Animal’s Daily Believe It When I See It News

Before we start, check out Part 7 of the Legionnaire series over at Glibertarians!

If the GOP takes the House in November, Kevin McCarthy is talking subpoenas on the Hunter Biden scandals.  Yeah, right.  Excerpt:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in an interview late last week that if Republicans win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, he will use their subpoena power to find out what U.S. intelligence agencies knew about the Hunter Biden laptop before the 2020 election, and what they knew of his foreign activities while his father was vice president.

McCarthy, who made the remarks in an interview with the New York Post, warned that “we will use the subpoena” option if top officials with the intelligence agencies don’t cooperate with Republicans.

The report noted that in the days leading up to the 2020 election, more than 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop story was likely a Russian disinformation campaign.

“You would want to ask these individuals first of all, ‘Would you still sign the letter today, and who asked you to sign the letter and why did you sign the letter, and what information did you have prior?’” McCarthy said. “Why did you feel comfortable — especially with your own reputations — that you would sign that letter? Was it someone from the [Biden] campaign who asked, or was it people in the intel community?”

Why isn’t the GOP running on opening up the energy sector, lowering tax rates, reducing the size of government and reducing the regulatory on business?  Why not run on liberty?  Free markets?  Individual enterprise?

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that the blatant corruption on the part of Hunter Biden needs to be looked into.  It sure as hell seems like there should be some charges filed, charges that involve some serious jail time.  But we all know that nothing of the sort will happen.  There will be some showy “hearings”, and there will be a lot of RHEEEEing from the legacy media, and there will be no charges filed, no Grand Jury empaneled, nothing, nothing, nothing will happen.

And so the cycle continues, ad nauseum.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links, and welcome to our 400th ‘Goodbye, Blue Monday’ post!  Hat tip to Kurt Vonnegut Jr. for the theme:

This sketch – and yes, Kurt Vonnegut did draw it himself – is from his 1973 book Breakfast of Champions, which was sort of a fiftieth birthday present to himself – it’s roundly funny while still maintaining Vonnegut’s signature pessimism.  There was a movie made from the book in 1999 with Bruce Willis, but don’t bother with that.  It was pretty awful.

It’s been an interesting time, keeping these virtual pages going the last few years.  The current iteration started in January 2014, after a WordPress crash corrupted a bunch of files and wiped out the original site, which I started in September of 2010.  Before that I maintained a blog of sorts on LiveJournal, from 2004 to 2010.  So I’ve been at this a while.

Why?  Well, that’s a good question.  You’ll notice that I don’t have any advertising on the site, nor do I solicit tips, not that there is anything wrong with so doing.  I pay for the hosting and maintenance of the server myself.  That way, as I see it, I am beholden to no one and can say whatever the hell I please.  And that’s the why, True Believers; I write whatever the hell pleases me, and leave it to you readers to either agree with me or tell me I’m full of shit.  I run this site for my own amusement and entertainment, although it delights me no end that each and every day between a thousand and two thousand unique readers drop by and peruse my latest ramblings.  So, yes, I do it for you all, too.  And, yeah, I have a little fun in the process.

So stick around!  I’ve been at this for eighteen years, counting LiveJournal time, and I anticipate I’ll be able to keep it going for at least eighteen more.  If there’s anything you’d like to see more or less of, let me know in the comments.  I’ll read all suggestions, and if possible, I’ll accommodate requests.  Criticism is always welcome, as long as it’s civil.

Thanks again – and watch for the upcoming 400th Saturday Gingermageddon in a few more weeks!

Rule Five Relative Power Levels Friday

Some time back, I stumbled across a column about the gun issue by a scribe I read regularly and always enjoy.  But in a comment regarding the relative power of rifle rounds, he described the venerable .30-06 as “one of the most powerful rounds in existence.”

Now, I’m not going to name the columnist nor link to the column here; that’s not my purpose.  He has, though, fallen afoul of something that a lot of Tacticool aficianados trip up on, and that’s focusing solely on the AR and AK platforms, the M-1A and M1 rifles, and sometimes the various military bolt guns like the Springfield, Mosin-Nagant, SMLE and the various Mausers.  In other words, current and recent military-style and military-inspired, or as I’m fond of describing them, “Tacticool.”  That’s all great, if that’s what you’re into, and I can see why having that as your primary experience would lead to one thinking that the wonderful, versatile .30-06 is “one of the most powerful (rifle) rounds in existence,” when it probably isn’t even in the top 50%.  There are plenty of sporting rifle rounds that are far, far more powerful than the .30-06; I have a couple in my own safe.  So, in today’s post, let’s look at some of these rounds, and compare relative power levels.

