Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More “Garde” than “Avant”

The Daily Pundit skewers those wholesalers of anti-Christian and homoerotic filth (a/k/a “artists”) who, for some strange reason, find Big Mo an unworthy subject for their creativity.

H/T: Instapundit

In other news from the world of artistic malpractice, Rowan Somerville has won the not-exactly-coveted Bad Sex in Fiction Award, largely because of this extraordinarily awful line:
Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.
Gad! That’s the kind of thing to send a satyr staggering off to a monastery. Compare and contrast with this wholesome, tender, understated love scene. Or with this stormy blaze of passion:
And it was a feast to remember. The conversation, jokes and arguments that typically characterized our meals had been replaced by an almost reverent silence as we tucked into our food, savoring every bite. I was almost beginning to be glad that Debray had shown up.

That is, until later that night, when I finally had Tania alone. We had stepped into our tent, and after that excellent meal, I was looking on her as the dessert course. I took her in my arms, kissed her passionately, and then started to softly croon the “Song of the Volga Boatmen”, knowing that her favorite sexual fantasy was to pretend to be a German countess being ravished by a Red Army private. She melted in my arms, and began nibbling at my ear. A propitious moment, she obviously thought, to lower the boom.

“Che”, she said. “I forgot to mention it earlier, but we had a little trouble in Camiri.”

“What kind of trouble? Yo–oh-ho-oh…”

“Well…Che…baby…the reason I didn’t radio you beforehand that I was bringing Regis with me is because the police found the jeep that our contacts had made available to me parked on a side street, and they seized it. The radio code book was in it.”

“Yo-oh-ho…Oh oh! The radio code book? You left it in the jeep?”

“Yes. It was right next to…uh…the map showing the way to our encampment.”

I held her at arms length, and I’m not entirely certain that my beret didn’t shoot off my head and flip over in the air like a pancake. Tania began babbling an explanation.

“You see, I had only expected to be in Camiri for a half a day, but I wound up having to wait there for three days because Reej” – I shook her violently – “Regis! Regis, wanted to take some photographs for the book he’s planning on writing about you, and he’s a bit of a perfectionist, and he wanted to get the pictures just right, and I guess the longer the jeep sat there the more suspicious the cops got and so they finally confiscated it, so we stole a car and – you’re hurting my arms!”

I released her and stared into the middle distance, my mind reeling. It wouldn’t take even the stupid local police very long to figure out that there was something amiss going on out here in the hinterlands, and to report it to the army. I turned on Tania in fury, haranguing her on the slackness of her revolutionary vigilance, her irresponsibility, her addle-pated carelessness, working myself up into an even greater lather than usual because this is not at all the kind of “dressing down” I had in mind.

To her credit, she hung her head submissively, crying softly. After I had expended my wrath, she looked up at me with glistening doe-like eyes and said, “I’m so sorry, Che. I guess you wouldn’t be interested in seeing the surprise I have for you.”

“Tania, I think I’ve had all the surprises I can stand for one day.” She wiped a tear from her eye. “Oh, all right. What is your surprise?”

She smiled slyly and stood with her back to me. She languorously removed her olive-drab tank-top, then unfastened her belt buckle. Her arms worked like two slow, sinuous pistons to lower, with some considerable effort, her hip-hugging slacks down over the exquisite convexity of her firm little rump, her buttocks finally popping out like two sweet rolls from a toaster. With an index finger, she directed my gaze – as if direction were needed! – to a tattoo on her right cheek. The tattoo was a likeness of yours truly, based on the famous Korda photograph (the one that, in a previous flight of silly feminine fancy, she had suggested using to market t-shirts in order to fund the revolution).

At that moment, I didn’t care if the whole Bolivian army was breathing down our necks. I fairly burst into song.


Things about Paco you might not have known

And probably couldn’t have cared less about; however, we believe in full disclosure here at Paco Enterprises, because you, the customer, deserve to know what you’re getting. So, here goes:

- I have never eaten pizza in my life.

- I have never seen Caddyshack, Animal House, Airplane! or The Terminator.

- Although I made several attempts over the years, I never managed to get beyond the first chapter of Tom Sawyer.

- I greatly esteem G.K. Chesterton as an essayist, particularly in his role as a Catholic apologist, and find his biographical works excellent, but consider much (though not all) of his fiction to be unreadable, primarily because he permitted his considerable narrative gifts to be overwhelmed by his ham-fisted proselytizing.

- Favorite prose stylist: H.L. Menken.

- Favorite authors (fiction): P.G. Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Charles Dickens, Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Peter De Vries, Raymond Chandler, Arthur Conan Doyle, Patrick O’Brian, George MacDonald Fraser.

- I don’t have many opportunities to do either, anymore, but I am extremely fond of (1) fresh-water fishing (although I don’t eat fish), and (2) refinishing old furniture.

- I once walked 12 miles, roundtrip, to purchase one cigar (my car was in the shop, my friends were unavailable and I had precisely two dollars in my pocket).

- I sold a 1970 Plymouth Superbird in 1977 to buy an engagement ring for Mrs. Paco. Estimated value of ring today: maybe a thousand bucks. Estimated value of Superbird: around $100,000 (Speaking of the Superbird, I experienced a flat tire one evening driving home from a friend’s house. I was unaware that, at the time, Chrysler, in its wisdom, used reversed threads on the driver’s side of the car – i.e., you were supposed to turn the lug nuts clockwise to loosen them. Applying increasing force to what I took to be a stubborn lug nut, I wound up shearing the bolt from the wheel).

- I was so nervous at my wedding that I forgot to kiss the bride.

- All-time favorite baseball player: Bobo Newsome.

- Favorite baseball team: if you have to ask, you haven’t been reading this blog.

- All-time favorite historical-fiction novel: Heart of Jade, by Salvador de Madariaga.

