Monday, August 31, 2009



[tip of the hat to JammieWearingFool and Gateway Pundit]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009



...times two... BUFFALO


Requiescant in pace.

[uh, ...newsflash, take 2: ...and... roll it!]





... uh, that would be....


Requiescat in Pace

[damn! I'll get it this time....
Here we go: Newsflash!...]



Edward M. Kennedy, the senior senator from Massachusetts, can stop swimming now -- stop treading water and paddling furiously to escape that riptide moment which consummated a lifetime pattern of trampling over rules, feelings, persons, and boundaries of decency to preserve and prosper himself: from cheating on exams, to cheating on his wife, to trying to cheat the American system by getting the State of Massachusetts to do a legal flip-flop [or insert a Joe-Kennedy-hand-pick] every time he wanted keep up the Democrat vote-count in the Senate when a vacancy occurred.

Actually it's not accurate to refer to a "riptide moment", because the Chappaquiddick incident [good analysis here] unrolled with chilling calculation over a period of hours; and while he may have been swept into the moral whirlpool by an instinctive and natural panic, it is plain for all to see that he very quickly made the conscious choice to go with that flow.

[That is assuming, via the benefit of the doubt, that he did not in fact drive off that bridge deliberately -- and why would he do that? Well, it could have made a speedy end to any nasty fallout from accusations of rape or impregnation. The burial, literally, of any autopsy findings on Mary Jo Kopechne leave these speculations both legitimate and eternally hanging.]

It is my sincere belief that the life of any person cannot be summed up in their one worst act. Ted Kennedy could long ago have been completely forgiven for his role in Mary Jo's death, were he sincerely repentant, and (as a putative Catholic) had he availed himself of the Sacrament. But, let's face it, his life was not otherwise sterling, both personally and politically.

He left a sha
ttered wife after 20 years of marriage, for a dissolute life of booze and broads [brought to a close only by his marriage to a fellow-divorcé barely older than his children, which he has insisted now has the Catholic Church's blessing, though God alone knows how].

And he has championed [with at least a coherent consistency not found in many politicians] every cause on the left-wing political menu, often with requisite passion, but just as often with characteristic excess in spleen and calumny against his foes. Reliable and respectable Mona Charen sums this up perfectly today. What time we invest in wondering whether Mr. Kennedy has had the grace to repent his horrific wrong toward Mary Jo Kopechne [feel free to doubt that -- apparently it was one of his favourite topics for a good joke] could just as well be spent on the subject of his unquestionably deliberate character assassinations of Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork, President George Bush, and the American military in Iraq.

Odd, that
-- a man whose family was sliced apart by physical assassination found the public slaughter of personal reputation out of one side of his mouth irresistible, while out the other side he was an impassioned advocate of "hate-crime" legislation, and insidious and repugnant vehicle for gagging free speech, which is always selectively enforced (Christians are never considered victims) and inevitably morphs into the creation of "thought crime." (Welcome to Canada)

But then, why should this man blanch at character
assassination when he has been able to make himself comfortable with the bodily death of one (Mary Jo) or of millions (the killing fields),

or of millions upon millions (the pre-born) where it suited his larger agenda. [Kennedy was against abortion when he began his political career, but, as Germaine Greer so deftly said it, "I never knew a philanderer who wasn't pro-choice."]

The one tim
e he did hold his tongue while the rest of the Democrats were flapping theirs was during the confirmation hearings for successful Supreme Court nominee, Clarence Thomas -- Kennedy's own well-earned reputation as "an aging Irish boyo clutching a bottle and diddling a blonde" and "Palm Beach boozer, lout and tabloid grotesque" and "the living symbol of the family flaws" [from GQ, Time, and Newsweek, respectively -- long before there was ever a Fox News!] made it impossible for him to meddle in the lurid sex-swamp that the Democrats were juicing up for Judge Thomas. Far from being understanding, the Dems were livid with avuncular ol' Ted for not firing off a shot at that OK Corral.

I'm glad there is a God who is in the forgiving business, since such vast swaths of his creation [i.e., me] are not. The Anchoress, as usual, inspires with her charity and largeness of spirit at these moments. I make my less generous comment part-way down her page.

Senator Edward Moore Kennedy:
Knight Errant of England
-- not everyone thrilled with taking Camelot this far!

Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
-- not everyone thrilled at this shallow substitute for a Gold in the 100-metre breast-stroke!

Lion of the Senate
-- would you want to be one of these?:
"Once established with a pride, males are usually able to scrounge food from the females, but they also have pride duties: males have to patrol and mark their territory by spraying urine, rubbing secretions of glands on objects, and roaring."
[I think they called it a "waitress sandwich" -- Chris Dodd would know...]

