Just digested a pretty interesting look at the sorry state of affairs in Californey right now. Excerpt:
Before the social-media era, California boasted a remarkably diverse economy, with a job base that included many high-paying blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Climate policies, as even some green groups admit, have made these gaps wider. Due largely to overly restrictive land-use regulations, some tied to the state’s obsession with climate change, total residential building permits per 1,000 population were 40 percent below the national average in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Soaring energy prices, also brought on by green policies, have kept industrial job creation well below national averages.
Even as the state mints large numbers of new billionaires, conditions for the working class deteriorate. Over the past decade, the California economy has been divided, Janus-like, between a rising innovation economy, based largely in the Bay Area, and the overall state economy, where 85 percent of all new jobs pay below the median income of $66,000, and 40 percent under $40,000. Middle-income jobs actually declined; for every high-end job, the state created five low-wage ones.
Even with the recent Silicon Valley boom, growth in high-wage jobs has been faster in competitor states such as Texas, Utah, Colorado, and Washington. For those without a college education, as even the New York Times notes, California does worse than virtually anywhere else in the country. State politicians, of course, talk about the promise of “green jobs,” but the reality is that they generally are less permanent, pay less, and are far less unionized than established blue-collar work.
California may be suffering from the delusions of its ruling class, but it still contains what may be the greatest collection of creative talent ever assembled in one place, extending from Silicon Valley to Hollywood, in technology, space, culture, design, and ways of eating and living. Many among those of us who settled here do not want to see ourselves or our offspring forced out of the state, ending up as dejected exiles, like Russian nobility dreaming of past glories.
Some on the right might like to see California collapse and prove the dunderheadedness of modern progressivism. But America needs our state’s sometimes wacky creativity just as it needs the stolidity of the heartland, the raw ambition of Texas, and a rapidly changing South working to unravel its racially troubled past. Ultimately, though, this is not the nation’s fight. California can be saved only by Californians.
See, this is where we part ways. Maybe California needs to be saved by Californians, but California’s nutballery affects the whole country. How? Because of the very exodus of Californians described in this article. They turned my own former home of Colorado into California Lite – hell, the current Governor of Colorado is from California. They’re working on doing the same to Arizona, Nevada and even Texas. They move to more prosperous areas, fleeing the mountain of suck California has become for the middle class, then promptly vote for precisely the same kind of politicians that turned California into a mountain of suck for the middle class. Fortunately the Alaska winters seem to be too much for Californians, so we’re safe – for the time being.
Count me in with the folks who would like to see California collapse. It would certainly hurt the whole country for a while, but maybe then the majority of California voters would take a hard look in the mirror.
The one hopeful data point in all this is the fact that “minority” voters are increasingly starting to reject “progressive” policies. The great irony of all this is that most self-styled “progressives” have a distinct pallor to them, and while they try (endlessly, tiresomely, annoyingly, stridently) to frame themselves as champions of the downtrodden, they seem to scrupulously avoid any real contact with those selfsame downtrodden.
There is an old saying in politics: “As California goes, so goes the nation,” although that term was coined when California was still electing the occasional Republican in the state government. One might note, in fact, that as recently as 1988 California’s electoral votes went to a Republican Presidential candidate. These days, I’m hoping for more of a “As California slowly, painfully comes to their senses, maybe the other blue states will follow suit.”
Then again, maybe not – see my Grandpa’s admonition above. Nobody ever went broke betting on the stupidity of the American electorate.
This should come as no surprise to those who study early humans, or to those who pursue furred or feathered critters in the game fields, but a new study shows humans have been apex predators for over two million years. Excerpt:
“One prominent example is the acidity of the human stomach,” says Dr. Ben-Dor. “The acidity in our stomach is high when compared to omnivores and even to other predators. Producing and maintaining strong acidity require large amounts of energy, and its existence is evidence for consuming animal products. Strong acidity provides protection from harmful bacteria found in meat, and prehistoric humans, hunting large animals whose meat sufficed for days or even weeks, often consumed old meat containing large quantities of bacteria, and thus needed to maintain a high level of acidity. Another indication of being predators is the structure of the fat cells in our bodies. In the bodies of omnivores, fat is stored in a relatively small number of large fat cells, while in predators, including humans, it’s the other way around: we have a much larger number of smaller fat cells. Significant evidence for the evolution of humans as predators has also been found in our genome. For example, geneticists have concluded that “areas of the human genome were closed off to enable a fat-rich diet, while in chimpanzees, areas of the genome were opened to enable a sugar-rich diet.”
