Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Like a lot of folks, I’m a bit bemused by all the flap-doodle about “pronouns.”  I’ve only once been asked for my “pronouns.”  The ask was at the beginning of a project planning meeting, where everyone in a Zoom call was asked to give a brief introduction and to “present their pronouns.”

When my turn came, I gave my brief introduction and stopped.  The host asked “would you like to give your preferred pronouns?”

“No.”

There was a brief, somewhat awkward silence, and the meeting went on.

In my experience that’s the best way to handle things like this.  Simply refuse to engage in the virtue-signal.  Nine times out of ten, that ends it.  People move on.  A couple of the people in the Zoom may have thought I was an asshole, but I’ve long since stopped worrying about crap like that.

And so…

On To the Links!

Inflation in 2020 highest since 1982.  Some of us remember 1982.  Things weren’t so hot.

Rick Perry tweaks Stacey Abram’s nose.

This is just embarrassing.

Speaking of embarrassing:  Heels-Up Harris spits out a content-free word salad.

Things inflation-wise may be worse than you think.

Incoming VA Governor Glenn Youngkin has hit the ground running.

No shit, Sherlock.

These critters may be humanity’s first intentional hybrid livestock.  Cool!

Baaaaa.

Welcome to the Hotel California.

I am a big fan of Winsome Sears.  I”m pretty sure she won’t stop at Lieutenant Governor of Virginia..

Speaking of Virginia:  Let them melt down.

This Week’s Idiots:

What a self-absorbed, whiny idiot.  But then, it’s Slate, so…

Barack Obama beclowns himself.

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a partisan hack, and an idiot.

The Hill’s Brad Bannon is an idiot.

The New Republic’s Thomas Geoghegan is an idiot.

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Kevin Kruse is an idiot.

The LA Times’ Jackie Calmes is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a sawed-off runt, and an idiot.

The LA Times’ Sonja Diaz is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Thanks to commenter Andrew Robson for the tip to this week’s video.

In the late Seventies and early Eighties, Pat Benatar was kind of a big deal in rock & roll.  Her videos were regulars on MTV back when MTV actually played music.  One of her better-known tunes was 1979’s Heartbreaker, from the album In The Heat Of The Night – and, yeah, Pat was pretty hot.

But on one episode of Country Music Television’s show Crossroads, Pat appeared, still looking pretty damn good.  She shared vocals on Heartbreaker with country songbird Martina McBride.  In addition to the singing, watch the interaction between the two; especially how Pat looks at Martina for the first minute or so.

Here’s that tune, with live video; enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Corruption in Government News

Before we start, check out the latest in my series North Country over at Glibertarians.

Now then; for the latest in corrupt government officials, we bring you Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who is facing charges of perjury and making false statements.  Excerpt:

Mosby, 41, is charged with falsely claiming to suffer financial hardship from the coronavirus to obtain an early withdrawal from her retirement savings to purchase the homes. In addition, federal prosecutors allege she lied on a mortgage loan application by hiding an outstanding federal tax debt. And they accuse her of entering into an agreement to rent out a home she bought in Kissimmee, near Disney World, while at the same time promising not to rent the property — all to obtain a lower interest rate.

The cloud of indictment has loomed over Mosby for nearly a year, since federal prosecutors issued subpoenas in March for a wide range of financial records from her and her husband, City Council President Nick Mosby. Marilyn Mosby is now charged with four felonies that could bring prison time, even as her election for a third term looms in June.

Federal prosecutors have not accused Nick Mosby of wrongdoing,

The indictment alleges Marilyn Mosby sought a $40,000 withdrawal from her city retirement account in May 2020, citing financial hardship she had experienced due to the pandemic. In fact, her salary that year had increased by $10,000 to $248,000, according to the charges.

“Mosby had not experienced adverse financial consequences stemming from the coronavirus as a result of ‘being quarantined, furloughed or laid off’ or ‘having reduced work hours’ or ‘due to lack of childcare’ or ‘the closing or reduction of hours of a business I own or operate’” — all prerequisites for obtaining the loan, which Mosby attested to under penalty of perjury, federal prosecutors wrote in the indictment.

