Prof. Reynolds has a poll on Gov. Palin as a cookware line.

Which kind of cookware is Sarah Palin?

* All-Clad: Its tough, riveted construction matches her personality.

* Cuisinart Nonstick: Because so far attacks have slid off of her with no residue remaining.

I'm afraid he's more of a gourmet than I am, as I wasn't familiar with either of those lines, but I did enjoy the joke. If I may venture an alternate opinion, I would suggest she is best symbolized by Lodge Cast Iron Cookware.

That is to say: a time-tested formula that succeeded well on America's frontier, is so well-made that it has the potential to last forever, and one that continues to be valued in homes across rural America.

In some parts of America, cooking on black iron today seems hopelessly old-fashioned. Still, if you learn how to do it right, it makes food that is just better than food made any other way.

UPDATE: By comparison, Sen. Obama would be Pioneer enameled cookware. It's a lightweight, with a smooth exterior; but it scratches up quickly and will scorch food if heat is applied to it too fast.

Thinking on Texas

Thinking of Texas:

Since we are thinking of Texas tonight, and those who are riding out a potentially deadly assault, let us remember the Alamo.

Once you get past the initial music, it's a black and white film of John Wayne talking about David Crockett. I have another reason to be interested in that tonight, but it matters here too.

"I hope you'll do the best you can. I'll do the same. Don't be uneasy about me. I'm with my friends."

High level Iraq update

High Level Iraq Update:

I've written a top-down view, from a number of recent interviews. It's at BLACKFIVE.

Oh, and if you're coming to Vegas next week? Join us at the Penthouse Club.

Those pictures of me are from Baghdad. The baby picture is obviously fake. :)



The night was still and the air seemed close; there was something in the atmosphere that made animals restless and men irritable. There lay over the town and the flatlands beyond a breathless hush that seemed like a warning.

The truth of the matter was that Indianola had not long to live.

-"Matagorda," by Louis L'amour.

I don't believe I recall reading a government warning quite like this one.

I've had to evacuate from hurricanes myself, and I've ridden out some lesser ones. Grim's Hall has some several Texas readers: those of you down Houston way, when you get to shelter, let us know if there's anything you need.



From The Ballad of the White Horse:

"One man shall drive a hundred,
As the dead kings drave;
Before me rocking hosts be riven,
And battering cohorts backwards driven,
For I am the first king known of Heaven
That has been struck like a slave."


Roaring they went o'er the Roman wall,
And roaring up the lane,
Their torches tossed a ladder of fire,
Higher their hymn was heard and higher,
More sweet for hate and for heart's desire,
And up in the northern scrub and brier,
They fell upon the Dane.
And so did we, not so long ago. Like Geraint, struck with no just cause. So we rode to Afghanistan, and Iraq, and the corners of the world.

One man can drive a hundred, we have learned. The 'sweet hymns of hate' have faded with the years, and now we look upon an Iraq made freer and finer than it ever dared dream; but an Afghanistan in many ways little better than it was, for all we have done.

No longer full of wrath, where to from here? Is it enough? Russia is resurgent, strikes down our allies, sends heavy bombers into the Western hemisphere for the first time in history -- but her demographics fail. The Islamic world rises, but that is hope as much as peril. Iraq is surely a great hope; and yet we look at Pakistan, and Africa, and Iran, again at Russia.
And each with a small, far, bird-like sight
Saw the high folly of the fight;
And though strange joys had grown in the night,
Despair grew with the day.

And when white dawn crawled through the wood,
Like cold foam of a flood,
Then weakened every warrior's mood,
In hope, though not in hardihood;
And each man sorrowed as he stood
In the fashion of his blood.

For the Saxon Franklin sorrowed
For the things that had been fair;
For the dear dead woman, crimson-clad,
And the great feasts and the friends he had;
But the Celtic prince's soul was sad
For the things that never were.

Then Eldred of the idle farm
Leaned on his ancient sword,
As fell his heavy words and few;
And his eyes were of such alien blue
As gleams where the Northman saileth new
Into an unknown fiord.

"I was a fool and wasted ale--
My slaves found it sweet;
I was a fool and wasted bread,
And the birds had bread to eat.

"The kings go up and the kings go down,
And who knows who shall rule;
Next night a king may starve or sleep,
But men and birds and beasts shall weep
At the burial of a fool.

"O, drunkards in my cellar,
Boys in my apple tree,
The world grows stern and strange and new,
And wise men shall govern you,
And you shall weep for me.

