Category Archives: News

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

Animal’s Daily Random Notes News

Here are a few bits and pieces from the morning’s news.

Beta O’Rourke live-streams his haircut.  Last time it was a teeth-cleaning.  What’s next, his colonoscopy?  What a schmuck.

Robert Stacy McCain has some thoughts on champions.

If you aren’t reading the daily Glibertarians links, you ought to be.  One thing I love about that community:  You can read the comments.  Glibertarians boasts one of the most intelligent commentariats I know of.

Big surprise; Kamala Harris shoots off her mouth (hah!) about gun control, meanwhile revealing she knows bugger-all about guns.  Watch this space tomorrow for an even more egregious example of this sort of assholery.

Speaking of assholes:  Lieawatha Warren says Fox News is “…a Hate-For-Profit Racket That Gives a Megaphone to Racists and  Conspiracists.”  I find that I’m in the odd place of being in the same position as Princess Spreading Bull here; neither of us have any idea what the hell she is talking about.

Denver talk-radio legend Mike Rosen weighs in on school shootings.  Relevant quote:

One sanctimonious, simplistic anti-gunner was moved to proclaim that “we are avoiding the hard truth about the root cause of a chronic, pernicious illness in this country. We love our guns more than we love our children.” What irrational blather. This is a false dichotomy. Gun owners can both love their children and also defend the Constitutional right to possess a firearm, which can be used to protect their children from a home invader (or from shooters in schools). And the use of the personal pronoun “we” in this emotional rant is presumptuous. “We” aren’t the “root cause” of school shootings and our entire society isn’t sick. An infinitesimal fraction within it are sociopaths who shoot up schools. It’s “they,” who are sick.

As usual, Mike is correct.  Incidentally, I had the pleasure of meeting Mike in person once and, better still, spent two hours in studio on the air with him in 2001, when I was promoting Misplaced Compassion. He’s a brilliant man and possesses a razor-sharp wit.  That two hours was great radio and great fun.

From blogger pal Doug Hagin over at The Daley Gator:  Actions have consequences.  Who knew?

And on that rather satisfying note, we return you to your Thursday, already in progress.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Thanks as always to The Other McCain and Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links – and be sure to catch Part Two of my History of Bolt Guns series over at Glibertarians!

Meanwhile:  The SpyGate investigation has begun!  Excerpt:

Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter, a move that President Trump has long called for but that could anger law enforcement officials who insist that scrutiny of the Trump campaign was lawful.

John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the F.B.I.’s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of C.I.A. abuses of detainees.

His inquiry is the third known investigation focused on the opening of an F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign into possible ties between Russia’s election interference and Trump associates.

The department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is separately examining investigators’ use of wiretap applications and informants and whether any political bias against Mr. Trump influenced investigative decisions. And John W. Huber, the United States attorney in Utah, has been reviewing aspects of the Russia investigation. His findings have not been announced.

Durham has a reputation for being a bit of a pit bull – he also has the reputation for being an operator of unshakable integrity.  But watch!  As soon as he starts digging into the Steele dossier, the resulting FISA warrants and other shenanigans of Obama Administration bureaucrats, the long knives will come out.

Suddenly this U.S. Attorney will become a major demon of the Left.  Democrat politicians will accuse him of syncophanty, of corruption, of anything and everything except integrity and a simple desire to find out what the hell actually happened.

But if John Durham lives up to his reputation, and I suspect he will, he will uncover some very, very interesting things about how the Obama Administration and other Democrats attempted to weaponize the FBI and the nation’s intelligence apparatus.