Here’s what she was buying:

Mosby purchased the eight-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot Kissimmee property in September 2020 for $545,000 and was using it as a rental property. She sold it in November for a $150,000 profit, to a buyer from Baltimore County.

And:

Federal prosecutors accuse Mosby of making a second withdrawal from her retirement savings, this one in December 2020 for $45,000, and again falsely claiming financial hardship related to the coronavirus. She used that money as a down payment for a $476,000 condominium on a barrier island in Longboat Key, Florida, according to the indictment. She bought the condo last February.

Wait, wait – Florida?  Ron DeSantis’ Florida?  The unmasked, unmandated, Kung Flu-ridden Florida?  Wonder of wonders.

The point is, there seem to be two major ways people view the law.  Some people understand that things like perjury and fraud are illegal because they are wrong.  Those people don’t obey the law from fear of punishment; they behave the way they do because it’s the right way to behave.  Then there are people who believe that things like perjury and fraud are wrong because they are illegal, and all too often people like that – like Mosby – will attempt something if they think they can get away with it, because they don’t see the act as wrong in and of itself.

And she’s a prosecutor.  One, I remind you, who oversaw the descent of Baltimore into a crime-riddled shithole.

And she’s running for re-election.  Unbelievable.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

This is an interesting bit on the ongoing culture war, and echoes some thoughts I’ve been having of late.  Excerpt:

Extremes aside, the one culture war that truly matters is the battle between “equality of opportunity” versus “equality of outcome.” The former is a narrative that aims for success and values meritocracy, while the latter frowns upon success and dismisses meritocracy. One side focuses on achievement and aspiration, rather than nihilism and zero-sum thinking.

It’s impossible to not see this trend in both politics and economics. The politicization of income inequality is perhaps the clearest example, in which a static picture of inequality vies with a more dynamic picture of social mobility. Causally (and incorrectly) linking income inequality to social mobility is an idea already very entrenched in our public discourse. In truth, the latter is basically a luxury belief.

When Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders picked a fight with Time magazine’s “person of the year” Elon Musk, the culture war flared up again. Although Musk has shown leadership on so many issues that liberals support, such as climate action, the zero-sum narrative refuses to go away. The rich prosper, you see, at the expense of the poor.

It’s vitally important to note here that Fauxcohantas Warren and the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont are both economic imbeciles.  In fact, I can probably leave out the qualifier; they are both imbeciles, period.  The article continues:

The war on excellence can also be seen in states and cities that are discontinuing gifted & talented education programs. Ditto for the decision by Harvard University (among other schools) to discontinue SAT scores as a requirement for entry, regardless of the fact that doing so hurts minorities the most. Other examples include the guillotine placed outside of Jeff Bezos’ apartment last year, or the egregious case of the “Whiteness” chart displayed at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which framed achievement, hard work, and planning as exclusively “white” characteristics. 

This narrative may be partly responsible for Hispanics and other immigrants moving across the aisle. According to Equis research, after the 2020 election Latino voters are now more likely to be “American dream voters” who believe that hard work pays off. The same can be said of another important immigrant group, Indian Americans, who place values like achievement above much else and for whom the American dream of earned success is alive and well.

Hispanic voters may well be a major deciding factors in the next few election cycles, and they are increasingly leaning towards the GOP.  Plenty of them are from families that have been in the U.S. or in territory that is now the U.S. for a long time – sometimes hundreds of years – while others are recent, legal immigrants.  The de facto open borders crowd on Team Blue isn’t appealing to those folks.

But here’s the onion:

People — Democrats and Republicans — primarily care about living better, richer, and fuller lives. That is the essence of the American dream — a dream of higher social mobility and people improving their lives, despite obstacles and regardless of where they started. But that dream is based on a positive-sum narrative of equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.

