Category Archives: Politics

Rule Five Government Waste Friday

Over at RedState, my colleague Brad Slager had a piece I wanted to share with y’all, and comment on – so I will.

In yet another case of President Biden making stratospheric promises and delivering results that end up in a drainage ditch, we look into the once highly-touted BEAD program, his Broadband Equity Access Deployment initiative which would bring high-speed internet access to all of the far-flung parts of the nation. 

Deriving from his monstrous trillion-dollar infrastructure spending spree signed into law in 2021, BEAD was set up to bring the wonders of the web to rural Americans otherwise struggling without access to TikTok and Temu. Now we are two and a half years out from that proposal, so where do things stand? 

Basically, it is on its knees. 

It’s on its knees, all right.  Want to know how much this fiasco has spent, and what we the taxpayers have gotten for our money?  Brad has the receipts.

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr has lashed out at the administration for this sloth seen in the program. Carr, who has also come out with statements opposing Biden’s desire to wield more control over the internet, has taken this sprawling program to task for failing broadly.

Four years, $42.45 billion, and nothing has been done. Not one person has been hooked up to high-speed internet. Not one.

Look, high-speed internet is already a thing almost everywhere.  Sure, there’s room for improvement; here in our Susitna Valley home and office, our internet is a Dedicated Server Line (DSL) which comes to us via an old-school copper telephone cable.  It’s not as fast, perhaps, as the latest fiber-optic lines, but people are thin on the ground out here, the phone lines are already in place, and here we regularly stream television and movies, not to mention all our online computing needs (both my wife and I make our livings at our computers) and that’s with the middle-of-the-road data package offered by our local phone co-op.

Brad continues:

In testimony before a congressional subcommittee in May, Alan Davidson – head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and who runs the BEAD project – tried to sound proud of the fact that actual groundbreaking on this enterprise would commence in late 2025, or into 2026. The proposal called for 56 states and territories to be allocated funding from BEAD to commence with installing the infrastructure, but so far only ten have even met approval. The main problem is the ridiculous stipulations within the 9 stages of vetting attached to the application process for the states to endure.

For openers, there is the inclusion that the federal government wants to regulate the connectivity rates, which is holding back internet providers while the Republicans point out that the law prevents this from becoming a reality. And then there are the far more restrictive issues that have been layered onto the application process. 

For a clue as to what these are we need only look at that first vowel in the BEAD acronym; that inclusion of “Equity” is always assured to deliver problems.

Because, of course, the Imperial City can’t get involved in anything without the vanadium-plated EQUITY problem always being a condition – and always wasting a lot of time and money.  Their time, our money.

This, friends, is a classic case of government taking a bunch of money to fix a problem that doesn’t need fixing, and then accomplishing nothing.  Let the markets handle these things, and everything will go much more smoothly.

Rule Five Unimaginable, Inevitable Friday

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson recently spoke with City Journal’s Brain C. Anderson to talk about his latest book, titled The End of Everything: How Wars Descend into Annihilation.  As you might guess from the title, this was a serious topic.  I can’t go through the whole interview – read it, by all means – but here’s the intro, and the real kicker:

Brian Anderson: So, in this new book, The End of Everything, you chronicle the demise of four civilizations, classical Thebes, Punic Carthage, Byzantine Constantinople, and then the Aztecs. And there can be, you write, degrees of obliteration, and you described them in each of these examples, but there are also striking similarities in the wartime destruction of whole societies. So I wonder, just to start out, how do you define the total destruction of a culture? What do you mean by that?

Victor Davis Hanson: Well, it’s different than just the obliteration of their infrastructure or the mass killing, as we saw during World War II when we firebombed Japan and we bombed Dresden and we left the Third Reich and the Japanese Empire a shell of their former selves, but we quickly allowed them to recalibrate under democratic auspices. And today there’s a thriving German culture. In some ways, there’s a continuity all the way back to the beginning of a united Germany. And the same is true of Japan. But what I was interested in is these rare occasions in history when a society, a civilization, a city state, an empire, a nation goes to war and they lose. And they not only lose their infrastructure—either it’s destroyed or simply absorbed and swallowed by the victor—but the civilization disappears. And by that, in the ancient world, in the pre-modern world, that’s usually either by mass murder or killing during combat in addition to enslavement. In all these cases that proved to be true.

