Friday, September 30, 2011

Hail the conquering hero!

That venerable sea dog, Smitty, has returned from hard service abroad, for which we all humbly thank him.

Now that his active duty is completed, I expect that he'll be taking out letters of marque and turning privateer, or perhaps, given his domestic obligations, doing something tamer, like opening a grog shop (if that is tamer; possibly not).

In any event, we wish him good luck, and pray for God's blessings on him and his family.

A titan of industry is asked to play the patriot

J. Packington Paco III sat on the balcony of his penthouse suite, high atop Paco Tower, enjoying the cool autumn evening, and savoring a pork barbecue sandwich. Cognizant of the long-running civil war between barbecuists of the North Carolina and Texas factions, J.P. – being, at heart, a peacemaker – had invested in a small meat processor that manufactured vinegar-based pork barbecue (which honored the Carolinians), but made it exclusively from feral Texas hogs (a friendly nod to the Lone Star state). Pouring oil on troubled waters – and profiting handsomely thereby – was a combination of achievements that always gave J.P. a feeling of serene satisfaction.

It was thus in blissful mood that Spurgeon found our stout titan of industry, as that gentleman par excellence of gentlemens’ gentlemen glided to his master’s side.

Spurgeon coughed discreetly. “I beg your pardon, sir…”

“One moment, Spurgeon. I’m watching Chris Matthews, and he’s about to say something stupid.”

“If you’ll forgive me for asking , sir, how can you be positive?”

“He’s opening his mouth, isn’t he? Watch!”

Chris Matthews: “Welcome to Hardball! I’m Chris Matthews, and I’m here with presidential adviser, David Axelrod, who will try to answer a question that has been on everybody’s mind: Is it even physically possible for Barack Obama – Whoa! Be still, my throbbing central nervous system! – Is it even possible for Barack Obama to maintain his unprecedented awesomeness ‘til the end of his first term?”

“There! What did I tell you?”

“Very prescient of you, sir. I regret having to disturb your meal, Mr. Paco, but there is a gentlemen here to see you, a Mr. D.K.”

J.P. smiled. “Spurgeon, if I were not aware of your near-religious adherence to the code of the gentleman’s personal gentleman, I would suggest that you were making sport of this visitor. ‘Decay’, you say? Is he a zombie or some sort of grim-reaperish phantom?”

“I’m sorry, sir, perhaps I expressed myself badly. ‘D.K.’ are the gentleman’s initials. He declined to give his full name. He says he represents an organization called ‘Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength’.”

“A mere millionaire? Poor chap. Feed him one of these excellent barbecue sandwiches in the kitchen and give him a few dollars before sending him on his way.”

“Actually, sir, he does not appear to have come in the capacity of a beggar. He says he would like to enlist your support in an endeavor essential to the survival of the Republic.”

“Well, shoot him out here, by all means.”

A few moments later, the visitor was shot out, as per instruction. Spurgeon began clearing the table of cutlery.

The man, a slender specimen with receding black hair and wire-rim spectacles, about 45 years of age, was dressed in a denim shirt and corduroy slacks. J.P. instantly sized him up as a high-tech entrepreneur with a computer engineering background who, although now obviously successful, had not entirely quashed his inner geek, as evidenced by his Givenchy pocket-protector. J.P. dipped his sausage-sized digits in a finger bowl, wiped his hands on a napkin, and rose to shake hands.

“Well, well, sir, I’m afraid you have me at a bit of a disadvantage. My man informs me that you are here somewhat in cognito.”

The man smirked and extended a small, listless hand. It gave J.P. the sensation of having stuck his mitt into a bowl of two-day-old calamari.

“Glad to meet you, Jippy!”

Spurgeon, whose distant, but formative, experience in a crack English regiment had given him the kind of fortitude and self-control that had marked the soldiers whose famous infantry squares had broken Napoleon’s cavalry at Waterloo, did not betray his shock by so much as a gasp. Yet, if looks could kill, it is safe to say that, in a few moments, he would cheerfully have been rolling up the body of this interloper in J.P.’s Turkey carpet, with the aim of depositing it in some convenient local marsh. D.K., sensing Spurgeon’s almost palpable hostility, unthinkingly put a chair between himself and this formidable servant.

“Ahm, J.P., I meant to say. Heh. If that’s alright?”

“Quite alright, my boy! Do sit down. Perhaps you would like a bite to eat, or something to drink?”

D.K. cast a glance at Spurgeon, and quickly interpreted the eager gleam in his eyes as a desire on the servant’s part to present him with a dish of fugu, probably prepared by an untalented and careless amateur who’d been hitting the saki, or maybe a plate of dubious mushrooms that had been picked by a nearsighted child not wholly familiar with the differences between Cantharellus cibarius and Omphalotus olearius.

“No, no. Nothing, thank you. I’ll tell you why I’m here, J.P. I belong to an organization called ‘Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength’. We believe that the government needs to increase taxes on people making over a million dollars per year, and we think that adding your name to the members’ list would greatly increase our influence.”

J.P. was a billionaire several times over, and, while there were indisputably good reasons why he was not known in the business press as “Honest J.P.” or “Paco the Open-Handed”, he was neither thief nor miser. As to the “helping hand” of government, it had always been his experience that the thing was invariably extended palm up, like that of a homeless person on a Friday afternoon, swearing in an alcoholic drawl to his benefactor that he had no intention of spending the money on demon rum.

Therefore it should come as no surprise to the reader that J.P. stared at his visitor as if the latter had suddenly sprouted two more heads, all three now sporting dripping fangs from between which a trio of forked tongues darted.

D.K. chose to interpret J.P.’s silence as deep interest. “So far, we’ve all signed an open letter addressed to the President, Senator Reid and Speaker Boehner. Your name would be quite a catch.” He sighed. “Especially since Warren Buffett seems to have copped out.”

J.P. roused himself from his reverie and asked a question. “And you, sir? You have signed the letter, yourself?”

“I sure have!”

“With your given name?”

The visitor squirmed in his chair. “Er, no. I just used my initials. I mean, some people – namely my customers– might not understand. They might think I’m endorsing Obama – which I do, privately – but it could be…you know…bad for business.”

“And do you make over a million dollars a year?”

“Ah…well…not for a couple of years, now.”

“So you would be immune to the effects of a tax increase.”

“For the time being, perhaps, but I expect my company –and, consequently, my compensation – to improve, eventually. But this is more of a position taken on principle.”

“The principle of paying for expensive government with someone else’s money?”

“Exactly! I mean…no…I mean…”

“You seem a bit confused. Oh, dear me! Your pocket protector appears to have sprung a leak.”

D.K. looked down to see that an ink stain was spreading across his shirt, below the pocket.

“What the…Damned designer pocket protectors! Is there someplace where I can clean this up?”

“Of course! Spurgeon, kindly escort D.K. to…to the downstairs wash room.”

Spurgeon gave his master a knowing nod. “Very good, sir.”

A few moments later, having taken D.K. down in the elevator to the first floor, Spurgeon guided him toward a commercial operation of some kind at the end of the hall. As they approached, the distinct sound of yapping and baying could be heard. Spurgeon opened a glass door on an unholy ruckus being kicked up by a veritable sea of wet dogs. D.K. glanced at the sign on the door: Happy Tails Dog Grooming.

“Say!” D.K. blurted. “This a dog-washing establishment!”

“I believe you will find soap and water in the requisite quantities to address the ink stain.”

Even the most stoic old soldier eventually reaches his limit. “Dickie”, he added.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hoping this is just "so long for now", not "good-bye"

The Blog Prof is calling it a day.

I enjoyed his blog immensely; lots of stuff that you might not see elsewhere, plus superb coverage of major stories. I wish him the best of luck, and trust that he will return someday.

Happy Feet Friday

Time out for rhythm, with Ann Miller and Glenn Gray’s Casa Loma Orchestra.

