Animal’s Hump Day Nukes

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

No, that’s not a typo in the title.  Ever wonder what would happen if a nuke went off over Manhattan?  This should give you some idea.  Excerpt:

Within tens of minutes, everything within approximately five to seven miles of Midtown Manhattan would be engulfed by a gigantic firestorm. The fire zone would cover a total area of 90 to 152 square miles (230 to 389 square kilometers). The firestorm would rage for three to six hours. Air temperatures in the fire zone would likely average 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (200 to 260 Celsius). 

After the fire burned out, the street pavement would be so hot that even tracked vehicles could not pass over it for days. Buried, unburned material from collapsed buildings throughout the fire zone could burst into flames when exposed to air—months after the firestorm had ended.  

Those who tried to escape through the streets would have been incinerated by the hurricane-force winds filled with firebrands and flames. Even those able to find shelter in the lower-level sub-basements of massive buildings would likely suffocate from fire-generated gases or be cooked alive as their shelters heated to oven-like conditions.

Sad-BearThe fire would extinguish all life and destroy almost everything else.  Tens of miles downwind of the area of immediate destruction, radioactive fallout would begin to arrive within a few hours of the detonation.

Holy shit.

Why bring this scenario to the fore now?  It’s startlingly relevant; the Obama Administration is brokering a kick-the-can deal that will make it easier for Iran to build their much-anticipated nuclear weapon.  Once Iran has their nukes, how long will it be before one goes off over a Western city?  And, for the bunch of apocalyptic shitbags running Iran, what more tempting target than New York?

Granted they don’t have (yet) delivery systems that are even up to Cold War Soviet standards, which the scenario above describes.

But we know someone that does.

Fireball-Slide-new-2
Image from the linked article.

Talk about your Axis of Evil.

The last nuke torched off in anger was over Nagasaki in August of 1945, but it was only the last so far.  There will, inevitably, be another.  And it almost certainly won’t be an American nuke.  The question is this:  What will our response be when that drastic event happens?

If the current President is still in the Imperial Mansion, it will almost certainly be anemic and ineffective.  That, True Believers, will be a response that invites more aggression, not less.  If we can learn anything from history, we can learn that.

Animal’s Daily News

Facepalm-bearAnother Imperial power grab took place last week, when the FCC voted – along party lines – to pass the “net neutrality” horseshit that Congress has routinely rejected.  True Believers, prepare to say bye-bye to one of the last bastions of free speech!  Excerpt:

Under the new rules, broadband providers, long classified by the agency as Title I information services, will now be regulated as Title II telecommunications services—essentially making them public utilities, like the phone system. The move is designed to allow the FCC to implement strict net neutrality rules limiting how much control Internet service providers (ISPs) can exert over what passes over their networks.

Today’s vote is the result of a lengthy process begun by Chairman Wheeler roughly a year ago, and that process came in the wake of two previous efforts in which the agency’s net neutrality rules were struck down in court. But the end result of the vote was largely set near the end of last year, when President Obama released a statement calling for the agency to implement the strongest possible net neutrality rules.

Obama’s statement, itself somewhat atypical in its attempt to publicly influence an independent regulatory agency, followed a long, secret effort inside the White House, in which administration staffers acted, as The Wall Street Journal reported, “like a parallel version of the FCC.” Wheeler had been considering less restrictive rules, but changed his course after the president’s statement.

Here is a revealing video from one of the FCC dissenters:

It will be interesting to see Congress’s reaction.  The House, where there actually are one or two members with some testicular fortitude, may try to deflect this by defunding efforts; but the Imperial Senate seems all too willing to just roll over for this kind of nonsense.  And by the time we have a new President in the Imperial Mansion in January 2017, this will be old news; not too many Presidents have been too worried about overturning this kind of status quo.

Yr. obdt. doesn’t normally favor using the courts to shape public policy, but we can expect to see a few lawsuits from the nation’s internet service providers over this.  That may be the only way out of this particular piece of crap.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks to The Daley Gator for the Rule Five link!

Any True Believers out there under 40?  You’re fucked.  Excerpt:

Remember Occupy Wall Street, when thousands across the country took to the streets, sleeping in tents to protest the ultra-rich 1 percent? The occupiers’ frustration was real, but their ire was misdirected. They should have launched an Occupy the AARP movement instead.

Government policies that transfer cash from the relatively young and poor to the relatively old and wealthy are the real scandal. In 1970, Social and Medicare accounted for 20 percent of federal spending. They have since grown to 40 percent; by 2030, they will be more than half. And these numbers understate the level of federal spending for the elderly. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, some 28 percent of spending on Medicaid, a program designed to offer health care to families in poverty, goes to older Americans.

