Jan 31, 2012

Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground

A House committee this afternoon approved House File 573.  Oversimplified, it embraces the sensible notion that your right to defend yourself against violence is well-nigh universal and that you have no legal duty to retreat from threat, in your home or on the streets.

I like to think of it as putting the fear of God into violent criminals, one thug at a time, any time, anywhere.

The antis will resume their snide characterization of a "shoot your neighbor law."

That is their understanding of reasoned discourse, and they will not admit to being persuaded that (a) little, if any, additional gun play will occur as a result of HF573 and (b )the value of the policy is in making thugs think twice before they sneak into your bedroom or grab your wife's purse (or something) as you stroll home from the movies.


The politics of the thing is iffy. Conventional wisdom has it passing the GOP-controlled house but faltering in a Senate laden with Democrats and some Republican metrocons.

While that may be a smart-money bet this early in the legislative goat rope, it's also the same conventional thinking that was dead wrong on shall-issue in 2010. Liberals that year eyeballed an upcoming election and scurried to the camp of most Iowa voters, a peaceable lot who really hate shooting other folks but reserve the right to do so when there's no time to summon a cop or even a government-trained crisis counsellor.

War is a glorious thing, isn't it, Private Slovik?

They've taken off his buttons off an' cut his stripes away,
An' they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.

On this day, 1945, The United States Army shot one of its own. In eastern France, twelve soldiers, combat veterans,  aimed M1 Garands at the heart of coward Eddie Slovik of Detroit. All eleven rounds found a mark on the slight body. Officers had humanely loaded one of the rifles with a blank in deference to the polite fiction that  each of the soldiers could believe that he, personally, did  not kill the deserter.

"What are the bugles blowin' for?" said Files-on-Parade.

No bugles sounded for the execution of Private Slovik who had run from his comrades as they  readied themselves for further blood-letting in the Hurtgen  Forest. The regiment was not massed,  no flags flew proudly in a hollow square. No national nor military honor was proclaimed as the  saddest of Sad Sacks was lashed to a six-by-six timber in a dreary courtyard. One can fairly read the accounts of that morning near Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines as memoirs of a sordid act by the citizens of the United States of America, perhaps necessary, perhaps not.

Private Slovik was not the stuff of which memorable characters are made. His letters to his wife reveal one of those genetic mishaps, a personhood barely fitted for survival even in circumstances more benign than military combat.

HIs youth was a mosaic of weakness, thievery, drunkenness, jail, and general failure. It  extended even to being declared unfit for military service. His final misfortune began when he was scraped from the bottom in the last troll for cannon fodder, reclassified as suitable to be shot at, drafted, trained after a fashion, and shipped out to slay the Hun in the final allied drives of World War Two.

His bad luck accelerated when SHAEF -- Eisenhower and his staff -- added fear of mass desertions to their other worries at about the time when Eddie turned tail, wrote a confession, and hoped he would spend the rest of the war safely in a warm stockade alongside all the others who did what he did. The court-martial and the chain of command, apparently expecting the Supreme Commander to commute, ordered the firing squad. But Eisenhower said "shoot him." Not because he murdered, like Danny Deever, but:

Pour encourager les autres.

To valor.

It is written that Private Slovik died well and with courage in the minutes before he was buried in a hidden grave, marked only by code number. As to les autres?

...The regiment's in column, an' they're marchin' us away; 
Ho! the young recruits are shakin', an' they'll want their beer to-day, 

After hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.

Jan 30, 2012

Dorothy Sebastion?

Anyway, an armed girl guarding her treasure. Those were the days.                          

Jan 29, 2012

Two Magic Guns

And one was extra magic. Not only did a brand new 9mm pistol fall from a "case" and go off by itself, but it did so without having been loaded. The empty, self-discharging weapon propelled a projectile though the apartment floor and into the fellow who lives one floor down.

The other gun, also brand new, magically disappeared in the few hours after leaving the gun store and before cops came to arrest the 19-year-old son for reckless use a a firearm and shooting in the city limits.

His mother (of the year) said she bought the two guns for about $1000.  She draws $300 weekly unemployment pay. The cops said her little boy had "several thousand dollars" in his pocket when  he was arrested. My crack instincts suggest another mystery here.

(Edited to delete factual error.)

Jan 27, 2012

The adulation of Ron Paul

...and while I'm on the subject, let me tip my hat to our grumpy hermit out in the western desert.

"Surely there must be some golden mean, in which a person can be credulous enough to still have faith in the political process, without going completely moonbat in the veneration of an individual."

That's Joel's reaction -- spot on, if you ask me -- to some nincompoop's screed linking Ron Paul to the Second Coming.

The Space-Out Coast

Down in Florida last night the best line of the cage fight was nonchalantly delivered by Ron Paul. "...that debate doesn't interest me very much."