Rope salesmen

Legal Insurrection notes the strange plea of some millionaires for higher taxes, drawing attention to an organization called Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength. Some of these patriots appear to be a little shy, since a few signed an open letter to Obama, Reid and Boehner with their initials, only (not a great credibility-builder; puts me in mind of those testimonials one sees in discount gift catalogs: “Best potato peeler I ever owned! – R.W., Frog Pond, N.C.”).

But most signatories give their full names, which creates an opportunity to conduct a little research into their backgrounds and world views. One concerned millionaire is located not far from the Paco Command Center. He’ s the president of what appears to be some kind of investment management firm. I’ve no idea what sort of commercial ventures his company takes a flutter on in the normal course of business, but he himself is certainly bullish on Democrats, investing almost $34 thousand in them in 2010, alone. And he’s not at all parochial in the distribution of his largesse: he has showered money on Democrats far and wide, including Russ Feingold, Joe Sestak, Patty Murray, Barbara Boxer, Act Blue, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee…the list goes on and on.

And then there’s a woman who is involved with several non-profit organizations (naturally) who donated $17.5 thousand to a passel of Democrats and liberal organizations in 2010 (although, unlike our first example, she seems to prefer spending her money closer to home).

And there's another woman, employed by an investment management company (in a clerical position, mind you) who contributed over $65 thousand to Democratic politicians and environmental organizations in 2010 (and $59 thousand in 2008 and $109 thousand in 2006). Throwing this much money at Democrats is bound to lead to higher taxes. Have a little patience, ma'am!

Rich people are entitled to their opinions, the same as anybody else, and there’s no reason why we should assume that they would necessarily all think alike. But the support many of the well-heeled offer to liberal politicians who are beavering away at the construction of the nanny state reveals a profound - and profoundly ironic – ignorance of the destructive capacity of Big Government when it comes to economic liberty and economic growth; in fact, it is perhaps the strange inability of rich liberals to see the nexus between the two that is most baffling.

One begins to see a pattern. In my opinion, what we’re seeing here are rich people who are so thoroughly insulated, economically, from the effects of liberal fiscal policy that they can afford to assuage their consciences or stoke the fires of their self-esteem or preen themselves with the false assumption of moral superiority, by supporting the “humanitarian” builders of the provider state. And yet they would have us believe that taxes should rise in order to reduce the crushing debt that their own favored politicians have done so much to create. If they’re admitting to complicity in our potential financial ruin, then they are free to make amends by paying as much as they like, over and above their regular taxes, to the U.S. Treasury. I urge them to do so, and leave the truly productive class alone. If, as they claim, they are trying to “give something back” to the country that permitted them to thrive, and think that the way to accomplish this is to shovel more money into the federal maw, then they have made the horrendous and really inexcusable error of confusing the “nation” with the “government”.

Oh, and why hasn’t Warren “Raise My Taxes (Just Kidding!)” Buffett signed the open letter?

Update: If you’ve got the stomach for it, you can watch some of these Democrat Patriotic fat cats calling, in their own words, for higher taxes in this video.

What’s more embarrassing than an endorsement from Fidel Castro?

An endorsement from Barry Manilow (there goes the president’s “hip” image).

Now, that’s a tailgate party!

Long-suffering Detroit Lion fans have been pleasantly surprised with their team’s 3-0 start this year, and their exuberance has apparently propelled some of them to dizzying new heights of celebratory joy:
Police may put the brakes on a party bus that was apparently operating as a Sunday strip club for reveling Lions fans at a popular tailgating spot in Detroit.

Investigators believe fans tailgating before a recent Lions home game were allowed onboard the "Booty Lounge," a large red and black bus replete with two stages, steel dancing poles, tinted windows and even a smoke machine, after forking over a $10 donation to its operators, Detroit Police spokeswoman Eren Stephens said Thursday.

Another one for your collection

The latest Obama bumper sticker (context here).


Ex-NAACP President C.L. Bryant is a black conservative who tells it like it is. Check out this video (H/T: friend and commenter Rebecca).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An ominous turn of events in Australia

Popular conservative columnist and blogger Andrew Bolt was found guilty in one of those Kafkaesque trials based on political correctness that have been occurring with alarming frequency in so-called democratic nations.

What’s a little freedom of speech compared to the benefits of throwing a bone to the perpetually aggrieved?

Put up or shut up, Morgan

Tea-partier makes Morgan Freeman a fair offer.

Brilliant! (H/T: Stacy McCain)

Generalissima Bev Perdue

“Let’s suspend elections,” said the perky little governor, whose campaign is under criminal investigation.

Perdue is hardly alone in wondering, aloud, who will rid us of this turbulent democracy. It should now be clear to the meanest intelligence that so-called liberals are fine with autocracy, so long as it serves their aims. No doubt Barry, himself, would be glad to roll his own smokes in scraps of a shredded Constitution if he thought he could get away with it.

Lumpenblogger receives unexpected honor

Mark Steyn linked my review of his book today, and friend Bob Belvedere, as well.

(H/T to friend and commenter Bruce, who brought this to my attention).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Roger Simon’s bold (and completely logical) suggestion

Disband the Congressional Black Caucus.
No wonder this group is so angry. Herman Cain has shown up their tired ideologies, not to mention Rep. Allen West, who accused some of their leaders of being modern day plantation overseers. Now Dennis Miller has jumped in with an endorsement of Cain and a campaign slogan: “Cain Versus Not Able.”
The existence, in perpetuity, of professional racism mongers is a perfect example of supply creating its own demand. The fact that Cain’s candidacy and message are anathema to them is one reason why his campaign is so refreshing. And that slogan – Cain Versus Not Able – is priceless.

The final nail in Rick Perry’s political coffin

The man has insulted North Carolina barbecue. Under the Paco administration, this will qualify as slander, possibly as a hate crime.

President Walter Mitty

Peter Wehner highlights a disturbing tendency in the preshizzle’s psychology, which he superbly characterizes as “Obama’s disquieting heroic fantasies.”

Update: Har! David Axelrod says that Obama is involved in a “titanic struggle.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

ATF, where is thy sting?

New evidence has surfaced which suggests that Fast and Furious was never intended to be a genuine sting operation. Outlaw Jeff G. compiles and explains.

Thomas Friedman has written a new book!

And, in spite of the efforts of co-author Michael Mandelbaum, it still sucks! Andrew Ferguson dives into That Used to Be Us, and fetches up a sack of some of the worst writing by a Pulitzer Prize winner you will ever see. Herewith, a grisly specimen:
Mr. Friedman can turn a phrase into cliché faster than any Madison Avenue jingle writer. He announces that "America declared war on math and physics." Three paragraphs later, we learn that we're "waging war on math and physics." Three sentences later: "We went to war against math and physics." And onto the next page: "We need a systemic response to both our math and physics challenges, not a war on both." Three sentences later: We must "reverse the damage we have done by making war on both math and physics," because, we learn two sentences later, soon the war on terror "won't seem nearly as important as the wars we waged against physics and math." He must think we're idiots.
Oh, he does, he does! That's why he employs a rhetorical pile-driver. Only way him make us savvy, by 'n by.

Save your money and buy something worthwhile - like ammo or a new tie.

Our Lemming-Like Bureaucracy

The EPA admits that it doesn’t have the resources to police “greenhouse emissions”, but – plucky little agency! – plans to charge ahead anyway.
These new regulatory efforts are not likely to succeed, the EPA admits, but it has decided to move forward regardless. “While EPA acknowledges that come 2016, the administrative burdens may still be so great that compliance … may still be absurd or impossible to administer at that time, that does not mean that the Agency is not moving toward the statutory thresholds,” the EPA wrote in a September 16 court briefing.

The EPA is asking taxpayers to fund up to 230,000 new government workers to process all the extra paperwork, at an estimated cost of $21 billion. That cost does not include the economic impact of the regulations themselves[emphasis mine – P].
The good news? Those additional 230,000 government jobs will help offset the loss of 183,000 private-sector jobs.

