Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Air Force One Photo (Sh)Ops

At Free Republic (H/T: Ace of Spades).

Here's my favorite:

Star-Crossed

Robert Avrech at Big Hollywood has a fascinating write-up on Frank Sinatra’s and Ava Gardner’s first date (featuring booze and a .38 revolver).

Happy Feet Friday

The year is 1960, and Freddie Slack and Ella Mae Morse reprise their hit, Cow Cow Boogie (originally recorded in 1943, the video of which was previously posted here at PE).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blair Swarm

Well, not a “swarm”, exactly; more like an arbitrary selection by yours truly of posts from the Tim Blair blog family.

1) The Saint has, much to everyone’s delight, resumed posting.

2) The Shadowlands highlights swine flu conspiracy theories.

3) Bingbing at Tizona encounters the language-challenged.

4) Wild Man TimT on single-word reviews.

5) There are those who think Obama is hip. Andrea Harris is not amused.

6) El Campeador links to an interesting piece on a U.S. ally that will, in all likelihood, decline to be thrown under Obama’s bus.

7) Richard McEnroe of Three Beers Later prepares to apply for a change of citizenship (wait for me!)

8) A1A takes issue with Congressman Henry Waxman’s knowledge of topography.

9) Boy on a Bike takes the scenic route [Editor’s note: B on a B could write about paint drying and make it interesting; don’t miss his lively, salty prose!]

10) Mr. Bingley at Coalition of the Swilling has positively the most hilarious send-up of Air Force One and the buzzing of New York City.

11) Pixie Place links to two worthwhile essays by Bert Prelutsky.

12) Mythusmage has a couple of good videos featuring the phenomenal Susan Boyle.

13) The Bloodnut Blog features…er… Sam Kekovich’s nephew.

14) Carol finds Kathleen Sibellius to be an unhealthy choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

From the Shelves of the Paco Library



I would be surprised if most readers of this blog had not already treated themselves to the amazing series of fictional reminiscences that comprise the Flashman novels, in which the late George MacDonald Fraser combined the historian’s skill at accumulating and synthesizing data with the novelist’s talent (genius, in Fraser’s case) in spinning facts into some of the most enthralling yarns of the last thirty years. Fraser also brought his skills to bear in producing an outstanding personal memoir of military service in WWII. Quartered Safe Out Here, originally published in 1992, is the story of Fraser’s experience as a young enlisted man (19 years old when he joined up) with the “Black Cat” Division and its big push against the Japanese in Burma.

In the introduction, Fraser opines that, “By rights each official work [of military history] should have a companion volume in which the lowliest actor gives his version…For example, on page 287 of The War Against Japan: volume IV (The Reconquest of Burma), it is briefly stated that ‘ a second series of raids began…and ___ Regiment suffered 141 casualties and lost one of its supporting tanks…’

That tank burned for hours, and when night came down it attracted Japanese in numbers. We lay off in the darkness with our safety catches on and grenades to hand, watching and keeping desperately quiet. The Japs milled around in the firelight like small clockwork dolls, but our mixed group of British, Gurkhas, and Probyn’s Horse remained undetected, although how the enemy failed to overhear the fight that broke out between a Sikh and a man from Carlisle (someone alleged that a water chaggle had been stolen, and the night was briefly disturbed by oaths in Punjabi and a snarl of ‘Give ower, ye bearded booger!’) remains a mystery.” The eye for dramatic detail and the ever-alert sense of the comical twist that made the Flashman novels so irresistible are on full display in this book.

Among many fine passages, there is a moving tribute to General William Joseph “Bill” Slim. Here Fraser tells of an almost casual, understated address to the troops. “Slim emerged from under the trees by the lake shore, there was no nonsense of ‘gather round’ or jumping on boxes; he just stood with his thumb hooked in his carbine sling and talked about how we had caught Jap off-balance and were going to annihilate him in the open; there was no exhortation or ringing clichés, no jokes or self-conscious use of barrack-room slang – when he called the Japs ‘bastards’ it was casual and without heat. He was telling us informally what would be, in the reflective way of intimate conversation. And we believed every word – and it all came true.”

Quartered is such a well-written book that it easily lends itself to quoting – but I’m not going to do any more, because you need to read it from beginning to end, the whole, gripping narrative, without further chopping from me. Truly, this volume carries my highest possible recommendation.

How Many Moderate Conservative Pundits Does it Take to Win an Election?

Well, if Ross Douthat is the benchmark, I’d say something like zero (further reflections on the uselessness of beltway moderates by Stacy McCain can be found here).

As McCain points out, what Republicans need is fewer backseat drivers, and more mechanics: “A Republican resurgence in 2010, if there is to be one, will in large measure be a function of candidate recruitment and fundraising that are only now getting underway in the aftermath of the last election.” The beltway echo chamber would have us believe that Republicans need more roustabouts out there expanding the size of the tent - based on the theory, I suppose, that if you don’t have any good ideas, you ought to at least make room for a lot of bad ones. Bottom line: if you want to win like Democrats, you need to do like Democrats – only not so much. In which case, the obvious question (obvious to me, anyway) is why bother having a Republican Party at all? If its purpose is only to serve as a mass of barnacles on the hull of the ship of state, in the hope of slowing down (but not altering) the latter’s voyage to European-style social democracy, why bother?

