"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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Die, Plastic-Boobed Infidels!

TEHRAN, Iran - (Associated Press) A top Iranian judiciary official warned Monday against the "destructive" cultural and social consequences of importing Barbie dolls and other Western toys.

In the latest salvo in a more than decade-old government campaign against Barbie, Prosecutor General Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi said in an official letter to Vice President Parviz Davoudi that the doll and other Western toys are a "danger" that need to be stopped.

"The irregular importation of such toys, which unfortunately arrive through unofficial sources and smuggling, is destructive culturally and a social danger," said the letter, a copy of which was made available to The Associated Press.


"The displays of personalities such as Barbie, Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter ... as well as the irregular importation of unsanctioned computer games and movies are all warning bells to the officials in the cultural arena," his letter said.

Najafabadi said Iran is the world's third biggest importer of toys and warned that smuggled imports pose a threat to the "identity" of the new generation.

"Undoubtedly, the personality and identity of the new generation and our children, as a result of unrestricted importation of toys, has been put at risk and caused irreparable damages," he said.

Mattel Inc., the maker of Barbie, had no immediate comment on the Iranian letter.

Barbie is sold wearing swimsuits and miniskirts in a society where women must wear head scarves in public and men and women are not allowed to swim together.

In 1996, the head of a government-backed children's agency called Barbie a "Trojan horse" sneaking in Western influences such as makeup and revealing clothes.

Authorities launched a campaign of confiscating Barbies from toy shops in 2002, denouncing the un-Islamic sensibilities of the iconic American doll. But the campaign was eventually dropped.

Also in 2002, Iran introduced its own competing dolls — the twins Dara and Sara — who were designed to promote traditional values with their modest clothing and pro-family stories. But the dolls proved unable to stem the Barbie tide.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Nino Speaks

You'll have to endure two short commercials, as well as the blather of Lesley Stahl, but that's a small price to pay to listen to the premier jurist of our time. Presented in two parts, here is the CBS News/60 Minutes interview with Justice Antonin Scalia:


The Changing Range is Getting Pretty Strange

WRSU, New Brunswick. It's 1972, and I was using this (the Dave Van Ronk version) as my theme song late on Friday nights.

by Peter Stampfel

Take me back to Random Canyon
Where the gryphon's always riffin'
And the unicorn is horny in the spring
Where the crystal coyote calls
Over sleepy garden walls
And the wireless wombat wanders on the wings
And the wireless wombat wanders on the wings

Near the mislocated mesa
With my counterfeit contessa
Who is secretary for the local Grange
And the psychedelic sage
Puts the cattle in a rage
And the changing range is getting pretty strange
And the changing range is getting pretty strange

There I'll spend each golden year
Watching all the cattle veer
No sight I've ever seen provokes more charm
Though the dragons fly by night
They very seldom bite
But if you mess with one he'll do you harm
But if you mess with one he'll do you harm

I believe I'll never leave
And I know I'll never grieve
When I go back to the canyon that I love
Other canyons aren't as deep
Their walls inclined to seep
You can take your other canyons and go shove
You can take your other canyons and go shove

I'm a Random Canyon fan
I'll mess with any man
Who denies that Random Canyon is the best
You will find no canyon greater
Either side of the equator
Random Canyon is the glory of the West
Random Canyon is the glory of the West

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Campaign Update


For Extra Credit

Must. Read. Peggy Noonan.


Time to Panic

Dave Johnston reports:
As word of food riots and worldwide shortage spread to the Indianapolis area this week, local residents began flocking to nearby grocery stores to stock up on supplies ahead what many believe could be a prolonged period of strife and suffering.


Republican nominee John McCain last week stated that he would suspend the federal sales tax on rice if elected. However, a campaign spokesman later had to back off this promise as they discovered that rice and similar grocery items are already exempt from sales tax.

All the local grocery stores we visited today appeared to have plenty of rice on their shelves, but most shoppers we spoke to were simply not willing to take any risk.

“It’s alarming. What if they do start rationing? First it’s rice, then it’ll be sugar, and eventually we wake up one morning and there’s no such thing as Cool Ranch Doritos. What then? I’m not waiting for it to get that bad,” offered Fowler as he headed to the checkout lanes.


