Category Archives: Science

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

The equinox is in a few weeks, where the sun hits the halfway point on its long march south.  At these latitudes it is quite a journey, and just now the sunset has moved south of the power lines and is giving us some pretty views:

My summertime’s drive for fishing is now being overtaken by my drive to get out in the field after some birds, but I have to wait for full residency, which comes one year after switching my Colorado driver’s license for an Alaska one; specifically, on February second.  I understand the reason for that law, but the beautiful fall weather, the big stretch of borough land behind us and the hand-crafted Tolley side-by-side double in my gun safe are egging me on.  Next year, dammit!

And with that said…

On To the Links!

Peter Boghossian shows us the difference between politics and principles.

The Biden(‘s handlers) Administration just keeps building back better!

I love a happy ending.

Autophagia.

Ever wondered what happens when you dangle a rhinoceros upside-down?  Well, now you know.

Somehow, I suspect most Texans don’t give two shits about what the SFGate thinks.

We can hope.  Having the GOP in control of Congress will… well, it will slow down the decline of the U.S. some.

Beer.  Is there anything it can’t do?

Fauci can fuck right off, the government does not have this authority.

Inflation is skyrocketing.  Nobody should be surprised by this.

This Week’s Idiots:

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

Harry Reid is still a corrupt asshole, and an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

USAToday’s Ben Jealous is an idiot.

The New Republic‘s Timothy Noah is an idiot.

Sawed-off asshole Robert Reich is and always will be an idiot.

It’s idiots all the way down.

MSNBC’s Kavita Patel is an idiot.

The kind of stupidity shown at the VMAs (whatever those are) should be physically painful.

Alexandria “Crazy Eyes” Occasional Cortex continues to be a tone-deaf idiot.

New York’s new Governor is apparently an idiot with no clue as to the proper role of government.  What is it with that state, anyway?

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Audrey Hepburn was the epitome of style and grace; she was more beautiful in jeans, sweater and a towel over her hair than many women are in evening gowns, as you’ll see in this week’s selection.  And she wasn’t without pluck; during World War 2 she raised money for the Dutch underground during the German occupation of the Netherlands, an activity that may well have gotten her shot had she been caught in the act.

In the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hepburn played the iconic character Holly Golightly opposite a very young George Peppard, with a brief appearance by the remarkable Buddy Ebsen.  It’s a great film featuring a great star, and at one point she gives voice to the song Moon River.  Here, in a clip from that film, is that lovely, classy lady and that beautiful song – enjoy.

Rule Five Fossil Fuels Friday Part 2

There’s an interesting blog out there called Master Resource, which presents free-market solutions on energy issues.  Recently, on that site, author Steve Overholt produced a two-part post titled “Can-do Petroleum vs. Can’t-do Renewables.”  Today I’ll discuss Part 2 of this work, following up on last week’s examination of Part 1.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

Part II today discusses the original “natural” things as a substitute for petroleum. Three areas are wood, metals, and bioplastics.

Wood

First, let’s examine wood as a substitute for making three-dimensional parts:

  • Huge areas of forests will be wiped out to get enough wood to replace plastic. This means thousands of miles of logging roads gouged through the mountains, causing erosion into pristine streams. Alternately, vast land areas will be converted to monoculture tree farms requiring pesticides and fertilizers for fast growth.
  • The logs will need to be transported to sawmills on trucks. In contrast, oil and gas are transported by pipelines, which are far more energy efficient than trucks.
  • Wood cannot be molded. Slow, energy-intensive milling processes must instead be used.

And metal:

Consider metals as a substitute in making parts:

  • Metal comes from mines. Try opening one of those in the U.S. these days. And recycling cannot yield the vast increase in metals required to replace plastic. Say good-bye to that gorgeous mountain wilderness you love.
  • Metals are heavy. Using them instead of carbon fiber, etc. will greatly increase the energy needed by planes and electric cars.
  • Most metals must be protected from salts, acids, caustics, and water that synthetics can easily withstand.
  • Metal production typically requires much more energy than plastics production.
  • Metals are much more difficult to machine, and much more energy is required to mold or form them. Molds for cast metals are often not re-usable. In contrast, molds for plastics are typically re-used thousands of times.

