Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday funnies

Via Tim Blair, a Mini Cooper, with seeming effortlessness, evades a road block.

Things went downhill after Radford University dropped the spelling elective.

Samurai bishop.

Chihuahua runs the table:

Ah, they don't make monsters like they used to.

Swampy challenges the math.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The increasing, and ominous, aggressiveness of law enforcement

First there was the kid in the NRA shirt, then the young man who told a tasteless joke online, and now a college student jumped by ABC officers who mistakenly thought that the water she had purchased was beer.

With all the shootings in places like "gun-free" Chicago, and drug-related violence everywhere, and sexual predators wandering around committing their horrors, and bolder and more frequent home invasions, don't you guys have something better to do? This is all starting to look like the path-of-least-resistance law enforcement common to decaying societies like that of the UK, where it's just easier to harass non-violent citizens who run up against nuisance laws (and, frequently, the erroneous interpretation of such laws by the police) than to tackle genuine bad guys.

An endless proliferation of laws will ultimately turn us all into criminals.

Now, that right there's what I call art

Jeffro Uitto and his wonderful driftwood sculptures.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bad jokes now punishable by up to 8 years in prison

Amazing. Weak enforcement of immigration laws and sucking up to Muslim fanatics and their front organizations pose no threat to the citizenry, but some kid who makes a tasteless joke online is ipso facto a potential mass murderer. This is happening in Texas, which initially surprised me, until I saw that it is Austin, which is a kind of country club concentration camp for liberals in the Lone Star state.

Happy Feet Friday

Chuck Berry reprises a boogie classic, originally made popular by Ray McKinley and Freddie Slack, called Down the Road Apiece.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Are we getting to the point where we can trust no one?

First Rubio, now Ryan. From Paul Mirengoff’s post:
As I understand what he told Hannity, Ryan proposes that we grant illegal immigrants a “five-year probationary status” essentially immediately, before anything new and concrete is done to secure the border. If after five years, Congress isn’t satisfied that the border has been secured, the probationary status supposedly will be revoked. Otherwise, the formerly illegal immigrants can proceed towards full citizenship.

Hannity had a tough time keeping a straight face. It’s almost unimaginable that the status of former illegal immigrants would ever be revoked. Do you see Republican politicians mustering the courage to pull that trigger? I didn’t think so [emphasis mine – Paco]. At most they might add more years to the probationary period, but I don’t see that happening either.

Ryan — I wish I could say this nicely — is conning us.
And I – screw even thinking about being nice – am tired of getting played by self-serving, know-it-all politicians who all but flaunt their contempt for the conservative base. Mirengoff is spot on: nobody, least of all a bunch of RINOs, is going to have the intestinal fortitude to revoke anything even remotely resembling provisional or probationary status, particularly given the provision Ryan mentions, in which there is a complete disconnect between the individual immigrant’s conduct/behavior and the border-security trigger for ending said probationary status. I mean, the mainstream media news reports practically write themselves…

Reporter: “So, Mrs. Rivera, how will the revocation of your probationary immigrant status – based on the failure of the U.S. government to secure the border, over which you, naturally, have no control - affect your children’s future, now that they’re so close to graduating from high school with 4.0 GPAs, and have already received academic scholarships to top tier universities?”

Mrs. Rivera: “Waaaaaaaah!”

The fact that Ryan would tender this outcome as a real possibility - one that he purports to believe is genuine - is insulting.

Update: More unexpected goodness from the Gang of 8 bill – “Immigration Bill Allows Criminal Illegals 'Safe Harbor'”.

Update II: I was already not trusting Jeb Bush, but here’s another reason, just in case:
”Jeb Bush will present Hillary Clinton with the 2013 Liberty Medal this fall in Philadelphia, after which he will roll over on his back and waggle his paws in the air in a symbolic act of submissiveness”
Ok, I might have made up that last bit. But you can see it, you know you can.

From the mailbox

Nick Gillespie on Edward Snowden (H/T: B.C.).

Churchill offers Chamberlain some advice (H/T: Captain Heinrichs).

Coming attraction

Allahpundit riffs on the weird Hillary t-shirt...

...and gets off a classic line
What is it about this shirt that’s captivated the ‘Net today? Is it the fact that it kinda sorta marks the beginning of the 2016 campaign? Or is it the vague suggestion of Hillary bursting, Kuato-like, from the chests of her supporters to gurgle, “Elect me”?
Unrelated update: Rich Galen gets off a great crack, too, about Obama (via Ed Driscoll):
Barack Obama is responsible for the most dramatic decrease in a nation’s standing since Alderaan was blown up by the Death Star in 1977 (Earth date).

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Welcome to the People’s Republic of Logan County, West Virginia

Update and bumped: Charges have been dropped (H/T: Jeff, in the comments).

Enjoy your visit, but mind what you, and your t-shirts, say, and if you have a run-in with the constabulary, you’d be well advised to keep your mouth shut.
The case of the rural West Virginia eighth-grader who was suspended and arrested in late April after he refused to remove a t-shirt supporting the National Rifle Association just keeps getting weirder.

According to local CBS affiliate WOWK-TV, the student, 14-year-old Jared Marcum, was back at the Logan County Courthouse on Monday for a hearing because prosecutors Christopher White and Sabrina Deskins were seeking an emergency gag order.
Say, I’ve got a question for the prosecutors. The city of Logan is the county seat of Logan County. Now, it looks to me like Logan’s crime rates, in terms of both violent crimes and property crimes, have historically exceeded the national average. My question for the prosecutors is this: do ya’ll really think the best interests of your county are being served by pursuing this case? I mean, is the scourge of t-shirts that the young man’s teacher finds objectionable a worse menace than, say, all those burglaries? (What are your arrest and conviction rates for those, by the way?) And let’s just cut to the chase: do you believe that this boy – whose only real “crime” was probably in being a little prolix in defending his rights to arresting officer James Adkins – deserves jail time? And what about you, Adkins? You didn’t have the mother wit to resolve this trivial situation without turning it into a criminal case? I’m tellin’ ya, son, when people think back on this, they ain’t goin’ to be makin’ any favorable comparisons between you and Wyatt Earp (“Adkins? Why, yes, I recollect him. Wasn’t much good at catchin’ burglars or car thieves, but he was a bulldog at chasin’ down offensive t-shirts, yessir, jes’ a reg’lar bulldog!”)