We all know the obstacles in the way of building a sustainable conservative majority, and they don’t begin and end with the electoral process. There is the leftist chokehold on higher education and the bias of the media, just for starters, both of which combine to create and maintain an artificially high level of ignorance among literally tens of millions of people. This ignorance plays into the hands of left-wing (now practically synonymous with “Democrat”) propagandists. But even these obstacles were not sufficient to thwart conservative men and women of vision, such as Ronald Reagan and Jean Kirkpatrick, because there was a critical mass of voters who could be moved by appeals to common sense and enlightened self-interest. I am convinced that that critical mass is still out there, waiting for leadership – and I don’t mean for a man on a white horse, I mean thousands and even millions of leaders who are willing to make their voices known, who are willing to roll their sleeves up and get busy with the unglamorous nuts and bolts of local politics, who can develop the thick skins necessary to weather the slurs and animosity of an increasingly sociopathic Left, who adamantly refuse to let the radicals capture the language and frame the arguments.

Or shall we sit around pointing fingers at each other, deluding ourselves that Arlen Specter’s departure from the Republican Party is a calamity rather than an opportunity?

Update: Chris Buckley continues to be a stick-figure caricature of his father.

A Few Stink Bombs for the 100-Day Party

1) Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch at Reason Online make a good case that Obama is the most reactionary president in recent memory (H/T: The Paragraph Farmer).

2) Gateway Pundit has photos of tea party protesters greeting Obama in St. Louis.

3) A few little foreign policy problems that Obama seems to have missed.

4) Political Castaway grabs a bottle of Round-Up and gets into the weeds.

Update: A late entry from the National Post (courtesy of Captain Heinrichs).

Two From Friend and Internet Explorer, Captain Heinrichs

Grandpa 2, Douchebags 0.

Charles Moore of the Telegraph reminds us of the wisdom of Margaret Thatcher (sometimes I feel like Gulliver, and that I have traveled from a land of giants – Reagan and Thatcher – to the Lilliput of Obama and company).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Hundred Days



The historically famous “Hundred Days” marked the end of one egomaniac’s career. Unfortunately, this newsworthy elapse of time occurs at the beginning of another’s venture into the history books. The Left swoons, of course, and engages in its typical practice of attributing qualities and virtues to its hero that are mostly imaginary. Does his “coolness” really reflect self-confidence and steadiness of purpose, or is it the absent-minded insouciance of an ignoramus who has launched himself onto the crosswalk in the path of rush-hour traffic? When he extended the hand of friendship to the caudillos of hostile foreign regimes, was it patience and humility, or callous disregard for the dignity of his office that caused him to ignore the sting of the joy-buzzer? Does the mere association of his awesome self with the idea of statist control expunge inefficacy and injustice from socialism, or does Obama, in fact, care only for the power at the end of the journey, and view personal freedom as just another annoying pothole in the road to serfdom?

By almost any measure of good governance, Obama’s performance is abysmal. He seems to have no sense of the idea of stewardship, of the fact that he is “standing on the shoulders of giants”; quite to the contrary, he appears to be under the impression that the election has awarded him a personal and proprietary interest in the presidency that permits him to rewrite the social contract. He has led the charge on historically-unprecedented spending, he has diminished the dignity of the United States in the eyes of the world, he proposes the kind of health care “reform” that, on its face, has been a disaster wherever it has been implemented, he has embraced the junk science behind the theory of anthropogenic global warming, and he has frozen out the GOP in his egotistical drive to ram through policies that, were they to be described honestly by the MSM, would be rejected as unpalatable, not only by Republicans, but by millions of independents, and probably by millions of Democrats, as well.

To expand on this last point: the concept of a “loyal opposition” presupposes some workable level of inclusiveness and fairness. If Obama – and the leaders of his party – believe that we should have a government of the Democrats, by the Democrats, and for the Democrats, then loyal opposition is at an end, and it is time, as I have said before, to begin working toward a constitutional convention.

Arlen Specter Comes Home to Roost

Specter rips off mask, reveals himself as a Democrat.

Yeah, like we didn’t know. It’s like Arlen Specter pulling off his Arlen Specter mask.

Good. For too long, the Republican Party has tried to eek out victories with the help of unreliable liberals like Specter, thereby avoiding the hard work of transforming itself into a party of ideas. It’s fine to have a big tent, but it doesn’t have to be a circus tent with the chimps in charge of the popcorn concession. Toodle-oo, Arlen, it’s been real; we will (yawn) follow your future career with considerable interest.

Update: Much good pistol-whipping and linking from Stacy McCain.

Happy Anniversary…

…to Stacy McCain and his beautiful bride, who have just celebrated 20 years of marriage.

Perhaps inspired by this great occasion, Stacy has written an interesting think-piece on young marriage (which includes some nice shots at well-known feminist blog-harpy, Amanda Marcotte).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jimmy Carter, Great White Hunter

Jimmy Carter – an admitted gun owner – wants to ban “assault weapons.”

After committing an act of felinicide against his sister-in-law’s cat, maybe Jimmy should consider beating his own guns into a peanut combine.

While we're on the subject of guns, here's a little Tuesday morning gun porn (click images to enlarge)...

Here’s a 1923 L.C. Smith double-barreled 12 ga. shotgun. Old Paco bought this from a friend of his back in the early 1940’s, when they were both kids. The gun is still in great condition; note the glossy stock and the antique patina on the metal plate.





This is a Ruger Super Blackhawk that Ma Paco bought for Old Paco back when he was still chasing bootleggers (Old Paco gave it to me maybe 10 years ago). I’ve never fired this weapon, myself; I saw Old Paco shoot it once – one-handed - and I guess his grip wasn’t too tight because it kicked so bad that it sliced his hand open. He says he and the boys conducted some "ballistics tests" on it (i.e., went down to the junk yard to do some plinking) and that it would shoot a hole in an engine block. The action is still real tight, and that double-click as you pull the hammer back…well, I wouldn’t wanna be a burglar poking around in the dark and hear that noise.