Yr. obdt. is forced to disagree in one respect; the Occupy Wall Street crowd weren’t misdirected, they were idiotic.   But beyond that, what our Imperial Federal government has done is a cosmic leap in idiocy beyond anything the Occupy crowd ever dreamed of.

Instead of explaining this again, I’ll just present a relevant quote from the Animal Manifesto:

The entire picture of tax and fiscal policy, such as it is, by our Imperial Federal Government is an unmitigated multi-generational disaster; it is a cluster-fuck of cosmic proportions, the overarching, transcendent issue of our time.  Runaway government spending and debt is the single greatest threat to the Republic today; greater than Islamic terrorism, greater than competition from Chinese manufacturing, greater than any environmental crisis.  And this crisis can only be addressed in one of two ways; we can inflate our way out of it, or we can grow our way out of it.  We should be doing the latter, but seem to be doing the former; the purchasing power of the American dollar is almost perfectly paralleling the decline of the Roman denarius during the decline of the Empire.

Things may well be past the point of no return.  Neither party seems to have the political will to address the problem; one party seems to show some slight concern about low economic growth and the ridiculous tax system, while the other party intends to continue doubling down on bad policies.  That’s not a comforting thought.

We have demagogued away our grandchildren’s future, and history will (rightly) damn us for it.

Angry-BearThe Reason article linked above concludes:  Unfortunately, there is almost no appetite in Congress for even mild reforms of Social Security and Medicare. Most lawmakers won’t touch entitlement programs, because older Americans vote. Driven by a desire to get re-elected, politicians refuse to reform the program at the core of our country’s future fiscal woes.

That behavior makes sense even if it’s deplorable. Harder to understand is why younger Americans don’t object when wealthy seniors take funds from those who can least afford it.

It’s another data point in the documentation of a fiscal calamity.  As the Manifesto says, future generations will rightly damn us for it.

Rule Five Friday

2015_02_27_Rule Five Friday (1)How free is your state?  According to the libertarian folks at Reason.com, Florida is the most free – or, at least, the least not-free – state.  Our own Colorado surprisingly comes in at #15, Alaska at #27, and our neighbor to the north, Wyoming, not surprisingly comes in at #10.  Excerpt:

Florida is the freest (or least unfree, depending on how you look at it) state in the United States? So says North Carolina’s John Locke Foundation in its First in Freedom Index, which drew data from a range of sources and found that the state where alligators help keep the yowling, roaming kitty population under control is also notable for officials who generally stay out of your way. Arizona and Indiana round out the top three, while California, New 2015_02_27_Rule Five Friday (2)Jersey, and New York serve, unsurprisingly, as black holes of bureaucratic suckage.

Those of us familiar with the neverending jaw-drops provided by Florida police shenanigans, or simply with the presence of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona’s Maricopa County, might be raising an eyebrow around now. But remember that cops in California, New Jersey, and New York are much more professional about their pervasive abuses. They can get through the business of strangling petty “criminals” and trumping up charges against political enemies without parading outrageous personalities in the process. Besides, the John Locke Foundation bypasses civil liberties issues to focus on fiscal policy, educational choice, regulatory incursions, and health care freedom. As a measure of relative restraint and leeway in those areas, it’s a handy addition to various existing freedom rankings without displacing the role of other indexes.

2015_02_27_Rule Five Friday (3)Personally I kind of like Joe Arpaio.  But then I don’t agree with Reason on everything; immigration policy, for instance.  I’d be OK with open borders, on one condition:  No welfare of any kind for immigrants for five years after entry.

But that’s a topic for another day.

Here’s the original study from the John Locke Foundation.  An interesting point:

One possible mechanism for economic freedom boosting growth is making astate more attractive to out-of-state business executives, investors, professionals, and other job creators. In a 2007 Southern Economic Journal study, economist Nathan Ashby found that states ranking high on the EFNA Index tend to experience high rates of in-migration, which in turn confer broader economic benefits.

2015_02_27_Rule Five Friday (4)No shit.  An amazing insight, that; if you make a state more attractive to job creators, job creators will come to that state and, you know, create jobs.

Here’s another:

Yet another index, from the Tax Foundation, ranks states according to the competitiveness of their tax codes. While focused solely on taxes, this State Business Tax Climate Index (SBTCI) also combines several different variables — and has also been the subject of empirical study. A 2007 study by scholars at the Brookings Institution, for example, used the Tax Foundation’s measure as one variable in a broader analysis of state growth rates. It found that states ranked high on the SBTCI tended to have higher rates of employment growth.

Again, no shit.

So there you have it, True Believers; some pretty compelling arguments for moving to Florida.  Personally, I’ll opt for somewhere else; I can’t abide the summer humidity.

