Monday, January 31, 2011

Chuck Schumer, Historian

Senator Chuck "Is that a camera? Gangway!" Schumer identifies the three branches of government for all of us rubes.

Strange

I never noticed it before, but Obama is a southpaw.

Fighting the scourge of undocumented...

... air potatoes.

On the banks of the Nile

I haven’t written anything on the situation in Egypt because I have no more foresight than any of the other guessers out there. I will say that I’m not extraordinarily optimistic. I don’t see Mohamed El-Baradei as being an able, confidence-inspiring alternative (my recollection is that he considerably underestimated Iranian nuclear capabilities when he was Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency - he has been called an Iranian tool by some - and is just generally a specimen of international bureaucrat who probably lacks the acumen to navigate the tricky, and frequently violent, waters of Middle Eastern politics).

What about the Muslim Brotherhood? They’ve been around since the 1920s and have a strong social network, although they’ve never coalesced as a political party. If you believe the Brookings Institution, meh, they’re nothing to really worry about (pardon me while I laugh sardonically). Whether this Islamist outfit could overcome resistance by Egypt’s sizable (though not majority) secularist population remains to be seen.

I welcome reader observations and opinions. What do you think is going on? How do you think it will all fall out?

Update: More from Stacy on the the Muslim Brotherhood.

Big Law

Professor Jacobson reflects on the strange circumstances surrounding Paul Mirengoff's departure from Powerline.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Monday Movie

Alan Ladd plays the cold-hearted killer in This Gun for Hire.




Special bonus! The scene (as modified) in Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

Incompetence + insensitivity...

... equals Deutsche Bank in Michigan.
While Sgt. James B. Hurley was away at war, he lost a heartbreaking battle at home.

In violation of a law intended to protect active military personnel from creditors, agents of Deutsche Bank foreclosed on his small Michigan house, forcing Sergeant Hurley’s wife, Brandie, and her two young children to move out and find shelter elsewhere.
This kind of thing seems to be happening all around the country - and not just to veterans.

Chris Matthews, Geographer

The Blogprof catches Chris Matthews in yet another moment of addle-pated confusion, as Matthews places the Panama Canal in Egypt.

Update: But you don't have to take my word for Chris Matthews' stupidity. It's a scientific fact!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sunday funnies

A strange combination .

An obscene combination.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of beer!

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation is getting ready to bring out Monticello Reserve Ale.

H/T to that eminent historian of beer and ale (and many other things), the estimable Captain Heinrichs.

A few questions for you "progressives"

"Red Square" at The People's Cube employs the Socratic method.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rule 5 Saturday

It’s the lovely Ann Shirley (I imagine the voice is dubbed, but she’s easy on the eyes).

Haw and Double Haw!


I’m late to this item, but Sarah Palin got off a first-rate zinger at Obama’s expense after the SOTU speech:
“Well, speaking of last night, that was a tough speech to sit through and try to stomach because the president is so off base in his ideas in how it is he believes government is going to create jobs. Obviously, government growth won’t create any jobs. It’s the private sector that can create the jobs. His theme last night in the State of the Union was the WTF, you know, “Winning the Future,” and I thought OK, that acronym, spot on. There were a lot of WTF moments throughout that speech.”
M’yes…All you politicians and pundits out there just keep on underestimating this woman’s intelligence and drive and courage.

Someone once referred to Margaret Thatcher as the only man in her cabinet. I get the same vibes with Palin. It’s going to take a whole lot more than the usual beltway vermin infestation to spook this woman.

Update: Stacy McCain catalogs some of the particularly vile abuse that has been hurled at Palin (with, from I can tell, no effect on the target at all).

Pasty-faced white guy plays race card

The most amazing thing about congress-douche Jim Moran is how a guy with a brain the size of a Milk Dud manages to function at all.

Talking to an Arab TV network after the president's State of the Union speech, Moran credited widespread GOP gains in the November elections to racism.
Referring to widespread Republican wins in congressional and state contests, Moran said "a lot of people in this country, I believe, don't want to be governed by an African-American." He said that was particularly true of a liberal president.
No, Moran, you're the racist. You're practicing the...what's the expression?...the "soft bigotry of low expectations."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

Snooky Young and Doc Severinson combine on an extremely hot version of “Flying Home”.

Genghis Khan: the Al Gore of the Middle Ages

The solution to anthropogenic global warming? Conquest and genocide.

H/T: Tim Blair

Worst. Commute. Evah.

The Yankee gub'mint let us go a couple of hours early yesterday because of the winter storm warning, but it wasn't enough time. Mrs. Paco picked me up at the Vienna Metro station, and what is ordinarily a 20-minute rush-hour trip home over a distance of 3 1/2 miles took 4 1/2 hours.

