Nov 30, 2011

For all you Chevy Volt haters...

It took  a few decades, but General Motors has managed to recreate the pyrotechnic potential of the Ford Pinto. You'll all recall the little pony was reputed to enjoy exploding its gas tank in relatively minor crashes.

The piece also justifies its existence with a single sentence:

"As Robert Bryce points out in his book Power Hungry, electric cars are the "Next Big Thing. And they always will be."

The Transformation of Barack Obama

Chris Christie to Barack Obama: "What the hell are we paying you for?"

Thank you, Governor. For some time the TMR has been pondering a new Obama moniker. "His Obamaness" is getting shop worn. Worse, it is much too regal for a president  whose fight-or-flight instincts tilt so heavily to the latter. How can we attribute regality to a man whose response to national bankruptcy is a jet trip to Asia and Oceania where his most notable act was ordering a company of U.S. Marines to Australia?

So the stunningly apt Christie question inspires "His Ineptness."

Just over three years ago, Barack Obama capitalized on an amazing run of luck. A lackluster lawyer turned welfare bureaucrat, he possessed a certain personal charm and, more important, a great gift of oratory in the Benny Hinn sense of the term. Local political imperatives in Cook County, Illinois, made him a young state legislator and a very young United States senator. Why? Because Daley's Chicago machine found him useful in group-identity politics.

As a senator his potential for damage was limited, but in 2008 a majority of Americans stared gape-mouthed at one another and asked "What the Hell happened."

The only thing they agreed on was that things had blown up like a Vanguard missile on the launch pad. The bills had come due for optional wars, more optional nation-building across the seas, an avalanche of domestic vote-buying,  and government-assisted fraud by our great financial institutions.

Families couldn't pay their bills. Banks and giant insurance companies couldn't pay their bills. Neither could many states, and for damned sure Washington couldn't either.

Enter Hope and Change, Barack Obama as messiah -- or as Robin Hood wielding his long bow in Nottingham Castle and marshaling the peasantry for war on the Evil Prince.

In the event, his quiver was empty, his bow string soaked and stretched. The man was intellectually impotent in any setting more rigorous than a rally of the slack-jawed who once heard and continued to believe that, by right, they were entitled to other people's stuff.

His Ineptness couldn't deliver on his leftist fantasies, even with squads of Little Johns commanding a majority of his Merry Men in the legislative bodies. As the end of A.D. 2011 approached, the president discovered that he was no longer taken seriously.

Of course, Obama's failure to maintain is not a bad thing. We are spared his corps of paramilitarized civilians in "service" to the statist ideal. We escaped some -- too little --  of his desired national health bureaucracy.  We have been temporarily spared the final currency collapse as his exchequer officials revved the printing presses to something more than supersonic to meet the cost of his pixie dust dreams.

But we have not evaded a generalized popular dread, that ambition destroying malaise of millions of American souls. They look at the debt. They note His Ineptness and his courtiers, empty suits purporting to guide our destiny.

They begin to suspect that in November of 2008, they fell for a practical joke of cosmic proportion.

And they look at the available -- meaning politically viable --alternatives to His Ineptness, one of whom they may choose in just over 11 months.

And they continue to despair.

Nov 29, 2011

What gun for grizzlies?

My pardner John swears by the Beretta Jetfire in .22 short. Since you never hike dangerous bear territory without a buddy, he reasons than when a furious old silvertip charges you can shoot  your trail-mate in the kneecap and stroll nonchalantly back to the truck. He seems to suggest an in-law as the ideal companion in these circumstances

Citizen of the month award

In lieu of a handy cop,  a guy can always try direct action.

Dennis Giehl was pulling up to his house. He saw a couple of strangers backing his other car out of his drive. He chased the apprentice criminals down. He took the car away from them. He whipped them both when they decided to contest his decisions.

Police finally arrived and the 47-year-old Dennis was pleased to turn the thuglets, 14 and 15, over to official gummint control. 

(When the parents get around to suing you for effing with their children's self- esteem, drop a note. We'll try to put together a little legal defense fund. Meanwhile please accept a "well-done," Sir.)

Nov 28, 2011


No fat pig, but a fat-enough and fine-enough turkey courtesy of the world's greatest hostess, who just happens to be married to the world's greatest host.

This and that is to be reported, but for now a single narrow point. Promoters who cancel their gun shows at the last hour and without proper notice should be questioned on the rack and handed over to secular authority for punishment. Stakes and faggots to be raised by private subscription.

Nov 25, 2011

Over the river and through the loophole to...

