inspired by the tune playing on Octane, Sirius Ch. 20:
...don't get to be a famous singer's girlfriend, 'cause if it doesn't work out she's liable to write a song about you, and how bad could THAT potentially suck?
"...You never call me when you're soberrrrrrrr...'
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
inspired by the tune playing on Octane, Sirius Ch. 20:
Another man must serve the rest of his life in prison for killing a Houston woman who was staying at a Bossier City motel in 2005.
Dwight Keith Bacon, 25, of Shreveport, pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence, according to the Caddo district attorney's office.
Tosha Lampkin, 30, was staying at David Motel while she and cousin Tonya Douglas were visiting family.
Lampkin was carjacked from the parking lot when she left the room to get something to eat about 3 a.m. April 22, 2005.
Douglas received a call about two hours later informing her their rental car had been found in Shreveport.
It had been torched and there was a body in the trunk.
Authorities said Lampkin had been raped and was alive in the trunk when the car was torched.
Bacon, who never before had been arrested, is the second man to be sentenced to life in connection with Lampkin's death.
Brandon Davis, 25, of Bossier City, was convicted of first-degree murder in April 2008.
He raped and killed Lampkin less than two months after completing a five-year sentence for robbing and intimidating a 75-year-old woman.
Wow, five years for robbing and intimidating a 75-year-old woman. I don't know how there could have been any doubt that punk would have been escalating his campaign of violence toward younger and stronger members of the population sooner or later. And I know the death penalty might well not be appropriate for robbery, but why could this guy not have been locked up longer than he was? Why is it that we let these people walk free in society when they're so obviously untrustworthy? And why do anti-gunners not have a problem with this? Why don't they demand gasoline and lighter/match licensing and registration too? And WHY would they want to make it so hard for people like the late Tonya Lampkin and this old woman to defend themselves? The lack of a gun certainly didn't hinder Ms. Lampkin's killers, eh?
Monday, June 29, 2009
...that dog ain't that ugly!
PETALUMA, Calif. — A prominent under-bite, scrunched face and floppy ears are the hallmarks of a winner.Just look at him!
The winner of the World's Ugliest Dog contest, that is.
Pabst, a boxer-mix rescued from a shelter by Miles Egstad of Citrus Heights, Calif., won the annual contest on Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Northern California.
Come oooon, he's just adorable! How could you not resist a face like that? Now I know exactly what I'd be doing if that was my dog. I'd be scratching him behind his ear and talking to him, "you're a goood dog, yes you are! They say you're the world's ugliest dog? Well, fork them, boy, fork them right in their ear, yeeeees."
No doubt there are bar owners in other states who are just as bad, but since they're talking about Arizona here we'll just run with this...
Frank Murray, owner of Seamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub & Restaurant in downtown Phoenix, said he opposes the law and will prohibit his customers from coming in armed.
"It's kind of like the Wild West days," he said. "We've got enough nuts out on the street walking around with guns. We don't need them in places with alcohol and families."
One can only presume he's talking about Arizona CCW holders, who are probably in the top 1 percent of the law-abiding segment of the population. And he calls them nuts. I know one Phoenix establishment I wouldn't be patronizing anymore if I lived there. I certainly hope there are others there who see Mr. Murray's words and feels the same way. I did find some sweet irony in the fact that his establishment is called 'Seamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub & Restaurant," for as I'm sure you're aware, more or less the same thing would have been said of Irish immigrants as they were coming to America in the mid-1800s. "Damn Irishmen, you get 'em drunk and they trash the place, and they ain't much better sober." Such a shame that sort of bigotry still exists today, albeit aimed at a different group of people.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I can sort of understand this, but then again I can't...
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A gun-toting Kentucky pastor says it’s OK to pack heat at church — at least for one day.
Ken Pagano asked his flock to bring their unloaded handguns — in holsters — to New Bethel Church in Louisville for a celebration of the Second Amendment.
I suppose baby steps might be the way to go, but still I don't quite understand what would be less intimidating about an unloaded gun considering the gun's only good for anything when it's loaded. Even if it was less intimidating, I think that would be a bad way to go about it -- it opens the door to, for example, handing the gun to one of your hoplophobic fellow churchgoers and saying, "Oh, it's not loaded, don't worry." Rule 1 violation right there. I suppose you could pull back the slide and lock it open, but still it would be better to treat it like a loaded gun. But still, I am reminded of what an old friend has always said: "An unloaded gun ain't nothin' but an expensive club." And so it would be, if someone came busting into that church with murder on their mind. I hope the members of that congregation progress to loaded guns as soon as they possibly can.
Meanwhile, a coalition of Louisville-area peace and church groups staged a gun-free event across town at the same time.
Peace groups. Yes indeed, more like slaughter enablers. Somebody oughta ask 'em about how that whole gun-free thing is working out in Iran right now.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
...but so very funny!
"I do not think it means what you think it means."
Iran's hardline president lashed out anew at the United States and President Barack Obama on Saturday, accusing him of interference and suggesting that Washington's stance on Iran's postelection turmoil could imperil Obama's aim of improving relations.Wow, Ahmadinejad thinks mere tough talk is interference? One wonders what he would say to something like, say, covert arms shipments...select-fire rifles, ammo, shoulder-launched missiles, RPGs...or what certain other groups would say...
"We are surprised at Mr. Obama," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in remarks to judiciary officials broadcast on state television. "Didn't he say that he was after change? Why did he interfere?"
Amnesty International called the prospect of quick trials and capital punishment for some detainees "a very worrying development." It said Iran was the world's No. 2 executioner after China last year, with at least 346 known instances of people put to death. The group also called on the regime to release dozens of detained journalists it said faced possible torture.
A very worrying development. One wonders what Amnesty International would propose to be done about the whole situation, considering they don't believe in allowing the oppressed to fight back. Perhaps they think tough talk and moral suasion is going to work as well -- even with people who don't really have any morals to speak of. It must really be nice in that fantasy world.
Friday, June 26, 2009
More blogging to come later. Making more money now. Stay tuned.
Oh, and another really GREAT cut from the aforementioned Guns'n Roses record...
I think about you
Honey all the time my heart says yes
I think about you
Deep inside I love you best ...
Thursday, June 25, 2009
...comment moderation is on for the duration. I don't do fucktards well and until the geeks develop a Remote Strangulation Protocol, this will have to do. Sorry, y'all.
Apparently they thought they'd be immune...
In a Pennsylvania town that disbanded its three-member police force, Anita Gricar worries that officers from the neighboring town won't come fast enough if she calls for help. She also misses the comfort that came from having officers who knew everyone and everything about Versailles, Pa., population 1,700.
"They knew your house, they knew when your tomatoes are red," Gricar said.
This is what the nation's economic crisis looks like in law enforcement. As tax revenue shrivels, police agencies that for years were bulletproof when it came to funding are tightening their belts. Some worry that criminals will take advantage of the situation.
But remember, folks, you don't need guns, because the police will protect you!
For him to be so damn smart allegedly, President Feckless sure says some stupid things...
If nothing is done to jump-start alternative energy production, “Exxon Mobil could end up having huge windfalls,” Obama said. “But I don’t think anybody would suggest that that’s good for the U.S. economy and good for Texas over the long term.”
Nope, that could never be good for the Texas or U.S. economy. All those profits, all those expansions and capital outlays and the accompanying thousands of jobs that would be fueled by those "huge windfalls," oh teh nooooes, no one would eeeever suggest that could be a good thing for the United States economy or Texas' economy. Sweet bleedin' jeebus, no wonder this country's in such sad shape.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
...before I jet for the day...
