Monday, February 28, 2011

Jane Russell, RIP

Another of the old-time Hollywood greats has left us: Jane Russell has died at age 89.

Here she is with Bob Hope.

Paco’s Diary

Washington is all abuzz about the possibility of a government shutdown. At the agency where I work, many of my colleagues are worried, but all I can do is smile when I think of the giant octopus of bureaucracy having its tentacles bound in great hoops of taxpayer wrath, condemned to squirm ineffectually in the cold depths of budgetary nothingness – for a week or two, at least. I am proudly non-essential, so I wouldn’t be one of the few who have to come in; I’ve even been fantasizing about booking a “government shutdown cruise” somewhere. Or maybe doing some extensive shooting at the range.

* * * * * * * *

The prospect of a shutdown is not what’s really got my fellow employees stirred up, however. Because some of that stimulus money came our way, management has undertaken a building renovation, which includes, among other things, asbestos abatement (ours is a fairly old pile, built back in the early 40s). This has scared many of my associates here, and, while their concerns are certainly legitimate, there is a sizable core of folks who have become practically hysterical over the matter (interestingly, the hysterical, zero-tolerance crowd conforms very closely to those employees of known liberal political sensibilities) Reducing risks to anything other than zero is not good enough for them; the only acceptable alternative, in their view, is to move us all out of the building. The abatement process is supposed to take ten weeks, spread out over (I believe) five years. Senior management – clueless as ever – was stunned by the highly vocal opposition to the asbestos abatement project, and there have been three mass meetings, each one more raucous and incendiary than the last. The best solution would be for congress to simply cancel any unspent stimulus money: no renovation, no asbestos abatement (and, incidentally, a reduction in the use of taxpayer dollars).

* * * * * * * *

How best to round up the fugitive Wisconsin Democrats who are presently hiding out in Illinois? Here are a few thoughts:

1) Set out giant roach motels stuffed with hundred dollar bills

2) Hire professional big-game hunters - armed with tranquilizer dart guns and seated in howdahs on the backs of elephants - and send skilled beaters out in front of them along the motel strips on likely interstate highways and state roads

3) Contract with bounty hunters to fetch them back

4) Call for new elections in the districts of those playing truant.

Additional suggestions welcome.

Update: Steve Burri is opting for #3.

“Liberal lion” (in heat)

Ted Kennedy is probably the U.S. senator most deserving of jail time (who never actually served any).

There is nothing more emblematic of the hypocrisy and falsehood of liberalism than the near-deification of this appalling man – during his lifetime, and now in death – by American leftists.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

“Why won’t anybody listen to me?!?” David Brooks screamed

Well, he didn’t say that, exactly, in his latest attempt to argue that the Republican Party has been hijacked by the conservative “fringe”, but his frustration in failing to win people over to his fantasy that the Tea Party movement consists of a rabble roused to inchoate rage by a handful of radio and television commentators seems to amount to the same thing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Brooks is trying to apply one of Stacy McCain’s blogging rules - to wit, Rule 4, “Make some enemies” – in a desperate move to get attention.

Brooks’ constant, unsubstantiated and strangely vague attacks on conservatives as a group – in which he claimed membership, until quite recently - put me in mind of something George MacDonald Fraser has his protagonist say in one of the Flashman novels: “I'm not a sabre expert…and if I have to use one I'd rather it wasn't in single combat, but in a melee, where you can hang about on the outskirts, roaring your heart out and waiting for an opponent with his back turned.” I suspect that Brooks is at least as irritated by the size of, say, Fox News’ audience, as by what the network's commentators actually have to say. Certainly there seems to be just a trace of envy in his curious (and statistically irrelevant) comment that “More people own ferrets than watch Fox News.” I think it highly likely that more people own hedgehogs than read or listen to David Brooks at all, let alone take him seriously (the number of people in the latter category must vie with the number of birdwatchers who claim to have seen an ivory-billed woodpecker in the wild).

