Category Archives: News

My thoughts on the news of the day, both local, Colorado, national and international.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Yesterday our good friend and fellow blogger Jillian Becker (I highly recommend her book Hitler’s Children – the Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang) over at The Atheist Conservative presented a great deconstruction of the meltdown of the legacy media in the Age of Trump.  Excerpt:

The Left has been trying for a long time now to substitute their own version of what is happening in America and the world for what is actually happening. The Democrats, now a far left party, stepped up the attempt when Donald Trump was elected president. They had been so sure they would win the 2016 election that their failure seems to them to be impossible, a terrible mistake of the cosmos, a breakdown of the laws of the universe. They knew that one of their own – the corrupt Hillary Clinton – would be the next president, so their multitude of deceits would continue to be covered up and their devious plots implemented. Oh, what a shock they got when rude Reality brought Donald Trump to power!

They still refuse to accept the fact that Donald Trump is president. Something must be done to rectify the cosmic error. New fictions are required. So wild stories of Trump perfidies spring out of newspapers and TV screens.

But it is insane to believe that a false description of reality can replace the Real.

Reality goes on accruing its consequences, and sooner or later the truth bursts through the lies.

This week the devious plot – involving a total fiction without a trace of a fact to give it any credibility whatsoever – invented to frame President Trump as a traitor selling out his country to Russia, has been burst open.

Anyone to the right of Leon Trotsky, politically, can’t help but to feel a little schadenfreude at the ongoing meltdown of the legacy media.

CNN carelessly published a story about President Trump’s Russia connections!  They breathlessly ran a story based on an anonymous information source.

And it turns out that the whole thing was completely fabricated.

Ms. Becker nails the reason for all this.  It’s also the reason that big swaths of the American Left have been so unglued of late; they went into November 8th confident that their creature, Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, had a lock on the election.  Hell, I figured the same thing myself.

So when the rude, loud, uncouth Donald Trump ended up winning – well, I haven’t seen the Left so unhinged since the contested 2000 election.

Come on, American liberals.  We survived eight years of President Obama.  You’ll survive eight years of President Trump.

Animal’s Daily Immigrant Welfare News

President Trump is on record as proposing a five-year moratorium on welfare benefits for new immigrants to the US.  Excerpt:

President Trump announced Wednesday night that he will soon ask Congress to pass legislation banning immigrants from accessing public assistance within five years of entering the U.S.

“The time has come for new immigration rules that say … those seeking immigration into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,” Trump told a campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Trump’s proposal would build on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which allows federal authorities to deport immigrants who become public dependents within five years of their arrival. Many of that law’s provisions were rolled back during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, but Trump’s proposal would make more categories of federal benefits off-limits to immigrants.

Here’s the thing on welfare and immigrants:  You can either have a welfare state, or you can have a liberal immigration policy.  You can’t have both.  Unfortunately, both is what we have right now, and while plenty of immigrants come to the U.S. seeking opportunity and work, plenty more come seeking Uncle Sam’s Gravy Train of Free Shit, and that just is not acceptable.

The linked story cites this study by the Center for Immigration Studies, maintaining that 51% of households headed by an immigrant receive some welfare benefits, as opposed to 30% of native households.  That number, if it can be verified, is revealing.  (I did a cursory search but have been unable to find said verification.)  If this is the case, then it seems 51% of immigrant families are on the aforementioned gravy train, at least to some extent.

We aren’t so desperate for more immigrants that we need to offer free handouts to all and sundry.

Animal’s Daily Nork Nutbar News

A few days back, I wondered (and still do) what possesses people like Otto Warnbier to travel to dangerous third world shitholes like North Korea.  Now young Mr. Warnbier has died of whatever the hell the bat-guano crazy Norks did to him.  And now American nutbars on the left are claiming that he died because the Norks denied him his “white privilege.”  What a bag of crap.  Excerpt:

Ebony magazine took things farther, insisting that the takeaway was not about frat-bro privilege but “white privilege.” In a story reprinted from the site Kinfolk Kollective, the author LaSha argued:

I’m willing to bet my last dollar that he was aware of the political climate in that country, but privilege is a hell of a drug. The high of privilege told him that North Korea’s history of making examples out of American citizens who dare challenge their rigid legal system in any way was no match for his alabaster American privilege. When you can watch a white man who entered a theatre and killed a dozen people come out unscathed, you start to believe you’re invincible. When you see a white man taken to Burger King in a bulletproof vest after he killed nine people in a church, you learn that the world will always protect you….

What a mind-blowing moment it must be to realize after 21 years of being pedestaled by the world simply because your DNA coding produced the favorable phenotype that such favor is not absolute. What a bummer to realize that even the State Department with all its influence and power cannot assure your pardon. What a wake-up call it is to realize that your tears are met with indifference.

