Monday, August 31, 2009

Obama and Honduras

Why is Obama trying to push Honduras around? Did he see Mel Zelaya's pant-leg one time and say to himself, "That guy's going to be president. And he's going to stay president"?

The superb Mary O'Grady suggests that this is Obama's way of ingratiating himself with the cool kids, i.e., Chavez et al - and we all know how important the concept of "cool" is to this president. Ain't that right, Preshizzle?


"Well, awwwwwreet! You got your boots laced, Jack! Hugo's the mezz!"

David Brooks is a Conservative in the Same Way that I am a Marxist

Yeah, I know, it’s like shooting a crippled bream in an aquarium, but the fishy Mr. Brooks keeps inviting ridicule, so when Stacy McCain catches him checking out Obama’s pants, your best bet is to stand back so ya don’t get any onya.

Millions of Aborted Infants Couldn’t Be Reached for Comment

My last word on Kennedy and his boosters.

Time Online has a curious entry in the Ted Kennedy hagiography sweepstakes: “Ted Kennedy’s Quiet Catholic Faith.”

It was so quiet, in fact, that those of us who had imagined that it was non-existent can be pardoned for the mistake. Here’s a great line from the article: “Kennedy only fully embraced Catholicism later in life, particularly after marrying his second wife.” That would be Vicki, whom he married after he divorced his first wife, Joan. And there is also the little matter of abortion: “…like many other Democratic politicians, he became a supporter of abortion rights by the 1980s. By the end of his career he was regularly awarded a 100% positive rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America for his abortion-related votes, a record that put him at odds with Church leadership.”

I do not wish damnation on anyone, and it is my fervent hope that Kennedy made his peace with God prior to his death; this, however, is a spiritual matter concerning which we, as temporal beings, can have no certain knowledge until the day of judgment. It is the very public departure from Catholic doctrine in his daily life that makes a mockery of the Time article, and suggests strongly that Kennedy considered the teachings of the Catholic Church to be just another set of rules from which he was exempt (and with which non-compliance in no way affected his standing as a member).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jim Treacher, Genius

Deny it if you dare!

The Blair Colonies Are Thriving

Tim Blair’s commenters have planted the flag all over the world. Let’s see what they’re up to…

1) Kae loves books – which would be enough to recommend her to Paco Enterprises, even if she wasn’t a gorgeous red-head – but it seems that the Australian government is making it tough to import books published abroad.

2) The Obamunists are going to rue the day they came out with an official Obama logo, as Mr. Bingley demonstrates.

3) The Shadowlands posts something that claims to be the worst music video ever. It is pretty bad, but I’m sure my readers can probably find worse.

4) TimT says “wipe that smile off your face!”

5) Boy on a Bike prepares for another problem-free week of restful cycling.

6) KC gives us a sample of the Menkenesque Bob Tyrrell.

Never Mind

President Obama came in for a lot of criticism after he gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown some very cheap (and useless) gifts.

In view of the breaking news that the UK may have released the imprisoned Lockerbie bomber as part of an oil deal, I rather regret that the President didn’t give Brown one of these.

Isn't it great how Ted Kennedy overcame the obstacle of Mary Jo's death?

The vilest comments to materialize in the wake of Senator Kennedy’s demise are those that seem to suggest that we are all lucky that Mary Jo Kopechne’s death didn’t ultimately end Ted Kennedy’s political career. How tragically close we came, they seem to be saying, to being deprived of the benefits of this legislator’s tremendous contributions to the Republic.

Here you have an important object lesson in the dangers that accompany the cult of personality. This one man, fortified by the bogus mystique that was built up around his family with the help of the media, attracted an important core following, not only among the pathetic morons and greedy porkaholics in Massachusetts who returned him to the Senate for decades, but among liberal academics and pundits who transformed him into a “hero”, cloaking this rich man’s desire to confiscate the wealth of his fellow citizens for the purpose of creating an all-powerful state (from which his own wealth would always be secure), in the mantle of an overarching concern for the poor. Even worse was the complicity of the leftist hallelujah chorus in playing down this sexual predator’s brazen contempt for individual women, because he could always be counted on to deliver the goods when it came to “women’s issues” (read, “abortion rights”).

It would have been far more honest for liberals – and more palatable to the rest of us - simply to have said about Ted Kennedy, as FDR supposedly remarked about “Tacho” Somoza, “he may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” The post mortem attempts to pass him off as a great-souled statesman fairly bubbling over with compassion for the dispossessed have rather the effect on non-fans of a big swallow of ipecac syrup.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sunday Funny

Best epithet for Ted Kennedy that I've seen in the past week? "Sponge-Booze No-Pants", via commenter David Crawford at Tim Blair's site.

And Richard McEnroe provides us with the ultimate symbolism of "Kennedy Care."

Good boy!



Luke - a highly-trained, low-IQ-sniffing dog - is having tremendous success this year, as politicians and their media shills insist on flapping their gums all over America.

His latest find is Democratic representative Diane Watson of California. Commissar Watson is a big fan of Castro and Che, and was, therefore, a fairly minor challenge for Luke. Still, although the cases of stupidity out there don't offer Luke too much difficulty, he's getting a lot of exercise based on sheer volume.

Rule 5 Saturday

Gorgeous Marilyn Maxwell sings, “One Girl and Two Boys.” But wait! Stick around for the hot swing and sizzling dance routine (Kay Kyser and his band provide the instrumental).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Open Thread



I'll be offline until Saturday night or maybe Sunday, so feel free to turn the comments section into a free for all polite discussion forum. And do me a favor. I disconnected Sitemeter some time ago because it was making the page-loading a little wonky. I believe that was just the result of some Sitemeter maintenance or something, but I never got around to reinstalling it (or, to be perfectly accurate, I never got around to figuring out how to reinstall it). If you're a regular or even an occasional reader, drop by the comments section and say "hey"; I'm curious to know how many people read this thing. And don't worry, you won't be getting emails advertising the many fine products offered by Paco Enterprises.

Here's something to get the open thread started. President Obama recently disclosed some of his pet peeves. What are yours? My number one pet peeve: President Obama.

Also, it's caption time! This is a picture of Rahm Emanuel during his ballet days.


Stand back, I'll show you pussies how to do a battement frappé!

Happy Feet Friday

I linked this once over at Tim Blair's old blog site, but it's always worth a repeat: Cab Calloway and his orchestra, featuring the fabulous Nicholas brothers in one of their absolute best dance routines (the tune is called "The Jumpin' Jive").

As Irrefutable as the Law of Gravity

Blair’s Law – to wit, "the ongoing process by which the world's multiple idiocies are becoming one giant, useless force" – receives another lab-tested validation in the person of Van Jones, President Obama’s “green jobs czar”, a former (and, for all I know, still-current) disciple of Marxism. Scott Johnson, for obvious reasons, prefers the honorific, “commissar.”

