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?
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.
“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.
It’s been an interesting week so far, and it’s going to get more interesting. Things in the Imperial City right now are like the Energizer Bunny on crack; they just keep getting dumber, and dumber, and dumber.
And on that note: We return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.
There’s an old saying that pols on the left measure government “compassion” by how many folks are on the welfare rolls, while the right measures it by how many no longer need to be on the welfare rolls. That’s superficially accurate, when you’re talking about direct handouts like the SNAP (used to be food stamp) program, and during President Trump’s tenure, enrollment in that program is down. Dramatically. Excerpt:
While the Trump administration anticipated that the new rule would prospectively reduce the number of people on food stamps, the growth in employment has meant that the number of people on food stamps plummeted even under the old rule:
President Trump has overseen a drop of millions of food stamp beneficiaries even before his administration’s proposals for tightening eligibility take effect.
The administration sees it as an accomplishment that food stamp rolls have fallen by 17.5% as the economy has grown and said that further reforms to the benefits will aid families. Democrats and anti-poverty groups, though, warn that the administration’s proposals would further impoverish children, immigrants, and veterans.
Trump’s year-end list of “results” included the boast that “nearly 7 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps,” which the administration credited to people “being lifted out of poverty as a result of today’s booming economy.”
Indeed, the latest data from the Department of Agriculture shows that 7.7 million fewer Americans receive food stamps now than did when Trump entered the White House. The Agriculture Department administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, but the actual food stamp benefits are distributed by individual states.
It’s also correctly said that President Obama was known as the Food Stamp President. Under his administration, the Imperial government actually ran television and radio ads pushing the SNAP program, a truly unconscionable waste of taxpayer dollars hawking an Imperial handout.
Here, incidentally, is the rule change referenced above:
Under the old rules for food stamp eligibility, adults between 18 and 49, who were able to work and had no dependents, could receive only three months of food stamp benefits over a three year period if they did not meet a 20-hour-a-week minimum work requirement. The exception to the rule was that states with unemployment rates as low as 3.6% were able to waive the work requirement.
When Donald Trump came into office, he promised to shrink the number of food stamp recipients by tightening eligibility rules. He wisely waited, however, until the economy was stronger before implementing any major rules.Starting in 2020, the federal government significantly limits when states can exempt “work-eligible adults” who have no dependents from the steady employment requirement. Now, a county must have a 6% minimum unemployment rate before getting a waiver.
I’d make a lot more changes; for instance, I’d strictly limit the items that can be purchased by recipients of Imperial money to staple items such as ground meat, potatoes, sacked rice, beans and so forth. Don’t like it? Leverage yourself off Imperial handouts. People will whine that it’s not fair to tell people what they can and can’t eat, but as I’ve commented many times, if I’m paying for it, I damn well can and I damn well will.
The Trump Administration’s rule change is a start on reforming our horrendous Imperial welfare system. But that’s all it is – a start.
Both old Groper Joe and Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, are laundering payoffs through their children, and there’s no other way to put it. What crooked, lying, conniving, hypocritical assholes.
Loony old Auntie Maxine Waters, one of the top five finalists for the Stupidest Member of Congress prize (granted she’s up against some pretty stiff competition), got punked. Heh heh heh.
Rick Enstrom, former Colorado State Wildlife Commissioner from 2000 to 2008 and Chairman for three years is an expert on wolves in Colorado. Enstrom also served on the first wolf working group that developed the wolf plan for Colorado in 2004. He warned against the reintroduction measure in an interview with Complete Colorado on Thursday.
“You only have to look at what happened to the Wyoming elk population,” Enstrom said. “Their herds have been knocked back to 10 percent of what it was.”
“I know folks in Wyoming,” Enstrom continued. “The past director of the wildlife commission in Wyoming said there are two big problems; Grizzlies and wolves. ‘Don’t do it, don’t let it happen’ he said to me.”
Predation is hardly the only problem with wolves in Colorado says Enstrom. The biggest issue is money. The proposed initiative calls for wolf management and predation compensation to be paid out of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wildlife cash fund “to the extent that they are available.”
The wildlife cash fund pays for all wildlife operations of CPW. It’s replenished primarily by hunting and fishing licenses, and it’s always over-budgeted says Enstrom.
Where compensation for livestock losses will come from when there is no money available in the wildlife cash fund is left unstated.
According to the state’s fiscal impact statement on the initiative, just setting up the program will cost nearly $800,000.
“There are two issues,” said Enstrom. “One is the effect on the people in the pickup trucks doing the Lord’s work for the Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, who are in short supply on both sides. The other big problem is that the funding structure is predicated on the sale of big game licenses.”
