Category Archives: News

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

Animal’s Daily Canada Trade War News, Eh

A reliable Canadian news broadcast.

President Trump may be starting a trade war with one of our neighbors – over trees.  Excerpt:

Speaking during a first of its kind meeting dedicated only to members of the U.S. conservative media, including Breitbart News, OANN and Daily Caller, President Trump told reporters to expect a 20% tariff on softwood lumber coming into Canada.

“We’re going to be putting a 20 per cent tax on softwood lumber coming in — tariff on softwood coming into the United States from Canada,”  tweeted Charlie Spiering of Breitbart Media.

Trey Yingst of OANN tweeted that according to Trump “Canada has treated us very unfairly” and also threatened a tax on Canada’s dairy industry.

According to the WSJ, Wilbur Ross said the tariff will be applied retroactively and imposed on Canadian exports to the U.S. of about $5 billion a year. He said the dispute centers on Canadian provinces that have been allegedly allowing loggers to cut down trees at reduced rates and sell them at low prices. “The determination that Canada improperly subsidizes its exports is preliminary, and the Commerce Department will need to make a final decision. In addition, the U.S. International Trade Commission will need to find that the U.S. industry has suffered injury. But even a preliminary decision has immediate real-world consequences, by discouraging importers from buying lumber from Canada.”

I’m not sure this is such a good idea.

Whenever you restrict the supply of a commodity, whether by regulation, tariff or any other method – you raise the price of that commodity.  Now, think of one thing, one product, that almost everyone needs, and think of what they are largely made of.

The answer to that:  Houses, and wood.

Raising the price of wood will raise the price of housing.  Real estate prices have always been up and down, but lately, across most the U.S., they have been up.  That’s great if you already own a home; the added equity is money in your pocket.  But if you’re a young couple starting out, it puts that first starter home a little farther out of reach.

It’s too bad we can’t deal with purveyors of bad economic policy by simply casting them adrift.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Thanks to Pirate’s Cove for the Blog of the Day pingback!

Newly-seated Justice Gorsuch may soon be seeing a Second Amendment casePeruta v. California springs from – where else?  That bottomless pit of loony that is California.  Excerpt:

At issue in Peruta v. California is a state law that says conceal-carry permits will only be issued to those persons who have demonstrated to the satisfaction of their local county sheriff that they have a “good cause” for carrying a concealed firearm in public. What counts as a “good cause?” In the words of one San Diego official, “one’s personal safety is not considered good cause.” In effect, the local sheriff has vast discretion to pick and choose who gets a permit and who doesn’t. Because the guidelines are unclear there is a severe risk of arbitrary enforcement. As one previous court ruling on the matter observed, “in California the only way that the typical responsible, law-abiding citizen can carry a weapon in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense is with a concealed-carry permit. And, in San Diego County, that option has been taken off the table.”

A constitutional challenge to this law inevitably followed. But that challenge suffered a major defeat in June 2016 when San Diego’s “good cause” requirement was upheld by a divided 11-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on the grounds that the Second Amendment offers no protection for gun owners in this area. “Because the Second Amendment does not protect in any degree the right to carry concealed firearms in public,” the 9th Circuit majority said, “any prohibition or restriction a state may choose to impose on concealed carry—including a requirement of ‘good cause,’ however defined—is necessarily allowed by the Amendment.”
In January 2017 Edward Peruta and his fellow petitioners asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and overturn that 9th Circuit ruling.

According to the Court’s docket, their petition has now been considered by the justices in private conferences held on March 24, on March 31, on April 13, and on April 21, but no decision has yet been reached. This Friday, April 28, is the next private conference on the Court’s calendar, and the justices are scheduled to consider the Peruta petition once again.

Bearing arms.

Bear in mind that the Ninth is, far and away, the most oft-overturned circuit court in the United States.  They regularly get it wrong.  They’re wrong here too, and one hopes the Supreme Court gets this right.

It’s funny how many people agree on most of the Bill of Rights, but draw a blank on the Second Amendment.  Indeed, if the political Left interpreted the Second as they do some of the other aspects of the Bill of Rights, gun ownership would be mandatory.

Still, the Left is getting more consistent, at least.  “Hate” speech is no longer due Constitutional protection.  Freedom of association is a dead letter.  The Fourth Amendment died with Kelo v. New London and a plethora of civil forfeiture laws.

