Category Archives: Politics

Rule Five Understanding the Left Friday

This essay came out a couple of weeks ago, penned by The Grumpy Economist’s John Cochrane, but I just stumbled over it; it seems a good topic for this Friday before the election.  Excerpts, with my comments:

A new wave of government expansion is cresting. It poses a threat not just to our economic well being, but to our freedom — social, political and economic.

1. A will to power

Consider the economic agenda proposed by the Democratic presidential candidates:

  • A government takeover of health care. 
  • Taxpayer bailout of student loans. Necessarily, after that, government funded and administered college.
  • An immense industrial-planning and regulation effort in the name of climate. 
  • Government jobs for all. “Basic income” transfers on top of social programs.
  • Confiscatory wealth, income, estate and corporate taxation. 
  • Government and “stakeholder” control of corporate boards. 
  • Rent controls and subsidies. Expanded, politically-allocated “affordable” housing. 
  • Expanded regulation of wages, hiring and firing.
  • Extensive speech and content regulation on the internet. 

And this is the center of the movement, not its fringe that talks of banning air travel. Though the fringe becomes the center quickly here.

The phenomenon here described is the Overton Window, defined thusly:

The Overton window is the range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time.  It is also known as the window of discourse.

The movement of discourse moves; shifting the Overton Window can make what is unthinkable today acceptable next month.  Just look at Barack Obama’s “evolution” on same-sex marriage from 2008 to 2016 as an example.

Now note that the bulleted items above, all proposed by at least one or more of this cycle’s Democrat candidates.  Few if any of those would have been on the table only a couple of election cycles ago; the Left has succeeded in shifting the Overton Window, so that now we are forced to address these ideas.

Cochrane continues:

Free-market economists, the few of us who remain, respond in the usual way. “I share your empathy, but consider all the disincentives and unintended consequences will doom these projects now, just as they have a hundred times before, and end up hurting the people we want to help. Here is a set of free-market reforms that will actually achieve our common goals…”

But why say this for the 1001th time? Nobody’s listening. We’re making a big mistake: We are presuming a common goal to produce a free and prosperous society, and somehow this crowd missed the lessons of history and logic of how to achieve it. Let’s not be so patronizing.

If their answers are so different, it must be that they have a different question in mind. What is the question to which all this is a sensible, inevitable answer?

Ask that, and only one question makes sense. Power. All these measures gives great power those who control the government.

And this, True Believers, is the crux of the matter.  Consider this also:

Consider the associated political agenda

  • Stacking the Supreme Court. 
  • Eliminating the electoral college. 
  • Eliminating the filibuster. 
  • Detailed federal control of elections.
  • Even more government control of campaign finance.
Anna

Only grab and keep power, and shove it down their throats fast makes sense of that. 

The Left means to get power and keep it.  They’ve already done so in California.  If they manage to seize control at the Imperial level (in which case I may have to stop using the term ‘Imperial’ sarcastically and start using it literally) they will make sure they never, ever, have to relinquish that power again.  And what they do with that power won’t be pretty and it won’t be fun.

That sort of thing never is.

Get out and vote Tuesday, folks.  It may be the last time for a while when your vote actually represents any real choice.

Go vote!

Animal’s Daily Pushed Towards Trump News

I stumbled across this the other day, and found it interesting, as in a “Never-Trumper voting for Trump” interesting:  Feeling Pushed Towards Trump.  Excerpt:

Another reason I feel more ill at ease is that I’ve seen how much the left will not tolerate the reality of religious belief.  One of the wonders of the US Constitution is that it protects the freedom of individuals to be wrong.  Majority opinion legislates, but minority rights are protected: You remain free to speak, to think, and to govern your private affairs according to your own beliefs, however unpopular.

This is the only way for a pluralistic society to survive.  What I am seeing is that the Left which Biden and Harris pander to cannot tolerate this pluralism.

Aye, there’s the rub.

