Read Me, Seymour

Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis:

Despite the mass media news blackout, a series of books, talk radio and the blogosphere have managed to expose Barack Obama’s connections to his radical mentors — Weather Underground bombers William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis and others. David Horowitz and his Discover the have also contributed a wealth of information and have noted Obama’s radical connections since the beginning.

Yet, no one to my knowledge has yet connected all the dots between Barack Obama and the Radical Left. When seen together, the influences on Obama’s life comprise a who’s who of the radical leftist movement, and it becomes painfully apparent that not only is Obama a willing participant in that movement, he has spent most of his adult life deeply immersed in it.

But even this doesn’t fully describe the extreme nature of this candidate. He can be tied directly to a malevolent overarching strategy that has motivated many, if not all, of the most destructive radical leftist organizations in the United States since the 1960s.

One Quarter Must Refer To The Coin

Instructions for changing the battery on a heart rate monitor:

When is a quarter a one bit turn?
Click for full size

The coin-slot starts in the horizontal position; notice that the text says “one quarter turn,” but the image is actually a one-eighth turn.

It opens on a one-eighth turn, but it will helpfully turn a full quarter turn in case you’re wondering. Which passes the point where the little locking things pass through the gaps. One quarter turn results in locking it again.

Technical writers are cretins.

Book Report: Three Volumes of Poetry by Ogden Nash, T.S. Eliot, and American Greeting Card Corporation

Many Long Years Ago by Ogden Nash (1945)
Reflections on Our Friendship by American Greetings Corporation (1975)
Old Possum’s Practical Book of Cats by T.S. Eliot (1939, 1982)

If laddie reckons himself to be a poet, laddie really ought to read diverse styles of poetry and, yes, sometimes even poetry that is not very good. Not that I reckon myself to be a poet these days.

The volume of Nash’s represents the longest of the five I bought in 2007 (I hope–it’s 330+ pages, which is a lot of one poet in a row). Nash’s poems are light and easy to read, but sometimes their rhthyms are way off and the words are stretched and misspelled on purpose to make a rhyme, which can be distracting more than truly humorous. But sometimes, he puts a thought or observation into such stark and clear language you cannot help quoting it.

On the other hand, the American Greetings Corporation book is a collection of meh things full of proper rhymes, fair cadence, and imagery like the ocean that washes away from the beach and whose individual waves you cannot remember after the vacation is over. On the other hand, these poets are in more volumes than I am.

The T.S. Eliot book is light and humorous verse about cats, of course. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is based on it, but I’m not going to run right out and see a musical based on reading this book. Eliot is really good technically, with good cadence and rhyme and use of repetition, but it’s only an amusing book about, well, cats, so it didn’t yield any insight into the human condition for me. Unlike, say, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.

If you’re a novice looking to broaden your horizons, I rank them Eliot, Nash, and American Greetings Corporation, but you could probably skip the last. Although its lack of availability online indicates it’s rare, so in my own interest I should say “You should read Reflections on Friendship, or you’ll die ignorant and uncultured (available at MfBJN for $299.98.” But I’m not doing this for myself, gentle reader; no, I write these book reports for you. TO KNOW HOW MUCH AND WIDELY I READ!

Books mentioned in this review:


Book Report: The Lost City of Zork by Robin W. Bailey (1991)

This book brings back the memories. Memories of text-based games I started, but couldn’t actually get through. Or far into, for that matter. We bought a number of titles from Infocom for the Commodore 64 (Zork, Zork II, Zork III, Deadline, and Suspended), but I only completed Deadline because I got the hint book and it showed me the important pivot point required to get to the solution.

This book precedes the games and attempts to recreate the odd flavor of Zork. It doesn’t do so well. One can approach the book as a rather lightweight, lighthearted fantasy book and enjoy it a bit, though. Plus, it gives backstory for the Zork world, so if you’re an aficionado, you probably ought to read it.

