29. November 2023 · Comments Off on Close to the Edge · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, Media Matters Not, Politics, Tea Time, World

I’ve felt over the last couple of years, that there is a steep precipice in our path, up to which our current Ruling Class is staggering blindly. Not just our American path, but in the developed world generally, and in that of western Europe. Things just can’t continue as they are. There is a breaking point coming. Really, no one might accurately predict exactly what small spark will kick off the explosion or the fall from a great height, or exactly where it might occur. The precipitating powers move in the shadows, veiled by a news media which deliberately veils them anyway. Too many national and international elites are pursuing policies which benefit them, rather than the countries they are supposed to govern. Too many of the transnational ruling class, indeed, seem to be in competition to pour contempt and derision on their less-fortunate, relatively powerless fellow citizens … and that’s a situation which can’t continue indefinitely. People are too stressed, made angry by things which they can’t control. Road rage incidents, riots that flame up like a prairie fire, unprovoked beatings, mass brawls in fast food restaurants and on commercial airliners; people are snapping over the slightest provocation, a misheard word, a momentary inconvenience…

There are just too many small indicia of trouble – small things, taken individually which wouldn’t mean much. But all the big things pile up like firewood, only wanting the tinder – which I fear that the small things will provide, to our cost. Big things like the Covidiocy, locking people into their houses and out of a social life, and then the vax mandate which cost them jobs, BLM/Antifa riots and protests which wrecked downtowns across red states, and inspired city governments to turn a blind eye towards property crime and the organized looting of retail outlets. The erasure of national borders is another one of those big things, stressing on a local level, when mobs of strangers suddenly show up and are favored with shelter, food and considerations not given to local citizens, deserving or not.

A recent incident which caught my attention and hinted to me that we are very close to the disastrous edge was the unprovoked knife attack at a school in Dublin – an attack which severely injured a woman and three children. (Link goes to Neo Neocon, and an interesting and informative discussion in the comment thread.)Initially, the local police were coy about describing the assailant, although he was captured almost at once. In the US, we have learned what to assume – with a high degree of accuracy – when a Person of No Description is apprehended after committing violence. Apparently, the Irish have learned that lesson as well. Having been fed to the back teeth with assorted petty and major crimes committed by an alien element – third-world migrants forced upon their communities by a governing class who appeared to be much more interested in currying favor with their international ruling class elsewhere in Europe, the locals chose to make their unhappiness in a language which the ruling class can’t ignore.
“… Some in Ireland believe too many people have arrived, too quickly, and that we need a ‘mature debate’ about it. But whenever they say something, they’re branded bigots and scum.”
Firey riots appear to be an acceptable means of protesting when it comes to an urban underclass, but only of the aggrieved are the right sort, dontchaknow. In any case, the national stereotype is of the Irish generally being truculent and ready to fight on any ground; after all, they fought being colonized by the British for a good few centuries; who would have expected them to lie down and be colonized by anyone else.

The observation in the above-linked article does ring very true to me; the ruling class willfully closing their ears to the voices of the ruled class by branding them bigots and scum. And deplorable, racists, stupid … Our own ruling elite did the same with the Tea Party. As courteous, reasonable, responsible and thoughtful a body of citizens as ever was in the United States political life, and for all that, called names and abused by the media, entertainment and political class.
Discuss as you will, while we still can.

12. February 2022 · Comments Off on The Proper Framing of the Narrative · Categories: Fun and Games, Politics, Tea Time

I am watching matters develop with regards to the trucker strike, with appreciative interest, seeing that is really another variant of a grass-roots spontaneous civic spontaneity, much like the Tea Party was, some years ago. The Canadian trucker protest has that in common with the Tea Party protesters – but the difference might be that the independent trucker community is a smaller, a more cohesive and even more media-savvy and self-disciplined party. The various Tea Party protests were more general, cut across class lines (at least the urban-focused one that I was involved in was, no matter what the establishment national media might insist) and focused more upon voting in various political races then upcoming, and protesting the general monetary incompetence of the Obama Administration. More »

19. January 2017 · Comments Off on National Tantrum · Categories: Politics, Tea Time

As the Deity be my witness, I have never – not even since 1968 (which I am sufficiently old enough to remember, being 14 years of age in that cursed year) – seen such a massive and public temper tantrum as that which we have been observing since November, 2015. Let it be said that I am observing all this with appalled and horrified fascination. It used to be that only certain very far-leftish intellectuals and college students were given to briefly melt down in such an over-the-top fashion – but over the last month and a bit this appears to have become the chosen reaction to their side losing an election on the part of most Hollywood A- B- and C-Listers, all the social justice warrior front, most of the establishment media, a good chunk of our public intellectuals, a good few businesses (looking at you, Kellogg) a generous selection of our Democrat Party establishment, and a representative sample of leftish freelance political freaks. (As an aside – good show; displaying your contempt of at least half of your prospective audience/consumers/& etc is a sure winner, when it comes to the consumer market. This household will never purchase Kellogg brands again. Or go to amovie with Meryl Streep in it.)

So – why the Cat-5 hurricane degree of hysteria, which shows not the slightest degree of diminishing? A number of reasons, I would venture; and for many of the most demonstrative “Never Our President” virtue signalers it may be a combination of several of these.

Inside a bubble, either consciously or inadvertent. The old Pauline Kael trope – about not knowing anyone in her social or professional circle who voted for Nixon. The bubble is also geographic – someone living in one of the prosperous coastal enclaves would have only the slightest connection to the Rust Belt, the Deep South, practically any place in Texas outside of Austin. Flyover America barely registered in the coastal bubbles. Until now. The national news media establishment does not help in piercing the bubble. Nor does Hollywood, or most popular television programs save a few exceptions. So – maximum shock and horror when the bubble is shattered, the reality breaks in, and the frantic denials begin. You mean – there are people out there – those irredeemable deplorables, clinging to their Bibles and guns who don’t agree with us?

The absolute hatred of would-be modern mandarinate for those stupid, unbiddable serfs who just will not obey their betters. Really, the nerve of those dumb working-class proles, thinking that they can run their own lives better than those well-connected experts who went to a top university and scored a six-figure income at some non-profit, or civil service activity! Codevilla’s Ruling Class vs Country Party, written out in real time.

Baffled fury that the usual political campaign voodoo just didn’t work this election. The political strategists must be over the moon with this; after all, they have made very profitable careers in working that old black magic; Spend a heap of money on political advertising, splashy media appearances, the love and loyalty of the mainstream media giving adoring coverage wall to wall, lots of popular stars going all out for Hillary, polls that consistently favored her, plus pulling a few dirty tricks to smear or embarrass the other candidate – all that stuff in the playbook which always worked before, suddenly didn’t. But it must work – it simply must work, since it always worked before!

In conclusion, I offer the following thoughts – and it’s not an original thought with me, since I have seen the same in comments here and there across the libertarian-conservative quadrant of the blogosphere – but perhaps this is the defiant flowering of a political state of mind whose first seed was the Tea Party. Remember them? Their stated devotion to fiscal responsibility, free market, and fidelity to the Constitution? Who for all their care in being civilly-responsible, thoughtful, conscientious good citizens – got smeared as illiterate, cousin-humping violent racists by all of the above – the bicoastal elite, the mandarinate, the political operators, the news and entertainment elite. The news media lied through their teeth, most of them, about the Tea Party – so, no credibility left there to burn with those of us who voted either for Trump, or against Hillary.


25. June 2015 · Comments Off on Let the Political Mockery Begin – Chelsea’s Mom · Categories: Geekery, Tea Time · Tags:

Take it away, guys!

02. December 2014 · Comments Off on State of the Disunion · Categories: Ain't That America?, Politics, Rant, Tea Time, Working In A Salt Mine... · Tags: , ,

Here we are, in the first week of the last month of 2014, and by way of good cheer, I can say that things haven’t descended quite so far into the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse territory – pestilence, war, famine and death – as I had feared some two or three months ago, when Ebola was all the rage in news. People are still falling sick to it, of course, but curious that such news is no longer in the News, capital-N News, run by the professional news-gatherers, whose motto and mission does seem to be comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted. Funny old world, that.

Still, certain elements of the current scene do give cause for alarm. Not new alarm, but just the same old abiding fears which spurred me to begin writing books to persuade readers of the virtue of the grand American experiment and to refit the kitchen pantry closet to allow storage of mass quantities of staple foods. At the age of 60-something, I appear to be turning into my grandmothers, one of whom conserved a box of Ben Hur brand cayenne pepper over several decades until it was nothing more than some rusty-red dust, and the other of whom had a two-year supply of on-sale-purchased canned food stashed in the garage. I am trying to advance on my grandmothers’ example, though – since I have a vacuum-sealer and freezer. I do wish that I had somehow managed to get ahold of the ancestral can of cayenne pepper; it’s probably valuable now as an antique for the container, if not the rust-red pepper dust therein. Enough for pestilence and famine – what about those oldie-but-goodie standbys, War and Death?

They seem to have taken up residence, or at least, renewed the lease on a number of different places in recent weeks, most notably in Ferguson, Missouri – a somewhat … what’s the word? Struggling? In Transition? Pre-Gentrifying? Anyway, a relatively urban suburb of St. Louis. Which, to judge from the google-maps and the various businesses involved, is not entirely unlike my own very dear suburb as far as retail establishments go. Though it would appear that Ferguson is tilted a more towards the career-welfare-benefits-recipient person of color side of the scale as far as the general population goes, whereas San Antonio tends heavily towards the military retiree side of the scale.