The President’s Plan to Deify Al Gore

Here it is, in all its gaudy, melodramatic, execrably-written mendacity: President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Naturally, it is full of lies, half-truths, and misdirection (two glaring examples: (1) including carbon-dioxide – a non-pollutant – with genuinely toxic substances, in the grab-bag of human emissions, and (2) conflating weather and “climate change” events, so that the two phenomena are practically interchangeable, thus making it oh-so-easy to implicitly blame, say, Hurricane Sandy on carbon-fired power plants).

But what I wanted to focus on, briefly, was the dense, almost impenetrable prose, which, surely by design, is intended to maintain the nebulous opacity surrounding a “plan” that is based on the worst sort of junk science, but is nonetheless clearly intended to soak up untold trillions in government revenues. Try this on for size:
To ensure that federal energy policy meets our economic, environmental, and security goals in this changing landscape, the Administration will conduct a Quadrennial Energy Review which will be led by the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy, supported by a Secretariat established at the Department of Energy, and involving the robust engagement of federal agencies and outside stakeholders. This first-ever review will focus on infrastructure challenges, and will identify the threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security, enabling the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of analytically based, clearly articulated, sequenced and integrated actions, and proposed investments over a four-year planning horizon.
Hey, I’m breathing better already!

Do you wake up screaming in the middle of the night, tortured by nightmares of cow farts? Relief is on the way:
Across the economy, there are multiple sectors in which methane emissions can be reduced, from coal mines and landfills to agriculture and oil and gas development. For example, in the agricultural sector, over the last three years, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture have worked with the dairy industry to increase the adoption of methane digesters through loans, incentives, and other assistance.
Of course, it’s simply too late to completely eliminate all threats posed by climate change, so we need to prepare ourselves for the inevitable:
By necessity, many states, cities, and communities are already planning and preparing for the impacts of climate change. Hospitals must build capacity to serve patients during more frequent heat waves, and urban planners must plan for the severe storms that infrastructure will need to withstand. Promoting on-the-ground planning and resilient infrastructure will be at the core of our work to strengthen America’s communities.
This will have the additional benefit of preparing us for the zombie apocalypse. And in case you were in doubt, the password is “resilience” (with variations):
The Obama Administration has been working to strengthen America’s climate resilience since its earliest days.

The President will direct federal agencies to identify and remove barriers to making climate-resilient investments; identify and remove counterproductive policies that increase vulnerabilities; and encourage and support smarter, more resilient investments…

To help agencies meet the above directive and to enhance local efforts to protect communities, the President will establish a short-term task force of state, local, and tribal officials to advise on key actions the federal government can take to better support local preparedness and resilience- building efforts.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology will convene a panel on disaster-resilience standards to develop a comprehensive, community-based resilience framework…
Etc., etc., ad nauseam. The thing that really sticks in my mind after wading through this La Brea tar-pit of bureaucratese is the shocking presumptuousness of the federal government, which proposes, Canute-like, to command the elements – having forgotten that Canute was, in fact, making the point that he was not omnipotent. One reads this document – increasingly dazed by the proliferation of task forces, loan guarantees, partnerships, executive orders, subsidies, community programs, interagency strategies, “Environmental Justice Progress Reports” (???), on and on – and cannot help but wonder where in the hell the federal government acquired the right, let alone the competence, to micromanage this vast and complex dynamic. And picture, if you will, this same fragmented, redundant, unmanageable schematic applied to God only knows how many other areas of life the statists have in mind for “improvement” (Health care! Immigration!)

This is what happens when we have an activist left-wing chief executive, combined with a cowed, semi-somnolent and lazy Congress, whose conservative profile is more imaginary than real. I’ll take back that last part if and when Congress refuses to fund this nonsense.

Death of a prolific author

Richard Matheson, a writer who specialized in the horror and fantasy genres, and who enjoyed success , not only as an author of novels and short stories, but as a Hollywood screenwriter, has died at age 87. The Telegraph has a very interesting obituary.

The state would like to borrow your children for a little while

Bob Belvedere on renewed interest in "voluntary" national service.

Looks like Julia will have time to knit some woolen bandicoots and koalas in addition to a kangaroo

Julia Gillard is out as head of Australia's Labor Party, losing a leadership ballot to the Boy Who Lived in a Car.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Things that are hopeless

New York City.

The IRS.

John McCain.


Barack H. Obama.

Obviously, the list is not exhaustive.


Good news and bad news on Jon Corzine: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is about to bring civil charges against the Democrat Fat Cat, but the likelihood of criminal charges is looking more and more remote (darn those “porous risk controls” for which nobody is to blame!)

In the middle of all the scandals, Obama still finds time to nurture his statist impulses as he plans to extend the reach of the bureaucracy using the pretext of climate change.

Some sober ruminations on the metastasis of the idea of collectivism over at Classic Liberal.

The stitches may be coming loose in the Australian Labor Party, but PM Julia Gillard will be getting around to that little problem just as soon as she finishes knitting a woolen kangaroo.

Democrats are clueless about personal budgeting, so it’s no surprise that they’re grossly incompetent to serve as stewards of the national budget. Sooper Mexican explains (H/T to Kevin at 36 Chambers, who has some additional choice comments on the topic).

