All posts by Animal

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Now then: Reading the news and opinion pages can be distressing lately, but there are some bright spots.  One of them is my good friend and Townhall Media colleague Stephen Green (Vodkapundit)’s Florida Man Friday posts.  Here is last week’s edition.  A sample of the Florida Man shenanigans documented therein:

Florida Man had a dream. His dream was to construct a human-sized hamster wheel out of buoys and giant red balls and paddles and stuff and then run all the way from Florida to London.

I dunno, maybe he likes the food there.

Nothing would stop Florida Man’s pursuit of his dream. Not the 4,400-mile trip. Not the treacherous waters. Not being entirely sure where London is.

Florida Man claims to have been raising money for charity, but none of the stories I read made mention of any actual charities or donors. Anyhoo, the Coast Guard caught up with him about 70 miles offshore from Tybee Island, Ga. Apparently, there was some kind of issue with the “manifestly unsafe” watercraft he was paddling. There was also a problem with Florida Man’s paperwork for the vessel, in that he didn’t have any.

Florida Man has certainly become an internet meme, and not without some justification.  But Florida or elsewhere, the common thread is “crazy rednecks,” and this is a topic I know something about, having grown up amongst crazy rednecks.  I have, though, and will continue to maintain that you haven’t seen crazy rednecks until you’ve seen crazy Alaska rednecks.

Crazy rednecks and Darwin Awards, by the way, go together like biscuits and gravy.  That’s OK.  The gene pool needs to be cleaned every now and then.

Rule Five Postal Service Friday

Article 1, Section 8, clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution contains only these words:

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

This gives Congress (Article 1) the power to establish a postal service, one of the few actual enumerated powers of the Imperial government.  But the question is this:  Does this clause actually require that the government set up and run the postal service?  Or can that clause’s requirement be fulfilled by a third party?

I found this interesting; at American Thinker, David D. Schein (who clearly doesn’t think much of the postal service) thinks we can do away with the Imperial post offices altogether.  He makes some good points.

The USPS has been an ocean of red ink. A 2021 Forbes article headline pretty much sums up the status quo: “Why The U.S. Post Office Is In Trouble – 678,539 Employees And A $9.2 Billion Loss In 2020.”

There is a saying that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Maybe it is time for real changes at the good old post office. Because Americans are sending dramatically less first-class mail, the USPS is taking in less money. In the private sector, that means time to cut staff, cut services, or increase the cost of the services that make up the volume of services the public is requesting. Increasing the cost of a first-class stamp is sort of like the saying about “rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic.”

Proof that the current USPS mess is still controlled by politics is the 2022 Postal Service Reform Act. This is a bipartisan bill that essentially doubled down on what the USPS is still doing wrong today.

For starters, it requires continuation of six-day delivery. Proponents cite appealing, but out-of-date phrases, like “serving rural communities.” But the Internet is available virtually everywhere in America. Given that most mail today is junk mail, regardless of location in America, it’s doubtful anyone is sitting waiting for their mail delivery these days.

Speaking as someone who lives in one of those rural communities, it’s true that we’re not as dependent on the postal service as we would have been in, say, 1775, when the first postal service was established.  While our local post office is something of a community center, as most folks hereabouts aren’t on a route and so have to go into the actual post office to get our mail, there are other outlets for posting bulletin boards, and while we often catch up on local gossip while waiting in line to pick up parcels, there are other outlets for that, too.

But here’s where Mr. Schein and I part ways:  On what needs done.  His plan (abridged for post length; please do go read all of it.)

  1. Bulk rate mail and packages must increase in cost to match the USPS overhead.
  2. Cut delivery to four days a week.
  3. Does the USPS really need to compete with FedEX and UPS? Many do not trust the USPS actually to deliver things overnight.
  4. Stop kowtowing to the postal unions.
  5. Privatizing the USPS is not a likely approach. However, the idea over 50 years ago was to get the politics out of the USPS operation. It’s time to really do that.

My thoughts, on each piece:

  1. This makes a certain amount of sense. There are now alternatives, after all, to the postal service for bulk mail and packages; let the market decide.
  2. Not too sure about this. FedEx and UPS provide six day a week service, and in some locations, seven; why can’t our post offices manage five and a half?
  3. Yes, they should absolutely compete with FedEx and UPS.  Furthermore, make that competition have some teeth; Congress can authorize FedEx and UPS to carry first-class mail, something they are not now allowed to do.
  4. All government unions, everywhere, should be proscribed by law. There is a deep and abiding conflict of interest here, where government unions negotiate their contracts with the very pols whose campaigns they help underwrite.
  5. This is not only a likely approach, but the most efficient one.

