Wednesday, August 31, 2022

So Mikhail Gorbachev est mort

The Press is falling over themselves to talk about what a guy he was, and how the Soviet system was (in the WaPo's term) "a seven-decade experiment born of Utopian idealism". Well OK then.  Remember, I did not read Pasternak but I condemn him ...

Oh, and the cartoon at that last link?  The one with two Gulag prisoners working in the snow and with the caption that said I won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  What was your crime?  You know, the cartoon that won a Pulitzer Prize?

Yeah, the WaPo would never publish it today.  Scratch a journalist, find a commie.

And so, here's a (err) toast to Mikhail Gorbachev, from back in the day when truth could still be spoken.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Dad Joke CCXXVII - special Lego edition

Did you hear about the Lego truck that crashed on the highway?   The authorities are still trying to piece everything together.

Monday, August 29, 2022

The Theodosian Walls of Constantinople in Lego

 This intersects my love of Lego and my Roman history Nerd.  Go check it out here.


 I met a lady yesterday that has opened a small business selling batteries near the playground in the city park.



That's right, she sells C cells by the seesaw.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Music to unclench your fists

Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes and the grass grows all by itself.

- Zen poet Matsuo Basho 

Aesop has a must-read post (riffing off of Francis Porretto) about refusing to pay attention to the panic porn:


You'll add years to your life, and you won't spend most of them in abject fear and dread.
And so here's a Sunday Classical piece to help you unplug.  Relax.  The world will be here tomorrow but today the grass grows all by itself.

I also like the picture Aesop has.  It says this:
turn off the news.
go outside.
you were never meant to carry the burden of the entire world.
The grass grows by itself.  It's said that plants grow better when you play music for them.  So turn up the music.

And make peace with God
And make peace with yourself, 
'Cause in the end there's nobody else

Have a great Sunday.  The World will be here tomorrow and tomorrow is time enough for that.

Friday, August 26, 2022

The best argument in favor if a Taurus Judge

Dragon's Breath .410 Flame Thrower shotshells. Now I always considered the Judge to be a bit gimmicky, and these incendiary shotshells seemed that way, too - until I watched this video and saw a unique application for property defense come the End Times:

So you put some gasoline in some metal bottles (Bud Lite, anyone?) and hit it up with one of these rounds.  It seems to me that this would be pretty effective against groups looking to loot your place.  Spread the bottles around where you expect two legged varmints to congregate.

This is a very specific use case for what otherwise seemed gimmicky.  The downside is that these rounds look like they're $5 per round (ouch!).  Still, it's a use case that seems hard to get any other way.

Thoughts?  Weirdly, this seems to be illegal in Florida and Alaska, as well as the Usual Blue States.  What's up with FL and AK?

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Dad Joke CCXXV

Which animal is least interesting?

A boar. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Security news

Not exactly a Security Smorgasbord post, but interesting and important stuff.

Lawrence has an post about a new sort of phishing scam pretending to be a Paypal invoice for a Walmart purchase.

There’s a new phishing scam making the rounds. I’ve received examples of this one twice myself over the last week, and since it’s a lot more sophisticated and polished than the average email phishing scam, I think it’s worth taking a look at.

You should go read - this is important.

Twitter's ex-Chief of security says that the company is entirely uninteresting in knowing just how many bots make up the Twitter user population.  What makes this really big security news is that the ex-Chief is none other than Mudge, one of the original L0pht guys.  He has big, big stature in the security community.  I don't know how this will play out, but this will be enormously damaging to Twitter's share price.  But it's hard to see this Justice Department go after the Twitter execs who helped the Democrats so much over the last few years.  

The Metaverse sucks, and you cannot have any privacy there.  I expect you already know that.

Sumd00d hacks his Hyundai car to change the smart screen software.  What uber 31337 'sploit does he use to find Hyundai's secret encryption key?  Google.  For realz.  Angels and Ministers of Graqce defend us.

