Sunday, May 31, 2009

On ignoring hurricane warnings...

Worried that...what, again?

Worried that residents ignored warnings about Hurricane Ike because it only registered as a Category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, forecasters will de-emphasize use of the scale this year.
The National Hurricane Center is changing the well-known scale’s name to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale on an experimental basis and is removing all references to storm surge from explanations of the scale.

Only registered as a Category 2...with winds of over 90 mph. I guess some folks might tough it out through that, but I don't think I'll ever quite understand why. It might not sound like much, but as for me whenever they advise evacuation I'll be doing it. I'd just rather not deal with the immediate uncertainties of winds like that blowing stuff all over the place. Maybe that's just me...

Now this is interesting...

...Alice Cooper on Marty Stuart's American Odyssey, on Outlaw Country, Sirius Ch. 63: "Lines form on my face and my hands, lines form on the left and right, I'm in the middle, the middle of life...I'm a boy and I'm a man, I'm eighteen and I like it..."
I never thought of Alice Cooper as ANY kind of country, even though that particular channel is a bit out there sometimes. But that was a great song, from a great artist, and I guess it IS quintessentially American. Alice Cooper's another of those artists who seems to have just one song played on classic rock radio, namely "School's Out." And that's a great song too, but there was so much more to his catalog than that one song. I am glad to be discovering more of that catalog.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The pharmacist might have done the wrong thing...

...but still the mother of the thug he shot is way off base...

OKLAHOMA CITY — Confronted by two holdup men, pharmacist Jerome Ersland pulled a gun, shot one of them in the head and chased the other away. Then, in a scene recorded by the drugstore's security camera, he went behind the counter, got another gun, and pumped five more bullets into the wounded teenager as he lay on the floor.
"He didn't have to shoot my baby like that," Parker's mother, Cleta Jennings, told TV station KOCO.

Mmm. Well, maybe your baby didn't have to be holding up pharmacies. But of course you'll never say that, will you? I can definitely understand why some might say that the pharmacist overreacted, but I sympathize more with those who are saying don't second-guess a man who finds himself in a situation in which the adrenaline's being pumped through his system as it would be in a situation like that. Jerome Ersland might well have overreacted, but then I can't judge him for that because who's to say I wouldn't have done the same thing had I been in fear of my life? When it's all said and done I just can't help but think the man was defending his life and his property. And there was always the chance, however slim it might have been, that the thug he shot would manage to get a shorter sentence, get out of prison and come back for revenge. It'll be interesting to see what happens to Mr. Ersland, especially considering the support he's getting from the community with the evidence of his deed out there for all to see. Personally, I just can't help but hope he'll get off. Looks like the chances of that are pretty good, but we'll see.

"I give, you take, this life that I forsake...been cheated of my youth, you turned this lie to truth..."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ooh, another tune I ain't heard in years...

...from the great Merle Haggard, at Willie's Place, Sirius Ch. 64: "...And she had the likeness of a girl I'd seen in my dreams...but lights can do wonders, with makeup and faded blue jeans..."
A cut from Merle's 1980 album Back to the Barrooms, "Make Up And Faded Blue Jeans" seems to be one of those forgotten Hag singles. I don't even remember the last time I heard and don't have a clue as to how it did on the charts, but I always did like it. Single-wise that was a pretty strong album, though; it also featured "Misery and Gin," "Leonard," and my favorite tune from Merle's stint at MCA Records, "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink."

Well, that's exactly what they're doing, isn't it?

Suppressing free speech, that is...

