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!

Now, on to the links!

Monday, of course, was Veteran’s Day.  Have a listen to a great piece commemorating that day from one of my follow Glibertarians.

Want to know how to spot a psychopath?  Well, you could look at Congress.

The President of the University of Virginia is an idiot.

This Popeyes worker is an idiot.

At least half of the university students in the UK are idiots.

The next big tech thing may be smart glasses.  I figure I’ll just keep my old dumb glasses.

Things in Hong Kong are quickly going from bad to worse.

Heh heh heh.

Autophagia on the Left.

Yesterday, we talked about the Imperial judiciary, but it seems at least Justice Gorsuch is framing well at the task.  So far.

A homeless man bum in Los Angeles dumped a bucket of “hot diarrhea” over a woman’s head.  That’s as opposed to the hot diarrhea coming out of Congress.

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, is concerned about something she doesn’t understand.  Again.

Double-Secret Impeachment.

Alexandria Occasional Cortex once again opens her mouth, removes all doubt.

This asshole deserved at least twice the sentence he got.

In the nation’s capital, the school system is an abject, total failure.

And on that note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Federal Judiciary News

I’ve had my issues from time to time with Mitch McConnell, but man is he ramming new judge appointments through the Senate.  Excerpt:

McConnell and Trump have already overseen the confirmation of more than 150 judges — a whopping 40 more than former President Barack Obama had confirmed at a similar point in his tenure.

McConnell got a standing ovation Wednesday at a White House celebration Trump held to mark the achievement, and they’re celebrating on the campaign trail, too. “So President Obama left Mitch and me and Rand [Paul] and all of us, he left 142 openings for judges,” Trump said to cheers at a Monday rally in McConnell’s home state, Kentucky. “You are not supposed to allow any. You don’t do that.”

Rest assured McConnell and Trump have no plans to do that. So while Democrats are obsessing over impeachment, and government funding remains at an impasse over funding for Trump’s border wall, McConnell is going to stick to his knitting and steamroll Democrats with another wave of judicial confirmations.

“The Senate will continue its work in the personnel business and confirm more of the president’s outstanding nominees to the federal judiciary,” McConnell said on the Senate floor this week. “Since our Democratic colleagues chose last week to filibuster defense funding and block the Senate from even considering legislation to fund our armed forces, we’ll turn our focus to confirmations while we wait for progress from them on appropriations.”

In other words, Senator McConnell knows how this game is played, and he’s damn well playing it.

Of course, President Trump’s judicial nominees are an order of magnitude less horrible than Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I’s picks would have been.  And given the fact that here in America these days the process seems to be to legislate through the courts, getting a bunch of Federal judges who are at least on nodding terms with the Constitution would be a good thing.

But you’ll forgive me if I’m a little skeptical.

Government, as George Washington pointed out, is like fire, a fearful servant and a dreadful master.  Having power over others is addictive.  Judges are prone to that no less than any other official.  So, I guess, maybe “less horrible” is the best we can hope for.

Let’s see what less horrible gets us.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  Thanks also to 357 Magnum and Moonbattery for the linkbacks.  Also, our good friend in Rule Five links over at The Other McCain, Wombat-Socho, is having somme health issues.  If you can, give him a hand.

And to all my brothers and sisters who have served, have a safe and restful Veteran’s Day.

Today, let’s have a look at one of the worst cars ever made, and a typical fruit of Communism:  The Trabant.  Excerpt:

The smoke-belching Trabant, affectionately known as the “Trabi” to people who never had to drive one, debuted in East Germany in November 1957. Initially, the car was not a disaster, at least not entirely. In fact, it had some enviable attributes for its era. Its much-mocked duroplast body was an innovation at the time of its introduction. The vehicle’s front-wheel-drive transmission system and independent suspension were also modern advancements, one Trabant driver notes.

That, however, is where the vehicle’s virtues stop and its problems begin.

It wasn’t that the Trabant had a weak two-stroke engine, though it did. It wasn’t just that the Trabant was made with recycled waste (usually from wool or cotton), though it was. It wasn’t that Trabants topped out at 60 mph and “smoked like an Iraqi oil fire,” as one writer put it.