Sometimes a voice in the wilderness is that of a prophet. Most of the time, however, it’s just the yawping of an attention-junky. And Brooks is no prophet.

Monday Movie

One of my favorite Sci-Fi films from the ‘50s is Invaders From Mars. The combination of stark, almost surrealistic sets, an overwhelming sense of growing menace, an occasionally haunting soundtrack, the story unveiled mostly from the view of a small boy in a typical small American town, everything comes together to form a gem of a movie.

Speaking of movies, Richard McEnroe brings us the latest in Hollywood stupid.


A great bumper sticker find from Mind Numbed Robot.

Duke Snider, RIP

Baseball great Duke Snider has died at age 84.

I recommend his memoir, The Duke of Flatbush, a fine inside look at baseball in general and the Brooklyn Dodgers in particular.

The next big international crisis

Dorky Olympic mascots.

Gun joy!

My Ruger SR40 came in last weekend, but because of some big gun shows that were going on down in Richmond, the state police had a huge backlog. As usual when Mrs. Paco and I head down to Virginia Arms in Manassas, we made a day of it, going to the local mall and doing some shopping, having lunch, gassing up the venerable Suburban. When we returned to the store, however, we found, to our dismay, that the paperwork was still in the queue. This gave me even more time to look around, and frankly I'm glad it worked out that way. I had been thinking about making a future purchase of a Mossberg J.I.C. pump-action, but pump-actions, in the hands of the unknowledgeable (or the unwary), can be tricky things, plus there's a certain amount of take-down required when you clean the things. So, while Mrs. Paco engaged one of the employees in conversation ("What's that thingy on the end of the rifle that looks a little like a potato-peeler?") I wandered around the store, perusing the inventory, and I found what, for me, is a perfectly acceptable alternative to a pump-action: a Stoeger coach gun. Manufactured in Brazil, it is a short, double-barreled 12 ga., with an attractive walnut stock and extra-wide fore-grip. The background check never did get done last Saturday, but it was completed early this past week and we went back yesterday and picked the guns up.

Here's the Ruger SR40: a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol that comes with two 15-round magazines. Regular readers will know (or suspect) that my knowledge of the high and ghostly science of gun technology is very limited, which has always predisposed me in favor of the ease and simplicity of revolvers. But the recent clamoring by some of the usual gun-control crowd for a 10-round magazine limit, although not likely to get traction, induced me to get a high-capacity pistol - just in case. I like Ruger, for both quality and price, and I think this one is going to work out nicely (don't forget to click to enlarge).

When I got the Stoeger home, I was somewhat alarmed, upon opening the box, to find that it had been broken down: barrels and fore-grip over here, stock and action over there. Fortunately, the instructions for reassembly were clear, and the process was simple and straightforward. It's a solid, tight little weapon.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunday Funny

Courtesy of Moonbattery.

A mouthwatering new holiday

Iowa has declared February 26 to be Bacon Day.

Celebrate accordingly.

H/T: Instapundit

Rule 5 Saturday

Joan Leslie sings “Goodnight, Sweet Dreams”.

Friday, February 25, 2011

From the shelves of the Paco library

The late Donald Westlake was a modern master of the mystery/crime subgenre known as the “caper”. He was not the originator, however, and the form seems to have really come into its own in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. Editor Michael Sims has collected a dozen representative short stories from the era in The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime, a delightful compendium of the exploits of aristocratic jewel thieves, crafty smugglers, and dashing purloiners of Old Masters.

“And what about the term thief?” Sims writes in the introduction. “These pages are decidedly not populated with the usual suspects. The criminals herein arm themselves with wit rather than with guns. You will run into con games and burglaries, art forgery and diamond smuggling, but you will not stumble over a corpse in the library.” And the stories are not all just about the thief’s desire to enrich himself. “Aside from profit, incidentally, motives in these stories include financing true love and balancing the scales of justice.”