The discussion of wood and metal in this article serve as a kind of a preface; the real meat of the discussion comes in on bioplastics.  For example:

Can bioplastics come to the rescue? A recent Netflix documentary entitled Broken examines problems related to fossil-fuel-based plastics. At the end of the program a well-meaning but destructively myopic “expert” advocates for using bioplastic “made from,” he said: “cassava, a tropical root found abundantly in Indonesia.”

Indonesia… as in that country pilloried by the Left for slash-burning rainforests for agriculture and critically endangering orangutans, rhinos, and tigers. Indonesia… the only place in the world where orangutans, rhinos, tigers, and elephants all live in the wild.

Greenpeace has on its website a page entitled: Indonesia Forests; Defending the Paradise Forests from paper and palm oil companies. Greenpeace bemoans the tragic destruction of 74 million acres of Indonesia’s rainforest for wood pulp and palm oil for export to make “things we throw away” such as paper.

Now the Left wants to throw cassava into the mix. Here’s the sad fact about growing cassava to produce bioplastics for the world: It would require 383 million acres of land, wiping out all the remaining rainforest in Indonesia, plus another 124 million acres from some other biodiversity hotspot.

Here’s a real onion on plastics:

Also important to know: As much as 95% of the plastic that is transported by rivers into the ocean comes from ten rivers in Africa and Asia. The most rational way to diminish the “Pacific gyre” of plastic waste would be to target that problem.

Nobody in the American or EU green movements are talking about that.  I suppose it would be “racist,” or “colonialist,” or something.  Nobody’s talking about China’s speed-run to build coal-fired power plants to feed their growing industries, either.  The entire movement isn’t about facts, or costs and benefits; it’s all about control.

The article (and series) concludes:

The drawbacks of petrochemicals and plastics are widely publicized by “news” media, singers, actors, professors, and most anyone else with a megaphone. But the black-sheep facts of the alternatives are quietly herded out of sight, especially by Big Tech censors.

On the political scale knowledge is neutral; its manipulation is not.

As the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.”  Sadly, too many people in the Imperial City seem to lack the brains to pound sand (and I emphatically do not exempt the current occupant of the Imperial Mansion from that assessment.)  And what’s more, most of them are liars; even if they are aware of facts, they will set them aside in pursuit of an agenda – even if that agenda would set us back a hundred and fifty years in technology, medicine, transportation and quality of life.

Read both articles.  Read them carefully and thoughtfully.  Remember them and use the information therein accordingly.  I will.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Someone told me a while back that, of all the immortal Douglas DC-3s still in use in the United States, well over half are flying in Alaska.  I haven’t taken the time to confirm that but we do see DC-3s regularly passing overhead, sometimes two a day.  They’re great for small Alaska airfields:  Rugged, rough-field capable, dependable, and able to carry big loads.  I expect we’ll see them in use here in the Great Land for some time to come, which is pretty good for a model of aircraft which once carried the Old Man from Lowry Army Airfield, Colorado to Victorville, California, in 1945.  He described that trip in an Army C-47 as “being sealed in a tin can full of bolts and shaken,” but then, his sorties in B-25 and B-17 bombers in that time frame were very similar, or so he always told it.

Here’s a neat video of a startup and takeoff of a Swissair DC-3.  What a beautiful old bird.  It’s great to see them still in use.

Now then:

On To the Links!

Beer.  Is there anything it can’t do?

Elder Versus Newsom: Two Radically Different Views of the Soul of America.  That’s something of an understatement.

Amazon’s Answer to Delivery Driver Shortage: Recruit Pot Smokers.  Note to self:  Stop ordering snack foods from Amazon.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving cackling harpy.

Up to 60% of Americans think President Biden(‘s handlers) should resign over the Afghanistan catastrophe.  Problem is, he has a great life-insurance policy, namely that nobody in either party wants Heels-Up Harris in the Imperial Mansion.

Joe Manchin steps up.

Ready… Fire… AIM!

Artorius rex!

Fuck off, slaver!

Savages gonna savage.

Why not just ditch the monarchy altogether?  Seriously, Brits, it’s way past damn time.

How Has Joe Biden Become So Unpopular?  Well, his constant incompetent fucking up may have something to do with it.

Well, this is amusing.

Timing Biden’s exit?  He may not have much say in it.  He likely isn’t coherent enough to have any say in it.

Wait, we don’t call them tornadoes any more?  Seriously, is there anyone left on the planet that can’t see that this guy is too far gone to blow his own nose, much less be President?

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The New York TimesEzra Klein (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza is an idiot.

