Thursday, September 30, 2010

Alan Grayson's next job

Professional Assistance for Career Outplacement has located the perfect job for soon-to-be ex-representative Alan Grayson. It's in his district and it's well within the scope of his intellectual ability.

Alan Grayson, you're hired!


"Gawrsh! From congressman to official greeter at Disney World. Oh, well. Hyuck! It's a livin'"

Happy Feet Friday

Nat King Cole heads on down Route 66.

It’s so rational…

…no wonder the Democrats don’t get it. John Stossel lays out the facts of life on taxation.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ahmadinejad plans on throwing a rock (probably like a girl) at Israel

Dick.


"Hey, aren't these things supposed to come with pointy white hoods?"

I suppose it's good for the farmers

Smitty, at the Other McCain, spots a UFO (Unmistakable Feckless Oaf) rushing to the assistance of Congress-douche Jim Moran.

Al Gore comes to Fairfax County. Tomorrow's weather forecast? Heavy rains and flash flood watch. Of course.

Bombshell: Scientific research indicates Australians don't know how to pronounce phonetic spellings of their own dialect

All right, all right. I strike my colors and surrender my sword. Next thing, you'll be telling me that this isn't an old, established Australian tradition.

If nothing else, my post prompted this interesting essay by TimT.

So, who is Obama’s role model this week?

Looks like Hugo Chavez. Jay D. Hommick at American Spectator:
To use the Presidential bully pulpit as a blunt instrument against a news organization, to label its approach destructive, to label its content destructive, that is -- to coin a phrase -- destructive. Think back to our first clue that Hugo Chavez was an autocrat, bent on subverting those national institutions which did not refract his glory. It was when he came out against various newspapers and television stations, saying much the same things as our own El Presidente.
The problem for Obama is that, now, practically everybody knows about the Alinsky model and how it works (e.g., the emphasis on demonizing specific, high-profile targets). This was poor spotting by the president to begin with: Fox News is the most trusted news network in the country, and even if he had managed to undermine its credibility, does he think that people are automatically going to turn to MSNBC?

The tactic hasn’t worked, so all that’s left is the naked hypocrisy:
The idea that the journalism at FOX is unique by species is specious. The news is presented fairly and a rightward tilt often peeks through, no more prominently than the leftward tilt at CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN et al. Yet even if it were somehow more egregiously skewed, how is this destructive when so many viewing options are available? Remember, this fox came to the table last, long after the wolves had been seated. Who can reasonably argue that having one strident right-wing voice amid a gaggle of left-wing voices, or even amid neutral voices, is to inject a moral havoc into the culture?
No one can reasonably argue that position; however, in the president’s increasingly Orwellian world, reason is not necessarily – or even usually - a virtue. What matters to this administration is power and control - “Who, whom?” as Lenin phrased it – and the president is likely to find out the hard way that the American people aren’t going to be deceived by his clumsy propaganda efforts (so transparently devoid of reason) into accepting his vision of the United States as a kind of bloated Belgium.

Obama is shrinking in stature daily, and his frequent displays of petulance and finger-pointing are only serving to make him not only a small, but a genuinely repellent, human being. It’s getting to the point where we have to admit that reelecting him would reflect poorly on our taste as well as on our judgment.

With deceptive ads, Alan Grayson has shot his own candidacy below the waterline

And I am pleased to report that the candidate is sinking (currently 7 points behind Dan Webster). Interestingly, his biggest unfavorable ratings seem to be among women.

Looks like the Devil may lose out to Daniel Webster again. Can’t wait to see Grayson (Gorilla gorilla floridensis) subdued and returned to whatever zoo he escaped from.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I've developed a strange new respect for the "Coexist" bumper stickers

At least, for Steve Burri's versions.

Malaise, anyone?

President Obama is now railing at the “apathy” of Democratic voters.
"People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up," Obama told Rolling Stone in an interview to be published Friday. The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and "if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place."

Yet in his attempt to light a fire under supporters, Obama comes across as fired up himself about how many backers fail to acknowledge the progress he sees. He said the glass-half-empty view among many progressive voters can be a debilitating force that distracts them from the real worry: Republicans. [emphasis mine]
Half-empty or half-full, Barry, even many Democrats have finally figured out that it’s still just a dribble glass.

Perhaps everybody’s feeling insufficiently bucked because of the high unemployment rate or the lack of real economic growth or the dawning awareness that your health-care plan is a costly disaster. Or maybe it’s the sky-high deficit and the uncontrolled spending. Or your Carter-like coddling of dictators. Or your racist Justice Department. Or your outrageous dog-in-the-manger attitude about border security (we, the feds, aren’t going to enforce immigration law, but you, Arizona, aren’t going to do it, either). Michelle’s spending sprees, the endless White House “galas”, the fancy vacations; it all adds up.

You have, though, in somewhat Bidenesque fashion, put your finger on a problem pertaining to the electorate at large: folks really weren’t serious when they elected you. Oh, many, if not most, must have thought they were, but in any objective sense, they couldn’t have been. A vote in favor of a junior senator who came up through the corrupt Chicago political machine, toting all the radical baggage of a lifetime of association with the likes of Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, having exactly zero administrative experience, and holding himself out as a kind of Jesus without the indignity and pain - and divisive dogma! - of the cross…No, whatever motivated them, it wasn’t seriousness. Perhaps, ironically, it was a “hope against hope”, a desperately-cherished wish for a political miracle that, deep down, they knew could not possibly come true, but which, next to the unlovely and banal reality of the McCain alternative, caused them to throw caution to the wind.

And now they find they’ve just been pissing into it and, like sane, mature adults, have decided to stop.

Yer better orf, mites, tyke my wud for it

Obama decides to give Australia a miss.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Real hope and change

Read about the insurgency at Rightnetwork.

And remember: if democracy fails us, there's always an alternative...

Paco’s Diary

The SVP of a new group that has been organized within our agency – a fellow who has spent the better part of the last twenty years of his adult life in community organizing - recently prepared a short paper outlining his business strategy. It is a marvelous mish-mash of irrelevant truisms, obvious falsehoods and inscrutable boilerplate. A colleague asked what I thought of it. I told him it read like a report that had been prepared by an undergraduate student who possessed no familiarity with the subject matter and who had slapped it together the night before it was due after an evening spent in the consumption of a massive quantity of beer. He said, “Good. I was afraid I might be the only one who thought it was pure BS.”