He was addressing the unzipped front-runners, two-handedly swinging their members at one another about whose investments were least horrible.

Paul's contribution was his usual, that is, consistent view that (a) presidential debates ought to be about policy and (b)  no policy will work well until Washington learns arithmetic and  weans itself from ever-flowing tit of fiat money. That actually got a passing reaction from  Mitt and Newt, essentially, "Good point in a way, (pause) but my balls really are brazenbigger than Mitt's (or Newt's.)"

Welcome to the great national dialog as it is understood by most of the GOP and all -- every one -- of the famous heads who agree that the morning-after headline must proclaim that Mitt added three inches.

Jan 26, 2012

Traffic-cam extortion

The story lead is a warm fuzzy for the libertarian soul.

"The classic democratic tension between liberty and security was tested once again Wednesday in a debate on legislation to ban traffic-enforcement cameras on Iowa roads..."  

Even better, liberty won the first of the warmup bouts, 3-0, in subcommittee.

The report doesn't mention any great debate about raping the Constitution.* Irritated citizens sat on one side of the table and the usual authoritarians -- cops, city taxing authorities, etc. -- on the other. "It's for your own good, your safety," blatted the former. The citizens carried the day with a highly accurate response: "Boooll sheet, you greedy creeps."

It's early in the sausage-making process, but at least it's a hopeful development.


*Amendments Five and Fourteen are clear enough in telling government it can not screw around with your "life, liberty, or property" without "due process of law."  It seems damned doubtful the Founders would have deemed a dun from a company of IT geeks in Snottsdale to constitute due process of law. Even if they are part of that sacred public/private partnership congregation.


(Does this argument get us thinking about the general concept of "administrative forfeiture?" Ought to.)

Oh you can (kiss?) me on a ...

I like Greeks well enough. Zorba was cool, and in my youth I thought it would be fun  to meet Melina. I've even forgiven them for inventing the Olympics  which, over a few thousand  years, evolved into an unseemly marketing device that gave Mitt Romney cause to believe he is qualified to administer all the affairs of the United States of America.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Everything below is boring economics and politics. So if you're in the mood for nothing but cheap thrills and light porn this morning, just click the Melina link.  An alternative filthy picture is noted for the pleasure of female readers.)


I don't think, though, that its a very good idea to lend money to Greek persons.

The report is just one of the latest in the Hanna-Barbera epic which narrates the comic effort of Greek politicians, unions, corrupt businesses, and public-sector idlers to pretend they know what the (eff) they're doing.

It makes the point that people -- including giant banks which should have known better -- loaned too much money to Athens politicians for the purpose of buying voting blocks across the land, from the  Mediterranean Isles to the Albanian border.

The lenders knew the loans were somewhat risky, but, hey, it's a sovereign nation, right? So they charged a high interest rate and forked over.

A few years went by and, ooops, the Greeks finally admitted that they could not pay even the interest, not to mention the zero chance of ever retiring the actual loans.

So now the lending sharks are humping to renegotiate the loans as a lower interest rate -- about 4 per cent -- in hopes that, for a little while, they have something plausible to show their gullible share holders and bank examiners. Something other than the actual collateral -- a load of empty ouzo bottles and a first lien on next year's grape leaves.


Now, this is an American blog, written from an American perspective, largely for Americans, so why does it give a rat's pubie about the elected and appointed thugs of Athens and the financiers they're trying to hornswaggle.

Why, for educational purposes, of course.  Our own president and nearly all satraps in the Congress may read about it and lay down their golf clubs long enough to go, "hmmmmm, wonder how much lower our credit rating has to go before we have to  ask the ECB and the IMF for permission to pay our guys in the 82nd Airborne?


I probably wouldn't have bothered with Greece this morning if I hadn't noticed Ben's press release promising that American money would continue to be rent-free for at least three more years.  And that he had his finger on the trigger to sell more gummint bonds, backed again by the solemn word of the gummint plus, this time, a load of empty ouzo bottles and a lien on next year's grape leaves.

Jan 24, 2012

The magic mirror of Barack Obama

Spell-binding oratory is always pleasant to hear. Composed of  thin air and monstrously questionable assumptions, it still creates a brief mountain top experience, visions of an  entire world -- all seven billion of us -- composed of knights and their ladies, never in want, living in noble comradeship, destined by some political magic to live happily ever after as a matter of natural law

Which is to say I suspended disbelief and simply enjoyed the theater, much as I enjoyed a Travis McGee novel, until about the time he turned away from his teleprompter and shook Joe Biden's hand.

Then, the ancient concept of "ethos" crossed my mind, probably the residue of a dull graduate seminar on Greek rhetoric. It deals with the credibility of the orator by inquiring, "What has this man done in his personal life to give power to the pretty words he speaks?"


