Texas Hold-Outs

I’m not quite sure what to make of this situation:

The federal government has started surveying land along the border in Texas and announced plans to start construction next month.  Rather than surrender their land, some property owners are digging in, vowing to reject buyout offers and preparing to fight the administration in court.

Now of course this is an Associated Press report (motto:  we put the “Ass” into “Press”) so I don’t know how much credence to put into the word “some”, as written above.  How many, exactly, is “some”?  Five?  Twenty?  Five hundred?

If it’s just a few, then fuckem.  The need for a secure border is greater than their need for a couple hundred acres of (largely) semi-desert.  And if it is a small number, I’d have no problem with the wall being built right up to the property line, and have those property owners have to deal with the funneled hordes of illegals trying to gatecrash our party.  (Suggestion:  the very first time they appeal for help from, say, ICE or the Border Patrol, they get told to shut the fuck up and live with the problem they caused for themselves.)

If, however, that “some” means “lots and lots” then there’ll have to be serious negotiations.  I suspect, however, that this threat of lawsuits is simply a negotiating position (for some of them, anyway) so that Uncle Sam can pay them an inflated sum for that valuable land.

I’m often skeptical about the Gummint’s use of “eminent domain” to take private property away from the owners, but if ever there are good reasons for its use, a secure border would probably rank near the top of the list.  Lest we forget:

Building in the region is a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security because it’s the busiest area for illegal border crossings.  More than 23,000 parents and children were caught illegally crossing the border in the Rio Grande Valley in November — more than triple the number from a year earlier.

Myself, I’d hire the selfsame wall-building companies that enabled Israel to keep the hordes of Arabs from flooding their country;  that, or thousands of “smart” landmines coupled with robotic machine-gun towers.  But that’s just me.

Balls, Great Big Brass Ones

Someone just became a criminal.

My only hope is if I’m ever faced with a situation like the one he finds himself in, that I will have the courage he does.

Quote Of The Day:

“I respect the police, greatly.  The cops I know hate the idea of enforcing this intolerance.  I ask them when they come to arrest me and confiscate my guns, they give me enough warning, so my kids aren’t around when they do it.”

And it would appear that he’s not alone.

Let’s see what the Boulder government does.  A pox on them.

Quick Question

This one’s for the BritGov.

So, about that law you have which prevents law-abiding Brits from buying or owning handguns… how’s it doing to reduce handgun ownership and usage Over There?

Not too well?  You mean, only criminals  are getting their hands on the things?  And wait… don’t tell me… they’re shooting people and committing crimes and such?

Well, paint me  pink and call me Rosie.  Who could have foreseen such a thing?

Back To Butter

So now butter and lard are good for you again, and vegetable oils (except olive) are bad:

The World Health Organization has faced fierce backlash after telling people to replace butter and lard with ‘healthier’ oils in the New Year.
A leading cardiologist today said he was ‘shocked and disturbed’ by the advice, which the UN agency listed as a tip to prolong people’s lives.
Butter has been demonised for decades over its saturated fat content – but an array of evidence is beginning to prove it can be healthy.

Plus ça change, plus la même chose.

This announcement could have had some impact on my life, except that I never stopped using butter and I’ve always looked suspiciously at all cooking oils anyway.

Never mind:  next week some other cardiologist will warn us that butter causes (or, more likely, “may” cause) aggravated syphilis or something.

In the meantime, any report from a large government- or international agency (CDC, WHO, etc.) should be treated with the utmost skepticism if not outright rejection.  In fact, if Agency A warns that X is bad for you, a rule of thumb would be to increase the intake of X.

I don’t see that the above advice can be any worse than the bullshit we’ve been fed for the past fifty-odd years.

Still Revolting

…and it doesn’t seem like the 21st-century French Revolution is going to end anytime soon, either.

It doesn’t look like there is anything President Macron can do to appease the mob because their protest has no focal point. The demonstrations are an expression of the frustration and anger felt by ordinary Frenchmen at how the government has taken them for granted in creating policies and new taxes they feel they were not consulted on. From refugees to a falling standard of living, the French people feel betrayed and no government giveaways are going to assuage their anger.

For details on the policies and new taxes, feel free to peruse Erik’s take at No Paseran!

I think the events Over There reveal a systemic difference between the U.S. and France.  In Europe, the people basically let the elites run all over them (for hundreds of years Euros seem to have had little problem with their “betters” telling them what to do) right up until the situation becomes intolerable, and then they explode:  heads roll, protesters take to the streets, whatever.