* * * * * *

My prospective publisher will be glad to know that I have started five new Che stories in the last six weeks, and have finished four of them, so this project continues to lumber toward completion. Here’s a teaser from one of the stories:
I hadn’t seen him in more than ten years, and I would have given much to have been spared an encounter now. He had been hard of hearing as far back as I could remember, yet his natural garrulousness always led him to horn into every family conversation. This tendency of his made our chats twice as long as they needed to be because he was forever shouting “What? What?” and so we wound up repeating ourselves endlessly. We had even devised a nickname for him based on his constant flow of interrogatives (one which, oddly, he had eagerly embraced). My heart sank as I faced the inescapable reality: the deaf old man approaching me with arms extended was none other than my uncle, Qué Guevara.

* * * * * *

No doubt these were interesting, useful expressions when they were first coined, but through overexposure they now clang on my eardrums whenever I hear them: “not a happy camper” (makes me want to disembowel the speaker with a tent-peg); “sounds like a plan” (sounds like a tiresome cliché to me); “paradigm shifter” (is that on the floor or on the column, and can I get it factory-installed?); “granularity” (much used by various people in my agency, and intended to convey the notion of a greater-than-average amount of detail; reminds me of sandpaper, and I can easily visualize myself applying it to the speaker’s lips with an electric sander).

Malapropisms, on the other hand, are a different matter altogether, and I can listen to them all day long. For example, my boss continues to use the word “crackpot” when he means to say “crack” (i.e., expert or possessing superior excellence, as in “crack troops”). There is, frankly, nothing that gives me greater pleasure than to be introduced as a member of his “crackpot” staff: the nervous laughter that dies away quickly as people realize he wasn’t making a joke, the suppression of renewed laughter when they suddenly understand that he has used not only the wrong word, but one with a ludicrously inappropriate connotation; the intense investigation I make of my shoes in order to avoid making eye contact and experiencing my own spasm of uncontrollable laughter. Really spices up an otherwise dull day (and no, he doesn’t actually mean “crackpot” in its correct sense, although I would find that equally amusing - and, depending on the context, quite possibly more accurate). And lest you think, “Ah, Paco, how cruel! Why don’t you enlighten him?” I should point out that I did try to correct him once, but it didn’t take, so he’s now on his own.

Political Roundup

Is there a bigger liar, blowhard and all-around a$$hole than Alan Grayson in the House of Representatives? Possibly, but he’s definitely near the top.

Did Chris Coons engage in a little witchcraft-dabbling himself? Jeffrey Lord considers the strange curriculum of the Yale Divinity School.

Rhode Island seniors come for the pizza, stay for the horror stories.

Governor Christie’s a big fellow, and his appetite for going after the educational establishment is not anywhere near satiated.

Can Republican candidate Charles Lollar beat the #2 House Democrat, Steny (if that's his real name) Hoyer? Stacy McCain says "yes".

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just to be on the safe side

The UN has picked a Malaysian astrophysicist to be earth's representative in the event any aliens drop in (AllahPundit has some fun with the idea).

Bad choice, in my opinion. I've seen enough sci-fi movies - War of the Worlds, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Independence Day and the V cable TV series - to suspect that intergalactic visitors are probably bad news. If any of them do show up, I'd stick this guy out there...


"Captain Zogplax reporting from landing craft, sir. Nothing here but giant slugs, and they taste terrible. Suggest we move on."

It's Monday, and you know what that means

That's right, a dog playing the accordion.

One of the best ways of honoring the victims of September 11...

...was to build a warship from scrap steel salvaged from the ruins of the World Trade Towers.

The USS New York.





Old news, I suppose, but someone just sent me a slide show with photos of this and other Navy vessels, and it fills me with pride to think that we have turned the very rubble created by our enemies into a weapon to be used against them.

More about the USS New York here.

John Kerry's right about one thing

He says we haven't been paying attention, and he's sure right about me: I just noticed that Doc Zero has his own blog.

Mum's the word

The late-bloomers are now making their appearance here at the Paco Command Center, as these mums strut their stuff.



Lefty astroturf rally planned for D.C. next Saturday

One has to look to the fringe to find people who are solidly behind the Obama administration. Weasel Zippers has a post that gives the lowdown on the sponsors and participants, which include the following outfits:

- ANSWER
- NAACP
- Code Pink
- Communist Party USA
- Democratic Socialists of America
- And the usual union thugs from the United Autoworkers, United Mineworkers and the American Federation of Government Employees

No surprise that the White House has to reach out to its homegrown anti-American mercenaries to help push the administration's agenda. Watch for the usual see-no-evil coverage by the legacy media (which means that all leave for right-wing bloggers is canceled until after the event; roll up your sleeves, folks).

Update: Look for the panicky Democrats to continue expanding their efforts in vote fraud, e.g., in Houston.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pusillanimous Albion

The UK is almost a lab experiment in the decline of civilization. Slattsnews links to an article in the Telegraph (UK) that bemoans the ascendancy of the "yobs", and the maddeningly inadequate response of the police.

Wizardry!


Found lying around loose at Moonbattery.

Sunday Funny

If you don't know the answer, then make up an interesting one (via Are We Lumberjacks?).

A look at post-racial America

So much for the healing. The testimony by DOJ lawyer Christopher Coates reveals that many of his colleagues in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division believe in a two-track justice system: one set of rules for minorities, another set for white people.

Brilliant. A bunch of government lawyers decide that justice is a zero sum game based on race. That ought to bring us all together.

More from Stacy McCain.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rule 5 Saturday

A while back, I posted a video of Peggy Lee singing "Why Don't You Do Right", to the accompaniment of the Benny Goodman band. Here's a later version (also splendid).

Attention, Democrats, RINOs, establishmentarians!

The people. They're coming for you.



Update: I don't know what the deal is with blogger and YouTube embeds, but the picture in the one above is truncated. Here's the original.

Free advice (and worth every cent)

Stacy McCain comments on the curious conference call that David Axelrod had with various left-wing bloggers in an attempt to shore up support for the Democrats. Mr. Axelrod got an earful, to say the least.

This got me to thinking of my responsibilities as a concerned blogger, my duty to provide counsel to our struggling president. So, in the spirit of those liberals who are always giving good-faith advice to conservatives, I’d like to take this opportunity to put in my two-cents worth for the benefit of Obama and his party.

Mr. President, I agree with the lefty bloggers. In your commendable, but misguided, efforts to strike a balance between the expansion of government power, and maintaining our traditions of personal liberty, you have clouded the choices available to American citizens. My considered opinion – shared by all of the name-brand leftist blogs - is that you have not moved far enough to the left. Mr. President, you should eschew further compromises, unfurl the red flag, raise your clinched fist and start warbling the Internationale. Only when the prisons are filled with the scourings of bourgeois society - oil company CEOs, right-wing talk-radio hosts, Tea Party politicians, incandescent light-bulb bootleggers, smokers, second-amendment enthusiasts, the governors of Arizona and New Jersey, medical doctors – will the people (what’s left of them) line up solidly behind you as you lead the way to the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Take it from me, Mr. President: with Daily Kos and Crooks and Liars as your guide, you can’t go far wrong. Seek them out, listen to them, do everything they say, and our nation will ultimately be the better for it. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see positive results as soon as November of this year.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A burglary gone wrong?

