Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Deep thoughts, omphaloskepsis, and other random musings.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Now then:  I rarely read the comments sections on the news stories I talk about here.  There’s generally nothing to be gained from doing so.  (I do read all comments that are posted on this site, and I have to say you True Believers are several cuts above average.)

But if one does choose to comment on a news story, and I sometimes do, I have a few tips for would-be commenters to help avoid being dismissed out of hand.

Bear in mind that, on the intarwebz, the only thing we have to judge you by is your presentation of the written word.  Some really dedicated critic might look at your posting profile if the site uses something like Disqus (which we use here) to get a better grip on your positions, but that rarely happens.  The words you post are what people judge you by.  So pay attention to a few simple things.

Punctuation.  It matters.  Not only should you use it where appropriate – and remember, a question should be noted by use of a question mark (?) but don’t abuse it.  Don’t put a space between the last word in a sentence and the punctuation.  Don’t indicate a pause by a string of periods – or commas, which I find very baffling.  You were all taught this stuff in grade school, folks.  And when you use an exclamation point, use only one.

Capitalization.  The first word in a sentence and proper nouns.  That’s all.  (And no, “black” as applied to people is not a proper noun, and I will not capitalize it, and you shouldn’t either; I don’t give an ounce of rat’s pee what the Washington Post says.)  Proper capitalization is important.  It’s the difference between helping your uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.  And ALL CAPS should never, ever be used.  If you want to emphasize, italicize.

Spelling.  You’re writing your comment with the world’s largest dictionary at your fingertips.  Use it.  If you aren’t sure how to spell something, it takes literally seconds to look it up.  Also, learn the difference between you’re and your, between it’s and its, and so on.

I’m fond of pointing out that stupid people should be conspicuous.  But some of this is just plain carelessness, and some are bad habits that need to be unlearned.  But it’s simple enough to not look like a dope on the internet.  Unless, of course, the quality of your argument does so – but I can’t help you with that.

Rule Five Why Did It Have To Be Guns Friday

From time to time I peruse the web site of libertarian author L. Neil Smith.  Here’s one of my favorites of his works, Why Did it Have to be … Guns?  Follow the link and read it all.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

Make no mistake: all politicians—even those ostensibly on the side of guns and gun ownership—hate the issue and anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it’s an X-ray machine. It’s a Vulcan mind-meld. It’s the ultimate test to which any politician—or political philosophy—can be put.

If a politician isn’t perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash—for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn’t your friend no matter what he tells you.

If he isn’t genuinely enthusiastic about his average constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or tucking it under a coat and walking home without asking anybody’s permission, he’s a four-flusher, no matter what he claims.

What his attitude—toward your ownership and use of weapons—conveys is his real attitude about you. And if he doesn’t trust you, then why in the name of John Moses Browning should you trust him?

And, yes, it’s all about trust.  Even the most Second Amendment-friendly pols on tap today eventually hit that issue of trust.  There is always some point beyond which they don’t trust the population at large.

If he doesn’t want you to have the means of defending your life, do you want him in a position to control it?

If he makes excuses about obeying a law he’s sworn to uphold and defend—the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights—do you want to entrust him with anything?

If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil—like “Constitutionalist”—when you insist that he account for himself, hasn’t he betrayed his oath, isn’t he unfit to hold office, and doesn’t he really belong in jail?

Sure, these are all leading questions. They’re the questions that led me to the issue of guns and gun ownership as the clearest and most unmistakable demonstration of what any given politician—or political philosophy—is really made of.

He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there who shouldn’t have a gun—but what does that have to do with you? Why in the name of John Moses Browning should you be made to suffer for the misdeeds of others? Didn’t you lay aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you left public school—or the military? Isn’t it an essentially European notion, anyway—Prussian, maybe—and certainly not what America was supposed to be all about?

And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself from them? Forget about those other people, those dangerous weirdos, this is about you, and it has been, all along.

