Category Archives: Politics

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Colorado big-game drawings have happened, and once again, eleven years into the process, I haven’t drawn a moose tag.  I did draw a September bear tag for the area south of Eagle down to Basalt, encompassing several Game Management Units (GMU) and loyal sidekick Rat and I have black-powder season buck deer tags for a GMU down on the New Mexico border.  The black-powder season is in early September, so weather down there should be beautiful; a certain change of pace from last year’s rather cold and snowy hunt.

Shiras Moose.

The moose tag thing is a little frustrating, though.  It takes ten to twelve years, on average, to draw a bull moose tag in Colorado, and I should be damn close now; but Alaska beckons, where there are more and larger moose, so I think I’ll give this application process one more year before I give it up, along with my Colorado residency.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

On To the Links!

Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?

As of earlier in the week, it was sure looking like a V-shaped post-plague recovery, although that data was pre-looters.

Everything’s better with beer.

Remember how the French Revolution ended?  Lots of people being guillotined.  No thanks.  The problem idiot “revolutionaries” frequently have is that they always think they’ll be the ones standing around with clipboards instead of tied to posts, staring at rifles from the wrong end; ask Maximilien Robespierre how well it all worked out for him.

Our latest weapon in the fight against Kung Flu:  Cows.

A Georgia State Trooper:  “I only kneel for God.”  I may not share your belief, sir, but I sure as hell admire your convictions.

This Week’s Idiots:

Here is an Aussie porn star who is also an idiot.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is an idiot.

CNN’s David Gergen is delusional, and an idiot.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is an idiot.

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender is an idiot.

This woman is quite likely a dangerous idiot.  Seriously, how stupid does one have to be to loudly proclaim and broadcast your rage at the fact that small business owners have taken up arms to prevent one from looting?  What a horse’s ass.

And So:

I don’t have any more deep thoughts at the moment, so here’s something from the archives to further brighten your day:

With that, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Small Business News

Be sure to check out my latest over at Glibertarians – this week we examine the Origins of Beer.

Moving along:  Here are ten minority-owned small businesses wrecked by looters in the recent unpleasantness:

  1. Private Stock Premium Boutique, a black-owned clothing store based in Austin, Texas, was looted and left in ruins during the riots.
  2. Bole Ethiopian Cuisine, an ethnic restaurant in Saint Paul, Minnesota, was burnt, vandalized, and destroyed during rioting.
  3. Guns and Roses Boutique, a Dallas, Texas boutique, was started by a black businesswoman who built her fashion enterprise from the ground up. It was looted and left in ruins during riots.
  4. Go Get It Tobacco, a black-owned tobacco store in St. Paul, Minnesota, was vandalized, robbed, and left in tatters.
  5. King’s Fashion, a Philadelphia boutique, was burned and left layered in soot. Its minority owners had “built the business over two decades, working seven-day weeks.”
  6. MN Fashion and Jewelry, a jewelry store in Minneapolis, Minnesota was raided and looted, leaving its owner, Masum Siddiquee, to pick up the pieces.
  7. Scores Sports Bar, a Minneapolis sports bar, was the brainchild of a black firefighter who used his life savings to start it. He had planned to open it in June. Rioters burned it to the ground, and the owners did not have insurance.
  8. Healing Path Wellness Services, a South Minneapolis minority-owned mental health clinic, was burned, looted, and destroyed.
  9. Ihman’s Hair Studio, a Philadelphia hair salon, was looted and ransacked. The owner wrote that she is “hurt and angry that my people would vandalize and destroy a black-owned business.”
  10. Kane’s Barbershop and Altatudes, a minority-owned barbershop in Austin, Texas, was burned during riots and extensively damaged.

Now – from this story:

Several black-owned businesses had been destroyed in this area — considered the heart of the city’s black community — in recent fires that investigators have deemed “suspicious.” Neighbors suspect right-wing militias, and social media has been abuzz with purported — but unverified — sightings of masked white men in pickup trucks holding semiautomatic assault rifles.

