Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Carping on a comic cop-out

I know I am WAY late on this, but what the hell -- better late than never, right? Besides, since the comic strip that's the topic of this entry is still taking up real estate in quite a few newspapers, I think it's still worthy.

You know what pisses me right the hell off? When you have a cartoonist who draws a comic strip whose characters age in real time, and said cartoonist draws the strip for almost three decades and just decides to wrap everything up in one Sunday strip and then start telling the story all over again with old and new strips. What of those of us who had been reading said strip for at least two of those three decades and wanted to see what happened with the next generation? Sure, we found out in that one Sunday strip, but I am baffled as to why any newspaper would waste space on something that its longtime readers had already seen. I understand the cartoonist wanted to take a break, but that seems like a moot issue, considering that (from what I understand) other people were involved with its production. I was glad to see the Beaumont Enterprise replace the strip with Pearls Before Swine. Would that other newspapers followed suit. God only knows what kind of talent is being denied exposure because of their running those old strips.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How about some vintage Queensryche?

Since I don't have anything else for today...

I was listening to Rage for Order, Queensryche's second full-length album from 1986, last night at work. EMI/Capitol Records remastered & reissued all the band's albums in the early part of the last decade, and on those remasters were included various bonus tracks -- live cuts, alternate recordings, and such. One of RFO's bonus tracks was this killer live version of the album's lead-off track, "Walk In The Shadows," recorded on the Building Empires tour in 1991. I don't know about now, but I know frontman Geoff Tate had an absolutely phenomenal voice back in the day, and this recording has him demonstrating that. God, but I would love to have been old enough to see them back then.

Albatross! I know you're into that old hard rock & metal. Thoughts?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rod Stewart covering Hank Thompson. How about that.

Of all the things I knew I'd hear...The Rolling Stones doing "Bob Wills Is Still The King" honestly wasn't THAT big of a surprise, but Rod Stewart, of all people, doing "The Wild Side Of Life"? HANK THOMPSON? WOW. Sorta puts Jason Aldean covering Bryan Adams in a whoooole new light -- and not a flattering one.

Oh, look!

Another hippie who apparently wasn't taught about non sequiturs in school!

On March 12, my mother would have been 108. She would have been overjoyed and frightened at the same time.

When George Herbert Walker Bush was running for president the first time, she told me, “Everyone 65 and older is going to be thrown out on the street to starve and die!” I laughed, saying: “Mother, that is silly.”

Today, I'm glad she's not here. Greg Abbott, Texas' esteemed attorney general, is going to sue the U.S. government. The Express-News says Texas and 12 other states are questioning the constitutionality of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, etc.
Re: the last paragraph -- How could the Express-News print something like that? Those state AGs filed suit over the constitutionality of the health care bill that no one's read, not of Social Security, Medicaid, etc. And even if they were questioning those programs, how would that have anything to do with seniors being thrown out on the street to starve and die? One wonders what Jeanne Mundorf and/or those who think like her are going to do when there's no money left to fund those programs.

Why no mention of that?

I wonder why the Associated Press failed to mention James Cameron's comment that he wanted to shoot climate change skeptics. I mean, really, you let Sarah Palin mention something about "targeting" certain congressional districts in November and use the word "reload" and the media go apeshit, yet you have a lefty film director say something about wanting to shoot people he doesn't agree with and...nothing. Oh, right. It wouldn't fit their preconceived narrative.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why not lambast the newspapers' decisions?

I see the Houston Chronicle editorial board bitching and moaning again here about the Citizens United v. FEC decision. This time the topic is a campaign ad running in several East Texas newspapers, but yet again they don't say anything about those newspapers' decisions to take that money and run those ads. I wonder if this is because they want a cut of that money too? Really, I can't blame them for that, but it's VERY unseemly for newspaper editorialists (not just at the Houston Chronicle) to whine about this the way they have been doing. When you get down to essentials here, the Citizens United v. FEC decision was about business transactions. It takes the consent of the parties on both sides for those transactions to be completed. I know why the editorialists blast only one side, but do they think the readers are so stupid they're not going to figure this out?

Well played, Mr. Gurwitz.

Jonathan Gurwitz has a real barn-burner of a column today:

A moral imperative. A noble struggle against greedy corporate interests. A costly problem that particularly afflicts poor families, exacerbates unemployment, reduces productivity and undermines the national economy. A solution so virtuous it requires a universal mandate.

Health care reform? No. Prohibition.
I never thought of comparing those agitating for healthcare reform to Carrie Nation and her gang of vandals, but he's absolutely right here. In a way the Democrats are even worse, though, because the self-righteous prohibitionist thugs from the early 20th century weren't (in effect) telling members of a certain profession they had an obligation to provide their labors to the public, much less at a price that was ostensibly lower than what the free market had to pay.