This sounds a lot like what Hamas attempted on October 7th of last year.  It sounds a lot like what they would do to the United States, were they given the opportunity.

Consider also that the barbarians are already inside our gates.  While the Biden(‘s handlers) administration has literally thrown open the doors, illegal immigration has been a problem for decades; it’s probably inevitable when a wealthy, advanced nation shares a two-thousand-mile border with a poor, failed narco-state.  That doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort, though, to enforce that order, or to kick illegals the hell out when they are caught.

The point is at this point, we have millions of people in the country who are here illegally.

We have very little idea who most of them are.  We don’t always know where they really came from, where they intend to go, or what they intend to do when they get there – but in some of those cases we had better assume the worst.

Dr. Hanson concluded:

I don’t think we have the ability to ensure that people are not coming into our country with ill intent. And I say that as someone who lives 12 miles away from a biolab in Reedley, California of all places, a little tiny agrarian town. Right in the very packing house where I worked as a kid, they found a Chinese biolab with vials on the floor of cholera, malaria, HIV, Covid, SARS virus, every deadly type of pathogen, and dead genetically engineered mice, right in the middle of this little town. And it was somebody with connections with the Chinese government who claimed that he was trying to create a testing service, but there was no evidence of that. No one to this day knows what it was all about, except it was very dangerous.

I think Dr. Hanson is a master of understatement.  Having been educated in biology, and also having been through the U.S. Army’s Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical warfare training, I will say that bugs scare me more than nukes or gas.  Bio-weapons are horrible; lethal, self-spreading; if they don’t scare the absolute kapok out of you, you need to read more on the topic.

Dr. Hanson is, I’m afraid, a voice crying out in the wilderness, as are many of us in the right-leaning media.  What’s coming may be inevitable, it’s for sure unimaginable, and it may be impossible to avoid.

Animal’s Daily Europe Trending News

Before I get into the Old World and that state of affairs, be sure to check out the conclusion of Barrett’s Privateers – Unrepentant Sinner over at Glibertarians.  My fiction writing over there will be on hiatus for a few weeks in order to present some other great work, so stay tuned, because I’ll be tossing that work some linkage as well.

Now then: Is there hope for Europe after all?

The president of France was forced to call an emergency election as populist right-wing parties made stunning gains in elections held across Europe Sunday.

President Emmanuel Macron announced he would dissolve his National Assembly and hold elections next month after he was humiliated by voters in the European Parliament election.

The anti-immigration, anti-EU National Rally party led by Macron’s arch-rival Marine Le Pen is projected to get at least 31% of the votes — more than twice as many as the president’s pro-European centrist party.

“The French people have sent a very clear message. They no longer want a technocratic, out-of-touch European construction which results in a loss of influence, identity and freedom,” Le Pen said, according to The Times.

In Germany, the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party took second place in the polls with 16.5% of the vote despite being mired in controversies — even placing ahead of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party.

Germany’s left-of-center governing coalition parties are estimated to barely secure a combined 30% of votes.

The Greens environmental party, the second-biggest in Scholz’s coalition, only secured 12% of the vote.

Well, this is interesting, isn’t it?

People talk a lot about that famous old political pendulum, but in recent years it seems like it swings a little farther to the left with every cycle.  But maybe – just maybe – there’s a larger cycle, and maybe that larger cycle will now start moving the Overton Window back to the right.

Europe!

Since 2016, I’ve been saying that Donald Trump was a reaction, not a cause, to America’s woes.  The various EU “far-right” pols, who would probably be considered moderates Stateside, are also reactions – but they are reactions to ethnic Europeans who are tired of seeing their nations invaded by Third World lunatics who clog streets to demand Sharia courts, engage in grooming rape gangs, and maybe just for fun burn the odd police car or two.

We can hope. But after the European Parliament elections, some of the various member nations, like France, are going to have some navel-gazing to do – and they may find themselves facing a new direction, politically.  And if Europe is to remain European, they may have to.

Rule Five Defining A Woman Friday

What is a woman? A woman is an adult female of the genus Homo.