I await arrival of the house-sitter and her irritable German shepherd.

The pile of shootie stuff is stowed in the camper. It will be my first gun show presence as a "vendor" in quite a while.

The quotation marks around "vendor" are used advisedly. More  accurately  stated it is an enthusiast who let things get out of hand  and desires to clear out a few more-or-less "parts" rifles,  trade one dandy Winchester 88 in .284 for more militant types of iron, and, most importantly, shed about three cubic feet of goodies. Things like vintage taxidermy supplies, a Flaubert lock, A Winchester '06 bolt, dies for calibers I've permanently abandoned, an old Herter's press.  

If you're a pack-rat gunny, you'll understand.  You acquire and acquire when prices are right.  Or when you've taken temporary leave of your senses. Every few years you reach a decision point. You either put up a Morton building or peddle stuff.

Of course, there's always the danger of  further acquisition at any loophole, regardless of what side of the table you're on. A man of strong resolve and sterling character can resist. I'll let you know how I do.


Note to self: Don't forget the black Sharpie.

Fate of the Nation

Or, "Back to work after a day of monumental bad judgement at the groaning board." (Thank you Enid et al. Food and company outstanding, as usual.)

Politics, bucolic style: By this time a citizen who pays attention should have a very plausible list of top Iowa Caucus finishers. Not this year. The state polls are like congressman's morals -- loose, confused, and certainly not to be relied on.

In order, the averages make it;


My take puts Paul no worse than third -- or second if the Gingrich immigration stand really riles the right.


More than usual, the outcome may depend on weather the night of January 3. A good libertarian thinker  hopes for the mother of all blizzards. If the north wind shuts down the state, the "values voters" will  cocoon and pray for a miracle.

The Ron Paul forces will mobilize everything from snowmobiles to one-horse open sleighs. Victory will be ours, a landslide.

Nov 24, 2011


May you enjoy the day.

Here at Camp J, the commandant's contribution to a traditional dinner bubbles gently in the dutch oven. Bush's, laced with extra high-test molassas, bacon, onion, a pinch of organic St. Cloud oregano. I'd tell you the other ingredients, but then I'd have to kill you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Land of the Hoosier Hip --Occupy It

In Indianapolis exists a neighborhood called Broad Ripple. It is a Hoosier iteration of classic hip scenes of other cities (Old Town Chicago in the 60s; Greenwich Village in the 50s, etc.). People, mostly young, go there for eating, drinking, meeting, and a sense of  the pleasant side of urban living.

This creates an attraction for the other side of city life, the rapist, the mugger, the robber. No surprise. The underbelly parasites are always attracted to money and other-sex comeliness.  They have made looking for love, or arugula, or whatever, a somewhat hazardous thing to do in Broad Ripple after sundown.

In reaction, a movement has sprung up to "Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns." It's more benign than it sounds. Adult people are to quietly stroll the nightlife area this Saturday night, carrying openly and legally.

There seems to be a dual intent. (1) Remind the thugs that they do not own the streets, even when Officer Friendly is absent and (2) spread the word to revelers how they, too, may bear arms for effective self-defense by jumping through a few regulatory hoops.

I am decidedly wishy-washy about public demonstrations of any kind, and even more firmly ambivalent about open-carry events. But at the very worst, OBR seems like something that should do no harm and may do some good.  The mugging class  tends to prefer swimming in a pool of docile, surprised, and unarmed victims, and it's always good to dissuade them about your neighborhood. So have at it, Hoosiers. If I were there I'd probably join you.


Roberta has a good little essay on the matter, including a riff on the predicable outcry of the ubermeek that Broad Ripple is about to be taken over by gun-slinging skinhead racists. She's taken care of that nonsense. There's no need for repetition here, but it  did give me an idea.

I've always appreciated a retort to the soaked-Pamper Left whose idea of rational discussion is to shout "Nazi!" at libertarian thinkers, particularly armed ones. "We're not the Nazis, Binky. We're the guys hiding the Jews."

That thought occurs just as much of America prepares to storm the big boxes in search of cheap but neat Christmas gifts.

An alternative worth thought?

There is an organization known as Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.  You need not be Jewish to belong. So if you're stumped for something for Mr./Ms. Hard-to-Buy-For, how about a gift JFPO membership?  At $25 it's cheap enough, and it lasts a whole year which the gizmo from WalMart probably won't.

Nov 23, 2011

Debate afterthought

Oratory seeks to sway people with the allure of magical thinking.