At any rate, read the whole thing. The comments are pretty good, too, though I did get a kick out of this one:

"The teaparty opposition to healthcare reform reminds me of the civil rights struggle of the 1960's--the same hateful outcry and threats of violence from sore losers who fear the loss of their privileges."

Loss of WHAT privileges? I am reminded of the dumbass who quoted Bob Dylan in the letters to the editor in the Express-News one day a few weeks back who made about as much sense. Apparently they didn't teach hippies about non sequiturs in school.

What next?

Those crazy Europeans. What'll they protest next, water being wet? The sun rising in the east?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Oh, how original, Garry!

Given the current storyline, I guess it was only a matter of time before "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau cast a gun as a phallic substitute. But you'd think, with lefties like him being such intellectual powerhouses (or so they SAY), that he'd have come up with something a bit more original than the tired old "gun=penis substitute." And how about that "genius" Alex referring to it as a toy? At least those of us on this side of the debate know better than to think of a gun as a plaything. Call this Exhibit No. Whatever that liberals aren't nearly as smart as they like to say they are.

And how about that not-so-veiled slam at those who breastfeed? I guess it goes to show that liberals are not nearly as tolerant or open-minded as they like to say they are, too. At any rate, the words of Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities to Trudeau come to mind again:

"I really admire the fact that your politics & technical abilities haven't evolved at all in the many, many decades you've been turning the crank. Most shallow, fickle people have world outlooks that grow & mature over time, so it's a relief to see you're still flogging that same carrion after all these years."

Garrison Keillor funny? I'm not seeing it.

Is Garrison Keillor seriously considered a humorist? A funny man? He strikes me as a male version of Molly Ivins. I've never heard his show on NPR, and I'll take folks' word for it that's he's at least slightly humorous there -- but as a newspaper columnist he puts Hoover's finest to shame. Is he trying to make his radio show humor translate to his column? If he is, it doesn't. Work. In. The. Slightest.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Quote of the new year, maybe...

right here, on Otis McDonald:

Armed self-defense was a cherished African-American tradition - until we (black men -- ed.) became Democrats. But brothers like McDonald know one thing: Well-meaning Democrats can’t stop the thug invading your home.
Yep. I love how Mr. Kane also called out charlatans like Barack Obama and Tavis Smiley for leaving people like Otis McDonald and those like him twisting in the wind. It has struck me for a long time that blacks are just like Jews, in that the big organizations and personalities purporting to represent those groups care more about currying favor with a certain political party than they are about looking out for the groups' ultimate best interests. And the smaller groups, such as CORE and JPFO, seem to get painted as fringe groups, and that's a real shame.

(h/t David Codrea)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oh boy, which way will the ratings go now?

It'll be interesting to find out...

After more than 40 years as one of Houston's signature radio franchises, Hudson and Harrigan are no more.
The longtime morning drive time talk show on KILT (100.3 FM) will be replaced, for the moment, by afternoon drive host Rowdy Yates and Erin Austin, a member of the Hudson and Harrigan morning show team, Brian Purdy, general manager of CBS Radio Houston, said Wednesday.
I will admit that I hadn't listened to pretty much any terrestrial radio since I got Sirius early last year, but that's still a sad thing to see. Those guys -- the H&H characters, if not the folks playing them -- might have been a Houston thing, but folks all over Southeast Texas knew of them, apparently. I remember one semester at Lamar I was getting advised by the chairman of the communication department, Dr. Pat Harrigan, and our discussion lapsed into last names, as we both had unusual ones. I mentioned to him that there was a Houston deejay named Harrigan, and to my immense surprise he responded, "Yes, is he still there?" I suppose it's only natural that the professors would be that familiar with the media outlets here and in Houston, with Houston being so close we CAN get its radio stations most of the time, but I was still surprised.

At any rate, it's almost like another couple of old friends are gone now. You might remember me saying that being able to listen to all the same stations I listened to back in my College Station days was just like catching up with old friends. And it was, to the point that I was able to tolerate some of the bad music. Perhaps that's what they mean when they talk about "personality-driven" radio stations like KILT. I will admit, though, that the station's playing of the older music made it a lot easier to listen to than its crosstown competitor. But what happens when a "personality-driven" radio station gets rid of its personalities? I guess we'll certainly find out, won't we? At least one person here is saying that the guys sounded tired and lifeless after CBS let go two of their colleagues, Robert B. McEntire and T.J. Callahan. I surely wouldn't have blamed them. They probably went on the air every day after that wondering how much longer they were going to have jobs. No doubt R.B. and T.J. were worried themselves after the company laid off Jim Carola and Pat Hernandez at the end of 2004. Times and circumstances change, I know, but it still sucks for them all.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We're making progress.