It’s a trifle baffling (and, yes, the choice of discussing this on Rule Five Friday is deliberate, as you can see a vivid example of womanhood in the illustrations) that so many people have trouble with this simple concept; in fact, some of them are supposedly judges.

My RedState colleague and friend Becky Noble penned a piece on this very topic the other day.

Judge Sarah Netburn is a United States Magistrate Judge. She has been nominated by President Joe Biden for a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, a very prestigious nomination indeed. But there is just one problem: Recently, during her nomination hearing, when given a series of questions by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of those questions pertained to wording in a ruling from August 2022 that directed a biological male prisoner to be housed in a women’s prison.

“In your Report & Recommendation, you open your ‘Factual Background’ section by stating: ‘At birth, people are typically assigned a gender.’ … Is it possible to determine a person’s sex by only analyzing their chromosomes?”

Judge Netburn’s response may sound like a road we have been down before. She replied, “I have never studied biology, and therefore I am unqualified to answer this question.” Never having “studied biology” appears to be a qualification for Biden judicial appointees. If you recall, now Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson also had trouble with simple biology when asked by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, “Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?” To which Justice Brown Jackson replied, “Can I provide a definition? No, I can’t.” When Blackburn pressed her, she now famously, or infamously added, “Not in this context, I’m not a biologist.”

What utter drivel and goo.

Prevarication of this sort should instantaneously result in her being disqualified. This isn’t exactly cutting-edge science;  this is something that has been known on an instinctual level since long before our most distant ancestors came down from the trees, as it were.

But then, this woman (for that is what she is, her legal or biological education or lack thereof notwithstanding) is interviewing, in effect, for a job that will have her deciding such things as whether men should be allowed in women’s private facilities, like bathrooms and locker rooms. And, I remind you, her track record on that is not good:

It might be one thing to rattle off a ridiculous response like that in the environment of a hearing, but in Judge Netburn’s case, it has very real ramifications. The potential inmate in question pleaded guilty to molesting a nine-year-old boy, a class B felony, raping a 17-year-old girl, and criminal deviate conduct in the rape case; both are also class B felonies. The suspect was sentenced to two consecutive 18-year prison terms in an Indiana state prison and was released on parole after 18 years, but violated the terms of parole by having internet access in his apartment and was resentenced to six years.

This idiot judge put this idiot rapist in a women’s prison.

There is no sane universe in which Sarah Netburn should be presiding over any legal proceeding, anywhere, ever.

 

Animal’s Daily Nutbag News

Before I get into this, check out the latest installment of Barrett’s Privateers – Unrepentant Sinner over at Glibertarians.  There will be one more episode, then I’ll be on hiatus at the Glibs for a while while one of my able colleagues over there fills the Monday fiction time slot; watch for links to that.

Now then:  One of the most egregious cases of belaboring the obvious is found in this statement: Maxine Waters is an idiot.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., claimed former President Trump was instigating violence in the U.S. and suggested that his supporters were “domestic terrorists” who should be investigated for possibly preparing for a “civil war.” 

“I’m worried that he’s so divisive and that he’s talking about retribution, and they’re talking about revenge and I think that that’s dangerous. He’s even mentioned civil war at one point, talked about there would be bloodshed,” Waters said on MSNBC Sunday, referring to Trump’s rhetoric.

During the media appearance, the congresswoman vowed that she would ask the “criminal justice system” to find out what is “going on with the domestic terrorists,” seeming to refer to the presumptive Republican nominee’s supporters. 

“Are they preparing a civil war against us?” she continued. “Should we be concerned about our safety? What is [Trump] doing with this divisive language? It is dangerous.” 

Pot, meet kettle.

Waters has also been accused of violent rhetoric, having caused controversy in 2021 after telling protesters to “get more confrontational” if ex-Minneapolis police Derek Chauvin was acquitted in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin was stabbed by an inmate in federal prison and seriously injured in 2023 after he was convicted for Floyd’s death, which set off more violent protests across the country. 

Maxine “Mad Max” Waters is not someone who should be taken seriously.  She foments hatred and division; she sees anyone to the right of Leon Trotsky as an existential threat to the entire planet, maybe the entire observable universe.  She complains about the motes in others’ eyes while ignoring the plank in her own, and does all this with a room-temperature IQ.  Go figure.

