Friday, December 31, 2010

Rule 5 Saturday

Sarah Vaughan in a late-50s rendition of “Cherokee”.

Happy New Year



I'll leave it to others to do the year-in-review-shtick, the top-ten lists, the best and worst, the predictions. I just wanted to wish all my readers a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Thank you for dropping by, and taking the time to comment.

And what would the great Paco Enterprises commercial empire be without its employees? A happy New Year to all of you, too.


"Thanks, boss!"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Polar Bears vs. Spy Cams

No contest.

Happy Feet Friday

Time for some Western Swing as Red Foley performs the “Freight Train Boogie”.

Australian eats English food critic's lunch

Snobbish English restaurant critic Giles Coren – “he’ll never be out of work”, writes Tim Blair - indulges a pathological urge to insult everything Australian. Australia – in the person of Ben English - responds.

Supply creates demand

Or does it? Initially, at least, one wonders how else to explain the profusion of useful idiots – like Ray Suarez, who delivered a paean to Castro’s Cuba on PBS’s “News (ha-ha!) Hour” (a three-part series consisting of verbal valentines to one of the last of the communist dictators). But, on more sober reflection, although the supply of Bolshevik toadies in the West seems inexhaustible, I believe the “demand” aspect is distorted by such things as government subsidies – to outfits like, say, PBS. No one really demands this bilge; it’s simply what liberals do when they are armed with cameras and plenty of money and no accountability.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. – editor-in-chief of The American Spectator and Republican candidate for mayor of Chicago - expands upon this and other Cuba-related themes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ambassador (Incoming!)

Snagwells at POWIP has an excellent nominee for ambassador to Venezuela.

Sanford, North Carolina: Paring knife murder capital of the United States?

Well, it's either that or home to some ridiculously over-zealous school officials.

Ashley Smithwick, a 17-year-old senior at Southern Lee High School, has reportedly been suspended for the balance of the school year because a paring knife was found in her lunchbox – which, incidentally, wasn’t hers:
The lunchbox really belonged to Joe Smithwick, who packs a paring knife to slice his apple. He and his daughter have matching lunchboxes.

“It’s just an honest mistake. That was supposed to be my lunch because it was a whole apple,” he said.

Lee County Superintendent Jeff Moss told the Sanford Herald that he can’t discuss the specifics of the case, but school policy allows principals to consider the context of each case and determine discipline.

Moss said students who accidentally carry a weapon and report it to teachers will get a light punishment. If teachers find it, he said, the discipline is harsher.

“When the principals conduct their investigations, what typically is fleshed out is the true intent,” he told the newspaper. “Bottom line is we want to ensure every child feels safe on our campus. Because most of our students are, you know, pussies – have been, ever since the great cheese-grater massacre of ’08.”
Ok, that last line is mine. But if the story is true (incidentally, the school has since denied it; more below), then it means that some school administrators see zero tolerance as being equivalent to zero latitude for the exercise of common sense, a pretext for avoiding the responsibility for using one’s own judgment – in which case, why not replace highly paid education bureaucrats with low-wage rent-a-cops, who can just stalk the halls, randomly frisking students and ransacking lockers?

I am hereby, tentatively, establishing the Committee to Readmit Ashley Smithwick. If her story proves to be true, and she is not ultimately readmitted, then I will fold the organization into the Committee to Run the Lee County School Board Out of Town on a Rail. If her story turns out to be false, then I will immediately establish a Committee to Apologize to the Lee County School Board and Prevent Paco Enterprises from Establishing Any More Committees).

(H/T: Frugal Café)

About that denial: School officials claim that the knife was found in Ashley’s purse, not her lunchbox. Here’s a video allegedly showing the offending bag. Note the letters, “byo”? Presumably as in "Bring Your Own" ("lunch" would seem to be implied)? Er, it’s a lunchbox (or canvas lunch sack, rather). And there’s no doubt that she was charged with misdemeanor weapons possession. The denial also says that Ashley is “currently enrolled in the school”. Does that mean the same thing as “permitted to come on campus”? Why, no, not necessarily, because, remember: Pampered Chef paring knives don’t kill people; people do.

Chuck Norris slays ‘em – in the Czech Republic

Chuck Norris turns out to be very popular in the Czech Republic – his films were smuggled into the country during the communist years – and is wowing them now with ads for T-Mobile.

Today’s Chuck Norris fact: pollen is allergic to Chuck Norris.

Obama: “Thanks for Giving Michael Vick a second chance. And, er, speaking of second chances…”

The president’s odd telephone call to the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles - in which Obama praised Jeffrey Lurie for giving ex-dog-fight impresario Michael Vick a second chance – was, in my view, a quasi-subliminal appeal to the American people to give the president a second chance. Per Lurie:
”…he [the president] was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.''
Not just Democrats in Congress, but Obama, got clobbered in the mid-term elections, and now the preshizzle is struggling to gear up for his run at another term, looking for a “second chance” after (several) major downfalls.

Tell you what would be interesting: if Barrie were to call up Chris Christie and praise him for defending second amendment rights by commuting the sentence of Brian Aitken. Of course it ain’t gonna happen, but I enjoy imagining the sound of all those liberal heads exploding, like the volley of cannon fire in a performance of the 1812 Overture.

CastroCare

Babalu posts Mary Anastasia O'Grady's take-down of the claims made by Castro enthusiasts on PBS about the "great" health care available in Cuba.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vacation reading

Assortment

The Blogprof reports that Democrat Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is holding the Chinese responsible for her loss in November. Personally, I think it had something to do with sunspots.

Good news, losers! Iowahawk is running an outplacement service for recently retired Democratic politicians. Sample from the FAQs:

"I removed my Congressional experience from my resume. How do I explain the 28-year gap?

Claim you were in prison."

Janet Napolitano: performance artist?

Troglopundit brings us news of the world’s largest single consumer of Viagra.

Stacy McCain is inexplicably passed over for consideration in the finals of Andrew Sullivan’s 2010 Malkin Awards.

Santa's helpers take care of some guys on the naughty list...


From an excellent series of photos - "Pics from the Front" - at Weasel Zippers.

Dumbest criminals of 2010.

Dude, next time go to Five Guys!

Whoa! Are you actually supposed to eat this stuff? (I thought it was just for decoration).

Monday, December 27, 2010

So, what did Santa bring you guys?

I received a Kindle. Joy in the morning! This is going to be great for those long meetings at work where I am subjected to the dreary maundering of human tranquilizers and have to fight constantly against falling asleep and toppling out of my chair. The Kindle will fit inconspicuously between the covers of my notebook, and I can stare at it, a pensive expression plastered on my face, looking, for all my colleagues know, as if I am drinking in the proceedings with deep interest. There is, of course, one hazard: the dreaded question, "So, what's your opinion, Paco?" I generally find that something along the lines of, "I definitely think you're on the right track" or "what is the impact on resources?" seems to demonstrate sufficient evidence that I've been paying attention.

