Jun 30, 2009


By all odds, the Honduran fracas is just another falling out among banana thieves. Nothing much is going to happen beyond the range of the Tegucigalpa teevee cameras if you don't count leftist politicians straining and grunting to present the most populist image.*

So it's okay to play this one strictly for entertainment value, and to that end, TMR offers a Honduran resource.

Or if you happen to be female, maybe you can get the glands in action by summoning up a vision of a bare-chested Obama arm-linked to Hugo Chavez and Danny Ortega, marching on the Palacio as the chorus of thousands brings Guantanamera to crescendo.

If I had a serious bitch about this comic opera it would be against -- you guessed it -- wire services which kept leading their stories with soldiers ousting "the democratically elected president."

As a general matter I do not disapprove of democracy, but as an icon of righteousness it has its limits. I can't recall, for instance, any news items emphasizing that his political foes ousted a democratically elected Richard M. Nixon. Or that the Grand Alliance of 1941-1945 ousted the democratically elected leader of of the Third Reich.


*Our President in Washington is not excepted, having missed another fine opportunity for silence.

Well I swan, y'all

Thanks to Roberta we have the very latest on QE2's swan upping. It's a Reuters report, natch, and the Queen's Own editors at one point feel obliged to tell us of "young cygnets."

I report all this mainly because I'm always looking for an excuse to use my favorite label.

Jun 28, 2009

Another serving of moonwalk tears

No one bearing four functioning neurons expected early abatement of the hair-pulling, shrieking, face-blackening national grief orgy on the electric teevee, but somehow I expected a little more from the mighty AP newspaper service which still contributes to my support.

The world's largest news operation believes, in this fourth day of Michael's enforced absence, that the most world's most vital story is cops interviewing his doctor.

The frogs disagree. AFP editors judge Janet's demand for autopsy redux as the supremely significant event of this news cycle.

Jun 26, 2009

Morbidity saturation alert

Two celebrities, both talented and very lucky, died within the past three days, and already the media are altering my consciousness of Farrah and Michael.

They and I had an excellent working relationship. I never thought about them, and they undoubtedly returned the courtesy. The increasing nausea I feel at the mentiion of either name is a media-driven event.

RIP, the both of you. (And between us, Farrah, I'll miss you quite a little more.)

Jun 24, 2009

Sure I will

Suspend disbelief, at least for a while. Missing the title, cast, name of executive producer's mistress's cat, I don't know what I'm watching except that a loincloth-clad guy is poised high on desert rock and wipes out his distant moving target -- a guy pushing a jeep right along. One shot, through the wind screen, between the eyes. The sniper weapon is a US M1 carbine, scoped. Hokay. They'll either justify the odd long-range pop choice or I'll get to grunt a bunch of derisive snorts.

Why yes, it is raining rather heavily. How ever did you know?

EDIT: Coogan's Bluff. Baaah.

Jun 23, 2009


A faithful reader occasionally mentions the reputation we Northern Plains rurales have for good sense, rational laws, all that salt-of-America stuff. It could be we once did,** but no longer. Whatever authoritarian kumbayah juice is consumed in megaglobia seems to have leeched into our ground water, and Sioux City Sue is about to be declared a criminal if she sets the old rocker out on the porch.***

"The ordinance would make it illegal for residents to keep indoor furniture and appliances on their unenclosed front porches, driveways, patios, roofs or yards."

Maybe the scariest thing: The proposed ordinance is so prone to mockery that the Leaders are starting to promise that they won't actually use it. It'll just hide in the books for emergency deployment, so: (a) Call it a concealed harassment permit for use against people City Hall no like. (b) Think about selective use of silly statutes in context of our trumpeted belief in a "government of laws, not men."


*Google it in airport codes and grin.

**But maybe not. I once covered a knock-down, drag-out legislative debate over repeal of a law requiring hotels to iron the bed sheets.

***I don't know for sure that Norman Rockwell ever painted a Saturday Evening Post cover of Grandma rocking away on the the front porch, handing out fresh cookies to one and all, but if he didn't I'll kiss your arse at the Sgt. Floyd Monument, loan you a loaded camera, and sign an unlimited model release.

Jun 22, 2009

Acetate memories

Kodachrome is dead at the age of 74. Kodak pulled the plug after the latest production run. Personally, I never liked it, but I'd shoot a roll or two on vacations just to have something to show the home folks who thought I shot Pan/Plus/Tri-X to save money.

And next time you set your Coolpix to ASA 1600 or so, think about the original 'chrome at ASA 25.

And yes, I know people call it ISO now. Scroom. If the American Standards Association was good enough for Eisenstaedt it's good enough for me.

Jun 21, 2009

Voltaire says:

"Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one."