This administration seems to be working on a red and green color scheme; throw in yellow (say, for foreign policy), and you’ve got the perfect traffic-light theme: you will go when we say go, you will stop when we say stop, and during that brief amber flicker between the two, you will take advantage of your highly restricted opportunity for exercising individual judgment in a spirit of watchful caution.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mourning in America

I don’t know about you, but I went through the five stages of grief over Kennedy’s death in record time. Watching the MSM cast him as John the Baptist to Obama’s Jesus helped a lot, but I owe the return of my customary high spirits primarily to the following grief counselors:

1) Three Beers Later

2) Ace of Spades

3) Ed Driscoll

4) The Other McCain

From the Shelves of the Paco Library



Today, I’ve got a couple of historical fiction novels you may find interesting.

The late Nigel Tranter was a native of Scotland who gained fame for writing more than fifty novels dealing with notable figures and episodes of Scottish history. I have only read one, so far, but it is a good one and has certainly whetted my appetite for more.

Macbeth the King is a well-researched novel which presents a far different, and far more accurate, picture of the Scottish king than Shakespeare’s tormented character. The real Macbeth seems to have been, for the most part (and considering the times), a genuinely noble monarch who struggled to maintain the unity and independence of his kingdom. Nor was his lady the scheming, overly-ambitious queen of the play, but a strong-willed, dignified and loving helpmate. The novel is full of fascinating supporting characters, including, perhaps first and foremost, Thorfinn Sigurdson (styled, the “Raven Feeder”), Macbeth’s half-brother. A wild-spirited, but loyal, ally, he was a half-Danish, half-Celtic Viking, master of the Orkney Isles, and occasional protector of Galloway, who came to Macbeth’s aid on a number of critically important occasions. In addition to skillful plotting and a masterful ability to adapt the known historical record to excellent storytelling, Tranter has a superb eye for the physical features of his country, and, after reading the book, you may feel as if you have slogged with Macbeth through the marshes and over the mountains and along the wind-blown seashores of his kingdom, as he fights to keep Scotland out of the hands of both Danes and Englishmen.

* * * *

David Liss’ third novel in the Benjamin Weaver series, The Devil’s Company, is out, and it is his most enthralling page-turner yet. Weaver, an English Jew of Portuguese extraction – ex-pugilist and highwayman turned thief-taker and investigator – finds himself embroiled in a great plot involving the East India Company. He is forced into the Company’s service through an extraordinarily cunning trap set by the sinister Jerome Cobb, a wealthy man whom no one has ever heard of. Cobb has brought pressure to bear, not just on Weaver himself, but on his beloved uncle, one of his uncle’s friends, and on Weaver’s own close friend, Elias Gordon (surgeon and ladies’ man). Weaver is compelled to play a dangerous game, involving an array of questionable allies and determined enemies, including a beautiful spy, an Indian watchman of gigantic proportions and uncertain loyalties, and a company director who gives troubling signs of being genuinely mad. The book takes us through the treacherous and noisome streets of London, into smoky taverns, the homes of great merchants, and the pungent warehouses of the Company, filled with the spices and textiles of the orient – the stuff of fabulous fortunes, and the cause of blackmail and death. I am thrilled to have found an author of 18th-century fiction who has helped to fill the vacancy created by the death of Bruce Alexander, whose John Fielding mysteries provided me with so much pleasure.

Let’s Have A "Robust" Public Health Care Option (Because It Works So Well on the Indian Reservations)

Friend and commenter Yojimbo sparked my interest in finding out just how abysmal the quality of health care really is on America’s Indian reservations. Not surprisingly, it is a national disgrace.

There is a saying out on the reservations: don’t get sick after June. That’s because the federal dollars generally run out after that month. And remember Obama’s comment about the hypothetical old person with heart disease? “Maybe you just opt for the painkiller.” That example isn’t so hypothetical, it turns out. From this article at Reznet:
The same clinic failed to diagnose Victor Brave Thunder with congestive heart failure, giving him Tylenol and cough syrup when he told a doctor he was uncomfortable and had not slept for several days. He eventually went to a hospital in Bismarck, which immediately admitted him. But he had permanent damage to his heart, which he attributed to delays in treatment. Brave Thunder, 54, died in April while waiting for a heart transplant.

While it is true that the underlying factors associated with health care for Native-Americans are complex, and are not by any means entirely the fault of the U.S. Government, the medical treatment that the government has undertaken to provide is still shockingly bad (see also here, here and here, for additional examples). The quality of care for Native-Americans is bad enough in its own right, but is also an object lesson for a President and Congress that would arrogate to themselves the authority to devise a health care system for everybody, particularly a system that many anticipate will sharply reduce or eliminate private-sector options. If the government is so completely incompetent at managing health care for a couple of million people, why on earth should we believe that it possesses the knowledge and wisdom to create a system for 300 million? Why not prioritize the overhaul of those components of health care that are already within the federal government’s purview – starting with Native-Americans – before attempting to completely revamp the entire system?

In short, Mr. President, let’s see if you can change a tire before we entrust you with the task of designing and building an entire car.

RSVP

Smitty – Chief Operating Officer over at The Other McCain – sends a polite letter to Congressman Jim Moran

And while we're on the subject of the estimable Smitty, don't miss his serial epic, OediPOTUS Wrecks.

Update: A short history of government management (H/T: JeffS).

Edward Kennedy Dies

Scott Johnson at Powerline said pretty much everything I had planned to say about Ted Kennedy’s political legacy. The personal legacy was one that probably would have driven anybody but a dynastic, Democratic politician from office, to live out his days in a much-deserved obscurity.

I believe it was Dean Acheson who, upon being informed of the death of his old nemesis, Joe McCarthy, responded, “De mortuis nil nisi bonum” – and then pointedly proceeded to say nothing. So, today, anyway, I have nothing more to add.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Looking for More Details on Government Management of Health Care?

The Truth blog has some excellent coverage, including video clips, of VA horror stories and the terribly inadequate level of care on Indian reservations.

Hey, Mate, Whaddayer Doin' in There?

Australian man spends more time in toilet than he intended.

Niemals Vergessen!

Rachel Lucas has written a gut-wrenching essay about her visit to Auschwitz (somehow "visit" is far too tepid a word; "pilgrimage" is perhaps far better).

I am a great admirer of the late novelist, Walker Percy (admittedly, he is not everyone's cup of tea). The main characters in his books generally suffer from some wound or affliction - often a physical disability in conjunction with an injury to the psyche or soul - and the themes usually involve sin and redemption. In his novel, The Thanatos Syndrome, there is an interlude entitled "Father Smith's Confession", a deeply thoughtful meditation on the nature of evil, and how seemingly kind and intelligent people can find themselves willfully committing the worst sort of horrors in order to achieve some "higher good." Father Smith reveals to a friend his experience as a traveler in Germany between the world wars, and a subsequent trip as a soldier in the U.S. Army in the final days of WWII. He recounts the shock of discovering that the intellectual and cheerful hosts of his boyhood visit had been involved in the grisliest excesses of the Nazis, including diabolical experiments on innocent children. At the end of his story, Father Smith explains to his friend why he subsequently became a priest:
"In the end one must choose - given the chance."

"Choose what?"

"Life or death. What else?"