On a sadder note:  RIP, Time Conway.  He was one of the best natural comedians that ever lived; he was the only performer who I ever saw make my notoriously taciturn father laugh out loud.  We’ll miss him.  Here’s one of his better bits, from a rehearsal of The Carol Burnett Show.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

HOLY CRAP!  That notorious right-wing rag, the New York Times, has taken the official editorial position that there is, in fact, a crisis at our southern border.  The article still argues against a border barrier and takes some cheap shots at President Trump but the underlying message is still yes, we need to do something.  Excerpt:

President Trump is right: There is a crisis at the southern border. Just not the one he rants about…But as record numbers of Central American families flee violence and poverty in their homelands, they are overwhelming United States border systems, fueling a humanitarian crisis of overcrowding, disease and chaos. The Border Patrol is now averaging 1,200 daily arrests, with many migrants arriving exhausted and sick…On Wednesday, the White House sent Congress a request for $4.5 billion in emergency funding to help manage the surge. In a letter to lawmakers, the acting director of the White House’s budget office, Russell Vought, sought to convey the scope of the challenge. “In February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than 76,000 illegal border crossers and inadmissible aliens, and in March that number exceeded 100,000 — the highest monthly level in more than a decade,” Mr. Vought wrote. He described what he said were “alarming numbers” of women and children jammed into Border Patrol stations never intended as long-term shelters.

Funding for vital services is not expected to last through the fiscal year, Mr. Vought said. Most urgently, the program that deals with unaccompanied minors is expected to run dry next month, requiring resources to be diverted from other programs and leading to a further deterioration in conditions…Nearly three-quarters of the funds, $3.3 billion, would be earmarked for humanitarian needs, with much of it flowing to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency responsible for unaccompanied minors. None of the money would go toward Mr. Trump’s border wall. Several hundred million dollars would, however, go toward shoring up border security operations, including increasing the number of detention beds overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. This, for Democrats, is a nonstarter…The Democratic chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Nita Lowey of New York, said that the administration was seeking billions of dollars to “double down on cruel and ill-conceived policies” and bail out ICE for locking up more migrant families than it could humanely accommodate. But until better policies are in place, Democrats need to find a way to provide money for adequate shelter.

Now, in for a penny, in for a pound, as the saying goes; you can’t fix this problem without improving border security.  Long stretches of our southern border as simply wide open; other long stretches are sealed only by vehicle barriers that pose no impediment to pilgrims on foot.

Now, the Times does make one valid point, and that is what I will call the “assault weapon effect.”  No, this doesn’t involve shooting at people.  In another article, the Times also points out:

Yet, perversely, the president’s own anti-immigrant rhetoric has helped supercharge the pipeline of migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Smugglers lately have been buying radio ads in Central America, warning that Mr. Trump is about to shut down all immigration. If you ever want to go to the United States, they say, go now!

Well Armed.

Remember what happened to AR-15 prices when President Obama was in office and a Democrat Congress was RRHEEEEEing about “assault weapons?”  Prices on those rifles shot up and sales still set records.  Well, the same thing is happening here; plenty of folks in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have decided to git while the gittin’s good.

And, for now, they’re succeeding, because our border control system is ineffective, our facilities are overwhelmed, and Congress refuses to act.

This will be the campaign issue of the 2020 election.  And President Trump holds the winning cards here.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five linkery!

Programming note:  This coming weekend Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. will be on the road to see one of our daughters graduate college, so Monday May 13 and Tuesday May 14 will be fulsome totty placeholder posts while our family is celebrating this milestone.  Meanwhile, for today, let’s look at some tidbits from the morning news crawl.

DNA-based AI robots may be frighteningly close to alive.  Color me skeptical.  Life is tremendously complex and almost impossible to simulate; even the simplest life on this planet is the result of four and a half billion years of a drunkard’s walk through a chaotic and endless changing environment.  I’m not overly worried about accidentally producing that in the lab.

Ticket prices plunge for Her Imperial Majesty and the Prince Consort’s speaking tour.  This is a pretty good indication that even the Democrats wish that the Clintons would just please, finally, shut up and go away.

Welcome to the new Cold War, same as the old Cold War.  Between this, Russia’s meddling in Nicaragua, and China’s meddling elsewhere, it seems the Monroe Doctrine is well and truly dead.

Welcome to the new crazy, same as the old crazy.  I’m all in favor of the ‘whatever floats your boat’ theory of living, but this really strikes me as being a little self-obsessed.  Oh well.

A silicon factory blows up in Illinois.  Purveyors of fake boobs hardest hit.  (I prefer the natural kind, myself.)

Speaking of crazy… Seriously, what’s wrong with these people?