It’s always about someone else.  It’s always about criminals, or nutjobs, or anyone else other than the regular citizen who happens to have an old 12-gauge stuck in a closet somewhere.

But what Mr. Smith doesn’t bring up is the outcry from would-be gun-grabbers to institute all of their policies at the Imperial level.  “All laws should apply to the whole country,” they cry, claiming that places like Chicago have high crime rates in spite of having strict gun laws because criminals are apparently organizing convoys to buy and import guns from Indiana, where gun laws are much less onerous but for some mysterious reason the crime rate is much lower.  These pols would put in New Jersey-style gun laws for people like me, in rural Alaska, where I can guaran-damn-tee you the result will be massive and defiant non-compliance.

So, yes, the Second Amendment is a good litmus test for political candidates.  But if it’s important at the state and local level, it’s goddamn vital at the Imperial level, where they have the ability and the will to screw with all of us.  After all, if your state pisses you off, you can find another – as Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. just did – but finding a new country is quite another thing.

Rule Five Seventh Annual Commencement Speech Friday

It’s that time of year again, when high school and college graduates all over the country are trying on caps and gowns and making post-graduation plans. Today, for the seventh year, I will present here my own carefully prepared commencement speech to those grads – presented here because there’s damn little chance of my being asked to deliver it in person to a group of impressionable yutes.  And this year, this speech is dedicated to our granddaughter, who is graduating high school and entering a pre-med program this fall – on a full academic scholarship.

So, here it is. Enjoy.

“Graduates of the Class of 2021, let me be the first to extend to you my congratulations on this, your day of entry into reality.

For the last four years you have been working towards this goal, towards this day. That’s a good thing. One of the most important skills you will ever need, one of the most important ways to achieve success in the world into which you are about to enter, is the ability to formulate goals, to plan how to achieve those goals, and to see things through until you reach those goals. Today you’ve shown you can do that. Congratulations and good job.

Now, before you go out to enjoy the rest of this day, before you go out to celebrate this goal you have achieved, let me tell you a few harsh truths about the world you’re entering. I’m not going to give you any trigger warnings; if you can’t handle what I’m about to say, there’s damn little future for you out there in the real world, so cowboy up. Moments ago I congratulated you on your day of entry into reality, so to get you started off right, here is a hefty dose of reality for you.

In spite of what you may have been told during all your years of education, nobody owes you anything, and you aren’t special. Any perceived ‘need’ you may have does not entitle you to anything – most especially, not to one red cent of the product of anyone else’s effort. If any of your professors have told you that, then they are economic illiterates, moral frauds or outright charlatans.

Our wonderful Constitution, which has stood for well over two hundred years as the founding document of our Republic, guarantees you the opportunity to your pursuit of happiness. It does not require anyone to provide you the means to your happiness at their expense. You and you alone are responsible for your own life. You have no moral claim on anyone else’s productivity. Accept that fact and you are already one step ahead of most of your peers.

You are entitled to what you have earned through your own efforts, and not:

One.

Damn.

Thing.

More.

If you are accepting a degree today in LGBT Studies, or Women’s Studies, or any of the other assorted bullshit Underwater Dog Polishing degrees our universities crank out today, then you have my sympathies. You are the victim of a fraud perpetrated by our university system, a vicious and cynical fraud that has resulted in you spending a lot of money for no gain. But more importantly, you are the victim of your own poor judgement. You decided to pursue a useless degree, and now you’re stuck. Here is another harsh reality: You are responsible for your own situation. It’s not anybody else’s fault. Nobody else is responsible. You are.

Your university experience had one goal – producing a young adult with marketable skills, someone who can provide value to an employer and to the economy. In this your university has failed, and in choosing this degree, so did you. You have relegated yourself to uselessness in the workplace, and when a few years from now you are working as a barista or checkout clerk and crying over your six figures of student debt, remember what I said a few moments ago: You and you alone are responsible for your own life. You made a decision; now you get to deal with the consequences of that decision. Pull yourself up, look around at the other opportunities around you, and figure a way out of this mess your youthful indiscretion has landed you in.