Compounding a Felony with Blasphemy

Stacy McCain notes the curious case of a fellow who stole a painting of the Virgin Mary with the aim of selling it in order to raise money to finance an abortion for a girl he had raped.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Paco Enterprises Announces Rare Product Recall

Looks like the Perdurable A-1 Cell-phone Optimizer still needs a little work.

Who Says Islam Isn't Merciful?

Why, this young woman, who has been sentenced to a caning for drinking beer, has been given a stay until after Ramadan. Interestingly, she's eager to pay her debt to society: "In an interview with the AP last week, Kartika said she wanted to be caned because 'I want to respect the law.'"

Style or Substance?

Jennifer Rubin over at Contentions disagrees with NYT house-conservative Ross Douthat, who claims that Obama's health care fiasco is primarily a case of a poorly-managed process. She's right, of course: it's the substance of the Democratic proposal that people hate. Here's a nice summing up of the beltwayitis that afflicts far too many pundits:
Pundits are often enamored with analysis that ignores the substance and focuses on Washington-insiderness and tactical decisions, which only they have the time and expertise to translate for nonprofessionals (i.e., real people). This is especially true with regard to health care. But in this case, they certainly miss the central issue: Americans don’t want government-run health care.

Update: Richard McEnroe with reason #236 why government control of health care is a bad idea.

John McCain: the Near Miss

He probably wouldn't have been as bad as Obama, but when he says things like this, McCain tends to reinforce the notion held by many that his presidency would have been a disaster for the Republican Party.

The Rationale for a Single-Payer System

Watch it now before YouTube bans it!



Update: Kevin at Exurban League asks a first-rate question.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Buying the Proverbial Pig in a Poke

The curiously-named Gormogons blog has an interesting run-down on the byzantine House bill on health care (H/T: Carol's Closet). You should read the whole thing.

The House bill is a nebulous cloud of lawyerly obfuscation that provides no real idea as to the final architecture of the proposed new health care system. It is, in fact, rather like a road map with eighty percent of the highways marked "Under Construction."

Even so, one can see the basic outline, and there is no doubt that the architects have given short shrift to the importance of individual freedom and fiscal responsibility. This Democrat-dominated Congress is, as I believe I have written elsewhere, the political equivalent of the Academy of Lagado, and although they will undoubtedly fail in their attempt to reduce this pile of excrement to its constituent elements and render it palatable, that does not mean that we may not ultimately be condemned to consume it (to the soothing assurances of our President that any stench is merely imaginary, or the result of racist olfactory glands).

Accept No Substitutes!

Paco phenomena that have nothing to do with me:

1) Paco fire.

2) Paco Under Scrutiny.

3) Paco Boy.

4) Patriot Act Compliance Officer software.

Janeane Garafolo Even Gets the Little Things Wrong

Not surprising in someone who is motivated by a congeries of all-consuming prejudices. Stacy McCain plucks one interrogatory remark from her latest rant and uses it to smack her all over the room (kind of like Sean Connery in that bar scene from The Presidio using one thumb to punch a loudmouth silly).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

There Are Many Reasons For Not Messing With Miss Red

And here's one of them.

Sunday Funny

I had not heard of this before, but in 1995, two scientists created a remarkable hoax, claiming that the metric system had been invented in the 18th century by "Claude Emile Jean-Baptiste Litre." Read all about it (H/T: Captain Heinrichs).

Assortment

1) RicketyClick has a good post on grass roots vs. astroturfers, and a link to Looking at the Left, which offers one of the best comparative photo essays I’ve seen on the subject.

2) Camp of the Saints provides some fine links to newsworthy items of the day.

3) TrogloPundit receives Pew Research Center acclaim for incivility in health care blogging.

4) Irony deluxe, via Ed Driscoll.

5) Exurban League has an interesting visual on the reliability of government promises.

6) Significant rounding error by the Obama administration.

7) Hmmm. I'm thinking of opening a bank account in the UK and changing my name to Paqo ibn-Yusef.

Like Son, Like Father?

Senator Harry Reid's son, Rory (Rory?), is running for governor of Nevada, and is 21 points behind in the polls - in the Democratic Party primary.

Let's hope the people of Nevada decide that they have had enough of both Reids.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jon Voight Continues to Impress

No Sheeples Here! highlights some of Voight's hard-hitting comments on the true nature of Obama and company.

Rule 5 Saturday

The lovely Dorothy Dandridge sings “Cow Cow Boogie.”



Bonus beauty, Jane Russell (H/T: Captain Heinrichs):

What'd He Say?

I'm sorry, but our President's soaring oratory truly flew way over my head. What does "wee weed up" mean?

Steve at Grandpa John's has a theory about the etymological origins, while Richard McEnroe says hang the etymology: "Hey, being wee-wee'd up beats being poo-poo'd upon."

(Incidentally, get a jump on Rule 5 Saturday and check out Richard's smokin' hot, albeit way too short, video clip)

Charles Gibson, Warmonger

Having puffed Cindy Sheehan’s protest career during Bush’s second term, for some strange reason, which I am completely unable to fathom, Charles Gibson now says, “Enough, already.”

Truth to tell, I do not wonder at this change of heart overmuch. While Cindy Sheehan was serving the Left’s purpose by, effectively, walking around wearing an anti-Bush sandwich board, she was portrayed in the MSM as the grieving mother whose son had died in Bush’s war of aggression, a woman whose moral authority was indisputable. Now that we have a new President who far better suits the ideological taste of Mr. Gibson (and whom, let us be frank, Gibson did his best to help elect by means of his ludicrously condescending, schoolmarmish attitude during the Palin interview), Sheehan has lost her luster, and is merely a sad, publicity-hungry crank. As the saying goes, I question the timing.

(H/T: Powerline)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Wild Man of Blogdom

I've used that phrase on a couple of occasions to describe TimT of Will Type for Food, and I stick by it, because there are few finer and more brilliantly imaginative writers out there than Tim. The effect is like, I dunno, P.G. Wodehouse meets Dave Barry in a caged death match refereed by H.H. Munro.

Proof? Sure, I've got your proof right here.

Should Be the Shortest Speech in History

“David Axelrod, senior advisor to President Obama, will speak in Lincoln on Oct. 9 as part of the Integrity in Public Service Lecture Series.”

Happy Feet Friday

Charlie Barnet gets a scat-singing telegram (watch for a very young Doc Sevrinson on trumpet).

Pelosi's Secret Weapon

Jus' Leave Everyt'ing to Us



Hi ya, citizens!

Ya know, de healt’ care system in dis great country is kinda messed up. Too many of yez gotta pay dem big premiums to dose cross-town insurance companies, and a lotta youse guys ain’t even got no coverage. Sump’n happens to yez – you know, like, maybe, ya get carved up for skimmin’ a little cream off de top on a drug deal, or get punched in de face at a tea-bag riot – ya got no place to go, ‘ceptin’ like, maybe, de emergency room, an’ de hospital might even dump yez off on…er, well, no need to bodder yez wit’ all dem little details.

