Okay, I Know It’s Thanksgiving, BUT

…Nick and Jessica have broken up, the Squid Terrorist has a scorched hand from boiling turkey oil…and then there’s this

“After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter … I came to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A’s,” he said.

This is the ‘fill-in-the-blank’ post from hell. You didn’t know you were drafted (or not) …GTF OUT!! Good Lord. If Joe the City Councilman tried that weak excuse, he’d be ridden out of town on a rail. And we’re talking a governor. Of a state in these United States. Good Lord. Okay, my entry.

“After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter…I came to the conclusion that I had no idea he was 12 years old.”

John Kerry could say “blahblahblah…not a Magic Hat.” Or “blahblahblah…horse’s ass, wished I lived in Enumclaw.”
Teddy Kennedy “blahblahblah…backstroke.” Or “blahblahblah…back away from the table.”
Mr. Summers ~ “blahblahblah…goat.”
There’s all sorts of inspirational material to be gleaned from the good governor’s sorry tap-dance. We have much to be thankful for.

Wine for Thanksgiving, Part Deux

Panhandle style.

Wine For Thanksgiving

Since it will really only be me and my bride imbibing, I think this should do…but I’ve got enough bottles in reserve in case I miscalculated.

From Dubya’s Table To Yours

May you and yours have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! We all have so much to be thankful for, and please keep our troops in mind on this and every day.

Common Sense

The Real Story of the First Thanksgiving
By Benjamin Franklin (1785)
“There is a tradition that in the planting of New England, the first settlers met with many difficulties and hardships, as is generally the case when a civiliz’d people attempt to establish themselves in a wilderness country. Being so piously dispos’d, they sought relief from heaven by laying their wants and distresses before the Lord in frequent set days of fasting and prayer. Constant meditation and discourse on these subjects kept their minds gloomy and discontented, and like the children of Israel there were many dispos’d to return to the Egypt which persecution had induc’d them to abandon.
“At length, when it was proposed in the Assembly to proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain sense rose and remark’d that the inconveniences they suffer’d, and concerning which they had so often weary’d heaven with their complaints, were not so great as they might have expected, and were diminishing every day as the colony strengthen’d; that the earth began to reward their labour and furnish liberally for their subsistence; that their seas and rivers were full of fish, the air sweet, the climate healthy, and above all, they were in the full enjoyment of liberty, civil and religious.
“He therefore thought that reflecting and conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable and lead more to make them contented with their situation; and that it would be more becoming the gratitude they ow’d to the divine being, if instead of a fast they should proclaim a thanksgiving. His advice was taken, and from that day to this, they have in every year observ’d circumstances of public felicity sufficient to furnish employment for a Thanksgiving Day, which is therefore constantly ordered and religiously observed.”

Another plain spoken fellow saves the day.

Major Dad Mum and Little Brother Inbound

So I wanted to say…

Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Friends !!

…before chaos ensues! I am very, very thankful to have met all of you, and have enjoyed your friendship and wit here at the Swilling immensely. It’s been quite a thrill for me; that someone would bother to listen to my rants besides my long suffering siblings, Bingley and Crusader. (Oh yeah, poor Major Dad and Ebola, too. Misery abounds.)
I am grateful for your fine company, and hope your day and those to come are filled with love and loads of laughter. If you’ll be on the road, be safe. If you’re up in the cold, be warm. But where ever you are please, be happy. Big hugs to all.
ths {:^)
P.S.: Lt. Sarah says they’re rockin’ and rollin’ over there. Please keep everyone in uniform and in harm’s way in your thoughts while celebrating with your families. They’re the reason we can be at those happy tables.

Operation Twel FourTEEN Marines of Christmas Update

From Susanna, a sage HAPPY suggestion for the care-bear boxes!

If you get the pre-fab US PRIORITY Mail box (it’s a nice large box), you can
cram as much stuff inside as it will hold and the shipping is a flat rate of
$7.70. Yippee! A flat rate!
So I have sent lots of auto magazines and paperbacks and so forth. At that
price, cans aren’t too pricey to send either. I also picked up a stack of them
so I can keep them in the house and the car and fill them when I get things to

raddave9: I haven’t gotten an email back and want to make sure you got my initial one ~ I tend to have fat happy mistake prone puddies when typing addresses! Thanks! {:^)

File This Under “Duh”

In an industry where ‘product is king,’ General Motors Corp. is in dire need of attractive new vehicles to rule the road, analysts say, mostly dismissing a move by the ailing auto giant to cut jobs and close plants to save billions of dollars a year.

We posted on that same thing here at the cutting edge Swilling months ago. Now repeat after me: GM, your stuff looks like sh*t and has for years. Get off your comfortable corporate a$$es and design something someone would actually give their right eyeball to have, ’cause livin’ off your truck/SUV lines don’t cut it no more.

Like our reaction everytime we see an Aztec;
“Good God! What is that…thing?”

Here is a rundown of how some of our weapons are viewed by the guys/gals using them…

from a Marine on the ground. Glad to see they are passing out the M-14s again. About time they woke up and ditched the 5.56mm, sad they are pulling out battle rifles older than the guys carrying them.

