Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Last Friday, as usual, Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. went off to the local grocery store nearest our temporary New Jersey digs to do our normal weekly trading.  As discussed in yesterday’s post, there was, of course, an epic amount of panicky pants-shitting on display.  People were loading up entire shopping carts full of bottled water, apparently not realizing that it’s a virus, not a hurricane, and viruses almost never shut the water systems or electricity off.  Paper products were not to be had.  Frozen and other prepared foods were taking a beating.  What utter stupidity.

With that said…

On To the Links!

Just call him Czar Vladimir I.  Somewhere, Joe Stalin is smiling in admiration.

How do they plan to ban fossil fuels?  Short answer:  They can’t.  Not without some yet-to-be-discovered hypothetical dramatic new technology.  More on this tomorrow.

The Weld County (CO) Sheriff may be challenging Colorado’s rather idiotic red flag law.  This should be interesting.

Three Colorado counties have announced “You know what, fuck the First Amendment!”  Look, avoiding large gatherings, cancelling get-togethers, this is absolutely the prudent thing to do.  But no level of government can mandate that we do so.   Why?  This is why:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


And also this.  The proper response to government overreach like this is, of course, “fuck off, slavers!”

Meanwhile, the reaction to this virus has things shutting down all over.  Reducing interactions is how you beat this thing.

This guy may be the most rational and measured person at any level of government right now.  I’m not sure what that says about everyone else in the Imperial City.

Last Sunday evening saw an epic bout between a daffy old Commie and a senile old man.  It was the Special Olympics of political debates.

I… didn’t understand much of this.  Then again my science background is in biology, not physics.  Ask me to explain allopatric speciation, ring species or r-selected and K-selected reproductive strategies and I’m your guy.  Quarks and dark matter?  Not so much.

Well, this doesn’t sound ominous or anything.

Don’t panic.

This Week’s Idiots:

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) is an idiot.  Twice over, in fact.  Honestly, who keeps sending these lackwits back to Congress?

Bill De Blasio is an idiot.

Champaign, Illinois Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen is an idiot who needs to read the Bill of Rights, to learn how big an idiot she is.

The New York Times’ Charles Blow is (again) an idiot.

And So:

I expect the next few weeks will give us plenty of opportunities for facepalming and bemoaning the stupidity of some of our fellow citizens.  Over the last week or so I’ve been disturbing my own dear Mrs. Animal by facepalming so repeatedly that it is sounding like a round of applause at the Royal Albert Hall.

But that’s OK.  Here’s some bonus totty from the archives to cheer us all up:

And so, we return you to your (probably isolated) Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily TP News

Be sure to catch the latest in my Gold Standards series over at Glibertarians.  This week:  The .30-06!

The ongoing coronavirus freakout/pants-shitting has inexplicably encompassed water and toilet paper.  Excerpt:

OK, I can understand face masks and hand sanitisers walking off the shelves, as these are the crucial tools in containing the spread of the pandemic. Most face masks – as with so many other products in our shops – are made in China and in the current crisis conditions any new and additional supplies won’t make it out of the country, so whatever is already here is it. And it isn’t, as masks have been the first item to disappear from retail outlets from your local pharmacy to a Bunnings store.

I can also understand the non-perishable food supplies. Even though Australia could be quite self-sufficient if need be (minus the out of season imported fruit and veg), possibly people are stocking up not so much in fear the food will run out but out of reluctance to go out in the public in a few weeks’ time should the situation really turn into a zombie apocalypse. In any case, there is nothing wrong with having a well stocked pantry.

Where I start to no longer understand the consumers is bottled water. We are fortunate to live in a developed country where one can safely drink from a tap. There won’t be shortages of drinkable water under any circumstances – except for a complete societal collapse – and coronavirus is not a water-borne pathogen like those causing cholera or typhoid. If you are still paranoid, you can boil your water before ingesting (just make sure you cool it down).

Look, there are reasonable precautions, and there are unreasonable precautions, then there are ridiculous paranoias.  The hoarding of bottled water and toilet paper is somewhere between the latter two of these, leaning sharply towards “paranoia.”

