All posts by Animal

Animal’s Daily News

IdiotsThe plight of California, the once and former Golden State, has been the topic of many a blog post – so here’s another one.  This just in from the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson:  Let’s Save California Now!

It’s a brilliant piece of political satire.  Dr. Hanson is always excellent reading, but he’s outdone himself on this list of “solutions” for California.  Two examples stand out:

5. The California Firearms Safety Act

The “No Guns for Grandees Act” would forbid private security details to be armed with handguns or semi-automatic long guns. It would allow private security personnel to be armed only with paintball, BB or pellet guns. Aim: To prevent unnecessary armed deterrence by private security units in the hire of the affluent.

11. The Petroleum Fair Use Act

The “Pump What You Use Act” establishes a state board to ensure

California gasoline consumption matches state oil production. It collates daily refining outputs of California-produced petroleum with daily state sales of gasoline. It cuts off all daily state sales of gasoline that exceed daily state refinery production of state-produced petroleum. Aim: To ensure that Californians only consume the gasoline they produce and thereby do not promote a larger carbon footprint by subsidizing out-of-state oil production not overseen by California resource legislation.

This piece, of course, is facetious.  But where Californey politics are concerned, one should be cautious; there is no idea so nutty that some California pol might not find it to be a good idea and attempt to introduce a bill.   Hoisting California voters on their own petards, as most of these proposals attempt to do, is entertaining.  But there is an enormous disconnect in the Golden State between the wealthy coastal elites and, well, the rest of the state; it is that disconnect that Dr. Hanson attempts to address here.

One of the better things about California is the scenery.
One of the better things about California is the scenery.

There have been numerous proposals to break California up in to as many as five separate states.  Given the size of the state, the size of its population, and the disparity of social, economic and cultural attitudes of its residents, maybe a breakup wouldn’t be a bad idea.  At the very least, a separation of the LA and San Francisco metropolitan areas from the rest of the state would contain most of the California legislature’s more extreme nuttiness.

California is not, after all, too big to fail.  Nothing is.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

2014_02_17_Goodbye Blue Monday
Goodbye, Blue Monday

This is interesting; 11 Features You No Longer See in Cars.  Excerpt:

It’s hard to picture what today’s teenagers will wax nostalgic about 30 years from now when they reminisce about their first car. (It still required gasoline, perhaps?) Who knows how automobiles will change in the future; what we do know is how different they are today from 30 or more years ago. If you fondly remember being surrounded by two or three tons of solid Detroit steel with a whip antenna on the front from which you could tie a raccoon tail or adorn with an orange Union 76 ball, and enough leg room that you didn’t suffer from phlebitis on long road trips, then you might also miss a few of these.

A few of these features were really great, and it’s a bit baffling why they are no longer offered.  Tail fins may be a matter of taste, but wing windows were great, as were audible turn signals and big, easy-to-hit horn rings.

Crank windows and manually locking doors aren’t mentioned, but they are highly desirable if you do a lot of banging around on jeep trails.  In a truck that sees hard use, power windows and locks have a way of breaking.  And anything that can break, will break at the

The original utility.
The original utility.

worst possible moment.  Maybe auto manufacturers will start offing these basic, no-frills options again if enough people complain?

Maybe someone (hopefully Ford) will even start making a real utility again.

Rule Five Friday

2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (1)A couple of tidbits to accompany some warming totty on this frigid Midwestern Friday; first:  Boulder (CO) Considers Banishing People Who “Make Trouble.” Excerpt:

Taking inspiration from Shakespeare, a Boulder city councilman has suggested “banishing” chronic scofflaws creating a nuisance in parks around the city’s municipal buildings.

Councilman Macon Cowles said in an email to his colleagues that the idea came to him while “my mind wandered” and he wondered what The Bard had to say about crime and social misbehavior.

Quoting extensively from Romeo and Juliet, Cowles makes the argument that banishing people from Boulder for the same amount of time they might be incarcerated for minor crimes would not only save taxpayers money, but might be more effective at preventing future crimes.

2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (2)“It seems a double hit that citizens should have to endure repeated acts of criminal behavior that are peculiarly offenses against the people who live here, and then, adding a financial penalty to the insult that has been afflicted, to pay the high expense of incarceration,” he wrote.

In Colorado, for at least the last 25 years that yr. obdt. has resided in that state, Boulder is commonly referred to as “seven square miles surrounded by reality.”  (Also “the People’s Republik of Boulder,” for 2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (3)different reasons.)  This is a good example of Boulder’s own particular style of wonderful nuttiness; the city never ceases to amuse.

But there’s a darker side to the Councilman’s thinking.  Consider it; Councilman Cowles isn’t terribly worried about solving the problem of society’s chronic misbehaviors; he’s just concerned with exporting them.  It’s the NIMBY attitude taken to an illogical extreme.

Now, while we’re on the subject of nutbars:  Iran:  We’re Ready for ‘Decisive Battle’ with Israel, U.S.  Excerpt:

In the latest in a series of warnings against the US, Iran’s chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi warned the Islamic republic’s foes that Iran is prepared for a “decisive battle” if attacked.

