Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Deep thoughts, omphaloskepsis, and other random musings.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

2023.  Did ya ever think?

Sunday morning, Mrs. Animal and I were musing about this new year of 2023 and how much the world has changed in our lifetimes.  I’m of the last cohort of Baby Boomers (b. 1961) and Mrs. A is from the first cohort of GenX (b. 1966).  And, yes, in our time the Information Revolution has swept the world.  If you had taken aside eighteen-year-old me in 1979 and told me the following:

New Years Eve 1979

“Listen, kid.  When you are sixty, every American home will have at least one computer in it, and it will be connected to a global network that will allow you to socialize, pay your bills, play games, work, and find information on almost anything.  The world will be at your fingertips.  Oh, and you’ll be able to shop, too, and have your purchases delivered to your door – sometimes, depending on where you live, on the same day.  But wait!  There’s more!  Everyone will also carry a small device on their person, which will not only allow you to make calls the way your home phone does, but also to send messages by text and conduct all of the same things that computer does.”

I would have laughed in your face.  But if you had also told me the following:

“Oh, and the country will have as President a senile incompetent, with a cackling imbecile as Vice President.  The Imperial government will be using the Constitution as asswipe, and there have been multiple rounds of riots and ‘occupations’ of portions of major cities that could only be classed as insurrections.  Oh, and most of our major cities have become crime-ridden shitholes that are effectively unlivable to civilized people.”

Well, that part wouldn’t have come as much of a surprise.  1979 was, after all, during the Carter years.

And so…

On To the Links!

Get woke, go broke applies to comic books, too.

There’s a reason we call them SouthWorst.

Speaking of the worst…

Exercise is now a sign of white supremacy. 

Your tax dollars at work.  What an obscene fucking waste.

Why did you stop going to the movies?  Well, I’ll only speak for Mrs. Animal and myself, but when you have to drive 40 miles to get to a theater, it takes something pretty great to make the effort worthwhile – and there just hasn’t been anything that great for a while.

His motivation is still in question.

Colonel Schlichter’s 2023 predictions.

Dogs can smell when people are stressed.  If you’ve ever had a dog, this comes as no surprise.

The correct answer is “who gives a shit.”

Joe Biden Should Be Terrified About What’s Coming in 2023. Here’s Why.  My prediction:  Nothing.  Will.  Happen.

Diversity of skin tone, but no diversity of opinion – that is not allowed.

This Week’s Idiots:

If that cheap partisan hack Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) says inflation may be breaking, we’re well and truly fucked.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.  And he’s an idiot twice this week!

The LA Times’ John Blumenthal is an idiot.

The Nation’s Jeet Heer (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

California keeps passing stupid laws.

MSNBC’s Jordan Rubin is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

While Frank Zappa had a long and varied career, being as he was one of the most innovative and talented musicians of a generation, some of his best work was done in the early Seventies when he had the gifted backing of Flo and Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan).  Some of the best of their combined work was on the 1971 album Just Another Band from LA.

It took me a while to pick just one song from this great album.  Finally I decided on Call Any Vegetable (language warning)!  This tune shows off not only Flo and Eddie’s hilarious vocals, but also Zappa’s genius guitar work and the fantastic backup band.  Here it is, then; enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Demographics News

Before we start, check out my latest over at Glibertarians.  This wraps up my current series; next week, a new and slightly more optimistic series begins.

Now then, watch this; it is a tad over an hour long, but worth every minute.

Talk about not terribly optimistic.

I can’t add anything, really, to the points Nicholas Eberstadt makes in this interview.  I have, in past posts, discussed the ongoing decline in population growth in the developed world, which will soon lead to a population decline, but in this interview we see a great discussion of many, many more likely results of this decline, and how to address the failure of modern nations to reproduce.

It’s worth watching.  Find some time in your schedule to watch the whole thing through.

Rule Five Alaska Independence Friday

Note:  Cross-posted over from Glibertarians.