This is a virus, not a hurricane or earthquake.  The power and water are going to stay on.  Stores will be restocked.  It’s just freaking idiotic to think that you won’t be able to get toilet paper a month from now.  A week from now may be problematic – but only because of precisely this kind of paranoid stupidity from the idiots who are stocking up with entire cartloads of bottled water and toilet paper.

The linked article includes this gem:


Personally, of course, what I find the most ironic about the current situation are the memories it brings back of growing up in communist Poland, when in the early to mid-1980s you really had to queue up for toilet paper (or “srajtasma” as it was colloquially known – a shit tape), mostly unsuccessfully, because of the endemic shortages, unless you “knew people”, which my father fortunately did and so we never lacked in the basic sandpaper-grade, deep grey-shaded, uneven shaped rolls that in truth looked like slightly wider (and depressing) versions of party streamers. The fact that the socialist government couldn’t even provide the workers in their paradise with something as basic as toilet paper has since then become both a historical joke as well as a serious emblem of the failings of planned economy where, as the saying goes, everything is planned except for the economy, as this nostalgia-inducing archival news story from 1984 (!) reports:

For once President Reagan was not blamed by communist authorities for the latest woe facing Poles — an official shortage of toilet paper.

Poles have been promised an extra roll this year to meet demand.

Yes, socialists and communists always fuck up supply.  But we aren’t (yet) a socialist country.  Stocks will be replenished, and probably pretty quickly.  Relax, folks.  Have a drink (something that will calm you down; not necessarily water.)  Calm down.  This too shall pass.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Meanwhile, the pants-shitting over COVID-19 continues, all out of proportion; The New Criterion‘s Heather Mac Donald tells us why.  Excerpt:

The number of cases in most afflicted countries is paltry. As of today, 127 countries had reported some cases, but forty-eight of those countries had fewer than ten cases, according to Worldometer. At this point, more people have recovered from the virus than are still sick. But the damage to people’s livelihoods through the resulting economic contraction is real and widespread. Its health consequences will be more severe than those of the coronavirus, as Steve Malanga shows in City Journal. The people who can least afford to lose jobs will be the hardest hit by the assault on tourism. Small entrepreneurs, whether in manufacturing or the service sector, will struggle to stay afloat. Such unjustified, unpredicted economic havoc undermines government legitimacy.

President Trump has been criticized for not being apocalyptic enough in his press conferences. In fact, he should be even more skeptical of the panic than he has been. He should relentlessly put the coronavirus risk into context with opioid deaths, homicide deaths—about sixteen thousand a year in the United States—flu deaths, and traffic deaths. One might have thought New York governor Andrew Cuomo a voice of reason when, a few days ago, he tried to tamp down the hysteria in a press conference, saying: “This is not Ebola, this is not sars, this is not some science fiction movie come to life. The hysteria here is way out of line with the actuality and the facts.” And yet since then he called a state of emergency in New York, and he and Mayor Bill de Blasio have all but shut down the New York City economy. They, like most all U.S. politicians nowadays, have shown an overwhelming impulse to be irrationally risk-averse.

Rather than indiscriminately shutting down public events and travel, we should target prevention where it is most needed: in nursing homes and hospitals.

And now we see why toilet paper and bottle water have been flying off the shelves.

Critical Shortages.

There really has been very little discussion of the actual, comparative scope of the coronavirus issue.  For one thing, the very use of the term “coronavirus” seems new and scary to people not familiar with viruses; some 10-15% of the upper RI issues we call “the common cold” are caused by coronaviruses.  It is, after all, a type of virus, not a specific virus; the COVID-19 is just one member of that family.

The primary message from all levels of government should simply be “observe the same precautions you observe every cold and flu season.  This, too, shall pass.”

But no.  It’s all to panic time.

