Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Shall we play a game?"

(Let me say before I go any further that Clint McCance is a reprehensible creature and if there was any justice in the world he'd be wandering the countryside in sackcloth and ashes for the rest of his days. I'd like for that to go without saying, but I don't want there to be any misconceptions about what I think. Now, with that said...)

"How about a nice game of word substitution?"

It had previously been possible for gun control proponents to wrap their cause in dry euphemism. They framed themselves as defenders of constitutional principle — "states' rights." They argued that requiring businesses to serve Americans exercising their right to bear arms violated private property rights.
Why WOULD Leonard Pitts think that was so much different from this?

It had previously been possible for segregationists to wrap their cause in dry euphemism. They framed themselves as defenders of constitutional principle — "states' rights." They argued that requiring businesses to serve African-Americans violated private property rights.
 Is there anything really different? I know that being black isn't a choice, but one could say the same about wanting the best self-defense tools at one's disposal. One could very well say that not wanting to carry a gun is choosing to suppress your human instinct, no?

Somehow it does not surprise me...

...that Jan Jarboe Russell was an acolyte of Molly Ivins:

The columnist Molly Ivins had it right: Perry is in fact Governor Good Hair, and that's what Texans want. We want the caricature who tells us how exceptional we Texans are — not the realist who tells us that just because the Texas economy has fared better than most states, thanks largely to the high price of oil, the fact that, according to CNBC, we rank 30th in the U.S. in educating our workforce should wake us from our stupor of false superiority.
No doubt Russell thinks merely throwing more money at the schools and "not teaching to the TAKS test" is going to fix everything, just like Bill White does. Never mind, of course, that the TAKS test is a test of basic skills the students should be learning anyway. And never mind that Texas school districts have been shown to prefer to hire education majors (who don't know basic grammar and who took Creative Writing but don't have favorite authors because they don't like to read) as teachers as opposed to those who go through the alternate teacher certification. And never mind that the districts make such decisions on the local level, as opposed to following some sort of edict from the governor. Oh, no, it's all that EVIL BASTERD RICK PERRYS FAULT ZOMG!!!111one!!! (And yes, that misspelling and lack of apostrophe was completely intentional.) Why doesn't JJR just go ahead and blame George W. Bush while she's at it?

Not just the books that are cheap...

...but the music, too.

Last Sunday after we went to the Longhorn Cafe, my lovely wife and I took a ride up to Half Price Books on Loop 410 to see what they had. What fun THAT was. I could've spent next month's rent in there, and not just on the books; they had a pretty good selection of used music, on cd AND vinyl! Would that I had a record player; I could've gotten out of there with this on vinyl for two bucks. (Not the remaster, of course, but the original.) I did manage to get out of there with a copy of Rush's Moving Pictures cd for $5.98, where the cheapest I could've gotten it new was $7.99 at Best Buy. I've heard most of the songs on it and really like them; the only ones I haven't heard yet are "Witch Hunt" and "The Camera Eye." And I'm sure you know by now which song I bought that cd for, though I do like the ones I've heard...

Oh, and did you know Steve Earle wrote a book? I got that one too.


(this post brought to you by Tam)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More views from the ivory tower...

...inhabited by David Brooks:

...Obama needs to redefine his identity. Bill Clinton gave himself a New Democrat label. Obama has never categorized himself so clearly. This ambiguity was useful in 2008 when people could project whatever they wanted onto him. But it has been harmful since.. Obama has never categorized himself so clearly. This ambiguity was useful in 2008 when people could project whatever they wanted onto him. But it has been harmful since.
...
Over the next two years, Obama will have to show that he is a traditionalist on social matters and a center-left pragmatist on political ones. Culturally, he will have to demonstrate that even though he comes from an unusual background, he is a fervent believer in the old-fashioned bourgeois virtues: order, self-discipline, punctuality and personal responsibility.
I fail to see how Barack Obama is going to redefine his identity without completely reversing himself and in the process lose what little credibility he has left with the American people (as determined by the projected Republican landslide next week). And I don't see where any sort of ambiguity comes in here either. It ought to be clear to anyone with even a single working brain cell what Barack Obama is by now: a big-government ideologue who does things the Chicago Way. And how that whole projection thing worked I still don't know, because his voting record should have put the lie to  the contention that Obama was a "blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." You know, I didn't think much of Bill Clinton, but I'd certainly give him his due as a politician with razor-sharp instincts. Barack Obama? Not so much. It's going to be impossible for him to make the public believe he is "a fervent believer" in things like personal responsibility when he isn't. Of course, he still has the coastal media in his pocket, and I'm sure they'll be pulling out all the stops to salvage what's left of Obama's presidency. It'll be interesting to see how things turn out.

It IS consolation...

...albeit just a little bit, to know that if the food supply and distribution network ever got seriously disrupted, Josh Briggs of the Covington News and those like him would be among the first to starve. Maybe in some alternate universe I'd worry about deer hunting humans, but I'd prefer to live in the real world where humans are at the top of the food chain. "Taking a life should be done only out of necessity." Uh-huh. Well, it's sorta necessary for us to eat if we want to survive.

Yes, we eat meat. Chicken. Beef. Fish. Most of it is raised. Some of it (fish) is hunted. But let's stick to sport hunting for the sake of this argument.
"No, Sparky, you don't get to define the rules of the game. Dead animal is dead animal. If you're going to question how we get one kind of meat, you have to question how we get them ALL. If you question hunting, you have to question slaughterhouses, fish farms and everything else. But you like meat so you're not gonna do that, are you? Chickenshit."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Is there any such thing...

...as a low-powered rifle?

A man already facing theft charges was captured Thursday as a suspect in a series of fatal central Missouri shootings that had prompted police to warn anyone associated with him to flee the area.
...
Police said the killings were not random but have declined to say why the victims may have been targeted. Bruchsaler has said the gunman used a high-powered rifle and a handgun, and that authorities believed he acted alone.
Sabra and I heard this story discussed on the radio the other day, and the newscaster reported that authorities were telling people to stay in their homes and not go anywhere. I mused aloud, "That's in Missouri; don't they have guns there?"

Of course, if the killer was using a rifle I could understand that, especially if he WAS taking out people from the distances of which most hunting rifles are capable of being used. And THAT, of course, leads to the question: Is a bolt-action rifle any less of a danger in capable hands than a semiautomatic? After the hunters throw the semiauto rifle owners under the bus, how long WOULD it take for situations just like this to start the anti clamoring for a "sniper weapon ban"? Not long, I bet.

One down, and how many to go?

My email to Ken Hoffman re: this column:


Hi Ken, longtime reader here. You might want to rethink one of your arguments for including Neil Diamond in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

"ABBA, Louis Armstrong, Chet Atkins, Leonard Cohen, Nat King Cole, Woody Guthrie, the Ink Spots and Brenda Lee are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they have nothing to do with rock ' n' roll."

This is true, but you know what? It is precisely for that reason many people (including myself) think the RRHOF has gotten to be a complete joke, to the point that it would almost be a compliment NOT to be inducted into the Hall. Consider this list of who has not been inducted, from the comments to a Chron.com story from July 2009:

Not Inducted (meeting all criteria): Deep Purple, Bad Company, Cheap Trick, Supertramp, ELP, The Hollies, Badfinger, Blind Faith, The Moody Blues, Squeeze, Peter Frampton, Humble Pie, Little Feat, Kansas, ELO, The Scorpions, Sweet, Boston, The Cars, Nazareth. REO Speedwagon, Sammy Hagar, Steve Winwood, Joan Armatrading, Thin Lizzy, Yes & Judas Priest.

And then, of course, there's the glaring example of Rush, which has been a huge influence on several subgenres of rock and which has made some of the most thought-provoking and timeless music of ANY genre. "Red Barchetta" all by itself should have been enough to get them in. But you know why they're not? Because Jann Wenner doesn't like progressive rock.

So...yeah. The RRHOF is a joke. If Diamond doesn't get in you shouldn't consider it that big of an insult.

