Category Archives: News

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

Rule Five Japan Resurgent Friday

Our best ally in the Pacific, a place I personally love and where I have done a lot of business, has since WW2 sheltered under the American defensive envelope.  But now it appears Japan may be rethinking that idea; rearmament is now being discussed.  Excerpt:

The notion that the best defense is a good offense is gaining traction among Japanese decision-makers. On Aug. 4, newly appointed Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Tokyo would begin considering whether to allow its military to carry out pre-emptive strikes against overseas targets. Such a move would be a substantial reinterpretation of Japan’s post-World War II defense policy, which has generally abided by constitutional stipulations limiting the use of force to self-defense. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe quickly walked this back, saying he had no plans to consider the issue. Japan’s 2017 Defense White Paper, released the following day, made no mention of such a policy shift. But Abe did note that escalating threats from China and North Korea have made Japanese defense guidelines effectively obsolete — a sentiment echoed in the white paper.

Despite Abe’s dismissal of the issue, there’s enough smoke around pre-emptive strikes to suggest that Tokyo is taking the possibility seriously. In March, a research commission (of which Onodera was a member) set up by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party called for Japan to arm itself with long-range weapons to address the growing threat from North Korea. In May, following a visit to the Pentagon, Onodera said Washington had given Tokyo tacit approval to do so. Shortly thereafter, several reports alleged that Abe’s government was in discussions to buy Tomahawk cruise missiles from the U.S., potentially giving Japan the capability to pre-emptively disrupt a North Korean missile launch.

Japan has a fundamental desire and ability to project power and to give its military freer rein to operate abroad. A push for the Tomahawks would show how the emerging crisis on the Korean Peninsula is creating a sense of urgency in Tokyo to do so. But at the same time, Abe’s apparent unease with saying so publicly underscores the stiff domestic political currents that will, at least for now, keep Japan’s drive for a modern military from moving too fast.

Post-war treaties have discouraged Japan from re-arming before now – and, in truth, even now.  But missile launches in Japan’s direction by the insane little gargoyle with bad hair in North Korea has a lot of folks in the Japanese government very nervous, which is a big part of their motivation for rearming.

The fact that Japan and China have been snapping at each other over the Spratleys isn’t helping, either.

Here’s where the plan may run awry, though:  Japan isn’t the same nation it was in 1941.  The Japanese people don’t look at things the same was as the Japanese people of 1941 did.  Japan is today a pretty pacific society, a comfortable, wealthy, modern Western-style nation with an aging population and little appetite for things military.  As the linked article points out: In the Japanese context, even if Tokyo can expand its offensive capabilities without Article 9 reform, public uneasiness with remilitarization is likely to suppress defense spending — currently at roughly 1 percent of GDP annually — and hinder Japan’s ability to lay the groundwork needed to act decisively in a crisis.

One percent of GDP is a pittance for a defense budget.  But my experience with Japan is that most of the common folk there have little enthusiasm for raising that to any higher level of spending.  But will they maintain that attitude if tensions with the Norks increase?  If a Nork missile “accidentally” lands in Japanese territorial waters – or in a Japanese coastal village in Kyushu?

Were those (unlikely, but still) things to happen, we may well see a preference cascade take hold in Japan.  The nation once had a strong, proud martial heritage; it’s not impossible to conclude that they may find that within themselves again.

Animal’s Daily Too Many Voters News

If you’ve been paying attention at all, this will come as no surprise:  The U.S. now has 3.5 million more registered voters than eligible voters.  Excerpt:

American democracy has a problem — a voting problem. According to a new study of U.S. Census data, America has more registered voters than actual live voters. It’s a troubling fact that puts our nation’s future in peril.

The data come from Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project. The group looked at data from 2011 to 2015 produced by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, along with data from the federal Election Assistance Commission.

As reported by the National Review’s Deroy Murdock, who did some numbers-crunching of his own, “some 3.5 million more people are registered to vote in the U.S. than are alive among America’s adult citizens. Such staggering inaccuracy is an engraved invitation to voter fraud.”

