All posts by Animal

Animal’s Daily Air Traffic Control News

John Stossel has some interesting information on the state of air traffic control in the United States, especially as compared to other nations.  Make sure you read the whole thing, but here are my thoughts:

Asked if America’s air traffic control system is out of date, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg paused a long time before answering, “The system is continuously being upgraded.”

It’s important to note here that “Pothole Pete” Buttigieg is probably the perfect example of a Biden(‘s handlers) Administration official:  Incompetent, not very bright, manifestly a diversity hire.

“This is your government at work,” says Diana Furchtgott-Roth in my latest video. Furchtgott-Roth worked for the Transportation Department during the Trump administration.

I yell at her. “Air traffic control was in your department. You could have fixed it. You should have fixed it!”

She smiles and explains that although she had control of $1 billion, she wasn’t allowed to move those funds to where they were needed.

Government managers must fund projects pushed by politicians, like “Justice40,” meant to fix “underinvestment in disadvantaged communities.”

Of course.  Why try to make anything more modern, more efficient when there are fortunes to be made through graft?

“Sounds like they mean well,” I say.

“It sounds a lot better to talk about social justice,” answers Furchtgott-Roth. “Nuts and bolts like computer hardware for air traffic control gets left behind.”

Computer hardware isn’t left behind in Canada. They got rid of “flight control with paper strips” years ago. That’s because Canada turned air traffic control over to a private company. They switched to an electronic system.

It’s not just Canada that did it. Dozens of countries have privatized or partially privatized.

Computer screens have replaced not-always-clear windows in many air traffic control centers. Controllers don’t use binoculars anymore because high-definition cameras let them see much more, especially at night.

A Government Accountability Office study found that in countries that privatized, there are fewer delays and costs are lower.

So why doesn’t America privatize?

Money.  As Stossel points out:

Because our politicians get money from labor unions, who “advocate for keeping the same people in the same jobs,” says Furchtgott-Roth.

That’s the main thing right there.  And it’s another great argument for doing away with public-sector unions.  This, True Believers, is yet another (they are legion) example of why public-sector unions are a fundamental conflict of interest and should be proscribed by law:  They negotiate their contracts with the same politicians whose campaigns they bankroll, and then meet with those politicians (again, whose campaigns they bankroll) to influence policy.

It’s about graft; it’s always about graft.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

This should come as no surprise.  Excerpt:

As Democrat-run cities across America continue to descend into criminal chaos, the nation’s largest city is hemorrhaging police officers.

In an exclusive story last week, The New York Post published data that shows New York City (NYC) police officers are resigning from their duties at a shocking rate. Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch called it a “staffing emergency” that is “approaching the point of no return.”

The statistics show a 117% increase in retiring officers since 2021.

New York is returning to the 1970s-style shitholery.  Chicago is now a free-fire zone.  Los Angeles and San Francisco are not only allowing, but encouraging bums to shoot up, sleep and poop on the public walkways.  It’s no wonder the constabulary are heading for greener pastures.  And I think we all know how this is likely to end.

And so…

On To the Links!

Wrongthink is now illegal in Britain.

Trump on playing the Dem’s game.  It’s not the worst idea he’s ever had.

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson on the consequences of eliminating consequences.  Also, March Madness.  Read ’em both!

Why are Chinese billionaires disappearing?

They should give this guy a flying lesson.  If he learns to fly before he hits the ground, great.

Yeah, he’s running.

President Biden(‘s handlers) declare war on business.  Nothing new there, really.

Ook ook!




Seriously, as long as there are local streams full of salmon and trout,  moose in the woods and grouse in the spruce stands, I’m not eating any lab-grown meat.

Eww.  Eww.

Hennepin County, MN actually steals from grandmothers.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Unconstitutional taxes are unconstitutional.

The correct answer is “who gives a shit?”

This Week’s Idiots:

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Vox’s Andrew Prokop is an idiot.

The Nation’s John Nichols (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The Nation’s Chris Lehmann is an idiot.  Sensing yet another pattern.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.  And this week Krugman doubles down on stupid.

The Guardian’s Margaret Sullivan is an idiot.

What an ungrateful prick.  Seriously, fuck that guy.