Connecticut gun manufacturer votes with its feet (H/T: Mr. G).

Victor Davis Hanson provides a comprehensive and clear critique of the immigration bill.

Barack Obama never wanted to be president so much as simply play one on television. Governing, it turns out, is actually pretty hard, and failing at that task, particularly on matters of national security, is ominous, as well as embarrassing.

Obama gets some helpful tax advice.

Swampie’s “Funeral Friday”

Thanks for nothing, guys

Fifteen Republicans support cloture vote on the immigration bill.

My basic rule of thumb: if Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer are for it, Republicans should be against it.

Oh, and the beefed up border security measures in the Corker/Hoeven amendment are pure sleight of hand. A future Senate (and House, if this monstrosity is passed into law) is under no obligation to provide the necessary funding.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Public Service Announcement

Howdy. We're Bonnie and Clyde, and we, too, support Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

We need immigrants... do the bank robberies that native-born American citizens are just too damned lazy to do.

Monday movie

Bob Mitchum gets his point across in a scene from The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

The bucket list

You know, the things you'd like to do before you finally kick the bucket.

My own bucket list is rather small and modest: in fact, there's very little on it that's even remotely life-threatening (hiking Death Valley is the only thing that comes to mind). Some people, however, really go all out.

No matter how adventurous you're feeling in your old age, you should take to heart Dr. Stanton's advice: "If you’re going to build a bucket list don’t fill it with 18 different versions of Russian Roulette".

No doubt you commenters are a much friskier lot than I am, so it might be interesting to discover what you all are planning to notch on your belt before you hand in your dinner pail.

(H/T: Hot Air)

Update: I think I'll add hiking around the falls of Havasu Canyon to my wish list. Check out this beautiful photo essay.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

These guys are the real one percent

And, hey, many, if not most, are "progressives" - not only in the sense of making big donations to Obama, other individual Democrats, and Democratic PACs*, but in the nasty, arrogant way they want to keep regular folks off of public beaches.
For years, multimillionaires have been bullying beachgoers in Malibu, Calif., trying hard to keep them away from the pristine—and public—sand and surf.

The sneaky homeowners have used orange cones, phony no-trespassing signs, security guards and fake garage doors to prevent regular folks from accessing the beachfront.
*Democrat fat cats living on Malibu Beach include Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen of DreamWorks, Eli Broad of SunAmerica, and Haim Saban of Saban Capital Group. A few minutes work at indicates that the aforementioned were all big supporters of various Democrat politicians and groups. There's nothing to indicate that the individuals listed above are the ones who have engaged in the dirty tricks mentioned in the linked article (although Geffen did take legal action - unsuccessful, as it turned out - to prevent opening a public walkway near his place); nonetheless, I find the picture of liberal billionaires at home responding with sniffish disdain to the frolicking of humble pleasure-seekers on nearby public beaches to be rather priceless ("Can't have the common people pissing in our sandbox, what?").

Note to self

Figure out how to become an unauthorized alien.

Sunday funnies

Never thought of that one: "Driver says he was speeding so he could dry car".

A new twist on "Dogs Playing Poker".

As Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke continues his forlorn march into the jungle of economic doom, don't be surprised if we wind up with some alternatives to the U.S. dollar and other so-called hard currencies. Like, maybe, potato mashers or squirrel pelts.

A small-time Labour politician in the UK claims that he fathered a child on an extraterrestrial alien known as the Cat Queen.

Jim Treacher proposes a new Sesame Street character.

One of my favorite Tom and Jerry cartoons, filled with hot swing music, zoot suits and jive talk (directed by Hanna and Barbera for MGM during the golden age of cartoons).

Friday, June 21, 2013

Venus flytraps look pretty lame next to this thing

Introducing Puya chilensis, the sheep-eating plant.
In its native Chile, Puya chilensis uses its enormous neon spikes to trap sheep in the Andes mountains. After razor-sharp spines on the tips of its leaves ensnare the animal, it starves to death and decomposes at the base of the plant, becoming its favored fertilizer.

Happy Feet Friday

Pete Johnson pounds out “Rocket 88 Boogie” (from 1947).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Obama loses speech in the sun

Whereas Chris Matthews…well, he just loses it, period.

I think Matthews’ ultimate goal is to go from lickspittle to lictor, so he can then literally - instead of just figuratively, as he does now – walk in front of Obama carrying the fasces.

The big chill

Gary Pruitt, CEO of AP, says that many government sources have quit talking in the wake of the DOJ’s snooping.
“What I learned from our journalists should alarm everyone in this room and I think should alarm everyone in this country. The actions of the DOJ against AP are already having an impact beyond the specifics of this particular case,” AP CEO Gary Pruitt told an audience at the National Press Club. “Some of our longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking to us, even about stories that aren’t about national security. In some cases, government employees that we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone, and some are reluctant to meet in person.”
As I’m fond of saying, transparency so thick you have to cut it with a knife.

In my darkest hours, when I am more than half convinced that our country has reached the tipping point, the thing that most strongly buttresses that opinion is the fact that the systematic destruction of our freedom is being engineered, not by a cadre of evil geniuses, but by a relative handful of ignorant punks who, in a saner age, would never have risen above the muck of local politics. A truly great nation, I tell myself, would not suffer the pretentious overreaching and the sleazy machinations of these glorified ward heelers.

Obama’s new friends (continued)

Islamists continue to consolidate power in Syria.

Update: Say, just how moderate is this new moderate Iranian president? Not very, it would seem.

Caption time!

I found this picture of Democrat senator Claire McCaskill over at Gateway Pundit. It screams "Caption me!"

Members of Senator McCaskill's staff take precautions to prevent their boss from swallowing her tongue during one of her fits.

Update: Great stuff from Swampie, in the comments, including this gem:

Senator McCaskill demonstrates the style and tenacity with which she won in the very competitive senate sport of pencil fetching.