If Dr. Paul had the gift of oratory he would be the man to beat. But then he wouldn't be Ron Paul, would he?

Nov 22, 2011

Political short take

Barack Obama returned from the Mysterious East and chose his 2012 opponent. Mitt Romney. Why should his loyal opposition trouble itself with all that complicated primary stuff?

The president will blanket Iowa with Charlie McCarthy's reading Obama talking points. The mouthpiece du jour is R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis. He likes light rail, high-end bike trails, and about anything else that can't be operated without massive tax subsidies.

He's also a former neighborhood organizer who early put his nose under the Obama coat tail and was rewarded with vice-chairmanship of the Democratic National Commitee.

We consider ourselves lucky to have the counsel of such a man, but I think we'll go ahead and hold our caucuses anyway. A matter of form, don't you know.


I've let the fire go out because it's time to haul ashes. Propane is keeping the place warm enough, but it is just not right.

Like the air on a 747. You can breathe it, but  it cloys. The odor is wrong. The feel is wrong. It's making me cranky. It's making me think all this modern surliness results from the demise of the oaken fire.

EDIT: Ashes hauled. Propane off. Blaze kindled. The world is a lovely place.

Nov 21, 2011

Water is not wet enough to prevent dehydration, and after an arduous three-year study the European Union has written a law to clamp you in gaol if you claim otherwise.

Joel has the details of this particular idiocy.

888888 post

About three "real" essays rest in my blogger "save" box, but damned if I can get motivated to call up any one of them and batter it into some semblance of readable coherence.

Maybe I'm demoralized because, unless I misconstrue her, Ron Paul has lost Tam.

(Remember Lyndon Johnson at the height of his Asian diplomacy and Vietnam War fubar fest?  Remember the night Grandpa Walter of CBS  called him on it? Remember Lyndon moaning, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost the country?"  History rhymes.)

Or maybe my synapses are discommoded from messing around with a bunch of non-organic electrons. To wit:

I have sybaritic dreams of stepping out of the shower into an 88-degree chamber on winter's most evil day and to do it without heating up the entire house. So I finally got round to installing the beautiful old Arvin heater.

When I got the plasterboard* out I found the light switch didn't need to be disturbed, but the little box for the existing duplex outlet was too busy for the tie-in.  The replacement double box is still tight and -- to come to the point of this whine --  it's in a cramped corner requiring left-handed work. Ladies and gentlemen, I am fully entitled to bitch about having to screw screws and wire nuts and wrap tape in such a sinister manner.

Anyway, it's all done now, and perhaps I'll be able to improve my mood by persuading myself that all that left-handed agony will strengthen my weak-hand shooting.

I'll let you know.


*AKA "sheet rock" and "wall board" and "the world's most obnoxious construction material." In a properly run nation it would be outlawed.

Nov 19, 2011

Well, Uncles are supposed to be avuncular

I don't know what set Uncle off, though it looks like a case of misusing the internet. Meaning he may have spent too much time reading the iron-clad conclusions of the uninformed while unsolaced by ancient Irish Whiskey.

But I'm glad something tripped his trigger.

I especially liked the suggestion to gun-terminology pedants:

Yeah, I know a silencer doesn’t completely silence a gun. But the guy who invented the things called them silencers. He gets dibs. And you don’t.

This could even be extended to suggest that if you slip up and call a magazine a clip you are not automatically sentenced to dinner with Barbara Boxer.

The rest is good, too, including most of the comments.

H/T Joel.

Occupy Heros, Police Heros

I can't find any.

Some of the individual cops deserve a little slack.  Much like soldiers, they are paid to take orders, and on the line of intense confrontation they are paid to obey commands (Gas 'em!)  instantly and without question. Their personal beliefs about humanity, reasonable exercise of police powers, and Constitutional protections are officially deemed irrelevant.

Still, the video of the cops Macing citizens at UC Davis yesterday afternoon suggests the political masters still lack a way of eliminating officers who simply enjoy exercising raw power. (If, in fact, the community and campus overlords even care about such things.)  Insofar as the two videos reflect what actually happened, we're seeing a dog licking his balls because he can and because his masters applaud, toss him a Milk Bone, and shield him from unpleasant consequences.


Since the first Occupiers hit the streets I've been looking for a reason to murmur approving words.

Sorry Biffie. I can't do it despite a congenital urge to cheer anyone who annoys authoritarians.

