"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Friday, April 29, 2005

Tattoos & Harleys

A colleague of mine is married to a Marine. As he has been retired from the Corps for some years past, it might be objected that he is an "ex-Marine." To tell the complete truth, I don't know how many Marines you've met, but personally I've never met an "ex" Marine. It is not entirely clear to me what one would look like.

But to return to our story: Not only is this fellow a Marine, but a pilot. And not only a pilot, but a fighter pilot. And one more fact is necessary: He is, well, how shall we put this delicately? He is becoming older. Like the Gentleman Farmer, when the President promised that Social Security would not be reduced for those born before 1950, our Marine was content. Do we understand each other? Good. Let us move on.

When the Gentleman Farmer passed the semicentennial anniversary of his birth, he thought it appropriate to reward himself with a pickup truck. A Ford. Blue. Used.

But your humble correspondent is, of course, a Gentleman, and a Farmer, while the subject of our story is neither: He is a Marine, and a fighter pilot.

As a consequence, we have learned, he has recently rewarded himself, like the Gentleman Farmer, with a conveyance. But, being both a Marine and a fighter pilot, not just any conveyance would serve. He has purchased this:


A Harley-Davidson, Dyna / FXR : FXDXT Dyna T-Sport, Centennial 2003.

You ask, of course (and properly so) if our Marine is content. Surely, you infer, in addition to his Harley, he has acquired the associated apparel and accessories, has he not? Your correspondent understands that he has. Indeed, it is reported that his buzzing about the neighborhood, black helmeted, has frightened the horses, as we used to say. But he is not content, because his alternate persona is not complete: He is, alas, without tattoos.

Let a humble farmer be of assistance. While I am without knowledge of the ins and outs of tattoo parlors, I am aware of a solution to the problem. This can be YOU:

While you may THINK this illustrates a fellow who has submitted to hours of painful and expensive ministrations from an extremely fat woman with an electric needle, you are wrong. Instead, the fellow is wearing a slip-on sleeve, which merely SIMULATES gross personal disfigurement. Other patterns are available, [HERE].

We must warn, however, that we are unable to predict the entire effect this ruse may have if it is discovered to be a sham by a large group of outlaw bikers, far from frequented thoroughfares.

But, of course, your correspondent is a Gentleman Farmer, and neither a Marine, nor a fighter pilot.

Semper Fi!

We Get Letters

The Farmer’s big, old rural mailbox (glibandsuperficial@hotmail.com) was choked with cards and letters this afternoon, so I thought I’d take time to respond to some.

I’ve been reading your blog now for a week or more, and some of it is really top-notch, very amusing. But I’m confused: Is this a group blog? Are there, like, three or four people writing and posting under the same name? I mean, there’s this weinermobile thing, and then the story about the naked guy, and buffalo-blogging, for goodness sake, and then like, from out of nowhere, there’s Tom DeLay, and a claim that the AP is part of some vast, left-wing conspiracy, and then a link to Little Green Footballs. I mean, really! What’s the deal? (At least there’s nothing about tatoos.)

Confused in Louisville

Dear Confused: If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that there’s only one of us writing posts here. It took us a while to reach a consensus, but after all the divergent views were taken into account, the answer seemed obvious to everyone. You might understand better if you do a Google search for “glib and superficial” and see what sort of results you get. It really helped me.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Former Vice-President Speaks

Mr. Gore spoke to MoveOn.org on Wednesday. AP story [HERE].
Commentary at LGF, [HERE]. It is my opinion that the picture (worth the trip) has NOT been PhotoShopped.

Not News: Gutless Hollywood

If an alien arrived today from a galaxy far, far away, and had to draw conclusions about the history of the planet over the last few years, he would be badly misled if he turned to Hollywood for information.

James Lileks notes that, more than three years after we realized that we were at war with Islamofascists, Hollywood hasn't the guts to portray the bad guys as bad guys:

For some, the very act of mentioning Islamist terrorism is a political act, since it plays into the Bushitler/RoveCo Hate Axis scheme to shove McDonald's hamburgers down everyone's falafel hole. We can make movies about brave soldiers fighting Islamist extremists when Hillary's in power — until then, ixnay on the Uslimsmay.