Anyhow, what I’m sayin’ is, it looks to us like youse people need a partner, see? From now on, youse’ll be gettin’ yer beer from us...Heh! Sorry. I mean, youse’ll be gettin’ yer healt’ care from us. And here’s two good t’ings about dis new arrangement: number 1, youse’ll always have dis coverage, until, maybe, ya get kinda long in de toot’, den we’ll talk; an’, b, as a silent partner – I mentioned dat, right? About how youse need to shaddap about tea bags an’ socialism an’ all dat crap? – ya won’t have nuttin’ to grouse about (or to, for dat matter), which’ll save wear and tear on de ol’ larrynix.

Can’t refuse a good deal like dat…right?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bracing!

It is difficult to top the Brits when it comes to deliciously savage polemics (H/T: Tim Blair).

On a more sedate, but still resonant, note, Philip K. Howard points out that the various Democratic health care initiatives seem to have ignored one of the most significant cost factors in the present system.

From the Shelves of the Paco Library



Russell Kirk is well-known as an important conservative political theorist and essayist, publishing, in 1953, his influential The Conservative Mind, and authoring biographies of Edmund Burke and John Randolph. He helped William F. Buckley, Jr. found the National Review, and was a founder and editor of Modern Age.

What is perhaps less well-known are Kirk’s achievements as a writer of fantasy and ghost stories. I have only had the opportunity to read one volume of his ghost stories, but it is a superb specimen of the genre, focusing on the idea of evil forces or spirits that survive the cutting of their physical bonds to the natural world and the extinction of the mortal human vessels that nurtured them in life, to work their diabolical will in the realm of the living, reveling in the destructiveness that is the hallmark of evil.

In the title story of The Princess of All Lands, a young woman – Yolande - is driving home, her mind preoccupied with thoughts of the combination Halloween/birthday party that her family is having that evening. She spies a hitchhiker at an intersection - a woman somewhat younger than herself, but with a rough and hard-used appearance. Motivated by her natural kindness, she offers the girl a ride. The hitchhiker’s conversation is crude and occasionally obscene, and filled with the bitterness of a difficult and completely joyless life. Yolande has to go a considerable distance out of her way to take the hitchhiker where she wants to go, and as she becomes increasingly fearful of the girl, she talks about her own life, including her Indian heritage and the strange power of her “virtue” – in this sense, a power that presents itself almost as a distinct, other-worldly spirit in times of danger. Finally, feeling some vague menace in her passenger’s behavior and motives, Yolande decides to pull over and let her out not far from her destination, explaining that she has to get home. At this point, the passenger pulls out a pistol and compels Yolande to drive to a cabin in the woods, where a couple of male kinfolk are waiting. To her horror, Yolande finds that the girl has brought her to her father as a “birthday present.” Yolande is naturally horrified by this turn of events (foreshadowed, strangely, by a nightmarish recollection that she had passed on to the passenger during their ride together, of an evil relative who turned up several times in her life, apparently with designs against Yolande - always frustrated, but with disastrous results, nonetheless).

Yolande, however, frightened though she is, discerns the true nature of her would-be tormenters, and possessed by that protective spirit that has guarded her on previous dangerous occasions, confronts them with the truth that forces them to keep their long-delayed appointment with damnation.

There are nine stories in this volume, all enthralling, one of which – “There’s a Long, Long Trail A-Winding” – won the 1977 World Fantasy Award. At the conclusion of a delightful short prologue, Kirk explains his purpose thusly:
Have I ever seen a ghost? Why, I am one, and so are you – a geist, a spirit, in a mortal envelope. Why did I write these sepulchral fantasies? Why, partly to remind you and myself that we are spirits in prison; and mainly in the hope of discomforting an old man on a winter’s night, or a girl in the bloom of her youth. I have dwelt in haunted houses, and I have prepared a chamber for you. If I conjure up in you a dreadful joy, like that of a small boy on a secret stair, my malice will be satisfied.”

Blogger Meets Blogger (II)

I had the delightful experience of meeting blogger and frequent commenter Isophorone this morning over a cuppa Joe (or rather, I had coffee, he had tea). He is a marvelously witty and intelligent fellow (here’s a sample from his blog). He has a fascinating professional and personal background, rich in incident and character, and I can only pray that he will blog more frequently.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just for Fun

Everybody's probably seen the funny photo in which a squirrel popped up as the camera clicked on a couple of tourists. You know, this one...



Well, Ace of Spades has a link to the "Squirrelizer", a widget that enables you to embed the squirrel picture in other photos.

Here are a couple of my efforts.

An out-take from the 1947 Robert Mitchum film, Out of the Past


"Cut!"

An out-take from Casablanca


"Cut! Somebody get that squirrel off the set!"

Robert Novak - RIP

Stacy McCain has a fine tribute, plus some good links.

At Least We're Not Sacrificing Virgins (Yet)

Illinois’ contributions to cultural and political violence go back
a long way
. From the article on Cahokia, an ancient Native-American metropolis that, among other things, possessed the third largest pyramid in the New World : “[The city] was probably governed by an elite class who commanded both political allegiance and spiritual authority.”

Kinda like Washington, with climate-change enthusiasts filling in for the “spiritual authority.”

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Product from Paco Enterprises!

Did you know that listening to politicians regurgitate President Obama's talking points can cause headaches, vertigo, nausea and, in some cases, irreversible brain damage?

Don't let this happen to you! Get the Protective Aural Counter-Obamanizer and attend those town hall meetings secure in the knowledge that your brain is safe.


Nobody knows B.S. like Paco Enterprises!

Robert Avrech Goes to the Post Office...

...and has a vision of ObamaCare.

Update: Hey, let's model our health care system on Canada's. Think how cool it will be to watch it implode!

Creigh Deeds is the Man Virginia Needs...

...as a Democratic candidate for governor, because he's making things a whole lot easier for his Republican opponent, Bob McDonnell.

Meanwhile, certain Vichy conservatives continue trying to make things a whole lot easier for Obama.

Don't Forget to Denounce This Blog at Obama's New Snitch Site!

The news was making the rounds that the White House was closing the flag@whitehouse.gov site; however, it looks like the operation just moved to a new address.

Please feel free to denounce this and other right-wing blogs, and don't forget to ladle the irony and sarcasm on thick!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Flying Plummeting Squirrels

Swampie spends the wee hours rescuing baby squirrels

Citizens' Death Panel Gives Thumbs Down to ObamaCare

The citizens' revolt is having some effect.

First, the senate sends the grim rationer packing, and now there is serious talk about dropping the public option.

Not good enough. The notion is to replace the public option with so-called "co-ops", which could easily become tools of the government. And there are plenty of other provisions that make this a bad bill.

Don't trust this administration, and the Democratic Party, with any significant change to our system of health care.

Smitty at The Other McCain also remains en garde.

Late Bloomers

A couple of interesting late summer blooms at the Paco Command Center.

Mrs. Paco saw a bunch of these cannas growing in a planter outside Mr. Tire, the place in Fairfax where we get our car serviced (which, incidentally, I highly recommend, for both quality of work and honesty in business dealings). The manager kindly told her she could dig up as many as she wanted; Mrs. Paco modestly took only one, but she may go back for more. The purplish leaves and the orange flowers suggest Virginia Tech's colors.