What a steaming pile Ebony published.

But that’s not really what I wanted to say, not on this occasion of the death of an American at the hands of a ruthless Stalinist regime.  Idiocy of this kind is all too common.  But if I had the chance for a face-to-face with the stunted little gargoyle with bad hair leading North Korea today, here’s what I would love to say to him:

“Fuck you, Kim Jong Dogshit.  Fuck you, your stunted insane father and your stunted insane grandfather.  Fuck all the twisted assholes that keep your fat, bloated, insane ass in power.  The death of one American cannot be repaid by the entire wealth of your whole damned, country, and that’s your fault, yours and your family’s – your fault that your people are eating grass, that your people would risk their lives to flee to China, to Russia, anywhere.”

And then I’d like to kick his teeth in.

I still wonder what possesses someone to go, voluntarily, to a place like North Korea.  But Mr. Warnbier’s death at the hands of these people is an outrage, even if he was ill-advised to go there.  To hell with the Nork regime; to hell with them all.

Animal’s Daily Free Speech News

The Supreme Court hits one right in the ten ring, with an 8-0 vote no less:  In Major Free Speech Victory, SCOTUS Rules for ‘The Slants’ and Strikes Down Federal Trademark Restriction.  Excerpt:

At issue in Matal v. Tam was a federal law prohibiting the registration of any trademark that may “disparage…or bring…into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” The Patent and Trademark Office cited this provision in 2011 when it refused to register a trademark in the name of The Slants, thereby denying the band the same protections that federal law extends to countless other musical acts. Justice Samuel Alito led the Court in striking down the censorious rule. “We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment,” Alito wrote. “It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”

Justice Alito demonstrated little patience for the federal government’s position. The government’s arguments, Alito observed, boiled down to this: “The Government has an interest in preventing speech expressing ideas that offend.” As Alito noted in response, “that idea strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.'”

Now, let’s extend that reasoning on to the various hate-speech proposals and campus speech codes out there.

College campuses (campii?) one must note, are overwhelmingly public-funded institutions, and so must comply with the First Amendment.  One must also note that this principle doesn’t apply on private property.  I’ve been known to tell visitors to the Casa de Animal that there is no First Amendment in my home; say whatever you like, but if you say something I don’t like I have the right to throw you the hell out.

The Imperial government cannot do that.  Trademark law is subject to the First Amendment, but the key component of this ruling is Justice Alito’s statement that “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.”

This is a good ruling.  Hopefully it will be extended in future rulings, as far and as wide as we can make it go.  We all live in a free speech zone.  It’s called the United States of America, and it’s nice to see the Supreme Court remembers that.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks to our blogger pal Doug Hagin over at The Daley Gator for the linkback, and as always to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links.

A really, really early flight beckons, so just a few random tidbits this morning.

Congressman Steve Scalise’s condition has been upgraded from Critical to Serious.  That’s good news.  Hopefully a full recovery is in the cards.

Two fugitive escaped convicts and murderers have been caught – by an armed citizen.  Not a happy ending; they left two dead peace officers in their wake.  But at least a satisfactory one.

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I compares herself to Wonder Woman.  Gag.

Fauxcahontas Warren warns President Trump that “he ain’t seen nasty yet.”  That’s as may be, but thanks to Lieawatha, we’ve sure seen plenty of stupid.

Media Shows Glaring Ignorance on Guns After Alexandria Shooting.  No shit.

Here from the folks at Reason are five cliches used to attack free speech.

Texans can once again legally carry Bowie knives.  Because, Texas.

And on that razor-edged note, we return you to your Monday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Stupid Tourist News

Why the hell do people travel – voluntarily – to dangerous shitholes?  People should know better, but not everyone does.  Excerpt:

North Korea has returned one of its American prisoners — a University of Virginia student sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly stealing a regime propaganda sign who reportedly fell into a coma shortly after his sentence began.

“At the direction of the president, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea. Mr. Warmbier is en route to the United States, where he will be reunited with his family. The Department of State continues to have discussions with the DPRK regarding three other U.S. citizens reported detained,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement this morning.

“Out of respect for the privacy of Mr. Warmbier and his family, we have no further comment on Mr. Warmbier,” he added.

At a State Department briefing later in the day, press secretary Heather Nauert said the government is “pleased” to have Otto Warmbier back in the United States. “What an incredible day that one of our fellow American citizens who’s been detained in North Korea for more than a year — as we had difficulty, as you all are very well aware, in reaching him,” she said.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m delighted that the loony Norks released this young man, I am sympathetic to his health issues and earnestly hope he recovers quickly and completely.  I’m likewise happy for his family and can appreciate the relief they must feel that their loved one is finally on his way home.

