From time to time I peruse the web site of libertarian author L. Neil Smith. Here’s one of my favorites of his works, Why Did it Have to be … Guns? Follow the link and read it all. Excerpts, with my comments, follow:
Make no mistake: all politicians—even those ostensibly on the side of guns and gun ownership—hate the issue and anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it’s an X-ray machine. It’s a Vulcan mind-meld. It’s the ultimate test to which any politician—or political philosophy—can be put.
If a politician isn’t perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash—for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn’t your friend no matter what he tells you.
If he isn’t genuinely enthusiastic about his average constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or tucking it under a coat and walking home without asking anybody’s permission, he’s a four-flusher, no matter what he claims.
What his attitude—toward your ownership and use of weapons—conveys is his real attitude about you. And if he doesn’t trust you, then why in the name of John Moses Browning should you trust him?
And, yes, it’s all about trust. Even the most Second Amendment-friendly pols on tap today eventually hit that issue of trust. There is always some point beyond which they don’t trust the population at large.
If he doesn’t want you to have the means of defending your life, do you want him in a position to control it?
If he makes excuses about obeying a law he’s sworn to uphold and defend—the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights—do you want to entrust him with anything?
If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil—like “Constitutionalist”—when you insist that he account for himself, hasn’t he betrayed his oath, isn’t he unfit to hold office, and doesn’t he really belong in jail?
Sure, these are all leading questions. They’re the questions that led me to the issue of guns and gun ownership as the clearest and most unmistakable demonstration of what any given politician—or political philosophy—is really made of.
He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there who shouldn’t have a gun—but what does that have to do with you? Why in the name of John Moses Browning should you be made to suffer for the misdeeds of others? Didn’t you lay aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you left public school—or the military? Isn’t it an essentially European notion, anyway—Prussian, maybe—and certainly not what America was supposed to be all about?
And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself from them? Forget about those other people, those dangerous weirdos, this is about you, and it has been, all along.
It’s always about someone else. It’s always about criminals, or nutjobs, or anyone else other than the regular citizen who happens to have an old 12-gauge stuck in a closet somewhere.
But what Mr. Smith doesn’t bring up is the outcry from would-be gun-grabbers to institute all of their policies at the Imperial level. “All laws should apply to the whole country,” they cry, claiming that places like Chicago have high crime rates in spite of having strict gun laws because criminals are apparently organizing convoys to buy and import guns from Indiana, where gun laws are much less onerous but for some mysterious reason the crime rate is much lower. These pols would put in New Jersey-style gun laws for people like me, in rural Alaska, where I can guaran-damn-tee you the result will be massive and defiant non-compliance.
So, yes, the Second Amendment is a good litmus test for political candidates. But if it’s important at the state and local level, it’s goddamn vital at the Imperial level, where they have the ability and the will to screw with all of us. After all, if your state pisses you off, you can find another – as Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. just did – but finding a new country is quite another thing.
Ever wondered why you can’t find saddle zebras for sale? Here may be the answer. Excerpt:
Like horses and donkeys, zebras belong to the Equidae family (known as equids). The three species are so closely related that they can interbreed and form hybrids such as a zedonk (a cross between a male zebra and a female donkey), a zorse (the offspring of a male zebra and a female horse), and zonie (hybrid between a zebras and ponies). But unlike their cousins, zebras resisted submitting to humans. Why is that? After all, zebras are native to Africa, the cradle of humanity.
It may all have to do with natural selection. Zebras and horses diverged from a common ancestor around 4-4.7 million years ago, and each became adapted to their particular environments. Herds of wild horses in North America and Europe were initially kept as food animals, but later became accustomed to humans. After the advent of agriculture 12,000 years ago, horses proved their worth in transportation and warfare, which prompted humans to invest time and effort into domesticating them by selectively breeding the tamest individuals.
But unlike wild horses, zebras in the open African savanna had many more predators to worry about, including fierce lions, lightning-fast cheetahs, and cunning hyenas. As such, natural selection forged zebras into very reactive animals that are ready to leap at the slightest sign of danger. Zebras are particularly feisty and will greatly resist getting captured.
Despite their poney-like size, some zebras have managed to kill attacking lions with a single back kick. They’re not less menacing from the front either, as they’re known to pack a savage bite. Zebras also have a hardwired ducking reflex, which greatly hinders their capture by lasso or other methods. Finally, zebras have no family structure and no hierarchy, unlike wild horses that live in herds and have a structured order.
