Category Archives: News

My thoughts on the news of the day, both local, Colorado, national and international.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

California’s fiscal slide continues.  Excerpt:

Here is the sobering analysis released last week from the Rockefeller Institute of Government, which monitors state spending and revenues:

“After four years of uninterrupted growth, states’ tax collections saw a decline in the first quarter of 2014. Preliminary figures for the second quarter of 2014 indicate further declines in personal income-tax collections and possibly in overall state taxes.”

Then came the show stopper:

“Most of the decline is attributable to a single state — California — where personal income-tax collections declined by $2 billion, or 11.1%. If we exclude California, personal income tax collections show a growth of 2.0% in personal income tax collections and a growth of 0.6% in overall state tax collections.”

What is staggeringly stupid about California’s Prop 30, which raised tax rates and back-dated the increase to 2012, is this:  The people who proposed it and voted for it seem incapable of understanding how policy effects behavior.

California’s public policy since about 1980 or so seems deliberately designed to drive business from the state.  The re-election of Governor Moonbeam Brown seems to have been the last symptom of the Golden State’s slide into fiscal insanity; the keys to the asylum have long since been handed over to the lunatics.

Treed BearIn Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand wrote:

Through all the centuries of the worship of the mindless, whatever stagnation humanity chose to endure, whatever brutality to practice–it was only by the grace of the men who perceived that wheat must have water in order to grow, that stones laid in a curve will form an arch, that two and two make four, that love is not served by torture and life is not fed by destruction–only by the grace of those men did the rest of them learn to experience moments when they caught the spark of being human.

These are precisely the people that are being driven out of California.  Who remains in that state is left as an intellectual exercise for the reader.

Animal’s Daily News

Sleepy-bearThis just in from the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson:  Our ‘Face in the Crowd.’  Excerpt:

So what is collapsing the presidency of the once mellifluous Obama? It is not the IRS, AP, VA, or NSA scandals. Nor did the nation especially fault him for Benghazi or the complete collapse of U.S. foreign policy, from failed reset to a Middle East afire. In each case, he either blamed Bush or denied there was a smidgeon of wrongdoing on his part.

Certainly, the stampede at the border, as disastrous as it was, did not ipso facto sink Obama’s ratings. Ditto the embarrassing Bergdahl deal, in which we traded a likely deserter for five Islamist kingpins. Was it the ISIS ascendance that is leading to genocide and a nascent caliphate? Not in and of itself.

We could go on, but you get the picture that it was all of the above that finally became too much, as Americans turned Obama off because they were all lied out. In all of these scandals a charismatic Barack wheeled out the teleprompter, smiled, dropped his g’s, soared with “make no mistake about it” and “let me perfectly clear,” and then, like Lonesome Rhodes, told the “folks” things that could not be true or at least were the exact opposite of what he himself had earlier asserted.

To a certain extent, we can’t fault President Obama for lying; he’s a politician.  After all, when a dog pisses on a fire hydrant, he’s not vandalizing public property; he’s just being a dog.  So it is for pols; most of them lie as reflexively as they breathe.

Some of them, however, do have core principles.  Texas Governor Perry has them, whether you agree with them or not.  President Reagan had them.  The Founders had them in large measure.

But, at least in the estimation of yr. obdt., Barack Obama has no core principles other than self-promotion.  (Also in my estimation he is joined by Hillary Clinton in this respect.)  He is a creature of pure expedience; whatever serves his purpose at the moment is the Good and Right thing to do.  In this he is hampered by a tragic lack of executive experience and a certain intellectual laziness.

Dr. Hanson concludes:

brown-bear-1024x768The secret to Lonesome (Rhodes)’s success was to hide his contempt for those he lied to. When he is caught ridiculing his clueless listeners, he finally crashes and burns — sort of like Barack Obama serially vacationing with the 1% whom he so publicly scorns, or golfing in the aristocratic fashion of those who, he assures us, did not build their businesses.

Lonesome did not end up well, and neither will the presidency of Barack Obama.

As usual, Dr. Hanson is correct.

