Archive for January, 2012
31 Jan 2012

Large Croc

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The Portuguese language news story says:
African toy …… Captured and killed near the border with Angola in Namibia.

31 Jan 2012

Wild Turkey Versus Coke Truck

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It happened in Harrison, GA and was reported by Georgia Outdoor News.

I learned of it from Theo.

30 Jan 2012

The Daffy Duck Test

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Emory King sticks up for Newt and proposes a new standard of electoral acceptability for the 2012 Presidential Race.

I have not and will not post anything in support of a candidate for president. They all pass the Daffy Duck test for me and therefore will receive my vote once they secure the nomination. (The Daffy Duck test, by the way, is are they smarter than Daffy Duck and are they not named Obama.) However, pundits assailing Newt are getting on my nerves. Not because he isn’t worthy of criticism, (he is) but because they are trying to tell me he isn’t a conservative. Really. Where exactly were these folks in the eighties and nineties? I was alive then and can’t recall anyone telling me Newt wasn’t a conservative then. If Newt isn’t conservative, why was he used as an example of how the left tries to destroy its opponents in Ann’s book Treason. I quote from page 123 of my copy, ” The left’s enthusiasm for destroying individual lives still sputters to life occasionally, driving their monumental crusades against Newt Gingrich, Ken Starr, and Linda Tripp, for example.” If people don’t want to support Newt for president, I certainly understand why. He isn’t perfect by a long shot. But please don’t sit here and tell me he isn’t on our side of the fence because most of his critics among the chattering class loved the guy in 1994.

30 Jan 2012

Steve Bodio, Video Star

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The illustrious sporting author Steve Bodio, alas! now suffering from health problems, was a principal star of this video promoting the University of New Mexico Clinical Neurosciences Center.

Amusingly, the notorious troll Pat Burns does some major up-sucking in the comments section of Steve’s own blog.

30 Jan 2012

Cultural Convergence

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Cheyenne, the author’s daughter.

Lesbian pagan Amy Phillips testifies that a conservative Catholic school saved her daughter, after the public high school experience had left her suicidal.

30 Jan 2012

African Bull Frog Plays Ant Crusher

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30 Jan 2012

The Progressive Era Recedes Into the Past

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John Gast, American Progress (and other titles), 1872, most frequently seen in chromolithograph form inside cigar boxes.


Walter Russell Mead
starts a new insightful essay which argues that the Progressive, Blue State-politics ideas revolving around suburbia, a manufacturing economy, a constantly-expanding regulatory regime and welfare state pertain to rapidly vanishing world, destined to follow the Indians and the buffalo, and the family farm and homestead into America’s past.

The frustration and bitterness that fills American politics these days reflects the failure of our current social, political and economic institutions and practices to deliver the results that Americans want and expect. It’s comparable to the frustration and fear that swept through the country in the late 19th and early 20th century as the first American dream – that every family could prosper on its own farm – gradually died….

Our political battles today reflect the same kinds of frustrations we saw in the old populist era. Many cannot fathom another and “higher” form of the American Dream beyond the old crabgrass utopia. They want to turn back the clock and restore the old system because they don’t know of anything else that will work. …

It is, of course, a very similar situation today. The forces ripping up our old social model are too powerful to beat. That is not because the rich bankers or global multinationals are engaged in a conscious conspiracy of rip-offs and oppression (though, frankly speaking, big business does sometimes engage in exactly that). It is because the forces ripping up the social model are deeply implanted in the nature of the economic system — and that system is a reflection of the propensities in human nature which we cannot and perhaps should not overcome.

There is another important similarity, one often overlooked in the pessimism, anger and anxiety provoked by the inexorable decline of the “blue social model” that shaped America in the 20th century — just as it was overlooked 100 years ago.

Read the whole thing.

30 Jan 2012

“How Thick is Your Bubble?”

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Norman Rockwell, Saturday Evening Post cover, August 27, 1960 (click to enlarge)

As the paintings of Norman Rockwell frequently attest, pre-1960s America was not nearly so thoroughly divided by class as today’s America.

We recently linked the New Criterion article by Charles Murray, excerpted from his forthcoming book, on the damaging impact to both sides of class separation in contemporary America.

To illustrate his theses, Mr. Murray subsequently offered a 25 Question test, designed to indicate exactly how isolated from ordinary America the individual subject may be.

Murray’s test seems pretty accurate, as I got a score of 67, placing me in the “first- generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and moviegoing habits” category, which is quite right. I’m the descendant of Turn-of-the-Last-Century Lithuanian immigrants, and grew up in the Anthracite coal mining town of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. My father and grandfathers were coal miners. As a consequence, I think Murray is right in believing that I’m much less infatuated with the moral and intellectual superiority of the urban community of fashion.

29 Jan 2012

Unknown Large Object Found in Baltic

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The peculiar object lies 80 meters (262 1/2 feet) underwater, somewhere between Sweden and Finland. CNN

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

29 Jan 2012

If GOP Debates Were a Silent Film

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Inspired by trailers for “The Artist” (2011):

27 Jan 2012

Yesterday’s Mass Attack on Gingrich Big Gun

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The Mummy aka Bob Dole

Jim Geraghty (via his email morning Jolt) remembers history a bit better than Bob Dole does.

History will record that it was on January 26, 2012 that the Romney campaign high command looked at their tough spot in their battle against Newt Gingrich, and with a steely glint, exchanged knowing, grim looks, and nodded.