The Great Land

One of the most appealing things about Alaska, at least for Mrs. Animal and me, is the big wide streak of “leave us the hell alone” present among the denizens of the region.  In fact, Alaska is one of the fifty states that could, arguably, make a pretty good show of going it alone, although we’d be largely dependent on an extraction economy.

When we moved up here and were going through the voter registration process, I noted the presence of an “Alaska Independence Party.”  I was intrigued, so I investigated it – I was, of course, presuming that their primary goal would be securing Alaska’s independence from the United States.  Well, that’s not quite what they’re after.  In fact, it’s not really clear what they are after.

History

Here’s the history of the party from their web site – as you’ll see, they haven’t been around all that long, and haven’t achieved much of a record of electoral successes – in fact, they’ve never elected anyone to any office, as far as I can find out.  Although they did surprisingly well in 1990, for some reason.

According to the Alaska Divisions of Elections they only have the history as below … We have been in existence since the 70s and have run candidates before the state declared the AIP a “political party.”

    1984 – Recognized Political Party per emergency regulation 6 AAC 25.150, effective 6/14/84.

    1986 – Vogler / Rowe (Governor / Lt. Governor candidates) received 5.5% of votes cast for Governor, retaining Recognized Political Party status.

    1990 – Hickel / Coghill (Governor / Lt. Governor candidates) received 38.8% of votes cast for Governor, retaining Recognized Political Party status.

    1994 – Coghill / Ward (Governor / Lt. Governor candidates) received 13.0% of votes cast for Governor, retaining Recognized Political Party status.

    1998 – Sullivan (Governor candidate with no Lt. Governor running mate) received only 1.92% of the votes for Governor, but there is a sufficient number of voters registered under the party name to retain Recognized Political Party status.

    2002 – Wright / Denardo received less then (sic) 1% but there is a sufficient number of voters registered under the party name to retain Recognized Political Party status.

    2006 – Wright / Welton received less then (sic) 1% but there is a sufficient number of voters registered under the party name to retain Recognized Political Party status.

So, in recent years, the party has held on to the level of voters registered to retain Recognized Political Party status by the skin of their teeth.  Probably not the best recommendation for the beast to which top hitch your wagon.  It’s worth noting, though, that the party did elect one Governor – Wally Hickel, who served from 1990 to 1994.  Since then, their performance has been underwhelming.

As of the most recent count, the Alaska Independence Party has about 19,000 members, making them the third-largest party in the state.  That is, however, out of 383,000 registered voters, giving them not quite five percent of the electorate.  That’s a pretty distant third.

But wait – what is it that the Alaska Independence Party wants to do?

The Platform

For the best summary of what these folks actually want, you can go read their proposed Alaska Constitution here (pdf). Following are some key excerpts, with my comments.

Article I: THE NATURAL LAW

The sole purpose of a republican form of government is to protect the Life, Liberty and Property of the people. This Constitution is dedicated to the principles espoused in the Declaration of Independence of these United States of America. The Natural Law, from whom God is the Author, is the basis of all just law, and may never be violated.

Look at the bolded words above – my emphasis.  Now this, on the face of it, looks to me like a problem.  Sure, I’m a big fan of natural law, don’t get me wrong; our rights derive from our status as moral agents, and are ours by virtue of our humanity.  But naming (which one?) God as the author – what if you don’t accept the existence of any God?  Are you then ineligible for public office, in their eyes?  The rest of the Constitution doesn’t say that, but this seems to be to leave it open, although the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits any religious test for public office.  Maybe it’s me being persnickety, but I just don’t see what they are gaining by adding those six words.  The United States, while culturally is broadly Judeo-Christian, has a secular government, and it should remain that way.

Further on, Article I states:

This Constitution recognizes the hierarchy of law, in that within the family of laws there are those that possess authority over others, in such order:

  1. Natural Law
  2. Constitutional Law
  3. Statutory Law
  4. Common Law
  5. Case Law

OK, then.  I get it.  And I even agree, to a point.  But if we’re making that statement, that Natural Law precedes and has authority over all other laws, then where are we codifying the individual rights protected by that law?  How can Natural Law supersede any other laws when we don’t know what that Natural Law states?  Because I suspect that there will be a wide variety of opinions on that topic.