I don't have Guns'n'Roses' Appetite for Destruction yet. I desperately need to remedy that. I know well that "quantity" does not equal "quality," but still, every time I hear a cut from that album I am reminded of just why it has sold almost 30 million copies worldwide since its 1987 release. "Nightrain" all by itself would have been worth the coin. Axl Rose may have all sorts of issues, but there's no denying that the American rock'n'roll canon just would not have been the same without his band's contributions to it.
On another note, Nickelback seem to me to be one of those bands that gets an undeservedly bad reputation; not long ago I saw them referred to as the "Rascal Flatts of rock." Really? I mean, I could do without the ballads, but those boys can really rock when they want to....whereas it seems Rascal Flatts really struggle at sounding even remotely country...
...this strikes me as an awful instance of shirking responsibility...
Lawyers for a man wrongly convicted in a sexual assault case asked jurors on Tuesday to make the city of Houston pay George Rodriguez $35 million, while a city attorney asked they give him nothing.It might well have been the fault of those people, but the fact is they were working as agents of the city of Houston, on the payroll of the city. So for all practical intents and purposes it would seem to me that The City was indeed to blame for what happened to Mr. Rodriguez. And they should be on the hook for that. To the tune of what amount I don't know, but 17 years is worth a hell of a lot if you ask me, considering that is time he'll never, ever get back. I don't know if I would trade 17 years of my life for $35 million, but considering the city forcibly took that from him it seems like at least a start.
Rodriguez, who along with another of his lawyers sometimes teared up during the final arguments, spent 17 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted in the 1987 kidnapping and sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.
A Houston Police Department crime lab analyst lied in Rodriguez’s trial about body fluids from the crime scene, saying evidence excluded another suspect, but not Rodriguez. DNA evidence later cleared Rodriguez and pointed to the other suspect.
City attorneys have said it was not city policies or then-Police Chief Lee P. Brown that was responsible for the wrongful conviction. Instead they’ve blamed the ex-city employee and suggested the trial prosecutor and defense attorney had a part.
Yes sir, I bet the mullahs are really scared now...
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama hardened his tone toward Iran on Tuesday, condemning the government for its crackdown against election protesters and accusing Iran’s leaders of fabricating charges against the United States.
Those theocratic thugs aren't going to be stopped with harsh words. They're only going to be stopped with bullets and bombs. I don't know what kinds of options the government has for making that happen, but it'd sure be nice if they could maybe get on that. Somebody ought to ask those Republican senators what exactly a harsher tone is going to be accomplished considering the mullahs and their agents don't give a damn about what the international community thinks. They sound a bit, I don't know, pedantic here.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I'm nobody's idea of an anti-gun crusader. But when I consider the sorts of things the Iranians could stand to borrow from America, a poorly worded amendment dealing with gun ownership rights and militias is way down the list. I think that maybe Iran could stand to have some separation of powers, a line between church and state, a free press, freedom to worship, the right to assemble, the right to speak freely, a freedom from unlawful searches, due process of law, womens' suffrage, and a government that doesn't terrorize its citizens with armed thugs or threaten its neighbors through terrorist proxies.
So, Mr. Linkins, assuming they actually got all those other things before they got armed...how would you suggest they defend those things in the event some would-be turbaned tyrants tried to take them all away? Throw rocks? Idiot.
(h/t Mr. Codrea, who asks, "If she (Neda Agha-Soltan -- ed.) were your daughter, wouldn't you want to shoot back?" Apparently the answer is no...)
Reading this story about the Iranian woman slain on this video reminds me of perhaps one of the biggest incongruities I've seen in feminist thinking, and perhaps liberal thinking in general. Members of both groups are always wringing their hands over such things, and of course wagging their fingers too, but never once have I seen them ever approach the topic of fighting back. Of course, you know how they approach the topic of guns here in the States, but they never, ever stop to think of how guns could work for the oppressed groups. How the hell do they expect the Iranians to fight back, by throwing rocks? Of course they'd probably say "those people would still be outgunned," but this woman was allegedly killed from some distance, perhaps using nothing more exotic than Grandpa's deer rifle. The shooter might even have been using just his iron sights. There's a lesson in there somewhere...
Monday, June 22, 2009
...for once, down in Mexico...
The Mexican legislature has voted quietly to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs, an effort that in the past has proved highly controversial.Sending the wrong message. I can almost understand that, but the thing about it is, the War On Some Drugs is a burden on the justice system all the way up and down the line, from front-line law enforcement, to the courts, to the jails. Something like this that will take the strain off some of that and perhaps free up resources to fight the cartels (to say nothing of fighting the smaller crimes Milton Friedman spoke of in his letter to Bill Bennett) should be applauded, not criticized. We have to start somewhere, and I think that's a damn good one.
Some critics have suggested that easing the punishment on drug possession sends the wrong message at a time when President Felipe Calderon is waging a bloody war on major narcotics traffickers. The battle between law enforcement authorities and drug suspects has claimed more than 11,000 lives in the past 2.5 years.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
...or so it would seem, reading this comment to this story:
Are we any better off after giving in to the so-called "freedom of speech" argument for this genre (Deep Throat, etc. -- ed.) of movies?
I think we have desensitized ourselves to this and violence. Even TV shows at anytime of the day or night have loads of adult material and we just keeping watching and waiting for the next big "no no" that will be allowed.
Even if this is true, the only thing I can say to it is, so what? Better that it be that way than us having government agencies backed up with lethal force telling us what we can and can't watch or listen to -- and what we can and can't put on record or video. Even what this story detailed was absolutely outrageous. FBI agents seizing copies of Deep Throat? Really? I shudder to think what they'd have been seizing had they been doing the same thing with heavy metal music in the 1980s at the behest of the PMRC. (You should have seen my reaction the first time I heard the WASP song "Animal"...) Yeah, a lot of those films and records are way the hell out there to say to the least. But it should be up to the individual -- not the government -- to decide whether to watch or listen. I could almost understand why some might ask if we're better off, but the bedrock principle of freedom of speech is tolerating things that might offend you. It's pretty frightening to think the average American doesn't understand or agree with that.
Now playing at The Roadhouse: Floyd Cramer, "Last Date," from 1960. Conway Twitty's later remake of the song with lyrics was okay, I suppose, but I always thought the instrumental original was the better of the two. Even if it wasn't what one would call stone-country, it was still a great, great record.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
One of the Smartest Guys In The Room, once again, on the theocratic thugs' suppression of the Iranian people...
"We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people," Obama said in a written statement. "Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away."
One wonders where that last sentence came from. It seems so out of place, so...inartful. Like he's saying, "We want those malcontents to go away as bad as you do, guys, but you're making us all look bad." And the whole thing has the air of saying, "Stop! Or we'll say 'Stop!' again! And that will be followed posthaste by a sternly worded letter to the United Nations sternly urging a sternly worded resolution!" In all seriousness, though we all know exactly what's going to happen here, right? The same thing that always happens when people without guns stand up to people with guns, of course. It's worth asking why Obama and his administration just stand idly by wagging their fingers...
Friday, June 19, 2009
Fed stray puppies, helped little ole ladies across the street, he was probably just asking that old man if he had any table scraps for the puppies...
On Jimbo Lane, Herrera’s family put on black ribbons Thursday as the boy’s mother, Evelia Herrera, sobbed on the front porch and tried to plan a weekend funeral.
Her son — her only son — was a good boy, she said.
He cooked food for her and dreamt of being a mechanic.
