Category Archives: Politics

Rule Five Civil War Friday

I’ve talked about the possibility of a second civil war in the United States several times.  But what I haven’t gone into much (aside from taking a look at other people’s guesses) was this:  Who would win?

Here’s the tl;dr version:  In a civil war between Red and Blue, as we understand the terms in American politics today, the Reds would win.  Overwhelmingly, quickly, decisively.  Here’s why.


Look at who is having babies.  It’s not the left.  People in red states have more kids, and while that’s not a one hundred percent correlation to “people on the political right have more kids,” it’s a pretty good broad indicator.  Utah is (perhaps unsurprisingly) the state with the highest number of kids per household, with our own Alaska (a tad more surprising) coming in second.  Texas is fourth; New York, forty-second.

Why is this important?  Because a higher birthrate translates into more young men of military age.  If we are to have an armed conflict, this is the single most important demographic, as these are the people who will do the bulk of the fighting, whether in the regular military or in more-or-less organized militias.  While blue states have higher populations, the red states are more adept at sustaining those populations.  But aside from numbers, a state must have the right attitude for victory, and that’s largely cultural.


Look through the history of humanity, and you won’t see many wars fought over pronouns.  Young men – the demographic described above – are generally more motivated to fight for love of home, hearth, and country than for ‘social justice’ or other nebulous terms.  Denizens of the red states, people on the right of center, are more likely to hold attitudes that would serve well in conflict:  Self-reliance, thrift, courage, mental and physical fortitude.

The rank-and-file military would be key players.  The military leans right, except for some senior officers who are often as much politician as soldier; it’s likely, though, that most ordinary soldiers, especially combat arms soldiers, would side with the right, in many cases even taking their weapons and supplies with them.

Add to that the fact that the left, especially the radical progressive left, tends to badly overestimate the popularity of their policy positions.  The vast majority of the population does not want drag queens wiggling their crotches in front of children, or allowing twelve-year-olds to make decisions to undergo life-changing “gender-affirmation” surgeries and treatments.  The very lunacy of the progressive left will tip a lot of fence-sitters, people who would otherwise support liberal positions like same-sex marriage, into supporting the right if things come to open conflict.  And, finally, two words:  Second Amendment.  The rural/suburban right are far, far more likely to own/use/maintain proficiency with firearms.  Who has the guns can make a huge difference, and in America today, the right has almost all the guns.

Honestly, look at the progressive left’s track record.  Every time they have attempted to run a society, even on a small scale, the result has been abject failure.  Example:  Seattle’s “CHAZ” attempt, where leftist radicals seized control of several blocks of a major city.  Within days, they were out of food; within weeks, the zone had devolved to a dictatorship led by a warlord, backed by a gang of armed thugs.  This is not a formula for the kind of cohesive society that wins wars.


Examine these maps, based on the 2016 election.  The first is Trumpland; the second, the Clinton Archipelago.

The implications of these maps are enormous.

Look at this from a strategic sense.  By and large, the left is concentrated in a few small geographic areas.  For the most part, these areas are heavily urban, and dependent on the outskirts – red country – for electricity, gasoline, food and clothing, indeed most of the requirements of a modern lifestyle.  It would not be terribly difficult for a military force or even a well-organized militia to shut down imports into even a large city.  The blockage wouldn’t have to be leak-proof, but even preventing fifty percent of a major city’s food and energy imports would have that city melting down within a matter of days.

Indeed, in any hypothetical second civil war in the United States, that’s the main advantage the right would have; penned into their cities, deprived of internet, electricity, and food, the big blue cities would very rapidly destroy themselves; all the right would have to do is wait.

Now, I’m not advocating the idea of a civil war.  The likely result of this, regardless of which side wins, would be deaths in the hundreds of thousands at a minimum, more likely in the millions.  It would mean trillions in economic losses because of the infrastructure loss and the collapse of the big cities, which in all honesty remain great centers of economic activity and innovation.  It would engender hatreds and ill will that will last for generations, and may very well damage the Republic beyond repair.  America as we know it would almost certainly be no more.  This is something nobody should want and an outcome that we should take great pains to avoid.

But if it comes down to it – these are the reasons that the right would win, and quickly.  Agitators on the left, some of whom (I’m looking at you, Anderson Cooper) have been calling for “economic civil war” should take this into account.

Animal’s Daily Walmart News

Walmart is closing a bunch of stores in the Portland, OR area.  They aren’t alone.  Excerpt:

Walmart announced it is permanently closing all of its locations in Portland, Oregon, over financial reasons.