Gun supporters say colleges trample protest rights
PITTSBURGH — Colleges nationwide have unconstitutionally barred students from handing out literature, protesting and gathering in support of the right to carry weapons on campus, students and an advocacy group say.
Christine Brashier, a freshman at the Community College of Allegheny County near Pittsburgh, said a dean recently told her she had to stop distributing fliers for the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, which has chapters at many colleges, and destroy the pamphlets she had designed.
Yep, that's about the most clear-cut violation of the First Amendment right to free speech that I've ever seen, as are the other examples mentioned here. I'm all for working with the colleges to get these protests and discussions allowed, but failing that, well, I'd be letting slip the dogs of war if I were the advocacy group mentioned here. Not letting students carry a gun is one thing, but not even letting them discuss it or foster debate on campus is another thing entirely. I thought institutions of higher learning, collectively speaking, were supposed to be the one place free discussion and debate about everything would be allowed, even encouraged. It would seem that some topics of discussion are more worthy of protection than others. Good grief, we're not talking about sedition or actively encouraging violent overthrow of the government here! I wonder what people would say if the colleges were telling people to tear up their pamphlets on homosexuality, sex education or birth control. You know exactly what they'd say — they'd call it out for the violation of the First Amendment right to free speech that it so obviously would be. The stifling of the discussion on campus concealed carry shouldn't be seen any differently. One wonders what the colleges are so afraid of — perhaps that if the discussion is allowed, people will come to see that, in the words of Mike Vanderboegh, "'gun-free-zone' is a lie every bit as much as 'Arbeit Macht Frei' and every bit as deadly — and then demand their God-given, natural right of self-defense with the best tools available be denied no longer?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

More proof that irony is completely lost on some people...

right here...

Hip-hop star Akon spoke to students in upstate New York about gun violence as part of a plea agreement for tossing a fan off stage at a concert nearby.
Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik said Thursday's forum fulfilled some of those hours. He said Akon will return to Poughkeepsie in September and participate in a Project SWAG - Society at War Against Guns - back-to-school conference.

Hot-tempered, violent rapper telling people, "guns'r'bad, hmmmkay?" Words fail me. And don't you love how they talk of a War Against Guns as opposed to say, A War Against Getting Violent With People Just Because, They "Disrespected" You? Of course, if they did that with thugs like Akon as their spokesman they'd come off like a group of hypocritical morons. Oh, wait...they ARE hypocritical morons.

A song I'd always heard about...

...but never heard before, until today, Guy Drake's "Welfare Cadillac"...

I've never worked much, In fact
I've been poor all my life
I guess all I really own
Is ten kids and a wife
This house I live in is mine
But it's really a shack
But I've always managed to somehow
drive me a brand new Cadillac.
Wow. Bet THAT one pissed some folks off back in the day. How true it was and is I don't know, but just...damn.

Wow, never thought I'd see this...

...watching JAG on the USA Network, the episode in which a TV reporter runs with a story based on a videotape...but the TV reporter leaves out critical facts and lies to a congressional committee. Harmon Rabb asks, after it came out that the TV reporter lied "Why are people so ready to believe the worst of the military?" Now, if you'll remember, JAG first aired on network TV. I honestly never thought I'd see someone like a journalist portrayed like that on network TV...or to have such a question asked about the military, even though it was asked by a member of the military. Now if they'd just leave the gun owners alone on the OTHER shows...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One-a my faves from CCR's Garage cd... Outlaw Country, Sirius Ch. 63: "I don't wanna hear about your Lollapalooza tour, yeah, I just woke up and where I am I couldn't say for sure...I ain't the kinda guy to come and break all your records, but then again I might...could ya try to keep it down, I was up kinda late last night..."
I don't know why some might consider that particular cd a bad one, to be honest. Of the Cross Canadian Ragweed cds I have it might be my least favorite, but I still thought it was pretty good once I gave it another spin or three. The live version of "Late Last Night" from the Live And Loud At Cain's Ballroom set is better, but the studio version ain't half-bad though.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not a particularly pleasant read, here...

...but for the most part the man is right on the money. I need to read Mr. Bracken's books. They've
always intrigued me.

Honestly, what are the teachers so afraid of?

I don't get it...

Robert Haynes grew up around guns.
He respects them.
"But there's a time and a place for a person to have a firearm," said Haynes, faculty senate president at Texas A&M International University.
Haynes, an associate professor of English, said he thinks that many faculty members will be anxious knowing students in the classroom are armed.