No, a burglary gone right.

So, what do scientists think of science fiction?

I'm not a huge fan of the genre, myself, but I know some of you are, and I thought you might find this article interesting.

This quote from paleoanthropologist John Hawks is kind of intriguing:
You know, it seems to me that the best science fiction gets one science concept really right, even if it leads to results that seem unrealistic.

My favorite along these lines is a classic, Cyril Kornbluth's "The Marching Morons." It's the original version of "Idiocracy" — the basic idea is that selection now favors the stupid, and so if we go forward in time, that's what we'll see. The concept is simple and well-drawn; the consequences unexpected.

Happy Feet Friday

A Jimmy Lunceford marathon! I posted a shorter version a while back which only included the tune, “Rhythm is Our Business”. I highly recommend the last tune as well (picks up around 7:20).

Sesame Street’s getting kinda gentrified

Hey, I thought The Street was all about inclusion! Jim Treacher spots an interesting eviction..

If Chuck Norris had been built like a utility shed…

…he might be something like Governor Chris Christie.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

From the shelves of the Paco library


American author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is best known for her novel, The Yearling (I’ve never read the book, although I did see the excellent 1946 movie version staring Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman and Claude Jarman, Jr.). Today, I wanted to highlight two other works by Rawlings that deal with rural life.

The first is The Sojourner, her final novel, published in 1953. It is a beautiful piece of fiction, set in the years from the late 19th century up to the beginning of WWII, that describes the life of a good, but inarticulate, farmer, who is born to an embittered man whose own father and brother cheated him, and to a woman who has absorbed the bitterness of her husband and whose spirit becomes so contaminated with disappointment and hatred that she eventually, over a long period of years, descends into madness. Asahel Linden is the unwanted and unloved second child of Amelia, who has developed an obsessive and controlling love for her older son, Ben, the boy who was born to her and her husband in the short period of happiness that they enjoyed together in the first couple of years of their marriage (Asahel is born after the love his parents felt for each other had changed into contempt). Ben is a popular and good-natured, but irresponsible, boy, who leaves home in his late teens to get away from his suffocating mother. Asahel, who is greatly attached to his older brother, spends the rest of his life lamenting his absence, and finds friendship among people typically considered to be outcasts – an Indian, who looks upon him as a son, and teaches him how to hunt and fish; an itinerant Irish laborer, much given to drink, but a hard worker with a gift for music and understanding; an extended family of gypsies, from whom he learns something of gayety and devotion and the outside world.

The novel is, among other things, an intriguing examination of the unpredictable combinations of nature and nurture in families that can lead to unbreakable ties of affection, or to deep-seated hatreds. Asahel’s wife, Nellie – formerly Ben’s girl – is a lively, sociable woman of great beauty, but also a whirlwind of domestic energy who provides Asahel with a clean, comfortable home; and yet there is always the suspicion that the missing Ben somehow stands between the full fruition of their love for each other. Asahel is baffled by, and disappointed in, most of his children. His oldest son, Nat, displays signs at an early age of the towering selfishness and ambition that will eventually lift him to great power – and corruption – out west. Two other children are virtually shadows of Nat. Another son, Willis, eventually breaks away from Nat and perishes (but with honor). The only one of his children with whom Asahel genuinely connects in an emotional and even in an intellectual sense is young Dolly, who is tragically –and, indeed, sinisterly – taken away from him when she is still a child.

And as background, there is the great cycle of the seasons, the love of the land and of growing-things, the quiet, but sure, competence of the farmer Asahel, whose taciturnity masks a natural philosopher, hungering his life long for knowledge and wisdom, and, in the end, finding the answers to many of the questions that have haunted him since childhood.

* * * *

Cross Creek, published in 1942, is Rawlings’ account of her life as an orange grower in northern Florida, and is filled with the author’s deep insights into the hearts and minds of her rural neighbors, as well as her descriptions of the topography and wildlife of the region (there is even a recipe or two!) Two quick excerpts do not begin to do this book justice, but they’re all I have time for, and as I open the book at random, I find these items:
The outhouse that I inherited at the Creek had no boardwalk, it had no queens, no marigolds, it had, amazingly, no door. It stood on a direct line with the dining room windows. One fortunate diner might sit with his back to it. The others could not lift their eyes without meeting the wooden stare of the unhappy and misplaced edifice. They were fortunate if they did not meet as well the eye of a belated occupant, assuring himself stonily that he could not be seen.
* * * *

Sometimes there are friendships that have no apparent reason for existence, between people set apart by every circumstance of life, yet so firm in their foundations that they survive conditions that would separate friends of more apparent suitability. My friendship with Moe was one of these. Moe said and believed that we were friends because we needed each other.

In the village he said once, “Me and her is buddies, see? If her gate falls down, I go and fix it. If I git in a tight for money she helps me if she’s got it, and if she ain’t got it, she gits it for me. We stick together. You got to stick to the bridge that carries you across.
The book abounds with humor and understanding, and an abiding respect for the quiet pride of the working poor and for the primeval beauty of the creeks and swamps of her adopted home. A classic work of Americana.

Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez is hangin' with Hugh Hefner (again)

Which probably explains why she hasn't had time to meet with her constituents or debate her Republican opponent, Van Tran.

And when she's not spilling wine on Hefner's reproduction 19th-century bordello furniture, she's off doing a little race-baiting against Mr. Tran.

Happy Birthday to the Republic of West Florida

It's the 200th anniversary of a little-known "country" that gained its independence from Spain in 1810 (it's actually an area in Louisiana).

You know, I learn something new every day. Which, at my age, is fortunate. At the rate I'm forgetting things, I figure I'm breaking even.

Hey, RINOs...

... it's really just about hanging on to your miserable government jobs, isn't it ?

Politically and personally unprincipled.

Another member of Obama’s Larynx Brain Trust departs

Larry Summers, President Obama’s top economic adviser, will shortly be hitting the trail, returning to Harvard where he will profess at future generations of larval-stage government bureaucrats, thus guaranteeing an endless supply of hallucinatory policy wonks, constitutional relativists, incompetent social architects, and PowerPoint revolutionists to beset and bedevil the truly productive members of our nation for decades to come.

I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say,


“Helluva job, Larry!”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's Doctor Zero

Need I say more?