- Favorite movies (in no particular order): Out of the Past, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Maltese Falcon, The Searchers, Double Indemnity, The Letter, The Lady Eve, Murder, He Said, My Favorite Brunette, Arsenic and Old Lace, Kiss of Death, El Dorado, Dodge City, Santa Fe Trail,The Killers, Prince of the City, Big Trouble in Little China, The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers, The Wind and the Lion, The Man Who Would Be King,Paleface, The Road to Utopia, Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Diabolique (original version), Cold Comfort Farm, Patton, Sergeant York, Zulu, Horseman on the Roof, My Favorite Year, Larceny, Inc., Key Largo, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, Flight of the Phoenix, The Man from Laramie, Shane - and, yes, you’re reading it right - Tarzan’s New York Adventure. (C’mon! Tarzan wearing a suit and standing in the shower? Cheetah playing with Jane’s makeup? That’s art, buddy!)

- Favorite painters: Boticelli, Pissaro

- Favorite classical composers: Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Respighi

- Favorite type of music: boogie-woogie (favorite boogie-woogie pianists: that’s a tough one. Sammy Price, Memphis Slim, Freddie Slack, Harry “The Hipster” Gibson and Mead Lux Lewis would be my top five).

- Favorite swing bands: Count Basie’s and Benny Goodman’s.

- Greatest athletic achievement: knocking the head off a horse-fly on the wing with a wet towel.

- Hobby: You’re looking at it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

President Calderon plays his marimba...

...while Mexico burns.

Federal government issues new emissions standards

And Paco Motors rises - or, rather, stoops - to the challenge.

Wicked Leaks

Strategies for dealing with Julian Assange range all over the map, from declaring his outfit to be a terrorist organization to...sending him a strongly-worded letter.

Personally, I prefer Jeff Goldstein's not entirely subtle suggestion.

Incidentally, Paco World News Daily (PWND) has obtained several secret communiques that are scheduled for future release by Wikileaks. Might as well beat the New York Times to the punch, so here's a brief inventory of coming attractions:

- Cable from President Obama to Fidel Castro through the Cuban Interest Section of the Swiss Embassy in Washington asking for an autographed picture of Castro in his basketball uniform from high school days (plus a lock of beard hair).

- Secure fax from Joe Biden to the Indian ambassador complaining about a leaky Big Gulp soda he purchased at a 7-11 in Wilmington, Delaware.

- Copy of a wire transfer in the amount of $10,000 drawn on the U.S. Treasury’s administrative account payable to a Mrs. Wanda Obango of Lagos, Nigeria for the purpose of securing a one-quarter interest in a $10 million bequest from Mrs. Obango’s late father, the former Finance Minister of Nigeria (wire transfer authorized by “T. Geithner”).

- Copy of an invitation from Vladimir Putin to Sarah Palin to go bear hunting with crossbows (cross-indexed with an invitation of even date to President Obama to attend the Russian Interpretive Dance Festival in the company of Mrs. Putin).

- Copy of application to North Korea for citizenship (“non-resident status”) from William Ayers and Bernadine Dorn.

- Cable from President Obama to Prime Minister Netanyahu: “We insist that Israel cease new residential construction in Jerusalem”. Return cable: “Get shtupped!”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

That, my friends, was a man

Dan Collins links to this tragic, but heroic, story of Mexican rancher Don Alejo Garza Tamez who defied an ultimatum issued by a local drug lord to abandon his property. He died on his feet, but he killed four gunmen and wounded two more. Do read the whole thing.

Sunday funny

Woman - not a cricket fan - inexplicably chooses "The Ashes" as her Twitter name. Hilarity ensues.

The greatest Tiger of them all

David G. Dalin has a fine article in the Weekly Standard on Hank Greenberg.

H/T: Powerline

Saturday, November 27, 2010

After you...

Fausta Wertz and Jimmy Bise consider the strange phenomenon of the super-rich wanting to pay more in taxes - or, to be perfectly accurate, the not so strange phenomenon of the super-rich thinking a whole lot of other not-so-rich people ought to pay more in taxes.

This is the typical endless loop of liberal idiocy. The government jacks up the national debt, and it becomes the taxpayers' responsibility to work it down. And as a side dish, we have billionaires and centimillionaires, who have financed the very politicians who created the economic havoc, consenting to part with a portion of their own income that will not diminish their lifestyles in the slightest, but only if the beggarly rich making a few hundred thousand are squeezed till it hurts.

For the record, I am now in favor of a confiscatory rate of taxation applied to Warren Buffet's income; he can start doing his "fair share" right now.

"For I'm a jolly good fellow..."

Senator John Kerry throws a big party to honor...er, John Kerry.

"Let's par-tay, ladies!"

Rule 5 Saturday

Lucille Ball has the jitterbug bite.

Back in Fairfax

Mrs. Paco and I had a splendid visit to the Outer Banks over the Thanksgiving holiday; we even went to the beach (but not in the water, of course). Here's Mrs. P. trying hard not to fall in.

Ma Paco lives on a rural property in Manns Harbor. This is a shot of the last of the fall vegetable crop.

Stepfather Jim kindly set up a little shooting range consisting of bottles and cans, some on sticks planted in the dirt, some suspended from a rope four feet off the ground (I regret that I don't have any photos of the plinking area). Let me tell you, the Ruger Blackhawk .41 Magnum is a mighty handful. I was firing 250-grain flat-heads, and that revolver bucks! It's fun to shoot; the only drawback is that the fine, checkered pattern on the hard-rubber grips acts on the naked hand a bit like a cheese grater. Gloves solved the problem.

The Thanksgiving table was piled high with turkey and green beans and rice and gravy and all the rest of the typical trimmings. Ma Paco gave me a couple of sweet potato pies to bring home (I know this doesn't sound very objective, but hers are the best I've ever had).

Mabel was boarded over the holiday, but at least she scored a nifty kerchief at "camp".

And on the way to drop off Mabel, I think I found my next car.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and thanks to all who dropped by to leave a comment.

Oh, and by the way: Sheila Doherty is, and always has been, a blond. Here's an example, from the old yarn, "Detective Paco and the Brewer":
She walked briskly toward my desk. She had spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach, and was thoroughly bronzed. Her long, golden hair flounced about her shoulders...
And here's another piece of evidence from "Detective Paco and the Case of the Cretaceous Crap":
I was sitting in the office with my feet on the desk, nursing a hot cuppa joe, reading an article in the Washington Post about the bazillion dollar stimulus bill being floated by the Democrats – and wondering if a more appropriate medium for the story might not have been True Crime Magazine - when Sheila poked her golden head through the door.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

On Thursday, that is.