Goodbye Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Who Lost the Cities?  Excerpt:

Philadelphia, for example, has not had a Republican mayor since the Truman administration. It did enjoy the services of Mayor Frank Rizzo, a Democrat who endorsed Nixon in exchange for federal handouts and who governed in the progressive style: He converted a private utility into a public one and promptly turned it into a patronage machine, he was close with the labor unions and raised the city’s wage tax to fund spending on transportation and infrastructure projects, worked for economic benefits for the elderly, etc. He was a classic welfare-statist Democrat — and a man who, as police commissioner, famously promised to “make Attila the Hun look like a fag.” (Rizzo later ran as a Republican.) It wasn’t a right-wing radical who bombed a Philadelphia rowhouse and burned down the neighborhood — it was an African-American progressive, Wilson Goode. Closet Ayn Rand fans have not been running the affairs of Detroit all these years, and the intellectual patrons of the Chicago Boys have had approximately zero influence on the municipal affairs of Chicago. Ralph Reed will never be the mayor of San Francisco.

Sad-BearThere is a correlation here that is strong enough it is hard to discount to probability of causation:  Progressive urban politics leads to a loss of economic opportunity, the diminishing of personal responsibility and, eventually, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles.

Anyone living in or near any of our major cities should be living in fear of the day the Imperial Federal government finally realizes we are broke, and that the endless stream of wealth transfer payments have to stop.

Our major cities will destroy themselves in a matter of weeks.

Rule Five Friday

2014_08_15_Rule Five Friday (1)Since today’s post concerns the ongoing situation in Iraq, specifically the rise of the bloodthirsty savages of ISIS, let’s hope that the accompanying display of toothsome and free American totty pisses them off.

To any ISIS sympathizers who are offended by my Rule Five material, I will say only this:

Fuck off and die in a fire.

Now, on to Jonah Goldberg and The West’s Gaza.  Excerpt:

2014_08_15_Rule Five Friday (5)In the early days after 9/11 there was a lot of talk about a “clash of civilizations” and a long “existential struggle” facing the West. I once asked the late Christopher Hitchens what he felt on that terrible day, and he said he felt no small amount of joy. Not for the suffering and death, but for the fact that the West finally had been awakened to the terrible but necessary struggle before us. 

And for a time, many liberals bought into the idea that America was heading into a generational struggle with jihadism. There were a slew of books on the subject. Peter Beinart, for instance, wrote The Good Fight: Why Liberals — and Only Liberals — Can Win the War on Terror and 2014_08_15_Rule Five Friday (2)Make America Great Again. As the subtitle suggests, there was a lot of partisan mischief in his argument, but it rested on the premise that liberals must accept that “Islamic totalitarianism” — his phrase — has replaced communism as our enemy. On this, at least, Beinart and company, briefly agreed with George W. Bush that the war against “Islamic fascists” (Bush’s term) was the “decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century.”

Like most Americans, I am of mixed feelings about our history in Iraq.  The initial military operation was a walkover, nothing but – however, we were sadly unprepared for what came next.  To some extent Colin Powell was correct in his “Cracker Barrel theory” (You broke it, you bought it) but in retrospect one wonders if we shouldn’t 2014_08_15_Rule Five Friday (4)have simply utterly destroyed Iraq’s military capacity and the Ba’ath government and left the survivors to pick over the ruins.

But ISIS may have arisen in any case.

Barack Obama’s repeated (and repeatedly ignored) lines in the sand certainly do give the impression of weakness on the part of the United States, which encourages bad actors of all sorts.  A more decisive President and a more robust foreign policy may have discouraged some of the Islamic radicals.

2014_08_15_Rule Five Friday (3)But ISIS may have arisen in any case.

Mr. Goldberg concludes:

No one in the West wants a generational struggle with jihadism any more than Israel wants perpetual war with Hamas in Gaza. The problem is the enemy always gets a vote. It just may be that the Middle East will become the West’s Gaza. And, so far, nobody has a good answer for what to do about it.

But we’re going to have to do something about it sooner or later.

2014_08_15_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Daily News

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

Speaking of Robert Stacy and company; the inestimable Mr. McCain has been handed a win in his legal case, in which he (and numerous other high-profile bloggers) have been sued for defamation by convicted perjurer and peripatetic asshole Brett Kimberlin.  Kudos and congratulations to Mr. McCain on this event, and (of course) to his co-defendants as well.

And while we’re on the topic – why the hell is it that perjuring assholes like Kimberlin feel so free to sue?  Mostly for one reason; if they lose, they are only out their own expenses.  (Since Kimberlin apparently represented himself, proving once more the maxim that anyone who represents himself in a trial has a moron for a client, he apparently isn’t even out that much.)

Angry-BearIf there is a better argument for a loser-pays tort reform, I don’t know what it is.  Liar and asshole Kimberlin, having lost miserably, should now be liable for the legal expenses of the defendants.  That, if nothing else, would make assholes think twice before filing stupid, frivolous lawsuits.