His response:

The Hollies are in.
Hokay, so I guess my whole point was negated with that.

/sarcasm

Thursday, October 28, 2010

As an old friend said once upon a time...

...an unloaded gun isn't anything but an expensive club, and you have to replenish the ammunition supply from time to time. (Come on, you do practice regularly, don't you? I am shamefully out of it...) And the prices are better if you buy a lot at one time, so check Sportsman's Guide out if you'd like some bulk ammo. A bonus to shopping online is that you avoid idiocy such as what Ambulance Driver encountered recently at one big-box store. (I'm all for upselling, but when the customer knows exactly what he wants, you should go find it for him, eh?)

Another fun meme!

I stole this from Facebook, since I am a bit short on blogfodder today...
1) Turn on your music player on your computer.

(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.

(3) Write down the first 15 songs that come up--song title and artist--NO editing/cheating, please.

(4) Choose some people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I'm betting that your musical selection is entertaining, or at least amusing.

To do this, go to "NOTES" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, enter your 15 Shuffle Songs, Tag people (under the post) then click Publish.

1. Grand Funk Railroad, "Some Kind of Wonderful"
2. Alan Jackson, "A Little Bluer Than That"
3. Brian Burns and Larry Joe Taylor, "Third Coast"
4. Van Halen, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love"
5. Waylon Jennings, "Rainy Day Woman"
6. Iron Maiden, "Flash of the Blade"
7. Queensryche, "Take Hold of the Flame" (recorded live in LaCrosse, WI, 1991)
8. Merle Haggard, "Mama Tried"
9. Megadeth, "Rust in Peace (Polaris)"
10. Rush, "Red Barchetta"
11. Queensryche, "Another Rainy Night"
12. Evanescence, "Lithium"
13. Pantera, "Cowboys From Hell"
14. Lefty Frizzell, "Long Black Veil"
15. Steve Earle, "Hillbilly Highway"

That's a pretty good snapshot of my tastes these days. Anyone who wants to play, go ahead...

And once again...

...the words of Mike Vanderboegh come to mind:

You may believe weather, lifestyle and attitude are what set San Antonio apart from other large American cities, but a popular New York-based news blog has a different idea.
This city, the Daily Beast says, is dumb.
"Being despised by the despicable is as good as being admired by the admirable."

Seriously, a publication that employs airheads like Chris Buckley and Meghan McCain is calling San Antonio dumb? I'd take that as a compliment.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"You suck AND your fans are stupid!"

I don't think I could cast such a wide net when it comes Sugarland fans, but it's hard not to when I get comments like this:

let me guess, you love Taylor Swift?
Yeah, I think Taylor Swift is the best thing ever. You blithering idiot.

Who are they looking out for, again?

I saw this at Sipsey Street Irregulars a couple of days ago, and today on the front page of the San Antonio Express-News:

ATF's oversight limited in face of gun lobby
...
Here, researchers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives make phone calls and pore over handwritten records from across the country to track down gun owners. In contrast with such state-of-the-art, 21st-century crime-fighting techniques as DNA matching and digital fingerprint analysis, gun tracing is an antiquated, laborious process done mostly by hand. The government is prohibited from putting gun ownership records into an easily accessible format, such as a searchable computer database.

For decades, the National Rifle Association has lobbied successfully to block all attempts at such computerization, arguing against any national registry of firearm ownership.
...
The ATF is supposed to regulate the gun industry, but many within the bureau say it is the industry that dominates the agency. Unlike the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service or the U.S. Marshals, the ATF must contend with a powerful lobby that watches its every move and fights its attempts to gain resources and regulatory power.
Yep, because God forbid gun owners have an organization that looks out for their interests and defends them against those who would crack down further on a right that so many people have fought and died to protect. Everyone knooows, after all, that the press is and has been a stalwart defender of the Second Amendment from the time there was a press AND a Second Amendment, correct?

You know why we have the "problem" the Post laments here, right? Because we insist on doing things within the warped, dysfunctional paradigm that says "certain people are fine in free society, but they just shouldn't be trusted with guns." Ultimately all of this goes back to several things -- Prohibition, the powers that be in America being afraid of armed black people (see: Gun Control Act Of 1968), and the War On Some Drugs.

Prohibition and the War On Some Drugs, I think, pretty much explain themselves: the roots of the ATF as an agency go back to Prohibition, because, of course, somebody had to enforce the Volstead Act. And of course the War On Drugs has led to the black market, turf wars over which fuel a rather large portion of the violence in the inner cities.

You might be asking where the ATF comes into this; well, you know somebody's gotta enforce all those unconstitutional laws, right? And of course they're hamstrung by the NRA, as they damned well should be. It's really not any secret that a frighteningly large chunk of the people we elect to Congress want to at least make it more difficult to get guns and own them, if not outright TAKE them from us.

And I'm sure you're asking, "what about American politicians' fear of armed black people?" Well, as it happens, that was a major reason for the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968. If you don't believe it, consider this:
The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed not to control guns to but control blacks, and inasmuch as a majority of Congress did not want to do the former but were ashamed to show that their goal was the latter, the result was that they did neither. Indeed, this law, the first gun-control law passed by Congress in thirty years, was one of the grand jokes of our time. [ Robert Sherrill, The Saturday Night Special , (New York, Charterhouse: 1973), 280-91.]
 And Sherrill was one of the people who SUPPORTED GCA '68. You know it has to be bad when the law's supporters admits its racist origins.

But you won't hear the Washington Post talking about any of that. Oh no. They just squawk about how "a government agency tasked with the enforcement of laws can't do its job because of the eeeevil gun lobby! Who CARES about the fact that those laws are unconstitutional and that criminal justice in this country works within a fatally flawed framework?"

And to think that once upon a time I thought the press was supposed to be a watchdog over the government, not a lapdog that does its bidding...

Some kinds of bigotry are okay, I guess.

That's the way I read this column from Bob Richter, at least. Since he didn't write a column after Garry Trudeau slammed gun owners and breastfeeding moms in Doonesbury earlier this year, I am left to believe that he thinks Trudeau's nasty stereotypes about them are A-OK, as was Alex's referring to guns as "phallic toys." Aren't double standards beautiful?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm sure you know where I'm going to go with this...

...don't you?

Feris Jones' make-my-day moment came Saturday evening at a Brooklyn beauty salon.

The New York Police Department officer was off duty and getting her hair done when an armed bandit came in and announced a holdup. Police say she coolly drew her own pistol and exchanged fire.

The result was cinematic: Jones managed to both shoot the suspect's gun out of his hand and the handle off the front door, briefly blocking his escape.
Now, you and I both know what the antis will say: "Feris Jones was an 'Only One'! No wonder she was able to make that shot!" However...
Jones, 50, a Barbados native and divorced mother of an adult child, had never fired a gun in the line of duty during her two-decade police career. Officials described her as a respected member of the force, most recently assigned to the crime lab.
Never fired a gun in the line of duty in almost 20 years. I'd be willing to bet Jones went to the range with her gun maybe once a year to re-qualify. None of that is to denigrate Jones and her heroism, but I don't understand why any regular joe couldn't have done the same thing -- well, aside from the fact that regular joes can't carry guns in New York. And that's a damn shame too, because you know if she hadn't been there the folks in that salon would have been shit out of luck.

And a .44 revolver? So much for the semiautomatic pistol being the bane of the inner cities...

Why Sugarland sucks, in Kristian Bush's own words.

Right here:

Add a dash of Blondie, Simple Minds, the Clash and Johnny Cash -- this is what you're going to come up with.
As C.M. Wilcox said, "Cash stopped being a useful reference around the time EVERYONE started claiming him as an influence. But I’ll bite. Where, pray tell, can he be heard in the music of Sugarland?"

