Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

The year in review: it pretty much stunk. At least in the "macro" sense. But we've all got at least some things we can be grateful for. I'm grateful for my family, and glad we're all in good health; however, we need to stay strong - you, me, all of us - for the struggles that lie ahead with our increasingly fascist opponents. The time may be coming when we'll be tested as never before. And for me, the touchstone is, and will always be, liberty. It is more important that a spurious union that represents nothing but a federal yoke of oppressive laws, more important than an illusory peace that rests upon the stilling of our voices, more important than a debased democracy composed of a majority of ideologues, freeloaders and complacent idiots. Obama and the Democrats seek to transform this nation into something that would have horrified the Founders, and that should horrify all citizens today who value their independence. The Republican establishment has become so obsessed with the machinery of government that it has lost all sense of government's legitimate purpose. That leaves "we the people" - historically, not an insignificant force to be dealt with. Let freedom ring in 2013!

Capital idea

Steven Hayward of Powerline suggests a terrific New Year's resolution:
With Barack Obama now promising to put his “full weight” behind gun control next year, the clear response should be for the blogosphere to respond with a concerted effort to highlight how law-abiding citizens use legal weapons for self-defense and crime deterrence, and not just for hunting. It ought to be the new year’s resolution in fact.
He goes on to link "The Armed Citizen", a regular feature of NRA's American Rifleman magazine, which details stories of regular folks, using guns legally to protect their own and other people's lives.

Robert Avrech has a piece at Seraphic Secret about an encounter with a young woman who very reluctantly, and in sheer desperation, finally realized that a gun was the only thing that was going to fend off a stalker.

Monday movie

Edward G. Robinson as the ace claims adjustor in Double Indemnity.

Here, Fred MacMurray’s scheme starts to develop some major cracks.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday funnies

Boiling water to snow in less than a second.

Spaniards demonstrate martial prowess in annual flour fight.

Mankini golfer in Darwin, Australia...well, what else is there to say, really?

The most annoying sounds in the world (Obama's voice somehow didn't make the cut).

Everybody enjoys a good cow joke.

Fred and Lamont have a culture clash.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ignorance is not always bliss

Especially when the ignorance is being displayed by liberal Democrats on the subject of gun control. John Hinderacker at Powerline marvels at the liberals’ apparent lack of concern over revolvers, which are used more frequently than semiautomatic pistols (and way more frequently than any kind of rifle) in the committing of crimes.

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Diane Feinstein’s proposed gun-control law is such an extravagant overreach that we may wind up with no significant changes at all. But if I’m wrong, and I find that I’m barred from purchasing “high capacity” semiautomatic pistols or carbines, then I’m going for big calibers. A Henry lever-action rifle chambered for .44 Magnum, and having a 10-shot tubular magazine, makes a reasonably acceptable substitute for a scary “assault rifle” chambered for .223 ammo, and I’d be delighted to add some .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum double-action revolvers to the Paco armory (with speed-loaders, of course). And I’ve always kind of fancied wearing a twin-holster harness – a gun tucked under each arm ought to make for better balance.

By the way, Kevin Williamson over at National Review has written one of the best short essays on gun rights that I have seen (the Second Amendment? It ain’t about duck hunting).

The Mexican reconquista continues apace

Ranchers in southern Arizona are being harassed by drug dealers and human traffickers in what is rapidly becoming a no man’s land. And the Border Patrol? The Obama administration prefers to keep them out of the front lines and back with the supply wagons.

"It's simple, gringos. Give up your guns and leave."

Friday, December 28, 2012

Yay! Our foreign policy is saved!

Hillary Clinton will be returning to work next week.

Odds that her “concussion” has resulted in an unfortunate degree of “memory loss” in connection with the circumstances surrounding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi?

Update: Well, well. Hillary does, indeed, look quite recovered.

Gone (but not forgotten, I hope)

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has issued a press release on the impending departure of Lisa Jackson (a/k/a “Richard Windsor”) as head of the EPA. Coincidentally (I’m sure), Jackson is currently being investigated for using a private email account to circumvent transparency in her war on coal. The CEI statement includes the following important observation and suggestion:
But this scandal cannot end with Jackson’s resignation. She appears to have illegally evaded deliberative procedures and transparency requirements set in law – as did the federal appointees and career employees with whom she communicated through her alias email account. She must be held to account, as must those others – both to assure the peoples’ business is done in public and to send a signal to other high-level government officials this conduct cannot and will not be tolerated.
I’ll keep a good thought, but I won’t be holding my breath waiting for Eric Holder’s Department of Justice (Ha-Ha) to jump on the case.

Happy Feet Friday

One of my favorite western swing musicians, Moon Mullican, performs the Rheumatism Boogie.

Bonus! Moon Mullican with a tale of a geriatric lady’s man.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A titan of industry defends the Second Amendment

The majestic black 1939 Packard touring sedan sliced through the mix of snow and freezing rain like a Coast Guard cutter plowing effortlessly through a cold, wintry sea. Within the confines of the regal automobile, sat, reading fore to aft: a slender chauffeur, clad in the traditional black tunic, jodhpurs and peaked hat of a bygone era, holding himself ramrod straight behind the steering wheel, his face a picture of grim Teutonic concentration; and in the vast recesses of the passenger compartment, his employer, an exceptionally large man swathed in enough pinstriped blue wool to outfit a platoon of average-sized bankers. This benefactor of the tailoring trade was none other than that eminent capitalist, J. Packington Paco III.

A smile of satisfaction at having had the opportunity to do something utterly selfless and charitable wreathed the great man’s doughy countenance. He was returning home from a trip to the post office, where he had placed in the care of that institution a couple of Christmas packages, destined to warm the hearts of the designated recipients, two fellows distinctly less fortunate than himself. He sighed with contentment at the mental picture of Warren Buffett opening up the large tin containing gingerbread tax collectors, and of Michael Bloomberg decanting a 2-liter bottle of North Carolina’s unparalleled cherry soda, a sweet and frothy beverage marketed under the trade name of Cheerwine.