The problem is your confusion. A vague discontent with the  way things are is a perfectly good reason to yell and scream for a while -- just long enough for you to get it out of your system before you get a haircut, shower, and go back to work. Everyone is entitled to an occasional  spasm of street theatre and a good cathartic rant about how life ain't never gave you no breaks.

Your problem is that you expect to be taken seriously without giving  thought-enabled persons reason to do so. In other words, what do you want? Or even, who is your enemy? Your chants that your foe is the "power structure" and you want "fairness" prove your movement is an exercise in loud, unwashed, idiocy, more an excuse to raise Hell and get on teevee than anything else.

There is power structure. Any society of three or more humans needs one. Fairness may be the ultimate moral achievement of a society, but it is not the natural order and not yours or mine by some divine right. It is the result of rational thought processes heavily concentrated on keeping the power structure honest.


You called your virgin invasion of the streets and parks "Occupy Wall  Street." That may have been enough, as an intellectual matter, to dismiss you out of hand.

You wouldn't know what to do with the financial system if we handed you the keys, largely because your anger -- real or feigned -- blinds you to the partial truth Wall Street apologists are fond of spouting. Markets do provide liquidity, and liquidity is crucial. Without the means of changing your mind about an investment by buying or selling, no one would invest, meaning Steve Jobs would have spent his life farting around in his garage.

Markets do create vast hordes of capital, the kind of capital necessary to, for instance, create systems which make it possible for you to fulfill your deepest desire. That is, without huge capital availability no one could support the network teevee camera. Then you would have have no place to wave your sign. Then the world would ignore you. Then you would have to run around wearing a frownie face. You would be sad.

But take heart. A real enemy does exist, and his name is Fraud, so I have a suggestion. Go find a copy of "Atlas Shrugged." (It's a book. You know, with pages and like that.) Find the passages which explain fraud as simply the intellectual and emotional equivalent of theft.  That is, there is no moral distinction to be made between a thug stealing a little kid's lunch money and a broker peddling a CDO rated AAA when he knows it has no more intrinsic value than the turd you deposited behind the tree in Zucchini Park.

That just might lead you to other books explaining how economic and political systems (1) are designed to work (2) actually work and (c) might be made to work better.

I know that kind of regimen isn't as much fun as sitting around a kum-bye- yah campfire, but it is sort of what people do when they yearn to be taken seriously.

Nov 17, 2011

Boy Scoutageddon

That last post got me thinking about federal charters in general. The first one I personally heard of was the 1916  charter of the Boy Scouts of America. When I was a Tenderfoot we were told we ought to be real proud of that.

The charter was accompanied by the tradition of making Potus the honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America. Yep, His Obamaness is the current head Scout. Never mind his discomfort in associating with a patriotic, quasi-religious organization which also insists that adult scout leaders be hetero -- or at least sufficiently controlled to keep their mouths shut and their hands off  the little boys at Camporee time.

Consider the unthinkable. Tragedy robs the nation of its president and vice-president  while Barney Frank is speaker of the U.S. House.   As his first official act he (with congresscritter help) charters Acorn. Then he waits for the invitation to honorarily head the Boy Scouts and wonders whether -- if the invitation comes -- he should accept or decline.  Talk about your horns of a dilemma...


On balance, I think the Scouts should bow out of the charter. If nothing else it would set a nice example for Freddy Mac.

Adult language warning

I've developed the obnoxious habit of checking into MSNBC on my electrical tellie in the morning. To say that Joe and Mika run the best of the bleary-eyed wakeups is to damn with faint  praise. And maybe I like having my intelligence insulted.

Such as with the large-print banner on this morning's discussion of congresscritters wandering in to their offices determined to increase their net worth before lunch through bold stock-market investments.

The banner asks, "Do Lawmakers Benefit from Insider Trading?"

Here comes the adult language.

"Does a bear shit in the woods?"

This hasn't been news since at least the Lincoln Administration.


The solution is a Constitutional amendment requiring Congress to obey the Constitution by not chartering railroads or financing silly solar-power adventures,  etc.

If you snort something back at me about circular reasoning, you are a clear-eyed, intelligent citizen of the Republic, and I love you.

Nov 16, 2011

OMG, another campus gun

Another hideous possibility is averted due to the diligence of campus-town cops.

Vigilent Greenville police saw a suspicious character with an assault rifle on their Big Brother screens,  and the  campus was locked down as...

"Heavily armed officers from at least four law enforcement agencies responded in force, sweeping campus buildings, searching buses and briefly surrounding a nearby house. A Highway Patrol helicopter hovered overhead."

The official ninjas handled the guy packing an umbrella without serious difficulty.