On behalf of all taxpayers…not just no, but hell, no. This insanity must be stopped.

Barack Obama: graduate of the Joe Biden School of Public Speaking

Billionaires should pay taxes at the same rate as Jews (Poor Barry. The guy just can’t seem to please anybody, these days). This is a mere slip of the lip, however. Obama made a far more genuinely loathsome comment at a fundraiser in California, where he used the tragedy of the fires in Texas to try to score points against Rick Perry for the latter’s opposition to the Cli-Fi hysteria: “You've got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change.” Yes, and we’ve got a president whose country’s economy is collapsing denying that, three years into his first term, he’s in any way responsible for it (by the way, I share commenter Rebecca’s aversion to Obama’s increasing use of the word “folks” in his speeches; who does he think he is, Will Rogers?)

In other Great Moments in Fail, the White House’s new petition site has wound up posting a call for the repeal of ObamaCare.

Elizabeth Warren gets schooled by a (good-looking) cartoon lady

Moonbattery has the video.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Well, I guess it's good for the farmers

Lots of rain falling in the environs of the Paco Command Center, lately. This splendid fellow popped up practically overnight.

Not sure whether that's the eating kind of mushroom or not, but I don't intend to find out. I was just struck by the combination of colors, the bright orange against the emerald green.

From the shelves of the Paco library

Books that credibly map out the flight plan of pending social and economic disaster tend to make us want to run for the hills screaming. Mark Steyn, however, having cornered the market on the humorous apocalyptic essay, has authored a book which, while it will still make you want to don your mountain boots, gather your gold, guns and canned goods and head for that fortified compound in the wilderness, will at least give you much to chuckle over on the way. After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, manages the difficult task of raising both alarms and laughter, but don’t let the witticisms fool you; this is a deadly serious tome, the lessons of which we will ignore at our peril.

The volume is a kind of sequel to America Alone, which delved into the decline and imminent fall of the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it looks as if we probably won’t be spared the lemming-like race to destruction that is carrying Europe toward the precipice – hence, this very necessary follow-up book. Come for the entertainment; stay for the wisdom. Because, in spite of the comical analogies and the grin-inducing puns, this is a profoundly wise book, and if you have any liberal friends who have not completely lost their grip on logic, they, and the country, will benefit from reading it.

Steyn touches all the bases: illegal immigration, cultural relativism, public education as guerilla warfare, the spiritual enervation caused by the nanny state, the criminal mismanagement of fiscal policy, the Big Lie that props up the proliferation and expansion of entitlements, our (seemingly) inevitable moral and financial bankruptcy. We are faced with a baffling and frustrating confluence of evil ideas and gross incompetence, compounded by our own complacency, and Steyn does not shirk from callin ‘em like he sees ‘em.

After America is extremely quotable; in fact, it’s hard to cite the best passages without reproducing the lion’s share of the book. I’ll leave you with two:
Of all the many marvelous Ronald Reagan lines, this is my favorite:

We are a nation that has a government – not the other way around.

He said it in his inaugural address in 1981,and, despite a Democrat-controlled Congress, he lived it. It sums up his legacy abroad: across post-Communist Europe, from Slovenia to Bulgaria to Lithuania, governments that had nations were replaced by nations that had governments.

Today, in Reagan’s own country, we are atrophying into a government that has a nation.
And this, on our Present President Danger, and the important difference between experience and mere credentials:
His [Obama’s] rise and the dancing fountains of media adoration accompanying it are a monument to the fraudulence of so much elite “accomplishment”. The smart set were bamboozled because he seemed like one of their own: Columbia, Harvard Law, sort of “editing” a journal yet the only editor in its history never to publish a signed article, giving a lecture or two on constitutional law, handing out leaflets on the South Side of Chicago, voting present, listening to Jeremiah Wright’s conspiracy theories for twenty years, dining with terrorist educator William Ayers…This is a life? These are achievements?
Steyn is a pessimist (albeit a cheerful one), but he does hold out hope. The book closes with several sections that outline a strategy for recovery. But it is not a strategy that will work if we remain mere bystanders (one of the sections is entitled Do).

If I had to summarize the message of the book in a few words, I could do no better than to quote the author: “Big government makes small citizens.” An outstandingly entertaining and valuable read.

Monday Movie

Rita Hayworth gives Glenn Ford a hard time in Gilda.

Wedding bells

I didn't even know they were seeing each other! Historian Niall Ferguson and former Dutch MP and current campaigner against Muslim violence, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, have wed.

(H/T: Smitty)

"Eureka! I just remembered I'm black!"

Obama invited black "folks" to quit "complainin'" and to "put on your marching shoes."

The irony, of course, is that Obama's presiding over an economy in which the unemployment rate among blacks has skyrocketed. His pigmentation isn't going to alter that fact, and his policies will only make things worse. Yet, group-think being what it is, he'll still collar way over 90% of the black vote, nudged along by morons like Morgan Freeman, who seems to think that he's just woken up in 1960s Selma, Alabama. Funny how the same large numbers of Caucasians who helped elect Obama in 2008 are now supposedly dusting off their old Klan robes.

As the saying goes, if you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you're not a racist, you're going to have to vote for somebody else in 2012 to prove you're not an idiot.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In flagrante delicto

Obama's cringe-worthy overtures to the Dar al-Islam, characterized by, among other ominous actions, a persistent hostility to Israel, may come back to haunt him in 2012. Hr will still carry a majority of the Jewish vote, but he may lose just enough of it to receive an eviction notice at the White House next November. Wes Pruden explains:
The president has been making goo-goo eyes at the Palestinians, casting himself in the role of faithless lover. He knows all the honeyed words, he has the diamond bracelet in hand, and he’s confident he can spread enough kosher goo to keep hope alive. But the abused Jewish voter has the motel receipt found in his coat pocket. A guilty lover’s lot is not always a happy one.

Sunday Funny

Today's Chuck Norris fact: Chuck Norris can solve a Rubik's cube in the dark.

Cartoon of the week

Friday, September 23, 2011

Finally: a national nanny who actually looks the part

Elizabeth Warren, Democratic candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, recently lobbed a few class warfare grenades in the direction of the productive class:
No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own—nobody.

You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces [sic] that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory—and hire someone to protect against this—because of the work the rest of us did.
She conveniently ignores the existence of marauding bands of regulators and tax collectors, but that, of course, is a plus in her worldview. Somebody on Facebook has done the appropriate editing. Additional pertinent comments from Rich Lowry can be found here.

Australian gets death penalty for pummeling 80-year-old man in Ohio

A male kangaroo at an exotic animal farm in Ohio stomped on some wandering geezer, and is now going to be put down.

I’ve always been somewhat skeptical about the wisdom of these kinds of settings, where humans meander among wild things. In this instance, it was apparently mating season, and I would have thought that a heightened sense of caution would be indicated. Glad to hear that the man is in fair condition, but I’m sad about the kangaroo. Australians, whose country seems to be infested with the things, may have a different opinion. Not entirely unrelated is H.L. Mencken’s short essay on zoos. Mencken felt that zoos were a waste of money, although he definitely came down in favor of the genuinely scientific observation of animals: “something valuable is to be got out of a mere study of their habits, instincts and ways of mind -- knowledge that, by analogy, may illuminate the parallel doings of the genus homo, and so enable us to comprehend the primitive mental processes of Congressmen, morons and the rev. clergy.” As usual, I disagree with some of Mencken’s conclusions, but he’s worth reading, if for no other reason, because of his unique style and comic wordplay.

In other things Australian (more so, possibly, than the above story, since the kangaroo may well be a second or third generation American), that wild man of the web, TimT, contemplates lovely Canowindra, and Steve at the Pub discusses an interesting rivalry among the uniformed classes (Don’t miss the comments; the post includes some, er, expert testimony by "Dave from Tacoma").

Attack Botch (Conclusion?)

