Category Archives: News

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

Rule Five Friday

2014_10_24_Rule Five Friday (1)This just in from the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson:  The Politics of Victimhood.  Excerpt:

The questionable assumption we often accept about suffering is that enduring terrible experiences automatically make one an expert on the broader issues related to the causes of suffering. That’s why like other public victims of gun violence, (former Arizona Congressman Gabrielle) Giffords has spoken out as if her experience has made her an authority on gun policy. Thus she has attacked politicians for disagreeing with her on the issue of guns not by making a coherent argument, but by conjuring up her own experiences and sentimentalizing other victims of gun violence. Having created a fog of emotion, she then argues for 2014_10_24_Rule Five Friday (2)policies, such as more restrictive background checks for those buying guns, even though there is no evidence that such procedures keep guns out of the hands of those determined to get them. After all, the man who shot Giffords had undergone a thorough background check. Worse yet, such emotionalism sets aside the critical Constitutional issue––the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

Invoking overt displays of emotions is a staple of the gun-banners; it is likewise a staple of such kooks as anti-vaccine kooks and animal rights lunatics.  It is, after all, much easier to try to evoke an emotional response than it is to prepare a fact-based presentation and conduct a dispassionate analysis of the issues.

It’s important to note that, while both parties indulge in these kinds of histrionics, the most passionate appeals to emotion and the most 2014_10_24_Rule Five Friday (3)irrational arguments are – with a very few exceptions – made by those on the political Left.

An example?

Setting aside gun control for the moment, look at the arguments – and I use the word “argument” in the broadest possible sense – by the radical animal rights nuts.  Every argument against animal use, be it for food, research, entertainment, or even keeping as pets, is strictly emotion-based.  They argue against eating animals on the basis of the “suffering” of farm animals, even though they have no way of quantifying that suffering, and have no idea of the impact their own diets cause – those diets being by and large2014_10_24_Rule Five Friday (4) the product of monoculture plant agriculture, which causes animal death and suffering in vast quantities.

They neither know nor care about this savage hypocrisy; just like gun-banners neither know nor care that disarming the law-abiding will only produce an entire new set of helpless victims for adherents to the toxic urban thug culture that is infesting many of our larger cities.

Dr. Hanson concludes:  The trump card of suffering might be politically useful, but using it is a dishonest tactic that inhibits informed deliberation and debate. Relying on emotion and sentiment, no matter how understandable they are as a response to suffering, have since ancient Athens been the agents of bad policies and dangerous political decisions, and tactics for pursuing political advantage at the expense of the public good. They have no place in our already conflicted 2014_10_24_Rule Five Friday (5)and divisive public political discourse.

Today, our Imperial City is awash in politicians, lobbyists and advocates of every stripe, and nine of ten are pushing for policies that are not only bad but, as Dr. Hanson points out, dangerous.  They argue with emotion as their opening card, and very little if any pols or anyone else seems able to present a dispassionate analysis of fact.

To someone like yr. obdt. who has for the last ten years or so run a business whose main purpose is teaching problem-solving and cause analysis to high-tech companies all over the world, that is a situation that is increasingly frustrating.

2014_10_24_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Daily News

Sleepy-BearAnother hunting season over – this one cut short, as the inestimable Rojito developed some sort of electrical trouble and remains even now in an auto shop in Granby.  Mrs. Animal cheerfully drove up from Denver to rescue loyal sidekick Rat and yr. obdt., but we returned to the city with nothing to show for our efforts except, as always, great memories of time spent outdoors.  The one outstanding thing in this abbreviated hunt were the numbers of Shiras moose evident in our mountain stomping grounds; we saw no less than four on opening day, a young bull and three cows.  That bodes well for yr. obdt. if I ever manage to snag a coveted Colorado moose tag.

And, on this return to regular blogging, let me once more thank Robert Stacy, Smitty and Wombat-socho for the Rule Five links.  Appreciated as always, guys!