A big part of the current political unease many people feel with Congressional Democrats and the various Democrat candidates is precisely this lack of tolerance.  We’ve come a long ways since Ronald Reagan described his relationship with Tip O’Neill as being “friends after 6PM.”

We saw a little bit of this when Dianne Feinstein, a leftist pol for whom I have absolutely no affection, actually showed a little respect and affection for Lindsey Graham, with whom she has worked side-by-side for years.  She was roundly blasted for that gesture of ordinary humanity by the Left, including demands that she resign her Senate seat.

That’s another reason I’m suspicious of the polls.  You could say that all the Democrats had to do this election cycle was to not be crazy.  They failed at that.

Go vote!

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

A week from today, we should – maybe – know who will be President for the next four years.  Although, I’m suspicious that, should Groper Joe actually win, he’ll be “resigning for health reasons” a day or two after the two-year mark, enabling Round-Heels Harris to serve the rest of his first term and still run for two more terms.  And that, True Believers, is a horrible thought.  The polls are narrowing but what’s really obvious is that the enthusiasm is all with the President.  Let’s hope he pulls it out.

But the GOP did get one thing of note done this week, and I can sum it up with five words:

  1. Associate.
  2. Justice.
  3. Amy.
  4. Coney.
  5. Barrett.

Chuck Schumer (Sanctimonious Prick – NY) can eat shit.  Seriously, what an asshole.

With that said…

On To the Links!

James Clyburn (Asshole-SC) is a mendacious piece of shit.  Seriously, what an asshole.  (I seem to be saying that a lot lately.)

Betcha twenty bucks she was off banging some guy she has on the side.

RIP James Randi.  A good summary of the man from the article:

His message: Mind readers are frauds. Fortunetellers are frauds. Faith healers are frauds. Dowsers are frauds. Spoon benders are frauds. Mediums are large frauds. Astrology is baloney, as is psychokinesis, precognition, channeling, psychic surgery, astral projection and anything and everything else that asserts the ability to harness supernatural forces.

RIP Jerry Jeff Walker.

Baby tyrannosaurs.  Neat!

Pro-Trump rallies in the…  NYC Orthodox Jewish community?  Cuomo did this, make no mistake about it.

I wonder if Hollywood twit Chelsea Handler realizes what a racist comment this is.

NPR delenda est.

Career bureaucrats delenda est.

This Week’s Idiots:

The Nation’s Elie Mystal is an idiot.

Michael Steele is an idiot.

Tablet’s Carly Pildis is an idiot.

Slate’s William Saletan is an idiot.

Clinton creature Robert Reich is an idiot.

DaNang Dick Blumenthal is an idiot.

And so:

This song was originally done by a band called Nine Inch Nails, with whom I’m not overly familiar, but when Johnny Cash did a cover of it for his swan song, the songwriter, one Trent Reznor, reportedly said “it’s Johnny’s song now.”  You can see why, for yourselves.

Animal’s Daily Enthusiasm Gap News

Before we start, check out the latest in my Allamakee County Chronicles over at Glibertarians!

Here’s an interesting piece on the relative sizes of Trump and Biden rallies.  Excerpt:

If polls didn’t exist, who would you say was winning the election right now?

It’s a serious question. Would it be the guy who has massive rallies every day, many of them spontaneous, or the guy who stays in his basement every day, drawing scant crowds the rare times he comes up for air?

Joe Biden is up eight points in the RCP national average. This is no small thing. Yes, pollsters got it wrong in 2016, but they tend to correct for past mistakes. They have reputations to maintain.

But are they just biased? Conservative Twitter seems to think so. The “game,” many think, is to build a false narrative about Biden being way up and then correct the bias at the very end. That’s when pollsters get judged, you see, by the last poll. If they were way off a month before the election, who’s to say they were wrong? Public opinion changes.