More than that, though, is it just me or is that a rather...unappetizing mishmash of so-called influences? There are going to be some influences that when they come together are going to be the audio equivalent of steak dipped in chocolate pudding -- that is, the way those influences come together isn't going to sound that good. Longtime readers, you know what I like; you know it tends to be pretty far apart on the musical spectrum, to the point that if I was going to be a country singer, only part of what I listen to would influence that. For example, it would be really weird for me to claim Queensryche and Iron Maiden as influences on me as an artist alongside Merle Haggard and George Strait; if they really were that big of an influence, well, my music probably wouldn't sound too country, would it? Probably wouldn't even sound all that GOOD, for that matter, which would imply that I didn't know my limitations as an artist. I would have reviewers saying the same thing about me as at least one reviewer says about Sugarland's new album:
They decided to be its Starship instead, rejecting everything that made them distinctive and relevant and embracing a musical style that they aren’t even able to do competently, let alone do well.
And you know what? I wouldn't want that. Not that the critics always know what they're talking about, but what if my fans thought the same thing? It should be noted that the above review was from a blog, as opposed to a newspaper with its Authorized Critic -- which arguably gives it more credibility because said reviewer is a fan of the genre. And lest you think that negative opinion was confined to just the reviewer, consider these words from another fan in the comments:

Maybe Jenifer and Kristian will actually take the hint and realize that their desire to be “innovative” and act as if their albums are the next great masterpeices (sic) of history is not working. I used to respect them, but their egos need to be taken down a notch or two.
And I'm glad I stumbled upon that, because it strikes me as exactly what bugs me so much about the band -- at least if Kristian Bush's previous musings are any indication of how he and lead singer Jennifer Nettles feel about what they do.

Of course, that's not to say that I thought what they were doing before was really that good, but hey, blog fodder...

A couple of questions.

Regarding the subject of this story:

In 1981, Morales and another person burglarized a home in San Antonio and were arrested. While out on bond, he and another person sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman, reportedly pulling her hair and choking her to prevent her from screaming. San Antonio police arrested him in connection with the assault.

Then in 1989, Morales sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman with whom he and another person had been drinking in a vehicle, police said. He also kicked the woman in the head, injuring her, according to officials, and was subsequently arrested on one count of aggravated sexual assault and later incarcerated.
Why was Jose Morales not in jail? Better yet, why does our government not think those 18- and 20-year-olds deserve to own the one tool that could have equalized the force disparity between them and Mr. Morales? Better that he have been put six feet under than have the taxpayers subsidize his continued existence, don't you think?

Monday, October 25, 2010

More tone-deaf rhetoric...

...from Dear Leader:

Obama warned that the prospects of bipartisan cooperation would be slim if Republicans ran Congress. He said it would be nearly impossible for him to advance some important issues, like clean energy and education, or to achieve many of his foreign policy goals.
I thought the point of having an opposing party in Congress was precisely to thwart the president's agenda or at least to put the brakes on it. Was I wrong on that? And what of the president's infamous "I won the election" remark to Republicans just before last year's inauguration? Bipartisan cooperation. Somehow I think to him that means that he gets a few RINOs to go along with him and the other Democrats in Congress, don't you?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This one's for you, Dave...

After the kids left to go with their dad this morning, my wife and I went looking for a place to eat in the Brooks City Base area on the south side. We came up on the Longhorn Cafe via Google Maps. After a little more Googling, we found their website and found out it was a burgers'n'fries joint.

"Check Dave's blog," Sabra said.

So I did, and came up on this. Dave had this to say about the one at I-10 and Leon Springs:

I am told that some of the other Longhorn Cafe locations are actually better in quality....Can't make it to the What-a-Burger near your house? Don't hesitate to give Longhorn Cafe & Grille a shot.

 Sabra's comment there: "Those onion rings look a lot like the ones I used to get from the Pig Stand back in the day. Might make the trip just for them." I reminded her of that comment and the Longhorn Cafe it was. Sadly I did not get any pictures, though I don't think the patty was frozen. I can tell you the double-meat cheeseburger was very good, though, definitely worth another trip. And the onion rings turned out to be pretty good too. Sabra liked her chicken strip basket as well, though I was too busy scarfing down my burger to ask her for a bite of one of those strips. ;-) So Dave or any other San Antonian reading this, the Longhorn Cafe on Southeast Military Drive is definitely worth the trip...

Overheard in the City-Base Walmart...

...as my wife holds up a notebook with a picture of Justin Bieber on the front:

"This is what a middle-aged lesbian haircut looks like."

Remember, folks...

...you don't need guns because the police will protect you and they will always get there in plenty of time!

"We're about to do the most evil thing this town has ever seen."
Murder defendant Steven Spader is said to have uttered those words as he and three other teens allegedly drove to a house they had targeted in this town of 2,000 to burglarize it and kill its occupants for the thrill of it.
...

Prosecutors say Spader, then 17, and Christopher Gribble, then 19, hacked mother and daughter with a machete and a knife, killing Kimberly and severely wounding Jaimie. The girl survived by feigning death as her assailants continued to slash and kick her, she told police.
Maybe they should ban iPods and machetes. Or hacking people to death for the thrill of it. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Ban assault rifles NOW!

For the Wing Stop patrons!

John Anthony Lopez, of the 2300 block of Lazy Hollow, was charged with murder in Friday afternoon's shotgun shooting of 24-year-old Travone Jairai Ford.
...

Lopez then told Ford he "had something" for him and went out to the parking lot to his mother's maroon Buick and retrieved a 12-gauge shotgun from the trunk, according to court records.
Ford, meanwhile, had followed Lopez out to the car, the two got into a physical confrontation. As Ford drove away in the parking lot, Lopez fired a shot at the back of the car, piercing the trunk and striking Ford in the back, records show.
Hey, wait a minute. That wasn't an "assault rifle." That was something more or less identical to Grandpa's duck gun that the antis say they'll let us keep (after onerous licensing & registration requirements, of course). It's almost if said guns can be just as deadly as those eeeeevil assault rifles. Yeah, I know, perish the thought, right?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Hey Lizzie, well a man's got to have a dream..."

Thanks, AlanDP, for reminding me of this song.



My favorite Tanya Tucker song, "Lizzie and the Rainman" was a No. 1 hit in 1975 and according to Wikipedia was her highest-charting pop hit, reaching No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. Pop hit or not, that was still a great record. Tanya Tucker had a great voice for a teenager. Such a shame the only time that song ever gets played anymore is on the weekend night classic country shows...

The leopard's spots never changed, apparently...

What's this?

Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels resigned Friday amid tales of raunchy behavior as the company looked to shift attention back to its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy protection. Hours later, the company filed its latest reorganization plan in court.
...
Michaels' exit apparently was accelerated by an unflattering portrait drawn of his management style in a front-page story published by The New York Times two weeks ago. The story, based on interviews with more than 20 current and former Tribune Co. employees, likened Michaels to the ringleader of a college fraternity house. The newspaper asserted that Michaels helped cultivate a culture filled with sexual innuendo, profanity, poker parties and other bawdy behavior.
Tribune Co.'s board of directors issued statements supporting Michaels in that article, but he quickly found himself under fire again last week when a top lieutenant sent an internal memo with an Internet link featuring a racy video that included a bare-breasted woman pouring booze down her chest. The executive, Lee Abrams, resigned as Tribune Co.'s chief innovation officer.
 They hired a shock jock to run a company and he ran it like he ran his show? Color me shocked.

Try to avoid whiplash...

...as you read this:

Political consultant Mark Sanders is working on a book that makes the case that Republicans must elect an Hispanic president.

Its working title is "Wake-Up Call," and it's an offshoot of Sanders' view that Republicans have lost their way -- that at a time when Republicans should be relentlessly focused on government spending, they instead have embraced the Tea Party's "disgruntled mob."

He exempts GOP Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst from this criticism, saying they've stayed focused on the Obama administration.

Sanders typically represents Republicans, although he worked for Democrat Tony Sanchez and independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn when they tried to unseat Perry.
Sanders criticizes Republicans, but exempts Perry, but he worked with people trying to unseat Perry, and he characterizes the tea party as a disgruntled mob when they're focused on the very thing he says the Republicans should focus on. Got all that?