“We have nearly 5,000 stores across the U.S. and unfortunately some do not meet our financial expectations,” Walmart said in its announcement, according to KPTV. “While our underlying business is strong, these specific stores haven’t performed as well as we hoped.”

Both Walmart locations at Hayden Meadows and East Port Plaza will officially close on March 24. 

Financial reasons.  Uh huh.

Here’s the onion:

The announcements come just a few months after the Walmart CEO warned stores could close and prices could increase in light of sky-high retail crimes affecting stores across the country.

“Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in December on CNBC. He added that “prices will be higher and/or stores will close” if authorities don’t crack down on prosecuting shoplifting crimes. 

Walmart’s announcement comes after other stores in Portland have closed, many of which cited crime specifically

In other words, theft is a major issue, and for some reason – maybe a desire to get back into the market if the people of Portland ever regain some semblance of sanity and vote out the idiots that run that city now – they are downplaying the extent to which theft is a part of the decision.

Oh, remember when I said “they aren’t alone”?

A clothing shop called Rains PDX permanently shut down in November after facing a string of break-ins that left the store financially gutted. The store owner even posted a blistering note on the shop’s doors slamming the city’s crime rate.

“Our city is in peril,” a printed note posted on Rains PDX store read. “Small businesses (and large) cannot sustain doing business, in our city’s current state. We have no protection, or recourse, against the criminal behavior that goes unpunished. Do not be fooled into thinking that insurance companies cover losses. We have sustained 15 break-ins … we have not received any financial reimbursement since the 3rd.”

In other words, Walmart can survive without these Portland stores, but the small businesses cannot.

Look at that quote above.  It’s hard for me to contain my utter contempt and disgust with the people who proclaim, “oh, they’re insured.”  That’s a horrible, heartless and disgusting thing to say to someone who is watching their life’s work come apart on them while being recompensed pennies on the dollar.

As economist Herb Stein famously said, “something that can’t continue, won’t.”  Most of our big cities, not just Portland, are on a trajectory that can’t continue.  But they keep voting in the people that put them on that trajectory.

What happens now?

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Yesterday was the day for my quinquennial exhaust port inspection, which I attend to pretty scrupulously on that five-year schedule.  Why?  Because I have a pretty troubling family history of cancer.  Both my father and brother were treated for colon cancer, both my maternal uncles had cancer, and one of my sisters died of breast cancer that developed into everything cancer.  It’s a hell of a thing, but if I was to offer any of you True Believers some advice – and I suspect a fair number of you, like me, are males (in the traditional sense) in middle age or older, then see to getting screened at your doctor’s advice.

Just as attending to your required maintenance can help you get a half-million miles out of your car or truck, attending to your body’s required maintenance can increase the mileage you see before finally shuffling off this mortal coil.

But boy howdy, is the prep unpleasant.  Worth the trouble – but unpleasant.  Today is recovery day, and I’m taking it easy.  Other than cranking out the usual content for all you True Believers, of course.

Now then…

On To the Links!

Yeah, he’s running, Exhibit 204.

John Stossel points out yet another stupid law.

Good.  Now, if we could just get rid of ranked-choice voting here in Alaska.

Chicago’s probably beyond saving.

And let’s be honest – Chicago really doesn’t have any good choices for mayor.

Yeah, and Congressional Democrats are still trying to shit all over the First (and Second, and Fourth, and Tenth) Amendment.

Hopefully he learns something from it.

I love a happy ending.

When everything is racist, nothing is racist.

Never.  Apologize.

Yes, these people are utter fools.

This won’t end well.  Real-estate prices are unreasonable, but there are ways around it if you’re a bit flexible.  Two of our four kids live in a small town in eastern Iowa for this reason – they can afford to buy houses there.  Our other two live in a suburb of Denver and can barely afford an apartment.  Not everyone can pick up and just move, though.

The influence of Alaskan otters.

There’s always, eventually, some push-back.

The true lessons of mask mandates.

Taxation is theft!

Food fight!

This is going to be fun to watch.  Also:  More on that.

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

CNN’s Jill Filipovic is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Chris Geidner is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s David Graham is an idiot.

Most of the west coast is obviously run by idiots.

A nut announces for President.

The Nation’s John Nichols (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Kookoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Americans kidnapped by Mexican drug cartel were in Mexico seeking a “tummy tuck” surgery.  I don’t like to sound heartless, but this is surely a case for Dr. Darwin.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:
An actual Scottish Capercallie.