Paco Enterprises is shutting down the factory for a few days, as me and the missus head down to the wilds of Manns Harbor, North Carolina for a visit with Ma Paco. Big country dinner, and some target practice with the new Blackhawk .41!

Consider this an open thread. If you need a little break from the family festivities - maybe to momentarily escape from Uncle Hubert's foul pipe tobacco smoke, or the twins' nerve-racking guerilla attacks with rubber-band guns - just slip into your computer room and make a comment or three. Thundering political declamations, humor (both low and high), or even a sweet-potato pie recipe; feel free to have at it!

Meanwhile, check out my first Xtranormal movie (I can't get it to embed for some reason, hence the link).

Update: Hey, these folks look kinda familiar...

Courtesy of Richard McEnroe


The decline of Britain, Part 147.

Are we running out of oil? Er, no, no we’re not.

Bingbing has a good news roundup on the hostilities in Korea.

Swampie and her therapeutic sandblaster.

Hey, how about a high-speed bus system?

Ah, the open-minded, tolerant students of our universities!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

TSA: the model of bureaucratic self-parody

Gateway Pundit has the latest outrages.

I'm beginning to wonder whether this whole business didn't come to Janet Napolitano in a dream (arguably NSFW).

Poster courtesy of the comrades at The People's Cube.

Keep it simple

36 Chambers points out that the answer to the problems of a large, unwieldy government is to scale it back, not to create more managers.

Meanwhile, Jazz Shaw at Hot Air discusses the great Republican conspiracy.

Sunday Funnies

Ricketyclick for Bundaberg Rum.

And the Troglopundit goes huntin'.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rule 5 Saturday

The Four V’s in “Ain’t That Somethin’?”

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rich Dickheads in the News

Forty millionaires belonging to something called "Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength" have endorsed the notion of permitting the Bush tax cuts on incomes over $1 million to expire. So, who are these public-spirited fat cats?
The group includes many big-time Democratic donors such as Gail Furman, trial lawyer Guy Saperstein and Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
When your income is in the tens of millions, giving up the lower tax rate is no big deal. But what if your adjusted income is over a million dollars but considerably south of the stratospheric, and you're a small businessman and you're trying to grow your company and add new jobs? Maybe you're also trying to put your kids through school and pay for the upkeep of an elderly parent. The impact is a little different. And frankly, how do we know that these bozos haven't sheltered most of their income from taxes, anyway? Publish your tax returns, "patriots", and let's see how much you're actually paying.

Here's my suggestion: If these rich leftists really want to feed leviathan, let them elect to give as much of their money as they want to the federal government, and leave everybody else's the hell alone. To the extent that many of them financed the very Democratic politicians who created our fiscal nightmare, I'd say it's the least they can do.

Newsweek slips hopelessly and irremediably into self-parody

Seen the latest Newsweek cover? No? Well, that’s not so strange; I doubt that my readers are among the few hundred subscribers the magazine has left. Here it is:

That’s Obama as the Hindu god Shiva. Or is it Kali? In any event, he’s using all those hands to pick your pockets, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, so govern yourselves accordingly.

Incidentally, I love the subtitle: “Why the modern presidency may be too much for one person to handle”. “Complexity” is the last refuge of the feckless – governing is hard! – and it is highly amusing that Obama’s defenders should blame the job rather than the job holder. The reason the current administration is starting to look like a tornado in a trailer park is because of its adherence to the discredited notion that government can and should play a dominant and innovative role in…well, in everything. When you pursue goals that have been delinked not only from means (e.g., the stimulus bills), but from logic (TSA’s grope-and-gawk screening measures) and even sanity (jury trials for terrorists), yeah, you’re going to get overwhelmed. That’s not a function of the office, it’s the entirely predictable outcome of the abuse of the office by someone who doesn’t respect its intended limitations.

So, more hands won’t help President Obama; on the contrary, each additional one would likely only fashion some new disaster.

One bumbling amateur mangling America.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Feet Friday

Phil Harris and his band perform “That’s What I Like About the South”.

Janet Napolitano as you've never seen her before

Don beer goggles.

Obama, The Opera

Via Boy on a Bike: Obama gets the Gilbert & Sullivan treatment.


From the shelves of the Paco library

One of the things that makes book-browsing so interesting is the occasional instance of sheer serendipity.

I was in a Borders a couple of weeks ago, looking for something in the fiction line (I forget what, exactly), when I saw a book that grabbed my attention. The title - Gentleman Captain - suggested (correctly as it turned out) that the volume was a specimen of nautical fiction. I had never heard of the author, J.D. Davies, but a combination of nice cover art and laudatory dust jacket blurbs made me decide to take a flyer on it. Best move I made all week.

The novel is set in the first couple of years of the Restoration period in England. King Charles II is attempting to manage the difficult task of welding cavaliers and former roundheads into one people again, but, among many other problems, is faced with a shortage of reliable and loyal captains for his warships. Enter our hero, young Matthew Quinton, heir to the earldom of Ravensden, a soldier who had shared his sovereign’s exile, and is now hungering for a commission in the Horse Guards. He is given command of the Happy Restoration, instead, which is promptly wrecked upon a rocky shore during a storm, due largely to Quinton’s complete dependency for nautical guidance on his drunken ship’s master.

This beginning was particularly intriguing to me, because, unlike Hornblower and Aubrey, whom we first encounter in the full bloom of their experience and competency, Quinton has no knowledge at all of the new trade that has been thrust upon him, much to his dismay. Part of the great charm of the book is the unfolding of his education, as he strikes a bargain with master’s mate Kit Farrell (who saved his life in the wreck of the Happy Restoration): Quinton will teach him how to read and write, if Kit will teach his captain the rudiments of navigation and ship-handling.

