All posts by Animal

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  Thanks also to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the linkback!

I find stuff like this interesting:  Sometime in the next 100,000 years, the star Betelgeuse, which is 640 light-years away in the constellation Orion, will go supernova.  Excerpt:

Right now, Betelgeuse is absolutely enormous, irregularly shaped, and with an uneven surface temperature. Located approximately 640 light-years away, it’s more than 2,000 °C cooler than our Sun, but also much larger, at approximately 900 times our Sun’s radius and occupying some 700,000,000 times our Sun’s volume. If you were to replace our Sun with Betelgeuse, it would engulf Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the asteroid belt, and even Jupiter!

But there are also enormous, extended emissions around Betelgeuse from material that’s been blown off over the past few dozen millennia: matter and gas that extends out farther than Neptune’s orbit around our Sun. Over time, as the inevitable supernova approaches, Betelgeuse will shed more mass, continue to expand, dim-and-brighten chaotically, and will burn progressively heavier elements in its core.

And:

All of a sudden, the luminosity of Betelgeuse would spike by about a factor of 7,000 from its previously steady value. It would go from one of the brightest stars in the night sky to the brightness of a thin crescent Moon: about 40 times brighter than the planet Venus. That peak brightness would only last for a few minutes before falling again back to being just about 5 times brighter than it previously was, but then the traditional supernova rise begins.

Over a time period of approximately 10 days, the brightness of Betelgeuse will gradually rise, eventually becoming about as bright as the full Moon. Its brightness will surpass all the stars and planets after about an hour, will reach that of a half Moon in three days, and will reach its maximum brightness after approximately 10 days. To skywatchers across the globe, Betelgeuse will appear to be even brighter than the full Moon, as instead of being spread out over half a degree (like the full Moon), all of its brightness will be concentrated into a single, solitary, saturated point.

The future may be amazing!

What’s kind of cool about all this is that Betelgeuse may have gone supernova 600 years ago, and we still won’t see it until on or about my 100th birthday!

This of course serves to point out how vastly huge, how enormously immense, even our stellar neighborhood is.  In the cosmic scheme of things Betelgeuse is a near neighbor; but it takes light, traveling at 186,282 miles per second, 640 years to reach us.  That means that Betelgeuse is 3,762,320,000,000,000 miles away.

And that’s a hop, skip and a jump, cosmically speaking.  The nearest galaxy from ours is Andromeda, and it takes light 2.5 million years to travel the 1.4696563 x 1019 miles from there to here.  When we look at Andromeda, we are seeing fossil light.  We are literally looking into the past.

Do these facts have any immediate impact in our lives?  No.  But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that it’s cool.

Rule Five Second Secession Friday

The dust-up over gun control in Virginia has several counties looking to leave Virginia and join the decidedly more Second Amendment-friendly West Virginia.  Excerpt:

West Virginia lawmakers are scrambling to let rural Virginia counties join the Mountain State amid conservative voter anger with the new Democratic majority in Richmond and its push for gun control and other liberal initiatives.

In a building fight that echoes the Civil War-era split of the Old Dominion that created West Virginia in 1863, 40 of 100 West Virginia House delegates have signed on to legislation that would accept revolting Virginia counties and towns.

The effort began after the November elections when urban and suburban voters put the Virginia General Assembly into Democratic hands. Many of those Democrats ran on a platform of restricting and banning guns.

“We’re starting to get some phone calls from friends on the border who say these folks want to leave,” said West Virginia Del. Gary Howell.

Howell, a Republican, told Secrets that what started off as a long-shot effort “has turned into a real thing.”

He said that Virginia lawmakers and officials along the West Virginia border have cited the Democratic drive for gun control and desire to shift spending to the urban areas near Washington as reasons to leave for West Virginia.

In his bill, HCR 8, Howell and his team wrote about the urban-rural battle: “These tensions have been compounded by a perception of contempt on the part of the government at Richmond for the differences in certain fundamental political and societal principles which prevail between the varied counties and cities of that Commonwealth.”

He also cited gun control, a huge fight on display in Richmond Monday when some 22,000 gun owners protested restrictions sweeping through the state Senate. There is no new push for gun control in West Virginia.

Note that Gary Howell cites the “urban-rural battle” that I’ve mentioned before in these virtual pages.

The thing here is this:  A secession into a neighboring state might be the best thing for everyone concerned here, and it could certainly set an interesting precedence.  This move would relieve some pressure on Richmond, where the state government is increasingly blue, driven by the huge NoVa enclave of Imperial workers, who tend to see government and more government as the cure to all that ails us.  It would make the pro-gun folks in the western counties happier, and would increase West Virginia’s tax base and Congressional influence.

Now apply that to some other places.