No new posts since September 12, no Tweets since September 14. Visit the link and catch the photo of Mark Steyn as seen through a bottle of cheap rosé.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

The young set gets an extreme case of happy feet, prompted by some fabulous trumpet work from the great Harry James.

Looks like the Che Cafe is going the way of its namesake

The Che Cafe, on the campus of the University of California in San Diego, may be shut down by Bolivian tools of American imperialism its insurance company for non-payment of premiums.

Maybe I'll have Paco Enterprises' food service subsidiary buy the place out. Of course, I'll have to change the ambiance.

"Welcome to Hapsburg's Hamburgers! Hope you're Hungary!"

To hell in a hand basket

Peter Oborne and Frances Weaver show that the Eurosceptics were flat out right:
Very rarely in political history has any faction or movement enjoyed such a complete and crushing victory as the Conservative Eurosceptics. The field is theirs. They were not merely right about the single currency, the greatest economic issue of our age — they were right for the right reasons. They foresaw with lucid, prophetic accuracy exactly how and why the euro would bring with it financial devastation and social collapse.
Meanwhile, at 3:29 pm this afternoon, Drudge had up the headline, “Global Meltdown: Investors Dumping Everything”, with a link to this article at CNBC’s web site, which reports that, well, investors really are dumping everything: stocks are down, gold and silver are having a sell-off, everybody’s trying to get into cash and U.S. Treasuries (the latter represent the equivalent of the high ground during the Deluge, I suppose, a momentary refuge before everybody who’s not on the Ark finally slips beneath the rising water; only, this time, I’m not sure there is an Ark).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dress him up, can’t take him anywhere

At a meeting of world leaders, Obama was apparently unaware that he was only one of some two dozen people who were posing for a photo (in martial arts circles, I believe his stance is known as “the Rearing Unicorn”).

Update: Hey, let's see a show of hands: how many of you would like to see Obama reelected?

Barack Obama: black belt in kung faux

Ed Driscoll digs up a remarkable comment from Barack Obama, uttered back in 2007, a portion of which runs as follows:
“I’m always best as a counterpuncher. You know, if somebody comes at me, I will knock them out.”
Bold talk, indeed, from a willowy stick-figure of a man who probably couldn’t go one round - in a boxing ring or in a debate - with Sarah Palin (or Bristol Palin, for that matter). The tendency of Obama, whose hands have done nothing more arduous than holding a golf club, to indulge himself in the pleasures of metaphorical violence bespeaks a deeply insecure personality; one which, cognizant, at some level, of the yawning gap between public success and private worthiness, prompts the man to strike absurd, out-of-character, tough-guy poses. It’s like Don Knotts doing a singularly bad James Cagney impersonation.

The little president that could. Except, of course, he can’t. So all that’s left is pretense. He’s the Canvasback Kid.

I firmly believe the voters will consign this awful president to political oblivion next year. How long it will take for our nightmares and flashbacks to end is anybody’s guess.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Class warfare

Get your bumper sticker here (H/T: Fishersville Mike).

Sounds legit

Obama bundler and solar-energy high-roller, George Kaiser, says he didn't play politics to land that big-honkin' ladle of federal gravy for the now-defunct Solyndra.

And I swear that, when Mrs. O'Keefe gave me that make-up algebra exam in the 10th grade, I didn't consult the answer sheet she had accidentally stapled to the back of the test.

Your private parts are in the best of hands

TSA official murders TSA worker.

Once again, David Brooks is the last to know

“I’m an Obama sap.”

Can’t say I didn’t try to warn you, Dave.

Meanwhile, Victor Davis Hanson – nobody’s sap – finds a reason to be grateful to Obama.
Barack Obama has done the United States a great, though unforeseen, favor. He has brought to light, as no one else could, many of the pernicious assumptions of our culture from the last half-century. He turned theory and “what ifs” into fact for all America to see, experience, and, yes, suffer through.

Monday, September 19, 2011

State Department employee, Mrs. Anthony Weiner, Whining

At a posh restaurant in Italy, about "American prudery", of all things. I guess husband Anthony's habit of sending pictures of his "business" to various young women via the internet is considered de rigueur among the smart set, these days.


The Gadsden dollar (H/T: Instapundit).

Time to start thinking about the golden years

I'm normally a procrastinator - you know, never put off to tomorrow what you can put off to the day after tomorrow - but I'm making an exception when it comes to my retirement, and have been giving some thought to where Mrs. Paco and I might ultimately wind up. I've got another six-and-a-half years (minimum) until I can qualify for retirement from the Yankee government, so I've been scouring the country at my leisure. Basic requirements: mild winters, clean air (got to think of Mrs. Paco's asthma), congenial local government, peaceful environment. I had originally thought about southern Arizona; however, after reading Mark Steyn's new book, I'm afraid that it might be annexed, de jure, by Mexico. So, here's what I've come up with, so far:

1) St. George, Utah. Located in the southwest part of the state, the city is at the extreme fringe of the Mojave desert. Arid region, hot summers, mild winters, surrounded by striking red bluffs and not far from Utah's beautiful canyon country (also not far from the north rim of the Grand Canyon).

2) Cave Creek, Arizona. A little warmer than St. George, plenty of saguaro cactus, lovely surroundings. Not sure it's far enough away from Phoenix, though.

3) Sedona, Arizona. Gorgeous red rock country, outstanding views. Perhaps a little artsy-fartsy?

4) Cape Coral or Naples, Florida. Subtropical, on or near the beach, within an hour or two of Miami, so I can nip in for some delicious Cuban cuisine.

5) Somewhere in North Carolina. I was born there, and the call of the homeland is strong.

God willing that I do live long enough to get out of Northern Virginia, and as far away from Washington as I can.

Australian discovers new way to get cited for DUI

Meet Christopher Petrie and his motorized beer cooler.

Ok, this has got me thinking…motorized refrigerator…hemi engine…Mickey Thompson tires…the possibilities are tantalizing.


Karl Marx: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Barack Obama: “If we're not willing to ask those who've done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit, the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more.”

Right. The 47% of people who aren’t paying taxes at all need to be maintained as net recipients of taxpayer money in order to solidify the Democrat base. Then, slice off a chunk of the remaining 53% by holding the lower brackets steady and presenting the tab to those “malefactors of great wealth” who earn – What’s the benchmark today? A million dollars, annually? $250,000? – and hope that they don’t go John Galt. No, no. No class warfare here.

Seriously, this is absolutely nuts. Quite aside from the fact that even if you confiscated the income of everybody who makes over $1 million per year, you wouldn’t make a dent in the deficit, the stratagem relies, with mind-blowing stupidity, on taxpayer stasis – i.e., the assumption that people who get clobbered with higher taxes won’t change their behavior at all. And even the dubious math pales in comparison to the outrageous injustice of thinking that you should be able to confiscate huge amounts of somebody else’s money just because you can.

Obama’s going to be presented with the biggest “intervention” in history, come November of 2012 – unless there are still a few Democrats left who have something resembling a survival instinct, and are willing and able to convince him to withdraw now. Which ain’t gonna happen, by the way – and, frankly, I don’t want it to. The election next year needs to be about Obama as the personification and apotheosis of liberal ideology, and I don’t want to see the Democrats clouding the ideological issues by sticking a new face out there, especially Hillary’s.

Solyndra Blues

Andrew McCarthy has a must-read post up at NRO on the Solyndra debacle, and the clear evidence of malfeasance – and possibly criminal fraud – surrounding its sweetheart financing arrangement with the U.S. government.
The administration’s rationalization is priceless. According to DOE officials, the restructuring was necessary “to create a situation whereby investors felt there was a value in their investment.” Of course, the value in an investment is the value created by the business in which the investment is made. Here, Solyndra had no value. Investors could be enticed only by an invalid arrangement to recoup some of their losses — by a scheme to make the public an even bigger sap.
One of the most absurd assumptions on the part of government is that it can pick winners and losers in the private sector. As Solyndra shows, even with a stacked deck, the government loses its – or rather, our - shirts.

