American justice – state flashbangs your toddler in the face, you owe $1 million


Alecia and Bounkham Phonesavanh never imagined their family would be at the center of a controversy over the militarization of police. But that’s exactly where they found themselves when their toddler was seriously injured by a SWAT team, also leaving them with a $1 million medical bill they have no hope of paying.

At approximately 2 a.m. May 28, the family awakened to a blinding flash and loud explosion in their bedroom. A Special Response Team (aka SWAT team) from the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office burst unannounced into the bedroom where they were sleeping. According to police reports, Habersham Deputy Charles Long threw a “flash-bang” grenade – a diversionary device used by police and military – into the room. It landed in Bou Bou’s pack-and-play.

Now here’s the kicker, the guy the SRT good squad was gunning for? Read this…

Wanis Thonetheva was arrested hours after the raid without a “no-knock” warrant and without a SWAT team. He pleaded guilty to selling methamphetamine and is serving a 10-year sentence in a Georgia prison.

Imagine that. Got him from plain old police work.

The good news, the man below and his buddies went home safely that night, and will continue to protect and serve the shit out of the serfs of Habersham County, Georgia.


Yuk yuk yuk.

On sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs


All apologies to Dave Grossman, who’s works I have read and learned from. I’m fed up with the whole “sheepdog” meme. It has been grossly distorted and used as justification for bad acting by too many “sheepdogs.”

There is a quote from Grossman’s Killology works that is oft used by the sheepdog uber alles crowd.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”

There is this paragraph that goes where the ellipse is above:

The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours. [Emphasis IMC]

Paints a different picture, no?

If it looks like a wolf and acts like a wolf, it’s a wolf. And then the rancher comes out to impart some accountability.

Three for the nightstand

Here are some books that I read over the last few weeks. I was feeling a little martial, so you can see the theme. I have no financial interest in any of these, just sharing my opinion. It is worth what you paid for.

Worth Fighting For, by Rory Fanning

I became aware of this book late one night reading through rage comments on a Zero Hedge post dealing with, I am sure, the latest outrageous conduct by our fearless elected leaders, financial institutions, and some enforcement arm of some regulatory agency somewhere.

The book is written by a former Army Ranger, Rory Fanning, who during his time in the service fighting the War on Terror, became a conscientious objector, which ultimately led him to exit the armed forces. The book chronicles his transformation from Ranger to objector, how he got to know Pat Tillman in the Second Army Ranger Battalion, Tillman’s death, its impact on him, and a cross-country ruck march he undertook to raise money for the Pat Tillman Foundation as a way to honor his colleague’s passing.

The book kicks off with a short history of why Fanning left the military and his interactions with Pat Tillman. While they were not close, he did interact with Tillman and admired his independent streak.

Fanning chronicles his ruck march from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Oceanside, California, by mile marker and city. Along the way he shares his thoughts as he sorts through his changing views of the world and wrestles with his decision to become a conscientious objector and leave the military. He vividly describes his interactions with Americans of all stripes along the way. In Fanning’s own words,

“Over the past decade, since leaving the military and finishing the walk, I have gone from devout Christian to an athiest and from a conservative Republican to a socialist. My time in the military and the cover-up of Pat’s death led me down a road that challenged the core of who I was. I began to question everything — and ended up here.”

How anyone feels about Fanning’s transformation is his own business. His political views may mot be what I agree with, but that’s OK. It’s kind of the point of the book.

To me, it’s the subtext of the interactions with all Americans that makes this book great. Fanning is understandably angry about a lot, but finds commonality and hospitality with just about everyone he encounters on his journey. Grassroots Americans have a lot more in common than they might think. I find this compelling in an era where it feels that the media and politicians are working overtime to divide this nation and tear us all apart in order to advance their own stations in life.

It is a fast and compelling read. I recommend it.

Left of Bang, by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley

Time to get all “Ivy Mike Cafe” on this one. Filters are off…and we’re rolling.

Holy shit this book is fun AND good.

