May 31, 2009
The headline and lead cry of "exposed corpses" littering Mingora in this AP piece on the Pakistan fighting. If you care to follow though by reading the entire report, you'll discover the charnel house image is is justified by exactly three bodies -- two of them apparent "insurgents" lying in a cemetery. The facts as reported could just as easily justify a screaming headline about slothful Pakistani gravediggers.
There is no vast media conspiracy, of the left or of the right. But there is a chamber pot full of miserably non-professional journalism, and you really hate to see it appear so often on what was once one of the world's great news services.
The writer of the three-corpse trash was engaging in a venerable newspaper practice -- reaching for a gee-whiz headline. We've all done it, but the AP pros are, or were, damned careful to make sure the body of the report lends some credence to whatever glorious -- or gory -- image is conjured up in the lead.
May 29, 2009
May 26, 2009
May 25, 2009
"He will wonder whether he should have told these young, handsome and clever people the few truths that sing in his bones.
"(1) Nobody can ever get too much approval.
"(2) No matter how much you want or need, they, whoever they are, don't want to let you get away with it, whatever it is.
"3) Sometimes you get away with it."
Travis didn't write that. Neither did his amanuensis. But we can thank Trav for telling John D. to use it on the theme page of "Free Fall in Crimson." And John Leonard for writing it in "Private Lives in the Imperial City."
May 21, 2009
|Our man in the GMA on Day Two:|
Saturday dawned bright and clear, like that's unusual around these parts. Let's see, go back to the NRA convention or do chores around the house? Decisions, decisions. Oh, a-go-ny!
Many more people on the train this morning, and a festive air was, uh, in the air. It was more like a fan bus on the way to the Big Game. I don't know what the two fellow travellers in our car who weren't People of the Gun must have thought. Perhaps the governor's statement last night that the banquet was the largest meal ever served in the state (6,000 plus) might have influenced them somewhat.
This time there WAS a stampede to the convention center, but inside things ran infinitely smoother. Although there was easily four times the crowd the lines moved more than twice as fast. Since I foolishly left my sticker at home I had to re-register. Six minutes, tops, including the time I spent in the wrong line to get a permanent badge, something I'd forgone yesterday as the line appeared to stretch well past suppertime. Today it took me longer to thread the lanyard through the badge holder than it did to get it. I think the forecast (threat?) of attendance on the far side of 60,000 might have inspired a certain degree of efficiency on the parts of all concerned. The upshot was that, as opposed to yesterday, the lines fairly flew.
Back into the hall, and I swear to God that it had grown overnight. It didn't seem possible, but it was BIGGER! The safari bookers were here, I remember, but where did all these accessory vendors come from? (And not one booth selling jerky.
(See, J..? It isn't just in Texas!) I still could have done without the guy in the kilt, though.
But I hadn't forgotten my mission. I managed to collar a suit wearing a media badge and asked him where the media room was. (I'd learned yesterday that asking for "blogger row" was worse than futile.) He seemed stunned - perhaps this was his first rodeo - and said that he thought it was room 211. Well, that's more than I had to go on this far, so out and up I went. By accident I discovered the media in room 122. Hey, lysdexic much? There was one sole soul there plugging away who allowed that Breda hadn't come in today, but if I'd leave my number he'd see what he could do. Fair enough. Back down into the fray, until that was a fair description of what my nerve endings were doing. There was a "Guns of the Battle of the Bulge" presentation at 2:00 but by then I was wondering what I could learn that I hadn't already seen on the History Channel so I just bagged it for the day. Wouldn't you know Breda called when I was halfway to Tempe so there was nothing to do but wish her well and to give Chris and Kevin my regards as well. These people have their nerve, going out and enjoying the convention instead of staying put and clickling chiclets. I was even going to give them my autograph.
That's about it. I didn't see any of the big names, not even from a distance, and even with a Benefactor badge that I was given by mistake. For that you have to be one of the Yellow Jackets, I believe, but then I didn't go there for that. I mean, I like Ted Nugent and all, but I'm not waiting all day in line just to say howdy and how ya doin'?
Observations? Wow, I just don't know. Off the top of my head I'd say that everyone with a milling machine except Harrington & Richardson and Daisy have an AR for sale, with everyone agreeing that Ruger made a mistake by trying to enter that market. (BTW, wait times on the above poodle shooters are 6-8 months from everyone.) Speaking of which, that .380 from SR is almost too small to believed, and their new pocket revolver is about the same weight as a silk scarf, which gives me pause. Aimpoint had the only booth babes in the whole show, if you didn't count the Dillon calendar girl. Oh, and somebody must be buying Judges from Taurus, because they now offer about twelve different ititerations of it. And it just struck me that that was about the only firearm there not offered in pink. Yet. This year.