Honestly, the post office is a branch of government that, while it is actually described in the Constitution, has outlived its usefulness.  Authorize FedEx, UPS and other third-party companies to carry first-class mail, surround it with (minimal) requirements for said service, and Congress will have met its obligations under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7.  We will have more efficient delivery of mail and packages, and the Imperial government will be shed of an inefficient, bloated, money-losing leviathan.

Seems like a win-win to me.

Animal’s Daily Impeachment News

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – er, it’s beginning to look a lot like Speaker McCarthy is taking the idea of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden a little more seriously, which would be an early Christmas present for many Republicans.

The signals coming from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are that his Republican majority will soon launch a formal impeachment investigation. The final decision hasn’t been announced — and an investigation is still a far cry from a full House vote. But setting up an impeachment committee is an essential first step. Most of his caucus wants to take it.

Most, but not all. The reservations of some Republicans and the calculations behind them are why McCarthy has moved slowly. The speaker’s problem is more than rounding up votes. The other problem is the investigation carries real risks as well as benefits.

An investigation, of course, involves the use of some tools that the House GOP currently doesn’t have at their disposal:

The biggest benefit is a technical, legal one. It gives House investigators the power to compel testimony and documents from all Executive Branch agencies, even the most reluctant, as well as private parties. According to the Office of Legal Counsel, the Department of Justice’s in-house legal advisor, “The House of Representatives must expressly authorize a committee to conduct an impeachment investigation and to use compulsory process in that investigation” in order to compel testimony and document production. With that committee, they can go to court directly to demand compliance. 

As somebody once said, this is a big fuckin’ deal.

Assuming that the investigation reveals what we all think it will, and assuming that the House does go ahead with impeachment proceedings and succeeds, the entire thing will come to a screeching halt once it reaches Chuck Schumer’s sweaty hands over in the Senate.  Unless the impeachment uncovers something horribly egregious (likely) and the Democrats find some last, shrinking vestiges of their integrity and call off one of their members to be Goldwater to Biden’s Nixon and implore him to resign (unlikely), nothing more will happen.

It’s not about propriety any more. It’s not about honesty.  It’s not even about not tolerating overt corruption.  It’s all about The Side, True Believers, and until we somehow deal with that mind-set, everything else matters not a jot.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Last Monday was, of course, Labor Day, and while I tend to shy away from too much serious discussion on holidays, I did come across a good piece on some disturbing trends.  I thought it was worth highlighting here.

Unfortunately, the evidence is clear that working-aged men are not doing well at all. Across the board, they are suffering a generational decline in quality jobs and falling out of the labor force in staggering numbers. These problems have grim consequences, not just for men, but for women, children and our nation as a whole. 

Read the whole thing.  Give it some thought.  Now then…

On To the Links!

What could possibly go wrong?

Biden Family Business Boomed After Joe Attended Key Dinners

Probably not.

Here’s the thing; I don’t think Joe Biden knows he’s lying. I don’t think he’s mentally competent enough to understand the difference.

Of course they are.

Radioactive boars.  Yes, really.  See the full write up at the RedState link below.

I Had a Helicopter Mom. I Found Pornhub Anyway.

Of course they don’t want to solve the problem. There’s too much money to be made perpetuating it.

Navajo Leaders Challenge Chaco Canyon Drilling Ban.

Mark my words: Nothing will come of this.

Likely, yes. Inevitable, no.

MSNBC’s War on Truth.  That’s something of an understatement.

No.  All civilizations are not equal.

The Weekend at Bernie’s Presidency continues.

That’s gonna be one hell of a struggle.

I Left Out the Full Truth To Get Published at Nature

My RedState Stuff:

Note:  Thanks to a really good suggestion that I should have thought of myself, I’ll now start noting here which of these are VIP (pay-walled) stories.

If Biden Backs out of the 2024 Race, Who Can Take His Place?

Nick Begich Announces Another Run for Alaska’s Sole House Seat

The Myth of Nonviolent Crime

Radioactive Boars Threaten Europe

Alaska Board of Education Votes to Exclude Biological Males From Girls’ Sports

Is America Under the Thumb of a Shadow President?

