Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Deep thoughts, omphaloskepsis, and other random musings.

Animal’s Daily Random Thoughts

Some of my actual bucket list items:

  • Taking a dump on Turkmenistan.
  • Being in a situation where I can accurately say to someone “you have arrived just in time for my moment of triumph!”
  • Go on a Cape Buffalo hunt in which I kill a massive bull in a full charge, timed so that he slides, dead, up to the toes of my boots.  Note that this item will likely necessitate a change of underwear immediately thereafter.
  • Bitch-slap Chuck Schumer.
  • Drive the AlCan.
  • Go hunting in Siberia.
  • See the following places:
    • India
    • Vladivostok
    • Iceland
    • Scotland
    • Wales
    • Rome
    • Tierra del Fuego
    • Patagonia

I have more bucket list items, but those are just a few of my favorites.

I know the science in Jurassic Park is pretty much at the Star Trek level of bullshit, but I wish it wasn’t, solely because I think hunting a full-grown bull T-rex would be an unimaginably awesome adventure.

Being able to teleport would be the best superpower you could have.  Being telepathic would be a close second.

Having spent a fair amount of time in Japan, I’ve often wondered why Japanese schoolgirls wear what amounts to a sailor’s uniform.  They aren’t going to school on a ship – so, why?

By the time Mrs. Animal and I leave here on Saturday, I will have spent nigh unto a year now working and living in Silicon Valley.  I can sum up my experience temporarily residing in California with three words:  Fuck this place.

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

Rule Five Sapiosexual Friday

Thanks to Darkness Over the Land for the pingback!

Moving on:  Yes, apparently this is a thing; for some folks, at least, brains are an essential part of what makes another person sexually interesting.  (I offer no speculation on the intelligence of today’s Rule Five girl; that’s not why she’s here.)  Excerpt:

To get to the bottom of the question, Gilles Gignac, a psychology researcher at the University of Western Australia conducted a survey of both undergraduate students in Australia and participants on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. He and his co-authors had them complete a questionnaire that asked whether they found high levels of intelligence attractive, in addition to more general questions about intelligence. Examples included “Listening to someone speak very intelligently arouses me sexually,” and “very high level of intelligence alone is enough for me to be attracted to someone sexually.”

Gignac also asked them directly whether they would find people with varying levels of intelligence attractive, ranging from well below the 50th percentile to the very top end of the intelligence spectrum. His study was published in the journal Intelligence, natch.

Tallying the data revealed that for most people, intelligence isn’t a significant factor in deciding whether someone’s hot or not. While it wasn’t totally insignificant, it’s likely that other characteristics override brains for most people. For a select few, however, it appears that a prodigious intellect did indeed serve to stir desire. Eight percent of the participants scored a 4 out of 5 on Gignac’s test, meaning they responded strongly in the positive to most questions that asked whether they were turned on by intelligence. He interprets this as evidence of sapiosexuality among a small subset of people.

Interestingly, it seems there’s a limit to how much intelligence people can handle. When asked to rate what level of intelligence they found attractive, most people stopped at an IQ of 120, which corresponds roughly to the 90th percentile of intelligence. Gignac, isn’t sure about why this is so, though he suggests that portrayals of extremely intelligent people as socially awkward, as well fears of compatibility problems, could come into play.

In addition, the participant’s own level of intelligence, as measured by a few common cognitive tests, didn’t seem to make them more attracted to smart people. In other words, sapiosexuality doesn’t seem to be relegated solely to the brilliant.

I’m a little skeptical about the whole thing.

I do find intelligence appealing.  Mrs. Animal is extremely intelligent; for twenty-five years now she has run the business side of all our small business ventures and managed her own small publishing company, all while raising four daughters.  She speaks several languages, and repeatedly demonstrates unfailing aptitude for almost any new project she takes on.  Yes, she’s a smart cookie.  I think I’m a pretty smart cookie too, and that’s one of the reasons our marriage has been so successful.

