Nov 28, 2009

Awww, c'mon ossifer

The DUI charge is okay by me. So is eluding. But that illegal swimming rap is just piling on.


Michaele Salahi, Fibber at the Palace

Michaele is a knockout there in the receiving line, showing His Obamaness ruby lips and acres of ivory and, probably, a little tongue. But that isn't what this is about.

The subject matter is AP's reminder of a crucial feature of our system of governance:

"It is unclear what the couple told officers at the checkpoint that allowed them to go through the security screening. Federal law makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully falsify statements on matters within the federal government's jurisdiction."

So, you see, it is criminal to lie to the federal government. Lying by the federal government, however, is an ancient tradition, honored by our Masters above all other principles. This is for your own good, of course.


Nov 26, 2009

Thanksgiving, A.D. 2000

The finger is where it belongs, but we seem to have a clear violation of Rule Two here, unless of course the rule is suspended when a Clinton gets sufficiently frustrated.

It's Elian, the little kid we shipped back to Castro to mark the first Thanksgiving of the new millennium.

Inscrutable my butt

News flash! China breathlessly announces it will go along with the climate gag and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 or 45 per cent in the next 15 years.

Funniest thing. This Middle Kingdom bulletin comes just as the world's most powerful climate hand wringers get ready to meet in Copenhagen and draw up a plan to make cold, dark American homes seem like fun -- and as the cap-and-tax Obama initiative clings vigorously to life.

The holdouts on de-industrializing the developed world have long pointed out that if China won't go along, emissions taxes in Europe and North America would have only one certain result: A richer China dominating a poorer West.

So China finally caves in to the degree of saying it will reduce emissions because it wants to be a by-gawd exemplary citizen of Planet Earth. And I will bet the farm that every year, China will announce that it is indeed reducing smokestack nasties, silencing the skeptics and adding to the pressure for a Kyoto-like economic death wish among the leftists in control of the U.S. government.

Premier Jiabao to nosy reporter: "That big black smog over Shanghai? Why, that's American pollution blown here from Los Angeles by the trade winds. As is well known, China no longer emits."


Nov 25, 2009

Bowie Knife teaser

There is no such thing as a Bowie knife. Film at eleven.

In Progress

<-- That old three-dollar Kabar/Navy blade en route to a new life as a knockabout hunter. Some pits remain, and the "blood groove" shows residual grinding marks. I decided to let well enough alone after already reducing the blade thickness by at least 1/16th.

I decided I didn't like the koa wood and subbed the walnut . Everything is done through the 100-grit level. I'll probably stop at 180 and may just spray some leftover fake parkerizing on the blade. The grip -- shaped to be comfortable in my hand -- gets a few of coats of highly thinned linseed oil. The finished product will represent about four bucks and something like three hours of pleasant tinkering.




Good People Down There

The New Zealand Libertarians were kind enough to let me join their mailing list, and it's pleasant to keep an eye on our colleagues in the South Pacific. They're fighting the same sorts of statist diddlydowops we are.

The latest I have from them is a notice that their next meeting won't be a talkity-talk session. They're gathering to lend a hand to one of their own who has a mission:

"A friend of Liberty is running a working bee to continue upgrading his facilities north of Auckland. Graham Crawshaw continues his independent campaign to provide literacy skills to boys (mainly) falling through the cracks in our education system so I thought we could have lunch there and pitch in."

So, if you happen to be in the Aukland vicinity this weekend ...

Nov 23, 2009

Cutlery

A couple of annoying obligations kept me around here over the weekend. At least there was enough dead time to give some of the shop tools a workout, and there's a new letter opener on my desk. With it's symmetrical dagger blade (decent enough stainless) and sturdy walnut handle, it looks a lot like a dangerous knife, but that's just a coincidence.

The other one is that trashed out Navy Mark II Kabar I mentioned a few days back. Draw filing and polishing erased nearly all the pits, not to mention about a quarter of the original blade thickness. Its walnut handle is rough cut, just enough to make me think this one will turn out well, so I guess I'll take some pains with the final finish.

It's fun to plug this minor hobby of creating useful edged tools from junk. The required skill level isn't very high, the cost is negligible, and the rewards are substantial. I'll post a picture or two when I return from a short trip south.

(I urge caution in recommending home brew cutlery for readers who live where Great Britain used to be.)