There are some old standbys here – E.W. Hornung’s Raffles, for example – but also a number of stories that represent major departures for authors otherwise well established in other provinces of fiction: O. Henry, Edgar Wallace, William Hope Hodgson. One of my personal favorites is by Sinclair Lewis, of all people, a brilliant tale about a larcenous bank teller whose fictional alter ego, created as part of his carefully thought-out plan to rob the bank where he is employed, actually comes to dominate and finally obliterate the original’s personality, resulting in a peculiar sort of justice.

Perhaps it is Arnold Bennett’s character, Cecil Thorold, who best states the creed of the grafter in “A Comedy on the Gold Coast”. He is enjoying a holiday at a wealthy watering hole in Ostend, and talking to his friend, the American financier, Simeon Rainshore:
”The difference between you and me is this,” Cecil was saying. “You exhaust yourself by making money among men who are all bent on making money, in a place specially set apart for the purpose. I amuse myself by making money among men who, having made or inherited money, are bent on spending it, in places specially set apart for the purpose. I take people off their guard. They don’t precisely see me coming. I don’t rent an office and put up a sign which is equivalent to announcing that the rest of the world had better look out for itself. Our codes are the same, but is not my way more original and more diverting?”
One might question the morality of such a philosophy, but that worldview does make for some very original and diverting yarns, which I believe you might enjoy.

Shep Smith, Genius

Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom, er, gently rebukes the appalling Shep Smith.

More "one hand washing the other"

The Lonely Conservative reveals the latest episode of crony capitalism (the only kind of capitalism Obama understands).

H/T: The Other McCain

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

Fats Domino’s powerful first release (1949), Detroit City Blues (audio only).

The law of unintended consequences (Har, Har Division)

A post over at SEIU’s website generates many astute and witty anti-public-union comments.

Some cheesy humor

From Steve Burri.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wisconsin and Indiana Democrats fleeing across state lines?

Looks like a job for… the Shadow Wolves!

Update - Great line from Dan Riehl: "At this rate, these guys will be sleeping on grates by next month."


Thy name is public employee union.

Michael Barone has a splendid essay in the Washington Examiner about how taxpayers are being forced to support the Democratic Party through the latter’s incestuous relationship with government unions:
Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that “to compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Democrats and their union pals might want to mull that one over before the people begin taking to heart another of Jefferson’s beliefs: “A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation.” And this one: “I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.”

More evidence of government cluelessness

Mr. Bingley discovers an ominous deficiency in our state of preparedness.

Hizzoner, Rahm Emanuel

Rahm wins mayoral contest in Chicago.

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it, good and hard." - H.L. Mencken

Congratulations, Twinkle-Toes!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Michael Moore, Fathead

The flabby filmmaker would have you believe that people (white people, that is) who own guns for home protection do so out of a primal and unreasonable fear of minorities (the Harvey family of Richmond, Virginia, was not available for comment).

The real question, of course, is not why so many white suburbanites own guns, but why law-abiding citizens – of all races - in violent cities like Chicago and Washington are denied the right to own them.


Chuck Norris delivers roundhouse kick to teachers’ unions. (Today's Chuck Norris fact: when life gave Chuck Norris lemons, he made lemonade, a 9-inch hunting knife, an AK-47 and a playpen for his pet scorpion).

Thomas Sowell laments the president’s tendency to go off the rails.

Howard Dean creates a slush fund for fugitive Wisconsin legislators.

Pixie Place has a pictorial assessment of the current state of wind-powered energy.

I had hoped to flood Australia with cheap copies of the Che Diary, but, as Gavin Atkins points out, that could prove to be difficult.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Next Obama move: puppet shows

Stacy McCain references a news article discussing the current regime's desire to manufacture fake consensus.

Fake moderate, fake consensus, fake hope, fake, fake fake. My fondest hope is that future generations will be celebrating "Presidents Day (Excluding Obama)".

