Category Archives: Politics

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

The circus in the Imperial City continues apace, China has produced a possible pandemic, some sportsball guy and his daughter was (sadly) killed in a helicopter crash.

On the other hand, the sun still came up this morning; children are still playing, business is still humming, pretty girls haven’t lost their appeal, and back home in Colorado, the mountains are still there, waiting on my next visit.

Sometimes a fella just has to calm down and remind himself to take an even strain, you know?  And, with that said…

On To the Links!

I’ll take “Shit That Never Happened” for $500, Alex.

The House is considering rescinding the ban on earmarks.  Of course they are.

Angling to emigrate to the U.S. for the generous welfare benefits?  Not so fast.

And in that same case, Justice Gorsuch lays a beat-down on some lower-court judges.  About damn time!

I Love a Happy Ending.

Consider the curious case of one Hunter Biden, whose main accomplishments in life have been 1) getting kicked out of the Navy for cocaine use, 2) conducting an affair with his dead brother’s widow, 3) knocking up a stripper, and 4) inexplicably parlaying those previous three assets into a million-dollar-a-year gig with a Ukrainian energy company.  I’m sure his family connections have nothing to do with that last bit.  Now, if his name was Cheney, that’d be a much different story.

(The U.S. Senate):  “Wait, wait – there were eighteen witnesses?”

Gun Dog Magazine is at the 2020 SHOT show, and they are presenting the best upland game shotguns for 2020.  Many nice pieces, but I’ll keep my Citori and my Model 12s.

Peace in our time?

This Week’s Idiots:

The Colorado Legislature in increasingly the habitat of idiots.

David Hogg is an idiot.

Prince Charles is an idiot.

CNN Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin is an idiot.

Need to take away the sting of this week’s idiots?  I think we need to take away the sting of this week’s idiots.  Let’s end the day with some bonus Hump Day totty from the archives.

And Now…

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

Rule Five Second Secession Friday

The dust-up over gun control in Virginia has several counties looking to leave Virginia and join the decidedly more Second Amendment-friendly West Virginia.  Excerpt:

West Virginia lawmakers are scrambling to let rural Virginia counties join the Mountain State amid conservative voter anger with the new Democratic majority in Richmond and its push for gun control and other liberal initiatives.

In a building fight that echoes the Civil War-era split of the Old Dominion that created West Virginia in 1863, 40 of 100 West Virginia House delegates have signed on to legislation that would accept revolting Virginia counties and towns.

The effort began after the November elections when urban and suburban voters put the Virginia General Assembly into Democratic hands. Many of those Democrats ran on a platform of restricting and banning guns.

“We’re starting to get some phone calls from friends on the border who say these folks want to leave,” said West Virginia Del. Gary Howell.

Howell, a Republican, told Secrets that what started off as a long-shot effort “has turned into a real thing.”

He said that Virginia lawmakers and officials along the West Virginia border have cited the Democratic drive for gun control and desire to shift spending to the urban areas near Washington as reasons to leave for West Virginia.

In his bill, HCR 8, Howell and his team wrote about the urban-rural battle: “These tensions have been compounded by a perception of contempt on the part of the government at Richmond for the differences in certain fundamental political and societal principles which prevail between the varied counties and cities of that Commonwealth.”

He also cited gun control, a huge fight on display in Richmond Monday when some 22,000 gun owners protested restrictions sweeping through the state Senate. There is no new push for gun control in West Virginia.

Note that Gary Howell cites the “urban-rural battle” that I’ve mentioned before in these virtual pages.

The thing here is this:  A secession into a neighboring state might be the best thing for everyone concerned here, and it could certainly set an interesting precedence.  This move would relieve some pressure on Richmond, where the state government is increasingly blue, driven by the huge NoVa enclave of Imperial workers, who tend to see government and more government as the cure to all that ails us.  It would make the pro-gun folks in the western counties happier, and would increase West Virginia’s tax base and Congressional influence.

Now apply that to some other places.

What about our own Colorado?  Say some of the northeastern counties joined Wyoming or Nebraska?