The President began as he ended. He praised our warriors at the open, and at his coda. Citing their unit coherence as a model for every citizen, invoking their heroism and associating himself with it -- President Obama as the spiritual brother of the men and women who brought down Osama Bin Laden. Some viewers may have been able to make the leap to the vision he sought to evoke, this president in battle dress, heroically charging up those stairs in the dark, weapon at the ready, anxious to confront Bin Laden, man to man.

Some of us, more attuned to this man's personal history, couldn't. We recall that the modern battles of the Middle East began in and continued through his young manhood. It was a time when Barack Obama had absolutely equal opportunity to demonstrate his devotion to country by putting on a uniform. Nothing barred him from displaying the personal valor he now claims to cherish but must borrow.

While other young citizens volunteered he found it more congenial to ally himself with a political machine and await political anointment, whiling away his meanwhile by organizing the streets of Chicago.

If you care to mark those portions of the president's State of the Union speech as dishonorable hypocrisy,  I will not dispute your view.

But the things you will learn from the Yellow an' Brown, they'll help you a lot with the white

Some folks in Bombay and Tehran are listening to Ron Paul. Those sneaky, oil-starved Indians of the sub-continent dislike our "sanctions" on Iran, so they've plotted with the ayatollahs. The sub-conts will get Iranian oil. The Iranians get gold. 

It would be fun to turn this into a 21st Century  Kipling tale. Gold-laden cargo elephants by the score lumber across the Khyber Pass to a rendezvous with Shiite camel trains at a fortified wadi in the high desert plateau of Taliban land. All is guarded with Khyber Pass Rifles, and security is further secured with golden-coin baksheesh to the Afghan war lords.

Alas, isn't that romantic, and personally I blame Obama, for whom Ben Bernanke works. His Ineptness's sanctions defy mortal understanding, but, highly simplified, they rap the knuckles of any bank looking to make a buck on Iranian oil deals.  The trouble is, the sanctions work only with banks addicted to the funny money of Fed Boss Bernanke and his counterparts in the Eurosoc zone. (And of course EastAsia with whom we have always been at war.)

The maharajahs just happen to own  their own bank which does quite nicely with a stiff middle finger presented to all the world's fiat money thugs of the "central banks" -- save their own, of course. It will handle the bullion transfers, and if it chooses to involve a SMLE or fake Remington rolling block, that will be just a nostalgic tip of the turban to its national history.


As the cited article notes, this gold/oil deal will chip another smidgen of value from what ever assets we peons have foolishly invested in the funny money of the West. Dollars, Euros, Pounds, etc. 

Could be that Dr. Paul can digest this in time for the next debate.  For years and years he has been expounding the logic of sound money -- at the very least as an alternative to to Federal Reserve Cartoons posing as actual wealth. It might occur to him to bring up the Indian-Iran transaction to illustrate that when the shit hits the fan, gold works wonders. And people smarter than our own political masters already know it.

Jan 23, 2012

Down with sex

I see by the news that Mitt is releasing his tax dope tomorrow. Yippie. The Republic is saved.

Even better, Newt might have to come clean about how much history he taught to Freddie and Fanny in return for the  million-six.

Together that's about all we need to know to make an informed choice about who should get to control the nuke codes and the number of Federal Reserve Cartoons Ben Bernanke must print.

I know all this because I have spent an unconscionable amount of time in front of the new, cheap flat screen watching the sexiest people in the world tell me so.

Ideas? We don't need to talk about no steenken ideas.



While I would miss ogling Mika and whazhername -- Mrs. Newt the Third --  some mornings, I nevertheless propose to amend the Constitution.

We must require that candidates for public office, their spouses, and, especially, electric teevee "newspersons" to be drawn from the ranks of the truly ugly. Further, they must be adjudged charmless by a jury of their peers.

By thus ending the constant titillation of our glands on the pretext of following a great national dialog, we might begin the process of thinking about how to choose those leaders who will steal the fewest possible numbers of our dollars and our liberties.

To this end I announce formation of a national committee to promote it. The honorary co-chairpersons are to be Josh Hartnett and Paris Hilton.

Jan 22, 2012

Poor Me

Once in a great while a guy wakes up just plain growly. The overnight fire didn't hold.  The coffee tastes bitter. The V8 lacks bite. All three yolks broke when you flipped them.  There's just enough biscuit mix left for one tiny, measly bite.  The view from the big south window is an insult to the eye, gray sky and snow already becoming dirty. The ancient Mac desktop is cranky.

Even the dog is standoffish.

So, no matter what crud you face in your life this morning,  you should turn thankful eyes to whatever Heaven you believe in and express gratitude that you are somewhere other than here.

