Jan 30, 2009

So Much for Ethic Cleansing

Roddy Blago of Illinois had it right, a U.S. Senate seat IS  "a (effing) valuable thing."

Just ask St. Hoppen Change's man to oversee your personal health. He's Tom Daschle, former senator from South Dakota and apparent tax evader to the tune of about $125,000. Like new Treasury Boss Ted Geithner,  he's also pleading that he really didn't understand all those tax laws he wrote and as soon as the light bulb clicked on, why, he forked over. 

Also like Ted, his forkover came only after he learned for sure Obama was about to offer him a super job with about the coolest office around and a really nice limo. Plus the authority to toss around a few billion dollars contributed by people who do pay their taxes. 

Tom and Ted each decided they better fess up because those annoying reporters might start checking little details like that.

"Daschle filed amended tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 to reflect additional income for consulting work, the use of a car service and reduced deductions for charitable contributions. He filed the returns after Obama announced he intended to nominate Daschle to head the Health and Human Services Department."  (AP)

Politico did a little digging

"...Daschle pulled down a total of more than $500,000 from the speaking circuit in the last two years, and $5.3 million in overall income. That includes more than $2 million in consulting fees from InterMedia Advisors, a private equity firm."

Daschle didn't report cash income, didn't report something like a quarter-million for a personal car and driver, and decided that he didn't really give $15,000 to charity after all. 


So Right On,  Brother Blago.  A guy can turn a senate seat into a really nice buck or two.  

St. Hoppen Change, Himself,  says all this is piddly stuff and should be ignored because former Senator Daschle is the right man to handle your health care.  "All that stuff about lilly white ethics, well, y'know, I said it in, like, I mean, when I was running, y'know, and...".

A lot of folks seem to be collecting guns and ammo and MREs against the chance of governmental disaster. 

Under uberhealthfuerher Daschle, a reserve case of KY Jelly might also be useful, speaking of forkovers.

Hunger in America

I almost never eat breakfast.

Today I can't eat breakfast. It would gnarl my healer's skivvies. His chief vampire will suck my blood at 9:30 a.m. Having breakfast would "skew the lab results."  

Ergo my entire being this morning is consumed with lust for two over medium, a slab of that nice ham fried in bacon grease, hash browns, coffee with sugar and heavy whipping cream, and toast with butter.

Jan 28, 2009

Educational Teevee

If you're watching the Weather Channel this morning you'll be seeing a guy in a blue jacket standing around in Cincinnati, where they had an ice storm. He points to the ice-covered street and says, "This is slippery."

Now you know.  

Jan 25, 2009

Pharoah Burris

This is funny.

So is a reader comment on Burris' monument to himself in Illinois: "That's no cemetery. It's a precinct." 

(First-alert  nod to Roberta.)

Danged Ol' Divisiveness

President Obama is getting a straight-A from the newshawks for not being "divisive." The current AP ramble on the subject is typical, headlined: "Obama breaks from Bush, avoids divisive stands."

So "divisive" continues its climb up the list of preferred synonyms for plagues and locust swarms, just as "unity" is elevated to  the-word-so-sacred-it-may-not-be uttered-by-profane-lips.

Wouldn't our  entire  system of governance benefit from less divisiveness? Imagine the calm progress of the ship of state if we simply scuttled the idea of power shared among the congress, the courts, and the administration. Pick one to run things and we reduce divisiveness. We have a rilly rilly good President now. He kneels hourly at the altar of unity, so why shackle him  to the pestiferous kibbutzing of the courts and the congress.? Let el Presidente write the law, decide it's Constitutional, and enforce it. That's unity, and, by gawd, anything else is divisive. 

At a lower level, divisiveness is a thing to be cherished, like the division between me and a kiddy-rock band. Or Senator Feinstein. 

Since this is still a pretty strong country, we'll probably  survive Obama. Surviving the holy war against language is iffier.

Jan 23, 2009

The List (2)

A while back a list of blemished Obama appointees was tagged with a note that it was undoubtedly incomplete. Yep.