The proposed Constitution goes on to advocate a raft of other changes to the existing state government, including re-organizing Alaska’s Boroughs into twenty Counties, each with an elected sheriff – not sure how popular that idea is going to be, as we seem to be doing very well without them at the moment.  The proposed Constitution also slams the Federal Government in a few specific areas:

The State of Alaska declares that ownership of property by the United States, in violation of Article I, Section 8, clause 17, of the Constitution of the United States, is unlawful.

Good luck with that.

The State of Alaska declares that the alleged Amendment 14, the alleged Amendment 16 and the alleged Amendment 17 of the Constitution of the United States, were fraudulently ratified, according to the guidelines of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, and are therefore null and void.

Not sure what the deal is with the 14th Amendment, except perhaps doing away with “anchor-baby” citizenship – that goal could probably be done with statute, but it would have to be done at the Federal Level.  I’d dearly love to see the 1th and 17th Amendments go away, but states can’t just claim that those amendments were fraudulently ratified and refuse to acknowledge them.  No court in the country will agree with that, and the Supreme Court sure as well won’t.  The only way those two amendments will be overturned is with another amendment.

Anyway.  Read the whole thing.  You’ll certainly find a few other problems.

But wait – this party is called the Alaska Independence Party.  That’s what caught my attention in the first place.  What do they have to say about Alaskan Independence?

Alaskan Independence

Well, here are their goals:

The Alaskan Independence Party’s goal is the vote we were entitled to in 1958, one choice from among the following four alternatives:

  • Remain a Territory.
  • Become a separate and Independent Nation.
  • Accept Commonwealth status.
  • Become a State.

The call for this vote is in furtherance of the dream of the Alaskan Independence Party’s founding father, Joe Vogler, which was for Alaskans to achieve independence under a minimal government, fully responsive to the people, promoting a peaceful and lawful means of resolving differences.

 I really like this part:  … under a minimal government, fully responsive to the people, promoting a peaceful and lawful means of resolving differences.

But the vote?  We just aren’t going to have that.  It’s not on the list of options available to us.  Alaska is a state.  We have one Representative in the House and two Senators.  We have a Governor.  We are the 49th State.  In this case there are no do-overs.

The folks running the Alaska Independence Party seem to be basing all their hopes for the Great Land on somehow obtaining a mulligan on statehood.

In Conclusion

What the folks behind the Alaska Independence Party don’t seem to get is this:  Politics is the art of the possible.  Most of the agenda laid out in their goals and the proposed constitution just ain’t gonna happen.  It’s just not realistic.  In some cases that’s a shame, in others, well, it’s probably just as well.  While that’s not uncommon among would-be third parties (hello, Libertarian Party) it’s one of the primary reasons they retain “other party” status.  And, for the time being, the Alaska Independence Party will probably remain on the fringe.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

I don’t have too much to say on this wintry Alaska Boxing Day, except this:  Merry (belated) Christmas to you all, and may your 2023 be happy, healthy, and profitable.  It’s been a… different sort of year, but I’m reminded as I look out the window that, no matter what happens in the world of Man, Alaska is always there, patiently waiting just outside the office door.  There’s something outside your door, too; keep that in mind as we roll into 2023, with all the weirdnesses and headaches that will no doubt come along.  Take an even strain!

Come back tomorrow for the resumption of regular posts.

Rule Five New Amendment Friday

I initially put this up about two years ago, and given the goat screw our recent mid-terms turned out to be, and give the ever-accelerating downhill slide of the Imperial government, I thought I’d trot it out for comment again.  So, here you go; have at it in the comments.

***

I’d like to propose a few constitutional amendments, to hopefully help to unscrew the jug-fuck the Imperial government has become.  I’ve done this before, but much like Barack Obama on same-sex marriage, my views have ‘evolved’ some.