"But yoke me my own oxen,
Down to my own farm;
My own dog will whine for me,
My own friends will bend the knee,
And the foes I slew openly
Have never wished me harm."


But Colan.... said, "And when did Britain
Become your burying-yard?

"Before the Romans lit the land,
When schools and monks were none,
We reared such stones to the sun-god
As might put out the sun.

"The tall trees of Britain
We worshipped and were wise,
But you shall raid the whole land through
And never a tree shall talk to you,
Though every leaf is a tongue taught true
And the forest is full of eyes.

"On one round hill to the seaward
The trees grow tall and grey
And the trees talk together
When all men are away.

"O'er a few round hills forgotten
The trees grow tall in rings,
And the trees talk together
Of many pagan things.

"Yet I could lie and listen
With a cross upon my clay,
And hear unhurt for ever
What the trees of Britain say."
The fools and the cheerful mad have the better part of this world. Perhaps the best thing is to resolve to be one or the other, and lay aside all fear. If the other choice is 'the despair that grows with the day,' then surely this is best. Hope and faith may sometimes seem like little more than foolishness or madness, but these are two of the best of things.
Seven Years: Enid & Geraint

This is a poem I wrote seven years ago today, when I could no longer stand to watch the replayed news on television. I went out into the forest, down to the creek that ran through the woods. I crossed it halfway onto an island, and sat among the stones and wrote this. It may be one of the oldest 9/11 poems, as I wrote it around three in the afternoon on the very day. It draws, of course, on Tennyson, but it is not blank verse. Rather, it is in the old alliterative style of the Beowulf.

It happens to touch on a great deal we have been discussing lately, so it is even more appropriate to repost it today -- as I do every year on September 11.

Enid & Geraint

Once strong, from solid
Camelot he came
Glory with him, Geraint,
Whose sword tamed the wild.
Fabled the fortune he won,
Fame, and a wife.
The beasts he battled
With horn and lance;
Stood farms where fens lay.
When bandits returned
To old beast-holds
Geraint gave them the same.

And then long peace,
Purchased by the manful blade.
Light delights filled it,
Tournaments softened, tempered
By ladies; in peace lingers
the dream of safety.

They dreamed together. Darkness
Gathered on the old wood,
Wild things troubled the edges,
Then crept closer.
The whispers of weakness
Are echoed with evil.

At last even Enid
Whose eyes are as dusk
Looked on her Lord
And weighed him wanting.
Her gaze gored him:
He dressed in red-rust mail.

And put her on palfrey
To ride before or beside
And they went to the wilds,
Which were no longer
So far. Ill-used,
His sword hung beside.

By the long wood, where
Once he laid pastures,
The knight halted, horsed,
Gazing on the grim trees.
He opened his helm
Beholding a bandit realm.

End cried at the charge
Of a criminal clad in mail!
The Lord turned his horse,
Set his untended shield:
There lacked time, there
Lacked thought for more.

Villanous lance licked the
Ancient shield. It split,
Broke, that badge of the knight!
The spearhead searched
Old, rust-red mail.
Geraint awoke.

Master and black mount
Rediscovered their rich love,
And armor, though old
Though red with thick rust,
Broke the felon blade.
The spear to-brast, shattered.

And now Enid sees
In Geraint's cold eyes
What shivers her to the spine.
And now his hand
Draws the ill-used sword:
Ill-used, but well-forged.

And the shock from the spear-break
Rang from bandit-towers
Rattled the wood, and the world!
Men dwelt there in wonder.
Who had heard that tone?
They did not remember that sound.

His best spear broken
On old, rusted mail,
The felon sought his forest.
Enid's dusk eyes sense
The strength of old steel:
Geraint grips his reins.

And he winds his old horn,
And he spurs his proud horse,
And the wood to his wrath trembles.
And every bird
From the wild forest flies,
But the Ravens.

Earmark Generosity

Earmark Generosity:

Gov. Palin went after Sen. Obama on earmarks today.

One of the things she said was, "In just three years, our opponent has requested nearly a billion dollars in earmarks, and that’s about a million dollars every working day."

This is the first thing Gov. Palin has said that suggests to me that she really doesn't have enough experience to understand Washington.

You need to recalculate that average. :)


Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel on Sarah Palin:

He was also a former Democratic candidate for President this year, and a committed liberal (who says he left the Democratic Party because 'it is a party of war!'). He's here appearing on a left-wing radio show.