Monday, August 22, 2022


An Englishman, a Frenchman, a Spaniard, and a German were out for a walk when they stopped to watch a street performer juggle some balls.  The performer noticed the four men had a bad view from where they were in the crowd, so he climbed on a wooden box and shouted "Can you all see me now?"





Sunday, August 21, 2022

Let the little children come to me

Well, let one particular little child come to Big Country:

He's posted a lot about his grand daughter and his fight to get her to safety.  Click here to donate to the Legal Fund.

Hector Berlioz - Dream of a Witches' Sabbath from Symphonie fantastique

I was raised in the Episcopal church.  It's been getting weird for decades and now seems to have pitched over the edge into the abyss of - dare we say it? - heresy: The Episcopal Church comes out in support of sex changes at all ages.


I don't know what a Chalcedonian christian can do these days.  I won't attend the Witches' Sabbath at the Episcopal church, that's for sure.  Although Hector Berlioz wrote some great music that would be appropriate for their so-called "mass".


Saturday, August 20, 2022

Quote of the Day: Surf Rock edition

QOTD goes to commenter Matthew W in yesterday's post about The Ventures playing with their original drummer who had become a four star general in the intervening 4 decades.  His comment:

I like to tell people that I'm the lead singer in a Ventures tribute band...............

 Matt, The Internets you just won can be picked up at the Castle Borepatch drawbridge.  Use the usual password.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Incitatus for Consul

 Glen Filthie made an impassioned plea for Incitatus in the next election. Besides casting aspersions that Odin had bought my vote and my support, Glen Filthie's argument has some merit. Incitatus was a horse that was made a priest and a Consul around 37 A.D.. In today's configuration, I would think that would make Incitatus the Sec. of State or the Vice-President.

I would suggest some living horse, perhaps the winner of the next Belmont Stakes, but I await Glen's next comment to see if he was set on Incitatus even though the horse has been dead for over 1900 years.

When The Ventures played surf rock with an Air Force four star general

The Ventures are an interesting band. They're the most successful rock band in Japanese history (and that's not shabby, as Japan has bought more records than any country but the USA).  They're in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.  They have a Grammy.  Sadly, a lot of them are dead.  Interestingly for a rock band, the cause of death was mostly old age.

But their first drummer was when they were in High School.  George Babbitt was a drummer in the marching band, and joined them when they recorded this song, their very first hit.  Then he graduated and joined the Air Force.  Thirty-odd years later, he was a four star general.  When they played a gig for the Air Force, they asked him to sit in on drums.  He obliged, in full uniform.

This was 38 or 39 years after his days in the band, when he was Commander, Air Force Material Command (COMAFMC).  GEN Babbitt retired two years after this concert.  He seems to still be alive at the ripe old age of 80.

This post was inspired by one over at American Digest, which has a different (and more surf) song by the band.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Mmmmm ... that's some tasty mockery

Via Western Rifle Shooters, commentary on CDC's statement that they need to do a re-org to "do better":


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Odin 2024

 I want our blog out front on this. We need effective leaders.

dank memes - vote odin - The left wing said they'd abolish poverty right wing said they'd abolish bureaucracy Odin said he'd abolish ice giants Where are the ice giants? Vote Odin

Well that was a real squeeker

Cheney got 70% of the vote in 2020.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022



Via Some It's Just As Well, who has some interesting commentary.

I did not know that

Derek Ward posts a link that sort of undermines the whole "Florida is the Gunshine State" narrative

However, when you take into account the total population of both states, this gives Texas 21 gun stores per 100,000 people and only gives Florida 13.4 gun stores per 100,000 people. For comparison, most states on this list have well over 20 gun stores per 100k people.

C'mon, Florida - those are rookie numbers. 

On the converse side of things, Kentucky currently ranks the highest in terms of the total number of firearms purchased overall with the Bluegrass State purchasing more guns in the first half of 2022 than any other state in the union (a grand total of 2,094,787 firearms in the first 6 months).

Even ignoring the "Eastern Kentucky vs. Eastern Florida" mismatch, Kentucky is buying three times as many guns as Florida is.  Rookie numbers, indeed.