The death spiral

President Obama has given the lie to those who advertised him as a moderate. It should now be clear to everyone - as it was to most conservatives back in 2008 - that Obama is a militant advocate of central planning, and a true believer in class warfare. He is the anti-Reagan - and, by extension, the anti-Thatcher - in his strong commitment to union power, which, particularly in the context of public employee unions, is not about fairness to government workers, but about propping up one of the key funding vehicles for the Democratic Party. It is naked interest group politics at its worst, pitting privileged organizations against the American taxpayer, organized, parasitical rabble-rousers against productive citizens who want only to live their lives with a minimum of government interference and to provide for their own future. Not content to preside over the destruction of the national economy, Obama now sees fit to prevent individual states from taking the fiscally responsible measures that he refuses to take at the federal level.

Meanwhile, our budget deficits and unfunded liabilities skyrocket, unemployment hovers near 10%, the Middle East erupts in flames as our foreign policy establishment flounders cluelessly, the Mexican border hemorrhages illegal aliens, many of them violent criminals, and those tried and true indicators of social and economic instability, gold and silver, continue to tell the tale.

This is the most disastrous and destructive presidency in my lifetime - yet there are many who say that this vandal of the national patrimony has a better-than-even chance of being reelected. America will be lucky to survive one Obama term; two will truly be testing God.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monday Movie

Barbara Stanwyck oozes sex appeal in The Lady Eve.

Special Monday Movie Bonus! Small Dead Animals has a fascinating post on an enduring Hollywood sound effect: the Wilhelm Scream.

Double-plus bonus! In honor of Presidents' Day, we've got Ronald Reagan: governor, president and ...Klan buster!

Cheesehead madness!

Little Miss Attila has a great roundup of links on the the face-off in Wisconsin.

If there were any residual doubt that Obama is not a belligerent leftist ideologue and a would-be anti-democratic "strong man", the participation of his permanent campaign outfit, Organizing for America - what I like to call Obama's provisional government - should settle the question once and for all.

Update: Pundit Press has identified some of the doctors who are handing out fake sick notes to public employees who are skipping work in order to fight for their seats on the taxpayer-subsidized gravy train (H/T: Cold Fury).

Sunday funny

A strange disappearance

The tragic, haunting story of child author Barbara Follett.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rule 5 Saturday

Betty Hutton sings one for the troops.

Special bonus! Richard McEnroe conducts some extensive research into the Wisconsin Democrats' hide-away in Illinois.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hey, maybe electing a "lightworker" wasn't such a good idea

Why the Fugitive Wisconsin Democrats Chose the Best Western Clock Tower Resort

It's all about Rule 5.

Or, as Stephen Green says, Scottish Hooters.

Some of the Democratic legislators seem to have lit out again, but Detective Paco's K-9 unit is closing in.

Brazil's democracy lags behind that of the U.S.

Their Congress apparently only has one professional clown.

(H/T: Mrs. Paco)

What, is Chuck Norris on vacation?

This doesn't sound like Texas justice to me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

The Treniers get busy with “Ragg Mopp”.


What a week. No computer, Mrs. Paco struck low by an asthma attack, me getting some kind of pulmonary infection, not to mention a number of etceteras.

Anyhow, trying to catch up, here. The big news this weeks seems to be:

1) Obama proposed the most cynical budget in history. His plan seems to be to punt on fiscal and entitlements reform to the Republicans, then use those reforms (or attempted reforms) as a club in 2012 against the GOP for no better reason than to get his sorry ass reelected.

2) There's a huge showdown in Wisconsin between the unions and, apparently, everybody else (more from POWIP).

3) If you're wondering how serious the Democrats are about the budget crisis, you can stop wondering now.

4) Based on actual coverage, I don't suppose this is technically big news, but the possibility that the ATF may have been smuggling guns into Mexico to bolster its claims concerning the origin of weapons south of the border sure ought to be making headlines.