“We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel),” Fars news agency quoted Firouzabadi as saying Wednesday.

2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (4)He also warned neighboring nations not to allow any attack to be launched on Iran from their soil.

“We do not have any hostility toward regional states, but if we are ever attacked from the American bases in the region we will strike that area back,” he said.

Let’s be honest; the only thing decisive about a battle between Iran on the one hand and the United States and Israel on the other would be the decisive speed in which the Iranians get their collective asses handed to them – in thin slices.

2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (5)Even after two rounds of severe military draw-downs from our Cold War height, the United States still has a unilateral dominance on military power not seen on the planet since the collapse of the Roman Empire.  Iran’s leaders are good at making bombastic pronouncements for the benefit of regime loyalists, but they aren’t complete imbeciles – the last thing they’ll do is to engage the U.S. head-on.  They will continue in their role as the leading national sponsor of Islamic terror; they will continue developing nuclear weapons, and odds are better than even that they’ll use those nukes, somewhere, one way or another, at a time of their own choosing.

That’s the scenario that we should be preparing for.

2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Daily News

Scared_smallLouisiana Woman Forced Out of Apartment by Bats.  Bela Lugosi was unavailable for comment.  Excerpt:

Kiara Keasely, who was living in an apartment in the New Orleans suburb was basically forced out of her home when bats that had been living outside the building decided to move inside. She told WVUE, “I decided to move out, pack my stuff and move out because the exterminator wanted to open the vents to free the bats but I didn’t want them to be over my furniture so I moved everything out.”

An exterminator has removed more than 200 of the little guys from the apartment, and plans to release them outside of town, as is required by state law that mandates the bats not be killed. In the meantime, building owner Wendy Whitsett is working on preventing more from coming in.

The exterminator, a well-known bat expert.
The exterminator, a well-known bat expert.

She told the station, “We closed the windows, we sealed up the building wherever they had holes so they can’t come into the building. We caulked the whole building.”

Bats are normally pretty inoffensive little creatures who spend balmy summer nights gulping down millions of mosquitoes and other nasty insects.  On the other hand, they are a known rabies vector.  You really don’t want a few thousand of them bumming around your apartment, drinking your beer and eating all your Cheetos.

Facepalm-bearIn other sort-of science news:  Getting Shot in the Face is Bad.  I believe the appropriate response is “no shit, Sherlock.”  Excerpt:

Published this month in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, “Gunshot wounds and blast injuries to the face are associated with significant morbidity and mortality: Results of an 11-year multi-institutional study of 720 patients” brings scientific precision to the common-sense proposition that bullets to the face are really bad.

Well, at least that’s cleared up.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Halfway through an interminable week that will, on Friday, see yr. obdt. departing the frigid environs of the Upper Midwest for the warmer, sunnier home stomping grounds of Denver.  At least for a week.

Over at PJMedia is an article that echoes a concern I’ve had for some time:  Is It Over, and We Just Don’t Know It?  Excerpt:

Historians have a tough time agreeing on many of the turning points in ancient history.

One of them, in light of events during the past several years and the tone of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on January 28, seems particularly relevant. That’s the question of when the Roman Republic ended:

    (The republic) began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, c. 509 BC, and lasted over 450 years.

    * * * * * *

    Towards the end of the period a selection of Roman leaders came to so dominate the political arena that they exceeded the limitations of the Republic as a matter of course. Historians have variously proposed the appointment of Julius Caesar as perpetual dictator in 44 BC, the defeat of Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the Roman Senate’s grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian (Augustus) under the first settlement in 27 BC, as candidates for the defining pivotal event ending the Republic.

There’s little doubt that the United States of America has reached a point where, relatively unhampered by legislative or judicial barriers, its president and his bureaucracy exceed the limits of the nation’s Constitution “as a matter of course.” They in turn are quietly but effectively under the control of our “independent” central bank.

Sad-BearDecades from now, it’s possible that historians will look back and conclude that the American experiment, which began with its declaration of independence from and defeat of Great Britain, ended sometime between 1999 and 2014. As with Rome, the pivotal event isn’t obvious, and the list which follows isn’t all-inclusive.

For several years now I’ve been saying that the parallels between the dying Roman Republic and the present situation in our own republic are a little too uncanny.

There seems to be one difference; what in Rome was largely done by individuals (Sulla, Caesar, Octavian) is in the United States being done by the governing bodies.  The House of Representatives, the Senate, the Supreme Court and several Presidents have all had a hand in the consolidation of power in Washington and the overrunning of the governing principles on which the Republic was founded, and which served its citizens for over two hundred years.

Is it too late to turn back?  Republics, when they fall, do not generally give rise to new republics.

Funnies

laughing_bearOnce in a while, we see a little good news:  Suicide Bomb Instructor Accidentally Detonates, Kills 21 Students in Iraq.  Heh heh heh.  Excerpt:

BAGHDAD (AP) — Insurgents accidentally set off their own car bomb Monday at a training camp in an orchard in a Sunni area north of Baghdad, leaving 21 dead and some two dozen arrested, Iraqi officials said.