Evidence from human biology was supplemented by archaeological evidence. For instance, research on stable isotopes in the bones of prehistoric humans, as well as hunting practices unique to humans, show that humans specialized in hunting large and medium-sized animals with high fat content. Comparing humans to large social predators of today, all of whom hunt large animals and obtain more than 70% of their energy from animal sources, reinforced the conclusion that humans specialized in hunting large animals and were in fact hypercarnivores.
“Hunting large animals is not an afternoon hobby,” says Dr. Ben-Dor. “It requires a great deal of knowledge, and lions and hyenas attain these abilities after long years of learning. Clearly, the remains of large animals found in countless archaeological sites are the result of humans’ high expertise as hunters of large animals. Many researchers who study the extinction of the large animals agree that hunting by humans played a major role in this extinction – and there is no better proof of humans’ specialization in hunting large animals. Most probably, like in current-day predators, hunting itself was a focal human activity throughout most of human evolution. Other archaeological evidence – like the fact that specialized tools for obtaining and processing vegetable foods only appeared in the later stages of human evolution – also supports the centrality of large animals in the human diet, throughout most of human history.”
Hunting is what made us what we are.
Think about it like this: Among very early humans, some were better at finding foods high in protein and fats. Larger brains are metabolic gas-guzzlers, and while needing more proteins and fats to run than smaller brains, also lend greater intelligence, enabling those hominids to learn new and better ways of obtaining proteins and fats – in other words, meat. Smarter hominids were better at obtaining meat, first through scavenging, then through hunting, and the increased quality of diet allowed more intelligent hominids to survive, and to increase their reproductive success, which in turn led to even richer diets by succeeding generations – forming a sort of self-reinforcing feedback loop that resulted in, well, us.
Remember that next time you confront a vegan soy-boy intent on lecturing you on the evils of meat.
One week ago today we completed our initial journey to the Great Land with truck and trailer, and things just couldn’t be going any better. We still have to deal with a lot of snow on the ground – we haven’t even been able to get to, much less into, our greenhouse yet – but even here in Willow, winter is losing its grip on the countryside. The snow is melting, a little bit day by day, and before we know it, the wildflowers will be blooming. On Sunday last, in fact, a great mass of snow finally slid off our roof, partially blocking the drive and requiring a fair amount of shoveling.
Oh, and we had a lynx walk through the yard, right past the house. We didn’t see him but found his tracks the other morning.
Now, with that out of the way…
On To the Links!
As many as I can, while I can. I think this guy has plenty of company.
Add to that The Scourge of Chronic Scrotal Pain. Yipes again!
Pregnant while pregnant. One would think being knocked up would preclude getting knocked up, but biology is a funny business.
This Week’s Idiots:
Crazy Eyes, in addition to being an idiot, is one of the least effective members of Congress. Well, duh. That might explain why some of her fellow Dems are ditching her.
Salon’s Amanda Marcotte is an idiot. But then, we already knew that.
Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart (who, as we recently noted, also played with Tom Petty) performed as Eurythmics, and had kind of a neat style. Not my usual cup of tea, but they had talent, and a unique kind of sound. Here’s a good example of their work; this is 1983’s Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This.) Enjoy.