What if the southeastern California counties moved to join Arizona?  Or the northernmost ones and some on southern Oregon realized their goal of a State of Jefferson?

What if eastern Washington seceded and joined Idaho?

How about farther east?  Would the counties of southern Illinois, notoriously conservative, be more comfortable as part of Indiana or Missouri?

People can vote with their feet.  But moving or not moving isn’t the point; people should also be able to choose the government that suits them.  Bear in mind this would exacerbate the “urban-rural battle” in some ways, by redrawing state lines that would exaggerate those divides even further, because, as you may have noticed, the examples I cite mostly involve rural areas separating from urban ones.

Maybe this time we’ll be able to have our secession a little more peaceably, since no one is (yet) agitating to start a whole new nation.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

On to the links!

This rates an enormous, ninety-decibel “No Shit”:  High-tax states are driving people away.

Alaska is blowing its top.

Horseshit.

This has a frighteningly familiar ring to it.

Thousands of pro-Second Amendment protestors turned out in Richmond.   And, amazingly, nobody died.  The whole thing ended peacefully.

Remember the last time a pro-Second Amendment rally ended with a massive shootout?  Me either.

More UFO kookery.

White supremacists, my ass.

Our good friend and fellow author Jillian Becker has some thoughts on homelessness and crime that are well worth reading.

Payback’s a bitch.

Why are there seven days in a week?  And why is only one of them Saturday?

The correct answer is, “who gives a shit?”  Seriously, why are so many Americans so fascinated by these “royal” non-entities?  Didn’t our ancestors fight a bloody revolution to ensure we wouldn’t have any of those royal nobs nobbing it up over here on our side of the Atlantic?

This Week’s Idiots:

The leaders of Iran are idiots.

Mona Eltahawy is an idiot.

Andrew Cuomo is an idiot.

California is run by idiots.

And now…

This guy deserves special mention.  Relevant excerpt:

Two hours later, authorities in Exeter, another nearby town, got a call that the coyote had charged a family walking on a trail.

“The coyote attacked a young child, and the child’s dad went into protection mode and suffocated the coyote until it succumbed,” police said.

Man Card earned, for life.  And on that hairy note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Programming note:  Trying a new format for the Wednesday links posts.  If I decide I like it, I may expand the format to the rest of the week.

On to the links!

The daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont steps on a rake.

Barack Obama got a Nobel prize for existing.  Now he’s getting an Oscar nomination for existing.  Talk about phoning it in.

Spartacus Drops Out.  Are we under a dozen yet?

Reporter in Australian taken in by old drop-bear gag.

Cocaine Mitch says Nancy Pelosi has struck out.  He’s almost certainly right.

The correct answer is “who gives a shit?

Austin, TX has a case of California Disease.

Goose. They are the Hate Birds, the Birds That Hate.

Duck!

Duck!

Goose!

We’re not stuck in here with you.  You’re stuck in here with us.

Coming soon to a blue state near you.

This week’s idiots:

This week’s selection of idiots is wide-ranging.

Bloomberg’s Francis Wilkinson is an idiot.

Casey B. Mulligan explains why many financial “experts” are idiots.

Andrew Yang is an idiot.

I have no idea who Eric Benet is, but he’s an idiot.

The stupid, it is strong in this one.

DNC Chair Tom Perez is an idiot.

And now…

It’s been an interesting week so far, and it’s going to get more interesting.  Things in the Imperial City right now are like the Energizer Bunny on crack; they just keep getting dumber, and dumber, and dumber.

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

Animal’s Daily Brain Development News

Before we move on, go check out the latest in my Thirty-Something RIfle Cartridges series over at Glibertarians!

Now: Here is Complete Colorado’s Rob Natelson on another shot at the graduated age of majority.  Excerpt:

On December 20, President Trump signed legislation purporting to impose a single national age of 21 for selling tobacco products.

Obviously, the measure reduces the freedom of millions of Americans who are legally adults in almost every other respect—including (correctly or not) the right to vote. Moreover, setting minimum consumption ages is not a power the Constitution grants the federal government. The Constitution reserves it to the states.