Let’s promote a culture based on a belief that we are agents in our own destiny — to paraphrase William Henley, masters of our fates and captains of our souls. For that, we need to continue fighting for the values of freedom, responsibility, and hope. What better goal for 2022 than that?

Look, though, at that first sentence:  People — Democrats and Republicans — primarily care about living better, richer, and fuller lives.  Aye, and that’s the rub – a majority (or at least a strong plurality) of Republicans want to be left alone to achieve those better, fuller, richer lives on their own, while a majority (or at least a strong plurality) of Democrats want someone else to provide them with those better, richer, fuller lives with no effort on their part.

That, True Believers, is the root of the whole thing.

Rule Five Terms You Shouldn’t Use Friday

I ran this about three years back, and thought it was time to trot it out as a reminder.

English is a language that’s forever changing; it’s been said that while other languages adopt words and phrases, English chases other languages down dark alleys, hits them over the head and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.  (This observation is made more poignant for yr. obdt. as this Friday finds my own dear Mrs. Animal and me in Japan, where I am functionally illiterate and struggle to make myself understood because I don’t savvy the lingo.)

But even English has standards, and as a popular American talk-radio guy is fond of saying, words mean things.  So here are some words and phrases that people need to stop abusing.

Capitalism

This, like many on the list, is bandied about by plenty of folks who should know better.  Here’s the reason people should stop using this word: “Capitalism,” unlike socialism and communism, doesn’t have an underlying ideology or set of dogma.  There’s no -ism there; it’s just liberty.  What we call capitalism is in fact the free, unfettered, lassaiz-faire of people doing exactly what they choose to do with their own skills, abilities, finances and resources, unfettered by government, unshackled by regulation.  It is people freely choosing what the do with their wealth.  It is the result of free trade, where people exchange value for value by choice, in voluntary transactions in which both parties gain.  It is a market unhampered by any meddling, where the economic trends are not forced from above by fiat but the results of millions of people making trillions of economic decisions, ever hour, every day, in a great freewheeling machine that no person or group of people could ever hope to control without screwing the whole thing up.  This has been demonstrated time and a-damned-gain, see Venezuela, Cuba and Zimbabwe for recent examples.

Gun Violence

Guns are inanimate objects.  There can be no such thing as “gun violence.”  There is only violence, planned and perpetrated by people.

This one is especially egregious as used in policy debates today, because, even though far more people un the United States today are murdered by fists and feet, nobody talks about “fist violence.”  It is only when guns are involved that this term is dragged out.

Whether deliberate or intentional, the term distracts from the real problem – that bad people do bad things – and focuses instead on chunks of plastic, wood and metal that can take no action and possess no moral agency or capacity.  A gun by itself is a moral null; it can take no action and left alone, will never hurt anything or anyone.  It is only when a human being picks up that gun and uses it for good or ill that any judgement of violence can come into the picture.

Privilege

Deriving from a Latin term that translates loosely as “private law,” this is another term that is badly abused in today’s discourse, mostly be people who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

American treasure Thomas Sowell noted that “privilege” is the idea that a white coal miner in West Virginia has some unseen advantages over a black Harvard graduate in New York.  As used in such a manner, it trivializes people and assigns them arbitrary categories based on their skin color, ethic background or religious affiliation; in other words, it’s bigotry, pure and simple.  As a middle-aged white male, I am supposed to meekly acknowledge the benefits of “privilege,” even though my Dad was a farmer most of his life, I went to college on the GI Bill and have worked for and earned everything I have.  I guess my privilege isn’t firing on all cylinders.

Decimate/Decimation

Decimation is a term that originated in the Roman army.  When a legion was seen to have failed in courage, one soldier of every ten was executed, pour encourager les autre.  (Voltaire would have loved these guys.)  The literal meaning of the term “decimate” means exactly that – to reduce in number by ten percent.

