Animal’s Daily Two Cities News

Before getting into the main post today, make sure to check out the latest in the Allamakee County Chronicles over at Glibertarians!

Now then:  American treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson presented us with a new spin on an old title:  A Tale of Two Cities.  Excerpt:

Both Wisconsin towns, Kenosha, and Waukesha, about 50 miles apart by car, were the recent sites of multiple deaths. The violence in both made national news. Yet in contradictory ways both reflected the common themes of America’s current legal, media, and societal corruption.

The relevant public prosecutors in both were in the news for alleged ideological bias. Specifically, they habitually calibrated the charging, indicting, and trying (or not) of defendants through ideological lenses and community pressure rather than on the basis of the facts and the law.

Kyle Rittenhouse was a 17-year-old armed youth who volunteered to protect business properties at the height of the August 2020 arson, riots, and looting in Kenosha. He was pursued and attacked by three members from a larger group who chased the armed youth, presumably either to disarm, injure, or kill him—or perhaps all three.

Rittenhouse variously was assaulted, kicked, and had a firearm pointed at him. In reaction, he fatally shot two of his pursuing attackers and wounded a third. Kenosha prosecutors reviewed videos of the altercations. They saw clearly that Rittenhouse was running away from his assailants. He was variously rushed by one assailant, kicked by another, and struck with a skateboard by still another. Again, a final pursuer pointed a gun at him at close range.

No matter. The Kenosha district attorney’s office charged Rittenhouse with several felonies including two first-degree homicide charges. All four whom Rittenhouse fired at—whether he missed, wounded, or fatally shot—had lengthy arrest records. Three were convicted felons; the fourth had a long arrest record.

And, on the other side of that coin:

Not long after one Rittenhouse was acquitted, one Darrell Brooks, Jr., an African-American with a 20-year record of serious felonies, allegedly drove his car deliberately into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, killing 6 innocents and injuring over 60.

Unlike the dishonest media reaction lying about Rittenhouse, who had no criminal record, there was initial careful restraint not to identify the career criminal Brooks as the murderous driver who weaponized his vehicle against parade-goers. Despite first-hand accounts from bystanders that the lethal driver was an African-American with dreadlocks, the media, feigning unaccustomed professionalism in this instance, withheld rush-to-judgment identification and culpability. Joe Biden—for a moment—was commendably quiet in editorializing about the racial motivations or ideology of a suspect.

For a while the media ran with its own concocted rumor that Brooks merely was fleeing from an “altercation” and apparently had mistakenly turned the wrong way into a crowd—despite videos showing the driver deliberately ramming through street barriers repeatedly to seek out targets. Intent likely explains why he killed and injured so many innocents.

Finally, the news settled into the present narrative of a “car crash,”—as if a driverless vehicle on autopilot had simply bumped into various people in the street—before burying the murders altogether on their back pages and dropping the crime from the evening news. Or as the Washington Post put it, “Here’s what we know so far on the sequence of events that led to the Waukesha tragedy caused by a SUV.”

Compare and contrast those two.

Now, I’m going to take issue with one statement of Dr. Hanson’s:

All four whom Rittenhouse fired at—whether he missed, wounded, or fatally shot—had lengthy arrest records. Three were convicted felons; the fourth had a long arrest record.

While this is true, it’s also irrelevant to the case.  Mr. Rittenhouse’s self-defense case, and the law around self-defense, is based on him being under actual threat of injury or death at the moment he acted, and he was.  The backgrounds of the attackers were unknown to him and are irrelevant to the case; I’m not seeing the value of bringing that up, except to point out that perhaps no one should be surprised that these assholes were burning and rioting in the first place and, in one case at least, had just recently been released from custody and probably shouldn’t have been.  But that’s of no import to the legal case, and it had no bearing on Mr. Rittenhouse’s acquittal.

But on balance, Dr. Hanson makes some great points.  The Media Is The Enemy, as the saying goes, and the reporting on the cases here, in this 21st century version of Dickens, shows that very plainly.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale and  The Other McCain for the Rule Five Links.  And thanks once again to blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the link.  If you aren’t perusing these blogs daily, you should be!

As anyone who has read these virtual pages for any time knows, I’m a big fan of .45 caliber sidearms.  So it shouldn’t be surprising that I found a recent article on the .45ACP over at Firearms News interesting.  This article asks the question:  Is the .45 Auto as ‘good’ as its reputation?  (Scare quotes in the original, and I’m not sure why.)  Excerpt:

Our own 1911.

