Friday, October 31, 2008

Say, that's a good question...


District Attorney Daniel F. Conley confesses to taking a bong hit in his college days. DA Gerry Leone admits he “tried it once” as a collegian. DA Michael O’keefe won’t out himself beyond a typical lawyer-like circumlocution that he “did a lot of things that were unwise, unhealthy and illegal” as a youth.
So where do these pot puffing prosecutors stand on decriminalization?
Here’s a hint: all quotes in this report come from a Boston Globe article titled “DAs fight bid to ease penalty for marijuana.”
So how does this work? If marijuana is so bad why didn’t these former potheads end up as heroin hacks and crack slackers today, punching out grandma for her bingo money so they can shoot up and zone out? Marijuana, back in their college days, was known by hardcore drug warriors as a “gateway drug.” One whiff of Mary Jane and you were trapped in the ever escalating spiral of addiction, running from drug to ever harder drug in the all consuming pursuit of staying high.
But these former drug abusers (there is no “user” in the Drug War Dictionary, only “abuser”) actually graduated college. Went to law school. Passed their bar exams. Worked their way up to district attorneys.
So why is pot okay for them but not for you?

Good question. I'd love to see some enterprising journalist in Boston ask them that question, and why lowering the penalty for possession of marijuana is such a bad thing. I am the furthest thing from a stoner, but there are a hell of a lot worse things than certain currently illegal drugs being legalized, as Milton Friedman so astutely pointed out to Bush drug czar William Bennett. Speaking of Mr. Bennett, it should be noted that he also championed the semiautomatic rifle ban later signed into law by President Clinton — no doubt, he argued for the ban as a necessary measure to quell the violence in the inner city fueled by the illegal drug trade. Which brings me to another argument.
I know I am far from the first one to point this out, but it can't be said enough — As long as you have a War On Drugs, you will have a War On Guns to go with it. (Interestingly enough, even the socialists on the NYT editorial board have this simple truth figured out, as you'll see if you click on a certain link brought up by the above Google search.) Because as long as these drugs are illegal, there will be a black market for them, with ionospheric prices and stratospheric profits. And what comes with black markets? Turf wars. And what are these turf wars fought with? Guns. In fact, as long as you have a War On Drugs, it is going to be used as cover for, or folded into, the War On Guns. (Incidentally, heroin from Marseilles was a problem? Marseilles, as in the city in southern France, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea? Wow, outlawing heroin in the United States — you know, the country clear across the damn Atlantic Ocean — worked quite well, didn't it?) It really is that simple. No one will get any argument from me that drugs are bad. Hell, just look at the effects of alcohol and tobacco on Americans — drugs that, I might add, are completely legal. One would think we learned our lesson with Prohibition, but apparently not.
But sooner or later, if there's any hope for liberty, we're going to have to re-think the whole War On Some Drugs thing. No doubt there would be those who would take said drugs and pay with their lives, just as many do with alcohol and tobacco, but at some point one must ask, as Patrick Henry did once upon a time, " Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?"
(h/t David Codrea, who observes, "Funny, how they get a power fix, and yesterday's liberal-minded become today's blue-nosed puritan fascists." Indeed...)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Blood will run in the streets..."

...if Barack Grand Funk Railroad Obama loses next week, according to author and 9/11 Truther Erica Jong...

Basically, Jong says her fear that Obama might lose the election has developed into an "obsession. A paralyzing terror. An anxious fever that keeps you awake at night." She also says that her friends Jane Fonda and Naomi Wolf are extremely worried that Obama will be sabotaged by Republican dirty tricks, and that if an Obama loss indeed comes to pass, the result will be a second American Civil War.

Sweet bleedin' Barnabus, these people are pathetic. But it's funny in a way, too. Civil war. Which side does she think has all the guns, or at least the vast majority of them?

A Tale of a Lost Sale

So I was waiting at the counter at the gun store to pay for my PTR-91 this morning, and as I was waiting an older guy came to the counter. He had come to pick up a pistol but due to extenuating circumstances, i.e. Coast Guard offshore duty, he had to fill out another Form 4473. The lady at the counter went and ran him through the system, and it came back that he was delayed. He got frustrated, said "the hell with it," got his money back and walked out. I think it'd be interesting to find out how many gun sales have been lost because of someone getting frustrated with those background checks because of getting delayed for whatever reason. And I'd love to know the reasons for the NICS check coming back telling the FFL to delay the transfer. No doubt 99 percent of the time it's bureaucratic error. Yeah, I know, it's for teh childrenses, if it saves just one life, blah, blah, blah...but what if he'd been a she, perhaps a battered wife whose psychotic husband was coming back to kill her? Something to think about, I think...

I'm going shopping...

for an Evil Black this space.
UPDATE: SCORE! I hit CDNN this morning in search of the PTR-91. They had a few in stock, so one thing led to another and it was off to my friendly local gun store, and she's on her way to me now. They told me it'd be about a week. I bought three extra 20-rd. magazines for her too. .308, 18" barrel..yes, sir. ;-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On the electoral college...

Somebody obviously missed the clue train...

...the vast majority of voting-age Americans can't cast a meaningful vote for their candidate of choice. Yes, we can vote absentee, early, or at the polls. Yes, we can vote a straight party ticket or for an individual politician. But, what we can't do is make that vote count. We might as well write in "none of the above" or leave a hanging chad. Why? Look no further than the Electoral College.
Unfortunately, because we now use the Electoral College to elect our country's and arguably the world's most powerful leader, we have abdicated our right to have our vote count. And what is voting without the right to have that vote impact an election?
In 48 states, including Texas, the Electoral College rules result in all of that state's electoral votes going to the winner. If, for example, Obama gets 45 percent of the Texas votes he still gets 0 percent of the Texas electoral votes. If Obama wins by 1 vote in Ohio he still gets all of Ohio's electoral votes. In fact, it is mathematically possible for a candidate to get 49 percent of the popular vote and 100 percent of the electoral votes.

All of this would seem to me to be a rather blatant appeal to emotion, or ignorance, even. The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing. They knew that with safeguards like the Senate and the Electoral College, whoever had the most votes wouldn't be able (or perhaps, be less able) to screw over the other side. If you wonder what pure democracy can lead to, I'd say Illinois and its gun laws make for a pretty good example of that because as it turns out most of the downstate Illinois residents are outvoted by Chicago and its environs. (According to Wikipedia, some 66 percent of Illinois residents live in metro Chicago.) Morton Grove and Wilmette, to name two suburbs of Chicago, had handgun bans just like Chicago does. If the Electoral College was abolished we'd see this sort of thing writ large across the fruited plain — not necessarly these types of draconian gun laws (although I'd bet they'd be one of the first things to roll down the pike), but the smaller, more rural states would be vastly outvoted by the more urbanized ones — in fact, one could say the folks in the large cities would hold complete power over the rest of us — and no doubt they'd suffer as a result of that. Or, as it's been defined in this space, what the author is essentially proposing is a "tyranny of the majority" whose doctrine says that if 51 percent of the people vote to strip the other 49 percent of their God-given rights then that's just too bad for them. As one commenter said, if the author of this drivel has this level of understanding of the Constitution he should just go back to his day job.
But hey, here's some hope! From the letters to the editor in today's Chron...
Once again the fabric of the country is under fire from someone who should know better. Mr. Pozmantier either doesn't understand the basis of this country's Constitution or prefers to try to disguise it as something it is not.
The filtering of the people's choice through the Electoral College is a belief in the American republic. Doing away with it would be totally against the spirit of the Constitution.
If we were to eliminate the Electoral College we would see elections dominated by the most populous regions of the country and those of us in "fly-over" country would not have a voice.
Without the Electoral College, 46 or so states would never again receive a single instant of any presidential candidate's attention. Let's hope those less-populated states understand the damage they'd do to themselves by ratifying an amendment to render irrelevant their voices in national elections.
Using the popular vote instead of the Electoral College also gives more power to heavily populated cities in each state. It effectively disenfranchises Texans living in the less-populated counties, municipalities and rural areas.
Thankfully, our forefathers and framers of our U.S. Constitution had the good sense to establish the electoral college as the law of the land, so that every vote actually was worth something without giving undue influence to places having the greater number of people or voters.