I guess you could call this progress, because at least there was nothing said about banning guns in the United States. However, I did get a kick out of the line about reinvigorating drug prevention programs for school-age children. How many of the people using the drugs now are old enough to have gone through those programs when they were in school? I'd wager quite a few, and if that's true, it seems they didn't work so well. What's the definition of doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, again?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I love my wife...

...for so many reasons, not the least of which is her rapier wit. From a text conversation we're having...

"Ah, it is Drug Free Week at school. I asked Bobbie if that meant she could do all the drugs she wanted next week. Then offered her a Jimi Hendrix poster for the door contest. She *said* it was for drug posters.
"...I just find things like this ridiculous. If *this* is drug free week, it means next week *isn't*, thereby implying doobies for all."

She has a point, no?

New Braunfels isn't the only place...

...facing such a problem:

It's always nice to read in the Express-News how folks of all nationalities in San Antonio cherish and protect your city's Hispanic culture and Texas history. The destruction of historical treasures for profit by greedy developers, backed by thoughtless politicians, too often results in a city losing its soul, that uniqueness its founders once nurtured.
San Antonio itself has also had to deal with this sort of thing; only it's from those who would undermine the city's other ethnic heritages in favor of the Hispanic influence. One example that comes immediately to mind is one Sabra was recently telling me about, of author Sandra Cisneros painting her home in the King William Historical District purple, a color forbidden by the San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission. Purple was proscribed by the commission because it was historically inaccurate for the area, being that it was German and had more toned-down colors and architecture. From what I've read, Cisneros and her defenders said that purple was a historically accurate color because Mexicans originally owned the land in the King William district, but their assertions weren't backed up with proof. (Albatross, Sabra or any other SA-area bloggers, feel free to correct me on any of this if it's not right.)

However, I see very few if any protests about San Antonio's German heritage being downplayed. Why is that?

Layers of editorial oversight!

That's what the mainstream media outlets have over bloggers, apparently, except when they don't:

This weekend, protesters of the (health care) bill spat on and hurled racial slurs at members of Congress supporting the bill.
Only that's not the way it happened, see. Or do any of you hear any racial slurs being hurled in the video?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Missing the forest for the trees

Jonathan Gurwitz, in the San Antonio Express-News, on the new Texas history textbook standard:

Not only does the new standard erase Jefferson, it also removes from examination the philosophic tradition of which he was a part, one that produced a history-altering revolution based on God-given individual rights, limited government and the consent of the governed. Those are subjects real conservatives should want all children to learn and understand — today more than ever.

But the conservative charlatans on the State Board of Education blotted out Jefferson because he's a little too secular for their liking. Forget about “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God” and individuals being “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Jefferson's lapse was in laying the foundation for the wall of separation between church and state.

It strikes me that the board really is missing the forest for the trees here with its exclusion of Thomas Jefferson from the new standard. From what I've read about Jefferson, it seems his espousing of the "wall of separation between church and state" has largely been misinterpreted. And it seems that the SBOE is taking out its frustrations at this on Jefferson, which means it's punishing Jefferson for something he didn't have anything to do with. Where's the justice in that? And how does it benefit Texas students? If anyone's going to raise hell about this new standard, this is what they ought to be protesting -- not the lack of inclusion of enough people of a certain race, some of whom only have a tenuous connection to Texas history to begin with.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We should keep this in mind...

...the next time the Mexican government starts agitating for a new gun ban in America...

Texas elected officials are “disingenuous or naive” to believe drug violence is spilling across the border into the United States, Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan said Friday.
Sarukhan said that future violence in Texas was theoretically possible “if the drug-trafficking syndicates decide to use San Antonio as their hub and local law enforcement step up their efforts to shut them down.”
“But that is not happening,” he added.
If the drug violence isn't spilling over into the United States, that would imply the border is much more secure than we have been led to believe. Which puts the lie even more to the whole "U.S.-guns-fueling-Mexican-violence" meme, because it makes no sense to say the traffickers are being kept south of the border but the guns aren't. And isn't San Antonio already used as a hub of sorts? They can't have it both ways. Or at least they shouldn't be able to.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thank you all...

....for the kind words and best wishes. They are all much appreciated. :-)

The ceremony was beautiful, and with no drama, just the way we wanted it to be. We decided early on that we wanted it to be that way, at the park in Columbus where we spent our first days together -- Beason's Park on the Colorado River, just east of town on Highway 90. Everything went just as it should have -- we met the JP there just before 1300. Sabra told me later that if we'd gone down to central casting and asked for someone to play a Texas country preacher, the JP who married us would've been exactly what they'd have given us. We held hands at the edge of the Colorado, as we vowed to love one another forever, I kissed her and we were man and wife. We stopped in Katy on the way back and had lunch at this little barbecue restaurant and got back to Orange about 1730 or so. I changed my relationship status on Facebook and by the time we got back it was flooded with surprised comments, and after I changed it again more of them came. We changed our statuses to engaged when we left for Columbus, and to married when we got back. It was a surprise to everyone, but hey, isn't that part of the fun of eloping?