I have never seen such chaos in my life. The snow was coming down heavily and vehicles were getting stuck all over the place. People would get out of their cars to shove somebody out of the way, and then get stuck themselves. Trees down. Absolute gridlock. Idiots creating bottlenecks at intersections. An ambulance trying to get through traffic with a small snow-plow in front. The county snow-plows immobilized because the streets and highways were parking lots.

Mrs. Paco, after studying a map, proposed a bold new course through previously untraveled territory. We ran into another traffic jam, but finally got through it, then drove through some unfamiliar neighborhoods, where all the street signs were unreadable because they were plastered with snow. Suddenly, we came out exactly where the missus had said we would, and we were able to cross Arlington Blvd. and proceed into our neighborhood.

Our house is on a dogleg cul-de-sac, up a steep hill, and I got half way up, when my tires started spinning. I backed down the hill and was planning another attack, but got stuck good and proper in the snow. We walked up to the house, and the power went out just as we got to the front yard. It came back on around 5 am, but cable, telephone and internet were out until just a couple of hours ago.

We were among the lucky ones. It took a couple of our neighbors more than 8 hours to get home. And I suspect a great many people wound up sleeping in their cars. I was so grateful to get home, I genuflected and crossed myself, like Columbus when he made landfall in the New World.

When I retire, it's going to be Florida or Arizona, for sure.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bus of Fools

The P/Oed Patriot has the lowdown on the educational outreach being staged this summer by the stupidest, most reactionary people in America.

(H/T: Moonbattery)

Neighbor gets the bird

Be careful about offending people who have a talking bird.

Time to turn in that badge, Sheriff!

Gateway Pundit announces a money bomb to fund the recall of America's worst sheriff.

Time to turn Dupnik into a...

Why carry a gun?

Brigid at Confederate Yankee has a host of good reasons.

SOTU STFU!

Do you plan to watch the president's State of the Union speech tonight? I don't. The chances are practically zero that it will be anything but a litany of banal platitudes, or a transparently insincere head-fake to the center (or both). Boilerplate and perjury. No, thanks.

Update: If you've simply gotta know what he said, I highly recommend Steve Green's drunkblogging of the speech.

Meat Water

When you're hungry and thirsty, this is the way to go.

Congratulations!

The excellent BabalĂș blog has passed the five million visitors mark.

Beltway minotaur Carol Browner to step down

But will the president's top environmental adviser go away? Michelle Malkin has loads of background on this long-time Democratic tool.

Jack LaLanne, RIP

Jack LaLanne, a physical fitness guru who attained fame in the 50s and 60s, has died at age 96.

I remember seeing his program every now and then and, even as a kid, I was impressed by his boundless energy. He went in for high-profile physical stunts, too; here are ten of them.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Olbermann's departure causes mass psychosis, metaphorical malaprops

Tim Graham at NewsBusters assembles an interesting collection of the leftist angst that has arisen as a result of Keith Olbermann's departure from MSNBC.

My personal favorite? This item from a DailyKos commenter:
Time to go to the f---ing 'mattresses,' for Keith
An excellent idea! Go lie down for awhile (you might first want to breathe into a paper bag for a few minutes).


Progressives: they're Krazy for Keith.

Don't forget: Obama's not just awful on the economy

His administration's foreign relations savvy is abysmal, too, as Blue Crab Boulevard notes here and here.

Assortment

Hey, why should I put one together when Gavin Atkins has already saved me the trouble?

Monday Movie

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby try to con some Moroccan merchants.

Sunday Funny

People lose their cell phones all the time, but usually not in a place like this.

Tools: "Directions vs. Reality".

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sublime

Steve Cohen - Democratic congressman and felony violator of Godwin's Law - might fend off legacy media types, but can he survive the awesome satirical powers of Iowahawk?

Barnum's Law

There's a climate-change scientist born every minute.

See ya!

Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC (next stop, NPR?)

As he scurries down the sidewalk, muttering to himself and frantically whisking imaginary Tinkerbell-sized Sarah Palins off his lapels, we bid a fond farewell to the dean of left-wing carnival barkers.

Rule 5 Saturday

Jane Russell sings one for the road (from Macao).

Friday, January 21, 2011

The decline of the intellectual

Who’s really surprised? We’ve gone from glass milk bottles to cheap plastic cartons, from fedoras to baseball caps, from Dr. Pepper to juice boxes. Lots of good things are in decline or have already vanished, so there’s no reason why our intellectual class should be any different.