Probably not, but I will, anyway. The piece is too good to excerpt with respect to its main points, but I will just note a secondary observation that I think is important. The Doctor opens his essay with this sentence: "President Obama kicked off his town hall meeting in Washington D.C. on Monday with the usual dreary whining that has made him such a bore to listen to [emphasis mine]".

Exactly. Obama has become that dreadful thing, the overexposed bore. I have said it before, but it bears saying again. Great oratory is not just a function of a sonorous voice, careful modulation and good pacing. It is, first and foremost, about content. Obama has been reduced to speaking in cliches, and they're not even true cliches. His speeches are nothing more than a series of worn-out, mendacious bullet-points. It's like listening to a self-styled "investment adviser" talk about "How to Make Money in Real Estate with No Money Down"; the only thing missing is a PowerPoint presentation (and I bet we start seeing that next). Obama's speeches put me in mind of somebody playing chopsticks on a grand piano. Truthfully, I'd rather listen to Barney Frank preach class warfare in his Elmer Fudd voice - at least that's entertaining.

Obama has nothing left to say that anybody wants to hear, or that they'll believe if they're somehow compelled to listen to it. The ideas he brought with him to the White House were all useless or worse, and he has learned nothing in the last eighteen months. He is the paradigm of the Peter Principle, a Jimmy Carter for the 21st century, the First Putz. And now, a human tranquilizer.

The original moonbat waves the white flag

George Monbiot claims that climate change enlightenment is dead.

Hot damn! Now can I have my incandescent light-bulbs and big-tank toilets back?
* * * * *
Dorothy: Please, sir, may I have the polar bear rug?

Captain of the guard (kneeling at her feet): Yes, and take it with you!
* * * * *


"Crap! I knew that putz would fade in the late rounds."

Bob Owens is not just Confederate Yankee

Bob Owens is making some changes, taking some time to enjoy real (as opposed to cyber) life.

One thing I didn't know was that, in addition to Confederate Yankee, he also operates several other blogs, including the excellent Gun Counter. Check them all out.

Assortment

Smitty’s got the video of the one and only Dale Peterson, rallying the troops.

Matt Labash: answering life’s questions, three at a time.

36 Chambers reveals the absurdity of bureaucratic micro-management – and the apparent death wish of the Democratic Party.

Nobody – with the possible exception of Christopher Buckley – does better parodies of Christopher Buckley than Iowahawk.

Ed Driscoll has a fabulous idea for a Republican campaign ad.

Bob Belvedere has a very thoughtful essay on the Pope’s visit to England.

Don Surber catches a professor playing God (not very convincingly).

Mark Levin provides an eloquent and logical explanation of the spirit of the Tea Party movement ( Jeff Goldstein links and makes a few of his own perceptive observations).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jimmy Carter: Filling the vacuums of the world with the dust-bunnies of his mind

Ex-president Jimmy Carter (sometimes I say that out loud, over and over, because it's just so soothing) said that he sees his role as a former president to be superior to that of those other douche bags.

He clarified his statement later, as follows: "What I meant was, for 27 years the Carter Center has provided me with superior opportunities to do good."

He also added, "The Carter Center has decided, under my leadership, to fill the vacuums in the world." Well, as a president, he sucked worse than practically any other chief executive in American history (with the possible exception of the current White House squatter), so I suppose he ought to be an expert on vacuums.

Recent photo of Carter, filling vacuums with his superiority.

Bob Dylan: Tea Partier?

Probably not. But as Cal Thomas shows in this essay, the lyrics of one of his songs have become quite relevant again, even if in a context Dylan most likely never imagined.

The conservative message today? No more Mr. Nice Guy. And remember: even Ronad Reagan could play rough when he had to.

Anybody up for some phosphate detergent bootlegging?

Tim Blair points out another eco-flop.

The Democratic Party: like an overpopulated hamster cage

You probably remember seeing it in a biology-class movie in high school, or maybe on one of the science-related channels on cable TV: a hamster cage that is overrun with the little rodents, all of them desperately searching for food, fighting off the aggressive attacks of their fellows, scrambling aimlessly in panic – even resorting to cannibalism.

Amidst all the chatter about the civil war going on between establishment Republicans and their Tea Party opponents, has anybody noticed the disarray in the Democratic Party? The rank-and-file running from their leaders, the “gentry liberals” struggling against the public unions, Nancy Pelosi kicking Maxine Waters’ staffers out of a public event, Democratic candidates from sea to shining sea suddenly backing away from their president’s signature issue, and, for that matter, from the president himself. It’s a case of too many Democrats and too little good news on the economy, too many liberals and too little respect for the constitution, too many statists and too few malleable, gullible taxpayers. And Mother Nature’s going to take care of business this November with a culling of the horde, through the natural selection of the ballot box.

Biology. Always a fascinating subject.

And so is psychology. What modern-day Freud or Jung can decipher for us the strongly-held belief in some quarters that a previous, and repudiated, dabbling in the occult is somehow more menacing in political life than a previous – and, as far as I know, unrepudiated - belief in Marxism (oh, and also Jeremiah-Wright-style black liberation theology)? Christine O’Donnell, at least, has ended her acquaintance with something that (arguably) truly exists; Christopher Coons once believed, and may still believe, in a statist paradise that has never been anything but a fairytale (but, as history has shown, not at all a harmless one). I’ll take the witch over the tovarich any day.

Besides, if O’Donnell really were a witch, Fox News would be conducting interviews with Karl Rove via live-feed from a lily-pad.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's off to the elephant graveyard...

...if the GOP doesn't get serious about limited government.

Senator DeMint is absolutely right. The battle lines have been drawn - not by the respective establishments of the two major parties, but by the people themselves. If the only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans turns out to be that the former are racing toward socialism, while the latter are merely jogging in its general direction, then the Republicans are finished. The people who support the Democratic party are those who, by and large, want more government intervention in our daily lives. Those who are devoted to restoring the original intent of the founders, which was to devise a constitution dedicated to the preservation of individual liberty, will not keep supporting a party that is too lazy to challenge the ingrained liberal orthodoxy, and too timid to attack its ideology root and branch.

On another subject: I find the constant civil wars breaking out on the right to be subversive of the great effort that is needed to defeat the real enemy, which is the Democratic senate and house of representatives (not to mention the White House). Better, by far, to draw off the fire of my fractious brethren and, er, sistren by attracting their destructive energy to myself. So, permit me to declare, from the bottom of my heart, that I think Talk Like a Pirate Day is one of the most idiotic examples of mindless herd enthusiasm that it has ever been my misfortune to stumble across. I will have none of that nonsense aboard HMS Paco, and the first sodding lubber I hear roaring fifth-rate impersonations of Long John Silver will be flogged around the fleet, hanged from the yardarm, and his remains will then be sewn into a canvas sack with a 32-pound ball and dumped unceremoniously in the Sargasso Sea. I expect every man will do his duty.