But you still have one thing going for you. You have shown that you can set yourself a goal and achieve it. Do so now.

So, where do you go from here?

Because nobody owes you anything, including a living, one of the tasks ahead of you now is finding gainful employment. If you’re going to find employment, it will only be because you can demonstrate to the employer that you can provide value to him or her in excess of your costs of employment. Employment is an economic transaction. In any free market transaction, both parties have to realize a perceived gain in value or the transaction won’t happen. If a prospective employer doesn’t think you’re able to provide value to his/her business in excess of your cost of employment, which includes not only your salary but all the extra taxes, fees and other various government extortion that you never see in your pay stub – then they won’t hire you. So be able to present yourself as someone who can provide value, in whatever field you have been studying these last few years.

Once you have gained that employment, once you are in the workplace, remember these three rules for success:

  1. Show up a little earlier than the other guy,
  2. Work a little harder than the other guy,
  3. Never pass up a chance to learn something new.

Words that should never pass your lips include such things as “that’s not my job,” and “I don’t have time for that.” Your reputation in the workplace should be, to put it bluntly, the one who can get shit done. Results matter. Be the one that the boss can count on. Be the one who brings things in on time. Be the one who finishes the job. Be the one that produces value and you will never have to worry about where your next meal is coming from.

Bear in mind also that you are entering the workforce as a tablua rasa as far as potential employers are concerned. You’re not going to leave these halls and be CEO of General Motors. You will be working in an entry level job, probably not making a lot of money, probably doing work your longer-term co-workers don’t want to do. Suck it up. There are no lousy jobs, only lousy people. Any work that produces value is worth doing. How do you know if your work is producing value? The answer to that is trivially easy: If someone is willing to pay you to do the work, then you are producing value. Bear in mind also that the job belongs to the employer, not to you, and if you don’t meet the employer’s expectations, someone else will.

How do you meet those expectations? Better yet, how do you exceed them? When you are doing that job, keep these things in mind:

Be known for your integrity. Don’t say anything you don’t believe and don’t make promises you can’t deliver on. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who means what you say and who delivers on your promises.

Be known for your reliability. Show up on time, every day, for every event. Show up on time for meetings. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who will always be there when you’re needed.

Be known for your responsibility. If you take on a task, finish it. If you commit to a timeline, meet it. If you accept responsibility for something, own it. It’s yours. Don’t expect anyone else to take care of it for you. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who, when put in charge, takes charge.

Be known for your dependability. Plan your tasks to bring them in on schedule. If that means long hours, work them. If that means working a Saturday, work it. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who can get the job done.

Success isn’t a mysterious thing. It’s not that elusive and it’s not even all that hard. I did it, and you can too, but it does involve one four-letter word:

Work.

Thomas Edison once said “people often fail to recognize opportunity when it knocks, because it usually shows up in overalls and looks like work.” At these commencement events it’s common to be told to follow your dreams, and that’s nice, flowery stuff, but in most cases nobody is going to pay you to follow your dreams. They will pay you to produce value, and that means work. Follow your dreams on your own time.

Finally, I will leave you all with some unsolicited advice:

All through your life, people will promise you things. Most of them won’t deliver. Many of those people will be people seeking political office, and many more of them will be people pushing some sort of supposed business opportunity. Some years ago the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein observed a fundamental law of the universe, which law is represented by the acronym TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Remember that; if someone offers you something for nothing, they are lying. If someone is offering you something at someone else’s expense, they are offering to commit theft on your behalf. The only moral answer to such offers is outright refusal.

There are only three types of economic transactions and only one of those – a free, unfettered, voluntary exchange of value – is morally acceptable. If a transaction is done by force, that is theft. If a transaction is done by deceit, that is fraud. Have no interaction with anyone who advocates either.