Hence this strange silence. It's like making a movie at the height of the civil rights era about the horrible injustices suffered by redheads. Originally, the terrorists of "The Interpreter" were from the Middle East. Likewise the terrorists who set off a nuclear bomb in "The Sum of All Fears"; they were changed to neo-Nazis. It's a miracle the 2001 film "Pearl Harbor" didn't show Hawaii attacked by militia members outraged over Waco.

Read the whole thing [HERE]

And now the news from the DNC

The Associated Press, in its story announcing tonight's presidential press conference [HERE], simply could not play it straight. Smack dab in the middle (actually, way before the middle), we find this "news":
A prime-time audience for what amounts to a speech at the top of the session allows Bush to seek to move the focus of public attention away from the alleged ethical improprieties of a key White House ally in Congress, House Majority Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and the troubled nomination of Bush's choice to be the next U.N. ambassador, John Bolton. Both controversies have dominated talk in the nation's Capital in recent weeks.
Where did this come from? Are we to believe that the AP is privy to the inner councils of the administration, and is therefore aware that this is the President's real motive? Or has the AP broken the encrypted WiFi signal Karl Rove uses to program Mr. Bush?

Here AP does not even use the usual fig leaf by quoting unnamed "sources," or "some commentators." And it's not even an opinion, for goodness sake. An opinion would be something along the lines of "Some of the President's opponents have questioned the wisdom of partial privatization, the only specific suggestion he has so far put forward." Instead, AP stoops to flat out political hatchetry, gratuitously questioning the President's motives.

Certainly we can agree that one of the most important domestic issues facing America today is the looming financial crisis of Social Security. Most understand that over the coming decades, the Social Security system will pay out more in benefits than the revenues now assigned to it, and that the gap will widen under current rules. Thus, benefits must be cut, revenues increased, or some combination.

In this context, the President of the United States announces that he will have a press conference tonight, it is reported that he will set out some specific ideas to address Social Security, and the Associated Press sneers that it's all a matter of political tactics (and, by the way, does the AP Style Book require that "Tom DeLay" always appears in the same sentence as "ethical improprieties," and "John Bolton" with "troubled nomination?") Perhaps tomorrow's follow-up piece can be "Nation Cool to President's Proposals, Cynical Electorate Suspects Political Ploy."

Perhaps we ought not be surprised. The AP reporter, Jennifer Loven, is a serial hack, and has come to the attention of the intrepid PowerLine fellows before [HERE].

Great Big Stuff

Six foot pencils. Computer-key footstools.

I know: it's stupid. But I love this stuff. MUCH more HERE.

Children and dogs

There are, I suppose, many characteristics by which each of us might be known. Aspects of ourselves that go far toward defining us. I suggest that one may know the man by whose esteem he cherishes. Does he seek the admiration of his employer, or is he content with respect? Must the doorman be his friend?

One may do worse than to be well thought of by children and dogs.

Both children and dogs combine an uncynical openness with a preternatural ability to detect the genuine. These are found together elsewhere only among the saints.

If he is loved by children and dogs, I say he is a fine fellow.

Which brings us to our story today.

George Molchan died last week, aged 82. For many years he was employed by the Oscar Mayer company to drive the Wienermobile. He was laid to rest Saturday, but not before those in attendance sang a chorus of the Oscar Mayer song ("Oh, I wish I was . . .), and blew a salute on those little wiener-whistles. Most fitting, the Wienermobile was there.

Rest in peace, Mr. Molchan, you were beloved of children and dogs.

Full story

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Oh you caught me . . . .

From The Citizen, of Fayette County (Georgia, that is), which bills itself as "Fayette County, Georgia's First & Only Daily Online Newspaper," comes a cautionary tale. In one short column there is sex, betrayal, crime, and indecent exposure. Oh yes: and a chase scene.

Draw close and hearken to my words, lest such a fate befall you, my child.

It seems that Michael Stevens, a denizen of Fayette County, runs a local business that provides guided, moonlight tours of a lake in (inevitably, this being Georgia), Peachtree City. (It is unclear whether he used Lake Peachtree (no, really), or Lake Kedron.) His little piece of free enterprise was called "Big Mike's Adventures." Little information is provided that would suggest the nature or source of "adventure" involved in moonlit tours of these small bodies of water.