New Democrat logo - the gift that keeps giving

Ed Driscoll has the latest variation (harvested at Maggie's Farm).

Burqa or no burqa?

That seems to be the question in Australia right now. Tim Blair discusses, and provides a photo of what appears to be Mrs. Grim Reaper.

Sunday Funnies



There have been a few personnel changes in the VRWC, to commemorate which I dedicate this song:



And for those who've been wondering where we would find the ideal GOP candidate for president in 2012, Steve Burri has volunteered to take on the job (Cool! I get a czardom!).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rule 5 Saturday

Ginny Sims sings “I’d Know You Anywhere”.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Gadsden Viper

Than which there is nothing more purely awesome.

Question

Do any of you use a tech-support firm in connection with your private computers (specifically, a company that can fix things directly online, as opposed to coming to your house)? If so, is there a particular firm you'd feel comfortable recommending?

Update: Let me pose an additional question: what kind of security software do you use? I've got some kind of mal-ware that McAfee can't get rid of.

This is a first!

Commenter Polly, who dropped me a line in the comments section of this week's Happy Feet Friday selection (which features Slim Gaillard), informs us that her aunt, Wini Beatty, actually performed with Gaillard back in the 40's!

I was hoping I could find a video on YouTube featuring Ms. Beatty, but unfortunately I couldn't. Here's a brief bio.

Thanks, Polly, for coming by!

So, what’s the President really like?

The richest, reddest meat you will taste today (H/T: Moonbattery).

Update: Jeff S. just notified me that there's a Part II.

The next governor of Virginia (I hope)

Fred Lucas at The American Spectator profiles Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is leading the charge against ObamaCare.

Mark my word: we will one day see Cuccinelli vying for the presidency.

Happy Feet Friday

Slim Gaillard and the fellas from the mid-40s.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The new Democratic logo!

Now, even newer and more improved!

Grandpa John weighs in.

And so does Ed Driscoll.

And Jeff S.

And Smitty!

If you're going to be in southwest China anytime soon...

...remember to wear thick boots.

And if you're headed to Australia, stay alert in the shopping malls (even when he's afoot, Boy on a Bike has some strange encounters).

Really, Michelle? For you, too?

‘Cause I guarantee you it’s sure hell for the rest of us.

But don’t worry. There will be tens of millions of people eager to end your nightmare come 2012.

Today’s reading assignments

The pseudonymous Doctor Zero, who posts at Hot Air, is, in my opinion, one of the very best political essayists writing at the present time. In this piece, he gets to the very heart of what’s wrong, not only with the Obama administration, but with the whole concept of the growth – the metastasis - of government. It is a bracing and inspirational bit of writing (and an excellent tonic for the spiritually enervating, albeit witty, prose of Hot Air’s resident Hamlet, Allah Pundit). Go read it now (you’ll be glad you did).

Also, don’t miss this article – “The Architect Has No Clothes” - on Karl Rove by C. Edmund Wright at American Thinker. A sample:
Truth be told, Rove's biggest architectural accomplishment is the Obama administration. By doing his part as senior advisor to the president to define conservatism down, he sullied the reputation and disoriented the understanding of what it means to be conservative to millions of half-informed voters nationwide.

How did this manifest?

It has had a disastrous effect on the outcome of elections across the country since 2006. Frankly, a case can be made that only the Democrats' Wellstone Memorial in 2002 and an awful Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004 allowed the perception that the Bush White House had an effective political wing. I submit that they never did. With Bush leaving office at around 26% approval, no one debates that now. This was Rove's wing.
Remember the definition of an “expert”: some bastard from out-of-town carrying a briefcase.

Long-time readers of Tim Blair’s blog will recollect the running gag between Wronwright, Richard McEnroe, myself and others that was based on our membership in Karl’s fictional cabal of secret operatives. I hereby submit my resignation, and hand in my decoder ring, false beard, fountain-pen switchblade and, er, the extra set of keys that I had made for the Tardis down at Home Depot (I know, Wronwright, I know; but what would have happened if we had ever lost the original set?)

Finally, George Will puts government hubris in a fascinating historical context.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thursday repugnancies

Whoopi Goldberg invites opponents of the Ground Zero mosque to lip-lock her cellulite.

Rumor is that Hillary Clinton may step down as Secretary of State before the end of Barry's first term, and that marriage-bed fat cat, John Kerry, may replace her.


"The situation in Chad? Let's see, now. Is that near the Bahamas?"

Christine O'Donnell's chances just got better, 'cause Harry Reid got himself a new pet.

The Democrats' big "surprise" that was supposed to energize their zombies turned out to be...a new logo.


Artist: "I call it 'View of a Toilet Seat from a Descending A$$hole. Très chic, no?"

Inertia with fangs

That's what many in the Republican establishment remind me of. Karl Rove, too, in spite of AllahPundit's (surely) tongue-in-cheek speculation about the possibility of Machiavellian wheels within wheels, comes across as a rabid cherub.

Rush Limbaugh has it exactly right: “If 51 seats is so important, let’s go balls to the wall” for O'Donnell.

And Mattie Fein, Republican congressional candidate in California's 36th district, describes her experience with the party brass in a guest editorial at The Other McCain.

Dr. Sowell on social justice

Sometimes I envy those brainy coves, the people with the 8 1/4 hat size who can cut through the tangle of lies and half-truths and purposeful obfuscation and, with the greatest of ease, reveal the plain, unadorned truth at the heart of vitally important issues (on the other hand, in lieu of brains, there is the benignity of a Divine Providence that looks after children, fools, drunkards and Pacos, so I am content).

All of which is preamble to the introduction of another thoughtful essay by the wise and learned Dr. Thomas Sowell.
Seventeenth century philosopher Thomas Hobbes said that words are wise men's counters, but they are the money of fools.

That is as painfully true today as it was four centuries ago. Using words as vehicles to try to convey your meaning is very different from taking words so literally that the words use you and confuse you.
As is always the case with Dr. Sowell, well worth reading.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Maximum Leader launches strike near the Paco Command Center

This is what comes of sloppy staff work; I shall have to cashier a few of my guards.

President Obama was literally in my neighborhood on Monday, meeting with a small group of drooling schmoes under the auspices of Democratic Rep. Gerald Connolly (who, may it please God, will be ex-Rep. Gerald Connolly, private citizen, come November).