Accept responsibility for your own successes. Accept responsibility for your own failures. Learn from both. Rely on yourself. Rely on your own skills, your own abilities. Many other people will let you down, but you can always rely on yourself.

In her epic novel Atlas Shrugged, author Ayn Rand presents the protagonist, John Galt, describing his decision to solve society’s troubles by an epic act of creative destruction. He describes the ultimate moment of his decision process with two sentences, two sentences which I have found more inspiring than any long-winded ethical or political monologue ever delivered since the times of Plato and Aristotle. These words are the very essence of the self-directed man of achievement:

‘I saw what had to be done. I went out to do it.’

Those are good words to live by. Now, today, you graduates see what has to be done.

Go out and do it.

Thank you and good luck.”

If anyone was offended by anything contained in this hypothetical speech, too damn bad.

Rule Five Maybe Things Aren’t So Bad Friday

This is a couple of weeks old, but I stumbled across it the other day and took a few days to digest it:  The Great American Freak-Out And How To Address It.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow.

Shortly before the 1928 presidential election between Herbert Hoover and New York Governor Al Smith, a well-known Baptist minister named Mordecai Ham wrote, “[I]f Smith is elected…it can be interpreted no other way except a fulfillment of prophecy of the latter-day perilous times.”

A sense of the apocalyptic a century ago was not limited to religious and populist agitators. Harvard humanist Irving Babbitt wrote in 1924 that self-indulgent materialism in America had likely surpassed that of ancient Rome, which “portends the end of our constitutional liberties and the rise of a decadent imperialism.”

This type of commentary abounded in the 1920s, and it echoes a century later. Now, as then, concerns about cultural decline often morph into a kind of apocalypticism.

No argument here.  However, the article, as you’ll see, goes on to engage in a little “as it was, so shall it be,” but I think they are missing a few key things.

The problem with the apocalyptic style—or even its slightly less adrenalized cousin, the paranoid style—of politics is twofold. First, it corrupts public life by reducing the non-political complexity of life to political warfare. According to a 2018 survey by More in Common, the most ideologically extreme people on the right and the left are about twice as likely as the average American to list politics as a hobby. National surveys by the American Enterprise Institute have found that people whose only civic outlet is politics are lonelier than others and have a dimmer view of institutions of civil society outside of politics. Seeing life’s major challenges through the narrow lens of political power produces an anxious class of people with too much hope in what politics can achieve and too little hope in anything else.

This is certainly happening in the United States today, with the overwhelming influence of social media and the politicization of, well, everything.  Not everyone has fallen into this trap, of course; one of my most valued friendships has only survived between me, a staunch minarchist libertarian and my friend, a deep-blue East Coast urban progressive, because we both feel there is much more to life and personalities than political opinions.  But, yes, life has become increasingly politicized of late.

Second, the apocalyptic style blinds its adherents to all the things that are actually going well in the world, an understanding of which is necessary for progress. If your fears are extreme, you have a harder time seeing the world as it actually is. Most of our lives are not lived in the extreme. We live in the everyday, where the building blocks of forward progress are actually all around. Every generation needs to be engaged in an effort of recovery—of first principles, enduring practices and institutions, and the good things that we take for granted at our peril.

And, yes, things in general, at least in the Western nations, are overall going very well.  No society in the history of mankind has produced the standard of living enjoyed by even the “poor” in the United States today.  In most of the Western nations, we have eliminated – not reduced, eliminated abject poverty; only relative poverty exists now.

So what are the good things hiding in plain sight on which to build?

For starters, the value of a two-parent, married family is more widely recognized as the best environment for children than it was a generation ago. The divorce rate is down, having fallen by more than 30 percent since peaking around 1980, and the long upward trend of out-of-wedlock births has now begun to dip as well. Since 2014, the share of kids in intact families has thus begun to climb. This does not mean that declining marriage rates among young adults is not a cause of concern, but it does mean that a strong focus on healthy, intact families resonates with millions of Americans in ways recoverists can build on.