Speaking of assholes, in New York City a cowardly, sniveling young punk sucker-punched a 72-year old man and ran off, in another disgusting example of the “knockout game.”  If there were any justice, this cowardly little shit would be put in a ring and left at the mercy of an MMA fighter for ten or fifteen minutes.

And on that note, we return you to your Thursday, already in progress.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Today we have another egregious Charles Fox from the least competent, most corrupt Attorney General since Ed Meese:  Hey, Eric Holder:  Voter ID Isn’t Stuck in 1965.  Excerpt:

To wit, black voter registration in North Carolina exceeds that of whites—data from 2012 indicates black registration at 95.3 percent and white registration at 87.8 percent. Given that black registration in North Carolina is 7.5 percent greater than among whites, the court was less than convinced that a voter ID requirement would suddenly lead to an unequal access to the polls. Moreover, Holder and the NAACP asserted that the elimination of same-day registration would lead to a decrease in black voter participation—another claim swatted away by the court.

Their expert witness testified in court that without same-day registration the number of blacks would have declined by 3 percent in 2012 and that one could predict similar results in future elections. This claim, too, was batted away when Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, noted: “Plaintiffs have not shown that African-American voters in 2012 lacked—or more importantly, that they currently lack—an equal opportunity to easily register to vote otherwise.

The resistance to voter ID laws staggers belief.  Setting aside AG Holder’s pandering to the self-appointed “civil rights” leadership, it’s impossible to make a realistic case that a society that requires ID for boarding an airplane, for cashing a check, for buying a firearm or a Yes-YOU-bearcar, or for any of a thousand other transactions of everyday life, should somehow allow a citizen to vote without showing such ID.

How many people care enough about their country to vote but not enough to take an hour out of the year to go to the DMV and obtain a state-issued photo ID?

Such people deserve very little sympathy.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Or is it?  This just in from PJMedia’s own Richard Fernandez:  A Ringside Seat To Our Own Destruction.  Excerpt:

How about this lead paragraph? “BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of women from the Yazidi religious minority have been taken captive by Sunni militants with “vicious plans,” an Iraqi official said Friday, further underscoring the dire plight of Iraq’s minorities at the hands of the Islamic State group.” Vicious plans is the 21st century journalistic equivalent of the Victorian phrase, “a fate worse than death”.

This eyewitness account is pretty close to the best reportage, however. “On board Iraqi army helicopter delivering aid to the trapped Yazidis, Jonathan Krohn sees a hellish sight”.

Mount Sinjar stinks of death. The few Yazidis who have managed to escape its clutches can tell you why. “Dogs were eating the bodies of the dead,” said Haji Khedev Haydev, 65, who ran through the lines of Islamic State jihadists surrounding it.

And:

Grizzly-Bear-FaceThe story adds, almost superfluously, that ISIS is attempting to shoot down aid deliveries. They would do that, wouldn’t they? Yet all this time the world was assured there was nothing to worry about in the hundreds of radical mosques, the thousands of militants eagerly received into the West and creeping sharia law in its institutions.  The dangers, they were told, all lay in the Tea Party and elusive militia groups holed up in a cabin in the Ozarks.

It’s worth remembering that ISIS split off from Al Qaeda because that latter group was a little to cuddly, warm and fuzzy for the monsters that are now decapitating people in Kurdistan.

There’s an even more interesting point to ponder; how much have these savages been emboldened by six years of weak, feckless and ineffective foreign policy from our Imperial City?

Let’s be clear about one thing; these ISIS assholes and their ideological counterparts are not doing what they are doing because of any perceived or real oppression or because of anything the United States has done.  They are doing it because they are the very, very worst sort of savages, the kind of people that gave the Dark Ages a bad name.  They want to kill anyone who resists their plan to patton1yn7impose a horrific version of Sharia law on the planet, and to kill them in the most horrific way possible.

What is the most effective way to deal with these people?  One suspects George Patton would have had the answer.  But the  Imperial Federal government no longer seeks living weapons like Patton for the proper response to savagery.

Rule Five Friday

2014_08_08_Rule Five Friday (2)The 800 Pound Gorilla in the room for rare earth sustainability in North America – Thorium.  Excerpt:

James Kennedy works closely with the Thorium Energy Alliance to promote US legislation for the commercial development of thorium energy systems and rare earths. And when he asked me to review a video where he presents a paper entitled “Creating a Multinational Platform, Thorium, Energy and Rare Earth Value Chain – a Global Imbalance in the Rare Earth Market” – it occurred to me that Tracy’s frequently referenced ‘800 lb. gorilla’ in the proverbial rare earth room was overdue for discussion: thorium.

