Marine and Horse

Sgt. Justin D. Head, animal packing course chief instructor, excercises his mustang, Hondo, shortly after grazing. The animal packing course is the only one of its kind in the department of defense and teaches Marines and other military personnel how to effectively and efficiently work with beast of burden to transport munitions, supplies and wounded personnel to and from areas inaccessible to mechanized and air transportation. The course, offered at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, teaches an introduction to animal packing, an anatomy of pack animals, animal packing techniques, casualty evacuation techniques, animal first aid and bivouac considerations. Photo by Sgt. Aaron Hostutler


Make My Day

OK, I’m dumb. I totally didn’t pick up on it last night- even cringed a little and felt sorry for the old man kinda making a fool of himself on national television. Oh, how wrong I was. Watching again this morning I realized that Clint Eastwood delivered the most devastating sucker-punch yet to the fatuous Hegelian nanny-staters that currently reside at 1600 Pennsylvania.

[jwplayer mediaid=”324″]

Channeling Jimmy Stewart ha-ha! From Belmont Club:

It was an old man’s delivery, but overstatedly so for effect. It was a cutting delivery and for that reason delivered in low key. But for all of  Clint Eastwood’s rhetorical cleverness at the Republican Convention, the speech derived its effectiveness precisely because it wasn’t one of those “I take this platform tonight with pen in hand, bearing in mind the immortal words of Clancy M. Duckworth” type orations. It wasn’t the speech of someone who was running for office.

There was no malice in it. Just a tone of regret. But it was redolent of memory too. Of simple things a world away from the Mountaintop, of sentiments a light-year from dramatic arcs, and of ordinary happiness in a universe apart from grand bargains and high-flown rhetorical visions.  They were truths that  everyone who has ever worked knows but has somehow forgotten because they were so ordinary.

-a few of the better comments-

Yes that was an old man speaking. It was a free old man telling the President without malice, without fear or favour, “Mr President, you did not do your job and it’s time for you to go.”

Walt Kowalski indeed. His zingers were delivered with a deftness that was awesome. People are used to soaring rhetoric or loud declarations at political conventions. His contrasting conversational tone was like a whisper after bombast — it drew you in and made you listen.

Key lines: “We own America” “The politicians work for us; they are our employees.” “When they don’t do the job it’s ok to let ‘em go.” He was speaking to every other Walt Kowalski listening. You are not a racist if you vote against Obama, you are simply letting an employee go who didn’t do a good job.

Bravo! Tour de force!!!

This proves that Clint’s gambit was utterly successful and devastating. President Thin Skin just revealed a tell. Clint masterfully deployed Alinsky Rule #5 (RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.) The GOP must keep hammering at this chink in his armor relentlessly. Keep it funny and self-deprecating like Clint did, and you will also fulfill Rule 6 (RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.). That’s why Breitbart was the ultimate happy warrior. He lived and breathed this stuff.

EDIT: It was bothering me because I felt like I had seen this style somewhere before, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It just smacked me in the brain. This was Clint’s version of the drunken master from the old kung fu movies. No wonder I got such enjoyment out of it!

empty chair = empty suit

I have to admit that, for the first time, I honestly have some hope for a change this November. Go ahead- make my day!

My Kirby, It Sucks

Anyone who ever toiled in the “Blowin’n’Sucking Business” as I did, or even just owned a vacuum cleaner, should relate to Gerard VanDerLeun’s recent missive- To Vacuum the Vacuum Use the Vacuum. A taste:

Then there’s “The Kirby” weighing in are over twenty pounds of solid chromed steel, titanium bristles that can skin a black rhino, and a woven cloth bag wrapped around the vacuum bag that could be made into an outdoor area rug. The motor in this bad boy is so powerful it can suck kittens out of my basement through the floorboards in the living room. It is the chopped Harley Hog of vacuums.

RTWT of course 🙂 From the comments,

It appears your vacuum abhors nature, Gerard.

“Nice shot, kid. Don’t get cocky”

Ace is doing handstands and backflips over at AOSHQ-

I know I’ll catch hell for this, but the election is over. This week Romney/Ryan will move ahead in the polls and they will not relinquish that lead, save for the occasional outlier. Polls will tighten and widen; but from this moment forward, the preference cascade begins.

In a way, Ryan shouldn’t be over-praised because he had so damn much material to work with. But he worked with that abundance of riches masterfully. Watch him gracefully segue from the stimulus to ObamaCare, and from ObamaCare to Medicare. He’s talking about discreet economic policies, but he knits them together so you barely even realize he’s shifted topics.

His poise was enormous. He delivered a Mortal Kombat fatality on the Obama presidency and he did it with “aw, shucks, ma’am” earnestness and goodwill. He seemed like such a nice boy as he spoke, and each and every word he said wasdeadly.