Yeah, they really said this...

Via David Codrea's Examiner column (and if you're not reading the Examiner guys every day, you should be), we have this outrageous bit from the Toledo Blade:

Twice in just the past few days, seemingly bad guys were shot while allegedly attempting to rob Toledo stores. Although we're glad the robberies were thwarted and thankful no innocents were injured, we're not sure that store owners and employees defending themselves with deadly force is an absolute good.

Being robbed at gunpoint is frightening, and we do not presume to judge, as police would say, the righteousness of either shooting. But it must be remembered that robbery is not a capital crime, and it's only by chance that no one other than the would-be robbers was injured.
it seems to us that when deadly force is used as a first response rather than a last resort, civil society suffers.
Huh. Sure sounds to me as if they're judging the righteousness of those shootings, with that crack about robbery not being a capital crime. It seems to me they're saying those clerks' defending themselves and their property was wrong even though they don't come right out and say it. One gets the idea the Toledo Blade editorialists don't think their readers are smart enough to grasp such nuanced slander. And as for the deadly force being used as a first response -- just which party initiated the confrontation with deadly force here? And how the hell were the clerks on the other side supposed to respond, by putting daisies in the damn gun barrels? Apparently the Toledo Blade thinks so...

Telling it like it is...

TOTWTYTR, in comments here:

Every Republican President has been a better supporter of Israel than any Democrat President. Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush were all staunch supporters. Carter, Clinton, Obama, have all been weak supporters at best. Carter is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia, Clinton was a fanboi of Arafat, and Obama is unrelentingly hostile to Israel while kissing the asses of it's collective enemies.
In spite of it, as he goes on to say, American Jews have scorned Republicans; in fact, American Jews have been one of the most reliable Democrat-leaning voting blocs for a very long time. As has been implied before, it seems that the ADL is much more into looking after the interests of liberal American Jews -- emphasis on liberal -- than anything else, with its support of gun control, abortion and hate-crimes laws. And still they are taken seriously...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not that this was news...

but Roy Bragg doesn't get it any more than Scott Stroud does:

Fueled by ideology and bereft of life's excess baggage, i.e. feelings such as "compassion" and "loyalty," you'll jettison anyone who isn't a True Believer.

John McCain? Another war hero and another longtime Republican, but he wasn't conservative enough in 2008, so he's under the bus.
Pretty funny that he'd bring up John McCain here, since McCain has been throwing conservatives and Republicans under the bus at every opportunity since he became a senator -- even his own running mate in last year's election. He might not have savaged Palin himself, but you know that if he'd had a shred of honor in him, he'd have gone on the warpath to stick up for her as opposed to letting her twist in the wind as his aides slimed her. As for him being a war hero -- yeah, so? John Murtha was a war hero and he was a scumbag, too.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Does she get paid for this?

Alison Bonaguro, that is:

...someone played this new song, "Just Breathe," for me...I did like it. Until I found out that it was A PEARL JAM SONG. Pearl Jam, of the screaming grungy alt-rock fame. Not really my thing as a hardcore country fan. But since my gut reaction to this song was a good one, I think I'd better add it to my one-off playlist and keep it handy in case anyone ever accuses me of having a one-track mind.
and for this?
Well, when I don't hear twin fiddles and a steel guitar, I think I must be listening to just another rock song. And I don't really like it. So when I first saw this Rascal Flatts video for "Unstoppable," with so much guitar and not much else, I was not a fan. But then I remembered, "Oh yeah, I love this song."
One-track mind? One could be forgiven for thinking someone who would write things like that had no mind at all. I think anyone who likes Rascal Flatts has little if any business calling him/herself a hardcore country fan. And I daresay that a one-off playlist of one or two songs each from a few non-country singers or bands isn't even close to an indicator of being open-minded when it comes to other genres of music. Let's see a few albums from those other artists and some intelligent conversation about them. Otherwise you're just a shallow-minded poser. And to show I'm *not* a shallow-minded poser, a few comments about a sampling of my own iTunes...

Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway (2004): Yes, I admit it, I bought this cd and really enjoyed it. I'm not a fan of the whole American Idol concept, and I think those who call Adam Lambert a "rock god" don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. But this was a nice, well-rounded top-40 pie, served up by one of the best voices in pop music these days. I particularly liked the songs that had their main characters refusing to be walked on, such as "Gone" and "Walk Away." But the slower songs that showed their characters' more vulnerable side, such as "Because of You" and "Where Is Your Heart" were enjoyable as well.