Thanks for all your good wishes, and for keeping Paco Enterprises going in my absence with your comments. You'll all find a little something extra in your pay envelopes this week. Oh, and whoever cooked up the clam chowder, that ceramic pot with one handle is not a soup tureen.

Rebecca: Glad to hear Mr. H made it through that harrowing experience, and hope he's well along the road to recovery.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Son of Offline

Sorry, but the computer's still in the shop, plus a host of Paco family fires (I use the expression figuratively) have sprung up which I am trying to stamp out. The great open thread continues.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Just slipping in here briefly from work to say that my home computer is in the shop and there will probably be no new posts until Wednesday. Open thread!

And welcome back, Rebecca! Was wondering what became of you.

Friday, February 11, 2011

ObamaCare: Caution

The possible side effects of ObamaCare include sexual dysfunction, sleep loss, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, diarrhea, joint pain and the loss of 800,000 jobs.

Happy Feet Friday

The Will Bradley/Ray McKinley band take the “Chicken Reel” and boogietize it in “Chicken Gumboogie” (labeled here as “Barnyard Bounce”). The last few seconds, unfortunately, are cut off.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The great imposture

The lapdog press has recently made several unintentionally hilarious attempts to portray Barack Obama as the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan. The analogy fails on all counts, and an auctioneer trying to pass off Francis the Talking Mule as Seabiscuit would not provoke a more risible response from a crowd of horse fanciers than the media have succeeded in eliciting from the public with their latest exercise in ludicrous mythologizing.

And yet, Obama does put me in mind of a past Republican president. With his pronounced affection for crony capitalism, his blatant ineptitude and his seeming lack of interest in the day-to-day responsibilities of the job, the current White House occupant reminds me of the late Warren G. Harding (throw into consideration Obama's touchiness and vindictiveness, and you get Harding with the Nixon upgrade). And on the evolutionary scale, Harding is to Reagan as Homo neanderthalensis (or perhaps even Pan troglodytes) is to Homo sapiens.

To take just one example of the chasm that separates the respective visions of Reagan and Obama, let's look at their views on the relationship of the citizen to the state. In Reagan's opinion, the state is the servant of the people - and because it is a sometimes surly, untrustworthy and overly ambitious servant, there is always a need to keep a close eye on it, and count the silverware at the end of every day. This outlook was at the heart of Reagan's policies on taxes, fiscal management and regulation, and a check was thereby maintained on the usurpation of the individual's economic freedom by the bureaucratic hordes. To Reagan, personal freedom was a right that was good in and of itself. His vision, therefore, was liberating, empowering and filled with confidence in the American character and with a deep respect for American traditions.

I submit that you would be hard pressed to find anyone in contemporary American politics who differs more sharply, in so many ways, from Ronald Reagan than Barack Obama, particularly when it comes to the latter's views on the role of the state. For Obama, the state is the source of our bounty, and the private sector is a kind of halfway house for people who have not had the foresight or good luck to land direct employment as government functionaries, but whose general fecklessness nevertheless requires constant monitoring and assistance from the Beltway master race. Obama sees personal freedom not as a right, but as a leasehold from the state - and the contract is shot through with cancellation clauses, unilaterally exercisable by Uncle Landlord. This is a vision of limitations, of walls closing in, of perpetual, soul-destroying dependency. It represents change, to be sure, but only a fool would truly hope for such a society.

No, the tract-scribblers and blow-dried declaimers of the legacy media fell miserably short of the truth during the 2008 election when they depicted Obama as a mental and spiritual quantum high-jumper; to characterize him as Reaganesque, especially given his performance during the first two years of his term, is fatuous and dishonest.

From the shelves of the Paco library

The age of fighting sail has become a crowded field for novelists, but there’s always room for another good one, and I have no reservations in declaring S. Thomas Russell to be a top-notch contender.

