Friday, August 29, 2008

The best news since my orphanhood...

Sen. McCain was awarded the Navy Cross for outstanding leadership, toughness and endurance.

Today's action shows us that he'll still take a big old risk. I would never have dreamed that he would have dared to offer the nomination to Governor Palin.

All those "I'm a conservative, I'm not voting for McCain" people are saying, "Hold up..."

This will waaaaaay irritate the lefties and the gender politicians, who hate being asked why their lists of great women never include Margaret Thatcher or Liddy Dole.

The lefties will have to make up some new ad feminem attacks-

Chickenhawk! Why aren't your children in Iraq? (Umm, mine and my running mate's are.)

NRA life member! (Yes, just like Saint Jack.)

Sexist! (???)

Raaaacist! (Tell my husband, the Native American. Or my running mate's daughter, the Indian.)

Silver Spoon! (Tell my husband the pipeline worker. Or my children, in public schools like I was, and like our opponents weren't and their children aren't.)

I've already heard that being governor of a state with a "limited population" isn't important. Um, Delaware has only 200,000 people more than Alaska. Damn!

I know- neither Republican candidate is a lawyer!

That will get people mad at them!

My favourite part will, I think, be when they bring up petty, irrelevant stuff. I can imagine it now-

"Governor Palin, our network as found naked pictures of you from 1985, do you have a comment?"

"Yes, I am naked under my clothes just as you are. Next?"

Another more sober reflection- both Republicans have personally engaged in dangerous personal stuff, and have experienced the infliction of death personally. They have seen the elephant.*

That's not meaningless. It seems strange, but follow along. A president has to get metaphorical blood on his hands from time to time, and it's not a bad idea for him to have seen the real thing close up. Bush 1, Kennedy, Truman, and Theodore Roosevelt all did, and they weren't so bad.

A combat veteran, an EMT, nurse, farmer, hunter, or slaughterman know inside what the end of life looks like, what we all come to.

I am reminded of something George Orwell said about Gandhi:

"Even when he was fighting what was in effect a color war, he did not think of people in terms of race or status. The governor of a province, a cotton millionaire, a half-starved Dravidian coolie, a British private soldier were all equally human beings, to be approached in much the same way."

I get the feeling that McCain sees each of us as a person, and Obama sees us as categories. I don't like that, I think it's an evil and dangerous way to think. Its what is behind every terrible political and social outlook, from social exclusion to segregation to Kolyma.

And scarier, that leaves himself as the only individual.

It's his world, and the rest of us just live in it.

Legislatures are full of very successful, very effective, very useful sociopaths. But executive sociopaths are very dangerous indeed.

*"...the whole story begins with the classic American traveling carnival. Back in the early 19th century, the arrival of such a carnival in a small town was a major occasion, affording the town's residents the opportunity to sample all sorts of exotic attractions, from the grotesque denizens of the sideshow to wild beasts from Africa and Asia that many people at that time had only read of in books. The big draw at many of these shows was an elephant, a far bigger and stranger critter than any animal native to North America, and to go to the carnival without "seeing the elephant" would be like going to the Ohio State Fair without seeing the Butter Cow. (Yes, it's a life-size cow sculpted from butter, sort of a giant advertisement for bypass surgery.)

So ritualized was this small-town pachyderm-mania that by about 1835 "to see the elephant" had become a catch phrase meaning "to experience all that there is to see, to see all that can be endured," with the sense that after having "seen the elephant" there was nothing left to see. A related, more general sense arose a few years later, in which "to have seen the elephant" meant "to be worldly, no longer innocent, to have learned a hard lesson." Many young people of the day who left the country for the big city with stars in their eyes only to experience hardship and disappointment were wryly said to have "seen the elephant" in this sense. And by about 1840, "see the elephant" had acquired the specialized military sense you have heard, meaning "to experience combat for the first time," with the brutal loss of innocence that ordeal conveys."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dusty Horwitt , embarrassment for EWG...

Dusty Horwitt is about to start on his 15 minutes, I hope.

He's a lawyer who works for EWG, a lefty lobby group whose goal is to get tax money spent on its customers and contributors. At least they say it directly- "advocates on Capitol Hill for health-protective and subsidy-shifting policies".

In his recent Washington Post piece, he suggests using the power of the state to limit and filter the flow of communication between citizens, using energy taxation as the means. So the Newspapers and Networks can get their versions of what we need to know unimpeded by all those millions of blogs that nobody reads anyway. Seriously, that's what he says.