Good.

Next, Americans are patriots and localists at least as much, if not more, than they are ideological partisans. When asked in a large national AEI survey about where they derive a sense of community, a greater share of Americans named their American identity and local neighborhood than their political or ethnic identities. For instance, nearly a third (32 percent) of Americans say they get a “strong sense of community” from their American identity, compared to only 17 percent who feel the same about their race or ethnicity. Even amidst a slight drop in intense patriotism in 2020 amidst a pandemic and racial unrest, YouGov poll results showed robust levels of patriotism among a majority of Americans and even a slight uptick among young adults, Democrats, and Black Americans. You wouldn’t know this from the prevailing media narrative.

Also good.  But look at the conclusion:

There is a lot more going well in America, from the balance of judges in our courts to an openness to more family-centric work environments and policies to drops in crime over the past 25 years that have made our streets safer to breakthroughs in medical technology that will diminish pain and suffering in ways formerly unknown.  

It is important for recoverists within American political life to find each other and coalesce around common projects so that alarmism has less of an effect on policymakers. For recoverists hoping to make the future better by building on the past, it is worth pulling a page from the century-old playbook to find new ways to defend the first principles, practices, and institutions on which all of these good things depend. Neither the Mont Pelerin Society nor the Great Books nor C.S. Lewis was inventing entirely new ideas. All of them were recovering anew those things without which a healthy and flourishing society is not possible.

The problem is that these things aren’t happening.

We aren’t finding new ways to defend old principles.  But more than that, the other side – the political Left – isn’t playing by the old rules.  While Franklin Roosevelt proposed packing the Supreme Court, he failed to do so, but now Democrats are openly advocating that again – and failing that, proposing to add new states and imposing unconstitutional Imperial election rules to cement one-party rule.  They did so successfully in California; now they want to take the show on the road.

Conditions have changed, as well.  Folks in the time periods mentioned in this article weren’t drinking from the information fire hose represented by Derpbook, Twatter and so on.  The 24/7 inundation of information, much of it political or cast in a political light, is unprecedented.  Add to that the fact that the major providers are unabashedly biased; they aren’t putting their thumbs on the scale, they are piling cinder blocks on it.

Read the whole article.  It strikes an optimistic tone, and I do try to strive towards optimism myself.  But these days, it’s getting hard to maintain.  Read it yourselves, though, and make up your own minds; the point that things aren’t all bad is a good one.  Life can be pretty damn good these days, if you can just ignore politics and politicians for a while.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Spent the weekend just past back in Colorado, helping my own dear Mrs. Animal get what’s left of my workshop organized for the movers.  In so doing, I almost certainly spend my last couple of nights in the house that was our family home for twenty-three years.  That bears a moment’s reflection.

First, Colorado:

I moved to Colorado in September of 1988, after a stint in the Army.  Back then it was South Wyoming, although some of the urban rot was starting to creep into the Denver area, and Boulder was already pretty nutty, although the nuttiness was at least contained.  I moved west for the fishing, the hunting, all the outdoors activities, and Colorado did and still does have those and to spare; in fact, I’ll still come down regularly to join loyal sidekick Rat on deer and elk hunts.

But the state has gone too far left to suit me now.  It’s East California these days.  Plenty of people are looking to places like Texas and Florida now when dealing with blue-state blues, but Mrs. Animal and I have always been drawn north, and indeed began looking with thoughtful eyes at Alaska since well before Colorado went off the deep end.  So here we are.   We are moving north for the fishing, the hunting, all the outdoors activities, and Alaska, even more so, does have those and to spare.