Jeff Poor at DC Caller illustrates my point in this post. Behold the vaporings of crackpot “deep thinker” Noam Chomsky:
”There’s [sic] other factors like the anger, and the fear and hostility in the country about everything carries over to this [this man’s claim to fame is his expertise in linguistics, right? - P.],” Chomsky said. “So if you look at polls, everyone hates Congress. They hate the Democrats. They hate the Republicans even more. They hate big business. They hate banks and they distrust scientists. So why should we believe what these pointy-head elitist are telling? We don’t trust anything else. We don’t trust them.”

He explained those feelings led to November’s election results, and would have serious repercussions for civilization.

“All of this combines the latest election a couple of days ago,” he continued. “You could almost interpret it [as] a kind of a death knell for the species.”
Actually, I interpret the conservatives' election victories of November to be more like the death knell for Deluxe-Class accommodations on the national gravy train for tenured Gaia fetishists, speech commissars, talking airheads, trans fat policemen, Bolshevik tycoons, congressional lemmings, Hollywood philosophes and other such ideological dingleberies that nestle in the shorts of the body politic. And yes, I say that like it’s a good thing.


It tolls for thee, you cloth-headed poseur.

Time to rally ‘round!

The estimable Tree Hugging Sister and Rush Limbaugh, in conjunction with the distinguished Professor Jacobson, have thrown down the gauntlet to the Palin haters on the left, and to the Palin detractors on the right.

I am solidly within THS's camp on this issue
We can do without witches in 2012, but we could sure use a little intra-conservative “she may be a witch, but she’s OUR witch” sense of unity. How COULD they ~ and I do mean every last conservative/GOP columnist ~ not rise up IMMEDIATELY and give rise to a vociferous, continuous, FEROCIOUS defense? Sarah Palin’s presidential qualifications/aspirations (or lack thereof) aside: can the party withstand it’s own pundits allowing their vested self interest to override truth and decency itself, if it means a potential rival may have her kneecaps bludgeoned as a party to mass murder? How despicable!
Quite so. And as Jacobson points out, although Palin may be the current lightning rod of elitist condescension, every Republican who is perceived by the leftist hive and their fellow travelers in the “center” as a viable threat to the ideology of the Democratic party is going to get the same treatment.

As I have said often, and recently, I would love to see Palin win the presidency, if only because she is hated by all the right people. And it is my opinion that she has a much better chance of winning the Republican nomination than most people think (and of beating Obama, if she does). Furthermore, I think she’d make a great president (in any event, can you imagine her being a worse president than Barry?)

Or would you rather have Huckabee?

Update: Looks like I cited the right blog, but not the right blogger. It was Tree Hugging Sister, not Mr. Bingley, who wrote that post at Coalition of the Swilling (I have made the correction). Not that Bingley isn't estimable, of course...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

Les Brown (a North Carolina boy!) and his Band of Renown perform “Swamp Fire”.

That's gonna cause some nightmares

Gateway Pundit has the most interesting Hillary Clinton photo I've ever seen.

Walk softly but carry big scissors


Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe outline some substantial cuts in government spending that seem worthwhile. The list isn’t perfect (e.g., my agency isn’t mentioned), but it’s a good start.

Just imagine trillions of future dollars staying in the private-sector economy, under the control of the citizenry. Why, the people might just learn to muddle through without becoming wards of the state. They might actually learn to…live free.

Business update

Paco Enterprises regrets to inform the public that it is shutting down its new piano manufacturing subsidiary due to an unforeseen disruption in the supply of materials.

From the shelves of R. Emmett Tyrrell's library

I regret that I didn't have time this week to do a book review, but you might find Mr. Tyrrell's list interesting.

And here, Eric Abrahamsen provides a valuable look at the use of irony by writers trapped in a totalitarian environment.

Tennessee's national embarrassment

How does this tool keep getting elected?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Obama calls for repeal of Obamacare

What? You say that’s not what he has in mind with his call for regulatory reform? Well, then, let’s see what he is on about:
But creating a 21st-century regulatory system is about more than which rules to add and which rules to subtract. As the executive order I am signing makes clear, we are seeking more affordable, less intrusive means to achieve the same ends—giving careful consideration to benefits and costs. This means writing rules with more input from experts, businesses and ordinary citizens. It means using disclosure as a tool to inform consumers of their choices, rather than restricting those choices. Above all, it means saving my ass from getting whacked in the 2012 election, by using centrist rhetoric to screen the consolidation of my socialist gains.
Possibly that last line was added by some conservative wag. But, really, does anybody besides hard-wired Democrats, ignorant and gullible “independents” and David Frum believe this crap? The most left-wing president in my lifetime has pushed through legislation and issued executive orders that are clearly intended to rob us of our freedom in return for the promises (always unfilled) of a safer, more secure life; he has set new records for non-transparency; and he has demonized opponents and libeled entire classes of people – and now I’m supposed to believe that he’s worried about the confining aspects of red tape on the lives of ordinary citizens, whom he pledges to consult going forward? Please.