The Combat Hunter Course was developed by the Marine Corps throughout 2007 as a countermeasure to Iraqi insurgent IEDs and ambushes in an irregular warfare setting.
To grossly oversimplify the issue at hand, on a timeline going from from left to right, there is before the bang, the bang, and after the bang. Or in other words, Left of Bang, Bang, and Right of Bang. Right of Bang is reacting to a very bad stimulus that someone else has sprung on you. Left of Bang is sniffing out anything that isn’t correct, jamming up the bad dudes, and springing your own Bang on them first. The Marines wanted to be Left of Bang a lot more than they were Right of Bang.


If this feels like an extension of Colonel John Boyd’s OODA Loop, you’re damned skippy. That is discussed at length in the book. Colonel Jeff Cooper’s Color Code is part of it as well.

There are three core elements to the Combat Hunter Course:

  • Enhanced observation
  • Combat tracking
  • Combat profiling

The Marines hired an African big game hunter to work the enhanced observation element, a Rhodesian special forces veteran (HELL YES) for the combat tracking, and a former cop for the combat profiling piece.

Whereas the first two elements are focused on physical terrain, the last is focused on people, and it is this which Left of Bang covers.

Combat profiling uses six domains of people watching:

  • Kinesics “… is conscious and unconscious body language.” If the guy you are talking to is fidgeting around and not looking you in the eye, something is probably up.
  • Biometrics “…is uncontrollable and automatic biological responses of the human body to stress.” Think sympathetic nervous system responses like cold sweats, rapid breathing, and fast heart rate.
  • Proxemics “…is the domain that allows us to understand groups of people by observing interpersonal distance and identify and individual’s relationships and intentions based on how they use the space around them.” Who is the guy everyone keeps looking to in the room when you ask questions?
  • Geographics “…is the domain that involves reading the relationship between people and their environment.” Bad people will be bolder in territory they are familiar with and have lots of friends lurking in.
  • Iconography “…is the domain that allows us to understand the symbols people use to communicate their beliefs and affiliations.” Graffitti, tattoos, posters, hand signs, and other things people use to telegraph what they believe in and who they are.
  • Atmospherics “…is the domain focused on the collective attitudes, moods, and behaviors in a given situation or place.” Ever rolled up to a scene where people flip you off and throw bottles at you? Call that “bad atmospherics.”

The book goes through teaching you how to use these six domains coupled with a “rule of three” decisions for action:

  • Hostile act / hostile intent?
  • Indications of potential threat?
  • Ability to physically contact?

It all comes together when mixing the two major elements and doing the Decide and Act portions of the OODA loop.

This book is an excellent resource for anyone in hostile or quasi-hostile country overseas or at home. It will serve you well anyplace you find yourself around sketchy people doing sketchy things. It’s also great for defusing and short-circuiting the political fuck-fuck games that are so common at the workplace.

I have one reservation about this book in the era of SWAT raids for poker games and blasting a guy for making the “furtive movement” of reaching for his driver’s license. People who are constantly in Cooper’s Color Codes of Yellow and Orange would be viewed as having suspect kinesics according to this book. Hopefully we will not define down “hostile intent” to “being aware” and the domestic practitioners of Combat Profiling have the grey matter in place to know the difference.

Mattis approved.

Mattis approved.

Other than that, this book rocks, especially since General James “with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all” Mattis signed off on the Combat Hunter program in the USMC.

Highly recommended.

Leadership in the Shadows, by SGM Kyle Lamb (ret.)


Want to be a strong, credible leader?

Buy this book. Right now.




Read it. Apply it. Win at life.

Kyle Lamb relaxing.

Kyle Lamb has a long and storied career as a Special Operations warrior in the US Army. He and his teams have been mixing it up with some of the world’s worst jihadis and bad people in some of the harshest places the world has to offer. He has parlayed that experience into a very successful training and gear company, Viking Tactics.

He has also penned a book that is a sorely needed, cluebat beating to the world on effective leadership. It is heavy with common sense and a deep understanding of human dynamics. It is honest, forthright, and clear.

Lamb has this book broken into six meta categories of:

  • Leadership in Action
  • Leadership Traits
  • The Mission
  • Future Leaders
  • Leadership Toolbox
  • Leaders on the Home Front

Within each meta category are several chapters that are uranium-dense chunks of wisdom and guidance colored with real-world examples of people doing the things that Lamb identifies as important characteristics of leaders. There is no cockiness in this book. There is confidence, enthusiasm, and sincerity in all of the topics. The way Lamb highlights the actions of others to illustrate great leadership reveals a humility rare in today’s “look at me” world.