And here’s Andrew Stiles, also at NRO, with some hard facts on Solyndra’s risky technology, courtesy of Rep. Brian Bilbray.

On the more general topic of the Green Scare, Ross Kaminsky takes on alarmist Thomas Friedman in this article at The American Spectator.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Bonding with your children is important. This guy, however, is doin’ it wrong.

Oh, Obama wasn’t going to do that, anyway?

The all-seeing eye of Polyphemus has spotted Jessica Simpson.

Karl Rove’s sniffish disdain for non-establishment Republicans has justly earned him the ire of the dextrosphere; however, as Pat Austin shows, he’s spot on when it comes to his assessment of Obama.

Not all liberals are unthinking ideological bullhorns. Gay Patriot notes Walt Harrington’s even-handed (and even admiring) treatment of George Bush.

So, how much do we really know about Nicholas Cage? (H/T: Shadowlands).

I am beginning to suspect that Steve at the Pub is a financial genius (BTW, it would be worth it to fly to the other side of the world to get an eyeful of the lovely Racquel, in person).

Paul Caron draws attention to Professor Daniel Velleman’s amusing fantasy: what if the IRS had discovered the quadratic equation? (H/T: Instapundit).

Funny and Jewish identifies the likely goal of the Egyptian uprising.

So, whatever happened with those anthrax attacks? Lead and Gold discusses two recent books on the subject.

The Sundries Shack reflects on the left’s horrible week (may it be the first of many!)

Monday Movie

W.C. Fields and the grind of retail sales.

Paris Lewis is lookin' pretty fly, these days

Of course, that's Malik Zulu Shabazz, to you, Chairman of the New Black Panther Party. Weasel Zippers has a video of him spouting the usual Marxist crap in Harlem, recently (and, judging by the hand gesture, desperately trying to flick a booger off his index finger); however, what I wanted to focus on was the chairman's suit. Dude looks like he scored himself a sweet deal on a surplus Italian Fascist Party uniform, and that red and green Christmas-stocking yarn used for piping on the coat cuffs give Shabazz some real pizazz!.

Yeah, we should pass this bill, now

Stacy McCain has a simple, but effective, idea for creating jobs.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunday funnies

The downfall of AttackWatch!

Bonus reel! Son of Stimulus (H/T: Grouchy Old Cripple)

And, finally: a child asks the age-old question.

Happy Constitution Day!

Probably not a bad idea to refamiliarize ourselves with our founding document.

Today is also known as Citizenship Day, and is the 26th anniversary of the very day that Mrs. Paco was sworn in as a citizen at a big ceremony in the Orange Bowl in Miami, presided over by then-Vice President, George H.W. Bush. I recollect that on one of the national news shows that evening (I think it was NBC), Mrs. Paco was briefly caught on camera. Filling the screen for a few seconds, she was holding our four-year-old son. She had a big smile on her face, and Number One Son was waving a little American flag. A great shot.

Congratulations to the Detroit Tigers!

The Detroit Tigers have won their first division title since 1987, and they're red hot, having recently posted a 12-game win streak.

They're G-r-r-r-r-REAT!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Putting government spending in perspective

Miss Red wonders how long any of us regular citizens could get by on this kind of budget.

Testify, brother!

Frank James of NPR has a vision.

Frankly, whenever I see or hear Obama in action, the first thing of a biblical nature that occurs to me is Matthew 7:16: “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”

Or good presidents from radical, anti-American cocoons?

Barack Obama is no James Whitmore

The late James Whitmore was a fine actor, who, in addition to his film work, also shone in a couple of one-man stage performances, including Give ‘em Hell, Harry!, in which his portrayal of Harry Truman was so close to the original that it was lauded by none other than Truman’s own daughter, Margaret.

Fast forward a few decades, and we find Whitmore, a couple of years before his death, endorsing Obama for president in 2007. Well, nobody’s perfect. Obama, however, might have benefited more from Whitmore’s insights into Truman’s character and history, than from the actor’s endorsement, since Barry is now trying to imitate Truman’s combative, overtly partisan 1948 presidential campaign. Unfortunately, Obama comes across more as an inadequate second understudy to Whitmore, than as anything even remotely resembling the genuine article.

For one thing, to charge the Republican Congress as “do-nothing” is risible, given the fact that the Republicans have been the majority in the House of Representatives for less than a year. What was the Democrat-controlled Congress doing for the first two years of Obama’s presidency, besides passing an unpopular and - as we now know, having read the legislation after its passage at the invitation of Nancy Pelosi - unsustainable health care bill? There is also the little matter of the Democrat majority in the Senate, which, under Harry Reid, has generally eschewed compromise. Top it off with Obama’s complete lack of leadership, even on legislation he strongly favored, and what you wind up with is just another display of garden variety political hypocrisy. On the stump, Truman at least came across as a fire-eater; Obama sounds like a petulant restaurant patron who’s found a caterpillar in his arugula.

The problem is not a do-nothing Congress; the problem is a good-for-nothing president.

Attack Botch (Continued)

Small Dead Animals links to a hilarious Twitter feed. A few choice samples:

My dog just left a shovel-ready job for someone. It’s piled up in my front yard.

No names, but someone in the WH keeps leavin the toilet seat up! OK- Pretty sure it’s Napolitano.

Someone said you’re not going down in history as the worst president ever. I believe in you. You can do it!
Update: 36 Chambers captures my dilemma: Why is Big Brother "unfollowing" me ?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It was inevitable

"Nicholas Cage awoken by naked man with Fudgesicle".

Happy Feet Friday

Another rare clip of the beautiful and talented Nan Wynn (from the Abbott and Costello movie, Pardon My Sarong.


Love him or hate him, Rick Perry exhibited the kind of class, on at least one occasion, that I find admirable. A touching recollection of the joy he brought into one life - quietly and privately.

Is Obama troughing too soon?

True, he’s getting slammed like a Jesuit missionary running a gauntlet of Iroquois braves: unemployment is high and unlikely to come down before the election, instances of highly irregular crony capitalism are breaking out like hives, his speeches are even being trashed by his erstwhile allies, his foreign policy’s backfiring and he’ll probably soon be declared Man of the Year by the Mexican drug cartels for the Fast and Furious scandal which has helped turn the narcotraficantes into a well-armed army of occupation. Over-regulation, the credit downgrade, calls for higher taxes, AttackWatch - the list just goes on and on.

Still, we’re 14 months away from the election, and I worry that Obama, even as utterly feckless as he is, will be unable to maintain this level of stuttering clusterfarkitude that long. I mean, can he go the distance? Can he keep up his loser's pace?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Attack Botch

Obama's new "truth site" is already an internet joke. Moonbattery has a sample of hilarious tweets. Here's one of my favorites:
jimmiebjr Jimmie

Dear #AttackWatch. I noticed you used Media Matters and Think Progress as trusted sources. May I also recommend Dr. Seuss and peyote?

The go-to run-away-from guy

Andrew Ferguson marvels at the staying power of an economist who is consistently wrong.
Over time, Zandi’s predictions are tested by reality. In August 2006, he told Newsweek that housing prices would bottom out in August 2007. In October 2007, he told the National Association of Home Builders that the bottom would come in late 2008. In April 2009, he told Time magazine that housing prices would bottom out by the end of the year. (“I feel very confident about this,” he said.) Three months later, he told NPR that “by this time next year, the market will have hit bottom.” The market is still looking for its bottom, and so is Zandi, with both hands.

You may already have won a Big Burger at Five Guys!

No, I’m sorry. I’m going to have to pass.
President Barack Obama's reelection campaign just sent out this creepy email, with the subject line "Sometime soon, can we meet for dinner," asking supporters to donate to his campaign for a chance to have dinner with Obama.
Pretty soon you’ll be seeing the two Davids, Plouffe and Axelrod, wandering around Lafayette Park with Big Gulp cups, asking people for spare change.