Shades of John Kerry... (UPDATED)

...here:

Gubernatorial candidate Bill White kicked off a campaign tour of Texas colleges with singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen on Friday at a honky-tonk near the University of North Texas campus.
...

White said one of Keen's most popular songs, "The Road Goes on Forever," reminded him that "the toll roads don't need to go on forever and Rick Perry's party is about to be over."
I'm sure I wasn't the only one who cringed at that. It really did sound like something John Kerry might have said on the campaign trail back in 2004, but maybe that's just me thinking of Kerry talking about how he was fascinated by hip-hop. (Would that some intrepid reporter asked White which version of the song he thought was better, or what his other favorite REK tunes were.) I sure hated to find Robert Earl Keen doing something like this. I don't mean to imply Robert Earl Keen is a moron here, but once again I must defer to the great Vincent Furnier, better known as Alice Cooper:

"If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."

UPDATE! From my wife, in the comments:

"Given ol' Robert Earl's personal narrative of drunken laziness, much as I love his music I'm not sure I'd want him to be the guy promoting me."

And once again, I didn't even think about that. But then, again, given how painful it was to read about Bill White trying to be all hip and shit, it doesn't surprise me that his campaign would be so tone-deaf as to think Keen the singer-songwriter would make a good campaign booster.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Speak of the devil...

...Kathleen Parker says what? Maureen Dowd has a what?

Now, we hear, female candidates aren't witches after all. Too rhymey with the B-word in these enlightened times. They're "Mean Girls," says professional provocateuress Maureen Dowd in The New York Times — "grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray-paint your locker and, just for good measure, spread rumors that you were pregnant.
"These women - Jan, Meg, Carly, Sharron, Linda, Michele, Queen Bee Sarah and sweet wannabe Christine - have co-opted and ratcheted up the disgust. ... Whether they're mistreating the help or belittling the president's manhood, making snide comments about a rival's hair or ripping an opponent for spending money on a men's fashion show, the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold. They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate."
Well. She does have a point, though she misses the bull's-eye.
It strikes me that Maureen Dowd's "Mean Girls" are actually MORE akin to those who had the nasty rumors spread about them than those who are spreading the rumors. If there are any "mean girls" here, it'd be Kathleen Parker, Maureen Dowd and THEIR ilk. Of course it doesn't surprise me that Kathleen Parker would close ranks with Dowd -- that's just what media types do, especially when their political outlooks are that close.

I would like to note a couple of things, though.

First up, this: "They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate." It appears that neither Dowd nor Parker know the actual meaning of the word "nihilism." From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths
2
a : a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility
Do Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, et al. want to destroy the social organization in the United States? They never struck me as wanting to do that; in fact, all they seem to want to do is preserve the social organization by returning to and adhering to objective and moral truths -- which, of course, makes them pretty much the opposite of nihilists.


Second, "the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold"? Somehow I am not surprised that Maureen Dowd's idea of "Cool" is the President of the fucking United States pissing and moaning about being treated like a dog and using stupid metaphors involving Slurpees and cars stuck in ditches. She never was the brightest crayon in the box, you know.

Wow, he actually DOES have a functioning brain cell.

John Mellencamp, that is:

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has found an admirer in John Mellencamp.
...Mellencamp says people get the wrong idea about her intellect "just because she says things and winks."
Wow. It says nothing good about people like Kathleen Parker and David Brooks that they continue to deride Sarah Palin as just a "stupid inbred snowbilly" when raving lefties like John Mellencamp are willing to give her credit for what she's doing. I guess it just goes to show how stupid living in those ivory towers can make a person.

Stephen Broden is RACI....

...oh, wait:

Republican congressional candidate Stephen Broden stunned his party Thursday, saying he would not rule out violent overthrow of the government if elections did not produce a change in leadership.
If you'll click the name you'll see a picture of the good pastor, and he's not exactly a bitter middle-aged white guy. Can't wait to see how long it takes the professional race-baiters to get themselves in high dudgeon over this.

Bat licensing and registration NOW!

Do it for the chiiiildren!

San Antonio police were searching for at least five men after a teen visiting his grandmother was stabbed and severely beaten with a baseball bat, police said Thursday.
How many more children must be preyed upon before we institute those common-sense measures?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I thought soldiers were smarter...

...than this:

Army Spec. William Gilbert, a frequent customer at Guns Galore, testified that he was in the store when Hasan first visited. When he pressed Hasan on why he was interested in the lightweight, easy-to-shoot semiautomatic pistol, he didn't get a straight answer.

“He said he wanted the most technologically advanced weapon on the market and the one with the highest magazine capacity,” Gilbert recalled.
Most technologically advanced weapon on the market. So he bought what is more or less a hot-rod .22. What a dumbass. Really, is the Glock 19 or Beretta M9 THAT much more "technologically advanced" than, say, a Remington-Rand 1911 from World War II? Don't they all use exactly the same basic principles? Firing pin hitting primer that ignites gunpowder which produces hot gases that propel small lead-and-copper projectile down barrel at a high rate of speed?

But remember, guys: Only the police and military should have guns because they know so much more about them than us mere civilians!

This brings up an interesting question...

here:

Romans 13:1-3 says, “Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God.
So what of the governments that tell their subjects to, say, forcibly herd people of a certain religion on trains, haul them to armed camps and kill them by the millions? Or, as Bill Whittle described those in charge in the Soviet Union:
The New Soviet man was to be different: communal humanity Mark II with all the latest improvements. 50 million died, shot in the back of the head in basements and forests, or starved in frozen camps and coal mines, followed by collapse, ecological ruin and endless misery. 
Are those really actions of God-appointed governments? As far as I remember the Soviets were a bunch of atheists. Even if they weren't, though, what happened to "thou shalt not kill"? I'd love to get a theologian's perspective on this,

They should already be interested...

in that:

The raft of “English-only” and enforcement measures that municipalities across the U.S. are trying to enact seem motivated by the fear that “they” are taking “us” over. Both Germany and the U.S. ask that new citizens be able to speak the language, and pass a test, but neither country has nationwide standards or programs for welcoming newcomers who may or may not be interested in being more than legal permanent residents. This should change.
Seriously, if you were going to move to a country, wouldn't part of that be wanting to assimilate into the local culture? I would think that those who passed those language laws thought the newcomers would be welcome to becoming more than legal permanent residents, whatever this means. I honestly thought American culture was so ubiquitous that something like what the writer mentions would be superfluous. And what to do with those who come to America and want to turn it into, say, Great Britain? Just something to think about...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yeah, this really what the Keller thing boils down to...

...and it's a low-down dirty shame that seems to be forgotten:

The facts are that Michael Wayne Richard raped and murdered Marguerite Dixon.
He was given a fair trial and 10 years' worth of appeals. It is undisputed that his latest appeal would have changed nothing, even if his lawyers had filed it in a timely manner.
The real injustice in this case is that the criminal justice system in Texas has been unfairly ridiculed at the hands of a few zealous death penalty opponents who either intentionally or through negligence failed to file a timely appeal.
Funny, in all the media's wailing and gnashing of teeth, no one ever talked about what Richard actually did or how many times he'd been able to appeal his sentence...versus how many times Marguerite Dixon got to appeal Richard's actions.

Yeah, because it's worked so well for guns...

...we can also try it with driving!

What will it take or who will be killed before our city/state government takes DUI seriously?...
...On the second arrest, confiscate the vehicle and store it until a rehabilitation period is completed. If there is no rehab, sell the vehicle and permanently cancel driving privileges. 
Yep, because everyone knows that, for example, convicted felons and other prohibited persons NEVER get guns and use then unlawfully, do they?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Translation: "Don't let 'em see what the officers did!"

"They'll never get a fair trial that way!"