Quinton must learn quickly, for he is given another ship (King Charles admonishing him “not to lose this one, for God’s sake”), and ordered to proceed on a mission, in company with another vessel captained by a former officer in Cromwell’s navy (the splendidly named Godsgift Judge), to the west coast of Scotland, where trouble is said to be brewing among the Campbells. In addition to his nautical studies and the threat of rebellion, Quinton is faced with the challenge of proving himself to the crew, including Lieutenant Vyvyan, whose uncle had been the previous, and much admired, captain, until he died – murdered, in the opinion of Vyvyan.

Along the way, we are introduced to a host of fascinating characters: Quinton’s sprightly Dutch wife and her dour brother, the aging general, Glenrannoch, of the Campbells, and the self-styled “Countess” of Connaught, the fiery Irish beauty and widow of the head of the MacDonald clan. There are also fine characterizations of Charles II and his brother, James, Duke of York, and realistic depictions of Quinton’s crew, including the chaplain, Francis Gale (more war-like than spiritual, when sober), and the mysterious, and always merry, Frenchman, Roger Le Blanc, a sail-maker whose name appears to be as fictitious as his professed background.

The novel takes numerous twists and turns, as Quinton navigates not only the dangerous waters of the Irish Sea, but the intricate world of English and Scottish politics, where secret dynastic ambitions almost literally blow up in his face. The book culminates in an exciting sea battle between Quinton’s ship and the ship of an ostensible ally who has cunningly deceived him.

I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that J.D. Davies has written such a fine piece of historical fiction. He is a naval historian and a specialist on the subject of the Royal Navy during the time of Samuel Pepys (here’s his web site). I am absolutely delighted to discover that this is the first in what I hope will be a successful series, and look forward to the publication of the next Quinton yarn early next year.

Eric Holder, Genius

If the current administration had been responsible for trying Al Capone, he'd probably have beaten the rap and retired as the nation's wealthiest second-hand furniture dealer.

Hey, "mission accomplished" with Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, guys.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Andrew Sullivan in the blender

Ah, the Stacy-0-matic!

Banner of the Anti-TSA movement

Steve Burri has it.

And from Kathy Shaidle, this example of TSA boorishness.

Let yourselves be treated as sheep, and you will become sheep.

General Custer Nancy Pelosi receives vote of confidence

Democrats elect Pelosi as minority leader. Another election cycle or two, and she and her Democratic colleagues may all be able to carpool.

Heck of a job, Nancy!

All dirt roads lead to Soros

Mark Hemingway reports that George Soros owned a stake in one of the companies that manufacturers scanners used by TSA. Well, it looks like the billionaire leftist apparently decided to do a little profit-taking.

Update: From Dad29, more dickhead rich guy news.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TSA Update

From And Still I Persist: John "Don't Touch My Junk" Tyner is now being investigated for refusing a full body search.

Related: An exception to be made for Muslim women?

My view is: adopt whatever it is the Israelis do (they haven't had a terrorist attack on a plane in something like thirty years). If that means profiling, too damned bad. Until then, I'm putting myself on the No Fly List.

Iowahawk: "Comply with me".

Update: Commenter Stosh 2 provides a link to an article that describes how the Israelis do it.

Tucson traffic advisory

Undead crossing (watch out, Yojimbo).

Wheels coming off?

Stories based on the assertions of unnamed sources should always be taken with a grain of salt, but Sean Hannity’s claim that Obama is “losing it” seems consistent with the profile.

Arrogant and aloof narcissist ascends to the pinnacle of power through a set of uniquely fortuitous circumstances, deluded by both his vanity and the marketing hokum of his boosters into believing that his meteoric career path is almost exclusively a function of his own personal awesomeness. The inevitable failure of any mortal, let alone this one, to live up to the unprecedented hype that fueled the 2008 presidential campaign, in conjunction with the predictably disastrous consequences of his actual policy initiatives, turns the electorate into a hard and unforgiving windshield against which the mythic public persona disintegrates like an unfortunate specimen of Ephemeroptera. The real person - Homo obaminensis, the garden variety, unexceptional, rather hum-drum human being whom we have elected president - having mentally assimilated the identity of the fantastical demigod, cannot accept the purely fictional nature of the latter, yet cannot logically deny the reality of the former, which state of affairs leads to cognitive dissonance, prompting spectacular displays of denial and projection.

M’yes…I shall wait for additional evidence, but I believe Hannity may be on to something.

Funny blog post title of the week

From Jamie Weinstein at the Daily Caller: “Dear Michael Moore, you make Meghan McCain sound like Plato”.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Punching holes in the bottom of the Titanic to let the water out

Ah, California!

"This time, I know our side will win"

Troglopundit has a motivator salute going on for the gallant Smitty of The Other McCain, who will shortly be going over into Afghanistan to smite the Taliban. Best of luck to Smitty, and to all our troops, on land, air and sea.

Confessions of an academic mercenary

A fascinating inside look at the shadowy world of the professional term-paper and thesis writer (or, why you should seriously consider taking those college savings and buying yourself some bling and a Mustang or two).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bill Gates' bladder problem

Hey, I mean, I guess that's what it's all about. Why else would you build a mansion with 8 bedrooms and 25 bathrooms?

Don't bring a gun to a yogurt fight

Steve Burri has the lowdown on a thrilling highway duel.

On an unrelated topic, everybody remembers having seen this classic Photoshop, right?

I was pleased and honored to receive an email from its creator yesterday, a gentleman by the name of Bill Phillips. I hope we'll see more of Bill's satirical work in the months (years, actually) leading up to the next crucial election.

The long (and growing) list

As of November 1, 2010 111 companies and unions had been granted waivers from the annual limit requirements under Obama Care.

Some interesting outfits on the list, including IBEW Local 915 and SEIU Local 25. Almost 1.2 million enrolled employees/members, altogether. I wonder how many companies will be on the list a year from now?

It's TSA's world

They just let us fly in it (sometimes).

Update: Hey, there's already a resistance movement!

Update II: "Don't touch my junk!"

Republicans take the House

Fidel Castro, David Frum hardest hit.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. pinks David Brooks

The American Spectator has the transcript of Mr. Tyrrell's speech delivered at the annual Robert L. Bartley Dinner in Washington, D.C. from November 9, 2010.