Moving on: Could Putin be using his nukes as an intimidation tactic against President Biden(‘s handlers)? Maybe. Excerpt:
The March 2021 Russian naval exercise (Umka-21), the first major Russian nuclear exercise during the Biden administration, involved both President Putin and the Commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Nikolai Semenov, who told Putin that in the Umka-21 naval exercise:
The following tasks have been fulfilled for the first time in the history of the Navy: three atomic missile carriers arrived on schedule within a region with a radius of 300 meters after breaking through 1.5 meter thick ice under an integrated plan; …
President Putin added that this had never happened in Soviet times. Noteworthy, the nuclear phase of the Umka-21 came soon after the December 2020 Russian large strategic nuclear exercise, which, as noted above, had a record number of announced live launches of strategic ballistic missiles and ended with a live salvo launch of four of the new Bulava-30 SLBMs.
One journalist noted concerning Umka-21, “The unprecedented exercise served as a bold statement of Russia’s presence and capabilities in the increasingly tense Arctic region.” (Emphasis in the original). The only reason for three nuclear ballistic missile submarines (reportedly two Delta-IV and one Borei or Borei-A submarines) to break through the Arctic ice simultaneously is to launch nuclear ballistic missiles, with the obvious targets being in the U.S. The involvement of three nuclear ballistic missile submarines (a quarter of their force) suggests this was a simulation of a massive nuclear strike. It makes no sense to have three nuclear ballistic missile submarines involved in a limited nuclear strike (e.g., a few missiles). Not only would this be unnecessary, but it would also be counter-productive since each launch would give away the location of the submarine. This type of exercise is unprecedented, appeared on the Kremlin and Defense Ministry websites, and clearly was message sending. The only issue is whether the message was received.
And here’s Putin’s message to President Biden(‘s handlers) – “We think you’re weak, we think you’re indecisive, we think everyone knows that nobody’s really in charge of that whorehouse in Washington, and we aim to prove it.”
The problem is, they are likely to be right.
Just who the hell is in charge in the Imperial City, anyway? I’m pretty sure it’s not the day-by-day-more-non-compos-mentis Joe Biden. So who? Kamala “Heels-Up” Harris? Chuck Schumer (Sanctimonious Prick – NY)? Queen Nancy Pelosi (Daffy Old Bat – CA)?
More likely it’s a horde of unelected, unknown, faceless bureaucrats, those legions of drones who never seem to disappear – they only grow, like mushrooms in the dark, growing ever numerous, larger, and more intrusive by the day. And the trouble with that is that these people, like real mushrooms, like cockroaches and rats, may well the only survivors of a real nuclear conflict.
Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Bacon Time, Pirate’s Cove and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links! Now then: Iowa’s Governor has signed into law an act adding my old home state to the list of Constitutional-carry states. Excerpt:
The new law takes effect July 1, with many calling it a “constitutional carry” bill.
“Today I signed legislation protecting the Second Amendment rights of Iowa’s law-abiding citizens while still preventing the sale of firearms to criminals and other dangerous individuals,” Reynolds said in a statement Friday afternoon.
The Republican acknowledged that the bill will not stop “bad actors” from acquiring handguns, but that it will protect her citizens’ rights.
The bill does not provide blanket freedom to purchase guns without some hurdles.
Here’s where the usual suspects chime in:
Democrats and gun violence prevention groups had called on Reynolds to veto the legislation.
“A person could be able to purchase a firearm from a private seller with no background check and then carry that firearm anywhere in public without any type of firearms proficiency training if this bill is adopted,” State Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, told Reynolds on a call, according to the Des Moines Register.
Well, OK then – according to USACarry.com, sixteen states have some variation or another on no-permit-required, Constitutional carry, including our own adopted home of Alaska. Surely it would be the simplest of things for this Wahls character to assemble some statistics on the horrible increase in accidental shootings and crimes committed with guns in those states following passage of these laws.
So why hasn’t he? Probably because no such statistics exist. As is always the case, the dire predictions of the gun-banners never come to pass.
This is an issue affecting a natural right, one enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Strict scrutiny applies. On that score, Mr. Wahl, you fail. Our rights take precedence over your paranoia.