(The proposed cure involves a few hours in the loading shack. If it works, you'll be the first to know. If it doesn't I'll find other phraseology to continue sharing my  fascinating self-pity with y'all.)

Jan 20, 2012

Friday morning roundup

--The calendar notwithstanding, stalwarts of the northern plains are looking at the first day of winter, ankle-deep snow, cold enough to make  you think about the cost of fuel, and a wind very clever at finding those little  cracks and gaps you forgot to recaulk last fall.

--The four inches of  fresh snow shocked New Dog Libby this morning. She assumed her normal position for answering nature's call, instantly resumed a full upright pose, thought it over, and in due course achieved relief with a much shallower squat.

-- The electric teevee can be almost as entertaining on a gloomy morning as a young lab.  Joe Scarborough built a long segment around Colbert whose run for the presidency is a  funny concept, though wearing thin. Still, Colbert redeemed himself by endorsing -- fairly seriously as far as I could tell -- Ron Paul.

--The debate last night was insufferably banal, although I had to grin at John  King's discomfort when Newt went into his self-righteous junkyard dog mode. 


Jan 19, 2012

Let's run 'em through the chute again, LeRoy

Re: Iowa Caucuses 2012

We grow hogs pretty good, but it sure shames us we can't count 'em.

Jan 18, 2012

Why we're broke -- publik edukasun edition

Shill we danse in skule like on dansin with the stirs, err, stars?  And we kin have peerkie chear leederz two yell spirits for the dancerz 2 cuz we can get the suckers to pay for it.

The (Iowa Lakes Community) college's board of trustees ''Tuesday heard requests to offer competitive cheer and competitive dance. Julie Williams, Dean of Students, told trustees research has shown the programs would assist in the recruitment of full-time students. She added that coaches will target northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota because of the amount of cheer and dance/drill programs being offered in the area. The trustees voted in favor proceeding to the next step.''

This is a nice one to clip and save against the next time you have to deal with some teachers' union representative or academic bureaucrat caterwauling about the crisis in education funding.  

Warming the cockles of your heart

Confused and lonely no more, the littlest puppy comes home, wagging its tiny butt and rolling over and over in hopes of a nice snack of .25 ACP.

I tip my hat to mommydotguv for returning the little guy to the man from whom  it was stolen 30 years ago.


Title note: Dammit, I forgot what heart cockles are, and with Wiki black I can't look it up. So I put my hat back on to the SOPA freaks.

The New Obama Government: Lean and Mean, Baby

What you're about to read can be thought of as a practice question for your SATs.

If you don't plan to take your SATs, you can think of it as one of those "What's Wrong With This Picture?" features in Mechanix Illustrated in the '60s.

President Obama decided to kill the Commerce Department in the name of frugality and a a more streamlined federal government. Less than a week later he made a legally questionable appointment to get a brand new federal behemoth up and spending -- Cordray's new empire for pretending to protect consumers.

Compare and contrast. You have five  minutes. Keep your eyes on your own work.


And please stop nitpicking the question. We are all aware that His Ineptness is not "killing" Commerce. Out of respect to His high office we're pretending He is telling the truth. Rather than killing Commerce, he is spreading it around like, you know, warm peanut butter or a bovine look-alike.  By his own admission the number of paper shufflers to be laid off equals zero.

If you want my personal guess, the chief financial result will be a  multi-million tab for printing new stationery.

Jan 17, 2012

Or maybe you're just a bad shot

Love to own a nice mouflon but too chicken to go to Iraq and and get one?

A fellow with a Rocking H brand down in Texas is the man to see.

For a little more money you can have your own  kudu to pet without having to brave African savannas.

Even if your local zoning thugs won't let you keep a back yard mouflon -- or if you can't afford a kudu (which you can't) -- it's an interesting site. Everything from exotics on the hoof to home decor items fashioned  from  deceased examples.

(FTC: Screw off. Don't even know the man. Wish I did.)

Just housekeeping

The Mac laptop threw a rod Saturday, and the TMR comes to you via a 20th Century desktop with wide white sidewalls, fender skirts, and a foxtail on the radio antenna. It runs, but the tappet noise is driving me nuts.

Expect delays.

Jan 14, 2012

Gun auction giggle

To be sold tomorrow at an auction near me:

"Hi-Standard USA Model H-D 22 long rifle, practice gun."

I think I'll go and practice bidding; always liked that H-D Military iron, and the "practice" may be a country auctioneer's way of describing a higher-grade target model. 

H-Ds remind me of English automobiles from my youth -- lots of fun, very sporty, just so long as you don't mind  tuning them up every week or so. And they nicely illustrate a British (and French, for that matter) principle of industrial design. "I say, Cyril, why use only one part when three will make it work almost as well."