Murdock counted Judicial Watch’s state-by-state tally and found that 462 U.S. counties had a registration rate exceeding 100% of all eligible voters. That’s 3.552 million people, who Murdock calls “ghost voters.” And how many people is that? There are 21 states that don’t have that many people.

Nor are these tiny, rural counties or places that don’t have the wherewithal to police their voter rolls.

California, for instance, has 11 counties with more registered voters than actual voters. Perhaps not surprisingly — it is deep-Blue State California, after all — 10 of those counties voted heavily for Hillary Clinton.

Los Angeles County, whose more than 10 million people make it the nation’s most populous county, had 12% more registered voters than live ones, some 707,475 votes. That’s a huge number of possible votes in an election.

Whoops.

Bear in mind that in cities like Chicago and, arguably, Los Angeles, this is a feature, not a bug.  Those are cities tightly controlled by political machines,   But that doesn’t make this any less of an electoral calamity.

How can we trust the outcomes of elections when the voter rolls are so obviously broken?  How can we have electoral integrity when we don’t know who is voting?

There’s an easy and obvious answer to solve a good part of this, yes, electoral fraud, and that is a requirement to prove your identity before voting.  Opponents of voter ID claim that some select groups, for some reason, cannot obtain IDs – but that’s specious horseshit.  One cannot function in our modern society without some form of identification, and (let’s say this softly) if someone is so inept, so lacking in purpose, that they can’t even be buggered to obtain an ID…

…do we really want that person voting?

Now many places, our own Colorado among them, have voting by mail.  We receive out ballots by mail, we can either return them by mail or drop them off in person at a polling collection box – Mrs. Animal and I favor that last option, rather than trust our ballots to the mails.  In these places, well, why the hell can’t we do a biennial verification of the voter rolls?  Is it really that hard, in this modern, connected society, to verify the state’s list of eligible voters?

Never mind, I’ll answer that.  It isn’t.  The only reason to argue against reforming our electoral rolls is that there are entrenched interests that wish the fraud to continue.

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.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks again to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!

If things blow up with a certain crazy little isolationist nation led by a certain insane little gargoyle with bad hair from a line of insane little gargoyles with bad hair, President Trump will be relying on the U.S. Air Force to help deal with the threat.  In turn, the U.S. Air Force will be relying on the bomber fleet to deliver large amounts of ordnance, in order to fulfill the primary military mission of killing people and breaking things.

The problem is this:  The bomber fleet may not be up to the task.  Excerpt:

Less than half of the bombers President Donald Trump would rely upon to be “locked and loaded” against North Korea could launch today if needed, according to the latest Air Force figures available.

That’s not a surprise to the bomb squadrons who have seen firsthand the combined effects of aircraft age, the demand of 15 years of air war operations and reduced budgets. But the numbers can be stark. Of the nation’s 75 conventional and nuclear B-52s, only about 33 are ready to fly at any given time, according to Air Force statistics. Of the 62 conventional B-1s, only about 25 are ready. With the 20 nuclear B-2 stealth bombers, the number drops further. Seven or eight bombers are available, according to the Air Force.

“On a nominal basis you don’t have more than single digits of B-2s available to do anything,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, currently the dean of the Mitchell Institute of Aerospace.

“If anything good comes out of the North Korea crisis,” it should be a wake-up call, he said.

“It’s not just the nation’s bomber force,” that is so stretched, Deptula said. “It’s the military writ large. The U.S. Air Force is the smallest and least ready it’s ever been in history – that should get people’s attention.”

Despite the reduced numbers, the bombers can still meet the president’s call if needed, said Col. Robert Lepper, chief of the combat aircraft division at Air Force Global Strike Command.

“All three of our bomber fleets are capable of meeting their missions – they’ve always dealt with reduced bombers,” Lepper said. “Specifically with the B-2 fleet – we make decisions every day how to best utilize the aircraft … and meet the requirements that are there for us in that given day.”

In other words, we can’t allow even one to be lost.