In reading various reports of what is going on in Ferguson I am simultaneously troubled and reassured – troubled in that the mayor, governor and federal administration, at least as much as the established media – seemed to be going out of their various ways to pour more gas onto a bonfire. The various free-lance civil-rights ‘activists’ and sympathizers seem also to be doing their bit. Fortunately so far, their bit seems limited to terrorizing Christmas shoppers, alienating rush-hour drivers and pro football fans, reducing children’s Christmas-carol singing choruses to tears and otherwise alienating many of those who otherwise might rightfully entertain second thoughts about aggressive and militarized policing. The usual urban thug element have concentrated their energies on burning and looting various small businesses along Ferguson’s main drag, undeterred by any feelings of racial or community solidarity, in that a good few of them were owned and operated by persons of color living in Ferguson or nearby, and contributing to the assault and murder of incidental passersbys who just happen to be of the wrong color skin…

Frankly, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if those local businesses cut their losses and relocated elsewhere … but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see that many decided to hang in there. People tend to be stubborn about their home community, and to give up on it with reluctance and only when there is little choice left. I am reassured reading reports of go-fund-me campaigns to raise donations benefitting those businesses which have been harmed, like Natalie’s Cakes, and that local men banded together to protect a Conoco station, whose white owner had been a friend to and employed many of them. It is also reassuring to read that members of the St. Louis Tea Party are working on ways to effectively assist residents and business owners, and that volunteers from the Oath Keepers are volunteering to guard Ferguson businesses. At a guess many of the go-fund-me contributors, Tea Partiers and Oath Keepers willing to weigh in are decidedly white, which would or should argue against the cause for wide-spread white racism in America, if we had an intellectual or a news-reporting establishment with any brains, nerve, or sense of independent inquiry. We might be safe from race-war and racially-motivated death for a little while longer, not that the establishment intellectuals can take any credit for this.

It is curious that the agitation in the wake of Michael Brown’s death is even more frantically focused than that following after Trayvon Martin. There is no doubt that it is being deliberately fomented, and finding a ready audience in the community of the professionally offended, which slightly overlaps that of the black community. I have seen a couple of different reasons suggested for this – one of them being that an all-out balls-to-the-wall race war would be to the advantage of many, not least to this Administration – but the most compelling to me is that Barack H. Obama was presented to the black community as all that and a bag-o-chips, the light-bringer, the wonder-worker, the anointed one, the champion of the racially-oppressed, who would make everything better. Six years later, it’s clear that he has made things worse, and most especially for the black community which turned out for him, heart and soul and votes. All this agitation is a kind of massive psychological displacement: they can’t blame themselves for being fool enough to believe the promises of a sweet-talking charlatan telling them everything they wanted to hear, or blame him because he is (sort of) black and is The First Black President-Evah! The anger has to go someplace. And so it goes to Ferguson. Discuss.

(Cross-posted at www.chicagoboyz.net

06. July 2014 · Comments Off on TWANLOC · Categories: Ain't That America?, Cry Wolf, Media Matters Not, Politics, Rant, Tea Time · Tags:

The inestimably acute and prolific blog-commenter Subotai Bahadur coined that acronym and has propagated it across the conservative-libertarian corner of the blogosphere ever since. It has achieved the status of an entry on Acronym Finder, for whatever that is worth. It is shorthand for “those who are no longer our countrymen” – itself an abbreviation for a slashing denunciation of those American colonists who were in sympathy with the wishes of Great Britain in a speech by Samuel Adams on American independence, delivered in a fiery stem-winder of a speech at the Philadelphia Statehouse in August of 1776 –

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Sam Adams was a bit of a fire-eater, and the speech must have been magnificent to listen to, for certain of the phrases sound like a tocsin, a war-alarm on the ear. “Ye love wealth better than liberty,” “The tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom,” and “Crouch down and lick the hands that feed you,” which reminds me irresistibly of the establishment media as represented currently. Not to speak of “May your chains set lightly upon you,” – and “forget that ye were our countrymen.”
Yes, that’s the phrase that slashes like an old-fashioned straight-edge razor; clear and cold and across a couple of veins. “Forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Me – I have now had the experience in several different theaters of realizing that certain people, politicians, media, intellectual and entertainment figures of note, or even the establishments they work for – are no longer our countrymen. In fact, those certain people and their establishments deeply despise us ordinary, moderately-conservative, content and hard-working middle class citizens. They hate us, indeed – with a passion that convulses their souls, and drips in their every word like corrosive acid. They hate that we are individual, un-biddable, independent and proud. They hate it even more ferociously that we are not humble in the manner of the 19th century lower class Europeans in the face of nobles and bureaucrats, and they despise everything that we honor and relish, from church membership, to where we choose to shop, to adorn our homes and what we do for hobbies. They hate it that we have the franchise and exercise it, too – and even assume that it is our right and duty to be politically-involved; most recently with movements like the Tea Party. (Which, inter alia, shook and is still shaking the current ruling class down to it’s bones – hence the viciousness of the reaction to it, from the media, to popular entertainment and to the long-established political parties.) Most of all, I think – they despise us for not giving a damn what they think particularly, and rejecting practically everything that they tell us to do – ride public transportation, move into urban stack-a-prole housing, give up eating meat (or much of anything else), and continuing to believe that we can raise our own children and sort out our own lives without self-elected nannies breathing down our necks 24-7. Very likely the well-manicured and delicate hands of the new ruling class itch for a whip to give us all a good thrashing for our temerity. Indeed – they are no longer our countrymen in spirit, any more than the Tory sympathizers who departed the American colonies two hundred years and more ago are.

The most galling quality of the TWANLOC ruling class is how they constantly preen themselves on being so cultured, so tolerant, intellectual, competent and so very, very non-racist … unlike the ordinary rest of us; the veteran, the blue-collar working stiff, the stay-at-home-mom, the cashier working at the local grocery store, the owners of companies large and small. Alas, nine out of ten, the TWANLOC ruling class is not particularly cultured, tolerant or intellectual. Nine out of ten, the most vicious bigotries and stereotypes drop from their lips and into their narratives … and yet they remain blissfully unaware of their own faults and shortcomings.

So the division has widened and deepened over the last decade or so. Now we stand at a point where our international standing has never been lower, we barely have any border security at all, a number of cities which once were manufacturing power-houses are all but ruined, federal bureaucracies have been corrupted and weaponized against generally-law abiding and tax-paying citizens, the economy – despite increasingly desperate-sounding news releases to the contrary – is seemingly on the verge of tanking entirely. The anger at the TWANLOC ruling class who appear responsible for bringing this about is building. When it will come to a full boil – in that the anger will be expressed in more than comments, editorials, blog-posts and radio-call in shows – and in response to what kind of provocation is anyone’s guess. The tinder is everywhere, and the gasoline is poured. All it lacks is the spark; something like the stand-off at the Bundy place earlier this year, someone responding with a weapon to being the almost-victim of a knock-out game, a spontaneous local protest blockading a place where illegal immigrants are being processed, as in California in the last few days … that will light the spark. Likely TWANLOCs will be surprised. Likely they will excuse themselves of any responsibility for creating the conflagration. But we won’t.

(Cross-posted at www.chicagoboyz.net)

23. June 2014 · Comments Off on War on Women – And Other Hillary Clinton Musings · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Media Matters Not, Politics, Rant, sarcasm, Tea Time · Tags: , , ,

I believe now that the battle royal has been joined, between Her Inevitableness and the forces of … well, not darkness, exactly – but sort of café au lait darkness, in the person of the current resident of the presidential mansion … which I hesitate to call the White House, seeing that the current resident and his spouse seem to maintain a certain resentment-level regarding those citizens of these somewhat united states who are of a Caucasian pallor.
No, the current resident of the presidential mansion does not much care for those of us of pallor, or those of us of the working middle class, those of us who maintain small businesses – those who are not profitable enough to afford lavish donations to his eternal campaign and who take the principles of a traditional Judeo-Christian upbringing fairly seriously. I am also pretty certain now – especially after a scan of recent political headlines – that Her Inevitableness and the Current Resident do not care much for each other, either. In fact, I am convinced that they hate each other with the white-hot passion of a thousand burning suns, and we would observe open proof of this enmity at some point. I had supposed that the dirty laundry each had on the other would be aired later rather than sooner. Like, closer to the 2016 primaries.

That each party has dirt on the other goes without saying – and I always thought that Hillary was the ice-cold and manipulative intellect of the Clinton partnership; a Lady MacBeth as it were; Bill Clinton was the one with the charm, the gift for schmoozing, of being personally likeable and liking others in return – and if not, then of being able to mount a convincing facsimile thereof. There have always been grumblings from the military staffers, the Secret Service and those who worked in various low level staff positions in the Clinton White House of how horrible she was to … indeed, back in the dark ages of blogging (say around 2001-2003) the original founder of this blog was a humble AF maintenance tech for the Presidential aircraft at Andrews AFB. He once remarked that the only two members of the Clinton administration who rated flights on AF-1 or AF-2 who appeared to be genuinely nice people, and respectful of the staff who served on them were Louis Freeh and Tipper Gore. Just about everyone else they regularly flew were … well, apparently non-disclosure agreements were in force.