Disclaimer:  I have a .30-06 in the safe now, and have owned several more.  I dearly love this round; it’s versatile, easy to shoot well, easy (as anything is nowadays) to find ammo for, and properly loaded and handled, is adequate for any critter on the North American continent.

First, let’s look at the basic stats for the AR-15 platform’s usual load, the 5.56mm round, and compare it to the AK’s 7.62x39mm and the venerable .30-06.  Note:  MV = Muzzle Velocity, ME = Muzzle Energy.

Cartridge MV ME
5.56mm 55 grain M193 3240 1282
7.62×39 123 gr spitzer 2300 1445
.30-06 150 gr spitzer 2910 2820

Looking at that, if the first two rounds are your primary basis of comparison, I can see how you might think that the .30-06 rolls out some pretty impressive power levels, and in this perspective, it does; the standard mil-spec loads for the venerable old Cartridge, Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1906 are pretty tough stuff put up against a typical AR or AK-platform round.  And, yes, most standard police/military vests are weaksauce when taking on an ’06 round.  But how does the ’06 stack up against some sporting cartridges that are in wide use?  And bear in mind I’m not comparing the latest, hottest Eargesplitten Loudenboomer Ultra Magnums that the gun magazines seem to monthly tout; these are rounds that have been in wide use in the game fields for decades.

Let’s compare that to a couple rounds that I shoot and load for regularly:  The .338 Winchester Magnum and the .45-70 Government.

Cartridge MV ME
.338 Win Mag 265 Grain LRX 2800 4200
.45-70 Government 405gr FN 1680 2274

Note that the .45-70 load I cite here is the standard, original black-powder spec load, and so the velocity and energy are low, lower than the .30-06, although I can tell you from personal experience that those big, flat-nose bullets pack a pretty good wallop inside of 150 yards or so and will put down a big, corn-fed Midwestern whitetail right the hell  now.  But look at the .338 load, this being the load I’m running through my own Thunder Speaker right at the moment; that one comes pretty close to matching the .30-06 on velocity but, due to the heavier slug, produces almost a ton more muzzle energy, almost quadruple the 5.56 round.

To finish up, let’s really turn up the pressure:  Here are the stats for the grand old .375 Holland & Holland Magnum and the .458 Winchester Magnum.

Cartridge MV ME
.375 H&H 270-grain solid 2690 4340
.458 Win Mag 500 gr solid 2090 4850

While the .375 H&H is a rung or two up the ladder from my .338 handloads, it’s in the same ball park.  But the .458 Win Mag?  That’s an elephant-stopper, made as a dangerous game round, turning in almost two and a half tons of energy at the muzzle.

Sporting rifle cartridges, as you can see, routinely turn in some pretty impressive ballistics, compared to the 5.56mm and 7.62x39mm rounds, and if you consult the benchmark work on such things – that being W. Todd Woodward’s annual Cartridges of the World –you’ll see that there are many, many such cartridges in standard production, and even more in the obsolete, proprietary and wildcat realms.

There’s a good reason for this.  Mil-spec rifle cartridges aren’t necessarily designed to kill, RHEEEEing by would-be gun-grabbers notwithstanding.  They are primarily designed to allow the individual soldier to carry a good supply (I wouldn’t prefer to carry around seven thirty-round mags full of .45-70 loads) and, when applied as intended, to take an enemy soldier out of action.

Sporting rounds, on the other hand, are designed to kill – animals that are, quite often, bigger and tougher than humans.  And those kills are often made at some distance; shots out to 300 yards are not all that unusual.  (My personal record is a 280-yard shot on a Colorado mulie, and yes, that was with Thunder Speaker.)  More to the point, sporting rounds are designed to deliver a quick, clean, humane kill, which means one must, as Robert Ruark so famously put it, “use enough gun.”

Modern military cartridges are not in the same ball park as anything much past mid-range when it comes to sporting rifle cartridges.  It’s very nearly a difference of kind, rather than a difference of degree; the difference when you’re comparing some of the tougher loads is in orders of magnitude.

Let’s hope the current crop of nitwits in the Democrat Party don’t figure that out, because next they’ll be RHEEEEEing about “sniper rifles” and “armor-piercing ammo.”

Animal’s Daily Brain Death News

And no, I’m not talking about AOC.  This is different; it turns out that our consciousness may last for seconds to minutes after cessation of heart/lung activity.  I don’t know about you, but I find that downright unsettling.  Excerpt:

Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest, which is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drives the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. This moment when the heart stops is considered by medical professionals to be the clearest indication that someone has died.