But where I think this article misses the mark is in shallowly confining the study to sexuality.  Compatibility in a relationship involves a lot more, including – perhaps too obviously – a certain amount of intellectual parity.  I could refer you to an acquaintance of mine, a man of above-average intelligence who for reasons unknown married a woman who I must in all candor describe as a drooling imbecile.  Not surprisingly, he’s unhappy in the relationship.

Sexual compatibility is important in a relationship, sure.  But more fundamentally, people have to be able to simply talk to each other.  That’s what this study missed.

Rule Five 2018 Inventions Friday

Every year seems to bring more new gadgets to make our lives easier and more convenient (hah!) and I’m sure 2018 will be no exception.  But while most folks will be thinking of new gadgets for commerce, for socializing, for… well, whatever, I have some ideas for new inventions that will make my life more fun – or at least, more tolerable.  Here they are:

  1. The Directed EMP Auto Sound Hush-O-Matic.  This will be a powerful directed EMP pulse generator intended for use when stopped at a traffic signal next to an obnoxious retard with a thumping, booming stereo.  Bear in mind that there is a natural law I discovered some years back, which has since been known as Animal’s First Law of Car Stereo Stupidity, which posits that the volume with which a driver blasts his car stereo is directly proportional to the crappiness of his preferred music.  The Hush-O-Matic is intended for just such a driver; the device will, when aimed and activated, immediately fry all of the electronics in said vehicle, rendering it into an inert hunk of scrap metal.
  2. Anti-Tag Electro-Paint.  “Urban Art” usually isn’t; some of it is barely acceptable as far as talent goes, but when it’s done (as it frequently is) on public or private property, it’s vandalism and a damned nuisance.  Some locales are deterring public urination by using paint designed to splash urine back at the urinator; the Electro-Paint will go one step beyond by sensing when any spray paint is applied to a surface and respond by sending a high-voltage charge back down the paint stream, stunning the vandal.  The charge is yet to be determined but should be sufficient to render said vandal into a gelid mass until law enforcement can arrive.
  3. Disabled Parking Abuser Auto-Flip.  My own dear Mrs. Animal is disabled, depending on a walker for full mobility.  Her parents are also disabled (blind) as is my mother (severe rheumatoid arthritis.)  So I’m something of a prick about abuse of handicapped parking spaces.  I’ve offered to turn a few smartass teenagers into grease stains over this issue, and was once delighted to see a van with a wheelchair lift scrape the hell out of the side of a car illegally parked in the cross-hatched space intended to provide room for such lifts.  The Auto-Flip will take the form of a hydraulic arm that may be extended from the underside of a vehicle, moved underneath the vehicle of a scofflaw, and used to flip the offender’s car over on its roof.
  4. Cellular Phone Blabber-Blocker.  Ever noticed how the advent of the cellular phone means that now we have to listen to everyone’s personal conversations in every public place?  Some time back the airlines were speculating about the possibility of providing cell phone service in-flight; I was horrified at the idea, since one of the few compensations in air travel is that at least I don’t have to listen to people blabbing all of their personal business.  The Blabber-Blocker will simply block all cellular phone signals within a certain radius, say, fifteen feet.
  5. The Left-Lane Vigilante Messenger.  Ever been stuck on a freeway behind some gomer tooling along at ten miles an hour under the speed limit in the left lane?  One that no amount of flashing headlights or gesturing will get to move right?  The Left-Lane Vigilante Messenger uses a powerful laser to etch the words “MOVE RIGHT, ASSHOLE” into the inside of the offending driver’s windshield.

Ideas are precious things.  It’s the duty of all intelligent people to use their intelligence to improve the lives of their fellow man; the inventions I have described above will surely do that.  Well, at least they’d improve my life.

So, what say you, True Believers?  Any suggestions?