In this vein of brotherly love, J.P. surveyed the world outside of a rear side window as the car pulled to a stop at a traffic light. Overturning his sense of peace and goodwill was the sight of a man standing with his back to the wall of an alley, hands held high, his eyes wide with terror, as another man, at knifepoint, succeeded in relieving the party of the first part of his overcoat, his wallet and, for reasons not entirely clear at first glance, his pants.

J.P. was a man whose enormous fortune had resulted largely from a commitment to decisiveness and quick action, both of which qualities were now on display. “Otto”, he barked at the chauffeur. “Look to your left, down that alley. There is a man being robbed. Jump out and see what you can do, there’s a good fellow.”

“Ja wohl, mein Herr!” Otto threw the gear into neutral and applied the handbrake, then leapt out of the car, drawing a Luger pistol from an interior pocket of his tunic. “Halt!” he shouted. The robber, instantly weighing the likely outcome of a contest pitting his knife against a semi-automatic pistol, turned and fled – clutching the wallet, overcoat and breeches, however, thereby ameliorating, to some extent, the dishonor of so hastily quitting the field.

J.P. watched with amazement as the victim attempted to grab the gun from Otto’s hand. Otto – whose background prior to his employment as a chauffeur was a subject imperfectly known to his employer, but which obviously did not include membership in the Society of Friends – executed a few motions with his arms and hands that had the effect of calming the man down considerably (connoisseurs of the grappling arts, had they been present, would have spoken approvingly of Otto’s employment of the half-Nelson). The now-indignant chauffeur pushed the man in the direction of the car. J.P. opened his door and invited the stranger to have a seat.

Trembling from fear, cold and anger, the man threw himself into the backseat of the Packard and immediately began expostulating.

“Look here, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but why didn’t your man take a shot at that thief, or at least let me do it? He got away with my wallet.”

“And your pants, too”, J.P. observed. “What, do you think, was the point of that?”

“Oh, when he first accosted me, I told him I wasn’t in the habit of turning over my money to every cutpurse in dirty jeans out on the street, and I believe he took umbrage at my description of the state of his trousers, so he decided to upgrade his wardrobe by taking mine. Well, he may have deprived me of my wallet and my clothes, but at least I kept my dignity.”

J.P. took in the figure of his guest – sitting there in his shirt and boxer shorts, soaked to the skin, shaking like a leaf – and kept his own counsel.

“Your dignity…m’yes, of course. On the other hand, if you, yourself, had been carrying a gun, you might have managed to hold on to everything.”

The man shot a frosty glare at J.P. “Do you not know who I am?”

J.P. studied the man’s face. It was vaguely familiar, as was the English accent.

“Hmm. You’re not, by any chance, a dealer in jellied eels, are you?” J.P. recollected that Spurgeon, his gentleman’s personal gentleman, was partial to the dish, and periodically took delivery of them for his own personal use from a local grocer.

“Jellied…what? Do you not own a television set? I’m Piers Morgan, a talk-show host for CNN!”

“Ah! Now I remember. You had a spot of trouble back in England with respect to some insider trading, and then there was that telephone hacking scandal, and, of course, the fake photo of British troops maltreating Iraqi prisoners…”

“A series of misunderstandings and coincidences. I now opine regularly on CNN, dealing with issues of moment for the benefit of your fellow citizens, damn their eyes! And if you had been tuning in, you’d know I’ve had a lot to say on the subject of America’s insane love affair with guns.”

“But you were just now perfectly willing to use one.”

“In defense of my pants! It’s not as if I were some loathsome shopkeeper trying to protect my inventory, or a paranoid homeowner who hears burglars at all hours of the night.”

“And yet,” J.P. suggested, “shopkeepers do occasionally get robbed, and homeowners are confronted by burglars from time to time. People defending livelihoods and lives.”

“Gun nuts and cowards, more like.”

“Whose lives and property are worth less than your pants?”

“Mere unjustified fear versus very real trousers! Surely you can see the difference?”

“Well, more to the immediate issue – you’re drenched. We’re not far from my home; why don’t you come up and dry out? And perhaps we can find some clothes for you. Home, Otto!”

* * * * * * * *

J.P. and a dripping Morgan were escorted into the tycoon’s library by the aforementioned gentleman’s personal gentleman, Spurgeon. The formidable retainer maintained his usual equanimity on being introduced to the soggy television host, save for a pinhead-sized dot of pink that appeared on each cheek. After depositing Morgan before a blazing fire, and offering him a restorative glass of scotch, J.P. withdrew momentarily to the foyer to consult with his estimable servant.

“Spurgeon, do I detect some agitation, some seething emotion beneath the surface? Do you know this man?”

“No, sir, I have not, before now, had what would normally be called the ‘pleasure’, but which, in all honesty and in acknowledgement of your kindly concern, I must refer to as the ‘revulsion’, of his acquaintance. Mr. Morgan was involved in several well-publicized scandals in England, and the presence of one of my fellow countryman in your home, who is decidedly not a gentleman, is a source of great personal embarrassment.”

“Hence the blush on those manly cheeks. Think nothing of it, my dear fellow! After all, it was I who invited him in. Now, let’s see. He’ll need some dry clothes and neither yours nor mine will fit him. Bring a blanket, and then pop down to the tuxedo rental place on the corner and see what you can find on the spur of the moment.”

“Very good, sir.”

J.P. and Spurgeon returned to the library with the blanket. Spurgeon did not actually gasp, but the attentive ear of his master detected a sudden inrush of air through those splendid Saxon nostrils. Morgan had pulled an original Chippendale arm chair over to the fire, and had settled his drenched person comfortably on the seat of this valuable piece of furniture. Furthermore, he had helped himself to one of J.P.’s Gargantua Perfectos, and cradled, in his lap, a 17th century conquistador helmet – a treasured family heirloom that had once belonged to Admiral Diego Echevarría Paco de Villalobos, renowned for conquering the uninhabited island of Nada de Importancia with the loss of only a quarter of his crew - which item the annoying guest was using as an ashtray. This particular instance of forwardness tried Spurgeon’s dedication to the code of butlerine unflappability almost to the absolute limit, and even J.P. felt a certain bristling of hackles. Taking the initiative, Spurgeon removed a black onyx ashtray from J.P.’s desk and thrust it at Morgan.