Monday, August 15, 2022


Why didn't the Teddy Bear get dessert? 

Because he was stuffed.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Michel Legrand - Music from The Three Musketeers

The last two weeks have seen music from early swashbuckling films (from the 1930s).  Today closes out this exploration with what was probably the last really good swashbuckling film - 1973's "The Three Musketeers".  While the fencing scenes did not live up to the standard of Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone, this film has much to recommend it: an all star cast, a ton of comedy, decent menace at the right time from the right characters, and music from a very under-rated composer.

I have quite fond memories of this film.  Christopher Lee (the real Most Interesting Man In The World) played the bad guy to perfection, Oliver Reid in his greatest role just before alcoholism stalled his career, Raquel Welch is a surprisingly funny performance (for which she won a Golden Globe), and outstanding music that was nominated not for an Oscar but rather for a Grammy.

It's not the 1930s swashbuckling - it feels more "modern" and perhaps "gritty" but it's great fun, and great listening.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

More Tab Clearing, of the Donald Trump variety

Isegoria has a nifty definition of class structure in America.  Donald Trump is about the only one who has the first class in mind:

Rob Henderson explains social class through the example of where your name goes:

Working class: Your name on your uniform
Middle class: Your name on your desk
Upper middle class: Your name on your office door
Upper class: Your name on the building

You will notice that the folks who own the Media are all in the last class.  Gosh, I wonder why they hate Trump's guts? /sarc

Mike at Cold Fury thinks that Ron DeSantis is wimping out:

DeSantis, Abbott, and any other non-Vichy GOPe governors with stones enough to do so could render all Real Americans a great service, as well as etch their names with honor and glory in the annals of American liberty forevermore, by announcing their firm intention to end all cooperation and/or contact with FBI goon squads currently skulking about in their sovereign States—effective oh, say, five minutes ago or thereabouts.

Srlsy, Mike really thinks he's wimping out:

The Leftard camel has been allowed to poke its big, ugly snout way too far into the tent already for my liking, and I can’t even begin to imagine that DeSantis is in agreement with those assholes on this particular topic. Any and every time they can be dealt a defeat, regardless of its perceived import, they not only should be, they must be, just as a matter of principle.

I don't know that I agree.  DeSantis has been an astonishingly effective Governor and gets the daily dose of hate in the Florida newspapers as his reward.  He is particularly effective in dishing out punishment, not a bunch of hot air posturing.  This is what has made the Florida newspapers to melt down on a daily basis.  DeSantis is establishing a reputation as a doer, not a talker - at least with me.

Scott McKay at The American Spectator thinks it's not Trump or DeSantis, it's Trump and DeSantis:

The issue isn’t whether Trump or DeSantis is the GOP nominee in 2024. Both would be fine. Seriously. Trump is starting to get to the outer edge of what you’d look for age-wise in a president, but he’s also been through the wars and he’d be able to leverage that experience to hit the ground running and efficiently do the things that are controversial until they aren’t early in his second term.

And DeSantis is younger and smoother than Trump, having had a good deal more experience with politics and government.

But — and I’m going to harp on this, because it’s a point I make in my book The Revivalist Manifesto, which you should buy and read thoroughly — political eras are formed in America not on the basis of one election but rather five or six in a row. The Democrats kicked off the first era of our political history with Thomas Jefferson’s rout of John Adams in 1800, and they didn’t lose a presidential race until 1824, by which time Democratic politics was American politics. Ditto for the second era, which began with Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 victory; the GOP didn’t lose a presidential election until 1884. And the third era, which is coming to a miserable end, began with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s rout of Herbert Hoover in 1932; it was 1952 before a Republican again won a presidential race, and Dwight Eisenhower was necessarily so timid when it came to domestic policy that by the end of his tenure the John Birch Society was convinced he was a communist mole.

The point being, it takes a generation for the concrete of a new political era to cure. And that means it’s less important whether Trump or DeSantis wins in 2024 than that one of them does. And furthermore, what’s more important than that is the standard both of them set for Republican politicians up and down the governmental food chain.