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

Rule Five Wealth Tax Friday

Fauxcohantas Warren is proposing a wealth tax to pay for all the Free Shit she proposes to hand out in the unlikely event she becomes President Imperator.  Here’s the problem:  She can’t. It’s unconstitutional..  Excerpt:

Whenever Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is asked how she’ll fund “free” college tuition and her many other promised goodies, she has a ready answer: a tax. Specifically, she wants the federal government to impose a 2 percent annual tax on accumulated wealth in excess of $50 million.

This is hardly a new idea. Of the 14 wealthy OECD countries with a wealth tax in 1996, 10 have since then abandoned it. With good reason: this wealth tax is economically destructive.

Even if it weren’t, a pure wealth or asset tax would be unconstitutional. Even CNN, in its fact-checking of Warren’s tax, couldn’t ignore this, noting “there are several procedural problems with the proposal, including its legality.”

Here’s why. States have a general “police power”— that is, a general authority to enact laws regulating private conduct—but Congress does not. Congress has only the specific legislative authority that the Constitution grants it, and the three relevant provisions do not authorize Congress to adopt a wealth or asset tax.

Article 1, Section 9, permits Congress to impose direct taxes on individuals if they are equally apportioned along with excise taxes and duties. The 16th Amendment permits Congress to adopt an income tax. That amendment is important because the Supreme Court had ruled that Congress previously lacked the Article I power to adopt an income tax.

Finally, Article 1, Section 8, permits Congress to adopt indirect taxes in the form of excise taxes on specific goods or transactions. Supreme Court precedent (see Knowlton v. Moore) explains that the estate tax is one such permissible indirect tax, because it is a duty imposed on a transfer of property predicated by death.

Bear in mind that the fact that a proposal is forbidden by the Constitution doesn’t stop politicians from touting this form of stupidity; Congress and the Executive Branch in particular have been using the Constitution as asswipe since about 1860.

But Liawatha’s proposal is especially egregious in its stupidity, not only for legal reasons but also moral and economic reasons.  The moral reasons are simple; a wealth tax, like any tax, is theft perpetrated by government, wherein government confiscates a portion of the citizenry’s wealth by force.  (If you don’t believe that, try not paying your taxes and see how long it takes the government to send men with guns out looking for you.)

And, as the lined article notes, several nations who have adopted wealth taxes have abandoned them due to the economic damage they caused.  Followers of the purveyors of envy like Chief Spreading Bull Warren seem to think that the wealthy keep their money in giant Scrooge McDuckian vaults so they can swim in gold coins; this is a canard.  The wealthy by and large have their assets out in the economy, invested in new ventures, funding new enterprises, new equipment, new facilities, new technologies.  That brings economic growth; that creates jobs.

Liawatha would damage all that in the name of handing out Free Shit.  That’s way to the left of stupid.

Animal’s Daily World’s Most Expensive Fish News

Not a salmon, but what the hell.

Check out my latest over at Glibertarians; this is the first in a series on the history of bolt guns.  Also, our thanks as always to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Moving right along, ever-more-loony Californey has produced the world’s most expensive fish, at (minimum) $178 million per fish.  Excerpt:

Threatened Central Valley Chinook adult salmon have returned and spawned to the San Joaquin River!

For some, it’s proof they have been able to avoid predators and multi-billion dollar infrastructure that keeps millions of humans alive.

It has been nearly 65 years since the species has spawned in the San Joaquin. And the news this week follows major political and environmental action.

After being released in 2017, the salmon made it hundreds of miles to the Pacific Ocean, and have found their way back to the San Joaquin River.

The total yield from the Bureau of Reclamation: five so far. One died, but for the sake of argument, I’ll call it five.

There are more to critical issues than a feel-good attitude just because it’s nice to see threatened salmon in the San Joaquin River.

It can’t be overstated the cost and effort it took to make this happen.

Here’s a recap of that effort:

Taking the conservative cost estimate, each of the five fish caught cost taxpayers and water users $178,000,000.

And each of those fish needed 50,000 acre-feet of water per year.