This is about a week old, but I just stumbled across it; this is a pretty good piece from the New York Post‘s Glenn H. Reynolds. How to beat the woke: Never apologize! Excerpt:
Americans hate woke culture, as I noted in these pages not too long ago. Black, white, Republican and Democrat, a large majority of Americans oppose it. Even people like former President Barack Obama, Bill Maher and ultra-liberal comedienne Sarah Silverman hate it (Maher calls it “Stalinist”).
But it keeps going. Why is that? And what can you do about it — especially if you or someone you are close to comes under attack? In short, it keeps going because it’s easy and fun — and you have to make it less so.
Lesson one: Don’t panic — and don’t give in. Ian Prior, of Loudoun County, Va., publishes The Daily Malarkey, an Internet humor site that goes after what he calls the “Chardonnay Antifa.” As he recently recounted to Fox News, after he published an op-ed attacking political correctness, he found himself on the sharp end of woke attacks led by a group of teachers, administrators and woke citizens.
According to news reports, the Loudoun Stalinists put together a list of people opposing their policies and planned to “hack” them, “expose” them and “infiltrate” them. Did Prior chicken out?
No. He called them out, he mocked them, and he made sure the whole thing got as much attention as possible. Now there’s a criminal investigation into the group. The publicity not only generated blowback against the people who targeted him, it also brought in lots of new subscribers to The Daily Malarkey. Win-win.
Here’s the onion:
University and corporate bosses give into the woke because it’s painless and easier than fighting them. Make it painful and difficult instead, and they’ll change their ways. Take this to heart. The sane can win.
There are three lessons in beating the “woke,” and they are all worth taking to heart. To summarize them:
- Don’t panic.
- Stick together.
- Make it hard for people to go along with “woke” horseshit.
Apologizing to these assholes is a tacit admission of guilt. Never do it. I remember some years back, a city council member somewhere (I don’t remember the details and frankly can’t be arsed to look it up) was forced to apologize for using the word “niggardly” in a meeting, as someone with apparently poor knowledge of English took it as a racial slur. Hint: It isn’t. “Niggardly” is a perfectly good word, deriving from the Middle English “nigard,” meaning one who is stingy or miserly. That word in turn probably derives from the Old Norse word hnǫggr. It is in no way related to the infamous “N-word” which derives from the Spanish word for black, which is “negro.”
No one should apologize for someone else’s ignorance. No one should apologize for someone else’s intolerance. No one should apologize for voicing their own opinion. Never apologize to the “woke” assholes for voicing an honest opinion honestly arrived at. Never. Apologize.
This is a culture war. If we’re going to win it, there are going to be times to set our polite impulses aside.
We arose early to get a good start on the road, leaving the Alaska Highway at Tok and heading for Glennallen, there to take the Glennallen Highway for Palmer, Wasilla and home.
I was a bit surprised to not see a recreational marijuana shop in Tok. I mean, if there’s any place in Alaska that should have a now-legal pot shop, you would think it would be Tok.
There was a snag – when we got up on Tok, it was snowing. That’s hardly unusual in Alaska in March, mind you. There was a couple of inches down and we had some mountainous country yet to traverse. But we struck out, cautiously, slowly. We crawled over the snow-packed road to Glennallen, where we turned west for Chickaloon, Palmer, Wasilla and home. The roads slowly improved until, by the time we hit Palmer, things were wide open.
And then, finally, we pulled onto the Parks Highway, heading north for Willow and our new digs. We arrived at mid-afternoon, exhausted but happy, to begin our new life in the Great Land.
We’re home at last. After this tiring, exhausting, fascinating, beautiful and long, strange trip, we’re home at last, in Alaska.
Again, just some photos and notes today on our trip from Watson Lake, Yukon Territory to Tok, Alaska. Normal weekly links posts will be back next week.
It’s interesting to note that on the Alaska Highway you don’t cross the Continental Divide until well past Watson Lake, about 1/4 of the way across the Yukon Territory. We hit some heavy snow there, but that died quickly and we found ourselves with clear roads. But on this road the highway turns very rough from Destruction Bay to the American border. Today, we go from Tok, Alaska to our new home. Here are a few photos from the lovely country around Destruction Bay in the Yukon – enjoy!