There are many gems in the speech, but I particularly liked his take on the two Davids, Brooks and Frump [sic].
Tanenhaus's theme was anticipated shortly after the '08 elections by David Frump and David Brooks. They are conservatism's Branch Davidians, who occasionally attempt suicide in the newspapers, only to be saved from oblivion by Liberals who find their columns somehow wonderful.
The one upside to Mr. Tyrrell's tragic defeat in the Chicago mayoral race - the result, no doubt, of a massive fraud pulled off by cigar-chewing Democratic party bosses and their private army of corrupt ward-heelers! - the one upside, I say, is that Our Hero can continue to devote himself to the production of his wonderful Menckenesque prose.

Update: "Duh!", as they say. The Chicago mayor's race hasn't taken place yet. Nonetheless, the reasons for Tyrrell's upcoming defeat will be as indicated.

Sunday funny

Friday, November 12, 2010

From unicorn...

...to eunuch horn in less than two years.

An amazingly rapid decline. Next time, don't forget your parachute, Barry.

Nancy Pelosi and her happy delusion

Update and bumped: Mandatory assignment! Go to Gateway Pundit and watch the clip of Dennis Miller talking to Leno (I think there's some kind of trouble with Gateway this morning; try the original source, Breitbart TV). A sample: "Every time I see Pelosi handling that gavel as Speaker of the House...it's like being Charlton Heston and waking up in the field and seeing the chimp on top of the pony."

Ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi [Lord, how I love writing that!] has convinced herself that the Democratic wipe-out in the House is not her fault, that it's due to the larger economic environment or Republican skull-duggery or sunspots or something. No way her strong-arm tactics advancing the cause of an ever-more bloated federal government had anything to do with the Democrat crop failure this election cycle.

"I am big. It's the electorate that got small."

Something to irritate my liberal neighbors as I drive to the train station every morning

My lips involuntarily curl in contempt as I pull up to various traffic lights and see some cloth-headed Democrat in front of me - as often as not driving a Lexus or a BMW - with an Obama bumper sticker on his car.

Well, maybe I can now turn the tables.

I may be a federal employee...

...but I still endorse every word of this post by Don Surber.

I've written on the subject before, but it bears repeating: an awful lot of federal employees pulling down jack in the six-figure range aren't adding six-figure value, and if they worked in the private sector, they'd either be earning far less or they'd have nowhere near the job security (or, most likely, both).

Update: At least in 1942, bureaucrats weren't so vastly overpaid, and they dressed better.

Ideologies from the crypt

Roger Simon makes the case that liberalism is intellectually dead. He wisely points out, however, that this doesn’t mean there are no more liberals.
And when I say liberalism is dead, it does not mean that everybody knows or acknowledges this rigor mortis — or that it will act dead. Its adherents, especially the legions with a vested economic (unions, etc.) or social (Hollywood, media) interest, will never admit it. They will change the subject from economics so they don’t have to debate or examine concrete conditions. They will seek bailouts to push back any day of reckoning. To distract us and themselves, they will continue to insist the Tea Party movement is racist, even though that is a demonstrable lie, a form of nostalgia, and there are already black congressmen elected with the support of the movement. For those liberals, the truth is not important — preservation of self-image and lifestyle is.
Exactly so. Liberals, ideological zombies that they are, will continue to rampage, preaching class warfare, socialism and moral relativism until someone finds a way to fill their mouths with salt and sew their lips shut. And large numbers of voters, consisting of the congenitally feckless, stupid and bloody-minded, will continue to maintain them in elective office. The country (to borrow from Wodehouse, who was writing in an entirely different context) has gone “blue around the edges”, but those edges include some of our most populous states, and the Pelosis, Boxers and Franks are still capable of doing enormous damage – and let us not forget that the White House is still home to the Grand Panjandrum of statist overreach. The fact that we can no longer afford liberalism may not be enough, in the short term, to avert disaster. Much is riding on the conservative resurgence and its staying power, and on the Republican Party’s openness to becoming the primary vehicle for the genuine defense of those principles that have fueled the Tea Party movement.

We may be running short on time and opportunities, but I have great faith in the American ideal and in its resilience, and in the ultimate wisdom of my fellow citizens.

(H/T: Troglopundit)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Feet Friday

Cab Calloway has the blues in the night.

From the shelves of the Paco library

Ross MacDonald (born Kenneth Millar) was one of the last of the old school, hardboiled mystery novelists, and his creation, private eye Lew Archer, was openly modeled on Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe. It was an act of homage that resulted in a long series of terrific novels, and I recently discovered, to my surprise and pleasure, that I had not, in fact, read all of them, as I had previously thought. I stumbled across The Ivory Grin not long ago at a Borders here in Fairfax, and quickly realized that this book, originally published in 1952, was the one Archer novel that had eluded me all these years.

The action is set in Archer’s stamping ground, southern California. He’s hired by a mannish, middle-aged woman - who shows up at his office wearing a blue mink stole and a lot of flashy diamonds - to find the woman’s black maid, who has supposedly run off with some expensive jewelry. Something about the woman – her hardness, her aggressive attitude, her reticence – strikes Archer as fishy. In the course of tracking down the black maid, he stumbles across somebody else who has been hired by his client, apparently for the same reason. Archer eventually finds Lucy (not really a maid, but a nurse) with her throat cut in a cheap hotel room in a Los Angeles suburb, and his determination to bring her killer to justice leads him into a dark world populated with Detroit mobsters, psychopathic hit-men and gun-molls on the run.

And of course, in addition to an intriguing plot, there is the marvelous gum-shoe prose:
The fat man came back to the office, his belly rising and falling under the T-shirt. His forearms were marked with blue tattooings like the printing on sides of beef. One on the right arm said: I Love You Ethel. His small eyes said: I love nobody.

* * * * * * *

“Here.” She produced a crumpled bill from a blue leather pouch and tossed it to me as if it were an old piece of Kleenex and I were a wastebasket.

* * * * * * *

She had the kind of face, square-jawed and heavy-eyebrowed, that unlucky women sometime inherit from their fathers. It might have been handsome in a horsy way before age and ego had stiffened the bony framework and thrust it forward under the skin like concealed artillery.
A fun read for admirers of the fedora-era of crime thrillers.