And since a lot of the stuff I read is old and in the public domain, I've already managed to find and download a couple of books, free of charge (one by Wodehouse and one by Rafael Sabatini).

Thank you, Santa Mrs. Paco!

Taxpayers of the world, unite!

You have nothing to lose but your change!

Russian immigrants are reportedly flocking to the Republican Party, say that the Democrats remind them too much of the old country.


Comrades! Join the Republican Revolution!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Oh, I can see them on the same intellectual stage

Obama will be the one stammering incoherently as soon as his teleprompter shorts out.

Juan Williams – a liberal for whom I have some mild regard, if for no other reason than because he managed to get fired by NPR – stated that Sarah Palin “can’t stand on the same intellectual stage” with President Obama.

Really, Juan? Now, you’re a fairly reasonable guy, so I’ll put it to you reasonably; isn’t it time we sweep the myth of Barack Obama’s intellectual superiority into the dust-bin of history? Stacy McCain cited a few quotes in this post, which, although they weren’t in the context of your statement about Palin, are marvelously relevant to a discussion of the subject of Obama’s alleged smarts. Particularly pertinent is this quote from Bill Buckley:
“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”
Obama is nothing more than a product of that noisy leftist aviary where all the inmates learn to parrot “progressive” slogans unthinkingly, where empiricism and logic form no part of their training, where the loudest squawks and gaudiest plumage are occasionally rewarded with the nut of public fame by fools who believe that the voice box is the seat of wisdom. Where is the evidence that this president possesses a genuine appreciation for the life of the mind, a real understanding of the impact of the ideas he peddles, an abiding knowledge of, and respect for, the tried and true traditions that have made America free and prosperous and strong?

I would be delighted to see Obama and Palin on the same stage in a debate over the future of our country. Frankly, I think she would make hash of him. She may lack his formal academic pedigree, and couch her opinions in a folksy accent, but she strikes me as someone who has actually thought things through and sees clearly that Obama’s world view is nothing but watered-down socialism, as unworkable as the full-strength variety. From Palin, we would get well-considered ideas; from Obama, the regurgitation of standard liberal propaganda, politics reduced to the level of a verbal fashion statement. Bring it on, I say.

Monday Movie

I’m inaugurating a new weekly feature that will highlight clips from some of my favorite movies. I’ll embed the video when it’s available; otherwise – as is the case today – I’ll link directly to YouTube.

Today I’ve got a video clip from one of my favorite Bob Hope movies, My Favorite Brunette (1947). In this scene, Hope (as baby photographer Ronny Jackson) is trying to talk his neighbor Alan Ladd (private eye Sam McCloud) into letting him be his partner.

It's Bear vs. Man...

...over at Richard McEnroe's place.

History in a bottle

Coded message from the Civil War found in old bottle.

Sunday funnies



Whoa! With Santa dual-wielding, you definitely want to stay off the Naughty List.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Yes, Senator Menendez, there is a Santa Claus

But he's not a global warming fanatic. Gateway Pundit has reported on a remarkable letter that Cli-Fi enthusiast, Democratic Senator Robert Mendez of New Jersey, has written to Santa Claus:
Dear Santa Claus,

I am writing out of concern, because you may have to move from the North Pole due to the dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice. The Navy’s chief oceanographer says that by the summer of 2020 the North Pole may not have summer ice and other scientists project that an ice-free Arctic is possible as soon as 2012!

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that polar ice is melting because of greenhouse gas pollution and I am working hard to reduce these emissions. But there is probably nothing we can do in time to save the North Pole. I am worried about your safety and your ability to deliver billions of Christmas gifts if the ice cap on the North Pole no longer stays frozen all year. What will happen to your house, your workshop, the elves’ houses and your reindeer barns?
In a Paco Enterprises exclusive, I reprint below Santa’s response to Senator Menendez, which Santa shared with me when he dropped by last night to deliver presents and chew the fat over brandy and cigars (letter reprinted with the permission of Santa Claus).
Dear Senator Menendez:

Some blockhead has gotten hold of your official stationery and is sending me letters in your name – again. This year, it’s a load of fatuous applesauce about the North Pole melting, and an ice-free Arctic “as soon as 2012!” The warm-tard who wrote the letter obviously hasn’t been keeping up with the facts, or even looking out of his window. Dude, it’s cold out there! The writer’s preoccupation with the future of my “workshop” and “reindeer barns” apparently doesn’t extend to offering me an alternative site, which would probably piss me off if weren’t for the fact that I outsourced most of my manufacturing to China years ago (take THAT, frickin’ International Brotherhood of Elves!)

Coming on top of a letter I supposedly got from you last year, asking for a few hundred boxes of ballots marked in favor of Jon Corzine (yeah, like I’m going to knife fellow fat boy, Chris Christie), I’d say that you’ve definitely got a security problem in your office, and you ought to keep your writing paper under lock and key.

Ho, ho, ho!

Santa

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!


This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-- which means, “God with us.”

When Joseph awoke, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. - Matthew 1:18-25

Merry Christmas to all you Paquistas out there, and my best wishes for a prosperous, happy and healthy New Year.

* * * * *

Unrelated, but I'd also like to wish happy birthday to the suit.

* * * * *

Update: A hilarious collection of holiday links from Shadowlands.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Feet Friday

The jam session from the movie DOA. And no, that's not Illinois Jacquet on saxophone, as the video title mistakenly says; according to a commenter over at YouTube, the personnel are as follows:

Personnel on camera:

Teddy Buckner (tp), Von Streeter (ts), Ray LaRue (p), Shifty Henry (b), Cake Witchard (dr)

Soundtrack personnel:

Ernie Royal (tp), Maxwell Davis (ts), Ray Turner (p), George Boujie (b), Lee Young (dr)




Special Christmas bonus! You may or may not believe in Santa Claus, but you'd have to be a real Scrooge not to believe in the Santa Claus Boogie. Merry Christmas from the Tractors! (There's an advertisement up front, but it ain't too long).

I join with Stacy McCain…

…in giving thanks to the Almighty that the 111th Congress is now over.

I was hoping to find some photos of Pelosi et al being chased out of the Capitol building by irate taxpayers wielding giant gavels, but I guess this will have to do:


Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman and Alan Grayson bid a tearful goodbye to the 111th Congress.

No Labels?!? Then how the hell do we know who gets which present?

The No Labels watchdog operation I founded, No Fables, is on the job. I'm...well, I don’t know if pleased is exactly the right word…more like aghast, to report Jim Geraghty’s detection of the faux moderate organization in the act of committing poetry.

I’ve read a lot of awful poetry in my time – even written quite a bit of it – but this is just about rock bottom. It’s an attempted assault and battery riff on “The Night Before Christmas”. If I had to give a title to it, though, I’d call it something like “Talent Takes a Holiday”, or maybe “With Profound Apologies to Clement Moore (or Possibly to Henry Livingstone)”.