No, the Trabant’s biggest problem was that it never really improved. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the 1957 Trabant had no tachometer, no turn signal, no seat belts or fuel gauge, no trunk liner, and used an oil/gas mix. The fact that these basic amenities were still missing when Taylor Swift was born is a bit more surprising. Indeed, when the last Trabant was produced in 1989 it still topped out at about 60 mph, which it took 21 seconds to reach from a stop. The Aston Martin Virage, which debuted the same year, took 6.5 seconds.

In other words, a piece of shit.  Typical of consumer products from Communist countries.

When I was temporarily stationed in Germany during the 1996-97 Balkans dust-up, an Army buddy of mine had bought a Trabant, just for a lark.  He actually drove it around, and spent a fair amount of time lamenting how hard it was to find parts.  I rode in it once.  The body felt like pressed cardboard – with good reason, since that’s essentially what it was.  The engine could have easily been replaced by a couple of monkeys on a treadmill.  The interior was cramped, the seats were horribly uncomfortable, the entire thing was just hideous.

My buddy was fond of showing it off with the line:  “See what Commies can build?”

He wasn’t wrong.  And it’s important to note that the Trabant was built by Germans, a people with a long tradition of building fine machinery.  Think on that.

Animal’s Daily Californey Housing News

Housing prices in California have been the worst in the nation for some time, and there’s no relief on the horizon.  Bloomberg tells us why.  Excerpts, with my comments:

California, the land of golden dreams, has become America’s worst housing nightmare.

Recent wildfires have only heightened the stakes for a state that can’t seem to build enough new homes.

The median price for a house now tops $600,000, more than twice the national level. The state has four of the country’s five most expensive residential markets—Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego. (Los Angeles is seventh.) The poverty rate, when adjusted for the cost of living, is the worst in the nation. California accounts for 12% of the U.S. population, but a quarter of its homeless population.

That last bit isn’t solely due to housing prices.  While the salubrious climate plays a part – and I’ll admit, I’ve worked for extended periods in both the northern LA ‘burbs and in Silicon Valley, and the weather is to be envied – its more the Free Shit and the permissiveness that allows street bums to shoot up and crap on the sidewalks without consequence that is responsible for the homeless figure.

How did we get here? Simply put, bad government—from outdated zoning laws to a 40-year-old tax provision that benefits long-time homeowners at the expense of everyone else—has created a severe shortage of houses. While decades in the making, California’s slow-moving disaster has reached a critical point for state officials, businesses and the millions who are straining to live there.

And it’s not going to change any time soon?  Why?  Well, this isn’t going to help:

This fall, as President Donald Trump blamed Democrats for the situation on his swing through the state to raise money for his reelection, lawmakers in Sacramento passed some of the most sweeping legislation in years to address housing affordability. Google, Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. are throwing billions of dollars at the issue. But nobody’s kidding themselves that it’s enough.

“Broadly speaking, there is no solution to the California housing crisis without the construction of millions of new houses,” said David Garcia, policy director for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

But you can’t build millions of new houses in California.  Google can’t, Facebook can’t, and Apple can’t, for all their billions.  Why?  See the comments on bad government above.  Sacramento simply won’t allow it.

McKinsey & Co. estimated in 2016 that California needed some 3.5 million more homes by the middle of next decade—a figure that Governor Gavin Newsom made a central part of his administration’s goals. A more recent analysis suggests it may take the state until 2050 to meet the target.

Gavin Newsom is a horse’s ass, and will vigorously oppose any relaxing of zoning and regulation that might actually make housing more affordable – primarily by building more houses.  And better than houses, something that Bloomberg doesn’t mention – apartment buildings!  Some time ago, while on a visit to Japan, I wrote a piece on how Tokyo handles housing by vertical storage.  California could learn a thing or two from Japan.

As severe as this sounds, the rest of the country is becoming more—not less—like California. During the longest economic expansion on record, the U.S. has been building far fewer houses than it usually does, pushing prices further out of reach for a vast portion of the population that has barely seen incomes rise.

Government, True Believers, is the problem, not the solution.  As long as California remains a single-party state, allowing the elite Left Coast progressives to run the state unchecked, the housing situation is only going to get worse, no matter how many Silicon Valley tech companies try to make things better.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

On to the links!

Want to know the best place in the Middle East to be an Arab Muslim?  Israel.

Do you live in Chicago?  Get the hell out.  Now!

Sally Kohn is an idiot.

Joy Behar is an idiot.