Second, the home:

Mrs. Animal and I actually bought our first house together the month before we got married, a small, three-bed, one-bath starter home in Aurora.  It was a nice little house, but it was a little house.  We had a growing family, so about a year after our youngest was born we started looking for a bigger place.  In the spring of 1998, my career was taking off and we started house-shopping.  We did examine some properties with acreage out on the plains east of the city, but the commute (this was before work-from-home was a possibility, much less a preference for anybody) and the fact that the areas we were looking at were already being zoned up for development deterred us.  “If we’re going to live in town,” Mrs. Animal said, “we may as well live in town.”  So we eventually found this place, the big, rambling, 4600-square foot barn of a house where we raised our family.

Sunset from the house.

Our kids all remember it as the house they grew up in.  To them, it’s home, even though they all have their own homes now.  To Mrs. Animal and I, it’s a twenty-three year store of memories, of our kids, our grandchildren, of work, of happy events and sad ones, of life lived and family loved.  A big part of us will always be there with that house.  When you’ve lived in a place that long you become a part of it, and it, a part of you.

So it’s kind of a thoughtful moment.  But life is water, not stone, and I’ve always been the kind of guy who prefers to look ahead instead of back.  And now we look ahead to our golden years in the Great Land, breathing the free air of Alaska, and knowing some reflective moments but not a moment’s regret – no, not one single moment of regret.

Rule Five Taking The High Ground Friday

I’m of mixed thoughts about this: The Claremont Institute’s Counterrevolution to Save America.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow.

Claremont Institute president Ryan Williams says that American civic education faces an acute crisis. In his estimation, essentially every institution – the vast complex of media, Big Tech, Hollywood, Fortune 500 companies, and education and government bureaucracies – teaches “vicious lies about America’s Founders” and our nation’s “heritage, heroes, accomplishments, and people.”

No shit, Sherlock.  But they have a worthy cause, and are going about their task methodically:

Williams argues that what passes for civic education today advances “the goal of wholesale revolution and the institution of a monstrous and unnatural tyranny.”

In light of these daunting circumstances, however, he counsels hope: “We at Claremont are happy warriors, and there’s no work we’d rather be doing with friends and fellow citizens.”

Williams describes The Claremont Institute, founded in 1979, as a think tank fomenting a “counterrevolution” to recover civic education through teaching, writing, and litigation. Its mission, he continues, is to restore the natural law and natural rights principles of the Declaration of Independence, the “ingenious political science of the Constitution,” and the “popular constitutionalism and reverence necessary for the maintenance of free government” to “their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life.”

Williams notes that Claremont’s fellowship programs offer “those who will go on to positions of leadership in media, politics, policy, law, speechwriting, and academia” the chance to learn the “true principles of government and their application to today’s policies.” Guided by distinguished scholars, fellows study American political thought, examine Abraham Lincoln’s statesmanship, and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of present-day liberalism and conservatism.

That’s great.  It’s a laudable goal, and a clear statement of principle.

It’s also probably too little, too late.  More on that here in a bit.

Claremont’s Center for the American Way of Life, a D.C.-based think-tank led by Arthur Milikh, works to preserve a nation “characterized by republican self-government and the habits of mind and character necessary to sustain it.” Through a creative, bold, and tough-minded approach, the Center and its affiliated scholars such as Joshua Mitchell and Scott Yenor confront woke “institutional centers of power” by publishing articles and essays and holding public discussions.

Founded by vice president of education Matthew Peterson, “The American Mind” is an online journal that engages in the “battle of ideas in a lively and intelligent way,” as Williams puts it. TAM features shorter pieces (memos), longer reflections (salvos), and symposia (features) that look to forge a political realignment based on restoring the sovereignty and self-respect of the American people. American Mindset, TAM’s Substack, (it will soon be subscriber-only) offers exclusive pieces and the daily “Tell Me What You Really Think” podcast, which features conversations between associate editor Spencer Klavan and TAM staff on a wide range of political and cultural topics.

And:

Claremont offers several additional podcasts that can help spur thought and action. Hosted by Williams, “The Roundtable” delivers incisive political commentary from a regular panel of contributors; “The Close Read” podcast features Klavan discussing essays from latest issue of the CRB with their authors; and on “The American Story” podcast, senior fellow Chris Flannery highlights American heroes in short, compelling segments.