But what happens inside our mind during this process? Does death immediately overtake our subjective experience or does it slowly creep in?

Scientists have studied near-death experiences (NDEs) in an attempt to gain insights into how death overcomes the brain. What they’ve found is remarkable: A surge of electricity enters the brain moments before brain death. One 2013 study, which examined electrical signals inside the heads of rats, found that the rodents entered a hyper-alert state just before death.

Here’s the part I find disconcerting:

Medical staff confirm this, he said. But how could people who were technically dead be cognizant of what’s happening around them? Even after our breathing and heartbeat stop, we remain conscious for about two to 20 seconds, Dr. Parnia says. That’s how long the cerebral cortex is thought to last without oxygen. This is the thinking and decision-making part of the brain. It’s also responsible for deciphering the information gathered from our senses.

According to Dr. Parnia, during this period, “You lose all your brain stem reflexes — your gag reflex, your pupil reflex, all that is gone.” Brain waves from the cerebral cortex soon become undetectable. Even so, it can take hours for our thinking organ to fully shut down.

I’m a little unsure what to think about that, presuming it’s accurate, and the cited authority certainly knows more about it than I do.  But even twenty seconds, knowing that you’re gone, having that brief time to contemplate it before the darkness overtakes you – I’d prefer not to have that happen.

We don’t get to choose, of course.  Both of my parents died peacefully in their sleep, aged 90 and 94, with at least one of their children in attendance.  I doubt they experienced anything like this, as both of them were in terminal comas for some time before death.  I’ve always (and will continue) to take some comfort in that.  As for me, I honestly would prefer not to have those seconds or minutes to contemplate my own passing; were I to have my druthers, when my time comes, as it comes to all of us, I’d prefer to go out like flicking a switch.

But, again, we don’t get to choose.  So – thoughts?

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

I’m thinking of bear hunting.

Specifically, I’m thinking of hunting a certain area about sixty miles north of here, where a walk-in-only trail system leads down to the brushy banks of the Chulitna River.  The problem is, it’s really brushy.  The few people I’ve talked to familiar with this particular area have said that both blacks and griz are abundant in the area, and that you may well smell them before you hear them.  So, I’m thinking the BullWhacker (Marlin 1895G, .45-70) is in order.  The BullWhacker has been customized with a large lever loop, ghost ring sights and a forward-mounted IER scope – colloquially known as a “Scout Scope.”  Seems like the appropriate piece for sneaking through dense brush after big, tough, toothy critters at short range.  Thoughts?

Now that I’ve placed that before you all…

On To the Links!

“We’ve really got him this time!”

City of Broken Windows.

Yes, nuclear is the key to our future.  I’ve been saying this for years.

What would you do?  Granted state lotteries are essentially a tax on stupidity for the most part, but there’s probably no  harm in spending a couple of bucks for the chance to fantasize about what you’d do if you got a few hundred million bucks dropped in your lap.

What could possibly go wrong?

“Please, B’rer Fox, don’t throw me in that there briar patch!”

They’ll want to tighten security on this find.  Contact Chief Inspector Clouseau immediately!

“Heterosexual men seeking to introduce themselves to women should be direct and maybe even a tad vulnerable, while heterosexual women approaching men can essentially say anything they want. “  No shit, Sherlock.

Nothing can fix Twitter.

DeBlasio already did that job for you, you Bronze Age assholes.

Tulsi Gabbard is a sane Democrat, which is like finding a unicorn these days.

When seconds count, the cops are only hours away.

Watch your taxes go up.

GEICO bails on California.

I love a  happy ending.

This Week’s Idiots:

NY Magazine’s Jonathan Chait (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Yes, you idiot, that means we’re in a recession.

USAToday‘s Jill Lawrence is an idiot.

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

MSNBC’s Joy Reid (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Michael Cohen is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem (I’m sensing a pattern here) is an idiot.

Robert Reich is still a sawed-off runt, and an idiot.

California is run by idiots.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Mrs. Animal and I have seen the Blue Man Group twice, once at their regular venue in Las Vegas, and once at their traveling show in Denver.  On that latter show they shared the stage with VenusHum, a ‘synth-pop’ band that saw some success in the early Aughts.

We saw this song on the traveling show; it was later released on the Blue Man Group’s 2003 album The Complex, and it’s probably the best cover of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love ever done; to tell the truth, I prefer it to the original.  Anyway, here; make up your own mind, and feel free to let us know in the comments.

Animal’s Daily Nuclear News

Before we start, check out the latest installment of Legionnaire over at Glibertarians!