Megadeth, "Rust In Peace" (1990): The band started by ex-Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine in 1985 had a string of great thrash metal records from its formation, but it was "Rust in Peace" that many say was the band's artistic peak. I am still working on my Megadeth collection, so I can't honestly make that assessment, but I can say that this album is a thrash metal masterpiece, from beginning to end. The galloping guitar intro to "Holy Wars (The Punishment Due)" gets me going every time, and "Tornado of Souls" has a really infectious groove to it. Mustaine's topics were very similar to James Hetfield and company's -- religious wars ("Holy Wars"), secret government compounds housing aliens ("Hangar 18"), and the brutality of war in general ("Take No Prisoners"). A lot of people love one band and hate the other, but I love them both, and this album is a prime example of why I love Megadeth.

Merle Haggard, "Down Every Road" (1994): If you get one Haggard compilation in your life, this 4-cd boxed set is the one to get. They called Merle the "poet of the common man," and this 100-song collection is the ultimate illustration of every reason for that. Many of Merle's great prison songs are on here ("Sing Me Back Home," "Mama Tried," "Huntsville"), the tales of the common folk of America and the hard times they faced ("If We Make It Through December," "California Cottonfields," "Tulare Dust"), and even Merle's derision of society's intolerance of interracial love ("Go Home," "Irma Jackson.") If you're a hardcore country fan, well, you NEED this in your collection.

I could go on, but you get the point. I'll put my music tastes up against anyone's -- perhaps not my knowledge, but then I'll freely admit that I have a lot left to learn. I should note, though, that my wife made a good point a few weeks back as we were tooling down IH-35 on the north side of San Antonio. She said that it was not necessarily a bad thing to have narrow tastes in music, that if you claimed to like any kind of music you really weren't much of a discriminating music fan. Some might think that has an elitist air to it, but as she said, if you like everything in general, you like nothing in particular. And as I thought about it, I came to see there's nothing wrong with having what people would term "narrow tastes." Some might still think I have them. But I like to think of myself as a hell of a lot more enlightened than someone who wouldn't like a Pearl Jam song because it was supposedly "not country," yet in another blog post sing the praises of Rascal Flatts as a "country" band.

(h/t Country California)

Today we run away...

Check Sabra's blog about 1:30 today. That's all I'm going to say about that. It'll tell you all you need to know... ;-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yeah, that sounds about right to me...

A letter-writer in today's San Antonio Express-News:

The two rights liberals hate and fear most are the right of free speech — unless they're the ones speaking — and the right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court stood up for the citizens for once.
Try as I may, I can't really argue with that. How else to explain all the lefty caterwauling after Heller v. D.C and Citizens United v. FEC? And how else does one explain this statement from John Mellencamp?
“I don’t think people fought and gave their lives so that some guy can sit in his bedroom and be mean. I don’t think that’s what freedom of speech is...Freedom of speech is really about assembly — for us to collectively have an idea. We want to get our point of view out so we can assemble and I can appoint you to be the spokesman. That’s freedom of speech — to be able to collectively speak for a sector of people.
I wonder why the reporter didn't ask him what group appointed him to say that? And what is it with liberals and their collective-right fetish?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

That's what you get...

...when you pick up an angry rattlesnake, you should nigh well EXPECT to get bitten...

"We are shocked and stunned at the Administration's tone and public dressing down of Israel," Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman said in a statement. "We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States."
Suck it, Abe. Your organization supported that bastard Obama over McCain, even if you couldn't do it officially. I'd bet that over 90 percent of the ADL's membership voted for him, despite the fact that McCain was a much better friend of the Israelis than Obama could have even pretended to be. Just like you support things like gun control which make it so much easier for your people to be oppressed and even exterminated. You reap what you sow, dude.

(h/t Firehand)

Still here...

I am not dealing with any blues. In fact, life couldn't be better. Sabra is with me. Stay tuned. ;-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Country. You keep using that term."

"I do not think it means what you think it means."

He did do country songs on idol, Jesus takes the wheel, hope you dance, what hurts the most and I think there’s one more.
Goodness, what can I say to that? "I Hope You Dance" was arguably Lee Ann Womack's most pop-sounding song, to the point that MCA was able to make a top-40 remix of it. I might've given the dude some credit if he'd done, say, "Does My Ring Burn Your Finger" or "I May Hate Myself In the Morning." To paraphrase one of CMW's comments from last year, are we to understand that the closest Danny Gokey can get to traditional country is a poppish detour by a solid traditionalist? And those other two choices pretty much speak for themselves. Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts. Really. I wonder if these people think that if you call a turd a chocolate eclair that automatically makes it one. Hand to God, this was my Facebook status yesterday afternoon as a certain song was playing on Sirius:

"'...Fill the cracks in, with judicial granite....because I don't say it, don't mean I ain't thinkin' it....' Ahhh, Megadeth. You see what Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood have driven me to listen to?"