Rule Five Manly Arts Friday

Manliness, as defined by strength, confidence, self-reliance, courage and honor, seems to be an increasingly rare trait in the Western nations today, our own republic among them.  I am inclined to think that this seeming lack is only an illusion, as the rise of PC culture has drowned out the actions and words of such men who, generally, see no need to blow their own horns.  The Old Man is one such; a man of few words but enormous presence, a small man physically but a giant in character, a man of great courage, honor, determination, confidence and self-reliance.  America has millions like him, and we’re better for it.

But while they may be men of few words, there are nonetheless quite a few relevant quotes on the meaning of manliness that are worth considering.  A while back I was perusing the site The Art of Manliness, and stumbled across an article presenting 80+ Quotes on Men and Manhood.   Some of my personal heroes are represented in that article, Winston Churchill, George Patton and Theodore Roosevelt among them, so I’ll produce some of my favorites here.  Hopefully the males among all you True Believers will find them inspiring, as I have.  For that matter, some of the ladies may as well.  Enjoy.

“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.  – Winston Churchill

“We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life.” –Theodore Roosevelt

“No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity, for he is not permitted to prove himself.”  – Seneca

“Private and public life are subject to the same rules—truth and manliness are two qualities that will carry you through this world much better than policy or tact of expediency or other words that were devised to conceal a deviation from a straight line.” –Robert E. Lee

“The way of a superior man is three-fold: virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.” –Confucius

“We need the iron qualities that go with true manhood.  We need the positive virtues of resolution, of courage, of indomitable will, of power to do without shirking the rough work that must always be done.”  – Theodore Roosevelt

“The lesson taught at this point by human experience is simply this, that the men who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down.  Personal independence is a virtue and it is the soul out of which comes the sturdiest manhood.  But there can be no independence without a large share of self-dependence, and this virtue cannot be bestowed.  It must be developed from within.”  – Frederick Douglass

“Duty is the essence of manhood.”  – George Patton

“Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men.” –Elisabeth Elliott

“A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it confirmed only by other men. Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all.” –Camille Paglia

“Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.” –Patrick Henry

“What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a God.” – William Shakespeare

Which is your favorite?  Anyone have any to add?

Rule Five Stupid Lyrics Friday

When I was a kid back in the Seventies, there was a song by the British band Ten Year After called I’d Love To Change The World.  That song included these lyrics:

Tax the rich, feed the poor

‘Till there are no rich no more

Even the seventeen-year old me thought that was stupid.  “If there are no rich no more,” I remember thinking, “who the hell is going to feed the poor then?”  These lyrics seemed to that younger me to describe the very folly of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Now, musicians – indeed, performers of any sort – are frequently of the redistributionist bent.  That’s nothing new.  But some popular song lyrics present us with some of the most intelligence-insulting economic illiteracy ever seen.  Here are a couple of examples:

1: Steve Miller Band, Take The Money and Run.

The lyrics in question:

They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That’s where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run

Isn’t that nice?  The young couple that are the subject of this song, in the very opening stanza, commit three felonies:  Breaking and entering, armed robbery and assault with intent to commit murder (if not actually murder – the song is unclear.)  Maybe the Steven Miller Band wasn’t trying to glorify violent robbery, but you couldn’t prove it by me.  The song goes on:

Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
He ain’t gonna let those two escape justice
He makes his livin’ off of the people’s taxes

Sure appears to me that the cop is made out to be the bad guy here.   As for his making his living “off of the people’s taxes,” well, sure – law enforcement is an example of a distributed interest, and one of the actual legitimate functions of a local government.  And bringing armed and dangerous felons to heel is a pretty damned good use of tax money.

2:  The Beatles/John Lennon, Imagine

I loathe this song.  I’ve been called a heartless bastard for saying so, but I nevertheless loathe this song.  it’s the worst sort of mushy-headed puffery masquerading as some kind of high ideals.  Consider:

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

No possessions?  To hell with that!  Heartless bastard I’ve been called and heartless bastard I may be, but screw that idea.  If I work for something and earn it, it’s mine.  If you work for something and earn it, it’s yours.  If anyone works for something and earns it, it’s theirs.