“Perhaps you will find this more suitable as a repository for the ashes of your cigar, sir.”

“Ah, thanks. Pretty rum ashtray, this metal contraption. Thing keeps falling over. Here, let’s have that blanket.” Morgan then had the effrontery to waggle his empty glass in the air, signifying his desire for a refill. Spurgeon splashed a dollop of whiskey in the glass, repressing with superhuman effort a sigh of exasperation.

Turning to J.P., he inquired, “Will that be all, sir?”

Patting him on the shoulder in commiseration, J.P. responded, “Yes, Spurgeon. Mr. Morgan seems to be quite comfortable now. Mr. Morgan, Spurgeon is going to see if he can pick you up something to wear from the tuxedo rental shop down the street. I regret that that’s the best we can do, under the circumstances.”

“Tuxedo rental shop? You mean, clothes that have been worn by God knows what kind of unwashed local cretins? Well, if that’s all you can do, so be it. 42 chest and 38 waist, Spurgeon.”

Spurgeon donned McIntosh and hat and set out on his mission. Meanwhile, J.P. played the genial host.

“So, Mr. Morgan, you say you have been delving into the issue of gun ownership?”

“Rather. I think there’s some kind of psychic link between the American’s love of guns and his feelings of inadequacy in the modern age. After all, as the Indians used to say, the bigger the gun the smaller the penis.”

“I believe that particular aphorism has been shown to be apocryphal, and, even if it were genuine, it would have proved to be an instance of extravagant hypocrisy. There was practically nothing the Indian valued so highly as a good rifle.”

“Even so, America’s obsession with guns is startling, not to mention the extraordinary lengths to which gun proponents will go to stretch their beloved Second Amendment out of shape to justify their lust for firearms. For example, when the founders of the Republic talked about the right to bear arms, they were talking about muskets, not assault rifles.”

“I beg to differ. A musket would have been the state-of-the-art weapon used by someone attempting to deprive the citizen of his life or property at that time in history. The concept is one of adequate defense, which a musket obviously isn’t, these days. If the founders had wished to freeze the surety for our liberties in the technology existing at the time, then freedom of speech wouldn’t extend beyond the printed word and declamations from the public rostrum. Your own, no doubt, very interesting televised commentaries wouldn’t be protected.”

Morgan gaped, then recovered with a sneer. “That’s a fatuous analogy.”

“How so?”

“Well…just because! Anyhow, you don’t need guns for self-protection. You have layer upon layer of police in this country.”

“I will venture to say that, as admirable as our police are, their principal duty is often simply to draw a chalk outline around your body after you’ve been murdered, and then, possibly, to catch whoever did the deed. I fail to see how the deceased appreciably benefits personally from a successful investigation and prosecution. In any event, the courts have held that the police are not liable for failing to protect you. And what does the disarmed citizenry do when faced with, say, a police state?”

“Really, old boy, you’re now venturing into John Birch territory! The next thing you’ll be telling me is that President Obama rolls his own joints using strips of paper torn from the original Constitution. Ah! Your man has returned.”

Spurgeon had entered the library carrying a suit-bag over one arm, and a hat box.

“I fear, Mr. Morgan, that, due to the unseasonable number of weddings being held in the neighborhood this week, your sartorial options were somewhat limited. This is the only thing the shop had available in your size.”

Spurgeon unzipped the suit-bag and removed the rental suit for Morgan’s inspection. Morgan’s mouth opened in a kind of voiceless scream, and his cigar fell on the floor. J.P. gently took the whiskey glass from his shaking hand. With the graceful gesture of a Savile Row tailor, laying out the coronation suit of a prospective new king, Spurgeon spread the clothes upon the couch. The suit consisted of a salmon-pink swallowtail coat, with matching silver-striped trousers, and double-breasted waistcoat. A velour top hat and floppy Lord Byron tie of the same vivid hue, a purple caped opera cloak, a pair of patent-leather black shoes, and a white ruffled shirt of a type not commonly seen since the reign of King Louis XIV completed the ensemble. It was a costume that Oscar Wilde, at his most eccentric, might have found excessively outré.

“You can’t be bloody serious!” Morgan spluttered. “I’m not going out in public looking like…like…a magician from the Cirque du Soleil!”

“Oh, I don’t know”, J.P. murmured, gingerly fingering the opera cloak, and suppressing one of his thunderclap guffaws. “I think it’s rather…distingué. Wouldn’t you say so, Spurgeon?”

Spurgeon looked stonily into the middle distance. “I believe the garment is similar to the one that the Emperor Maximilian was wearing when he was executed, sir.”

Morgan sighed dejectedly. “All right, then. But I’d be obliged if your chauffeur could pull up in front of the building as close to the front door as he can get.”

Spurgeon responded sadly. “I’m sorry, Mr. Morgan, but Otto has taken the car to a garage. He was saying something about having to get the leather seats dried. There is a taxi stand a few blocks from here.”

Morgan harrumphed vigorously and donned his costume. He walked to the front door, hump-shouldered in embarrassment, and suddenly, drawing the cloak about his shoulders, he turned to Spurgeon. “Er, I don’t suppose this get-up came with a false beard?”

“No, sir.”

“Well, there’s nothing for it, then, but to get going. Thanks for the whiskey and cigar, J.P. And be sure to watch my broadcasts; you’ll find them enlightening. Oh, and perhaps you could lend me a tenner for the taxi?”