I must admit, I was actually heartened by the response to that op-ed piece. With some of the idiocy that appears in the op-eds and letters to the editor I was half-expecting a chorus of "oh yeah, let's do it!" I only hope that was not just an aberration, that more people actually do see the reasons for such safeguards.
More on the Electoral College here.

Pull my leg a little harder...

Not that it ever would have been remotely easy to give even a Texas Democrat my vote, although I might have an easier time of that than voting for, say, certain Illinois Republicans...but I still thought they would have been smarter — or that they would have given Texans more credit — than to say things like this...

Turn In Your Deer Rifle And Your 12-gauge Shotgun To The Texas Department Of Gun Control...That is an order that will never be given by a Democratic government. Democrats will protect Americans’ Second Amendment right to own firearms, and will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists by fighting gun crime, reauthorizing the assault weapons ban, and closing the gun show loophole, as President Bush proposed and failed to do. Democrats passed the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban.

Hm. I believe in Texas we would call this sort of rhetorical chicanery "pissing down our backs and telling us it's raining." They're going to protect our right to keep and bear arms by making it that much harder to get said arms? One could also call it "Orwellian doublespeak." And perhaps our ancestors were hunters and needed their guns to defend themselves as well...but when it comes to nut-cuttin' time I'd much rather have an AK or AR than a bolt-action rifle. (Although a scoped boltie would be the bee's knees for long-range work...) And damn you, Barbara Hudson, it's my right as a human being and an American to have that rifle. The Founding Fathers said as much in the Constitution and they told us all why it was our right to have those fearsome arms in everything they wrote before the Constitution. You might want to check into that. I see you mentioned the Brady background I take it you have no problem with violent criminals walking the streets of Blanco County as long as they allegedly can't procure a firearm. And you want to make it harder for the citizens of Blanco County (and the rest of us) to defend themselves against said criminals. Wow, you really are a piece of work. And of course you and your fellow jackasses aren't going to tell us to turn in our deer rifles and 12-gauge're going to tell us to turn in our long-range high-powered sniper rifles and big-bore street-sweeper riot guns. We know how this works, Barbara. Just because some of us might talk slow doesn't mean we all think slow. So fucking stop insulting our intelligence by trying to hide behind the "camaraderie of the deer camp" horseshit. We saw that for what it was a long time ago.
(h/t JR & Kurt)

Great minds think alike, apparently...

Frank J. over at IMAO:

...perhaps my friend has the right idea: invest in metals.

Only, I don’t think I’m going to invest in gold.

I’m thinking steel, brass, and lead.

I've been thinking more about that myself...haven't been able to locate a Springfield M1A anywhere, though. So I've been exploring alternatives. Anyone have any input on the newer Century Arms FALs?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I figured it wouldn't matter either way...

Via Wizbang, Barack Obama thinks everyone should have election day off. I would think that since Obama has the welfare vote locked up, that just leaves the productive people, so it either would not help Obama one little bit, or it would actually help John McCain...

Just an observation...

If you click on the story of the neo-Nazi skinheads accused of plotting to kill Obama and who knows how many other black people, you'll see some lipstick-bedecked loser holding some sort of scoped semi-auto rifle. One could only assume that said loser was going to be shooting from a fairly decent range...not unlike many deer hunters do. I have to wonder how many of the Fudds will concentrate on the semi-auto part and downplay the scope...

These people are just deranged...

Something called the Potowmack Institute...

Ayers can only be faulted for acting out the NRA's childish political fantasy.

Once again, excuse the fuck me? I very highly doubt the NRA as an organization ever entertained the thought of killing 25 million people in an attempt to establish some "socialist utopia" like Bill Ayers and his Commie thug friends did. To put that in perspective, it's the equivalent of over four Holocausts. Yeah, trying to link Bill Ayers and the National Rifle Association, yeah, I'd say that was seriously deranged...but then again, so is their main belief, which seems to be that all governments are deserving of the monopoly on force, no matter the carnage they inflict. One wonders just what they would support to help get that monopoly back...

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Good Guy Gets A Louder Mike

I've been reading Bill Whittle since May of 2005, round about the time his Sanctuary essay came down the pike. It didn't take me long at all to plow through all the essays that came before it. To this day I envy his supreme eloquence and insight. I was quite glad to see him get a writing gig at National Review (More Bill Whittles and Mark Steyns, guys, and fewer Chris Buckleys and Kathleen Parkers!) and added to the staff at Pajamas Media as well. At the same time, though, I missed those longer-form essays. He delivered early this morning, and although it's not one of those epic conceptual analyses like Sanctuary or Tribes, it's still a more than worthy read. A snippet...

I do not blame Barack Obama for believing in wealth distribution. That’s his right as an American. I do blame him for lying about what he believes. But his entire life has been applying for the next job at the expense of the current one. He’s at the end of the line now.

I do, however, blame the press for allowing an individual citizen to do the work that they employ standing armies of so-called professionals for. I know they are capable of this kind of investigative journalism: it only took them a day or two to damage Sarah Palin with wild accusations about her baby’s paternity and less time than that to destroy a man who happened to be playing ball when the Messiah decided to roll up looking for a few more votes on the way to the inevitable coronation.

You know what to do next... what do you want, a cookie?

A recent commenter says here,

ive stumbled upton some really shocking information about McCains connection to Abramoff.

Riddle me this, Batman. Was Jack Abramoff a genocidal maniac like Bill Ayers and his communist thug friends, or just a crooked lobbyist? Which, really, do you think is worse? And is it not pathetic that a question like that has to be asked in this day and age? I would surely not claim John McCain is a saint, but you put him up against an out-of-the-closet communist like Barack Obama and he ends up looking like one by comparison. Furthermore, if we're gonna play the guilt-by-association game, a genocidal Communist thug is the trump card there, the match-winning play — every SINGLE time — as far as I'm concerned. And I bet I'm not the only one who feels that way either.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Underrated? Yep, I'd say so...

or, once again, I Get Referrals, from this search: underrated 10mm auto cartridge.
Yep, I think the 10mm is quite underrated. A lot of folks would point to the .40 Smith & Wesson as the best of the 9mm and .45 worlds, but I think the 10mm is a better one — heavier than the 9mm and much faster than the .45, even with bullet weights approaching the .45, and in most cases faster than 9mm, even. Those hot loads are no doubt a handful, but they are in any pistol. I'll admit I haven't driven my homemade 10mm rounds as fast as some folks do, but a 180-grain bullet at about 1200 fps or a 155-grain bullet at 1400 is still damn potent for an autopistol — and surprisingly easy to shoot, too. To steal Ferris Bueller's words, "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." I have two of them myself...

More Sunday morning randomness

Via Vanderleun...
Quote of the WEEK, from Jim Treacher, on the Ohio and national media:

They've all gone after a guy who fixes pipes to distract us from the guy who used them to blow stuff up.

Brilliant observation, and oh-so-true! But if their influence has waned as much as some think it has with the advent of alternative media like blogs and YouTube, maybe enough people will think of Obama, "this guy's unfit for Podunk City Dogcatcher, never mind Leader of the Free World." I bet you that'll be another of the great untold stories of 2008, how the bloggers did the job the mainstream media failed to do. We'll see soon enough.