Oh yes. He used golf carts. No, I don't know why he used golf carts. But he did.

On the night of April 5, a member of the local police noticed a golf cart (I told you so) down by the boat docks of the above-mentioned lakes. He also observed swimmers: two people and a dog. (The dog, alas, hereafter disappears from our tale.) As the cop approached said cart, he was startled when Big Mike (6' 2", 254 lbs) suddenly emerged from the close-at-hand water, at high speed, trailed by a "female friend," later identified only as "Ms. Hayes."

Both more or less naked, of course.

The pair, unencumbered (ahem), quickly mounted their battery-powered chariot, fleeing down Bridlepath Lane. (Police are apt to describe any pursuit as being "high speed." While there is no description in this instance, we may assume this golf-cart chase was decidedly "low speed.")

The officer of the law gave chase, and Big Mike and Ms. Hayes were finally brought to ground an undisclosed distance away. The circumstances of the stop are (sadly) not revealed (were guns drawn? was a helicopter called in? were there dogs? and what the heck happened to the swimming dog? did he escape? good for him!). But the end of the road is, in fact, described as a "capture." (No, really.)

We come now, my children, to the "money quote."

"When I arrived at the stop scene, I identified the offender and the golf cart as being the same that I saw at Battery Way Boat Docks," [Officer] Carriker said. "The offender and the passenger were also identified as matching the two people that had been at the boat docks."

Stevens allegedly told police that he was "caught," while fiddling with his towel, occasionally exposing his genitalia.

"Oh you caught me," Stevens allegedly told police. "I was having sex with my girl and you caught me."

Consider, my children, the officer's report: He carefully determined that the very large and naked man, the naked woman, as well as the golf cart, were not simply random nudists or innocent electrical conveyances that had just happened by at an inopportune time. Oh no. He specifically and thoroughly reviewed his prior information, and almost immediately concluded that these were, to a reasonably high probability, the very same large, naked man, naked woman, and golf cart. An ornament to any constabulary. His mother would be proud.

The moral, my children, you may glean from the charges (which bear their own close study, which I assign for extra credit): Big Mike was charged with DUI, two counts of resisting an officer, public indecency, public intoxication, reckless driving, violation of park hours, driving a golf cart on unapproved road and driving a golf cart without headlights.

"Ms. Hayes" was not charged.

Mrs. Stevens (oh yes, there is a Mrs. Stevens) was "out of town, attending a funeral."

Read the whole thing for yourself if you don't believe me, HERE.

A deep bow, and flourish of the hat to #1 Son. (But you really should be working . . .)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Oh give me a home . . . .

Now here's something you don't see every day.

Those prairie wimps at PowerLine may get the vapors over a little snapping turtle here or there (actually, here). But in DC it takes a herd of buffalo crashing the courts at a gated community to catch our attention.

Homeland Security is looking into where the lead buffalo acquired the electronic card used to open the gate. It appears that the picture ID's don't match.

Full AP story is here.

Hat tip to #1 Son.

Happy Dingo

Does anyone have any idea what the point of this site is?

Are they selling something? Promoting something? Downloading sophisticated 'bots to my machine? Will I have to call the Asgard to save me again?

The Joe Bob Report

I am old enough to have seen actual movies in an actual drive-in.

I'm not sure that real movies were ever shown there, but, you know, they showed drive-in movies -- slashers, Nazis, psychos, zombies, surfers, Nazi zombie surfer slashers -- you know, like that.

Except in the same sense that there are still working mule-skinners somewhere or other (here, for example), there are no more drive-ins. But, of course, there are still drive-in movies.

Joe Bob Briggs wrote an article for The Washingtonian in April, 1988, reviewing the Sunday-morning political TV gasbags, entitled "Brunch with the Living Dead."

But Joe Bob's metier was always the B movie, and he continues to ply his trade through The Joe Bob Report. Guaranteed wholesome redneck goodness.

Hat tip to our correspondent "Short-timer." Temporarily. Of course.

Making one's avocation . . .