Today we read of another St. Hoppen Change appointee problem. It's a two-part deal:

1. Obama says: "No former lobbyists in the new administration get to work on deals they dealt with while lobbying."

2. Except when President Obama decides they can.

The guy in question is Billy Lynn. Obama wants him to be deputy secretary of defense. That's the guy who actually runs the Pentagon while his boss, Bob Gates, thinks great thoughts.

Lynn comes to our defense fresh from a stint lobbying for Raytheon, the fifth-largest defense contractor.  Obama says it's okay because Lynn won't deal with anything that could make Raytheon another buck or two. Hokay.

(Readers are warned against using the term "smudge" on Obamian ethical purity when referring to such peccadillos. Racist, don't you know?)



Break a rule, Folks. Read HuffPo this morning. The caterwauling over there will do more to get your blood circulating than two espressos and a Vivarin.

According to everybody with a press card, New York Gov. David Paterson will appoint to the United State Senate a female who hunts and shoots and fishes -- and who very often is accused of thinking for herself. Sarah? Naw, but I bet Gov. Palin sends a nice note to Senator-designate Kirsten Gillibrand.

It gives some of us a new fantasy. Kristen and Sarah decide to go moose hunting in the wilderness. We're invited. We sit around the campfire chewing broiled wild-animal meat and snicker at the Brady Bunch.

Jan 22, 2009

Digitally Perfect Missing

Our English Cousins report a new gun toy for wannabee deadeyes.

You buy an iPod, buy the program, strap the iPod to your rifle, make sure its battery is up,  and  load the weapon. At that point you're almost ready to shoot -- after you 

"... use the iPod’s touch-screen to tap in details about the wind conditions, ammunition type, distance to the intended target and even the wind speed."

Nothing could be more perfect, assuming the shooter is among those who can accurately estimate distance and  judge mid-range wind, and who is shooting a round whose characteristics he perfectly understands.  (I met such a fellow once and have heard rumors another one exists.)  Then, of course, you need the leisure to "tap it  in."  

Suggestion: Take the IPod and and program money. Spend it on a few boxes of ammunition instead. Use it for practice.  Consult any good ballistics manual and sight your rifle to hit an inch or two high (varies with caliber and loads)  at 100 yards. You dope the wind just  like you would with the gadget -- take a wag, then click accordingly. If your hat blows off, clear your weapon and go for coffee.

The truth as reported by many mossbacks: Bad shots who spend money on gadgets become heavily equipped bad shots.

Jan 21, 2009

Can't happen here

Some of our younger friends may appreciate a quick explanation of the reference to Nuremberg. 

In 1934, American journalist William L. Shirer  decided to try to understand the Nazi phenomena. He went to a National Socialist rally in the old Bavarian city and reported:

 "I was a little shocked at the faces," Shirer wrote in his diary, 'when Hitler finally appeared on the balcony for a moment. They reminded me of the crazed expressions I once saw in the back country of Louisiana on the faces of some Holy Rollers...they looked up at him as if he were a Messiah, their faces transformed into something positively inhuman'."

Adolph Hitler's tame writers labeled it "The Rally of Unity and Strength."

Obama is no Hitler. Mill-run Obama worshippers  are not NDSAP material.  But  words have meanings and ideas have consequences, so let's be wary about those who sculpt graven images to an unexplained "unity."


"Unity," the alpha word varously woven into the rhetorical excesses of the recent extravaganza on our Capitol steps ought to frighten us.

Has anyone ever seen  "unity" more perfectly expressed than in the grainy old films shot at Nuremberg in the 1930s?

Jan 20, 2009

Headline fun

Reuters latest on-line head for the Ascension story:

"A sea of People for Obama Inauguration"

A writing man unawed by High Office and the trappings of Coronation might play with that a little and write: 

"People Asea at  Obama Inauguration."

Certainly happy I know no such disrespectful louts.