But I have looked at the samples used by literally hundreds of polls, and I am not seeing any significant sampling bias. I’m not sure at all that’s going on, and if Republicans are counting on it, they shouldn’t.

But:

Today, I went to a Trump rally. I wanted to see one up close for myself, and it was an eye-opening experience.

The rally had about three hundred cars. There were no prominent speakers or otherwise big draws. Just random people. There were truckers and bikers, and even a guy in a Bentley. Interestingly, more than fifty percent were women. I recognized a few that I knew, and was surprised they were on the Trump side of the fence. They told me they typically have to keep their views close to the vest. Cancel culture.

No one with any connection to the Trump campaign had anything to do with organizing the event, it was all word of mouth. This is a phenomenon being played out all across the country, and it’s one we’ve never witnessed in our political history.

The rally started in Greenwich, Connecticut, and traveled about twenty miles out I-95 and back. This is deep-blue Connecticut, by the way. No Trump yard signs anywhere. And yes, we got the finger a few times, but the overwhelming reaction from others was wildly supportive. Hundreds of cars honked in approval. Scores of people waved excitedly from overpasses or by intersections.

It was like someone had given them permission to publicly show their support for Trump without suffering some sort of backlash. There was palpable joy at seeing so much Trump support in a place like Connecticut.

This, True Believers, is why I’m having a really hard time buying the polling.  It’s easy to get a little discouraged at the polling, when you imagine Groper Joe (as a sock puppet for Round-Heels Harris, as everyone with active brain cells knows would be the case) in the Imperial Mansion.

But those rallies!

I watched a couple of Trump rallies over the weekend last.  The President clearly enjoys those rallies; he projects the Happy Warrior image like no political figure since Ronald Reagan.  And the crowds eat it up.  By contrast, the Democrat ticket’s events are just… tepid.

Groper Joe still shows a lead in the battleground states.  The polls failed badly in 2016, but surely the polling organizations have adjusted their models accordingly.

But those rallies!

Image from linked article.

The Democrats have counted on the black community’s votes for decades now.  But the President’s approval ratings in that community, especially among young black men, have been spiking.  Without the monolithic support of that community, the Dems have no shot, and I really think we’re seeing the beginnings of a preference cascade here.  The Dems claim to still have a lock, but they are beginning to sound like they are whistling past the graveyard.  They claim support from the aging “leaders of the black community.”

But those rallies!

In a week, we’ll know.

Rule Five Barn Burner Friday

And now, the barn-burning, rabble-rouser I promised you.  So without further ado – here it is.  Enjoy.

Take a look at the signs waved by some of the protestors, rioters and arsonists plaguing our major cities today.  Take a look at some of their positions – anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-freedom.

Now take a look at the protestors themselves.  Ask yourself how many of them actually do any productive work.

These people toil not, neither do they spin.  They are, by and large, parasites on the productive members of society that they demonize at every turn.  But there’s something they are missing, a key point that we, the productive, understand, that they do not.  And I say this to those parasites:

You need us.  We don’t need you.

We – you and I – not they, are the people who make this economy run.  We grow the food these parasites eat.  We make the clothing they wear.  We make the cell phones and tablets they use to plan their riots.  We write the code for the social networking sites on which they plan their riots.  And I say this to those parasites:

You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who feed you. 

People like my father, who raised Black Angus cattle, corn, and soybeans for much of his life.  The people who sell the seed and take the steers off to the packing plant.  The people who make fertilizer, who build the farm machinery in factories like the huge John Deere plant in Waterloo, Iowa.  You look down on the truckers who haul supplies to the farms and ranches and food to the distributors and stores.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who transport you.

People like the thousands who work in the plants of Ford, GM, Chrysler, and the other various manufacturers all around the country.  The people who refine the gasoline and Diesel fuel that move the vehicles, the people who fix your car when it breaks down, the driver of the wrecker who comes out to help you because you lack the skills to do something as elementary as changing a tire – a skill I learned at about ten years of age.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who clothe you.