Under Enemy Colors is Russell’s inaugural entry in the genre and it is a fascinating page-turner. The action is set in the early years of the French Revolution, and features Lieutenant Charles Hayden of His Majesty’s Navy, an experienced, fighting officer who, due to his lack of influence, still yearns for a commission as a post captain. He is offered a chance at future advancement by one of the lords of the admiralty in return for tackling a highly distasteful duty: serve as first lieutenant aboard the Themis, captained by Josiah Hart, a tyrannical and “shy” captain whose timidity at sea is frowned upon by many in the service, but whose interest (through his wealthy and aristocratic wife) has heretofore protected him from censure. It is ostensibly Hayden’s job to provide assistance to Hart, but there is another game afoot, as Hayden’s new patron is actually working behind the scenes to rid the service of an officer who is known as a shirker in time of war.

Hayden takes up his new commission and spends several weeks trying to turn the demoralized crew into something resembling a fighting force. His task is greatly complicated by a number of sinister incidents, including the murder of one of the top-men and signs of mutinous intentions on the part of the crew. When the captain returns and comes aboard, he instantly begins insulting Hayden and otherwise carrying on with his customary arrogance. Yet his bluster is reserved almost exclusively for his officers and crew; he is astonishingly reluctant to engage the French. During the captain’s frequent bouts of indisposition, however, Hayden leads the ship to victory in a couple of daring actions, and, placed in charge of one of the prizes, rescues the Themis, which, without Hayden’s presence and influence, has finally succumbed to mutiny.

The book is peopled with memorable characters: the ship’s laconic doctor, Griffiths; Mr. Hawthorne, lieutenant of Marines; the occasionally choleric Mr. Able Barthe, the ship’s master; and young Lord Arthur Wickham, a highly intelligent and courageous midshipman. There is enough nautical lingo to please the most exacting armchair admiral, and the action is realistic and fast-paced. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and am pleased to report that the second volume in the series, A Battle Won, is also now available.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

At this rate...

The New York Times will soon consist primarily of corrections.

Update: That wild man of the web, Tim T, addresses some other newspaper errors.

Movie talk

Kyle Smith has an interesting take on Iron Man 2: "Iron Man, capitalist hero".

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

GE's pandering to government goes way back

GE plans to sponsor a big Ronald Reagan celebration - almost 50 years after the company fired him.

ObamaCare already generating exciting new medical treatments

Like giving people s**t enemas.
"C. Diff," as it is commonly called among the gastric groupies, is a tough little bug that patients are increasingly catching in hospitals and nursing homes.

Although antibiotics are now the first mode of attack, a growing number of gastroenterologists like Dr. Lawrence Brandt of the Montefiore Medical Center, in New York, believe that, in some cases, injecting excrement either by enema or through a gastric tube inserted in the nose is more effective.
Now, how does this work exactly? Do they dose you with your own, or just scoop something out of the nearest bedpan?

Oh, wait. Here's the answer.
"There are some donor banks in Australia, but here in the U.S., we use fresh stool from donors," Brandt said.

Just as blood donors are screened, so, too, are those who supply doo-doo.
Well, that's a relief. I wouldn't want 'em shootin' me up with just any old poop.

(BTW - vault custodian at an Australian poop bank. Not just a job; a calling)

Looks like free speech in North Carolina

...may be a misdemeanor in certain circumstances.

(H/T: Overlawyered)

Howdy, partner

In a speech to the Chamber of Commerce on Monday, President Obama spoke about the need for government and business to work together:
And this is a job for all of us. As a government, we will help lay the foundation for you to grow and innovate and succeed.
No, no, no, no, NO! The best thing that government can do is get the hell out of the way and let supply and demand, and the profit motive, do their thing. Government – particularly under this administration – wants to partner with business in the same way that a tapeworm wants to partner with a capacious trencherman at an all-you-can-eat buffet. The gang currently in control of the executive branch plans to pick winners and losers, manipulate capital flows, direct investments into non-viable but ideologically attractive industries and expand control over the very air that we breathe, while taxing us heavily for the privilege - and, by the way, all of this while saddling the economy with fabulously expensive new entitlements that will bankrupt future generations.