Rule Five Job Killer Friday

Mrs. Animal and I live in Arapahoe County, Colorado; our county assessor is one PK Kaiser, who was formerly a member of the Colorado Democratic Party State Central & Executive Committees.  So, Kaiser is a committed, partisan Democrat, which makes these comments on the 2020 election interesting.  Excerpts, with my comments:

Senator Bernie Sanders promised to ban fracking. So did Senator Elizabeth Warren, who yesterday suspended her presidential campaign. Senator Joe Biden, the frontrunner, does not support banning fracking, but says that we need to transition away from it. Every candidate offered some plan to limit domestic energy production. While these positions might appeal to environmentalists, they won’t win over the swing state voters who rely on America’s oil and natural gas industry for affordable energy and good jobs.

It’s important to note that one of these swing states, Pennsylvania, is considered a must-win if the Democrats are to take the White House this fall.

The natural gas and oil industry supports more than 10 million high-paying jobs across the nation. Many of these jobs are located in swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan, all of which Democrats lost in 2016. The industry supports more than 12 percent of jobs in Texas, another key state Democrats want to carry in 2020.

Florida, of course, is another of these must-win swing states.

The industry is projected to support an additional 1.9 million American jobs by 2035. Nearly 60 percent of those positions will go to blue-collar workers, a group that supported President Trump in 2016. Pledging to destroy blue collar jobs won’t help Democrats win back this demographic.

Nor would the fact that banning fossil fuels will raise Americans’ energy bills. Recent advancements in fracking allowed U.S. energy firms to access previously untapped natural gas reserves. Thanks in part to this abundance of energy, the cost of heating a home with natural gas fell 12 percent between 2005 and 2010. That’s more than $300 a year in savings.

It’s not just the abundance of cheap, clean energy; it’s also our reduced (if not eliminated) dependence on foreign sources of energy.  The U.S. is now a net energy exporter, and it’s in our interest to keep it that way.

Fracking bans and other Democratic plans would undo this progress. Eliminating fossil fuels from the power sector would cost the average American household $2,000 a year in added energy costs, according to one study.

In other words, it would make our nation darker, colder, and less healthy.

Contrary to what Democrats claim, this domestic energy boom has also done wonders for the environment. Thanks to the availability of cheap natural gas, energy firms have transitioned away from coal, which emits nearly twice as much carbon dioxide. Natural gas has done more to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than renewables since 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Today, U.S. emissions are nearing 30-year lows even as global emissions have risen 50 percent.

And here’s the real onion:

Clearly, Democrats think that demonizing the oil and natural gas industry is a winning strategy. The polls suggest otherwise.

In 2016, two-thirds of voters said they were more likely to vote for a candidate who supports increasing the production of oil and natural gas. And less than half of swing voters in the “Blue Wall” — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota — support a fracking ban.

Democrats failed to attract swing state voters in 2016, and it cost them the election. Given candidates’ opposition to fossil fuels, they seem bound to repeat themselves in 2020.

But let’s examine this conflict from a strategic viewpoint on the part of these candidates.

It’s a well-known fact in Presidential elections that Democrat candidates have to tack left to win the nomination, and then move towards the center to win the general.  The opposite applies to Republicans.  Now, the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont won’t do this, assuming (as now does not seem likely) he wins the nomination.  He’s structurally incapable of doing so, partly because he’s an ideologue, and partly because, to give credit where credit is due, he’s actually sincere – he really believes all the daffy ideas he propounds.  As for Groper Joe, he’ll try to tack back in the general, but he’s on record now.  President Trump, who is no polite, collegial type like past GOP candidates, will staple Biden’s previous anti-energy statements to his forehead.

And Groper Joe will stagger and stumble while trying to explain himself.

The Democrats have done this to themselves.  If they want to win the 2024 election, I’d recommend a good hard look in the mirror first.