New York Magazine‘s Eric Levitz is an idiot.  Seriously, do none of these dimwits ever give a moment’s thought to what happens when the shoe is on the other foot?

CNN’s John Blake is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s Jemele Hill is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross is an idiot.

Guardian‘s Lawrence Douglas is an idiot.

NY Daily News’ Paul Bledsoe is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Mike Nesmith is probably best known for his tenure with The Monkees, but the post-Monkee Nesmith did some… interesting stuff.  Among other things, he was one of the pioneers of the themed music video, along with his buddy Frank Zappa and the prescient David Bowie.

In 1981, Nesmith released a video album (on Laserdisc!) called Elephant Parts. It was odd, to say the least, but worth a watch.  Here, from that album, is the classic work Cruisin’.  Enjoy.

Rule Five Fossil Fuels Friday Part 1

There’s an interesting blog out there called Master Resource, which presents free-market solutions on energy issues.  Recently, on that site, author Steve Overholt produced a two-part post titled “Can-do Petroleum vs. Can’t-do Renewables.”  Today I’ll discuss Part 1 of this work, and Part 2 next Friday.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

When I heard Joe Biden say in a presidential debate that he wants to “transition away” from petroleum by 2050, I wished I were there to respond. Here’s what I would have said: “We have to make things, Joe!”

There is an inconceivable truth for the renewables crowd, and it is this: Fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal) are used in more ways than just burning for energy. They have important non-combustion uses… billions of tons per year of them worldwide. They are used to make things. These uses of fossil fuels are largely ignored in “news” media denunciations of fossil fuels as the wellspring of all evil.

There are a subset of Luddites among the “greens” who don’t want us to make things, of course – a plurality, although I’m not certain it it’s a majority.  But most of them are just ill-informed nincompoops who don’t understand that ceasing fossil fuel extraction would eliminate most, if not all, of the modern conveniences they enjoy.

Several critical non-fuel uses of fossil fuels are:

  1. Synthetic polymers and chemicals
  2. Lubricants
  3. Dyes and colorants
  4. Pavement
  5. Helium production
  6. Pharmaceuticals

Unfortunately, when compared to the above fossil fuel-based materials, the “natural” materials the Far Left proposes are far more environmentally inferior, if not destructive. Drawbacks include:

  • Hundreds of millions acres of forest and prairie will be converted to crops and pasture to achieve the transition from synthetics to plant- and animal-based fibers and leathers.
  • Millions of tons of soil erosion, fertilizer application, and pesticide application will result from the massive increase in agriculture.
  • Extensive new irrigation projects will be needed to grow all those crops, dewatering rivers and depleting groundwater sources.
  • Millions more acres of forests will be cut for lumber and paper production.
  • Mountains will fall to mine and quarry metal and stone “naturals.”

In addition, the only viable source of the critical element helium is natural gas processing.

Unintended consequences, anyone?

But here, given the current pants-shitting from most of the world governments over the Kung Flu, is the real dinger:

According the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), pharmaceuticals are primarily derived from petrochemicals. NIH reports that health care’s reliance on petroleum for pharmaceuticals and plastics is a longstanding concern.

Petrochemicals are used to manufacture analgesics, antihistamines, antibiotics, cough syrups, ointments, and much more. Synthetic plastics are used in heart valves and other specialized medical equipment. Petrochemicals are used in radiological dyes and films, intravenous tubing, syringes, and oxygen masks.

Petrochemicals provide the building blocks for most medicinal drugs. Nearly 99% of pharma chemical feedstocks and reagents are derived from petrochemicals. Natural alternatives do not exist for the vast majority of these building blocks…

Joe Biden(‘s handlers) in the 2020 campaign promised to move us completely off of fossil fuels by 2050.  As you can see – as anyone with three IQ points to rub together should be able to see – this move would drive our society back to the mid-19th century.  It’s not just medical items, of course – take a look at any car or truck made after 2000, and you’ll see a lot of molded parts.  Now contemplate replacing those with steel, and think about the added weight and the reduced gas mileage to go with it.  “But wait, Animal,” you might point out, “the government also wants us to switch to electric cars!”  OK, so these heavier cars will have reduced range – and probably larger battery capacity, which batteries we still have not yet worked out disposal techniques when they, as all batteries eventually do, reach the end of their useful lives.