Bear in mind that I have absolutely no illusion that these will ever come to fruition; this is purely a pie-in-the-sky wish-list of things I would implement were I Dictator For A Day.

So, without further ado, here they are.

Amendment 28 – Term and Service Limits

Text

The President is limited to one six-year term.  Senators are limited to one six-year term.  Representatives are limited to three two-year terms.  Following the allowed terms, all such persons are forever prohibited from holding elected, appointed or hired office at the Federal level, nor shall any such persons receive any benefits or pensions once leaving office, except in the event of a service-connected permanent injury or disability.

Purpose:

No more ‘political class,’ obviously.  No more lifetime pols suckling at the Imperial teat for life.  A true citizen legislature: you spend some time in office, then go back and live in the mess you made.

Amendment 29 – Qualification of Voters

Text

The franchise is limited to those citizens of the United States who have attained the age of eighteen on the day of the election, who possess a government-issued photo ID and present the ID at the polling station, and who have filed a tax return on the year previous to the election showing a net payment of taxes at the Federal level.  All votes shall be cast in person at a designated polling station.  Ballot harvesting and mail-in voting, excepting requested absentee ballots, are prohibited.

Purpose:

No skin in the game?  You don’t vote.  Add a healthy dose of election integrity to that; the 29th Amendment wouldn’t make cheating impossible, but it would make it a lot harder.

Amendment 30 – Constitutional Tribunal

Text

A fourth branch of government is established, the Constitutional Tribunal, consisting of three Tribunes from each State:  One elected by the eligible voters of the State, one appointed by the State legislature, and one selected at random from the rolls of eligible voters.  The purpose of the Tribunes are to determine the Constitutionality of all new laws and regulations, as defined in Amendment 31.

Purpose:

In our current system, career pols freely pass laws that cannot and should not pass Constitutional muster.  Unfortunately, someone with “standing” has to challenge those laws to get them tossed out, and the people who passed those laws face no consequences.  So let’s have a new branch of government who does nothing else but determine the Constitutionality of new laws and regulations, and let’s have the selection of the members be split among various groups with differing priorities.  Which leads us to…

Amendment 31 – Constitutional Challenge of Laws/Regulations

Text

All new laws and regulations from any source are considered to be potentially unconstitutional and shall not take effect until approved by a 2/3 vote of the Constitutional Tribunal.  In the event of a law or regulation being determined to be prohibited by the Constitution, any elected officials who sponsored or co-sponsored the legislation, or any appointed or hired officials who authored the regulation, shall be immediately removed from office and henceforth prohibited from any elected, appointed or hired office at the Federal level.

Purpose:

As noted above:  Consequences.  Pass a law or write a regulation that you haven’t absolutely determined is in concord with the Constitution?  No soup for you!  You are out on your ass and proscribed from ever holding such a position of authority again.  I did not include, but am willing to consider, including any President who knowingly signs an unconstitutional bill into law.

So.  Thoughts?

Rule Five America Suffering Friday

I stumbled across this piece of election recap over at The American Spectator, an article by Scott McKay, who I’ve read and discussed before.  I thought it worth a mention.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

This should have been a massive wave election. Given the low job approval ratings of the sitting president in his first midterm election, and given the favorable generic congressional ballot numbers, this should have been a plus-five wave in the Senate and a plus-30 wave, or bigger, in the House. It also should have resounded down to statehouses, and yet the GOP turns out, apparently, not to have been able to beat abysmal Democrat gubernatorial candidates like Katie Hobbs, Kathy Hochul, and Gretchen Whitmer.

There are so many utterly horrid Democrats who will remain in office after this election that it should be offensive to average Americans. It’s tempting to fall into the trap of believing there must be wholesale corruption in American elections, but the problem with going there is that there must be proof before it’s actionable.

Until some is presented, we’ll have to deal with something very unpleasant. Namely, here’s the truth that we on the Right are going to have to accept: the American electorate in 2022 is awful.

And the axiom about the cycle that involves weak men and tough times is a real thing, and we are in the worst quadrant of that cycle.