Herrera was in the ninth grade but he wasn’t involved in drugs and he never stole things, family members said.
“It’s not right, it’s not right,” said his sister, Marisa Peralta, 20. “I don’t know why my brother was over there, but I know for sure he wasn’t bad. He was probably just defending himself.”
Yes indeed, that big, strong teenager was defending himself from an old man so weak he needed oxygen to breathe, and that old man shot that little boy because he hates teh brown people. Couldn't have had a damn thing to do with the old man being in fear of his safety, oh teh noes. I can't WAIT to see what Lisa Falkenberg has to say about this. You know, I realize people want to think the best of their family members, but sooner or later they're just gonna have to realize he just might not have been the little angel they thought he was. I wonder why no one asked the family about the crack pipe...
Thursday, June 18, 2009
...in the letters to the editor in today's Houston Chronicle:
I do not see why we are making such a fuss over the Iran election. We had a similar election in 2000. Al Gore got more votes than George Bush. George Bush was declared the winner. Maybe they have an electoral college similar to ours. We may have more in common with them than we think.The electoral college might make the United States more similar to Iran than we think? Wow, with all that's been written about the Iranian elections, and with all the information available to us via the Internet (including, I would wager, everything an ignorant letter-writer would want to know about Iran's system of government), this person says MAYBE? And who knows, maybe he's writing under the misconception that we live in a pure democracy (where his rights would be about as protected as those of the alleged minority of Iranians who didn't vote for Ahmadinejad), but he's still ignorant. Even if Iran does have an electoral college, so what? I sure didn't see George W. Bush saying the discontent of the Americans who voted for him did not matter, people rioting, Bush saying those riots were orchestrated by his enemies, or Al Gore being in fear of his life.
...Wednesday morning in Houston:
Dwayne Austgen, 69, was inside his north Harris County home in the 5500 block of Susanna around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when he noticed a teenager in his front yard, officials said. The man went outside, confronted 17-year-old Vidal Herrera, and told him to leave, authorities said.
After the teen left the property, Austgen noticed Herrera had left a crack cocaine pipe, officials said. Austgen then went back inside his home, taking the pipe with him, officials said.
A short while later, Herrera returned to the home, confronted Austgen about the pipe, and the pair argued, officials said. Austgen, this time holding a rifle, again ordered the teen to leave, officials said.
Herrera began to walk away but then approached the homeowner, who fired the .22-caliber rifle, striking the teen in the abdomen, officials said. Herrera was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he died.
Well now, so much for "a .22 will only piss 'em off," eh? I hope for his sake that he gets a bigger gun, though, because he might not be so lucky next time. I'm curious as to why someone who "had a difficult time" scaring off a burglar with a shotgun didn't pull the trigger on the bastard, though. Isn't the whole point of pulling a gun in a situation like that to make the aggressor fear for his life? It'd be interesting to see if that burglar went back and told his buddies, "dumb son of a bitch pulled a gun on me and didn't even pull the trigger when I didn't go away..." Which, of course, could very well only aggravate those folks' problems even though there were neighbors willing to pull that trigger. I hope for the sake of the folks who live there that what this man did calms their neighborhood and sends the message that there's at least one person there who will pull that trigger.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
...Montgomery Gentry does a passable version of "Long Line of Losers," I suppose. If you wanna hear a much better version of that song I highly recommend you seek out the Kevin Fowler original though, from his 2007 cd Bring It On. That entire cd is great...
I have an opportunity to make some money. So blogging will have to wait till later today. Stay tuned. ;-)
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
...and I trust y'all know exactly what I'm talking about here...
If guns were really meant as a compensator for a small penis, I really don't think they'd be making any with barrels shorter than about 8 1/2 inches, do you?
And I don't understand just where these people get off, so to speak, on accusing us of trying to compensate for not being so well-endowed. Have those who do this ever even seen how well-hung gun owners actually may or may not be? My guess is that the answer is no, in which case those people are talking out of their asses. I'd bet most of us know that a real man knows one makes up for not-so-good-endowment with the tongue, hands and fingers as opposed to a gun. 'Least that's what I do, although I've had no complaints in that department. TMI, maybe, but I still had to point it out. ;-)
...prompted most recently by Jason Michael Carroll's "Where I'm From"...
It seems that the songs celebrating the old hometown are more prevalent these days than they've been in a long time. To an extent I guess that's ok, but as many as are out these days it's gotten to be overkill, I think. Do that many people have those idyllic memories of where they grew up and of their coming of age? And maybe it's just me, but that quarterback-dating-the-homecoming-queen thing, and even more generally the football-player-marrying-the-cheerleader phenom, seems to be so cliched. How many people identify more with the guy in the Cross Canadian Ragweed song "17"? --
"...The porch swing still looks the same, she probably won't even remember my name, just like she didn't back then
Is she married, is she doin' fine, does she know about all the nights I laid there cryin',
Just to know her hand..."
No, the situation wasn't exactly the same, and I don't curse my hometown like this guy does, but I could always sort of identify with the angst, or whatever you want to call it, the guy was experiencing, a whole lot more than I could buy Jason Michael Carroll's moms and dads being high school flames. I've known people who were high school flames but it ended up, well, going down IN flames. Call me crazy but I'd just like to see more songs from that perspective as opposed to all the Norman Rockwell portrayals. It ain't pretty, but it's more realistic...and isn't that what country music should be?
...at The Highway, Sirius Ch. 60: "...Ragweed's rockin' on the radio, free and easy, down the road I go..."
I really didn't care much for Dierks Bentley's Long Trip Alone cd, but this was one of the better songs on it. I do hate to say it, but it seems that Dierks Bentley has gone further downhill with every album. Long Trip Alone was sorta hit-n-miss, and I haven't heard anything on Feel That Fire that's grabbed my interest. I really hope he finds his traditional country bearings again with the next album.
...it burns, with the fire of a thousand suns!...
violence is for the weak. period.
Well yeah, of course it is, it isn't for the strong because they can defend themselves against it...oh wait, that's not what she was talking about, was it?...
most people in Europe think that fear is just very 'commercial' in America.
Forgive me for asking if she's from the part of Europe whose ass we saved or the part whose ass we kicked...
is there a need for us to have a gun in our home now? No. We dont have livestock to defend, we dont have wild animals roaming our suburban street. And as far as Im concerned..there is no other reason to have a gun.
No wild animals? Well, perhaps not any four-legged ones...and why do people like this think they and those who think like them should be the final arbiters of what we need and don't need? As the old saying goes..."you ain't the boss of me!"
Why does anyone need a gun when you have a functioning police force, and a highly effective judicial system, and prison?
...because, of course, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away!
Aaaand, Reasoned Discourse (tm) ensues!
This is a personal blog and a place to discuss matters, experiences and personal feelings towards issues. A place where people SHOULD feel comfortable expressing their truths and points of view.
Unfortunately you have taken that away from my readers and people (who I admire and respect NO MATTER their stance on the issue.
Wow, for people so cock-sure of themselves, they sure do have some thin skins if that's all it takes for them not to feel comfortable. Whine a little louder, why don't y'all?
I didn't live through that time, and I must admit I don't understand why "All Right Now" was Free's only hit in the States. That record had a pretty good groove to it. Surely it wasn't the only one. Maybe it was for the best, though...because if it hadn't been for them breaking up, we might not have gotten Bad Company, and how bad would THAT have been...?
NEW YORK — The savage drug war in Mexico. Crumbling state budgets. Weariness with current drug policy. The election of a president who said, "Yes — I inhaled."
