All posts by Animal

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Some good news – sort of – on the Second Amendment front for denizens of the Imperial City:  D.C. Council votes to allow concealed handguns.  Excerpt:

 A reluctant District of Columbia Council voted unanimously Tuesday to allow people to carry concealed handguns in the nation’s capital for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The bill was crafted to comply with a court ruling that struck down the District’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home.

Residents and visitors who want to carry a concealed handgun would have to show a specific reason that they need one, among other requirements, and District leaders are hoping that the law would withstand further court challenges. But the attorney who challenged the ban on carrying guns has said the legislation is too restrictive and does not comply with the court ruling.

Will there be some more legal wrangling?  Almost certainly – and certainly hopefully these restrictions (especially the idiotic ‘…would have to show a specific reason clause) will continue to ease.  But what’s revealing in this story are the quotes from the Council members themselves (comments from yr. obdt. added for color.)

“I don’t believe in guns. I don’t believe in carrying guns,” said Council member Marion Barry, a Democrat and a former four-term mayor. “I think the public ought to understand that all of us here are doing something we really don’t want to do.”

You “don’t believe in guns,” you crack-smoking horse’s ass?  I assure you, they exist.  And yes, we know this is something you don’t want to do, largely because you make decisions on what you ‘feel’ and what you ‘believe,’ much of which has little basis in fact.

The bill requires the signature of Mayor Vincent Gray, who has said he plans to sign it.

“This bill ensures that we will be able to meet the requirements of the Constitution while maintaining the maximum amount of safeguards possible to protect our residents, visitors, workers and public-safety officers,” Gray said in a written statement.

gun control theoryThe ‘maximum amount of safeguards’ would be to permit personal weapons by the law-abiding residents of the Imperial City.  It is a matter of irrefutable fact that CCW permit holders are far less likely to be involved in a crime than the balance of the populace.

Facts are stubborn things.  It’s telling – very telling indeed – that the Imperial City itself continues to ignore facts in order to continue to restrict the liberty of its residents.

Animal’s Daily News

Relaxing BearHere’s an interesting bit on the weird dichotomy of the Golden State, from one who knows, the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson.  Excerpt:

California is run from a sort of Pacific Versailles, an isolated coastal compound of elite rulers physically cut off from its interior peasantry.

To understand how California works — or rather does not work — drive over the I-5 Grapevine and gaze down at the brilliantly engineered artificial Pyramid Lake. Thanks to California water project deliveries, even in a third year of drought its level still fluctuates between 90 to 100% full — ensuring, along with its companion reservoirs, plentiful water for the Los Angeles-area municipalities for the next two years. The far distant watersheds and reservoirs that feed Pyramid Lake are about bone dry.

The same disconnect is true of Crystal Springs Reservoir along the I-280 near San Francisco. The Sierra watershed that supplies the now 90%+full lake is drying up. But San Francisco will have an assured water supply from its manmade reservoirs for some time, even if the drought persists.

One of then central tenets of the personal Philosophy of Animal is that the government governs best that governs least, and that government should be as local as possible.

This is why.

Witness the results when a cabal of uber-wealthy coastal elites make well-meaning policy that so adversely affects the hoi polloi in the interior.  As disconnected from the normal people of most of the state as Louis XVI was from the peasantry of France, this coastal elite has led California into fiscal insolvency.

Dr. Hanson concludes:

But for now in our pyramidal state, there is a Versailles elite on the coast, and a let-them-eat-cake mass everywhere else.

Do you remember what happened to Louis XVI?  I wonder if Jerry Brown does.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

From The Denver Post’s Vince Carroll, here’s another update on our local Colorado politics:  Carroll: Toe to Toe in Colorado Governor’s Race.  Excerpt:

John Hickenlooper is in a fight for his political life, but you certainly can’t lay it on his opponent. Bob Beauprez’s campaign for governor has been far more sure-footed than the last time he ran for the office, in 2006, but it has not been memorable or creative, either.

Nor has it been notably geared to attracting independents and moderates. Beauprez has hewed to predictable conservative positions on most issues. And in a few cases — immigration and oil and gas drilling, for example — he has even sounded gratuitously right-wing.

If there’s a position of his that would raise eyebrows with his GOP base, I haven’t noticed it.