The editorial staff of The Guardian are idiots.

The Washington Examiner examines (hah) the freak show that is the Democrat’s Presidential field.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s Electoral College margin may be increasing.

I love a happy ending.  This one rates an excerpt:

Another gun control talking point has been debunked after a pregnant woman, who remains unnamed, used an AR-15 to defend herself and her family from a violent home invasion. 

Masked individuals broke into her Florida home and severely beat her husband, who suffered serious injuries. He thought he was going to die. 

Not the actual person.

“I’ve got a fractured eye socket, a fractured sinus cavity, a concussion, 20 stitches and three staples in my head. I took a severe beating,” Jeremy King told Spectrum News Bay Area 9.

“They came in heavily hooded and masked. As soon as they had got the back door opened, they had a pistol on me and was grabbing my 11-year-old daughter,” he continued, saying the masked men were asking for money. “It became real violent, real fast.”

King said the two suspects grabbed his 11-year old daughter and his wife grabbed their AR-15. She shot one of them, who then ran out of the house and died in a ditch nearby. The other suspect is still on the run. 

Neanderthals made necklaces.  We’re increasingly finding out these people were more sophisticated that we thought, and that’s fascinating.

Daylight Savings Time sucks.  Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Here is the story of Denver International Airport’s hideous Demon Horse.

Colorado may be turning blue, but it turns out that concealed-carry permits are at an all-time high.  Coincidence?

On that well-armed note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Rights or No Rights News

Before we start, check out my 2019 Hunt Report (abbreviated) over at Glibertarians.

Can something be a “right” if one person’s exercising of that right forces another person to surrender some of their property to pay for it?  I say no, and so does our good friend Jillian Becker.  Excerpt:

There cannot be a “right” for one person that puts an obligation on another person.

There cannot be a “right” for everyone that puts an obligation on some people.

A “right” to health care imposes an obligation on medical practitioners.

Yet the Democratic candidates for the November 2020 presidential election believe that medical treatment is a “human right”.

That old Communist from way back, Bernie Sanders – elected to the Senate as an Independent but running for the presidency as a Democrat – explicitly insists that it is.

Dr. Kevin Pham writes at the Daily Signal:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was recently on comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show to discuss … his vision for health care in America.

He calls his plan “Medicare for All”.

In one interesting statement, Sanders described the rollout of his plan: “I want to expand Medicare to include dental care, hearing aids, and eyeglasses, and then what I want to do is lower the eligibility age the first year from 65 down to 55, then to 45, then to 35, then we cover everybody.”

Cover? Covered by insurance? No. “Free” health care for all would not be paid for through a system of insurance. It would be paid for through taxes. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, all health care workers would be employees of the government.

The plan, Dr. Pham points out, is more accurately called “Medicaid for All”.

I call it horseshit.

Just yesterday afternoon, on my commute from the work site back to my temporary New Jersey lodgings, I heard Princess Spreading Bull Warren repeating her claim that the middle class wouldn’t be taxed to pay for her statist horseshit.  What’s more, she claimed “only billionaires” would pay more.

What unmitigated bullshit.

Ms. Becker concludes:

Under Bernie Sanders’s scheme (and Elizabeth Warren’s vague and colossally expensive plan), there would no private insurance and “the whole system would crumble”.

Providers who participate in Medicaid must accept the government-mandated prices for services and deal with oftentimes long delays in receiving reimbursement that is below the cost of practice. 

Study hard for years at great expense only to earn a pittance? (Oh, I nearly forgot – higher education will also be “free” in that it will be paid for by taxation. Your pathetic little income will be taxed at so high a rate that you’ll be left with nothing but a little pocket-money.)

You would have to be a fanatical philanthropist, or even a masochist, to enter the medical profession under such conditions.

Amen and amen.

Were I to handicap the Dem’s nominees right now, I’d have to say Liawatha is the one who seems to be gaining some traction.  And that’s a good thing, because given her math-challenged moonbattery, she’s a walking talking gift to the Trump re-election campaign.

All the Democrats had to do to win in 2020 was to not be crazy.  They’ve failed.

Animal’s Daily Hate Speech News

Spooky!