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

You know what this is?


A decade-old probation report on a sex offender accused of murdering Southern California teenager Chelsea King says a psychiatrist concluded he had "significant predatory traits" toward underage girls.
The report released by a San Diego court on Tuesday was prepared in 2000 for the sentencing of then-20-year-old John Albert Gardner III after he pleaded guilty to committing lewd acts on a 13-year-old neighbor girl. The victim was also punched repeatedly.
is another example of the kind of person Paul Helmke, Sarah Brady, Abby Spangler, et al. seem to have no problem with walking the streets, free to predate at will, as long as they allegedly can't get a gun. Not only that, they would leave us all defenseless against such monsters (see: their protests every time a public or PRIVATE entity makes it easier to carry) if they had their way. You wonder why I think these people are evil? Well, there's yet another answer for you.

Stage vs. studio...

or, Another blog commenter nails it here:

Tim McGraw put on a great "show" by appealing to the crowd but his vocals were terrible, I don't think he hit a single high note all night and certainly didn't sound anything like his album cuts. That's the problem with Nashville country, its mostly smoke and mirrors.

If you want to hear real music then check out some Texas Country.
I remember seeing TM on the Strait tours and having the very same complaint. For the most part he doesn't sound much on stage like he does in the studio. How many other singers are like that I don't know, but I'd bet most of them are Nashville creatures. I've seen several of the Texas-red dirt singers live, among them Cory Morrow, Robert Earl Keen and Cross Canadian Ragweed, and they all sound live exactly like they do on their records. And I don't have any reason to believe that, for another couple of examples, the Robison brothers and Jack Ingram needed any help with their vocals when they recorded this cd at Gruene Hall. I know a lot of people are going to say that the Texas-red dirt folks aren't really good singers, but to the extent they aren't, they more than make up for that with the grit in the lyrical content and the passion with which they sing.

Another commenter a few minutes later said, "I think he may have had a little too much fun at the Oscars the night before....but he sure looked good!!"

In other words, "He didn't put on his best show, but he sure was perty to look at!" That seems to be the modern Nashville music fan's mentality in a nutshell, doesn't it?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Doesn't matter if they take the captions off...

...because the comments here reveal Brady supporters to be bigoted and detached from reality almost as much as the offensive captions did:

Sent them back to 1791!
Armed = Dangerous
Seriously? The guy with the bullet covered gun belt is clearly trying to compensate for being a complete loser in high school.
Armed = Dangerous? Only if you're a criminal. I got a kick out of the comment about "Almost any criminal (being able to) disarm one of these guys in about a half of a second." I am reminded of an increasingly common retort to that: "Well, I'll just take my gun back from him!" Yes, it's tongue in cheek, but the old "the criminal will just take your gun and shoot you with it" was long ago disproven just like all the rest of their arguments. Yet they bitterly cling to every last one of them...

More musical musings...

If Cross Canadian Ragweed is too rock for country, then why the hell is Rascal Flatts considered a "country" band? I guess it just goes to show you that those hacks in Nashville and at mainstream country radio really aren't about incorporating all their diverse influences into country music after all. Just as Gary Allan said, "There's not even really a country genre. You've got just as much pop as country. I was baffled on that Flatts tour…going, 'I just don’t get it.'"

I don't either, Gary. I don't get it either.

(h/t Country California)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Ye shall know them by their covers...

I think I might have spoken on this topic before, but what's another installment, right? Especially if it entails more ragging on a Nashville artist.

I was telling Sabra just last night that you could tell a lot about where an artist is coming from musically by the songs said artist covers live. (You could extend that to the artist's studio albums as well.) Just for a couple of examples, Tim McGraw has covered the Steve Miller Band ("The Joker") and Elton John ("Tiny Dancer"), while George Strait has covered Bob Wills ("Cherokee Maiden," "Take Me Back To Tulsa"), Merle Haggard ("Mama Tried") and Johnny Cash ("Folsom Prison Blues"). Who does Jason Aldean cover?

...he managed a solid take on Bryan Adams' Cuts Like a Knife...
With apologies to the late, great Vern Gosdin, that just about says it all, doesn't it?

Friday, March 05, 2010

What makes her think we're going without?

One Abby Spangler, that is...