The command was given, “Unleash Bob Dole!” (He’s kind of like the Kraken [or the Cryptkeeper].)

Dole declared yesterday:

    I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late. If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway. . . .

    In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads and in every one of them Newt was in the ad. He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year. Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty bucket in his hand — that was a symbol of some sort for him — and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it, and I’m not certain he knew either.

The ice bucket was because Congress used to have “ice service,” i.e., taxpayer-funded U.S. Capitol employees had the job of bringing ice to offices that requested it. Newt and the class of 1994 ended that service, modest as the cost was, as a symbol of congressional excess and waste.

How am I the only person who knows this? How is it that I know this and Bob Dole doesn’t?

Erick Erickson
is incredulous that Bob Dole is the preferred attack dog of the Romney campaign:

Bob Dole, you will remember from George Stephanoupolos’s memoir of his time in Clinton’s White House, totally cut the legs out from under Newt Gingrich and House Republicans during the government shut down. According to the Democrats, they were within twenty-four hours of caving to the House Republicans’ demands, but Bob Dole surprised them all by caving first.

Dole went on to lose to Bill Clinton and still hates Newt Gingrich for it because Gingrich was the face used to attack Dole — a man who would have been the hero in the fight had Dole not caved.

And we’re supposed to hate Newt Gingrich because Bob Dole caved to the Democrats twenty-four hours before they were going to cave to Gingrich?

27 Jan 2012

Did Lee’s Health Problems Play a Role at Gettysburg?

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The Battle of Gettysburg, generally looked upon as the turning point of the Civil War, occurred over three days, July 1 – July 3, 1863.

The first day of Gettysburg consisted of a meeting engagement, in which fate favored the Union. Elements of A.P. Hill’s Corps ran into veteran Union cavalry armed with repeating carbines occupying a good defensible position on a ridge. Reinforcements arrived for both sides, but the Union forces which arrived first consisted of the best troops in the Union Army, Reynolds‘ First Corps, including the renowned Iron Brigade. Nonetheless, the Confederate infantry eventually drove the Union forces back, compelling them to retreat to the next ridge line east of the town. The first day of the Battle of Gettysburg ended with a significant Confederate victory.

On the second day, Confederate forces attacked both the left and right ends of the Union line, attempting to turn the Army of the Potomac’s flank. But the Union positions on high ground were strong, the Confederate attacks were delayed and not ideally coordinated, and the Union defense held. The second day’s fighting of the Battle of Gettysburg ended in an indecisive stalemate.

On the third day, Robert E. Lee choose to emulate the offensive strategy adopted by Napoleon successfully at both Wagram and Borodino, a full-scale frontal attack on the enemy center intended to break his line decisively and to drive him from the field in full retreat. Lee sent Pickett’s Division and six brigades from A.P. Hill’s Corps, nearly 13,000 men, to advance and break the Union center. Pickett’s Charge failed, and the third day of Gettysburg resulted in a decisive Confederate defeat.

Robert E. Lee’s decision to order a frontal attack has provoked endless re-examination and criticism.

In the latest issue of The Gettysburg Magazine, Dr. Carl Coppolino proposes a medical explanation for General Lee’s misjudgment.

I don’t put any stock in these kinds of explanations myself, but there may be something valid in the mention of Lee’s heart trouble. The possibility that Lee’s cardiac illness played a role at Gettysburg has been offered before. Mainwaring, Tribble 1992.

26 Jan 2012

Elites Hate the Poor

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P.J. O’Rourke isn’t fooled. The American elites claim to represent the interests of the poor in order to credential their own class’s power grabs as a worthy cause, but their real attitude toward people who fail to perform satisfactorily in the meritocratic rat race is one of utter contempt and complete intolerance.

[P]oor people don’t have a lot of pleasures. Sure, they have more sex than progressive elites. But somehow, for poor people, the sex always ends up in illegitimate children or HIV or some bum of a boyfriend instead of leading to, as it does for elites, a Reichian release of primordial cosmic energy or the wonderful self-fulfillment and midlife reawakening of a new divorce. And, yes, the poor have drugs and alcohol, but these bring them nothing but grief. They’re not at all like the subtle and refined delights of a 300-bottle wine cellar or the therapeutic relief from Zoloft, Lexapro, Elavil, Ambien, Halcion, Xanax, beta blockers, Levitra, and Cialis.

And poor people do have a lot of troubles. Sometimes, when you’ve got a crap job and are going to get laid off from it besides and your crack-head daughter has three kids by four fathers and your oldest son is on the front in Afghanistan and your youngest son can’t decide which drug crew to join and the cable company has cut off service and somebody’s jimmying the twelfth lock on the sheet-metal door, you’d like to sit down on your own damn chair in your own damn kitchen and have a smoke.

Well, forget it. The progressive elites are already charging you $7 for that pack of king-size filter tips, and pretty soon they’re going to add the price of eviction. Because they hate your guts.

The elites who denounce poverty despise the poor. Their every high-minded, right-thinking “poverty program” proves this detestation—from the bulldozing of vibrant tenement communities to the drug law policing policies that send poor kids to prison and rich kids to rehab to the humiliation of food stamps and free school lunches to the loathsome inner-city public schools where those free lunches are slopped onto cafeteria trays.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Victoria Ordin.

26 Jan 2012

Observation of the Day

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You know what happens when you play a country tune backwards? You get your girl and your truck back, you’re not drunk anymore, and your hound dog comes back to life.

–Elmore Leonard, Pronto: A Novel.

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