"For My Next Trick..."

So, Air Force One buzzes New York, chased by an F-16? And nobody was told what was going on? And this struck somebody as a good idea?

Here's a preview of Obama's next little joke on New York...


Update: Don't miss Richard McEnroe's vision of the One!

Actually, Opaqueness is Greatly Underrated



Listen, all a’ yez. When we talk about transparency, we mean what de private sector owes to everybody else. Your government don’t need to be a goldfish bowl, ‘cuz dere’s lots a’ stuff youse little people wouldn’t understand, see? Don’t worry your little heads about de details, ‘cuz you're in good hands. If, ever now an’ again, we gotta force some TARP jack down a banker’s throat, it’s good for him. And if we gotta make him take a few billions in losses, why make de stockholders all jittery, ya know? We got de best interests of de country at heart, so your job as citizens is to shaddap and play ball. Remember: when we want your opinion, we'll give it to yez.

How About a Committee on the Present Danger?

Not this one. I mean a brand new one that sees the “present danger” as consisting of the Obama White House and the Democratic congress.

Even scarier than terrorism is the looming health care disaster (the RIP notices are appearing everywhere). Add a heaping helping of corruption to the scheme, and we might as well all take up smoking, because our life expectancy’s going to be declining anyway (Carol has some dynamite links on the overall corruption theme). And the One’s World Government is likely to have a woeful impact on those of us known not-so-affectionately as “infidels” in Big Mo’s ever-expanding territory (if Barrie thinks UK-style healthcare is good enough for Americans, why should we imagine that neighborhood Sharia law is far behind?).

It can’t happen here? What makes you think so?

Think Constitutional convention!

Update: Another famous "hundred days."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring (Continued)

What would a Virginia spring be without azaleas? Here’s a young specimen just hitting its stride.



Here’s another view of this psychedelic shrub.



Those ivory-colored tulips I took a picture of a week or so ago have turned lavender.



And these young dogwoods are in full bloom.


Update: Welcome Suzanna Logan!

A Word From the Maximum Hep Cat

According to this Yahoo News article, “For Obama, hipness is what it is”, our president “has this awareness that other presidents haven’t had. He’s white, and he’s black. He’s an elitist, and he’s regular folk. He’s not pinned down to a perspective.”


"H-e-e-y-y-y, Daddy-O! What it is? You heard the man: no squares in this White House, Pops, no off-the-cob icky Jeffs, nothin’ but hummers straight down the line. Did you dig my dicty struttin’ in Europe and down in Banana Land? Even taught Hugo the secret handshake. Everything’s copacetic, Jack; I’ve got the world in my kick and we’re cookin’ with gas.

Now, I know what some of you gates are thinkin’; 'Hey, Prez, what about the government gettin’ into the gravy? We’re gonna find ourselves down to a nickel note when the grocer says only a sawbuck will do.' Ease off, man, you’re comin’ up on the wrong riff. You’re talkin’ to the hep cat in chief, togged to the bricks and in the groove, a solid sender from way back. All our little problems gonna be sewn up in just a few ticks, with the help of David 'Alligator' Axelrod, Tim 'Bagman' Geithner and Joe 'Plugs' Biden. So nix that salty jive while I lay out my racket. Well, awwwwruthafussit!"

Sunday Funnies

Found in my inbox...



Manhunt

As is frequently the case, I have to go all the way to Australia to get the comprehensive lowdown on strange happenings in the USA.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Constitutional Convention

Babalu links to an intriguing article in the Wall Street Journal which resurrects the idea of a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution.

As the author of the essay points out, Article V of the Constitution provides that "‘on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states,’ Congress ‘shall call a convention for proposing amendments.’ Before becoming law, any amendments produced by such a convention would then need to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.”

Now, let us survey the political terrain: a popular president who is hell-bent on transforming America into the kind of social democracy that has been the ruin of Europe; a Democratic congress that is rotten with corruption and is shamelessly dedicated to looting the productive classes; Supreme Court justices who have demonstrated little or no reluctance in turning the Constitution into legal Play-Doh, squeezing and shaping the law to create doctrines that are nowhere to be found in the original document; a dispirited and rudderless Republican Party, too many of whose members have surrendered to the notion of historical determinism, and who believe that the great principles that made the United States the freest and strongest nation on earth have irretrievably lost their appeal. There is the genuine threat of a sudden, cataclysmic change to our society through the rapid aggrandizement of power by the national government. Under the leadership of Obama, we are looking at the possibility of nationalized (which is to say “rationed”) health care, gun control, the replacement of the idea of American exceptionalism with multicultural balkanization, and permanent checks on the growth of private capital.

The tea party demonstrations of April 15th were the first significant ripple of public dissatisfaction manifested by citizens who know what’s at stake. The present weakness of the Republican Party is good in at least one respect: people who see their liberty and security slipping away are going to have to start rallying around ideas rather than around mere parties and personalities, and the habit of thinking intelligently about our future will sharpen the focus of a national discontent that is still largely unorganized and leaderless. A constitutional convention designed to restore respect for the rights of the states and of individuals, that permanently removes the power of the federal government to monopolize capital and to bankrupt generations yet unborn, could serve as a natural channel for the kind of political energy that gave rise to the tea parties. Such a convention may be beyond our reach for now, but it’s something that may be worth working for as the ultimate check to the power-lust of a national government that gives every sign of having slipped the leash of citizen control.

Rule 5 From Yesteryear

Continuing my Rule 5 salute to the beauties of the classic era of American film, let’s start off with…

Rita Hayworth. A dancer turned actress, who can forget her memorable performance in Gilda, from 1946? This photo is from several years earlier (Rowrr!).