* * * * * * * *

A few moments later, J.P. sauntered into the kitchen, contemplating a raid on the ice box. He found Spurgeon standing by the window, absently scouring the inside of the conquistador helmet, his gaze fastened on something outdoors. The look on his face suggested that he found the view hugely amusing.

“Spurgeon, what on earth are you staring at? I haven’t seen your map looking that content since the time Lady Thatcher sent you a button off the coat that Wellington wore at Waterloo. Christmas present, wasn’t it?”

“Indeed, sir. Lady Thatcher has always been most thoughtful. To return to your inquiry, Mr. Paco, I am following the continuing adventures of Mr. Morgan.”

“Really? What sort of trouble has he gotten into, now?”

“Kindly see for yourself, sir.” Spurgeon yielded the window.

“Oh, I say!” J.P.’s booming laugh echoed off the kitchen walls.

There, across the street, stood Piers Morgan, his back against a building. He was a roseate vision of victimhood: arms stretched above his head, he was being rapidly frisked by a knife-wielding mugger, who relieved him of the borrowed ten-spot – and, as an afterthought, his top hat and opera cloak.

Spurgeon coughed discretely. “Shall I retrieve my Enfield rifle? I believe I might easily pick the robber off from this distance.”

J.P. smiled. “Why, I wouldn’t think of imposing my beliefs on Mr. Morgan! He prefers the theoretical efficacy of the constabulary to the proven utility of the privately-owned firearm. I say, Spurgeon, is there any of that magnificent pot roast left? Join me in a sandwich, if you will. The kitchen is pretty much out of earshot of the doorbell, so we can, in good conscience, avoid hearing Mr. Morgan’s ring when he inevitably returns to ask for more assistance. A little of that fellow goes an awful long way.”

When the nanny state turns deadly

During Prohibition, the government decided that one way to discourage alcohol consumption was to poison it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gold nuggets from an American sage

Professor Thomas Sowell closes out the year with some random thoughts. A taste:
Some people are wondering what takes so long for the negotiations about the “fiscal cliff.” Maybe both sides are waiting for supplies. Democrats may be waiting for more cans to kick down the road. Republicans may be waiting for more white flags to hold up in surrender.

After watching a documentary about the tragic story of Jonestown, I was struck by the utterly unthinking way that so many people put themselves completely at the mercy of a glib and warped man, who led them to degradation and destruction. And I could not help thinking of the parallel with the way we put a glib and warped man in the White House.
Down under, Tim Blair displays lots of nuggets, too, with his annual roundup of notable quotes.

Return to sender?

Piers Morgan - a British import whose face, in profile, is notable primarily for exhibiting a sharply concave appearance, somewhat suggestive of the notched chimney piece in a set of Lincoln Logs - has had some smug things to say lately about gun control. So annoying has he been, that there's actually a petition circulating that seeks to have him deported.

I understand the ire of my fellow citizens, but I think this would be a mistake. The surest way to rein in the momentum of the gun-grabbing crowd is to permit this preening windbag to continue his tendentious moralizing; after all, hectoring by our self-appointed English betters has been known to have a marvelous effect upon the American citizenry, inspiring initiative and determination, especially among the liberty-loving.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

G.K. Chesterton writes of "The God in the Cave". One of my favorite passages, concerning the setting of the nativity:
It is not only true that such a subterranean chamber was a hiding-place from enemies; and that the enemies were already scouring the stony plain that lay above it like a sky. It is not only that the very horse-hoofs of Herod might in that sense have passed like thunder over the sunken head of Christ. It is also that there is in that image a true idea of an outpost, of a piercing through the rock and an entrance into an enemy territory. There is in this buried divinity an idea of undermining the world; of shaking the towers and palaces from below; even as Herod the great king felt that earthquake under him and swayed with his swaying palace.
Best wishes to Paco Nation for a happy Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

I didn't know that!

25 facts about some of the more popular Christmas movies.

One of my favorites: "Most people didn’t realize that Edmund Gwenn, Santa Claus in the movie [Miracle on 34th Street], also played Santa Claus during the real 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He even played to the crowd from the marquee of Macy’s when the parade ended to open the 'official' Christmas shopping season."

Monday movie

The film trailer from one of my favorite Christmas movies, Remember the Night. Barbara Stanwyck is a shoplifter who gets paroled into the temporary custody of assistant prosecutor Fred MacMurray over the holidays.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Religion of Peace getting pretty aggressive in Canada

Kathy Shaidle's husband and fellow blogger, Ezra Levant, is being harassed by Muslims in Canada. Among other things, they are trying to shut down his blog, Blazing Cat Fur.

You know what's got be done, don't you?

(H/T: Captain Heinrichs)

The Netherlands

More complicated than I figured.

Totally unrelated update: A subscription to this is really the perfect Christmas gift.

Sunday funnies

Hey, it wasn't me.

The Obama administration: nothing but solid professionalism as far as the eye can see.

Scary Santa!

Bob Hope and Victor McClaglen in a scene from The Princess and the Pirate.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Paranoia with a capital P

In Pennsylvania, police investigate a 13-year-old boy who made a "gun" gesture by pointing his finger.

Hey, Pennsylvania, I got your "disorderly conduct" right here...

Looks like John Hammar might be having a good Christmas, after all

Former-Marine John Hammar, who has been held in a Mexican prison for five months, is scheduled to be released today.

Thank God for that.

And for this. Right here in Fairfax, I am glad to see that an arrest has finally been made in connection with a murder committed back in 2010 (it occurred only a couple of miles from where I live). I recall, at the time, that there were few, if any, clues (at least any that were publicized), and I feared that the murder would never be solved. But it looks like the police have finally got their man – who turns out to be an illegal alien from Guatemala (thanks, again, federal government for your asinine policies on illegal immigration).

What the…

The world didn’t end after all? Bummer. Guess I’ll have to get going on those projects I’ve been putting off.

I mean, we’re positive the world isn’t coming to an end? Maybe the Mayans were just off by a few days. This seems kind of endish to me.