But really, why the hell was he over there in the first place?  Why would any rational American visit North Korea (and not that I used the disclaimer rational, which excludes Dennis Rodman) or Iran?  You are asking – nay, begging for trouble visiting either of these shitholes.  It’s not like either of them are luxurious vacation spots.

What gets into these people’s heads?   Why the hell would anyone choose to go to a place like North Korea, that hellhole ruled by a stunted little gargoyle with bad hair from a long line of stunted little gargoyles with bad hair?  Does anyone have any idea what the hell was going through Mr. Warmbier’s head?

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Turns out we could have had cell phones years before we did.  Why didn’t we?

Bureaucracy.  Excerpt:

Before there were cellphones, there was the mobile telephone service, or MTS. Launched in 1946, this technology required unwieldy and expensive equipment—the transceiver could fill the trunk of a sedan—and its networks faced tight capacity constraints. In the beginning, the largest MTS markets had no more than 44 channels. As late as 1976, Bell System’s mobile network in New York could host just 545 subscribers. Even at sky-high prices, there were long waiting lists for subscriptions.

Cellular networks were an ingenious way to expand service dramatically. A given market would be split into cells with a base station in each. These stations, often located on towers to improve line-of-sight with mobile phone users, were able both to receive wireless signals and to transmit them. The base stations were themselves linked together, generally by wires, and connected to networks delivering plain old telephone service.

The advantages of this architecture were profound. Mobile radios could use less power, because they needed only to reach the nearest base station, not a mobile phone across town. Not only did this save battery life, but transmissions stayed local, leaving other cells quiet. A connection in one cell would be passed to an adjacent cell and then the next as the mobile user moved through space. The added capacity came from reusing frequencies, cell to cell. And cells could be “split,” yielding yet more capacity. In an MTS system, each conversation required a channel covering the entire market; only a few hundred conversations could happen at once. A cellular system could create thousands of small cells and support hundreds of thousands of simultaneous conversations.

When AT&T wanted to start developing cellular in 1947, the FCC rejected the idea, believing that spectrum could be best used by other services that were not “in the nature of convenience or luxury.” This view—that this would be a niche service for a tiny user base—persisted well into the 1980s. “Land mobile,” the generic category that covered cellular, was far down on the FCC’s list of priorities. In 1949, it was assigned just 4.7 percent of the spectrum in the relevant range. Broadcast TV was allotted 59.2 percent, and government uses got one-quarter.

I’m old enough to remember Ma Bell.  My sister, in fact, had a long career with Northwestern Bell and later AT&T, retiring as a regional VP of Sales.  When I first moved out of my folk’s house, mere days after I graduated high school, I left their creaking, moribund rural company, Ace Telephone, and moved to a nearby good-sized town (Cedar Falls, Iowa) and was hooked up with telephony by that self-same Northwestern Bell.

I had the choice of two leasing one of two hard-wired phones, a slimline wall-mount or the traditional big clunky desk phone.  I chose the latter, in traditional black (because, as we all know, black is cruise control for cool) and opted for the touch-tone dialing.  That last wasn’t available from Ace telephone, as they were still on a pulse system that required rotary dial phones.

Owning the phone wasn’t an option.  It was Ma Bell’s, and we paid a lease to use it.  Long-distance calls were prohibitively expensive for an 18-year old with a full-time job at the sporting-goods department in Woolco, at least if I wanted any beer money left over at the end of the week.

Priorities, you know.

This system was crony capitalism in action.  Ma Bell had a government-granted monopoly on telephony, or as near as made no difference.  But then, in the early 1980s, divestment happened!  Ma Bell was broken up, and in months a thousand flowers bloomed.  Suddenly you could buy your own phone, in a wild variety of styles and sizes, cordless and corded.

The onset of cellular phones, when that finally happened, put paid to the expensive long-distance fees; cellular companies immediately started competing for that market, first offering “free long-distance,” then doing away with the concept altogether.

You know what the market looks like now.  But it’s galling to think we could have let the free market, rather than Imperial bureaucrats, decide the whole thing forty years earlier.

Animal’s Daily Steaming Pile News

Recently the Washington Post published an  article marking the one-year anniversary of the heinous Pulse nightclub shooting.  While the shooting was heinous, so was WaPo’s characterization of it:

By the end of the night, more than 1,000 people had gathered to remember what happened last June, when Orlando became the first U.S. city of the summer — before Falcon Heights, Minn., and Baton Rouge and Dallas — to be upended by gun violence

Did you get that?  Gun violence.   The Daily Caller presents a portion of the 911 call transcript:

— “Emergency 911, this is being recorded,” the operator said.

— “In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent,” Mateen said in Arabic.

— “What?”