Obama has finally been led to water and forced to drink it. The mid-term elections revealed the underlying lack of confidence that the people have in the ability of Democrats to govern responsibly. So now the president is experimenting with triangulation: making cooing noises at business and the denizens of flyover country in order to position himself (falsely) in the middle of the political spectrum.

It is a strategy that I hope will be seen for the cynical ploy that it is (although my mind ominously keeps harkening back to something Mencken wrote: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” That’s not always true, but it’s not by any means always demonstrably false).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wish I'd thought of that!

Steve Burri continues to offer stiff competition to the Paco Enterprises commercial empire in the sale of, er, high quality consumer products.

But he's still got a lot of catchin' up to do...

Hang on to her...er...

Since we have lately been discussing the theme of epic adventures afloat, here is something truly unique.
A couple in Australia was rescued after attempting to float down a river near Melbourne on an inflatable sex doll.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Would you like some schmaltz with that raw propaganda?

Benson's political cartoons and the gag reflex. I'm amazed that he hasn't yet drawn a cartoon of a winged Barry Goldwater, standing on a cloud and hurling lightning bolts at Sarah Palin.

(H/T: Hot Air)

Today's Homemade Demotivator



Update: Speaking of morons, Time Magazine includes last year's Gaza flotilla incident in a top ten list of historical "Clashes at Sea" - right up there with the Battle of Trafalgar and the defeat of the Spanish armada (curiously, the Battle of Lepanto is left out). Time is going for the all-time land-speed record in its race toward irrelevance (it's currently running side by side with Newsweek).

Sanity breaks out on university campus!

The University of Virginia has eliminated its "speech codes". Mike Adams at Townhall has the details:
Concerned parents looking to send their kids to a college free from repressive speech codes can now add another option to their list. Last semester, the University of Virginia (UVA) eliminated the last of a series of policies that unconstitutionally restricted the free speech of students and faculty members. Two-thirds of the nation's colleges maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech. But now, UVA is an exception to the rule having fully reformed four speech codes over the course of the last year.
A small victory, perhaps, but an important one. Colleges and universities have become the foundry for the creation of liberal robots, and their totalitarian impulses, masked as reverence for that new bitch-goddess called "Civility", remain one of the major long-term threats to our traditional freedoms.

Caption time!



My entry: One reason why dogs run away from home.

Another: Palin supporter attempts to bite president's face off.

(H/T for photo: i am bored)

Monday Movie

The classic opening scene of The Killers (1946). One of my favorite William Conrad roles. Pure, silky menace.

Assortment

At least it wasn’t something like Muskrat Love or YMCA.

Don Boudreaux at Café Hayek makes the point that the flip side of trade deficits is an increase in foreign investment.

Pundit & Pundette tell us more about the estimable Judge John Roll, one of the victims in the Tucson shooting.

Professor Jacobson on 60 Minutes on Jared Loughner.

Nice Deb has a video of columnist and talking airhead Richard Cohen engaging in some Sarah Palin bashing. Personally, I’d like to see Palin become President if for no other reason than that I loathe the people who hate her.

iOwnTheWorld brings us news of an important new book.

Terry Teachout has an excellent article on Cab Calloway.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Paco Command Center receives a visitor

Friend and commenter Jeff was in Fairfax yesterday, and he, Mrs. Paco and I dined in style within the elegant ambiance afforded by Five Guys Burgers and Fries. We then removed to the Paco Command Center where we spent an interesting afternoon plotting the course of post-Obama America (which, it is devoutly hoped, will commence in January of 2013).

It was great to meet you Jeff. Give us a ring the next time you're in town.

Sunday funny

Looks like animals are improving their self-defense capability.
A wounded fox shot its would be killer in Belarus by pulling the trigger on the hunter's gun as the pair scuffled after the man tried to finish the animal off with the butt of the rifle, media said Thursday.

The unnamed hunter, who had approached the fox after wounding it from a distance, was in hospital with a leg wound, while the fox made its escape...
H/T: Mrs. Paco

Update: Kevin B in the comments reveals the existence of another dangerous animal.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rule 5 Saturday

Rita Hayworth performs “The Dance of the Seven Veils”.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Meanwhile in Australia

Eat your peas government

John Stossel and Fred Smith, chairman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, discuss the increasingly frequent encroachments on personal liberty by the nanny state.