In 1984, two Scots named Donald Shaw and Karen Matheson met in Argyle and founded Capercallie, a band named after the great Scottish grouse and dedicated to traditional Gaelic tunes as well as some more modern stuff.

Most of their stuff is in the latter (sort of) genre, and one tune of theirs in particular I like is from their 1995 album To the Moon.  That tune, in the traditional Gaelic, is Fear-Allabain (which translates, more or less, into “Scottish Man.”  Here it is – enjoy!

Animal’s Daily State Lines News

Before we start, check out the latest installment of my dystopian vision over at Glibertarians.

Now then:  I’ve been watching the “Greater Idaho” movement for a while now, and I have to say I find it would make an interesting precedent, if it happens.  Excerpt:

Backers of the resolution support the so-called Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to incorporate about 13 Oregon counties, or 63% of the state’s landmass and 9% of its population, within Idaho’s borders.

Proponents of the idea argue it’s about maintaining more traditional values, preserving a certain way of life, and being properly represented by the state’s lawmakers.

“Yes, I am supportive of the Greater Idaho idea,” Idaho Rep. Judy Boyle, R, told Fox News Digital. “I have lived along the Oregon border my entire life, so have many east Oregon friends. They have been quite frustrated with the liberal I-5 western Oregon corridor running their state and completely ignoring their values and needs. They have finally come down to asking the voters, county by county, if they want to join Idaho. Currently, 11 counties have said YES [sic]!”

Bear in mind that, for this to succeed, both state legislatures (Oregon and Idaho) as well as the U.S. Congress would have to approve, which seems unlikely, although not impossible.

Interestingly but not surprisingly, the opposition to this all comes from the Left in Oregon and in Congress.  Apparently self-determination is a thing only if it favors the Democrats.  But if the Greater Idaho movement was successful, it would almost certainly spark a wave of such movements; in our former stomping grounds of Colorado, for example, several north-eastern counties have been making noise about joining Wyoming or forming a new state, to get themselves out from under the thumb of the Denver-Boulder Axis.

Self-determination is a good thing.  Sure, there’s a constitutional process to be followed, which makes it difficult, but not impossible.  This Greater Idaho issue may well be the primer that sets a larger trend in motion.  We’ll see.

Animal’s Daily Chicago News

This is why schadenfreude is a thing.  Excerpt:

Ousted Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot explained away her Tuesday election loss as a result of her being a “Black woman in America.”

Lightfoot faced eight challengers and finished Tuesday night’s election in third place, failing to get enough support to continue into a runoff election. Reporters pressed her on whether she believed she was treated unfairly during the campaign process.

“I’m a Black woman in America. Of course,” she responded, according to reports.

“Regardless of tonight’s outcome, we fought the right fights and we put this city on a better path,” Lightfoot said Tuesday night, adding that serving as Chicago’s mayor was “the honor of a lifetime.”

Haw haw haw!

To (soon-to-be former) Mayor Lightfoot, I can only say this:

  1. The loss was not a result of you being a “black woman in America.”  The loss was a result of your being the worst mayor in Chicago’s history, and in that you’re up against some pretty stiff competition.
  2. You fought all the wrong fights.  Crime skyrocketed on your watch.  It is now safer to walk down the street in Baghdad or Kabul than in some neighborhoods in Chicago.
  3. Serving as mayor may have been “the honor of a lifetime” for you, but for Chicago, it was an absolute disaster.

The story concludes:

Lightfoot’s critics stormed onto Twitter to celebrate her loss Tuesday evening.

“There is hope for my home city yet,” wrote Jonathan Turley, a criminal defense attorney and Fox News contributor. “Lori Lightfoot is out. The greatest potential improvement for the city since 1900 when the direction of the Chicago river was reversed.”

Contributing editor at The Spectator Stephen L. Miller wrote, “Perhaps Lori Lightfoot would have won if thousands of her voters had not been shot.”

Hear, hear!

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

March 1st already?

We’ve had a fair amount of snow over the last week or so.  But the days are getting longer, the sun is up later into the evening (soon to be amplified by the imposition of the retarded Daylight Savings Time crap) and soon, all the snow will start to melt, the rivers and creeks will open up, and then – it’s time for fishing!

We love the winters up here.  The snow stays a lovely, pristine white all winter, and the stillness and peace of a winter day is just wondrous.  But by March, every year, I’m ready for spring.

Now then…

On To the Links!

Only in Alaska.

I hope she sues this freak-show into the next solar system.

China’s Mars rover is busted.  Sort of like their demographic profile.