Now, if you’d like to read a truly imaginative take on this well-beloved poem, check out this version by that wild man of the worldwide web, TimT.

North Korea’s latest propaganda blockbuster

My question is, does anybody in North Korea actually own a television set to watch this stuff on?

Very retro-Stalinist. And what’s with the lightning bolts and avalanche? Are we supposed to assume that North Korea, using the latest in Al Gore technology, has developed some kind of secret climate-change death ray?

Socialism: The New Frontier

Not new, exactly, because the expense and extent of regulation have been with us for decades. With the Obama administration, however, we are seeing tremendous leaps forward in the use of executive fiat to accomplish what the legislative branch hasn’t dared to attempt (and which the public, I hope, will not long tolerate).

Protein Wisdom has two excellent posts on this issue: one on the EPA’s sweeping new mandates, and one on “net neutrality”.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Transparently opaque

Incompetence or another of the Obama administration’s stonewalling tactics? The Office of Labor Management Statistics has yet to release its annual report on union corruption.
The Office of Labor Management Statistics (OLMS) was supposed to release an annual report tracking labor unions and evidence of corruption in union leadership in January 2010 but still hasn’t released the document.

OLMS, which falls under the Department of Labor, has released no such tracking report since George W. Bush’s administration, something that has the conservative nonprofit organization Americans for Limited Government (ALG) up in arms. ALG filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the 2009 report, and OLMS denied the group’s request by saying it needed more time to complete the report. Originally, however, those reports were publicly available on the OLMS website.

ALG’s current head of research, Don Todd, who led OLMS during the Bush administration, told The Daily Caller he doubts it would be too difficult for the Obama administration to release that information, as they’re supposed to keep track of it all year long. He also said that this administration’s failure to release the report is “freakishly incompetent.” He suspects politics is to blame.

“It’s got to be a political decision,” Todd said in a phone interview.
Not a surprising conclusion, given that Hilda Solis, the Secretary of Labor, has historically been a strong partisan of organized labor. When she was nominated by Obama for the post, she had previously served several terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she racked up a perfect 100% AFL-CIO voting record in her last year as a congress-critter.

Of course, there is a delicious irony in voting 100% of the time in favor of organized labor’s platform, while apparently remaining uninterested in the well-established history of labor leaders’ fleecing of the rank and file, the ties of some unions to organized crime, and the increasing violence manifested by outfits such as SEIU. Why, a cynical sort of fellow might even advance the notion that’s Ms. Solis’ ostensibly pure-hearted commitment to labor had more to do with votes and power than with the plight of the working man.

Release the report, Secretary Solis. What have you got to hide?

WTF?

Oh, wait. I’m sorry. I mean W.T.F.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I thought it was probably something like that


From the excellent Savage Chickens.

Look at it this way...

...Bill Clinton was still president when this Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority bus driver commenced his extended leave.

Ready. Aim. Give!

For that high-caliber person on your Christmas gift list, you might want to consider Bullet Designs. Permit me to especially recommend for your consideration the shot pattern clock and the bullet dangles.

Brad Smilo and the Rahm Emanuel interview


Brad Smilo, here, with Paco World News Daily. Today, we’re going inside the storage unit of Rahm Emanuel, who has caught some flak from opponents in his Chicago mayoral bid over residency issues. He’s hoping to demonstrate that all of the possessions he has stored here in Chicago will support his claim to be a continuous resident of the windy city. Isn’t that right, Rahm?

Rahm: F***in’ A, Brad.

Brad: Well, then, how about giving us a tour?

Rahm: Oh, absof***in’lutely.

Brad: Say, isn’t that a New York Times vending machine?

Rahm: Ummmm…yeah. I got it at an auction. Thought it might make a nice conversation piece.

Brad: Now, this is interesting. I notice that the machine is full of newspapers. In fact, the front page has what seems to be a negative article about you.

Rahm: Yeah, those bastards. Guess the joke’s on them, huh? I mean, I think it’s kind of amusing to have a vending machine with that particular edition. Shows people that I got a sense of humor and don’t take that sort of libelous crap seriously, even when it’s written by a bunch of idiot journalism school c***suckers.

Brad: Quite a coincidence, you finding something like that at an auction.

Rahm: Ain’t it, though? Now, over here, I keep all my kitchen gear – pots, pans, plates…

Brad: What’s in this box? Wow! That’s an awful lot of flatware; looks like place settings for twenty people or more. This is an interesting design on the handles; it appears to be an airplane. What does this say? Hmmm...“Delta…”

Rahm: Yeah, got ‘em at a yard sale. Over here, I have some junk from my garage.

Brad: What’s that big stack over there?

Rahm: Next to the copper tubing and wires?

Brad: No, behind the No Parking signs and the pallet of flat-screen television sets.

Rahm: Oh, those are Cadillac hubcaps.

Brad: Where…?

Rahm: A flea market. Er, somewhere near Joliette, I think.

Brad: Are these real parking meters?

Rahm: Erm…yeah, city surplus.

Brad [rattle, rattle, rattle]: Hey, this one’s still got money in it!

Rahm: Well, now, serendipity-yi-ki-yay, cowboy!

Brad: Rahm, it looks as if, among your possessions in this Chicago storage facility, there’s a pretty good chunk of Chicago, itself!

Rahm: Good point, Brad. Kinda what you’d expect from a long-time permanent resident, isn’t it?

Brad: Yes, I suppose so. Thanks for giving us some time today, Rahm. Good luck in the upcoming election.

Rahm: Thanks, Brad. Say, you fellahs need something to load that sound equipment in to help you get it back to your van?

Brad: What have you got?

Rahm: How about a shopping cart?

Brad: Geez, you’ve got one of those, too?

Rahm: One? Take your pick. Costco, Save-A-Lot. Here; take this one from Trader Joe’s. Lots a’ class!

Brad: Thanks, again, Rahm! This has been Brad Smilo of the PWND radio network.

Santa Claus is coming to town...

...and should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

"I say, Holmes, someone's pinched the Great Auk!"

An American has been charged with stealing 299 stuffed birds from a museum in England.

Monday, December 20, 2010

We have a winnah!

iOwnTheWorld has published the finalists in its PUK contest, and hizzoner, William Jacobson - the sole judge - has picked the winner.

No Fables

Hey, I like civility as much as the next guy; even more so, since, when you’re 55 and out of shape, civility is less painful and expensive than going to the doctor so he can reset your broken nose.

But I object strenuously to politicians and pundits who use civility as a tree to hide behind while they take potshots at people with whom they disagree – for example, the kind of people you will find at No Labels (about which I have written here and here). Paco Enterprises, therefore, effective immediately, is establishing a watchdog group – No Fables. Our staff of dozens of trained researchers I will be keeping a close eye on the editorials, broadsides, fatwas and pronunciamentos issued by No Labels in order to detect signs of progressivism in sheep’s clothing, and will be updating readers from time to time on my audit results. Stay tuned.