I won’t even stress the cost of pumping, aquifer consequences, fallowed land, and – lest we forget – lost jobs. Many politicians aren’t either.

H.L. Mencken famously said that “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”  While the United States is not a democracy but rather a Constitutional Republic, California increasingly practices direct democracy with their initiative program; but the cause of this kind of lunacy is something else, specifically, the California Democratic Party’s re-jiggering of the election system to ensure one-party rule for eternity.

This is just one example of what happens when you have one-party rule.  In a state where there is an effective political opposition,  these types of shenanigans would at least be more difficult to pull off; at the very least, the opposition party would be able to run on a platform of defunding lunacy and have a chance of winning.

Not so under California’s jungle primary system, which frequently results in a general election where both candidates are Democrats.  From the shit-stained streets of San Francisco to the nine-figure fish of the San Joaquin River, the once and former Golden State’s voters are reaping what they sow.  Mencken has been proved right.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Heading out to catch a plane here in a bit, so here are some tidbits from the news, along with a few pithy comments.

Her Imperial Majesty, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua Hillary I, has some opinions on the Mueller report.  She does now?  What might they be, do you suppose?  Just kidding, I don’t give a fuck.

Loony-tunes couple claims to live on “the energy of the universe.”  Hint:  They’re lying.

Our own Colorado is in the forefront of beer technology.  Not surprising, the state was known for Coors (ugh) before microbrews were a thing.  Coors may be a sex-in-a-canoe beer, but it got the state started on brewing.

You know what?  I’d have a beer.

Kamala Harris wants to impose gun control by Imperial decree, but to let imprisoned convicts vote.  Pump the brakes, there,  Kamala.

NY Mayor De Blasio wants to ban skyscrapers.  It’s unclear what he intends to do about, you know, the entire Manhattan skyline.

Going to San Francisco?  Now you can get a poop map, to help you avoid the liberal (hah) amounts of human feces littering the streets of what was once one of the world’s great cities but now is an actual shithole.

Kamala Harris again; now she’s campaigning for Mike Pence for President.  Have any of these people figured out that, if by some strange confluence of events they are actually able to oust President Trump, that it wouldn’t somehow magically make Her Royal Highness President, but rather Mike Pence?  Mike Pence, who holds pretty much all the same policy positions as President Trump but who is much more measured, more congenial, more on-message, and who is generally regarded as one of the nicest men in politics?

As for trying to impeach a sitting President being a good campaign move – Newt Gingrich would like a word.

Daffy old Socialist from Vermont:  “Socialism will give us a better country!”  Woman whose family fled the (socialist) Soviet Union:  “You’re an idiot.”

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

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Meanwhile, now this here is some stupid shit.  Excerpt:

A group calling itself Genesis II Church of Health and Healing plans to convene at a hotel resort in Washington state on Saturday to promote a “miracle cure” that claims to cure 95% of all diseases in the world by making adults and children, including infants, drink industrial bleach.

The group is inviting members of the public through Facebook to attend what they call their “effective alternative healing” at the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth on Saturday morning. The organizer of the event, Tom Merry, has publicized the event on his personal Facebook page by telling people that learning how to consume the bleach “could save your life, or the life of a loved one sent home to die”.

The “church” is asking attendants of the meeting to “donate” $450 each, or $800 per couple, in exchange for receiving membership to the organization as well as packages of the bleach, which they call “sacraments”. The chemical is referred to as MMS, or “miracle mineral solution or supplement”, and participants are promised they will acquire “the knowledge to help heal many people of this world’s terrible diseases”.

In a world where people still profess belief in a flat earth, UFOs, chemtrails, Bigfoot and socialism as a workable economic system, it’s not so surprising that some morons would believe that drinking bleach can cure all the world’s ills.  I mean, what do they put in water to purify it for drinking?  Chlorine.  What’s the primary component of most bleaches?  Chlorine.

By that logic, since alcohol is used to kill germs, I should drink more whiskey and then I’d never get sick.