Welcome to the New America. E Pluribus EEEEK!

Blogging ain't hard

All you really have to do is read the newspaper and pass on the giggles. .  The Register decided to see why the U of Ioway laid itself open to another round of ridicule with that silly emergency alert about a man with a gun. (It turns out that there was no gun, no demonstrable threat, and not even a suspect.)

"U of I police director Chuck Green did not return a message seeking comment. Associate director Dave Visin referred questions to fellow associate director Lucy Wiederholt, who did not return a message seeking comment.

"University President Sally Mason’s office referred questions to spokesman Tom Moore and said interviews with Mason must be scheduled in advance. Mason was out of the office Tuesday."

That's an awful lot of fancy footwork coming from a place that calls itself a community of scholars who think at the cutting edge of the most adanced frontiers of human intelligence.

Funny one of the high-level cogitaters didn't say, "Aww, why the Hell don't we just admit we panicked like a freshman who missed her period?"

The Wednesday morning authoritarian

I'm breaking libertarian principles here by saying you did  wrong this morning if you watched MSNBC instead of CNBC. You must mount your De Lorean and return in order to rectify your lives.

The Morning Joe gang was stunned by yesterday's poll reporting the four-way dead heat  in the Iowa caucus race. So  they naturally brought in Chris Mathews to help them regain their composure. He led them through a therapeutic session based on the novel ideas that (1)  Republicans don't much like Romney (2) Gingrich has a lot of personal baggage and (3) potential voters can be a pretty flighty bunch early in the election cycle. Thanks, Chris. We didn't know.

Just when I thought it was over, Mika -- of all people --  said some viewers might think their reporting was merely blasting Republicans rather than addressing what is "good for the country."  Heads nodded and we got a nice little coda emphasizing that the good of the country requires policies sort of splitting the difference between  Obama and Romney.  Good idea -- averaging out pi and 3.15.

Need I mention that the name of Ron Paul, second in the poll, went unmentioned?


Clicking my magic wormhole over to CNBC, I found the the financial talkies letting Darell Issa speak his piece -- giving him time to complete his sentences and even short paragraphs.

I discovered  myself almost admiring a misdemeanant (at least)  and Patriot Act backer  who, here in 2011, is capable of talking about the right things,  structuring government for efficiency and a good chance of freeing people to succeed or fail on their own merits.  I suppose a lot of the Left will call him a sorehead for mentioning Solyndra.

(I totally forgot to check Fox News for thigh reveals. Must be getting old.)

Nov 15, 2011

The Iron Man Ron Paul

This surprises me, even though I've always credited Dr. Paul with support well beyond what the famous talkers concede him.

Ann Selzer is the gal who specializes in measuring Iowa opinion, and she's typically  good at her job.  She just released a new  poll of likely Iowa caucus goers, and Paul is No. 2.

Ranking of everyone with a chance:

Cain 20
Paul 19
Romney 18
Gingrich 17

Yep, a statistical tie for first with all three of the others.


TBC after I make some progress on a more pleasant task -- rummaging through the vault and reloading shack  for  an eight-foot  table's worth of stuff neither I nor any of my pals can use. I mean, being a crack political analyst is all well and good, but it's more noble to be thought of as a crack Loophole Vendor.

Making even O'Rielly seem like a news reporter

Chelsea Clinton is now a big-time journalist for NBC, joining Jenna Bush and  Meghan McCain in a new triumvirate of lucky sperm kids who will explain the world to us. The network assures us she wasn't hired as just another pretty face.

Chelsea Clinton "made it very clear that this is not going to be a surface-deep relationship," (NBC News President) ) Capus told the New York Times. "She wants to be in the field for the shoot and in the edit room for the edit."

And if that doesn't terrify you I'll kiss your arse in the Rainbow Room and sign a model release for every camera crew you can cram into the joint.

(For Chelsea's first effort, maybe she could treat us to a retrospective on her ma's heroic conduct under intense fire in the Sandbox.)

Paranoia revisited

Or: "Gee it's fun to yell wolf-wolf-wolf at the kids."

Down at the Athens of the Corn Fields, someone reported a man threatening a woman with a gun, "somewhere in Iowa City." University of Iowa officials flashed out an e-alert (a "Hawk Warning") telling the 31,000 students to stay put and avoid the horrifying risk of being outdoors in the sprawling city of 68,000.

Local teevee found one of the panic-stricken students.

“We were terrified because we were going to have to walk back and everyone told us not to leave,” said ... a freshman student who was at a local restaurant when she received the message."