A few hours later

Well, that was fast! Let’s take a look at a couple of the “Founding Leaders” of No Labels.

Jonathan Cowen is President and founder of Third Way, a “leading moderate think-tank.” How moderate exactly? The outfit’s web site describes it as:
…the leading moderate think-tank of the progressive movement. Our aims: an economic agenda that is focused on growth and middle class success; a culture of shared values; a national security approach that is both tough and smart; and a clean energy revolution. We create high-impact products for use by elected officials, candidates and the Administration.

Our team is comprised of a former White House deputy and agency chief of staff, senior congressional aides, policy experts, nonprofit leaders and campaign veterans. We are governed by a prominent private sector Board of Trustees. We also have a dozen elected officials who serve as honorary co-chairs. Three of our former chairs now serve in the senior ranks of the Obama administration: Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Under-Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher.

With our name, we proudly join the tradition of 20th century leaders who held true to core progressive values but also challenged outdated orthodoxies: Theodore Roosevelt, who tamed the fierce capitalism of the Gilded Age; Franklin Roosevelt, the “Great Experimenter;” Lyndon Johnson, who pushed his own party to embrace social justice; and Bill Clinton, who offered a new covenant with the middle class. And today, we are working with President Obama and Congress to ensure that this tradition continues—that reform and new thinking are essential parts of this next progressive era.*
So, Third Way’s pantheon of presidential worthies is stocked with one progressive Republican and three Democrats (including, somewhat laughably, LBJ, whose dedication to social justice was so strong that he had the FBI spy on its leading proponents, I suppose in order to drink deeply of the wisdom to be found in their unfiltered, private counsels).

As to team composition – “a former White House deputy and agency chief of staff, senior congressional aides, policy experts, nonprofit leaders and campaign veterans” – one is hard-pressed to imagine a talent pool less likely to be knowledgeable about “middle class success”, or truly sympathetic to the middle class’s genuine interests. The fact that three former chairs of this organization now serve in the most ideologically leftwing administration in decades is prima facie evidence that a key part of the mission statement is bunkum.

One can only guess as to the nature and purpose of those “high-impact products for use by elected officials, candidates and the Administration.” Perhaps this is a reference to the high-caliber talking points found on the web site which are marshaled in support of, among other things, the D.R.E.A.M. Act and ObamaCare.

"Third Way", indeed. I am reminded of something the late Bill Buckley wrote decades ago in an essay on Mexico’s sociopolitical system. The country’s economic theme was “neither capitalism nor socialism” - “leaving you,” Buckley wrote, “with, well, with what Mexico’s got.” Thank you, Jonathan, but the first way adopted by our nation’s founders – limited government in conjunction with individual freedom and responsibility – still strikes me as the best way.

* The web site's "About Us" section has been changed since I read it this morning. What I typed above is what I cut and pasted earlier. It now reads like this. The change was presumably for the purpose of giving the site a more "moderate" tone, something more...non-labelish.

Another “Founding Leader” is John Avlon, a CNN political analyst whose main contribution to civility appears to be a volume bearing the scholarly and non-inflammatory title, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America”. I have not read the book, but a glance at the table of contents reveals the basic drift:

“Of Tea Parties and Town Halls”

“Obama Derangement Syndrome”

“The Birth of White Minority Politics”

“Sarah Palin and the Limbaugh Brigades”

True, one peruses the (oddly short) “Wingnut Glossary” and finds a few references to groups such as Code Pink and the 9/11 Truthers, but this seems to be mere tut-tutting over the occasional small leftist splinter group, the flake content of which is so high that even a CNN commentator finds it indefensible. No, what gives the game away is the naming of two mainstream conservatives – Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh – in the context of the lunatic fringe. If one sets the boundary of right-wing lunacy this side of Palin and Limbaugh, and the boundary of leftwing lunacy this side of Code Pink, then the effect is to shift the center considerably to the left, making it possible for someone – say, John Avlon – to condemn people who dare to entertain the very notion that Obama might just have some socialist leanings.

BTW, if you’re dying to buy this book, Amazon has new editions marked down to $10.35, or you can buy one used for as little as $0.01. Better purchase Wingnuts now, though, before David Frum refers to it as “Burkean” and drives the price through the roof (maybe to two or even three cents).

More to come at a future date - unless, as I suspect, the organization collapses from the weight of its own hubris, which could happen at any moment.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Homeland Insecurity

Around the world

Activist mother of murdered teen gunned down in Mexico.

Michael Moore’s commie propaganda is such b.s. that it’s even shunned by other commies.

Kosovo’s prime minister has been accused of leading a criminal gang that harvested organs of executed Serbian prisoners.

The UK Red Cross has banned Christmas (to avoid offending the usual offendees).

Next time, you might want to use a pick-up truck.

A French electrician has come forward with a fortune in heretofore unknown Picasso paintings - and is having a hell of a time explaining how they came into his possession.

More super-secret Jew weapons!

Sunday funny



On the same subject, Grammy Award winner Buck Howdy sings "Help You Make it to Your Flight" (video embedded in the news article).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rule 5 Saturday

Carmen Miranda in footage from a 1939 Brazilian film.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Assortment

California continues its long, slow economic suicide (more on the subject from the excellent Professor Jacobson).

Whether brown or red, totalitarianism leads to genocide.

An interesting recipe from Etcetera.

kae on the three ages of man.

Harry Reid’s spendapalooza crashes and burns.

Bob Feller, RIP. As Don Surber says, “God needed another starter.”

Happy Feet Friday

The high energy Mr. Louis Jordan and his band perform “Reet, Petite and Gone”.

BFFs

Twenty CEOs of major corporations met with President Obama for a love fest yesterday. It’s yet another example of Lenin’s claim that capitalists would gladly sell the rope with which they’d ultimately be hanged.

In attendance were some of Obama’s biggest corporate boosters, many of whom are totally on board with cap and trade:
Also notable is the fact that many of the corporations represented – General Electric (GE), Duke Energy, NextEra Energy, Dow Chemical and PepsiCo – are current members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP).

USCAP is a lobbying coalition of businesses and environmental groups that lobby heavily for energy legislation like cap and trade. USCAP, in fact, takes credit for getting the recent Waxman-Markey bill passed in the House last year.
Honeywell CEO and big-government fifth-columnist David Cote had this to say:
“Government is the enabler of business…Government and business need to work together.”
Exactly, Dave. The government needs corporate lackeys to help in the implementation of statist central planning; how wonderful that people like you are willing to step up to the plate to improve the optics, to give the “capitalist” imprimatur to socialism and junk-science – which, strangely, you failed to point out are directly benefiting your company:
What Cote did not mention is that his company has already been working closely with the Obama Administration, and was a major beneficiary of the Recovery Act — as were many of the other companies represented. According to Recovery.gov, Honeywell received over $44 million in grants from the Department of Energy (DOE) for renewable energy initiatives.
Not all, certainly, but far too many companies are perfectly willing to lock in (what they assume will be) stable, predictable returns on investment, even at the cost of undermining the American tradition of individual freedom, with all the messy risk and unpredictability that liberty entails. Large organizations – whether government or private sector – tend toward bureaucratization, and bureaucracy is to creativity as the garrote is to the neck bone. Creativity, imagination and drive; these are the great invisible line items in the capital section of the balance sheet, and without them the only thing you have is a nominal private-sector organization that will take the path of least resistance toward survival by puckering its lips and homing in on the federal udder. If the organization has to direct its financial investment and R&D toward the creation of an enormous “green” energy infrastructure, the need for which is based on a scientifically spurious, but politically correct, government imperative, then so be it. Why spend all the time and effort and money in a truly competitive environment to meet genuine market demand for products and services actually desired by the public –it’s all so risky! - when you can take advantage of the government's ability to create demand overnight through executive and congressional mandates. Plus you can get all those juicy subsidies, to boot!