This is how Maxine Waters views Trump supporters:

And that’s the big difference between us and Mad Max.  She thinks the message in this is scary and bad.  We think that, actually, it’s pretty damn cool.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

I was going to write a few words on last week’s Trump conviction for… what?  Who knows?  But one of the nation’s premier legal minds and constitutional scholars, Alan Dershowitz – a liberal Democrat who voted for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden – says it much better than I could.

Alan Dershowitz – and let me say that as a legal mind, Alvin Bragg is not fit to scrap dog shit off Alan Dershowitz’s shoes – is 100% spot-on here.  This sham trial was a gross miscarriage of justice, a travesty, and a fraud.

And they just handed Donald Trump the 2024 election.

The polls over the next few weeks will be interesting indeed, but the first few post-verdict polls have wandered around some, but as time goes on, the vast differences between Trump and the ever-more-dementia-ridden, befuddled, confused Joe Biden will become apparent.

I remind you, as well, that Trump drew 10,000 people to a rally in the deep-blue, hardcore Democrat South Bronx, while Joe Biden can barely fill half of a high school gymnasium in friendly territory.

The aftermath of this election will be very interesting indeed.

Post-Trump Trial Comments – A Civil War?

Yesterday (Friday) I was live with my RedState colleague Brandon Morse on his “Brandon Morse is a Brand Risk” stream, discussing the aftermath of the Trump verdict and the possibility of a second American civil war.  Watch the whole thing, but my comments start at about 47:30 if you’re in a rush.  Also, toss Brandon a like and a subscribe; he always has great content.

Rule Five NRA First Amendment Friday

It’s a win for the NRA: On Thursday, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the New York State Department of Financial Services’s blacklisting of the Association was illegal, a violation of the First Amendment.  Even Biden’s appointee, Justice Jackson, agreed, and one of the Court’s left-of-center justices wrote the opinion.

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously decided that the National Rifle Association (NRA) “plausibly alleged” that the New York State Department of Financial Services violated the group’s First Amendment rights by blacklisting the group.

In a unanimous decision written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the high court “holds that the NRA plausibly alleged that Vullo violated the First Amendment by coercing DFS-regulated entities to terminate their business relationships with the NRA in order to punish or suppress the NRA’s advocacy.” 

“The judgment of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is vacated, and the case remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion,” the court said, allowing the NRA to continue to argue its case, overruling the second circuit’s dismissal of the suit.

It’s nice to see that left and right on the Court (there isn’t supposed to be a “left” and “right” on the Supreme Court, but we all know damn well that there are) agreeing on something as fundamental as the First Amendment, even where the NRA is involved.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the NRA in 2018 which questioned whether a government regulator threatens regulated entities with adverse regulatory actions if they do business with a controversial speaker, allegedly because of the government’s own hostility to the speaker’s viewpoint, violates the First Amendment.

“Six decades ago, this Court held that a government entity’s ‘threat of invoking legal sanctions and other means of coercion’ against a third party ‘to achieve the suppression’ of disfavored speech violates the First Amendment,” the opinion states.

“Today, the Court reaffirms what it said then: Government officials cannot attempt to coerce private parties in order to punish or suppress views that the government disfavors,” it said. “Petitioner National Rifle Association (NRA) plausibly alleges that respondent Maria Vullo did just that.”

While I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on television, this seems like a slam-dunk to me.  The New York State Department of Financial Services clearly used the regulatory power of government to pressure financial institutions within the Empire State to “blacklist” the NRA, leaving the organization without any way to manage their finances – to pay their bills, in effect, and they made that threat based solely on what the NRA’s agenda is – supporting the Second Amendment rights of American citizens.

Consider if this case hadn’t been slapped down, and if the entire Supreme Court hadn’t bitch-slapped a bunch of New York bureaucrats who were going after a legal organization for political reasons.  The floodgates would have been open; any minor official with any power over the financial or law-enforcement apparatus in any state would have felt empowered to take on any organization they disagreed with, and to use the power of the state – the power to compel – to attempt to destroy said organization.

That’s what the New York State Department of Financial Services tried to do to the NRA.  They got knocked back.  The NRA’s case against them will proceed, and I expect the NRA will win.

But that’s a story for another day.