Carroll is right, so far, of course; but he also notes:

By contrast, Hickenlooper has irritated the Democratic base on several occasions during his term, most notably by his support for hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas drilling. Had a Republican or more liberal Democrat been governor these past four years, it’s quite possible the debate over fracking would have degenerated into a fully partisan issue — a dangerous state of affairs given the importance of energy development, and indeed fossil fuels, to this state.

Given this observation, and I think it’s a good one, Bob Beauprez may be thinking he can afford to run a rather tepid campaign; one of the first rules of any manner of conflict is “when your opponent is punching himself in the face, let him.

But what Mr. Carroll misses isn’t just Hickenlooper’s estrangement of Denver and Boulder liberals over energy policy.  There’s another factor in play, and that is Hickenlooper’s support for the Colorado Legislature’s recent bouts of gun-control stupidity, which has cost three Democrat legislators their seats already.  While Denver and Boulder are reliably bright blue, the Colorado Democratic party also has a strong leavening of blue-collar Truman Democrats around Pueblo and in the Arkansas Valley, and those voters to not look kindly on attempts to restrict their Second Amendment rights.

In the considered opinion of yr. obdt., Hickenlooper is still the likely winner.  But the race draws closer, and six weeks is a long, long time in politics.

Rule Five Friday

2014_09_19_Rule Five Friday (1)Some election tidbits:

GOP Candidate Takes 10-Point Lead in Colorado Governor’s Race.  Excerpt:

National media types have gone into overdrive to focus on the Kansas governor’s race where GOP incumbent Sam Brownback is struggling to win re-election after enacting a conservative agenda. But Brownback is within the margin of error in recent polls. That might not be the case about another governor in a larger state who is trouble for enacting a liberal agenda. The latest Quinnipiac University Poll finds Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper trailing his opponent, former GOP congressman Bob Beauprez, by 10 points.

2014_09_19_Rule Five Friday (2)2014_09_19_Rule Five Friday (3)Honestly, I’m very skeptical about this poll – I don’t see the race as anything but close.  I’d like to see Bob Beauprez win this election, but Colorado is not today what it was ten or fifteen years ago.   Governor Hickenlooper, for all his faults, still commands a powerful lead in the major metro areas of Denver and Boulder.

Could I be wrong?  It’s happened once or twice.

2014_09_19_Rule Five Friday (4)2014_09_19_Rule Five Friday (5)But there’s another indicator.  A USA Today/Suffolk poll taken on September 13-16 shows GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner leading incumbent Mark Udall by one point, the first such poll that has Gardner in the lead.

Interesting, but not necessarily indicative; not yet.  Gardner is running what is in the opinion of yr. obdt. a lackluster campaign.

Nationally it looks like the Senate races are tightening up.  The RCP map has the Senate going (as of today) 47 Republican, 42 Democrat, with 8 tossups.   But a recent WaPo story posits that the Democrats 2014_09_19_Rule Five Friday (6)2014_09_19_Rule Five Friday (7)have a 51% chance of retaining the Senate.

Again, color me skeptical.  At this point my guess is that the GOP will squeak out a narrow majority – 51 or 52 seats.

Still – it’s a bit over six weeks until what may or may not be a wave election.  That’s a long, long time in politics.

2014_09_19_Rule Five Friday (8)

Animal’s Daily Martian News

Martian Native.
Martian Native.

Could we terraform Mars, and make it habitable for humans?  Maybe so.  Excerpt:

Today, Mars has little atmosphere to speak of, sports an average temperature of -76 degrees Fahrenheit around the equator, and is pelted by ultraviolet radiation. It’s little more than a desert pockmarked by craters. And yet, there are some who think that Mars can live again.

“You don’t build Mars,” Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at NASA says. “You just warm it up and throw some seeds.”

It’s that simple.

Here are three easy steps to terraform Mars and make it habitable for humans.

Read the whole thing for an outline of the three necessary (and time-consuming – we’re talking thousands of years) steps.

Forgetting the astronomical cost (pun intended) and the time frame for a moment, and think about the implications of a population of humans living on a successfully terraformed Mars.  No, they aren’t likely to turn green, nor will they encounter thoats, exotic red princesses or any other boojums or boogers.  But they will change, as generations are born and grow on a planet with only a little over a third of Earth’s gravity.

The new Martians will be taller and thinner, most likely, as they adjust through growth on a low-gravity environment.  They will probably have to adjust to a colder planet, even after terraforming, but we can Silver Beardo that through technology as prosaic as coats; but gravity will have a more lasting impact.