A federal judge has upheld an order preventing the release of surveillance video showing the beating of a teenaged burglary suspect, ruling its release would prevent a fair trial of four Houston police officers.
Special. Call me cynical, but I can't help but think said judge means "fair trial" means the officers get off. It'll be interesting to see just what's on that video. It should be noted that even after the Rodney King video was released -- and we all remember just how bad that one was -- the officers caught on tape beating the hell out of Mr. King STILL got off and all it took was a change of venue...

That's a rabid lefty for you...

I think this pretty much speaks for itself, from the comment section to the LTE in today's Chronicle:

jongregory wrote: - other Repugnant T-Baggers.
---------------
Curious. You seem to be defending the idea of homosexuals serving in the military, yet you use a juvenile homosexual reference as an attempt to insult somebody you don't agree with, much like a young child pointing a finger and shouting, "you're gay" at somebody he is having an argument with.
Now that I think about it, that is quite ironic. Evidence of latent bigotry, maybe? Could be.

Nothin' to say?

Sure seems that way to me, too.

Challenger Francisco Canseco clarified the issues raised by the Express-News in July, and echoed by Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in a July 31 e-mail to supporters. The fact Rodriguez continues to pound on them merely shows he has absolutely nothing else to say.
Rodriguez and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been running some extremely nasty ads in San Antonio as of late against Canseco, hammering him on said issues. I Googled Canseco to see if I could find those clarifications and found this. And I really hope that IS the end of it, because if it really was as bad as Rodriguez and the DCCC said it was, then I would seriously have to question the judgment of Canseco and the Republican Party.

It doesn't surprise me the least little bit, however, that Democrats would misrepresent the facts on the FairTax. I saw the ad hammering Canseco on his support for that -- its tagline was something to the effect of "a 23 percent tax hike for you but NO tax hike for Francisco Canseco!" -- but of course the ad failed to mention the tax would be offset by prebates (thank you, Sabra) -- they'd get a check at the first of the month -- for food and other essentials. Like I said at Merv's place, Rodriguez (and the Democrats) must be getting really scared.

"...So goes the legend of Bonnie and Clyde..."

...for this century, anyway:

The Houston couple charged with killing two Yellow Cab drivers during robberies two days apart are a "would-be Bonnie and Clyde who thought they could run the streets of this city," a homicide investigator said Monday.
...
Police got their first break in the case when they found Blackshear's fingerprints inside Nwokenaka's burned cab, court records show. Investigators then found a report accusing Blackshear of stealing a Cobra 380 automatic handgun and learned through an autopsy that Nwokenaka had been shot with the same type of gun, according to court documents.
Why, there oughta be a law! Maybe a law against stealing guns and a law against killing people.

I think she got it backwards.

And for the life of me, I don't understand why.

“Most institutions of higher learning are not prepared to serve tomorrow’s college-going population,” said Tessa Martinez Pollack, OLLU’s president. “We possess considerable expertise to share, but we don’t have all the answers.”
I read the whole story and I understand the challenges that Latino/Hispanic students face, but I can't help but think this is a fool's errand. The challenges detailed here are more cultural than anything else, and addressing those challenges is something that Latinos and Hispanics are going to have to do on their own. The schools need to focus their skills on their particular areas of expertise, and that includes getting ALL students -- not just those of any certain race -- better prepared academically to succeed in their pursuits of higher education. Just yesterday I was talking with Sabra about certain education-related matters, and she was telling me a familiar story. San Antonio College has one of the best math programs in the country; if you can get through math classes at SAC, you can get through them anywhere. However, the school has to do what she described as a "shameful" amount of remediation before the students are ready to take those advanced math courses. It strikes me that the colleges would be much better served by putting pressure on lower-level institutions, administrators and educators to do their part to make it easier on the students than to address things that would be better addressed by the people themselves.

Monday, October 18, 2010

So who do they think the cops work for, again?

I'm sure you might have guessed my reaction to this:

Stung by the rough treatment of his father during a 1987 traffic stop by another California department, (Diop) Kamau turned to a second career recording police across the country in compromising — often abusive — encounters with the public.

...Starting with the grainy images first broadcast by Kamau and other pioneer citizen watchdogs — notably the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, shot by a nearby resident— the public surveillance of cops has exploded to potentially include anyone with a cellphone.

The videos are so ubiquitous that analysts and police debate whether they are serving the public interest — or undermining public trust in law enforcement and even putting officers' lives in jeopardy.

Why do serving the public interest and undermining the public trust have to be mutually exclusive? To the extent that the videos undermine public trust, it's only because of certain officers' misbehavior that's caught on those videos a la the Rodney King incident.  Said trust is only further undermined, of course, by the cops circling the wagons:
In some communities, police are fighting back by enforcing laws that limit such recordings. Other departments are seeking new training for officers to prepare for the ever-present surveillance on the street.
...

"The proliferation of cheap video equipment is presenting a whole new dynamic for law enforcement," says Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest police union. "It has had a chilling effect on some officers who are now afraid to act for fear of retribution by video. This has become a serious safety issue. I'm afraid something terrible will happen."
Chilling effect? Why? If the officer does the right thing it'll all come out in the wash. Maybe police academies ought to start further emphasizing to recruits not to do anything they wouldn't want to be caught doing on video. What is Mr. Pasco so afraid of? The discovery of more officers like Jon Burge and Anthony Abbate -- thugs in uniform for whom he's personally covered up? Sorry, but that's the only reason I can think of that any law enforcement officers would opposed being videotaped while they're doing their jobs. You'd think they had something to hide with the stink about this some of them are raising.

Wow, he really IS a Democrat...

Bill White, that is:

"We're only one of a handful of states where there is no majority ethnic group," White said. "But we're the ones whose governor has a book on sale co-authored with Newt Gingrich."
I'd love to know what one of those statements has to do with the other. Was White ham-handedly trying to play the race card here? It certainly looks like it. Of all the things I've heard Newt Gingrich called over the last 15 years, a racist wasn't one of them. Bill White must be really desperate.

That's what the peephole is for, dude

And the gun:

Police are looking for a man who knocked on the front door of a Conroe resident’s home early Sunday, and when the resident peeked through a curtain, fired a shot through the window, killing him.
I'd be willing to bet the victim didn't even have one, though. No good can come of looking out your window at midnight at someone knocking on it. It'd be interesting to see if the victim and the killer knew each other.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A value clash?

The hell you say!

Chancellor Angela Merkel's declaration that Germany's attempts to build a multicultural society had "utterly failed" is feeding a growing debate over how to deal with the millions of foreigners who call the country home.
...
Merkel told a meeting of young members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union that while immigrants are welcome in Germany, they must learn the language and accept the country's cultural norms — sounding a note heard increasingly across Europe as it battles an economic slump and worries about homegrown terrorism.
What's that? You get a bunch of people whose values don't line up and their attempts to build a cohesive functioning society utterly fail? Huh, who could've seen that coming? Apparently there are a lot of people who DON'T see it coming even here in the United States, as they also say nothing about immigrants to the U.S. assimilating into American culture, learning English, etc. On that note, I am reminded of the old quote from Houston deejay John Walton:

"If you don't have borders and a common language, you don't have a country."

And the same goes for common values, too. Why must we continue to make the same mistakes over and over? Does the term balkanization mean anything to anyone?

Citizens of other countries...

...can be narrow-minded and judgmental too, apparently:

People I know who have lived abroad tell me that citizens in other countries are mystified by our gun culture here.
Translation: "Citizens Subjects of other countries are just as nasty, bigoted and prone to nasty stereotyping as anti-gunners here in America. They don't give a shit about the 49,999,967 gun owners that didn't kill anyone yesterday any more than we do."

I mean, really? Citizens in other countries judge the American gun culture by people like the Virginia Tech killer? Well, yeah, they do, No less than Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that after a killing spree in 1996, "We showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country," as if people like you and me enabled things like that.

And Joan Peterson puts those people forth as credible spokespersons? How vile. (And BL, yeah, I know...but BLOG fodder, dude. ;-) )

(h/t Weer'd)

Mirror images?