"Some would say that this old bitch is past her prime", said Barack Obama, her handler, scratching her ears fondly. "But when I fling a pencil out on that senate floor, she'll flatten anyone in her path to fetch it and return it to me. Unthinking loyalty like that is hard to buy anymore."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Obama's new friends...

...look an awful lot like America's old enemies.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

And the woman who created him.

The Master, recalled

Obama’s trip to Africa put me in mind of a passage from one of Wodehouse’s novels. I had to hunt a little bit to find it, but here it is, from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (and, no, I’m not suggesting that I am having the same thoughts about Obama; it’s simply that the upcoming junket triggered a recollection of what I have always found to be a particularly funny paragraph).

Bertie Wooster, not surprisingly, is hiding behind a sofa, attempting to avoid running into famed explorer Major Brabizon-Plank (for reasons that need not detain us). While he crouches, he reflects not only on the obnoxiousness of the explorer, but on the lack of a can-do attitude among those who might have been expected to have rid the world of this human pestilence :
My disapproval extended to the personnel of the various native tribes he had encountered in the course of his explorations. On his own showing, he had for years been horning in uninvited on the aborigines of Brazil, the Congo and elsewhere, and not one of them apparently had had the enterprise to get after him with a spear or to say it with poisoned darts from the family blowpipe. And these were fellows who called themselves savages. Savages, forsooth! The savages in the books I used to read in my childhood would have had him in the Obituary column before he could say “What ho,” but with the ones you get nowadays it’s all slackness and laissez-faire. Can’t be bothered. Leave it to somebody else. Let George do it. One sometimes wonders what the world’s coming to.

Junkyard science

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz thinks there's nothing wrong with solar energy that more federal money won't cure.

"And in the next phase, we'll extract sunbeams from cucumbers!"

What's with the avian analogies, RINOS?

First, John McCain calls conservative wacko birds, and now Jeb Bush calls us chirpers.

Let me ask you something, Jeb Boy: does this look like a "chirper" to you?

Monday, June 17, 2013

If you find human remains in Canada...

...better just cover 'em up.

"This way, men!"

Senator John McCain frequently comes across as a self-appointed scoutmaster for Troop GOP, irritably trying to get his charges to fall in line for a good twenty-mile hike into the desert – then, forgetting to bring compass and water, heading off obliviously into a puma-infested box canyon.

McCain attempts constantly to set the tone and direction of a Republican Party that is rapidly losing coherence, a sense of purpose, and national influence, precisely as a direct result of the kind of leadership provided by him and others of his ilk. He is on the wrong side of the proposed immigration bill - one of the biggest (and most futile) exercises in pandering to be seen in decades - and now he is pressing Obama to take a more activist approach in Syria, where there are no good guys, and where our major opponent is not the Syrian government but an aggressive and committed Russia. Arming the Syrian rebels – largely al-Qaeda factions – will earn the United States not five minutes of gratitude, and will, by the president’s own admission, not in any significant way alter the eventual outcome.

It’s time for the scouts to tie McCain to a tree somewhere out of earshot and leave him there until he agrees to retire.

Monday movie

Tarzan gets angry with a lawyer, cuts right to the chase.

Bonus! Tarzan takes on a group of Nazis.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blessed be the Hogs

"Biker culture came to the Vatican on Sunday as Pope Francis blessed thousands of Harley-Davidsons and their riders celebrating the manufacturer's 110th anniversary with a loud parade and plenty of leather."

Happy Father's Day!

Best wishes to all you dads out there.

Sunday funnies

It's a jungle out there.

The Abominable Snowman. The Sasquatch. And now, the Florida Skunk Ape.

Great news! In a hundred thousand years, we're all going to look like lemurs.

Burglar chooses poorly.

A sad case of unrequited love.

8 horrifying wedding cakes.

The newest threat to children? Scowling faces on LEGO figures.

James Lileks' postcard collection (with invaluable commentary).


Getcha some.

Elsewhere, Justin Katz connects the dots and sounds the alarm (tell it, brother!)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hey, Barry, did you try Travelocity?

President Obama and consort are preparing for a budget-busting $100 million trip to Africa (I guess that the word "sequester" has become obsolete).

H/T: Captain Heinrichs

Happy Feet Friday

Two giants of jazz, Buck Clayton and Ben Webster, team up on this 1959 version of C Jam Blues.

Happy Flag Day!


LOL! Today is also my birthday, and Mrs. Paco picked me up a cake. It's delicious, but the penmanship of the person in the bakery was a little off: "Happy Birthdog, Dallid".

Thursday, June 13, 2013

In God we trust

The government? That's another story altogether.

I think the whole business with the NSA boils down to this: do we want a society in which limits on government intrusiveness in our private communications are almost entirely self-imposed, with the general understanding that the government can be trusted to handle the information responsibly; or do we want a society in which there are certain legal, categorical restrictions on the type of information that can be collected and analyzed by the government, in order to eliminate (or reduce) the risk that government - acting either officially as a matter of public policy, or unofficially in the form of renegade employees moved by ideological conviction or by purely mercenary considerations – might behave in ways that are inconsistent with, and injurious to, our American traditions of individual liberty(specifically with reference to the rights secured by the fourth amendment)?

George Will has written an interesting article on the issue of trust, shrewdly linking the NSA’s public relations crisis with the machinations of IRS bully Lois Lerner:
The case against the NSA is: Lois Lerner and others of her ilk.

Government requires trust. Government by progressives, however, demands such inordinate amounts of trust that the demand itself should provoke distrust. Progressivism can be distilled into two words: “Trust us.” The antecedent of the pronoun is: The wise, disinterested experts through whom the vast powers of the regulatory state’s executive branch will deliver progress for our own good, as the executive branch understands this, whether we understand it or not. Lois Lerner is the scowling face of this state, which has earned Americans’ distrust.
As to the level of trust that I, personally, have in the government, this photo summarizes my view neatly.