Racially Divisive

According to Howard Dean and the DNC, this is a "racially divisive" political advertisement:

Surely Howie means to say that Reverend Wright's hate speech is racist and divisive, right? Because suggesting that the advertisement is somehow illegitimate would be interference in the free speech of the ad's sponsors, right? There's nothing misleading, let alone untrue, in the ad, so that can't be a problem, right?

We thought so.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

We've Seen How This Movie Ends

A new genetic study by Stanford University scientists suggests that the total number of human beings on earth may have been reduced to as few as 2,000, as recently as 70,000 years ago. A statement released with respect to the study observed:
Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA.
The story also quotes Paleontologist Meave Leakey:
Who would have thought that as recently as 70,000 years ago, extremes of climate had reduced our population to such small numbers that we were on the very edge of extinction?

Wow. That's quite a dramatic story. More HERE.

Imagine the entire human population reduced to such tiny numbers by some environmental disaster.

It's positively Old Testament.

[Wait, wait! Don't tell me! That picture is by whom?]

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Weapon of Mass Indifference

WASHINGTON—Calling it the most effective tool to date in the War on Terror, the Pentagon announced Monday that it had developed a new chemical weapon called "ennui gas," a nerve agent that overwhelms its victims with sudden philosophical distress over the meaningless tedium of human life and a sinking sense that everything they have ever accomplished ultimately amounts to dust.

"When the enemy inhales the gas, he will immediately retreat to his bedroom, lock the door, stare at the ceiling, pick idly at his fingernails, and muse upon the similarities between fingernails and the fragility of life," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. "While he broods over the futility of memory extinguished and the plaintive whisper of existence unhaunted by all but nothingness, that is when we strike."

Read the whole thing, HERE.

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But it's worth the trouble, no?


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Been There

I must confess that -- having myself been to the 60s -- this is certainly the way I feel:
It was a difficult time. What a wonderful absolution. Oh, we all went a little mad. Some of us listened to Steppenwolf, some of us bombed government buildings and plotted robberies that killed people, some of us were rotting in Vietnamese prisons having our teeth bashed out by torture experts.
More from Lileks.

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You Can Take the Boy Out of Texas . . . .

Is this legit? Did the President of the United States actually say to the Bishop of Rome, "Awesome Speech!" There is a change in the audio level that is suspicious, but it's the sort of thing that we choose to believe:

One wonders sometimes if Mr. Bush treats everyone pretty much as if he'd invited them to a barbeque down at the ranch. We think this may actually be a good trait in a President. It's certainly superior to never feeling really comfortable unless you're in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Hat tip to . . . well, you know who you are.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Made With Free-Range Shepherds

Some things are just plain right, and some just clearly wrong.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts: Wrong. A waste of time and calories.
Dunkin' Donuts: Right. Recommended by doctors 3 to 1.

On pizza, all wrong: anchovies, eggplant, pineapple. Bacon would be wrong, except bacon is always right.

Our cousins across the pond have their own icons, and their own beliefs. The Daily Telegraph reports:
After a day spent drinking, Michael Garvin cooked his brother John the traditional English dish for dinner, expecting a grateful response.

John, however, voiced his disquiet that the pie was not topped with a layer of sliced tomatoes.

His brother, a chef, claimed a layer of tomatoes was not the appropriate way to finish off a shepherd’s pie, and responded by hitting him over the head with a shovel.

As the argument got out of control, John threatened to petrol bomb his brother’s flat and was arrested.
Thank God that the Brits still produce strong, rough men willing to stand up for what's right.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

G&S Loves Ewe

And it's about time we did something about it:
As you know homosexuality is a rare phenomenon in rural Ontario and homophobia rarely if ever becomes an issue in rural schools.

Zoophilia and bestiality on the other hand are much more common in rural Ontario and zoophobia in rural schools is a very serious problem that when not properly addressed can be as devastating as homophobia is in urban schools.

Anecdotal evidence abounds of young boys being ostracised at school after they were spotted having sex with farm animals (mostly sheep). In many cases harassment of zoophiles is so intense that it drives boys to commit suicides.

Zoophobia needs to be stopped so our youth can live productive lives without fear of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

We the Directors of Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency would like to join forces with you and offer our stock of sheep as live props for the purpose of sexual education of Ontario boys.

Our sheep will get proper sexual stimulation; Ontario boys will learn safe sex practices and learn how to obtain sexual gratification without resorting to sexual harassment of Ontario girls.
Read the whole thing.