Before we moved from Richmond to Fairfax, a neighbor gave Mrs. Paco a handful of seeds from a plant that I had never seen, but which my wife said produced a beautiful red flower. We planted the seeds, and a plant sure enough grew from them, but for the first two years, there were no blossoms. In fact, I was beginning to wonder if the thing was not perhaps a marijuana bush (the leaves looked ominously similar). This year, however, our long wait was rewarded, and the plant - which we have since discovered is called a Texas star - yielded several big, red blooms.

Looks Like a Great Way to Work Off Stress

Exurban League celebrates the Big Sandy shootout - machine guns, and lots of ‘em (and a few howitzers and cannons, too).

Here’s one of the videos from the MG site.

Sunday Funny

Something like ObamaCare was tried briefly in the 1930s with less than successful results...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

La Trahison des Clercs

In the 1930s, many academics either flirted with, or were indifferent to, Nazism. Carlin Romano, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, reviews Stephen H. Norwood's new book, The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses, a well-researched historical investigation into the failure of many American university presidents and academic professionals to stand by their ostensible devotion to the liberal arts and the humane society. Mr. Romano draws some important object lessons from the book, and applies them in the context of modern-day Iran, and the question of what the proper response should be to the savagery of the current regime.

Among the many fascinating things I learned from reading the article was this: "And who knew that the 'stiff-armed Nazi salute and Sieg Heil chant' was 'modeled on a gesture and a shout' that Hanfstaengl had used as a Harvard football cheerleader?" (Ernst Hanfstaengl, an early supporter of Hitler, was born in Germany, but attended Harvard University, returning to his homeland in the early 1920s).

We have, of course, seen many more examples of betrayal by the denizens of the ivory tower in modern times, as large numbers of the professoriate have, in turn, lined up to hawk socialism, communism, the New Left, and other statist nostrums (in addition to what we've seen with our own eyes, permit me to refer you to the writings of the late Sidney Hook, Norman Podhoretz and Tom Wolfe). I am not by any means anti-intellectual; on the contrary, I greatly admire those men and women who maintain an active interest in the life of the mind, and who seek honestly for knowledge and truth. The problem is that so many people who pass for intellectuals these days are, as the saying goes, "educated beyond their intelligence", and are, themselves, the products of the leftist echo chamber that arose as radicals took Gramsci's advice and commenced "the long march through the institutions". This should remind us that the operative word in the descriptive expression "book worm" is oft times "worm".

Rule 5 Saturday

Ginny Simms croons “I’m Like a Fish Out of Water”, assisted by Johnny Long and his orchestra (dig that boss clarinet introduction, Daddy-O!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Afroturfing?

Tim Blair links to an article about an African-American man who has pleaded guilty to pretending to be a white supremacist making death threats against an African-American university student.

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Obama Care

In 1961! Big tip of the sombrero to Babalu.

Sheila Jackson Lee: Not Just Rude, But Dumb as a Sack of Mulch

Rep. Lee has been in the news rather a lot, most recently because of her lack of telephone etiquette.

The sad thing is that, when it comes to documenting her stupidity, there are so many examples, so little time.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel on Health Care

Since Obama has, rather inexplicably, delegated most of the details of his key initiative to advisors and Congress, it is a matter of some importance that we know the intellectual and philosophical (as well as the financial and administrative) context in which any health care bill has been crafted. I believe we can largely dismiss the notion of “intellectual and philosophical” context as regards Congress – who among our elected representatives has read the entire bill? How many congressional supporters of ObamaCare have returned to their districts during the August recess to do anything but parrot the President’s unsubstantiated talking points?

No, we should be looking at the key advisors. The New York Post takes a quick look at the ideas of one of those health care insiders, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist who has written extensively on health care issues, and is currently serving as Special Advisor for Health Policy to Peter Orszag, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (as is well known, he is the brother of Rahm Emanuel). The Deafening Silence blog has three long and thoughtful posts on one of Dr. Emanuel’s essays, “The Perfect Storm of Utilization”, and Thomas Miller at the American Enterprise Institute casts a skeptical eye on Dr. Emanuel’s book, Healthcare, Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America.

With respect to….well….fishy provisions in both the House and Senate bills themselves, D.J. Drummond at Wizbang spots several piscine clauses right away.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

To the People of Nevada...

...please heed Senator Harry Reid's unconscious, but obviously desperate, cry to be returned to private life.

Somewhat (but not entirely) unrelated update: Richard McEnroe celebrates a small, but significant, victory. And the delightfully-named Aardvarks and Asshats says, Hey, you mobs out there; keep up the good work! Hear, hear! says I.

Happy Feet Friday

Jimmy Dorsey and the boys perform "Long John Silver" (from the 1944 Abbot and Costello film, Lost in a Harem).

Blogger Meets Blogger

I had the great good fortune to have had lunch today with Miss Red, a frequent commenter at Tim Blair's old site, and now a blogger in her own right. And, as I keep discovering when I meet readers and bloggers, she is vastly more interesting than I am. And I'll tell you this, the moniker is perfectly self-descriptive; I doubt that I've ever seen such a beautiful head of red hair in my life.

Incidentally, Miss Red has a link to an interesting site that covers all your lefty astrotufing goodness.

Assortment

1) Stacy McCain highlights some ObamaCare criticism from Sarah Palin. As Stacy says, “Good to see Gov. Palin talking policy.”

2) Monique Stewart is appropriately skeptical about the gushing optimism displayed by Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

3) Ed Driscoll has written a post on the gaffetastic achievements of the Obama administration (with video!)

4) Carol (definitely not a “sheeple”) calls Barry out on health care.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From the Shelves of the Paco Library



Msgr. Ronald Knox was a highly accomplished man: Roman Catholic clergyman, theologian, literary critic, Bible translator, Catholic chaplain at Oxford, radio broadcaster, a close friend of G.K. Chesterton and Evelyn Waugh, and a writer of detective stories.

I regret to say that I have not had the opportunity to read Msgr. Knox’s detective fiction; however, I have had a chance to dip into his non-fiction, including Literary Distractions, and an excellent selection of quotations published by Ignatius Press, The Quotable Knox.

In Literary Distractions, a book of essays on a variety of authors and literary topics, one finds Msgr. Knox’s famous rules governing the writing of detective stories. He introduces them thusly:
“And now, what are the rules governing the art of the detective story? Let us remember in the first place that these are rules; and you cannot afford to overlook them, because the detective story is a game. People try to write poetry without rhyme and novels without plots and prose without meaning and so on; they may be right or they may be wrong, but such liberties must not be taken in the field of which we are speaking. For every detective story is a game played between the author and the reader; the author has scored if he can reach the last chapter without letting the reader see how the crime was committed, although he has given him hints all through which ought theoretically to have let him work it out for himself. And there will be no triumph in doing that if the author has broken the rules.”

Msgr. Knox also turns his nimble mind to an appreciation of such literary figures as Dr. Johnson and Robert Louis Stevenson, and tells the droll, but true, story of one George Townsend, D.D., Canon of Durham, who, in 1848, set out on his holiday to convert the Pope (quite unsuccessfully, it is, of course, needless to point out).