Remember: when Obama talks about “business”, he is envisioning it as a captive subsidiary and funding vehicle for the federal government. He wants the private sector to be a malleable and very silent partner. This is the path of decline and fall.

Poultry news

Al Gore, the official Chicken Little of the Cli-Fi movement, may be providing a roost for hysterical psycho-turkey with two left wings, Keith Olbermann. Object: mutually assured irrelevance.

Monday, February 7, 2011

AOL, Spurned By Paco Enterprises, Buys Huffington Post On The Rebound

Stacy McCain and Professor Jacobson discuss the...interesting economics of the deal.

Update: Brad Smilo was able to catch J. Packington Paco III as he was leaving the Paco Tower parking garage in his black 1939 Packard touring sedan for a quick, on-the-spot interview concerning the nixed AOL/Paco Enterprises deal.

Brad: J.P., wait! It’s Brad Smilo of Paco World News! *Puff*…*Puff*… Can you stop a moment? *Puff*…*Puff*… [banging on window] J.P.! Ah, thank you, sir, for pulling over. I…gack!

J.P. [to chauffeur]: It’s all right, Otto. Kindly release Mr. Smilo’s throat.

Otto: Ja wohl, mein Herr!

J.P.: Please forgive Otto, Brad. He has the chauffeur’s natural hostility for pedestrians. Climb aboard.

Brad: *Cough-cough* Thanks, J.P.

J.P.: Here, permit me to pour you a small brandy, to restore your tissues and soothe your bruised larynx.

Brad: Much obliged, sir! So, tell me, J.P., is it true that AOL offered to buy the Paco Enterprises blog?

J.P.: AOL proposed to steal it. They offered me 300 hundred million - dollars, mind you, not even Euros.

Brad: But isn’t that a lot of money for a blog - forgive me for speaking plainly, sir – that only has a regular readership of perhaps twenty people, with names like JeffS and Yojimbo and Minicapt?

J.P.: Mwahaha! Gad, sir, you are a character, indeed you are! Those are aliases for some of the wealthiest people in the world; they pay to have access to the comments section.

Brad: But…Deborah Leigh? That sounds like a regular name, and she seems like an ordinary American.

J.P.: Her majesty…er…the commenter in question would be glad to hear that you think so. She has become inordinately proud of her grasp of the American idiom.

Brad: Gosh!

J.P.: You may well say “gosh”, Brad, and you would not go far wrong by adding “Son of a gun!” and “Holy cow!”

Brad: Consider them added, J.P.! Thanks for your time; once again, you’ve been very informative.

J.P.: Always happy to be of service. May I drop you somewhere?

Brad: Somewhere in the vicinity of a fast-food restaurant, if you don’t mind. I haven’t had my dinner yet.

J.P.: Well, you can join me! [reaches forward with his walking stick and knocks on the glass separating the driver’s seat from the passenger compartment] To Chick-Fil-A, Otto! Schnell!

Otto: Sehr gut, Herr Paco!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Monday Movie

A classic line (one among many) from The Outlaw Josey Wales.


Bob Belvedere looks at some of Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi’s recent hijinks.

Bingbing spots (or perhaps creates?) a marketing FAIL.

Maybe it’s time to cash in my retirement funds and just buy a Dodge Viper.

Arts and Ammo discusses the leftwing phenomenon of civility for me but not for thee.

kae has a music video celebrating that frequently maligned professional, the colorectal surgeon.

Is the American Hunters and Shooters Association a gun-control fifth column? Col. Milquetoast considers the evidence.

Sunday funny (continued)

Hey, paisan, what time is it?

Happy birthday, Ron!

Carol at No Sheeples Here has a fine tribute to the greatest president of the 20th century.