Thousands more grow cotton, raise sheep, to make the cloth.  Workers all over the world make your “stylish” tattered blue jeans, maybe even some of those really expensive ones with fake ground-in dirt on them to make it look as though you’ve actually done a day’s work at some point in your lives.  Thousands more package the clothing, deliver it to stores, where retail clerks deal endlessly with difficult customers at little pay to provide you with the clothes you wear while lecturing the rest of us.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who keep you warm.

I’m talking about the thousands that work on the Alaskan oil fields, in the shale formations in the Dakotas, and on drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.  The people who build the pipelines, who move heavy equipment from site to site, who work in the refineries and who move heating oil and natural gas from those refineries to its final point of use – not to mention the scientists and engineers who design and build the equipment and discover new sources of valuable fuels.  You not only look down on these people but demonize them for their contributions to some nebulously defined ‘climate change,’ even as the United States is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions not because of climate worries but because of cleaner fuels and vastly increased efficiencies, brought to you by those workers, scientists and engineers.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who make it possible for you to communicate.

From Silicon Valley to your local cell phone store, an entire industry is devoted to our modern, highly connected lifestyle.  People all around the world build the cellular phones you use and write the software that runs them.  Thousands more maintain the phone towers, the internet hubs, the connections, the wires, fiberoptic cables and wireless networks that transmit the data.  Their efforts make it possible to make your plans to riot and loot, to attack the very businesses, stores, and restaurants these productive people count on in their own productive lives. 

And the irony of you decrying capitalism while using this technology, unprecedented in human history, that could only be the product of a free market, capitalist system, is beyond description.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

Worst of all, you look down at the people who keep you safe; the people you decry as racists, as bullies, as fascists; the police officers and other first responders, who you deride at every turn but are quick to call when an emergency affects you yourselves.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

I’m going to presume for a moment that you of the parasite-protestor class, those with the Gender Studies degrees and trust funds, are actually capable of active thought.  To you, I say this:  I want all of you parasites to think, long and hard, about the implications of that statement:

You need us.

We don’t need you.

Animal’s Daily Urban Disintegration News

The news of San Francisco’s ongoing disintegration just keeps piling up.  Excerpt:

After months of seeing its shelves repeatedly cleaned out by brazen shoplifters, the Walgreens at Van Ness and Eddy in San Francisco is getting ready to close.

“The last day is Nov. 11,” Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso said.

The drugstore, which serves many older people who live in the Opera Plaza area, is the seventh Walgreens to close in the city since 2019.

“All of us knew it was coming. Whenever we go in there, they always have problems with shoplifters, ” said longtime customer Sebastian Luke, who lives a block away and is a frequent customer who has been posting photos of the thefts for months. The other day, Luke photographed a man casually clearing a couple of shelves and placing the goods into a backpack.

“I feel sorry for the clerks, they are regularly being verbally assaulted,” Luke said. “The clerks say there is nothing they can do. They say Walgreens’ policy is to not get involved. They don’t want anyone getting injured or getting sued, so the guys just keep coming in and taking whatever they want.”

For security reasons, Walgreens declined to provide details on their security policies, but Caruso did say that “the safety of our team members and customers is our top concern.”

A recent trip to the store revealed aisle after aisle of empty or near-empty shelves. Beauty supplies appear to be a favored target.

Most of the remaining products were locked behind plastic theft guards, which have become increasingly common at drugstores in recent years.

But at Van Ness Avenue and Eddy Street, even the jugs of clothing detergent on display were looped with locked anti-theft cables.

When a clerk was asked where all the goods had gone, he said, “Go ask the people in the alleys, they have it all.”

Of course.  What you subsidize you get more of.  What you penalize – with overbearing taxes and regulation –  you get less of.