These developments and others are kindling unprecedented optimism among the many Americans who want to see marijuana legalized.
"For the most part, what we've seen over the past 20 years has been incremental," said Norm Stamper, a former Seattle police chief now active with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. "What we've seen in the past six months is an explosion of activity, fresh thinking, bold statements and penetrating questions."
"We're opposed to legalization or decriminalization of marijuana. We think it's the wrong message to send our youth," said Russell Laine, police chief in Algonquin, Ill., and president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The International Association of the Chiefs of Police. That name will ring a bell for many of you, I'm sure. One would have thought the Joyce Foundation would only fund organizations who advocate what are seen by those on the left as "progressive" solutions, and of course drug legalization is favored by many leftists. So it would seem that the IACP is really just a gang of authoritarian assholes. Being as it's composed of nothing but political hacks I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I was surprised to see the LEAP member quoted was a former police chief, but I'd bet you he actually remembers his days among the rank-and-file officers who see the folly of the War On Some Drugs every day.
I did find it interesting that someone like Dennis Kucinich would acknowledge that the War On Some Drugs hasn't worked, considering he more or less wants to do the same thing with guns. Would that some intrepid reporter asked Kucinich why he thinks a War On Guns would be any different than the War On Drugs that he's acknowledged as a massive failure.
Monday, June 15, 2009
...or, once again, the Houston Chronicle editorial board just doesn't get it, choosing to lump the few nuts in with a bunch of good people...
When an internal Department of Homeland Security report on the threat of right-wing extremism was leaked to the public two months ago, it created a political tempest.
The nine-page document included assertions that domestic hate groups were using the economic downturn and the election of the nation’s first black president to expand their base. The report also said hate groups were attempting to recruit disgruntled veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts to take advantage of their military skills.
The recent cases of a right-to-life extremist accused of killing an abortion doctor in Kansas and an elderly white supremacist accused in the fatal shooting of a Holocaust museum guard in Washington, D.C., match warnings in the report. It concluded individuals with white supremacist views, acting as so-called lone wolves, pose the most significant domestic terrorism threat because they are difficult for law enforcement to detect before they commit crimes.
Right-wing extremism is not a liberal figment of the imagination. As the DHS report and recent incidents make clear, it is a growing threat and a valid concern for federal law enforcement officials.
Ahem. Where does one even begin with this? No one was saying that "right-wing extremism" was a figment of the imagination. And maybe some sections of that report WERE validated, but that doesn't change the fact that some sections of that report were way the hell out of line. I seem to recall that "single-issue groups" were targeted in that report as well...can you say National Rifle Association? As for "right-wing extremism" being conflated with anti-Semitism...well, more often than not as of late it's those on the LEFT who want the Jews to be hung out to dry, as evidenced by the new administration's increased alienation of and seemingly veiled threats to the Israelis. Why don't the Chronsters say anything about that?
Sunday, June 14, 2009
or, hey, a chance to rag on a guy for a change!...
I married “Kelli” less than a year ago. She’s a great person, very positive and a hard worker. She is not someone I would have imagined myself with five years ago, but I’m almost 30 now, and I thought we’d grow together over time.
Before our wedding I was hit by the worst anxiety of my life. I began feeling that the marriage might be a huge mistake. Sleep became impossible. My mom asked if I wanted to call off the wedding, but I thought it was just pre-wedding jitters.
As I said, Kelli is a great person — but my unease about whether I made a mistake is still with me. I’m also not sure if things will stay as pleasant as they are now.
More troubling is that Kelli wants to start having kids. I do not want to have children, be in a miserable marriage and end up divorced. I have been to counseling to work on my anxiety, but the thought of a child terrifies me....
...yeah. I didn't think it was just the females who jumped into things, and this right here is proof of that. Reading his letter evokes the phrase "damning with faint praise." Very positive? Hard worker? Good grief, man, you're her husband, not her boss at work! Thought you'd grow together over time? Call me crazy, but I thought you were supposed to do that sort of thing before you got married. With apologies to Kevin Fowler, I feel sorry for the next guy in line, because he ain't got a chance in hell. I know I'd certainly not want much to do with the opposite sex for a while after something like that. Way to go, buddy, you're gonna make yet another woman think all men are scum, as if there aren't more than enough who think that already. I'm no relationship expert, but all this seems to me to be nothing more than common sense. Do people just not communicate anymore? Was I really born 20 years too late?
...do you ever notice that when people write stories on the Holocaust or anti-Semitic violence, such as this one, they always talk about how people say "We must never forget that this happened!"...but they never really offer anything on how to actually prevent it from happening again? Beyond the empty rhetoric of "increased understanding and tolerance," that is? I know armed resistance seems to be so un-PC, but ultimately that's the only thing that'll stop some people. You know, sort of like it did the guy who took the rifle to the Holocaust Museum the other day. There are just some people whom the appeals for "understanding" and "tolerance" just won't reach...but no one ever mentions what to do in instances like that. It boggles the mind, it truly does...
Saturday, June 13, 2009
YATESVILLE, Pa. — Hobbled by a broken ankle, the estranged wife of a man killed in a shootout with Pennsylvania state troopers managed to fight him off as he threatened her with a gun before he kidnapped their 9-year-old son, the woman's friend said....if this man's wife had had a gun of her own and was willing to use it to protect herself and her kids. That whole thing could have ended right there before the cops were even called and Trooper Miller might have lived to see another day. There are a ton of what-ifs there, I know, but I still think that question's a perfectly legitimate one.
Daniel Autenrieth was supposed to leave the couple's three children at the curb during a custody exchange Sunday night. Instead, he carried their half-asleep 3-year-old to the door, and Susan Autenreith let him inside, her friend and family spokeswoman Torrie Clarke said.
After telling the children to go upstairs, Daniel pointed a gun at her and said, "If you don't talk to me, this isn't going to end well for anybody," Clarke told The Associated Press Friday in the first full account of what took place inside the home.
Susan Autenrieth, who had recently broken her ankle, screamed for the children to lock themselves in the upstairs bathroom and ran for the back door. Her husband tried to stop her from getting out, repeatedly slamming the door on her leg cast. But she fought him off, got outside and yelled for a neighbor to call 911.
The U.S. House of Representatives expects to present the first draft of a legislative plan designed to overhaul the nation’s health care system, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during remarks at the Wortham Center Friday night.
In line with President Barack Obama’s agenda, Pelosi said the plan will include a government-sponsored “public” health care plan that will compete with the private insurers.
Government-sponsored health plan to compete with the private insurers. Yeah, I'm so sure. Anybody wanna bet this bunch isn't in the process of creating a byzantine set of rules and regulations to put on the private insurers? And then there's the fact that the government has a much bigger chunk of money to play with. Big selling point: "The private insurers won't cover that, but WE will!" Yep, and considering Americans' sense of entitlement, how exactly is that going to work out? You know the answer to that as well as I do.
Friday, June 12, 2009
...thanks for the reminder, Scott...
I didn't see all the tribute, but I did see some of the clips of it on YouTube. I particularly liked Lee Ann Womack and Jamey Johnson's rendition of Strait's 2006 No. 1 hit "Give It Away," which, if you're not aware, Jamey Johnson was one of the writers of. They sounded really good together, even if Jamey mainly did the speaking parts. I've heard whispers that they could be a modern-day George and Tammy, and I'd believe it too. Lee Ann has an amazing voice, and she nailed the singing part; I'd love to see her live again.