Major points:

* Gravel says Gov. Palin is a great choice in spite of his ideological differences with her, and someone he respects;

* That she went up against the Republican establishment with courage, and has "put the people and integrity above party";

* That she has more experience than Obama, especially executive experience;

* That she hasn't been corrupted by the partisan process in Washington;

* That she was right on Troopergate, and showed strength in going up against the entrenched unions, just as she had gone up against the oil companies;

* And... well, listen for yourself.

He finishes up by noting that, while he won't vote for McCain, he won't be voting for Obama either.

H/t: Hot Air.

Oh, Son!

Oh, Son!

The worst thing for Sen. Obama about this comment is that there is no way to claim it wasn't scripted. It was a planned response by an Obama spokesman. There is no walking away from it.

Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn't define what honor was. Now we know why.

A man who has never fought for anything wants to call out a warrior on honor?

I can see why they were hoping McCain would define it for them. Plainly, they have no concept of what the concept might mean.

Here's a hint. If you look at the Wikipedia entry, don't focus too much on the words. Focus on the picture to the side. What's that doing there?

PUMAs Live

PUMAs Live!

Gallup today:

In fact, Republicans didn’t shift much at all, trans-convention. Most of the bounce came from “pure” independents, whose support almost doubled from 20% to 39% in a week. McCain has opened a 15-point gap among independents overall, by far the widest gap in the race to this point. In contrast, the Democratic convention only provoked a small bump in this demographic for Obama, one that quickly evaporated.

McCain also scored among Democrats. Overall, he increased his draw by more than half, from 9% to 14%. Most of that came from conservative, “Blue Dog” Democrats, where McCain gained 10 points from 15% to 25%. Even his support among self-described “moderate” Democrats increased by five points, from 11% to 16%. Gallup even showed a two-point gain among liberal Democrats, but going from 2% to 4% probably is more polling noise than a real move.
The Washington Post poll, though, paints a different picture:
A Washington Post/ABC News survey published on Tuesday found most of McCain's surge in the polls since the Republican National Convention was due to a big shift in support among white women voters.
One way to reconcile these findings? PUMAs live. In spite of assurances that they were a fake movement, or falling in line, they seem to be a real trend.


In Which Grim Attempts To Refrain From Bursting Out In Laughter:


No, I can do this. Ahem. Today, we'll... discuss... this article.

I rarely remember my dreams, but for the past week, GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has been haunting me. Night after night, she appears in my dreams, always as a scolding, ominous figure.

When I mentioned my Palin dreams to Slate colleagues, they volunteered their own. One Obama-supporting colleague dreamed she had urged her young son to kill Palin with a string bean. Another dreamed she was at a fashion show and Palin served her crème fraîche on little scooped corn chips. A third says, "In the Sarah Palin dream I keep having, she has superhuman powers but is not really a person at all. In fact, she is more like the weather with glasses and an up-do, pushing clouds around and pitching lightning bolts."

I suspect we are not unusual.

OK, I made it up until that last line. That was too much, though. You got me fair and square.

UPDATE: Matt Yglesias says:
I didn’t want to mention that I had a dream about Sarah Palin (she was driving a piece of farm equipment back and forth on the football field of the high school catty-corner to my house, laughing maniacally and I was trying desperately to install some kind of codec on my laptop so they could capture it on video) because it just seemed to weird and creepy. But according to David Plotz, Palin-related dreams are a growing national trend...
No, I think your first instinct was correct, son.

OK, reader poll: Have any of you ever had a dream featuring anyone from the realm of politics? I don't remember my dreams very well, but of all the ones I can recall, never has there been a political figure in any of them. I mean, politics is serious business, but not that serious. Friends, family, loved ones turn up in dreams. Politicians?

Never for me. If your experience is different, though, shout out.



Richard Cohen notices that Obama won't fight, not for anything at all:

Thank God for Sarah Palin. Without her jibes, her sarcasm, her exaggerations, her smug provincialism, her hypocrisy about family and government, her exploitation of mommyhood, and her personal attacks on Barack Obama, the Democratic base might never be consolidated. This much is certain: Obama could never do it.
Cohen isn't the first to notice this about Obama -- Maureen Dowd called him "a weak sister." I had forgotten how much Cohen's ilk hates "provincials" who don't have the good taste to wish they lived in some big city instead, and how irritating they would find it.