You want a brotherhood of man?  Fine.  Let’s have a brotherhood of free men, all using their own talents, skills, knowledge and abilities to produce value.  Let’s have a brotherhood of free men openly and freely trading the products of their work with each other, via mutual agreements openly and freely agreed to, in which both parties gain value.  What Lennon called greed, I call ambition – that urge that drives people to work, to achieve, to excel.  Want to eliminate hunger?  That’s the way to do it.

Much as I love my daily helpings of classic rock, there are nevertheless times when its creators drive me batty.

Rule Five Civil War Friday

Yesterday’s post on the Antifa fascists and their “non-violent” resistance  got me to thinking.

There’s been a fair amount of talk lately about the modern American political climate.  I have to agree with the seeming consensus that American politics has become increasingly divisive.  Groups of activists are taking to the streets, and the protests are increasingly violent.

From 1861 to 1865, this nation fought a war between the States.  Are we heading in that direction again?  We may be, but it won’t be like the 1861-1865 war; not even a little bit.  Why?

Here’s the catch; any 21st century American civil war won’t resemble the 1861-1865 war at all. And not just for technological reasons.

The 1861-1865 war wasn’t really a civil war.  It did not involve two factions fighting for control of one nation, as did the two Roman civil wars of the late Republic, or the English civil war. Our war was a war of secession, where one part of the nation tried to break away and form a new country.  The Confederacy did not succeed in creating that new nation, and it’s probably for the best they did not.  There would likely have never been an overwhelming American superpower if the U.S. had broken up in the 1860s.

Our war between the states was also a war with clear geographic boundaries, North against South (mostly, the West was a little confused) and mostly fought by established armies in the martial traditions of the time. The tensions of that conflict are still felt today.

Any second conflict will be a true civil war. There will be few geographic boundaries, other than urban v. rural. This will be a conflict that doesn’t involve the military so much as gangs of irregulars; imagine Charlottesville if both sides had come armed and willing to open fire.

And second civil war will be fought amongst us.  It won’t be fought on open battlefields; it will be fought in our city streets, in the suburbs, on the roads and byways of our nation.

Imagine pitched battles on the streets of our major cities, what is left of established authority against rioting mobs.  Imagine those mobs engaging in raids into the suburbs when the cities run short of food and water. Imagine a complete breakdown of emergency services in those cities as first responders encounter armed gangs willing to kill them for their vehicles, equipment, and medicines. Imagine hordes of refugees fleeing the cities, into the countryside, under the misapprehension that somehow there is plenty of food to be had in the countryside, but having no skills whatsoever to find or grow said food. Imagine rural residents facing rampant theft and trespassing responding by forming their own armed militias to repel the invaders, and thus escalate the conflict into the countryside.

The situation will likely escalate, atrocity breeding atrocity.  Just read some of the rhetoric on Twitter and Facebook – two essentially content-free forums catering in large part to the lowest common denominator –  and imagine the fevered rhetoric therein translated to action.

There are only two ways any government could respond to this crisis:

  • Impose martial law and restore order by force. Such force would have to be overwhelming, brutal and merciless. Bear in mind that this option is likely to fail, as a significant portion of our military would likely refuse to exercise brutality on their fellow citizens.
  • Respond weakly and fecklessly, as when Jefferson Davis pleaded with an angry, starving mob in Richmond in 1864, finally turning out his pockets to toss a few coins into the crown. Such a response would be worse than doing nothing at all.

In either case, the United States as we knew it ends at that point.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

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

Let’s go with a lighter (or at least, grayer) note today:  Yes, You Get Wiser With Age.  Excerpt:

There are three domains of aging: Physical, cognitive, and psycho-social. Most people think about aging as physical aging, and that’s why there is a negative perception about aging and a bias against aging. In terms of cognition, again, there is something similar. Starting after middle age, say around 60 or so, memory and other abilities decline. However, psychosocial aging is really important, and that is usually not studied and that is not included in the concept of aging. 

