Category Archives: News

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

Animal’s Daily Climate Hypocrite News

I can’t abide hypocrites.

And national treasure  Ann Althouse has found a doozy.  Excerpt:

This is one of my longtime issues — the hypocrisy of those who purport to care deeply about carbon footprints yet enthusiastically imprint their feet all over the world and encourage (and even pressure) others to do the same.

I like to see how the NYT deals with this subject — the NYT, with all its concern-mongering about climate change and all its travel articles and ads and its need to serve the emotions and vanities of its readers. What are we having today? A little shame, spiced with humorous self-deprecation, along with the usual self-esteem boosting about our progressivism and our love of the good life?

For this article, the author is by Andy Newman. Let’s read:

[T]hese are morally bewildering times. Something that seemed like pure escape and adventure has become double-edged, harmful, the epitome of selfish consumption. Going someplace far away, we now know, is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change. One seat on a flight from New York to Los Angeles effectively adds months worth of human-generated carbon emissions to the atmosphere. And yet we fly more and more….

What’s morally bewildering? If you believe what the consensus of climate scientists and the proponents of the Green New Deal are telling us, you should never travel. Everything else is morally wrong. If you are bewildered, you’re just bewildered about whether you — as opposed to those other people — want to center your life on morality.

But here’s the giggle line:

How does Newman bring this thing in for a landing? He’s still taking his family to Greece and Paris this summer. His reasoning is pathetically emotional: “We’re going because last year we canceled vacation to come home and watch our dog die. We’re going because the New York City public high school application process was an ordeal.” Why not rent a car and drive your spouse and teenager to a state park in upstate New York? You can hike and sleep in tents.

Mostly we’re going because of things we saw last time we were there. The tiny beach at the base of the towering cliff. The playground where the little children played past midnight while their parents and grandparents sat chatting. Chubby partridges pecking around the ruined temple of Poseidon.

So you’ve already gone, but you want to re-see what you’ve seen, because somehow the way they do it in Europe is more to your taste. I’m sure there’s a tiny beach with a towering cliff at one of those state parks I linked to.

This Newman – what an asshole.  He whines about the “carbon footprint” he produces, but then blithely announces he’s going to take his family to Europe anyway.  His reason is, effectively, because “fuck you, that’s why.”

Oh, but he bought some “carbon offsets,” which are the purest corral litter.  The fact is, he has no intention of changing his lifestyle; he just wants Top Men in the Imperial City to force you and I to change ours.  The proper response to this is, of course, “fuck off, slaver.”

Newman’s particular brand of hypocrisy isn’t unique to him.  Take a look at AL Gore’s mansion.  Take a look at Leonardo DeCaprio’s private jet, which he uses in this globe-trotting campaign to stop carbon emissions – except, apparently, for his.  A few moment’s searching would certainly reveal many, many more such examples.

What is it about these jerks, what weird cognitive dissonance is it, that makes them immune from the results of their own pet issues?

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Oh, look, Los Angeles is also becoming an intolerable shithole!  Excerpt:

These shocking pictures from downtown Los Angeles capture the growing problem it faces with trash and rodents in a desperate city also trying to contain a typhoid fever outbreak linked to worsening sanitary conditions. 

A decision to not cap the total amount of property that homeless people can keep on Skid Row was announced last Wednesday and it sparked fury among some officials who say it will ‘only perpetuate the public health crisis that already exists’ there.  

That, coupled with the news a Los Angeles police detective has been diagnosed with typhoid fever, has sparked concern among LA’s residents. 

The city has now said it will dispose of sofas, refrigerators and other large items in the 50-block area of downtown. 

But councilmen Joe Buscaino slammed the decision, saying: ‘The settlement will only perpetuate the public health crisis that already exists in Skid Row and will set a precedent for the rest of the city that will normalize encampments.

‘The city is sending a clear signal that we are turning the sidewalks in Skid Row into free, unlimited public storage, doing a disservice to the residents of Los Angeles, especially to those living on the streets.’

Images from the downtown area show trash piling up as workers struggle to keep the area sanitized. They are pictured wearing face masks among the dirt and grime. 

Rows and rows of tents line the sidewalks of Skid Row in the sprawling 50-block area, home to around 4,200 homeless people, many in tents and shantytowns.  

Some lay passed out in the street, seemingly from the effects of drugs as others are pictured lugging their property around, in search of the next spot to set up. 

Here’s the real shocker:

On Thursday it was revealed a Los Angeles police detective has been diagnosed with typhoid fever, a rare illness typically spread through contaminated food or water, and at least five other officers who work in the same station are showing symptoms.