One wishes. Have a look at the Ron Paul view of our latest national foray into the business of being a universal home-plate umpire.

Little edgy here

Thanks to Lawdog, I feel a knife post coming on. You should go read him (linked, over to your right) on the recent zaniness in Washington about banning import of one-handed openers.

Dunno whether I'll actually kick in a couple of pennies worth myself. I'm scared I won't be able to avoid making fun of a local DNR cookoo who dresses all tactical and sports a very prominent clip knife in the clip knife pocket of his SWAT pants. Along with the Glock it sure makes us civilians around the lake sleep better, knowing that he's standing between us and the dreaded bullhead poachers.

Jun 20, 2009

The health football

The Senate has the cost of the new mandatory health insurance bill down to something like $850 billion. The proposed law is only 850 pages long, so you can be sure your own congressthing will be reading it thoughtfully and in full.

The good news is that everybody seems to be going along with Baucus and Grassley, +marginally+ less dangerous than Dodds who is becoming an object of amusement around the Capitol these days. "Pass my bill. Mine! Mine!"

The bad news is that the usual herd of lefties is still demanding the bill be moved through to law at warp speed. I understand their concern for haste at the expense of good sense. Just look at all those uninsured dead bodies piling up outside the hospitals.

Jun 19, 2009

I do not precisely recommend sending a destroyer out to WestPac under orders to conduct gunnery practice over the bow of any KorCom ship engaged in pissing us off. But let me hasten to add that if our Commander in Chief so orders, I shall not editorialize against it.


I certainly wish history had something to teach us about how seriously we ought to take aerial threats against Hawaii by insane oriental governments.

Jun 16, 2009

How much is that in real money?

It isn't all that much in context, just $10 billion, that China proposes to loan to the Stans of central Asia. They have to do something with the baled currency we send them for leaded-paint toys and food-grade melamine for babies. And I suppose it's just as well they lend it to used-camel dealers as spend it on more attack submarines.

Global strategic implications are somewhat worrisome, but the real ass-kick comes in the side announcements at the meeting. The Chinese participants grinned and grinned as their comrades the Russians declared that the dollar is an interesting historical artifact but had seen its day as the world's reserve currency.

( Medvedev and China don't want to kill the dollar just yet; they have a lot of them to get rid of and so are pleased to continue to support Bush and Obama magic show while they dole greenbacks carefully around the world in return for goods and, particularly, influence.)

And I'll just betcha that someone in Washington today is going to go on the electric television and act surprised. If he's faking it he's just another shrewd politician. If he really is amazed that someone is attacking the American Dollar, he's a doofus who thinks you really can have an honest dollar while taking on debts you can't repay -- such as volitionary wars and free doctoring for the masses to eventually include everything from Viagara to liposuction to hair restoration, (quality-of-life issues, dontcha see?). All paid for by an economy based on trading paper promises back and forth with Washington as the referee and creator of additional promises.

Economic predictions get pretty Nostradamic, but it isn't much of a stretch to imagine your grandkids knowing, right off, how many bushels of dollars it takes to buy a 6G X-Box priced in zlotys.

Jun 15, 2009

From the Ministry of Horticulture

A small stand of sumac is finally flourishing in the southeast corner of the Camp J grounds, and from the angle and distance at which I see them right now, they look quite a lot like the scene setter for a Robert Ruark screenplay-- tiny replicas of the baobob.

(Getting a sumac patch started is easy enough, You just transplant one or two. But it takes a looong time, several years, before the seeds in the deer turds outpace what the deer damage. At some point the rhizomes seem to get into the act, and you start seeing sumac galore.)

Jun 11, 2009


Hot off the wires, Government announces kumquats won't cure cancer and ginseng won't give you a hardon.

That'll be $2.5 billion, please.

Jun 10, 2009


A retiring insurance guy wants to sell me "Dad's"  guns:

--870 Wingmaster

--"old Marlin 12 gauge pump  shotgun"

--  Remington 12c (probably, description sketchy)  in .22 WRF

-- Police Positive also  in .22WRF.  

 I see them tomorrow and meanwhile  rely on,  "Oh yeah, its real nice. Really great for its age. I shot it and it works great. But it hasn't been shot much.  I been checking around and the guys tell me the Colt is worth about $900 by itself and the ...".

I could keep the 870 as a spare birder. The others would be traders, though  it's always nice to have another Colt kicking around the collection.  Probably nothing will come of this. I see about $750 worth of value, and I think he figures  about twice that. What can you expect from a guy who spent his life telling people 20-pay life was a good deal?

Jun 8, 2009

Oh fer krissake

Tam reports on the  latest efforts to control armed and  dangerous domestic subversives.