So what is psychosocial aging? It includes things like well-being, happiness, quality of life, control of emotions, socialization. Those are the kinds of things that matter a lot to people, and they need to be included. Successful aging mainly refers to better well-being, greater happiness, and not just arriving at old age, but thriving and even flourishing.

Not surprisingly, I have some thoughts on these three domains of aging.

First, the physical:  Nothing can (yet) be done about this.  But I’m in favor of doing so gracefully.  There’s nothing wrong with acting your age, and there is something mildly silly about a middle-aged person trying to dress and act like a teenager.  I wonder if it’s because the popular culture of our time, at least here in the States, glamorizes youth?  That may well be; us gray-haired old farts don’t automatically get the overt displays of respect we do in, say, Japan.  Personally, though, I’m rather proud of my gray hairs.  I earned every damn one of ’em.

Second, the cognitive:  I had something for this, but I can’t seem to remember what it was.  (Go on, tell me you didn’t see that one coming.)

Third:  The psychosocial.  I admit to not really having thought of this as a separate realm of aging, but there’s some logic to it.  There’s a reason they call them the golden years, after all.  Granted they aren’t golden for everyone, but youth isn’t a basket of roses for everyone, either.

Mine are shaping up to be pretty damn good, though.  I’ve achieved a certain level of financial success; Mrs. Animal and I are in good health, we have a wonderful marriage, our kids and grandkids are thriving.  We have big plans for semi-retirement and, at the moment, the future looks pretty damn good.

Aging is something that comes to all of us, whether we would or no.  But while it would be nice to have the brain I have now in the body I had at twenty (and the energy I had at three) that’s not an option.

So of these three aspects of aging, there’s only one that we can control.  Fortunately that’s the one that can yield the best bits of those golden years.

As Robert Browning said: “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.”

Rule Five Windy Day Friday

One of my favorite quotes comes from a personal hero, nature writer Hal Borland:

There are no limits to either time or distance, except as Man himself may make them. I have but to touch the wind to know these things.”

The wind is, of course, a purely physical phenomenon, the movement of atmosphere from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. The sun’s heat drives the wind. So does heat moving in ocean currents and the Coriolis Effect. A myriad of local and global influences move the wind and shape it. In our history, we have harnessed the wind to grind grain, to pump water, to move ships, to generate electricity. Plants use it to spread pollen and seeds, birds use it to soar in the sky, mammals seek or avoid it to improve their own comfort in their environment.

That is not what Hal Borland had in mind. In fact, I think I have a good handle on what Mr. Borland meant when he encouraged us to touch the wind.

I once spent part of a morning out on the end of a long fishing pier at Ventura, California, looking over the Pacific Ocean towards Santa Cruz Island and using my big twenty-power binoculars to look for whales. I did not see any whales, although I enjoyed seeing sea ducks, grebes, and watching pelicans diving for fish. The constant that morning was the wind, blowing in from the west. It was not a harsh wind that sunny California morning, but a warm wind, just enough to ruffle hair.

Where else had that wind been? Where did it come from? From what unknown shore did that wind journey to visit me there on that California pier? What mountain valleys did it travel, what plains, what forests did it traverse to get to where I was standing? If the wind could talk, what stories would it have to tell?

I wonder these things because I have always been afflicted with wanderlust. Bright, breezy spring days in particular fill me with the urge to go walkabout. The wind suffers from no restrictions on its movement; no job, no travel expenses, no duties or obligations. It crosses mountain ranges, continents, oceans and borders as easily as it crosses the street. The wind is my constant companion when I am out of doors.

As Mr. Borland pointed out, the wind knows few limits. In the Middle East, I have experienced hot, dry winds that felt like they came from a furnace. Growing up in northeast Iowa where winters are serious business, I have felt cold, dry bitter winds that were so frigid they burned. While traveling in the American South, I have suffered through sluggish breezes so humid that you could almost hear them splash.