Eleanor Parker was another of the disproportionate number of red-headed lovelies from the 1940’s and 1950’s (although she’s probably best remembered today for her role in 1965's The Sound of Music, as Baroness Elsa Schraeder). One of my favorites is Never Say Goodbye, a screwball comedy from 1946, co-starring Errol Flynn. Eleanor Parker is still with us, incidentally; she turns 86 this June.


Martha Vickers died relatively young (aged 46 in 1971), and her film credits are not among the best-known movies in Hollywood, but she gave an electrifying performance in the 1946 Humphrey Bogart noir classic, The Big Sleep. Based on the Raymond Chandler novel, Vickers played the wild, doped-up younger sister of Lauren Bacall, and she exuded a sense of erotic menace.


Update: Especially for new commenter, P. Frizzle, this short video clip of Martha Vickers in The Big Sleep.



Update II: And don't miss this front-line Israeli Rule 5 action from American Power.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tortured Logic

Seraphic Secret reminds us what real torture is (scroll down for a link to information on the Al-Qaeda torture manual). Water-boarding and a fuzzy bug in the ear seem like acceptable practices to me when you’re talking about trying to get life-and-death information out of evil men who think nothing of slaughtering thousands of innocents. Perhaps the most revolting thing about the posturing on this subject by Obama and the Democrats is the likelihood that most of them don’t really give a damn about the moral aspects of torture at all; this is just another club with which to beat up on George Bush and to gain political advantage.

A word of advice, Preshizzle: if you’re investing all this energy in undermining Bush and, by extension, the Republican Party, in an effort to make your own regime look good by comparison, then, based on what I’ve seen in your first 100 days, you’ve got a mighty long way to go.

BTW, if you think water-boarding is bad, check out these new enhanced interrogation techniques devised by our Obamamified CIA. (H/T: Villainous Company).

The Kafkaesque World of David Kellerman

We do not know for sure what led this poor man to make such a tragic decision; however, the enormous strain of working in an environment which subjected him to a variety of political crosscurrents – quite aside from the purely business-related stress of trying to run a troubled financial institution – certainly didn’t do anything to soothe his troubled mind. Villainous Company provides the context.

And may God have mercy on his soul, and comfort his family and friends.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Feet Friday

Benny Goodman and his orchestra perform the Basie stand-by, "One O'Clock Jump."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Assortment

1) An interesting essay by James DeLong on America as a “special interest state”.

2) Apparently Raul Castro’s comments to President Obama lost something in translation.

3) "Sluggin’’ Stacy McCain takes on the Canvasback Kid.

4) Just about as close to indestructible as one can humanly get.

5) Wise observations from noted shrinking violet, Ted Nugent.

6) American Power urges MoveOn.Org to move the hell on.

7) Track-A-Crat ponders the possibility of Americans becoming second-class citizens in their own country.

8) Ed Schultz: just like Rush Limbaugh (except for being liberal, stupid and psychotic).

9) Watch this video at Moonbattery. Go ahead, I'll wait...That's why America is known as the home of the brave, my friends. That's what I mean when I say, democracy notwithstanding, nobody's taking my guns away - or any of my other unalienable rights. Period.

From the Shelves of the Paco Library



James Gould Cozzens was an American author who specialized in writing novels about professions. He had a knack for getting inside the workings of the law, the clergy and the military – greatly assisted, in this last, by his WWII service with the old Army Air Forces. His book, Guard of Honor, which covers three days in September of 1943 at an air base in the fictional town of Ocanara, Florida, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1949.

One might suspect that a WWII-era novel set in Florida would not be particularly enthralling, but one would be wrong. Guard delves deep into the psychology of the characters as they interact with each other within the maze of military bureaucracy to handle a series of incidents, chief of which is a potentially explosive situation involving an irate white officer who strikes, and injures, a black pilot. The pilot in question had landed a bomber at the field in a dangerous fashion, nearly killing the commanding general and his crew, who were flying in for a landing in their AT-7. Other events include the suicide of a burnt-out, alcoholic colonel; a near mutiny by black pilots (quelled, at least partly, by their own injured commanding officer); an easily-recognizable liberal agitator (a vain, arrogant and preposterous lieutenant) who seeks to fan what, at least ostensibly, seems like a racially-motivated incident, into a Historical Moment; and the plan of a colonel, gifted at making a hash of things, to stage an enormous birthday celebration for the new commanding general. At the center of practically everything is Colonel Ross – a peace-time judge who brings a lifetime of wisdom to bear on a host of problems, great and small. The novel will undoubtedly trigger a sense of personal recognition for readers who have had military experience, and perhaps the greatest of many insights provided by the author is the ability of something as occasionally maddening as a war-time bureaucracy, at the end of the day, to still get the job done.

In passing – which really doesn’t do the book justice – I will also mention Cozzens’ 1942 novel, The Just and the Unjust, the story of a murder trial. It is one of the most interesting courtroom dramas I have ever read, and is suffused with the author’s penetrating psychological insights, factual accuracy and marvelous characterizations.

Bipartisan Criticism of Janet Napolitano

During the election campaign, Obama was claimed by many to be a "unifier". If he - and his idiotic cabinet appointments - manage to continue unifying Republicans and Democrats in opposition to an accumulating pile of his policies, then more power to him!

Oh, and let's hear it for the beauteous and principled Carrie Prejean.

Happy Earth Day!



Update: Oh, and Earth Day's founder murdered his girlfriend. Think globally, depopulate locally.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tax Evasion?