The Quotable Knox is, as the subtitle indicates, “a topical compendium of [his] wit and wisdom.” Herewith, a few of my favorite quotes:

Oxford: “A kind of isolation hospital, in which the English nation was well advised to segregate all the people who were intelligent enough to prove a nuisance if they went into public life.”

The devil: “It is so stupid of modern civilization to have given up believing in the devil…he is the only explanation of it.”

Detective stories: “Many great men – it is notorious – read detective stories, though often behind locked doors, or under false jackets. They are afraid of their high-brow friends; for detective stories still do not rank as literature…and if you meet a man who boasts that he does not think them interesting, you will nearly always find that he indulges in some lower form of compensation – probably he is a cross-word addict.”

Evolution, theory of: “People went about with long faces cursing Darwin and the other people for tracing man’s ancestry…from some monkey or monkeys unknown. They minded that terribly; not so much, I think, because they were Christians as because in their heart of hearts they were good old solid Victorians, who thought that the human species was the highest kind of existence that could possibly be conceived…But if they’d looked in the Bible, instead of being so anxious to defend the accuracy of the Bible, they’d have found something much worse than that. The Bible says the Lord God formed man out of the slime of the earth. That’s what we are, Lord Macaulay and all the rest of us, slime…We are animals, we are organisms we are matter – slime of the earth.”

Judgment Day: “We know that we shall not all be equal in glory; the equality…lies in this, that each soul is fulfilled to its full extent with the delights of God’s house. And we know that there can be no murmuring or envying in that manifestation of the sons of God. We shall, I imagine, have no time to say, “Who could have thought of seeing you there?” We shall be too engrossed in the reflection, “Who would have thought of seeing me here?”

Msgr. Knox’s spirit of Christian charity and his restless intellectual curiosity combined to give us a first-rate thinker whose writings on a multitude of subjects are witty, perceptive and instructive. A thousand pities that we did not, like Waugh and Chesterton, have the opportunity to sit with him over brandy and cigars and delight in his conversation. The printed word is as close as we can get to possessing an intimate familiarity with this humane mind, and for that, at least, I am grateful.

ObamaCare: The Post Office Analogy

One point I’ve made repeatedly about good oratory is that it isn’t enough to have a well-paced, sonorous delivery; content is extremely important, too. President Obama is widely credited with having superior oratorical skills, which is a view I have never shared, precisely because the content is so mind-numbingly vapid.

And now his rhetoric has veered into the truly idiotic. Why, if you’re trying to peddle a government health care option, would you (a) bring up the post office, and (b) admit that it is less efficient than its private-sector competitors? Betsy’s Page has some excellent excerpts from a Heritage Foundation article on the subject.

We're Doomed

This is just something that turned up in my email; don’t know whether it’s for real or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

A DC airport ticket agent offers 12 examples of why our country is in trouble.

1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman (Carol Shea-Porter) ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)
*******************************************************************************************************************************
2. I got a call from a Kansas Congressman's (Moore) staffer (Howard Bauleke), who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then he interrupted me with, ''I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts .''

Without trying to make him look stupid, I calmly explained, ''Cape Cod is in Massachusetts , Capetown is in Africa ''

His response -- click.
*******************************************************************************************************************************
3. A senior Vermont Congressman (Bernie Sanders) called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando . He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that's not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state.

He replied, 'don't lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!'' (OMG)
********************************************************************************************************************************
4. I got a call from a lawmaker's wife (Landra Reid) who asked, ''Is it possible to see England from Canada ?''

I said, ''No.''

She said, ''But they look so close on the map.'' (OMG, again!)
********************************************************************************************************************************
5.An aide for a cabinet member (Janet Napolitano) once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. I pulled up the reservation and noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas . When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, ''I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.'' (Aghhhh)
*********************************************************************************************************************************
6.An Illinois Congresswoman (Jan Schakowsky) called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m., and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m

I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois , but she couldn't understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.
********************************************************************************************************************************
7. A New York lawmaker, (Jerrold Nadler) called and asked, ''Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?'' I said, 'No, why do you ask?'

he replied, ''Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I'm overweight. I think that's very rude!''

After putting him on hold for a minute, while I looked into it. (I was dying laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno , Ca. is (FAT - Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on his luggage..
********************************************************************************************************************************
8. A Senator John Kerry aide (Lindsay Ross) called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii . After going over all the cost info, she asked, ''Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii ?''
********************************************************************************************************************************
9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman, Bobby Bright (D) from Ala who asked, ''How do I know which plane to get on?''

I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ''I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.''
********************************************************************************************************************************
10. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D)
called and said, ''I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola , Florida . Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?''

I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola , FL on a commuter plane.

She said, ''Yeah, whatever, smarty!''
*******************************************************************************************************************************
11. Mary Landrieu (D) La. Senator called and had a question about the documents she needed in order to fly to China . After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded her that she needed a visa. 'Oh, no I don't. I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those.''

I double checked and sure enough, her stay required a visa. When I told her this she said, ''Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!''
*********************************************************************************************************************************
12. A New Jersey Congressman (John Adler) called to make reservations, ''I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York .''

I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ''Are you sure that's the name of the town?''

'Yes, what flights do you have?'' replied the man.

After some searching, I came back with, ''I'm sorry, sir, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a rhino anywhere."

''The man retorted, ''Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!''

So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, ''You don't mean Buffalo , do you?''

The reply? ''Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.''
*******************************************************************************************************************************

Signs and Wonders

A new Democrat planet has been discovered.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Democrats have "underdeveloped neurocircuitry for integrating negatively valenced stimuli.”

Hey, that's what I always thought, too, but Babara Oakley proves it (H/T: the always fascinating blogprof).

Not So Fast, Mr. Attorney General!

As everyone knows by now, AG Eric Holder declined to take action against the New Black Panther thugs who were openly engaged in voter intimidation. Now, however, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (of all things!) is trying to compel Holder to provide more information on his decision (H/T: Camp of the Saints).

Those Talented Burri Boys!

First, Lance Burri, at Troglopundit, discovers that David Frum has a fear of success.

Next, Steve Burri at Grandpa John's comes up with the perfect name for the proposed Democratic health care bill.

Perspective

What I see when I look at the citizens’ revolt at the town halls.



What Rep. John Dingell sees.

]
Of course, Dingell’s getting a little long in the tooth and his memory may be going; perhaps he was thinking of the last time he had lunch with Senator Byrd.

The World Inside the Mirror

I suspect that the notion of democracy held by Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the like is shaped by what each one sees when looking in the mirror in the morning, to wit, that democracy is little more than a tool in the exercise of their own will to power - which, in light of the citizens’ revolt against Obama Care, puts me in mind of a fable.

Jorge Luis Borges authored a curious little work in 1957 called The Book of Imaginary Beings, a short catalog of mythological creatures and exotic folklore. The book includes an intriguing story that originated, I believe, in China, and runs as follows:

Once upon a time, every living creature in the world had an exact double. For ages, all living things co-existed in amity and goodwill, until one day, the beings constituting one set of “twins” decided to wage war against the other set. The aggressors won, and made their defeated counterparts into slaves, condemning them to mimic every movement of their masters; hence, the origin of the mirror.