Update: I'm not the only one who thinks so.


Happy Feet Friday

One especially for Yojimbo: Vera Lynn sings A Nightingale Sang in Barkley Square.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What could possibly go wrong?

"Biden to head gun policy push after Newtown shootings".

Update: Jeff Goldstein has a must-read post on gun control.

By the way, if you’re trying to buy a sporting rifle with a 20-round-or-more magazine, good luck. I called my favorite arms store today, and they told me the Ruger mini-30 and mini-14 are next to impossible to get right now. I didn’t ask about high-capacity pistols (e.g., the Ruger SR40, one version of which is 15+1), but I imagine it might be the same story.

Now, I happen to own an SR40, so I’ve got one semi-auto pistol that’s great in a home-defense or concealed carry context. If it should wear out or break or something, I guess I’ll just festoon myself with revolvers. Happy now, gun controllers? Would you feel safer if I walked the streets carrying two .41 Magnum wheel-guns (with speed-loaders) and, say, a snub-nose S&W .38 instead of one semi-automatic pistol?

Update II: Insufferable British twit, Piers Morgan (a/k/a Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan, born Piers Stefan O'Meara) slams gun owners.

Probably just sour grapes.

Update III: Yeah, I guess law enforcement types are the only ones who should be trusted with guns.

Update IV: Obama must act now and abolish choke holds.


Theodore Dalrymple lovingly describes the joys of second-hand bookstores. A sample:
But serendipity is the greatest pleasure of browsing, and there is no substitute for being able to hold the physical book in one’s hand. Among other things to be found in books are the markings of previous readers. When I first started buying antiquarian books I rejected those that had been marked, but now I find the markings sometimes more interesting than the books, and certainly revealing of the byways of human psychology.

There are, for example, those who seem to read hundreds of pages with the express purpose of finding the single spelling mistake or misprint contained in them and underlining it, putting a triumphant exclamation mark in the margin, as though finding the error established their intellectual superiority to the author. (Of course, they attribute all errors to the author and none to the printer.)

Then there are the underliners. The majority of these rarely get past the first chapter or two; some underline things so banal – Smith then went to London, for example, or The snow fell in flakes – that one wonders what kind of mind wants to commit such things to memory. Philosophy books of the Forties and Fifties, meanwhile, tend to smell strongly of tobacco.
As a bibliomaniac, I found the article wonderfully evocative of my own experiences as a life-long browser in second-hand bookstores. The thrill of discovery, the incidences of patience rewarded, the agony of putting off a purchase until “next time”, only to find the desired volume gone upon my return. For example, I recollect my long search for the second volume in José Maria Gironella’s trilogy of novels about the Spanish Civil War. I had read, and greatly enjoyed, the first (the Cypresses Believe in God), and had found the third (Peace After War), but searched unsuccessfully for 12 years for the second (One Million Dead). It finally turned up at one of my favorite old bookshops, and my arm shot out so fast to grab it that I picked up a splinter under a fingernail. Hurt like hell, but it was a small price to pay for finding, at long last, one of the objects of my bibliophile dreams. I remember clasping the thing tightly to my chest, as if it were in danger of being hijacked.

I’m also an avid collector of 18th century English literature, and the joy of stumbling upon various books in the Yale series of Boswell’s diaries over the years (some of them now fairly valuable) has always given me a jolt of serendipitous excitement. On one of my regular trips to a small Coral Gables bookshop that I had frequented for a couple of years, the owner, who knew my interests, proudly pointed at a stack of green volumes which turned out to be the Parfraets Press edition of the collected works of Samuel Johnson. Stopping just long enough to check out the price, I made a mad dash to my bank’s ATM, only to find it temporarily out of service. What a ridiculous figure I made, standing there on the sidewalk, shaking my fist at the machine, and cursing the mental defective who had had the brilliant idea of pulling the ATM out of service during my lunch hour!

In another shop in Coral Gables, I found numerous anti-communist classics from the Cold War period that turned out to have belonged to Louis Budenz, a former top official in the Communist Party USA, and a Soviet espionage agent, who ultimately broke with, and denounced, the Party. Some of the books were gifts from his new friend, Henry Regnery.

Perhaps most interesting of all my experiences have been the experiments, the flyers taken on authors previously unknown to me, or only known by virtue of their having been mentioned in an essay or magazine article somewhere. It was in this way that I was introduced to Arthur Train’s amusing stories featuring the fictional lawyer, Ephraim Tutt. Just picked up a volume and decided to give it a try. I spent the next couple of years scouring bookstores for any Tutt stories I could find, so fond did I become of them. It was also mere curiosity that caused me to pick up John Masters’ Bugles and a Tiger, the first of his three autobiographical books; it is the story of Masters’ army life while stationed on the northwestern frontier of India on the eve of WWII, and is one of the finest, and certainly one of the funniest, military memoirs I have ever read (I wrote a brief piece about the book on this blog quite a long while ago; see here, if you missed it).

Ah, the old, simple pleasures! These young folks coming up today don't know what they're missing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


You know that liberals want it.

The fiscal cliff negotiations, illustrated.

All things considered, maybe this isn’t the worst possible outcome.

There Thomas Sowell goes again! Shelling the “moral high ground” with cold, hard facts.

Hey, who’s up for Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense? Me neither.

Maybe Americans will get it when they start actually, you know, getting it.

U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico. If only he had been one of Eric Holder’s Fast & Furious strawman operatives, he wouldn’t be in this mess right now.

Hey, John Carburruvius, I’m an NRA member. Come and get me, you hacktastic Democratic son of a bitch.

While we're banning guns, we'd better ban janitors, too, I guess.

Update - Found at Instapundit:

The envelope please…

The Media Research Center has published its annual awards for the worst reporting of the year.

Some of it isn’t actually reporting, but just particularly stupid things of the sort that various talking heads tend to utter whenever there’s a camera handy. Oh, wait, that is reporting as practiced by many in the lame-stream media these days. As you can imagine, MSNBC once again offers a target-rich environment.