Next up, they say "Don't Mess With Texas," but you could just as well say "Don't Mess With Oklahoma"...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Recalling a run-in 25 years ago with a group accused of voter registration irregularities, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe says protesters scattered when he warned them to leave his home in one minute or "I'll kill all of you."

Can I get a, oh, HELL YEAH! Second Amendment in action, friends and neighbors!

And finally this morning, What if Sarah Palin had been a Democrat?
ANCHORAGE — Fresh from her jaunty, popular appearance on Saturday Night Live, the mom from the American Outback, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, continues to inject new life into the country's mainstream as Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential running mate.
"When I said I wanted a reformer, I meant it," said Obama, who threw caution to the wind with his selection of Palin. The Obama campaign was impressed with the former PTA mom who took on Big Oil and dethroned the old boys' club that ran Alaska politics for more than a generation. "As The New York Times and Washington Post have frequently pointed out, Gov. Palin is the only candidate on either ticket with executive experience," Obama said. "And more importantly, she has experience fighting the powerful on behalf of the people — and winning."

Ouch! Painful but oh-so-true. As it is, Sarahcuda's prety much reduced Obama to making juvenile cracks about pigs and fish...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"...figuring out...the elimination of 25 million people."

It would be interesting to find out how many Americans find it disturbing that the national media finds Sarah Palin's wardrobe more important than the fact that Barack Obama counts as a close associate of his a man who wanted to kill 25 million Americans. You owe it to yourself to read the entire essay. Toward the end, you'll find a transcript and video of an interview of undercover agent Larry Grathwohl, who penetrated Bill Ayers' Weather Underground:

I bought up the subject of what's going to happen after we take over the government. We, we become responsible, then, for administrating, you know, 250 million people.
And there was no answers. No one had given any thought to economics; how are you going to clothe and feed these people.
The only thing that I could get, was that they expected that the Cubans and the North Vietnamese and Chinese and the Russians would all want to occupy different portions of the United States.
They also believed that their immediate responsibility would be to protect against what they called the counter-revolution. And they felt that this counter-revolution could best be guarded against by creating and establishing re-education centers in the southwest, where we would take all the people who needed to be re-educated into the new way of thinking and teach them... how things were going to be.
I asked, well, what's going to happen to those people that we can't re-educate; that are die-hard capitalists. And the reply was that they'd have to be eliminated. And when I pursued this further, they estimated that they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these re-education centers. And when I say eliminate, I mean kill. 25 million people.
I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees from Columbia and other well known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.
And they were dead serious.

Now if we had a national media doing its job — or, of course, if the shoe was on the other foot and it was a Republican associating with these people — we wouldn't have to go to relatively obscure corners of the Web to find this stuff out. But I did find it interesting how Grathwohl said they didn't give any thought to clothing and feeding what they arguably wanted to be the proletariat in this grand new socialist dictatorship. I don't know how likely the scenario of foreign occupation would be, but I am certain that if the Russians had had anything to do with something on the level of an occupation of the United States back in those days, it likely would have been after nuclear war and there wouldn't have been 25 million Americans left, period. So I'd bet that takes the foreign-occupation tool right of the box. So what's left? That's a question that needs to be asked, especially considering the factors of the military and the armed civilians too. In other words, what are you going to do when the people you want to enslave and kill can shoot back, from near or far? They probably didn't think about that either. So it sounds like at first glance just a bunch of theoretical pie-in-the-sky bullshit, but that's no reason to dismiss any of it as the rantings of an impotent lunatic fringe either — especially considering the protege of one of the ringleaders is dangerously close to being elected to the highest office in the land, in other words, in a position to facilitate these people bringing their evil plans to fruition. And it may well have turned out to be impossible for them to implement their plans, but that doesn't change the fact that any number of innocents could have been (and indeed, a few WERE) killed, maimed or injured. But, hey, where'd that money come from for Sarah Palin's clothes?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well, I'd say it's perfect...

I don't mean to generalize, but more than once I've gotten the idea that the folks writing at the Houston Press are a bunch of idiots, and this blog post is the perfect encapsulation of why:

Amundsen admits the event, however popular in Manvel, might be less well thought of out of Brazoria County. “No question there are some people that raise an eyebrow,” he says. “We’re a charitable organization doing good in the community and then we’re sending guns out into the community. All I can say is hunting is a foundation in our country. These are hunting rifles that we’re raffling off. Of course, for people who anti-hunters, this won’t sit well with them, but nothing to do with hunting would, not just our gun raffle.
And does Amundsen see any irony in raffling guns to help battered women?

Damn, but where to start? What the hell's so wrong with citizens having guns? Why does this Tom Amudsen character try to cast that as a problem? And why in the bloody fuck should anyone in Manvel or Brazoria County (or Texas, for that matter) give a flying fuck what outsiders might think? Irony? What the hell? I guess those hotshots think the writers of Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder & Lead" just pulled that song out of their asses as opposed to basing it on real-life situations and advice women get on how to deal with them...dumbasses.

Why have gun control?

Because, silly, armed citizens make for a hostile work environment for a certain demographic!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just a couple of questions...

On Universal Health Care...over at AD's place, one commenter seemed to be making the argument that once Barack Alan Jackson Obama got universal health care in place, Joe the Plumber's healthcare costs were going to be lower. That could very well be...but won't his taxes be higher once he's paying for everyone else's healthcare in addition to his own? And we haven't even factored in the potential cost increases due to abuse of the system when the government makes health care "free" to everyone. As the old saying goes, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch...and I get the feeling that Barack Cody Canada Obama's free healthcare lunch is going to cost the working people he says he wants to give a break a hell of a lot more than he's letting on, if the example set in Canada is anywhere near accurate.
From everything I've seen about Sarah Palin's SNL appearance, it was by and large a success...but apparently the Obama Kool-Aid drinkers didn't think so, with one saying, "she should have taken her cue cards and gone home after the first segment...she really didn't know they were laughing at her and not with her." I'm thinking she knew damn well they were laughing at her, but she wanted to be a good sport about it all. But she couldn't have won with them either way, because even if she did say, "fuck all you Hollywood elitist motherfuckers," and shot them the bird as she walked out, you know damn good and well the Obama Kool-Aid drinkers would have pointed to her and called her thin-skinned and unable to take any kind of criticism. Said Kool-Aid drinker also observed that perhaps Sarahcuda could have been moose hunting as the sports reporter on the Weekend Update. And I'm like, why? So they could call her a bitter gun-clinging Jesus freak and laughed at her some more?

Musings on Anti Strategies

Reader Bob S., in comments here:

I think the push will come not in bans or restrictions but economics. Imagine excise taxes on the level of alcohol or cigarettes.
Since it doesn't affect the majority of the population, antis will probably be able to sell it as a "way of making the sport pay for itself", etc; stating the moneys raised by the taxes will go to wildlife preservation.

They could do that, but they'll only be able to get away with that if no one points out what's already there in the form of taxation — the Pittman-Robertson excise tax, which imposes an 11 percent excise tax on “sporting” firearms and ammunition, a ten percent tax on handguns, and 11 percent sales tax on archery equipment. I would really hope that any more taxes on guns or ammunition would be seen as the blatant attack on the RKBA that it so obviously is. And I would bet that any more taxation on ammunition would mostly if not entirely be imposed on the smaller handgun calibers that are by and large used only for self-defense, such as the big three autopistol calibers plus .380acp, .38 Special and maybe .357 Magnum. I almost hope they'll take that route, as it could be tied to Heller v. D.C., which was brought about in the first place by the fact that D.C. resident Shelly Parker was denied permission by the D.C. government to keep a handgun for self-defense. And then there's the fact that the antis have tried it before, including outspoken enemies of the right to arms such as Teddy Kennedy.