Animal’s Daily Persistent Little Bastard News

Despite last Tuesday’s second-in-a-row “shellacking,” as a certain former President might put it, the loony old Bolshevik from Vermont insists he isn’t giving up, even in the face of long odds.  Excerpt:

Sanders fell short of his primary performances against Hillary Clinton in 2016, when he pulled off an upset in Michigan and lost by a whisker in Missouri. On Tuesday he lost handily in both those states, places where he hoped to demonstrate his strength among Midwestern voters. Sanders only pulled off a win in North Dakota, a small state with few delegates. In Washington state, Biden and Sanders were in a virtual tie with more than two-thirds of the votes counted.

“Last night obviously was not a good night for our campaign,” Sanders told reporters in his hometown of Burlington on Wednesday. He insisted he was staying in the race and would draw a sharp distinction with Biden in a televised debate scheduled for Sunday in Arizona.

Sanders said he was winning “the ideological debate” on issues such as universal healthcare that are popular with many Americans, as well as the “generational debate” with his appeal to younger voters. Yet he acknowledged many Democrats were still choosing Biden because they believe the former vice president is the best candidate to defeat Trump.

“Needless to say, I strongly disagree with that assertion,” Sanders said. “But that is what millions of Democrats and independents today believe.”

Bernie, Bernie – you aren’t winning any ideological debates.  If you were, you wouldn’t be getting your ass handed to you by the increasingly daffy, confused and befuddled Groper Joe.

The loony old Bolshevik is stubbornly staying in this thing, and you’ve got to give it to him for finally showing what my Dad would have called a “little bit of stick to it.”  It’s certainly something new; he’s never held a real job aside from a short stint as an apprentice carpenter, a trade he failed to learn.  He’s never introduced a major bill that became law.  His role in the Senate seems to waver somewhere between curiosity, gadfly and comic relief.

In fact, it’s pretty amazing that he’s come this far.

Honestly, though, he can’t go much farther.  I expect he’ll bow to the inevitable before the convention, and it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if he buys another lakefront mansion dacha; that seems to be how this oddball old Socialist deals with electoral losses.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is probably already planning how to get Groper Joe to lose control during the first debate and lapse into a foaming-at-the-mouth, profane rant, as he just did at a citizen the other day.  I’d recommend stocking up on popcorn now, because it’s going to be really fun to watch.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Another week east of the Mississippi, which isn’t my preferred area of operations; but needs must when you have a mortgage to pay.  We were thinking of going to a massive gun show down towards Philadelphia this Saturday, but at the moment spending a day wandering a crowded venue with 3-4,000 random strangers just doesn’t seem like the greatest idea.  At least we can lose ourselves drinking from that fire hose of information that is The Intarwebz.  And so:

On To the Links!

Colorado’s own John Caldera:  The initiative process in Colorado could be a dual-edged sword.

Brain-eating songbirds.  Yes, really.

What happened to Lieawatha Warren?  Well, she was a terrible candidate:  Shrill, hectoring, and pushing horrible policies.

The more I read about Dan Crenshaw, the more I like him.

Welcome to Armageddon.  No, it has nothing to do with the Coronavirus.

This is why idiots think that billionaires can pay for everything.

I’m not saying it’s aliens…

What a stupid idea.

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC host Brian Williams and New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay are both idiots.

Chuck Schumer is an arrogant prick, and an idiot.

Rachel Maddow is an idiot.

Jim Bakker:  Still an idiot after all these years.

Paul Krugman is an unprincipled hack, and an idiot.

The New York Times editorial board is populated by idiots.

And so…

We’re still adjusting to the dark mornings and increased light in the evenings.  I’m not a fan of the first part, although I rather like the last.  I like it well enough, in fact, to think it a good idea year-round; which begs the question, why the hell are we still doing the Daylight Savings bullshit?  Pick a time and stick with it, already!

But at least it’s a sign that summer is coming.

I love Japan.

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

Animal’s Daily COVID-19 News

Be sure to check out the latest in my Allamakee County Chronicles over at Glibertarians!

The markets have been messing themselves over the coronavirus.  Here’s an interesting take on the implications.  Excerpt:

My first session was with Michael Milken, the noted financier and philanthropist. Milken was cautious for the short term, but generally optimistic. Computer power for gene sequencing and AI models to predict infection spread, he said, are vastly more capable than during the SARS scare of 2002-2003 and the H1N1 epidemic of 2009-2010, when 700 million to 1.4 billion people became infected worldwide and upwards of 500,000 died. Technology can identify and solve problems much faster today.