Obviously right-wing militias now have advanced cloaking technology, because despite cell phone cameras being ubiquitous and despite almost every second of every one of these protests being recorded on video, somehow not one bit of footage of these “right-wing militias” destroying black-owned businesses has surfaced.  What footage we do have tells quite a different story.

As a committed civil libertarian, I think the fact that these neighborhoods have set up patrols and have taken responsibility for their own security to be just fine; frankly they should have been doing so well before this.  But the WaPo is revealing their own disgusting hypocrisy in referring to these groups with the innocuous term “neighborhood patrol,” when they would certainly use the term “right-wing militia” or “vigilante” if the same kind of activity were to take place in, say, Pocatello, Idaho.

Rule Five Line Up for Guns Friday

One of the more interesting things to come out of the most recent round of urban riots is this:  A long, long line for guns at a Long Island gun shop.  (There are gun shops in Long Island?  Who knew?)  Excerpt:

In the last several days we’ve seen many people on social media say that they’ve called the police and have been told the response either wouldn’t happen or would take a long time. It seems now more than ever that Americans increasingly aren’t relying on the police to protect them and are taking things into their own hands. 

And here’s the kicker:

The 2nd Amendment will definitely remain.

It’s probably no coincidence that the rioting is happening in urban areas, mostly in blue states, where the peasantry faces numerous hurdles to jump through if they have the temerity to want a firearm for defense of life and property.

“But why, Animal,” you may ask, “would the rioters so limit themselves?”  Well, there are a couple of reasons, not least of which is that urbanized areas have far greater amounts of stuff to steal, concentrated in smaller areas.  But, do you suppose, the AntiProfa fascists and the accompanying bummers that trail after them would have an easy time looting a small town in Texas, or Idaho, or Alaska?

They would almost certainly be met with gunfire if they tried.

For a historical example, let’s cast our optics back to the year 1876.  On September 7th of that year, a notorious outlaw gang set their sights on the bank in a small town.  That town was Northfield, Minnesota, and the gang was the James-Younger gang, consisting of Cole, Jim and Bob Younger, Frank and Jesse James, Charlie Pitts, Clell Miller and Bill Chadwell.

At 2:00PM on the afternoon of September 7th, Bob Younger, Frank James and Charlie Pitts entered the bank, guns drawn, while the rest of the gang stood guard outside.  They murdered a bank employee when he refused to open the safe, but wasn’t the only way in which the robbery didn’t go as planned.

The town was aware of the gang’s presence, and quickly figured out what they were up to.  A civilian named J.S. Allen shouted, “Get your guns, boys, they’re robbing the bank!”

The James-Younger gang attempted to flee, but as they rode hell-for-leather out of Northfield, there was a rifle behind every corner, and firing from every window.  Miller and Stiles were killed, and every other member of the gang wounded and all but Jesse and Frank James were consequently arrested.  That was the end of the infamous James-Younger gang, laid low by armed citizens.

It’s important to note that the robbery was not motivated solely by greed.  The Northfield bank had been rumored to hold the deposits of a former Union Army general, Adelbert Ames, among others; most of the James-Younger gang had fought for the Confederacy.  So there was a political motive lurking behind the attempted theft.

Sound familiar?

Imagine a similar response from business owners today.  Imagine a mob of rioters and looters appearing in a business district, to be greeted with cries of “grab your guns, boys, they’re looting!”

Imagine how short that stint of looting would be.

Now think for a moment about that long line of gun buyers outside that gun store in Long Island.

It’s not impossible that we may be about to witness a repeat of some of the more notorious episodes of the Wild West, only this time in an urban center in the east.  And, frankly, I have no problem with citizens taking up arms to defend their lives, homes and businesses; that’s one of the reasons the Second Amendment was born.  And, with this evidence, it looks like the right to bear arms will a little safer, at least for a while.

Rule Five 1776 Friday V

For the past few weeks RealClearPublicAffairs has been running what they are calling the 1776 series.  I recommend reading them all.  Here’s the description:

The 1776 Series is a collection of original essays that explain the foundational themes of the American experience. Commissioned from distinguished historians and scholars, these essays contribute to the broader goal of the American Civics project: providing an education in the principles and practices that every patriotic citizen should know.