Baseball can be a dangerous sport

They'll probably wind up banning it for children in Buffalo.

Anyhow, check out these recent freak injuries to pro players - none of which, truth to tell, were actually experienced while playing.

Cartoon of the week

(Big H/T to Theo Spark - and, yes, I only visit there for the cartoons)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You're hired!

Steve at the Pub receives a singular resume.

Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme?

Actually, it's even worse.

I am Spartacus!

Ya'll need to get cracking on reporting Paco Enterprises to Obama's latest propaganda organ, AttackWatch. I'll not be satisfied until I get my own tab on the site's web page!

Here's some fodder for the liberal herd:

Paco Enterprises says President can't walk on water and chew gum at the same time!

Paco Enterprises says Obama not likeable!

Paco Enterprises says Solyndra nothing but crony capitalism!

Update: Even better - how about flooding the site with references to recent editorials from liberal columnists that have been critical of Obama? Dana Milbank, for example.

When bozos collide

Well, well! President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will be meeting in November. Will a single room be able to contain so much genius?

The Bloomberg article linked above is largely full of crap, incidentally. A sample:
Both are likable politicians who inspire visceral and often inexplicable dislike and face daunting levels of opposition from cynical foes out to derail their every effort.

Meanwhile, Obama's economy just keep setting new records.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What if George Lucas really got carried away?

Some funny speculation on what Lucas edits to classic movies (other than his own) might look like.

(H/T: Hot Air)

Good news for the criminal element in Buffalo, NY

Looks like future generations of victims will be totally defenseless, now that local milksops are schooling their kids to avoid even toy guns.
“It makes them too comfortable, holding that gun,” said Leonard Lane, president of Fathers Armed Together to Help, Educate, Restore and Save. “Then there’s no fear holding the real gun when they get older. We want to put that fear back into our children, teaching them what guns can do, how they affect their community.”
Let me explain it to you, Lennie. If you encourage tomorrow’s presumably law-abiding citizens to avoid taking responsibility for their own safety by making them afraid of the tools that are available for their self-defense, then an unnecessarily high proportion of them are ultimately going to die at the hands of criminals who neither share your fear of guns, nor are disposed toward observing the laws – however stringent – governing their possession.

What’s next for Buffalo, I wonder? Teaching kids to avoid crossing the street altogether? Mandatory training wheels on bicycles for anyone under 16, regardless of skill? Replacing “dangerous” sports like football with badminton? Excellent preparation for their lives in the Servile State.

Krug Man

“I say, Krugman, do you know the Bishop of Norwich? I take it by your open-mouthed silence that you do not. Well, he is a splendid chap, but he always forgets to pass the port. The port.” [In a low voice: “Gad, man, must you always play the bumpkin? I have just provided you with the polite formulation used to remind one to pass the port ‘round. No, no, not that way!”]

The company, shocked to the core by the sight of Krugman actually handing the decanter of port directly across the table, gasps in unison and writhes in revulsion, a veritable Laocoön Group of outraged propriety. Chauncey-Teetham rises suddenly from his chair, his hand upon the hilt of his sword. Smythe-Pooter retrieves his monocle from a dish of Spotted Dick, whither it has flown as the result of a spasm of the eye brought on by the observation of the horrific bloomer. Pendragon withdraws a white glove from his breast pocket, on the verge of offering a challenge to this ghastly outsider.

“No, gentlemen, stay! Chauncey, no martial airs out of season, if you please; and Pendragon, kindly return your gauntlet to the company of its fellow. Friends, I crave your pardon on Mr. Krugman’s behalf, but I should have informed you earlier that he is the victim of an Ivy League education, and so can know nothing of the social graces, let alone of the moral and philosophical underpinnings of Western civilization.”

The hostile murmurs immediately subside into a concerto of sympathetic tongue-clicking and embarrassed apologies, the general aspect being one of “there, but for the grace of God, go I.”

“You are to view Mr. Krugman in the light of an inhabitant of the same phylum as the Kombai tribesmen or Picts, a bone through the nose or blue tattoos - based on your respective preferences - to be taken as implied. A savage, to be sure, but perhaps one from whom we may tease some evidence of nobility, if we approach him with gentleness and understanding. Now, Mr. Krugman, if you will be so good as to desist from extracting any more lice from your beard and crushing them under your salad fork, I would like to probe some of those remarkable runes or hieroglyphics which you carved yesterday beneath the banner of the New York Times on that news organization’s web site. Do you know of what I speak?”

“Krug know.”

“Excellent, excellent. Now, your…your thoughts, for want of a better word, suggest a certain hostility toward our leaders at the time of the dastardly attack against innocent civilians on American soil.”

“Bah! Great White Father Bush and Little White Cousin Giuliani come, by an’ by, make palaver, fight innocent Musulmans. Everybody know man-eating Zion tribe pull strings.”

“You’ll pardon me, I’m sure, but it strikes me that you’re talking through your parrot-feathered headdress. This was an act of war by bloodthirsty fanatics against people who had done them no harm.”

“So? Look at sunny side. Big sky-birds demolish dwellings, make ‘em new jobs for peoples not working.”

“That is a sentiment as idiotic as it is vile.”

“Humph! You got ‘em Nobel Prize in Economics?”

“It is an honor I would gladly forego in view of the intellectual and moral caliber of some of its recipients.”

“You no savvy good thing when see ‘em. Much wampum. Big hut. Plenty peoples think Krug smart fella. Krug’s canoe make big splash. All donkey tribe like ‘em. Krug do whatever need to feather nest. Say much words, make ‘em anger-talk, keep donkey warriors stirred up, receive thanks from Great Black Father.” Krugman pauses to take a drink directly from the silver creamer. “Mmmm. Not bad. Not as good as purple firewater, though. B-u-u-r-r-r-p-p!

“Well, now. I had vowed to hear you out, Krugman, and to refrain from intruding upon your ravings with harsh criticism; however, I find that I can now barely restrain myself from intruding upon your withers with a horsewhip, so I shall bid you good-night. Gentlemen, I suggest that we reconvene tomorrow and commence deliberations on what I perceive to be an urgent need for further investigation into the nature of this ‘Ivy League’. Judging by the specimen before us, it would appear to be a creeping vegetation of the most poisonous variety that thrives upon a soil rich in ignorance and complacency.”

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monday movie

A stirring scene from Red Dawn.

Sunday funny

I had not planned on putting up a Sunday funny today; however, Harry Reid, in attempting to Tweet a profound comment to mark the occasion, has managed to do something that is both relevant and funny (and, I assume, inadvertent). Ed Driscoll has the screen capture.

Paul Krugman just keeps piling up those awards

Most recently, he is the winner of, er, this coveted prize.

(H/T: Smitty)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In memoriam

For evil men have no hope of things to come, and the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. (Proverbs 24:20).

Update: A 9/11 tribute, to the sound of Celtic battle music performed by Cynthia Cathcart, via Theo Spark.

Update II: One of the greatest tributes to American determination in the face of this unprecedented terror attack was the construction of the USS New York, which includes steel recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center.


Liberal commentator Bob Beckel just can't seem to get rid of that old Che Guevara poster. In the course of informing us about his possession of this odious item, he reveals the kind of towering ignorance that is inexcusable in a free society, where genuine facts are readily ascertainable. Humberto Fontova applies the clue-by-four. Love this line:
If Bob Beckel’s “freedom-fighter” had been allowed his fondest bit of “freedom-fighting” Bob Beckel’s incinerated remains would fit in a gin bottle today.
I'm willing to entertain the possibility that Beckel's idiocies are the result of his spending too much time getting on the outside of a gin bottle; however, I have no evidence that this is the case. My original diagnosis, therefore, remains: delerium liberalis.


If there is a more arrogant, pompous, tin-eared and insensitive ass than Michael Bloomberg currently serving as a big city mayor in this country, I'd like to know who it is.