What about our own Colorado?  Say some of the northeastern counties joined Wyoming or Nebraska?

What if the southeastern California counties moved to join Arizona?  Or the northernmost ones and some on southern Oregon realized their goal of a State of Jefferson?

What if eastern Washington seceded and joined Idaho?

How about farther east?  Would the counties of southern Illinois, notoriously conservative, be more comfortable as part of Indiana or Missouri?

People can vote with their feet.  But moving or not moving isn’t the point; people should also be able to choose the government that suits them.  Bear in mind this would exacerbate the “urban-rural battle” in some ways, by redrawing state lines that would exaggerate those divides even further, because, as you may have noticed, the examples I cite mostly involve rural areas separating from urban ones.

Maybe this time we’ll be able to have our secession a little more peaceably, since no one is (yet) agitating to start a whole new nation.

Animal’s Daily Lady Stalin News

Know how the far left defines a “gaffe?”  It’s when one of them accidentally says what they really mean.  Case in point.  Excerpt:

It has been clear ever since the creation (and later the fall) of the Soviet Union that socialism is an inherently dictatorial, tyrannical ideology. Only those who worship the state and power want to have anything to do with it. Which is why it makes perfect sense that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a passionate Marxist.

As Madam Tyrant put it herself recently:

“To be ethical, if you’re a billionaire today, the thing that you need to do is give up control and power,” Mrs. Stalin said. “So I don’t want your money as much as we want your power,” she went on to say while quickly changing the “I” into “we.” “The people, not me,” she added.

Haha, of course not!

“That’s gonna be cut in clips,” she said after the gaffe.

You hope.

Here, True Believers, is the naked face of a would-be tyrant.  (Or tyrantita.)  This stupid, stupid girl, who supposedly has a degree in Economics and yet was working as a bartender before the people in her district stupidly put her in Congress, would cheerfully confiscate the property of thousands, maybe millions, of Americans.  Not just billionaires; if she got her way, she could confiscate the property of every billionaire in America, and it still wouldn’t pay for her Utopia.  And that’s assuming that not one of those billionaires – people with, you know, the resources of a billionaire – fled for less repressive shores.

And when her failure became obvious, she’d look next to millionaires – then the “very wealthy”, whatever that means – then to you and me.

There can only be one response to this:  Fuck off, slaver!

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

On to the links!

This rates an enormous, ninety-decibel “No Shit”:  High-tax states are driving people away.

Alaska is blowing its top.

Horseshit.

This has a frighteningly familiar ring to it.

Thousands of pro-Second Amendment protestors turned out in Richmond.   And, amazingly, nobody died.  The whole thing ended peacefully.

Remember the last time a pro-Second Amendment rally ended with a massive shootout?  Me either.

More UFO kookery.

White supremacists, my ass.

Our good friend and fellow author Jillian Becker has some thoughts on homelessness and crime that are well worth reading.

Payback’s a bitch.

Why are there seven days in a week?  And why is only one of them Saturday?

The correct answer is, “who gives a shit?”  Seriously, why are so many Americans so fascinated by these “royal” non-entities?  Didn’t our ancestors fight a bloody revolution to ensure we wouldn’t have any of those royal nobs nobbing it up over here on our side of the Atlantic?

This Week’s Idiots:

The leaders of Iran are idiots.

Mona Eltahawy is an idiot.

Andrew Cuomo is an idiot.

California is run by idiots.

And now…

This guy deserves special mention.  Relevant excerpt:

Two hours later, authorities in Exeter, another nearby town, got a call that the coyote had charged a family walking on a trail.

“The coyote attacked a young child, and the child’s dad went into protection mode and suffocated the coyote until it succumbed,” police said.

Man Card earned, for life.  And on that hairy note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

A Tramp Abroad I – Ireland

Take a guess where we went.

Before we begin, thanks to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links, and make sure to catch the last in my Thirty-Something Rifle Cartridges series over at Glibertarians.

This long weekend just passed, Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. made a whirlwind trip to bonny old Eire.  We took a red-eye flight Thursday night, arriving rather the worse for wear early Friday morning.  After picking up our rental car, I had a journey of discovery in which I 1) had to learn to drive on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the car, and b) navigate Dublin’s rush hour traffic to find our hotel.  Continue reading A Tramp Abroad I – Ireland

Rule Five Fleecing the Rubes Friday

Programming note:  At the moment this post goes live Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. will be aloft in the Friendly Skies, off to a brief yet fun-filled adventure; watch this space next week for details.

Moving along:  As documented by ArsTechnica, our old nemesis Gwyneth Paltrow is back with a new Netflix series, and she’s just as batshit crazy as ever – or is she?  Excerpt, with a few comments:

In Netflix’s own words, the show intends to guide “deeply inquisitive” (my ass) viewers through “boundary-pushing wellness topics,” such as “energy healing and psychics.” The show—like Goop—appears to be largely aimed at women, and the trailer’s release was accompanied by an image of Paltrow appearing to descend into an artist’s rendition of a vagina.