If there is a theme that continually floats around this book, it’s; INTEGRITY, INTEGRITY, INTEGRITY. My mind kept coming back to that. People that have it are easy to follow and better able to lead. I think real integrity is about as rare as liquid gold unicorn piss these days, so it is nice to get a fresh dose of the real thing as inspiration.

It is a surprisingly fast read, because Lamb’s style is very conversational and he is able to get his points across efficiently. Once you start it, you don’t want to put it away.

One could almost call this book “How to succeed in life by leading the opposite way that big corporations, big government, and big bureaucracies lead.”

We live in dark times, but there are people out there that can still inspire.

Buy the book. It’s that good.

On a personal note, I have been lucky in that I was able to take several classes at Viking Tactics, a few of which Lamb was the lead instructor. He was one of the most mellow people I have ever met and a very cool dude. His mastery of his skills and enthusiasm for teaching were palpable. When he would run a course, he’d nail everything in no time and be barely breathing hard afterwards. He mastered the “crawl, walk, run” teaching methodology that resulted in staggering levels of improvement in shooting skills. He was very approachable and took the time to make sure you were getting the material down. At the same time, the class and cadre were guys that pushed themselves hard and loved to compete, so you pushed yourself harder, too. You wanted to perform well for all of them, Kyle, and lastly yourself. The end result was being able to do things and perform in a way that you never though possible before.

It’s a feeling that’s hard to put into words, but it’s a cool one.


WA state gun owners: Give ‘em hell today


Your rights to self-defense and to keep and bear arms are absolute and inviolable. The metastasizing thoughtcancer of needing government permission to defend your life and liberty however you choose from those who would do you harm needs to be defied and resisted everywhere.

Glad you are defying I-594 today and I hope you continue it in perpetuity. The cowards that backed it financially should PERSONALLY be willing to come into your homes to enforce it. Bastards.


These contributors to its passage are everyone’s enemies:

Nicolas Hanauer $165,000
Lenore Hanauer $50,000
Bill and Melinda Gates $50,000
Jon Shirley $50,000
Connie Balmer $30,000
Matthew Ballew $25,000
Thomas Campion $25,000
James Sinegal $25,000
Ann P. Wyckoff $25,000
Eric E. Dillon $24,000

They have no more power to buy or vote away your liberty than do the rest of us mundanes to vote the seizure of their wealth and their enslavement in labor camps. Some people just want to learn the hard way.


You are not their property, no matter what they think.

Defy them, their money, and their unconstitutional edict.

teapartyphoenixhicon malcom-selfdef cashfingerbw_slide-c29c8b17224e210e8991fb6eeb3e19fc5ca3ed47-s6-c30

#Ferguson – return of the assholes


Getting back online after a hiatus, and this missive has been bubbling in draft form for a couple of weeks. I’m publishing it even though some of the timeliness has worn off, especially with the Eric Garner grand jury decision, which is truly an outrage on every level.

That being said, I will make this statement unequivocally:

If my lily-white ass goes out right now punches a local constable in the face and attempts to grab his gun, I will be shot dead. I have absolutely no doubt about this outcome. Full stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect two-hundred dollars. It’s called playing a very stupid game and winning a very stupid prize.


I am disappointed about the very predictable responses to the Ferguson grand jury – made up of blacks, whites, men, and women – and its decision not to indict Darren Wilson in the death of Michael (Dindu Nuffins) Brown once all the facts were known. The results are an affirmation that there are entire industries and organizations full of assholes committed to the destruction of these United States, our Constitution, civilization, and the rule of law itself.

Let’s review some old favorites and also see who the newly crowned winners are in this latest round.

First group of assholes – again – and in first place – The Media


There are not enough words that can quantify the absolute contempt I have for the media in the USA. They are worse than Congress. They are more disgusting than boy-raping priests. They are the dried up effluvium on the side of a toilet bowl after a hyper-promiscuous gay dude who ate Thai food and had been taking bareback loads all night in a bath house empties his bowels in his morning after haze. They make me cringe. They make me rage.