Still, Cohen's conceit that she is "exploit[ing her] mommyhood" is echoed on the Right, as well. Kay Hymowitz, who shares Cohen's big-city roots, worries about reinvigorating feminism's claim that women are in some sense better:
[C]entral to Palin’s red-state appeal is her earthy embrace of motherhood. She differs from mainstream feminists in that her sexuality and fecundity are not in tension with her achievement and power. If anything, they rise out of them. Instead of holding her back, her five children embody her energy, competence, authority, and optimism.


Still, whatever the appeal of red-state feminism, it should bring no comfort to anyone in favor of a more mature political culture. Red staters share with their blue-state counterparts a tendency to sentimentalize and trivialize politics. They heighten the salience of Lifetime Television–style personal stories and gossip. They reduce candidates to personalities, lifestyles, and gonads. Some blue staters got behind Clinton because she was a woman; red staters want to vote for Palin because she’s a mom. Both positions are misguided.
There's a signal difference between getting "behind Clinton because she was a woman," and getting behind Palin in part "because she's a mom." The embrace of motherhood is about choices and values: the embrace of womanhood is not. You are born male or female, but you choose to become a mother -- and if you have five children, it is because you chose to embrace motherhood.

That's not an accident of birth, but a choice that tells us a great deal about who you are and what you value.

I am someone who believes that sex is a tremendously important factor in a person's life, perhaps the single most important biological factor -- though even so it is less important than some cultural factors. If you are going to do business with someone you've never met before, it is more important to know their nationality than it is to know their sex.

Edward Abbey said that he had once harbored dreams of becoming a great man; later, just a good man; and finally, had found it challenge and honor enough simply to be A MAN. There's a lot of truth to that: and it's a lesson Sen. Obama could stand to learn.

Gov. Palin is A WOMAN, whether she is a good woman or a great woman. She's made a lot of decisions and choices, and they look like good decisions and choices for the most part. There's much in that fact. Character counts, and Gov. Palin's embrace of motherhood is an important part of her character.

We used to say that nobody would run against motherhood or apple pie. The Left, this year, looks ready to do just that. The right shouldn't join them. Motherhood is a wonderful thing, and deserves its place of honor in our culture.



They’re going to try to make me into a scary guy. They’re even trying to make Michelle into a scary person.

-Sen. Obama

Ed Koch is in the news today.

"The designation of Palin to be vice president," he said. "She's scary."
By 'scary,' he means that when she was mayor she asked the librarian what the policy was on banning books. The town notes that no books were banned, and Gov. Palin says that she never intended to ban any -- she just wanted to know what the policy was.

Why would a mayor ask such a question? Well, two good reasons: first, "banning" books is one of the most contentious issues in small-town America. Second, every library has a policy on how they deal with requests from patrons to remove items from the shelves. If any of you are mayors or county commissioners and don't know what that policy is where you are, you had better find out.

It may never come up, but if it does, it's going to touch a dangerous nerve in the American psyche. We as a people are opposed to banning books, or any restrictions on the quest for knowledge. At the same time, however, there are certain topics that strike us as inappropriate for the public space. Pornography and incitement to violence are likely to come to mind, but the real danger spot is children. We believe it is proper to shelter children from certain things, until they are ready. When the child is "ready" differs from family to family and from child to child. As a result, childrens' books that treat troublesome subjects will sometimes cause conflicts in small-town society.

Such conflicts are the more explosive because all sides believe they are acting out of the morally right position. The ones protecting the children don't feel they are doing anything wrong by protecting the children, and they point out correctly that their request in no way limits adult liberty (including the liberty to buy the book for your own kids if you really feel that it's appropriate for them). The ones against removing books from the shelves point to the importance of the First Amendment, and a basic shared understanding that Americans don't ban books.

Having a good procedure means that insures all sides are treated with respect, and given a chance to see that the other side aren't "scary book-banners" or evil people who hate children. The exact nature of that policy may differ depending on the makeup and location of the community, but that is the goal.

The actual disposition of the book is really a small matter, since the library isn't really "banning" the book: it will still be available privately. Whether it stays or goes from the public shelves isn't as important as coming to a solution that the whole community can accept: if they decide to put it behind the desk, available only on adult requests, that's fine. If the community decides to remove it, that's fine. If parents who are troubled can be convinced to spend time reading every book before they hand them over to their children, that's fine too. What matters is that the community comes to the decision, and in a way that increases its members' respect for each other.

Still, it is an explosive issue, as anyone who has seen their community go around on it can attest. It's a wise mayor who wants to know just exactly what to expect, should the issue come up.

