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"We have met the enemy, and he is us!" – Pogo

Kevin Baker: Walt Kelly was more right than he knew…
Kevin, in his wisdom writes of the Decline and Fall of the American Republic, followed by a loyal readership commenting as to the specific reasons for such a decline.
This all began with the wisdom of Tam, on which Kevin built…
By the time FDR ran for office, our government was essentially no longer a republic. Passage of the Seventeenth Amendment (direct election of Senators) in 1913 destroyed the last vestiges of our republican form of government in favor of a representative democracy wherein “the people” elect representatives to “fix the problems (their) constituents beg them to fix” in both houses. The freedom to make “wise” (and therefore possibly unpopular) choices in the upper house of Congress had been removed by the 17th Amendment. Now running for Senate didn’t mean you needed the respect of your peers in the House, it meant you needed to promise whatever it took to the populace to get their votes – just like every other politician. Thus Mencken’s observation:

A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.

Go.  Read.  Learn. Ruminate…and, perhaps Cry.  – Guffaw
Walt, we should have listened to you! 

h/t Tam, Kevin, Walt Kelly

Concerned Citizens = Militia Extremists

Instapundit links to official government documents defining those who are citizens concerned about their Second Amendment rights and the steady encroachment of the federal government as “militia extremists.”
This is from a Department of Homeland Security lexicon recent published.
Amazingly, the “lexicon” appears to directly violate standards published by DHS just weeks before the document was sent out.

found on Google’s photo page, under ‘militia’

For all the gory specifics, please go to the link above.  Ignore the photograph, it is ‘not me’.

h/t Glenn Reynolds, Patrick Poole

Gas Is Cheap

The Travis McGee Reader expounds on the real forces behind the ever-increasing gasoline prices, and our frustration with them.

You just put $75 worth of unleaded in your little car. You cussed the Arabs and the Africans and the Venezuelans and the Texans. When we get the pipeline from Athabasca you’ll cuss the Canadians, too, eh?

Wrong targets, Bunkie. Your enemy isn’t wearing a turban, a sombrero,  or a Stetson. He’s wearing an Armani with real button holes in the sleeves. He’s  carrying an alumni card from a great university and impressive  government identification documents.

Go and read the whole essay at the link, above.
At least then you’ll know whom to curse.

h/t alongfordmick

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold…

BLOGGER is up to it’s old tricks, yet again.
(not that it’s running well, anyway…)
It seems it refuses to column all my recent posts, making the reader click on
older posts to see the most recent.
Sorry about that.

I’m apologizing, because we know BLOGGER won’t.- Guffaw

UPDATE – taking Rev. Paul’s counsel, I checked my settings on my BLOGGER Dashboard.  Shows SEVEN posts.  Re-set it and refreshed my blog.  STILL three…
Oh, well, we get what we pay for! – Guffaw

Watch Your Children Around Water!

7 Items You Won’t Believe Are Actually Legal is the Internet version derived from Cracked Magazine.  (You guys remember, the mag next to MAD that no one bought?)
ANYWAY, they have all manner of bizarre, twisted stuff on the site.  I found this link entitled,

7 Items You Won’t Believe Are Actually Legal

(Of course, they then place legalese warnings about how some stuff MIGHT be illegal in your area.  And your guys, being gunnies and all, will believe they are!)

 The list includes Tannerite and GE Mini-guns…

Of course, Cracked isn’t libertarian, and asks after every item “Holy Balls, Why is it Legal?”

Go check ’em out at the above link!


Happy Birthday George Washington!

a younger Washington

Cato @ Liberty reports on why we honor George Washington.
Today is his birthday (yes, I know, Monday was President’s Day Designated George Washington’s Birthday Federal Holiday).
I remember being given a dry, boring, rather perfunctory image of Washington in public schools while growing up.
“The Father of Our Country” – whatever that meant?
A likeness of the Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington in old age.  No smile, worn, powdered wig.  He appeared formal, unreachable.  Old.
It wasn’t until I was well into adulthood that I took an interest in the man and his life and accomplishments.
My favorite story about George Washington was as he was an active farmer, he was quite strong.  He could crack walnuts as a nutcracker between his thumb and forefinger! 
He wasn’t a great thinker, like Jefferson, but he kept growing in character.
As such, after the Revolution, he resigned his commission in the army, and returned to farming.
He later refused to run for a third Presidential term and did the same.
He could have been a king, had he chosen to be.  But he chose to be a servant to the People of this Constitutional Republic.
And that’s his gift to the People.
Thank you surveyor, farmer, distiller, humble man with a huge ego. 
And to us – we should all strive to keep growing in character.
Go read the link, above.

h/t David Boaz

Walmart Endangerment

The Arizona Republic reports a man dropped his gun in a Walmart restroom in Mesa (Az.).
He may be charged with endangerment.
Allegedly, as he was sitting down in the restroom, his Ruger Western-style .357 firearm fell from his holster and discharged.

No one was injured, although another restroom patron was about five feet from where the round ultimately landed.
Perhaps the gentleman should have properly secured the firearm before dropping trou?

h/t Az. Central

How to be a PI (Lesson 4) pre-1986

“The new phone book’s here!  The new phone book’s here!”  Navin R. Johnson (Steve Martin) in The Jerk (1979)
Back before the Internet, telephone directories were a great source of information.  Not just the current book.
If one could go back a few years, sometimes a subject had his number previously published-even though now it was non-pub.
How do you go back a few years?  The Public Library or the University Library.  Many have telephone books adjacent to their city directories, going back many years.
Want to find an older address?  Published number?  Relatives with the same last name from years ago?
As a PI, I had a fetish for telephone directories.  I began collecting Phoenix directories as they were published when I first became a PI.  Then, later, when I worked with Dennis Kayer @ P**M** Security, he had a collection.  He got out of the PI biz and gave me his collection.  Probably 100 books.  Cities and Towns State-wide.  Some going back 8 years!  Then, when I had my own license, I placed a standing order for all Arizona State telephone directories as published.
“The new phone book’s here!”
They began to be a bit of a space problem.  Personal space versus utility.
Ma Bell solved the problem for me.  She was broken up in the mid-80’s and the Baby-Bells were created.  Each one with their own telephone directories, not always including other phone company customer information.  It became more difficult to keep track of what directories I had, needed and what I used.  After a ‘difference of opinion’ with a contract employer, I came home one day and eliminated all the directories from my home office.  They didn’t have recycling then.  
Looking back, it was more about the end of an era – the monolithic telephone company.  And, with many of the old phone books now on line (!), space is saved.
And privacy is further eroded.  That’s a cross I bear, libertarian privacy guy vs. investigator.  Hopefully, the newer, resources are used only for good.

Yeah, right.

New BLOGGER Word Verification SUCKS!

Some (all?) of the BLOGGER-afflicted blogs now have a new-fangled word verification program.
I’ve tried to pollute about seven blogs with inciteful commentary, only to NOT have the comments accepted.
AND be given new obscurely written things to copy to gain proper entry.
I think I actually had ONE comment work.  The rest?  (*insert Bronx Cheer here*)
I even closed my Firefox window, and opened the old Internet Explorer 9 window, in an effort to fool the programming.
Same result.
Of course, this is the same BLOGGER program that still reports only 60% of comments on Guffaw in AZ to my email.  So, I must continually review for commentary!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…