They do not report facts. They have a narrative that they push that jibes with marxist, racialist, and racist radicals ensconced in positions of power throughout the DC-NY-LA axis of awful and the associated formerly known “institutes of higher education” that are platinum-funded indoctrination camps. The revelations coming from Sharyl Attkisson about their collusion with regime elements to deny the truth about activities that are arguably treason confirm that everything they do and say is fraudulent, if not outright criminal. Rolling Stone stepping on its wanker with the UVA rape story as well as that platinum-coated, marxist princess and Hollywood darling Lena Dunham’s fantasy about getting raped by an evil, white, conservative quickly going up in flames are great examples of the level of malfeasance that has come to be acceptable “journalism” by an industry overrun by cultural marxists.

They took sides in the Ferguson matter immediately to trumpet unsubstantiated rumor from insane people that harbor the same cultural marxist grievance complexes that they do. They appealed to the most base, id-driven impulses of tribalism – pitting American against American because of skin color, and they were instrumental in creating the environment that resulted in riots, looting, arson, and murder after the grand jury stated its will. There is blood all over their hands. Even after multiple autopsies by different sources confirmed that the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative was complete bullshit, they still ran with it unquestioningly. As analysis over the transcripts from the grand jury continue, it will show that they were not duped by halfwits into reporting bullshit, but actively worked to push fiction as fact to further political agendas and power grabs by evil people.

The only ray of hope that came out of this whole mess with the media is that it seems the vengeful beast they have been instrumental in creating is loosing itself from the moorings placed by its left-liberal masters and lashing out at the very people who created it. Watching the social justice warrior disguised as a CNN “journalist” in NYC cover a bridge-closing “demonstration” by losers crowding around him shouting “Fuck CNN!” over and over was nice. The petulant face of Anderson Cooper when the people he egged on for weeks fucked up his little “man of the people” broadcast was priceless. My only disappointment was that the crowd didn’t take down CNN’s “man on the street,” beat his ass to a pulp, and steal his camera.

Watching the woman reporting for the Communist News Network get pelted in the head with a rock was pretty sweet, too. I wished it cracked her skull open so that the cloud of green swamp gas that exists in the void that should be filled by brain would have seeped out for all the world to see to understand the intellectual vapidity of this mouthpiece. Seems like her mocha complexion wasn’t quite the ghetto pass she hoped it would be while ghetto black America was in melee mode.

Maybe after a few reporters go missing or some bathe in a few Molotov cocktails from a fracas they’ve created, some introspection may occur. The day may come when the six-figure marxist revolutionary “journalist” is looking at what is now scarred, melted skin that once was his face before the Molotov, and ask himself “Am I an asshole? Are the people around me assholes? Do I bring discontent and ruin everywhere I go and with everything I do? Maybe I should have done it differently.”

As for me, the media is now an enemy force working to undermine the Constitution, civilization, and the rule of law. I will do everything in my power to disrupt their abilities to do their jobs. I will provide disinformation to them with every breath. I will mock them ceaselessly. I will yell “fuck her right in the pussy” anytime I see one trying to do a live broadcast anywhere to profane them, their work, and their goals. I will hope the level of insecurity they are bringing to others through their works rains down on them in floods. They are nothing more than Tokyo Rose, Axis Sally, and Hanoi Hannah wrapped into one, all inside of our borders. They need to be treated as the subversive, anti-American element that they are.

Fact checking a MSM "journalist."

Fact checking a MSM “journalist.”

Best of all, we can kill them by fact checking the hell out of them. We know unequivocally that anything produced by the axis of awful is lies, and they cannot be sustained in the decentralized environment of the Internet. The unraveling of the Ferguson narrative, the UVA rape narrative, the Lena Dunham victim narrative, and the inevitable unraveling of the Beghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS abuse, and Obamacare narratives are all outcomes of the fact-checking ability of the tens of millions of bright minds that are laying siege to a dying behemoth of an industry. Untouchables, no more.

Second group of assholes – ghetto black Americans

Sadly, they did exactly as expected and fulfilled every stereotype about them that the rest of America has.


The person on the right will ultimately save ghetto black America from itself.