And to Starbucks corporate management: How’s it feel to be kissing up to guys carrying guns drinking your coffee? FEEL GOOD? Wouldn’t you rather be kissing up to the women of America? FEEL OUR HEAT at Saturday’s Starbucks protest. All are welcome.
Who says it has to be one or the other? Would that I could tell that brainless twatwaffle to her self-righteous face just how much nookie I have gotten since I lost my virginity, at worst completely independent of my strident advocacy of the right to keep AND BEAR arms. And it's been from better looking people than her, to boot. Let's put it like this: I was a latecomer to it, but I have been doing my damnedest to catch up, and a right-good job of it. And I am sure I am not the only RKBA advocate who's not having to endure a dry spell. Go fuck yourself, Abby Spangler, right in your fucking ear.

Random musical observation for your Friday

Megadeth followed by Testament. Lord, but I do love Sirius.

Let them find someone else.

Read this post from Sabra before you continue here.

Done? All right...

You will note that Citizen Tom said nothing about Bob Marshall's offensive statement about disabled children being God's punishment for abortion. CT's defense of Marshall was little more than "he's a fiscally and socially conservative believer in small government and the big bad Virginny medier hateses them some social cons! Stupid reporter just made him look bad! Don't juuudge heeeim!"

Thing is, though, as Sabra pointed out, the full transcript of Marshall's remarks didn't make him look like anything other than what he was. And I'm betting there are many other fiscally conservative small-government advocates in Virginia who don't think disabled children are punishment from God. So let Virginia voters find one. Maybe they will also get lucky and find one who is a bit more libertarian on social issues, i.e., pro-gay marriage and casino gambling.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Oh, Leonard, so close...

...yet so far away...

Some of us after all, have argued all along that the tea parties were about as “conservative” — insofar as that term has traditionally been understood — as ladies night in a trendy bar. Indeed, some of us made the same point about George W. Bush, the putatively conservative president who nevertheless presided over an expansion of the federal government and of a federal entitlement program (Medicare), a costly war of choice in Iraq founded on a shifting rationale and financial mismanagement that turned surplus into deficit seemingly overnight.
they have yet to figure out that to protest everything is to protest nothing.

Pitts is actually right when he said George W. wasn't all that conservative; many on the right side of the aisle made the same determination over the last few years of his term. But I fail to understand this "to protest everything is to protest nothing" shibboleth. To say that would imply that everything the tea partiers are protesting cancels each other out, and even a casual glance at those protests will clearly show that is not the case. Everything they're protesting goes to the fact that government is expanding and taking more of our money and freedoms. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Pitts cites the New York Times here, as they have the same agenda he does; but as the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. Come to think of it, that phrase could explain most of not all of Pitts' columns.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fundamental rights subject to what, again?

Supreme Court justices, in yesterday's arguments in McDonald v. Chicago:

(Stephen) Breyer said even a basic right such as gun ownership should be balanced by arguments about how restrictions could save lives.
"When it's free speech versus life, we very often decide in favor of life," Breyer said. "Here, every case will be on one side guns, on the other side human life."
Roberts and others opposed such limitations, but the chief justice said that even a fundamental right is "still going to be subject to the political process."

Wow. One wonders what other fundamental rights they would subject to the political process, ostensibly in the name of public safety, and public welfare too. I'm sure that violations of the Fourth Amendment could have gotten quite a few dangerous people off the streets, but I would think the Founding Fathers thought it worth the risk -- better a thousand guilty men go free than one innocent be locked up, as the old saying goes. I guess this sort of thing is what happens when the nanny-state takes over, but it's still quite disheartening to see this mentality espoused by members of the highest court in the land. I know many people decry the fact that judges are elected instead of appointed here in Texas, but is it a good thing when you get a judiciary that says things like "fundamental rights are going to be subject to the political process" and they can't be held accountable via that very process?

I also found what Breyer said to be a bit amusing. One wonders if he includes the lives of the criminals prowling the streets to be worthy of consideration. Based on his rhetoric, I am guessing he does. And then we have Gerald Ford appointee John Paul Stevens "wonder(ing) if a limited Second Amendment right could be applied to the states, so that ownership in the home was protected, as opposed to 'the right to parade around the streets with guns.'" Which more or less renders the Second Amendment meaningless, because if you only have a right to defend yourself in your home, do you really have that right recognized?

And then there was Antonin Scalia, whom you will remember Josh Sugarmann blasting as an "ambassador to the gun industry," speaking about incorporation of the 14A via the privileges and immunities clause being "contrary to 140 years of our jurisprudence." It strikes me that he's putting the stare decisis doctrine at the head of the list of things to be protected here, and while I can understand that, is stare decisis such a good thing when it leads to continued deprivation of rights or leaves the door open for such?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Professional-deceiver-says-what, again?