Stacy McCain and Gateway Pundit claim that they don’t make anywhere near the $75M+ that the WSJ assumes they make from blogging.

C’mon! The Wall Street Journal - the leading business and financial publication in the United States- doesn’t know what it’s talking about? You ever seen Stacy’s place? Well, I got pictures!



And here’s Stacy fooling around with his – heh - "tip jar"…



I also wandered onto the premises of the Gateway Blogorium.



As I stood in the front yard, a shadow passed over me…



Fess up, boys. You know, there just, ahm, might be a couple of cabinet positions in it for you.

Update: Even more fat-cat blogging! And - quite literally - the fattest fat cats of all!!

Complaint Window

Sheesh! These Hamas guys are hard to please; nothing but complaints about the fine line of military products manufactured by our Middle Eastern sales subsidiary, Palestinian Accessible Combat Ordnance.

First, they had a beef with our u-shaped bazookas. Then they squawked about our boomerang missile. Now they’ve got issues with our anti-aircraft rockets. Any day now, I expect that they’ll be crying about our non-motorized nitroglycerine transport device.

Update: Meanwhile, Paco Enterprises' Australian consumer-products subsidiary stays ahead of the curve.

Microsurgery

Using a precision, high-tech, budgetary cutting tool, President Obama has made the smallest incision in history.

A hundred million dollars is less than one hour’s worth of federal spending. I safely predict that “The Slasher” is not likely to become one of Obama’s honorifics.

Update: Jake Tapper, as usual, gets it.

Son of Update: Blue Crab Boulevard offers still more perspective.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cool Foreign Policy



Well awwwwwreet! What’s buzzin’, cousin? This is Dave “Alligator” Axelrod slippin’ you some skin, and layin’ down the righteous rule that anti-Americanism ain’t no longer cool. Sure, it was jake to snap your cap at the USA when cornhusker George was draggin’ his stompers through the White House, but ol’ George, he done hit the silk, and we got us a killer-diller in the Oval Office now, a real gone gasser, who’s root, zoot and solid to boot. The inside skinny is, we got us some fraughty issues, but the O-Man, he’s just friskin’ his whiskers, Pop; wait ‘til he makes with the trickeration – it’ll be murder, Jackson, the absolute mezz! Ain’t that right, Prez?



"That's right, Dave! Gonna break it up if I have to bust my conk!"


I gots to trilly, hep cats and kittens, gonna collar me some cups, so I’ll plant you now and dig you later. Awwwroot!

Niagra Falls is So Yesterday

I think this would make a wonderful tradition: get married and then go turkey shootin' (H/T: Don Surber).

Hey, Smitty; mark me down for a little Rule 5 compliance.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Teabags

Some interesting observations from Hugh Hewitt's "anonymous ad man."

One Lump or Two?

The president is sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office. His gentleman’s personal gentleman – a Haitian immigrant by the name of Gustave Napoleon Toussaint D’Orleans (known familiarly as Gus) - glides soundlessly to his side.

Gus: I beg your pardon, Monsieur le President, but…

Obama: Augh! Don’t do that, Gus! You know it creeps me out when you sneak up on me that way!

Gustave: Je suis désolé, Monsieur le President. I meant only to tell you that Monsieur Emanuel and Monsieur Axelrod are here, as you requested.

Obama: Oh, good. Send them in. Gentlemen! Please be seated. I’ve got something I wanted to talk to you about.

Axelrod: Good afternoon, Mr. President.

Emanuel: Hello, Barack. What the f**k’s on your mind?

Obama (sighing): Rahm, we’re not back in Chicago…

Emanuel: Oh, right, sorry. I’ll start again. Hello, Mr. President. What the f**k’s on your mind?

Obama: That’s better. Listen, guys. This whole tea party business is turning into a distraction – an even bigger one than Iran and the economy and the war on man-made disasters. So, I got this idea. You ready? WE PUT A TAX ON TEA!!

Emanuel (in his agitation, leaping from his chair and absent-mindedly performing an arabesque à la hauteur): Mr. President! You can’t do that! Can’t you see the bad vibes that would send?

Obama: Bad vibes? I don’t follow you. If nothing else, it would make it too expensive for these idiots to mail tea bags to their congressmen.

Axelrod: Mr. President, what Rahm’s trying to say is that the historical analogy would stick out like a sore thumb.

Obama: What historical analogy?

Emanuel (executing a battement frappé, while pulling his hair): What do you mean, “what historical analogy”? The Boston Tea Party was a response to a tax on tea, and helped spark the American Revolution! Where did you ever get a meshuga piece of crap idea like this?

Obama: Oh, c’mon! Everybody’s probably forgotten all about that business in Boston.

Emanuel (doing a pas de Basque in the direction of the doorway): You see if you can do something with him, Axelrod! I don’t want my fingerprints on this dumb-ass scheme! Later.

Axelrod: Mr. President, the point that the tea-party movement is trying to make is that the federal government is exercising too much control, that it’s growing too fast.

Obama: Hey, that’s not what you said on the talk shows!

Axelrod: Never mind what I said for public consumption, sir; we can risk a little honesty and candor here in the security of your office. What I’m trying to make you understand is that the idea of a tax on tea is terrible symbolism; it plays right into the hands of our opponents.

Obama: All right, all right! Sheesh, every time I have a brain storm, you guys pop open the umbrellas. Oh, and listen. Er, can you ask Rahm to at least try to resist the urge to break into his ballet moves? Last week he did something called an attitude derrière when we were meeting with House Democrats, and poor Barney Frank started to hyperventilate.

Axelrod: I’ll see what I can do, sir. Now, will you do me a favor?

Obama: What is it?