Good news!

I just noticed that after a long hiatus, the excellent Blue Crab Boulevard is back.

I’m thinking that the best business opportunity available right now…

…might be to set up a moving company based just across the Illinois state line in Indiana.

Illinois Democrats seem to think that all state residents are some kind of captive tax slaves, prevented by, say, an electric fence from picking up and moving to other states with more reasonable tax rates. Notwithstanding that the mobility of individuals and businesses in the face of greedy state governments has been shown time and time again, from New York to California, Illinois lawmakers recently passed two huge tax increases – a 67% personal income tax increase, and a 46% increase on businesses – that not only won’t attract people to the state, but will drive current residents away in droves.

I think where the Tea Party can make a huge difference is by getting involved at the grassroots level in states like Illinois. Change from the bottom up.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Analogy Corner



(Via Moonbattery)

Happy Feet Friday

Freddie Martin and his orchestra provide the soundtrack for this Disney cartoon (“Bumble Boogie”).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

From the shelves of the Paco library



This may be my non-fiction recommendation of the year (and it’s only January!)

Laura Hillenbrand, author of the outstanding Seabiscuit, has recently published another book dealing with an unlikely hero. Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, a phenomenal runner who set all kinds of high school and college records for the mile (as well as other distances), competed in the 1936 Olympics, and was in training for the 1940 games until they were abruptly cancelled (Tokyo was going to be the host city). He enlisted in the Army Air Forces (as it was called back in 1941), became a lieutenant who served as the bombardier on board a B-24 Liberator, and was shot down over the Pacific in 1943. He and the pilot, Russell Phillips, (another crew member who survived the crash died before the men were “rescued”) drifted in the Pacific for 46 days, tormented by hunger, thirst and the constant attention of sharks, and were finally drawing near to an island when they were picked up by a Japanese warship. Zamperini and Phillips were incarcerated in a couple of POW camps, where they were routinely beaten and tortured. Then they were transferred to an interrogation camp near Tokyo; that’s when things really got bad, as the camp was effectively run by its “disciplinary officer”, a psychopathic corporal of whom even his nominal superiors were afraid.

Unbroken is an intense and enthralling narrative of the indomitability of the human spirit. Zamperini - the son of immigrant Italian parents, a renegade who, as a child, was constantly in trouble at school and with the law - found his salvation through athletics, diverting his restless energy onto the running track. The same resolve he found deep within himself to break the cycle of his early troubles stood him in good stead not only at track meets, but during the difficult trials of AAF training and the unspeakable horrors of imprisonment by the Japanese. Zamperini survived it all, and is alive today (age 93).

The book has been superbly researched, and does an excellent job placing the man in the context of his times. And among many fine aspects of this history, too numerous to mention in a brief review, I would underscore the author’s description of the bombing of the island of Nauru by the AAF; it is one of the most thrilling narratives of air combat that I have ever read.

This book carries my highest recommendation. Incidentally, Laura Hillenbrand has shown great courage in her own struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome; see this Washington Post article for more on her and her new book.

Time for a break...

...from the latest liberal libels.

Here are two video clips from the old Jack Benny TV show. The first features Jack's long-time nemesis, Frank Nelson. The second scene is a classic bit with Jack and Mel Blanc.




Great question, Doc

Dr. Charles Krauthammer has the comment of the week: “The origins of Loughner’s delusions are clear: mental illness. What are the origins of Krugman’s?”

Why leftists keep recycling the same memes

It's apparently an old tradition dear to the fraternity.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Floods in Australia

Queensland is currently afflicted with horrible flooding.

Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

In a week of record left-wing media hypocrisy...

...Newsweek may well take the prize.

The magazine ("Magazine"? Oooo... Violence!) began a story on Tucson murderer Jared Loughner this way:
A 2009 study warned that the rise of right-wing extremism could spur violent attacks. But the report was attacked by Republicans, including now-Speaker John Boehner.
Well, I don't know what Boehner said at the time, but I can understand why he would have attacked it: he knew it was the kind of propaganda that yellow rags like Newsweek would use to link the Loughners of the world to mainstream conservatives in an effort to silence criticism of the ominous growth of government power.

The article does not produce a shred of evidence that Loughner was influenced by anything other than his own mental illness, yet ham-fistedly sets the maniac down in the context of our old friend, the Angry Right.

The author of this editorial turd is named Aaron Mehta, who works for a non-profit organization called the Center for Public Integrity, which has been funded in the past by... need I tell you?

Update - Richard McEnroe has a pretty good idea of what happens when Barney Fife becomes sheriff.