Attacks on the Second Amendment are the canary in the coal mine for attacks on all liberties.  Let’s hope the Supremes show the state of Californey a thing or two.

Animal’s Daily PC Run Amok News

The New York Times, in another attempt to abandon what’s left of it’s former credibility, refuses to call a spade a spade.  Excerpt:

A top New York Times editor decided the paper shouldn’t use the term “female genital mutilation” because the phrase is too “culturally loaded” and widens a divide between the Western world and “people who follow the rite.”

Health and Science editor Celia Dugger said she came to the conclusion to refer to the act of removing the female genitalia of young girls as “genital cutting” during a trip to Africa in the 1990s. She spoke about her decision in a Times mailbag article in response to a reader’s question.

“I never minced words in describing exactly what form of cutting was involved, and there are many gradations of severity, and the terrible damage it did, and stayed away from the euphemistic circumcision, but chose to use the less culturally loaded term, genital cutting,” Dugger wrote. “There’s a gulf between the Western (and some African) advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite, and I felt the language used widened that chasm.”

The term “female genital mutilation” has actually been used by the Times in six articles in 2017, according to a website search; however, the instances are extremely restricted. For instance, two of the mentions occur in the context of a quoted speech or statement, two were in opinion columns, one in a book review and one in the mailbag explanation of why the Times didn’t use the term. The abbreviation “FGM” appeared this year only in stories taken from wire services such as The Associated Press and Reuters.

The Daily Caller was one of the first organizations to draw attention to the Times’ practice; however, groups as ideologically opposite as the United Nations Population Fund have also written about the potential danger in referring to genital mutilation as “cutting.”

“UNFPA embraces a human rights perspective on the issue, and the term ‘female genital mutilation’ more accurately describes the practice from a human rights viewpoint,” a question-and-answer section of the UNFPA website says.

There’s no reason to worry about the delicate sensibilities of the fucking savages that carry out these atrocities on their daughters.  Mutilation is is and mutilation it will always be, and modern, right-thinking, civilized people everywhere should abhor and condemn the practice.

There is a divide between decent, civilized people and “those who follow the rite.”  There damned well better be.  We ignore such divides at our peril.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Moving on:  Howard Dean is a fucking idiot.  Excerpt:

Here we go again: Former Democratic National Committee chairman tweeted that “hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment.” As Dean—who once ran for president of the United States—should know, this is completely wrong.

Dean’s tweet was a response to another tweet from a former New York Times reporter who pointed out that Ann Coulter once joked about how Timothy McVeigh should have blown up The NYT instead of a federal building. Coulter is in the news because the University of California-Berkeley cancelled her planned visit to campus on grounds that administrators could not guarantee her safety—irate protesters have vowed mob violence if she speaks. The university has now reversed that decision, thankfully.

Coulter’s history of engaging in hate speech might be a reason for students not to invite her to speak. But her speech, hateful though it may be, is not illegal. The Constitution does not exempt “hate speech” from First Amendment protection.

The First Amendment is pretty damn clear.  And if freedom of expression doesn’t include the unpleasant and, yes, the hateful, then it doesn’t mean anything at all.

Especially when many on the fringe Left think hate speech is “anyone who disagrees with me.”

Freedom of expression means you have to let the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis have rallies.  It means you have to let Louis Farrakhan ramble on about mother ships and white devils.  It means you have the freedom to say and write any damn thing you please, right up to the point where you do harm to another person or infringe on another person’s right to express themselves.  Otherwise – if you only allow conversations about kittens, flowers and butterflies – there really is no freedom of expression, and the First Amendment is just meaningless blab.

Howard Dean couldn’t be more wrong.

Rule Five Failed Imperial Power Grab Friday

Thanks as always to The Other McCain for all the Rule Five links!