She was not alone in fright: 
“The girl taking our orders was freaking out," (another coed) said. “Everyone behind us was like ‘Oh my God.’”

The police investigated and reported: "
the suspect was located in Muscatine, where he planned to spend the night with a family member. Local police talked to the man, but did not find a gun in his possession. Iowa City police are not planning on filing any charges because there is no concrete evidence in the case...

You can chalk up some of this to teevee doing what teevee lives for -- creating the highest possible drama from every pee-leg 911 call. Panic on campus draws viewers. 
And much of it to university officials petrified at the thought of having a public relations problem, of not being seen as custodians of a venue safe as Sunday school.


There's nothing wrong with some sort of communications system reporting potential danger, but these panic attacks every time a jittery citizen sees a firearm pretty much negates the value  of any alert system.

Nov 14, 2011

Terror threat in the Heartland

The City of Des Moines blocked off a an area of the urban core after a citizen reported a suspicious object on the sidewalk. Crack hazardous-objects officers in full armor charged to the scene and successfully disarmed a cylindrical plastic tube used for dispensing dog crap bags.

You may recall a TMR report of a few months back detailing another suspicious object on one of our highways. In that case a road-kill muffler was neutralized.

So much for my life-long view that paranoia is not a Midwest trait.

Nov 13, 2011

Gee, maybe President Obama really is a Christian

Or maybe he just decided a new Christmas tree tax was not the wisest  possible political move.

Big Christmas tree growers actually wanted a 15-cent-per-tree tax to promote Christmas trees, and the Obama Administration went along. Then those pesky conservatives started tossing around words like "Grinch." The President turned 180 and advanced, warp speed,  to the rear

The immediate result of the tax would have been a national board for the promotion of Christmas trees. We can't actually prove that the new bureaucracy would have immediately set up a lobbying effort to extort a little extra from the general fund of U.S. Treasury, but  if you suspect this was the real motive, I forgive you.

Nov 11, 2011

Anything happening out in the world?

I'm sorry, but...

Guiding the nation's political process has become a lower priority here this week as Camp J hosts the annual Brome Shark Convention and great F. and S. Clans  (Plus Friends ) Great Annual Pheasant Shoot-At.

Six are in the field at the moment. I'm recuperating and will join them later.

Generally, the ringnecks are in a state of annoyance, more due to some classically beautiful dog work* than to any real fear of bodily injury.


*A nod to Budda and Storm. Unfortunately,New Dog Libby, turns out to be a hoplophobe and will henceforth earn her keep through sweetness.

Slaughter in the woods, a national crisis

The Minnesota press is reporting tragedy during the firearms deer season opener. Three humans died, giving new urgency to the need for common-sense regulation.

The three men perished in falls from tree stands. Nothing else is needed to  illustrate the vital  need for common-sense ladder control -- license to possess,  mandatory government training,  and certainly a strict one-tree stand-a-month purchase limit.


But leave it to my buddy B to make light of the special horror inherent the the 82 -year-old man's fatal fall.

"He just fell asleep."

"Yeah. On his way up."

I'm not telling who made that last wiseass remark.

Nov 8, 2011

Hello, Abdul

On  November 8, 1942, Yanks and  Brits launched Operation Torch. The avowed enemies were Rommel and the Italians

But first we needed to whip some French. It didn't take long, and they turned out to be a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things.

Rommel was tougher, and the green American army carried its butt in its hands in the aftermath of the Kasserine Pass adventure. Eventually all was righted, and six months after the invasion North Africa was no longer Nazi country.

Three significant developments followed the victory in Tunisia:

1. The blimp-scale ego of Bernard Law Montgomery

2. Ditto George F. Patton

3. The war in Sicily where (1) and (2) above, opposed one another in the race for Messina. There was collateral damage, of course; that is, some Nazis got killed.

Nov 7, 2011

Just a placeholder, here

Mundane tasks occupy me, and I'm concentrating. The closest I've come to ratiocination this morning is explaining to New Dog Libby that she didn't get to go for a ride because she was a pain in the ass earlier.

I explained that an  excitable adolescent girl nature did not justify totally ignoring a clear call to "come" when I'd finished a little wood-splitting.  "Young Lady,"  I said, "The Camp J command structure follows B.F. Skinner, and you must learn to accommodate yourself to a strict behaviorist regimen."

She didn't say anything back. Probably wants to think it over.