Really, Kathleen? I don't see the Republicans reduced to talking about things like witchcraft and masturbation as the Democrats have been in Delaware. I swear, with every column you write the more I wonder why anyone calls you a conservative...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Let's play 20 Moot Questions!

...or, Did you figure out KNOW what the right answers were to the questions posed here? (PDF ALERT!) Just a sampling:

Darling, I know that you always have been faithful and always will be faithful, but just hypothetically, if you were going to have an affair, which of my friends would it be with?
...
...well, of course none of us here are prejudiced, but if we were, if you were bigoted, which ethnic group would you be prejudiced against, just hypothetically?

...How much money would you accept to betray your best friend, to spread confidential information about him or her?
I knew exactly where he was going. And I'll bet you did too. Men readers, have you stopped beating your wives? ;-)

(h/t Borepatch)

Last night...

...as Sabra and I were talking...

"I had the satellite radio on Willie's Place this evening. Happy children. 'Oooh, Patsy Cline!' Ooh, Mom, "Roly Poly!"' I win at parenting."

"Yeah. Kitty-Eater's kids had their mother's taste in music."

"You poor thing. I don't know how you made it through."

"Masturbation. Lots and lots of masturbation."

Hey, it was the truth...

I think "where does it end?"...

...is a legitimate question to ask New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and state Gov. David Paterson re: their proposal to take sugary drinks off the list of things you can buy with food stamps. I know a lot of people are probably nodding their heads and pumping their fists, going, "Hell yeah!" at things like what Froma Harrop says in her latest column, but if you tell people they can only buy staples like vegetables, rice and milk, who's to stop government bureaucrats down the road from coming to the homes of food stamp recipients and making sure they prepare those staples for consumption according to government standards? I mean, sure, squash and okra are quite healthy, but not so much if you roll them in batter and fry them. (I do so love me some fried squash.) And beyond that, who's to stop some rabid lefty governor or bureaucrat or state legislature from saying food stamp recipients can't buy, for example, red meat? I realize a lot of folks look down on food stamp recipients, but that doesn't change the fact that the same rationale Bloomberg and Paterson are using here could be used against all of us if we're not careful. Just something to think about...

Friday, October 15, 2010

I don't care what's in it...

...chorizo is still good stuff, especially when paired with eggs and put on tortillas. ;-)

This is some funny stuff...

...right here:

To those of us who believe in that old-fashioned notion that the news media ought to be a fair arbiter of the facts, it's troubling enough to note that News Corp., the parent of Fox, has just donated $1 million each to the Republican Governors Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a major underwriter of GOP campaigns.
Fair arbiter of the facts? So how does he explain people like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann? I know they're on lesser-watched channels, but the point still stands. They're so incredibly biased that they might as well BE politicians. My money says the only reason those two don't run for some sort of political office (as Democrats, of course) is that they're much better-compensated where they are. I'm sure they'd tell you the same thing Rush Limbaugh told one of his TV show viewers when said viewer asked if Rush would run for president: "I can't afford the pay cut." Smith retains a bit of credibility for including Eliot Spitzer here, but that's not saying much because he's still way off base.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I had the same reaction....

...that Sabra did upon hearing KJ97 was named the CMA Major Market Station of the Year. She got this look on her face like she was about to cry. They were talking about it on WOAI earlier this morning as I was taking the older two girls to school. The morning show hosts had one of the station's deejays on and they made the observation that it wasn't the music that got the station the award, and I thought that was sadly all too appropriate, considering they play the same Nashville crap that everyone else does.

As Sabra said, though, at least it wasn't Y100...

Stronger knife laws NOW!

For the children, of course. I'm guessing, as Weer'd might say, people like Joan Peterson don't really give a shit about them, considering they weren't killed with those eeeevil GUNS...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting more San Antonian by the day, I am...

My wife, just now, as I fix my portion of the tacos-and-beans dinner she prepared:

"You're going all ethnic. I heard you in there going after the Mexican Coke."

Me: "HAHAHAHA! Yes, YES I AM!"

Not only that, I am drinking it out of a Bill Miller Texas Tea Bucket. ;-)

I'm sure there are those who would beg to differ...

...with this:

...for some of you to defend machine guns is beyond the pale.
 Really, Joan Peterson? How about we put you in the middle of a certain South Texas reservoir with, say, a slingshot and see if you still say that. You'd be yelling for the might of the entire United States Army, Navy and Marine Corps to come and rescue your sorry ass and you're a goddamned liar if you say otherwise.

(h/t Weer'd)

On some occasions...

...I just don't have the words:

But there's an altogether different kind of bullying, which most people just don't encounter.
...It's spending the better part of a decade married to an emotionally abusive asshole and not even realizing it for the first five years 'cause it's still a hell of a lot better than the way anyone treated you in the past.
That last sentence was the capper to it all. I won't lie. By the time I got to it I had a big lump in my throat with tears streaming down my face, as I whispered to Sabra, "I'm sorry you had to go through that."

Don't misunderstand -- I knew what she'd dealt with in her past, long before she wrote about it. Something about seeing her recount it all just really got me, though. What can I say to that, but that I love her and can't understand for the life of me why anyone would treat her so badly. I remember back before Sabra and I were married, I had gone to lunch with certain members of my family, among them my dear, sweet now-77-year-old grandmother.

We were talking about Sabra, and the subject of Sabra's ex came up. My mother, I think it was, asked me if I ever talked to him. I shook my head emphatically. "Nuh-uh."

My grandmother piped up from the back seat. "Aw, you never know. He might be a nice guy."

I demurred on that point, saying something to the effect of "I dunno about that"; but inside I was thinking, "Nice guy? Noooot if you knew what I know about him and what he did to her." Lord help me always to be a better husband, father and man than that...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shorter Helen Thomas...

"Goddamn jewsmedia! I'm not an anti-Semite!"

"I hit the third rail. You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive," Thomas told Ohio station WMRN-AM in a sometimes emotional 35-minute interview that aired Tuesday. It was recorded a week earlier by WMRN reporter Scott Spears at Thomas' Washington, D.C., condominium.
...

"They distorted my remarks, which they obviously have to do for their own propaganda purposes, otherwise people might wonder why they continue to take Palestinian land," said Thomas, a daughter of Lebanese immigrants who over the years did little to hide her pro-Arab views. There was no explanation of whom "they" referred to.
There really didn't need to be any explanation because by now it should be quite obvious. I thought it was beautiful, though, that the AP included that last sentence there. Left unspoken was, "...but from her ramblings it was quite obvious she thought it was the 'Jooooo-controlled media.'"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Generation contribution overvaluation?

This quote from Kevin J. Coyne at Country Universe was chock-full of WIN:

I’m sorry, but today’s current crop of country stars are collectively less talented, less compelling, less interesting, and quite frankly, less capable with a pen, guitar, and microphone than even the B-list stars of the eighties and nineties....

...please look to Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, and just about all of the other big eighties and nineties stars for how to produce good country music.  For (Hilary) Scott to think that her generation is actually improving the genre, she must either have remarkably bad taste in music, or a nineties record collection that runs no deeper than Linda Davis.
It strikes me that so many country artists these days think WAY too much of their generation and its contributions to the genre. To this you can add Rascal Flatts frontman Gary Levox saying "we've helped other genres look at country music like country’s pretty cool now," and of course then there’s Eric Church’s constant poseury as some sort of modern-day Outlaw. I really don't give a damn if Church DOES hang out with Jamey Johnson; he still isn't in the same league, let alone the same ballpark. And who could forget Brad Paisley's remarks about how "progressive" country music is these days? I will say that Brad does redeem himself now and then, though, as does Jamey Johnson*, who I'm sure would be catching his own share of flak if it were someone else writing this rant and not I.