(This comes to mind because I've been reading more about Obama's passion for EuroSoc economic designs. It's just a revival of the recurring American notion that it's very hip and cool to import horse apples from the Old World and see if they taste better here.) 


Also a Remington No. 4 in .22. Hmmmm. Don't need one of, course, but...

UPDATE: The High Standard was so-so and brought in the $400s. Out of the question. (No one knew why the "practice" word was used.) The No. 4 was fair. I was the second-highest bidder at something like $275, and, on reflection, I'm glad  not to own it. There's no shortage of wall hangers around here.

Jan 13, 2012

Dear Diary

While trying to decide if I have enough ambition to whip a Big Post into shape, let me share some domestic matters.

1. The cleaning tizzy went well, and I able to receive the unexpected visitors with minimal shame. (No fresh shelf paper was installed in the canned goods locker, of course. That was a joke. I can recall no instance in a long life of having actually laid shelf paper. I think most males could say the same. Women, on the other hand, are generally incapable of survival in house whose cupboards lack the amenity. I suggest this data could underpin an important MA thesis.)

2. Marking an important passage: This morning, New Dog Libby discovered she could reach food  placed well back on the counter. I entered the kitchen just a few seconds too late and observed an unusual thing. I hope all of you may one day encounter a brown lab who can manage a look which is simultaneously guilty and smug.

Jan 12, 2012

But first -- Gun Sale Flash

How about a chance to buy more than a dozen MI carbines, several GI 1911s and A1s? Or old Colt and SW wheelers, or EBRs by the dozen -- all in one place? And that isn't the half of it. Some 500 guns -- most of them interesting -- go on the block in nine days.

It's as good an excuse as you'll ever have to visit  Arcadia, Iowa.

The link gives you an overview and will take you to each individual weapon. There's also a portal to internet bidding, just in case you somehow omitted putting Arcadia on your bucket list.

Be alert to the 10 per cent internet buyer premium and the transfer fees. Also, if I were you I wouldn't put a lot of trust in the net bids listed so far being actual bids.

I'd like to attend, but probably won't. A full weekend in that kind of crowd is beyond my tolerance limit. Besides, I could probably spend my entire net worth in the first two hours, and I doubt Ben will print up three of four pounds of new C-notes just for me.

Weather flash; South Carolina flash

Locally in the Camp J vicinity ...  the revised forecast calls for a 60 per cent chance of unexpected visitors, leading to a severe housekeeping event. Be on the lookout for sweeping, dishwashing, gusts of extreme dusting ... along with possible window washing and a lesser chance of shelf paper. ... all resulting in lowered expections for sustained verbal output over the next 8-to-16 hours.


In South Carolina, hazy conditions continue to reduce visibility to near zero in the salt marshes up to a short-hoot and half-holler in higher elevations. While an evangelical innundation remains possible, forecasters point to demographic data showing hard-shell, high-wind affiliates make no more than one-third of the population, while close to half of all Baja Kalankians report no church afiliation atall. Ground reports are numerous of Ron Paul sightings from low-country snob territory up to the good-ol-Piedmont-folk hills.


Further events as they happen, so keep it right here on KAY-TEE-EM-ARE, the Big Voice of the Big Country.

Jan 11, 2012

Uh oh. Black Helicopter Alert

The TMR this afternoon suffered a no-knock entry from the Eff Bee Eye snoop service.

They found me via Speaker Tweaker who could not possibly be a confidential informant, so I can only suppose he's a listed subsersive, too.

It may be too late, but a tinfoil hat goes on my modem right now.

Well I'll be a simulated SOB

It is against the law in Iowa to pretend to be drunk  in the park.

I'm safe enough cuz I write most all of my stuff snug in my Camp J sanctuary. But I guess it means I can never go Wi-Fi mobile.


JAGSC -- anyone-- what the Hell kind of reasoning creates a law like this?

Okay, so I'm ignorant of the law

I'm not a real criminal, but I play one on the internet, so I'm surprised to find a new crime I didn't know about.

Over in Osage, someone called the cops because an ER nurse was acting funny, and the wheels of justice turned.

(She) faces one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of simulated public intoxication and one count of theft as well as three counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of contraband in a correctional facility. She’s pleaded not guilty.

Simulated  public intox?  Does that mean we can lock up the Reverend Mister Al Sharpton, too?

Note to Roddy McDowell: No, I can't feel the warm anymore

On this day we depart fantasy and greet the return of reality. Yesterday -- and for a remarkable part of the winter of 2011/'12  --  a tee shirt under flannel under a windbreaker was all we needed topside for outdoor work. I thank all of you who cooperated by venting flourocarbons into the atmosphere.

This morning, back inside after a little sunrise exercise at the woodpile, I recall with thanks the disrobed nun* who created my thick red wool socks and again publicly praise my lovely daughter for an even higher quality hand-knit watch cap.