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For That Special Girl

And it's about damn time. More from GlamGuns.com.


When Good Technology . . . .

. . . goes bad. The folks at Garmin observe: "Stoplights aren't in our databases, either, but you're still expected to stop for stoplights."

Story HERE.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Our Hero

The Portland (Oregon) Mercury reports:
A citizen who watched a cop illegally park, then walk into a Chinese restaurant to wait for his food, has issued the officer a series of citizen-initiated parking violations.

Eric Bryant says he was sitting in the SanSai Japanese Grill on NW 21st and Hoyt on March 7 when he witnessed Officer Chad Stensgaard pull up and park his patrol car illegally, next to a "No Parking" sign.

Stensgaard walked into the restaurant wearing his police uniform, but did not make any arrests or citations. Instead, he turned his attention to the basketball game on television, according to Bryant. When Bryant asked Stensgaard about his vehicle, Stensgaard allegedly acknowledged being in a no-parking zone but asked Bryant, "If someone broke into your house, would you rather have the police be able to park in front of your house or have to park three blocks away and walk there?"

Bryant returned to his seat, and says shortly afterward he watched a restaurant employee hand the officer a plastic bag before he left. Unfortunately for Officer Stensgaard, Bryant had recently passed the Oregon bar exam, and decided to pursue the matter further.

"If he had acknowledged and corrected his error, we could have avoided this whole thing," says Bryant. "But instead, he kept watching basketball and told me he wasn't doing anything wrong."

Now, using ORS 153.058, Bryant — as a private citizen — has initiated violation proceedings against Officer Stensgaard. Bryant alleges Stensgaard was in violation of state statutes on illegal parking, illegal stopping, obeying parking restrictions on state highways, and illegal operation of an emergency vehicle or ambulance—the violations carry fines totaling $540.

Officer Stensgaard has received a Multnomah County summons to appear in traffic court on May 23. Meanwhile Bryant denies he is just stirring up trouble.

"Citizens should be concerned that he used his status as an officer of the law as justification for breaking the law," he says.

Stensgaard declined comment through the cops' office of public information.
Of course, Mr. Bryant may hereafter be required to enter the witness protection program.

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A High-Class Dinner Party

Peggy Noonan:
Sen. Obama seems honestly surprised by the furor his the-poor-cling-to-God-and-guns remarks elicited, and if one considers his background—intense marginalization followed by the establishment's embrace—this is understandable. He was only caught speaking the secret language of America's elite, and what he said was not meant as a putdown. It was an explanation aimed at ameliorating the elites' anger toward and impatience with normal people. It's a way of explaining them, of saying, "You have to remember they're not comfortable and educated like us, they're vulnerable and so we must try to understand them and feel sympathy for and solidarity with them." You could say this at any high-class dinner party in America and not cause a ruffle. But America is not a high-class dinner party.

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Headline Material

A CNN "personality" was arrested in Central Park: "It wasn't immediately clear what the rope was for."

G&S reads the New York Post so you don't have to.

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Us v. Them

Andrew C. McCarthy, whose just-released book is Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad:
They are a religious ideology reveling in a mission for which, far from making any apologies for their brutality, they exude a zeal found only in people convinced they are both right and justified. You won’t ever hear from them the slightest misgiving — no careful references to Infidelo-fascists so as not to offend all the wonderful moderate infidels out there.

We, on the contrary, are an odd combination of diffidence, self-loathing, and arrogance: doubtful we are worth the trouble to defend; apt to figure that if people hate us, we must deserve it; and sure that it is within our power to satisfy their grievances — even though we didn’t cause them — by dialogue, political processes, sensitivity-training, and, of course, buying them off — which simply confirms them in their suspicion that we don’t have the stomach for the fight.
More HERE.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

We Have Seen The Future

We are aware that those of little faith doubt that G&S has either staff, correspondents, or good sense. Nonetheless, herewith the latest submission from the Chief of our Hawaii Bureau, who has graciously taken a short break from relieving the malihini of excess cash:

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wanna Bet?

The Yale Daily News is reporting:
Art major Aliza Shvarts '08 wants to make a statement.

Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself "as often as possible" while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. But her project has already provoked more than just debate, inciting, for instance, outcry at a forum for fellow senior art majors held last week. And when told about Shvarts' project, students on both ends of the abortion debate have expressed shock . saying the project does everything from violate moral code to trivialize abortion.

But Shvarts insists her concept was not designed for "shock value."
Take a deep breath . . . listen carefully: It's not true.

No, we have no inside information. We're neither doctors, nor do we play cave men on TV. It's just that, over the years, we've accumulated some knowledge respecting artists, girls, undergraduates, and lunatics. At the end of the day, we'll learn that this young woman's real performance-art project was to convince as many rubes as possible that anyone -- however committed a feminist Democrat or other psychotic they might be -- would actually do such a thing.

Didn't happen. Trust us.

[UPDATE - 8:15 p.m.] The Office of Public Affairs of Yale University has issued THIS statement:
Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She stated to three senior Yale University officials today, including two deans, that she did not impregnate herself and that she did not induce any miscarriages. The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body.

She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art.

Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns.
So keep paying attention.

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We Hear Barry Got Spanked

We didn't have time to watch the Hilly & Barry show last night, so we have no way of really knowing how it all came out. Wait, maybe we could see if our favorite creepy, morbidly obese media critic, Tom Shales, could help us out:
When Barack Obama met Hillary Clinton for another televised Democratic candidates' debate last night, it was more than a step forward in the 2008 presidential election. It was another step downward for network news -- in particular ABC News, which hosted the debate from Philadelphia and whose usually dependable anchors, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, turned in shoddy, despicable performances.
Wow! Sounds like Barry must have got the crap kicked out of him. Sure enough, National Review Online comes to the rescue:
I don’t like Hillary Clinton. But I respect her as an adversary. And every once in a while, when she demonstrates she has the guts to “go there” in front of a Democratic audience that want their debates to be criticism-free lovefests, I’m tempted to say, “I like the cut of your jib, Senator.” It’s like watching a linebacker perfectly execute a blitz and flatten a quarterback from the blind side. It’s brutal, and tough to watch when it’s your guy being hit, but it’s within the rules and almost artistic when it’s perfectly executed.


But she tore into Obama on all of his weak spots. Relentlessly. For the most part, she avoided looking nasty while she did it. She focused on the ‘cling’ comment in the context of not understanding the role of religion in people's lives. She repeated what Wright actually said the Sunday after 9/11, and probably introduced Wright’s blaming of America to a lot of people who had only heard Wright’s sermons through a media filter. She twisted the knife when she noted that people don’t choose their families, but they choose their pastor. When Obama tried to downplay his relationship to William Ayers, she brought up the Woods Foundation.
See? You don't actually have to watch these things, just check in afterwards with campaign staff, like the ever-reliable Tom Shales.

[You don't suppose Tommy is angling to head up the White House Council on Fitness if Barry gets elected, do you?]

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THIS is just plain unfair.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008


False, capricious, inconstant, ambivalent.

Warm, then cool. Almost hot, cold. Wet sleety days, followed by cloudy, wintry cold. Now a sunny trend. Make up my mind. Bipolar, she said.

But we're promised more sun, and warm, warmer, warmest, and so persuaded it is truly Spring, our fancy turns naturally to thoughts of . . .

. . . Cole Porter & Alanis Morissette:

But then, having studied Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, and Black Sabbath in our improvident youth, it is difficult to avoid seduction by a title like "Call Me When You're Sober," with the lyric, "Don't cry to me. If you loved me, you would be here with me."

Bipolar indeed. Happy, happy Spring.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15

[BUMPED to stay aloft throughout this cursed day.]


Bitter? Clinging?

Not so much.

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You Think?

Professor Althouse observes:
Hillary Clinton isn't your classic feminist heroine, fighting to make it in a man's world. She's a woman who leveraged herself into position in a very old-fashioned way, through a man, even when her use of that man required her to fend off other women and turn a blind eye toward sexual harassment. If you don't put that in the picture, your explication of the problem lacks credibility. Hillary has done what was expedient, and crying sexism now just happens to be expedient. Yes, we will have to study her case forever in trying to understand feminism . . . .

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April 15, 1912

"God Himself could not sink this ship."

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Here's Lookin' at You, Kid

We'd not heard of "visual sexual aggression." But apparently you can't be too safe:
Those who peer at children in public could find themselves on the wrong side of the law in Maine soon.