By reasserting Americans’ control over their political institutions, Claremont seeks to help recover republican government.

These are dedicated, thoughtful, committed folks.  They know the task before them is a daunting one and seek to address America’s ills with education, with persuasion, with reason – and that is probably futile.

Take a look around at our major cities today.  Take a look at Minneapolis, Portland, and San Francisco.  Take a look at the Imperial City, and the armed camp that our Capitol has become.  Take a look at the rioters and looters that swarm every time a court verdict doesn’t go as they would prefer, or every time some punk pulls a gun on a cop and gets blown away, or every time they feel like it.

Do you think these people are going to be persuaded?

More and more I think that there is going to have to be some sort of catharsis in this country before we see any resolution.  Our major cities may just very well destroy themselves, as the people causing the trouble – criminals, vandals, leftist drones and various other assholes – have no intention of altering their present course, no matter what sops are thrown to them by elected/appointed officials.  They will have to be forced to stop, most likely by the inevitable consequences of their own actions.

And that’s the end of the United States in any recognizable form.

The folks at Claremont are great folks – incredibly well-read, stainless principles, civilized, intelligent, dedicated, patriotic.

But I just don’t think they are going to sway enough people to make a difference at this point.  We’ve gone too far down a dark, dark path.

Animal’s Daily In The Company Of Chickadees News

One of our local chickadees.

Before we start, check out the latest in my Mystical Child series over at Glibertarians!

Over the weekend I had to run down to Wasilla to take care of a few errands, so while I was there I bought a couple of bird feeders, including a small one to hang just outside our office building door.  That feeder almost immediately attracted the attention of a local nesting pair of one of my favorite birds – chickadees.

The Black-Capped Chickadee is ubiquitous across the northern part of North America.  We have the Boreal Chickadee in these parts, too, although we haven’t seen any at the feeder yet.  We’ve also been visited by a pair of Red-Breasted Nuthatches, and we have Cliff Swallows buzzing around, eating up the early bugs.

Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve generally run a bird feeder.  In our old Colorado home where we lived for so long, we had mostly house finches and chickadees.  As a kid back at Bear Creek, we had chickadees, goldfinches, cardinals, and what I’ve long considered the most beautiful of North America’s songbirds, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, which sadly doesn’t range this far north.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

I like chickadees.  I know I’m anthropomorphizing their behavior some, but to me they always seem so indefatigably cheerful.  Even in temps of fifteen or twenty below, these tiny bundles of feathers are out and about with the sunrise, calling, exploring, looking for food.  They are frequently first at the feeder in the morning and last to leave at night.  It’s fun to have them around, and we’re looking forward to having more of their cousins visit as well.

Rule Five Road Trip Friday

So, first, some housekeeping notes.

Later today, after I take care of some work chores, we’ll be loading our cargo trailer, packing up all of our remaining office equipment and supplies as well as what firearms and ammo I still have remaining in Colorado.  In fact, we’ll be packing truck and trailer with probably a third to half of all the stuff we’ll be hauling from Colorado up to the Great Land.

Next, posts:  Tomorrow we’ll have the Saturday Gingermageddon as usual.  Next week, instead of placeholders while we’re on the road, I’ll probably post some photos of random, interesting scenery along the 3.200 mile trip.  Normal posts should resume on either April 1 or April 2, unless we encounter some difficulty along the way.

Mrs. Animal and I always enjoy road trips.  We have taken a lot of them together over the last thirty years or so, and we inevitably end up talking, planning and laughing the entire trip, just like a couple of kids.  I guess we just enjoy being together, even (especially) after all this time, and given that this road trip is the penultimate act in the culmination of our twenty-plus year plans, it’s going to be even more fun.