San Franciscans have nobody but themselves to blame for this.  This is a city that, a decade or so back, actually had an argument among their city council members as to whether or not cracking down on public urination and defecation was somehow “unfair” to their homeless population.  You can see for yourself the results of that discussion, as the city now hands out feces maps to tourists.

This is a city that has truly gone insane.  And, it’s vital to note, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate is a product of that city’s political machine, in which she got her political career started atop Willie Brown’s penis.

Want to see this madness writ large?  Like, on the national scale?

Go vote!

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

In two weeks, we might know who will be President for the next four years.  Then again, we might not.

At this point I’m not sure what to think.  I see the polls, sure, but then, I saw them in 2016 too.  We were out elk hunting on Election Day 2016, having filed ballots in advance, and I went to bed that night pretty depressed at the idea of Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, actually sitting in the Imperial Mansion.  Next morning, I went out and started up Rojito, flipped on the satellite radio, and was flabbergasted; when loyal sidekick Rat opened the other door to climb in, I looked at him and said, “Holy shit, he actually pulled it off!”

I also see a huge enthusiasm gap.  President Trump is speaking to thunderous crowds of tens of thousands, while Groper Joe is speaking to tepid crowds of tens.  And, in a stunning admission of his campaign’s low energy levels, he has again called a “lid” – this time from Monday morning until after tomorrow’s debate.  Four whole days!

I hope the President can pull it off again.  If the Democrats once more gain control of the Congress and the Imperial Mansion, they clearly intend to rig it so they never have to give it up again.  They’ve said as much.

Go vote!

Now that I’m done venting about that…

On To the Links!

Don’t let the screen door hit your ass on the way out, “Boss.”

OMG OMG OMG

Axios demonstrates some rare self-awareness.

I found this interesting, partly because my father-in-law (as fine a man as ever lived) is an albino.  He makes the best Santa Claus.

Maybe don’t leave your guns in your car?  Just saying.

Adam Schiff once more proves he’s full of more shit than a Christmas goose.

The DNI on Hunter Biden’s laptop:  Whatever it is, it isn’t Russians.

War in space would be… complicated.

This is a surprising supporter for President Trump.

Another reason we’re leaving Colorado.

This Week’s Idiots:

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick is an idiot.

The Guardian’s Arwa Mahdawi is an idiot.

Our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator point out some University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse idiots.  I grew up about forty miles from LaCrosse; in my day it wasn’t totally inhabited by pussies.

The NY Times’ Charles Blow is an idiot.

Lindsey Graham was recently accosted by idiots.

And So:

This week’s song comes from one of the best (and completely self-taught) female vocalists alive today, Mary Fahl. Mrs. Animal and I have seen Mary perform live twice, and she’s amazing; both times we had the opportunity to chat with her after the show, and she’s as warm, friendly and charming as she is talented.

This audio-only cut  comes to you from a live performance at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in New York; this is Be My Hero.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Polling News

Be sure to catch the latest of my Allamakee County stories over at Glibertarians!

Now then: The Trafalgar Group is one of the few pollsters that got 2016 right; they are predicting a narrow Trump win in 2020.  Excerpt:

So how does he (Trafalgar pollster Robert) Culhaly see the 2020 race? Fundamentally, as a motivation race, rather than a persuasion race, with perhaps 1.5 percent, at most, of the electorate undecided in battleground states.

The likeliest Trump electoral path to victory involves winning the battlegrounds of North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and either Michigan or Pennsylvania among the former Blue Wall states (assuming he doesn’t lose states such as Iowa or Ohio).

This is Cahaly’s breakdown: He believes Trump will win North Carolina and Florida and discounts Biden’s chances in Georgia because the Republican-base vote is too big there (the same is true in Texas).

As for Arizona, “I think Trump has the lead,” Cahaly says. “I think [Republican senator Martha] McSally has some ground to make up. I see her about five points behind Trump, but I think Trump will probably win the state. And win it by a couple of points or more. And if he wins it big enough, McSally has a shot.”