This seems appropriate for Halloween:  Why American Needs a Hate Speech Law.  Let me preface this by saying to the author, “Fuck off,” in advance.  Excerpts, with my comments:

When I was a journalist, I loved Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s assertion that the Constitution and the First Amendment are not just about protecting “free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”

But as a government official traveling around the world championing the virtues of free speech, I came to see how our First Amendment standard is an outlier. Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?

Because, you ignorant savage, that’s what liberty means.  It means you have to let the Ku Klux Klan have parades.  It means you have to let Louis Farrakhan spout off about Jews.  It means you have to let people place crucifixes in jars of urine, and yes, it means you have to let people burn Korans.  Free speech applies to all speech (not actions) or it applies to no speech.

My reply to this “sophisticated Arab diplomat” would be to ask how he deals with gay people or Christians in his country.  “How many gays were tossed off rooftops in your country in the last year?”  Seriously, why would you take anyone from that part of the world seriously when discussing fundamental freedoms?

All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I’m all for protecting “thought that we hate,” but not speech that incites hate. It undermines the very values of a fair marketplace of ideas that the First Amendment is designed to protect.

I see – we have to destroy the village in order to save it.

Well, to that I can only say “Fuck off, slaver.”

Forget the term “hate speech.”  It’s a canard.  What this asshole and others like him are seeking to prohibit isn’t speech; it’s thought.  Wrongthink is the crime proposed, and the crime itself will involve no more than offending someone’s sensibilities; this will leave you at the mercy of the most hypersensitive, most prickly, most easily offended group extant.

Yes, I’m looking at you, “sophisticated Arab diplomat.”  Fuck you and the horse you rode in on; I’ll speak as I please, and if I want to burn a Koran – or a Bible, or a flag, or the Book of Mormon, or the New York Times – then I damn well will.

Animal’s Hump Day News

It’s on to the links!

Salon writer Cody Cain is an idiot.

More than a third of millennials are idiots.

Max Boot is an idiot.  I know, that last one is low-hanging fruit, but still…

Strike a pose to look more attractive to the opposite sex.  Or, you know, whatever sex strikes your fancy, I guess.

Have a problem with rats?  Get some monkeys.

The Celts thought everyone should have wine.  I prefer beer, myself, but I can go along with the sentiment.

Duck!

Duck!

Goose!

California proposes to crack down on freelancers.  A stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid idea.  Add it to a long list of stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid ideas coming up in California these days.

The President has an idea for reducing criminal misuse of guns.  It makes some sense, so of course it won’t go anywhere in Congress.

In California, you can have unburned property, or you can have electricity.  Pick one.

In Colorado, we have mail-in ballots, which are starting to be returned.  So far Republicans and older voters are returning ballots at higher levels than Democrats and younger voters – all of which doesn’t mean much in our increasingly-blue state.  Still, it is an off year…

Turns out that Congress has several options for financing Medicare for all.  Here they are:

  • A 32 percent payroll tax
  • A 25 percent income surtax
  • A 42 percent value-added tax (VAT)
  • A mandatory public premium averaging $7,500 per capita – the equivalent of $12,000 per individual not otherwise on public insurance
  • More than doubling all individual and corporate income tax rates
  • An 80 percent reduction in non-health federal spending
  • A 108 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase in the national debt
  • Impossibly high taxes on high earners, corporations, and the financial sector
  • A combination of approaches

To all of those I can only say three things:

  • Hell no
  • Fuck off, slavers
  • Taxation is theft!

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

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, The Other McCain and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  Also, check out last week’s post on Glibertarians, this one another installment of my Profiles in Toxic Masculinity.

Moving along:  According to that notorious right-wing rag, the New York Times, the “Russia collusion” investigation may be about to get very, very interesting.  Excerpts, with my comments:

Justice Department officials have shifted an administrative review of the Russia investigation closely overseen by Attorney General William P. Barr to a criminal inquiry, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move gives the prosecutor running it, John H. Durham, the power to subpoena for witness testimony and documents, to convene a grand jury and to file criminal charges.

This is a very interesting step, and takes this entire investigation into new ground.  In fact, this transition fairly screams “we found something.”

The opening of a criminal investigation is likely to raise alarms that Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies. Mr. Trump fired James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director under whose watch agents opened the Russia inquiry, and has long assailed other top former law enforcement and intelligence officials as partisans who sought to block his election.

And yet the Noo Yawk Times said next to nothing when President Obama weaponized the IRS against his political opponents.