Update II - Glenn Reynolds has some good advice for conservatives: strike back against the left by directing your energy into ousting the Democrat government in 2012.
The biggest worry after the November elections was that a lot of people on the right would declare victory and go home. The shameless attempt to politicize the Tucson shootings and scapegoat people on the right has generated a huge amount of anger. Tea Party folks being who they are, I suspect this will mostly manifest itself as grunt-level political work in preparation for 2012 — precisely the opposite of what the scapegoaters were hoping for: Don’t get mad, get even, by making 2012 an even bigger shellacking than 2010.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Nadir

So, now, even mainline Democrats are looking at the tragedy in Arizona in terms of an Obama "opportunity". I am experiencing a feeling of revulsion such as I have not felt in years. Glenn Reynolds expresses my view perfectly: "...we have a terrible political class, probably the worst in American history."

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin takes a walk down Memory Lane.

BTW, blogging is likely to be light for the next couple of days, as I am extremely busy with my so-called real job this week, which is leaving me a rather spent force in the evenings; I'm hardly fit to do more than collapse on the couch with an ice bag on my head. Please consider this an open thread (be as incendiary as you like; it'll probably be against the law, pretty soon).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Monday Movie

Jonathan (Raymond Massey) and Doctor Einstein (Peter Lorre) show up unexpectedly (Arsenic and Old Lace).

Sunday funny

Have you ever imagined what it would be like if Joe Biden had to repeat the preamble to the Constitution from memory? Mr. Bingley has!

Well, that didn't take long

Everybody's probably familiar by now with the strange story of John Wheeler III. He was an adviser to three Republican presidents, and his body was recently discovered in a Delaware landfill. In the hours leading up to his death, he was seen wandering around aimlessly, in a daze.

Hmmm. A former adviser to three Republican presidents. And his death has been ruled a homicide. M,yes...well, there's only one thing I can say to that:

Mission accomplished, Markos Moulitsas.

Update: More on attempts by the Left to blame the shooting in Tucson on the Right from the Blogprof and Cold Fury.

It is unfortunate that this tragedy has become so quickly politicized (or rather, politicized at all), but our "progressives", ever alert to the main chance, can be counted on to turn each and every such occurrence into a Reichstag fire, a pretext for advancing their cause and silencing their opponents. We have a duty to ourselves, to our country - and, not least of all, to the memory of the people who were murdered in Tucson - to resist efforts by scoundrels like Markos Moulitsas, Paul Krugman and others of their stripe to turn this tragic event into a club to be used against citizens who are engaged in the perfectly lawful exercise of their rights - including, first and foremost, the right to speak freely, even in criticism of their own government.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rep. Giffords shot

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot today at a public event in Tucson; she is being treated for a gunshot wound to the head. Five other people, including a child and a federal judge, died in the shooting spree. Jared Loughner, 22, is in custody.

We offer our prayers for the injured and for the souls of the dead. The suspect, if found competent to stand trial, and if convicted of capital murder, deserves to be executed.

You go, girl!

An Albany, GA woman bests two armed robbers with help from the Judge, the Taurus revolver that fires both .410 shotgun loads and the .45 long Colt. Here's a video, by the way, on the Judge.

(H/T: Instapundit)

Rule 5 Saturday

Sally Forrest in a dance routine from The Strip.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Problem solved"

Steve Burri - a thinking man's Wisconsinite* - has found a way to counter our strange dead-bird problem.

*Just like Lance.

Bureaucracy Watch

David Codrea wonders about the absence of media scrutiny of a series of scandals at the ATF.

(H/T: Of Arms and the Law and Instapundit)

All aboard for Ekaterinburg!

The Republicans are off to a good start. More than two dozen of them have introduced legislation to get rid of Obama's 39 czars.

Happy Feet Friday

The Sammy Price Septet knocks out “One O’Clock Jump” (features one of my favorite trombonists, J.C. Higginbotham).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

From the shelves of the Paco library


A while back, in a “shelves” piece on Steven Saylor, friend and commenter Steve Skubinna recommended in the comments section a series of books by Australian historian and researcher, Stephen Dando-Collins, that record the histories of several important Roman legions. I recently purchased Cleopatra’s Kidnappers: How Caesar’s Sixth Legion Gave Egypt to Rome and Rome to Caesar, and finished it this morning. The first thing I need to do is thank Steve Skubinna for the tip (Thanks, Steve!). This is a first-rate historical work, extremely well researched, and written in a fast-paced, non-pedantic style that makes it read almost like a novel.