Trump isn’t there yet in Pennsylvania, according to Cahaly. “Right now, we’ve got him down in Pennsylvania,” he says, “I think if it were held today, the undecided would break toward Trump and there’d be some hidden vote. He’d probably win Pennsylvania. But I’m going to give a caveat on only Pennsylvania. I believe Pennsylvania to be the No. 1 state that Trump could win and have stolen due to voter fraud.”

In Michigan, Trafalgar has Trump ahead. “I think he will win Michigan,” Cahaly says, citing fear of the Democratic economic agenda. 

Overall, Cahaly sees another Trump win. “If it all happened right now,” he maintains, “my best guess would be an Electoral College victory in the high to 270s, low 280s.”

We can hope.

The problem with polling is twofold:

  1. It’s a snapshot.  Polls capture what the respondents think today, and not necessarily what they will think when they fill out their ballot.  Given the fast-changing landscape of the 2020 election, that could be a big difference.
  2. People rely on polls for predictive capability (see 1. above) and predictions are notoriously hard to make, especially about the future.  And all too often (see 2016) the polls are badly wrong.

High 270s to low 280s, that’s a squeaker.  Let’s hope Trafalgar is getting this right, but the only poll that counts is the one on November 3rd.  And, as it is every time, turnout will be the key.

Go vote!

Rule Five Campaign Speech Friday

As we draw closer to this increasingly-loony election, I’ve decided once again to present my own campaign speech, were some party to be reckless enough to nominate me to run for President.  Not that the nation is quite ready for an atheist, minarchist, libertarian President – but wouldn’t the campaign be fun?  Enjoy!

Ladies and Gentlemen – friends – Americans – citizens.

I stand before you on this two hundred and thirty-second year of our Republic. I stand before you to announce my intention to seek the Presidency of our Republic. Most important of all, I stand before you to tell you why I intend to seek this thankless, stressful job, and what I intend to do with it.

I’d like to take this time to tell you the undying principles upon which I will base my policies, and upon which I will base legislation that I will propose to Congress:

First: Liberty.

Liberty means you are free to do as you please, so long as you cause no harm, physical or financial, to anyone else. As Thomas Jefferson said, “If it neither picks my pocket nor break my arm, it’s not my concern.” This is a coin with two sides: Nobody gets to tell you what to do, but neither do you get to tell anyone else what to do. Marry who you like. Work where and how you like. Start businesses and create new products and services as you like. It’s nobody else’s business – and it sure as hell isn’t the government’s business – until you hurt someone else. We currently live in a nation where you are required to obtain permission from a government bureaucrat to cut hair, to paint fingernails, to sell lemonade. I call bullshit. This must stop.

Second: Property.

That means the following: The fruits of your labors are yours. They do not belong to some government bureaucrat, nor to some shouting agitator, nor to some ivory tower academic. They are yours. Government, to be effective at the few things they are required – absolutely required – to do, must tax you for some small amount of the fruits of your labors, but that taxation must be strictly limited, strictly fair, simply defined, and some must be collected from every single citizen. Everybody contributes. Nobody skates. There are too many in the nation who have no skin in the game, and our elections have become auctions, with candidates falling over each other promising voters more of other peoples’ property. I call bullshit. This must stop.

Third: Accountability.

Government, at all levels, serves you. You do not serve the government. I stand here today not as someone seeking to be your master, but as someone applying for a job – and you will be my employers. I am applying for the job of CEO of the world’s largest Republic, and you, the citizens of the Republic, are the world’s largest Board of Directors. I answer to you, not the other way around. Every single government employee, from the President to the third assistant dogcatcher in Leaf Springs, Arkansas, answers to you. And so as one of my first acts in office I will personally visit every office, every facility, and every installation that falls under the control of the Executive Branch. I will personally speak with the Federal employees at those offices, facilities and installations. Any employee that cannot satisfactorily answer two questions: “What is your purpose? What are you doing right now?” will be fired on the spot. Any Executive Branch employee at any level who breaks the law, any law, will be fired and prosecuted. Government employees have, for too long, been held to different standards than the electorate. I call bullshit. This must stop.

