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Sorry for the grumpy tone of most of my posts today.  On a more light-hearted note, how about some vid of squirrels getting tossed, courtesy of Yankee Flipper?



If you want a perfect example of the moral confusion and unreality of our so-called modern culchah, just feast your eyes on this article from today’s WaPo police blotter which caught my attention because I pass the location mentioned in it every day.   See if you can spot the idiots.

It would seem that two 14 year old girls were walking down the street at 3:30 AM when they were sexually assaulted by an unidentified man.  (Fortunately, it appears nobody got hurt.)

Now, as an initial matter, what’s wrong with this statement of the basic facts of the incident?  Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Yes, that’s right:  What in the name of Godfrey Daniel were a pair of 14 y.o. girls doing wandering the streets at 3 ack emma in the first place?

(As an aside, this is a residential area,  so I’d probably bet on a near-by party.  On the other hand, there’s a 24-hour Giant grocery a couple blocks down the street, so maybe they’d been on some kind of munchies raid.)

So, who are the idiots here to which the title of this post refers?

The girls themselves?  Well, no.  They are idiots, but they’re adolescents so are almost idiotic by definition.  (But hopefully, after this incident, perhaps ex-idiots.)

Their parents?  Not enough information here to say.  For all the article tells, the girls could have been A.W.O.L.

Give up?  I’ll tell you.  Go read the comment thread.  A reasonably healthy proportion of the commenters ask the same question that I (and, I hope, you) did.  But take a look at the large minority of other commenters who savage the first set, who work themselves up into spasms of moral outrage that anyone would challenge some kid’s “right” to walk wherever she wants whenever she wants to and somehow not have to run the risk of suffering the consequences.   “What?” they say, “How dare anybody suggest that notions such as common sense or prudence or self-restraint should be allowed to infringe her law-given freedoms?”

Those, my friends, are your genuine Grade A Prime Morons

The Capital Weather Gang remind me that today is the 1st anniversary of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Mineral, Virginny.

As it happens, when the quake hit I was sitting where I’m sitting right now.   After the fact, I had this to say:


That was pretty wild, I must say.

I’m four floors up in an 10 story building.  At first, like almost everyone else, I thought somebody was just moving some furniture around upstairs.  But then my door started swinging open and shut, some pictures fell over and the floor started rocking back and forth.  The whole building suddenly felt as if it were made out of cardboard.  Very sick-making.  I finally understand why people report earthquakes making them nauseous.

So that was a quake, that was.

Anyhoo, not much more to tell.  We all scrambled out and stood around for a while wondering if and when there would be an aftershock.

UPDATE: Spoke to Mrs. Robbo at home and all is well.  At first, she thought it was just the gels raising hell.

Well, okay.  Not exactly one of my more scintillating posts, but the truth is that I really was feeling pretty queasy all afternoon.

Meanwhile, they’re still putting the National Cathedral back together again.   What with the middle gel’s choristering and all, I’ve been over there a number of times this past year and have had to fight off the utterly unreasonable fear, when inside, that there might still be some structural damage of which nobody is aware that could suddenly choose to manifest itself by dropping something on the Robbo head from a height.

UPDATE:  Heh.  From regular friend of the decanter Mike F:

Father Z, in a post today on liturgical puppets, includes a quote that goes right to Robbo’s heart:

“We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.”

— Hilaire Belloc, This That and the Other (1912)


I think friends of the decanter will agree that this neatly captures the essence of many of Robbo’s screeds about the barbarism of our so-called modern culchah here.  (At least I hope so.  Otherwise, my writing is even poorer than I thought.)

Now, you may snarf your hot beverage at this assertion, but the fact of the matter is that I’m neither a prig nor a snob.   Really.   The point of the matter is that from my studies and observations, I’m simply very aware of the enervating effect of Belloc’s  sitting by and watching and the devastating consequences of such moral enervation so often illustrated over the course of history.

In other words, I see those large, awful, unsmiling faces pretty clearly.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Last evening, after watching his beloved Nationals foozle their attempted sweep of the Braves (how the hell do you walk the opposing pitcher on four balls in a row?), Robbo found himself a bit too steamed up to go directly to bed.  So he flipped over to the History Channel for a little bit just to see what was going on.