The .45 Auto suffers from many of the same limitations and downfalls as the .380 Auto and .38 Special cartridges, chiefly its low velocity. The average 230-grain .45 Auto load will rarely break 900 feet per second, with typical velocities falling between the 825-890 feet per second mark. Keep in mind this is from a 5-inch barrel. These factory 5-inch velocity figures are due to the 1911, with its 5-inch barrel, being the most common handgun found in .45 Auto. Typical barrel lengths on “duty” or “Concealed Carry” handguns fall from 4 to 4.5 inches, meaning the already low velocity of the .45 Auto is further reduced, typically falling 5-10% from advertised muzzle velocities.

With these already low velocities, the threshold in which a typical .45 Auto hollow point will reliably expand is relatively limited. So, the .45 Auto needs to retain as much velocity as possible to consistently perform well, especially through heavy clothing and other light barriers. Even premium offerings, from trusted brands will suffer from this issue. Take the Barnes TAC-XPD, solid copper hollow point offering. This uses the 185-grain, XPD projectile, famously used by premium ammunition manufacturers such as Black Hills, early Cor-Bon and Barnes branded ammunition itself. Advertised at 1,000 feet per second, the actual chronograph results show an 11.85% decrease in velocity, with an average that didn’t even break the 900 feet per second mark, coming in at 894 feet per second from my Heckler and Koch USP V1.

So, it seems the noncommittal answer to the question asked by the title is “…yes, depending on the ammo.”  And that’s a fair answer; ammo has come a long way since 1911.  The classic old 230-grain FMJ load has been supplanted by a wide variety of high-performance defense and hunting loads.  This same technology, by the way, has transformed former pipsqueaks like the .380 APC into decent defensive loads, and have brought the .38 Special and 9mm Parabellum into primary sidearm status.

Here’s the conclusion, though, and it’s well taken:

Whatever you choose for caliber, I recommend researching credible sources for ammunition terminal performance. Then train hard and train often, because in the end shot placement, recoil mitigation, capacity and ability (a marriage between equipment and person) is the ultimate threat stopper, not caliber.

Yes.  Especially the “practice” part.  The most effective defensive weapon is the one with which you can put round on target under adverse conditions.

Even so, I have been and will remain a big fan of .45 caliber sidearms, both in .45ACP and .45 Colt varieties.

Rule Five Book Review Friday

Recently I had a read through J.N. Welch’s work An American Divorce: A Profound Protest Against The Politics Of Guilt And Fascism.  Thumbnail:  I wasn’t terribly impressed.  I was expecting some kind of discussion as to an actual, peaceful (more or less) dissolution of the United States, but what I got was… something else.  I nevertheless recommend anyone interested read this for yourself, rather than taking my word for it.  Selected excerpts, with my comments, follow.

One of my primary concerns with this work is that Mr. Welch seems to borrow a lot from the Left to try to hold the Republic together – and not just the moderate Left, assuming there still is such a thing, but from no less than Liawatha Warren; from a discussion of student debt on pages 122-123:

I have also been thinking about Elizabeth Warren’s “wealth tax.”  Her 2020 campaign plan was to fund Medicare-for-all by levying a tax on accumulated wealth beyond fifty million dollars.  The tax would have to be paid every year – it would not have been a one-time deal.  Warren’s proposal would have resulted in an incredible wealth transfer of over 300 billion dollars every year forward.

No, it wouldn’t have.  Setting aside for a moment that Warren’s proposal is blatantly, laughably unconstitutional – the tax would have had little effect other than to drive capital offshore.  Anyone with fifty million in accumulated wealth has more than ample resources to move that wealth into havens where the tax won’t apply.  This is a stupid idea no matter how you slice it – and unconstitutional, to boot.  Welch continues:

We’ll get back to health care in a moment, but what about the idea of taxing billionaires a one-time, after-tax hit that wipes out the student debt bubble?  I acknowledge this type of talk sounds like it is coming from a Bernie Sanders campaign rally.  But the students didn’t create the college debt problem – the adults did.  The government should never have involved themselves in student loans in the first place.  The result of politicians moving into the loan business was a big economic bubble and a diluted piece of paper.

Agree with the last two sentences.  But that’s all.  The one-time tax is still in violation of the taxing requirements in the Constitution, would still serve only to drive capital off-shore, and is a stupid, stupid idea.  And no, I don’t agree that the “students didn’t create the college debt problem.”  These “students” are adults, they signed contracts, and they should be held to those contracts that they signed of their own free will – or else our entire body of contract law means precisely jack shit.