On another note, like Kevin I don't understand this fixation with writing one's own material. What's wrong with recognizing your limitations as an artist? I don't see the fact that George Strait wrote so little of his own music as making him less of an artist. And while I think Alan Jackson's probably the best singer-songwriter to come down the pike (as far as mainstream country goes) in at least the last 25 years, some of his best material has come from the pens of other writers -- "Gone Country," "Everything I Love" and "Monday Morning Church" immediately come to mind. Some might even say these days that he could stand to use more material from outside writers. Some folks are better at writing than others, and better that they recognize that than muddle their way through something that turns out not so well...

*(To be honest, I'm totally willing to let Jamey Johnson off the hook, because he at least walks the walk -- or, more appropriately, records the records. Yeah, yeah, I know, "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk." So sue me. ;-))

More evidence of the Express-News' plot...

...to make liberals look ignorant and/or stupid:

Talk radio has become hate radio, spewing vituperation and ugliness. Local hate is handled by KTSA; national talk by WOAI. They should change their call letters to HATE.
What about talk show hosts? No blacks, women, Hispanics, moderates or liberals need apply...
 No blacks, women, etc.? So Larry Elder and Walter Williams aren't black and Laura Ingraham isn't a woman? I'm sure there are those who would make that argument. At any rate, though, if you read the rest of this piece you will see Bob Richmond offer little if anything more to back up his opinion than "because I said so." That is quite unbecoming of an English professor, if you ask me. Were I in any way involved with Palo Alto College I would be quite embarrassed.

As for liberal talk radio, I'm sure most of you remember the bucket o' FAIL that was Air America, no? Liberal talkers have been failures for so long and it's gotten so completely under their skin that they have resorted to doing things like advocating the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine because they can't make it on their own merits. And I'm sure Mr. Richmond probably thinks racial hatred is a big part of conservative talk radio; it's worth asking, though -- if that is the case -- how folks like Rush Limbaugh and Kevin Wall make it in San Antonio, considering Latinos make up some 60-plus percent of the city's population.

Way to go, Express-News editorial page editor. Please keep exposing modern liberalism as the intellectually bankrupt philosophy it is.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What this guy said.

Not much I can say to this, other than "Bravo. Well done, sir."

Sure, don't criminalize Westboro's speech...

...but how about the families of the fallen soldiers whose funerals the Phelps clan descend upon be allowed to engage in some speech of their own with their fists and whatever blunt objects they could find? I know that's exactly what those cretins want -- for someone to break, haul off and inflict physical violence on them so they can sue -- but somehow I doubt there'd be a jury in the country who'd vote to punish any of those soldiers' family members. Of course, maybe if those goat-felchers got picked off one by one with some guy with a deer rifle from about 400 yards, that'd work too...

They must have gotten this from The Onion.

That's the only conclusion I can draw, anyway...

Despite highly publicized crackdowns, cellular phones continue to be smuggled to prison inmates in large numbers in Texas and nationwide, according to a published report.
Those phones have been implicated in a number of crimes inside the prisons and outside, including homicides, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Contraband getting into prisons, which are supposed to be the most secured facilities of any sort? Heavens to Mergatroid! Maybe they should declare a War On Cell Phones. Yeah, that'll do the trick...

In all seriousness, it also deserves to be asked why we should have to rely on the police to protect us when the criminals can still manage to get their dirty work done inside the prisons.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Mote, beam, etc.

...or, Tell it to Dan Rather, Leonard:

You can't be a journalist if credibity (sic) matters less than ideology
...
Journalism is trying to get the story and get it right.
...and "fake but accurate" apparently meets that standard, or at least in 2004 it would have had it not been for Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs...you know, a BLOG. I also seem to recall bloggers making a big stink about Eason Jordan's completely unsubstantiated remarks about the military allegedly targeting journalists in Iraq. To be fair Jordan was also condemned by a few MSM outlets, but I do wonder if he would have been condemned had the bloggers not said anything about that. Somehow I doubt it. (And then, of course, there was AP reporter Rose French's hatchet job on the .50 caliber rifle.) Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, indeed...

What media bias?

...or, Teenager?

A U.S. Border Patrol agent tipped off that a pickup truck was carrying a suspicious payload shot and killed the teenage driver, who was apparently unarmed, after a brief struggle, authorities said Friday.

Juan Mendez, an 18-year-old from Eagle Pass, died at Fort Duncan Medical Center shortly after the Tuesday shooting, Maverick County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ruben Cano said.
18 years old. So Mr. Mendez was technically an adult. When I read the summary of this story on mySA.com I thought he might have been perhaps 14 or 15 years old. Why couldn't they just have said the agent "shot and killed the driver" and been done with it?

On another note, if you read further down in the story you'll see that the truck was carrying 325 pounds of marijuana. Chalk up another victory in the War On Some Drugs, comrades!

Friday, October 08, 2010

It's way beyond the point...

...of cooperation working now, I think:

An area along the Texas-Mexican border is, at least to some extent, a no-go zone. Not the Afghan-Pakistan border, the Texas-Mexican border.

That's unacceptable. American and Mexican officials need to increase cooperative efforts — such as the Merida Initiative and the Border Governors Conference — to make the border safe and secure for citizens of both nations.
I've said it before on several occasions, but you know what would give those cartel thugs pause? Return fire, and Mexicans' (and American liberals) delicate sensibilities be damned. (Personally, I'd go for at least an M-16, and a belt-fed M-60 in case things REALLY went rodeo.) Unfortunately, of course, thanks to the Hughes Amendment, the only folks with the machine guns are gonna be the police and the military. And they're not going to be patrolling with said automatic weaponry. So this sort of thing is going to continue to happen. Count on it.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I sure can't wait to see...

...how the pragmatists in the gun blogosphere try to rationalize this. An NRA endorsement of Dan Lungren? I realize that Harry Reid has his flaws, but hell, even HE is more of a supporter of the RKBA than Dan Lungren. It strikes me that Lungren's in quite an elite club -- that which comprises legislators and public officials endorsed by both the Bradys AND the NRA...

Provocative =/= racist.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people are whining about the ad featured here and how racist it allegedly is, as opposed to discussing the points the ad brought up. (Why no discussion, for example, of those like my wife's high school friend, who came to this country LEGALLY, followed the rules along with their parents and whose green cards got denied?) But it's surely disheartening nonetheless. What race predominantly ARE people who illegally enter the southern border of the United States? Would it have made any sense to use people of, say, Vietnamese descent to portray them? It might have been more media-savvy to use Vietnamese or Korean individuals to portray the college students, and it WAS a serious blunder to use that still shot of the Mexicans staring at the camera -- but even notwithstanding that I don't think there's any way the folks who made that ad could have won.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Yeah, because that's worked SO well...

right?

The only way to fight these guys - is with a bullet to the head.  Harsh penalties for drug dealers.  Harsh penalties for habitual drug users.  Celebrities doing drugs should have their SAG cards revoked and they should be Blacklisted.  A change of attitude needs to happen.  “Drugs are not that bad”  needs to be changed to “Drugs are unacceptable.”
Yes indeed. The philosophy cannot be wrong! Do it again, only HARDER! Does that remind you of anyone else's actions in other areas?

Robed drug warrior hoisted with his own petard!

Oh man, this is beautiful:

A 67-year-old federal judge's wild relationship with a stripper started with a lap dance, prosecutors said, and quickly escalated into escapades of prostitution and gun-toting drug deals for cocaine and prescription pills.
...
(Jack T.) Camp, a Vietnam War veteran who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, built a reputation for handing out stiff sentences, including for drug convictions. He could face years behind bars on drug and gun charges. The judge's attorney has said he intends to plead not guilty.
...
He was a true Southern gentleman who was definitely tough with defenders — even more so in drug cases," said (defense attorney Page) Pate.
I am still a bit conflicted, though. Part of me thinks that if we're going to excuse drug cases in the name of calling a cease-fire in the War On Some Drugs we should be applying the same standards to Judge Camp as we would all the people he put behind bars. But there's another part of me, not so principled, that thinks that the book should be thrown at him and that he should be made an example of, pour encourager les autres, especially since he sat in judgment of others for doing exactly what he was caught doing. A better case might be made for this considering he is a public official entrusted with enforcing the laws of the land. Thoughts?