The great threat comes not only from expansionist government, but also from those in what is ostensibly known as the private sector who are fetched by the siren song of influence, power and special treatment. Competitive advantage that is not based on real production efficiencies or outstanding customer service or quality products and services that people want, but on special pleading and political (and monetary) payoffs to the best-connected lobbyists and congressmen is bad news for the consumer, bad news for good government and bad news for democracy. Bear that in mind the next time you consider buying something from Honeywell or GE (or a bottle of Pepsi, for cryin’ out loud! Glad I switched to Mexican Coca-Cola).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sometimes travel broadens the mind...

...and sometimes it merely flattens it.

From the shelves of the Paco library


I’ve always loved miscellanies, probably because they’re so…I dunno…miscellaneous. Not completely, of course. The ideal miscellany is a collection of bits and oddments related to an overarching theme, as is the case with Angus Konstam’s Naval Miscellany, published by Osprey, one of the more prolific military presses.

The book ranges far and wide, incorporating brief summaries of everything from famous sea battles to the top ten knots with which every sailor should be familiar, and (naturally) the basics of wind, currents and sailing. You’ll find short biographies of John Paul Jones (who also served in the Russian navy), Lord Nelson, Chester Nimitz, and a recounting of naval victories over notorious pirates such as Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Stede Bonnet (the “Gentleman Pirate”) and Batholomew Roberts (“Black Bart”). One interesting thing I learned on the first page of the first chapter is that, although Winston Churchill’s description of the Royal Navy as “rum, the lash and sodomy” is apocryphal, Churchill always wished that he had said it. Here are a couple of samples from this excellent browser.

Under the heading, “Ten Warships That Sank Without The Help Of The Enemy”, we have the sad fate of HMS Association (1707):
Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell* was returning home from the Mediterranean, when his squadron was wrecked on the Isles of Scilly. According to legend, shortly before the disaster a sailor warned the admiral that the islands lay in the path of the ships. Shovell threatened to hang the man for his impudence, and hours later the flagship Association hit a rock, and sank with all hands. Two other warships – the Eagle and the Romney - were also lost in the disaster. As a result the admiralty offered a reward for anyone who could successfully determine longitude at sea – a competition which led to the invention of John Harrison’s marine chronometer.
I’ve occasionally joked, I believe, about Wronwright’s Bolivian admiral’s uniform; however, I discovered, to my surprise, that there not only is a Bolivian navy, but that it’s fairly substantial:
With 173 operational vessels, the Bolivians have the largest navy of any landlocked country, most of which are based in one place. Their navy patrols the waters of Lake Titicaca…[t]he Bolivians also maintain a small naval station in the Argentinian riverside town of Rosario, from where – in theory – it could reach the open sea over 400 miles downstream.
Naval Miscellany is a fine little reference work and a pleasure to dip into or read straight through. One last thing: if you’re in the wardroom , don’t show yourself up for a lubber by passing the port counterclockwise!

*To me, the price of the book ($US15.95) was worth it just to discover that outstanding name.

More great analysis from Taiwan animators

Ace has a truly hilarious video that gives Obama's recent press conference abdication to Bill Clinton the Taiwan treatment.

Coming soon: escargot-flavored ice cream

But until then, you’ll have to make do with haggis-flavored potato chips.

(H/T: Instapundit)

Update - Via John in the comments: the Haggis Hunt is on.

Michael Moore sells off inventory of Doritos to help Julian Assange make bail

"Activist" filmmaker (translation: obnoxious attention-junkie with a camera) offers to help Julian Assange arrange for bail.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You may have a few moments to think it over

The New Robber Barons

Otherwise known as the U.S. Senate. The Democrats have proposed a $1.1 trillion spending bill for FY 2011 that includes gobs of pork, and, most ominously of all, allocations to fund Obama Care (a key provision of which has just been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge). Any Republican who supports this pig - and, yes, I'm looking at you, Bond and Collins - ought to get primaried.


"Spurgeon, hand me my clue-by-four."

"The one with the protruding nails, sir?"

"Yes. Half measures would seem to be pointless at this stage."

"Very good, sir."

What's up down under?

Here's a bloke who went and married his dog. Although the relationship is characterized by the groom as platonic, the two are still planning a honeymoon (possibly at this location).

For those Americans who have been frustrated by their inability to find employment in today's Obamafied economy, you may want to consider one of these jobs in Australia (I've got dibs on "Beach Babe Judge").

Tim Blair is conducting some important research, and he could use your help.

Frontier justice

All I can say is "Bravo!"

From Cubachi:
In the seafood restaurant of Lolo, a gang of kidnappers in possession of AK-47s approached the 17-year-old cashier and tried to kidnap the teenager. However, citizens had enough with the kidnappings, the murders, the threats, and the incompetence of the Mexican police. Instead, the town took to their own kind of legal justice.

The mob of residents, chased down the two teenage kidnappers, and lynched them in a local cotton field.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Al Gore's Epic Win

Al Gore has been fighting global warming for many years, and, by golly, I believe he's beaten it.

You can stop now, Al. Please.


Al Gore, after putting in a long night, prepares to retire to a coffin filled with his native soil.

Unconstitutional!

So says a Solomonic Federal District judge about the mandate provision of Obama Care.

The suit which led to this decision was lodged by none other than Virgina Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Attaboy, Ken!


(Banner gratefully pinched from Don Surber)

So, what's in the can? Peas or tomato sauce?

When there aren't any labels, you can't tell - with respect to food, anyway. As to David Frum's new exercise in the virtues of "moderation", No Labels, it's all too clear that the product is opportunism, seasoned with good, old fashioned liberal transfat.

I mentioned this new organization in a post last week, and the movers and shakers have now convened in New York to get this balloon in the air.
A mishmash coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents came together here Monday to launch a political organization that the members hope will change behavior in what they decried as an increasingly hyperpartisan system.