Trump is a wrecking ball, and knows where and how to start disassembling the Imperial Bureaucracy.  DeSantis is the guy who can put it back together in a way to cause even more pain to The Right Sort Of Folks.  Your mileage may vary, void where prohibited, do not remove tag under penalty of law.

The Band - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Divemedic has a must-read post about the coming Civil War, Innocent People Always Die

The civil war that both sides seem intent on having will be ugly. War isn’t a game where two sides engage in some football game where the players, rules, and boundaries are clearly defined. Americans think that war is some sort of game, a crucible where masculinity is defined. It isn’t. It’s messy. It won’t just be players getting targeted. The combatants will be targets. So will the people who deliver food. So will their families. Women. Children. The side who refuses to participate in that will lose.

He has a telling Civil War 1.0 example of how civilians were explicit targets, and I've written for a long time about how Billy Sherman was America's first war criminal:

Moving [south] from Yankeeland has made me realize the extent that the history of [The American War of Southern Independence*] as taught today consists of little more than red, white, and blue cardboard.

The events are disconnected in a quite striking manner.  Events just sort of happened, you see?  But since the desired outcome was reached, there's no sense in dwelling on things, and those that do are sore losers.

For example, the charming town where I reside includes a monument:

The concentration camps didn't start in Nazi Germany, or even the Boer War (as is often presented).  They began right here on these shores, started by one William T. Sherman's personal order.  But this is just an isolated event in the colorful cardboard history.

Only 2 of the deported woman returned after the war.  It's unclear whether the rest died or settled down elsewhere.  It seems that record keeping was poor or non-existent, and modern day historians are curiously comfortable with their red, white, and blue cardboard history of that era.

But art can pierce this veil, and allow us to view (if darkly) through the glass to see what civil war does to non-combatants.  I suspect that this song will need no introduction to most readers.  I also suspect it will attract the usual comment trolls saying that the folks living in southwest Virginia "had it coming".  A lot of people are happily ignorant of the true causes of that war and have no intention of doing anything about that ignorance.  That same ignorance is seen in Divemedic's post describing what is propelling us at Flank Speed towards Civil War 2.0.

May God save this Honorable Republic.  At this point it looks like only He can.  I sure hope that Bismark was right that the Lord looks after fools, drunks, and The United States of America.

* It wasn't a "Civil War" because the south didn't want to conquer the north.  "The War Between The States" is unspecific as to motive.  Thus, "The American War of Southern Independence" which tells you everything you need to know about the causes of the conflict.

Friday, August 12, 2022


 Why does the Norwegian Navy have bar codes on the sides of their ships?

So when they come into port they can Scandinavian.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Finding Out

 Now that the U.S. is in some sort of escalating standoff with China, it seems like a good time to look back fondly to the country I grew up in. 

My grandfather sold Ford trucks, so we had a Ford. But all the major choices were made in America. As was the steel, glass, and rubber the car was made from. The only exception I remember were Volkswagens. Here's the parking lot at Disneyland in 1965.

The furnace, TV, the toaster, stove, refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, light bulbs, lamps, outlets, switches, faucets, silverware, dishes, and door locks were all made in America.

The towels, sheets, blankets, pillows, mattresses, rugs, chairs, sofas, cabinets, bureaus, and end tables were all made in America.

Shirts, t-shirts, underwear, socks, shoes, pants, belts, dresses, hose, coats, sweaters, and umbrellas were all made in America. 

Nike running shoes were made in America. I had a pair of the original waffle trainers in the late 1970s and they had this label.

The telephone wasn't much, it weighed as much as a bowling ball, was tied to a wire, and didn't even display who was calling, but it was made in America, along with the wires, switching equipment, and equipment racks that made it all work.

The tools hanging in the garage were all made in America, ours were mostly Craftsman. 

Tractors, graders, backhoes, cranes, big trucks. Made in America by companies many of us can still name.

When I was twelve years old and Americans landed on the moon, everything I owned that wasn't made in America could have disappeared and I think the only thing I would have missed was my Raleigh bicycle.