The meeting was at the home of a couple of people I don't know, and the theme was small business. I believe the theme might more appropriately have been the apparent shortage of psychiatric care in Fairfax County.
Nicole Armstrong and John Nicholas had spoken to President Obama many times in their heads before he sat with them Monday afternoon on their Fairfax County patio next to a pitcher of lemonade.

For years, the couple said they'd held imaginary conversations with the president. Both of them read his books to better understand how he thinks. And now, here he was, inside the picket fence of their red brick home in Mantua, talking to them privately before addressing their backyard guests, a mix of politicians, owners of small businesses and burly men in white coats wielding extra-large butterfly nets.
Ok, I added that last part. But really. Can you imagine them admitting to such an absurd fancy? It's not just the imaginary conversations; I, myself, have a vague recollection of arguing with William McKinley over his tariff policy one New Year's eve, after imbibing a half-dozen or so whiskey sours. It's their choice of confidant: an arrogant narcissist who probably had to have a teleprompter set up nearby to remember their names. C'mon, John! Fess up, Nicole! Even in your imaginary conversations, I'll bet the guy was constantly looking at his watch and stifling a series of yawns.

I never thought I'd say a thing like this, but I'm glad I was at work that day.

Congratulations to Christine O'Donnell

I hope that the internecine (someday I'll have to look up the proper pronunciation of that word) warfare within the Republican Party can be laid to rest in Delaware, now that the voters in the Republican primary have made their choice. While, as Michelle Malkin has noted, O'Donnell is not a perfect candidate, Mike Castle is the kind of squishy Republican who simply cannot credibly be considered as the linchpin of a roll-back of establishmentarian liberalism. Even if O'Donnell loses the general election, her primary victory sends a message that will be useful to the Party brass long term: the people are not going to support a Republican Party that is too lazy or too timorous to fight the tough ideological battles that are the absolute prerequisite for a return to limited government, constitutional supremacy and the end of rule by bureaucratic fiat and legislative overreach.

Stacy McCain and Smitty celebrate, as well they may, since Smitty was, I believe, the first blogger of any prominence to publicize O'Donnell's campaign.

"Sweden will be Judenrein within the next twenty-five years"

Seraphic Secret talks about the plight of Jews in Sweden (the post includes an interesting video news report).
The Swedes will then discover—too late—that they have sacrificed a loyal and productive group of citizens for masses of sharia yearning Muslims whose loyalty is not to the Swedish state but to the ummah.
Compare with Supreme Court Justice Breyer's waffling on first amendment rights and Koran burning. The same dhimmitune.

You know why our exploding national debt will soon cease to be a problem?

Because Chuck Norris hates it.

Come this November, gonna be time to give the big roundhouse kick to Congress, baby!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Slow learner

The Cuban government plans on laying off 500,000 state workers and trying some free enterprise to create replacement jobs (H/T: Babalu).


"Crap! A year and a half of Obama's economic policies has finally convinced me: socialism really DOES suck!"

Seriously, though, I wouldn't read much into this. The Cuban government has experimented fitfully with small-scale private businesses for years, with little or no impact on the macro-economy. As long as economic "freedom" is completely dependent on government fiat, and can be granted today and taken away tomorrow, then we're not going to see much progress. It's also important to remember that the military has been granted ownership interests in many of Cuba's industries, and the only people in the country with weapons aren't likely to all of a sudden develop an overwhelming interest in genuine capitalism.

Democrat Bob Etheridge's cow gets out

Well, that's what Stacy says.

Cougar update

While I (and many residents) of the neighborhood are skeptical about the cougar sightings previously reported, there seems to be some basis for thinking that it may be true. While scouting the internet, I found this post at a blog called The Locavore Hunter. The blogger mentions the quite logical possibility that cougar sightings in Virginia (and elsewhere in the eastern U.S.) may be genuine, and that these cougars most likely are escapees from private menageries.

I shall continue to keep a sharp eye out.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monday Miscellaneous

It's off to work we go, and I guess we can take some comfort in the fact that we're not employed at the Chateau Anglais.



Bagpipes. You either love 'em or you hate 'em. Me? I love 'em! Courtesy of Captain Heinrichs, this musical interlude:



Jason Apuzzo at Libertas discusses a new documentary on "Pappy" Boyington, the Marine Corps WWII ace. Looks very promising. Apuzzo's post is filled with fascinating nuggets about Boyington's career. Here's a taste:
At one point during the war, Boyington’s Black Sheep squadron offered to shoot down a Japanese Zero for every baseball cap sent to them by baseball players playing in the World Series. They received 20 caps – and shot down 20 Zeros … and just kept going. At one point during the squadron’s first tour of combat duty, Pappy actually shot down 14 enemy fighter planes in 32 days. Boyington’s war record is studded with such colorful tales of bravado and triumph.
Actor Kevin McCarthy - best known for his starring role in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers - has died at age 96 (glad to see the pod people never got him).

Boots on the ground

Donald Douglas was in New York City yesterday and took some great photos, featuring the whole panoply of views concerning the terrorist attack, the Ground Zero mosque and other issues.

Wrong again, chief

In a speech marking the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack, President Obama referred to the perpetrators as a "sorry band of men."

No, Barry. This is a "sorry band of men". These guys were a cadre of fanatical Muslim assassins.

Language is important. English (I presume) is your first. Use it accurately.

Update:

One wonders how different our history might have been had certain Americans shared Obama’s mindset.

Patrick Henry: Give me liberty, or give me some tolerable alternative!

John Paul Jones: I have not yet begun to negotiate!

Admiral Farragut: Watch out for torpedoes, and proceed with extreme caution!

FDR: December 7, 1941 is a day that will live as a low point in Japanese-American relations.

Update II: Commenter tbryan has a couple more.

"So-so days are here again."

"This is our finest teachable moment".

Update III: Haw! Mikael's entry.

Gen. McAuliffe: "Perhaps we could share some nuts and talk about it"!?

Update IV: Swampie says...

"Mr. Gorbachev, repaint this wall!"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sunday Funnies



Today's Chuck Norris fact: Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at a Burger King and got one.

Sarah Palin: the Doc Holliday of Twitter

Arnold Schwarzenegger thought he'd have a little Twitter fun at Sarah Palin's expense, and wound up getting himself terminated. Smitty has details on the exchange.

If ever bib-overalls were needed...

...the time is now. Overlawyered has the link to a story on a guy in England who likes to garden in the nude - and thinks permitting the construction of houses nearby is a violation of his rights.


Important safety tip: if you're going to be handling garden shears in the nude, you'd better keep your mind on your...you know...business.

In Memoriam


May God bless the souls of those murdered by terrorists on September 11, 2001, and may He comfort their friends and families.