Just sayin'...

(H/T: Moonbattery)

Guess eveybody needs a hobby

Bernardo Cassasola has built a magnificent fleet of miniature sailing ships - out of matchsticks.

Monday, December 17, 2012

New blog

Joy McCann (Little Miss Attila) has started a new blog that focuses on the mystery genre: Tea Cozy Mysteries.

A balanced approach to gun violence

A Texas school district has ok’d teachers and other employees carrying of concealed weapons.

This makes more sense than creating schools full of sitting ducks, or restricting (or eliminating) the right of law abiding citizens to protect themselves from an increasingly bold and violent criminal element.

(H/T: Protein Wisdom)

Update: Stand back! David Brooks has a great idea: "we have to really think seriously about drastically reducing the number of guns in our society, and particularly — this is an old Patrick Daniel Moynihan idea — the number of bullets. It is very hard to control 300 million guns. The bullets are a little easier to control.”

So, you want to ban these, too, while you're at it? Dick.

Monday movie

Rathbone and Flynn are at it again in this scene from Captain Blood.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday funnies

Mmmm...Time for a peanut butter sandwich and a gallon of milk.

Some classic Buster Keaton slapstick.

A very useful primer for children preparing for their first flight (H/T: friend and commenter JeffS).

Update: New TSA logo (via Colonel Milquetoast).

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Violence on the Washington Metro

I haven't encountered any of this myself - the part of the line described isn't one I use - but there's no reason it couldn't happen anywhere in the system.

“We are nowhere near finished”

Frightening words from America’s Jiang Qing.

Well, forewarned is forearmed. Elsewhere in the linked article, Michelle Obama claims that Republicans engaged in voter suppression. Yeah, that’s right. Barry was cheated of his real margin of victory by bands of Tea Party ninjas using the symbolically significant form of martial arts known as “snake boxing” to keep Democrats away from the polls. Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, though, it was the same old story: too many Democrats, too few ninjas.

The world falls apart

It definitely seems to be getting uglier, more violent and more senseless. For example, the shooting today at that school in Newtown Connecticut. We pray for the souls of the dead, and ask that God may comfort their families.

Update: Right on time: "NYC Mayor Bloomberg slams Obama on guns".

Update II: Better ban knives, too.

A small flash of sanity

"United Nations summit breaks down after U.S., Canada, and other democracies refuse to sign treaty that would hand a U.N. agency more authority over how the Internet is managed".

(H/T: Captain Heinrichs)

Happy Feet Friday

Leggy Vera-Ellen in a lively dance number.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Your tax dollars at…well, not work, exactly

One of the dangers of bureaucracy is how easily some pet presidential scheme gets turned into a federally-funded entity and then grows over the years into a useless, but expensive, tapeworm on the public treasury. Stacy McCain draws our attention to a report by Colorado Watchdog on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and its exorbitantly remunerated employees (plus a crass “faculty member” who seems to spend an inordinate amount of her “work day” tweeting about renewable energy topics like sex and flatulence).

In the future, everyone will have a government job, but no one will actually do any work. So long, America! It was nice while it lasted.

Daylight come an’ me wan’ t’row your a$$ in jail

Harry Belafonte continues to shine as the gravel-voiced beacon of truly mindless totalitarianism. I suppose the gig is more prestigious than singing about banana boats.

I never cease to be amazed at the heroism of parlor radicals who, rather than relocating to the Marxist countries they admire, stay in the United States, suffering the ignominy of having to live lavish lifestyles and piling up money by the sack-full. What …self-sacrifice.

It’s ok to kill members of the Taliban

But not to hurt their feelings.

Question for members (present and former) of the military: has the left’s “march through the institutions” included our armed forces in a systematic way, or does this kind of nonsense primarily trickle down from political appointees and a few politicized brass hats?


(Gratefully lifted from the American Spectator's blog)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Meh, maybe I won't move to Canada after all

Blazing Cat Fur is being sued for libel by some malcontent named Richard ("Call me Dick") Warman. The blog's crime? BCF posted a link to Mark Steyn (see video).

BCF has set up a legal defense fund. If you can toss a few dollars or doubloons or whatever it is they use for money up there into the pot, good on ya.

(H/T to that cyber-sleuth and righter of wrongs, Captain Heinrichs)

Gosh, Wally, isn’t Warren Buffett being kind of hypocritical?

He’s constantly talking up the virtue of higher taxes, but, where the rubber of his own investments hits the road of actual tax policy, his deeds don’t match up with his rhetoric.

And how tall do our corporatist billionaires stand when it comes to walking the talk on reducing the deficit? I’d say not quite knee high.

Creative financing

California style!
Perhaps the best example of the CAB issue is suburban San Diego's Poway Unified School District, which borrowed a little more than $100 million. But "debt service will be almost $1 billion," Lockyer says. "So, over nine times amount of the borrowing. There are worse ones, but that's pretty bad."
(H/T: Small Dead Animals)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The U.S., Uganda…

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

As you will notice, the above is from a blog run by one of Paco Enterprises’ consulting intellectuals and scholars, the esteemed Colonel Milquetoast, whose interests range far and wide, from early photoshopping to the origin of pants.

Because that worked out so well in Libya

"U.S. Will Grant Recognition to Syrian Rebels, Obama Says".

Update - Yojimbo, in the comments section: "I think the definition [of insanity] is people voting for Obama over and over expecting a different result."

This looks like another job for Super Nanny!

So, mayor Bloomberg, what do you intend to do about your city’s deadly scissors culture?

Elsewhere among the eat-your-peas crowd, it looks like Chinese communist fan-boy Tom Friedman has made a convert. Not a surprise. GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt has long been a major player in the Last Chance Capitalist Rope Association.

“There will be blood!”

Well, if there is, Democratic Rep. Doug Geiss, I hope a good portion of it winds up belonging to you and your union-thug allies.

