As 2011 lurches into history like a smelly old wino, I take MAC in hand to review some of the lows of the year.

You Can’t Get it Right All the Time: In the 1960s the Department of Defense decided that all future combat was going to take place at 300 meters or less and, now that the distance has increased again to 500 meters and over, is scrambling to come up with guns and ammunition that can hack it at long range. We, of course, are paying for all this.

What’s next? Tac Nukes? Some weeks ago, Mayor for Life Bloomberg referred to the New York City Police as “my private army.” People assumed he was joking. I don’t. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has coyly announced that the NYPD has the technology to shoot down airplanes, presumably to avoid a repeat of 9/11. Commissioner Kelly did not say what kind of armament was involved. It could be missiles, or it could be 30mm cannon on Mayor Bloomberg’s private jet. The NYPD averages one hit per 72 rounds expended with its handguns, so the mind reels at the havoc it can wreak with this kind of firepower.

The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Operation Fast and Furious, in which the BATF deliberately put 2,000 guns into the hands of bad guys. Of these, 600 have been recovered. One was used in the murder of a Border Patrol agent. The other 1,400 are still out there.

And Then There’s the TSA: On December 27, at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, a TSA agent confiscated two cupcakes “…because of their gel-like frosting.”

Don’t Bother Me with Reality When I’m Hysterical: Commentator Rachel Maddow believes there are all-plastic handguns that can pass through metal detectors, and says so shrilly at every opportunity.

Mixed Signals from Texas: On the one hand, Governor Rick Perry shot a coyote that menaced his puppy while the two were out for a jog. That was good. On the other hand, while on a nilgai hunt, I saw an Eastern diamondback–a 6-footer at least–glide across the sendero, and the driver of our vehicle, on strict orders from the ranch owner, refused to turn it into a good snake. This is not only bad, but a brazen violation of The Code of the West.

What Most You Fear Is Drawing Near: I can remember when the Republican candidate for President was General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower. Boy, have we come a long way. Unless something changes dramatically, Barrack Hussein Obama may very well get a second term.

And Just to End on a Positive Note: Several times a year I get to meet West Point cadets and I invariably wonder how our country, which is increasingly fat, weepy, and stupid, produces people like them. Can there be hope after all?