The 6th Legion originally found itself on what turned out to be the losing side of the Roman civil war in the late 40s B.C. Julius Caesar, filled with ambition to expand his personal power, defeated the head of the republican forces under Pompey the Great at the Battle of Pharsalus in central Greece in 48 B.C. Toward the end of the battle, when it became clear that Caesar had won, the 6th Legion had assumed the orbis formation: a last-ditch defensive ring. Caesar, however, spared the 6th; the legion was one that had been created by Pompey seventeen years before, and Caesar, himself, had commanded it for two years during his battles in Gaul. Made up of tough, experienced Spanish troops, the 6th was a formidable fighting machine, and Caesar calculated that he would need such men to win the civil war. He offered them a pardon and an array of financial incentives to join his army. They came over to Caesar’s side and were instrumental in helping him defeat Egypt’s King Ptolemy XIII, and in placing Cleopatra firmly on the throne she had formerly shared with her brother. While the book focuses on what has sometimes been referred to as Caesar’s “dalliance” in Egypt – in truth, a closely-run, months-long, life-and-death struggle between Caesar’s outnumbered army and a surprisingly well-trained, highly motivated and well-lead Egyptian force – it also follows the fortunes of the 6th in the final battles of the civil war, all the way up to the assassination of Julius Caesar, the pursuit of Brutus and Cassius, and the final showdown between Mark Anthony and Octavian.

Here is a description of Julius Caesar’s fateful decision in the aftermath of the battle of Pharsalus:
And so it happened that among the tens of thousands of Pompeian prisoners on the Farsala plain were the men of the 6th Legion – less than a thousand of them, but veteran Spanish legionaries just the same. What was more, Caesar well remembered that these men had marched for him in Gaul for two years, so he directed his officers to initially concentrate on the legionaries of the 6th. Not only were these men of the 6th Legion the best soldiers among all the surrendered Pompeians, but also if they signed up for Caesar they were so well respected by the other prisoners that many others could be expected to follow their lead.

It didn’t trouble Caesar that these men of the 6th had previously made a moral choice against him and for Pompey and the republic, and had ignored the bounty he’d given them two years before when they were led back to spain. Suetonius said of him, “He judged his men by their fighting record, not by their morals.”
Fascinating history, splendidly written.

The GOP’s long-standing, two-front war

It’s difficult enough combating the constant shitzkreig of Democrat ideological propaganda at the source, in direct confrontation with donk politicians. The Democratic Party’s fellow-travelers in the legacy media make the struggle twice as hard, as pointed out by Stacy McCain in this piece at The American Spectator. A sample:
Democrats can go to prison for corruption (Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana) or be censured for ethics violations (Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York) and no reporter ever considers this a reflection on the Democratic Party in general. Yet every would-be Woodward and bush-league Bernstein knows in his heart that GOP politicians are all crooked, so that an army of intrepid investigative journalists stands eternally ready to pounce on the Pulitzer Prize to be won by exposing a Republican scandal. And while they wait for the next great "-Gate" to come along, they amuse themselves by making nefarious Nixonian mountains out of the routine molehills of politics.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Secret Jew Buzzards!

Is there anything the Mossad can't do?
A vulture tagged by scientists at Tel Aviv University has strayed into Saudi Arabian territory, where it was promptly arrested on suspicion of being a Mossad spy, Israeli and Saudi media reported Tuesday.

The bird was found in a rural area of the country wearing a transmitter and a leg bracelet bearing the words 'Tel Aviv University', according to the reports, which surfaced first in the Israeli daily Ma'ariv.

Although these tags indicate that the bird was part of a long-term research project into migration patters, residents and local reporters told Saudi Arabia's Al-Weeam newspaper that the matter seemed to be a 'Zionist plot.' (H/T: Gateway Pundit)
Related: Paco World News Daily (PWND) has acquired video of the Mossad's secret Jew buzzard training program.

Obama messes with Texas

There's an interesting battle going on between the state of Texas and Obama's EPA.
Any Texas granddaddy will tell you he’s seen it all, when it comes to weather and climate extremes. Tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, blizzards, droughts, flash floods, and storms that bring unique combinations of wind, dust, thunder and hail.

Any Lone Star citizen will point out that Texas is America’s leading producer of crude oil, natural gas and (heavily subsidized) wind-based energy. It has the second largest workforce and gross state product in the USA, produces more electricity than any other state, and refines one-fourth of our petroleum – for a country that is 85% dependent on fossil fuels.

Mess with Texas, and the damages will reverberate throughout our nation.