Interesting times. At the national level, socialism, trade unionism and all the other “isms” that represent assaults against the liberty of the citizen are blossoming like a garden of carrion flowers; while, outside of the Beltway, Republicans in Wisconsin, and now Michigan – two historically liberal states - are aggressively engaging in the rollback of union privileges, and numerous other states are refusing to set up ObamaCare insurance exchanges. And even in Illinois, the cradle of Barack Obama’s political career, the state’s prohibition of concealed carry has been struck down (although this was done by a federal judge).

Perhaps we’re witnessing a resurgence of the federalist principle. Or maybe the country’s just become politically schizophrenic. Hard to tell.

Update: Some union troglodyte employs the, er, Socratic method in a discussion with conservative activist Steven Crowder.

Update II: Police are advised to be on the lookout for a guy who looks like Wally the Walrus in a baseball cap.

Even better...

The landing part could be rough

Jon Gabriel provides an analogy of our spending crisis. I particularly liked this observation:
The political posturing surrounding the “fiscal cliff” is so much kabuki, intending to make politicians on both sides appear fiscally responsible. Let’s face it, the car went over the fiscal cliff years ago — politicians are just pretending to steer so the passengers don't panic [emphasis mine – P.]
(H/T: Exurban League)

Joe Scarborough, bien piss-ant of the Republican establishment

Pugilistic advice for moderate Republicans from the Canvasback Kid.

What the...who ordered anchovies on all of these?

Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren's last-minute-pizza bill.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The old Viking spirit is gone forever

The articulate and witty Pat Condell excoriates Sweden for its inexplicable Islamophilia (although I suppose it’s not truly inexplicable; it’s what happens when a policy of tolerance turns into a fetish).

Let it burn

DrewM at Ace of Spades has a thoughtful post that posits a “let it burn” philosophy: i.e., since a majority of Americans, consisting of an unholy alliance of the ideologically fanatical, the congenitally ignorant and the merely greedy, now seem to be fully behind the big government/big spending model, conservatives should stop supporting Republicans who think that we can stop the socialist steamroller with itty-bitty compromises that utterly fail to address the economic threat of Democrat policies – and the moral threat that underlies those policies – stick to our guns and let the fiscal cliff happen.

Some Republican politicians are now taking a somewhat different tack: let’s compromise with the Democrats on tax hikes because then they’ll own them, and own the resulting economic recession, too. My response to this is: Really? Are you so sure the Democrats will get the blame? And how will people know to blame the Democrats? Are the mainstream media outlets all of a sudden going to develop a passionate desire to tell the unvarnished truth? And will it, in fact, be true that the Democrats deserve all the blame if Republicans cave? My view is if Republicans give in on taxes, in return for a promise to cut spending somewhere down the road, then they (a) will at least be seen as partly culpable for the ensuing acceleration of economic decline by voters at large, (b) will alienate the conservative base for not sticking to principle, and (c) will be seen by everybody and his brother as complete suckers for being taken in, once again, by empty Democrat promises of budgetary and entitlements reform that’s supposed to occur at some vague future date scheduled to coincide more or less with the Second Coming.

The Republican Party is going to go the way of the Whigs if it does not grasp one very important fact upfront: the Democrats have reversed Von Clausewitz’s classic formulation and are now waging war against their own country through the means of politics.

I’d be interested in hearing readers’ thoughts on the subject.

Update: William Tucker suggests political ju-jitsu.


Powerline provides a link to an interesting blog called Crony Chronicles. Check it out!

36 Chambers highlights welfare math.

Hey, job gains totaled 146,000 in November! Pretty sweet, right? Well, not if you’re in the 25-54 age bracket.

From the transcript of the Hugh Hewitt show, this gem from Mark Steyn: “I’ve said before that I think one of the unattractive things about the Republican Party is that too often they’re content to be in office rather than in power.”

When “it is not feasible to speak the truth, let alone act on it”, then republican government is finished.

Professor Jacobson sees some disappointment ahead for progressives, linking to this piece at the Atlantic web site. I particularly liked this bit:
[Elizabeth Warren] will not be such a big deal and no one really likes her anyway; they only were willing to overlook her abrasive and self-aggrandizing personality because it was a chance to flip a Senate seat. If she tries to out-self-aggrandize Democratic leaders in the Senate, she'll get put on the Select Committee to investigate fraudulent claims of Native American ancestry in connection with filing requirements for educational institutions which receive federal funding. She will be both questioner and witness, a first in Senate history…
Three out of four NFL players agree: Bob Costas is a dumbass.

Dude, please.

Remember: it’s only racism when you vote against somebody because of his skin color.

“And God bless mom and dad and Christopher Monckton. Amen.”

Why, however can that be? “Smith & Wesson Posts 48% Increase In Second Quarter Sales” (I think the preshizzle has sold more guns than Samuel Colt).

The Kennedy gene pool: turning evolution on its head by producing survival of the stupidest.

I often wonder how Steve at the Pub manages to avoid committing bureaucracide.

Monday movie

Continuing with the Peter Gunn theme, I'm substituting Part I from one of the TV episodes for the movie clip this week. The episode is called "The Kill".

If you're interested in the whole thing, here are parts II and III.

Peter Gunn was a relatively short-lived series, only running from September of 1958 through September of 1961, but, in keeping with the era, there were a whole bunch of episodes each season (all of which, I was delighted to discover, are available on high-quality DVDs at Amazon; sounds like a nice Christmas present for myself). Craig Stevens stars in the title role, one of the last of Hollywood's old school private detectives: smart, sophisticated and well-tailored, but tough as nails. The somber and low-key Herschel Bernardi plays the typical police department foil, and the scrumptious Lola Albright is Gunn's love interest. One innovation of the series was the use of original "cool jazz" compositions as background music. Classic TV.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday funnies

Progressive dog.

Winter's coming! Keep those windows rolled up.

Sure, sure. Cats are just victims of prejudice.