Not least of which is this:  Native Martians may never be able to visit the home planet.  A 1G gravity field may kill them.

So, while this is interesting and may someday actually happen, any human population on Mars will probably have to be permanent.

Check out Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy for an interesting bit of speculation as to how this might actually work.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

This just in from the Colossal Idiocy Department:  NBC ‘Expert’ Offers Three Tips to Deal with a Home Invasion. They’re Ridiculous.  Excerpt:

On Sunday, NBC’s Today show offered three tips if you find yourself subjected to a home invasion. A long-time New York City police officer serves as the subject-matter expert.

His three tips are:

  1. Keep your car keys handy where you sleep, and if there’s a home invasion, hit the horn button to create a lot of noise.
  2. Keep a can of hornet and wasp spray handy, and if the invaders enter your room, spray them with it to render them temporarily blind.
  3. Sleep with all your bedroom doors open so everyone in the house can hear everything that’s going on.

Notice what NBC’s expert leaves out: Firearms. Your Second Amendment rights never occur to NBC.

NBC’s blind spot is not accidental; the network has never been friendly to effective (read that: armed) self-defense.  But seriously – hornet spray?

Any thug who breaks into the Casa de Animal won’t face hornet spray.  They’ll face capably handled firearms.  It’s important to note that firearms aren’t the best answer for everyone; if a person isn’t willing to practice, to achieve a degree of confidence and competence with the firearm of choice, then they are probably better off without one.  But a firearm will equalize physical differences between homeowner and thug to a greater degree than any other single thing.

Angry-BearThe old truism dating back to the Old West goes “God created men.  Colonel Colt made them all equal.”  It’s an old saw, but an accurate one – only a firearm can put a middle-aged, 100-pound woman on an equal footing with a 20 year old, 200 pound male attacker.

NBC does not do their viewers service by completely (and purposely) omitting this possibility from the discussion of self-defense.

Animal’s Daily News

Smiling BearI’ve always been a fan of the venerable .30-06.  Six or seven rifles in this caliber have graced the gun rack and one point or another,  although we have but two in the house at the moment.  Loyal sidekick Rat also totes an ’06 in the field in pursuit of deer and elk.

It seems Gun Digest shares our appreciation of this fine old round.  Read Greatest Cartridges:  The Amazing .30-06 Springfield.  Excerpt:

There is now, and has been since the Chinese invented gunpowder, a continuing debate seeking the mythical “best all-around cartridge.” One can make a really convincing argument for the .30-06 as that cartridge.

Excluding the elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino, hippo, and I might add lion of Africa, and, perhaps another animal or two from elsewhere, an accurate rifle using proper bullets in the old Springfield will get most any job done convincingly.

gun control theoryFortunately, most of us do not have to make that kind of decision as we can select a cartridge that is essentially ideal for a particular animal being hunted. How this really splendid cartridge came about is an interesting story.

The gun rack at the Casa de Animal has a pretty good range of centerfire hunting calibers,  ranging from the thunderous .45-70 to the diminutive .22 Hornet.  But if a fellow wants a one-gun big-game arsenal, it would be hard to go wrong with the .30-06.

In fact, if you were to assemble a three-gun arsenal for hunting almost anywhere in the world, you’d be hard-pressed to beat a .30-06 bolt gun, a pump-action 12 gauge shotgun, and a .22 rifle.  Add a .45ACP handgun, say a 1911-pattern gun, and you’re ready for almost anything short of elephants.

Read the rest of the Greatest Cartridges series here.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

2014_09_15_Blue Monday
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

A few random tidbits for a busy, back-to-work Monday.  First of all, our thanks once again to The Other McCain for the Sunday Rule Five links!

Nancy Pelosi Might Just Be Insane.  Let’s be forthright; Nancy Pelosi isn’t even on speaking terms with sanity.  The woman is stark raving nutburgers.

And, on follow-up to Nancy Pelosi’s statement to Bill Maher that “civilization as we know it” is threatened if the GOP wins control on the Senate:  ISIS Beheads British Aid Worker David Haines.  ISIS is beheading people with wild abandon, and Nancy “Nutburger” Pelosi says that having a GOP Senate majority threatens civilization as we know it?

Seriously, San Francisco, why do you keep sending this woman to Congress?

But at least we are winning our fight against the Ebola outbreak – or are we?

On that note, we return you to your Monday, already in progress.