Another approach will be environmental, all that lead, copper, etc can't be good for nature. So let's ban it and use "green" ammo. Nobody wants to harm the environment, right?

This is the the one I would worry about. They've already done this in California, and of course, as they say, as goes California, so goes the nation. But then there's the whole matter of the potential black market for leaded ammunition. I don't know just how easy it would be to make copper-jacketed lead ammunition, but I guarantee you there are some machinist-engineer-shooting enthusiasts out there who could easily figure out how to do it. As the old saying goes, where there's a will, there's a way. And I would really hope that particular strain of California plague could be contained. It has been for this long, and I am pretty sure that reps from the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation would be letting RKBA-friendly pols in on the facts of the matter, on both taxation and lead-free ammunition. Honestly, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find that the environmental lobby was indeed overstating the effects of lead ammunition on the environment. People have been hunting with lead ammo for decades, if not centuries, and as far as anyone can tell there hasn't been any widespread deleterious effect on the environment. If there was it would surely have come to light by now. In any event, I guess we'll see what happens.

So they should have just sat there and taken it?

Via Armed and Safe, Josh Horwitz of the Coalition To Enable Holocausts is at it again, in the Huffington Post:

...the majority opinion (in Heller v. D.C --ed.) drafted by Justice Scalia goes far beyond simply asserting an individual right to own a firearm in the home for self defense against common criminals. Incredibly, he also endorsed an individual right to commit acts of violence against a "tyrannical" federal government which, if history is any lesson, most Americans would find appalling.

This may well be true — that is, that most Americans would find something like armed resistance "appalling." I would hope, though, that the moral fiber of the American people is stronger than that. I would hope that most Americans still believe that we as human beings have a moral obligation to fight evil, with hot lead if it comes to that. I would hope that the only reason Americans would find resistance to jack-booted thuggery "appalling" is that they either don't remember or were never really taught about the great genocides of the 20th century and how they were brought about. I think it's rather ironic that he talks about history being a guide when the fact is that any sentient being with a working moral compass with good knowledge of the history as written about the 20th century would figure out what happens when good people are disarmed by their government — and therefore would NOT find the idea of armed resistance so "appalling." And you'd think that as an attorney, he'd know better than to resort to the argumentum ad populum fallacy. But I guess you use whatever you have, especially if it's the only thing you have left — and if it takes advantage of the ignorance of the people, so much the better.
In any event, it's plain to see Horwitz finds the idea appalling himself. I guess he thinks the Jews and other "undesirables" living under Hitler's Third Reich should have just sat there and taken what Hitler and his thugs gave them. Pretty ironic, since (if I remember correctly) he's a Jew himself. Would that there were a time machine to put him in and send him back to that time and place. Let the jack-booted thugs come to his door and find out what happens when one doesn't or can't fight back against evil. Sounds to me like he would have had it coming.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An empty gun ain't worth a plug nickel...

I see commentary here and there on some of the gun blogs I read that the next big thing in the anti-gun jihad is going to be ammunition. And I gotta admit, I don't understand it. How in the hell are the antis going to be able to get away with clamping down on ammunition? After all, a gun is arguably incomplete with ammunition, just about as useful as one that's disassembled as per the now-defunct Washington D.C. regulations; as a matter of fact, one could say that the draconian restrictions on the supply and/or types of ammunition the antis want is more or less tantamount to a requirement that the guns be left disassembled. Or, as an old friend of my stepdad's would say, "An unloaded gun ain't nothin' but an expensive club." I am hoping we really don't have anything to worry about on that front, although it's not something I would take for granted. It sucks to think something like that could get through Congress and we spend three-plus decades trying to undo that, too.

Well, yeah, he did

All righty then, just in case anyone out there was still not convinced the mainstream media is in the tank for Barack John Grisham Obama, we have this, from the Associated Press:

...Obama did not attack plumber Joe Wurzelbacher; rather he criticized McCain for suggesting the Ohio plumber who wants to purchase the plumbing business where he works is in the same economic shape as most working class voters.

Well, actually, yes, he did make fun of Mr. Wurzelbacher:
"...he's trying to suggest that a plumber is the guy he's fighting for," Obama said, in a reference to Joe Wurzelbacher. "How many plumbers you know makin' a quarter million dollars a year?"

How was that not an attack on him?

With a gun or three...

Nicki Fellenzer, as she launches a righteous beatdown on Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington:

How would you like to meet this heinous, creepy bitch in a dark alley?

How would I like to do that? With a gun. Maybe two or three. And maybe some friends with guns too. Yeah, I think people like Laura Washington are dangerous as hell. It's quite telling that she launches her racism-saturated righteous indignation at those of us who would like to retain some semblance of freedom, yet she says absolutely nothing to the people who are actually slaughtering each other in Chicago's ghettos. One of the chapters in Larry Elder's The Ten Things You Can't Say In America was titled "Blacks Are More Racist Than Whites." No doubt he caught a firestorm of criticism for that assertion from blacks — and guilt-ridden white liberals — but the thing is those who would claim to speak for the black community back Mr. Elder up on it on what seems like a daily basis. Probably even more so now that Barack Obama has gotten as far as he has. And so it goes with Laura Washington. Substitute "white" for "black" and her screeds would sound an awful lot like they came from someone associated with Stormfront or the KKK. This is exactly the reason the Founding Fathers created a republic as opposed to a pure democracy — to protect us from the likes of people like Laura Washington. And thank God they did.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just couldn't stay away, could ya?

I get referrals, from Calgary, Alberta, last night at about 8:40 local time. From this search.
You just couldn't stay away, could you? You want to know how "the country of liberty (got) so screwed up in such a short time"? I'd be willing to bet that part of the reason is certain people from other countries who wouldn't mind their own damn business — and of course, the numbskulls here who listen to them.

You bet he is...

Scott Chaffin, aka The Fat Guy, in comments here:

Ummm...JTP ***IS*** the fookin' economy.

You bet your ass he is. And you know there are a whole hell of a lot more out there just like him. I know one personally, although he builds houses as opposed to unclogging drains. For the life of me I can't understand why the supposed undecideds might brand the whole Joe the Plumber thing as a distraction. I'm betting — or hoping, at least — that the great untold story of this election will be how Obama and his allies (and yeah, that includes the jackals in the media) blew the election by alienating one way or another the people who might have voted for them. On one hand, you have Obama himself belittling Joe Wurzelbacher with comments such as "how many plumbers do you know making a quarter million dollars?" (Actually, he doesn't and never said he did...) On the other hand, you have the press sliming Joe the way they did, which I would think is going to push a lot of the undecideds toward McCain.
Speaking of the jackals in the press, Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee discusses an interesting tactic some other bloggers are going to take — basically giving them a taste of their own medicine. Maybe it is controversial, and some might see it as stooping to their level, but as the old saying goes, any chair in a bar fight — or, as the old rule for gunfighting goes, the only fair fight is the one you lose. Hell, maybe if they could get a taste of their own medicine they'd get back to doing their jobs as opposed to flinging mud at average Joes who ask embarrassing questions. Hey, average Joe, reminds me of a song...
"I'm a welder in the shop downtown, the dry waller in your brand new house, yeah, I'm your Average Joe...I'm the guy that fixed your van, I'm the painter, I'm your concrete man, yeah I'm your Average Joe..."
Come to think of it, welders, drywallers and mechanics make damn good money too...

Monday, October 20, 2008

"...latest distraction"?!