Tomorrow, I don't know about. Might, might not. I have two swag bags with about thirty pounds of catalogs and whatnot each already, and don't know what else I could get other than footsore. Gaze at John Garand's Garand? (SN 1,000,000) Check out the original brass Gatling, perhaps the only gun for sale in the whole hall? Dunno. Maybe I should soak either my feet or my head and wonder how uncounted wealth has avoided me so successfully. But, damn, those camoed SARs are *sweet*. Do I really need two kidneys?
(I feel the need to call attention to my friend's increasing compassion and sensitivity as he approaches his mature years. I knew him in the days when he would have wondered if his Best Friend needed two kidneys. ED)
at 7:53 AM
I have the honor of friendship with a gunny in what we generally refer to as the Greater Mesa Area, which includes Phoenix. Upon my application, he has granted permission to relay in this forum his adventures among the convened clingers:
|I played hooky yesterday with my boss's permission to go to the toy show. I soon found myself on the electric danger train downtown with every retired greyhair in the GMA. "Great," I though, "I'm on the Geezerville Express." To my complete lack of surprise we all got off at 3rd and Jefferson. The herd shuffled rather than thundered to the convention center and the beginning of festivities. (Well, truth be told, the true Inner Circle was feted the night before, but my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.)|
Things were kicked off by hundreds of us milling about in the lobby to no apparent aim or movement. The logjam broke briefly enough for some of us to de-escalate one landing down, where the cause presented itself: The fire marshall thought there were too many people trying to get in, so rather than, oh, let us IN and spread out, chose instead to pack thousands of us into every-shrinking holding pens. My inability to discern the reason for this no doubt explains my failure to obtain greatness in life.
Eventually Common Sense and momentum overcame bureaucratic inertia and my portion of the herd was permitted to enter, descending into what appeared to be unbridled chaos. It later appeared that there WAS signage, there WERE orderly lines, there WERE uniformed cheerful volunteerd, but all were overwhelmed by tsunamis of humanity.
The line I eventually found myself in didn't so much move as glaciated. I suspected women were giving birth in it at a greater rate than the standees were being processed but I eventually found myself at the front, where I was registered in approximately three nanoseconds, whereupon I was duly tagged and released into the wild, my endowment ribbon flapping the refrigerated breeze, and hastened to the exhibit hall.
Oh. My. Gawd. Martha, back up the truck. Acres and acres of machines that turn money into noise, and all of it free for the fondling. It you tarried to long in your admiration of some bauble the factory representative behind the counter not only encouraged hands-on fondling but nigh-onto insisted upon it lest his corporate feeling be hurt. Well, okay, if you insist. Lather rinse repeat for hours upon hours, to the point of sensory overload and muscle fatigue. And that's just the new stuff. The historical exhibits were hands-off, naturally, but were astounding all the same. Smith & Wesson pre-war semi-autos. Walls of Winchester model 52 variations. One was devoted solely to Luger carbines. I longed for a mirror to see if my Hickitude was showing.
Later in the afternoon I began to weary, not so much from the sheer magnitude of it all but from my thwarted quest to merely say "Howdy" to the one-legged Cleveland librarian blogger who managed to get her prothesis aboard an airliner despite the best efforts of PSA. Also, my feet hurt. Hey, my badge is good all weekend, right? I'll try again tomorrow.
(To be continued)
at 7:41 AM
May 20, 2009
May 19, 2009
The AP today quotes this guy: ""Families should not have to stare down loaded AK-47s on nature hikes,."
And that is how Brady Campaign president Paul Helmke understands the process of reasoned debate.
His step-ins are so tightly knotted this time because the Senate has just heavily approved allowing you to carry, loaded, in your national parks.
Besides, Paul's wrong. There are all kinds of families that should be staring down loaded guns -- in Yellowstone, Jellystone and elsewhere.
(This is not a done deal. The Guns 'n' Geysers bill is a rider to the Credit Card Elimination Act that liberals love, and it still needs to clear a conference committee.)
EDIT: Check that note on the conference committee. The Obama is so anxious for the credit card bill he has set a deadline for tomorrow, so the House leaders say they'll just have reps vote the Senate version up or down.
May 18, 2009
I intended to leave the auction as a more lethal man, but the Lee-Enfield went too high. So did the c. 1895 hammer-double wall hanger. Then the crowd went to sleep and I tucker-bagged "Nine Travelers -- Canada Geese," a 1977 Maynard Reese production, for $40. I'll take deals like that any day.
May 17, 2009
Not that I have a sidewalk, and I certainly don't wish I was stoned. Guess I just liked the song from the days when it was fashionable to have a bad case of young-guy angst.
A Sunday run around the top of my blog list shows Roberta's going shooting, Tam's trying to figure out what the Hell Ruger is up to (me too); Xavier is shooting more than respectable Black and White, one of Abby's sergeants won a promotion to staff.