It doesn’t matter what Romney says tomorrow. I suppose we should all hope, of course, for the Speech of His Life. Perhaps he’ll deliver; one thing about Romney is that he is intensely competitive.

But unless he says something remarkably stupid — something I’m pretty sure he won’t — the media coverage on him will be “safe and solid as usual, but nothing like the power of Paul Ryan’s address.”

Which is just fine, because Ryan eviscerated the Obama Presidency tonight. Romney doesn’t need to do bonus damage to it. It’s done.


I think the election is over. I think it is so over we need a new Latin tense to describe how over it is, the Past Pluperfect Noncontinuing Historical Past Tense.

So, what the hell are we going to do for two months?

That’s where Romney and Ryan are going to have to step the hell up. To make this entertaining, and not just a snoozer of a blowout, they’re going to have todeliberately make some bad choices. They’re going to have to fight to keep this close, to keep it interesting.

They’re going to have to schedule some gaffes.

Man, I hope he’s right- I’ve been down so long politically I feel like the subject of a blues song.

Ace does have some suggestions as to how to, er, spice up the next few weeks…

* Paul Ryan should arrange for himself to be photographed leaving an American Legion bathroom, with the American flag stuck to the bottom of his shoe.

* Whenever Ann and Mitt Romney appear in joint interviews, Ann should flinch at Mitt’s slightest movement, and then whisper frantically to the interviewer: “Sometimes he gets so very angry with me.”

* Paul Ryan should make frequent, cryptic references to “my side-piece in Madison.”

* Mitt Romney should start saying things like “Joe Biden makes me so angry I want to punch him right in the wife.”

* Whenever Paul Ryan doesn’t like the premise of a reporter’s question, he should sharply say “Zionist lies!!!,” with sibilants a-crackin’.

Snorfle. Gawd I hope it’s really happening. Oh yeah, and this-

[jwplayer mediaid=”314″]

Now, the cleanup

It looks like most of ‘Bama escaped relatively unscathed, Mississip not so much, especially Biloxi, where the mayor wishes he’d called called for an earlier evacuation. New Orleans and its environs didn’t fare so well. From Brendan Loy:

Those pictures are, to my mind, a helpful reminder of what the true “worst-case scenario” for New Orleans — which Katrina emphatically was not — would look like, but across a much broader area. As opposed to being trapped in attics or on rooftops hours after the storm, folks are trapped and threatened while the storm is still raging. As opposed to a slow leak, caused by breached levees, which gradually fills the “bowl” to regular sea level (finishing long after the storm leaves), what Plaquemines Parish is experiencing is a rapid, in-storm flash-surge-flood caused by overtopping of the levees, which fills the “bowl” up to, in essence, the level of the storm surge at or near its peak, and then leaves the water there, hemmed in by the very levees that were originally there to keep it out. For this reason, officials are considering deliberately blowing holes in the levees to assist with drainage. That is precisely the sort of scenario envisioned in the pre-Katrina literature about the worst-case possibilities for New Orleans. In NOLA’s case, it would take a Category 3 or 4 storm to do it, but someday it will happen. Folks need to understand that, and not treat “Katrina” as synonymous with “The Worst Thing That Can Possibly Happen,” because that just isn’t so.

Plaquemines’ situation is also an object lesson in why, when authorities order you to evacuate, you evacuate. You don’t sit there and carp about “hype” and “hysteria,” and about how “it’s just a tropical storm” or “it’s just a Category 1″ or “we survived [insert previous storm here], we’ll be fine.” You don’t make up your own amateur weather forecast, in contradiction to the actual experts, based on gut instinct and life experience, and then make life-or-death decisions based on that self-forecast. No. You know what you do? YOU LEAVE. If you’re in a low-lying area vulnerable to surge flooding and the authorities tell you an evacuation is necessary, you get the Hell out of dodge. Period.

The people who stayed behind, despite mandatory evacuation orders, and then ended up predictably needing to be rescued, are endangering not only their own lives, but also the lives of the heroes — first responders, yes, but regular private citizens too — who came to their rescue. That’s inexcusable. However, I’m not saying this to berate them; they’ve suffered enough, and have undoubtedly learned their lesson. I’m saying it to the next group of people who might be tempted to do the same thing when the next storm threatens. Don’t. Do. It.

He’s right, and now they’re reaping the results, same as in Biloxi. All the false bravado in the world won’t help you when the water starts rising- and if you end up in your attic, you better by Gawd have an axe… from the comments at the same post:

And for God’s sake, if you are going to stay in a flood prone home, store a hatchet in your attic. Yes, you may have to chop out and weather the storm on your roof. Learn from the dead. That’s the horror the media obsession with New Orleans after Katrina didn’t show you. The family found drowned in their attic. But bucket trucks to get the dead out of the trees. The mother with two kids tied to her belt, all drowned. That happened in Mississippi where the national media was absent. But they are serious lessons to learn.