Now, in 2022, we are approaching the opposite situation. Except for the old furniture I have, everything I own is imported. It's isn't the electronics, but let's start there. 

No TVs, computers, cell phones, stereo equipment, or cameras are made in America.

Want a t-shirts, some boxers, socks, a pair of jeans, a towel, or some sheets? There's U.S. made to found, but it's boutique and priced to match, there's no mainline retailers selling U.S. made.

Bicycles. Schwinn frames didn't say made in America, the logo just said Chicago. Schwinn is still a name, but it's a low end import bike from China. Giant, Trek, Specialized, and the high end bike store bikes are all imported and all the components from tires to handlebars are as well. 

Craftsman's gone. The name's was sold along with Kenmore in the giant train wreck that Sears became, but it's all made in China.

Starting in the 1980s, the U.S has bled off it's manufacturing. Steel, glass, textiles, consumer goods are gone. It took 40 years to sell it all, move it offshore, and shut down the plants here. How long would it take to bring it back? If you started, who would do the work? Who knows how? There are YouTube channels dedicated to exploring abandoned factories, they illustrate the impossibility of reopening, it would have to be built new from scratch.

We made this bed and we climbed in it, to a large extent with China, although I recognize that imports do come from other countries as well. When Covid hit, we all saw what a "just in time" global supply chain looked like under stress. Which brings me back to the opening of this post. 

If we get knotted up in a conflict with China, they don't have to go to military force, they can just restrict their exports to the U.S. It would hurt them some, and they might feel some economic consequences, but we would be hamstrung. Think what every Wal-Mart in the country would look like if everything made in China disappeared. We can't afford to do it.

Which means that very likely we won't. I can't account for some moronic behavior like we've seen recently, but I expect we'll huff and puff and then claim that it all worked out for the best. China knows it. We know it. Taiwan knows it, too. They are on their own when it comes down to it, and they would do well to make the best deal they can. We aren't going to war on their behalf.

Tab clearing

Here's a selection of what I've been looking at.  There's no connection other than I found each fascinating, even if I don't agree 100% with all points.

John Michael Greer (the artist formerly known as The Arch Druid) looks at the Georgia Guidestones (recently blown up) and connects them to Klaus Schwab and his Great Reset - and brings ancient Mycenae along for the ride.  Here's a flavor from a loong and thoughtful post recommending some modesty from today's "elites".  I expect he will be disappointed by their lack of humility moving forward:

Grant for a moment that modern American society crashes to ruin over the next few centuries, following the usual trajectory of civilizations on their way to history’s compost heap. Grant that the decline and fall has the usual effects: population drops to 5% or so of the precollapse peak, most technology and information resources are lost, literacy becomes a rare skill, and a long and bitter dark age settles over the land. The people of that future time will use storytelling the same way every other illiterate culture has done—it’s apparently hardwired into human brains at this point, after so many generations of evolutionary selection in its favor. What stories will they tell about us?

If you think the stories in question will be the sort of thing that would allow us to preen our egos if we happened to hear them, think again.
The Bitter Centurion echos this in a very personal way.  If the "elites" think that they will be remembered as Gods they don't understand just how much people hate them today:
I've never truly hated anyone the way I hate these 'elites'. These corrupt politicians, corporate oligarchs, and central bankers. The people who have gotten obscenely rich and powerful on the backs of the regular, common folks who are constantly forced to do more with less just to provide for their families.

The entire globe is on the cusp of a Third World War with the Russians, not to mention the internal strife and turmoil in several nations around the world we are seeing as a result of this 'Build Back Better/ESG' bullshit, cooked up at the World Economic Forum. All the major conflicts and problems we are seeing in the world today, every single one of them, is entirely THEIR fault. It is all their doing.
Why can't America build anything?  Basically elites and government bureaucrats.

