Interesting Items 08/06

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Austin
  2. Straws
  3. Identify
  4. Printed Guns
  5. San Jose
  6. O’Bama
  7. Locusts

  1. Austin. The capital of Texas, Austin has always been a little weird. Indeed, its unofficial municipal slogan has been “Keep Austin weird.”  It also hosts texas university (little ‘t’, little ‘u’ with no periods to Aggies, University of Texas to non-Aggies), a bastion of liberal thought.  Well, liberal thought, always infectious like a creeping slime mold or a specialty fungus, does find a way to spread.  And spread it has.  Last week, a story about a report out of Austin’s Equity Office recommended that the city be renamed because Stephen F. Austin opposed Mexico’s attempt to ban slavery in Texas.  Along with renaming the city itself, the report also called for renaming Pease Park, Bouldin Creek, Barton Springs, and ten streets named for William Barton, famous as “the Daniel Boone of Texas.”  Not being content with erasing this history of the founding of the Republic of Texas from the streets of Austin, the Office also called for renaming Littlefield Street, Tom Green Street, Sneed Cove, Reagan Hill Drive, Dixie Drive, Confederate Avenue, and Plantation Road.  Austin also did the first round of erasing history by removing streets named after Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.  They also want to remove several historical markers related to the Confederacy.  The report asks the question: “What’s next and where do we stop?”  The basic worldview of the petty totalitarians is that it is never possible to learn from history.  While they can’t, most of the rest of us can and occasionally do.  And when they tap into their inner Soviet, some of us who watched the Soviets do the same thing to people suddenly on the outside of the regime, we wonder why they are adopting techniques that worked so well for the happily departed Soviets.  Final question is that if the airbrushing of history worked so well for the Soviets, why are they gone from the Soviet Union?  Note that those who respond that they moved across the sea to US college campuses win the prize (whatever it is).


  1. Straws. Anyone else notice the willing glee by elected, appointed and vocal leftists passing laws, ordinances, rules and regulations intended to improve your life because you are simply too silly or incompetent to live that life up to their high, exacting standards or morality and competence?  Latest example of this are rolling bans on plastic straws.  These originally started on the left coast with Starbucks, Seattle, SF and Santa Barbara recently piling on.  The reason they claim they are banning plastic straws is to help clean up the oceans, which we (by way of China) are doing our level best to pollute to oblivion.  As an aside, the vast majority of waste plastic washing into the Pacific Ocean comes courtesy of the PRC.  But no matter, by well timed, directed and most importantly enforced bans on useful and sanitary things we use, we can do our part to clean up the environment, which is really strange as we are not trashing it at all.  This ban is particularly laughable in SF, which is having to contend with homeless vagrants using the city streets as public toilets.  I guess the plastic straw ban is penance for the inability of local democrats in charge of city government for decades to do the most basic public health job of simply keeping the streets clean of human ejecta.  Santa Barbara’s ban comes complete with a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail, unless of course you are an illegal alien in a sanctuary city which will get you your own personal get out of jail card from committing this new crime.  Also caught up in this ban are plastic utensils and swizzle sticks at bars.  The leftists are going after fast food and the bars with their new rules.  One writer last week described single use plastic bag bans as the entry drug into future bans of sanitary items like single use plastic soda straws and disposable diapers.  These bans are profoundly discriminatory against the disabled community, many of whom are at some level incontinent and unable to drink out of normal glasses, cups, mugs, etc.  These bans are also profoundly discriminatory against the elderly who are in the process of losing control of bodily functions, but no matter, as we know better than you.  Declination carried a piece on July 27 entitled “A New Mantra: Ban Nothing.”  The writer took the reader on an oldies and goodies tour, all the way back to prohibition, which turned a nationwide movement into a constitutional amendment banning the production and sale of alcohol in the US.  The trick the left uses when it pushes these sorts of bans is to focus on negative aspects of their target to the exclusion of all else.  This puts the defenders in an impossible position of trying to defend a negative in an emotional context.  Once you allow yourself to get drawn into a debate on the pros or cons of a ban, you have already conceded that bans are justified given a certain harm / benefit ration which the left in turn gets to set.  Solution?  No bans.  Yes, ban the bans.  Your best argument is to ban nothing and allow the marketplace to make those sorts of decisions rather than self-appointed do-gooders.