So, when a vapid talking head on a news program makes that claim that a certain terrorist group has been “decimated” he is saying that they managed to engage a nation-state’s military and only took ten percent casualties.  That’s a pretty good performance by a bunch of illiterates with AK-47s and an absolute cluster-fuck on the part of any modern military.

Democracy

The United States is a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.

In fact, our Constitution, probably the most effective governing document in the history of mankind as it was originally written, contains specific safeguards against direct democracy.  The Senate is one of those safeguards.  The Electoral College is another.

Noticed, have you, that those are two institutions that the political Left in this country would like to do away with?

We do not nor should we have government by direct democracy.  That is no more than mob rule or, as Benjamin Franklin was rumored to have said, “two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.”  We have a Republic, with a Constitution that clearly defines the roles and the limitations on the various branches of government.  We have a Senate that was originally supposed to represent the interests of their states, and we have an Electoral College to make sure that a few high-population states don’t end up dictating to the entire country.  Let’s keep it that way.

This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list.  But it’s a good start.

Any suggested additions?

Animal’s Daily Issues & Causes News

This is interesting:  What Issue Was Really at the Heart of the Civil War, and is it Relevant Today?  Excerpt:

The central question regarding secession, in both cases, was the same as South Carolina’s in 1832 and 1861.  If the people of a state surmise that the federal government is pursuing policy which comprises the liberty and prosperity of its citizens, does that state have to conform to what is perceived by the people of the state as unconstitutional abuse of power, or, more bluntly, intolerable tyranny?

Dumbing down history to simple, easily digestible falsehoods (like “the Civil War was fought to free the slaves,” for example) is the easiest and most effective way to make those falsehoods common knowledge.  That’s why the leftist propagandists and racial grievance hustlers in academia, the media, and the government do it.  The truth about what led the country to the Civil War, however, is anything but simple or easily digestible.

And:

Red and blue states have, in fact, diverged into patterns of life which have become increasingly antithetical in recent years, and antagonisms and rivalries are growing in intensity.  Blue states did fleece the taxpayers of red states last year by demanding a federal bailout for their decision to keep their states irrationally closed during the pandemic and in order to keep their broken, and internally unsustainable, entitlement programs afloat.   There is a high moral tone being expressed on abortion in red states, an institution which disregards the right to life among the unborn just as the institution of slavery disregarded the right to liberty among slaves.  Extremists on both sides are inflaming passions.  Effete coastal liberals and elitists in the media and academia view middle-class, red state denizens as anachronistic God-worshippers who prioritize their families and communities before the needs of the national collective, and are thereby impediments on that Hegelian path of history toward their inevitable vision of “progress.” 

Red and blue states do, in many ways, seem as separate parts locked in a struggle which must be resolved if we are to function as a nation.  Will this warring duality be resolved, or will we explode when, for example, the federal government decides to mandate vaccination IDs be issued by all of the states, and several states refuse?  

Again, if the people of a state surmise that the federal government is pursuing policy which comprises the liberty and prosperity of its citizens, does that state have to conform to what is perceived by the people of the state as unconstitutional abuse of power, or can it express its autonomy and liberty without the prospect of being attacked by the federal government for having done so?

That last sentence is key.  Why?  Well, I’m a-gonna tell you.

The big question, of course, is “if one or more states announces their secession from the Union, will the Imperial City seek again to restore that Union by force of arms?”  My guess is “probably not,” but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a conflict.

I’ve hashed this out a number of times in these virtual pages.  To say a civil war is something no sensible person wants to see happen is the grossest of understatements.  But it’s also getting hard to deny that we’re in something of a cold civil war now, and it’s getting harder and harder to see how things will shake out – because the current state of affairs sure can’t last forever.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

 We were very pleased the other day when we saw that one of these little fellows moved into the big lilac bush in front of our house.  This is not an actual photo of ours, just a representative sample of this little creature, a Least Weasel.  These little guys never stop moving around and we haven’t gotten a good photo yet.