The New York Times’ Zeynep Tufekci is an idiot.  Seriously, just give it up with the masks already.  I’ll bet this asshole wears a mask while driving alone in his own car.

MSNBC’s Sarah Posner is an idiot.

The Hill’s Bob Lord is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Stairway to Heaven is a great rock & roll tune.  It’s not the best Led Zeppelin tune; personally I think Kashmir and The Immigrant Song are better.  But Stairway to Heaven is nevertheless a great tune, an immortal piece of rock & roll, and it will certainly outlive all of the original members of Led Zeppelin.

But one of the things that makes Stairway so much fun is the number of bands that have covered it, and the great variety in those covers.  My favorite – which will probably surprise none of you who have been reading these virtual pages – was Frank Zappa’s treatment from the 1991 live album The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life.  Here, then, is that cover; enjoy!

Animal’s Daily 2024 News

Before we get started, check out the latest in my series Breaking Out over at Glibertarians.  Also, if you aren’t checking out the Glibs’ morning and afternoon links posts – you should be!

Now then:  This just in (well, Sunday, actually) from RedState’s Bonchie:  The Democrat 2024 civil war is heating up.  Excerpt:

The Democratic Party has found itself in a precarious position as its long-running internal civil war continues to spill out into the open.

For all the talk of GOP troubles regarding its presidential primary, Democrats find themselves stuck between a senile old man who may not be able to physically run, and the heir apparent, who just so happens to be one of the most unlikable, untalented politicians in history. That’s left party power brokers with basically one option: Continue to play “Weekend at Bernie’s” with Joe Biden no matter what the cost.

They can’t let Harris be the nominee, and they know it. That’s led to a lot of consternation being shared in the press about the vice president’s trouble. Now, some are trying to clean up that mess, and it’s not going well at all.

According to CNN, Harris is not even returning Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s calls at this point.

This all is pretty funny, and would be funnier if it wasn’t so sad.  The great bit is this, though, in an excerpt from the CNN story linked in the excerpt:

But the Warren moment is infuriating many in Harris’s circle: To them, it’s the latest in a long string of snubs to a vice president whom they say has never gotten the respect or support she deserves.

Here’s what CNN gets wrong:  Kamala Harris is (or should be) getting precisely the respect she deserves, which is, none.  She is a poster child for failing upwards.  She rose to political prominence in California on Willy Brown’s penis, furthered her fame by shtupping Montel Williams, and was appointed Joe Biden’s running mate because she has brown skin and a vagina; no other qualifications were required.

And now the Dems are stuck with her.  I’d say she’s the ultimate diversity hire, but the field there is pretty crowded.  I will say this:  the 2024 election is going to be very, very interesting.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, The Daley Gator, Whores and Ale, Flappr and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  As always, if I’ve missed your linkage, let me know in the comments and I’ll add you to the weekly call-out.

OK, it’s not the SMOD (Sweet Meteor of Death) but there is a chance that the swimming-pool sized asteroid 2023DW will hit Earth – in 2046.  Excerpt:

An asteroid about the size of an Olympic swimming pool currently has a 1-in-625 chance of impacting Earth on February 14, 2046, according to a risk list managed by the European Space Agency’s Near Earth Objects Coordination Centre, which monitors space rocks that might be potentially hazardous to Earth.

Though this is a relatively high risk of an impact, it is far more likely that this asteroid, known as 2023DW, will miss our planet on Valentine’s Day that year. The asteroid was discovered just a little over a week ago, on February 27, and scientists are still working out key details about its size, shape, and orbital characteristics that will determine if the rock is a real threat.

“We’ve been tracking a new asteroid named 2023 DW that has a very small chance of impacting Earth in 2046,” said NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which detects and monitors asteroids and other space objects, in a tweet on Tuesday. 


I find this kind of thing mildly interesting, but can’t really muster up too much angst over the possibility.  For one thing, I’ll be 85.  For another thing, a space-rock this size could do a lot of damage, but the damage would be local.  In spite of what you see in schlock soft sci-fi films like Armageddon (essentially a two-hour Aerosmith music video) and Deep Impact, the odds are overwhelming that this rock, if it does hit Earth, will land in the ocean or in some uninhabited or lightly inhabited area.  The odds of it wiping, say, Portland off the map are, well, astronomically small.