This week I’ll be providing some commentary on the final issue of this series, Self-Government, the American Way, by Will Morrisey.  Excerpts follow, with my comments:

After winning the independence they had declared in 1776, Americans had to prove that they could sustain self-government in peace. They’d governed themselves already, as colonists, but now the British government no longer protected them from the other European powers, and indeed remained a potential enemy of the new country. It’s easy for us today to wonder why American statesmen from Washington to Lincoln seemed obsessed with building and sustaining “the Union,” or why President Jefferson so readily bent his constitutional scruples to purchase Louisiana from Napoleon to extend it. But to Americans then, looking at maps of North America, seeing their republic surrounded by hostile empires and nations whose rulers viewed republicanism with fear and contempt, maintaining the Union meant survival—survival not just of their way of life but of their very lives.

It’s important to note that the formation of the American republic was an existential threat to kings, emperors, dictators and despots all over the world.  Not only was there now a nation with government by the people, of the people, for the people, it was a nation whose governing documents included strict prohibitions against its interfering with the fundamental natural rights of its citizens.

To understand American self-government, one should begin with the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  These rights stand at the center of republicanism considered as an activity of self-government. They limit the power of Congress, the branch of the federal government charged with legislating. They prevent Congress from legislating republicanism out of existence.

As I’ve pointed out before in discussing other articles in this series, the first five words of the first amendment in the Bill of Rights is key and cannot be emphasized enough:

Congress Shall Make No Law.

No law, as I’ve said, means no damn law.  But during the Kung Flu crisis, that didn’t stop  state governors and local pols and bureaucrats from trying all manner of power grabs; many of those were challenged in court, many were protested with vigor by the citizens, but court cases take time.

Freedom of speech and of the press must not be prohibited—they cannot even be abridged by Congress. Here, we must know what the founding generation meant by such a formula: freedom of political speech and publishing. Slander, libel, and obscenity were universally banned by state and local law, and could potentially be banned by federal law, too. Republican government requires discussion and deliberation by the sovereign people. How else could citizens make their sovereignty effective? This is why the Preamble to the Constitution begins with “We, the People of the United States.”

Now, today, here’s the question:  Have we been successful, as citizens, in making our sovereignty effective?

I’d argue that today we can only say “somewhat.”

Congress routinely runs roughshod over the Bill of Rights.  The several states, maybe even more so.  During the earlier part of the Moo Goo Gai Panic, the Governor of New Jersey – the chief executive of one of the fifty states – replied to an interviewer that the Bill of Rights was “…above his pay grade.”  What an idiotic reply!  The Bill of Rights is not above anyone’s “pay grade,” it is a compendium of our natural rights with which no pol or bureaucrat at any level of government may legally interfere – a part of the Constitution which this stupid ass took an oath to support and defend!

The essay and the series concludes (emphasis added by me):

It remains for American citizens to live in the structure the Founders designed by respecting its features, a respect that can only be maintained by what one Founder called “a moral and religious people”—which is to say, a people who perpetuate the American effort at self-government in their private, civil, and political lives.

That last sentence, that’s the part that scares me.  More and more, I fear, more Americans are lured away from the “American effort at self-government” by the siren song of Free Shit, and more and more, the Bill of Rights is forgotten.

Animal’s Daily Municipal Meltdown News

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  Also, make sure to check out the latest in my Gold Standards series over at Glibertarians – this one discusses the great Winchester Model 52.

City Journal’s Michael Gibson chronicles the utter disaster that is San Francisco.  Excerpt:

Even before the current Covid-19 pandemic, San Francisco was a deeply troubled city. It ranks first in the nation in theft, burglary, vandalism, shoplifting, and other property crime. On average, about 60 cars get broken into each day. Diseases arising from poor sanitation—typhoid, typhus, hepatitis A—are reappearing at an alarming rate. Fentanyl goes for about $20 a pill on Market Street, and each year the city hands out 4.5 million needles, which you can find used and tossed out like cigarette butts in parks and around bus stops. The city’s department of public works deploys feces cleaners daily—a “poop patrol” to wash the filth from the sidewalks.