The group, No Labels, is not a third party, its founders say, but rather a home for Americans who have felt homeless amid the recent growth of the liberal netroots and tea party movements, as well as the deepening partisan divide in Congress.
And who turned out to be the key speakers? Why, you'll never guess!
High-profile elected officials were scheduled to speak at Monday's launch event to endorse the group, including New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I); Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Evan Bayh (Ind.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.); Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.); Democratic Reps. Bruce Braley (Iowa) and Joe Sestak (Pa.); Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I).

In addition, two Republicans who were ousted in contentious primaries this year - Rep. Bob Inglis (S.C.), who lost reelection, and Rep. Michael N. Castle (Del.), who lost his Senate race - came to voice their support.
I figure that this thing will be a total bust. I don't think most Americans want business as usual, and their chief concern right now is restoring limits to the growth of government, not sustaining a good old boys club in which kleptocrats from both parties join together in anesthetizing the electorate with rhetorical opiates about the importance of "bipartisanship", while continuing to loot the taxpayer. What we need is not "No Labels", but "Truth in Labeling".

With Democrats, for the most part, permanently chained to an ideology of incremental socialism, and far too many Republicans simply "not getting it" when it comes to the public's rapidly diminishing appetite for big government, I've got some radically different ideas about bipartisanship, which can be neatly summed up as follows:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday gift ideas for leftists!


Good news, lefties! Paco Enterprises has no politics where a buck is concerned, so have a look at these fine products for the holidays.

Paco Publishing
You know that you could out-argue conservatives by resorting to the Marxist dialectic - if you could just manage to stop falling asleep over the Master’s dreary prose long enough to figure out what he’s talking about.

Paco Enterprises’ publishing arm is here to help you, comrades! Catch the latest trends in commie news, gossip and agitprop, all nestled among the finest specimens of feminine pulchritude, with these magazines. Guaranteed to keep your attention from wandering! Click on photos to enlarge.







Red China, Ltd


As a leftist, you recognize the importance of turning every thing you do into a symbol of “The Cause”. Your next afternoon tea should be no different. Transform those informal parlor-revolutionary chats into a monument to your undying hatred of the Tea Party movement with the Hitler Teapot. Made of highest quality china by skilled German craftsmen in a modern factory located in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, this item will always be there to remind you and your friends of the Main Enemy, as well as to massage your ego by assuring you of your subtle cleverness.

Krazy Karl’s Anti-Capitalist Roaders


Ever sit in traffic, grinding your teeth at the sight of all those fancy, bourgeois automobiles, wishing that you could trade in your own Mercedes or BMW for something more lumpen? Boy, has Krazy Karl got a deal for you! In an old warehouse outside of Novosibirsk, we recently discovered a limited quantity of used 1958 Russian ZAZ automobiles. Declare your allegiance to communism, as those Nissans and Hondas go whizzing past you on the highway, while sitting behind the wheel of one of these babies. Order now and get 12 months of free towing service!


So, workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your change, with Paco Enterprises' low, low prices. 'Tis the season to purge your wallets of that bourgeois loot and start providing for each according to his need. If you place your order before noon Monday, we guarantee delivery no later than December 18 (Stalin's birthday!) Happy holidays!

Rule 5 Saturday

Joan Leslie: reet, sweet and petite!

Just another day in Alberta

It's ok; the bison has a designated driver.

Happy Feet Friday

In 1956, a bio-pic of Benny Goodman was released, starring Steve Allen as Benny. Here’s a scene based on the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert, featuring the real Martha Tilton and one of my favorite trumpet players, Ziggy Elman.



Special bonus! Here’s some actual footage from the 1938 concert.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Secret Jew Sharks!

From Egypt's Department of Paranoia.

Is it me...

...or is the world of sports actually getting weirder every day?

There’s something about Berkeley, California…

…that makes me glad I live on the other side of the continent.

On the other hand, what a great social laboratory it is, a giant Petri dish of ideological toxins. Having studied leftist political beliefs for many years, as well as modes of attempted actualization of same, I have come to the conclusion that adherence to leftism, in 75.3% of all cases, is a function of (a) aversion to useful work, (b) perpetual immaturity, (c) narcissism and (d) the (frequently sociopathic) inability to empathize with other human beings except on an abstract level – and even at the abstract level, the empathy is often little more than insincere posturing designed to mask the existence of the other three root causes, which the typical leftist would have to admit are unattractive personal attributes.

The remaining 24.7% are just stupid or plain nuts (or both).

(H/T: Friend and commenter, Deborah)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A titan of industry comments on current events


Transcript of the latest interview conducted by Brad Smilo of Paco World News Daily (PWND) with J. Packington Paco III

Smilo: Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. America! This is Brad Smilo broadcasting from the penthouse suite high atop Paco Tower. I’m standing in…say, what room is this, Spurgeon?

Spurgeon: Mr. Paco refers to this as his “counting room”, sir. It is the sanctum sanctorum of Paco Enteprises, where the fruits of Mr. Paco’s labors, on a net basis, can be readily totted up.

Smilo: Interesting wallpaper. Wait a minute…Are these real hundred-dollar bills?

Spurgeon: Indeed, sir. Mr. Paco has always felt that the color green has a soothing influence on the human mind, and has frequently alluded to its similarity to the effect of oil on troubled waters.

Smilo: With the oil spill disaster in the Gulf this past year, I’m not sure that metaphor is still valid!

Spurgeon: Mr. Paco had the foresight to short the common stock of British Petroleum some weeks before the disaster, sir, so, if I may be permitted to venture an opinion, I can, without any reservation whatsoever, say that the metaphor has, if anything, acquired an even greater measure of validity.

Smilo: Well, you’ve got me there, Spurgeon! [Loudly sniffs the air] Hey, I smell smoke!

Spurgeon: If you will bear to the right at the end of the series of gold columns…

Smilo: Not real gold, surely?

Spurgeon: Only 18 karat, sir. Mr. Paco’s aversion to needless ostentation is legendary.

Smilo: Er…yes, yes, of course.

Spurgeon: As I was saying, Mr. Smilo, if you will just turn to your right after the last column, you will find Mr. Paco engaged in some end-of-the-year accounting work. The source of the smoke will become evident.

Smilo: Thank you, Spurgeon.

Spurgeon: Not at all, sir.

Smilo: That was Spurgeon, folks, J. Packington Paco’s gentleman’s personal gentleman. And now, as I round the last column, here’s the subject of our interview in the flesh! [Aside: And so much of it!] How are you J.P.?

J.P: Well, well, well! Good to see you again, Brad! Please, join me here by the fire and we’ll have a nice chat.

Smilo: That’s a fantastic fireplace, J.P.! It looks like the one in the living room at Xanadu in Citizen Kane.

J.P: Some thirty square feet larger, I would imagine, Brad.

Smilo: That’s a large chunk of wood in there. A little early for the Yule log, isn’t it?

J.P.: Mwaha! Gad, sir, you are a character! No, it’s the trunk of a Brazilian rosewood, and there’s no holiday significance to it at all.

Smilo: Isn’t that an endangered species?