Andrew Sullivan is no fan of President Trump, and indeed probably voted for Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I in the last election cycle, but he isn’t one of the folks bemoaning every possible cause but the obvious one as to why she lost the election.  Excerpt:

Let us review the facts: Clinton had the backing of the entire Democratic establishment, including the president (his biggest mistake in eight years by far), and was even married to the last, popular Democratic president. As in 2008, when she managed to lose to a neophyte whose middle name was Hussein, everything was stacked in her favor. In fact, the Clintons so intimidated other potential candidates and donors, she had the nomination all but wrapped up before she even started. And yet she was so bad a candidate, she still only managed to squeak through in the primaries against an elderly, stopped-clock socialist who wasn’t even in her party, and who spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. She ran with a popular Democratic incumbent president in the White House in a growing economy. She had the extra allure of possibly breaking a glass ceiling that — with any other female candidate — would have been as inspiring as the election of the first black president. In the general election, she was running against a malevolent buffoon with no political experience, with a deeply divided party behind him, and whose negatives were stratospheric. She outspent him by almost two-to-one. Her convention was far more impressive than his. The demographics favored her. And yet she still managed to lose!

“But … but … but …” her deluded fans insist, “she won the popular vote!” But that’s precisely my point. Any candidate who can win the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and still manage to lose the Electoral College by 304 to 227 is so profoundly incompetent, so miserably useless as a politician, she should be drummed out of the party under a welter of derision.

Here’s the real money quote:

And so I find myself wondering at odd times of the day and night: Why is Trump in the White House? And then I remember. Hillary Clinton put him there.

Well, partly.  Her Imperial Majesty was a horrible, horrible candidate who ran a perfectly clueless campaign.  Her entire appeal to the electorate was based on the twofold message “I have a vagina” and “it’s my turn, peasants!”  But you have to give President Trump some credit; he understood how the Electoral College works, he understood the wants and needs of a large and largely ignored voting bloc in the Upper Midwest – and he went after that voting bloc aggressively and relentlessly.

And now he’s President Trump.

I wasn’t a supporter of Trump early on; there were a host of candidates in the primaries I preferred.  But one thought that never fails to bring a smile to my face is the fact that Her Royal Highness Hillary I will never be President.

Of course, there’s another complication.  Wannabe-First Daughter-Again Chelsea Clinton-Whatever is rumored to be considering a political career.

After the 2016 election, at least 46.1% of the electorate decided they had had enough of the Clinton political dynasty.  With that election done past, it sure looked like time for Her Imperial Majesty and all her assorted kinfolk to finally fade from the political scene, ushered into obscurity by the incompetent Presidential campaign of the most deeply and fundamentally corrupt political figure since Caligula.

Let’s hope if Chelsea gives politics a shot, she flames out early and spares us another generation of self-entitled whining.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Heh heh heh.  CalExit Secession Movement Dies the Way It Lived: Stupidly.  Excerpt:

One notably bizarre, disorganized push to turn California into its own country is dead—at least for now. Its leader, Louis J. Marinelli, announced that he is canceling the petition and pulling up stakes. While he said he believed in the struggle for California’s independence “from the United States so we could build the kind of country that reflects our progressive values,” he has decided on a new path.

He’s decided he’d rather live in Russia, which is not exactly famous for its progressiveness.

In a missive released yesterday afternoon he said that life in Russia would offer him “a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed [his] entire life.” Yes, one imagines it is true that he’s going to face much less partisan divisiveness in Russia given how frequently very bad things happen to those who oppose the status quo there.

If by “very bad things” you mean “a bullet to the back of the head,” or (if the secret police are being generous) “lifetime exile to Siberia, where you’ll have to spend ten minutes chipping through the ice in the toilet before you can poop,” then, yes.  Moving on:

Almost immediately after CalExit began getting real press coverage did the fact that organizer Marinelli was actually living in Russia, not America, also start getting attention. That news raised the specter that this was all another potential attempt to sow chaos by Russian government operatives. Another leader (who also resigned this week) told the Sacramento Bee that possible donors started backing out once Marinelli’s background came to light, fearing that the secession movement would be tied to Vladimir Putin.

Schadenfreude.  Eh heh heh heh.

The whole CalExit thing was a stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid plan to begin with.  It was a comedy of ignorance and economic illiteracy; if the “movement” from Moskva had been successful, CA would have proceeded to print money and deficit spend its way into Venezuela status in a matter of months.

Some stories have sad endings; some have happy endings.  The ending to this story will have me chuckling for the rest of the day.

Animal’s Daily Nutbag Norks News

Following up on their last example of premature explodulation, the nutbar Norks are promising more missile “tests.”  Uh huh.  Excerpt:

North Korea will continue to test missiles, a senior official has told the BBC in Pyongyang, despite international condemnation and growing military tensions with the US.