What makes these little nonstop predators interesting is that they are not only the smallest of the Mustelidae, but that they are the smallest of the order Carnivora altogether.  They look like an elongated mouse with sharp little predatory teeth.  Their metabolisms require them to eat, a lot, so their constant movement is pretty much a nonstop search for mice, hibernating bugs and sleeping birds. They’re obviously good at it, because this is a widespread, successful, circumboreal species – they are found not only in North America but also Asia and Europe.

We’ve enjoyed watching ours when we can see him (yes, I’m presuming his gender), and it’s just great living in a place where we have these kinds of critters for neighbors.  We’ve named him Herman the Ermine.

And so…

On To the Links!

Jan 6, 2021 vs. the Summer 2020 riots.  Interesting stuff.

RIP, Sidney Poitier.  One of the greats.

Sieg Heil to you too, asshole.

Chuck Schumer can fuck right off.  More on that:  No, you weren’t, you mendacious, dissembling horse’s ass.

America is not a democracy.  No shit – I’ve been saying this for years.  But this writer wants America to move towards greater democracy, and away from what we are – a constitutional republic.  That would be disastrous.

Robert Stacy McCain brings us an Aspiring Rapper Update, and Still Another Aspiring Rapper Update.

Haw haw haw!Dogs and cats, living together – mass hysteria!

Purveyors of nitwittery on Amazon.  Who knew?

Russian thinks America is bluffing.  They’re probably right.

Honestly, Ford screwed the pooch on the new Bronco.  If they would have brought out a manual-transmission, normally aspirated V8, manual hubs, manual transfer case, crank windows and manual door-lock recreation of the original Bronco, I’d have been interested.  This doodad-laden thing?  Nah.

#EmptyShelvesJoe

Why can’t America win a war?  Because our military is now an equal-opportunity woke jobs program, not an organization intended to close with and destroy the enemy by overwhelming fire, maneuver and shock effect.

I love a happy ending.

This Week’s Idiots:

Adam Schiff-for-Brains is an idiot.

The LA Times’ Robin Abcarian is an idiot.

Too much bang bang from Fang Fang make Swallwell dumb dumb.

The New Yorker’s David Remnick is an idiot.

USAToday’s Derrick Johnson is an idiot.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) continues to be a partisan hack, and an idiot.

An idiot loses her idiot platform at an idiot network.  At MSNBC, it’s idiots all the way down.

The Guardian’s David Daley is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Faith Hill is kind of a big deal in country music, and one of her best-known tunes is her 1999 song Breathe, from the album of the same name.  While the album cut of that song is good, there’s a version I like better; her 2003 television special When the Lights Go Down included a version of Breathe where she is accompanied by one of the immortals of rock & roll, none other than the great Carlos Santana. 

The video includes not only the performance but a few shots of Faith (who appears to be as nervous as a schoolgirl) meeting Carlos, and Carlos describing how her song had touched him, which is why he wanted to play it with her – and note, mind you, how he lets Faith take the lead, and just accompanies her with his typically brilliant guitar work.  A true professional and a great song.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Insider Trading News

Before we start, go check out the start of a new series over at Glibertarians!

Now then:  Queen Nancy wants Congresscritters to continue to be allowed to engage in insider stock trading, the likes of which will get any of the rest of us tossed in the pokey.  Why?  Because she’ gotten insanely rich from the practice.  Excerpt:

From 2007 to 2020, the speaker and her spouse raked in between $5.6 million and $30.4 million (the rules don’t even require exact disclosure) from just five Big Tech firms: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft.

Never mind that the companies’ fortunes depend on laws Congress may or may not pass. As The Post has also noted, for example, Pelosi has been stalling legislation to ban Internet firms from favoring their own products in search results. Maybe it’s a coincidence she and her husband have also bet on Google, but it sure makes you wonder.

Remember, too, lawmakers are privy to info the public doesn’t see, so they may have an edge when trading stocks. (Perhaps that explains why the Pelosis have generally outperformed the market so nicely?)

Letting pols trade individual stocks, rather than investing only in index funds, raises such questions as whether they “have access to insider information” or if their trades will “impact policy-making,” warns the Revolving Door Project’s Jeff Hauser.