You could go on for hours documenting all of the ways in which this is a stupid idea.  Read the whole story for a more in-depth analysis, and drop back next week for our take on Part 2.

Animal’s Daily Zero COVID News

Here, from Molly McCann at The Federalist, is an interesting take on the whole Kung Flu issue, one with I can find little issue with.  Excerpt:

“[S]truggl[ing] to find a delicate balance between halting the spread of the disease and damaging vital commerce,” the city authorities, The Guardian tells us, ordered travelers “to carry a ‘bill of health’ and ships arriving at the Mediterranean port underwent a 40-day cordon sanitaire or quarantine.”

“Three hundred years on,” The Guardian seriously intones, “President Emmanuel Macron is walking an equally tricky tightrope . . .” Hopefully, you spotted the glaring problem with this comparison. In 1720, the Great Plague in Marseille killed more than half the city’s population.

We have gotten to the point in this “pandemic” where government leaders and a worryingly high percentage of the American people are acting like COVID is a crisis on par with Marseille’s Great Plague. We have been buried in facts, figures, mountains of data, constantly shifting information, misinformation, and more. We are relentlessly briefed by the media about rising infection rates or the current capacity of local ICUs.

But cut through it all and ask — how many Americans are dying? According to Johns Hopkins, the fatality rate of COVID in the United States is 1.7 percent, which means that 98.3 percent survive. That takes into account all deaths, including people who had underlying conditions and the elderly. Excluding those who are obviously high-risk, the survival rate is close to 100 percent.

Did you catch that key phrase?

In 1720, the Great Plague in Marseille killed more than half the city’s population.

More than half.  As in, over fifty percent.  Every other person died.  In a typical family of four, you could expect to lose two.

Any comparison of the Kung Flu to the Great Plague is not just comparing apples to oranges; it’s comparing apples to green-eyed, left-handed Hungarian traffic police.

Ms. McCann concludes:

COVID is not an emergency. People are not dying in droves. There is no justification for the continued suspension of the American form of self-government that secures all our individual rights and liberties.

In “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” it was the honesty of a child that finally exposed the emperor and the people for fools when he cried out, “but he hasn’t got anything on!” It is long past time to speak the truth: there is no true COVID emergency.

Enough is enough. Return America to its proper constitutional order and insist on consent of the governed.

One could apply the analogy of the Emperor’s New Clothes to many, many things in government today – Joe Biden’s ever-accelerating slide into dementia, for one – but the massive over-reaction to the Kung Flu rates pretty high on the list.  The West, including the U.S. but even more so Australia and New Zealand, have shut down our countries, destroyed our economies, wrecked many small businesses and ruined lives, all over a bug that is now relatively treatable and was never a significant threat to anyone except the very elderly and those with significant co-morbidities.  I’d like to think that there will be some reckoning on all this, but I suspect there won’t.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

In difficult times like these, it’s helpful to look closer to home, at the good things in our lives.  Your mileage may vary, but of late I’m taking more and more pleasure in our regained rural lifestyle here in the Great Land.  Every morning, walking over to the office requires going outside, rain, snow or shine.  We had our first frost last Friday, the leaves are turning, and it’s a great time to be outdoors.  And that’s a good thing; every day we breathe the free air of Alaska.

Chickadee

Our most regular visitors at the feeders this time of year, as we are exchanging summer birds for winter birds, are juncos, red-breasted nuthatches and black-capped chickadees.  Chickadees are my favorites, and like the nuthatches and juncos they are year-round residents.  They seem immune to winter weather in spite of being one-ounce bundles of fluff and feathers, and they punctuate the morning with their cheery calls.  I enjoy having them around.  Also, we have one nuthatch we call Mr. Noisy, as he keeps up a constant flow of chatter as he flies to and fro, and even as he’s eating.  It’s amazing that such tiny creatures can have personalities, but they sure do.

News and politics aren’t everything, True Believers.  Sometimes we need to be reminded of that.  Relax.  Look out the window.  Take a deep breath.  Things aren’t all bad.

Now that we’re all re-grounded…

On To the Links!

If you ask me, Ilhan Omar should have her passport revoked and be deported back to the shithole she and her brohusband came from.

The United States effectively has no President.

When you’ve lost CNN…

Good for Greg Gutfeld.

Yes, Biden(‘s handlers) and the generals should be held to account, but we all know they won’t be.

Speaking of Biden(‘s handlers) I’ll be surprised if he finishes out the year, much less one term.