Me? A nearby auction this afternoon offers to escalate my lethality potential handsomely. The stunningly pretty (and stupendously ignorant and disorganized) girl who writes up the auction ads promises
"...military bayonet; 36x50 Bushnell scope; British Enfield 303 gun w/sling; 12 ga. shells; gun books; dog tapestry; hunting clothes; 2 tanned deer hides; pheasant afghan; Arctic Cat ladies jacket sz. medium; camp stove; rods & reels; manual ice auger; deer tree stand; deer decoy; life jackets; skiis..."
There's more gunny stuff in other paragraphs -- Mec. 600, lots of 7 1/2 shot. Not to mention several largish tools I might covet. The conclusion is that I need to take the old F150 to this one, not the wimpy little van.
I love small-town auctions. I might buy the Lee-Enfield, but more likely I just enjoy watching a couple of clowns bid it up into the high three figures.
May 15, 2009
To become a more lethal American, clean out your car and pickup. My take: couple hundred .22 LR; three 9mm hand loads that look more or less like my 115 gr. JHPs usually stoked to c. 1150 fps; couple of rounds .45 ACP, GI issue; handful of miscellanous brass; old tin of Daisy BBs (genuine, destined for the collectibles box -- trade stock). The little tools I've been looking for since 2007 were just a bonus.
May 13, 2009
"Meanwhile, General Motors is announcing a joint venture with Frito-Lay..."
And if those ten words aren't enought to justify a month's net connect cost I'll kiss your arse in Detroit City Square and give you an hour to alert the remaining city residents, if any.
(Some kind of warning would be nice, though -- just a headsup to swallow the rest of that mouthful of Coke.)
The Holy State of Iowa spent yesterday ablither and ablather about the human suffering of one year ago when ICE busted a few hundred illegals for being illegally hired by a big-time entrepreneur in the kosher meat racket. He's a real jerky sort, but that's another story. (You can learn more than you want to know by googling Postville Raid.)
The lead hand-wringer seemed to be a Prince of the Church, who thusly spake:
"As proclaimers of God's word, it is our duty to sound a call for justice. It is our privilege to welcome the stranger," Archbishop Jerome Hanus told a packed interfaith service at St. Bridget's Catholic Church. "It is our challenge to bring good news to the poor. This, my friends, is our time. This is our moment. This is our year of favor."
It happens that I have some fairly personal experience with a couple-three bishops. One of the salient facts is that, all by their pious selves, each scarfs enough deep red and luxuriously marbled protein a day to keep two or three third-world families alive. So one assumes Archbishop Hanus is already routinely exercising his privilege to welcome the stranger. I picture him joyfully sharing his personal table with the sad victims of The Great Federal Raid . In fact, I'll just betcha that day and night he strides the back streets and alleys of Postville and Dubuque, filling his limousine several times a day with poor and downtrodden strangers, taking them to his heart, his personal table, his spare bedrooms. Surely his private actions are Christ-like as his windy archbishophorical rhetoric.
Important Note #1: We have nothing all all against religion in general or any of the sane denominations, do we? But we can all identify pretentious, self-serving, self-righteous, hypocritical bullshit, can't we?
Important Note #2: Despite being ledeth into temptation, I was very careful to avoid the dropped-letter typo as I pecked out Jerry's name.
May 5, 2009
In 1896 William Jennings Bryan declared we would not crucify mankind on a cross of gold, whateverthehell that actually meant. Then he went on a victory* tour and by 1899 was commanding huge fees. Interesting that his terms were somewhat illiberal, though not surprising to those who have made a study of the hypocrisy of the sanctimonious left.
Never mind that U.S. currency was gold-backed in those days.
Kum Ba Yah.
* He was celebrating only his personal celebrityhood, a wiser population in those days denying anything more to the demagogic rabble rousers.
May 4, 2009
I forgot to castigate the press for the way it presented this farkheaded attack on several centuries of English Common Law and American Constitutionalism. The lead AP item contains 15 paragraphs. In the 13th 'graph it finally mentions Obama's belief that you ought to be guilty until you can prove your innnocence. A real sense of proportion there, AP.
His Obamaness this morning will propose new common-sense tax laws to ensure that businesses make smaller profits and keep a smaller proportion of what they do make.
That seems reasonable enough to me and all of my like-minded colleagues who correctly understand business as the natural enemy of the noble poor as well as of decent, compassionate citizens everywhere.
Just one little thing, though. Obama's designated leakers tell AP:
"...Under Obama's proposal, Americans would have to prove they were not breaking U.S. tax laws by sending money to banks that don't cooperate with tax officials. It essentially would reverse the long-held assumption of innocence in U.S. courts."
You may recall the President last week vowed to replace Souter with someone sharing Obama's "core Constitutional values."