Welch goes on to propose the theory of ‘retrenchment,’ following President Trump’s exit from the White House:

A retrenchment would mean traditional voters would formally walk away from the establishment GOP.  And they would return after they repurposed themselves into a unified movement that has the majority power, and conviction, to take the fight directly to their cancel culture foes.

We would allow the Democrats to temporarily run the national government while we worked underground to build a new and lasting movement.  This type of declaration would represent and astounding moment in American politics.  It would be the first time in the US, the people, and not the elites, completely overhauled a political party from the ground up.

Under such a retrenchment plan, building a new GOP would be prioritized over stopping progressive overreach in D.C.

There’s so much wrong with this it’s hard to know where to begin, but I’ll settle for this:  The idea of just passively allowing the current crop of Democrats to “temporarily run the national government” is just plain stupid.  We’ve already seen the lengths they are willing to go to to grab and keep power; only their razor-thin Congressional margins have kept them from outlandish acts like Puerto Rico and D.C. statehood, Imperial takeover of elections and stacking the Supreme Court.  If the GOP walked away and passively let them take over, they would arrange it so they never lost power again – and if you doubt this, take a look at California.

I read An American Divorce because I was expecting an in-depth discussion of how this might be achieved and what form it would take.  Instead I found a discussion of borrowing Leftist ideas to appease voters and surrendering control of the Imperial City to a ruthless cabal who would never surrender that control.

But by all means, read this work for yourself, and come to your own conclusions.  My opinions are, after all, worth every penny you pay for them!


Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

OK, there’s a funny and accurate bit in this bit of commentary:

Kamala Harris isn’t disliked because she’s a non-white woman; Kamala Harris was chosen as vice president because she’s a non-white woman, and she’s disliked because she has nothing to recommend her beyond those facts. In the highest of high dudgeon, her defenders will propose that this is Joe Biden’s fault, for not “using” Harris correctly in her role. But this too is unjust. In truth, there is no good way to “use” Kamala Harris, because Kamala Harris is a talentless mediocrity whose only political flair is for making things worse than they were before she arrived(Emphasis added by me.)

Boy howdy, ain’t that the truth.

But what do you expect from a VP selected by a lifelong mediocrity, serial plagiarizer, liar and now dementia-ridden C-lister?  And she was selected, honestly, because she has brown skin and a vagina, and no relevant qualifications?  We have achieved kakistocracy, True Believers, and the two Janus-like faces it wears are those of President “Groper” Joe Biden and Kamala “Heels-Up” Harris.

And so…

On To the Links!

This guy gets it.

People are buying guns, primary reason cited is self-defense.  No shit.

Let them eat cake.

This time for sure!

Lungfish cocoons are alive.  Well, sure, but are they any good to eat?

We can hope.  After all, the GOP is driving us off the fiscal cliff a little slower than the Dems.

No shit, Sherlock.

For once, justice was served – not guilty on all counts!

Can Democrats Avoid Electoral Disaster in 2022?  Probably not – they’re stuck on stupid.

Fake President, fake White House.

Why the hell was this guy on the street?

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Plant-based meat is better for the planet?  Fuck that.

It’s not just us – the Global Debt Trap.

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC’s Dean Obeidallah (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

If what these idiots are proposing is the New American Dream, then we’re well and truly fucked.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The New Yorker’s Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is an idiot.

San Francisco is still run by idiots.

MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross is an idiot.

Derrick Johnson, the head of the NAACP, is an idiot.

Alexandria “Crazy Eyes” Occasional Cortex (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The LA Times’ Raj Patel is an idiot.

Salon’s Lucian Truscott is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s David Bright is an idiot.

Newsweek’s Isaac Bailey is an idiot.

Salon’s Chancey DeVega (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The Guardian’s Michael Harriot is an idiot.

This idiot thinks taking your dog to the vet should be free.  Sorry, honey, but TANSTAAFL applies.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

There are some artists out there whose politics I can’t abide, but still I listen to their work now and then, because brains and talent don’t necessarily go hand in hand.  A good example would be the trio of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash.