Update: DrewM. at Ace of Spades has a selection of videos featuring some of Reagan's best speeches.

Computer question

I noticed yesterday, when I tried to play a cd, that my computer is not recognizing the cd-rom drive. Any suggestions on what to do?

Sunday funnies

Are the Steelers trying to pull a fast one? Steve Burri says "sí!"

I've lived in Florida, so this strikes me pretty much as carrying coals to Newcastle.

Doing the "around the world" maneuver with this could have gotten somebody killed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Smart diplomacy?

Or diplomacy that smarts?

"You're doing it wrong, son."

Rule 5 Saturday

Hey, listen, mon! Gracie Barrie sings “He’s Stone Cold Dead in the Market”.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The global redneck movement

Deal with it.

Looks like war...

...with Luxembourg.
As a supporter of presidential candidate Barack Obama, Cynthia Stroum was a superstar whose financial backing of the campaign landed her a plum diplomatic posting in Europe.

As America's ambassador to Luxembourg, the wealthy Seattle-based businesswoman was a disaster.

According to an internal State Department report released Thursday, less than a week after she quit, Stroum's management of the U.S. Embassy in the tiny country was abysmal. The report says her tenure of about one year was fraught with personality conflicts, verbal abuse and questionable expenditures on travel, wine and liquor.
Nice pick, Barry.

Update: Know your enemy.

(H/T: Captain Heinrichs)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

Phil Harris does his version of “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette” (with a jumpin’ introduction by Steve Allen). This one's for you, Mayor Bloomberg.


Richard McEnroe acquires some civility.

Big Business ≠ Free Enterprise

Lenin is famously (if perhaps apocryphally) quoted as having said that "the capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them". Whether or not he actually said it, he always behaved as if he believed it. And unfortunately, there are always capitalists who are only too willing to support the central-planning instincts of government - as long as they get something in return.

Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE and a big-time Obama supporter, was recently named chairman of the president's outside panel of economic advisers and - lo and behold! - GE has just received the first exemption to the EPA's new greenhouse gas restrictions.

Now, I happen to think these particular EPA rules are a potential regulatory minefield; perhaps they should be scrapped altogether. But people like Immelt, rather than speak out against the garotte of regulation, would prefer to wangle his company a special deal rather than take a principled stand that would benefit businesses in general. This is the way of many large corporations, whose bureaucratic structures and quest for power frequently come to ape the government's methods and appetite for control. This is why Obama's attempted rapprochement with the business community has all the earmarks of a gangland combination.

The will to live

Molly has it.

Same old Cuba

The Castro brothers represent one of the longest-running affronts to humanity in modern history. Just ask Alan Gross - if you can find him. He is a U.S. citizen who has been languishing in a Cuban jail since December 3, 2009. Humberto Fontova tells his story.

Forget about beating Obama with a Republican presidential candidate

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Bring on the giant fish fillet sandwich!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Harry Reid: "Hey, I'm just here for the cheese"

Senator Harry Reid is dogged by a private citizen in a gourmet grocery store in McLean, Virginia. Hilarity ensues.

(H/T: Captain Heinrichs)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valerie Jarrett finds something useful for the military to do

Finding it difficult to shift her gluteous maximus, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett calls on a high-ranking military officer to fetch her a glass of wine.

I loathe these people.

Who's afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Well, er, me, for one. Investors Business Daily pulls the rug out from under some of the happy talk occurring on the news shows.
Other facts Americans should know: Mubarak outlawed the Brotherhood because it assassinated his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, and plotted to kill him, too; the Brotherhood gave birth to Hamas and al-Qaida and still finances the terror groups; and Brotherhood alumni include Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ayman al-Zawahiri (who was jailed for the Sadat murder) and blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman (who issued a fatwah blessing it).
Their participation will make for a very...interesting...experiment in democracy (if Egypt even gets that far).

Update: More from Caroline Glick.