2015_02_27_Rule Five Friday (5)

Animal’s Daily News

Probably not actually one of our ancestors.
Probably not actually one of our ancestors.

Here’s some food for thought; over the last four million years or so, there have been quite a few human and near-human species wandering around, but today there is only one – us, H. sapiens.  (Some days I question that specific name, but there you are – thank Carolus Linneaus.)

But what if some other species, or several others, were still kicking around today?  Excerpt;

Imagine how things might have turned out had the Neanderthals or Denisovans survived alongside Homo sapiens. What kind of cultures, societies and political structures would have emerged in a world where several different human species coexisted? How, for example, would religious faiths have unfolded? Would the book of Genesis have declared that Neanderthals descend from Adam and Eve, would Jesus have died for the sins of the Denisovans, and would the Qur’an have reserved seats in heaven for all righteous humans, whatever their species? Would Neanderthals have been able to serve in the Roman legions, or in the sprawling bureaucracy of imperial China? Would the American Declaration of Independence hold as a self-evident truth that all members of the genus Homo are created equal? Would Karl Marx have urged workers of all species to unite?

Over the past 10,000 years, Homo sapiens has grown so accustomed to being the only human species that it’s hard for us to conceive of any other possibility. Our lack of brothers and sisters makes it easier to imagine that we are the epitome of creation, and that a chasm separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. When Charles Darwin indicated that Homo sapiens was just another kind of animal, people were outraged. Even today many refuse to believe it. Had the Neanderthals survived, would we still imagine ourselves to be a creature apart? Perhaps this is exactly why our ancestors wiped out the Neanderthals. They were too familiar to ignore, but too different to tolerate.

Bear-stuffsIt’s an interesting thought.

Some years back the esteemed paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey stated that if you took a Neandertal, shaved him, put him in a suit and put him on a New York City subway (think for a moment of the typical denizens of the NY city subway system) he probably wouldn’t attract too much notice.  This is often quoted to imply that the Neandertal were “just like us,” which they weren’t – for one thing, you’d need to give Old Cuz a hat to cover his flattened and elongated cranium, otherwise suit or no, he’d look pretty odd.  But Leakey clarified his comment at a later point, adding that if you pulled the same trick with a Homo erectus, everyone would stare at him; if you did it with a Homo habilis, everyone would move to the far end of the car.

But forget for a moment what it would be like to have a family of Neandertals living next door; forget the implications to everything from government to religion to medicine.  I can think of one professional field in which our ancestors would have excelled; put a six and a  half-foot, robust, massively muscled H. heidelbergensis in the ring with any of today’s “professional” wrestlers, and the resulting match would, I suspect, be very, very short.

That’s a pay-per-view that I might actually kick in a few shekels to watch.

Animal’s Hump Day Shooting News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Some time back we stumbled across an interesting discussion on the appropriate firearm for the farm or country home, much like the country home my folks maintained for many decades.

The Old Man was, of course, a farmer for much of his life, and a self-styled country gentleman of the old school.  His attitude towards firearms reflected most of his type and his generation; firearms were tools essential to the maintenance and protection of homestead and crops, in the same order as a chainsaw, a scythe, or a tractor.  They were selected and maintained as such, with strictly utilitarian considerations.  Childhood in the Great Depression and young adulthood during WW2 made most of the Old Man’s generation pretty practically-minded people.

That being the case, the Old Man maintained three firearms on and about the place.  They were a 12-gauge pump shotgun, a .22 rimfire rifle, and a .22 handgun.  The shotgun was his first purchase with his demobilization pay when he returned from the Army in 1946 , the .22 rifle was a third anniversary present from my mother in 1950, and the .22 pistol he bought for recreational shooting sometime in the mid-1960s.  I still have all three firearms, as the folks live in town now and are maintaining only a .410 bore shotgun for whatever it may be needed for.

Now, on to the country home:  If a family can only maintain one firearm on a country homestead, one would be wise to pick up something along the lines of the Old Man’s first post-war purchase, a simple 12-gauge pump-action shotgun.  The Old Man’s Stevens 520A hasn’t been available for many years, but the Mossberg 500 series or the Remington 870 are solid guns that will give long service; my own pair of Mossbergs have been functioning flawlessly in the game fields for 35 and 30 years now.

The advantages of the 12 gauge are many.  Ammo is readily available anywhere (not so, sadly, for Mrs. Animal’s 16 gauge Browning) and various loads/shot sizes can handle anything from garden pests to turkeys, while a slug will dispatch a deer or even a bear.