Someone with the nom de keyboard 15 Days To Go, in the comments to the last post:

All due respect to Joe. . but he has become the latest distraction in this election. It seems like the closer we get to voting the less people talk about the issues that are important to the future of the country. . .like the economy.

Sweet bleedin' Barnabus. Latest distraction?! AS I said in comments, "All due respect, considering the Marxist philosophy of Barack Bruce Robison Obama has pretty much WRECKED every ECONOMY it's touched, I'd say his approach to it as illuminated by his answer to Joe Wurzelbacher's question is A VERY FUCKING IMPORTANT ISSUE TO THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY." If there's any distracting going on here, it's by the media that's made the whole thing all about Joe Wurzelbacher's personal foibles instead of Barack Brandon Rhyder Obama's answer to his question. To wit:
My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.

One more time here, this so REEKS of the famous Karl Marx dictum "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." You wanna know what happened when that philosophy was put into practice and collided with human nature and the natural state of man — that is, violence, tribal war, Tribe A wanting Tribe B's stuff and willing to kill to get it? Well, in the words of the great Bill Whittle, "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."
And Joe the Plumber is just the latest distraction? Au fucking contraire, he's the canary in the coal mine and we ignore this affair at ours and our descendants' extreme peril, not to mention the Founders' Republic. Barnabus. Here we are, on one hand witnessing an effective evisceration of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution by the very institution it was written to protect (you KNEW when they attacked the Second that the others would soon follow), and on the other hand we're thisclose to an avowed gun-hating Marxist radical becoming President of the United States. Distraction my aching ass. Hell, if for nothing else, I just might throw something on this blog about Joe the Plumber every day from now to the election just out of sheer spite.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

On Joe the Plumber

Wow. A man asks a presidential candidate a question and outs said candidate as the good little Marxist we all knew he was, and for that the local and national media crucifies him. To steal Glenn Reynolds' observation, the media's "done more investigations into Joe the Plumber in 24 hours than they've done on Barack Obama in two years." I've often said the media uses their First Amendment rights to shit on the Second, and often they do, and that's bad enough...but what happens when said media uses the immense power we've given them to basically retaliate against someone who dares to question someone they support, as we've seen happen with Joe Wurzelbacher? This is going to come back and bite them squarely in the ass...which wouldn't be a bad thing if that's as far as it went, but what happens when all the rest of us get it too? When Obama gets into office and tries to bring all his grandiose plans to fruition, such as the civilian national security force and the mandatory volunteerism? Sooner or later the same people who are sucking Obama's cock now are going to say, "Huh, maybe it's not so good that we didn't take a closer look at Obama and his plans for the country, and how that whole 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need' thing worked out in Russia in the last century." And as soon as they say that, a detachment from that Civilian National Security Force is going to do the same thing to them that they did to Joe the Plumber — only this time the beatdown will be a real one. It's going to be a hell of a bitter irony if it comes to pass — the media didn't do their jobs in the run up to this election, and because of that it could well get to the point that the government KEEPS them from doing their job. Obama hasn't even been elected yet and we're already seeing it, as evidenced by his lawyers' intimidation of TV stations that were going to run NRA-sponsored ads highlighting his record. What happens when the media uses that First Amendment right as a cudgel to beat those who disagree with them or question their agenda? One could very well say it's a road to revolution..because sooner or later, there will be those who descend on the media with torches and pitchforks, all the while screaming, "You helped bring on this disaster!" And what follows will be bloody and — dare I say it? — all too justified. Because what these people are helping to create is a country that's anathema to everything the Founding Fathers intended it to be. If I was at all interested in having kids, I'd really be having second thoughts on that right about now, because a society in which an institution with NO accountability whatsoever can engage in this sort of character assassination is not one I would want to raise them in. It seems the press has more or less morphed from merely the Democrats' PR branch into the Dems' very own gang of Brownshirts. One could be forgiven for thinking a modern-day Kristallnacht-type event is not far in the future. "Godwin's Law! you say? if the jackboot fits, wear it."

On the other hand, it would be quite a delicious irony if this affair turns out to be the 2008 equivalent of the Paul Wellstone funeral rally, that is, if the atrocious treatment of Joe the Plumber drives the undecideds back toward McCain. I'd like to think Americans still aren't so spineless as to take such a maligning of one of us lying down. How likely that will be, no one really knows, but early indications are heartening. We'll soon find out, though.
In any event, with apologies to Iowahawk...
I AM JOE. I am a Wal Mart schlub in flyover country who can change my own oil and unclogs drains without a license. I eat fatty foods and drive a gas-guzzling pickup truck and quite happily rely on my guns and my God, and I figure I can fend my way without handouts from some Magic Messiah's candy bags. Most everyone in my family and most everyone I grew up with is another Joe, and if you screw with them, you screw with me. And there are many like me out there.

Random observation, and a bit of a teaser...

There was an op-ed piece in the Chron today titled "What we can learn from the 1930s," discussing what's going on with the financial system today. From the title I thought for sure it would have been something about Hitler's brownshirts and how we're seeing a rough parallel to them right before our eyes. But more on that later...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yes, Kathleen Parker Is STILL Clueless evidenced by her latest word vomit, in this morning's Chron:

What does it mean that the right cannot politely entertain dissenting opinions within its ranks?

Yes, friends and neighbors, in the Bizarro World Kathleen Parker apparently inhabits, Christopher Buckley's wholesale repudiation of conservative ideas with his endorsement of the most left-wing member of the U.S. Senate for president is nothing more than a "dissenting opinion." I think that pretty much says all that needs to be said about where she's coming from here, but there's more where that came from...
The truth few wish to utter is that the GOP has abandoned many conservatives, who mostly nurse their angst in private. Those chickens we keep hearing about have indeed come home to roost. Years of pandering to the extreme wing — the "kooks" the senior Buckley tried to separate from the right — have created a party no longer attentive to its principles.
Instead, as Christopher Buckley pointed out in a blog post on explaining his departure from National Review, eight years of "conservatism" have brought us "a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance."
Now, I can and will concede the point here that the Republican Party isn't really that in tune with the principles of conservatism as of late, but the expansion of national debt, entitlements and so forth are proof of that — proof that the batch of Republicans running things are at heart big-government leftists. But the thing is, so is Barack Obama. So why did Chris Buckley come right out and endorse Obama, who's arguably going to give us more of the same? Why couldn't he have been a REAL iconoclast and endorsed someone like, say, Ron Paul or Fred Thompson? My money says his fellow Northeastern Establishment inbreds wouldn't approve. Or perhaps it's because, as one blogger put it, "...those candidates didn’t attend a university with a high enough U.S. News & World Report college ranking and don’t articulate their positions using the same ebullient language found in the stump speeches of Senator Obama." (By the way, the rest of that post was spot-on, too.) I'm guessing Buckley probably thinks Paul and Thompson are "irascible and snarly" too. In any event, you'll note that Kathleen Parker, like Chris Buckley, says absolutely nothing of the fact that, again, Barack Obama is going to give us more of the very things Buckley went on record to deride. Which only lends credence to those of us who regard columns like this as little more than the Northeastern elitists circling the wagons. God bless the conservative movement...with "friends" and "allies" like Kathleen Parker and Chris Buckley, we're going to need it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey, somebody else likes the old music too!