J.P.: Is it? Tut-tut. Well, no sense in extinguishing the blaze now. Besides, Brazilian rosewood burns with very intense heat – a highly useful quality when one is tidying up at the end of one’s fiscal year.

Smilo: What is that you’re feeding into the fire?

J.P.: Just some old accounting ledgers and sales invoices, along with a few photographs.

Smilo: Oh, here, you dropped one of the pictures. S-a-y, isn’t that a photo of Tim Geithner with…

J.P: Er, with one of his nieces. Here, let me relieve you of that.

Smilo: Amazing! She looks just like Kim Kardashian.

J.P.: Yes, the, um, resemblance is striking.

Smilo: Gosh, Mr. Geithner appears to be exceptionally fond of his niece. Hmmm. He seems to be…

J.P: Brushing the crumbs from some Girl Scout cookies off her lap, exactly.

Smilo: You must have a lot of influence for you to be able to get that close to the Secretary of the Treasury.

J.P.: M’yes. Or vice versa, as the case may be.

Smilo: J.P., I’m sure my radio listeners would like to know your thoughts on the recent midterm elections.

J.P. [sighing deeply]: I’ll tell you honestly, Brad, it was not with unmixed emotions that I saw this wave of probity come flooding through the halls of Congress, washing away a multitude of Democrats like so many shabby mobile homes. I mean, with all those Democrats in office, for the aggressive financier such as myself it was always a buyer’s market. But, taking one thing with another, I believe the return of sound fiscal principles is good for the country. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say, even an old steamer like Paco Enterprises!

Smilo: More like a luxury liner, J.P.! What do you think of your fellow billionaires who say the government should raise taxes on the wealthy?

J.P.: Monstrous hypocrisy, sir! They always have the option of making donations to the U.S. Treasury if they really believe the government can put their money to better use than they, themselves, can. But of course, they know the government’s relationship to productivity is the same as the shredder’s to paper, and so they won’t contribute a dime over and above what is absolutely and legally unavoidable. It is all so much canting nonsense. What Warren Buffett and his ilk really want – having already booby-trapped their own wallets with fishhooks - is for the government to pick the other fellow’s pocket, to loot the truly productive petite riche. I assure you, Brad, the public statements of people like Buffett represent nothing but a smokescreen, an attempt to distract the advocates of class warfare from homing in on the genuine fat cats. Besides, how do we know that Buffett would, in fact, pay higher taxes under a more progressive rate schedule than he does presently? How do we know that he pays anything now? Let him publish his tax returns, that’s the real test of his sincerity.

Smilo: Some political pundits are saying that President Obama’s concessions to the Republicans on a proposed new tax bill represent an attempt at triangulation. What do you say to that?

J.P.: G.K. Chesterton once said that anything worth doing is worth doing badly, but I believe the president is rather carrying the sentiment expressed in the aphorism to an extreme. Chesterton, of course, meant that if you enjoy painting or writing poetry or playing the piccolo, you shouldn’t let the possession of only modest skills prevent you from doing something that you love to do – in other words, the thing is worth doing if only for the pleasure it gives you. I do not believe that Chesterton intended to say that a total lack of competence was immaterial in the exercise of vast and important public responsibilities. With respect to the strategy of political triangulation, the idea is to portray one’s policies as striking a reasonable balance between extremes, in the hope of peeling off enough support from the right and left to form a substantial center, from which one commands the moral heights. To pull this off, however, one must at least give the appearance of having willingly, and even cheerfully, engaged in an act of honorable compromise. President Obama has, instead, given the impression that the only reason he agreed to Republican demands is because a bunch of conservatives bound him hand and foot with duct tape, threw him in the trunk of John Boehner’s car, and drove him off to a secret location from which his captors – his “hostage takers”, I believe he called them - refused to release him until he had signed on the dotted line. In short, he appears, to the left, to be compromising on a matter of principle, and, to the right, to have done so only grudgingly, and probably with an eye toward doing an about-face at his earliest opportunity. Thus, Obama’s attempt at triangulation has wound up emphasizing the centrifugal, as opposed to the centripetal, force of the political yo-yo he’s swinging around on the end of its string, and he’s liable to wind up putting somebody’s eye out – probably Nancy Pelosi’s.

Smilo: J.P., as always, you’ve been very enlightening. Thanks for giving us a little of your valuable time. Hey…just a minute…isn’t that a photo of Lindsey Graham and…Meghan McCain? What’s with the Little Bo Peep costume?

J.P: Oh, something taken at a Halloween party, no doubt. I’ll just consign this to the blaze.

Smilo: But what was that Meghan McCain was wearing?

J.P.: I can’t say that I noticed. Ah, now we’ll never know, unfortunately. The photograph is nothing but ashes.

Spurgeon: Your hat and coat, sir.

Smilo: Thank you Spurgeon. You know, J.P., I think I saw a whip and some long leather gloves…kind of like…

J.P.: The teamster on a 19th century freight wagon? I’m sure you’re right. Please favor us with another visit at your earliest opportunity.

Smilo: Thank you, J.P! That was J. Packington Paco III, ladies and gentlemen, and you’ve been listening to an exclusive interview on the PWND radio network.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Liberals are more compassionate than conservatives, right?

As a matter of fact, no, no they're not.

Barack Obama loses title

Meet the new Captain Awesome.

Obama yields to "terrorists"

Or rather, to Republicans (six of one, a half dozen of the other).

Amazing how this genius keeps managing to hide his intelligence under a basket. In an attempt to placate the left, he claims that Republicans are "hostage-takers", which simply makes him look weak. Then he snarls at his base, some of whom are no doubt now thinking primary challenge.

But, in my view, the most interesting thing to come out of all this tax-bill sturm und drang is the undaunted class-warfare emoting issuing from that state of perpetual adolescence known as the American left. They really hate the productive classes, folks, and it's disturbing (yet useful, in a cautionary way) to see that we're still facing an ominous threat from this zombie ideology. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and, as any conservative worth his salt will tell you, the elections this year only represented the first small, tentative step in the direction of political sanity.

Update: Cave man.

Is the Clintonian plague withering away?

Kathleen McCaffrey at Legal Insurrection thinks it's a possibility.

Calling for nominations!

iowntheworld is seeking nominations for its PUK award, which recognizes the best conservative graphic image of the year. Go to it!

Heroes

Smitty posts a thoughtful Pearl Harbor Day reflection.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Generic punditry?

Many years ago, on a business trip somewhere in Florida, I wandered into a small grocery store. It was back when generic products first began catching on as a way to cut food costs, and I recall seeing six-packs of generic beer: white cans emblazoned with the simple word “BEER” in black letters. I found this extremely amusing – the sheer minimalism of it all! – and although I didn’t buy any, I suspect that the quality was probably not on a par with premium suds.

I was reminded of that little incident on reading this piece by Stanley Kurtz at NRO. In the article, Kurtz draws attention to the efforts of William Galston and David Frum to establish a new organization called “No Labels”, the purpose of which, ostensibly, is to fight the “’hyper-polarization’ of American political debate.”