Enjoy your retirement, Mr. Kanjorski!

Good lord! I had completely forgotten about congressional nut-bucket Paul Kanjorski, but I now learn from Ed Driscoll that he's one of the Democrats who went down in flames last week. Ed recounts some of Kanjorski's most, er, interesting comments.

Veterans Day

God bless our troops, past and present.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A great U.S. export

Dan Riehl spots "papa" grizzlies making forays into Europe.


Theo Spark has an interesting appeal.

Three Beers Later recalls some curious statements from our Commander-in-Chief.

Dad29 links to an exceptionally amusing video, "Obama at the Bat".

Pat Austin asks, "Will Texas drop out of Medicaid?"

If fifth-rate scrawler of political cartoons, Ted Rall, ever gets his wish for a civil war, I hope he's the first man killed in it (Update: Steve Burri has a vision of Comandante Rall).

Belated birthday wishes to the proprietor of Pixie Place and to Miss Red.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Riddle of the day...

...from Dennis Prager:
What's the difference between California voters and the passengers on the Titanic?

The passengers on the Titanic didn't vote to hit the iceberg.
Also, we've got the tweet of the day (H/T: JeffS)

News from Stacy and Smitty

Congratulations to The Other McCain for passing 5 million hits. Also (in the same post) I see that Obama has purchased some victory insurance by deploying the brilliant and relentless Smitty abroad. Best of luck, Smitty!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hilarious email exchange

Gavin Atkins of The Shadowlands is about to climb aboard the gravy train!

Protesters thwarted

Gator Doug brings us the welcome news that Fred Phelps, well-known theological hog drover, was prevented by local townspeople from leading his Gadarene congregation in a protest at the funeral of an army sergeant who died as a result of wounds received in a military action in Afghanistan.

Obama still making like a dippy bird

Via Gateway Pundit, we see that the hinges on Obama's waist continue to be well-oiled (photo from Reuters/Jim Young).

Not really a big deal, but an excellent picture to go along with Obama's Prayer.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my awesomeness to keep,
If I should face a primary fight,
I pray that Plouffe will make it right.

Picture, thousand words

Dan Collins finds the perfect metaphor for the Obama presidency.

Also from Dan, "Arianna Huffington Tweets: Marco Rubio Looks Kinda Like a Latin American Dictator".

Hey, Puff Ho', you mean like this?

The Juan

Maple syrup and socialism

Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist - Vermont) wants to block the merger between Comcast and NBC because it may permanently deprive us of Keith Olbermann or something.

Bernie Sanders, holding the Fascist night at bay with his LED eyeballs.

Feel good story of the day

Nutrition professor loses 27 pounds in two months on Twinkie diet.

Hey, it's science.

Update: You know, I love history (H/T: Captain Heinrichs).

Update II: In other food news, Mr. Peanut gets a makeover.

Hollow victories?

Meep at Piece of Work in Progress talks about the economic challenges facing the new Democratic governors in New York, Illinois and California.

Update: Rebecca brings up an important issue in the comments: "If any one of those states asks for a bailout, they will hear the public screaming clear over in Europe."

These states - with, I regret to say, either the willing support or the unthinking acquiescence of a majority of voters - have turned themselves into laboratories of liberal experimentation. They should not have the right to impose fiscal demands on the rest of the country because of their own reckless improvidence, a great example of which is found in this post at Maggie's Farm (H/T: "Anonymous").

Sunday, November 7, 2010

David Frum and his turbo-charged race to irrelevance

Ah, what would any national American election be without David Frum’s complaints about conservatives? Professor William Jacobson takes him to task here. Following the professor’s links led me to Frum’s latest bill of indictment against the Tea Party.
The Tea Party radicals had previously defeated better and more electable candidates: Mike Castle in Delaware, Sue Lowden in Nevada, Jane Norton in Colorado. Somehow the notion took hold that it was unprincipled and contemptible to support smarter candidates over stupid candidates, inclusive candidates over divisive candidates, experienced candidates over inexperienced, goverance[sic]-minded candidates over protest-vote candidates.
I know nothing about Sue Lowden or Jane Norton. Mike Castle, however, hadn’t originally intended to run for the senate seat in Delaware because he was afraid of Beau Biden (!), who appeared to be the likely Democratic candidate until he announced that he wasn’t running. Castle is an aging political operator who hasn’t had an original thought in decades, and who, no doubt, would have fit perfectly into Frum’s theory of “goverance” – i.e, what the people want (or need, perhaps) is politicians who can reach across the aisle and somehow compromise with a pack of socialists (who have zero respect for our traditions of individual liberty) and, above all, churn out legislation and get things done. Does it matter what sort of things? One suspects Frum doesn’t really care; a bi-partisan bill to legalize cannibalism would probably be acceptable to him, as long as it resulted in a photograph of Harry Reid and John Boehner smiling and shaking hands over the final document. Of course, if the people wanted compromise, why elect Republicans at all, conservative or otherwise?

Getting back to Castle, he is the quintessential RINO, and the one thing we know for sure about RINOs is that, at crunch time, they’ll let you down. They’re the weak links in the chain, they’re the cavalry that doesn’t show up on time, they’re Ralph Branca pitching to Bobby Thomson in the ninth inning of the last game of the 1951 National League pennant race.

And Frum, interestingly, has omitted any mention of the decline and fall of Charlie Crist. Is he one of your level-headed, Republican professionals, Dave? In my opinion, if the only thing the Tea Party accomplished was to help Marco Rubio defeat that execrable narcissist, then the whole venture was worthwhile, because Rubio – arguably the first Tea Party candidate – will one day be president of the United States (remember: you read it here).

Frum is unable to distinguish between a lynch mob motivated by irrational anger and prejudice, and a revolution fueled by right reason and a perfectly justifiable resentment against a mindlessly expansionist federal government. Perhaps if it were a moderate revolution (led by whom, exactly? John Cornyn? Olympia Snowe? Lisa Murkowski?) Frum would be content. Fortunately, we are not governed by a mandatory solicitude for Frum’s approval, and can thus spare ourselves the futile effort of toting up all the successful revolutions carried out by middle-of-the-road time-servers.