So is Hillary becoming less and less Her Inevitableness? Damned if I know how the low information voters see her – but I was pretty revolted by the revelation of how she defended a pedophile rapist by painting the victim as an unbalanced fantasist, and chuckling in self-satisfaction over her own skill as a defender. Look, every accused has the right to competent legal representation in a court of law, and the lawyer involved has a right to be proud of a good job well-done, but doing it by trashing the reputation of a barely teen-aged girl, and chortling about it in a video interview? That’s nauseating. Way to go about being the righteous defender of all womankind, Your Inevitableness. As a die-hard Tea Partier and libertarian-conservative, I eagerly await the upcoming revelations of horribleness – from both parties.
I’ll fetch some more popcorn in the interval. Something tells me I should see if Sam’s Club carries it in 25-lb bags.

11. May 2014 · Comments Off on The Advent of Her Inevitableness · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, Politics, Rant, Tea Time, Veteran's Affairs, War · Tags: , , ,

I guess that the over-under bets are already being taken that Hillary Clinton, AKA Her Inevitableness, the former Secretary of State, Mrs. Bill, or Wonder-Cankles will sweep in and scoop the Dem party nomination in 2016. Meh – and I’ve always been ‘meh’ about the former First Lady; even more ‘meh’ since she didn’t kick her conniving horn-dog of a hubby to the curb upon exiting the White House … or even before. I am sorry – but in my judgement, a woman of worth does not tamely swallow the humiliation of hubby being a serial sexual adventurer several times over, capped by several rounds of widely publicized Dirty Games With Interns. No. Just … ick. I prefer to respect women who will not put up with humiliation, although I will not go as far as lauding Lorena Bobbit’s method for responding to serial marital humiliation. I would respect Her Inevitableness rather more if she had at least deposited him adjacent to said curb and gone out and done something on her own. But that’s not the way it goes in this nepotistic new America. The American version of Evita is all the rage in the corridors of power, and the spouses and spawn of the wealthy, well-placed and political are well-positioned to scoop up gold rings galore. Tell me again how Americans rejected patents of nobility, back in the day. Obviously that is one of those racist things, an invention of old white men who didn’t have the advantage of 21st century intellectual sensitivities.

It has been long-established that being the son or cousin of a former president or senator is a gateway drug to nomination for presidential office; now it appears that being the spouse of one is no bar, either – even if the resume is a bit thin on the accomplishment side of the ledger. That doesn’t seem to have hampered the career of the current presidential incumbent … but moving on. Benghazi; going on two years this fall and still considerable of a mystery, how a US ambassador and three others got themselves killed by a violent mob and what they were even doing there in the first place. The explanations offered by the Obama administration at the time and ever since have been unconvincing, to say the least, and as the Secretary of State at the time, Her Inevitableness must bear at least some responsibility, and afford us all a more convincing explanation for what went on in Benghazi, and a rationale for delaying any kind of rescue until too late.

As a veteran myself of several tours overseas, I can just about guarantee that any American serving overseas as a member of the military or the State Department now is looking around and wondering now exactly what their lives are worth to this administration. It used to be that you could be certain that if you were asked to risk it, than the mission must have been considered worthwhile. Now, it’s a certainty that being caught up an event that might be embarrassing or inconvenient for the administration to respond to … well, then, suck it up, hard-charger. They will write off your life and the lives of your comrades without another moment’s thought, if doing anything substantial will have the effect of being misinterpreted, or potentially disastrous. Loyalty is a one-way street to our would-be aristocracy; ours is owed to them, they owe less than nothing to us peons, and this has been demonstrated often enough in the last six years to make it pretty plain.

Finally, over and above everything else, the thing that I do resent most about Her Inevitableness is the casual assumption that just because I am a woman of certain age that of course I will support her, just because … woman! Which is infuriating in the extreme, especially when it comes from the same people who joyously took part in trashing Sarah Palin.

09. May 2014 · Comments Off on Dear America, I Miss You · Categories: Ain't That America?, Politics, Rant, Tea Time

Remember when the “norm” after a disaster was for your people to pull together and rebuild (ala Joplin, MO) and not to stand, helpless and scared, waiting for the feds to “solve” everything? The free people of your country rebuild, on their own, competently and together; the people who’ve been re-enslaved by Democrats sit, wait, become the victims of violence and their own lethargy. It’s really sad. Whole neighborhoods were destroyed by Katrina . . . and are still destroyed all these years later. Look, too, at Hurricane Sandy. Again, these people depend on the feds. They are, of course, ill-served, even mocked by Christie. Americans, real Americans, don’t sit around waiting for the feds; they get to work and rebuild, they thrive.

We used to know this, America.

The whole essay is here at Fuzzy Logic – found through a comment at The Diplomad.

This would appear to be the new theme song for the Fed-Gov’s Bureau of Land Management – that bane of ranchers like Cliven Bundy – as well as a whole lot of other ranchers, farmers, loggers, small landowners, and owners of tiny bits of property on the edge of or in areas of spectacular natural beauty, west of the Mississippi and between the Mexican and Canadian borders.

Yes, indeedy, folks – the maw of the Fed-Gov appears to be insatiable, although it is veiled over with the rationale of wanting to protect endangered species – many of which do not seem to be endangered so much any more – and miles and miles of unique old-growth Western forest. Some of these old-growth forests are so well-protected that they have burned down to the roots in catastrophic fires of late, as local environmental groups went into fits of spastic pearl-clutching, at the very suggestion that … well, pine-bark-beetle and drought-killed trees needed to be cleared away, and so did the duff and accumulation of flammable trash-brush. (The nature of many Western ecologies meant that being burned over every couple of decades was required for the good health of the ecology generally. Well-meant intervention seems to have made the situation worse. But never mind, say the environmentalists…)

This raises the natural suspicion among those of us who have been paying attention, as well as those who have had to make a living in parts of the West lately, that quite a lot of the endangered-species, famously-unique-old-growth-forest, and spectacular-unique-bit-of-landscape legislation which was passed a good three decades ago are now being used for other than their stated purposes. That they are being misused in the service of some international plot (Hello, Agenda 21!) to move us all into urban concrete Stack-a-prole apartment blocks where we can be observed and controlled by the functionaries of the Outer Party, 24-7 … well, I am not quite ready to order my tinfoil chapeau … but I am to the point of becoming concerned, shading to somewhat worried. I can see – rather clearly – that the ostensible care of establishment environmentalists has been used – and the degree of knowledge and malice aforesaid may be debated – in order to close off public lands to any economic use at all, even recreational use, if it is the wrong sort of recreation and by the wrong people. This has all has the whiff of a royal forest being established, for the use and recreation of the small numbers of the anointed, and the lesser orders – the ranchers, hunters, hikers and campers (or cabin-owners) being strictly forbidden on pain of death.

I cannot begin to guess how serious this latest threat to land along the Texas side of the Red River from the BLM is. Likely it will not go very far, now that the Texas AG has drawn a line in the sand. Maybe it is just a feint or even a campaign strategy by Mr. Abbott … but given recent history, and the resentments of all kinds of small-property ranchers and land-owners it’s a shrewd one. The state of Texas, in a handy turn of fate retained ownership of public lands upon becoming a state, instead of the Fed-Gov taking over and retaining vast tracts of wilderness. To this day there are only a couple of national parks within Texas, plus military bases – and for the BLM to even think of appropriating privately-owned lands on the Texas side of the Red River – is breathtakingly ill-conceived. If the BLM is serious in doing so, I guarantee that they will be resisted, furiously. It would make the brouhaha at the Bundy ranch look like a kindergarten playground squabble. It appears at this point, though, that the BLM has backed away, piously disavowing any such intent. For now, anyway, say I, cynically. Five years ago I might have written such a step up to ignorance rather than malice. Five years ago I wouldn’t have thought the IRS would be turned loose to harass political opponents of the Dem Party machine, either.

(Crossposted at www.chicagoboyz.net)

Ah, yes – The News and The Truth, although in the bitter Soviet-era saying; there was no news in one, and no truth in the other. Our own very dear mainstream news establishments have not quite descended to that naked degree of lack of news and truth, but bless their hearts, they are trying, and at the current rate of progress, may achieve the ultimate goal of being a slavish organ of the state sometime around the end of this year, or possibly in time for the next presidential election. That Piers Morgan was bounced from whichever one of the alphabet networks that was misguided enough to assume that just because he had a British accent that he was intelligent and perceptive is cause enough to hope that a sense of reality might be in the cards – but that Great Britain won’t take his supercilious Limey ass back again doesn’t give cause for hope. (Note to the egregious Mr. Morgan – yes, in Texas we like big guns and we cannot lie… and we can even use them, in defense of our home and hearth.)

Now and again there are heartwarming stories of little old ladies who – upon being threatened by some scum-bag low-life attempting forcible entry into their humble abode – have given fair warning, and drilled the miscreant through the front door, dropping him on the doormat, dead as a doornail. This does not excite any more comment among law officials than subdued congratulations for having taken out the trash – unlike England, that blessed green jewel, set in a silver sea, where lately this kind of citizen resistance to criminal depredation draws frowns and prison sentences upon the good citizen. The larcenous scumbags are apparently a protected species, to be coddled and cherished; and anyone objecting forcefully to being depredated upon by them is landed upon with the full force of the law and the shrill disapproval of the intellectual and the ruling classes. Let it be here noted that I am so very glad that three of my four grandparents decamped from the Isle of the Blessed early in the 20th century, and that the Air Force fortuitously deposited me in Texas, which seems at the beginning of the 21st century to be emerging as the last, best hope for a middle class-based, free market economy and constitutional democracy … which is kind of ironic, considering the degree of free-wheeling political corruption in certain Texas counties back in the day. But I digress…

Back to truth and news, then; from a couple of different sources, the appearance of Ms. Valerie Jarrett, the President’s closest and most trusted advisor – his office wife, as it were – on a certain television program oriented towards women, not just urging the audience to sign up for Obama-care, but asking the producers of TV shows to include an Obama-care friendly plot-line … Damn. Well, at least they are being out in the open about it. Time was, when the Hollywood Reds had the decency to be subtle, and not advertise their allegiance to the Party line … although when called upon it, they did kick and scream mightily.