Rain and snow, becoming all snow after noon. Temperature falling to around 22 by 5pm. Windy, with a north northwest wind between 28 and 31 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph ...snow accumulation of less than 1 inch possible. 

Tonight: Scattered flurries after midnight...low around 8. Blustery, with a north northwest wind between 26 and 29 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. 

Still, only three or four days in the 15-day forecast are supposed to be much below  normal, and several of them are to be in the balmy 30s. Plus, no snow or not enough to matter. Plus, in just 14 days, the averages become our ally, rising one degree to 26 for daily highs, pushing us inexorably into the season of the dandelion and the narrow-leaved weeds requiring frequent mowing.

Time to get my Speedo out of storage.


*Absolutely true

Jan 10, 2012

The Associated Press in New Hampshire reports...

... that Mitt said: "If I am president of the United States, I will not forget New Hampshire," 

Translation: About your votes, people. If you're selling, I'm buying.  Hideous, but politics as usual. It's just that Romney has been losing control of his tongue lately and needs a state-of-the art teleprompter as bad as His Ineptness. But this is an attributed quotation and therefore not the AP's fault.

This is:

Third place was being discussed as the equivalent of a win for much of the field because Paul, the quirky Texas congressman, seemed to have a lock on the No. 2 spot. 

So, the world's greatest wire service, on it's own, in a narrative, assumes the authority to inform the world who is and is not quirky -- and thus how the significance of the voters' choices should be measured.

 Not so very long ago, that sort of editorializing in a straight news report would have landed the AP reporter's partisan or incompetent ass in the street -- right on top of  the editor who filed it to the wire.

C'mon AssPress. Give yourself something to be proud of for a change.

The Guns of Moronia

A spotty video, but it has enough laugh snips to make it worthwhile. And, for you prurients, there's the occasional set of hot-brass catchers or, if you prefer, hot brass catchers.

(via email, from my pardner John of the GMA)

Monkeys of the Corn

The apes and other hairy primates are not all in New Hampshire today. They're here. They threaten.

Some are full-fledged war monkeys,  obstructing justice, interfering with official acts, and assaulting our police officers.  (A common-sense monkey-control law is needed: One stuffed monk a month;  full background check; strict may-issue permit system to carry.)

Others are bigger but more benign and show human-like abilities to communicate via simple symbols and engage in rudimentary thought processes. There are nine of the them, but we can't afford that many bananas so we're looking for a good home for the two orangutans. We'll keep the bonabos.

Up until yesterday we thought there were ten in all, but close scientific examination revealed that one one had just become confused and wandered in. Researchers hosed him down, handed him a plantain, and took him  back to his seat in the legislature.


Iowa  official brains freeze in February and melt in July. It isn't enough to  aspire to make Iowa the world center for the study of equatorial apes. We actually begged and received gazillions in federal money to create a tropical rain forest down by one of the big Corp of Engineers lakes.  We gave most of it back after The Van Der Platts Peeps and other spiritual leaders learned that jungles harbor people who run around naked and don't tithe.

Jan 9, 2012

The Dynasty Lives

A fresh Kennedy kid is trying to decide if the fate of the Republic depends on offering himself for service in America's high councils.

He's Joe . He says he's earned  Barney Frank's seat because, in part, of his "experience." Said experience consists of a tax-paid vacation in the Peace Corps and fully 30 months as county prosecutor.  Take that, Iran!

Yes, Joe is one of those Kennedys, and in a properly governed nation that would be automatically disqualifying. Consanguinity, however slight, should be sufficient to complete the offense.

Jan 8, 2012

Even Big Brother says something smart once in a great while

For an inglorious instant this morning I was Winston Smith. The Inner Party had fulfilled its threat.  I loved Newt Gingrich.

"(Mitt,) can we get rid of the pious baloney?"

Jan 7, 2012

The Messiah Oliver North

Produced by the College Young Republicans and rescued from a trash can at the Eisenhower Center, home of the Republican National Committee, late in the Reagan years, in the era when Lt. Col. North was getting somewhere with his argument that, no, the Constitution of the United States of American really wasn't meant to be taken all that seriously.

One morning, over the lake

The Winter Solstice sunrise, 2011.

Jan 6, 2012

New Yawk New Yawk...

...where The Masters can make a criminal out of about anyone, including law-abiding former Marine Ryan Jerome. The only thing between him  and a 3-15 slammer term is the good will and good sense of a Manhattan prosecutor.  (!)

The offense? Entering the Empire State Building, seeing the "No Guns"  sign and asking a rent-a-cop where he could check his pistol. The leased law called the real cops who clapped our man in jail for two days. He is now subject to indictment, depending on what the DA decides.