The issue here, of course, is not whether tobacco products are safe. They clearly are not. The issue here is whether our Constitution and the freedoms it protects are safe. As this episode demonstrates, they clearly are not.

Regulating local sale and consumer use of products is an exercise of what lawyers call the “police power.” This phrase does not refer to your local police officers; it is an older use of “police” to mean “policy.” The police power is authority to adopt regulations to protect public health, safety, morals, and the general welfare. Under the Constitution, the states retain broad police power, with constitutionally-imposed exceptions.

By contrast, the Constitution grants the federal government only certain enumerated (listed) powers, including police power within Washington, D.C. and other federal enclaves and the federal territory. Outside those areas—as the Supreme Court has reiterated—the federal government has no general police power.

This is why when advocates of Prohibition sought to ban alcohol use, they did so by constitutional amendment.

Did you get that?  The Imperial government has no authority to meddle with what ages people are allowed to buy tobacco.  In the past, where drinking ages and so forth were concerned, the Imperial City set age expectations in a different manner – through extortion.  When the Imperial age limit of 21 was decided for alcohol, for example, the Imperial City threatened to withhold highway funding for states that did not meekly submit.

In an ideal world, Washington wouldn’t have this kind of hold over the states.  State highways should be state business, and if we are going to have a national highway net – as in, the U.S. highways and the interstate highway system – then either the Imperial City pays for them, or the states pay for construction and maintenance within their borders – no payment of tax money into the Imperial government to be doled back out piecemeal and oh, by the way, used as a cudgel to force recalcitrant states into submission with Imperial whims.

I’m notoriously irritated by the idiotic graduated-age-of-majority in our country, but I’m far more irritated by this kind of high-handed Imperial extortion.

Rule Five Cultural Regions Friday

Ever wondered what the United States would look like if it was broken up into several different nations, by cultural and not necessarily geographical lines?  Well, and of Business Insider may have some thoughts on that.

I found this interesting; this is the article’s map of North America, broken down by cultural regions (image taken directly from the linked article).

Excerpts, with my comments:

In his fourth book, “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America,” award-winning author Colin Woodard identifies 11 distinct cultures that have historically divided the US.

“The country has been arguing about a lot of fundamental things lately including state roles and individual liberty,” Woodard, a Maine native who won the 2012 George Polk Award for investigative reporting, told Business Insider. “[But] in order to have any productive conversation on these issues,” he added, “you need to know where you come from.”

You also have to have some idea where you’re going and why; differing visions on that score are a big part of what the authors point out next.

Woodard also believes the nation is likely to become more polarized, even though America is becoming a more diverse place every day. He says this is because people are “self-sorting.”

“People choose to move to places where they identify with the values,”  Woodard says. “Red minorities go south and blue minorities go north to be in the majority. This is why blue states are getting bluer and red states are getting redder and the middle is getting smaller.”

Which self-sorting, I might point out, is a right guaranteed by the Constitution.  But here’s what’s interesting; here are the summaries of the upper Midwest, where I grew up, and the Mountain West, where I live now:

Settled by English Quakers, The Midlands are a welcoming middle-class society that spawned the culture of the “American Heartland.” Political opinion is moderate, and government regulation is frowned upon. Woodard calls the ethnically diverse Midlands “America’s great swing region.” Within the Midlands are parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska.

I have to strongly question any cultural grouping that can claim Iowa and New Jersey share much of anything, culturally.  Iowa is as the article states; mostly moderate politically, and government regulation is mostly frowned on (except where farm subsidies are involved.)   But New Jersey?  Government interference in all matters is welcomed and celebrated, and political opinions are anything but moderate; as evidence, just look at most of their laws and elected officials.

The conservative west. Developed through large investment in industry, yet where inhabitants continue to “resent” the Eastern interests that initially controlled that investment. The Far West spans several states, including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Oregon, and California.