Good Stuff

Good Stuff from the Comments:

I want to tip my hat to you folks, who have generated a fine discussion in not just one but several of the comment threads below. I'd like to draw attention to a few of the remarks.

Fiacha has some advice for wife-seekers:

An old man told me how to find a good woman, ask, Can she ride? Can she dance? Can she shoot? Sounds terribly sexist, I am afraid, but its not about her capabilities nor is it a vetting process so I find someone that enoys my hobbies.

A gun means many things to many people, to me it means the ability to stand up and protect,

A horse is a symbol of dealing wiht and utilizing that which can be both dangerous and intimidating but is very useful.

The ability to dance is about confidence and trust.
I'm not sure I can improve upon that. If any of you would like to try, however, have at it.

Meanwhile, The Lady of the Lake thread is still going on. Lumpenscholar and I had an exchange this morning that seems fruitful:
Well, I am late to this meeting of the Hall, it seems, and what a wonderful discussion it was to read.

In hopes someone is tending the coals, restless of mind, and may be around to listen, and I hope to reply ...

Regarding Jeff's argument:

Grim, when we have a code for men, but for women you say "One of the chief things to understand about chivalry (and courtly love) is how heavily women influenced the ethic to begin with", it does indeed make it sound like men are servants and women can do whatever they please.

When I enlisted in the military, I signed a contract. I knew what was expected of me (even if only in ideal terms at the time), and I knew what I could expect. When a knight swore fealty, he had that same assurance: he knew what he gave, and he knew what he received in return. In an age and nation when men are routinely taken advantage of, and in a society that sees that abuse as proper revenge for historical wrongs, it is hard to embrace a moral contract of service that does not come with some clearly defined expectations.

douglas speaks to this, and I hope he can in some way communicate how he handles this with his daughter.

My answer, as far as I've thought it out to date, is that it is a lady's responsibility to be worthy of any service she may require of a knight. Likewise, when the roles are reversed and it is the lady who renders service to a knight (as also happened in the old stories), the knight can do no less than ensure he is worthy of such service. Indeed, receiving such service can be a great motivator to be worthy.

At the same time, a knight and a lady are both free to ignore those they consider unworthy of service. Not all women in distress are ladies worth rescuing, and not all men in armor are knights worth guiding.

In that vein, Grim, you wrote: "We've discussed Eleanor of Aquitaine... She was accused of every sort of unchastity in her lifetime ... and never lacked for knights ready to declare themselves her willing servants and true lovers."

Setting aside the guilt or innocence of the lady, I think that pointing out an action and saying a knight did it does not make for a valid exemplar. There were Good knights and Evil knights, true knights and false. If chivalry is to mean anything, it must give us virtue, it must point out the actions of true, Good knights and give them honor, and it must also point out the actions of false, Evil knights and damn them. If it is the case that virtuous knights rose to her defense, then it tells us something indirectly about her. On the other hand, she was a powerful, beautiful woman and there were enticing, less-than-virtuous reasons for knights to come to her defense.

Not all those who bear arms are virtuous, and while it may be best for us to see our enemies as fellows in chivalry who have agreed to this bloody contract, it does not make it true.
lumpenscholar | Homepage | 09.08.08 - 12:08 am | #


I'm still reading.

As to your first point:

In a more recent post, we've been talking about oaths: the oath of enlistment, the pledge of alliegence. None of them posit what you are asking for here: none of them say, "I promise X, and in return, I realize I shall receive Y."

Rather, they say, "I promise X." Your reasons for taking the oath are in a sense your own: the oath is about service, though, not benefits.

Why do you take the pledge, or swear the oath of enlistment?

Why would you pledge love to a lady?

De Charny's response is excellent here. I mentioned it above, as re: marriage, but it applies to love of this chivalrous kind also.

De Charny says -- not just here, but throughout his work -- that there are many kinds of good men; but then he tries to separate out the good from the better, and the better from the best, and says consistently: "He who does best is most worthy."

So in marriage, he notes that there are those who enter into the oath of love in expectation, and that is fine; but these are unlikely to have happy marriages. Their reasons to serve are not really based in love, but in considerations of gain, and therefore they will be unhappy 'for the devils must be at their wedding.'

Then there are some who marry for children, or to have company in their age, or for other good reasons; and they will be happy, and are doing better.

But the best of all are those who with their wives "live joyfully and pleasantly."