The six officers work in the Central Division station, where a state investigation into unsafe and unsanitary working conditions led to penalties and more than $5,000 in fines earlier this month, documents show.

The division polices downtown Los Angeles, including the notorious Skid Row area where hundreds of homeless people camp on the streets. The police union says homeless encampments must be cleaned up following the recent diagnosis and other cases where officers contracted hepatitis A and staph infections.

‘The last thing I need is my members coming to work worried about contracting an infectious disease and bringing it home to their families,’ Los Angeles Police Protective League treasurer Robert Harris said. 

Dustin DeRollo, a union spokesman, said officers who patrol Skid Row ‘walk through the feces, urine and trash’ – conditions that ‘should alarm everyone and must be addressed.’ 

Read the article and, by all means, look at the pictures, which in this case are worth several thousand words.

Now our major cities, at least the ones in California, are dropping back into the state big cities were in the Dark Ages, with urine, feces and garbage clogging the streets, with diseases that should, in this modern era, be almost unheard of being spread.  Can an epidemic be far behind?

The ancient Romans knew better than this.  Read this article and, of course, look at the pictures, which in this case are worth several thousand words.

Now a part of the problem here is the change in laws around institutionalization, which state honestly is where a good number of these street people belong.  A bigger part of this is tolerance by city governments, who can’t bear to appear to be “unfair to the homeless,” as though letting them continue to endanger the health of the community is somehow evidence of compassion.

And it will continue as long as it’s allowed.

Animal’s Daily Robocall News

If you, like me, carry around a cellular phone as a matter of personal necessity (mine is my business phone as well as my personal phone) then you’ve probably been on the receiving end of the recent plague of robocalls and scam calls.  I know I have.  Not surprisingly, the FCC is under a lot of heat to do something.  Excerpt:

It was 3 a.m. when the phone rang.

But it wasn’t an emergency — it was a robocall, and it enraged one resident of Marietta, Pennsylvania, enough to fire off a profane complaint to the Federal Communications Commission.

“Someone should shoot these a**holes,” that robocall recipient wrote.

Both the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission receive a mind-boggling number of complaints monthly from Americans who can’t stand the growing scourge of scam calls. Last year, the FCC received 232,000 complaints regarding unwanted calls like robocalls and telemarketing offers, while the FTC received more than 3.7 million robocall complaints alone. For both agencies, these complaints are the most frequent ones they receive.

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request from NBC News, the FCC provided roughly 200 lightly redacted complaints — all from May 1 and with the names of the filers redacted — that highlight just how fed up Americans are with the scam calls and how badly they want the government to take action against the perpetrators.

Here’s what’s been done:

Both federal agencies and lawmakers are trying. On Thursday, the Senate passed the TRACED Act, 97 to 1. That bill would push major telecom companies to better authenticate calls while also increasing penalties and fines that the FCC can levy for violations. In the House, legislative efforts are underway to combat “spoofing,” in which scammers trick a caller ID into believing that a call is coming from the recipient’s area code.

Well, great.  Now as a staunch minarchist, I’m not generally in favor of government solutions for every problem, but in this case, I’m in favor of this action, as what I am given to understand this bill does is to actually deregulate the telecom companies in one respect; prior, all service providers were required by law to pass on any attempted call.  Now they will have more latitude to identify and block scammers and robocalls.

As far as the increased penalties, they won’t amount to a damn; most of the robocalls come from overseas, in jurisdictions that aren’t interested in cooperating with the FCC.

Anything to be done about this will have to be done here; let the FCC identify and block these calls, and I suspect the problem will dry up, and the scammers will have to go back to emailing people, claiming to be exiled Nigerian princes.

Goodbye, Blue… Tuesday.

Goodbye, Blue… Tuesday?

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove  for the Rule Five links.  Also please do check out the latest in my History of Bolt Guns series over at Glibertarians, which should be one of your daily reads.

Moving along:  The infamous Niccolò Machiavelli wrote in The Prince (1505 in Italian, 1513 in English) what has been translated as “Never do an enemy a small injury.”  In a similar vein, Ralph Waldo Emerson also was said to have observed to a young colleague “If you’re going to strike at the king, you must kill him.”

Congressional Democrats and investigators who have been pushing the “Russian collusion” narrative these last two years have failed to observe either of these cogent advisories, and now President Trump has, in the words Jed Babbin of the American Spectator, let the dogs out.  Excerpt:

The Democrats, stumbling down the road to impeachment, were stunned by President Trump’s executive order on Thursday.