. . . into one’s vocation is not limited to professions requiring medical training.

I had forgotten about Modern Drunkard Magazine. Great links.

I have no idea if this is for real nor, in fact, have I any idea what “for real” could possibly mean in this context.


Somehow I missed this style the first time around.

And, to tell the entire truth, I'd have missed it THIS time as well, had it not been brought to my attention by our Lake Elmo (Minnesota) correspondent.

But there's an entire website [here] devoted to mullets. Really.

[Lake Elmo is SO a real place. See here. When visiting, don't forget the Machine Shed Restaurant. There are even personal ads, apparently limited to Lake Elmo itself, though it's hard to know how they keep out those trashy girls from Bayport.]

Gender Equality

New signs that we have advanced on the road to that state of social perfection characterized by girls doing stupid things of the sort normally done only by boys. Studies now suggest that an increasing number of girls, some as young as 9, use steroids to get buff. The AP story is here.

This, of course, parallels other hopeful trends. Before long, for example, as many women as men will smoke cigarettes (here).

Ever onward and upward!

[UPDATE] I am advised by #1 Son that my use of the word "buff" is incorrect, and that I mean, instead, to refer to getting "toned." Who knew?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Tom DeLay & Britney Spears

"Bork" became a verb after the Senate rejected President Reagan's nomination of Circuit Judge (and former Solicitor General) Robert Bork as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. In the course of the nomination hearings, opponents mounted an unprecedented assault on every aspect of his life, public and private. Every day there was a new charge, until it was impossible to keep up.

For what now seems like years, but is really only months, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has been under political attack from the usual Democratic suspects. In large part their assault is a response to his effectiveness as Leader. But they are truly enraged by his refusal to be intimidated by the New York Times and the other organs charged with enforcement of orthodox political thought.

But DeLay isn't being "Borked" in the usual sense of the term, because his opponents have not, as they did with the judge, dishonestly multiplied their charges -- the true, the false, and those more or less impossible to understand -- but have instead hit upon another tactic. Instead of coming up with a new charge every day, they simply repeat the same charges day after day. And, of course, the MSM go along with this nonsense, despite the fact that each day's story has to twist and reach further and further for "news" to justify yet another repetition of already old complaints.

The most frequently mentioned charges are simple, and haven't changed in quite some time: Trips were made by the Majority Leader (some several years ago, all disclosed in DeLay's House filings) and are alleged to have been paid for by lobbyists, which would be a violation of House rules. DeLay says the trips were paid for by nonprofit organizations, which would not be a violation.

Now I have no clue as to who actually paid for the trips, or what DeLay did or didn't know. But I'm getting tired of hearing the same things being repeated over and over again. Sunday's WaPo story is particularly bizarre, breathlessly revealing that one trip (taken five years ago) was charged to a lobbyist's credit card. Apparently it had previously been speculated that payment had been made in gold bullion.

But it finally occurred to me that we've seen this phenomenon before.

Britney Spears! Those interested learned that she was pregnant on April 12. And the WaPo dutifully reported on April 13. She was still pregnant on April 14. And as recently as yesterday, WaPo was advising us that the ex girlfriend of Ms. Spears current husband was unsurprised, and assured readers that Britney was STILL pregnant!

Going out on a limb here, I predict that Ms. Spears will CONTINUE pregnant for, oh, let's say, many months. And I predict with great confidence that this unchanging fact will be reported many times, in the guise of updates, comments by the great and near great, reflection by pundits on the comments of the great and near great, comparisons to the pregnancies of others, reviews of media coverage of this pregnancy, reviews of media coverage of other pregnancies, and the like.

All indistinguishable from the campaign against Tom DeLay. Simply brilliant.

So I suggest addition of the verb "Spearsing" to the vocabulary, with the Majority Leader as its first object.

"The Majority Leader was Spearsed again today . . ."

And one more suggestion:
Barney Frank needs to get a web site like this one.
But that's a whole 'nother story.

Congratulations from Senator . . . .

If I could make things like this up, I wouldn't have to work for a living.

Not a hoax: HERE.