  1. Identify. A fun story on the gender identification front last week from the Daily Mail via Powerline.  The story was a young man who was quoted $4,517 a year for auto insurance, which didn’t make him happy, though it is a burden a lot of us had to bear as young men.  Why?  The actuarial table show that young men have statistically more accidents than young women, in turn costing auto insurance companies more, in turn generating higher policy payment requirements than young women.  Not so fast, this guy thinks to himself.  He inquires as to the going rate for coverage should he be female, and that number came back almost $1,100 lower.  The enterprising and creative young man goes to his doctor, gets a letter saying he identifies as a woman.  He then goes to local Alberta records and gets a new birth certificate and driver’s license calling him a woman.  The then goes back to the insurance company and demands a auto insurance policy at the female rate.  Some of the trans community were upset at this end run around what they believed was their exclusive field of play.  But this is a welcome effort, as the more people that can climb on the newly constructed house of cards based on some notion of gender identification and assignment,. The sooner that house will collapse of its own foolish weight.  Besides that, using Alinsky against idiots is always a satisfying way to spend your time.


  1. Printed Guns. Defense Distributed recently reached an agreement with the Trump State Department allowing them to make 3D-printed gun plans (recipes) available online.  20 states (all blue plus DC) immediately screamed bloody murder, demanding the federal courts issue an immediate nationwide injunction against the release of the data.  Washington State found themselves a federal judge went to court demanding a judge issue an injunction against release of the information.  The Washington Attorney General, in particularly high dudgeon, told reporters “Frankly, it is terrifying”.  Defense Distributed filed preemptive suits in an attempt to stop the lawsuits.  Problem is that this sort of legalistic foolishness is too little and too late, as the information was posted days before any of the lawsuits were filed.  Additionally, all you need is a photo of the relevant parts and you can create your own version of a printed gun.  These blue state attorneys general and O’Bama political appointees on the federal bench are doing their best King Canute impersonation, standing in knee deep water demanding the incoming tide stop.  It is too late guys.  And has been too late for long, long time.  Note that the US Gun Control Act of 1968 allows anyone to manufacture their own firearm without a license, though manufacturing for sale or transfer does require a federal license.


  1. San Jose. Trump supporters who were funneled into an anti-Trump mob following a San Jose rally in June 2016 by local law enforcement filed suit against local police and government.  Normally these sorts of lawsuits against law enforcement are tossed on some basis of qualified immunity.  Not so these lawsuits, as the Ninth Circus found that the city of San Jose failed to protect the attendees from the angry mob.  This was by no means the first nor the worst mob action against Trump rally attendees.  But it was one where local politicians, democrats all, had the police funnel both groups together, not unlike what law enforcement did in Charlotte last year, to maximize physical harm to the attendees.  Of course, the union members of San Jose law enforcement did what they were told to do.  And the city is about to go to trial for setting this up and making it happen.


  1. O’Bama. Mark Tapscott in LifeZette tied together the four signature O’Bama scandals, each of which contributed to the unprecedented level of corruption being exposed in the FIB / DoJ Russia collusion investigation.  In order, these scandals include
  1. Fast & Furious (2011), which DoJ sold automatic rifles and other firearms to Mexican cartel straw buyers
  2. Benghazi (2012), the terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Libya including the US Ambassador.  The O’Bama administration’s lies about the attack.
  3. IRS targeting of TEA Party (2013), which the IRS illegally singled out TEA Party, conservative and evangelical nonprofit applicants for legal harassment during the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns.
  4. Hillary e-mail (2015), the existence of an illegal server and personal e-mail accounts that handled classified, exposing that information to hacking by other governments.  Also covered up by FIB & DoJ.


Techniques used by the O’Bama WH and DoJ included defying congress, lying to America, weaponizing law enforcement, and double standards for justice.  FIB and DoJ supervisors, senior career officials who participated in those four scandals are at the middle of the Steele dossier and abuse of the FISA process.  They learned their lessons well.


  1. Locusts. Fun little piece out of Sarah Hoyt, a SciFi author who also blogs as a conservative.  She was part of the Sad Puppies pushback against PC at Worldcon a few years ago.  She reminds us of a line from Independence Day, following an unpleasant mind meld with one of the alien invaders, the President says “They’re like locusts.  They move from planet to planet, take everything it has to give and move on.”  Hoyt is of the opinion that the left is also like locusts, moving from field to field, destroying everything they touch.  Her field in writing and publishing, she has seen the long march of the left through her industry in person.  The people now in charge of publishing houses that deal with SciFi are no longer interested in the former giants of the field, Clarke, Heinlein, Asimov, Simak, Anderson or women like LeGuinn or McCaffrey or Tiptree.  Rather they are interested in hiring or buying prose from old roommates and friends from college who write woke and feminist prose.  They must publish what they learned from their Marxist profs in college, regurgitated Marxist pap.  This goes on in the universities.  It drives hiring and commerce.  They restrict valid perspectives to those they agree with, and in doing so, destroy society.  Take a look at any blue city in any blue state where democrats have been in charge for generations to get a feel for the level of decay and destruction they bring with them.  Great article.  Worth you time to read.

 More later –

– AG




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.