Anyway, the plot: a farm boy banished from his village goes to Bophree to seek his fortune, only to find a tyrant newly in power. He’s impressed into the navy, survives a shipwreck, and returns with a sidekick and a sorceror to Bophree to find all the other magicians are missing. They’ve got to find the conjurors and overthrow the dictator.

The book starts out okay, with some nice backstory, but about halfway through its event-driven plot starts to run things, and then things happen, deus machinate, and coincidences occur to solve the problems. Then it ends.

Eh. It ain’t Tolkien, but it won’t take you a month to read.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: The Pope of Greenwich Village by Vincent Patrick (1979)

I bought this book a couple years ago at the Kirkwood Book Fair because it was a book upon which a movie was based. Funny, I remember seeing the advertisements in 1984 for the film, but I’ve never seen the film. I’ll have to finagle a copy somewhere now so I can compare the two.

Because this book is pretty good. It’s a 70s Mob In New York sort of book. All of the characters, no matter how minor, are evil or are crass and ultimately are not good people, but within the Mob milieu, you start residing in an alternate universe where the most sympathetic bad guy is the protagonist you identify with. Mob/grifter books share this with vampire books, oddly enough. In this particular instance, Charlie is a smalltime grifter who, as his position as restaurant manager, cheats by skimming from the top of the vending machine receipts, guzzling free drinks all night, and sometimes keeping entrees off of the bill for a small gratuity. He needs a small score to get out from under hock and to pay for his divorce from a mobster’s daughter. His cousin Paulie comes up with a simple score, and they go for it. An off-duty cop dies, and then Paulie lets on it was a mobster’s money they stole.

The plot moves along well. There are enough interesting people working together or at cross purposes, and the author cuts between them effectively. However, the ending was a little letdown. Still, I liked the book.

Books mentioned in this review:

Range Report

To be like all the cool kids, I compelled Jack Straw to take me to the local indoor gun range with an assortment of his armaments. I shot:

Brian J. firing the .22
A Browning BuckMark in .22lr with a C-More Red-dot sight firing CCI subsonic hollowpoints.

Brian J. firing the .45
A Para Ordnance P1445 in .45ACP with open, fixed sights firing Sellier & Bellot 230gr FMJ.

It’s my first time firing those new-fangled semi-automatic handguns, or as they’re soon to be known in a House bill and set of laudatory news stories, high-powered assault sniper cop-baby-and-puppy-killer automatic machined pistols. Still, for all the hoopla, they don’t always fire a bullet when you pull the trigger.

Brian J. not firing the .45

Not depicted: the Glock G36 in OD Green with fixed sights with a LaserMax guide-rod laser (pulsing) firing Sellier & Bellot 230gr FMJ and the Romanian WASR-10 (AK-variant) with Pentax red-dot sight, folding stock, aluminum quad rail fore-end, AK-74-style muzzle compensator, rear pistol grip & forward folding grip, TAPCO single-hook trigger, and Axis Pin Retaining Plate firing Wolf Military Classic Hollow Point, soon to be known after a House bill, Senate Bill, signature by President Obama, and laudatory news stories as illegal.

Also not depicted: the RehabCare logo on the ball cap.

How did I do? You had to ask that, didn’t you? Well, I aimed consistently low. Jack Straw tells me my grouping was very good, but let’s be honest, if I used my hand instead of a pistol, it would have been called a groping and not a grouping, okay? I dunno what I was doing wrong; we were shooting at little adhesive targets affixed to the paper target, and I missed consistently low and left when I fired at the right side of the target and hit pretty good on the left side of the target.

I blame the change in my dominant eye in the 20 years since I last fired a gun.

Still, I’m pleased to have gone and will have to do so again. Understanding a semi-automatic pistol and firing one tolerably might not be in Heinlein’s list of things a man should be able to do, but it’s on mine.

Had Enough of What?

A couple of sign have cropped up in the neighborhood here that say “Had Enough?/Vote Democrat”. They’ve often prompted me to wonder, enough of what?