Now then:  The snail’s pace US approval of the first small reactor design is nearing completion.  But there’s a catch.  Excerpt:

On Friday (July 29), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that it would be issuing a certification to a new nuclear reactor design, making it just the seventh that has been approved for use in the US. But in some ways, it’s a first: the design, from a company called NuScale, is a small modular reactor that can be constructed at a central facility and then moved to the site where it will be operated.

The move was expected after the design received an okay during its final safety evaluation in 2020.

Small modular reactors have been promoted as avoiding many of the problems that have made large nuclear plants exceedingly expensive to build. They’re small enough that they can be assembled on a factory floor and then shipped to the site where they will operate, eliminating many of the challenges of custom, on-site construction. In addition, they’re structured in a way to allow passive safety, where no operator actions are necessary to shut the reactor down if problems occur.

Many of the small modular designs involve different technology from traditional reactors, such as the use of molten uranium salts as the reactor fuel. NuScale has a much more traditional design, with fuel and control rods and energy transported through boiling water. Its operator-free safety features include setting the entire reactor in a large pool of water, control rods that are inserted into the reactor by gravity in the case of a power cut, and convection-driven cooling from an external water source.

Wondering about that catch?  Here’s the catch:

The NRC will still have to weigh in on the sites where any of these reactors are deployed. Currently, one such site is in the works: a project called the Carbon Free Power Project, which will be situated at Idaho National Lab. That’s expected to be operational in 2030 but has been facing some financial uncertainty. Utilities that might use the power produced there have grown hesitant to commit money to the project.

So, each site will have to be individually evaluated and will have to go through a lengthy approval process – and will, no doubt, be heavily lobbied against by greenie-weenies and NIMBY types all the way through.

Consider the irony here.  Small reactors of this type have the enormous potential to provide clean, high-density energy.  They’re uniquely useful in small, isolated communities.  (Like, say, much of Alaska.)  And now, after a long, torturous approval process, the NRC has approved one design, but each individual application will have to be rigorously scrutinized, and will have to overcome determined opposition at every step of the way, making it almost impossible to use them to provide the abundant, clean energy that these opponents of nuclear power claim to want.

Forget what these people claim to want.  Look at what they actually are in favor of:  You (not they) reducing your standard of living to meet their claimed goals.  Look at the actions of the high-profile members of the opposition:  Jetting around the globe in private jets, living in huge mansions a few feet above tide line in the oceans they claim are rising out of control.  They expect you to pay the price they aren’t willing to.

This is tech with great possibilities.  Maybe I’m wrong, and reactors like this will be approved for wide use.  But I wouldn’t bet a plugged nickel on it.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Have a look at this, from Compact’s Michael Anton; some of the conclusions are, well, frightening.  Excerpt:

The people who really run the United States of America have made it clear that they can’t, and won’t, if they can help it, allow Donald Trump to be president again. In fact, they made this clear in 2020, in a series of public statements. Simply for quoting their words in an essay for The American Mind, I was mercilessly mocked and attacked. But they were quite clear. Trump won’t be president at noon, Jan. 20, 2021, even if we have to use the military to drag him out of there.  

If the regime felt that strongly back then, imagine how they feel now. But you don’t have to imagine. They tell you every day. Liz Cheney, Trump’s personal Javert, has said that the 45th president is literally the greatest threat facing America today—greater than China, than our crashing economy, than our unraveling civil society.

That’s rhetoric, of course, but it isn’t merely that. It’s safer, and generally more accurate, to assume that your adversaries mean what they say. If you doubt this, ask yourself: When was the last time they acted more moderately than they talk?

Even if it is just rhetoric, the words nonetheless portend turbulence. “He who says A must say B.” The logic of statement A inevitably leads to action B, even if the speaker of A didn’t really mean it, or did mean it, but still didn’t want B. Her followers won’t get the irony and, enthused by A, will insist on B.

Take some time to listen to the mainstream media. It doesn’t have to be long; five minutes should do. Then spend another five or so reading the statements of prominent politicians other than Trump. To round it out, sacrifice another five on leading intellectuals. It should become abundantly clear: They all have said A and so must say—and do—B.

And B is that Trump absolutely must not be allowed to take office on Jan. 20, 2025.

To what lengths, one might ask, is the anti-Trump crowd willing to go to prevent his re-assuming the Presidency in 2025?  Well, prior to 2016, I wouldn’t have anticipated any more than the flood of whining we heard after the 2000 election.  But now?  I’m not so sure.  The actions the Left might take to prevent a second Trump Presidency may well be, well, nation-ending.  Anton mentions some possibilities; here’s the worst scenario:

Which leaves Plan F, which they have already sketched in broad outlines. I don’t know exactly what form it will take, but they have made clear that “under no circumstance” can Trump be allowed to take office again. Among the “circumstances” covered by the word “no” would seem to be an Electoral College majority, or a tie followed by a House vote in Trump’s favor.