CCW Showdown on the High Plains

Two years ago Nebraska enacted a CCW law, permitting their issue to the trained and vetted and including a state preemption. The Nebraska AG has just ruled the preemption nullifies carrying bans in 12 cities. (Duh?).

Some of the cities say they'll keep their CCW bans anyway and remain risk-free zones for the Thugaric tribes.

Stand by for the High Noon faceoff,  our lawyers against theirs.



Watershed Day

Tuesday, January 20, 2008.

It will go down in history.

The day America sold one-third of Chrysler to the Italians. 

Jan 18, 2009

Damn the torpedos

Sixty years ago this month a crotchety misantrope name Ernest J. King had his career resurrected.  Eyeing war clouds, the Navy plucked him from a dead-end job, made him a three-star admiral and told him on the QT  to get ready to run the whole show.

About that time he remarked in public: "When the shooting starts, they call for the sons of bitches."  His daughter called him "the most even-tempered man in the Navy, always in a rage." Roosevelt declared he "shaved with a blow torch" then asked him nicely to go forth and win World War Two asea.

Admiral King's unpopularity  may have stemmed  from a tendency to candor.  In 1932, at the Naval War college, he wrote a paper: 

"...it is traditional and habitual for us to be inadequately prepared. Thus is the combined result of a number factors, the character of which is only indicated: democracy, which tends to make everyone believe that he knows it all; the preponderance ...  of people whose real interest is in their own welfare as individuals; the glorification of our own victories in war and the corresponding ignorance of our defeats ... and of their basic causes; the inability of the average individual (the man in the street) to understand the cause and effect not only in foreign but domestic affairs, as well as his lack of interest in such matters. Added to these elements is the manner in which our representative (republican) form of government has developed as to put a premium on mediocrity and to emphasise the defects of the electorate already mentioned."

It's easy to condemn the implied statism, but the good admiral nailed salient points -- the short-sighted selfishness of Mr. and Mrs. Voter, general ignorance, and the power-lust of demagogues.

Too bad he's not still around. He'd be a useful counterweight to Touchy-Feely Washington in the  super-spun Age of Obama. 


Did Norman Lear on the electric teevee this morning really say Barack Obama "had a mark on this forehead" and so was "destined for great things?"

If so,  maybe calling the Jan. 20 excess "The Ascension" is not a little exercise in mockery.

Jan 17, 2009

Luddite's Demise (A Fair Warning)

Public Notice: As of today, the McGee Reader becomes pornographic.  It will sometimes sink into the depths of human depravity and explore perversions undreamed of by de Sade and Lewinksy. That is, the T-word and its forktail spawn are longer taboo.

Television.  I will sometimes mention television.  A decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires the reason be stated.


The dialup became untenable. Broadband was sought.  Local cable offered the most economical solution, a 24-month price guarantee of $72.50, including the ruinous local tax. And also including more than 100 channels for my electric teevee. Weak of character,  I'll probably watch it sometimes. Even the included Starz.

As a matter of confessional fact, I already have, CNN for a few moments this morning. The gorgeous anchorthing was interviewing the attractive fieldthing assigned cover the domestic aspects of the Ascension. Fieldthing reported that she had "peeked into" Dana Perino's  press office and noticed "bare shelves."  Pregnant pause, lean slightly toward the camera, eyes unblinking, and slowly the profound, "Clearly, this is a White House in transition."


I'll try to hold it down, venting here only when yelling back at the tube fails to satisfy. But it is still an ugly thing.

Jan 15, 2009

Solar system news

Mars farted

And to save their souls,  the Goreberries can't find a little green cow to tax.

Jan 14, 2009


That could be  African for "bon voyage."  
I'll be keeping track of my buddy's mission/safari through the new  travelblogue  -- "Wingshot in Africa" because when I go bird hunting with her (not nearly often enough) I get embarrassed. It's hard to play macho when the only pheasants to clean are hers.

Jan 13, 2009


St. Hoppen Change appointments:

Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner: Tax evader.

Commerce Secretary, Bill Richardson (withdrawn): Pay to play.