This is just a brief summary of the lack of hygiene and common decency. A reasonable person might declare an emergency, but in her first official act, Breed swore in Chesa Boudin, San Francisco’s new district attorney, before a packed house at the Herbst Theater. “Chesa, you have undertaken a remarkable challenge today,” said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a congratulatory video message. “I hope you reflect as a great beacon to many.” Boudin’s résumé boasts of a stint working directly for the late dictator Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, who turned a once-rich nation back to the dark ages. “We will not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes,” Boudin promised during his campaign. He must have witnessed the success of that policy in Caracas, which was voted the world’s most dangerous city in 2018.

Even the sights and sounds of the city suggest a certain derangement. When the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system was first built in the 1970s, its designers failed to understand the acoustics between wheel, track, and tunnel. Since the nineteenth century, competent railroad engineers have known that a tapered, flanged wheel will handle turns better and generate less noise. For some reason, BART designers ignored this design in favor of a cylindrical wheel with a straight edge. Years of wear and tear have degraded the screech into a mad howl. According to a recent count by the San Francisco Chronicle, BART has lost nearly 10 million riders on nights and weekends because of the noise, grime, and lack of safety. It doesn’t help that it has also become a de facto shelter for drug addicts and the mentally ill.

The Old Man used to tell of visiting San Francisco briefly in 1945.  His one-day impression of that city was that it was a marvel, a booming metropolis, clean, shining and prosperous.  My Uncle George was stationed in the area in the early Fifties and spent a fair amount of free time mooching about the waterfront and in Chinatown, and spoke enthusiastically about what a great place the Bay Area was.

No longer.

Things were bad when I spent 2017 in the area, and the rot had spread as far as Silicon Valley, where bums sleep in the parks and along the trails and side streets are lined with parked RVs.  On our few ventures into the downtown area, we were treated to the sights, sounds and smells of Frisco’s bum, drug and feces-coated streets.  As Mr. Gibson points out, they have gone from bad to worse.

I’ve harped on this theme for some time now.  But it’s hard to watch what was one of America’s great cities descend into chaos; but holy crap, a DA who worked for Hugo Chavez?  That’s well past chaos and into enemy action.

It’s hard to find a good solution for San Francisco, where people keep voting in the lunatics running this asylum.  As Mencken pointed out, democracy is the idea that the people know what government they want and deserve to get it, good and hard.

San Francisco in particular and, honestly, California in general, seem determined to prove Mencken right.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Packing, packing, packing.  We really don’t have that much stuff to pack up here, but any such task inevitably expands to fill any time available.  This ain’t our first rodeo; we’ve done it before and will do it again, but in the meantime, the work awaits.  And so…

On To the Links!

Want to see a rogue’s gallery?  This looks like a rogue’s gallery.

Wisconsin is open for business.

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson weighs in on the Kung Flu.

Tyrannosaurs were marathon walkers.  Makes sense, big apex predators even today have to cover a lot of ground looking for food.

Mice that are 4% human.  Pinky and The Brain were unavailable for comment.

Bars open in Wisconsin; crowds of drinkers ensue.  Nobody should be surprised by this.

Are they any good to eat?

Kung Flu virus breakthrough?

Mexico is restarting production of consumer goods for the U.S. market.  Better them than China!

China to U.S. lawmakers:  “Stop talking crap about us.”  U.S. lawmakers:  “Bring it, bitches!”  Note that primary among the lawmakers is Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who I continue to like more all the time.

Colorado ranchers are trying to make ends meet by selling beef direct to consumers.  Bureaucracy is (of course) interfering.  Because, you know, we’re too stupid to know what’s best for us; we need Top Men to show us how to do things.  Top.  Men.

No Kung Flu spikes in opened areas – just in closed areas.

And a bit of good news – recovered Kung Flu patients are showing promising signs of immunity.  That’s how you build herd immunity, True Believers.