Axelrod: Will you make your dog stop humping my leg?

Spring - Phase II

At the Paco Command Center, the daffodils (or jonquils, as the case may be) have given way to tulips.






And the self-pollinating pear tree is in bloom.


Beautiful time of year...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

America: Just Another Distraction for Obama

Has any American president - hell, has any president, prime minister, monarch or dictator - ever dissed his own country abroad the way Obama has? First he records that TV commercial of his awesome self and beams it to Iran (where the reaction of the mullahs was pretty much, "Meh. What else is on?"). Then he goes to Europe, where he winds up putting not only physical, but philosophical, distance between himself and America, and gets the raspberries from the friggin' president of France!! And now he's all set to offer apologies on behalf of the USA to a gaggle of commie buffoons in South America.

And you know why he feels no shame or embarrassment for making these apologies? Or, for that matter, any anger when tinpot tyrants mouth off at the USA? Because he has so dissociated himself from America and its history and traditions that he considers himself as hardly more than a disinterested runner, just a paid courier delivering somebody's else's message - our message, as it turns out; or rather, the message that we Americans would and should deliver if we weren't such jingoistic, flag-wavin' cowboys. Sickening.


"Yo, Hugo! What up, dawg? I'll arm-wrestle you for Colombia!"


Update: It's the sheer "unawareness" that's mind-boggling (Texas Rainmaker via Smitty at The Other McCain).

Stacy McCain...

... marches through Georgia.

Where, among other things, he finds some cool tattoos.

And don't miss his inspiring speech ("Don't get mad, get organized.")

Sunday Funnies

Beatrix Potter meets George Patton (H/T: that collector of the strange and wonderful, Captain Heinrichs).


From my inbox: Shotgun Golf


Beer troubleshooting with Theo Spark.

Tim Blair’s Empire

So, what’s going on with the extended Blairite family?

1) Andrea Harris contemplates the decline of movies.

2) Tim T takes on the menace of cereal crimes.

3) The Shadowlands mulls over the problem of people-smuggling in Australia.

4) I dropped the ball on doing a book recommendation this week, but Boy on a Bike plugs the gap.

5) Richard McEnroe of Three Beers Later links to some firsthand accounts of the rescue of Captain Phillips (great motivational poster included!)

6) Mr. Bingley breaks the news (news to me, anyway) of the biker wars in Canada.

7) Pixie Place markets an exciting new product from Paco Enterprises’ dashboard-saint subsidiary.

8) Swampie finds a congresswoman who apparently thinks that the tea parties are more despicable than, say, check-kiting.

9) Empiricist Daddy Dave examines the soufflé-like fluffiness of a “smack-down” by a climate-change cultist.

10) Mythusmage has, I believe, uncovered the scientific reason as to why so many people seemingly have no trouble putting more feet in their mouths than they actually possess.

11) kae reports on the indoctrination of toddlers in Australia.

12) Angus Dei at Tizona introduces us to right-wing extremist (and my new favorite governor) Rick Perry of Texas.

13) El Campeador has a video on some spine-tingling flying.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Car Kickback Czar



Rahm Emanuel: What da f**k, Steve? Da boss puts yez in charge a’ bailin’ out da auto industry, an’ now it comes out dat youse are bein’ investigated for kickbacks. No, really, Steve, I mean, what da f**k?!?

Steve Rattner: Awww, da boss knew about da whole ting. He didn’t tink it was such a big deal, why should youse?

David Axelrod: Look, I don’t remember nuttin’ about youse ‘fessin’ up to da boss about dis.

Steve: Oh, yeh, he hadda knew all about it, ‘cause I mentioned it durin’ da transition. He didn’t say nuttin’ but “Hey, don’t sweat it, everyt’ing’s jake.”

Emanuel: Ok, Car Guy, what’s yer plan for da automotive industry?

Steve: Hey, listen to dis, it’s a lu-lu! I told dem banks what Chrysler owes money to, to tear up dem IOUs.

Axelrod: Ya mean, like, Chrysler jus' skips? It don't pay nuttin' at all?

Steve: Yeh. Dat way, da banks what we gave money to kinda help pay for us bailin’ out Chrysler, see?

Emanuel: But da banks are in da hole again.

Steve: Huh. I hadn’t thunk a ‘dat.

Emanuel: Ya know what, Steve. I tink maybe we oughta take a little ride.

Click On this Link (You'll Be Glad You Did)

Absolutely the best visual metaphor of the ridiculous DHS report on "right-wing extremism" that I've seen.

Important Update!!: Don't miss this video of Bill Whittle talking about media bias and the very real consequences for our democracy (H/T: Ed Driscoll).

Obama Raises the Dead

The Grateful Dead, that is.

That long, strange trip just got longer and stranger.

Catharsis



Ross Douthat, a writer for the Atlantic who recently accepted a job as one of the tame house-conservatives at the New York Times, took the kind of condescending line toward the Tea Parties that we’d expect from someone whose right-wing bona fides consist mainly of having once gone skinny-dipping with Bill Buckley.

Hello, Mr. Douthat, permit me to introduce you to R.S. McCain.

A few things the Tea Party Movement has accomplished:

1) It has reminded millions of normal, hard-working, middleclass people, born to the American promise of freedom and opportunity, that they have a voice, and that they can and should make it heard;

2) It has opened the eyes of those same people to the fact that they are not alone, that untold millions of their fellow citizens share their belief that the economic crisis is not so great as to justify a permanent shift in the balance of power between the private and public sectors, nor is the crisis more threatening to the future welfare of their families than the remedies which have been proposed to resolve it;

3) It has put another nail in the coffin containing the stinking remains of the legacy media’s “objectivity”;

4) It has rattled the cages of a few blue-dog Democratic politicians (and more than a few Republican fence-sitters) who needed to be reminded that they weren’t elected because their constituents wanted socialism.