When I was a boy in Iowa, the wind brought winter blizzards and summer thunderstorms, the smell of corn pollen in the summer and burning leaves in autumn. In Colorado, the winds bring the small of pine and spruce in the mountains, the smell of sage on the flats, winter storms and summer rains. When I am fishing on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, a place I love without reservation, the wind blends the smell of the endless forests of spruce and fir with the smell of the sea.

The Swiss have the Foehn, the Californians the Santa Ana, the French the Mistral, the Hawaiians the Pali, Alaskans the Williwaws. In my own Colorado in the spring comes the Chinook, that warm, brisk spring wind that melts snow and dries the ground for the first spring wildflowers. The wind has as many names as it does variations.

Some warm summer afternoon, take a moment and look closely at a dandelion that has gone to seed. Dandelions are a favorite of children in summer – to pick them, and blow the silky seeds away, to watch the breeze carry them off to start another patch of dandelions on some homeowner’s manicured lawn. Dandelions depend on the wind to live, to spread. Some homeowners swear at dandelions, but I like them – they are great survivors. Counting on the wind is a good evolutionary bet.

Lately the urge to wander has been hitting me with great vigor. I want to go walkabout. I would like to find a way to ride on the wind as I would ride a river in my old canoe, to see where the wind’s river would take me. What a wonder, to be as free as the wind, to wander the hills, forests and valleys! One of my favorite spots in Colorado is in the White RiverNational Forest south of Eagle, where a Forest Service road wanders close to the south rim of McKenzie Gulch. One sunny afternoon I sat on a rock at the top of the gulch, eating a blueberry bagel and considering how long it would take me to descend into the bottom and climb the other side. As I thought about this, a Clark’s Nutcracker floating by overhead opened his wings wide and rode the south breeze across the vast gulf of air to the other side. I envied that bird; I wanted to spread wings and float on the breeze. Instead, my own evolutionary legacy forced me to walk.

Walking still suits me, though; the wind is always there with me.

Stand outside in a stiff breeze sometime. Raise your arms high and spread your fingers. Touch the wind.

For all its variations, the wind is one of the Earth’s few constants.

Rule Five Random Thoughts Friday

Sometimes it seems unfair that we spend our youths working our asses off so that we can enjoy free time while we’re old and decrepit. But then, when I get old, I don’t plan to be decrepit.

Here are some other things I wonder about:

I wonder why people buy high-performance cars and then drive five miles ah hour under the speed limit in the left lane on the interstate. I spied a couple just such on last winter’s drive to California; a new Mustang, another an older Camaro. Makes no sense.

I wonder why the person who invented the brassiere made them hook in the back. Seems counter intuitive to me, not to mention damned inconvenient.

I wonder why the call it a “lisp” when, if you have one, you can’t say so.

I wonder why Paris Hilton is a “celebrity.” (Scare quotes intentional.) From what (admittedly little) I’ve heard from her, she’s about as witty, intelligent and interesting as a bunch of beans trying to negotiate their way out of someone’s colon.

I don’t wonder who wrote the Book of Love. I have my reasons.

I wonder why Japanese schoolgirls wear what amounts to a sailor’s outfit. They are not going to school on a ship. Does anyone know?

I wonder if all the porn were suddenly deleted from the internet, the resulting void would collapse into a singularity and draw the rest of the Earth down its gravity well.

I wonder if that did happen, would it happen too fast for anyone to blog about it?

I wonder if Kaiser Bill mustaches will ever make a comeback.

I wonder what warp in the space-time continuum makes Japanese days arrive a day before regular days do.

I wonder why roughly twenty percent of humanity are deliberately self-centered, thoughtless assholes. Another forty percent are too stupid to realize when they are being self-centered, thoughtless assholes.  That’s sixty percent who regularly manage to find a way to piss me off. I’ll grant you that I just made these statistics up. I admit that the fact that I usually spend one day a week on an airliner may have skewed my perceptions on this issue.