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Matt Egan is an idiot, and economically illiterate.  It’s waaaay past time Americans started saving again; for a couple of decades now the Fed has been making sure there is damn little incentive to do so.

The people described in this article are idiots.

Columbia professor Jeffrey Lax is an idiot.

And So…

We have to get back to work/packing.  So to make up for my lack of deep thinking just now, here’s something from the archives:

With that, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Rule Five 1776 Friday IV

For the past few weeks RealClearPublicAffairs has been running what they are calling the 1776 series.  I recommend reading them all.  Here’s the description:

The 1776 Series is a collection of original essays that explain the foundational themes of the American experience. Commissioned from distinguished historians and scholars, these essays contribute to the broader goal of the American Civics project: providing an education in the principles and practices that every patriotic citizen should know.

This week I’ll be providing some commentary on Civic and Moral Virtues, the American Way, by Will Morrisey.  Excerpts follow, with my comments:

In declaring their independence from Great Britain, Americans famously asserted their unalienable rights. Much less conspicuously, but no less tellingly, they listed ten moral responsibilities consonant with those rights.

In announcing their political separation, they begin by acknowledging a duty to observe “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind” by stating the causes for their decision. 1). “Decent” means fitting, appropriate; the opinions of mankind are fittingly respected because human beings possess the capacity for sociality, for understanding one another, for giving reasons for their conduct. Any important public action entails the responsibility to explain oneself, to justify that action before the bar of reasoning men and women.

To justify oneself, in turn, requires Americans to state their standard of justice. That standard is unalienable natural rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 2). Justice numbers among the four cardinal classical virtues, defined and elaborated by Plato, Cicero, and other philosophers well known to the Declaration’s signers. Just conduct consists of actions defending natural rights in a civil society; to assert those rights, to separate oneself from those who would violate them, logically entails respecting those rights in all other persons, inasmuch as “all men are created equal,” all equally entitled to enjoy their natural rights undisturbed by tyrants.

Justice should indeed ranked high, if not first, among moral virtues; the concepts of individual rights, liberty and property are impossible to maintain without it.  Here:

Governments that secure such rights are established by the consent of the governed. This means that consent cannot mean mere assent or willingness. It can only mean reasoned assent. 3). Reasoned assent to natural right implies a modest degree of another classical virtue, wisdom. In this case, it is what Aristotle calls “theoretical” wisdom, understanding general or abstract principles. Americans recognize their duty to understand what human nature is—not only the nature of Americans, or the English, or the French, but of human beings as such.

And in this lies my concern.

Look at the last few election cycles – for Congress or for any of your local elections – and ask yourself, seriously, given the tenure of the campaign ads and the rhetoric of the candidates, how “wise” the voters these people are aiming at really are.

It’s not just the endless boasting of how much Free Shit the candidates will give away.  Most of the voters couldn’t find the First or Fourth Amendments with written instructions, partly because the basic education system has degraded into a series of leftist indoctrination seminars, our popular entertainment is composed of gladiatorial games and an endless parade of morons posing as “reality” programming.  One can hardly expect wisdom from a population when a plurality of that population is more concerned with who one of the Kardashians is fucking in any given week than what their Congressman is doing to our wallets that week in the Imperial City.

Is there hope for us?  Well, I’m inclined to think so:

The fourth classical virtue is courage. Without it, wisdom, justice, and moderation by themselves will leave you high and dry. As a baseball manager once said of a rival, “Nice guys finish last.” Accordingly, Americans announce their intention to defend their rights with “manly firmness.” It should be noted that manliness in their minds had no “gender.” Abigail Adams was no less “manly” in her firmness than her husband, John. He knew that and said it. Looking back on the American Revolution, he wrote that those were times that tried women’s souls as well as those of men, and that American women had exhibited no less courage than their husbands and sons.

I think we still have courage, as a people.  I recall President Reagan’s speech about “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc,” and I also recall some talking head interviewing a journalist who had been embedded with some of our troops in Iraq in 2003.  The talk-droid referenced that speech by President Reagan, (correctly) lauded the courage of those men that stormed the beaches of Normandy, and asked the journalist “…where are young men like that today?  Are there any?”