Milken cited the U.S. polio epidemic of 1952 and the HIV/AIDS panic of the late 1980s as times when fear gripped the population. “People were afraid to be in the same room with someone infected with HIV.”

Fear, of course, is hard to break. The polio fear persisted a few years after the Salk vaccine. Milken said it was popular figures like Elvis Presley, photographed during his Army vaccine, that broke the spell. What lifted the clouds for AIDS were new drug cocktails that eliminated the death sentence, along with thriving patients such as basketball star Magic Johnson.

Capitalism, reasonably regulated, Milken reminded us, has remarkable recuperative powers. The COVID-19 crisis has created the lowest mortgage rates in U.S. history. Oil and gas are priced almost at the lows of early 2009 [update: and now significantly lower.]  “The cost of living is going down. Purchasing power is going up.” Milken said, which will lead to a faster recovery of any recession caused by COVID-19.

There’s an old saying:  “Today’s problems are solved with tomorrow’s technology.”  While it’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future, it’s likely that the coronavirus outbreak will be over sooner and with less loss of life than earlier, similar outbreaks.  Why?

Because of technology.  Technology developed in free-market conditions, technology that made a profit for its developers and oh, by the way, improved quality of life for millions into the process.

Yesterday the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont was trumpeting that, should he be President, any coronavirus vaccine would be “free.”  Let’s set aside the ridiculous notion that anything can be “free” – TANSTAAFL applies – and imagine how swiftly private companies would develop a revolutionary new vaccine with only the promise that a socialist government would demand that said vaccine be handed over at cost to Imperial practitioners, to be administered with no direct cost save the massive tax increases The Bern has promised.

Left to themselves, markets usually get things right on their own – that includes meeting needs through innovation.  A vaccine for the COVID-19 would be no exception.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Meanwhile, daffy old Groper Joe Biden continues to be increasingly befuddled.  Honestly, it’s getting embarrassing.  Excerpt:

Many people have questioned Joe Biden’s mental fitness as he campaigns for the highest political office in the country. In the past few weeks alone, the candidate declared repeatedly that he was running for the U.S. Senate, confused which state he was in, said there were 150 million gun deaths in America since 2007, called Super Tuesday “Super Thursday,” and announced that he would have the ability as president to appoint the first African American woman to the United States Senate. 

Of course, as president, Biden will not have the ability to appoint senators. And even if Biden did have that ability, he would not be able to appoint the first African American woman to the U.S. Senate since Carol Moseley Braun was elected in 1993.

Biden’s team should prevent the candidate from going anywhere near a microphone, or a small child for that matter.

But this is the sad part:

“… We cannot get re-elect, we cannot win this re-election, excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump,” Biden said to his bewildered supporters. The candidate himself seemed caught off guard by his inability to keep his train of thought.

At the same event, Biden referred to himself as an “Obiden Bama Democrat.”

At what point does the DNC pull the plug?  At what point does old Joe’s family take him aside and tell him what is becoming increasingly obvious to anyone not co-hosting The View, namely that Joe Biden is no longer mentally fit for the campaign, much less elected office?

My siblings and I were extremely fortunate as our parents aged, as neither Mom nor Dad ever lost any mental acuity beyond the normal slight impairment of short-term memory common among the extreme (over 90) elderly.  But I had two aunts who slid into Alzheimer’s and eventually died of the complications of that horrible malady.  Both of them were dear people who the family loved, and I remember very well the beginning stages of that descent into dementia.

And this is what it looked like.

Honestly, this shouldn’t be a political calculation.  This is an issue of simple decency.  Joe Biden isn’t fit for this campaign and he sure as hell isn’t fit to sit in the Imperial Mansion.  It’s well past time for someone with some sense (and, yes, some compassion) to intervene.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.