And I’m talking a low level of trust in both political parties, particularly in light of what is going on with the immigration bill winding its way through the Senate. The partisan intransigence of Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid is a given, as is the increasingly invariable dunderheadedness of Republicans like McCain and Graham. But it has been a bitter disappointment to see Marco Rubio participate in the Gang of Eight, losing no opportunity to display the most contemptible disingenuousness in arguing for this legislative travesty; and now, even Rep. Paul Ryan appears set to soften up the House for a favorable reception of the Senate bill (see Ann Coulter, Jeff Goldstein, and Stacy McCain for important discussions of this vitally important topic).

Excellent Father's Day gift idea

From Are We Lumberjacks?

Telling the truth about the federal government

I dunno. It might be safer to play catch with a bottle of nitroglycerine.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Nepotism: a game the whole family can play!

Mark Levin continues to sound the alarm.

The NSA foils a plot by, er, the NSA.

So, why is this woman still at large? (Chicago, of course).

Pistol-packin' granny drives off intruder.

The perils of having a bumper crop of blueberries.

The Obama scandal word-search game!

Hey, Joe Biden may be a bumbling idiot, but at least his political hackery is predictable.

The Obama administration: fighting scandal with scandal.

Herman Blustercock, call your office.

Mr. Bingley proves that global warming is even affecting the sun.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The adventures of Herman Blustercock, White House Chief of Protocol

The Oval Office. President Obama is meeting with his protocol chief, Herman Blustercock, in preparation for a trip to southeast Asia, where he will be calling on the Sultan of Brunei.

Obama: Herman, as you know, I’m the first American president ever to visit the Sultan of Brunei on his home turf, and I want to get everything right, so fill me in on the details.

Blustercock: With pleasure, sir. Now, the sultan will be receiving you in his palace, and there’s a very elaborate ritual you’ll have to master. You will be introduced into his throne room by members of his household guard, and you will find yourself standing at one end of a long red carpet. The other end terminates at the royal throne, on which the sultan will be sitting.

O: So, I walk the length of the carpet, then, and shake hands with his nibs when I reach the throne?

B: Not exactly, Mr. President. Your first gesture will be to grab your right foot with your right hand and hop on your left leg precisely half way down the length of the carpet.

O: You’re kidding!

B: Oh, no, sir, I assure you, it’s all very much the accepted thing. You see, back in the late 19th century, the first representative of the British crown to Brunei, Sir Henry Bracegirdle, had a peg leg. On the voyage to Brunei, carpenter ants ate the ambassador’s wooden leg, rendering the prosthetic device useless. Refusing all attempts at assistance, he hopped down the carpet to present his credentials. The sultan was touched by the effort, and saw it as a mark of signal esteem for his country, and it’s been the tradition ever since for official visitors to hop down the carpet.

O: It sounds awfully silly to me, but if it’s got be done, I’ll do it. But you said I only hop half way down the carpet; does the sultan moonwalk out to meet me at midfield?

B: No, sir. Once you’ve gone half way, you let go of your foot and plant your fists in your armpits.

O: Like this?

B: No, not across your chest. Put your right fist in your right armpit, and your left fist in your left armpit. Very good! Now, pump your arms vigorously and hoot three times; then, still flapping your arms like a bird, run at full speed to the throne, laughing maniacally.

O: Are you out of your mind?!?

B: No, Mr. President, it’s all according to custom. This particular gesture has its roots in an old folk tale. According to the story, there was a sultan who reigned a few hundred years ago, and he was of such a sour disposition that none of the court jesters could make him laugh. The sultan would appoint a jester, and if the jester failed to amuse the sultan, the sultan had his head lopped off. The sultan finally became so desperate to find someone who could make him laugh, that he offered a chest full of gold as a reward for any jester who could elicit as much as a giggle. Of course, the penalty still remained in effect: fail, and you get your head cut off. Now, it came about that a young man from a very poor family heard about the offer, and, putting aside his fears, accepted the challenge. He carried with him a Rhinoceros hornbill in a cage, which he had saved when it had fallen from its mother’s nest as a young bird, and had kept as a pet for years. He entered the throne room on the day appointed for auditions, and, to his consternation, saw a pile of human heads formerly belonging to the morning’s unsuccessful candidates. He approached the throne, which was shielded from the view of the courtiers by a silk screen, and told a joke – I believe it was the one about the traveling salesman and the betel-nut farmer’s daughter. At first there was stony silence, but the young man lightly jiggled the bars on the birdcage, and his hornbill began hooting and making a noise that sounded like raucous laughter (which is the “song”, if you will, of this species of bird). The courtiers, not being able to see the sultan because of the screen, thought that it was the sultan who was laughing, and so, being courtiers, they all joined in. The sultan, who had not actually understood the joke, did not wish to appear obtuse to such a large audience, so he finally began laughing, himself, and hired the young man as his court jester, which position he held for many years. So, you see, Mr. President, this gesture mimics the Rhinoceros hornbill, and is a reminder of the courage and cunning of the common people of Brunei.

O: It still sounds pretty weird to me. Ok, having hopped around and flapped my arms and laughed my fool head off, where does all that leave me?

B: You are now facing the sultan, who will rise from his throne to greet you.

O: Do we just shake hands?

B: Oh, no, sir, not at all. Remember, you’ve previously been holding your right foot in your right hand; it would be considered unclean to offer that hand to the sultan. What you do, is bow deeply…

O: Finally! Something I’m used to.

B: …while slapping your buttocks vigorously with both hands.

O: Come again?

B: You’re emulating the sound of a galloping horse, in commemoration of the brave Bruneian cavalryman who rode through enemy lines bringing a previous sultan news of the Japanese invasion in World War II.