• The M-16 rifle: Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the sand over there, which is like talcum powder. The sand is everywhere. You feel filthy two minutes after a shower. The M-4 carbine version is more popular because it’s lighter and shorter, but it also has jamming problems. Marines like the ability to mount the various optical gunsights and weapons lights on the picatinny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment. They all hate the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even torso hits cannot be reliably counted on to put the enemy down. Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents shows a high level of opiate use.


• The M-14: Thumbs up. It is being re-issued in bulk, mostly in a modified version to special-ops guys. Modifications include lightweight Kevlar stocks and low-power red dot or ACOG sights. Very reliable in the sandy environment, and people love the 7.62 round.

Wonder how the SpecOps guys like the 6.8mm they have been testing in the 2 current theatres? I still think we should just go back to the 7.62mm.
[ Note: I’ve put the entire article below the fold. It makes fascinating reading, and I don’t want to lose it when the Times archives…]

Read more »

Greenhouse Gasbags Fall

Excuse me. I meant emissions.

Emissions of greenhouse gases from the US fell for the first time in more than a decade between 2000 and 2003 following a shift in heavy manufacturing away from US shores to cheaper locations such as China.
James Connaughton, chairman of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, said on Tuesday the decrease of 0.8 per cent in gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide had been unexpected: “This was not something we would have projected.”
The slight fall had come even as the US population grew by 8.6m, and increased its gross domestic product by the worth of the economy of China, Mr Connaughton said.

Does This Have Anything to Do

…with that “personal accountability” and “challenging school curriculums/do the WORK” thingees we’re always talking about?

America’s ability to compete in the global economy is being undermined by a “serious shortage”, of skilled workers in manufacturing industries, according to a survey released on Tuesday.
…”The pain is most acute on the front line, where 90 per cent report a moderate to severe shortage of qualified skilled production employees including machinists, operators, craft workers, distributors and technicians, said Richard Kleinert of Deloitte Consulting. Engineers and scientists were also in short supply, with 65 per cent of respondents reporting current deficiencies.

He Sure Wasn’t a “Poster” Dog

But his mummy loved him.

Rest in peace, Sam.

She Sounds Like a Girl

…who’s got a good head on her shoulders, bless her heart. I hope she finds the right guy.

“I‘m down-to-earth, I‘m not hard to please, and I like to talk agriculture.”

(Farmers in Enumclaw, WA need not apply.)

“X” Marks The Veep

You really can’t make this stuff up.
It’s as if CNN is trying to become SNL.
More from Drudge.
Update: Evan Coyne Maloney says

A number of conservative bloggers are criticizing CNN under the assumption that the glitch (or not-glitch) was both deliberate and an example of political bias.
Sorry guys, I don’t see it. I recognize the possibility, but I also recognize a much larger number of possibilities for actual glitches in video production….
…Maybe CNN should get the benefit of the doubt. There’s an old saying: Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. Given CNN’s recent performance in the marketplace, that statement seems apt.

I’m not convinced. It seems a little too convenient, does it not, that this ‘glitch’ appears only on Cheney? Anyone else in all the thousands of live feeds and transitions done by CNN over the years ever have the same sort of glitch?

Strangers in a Strange Land

Returning residents, some who might well have never lived outside New Orleans in their entire lives, are coming home feeling like freshly awakened Rip Van Winkles. Once over their initial astonishment at the world beyond the levees, they are bringing some hard questions back with them. The status quo just might not cut it anymore.

But after tasting life elsewhere, they are returning with tales of public schools that actually supply textbooks published after the Reagan era, of public housing developments that look like suburban enclaves, of government workers who are not routinely dragged off to prison after pocketing bribes.
Local leaders have realized for weeks that they must reckon with widespread anger over how they handled the relief effort. But it is dawning on them that they are also going to have to contend with demands from residents who grew accustomed, however briefly, to the virtues of other communities.
Many evacuees seem to be arriving with less tolerance for the failings of a city that under its glitzy makeup has long had an unsightly side. They do not want New Orleans to lose its distinctive character – after all, that is one reason they are back and vowing to rebuild. But they say their expectations have changed.
“What’s wrong with our school system, and what’s wrong with the people running our school board?” asked Tess Blanks, who had lived here all her life before fleeing with her husband, Horace, to the Houston area, where they discovered that the public schools for their two children were significantly better. “Our children fell right into the swing of things in Texas. So guess what? It isn’t the children. It’s the people running our school system.”

Mr. Summers’ “Wings” Snippet

…reminded me of something U2’s Bono said on “60 Minutes” last night.

“I’m not fit to kiss their hem, but you wonder how great the Beatles would have been if they hadn’t crawled up their own arses.”

I blame drugs, the Yogi and Yoko.

“I Told Bingley” Redux

“There was inappropriate conduct between him and the mannequin.”

Ya don’t say?

Hold the Monkey Brains

One new thing a day is enough.