Let’s pause for a moment to clear something up. There are working class, middle class, and upper class black Americans who are family-oriented, hard-working, wonderful people. They range from poor to rich, basically-educated to very well-educated. They are pillars of the communities they live in and inspirations to everyone. They are black and proud of it, and they work hard for what they have. I am sure it pained them to see another 18 year-old black male killed in violence, but they are not blind to the culture that sucked in and destroyed Mike Brown, either. Businesses that were burned to the ground in Ferguson were owned by people in this group. These are the people that will end ghetto black America, because they are the ones that are trying to build and create, not tear down and destroy.

Ghetto black America is a weaponized demographic of illiterate, innumerate, impulsive dimwits that are ginned up by the media and deployed by black leaders to rob, rape, riot, loot, burn, and kill in order to extract concessions from guilt-ridden whites or move some collectivist legislation forward in a wave of guilt and fear. They are as predictable as the sun rises in doing dumb things that harm themselves and their communities, and Ferguson illustrates that.

All of the “black lives matter” nonsense is just that. Below is DeAndre Johnson.

DeAndre was found in his car after the night of rioting in Ferguson with a bullet in his head, soaked in gasoline or lighter fluid, and had been set on fire. He was twenty years old, and by all media accounts, truly a decent young man with a job, prospects, and love from his community.

So far there are no marches for DeAndre. There are no memorials. There are no #hashtag activists doing petitions at to do something in DeAndre’s name because #BlackLivesMatter.

I’m going to go ahead and wager that the hand that pulled the trigger, poured the gas, and lit the match was a black hand, contrary to whatever wacko conspiracy a “civil rights group” comes up with and the media broadcasts unquestioningly. That’s some serious hatred right there. Another black American life has been swallowed by ghetto black Americans yet again, and this, like thousands of others will be quickly buried and forgotten because it requires looking inward for the solution. “Snitches get stitches” will prevail over finding the killers of this young man.

I pray that one day black America can squash the ghetto black American culture that has proved lethal to people in and around it everywhere.

Finally on this, I have a rhetorical question. Who signs the paychecks of “black leadership?”

Third group of assholes – white marxists


On cue, rich white kids from the perpetually stupid and perpetually outraged segments of the country found their ways to Ferguson with their burnout mentors from the 1960s to encourage black and brown kids to take bullets while they filmed the action from the sidelines and the rear to further “The Revolution,” whatever that is.

Since they have fellow travelers ensconced all around the media, the coverage on these guys is soft, and there is precious little work into what the world looks like after “The Revolution” they advocate. Democides throughout the 20th century are pretty good indicators.

The one thing I like about the Ché t-shirts is that Ché’s face makes a pretty good indicator for center mass.

If these clowns get eaten by the racialist beast they are awakening, I will not shed a tear.

Chief executive and executive assholes – Obama, Holder, and their executive branch stooges

Every chance these two had to lead and help the end game turn out peacefully, they ratcheted up the grievance rhetoric and undermined the rule of law as the grand jury went about its work. For all I know, someone gave Governor Jay Nixon a file and an ultimatum to stand down the National Guard, allowing the violent idiots to run amok.

Like the media, these two promote the most base level of tribalism – skin color – over the colorblind commonalities that bond us as being uniquely American. But then they both chafe at America and every foundation that guarantees individual, rightful liberty to each citizen, since they attack it every chance they get with their big mouths and the army of zamspolit from Holder’s DOJ.

They have both greedily embraced centralized government and collectivism and yet get upset when it inevitably collides with guys who look a lot like them “if [they] had a son.”

Selling single cigarettes on the street, malum prohibitum. Gets killed.

Selling single cigarettes on the street, malum prohibitum. Gets killed.

Eric Garner died for violating a bevy of malum prohibitum laws that are the apex of their progressive society. He dared offer the market what it wanted, denied the state its excessive, punitive tribute, and defiantly resisted his kidnapping for violating a ridiculous law. What happened to writing a ticket?


Violent asshole being violent and robbing, malum in se. Gets killed.

Michael Brown died because he was a feral brigand that obviously lacked impulse control and lacked the neural connections that enable a man to know that initiating violence against others to rob and hurt is a great way to wind up dead. Malum in se.

The fact that Obama and Holder publicly embrace the killings as parallels shows pure psychopathy. They are both smart enough to see the difference, but choose to fan flames of discontent for political gain. It’s one thing to be a partisan hack and a race-baiter on a college campus or running an ACORN shop, it’s entirely different when one is at the helm of a lethal machine bristling with weaponry and obedient ideologues ready to use them on fellow citizens.