O: Ok, I think maybe this trip is off.

B: But Mr. President!

O: First there’s the bunny hop, then there’s the crazy bird imitation, and then there’s the butt slapping, which I get enough of from Michelle…

B: Sir?

O: Er, never mind. Strike that. Anyhow, this thing is getting way too ridiculous.

B: But, sir, think of how offended the sultan will be if you call off the trip. And it’s a Muslim country, Mr. President; just consider how a cancellation will go down with the faithful all over the world.

O: Damn! Ok, then, I’ll go. But no cameras!

B: Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be possible to ban news cameras. This event is huge in Brunei, and the sultan wants to preserve the meeting on film for posterity. Your going there really does lend the sultan’s reign a great deal of prestige, sir.

O: All right, all right! I’ll do it. So, I guess I’d better start practicing. Let’s see, grab right foot with right hand and hoot like a maniac…

B: No, no, Mr. President! First hop, then hoot…

* * * * * * * * * * *

Herman Blustercock walked into his office in the west wing of the White House, whistling a happy tune. It was a fine spring day, and he was a young man who was making the grade in the cut-throat world of big government. He had just plopped his briefcase on the floor and was seating himself at his desk, when the president’s personal secretary knocked on his open door and sauntered in. She was carrying a folded copy of the Washington Post under one arm, and she stood in the doorway, gazing at Herman with a strangely pensive expression.

“Good morning, Ms. Stern. It’s a glorious day, don’t you think?”

“Do you think so, Herman?”

“Well, let’s see. The sun is shining, there’s a cool breeze blowing, and the birds are singing. Yes, I stick by my original estimate: it’s a glorious day!”

Ms. Stern took a chair in front of Herman’s desk.

“About those birds, Herman; were they hooting and laughing maniacally, by any chance?”

Herman cocked an eyebrow. This was a puzzling note.

“Hooting and…what?”

“Skip it, for the time being. Herman, if you don’t mind my asking, how long have you been chief of protocol?”

“Oh, about three weeks.”

“Have you always been in the protocol field?”

“No, but I’ve been in government for several years.”

“Where did you work before coming here?”

“I held a position of responsibility in the Department of Agriculture.”

“You mean, like a deputy undersecretary or something?”

Herman simpered lightly. “Oh, no, nothing as exalted as all that. I was an assistant inspector of snow peas in the Midwest division.”

Snow peas?”

“Yes. I was angling for a promotion to soy beans, but then this gig opened up.” Herman rose from his chair, and strode to the window. He threw out his chest, shot his cuffs, and began inspecting the fingernails of his right hand. “You know, Ms. Stern, I’m not exactly without influence.”

“Were you a bundler of campaign donations?”

“No, but my father was. He helped me to get this job.”

“So where did you acquire your, er, sudden expertise?”

Herman sat down again and beamed at Ms. Stern. “The whole thing was a snap! I came across this wonderful book: Protocol Advice for Current Officeholders. It’s got everything you’d ever want to know on the subject, covers every country in the world.” He pulled a thick, glossy, soft-bound volume from the shelf behind his desk and handed it over to Ms. Stern to admire.

Ms. Stern idly thumbed through the book. “I’m not familiar with the publisher – Paco Enterprises. Where did you buy this thing?”

“Well, that’s the funny part. I didn’t buy it. It was sent to me anonymously in the mail, by some unknown well-wisher.”

Ms. Stern sighed, gave Herman a sad look through her eyeglasses, and unfolded her newspaper on Herman’s desk. “I assume you haven’t seen the headline on the front page of the Post?"

“No, I haven’t seen the paper yet. Here, let me have a…YIPE!

Herman’s eyes rounded to the size of demitasse saucers as he read the headline:
Herman reeled. A cloud seemed to have floated in front of the sun, and the room appeared to be growing dark. He began to visibly wilt, his head sinking into the recesses of his suit jacket. In fact, he put Ms. Stern in mind of a time-lapse video, in which he resembled, say, a snow pea succumbing to an infestation of nematodes.

Ms. Stern rose to leave, and, being a charitable soul, patted Herman’s hand. “Well, try not to worry too much, Herman. Maybe that soy bean job is still open.”

In his black despair, Herman muttered to himself. “Who? Who sent me that book? And why?”

* * * * * * * * * * *

As he sat at the table on the terrace, outside of his penthouse high atop Paco Tower, the titan of industry was preparing to attack a stack of pancakes when his gentleman’s personal gentleman glided alongside.

“This morning’s edition of the Washington Post, sir.”

“Thank you, Spurgeon. What? Oh, I say! Did you see this headline? Mwahaha!”

Spurgeon glanced at the headline and permitted himself a slight spasm of the lips, which his employer understood, by long familiarity with his man’s temperament, to represent a sort of stylized guffaw.

“It would appear that the printing of a single volume of that book on protocol was well worth the investment, Mr. Paco.”

“Indeed it was, my dear fellow! I can’t wait to observe the effect on Hillary Clinton’s future political ambitions after she has digested my other opus, Perfect Alibis for Corrupt Officials.”

“I daresay, sir, that the results will give rise to an entirely new connotation for the expression, ‘meteoric career’”.

An extremely cold case

The still-haunting mystery of the Hinterkaifeck murders.

Don't try this at home

Or anywhere else (language alert).

H/T: Captain Heinrichs.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday movie

Sean Connery and Michael Caine in a scene from that splendid adventure movie, The Man Who Would Be King.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday funnies

The tiny world of J.D. Hancock.

More innovative job opportunities in the age of Obamanomics.

If you ever have to shoot somebody in self-defense, this might come in handy.

And here's a gun that never caught on, for some strange reason.

Some school kids in a church camp near St. Louis create an interesting visual of Jesus, in which He appears to look like...Chuck Norris (Today's Chuck Norris fact: When cops pull Chuck Norris over, they try to talk their way out of it).