A bill that passed the House last month aims to strengthen the crime of visual sexual aggression against children, according to state Rep. Dawn Hill, D-York.

Her involvement started when Ogunquit Police Lt. David Alexander was called to a local beach to deal with a man who appeared to be observing children entering the community bathrooms. Because the state statute prevents arrests for visual sexual aggression of a child in a public place, Alexander said he and his fellow officer could only ask the man to move along.

"There was no violation of law that we could enforce. There was nothing we could charge him with," Alexander said.
Most scare references to Orwell's 1984 are exaggerations, but this seems only a small step away from pure Thought Crime. You don't have to actually do anything, you just have to be looking.

In the future, medical advances may permit us to identify embryos with a genetic predisposition to particularly disfavored antisocial acts (like gun ownership, religious belief, or the like) and permit early intervention. That's certainly what Margaret Sanger had in mind.

More HERE.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

You Go, Girl!

Hilly! Hilly! She's our girl! If she can't do it, we'll all hurl!

“Small town folk like us,” said Sen. Clinton, “don’t cling to God or guns because we’re bitter about the economy, as my opponent suggests. We believe in God because he’s real, and we keep and bear arms as the best insurance against tyrants who would strip our freedoms if they didn’t fear our collective power.”
More HERE.

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Big Nurse

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them...And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Much has been -- and will be -- written about Senator Obama's astonishing condemnation of broad swaths of the American electorate (including those like the senator who oppose free trade, presumably for reasons disapproved by the Ministry of Right Thinking) as angry, ignorant rubes. That it was delivered to a small group of San Francisco elitists -- whom an Ohio auto mechanic would find as alien as Senator Obama finds Middle America -- provides exactly the proper seasoning for this deliciousness.

A story in its own right is Obama's "explanation" of what he really said, and what he really meant. He implicitly confesses that he thinks ignorance and illiteracy are among the failings of the great unwashed, since for anyone who's taken the time to read the original statement, the "explanation" is laugh-out-loud hilarious. The worthy Victor David Hanson does an excellent job pointing out the various omissions, deceptions and lies employed to dismiss this "misunderstanding."

What is interesting to us is how clearly this statement reveals Senator Obama to be a standard issue, hard left Democratic politician, masquerading as some sort of post-partisan rock star, far above the old conflicts. It shows him to be precisely as racist, internationalist, anti-sovereignty, anti-religion, anti-gun as the rest of the Democratic Left, including Mrs. Clinton when she's not running for President.

More important, however, is that it shows him to be among those -- common on the Democratic Party Left -- who not only hold views on political issues at odds with most ordinary Americans, but who also cannot understand how anyone could possibly disagree with them. Thus, differing with Senator Obama with respect to immigration policy must have its roots in some pathology -- only mental defect or disease can explain why voters wouldn't do the right thing, and vote the right way.

If I think of you as a mental defective, it's most unlikely that I'll take your views into account in setting national policy, that I'll lead in a direction you find tolerable, that I'll listen intently and sympathetically to your psychotic ramblings.

Doctor knows best. It's time for exercise out in the yard, and then Big Nurse will have your medication.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

McCain a Cylon?

Seems clear to us. More HERE and HERE.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008


Can it possibly be that the classic music video of a-ha's hit "Take On Me" is nearly a quarter century old?

The adorable girl, by the way, is the English actress/model, Bunty Bailey. Of course she has a MySpace page. And she's still adorable.

Yes O Yes, me little droogies, we know perfectly well who Bob Moog was and, in point of fact, we owned this record in 1962, the first #1 hit in the United States by a British group (the B side was "Jungle Fever"):

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G&S Loves Christopher Walken

A Walken Family Reunion.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Because They Can

The economy: the healthiest it's been in three decades? or the worst jobs record since Herbert Hoover?

That depends.


Where Was This When I Was Dating?

MSNBC reports: "New anti-terror weapon: Hand-held lie detector."


Remember the Rules

More evidence of profound ignorance abroad in the land: when may the Government sponsor a religious school?

The rules are simple. One needs to know only what religion, and the Constitution provides a ready answer. If anyone at the school ever mentions Moses or Christ, then the Constitution is clear, and no State funds may be used. If, on the other hand, the purpose of the school is to teach the Religion of Peace, then Government funding is not only permitted, but may be required.