2014_08_08_Rule Five Friday (3)Kennedy’s essential argument is that the rare earth imbalance is largely the result of regulations with unintended consequences: “Rare earths and thorium have become linked at the mineralogical and geopolitical level.” In other words, thorium should be considered as a rare earth mineral.

The article concludes:

There are currently two bills before the US Congress “that if enacted would create a federally-chartered multinational rare earth cooperative that’s privately funded and operated, and it would be authorized to accept monazites and other thorium-bearing minerals. The thorium would be removed and stored on what Kennedy calls a federally-chartered ‘thorium bank’ for safekeeping. This will help mining companies, which help place liability to the bank, leaving the miners to 2014_08_08_Rule Five Friday (1)produce higher value HREE’s.

My question is this:  If, in our quest to be rare-earth independent, we start upping production of thorium – why not use it in a liquid fluoride thorium reactor to generate electricity?

The country badly needs more electrical power generation.  We need to lessen our dependence on foreign sources (especially China) for rare earths.  We can accomplish both by developing thorium 2014_08_08_Rule Five Friday (5)reactor capacity and refining our own rare earths from monazite.

Or does this just make too much sense for the Imperial Federal government to buy in on?

Of course, we can always start aggressively developing our own traditional domestic energy sources as well – again, if the folks in the Imperial City deign to allow it.  A common argument states that it would take X number of years to bring these domestic sources on line.

And that common argument has been in play for thirty years or more.  It’s time to push that one into its long-overdue grave.

2014_08_08_Rule Five Friday (4)

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

A few odds and ends this morning:

The stock market continued its sell-off yesterday.  Uncertainty over the unsettled state of the world?  Nobody should be surprised.

Speaking of which:

What Would Hamas Do If It Could Do Whatever It Wanted?  Thumbnail:  Kill lots of Jews.

Iraq’s Religious Minorities are Being Slaughtered and ISIS Just Captured the Last Town Giving Them Shelter.

Europe Divided over Immigration, Work Ethics.

This from PJMedia’s Roger Simon:  Welcome To The 1930s.  Money quote:

A decade ago, I was in Paris to research a novel I never wrote and was taken to the bainlieu, witnessing firsthand Muslim neighborhoods seething with more hate than anything I had seen on trips to Cairo or even Jenin. The initials NTMJ were scrawled everywhere (short for “nique ta mere, juif” – fuck your mother, Jew). I was aware that “juif” in those Paris suburbs had become a curse word for anything from a broken Silver Bearfountain pen to a lost subway pass.

Compare those sentiments to what is happening in the Middle East today.

Granted no historical comparison is perfect; as Mark Twain pointed out, history may not repeat, but it often rhymes.  Since September 11, 2001, I’ve been wondering if we were witnessing the first shots of WW3.

I’m still wondering.

Animal’s Daily News

Excellent!
Excellent!

This just in from the pages of Reason.com:  The Courts Advance Concealed Guns.  Excerpt:

Gun-control advocates are learning the downside of getting their way. Recently, a federal judge struck down the District of Columbia’s ban on the carrying of concealed handguns. Anti-gun forces have been losing in legislatures for a long time. Now they are finding that even where they win, they lose.

Washington used to have the strictest gun laws in America. Besides the prohibition of concealed guns, all firearms had to be registered and handgun ownership was forbidden.

Violent Crime Rates by Gender
Violent Crime Rates by Gender

The restrictions had no evident effect on crime: In the 1990s, the nation’s capital was known as the murder capital. But they invited a legal challenge—a historic one, as it happened. In 2008, the Supreme Court invalidated the city’s handgun ban as a violation of the Second Amendment.

More crime rates by gender.
More crime rates by gender.

It has been just the last few years that the courts in general have seemed to remember that the Second Amendment exists, and what the plain language of that amendment actually means – and that realization has blown up in the faces of would-be gun banners.  (It would be nice if judges, especially at the Imperial level, would remember some of the other amendments – the Fourth and Tenth, for example.)

Interestingly, all during the time the courts have been striking down restrictive gun law after restrictive gun law, violent crime rates have been dropping (see the charts above.)

It’s almost as though potentially violent thugs might be deterred by the thought of armed resistance.  Amazing, eh?