Via ye olde Site Meter, I got referrals from this search and this one.
That first one looked to be a search for something related to the old Del Reeves hit "Girl on the Billboard." If I remember right the first time I heard that song was back in my College Station days on 98.3 KORA. In fact, I think also heard the original version of "World Through A Windshield" on that station as well, which Texas singer Cory Morrow recorded on his second album The Man That I've Been. I really liked those songs but was unable to find anything from Del Reeves in the music stores. Later I found out that most of his music was out of print, which is a real shame because I'd also love to hear his version of "Good Time Charley's," which was recorded by George Strait on his 2001 cd The Road Less Traveled.
As for the second..."there ain't no good in an evil-hearted woman, and I ain't cut out to be no Jesse James, and you don't go writin' hot checks down in Mississippi, and there ain't no good chain gang..." Ahhh, one of my FAVORITE classic country hits! Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, "Ain't No Good Chain Gang," from 1978. Not one I hear that often, and so it still hasn't lost its luster...definitely one of those songs I could stand to hear more. I liked most of the collaborations the stars of the day did with each other back in those days...Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and George Jones, Tammy Wynette and George Jones (although "The Ceremony" has to be the biggest piece of cringe-inducing schlock I've ever heard, they more than made up for it with "Two Story House")...

...but if I had to pick an absolute favorite duet from back then, it'd have to be that Waylon & Cash duet, followed very closely by Merle & George's "Yesterday's Wine." Good, good that wine, it only gets better with time.

Riddle me this, Batman...

I was driving to get a pizza today, and as I was rolling past the mall in Port Arthur, I saw an Obama-Biden '08 yard sign. Considering the fact that Barack Obama and Joe Biden want to tax the shit out of the oil companies that are more or less the backbone of the local economy, thereby stifling future investment, growth and development in this area and everywhere else by said companies — and considering the fact that the majority of Jefferson County voters in the 2004 elections voted for John Kerry, who wanted to do exactly the same thing — I'd love to ask elitist jackasses like Thomas Frank just who the hell's voting against their own economic self-interests here.

Yeah, because those signs stop criminals cold, right?


An Associated Press survey of the 20 busiest U.S. airports found that seven of them — Philadelphia, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and San Francisco — let people with gun permits carry firearms in the general public areas of the terminal.
Some anti-terrorism experts say that is a glaring security loophole that could endanger airport workers, passengers and people waiting to pick them up or see them off. Some suggest that allowing guns in terminals is practically asking for them to be smuggled aboard a plane.

Yes, and everyone knows the laws mandating no guns in airports work so well, right? Barnabus on a pogo stick, with experts like the ones quoted in that second paragraph, no wonder this country's in such sad shape on so many fronts.

A Different Perspective

From Stingray:


And it only gets better from there...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Yeah, it is, but...

...alternately titled I Get Referrals, this time from Sterling Heights, Michigan: "is kimber a quality pistol yahoo answers".
Short answer? Yes, but so are 1911s from several other manufacturers. I have a thing for Springfields myself. From what I've seen as far as prices go, a Springfield will cost you a good $150-200 less than a comparable Kimber. And the Springfield has a lifetime warranty to boot. I know you shouldn't need something like that, but like the gun itself, it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. And they definitely stand behind their weaponry, in my experience and others as well. I read a thread on the 1911 Forum a while back about a guy who damn near totaled his stainless GI when it fell out of his backpack as he was riding a motorcycle down a busy L.A. freeway -- he sent the gun back to Springfield and they fixed it for $150. Well, that's not entirely accurate -- they more or less restored the pistol to its pre-accident condition for that price. I read that, saw the pictures of the gun right after the accident and my jaw hit the floor. Huh, maybe that answer wasn't so short...
Kimber a quality pistol? Sure, but maybe a bit too pricey.

Sorry, but no...

Libertarian my aching ass...

A week after endorsing Democrat Barack Obama for president, Christopher Buckley, a writer and son of William F. Buckley Jr., is leaving National Review, the conservative magazine founded by his father more than 50 years ago.
Buckley, a best-selling novelist who had been a featured columnist at the National Review, infuriated conservatives last week by declaring himself "the latest conservative/libertarian/whatever to leap onto the Barack Obama bandwagon."
He criticized Republican John McCain as "irascible and snarly" and credited Obama with having "a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect."

Sorry, but no. If you call yourself conservative and endorse a Chicago statist hack like Barack Obama, ostensibly because of his "first-class intellect," then you're not a conservative/libertarian/whatever, you're just an elitist asshole. An incredibly naive and/or stupid elitist asshole at that. Just like, say, this guy. God knows I have enough trouble with John McCain, and I don't recall actually endorsing him in this space, but I think his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was a heartening nod to the conservative/libertarian base of the Republican Party. And I think that getting folks like Tamara to actually think about voting for McCain, well, that says a whole lot. Really, though, "irascible and snarly"? What the fuck kind of snotty, coastal-elitist horseshit is that? And wouldn't those pejoratives fit Joe Biden at least as well?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And another media outlet talks out of its fourth point of contact...

...and, of course, uses the First Amendment to shit all over the Second....

The organization wants to make it commonplace for people - law abiding and not - to walk down the streets of Norfolk with a gun in a holster.

So did the Virginian-Pilot interview anyone from the Virginia Citizens Defense League? Did anyone from the VCDL actually tell them that the organization's members were all right with criminals carrying guns AT ALL, let alone openly? I'd bet the money I paid for the gun I most recently bought that it didn't, and I'd bet it again that most if not all VCDL members actually think the same thing I and many other people do — which is, if certain people can't be trusted with with a gun — that is, can't be trusted with the rights of free citizens — then what are they doing walking free in society? I guess the folks on the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot editorial board proudly count themselves among those who have no problem with violent criminals being allowed to roam free as long as the law says they can't carry guns. Once again, what the hell is wrong with these people?
(h/t War On Guns)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yeah, I know what that's all about...

JR, to a friend of his aghast at his music choice for Friday night:

A childhood spent listening to Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass has consequences.

*snerk* I can't say that I had the same kind of reaction to what I was raised on — hell, I listen to the classic rockers of my parents' youth on a daily basis — but I can definitely see where he's coming from with that. My forays into rock and metal were a result of a backlash of sorts. I had spent some time in College Station, where I was exposed for a time to the Texas-red dirt country music scene, and I loved it — Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Ed Burleson, and others, it was all a refreshing alternative to the more popish music that was being played on the radio. But after I moved north, it was more or less a return to what had been playing everywhere else, which is to say more of the same old Nashville schlock, with only the Dallas stations providing sporadic relief at best. So, off I went to other genres, finding the harder-edged music of Guns 'n'Roses, later Metallica and the like to be right up my alley. (Again, though, the only Metallica I really remember hearing was the singles off that self-titled black album.) Hell, I even went back to the glam metal of Poison and Bon Jovi. I have Slippery When Wet around here somewhere but haven't listened to it in a long time. And it more or less went from there. When I was living in Bryan-College Station, all six of my radio presets in the truck were country; as it stands today, I have 12 presets on the radio in the truck I have now, and only half of them are country stations. I am sure some would accuse me of being narrow-minded for not really considering Shania Twain, Rascal Flatts, et al. to be all that COUNTRY, but I like what I like — and as you see from my musical choices, it's really not as narrow as some might think.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some quotes for your Sunday morning...

from Noel @ Cold Fury:
Q: In Obama’s Beautiful, Beautiful Mind, what’s the difference between John McCain and Bill Ayers?
A: He thinks Bill Ayers is the reformer and John McCain is the mad ’60’s bomber.

If Barack Obama were looking for a job with a Defense Contractor, he wouldn’t be able to do so. Why? He would fail the Background Investigation because of his relationships with people identified as terrorists or terrorist supporters. Yet he is quite close to being the man who gets to grant those clearances to others.

Okay, everyone is always telling Boudreaux and Thibodeaux jokes implying that Cajuns aren't smart, but anybody who would build a city 10 feet below sea level in a hurricane zone and fill it with a genius!