Making Super Potatoes More A-Peeling

Homeless Squatters Trash Closed Motel in Casper, Wyoming

GOP Senator JD Vance to Introduce Bill Banning Federal Mask Mandates

Eric Swalwell to Appear at Juneau Fundraiser for Mary Peltola

VIP Stories (Pay-Walled):

Firearms Researcher Dr. John Lott: FBI Is Deliberately Misleading Americans on Defensive Gun Use

Sunday Gun Day VI – Five Rifles You Should Shoot Before You Die

What Is Labor Day All About?

A 98-Year-Old Nazi, Captured: Who Shall Answer For Evil?

This Week’s Idiots:

Salon’s Heather Parton (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

CNN’s Nicole Hemmer is an idiot.

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

CNBC’s Scott Cohn is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

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

The daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont (Repeat Offender Alert) is still an old fool, and an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Bob Dylan, America’s Songwriter, has crossed a lot of genres in his sixty-plus year career.  Folk, rock, gospel, even country (see his album Nashville Skyline) and more, the Maestro covers them all.

One of my favorite bits of his work almost takes the form of a hymnal, that being the 1967 song I Shall Be Released.  Here, then, is that tune; enjoy.

Animal’s Daily National Treasure News

Before we get into today’s post, check out the final chapter of Blood and Gold over at Glibertarians!

Now then: National Treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has brought us another essay on what the political Left has wrought on our nation.  Read the whole thing; Dr. Hanson always brings us the straight goods.

In the last 20 years, the Left has boasted that it has gained control of most of America institutions of power and influence—the corporate boardroom, media, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, the administrative state, academia, foundations, social media, entertainment, professional sports, and Hollywood.

With such support, between 2009-17, Barack Obama was empowered to transform the Democratic Party from its middle-class roots and class concerns into the party of the bicoastal rich and subsidized poor—obsessions with big money, race, a new intolerant green religion, and dividing the country into a binary of oppressors and oppressed.

The Obamas entered the presidency spouting the usual leftwing boilerplate (“spread the wealth,” “just downright mean country,” “get in their face,” “first time I’ve been proud of my country”) as upper-middle-class, former community activists, hurt that their genius and talents had not yet been sufficiently monetized.

After getting elected through temporarily pivoting to racial ecumenicalism and pseudo-calls for unity, they reverted to form and governed by dividing the country. And then the two left the White House as soon-to-be mansion living, mega-rich elites, cashing in on the fears they had inculcated over the prior eight years.

This is always the pattern.  Hold office for a few years, meet a few far-Left expectations, espouse the horrors of socialism, then retire to one (or several) waterfront mansions.  The Obamas have been particularly egregious, still hectoring us over ‘climate change’ while residing much of the year in Cape Cod and Hawaiian homes seemingly inches above the supposedly-rising waterline.

But it’s important to point out that it’s not just the Left that does this.

This, True Believers, is why as much of the power these people wield must be stripped from them, for the survival of the Republic may well depend on it.  Through their power and influence they grow monstrously rich without producing anything of value in return; while the Biden Crime Family’s shenanigans are in the forefront of public notice at the moment, they are as much symptom as cause.

Devolve government.  Return the Imperial City to its Constitutionally mandated structure.  Return most political functions to local structures.  Then, and only then, will the influence these people – Left and Right – and the power they wield over us be reduced.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

It’s Labor Day, and so I’ll make this brief. (I’m also making it brief because the family and friends we had visiting are flying back early this AM, and because Mrs. Animal departed yesterday for a visit with her parents, and it’s been a busy weekend.)

I will say only this:  Thanks for paying attention to the labor I’ve put into producing what I can only hope is entertaining material (as well as the usual displays of the Feminine Aesthetic) on this site.  Thanks also to those of you who have gone over and taken a look at my RedState stuff.  I wish all of you True Believers a restful and happy Labor Day, and we will resume normal posts tomorrow!

Rule Five Scottish Rebellion Friday

My own background is strongly Scots-Irish and German.  I can tell you from history, the history of Scotland and the history of my own family, that if there’s one thing the Scots are good at, it’s rebelling.  Of late Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom, seems to be something of the poor stepchild in that relationship.  But now we are heartened to see the Scots rebelling again – this time over the ir own country’s mandates over heat pumps.

A group of Scottish politicians is warning that the government’s plan to force households to install heat pumps by 2033 is not feasible in rural areas, The Telegraph reports

Four members of parliament from different parties, all representing rural areas of Scotland, have signed a letter calling for an “urgent review” of the SNP-Green government’s proposal to require households to install electric-powered heat pumps.