Friday, September 9, 2011

In the Arab spring...

...a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of attacking Jews.

And once safely-secular Turkey, now under the rule of would-be Sword of Islam, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now claims that it will provide a naval escort for the next flotilla of Gaza blockade-runners.

Like everything else he has set his hand to, Obama's Muslim outreach - complemented by incessant Israel-bashing - is rapidly turning to ashes.

The Democrats do have another option

And you know who she is.

The aftermath of 9/11

Dramatic footage, from space, of New York City on that terrible day, with commentary from astronaut Frank Culbertson.


I was cleaning out the garage, and found these; completely forgot they were in there.


Record rainfall in Fairfax, VA has led to numerous flash floods. As usual, some people are always able to find the upside.

Don't blink or you'll miss it

In one of those rare freaks of nature, somebody at the New York Times actually takes the time to consider some of Sarah Palin's ideas, and comes away...intrigued.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An important public service announcement...

...from public-spirited blogger, Steve Burri.

Update: Smitty, Jr. was decidedly unimpressed with Obama's jobs speech.

Meanwhile, Guy Benson hits the nail on the head, calling last night's plethora of blah "Obama's Combative Save-My-Job Speech".

Happy Feet Friday

Here's a clip of that fine cornet player, Red Nichols, backed by his band, the Five Pennies.


Stephen Green drunkblogs the President's jobs speech. Priceless, as always.

Hey, let's unionize prisoners

Another great idea from one of the Obama administration's certified geniuses - this one courtesy of Alan Kruger, the newly-appointed chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

So, how does this work, exactly? If a prisoner goes on strike, what do you do? Throw him in jail? I mean, he's already in there. Or would he have the right to strike? Would the warden and his staff then have to step in and make license plates?

Completely irrelevant to the story, but this guy Krueger looks a lot like the teacher of my high school aviation class. I believe the guy eventually got fired for getting drunk and buzzing residential areas at night.

For that kind of dough, I can live with the stigma

New York sewer worker collects three quarters of a million dollars in 2010.

“Hey, hey, Ralphie boy! Thar’s gold in them thar drains!”

Update: Mojo in the comments reminds us of a classic scene from the Honeymooners.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm actually surprised

I always figured it was Boston.
According to a recent report issued by Allstate Insurance Co., Washington, D.C. can lay claim to having the worst — or at least the most accident-prone — drivers among the 200 largest cities in the U.S.
My reason for assuming it was Boston was, admittedly, based on a non-scientific survey consisting of observing the number of cars that had dents, as I drove through the city (many years ago). As I recall, the percentage was 100%.

Then and now

President Bill Clinton: It's the economy, stupid!

President Barack Obama: It's NOT the economy, stupid!

Why do so many people find Obama “likeable”?

The preshizzle is sinking in all the polls that seek to measure public confidence in his ability to competently deal with…well, with practically everything…and yet, he continues to have fairly high “personal approval” numbers, indicating that a large swath of the citizenry finds him somehow likeable.

Why is that? Surely, this opinion cannot be based on the observation of his public conduct, which has consistently demonstrated petulance, pettiness, hypocrisy, excessive partisanship, smallness of spirit and irascibility of temperament. Not to mention a tendency toward cowardly bullying (remember the State of the Union speech, in which he publicly chided the Supreme Court justices, who were sitting in the audience but were in no position to respond?)

No, it can’t be because people have witnessed his behavior and actually found it to be consistent with standard notions of kindness and affability. I believe the explanation resides in an understanding of the machinery and operations of the human brain, particularly at the unconscious level, and almost exclusively in the context of visual memory and associations based on physical resemblances.

For example, perhaps Obama’s large ears trigger an almost subliminal recollection of the similarly jug-headed Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, an easy-going, friendly character. Or, alternatively, maybe Obama’s slenderness and angularity (with an assist from recollections of the spate of recent unfavorable headlines concerning the president’s mounting list of failures) put some folks in mind of Sheriff Taylor’s hapless, occasionally pitiable, but generally likeable, deputy, Barney Fife. It could even be that the skinny Obama simply reminds a lot of people of the basic stick figure, a non-threatening, two-dimensional everyman.

This is a perfectly normal human failing. I remember that I, myself, once maintained friendly feelings toward an otherwise obnoxious supervisor simply because his physiognomy reminded me of one of my favorite childhood cartoon characters, Huckleberry Hound. And yet, I would not have relished having him for a neighbor, let alone voted for him had he ever sought public office. Therein lies the nub of the matter: to resist the temptation or urge to endow Person A with the personality and character of Person B, simply because A puts you in mind of B as a result of a mere physical resemblance.

I am confident that most voters possess the ability, ultimately, to bar this phenomenon from clouding their judgment in the polling booth; which is one reason why I believe that Deputy Fife…or, rather, heh, Barack Obama…will go down to defeat in November of 2012.

What else is on?

White House to Rep. Boehner: Do you want to respond to the speech being given by President Obama?

Boehner to White House: Who?

Interesting thesis

Yale Professor James C. Scott has written a book, The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, which posits the existence of a large swath of highland Asia that has effectively resisted the idea of the nation-state. The actuality of “Zomia”, as the region is called, is a controversial thesis, but, if nothing else, tends to support the timeless wisdom embedded in the expression, “Head for the hills!”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A ray of sunshine in the gathering gloom

I'm glad there are still some things a man can, er, cling to.

"Jessica Simpson Not Downsizing Her Bustline"
“If you put her in a T-shirt or you put her in a bustier, she’s sexy in both. She’s got double Ds! You can’t cover those suckers up!”
Says her father, a "former Baptist minister".

You're quite right, Reverend. You can't cover those suckers up. I just can't! Call me for the unveiling.

Doesn’t anybody here know how to play this game?

Manager Casey Stengel’s lamentation over the incompetence of the Mets during their first season resonates far beyond its original context. It frequently comes to mind when one contemplates government, particularly at the national level. One might be pardoned for thinking, for example, that one of the few things the federal government could safely be trusted to do would be to develop an evacuation plan for the nation’s capital – if for no other reason than because of the love lavished by the practitioners of government on their own gaudy persons. Alas, even here, government proves to be all thumbs, as Mary Katherine Ham points out in this video clip.

California’s tragic death spiral

That such a state – blessed not only by nature, but by the drive and ingenuity of many of its residents, past and present – should continue unabated in its headlong rush to disaster, will surely be a matter for sociologists to study for decades to come. Joel Kotkin sadly shakes his head over California’s infatuation with economic and political suicide:
California's dominant ruling class—consisting of public-employee unions, green jihadis, and Democratic machine politicians—has no real use for science as Gilman saw it: as a way to create prosperity for its citizens. Instead, the prevailing credo of the state has been how to do everything possible to return to its pre-settlement condition, with little regard for what that means to the average Californian.
And how are many Californians reacting? As you would expect - by voting with their feet:
Many Californians who aren't slumbering are moving out of the state—and not only the pathetic remains of the old Reaganite majority. According to the most recent census, those leaving the state include old boomers, middle-aged families, and increasingly, many Latinos as well. Outmigration rates from places like Los Angeles and the Bay Area now rival those of such cities as Detroit.
There are few examples in American history that so strongly underscore the destructiveness of leftist utopianism and heavy-handed government as modern-day California. Whether the state will prove to be an object lesson, or a template, for the rest of the country remains to be seen.

Change (Got any?)

Robert Avrech thinks it’s time to commemorate Obama’s unique contributions by putting his mug on an appropriate “unit of currency”.

Monday, September 5, 2011

You know how Obama can really be helpful and add value?

By rolling out detailed recommendations on how to observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Like this one:
...other Obama administration guidelines are more striking, even strange. For example, officials are to "minimize references to Al Qaeda" because Osama bin Laden is dead and "Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant."

Wait, say what? Irrelevant? So, the nearly 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan are after who, Butch Cassidy?