On the surface, it sounded as if No Labels was going to be merely another exercise in centrist blather, the kind of “no plague on anybody’s house”, middle-of-the-road applesauce one has come to expect from opinion mongers whose logical faculties prevent them from swallowing all of the basic assumptions of Democratic Party utopianism, but whose educational and professional backgrounds make them personally uncomfortable with populist conservatives – in short, a kind of punditry analagous to the generic beer that gave me a such a chuckle back when. But not so. As Kurtz demonstrates, through recounting an earlier episode in which Frum tried to torpedo even the idea of discussing Obama’s radicalism by attacking Kurtz’s book, Radical-in-Chief, before it was published, Frum is not so much interested in maintaining standards of civil debate as he is in arrogating to himself the right to determine the parameters of the debate, itself - and in such a way as to reinforce the insidious encroachments on our liberties of a “progressive” agenda by denying us even the right to call it by its correct name. This is not generic, “no labels” centrism, but leftist arsenic in a conservative aspirin bottle.

Permit me to suggest that the setting up of oneself as a modern-day Solomon is an awesome undertaking, and even if such a thing were possible (or desirable), it is obvious that Frum is not the man for the job. No, Frum is more like the young Joseph, son of Jacob, who keeps dreaming that his brother pundits will one day bow down to him. Well, Dave, as the saying goes, dream on.

Update - Larry Sheldon in the comments:
In Palo Alto, across from the California Avenue train station there was a store that specialized in the black-on-white generic products (competed with the been-there-for-years Co-Op up the street I suppose.

Anyway--most days, there was a delivery truck, painted white with [drum roll please] in black block letters "TRUCK".

Now days I suppose those product say "Great Value" on them, and the trucks say "WAL*MART"
Larry's given me a great idea: I think I'll just change the name of this thing to "Blog".

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hey, the White House sent me a Christmas card!

Assortment

Mind Numbed Robot says, ”Peace, baby!”

It’s bad enough that Christian mother Asia Bibi has been condemned to death in Pakistan for “blaspheming” against Islam. Now, some pus-bucket of a mullah is offering a reward for her murder in prison. BTW, here’s what a collective IQ of 12 looks like.



Calling for primary challenges to Lindsey Graham!

Invincible Armor, er, gently chides the increasingly pompous Mike Bloomberg.

The federal government is warning its employees not to read Wikileaks documents that have already been made public. Hey, let’s go the extra mile. How about if the federal government orders all unauthorized persons around the world not to read the stuff that’s already in their own newspapers?

An extraordinarily comprehensive roundup of Rule 5 action from Yankee Phil.

Richard McEnroe gets into the Christmas spirit (jihad style).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Smitty?

Is that you?

Sunday funny

Bombshell: Barney Frank has retired from the House of Representatives to take a job with the TSA!



Next time, take the train.

(Via JeffS)

Update: Obama and Putin.

Update II: Just in time for Christmas, Obamanopoly!

Calling Boy on a Bike

Boy on a Bike - as all regular readers of Paco Enterprises should know - is an Australian blogger who writes primarily (though not by any means exclusively) about his bicycling adventures, and writes so well, and so humorously, that I gladly read him on any subject.

I invite him to offer his professional opinion of the bikers' air bag.

Hey, where'd the internet go?

I'm not sure how this happened, but, on the surface at least, it looks like it could have ominous ramifications.
Pentagon says "aware" of China Internet rerouting

The Defense Department is aware that Internet traffic was rerouted briefly through China earlier this year, a Pentagon spokesman said on Friday, referring to what a congressionally appointed panel has described as a hijack.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission charged in its annual report on Wednesday that state-owned China Telecom advertised erroneous network routes that instructed "massive volumes" of U.S. and other foreign Internet traffic to go through Chinese servers during an 18-minute stretch on April 8.

Marine Colonel David Lapan, a Defense Department spokesman, told reporters, "We're aware that on the 8th of April ... Internet traffic was rerouted through China."
Maybe that explains all the spam emails I've been getting offering discounts on powdered rhino horn.

H/T: Stosh2

Rule 5 Saturday

It’s Martha Tilton and she’s dancing on air.

Friday, December 3, 2010

You can have my sweet potato pie when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers

More than the TSA's intrusive security procedures, more than ObamaCare, more than government bailouts, it is stuff like this that really gives the game away on the Obamas' core attitude toward the relationship between the citizen and the state:
A child nutrition bill on its way to President Barack Obama — and championed by the first lady — gives the government power to limit school bake sales and other fundraisers that health advocates say sometimes replace wholesome meals in the lunchroom.
Hey, why stop there?
Public health groups pushed for the language on fundraisers, which encourages the secretary of Agriculture to allow them only if they are infrequent. The language is broad enough that a president's administration could even ban bake sales, but Secretary Tom Vilsack signaled in a letter to House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., this week that he does not intend to do that.
Let me put it to you this way, Mr. Vilsack: you've got no business even being in a position to say yea or nay. This is frog-in-a-slow-boiling-pot socialism. Get the rubes used to these "minor" infringements on liberty, today, so that, tomorrow, you can hit them with the real police state restrictions.

I have generally refrained from making harsh comments about the First Lady, but now all bets are off. Michelle, I've seen you in pants, and that behind didn't get two ax-handles wide on a diet of broccoli.

“A very dear season for cucumbers”


I have, myself, used Swift’s Academy of Lagado as an analogy for the larger fooleries of Cli-Fi fanatics; however, Iain Murray at The American Spectator now quotes chapter and verse. For example:
In these colleges the professors contrive new rules and methods of agriculture and building, and new instruments, and tools for all trades and manufactures; whereby, as they undertake, one man shall do the work of ten; a palace may be built in a week, of materials so durable as to last for ever without repairing. All the fruits of the earth shall come to maturity at whatever season we think fit to choose, and increase a hundred fold more than they do at present; with innumerable other happy proposals. The only inconvenience is, that none of these projects are yet brought to perfection; and in the mean time, the whole country lies miserably waste, the houses in ruins, and the people without food or clothes. By all which, instead of being discouraged, they are fifty times more violently bent upon prosecuting their schemes, driven equally on by hope and despair.
Now, here's some warmenist news I can really get excited about:
"World's hottest pepper is 'hot enough to strip paint'"

"It's painful to eat," Fowler told the Daily Mail. "It's hot enough to strip paint." Indeed, the Daily Mail reports that defense researchers are already investigating the pepper's potential uses as a weapon.

They say there’s no such thing as a dumb question

W-e-l-l, I don’t know about that.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In related news, Texas Rangers to become honorary Chuck Norrises

Chuck Norris is honored by Texas' finest.

Today's Chuck Norris fact: Chuck Norris won the 24-hour Le Mans auto race in 15 minutes.

Happy Feet Friday

Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and company dish out “Now You Has Jazz”.