I might point out that I’ve been saying that last bit for a few years now.  The cycle referred to is this one:

  • Hard times make tough people.
  • Tough people make good times.
  • Good times make weak people.
  • Weak people make hard times.

And, yes, we’re on the last phase of that.  It’s interesting, because we only have to go back to my parents’ generation to find the second; the children of the Great Depression, who lived through WW2 and turned the U.S. into a global powerhouse.  Their children, the Boomers – my generation – frankly gave rise to the third phase.  (I proudly exempt my own kids from that.  They are all tough, productive and proficient.)

And here come those hard times:

But gas prices will skyrocket thanks to the Biden administration’s running out of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The true shortage of both crude oil and refined petroleum products will soon become unmistakable.

And it’s going to be a cold winter in America, and a rough time coming.

You only think it’s rough now. You have no idea how bad things can get. When the diesel fuel runs out and the trucks don’t move, and the shelves go empty, and the layoffs come, perhaps you’ll think of 2022 as the good times.

But will they vote accordingly?  Color me skeptical.

The trouble is that the Republicans are also performing manifestly awfully, and if the voters were only willing to deliver a mild rebuke, at best, of the Democrats, they do appear willing to deliver one to the Republicans as well.

The voters took a look at the Republican Party and they don’t prefer Mitch McConnell to Chuck Schumer — or, if they do, not by a lot. They don’t prefer Kevin McCarthy to Nancy Pelosi — or, if they do, not by a lot.

And they didn’t see much of anything out of the GOP that they thought was worth voting for, even if they thought the Democrats were no better.

Of course.  Again, as I’ve been saying for years, when one party is Thelma-and-Louiseing us off a fiscal cliff just a little slower than the other, what choice?  The destination is the same either way.  But Mr. McKay holds out for a bright spot:

Objectively, it’s clear that DeSantis is the future of the GOP. The talk about Lake as potentially overshadowing him can now be put to bed.

What we’ll have to discover is whether, rather than the future of the party, DeSantis must become its present. Because what he’s done in Florida in turning it definitively from purple to red in just four years is the single most impressive thing in Republican politics.

Frankly, it might be just about the only impressive thing in Republican politics now.

Republicans should study DeSantis and emulate him. He’s the standard. And as America turns bleak over the next two years, he might be the only inspiration the party has left.

Here’s where I’m skeptical.  Sure, there are bad times coming, and yes, if there is any sanity left in the country, the Dems will be held to blame for it.  But the rock upon which I founder in this assessment is the statement “…if there is any sanity left in the country.”  I’m having a hard time convincing myself that the electorate in general are much smarter than sheep.

But I might be wrong.  There’s an story about a young man buying a mule from an old man, who assured the buyer that the mule was “…the most biddable creature ever birthed.  Just tell him what you want him to do and he’ll do it.”  So the young man pays for the mule, takes hold of the headstall and says, “OK, come with me.”  The mule doesn’t budge.  “Come on,” the buyer says, pulling harder.  “You’re coming with me.”  The mule ignores him.  Then the old man says, “Oh, wait.”  He picks up a nearby two-by-four and shatters it across the mule’s skull.  The mule looks up and starts to follow the buyer.  The old man calls after them as they leave, “He’ll do anything you want, but first you have to get his attention.”

The coming few years may be enough to get the American people’s attention.  And it may take that metaphorical two-by-four.

Rule Five Barn Burner Friday

Now for the fun one:  I seem myself delivering this one at a shout.

Take a look at the signs waved by some of the protestors, rioters and arsonists plaguing our major cities today.  Take a look at some of their positions – anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-freedom.

Now take a look at the protestors themselves.  Ask yourself how many of them actually do any productive work.

These people toil not, neither do they spin.  They are, by and large, parasites on the productive members of society that they demonize at every turn.  But there’s something they are missing, a key point that we, the productive, understand, that they do not.  And I say this to those parasites:

You need us.  We don’t need you.