Nov 6, 2011

Why we're broke

It seems the Wells Fargo and  Principal banks got caught cheating the rest of us out of a hundred million bucks or so. They loaned some money to cooperative Frogs and told Uncle Sam it was a tax-free investment. The judge told them they were full of it.

The U.S. Department of Justice  is delighted. One of Holder's Heroes says  the rulings show the federal government will not tolerate companies that construct tax shelters for fictitious investments.

I think maybe the Holder guy is a little over the top in the self-righteousness department. I'll be glad to modify that opinion when I see the DoJ  try to at least annoy Solyndra execs and the Obama operatives who tossed money down that rat hole.

In round numbers, Obama buddy Solyandra swiped five dollars for every one the banks tried to steal.

Nov 5, 2011


Only colder.

Maybe it will simplify my life.  This part of the world is dry. There's been virtually no rain since July. A burning ban was decreed in  September, just as the leaves began to fall. There are 70-some trees on the post itself, hundreds more in the surrounding tactical operations zone.  So they pile up to a troublesome degree.

It isn't  just the aesthetics. You lose things in them. Like the loppers I've been looking for for weeks. Like the wood from the  dead oak I took down and bucked Thursday. And I'd have sworn there was an old girl friend around here somewhere.

But the wind is off the lake today, blowing across this installation and toward the woods to the north. It's working it way up to something like 40 mph, meaning I think I can put the rejuvenated Toro to work stirring them up so Mother Nature can waft them away.

Then I can find and resume splitting the fuel.

Then maybe I'll have enough energy left to reduce the chaos in the guest cabin for the comfort of my well-armed kids and friends coming next week  to shoot at pheasants and fondle one another's bird dogs.

I'd rather finish Hoyt's novel about Custer  (The Last Stand), but I think I  already know how it's going to come out, so maybe not.  That leaves least at least one other slothful temptation. Again, though, I already know what makes a Winchester 88 go bang, so maybe I can leave the new one in the rack until after sundown.

Everything is this report is literally true. Except maybe I lied a little about an old girl  friend hiding in the leaves.

Nov 4, 2011

Speaking of Greek politicians

It is pleasant to look upon the last Greek citizen known  to work a full six-day week.

Melina Mercouri in Never on Sunday


You and I and all our neighbors have, at huge expense, dispatched our president to "The South of France"  for purposes of advising Europe on its debt problems. It's his second day there, and we have yet to receive one token of thanks from the Old World -- not a wedge of brie, nary a Black Forest cuckoo clock nor a jug of olive oil.

I believe I speak on behalf of the entire nation in expressing shock at this slight.

It is no comfort to side with the sorehead who remarks that having Barack Obama as a financial advisor is much like having Lindsay Lohan as your substance abuse counsellor.


Note to the editors of America: Do you really believe referring to it as "The South of France" make you seem all cosmopolitan and jet-setty?  Okay, then the next time His Obamaness flies into Ardmore, we want to hear you report that he arrived in the South of Oklahoma.

Nov 3, 2011

Yeah, he probably groped 'em

In a society governing itself in mature ways, the political response would be, "So what?"

My belief, based on nothing by way of fact other than what everyone has seen, is that he had a lech on for the office help and did a little probing in hopes of getting lucky. That makes him tacky, distasteful, boorish, socially inept.

It does not insert him into another minority group. The generation of executives from whom he chose his mentors was rife with bosses who believed it best if the girls in the typing pool could type, but, if they couldn't, might be retained for other positions.   Call it wrong, but recognize that it was the culture and it took an unusually strong man to resist.

A morning review of Politico shows nine fat stories on office groping in the 90s by the man would would be president.  Probably that many more are being run through spell czeck. The underlying theme is that a man guilty of a furtive slap and tickle is unqualified to administer the federal government; a  man such as William Jefferson Clinton.

There are good reasons to oppose this guy, to see him as a  buffoon. China on the verge of nuclear capability. The 999 plan (crafted solely to seem simple to the dullest voter).  His love relationship with fiat currency and high-speed presses over at  Printing and Engraving.

Inviting Whazzername to his apartment is not one of those reasons. If it were, the nation would be forced by logic to cancel the halo of one John F. Kennedy.


The real damage is to the quality of the national dialog. There for a while we thought it could go no lower.

Another girl with a gun

But at least this one is offered with a serious  political message.

Donna Reed
"No. Herm, I don't think we should work in your apartment tonight."

Nov 2, 2011

John M would approve

Please wander over to the Coal Creek Armory site for a look at a very nice 1911. It's a gift, on its way to combat-wounded veteran Captain Mark Brogan USA.

