Friday, October 9, 2015


The word has been used frequently to describe the current state of the House of Representatives, as Kevin McCarthy has resigned (unexpectedly and without explanation), and conservatives struggle to wrest power and legitimacy from the sclerotic GOP establishment. Wars - especially civil wars - are always chaotic. But they also tend to clear the air and can, for a time, at least, settle important questions which have stubbornly resisted the arts of peaceful negotiation (in the present instance, I would argue, primarily due to the bad faith of the so-called moderates, who seem to think they were elected for the purpose of withdrawing in good order before the onslaught of our kingly chief executive).

I am reminded of the words of Thomas Jefferson:
"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
We live in a less rugged age than the founders, so perhaps - perhaps - no blood will be required. But of a certainty, the tree of liberty needs to be watered with something more vivifying than John Boehner's flop sweat.

Overall, I see the spectacle of Republicans grappling with one another for the soul of their party as a healthy thing - in contrast with the Democrats, whose party lost its soul a long time ago, and who therefore march along in a lock-step, invariable gait on the road to perdition.

Happy Feet Friday

"After Hours", recorded by Avery Parrish in 1941, is one of the truly iconic piano solos of the swing era. Great blues.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I guess there must have been a few Mitch McConnells around in the time of Samuel Adams, too

Bob Belvedere cites a very relevant passage on the bogus "prudence" of moderation from the writings of one of our early firebrands.

There are many fine things in the lengthy quote; here's a taste:
It is the Effect of a mistaken Prudence, which springs from Indolence or Cowardice or Hypocricy or I know not what, in those who should point out to them the constitutional Methods of Opposition to arbitrary Power. Too many are afraid to appear for the publick Liberty, and would fain flatter themselves that their Pusillanimity is true Prudence.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ok, Australia, all is forgiven

Looks like one of your blokes just threw another bucket of cold water on the global warm-mongers.

Good on him

Kurt Schlichter thumbs his nose at Barry's petulance.
So when we utterly reject your demands that we give up and give in and turn in the weapons that keep us free of the violence and tyranny, it is a personal rebuke. It is directed at you. We don’t like you. We don’t trust you. And we won’t submit.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Paco Enterprises cancels massive Vegemite purchase

Two can play at this game. If Australia wants economic warfare, then economic warfare it shall have.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Interesting gig

My older son, the eminent Virginia tattooist, landed a somewhat offbeat assignment this weekend: a tattooing session at a nudist colony.

I don't know whether the prospect had originally conjured up in his mind a fantasy of scores of Kate Upton lookalikes, but if so, he must have been disappointed. He admitted to me that, almost without exception, his clients were the sort of people who not only ought to keep their clothes on, but probably should be required by statute to do so.