To you folks out there in the audience today, I say this:  We – you and I – not they, are the people who make this economy run.  We grow the food these parasites eat.  We make the clothing they wear.  We make the cell phones and tablets they use to plan their riots.  We write the code for the social networking sites on which they plan their riots.  And I say this to those parasites:

You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who feed you.

People like my father, who raised Black Angus cattle, corn, and soybeans for much of his life.  The people who sell the seed and take the steers off to the packing plant.  The people who make fertilizer, who build the farm machinery in factories like the huge John Deere plant in Waterloo, Iowa.  You look down on the truckers who haul supplies to the farms and ranches and food to the distributors and stores.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who transport you.

People like the thousands who work in the plants of Ford, GM, Chrysler, and the other various manufacturers all around the country.  The people who refine the gasoline and Diesel fuel that move the vehicles, the people who fix your car when it breaks down, the driver of the wrecker who comes out to help you because you lack the skills to do something as elementary as changing a tire – a skill I learned at about ten years of age.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who clothe you.

Thousands more grow cotton, raise sheep, to make the cloth.  Workers all over the world make your “stylish” tattered blue jeans, maybe even some of those really expensive ones with fake ground-in dirt on them to make it look as though you’ve actually done a day’s work at some point in your lives.  Thousands more package the clothing, deliver it to stores, where retail clerks deal endlessly with difficult customers at little pay to provide you with the clothes you wear while lecturing the rest of us.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who keep you warm.

I’m talking about the thousands that work on the Alaskan oil fields, in the shale formations in the Dakotas, and on drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.  The people who build the pipelines, who move heavy equipment from site to site, who work in the refineries and who move heating oil and natural gas from those refineries to its final point of use – not to mention the scientists and engineers who design and build the equipment and discover new sources of valuable fuels.  You not only look down on these people but demonize them for their contributions to some nebulously defined ‘climate change,’ even as the United States is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions not because of climate worries but because of cleaner fuels and vastly increased efficiencies, brought to you by those workers, scientists and engineers.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who make it possible for you to communicate.

From Silicon Valley to your local cell phone store, an entire industry is devoted to our modern, highly connected lifestyle.  People all around the world build the cellular phones you use and write the software that runs them.  Thousands more maintain the phone towers, the internet hubs, the connections, the wires, fiberoptic cables and wireless networks that transmit the data.  Their efforts make it possible to make your plans to riot and loot, to attack the very businesses, stores, and restaurants these productive people count on in their own productive lives.

And the irony of you decrying capitalism while using this technology, unprecedented in human history, that could only be the product of a free market, capitalist system, is beyond description.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

I’m going to presume for a moment that the parasite-protestor class, those with the Gender Studies degrees and trust funds, is actually capable of active thought.  To them, I say this:  I want all of you parasites to think, long and hard, about the implications of that statement:

You need us.

We don’t need you.

Rule Five Campaign Speech Friday

I’ve put this up every recent election year, so here it is again.  In fact, on these last two Fridays before the mid-terms, I’ll present this, my calm, reasoned speech first, then next Friday (Nov 4th) I’ll give you my shouted, gesticulating barn burner.  This week’s topic:  What kind of a campaign speech would I give if I, your humble servant, were running for President?  It might go something like this:

Ladies and Gentlemen – friends – Americans – citizens.

I stand before you on this two hundred and thirty-first year of our Republic.   I stand before you to announce my intention to seek the Presidency of our Republic.  Most important of all, I stand before you to tell you why I intend to seek this thankless, stressful job, and what I intend to do with it.

I’d like to take this time to tell you the undying principles upon which I will base my policies, and upon which I will base legislation that I will propose to Congress:

First:  Liberty.

Liberty means you are free to do as you please, so long as you cause no harm, physical or financial, to anyone else.  As Thomas Jefferson said, “If it neither picks my pocket nor break my arm, it’s not my concern.”  This is a coin with two sides:  Nobody gets to tell you what to do, but neither do you get to tell anyone else what to do.  Marry who you like.  Work where and how you like.  Start businesses and create new products and services as you like.  It’s nobody else’s business – and it sure as hell isn’t the government’s business – until you hurt someone else.  We currently live in a nation where you are required to obtain permission from a government bureaucrat to cut hair, to paint fingernails, to sell lemonade.  I call bullshit.  This must stop.