And in answer to the musical question: why am I dissing the guy, now he's dead and can't do any more damage? That's an easy one. It's the rank dishonesty of it all -- the papering over, the re-writing, the distortion not just of the sordid realities of his repugnant personal life, but of the true picture of his performance as the total political partisan, right to the last week of his life where he tried to game the system to overturn his own previous gaming of the system to preserve the filibuster-proof majority in the senate. The longer his "leonine" career went on the more it became self-parody, as he barked and bloviated his way through the process while his underlings tried to prop up his superficial involvement -- best exemplified by his laughable performance at the Roberts and Alito hearings, as he took the field against two men each with more intellectual heft in their left eyebrow than Kennedy has every displayed at any juncture in his academic or political life.

Had the commentators of the past few days simply had the good taste to keep their assessments out of the stratosphere of hagiographical exaggeration, distortion, or just plain lies (Kennedy was a fighter, but it was never personal????) people like me might have just laid off and let it go. But I have heard enough (and I haven't listened that much) to find myself so sickened by the disingenuousness that I had no choice but to vent a little reality into the cloud. So here it was.

What is it with these professional stenographers? It's like calling Michael Jackson "the greatest entertainer who ever was" just because he died. Greater than Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr.?



Not even greater than the ensemble cast of the Carol Burnett Show, for cripes sake. Give me a break.

What children these newsmongers are -- once it was their sin to try and rewrite history by knowingly spreading falsehoods (Cronkite on Vietnam) -- now I think they rewrite it because they are too emotionally self-indulgent and memory-challenged to keep their grip on reality on these momentous occasions.

Fortunately, when the flower-shrines have wilted and the kleenexes have been hauled away, most regular folks get on with their lives, and come to the sad conclusion that the world is full of the over-praised, and that these displays of emotional extremism change nothing. How much better to acknowledge a sane assessment of a person's true worth, and feel happy for the good they actually did, than to canonize them without warrant. So it is even with Princess Diana, whose departure still holds all the records for excess. She loved her sons. As memories go, that should be enough.

For the Tedster: Requiescat in pace is enough too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009



In My Fair Lady, Professor Henry Higgins lets loose with a famous tirade against all womanhood which contains these memorable lines:
Women are irrational, that's all there is to that!
Their heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags.
They're nothing but exasperating, irritating, vacillating,
calculating, agitating, maddening and infuriating hags!
Higgins is, of course, being vastly unfair with this mean-spirited sweeping condemnation based on tired old chauvinist stereotypes. Such generalizations about all women should not be tolerated!

...even if, in selected instances, he totally NAILS it:


In an appearance at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 21, [the increasingly tatted and decreasingly funny Janeane] Garofalo ripped into tea party protesters, or what some of the wizards of smart on the left have deemed “tea baggers”…
“Do you remember tea baggers?” Garofalo said. “It was just so much easier when we could just call them racists. I just don’t know why we can’t call them racists, or functionally retarded adults…

“The functionally retarded adults, the racists – with their cries of, ‘I want my country back,’” she said. “You know what they’re really saying is, ‘I want my white guy back.’ They apparently had no problem at all for the last eight years of habeas corpus being suspended, the Constitution being sh*t on, illegal surveillance, lied to on a war or two, two stolen elections – yes, the John Kerry one was stolen too. That’s not tin-foil hat time...

“Our media is quite happy to report on any stolen election around the world, any stolen election around the world except ours,” Garofalo said. “And it’s just unexamined narcissism. It’s just, if you were to say this to the average American, ‘You know they steal elections in Uganda.’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘You know they steal elections in America.’ ‘Why do you hate America?’ ‘Why didn’t you ask me why do you hate Uganda?

“This is not politics, this is neuroscience. It is purely limbic brain activity – this emotion over being angry that there’s a black guy in office, with the people showing up armed to the health care meetings – to whatever, the town halls… It makes me soul sick.”


Some sort of sick, in any case.

Somebody help this woman. Let's pass the hat.



Fouad Ajami
at the Wall Street Journal lays out a withering assessment of the Great Obamatron Disenchantment now in progress, among the massed voting blocks slowly recovering from their temporary insanity of last fall. Money quotes:

In one of the revealing moments of the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama rightly observed that the Reagan presidency was a transformational presidency in a way Clinton's wasn't…

The failure of the Carter years was, in Reagan's view, the failure of the man at the helm and the policies he had pursued at home and abroad. At no time had Ronald Reagan believed that the American covenant had failed, that should apologize for itself in the world beyond its shores. There was no narcissism in Reagan…

In contrast, there is joylessness in Mr. Obama. He is a scold, the "Yes we can!" mantra is shallow, and at any rate, it is about the coming to power of a man, and a political class, invested in its own sense of smarts and wisdom, and its right to alter the social contract of the land. In this view, the country had lost its way and the new leader and the political class arrayed around him will bring it back to the right path.