“We’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,” Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC’s John Sudworth.

He said that an “all-out war” would result if the US took military action.

Earlier, US Vice-President Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the US.

He said his country’s “era of strategic patience” with North Korea was over.

Mr Pence arrived in Seoul on Sunday hours after North Korea carried out a failed missile launch.

Tensions have been escalating on the peninsula, with heated rhetoric from both North Korea and the US.

Mr Han told the BBC: “If the US is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method.”

As we used to say back when I wore Uncle Sam’s woodland camo, “Money talks, and bullshit walks.”  The Norks are going to be walking back a lot of bullshit, unless I miss my guess.

Speaking of back when I wore Uncles Sam’s colors, back when the Cold War was still on and the Soviet Union was still a going concern, we saw a lot of similar posturing.  Take, for example, last Saturday’s celebratory parade where the bat-guano loony Norks strutted their stuff on Pyongyang, showing off all of their various class of missiles.

Well, the Soviets used to do the same kind of thing; every May Day, through Red Square, with missiles on launcher trucks figuring prominently.

Trouble was, as we found out after the Soviet Union collapsed, a lot of those missiles were fake.  I’d bet serious money that a lot of the Nork’s parade hardware is fake as well.

Now, there are real threats posed by this nutbag regime:  They have one hell of a lot of artillery aimed at Seoul, and could do a lot of damage before the USAF and the South Korean Air Force managed to pulverize all those guns.

But ICBMS?  No.  Color me skeptical.  When it comes to that kind of hardware, the Norks are the nation-state equivalent of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

Rule Five Free Speech Friday

Heather Mac Donald thinks it’s time to stand up to campus bullies trying to squash freedom of speech on our nation’s campuses.  She’s right.  Excerpt:

Where are the faculty? American college students are increasingly resorting to brute force, and sometimes criminal violence, to shut down ideas they don’t like. Yet when such travesties occur, the faculty are, with few exceptions, missing in action, though they have themselves been given the extraordinary privilege of tenure to protect their own liberty of thought and speech. It is time for them to take their heads out of the sand.

I was the target of such silencing tactics two days in a row last week, the more serious incident at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, and a less virulent one at UCLA.

The Rose Institute for State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna had invited me to meet with students and to give a talk about my book, The War on Cops, on April 6. Several calls went out on Facebook to “shut down” this “notorious white supremacist fascist Heather Mac Donald.” A Facebook post from “we, students of color at the Claremont Colleges” announced grandiosely that “as a community, we CANNOT and WILL NOT allow fascism to have a platform. We stand against all forms of oppression and we refuse to have Mac Donald speak.” A Facebook event titled “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascist Heather Mac Donald” and hosted by “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascists” encouraged students to protest the event because Mac Donald “condemns [the] Black Lives Matter movement,” “supports racist police officers,” and “supports increasing fascist ‘law and order.’” (My supposed fascism consists in trying to give voice to the thousands of law-abiding minority residents of high-crime areas who support the police and are desperate for more law-enforcement protection.)

Whether one agrees with Heather Mac Donald or not isn’t at issue here.  Whether one understands the importance of free expression in a free society is; indeed, a society can’t stay free without freedom of expression.

And the fact that this is taking place on college campuses (campii?) just makes this all the more intolerable.  The higher education system is supposed to be a bastion of free expression and free thought; instead, too many of our institutions of higher learning are bastions of “safe spaces,” “free speech zones” and totalitarian (yes, really) uprisings of intolerant shitbags trying to silence anyone who makes them “uncomfortable.”

But there may be some hope for all this.  Heather Mac Donald concludes:

…the students currently stewing in delusional resentments and self-pity will eventually graduate, and some will seize levers of power more far-reaching than those they currently wield over toadying campus bureaucrats and spineless faculty. Unless the campus zest for censorship is combatted now, what we have always regarded as a precious inheritance could be eroded beyond recognition, and a soft totalitarianism could become the new American norm.

Eh, probably not.