Look at dogs. Wolves, from which domestic dogs descended, live in a rather looser social order than most folks think, but they are still social animals. Cattle are herd animals, and wild bovine herds generally follow a matriarch. Horses likewise. But zebra herds aren’t really “herds” so much as just big gangs, sticking together for mutual protection. From what little I’ve read about them (full disclosure, I studied Biology with a strong emphasis on behavior in college) they don’t have a herd matriarch (or patriarch, for that matter) and are no more a structured herd than a school of fish.
It’s an interesting little behavioral phenomenon, when two animals are close enough to produce offspring, albeit sterile offspring, and yet so different behaviorally.
With a national debt crisis looking on the horizon, I’m seeing a fair amount of talk about selling Imperial assets (like the vast tracts of National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands in the West) to pay off the national debt. I’m not in favor of this, for one selfish reason and two practical reasons.
First, the selfish reason: I have and do spend a lot of time on those public lands, which are at the moment mostly wide-open for recreational use including hunting, fishing and camping. If these lands went to private owners, I have no doubt that they would immediately be closed off to such use.
Second and third, the practical reasons: Placing land on the market at such a massive scale would drop prices, quite possibly to the point where the proceeds wouldn’t be nearly enough to get us out of the twenty-three trillion hole we’re in, and bear in mind that the Imperial government isn’t about to stop digging. Any deduction of the debt from such a sale would be temporary unless we could find a way to cancel Congress’ credit card.
And finally, most of all, I have precisely zero faith that the House of Representatives, who are responsible for spending government revenues, would use one penny of that money to address the Imperial debt. They would use that money as they use all money: Buying votes.
On To the Links!
From national treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: Never Let A Plague Go to Waste.
AntiFa thug hit squads pursue a journalist. Blackshirts instead of Brownshirts, but you get the idea.
Not fat-shaming, but blob-shaming, and accepting reality. I like this outlook.
California’s “assault weapons” ban struck down. Now this will only lead to more legal wrangling, but it’s still a win. For now.
Actual headline: Woman Does Karate In Walmart Parking Lot, Kicks Out Police Car Window While Son Strips Naked Inside & Dog Steals Cornbread. Wisconsin, not Florida.
Heels-Up Harris greeted in Guatemala with jeers, pro-Trump signs. The schadenfreude, it is strong with this one.
Human hibernation is possible. Hell, I do it every winter.
Canadians see UFOs, too. Must be something in the poutine.
Oh, for fuck’s sake, could Heels-Up be any more full of herself? (And is that better or worse than her being full of Willie Brown?) Also, Heels-Up blows a fuse when a reporter has the temerity to question her never having once visited the southern border that she’s supposedly the czar of. This harpy is in so far over her head that she can’t even see the surface.
Is Biden Setting Harris Up for Failure in 2024? No, Harris is setting Harris up for failure in 2024. Biden doesn’t know where his after-nap snacks are coming from.
California: “Let’s double down on our green energy lunacy!” New York: “Hold my beer.”
This Week’s Idiots:
Boy howdy, they’re coming out of the woodwork this week.
California continues to produce idiots. Watch for California housing prices to rise to even more insane levels.
Some idiots are concerned about birds with racist names. Honestly, some people have way too much time on their hands.
The Hill‘s Michael Hopkins is an idiot. Seriously, a mandate, Hopkins, you stupid fuck? A dead tie in the Senate and a razor thin majority in the House is a mandate? OK, sure, ahead Tard Factor Eight!
CNN’s Brian Stelter, preparing for his second career as an actual potato, asks Press Secretary Jen Psaki: “How far can we journalists insert our tongues into your ass?”
This Week’s Cultural Edification:
Remember when at least some of our conversations regarding race were all about uniting, about our common humanity, how bonds of love should overcome differences of skin tone, religion or national origins? The O’Jays do. Take a listen to their 1972 hit Love Train. This was originally cast as an anti-war song (not unusual in 1972) but it had another message as well. Listen to the lyrics. Tell me how that song would fly with today’s race hustlers. Plus, it’s just a pretty good tune.
We could frankly use a little more of this kind of message.
Now then: This is interesting. Excerpt:
A person believed to be among the highest-ranking defectors ever to the United States from the People’s Republic of China has been working with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for months, sources inside the intelligence community have told RedState on condition of anonymity. The defector has direct knowledge of special weapons programs in China, including bioweapons programs, those sources say.