Finally, by what authority has Frum presumed to set himself up as the official butler of conservatism, slamming the door in the face of the Tea Party? That "good riddance" at the end of his piece is the absolute frozen limit.

Update: Doug Ross has a great post demonstrating the fatuity of the Republican Party machine (H/T: Carol's Closet).

Update II: Good observations from Captain Heinrichs in the comments:
His family background is "Progressive Conservative", otherwise known as a "Red Tory". His party went into the election of 1993 with 169 MPs and the Government benches, and came out with 2 MPs and non-party status. The remnants were absorbed by the Reform Party and yielded the current Conservative Party of Canada. I would doubt that Mr Frum would be a member of the CPC.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sunday funnies

Paco Enterprises continues to pile up commercial successes.

(H/T to commenter "Formerly" at Tim Blair's)

* * * * * * * *

Rule 5 Saturday

Carolyn Gray (Ooh La La!)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sparky Anderson - RIP

So long, Spark. And thanks for the memories.

Historic occasion

I had the honor and pleasure to meet Mr. Bingley (proprietor of Coalition of the Swilling) and his lovely wife and daughter for dinner in Washington last night, and we were joined by every red-blooded American blogger’s favorite Australian, Tim Blair (who, if anything, is even funnier in person than on his blog). A friendlier, more down-to-earth group it would be impossible to imagine.

Tim and I, while enjoying a smoke after dinner, were hit up by a couple of lively and amicable panhandlers. One of them claimed to be a veteran – an assertion I have no reason to doubt – and he demonstrated some of his marksmanship tactics. Highly instructive, although of rather doubtful utility in Washington, a town with some of the most restrictive gun-control laws in the nation. The fellow did offer one useful piece of advice, though: “stay close to the ground” – which I took to mean something on the order of “keep your head down”. For this Republican, located only a block away from the Eye of Sauron, that is wise counsel, indeed.

As Steve Burri says…

An issue of Time magazine I would buy.

Happy Feet Friday

Some fine harmonizing from the Golden Gate Quartet.

President Obama and the coconut security threat

One searches in vain for metaphors, analogies and historical allusions – in vain, because the reality itself is so absurd as to defy attempts at satire.

Don Surber’s post - “Obama’s $2 billion vacation” - describes the president’s upcoming trip to India. The sheer…I dunno…obscenity of it all is staggering. The president and his handlers are going to rent the entire 800-room Taj Mahal Hotel. Navy ships will patrol the coast. And, according to this article in the Telegraph, coconuts are going to be removed from palm trees, lest they collude with gravity in an effort to bruise the presidential noggin:
All coconuts around the city's Gandhi museum, one of Mr Obama's stops in the city, are being taken down.

Mani Bhavan, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his freedom struggle against the British, is among five places the US president is visiting in Mumbai.

"We told the authorities to remove the dry coconuts from trees near the building. Why take a chance?" Mani Bhavan's executive secretary, Meghshyam Ajgaonkar, told the BBC.
Why, indeed? The merest Moghul emperor would have expected as much.

The trip is an example of shocking excess, although it does serve as the perfect coda for the recent Republican victories, and for Obama’s inability to face facts. Not only does he have feet of clay, but apparently ears of tin, as well. The unemployment rate is higher than it has been in decades, we are buried under a mountain of government debt, and the aggressive expansion of federal power has just been thoroughly repudiated by the voters – and our president, having uttered remarks to the press that provide ample proof that he still fails to grasp what has happened, flees to the other side of the world. Maybe he has been told that there will no Fox News reporters on hand.

Or perhaps Obama has decided to chuck his job, and is going to India to immerse himself in the pursuit of spiritual knowledge by becoming a simple holy man (after having one last spending spree). At least, when he assumes the lotus position under the swaying palm, he can rest assured that no coconuts will conk him on the head.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chris Matthews and the dumbing down of television journalism

He didn’t start the trend, of course. It goes back at least as far as old pinko Cronkite. But at least Uncle Joe Walter and his employer had the Machiavellian good sense to maintain the pretense of objectivity; in that way, Cronkite and his ilk were able to peddle liberal narcotics to the masses under the guise of handing out slices of good old American apple pie. The deception was undiscovered, the treachery successfully masked, for many years.

That all changed with the shift to open advocacy. News organizations – most notoriously MSNBC – ditched even the appearance of fairness in order to corner the market on rabid lefty viewers (a not extraordinarily large demographic; perhaps, someday, the geniuses in the executive suite will see how this is connected to the network’s abysmal ratings). Thus, in place of the solid-looking, “trustworthy” Cronkite (and other, similar specimens of faux professionalism),we now have Chris Matthews, Obama’s altar boy and one of the leading castrati in the Democratic choir. In the struggle for supremacy among moronic ideologues, people like Matthews and Keith Olbermann keep digging deeper and deeper holes for themselves. With this effort – in which Matthews wonders openly whether Sarah Palin can read - the spastic-legged opinion monger will soon be swimming in molten rock.

And the truth is, I prefer Chris Matthews and advocacy journalism to the concealed political and cultural machinations of the legacy media. The prejudice and the extremism and the pathological hatred are right out front, for everyone to see - but, mercifully, there are few who will actually watch, and even fewer who will believe.

Update - John W in the comments
I am glad to see that someone else had gotten wise to "the most trusted" Cronkite. I was living in Denver in 1964. Goldwater came to Denver to make a campaign speech. From the airport it was planned that he go down 32nd street to downtown. I with hundreds others lined both sides of 32nd from the airport to about downtown. Just as he landed a guy standing up in an open car with a loud speaker drove up 32nd telling us that the route has been changed. He is now going down Quebec to Colfax to downtown. We all rushed over to Quebec and Colfax.

That night on CBS Cronkite with his bushy eyebrows botting up and down and with a muck on his face showed us pictures of Goldwater going down 32nd and no one greeting him. Then he showed pictures of Johnson two weeks before going down 32nd and the street was lined with people greeting him.

