Apr 30, 2009

A Moment of Moderation

She shuffled around in in the road, eyeballing both my cabins, copying the  number of my single mail  box, and generally looking too interested in the  acre that is Camp J. Finally she came to the door to ask my address. Public information, so I told her. Then she asked the address of the other cabin. "The same, why do you ask?"

"I'm with the government. I'm mapping for the census." She showed me a badge-like gizmo.

I nodded, gave it some thought, and permitted her to leave uninjured., badge, data, authoritarian demeanor and all.

Apr 28, 2009

Back to the Future, Part 3

You should go meet Xavier if you haven't already. There are simply too few humans of such  impeccable taste and sensitivity.

Item:  He understands the sublime qualities of the 1911 (and the closer to JMB's original the better).  Not too uncommon among the bangnoscenti, but still praiseworthy. 

Item:  More important, he is installing a what he calls a "split prism" focusing screen in his electrical Nikon. In my day we called it a split-image screen, but who can get  hair-splittingly picky about minor matters of nomenclature when a certified  technocratic competent decides he will, by gawd, sometimes focus his  nukey image zapper MANUALLY!?

There is hope for America.

This paean was partially  conceived as an excuse for me to tell you all about the glorious Nikon F, but a couple of posts down from his split-image entry, X  already did that. He omitted only the truth that the Nikon F,  loaded  with Tri-X, marked the point at which photographic technology could have stopped dead  without the slightest disadvantage to the visual arts and sciences. And if that ain't solid-gold truth I'll kiss your butt  in front of   George Eastman's statue and give you an hour to conjure up the ghost of  Weegee. 


Apr 27, 2009

The Language of Leadership

His Obamaness says this morning: "...the threat of spreading swine flu infections is matter of concern but 'not a cause for alarm.' (AP)

Taking us back to the Clintonian conundrum of the meaning of "is."

Apr 23, 2009

Plastic Dreams

His Presidency is  meeting with credit card  titans -- the black hearted, child-eating pisspots spawned in the in fetid swamp and  nurtured  by the undead priests of the Spanish Inquisition. I think Obama actually believes something like that about them. Funny, so do I.

The Obamaness, however,  is about to screw things up again by pandering to what his constituents really want -- Plastic with unlimited credit; a Visa whose repayment terms are, "When ever you get around to it, ol' Buddy."  They really think it's possible.

A little history lesson is useful here. Perhaps 30 or 40  years ago a small Midwest state was enduring one of those periodical plagues of high populism.  So the moonbat governor and his leftie  legislature  wrote an excruciatingly detailed law about what credit card issuers could and could not do in the state.  Within months consumer credit all but dried up, and if you wanted a Diner's Club card you had to move to  Illinois or Minnesota  or some such hellhole.

The law was quickly (and all but unanimously)  repealed,  and once again rubes could make their  own decisions about how to use credit.

I don't suppose, though, that His Hopefulness will pay much attention to things like that. After all, he's giving us a New Beginning. 

(There are ways for Joe Sixpack  to beat the credit card bastards at their own game, and the  results are  better than anything Barney Frank could dream up to enstatuate. )

Apr 20, 2009

So Ahmadinejad got pissy enough to clear the hall of  all  the western white guys. Isn't it pleasant to think that we saved ourselves some travel and per diem money by not sending anyone to the UN's  Geneva  conference on racism in the first place.  

We simply must  rein in that  Ahmadinejad guy. Let's get really tough and report him to the UN.

Waterboarding the English Language

AP Headline:  "Economy Declining but Recession Abating."


Sure, there's a way to defend the Dali-esque logic of that,  but only for Econogeeks who keep a copy of Samuelson on their night stands.  It probably means that  the economy sucks and will continue to do so but isn't sucking  badly enough  this week to meet whatever offical definition of "recession" Geithner is using these days.

I think the writer was simply obeying an old cub-reporter notion that obscurity is a sure sign of a subtle and profound mind. Good copy desks killed crap like that immediately. The crusty old fart in the green eye shades probably would have changed it to   "You're Still getting Screwed, Only  Slower."

(Ms. Whiskbottom in Standards &  Practices would have bowdlerized it a bit.)


Apr 18, 2009

Need calories!

Idyllic weather graced my part of the world today, and I took full advantage. The John Deere 318 earned its keep pushing huge piles of oak leaves. I added some muscle, some seed, and some lawn fertilizer in an effort to make up for a couple years of yard neglect. I don't expect any horticultural awards, but it makes me feel better.

And hungrier. I finally decided on scratch spaghetti,  and if I can't eat about two and one-half pounds of it I'll kiss your arse in front of the Washington Monument and give you a half-hour to assemble a congressional fact-finding panel to watch.

Apr 8, 2009

An American Dream

Three hundred miles east of the Somali coast, pirates attack and capture a cargo ship flying the Stars and Stripes and manned by Americans. The word spreads, and the U.S. Navy  sternly warns that it is aggressively trying to decide what to do. In Washington, the Obama White House is issues two press releases, one  reporting that the President will monitor the situation and another confirming that he is bravely  monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, 20 America merchant seamen aboard the  decide they don't need no steenken Navy, nor White House either. They  arose  like the spirit of John Paul Jones to capture the pirate leader and send his fellow sea thugs scampering.

Spot news reports this hour say that is exactly what is happening, give or take a few trivial nuances. So may we honor our private enterprise sailors above all.  This is the stuff of legend. 

We might also kill a little time  writing to the Pentagon and the White House. Tell the fellows that we possess a navy and its commander-in-chief for reasons other than handwringing indecision. I mean, like, we ain't French.

EDIT: Looks like one of those nuances is the captain bobbing about in  a small boat, hostage of the three pirates who got away.


Apr 4, 2009

Lift dat barge, Uncle.

Why in Hell do we do all the heavy lifting?

STRASBOURG, France (AP) – European leaders pledged at NATO's 60th-anniversary summit Saturday to send thousands of soldiers and police to train Afghanistan's army and secure its coming elections, but they shied far from matching America's pledge to dispatch a large number of new combat forces.

Apr 3, 2009

Mr. Obama, Are You Listening???

Disclaiming, I find the idea of homosexuality repulsive.*  Nevetheless, that Iowa court decision justifies itself with one simple statement that hasn't a damned thing to do with sex-- homosexual, heterosexual,  horizontal, vertical in a hammock, or intergalactic. 

The Iowa court wrote in its summary decision: "The court reaffirmed that a statute inconsistent with the Iowa constitution must be declared void even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion."

Eat more corn, just out of gratitude.


*The same does not necessarily apply to all homosexual people.

Report from Brokeback Hog Lot

Hoo boy!  Are you guys going to be hearing a  lot about Iowa. The Heart of Bucolia Supreme Court has just made gay marriage legal. 

Hawkeye land becomes the fourth* state in the nation to legalize it. Probably making  gays even gayer, Iowa is (wrongly) perceived as the most conservative Bible-belty kingdom this side of  Alabama, and the gays believe if it can happen in the corn fields  it can happen anywhere.

See? Iowans can do something besides turn dimwits into U.S. presidents.

EDIT: Surprising absolutely everyone,  the court decision was unanimous.

*EDIT 2: Strictly speaking,  Iowa is the third -- accompanied by Connecticut and Massachusetts --  rather than fourth . The Proposition  Eight  fight technically returns California to the man/woman-only standard.