The information provided to RedState corroborates and clarifies Thursday evening’s reporting by journalist Adam Housley.
RedState’s sources say that’s partially true. FBI Director Christopher Wray was “ambushed” with the information, they say, and Langley was also unaware. Sources say DIA leadership kept the defector within their Clandestine Services network to prevent Langley and the State Department from accessing the person, whose existence was kept from other agencies because DIA leadership believes there are Chinese spies or sources inside the FBI, CIA, and several other federal agencies.
Did you get that last?
Here, in case you missed it: Sources say DIA leadership kept the defector within their Clandestine Services network to prevent Langley and the State Department from accessing the person, whose existence was kept from other agencies because DIA leadership believes there are Chinese spies or sources inside the FBI, CIA, and several other federal agencies.
Yes, that’s right. We are now at a juncture where our Imperial intelligence-gathering agencies don’t trust each other.
Granted, it has always been the standard practice to compartmentalize sensitive information like this. “Need-to-know” applies, after all. But the stated reason here – if it’s corroborated, so far this is all hearsay from an anonymous source – is that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) didn’t trust the other alphabet soup agencies specifically because they were worried about Chinese spies or sources inside those agencies.
Normally I would think that this all sounded a bit paranoid, but we just had a Congressman who was found to have been sleeping with an actual by-gosh Chinese agent for some time, and not only is he still in office but still holds all his privileged committee assignments. If that doesn’t show how deep the rot has gone in the Imperial City, I don’t know what does.
It’s still early on this latest business. But it will be interesting to see what develops.
It’s long been popular for those on the political Left to point to Europe as the model for how nations do things. What, then, about voter ID? Turns out the countries in the EU overwhelmingly require it. Excerpt:
Of 47 nations surveyed in Europe — a place where, on other matters, American progressives often look to with envy — all but one country requires a government-issued photo voter ID to vote. The exception is the U.K., and even there voter IDs are mandatory in Northern Ireland for all elections and in parts of England for local elections. Moreover, Boris Johnson’s government recently introduced legislation to have the rest of the country follow suit.
Criticisms of the British leader’s voter ID push are similar to those heard in the U.S. The Scottish National Party claims his voter ID push targets “lower income, ethnic minority and younger people” who are less likely to vote for Johnson’s conservatives and therefore represents “Trump-like voter suppression.”
Yet despite such pushback, Britain looks set to follow countries in Europe and elsewhere with stricter voting regimes, few of which temporarily relaxed any of their voting rules during the pandemic.
Seventy-four percent of European countries entirely ban absentee voting for citizens who reside domestically. Another 6% limit it to those hospitalized or in the military, and they require third-party verification and a photo voter ID. Another 15% require a photo ID for absentee voting.
Similarly, government-issued photo IDs are required to vote by 33 nations in the 37-member Organistion for Economic Co-operation and Development (which has considerable European overlap). Only the UK, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia currently do not require IDs.
The whole “ID required to vote – racism” argument is horseshit in any case, as anyone with enough brains to pound sand understands. It’s almost impossible to do business in our modern society without a government-issue ID. You can’t open a bank account, you can’t buy a house, you can’t travel on a commercial airline, you can’t do much of anything. And even those who don’t have an ID – the number of which probably falls into the range of a rounding error – then my take on that is that if you can’t be bothered to go get a state ID, then you probably shouldn’t be voting in any case.
The Constitution guarantees the states “…a republican form of government.” We can’t have that without the citizenry having faith in our elections. Election integrity means election security. Election security means knowing who votes, and ensuring that all legal votes are accurately counted. Verifying a voter’s identity is the first, but not the only, step in ensuring just that.
Ever wonder why leftist mobs tend to shit where they live? Ah, but Tabletmag has the answer! Excerpts, with my comments, follow:
The Democratic Party has had a problem. It’s a small, incoherent, and privileged clique funded by billionaire oligarchs to push policies that even mainstream Democratic voters oppose. How to bridge the gap? The solution they chose, which party officials made clear this week, was simple: the way third-world elites always do—by using street violence to keep their clients in line.
There’s a long history of radical political and social movements doing precisely this; it’s a cruel tactic to retain control, not to gain control.
