay birds at 15 and 20 yards with two handguns, the first a 1930s vintage Colt Officer’s Target in .22LR and the second a late 1950s vintage Ruger Standard.  Fun morning!  The old Ruger Standard was a gift from my Mom to the Old Man around 1958 or 1959; I’ve been shooting it since I was about 12, and can still steadily hit empty shotgun hulls with every shot at 20 yards.  Great old piece.

2016-05-19 10.26.05

Animal’s Daily News

BearLaughing1File this under “belaboring the obvious”:  Hillary is Running A Painfully Stupid Campaign.  Excerpt:

Many Democrats are disenchanted with her (The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua) ideologically, but that’s not the only reason she’s suffering. Hillary is a politician in the John Kerry mold — she does inexplicably self-destructive things without actually having an impetuous, id-driven self-destructive streak.

Who else but a tone-deaf bumbler would have spoken the insanely infelicitous words — “we are going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” — that destroyed her in West Virginia and made Kentucky so hard for her Tuesday night?

We all know she wanted to sell herself to environmentalists, but surely she could have found a way to do so without celebrating the elimination of working-class jobs during the Populist-Resentment Olympics that constitute the 2016 election cycle. Surely this has to be counted among the dumbest self-inflicted political errors of our time.

But forget that recent boner. How about the fact that she took giant speaking fees from banks and hedge funds and Wall Street in 2013 and 2014 knowing full well she was about to run for president in a party that hates banks and hedge funds and Wall Street?

And did so, moreover, when it was money she didn’t need, given that her family net worth was north of $100 million when she did so?

The answer to all of these questions is obvious:  Because she is Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, whose entire campaign has run on the themes “I have a vagina,” and “it’s my turn, bitches!”

Smiling BearWhy else would she have such a hard time closing the deal when her only opposition is the loony old Bolshevik Sanders?

The Democrats could hardly have selected a weaker candidate.  And for once, you know, it’s nice not to have the GOP be the only party picking bad candidates (Dole, Romney) and blowing elections that they should be able to win.  And this fall’s cycle is sure to be entertaining; I was and am no fan of The Donald, but I suspect when we get to Presidential debates, Trump will rip out Her Majesty’s rhetorical throat and dance in her blood.

Her Imperial Majesty’s candidacy may be the only thing that saves the Republican Party this fall.

Hump Day Additional – Another 2nd Amendment Win

Happy Hump Day (Again!)
Happy Hump Day (Again!)

Chalk up another win for the Second Amendment, courtesy of an Imperial judge who seems to remember that we have a Constitution!  Excerpt:

A federal judge ruled yesterday that a provision of the District of Columbia’s concealed carry law was too strict in requiring applicants to show “good reason” in order to obtain a concealed carry permit.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon found that the law violates the “core right of self-defense” granted in the Second Amendment, setting aside arguments from District officials that the regulation is needed to prevent crime and protect the public.

“The enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table,” Leon wrote in a 46-page opinion, quoting a 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision in 2008 in another District case that established a constitutional right to keep firearms inside one’s home.

Leon said the right applies both inside and outside the home.

“The District’s understandable, but overzealous, desire to restrict the right to carry in public a firearm for self-defense to the smallest possible number of law-abiding, responsible citizens is exactly the type of policy choice the Justices had in mind,” he wrote.

Let’s hear it for Judge Leon!

gun control theoryNow, let’s make no mistake about it; the Imperial District will continue to try to find ways to prevent law-abiding citizens, the very citizens that are least likely to commit crimes with firearms, the means to protect themselves from violent criminals.  But courts are increasingly realizing that the rights of the law-abiding, as enshrined in the Second Amendment, override stupid and useless laws that only restrict those law-abiding citizens.

Are we turning a corner?  Maybe so.  But this November’s Presidential election will be key; Her Royal Highness Hillary I will certainly seek to stack the Supreme Court with anti-gun justices.

That can’t be allowed to happen.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Remember the old saying about blind hogs and acorns?  Well, the Ninth Circuit Court found themselves an acorn.  Excerpt:

Yesterday a federal appeals court ruled that local restrictions on gun sales can violate the Second Amendment. “The right to purchase and to sell firearms is part and parcel of the historically recognized right to keep and to bear arms,” said a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, concluding that a federal judge should not have dismissed a constitutional challenge to a zoning ordinance that prevented a gun store from opening in Alameda County, California. “If ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms’ is to have any force, the people must have a right to acquire the very firearms they are entitled to keep and to bear.”

The three men who brought the lawsuit, John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga, and Gary Gamaza, planned to open a gun store but were stymied by a county rule banning such businesses within 500 feet of a home, a school, a day care center, a liquor store, a bar, a restaurant with a liquor license, or another gun store. Because of that restriction, Teixeira and his partners said, “there are no parcels in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County which would be available for firearm retail sales.”

Even if that’s not true, the 9th Circuit said, the 500-foot rule burdens a constitutionally protected right and therefore should be subject to “heightened scrutiny,” as opposed to the highly deferential “rational basis” test applied by the district court. The county claimed the location restrictions were motivated by concerns about the impact that gun stores might have on crime in their vicinity and on the aesthetics of the neighborhood. But it presented no evidence to substantiate either concern.

Read the entire decision here.

Girls and GunsLet’s apply an anticipated gun-grabber argument to the First Amendment, and imagine the howls of outrage were a municipality to pass ordinances outlawing free speech within their borders – or the free practice of religion.

Well, folks, the Second Amendment’s enshrined right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental human right, just as is freedom of expression and freedom of conscience.  But the real point here is that the Alameda County ordinance was passed as a “crime control” measure, which is how lots of proposed gun control laws are pushed – never minding for a moment that 1) criminals don’t buy guns from licensed dealers, and B) no gun control law anywhere, ever, has been in-arguably shown to result in a decrease in crime rates.

The amount of derp shown here by Alameda County staggers description.  It’s good that the Ninth Circuit showed a little (uncharacteristic) bit of common sense and slapped them down.

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