Second:  Property.

That means the following:  The fruits of your labors are yours.  They do not belong to some government bureaucrat, nor to some shouting agitator, nor to some ivory tower academic.  They are yours.  Government, to be effective at the few things they are required – absolutely required – to do, must tax you for some small amount of the fruits of your labors, but that taxation must be strictly limited, strictly fair, simply defined, and some must be collected from every single citizen.  Everybody contributes.  Nobody skates.  There are too many in the nation who have no skin in the game, and our elections have become auctions, with candidates falling over each other promising voters more of other peoples’ property.  I call bullshit.  This must stop.

Third:  Accountability.

Government, at all levels, serves you.  You do not serve the government.  I stand here today not as someone seeking to be your master, but as someone applying for a job – and you will be my employers.  I am applying for the job of CEO of the world’s largest Republic, and you, the citizens of the Republic, are the world’s largest Board of Directors.  I answer to you, not the other way around.  Every single government employee, from the President to the third assistant dogcatcher in Leaf Springs, Arkansas, answers to you.  And so as one of my first acts in office I will personally visit every office, every facility, and every installation that falls under the control of the Executive Branch.  I will personally speak with the Federal employees at those offices, facilities and installations.  Any employee that cannot satisfactorily answer two questions:  “What is your purpose?  What are you doing right now?” will be fired on the spot.  Any Executive Branch employee at any level who breaks the law, any law, will be fired and prosecuted.  Government employees have, for too long, been held to different standards than the electorate.  I call bullshit.  This must stop.

Fourth:  Efficiency.

The Federal government has become a bloated Colossus.  Washington is littered with extra-constitutional agencies, the purpose of which is to regulate, to dictate, to interfere with the free citizenry.  There is no constitutional justification for many of them, and many of them actually work at cross purposes.  The result is that every single business enterprise in the nation has to have an army of accountants and attorneys to help them navigate the twisted pathways of regulation and taxation; that every citizen has to puzzle through pages upon pages of Federal guidance in so prosaic an action as filing their annual tax return.  The Federal government has only a few, a very few, legitimate roles:  To protect private property, to ensure liberty, to protect the citizens from foreign interference.  That’s all.  But not today; no, not today.   The Federal government has indeed become a bloated Colossus, but I intend to cut it down to size.  As one of my first acts in office I will call upon Congress to eliminate the Federal Departments of Commerce, of Energy, of Education, and any others that I deem to be extra-constitutional and that add no value to the proper roles of government.  And believe you me, this is only the beginning.  Our government is too big.  I call bullshit.  This must stop.

Let me be very clear on my intent.  I intend to reduce the Federal government to a minimum.  I’m not talking about trimming around the edges.  I’m sure as hell not talking about “reductions in the rate of increase.”  I’m talking about swinging a meat axe, and I am serious as hell about it.  All the extra-constitutional agencies set up by previous administrations will be gone.  Not reduced, not repurposed – gone.  Education?  Gone.  Energy?  Gone.  Commerce?  Gone.  Health and Human Services?  Gone.  Labor?  Gone.  Housing and Urban Development?  Gone.  Environmental Protection?  Gone.  Homeland Security?  Gone.

There are three cabinet-level agencies that the Federal government is justified in retaining:  Defense, Treasury, and State.  The rest can go.  Veteran’s Affairs can be rolled into Defense.  As for Federal law enforcement, we already have an agency for that:  The U.S. Marshals.  The borders?  Roll the Border Patrol into the Marshals.  One headquarters, several missions, but that’s doable.

I intend to take the Federal government back to the level it was in 1850.  In that year, the Federal government’s expenditures were about 3% of GDP.  Now we are 23 trillion in debt, and Federal spending is 20% of GDP.  I call bullshit.  This must stop.