The first show, of which I caught about the last twenty minutes or so, was about Custer and Little Big Horn.   The program was all about the forensic work that has gone in to trying to figure out the actual positions of the men involved in the fighting by means of locating and identifying spent shells and slugs and other bits of flotsam and jetsam.  Apparently, a pretty clear picture of the details of battle is being built up, right down to the tracking of individual paths and firing positions.  The thing that at first puzzled and then downright irritated me, though, was an insistent theme that this research was “exploding the myth” of “Custer’s Last Stand”.  Now as I say, I didn’t see the beginning of the show, but I have to ask:  What myth?  The evidence I saw pretty much supported what I had understood to have happened already from various books on the topic – that after Custer blundered across a far larger and more well-organized enemy than he had anticipated and tried to beat a retreat, his small force was gradually eaten up as it struggled spun out across Greasy Grass attempting to reach some high ground cover to the north.   Does anybody really still believe the old idea of a solid ring of heroically determined dismantled cavalry all dying together under the Sioux assault?  Did anyone to begin with?  The whole tone of the program seemed to be that this was the Big Lie that has been foisted on us all these years and is only now being torn down by fearless Truth Tellers.  Hmmph.  I knew Custer had blonde hair, but I didn’t know the rest of him was made out of straw.

The second show was about Gettysburg, and specifically about Pickett’s Charge.   It started off with the premise that the Union center was on the verge of collapse and that the Charge came within a hair’s-breadth of success.  This so inflamed me that I turned the teevee off in utter disgust.  I invite my fellow port swillers to read Earl Hess’s Pickett’s Charge: The Last Attack At Gettysburg, which painstakingly, almost painfully, tracks the movements of both Confederate and Union units on the third day.  The truth of the matter is that, bar complete and irrational panic on the part of the Federals, the thing wasn’t and never would have been even close.   The three Confederate divisions that went in had virtually zero artillery support after the initial bombardment, and there seemed to be no plan for any coordinated troop movements on the wings either.  On the other hand, the Federals were able to flood the zone both in front and on the flanks.  Granted, Armistead got to the wall, but it’s not enough to just reach a position, however romantic a picture it makes.  You’ve got to be able to take it and hold it with sufficient force, and the Confederates simply couldn’t handle the massive Federal reinforcements coming up.  Game over.   But again, I suppose that doesn’t make very compelling teevee.

Feh.  Granted that Robbo was in a pretty jaundiced mood after the game to begin with, but he was pretty appalled at the quality of the stuff being served up as “history” here.

UPDATE:  Speaking of Little Big Horn, even with changes in the historickal narrative swirling all about, I am at least glad that one piece of trivia lodged into Robbo’s brain at a tender age (thank yew, Disney!) is true:  That the only known survivor of the battle on the U.S. Cavalry’s side was Captain Keogh’s horse Comanche:

Headquarters Seventh United States Cavalry, Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., April 10th, 1878. General Orders No. 7.

(1.) The horse known as ‘Comanche,’ being the only living representative of the bloody tragedy of the Little Big Horn, June 25th, 1876, his kind treatment and comfort shall be a matter of special pride and solicitude on the part of every member of the Seventh Cavalry to the end that his life be preserved to the utmost limit. Wounded and scarred as he is, his very existence speaks in terms more eloquent than words, of the desperate struggle against overwhelming numbers of the hopeless conflict and the heroic manner in which all went down on that fatal day.

(2.) The commanding officer of Company I will see that a special and comfortable stable is fitted up for him, and he will not be ridden by any person whatsoever, under any circumstances, nor will he be put to any kind of work.

(3.) Hereafter, upon all occasions of ceremony of mounted regimental formation, ‘Comanche,’ saddled, bridled, and draped in mourning, and led by a mounted trooper of Company I, will be paraded with the regiment.

– – By command of Col. Sturgis, E. A. Garlington, First Lieutenant and Adjutant, Seventh Cavalry.


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August 2012