Monthly Archives: November 2008

Defeating the Skirmishers of Venus

The Latin term pudendum and the Greek term αιδοίον (aidoion) for the genitals literally mean “shameful thing”. (Wikipedia)


Interesting times we live in (wonder what Chinaman we pissed off?): Fifty days left until we see whether Bush actually leaves office. Joe the Plumber’s book comes out tomorrow. Sarah Palin continues to dominate digital searches, fighting it out for first place with Paris Hilton.* Continue reading


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How To Cap Off The Election — A Modest Suggestion

Regular readers will recall the Phrygian cap*, which the “Sons of Liberty” adopted about 1766 as the emblem of our Revolution. Many of the militia who served in the Revolutionary War wore the “Liberty cap” with “Liberty” or “Liberty or Death” or “Congress” embroidered on the headband.

[* "Who Stole Our American Hat?" 5 September 2008]

You don’t see that much in the movies, of course. Nor, does the “Liberty cap” mean much anymore — although at one time, it was not only the emblem of the American Revolution, but was incorporated into the coats of arms of several states (New York and New Jersey, for instance) and chunks of the federal government. The Liberty cap is at the center of the Army seal on the Army flag. It is on the seal of the Senate, and on a very nice stained glass window with that seal IN the Senate. Continue reading


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A Thanksgiving Plate

Lots of dishes, served up steaming and hot.


i. What I’m thankful for. Continue reading


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Thanking Sarah Palin

Part 2, in which battling spokespersons collude like you wouldn’t believe. (Part i was yesterday’s “Moving America Bass-ackwards“)

They are the political equivalent of unscrupulous telemarketers or internet phishers: This week, they’re a prince from Nigeria; the next, they’re telling you that you’ve won the Liechtensteiner lottery, or they’re from your bank checking your account, they’re checking on the “warranty” for your car (that went off warranty years ago), they’re telling you that you’ve won a free vacation, they’re “saving” children from starving in Africa, raising money for another good cause … anything to get your vote, or — perhaps more importantly — your money. Let’s follow a couple of these shape-shifters. We begin with MSNBC on Monday, as a new PAC (that you’ve never heard of) is promoting Thanksgiving “thank you” ads, using a vaguely familiar face:

Continue reading


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Moving America Bass-ackwards

Well, tonight’s news showed the new “Thank you Sarah” ad from a new astroturf group called “Our Country Deserves Better PAC.”

Deborah Johns during the Move America Forward Tour in 2005

And you know, something made my little reporter’s “HUNCH” arrow swing all the way into the red. The reason, when I checked the website “” became manifestly apparent. I’ve COVERED these weasels before — over 10,000 words worth — in “Swift Boat Moms in Winnebagos.” (August 30, 2005, cited by SourceWatch HERE and HERE.) Then, they were called “Move America Forward.”

Say “hello” to our NEWEST California astroturf group, website registered in July, 2008: Continue reading


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Behold, the Valley of the Dumbass

Snark springs eternal in this Winter of klannish Discontent.


From the ever-snarky Politico:

Obama skips church, heads to gym

11/23/08 3:41 PM EST

President-elect Barack Obama has yet to attend church services since winning the White House earlier this month, a departure from the example of his two immediate predecessors.

On the three Sundays since his election, Obama has instead used his free time to get in workouts at a Chicago gym. Continue reading

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In Memory Yet Green …

Two score and five years ago today.



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The Modern Day Writer Refuses To Die

(To paraphrase Edgard Varèse.)


Or, perhaps, Paul Simon: “The words of the mid-list authors are written on the subway walls.”

I fear that I’m about to rant, so some time ought be allotted to get small children, pets and those of a more delicate sensibility out of the room. OK? All right. You’ve been warned. Continue reading


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Why There Was No Blog Today

(backposted from November 21)


Fate is inscrutable.

Out of the blue, and old friend of my wife’s died last week. Since she lived three hours away, and her son, an only child, lives on the East Coast, the past 48 hours have been taken up with trips to the airport, the bus station, and, on the night of Nov. 19 and 20, a six-hour round-trip over the high Cascades between winter storms to retrieve son, whose flight left early that morning. (Airlines wouldn’t re-schedule without an obscenely hefty fee).

Six hour drives tend to cut into my writing time. And, trust me on this: driving on a moonless night on two-lane blacktop through Santiam Pass is like the world’s worst video game — the same monoculture same-size Douglas Firs keep growing and passing in cheesy animation, and you keep the vehicle between the white lines. (Sometimes there is fog. Fog is scary AND dangerous.)  It is terrifically monotonous, but too twisty and dangerous not to give your complete concentration.

But, consider this a memento mori — a reminder that we are all mortal, and that death visits whenever it chooses — ofttimes, seemingly, capriciously.

So: No blog today.


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An’ There Be Pirates …


Those gosh darned pirates!

They took advantage of the complete lack of meaningful governance by locating the easy pickings.

And, in so doing, they developed a new criminal tactic based on some very old criminal tactics.

They preyed on the weakest and most vulnerable, and then held them ransom for their extravagant demands. Continue reading


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The Bully Pulpit

One of the great attractions of patriotism is that it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what’s more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.” — Aldous Huxley


As one bully begets another, so, too, the feral yowl of one can affect others. Listen to Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds’ wife, “Dr. Helen,” today [special EMPHASIS added]: Continue reading

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