Scottish buildings minister Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, introduced a reforms package to “decarbonise” Scotland’s homes and bring them in line with “new energy efficiency standards no later than 2033.” His proposed reforms of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating system may even make it impossible to sell a home that does not have a heat pump system installed. 

Already in 2021, Scotland’s energy minister admitted that installing a heat pump in a home would cost about £10,000 and be more expensive to run than a fossil fuel boiler, which costs approximately £2,500 to install. But in rural areas, the costs of installing a heat pump are estimated to soar to as much as £32,000.

It’s nothing new, of course, for pols with agendas and who hail from heavily urbanized areas to ignore the wants and needs of rural folks.  As evidence look here in the U.S. at the Imperial City’s push for electric cars, which may be practical for a big-city commuter but sure as hell not for those of us who live in rural environments, especially with sub-zero winter temperatures.

Some Scots MPs are pushing back.

All this has led a small group of rural Scottish lawmakers to come together against the planned reforms.

The letter to the Scottish government, seen by The Telegraph, demands a thorough rethinking of the proposal. It was crafted by Fergus Ewing, a former SNP government cabinet secretary, and signed by Labour and Tory MSPs. Ewing told The Telegraph, 

By seeking to reform EPCs and forcing rural homeowners to rely on electrified heating alone from 2025, the Scottish Government is taking an approach to decarbonisation that will pose a serious risk to those living in remote areas.

Not only does it threaten to burden off-grid property owners with overwhelming costs, but it also leaves them vulnerable to extreme-weather-induced power outages and disregards the realities of inefficient rural and islands’ electricity grids and infrastructure.

Douglas Lumsden, the Scottish Tory shadow energy minister, another signatory of the letter, called the proposals “deeply unfair on Scotland’s rural communities”:

If we are to reach net zero, we need to do so in a way that is fair, affordable, and which offers choice to Scottish homeowners. Given the timescales involved, ministers must urgently review these proposals.

It’s doubtful that rural Scottish dwellers will start painting their faces with woad, sharpening their claymores, blowing the dust out of their bagpipes and forming up for battle.  But expect to see more of this.  We face many similar issues here in the States, where those of us who live in rural areas are either ignored or are having our chosen lifestyles downright threatened by big-city pols.  Our own representatives are badly outnumbered and even the ones who speak for us honestly are drowned out in the urban noise.

We can continue, of course, to push back through the usual channels, as these Scottish pols are doing.  But more and more, I think you’ll see a lot of folks out here in the hinterlands just ignore the finger-wagging.  One can already see a fair amount of this here in the Great Land, where (outside of Anchorage and Juneau, at any rate) the populace in general are some of the most “buzz off and leave us alone” types you’re liable to find anywhere.

And so one side continues to try to interfere, while the other tries to ignore them.  Sooner or later something is going to break.

Animal’s Daily Backup Plan News

In what should come as the least surprising story in recent political history, Democrats are apparently wondering about the probability of having to replace senile President Biden or incompetent VP Harris before the 2024 election.

During an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’s Good Morning America aired the morning after the Republican presidential debate, former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley said of the 2024 race: “Well, first of all, a vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Kamala Harris. You know that and I know that. There is no way that Joe Biden is going to finish his term. I think Kamala Harris is going to be the next president — and that should send a chill up every American’s spine.”

Haley got some predictable pushback from the left-leaning Stephanopoulos — and later, others in the mainstream media who have been running cover for President Biden — but you might be hard-pressed to find an experienced Democratic operative knowledgeable about behind-the-scenes matters who doesn’t agree with Haley on one or both counts. Most in the media know that many Democratic power brokers don’t want Biden to run again but are panicked over the thought of Harris replacing him as the party’s nominee going into 2024.

With regard to Biden, Haley was referring to his age (80), apparent frailty, perceived cognitive issues and verbal gaffes.

This is downright schadenfreudalicious, if you’re at all to the right of the Democrats, by which to say, to the right of Leon Trotsky.  Why?

Because the Dems have no back bench.

They can literally come up with no one with any name recognition that could win the election.  Gavin Newsom? He’s destroyed California, and the GOP has the receipts.  Kamala Harris, as noted, is a babbling incompetent who only achieved political prominence atop Willie Brown’s penis.  Pete Buttigieg? Don’t make me laugh.  Bernie Sanders?  Any of the Squad?  They’re all kookoo for Cocoa Puffs.

I really wouldn’t want to be in their shoes right now.