Here’s what I see as the real crime here, and it’s not mentioned in the article; I’m pretty damned certain that the assholes that run this “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing” don’t really believe any of this horseshit, and I’m damned certain they aren’t drinking this toxic crap themselves.  They are soaking idiots for $450 each to drink bleach, and excusing it by calling it “religion,” which, of course, is crap.

Now, I’m a staunch minarchist.  But even in a minarchist system there are protections against fraud.  It’s important to remember that there are only three ways to conduct an economic transaction; by choice, by force, or by fraud.  This is a perfect example of the last of those.

Animal’s Daily Random Notes From the News

Nothing really catches my eye in particular this early Thursday morning, so here are some random tidbits from the news – well, some random tidbits followed by one rather larger…  bit.  Enjoy.

John Stossel reminds us we not only have the right to bear arms, but also to print them.  He also exposes some of the more hysterical pronouncements of those who would try to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

President Trump:  Troll-In-Chief.  It is funny, how he does this; every time some major event is in the works, he issues a tweet, or gives a presser, makes some outrageous statement, and the Democrats and the legacy media scream “squirrel!” and run off in every direction.

Beta O’Rourke, the Irish Tortilla, steps on his crank again.

If you aren’t reading the Glibertarians morning and evening links, you should be.

Is a reckoning in store for the Democrats in Congress?  The New English Review’s Conrad Black thinks so.  I think he has a few good points.

What may well have been the first molecule has been spotted in space.  I minored in chemistry in college way back when, but never heard of a helium hydride ion (HeH+).  Go figure.

When iguanas are outlawed, only outlaws will have iguanas.  ‘Nuff said.

Scientists Restore Some Function In The Brains Of Dead Pigs. I wonder if they might be able to restore some function in the brains of Congress?  Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr was unavailable for comment.

It turns out that when you die, you might know it.  Relevant excerpt:

Top medical experts have forever been at loggerheads over what happens when humans die, with anecdotal evidence of bright lights and flashes reported by people who have ‘come back’ being the cause of much debate.

However, a new study suggests your consciousness carries on functioning after your heart stops beating and your body movements fail.

This means you are essentially ‘trapped’ inside your dead body with your brain still working, if only for a short time.

Honestly, I find that…  horrifying.  I sure hope they’re wrong.

Out on a limb.

Finally, the big bit:  The (redacted) Mueller report should be released today.  My prediction:  Democrats and some Republicans will insist on seeing the unredacted report.  If they get that, they’ll insist on seeing the original source material.  If they get that, they’ll insist on interviewing all the witnesses.  And the kabuki drama that is the Russiagate “investigation” will go on, and on, and on.

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

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Japan may be dying, but they’re dying Japanese.  (Original article hidden behind a paywall.)  Excerpt, with my comments:

Japan’s native population declined by 430,000 people in 2018, a record 0.21%.

Japan is set to lose a midsize city, approximately the size of Austin Texas, every year according to a Financial Times report and stats from the IMF.

Click here to view the chart.

“The reason Japan’s population is now falling so fast is not the low birth rate but rather an increase in the number of deaths,” said Akihiko Matsutani, professor emeritus in applied economics at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

It’s true that Japan has an aging population.  It’s been a matter of concern for some time that young Japanese people aren’t reproducing at anything like replacement rate.

The population decline is despite record immigration.

Here’s where they get it wrong.

There is very little immigration into Japan as we understand the word.  They have a work-visa program, like most places; many gaijin come to Japan to work for a matter of weeks, months, even years.  I’ve done so myself.  But when your work is done, the gaijin are expected to go home.  It’s very difficult to get permanent residency in Japan, and even more difficult to become a Japanese citizen, even if you’re married to a citizen.  If you do manage to gain citizenship, you’re expected to assimilate even to the point of taking a Japanese name.

I even enjoy their game shows.

I don’t think Japan will descend into extinction, though.  Their population may drop to the 100-year-ago level described, but I expect it will stabilize at some point.

I hope so, anyway.  It’s hard for me to explain exactly why I’m so fond of Japan, given that it’s far too authoritarian to suit my minarchist sensibilities, but I do love the place.  I love the people, the culture, the food, the culture.  I hope Japan survives whatever’s coming and, yes, I hope Japan stays Japanese.