Not a bad day’s work for a gaggle of “wacky extremists.”

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Feet Friday

Ray McKinley and the boys have got the “St. Louis Blues” (be sure to catch the brief, but blistering hot trumpet duet).

Mendacity on Stilts

The Weekly Standard quotes Nancy Pelosi as saying that the nationwide tea parties were “Astroturf” i.e., a fake grassroots movement funded by “some of the wealthiest people in America.”

Let’s have a show of hands: how many people believe that, a month ago, Nancy Pelosi even knew what “Astroturf” meant – in the political sense, I mean? You, sir; is your hand up? Oh, you’re just swatting at a fly. Ok. So, nobody believes she knew the term.

I think that’s probably correct. I believe Pelosi was fed the term by somebody in what the National Review used to refer to as the Hive: the informal network of left-wing organizations, academics, MSM “journalists”, Democratic Party apparatchiks, and - to bring everything up to date – blogs funded by, er, ““some of the wealthiest people in America” (or rather, the world). And it is precisely the incessant buzzing of this Hive that threatens to destroy civil discourse, not so much through the elimination of free speech, as by rendering it irrelevant, through the practice of dishonest polemics and the distortion of language, with the ultimate goal of creating an intellectually inchoate society driven by base emotions, dubious theories, and throbbing larynges.

The hypocrisy of Pelosi – and of so many others in politics and the media – is amazing. In fact, I’m not sure it’s hypocrisy anymore; hypocrisy traditionally represented an awareness that one’s actions or beliefs were shameful, or at least (more cynically), injurious to one’s plans. I believe the Left in this country is so drunk with the prospect of power, since it now has one of its own in the White House, and the Democratic Party is acting in the capacity of its golem, that many of the more impatient comrades, including media types such as Susan Roesgen (as only the most recent example), have succumbed to an almost pathological mendacity. These are people who will lie, as the saying goes, when the truth will do. Stacy McCain made a similar point in this post: “The reason so many Americans hate the news media is because so many supposedly ‘objective’ journalists are transparently dishonest in what they're doing. Media bias is therefore not about a lack of objectivity (no one is strictly objective) but rather about a lack of honesty.”

So, how much more likely they are to lie, when the truth won’t do. The truth, for example, about the Tea Parties that were held across the country on April 15th, is that they represent a genuine grass roots phenomenon – the first tentative steps taken by people who understand, either because of education, experience, or simply intuition, that the end result of feeding the cancer-like growth of government is Leviathan, and that, as Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Update: How's about some Tea Party video from Richard McEnroe?

Make My Day...

Gary Graham at Big Hollywood speaks some home truths of the kind that make liberals vibrate with rage and fear (H/T: friend and commenter, Jeff S.)

And from Captain Heinrichs...because he cares!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From the Shelves of the Paco Library



Meh. Sorry, but I didn't have time to do my weekly book review. Why don't you go watch some television?

Or even better, check out these Tea Party links!

The Other McCain.

A1A South.

Moe Lane.

American Power.

Michelle Malkin.

Gateway Pundit.

Pundit and Pundette (more pictures from the Washington rally).

Here's a nice slide show of Tea Party photos from around the country, at NetRight Nation.

The Track-A-'Crat was also on top of the Washington rising.

At the Point of a Gun.

R.S. McCain in Alabama.

Tea Party, Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C.

I sauntered over to the above-named around 11:15 this morning and encountered a sizable crowd, undeterred by the rainy weather. Using my sophisticated crowd-estimate model (which involved counting the legs and dividing by two), it looked to me as though there were probably 200 or so patriots. Unfortunately, I was unable to get close enough to the platform to identify any speakers, but I did take several pictures of people in the crowd, some of which are included below (be sure to click on the images to enlarge).

Ayn Rand fans were much in evidence….


…as was the snake flag.




The guy on the left is trying to make it easy for Homeland Security.



This lady, God bless her, was all about the message.



Committed, determined and weatherproof!


As I’ve said before, protest is fun for the whole family.



As Ed Morrisey said, “It’s not about the present, it’s about the future.”


I didn’t see any hecklers or infiltrators (although one suspicious-looking young fellow with curly red hair, a goat-face and no eyebrows was making the rounds asking questions, e.g., “So, why are you here?”). The signs and placards all looked homemade (not like the assembly-line, faux-folksy “grassroots” signs that leftist groups hand out free to their minions). It was a large, peaceful, cheerful group of people who had come together to make themselves seen and heard on one of the most critical issues facing our country today - stopping the federal behemoth from crushing the life and soul out of our America.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Tea-Party Roundup...



...from American Power.

Revolution Tea Party Update

MEMO

To: Field Operatives
From: TP-1, Revolutionary Command Center, Occupied Northern Virginia
Subject: Washington, D.C. Tea-Party
Date: April 14, 2009

In re: the Tea-Party demonstration scheduled for April 15th, please note that WWII surplus Navy life-jackets have been stockpiled on the Mall for use when throwing agents provocateurs into the Potomac.

Also, in view of the DHS’s discovery of our ties to extremist right-wing organizations, do not, repeat, DO NOT display your mammoth placards of Augusto Pinochet, Francisco Franco, and Glenn Beck until after the operation is complete and the city has been secured.

That is all.


P.S. And there'll be none of that, Smitty.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Headline of the Day (If Not the Week)

Spokane parks to detonate squirrels (H/T: Don Surber).

There's No Such Thing as a Bad Boy...