Chief Federal Efficiency Expert, Nancy Killifer: Tax evader (the dreaded nanny tax)

Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton: "We'll tell you what you need to know about Bill's Arab loot.  If you don't like it I'll cry and stamp my foot. "

Disclaimer for the TEs: They all claim they didn't know they were supposed to pay taxes. And they all did, in fact, cough  up, just as soon as they got caught.

Disclaimer for Richardson: "Who? Me?"

To be, with  only the slimmest doubt, continued.

Jan 12, 2009

Call it unresolved relative repugnance. What should be hated more?:

Evil 1: The spectre of JBTs coming around to collect the collection, certainly including the ~ .69 caliber 18th-Century boarding pistol. They can't legally do that yet.

Evil 2:  The JBLiteraryTs hijacking our language.  That's legal. Sarah's legions have convinced the media of the need to append "sniper rifle" to ".50 caliber." Always.

If we let them get away with that, we've lost a treasure, namely language as a device for sharing logical thought processes.

Arguably, all rifles are sniper rifles, but I won't debate that just now. The operative bitch here is the assault on American language.

National Day of Mourning

You have two days to sponge and press your black arm bands.

On January 14, 1985, the Beretta/Mattel handthing was officially adopted by the Bureaucracy in Charge of  Stuff for American Warriors.

It's at a site which should be censored due to a subversive suggestion we kowtowed to European political pressure to adopt their sub-calibre nincompoopery. The very idea!

Meanwhile, the 1911  of John Moses Browning  remains undead. Enough breeding stock graces the hands of the MEUs and other special forces to offer the possibility of repopulation. 

Jan 11, 2009

One more (Girls Galore)

A reader from the arid regions has been nagging on the subject, so here's Breda, a librarian with carrying tendencies. 

Librarians are okay. They work in places full of books that give people funny ideas and stuff, but I guess everybody's gotta make a living.

Girl in the Sandbox

Introducing Abby. For you gentleman readers who served in the ranks, she's the noncom you wish you'd had, assuming that you could get over  the notion that uniform skirts should be worn only by those  who typed or gave injections or were looking for Section 8s.

Abby's been dealing with a shortage of 9mm ammo for those toy Berettas our military-industrial complex imposed on our warriors ~ 1985.  The fact assumes extra meaning when it's understood she and her Civil Affairs Unit reside in Iraq, but she's a resourceful female, and I suspect that some feather merchant in supply is about to suffer earburn.

Say, that reminds me, and this is no shit, back in the old days we wouldn't have had none uh them little foreign bullets. Why, that .45 would knock...".

Sorry. Nostalgia happens.

Jan 9, 2009

Speaking of a Big Bopper

A guy writing for the Philadelphia Examiner explained why .50 BMGs are among the guns (probably all of them, in his view) that ought to be banned or regulated or something. Among the horrors he noted is that the .50 is "capable of targeting a plane."

It was the journaloid's misfortune to have his piece read by Pilot Jim.

That Jim flies Lears for a living and hardly ever worries about a gun-induced half-inch hole in his bird. Good read.

I give the PhilEx guy a pass on sloppy use of the transitive verb, noting merely that I can and have targeted the occasional Cessna with my unlicensed and unregistered  .91 RIF (Right Index Finger). Probably do 'er again, too.

Jan 8, 2009

Need a Gun Safe?

How about the Big Bopper's casket? 

Coming on EBay

Too macabre for me. 

Jan 7, 2009

Ugly gun progress

So my buddy and his son came for coffee, bearing surprise gifts. Not one, but two, arched GI mainspring housings for the 1911A1 which is being carbinized. I needed only one spare to butcher, reserving the original  to put the old Colt back into GI shape.

The ensemble includes one mainspring but no caps, plungers nor pins. The latter I'll make, but I suppose I should get cracking on a search for the caps and plungers. Yeah, I could make them too, but it's awkward when the best lathe I own is a Makita 3/8 electrical drill.