…A police officer said the militants were attending a lesson on making car bombs and explosive belts when a glitch set off one of the devices.

Army slang for these gomers used to be “not-so-smart bombs.”  I guess these assholes were determined to live up to it.

One more; enjoy a Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. ad that was deemed… inappropriate for broadcast.

I’m suddenly hungry.

Animal’s Looney Tuesday News

Derp BearThis came in over the transom today from an old friend who found the site, one Exopolitics.org, well, amusing.  The stories and excerpts are presented along with a series of images chosen by yr. obdt. to represent the intellectual depth and veracity of the stories very, very well.

First:  Did A UFO Doc With International Space Station for Alien Astronaut Meeting?  Excerpt:

On January 29, 2014 the live camera feed of the International Space Station (ISS) showed what appeared to be a strange yellow elliptical object docked with the hull of the ISS. The live camera feed was Jackassquickly recorded and uploaded to Youtube, and is generating much interest as possible evidence of a UFO interacting with the ISS. This has led to claims that the UFO was docked so that extraterrestrials could meet with NASA astronauts. The idea that alien ships could dock with the ISS and have meetings with its occupants is supported by the claims of a former NASA employee who during his 34 year service worked on numerous NASA missions and finally as a Space Craft Operator. He claims to have witnessed a similar alien rendezvous during a U.S. Space Shuttle mission just before his security clearance was revoked by NASA in 1992.

Froot LoopsOne hopes these visiting aliens have no ill intent.  Were they to prove hostile, though, we always have the option to send Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum to the ISS to hack the alien spaceship’s main computer with an old MacBook and make them self-destruct.

Right?

But wait!  There’s more!   More NASA Footage of UFO Docked At International Space Station.   Excerpt:

Yesterday the entire footage of what appears to be a UFO docked at the International Space State (ISS) was released and uploaded to Youtube. BoneheadThe video shows the sleek looking yellow UFO docked at the ISS for just over two minutes with the Earth slowly rotating in the background. The video ends with ISS live feed going into blue screen mode. This likely indicates that NASA cut the ISS live feed once it was realized that the video of the UFO docked at the ISS was going live to the world. The docking positioning of the UFO suggests that it is not the result of a camera anomaly but a genuine spacecraft of unknown origin.

The incident happened on January 29, 2014 and was transmitted by NASA’s live camera feed of the ISS which is made freely available on the internet to the general public on Ustream.

Well, it’s on the internet, and they have a video.  It must be true, right?

ScrewballRight?

It’s a wonder why so many people believe in weird things.  TV programming on things like ghosts, Bigfoot and UFOs are still popular.   And we live now in a time where almost everyone has a still and video camera instantly to hand, all the time, contained in their smart phone, and yet we still somehow seem to have no photos or videos of any of these oddities that are not obviously fake, blurry, barely recognizable as anything more than a lens flare or a dust bunny.

Smiling BearBut then, there are still people who believe in leprechauns, Bigfoot, fairies, and that Obamacare was a good idea.

(Insert obligatory “I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords” meme here.)

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday
Goodbye, Blue Monday

The Colt .45s – Big and Heavy Worked, and Still Does.  Excerpt:

Think back to the days when America had two major handgun manufacturers: Colt and Smith & Wesson. Now consider this when speaking of their big-bore handguns: Smith & Wesson was identified more often with a .44 caliber, as in .44 Russian and .44 S&W Special, but for Colt it was .45’s. First came the .45 Colt in 1873 with a revised version in 1909. Then, beginning in the early 1900s, the company began toying with a rimless .45 for use in autoloading pistols. Of course that became the .45 ACP.

The operating characteristics of modern rifles and handguns where terminal impact are concerned are so different as to be differences not in degree but in kind.  Modern, high-velocity rifle cartridges – and by “modern” I mean any of the bottle-necked, smokeless powder cartridges beginning with the .30-40 US Army and the even more famous and durable Caliber .30, US, Model of 1906 – depend on high impact velocity, bullet deformation and hydrostatic shock to kill.   The high velocities obtainable with a rifle case means that the rifle bullet makes excellent use of the “V” in the basic physics equation E=MV2.  Pistol cartridges, even the modern versions cannot generate the velocities that rifle cartridges can, and so the M side of the equation becomes important.

That’s where the .45 gets its advantage.  After well over a hundred years, the stopping power of a big, heavy bullet hasn’t changed.  Many, many shooters still favor the .45, including yr. obdt,  being the owner of five .45 caliber pistols (RAA 1911, Glock 36, Glock 21, Ruger Vaquero, Smith & Wesson 25-5.)

colt1911_5357Even so, a handgun cartridge still pales in comparison to even a medium-power rifle cartridge, a distinction that many not familiar with firearms fail to understand.  By way of illustration, there’s an old story about an aged policeman who showed up for his retirement ceremony wearing his sidearm.  A lady in the group assembled for the celebration noted the holstered pistol and asked  him if he was expecting trouble.  “No ma’am,” he replied.  “If I was expecting trouble I’d have brought my rifle.”