It is telling that the grand jury put its work out there for all to see and deconstruct, while Obama, Holder, and their stooges pile up lie after lie, obfuscation after obfuscation, and serial declarations of executive privilege to hide their malfeasance on so many things that have come within their orbit.

What they and their cultural marxist travelers are advocating is the wholesale abandonment of the core of American jurisprudence, that the accused is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of his peers. What they want is the accused as guilty until proven innocent if the accuser has a special status defined by cultural marxist victim groups. There is a trial in the media, and if the legal system fails to validate the media’s verdict, cities must burn.

The judge, jury, and executioner showed up and took care of Eric Garner for denying the state and city of New York their cut of cigarette tax, not because he was black. On the other hand, the mob that burned Ferguson has quickly escalated its demand that Darren Wilson not just be charged and tried for manslaughter or murder, but shot for his transgression, because he was white and the man he shot was black.

Drive on

There is a lot that needs to change with modern American policing. I stated as much in my previous screed on Ferguson. It confounds the mind that in-car cameras have been used by police for decades, and on-person cameras are getting cheaper by the year thanks to Moore’s law and the nimble fingers of Asian children working tirelessly around-the-clock, and none were in Ferguson. A video of the initial encounter between Mike Brown and Darren WIlson may have choked off this drama from the start. To have the Ferguson PD cry poverty in not getting some kind of recording devices in their cars or on their officers is suspect when there was enough SRT/SWAT hardware on scene to give a company from the 10th Mountain Division a go once things got froggy. Priorities, gentleman.

No money for cameras, but you like the rides?

No money for cameras, but you like the rides?

There also has to be an acceptance that a black criminal that meets a violent end for engaging in violent criminality is no civil rights hero. Dirtbags come in all colors and sizes, and equating violent criminal blacks to Medgar Evers is beyond perverse.

Lives matter, regardless of race and regardless of who is initiating unwarranted violence. Beating a white guy to death with hammers because of “Burn this bitch down!” is as repellant and evil as three white psychos dragging a black guy to death because of “Aryan pride.” If you find yourself rooting for one set of perps in either case above, you are a fuckhead.

There has to be wholesale reformation of policing and “justice” in these United States. It must start with the end of the failed War on Drugs, the end of unwarranted surveillance, the end of sovereign and qualified immunity for abusive law enforcement officers, the abolition of the current tax system, the decriminalization or abolition of victimless crimes, the end of civil asset forfeiture laws, et cetera, et cetera. These are all classic policies of big, collectivist, progressive governments, and they create unchecked, abusive power from which nobody is safe.

The police state is pointed at EVERYONE in this country.

Whether or not reform at the federal level against the interests that own our government is possible, it is still worth trying and building up from the local level. The biggest obstacle will be progressives of both left and right variety realizing that to avoid the next Eric Garner, you need to reject the entire type of government you have advocated your entire political life.

The fact that these United States elected Obama and his fixer not once, but twice, gives me very little hope that things will change for the better.

But we must still try.

Bravo zulu, Ol’ Remus



Today is the day Ol’ Remus at the Woodpile Report tapped out his pipe, grabbed a walking stick, knapsack full of potted meats and a fishing pole, and headed out of the cabin for the great Appalachian beyond. The Woodpile Report is no more, and it, and Ol’ Remus, will be missed.

I became aware of his online newsletter via Western Rifle Shooters Association about two years ago, and fell in love with it. As a Former Art Guy (FAG for short — apologies to Former Action Guys everywhere), the fact that he started the letter with painters of bygone and currently under appreciated eras and finished with black and white photographs of the humble greatness of what our country once was, were nice cultural touches, rare in the id-driven lickspittle of the Internet.

The shenanigans of Remus, Zeke, and Aby were always fun to read, as they reminded me of the conversations between the weathered men who congregate at dawn faithfully at the ice machines over coffee outside of the rural gas stations in my own town. These men are the unofficial mayors of the county and trade gossip, wisdom, and bad jokes liberally. They’d seen a few things in life and were well past the phase of getting emotional about anything, but were realistic about everything.