Buddy's son claims they were mine in the first place, that I gave him a box of 1911 parts more than 20 years ago. I don't remember it, but maybe so. Military junk was cheap at the time. Heck, in the 70s you'd sometimes find a GI hammer in a dollar grab bag at the shows. But I hereby publicly thank you anyway, J. 

I'm still trying to find out who built the walnut  stock and 16 1/4-inch barrel.  Decent-enough quality, but no ID marks.

This is going to be one fearsome looking piece when finished, mostly a gawker.  I like that in lethal weaponry; like a Texas debutante with several pounds of hair and three ounces of eye shadow. I'm still trying to figure out a practical use for it. The gun, I mean. 


Jan 6, 2009

Quadrenniel Imperative

Of course all TMR readers can ace this (short-answer) pop quiz in a heartbeat, but you might want to spread it around  among your buddies addicted to X-Boxes or still wondering who really shot J.R. 

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama will pledge to defend something. What is it?


Ten little words  buried in the AP report of Obama' choice to boss the CIA reveal about 90 per cent of the necessary information about government:

"... despite Panetta's strong history of bipartisan goodwill, news of his selection struck sour chords not only among predictable Republican skeptics but even among a longtime friend and fellow Californian, incoming Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She complained about Panetta's lack of intelligence experience and Obama's failure to consult with her on the decision."

Argue the merits of Leon as Spy King all you want. The real lesson is that a congressional ego is  size-small condom inflated with about three cubic feet of air.

Jan 5, 2009

Linguistic Genocide

We need a better term for this war to the death against language and the thought processes it accommodates. Linguicide? Logicide?  Thanks to Roberta:

A writer for The Nation  says Israel's retaliation against the Quassad rockets from Gaza G.W.  Bush's "last and final war crime."

That's like PETA yapping "atrocity" when you swat a fly. 

All Bush did was refuse to stand in Israel's way and remark that the Gazoids swung first. If that's war crime I'll kiss your butts on the Capitol steps Jan. 20,  soon as Obama draws the crowd.

It's a good illustration of  jihad against reasoned use of language. Israel may be accused of folly, cruelty, undue machoism, and other sins without leaving the realm of reason, and the same applies to folks who care to substitute terms like wisdom and forebearance. You can reasonably debate any of that.

But if we let nitwits con us into accepting "war crime" to denominate Bush's  Gaza response, what sort of term do we have in reserve for, say,  Bataan, Nanking, Manilla, Dachau?

Examples abound. For instance, I hear every new offering from bands  grownups never heard of called "awesome."   If so, what adjective might be used to describe the Second Coming?

And that's why I didn't call The Nation writer a lame-brained idiotic  slug.  Gotta hold something back for writing about Pelosi and Limbaugh.  

A Luddite's Delight

Avoiding the 21st Century at every opportunity is a good idea.* Yesterday another reason why occurred to me as I restocked the indoor wood bin. 

My Leaders have not figured out a way to tax the split oak and maple. That's pleasant  to think about while  lounging around the 80-degree cabin in a tee shirt, idly glancing out the window once in a while to confirm the massive failure of global warming.

*The 20th wasn't much either, but it nearly redeemed itself with  John M. Browning, Kim Novak, and the Twinkie.

Jan 4, 2009

But It's Ugly

Twenty-mumble years of use have taken their toll of what little beauty that Smith 59 had in the first place, and I catch myself wondering if it's a good candidate for a bake-on.  

I used the Brownell  brand last summer to titivate  a 1911 built years ago  on an Essex frame, GI top and internals. It looks pretty good, not really like Parkerizing, but close. 

A sorta-Parkerized 59? Why not? I can't imagine the gene pool ever polluted enough to create beings who consider these things collectible. 



The SW59 came my way in the latter days of the Carter Administration. It was a police turn-in. Smart police.