I did see some grumblings here and there about Jamie Foxx's appearance on the show, and to be honest I don't understand the big deal. I know he really doesn't have that much of a connection with country music -- well, any country music connection, really -- but he did grow up as a George Strait fan, so as far as I'm concerned it wasn't so bad that he got to show up and sing a song. Maybe they could have gotten someone different, but then they could have gotten someone besides James Hetfield to sing "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out Of Hand" for that Waylon Jennings tribute too. I'm glad they didn't, though, because his rendition turned out to be surprisingly good; beyond that, Hetfield's appearance on that album showed the appeal of Waylon Jennings and of country music was wider than some might think. From my perspective, Jamie Foxx's appearance on the George Strait tribute did the same, even if his chosen song "You Look So Good In Love" was not one of Strait's more traditional numbers. And anything that further exposes racist assclowns like Spike Lee for what they are can only be a good thing in my book.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
....at Willie's Place, Sirius Ch. 64: "He said, I'm sorry it's come down to this, there's so much about you that I'm gonna miss...but it's all right, baby, if I hurry I can still make Cheyenne..."
I've spoken before of George Strait and his great rodeo tunes. I remember after the first few times I heard this song, I thought it could have been the beginning of the story of the narrator of "Amarillo By Morning," with "The Cowboy Rides Away" being the second installment of the story. If the songs hadn't been released in the exact reverse order they should have been that would have made more sense, but, there you have it. ;-)
...for now this will have to do, but it's MADE of top-shelf WIN! I didn't write it...I only wish I was so creative. A taste:
The kids cook meth on Saturday nights
The quickstop just sells Natty Light
And the homecoming queen, she weighs three hundred pounds
One of my favorite movies came on last night, one I had not seen in a pretty good while — 1993's In the Line Of Fire, with Clint Eastwood playing a Secret Service agent and John Malkovich playing the role of a would-be presidential assassin — and Malkovich plays the role to the hilt, too, arguably one of the greatest villain performances in cinematic history. They couldn't have picked anyone better to play that role. Anyway, this afternoon just screwing around, I googled John Malkovich, and in his Wiki entry, I see this couple of tidbits...
Malkovich is a political conservative, and has been described as staunchly pro-war and an ardent supporter of the death penalty. When the serial killer John Wayne Gacy was executed in 1994, Malkovich organized a champagne party for himself and his friends.
In a 2002 appearance at the Cambridge Union Society, when asked whom he would most like to "fight to the death," Malkovich replied that he would "rather just shoot" scientologist Tom Cruise, journalist Robert Fisk, and British MP George Galloway. Fisk reacted with outrage. When interviewed by The Observer, Malkovich elaborated on his comments: "I hate somebody who is supposed to be a Middle Eastern expert who thinks Jesus was born in Jerusalem. I hate what I consider his vile anti-semitism. This being said, I apologize to both Fisk and Galloway; they seem like good men but if they make such a heinous mistake again, I will not hesitate to murder them brutally by way of the gallows." Malkovich later added: "I'm a Christopher Hitchens fan myself, but no one has thinner skins than journalists, in my experience, and I come from a family of them... They can dish it out but they can't take it. But the reason I don't like the topic, why I don't really say anything about a whiner like Fisk, is it gives them more oxygen."
Wow, just...wow. I never thought anyone could approach in real life the level of bad-assery that Clint Eastwood inhabits in the movies, let alone one of his fellow actors. But that's about the closest I've ever seen, right there...
Chet Flippo's recent Nashville Skyline column, that is...
...I know the very whisper of Taylor's name brings out the extreme country wingnut crowd in an absolute frenzy, eliciting the howling, dogmatic mob that knows everything and is very willing to tell you so. I love the fact that most people in the world -- except me -- know exactly what country music is and what it is not. They know with certainty. I only know what I know. And I know what the accepted country definitions over the years have come to be -- that it is primarily a storytelling peer group music.
Country music has also, since its early days in the 1920s, been a commercial music. Therefore, for current purposes, I'm proposing that we go by the venerable standard of the Billboard charts. If Billboard lists a group or artist or song or album as country, so be it. It's country. Case closed. The soundtrack album for Hannah Montana is the No. 1 country album this week in Billboard? Yes, sir. I personally don't agree that it's necessarily country, but I won't argue because the Billboard chart right now is the official arbiter -- and history will be the ultimate judge.
To the wingnuts: Taylor Swift is country -- every bit as country as Rascal Flatts or Keith Urban or Kenny Chesney or any of the other current country pop acts on country radio and on the Billboard charts.
Oh, yes. Billboard listed it, I believe it, that settles it. Sorry, but that is ever so much bullshit, as is Mr. Flippo's epithet-hurling. Wingnut? So just because I am not even close to convinced the success of Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney and their ilk is good for the long-term prospects of country music (precisely because it's so, well, NOT country), he's more or less implying that I am an intolerant, sister-humping hick who strings up all the darkies I can catch in my spare time? Never mind the reality of the situation, of course, which is that you're as likely to find me listening to Pantera as you are George Strait these days, and that my political beliefs could better be classified as small-L libertarian, many of which those who fit his typecast would vehemently disagree with. I guess I should be honored that such a flaming asshole would cast people like me as he did, but I still find it profoundly offensive. Methinks he's just teed off at the rise of the Texas-red dirt country calling into question the contention that the Nashville music machine is the supreme arbiter of what's country and what isn't. Maybe I'd be mad too if I was a Nashville denizen, but no matter what he was way out of line. You could even say Chet, um, Flippoed out...
...but he still makes damn good music. His bluegrass rendition of "White Freightliner Blues" is just ten kinds of bad-ass.
It's a comfort, albeit a rather lukewarm one, to see those in my generation weren't the first to jump the gun and get married for really stupid reasons, but still, things like this...
Dear Abby:...make me really skittish when it comes to taking that leap. One wonders how their courtship went. Call me crazy, but I tend to get the idea that this woman led her husband on into thinking she loved him. Which, if that's the case, is really sorry of her because she screwed him out of 20 years of his life -- and that's time he's never, ever going to get back. And how selfish of her to be worried only about her security. She said nary a word about his feelings, his wants or his needs. I mean, really, I can understand wanting to be secure, but WHY do people settle for just that? It'd be better to be alone and make your own damn security. Hell, at least then you have options. Is it really too much to ask for intimacy and passion as well as security and companionship all in one person?
I am 43, the mother of four and just celebrated my 20th anniversary. Is it normal for someone to be married all this time and still not want your husband to see you naked?
The lights must always be off, and I keep a shirt on. It’s not because I am ashamed of my body; it’s that I’m not attracted to him. I never was.
I married him for security and have learned to love him, but like a brother. I feel I owe him.
Should I tell my husband how I feel and risk losing my security? I confided in a friend. She advised me to say nothing.
My husband had an affair a few years ago, and I was secretly relieved. Sometimes I wish he was still with her....
...are not the only things being spoken of as if they had minds and free wills of their own...
PHILADELPHIA — A car fleeing a robbery scene and being chased by police Wednesday night jumped a curb and crashed into a crowd, killing three young children in front of their home and gravely injuring a woman, authorities said.
Wow. I wonder what other kinds of wheeled motor vehicles that car was running with to get involved in such nefarious activities...
WASHINGTON — An elderly Maryland man with a long history of ties to neo-Nazi organizations walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday and opened fire, killing a security guard, according to law enforcement officials and civil rights experts.