So why is the US Environmental Protection Agency sending federal agents to Texas — to arrest the state’s economy for the “crime” of emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)?
Read on. I was intrigued to see the expression "environmental justice" in the linked article (uttered by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson). This is the second time I've come across it, and I find it troubling - mostly because the word "justice" in the mouth of one of Obama's satraps is nearly always an obscenity, a lie used to justify some new encroachment on liberty.

Tell ya what; my money's on Texas.

How are fewer hospitals consistent with the idea of better care?

Beats me. Ask the geniuses who engineered Obamacare.
Under the headline, "Construction Stops at Physician Hospitals," Politico reports today that "Physician Hospitals of America says that construction had to stop at 45 hospitals nationwide or they would not be able to bill Medicare for treatments." Stopping construction at doctor-owned hospitals might not seem like the best way to boost the economy or to promote greater access and choice in health care, but that exactly what Obamacare is doing.

Kenneth Artz of the Heartland Institute explains. "Section 6001 of the health care law effectively bans new physician-owned hospitals (POHs) from starting up, and it keeps existing ones from expanding." Politico adds, "Friday [New Year's Eve] marked the last day physician-owned hospitals could get Medicare certification covering their new or expanded hospitals, one of the latest provisions of the reform law to go into effect."
Could political wheeling and dealing have played a role in the creation of this asinine section of the law? Need you ask?
This little-noticed but particularly egregious aspect of Obamacare is, by all accounts, a concession to the powerful American Hospital Association (AHA), a supporter of Obamacare, which prefers to have its member hospitals operate without competition from hospitals owned by doctors. Dr. Michael Russell, president of Physician Hospitals of America, which has filed suit to try to stop this selective building-ban from going into effect, says, "There are so many regulations [in Obamacare] and they are so onerous and intrusive that we believe that the section [Section 6001] was deliberately designed so no physician owned hospital could successfully comply."
Obamacare is a time bomb that will not only destroy one of the best health-care systems in the world, but the U.S. economy, as well. As professor Jacobson has said, it’s time to make the Democrats vote for this abomination all over again.

Fiddler in the Hood

Hilarious video via Legal Insurrection.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I'd rather live next door to this guy than to a house full of teenagers

Dr. Michael Land has set up a machine-gun firing range on his property - in accordance with all laws and regulations - and has wound up annoying his neighbors.
Weekend mornings, John Famolari's two young children love to play baseball and soccer in their spacious backyard - at least until their neighbor across the creek breaks out his machine guns.

In a wooded lot about 500 feet away, Dr. Michael Land regularly uses a Thompson submachine gun and other automatic weapons for target practice. The racket often makes it hard for Famolari and his wife to talk - and even harder for them to entertain guests at their 4,500-square-foot brick home.

What's worse, Famolari says, is the worry. When the gunfire starts, he calls his kids inside.

"You can never plan for an accident," says Famolari, a computer technician who in 2002 moved to Union County from New Jersey. "There's always the chance there will be a ricochet or a misfire. And I don't want it to be in my kids' direction when it happens."
Now, here's where it gets a little unbelievable - at least based on my experience.
For Dana Wilson, hopes of a peaceful neighborhood were crushed long ago. Too often, she says, weekend social events turn out like the one in June, when she and her husband had friends over for a cookout. Their friends' 4-year-old son was on the backyard swing set when the machine-gun fire erupted.

The boy ran to the deck "crying hysterically," Wilson said. The party had to be moved indoors.
When my boys were four years old, if they had heard guns going off next door, their first impulse would have been to go have a look. When I was six, I remember Old Paco taking my brother and me to Armed Forces Day at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh (my brother would have been four). We loved the machine guns, and even got to fire them (and they weren't mere tommy guns, either). I'm just wondering how much of this hysteria is being communicated to the kids from their parents (who, like as not, are yankees who moved to North Carolina from states where the attitude toward gun ownership of any kind is a mixture of revulsion and horror).

I'm not saying that the noise factor isn't a legitimate issue. But five will get you ten that a not insignificant number of the children of the people who are now complaining about machine-gun fire will, upon reaching the teen years, turn into the sort of thoughtless little bastards who crank up their car stereos to ear-shattering levels every time they climb into their cars, and their parents won't say a word to 'em.

And, hell, yeah, I am telling you kids to get off my lawn!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Coincidence

One of the largest businesses in my hometown.

New, from Pacoleaks!

Iran claims to have shot down several spy planes.

Pacoleaks - an organization dedicated to publicizing captured enemy secrets - has acquired video from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that purportedly depicts one of these actions.

Monday Movie

Sam Spade meets the fat man! Note the astonishing resemblance of Kasper Gutman to J. Packington Paco III.

The next phase in Obama's war against individual freedom?

Regulation.

Saturday, January 1, 2011