He asserts that there are only twenty news/politics blogs that reach 100,000 people monthly. That's just a lie, I can NAME more than that myself.

He says plenty of other things, too- suggesting that in this day and age, no one would notice the Selma riots, and that political change can't come from the web. Tell the Swift Boat veterans, or LGF, who broke the Dan Rather / CBS news forgery fraud, with clear, incontrovertible proof.

Comments were closed on the article after 61, uniformly unfavourable. TMI. (Now reopened.)

His company's mission statement?

The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.

His Law School, Georgetown, ought to be ashamed. Or maybe he skipped First Amendment day.

But here's what's funny.

He has other jobs!

He’s a professional Bill Clinton imitator, AND he writes and sings funny songs!

And he has information-cluttering, Gaia-Raping WEB SITES for BOTH:

Not one, but two!

So classic. Information, even trivial information like mp3s of his Clinton imitations, for me but not for thee.

If I were EWG I’d fire this embarrassment, PDQ.

I hope they do.

Any one who advocates that government stifle free communication is an enemy of the human race, and penury is much too mild a fate for him.

And here's something he wrote that I rather like. Found it on the internet, too. TMI!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Confederate Women...

I’m reading a book that has me thinking. It’s called “Mothers of Invention”, and it’s about- by, really- Southern women “of the slave holding class” during the U. S. Civil War. The author has read hundreds of memoirs, diaries, and letters from her subjects, organized her thoughts into categories, and let the women speak. She’s not (so far) all censorious, nor does she demand that these women of 1860 hold bien pensant ideas of today. It’s refreshing, there’s only moderate P. C. jargon usage and explication. I’ve been thinking lately about the “home front” and families in wartime, so seeing this was a fortunate fortuity.

She seems to try to show, and present, as broad a selection of these womens’ experiences and thoughts as she can. It has always seemed to me, pill that I am, that the study of history is anti human. By its insistence on pie charting humanity- “The landed gentry of England opposed parliamentary reform in 1832”. Surely these blanket statements are broadly true, but they deny the real truth that people are usually conflicted. The Grandma’s diary quote is a good example- we need to fight the Japanese and Germans, but I hope not with my beau." I suppose even the most homogenous societies contain people who aren’t so much dissenters as what might be called perspectivists- those who cannot deny outlooks which don’t match even their own actions. We all know that lots of our own fellows, maybe most of them, are like that. Certainly most hunting people think hard and are disturbed by the cruelty inherent in what we do, and I find few people who oppose the Iraq war who also believe that our enemies want to live in peace, or that the retreat they want will help bring about a solution.

I wonder if we concentrated more on this genuine diversity, diversity of thought, it might make a difference. Don’t look for it from lefty academia- those folks seem obsessed with pie charting and the very THOUGHT that people could vary from their category’s assigned thought pattern is inadmissible. Especially designated oppressors and victims- can you imagine class material at Yale suggesting that, for example, lots and lots of German aristocrats despised the Nazis? It’s true, though. And it was often said among enforcers of the Judenrein that everyone- even the “best Germans”- had particular Jews within their own circles whom they considered should be exempt from repressive measures.

Thinking about that might help us get out of our still wired in Marxist view that history is in some way inevitably on some course. You constantly hear people talk about the future as though it will be determined by confrontations and alliances between uniform, homogenously thinking groups. I believe it’s not, though. Maybe history, like life, isn’t changing red to yellow, but instead changing green to brown. Sure, there are some serious Jihadis we have to kill. But I have always thought that the hearts and minds idea was a good one. The tactics we use might be wrong, but most Moslems don’t, personally, want to choose between conversion and martyrdom.

Just a musing, there, on the contrary and unique nature of almost every human.

The place I saw it was interesting, too. I was visiting a house which belongs to somone who makes a habit of buying any book written by a university classmate. This makes for an interesting library. Sort of a postsecret effect- content suggested by the artists, not the viewer.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hot Nuns !

I thought "Miss Land Mine" was a good idea.

A beauty pageant for actual genuine nuns? Again, words fail.

But the article expands the pageant horizon-

"There is no equivalent contest in Italy for priests. However, for the past four years a calendar featuring handsome young priests and seminarians posing against Rome landmarks has been a bestseller at newspaper kiosks.