And who are those calls going to come from? Jewish leftist advocacy organizations, of course, because they haven't learned anything from the Holocaust, as demonstrated some time ago when they came out in favor of tighter gun laws before the argument of Heller v. D.C. You know, I've never been to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, but I think it'd be interesting to go and see for myself just how much of it is dedicated to saying that "Never Again" WILL be perfectly enforced by "vigils," "awareness," and other such feel-good claptrap...
...hey, what was I just saying?...
At the White House, just blocks away from the museum, President Barack Obama said: "This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms. No American institution is more important to this effort than the Holocaust Museum, and no act of violence will diminish our determination to honor those who were lost by building a more peaceful and tolerant world."
Remain vigilant...no doubt by calling for things like "assault weapon" bans domestically, and largely toothless and counterproductive agreements and treaties on the international front, as IANSA was trying to get enacted in the United Nations a few summers back...despite the lesson imparted here:
WASHINGTON — The director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum says their security training helped save lives when guards quickly shot an elderly gunman who opened fire with a rifle.
Whaaa...? You mean this guy was stopped by a man with a gun? The hell you say!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Watching NCIS, the case of a Marine veteran who claimed to have beaten someone to death over the head with his .45. Can you do that? I didn't think a sidearm could withstand that sort of abuse -- not even Mr. Browning's legendary creation...
...what do you say about suckers like this guy:
I was still in high school when I met “Sue.” She was in her 20s and gorgeous. I was a virgin. Her husband was in the military.
One day she told me she was lonely. She asked me to be her “special friend.” After high school she paid for me to go to trade school. For 29 years I followed her wherever the military sent her husband. I even had a vasectomy so I wouldn’t get her pregnant.
Her husband has retired. She has time for me now maybe once a month. What we had is fading more each week. I’ll never find anyone to love as I have loved her, or father children of my own....
Now, I'll be the first to say that the nookie really messes with your mind, but packing up and moving only God knows how many times? And a vasectomy? Really? Without any kind of firm commitment from this woman — with her basically telling him he had to share her? Damn. Either this woman was incredibly good in bed or this man was incredibly desperate. Perhaps both. As for this...
I have more respect for a man who sticks with his family providing support and raising his kids but finds a sexual relationship outside the home. You want to know what I think is toxic? A man who stays married and celibate, letting his resentment fester and build.
...I don't agree with all of that. It seems to me that such a situation (finding your romantic or sexual fulfillment outside of your marriage) leads to effectively teaching your kids that's the best way to do things, and that's not doing them any favors...because how many people out there would want to be in that arrangement? I will say, though, that I absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts, 99 44/100 percent agree with that last part. When you get denied intimacy and companionship, your resentment will fester and build, and it is indeed the most toxic thing ever. It will get you to the point that you don't even want to remain friends. Especially when the other person starts to pull away, to the point they're sleeping on the couch while you lie upstairs wondering what the hell you did to make the other person not want to be next to you anymore; when the other person gets to the point of being gone for what amounts to more than half the time and making lame excuses for it; and finally, the other person hits you with that "I feel like we're more best friends" thing and you don't have a clue as to just why it happened. They might blame it on their own issues with the opposite sex, in a lame, hollow attempt to make you feel better, and say they're not worth being hurt and angry over, but it'll still leave you that way because you ended up holding the bag because they sat on their ass and didn't deal with their issues before putting themselves on the damn market again. Ask me how I know...
Ooooh, I love me some Stevie Ray, on Deep Tracks, Sirius Ch. 16: "Well, I'm standin' next to a mountain, chop it down, with the edge of my hand..." Hendrix's version was really good as well, but I always preferred the SRV cover.
...that makes Kathleen Parker dish on Sarah Palin seven months after the election, using anonymous sources, natch...and on top of that, blaming Palin herself for what looks to be the disorganization of her staff. To what extent Palin should be held responsible for that I don't know, but the fact that Kathleen Parker's still wasting space whining about Sarah Palin this far out instead of writing about the gaffes of the people actually in charge in Washington should tell you every single thing you need to know about her mentality and ideological leanings.
Remember what I said yesterday about the intelligence of Joe Biden? Well, check this out...
When questioned by The Record of Bergen County about the Hudson River rail tunnel during a conference call on Monday, Biden told the New Jersey newspaper the tunnel "is designed to provide for automobile traffic."
However, the tunnel will only handle commuter trains that shuttle passengers between New Jersey and Manhattan.
And he's supposed to be one-a the smartest guys in the room...
NEW YORK — With its scratches and sticky brown beer stains, the Tetris arcade machine near the back of a Brooklyn bar called Barcade has seen better days. Which makes sense, given that the machine was made in the 1980s.
“You could just play infinitely,” said Michael Pierce, 28, who was playing against Dan Rothfarb, also 28. Both have been fans since they — and the game — were young. The game just had its 25th birthday.
I don't know exactly how long I've been playing Tetris. If I remember right I was introduced to it via the first-generation Nintendo Game Boy back in the early '90s. But I've always loved it. The man's right — you really can play infinitely. Nowadays I do it on my iPod, and it's every bit as addictive now as it was back then...
...Sitting here listening to Willie's Place (Sirius Ch. 64), and right now Billy Joe Shaver's "You Asked Me To" is playing, and who do I hear plucking that acoustic guitar and singing harmony vocals? Willie Nelson! I know I shouldn't have been surprised at that, but I was. Pretty cool.
And I might add, the more of Heather Myles I hear, the more I like her...
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
So, apparently Pravda-on-Hudson's wannabe snarkmeister Maureen Dowd wrote a column favorably comparing Barack Obama to Mr. Spock and various members of his cabinet to the characters in Star Trek. Star Trek aficionado Bill Whittle artfully shows here why the Barack as Spock comparison is not nearly as flattering as the intellectuals wish it was. 12:55 of pure video gold. Yes, Bill Whittle is as much the man on video as he is in print. You need to WATCH IT.
"Because he's smarter than any one of these people, the elitist thinks he's smarter than all of them combined. And this is the fatal danger with putting intellectuals in positions of power."
...or, Now wait just a blasted minute here...
WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that economically strapped residents of Houston and Harris County are paying a price for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s rejection of a portion of the Obama administration’s economic stimulus assistance.
“It would be one thing if the state had the money, and said 'I don’t want to take federal money. We’re just going to fund it ourselves,’ ” Biden said during a 45-minute question and answer session.
“It’s another thing when the states are hurting badly, and you decide you’re not going to take on the responsibility to put a few more cop in the street to keep the crime rate down, or keep more teachers in the classroom rather than increase classroom size.”
Joe Biden is one shameless demagogue. Perry took almost $19 billion of that government money to fund all those cops and teachers and whatnot. In fact, that money worked so well for the state budget that it more or less killed any chance of getting casino gambling passed this legislative session. Furthermore, according to the AP, the state INCREASED money on public education spending by about $2 billion; upped higher ed spending by $1.2 billion; and made it possible for about 35,000 more students to receive financial aid from the TEXAS Grants Program. And I don't know about the whole "more cops in the streets" thing, but considering I haven't seen anything about that in the states major media outlets I'd guess it was not that big of a problem. So I don't know exactly where Biden's getting all this crap from.
Wait a minute, yeah, I do. He's pulling it out of his fourth point of contact, the same place he gets about 98 percent of everything else he says. And that's probably a lowball figure.
As for this...
Biden, who was asked about Perry, insisted that he was “not commenting directly” on Texas’ GOP chief executive. “Each governor has his or her rationale.”Even though Perry has explained his rationale, Biden still doesn't get it. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. One could say Biden is about as dumb as a box of hammers, but that'd be a gross insult to the hammers...