CCA seems to build a lot of custom 1911s, said  to  possess extreme accuracy and dependability.  This one is also an eye treat because of what it lacks -- no duded-up two-tone finish, no ninja rails, no lasers, no glass, no extraneous buttons and levers. Someone in Knoxville understands what a pistol is for.

The armory has taken it on itself to demonstrate respect for the young men and women we send off to far and ugly places, as we all should. Never mind that the political masters often order them into foolish adventures; that's an entirely separate issue.

H/T Tam.

Nov 1, 2011

The sheriff pimps the Judge

Over in South Carolina, Sheriff Chuck Wright tells his people -- particularly his women -- "Get  a CCW. Get a gun."

Welcome aboard, Sheriff.

This will produce a zillion internet words, of course, but some folks will have missed his interview by an especially clueless* MSNBC head. The head asked the sheriff, "What kind of gun?"

"A .45 caliber handgun," he replied. " ... it shoots a .45 bullet or a shotgun shell ... you don't have to be accurate, just in the general vicinity."

Have at it, gang. However, we may want to quickly buy some Taurus stock before we start psyching ourselves up for the mother of all  ballistics rants.

At least he's planted the seed and, in fact, a .410 scatter load shares a virtue with the .22 short: it's better than nothing when some perv demands nonconsensual relations.


*Sample, the teevee head says we're paying for cops so why should we get guns. The sheriff, slowly and carefully, as though to very slow child, says, "We can't be everywhere."

Toro. Buy a Toro

A couple of posts down I reported a Toro leaf blower kaput and said I planned a desultory repair effort even though it's already survived years of use, abuse, and neglect beyond any reasonable expectations.  I now report success and urge you to  buy Toro.

1. The thing is logically constructed.  Somewhere in Minnesota (Toro Country) lives an engineer whose brilliance includes this thought. "Y' know, the guy who owns this might have to fix it some day, so let's build it so he can." May he live a prosperous thousand years and people the land with his offspring.

2. Meaning the screws come out cleanly. The case pops apart without releasing springs and other small parts all over your shop. Everything that makes it go is visible and reachable.

3. Reassembly is aided by logically place guide pins and slots. And most importantly, by room for the wires! I know of no Toro competitor offering this feature. They find it amusing to design their gizmos so that reassembly places wiring in immovable positions between what should be mated surfaces of the plastic covers.

4. The problem was simple enough. A safety interlock went bad. Now, a less responsible citizen than myself would have simply bypassed the device, a three-minute chore requiring six inches of fine wire, four inches of electrical tape and a pair of pliers. I would never do such a thing. I just put it back together and somehow, like magic, it started blowing leaves again. Then I sent email to the CPSC reporting what a good boy I am.

In case I forgot to mention it, you should buy Toro stuff. (FTC disclaimer pending.)

A wee bit more on search and seizure

A couple of readers seemed interested enough to want to see the full text of the Iowa Supreme Court decision restricting willy-nilly cop searches when you're busted for a faulty license plate light.

The decision text.

There's also a political element working.

The decision was 5-1, Waterman dissenting. The seventh justice, Mansfield, sat it out because he was on the appellate court which upheld the illegal search of the defendant's truck.

Both Waterman and Mansfield are new justices, appointed this year because of a strange development.

In 2009 the high court offended social conservatives by ruling, unanimously, that the Iowa Constitution forbade a ban on gay marriages.  For this the Vander Platts Window Peeps* decided to oust every justice up for retention.They succeeded, and three justices were ejected, two of them  replaced by the authoritarians Waterman and Mansfield.

So, if you dislike judges prone to give the cops everything they want,** your preliminary "no" voting list should include Their Honors Waterman and Mansfield. Of course your decision won't be that easy if you agree that a vital government function is restricting the spouse pool for the GLBT set.

(The third new judge, Bruce Zager, agreed with the majority that jackbooted intrusions need severe limits.)


**Vander Platts was once most notable for losing his elections. Then, for a time this year, he  enjoyed a good deal of national media attention as the Iowa Caucuses kingmaker because he purports to lead the anti-sin brigades around here. Not so much, lately.  His Queen Bachmann and King Perry have raved themselves into ridicule. His tentative King Cain seems to have indulged in a little grabass with office girls, which Vander Platts woulld see as  anti-scriptural. And his other  King-pro-tem, Santorum,  just can't seem to turn his wife's muffins into political support.

**...because officer safety is paramount, not to mention battling the scourge of reefer madness.