Yeah, let’s just keep pouring billions in taxpayer dollars into Ukraine.

Inflation continues to make life harder.

Canadian Super Pigs.  Yes, really.

Most gun control laws don’t work.  If you’da asked me, I coulda told ya.

This is a sad “wildlife encounter” from Florida.

Trump doing what Trump does best.

Haw haw haw!

There aren’t enough of the rich to pay for everything the Left wants. 

Yes, biology is real.  It’s nice to see some push-back.

Yeah, he’s running.

File this under “We are so fucked.”  This is how the rest of the free world looks at the current administration:

Tired of having your intelligence insulted?

Inflation is rearing its ugly head again.

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC’s Ja’han Jones (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

WaPo’s Eugene Robinson is delusional, and an idiot.

Rolling Stone’s Ernest Owens is an idiot.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a sawed-off little runt, and an idiot.

Salon’s Jeff Cohen is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

Greta Thunberg is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Carol Burnett is one of the greatest comedians of all time.  When I was a little tad one of the very few television shows the Old Man would even look at was The Carol Burnett Show, and during that show was one of the few times I ever heard my notoriously reserved and taciturn father laugh out loud.  Part of her genius was that she worked with equally talented comedians, not least of which was the brilliant Tim Conway.

Here, from a 1979 Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, is a great and little-known presentation not only of Carol Burnett and Tim Conway’s comedy genius, but also the considerable talent and class of Johnny Carson.  Here, then; enjoy!

Animal’s Daily Mask Failure News

Before we get into today’s topic, check out part 1 of a new series over at Glibertarians!

Now then:  This just in from Laura Dodsworth at the Brownstone Institute; masks worked, but not in the way you think.  Excerpt:

It’s not true that mask mandates did nothing. Yes, it is true they did nothing to halt the transmission of Covid, but the mask mandates damaged us all.

The imposition of masks without evidence was an appalling step for supposedly enlightened and democratic countries. Health professionals lied and have now lost our trust. Politicians lied too, although that was less surprising.

People with hearing loss, autism and PTSD suffered unnecessarily. Babies’ and children’s speech development and learning were impacted. People with serious lung conditions felt pressured by social conformity and authority to wear masks, at a cost to their health. Teenagers developed acne. Communication curtailed, we were separated; human interaction was generally ruined. Masks were uncomfortable.

The whole thing had one goal in mind:  Enforcing conformity, evidence be damned.  As a result you saw idiots riding in their personal cars, alone, wearing a mask; you saw people walking outside, in bright sunshine, alone, wearing a mask.  Mrs. Animal and I were in New Jersey when the first round of Kung Flu insanity hit, and one would have thought the very air was radioactive; people were literally masked everywhere, restaurants were closed, the grocery store required not only masks but gloves.  It was, literally, nuts.

Here’s the onion:

One government insider told me that ‘we are lying when we say masks work. They are a signal, a psyop. And we’ve criminalised not wearing them. Masks also transfer the blame onto individuals for the epidemic spreading. We have people counting the unmasked on public transport, policing each other. It is deeply unethical that we have set people against each other in this way. It allows the creation of an “out group” to blame.’

If masks gave you comfort, it was not real. The false sense of security may have even made you drop your guard and increased your risk.

Mask fervour resembled a religion. They became talismans, good luck rags, and signals of virtue. Seamstress Nina Murden and I created a photographic series, ‘Faith Masks’ to illustrate this.

Mask fervor didn’t just resemble a religion.  It is a religion.  Up here in the Great Land, particularly in summer, it’s become a light-hearted joke that you can always spot the tourists, because they are the only ones wearing masks. In too many areas, you still see the same things I remarked above; for example, someone driving their personal automobile, alone, wearing a mask.

But then I’ve always maintained that stupid people should be easy to spot.

What bothers me about this whole thing is the number of people who just blindly obeyed.  Some of us, yes, wore masks in places where we had to be and wouldn’t have been allowed otherwise, for example on airplanes.  My business requires travel; I had to be masked to take a flight, so I complied, when it was absolutely necessary.  I knew the entire thing was crap, though, and dropped the practice the moment it became possible.  A lot of people haven’t, though; that’s the religious aspect of the whole thing.  These people have accepted masking as a combined virtue-signal and talisman.  I would say that this is weak thinking, but it’s more accurate to say it’s not thinking at all.

Rule Five Newsom Nuisance News

Before we start, I had some thoughts on physical preparation for your annual big-game hunt over at Glibertarians.