But it is said that if you listen very closely when standing before a looking glass, you can occasionally hear just the faintest sounds of tigers roaring, and the clatter of spears and the rhythmic pace of marching feet, as the slaves of the mirror secretly prepare to regain their freedom.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What was it like, being one of Hugh Hefner’s concubines?

Pretty creepy, according to law-school-student-turned-Hefner-Girlfriend, Izabella St. James.

An Embarrassment of Riches

There are so many good posts over at Weasel Zippers that you need to drop by and just keep scrolling, but this one particularly grabbed my attention: “Fatah’s Only Jewish Member Seeking Seat on Their Revolutionary Council” (this guy even "out-Loewensteins" Antony Loewenstein.).

The People vs. the Democratic Leadership

Democratic congressmen, faced with mounting opposition from their constituents at the town hall meetings being held during the August recess, have taken to aping the tactics of the late Byzantine emperors by surrounding themselves with mercenaries, SEIU goons apparently being the bodyguards of choice. Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership has pulled out all of the stops in their campaign to ram socialized medicine down our throats, slandering the thousands of concerned citizens who are showing up at these meetings, comparing them to Nazis, calling them un-American, and attributing their numbers and their ire to astroturfing by “powerful special interests” (the whole time, engaging in relentless astroturfing of their own). One can easily imagine the outcry in the Press if George Bush, during his second term, had issued a call to members of veterans’ organizations to harass anti-war protestors at similar congressional town hall events (perhaps suggesting that they march, in military formation, into the meetings wearing full battle dress). The indifferent response in the MSM to the cowardly tactics of Democratic congressmen and the thuggishness of their union henchmen is, sadly, unsurprising.

But the thing that really does take my breath away – even more than the ham-fisted intimidation tactics which, after all, have been the mainstay of the Democratic tool-box for years – is the genuine, red-faced anger that the Democratic leadership is demonstrating toward ordinary citizens. I recall few, if any, instances in my lifetime in which the contempt of the Democratic oligarchs for the people has been so wantonly obvious, so carelessly displayed in all its polemical and ideological excess. The savagery of their verbal assaults upon anyone possessing the temerity to disagree with them has been a wonder to behold, and, perhaps ironically, gives the rest of us grounds for hope. The Democrats have made, I think, two fatal errors: they have come to believe their own mendacious propaganda, and they have grossly underestimated the intelligence, and the courage, of the American people.

And to those errors, I will add one more: in their zeal to impose legislation on the people in whirlwind fashion – thousand-page bills that no one person has read all the way through, amendments passed in the dead of night – the Democrats have effectively conceded the unpopularity of their vision of an even larger State, further empowered at the expense of individual liberty. This highly visible mockery of the deliberative process, in conjunction with an ideology that is, yes, un-American, reveals the desperation of leftist politicians in both houses of congress (and in the White House, too) as they sense their historical moment slipping away from them. They may still succeed in passing some watered-down version of a health care bill (and cap-and-trade, for that matter); however, I believe that the damage to the Democratic Party will be – already has been – substantial, and the erosion of the party’s credibility will offer conservatives at least a foothold in their effort to climb out of the pit into which they fell in the last election.

Perhaps the legacy of the Tea-Party movement ultimately will prove to be this: that the people, even in the absence of real leadership, paid attention when it was truly important for them to do so, and did exactly what they needed to do in order to make their voices heard, undaunted by the forces arrayed against them. Watch closely, because we could be looking at one of democracy’s finest moments.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Robert Gibbs is Looking a Little Frazzled

Don't miss Dan Collins' "Preview of Tomorrow's Press Conference."

Update: From friend and commenter Nashville Beat comes this advertisement for an important new product (clickabiggen)...



And check out this Republican dog from the Eye of Polyphemus!

The Judas Factor

Left-wing religious groups are coming out for Obama Care, apparently under the impression that Our Lord's call for charity was, in reality, an appeal to Caesar for a single-payer program (H/T: friend and commenter K).

Freedom of Speech in the Age of Obama


"Shut up and sit down, you insurance company tool!"

Related: Richard McEnroe is my hero.

How to Identify the Players at Town Hall Meetings

Typical opponent of Obama Care.



Typical concerned, ordinary citizen eager for passage of Democratic health care legislation.



Update: Doctor Zero scores again, with a great essay on Obama and his use of fear as a weapon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sunday Funny

An oldie but a goodie: Fidel Castro for Stroh’s beer.

Is Barack Obama President of the United States or a Liberal War Lord?

In one of his most unnerving comments yet, President Obama had this to say in a speech the other day: “But I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking.” The remarks were no doubt prompted by the increasingly vocal criticisms of the Democrats’ health care plan, particularly as manifested in various “town hall” meetings around the country between congressmen and their angry constituents.

There are a number of implicit assumptions in Obama’s comments that give cause for concern – indeed, that justify the fear and anger that is crystallizing into a genuine citizens’ revolt against the far-reaching attempts of the Democratic Party to vastly increase the power of the State. One is that everyone speaking out against Obama’s health care legislation is a rock-ribbed Republican, or under the sway of special interests (insurance companies are the favored villains); another is that Republicans are responsible for all of the economic ills in our society. Yet another assumption is that critics, who must be, ipso facto, Republicans, are therefore disqualified from being heard.

Even if the criticism of Obama Care were exclusively a function of Republican Party allegiance, Obama would still not be excused from his responsibility to take into consideration the concerns of tens of millions of his fellow citizens, notwithstanding their affiliation with the opposition party. His critics, however, are not by any means limited to registered Republicans; the obviousness of this fact thus makes his charges of partisanship absurd, a self-evident attempt to dishonestly pigeon-hole and isolate his detractors.

Thus, I ask the question that serves as the title of this post: is Obama President of all the people, or is he a mere factional war lord seeking to serve the narrow interests of his left-wing followers? As several writers have pointed out recently, Obama does not seem to really understand the office of the presidency - his main failure being his inability to comprehend that it is bigger and more important than he is.

Assortment

1) If you’re a climate-change skeptic, then you must have hated your mother.

2) Dan Riehl and Stacy McCain execute a marvelous tag-team pounding of a fact-challenged anti-Palin blogger.

3) Don Surber uncovers a case of kitty porn.

4) Know your mobsters (H/T: Babalu).

5) The bad news is that ten congress critters wasted something like $500,000 to "investigate" climate change in Australia. The worse news is that they all came back.

Rule 5 Saturday

Marilyn Maxwell undermines Islamic morals with “What Does it Take to Get You?”

Friday, August 7, 2009

Haw!

Stacy McCain is covering the YAF National Conservative Student Conference and has some great quotes from Ann Coulter.

And the blogprof brings us the sad news that Rep. Dingell is overwhelmed.

Obama: “Hey, Mr. and Mrs. America, you created this mess, now get out of the way so I can clean it up”

Oh, and by the way, keep your mouths shut. Check out the first video clip; as Allahpundint says, “breathtaking.” And note the Mussolini-like posturing.