Drive a Couple More Nails in the Wall

I can't believe that crowd let me have the minty Ruger 10-22 for $165. It has a black unwood stock, so  I can't believe how tactical I feel. 

The Marlin-Ballard in average-minus shape  brought $775, and buddy and I both passed. He was in at $750 and welcomed the overbid.

That Mossy was a nice  46 bolt, tube-feeder. Good Mossbergs are edging up;  this one brought about  $200.

Best for last:  A girl I know  caught me sleeping and snuck a 10-inch cast iron mermaid into her tucker bag for $16. It took a good deal of flattering banter, reminders of past favors, and a $20 bill, but I recouped the situation, and Miss M now sits coyly on a prominent shelf, right next to the Walker Cherub pit log. 

Jun 7, 2009

Boosting the lethality index

My most recent  economic development stipend  has been lying idle for weeks now, shirking its duty to circulate and stimulate.  I may fix that this afternoon, assuming the dole is enough to buy a "Marlin-Ballard  32 cal single shot rifle Pat 1861" in open auction. There is a problem. My buddy Bill probably wants it too, and we have an agreement not to bid against one another.  I don't think, though, that I ever promised not to put a reliable and quick-acting poison in his coffee. 

Jun 6, 2009

Sheer nonsense...

...but we're getting used to that from President Obama.

I'm having a hard time believing, however, that the world media is letting him get away with "the sheer improbability" characterization of the Normandy beachhead victory.

If the odds against success were that heavy, someone in the chain of command would have ordered  or loudly and publicly counselled the abort. Someone like Marshall, Eisenhower, Bradley, Smith, Montgomery, Ramsay, Leigh-Mallory, Devers -- y'know, all those old white guys who had to run a war without benefit of several years experience organizing neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago. 

Whatever their faults, generals and admirals  do not launch attacks on the world stage  where defeat is a sheer probability.  All who have written of Overlord from a military standpoint concede it was  very  risky (duuhhh) and casualties would be heavy. But all considered victory on the beaches and beyond quite likely.  Mr. President, may I politely challenge you to cite any source with more credibility than, say, Bill Ayers, to the effect that  the Allied Powers believed they faced sheerly improbable chances of success?

I make an issue of this, Sir, because many people tend to believe what a president says, no matter how  dense the fecal content. These things also get printed in the books, and I share with some other eccentrics a quirky little interest in keeping  our history as  tidily accurate as possible.

Vivid air, signed with honor

It is one of the patriotic days, and I suppose you'll hear a certain amount of  oratory, some praiseworthy, some self-serving.  

An unlucky guy may find himself stuck with one of those neocon-right warriors of the lectern. They demand we send our kids  to war to create "democracy" in every populated desert waterhole  and jungle clearing on earth.  It is always instructive to stop them in mid-rant and ask:

 "Sir (or Madam), please, where and when did you wear the fighting uniform?"  Amazing how many of the loudmouth warhawks found  actual service simply too inconvenient.

Otherwise this D-Day, I intend to reread the Noonan/Spender/Reagan tribute. 

Wise Latina

Roberta laps me in the  Sotomayor discussion.  The name Linda Chavez should have popped up in  +this + blog  within seconds of the Wiseass Latina's nomination to Scotus. If His Obamaness wanted an actually  smart Latina for the court, Linda is there for the appointing. 

(Linda should have been secretary of labor and later a  United States senator.   Running afoul of the nanny laws was  probably pretty much her own fault, but the clowns counseling her in the the Mikulski race need shooting.)

It's nice to have her around as a writer, but  it would be even better to make her the first Latina Supreme Court justice. Unburdened with a law degree, she possesses a nice sense of the Constitution as a mechanism for forbidding government to engage in tyrannical practices.  

Are you listening, Mr. President? Bush withdrew Ms. Harriet Whosis.  You can withdraw Sra. Sonia.

Jun 5, 2009

Barrack of Arabia in Germany

President Obama has sounded the call for peace between Isrealites and  Palestinians, so  breathe easy Americans as you  try to ignore your  two nagging suspicions:  First, that The Obama did  not advance a single idea that has not been promoted by every U.S. president since Kennedy. Second, that the Obama message reduces to: 

1." I agree there should be two nations in the area.

2. "Everyone should  play nice.

3. "I'm from Washington and I'm here to help."

Jun 1, 2009

The Obamillac

I leave it to smarter men to reconcile  President Obama's pledge to reduce unemployment in the auto industry while simultaneously cutting 21,000 jobs at GM, of which he is now 60 per cent owner and bankruptcy receiver-in-chief. 

It's easier, and more fun, to visualize the results of Obama "revitalizing and remaking" GM and the rest of the American auto industry, though I think Johnny Cash beat me to it.