Still.  There’s a big-ass sky out there with lots of stuff flying around, and we’re not really watching all that much of it.  It makes one wonder, minuscule odds notwithstanding, if there isn’t a SMOD out there with our name on it.

Rule Five Civil War Friday

I’ve talked about the possibility of a second civil war in the United States several times.  But what I haven’t gone into much (aside from taking a look at other people’s guesses) was this:  Who would win?

Here’s the tl;dr version:  In a civil war between Red and Blue, as we understand the terms in American politics today, the Reds would win.  Overwhelmingly, quickly, decisively.  Here’s why.


Look at who is having babies.  It’s not the left.  People in red states have more kids, and while that’s not a one hundred percent correlation to “people on the political right have more kids,” it’s a pretty good broad indicator.  Utah is (perhaps unsurprisingly) the state with the highest number of kids per household, with our own Alaska (a tad more surprising) coming in second.  Texas is fourth; New York, forty-second.

Why is this important?  Because a higher birthrate translates into more young men of military age.  If we are to have an armed conflict, this is the single most important demographic, as these are the people who will do the bulk of the fighting, whether in the regular military or in more-or-less organized militias.  While blue states have higher populations, the red states are more adept at sustaining those populations.  But aside from numbers, a state must have the right attitude for victory, and that’s largely cultural.


Look through the history of humanity, and you won’t see many wars fought over pronouns.  Young men – the demographic described above – are generally more motivated to fight for love of home, hearth, and country than for ‘social justice’ or other nebulous terms.  Denizens of the red states, people on the right of center, are more likely to hold attitudes that would serve well in conflict:  Self-reliance, thrift, courage, mental and physical fortitude.

The rank-and-file military would be key players.  The military leans right, except for some senior officers who are often as much politician as soldier; it’s likely, though, that most ordinary soldiers, especially combat arms soldiers, would side with the right, in many cases even taking their weapons and supplies with them.

Add to that the fact that the left, especially the radical progressive left, tends to badly overestimate the popularity of their policy positions.  The vast majority of the population does not want drag queens wiggling their crotches in front of children, or allowing twelve-year-olds to make decisions to undergo life-changing “gender-affirmation” surgeries and treatments.  The very lunacy of the progressive left will tip a lot of fence-sitters, people who would otherwise support liberal positions like same-sex marriage, into supporting the right if things come to open conflict.  And, finally, two words:  Second Amendment.  The rural/suburban right are far, far more likely to own/use/maintain proficiency with firearms.  Who has the guns can make a huge difference, and in America today, the right has almost all the guns.

Honestly, look at the progressive left’s track record.  Every time they have attempted to run a society, even on a small scale, the result has been abject failure.  Example:  Seattle’s “CHAZ” attempt, where leftist radicals seized control of several blocks of a major city.  Within days, they were out of food; within weeks, the zone had devolved to a dictatorship led by a warlord, backed by a gang of armed thugs.  This is not a formula for the kind of cohesive society that wins wars.


Examine these maps, based on the 2016 election.  The first is Trumpland; the second, the Clinton Archipelago.

The implications of these maps are enormous.

Look at this from a strategic sense.  By and large, the left is concentrated in a few small geographic areas.  For the most part, these areas are heavily urban, and dependent on the outskirts – red country – for electricity, gasoline, food and clothing, indeed most of the requirements of a modern lifestyle.  It would not be terribly difficult for a military force or even a well-organized militia to shut down imports into even a large city.  The blockage wouldn’t have to be leak-proof, but even preventing fifty percent of a major city’s food and energy imports would have that city melting down within a matter of days.

Indeed, in any hypothetical second civil war in the United States, that’s the main advantage the right would have; penned into their cities, deprived of internet, electricity, and food, the big blue cities would very rapidly destroy themselves; all the right would have to do is wait.

Now, I’m not advocating the idea of a civil war.  The likely result of this, regardless of which side wins, would be deaths in the hundreds of thousands at a minimum, more likely in the millions.  It would mean trillions in economic losses because of the infrastructure loss and the collapse of the big cities, which in all honesty remain great centers of economic activity and innovation.  It would engender hatreds and ill will that will last for generations, and may very well damage the Republic beyond repair.  America as we know it would almost certainly be no more.  This is something nobody should want and an outcome that we should take great pains to avoid.