Nov 21, 2009

Seasonal

The November morning sunlight at 43 and a half degrees north is a limpid thing, watery, like lemonade overly diluted. It's one of the real tocsins of winter, the sort of air to make a fellow wonder if he really laid in enough split oak for a long season.

A positive attitude is necessary. Just 30 days to the winter solstice, Then the light strengthens day-by-day, and official spring is but three months off.

Today will help. High in the 50s and fair skies are more than we expect when Thanksgiving is hard at hand.

Nov 19, 2009


Unlicensed squeegees just suck.

I'm afraid I must insist

that you go immediately and read the work of the lady Kevin was quoting. (See previous post here.) Be certain to check the third comment on Patricia's spoof. It proves that P.J. O'Rourke, while correct, was too parochial when he wrote, "The defining trait of the American left is sanctimony." He should have added, "Canada's too."




A correct understanding

A direct steal from Kevin at The Smallest Minority,


"As Congressman Adam Putnam put it, governments only do two things well: nothing, and overreact. "


It's from his commentary on a letter in which a Canadian woman applauds the possible end of that country's long-gun registration system, but it has much wider application.

One of the more ignorant things we do is assume that governments are competent.

Nov 18, 2009

We Should Not Jail Levi Johnston

However if congress should pass and His Obamaness sign a law permitting Sarah, her husband, and her daughter, singly or in concert, to horse whip him to within an inch of his vainglorious life, I probably will somehow forget to rant against such an assault on the Constitution.

Do WHAT for the Emperor?

On this day 65 years ago Japanese grunts on a certain Pacific atoll began getting confirmation of the rumors that the most godawful hordes of primitive barbarians were about come and eat their lunch. It would turn out to be mostly our Marines against theirs. Ours were better.

We learned some lessons on Tarawa/Betio. Maybe the most important one was not to screw around with invasions across fringing reefs.

Nature in the raw

If, late at night, nose in a book, you get hungry and burn some popcorn by pushing the wrong microwave button, and if you toss the sorry mess into the front yard near the big window, why, then, the next morning a beautiful downy woodpecker may retrieve a large kernel and perch a brief moment on your window sill in what I assume to be a gesture of thanks.

Little b******d won't hang around long enough for a picture though.

Nov 17, 2009

Loopy Holes on Potomac

You're the President. You want to tighten your control over undesirable persons. One easy way to do it is to write a bill "for the kids." As a nation, we love kids, although for the life of me I can not figure out why.

In the issue at hand, His Obamaness persuaded his captive parliament to tax Holy Hell out of tobacco to fund his new "child health" programs. The One is especially anxious to control the undesirable element known as smokers, especially those with little money and less clout. So he kicked the tax on roll-your-own tobacco from $1.10 a pound to $24.75. Smokers and the tobacco barons called that bunch of bull durham, and the latter promptly relabeled it as pipe tobacco, taxed at $2.83 a pound.

My moral betters are outraged. "This is a direct challenge to the federal government," said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids."

No kidding. Matt? Thanks for sharing the good news.

It won't last, of course. Even as we speak, Obama's Washington word processors are full-bore bent on closing this loophole*. But at least private, tax-paying business has annoyed the masters again, and that's worth something.

---

Disclaimer: Your humble scribe is a recovering two-pack-a-day smoker, clean for close to nine months. He has no special respect for the tobacco industry except in narrow cases when it faces official repression for its very existence.

---

* A word too often misused and overused. In the statist mindset, any dollar in your private pocket reflects a tax loophole on one kind or another.



Nov 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

You can claim Libertarians are "batshit crazy," but it's still better than death-camp pragmatism.

It's from Roberta in her comments section as she continues to object to the notion that Constitutional guarantees should be contingent on a religious test.

Habla English or Hit the Pavement

Making your Taos hotel employees speak only English on the job -- and firing linguistic malefactors -- sounds to me like a fairly stupid business decision, but someone nearby should make the point to the protesters that no one is forcing Spanish-speaking people to work for this guy.

Every once in a while we should use these little dustups to remind everyone that the Constitution and its Bill of Rights are crafted to protect the stupid as well as the wise.

Nov 13, 2009

Arfin' tired

Two days in the brush and brome sap dog energy. Buda of St. Cloud hogs the hearth. Storm of Davenport warms the carpet.