The SW factory munchkins somehow missed the concept that a trigger should release the sear prior to making solid contact with the frame.  I relieved the frame and made it go click in the shop -- every time. Yowza.  A bench strip  and the hard felt wheels took care of the trigger-mech burrs and silenced the symphony of screeches and whines prior to the click. (I'm not sure this was wise. Maybe Smith and Wesson decided there should be an audible warning that this gun was going to go off any second now.) 

All was well until sometime during the recent  Christmas trip. Getting ready to put it away last evening I noticed a full magazine would not drop without a substantial assist. Nor would either clip go back in without a big hand-bruising  whack. Look real close.  See the clip scratches. See the mysterious bump on the forward edge of the well. No, it wasn't dropped nor transported in the tool box with the pipe wrenches. I suspect SW used an alloy seeded with a secret enzyme which grows burrs. 

While the files and emery cloth  were handy  I beveled  the rest of the magazine well. Very smooth now, and I feel just like P.O. Ackley.   

Jan 3, 2009

Well, Hell, I Try to be a Patriot

We patriotically obeyed Our Leaders in the $147 per-barrel days. We pumped up the tires, drove less, drove slower. With assists from the likes of Bernie Madoff it worked, and we're burning less gas. Very patriotic, and Our Leaders thank us with:

"Okay you benighted bastards. Since you won't drive far enough and fast enough to pay enough gas tax to keep our brothers-in-law the road builders happy we're gonna raise your fuel taxes."

Way out Left -- in Upper Kalifornia -- Oregon Leaders have a better idea. Make you buy GPS-equipped cars and trucks so they can track your travels and charge you by the mile. They absolutely promise this will not become a way for Big Brother to watch your every move, i.e., "No indeed. We would never let anyone but the fuel tax guys see your itinerary. Absolutely no chance we would let the cops and the other bureaucrats peek at it. I mean, +rilly+ +rilly+ rilly+!"

And your Social Security number can't be used for identification. And the income tax will never exceed 1 per cent. And your Grandpa voted for FDR because he kept us out of war. 

Gaza Redux

Our Leaders want us to get all het up about Gaza -- less than eight miles wide, about 25 miles long, 139 square miles, about twice the size of Washington, D.C. So a less genteel  observer than I  might crudely refer to it as a pissant little place.

But "Oh, the humanity!" 

It's true that some 1.5 million Gazoids live there, many (most?) of them slavishly following religio-statist nitwits dedicated to making general international  pests of themselves in a gory manner. Whether that sort of herd needs thinning is an open question, depending largely on one's personal  approach to humanitarianism.

(However, no one need necessarily  conclude that, even if it's a good idea to depopulate  pissant little places full of nitwits, Washington should be on the list.)


Jan 1, 2009


The rockets fly in the Negev again, and World Leaders are franticly warning that we all must do something. TMR suggests real countries release the following joint communique:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Middle East:

We note with sadness your most recent altercation in the vicinity of The Gaza Strip and would be pleased to see it concluded promptly and amicably.  However, should a cordial modus vivendi be beyond your diplomatic skills and/or emotional resources, we  tender our regrets and hereby request that you advise us when your problems are resolved. At that point we shall be delighted to initiate relationships with those citizens of your nations, if any,  who remain vertical.

(signature of World Leaders)

A Gun Girl

Over on the right you'll see a new blog added, Roberta of Herb Shriner country. She's linked here mostly because of a Dec. 26 post lambasting the doowhackadoos who spend their lives trolling the net on behalf of one ism or another, and she has a point.
She's also a member of the on-line Gungal clan which is becoming one of the more entertaining reasons to own a computer. 

Happy New Year; Now Let's Get Organized

There's a good deal of plain wise-assery in The McGee Reader, and no change is foreseen. But crude and vulgar bile promulgated to the public should rest on some kind of philosophical and intellectual basis, to wit:

Three  kinds of people exist. 

(1) authoritarians -- the stunted cretins who  wish to use government to dictate the manner in which you live your  life

(2) libertarians -- the opposite, believers in personal sovereignty who suspect that things like the United States Constitution mean pretty much what they say

(3) inerts -- those who, in return for potted chickens,  put authoritarians in power