“Yes,” the journalist replied.  “We have many of them, and a lot of them are there, today, in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

And that’s what might just save us as a people.  It won’t be the professional grievance-mongers, the race hustlers, the permanently “offended” that make America work – not ever.  It’s the courage and moral fortitude of the regular workers and business-people of America who, once the autistic screeching of the previous types has finally tapered off, will spit on their hands and get on with the job.

That’s courage, True Believers.  The courage to keep on.

Read the whole article, of course.  It’s worth the time.  It’s about us.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Ten days and counting, before we can leave New Jersey in the rear-view mirror.  It can’t happen too soon for us!  This whole year and nine months has been odd; while there are things I like about the area, not least of which are the great diners and Italian restaurants, it’s baffling to me how anyone would want to live here.  At least Raritan isn’t a congested area.  On the contrary, it was a distinct small-town feel.  But the state government?  Holy crap.  What a shitshow.

So, with that said…

On To the Links!

Notorious right-winger Alan Dershowitz on the General Flynn issue:  Let us hear now from the former civil libertarians for whom any violation of law is permissible, as long as it is directed at a Trump associate.  Don’t hold your breath.

Neandertals were choosy about their bone tools.  Neat stuff.

Oh hey – President Obama pardoned a general for lying to the FBI.  What about that?

Also, the Flynn debacle appears to have gone right to the top.

Here’s an interesting back-and-forth on the Kung Flu lock-downs.

And from the same source, a possible solution to the meat shortages.

Late-night television has gone strangely quiet on Tara Reade.

Top. Men.

Cuomo:  “We fucked up.”

Venezuela has a navy?  Who knew?

This was the right thing to do.

Sorry, Mr. Musk, Directive 10-289 is in effect.

The Supreme Court has handed immigration hawks a win.  And – this is important – not along ideological lines.  The Ninth Circuit got spanked – again.

When your opponent is making a mistake – let him.

What the hell do you expect in Massachusetts?

Poor old Groper Joe; when you’ve lost MSNBC…

This Week’s Idiots:

Paul Krugman is a partisan hack, and an idiot.

This woman is an idiot.

The Iranian “Navy” is apparently populated with idiots.

And So…

I’m actually kind of looking forward to our upcoming road trip.

It’s always fun to see the countryside.  And even when confined to this little apartment in NJ during the Moo Goo Gai Panic, most days Mrs. Animal and I are generally involved in our own work during the day and don’t often just sit and talk.  But on road trips, while on the road we do nothing else but talk, and I enjoy that a lot.

So, on the road again!

Hitting the road.

And with that, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Chickens Roosting News

Mark Antony – Toxic Masculinity?

Don’t miss the latest Profile in Toxic Masculinity over at Glibertarians!

The Obama Administration pulled a particularly boneheaded stunt with the Fast and Furious gun-walking scheme.  Now those chickens are coming home to roost.  Bawk bawk.  Excerpt:

The Mexican government is still waiting for an apology for Operation Fast and Furious, an illegal and secret gun running scheme implemented during the Obama administration. 

“Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government would send a diplomatic note to Washington for information on the 2009-2011 operation known as ‘Fast and Furious,’ a topic that has resurfaced in recent days amid a debate over historic U.S.-Mexico cooperation on security and possible corruption under previous administrations,” Reuters reports

During the operation from 2009-2010, thousands of AK-47s, .50 caliber rifles and other weapons were purposely allowed by ATF and Department of Justice officials to be purchased illegally by straw buyers at gun stores in the United States and trafficked over the border into Mexico. ATF officials sat by as thousands of guns “walked.” They argued this was done to trace weapons to the upper echelons of Mexican cartels, but out of thousands of firearms, only two were rigged with GPS devices that died within hours of crossing the border. 

On December 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, a former police officer and U.S. Marine, was shot and killed while on a BORTAC mission near Rio Rico, Arizona. The weapons left at the scene were obtained through Operation Fast and Furious. 