Jerome is a Hoosier with an Indiana CCW. He said he thought that made  him legal in the Big Wormy Apple. He was wrong, of course, and should have obtained better information.

So the penalty for that kind of mistake should be a long stay in Sing Sing?

Bloomberg probably thinks so.

Jury Frees Grass Granny; Notorious Drug Lord Walks

A little more than a year ago a little old lady in Connellsville,  Pennsylvania was pottering about in her garden when a kindly,  bearded stranger in a pointy hat handed her some seeds.  She tossed them in her garden and shortly, fee-fie-fo-fum.

No. Wait.

And shortly they grew into seven beautiful marijuana plants, lovingly nurtured by Grandma who just thought they looked nice next to her tomatoes. Didn't know what they were, she said.

That didn't stop a nosy neighbor from squealing, nor did it stay the bold crime-fighters of southwest Pennsylvania. "On the ground, Gramma, You're busted. Do it now!"

And that high-priority law enforcement mission won her a year in the system until this week when a jury cleared her of drug possession and manufacturing charges.


At 67, Granny was born about 1945 and achieved maturity in the Age of Aquarius, or the Stoned Age, so I'm adding a pinch of salt to her story about not recognizing a pot plant, not to mention the pointy-capped stranger.

So what?

Two beautiful words: Jury Nullification.


H/T to Phyllis in Kalinky, my faithful Appalachia correspondent

Jan 5, 2012

Lego Arms, Inc.

And while I'm skulking around Broad Ripple, peeking in Roseholme Cottage windows, Tam offers a worthwhile take on the perils of plastic glued to what the Glock factory alleges to be guns useful right out of the box.

She grumps about coal-tar sights. My disgust goes a little deeper. Plastic is for covering bowls of leftover chili.

Your daily insight

Courtesy of Roberta in her comments section. The instigating post details some of the latest in Hoosier Democrats hooky game over right-to-work legislation. (Apparently the lawmakers hit the mattresses in Illinois to study political ethics under Rahm Emmanuel.)

If government workers drive wages up too far, the government that employs them doesn't end up having to move offshore or go out of business, it just shakes down taxpayers for more.

To which I can add only that it shakes us down somewhat candidly with a direct tax hike, or Secret Squirrelly by revving up the Bureau of Printing and Engraving presses a little more. 

The latter produces a tax called "inflation" which lawmakers can blame on greedy business people, or terrorists, or global warming --  in fact, most anyone or anything other than vote-buying asses who happen to possess enough show-biz charisma to get themselves elected to high public office.

Jan 4, 2012

Blam. From the Mother of the Year

Mrs. McKinley is 18, a mother, and a widow since Christmas. New Year's found her with a phone to 911 in one hand and a 12-gauge double in the other as two hoodlums tried to break into her house.

The 911 call turned out to be as useful as a letter to her congressman.  She was kept on the line 21 minutes. No cop appeared to help. The shotgun worked better.

The 911 dispatcher confirmed with McKinley that the doors to her home were locked as  she asked again if it was okay to shoot the intruder if he were to come through her door.

"I can't tell you that you can do that but you do what you have to do to protect your baby," the dispatcher told her. McKinley was on the phone with 911 for a total of 21 minutes.

Mrs. McKinley, you do not need Big Brother's permission to keep breathing when a guy with a knife kicks in your door. Or, for that matter, without a knife.

Nitpicking the news story: There was a lot of emphasis on the lady protecting her infant. That may make the cheese more binding, but our heroine had exactly the same right to protect only herself. And the post facto teevee tape was  tacky even by the standards of that tasteless industry.

Well done, Young Lady.


Somewhere in the land a sensitive soul wails,  "Horrific!!! Why didn't she just shoot the knife out of his hand?"


h/t To ASM at Random Acts of Patriotism

(link fixed)

But serously, folks...

If all of Paul's speeches had been delivered with the good-natured fire of his address last night -- as he acknowledged his close third-place finish -- he would have won more caucus votes.

As it happened, his 21per cent is impressive enough, earned in a region in love with massive farm subsidies and disproportionately full of retirees attached to their Social Security checks and subsidized health care.* A place of fervor in its belief that tossing money at schools advances education.  A place that argues the morality and effectiveness of laws requiring Americans to burn food in their in their vehicles.

And, yes, it does represent a step forward in the great argument that liberty is preferable in every way to legislative and bureaucratic compulsion. Well done, Dr. Paul, and an appreciative nod to your people who helped make it happen.

*Guilty, Your Honor, but begging the Court's leave to offer a brief explanation.

Morning after

We're within a few hours of "The WHERE caucuses?"