Thus the moment of crisis would become an opportunity to push through a political economy of redistribution and a foreign policy of American penance…


Chris Stirewalt
at The Washington Examiner declares the bloom to be off the romance of the rose between the slobbering press and the insufferable vanitas of the Obama machine.

[hat-tips both:



This is actually last winter's story, since I first noticed it when shopping in Houston over Christmas: the very, very depressing return of fashion merchandise based on what we blithely categorize as 'hippie sh*t'. What would be best consigned, unlamented and unremembered, to the dustbin, trash heap, rubbish tip, dumpster of history -- the love beads, the fringe vests, the embroidered jeans, the tie-dyed tees, the sprinkle of hot-pink daisies, the haze of doobie-smoke -- is once again fashionable, being marketed from Walmart to Filene's.

At the time I credited this immediately to the coming of the Obamessiah -- and patted myself on the head for the prescience of my post of October '08, about the 'new' White House decor we could look forward to:

Now it's everywhere. So it was hardly surprising to learn [upon discovering that my Newfoundland rental car had Sirius satellite radio, including an all-Broadway network] that there had been a hugely successful 2009 revival of that profound study of late 20th-century social reality, HAIR -- the American tribal love-rock musical -- the navel-gazing, free-loving, peacenikety, draft-card-immolating blasphemenomenon of 1965.

If, like me, your only exposure to the complete work in performance was the Milos Forman film of 1979, here are some scenes you missed, according to the Wikipedia synopsis of the original script:
Berger gives a joint to Claude that is laced with a hallucinogen. Claude starts to trip as the tribe acts out his visions ("Walking in Space"). He hallucinates that he is skydiving from a plane into the jungles of Vietnam. Berger appears as General George Washington and is told to retreat because of an Indian attack. The Indians shoot all of Washington's men. General Ulysses S. Grant appears and begins a roll call: Abraham Lincoln (played by a black female tribe member), John Wilkes Booth, Calvin Coolidge, Clark Gable, Scarlett O'Hara, Aretha Franklin, George Custer.

Claude Bukowski is called in the roll call, but Clark Gable says "he couldn't make it". They all dance a minuet until three African witch doctors kill them – all except for Abraham Lincoln who says, "I'm one of you". Lincoln, after the three Africans sing his praises, recites an alternate version of the Gettysburg Address ("Abie Baby"). Booth shoots Lincoln, but says to him, "I ain't dying for no white man".

As the visions continue, four Buddhist monks enter. One monk pours a can of gasoline over another monk, who is set afire (reminiscent of the self-immolation of Tri Quang Duc) and runs off screaming. Three Catholic nuns strangle the three remaining Buddhist monks. Three astronauts shoot the nuns with ray guns. Three Chinese people stab the astronauts with knives. Three Native Americans kill the Chinese with bows and tomahawks. Three green berets kill the Native Americans with machine guns and then kill each other.

A Sergeant and two parents appear holding up a suit on a hanger. The parents talk to the suit as if it is their son and they are very proud of him. The bodies rise and play like children. The play escalates to violence until they are all dead again. They rise again ("Three Five Zero Zero") and, at the end of the trip sequence, two tribe members sing, over the dead bodies, a melody set to a lyric about the nobility of Man ("What A Piece of Work Is Man").

EX-SQUEEZE ME? Could anybody but a Bill Ayers type feel nostalgic about this twaddle?

["Gimme a head with hair/ Long beautiful hair/ Shinin', gleamin', streamin', flaxen, waxen"/ Put it on an empty head/ Hangin' in vacant eyes/ Here baby, there mama / no problem so big it can't be solved by explosives............]


Some comments about the "themes" in Hair, from the Wiki-tooters:
Religion appears both overtly and symbolically throughout the piece, and it is often made the brunt of a joke. Berger sings of looking for "Donna", which takes on the double meaning of the woman he's searching for and the Madonna. During "Sodomy", a hymn-like paean to all that is "dirty" about sex, the cast strikes evocative religious positions: the Pietà and Christ on the cross. Before the song, Woof recites a modified rosary. In Act II, when Berger gives imaginary pills to various famous figures, he offers "a pill for the Pope"... Claude becomes a classic Christ figure at various points in the script. In Act I, Claude enters, saying, "I am the Son of God. I shall vanish and be forgotten," then gives benediction to the tribe and the audience. Claude suffers from indecision, and, in his Gethsemane at the end of Act I, he asks "Where Do I Go?". There are textual allusions to Claude being on a cross, and, in the end, he is chosen to give his life for the others. Berger can be seen as a John the Baptist figure, preparing the way for Claude.
More from the synopsis:
After handing out imaginary pills to the tribe members, saying the pills are for high profile people such as Richard Nixon, the Pope, and "Alabama Wallace", Berger relates how he was expelled from high school ("Goin' Down")... Claude returns from his draft board physical, which he passed. He pretends to burn his Vietnam War draft card, which Berger reveals as a library card. [ring any bells?????!!!!!] Claude agonizes about what to do about being drafted.