But if it comes down to it – these are the reasons that the right would win, and quickly.  Agitators on the left, some of whom (I’m looking at you, Anderson Cooper) have been calling for “economic civil war” should take this into account.

Animal’s Daily Walmart News

Walmart is closing a bunch of stores in the Portland, OR area.  They aren’t alone.  Excerpt:

Walmart announced it is permanently closing all of its locations in Portland, Oregon, over financial reasons.

“We have nearly 5,000 stores across the U.S. and unfortunately some do not meet our financial expectations,” Walmart said in its announcement, according to KPTV. “While our underlying business is strong, these specific stores haven’t performed as well as we hoped.”

Both Walmart locations at Hayden Meadows and East Port Plaza will officially close on March 24. 

Financial reasons.  Uh huh.

Here’s the onion:

The announcements come just a few months after the Walmart CEO warned stores could close and prices could increase in light of sky-high retail crimes affecting stores across the country.

“Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in December on CNBC. He added that “prices will be higher and/or stores will close” if authorities don’t crack down on prosecuting shoplifting crimes. 

Walmart’s announcement comes after other stores in Portland have closed, many of which cited crime specifically

In other words, theft is a major issue, and for some reason – maybe a desire to get back into the market if the people of Portland ever regain some semblance of sanity and vote out the idiots that run that city now – they are downplaying the extent to which theft is a part of the decision.

Oh, remember when I said “they aren’t alone”?

A clothing shop called Rains PDX permanently shut down in November after facing a string of break-ins that left the store financially gutted. The store owner even posted a blistering note on the shop’s doors slamming the city’s crime rate.

“Our city is in peril,” a printed note posted on Rains PDX store read. “Small businesses (and large) cannot sustain doing business, in our city’s current state. We have no protection, or recourse, against the criminal behavior that goes unpunished. Do not be fooled into thinking that insurance companies cover losses. We have sustained 15 break-ins … we have not received any financial reimbursement since the 3rd.”

In other words, Walmart can survive without these Portland stores, but the small businesses cannot.

Look at that quote above.  It’s hard for me to contain my utter contempt and disgust with the people who proclaim, “oh, they’re insured.”  That’s a horrible, heartless and disgusting thing to say to someone who is watching their life’s work come apart on them while being recompensed pennies on the dollar.

As economist Herb Stein famously said, “something that can’t continue, won’t.”  Most of our big cities, not just Portland, are on a trajectory that can’t continue.  But they keep voting in the people that put them on that trajectory.

What happens now?

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Yesterday was the day for my quinquennial exhaust port inspection, which I attend to pretty scrupulously on that five-year schedule.  Why?  Because I have a pretty troubling family history of cancer.  Both my father and brother were treated for colon cancer, both my maternal uncles had cancer, and one of my sisters died of breast cancer that developed into everything cancer.  It’s a hell of a thing, but if I was to offer any of you True Believers some advice – and I suspect a fair number of you, like me, are males (in the traditional sense) in middle age or older, then see to getting screened at your doctor’s advice.

Just as attending to your required maintenance can help you get a half-million miles out of your car or truck, attending to your body’s required maintenance can increase the mileage you see before finally shuffling off this mortal coil.

But boy howdy, is the prep unpleasant.  Worth the trouble – but unpleasant.  Today is recovery day, and I’m taking it easy.  Other than cranking out the usual content for all you True Believers, of course.

Now then…

On To the Links!

Yeah, he’s running, Exhibit 204.

John Stossel points out yet another stupid law.

Good.  Now, if we could just get rid of ranked-choice voting here in Alaska.

Chicago’s probably beyond saving.

And let’s be honest – Chicago really doesn’t have any good choices for mayor.

Yeah, and Congressional Democrats are still trying to shit all over the First (and Second, and Fourth, and Tenth) Amendment.

Hopefully he learns something from it.

I love a happy ending.

When everything is racist, nothing is racist.

Never.  Apologize.

Yes, these people are utter fools.

This won’t end well.  Real-estate prices are unreasonable, but there are ways around it if you’re a bit flexible.  Two of our four kids live in a small town in eastern Iowa for this reason – they can afford to buy houses there.  Our other two live in a suburb of Denver and can barely afford an apartment.  Not everyone can pick up and just move, though.