Well, sure, how could Chicago possibly get any worse, anyway?

Yet another reason for Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. to be damn glad we got out of Colorado.

I swear, this administration could fuck up a wet dream.

Democrats aim to drive American business out of the country – again.

Larry Elder may be California’s last hope for any semblance of sanity in government.

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson weighs in on the Afghanistan debacle.  Always worth the read.

Well, here’s a piece of good news.

Documenting the fall of the House of Biden.

There are reasons they are keeping Heels-Up Harris out of the spotlight.  Well, her stupidity, for one.

Well, what could possibly go wrong with this?

Bill Maher finds an acorn.

Biden Will Not Recover.  I’ll be mildly surprised if he lasts until the end of the year.

Why the hell should we resettle Afghans in the U.S.?

Answers you never wanted to questions you never asked.

This Week’s Idiots:

I don’t know who David Rothkopf is, but he’s an idiot.

are both idiots.

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

Salon‘s Amanda Marcotte (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Washington Monthly‘s Luisa Deprez is an idiot.

Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic is an idiot.

Neil Young can fuck right off.  Further proof that talent and intelligence aren’t necessarily linked.

Van Jones is an idiot.

Salon’s Chauncey DeVega (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Vox‘s Rebecca Leber is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

I think we could all use something cheerful, don’t you?

Paolo Conte is an Italian singer, pianist, composer, and lawyer.  I can’t speak for his lawyering but his music is kind of fun; he has a gritty voice, and his music has a distinctly Mediterranean feel to it.  You can almost picture yourself seated at a table at Alassio or Levanto, enjoying a glass of white wine, watching the ocean and listening.  Not my normal cup of tea, but something I could appreciate, given the chance.

Here, from his 1990 album Parole D’Amore Scritte A Macchina, is the song Happy Feet.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Working on the firewood.

We’re quickly sliding into autumn here in the Great Land.  That means laying in a supply of firewood, of course.  While our property isn’t expansive enough to allow us to take all our firewood needs here, at least this year there were a few down birches the power company cut for being too close the power lines.  In such cases the downed trees are left for the landowner, and so now I have a good supply of decent stove wood that just needs to be cut, split and stacked.

That’s the work part of autumn.  The fun part, at least this year, is this:  Last Sunday, Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. took a drive up Denali way, to see the fading summer and enjoy a late Sunday breakfast at a favorite place of ours a ways north of Cantwell.  It was a gorgeous, clear day in between the usual run of clouds and rain we get this time of year.  Since we probably won’t go up much north of Talkeetna in the winter, we wanted to make sure to have at least one more drive a little ways north before snow falls.  It was a perfect day, and another reminder of why we moved here.  Here, have a look:

And now…

On To the Links!

President Biden(‘s handlers) still trying to blame Trump for their fuck-ups.

Who’s falling faster – Afghanistan or Joe Biden?

This is not Saigon.  It’s worse.

But hey!  No more mean tweets!

What We’ve Learned About Team Biden’s Incompetence.  Some of us saw this coming.

This could fill several volumes.

It’s not a loophole, dummy.  It’s called “the law as it’s written.”

No, he’s not fit to lead the nation – in fact he’s not fit to haul guts to a bear.

When your opponent is making a fatal mistake – let him.

DeSantis 2024!

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Salon‘s Chauncey DeVega is an idiot.

Keith Ellison and all his et als are all idiots.

(Retired Air Force general and former CIA and NSA chief) Michael Hayden is an idiot.

Queen Nancy and all of her court are all massive hypocrites and idiots.

CNN’s Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein is an idiot.

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

Eric Holder is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Alaskan I am now, but at heart I’m still a rural/small-town kid from eastern Iowa, and I suppose I always will be.  One place I remember well from my youth is Grundy County.  This place contains some of the world’s finest farmland and, back in the day, had some great pheasant and rabbit hunting.  Most of my family lives in eastern Iowa today, and I’m pretty pleased to see the grandkids growing up in farm country, involved in 4H, and living a clean, healthy life far away from our ever-more-screwed up cities.

Back to Grundy County.  Here, from country singer John Michael Montgomery, is a look at that agricultural world, wrapped around his song Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident.)  And boy howdy can this girl dance.  Enjoy.

Rule Five Here To Help Friday

H.L. Mencken once said “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”  Ronald Reagan once opined that “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.'”