And, of course, there’s the trip itself.  About half of the drive is on the Alaska-Canada Highway itself, which we’ve wanted to drive for years.  Problem is this:  Canada is hurrying people through right now because of the ‘rona, so no time for sightseeing, and frankly this isn’t the best time for that anyway, not to mention we’ll be towing a trailer and have a canoe tied atop the truck, so not the best vehicle configuration, either.  Not to worry; we have plenty of time, and we’ll plan to make the drive again sometime when we have time to sight-see.

Speaking of that drive, here’s how the itinerary looks, for any of you True Believers that might be curious as to how this works:

Day 1:  Denver, Colorado to Shelby, Montana.  Shelby is about twenty miles south of the Coutts, Alberta entry station into Canada.  So in the morning we’ll want to get an early start to deal with the bureaucracy at the border.

Day 2:  Shelby, Montana to Dawson Creek, British Columbia.  Dawson Creek is where the Alaska Highway proper begins.  I’ve done some reading about the town, and it seems like it would be a hell of a fun place to spend a few days, once the Kung Flu panic dies down.

Day 3:  Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory.  This is where gas stations and so forth get thin on the ground, so it’s prudent to keep the tank topped up.

Day 4:  Watson Lake, Yukon Territory to Tok, Alaska.  Tok is where we leave the Alaska Highway, which continues (officially) to Delta Junction, while the highway continues up to Fairbanks.  Now we’re back into the States, and officially into the Great Land!

Day 5:  Tok, Alaska to our new home in Willow, Alaska.  This involves a trip down the Glenallen Highway, which is a gorgeous drive, and then through Palmer and Wasilla to home.

It’s going to be interesting and exciting!  Mrs. Animal will still have to fly back to Colorado to meet the movers to load the remaining stuff for the trip north, then to arrange for the Colorado house to be cleaned up and sold.  Denver real estate is crazy right now, so we expect to do well on that deal.  But when that’s done, she comes home, and we settle into our rural Alaska home for good.

So, stand by for news from the road!

Animal’s Daily Free Speech News

To expand on an item from yesterday’s links:  I’m not normally very enamored of Piers Morgan, but I’m always willing to give someone credit when they are right, no matter how many times I disagree with them on other issues.  And on the matter of the disgraceful Oprah interview with the once and former royals Harry and Meghan, Piers Morgan is absolutely right, and now he’s paying for it.  Excerpt:

Piers Morgan resigned from ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” after widespread backlash over his criticism of Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah.

UK media regulator Ofcom launched an investigation of Morgan after more than 41,000 people sent in complaints about the comments he made.

“We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of ‘Good Morning Britain’ under our harm and offence rules,” an Ofcom spokesperson told Variety

Morgan had questioned Markle’s sincerity about her mental health problems.

The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah she talked to people in the Royal “institution” after having some suicidal thoughts but was not given help.

“Who did you go to? What did they say to you? I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle,” Morgan said on the show. “I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.”

Frankly, I’m with Morgan on this one; if that vacuous, lamebrained bimbo told me the sky was blue, I’d look out a window to check.  And no, that’s not a statement about her supposed race (although she looks no more ‘black,’ frankly, than Harry) it’s a statement about her stupidity.

But the implications here for Morgan are far more serious than whatever claims to victim-hood the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are whining about.  From the second link just above:

“Who did you go to? What did they say to you? I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle. I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report,” Morgan said on the show.

“We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of ‘Good Morning Britain’ under our harm and offence rules,” an Ofcom spokesperson told Variety. Ofcom had received 41,015 complaints about Morgan’s comments by 2 p.m. U.K. time on Tuesday.

Morgan’s career is probably over, simply for stating an opinion that should be shared by anyone with enough brains to pound sand.  The Duchess of Sussex is full of shit; her story is full of more holes than Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after Frank Hamer finished with them.  And, apparently, this cancelling of Morgan is happening just because a bunch of Brit malcontents complained.

Never let it be said that Morgan didn’t go out with a bang, though:

Piers Morgan has learned one good lesson from Cancel Culture:

Never.

Apologize.