From the great Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge):

Bugs Bunny takes on Marvin the Martian, in this classic Warner Brothers cartoon.

Jay Leno: "We wanted a president that listened to all Americans - now we have one."

(H/T: Instapundit)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Academy of Lagado

Zero Hedge lists 20 genuine college courses of dubious value currently on offer from various universities around the U.S. There are some real doozies here – e.g., “ ‘Oh, Look, a Chicken!’: Embracing Distraction as a Way of Knowing”, and “Zombies in Popular Media” – that help to explain both (a) the vast ability of a free country to generate so much wealth that it can support enormous groups of freeloaders (in this case, a professoriate of the inane), and (b) the huge decline in return-on-investment in higher education.

It’s sometimes very tough to sustain the belief that we are not as hosed as the 5th-century Roman empire.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Important safety message

The University of Arkansas has prohibited concealed carry on campus, but not to worry: Sharon Houlette, a detective with the university's Department of Public Safety, has some good advice: nod at potential attackers.
“A glance or a nod will help you show anyone who might think that you are not paying attention, and you are aware of their presence,” she wrote.
Here's a training video that she plans to use at an upcoming crime prevention seminar:

Yep, that ought to do it.

Happy Feet Friday

Bob Wills and the boys perform Oozlin' Daddy Blues (which, given the somewhat risque lyrics in the second verse, makes me wonder if the tune ever got much air play in 1937).

Thursday, June 6, 2013

FLOTUS snubs Chinese First Lady

The bedroom in the personal quarters of the White House. Michelle Obama, dressed in a $3,000 Versace nightgown, is doing curls with 45-pound dumbbells. The president enters from the bathroom, vigorously brushing his teeth.

POTUS: Wha?…Cmoon, Misha, geh eddy!

FLOTUS: Ninety eight…ninety-nine…one hundred. Whew! Did you say something Barack?

POTUS: Hew hur me!

FLOTUS: Look, B, you want to talk to me, take that toothbrush outta your mouth.

POTUS: I said get ready! Air Force One is leaving in an hour for that summit meeting in California. You know what a big deal it is. I need to make nice with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and you need to do your bit by entertaining his wife, Peng Liyuan.

FLOTUS: [Cleans and jerks a 200-pound barbell over her head] I’m not going.

POTUS: What do you mean, you’re not going? Of course you’re going! Now, put that thing down.

FLOTUS: [Angrily tosses the barbell on the four-poster bed, which collapses] Listen to me, bean-pole! I. Am. Not. Going.

POTUS: But, baby, you know how important this trip is.

FLOTUS: To you, maybe.

POTUS: And to the whole country.

FLOTUS: Who cares about them?

POTUS: Well, I do, sorta. At least, I have to look like I do. So, why don’t you want to go?

FLOTUS: Have you seen the dude’s wife – Ping Pong or whatever her name is?

POTUS: Her name is Peng Liyuan.

FLOTUS: Well, like I say, whatever. B, the woman is positively petite! Delicate, and oh so feminine.

POTUS: Aw, honey, you’re… er…you’re feminine, and…and…

FLOTUS: [Gives the president “the look”]

POTUS: And..uh…petite - speaking broadly, of course…I mean…

FLOTUS: [Picks up a medicine ball and pumps it at the president]


FLOTUS: [Plops down on a stool in front of her vanity, absentmindedly bends a curling iron into a ‘U’ shape, and bursts into tears] Oh, Barack! That woman is so charming and graceful…next to her I’d look like a…like a…

POTUS: Wildebeest?

FLOTUS: Come again?

POTUS: Er, I said “not in the least”.

FLOTUS: “Not in the least” what?

POTUS: You don’t look in the least like a wildebeest.

FLOTUS: Who said anything about wildebeests?

POTUS: Didn’t you? Never mind. We’re getting wildly off topic. Look, sure Peng Liyuang is graceful, and delicate and feminine… [the president’s facial expression suddenly becomes wistful]… and beautiful and sweet-natured and kind and glamorous, with soft eyes and silky black hair and that petite little body that’s nonetheless deliciously curvaceous, and arms that don’t resemble the pistons in the engine of a passenger ship, and a mouth that doesn’t look anything at all like a bear trap, and you sure couldn’t hide an ax handle behind those hips…Owwww!!!!

* * * * * * * * * * *

A staff office in the west wing of the White House. An obviously agitated man sits at a desk, making a telephone call to the site of the summit meeting in California.

Man: Hello? Ah, yes, good morning. This is Herman Blustercock, chief of protocol for the White House. Listen, I deeply regret to have to inform you that the president will be unable to attend the summit meeting. He’s hoping to reschedule at a later date. Yes, I know, it’s most unfortunate but it can’t be helped. What’s that? The reason? He, ah, sprained his ankle. Actually, it might be fractured. Oh, yes, he’s in a lot of pain. All right then. I’ll follow up with you later. Thanks.

Secretary: [Opens the door and peeps in] So, what did you tell them?

C of P: That the president hurt his ankle.

Secretary: Hurt his ankle? That sounds kind of lame.

C of P: What was I supposed to tell them? The truth? I couldn’t very well announce that the President of the United States was at Bethesda Naval Hospital having the First Lady’s curling iron removed from his rectum, now, could I?

Better read than led

Some good stuff from Stacy McCain on communist subversion during the FDR years (with references to two books that look intriguing: Diana West’s American Betrayal and M. Stanton Evans’ Stalin’s Secret Agents).

Hey, liberals, let's go shopping!