Today's Chuck Norris fact: When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, he had three missed calls from Chuck Norris.

Groucho and Chico have a password problem.

Found at Ace: Nick Searcy's acting school.

Welcome to the world.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Prepping for four more years of Obama

Here's my list of essentials:

Firearms and ammunition
Canned goods and MREs
Gas-powered generator
False beard and fake Canadian and Australian passports

Am I leaving anything out?

Friday, December 7, 2012

No surprise there

Charlie Crist has officially become a Democrat.

I suspect, however, that he has outlived his political usefulness.

And now, a public service message from Chuck Woolery

Chuck argues logically, and with wit, for the right to bear arms.

Update: Of course, as is the case with practically anything,use only as instructed.

Fiat money: a bad idea that just won't go away

"No doubt, all great ideas flourish by expanding upon the works of others. Unfortunately, so do terrible ones."

Happy Feet Friday

One of the best TV program musical themes of all time: Peter Gunn.

And here’s Roy Buchanan’s heavy metal version.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I don’t usually do “cute”

But I’ll make an exception for a miniature horse that rings a bell for Salvation Army donations.

For American conservatives, is Canada showing the way?

Could be. Small Dead Animals tracks the evolution of the present-day Canadian Conservative Party.

With the Republican establishment apparently content to throw its weight behind a permanent employment plan for losers (“Re-elect John Boehner. Just because”), Americans intent on preserving individual liberty and a much more limited role for the state are going to have to get creative.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The march through the institutions

One of these days we're going to wake up, look out the window and discover to our (inexcusable) surprise that America looks like a set from Red Dawn.

Mrs. Paco swears it was her

I offered to take the blame for accidentally deleting all those comments, but Mrs. Paco insists on standing tall.

In fact, she baked some cupcakes for ya'll, to make amends.

But, since you're there and I'm here, I guess I'll have to do the honors.

I don’t know who Carol Roth is…

…but I like her style!

Alternative post title: Piers Morgan is an idiot.

Good men with rifles

Gratefully lifted from Walla Walla Tea Party Patriots (now blogrolled here at PE).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Republican establishment continues its deckchair choreography

At a time when our country could use a Thomas Jefferson or a John Adams or maybe a George Washington, who are the shining lights of the Republican Party? The increasingly feckless John Boehner and Eric Cantor. It is bad enough that they and their ilk are focusing on the fiscal cliff to the exclusion of waging war on a broad ideological front against the liberal fascism of which the present fiscal crisis is but one battle among many, past and future. But in the middle of this huge struggle with the Democratic Party, which indisputably wants to transform America into a European-style provider state – with all that implies about the restriction and even the elimination of our traditional rights – Boehner and Cantor have found the time to demote several conservative congressmen, removing them from important committee assignments.

You know, I’m really not looking for the proverbial man on a white horse. At this stage, I’ll just settle for not being hemmed in by a troop of myopic idiots mounted on spavined nags whose instinctive reaction to the sound of the guns is to flee and run down their own infantry.

Update: Mark Levin was on fire tonight, and accurately tagged Boehner as a careerist and wheeler-dealer more interested in preserving the status quo (and his own job) than reversing the country's dangerous political trajectory. His show included an interview with one of the Republican congressmen who got bumped. If you have an opportunity, check in tomorrow at Levin's site, when today's program ought to be available, and listen to (at least) the first 20 minutes or so. Boehner is not the person we need at the helm of the congressional Republicans in these perilous times.

Two follow-ups on Bob Costas’ anti-gun sermon

From Protein Wisdom and Jim Geraughty (H/T to JeffS for the second one).

I’m particularly glad that Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom lit into Costas on the faux magnanimous allowance that some gun control advocates make for permitting people to own hunting weapons:
In truth, Costas is one of those people who believes the 2nd Amendment protects only muskets — and that hand guns are a scourge, evidently because certain well-paid athletes misuse them from time to time, which of course means that nobody can be trusted to own them and use them responsibly. Though Costas will allow that you can go out and shoot ducks, if that’s your thing. You stupid rednecks.
Here’s the thing: the Second Amendment may afford, as a side benefit, the ability to hunt ducks or deer or whatever’s in season. But the real purpose of the amendment is to permit people to defend themselves against those who would try to deprive them of their lives or liberty.

Uh oh!

Mrs. Paco was attempting to delete my spam comments and accidentally eliminated many of the regular comments. So sorry!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Beware the government tax weasels!

What?!? The government wants to nationalize 401k’s?!?

Of course. This government wants to nationalize everything.

Bob Costas receives a grand smack-down on his gun control nonsense

From alexthechick (H/T: Ace).

Really, it’s an outstanding, and unanswerable, response to the smug posturing of Costas.

Monday movie

Some intriguing scenes from Out of the Past (lots of snappy dialogue).

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tech question

I've noticed that, over the last couple of days, my embedded videos don't seem to be working when I access them from my Dell desktop. They work fine when I access from our Mac laptop. I also noticed that when I try to activate videos on other Blogger sites, they're not working on the Dell, either. I updated the Adobe flash player, but still, no dice. Interestingly, I don't seem to have any trouble with videos accessed directly through the YouTube site. Let me know if, going forward, you can't get the embedded videos to work.

Sunday funnies

Hey, don't we all?

The science is settled: unicorns definitely existed, says Jo Hui Sung, director of, er, North Korea's history institute.

Dick Van Dyke accidentally discovers how to bid at an auction.

What liberals really want is a world with an endless supply of Shmoon.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Big shot (and little shot)

You may recall my having mentioned that Old Paco gave me his ATF commemorative Colt Python when I was at the family reunion. Well, here she is (click to enlarge).

And here's that sweet little S&W .38 Spl +P I picked up at Virginia Arms.

T'row dem to de gatuhs, is what I would do

Federal prosecutorial hijinks in New Orleans.

Bumped from the comments

Twelve reasons why one citizen voted Democrat (courtesy of the Walla Walla Tea Party Patriots).