Good grief! "Students carrying guns, oh teh noes!" Really now, what the hell would be so different? Why would they not be worried about, say, police officers carrying them? Is there honestly any reason to believe someone's more mentally stable and a better shot just because they carry a badge? Seeing the behavior of certain members of that noble brotherhood gives one the idea they're really not any more mentally stable than the rest of us. I don't mean to bash the cops here. I just don't see why they're given any more credit than the rest of us. And I just thought of something, actually. Why couldn't the armed students communicate with campus security and work with them so as to minimize the risk of the good guy getting shot? Maybe that possibility has been mentioned and I missed it, but one would think if it had been mentioned it'd be discussed more than it has been in this whole debate. And the fact that no one's discussed it indicates an appalling lack of thinking outside the box. But then that's just me...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Food for thought, for this Memorial Day...

I went to one of the local Memorial Day celebrations yesterday. The Patriot Guard Riders were part of the program, which had to be moved inside because it was raining to beat the band. So the riders didn't get to make their grand entrance as planned. But they still came. That didn't surprise me, but I almost lost it when their chapter president addressed the crowd and told them why the riders came in spite of the rain. She said of the fallen soldiers, "They didn’t get an opportunity to choose the weather they fought in, or to choose whether or not to go."
I don't think I'll ever forget that, for the rest of my days.

The Final Inspection
Author Unknown

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his soldiers and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

Remember them, always...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

On certain commercials...

I never thought about one particular commercial being offensive to certain people...

I wonder if I am the only one offended by the latest Jack in the Box commercials? The one featuring little people is bad enough.

...but I can certainly see why it would be. My main beef with that particular ad, so to speak, was that it seemed like Jack in the Box was trying to pass those mini burgers off as an original idea when it quite obviously wasn't, at least to anyone who's been outside, for example, this particular area. Um, hello, but do the names "Krystal" and "White Castle" mean anything to these people? I like Jack in the Box just fine, really, but one would think they and their ad agency could have done better than that. Next thing you know they'll come out with a burger with tartar sauce on it and try to market THAT as a new and exciting item too, when it has also been done — with great success, apparently.

Why don't they look at the Mexico situation for a change... opposed to writing story after story after story on the way things are in the United States?

One guy was an unemployed machinist who lived with his parents, but spent $24,800 in a year at Houston gun stores, snapping up military-style weapons for a Mexican drug cartel.
His accused gun-running associate dropped $42,700 in a year, as did another who spent $27,700 in two months.
Each often shopped at the same stores, according to court records. Ten alleged buyers were indicted and arrested last week, part of an investigation of as many as 23 people who spent $366,400 during a 15-month period that ended in 2007. Two of them, including the machinist, have pleaded guilty.
But the dealers who sold the guns, are not accused of wrongdoing. The law says they did nothing wrong, even if they wondered, for example, why a customer in one pop would pay cash for five civilian variants of the M-16 assault rifle used by the military.

Ooooh, civilian variant of the M-16 assault rifle used by the military. Scary. I bet it can shoot through tank armor and is a danger to aircraft everywhere.
Seriously, though...I guess this is newsworthy in the sense that not many people know that the dealers can decline the sales if they suspect something being amiss, but what they really ought to be looking into is the other half of the equation -- Mexican gun laws, border security, and just how many weapons recovered from the cartels were from the Mexican military. I for one would be quite interested to know just how and why Mexican laws are so strict compared to those of the United States. But I'm guessing we'll never find out about any of that, as it's so much easier to make your friendly local gun dealer look like the bad guy here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sooner or later it had to be crossed....

...a certain threshold, that is...

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The day of reckoning that California has been warned about for years has arrived. The longest recession in generations and the defeat this week of a package of budget-balancing ballot measures are expected to lead to state spending cuts so deep and so painful that they could rewrite the social contract between California and its citizens. They could also force a fundamental rethinking of the proper role of government in the Golden State.
"The voters are getting what they asked for, but I'm not sure at the end of the day they're going to like what they asked for," said Jim Earp, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs, which represents the hard-hit construction industry. "I think we've crossed a threshold in many ways."