Now then:  Issues & Insights (if you’re not checking them out daily, you should be) recently put out one of the better pieces I’ve seen on ever-more-loony California Governor Newsom’s political prospects at the national level.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

With a classified document scandal encircling him like a vulture waiting on a wounded animal to succumb to its injuries, Joe Biden’s chances to be a presidential candidate next year are closing in on nil. So who will be the Democrats’ flagship candidate? The smart money says it will be the foolish Gavin Newsom.

The California governor wouldn’t be the only candidate, of course. A lineup for the primaries is likely to include, at the least, current vice president and former U.S. senator from California Kamala Harris, as well as previous candidates Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Even former First Lady Michelle Obama appears in the betting lines.

The clear favorite, though, a year before the primaries, has to be Newsom. He has the backing, the teeth, the hair, the Hollywood glam – and 54 electoral votes.

Yeah, let’s be honest, at least amongst ourselves; that classified documents thing is going nowhere.  As I’ve said repeatedly, President Biden(‘s handlers) has the perfect Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card – a “D” behind his name.  But I still think his chances of being the Dem’s 2024 nominee are somewhere between slim and none, if for no other reason because of his increasingly undeniable senility.  Heels-Up Harris has approval ratings somewhere between a polecat and syphilis.  There just aren’t any good candidates currently at the national level for the Democrats.

Which brings us to Newsom.

While perfectly cast in the role as the chief executive of California, and adored in blue states on both coasts, and a few in the middle, Newsom’s appeal to red America will be less indifference than outright contempt. He is everything that those voters dislike.

Fair or not, he’s been called the governor of “Commiefornia,” “U-Haul Salesperson of the Year,” “delusional” about his claims of California freedom, and a hypocrite for going maskless at a tony Napa Valley restaurant in 2020 while he was hectoring everyone else to mask up. The majority of red state voters are not going to bother with the nuances regarding derisive labels, the governor’s tortured representation of California liberty, nor his “I made a bad mistake” apology for celebrating a friend’s birthday with this face uncovered.

They’d see, and they wouldn’t be wrong, a candidate who sneers at their values and does not have their interests in mind. What he believes are the important issues – climate change, Second Amendment infringements, pay equity, reparations, DEI policies, and comforting labor unions – red staters consider foolishness and worse. They don’t want to be “Californicated.”

This is, of course, belaboring the obvious.  Newsom is a creature of the loony Left, popular among the wealthy coastal elites in both East and West as well as the Free Shit constituency, but almost nowhere else.  In red states his candidacy would be viewed with horror (by myself, among others) and would probably drive GOP turnout through the roof.  But would it be enough to see him off?

Still, it cannot be denied that much of the country wants to be like California.

But for how long will the wish last in New York or Massachusetts or Minnesota or Washington? California isn’t what it once was, and while Newsom can’t be blamed for every ill in the state – from frightening crime, a toxic homeless problem, and punitive energy prices, to perpetual drought, raging wildfires, and a future that’s sure to “feature” regular power blackouts – he’s done nothing to turn around the decline and in fact appears to be enthusiastic about taking the state into a deeper rut with blue-state policies.

Again, perhaps belaboring the obvious – but this is not a negative with the aforementioned coastal elites and the Free Shit caucus.  Indeed, for a lot of them, much of this falls into the “feature, not bug” category.

Here’s the onion:

How Newsom would fare as the 2024 Democratic Party nominee depends a great deal on his Republican opponent. But no matter who that is, Newsom will still be a polarizing candidate. He is as close as the progressive left can get to a perfect politician, and is almost as far from being a candidate who appeals to the middle of the country as is imaginable. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Harris are a few who come to mind who might do worse.

And this, True Believers, is the crux of the matter.  I know it’s trite to claim, as you see so often, that “this is the most important election in our history.”  It’s not; the 1860 election comes to mind as one that was almost certainly more consequential.  But it’s a big one, no doubt, and much will depend on who the GOP nominates, and how broad their cloak spreads.  But no matter what happen in 2024, no matter who controls Congress, I’m still of the opinion that the nation has likely gone too far down a dark fiscal path, and nobody – nobody – in the arena is talking seriously about fixing it, except maybe Rand Paul.

Ron DeSantis would be my first choice, as I’ve often said.  But he would be fighting a holding action.  Nothing more.

Plan accordingly.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Alaska has officially joined the pistol brace lawsuit.

Part of the Mat-Su – about two miles from the Casa de Animal.