In the article, the authors point out that “California” as described herein does not include what is called “the Left Coast,” which encompasses Los Angeles, San Francisco, and indeed most of the west coast.  That being the case, this grouping I would broadly agree with; the West in this case also includes Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska.

What all this points up is something I’ve been saying for some years now: The differences dividing the nation today are cultural, and geographical, but not in the sense they were before the 1860-65 war.  Our differences today are geographical in a much finer-grained sense; look at the map, and you’ll see that the divides are largely major urban centers vs. everyone else.

If things ever got really nasty in this cultural clash, the major cities might have some hard lessons coming in how easy it is to eat when the outlying areas get pissed off enough to block trade.  That, folks, would be a damned unpleasant time, and while I think it’s unlikely in the extreme that things escalate to that point…  Well, I wouldn’t want to be in New York, Chicago, Detroit or San Francisco if it did.

Animal’s Daily Colorado News

Near Gore Pass.

I’ve lived in Colorado for a little over thirty years.  I moved to Colorado after coming off active Army duty (the first time) in 1989, because I wanted to live in the Mountain West, and the Denver area presented the best opportunity to find a job.  I don’t regret that move; I never have.  There’s a lot I still love about Colorado.  I love the mountains, the plains, the hunting, fishing, the outdoor opportunities; I love the 300+ days of sunshine a year.  There are many things I still love about Colorado.

This isn’t one of those things.  Excerpt:

In the last 20 years, Colorado’s population has increased by a little more than 1.5 million people. As of 2019, the state had 5.7 million residents.

“I think we’re probably going to get to 5.8 million [people] for 2020,” said Elizabeth Garner, Colorado’s state demographer.

Population growth slowed during the 2008 recession.

Since 2010, however, Colorado has welcomed about 700,000 new residents. On average, the state is growing anywhere from 70,000 to 80,000 people each year.

That said, it experienced a bit of a slow-down in 2019, when the population increased by about 67,000 over the prior year.

“Compared to the year before where we increased by about 80,000 — it’s about 13,000 fewer people in terms of total growth we’ve seen over that time period,” said Garner.

Much of the growth has been concentrated along the Interstate 25 corridor.

“Which is also where we’re creating all of the jobs. So it makes sense where we’re seeing the job growth and population growth,” Garner said.

According to state data, in the last two decades, most newcomers moved to the Front Range (about 91%) and nearly 8% decided to call the Western Slope, home.

For the record, I live an eastern suburb of Denver, which sits at the foot of the Front Range.

To be perfectly candid, Colorado has gone frickin’ nuts.  There always was a bean-and-granola set here, mostly in Boulder and some of the nuttier mountain communities like Aspen and Vail.  But the Denver/Boulder Axis is taking over the state, and the results are becoming more and more uncomfortable.

Look back on the Colorado that was.

Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. have long planned to retire elsewhere – and by elsewhere, I mean Alaska – but we may not wait now until we’re ready to retire.  Our kids that live in Colorado are growing restive as well, as they were raised to appreciate the blessings of liberty, which an increasingly left-leaning state government ever seeks to restrict.

Plenty of folks have told me I should stay, that I should fight for my state.  But part of the fight is knowing when you’re licked.  I think we’ve lost Colorado.  Thirty years ago, Colorado was South Wyoming.  Now it’s East California.  And that’s a shame.  But it’s increasingly looking like it’s time to vote with our feet.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

And now – on to the links!

Right now, I’d buy Ricky Gervais a beer.  I have no idea who he is, but I’d buy him a beer.

Michael Moore is an idiot.

Alexandria Occasional Cortex is an idiot. (Again.)  And so is her Moron Squad buddy Ilhan Omar.

The first British astronaut is an idiot, and possibly nuts.

Hunter Biden is an idiot.  But not too big an idiot to accept enormous fat sacks of cash from Ukraine and China for having the last name “Biden.”

But wait!  There’s more!  Move over, Hunter Biden:  Chelsea Clinton is also getting rich because of her last name.  Great (non-)work if you can get it, I suppose – and if your last name is Clinton or Biden, you can get it, qualifications or not.