But right now the frat party continues with the cable networks crawling around on the carpet, scarfing up the pizza crusts with a little red sauce left on them, draining the Bud Lite cans abandoned by coeds who passed out early, and wondering who left her bra around the nerdy pledge's neck.

New Hampshire, it's your turn, and welcome to it. Meanwhile, if you'll pardon it,  I need to think about those lacy step-ins someone pinned to my toga.


While I'm doing that, feel free to gather your own group and rehearse a hymn of thanksgiving to Iowa for awarding you two big winners, a pair of small-government conservatives dedicated to civil liberties, the rule of rational law, restrained government spending, and federally mandated teaching of both creationism and the Lammanite theory in America's public schools. Oh, and plenty of earmarked pork for   the Pennsylvania Black-Lung zone.

Crazy old Grandpa Paul?  Well, about one out of five Republicans opined that he might have a point or two, a moral victory. It must be comforting to the statist wing of the GOP that moral victories correspond to peeing in your blue serge suit.  They can't end ethanol mandates. They can't phase out Uncle Sam bent over, grasping his ankles, inviting one and all, foreign and domestic, to work their will on our personal wallets.


Jan 3, 2012

FLASH ... Romney Captures SoL, Newt nabs second, Paul pales

Freedom did not shake her lovely tresses in my village of Smugleye-on-Lake. Our good Dr. Paul captured 11 votes of the 77 cast for 14.28 per cent.

The SoL tab:

Romney 22
Gingrich 20
Santorum 17
Paul 11
Perry 4
Bachmann 1

Further reports as they become available should your reporter remain awake. Being with that many people (about a thousand; it was a county-wide doin's) makes his butt tired, and the sensation often rapidly disseminates itself thoughout the other bodily parts.

Caucus morn on my electric teevee

They're all here. The cameras are on. I am siamesed to my new flat screen, listening to Them tell Me what I am like.

I am beginning to feel like one of Margaret Mead's Ta'u village girls.


Jan 2, 2012

Armed Iowa, one year later

Happy Birthday. One year ago yesterday, "shall-issue" became Iowa law. You've read of  the resultant carnage, so there's no need to repeat it here.

Our largest newspaper -- the anti-gun Des Moines Register* --  decided it needed a year-end retrospective and produced what was presumably the most horrifying summary it could print without generating a collective horse laugh from the Mississippi to the Missouri. It headlined the "Unbelievable" number of new ccw permits in 2011.

Turns out the unbelievability head is based on this quotation:

“ 'It’s unbelievable,' (Cerro Gordo Sheriff Kenneth Pals) said. 'It hasn’t slowed. The permits used to be one-year permits. Now they are good for five years'.”

But try as it might, the Register couldn't dredge up enough to cite even one case of a CCW holder misusing a weapon. (I found one early in the year. Some CCW guy got  tight and waved his piece around in a bar. He's now, rightfully, a former CCW holder. That's all the mayhem I could find, so I suppose shall-issue hasn't  stacked corpses in our schools, orphanages, and  Burger Chef's.)


And then there's the nation's Capital where they store, but rarely read, the Constitution, where gore was to clog the sewers after the Heller decision a little more than two years ago. Err, the  Washington murder rate is down.

If you decide to read that report you may savor the reasons given by Mayor Gray and Police Chief Lanier. They explain that homicides fell because of the excellent work of Mayor Gray and Police Chief Lanier. I'm sure that's true because there is no possibility that armed thugs might think twice about  throwing down on a victim who might shoot back.


*I rag on the Register quite often, sometimes unairly so.  I found its coverage of the shall-issue debate last year pretty objective, and I can find little to fault in its news coverage of the Ron Paul campaign

Christmas in America

Borepatch ferreted out a social network thread from lads and lasses in the shadow of the family tree. A sample indicates the rollicking good spirits of our twittery youth.

Sean McWhosis announces to the world: "my parents are the worst  Mother F-----g parents in the world for not getting me an iPhone f--- you Mom and Dad F--- YOU. FML."(elisions mine)

That's only slightly more vulgar and illiterate than the rest of the comments, and if you're interested in nurturing a foul pessimism about tomorrow's voters and breeders, I suggest you read it all.


Look you self-righteous little pukes, once upon a time, not all that long ago,  plastered across America, even during the Christmas season, you saw things like this, and you didn't take it as a license to call your parents or your society  motherf.....s.

Use it up-wear it out-make it do!

Jan 1, 2012

Focus, group.

The TMR annual refresher. It is a reminder, mainly to its author, of why it exists:

Three  kinds of people exist. 

(1) Authoritarians -- 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, men and women who assume ownership of and responsibility for their own lives. 

(3) Inerts --  The rest. The wad which, in return for unearned potted chickens,  puts authoritarians in power.

We're here to fight the authoritarians. Everything else -- however diverting or amusing it might sometimes be -- is just padding.