Did Cronkite know what happened? Of course, he did.

From the shelves of the Paco library

In the comments section of my last book review, Rebecca mentioned Steven Saylor. By coincidence, I was, at the time, reading Saylor’s collection of short stories, The House of the Vestals, which makes an excellent topic for today’s “Shelves” feature.

Vestals features Saylor’s much admired ancient Roman detective, Gordianus the Finder, and serves to fill in the chronological gap between the author’s first Gordianus novel, Roman Blood and the second, Arms of Nemesis. In these stories, we learn how Gordianus acquired his bodyguard, Belbo, and we see the origins of his friendship with the goodhearted patrician senator, Lucius Claudius. We are also treated to more background material on Eco, the mute street urchin whom Gordianus has taken in as a son, and his beautiful Jewish-Egyptian concubine, Bethesda (a slave who is far more like a wife than a servant).

The stories themselves are elegant puzzles, sometimes inspired by actual events; however, although I enjoy a good mystery, it is almost always the author’s skill in characterization and dialogue, plus the “special touches”, that attract me to any kind of genre fiction, and Saylor does not disappoint. His depiction of Cicero as an intelligent, but vain and priggish, advocate is not only amusing, but probably very true to life. Saylor’s development of Eco is fascinating, as we watch the boy cleverly overcome his inability to speak by developing his own language, consisting of gesticulations and facial expressions. And what a pleasure it is to come upon Lucius, the bored senator who finds meaning in life through the pursuit of justice, and in the excitement of assisting Gordianus in several of his inquiries. Another aspect of the stories that makes them so thoroughly enjoyable is the author’s wide-ranging historical knowledge of the period (the final years of the Roman Republic). The inclusion of many small details, with respect to everything from architecture to religious ceremonies to clothing, provides a realistic context for the action.

I am simultaneously embarrassed, and thrilled, to admit that I have not read but one of the novels in what Saylor calls his Roma Sub Rosa series. Embarrassed because Saylor’s is a body of work that I feel I should have delved into a long time ago; thrilled because I have so much good reading ahead of me. If Vestals is indicative of the overall quality, then I’m genuinely in for a treat, because this is one of those books that I was saddened to come to the end of. I don’t think I can give a better recommendation than that.

Sad news

The great Sparky Anderson, who led the Detroit Tigers to a World Series victory in 1984 (and the Cincinnati Reds to Series victories in 1975 and 1976) is reported to be seriously ill.

God bless Sparky and his family - and thanks, Sparky, for a wonderful summer of '84.

Obama’s attack on Limbaugh and the great Alinsky backfire

Jeffrey Lord has a fine article at The American Spectator showing how the White House’s use of Alinsky’s Rule #12 resulted in an epic fail. There is also some rich, red meat on the complicity of Vichy conservatives such as Ross Douthat and the two Davids (Brooks and Frum) in the Democrat chicanery.

On to 2012!

Republicans scored big last night, even though there were some disappointments (notably Harry Reid winning reelection in Nevada). In California, it looks like the Democrats are truly going to own the coming state collapse. And it appears that my own congress-weasel, Gerald Connelly, will hang on to his razor-thin margin of victory.

On the other hand, at least two black Republicans - Allen west in Florida and Tim Scott in South Carolina - have won, Marco Rubio not only won, but is obviously headed for a promising career at the national level, and Republicans recaptured numerous state houses and governorships. There is a new generation of future Republican stars, while the Democrats clearly suffer from what you might call a fertility decline in the creation of exciting candidates of potential national prominence.

All in all, a good night - but it's still the merest start.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ex-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi


"Oh, my God, Wang, what is that?"

"Don't look, Jack! It's the Hell of Botox Thwarted!"

Update: Mark Levin pretty much sums up my view.

The Paco Bloc

Mrs. Paco and I went to vote early this morning (Go, Keith Fimian!). No trouble with our voting machines, although Mrs. Paco heard later in the day on the radio that a voting station elsewhere in Fairfax County was registering Gerald Connelly’s name, even when one pushed the button for Fimian (isn’t it strange how these “glitches” always seem to favor the Democratic candidate?)

I was just glad that I was able to vote. A couple of weeks ago, I received a letter from the Fairfax County Voter Registration Board threatening to kick me off the rolls because they had received information from the Department of Motor Vehicles that indicated that I was not a U.S. citizen. Interesting, I thought to myself. I had renewed my driver’s license a couple of months before, but the one thing that I have never gotten wrong on an application is my citizenship status. I called the Voter Registration Board and talked to a woman whose faux politeness just oozed a kind of dismissive lack of interest. Naturally, she couldn’t tell me anything at all pertaining to the details of this purported communication from DMV, and pretty much insisted that it must have been my fault (not DMV’s and certainly not the Board’s). The letter notifying me of my potential non-citizen status (signed by one Edgardo Sortes, thank you very much) also came with a declaration form which I had to send in certifying that, yes, I am, indeed, a U.S. citizen (the postage-paid envelope referred to in the cover letter was not included, by the way). Anyhow, I sent in the declaration and had no trouble today casting my vote.

Truth to tell, I was never really worried. If I had been prevented from voting, I’m sure Eric Holder would have been all over it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Make it happen!

(Via Don Surber)

Thou shalt have no other gods before me...

Of course, for all I know, the guy is praying for the repeal of ObamaCare.

The view from the entitlement bunker

I'm a few days late in commenting on Alaska Senate candidate Lisa Murkowski's attempt to tear up the first amendment, but I did want to mention it briefly by way of pointing out that RINOs are not only perfectly willing to torpedo party unity when conservatives get in the way of their sense of entitlement, but are not at all shy about making extraordinarily ham-fisted efforts to shut down opposition. Florida's Charlie Crist is, if possible, an even more absurd example of someone addicted to public office.

"No one escapes from Stalag 49!"

Suspect voter fraud?

Three Beers Later has a contact for you.

What's that sound, like the wheels of a giant, well-oiled machine?

I believe it's Smitty, generating another intriguing idea.

Update: Also via Smitty, the Christine O'Donnell video that the cable channel that had been paid to broadcast it "forgot" to show - twice.