Later, Mr Bush watched Mongol warriors on horseback, drank – tentatively – fermented mare’s milk, and listened to traditional throat singing.

Yech. But I’m glad Genghis George had a good time.

Paying for the Party

Everyone wants one, but splittin’ the bill is like alligator wrasslin’.

The city’s budget problems have also revived arguments that corporate sponsors should be accepted for Mardi Gras as a way of underwriting expenses.
Mardi Gras traditionalists are adamantly opposed to the idea, fearing it would commercialize an event that has always been intensely local. Krewes pay for their own floats and parades. “Everyone says no,” says Bill Grace, a lawyer and chairman of the mayor’s Mardi Gras committee.

I’d Have Let Her Open It…

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — A French woman who is terrified of flying admitted in an Australian court Monday that she drunkenly tried to open an airplane door mid-flight to smoke a cigarette…
…She walked toward one of the aircraft’s emergency exits with an unlit cigarette and a lighter in her hand and began tampering with the door, prosecutors said. But a flight attendant intervened and took Sellies back to her seat.

Heck, had they let her go we would have had a good Darwin Award candidate.

All Quiet on the Christmas Front

…in a different time and a different place.

Alfred Anderson, the last known survivor of the 1914 “Christmas Truce” that saw British and German soldiers exchanging gifts and handshakes in no-man’s land, died early Monday, his parish priest said. He was 109. His death leaves fewer than 10 veterans of World War I alive in Britain.

…Born June 25, 1896, Anderson was an 18-year-old soldier in the Black Watch regiment when British and German troops cautiously emerged from their trenches on Dec. 25, 1914. The enemies swapped cigarettes and tunic buttons, sang carols and even played soccer amid the mud and shell-holes of no man’s land.

The horror of that Great War is fading. And yes. The romance of a certain chivalry within that horrific time is dying away too.

In a place where bloodshed was nearly commonplace and mud and the enemy were fought with equal vigor, something surprising occurred on the front for Christmas in 1914. The men who lay shivering in the trenches embraced the Christmas spirit. In one of the truest acts of goodwill toward men, soldiers from both sides in the southern portion of the Ypres Salient set aside their weapons and hatred, if only temporarily, and met in No Man’s Land.

Not So Peachy

…in Peach Tree City, via the Delta ripples.

Until recently, life in Peachtree City, near Atlanta, could hardly have been more idyllic. Quiet, leafy and plush, the town is famous for having 9,000 registered golf carts that many residents use instead of cars. A CNN/Money magazine survey recently named it among America’s 10 best places to live.
But Peachtree City’s fabled standard of living is under threat.

The “Big Lie”

I’m so sick of the bunch of them. Michael Barone lays it out.

To the charges that Bush “cherry-picked” intelligence, the commission co-chaired by former Democratic Sen. Charles Robb found that the intelligence available to Bush but not to Congress was even more alarming than the intelligence Congress had.

Which is a scary, scary thought, as NOTHING‘s more alarming than the lack of intelligence in Congress. When I watch Teddy, or Babs, or Maxine Waters, or Nita Lowery (insert Dem. clone of choice here) grandstanding, I turn into that old Larsen cartoon about “What Dogs Hear”. You know the one ~ the man is saying “Bad dog, Bad dog!”, but all the dog is hearing is “blah blah blah”. Color me canine.
UPDATE: Salman Rusdie is on our side? Wow. And this very nice Canadian, apparently. (Who has also noted our national penchant for navel gazing.)

For some unaccountable reason, Americans sometimes respond to being abused and slandered all over the world by turning in on themselves. And this, in the present unsettled state of the world in question, would be nearly the worst thing that could happen. It would leave all of America’s allies — corresponding very roughly to the side of the angels — up a certain creek without a propulsive device.
The world has left the United States to do too much heavy lifting. It is an urgent matter for countries like Canada to stop mouthing off and heave ho.

The Pension Razzle Dazzle

Bill Fleckenstein on why oil’s not the outrage.

First off, a rant on the lunacy surrounding the fact that oil companies are making money.
The weather vanes in the Senate have held hearings about oil-company price manipulation. There has also been plenty of incoherent chatter about price gouging, much of it coming from TV talking heads who ought to know better.
…If the Senate and TV commentators want to be outraged, why not look into the real abuses occurring in the somewhat obscure pension-accounting arena? It essentially impacts only a few dozen large corporations, but it affects hundreds of thousands of lives.

Damn Your Bawdy Boldness, Darcy!

IT was perhaps a little embarrassing to learn that the British producers of the latest “Pride and Prejudice” released a different ending for American audiences: a swoony moonlit scene of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in dishabille, kissing and cooing in a post-coital clinch.
It was as if NASA had prepared an international mission to Mars and felt a need to lace the Russians’ Tang with vodka.

Gasp and Grope ~ Austen, American-style. (I didn’t read where Mr. Bingley got any extra action, though. He must have been busy trolling online.) And I guess we’ve infected the homeland with more than just fast-food:

And Austen fans in England who got wind of the American version were incensed that they had been denied a final kiss.

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