More later...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Random Friday Gun Musings

inspired by this post, and the comments therein...

I am not a fan of the Glock, but I would never impugn its suitability as a PDA*. And I always took the "plastic gun" talk as good-natured gunnie noodling. It just isn't my cup of has a water-gun trigger and feels like a brick in my hand.  A slimmer, better-shaped grip and a better trigger would do the trick. From what I've heard there are people who can make a Glock trigger almost as good as that on a 1911, though.
Should I start a back-and-forth about which caliber's the best? 9mm or .45? Neither. 10mm, natch. ;-) Maybe out of Vltor's reincarnated Bren Ten...

*personal defensive arm

Thursday, October 09, 2008

David Brooks Shows His Elitist Stripes, Yet Again...

here (h/t Hot Air):

David Brooks spoke frankly about the presidential and vice presidential candidates Monday afternoon, calling Sarah Palin a "fatal cancer to the Republican party" but describing John McCain and Barack Obama as "the two best candidates we've had in a long time."

In an interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg at New York's Le Cirque restaurant to unveil that magazine's redesign, Brooks decried Palin's anti-intellectualism and compared her to President Bush in that regard:

[Sarah Palin] represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party. When I first started in journalism, I worked at the National Reviewfor Bill Buckley. And Buckley famously said he'd rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. But he didn't think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I'm afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.

David Brooks is talking out of his arrogant elitist Canadian ass yet again, and naturally more shit comes out. The remark about McCain and Obama being two of the best candidates, well, that one pretty much speaks for itself. But Sarah Palin "scorn(ing)..ideas entirely?" Sweet bleedin' Barnabus on a pogo stick, where do these pusbags come up with this shit? I don't at all detect an air of "anti-intellectualism" in the conservative movement or the Republican Party, but to the extent it's there, it's because of arrogant, sneering, condescending elitist pricks like David Brooks who think they know what's best for everyone else. This is demagoguery at its finest, and just another way of saying, "those stupid little people in flyover country keep rejecting our ideas! Don't we know that we're their betters and we know how to fix things?" If Sarah Palin and her ilk represent a cancer to the Republican Party, then it needs to metastasize and PRONTO, because that's a beast that needs to die, right the hell now.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

With Metallica's "Death Magnetic," What Is Old Is Once More New

...or, The Four Horsemen Ride Again...
As I've said many times before, I have an affinity for country music, but my tastes are actually pretty varied; I tell people often that I'll listen to anything from Metallica to Merle Haggard, and that's the truth.
I really started getting into the Metallica catalog in 2001, when I bought the self-titled Black Album that summer. Later on I went and bought three of the four albums that came before it, and in a neat little twist of irony I found that speed/thrash metal style much more to my liking than the slower, more melodic sounds of the pop-rock years -- and yes, I liked Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and ...And Justice For All even more than Black. (And I really meant to type "Bob Rock years" instead of "pop-rock years" there -- coincidence? I think not...)
Regarding the albums that came after Black, a friend of mine said to me once, "Load was a piece of shit. Re-Load was a pile of shit."  From what I've heard of those two I tend to agree. Go figure. But I didn't think "St. Anger" was quite as bad as a lot of people said it was. My opinion of that album could best be summed up in four words -- "good concept, bad execution." I actually thought it was a step back in the right direction, albeit a tiny one. But without those epic Kirk Hammett solos and the interplay between his lead and James' rhythm, it still wasn't...Metallica.
Enter their latest effort, Death Magnetic, produced by the legendary Rick Rubin. I actually picked this one up with no expectations either way, but I was curious to see where James and the guys would go with it, considering everything they'd done in the years prior to that. Quite simply, I was just blown away. It's as if they embraced everything that made them legends to so many, everything that made them synonymous with the thrash metal short, everything they forsook after Justice. The complex arrangements, the slow and deceptive introductions masking the fury to come -- think "Fight Fire With Fire" and "Battery" here, guys, I was reminded of those two songs several times -- it's just absolutely incredible. James, Lars and Kirk all shine here, playing with a fury and intensity that arguably hasn't been captured on record in 20 years. Not coincidentally, this is their best record in about as long. James Hetfield said Rubin told the band to go back to the Master of Puppets mindset...and it paid off, in spades.
The deceptively slow introduction makes its reappearance in the first seconds of the lead-off track, "That Was Just Your Life," with its creepy heartbeat and guitar intro somewhat reminiscent of "One," and in the same manner as "Battery," off it goes into an old-school Hetfield rhythm-guitar riff, and it's then you ask yourself -- this is the same band that recorded "The Memory Remains," "I Disappear," "Until It Sleeps," and "Hero of the Day"? In name only, it would seem, as the long-sleeping giants of thrash within have finally been awakened after two decades. Not quite five minutes in, Kirk Hammett's busting the door down with another solo that could have come straight out of Ride, Master or Justice.
And none of this is an anomaly as far as the record in its entirety goes, either. You'll find more of those delectable Hetfield riffs in "The End of the Line," as well as a vocal that's very evocative of "Creeping Death." Listen and you'll see. Surprisingly enough, you'll find Hetfield singing lower here, as he did on the Load album, on the song's slower segment. They really do give a nod to everything they did before, but more so to what they did before Bob Rock was sitting at the control panel. I really, REALLY liked the "Blitzkrieg"-type riff here.
I am sure I'm gonna catch hell from some for saying this, but I found a rather distinct similarity between "One" (and "Fade to Black") and "The Day That Never Comes" -- and it wasn't just the fact that they were both track No. 4 on their respective albums. Once more, there was the slow, melodic introduction, the subdued vocals, and then the lyrics... general feeling of hopelessness, "Born to push you around, better just stay pull away, he hits the flesh, you hit the ground..." I don't know, but I can't help but think that might have been more of James Hetfield working out his aggression from what I've heard was his rather stringent upbringing, and when you look at it from that perspective it's really not that bad of a song. They even go back to the fast and heavy outro here, with James, Kirk, Lars and new bassist Robert Trujillo going all out.
The best fusion of the old and new Metallica, though -- and arguably the best song on the album, as well as the best song they've recorded since the title track to "Master of Puppets" -- would have to be "All Nightmare Long." Another one of those slow intros, with what I'd heard described as a Middle Eastern guitar, and another brief pause, and BAM! Off go James and Lars into another one of their old-school rhythms. Hetfield channels the Black Album here, both with the vocals and the song lyric -- "Hunt you down without mercy, hunt you down all nightmare crawl back in, but your luck runs out..." More of this same vibe can be found on "The Judas Kiss," when James growls, "BOW DOWN! Sell your soul to me, I will set you free! Pacify your demons, BOW DOWN!" A lot of people are calling Death Magnetic the bridge between Justice and Black, and this song is the perfect illustration of why -- it has the Justice sound, complete with more old-school Hetfield-Hammett riffing, but Black-era vocals and much better production (although the distortion prevalent throughout the album is a bit of an issue...)
"Cyanide" would probably be the only song on here that feels a bit out of place; although it's got a good little groove going on, sort of like something off Justice, it seems as if it just plods along. Maybe that's just because it had the misfortune of being placed right after such a kick-ass song, as it's followed by another song in the "Unforgiven" saga. Even though "The Unforgiven III" has the word "unforgiven" nowhere in it, it still fits in nicely with the other two, though I wasn't terribly fond of its immediate predecessor. But the original is still the best.
Another nod to the old days is found here too, in the form of the instrumental "Suicide & Redemption." It may be just the production, but this song seems to recall "Orion" more than "The Call of Ktulu," with Hammett's slow, bluesy guitar, but then towards the end he cuts loose with another solo that sounds much like the outro on "Fade to Black." This might sound like heresy, but I never was that big a fan of the instrumentals. My preference, at least for Metallica, is for the guys to show what they're made of in the faster songs..., for example, the closer, "My Apocalypse." This one easily recalls "Damage, Inc." with its frenetic riffing and solo, Hetfield shouting the lyrics like a man possessed and the lyrics, too...fear thy name, extermination, desecrate into the fire..." Hey, more of that death-and-destruction theme so prevalent through the whole thing! And in the lead-up to the utterly epic Hammett solo, Hetfield yells "Spit it out!," it's like they've stepped into a time machine and gone back to 1986. An excellent closer to a career record.
Yeah, I said it. Career record. Death Magnetic is an absolutely phenomenal return to form, the best thing Metallica has recorded in 20 years, and the perfect bridge between the old Metallica and the new. Even if they'd never crossed that bridge, though -- even if they'd kept making music just like this, and everything before the Black Album -- it would have been just fine by me. It's what they're good at, and it's fantastic to hear them doing it again. If the fans of the old Metallica don't like it, then I think it's pretty safe to say that there's nothing the band could do to satisfy them. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Well, that depends...