Speaking of that return to regular blogging, here’s an interesting bit of commentary from Forbes on the United States’ two very different “gun cultures” and how at least one county sheriff sees the two:  How Gun-Control Legislation Is Affecting This Election.  Excerpt:

Actually, a majority of sheriffs in New York and Colorado publicly oppose the new gun-control laws. Sheriffs are in a unique position to speak out, as nearly all of America’s 3,080 sheriffs are elected. These sheriffs aren’t standing alone like Gary Cooper in “High Noon.” Polls show that a lot of the men and women who protect us support the Second Amendment. In 2013, a survey of police officers by the National Girls with GunsAssociation of Chiefs of Police found that 86.8 percent of those surveyed think “any law-abiding citizen [should] be able to purchase a firearm for sport and self-defense.” Also, a survey done by PoliceOne.com of 15,000 law-enforcement professionals found that almost 90 percent of officers believe that casualties related to guns would be decreased if armed citizens were present at the onset of an active-shooter incident. More than 80 percent of PoliceOne’s respondents support arming schoolteachers and administrators who willingly volunteer to train with firearms. Virtually all the survey’s respondents (95 percent) said a federal ban on the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds wouldn’t reduce violent crime.

Cops – at least the cops surveyed here – are people of uncommonly good sense, probably in part because of the inexorable onslaught of human stupidity they deal with on a daily basis.  An old retired state policeman once told me that every criminal he ever dealt with had a combination of three personality traits, greedy, mean and stupid – that proportions varied but all three were universally present.

These, of course, are the people that will completely and totally ignore any gun control legislation, no matter how well-intentioned, that ignorant state or Imperial legislators may pass.

user-girls-guns-550-29There is a gun culture in the United States, a culture of responsible, law-abiding shooters and hunters.  Some keep guns for recreation, some for sport, some for defense, some (like yr. obdt.) for all of the above.  Of all the nations in the world, only the United States, in its Constitution, recognizes the right to keep and bear arms as an inalienable right that we retain by virtue of being free, law-abiding citizens.  And those of us who choose to own guns, for any reasons, don’t like seeing politicians who are utterly ignorant of the differences between citizen and thug try to abrogate those rights.

That’s why three former Colorado legislators find themselves unemployed now.  That’s in part why Governor Hickenlooper finds himself in a tight race against a GOP challenger now.

Animal’s Daily News

Splashing-Bears5 Key Implications of Baghdad Falls To ISIS.  Excerpt:

Reports that ISIS has surrounded Baghdad and is quickly closing in on the Baghdad International Airport (armed with MANPADS, no less) are troubling. Baghdad itself has been rocked by a series of VBIED attacks in the past 24 hours by ISIS, indicating that the battle for Baghdad has begun.

The possible fall of Baghdad could be the most significant development in the War on Terror since 9/11. And yet many among the D.C. foreign policy “smart set” were not long ago mocking such a scenario.

So what happens if such a situation comes to pass? Here are five key implications (by no means limited to these) if Baghdad falls to ISIS:

By all means examine the five points, but it is the first of them that has the most repercussions, should it come to pass:  1) ISIS will not be claiming to the be the Islamic State, they will BE the Islamic State.

Angry-BearAt present ISIS are, religious pretensions aside, a gang of bandits at best, a large body of non-uniformed franc-tireurs at worst.  Like their fellows in al-Qaeda and other organized Islamic terror groups, they are not uniformed military, they are not afforded the protections covering soldiers in the Geneva Protocols and other recognized international laws of war, and in fact may be shot or hanged immediately on capture.

So, we should make no bones about killing these people – preferably before they capture enough of Baghdad to claim nation-state status.

Here’s the rub; ISIS will not and can not be defeated without intensive ground fighting.  The United States can’t at present provide ground forces for this; our forces have been cut back too far, have been stretched too thin, and the American people are too war-weary.  None of the nations in the region seem too anxious to take this on.

Sad-BearSo what happens in this scenario:  ISIS gains control of Baghdad and therefore Iraq, sets themselves up as a regional caliphate, obtains nuclear weapons from either Pakistan or Iran – and uses them on either Israel or America?  What will the Israeli or American people demand be done in response?  One would suspect the response would be catastrophic – for ISIS.

What global holocaust will ensue then?

Animal’s Hump Day Meat-Eating News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Here’s an interesting tidbit from PJMedia’s peripatetic undercover man-on-the-street Zombie:  I Am Ashamed To Be A Vegetarian.  Excerpt:

I’m a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat in 20 years.

Up until this morning I was OK with my dietary choice.

But then I saw this video just uploaded by “Direct Action Everywhere,” a radical vegetarian activist gang, and now I am ashamed. Ashamed to be associated with them. Ashamed that everyone I meet must think I’m some sort of anti-meat revolutionary. Ashamed that mean-spirited lunatics have hijacked my personal food preference and turned it into rallyng cry for passive-aggressive bullying.