This week, pro-Palestinian demonstrators auditioned for the chance to join already established Democratic Party militias antifa and Black Lives Matter by attacking Jews in New York and Los Angeles. Apologists for the violence reason that the demonstrators are angry about the deaths of innocent Palestinian babies under Israeli fire in Gaza so they’re taking their frustrations—admittedly misplaced!—out on American Jews.
That is not what’s happening.
Who knows how many of the activists waving the Palestinian flag as they beat Jews and detonate fireworks in front of Jewish-owned businesses are genuinely Palestinian Americans? Maybe some aren’t even Arab or Muslim, but that’s irrelevant—they are staking their claim to recruit, promote, and represent Arabs and Muslims as an interest group. And so the flag they’re really flying isn’t for the Palestinians but rather for the Democratic Party.
Precisely so. It’s not about principles; none of this is. There are no principles involved, only politics, and it’s all about The Side. And yes, they shit where they live, but the present situation is a little different than it has been in other places, at other times, and here’s why:
ince the late spring, many have noted that these blue militias have typically avoided laying waste to red regions. And it is strange, if you think the Democrats have mobilized criminals and psychopaths and other semitragic misfits to target those they claim are the true enemies of democracy, tolerance, and brotherly love—the more than 74 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump. Presumably, blue militias know that if they campaigned in rural or even suburban America they would be met by a well-armed citizenry.
That’s one reason; I can tell you that I wouldn’t want to be the poor
AntiProfa son of a bitch who tried to march a bunch of danger-hair rioters through the Allamakee County hills of my youth, or into my present stomping grounds in the Susitna Valley. It would surely end badly for the rioters. But there’ s a larger purpose being served:
Still, why burn down their own neighborhoods? Again, here the Middle East is the key to understanding. And if you know anything about that region, you know that the answer is because that’s their job—not to confront their alleged red state enemies, but to remind their neighbors and fellow Joe Biden voters that their security, indeed even their lives, depend on them keeping the faith, no matter how much the party’s pet projects might hurt or offend them personally.
Ay, there’s the rub. The idiots organizing these
peaceful protests riots aren’t smart enough to realize this, but their political enablers in the Democratic party are; they provide cover for the goons pour encourager les autres, to make sure the regular folks in those areas continue to play their parts.
It’s a protection racket, nothing but. “Nice home, small business and community you’ve got there,” is the message, “be a shame if anything… happened to it.”
But the red areas will continue to be left untouched, for the most part. I’m reminded when some Antifa types showed up in Greeley, Colorado, not all that long ago, and were turned away by the townsfolks pretty smartly – no guns involved, just a vigorous response.
This, True Believers, is another aspect of the urban/rural divide that is our current political situation. The cities have the numbers but the rural areas have the food – and the guns. And the very real danger, one that is coming to seem more likely than I could have possibly imagined a year ago, is that the very tools the political Left is using to keep folks in the blue cities in check is the one that will blow up in their faces – and when it does, it will blow up in ours, too. It won’t end well for the rioters – but it won’t end all that well for us, either.
President Biden(‘s handlers) have an infrastructure plan. But there’s a problem: It’s utter horseshit. Excerpt:
After two painful recessions and ever greater national discord, there is considerable support for a new beginning, even if it takes massive federal spending. The question we must ask now is what kind of spending makes sense given the character of the country, its geography, and its economic challenges. America remains a vast and diverse place, and decisions that make sense for one locale do not necessarily make any sense in others. A dispersed country needs dispersed decision-making, not edicts issued from on high by the D.C. nomenklatura.
Unfortunately, Joe Biden’s ballyhooed “infrastructure” plan, coupled with unprecedented stimulus spending, is cast by the obliging media as being about the middle class but seems oddly detached from how the overwhelming majority of the middle class lives, which is in lower-density, automobile-dependent neighborhoods. This dynamic was intensifying even before the pandemic. But Biden’s plan seems mostly about serving the relatively small sliver of transit-riding apartment dwellers living in denser neighborhoods. Overall, dense residential areas accommodate no more than 10 percent of the nation’s population.
Rather than emulate Roosevelt’s New Deal, as Biden’s handlers insist, the plan renounces much of what drove it. The New Deal, whatever one thinks of it, was about improving the material quality of life for most Americans, such as by spreading the benefits of homeownership to an ever-broader part of the population. In contrast, the Biden plan focuses on permanent redistribution through ever more entitlements and dependency — something Roosevelt opposed. It is likely to reduce our competitiveness by boosting energy and regulatory costs as well as taxes.