Leftists the three of them, but (at least recently) they haven’t been as obnoxiously vocal as some, seemingly content to “shut up and sing.”  I like a lot of their work, but my favorite is their 1982 tune Southern Cross.  Here is that tune; enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Blue Confederacy News

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson brings us some thoughts on how history may not repeat, but it often rhymes.  Excerpt:

Why are progressive regions of the country—especially in the old major liberal cities (e.g., Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle)—institutionalizing de facto racial quotas through “proportional representation” based on “disparate impact”? Why are they promoting ethnic and racial chauvinism, such as allowing college students to select the race of their own roommates, calibrating graduation ceremonies by skin color and tribe, segregating campus “safe spaces” by race, and banning literature that does not meet commissariat diktats?

Why are they turning into one-party political fiefdoms separating the rich and poor, increasingly resembling feudal societies as members of the middle class flee or disappear? What does it mean that they are becoming more and more intolerant in their cancel culture, and quasi-religious intolerance of dissent, on issues from climate change and abortion-on-demand to critical race theory and wokeness?

Isn’t it strange that there are entire states and regions wholly reliant on the money and power of “one-crop” Big Tech monopolies? And why, in the 21st century no less, are Democratic-controlled counties, cities, and entire states nullifying federal law?

In archetypical “states’ rights” fashion, blue-state “sanctuary cities” are as defiant of the federal government as the Old South was when it claimed immunity from federal jurisdiction—all the way from the nullification crisis of 1830-1833 to George Wallace in 1963 blocking the door at the University of Alabama.

As always, read the whole thing.  It’s worth the time.  Dr. Hanson always is.

What’s interesting in this whole self-sorting that’s going on is the celerity with which people are moving over the last few years, and the fact that the divide isn’t really by state; even most of the blue states are red outside of the major cities.  So called “blue” states are only blue because of metro areas; as witness our former home of Colorado, a mostly red state overwhelmed by the Denver-Boulder Axis, or Illinois. rendered blue largely by Cook County.

The Civil War – not really a civil war, but a war of secession – is more correctly called the War Between the States.  But the current issue isn’t that; it’s a (so far, cold) war between major metropolitan areas and, well, everywhere else.  If this does come to open conflict, it’s not at all clear how we can thread that needle.

Dr. Hanson concludes:

We think the Old South lost the Civil War—but did it in the end?

That is, did the Union win the short-term battle to abolish slavery and save the Union, but lose the long-term war of ideas and values by adopting the very ethos of the long-defeated—even as vanquished Southerners reformed and gradually embraced the visions of the victors that the Northerners themselves would eventually reject?

In any case, in the 21st century, Tennessee and Florida are far less racially obsessed, freer, and more affordable, more transparent, more tolerant, and more law-abiding states than are the racially-fixated, stratified, manorial, and dogmatic surveillance states of California, Illinois, and New York.

That’s correct, but it won’t sell in San Francisco or New York.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Whores and Ale, and Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links, and to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the link!  As always, if I’ve missed your link somehow, let me know in the comments and I’ll add you to the weekly FMJRA (hat-tip to Robert Stacy McCain for this term.)

Now then:  I found this interesting piece by Emmett Tyrrell on the infantilization of the West, and it’s worth the read.  Excerpt:

Are you familiar with the work of professor Simon Gottschalk? I have only become familiar with his work recently, but I commend it to you. He is a professor of sociology with the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. He apparently watches a lot of television in the course of his work, and he even takes notes. He has come up with a brilliant, if alarming, insight. According to the professor, television assists in spreading the “infantilization of the West.” For instance, if you have seen a grown man wearing shorts as winter approaches, pay attention. Probably, he is carrying a bottle of water and has his baseball cap on backwards. Perhaps, he is wearing a T-shirt with an infantile declaration across the chest. If this spectacle alarms you, you probably are in Gottschalk’s camp. You certainly are in my camp.

I live in Washington D.C., and I see spectacles such as the above all the time. Since the Biden Administration settled in, I have even seen an influx of this sort of dress around the White House. In fact, I would not be surprised to see a fellow dressed like this on the very steps of the Old Executive Office Building. He probably checks his water bottle at the front door and submits his attache case for the Secret Service’s inspection. Protocols have declined in the dress code, but I assume everyone still observes security regulations. By the way, I would not be surprised to see women in the Biden White House attired in this way, too, particularly wearing their baseball caps backwards as they skip into the Oval Office. Doubtless, Gottschalk would be alarmed even if he is a Bidenite.

I hadn’t really thought about the infantilization angle but I do remember back to school nights when the kids were younger, some years ago now (our youngest is 24.) It never failed that some guy in is forties would show up in baggy shorts, white sneakers five sizes too big, an a massively oversized t-shirt.  These were the same assholes who wore sunglasses indoors and inevitably asked about five stupid questions that the person speaking had already answered, if only the idiot had been paying attention instead of looking at his phone.