So, here we are – the current administration is nakedly, openly calling upon the purveyors of the entertainment to flack for Obamacare via popular entertainment. It’s anyone’s guess as to how this will work out; everything from a throw-away line of dialog to a whole Very Special Episode dedicated to a government initiative that is shaping up to be an even bigger and more unpopular disaster than Prohibition. Because this is how it is going to work out at my house – given that we’ve bagged cable and now to to Hulu, Amazon Prime and Acorn for our television watching – we’ll immediately drop any consideration of watching any scripted programs that comply with the desires of the current administration in this regard. Last week, it seems that Rachael Ray went all sobby and ostentatiously grateful for Obamacare, which moved me quietly to not only never, ever buy any of her cookbooks, pet food or kitchen implements again, but also to skip any of her recipes available through internet searches. There will be a cost paid, for any highly-visible flacking with regard to Obamacare – a cost which will, I hope, become painful very, very soon.

30. October 2013 · Comments Off on Say Hi to the Whig Party, Guys · Categories: Ain't That America?, Politics, Tea Time

So, the main-line establishment GOP – apparently seeing the writing on the wall and determined to make themselves even more irrelevant – is now going to go all-out against Tea Party sympathetic candidates in the next elections. They have seen the enemy and they is us … that is, us small-government, strictly-Constitutionalist, fiscally-responsible, and free-market advocates, who were the means of ensuring certain outcomes in hotly contested races, and that Mitt Romney even had a ghost of a chance in the last round. Nope, obviously those partisans who feel that our government should be guided by strict adherence to the Constitution, not spend more than it takes in, and not be rick-rolled by crony capitalists and the lobbyists who do their bidding, are – to put it frankly – dangerous radicals who must be excised from the GOP organization.
Because, you know, it is so much better to be a meek and polite little opposition party occasionally allowed to dip a snout into the trough. And insisting on a degree of fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, and truly free markets is apparently is just too dogmatic, too radical, and un-collegial within the rarified inside-the-beltway establishment GOP.

Seriously, this is an amusing development and not entirely unforeseen. When we first started up a local Tea Party and realized how many people out there shared a certain degree of exasperation with the establishment GOP, as well as the devotion to fiscal responsibility, fidelity to the Constitution, etc., we vigorously rejected also any input from any establishment GOP politician, organization or consultant, although this was not for want of trying on their part. We had our belly-full of listening to those guys, now it was their turn to listen to us, although the Establishment GOP remained touchingly hopeful that all that Tea Party energy, enthusiasm and contributions had created for them a brand new pony, saddled and bridled and ready for them to ride. No, as I remember telling some drone from the national GOP HQ who called me once to touch me up for a donation; I certainly would not, I told her. I would make donations to individual candidates who campaigned on a platform of fiscal responsibility, etc.

We also rejected any notion of encouraging Tea Party sympathizers to form a third party, although there had always been a strong Libertarian component in the organization whose interests lay in that direction. Nope, we agreed, that way was counter-productive in the extreme. Better to take over one of the existing parties, working from the precinct up, from local to state to national. And we knew it would be a long and arduous process. I think most of us were inclined towards the Republican Party; anyway, we agreed that it would be an easier mark and generally a slightly less ill-fit for our principles. We did acknowledge to ourselves that there would be plenty of candidates who would cheerfully mouth the right words, take our contributions and our votes, and swan right off to Washington, where they would be absorbed into the squishy establishment. In that case, we would just have to vote them out and elect someone who meant what they said and said what they meant.

So, I have to be at least a little amused at the Establishment RINOs trying to stay ahead of the curve; the curve that is slowly turning against them, like dinosaurs ignoring the nimble, fast-moving and motivated proto-mammals running around between their feet. Rove, Boehner, McCain – all the rest of them seem to be going through the motions, protesting against the darkness falling. In trying to neutralize those committed Tea Party Republicans, they likely will ensure their own extinction; the passion, the energy, the involvement and the money are on the Tea Party side. All the establishment GOP has is habit and money. YMMV, of course.

18. October 2013 · Comments Off on Accidental on Purpose · Categories: Ain't That America?, Eat, Drink and be Merry, Fun and Games, Politics, Tea Time, Technology

You know, I have never been one given to donning a tinfoil hat when it comes to pop-paranoid theories about this and that. I firmly believe that JFK was murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald (a well-known commie-symp acting alone), that the Bilderbergers are nothing much more than a fantastically wealthy international social group (a kind of Chamber of Commerce on steroids) and that there aren’t any mysterious black helicopters flying from sooper-secrit bases in the American West – after all, the damn things have to come down sometime, be refueled, crewed and maintained somewhere, and as wide-open and thinly-populated as parts of the west are – a quasi-military base with an active flying mission cannot help but attract notice of the locals. Yes, I love to puncture conventional wisdom; it’s one of my hobbies. And yes, oh 9/11 Truthers … steel does indeed melt.

However, increasingly of late and upon considering the current administration, I do find myself looking speculatively at the roll of Reynolds-Wrap in the kitchen drawer. Gun-running to Mexican narco-traffickers, spilling confidential information on political opponents, the IRS coming down like a ton of bricks on Tea Party groups, the Park Service on members of the park-visiting public, the NSA listening to everyone, and whatever shenanigans was going on with regard to our consulate in Benghazi a little over a year ago … one cannot go wrong underestimating the veniality, or at very least, the competence of the Obama administration.
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22. July 2013 · Comments Off on Motor City Circles the Drain · Categories: Ain't That America?, Politics, Rant, sarcasm, Tea Time, Working In A Salt Mine..., World · Tags: , ,

You know, it’s sad and depressing, going and looking at the pictures of wrecked Detroit; seeing all the rows of once-tidy houses along straight-ruled streets, and most of them are burned-out, boarded up, and covered in graffiti, while grass and small trees come up through the pavement, and the open prairie and woodland slowly creeps back to reclaim it all. These were the homes of the working and middle class, in which they took pride. They raised their children, sent them to the local schools, went to church on Sunday … and now those homes, and churches and schools are crumbling. So are the factories which powered the working class and the small independent businesses that powered the striving and entrepreneurial middle class. Looking at the Detroit Ruin Porn is like looking at stills from some kind of post-apocalyptic movie. Here was the pride of industrial America, who put America on wheels, and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan on their knees … and within five decades, the cities’ political elite have managed to destroy it all. For short-term and immediate gain, of course; making the city difficult for small businesses and hostile to whites – especially the middle-class, entrepreneurial sorts – came at a cost that is only coming due now. Hell, even the enterprising working-class-to-poor have decamped from Detroit, appearing to leave it all to the low-life segment of the population and the life-time bureaucrats. Welcome to the hell you made, folks. Nearly half the adult population are functional illiterates, which is a whole ‘nother category of special all on it’s own.

Look, as a person of pallor, an entrepreneur and a tax-payer – I don’t really mind paying taxes. Well, not very much, as long as I am getting some value from that portion of my income which I must turn over to the municipality, the state and the federal government. I’d like to know – and know first-hand, and without a doubt that the streets are being paved and maintained, and patrolled by law-enforcement. I’d like to be assured that the courts administer justice fairly and impartially, that the municipal authorities refrain from being anal-retentive and over-controlling morons, enchanted with the power of their own authority, and that I could walk three or four blocks through my own neighborhood on a regular basis in perfect safety and security. I’d like also to be assured that my property and others in the vicinity would be free from the threat of vandalism and arson. I’d like to be assured that the high school up the street is graduating eighteen-year-olds with a firm grasp on literacy, numeracy, and the obligations of being a responsible citizen, although I accept that I probably may not be able to count on that last with a hundred-per-cent assurance. The presence of art galleries, convention centers, parks and museums are all a negotiable benefit – nice to have in addition to the above. Doubly nice – in addition to all of the above – is not to be screamed at by the city administration and called a racist every day and twice on Sunday. It would also be nice also to not be called a racist for moving the hell out of the municipality which had become hostile to those small listed ambitions of mine.

In all of these modest ambitions, the city of Detroit has failed, utterly, repeatedly and over decades. So, let them reap the whirlwind. Don’t even think you can appeal to me with pleas of ‘think of the children!’ or any other media-ready cliché. Don’t care. Can’t be made to care. You broke, you own – my city and state has problems of it’s own (although since I live in Texas, those challenges are relatively minor in comparison), and my tax dollars are already dedicated. Although I hate to seem so callous, because I used to be a nice and rather liberal, charitable and tolerant person – in this current economy, I got over it.

Goodbye, Detroit. Nice to have had you with us – sad to see ya go. Revert to prairie and farmland, that’s my most helpful suggestion. Forget that you were ever the glory of the industrial upper mid-west.