One wonders how much the multi-billion dollar price tag for each high-tech aircraft (the B-2 Spirit runs about $2 billion) affects the numbers of aircraft we can field.  The U.S. has moved towards expensive, high-tech aircraft almost exclusively, but in a limited conflict with a low-tech enemy, simpler, cheaper, easier-to-maintain airframes would seem to be in order – aircraft like the wonderful old A-10 Warthog of Cold War fame.

For that matter, a significant portion of our bomber fleet remains the old 1950s and 60s-vintage B-52s.  If you want to deliver a massive load of bombs on a target, the BUFF will get the job done – as the Iraqi Republican Guard from 1991 will attest.

After all, Arclight means never having to say you’re sorry.

In the meantime, the Trump Administration talks a good game about increasing readiness and streamlining the military acquisition process.  That’s a good idea, but they’d best get cracking.  We aren’t in a major conflict at the moment, but our involvement in Middle Eastern brushfires are wearing down our forces.  And as Von Clausewitz observed, only the dead have seen the end of war.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Thanks to our blogger pal Doug Hagin over at The Daley Gator for the linkage!

Some stories just crack one up.  This is one such:  Immigrant Couple Buys Street To Charge Rich Californians To Park Outside Their Own Homes.  Eh heh heh heh.  Excerpt:

Tina Lam and Michael Cheng, first generation immigrants, found Presidio Terrace listed for only $994 dollars in an online auction. The city held the auction to pay off the $14 per year property tax on the street that the local homeowners association had neglected to pay for more than 30 years, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday. The couple wasn’t the only party to recognize the potential value of the street, however, and they paid more than $90,000 when the bidding was all said and done.

The homeowners claimed they only failed to pay the tax because the annual bill was being sent to an old address, the Sacramento Bee reported. However, the city was unsympathetic.

“Ninety-nine percent of property owners in San Francisco know what they need to do, and they pay their taxes on time — and they keep their mailing address up to date,” spokeswoman Amanda Fried said.

The street is a small oval bordering 35 properties prized by San Francisco’s most elite residents. Over the years, personalities like Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein have owned homes in the closed-off paradise, which has an entrance overseen by a full-time guard.

This really is too funny.

The only down side is that the (un)esteemed “public servants” Pelosi and Feinstein no longer live on this street.  Imagine the opportunity there – all one would have to do is rent the parking space in front of the home of either Pelosi or Feinstein and boom!  Instant protest.

And there would, theoretically, be little they could do about it – the protesters would, of course, be on private property, and they would have a lease establishing their right to be there.

Of course, there is no equal protection under the law where our Imperial “public servants” are concerned.  Lease or no lease, anyone who tried this would quickly be seen off by the local gendarmes.

Still.  It’s a fun thing to imagine.

Animal’s Daily Bad Deal News

Congressional Democrats are pushing back against the Trump Administration with something called a “Better Deal”, which apparently is NewSpeak for “more government.”  Excerpt:

Fittingly, top Democrats were back in D.C. this week to offer more detail on “A Better Deal.” At a Wednesday press conference in front of the Capitol, they outlined plans for an “independent trade prosecutor” to investigate businesses that shift jobs overseas, and an unelected “American Jobs Council” to investigate foreign investments in American businesses.

The American Jobs Council, Schumer said, will “slam the door shut on foreign companies who want to buy-up American businesses and harm our workers.” The council appears to be the centerpiece of a seven-point plan that includes penalties for federal contractors who outsource jobs, guarantees that taxpayer-funded subsidies flow only to American-based companies, and creates a public “shame list” for companies that move jobs offshore, according to The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, who reported on some of the details of the Better Deal plan this week.

In other words, more bureaucracy and more regulations aimed at trying to freeze a dynamic economy and halt the flow of capital and goods around the world.

Maybe this is, as Slate has suggested, the basis of a plan “to campaign against cable companies, airlines, and other things everyone hates,” but I’m not seeing it. It seems more like the basis for a campaign that says government bureaucrats know what’s best for a country, or one that promises to centralize more rulemaking at the expense of businesses and workers.