Sooner or later, though, it was going to happen. And I really don't see what's so wrong with the voters not wanting the California state government to "balance budgets with higher taxes, complicated transfer schemes or borrowing that pushes California's financial problems off into the distant future." And I think it's worth asking how many of those prisoners they speak of releasing were nonviolent drug offenders. Seriously, after how the Willie Horton fiasco bit Michael Dukakis in the ass when he was running for president just over 20 years ago, are people really so gullible as to think somebody as dangerous would be let out again? And it's also worth asking how all that government spending got to be justified in the first place...and why it costs almost four times as much to rent a U-Haul truck to move your stuff from L.A. to Houston as it does to move your stuff from Houston to L.A....and why the California media had to be such assholes to the California voters the morning after the vote.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Leave it to whom, now?

The Only Ones, apparently...

I would not feel comfortable carrying a weapon on a college campus. I feel it is better to have a professional carrying out that job.

...Yep, 'cause they're The Only Ones Professional Enough.

One of the things I REALLY hate about authoritarian statists... their "Let them eat cake" mentality, as well as their self-righteous moralizing and finger-wagging, as seen here...

The new fuel-efficiency and emission standards may lead to smaller cars with lighter engines. This is not what consumers prefer, auto analysts tell us.
They may be right that Americans want big, cheap cars. They also want free gasoline, clean air and complementary cocktails in coach. Meanwhile, they don’t want to send their money to petro-financed terrorists. And they don’t want to bail out U.S. carmakers going bankrupt in part because, when oil prices soared, Americans stopped buying big vehicles, as much as they might have preferred them.
The moral here is we can’t always have what we want. Life is a series of trade-offs. Had the previous administration gone to bat for tighter fuel-efficiency standards, U.S. automakers would not have been caught flat-footed when gas prices spiked last year. They’d be in better shape today.
Big, maybe, but cheap? Has Froma Harrop ever priced, say, a fully loaded Dodge Ram 2500 with the Cummins diesel? We're looking at about a $45,000-$50,000 set of wheels here, which is something that could hardly be described as cheap. And, of course, reading this column you'll see one critical component here that wasn't even addressed. Just for grins, what would you rather be in when you hit a deer at 50 mph? A Toyota Prius or the aforementioned Dodge truck? Funny how the leftists are harping all the time about the dangers of liberty as the Founders intended it to be, whining about how "we need to (insert liberty-abrogating action here), for the CHILLLDREN!" and on the other hand we have missives such as this. I guess when it comes to Mother Gaia, potentially tens of thousands of deaths -- tens of thousands of orphaned or dead CHILLLLDREN, if you wanna put it like that -- are just so much collateral damage to those cretins. Which just goes to show, once again -- it ain't about safety. It's about controlling OUR lives because THEY KNOW BETTER.

Chickens coming home to roost...

...or, The crap just keeps rolling downhill...

Only Sanford and his few political allies dispute the need for the cash. Sanford says the stimulus cash takes the pressure from legislators to reduce government spending and get rid of waste. If the right cuts are made, the need for federal stimulus cash would fall.
But legislators say plenty of cuts already have been made. The current year's budget started at $7 billion but the recession forced cuts of more than $1 billion. Without the $700 million over two years from Washington that Sanford has rejected, educators predict hundreds of teacher layoffs, colleges forecast tuition hikes and lawmakers say prisons won't be able to operate.

All of this, of course, brings a question to mind: Why didn't the state of South Carolina put back money for situations like this? Shouldn't they have known the economy wasn't going to be good forever, that sooner or later something was going to go wrong? It'd be interesting to see what kinds of cuts would come out of a third party with no vested interest in any of the items in the budget. And then, of course, it's worth asking how many nonviolent drug offenders are locked up in South Carolina prisons...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So what exactly is wrong with those lists?

I would really like to know...

...Each camp has its list of outrageous court decisions, which it denounces as deliberate distortions of law, cavalierly imposed by “judicial activists.” That epithet has become little more than a verbal grenade, hurled, too often, simply to impugn any decision with which one disagrees.