13. July 2013 · Comments Off on Department of InJustice · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Media Matters Not, Rant, Tea Time · Tags: , , ,

I don’t suppose it’s news to anyone on the independent or libertarian/conservative side of the blogosphere that the actions of certain offices of Eric Holder’s Department of Justice with regard to the Martin/Zimmerman trial were, to the very least, questionable. That office deliberately injected their activists into a local investigation with what would appear to be a desire to pour ever more gasoline on what would have been barely a squib of an incident otherwise. They appear to have connived with malice aforethought and the equally malicious assistance of mainstream news outlets to insist on prosecuting a case which the local constabulary had already investigated and concluded was pretty open and shut. A budding seventeen-year-old semi-delinquent with delusions of career thuggishness on a mama-directed visit to his biological father in a semi-enclosed townhouse development, who once there had a mad impulse on a rainy evening to walk to the nearest convenience store … and on his return apparently attracts the attention of a resident Neighborhood Watch volunteer, who has the temerity to notice a young teenage-something who he doesn’t recognize, seeming to prowl around the development in a suspicious manner. The concerned volunteer calls the police on his mobile and follows after the apparent interloper for a short distance. Upon being told that he doesn’t have to follow any farther and assured that the forces of professional law and order are on their way, the volunteer returns to his vehicle … where he is accosted and knocked to the ground by the innocent young scamp who sits on his chest and appears to be then bent on smashing the volunteer’s head repeatedly against the sidewalk … oh, heck, I shouldn’t need to repeat this.

It’s all out at the trial, for which I give mad props to Legal Insurrection. I suppose that the part of this saga that I am most indignant about is that everything about this case that was first put out by the national media was wrong, and in some details and elements, certain national media outlets lied outright. They edited and fudged the material. They lied, in service to a constructed narrative. That’s the part that takes my breath away. They lied. Coldly, openly, and with the appearance of – if not malice aforethought – then with the mission of upholding the carefully constricted narrative of a cute middle-school teenager on an innocent errant, coldly stalked and gunned down on the front porch of his father’s townhouse by a raging white racist. Again – none of what we were told, by this narrative was true, although the usual suspects – the low-information-voters and the fellow-travelers who feed them their daily requirement of politically-correct crap still believe it. Which is a depressing prospect, actually; against all evidence to the contrary, I had reason to expect better from the public at large.

When did that egregious and notorious race-monger, Al Sharpton, become the epitome and standard-bearer of honesty and truth in matters of race? And he is just one of the guilty parties, in media, entertainment and in so-called intellectual circles perpetuating this narrative. I still cannot imagine why he was given a contract and a position in the higher reaches of the establishment news media. That he was so honored is likely indicative of how we are being steered down the rat-hole by our current political elites, towards a third-world and faction-ridden society – where the colors (and perhaps religion) of the accused and victim matter more than what actually happened and can be proved in a court of law.

Look, I live in a socially and racially mixed neighborhood myself; and most of the other residents take a proud interest in our homes, our gardens and the general welfare of our neighbors. We do notice things, people, events like yard-sales or robberies – last year there was even a double murder (by a disgruntled former employee of a resident), which freaked out everyone, as the murder ran off on foot through the neighborhood, to be apprehended a short time later in the parking lot of the nearby HEB grocery store. We have a volunteer patrol – and while I doubt that they actually patrol while armed, it’s a safe bet that the number of concealed carry permit holders here is above average. I do believe that we in Texas generally can and will resist. But the knowledge that being concerned and taking action with regard to the welfare of your neighborhood might make you the focus of political show-trial with a pre-ordained verdict – that has got to have a chilling effect on the individual, at least as much as the IRS vendetta against Tea Party associations did for organizations.

07. June 2013 · Comments Off on Security Theater · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Fun and Games, Politics, Tea Time

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin.
“The president has put in place an organization that contains the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been done before.” Rep. Maxine Waters

Who expected that 1984 has arrived? I recall that in the actual year of 1984, a great many commenters in the political arena rejoiced that the whole Big Brother thing had not arrived, but it looks like such rejoicing was premature. Now we have the NSA collecting telephone records from Verizon wholesale for the ostensible purpose of security reasons … not so much for tracking specific suspected terrorists, but rather for data-mining … and very likely for opposition research. The revelations of the IRS stalling Tea Party groups’ applications for 501 status? Almost certainly this distracted or discouraged those groups from going all-out in last years election season, which I believe was the primary purpose.

Back in the early days of starting the San Antonio Tea Party in 2009, one of our board members – a very thoughtful corporate lawyer and businessman – did have a warning for us who were in leadership positions; as soon as we began to make waves, he pointed out that those of us with embarrassing skeletons in our personal closets should adjust to the reality that those skeletons might magically appear, thanks to oppo research efforts directed against us. As it eventually turned out, several of those people did have rather substantial dark marks on their personal record; I might have been one also, but I had gone to the extent of blogging and writing about them all; my life was essentially an open book, available on Amazon for a modest fee.

Our lawyer member had the right idea, but I don’t think we fully grasped that we might be running a danger from a politicized IRS. I think he was not quite so cynical as to see that coming. But such was the tenor of the very invasive questions asked by the IRS of those later Tea Party groups – asking for information about group leaders and contributors, one might suspect also that this was part of a massive opposition research operation. Map the groups and their connections, get information about individuals; it worked very well in Iraq, in tracking down Al Qaida operators. Now I suppose it is being done wholesale on half the country who doesn’t think Obama is the greatest thing since canned date-nut bread – and this will not end well. The Tea Party group that I am still in connection with sent out an email last week, explaining that they had never applied for 501 status and so could assure anyone contributing toward or participating in their activities that their names were never confided to the tender mercies and the leaky data files of the IRS. Which certainly must have come as a relief to anyone who made big donations … because, curiously enough, information about big donors to various right-of-center causes and politicians just seemed to leak out all over during the last election season; how very curious was that, eh? Up to this very minute, I believe most Americans disliked and dreaded having to do anything with the IRS, but assumed that the revenue-collecting agency delivered their abuse of members of the public on a fair and ecumenical basis. And now to find out that such abuses were not just the actions of a few rogue agents, but directed and controlled from near to if not actually the top?

Congratulations; now at least half the taxpayers in the country now have even better reason to dislike and dread the IRS.

So, this IRS thing is one shoe dropping; I wonder if the EPA accidental-on-purpose releasing a wide range of personal information about farmers and ranchers – which they just happened to have accumulated – to a whole range of environmental groups, many of whom seem to be opposed to the whole concept of farming and ranching. Trotting around afterwards and asking for the information back is like shutting the barn door after the horse is gone, to use an agricultural metaphor. It is almost as if … I don’t know … someone is laying the ground work for a campaign akin to radical animal rights activists targeting research facilities which use animal testing. Would the ecological crazies start harassing farmers and their families in flyover country? I wouldn’t have thought so a couple of years ago, but time change. Congratulations, however – a great many food producers in our blessed nation now may have cause to fear and dread agents of the federal government from more than one agency.

This being a Friday afternoon, I confidently expect some other exciting confession from the Ruling Class to be dropped into the news cycle, in the fond hopes that it will die the death over the weekend, and be old news by Monday.

15. May 2013 · Comments Off on Cascade · Categories: Fun and Games, Politics, Tea Time · Tags: , , ,

And so it begins; at first a trickle of rocks falling down a steep mountainside; then more and bigger rocks, and then half the mountainside comes away and falls away in a mighty roar, the earth trembles, and White House spokes-minion Jay Carney is probably looking around desperately trying to figure out what hit him.
The first of these is l’Affaire Benghazi, which just will not die, especially as those who serve at the front line in the military and at the State Department are totting up their personal balance sheets. My semi-informed guess is that such personnel are concluding that if and when they should ever be unlucky enough to be the target of a local protest, that the highest echelons of their command will let it all happen, merely to enhance their own political aspirations. Hillary Clinton did herself no favors with, “At this point, what difference does it make.” Hillary, babe, it makes a great deal of difference, most especially to the friends, associates and next of kin. We always knew that you despised the serving military, anyway. Say buh-bye to any thought of running in 2016 and being a female head of state; at this point you aren’t fit to carry Margaret Thatcher’s jock-strap.

The biggest, and the most damaging cascade is a revelation – from a representative of the IRS yet – that the IRS willfully, deliberately and maliciously targeted Tea Party groups in their efforts to establish themselves as 501 organizations, while giving a pass to progressive groups doing pretty much the same kind of thing. That was about as bright as Pickett’s Charge for several reasons; everybody hates the IRS anyway, now it looks as if pro-Israeli Jewish groups and Billy Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse group were similarly scrutinized and harassed with endless demands for information regarding the actions and members of the various groups, and honest liberals hated it when Nixon did this to groups and individuals that he perceived as enemies. Great way to unify the nation, people; using government bureaucracy to target perceived enemies. At least the brighter progressives have twigged that doing so can be very, very dangerous.

Secretly obtaining the phone records of reporters for the Associated Press… at this point, I have to stop and giggle manically. Way to go, Justice Department; tread heavily all over the mainstream press, or as I like to call them, the Obama White House’s Public Affairs Division. The mainstream press carried him into the White House on their shoulders and cheered him on ever since, and for all that loyal service, they get treated like this?

It is curious that suddenly, all of this is breaking loose now. My daughter and I speculate that perhaps it is driven by the rivalry between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama which first broke into the open in the 2008 Dem convention. I referred to it the battle of Ebony and Ovary, back then, when I wasn’t calling them Her Inevitableness and the Fresh Prince of Chicago. Just suppose that she is using the IRS imbroglio against him, and he is using the Benghazi debacle against her – or vice versa. Suppose also that the more self-aware members of the mainstream press and the political establishment in Washington are just beginning to conclude that Obama is tainted goods – and it might be good to dust off Her Inevitableness again and present her as pure and pristine, while hanging on to some few pitiful remnants of their reputation as honest brokers.

Discuss … and break out more popcorn. (Thoughts from the great Den Beste, here.)