The focus on preventing outsourcing—something Trump and the Democrats have in common—ignores the benefits of being able to produce goods in places where labor is more inexpensive. That makes it possible for Americans to buy products that would otherwise be unaffordable, but it also allows global supply chains to lower the cost of living for everyone. Government controls over trade drive up costs and raise prices for the very low- and middle-income workers the Democrats (and Trump) claim to be trying to help.

As a purely political matter, if Democrats are trying to turn Trump’s economic populism their direction, this seems like a misguided effort.

Out on a limb.

Democrats have never seen a government regulation or tax on the business world that they weren’t in favor of.

Granted, at the moment this is pure political theater.  There isn’t the slightest chance Congressional Dems will even get this bill/bills out of committee, much less on the President’s desk to be vetoed.  But there are two things the Democrats have always been good at; two things the GOP could stand to take a few pointers on:

  1. Solidarity.  The Dems hang together.
  2. Persistence.  The Dems never give up.

The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight needs to buy a vowel and get together on a few things, like tax reform; instead, it looks like they are going to wander around some more.  To paraphrase an old gag:  “I don’t belong to an organized political party.  I’m a Republican.”

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Over at The Daley Gator, our blogger pal Doug Hagin has a great example of leftie racism – yes, racism.  Excerpt:

Start with an ignorant racist tweet by a sjw Ijeoma Oluo:

(Note:  Screencap inserted, as when caught, racists have the tendency to delete tweets and pretend they didn’t happen.)

Good grief woman, could you be more racist? Wait, what am I asking here? No your entire identity is based on your hatred of Whiteness, and America of course. Here are two bits of advice. First, never eat at Cracker Barrel. No, not because too many damn White folks eat there, but because their food, excepting their breakfast, sucks. It is always cold, and a poor excuse for Southern food frankly. See, I grew up eating great Southern food, cornbread, collard, mustard, and turnip greens, black-eyed peas, fried chicken, catfish, fried pork chops, salmon patties etc. That was great food. Cracker barrel? Not so much.

My second bit of advice? You need help, serious mental health help. You are suffering from Racial Obsession Syndrome. A severe case of it frankly. Funny it is that the folks who cooked all that great food I grew up on, my grandparents, great aunts were great people. People who would have gone out of their way to help you. Would they have given the first damn about your skin color? No. They would have helped you because they had something you do not posses. Decency.

Racism is racism, and just as ugly when espoused by a horse’s ass like Ijeoma Oluo as when it’s put forth by the vilest Klansman to ever wave a sheet.

But here’s the real clincher:  Jackasses like Oluo are incapable of judging people as an intelligent person does:  As individuals.  Instead she judges millions of people by a single characteristic – melanin content of their skin – and attributes the possibility of not only discriminatory but even murderous intention, based solely on that insignificant characteristic.

Like our friend Mr. Hagin, I had many family member – parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles – who not only enjoyed such fare as he described above, but who likewise would have gone out of their way to help a person genuinely in need.  I would say that, because of that fact, that I’m offended by the content of Oluo’s tweet, but there’s a catch.  For me to be offended, I’d first have to give an ounce of rat’s pee about her opinion.

And, obviously, I don’t.  The opinion of a racist horse’s ass isn’t worth consideration.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

You can’t make this stuff up:  Now just not being stupid is some kind of “privilege.”  No shit.  Excerpt:

Here’s the Daily Iowan. The college paper of the University of Iowa. And where better to denounce “cognitive privilege” than a college paper.

There are many kinds of privilege besides white privilege: cognitive privilege, for example. We now know that intelligence is not something we have significant control over but is something we are born with. We are living in a society in which success is increasingly linked to one’s intelligence. … Thus, the accident of having been born smart enough to be able to be successful is a great benefit that you did absolutely nothing to earn. Consequently, you have nothing to be proud of for being smart.

Dan Williams, the author, of this piece, is justly not proud.

Now you might think that this is satire. It has to be satire. But these days there really is no way to tell.

We do in fact have a significant degree of control over our intelligence. Just as we do over our muscles. You may be born with athletic aptitudes, but if you spend your life eating giant chocolate cakes while watching Netflix, it probably isn’t going to happen. Likewise if you abuse whatever native intellectual potential you have by believing leftist ideology, you have only yourself to blame for your lack of cognitive privilege.