The obvious answer is the drumbeat of ominous news passed through most traditional media outlets. How bad is the news portrayed? Enough that 33% of a recent poll’s respondents say the US is in an actual depression.

Get them some Paxil. I think they confuse the economic term with the clinical psychological term.

(Link seen on Instapundit.)

Two Weekends To Reshape Hollywood?

With Fireproof (only one paper reviewed it? Really? I hear showings for Saturday night here in St. Louis are already sold out) opening this weekend and An American Carol next–both to limited release–will boffo numbers for both refocus Hollywood money men on making films that people want to see that portray Christianity favorably or lampoon the taboo subjects of Liberalism?

Who am I kidding?

Obama Campaign Wants Radio Station Licenses

For airing anti-Obama advertisements:

The Obama campaign has written radio stations in Pennsylvania and Ohio, pressing them to refuse to air an ad from the National Rifle Association.

“This advertisement knowingly misleads your viewing audience about Senator Obama’s position on the Second Amendment,” says the letter from Obama general counsel Bob Bauer. “For the sake of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station should refuse to continue to air this advertisement.”

More at Snowflakes in Hell, Bitch Girls, and a roundup at Instapundit.

First, the Obama campaign wanted Justice Department investigations and charges for an opposing political group. Then, the Obama campaign warned broadcasters their licenses were in jeopardy for running anti-Obama ads. Then Missouri prosecutors said opposing viewpoints would be prosecuted.

Is this 21st Century America? Is this the Change Happens on November 4 we were waiting/hoping for?

Whatever you imagine the Bush administration’s civil liberties failings were, get ready to be prosecuted for your speech under the Obama administration.

No, Prosecute Me First!

St. Louis prosecutors, Obama supporters, make their preparations to go after people who make false statements about Barack Obama.

Don’t forget I made a bumper sticker intimating he’s involved with the Communist Party:

Obama 08: Let's Get This Party Started
Click to buy

It becomes less and less hyperbole every day, doesn’t it?

More on this story at Gateway Pundit and St. Louis Metropolitan Area Council of Conservative Citizens.

(Link seen on Instapundit.)

Suing the Dead Guy

You know what this story fails to mention?

Joan Anzalone’s children blame her longtime boyfriend for the helicopter crash that killed the couple, and filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming he may have doomed them by flying blindly and negligently into a heavy fog.

The lawsuit was filed in Cook County, Ill., where Anzalone and Alan Sapko began their flight back to Kenosha early Sunday morning, after taking in a Huey Lewis and the News concert at the Horseshoe Casino just over the border in Hammond, Ind.

Sapko, 54, reportedly played cards until about 4:30 a.m. before lifting off in his Robinson R-44 helicopter, with Anzalone, 45, a mother of children ages 21, 19 and 17.

Their lawsuit claims Sapko failed to follow federal regulations, failed to verify the weather conditions, failed to abandon his flight plan when he encountered fog and negligently flew into an area with insufficient visibility.

That Sapko’s dead:

A helicopter carrying two people crashed into a Kenosha family’s home early Sunday, the rotor blades slicing through the two-story structure like a loaf of bread as the aircraft tumbled down a stairway before blowing out the front door and coming to rest on a neighbor’s driveway.

While the two helicopter occupants were killed, a couple and their three young children survived unharmed as the cart-wheeling wreckage blew their bedroom doors off the hinges just before dawn.

Good to see that the children waited to try to dip their hands into their mother’s boyfriend’s deep pockets a whole two days.

Book Report: I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore by Clarissa Start (1990)

This is the book you wished your grandmother had written.

Part memoir, part musing, Clarissa Start talks about her youth and living on the South Side of St. Louis, and sometimes Florida, as her parents eked out an existence in the 1920s. Those years and her attendance at University of Missouri during the depression were made adventurous by a father with a predilection for the ponies. Then, Clarissa deals with her husband’s getting called up for World War II after they buy their first house (just down the road a piece from here; I went looking for it since there was a picture in the book). She details a bit about her job search and finally her placement with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The book then muses on aging a bit; her first husband dies, she moves out to the country (she lived in High Ridge while I was in House Springs, so we were almost neighbors). It has a wise, even tone to it.