They were both right, and the recent Kung Flu issue has certainly proved it.  Excerpt:

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York posted last week in his Daily Memo some interesting data that tells us a lot about Americans’ attitudes about their government. He tracked a long-term Fox News survey in which respondents are asked which message they would send the government if they had the chance: “lend me a hand” or “leave me alone.”

Over the course of the last decade, only in August 2020 did a majority (57%) say it would ask for government help. In that same poll, 36% said “leave me alone.”

This year, however, the numbers were flipped – 47% said “leave me alone” while 44% still wanted aid.

In some years, the results showed a strong distrust of government. For instance, in 2014, 59% wanted to be free of the state while a mere 32% wished for help. In February 2016, the beginning of the last year of the Obama era, the numbers were 54-39 in favor of the “leave me alone” group.

Interesting, as it seems that the amount of Americans who favor the “leave me alone” outlook seems to be in proportion to how much the government is interfering with their daily lives.  The the ‘rona has illustrated nothing else, it has illustrated just how awful overbearing nanny-state government can be.

Also:

But what is truly striking are the results from the last two surveys. After a large majority of Americans wanted the government to step in last year, no doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was a fairly significant shift back this year to a yearning for independence.

Why? There can be no doubt Americans were lent a hand in 2020 and 2021, and they got it good and hard, to borrow a portion of one of American journalist Henry Louis Mencken’s more famous comments. Politicians panicked, petty tyrants exercised unearned authority, and this country suffered in ways few could have ever imagined.

Meanwhile, government “experts” lied, obfuscated, and contradicted themselves. As early as January of this year, long before the Delta variant set off another round of mask mandates and spiteful threats of more lockdowns, the Edelman Trust Barometer found that 57% of the country believed “government leaders” were “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”

Watching this unfold over the course of more than a year, Americans became fed up with government’s incompetence, fearmongering, failures, and inclination to rob us of our liberties. The pandemic responses from elected and unelected officials across the country uncovered an uncomfortable fact much of the political class has wanted to keep hidden: Governments are not made up of angels, but of flawed men and women, many following personal and political agendas, and still more who are simply unfit to be in any position of authority.

The power of government – the power to compel – always seems to attract those that are the least trustworthy to wield that power.  The current administration is marked by a level of incompetence and outright, unapologetic, blatant corruption hitherto unheard of.  Just look at Crackhead Hunter’s “art career”, a shameless piece of money-laundering that would make the Clintons blush with embarrassment (that they didn’t think of it first.)

The pandemic, of course, has resulted in a power grab by all levels of government like nothing we have ever seen.  The CDC issuing a blanket eviction moratorium?  Under what authority?  The CDC has zero authority to make any such pronouncement, much less to enforce it with criminal penalties, and yet here we are; the levels of outrage from the political Right, who supposedly are in opposition to such power grabs, has been decidedly underwhelming.

And as for our fellow Americans?  Well, they may tell pollsters that they would prefer that government leave them alone – but then, over great swaths of the country, they insist on voting for parties and politicians that most assuredly will not leave them alone.

I’ve often said that I’d like to see the state of government here revert to about the 1800 level.  But hell, at this point I’d settle for partying like it’s 1999.

Animal’s Daily EV News

Oil reserves.

Joe Biden(‘s handlers) seem to be going all-in on electric vehicles.  The problem?  It’s a stupid idea.  Excerpt:

The average home in the United States uses 50 kilowatt-hours per day, much of which will be consumed during the evening when everyone is home. That would imply a per-home power requirement of perhaps 20 kWh during the peak five hours, or a draw load of 4 kW (20 kWh divided by five hours) — the load demand placed on the grid transformer. Although the configurations of neighborhood power grids vary widely, a typical cluster of five to seven homes will be serviced by a 20 kW transformer, leaving minimal excess capacity during peak usage hours.

Load issues arise if four chargers need to be added and pulled from each transformer as people buy more EVs. Tesla states it requires about one hour of charging per 30 miles of range. Tesla chargers need 12 kW (50 amps at 240 volts) per hour (or per 30 miles). If each new EV drives only 50 miles per day and is charged around the same time as others, drawing 12 kW each, this could increase power requirements well beyond nominal transformer capacity. And in our scenario, if we increase miles driven and/or the number of vehicles, there is a strong likelihood power companies will need to add vast numbers of transformers.

In other words, there is far more widespread conversion to EVs than more of them rolling off assembly lines.