The students most likely to be taking part in these totalitarian uprisings are also most likely to be working on bullshit Underwater Ethnic Dog Polishing degree programs.  They aren’t going to be at the levers of anything except a Starbucks espresso machine.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Well, sometimes the friendly skies aren’t so friendly.  Excerpt:

The world is rightly abuzz over an awful incident yesterday in which a man was beaten and dragged off a plane by police at Chicago’s O’Hare airport for the crime of wanting to use the seat he’s paid for on a United Airline flight getting ready to leave for Louisville.

The man claimed to be a doctor who had patients to see the next morning, explaining why he neither took an initial offer made to everyone on the plane to accept $400 and a hotel room for the night in exchange for voluntarily giving up his seat nor wanted to obey a straight-up order to leave, in an attempt on United’s part to clear four seats for its own employees on the full flight.

No one considered even the $800 that was offered after everyone had boarded enough for the inconvenience, so United picked four seats and just ordered those in them to vacate. But the one man in question was not interested in obeying. (Buzzfeed reports, based on tweets from other passengers, that the bloodied man did eventually return to the plane.)

Here’s the part I’d like to comment on:

While United’s customer service policies in this case are clearly heinous and absurd, let’s not forget to also cast blame on the police officers who actually committed the brutality on United’s behalf. NPR reports that the cops attacking the man “appear to be wearing the uniforms of Chicago aviation police.”

Full disclosure:  I live in Denver; Denver is a major United hub; I have status and a metric buttload (that’s 1.173 British buttloads) of award miles on United.  So I fly United, and all in all my experiences with them have been pretty good.  With that in mind, it’s the bolded part I’ll comment on.  I agree with the folks at Reason.com more often than not, but in this case they’re just wrong.  Why?

Whenever anyone buys a plane ticket (whether they read it or not) agrees to that airline’s Contract of Carriage.  Part G of United’s contract reads:

All of UA’s flights are subject to overbooking which could result in UA’s inability to provide previously confirmed reserved space for a given flight or for the class of service reserved. In that event, UA’s obligation to the Passenger is governed by Rule 25.

Rule 25 refers to how much the airline has to reimburse you if  you get bumped.

Now, the fact that the passenger in question either didn’t read or didn’t care about the contract of carriage doesn’t excuse what really, really appears to be excessive force by the cops who removed him.  But at the point the plane’s captain – who, like the captain of a ship at sea, has pretty much universal control over what happens on his aircraft – asked him to leave and he refused, he was then committing trespass.

There’s some blame on both sides here, probably.  But you aren’t exempt from the provisions of a contract that you agreed to, just because you didn’t bother to read them.  United was within their rights to ask him to deplane.  He was wrong to refuse.

But, it’s fair to point out that United handled the situation really badly.  The optics will kill them – for a while.  Fortunately the American public, especially the social-media addicted, have the attention span of a blue-bottle fly.  By next week this will be all but forgotten.

Animal’s Daily WW3 News

Well, this may well end badly:  China ‘deploys 150,000 troops to deal with possible North Korean refugees over fears Trump may strike Kim Jong-un following missile attack on Syria’.  Excerpt:

The Chinese army has reportedly deployed 150,000 troops to the North Korean border to prepare for pre-emptive attacks after the United States dropped airstrikes on Syria.

President Donald Trump‘s missile strike on Syria on Friday was widely interpreted as a warning to North Korea.

And now China, left shocked by the air strikes, has deployed medical and backup units from the People’s Liberation Army forces to the Yalu River, Korea’s Chosun.com reported.

The troops have been dispatched to handle North Korean refugees and ‘unforeseen circumstances’, such as the prospect of preemptive attacks on North Korea, the news agency said.

Meanwhile, the US Navy has moved the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group from Singapore to North Korea after the country conducted more missile testing.

Now, a couple of things here:  China may well be reacting to President Trump’s smack-down of Syria; it’s not at all clear that the President has read The Art of War, and knows about killing a chicken to scare the fox.  But the bat-guano crazy Norks seem to have taken it as a message, and are doing a lot of saber-rattling.  And now we’re moving a carrier into the area, traditionally the American way of telling the leaders of various Third World shitholes to settle their asses down.

But it’s more likely China may be adopting a defensive posture here.  If anything goes down in North Korea – whether it be a hostile move on their part or a sudden decapitation – it would probably send waves of Nork refugees streaming over the nearest available border.  And for millions of them, that means China.

Russia also shares a very short border with North Korea.  It will be interesting to see what the old KGB apparatchik Putin does in the next week or so.