Goop critics were quick to decry the show, arguing that—like the brand—it actually intends to guide exploitable viewers (read “exploitable” as “stupid”) through unproven and potentially dangerous health practices, such as the same garbage Goop has been promoting for years. And the show—like Goop—claims to “empower” women only by convincing them to try dubious treatments and products.

Critics on Twitter have been particularly merciless at trashing and mocking the show (and Goop) all day. The announcements of the show’s trailer have been bombarded with disapproving memes, viewers noping out, and messages scolding Netflix for getting involved with the notorious business. (The responses were overwhelmingly negative, but there were some solid puns in there, too.)

Despite the swift backlash online, the most cutting and concise critiques of the show seem to appear in the trailer itself. As the teaser notes, the unproven wellness practices and products shown are “unregulated” and simply “dangerous.”

In one clip, Paltrow herself asks one of the show’s guests “what the fuck are you doing to people?”

Yet, the trailer also offers Paltrow’s justification for the show’s—and Goop’s—existence. In an apparent rejoinder to the unspoken-yet-blaring question of “dear lord, why?”, Paltrow explains: “We’re here one time, one life. How can we really milk the shit out of this?”

Note that last quote from Ms. Paltrow.  Here it is again:

Paltrow explains: “We’re here one time, one life. How can we really milk the shit out of this?”

Well, let’s give her some points for being unintentionally honest for once.

I’ve long said that there is some point at which fools and their money deserve to be parted, and make no mistake, those are precisely the kind of fools that are Gwyneth’s target audience for this latest outpouring of woo.  And as a staunch minarchist, I can only reaffirm that caveat emptor applies here, and stupid people will usually get what’s coming to them.

But, as I’ve mused before, I have to wonder about Ms. Paltrow’s motivations here.  Is she really dumb enough to believe in the ridiculous snake oil she hawks?  Or is she, as she unwittingly let slip, just milking the shit out of this for big fat sacks of cash?  Honestly, is Gwyneth a simpleton, or is she secretly thinking “I can make huge bags of cash off these morons?”

And what the fuck, Netflix?  Why on earth would you give a platform to this enormous outpouring of absolute, steaming horseshit?  How much is Gwyneth paying you for another opportunity to sell jade vagina eggs and $85 plastic water bottles with healing crystals in them?

ArsTechnica concludes:  With the new show, Paltrow remains steadfast. In a statement to Cosmopolitan, Paltrow said that the show takes the same “open-minded approach that we’ve cultivated at Goop and applied a different, visual lens with Netflix.”

This, True Believers, is a textbook case of folks’ minds being so open that their brains have actually fallen out.

Animal’s Daily Urban Outdoorsmen News

Denver police are going to resume enforcement of the city’s camping ban, in spite of its overturn by an activist local judge.  This is good news, a commodity that is in short supply regarding public policy in Colorado these days.  Excerpt:

The Denver Police Department will resume enforcing the city’s urban camping ban, the Denver City Attorney’s Office confirmed Monday evening. A county judge struck down the ban in late December. 

The judge, Johnny C. Barajas, argued the ban violated the Eight Amendment.

“The County Court ruling related to the ordinance did not overturn or prohibit enforcement,” the city attorney’s office said of the judge’s decision.

The city attorney’s office did not say when enforcement would resume.

Since the ban was struck down, the homeless community has set up tents in public places previously off-limits to camping, such as Civic Center Park.

The city attorney’s office says an appeal of the judge’s ruling has not yet been filed, but a notice of appeal has been submitted in district court.

Here’s where the stupid creeps back in:

(Notorious leftist)  Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca said last week that she wants to repeal the ban through City Council.

“When you’re a city and starved of public dollars, and you have a ruling that a law you’re enforcing is cruel and unusual, you should repeal that law,” CdeBaca said.

It’s certainly more cruel and unusual to leave these bums on the streets.  Forget about the possibility of harm to themselves; they made choices that led them to this status, and nobody else is responsible for their predicament.  Many, if not most, of them have mental health and substance abuse issues, and they pose a direct threat to the urban environs they infest.  Look at Los Angeles, where they have had outbreaks of various communicable diseases among their urban outdoor population, including leprosy – leprosy, for crying out loud!

Allowing bums to camp in city parks does no good to anyone; not to the people of the city, not to public sanitation, and, no, not to the bums themselves.  If we are going to have city property, then the city should keep the bums out of it.  Denver’s appeal will almost certainly result in the ordinance being upheld, and that (hopefully) will be a rare victory for common sense in our courts.