This isn’t a surprise.  Alaska is generally rated as one of the top two most gun-friendly states in the Union, the other being Arizona (for now).  The common statement made about the two states is “…if you like target shooting and competition, go to Arizona; if you like to hunt, go to Alaska.”  I can see the thought behind that.  Here in the Great Land, even the hippies have guns, and the most common motivation out here in the hinterlands seems to be keeping the freezer stocked and keeping critters away from your vegetable patch and the chickens.

I don’t really have a good feel for where this is going, though, in part because I haven’t done a lot of reading about it.  The “pistol brace” thing isn’t something I’ve ever looked into, as it just doesn’t effect me, but with this moving forward, I can see I’m going to  have to do some more reading.  All of these things are tied in, of course, to the changing landscape that is the Second Amendment today, and I do know this case has the potential to yank the reins hard on the BATFE – and that’s a good thing.

And so…

On To the Links!

RIP Raquel Welch.  One of the hottest ever.

Nikki Haley tosses her hat in.

Want to buy an armored car?  No, but if I could find a WW2 halftrack in good working order, that would be cool.

New parents:  Read to your babies.

The value added by wearing a mask.  Hint:  None.

Ignorance is something the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration has a lot of.

At what cost?  Why does nobody ever ask that question?

I love a happy ending.

Grifters gonna grift.

An ancient Roman dildo.  Yes, really.

The musical fruit.

Elon Musk schools the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration again.

I love a happy ending Part Deux.

This Week’s Idiots:

Slate’s Nitish Pahwa is an idiot.

Greta Thunberg is certifiably nuts, and an idiot.

MSNBC’s Ja’han Jones is an idiot.

MSBNC’s Wajahat Ali is an idiot.  (See the pattern?)

Idiot Keith Olbermann:  “We need an economic civil war against red states.”  Red states:  “I’m your huckleberry.”

The Hill’s Sheldon Jacobson is an idiot.

The Guardian’s Arwa Mahdawi is an idiot.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

I’m still on my classical music binge, so before I return to my usual old rock & roll cultural edification I’d like to bring one more (for now) bit I really enjoy.  This is a 2016 performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no.1, by the Israel Philharmonic.  This performance features the lovely and truly talented Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and the immortal conductor Zubin Mehta – on his 80th birthday.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Silent Cal News

Before we get into this, check out the conclusion of The Painter over at Glibertarians.

Now then:  One of the Twentieth Century’s best, and least recognized, Presidents may well have been Calvin Coolidge.  “Silent Cal” pushed economic policies intended to favor producers, and those policies worked.  The American Spectator has a piece by Amity Shlaes that’s worth reading.  Excerpt:

“Silent Cal” was his nickname. But like many shy powerhouses, he was only selectively shy. When it came to businesses’ contributions to American welfare, he spoke up often, with none of the inhibitions of modern Republicans. “The man who builds a factory builds a temple,” and “the man who works there worships there,” Coolidge said at one point before his presidency, an image so brash one can scarcely imagine it being offered at CPAC today.

While president, Silent Cal was just as bold. He not only praised business loudly — “The chief business of the American people is business” — but also showcased it and its achievements. The Rotarian in Coolidge was his greatness. With decades of rubber-chicken banquet speeches behind him, he understood the importance of not only large tax laws but also the small gestures. When he inaugurated the first national Christmas tree near the White House in 1923, that tree shone with new electric lights, marking the president’s appreciation of the new utilities industry. To keep hope alive in every unskilled worker, Coolidge also took the unconventional step — unconventional for the Grand Old Party — of increasing federal spending on education.

The GOP today should take a hard look at Silent Cal’s policies.  Except, I would say, for the education bit; in the first place, I’m coming around to the idea that the current education establishment is irrevocably broken, and besides, there is no Constitutional justification for the Imperial City to spend even a penny on education.  But the Coolidge plan was successful:

Coolidge’s plan worked, and he won his wager. Less taxed and less regulated, Americans took to doing with enthusiasm. The economy grew so fast that they also benefited: The 1920s were the years when many citizens first saw electricity in their homes, even those Christmas lights, or drove their first Model T and Model A. Around the time Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby, the six-day work week dropped to five days in many places. One can summarize the economic gift that Coolidge policy gave the nation in a single laden word: “Saturday.”

Coolidge’s Presidency was one that gave much of industrial America the form it still holds today, a hundred years later.  As Amity Shlaes notes, the five-day workweek, electrification of homes, the rise of the automobile, all happened in large part during the “Roaring Twenties,” made possible by the policies of Calvin Coolidge.  It’s a shame now that the current GOP isn’t following his example.