...or, Yes, Josh Sugarmann really wrote this:

So while we in the United States accept that a Supreme Court Justice who's an "Ambassador" for the gun industry can ethically rule on cases that impact the very industry he represents, maybe in Old Europe, where the WFSA is located, they can still feel the sting of a little thing called shame.

Shame? This from someone who has advocated taking advantage of the public's confusion about automatic vs. semi-automatic rifles to garner support for bans on semiautomatic rifles:
Assault weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons --anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun-- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

That's rich. Apparently richer than Josh's organization, to boot, considering that he's reduced to recycling blog posts from almost two years ago. You'd think by now he'd have seen the writing on the wall and started taking more advantage of his Federal Firearms License. God knows there's a market for the services he can offer.

Like I've said before...

....evil doesn't always come dressed in armbands and jackboots. Sometimes it comes in just a suit and tie, defending things like civilian disarmament and calling them "reasonable, common-sense gun laws." One wonders what Richard Daley would say to the folks mentioned in this story, especially Otis McDonald:

He came to Chicago from Louisiana when he was 17, as part of the Great Migration of blacks. He worked his way up from a janitor to a maintenance engineer, a good job that allowed him and his wife to buy a house on the city's far South Side in 1972, where they raised their family.
In recent years, McDonald, now a grandfather, has watched the neighborhood deteriorate, the quiet nights he once enjoyed replaced by the sound of gunfire, drunken fights and shattering liquor bottles.

How ironic that Daley and his kind claim to stand up for the rights of people like the McDonalds as they deny those people their most basic right of self-protection -- and on top of that, use those people's tax money to pay the salaries of their armed bodyguards. They fancy themselves heroes, but they're really nothing more than common criminals, accessories to tens of thousands of robberies, rapes, home invasions and murders. They'll probably never be held properly accountable for that, but at least the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to enable future would-be victims to defend themselves. Let's hope they do the right thing.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Moral dilemma?

More like warped moral compass:

...Do you really think God is somewhere polishing the barrel of his rifle, smiling down at all of his gun-owning children, while he thinks twice about the rest of us who sense a moral dilemma in owning a device explicitly made for killing?

Moral dilemma? WHAT moral dilemma? I wouldn't look forward to killing anyone and neither would any other gun owner I know, but if it comes down to defending my life and the lives of those I love or putting us at the mercy of some thug who wants our stuff and is willing to kill for it, then I come squarely down on the side of the former. And I see no moral dilemma whatsoever in owning a device designed to facilitate that defense, especially when the lives of mine and Sabra's defenseless children are at stake. It'd suck having to kill someone, but better them than me and mine.
I've heard all the classic lines about guns and the "freedom" to own one: "It's my second amendment right...I have the right to protect myself...If we outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have guns...Guns don't kill people; people kill people..." But I don't care about all the old cliches of gun ownership.

So he apparently doesn't care about people having the right to protect themselves -- or, apparently, the responsibility to protect those who can't protect themselves. Wow. I just don't have the words for that. Evil? You could sure make a case for that. It isn't always goose-stepping in jackboots.

I also thought this:
I understand that many intelligent, well-meaning, devoutly religious people own guns...

was interesting considering earlier in the piece he said this:
But what's creepier: the people who make these idiotic machines (Hello Kitty-themed guns -- ed.) or the people who want to buy them?

So apparently one can be intelligent AND an idiot at the same time? Because calling something "idiotic" implies that only an idiot would want it.

(h/t Joe Huffman)

Monday Morning Music Musings

As they say, there's no accounting for taste:

(Jason) Aldean's encouraging, steady success can be partly attributed to his sound, which he describes as "kind of like Guns N' Roses meets Hank Jr. And George Strait's hangin' around at the party, too." (Aldean's own iPod currently hold tunes from Alabama, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Paramore, Jay-Z and Rihanna.)
It's a fitting phrase, and much of Aldean's catalog (Amarillo Sky, Johnny Cash, She's Country) is a fresh alternative to the pretty-boy sap and vague contemporary-Christian ideals that fill most country radio playlists. It's made him a bright spot in a slumping industry, and one of the few new-ish male country acts to keep pace with Swift, Underwood and Lady Antebellum.
Fresh alternative? If you say so, Sparky. What I hear is little more than the other side of the worthless Nashville coin -- call it pretty-boy posturing, with "Johnny Cash" and "She's Country" being perfect examples of that. "Amarillo Sky" was comparatively decent, but anyone with more than just a rudimentary knowledge of American music knows that theme has been covered before.

Speaking of pretty-boy sap, though, as I was telling Sabra the other night, I don't know how the Grand Ole Opry hasn't disappeared in a ball of fire yet considering some of the "country" "artists" who have appeared on its stage. Jimmy Wayne? Man, what a joke. And not a very funny one.