Nor does Pelosi’s claim that her stocks are in her husband’s name and that they’ve made no trades with inside knowledge hold up: Former Office of Government Ethics boss Walter Shaub calls that a “red herring”; unless members of Congress are willing to “wear microphones around the clock,” he quips, “the public has no way of knowing what information they intentionally or inadvertently shared.”

By now, most people know that Pelosi considers herself above everyone else. Recall how she repeatedly flouted mask rules? But looking to keep racking up tens of millions, despite the blatant conflict of interest, raises the prospect of outright corruption.

It’s a strong argument for banning stock trades by lawmakers and their families altogether. Let them place their holdings in a mutual fund or blind trust.

Why the hell do we continue to put up with this kind of crap from our elected employees?  This is just a license for corruption and graft.  Imagine the possibilities – insider trading by the very pols who pass legislation affecting the companies whose stock they are trading.

It’s one of a kind (as the article notes) with the concomitant hypocrisy that all these assholes exhibit, every day.  The mask flouting, the hair appointments in Covid-closed salons, the concealed-carry permits held by blue-state pols (see Feinstein, Diane) who argue against such permits for the rest of us.

This kind of crap won’t end until the voters end it.  I’d be in favor of an amendment to the Constitution, stating that “Congress shall be exempt from no law applied to the general population,” or some such – some lawerly types would probably have to work out the exact language.

But I think a comfortable majority of voters would agree that this shit’s gotta stop.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Bacon Time, Pirate’s Cove and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has this to say:  Who Are the Real Insurrectionists?  Excerpt:

Recently, Democrats have been despondent over President Joe Biden’s sinking poll numbers. His policies on the economy, energy, foreign policy, the border, and COVID-19 all have lost majority support.

As a result, the Left now variously alleges that either in 2022, when they expect to lose the Congress, or in 2024, when they fear losing the presidency, Republicans will “destroy democracy” or stage a coup.

A cynic might suggest that they praise democracy when they get elected, only to claim it is broken when they lose. Or they hope to avoid their defeat by trying to terrify the electorate. Or they mask their own revolutionary propensities by projecting them onto their opponents.

After all, who is trying to federalize election laws in national elections contrary to the spirit of the Constitution? Who wishes to repeal or circumvent the Electoral College? Who wishes to destroy the more than 180-year-old Senate filibuster, the over 150-year-old nine-justice Supreme Court, and the more than 60-year-old, 50-state union?

Who is attacking the founding constitutional idea of two senators per state?

And if you think it’s bad now, wait until after this year’s mid-terms.

Plenty of (stupid) people are still making a big deal out of last year’s January 6th “insurrection” which was, really, trespassing mixed with a dash of hooliganism and vandalism.  That’s not exactly firing on Fort Sumter.  But while a tad over half of Republicans harbor doubts as to the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election, almost three-fourths of Democrats expressed similar doubts in 2016, and beat the “MUH RUSSIAN COLLUSION” drum from then until now.

Dr. Hanson concludes:

We are in a dangerous revolutionary cycle. But the threat is not so much from loud, buffoonish one-day rioters on January 6. Such clownish characters did not for 120 days loot, burn, attack courthouses and police precincts, cause over 30 deaths, injure 2,000 policemen, and destroy at least $2 billion in property – all under the banner of revolutionary justice.

Even more ominously, stone-cold sober elites are systematically waging an insidious revolution in the shadows that seeks to dismantle America’s institutions and the rule of law as we have known them.

Let’s point out that as a professor of classical history, Dr. Hanson knows his stuff here.  He’s studied the fall of nations.  He’s someone we should listen to when he talks about the decline of our own.

But as I’ve pointed out before, he’s short on offering solutions.  And of late I’m wondering if that’s because he doesn’t really see a way back?  Once the rot has set in – can we not reverse it or, failing that, cut it out?

Get out of the cities, folks.

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