The Hiring Hall Town Hall Meetings

The outbreak of violence by members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in St. Louis and Tampa comes as no surprise, since there is probably no other union that is so thoroughly in Obama’s pocket. And lest you get the idea that the overly-zealous defense of Obama Care is just the work of a couple of independently-minded local shops, I refer you to this elegantly written broadside on the SEIU web site (One can almost visualize its bull-necked author – we shall indulge our whimsy and call him “Jimmy Toadflax” - hunched down over his desk, staring at a lined sheet of notebook paper. Licking the end of a stub of pencil, sloping brow furrowed in concentration, Jimmy searches diligently for the mot juste; a smile suddenly lights up his face - suggestive of an oven light shining on a partly-cooked pot roast - as his muse whispers a particularly fine phrase into his saucer-sized ears: “Astroturfing by conservative opponents of reform is particularly dishonest because it masks the true motivations of the powerful interests--like the desire of industries to maintain the status quo.” “Heh”, he chuckles. “Dat oughta settle dere hash.” Jimmy then proudly hands his essay – written in a deceptively child-like hand – to someone in the office who knows how to use a word processor, and heads down to the neighborhood bar, where he will regale his fellows with a dramatic recitation of certain choice excepts from his tract. His friends – in awe of the erudition Jimmy acquired through the benefit of a high school education – will respond with that carefully calibrated degree of admiration necessary to pry the cost of a free round of drinks from a grateful Jimmy’s otherwise closely-guarded wallet).

Of course, it was really written by one Kate Thomas, but I like my version better.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Obamunists Launch Sorties from Inside Closed Tampa Townhall Meeting

Rep. Kathy Castor obviously believes that some constituents are more equal than others.

In the Steeplechase of Stupid, Has Kathleen Parker Surged Ahead to Take the Gold?

Kathleen Parker - who is frequently referred to as a conservative (I suppose in the same way that commemorative Elvis plates are hawked as "investments") - implies that Sarah Palin is unwittingly stoking the fires of racism by, er, being white and by failing to note that the South of To Kill a Mockingbird could break out again at any moment. Chris Matthews tingles orgasmically on the sidelines, almost dropping his stopwatch.

Happy Feet Friday

A trumpet tour de force by the great Harry James.



Bonus video: a short clip from the 1945 movie, Blues in the Night, featuring some very propulsive boogie-woogie. The excitable guy is none other than Elia Kazan. This film includes what, I believe, may be the only appearance by the Jimmy Lunceford orchestra in a full-length movie. Lunceford isn't as well known today as other big names, but back in the day, he was almost as popular as Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

Hey, Barbara Boxer, You’re Quite the Dumb Ass…Ma’am

Senator Barbara “Just a Grandmother in Tennis Shoes” Boxer thinks that you Tea-Partistas are too well dressed to be genuine protesters. Apparently it hasn’t dawned on her that smelly hippies, unwashed anarchists, college pot-heads and addle-pated old harridans with a fondness for the color pink aren’t the only ones who enjoy the right to free speech; people who actually have jobs and pay taxes get to have their say-so, too.

By all means, check out that video. Anybody else get the impression that Boxer hopes people will think she’s “too well dressed” to be a socialist?

And just to be on the safe side, be sure to consult Exurban League for a description of appropriate town hall attire.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Denunciation Fest!



Here are some blog posts that should be included on your snitch list (after you denounce me, of course):

Don Surber

Ed Driscoll

Doctor Zero

Carol's Closet

Dad 29

And let's not forget that veritable Thorfinn Raven Feeder of right-wing berserkers, Richard McEnroe.

Obama as Roderick Spode

Bertie Wooster would have sized up Obama pretty quickly:
The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you're someone. You hear them shouting "Heil, Spode!" and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: "Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?"

From The Code of the Woosters

From the Shelves of the Paco Library


Hugh Kingsmill (born Hugh Kingsmill Lunn in 1889) was an English writer whose oeuvre includes literary criticism, essays, biographies and novels, but it was his anthologies for which he was probably best known. His two-volume collection of invective (An Anthology of Invective and Abuse, and More Invective) was very popular, and provides a diverse sampling of the exercise of the intemperate pen throughout British history. Here are a couple of specimens (with commentary by Kingsmill).

The worship of Oliver Cromwell, first instituted by Carlyle, has died out of late years; and there are signs nowadays, notably a recent pamphlet by Mr. Hilaire Belloc, of a conscious movement against the nineteenth-century cult of Cromwell.

It would be a pity if this movement followed the line of argument marked out by Mr. Belloc so far as to forget that Cromwell’s contemporary ill-wishers did not see him merely as a muddle-headed crook, who was preserved from a nervous breakdown only by his over-developed sense of self-preservation…


[Excerpt from Abraham Cowley’s pamphlet, “From a Vision, Concerning His Late Pretended Highness, Cromwell the Wicked”]

“What can be more extraordinarily wicked, than for a person to pretend freedom for all men, and, under the help of that pretense, to make all men his servants?...To quarrel for the loss of three or four ears, and strike off three or four hundred heads?...To undertake the reformation of religion, to rob it even to the very skin, and then to expose it naked to the rage of all sects and heresies? To set up councils of rapine, and courts of murder?...To receive a commission for king and parliament, to murder (as I said) the one; and destroy, no less impudently, the other?...Good God! What have we seen? And what have we suffered? What do they say aloud to the whole nation, but this, even as plainly as if it were proclaimed through the streets of London, ‘You are slaves and fools, and so I will use you’?”

From the 18th century, among selections from several authors, Kingsmill includes excerpts from the Letters of Junius (“Junius” was an anonymous polemicist who sided with Wilkes in his struggles against the government, and sympathized with the American colonies).
The invective of Junius has the artificial air which is usually present in political invective, and is interesting nowadays chiefly as illustrating the extreme license of personal abuse permitted in the eighteenth century. It is, fortunately no doubt, impossible to imagine a modern newspaper printing anything similar…[Not anymore – Paco]

[From a Letter to the Duke of Grafton]

“…Let me be permitted to consider your character and conduct merely as a subject of curious speculation. There is something in both, which distinguishes you not only from all other ministers, but all other men. It is not that you do wrong by design, but that you should never do right by mistake. It is not that your indolence and your activity have been equally misapplied, but that the first uniform principle, or, if I may so call it, the genius of your life, should have carried you through every possible change and contradiction of conduct without the momentary imputation or colour of a virtue; and that the wildest spirit of inconsistency should never once have betrayed you into a wise or honourable action. This, I own, gives an air of singularity to your fortune, as well as to your disposition.”

In addition to political rants, there is a generous selection, as well, from the acid pens of the literati, in prose and poetry, plus a healthy sampling of more general and merely personal invective. The dozens of writers presented in these volumes include Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bernard Shaw, among many others who have had occasion to express themselves in anger, satire and withering scorn.

On a more temperate note, I also recommend Kingsmill’s one-volume anthology of the best in English literature, The High Hill of the Muses, which includes lengthy excerpts from a vast array of works – everything from the King James Bible to the prose and poems of the Victorians. It is practically a short-course in some of the best writing in the English language, and is a great browser.