(Not shown: Five humans with beverages in hand, looking slightly less ambitious than the dogs. )




I can't think of why I didn't add New Jovian thunderbolt
to my blog roll earlier. He's there now.

Nov 12, 2009

Wow. I shot a plastic gun.

Field Report:

The Glockish semi-auto was brand new and brought to the Great Pheasant Shoot-At by a friend of my son, a good man fairly new to hunting and shooting. His first handgun, it was a product of Croatia marketed by Springfield in Geneseo.

We were stowing the shotguns as shooting hours closed. He showed us the new pistol and invited me to shoot it. We put five 9x19 rounds in the magazine, and I scored one hit on a 12-ounce plastic Coke bottle at ten yards or so. My spotter, Ryan, 13, a man with a good eye, thought the rounds were going a little low and left, and a Kentucky windage shot suggested he was correct.

I liked the grip ergonomics and the three white sight dots. I hate the look and feel of plastic where God intended man to use steel. But I respect the gun. For its purpose, self-defense at a reasonable range, (What's that? Aww, I dunno. Ten yards, 15 maybe?) it is a perfectly acceptable tool. More to the point, the new owner likes it. Even more so, he is committed to mastering it.








Nov 11, 2009

Aw. Dammit all.

I don't care how late I am on this. I want to formally note the passing of Ms. Mary Jean Loutsenhizer who died a couple of months ago.

If you knew her at all you knew her as Chris Conner -- a voice and a presence created by God to demonstrate what He meant by "jazz."

If the only music in the world were Gershwin and Porter as sung by Miss Conner, we wouldn't be out all that much.

"There's a boat that's leavin' soon for New York..."



Kids in the cabin. More kids in the guest cabin. Vizla and shorthair giddily primed to go to work. Look out pheasants. Fly at your peril of death by fear -- avian heart failure -- as the heavy shot loads pass near you.

(The foolish and unhealthful overeating part of this little annual fest is already well begun.)


Nov 9, 2009

The Nancy Pelosi Charade

Grandma Nan pounded dozens of her weaker members into politically dangerous ground Saturday, and now the media are reporting that, duuhh, her health care bill has about the same chance of Senate approval as Osama does of a B'Nai B'Rith brotherhood award.

Is there anything to this woman besides ego and Maybelline?

Nov 8, 2009

The Wall

Twenty years ago this week I was standing over the Model 15 Teletype printer in my Utulei office on a Pago Pago harbor beach. Crowded around were Samoans, Europeans, and Mainland Americans. It was the only AP ticker on the island, the only source of current credible information on the amazing teardown of the Berlin wall.

My buddy the middle-aged Dane started crying. He tried to control it, couldn't, and left. Later he told me one parent was German and this entire side of his family had been locked in the Communist East since August, 1961. That's time enough for one generation to be be born and grow to adulthood while another one rots away and dies in a Peoples Republic where everything was decided by government for your own good. There was universal military service, universal government health care, universal employment, universal civilian gun prohibition, universal misery.

As I remember my friend's tears, I hope everyone can find a way to help our young people absorb the notion that things like The Berlin Wall are very real with very human consequences. They are not made for teevee movies.

Nov 6, 2009

Messing the troops

The electric teevee showed a busy mess hall during the moment of silence. I don't know where it was, but the on-camera troops were predominently Air Force enlisted men. There wasn't enough detail to identify the actual chow as the troops stood reverently, but it had nice color and was served on plates. The drinks (coffee, Coke?) were in stemmed glassware. Table cloths. Copious condiments. Carpet on the deck.

Ladies and gentlemen, today's military establishment is different from the one I knew.

Nov 5, 2009


As if Obama and his Team Left cadre aren't enough to mangle what remains of our economy, the bastions of American individualism, rural conservatives, are now looking for another way into your pockets.

It's the ethanol shysters again, and their PR operation won this front-page lead in the Des Moines Register :

"Now that its losses have ended, the ethanol industry needs the federal government to increase the amount of the corn additive in gasoline, industry leaders say."

What the boys are after is a federal law requiring gasoline sellers to boost the pecentage of ethanol from ten to 15.

The ethanol backers, already firmly ensconced at the public trough, concede that drivers are not demanding more booze in their tanks and therefore the state should use its police function to make them. They find logic somewhere in that statement.