Obviously this reporter is confused.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It's That "Lips Moving" Thing

That's how you can tell when Paul Krugman is lying to you.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Mr. Kipling

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

"Tommy" by Rudyard Kipling


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Let's Think This Thing Through

From the August, 1971 issue of Popular Science magazine comes this advertisement for inflatable shorts:

We confess we are somewhat confused -- and more than a bit troubled -- by the promise of this garment to "slenderize where you need it most." Upon reflection, we are confident that we have no desire to have "slenderized" anything in our shorts.

But maybe that's just us.

Hat tip to Modern Mechanix: Yesterday's Tomorrow Today.

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Down at Fraggle Rock

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One Out of Three

Uninsured woman
Refused treatment

Hilly's batting .333, according to the New York Times.

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Happy Birthday, Carl Perkins

Johnny Cash is supposed to have suggested to Carl Perkins that he write a song about his shoes. Perkins is said to have responded, "I don't know anything about shoes. How can I write a song about shoes?"

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She's Got Bette Davis Eyes: April 5, 1908

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Here's Laughing at You, Kid

Virginia Postrel in The Atlantic examines one of the potentially explosive mines floating just under the surface of Obama's candidacy:
Plenty of candidates attract supporters who disagree with them on some issues. Obama is unusual, however. He attracts supporters who not only disagree with his stated positions but assume he does too. They project their own views onto him and figure he is just saying what other, less discerning voters want to hear. So when Obama’s chief economic adviser supposedly told a Canadian official that, contrary to campaign rhetoric, the candidate didn’t want to revise NAFTA, reporters found the story credible. After all, nobody that thoughtful and sophisticated could really oppose free trade.

Unlike Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan, the two glamorous presidents who shaped 20th-century American politics, Obama has left his political philosophy a mystery. His call for “a broad majority of Americans—Democrats, Republicans, and independents of goodwill—who are re-engaged in the project of national renewal” is not a statement of principles. It’s an invitation to the audience to entertain their own fantasies of what national renewal would look like.
Read the whole thing.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

From Ad . . .

. . . to worse:

Yuval Levin at NRO observes:
Apparently someone has called at 3 o’clock in the morning to inform the chief executive that “home foreclosures are mounting.” Given John McCain’s famous temper, it seems to me he’d certainly be well prepared to provide the appropriate response to such a ridiculous phone call at such a ridiculous hour.

Wasn’t the whole point of the 3am ad to raise the question of foreign policy readiness, rather than simply to suggest that it’s time for a light sleeper in the White House?

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"We're Going the Wrong Way!"

And to make sure you're properly up to speed for Friday's premiere of the fourth (and final) season, don't miss Salon's: "Everything you were afraid to ask about "Battlestar Galactica" (A complete primer on the smartest sci-fi TV show ... maybe ever."

[Ahhh, Katee, when will you realize . . . .]


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

In Which Your Two Contributors Have An Infantile Online Discussion Regarding Nothing Important

Gentleman Farmer: Wanna take a walk with me?
Hired Hand: don't be gay.
Gentleman Farmer: That was very insensative. [sic]
Hired Hand: yes. now go.
Gentleman Farmer: I'm offended on behalf of my gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, multigendered, and not gendered compatriots.
Hired Hand: i'm impressed by your inclusiveness, and yet unconvinced.
Gentleman Farmer: I have only recently been enlightened as to the existence of the "non gendered." A colleague thinks it's like nouns, but they're neither masculine nor feminine.
Hired Hand: i'm sure you've extensively studied the difference between sex and gender.
Gentleman Farmer: I've been told that people have sex, while nouns have gender.
Hired Hand: gender being originally a grammatical notion. boy, do people have sex.
Gentleman Farmer: But it's not clear if they enjoy it. The nouns, that is.
Hired Hand: right. i'm a verbgin, myself.
Hired Hand: i practice adjstinence.
Gentleman Farmer: I'm happy for you.
Hired Hand: that's right - i refuse to be objectified. indirectly OR directly.
Gentleman Farmer: You're not making this up on the spot.
Hired Hand: i sure am.
Gentleman Farmer: Then you ought to write it all up and post it to G&S.
Hired Hand: some girl asked me to gerund her, but i wasn't ing the mood.

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Particularly Useful at Tax Time

Now THIS is helpful.