I would add to this the observation of a high school friend of mine, a girl with a beautiful sweet soprano voice that could lovingly embrace three octaves in range. She saw a production of Hair in San Francisco, and was shocked to discover that a beautiful song she enjoyed singing -- How can people be so heartless? -- was occasioned by the world's lamest plot device: the dismissive treatment of a gift tee-shirt by an inconsiderate boyfriend. Having suffered this rank offense, the offended giver draped herself in white and blue veiling resembling the Virgin Mary as she stood in a top-lit spotlight bewailing her ill-use.

My friend was so disgusted by the triviality of the back-story she said she could never sing that song again -- it was all just too creepy.

Needless to say, such things were re-imagined when the story was puffed, fluffed and packaged to be palatable for the coming 1980's. Yes, I admit it -- I rather enjoyed Forman's film, and found the look of the characters familiar from the sights and sounds of my high school days. Apparently Rado and Ragni, godfathers of the original show, were less amused.
Original writers James Rado and Gerome Ragni were unhappy with the film. In their view, Forman failed to capture the essence of Hair in that hippies were portrayed as "oddballs" and "some sort of aberration" without any connection to the peace movement. Both are quoted as saying: "Any resemblance between the 1979 film and the original Biltmore version, other than some of the songs, the names of the characters, and a common title, eludes us." In their view, the screen version of Hair has not yet been produced.

However, the film was generally well-reviewed. Writing in The New York Times Vincent Canby called it "a rollicking musical memoir.... [Michael] Weller's inventions make this Hair seem much funnier than I remember the show's having been. They also provide time and space for the development of characters who, on the stage, had to express themselves almost entirely in song.... The entire cast is superb.... Mostly... the film is a delight."
Ah, that's the problem right there. No wonder Rado/Ragni went wiggy about it. Oddballs? Aberrations? Perish the thought!

Anyhoo, it's ba-a-a-ck -- and I suspect the current revival version has reprised all the original bite. Or maybe it just bites. Like the original. Whatever.

When, oh when, will the Boomer bunkum DIE?????

Die, hippies, die, DIE!! Or maybe just grow up? Step aside and let the next generation breathe.

Sign in my office:

And don't let the door swat you on the rump on your way out.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Once upon a time, in my senior year of college...


It was 1974, it was 2009, it was the age of Obama


Case against Black Panther poll-patrol thugs vaporized by Obama/Holder Justice Department

Lockerbie terrorist bomber released on 'compassionate' grounds --

First the Scottish government, then the Libyans, show their compassion for 270 murder victims --

Obama expresses justifiable
calls the decision 'inappropriate' and 'a mistake' --

Lord of the Manor Chris Dodd (D-Conn) cleared of ethics charges on sweetheart mortgage deal

Friday, August 21, 2009



Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Back from Newfoundland, just in time to turn around and zip out of town in FULL WEDDING MODE.

Or as these folks would put it [slide to minute 4:00]:

Or maybe it's closer to this version:

Anyway, it's not me, but sonny-boy #2, and it all goes down in just four days!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY (and the next 1200 days or so):


And I believe we also told you this:

And we sometimes dared to mention this:

And it all added up to this:


There are many comments and criticisms one could make about any single-payer [government] health insurance system, such as Canada's. But on that subject, I am fond of making this factual (not critical) observation:

The Canadian Health Care System is a gift from the American taxpayer and their national military.

Why? Because if Canada invested in its own defense to the extent required to genuinely protect its people and territory without dependence upon the United States, the country wouldn't have a hope in Hades of affording socialized medicine.

The U.S. military is 2,300,000 strong (regular plus reserves), with plans for another 750,000 to be added within the next three years.

The Canadian military is less than 100,000 strong (regular plus reserves), with no plans for increase. The number has already increased from its nadir in 2001 [having fallen by one third in the decade since 1991].

Canada's population is approximately one tenth [10%] that of the U.S., and its land mass is larger. Canada's military population is less than one half of 1% [.043] of that of the U.S. [Feel free to help me with the math if I've screwed this up.]

Canada is essentially defended at the expense of the United States, with Canadians secure in their knowledge that the U.S. would never permit any military threat to their northern neighbour, because it's just too close to home and would leave America vulnerable.

So Canada's far (FAR) from perfect health care system is even more expensive than anybody is letting on. In at least one sense, it has cost Canadians their sovereignty.