The big player here is an outfit called POET of Sioux Falls, and the company brass showed up at its big plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa, yesterday with former General Wesley Clark in tow. Spurned for a high policy position by the Democrats he's been sucking up to since his retirement, the general is supplementing his pension by hawking positions and products, as in:

""We want you to stand up and tell Washington that we need E15," Clark told about 250 farmers and implement dealers gathered in a chilly tent beside Poet's plant Tuesday. "If the EPA won't make the ruling, then Congress should do the job."

Makes a fellow glad Wes is no longer commanding armed Americans.






Nov 4, 2009

For Glenn Adams and David Crary of The Associated Press

Gentlemen,

May I relate a short tale? Thank you.

The world was younger and I was covering a legislative session for the AP that we three all cherish. Republicans outsmarted minority Democrats on a parliamentary maneuver. I wrote that the Democrats "howled angrily" at the ruse. It never occurred to me that gratuitous figurative language in straight reporting might rightly be considered editorial comment.

My bureau chief, Dan Perkes, later head of AP News features, called me into his office and gently corrected me. I say gently because the bleeding was well controlled with a tourniquet improvised from used Model 15 ribbons.

Glenn, David, I wonder if you could keep that in mind next time you are tempted to write something like dealing the gay rights movement a heartbreaking defeat in New England, when reporting an election result. I'm sure you would bristle at a challenge to produce for public inspection a gay movement (which I suppose could consist of as few as two gays, but that would be damned lame) whose hearts are demonstrably broken. But that is precisely what good editors did to green reporters in the days when we still had and deserved a little respect.

"Jim," Bureau Chief Perkes said, "next time you write shit like that you'd better have a picture of Democrats on their knees, their eyes raised to the moon, and a tape."

Heartbreaking my ass, boys. In the first place the voters' decision was so widely expected that the heartbreak would have taken place weeks ago and hence been old news. In the second, heartbreak is, by definition, a subjective condition of the innermost soul, a place hardly ever revealed, even to crack wire service men.

If you really wanted to use the term, all you had to do was dial a couple of your gay contacts and quote them as saying they were suffering heartbreak. Then you would have been reporting, not emoting.

Cordially,

Jim


Important Edit: Or did some dim desk jockey insert the word into your copy?




Nov 3, 2009

Election Day

Go vote no. Unless unusually special circumstances apply, an anti-incumbent vote counts as a "no."

In Strictly Speaking Edwin Neuman conducts an election-day interview with a man on a London street. The citizen tells the reporter he anxious to vote and Neuman asks why.

"To get the buggers out," he replies.

If those aren't words to live by I'll kiss your arse on top of the U.S. Capitol dome and loan you a telephoto lens to boot.

Gun Show Report

Windom was the gun show of diggable boxes. Seems everyone in Minnesota decided to tidy up the gun room and peddle the detritus to gullible outtastaters. TeeHee. I am please to enjoy a few castoffs of Lutefiskia

An excellent 1981 air crew sheath knife, $3 including a light patina, now removed to reveal Camillus 1981. I had assumed the makers spoke Oriental. It was part of a package deal with a Kabar USN Mk 2, same price, The K has PTS as bad as you'll ever care to see, evilly pitted with marks barely readable and about half the leather rings missing. This will become the base steel for a custom.

How 'bout .452 -- 230 grainers FMJ, 100 for three bucks, loose in a baggie from a seller who said he sorta thought they were for a .45 but wasn't sure. Also two factory .257 Roberts at $10 per box. This caliber is getting a little hard to find.

The Queen of the Hop is Miss High Standard, a pumper in perfectly fine shape save for the remnants of a Bubba varnish job. At $75 I'll always find room for a spare 12 gauge.

Couple other goodies, but this is probably already more than you want to know.

I can't offer you an interesting Windom history fact because there isn't one.


EDIT: The prices in general were unremarkable, about the same as we've become used to, but I think everyone selling has become much more willing to negotiate.

Nov 2, 2009

Republicans

Within my lifetime, being a conservative Republican has meant something other than figuratively rolling queers and turning personal abortion decisions over to the politicians and cops.

The latest fiasco -- Stazzawhosis withdrawing in NY23 -- serves to remind us that Republicans have only themselves to blame for the Saint Barack era. For as long as the GOP demands theological purity in its subjects, Republicans in office will rarer than honest used car peddlers.

Stazza may have been a bad candidate from the outset. It seems to me she was. But that, too, illustrates the flibberdegibbetry of the Republican party which nominated her.