Both old Groper Joe and Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, are laundering payoffs through their children, and there’s no other way to put it.   What crooked, lying, conniving, hypocritical assholes.

Loony old Auntie Maxine Waters, one of the top five finalists for the Stupidest Member of Congress prize (granted she’s up against some pretty stiff competition), got punked.  Heh heh heh.

Cities are responding to poor people’s lack of purchasing opportunities by campaigning against…  affordable purchasing opportunities.

Is the President holding all the 2020 cards?  Maybe, maybe not, but I’d argue that it’s waaaaay too soon to predict.

There may be active volcanoes on Venus.  I think I’ll pass on going there to see for myself.  Speculative image from the article:

Yeah, no.  To make up for that, here’s something else with a little bit of the same color palette:

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

Rule Five Income Inequality Friday

Thanks as always to our pals over at The Daley Gator for the linkback!

Here’s another take on “income inequality,” and on why it’s not as big a problem as the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont, Princess Spreading Bull, Occasional Cortex and others would have us believe.  Read the excerpts below and, indeed, the whole article, and then I’ll give my opinion, which is that “income inequality” isn’t a problem at all.

Income cannot be measured precisely. There are definitional issues such as how to define “household” and how to treat unrealized capital gains, non-market transactions such as childcare provided by a stay-home parent and negative taxes like the Earned Income Tax Credit. And there are measurement issues like how to track income from the underground economy and to get accurate information from people who may be evading taxes or protecting privacy.

Finally, the goal is not clear. We want everyone to have enough for comfort and dignity, but do we want wealth equality between someone who works hard to become a world-class surgeon and her brother who only surfs and loafs? Should government clerks with secure jobs, good benefits and 9 to 5 hours earn the same as people who found and run successful businesses? Should people with expensive tastes be allowed to work hard to buy champagne and Teslas, while others can afford only beer and Chevys but can sleep later and spend more time with their kids?

And:

However you feel about any of those proposals, or others, it’s clear that the social problems caused by the economy in the United States should not be viewed through a lens of simple generalized inequality, with crude redistribution the only solution. Low-income and high-income people each, on average, consume adequate amounts for dignified comfort; as do earners and non-earners. There are plenty of social and economic problems to tackle—people missed by government benefits either accidentally or on purpose, economic insecurity even among people with enough to spend today, government programs that make things worse, racism, sexism, crime and discriminatory criminal justice, child abuse and neglect, to name a few—but lumping them all together as inequality and promising to soak the rich until they go away is misguided.

Here’s the problem:  Too many politicians – people who set policy and make laws – think that inequality is a problem, that the problems of the poor and somehow caused by the existence of the rich.  There are a few deep, fundamental flaws with this thinking:

  1. The economy isn’t a zero-sum game.  If it were, then, as this article points out, one person could only amass wealth at the expense of others.  But that’s not how this works.  Wealth is created and earned, not distributed.  We don’t have to divide the pie into smaller or more equal pieces; we can make a bigger pie.
  2. Wealth and income aren’t the same thing.  Wealth can be the result of income, but it’s not synonymous with income.  A person can be “wealthy” while having a relatively low income; a person who owns a large farm, for example, may be “wealthy” in the sense that they own assets worth a great deal, but they may still have a modest income.  That’s a key difference that many, most notably Lieawatha Warren, don’t seem to understand.
  3. “Redistribution” won’t solve the perceived issue, because most causes of income/wealth inequality are either age-related or behavioral.  Most people move through income levels as they grow, as they go through life.  Myself, for example.  At 20, I had a young wife, a baby daughter, and not a pot to piss in.  Now, I’m pushing sixty, in my peak earning years, Mrs. Animal and I are empty-nesters with a good nest egg and a substantial net worth.  Why?  Because we have worked hard, saved and made good choices; which brings us to the behavioral aspect.  A major cause of “inequality” is that rich people will always do things that make them rich, while poor people will continue to do things that make them poor.