“That’s the money we [use to] manage everything, from greenback trout to Prebles meadow jumping mice to stocking trout, to the establishment of state wildlife areas and their management,” Enstrom said. “Any time you do anything to a budget they just start taking it out of other budgets because there is no extra money.”
Enstrom said the state Legislature is tired of allocating money to the CPW, which is supposed to pay its own way.
“We went back last year with a big increase again. When we sold that to the state legislature, there were more than a few legislators with their fingers in my chest saying, ‘don’t you ever come back here again.’”
And that’s the problem: Money.
Many years ago, I took an extended solo canoe trip through the Boundary Waters area in northern Minnesota and southern Ontario. It was a wonderful time, and one of the neater things was the number of nights I heard wolves singing somewhere out there in the woods.
But the wolves in the Boundary Waters area were already there. It’s a vast stretch of wilderness, and wolves belong there.
Colorado’s different. Much of the state is heavily settled now, and what isn’t housing is farmed and ranched; cattle even graze on the National Forest and BLM lands. Wolves would certainly have an impact on livestock and thus the livelihoods of ranchers, but the major expense of this idea would be the reintroduction and management itself, which as Enstrom points out, would put a major strain on the wildlife department which is supported almost completely by hunting and fishing license revenues.
Yes, wolves once lived in Colorado. Yes, human activity is why they don’t live there now. But this ballot initiative is misguided. Like many of its ilk, it’s based on emotion, not solid analysis of policy. As pro-wilderness as I am, I’ll vote no. We simply can’t afford it.
National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has some things to say on the dangers of elite groupthink. Excerpt:
When the supposed clueless Trump was elected, a number of elites pronounced his economic plans to be absurd. We were told that Trump was bound to destroy the U.S. economy.
Former Princeton professor and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman insisted that Trump would crash the stock market. He even suggested that stocks might never recover.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said Trump would bring on a recession within a year and a half.
The former head of the National Economic Council, Steven Rattner, predicted a market crash of “historic proportions.”
In contrast, many of Trump’s economic advisers during his campaign and administration, including outsider Peter Navarro, pundit Steven Moore, former TV host Larry Kudlow and octogenarian Wilbur Ross, were caricatured.
Yet three years later, in terms of the stock market, unemployment, energy production and workers’ wages, the economy has been doing superbly.
The point of these sharp contrasts is not that an Ivy League degree or a Washington reputation is of little value, or that prestigious prizes and honors account for nothing, or even that supposed experts are always unethical and silly.
Instead, one lesson is that conventional wisdom and groupthink tend to mislead, especially in the age of online echo chambers and often sheltered and blinkered elite lives.
We forget that knowledge can be found at all ages, and in all places. And ethics has nothing to do with degrees or pedigrees.
We also forget that knowledge does not equal wisdom, a quality which is in damned short supply these days.
It’s a rare thing to find an ideologue at any point on the political spectrum who can admit “I was wrong.” Look, for example, at the endless contortions the anti-Second Amendment types are going through to try to downplay the instant response by armed parishioners that ended a would-be mass shooting in Texas – in six seconds.
Dr. Hanson points out many more examples on economic issues in the linked article. The problem is, as Dr. Hanson points out, that the popular wisdom usually is neither popular nor wise. The horse’s asses sitting in Congress are no exception. Policy proposals coming out of the Imperial City these days are largely crap, proposed by panderers and littered with confirmation bias. And, as Dr. Hanson further points out, so many of their fever-dream outcries and predictions of horror turn out to be just plain wrong.
It’s little wonder that political croakers and bureaucrats generally have approval ratings somewhere between vultures and polecats.
We’ve all got New Year’s Eve celebrations to plan for (even if some of us older folks are planning very quiet holidays) so for today, here’s a mixed bag of links and stories. Tomorrow for New Year’s Day we’ll have a summery totty dump, followed by a resumption of regular posts on the 2nd. Before we start, go check out the next installment of my Thirty-Something Rifle Cartridges series over at Glibertarians.
Right now, at age 18, you gain the right to vote and are trusted with full participation in our electoral system. So, too, 18-year-olds are considered “adult” enough to enlist in the military, get married without parental permission, consent to sex, and so on. But our laws, in typical nanny-state fashion, also tell those same young people they can’t be trusted with the freedom to smoke cigarettes, use e-cigarettes, or drink alcohol (or not) as all other adults. In many states, too, the Second Amendment right to self-defense is arbitrarily stripped from legal adults under 21.
This inconsistency is impossible to justify. Surely anyone deemed trustworthy enough to risk his or her life in conflict overseas and have full sexual autonomy should also have legal decision-making power over their own body when it comes to mint-flavored Juul pods.