Remus’ commentary about the goings on in these United States was adroit, prescient, and entertaining. His list of sources and links expanded my knowledge base permanently. His style was genteel, honest, and direct. I eagerly awaited Monday mornings for Ol’ Remus’ latest insights and would find the thirty minutes I gave myself to read the Woodpile Report and associated links often extending to an hour or two. I’m still trying to wrap my head around Quantum Mechanics, though.

Ol’ Remus, wherever you are and wherever you go, good luck, good health, and good times to you, sir. Your insight will be missed, but your desire to leave the Internet to eat itself is certainly understandable. I hope you find productive days trotline fishing an Appalachian creek from a houseboat somewhere with a coal-fired stove and all the finest pipe tobacco a man can enjoy. Thanks for the great newsletter and good luck to you in your new endeavors.

Bravo zulu, sir.


Happy Veterans’ Day. Reposting Mike Royko’s tribute to veterans – best ever


I just phoned six friends and asked them what they will be doing on Monday.

They all said the same thing: working.

Me, too.

There is something else we share. We are all military veterans.

And there is a third thing we have in common. We are not employees of the federal government, state government, county government, municipal government, the Postal Service, the courts, banks, or S & Ls, and we don’t teach school.

If we did, we would be among the many millions of people who will spend Monday goofing off.

Which is why it is about time Congress revised the ridiculous terms of Veterans Day as a national holiday.

The purpose of Veterans Day is to honor all veterans.

So how does this country honor them?

By letting the veterans, the majority of whom work in the private sector, spend the day at their jobs so they can pay taxes that permit millions of non-veterans to get paid for doing nothing.

As my friend Harry put it:

“First I went through basic training. Then infantry school. Then I got on a crowded, stinking troop ship that took 23 days to get from San Francisco to Japan. We went through a storm that had 90 percent of the guys on the ship throwing up for a week.

“Then I rode a beat-up transport plane from Japan to Korea, and it almost went down in the drink. I think the pilot was drunk.

“When I got to Korea, I was lucky. The war ended seven months after I got there, and I didn’t kill anybody and nobody killed me.

“But it was still a miserable experience. Then when my tour was over, I got on another troop ship and it took 21 stinking days to cross the Pacific.
“When I got home on leave, one of the older guys at the neighborhood bar he was a World War II vet told me I was a —-head because we didn’t win, we only got a tie.

“So now on Veterans Day I get up in the morning and go down to the office and work.

“You know what my nephew does? He sleeps in. That’s because he works for the state.

“And do you know what he did during the Vietnam War? He ducked the draft by getting a job teaching at an inner-city school.

“Now, is that a raw deal or what?”

Of course that’s a raw deal. So I propose that the members of Congress revise Veterans Day to provide the following:

– All veterans and only veterans should have the day off from work. It doesn’t matter if they were combat heroes or stateside clerk-typists.
Anybody who went through basic training and was awakened before dawn by a red-neck drill sergeant who bellowed: “Drop your whatsis and grab your socks and fall out on the road,” is entitled.

– Those veterans who wish to march in parades, make speeches or listen to speeches can do so. But for those who don’t, all local gambling laws should be suspended for the day to permit vets to gather in taverns, pull a couple of tables together and spend the day playing poker, blackjack, craps, drinking and telling lewd lies about lewd experiences with lewd women. All bar prices should be rolled back to enlisted mens’ club prices, Officers can pay the going rate, the stiffs.

– All anti-smoking laws will be suspended for Veterans Day. The same hold for all misdemeanor laws pertaining to disorderly conduct, non-felonious brawling, leering, gawking and any other gross and disgusting public behavior that does not harm another individual.

– It will be a treasonable offense for any spouse or live-in girlfriend (or boyfriend, if it applies) to utter the dreaded words: “What time will you be home tonight?”

– Anyone caught posing as a veteran will be required to eat a triple portion of chipped beef on toast, with Spam on the side, and spend the day watching a chaplain present a color-slide presentation on the horrors of VD.

– Regardless of how high his office, no politician who had the opportunity to serve in the military, but didn’t, will be allowed to make a patriotic speech, appear on TV, or poke his nose out of his office for the entire day.

Any politician who defies this ban will be required to spend 12 hours wearing headphones and listening to tapes of President Clinton explaining his deferments.

Now, deal the cards and pass the tequila.

– Mike Royko

Mike Royko

Mike Royko