(Via Moonbattery)

Also very good: Paul Krugman makes an appearance in a Dilbert cartoon (H/T: the excellent Tree Hugging Sister)

I have a dream

I dream that Chuck Norris is standing on the side of a dusty road under a brilliant sun. A distant figure approaches him, walking slowly down the road, his shape flickering in the heat waves wafting from the hard surface of the ground. The figure gradually resolves itself into the shape of a man. He's dressed in a clown suit: huge yellow pants with a red polka dot pattern, held up by wide fireman's suspenders, a billowing green shirt fastened at the top with a clip-on purple bow tie. His shoes are 25 triple-E. He comes right up to chuck Norris, giggles, and yanks Chuck's beard. The mystery man turns out to be Lindsey Graham...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Who is Carter Hull?

Among other things, he is supposedly a major link in the IRS's issuance of instructions for targeting conservative groups.

The best and brightest

Obama is set to appoint Susan “Darn that Video!” Rice to the post of National Security Advisor, and he has nominated Samantha “Hey, Let’s Occupy Israel!” Power to be ambassador to the UN (that sound coming from Israel is not, I would wager, a collective sigh of relief).

Looks like there’s not a lot of depth on Obama’s foreign policy bench, if he’s forced to recycle these mediocrities. In fact, the administration is starting to resemble the bureaucratic equivalent of the Miami Marlins.

Of course, the truth is that Obama’s not forced to do anything of the sort; it’s just that he’s comfortable surrounding himself with people who share his own ideology and manifest a dog-like loyalty to their master – criteria that, in his mind, far outweigh the risks posed by their demonstrated nincompoopery.

Update: Speaking of nincompoopery...

Is your IQ score lower than the number of your fingers and toes? Are you a partisan hack who doesn't know the meaning of fear...or any other word having more than three letters? Does it take you two hours to watch 60 Minutes? Are you so stupid that blondes tell jokes about you? Then, you, too, may have a future with MSNBC.


I was standing out on the sidewalk in front of my office building this morning, enjoying some nicotine therapy, and observed a truck parked right in front. It had a mural on the side featuring a bunch of tombstones, and on the door were emblazoned the words, “National Cemetery Administration”. The driver was hanging around near the truck – eying me somewhat speculatively, it seemed to me – but I almost immediately brightened at the prospect that he had perhaps come to collect one of our more obnoxious political appointees. Eventually he drove off, without taking either me or one of the aforementioned politicoes, so, on balance, I suppose the whole thing was a bit of a wash.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Washington Post: staying on top of breaking news

Did I say “breaking" news? More like “broken, discarded and covered with a thick layer of dust”. For example, the Post thought that a rehash of the months-old Republican infighting surrounding John Boehner’s reelection as Speaker of the House merited today’s spotlight:
While the rest of DC is tracking down information on numerous scandals engulfing the Obama Administration, The Washington Post would like to turn your attention to a mini-revolt within the GOP Caucus that happened six months ago. "House Republicans Broken Into Fighting Factions," the headline states boldly, while the actual article mostly retells the story about the vote for Speaker back in January. According to DC's paper of record, this is the major news of the day.
Watch for exciting coverage tomorrow of the Army-McCarthy hearings and that latest dance sensation, the Twist.

Infernal Revenue Service

Can an entire agency essentially plead the Fifth? It’s starting to look like the IRS purchased the old Soviet Bloc’s iron curtain and is using it to insulate itself from legitimate inquiry, by both the Treasury Department Inspector General and Congress. The agency’s arrogant belief that it is somehow an autonomous unit that exists outside of the laws that govern everyone else is yet another reason for substantial reform (and by “reform”, I mean tearing it down and building something new, with a drastically restricted scope of responsibility; along these lines, Jay Leno has the right idea).

Congress created this monster, and it is up to Congress to rein it in. It’s time for subpoenas all around, and immunity for those employees who know where the bodies are buried and are willing to talk. And, while we’re at it, a hefty budget cut seems in order, given the agency’s rampant impecuniousness .

Update : Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator takes a look into the Democratic snake pit and spies former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman writhing happily in company with the likes of tax cheat Charlie Rangel and various George Soros allies. It is this kind of stuff that makes me wonder whether democracy in America has not entered its final, kabuki phase.

Come to think of it, it's getting more and more difficult to point at any place on the chart of leftist organizations that hasn't received some kind of support from Soros. The man is an international menace. To Soros, democracy is what his furniture store was to Al Capone: a mere front.

Can the Obama administration keep a secret?

Yes, but apparently only when it involves covering up the law-breaking of its employees. Not so much when it comes to the details of, say, Israel's new top secret defense installation (H/T: Agent 001, a/k/a Captain Heinrichs).

The long arm of coincidence

Just one of those things, just one of those crazy things. Conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status get bottle-necked, while leftists outfits' apps sail on through.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Democrats could run Bill Ayers for president in 2016...

... it still doesn't mean I'd vote for Chris Christie. I distrust his new-found friends.

Lisa Jackson’s very talented dog

While Lisa Jackson was head of the EPA, her dog apparently created his own email account, discussed policy with various interested parties, and even passed several mandatory computer-based training courses.

I have to say, that’s much more impressive than just sitting or rolling over. Good boy! Hey, maybe they should have spent $40,000 on his portrait rather than on Ms. Jackson’s.

Idiot of the week

Professor Oppressor of journalism Christopher Swindell calls for the literal destruction of the NRA and its membership, but seems to forget that, er, our side is the one that is armed.

Now, that's some horsepower right there

The Shelby GT500 burns up a dynometer.

Monday movie

The haunting duet from Night of the Hunter, featuring gun-toting Lilian Gish and itinerant psychopathic preacher Robert Mitchum.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday funnies

Soup of the day.

Every cat should have one.

Where can you find fluorescent pink slugs? Where else?

A dog, a lion and a monkey...

(Courtesy of Savage Chickens)

Here's a bit from Fred Allen's radio program, featuring Senator Claghorn (the inspiration for Foghorn Leghorn).

Update: 18 obsolete words that should be salvaged (via Spiny Norman, in the comments).