- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 11, 2012

“Don’t blame me. I voted for Romney.”

- Bumper sticker now for sale on CafePress, Zazzle, Amazon and other online sources

HE-MAN’S LIBRARY

“Real men don’t eat tofu. They don’t use lady-scented body wash. They order whiskey for their men, beer for their horses. Real men deserve a suitably manly gift for Christmas,” insists Regnery Publishing, which has assembled a list of classic books from its backlist of titles for those who fancy, well, offering beer to their horses and flowers to their womenfolk.

Among the longtime conservative publisher’s recommendations: “The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide: Recovering the Lost Art of Manhood” by Frank Miniter, which includes 600 assorted tutorials on fighting alligators, creating a tourniquet from a T-shirt, and a review of universal traits that make an Ultimate Man — self-confidence, precision, wisdom, humility, bravery, strength and knowledge.

Also on the Regnery must-have list: “Kill It & Grill It” by Ted and Shemane Nugent, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes” by Brion McClanahan, and a Gen. George S. Patton biography, “Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer” by Michael Keane.

See the offerings at regnery.com.

ARCTIC NUKES

After 22 years of dormancy, there’s new activity at Russia’s sole remaining nuclear bomb testing site in Novaya Zemlya, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of Russia that was the site of 224 nuclear detonations from 1954 to 1990 — including the “Tsar Bomba,”the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by mankind, and one that created a 40-mile high smoke-and-dust plume and a five-mile-wide fireball.

“A mushroom cloud on the horizon for the Arctic?” asks Dmitry Litovkin, a Russia & India Report correspondent who says Russia’s military and political leaders will start adding new security at the site in about eight weeks. The effort includes the deployment of MiG-31 supersonic interceptors and combat vessels from the nation’s northern fleet.

“In Soviet times, such measures were always a sign that full-scale nuclear testing was about to be under way,” Mr. Litovkin says, which give pause to folks of a certain age who recall duck-and-cover routines from a previous era. Russia still has 2,679 warheads, according to figures from December 2010.

But this new “activity” is likely just nuke maintenance. Environmentally safe “model nuclear devices,” apparently, are still being detonated.

“Every year, the technology is tested on Novaya Zemlya with four to six controlled explosions. As a result, Russia can say that its nuclear arsenal is completely safe and combat-ready,” Mr. Litovkin says.

He consulted with a Russian rocket engineer before concluding, “The military’s task remains the same: to ensure the safe storage, transportation and operation of nuclear weapons. This includes the strict nondisclosure of information about the latest nuclear tests at Novaya Zemlya. As for the deployment of additional forces in the region, that has less to do with the restoration of the test site, and more to do with Russia’s economic claims to the Arctic shelf.”

AND IN SUMMATION

“This was a great week for gay potheads who love Obama. Or as I call it, Hollywood.”

- HBO host Bill Maher, reflecting on the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election

FOR THE WARRIORS

On Monday morning, two wounded Marines get heartfelt, practical recognition: home sweet homes of the high-tech variety to increase their independence. Sgt. John Peck receives the keys to a new super-customized home in Fredericksburg, Va.; Cpl. Tyler Huffman gets a similar domicile in Jefferson City, Mo. Both men were grievously wounded in Afghanistan; Sgt. Peck is a quadruple amputee, Cpl. Huffman is a paraplegic.

The New York-based Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation — named for a Staten Island firefighter killed on 9/11 — partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation to fund and organize the “Building for America’s Bravest” program, which already presented similar homes to stricken heroes in three states, with another nine homes in development around the nation,

“The fact that we are helping John and Tyler reclaim fuller, active lives by providing them with homes designed to meet their special needs means everything to us,” says Frank Siller, chairman of the aforementioned foundation. The homes will be turned over to the soldiers with ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

“John and Tyler have given so much for their country, it is a privilege for my foundation to have played a role in providing these men with homes befitting their sacrifice. The outpouring of love and support shown these men by so many has been inspiring,” Mr. Sinise said.

FOND FAREWELL

“This was more than just a campaign, this was a national movement. Thank you for the work that you did — going across neighborhoods to knock on doors and put up yard signs. Thanks for making phone calls, coming to rallies, donating funds, and convincing friends and family to join our team. What’s really inspiring is that you came together because you care about America. We still believe that better days are ahead. It’s up to us to rally together to renew America’s promise and restore American greatness. Today’s a new day. Keep believing in America.”

- Mitt Romney’s final public message to his supporters, issued Saturday

POLL DU JOUR

• 74 percent of Americans are worried they will not have enough money to retire.

• 73 percent are concerned they can’t pay for future health care costs.

• 63 percent are putting money toward savings.

• 62 percent of that number have “rainy day funds” for unexpected costs, 53 percent are putting aside money for retirement.

• 27 percent have a vacation fund, 19 percent are setting aside money for college.

• 17 percent are saving for a car, 11 percent for a home purchase.

• 3 percent are setting aside money for marriage, 2 percent for the birth of a child.

Source: A Harris Interactive poll of 2,307 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 13 to 20 and released Nov. 5

Bellows, hellos, murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com.