First Cousins

My Altoona correspondent calls attention to this article from today's WaPo, headlined
"Pa. Cousins Try to Overcome Taboo of 'I Do'"
"To Bypass Ban, Relatives Wed in Md. After Years of Seeking Acceptance"
It is indeed about just what you think.
But such individual dramas could not possibly hold my attention. I am instead far more intrigued to learn that there is an organization called "Cousins United to Defeat Discriminating Laws Through Education" devoted to ending this cold blight on individual freedom.
Yes, I know what the acronym is, and Yes, they have a web site, HERE. [WaPo's link in their article has either crashed, or wasn't right to begin with. Mine should get you there.]
My correspondent warns that this organization is not to be confused with this one.
[UPDATE] Don't miss the Cuddle Store, HERE.

"Comments" settings have been changed . . . .

. . . . to permit commenting without logging in to, or creating an account with, Blogger.

The 10th Earl of Shaftesbury

This is a two-fer. There'll always be an England because:

1. The Brits still produce folks like the late Earl; and,
2. The British press can still rise to the occasion.

The Earl's obituary from The Telegraph, click HERE.

Hat tip to NRO.

Does John Kerry . . . .

. . . . have a twin? I know the election is long since over. (Maybe that should be "I know the election . . .") But much about the Bay State's junior senator remains mysterious. A news story out of Texas this morning might help explain: See, first one of them voted for the bill, and then the other one . . . .

Reuters dispatch is HERE.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Mitch Hedberg 1968 - 2005

Hedberg died, reportedly of heart failure, on March 30. I was introduced to his work by #1 Son, when he attended a performance several years back. "Dufrane, party of . . ." and "An extreme liking for cake . . . " quickly became running family gags.

I think fans, as a tribute, might want to collect their doughnut receipts.

Here is his official website. Here is Comedy Central's Hedberg page. And here is an NPR piece from April 2.


Costume Update

Last Fall there was some chatter here and there about a company that was selling pimp and "ho" costumes in kid sizes. I had thought the company had cleaned up their act, at least claiming such costumes were only for adults.

But now they've committed an atrocity I could never have imagined.

WARNING: THIS is not for the faint of heart.

Rent My Son

Well, no, I don't want you to rent my son. Not right now, anyway. But if you're in the market there is, of course, a website, HERE.

Cockfighting v. Wife Beating

Meanwhile, from the Palmetto State, news respecting pending legislation:

Both cockfighting and domestic violence are currently misdemeanor crimes, punishable by 30 days in jail. If the bill passes, cockfighting will become a felony, punishable by five years in jail. Domestic violence crimes will remain a misdemeanor.

More here.

End of days?

Another sign that caught my eye was in front of a large retail store of some sort the windows of which were filled with posters announcing a going-out-of-business sale. Apparently the sale (and the business) was about done, because the sign out by the street had the following message. First, it proclaimed


and then


I'm reasonably confident I know what they meant, but I may be wrong.

Returned From North Carolina . . . .

. . . . with the Scarlet Wife. Four days with large numbers of her family members.

Now, don't get me wrong, I LIKE North Carolina. I really do. It is, after all, the home of barbeque, even if they continue to insist on no sugar or tomato in their sauce.

But I digress . . .

I like the place. But one does see some strange things only moments away from the Interstate. We drove past one place that announced:

And one cannot help but wonder what THAT might entail.
[UPDATE]: No, I'm not making this up. And YES, it was a retail establishment that sold pork, pork products, and the like.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

You see, his wife used to be . . . .

. . . . his girlfriend, and his former girlfriend is now . . . . Ah, the heck with it. Professor Volokh seems confused, and invites further confusion.

Ape Blogging?

It must be a slow day at the office in the Great North, as the guys at PowerLine are now "Ape Blogging." And before lunch, at that.

A Guy walks into a bar . . . .

. . . . and, after tossing back a few, claims he's come up with a great con: Make up a phony media outlet, and then scam tickets to sports events as an honored member of the press! Can't miss! And, it seems, it worked for quite a while, according to the The Journal News in Putnam, New York.


I'm not making this up. If you hurry, you can get your bid in over at eBay. Auction ends Monday.

UPDATE: I'll be damned! eBay took down the dirt sale, so the link doesn't work any more. I promise it was real.