John in Carolina parses some of the comments made by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the subject of poor teenage mariners.

Protest is not a Leftwing Monopoly

Leftists have been out of power so long that they seem to think they invented the whole idea of protests and demonstrations. Whereas it’s true that they’ve had a lot of experience in this sort of thing – street theatre dovetailing nicely with the Left’s tendency toward sloganeering and histrionics, and with an ample supply of misfits who are only too glad to fill up the idle hours of their day doing yeomen’s work as placard-carriers and bullhorn yodelers – right-wingers are not exactly without experience when it comes to protest (e.g., the pro-life rally held in Washington, D.C. every year). Protests are, in fact, fun for the whole extended American family. What distinguishes the Tea-Party protests from the typical mob of BDS sufferers, smash-and-grab anarchists, and ageing, pot-befogged, hippy war protestors (whose general appearance, ironically, now tends to put one in mind of a shambling troop of Civil War veterans in a July 4th parade circa 1915) is that they consist of hardworking, productive members of society who are trying to assert what should be the commonplace, commonsensical and unobjectionable idea that the state does not have the right to wantonly deprive its citizens of the right to enjoy the fruit of their own labor, or to mortgage the economic welfare of generations unborn. If these folks turn out to have misread the “tealeaves”, and we ultimately discover that President Obama and the Democrats actually abhor the concept of socialism and are working around the clock to put genuine capitalism back on its feet, then no harm done. Since, on the basis of the evidence so far, the president and the Democrats appear to be doing rather the opposite, then the Tea-Party protests will add value by drawing attention to a viable alternative, to wit, that our unalienable rights do not represent a dispensation or gift from the federal government, and that “that government is best which governs least.”

Leftists, of course, will invariably holler, “You lost, get over it.” We know we lost, comrades; but the proper response, after a defeat in an honorable cause, is never to “get over it.” The defenders of freedom didn’t “get over it” after Pearl Harbor and Dunkirk. Conservatives didn’t “get over it” after Goldwater’s defeat or Jimmy Carter’s victory. For that matter, leftists didn’t get over it when Bush won two terms, and the Republicans controlled the legislature. It has been said that lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for. I don’t know whether that’s true or not. But I do know that a cause, no matter how good, will lose if people don’t fight for it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hey, I Don't Eat Pizza, But if You Do...

...you might want to try out this recipe from Boy on a Bike (he could be cooking platypus fritters, for all I care; I just love reading his "man-friendly" recipes).

We Have a Winner!

That’s right, it’s time for the coveted Paco Enterprises "Awesomeness in Blogging Award"!

The winner is a blogger who has distinguished himself in manifesting a feisty, combative, damn-the-torpedoes conservatism, enriched with certified deep-thought, and sparkling with top-drawer aesthetics. Oh, and, er, he has linked me a lot (while I can’t disclose the mathematical details of the model used to choose the winner of this award, I will point out that the category, "linking Paco Enterprises", is not given an inordinately large weighting; the weight attached definitely does not exceed 75%).

Way to go, Robert Stacy McCain!


(Full Disclosure: I couldn’t find any useable photos of Stacy on his blog; they are all either curiously blurry – probably for security reasons – or unsuitable because of the inexplicable presence of Terry McAuliffe. The image on the gold medallion is based on a photo of the young Basil Rathbone, to whom Mr. McCain seems to bear a fair resemblance).

Update: Oops! Silly me. Did I say Basil Rathbone? I meant Cary Grant, of course.

A Modest Proposal for Sweeping Pirates from the Seas



1) Sink their boats, as Jules Crittenden suggests.

2) Repeat as needed.

3) Oh, and how about arming the crews? A friend of mine at graduate school was a licensed captain, and told me how he fired on a small boat of pirates who attempted to come aboard his cargo ship off the coast of South America (I think all he had was a pistol). He hit one of them, and they turned and fled. How difficult is it to train a few crewmen to handle weapons properly?

And there’s this from Mark Steyn (my favorite contemporary essayist, period).

Update: And, based on a tip from commenter Catwoman at Tim Blair's:

Why People Who Blog Shouldn't Just Make Stuff Up

Oliver Willis, liberal blogger, attempts some fancy footwork, gets knocked out of the ring by R.S. McCain.

Christ is Risen!



Have a blessed Easter.

Important update: Captain Phillips has been freed. Three pirates were fried.

Update II: The Crown of Thorns Gallaxy (H/T: Don Surber).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunday Funnies

With no apologies whatsoever to cat lovers (H/T: Rachel Lucas).

Nominees for the 2009 Contractor Awards (H/T: The Shadowlands).

On a Tender Theme

More Rule 5 retro goodness!

Hedy Lamarr (by popular demand). Not just a pretty face, by any means, Hedy was the co-inventor of an anti-jamming torpedo technology that was 20 years before its time.



Laraine Day (born La Raine Johnson) got her start in the movies in a small role in Stella Dallas, and later played Nurse Mary Lamont in the series of Dr. Kildare movies. She also co-starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent with Joel McCrea, and with Cary Grant in Mr. Lucky. A fine actress, with a face of striking beauty.



Jane Greer never hit it really big in Hollywood, but I think she was grossly underappreciated. She was the femme fatale in one of my all-time favorite movies, the classic noir film, Out of the Past.



Gene Tierney was one of the most beautiful women ever seen on the big screen – with long brown hair, a shapely figure and eyes of arctic blue, she was the quintessentially drop-dead gorgeous actress. Check her out as the sociopathic wife in Leave Her to Heaven (sadly, she suffered from severe mental illness as she got older).


And here's something for the ladies; Bad Boy Bob Mitchum...