In spite of his utilitarian attitude towards shotguns, the Old Man was nevertheless as artist with his old Stevens; he was known to go 100 straight on the skeet range in his Army days, and he was highly skilled at making a shot charge arrive in the same location as a fleeing pheasant or grouse.  Some years back he cut off the tip of his trigger finger in a jointer, and since then firing any gun with any recoil caused a stab of pain through his shooting hand, but before moving to town Smiling Bearhe capped his hunting career in a blaze of glory by stalking and killing a wild turkey with the .410, causing our old friend Dave to comment, “if anyone but your Dad told me that, I’d call him a damned liar.”

Even though I will always love my old Brownings and Winchesters, I will always keep the old Mossbergs around as utility shotguns, especially after our move north.  Of course, my attitudes towards firearms are somewhat different than the Old Man’s, and so the Mossbergs will still have plenty of company in the rack.

Animal’s Daily News

Forewarned is forearmed.
Forewarned is forearmed.

Thanks once again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

In another example of egregious stupidity from the Garden State, a retired teacher was driving on a New Jersey roadway when he was stopped by the police.  For reasons unknown he consented to a search of his vehicle, and is now facing weapons charges.  The weapon?  An 18th century flintlock pistol.  Excerpt:

Back in November, Gordon Van Gilder, who had retired after 34 years of teaching, was traveling in Cumberland County, N.J., when the vehicle he was in was subjected to a traffic stop. Van Gilder, a collector of historical objects, was traveling at the time with an unloaded and wrapped 1760s flintlock pistol in the glove compartment of his vehicle. The pensioner and a traveling companion were pressured into allowing the officer to conduct a search of the vehicle, at which point Van Gilder told the officer about the antique firearm. Eventually, Van Gilder was allowed to continue on his way.

The next day, however, several law enforcement officers came to Van Gilder’s home and arrested him. Van Gilder was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun. New Jersey law targets “[a]ny person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same.” The charge holds a minimum sentence of 3.5 years with maximum sentence of 10.

An NRA News interview conducted with Van Gilder and his attorney, Evan Nappen, recounts the former teacher’s harrowing experience. Van Gilder warned viewers, “Beware of New Jersey. Don’t come here, don’t live here.” His treatment, he added, was “an insult to decent people.”

Facepalm-bearHere’s another piece of advice; if, during a routine traffic stop, a police officer asks to search your car:  Say no.  Say no as many times as necessary.

Other than that, Val Gilder is correct; his treatment at the hand of the New Jersey cops is well to the left of idiotic.  Has common sense completely fled that state?  Is there not one person in this law enforcement apparatus that looked at the situation and said, “wait, guys, this is a retired schoolteacher with an antique flintlock pistol.  This firearm was obsolete at the start of the Civil War.  Let this one slide, OK?”

But this is hardly the first time the state of New Jersey has been the (well deserved) subject of ridicule.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

2015_02_23_Goodbye Blue MondayThanks to the Daley Gator for the Rule Five link!

Liberals Find an Acorn; Guns Probably Won’t Help Prevent Campus Rapes.  Relevant excerpt:

To be clear, I fully support concealed carry on campus. There are plenty of good reasons why students might wish to bring guns on campus; many who walk to class have to pass through crime-ridden areas of town and would feel safer if armed. For others who are legally entitled to carry virtually anywhere but a college campus, the rule against bringing their guns with them when they set foot on college grounds is inconvenient and unnecessary.

But I’m not remotely persuaded that more guns would mean less rape, for the simple reason that the kinds of rape most prevalent at colleges are unlikely to be prevented by guns. Sexual assault occurs at parties, under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Students often aren’t aware they are being raped until the next morning—or long after the incident has passed. Campus rapists don’t generally ambush victims in the park, or break into their homes. Instead, they incapacitate their victims and rely on hazy memories to acquit them. That’s part of the reason that Jackie’s story was so unbelievable—it was a straightforwardly violent attack on a fully-aware victim. A gun might have helped Jackie, but in the vast majority of actual sexual assaults on campus, I just don’t see it.

There’s an important distinction to make here.

gun control theoryYr. obdt. also supports concealed-carry on college campuses, and the several States are beginning to agree.   And it’s also probably true that cases of date-rape won’t be prevented by concealed-carry.

But a host of other campus crimes would be.

Plenty of major campuses in the country are in crappy areas.  Temple University is in a bad neighborhood.  Yale isn’t in the best area.  Colleges aren’t alone in this; my brother-in-law used to work in Johns Hopkins, and the part of Baltimore that includes this one of the nation’s premiere hospitals is nigh-unto a demilitarized zone.

The right of self-defense is not abrogated by the fact that one has walked onto a college campus.  The liberal commenters references in this article may be narrowly correct on point, but they are dead wrong on the larger issue.  A carry permit should be valid on college campuses.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.