Watch and weep, as a contingent of vegetarian fascists burst into a random restaurant in San Francisco and try to pull some kind of creepy mind-game on the bewildered diners:

Watch the video.  It’s a hoot.

Speaking as the guy who actually wrote the book about these people, this protest is typical – factless, clueless, and achieving nothing but an unearned sense of moral superiority on the part of the protestors, with no real effort on their part.  (See my own PJMedia article on the topic of “ethical veganism for some idea of what a real effort might entail.“)

Moose
Protein on the hoof.

Personally I prefer to hunt my own protein.  Only last Sunday all of us here at the Casa de Animal enjoyed venison burritos for supper, using up some of the last of last year’s fat meat muley.  This coming Friday loyal sidekick Rat and yr. obdt. will pack up high-powered rifles and sidearms and take to the field again to pursue wild ungulates, with the intent of killing and eating them.  Don’t like it, “vegans?”

Tough shit.

But, I digress.  Let’s get back to Zombie’s protestors.

The proper reaction on the part of the restaurant owner in this case would have been one sentence:  “Get the hell out.”  The incident described took place in looney San Francisco, however, where rational reactions are the exception rather than the rule.

breakky
Breakfast.

Make no mistake about the ultimate goal of these people; given the opportunity, they would use the force of law to prevent you from eating meat.  The “vegan” movement is, at its heart, fundamentally anti-choice; they are fundamentally against that very basic bit of individual liberty.

Fortunately they are a small part of the nation’s lunatic fringe.  Let’s hope they stay that way.

Animal’s Daily News

triple-facepalmGwyneth Paltrow Is A Fucking Moron.  Relevant quotes from the admittedly-hot actress at a recent Democrat fundraiser, in which she said of President Obama:  “You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly,” and continued on to say, “It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs to pass the things that he needs to pass.”

Holy shit.  That’s probably the single most idiotic remark I’ve seen all year – possibly so far this decade.  Even including remarks made by daffy old Joe Biden.

No President in the history of this nation should have the kind of power Ms. Paltrow would cheerfully give President Obama – who, gushing of Hollywood lackwits aside, is probably the least competent President since Andrew Johnson.

The linked article also contains a telling comment from Hillary Clinton:

Facepalm-bearSpeaking at the Economic Club of Chicago, Clinton detailed her decision-making process after Obama offered her the position of Secretary of State. “I said no, and then I said no again, and I said no again, and finally I just gave in,” Clinton said. “As I said to somebody the other day, I told my husband no, and I wouldn’t get married, and no, and just gave in. So I have a history with charismatic, attractive men who just wear me out.”

Can you imagine the outcry from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow had a male politician made a comment along the lines of “…I have a history with charismatic, attractive women who just wear me out?

At least there’s this:  Gwyneth Paltrow (who, if she is relying on her wits, is half-way there) is just another show-business bubblehead.  But Mrs. Clinton was a carpetbag Senator for New York, then SecState, and now harbors Presidential ambitions herself.

Is this the best the Democrats have to offer?

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

First, a programming note:  Due to the approaching deer/elk season that begins Saturday, there will be no news or other regular posts on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  This week’s Rule Five Friday and Saturday Gingermageddon will proceed as usual, and next week’s posts will be replaced with some pre-loaded totty posts for your amusement until we return, hopefully with venison.

Next, once again our thanks to Blackmailers Don’t Shoot and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

The latest round of Colorado polls sure are interesting.  RealClearPolitics shows our Senate and Governor’s races as essentially tossups.

On the Senate side, the RCP average has GOP challenger Cory Gardner holding a narrow lead, 44.8 to 43.5, with the latest poll (Fox News) showing Gardner leading 43 to 37.  That poll was before the left-leaning Denver Post somewhat surprisingly endorsed Gardner; it will be interesting to see what happens this week.

On the Governor’s race, the situation is somewhat different; as yr. obdt. predicted some time ago, Governor Hickenlooper is showing a narrow lead, and may well keep his seat.  The RCP average has him leading Bob Beauprez 46 to 43.5, but the lead may be narrowing.  The latest poll, again by Fox News, has the race at a tie, 42 to 42.

Thoughtful-BearIt’s interesting to note that neither incumbent is polling anywhere near 50%, and it’s an oft-repeated truism in elections that undecideds tend to break towards the challenger.  Being well under 50% in the polls three weeks before the election is a very, very uncomfortable place for an incumbent to be.

But, as is (also) often said, the only poll that counts is the one on election day.  And both of Colorado’s key races will be fought down to the wire.