Granted I dressed casually when I couldn’t avoid those things; jeans and a decent button-down shirt.  I’m a big fan of business casual when circumstances require me to go into a work site.  Around the place, I wear Duluth Trading jeans or Key hickory bib overalls for choring.

Oh, yeah, and the backwards cap.  The bill is there for a reason, stupid.

Tyrrell goes much further than clothing, particularly in advertising, citing as an example the use of cartoons to sell products to adults.

Maybe there is something to the idea of this being a symptom (probably not a cause) of infantilization.  But the cause, I think, is obvious:  We have raised several generations of the most coddled, pampered, soft-shelled, weak individuals that have ever existed in the history of mankind.  And we’re seeing the fruits of that now, as we’re well into the “weak people make hard times” phase of the historical cycle.

Rule Five Linguistics Friday

I’ve always found languages interesting, although I have very little talent or ability to easily pick up new ones.  I can struggle along in German if people speak slowly, and I know a few key phrases in Japanese, Spanish and French.  But a recent study has found a possible origin for what are known as the “Transeuropean languages.”  Excerpt:

In contrast to previously proposed homelands, which range from the Altai6,7,8 to the Yellow River22 to the Greater Khingan Mountains23 to the Amur basin24, we find support for a Transeurasian origin in the West Liao River region in the Early Neolithic. After a primary break-up of the family in the Neolithic, further dispersals took place in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. The ancestor of the Mongolic languages expanded northwards to the Mongolian Plateau, Proto-Turkic moved westwards over the eastern steppe and the other branches moved eastwards: Proto-Tungusic to the Amur–Ussuri–Khanka region, Proto-Koreanic to the Korean Peninsula and Proto-Japonic over Korea to the Japanese islands (Fig. 1b).

Through a qualitative analysis in which we examined agropastoral words that were revealed in the reconstructed vocabulary of the proto-languages (Supplementary Data 5), we further identified items that are culturally diagnostic for ancestral speech communities in a particular region at a particular time. Common ancestral languages that separated in the Neolithic, such as Proto-Transeurasian, Proto-Altaic, Proto-Mongolo-Tungusic and Proto-Japano-Koreanic, reflect a small core of inherited words that relate to cultivation (‘field’, ‘sow’, ‘plant’, ‘grow’, ‘cultivate’, ‘spade’); millets but not rice or other crops (‘millet seed’, ‘millet gruel’, ‘barnyard millet’); food production and preservation (‘ferment’, ‘grind’, ‘crush to pulp’, ‘brew’); wild foods suggestive of sedentism (‘walnut’, ‘acorn’, ‘chestnut’); textile production (‘sew’, ‘weave cloth’, ‘weave with a loom’, ‘spin’, ‘cut cloth’, ‘ramie’, ‘hemp’); and pigs and dogs as the only domesticated animals.

By contrast, individual subfamilies that separated in the Bronze Age, such as Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, Koreanic and Japonic, inserted new subsistence terms that relate to the cultivation of rice, wheat and barley; dairying; domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep and horses; farming or kitchen tools; and textiles such as silk (Supplementary Data 5). These words are borrowings that result from linguistic interaction between Bronze Age populations speaking various Transeurasian and non-Transeurasian languages.

I know, that’s a little dry.  This is an actual no-shit scientific paper, published in Nature, which still manages to be a reputable journal.

What I find interesting about this is the common origin for a bunch of different languages, from Turkic to Japanese.  Let’s take just two of them in particular:  Korean and Japanese.  These two languages are spoken by two relatively similar peoples who have some bad history, not just in World War II but well before that – and yet now we have not only genetic but also linguistic data linking them through a common ancestry.

Interesting stuff.

English, of course, along with Gaelic, the Scandinavian and Latin languages and a few others are Indo-European languages.  There has been some interesting work done re-creating what the original proto-Indo-European may have sounded like, and also where and when it was spoken.

I wonder if one could go back farther than that?  It’s probably impossible, but wouldn’t it be interesting to hear how the first modern human inhabitants of Ice Age Europe spoke?  Or the ancestral American Indians as they straggled across Beringia?  What did the Neandertal sound like?  Could Homo erectus speak, and if so, what was their language like?

Probably questions we can’t answer and, barring a working time machine, never will.  But it’s fun to ponder all the same.

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