 

Nobody is born “equal”. But we develop our abilities. That’s where the merit part comes in.

There is something to be proud of for sinking that basket or composing that piece of music or being able to note the witless privilege of the left. It’s the pride you take in learning and achieving through your own efforts. 

If Dan Williams’ piece is satire, it’s hard to tell, because too many campus SJW nitwits are so effectively and unwittingly self-parodying.

Still – even if we accept this young jackwagon’s premise, that simply not being a drooling imbecile constitutes “privilege” – a privilege to which it is manifestly unclear applies to Mr. Williams himself – then what does he propose we do to address the supposed injustice?

Almost certainly the answer will involve taking someone’s property away through force of law and giving it to someone who did nothing to earn it.

Animal’s Daily Bat-Guano Crazy News

Nancy Pelosi, that daffy old birdbrain from the Bay Area, is at it again.  Excerpt, with some of my comments interspersed:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi fires back at those Democrats calling for her to resign. Following Democrat Jon Ossoff’s loss this week in the race to fill the Congressional seat vacated by HHS Dept. head Tom Price, many Democrats cast blame on Party leaders like Pelosi. Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for her minority leader position last year, said Pelosi is “toxic” to Democratic candidates and that the party would lose in 2018 if Republicans could make the House minority leader its face. Pelosi disagrees, singing her own praises as a “master legislator” and “astute leader” who is “worth the trouble.”

Dame Nancy, she of “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it” infamy, is a “master legislator?”  She’s not even a journeyman legislator.

“My decision about how long I stay is not up to them,” Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday morning. “I love the arena. I thrive on competition, and I welcome the discussion.”

Former (for which we should all be grateful) Speaker Pelosi never has welcomed any discussion unless the participants already agree with her.  To be honest, in that she has plenty of company in the Imperial City.

“You want me to sing my praises, is that it?” she added. “I’m a master legislator. I’m a strategic, politically astute leader.”

Pelosi added that Republicans always attack “the most effective” leaders in the Democratic Party and that her experience makes her “worth the trouble, quite frankly.”

First, let me present this short clip that summarizes my reaction:

Seriously, though, True Believers.  I’ve always maintained that the country is better off with two strong political parties.  Right now we don’t even have one strong political party.  The Democrats have drifted off somewhere to the left of Leon Trotsky; they claim to embrace working men, Millennials and minorities, but their leadership is the oldest, whitest bunch you’re liable to find this side of a KKK rally.  Meanwhile, the GOP continues their impression of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

But the GOP has been doing something the Democrats don’t seem to be able to manage in the last few years – they’re winning elections.

The Dems would be well advised ot find some new blood, and show the old dinosaurs like Pelosi the door.

Animal’s Daily Kid Rock News

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

Oh, for the luvva Pete.  Now Kid Rock is running for the Senate from Michigan – as a Republican – and he’s running well ahead of Democrat incumbent Debbie Stabenow in the polls.  Excerpt:

Rockstar Kid Rock set off a political firestorm after teasing his Twitter followers about a potential Senate run in Michigan.

News broke this weekend that Kid Rock is LEADING challenger, Dem Debbie Stabenow in a new poll 30% to 26%!

He’s saying some of the right things:

Days later, Kid Rock tweeted out a ‘manifesto’ to his followers, laying out his political believes in a short graphic.  

“I believe if you work your butt off and pay taxes, you should be able to easily understand and navigate the laws, tax codes, health care and anything else the government puts in place that affects us all.”

Regardless of how well Kid Rock is liked in his home state, and regardless of what position statements he releases (and I do like the one above) his candidacy and his lead in the admittedly-vastly-premature polls is a symptom of the same thing that elected President Trump:  People are sick of business as usual in the Imperial City, and are willing to try almost anything new.

Will Rogers once famously said “The short memory of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.”  That seems to be changing – and I can only say, it’s about damned time.

So who’s next?  Hank Williams Jr.?  Ted Nugent?  Toby Keith?