May He also thwart those foolish and fearful men who seek to blur the image and even the name of our enemy.

And may He protect and sustain our troops - the flower of our nation - and guide them to victory, and ultimately reunite them with their loved ones, to enjoy the peace they have fought so hard to establish.

Amen

Update: Richard McEnroe presents 9/11 - then and now.

Rule 5 Saturday

Dorothy Lamour has got loads of personality (in addition to everything else).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Paco Enterprises discovers new market

Fox News reports that Fatah and Hamas are engaged in a mustache war.
Hamas has resumed its policy of shaving the mustaches of rival Fatah members to humiliate them as a form of punishment, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Reports of such punishments surfaced in January, though Hamas denied it had resorted to close shaves in its struggle to assert dominance over Palestinian politics.

Fatah officials renewed their allegations Wednesday, according to the Jerusalem Post, which said Hamas, in turn, claimed followers' beards had been sabotaged by Fatah officials.
Lucky break for me that I've got a warehouse full of these things:

Stimulating

In wildest Occupied Northern Virginia

Ok, this sounds nuts. We just got an email from the community association saying that there have been two sightings of a cougar in the neighborhood. And by cougar, I mean this kind...



Now, here's the weird thing. One evening, a couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Paco and I heard this incredibly strange yowl. In fact, I remember thinking at the time that it sounded like a cougar, but I never dreamed that it might actually be one. I'm strongly inclined to believe this must be some kind of mistake - if, for no other reason, than this is way outside of the cougar's natural range. On the other hand, they are pretty adaptable (they're cats, for cryin' out loud, no surprise there), and there have also been some local sightings of coyotes (more than just sightings; two of them attacked a man while he was out walking his dog), so perhaps it's not impossible. I'll be sure to keep my camera at the ready; maybe I can get a shot of a cougar and a coyote fighting over the remains of an ivory-billed woodpecker or a great auk. Might want to start carrying that new .41 magnum on my walks, too.

Democrats first victims of death panels

Blue Crab Boulevard provides a great analogy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Feet Friday

Bob Crosby’s Bobcats reunite to perform those low down Savoy Blues.

If you don’t let us display our peaceful intentions by building the NYC mosque…

We might have to kill you.
The imam behind a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero cautioned Wednesday that moving the facility could cause a violent backlash from Muslim extremists and endanger national security.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told CNN that the discourse surrounding the center has become so politicized that moving it could strengthen the ability of extremists abroad to recruit and wage attacks against Americans, including troops fighting in the Middle East.
Anything else we can do to keep your disorderly brethren off the boil, Feisal? Maybe outlaw BBQ restaurants, or compel Rush Limbaugh to open his radio program with a recording of a muezzin chanting the call to prayer?

Nice little extortion racket. Propose and publicize something hateful to most Americans, use our own laws and sense of tolerance to try and put it over, deal with any popular objections by saying, “Gosh, we’d have never suggested this if we had known it would piss so many people off, but now that we’ve already proposed it, you really ought to give in - for your own safety.” Show of hands: how many of you plan to go through the rest of your lives constantly evaluating how your words and deeds might affect the self-esteem of every psychotic, Allah-bothering, self-pitying pinhead with a notion to commit mayhem?

Mencken on liberals

Protein Wisdom has the classic Mencken definition of liberals (H/T: Smitty).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Summing Up

Michael Berry, a talk-radio host at Radio KTRH in Texas, provided a terrific run-down on the Democratic record of the last 18 months while filling in for Mark Levin this evening.

It's now on YouTube; a terrific summary of our discontents.

Special credit available to students who attend the 2012 Democratic National Convention

University of Baltimore to offer zombie classes (H/T: Hot air headlines).

By the way, the absolute funniest zombie photo-gag I ever saw was this one at Grandpa John's.

That is one, worn-out clue-bat

Fidel supposedly admits that the Cuban model doesn't work (or, to put it precisely, "no longer" works; when did it ever?)


"Fifty years of air-balls. Maybe it's time to cut this guy."

Point, Counter-Point

President Obama: "My opponents are talking about me like a dog."

Fred Grandy (talk-radio host, 630 WMAL): "We can fix that in a minute, Mr. President. Just stop using us as a fire hydrant."

Update: Dead Republicans may not vote, but they are good fundraisers (RIP, Bob; good on ya).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Houston: Operation Reichstag Fire?

Stacy McCain tips us off to this post by Bryan Preston at Pajamas Media about a mysterious warehouse fire that destroyed 10,000 of Harris County's voting machines shortly after the county tax-assessor went public with charges of massive voter-registration fraud. The Democrats are now suing the tax-assessor, Republican Leo Vasquez, and have called for the intervention of Eric "Voter fraud? I don't see any voter fraud" Holder's Justice Department to "monitor" the November election.

I'm not suggesting that the Democrats started the fire (according to this recent article in the Houston Chronicle, investigators had not yet determined the cause). I am suggesting that it is well within the scope of a political party with a long history of election-gaming to use the fire as a pretext for calling Holder in to divert attention from irregularities (Holder's DOJ has displayed a notorious lack of interest in voter fraud and intimidation committed by "non-favored" groups).

A good catch by Stacy of some important reportage by Preston on these ominous developments in Texas' most populous county.

Al Gore: the pitfalls of legacy building

You've seen them before. Hapless schnooks who seem constantly to be followed by bad luck (although, upon close examination, the "bad luck" almost always turns out to be driven largely by the slobs' own character flaws).

I suppose Al Gore can't be blamed for this, but somehow it just seems so...typical:
The Los Angeles-area Carson-Gore Academy of Environmental Sciences, named after Gore and pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson , was built atop an environmentally contaminated piece of real estate, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some are now raising concerns that the $75.5 million school -- which sits across the street from an oil well -- may pose long-term health risks to its students, faculty and staff, as the groundwater beneath it is contaminated by chemicals.
I fear that someday we will be reading of a windmill tower in the Al Gore Memorial Wind-Turbine Field slicing up the last California condor, or Al Gore Geothermal Station #9 exploding and parboiling a herd of cows, or perhaps a family of itinerant fruit-pickers. Al has created a fair amount of bad luck for himself, but I believe it has now taken on a life of its own and is seeking him out, like Frankenstein's monster hunting its creator. Maybe pursued and pursuer will, like the characters in Mary Shelley's novel, eventually have a fateful encounter on an ice floe (a melting ice floe, no doubt, top-heavy with emaciated polar bears). The hilarity pathos will be overwhelming.


"And over here, we'll hang the lead aprons to be worn by the cafeteria staff".

H/T: Mrs. Paco

Stand and Deliver!