JR asked in this post about Metallica, "Have they finally gone back to making music instead of a buck?"
That depends on what you like. My answer would be Hell yeah, turn it up, right ON. Many might not agree, if only because they don't go for that sort of thing. But I will say this much for now -- if the old-school fans, the ones who liked them before they were cool, don't like this new cd, then I honestly don't know WHAT could satisfy them. I think Metallica slammed it out of the park with this one. More on that probably tomorrow, though...

More good stuff early in the morning....

here: "I was totin' my pack along the dusty Amarillo road, when along came a semi with a high and canvas-covered load..."

For the uninitiated, that's Brian Burns' Texas-centric take on the old Geoff Mack standard "I've Been Everywhere." I was never a big fan of the original version of that song -- which some no doubt would find surprising, considering my affinity for the old country -- but this version always brought a huge grin to my face, as much for the sheer genius on display in the song as my Texas pride. I would love to have been a fly on the wall as Brian Burns was coming up with that.

Oh, uh, that's interesting...

I was just listening to this station, and they were inviting callers to play what they called "The 'Uh' Game." Callers had to talk for 30 seconds on a subject without saying the word "uh." I think the longest one caller has managed to go is maybe 20 seconds. I really had no idea such vocal fillers were, uh, so prevalent in human speech.

Grrrr...and I also heard a great cover of the old Merle Haggard song "The Running Kind," but they didn't say who sang it! I HATE IT when they do that!

Monday, October 06, 2008

A teaser of something to come...

...This week, at Live from the (upper) Texas Gulf Coast: "Death Magnetic," the latest album from Metallica, is the best thing James Hetfield and the boys have recorded in 20 years. No, SERIOUSLY. It is made of teh win. More to come...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday Morning Political Musings: The Boss and the Sarahcuda

and why, again, should we care what he thinks?:

Bruce Springsteen called the Bush presidency "a disaster" and said many Americans have "justifiably lost faith" in the American dream.

Like one of the commenters there said, "Another political genius heard from. Right up there with Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn." Bruce Springsteen is and for a long time has been little more than a bitter old lefty crank with money and a microphone. The only reason this makes the news and he is given any credibility at all is because of his celebrity status. I know these cults of personality have lives and spawn all their own, but I really thought we as Americans were better than to let ourselves be led astray by or get caught up in them. Maybe we still are. I guess we'll just have to see come Election Day.
Meanwhile, how about this from Sarah Palin, at a rally yesterday in California:
There’s been a lot of interest in what I read lately. Well, I was reading my copy of today’s New York Times and I was really interested to read about Barack’s friends from Chicago.
Turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man who, according to The New York Times was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.’ These are the same guys who think patriotism is paying higher taxes.
This is not a man who sees America as you and I do - as the greatest force for good in the world. This is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.

Ouch. You go, Sarahcuda. I know the VP candidate's role is traditionally one of "attack dog," but I sure as hell wasn't expecting them to go for the throat like that. Blows Barack Hussein Obama's puerile jokes about pigs and fish right out of the water, not to mention all that hopeychangey bullshit.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Just some random Saturday morning observations

At the risk of invoking Godwin's Law, I think it's safe to say that being a "Gun Owner for Obama" in this day and age is not unlike being a "Jew for Hitler" in about 1931. Probably even less sensical, for as far as I can tell, before Hitler got to power all he was able to do was rant about what he perceived to be the "Jewish menace." Obama's been in a position of power for a few years now and his record vis-a-vis the RKBA should more or less speak for itself by now. Would that only the folks who vote for that socialist bastard had their guns taken from them, as opposed to all of us being disarmed.
Also, I see that Anthony has this to say, in comments to an earlier post:

"What does the Constitution do?"

That should also be the question given to every politicians who takes office and then ask them again once a year, in conjunction they should have to be able to show how they have followed it.

Yes, indeed. What I'd like to see is the sponsors of bills explain, in detail on the floor, where the aims of their respective bills are authorized -- or at least not prohibited -- by the Constitution. It's probably safe to say that no gun control law since NFA '34, at least, would have passed muster.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I think they call it "spin"...

...but as for me, I call it talking around the real issue (

I noted that if Petzal read any gun or political blogs in the course of the last week that he would have seen a much better job of covering these threats by the Obama campaign with original source material.

The Petzal in the quote was David Petzal of Field & Stream magazine, who seemed to be questioning the veracity of the claim that Barack Obama's lawyers were resorting to, shall we say, rather heavy-handed tactics to keep NRA ads off the air that were highlighting Obama's anti-gun record. I know there are certain gun bloggers out there who will go to quite some lengths to avoid offending any certain segment of gun owners out there, but it deserves to be asked: At what point do we start pointing fingers at people like David Petzal and calling them out as the traitors to the cause that they've so obviously proved themselves to be? As Tam pointed out, David Petzal's record speaks for itself. Given that record, I find it difficult, nay, impossible at this point to believe this was merely a case of Petzal missing the boat. I understand the necessity of not offending the hunters, but at some point that spade's gonna have to be called, um, a spade...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Triggering a laugh

Phelps, in comments over at SayUncle, on the Glock trigger:

Get it worked on. Hell, does anyone EVER go with a stock 1911 trigger? I’m not sure you can even fire one with a stock trigger, since I’ve never actually seen one used.

*snerk* Gunnie humor, ain't it great? Lol, seriously, that was a good I the only one who's satisfied with a stock 1911 trigger? I like them all, although I will admit the triggers on my Kimbers are pretty sweet...but then, even a bone-stock 1911 like the Springfield GI feels better than the Glock's water-gun trigger. Granted, maybe if I hadn't spoiled myself with 1911s before I picked up a Glock it wouldn't be so bad, but then if frogs had wings...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Can I get a oh, HELL YEAH!

Now playing here: "I been to Georgia on a fast train, honey, I wasn't born no yesterday...I got a good Christian raisin' and an eighth-grade education, ain't no need in y'all a-treatin' me this way..."

Hitler Youth Redux?

The only thing I can say is that shit like this makes me want to max out my credit card, with a decent long gun or two and proper quantities of ammunition for them. Creepy, creepy, creepy. ("We're gonna spread happiness, we're gonna spread freedom..." Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?! For some strange reason I am reminded of a few other famous slogans from history: War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery, oh, and who could forget Arbeit Macht Frei?) I think I need to go pull up some vintage Metallica or something like that to cleanse my soul now...I'm betting that youtube link might not be up much longer, as Obama's digital brownshirts seem to be pulling every copy they can find. If they do, try this:
Yeah, I left that one cold on purpose...