That last bit, item #3, is key.  That’s why redistribution schemes will never solve anything; moving money by force in an economy is like shoveling flies across a barn.  Wealth is generally gained by people who make good decisions and lost by people who make bad decisions; but the only time wealth or income is gained by some at the expense of others is when government confiscates it by force and gives it to those who did not earn it.

Income or wealth redistribution by force means that one portion of the population is compelled, by threat of force, to labor involuntarily on the behalf of others.  The only proper response to such redistribution schemes is “fuck off, slavers!”

Animal’s Daily Mixed Bag News

We’ve all got New Year’s Eve celebrations to plan for (even if some of us older folks are planning very quiet holidays) so for today, here’s a mixed bag of links and stories.  Tomorrow for New Year’s Day we’ll have a summery totty dump, followed by a resumption of regular posts on the 2nd. Before we start, go check out the next installment of my Thirty-Something Rifle Cartridges series over at Glibertarians.

Then, without further ado:  The links!

Here’s another take on my ongoing rant about the United States’ insane graduated age-of-majority system.  Excerpt:

The current state of affairs is illogical.

Right now, at age 18, you gain the right to vote and are trusted with full participation in our electoral system. So, too, 18-year-olds are considered “adult” enough to enlist in the military, get married without parental permission, consent to sex, and so on. But our laws, in typical nanny-state fashion, also tell those same young people they can’t be trusted with the freedom to smoke cigarettes, use e-cigarettes, or drink alcohol (or not) as all other adults. In many states, too, the Second Amendment right to self-defense is arbitrarily stripped from legal adults under 21.

This inconsistency is impossible to justify. Surely anyone deemed trustworthy enough to risk his or her life in conflict overseas and have full sexual autonomy should also have legal decision-making power over their own body when it comes to mint-flavored Juul pods.

No shit.  Although I’d say this:  If 18-21 year olds are too irresponsible to smoke, buy a gun, smoke, or drink – why the hell do we let them vote?

Next:  Dave Barry gives his annual recap for 2019.  My favorite piece:   Robert Mueller resigns as special counsel, saying that he plans to return to private life and “whimper in the fetal position.” In his final statement, he clears up any lingering confusion about his investigation by noting that the Justice Department cannot charge the president with a federal crime, adding, “not that I am, or am not, saying, or not saying, that the president did, or did not, do anything that was, or was not, illegal. Or, not.”

Finally:  A would-be mass shooter in Texas attacked a church and killed two parishioners but was stopped by a Good Guy With a Gun, who planted the shooter with a .357 Sig round right through the brain-pan.  That’s a good shot.  Excerpt:

On Sunday we reported that a man entered a church in White Settlement, Texas, and fired on worshippers, before he was shot dead by a member(s) of the church security team.

Two victims, who have not yet been identified, died as the result of gunshot wounds. The assailant was only able to get off two shots before he was taken out by the alert guard, reportedly an ex-FBI agent. (There are some reports that a second member of the church security team fired on the suspect, but it’s not clear at this time if that’s the case.)

Would-be gun-grabbers will ask “how is it better to have more guns in a mass shooting?”  Well, this is why it is better.  Is it better to be helpless in the face of an armed aggressor – or, worse, aggressors?  No.  I’d much rather have at least the chance to defend myself.

But I do take issue with this statement from the church’s minister:  West Freeway Church of Christ Senior Minister Britt Farmer: “I’m thankful our government has allowed us the opportunity to protect ourselves”

Well-Armed.

Like hell.  The government hasn’t allowed you anything.  Most of the statist fucksticks in the Imperial government would love to strip you of your right to self-defense.  You have that right because you were born.  It’s a natural right – I’m sure Minister Farmer would call it God-given, I call it a natural right, but no matter what you call it, you have it, not because government granted it but because government is prohibited from interfering with it – not that that doesn’t stop elected assholes from trying to do so.

Anyway – to that good guy with a gun, good shooting, and I hope someone gives him a few well-deserved pats on the back.

Finally:  Whatever your plans, Happy New Year!  We’ll see you in 2020.