Ah, but who isn’t nostalgic for that good old scandal-free Obama White House?  And it’s important to remember why they did this:  To gen up public support for gun-control legislation in the U.S., even though the Fast and Furious weapons represent a small fraction of the weapons in the hands of Mexican cartels today.

Mexico is right to demand an apology for this, as it was a fuck-up of the first order, but they’re about three and a half years too late; it is former President Obama and his machine politician/AG Holder that should apologize for this fiasco, not the Trump Administration.

But where, one might ask, will any accountability lie?  The answer is as obvious as it is disappointing:  Nowhere.   There will be no price paid for this Charlie Foxtrot, not by the former President, by his partisan hack of a former AG, not by anyone.  The families of Mexican law enforcement that were killed will see no justice done; neither will the family of Brian Terry.

What, you didn’t think equal treatment under the law was still a thing in this country, did you?

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!

National treasure Judge Andrew Napalitano weighs in on the various petty tyrants flexing their coronavirus muscles.  Excerpt:

The current interferences with the exercise of rights protected by the Bill of Rights devolve around travel, assembly, interstate commercial activities and the exercise of religious beliefs.

These infringements have all come from state governors who claim the power to do so, and they raise three profound constitutional issues.

The first is: Do governors have inherent power in an emergency to craft regulations that carry the force of law? The answer is no. The Guarantee Clause of the Constitution mandates a republican (lowercase “r”) form of government in the states.

That means the separation of powers into three branches, each with a distinct function that cannot constitutionally be performed by either of the other two. Since only a representative legislature can write laws that carry criminal penalties and incur the use of force, the governor of a state cannot constitutionally write laws.

The second constitutional issue is: Can state legislatures delegate away to governors their law-making powers?

Again, the answer is no because the separation of powers prevents one branch of government from ceding to another branch its core powers. The separation was crafted not to preserve the integrity of each branch but to assure the preservation of personal liberty by preventing the accumulation of too much power in any one branch.

We are not talking about a state legislature delegating to a board of medical examiners in the executive branch the power to license physicians. We are talking about delegating away a core power — the authority to create crimes and craft punishments. Such a delegation would be an egregious violation of the Guarantee Clause.

The third constitutional issue is: Can a state legislature enact laws that interfere with personal liberties protected by the Bill of Rights, prescribe punishments for violations of those laws and authorize governors to use force to compel compliance?

Again, the answer is no because all government in America is subordinate to the natural rights articulated in the Bill of Rights and embraced in the Ninth Amendment.

We should rejoice that there is resistance to gubernatorial ignorance and arrogance that disregards the Bill of Rights. We need resistance to tyranny in order to stay free. Power unresisted continues to grow and to corrupt.

History teaches that most people prefer the illusion of safety to the cacophony of liberty. The only reason we have civil liberties today is because generations of determined minorities — starting with the revolutionaries in the 1770s — have fought for them.

Read the whole thing.  Judge Napolitano neatly lays out the Constitution’s prohibitions on precisely the kind of overreaching by Imperial, State and local politicians that we’re seeing today.

Not that there hasn’t been pushback, and not that some pols’ approval ratings haven’t suffered; in our own ever-increasingly-statist Colorado, Governor Polis’s approval ratings on his handling of this crisis are in the toilet.  That may or may not amount to a hill of beans when he faces re-election in 2022, of course.  Two and a half years are an eternity in politics.  And as for the odds of seeing some renaissance of liberty in the wake of this emergency, I’m cautiously hopeful but the Judge is not; as he cogently points out, “History teaches that most people prefer the illusion of safety to the cacophony of liberty.

The Constitution is supposed to be the ultimate law of the land.  The Bill of Rights does not include any clause stating “…unless it’s an emergency.”  Pols at all levels are currently doing things they have no power to do, and not enough people are calling them on it.  And Judge Napolitano is likely right; most folks prefer the illusion of safety, and it is indeed an illusion, as no subject of overbearing government is ever truly safe.  One need look no farther into the past than the twentieth century for a wealth of examples.