This 10th anniversary 9/11 talking point comes out in the same month as the downing of a U.S. helicopter killing 38 troops, the deadliest incident of the Afghan war, making this the deadliest month for Americans in the 10-year conflict.

Do you think minimizing Al Qaeda's capabilities in the face of fatal evidence to the contrary could be connected with Obama's desire for a rapid U.S. troop withdrawal before the 2012 presidential election?
Why, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

Gone with the wind

Looks like the federal government has finally found something to do with all that land it owns: chopping up birds.

Another reason to be grateful for Ronald Reagan

(H/T: Doug Savage at Savage Chickens)

Speech overreach

Michael Barone explains why the odd machinations of the Obama administration in scheduling a jobs speech are probably far more revealing than anything that the speech, itself, may contain.

Update: Happy Belabor Day! Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. - who I am strongly tempted to hope follows in the footsteps of his old man - engages in a bit of rabble-rousing at an Obama rally in Detroit.

More from Legal Insurrection, including a hilarious Tweet from James Taranto.

Update II: We're barbarians.

Were you disgusted with Jane Fonda before?

Prepare to be utterly revolted, now.

Monday movie

Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and the collapsing brontosaurus, from the screwball comedy, Bringing Up Baby.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Paco Enterprises salutes its employees, who, through their unparalleled work ethic and strong commitment to the organization, have made PE one of the lowest-cost producers of fine consumer and industrial products in the world.

This year, we highlight the contributions of the good folks in our logistics and shipping department. Thanks, guys! And remember: "Row well, and live."

"You're very welcome, sir! Will do. Ok, guys, from the top, by sections! Row, row, row your boat..."

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sunday funny

Hey, no overnight parking, moron!

Every workday morning, I drive to the parking garage at the Vienna Metro station. I usually park in the same space, or in one of its fellows to the left or right.

For the last week or so I've noticed a gray Prius parked nearby. It belongs to a Louisiana Democrat for whom Republican governor Bobby Jindal is something of hissing and a byword, as evidenced by this bumper sticker:

Yesterday, I was delighted to see that the Prius had acquired another sticker, very definitely not of the owner's choosing:

With respect to employment, the government is Murder, Inc.

And Obama is Lepke Buchalter.
As President Obama prepares to unveil a new plan for the Federal Government to create jobs, evidence is rapidly piling up on how his administration is actively destroying jobs with stunning efficiency. Recent examples of this trend are enough to make anyone with even a casual respect for America’s former economic prowess hang their head in disgust.
Read. Savor.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Assortment (Obama-Slamma edition)

The Solyndra bankruptcy is rapidly becoming the Solyndra scandal. Crony capitalism at its tangy best!

CBS (!) is actually breaking some hard news in relation to the Fast and Furious outrage. More from Bob Owens, who, to his everlasting credit, has been dogging this story since day one.

What, you mean Obama can’t walk on water and chew gum at the same time?

Putting “zero” in perspective.

Alienating people wholesale is probably not a good reelection strategy.

I have obviously been misinformed concerning the correct definition of “first-class temperament”.

Pssst! Barry! It’s “Mr. President”, not “Your Majesty”.

Looks like the President’s not the only one prone to “scheduling conflicts”.

Congratulations on the downgrade, Prez! (H/T: friend and commenter, RebeccaH).

We the undersigned…

The White House is launching a petition page on its web site, which (purportedly) is intended to encourage participatory democracy. Since this is the Obama White House, you just know it’s got to be some kind of campaign gimmick.

Some on the right have objected to this; however, I see it as a golden opportunity to create an avalanche of public-spirited suggestions from all of us Bible-thumping gun-clingers. Let’s at least give the lower-level flunkies at the White House some interesting reading material. Here are a few ideas for some eye-catching petitions (all of which, of course, would start with the ritual language, “We, the undersigned”):

1) Demand that the President’s golf score-cards be released to the public, so that the people can be assured that he’s making significant progress in the one area where he has invested most of his time and energy.

2) Demand that the President, in order to dispel the growing consensus that he was raised in a barn, keep his damned feet off the Oval Office desk.

3) Demand that the President eschew the use of mendacity, obscurantism and pettiness in all future speeches, which eschewal will provide the twin benefits of (a) reducing the frequency and length of his speeches, thus (b) freeing up time so that he may occupy himself in the pursuit of activities less injurious to the public welfare than trying to govern (e.g., working on his chip shots).

4) Demand that the President, in order to counter mounting evidence that he is not, as originally advertised, a Christ-figure, perform an occasional miracle to restore faith in his reputed god-like attributes, such as changing a bushel of arugula into a rack of pork ribs, or, if he’s feeling particularly ambitious, adopting economic policies that would lower the unemployment rate below 9%.

5) Demand that the President, in an act of expiation for the cloth-headed decision by the ATF to permit gun sales to Mexican drug cartels, direct Attorney General Eric Holder to go door to door, in Ciudad Juárez, Culiacán and other Mexican cities, asking for the peaceful and voluntary return of the aforesaid guns. We, the undersigned, further demand that this action, so that it may serve as a genuine sign of penance, be carried out by Mr. Holder while he is attired in a clown suit.

Readers’ suggestions for petitions are welcome in the comments section.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

Now, here’s a traffic jam I can dig!

A lot of people think no one will watch Obama's jobs speech

Steve Burri isn't so sure.

Lance Burri also has some thoughts (and links) on the subject.

The coincidences are now coming at us at a dizzying pace

Who would ever have guessed that newly bankrupt Solyndra – former exhibit A for green jobs and government/private sector partnering, as well as being a beneficiary of over half a billion dollars in government-guaranteed loans, which currently pose a potential actual price tag for taxpayers of $390 million – would have links to a nest of Obama fundraisers?

Someone once said that the problem with South America was that you had capitalists but no capitalism. Just another indication, I suppose, that we are deteriorating into the biggest, costliest banana republic of all time. But even without the crony capitalism, an activist government poses a huge threat to economic freedom and stability. I see it myself, every day: high-level political appointees who are eager to ratchet up government involvement and risky taxpayer-funded subsidies even without any kind of quid pro quo, for purely ideological reasons. Remember: it’s who they are; it’s what they do.

Update: Much more on the details of the palm-greasing by C.J. Ciaramella at the Daily Caller, plus the added bonus of a completely dumbass response by a Department of Energy flunky:
“The project that we supported succeeded,” a spokesman for the Department of Energy told The New York Times. “The facility was producing the product it said it would produce, and consumers were buying the product,” he said. “The company struggled because the market has changed dramatically.”
I see. The facility was producing the product, and people were buying it. Yet, for some mysterious reason – sabotage by employees of coal-fired energy companies? Sunspots? El Niño? - the company still never showed a profit, is now bankrupt and will probably default on its debt. Dude, I don’t think “success” means what you think it means.


Today (September 1), Australia and the U.S. celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the ANZUS treaty (although the “NZ” in ANZUS is no longer operative, since the Kiwis dropped out decades ago).

But I am gratified to see that America and Australia are still mates - even in adversity, such as now, when both countries are sweating out the administrations of two feckless heads of government.

From the article linked above:
While New Zealand cast aside the treaty in the 1980s over disagreements with the U.S., Australia has become an ever more vital ally. Australia and the U.S. have fought together in every major conflict of the 20th and 21st centuries—including World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The friendship, common history, and values that bind our two nations have only strengthened.
It’s like I’ve said before: every red-blooded American looks on Australia as a kind of psychic or spiritual second home. Cheers, mates!

Oh, here’s a question (or two, actually):

American (and other non-Australian readers): Who are some of your favorite Australians?

Australian (and other non-U.S. readers): Who are some of your favorite Americans?

I’ll start the ball rolling: Lara Bingle and Tim Blair. Not necessarily in that order. [Ok, ok. Yes, in that order. But Tim’s a very close second; it’s practically a tie].