Smitty sounds the alarm over suspicious government machinations that could result in the eventual nationalization of private retirement accounts.

I've seen this issue crop up from time to time over the last couple of years, and it would be difficult to imagine anything more likely to convert the "cold" civil war into something substantially warmer. I believe an out-and-out attempt to seize private accounts is beyond the power and scope of even this desperate administration, but there are more subtle ways for the government to get its mitts on our savings, and in the end, formal nationalization might prove to be merely academic, if account-holders are bludgeoned by, say, the loss of tax deferment or the imposition of new taxes (or subjected to the death by a thousand cuts represented by the Democrats' borrowing and spending mania, which has and will continue to shrink the value of paper investments).

In any event, this government wants watching; I don't really put anything past it.

President Bow-Wow

President Obama claims that people are talking about him like he's a dog.

If you say so, Spike!



You ain't nothing but a hound dog
Been snoopin' round my door
You ain't nothing but a hound dog
Been snoopin' round my door
You can wag your tail
But I ain't gonna feed you no more

You told me you was high class
I could see through that
You told me you was high class
I could see through that
And baby I know
You ain't no real cool cat

Update: "Be fair," says Richard McEnroe.

What the President said...

...and what the terrorists heard (Marc Thiessen's latest Washington Post article).

Woodpecker Redux

Looks like the Australian Labor Party pulled out a victory with the help of some independents. That means, of course, that Julia Gillard will be Prime Minister.


"Heh-heh-heh-HEH-heh!"

So, what are the betting odds on the longevity of this government?

(H/T - and commiseration - to friend and commenter Merilyn)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Assortment

Now hurricanes are racist. The Blogprof brings us the testimony of Rep. Shirley Jackson-Lee, member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the NAACP (who must have to put up with a lot of good-natured razzing from her colleagues over having a last name compounded of the names of two Confederate generals).

The all-seeing Eye of Polyphemus gives us a canine twist on Godwin’s Law.

The Obama administration’s recent disgraceful report on the United States to the UN Human Rights Commissioner also includes a plug for card-check. Bluegrass Pundit provides the details.

Pixie Place has a fine post that deals with reality vs. fantasy in Iraq.

Mind-Numbed Robot has a nice round-up of posts from around the web, plus a Labor Day poster that suits the current administration perfectly.

And whatever you do, don't miss taking a gander at the Prez dispenser over at Moonbattery.

Smitty offers up a prayer for the President.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Remembering

Carol at No Sheeples Here has a beautiful tribute to the people murdered by terrorists on September 11, 2001.

And if I haven't mentioned it before, Michael Bloomberg is an insufferable multi-culti twit, who has managed to make me think more kindly of Boss Tweed and Jimmy Walker.

Don't forget!


Via Moonbattery.

Also, David Freddoso has a brief compilation of election dos and don'ts.

Really, what is it about public office that seems to lure so many people of inferior stamp? Certainly, there are the obvious enticements: power, prestige, fat salaries conjoined with ample opportunities for graft, and the ability, to some extent, to conceal personal responsibility in collective torts against the citizenry. But I have a feeling that there is more at work here. There are times when it seems that, by common agreement, we have permitted public office to serve as a kind of half-way house for simpletons, thieves, sociopaths, unemployed professors, shiftless dreamers, unsuccessful lawyers and the mentally ill; and yet, instead of teaching them some useful skill, like macramé or shoe-repair, and locking them up at night under the watchful eyes of burly, well-armed guards, we actually leave them free on their own recognizance and let them play with the economy and foreign affairs.

A baffling arrangement. Feel free to discuss among yourselves.

How about if we started offering a million dollars for dead Iranian presidents?

Just sayin'.

Plus, the Jawas invite us to fight the cyber-jihad. Here's how.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sunday Funnies

Some of my favorite video remixes feature Jack Webb as Sgt. Friday reading the riot act to a hapless real-life chump. In this video at Are We Lumberjacks?, Eric Holder gets the treatment (Webb starts his spiel at around 1:06).

Ruby Slippers has a Chuck Norris get-out-the-vote video (so if I were you, I'd, you know, get out and vote).

And the correct response to Democrats who claim to have become born-again fiscal conservatives is something like this...



Update: Barry Poppins...

Reaganism is the last refuge of the scoundrel

Democrats are now trying to wrap themselves in the flag of fiscal responsibility.
"We have managed to acquire $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet," he fumed to a roomful of voters. "In my view, we have nothing to show for it."

And that was a Democrat, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, who voted "yes" on the stimulus, the health-care overhaul, increased education funding and other costly bills Congress approved under his party's control.
Hey, way to hone that credibility, Mike! Play with fire, burn the house down and then cry about having no place to sleep.

I don't think this strategy is going to work, at least not for candidates whose fingerprints and DNA are all over the sky-high national debt, in states and districts where voters are actually informed and justifiably outraged. So, see ya.

Obama's lucky stars

I think I've found 'em.

How bad was communism for China?

This bad. Forty-three million dead from starvation and executions over a three-year period.

And China had its own Walter Duranty in the form of Edgar Snow:
Back in China twenty-four years later, Snow was pestered by news agencies enquiring about mass starvation. The Snow of the 1930s had gone into the field to see for himself a prolonged drought in the north-west, where people were rumoured to be selling their children. But this time he relied on his access to top officials such as Premier Zhou Enlai, and foreigners who flacked for China such as the New Zealander Rewi Alley. In the book he wrote about that trip, The Other Side of the River, Snow stated, 'I saw no starving people in China ... Considerable malnutrition undoubtedly existed. Mass starvation? No.' And most positively: 'Whatever he was eating, the average Chinese maintained himself in good health, as far as anyone could see.'

In brutal fact, between 1959 and 1962, at least forty-three million Chinese died during the famine Snow didn't bother to see. Most died of hunger, over two million were executed or were beaten or tortured to death, the birth rate halved in some places, parents sold their children, and people dug up the dead and ate them.
Another useful lesson in the destructive power of totalitarianism.

Rule 5 Saturday

The Andrews Sisters bring some boogie-woogie to the luau.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Music to the ears

There are many words and expressions that have an internal aesthetic quality that acts as a kind of balm for the mind and spirit. "Mellifluous" and "euphonious" (appropriately enough). "Concatenation"; "azure"; "Come what sorrow can, It cannot countervail the exchange of joy"; "a truant to where the blue begins".

And - one of my personal favorites - "Ex-Senator Chuck Hagel".

Happy Feet Friday

Here’s a tremendous collection of blues giants - Memphis Slim, T-Bone Walker, Helen Humes, Willie Dixon, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Jump Jackson, Shakey Jake – and they are jammin’.