As in, re-tooling our already aging and EMP-vulnerable power grid, which not many people are talking about.  Certainly nobody in the Imperial City seems to be doing any more than paying lip service to this issue.

But wait!  There’s more!

Will rooftop solar come to the rescue? Unlikely. Most EVs are being charged when the sun is low or down, and it is doubtful EV owners will buy expensive storage batteries (which, by the way, have their own supply issues) to transfer energy to the EV batteries in the evening.

The second problem is the challenge of making enough EV batteries . As physicist Mark Mills pointed out in the Wall Street Journal: “The [International Energy Agency] finds that with a global energy transition like the one Biden envisions, demand for key minerals such as lithium, graphite, nickel and rare-earth metals would explode, rising by 4,200%, 2,500%, 1,900% and 700%, respectively, by 2040.”

Not only might the planet not have the capacity to meet this demand, but many of these materials come from places that are hostile or that we do not control — such as China/Mongolia, the Congo, and Bolivia — leading to an unpredictable supply.

So the current crop of imbeciles, mendicants and nincompoops in the Imperial City have, to date:

  • Taken America from a net energy exporter to being energy-dependent.
  • Begun to penalize the most efficient means of moving people around – the internal combustion engine.
  • Begun pushing for an enormous burden on the power grid, a burden that the grid is frankly not up to.

Not to mention how this push will affect rural communities.

Add that the the list of stupidity currently wending its way through Congress – including possible mandates on mileage-trackers (to add a per-mile tax to the already-existing gasoline taxes) and alcohol detectors, and you’ve got a calamity of nanny-state stupidity.

My next truck, because fuck those people.

Keep your old vehicles, True Believers.  Maintain them scrupulously and keep them running.  I plan to buy a Diesel pickup in the next year or so, and it will probably be the last pickup I ever buy.  I’ll keep it until Hell freezes.  And let’s just hope that some Imperial City jackwagon doesn’t come up with the brilliant idea to tax older, “non-compliant” vehicles out of existence.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Here in the Great Land, our summers are short and mild, while our winters are long and cold.  We know that and expect it – this is Alaska, after all, not Miami Beach.

What a lot of people don’t get about the summers here, though, is how wet they are.  It’s been raining on and off pretty much the last two weeks.  During that time, at the gas station and our favorite lunch spot/watering hole, I’ve heard a few summer vacationers express surprise at that, although every vacation guide cautions visitors to bring rain gear.  Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. knew that when we moved here, but then we had spent a lot of time here pre-move.

Alaska’s state flower – the Forget-Me-Not.

Unlike a lot of places – those with April showers bringing May flowers – Alaska’s driest month is April.   The wettest is September.  In October it starts to snow.  And that’s OK.  After thirty years in arid Colorado, it’s nice being someplace green, and the rain and snow is what makes that happen.

We just keep learning more and more about this place, and every day, for a wide variety of reasons, we’re happy to have made this move.

And with that…

On To the Links!

What the actual fuck is wrong with these people?

President Biden(‘s handlers) destroy U.S. oil production, then go hat-in-hand to OPEC.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

Science!

This mammoth, in his lifetime, walked far enough to have circumnavigated the planet – twice.  Neat.

Near-perfect cave lion cub uncovered.  Neat.

Yellowstone isn’t really a “super” volcano.  Neat!

America’s woke generals are a disaster.  No shit.

Biden is failing.  Again, no shit.

Haw haw haw!

OPEC to President Biden(‘s handlers):  Fuck off.

Gosh, who could have seen this coming?

Nothing.  Fuck off.

No shit, Sherlock.

On the bloody morning after, one tin soldier rides away.

This Week’s Idiots:

The LA Times‘ Virginia Heffernan is an idiot.

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

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

Mother Jones’ Michael Mechanic is an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a sawed-off jerk, and an idiot.

Salon’s Cody Cain is a particularly egregious idiot.

The Hill‘s Nancy Altman is an idiot.

Jonah Goldberg is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

If you’re talking about country music, you only need two words:

George.

Strait.

George’s career spans decades.  His style hasn’t changed much – his voice is butter-smooth, his lyrics speak to us folks in flyover country.  And, unlike a lot of celebrities, his personal life is… well, normal, not the train wreck that seems to afflict so many in show business.

Here, from his 2001 album The Road Less Traveled, is one of my favorite George Strait songs:  Run.  Enjoy.