That will be the genesis of my campaign slogan:  THREE PERCENT!

So, if you value liberty and property, and want accountability and efficiency in your public servants, vote for me.  If you want Free Shit, vote for someone else.  That’s all.

In all honesty, even if I wanted an elected office, I’m effectively unelectable in any case (think the country would elect an atheist minarchist libertarian President?  Not hardly!)  But I’d love the opportunity to give this speech in a big enough venue to make media talking heads explode and proggie commentators start running around like their hair is on fire. 

Rule Five Trump VP Friday

Over at the New English Review recently, scribe Roger L. Simon explored the possibility of Tulsi Gabbard becoming President Trump’s 2024 running mate.  As will surprise none of you, I have some thoughts, which begin with “not only no, but hell no!”  Excerpt:

At the least, the choice of Gabbard would make a striking comparison on many levels to Kamala Harris, though it’s highly unlikely our current vice president will be anywhere near the 2024 Democratic presidential ballot.

That party tries to keep her out of sight as much as possible now, but even when they send her as far as the border of North and South Korea, she seems to have trouble remembering which is our ally. A second vice presidency isn’t in the cards.

Notwithstanding Harris, however, the case for Gabbard isn’t frivolous. Her video statement on formally leaving the Democratic Party is as eloquent and well-taken as any potential Republican vice presidential candidate I can think of:

“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party. It’s now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoking anti-white racism, who actively worked to undermine our God-given freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, and who are hostile to people of faith and spirituality, who demonize the police who protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans who believe in open borders, who weaponize the national security state to go after their political opponents, and above all, are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.”

Amen, sister!

Tulsi isn’t wrong in any of that quote; she accurately sums up what has become of the Democrat Party.  It’s become a party that Harry Truman wouldn’t recognize.  Indeed, Truman would be considered a far-right reactionary by today’s Democrats.  But Mr. Simon, much as I like and respect him, only hints at one of the major problems with this idea:

I write this well aware that I may not agree with Tulsi on everything. (I don’t even agree with myself on everything.) I write it in a desire to move things forward in the worst of times.

I’m also well aware there are several other worthy potential Republican vice-presidential candidates, notably Gov. Ron DeSantis, who certainly deserves to be president someday. He would be a great one. He’s done a superb job in Florida and has continued to do so with Ian, miraculously restoring electricity to the state within days.

In 2024, assuming Trump runs again, he would be well-advised to make Ron DeSantis the heir apparent.  In fact, I’d bet serious folding money that Governor DeSantis will one day occupy the Imperial Mansion, and when he does, he will likely be the most consequential President since Ronald Reagan.  But even if the Governor declines, Trump should not pick Tulsi Gabbard.

Don’t get me wrong.  I admire the principled stand Tulsi Gabbard has taken on leaving a political party that has gone insane.  She is leaning into taking the red pill to some small extent; a recent video shows her shooting an AR-pattern carbine, among other weapons.  From what I read, she is personable as well.  Sensible people like her, even those who disagree with her on policy positions.  Were I to have the chance to speak with her, I expect it would be a polite exchange of ideas without rancor.  Like me, she’s a veteran with combat-zone tours under her belt.

But she shouldn’t be the VP candidate for a GOP President.

Her positions on gun control have been (hah) a moving target, but she is generally in favor of bans or at least restrictions on “assault weapons,” she is in favor or higher marginal tax rates, her economic stances in general are well to the left of center.

Ms. Gabbard’s leaving the ever-more-loony Democrats shouldn’t lead one to believe that she’s switching sides.  I don’t think she is.  I think she’s stayed the same, a reliable liberal as the term was defined in the Nineties and early Oughts.  As she stated herself, the party left her, not the other way around.  She’s not a conservative or a libertarian, and she likely isn’t and won’t be moving in that direction.

Should Donald Trump run again in 2024 – and I’m guessing he will – the last thing he should do is embrace a liberal to the Presidential bosom.  And, to be fair, I doubt Tulsi would be interested in the gig in any case.