No shit. Although I’d say this: If 18-21 year olds are too irresponsible to smoke, buy a gun, smoke, or drink – why the hell do we let them vote?
Next: Dave Barry gives his annual recap for 2019. My favorite piece: Robert Mueller resigns as special counsel, saying that he plans to return to private life and “whimper in the fetal position.” In his final statement, he clears up any lingering confusion about his investigation by noting that the Justice Department cannot charge the president with a federal crime, adding, “not that I am, or am not, saying, or not saying, that the president did, or did not, do anything that was, or was not, illegal. Or, not.”
Finally: A would-be mass shooter in Texas attacked a church and killed two parishioners but was stopped by a Good Guy With a Gun, who planted the shooter with a .357 Sig round right through the brain-pan. That’s a good shot. Excerpt:
Two victims, who have not yet been identified, died as the result of gunshot wounds. The assailant was only able to get off two shots before he was taken out by the alert guard, reportedly an ex-FBI agent. (There are some reports that a second member of the church security team fired on the suspect, but it’s not clear at this time if that’s the case.)
Would-be gun-grabbers will ask “how is it better to have moreguns in a mass shooting?” Well, this is why it is better. Is it better to be helpless in the face of an armed aggressor – or, worse, aggressors? No. I’d much rather have at least the chance to defend myself.
But I do take issue with this statement from the church’s minister: West Freeway Church of Christ Senior Minister Britt Farmer: “I’m thankful our government has allowed us the opportunity to protect ourselves”
Like hell. The government hasn’t allowed you anything. Most of the statist fucksticks in the Imperial government would love to strip you of your right to self-defense. You have that right because you were born. It’s a natural right – I’m sure Minister Farmer would call it God-given, I call it a natural right, but no matter what you call it, you have it, not because government granted it but because government is prohibited from interfering with it – not that that doesn’t stop elected assholes from trying to do so.
Anyway – to that good guy with a gun, good shooting, and I hope someone gives him a few well-deserved pats on the back.
Finally: Whatever your plans, Happy New Year! We’ll see you in 2020.
Here’s hoping you all had a great Christmas, and hoping again that you’ll have a restful Boxing Day. While you’re enjoying that, check out the first in my new series over at Glibertarians – this one on mid-caliber rifle cartridges.
Just a few idiot links and one happy ending today, and then I’m off to be Grandpa for the balance of the day. Enjoy!
Violent crime dropped by 48.6% in the U.S. in the same period that saw the record number of arms purchases: 423 million firearms, according to recently released data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Firearms-related accidents alone declined 68 percent between 1986 and 2018, a period in which U.S. citizens purchased 8.1 billion rounds of ammunition.
“These figures show that the United States has a strong desire to continue buying firearms for lawful purposes,” Joe Bertozzi, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told American Military News.
“The continued popularity of guns demonstrates that Americans have a keen interest in protecting themselves and their homes,” he added.
I’d say “keen interest” is something of an understatement. If these sales records say anything, it’s that a lot of Americans don’t trust pols who blithely say “Oh, don’t worry, nobody will confiscate your guns” while jackwagons like the Governor of Virginia hint about using the National Guard to… confiscate guns.
But here’s the money quote:
For example, the Democratic Party demands greater control when carrying arms and has the backing of at least 150 companies that demanded greater control before the Senate. But sales show that millions of people disagree.
The irony is that the same party that seeks the removal of President Trump, whom they consider to be abusing his power, is the one that wants to deprive citizens of the ability to remove a tyrant from power.
This reflects the actions of the Democratic Party. They demand that the high and mighty state be the one to remove Trump from power, not “the people” they claim to represent.
Meanwhile, those with a more libertarian or conservative political orientation refuse to give more power to the state, much less to take away their right to self-defense.
For history has shown that every tyranny is established once it disarms its citizens. This is what happened in Cuba through Fidel Castro’s speech “Guns? For what?”
Sixty years later, Cuba is still run by the same family. Twenty-five million people in the U.S. showed with their weapons that they are not willing to risk the same thing happening in their country.
They are safer both from crime and the possibility of the emergence of tyranny. That is why they are literally in charge of their self-defense.
Note that the author of this article is Mamela Fiallo Flor, who is listed as the cofounder of the Cuban Libertarian Party. This is a young lady with a cause. The cause of liberty in Cuba, granted, is the longest of long shots, but every change has to start somewhere.
But back to the article. Ms. Flor focuses not only on crime but on defense against tyrants, which was what the Founders were concerned with when crafting the Second Amendment; unlike too many horse’s asses in the Imperial City, she gets it. And, judging from sales figures, plenty of Americans do as well.