Even retrospectively, Start doesn’t apply contemporary standards to history. She mentions internment in WW2 and explains it seemed like a good idea at the time. So that was noteable.

I liked the book enough that I bought another copy to send to my mother-in-law, another UMC graduate. On purpose. So, you know, I liked it.

Books mentioned in this review:

This Is Only A Test

University City tests out its property condemnation system after a flood:

The city condemned about 275 properties in the aftermath of the storm, but nearly all of the condemnations have been lifted. City officials said the condemnations were to protect residents from potential electrical or other hazards or the lack of utilities.

If this had been an actual emergency, such as the need for a strip mall, these condemnations would have stood.

Book Report: From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming (1957, 1964)

You know, the book struck me as slightly familiar, and a trip to my library database software confirmed it: I’ve read this book recently. Well, sort of recently. Between 2000 and 2004: that is, between moving into my house in Casinoport and starting the book report things here on the blog. Oddly, I didn’t remember too much about the plot, but certain setups, scenes, and turns of phrase resonated.

SMERSH, a Soviet organization tasked with killing spies, decides to kill Bond. They set up an elaborate trap for him, using an attractive young Soviet for bait, and put into motion the plan to not only kill Bond but to also embarrass British intelligence.

The Bond books are straightforward, without the winking and smirking that characterizes the movies. At the same time, they’re very pro-Western and anti-bad guys, so red-blooded American readers can enjoy them and hearken back to a time where the West, at least in fiction, hung together.

Books mentioned in this review:

Internet Conspiracy for the Day

Would a billionaire financier who has spent beaucoup money in the last eight years opposing the Bush administration, someone like George Soros, say, tank the American economy just before an election to help his client party?

Think about it. Ah, nah, don’t think about it, that’s too complicated. Parrot it to a couple of friends, maybe mention it in an e-mail or two.

Book Report: Murder Spins The Wheel by Brett Halliday (1966)

This is a Mike Shayne mystery without the Castro boosterism. Written in the middle 1960s, it’s a throwback to the old style of hardboiled mystery combined with the contemporary laxity in moral values. In it, an underworld associate of Shayne’s gets set up. A fixed football game, a horserace gone bad, and a set-up stick-up lead the associate to New York, where he’s ultimately set up for a narcotics bust. Shayne has to delve into the complex set of grifters and whatnot to find justice.

It’s a good bit of paperback hardboiled mystery. I’ve read a number of the Shayne series in the past decades, and I’ll pick up others I’ll find. That’s a pretty rousing endorsement from me, except I suppose that I pick up pretty much anything if it’s under a buck at a book fair.

Books mentioned in this review:

Also, Read This

The steady, marching drumbeat of Marxism in everyday life:

The drumbeat. It’s always there. Day and night. Rain or shine. Winter or Summer. Sunday or Monday. It comes at you from every direction. It comes over the TV, the radio, at work, at school, in music, in the newspapers, from the politicians, in conversation with others, even in church. It wears you down. It robs you of the will to resist its message. Even short-lived victories, which stop it briefly, leave you with the knowledge that it will return; each minor victory bound to be lost to the redoubled efforts of this patient and persistent force. You can’t escape it. It never stops. It never gives up. It never ends. It rains upon you from every possible angle, from every possible source.

It’s the drumbeat of the left. It is political, philosophical, theological, and social. It pervades every activity. It is post-structural, post-modern, post-everything in the parlance of the day. It is tolerant, diverse, non-judgmental, non-discriminatory, egalitarian, politically correct, multicultural, globalist, and collectivist. It insists that there are no rights and wrongs, no moral absolutes. It turns everything upside down in its looking glass world. It denies the correctness of all that produced what our culture revered before the deconstruction of the world in accordance with the tenets of cultural Marxism.