What Edward Gibbon got wrong about the fall of the Roman Empire.  This is a good overview but Gibbon really needed someone to take him aside when he started blaming it on Christianity.  After all, the Eastern Roman Empire was much more devoutly Christian than the Western portion and survived the West by a thousand years.  A millennium isn't exactly a rounding error, Eddie.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A modest proposal to the Governor of Florida

Item the first: no Florida Law Enforcement personnel are allowed to work with the Gestapo FBI, under penalty of being dismissed from Florida employment, unless authorized by the Florida Governor.

Item the second: any Gestapo FBI Agent executing law enforcement actions on any citizen of Florida without authorized (by the Governor's office) are subject to arrest by the Florida State Police and prosecution under Florida law.

Actually, it would be nice if instead of "Gestapo FBI" it was "any Federal law enforcement employee".

Sure, sure, the Fed.Gov will fight this in (Federal) court.  Maybe the Federal Court will (shockingly!) rule in favor of the Fed.Gov.  This will just give the Florida Governor another bite on the same apple.  A Federal Court might issue a ruling, but (in Andy Jackson's wording let them now enforce that ruling).  Florida law enforcement will of course not enforce it, and for any Federal law enforcement you would need to refer to Item the First and Item the Second.

Next step, look at how many illegal aliens are apprehended in Florida and then released: these all need to be bussed to Washington D.C.

The Next, Next step is to look at all Federal property in Florida and seize sufficient property to compensate the citizens of the State against Federal impositions.  

This is a dance that can play out over years, to the detriment of the Democrats.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Dad Joke CCXXI

I could tell you that a zebra is a carnivore but I'd be lion. 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

A musical interlude

It seems that today is my birthday.

They also had another song about this:

But that's clearly wrong.  Why, I'm in my prime ...

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Captain Blood

In a comment to last week's music selection from the Errol Flynn Robin Hood film, Aesop (who knows something about film) left a comment:

If Errol Flynn is in a movie with an Erich Korngold score, I'll be sitting twelfth row center, waiting for the overture to begin.
Yup.  And so to today's selection.  Captain Blood was the very first film to star Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.  It essentially founded the genre of swashbuckling adventures.  It began a long collaboration between Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone (later famous as Sherlock Holmes) who appeared together not only in Robin Hood but also in The Dawn Patrol.

And this film established the reputation of Erich Korngold, not as a great composer (he had already established his chops) but as a great film composer.  Shockingly he was not nominated for the Academy Award for this film; he got more write-in votes than almost any of the actual nominees.

He almost didn't take the gig, feeling that pirate adventures wasn't very interesting.  But the producers invited him to watch some of the filming.  Impressed, he signed on.  The problem was that the entire score had to be finished in three weeks.  To get the entire score complete he had to include a number of symphonic poems from Franz Lizst (remember, he was the first Rock Star).

Both Flynn and Rathbone were accomplished fencers, and justly famous for the well choreographed fight scenes.  Certainly Rathbone's fencing was more convincing than his french accent:

And the music is quite dramatic:

Next week we will close out our exploration of swashbuckling film music.

Bootnote on the actors:

Basil Rathbone was decorated for heroism on the Western Front in The Great War.  He was also the British Army's fencing champion (twice) and taught Errol Flynn much of what he knew.

Olympia de Havilland was cousin to Geoffrey de Havilland of aircraft manufacturing fame.  She only dies two years ago at the age of 104, the oldest winner of an Academy Award.  She is probably most famous for her role as Melanie in Gone With The Wind.

Errol Flynn got in a fist fight with his director during filming of Charge Of The Light Brigade.  A horse lover, he was infuriated by the intentional crippling of dozens of horses during filming.  He was a notorious womanizer and it is said that the expression "in like Flynn" originally referred to a successful seduction.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Gone shewtin'

I'm meeting Big Country and Wifey at the range for some recoil therapy.  It will be something like this:

And The Queen Of The World got me a nifty spotting scope so I can see just how rusty my marksmanship is.  Need to get out to the range more often.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Rest In Peace PFC Simanek

Awarded the Medal of Honor in Korea for falling on a grenade to save his buddies.  Lived another 70 years.  As you'd expect, Dwight has the details

Semper Fi, Marine.  Ave atque vale.