The influence of Alaskan otters.

There’s always, eventually, some push-back.

The true lessons of mask mandates.

Taxation is theft!

Food fight!

This is going to be fun to watch.  Also:  More on that.

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

CNN’s Jill Filipovic is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Chris Geidner is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s David Graham is an idiot.

Most of the west coast is obviously run by idiots.

A nut announces for President.

The Nation’s John Nichols (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Kookoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Americans kidnapped by Mexican drug cartel were in Mexico seeking a “tummy tuck” surgery.  I don’t like to sound heartless, but this is surely a case for Dr. Darwin.

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

This Week’s Cultural Edification:
An actual Scottish Capercallie.

In 1984, two Scots named Donald Shaw and Karen Matheson met in Argyle and founded Capercallie, a band named after the great Scottish grouse and dedicated to traditional Gaelic tunes as well as some more modern stuff.

Most of their stuff is in the latter (sort of) genre, and one tune of theirs in particular I like is from their 1995 album To the Moon.  That tune, in the traditional Gaelic, is Fear-Allabain (which translates, more or less, into “Scottish Man.”  Here it is – enjoy!

Animal’s Daily State Lines News

Before we start, check out the latest installment of my dystopian vision over at Glibertarians.

Now then:  I’ve been watching the “Greater Idaho” movement for a while now, and I have to say I find it would make an interesting precedent, if it happens.  Excerpt:

Backers of the resolution support the so-called Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to incorporate about 13 Oregon counties, or 63% of the state’s landmass and 9% of its population, within Idaho’s borders.

Proponents of the idea argue it’s about maintaining more traditional values, preserving a certain way of life, and being properly represented by the state’s lawmakers.

“Yes, I am supportive of the Greater Idaho idea,” Idaho Rep. Judy Boyle, R, told Fox News Digital. “I have lived along the Oregon border my entire life, so have many east Oregon friends. They have been quite frustrated with the liberal I-5 western Oregon corridor running their state and completely ignoring their values and needs. They have finally come down to asking the voters, county by county, if they want to join Idaho. Currently, 11 counties have said YES [sic]!”

Bear in mind that, for this to succeed, both state legislatures (Oregon and Idaho) as well as the U.S. Congress would have to approve, which seems unlikely, although not impossible.

Interestingly but not surprisingly, the opposition to this all comes from the Left in Oregon and in Congress.  Apparently self-determination is a thing only if it favors the Democrats.  But if the Greater Idaho movement was successful, it would almost certainly spark a wave of such movements; in our former stomping grounds of Colorado, for example, several north-eastern counties have been making noise about joining Wyoming or forming a new state, to get themselves out from under the thumb of the Denver-Boulder Axis.

Self-determination is a good thing.  Sure, there’s a constitutional process to be followed, which makes it difficult, but not impossible.  This Greater Idaho issue may well be the primer that sets a larger trend in motion.  We’ll see.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

A buddy of mine drew my attention to this piece on Gunbroker the other day:

I’m not sure what the deal is here.  I suppose there is probably such a thing as DeWalt fanboys who would just love a DeWalt-themed Glock; another buddy who was in on this conversation noted that he had recently seen an AR-15 that was set up to look like a Milwaukee Sawzall, and I’ve seen Kitty-Chan (known as Hello Kitty in the States) ARs.

I guess I just don’t get it.

I know, every cat its own rat.  I’ve often said that and I stand by it.  If you want a Gatorade-themed Glock or a Star Trek AR, more power to you.  I don’t get it, but you know, knock yourself out.  I don’t have to get it.

This is, of course, largely made possible by the polymer-heavy construction of a lot of modern guns.  It’s a little harder to carry out this kind of customization of a piece made of steel and walnut.  And it’s also true that this construction has resulted in a lot of guns that can withstand some pretty awful conditions and still work.  I recognize this; my own CCW piece is a Glock 36, which is ugly but sure shoots well for a 3″-barreled .45ACP, and it’s light, flat and easy to tote around.

Be that as it may – my Glocks are tools, just like a hammer or a pipe wrench.  My affection I reserve for fine walnut and blued steel.