On our side of The Pond, we Murkins just elect people like Trump from time to time, to try to reverse the trend of oppression.  This seems to let some of the steam out of popular resentment — which is also why we respond so strongly when the elected fail or falter in their mission.

I’m not sure that Murkins have the spunk to rise up as violently as the Frogs.  Perhaps it’s because we have so many guns — not that we’re ready to use them, but their very presence acts as a damper on ourselves.  Instead of rioting, we form a Tea Party movement and get politicians to follow its precepts.

It’s one thing to march in yellow vests, blockade streets, break windows and deface monuments.  It’s another thing altogether to break out the AKs and ARs and start a truly  violent revolution.  That’s not to say we couldn’t, under truly intolerable circumstances, but I think we all agree that most of us — even the most fire-breathing — would shrink from taking that final, and very deadly step until that time.

Under these circumstances, our government and elites should be grateful  for the Second Amendment instead of trying to shut it down all the time.  That said, our elites would ultimately prefer that the State is the repository of all guns so that they and only they can go to the guns, which of course is the current state of affairs in Europe.

An interesting mental game is to wonder what the gilets jaunes would do if France had a Second Amendment as robust as ours or whether, if they did, the State would be as oppressive towards them as it has been.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll head off to the range.  All this intellectual activity requires some physical release.

Mandatory Solar Power

I have to confess that I’m in two minds about this development:

While there was little doubt it would happen, it’s now a done deal: California will require solar panels on most new homes. Officials at a December 5th Building Standards Commission meeting have voted for the new code, providing the last bit of approval necessary for the policy to take effect. New homes, condos and low-rise apartments will need eco-friendly power generation on their rooftops from January 1st, 2020 onward. The only exclusions are for homes that are either blocked by taller objects (like trees and tall buildings) or don’t have room for panels.
The building code is the first of its kind in the US, and may serve as a bellwether for the rest of the country. Critics are concerned this will further raise housing prices in a state where they’re already a sore point and might only offer limited energy savings. Proponents, however, estimate the technology could ultimately save homeowners money (as much as $60,000 over a 25-year lifespan). It could also lower the overall strain on the electrical grid, especially at peak hours.

I know, I know, it’s Loony California doing its little Totalitarian Green Thing and imposing unnecessary costs on homeowners (just the latest in a long, LONG line thereof).  But let’s take off the political filters for a moment and look at what’s involved.

Let’s say that for the average new home, this will add about $15,000 to the construction cost — which given the typical construction costs in CA, means about a 3% – 4% increase in cost per square foot.  We all know that initial building costs are generally far cheaper than retrofitting, so it makes sense to add the installation up front.  (In an ideal world, the state would offer some form of tax rebate to lessen the cost, but this is California, which last offered a consumer tax rebate in… okay, they’ve never offered a tax rebate.)  So unless I’ve made a huge mistake in my calculations (and feel free to do your own), the impact on the homeowner will be quite bearable.

Now let’s look at the benefits.

I’ll start off by calling bullshit on the quoted savings, because they didn’t include maintenance / replacement in the cost, and in any event, nobody stays in a house for 25 years anymore, so no, homeowners will not  see sixty grand cut off their electrical bills.  I’d also suggest that initially at least, the supply of solar panels would not keep up with the demand and instead of (say) $15,000 per household installation, the cost would balloon alarmingly, making nonsense of all the potential “savings” put forward.

But all that said, let’s consider this question:  is making the individual home less dependent on centrally-supplied electrical power such a Bad Thing?  It might make rolling brownouts and blackouts (pardon the inadvertent racism /sarc) a thing of the past, and lessen Californians’ exposure to damage caused by natural disaster:  earthquakes, mudslides etc. — not as the latter whack the houses, but in case the utilities’ properties and distribution networks are affected thereby.

And yes I know: what works in sunny Southern California will not work in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, but the chances of Michigan passing such legislation are negligible anyway.  (It might become mandatory in New York State, but that would serve the NY voters right for electing those watermelon politicians into power anyway.)

Here’s how I see it.  The whole beauty of a federal republic, to paraphrase the Founding Fathers, is to let individual states be “laboratories” so that stuff like mandatory solar power collection and welfare reform can be tested in microcosm, and what works can then be rolled out through other states as they see fit.

And while I would support the hypothesis that while generally speaking, the proper course of action is to do the polar opposite of what California is doing, this might be one of the very few exceptions.