Yes, they really did this...

...and I know no one would believe it without photographic evidence, so here you go:


Lays into Obamacare? And they didn't put quotes around it? Never thought I'd see that. I don't know if it really means anything -- I'd guess it doesn't -- but I did think it was noteworthy.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

More lefty projection...

here:

Men. handguns. whiskey. What could possibly go wrong with that???
Oh, I don't know, but it couldn't be any worse than what this guy did. Maybe they should ban knives too...yeah, that's the ticket.

Yeah, that'll do the trick.

More American tax money to train and arm the drug cartels, that is (emphasis mine -- ed.)...

The United States and Mexico are now cooperating on issues of security, law enforcement and justice at a level unimaginable only a few years ago, a point GutiƩrrez made to the journalists in Dallas. But for the good of both nations, that cooperation needs to be expanded, beginning with the United States fully funding its commitments under the Merida Initiative.
I'd love to know just how much of that money ends up making it into the hands of the cartels via cartel infiltration of the police and military, and police and military defections to the cartels. It's not necessarily hard currency straight from U.S. coffers to the cartels, but it might as well be. I don't know what the solution here would be, but it strikes me that rooting out the corruption in the government would be a good start -- better than just shunting more money to the Mexican government as it is now.

Don't take things at face value.

Please, any of you in Chet Edwards' district: When he mentions his endorsement by the NRA, REMEMBER this. As Tamara said a couple of years ago, "We're winning on the gun front. What about all the other fronts?"

Monday, October 04, 2010

"No pressure, no pressure at all..."

"...just conform or we'll make sure you meet a bloody and painful death."

And how about that kid in the second video? He sure seems like the kind to go strapping bombs on his chest, doesn't he? Someone made the point at TSM that it might well have been an actor, but I don't doubt for a second that there are young ones out there who are just as rabid. Like TotC said, the vehemence in his voice left me with a visceral reaction to administer rapid lead poisoning right between his eyes. No wonder the left wants to take the guns from everyone.

Overkill?

Sorry, but no...

...Marqus Hill, has been charged in the death of 18-year-old Irving Santana early on a Sunday morning. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, police said the shooter had found the youth and two friends breaking into cars.

To some, this will seem like a law-abiding citizen doing society a favor. Except that death isn't the penalty for car theft, if that is what it was, and shooting someone 13 times with a .40 caliber handgun is overkill that goes beyond defending property.
You might already know my feelings on this -- but again, I really don't think there's any crime against a person that doesn't justify deadly force. If said deadly force being exhibited serves as a warning to those who would go breaking into people's cars or committing other petty crimes I can't see that as being anything but good. We don't have a time machine and we can't see into the future, but it'd have been interesting to see what kinds of crimes Mr. Santana would have committed down the road had he lived. Speaking of that, why is there all this rigmarole about Marqus Hill's actions but none about Irving Santana's previous criminal record? Was he looking for his Bible before his Sunday devotional? Somehow I very seriously doubt breaking into people's cars was his first offense.

And as for Mr. Hill...once again, if he's so dangerous, why is he not locked up?

(h/t David Codrea)

Stupidity should hurt.

As you might have guessed, I don't have much sympathy for this woman:

The U.S. Supreme Court appears interested in deciding whether a San Antonio woman intentionally infringed on music copyrights when she downloaded songs from the Internet when she was 16.
...

(Whitney) Harper, who was on the cheerleading squad at Alamo Heights High School, said in an interview and in court documents that she believed that the music she accessed on the file-sharing sites, which made it available to other users, was like listening to free music on the radio because it carried no copyright warnings.
Copyright warnings or no, I find this quite difficult to believe, with the issue in the news and the public's consciousness the way it was back then. I suppose there might be people out there who didn't know, but pretty much everyone I talked with about this knew the mechanics of file-sharing software like Napster, Kazaa, LimeWire, et al. They knew exactly how it worked. And Ms. Harper was younger, yes, but with the ubiquity of technology even in 2004 I don't believe for a second that she didn't have a clue as to exactly how file-sharing worked. Hell, it's pretty much explained right there in the name. At least she has to pay even if she manages to hoodwink the court into believing that she didn't know what she was doing. So at least there's that.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

What's next...

...an expose on the sun rising in the east and setting in the west?

But in a pattern that's playing out in San Antonio and other major cities in Texas, residents in low-income neighborhoods aren't taking advantage of the concealed-carry law as often as residents living in wealthier, more conservative areas.
I really don't understand how this is news, considering the fees one has to pay to the state and to private instructors to get a Texas CHL. Even former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who wrote the law, practically admits here that more lower-income citizens would get permits if the fees are so high.

Translation: 'Go along to get along, already!'

At least, that's how I read this:

Tapping into anger as the tea party movement has done, a coalition of progressive and civil rights groups marched by the thousands Saturday on the Lincoln Memorial and pledged to support Democrats struggling to keep power on Capitol Hill.
...
Rose Dixon, a health care worker from Pawleys Island, S.C., said she hopes the rally sends a message to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

"Stop the obstructionism. Work together," Dixon said....
Somehow I don't think that translates to working together to reduce the size of the government and its tax burden on the American people, do you?

Well, that was their first mistake.

...or, wait, what? Jetskis?

Berthoud, Colo., native Tiffany Hartley, 29, told The Denver Post she and her husband, David, were sightseeing Thursday on private personal watercraft on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake when pirates in three speedboats started chasing them.
Good grief. It wasn't exactly a secret down here what was happening on Falcon Lake with the pirates. How could these people have been so stupid and/or crazy as to be going out on the water in jetskis, of all things? I guess I missed that in the previous stories. At any rate, personally I wouldn't be venturing out that far in anything smaller than a jon boat. And even that would be risky because of the flat bottom design that works better in calmer waters. At least you'd be able to haul more armament in it, though...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Who is this guy, now?

The subject of this story, that is...

CNN fired news anchor Rick Sanchez on Friday, a day after he called Jon Stewart a bigot in a radio show interview where he also questioned whether Jews should be considered a minority.
...
"He's upset that someone of my ilk is almost at his level," Sanchez said during a satellite radio interview with Pete Dominick.
Really? Almost at Jon Stewart's level? I knew years ago who Jon Stewart was. Before yesterday I had never heard of Rick Sanchez. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Well, I don't know about that...

A commenter to this story:

It would really be fun to set these clowns up. If the State of Texas would issue thug tags on our licenses we could get this situation cleaned up without the government's help
I don't know that it'd be such a good idea to go hunting drug smugglers, but loading your boat down with as much armament as you could carry in case you ran into them like this guy did wouldn't be such a bad idea, Mexican laws be damned. With the smugglers being so brazen as to fire into United States territory, I think Americans boating on border waters ought to get a pass for that. Of course I'm sure if those who do that got caught by the Mexican authorities they'd suffer the same fate as former Vidor gun dealer Tom Bean, who was stripped of his Second Amendment rights for forgetting to take a box of ammunition out of the back of his truck when he crossed the Mexican border one night. And their supposed "representatives" in Washington wouldn't do a damn thing to help them either.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Why will this be any different...

...than any other incident of its kind?

BROWNSVILLE — Gunmen presumed to be Mexican drug gangsters opened fire Wednesday on a couple riding personal watercraft on the binational Falcon Lake reservoir, striking the husband in the head and chasing his frantic wife into U.S. waters.
...
“These guys are getting very aggressive,” he said. “It's a significant incident, but it has international ramifications if the shots continued into our side. This was just a couple of people having a good time.”
International ramifications? You mean like when Arizona rancher Rob Krentz was shot by Mexican drug smugglers on his own fucking property? Yeah, that was an international incident too, but no one ever said word one or did anything of any significance to even try to ensure that nothing like that would ever happen again. So why will this be any different?