In other words, these people have no idea what they’re doing. You can rely on the political class for that: When faced with a failure of government, usually in an area where government has no business being involved, the political class’s response is predictable: Government harder.
Here’s the onion:
Historically, both parties have looked with favor on suburbs and the notion of a country where most people own their own home. Franklin Roosevelt insisted that a “nation of homeowners” would be “unconquerable.” But this view began to change under President Obama, who decided that suburbs needed to become denser and home to more poor people. Many Democrats, reading the mainstream media, assumed they were riding a “back to the city” wave that would transform American geography as well as politics. Some deep-blue jurisdictions — Minneapolis, California, Oregon — have moved toward eliminating single-family zoning. At the same time, in deepest-blue California, a citizens’ movement with determined support from minority neighborhoods has so far thwarted such heavy-handedness from Sacramento.
The Left’s embrace of forced density reveals a serious misreading of demographic and geographic trends. Despite what you might read in the New York Times, Americans on the whole never went “back to the city.” In fact, in not one year since 2000 have more people moved into the urban-core counties than moved into suburban and exurban counties. Between 2010 and 2020, some of the largest metro areas — including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston, and San Francisco — lost domestic migrants, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Critically, as new research shows, the people most likely to move are the educated young, previously thought to be permanently urbanistas.
I’m sure the fact that many of our major cities have become riotous, crime-ridden shitholes have nothing to do with it. Right?
It’s been a popular talking point for some time now among the political Left to favor policies pushing increasing urbanization. And their infrastructure plans, such as they are, as well as their energy policies, seem to be intended to make rural dwellers (like yr. obdt.) lives more difficult.
These policy proposals are, actually, a good argument for federalism. What works for Connecticut won’t work for Wyoming – or Alaska – and that’s something that the GOP should run on. Infrastructure is properly a State, not an Imperial, matter.
Spring doesn’t last long up here in the Great Land. Summer doesn’t, either. But it’s great while it’s here. Right now the birches and poplars are fully leafed out, with that bright green so characteristic of late spring and early summer. We have ferns and wildflowers coming up all over, along with some irises and various other plants around the yard. The greenhouse won’t get much use this year, as we don’t have seeds and equipment in time to get things started, but next year we’ll be making use of it.
After thirty years in semi-arid Colorado, it’s amazing how green everything is here in the Susitna Valley. There’s a lot more moisture, obviously, what with all the snowfall and the frequency of wet, drippy days. Still, like the old saying about April showers bringing May flowers, in Alaska it may be May showers bringing June flowers but it still holds true. Things are pretty here now but in a few more weeks they’ll be really gorgeous.
There’s always something, though. This shook the house for the better part of a minute. No damage to the Casa de Animal or the surroundings. My reaction to the possibility of future tremors? Worth it.
On To the Links!
Plastic-Driven Sperm Apocalypse May Not Be Nigh. Also: “Plastic-Driven Sperm Apocalypse” would be a great indy rock band name.
Here’s the problem with big proposals like this; if it were economically viable, someone would have already done it. If government has to pay for it, we shouldn’t be doing it. This one doesn’t pass the bullshit test.
Speaker Trump? I’d like to see that, just to watch leftist heads explode. Imagine President Biden mumbling and maundering his way through a State of the Union with Donald Trump sitting right behind him. If that wouldn’t bring the lulz, I don’t know what will.
Ever wondered what the hardest language is for English-speakers to learn? Turns out Japanese is one of the toughest, which doesn’t surprise me at all.
The Hunter Biden saga ain’t over yet. Not by a long shot.
This Week’s Idiots:
Juan Williams is an idiot. I used to like Juan Williams; he seemed like a guy with principles, as opposed to politics, and I respect people with principles even if I don’t agree with them. But these days Juan seems to have devolved into just another partisan hack. That’s too bad.
This Week’s Cultural Edification:
Very few bands have ever matched the immortal Led Zeppelin. This is one of the greatest of their works, one in fact used to great effect by director Taika Waititi in Marvel’s tongue-in-cheek Thor: Ragnarok.
In 1978 or 79 – the exact year is a little fuzzy at this distance in time – I had the pleasure of seeing Zep live. My buddies and I managed to work our way up pretty close to the stage and at one point were about twenty feet from Robert Plant, who was on stage, hair flying, wailing in his best Seventies rock-band fashion. It was a neat experience. Here’s The Immigrant Song. Enjoy.