— “Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God,” he continued, then switching to English: “I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”

— “What’s your name?”

— “My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.”

— “What’s your name?”

— “I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.”

— “Alright, where are you at?”

— “In Orlando.”

— “Where in Orlando?”

Anything I could add to that would be superfluous.

Just read that, and think on it, and think about what an enormous steaming pile of shit that WaPo writer cranked out.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Moving on, here’s a shocker:  Chimps are not people.  Excerpt:

Chimpanzees do not deserve the same rights as people, a New York state appeals court unanimously concluded on Thursday, as it refused to order the release of two of the animals to a primate sanctuary.

The 5-0 decision by the Appellate Division in Manhattan is the latest defeat for the Nonhuman Rights Project and its lawyer Steven Wise in a long debate over whether caged chimpanzees are actually legal “persons” entitled like humans to bodily liberty.

Citing experts like British primatologist Jane Goodall, the Nonhuman Rights Project said chimpanzees and humans share many behavioral, cognitive and social capabilities.

It said this entitled chimpanzees to many of the same rights, and sought “habeas corpus” relief to win freedom for Tommy and Kiko, each held by a private owner in upstate New York.

But the shared capabilities “do not translate to a chimpanzee’s capacity or ability, like humans, to bear legal duties, or to be held legally accountable for their actions,” Justice Troy Webber wrote for the appeals court.

“While petitioner’s avowed mission is certainly laudable, the according of any fundamental legal rights to animals, including entitlement to habeas relief, is an issue better suited to the legislative process,” Webber wrote.

Speaking as the guy who wrote a book on the topic (cast your eyes to the right) animal’s do not and can not have rights.  We should and do accord legal protection to animals; animal cruelty statutes have a long history in Western law.  But that’s not the same thing as acknowledging rights.  Key difference; animal cruelty statutes apply only to the actions of humans.

Rights are essentially negative in nature; they define actions governments and our fellow citizens may not take.  Government and our fellow citizens may not restrict our rights to self-expression, or to peaceably assemble, to bear arms or to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.  But no animal has the necessary moral agency to understand this; a human can be held accountable for violating another’s rights, but an animal may not.  It may be controlled or destroyed, but not put on trial.  It cannot confront its accuser; it cannot appeal to a jury of its peers.

Now, I’ve had occasion to interact with great apes; specifically, chimps and an orangutan.  It’s interesting, because when you look into the eyes of one of these close cousins you get an odd feeling; it’s not like looking at a cat or a dog.  There’s something more there.  But what there isn’t is human intelligence; what there isn’t is moral agency.

The Appellate Division in Manhattan got this one right.

 

 

Animal’s Daily Air Traffic News

President Trump is proposing to privatize the nation’s air-traffic control system.  Not a bad idea.  Excerpt:

President Trump, in a speech Monday, promised to replace the current government-owned and operated air traffic control system with a private “self-financing, non-profit organization” relying on user fees, not taxes, to fund itself.

The idea is not new. Canada, the U.K. and Germany are among the roughly 50 countries that privatized air traffic control.

It has been a long-fought goal of libertarians like Bob Poole, senior transportation analyst for the Reason Foundation (the non-profit that publishes this website). Poole has argued since the 1970’s the “high-tech 24/7 service business” that is air traffic control “is a poor fit for a tax-funded bureaucracy housed within a safety regulatory agency.”

Poole proposed what Trump is now embracing, dumping the Federal Aviation Administration-run system with a non-profit air traffic control entity less bureaucratic, more cost-effective, and ultimately more responsive to consumer needs.

As a 2016 Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report found, the FAA has done a pretty terrible job managing and modernizing a system upon which some two million air travelers every day rely.

Despite repeated attempts by Congress to reform the FAA’s management, personnel, and organizational practices, its “costs continue to rise while operational productivity has declined,” the report concluded.

Canada thought this was a good idea, and it turns out they were right.  Here’s the solution.

The airlines are for this.  The pilot’s union is for it.  Canada did it with considerable success.  So did the UK.  Ditto Germany and France.  New Zealand did it in the 1980s, and as the linked Reason article points out, they saw their “...air traffic control system go from losing $5.5 million a year to turning a $2.3 million profit in just a year after privatization.”

There are no good reasons not to do this; we can modernize, we can increase efficiency, we can reduce cost.   Who could be against this?

Well, the loony old bat from Frisco, Nancy Pelosi, for one; she said privatization would “hand control of one of our nation’s most important public assets to special interests and the big airlines.”

For the political Left – and Pelosi is so far to the left, she needs inserts in her left shoe to stand straight – government is always the answer.  In this case the history of privatization speaks pretty eloquently.  Hopefully Congressional Republicans will grow a pair and push this through; let Queen Nancy howl.  Success speaks for itself.