Fourth: Efficiency.

The Federal government has become a bloated Colossus. Washington is littered with extra-constitutional agencies, the purpose of which is to regulate, to dictate, to interfere with the free citizenry. There is no constitutional justification for many of them, and many of them actually work at cross purposes. The result is that every single business enterprise in the nation has to have an army of accountants and attorneys to help them navigate the twisted pathways of regulation and taxation; that every citizen has to puzzle through pages upon pages of Federal guidance in so prosaic an action as filing their annual tax return. The Federal government has only a few, a very few, legitimate roles: To protect private property, to ensure liberty, to protect the citizens from foreign interference. That’s all. But not today; no, not today. The Federal government has indeed become a bloated Colossus, but I intend to cut it down to size. As one of my first acts in office I will call upon Congress to eliminate the Federal Departments of Commerce, of Energy, of Education, and any others that I deem to be extra-constitutional and that add no value to the proper roles of government. And believe you me, this is only the beginning. Our government is too big. I call bullshit. This must stop.

Let me be very clear on my intent. I intend to reduce the Federal government to a minimum. I’m not talking about trimming around the edges. I’m sure as hell not talking about “reductions in the rate of increase.” I’m talking about swinging a meat axe, and I am serious as hell about it. All the extra-constitutional agencies set up by previous administrations will be gone. Not reduced, not repurposed – gone. Education? Gone. Energy? Gone. Commerce? Gone. Health and Human Services? Gone. Labor? Gone. Housing and Urban Development? Gone. Environmental Protection? Gone. Homeland Security? Gone.

There are three cabinet-level agencies that the Federal government is justified in retaining: Defense, Treasury, and State. The rest can go. Veteran’s Affairs can be rolled into Defense. As for Federal law enforcement, we already have an agency for that: The U.S. Marshals. The borders? Roll the Border Patrol into the Marshals. One headquarters, several missions, but that’s doable.

I intend to take the Federal government back to the level it was in 1850. In that year, the Federal government’s expenditures were about 3% of GDP. Now we are 23 trillion in debt, and Federal spending is 20% of GDP. I call bullshit. This must stop.

That will be the genesis of my campaign slogan: THREE PERCENT!

So, if you value liberty and property, and want accountability and efficiency in your public servants, vote for me. If you want Free Shit, vote for someone else. That’s all.

Not that I’m anxious for public office; I’d sooner shovel shit.  The smell is better and besides, at least shoveling shit is honest work.

This is a pretty good speech, I think, for laying out policy; I’ve begun to call it “The Bullshit Speech.”  But wait!  There’s more!  I’m working on a second one, this one a real rabble-rousing barn-burner.  Tune in next week.

Animal’s Daily Barrington Declaration News

Go read the Great Barrington Declaration.  Relevant excerpts with my comments follow.

The Great Barrington Declaration – As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

This declaration is not the first document to make the case that continued lockdowns are doing more harm than good, but it is one of the most persuasive, and it is one authored by some actual authorities on the topic; here are the authors:

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.

Here’s what these experts say should be done:

Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals.

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.

Go, then, and read the whole thing.

When this whole thing started, the expected time for the lockdowns was expected to be a matter of weeks.  It has now been seven months and counting.  Enough is enough.

This lockdown is disproportionately hurting the people who have the most to lose from it:  The poor, small business owners, service-industry workers.  Disruptions in supply chains are beginning to make themselves felt, and have the potential to cause very, very serious consequences.  It’s time to transition the nation back to more of a normal footing.  Let other nations do as they see fit, but the United States is supposedly a free country.  Give us back our freedom – our choices – and the right to accept the consequences of those choices.