The order is in two parts. First, it directs the intelligence agencies to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation that was the vehicle used to spy on candidate Trump’s campaign and President Trump’s administration when it was new.

The second part of the order delegates to Barr the president’s authority to declassify — or reduce the level of classification of — anything that the intelligence agencies will give him.

Leaving on his trip to Japan on Friday, Trump said “We want to be very transparent, so as you know, I declassified everything. We are exposing everything.” He specifically mentioned that Barr would be looking at the involvement of several nations including the UK, Australia, and Ukraine.

Trump let the dogs out. The necessity for this action has been comprehensively clear for more than a year, and I have been advocating it for that long.

Well, plenty of folks in the Imperial City have been yelling about the need for transparency.  They should have been careful what they wished for, because the damned floodgates are sure as hell open  and we have the honey badger of Attorney Generals now who literally gives not one single fuck about what the press or the Imperial establishment thinks of him.  AG Barr will happily throw to the wolves anyone who is implicated of any shenanigans.

But let’s not delude ourselves that anyone senior in the Obama Administration or the campaign of Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I will face any consequences; laws and such things are only for the politically-incorrect and the peasantry nowadays.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Here is an interesting bit from one of my fellow Glibertarians on the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI.)  Excerpt:

I would do away with all the various programs and bureaucrats and whatnot and implement a partial UBI. Whoever applies for UBI gets it the next month, no means testing, no questions asked. But the kicker is, you get 120 months of this over working lifetime, say 18 to 68. It is up to you how you use your months. If you are done by 30, I have a nice ditch for you. I assume, in such a scenario, to be palatable to the majority, there will inevitably be an exception for severe disability. Outside that, this should satisfy all those who claim they want an actual safety net. 20% of your lifetime is plenty for a safety net, any more and it becomes a hammock.

I do wonder how many on the left would find this agreeable… I mean it removes a lot of the “humiliation” people go through the classic process. It can be made online and remove the stigma associated with being temporarily on welfare – although I am not sure of the wisdom of removing the stigma entirely. It can remove redundant bureaucracy and situations when people need welfare and are denied. You may be employed, but one month may need some extra cash, this is a way to get it. But it also a way to introduce personal responsibility and clear limits on welfare. I would say very few of our leftist brethren would agree…

I would agree to such a proposal (not that anyone in the Imperial City is asking me) on the condition that the new UBI replaced any and all other government payouts with the exception of pensions and veteran’s disability, as those are conditions of employment rather than transfer payments.

But other than those, yes, we replace it all – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, all of the various welfare and other redistribution schemes.  If you spend your stipend on stupid shit and run it out, that’s on you.  You live with the consequences of your stupidity.

Aw, who am I kidding?  The entire Imperial welfare state has been built so as to shield people from the consequences of their bad decisions.  That’s not going to change.  But it’s sure a fun thought exercise.

Animal’s Daily Random Tidbits News

1903 Springfield – a classic bolt gun

Be sure to check out Part 3 of my History of Bolt Guns series over at Glibertarians – and if you aren’t reading their morning and afternoon links on the site, you should be.

Here are some random tidbits from today’s news.

Daffy old Uncle Joe Biden is way ahead in the Dem primary polls, but does that really mean anything?  Sean Trende doesn’t think so.  One might point out that at this time in the GOP 2016 season primaries, Jeb! was largely seen as the inevitable nominee.  Maybe because the GOP has a history of nominating the worst possible candidate for any given office?

On that topic:  Al Gore may have invented the Internet in between expeditions seeking the elusive ManBearPig, but Groper Joe apparently was the first to notice global warming.  Take that, Al.

Meanwhile, the President is getting some early shots in at the likely Democrat front-runners.

And, it’s beginning to look like the DNC may be giving the loony old Bolshevik from Vermont the shaft – again.

Feral parrots are taking over America.  I have a simple solution; put a $5.00 bounty on feral parrots, and let American rednecks know they are good to eat.  Problem solved.

Speaking of invasive:  NASA may be looking in the wrong places for evidence of Martian life.  Well, they haven’t found any tharks yet, so…

Philly passed a soda tax, to try to modify people’s behavior more in line with that that city’s Top Men felt was appropriate, you know, for their own good.  (Those paternalistic fucksticks!)  Not surprisingly, it backfired.

That same daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont mentioned above is fond of ranting about how Amazon isn’t paying any income taxes.  Unsurprisingly, given his track record on economic issues, he’s full of shit.

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

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.