I wonder how they get men to appear in Viagra and Cialis commercials. These guys must have people coming up to them on the street, saying “Hey, you’re that guy on TV that can’t get it up without a pill!”

I wonder why someone would buy a four-wheel-drive pickup, spend a small fortune on aftermarket modifications including a beefed-up suspension, huge tires, and off-road lights, and then never, ever, ever even think about taking it off paved city streets.  And yet I see many trucks like that.   Maybe the driver thinks the truck says something about him; to me, it says “idiot.”  A four-by-four should wear its rock chips and branch scrapes with pride.

Feel free to post your “I wonder whys” in the comments.

Animal’s Daily Charlottesville News

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

The fuss in Charlottesville, VA is still cooling down – sort of.  The media everywhere is still picking over this incident, trying to make some sense of the whole thing; of course, there isn’t too much to pick over.  This was two groups of assholes, being assholes.

But while the legacy media wrings their hands, here is a pretty level-headed pieced of commentary.  Excerpt:

After months of work and hype on social media, Unite the Right managed to get 200 marchers to show up in Charlottesville Friday. On Friday night they marched around with tiki torches and waved flags without incident. On Saturday a group of Antifa counter protesters showed up. The counter protesters proceeded to attack the Unite the Right Marchers and a riot broke out.

According the the Virginia ACLU, the Charlottesville police stood down and did nothing to control the situation. During this riot a supporter of the march, it is unclear if he is a member of any of the organizations there, slammed his car into a crowd of counter protesters killing one person and injuring 19 others. It is unclear if the driver had planned to do this to any counter protesters before the march or if he just took the riot as an excuse to do it.

Those are the facts as we know them currently. What they mean can be debated. Any debate about this subject should be based upon facts, not assumptions or hasty generalizations. What can we reasonably conclude from the known facts? Three things I think.

First, the white nationalist movement is still the same small, insignificant movement it always has been. Despite months of hype and work, the Unite the Right rally drew 200 people. The white nationalist KKK movement has been able to draw a couple hundred people at a national rally for my entire lifetime. So let’s stop with the nonsense about this being some significant rally or that the white nationalists are any more popular or emboldened today than they ever have been. They are not. It’s the same small group of morons that have always been there. The proof of that is in the numbers. If there had been 10,000 people at that rally, I might reconsider that. But there wasn’t.

Second, what played out yesterday in Charlottesville is just a repeat of what happened in Berkeley, Middleburg, NYU, and other places over the last year and a half. Some group Antifa finds objectionable has a speech or a rally. Then Antifa shows up and starts assaulting people and the police stand down, let them do it, and let the riot happen. That is exactly what happened yesterday. It should surprise no one that one of these riots has now resulted in someone’s death. The fact that the death was the result of the actions of the enemies of Antifa rather than Antifa itself, changes nothing. This was going to happen eventually.

Third, this is exactly what Antifa wanted. Their plan is always to attack their enemies hoping they fight back and then get blamed for the resulting violence. And time and again the police let them do it. Every time some self-righteous writer like David French gets up and talks about this being the result of the “alt right,” whatever that is, they are doing nothing but emboldening Antifa and encouraging this to happen more in the future.

Now, take a look at the bolded portions above – emphasis added by me.  That seems to be the common thread of the various protests-turned-riots over the last year or so:  The polices stand down and let the rioters riot.  Charlottesville, Berkeley, Baltimore, Ferguson – it’s always that common thread, police giving the rioters “room to destroy.”

Out on a limb.

Let’s make no mistake about it – in Charlottesville, both sides of this conflict are beneath contempt.  And at least at this point, it’s difficult to tell who cast the first stone, although we may well harbor suspicions – suspicions based on the experience of, say, Berkeley, where the fascists of the ironically-named “antifa” movements began the riots.

How long will it be before some ballsy Mayor revives the old tradition of a public reading of the riot act, followed by “now disperse, or you will be dispersed by force”?

I suspect it may be closer than we think.