But Biden added: “I’m at a bit of a loss as to the rationale.”
Monday, June 08, 2009
...to find out what causes this sort of thing:
I've noticed that my 15 yo son is verbally abusive towards the opposite sex and verbally and physically abusive toward his twin sister. No, he wasn't raised in an abusive household. I am a single mother and I chose to remain single. I have never had a man around him the entire 15 years he's been alive. His father has never been involved in his life.
...but then I wouldn't be surprised if at least a few of the answers in this case were contained right here. Chose to remain single. I wonder why that was? I could be way the hell off base, but could there have been some bitterness harbored by the mother towards the boy's dad and maybe even men in general, maybe manifesting itself in some behavior the mother's not admitting to? "I have never had a man around him the entire 15 years he's been alive"? Really? At any rate, I'd point to the lack of a father figure in his life as the most likely culprit for this sort of thing. Somebody has to set the example, whether it be good or bad. And it could very well be resentment of not having that father figure, as many of his friends likely do. I did get a kick out of what one of the commenters said: "Knock him upside the head before somebody's daddy does." That's certainly one way to do it. ;-)
Sunday, June 07, 2009
...because he's just as apathetic as most of the sheeple. At least that's the assumption we need to operate on. If we all thought everyone cared about our rights less than we did it's safe to say we wouldn't be in the shape we're in.
Wow, Evan Thomas, suck a little harder, why don't you?
Newsweek editor Evan Thomas brought adulation over President Obama’s Cairo speech to a whole new level on Friday, declaring on MSNBC: "I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God."
Well, we were the good guys in 1984, it felt that way. It hasn't felt that way in recent years. So Obama’s had, really, a different task We're seen too often as the bad guys. And he – he has a very different job from – Reagan was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is ‘we are above that now.’ We're not just parochial, we're not just chauvinistic, we're not just provincial."
Reagan was all about America. Well, so? Wouldn't that be only fitting, since he was, after all, the American president? Of course, this is what fits their narrative, but it's completely untrue. These cork soakers make it sound like Reagan completely ignored the role of European forces in the Normandy invasion. And anyone who's read or listened to Reagan's 1984 speech at Pointe du Hoc knows that was not the case. He highlighted the bravery of every nationality that stormed those beaches and damn these rotten, soulless people for trying to revise that history to make their pet president look better. Even if Reagan did play up America...so? Do these people not remember -- or worse, just not care -- about Americans' role in World War II even before Pearl Harbor and our cranking up our military and industrial might? The Lend-Lease program? The NRA's plea to "Send a gun to defend a British home"? (It should be noted, by the way, that the necessity of the latter arguably was ultimately brought about by British gun laws that perhaps most closely resembled those of present-day New Jersey and Massachusetts.) Damn it, that was AMERICANS that did that. And I don't see a damn thing wrong with playing up our role there because God only knows what would have happened had Americans just sat on their hands. But apparently to point all that out is being "parochial" and "chauvinistic" and "provincial." Pardon my french, but every last one of those people can get forked. If you know what I mean and I think you do.
(h/t Mike Hendrix)
Call me crazy, but I still don't quite understand the Led Zeppelin songs in Cadillac commercials. I know their alleged target demos mesh more and more with the passage of time, but I just can't see those in my folks' generation ever driving something like that. Maybe that's the young'un in me talking, but there you have it.
I've said before that there are times I think the only adequate punishment for DWI is death. Stories like this are the exact reason for that:
Even six years after what he calls “my accident,” Kenneth Smith still wakes up late at night, breathing hard as his heart pounds in his chest.
In his mind he’s in the hospital again, with a tube shoved down his throat to help him breathe, a metal halo holding his head still, a catheter in his bladder.
Now, when the 22-year-old tries to reach up to wipe the sweat off his face, he can’t.
Kenneth knows that no matter how hard he wishes, he may never walk again.
He’s a quadriplegic. His father is dead.
Father and son spent Sept. 13, 2003, working in Gary’s shop. That evening, they began the drive home to Dayton. They were going to do some housework then watch movies together.
It would be just the guys, hanging out and having fun, like many Saturdays before.
At around 8 that night, a drunken Ramchand Jagaroo was barrelling down U.S. 90 in his black BMW at 80 or 90 miles per hour.
Police said the car started fishtailing and smashed into Gary’s Ford on a bridge over the San Jacinto River in northeast Harris County. The truck flipped over a barrier and off the bridge, landing on its roof on a small island in the river.
The crash shattered Gary’s bones. He died next to his son in the truck.
How do you move on when you’ve lost everything, when your body has become a prison and your dreams have been smashed?
That's a right-good question, I think. And another one would be, is life in prison really adequate for such an offense? Killing a man and paralyzing another in, for example, a robbery for drug money or just to victimize some "rich white folks" is inexcusable, but something like this just seems a thousand times worse. Whatever the chances of Kenneth Smith walking again, he's still had six years of his life — and his best friend — basically stolen from him because that stupid, selfish piece of shit that ran into him had too much to drink and didn't feel like calling somebody sober to drive him home. (But it wasn't the drunk's fault, the witnesses all conspired against him. What the hell ever.) I just can't help but think that said piece of shit forfeited his own life with his actions, and I don't see anything changing my mind on that.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
I didn't think I'd like this, but it turned out to be absolutely hilarious. I hate, HATE Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." With a passion that burns as hot as a thousand suns. I always thought that song made Celine Dion's bombast sound like Gordon Lightfoot in comparison, the drama llama's theme...you get the drift. So I am sure you would understand why I hesitated to push the Play button here. But, oh my dear sweet Vishnu, this was Made. Of. Awesome.
"What kind of private school would let in these kind of guys...it started out as Hogwarts, now it's Lord of the Flies..."
(h/t Rachel Lucas)
...Heather Myles, at Willie's Place, Sirius Ch. 64: "You'll sell a million records, oh, that must mean you're good...move on over, Ernest Tubb, Nashville's gone Hollywood..."
Truer words, as they say. I'd heard about that song but never actually heard it before. I haven't heard much of Heather Myles, but what I HAVE heard is damn good. More of my money's worth from Sirius, I tell ya...
Racists get ticked at being called racists, even when their organization's name practically screams racism. National Council of...The Race? Really? I sure hated to see Newt Gingrich backtrack on what he said about Obama's high court nominee being a racist, when her words proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was just that. Being civil is a good thing, but not when those we elect to represent us mistake cowardice for civility as the Republicans are doing.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
...but it probably couldn't be printed in a family newspaper...
It has long been a problem for the GOP that some of the party’s cherished positions are embraced most enthusiastically by people whose grip on reality is sometimes ... tenuous. This is especially true with regard to abortion.Wow. Alan Keyes, arguably among the top-five principled Republicans in the party, is an "odd carnival performer"? I thought it was just rabid lefties who resorted to that sort of baseless demagoguery, but then I guess it's only natural that Kathleen Parker, who tries to position herself as some sort of "sensible moderate," would co-opt some of the tactics of the other side. I don't agree with some of the things Alan Keyes has said either, but I think on the whole he'd make a hell of a lot better president than Obama. And do you know WHY Randall Terry is the "most familiar face of the anti-abortion movement"? Because Kathleen Parker and her fellow media hacks have made him so. "Still fresh in our minds is the last presidential election"? Hey Kathleen, you mean the one where the Republicans ran perhaps the second-most-milquetoast moderate they could find, arguably only because it was "his turn," and STILL came up short? Good grief, Parker, just sit down and shut up, already.