What happens then? Well, in the words of the “Transition Integrity Project,” a Soros-network-linked collection of regime hacks who in 2020 gamed out their strategy for preventing a Trump second term, the contest would become “a street fight, not a legal battle.” Again, their words, not mine. But allow me to translate: The 2020 summer riots, but orders of magnitude larger, not to be called off until their people are secure in the White House.

The results of that – whether they are successful or not – may be impossible to recover from, not as a nation.  It might mean a fragmenting of the nation into parts, it may mean a complete collapse into chaos, it may mean a descent into a strong-man dictatorship.  Either way, were Plan F put into play following a Trump electoral victory, I don’t see the United States emerging from this whole.

I’d like to say I can’t imagine it coming to such a pass.  A few years ago, I would have laughed at the very notion.  But now?  Now?

Buy ammo.  Stock up on preservable foods.  Better to be cautious and have it end up not being necessary, than to be caught out.

Rule Five Oil Bonanza Friday

This is interesting:  There have been some big oil discoveries in the Caribbean; MasterResource’s Vijay Jayaraj has the news.  This will affect global energy prices, but here in the U.S., we may still have some other problems.  Excerpt:

The poverty-stricken Caribbean countries of Guyana and Suriname have hit the jackpot with the discovery of huge offshore oil reserves that are on track to produce revenue for decades.

Opposition from the United Nations and other anti-hydrocarbon entities might hamper the pace of production but won’t stop it. The global need for more crude is too great, and the economic situation of the two South American nations is too dire.

Suriname has been experiencing double-digit inflation for a while now (35 percent in 2020). The inflation rate is now above 50 percent due to the ongoing global energy crunch. Suriname’s economy shrank by 3.5% in 2021. Guyana’s economy is in a similar situation, with 40 percent of Guyana’s 800,000 living in poverty.

All this could change now, thanks to the oil discovery.

Equatorial Guyana and Suriname—situated side-by-side and bounded by the equator and Atlantic Ocean — have combined oil reserves estimated to be 17 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Together this represents the world’s largest oil discovery in the last two decades. Some call it the “the most promising oil discovery hotspot on earth.” Others say it is “the most exciting oil frontier on earth.” In addition, there are gas reserves of more than 30 trillion cubic feet.

That’s great news, but there’s a stumbling block:

The biggest hurdle to the extraction of these reserves could come from lack of capital. Both Suriname and Guyana have an “underdeveloped capital market with limited financing options” for new projects.  These nations will be under severe financial stress if the international climate-industrial complex takes a strong stand against their extraction plans and their own governments acquiesce.

In summary:  The wealthy developed nations of the world wil go RHEEEEE at the very idea of impoverished Third World nations lifting themselves out of poverty by developing their own natural resources, and the USA will likely lead the pack, at least as long as loony “green” activists and the Democrat Party hold any influence at all.  And even if Guyana and Suriname tell the wealthy developed nations to get stuffed and proceed with development, those same self-absorbed First World nations may well clamp down on possible sources of capital.  In the article, Guyana’s President is making noises about inviting the Saudis to invest.

There’s a lot of money to be made here, and it’s a fair bet that most of the developed world’s capital investors won’t be making any of that money, and that will make if harder for Guyana and Suriname to develop these resources and, by the way, lift many if not all of their citizens out of poverty.  Because it’s an inevitable law of nature and economics that growth is dependent on cheap and abundant energy, and these two nations are set to start supplying a lot of that.

Vijay Jayaraj concludes:

This will prove to be a win-win for global supply and the development of local economies. “Suriname’s nascent oil boom is gaining momentum” and will deliver a “significant fiscal and economic windfall,” says Matthew Smith at Oilprice.com,

“Guyana will materialize as a leading global oil exporter with its petroleum output far exceeding domestic demand, while government coffers will swell with annual income expected to be over $10 billion annually in less than a decade,” he says.

The ability of Guyana and Suriname—and their right—to develop economically by utilizing their oil reserves should not be impeded by the climate-frenzied.

We can hope.  And we can hope that this will drive down global oil prices, oil being a highly fungible commodity, and we can hope that this will have a positive effect on the USA’s energy picture – and maybe undo a little of the damage the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration has done.  I’d prefer to get back to our Trump-era energy independence, but that will take a little more effort, not to mention a few honest elections.

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