If love is true, it seeks no reward but itself. There is no greater reward to be had.

Yet if love is true, it is rewarded. Though not sought, all these things that a man might seek do come: for a true lover will give not only generously, but even of her last penny of money and her last ounce of strength.

The place to focus your mind and heart, then, is not on the gains you expect or demand. It is on finding what you love.

To your second point:

De Charny agrees -- and so do I -- that bearing arms is not virtuous in itself. He devotes a page to "those unworthy to be men at arms," which include: those who wage war without a good reason; those who attack without warning; those who are dishonorable, or cowards; and those who allow men under their command to behave in such ways, even if they would not personally.

Eleanor of Aquitaine was accused of very many things. She never lacked for defenders, and perhaps some of them were like the suitors who marry for money or gain. Yet perhaps the charges were false, given by the sort of men who seek through slander to hurt those whom they cannot hope to best in any honorable contest.

The old way to deal with such claims was in trial by combat, "And may God defend the Right." We have other ways, though I sometimes wonder if we have better ones. We have a media that chases madly after slanders against Gov. Palin, excusing themselves by claiming that they have no choice given their refusal to chase after John Edwards. These things are tried in a court of media, with no final end to the claim possible -- you can still today read conspiracy theories about every politician and public figure of the last decade. The proven ones are still denied; the disproven ones are still believed.

Much is made of the fact that, under the old system, a strong man might spread lies and simply kill those who dared to challenge him. Yet not enough is made of the fact that such lies carried a price, and a danger. Now they are free, and as numerous as a plague of frogs. In Eleanor's day, at least there was a brake on the tongues of cowardly men.
Grim | 09.08.08 - 1:01 am | #


In writing a draft of a post on this topic, I re-read Grim's original post. It seems he answered Jeff's concern and gave my own answer here:

The key things that matter are these: the lady is noble of spirit ... she is morally worthy of service ...
lumpenscholar | Homepage | 09.08.08 - 1:02 am | #


Quite right. And if she is worthy of love, and you love her, you and she will find "joyful and pleasant" rewards. :)
Grim | 09.08.08 - 1:05 am | #


Thank you very much for your replies, Grim.

First, a point of disagreement. My point about Eleanor's defenders was simply that, unless we know why they defended her, we cannot say it was virtuous behavior. When you put them forth as an example, I took it to mean that because knights did it, it was chivalrous, which I disagree with. Although of course I might have misunderstood your example.

On to more profitable points.

If love is true, it seeks no reward but itself. There is no greater reward to be had.

But-but-but, that takes COURAGE!


I have to laugh at myself, else I'll soon call myself a coward.

Yet if love is true, it is rewarded.

And that takes faith, and hope, to go with the charity of seeking to love in the first place.

As the Go players say, "Victory lies in the attack," i.e., you can't win if you're focus is only on not losing.

Thank you for posting on this. It is exactly what I needed right now. It is late and I need to move on, but I will revisit this thread soon.

From Ecclesiastes 9:7-10: "Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun ... Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."
lumpenscholar | Homepage | 09.08.08 - 2:46 am | #
This has been one of the finest discussions we've had, and I want to thank all of you for participating in it. There is much here to consider even yet.

Liking Althouse

I'm Beginning To Like Prof. Althouse:

This poll demands your attention.

I believe her when she says she's under a vow of "cruel neutrality." That's what makes it so funny.

On Shooting Short

On Shooting Short:

Information Operations, Texas Ranger style:

If you are fighting the right way, everything is part of your information operations. In this case, we have military deception (shooting short), which encourages the enemy to make a bad decision; and then a PSYOP, to make clear that the the Ranger can not only hit you, he can out-think you too.

The arms, by the way, are an 1860 Henry Rifle, a Sharps Rifle (which gave us the word "sharpshooter"), and a Walker Colt revolver.

The "Walker" was named for Sam Walker, one of the early famous Texas Rangers, who helped Col. Colt design it. He asked for a heavier ball than the .36 caliber ball used by the Patterson Colt, which the Texas Rangers had used successfully against the Commanche. The .44 caliber Walker model was huge -- later .44s were much smaller -- and prone to losing the lock on its reloading lever (see the video above, under "Walker Colt"), which slowed repeat shots.

As far as I know, it was not prone to the particular eccentricity attributed to it by Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. Blowing up in your hand was not to my knowledge "a failing common to the model." But since we are on the subject, here is a beautiful piece of music from that movie.

I trust you are having a fine weekend.