You know, I am purely surprised that the CNN television studio didn’t completely implode when Alex Jones guested on Piers Morgan Tonight. Two competing champions of paranoid idiocy meeting in the same space-time continuum must have been something like the collision of matter and anti-matter. In a just universe, there should have been nothing left but smoking rubble and a small pool of molten glass. I suppose to Mr. Morgan, Alex Jones represents the typical conservative 2nd Amendment fan … just as the Westburo Baptist freaks are typical Christian fundamentalists, instead of being a clan of legal shakedown artists.
Ah well – I haven’t watched CNN in years, and the presence of an ignorant blowhard with a British accent is certainly not a good reason to reverse the habit. Good lord, didn’t we have enough condescending pseudo-intellectuals of our own that we had to go importing them from Britain. As a matter of fact, my required daily ration of condescending British twits is now adequately filled for the nonce, now that Downton Abbey is back for another season.

So, it looks like Senator Chuck Hagel is being put forward as prospective Secretary of Defense. Well, an improvement on John Kerry, anyway. (Pause for a brief and appropriate one liner; So John Kerry walks into a bar, and the bartender says, “Why the long face?” Thank you, I’m here all week. Try the veal and don’t forget to tip your waitperson…) So … any bets on the national Republican Party lasting past the next year … or even the next mid-term elections? Should they cave on defending the 2nd Amendment as they have so far appeared to cave on everything else, than I would guess ‘no.’ I actually did get a fundraising call, long in about August 2012 from some fund-raising functionary pleading for donations to the national GOP. The poor woman’s ears are likely still ringing, although I swear – cross my heart – that I didn’t use any bad language, and I was perfectly polite, when I told her that I certainly would NOT be sending in any such contribution to the national GOP, and that I would make any donation that I could directly to the campaigns of those Tea Party Constitutionalist-Fiscally Responsible-Free Market candidates who swam across my ken.

Which brings me around to the topic of the Tea Party, and how brutally efficient the establishment media has been in painting them – anent any actual concrete and verifiable evidence – as violent and racist fanatics. It’s been an education, seeing the Big Lie demonstrated and deployed in this 21st century … and do not think for a moment that I shall forget the names of those journalistic and media personalities who have most notoriously assisted in its perpetuation. No, I have a little list, and they will hardly be missed in my household.

On the cheerful side – as bad as the national situation seems to be getting, Blondie and I are doing OK, really. I have paid off a number of outstanding debts in the last year, and sales of books – digital and print are quite satisfactory, if not as yet up to Amanda Hocking standards. Sales seem to have begun being made in Germany, with the entry drug being the German edition of Book One: The Gathering. Hah! Once you read the first book, you have to come back for the second and third! Even if they are in English … Watercress Press has a number of new clients, I am shouldering a lot of the business aspects to it, being very well acquainted with the POD/indy author aspects of it all.

The occasional employer – the ranchland real estate specialist – had a couple of good sales, and so he can afford me to come to work for him. Well, as he had his skilled mechanic friend fix the GG’s most recent problem which rendered my car undriveable – I owe him some hours. Which, as he forgets how to do some of the most simple tasks, like printing up a sheet of mailing labels or attaching a PDF to an email, I am rapidly repaying, especially when he calls me frantically, asking me to sort it out, either over the phone or in person.

And that’s my January – so far. Yours?

I’m still fighting the remnants of the Cold From Hell (possibly complicated by an allergy to blowing cedar pollen which hits a lot of people around here) but at least I am starting to feel a little more in the Christmas spirit. Not much more, but at least I am enjoying the Christmas music on the radio, and just last Monday I was inspired to go ahead and sort out the last of the Christmas presents that I wanted to give to some people I am fond of. So, all that is sorted. Our Christmas dinner is sorted also. Blondie will be out doing deliveries for Edible Arrangements until the last minute, so practically everything to do with Christmas was done in the last day or so.

Which leaves me looking out at next year, and considering what I will do, and what I can do, as the fiscal cliff approaches; no matter how you slice it, 2013 is going to be a bumpy ride. So, in no particular order of importance, I am resolved to – More »

16. December 2012 · Comments Off on That Old Holiday Feeling · Categories: Domestic, GWOT, History, Memoir, Politics, Tea Time, War, Working In A Salt Mine...

Blondie and I hit Sam’s club this afternoon for some holiday oddities and endities, and as we were heading out to the parking lot, Blondie remarked that everyone seemed rather … subdued. I couldn’t really see that the other customers were any more depressed than usual, wheeling around great trollies piled full of case-lots and mass quantities than any other Sunday, as I am still trying to throw the Cold From Hell – now in it’s third week of making me sound as if I am about to hack up half a lung. But that is just me – good thing I work at home, the commute is a short stagger to my desk, where I do the absolute minimum necessary for the current project, and another stagger back to to bed, take some Tylenol, suck on a cough drop and go back to sleep for several hours. The cats like this program, by the way – a warm human to curl up close to, on these faintly chill December days.

I am sick, and we are coming up on the second anniversary of Dad dying … the day after Christmas itself, if his last and terrifyingly sudden illness wasn’t enough to blight the season for a good few years to come. The murder in our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, the massacre of school-children in Connecticut on Friday … although we didn’t personally know anyone involved or affected at first hand, those events still cast their own blight. The results of the November election also cast a very long shadow. We – those libertarians and fiscal conservatives – know that there is a financial cliff coming, and no means left now to avoid running over it. Even the most cheerful among the libertarian/conservative bloggers are saying essentially, ‘let it burn.’ Let it all happen and be done with, and when it is over, then we can begin the long chore of rebuilding. No, the mood of holiday good cheer is very hard to maintain, amidst all of these personal and national disasters. Among the few happy shreds that I can take away from these last few weeks of 2012 is that at least this year I can afford to buy presents for my nearest and dearest, which wasn’t always the case in recent years.

But I know what Blondie means about people lacking enthusiasm for Christmas. It seems as if we are all just going through the motions this year – a demonstration of reassurance to children that everything is absolutely OK, and this will be the most perfect Christmas evah! Never mind the New Year, hanging like a dark cloud and rendering the standard expressed wishes for a happy one fairly hollow. The New Year will not be happy; of that we can be certain. It actually rather reminds me of the last Christmas that we spent in Spain – 1990. This was during the run-up to the First Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein was given a deadline of January 15th, 1991 by the UN to vacate Kuwait … or else. And all that winter, we watched American forces pass through Zaragoza, heading ‘down-range’ to Saudi Arabia. We watched the base being surrounded by high-banked rolls of concertina wire, and new security measures put into place, as the minutes and hours and days ticked by. That was the year that I put off buying a Christmas tree until the very last minute and had to settle for a two-foot tall plastic one. I do not recall what I bought for Blondie as a Christmas present; very likely a Lego assortment of some kind. And our Christmas that year was celebrated under much the same kind of cloud … because there was a holiday, and children who expected presents and jollity and the decorated tree and all, and parents obliged because of course that was what was expected and who knew what would be happening by the next Christmas … but every one of us did so knowing of the deadline, and knowing what would happen when the deadline passed.

With this current situation, there is no set and specific deadline to dread – only the certainty that no good will happen once it is passed.
Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

12. December 2012 · Comments Off on See the Violence Inherent in the System! · Categories: Ain't That America?, Local, Media Matters Not, Tea Time · Tags: , , ,

So it is not like violence by union members in Michigan against pro-right-to-work activists came as any big surprise to me … or should have to any other sentient being. I mean, this comes after a couple of years of incidents involving members of the SEIU – better known as the Purple People Beaters – and Tea Party protesters going at it. Not that our gutless establishment press organs ever seemed to take notice … or as little notice as they can and still retain a few lingering shreds of credibility, while they remain prostrate and adoring the mighty figure of Ozymandius … sorry, Obama. And in pop-culture circles, historically unions seem to enjoy at least a token respect, for which I hold Hollywood responsible. Why the entertainment industry adores unions, as they are full of plucky, honest blue-collar laboring types, and if it weren’t for unions, why we would be working seven days a week, up to our knees in toxic sludge, owing our soul to the company store, and breaking rocks in the hot sun … oops, sorry, flashback there to about a million Phil Ochs pseudo-folk songs.

This sentimental fondness persists to this day, even though it would appear that most people in the here and how who have had any personal encounters with any sort of union, either public employee or the private sector do not seem to have been left with a good impression generally, either as a consumer, a customer, a worker, manager or business owner. I’d venture to guess that most of the public also do not have a terribly good opinion of the senior management cadre of unions like … say, the Teamsters. Theoretical good will towards the historical struggle for the rights of working men and women is balanced against a present-day monstrous, self-serving, and possibly criminal – or criminally incompetent reality.

Anyway – the kerfuffle in Michigan will resolve itself one way or the other. My own personal hope is for criminal prosecution, or a civil suit, but in this current atmosphere, I am not holding my breath. No, what concerns me about this is something a little deeper … the willingness to do violence against the ‘other’ and a perfect willingness to do it in public, before cameras, and apparently in the assurance that there will be no repercussions … ever. Shades of the brown shirts and black shirts of the twenties and thirties in Italy and Germany, energetically going after political opponents and even relatively uninvolved citizens … because it is perfectly OK to bash opponents over the head and beat them bloody. Why … oh, just because they deserve it, because they don’t agree enthusiastically with the prevailing and carefully-cultivated orthodoxy. And because they disagree, and because they have been effectively ‘othered’ or ‘monstered’ it is thus perfectly OK, even laudable to beat them up, shout them down at public speaking venues, harass their families, sneer at them on television, flame them on the internet, libel them in publications and movies, ‘swat’ them, and trash whatever area they might be using for a meeting place or headquarters, vandalize their motor vehicles and other property … all that and more is legitimate and acceptable.