No, this isn’t President Trump “using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies.”  This is the Justice Department, for once, doing their damn jobs.

Mr. Trump has made clear that he sees the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. That view factors into the impeachment investigation against him, as does his long obsession with the origins of the Russia inquiry. House Democrats are examining in part whether his pressure on Ukraine to open investigations into theories about the 2016 election constituted an abuse of power.

Utter horseshit.

The list of shenanigans pulled by the Justice Department are manifest, beginning with FISA warrant abuse and continuing through a laundry list of biased agents seeking a “contingency plan” in the event of a 2016 Trump victory.  Were the party affiliations reversed, the NYT would be RRHHHEEEEEing for an investigation; but then, it’s been quite a while since the NYT even pretended to be objective.

The move also creates an unusual situation in which the Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into itself.

“Physician, heal thyself.”

The Times might have the beginnings of a point here.  Eventually one supposes an independent prosecutor should be appointed.  But this needs to be fleshed out, and any guilty of shenanigans held accountable; the American people have very little faith in the FBI or the Justice Department at present, and some of that faith may well be restored if any wrongdoing is, for once, dealt with.

Last Friday on Fox News notorious right-winger Geraldo Rivera weighed in:

“I predict in the next week or two, you’re gonna see a run on criminal defense attornies in Washington, D.C. by people further up the food chain in the previous administration,” said Rivera on “Fox & Friends,” questioning what former President Barack Obama and his inner circle knew about the probe into Trump’s campaign.

“Did Barack Obama know that the intelligence agencies were seeking to delegitimize his successor? At what point did he know? What did he authorize? What role did he play? he asked.

And:

Rivera took issue with the New York Times’ reporting about Durham’s probe on its front page Friday. He said that below the headline, the Times “minimizes” the story by writing that there is “fear that Trump is using the Justice Department to chase perceived enemies.”

“Immediately they undercut the motive for the investigation. They don’t care about the fact that the power of the intelligence agencies was used to undermine the President of the United States. They care that they’re going to get caught for the exaggerations and the lies,” he said, stressing that the Mueller probe did not find that Americans colluded with Russians to interfere in the 2016 election.

But here’s the kicker:

The investigation’s new status means Durham can subpoena witnesses, file charges, and impanel fact-finding grand juries.

Some former DoJ and Obama Administration officials should be shittin’ and gittin’ around now.

But then, as I’ve noted repeatedly in these virtual pages, equal treatment under the law is effectively a dead letter in the United States nowadays.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Mrs. A and I have to head for the airport in a little while, to head home to Denver; on Friday morning, loyal sidekick Rat and I answer the call of the bloodwind once more, as we set forth in pursuit of deer and elk.  But in the meantime:  Time for the links!

Number One for today’s links:  Feds have hurriedly dropped a case against a black-market gun builder because of a tentative judicial ruling that may have overturned much of the 1968 Gun Control Act.  No shit.  Go read, and try to ignore CNN’s pearl-clutching.

This scientist thinks we may already have found strong evidence of life on Mars.  I’m not so sure, but my biology credentials are a few years out of date; I have tried to, as they say, keep current, but that’s a long ways from working in the field day to day.

Joe Biden may actually be senile.

Liz Peek thinks the 2020 election is still President Trump’s to lose.  The history of incumbents seeking re-election bolsters her argument.

Guess what?  Our schools suck.  Welcome to 1977.  The answer?  Get government out of education.

Californians may be going collectively insane.

This might be interesting.

Well, that escalated quickly.

These three countries tried socialism and rejected it.  It sure would be nice if some American pols would learn from their example, but as my dear departed Grandpa was fond of saying, “you can teach ’em, but you can’t learn ’em.”

The Washington Examiner’s Adam Brandon points out that the Constitution is what is keeping us from Hong Kong’s fate.  I’d feel better about that assertion if it weren’t for the fact that the Imperial government has been wiping their asses with the Constitution since about 1860.

U of WA professor Holly M. Barker is an idiot.

Adam Schiff is an idiot.

Princess Spreading Bull Warren is an idiot.

Have a read about the eccentric wonder that was Thomas Edison.  One of my favorite quotes is from Edison:  “People frequently don’t recognize opportunity when it arrives, because it usually shows up in overalls and looks like work.”

A Deep State bureaucrat cashes in.

Bill Maher finds another acorn.

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