Shaping up

— Inmates of a women’s prison in Siberia enter an annual Miss Spring contest, to demonstrate good behaviour and win early parole

— The Mazayin Dhafra festival in Abu Dhabi this year staged a beauty pageant for camels, in a government-sponsored move to remind Emiratis of their heritage

— The Miss Mama Kilo contest in Cameroon is reserved for women weighing 90kg (198lb) or more."

No fooling, the Obama Cheer Project...

A magic chant to go along with a fantasy campaign. My own words fail.

The Gratitude Campaign is a good antidote.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'd not put Isaac Hayes under "coon" on my web page...

Even now, never mind back when he was alive. Because insulting words are common and stupid.

But then, from some candidates "coon" isn't a racial slur, is it? Here's another:

The candidate shown was defeated in his run for the U. S. Senate in a state north of here. But wouldn't these have destroyed his effort if they had been made public? And yes, it is a picture of his genuine Flickr page, I took photos in case it is altered.

It depends, doesn't it? The "coon supper" is an annual political event in Tennessee. You'd think State House Speaker Nafieh, who gives it, would have had the good taste, or been hounded, to change the name.

But no, it's all in good fun and he keeps getting reelected. He has a big old D beside his name.

Something pretty for Sunday...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why didn't Amanda Marshall ever take off?

But nothing new from her for years. Shame, really, she did all sorts of good stuff.

And there's a hunting horn at 1.46! I'm sure it's a party noisemaker, but it's almost time!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A mechanical mule!

This is just amazing! And it has plenty of jump, too.

Someone said back in the thirties that the Army wouldn't accept tanks until they could be made to eat hay at one end and crap out of the other. It's a good thing these weren't around back then.

And this is making me cry. Miracles and wonders, in a few years there will probably be one that fits under clothing.

Hat tip to The Rep.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

First Nazi Hummels, now this...

The Nazi Hummel post cards were creepy enough, and then I stumbled on this:

Currently for sale on ebay. Why do I suspect this once belonged to Colonel Redl ?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Speaking of Hispanics...

The lefty-approved kind, from south of the Rio Grande. Saw this billboard recently:

Are we ignorant? Do we not know that's Villa, and that Los Dorados were his personal guards and killers?

I suppose byegones are byegones.

Soon to open, Bataan Sushi and Jochem's Schnitzel Haus.

Uncle Ho's Hanoi Hotel is still in focus groups.

I've always liked this picture:

Dotty looking nervous in his new suit, Obregon all spruce, and who knew Pershing ever laughed?

Looting Spanish Gold- From a Museum...

On some of my couple of hundred trips to the City, I visited the HSA. It's full of interesting things, in most places it would be an A list item. There, it's another of those places the guidebooks forgot.

Now, it's being stripped.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Enquirer right AGAIN...

As I said it was.

Liar says Enquirer trash, news.

Enquirer right repeatedly about Liar, not news.

My favourite part of his confession, "I didn't love her".

And now that everyone in the country is talking about it, it's news.


Lying concession speech...

Like all of them.

Just once, I'd like to hear one (since Nixon in California) that's honest. I think Padgett's true speech is on the view from his porch.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 was good to have been born, just to experience that one thing.

Finding the maiden's prayer picture, I stumbled on this. War is sad, even though this is a funny story.

It's easy to forget that everyone, even the 19 martyrs, loves to see a pretty day.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A simple question for the candidates...

I often think about asking candidates questions. Here's one for every D, and plenty of Rs as well:

"Over the past few months, the dollar cost of gasoline has increased substantially. You have called this a bad thing, a crisis, and have demanded that government do things to keep


Over the same few months, the dollar cost of a house in some places has decreased substantially. You have called this a bad thing, a crisis, and have demanded that government do things to keep


I'm renting, and I'd like to buy. Why do you think I should pay more for my house?

I work in a gas station. Why do you think I should not get as much for my product as people are willing to pay?"

No one complained when house or copper "prices doubled". Why is that?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

America's Top Clap Quack Can't read...

The Constitution, that is. Dr. Kevin Fenton thinks He thinks the President sets the budget!

It's good there is a quick, easy HIV test now. Miracles and wonders.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Every Maiden's Dream...

No, not a maiden's prayer.

But you're too late, girls- he "was granted bail so he could marry his girlfriend of six months before he goes to jail."

And why does dope cost twice as much to the dark folk of the island continent?