I have noted this going on increasingly since 2004, and picking up steam in 2008, although certain elements have been in play for longer than that. I watched it happen close up when posting at Open Salon over the time that I was blogging there, although I tried to avoid the more fetid depths of political nutbaggery on offer. I had the disconcerting experience of being active in a local Tea Party from the earliest days of that movement, and then observing how easily and efficiently – and without any basis in fact at all – that the meme of Tea Partiers as racist-stupid-red-necked-reactionaries was perpetuated in the general public by a consortium of the mainstream press, on TV and among the commentariat. Now that vicious meme is embedded in a good segment of the public like an impacted wisdom tooth – even among people whom I would have thought might know better. It was frustrating and frightening to me, how thoroughly it took hold among the OSers and in the general public who had never, ever actually gone to a Tea Party meeting or rally – and just about all of it without a single element being true. Now and again I did try to point out the dangers of reducing people with whom one had political differences to a caricature and then metaphorically burning the caricature at a stake. That way leads eventually to burning real people at a stake, or consigning them to reeducation camps. I don’t know that I had any success in making this plain with any but the most thoughtful and philosophically-inclined.

And very likely it is too late to make this clear to those who are already ready, willing and eager to work out their frustrations by beating up on the ‘other’ – as has been demonstrated in Michigan this week.

(Cross-posted at Chicagoboyz)

05. December 2012 · Comments Off on Wolverines · Categories: Ain't That America?, Tea Time, Veteran's Affairs, World

I don’t think I ever actually watched Red Dawn, the move – not the original, and probably not the remake, either. I haven’t been in the mood much for movie going lately, and I view remakes of successful old movies to be proof absolute that the creativity of mainstream Hollywood is a well pretty much run dry.

And the whole notion of Russia, China or North Korea having enough transport capability to bring over sufficient troops to overrun and overwhelm the continental United States is one which boggles my mind over into disbelief. Sure, Germany and Russia both did a fair amount of that military overrunning of adjacent nation in WWII, and Japan certainly managed to do all that and solve the transport issue well enough to do the same in Asia … but schlep a huge number of soldiers and necessary support the whole width of an ocean away, and then completely subdue a large portion of a continent? Nope, not with a block and tackle could I suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the popcorn.

And besides … as it turns out, maybe the dedicated socialists didn’t have to militarily invade at all. They’re already here, and plenty of them, ready to set aside the Constitution, to govern by decree and by thousands and thousands of dictates and rules touching upon everything from what kind of light bulbs we may buy, to what kind of healthcare we might have, what we pack in the kid’s school lunch and a thousand other matters large and small. And all of it decreed by the best and brightest for the very, very best of reasons and our own good, of course. Just call them the new Ruling Class. Some are political, some are academics or in business, or even entertainment – but all wish to cement their place at the apex of authority as quasi-aristocrats.

So what is a dedicated, small-government Constitutionalist to do but go Wolverine … but not by moving into the country and living out fantasies of the WWII-era resistance. No, the new Wolverinity is to stay in place and doggedly, sullenly resist. Resist by supporting small local businesses, independent authors, artists and fellow resistants. Use the power of the pocketbook as much as you can to starve the Ruling Class and it’s supporters. Ridicule and mock them, demonstrate your contempt – and never let a chance pass to remind certain of your fellow citizens (the ones who put Obama/Biden signs on their lawns) that the current administration is one that they voted for – especially when those unintended consequences begin turning up. Gas at $6 a gallon? You voted for that. Rolling brownouts in cities? Voted for that. Now you’re working part-time, or as an independent contractor because your employer can’t afford to implement Obamacare and remain solvent? Hey, you voted for that. As an old and wise NCO who was my mentor once observed, “Hey, sometimes you just got to let them fall on their sword.”

Go, Wolverines.

04. October 2012 · Comments Off on Thoughts On the Debate · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, Media Matters Not, Politics, Rant, sarcasm, Tea Time · Tags: , ,

Well, that was interesting – Blondie and I watched about the first fifty minutes or so together, and then she watched to the very end, as I had already pretty much given up hope of the Obaminator melting down entirely … the consummation that I have been devoutly wishing for since his administration began. Well, he was looking a bit melty and sweaty, and what was with all the constant blinking? Reassuring that he can speak sort of coherently without the crutch of a teleprompter, so he had that going for him, but I have to say that he did not seem confident at all; good at coming out with the predigested and memorized talking points, but no sense at all that he really, really, knew what he was talking about.
Romney, on the other hand, was there – on point, knowledgeable and authoritative. I know, I know – Blondie and I have both had the experience of being briefed in a military setting by someone who knows the subject inside and out, and one who is just reciting the required materiel. We both of us can tell the difference. I was reassured by how good Romney was; as I said, neither of us had him as first choice for the GOP, but we are now thinking that he was a good pick after all.

Of course, the major media melt-down is grimly amusing to behold … in the same way that a massive, spectacular wreck on the interstate is. Reporters and reporterettes, you got sold – and you believed in the Obaminator being the superior being and sang his praises in four-part barber-shop harmony … and framed Romney as a bumbling and doltish caricature. Have fun, sucking up what little remains of the respect for your profession, trickling in little steaming streams out of the wreck. Trying to belatedly redeem yourselves in the eyes of conservatives, libertarians and Tea Partiers will be another interesting spectacle over the next few weeks. I look forward to it, and am making popcorn.

So – next challenge; an open town-hall meeting, and a possibly much more partisan moderator. This should be interesting, especially if Romney handles it all with the same aplomb, Obama sweats bullets, and the mainstream media goes into overtime-spin, explaining just one more time how Obama really, really came out the winner. Fun times … maybe I’d better get more popcorn.

PS – from the expressions on the faces of both the Obamas after the debate, I don’t think that celebratory anniversary nookie was in the cards last night.

01. October 2012 · Comments Off on ObamaPhone · Categories: Ain't That America?, History, Tea Time · Tags: , ,

So, with a little more than six weeks to go to Election Day, this particular video is getting play, and no little amount of critical commentary, which does not actually surprise me in the least. What would surprise me would be to find out that the speaker in question actually is privately embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed for selling her vote so cheap, and publically encouraging others to do also.

A phone, a simple cellphone; this is the price of a vote in this decadent age. Never mind that this ‘assistance to the unfortunate’ was something started several administrations ago, never mind that this particular interviewee seems to know history as well as your average potted plant, never mind … well, never mind several more observations regarding this particular person’s education level and personal background which might in all fairness be assumed from a brief interlocution with a video camera. Again – the most deeply appalling, unsettling part is how cheaply votes can be bought. Oh, at certain times and in certain places during the history of this grand republic, votes were bartered for goods or good-will. This was what built the big-city machines; Tammany Hall is of course the grand historic example, but other big cities in the late 19th and early 20th century also fell to lesser imitators; the Daley Machine in Chicago being presently the best known, and still poisonously effective, given the eminence of the present occupant of the White House.

But still … your vote is for him, because he gave you a cellphone? Gave all your friends and neighbors a cellphone? And you’ll sell your vote for that … the vote that men and women of color and otherwise campaigned, protested, marched, and went to war for, for those 200 and some years since the American Revolution and the founding of the republic? The considered choice of a thoughtful and involved citizen in electing fellow citizens to public is sold for a mess of pottage and a few trinkets. I have read many editorials regarding how republics eventually became corrupted once citizens realized they could vote themselves largess from the public treasury. You, my dear fellow citizen – would sell out for a cellphone. This particular brief video makes it almost nakedly obvious: he gave me stuff, so I’m voting for him. Which is probably why it’s been linked, posted and shared all over the place – the very scumminess of the exchange revolts viewers. One of them is Wretchard, at the Belmont Club, who wrote eloquently in the comments to his original post:

“It reminds me, horribly enough, of how politicians in Philippines buy votes for a bag of peanuts and bottle of Marca Demonyo Gin plus maybe the equivalent of a $5 bill.
And don’t imagine people don’t understand they are being bought. They do and that is the worst of it. To see in their eyes the awareness that they’ve fallen so low they’ll follow orders for chump change. The more intelligent of them hate themselves for it. But then … they haven’t been able to afford a bag of peanuts or a bottle of gin for a while … and maybe this chance won’t come again. You can watch the struggle until the hand goes out and grabs the gin.
This to me is the most terrible sight you can see. I don’t feel any superiority over the woman in the Obama Phone video. Just horror. Horror. And the worst of it is that I know that I fell so low I’d be in the same state. Just drooling over that cheap-ass phone. How terrible. How absolutely terrible.”

28. September 2012 · Comments Off on RuiNation · Categories: Domestic, Media Matters Not, Pajama Game, Politics, Rant, Tea Time

So a little over six weeks to go until Election Day; I guess we can call this the final heat. Texas is pretty much a red state stronghold, although there are pockets of blue adherents throughout. Yes, even in my neighborhood, there are a handful of defiant Obama-Biden yard signs visible, although outnumbered at least two to one by Romney-Ryan signs. It amounts to about a dozen, all told; I think that most of my neighbors prefer keeping their political preferences this time around strictly to themselves.