There are certainly compelling secular arguments against abortion that one might be perfectly willing to hear. Then Randall Terry shows up. Terry, the colorful founder of Operation Rescue, doesn’t represent the Republican Party, but he is nevertheless the most familiar face of the anti-abortion movement. When President Barack Obama recently gave the commencement address at Notre Dame, who showed up to lead the protest but Terry and the equally odd carnival performer Alan Keyes.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
...seeing the comments in the link in that last music post...
Ya’ll want to like crap music by crap artist – that’s your problem… don’t blame us for taking the best you have. No matter what they say – EVERY Texas artist wants to be a Nashville artist. (period)
there’s the good stuff Nashville has, and the crappy country Texas has (apparently), until it gets to Nashville and no longer sucks. lol.
Wow, it really doesn't get much more juvenile than that, does it? I'd be embarrassed. Once again, friends and neighbors, this is the mentality of the people who call us Texans the provincial hicks. I'll admit that I don't see all Nashville country as crap, but a lot of it is. And I formed that opinion after having actually heard the music. On the other hand, this other blogger dismisses all Texas country as crap without even having listened to it.
...I would argue that the 7th Circuit Court upheld Chicago's ban on handguns because hey, somebody's gotta stand up for the well being of their thug cops. Can't have the subjects able to actually defend themselves against those assholes, you know.
Seriously though, if you read the decision you see one of the judges actually acknowledge we live in a federal republic. Such a shame anyone would use that to justify infringement of any right, though...
...if you walk into a Texas establishment and try to rob it...
A 77-year-old man was within his rights when he shot a robber during a holdup of a game room in unincorporated Galveston County, Texas City police officials said Tuesday.
“He is truly a victim whose back was against the wall,” said Texas City police Capt. Brian Goetschius, referring to Robert Hays.
"It's not an easy thing to pull a trigger on a human being,'' Hays said. "But, when that man stood over me and said, 'Give me all your money,' my blood just boiled."
As well it should have, at such a blatant violation of the social contract. To think there are those out there who would say that old man should have just given the robbers what they wanted, though, is what makes MY blood boil. Why do so many people think we shouldn't have the right to defend ourselves? I don't think I'll ever understand that.
Just heard a song from an act called Texas Hippie Coalition. What a name for a band. Not bad, though, not bad at all. They sound a lot like Pantera...that's who I thought it was when I hit the button and heard it.
...from reading this story in the Chron...
It was political sparring in the House that first killed legislation to reauthorize the Department of Transportation; the Department of Insurance; the Office of Public Insurance Counsel, which represents the public in rate cases; the Texas Racing Commission; and the State Affordable Housing Corp., a quasi state agency that links low-income people with lenders for home purchases.
The agencies later were included in a measure by the House to give them an extended life until a future Legislature could review them, but the Senate adjourned without passing it.
Perry’s staff is working with legislative staff and the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission to see if there is a way to keep the agencies alive without calling a special session, the governor said.
“This is not a big hurdle for the Texas Legislature to deal with,” Perry said. “… If we have to come back and address this, this is what we will do.”
Perry said he does not have the power to extend the agencies through executive order.
The Legislature in 1977 created the sunset review process to make every state agency justify its existence every 12 years. If an agency is not reauthorized, it goes out of existence. There have been 47 agencies abolished and 11 consolidated through the process.
You know what would be great, and quite an interesting thing to watch? If we had a National Sunset Advisory Commission and every federal agency had to justify its existence every so often — and its budget — using nothing but the United States Constitution and showing how its actions are in line with that document, and if one step over the line caused the agency to be abolished. Somehow I think the ATF and the DEA would have been gone long ago, along with a host of other agencies. We'll never get it, I'm sure, but a small-government libertarian can dream...
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
...that I never thought existed even in Washington, D.C., let alone outside of it
(emphasis mine -- ed.):
He tells me there’s another reason they (Little Texas -- ed.) can’t necessarily play in Texas – their music is too polished. I didn’t know this either, but apparently there is a certain ‘Texas’ sound, which is quite un-polished (poorly recorded both vocally and musically) that local radio in Texas is willing to play if you’re on the Texas circuit. And then there’s the polished sound of good vocals and fine musicianship that Nashville is known for – which if you come from Texas, and leave Texas to do, they won’t play.
I saw nothing in the blog entry that made me think that was some sort of joke, so I am left to believe the blogger was being serious. Which leaves me just absolutely speechless. Almost. Didn't know there was a certain Texas sound? Texas music is poorly recorded? By, apparently, who the writer thinks are shit musicians who couldn't hack it in Nashville? Wow. And they call us Texans provincial hicks? I am not an audiophile either, but I have gotten quite a few Texas-red dirt recordings into my collection over the last 9 years or so, and NONE of them have sounded significantly different recording-wise than anything that comes out of Nashville. I hate to come off like a jerk here, but if that's the quality of commentary that comes from the "most respected music and entertainment blog in Nashville," then it's small wonder mainstream country music has gotten to be in such sad shape. And while I suppose such a slogan is tongue-in-cheek, there's still no excuse for anyone who bills himself or herself to be a music blogger to be so ignorant of what goes on down here — especially considering how the Texas-red dirt scene has exploded in the last few years. Trailer nailed it about Little Texas, though:
"Little Texas can't go back because they 'sold out' years ago. But mostly they can't go back because they're irrelevant."
(h/t Country California)
I've always thought it was a little odd how those on the left accused gun owners of caring only about their rights at the expense of everyone else's, especially when I see things like this:
...several abortion-rights activists questioned the sincerity of anti-abortion leaders who have been condemning (late-term abortionist George) Tiller's murder while denying that their movement fosters extremism.
"It rings a little hollow to me," said Stephanie Poggi, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds, which helped women pay for abortions at Tiller's clinic. "Anyone in the anti-abortion movement who has called abortion providers murders or called abortion a holocaust — any of those kind of vilifying statements — helps create the conditions where something like this can happen."
I just really don't know what to say to this, especially considering the fact that the last time an abortionist was killed in the United States was more than 10 years ago. Seems to me that the anti-abortion folks just can't win here. No matter what they do they're always going to get blamed for something like this. Helps create the conditions? Sorry, but I flatly refuse to believe that my dear sweet 76-year-old grandmother, who indeed thinks abortion is murder (and I don't think we ever even talked about intrauterine cranial decompressions) but would never raise her hand in anger to anyone, and those like her would create the circumstances for something like this. People like her would tell you the very same things all the anti-abortion organizations have been saying since those shots rang out in that Kansas church -- that no matter Tiller's actions, he was due to be judged and punished by God, not man, just as we all are due to be. There are going to be violent crackpots in every movement, and it's grossly unfair to judge the whole movement based on the actions of those few.
Monday, June 01, 2009
...yep, I had it yesterday. Went down to my folks' house thinking we were gonna cook out. I got down there and my stepdad said, "Hey Pistolero, you wanna go out on the boat with us?" I was thinking I might not have enough time, but then I knocked out some of the work I had to do that morning. So I did get to go out on the boat with 'em. We went out on the Neches River and headed upstream from Port Neches, and we docked on one of the islands there. Spent a good 4 hours or so out there yesterday afternoon, drinking beer and eating sausage and corn off the grill. So we did cook out...just not in the back yard. I rode the inner tube behind the boat...for the first time in what has to be more than 10 years. And I had an absolute blast. It was worth having to go back to work yesterday evening in a bit of a daze, with the sunburn....and I am not aching this morning like I thought I might be. I may be getting old, but not THAT old. Yet. ;-)