I wasn’t all that wild about Mittens as a candidate, personally; too much the old-line country-club establishment Republican for my taste – but he’ll do, especially if Tea Party small-government fiscal conservatives overwhelmingly sweep the House and Senate and assist in keeping his nose to the small-government and fiscally conservative grindstone. So I will vote for him with reserved good cheer and considerable hope. There is too much at stake to consider otherwise. The next President of the US will have in their preview the elevation of at least one, and possibly two or more Justices to the Supreme Court, and that is just one consideration. Our foreign policy is even more shambolic than usual after four years of Mr. Hopey-Changey, the Middle East is melting down, our embassies in countries with a strong Islamic component are all but under siege, our rights to free speech are under threat in the guise of accusations of Islamophobia when exercising them in certain directions, we are more bitterly divided across class, regional and racial lines than any time that I can personally recall, the price of gas and electricity is skyrocketing, and our economy appears to be on extremely shaky ground. Which the mainstream media – god bless their little cotton socks – increasingly is reporting by putting a nice smiley face on the bad news, in the finest tradition of official government press organs everywhere, especially those where an in-law or second cousin of the Big Man is the owner of the largest newspaper and the sole national broadcaster. Those officially licensed pervs at the TSA are still feeling up three year olds and octogenarians in wheel-chairs the length and breadth of this blessed land, California’s best option may yet be to fall into the Pacific Ocean … and Texas needs rain.

A Romney-Ryan administration will, it is hoped, do something constructive about many of these problems, or so is our deep and abiding hope. At the very least, they might be able to delay the crash that many of us expect will be just around the corner anyway. It will be a hell of a job, anyway, being undermined, slandered and sabotaged by the die-hard big-Statists infuriated at the prospect of being cut off from the money trough. Our mainstream news media will definitely not be in their corner, along with most of what Angelo Codevilla called the ‘ruling class’. But suppose … just Obama/Biden wins on November 6th. It’s not entirely out of the question, and I am sure that there will be many who will rejoice initially, until all those chickens launched in the last four years come home to roost. So, do we want the pain of the economic and political crash to come in a series of agonizing jerks or one heartrending pull? Might it be better to have all the bad things that almost certainly will happen in the next four years land upon the administration responsible in no small part for launching them? Could it be that the Obama administration and the Democratic party generally having to wholly own the disastrous situation that they created and encouraged? Might the corruption, the abuse of state power, the sheer bloody incompetence bring the Democratic Party down entirely? Given enough rope in the form of a second Obama term, might they eventually hang themselves?

There is a lot of ruin in a nation – four more years of this may be more than we can handle and still be a confident, forward-looking and united country; the land of the free and home of the brave. Can we risk such an ordeal … even if it gives us a chance to put the new ruling class off their high thrones in the halls of power, if not once and for all, at least for the forseeable future? I have no idea, but this is certainly something to think about in the next six weeks.

… that there was some kind of secret high-sign or signal that we could give to other conservative-libertarian-Tea Party adherents in casual social situations. Even in Texas, a mostly red-state and stronghold of prickly independent free-marketers, there is enough of a leavening of blue-state Dems and Obama worshippers that one need be constrained in discussing politics … by good manners, if nothing else. Especially in the neighborhood where one lives; there are, I know, at least a few Democrats sufficiently enthused about the One to actually display bumper-stickers and yard signs. One of them is a very sweet and cordial gentlemen dog aficionado; he and his wife always adore and pet our dogs, when they see us, and we recently mourned together when they had to put one of their own dogs to sleep. He and his wife are nice people, decent people; good neighbors, home-owners who keep their place beautifully – they fly the Texas and American flags, and a military service flag with two stars upon it – but… But on the back of his truck he has a home-made magnetic bumper sticker implying that the Tea Party in combination with the GOP equals the screwing of America. So there is one thing that we can never talk about, not without risking neighborly amity, and I just don’t want to take the risk. He had an Obama-Biden yard sign the last time out, anyway, so we can’t say we weren’t warned. The nice older couple with the lovely garden just down the street from them were precinct-walking for a Dem candidate this year, so any casual conversation with them also must avoid politics. My own next-door neighbor, an irreproachably middle-class retired civil servant of African-American heritage has an Obama tee-shirt that she has worn now and again, so there again … a careful avoidance of my Tea Party sympathies.

But now and again we have stumbled into a potential political minefield in conversation, most often when the other person ventures an opinion to do with the economy, race-relations, or the upcoming campaign, and then hesitates, looking at us nervously until we assure them of our own libertarian/conservative Tea Party leanings. This happened most recently last weekend, during a venture into the Hill Country, and a stop in a small shop featuring vintage Americana. The place was empty, and the owner was probably very bored, when Blondie and I wandered in. Soon we were comparing our favorite episodes of American Restoration, mutual in our wish that they would show more of the actual nuts and bolts of the restoral job, instead of the manufactured interpersonal drama. Then Blondie mentioned a similar show – Abandoned, which features a couple of guys spelunking through abandoned buildings, looking for stuff they can refurbish, refinish, or repair and sell at a profit. I said how I thought it was just tragic, these factories and churches like the neo-gothic monument in Philadelphia featured on a recent show were just left to ruin, where once they had been the pride of the cities and towns where they were located. In the 19th century and early 20th, people had spent good money to build solidly and well, had manufactured good and useful things, paid wages … and now, it was all left to rack and ruin, and the rag-pickers, raking through the ruins looking for something to sell. The shop owner sympathized, and made a remark about eastern and rust-belt cities which the political leadership had essentially trashed … and then he got a very nervous look on his face, obviously fearing that he had said too much and possibly to the wrong people. Until we assured him that we were Tea Partiers from way back. And then we had a nice conversation, speculating on the eventual outcome of the various campaigns … and really, that is why I wish there were some kind of secret handshake or signal that we could give, so we know right off the bat when it is OK to risk being open about political leanings.

(Cross posted at chicagobotz.net)

You know, I meant to do this on Monday, for part of my Monday Morning Miscellany series, but I had a deadline or two, and the time and writing energy just got away from me … but all to the good, for the last five days have actually provided something to muse upon, in these dog days of summer. (Fittingly called the dog days, as one of them is curled up underneath my desk at this very moment.)
The first of these is that Newsweek – tottering towards it’s nearly inevitable doom – has either recovered something of its journalistic backbone, or thrown caution to the winds and tried to win back those droves of disgusted conservatives and libertarians by doing a cover story suggesting that it might be best for all if the Dear Leader start packing. I couldn’t have been more astonished to hear the White House Press Corpse-men suddenly break out singing, “Hit the Road Jack, Don’t You Come Back, No More, No More,” in four-part a-capella harmony during the morning White House briefing . Not surprised that a pop historian like Niall Ferguson should say so, but in Newsweek? The deeply cynical opine that it’s a sort of “Get out of Jail” marker, against future accusations of being biased in favor of the Dear Leader – so at a later date, they can say in their defense, “We did too criticize him, so there!” I wonder if it isn’t one last vain attempt to cut themselves free from the sinking USS Obama, seeing that the ship is going down by the head, the engine room is flooding rapidly, and the last lifeboats are being lowered.

Further indication that the White House Press Corpse is perhaps less enamored of the Dear Leader lately is this recent picture … captured by a Reuters photog. Further comment would be superfluous … but somehow one senses that the bloom of enchantment with Dear Leader is pretty much wearing off with the working press stiffs.
And as for our own Mittens, our hero in the upcoming joust in the 2012 campaign lists … the phrase “Bless your/his/her heart” is a somewhat loaded one, in flyover-country-speak. It can be a mild and gently charitable wish for the person of whom it is said to have a nice day … but when said in a certain tone of voice and under certain circumstances by certain practitioners of the passive-aggressive arts (usually but not always Southern ladies of a certain age) the unstated meaning is a suggestion that the person referred to should sodomize themselves with a rusty chain-saw … or something even more painful and humiliating. Glad to clear that up for my bi-coastal and international readers. Moving on …

And it seems to be true that the Obama campaign is stiffing host communities on paying for the additional expenses attendant on hosting a Presidential event in their dear little towns. Whereas the Romney/Ryan campaign is paying up front, even paying in advance. Seriously, I wonder how long this kind of thing – stiffing cities and municipalities for the extra expense of having Dear Leader swoop into town for an event – can go on without serious repercussions. A pattern? Do bears perform ablutions in the woods? IIRC, Los Angeles commuters got pretty darned tired of the Presidential motorcade making traffic a nightmare … or more of a nightmare than usual, whenever he attended a Hollywood event.

The Todd Akin rape kerfuffle … hard to know what to say about that; he is not running for office in a district where I vote, and the suspicion remains that if a sentiment so dubious and so clumsily expressed were mouthed by a candidate with a D after his or her name, it would get the full-enable treatment. Still – a clear pitfall, in the question posed to him and a bad response to it. Seriously, if you need follow-up explanations, clarifications and footnotes about what you said – then you have not put the best foot forward … unless that foot is comfortably lodged in your mouth up to the kneecap. I note that the gentleman in question is a long-term establishment Repub, which in my way of thinking is at least one strike against him. The other strike being that if you cannot enunciate what you mean, clearly and unmistakably, without legions of commenters arriving on gossamer wings on a mission to disentangle you from your thoughts … then perhaps you should consider another career, outside politics. One mush-mouthed, gaffe-producing and deeply confused career politician of Social Security age at a time, please – and that slot is already filled bountifully by Joe Biden. Alas, the only useful suggestion I have for GOP/Independent/Tea Party voters in Mr. Akin’s district is to consider a write-in vote, and to campaign on that basis over the next two months and a bit.

And finally, Prince Harry in the tabloids after a loosing round of strip pool in Los Vegas. Hmmmm, yes. Very nice and thank you, sweetie. Now put on your trousers before you catch your death of cold, as your Gran is going to be pretty pissed for a while.

And that was my week; yours?