Maybe they do, what? There are some court decisions through American history that deserve to be held up as outrageous injustices. You know the names...Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Kelo v. New London, and the list goes on. And of course Mr. Souter cast his vote on the wrong side of that last one. Heller v. D.C. was one vote away from it, and Souter came down on the wrong side of that one too. And those decisions (not Heller, mind you), as well as the lines of thought behind them, were bad for liberty no matter what school of constitutional thought one subscribes to. I would like to see, though, exactly what actions the "living Constitution" contingent thinks would be so dangerous and antithetical to liberty that the risks outweigh the public benefit, especially considering those folks think decisions like Kelo are a good thing. I tend to think people who write pieces like the above-quoted column would really just like the "strict constructionists" to sit down and shut up (especially considering it's mainly the SCs who come up with the lists of bad cases). They're just too spineless to say it outright.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thoughts from daytime TV...

Law & Order: Criminal Intent is on the USA Network as I write this. Crime of this episode was a literal gay-bashing. Guy was jumped by about three or four punks. Watching it I thought, "you know, if he'd been almost anywhere but New York City he'd have been able to defend himself as opposed to having to just lay there and take it." I'm thinking the producers of the show probably didn't intend for that thought to come to mind, but it did.

"Our" legislators?

So the campus gun bill was given new life yesterday in the Texas Senate, and as it was the Associated Press tracked down our old friend John Woods:

"The Senate voted against allowing a student to be in a gun-free dorm room; this shows exactly how little concern our lawmakers actually have for student safety," Woods said.

"Our" legislators? You're not even from here, you sniveling little carpetbagger!
"You clog up our highways, you've been pourin' in for years...if you don't like the way we do it, what are you doin' here?
"...We all hear your whining, and it starts wearing thin, when we see our milk and honey running down your chin...have a good vacation, but then don't hesitate, to point your car back up the road to that outbound interstate..."

Maybe they ought to ban land sales...

...because everyone knows if it wasn't for the all-too-easy availability of land and the lack of reasonable, common-sense land control, things never would have gotten to this point...

The FBI is advising law enforcement officers across the country that a Texas cell of Los Zetas — an increasingly powerful arm of the Mexican Gulf Cartel drug trafficking syndicate — has acquired a secluded ranch where it trains its members to “neutralize” competitors in the United States.
Trainees are reportedly taught about home invasions, firearms and ways to run vehicles off the road in order to kidnap occupants who owe drug debts.

The story goes on to describe the Zetas as a "small band of military deserters." Which just shocks the hell out of me. I mean, from the way the Mexican government tried to spin the whole thing, the root of the problem was the "unregulated border gun shows" and the availability of semiauto rifles in the United States. And everyone knows no one south of the border would ever help the cartels out, and that the Mexican government would NEVER hide anything that would expose its culpability, eh? I mean, if I remember right the worst thing they've done is refuse to divulge the serial numbers of the weapons they've confiscated from the cartels, and what's the big deal about that?
(and yes, that was sarcasm...)
Seriously though, I'd bet that "small band of military deserters" is much bigger than anyone wants to acknowledge, especially when one takes all the cartels into account and the lucrative benefits they likely offer. And I'd love to ask those who keep beating the gun ban drum is going to help the situation considering the other weapons and tactics the cartels use.
Assuming the social utility arguments have any place in this debate. Which they don't, but I did see some comments at The Smallest Minority yesterday on the post Kevin wrote about Mike B.:
Mike W. had this to say: "The 'public safety' argument is pure bullshit. Denying islamic fundamentalists freedom of religion might conceivably further 'public safety.' Denying due process, right to counsel, or self-incrimination rights could certainly be seen to further 'public safety' and further a 'government interest.' That doesn't mean 'public safety' justifies wholesale infringements of those rights or our 2nd Amendment rights."
And he's absolutely right. But there was an interesting point raised -- the debate ultimately isn't about the participants, but the observers, as they might learn something or even change their mind, as this guy said. And as Linoge said, the facts are on our side, so we might as well use them. Furthermore, the logic is on our side as well. I honestly never really thought about changing the minds of the observers of the debate, but that indeed does serve as an invaluable purpose of the debate.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cheap, easy and very good!

Those three terms would quite aptly describe Lloyd's shredded barbecue pork. Better Half bought a couple of bowls of it last week when we went grocery shopping and I just tried it on a couple of sandwiches for lunch. I thought it would be good and I was not disappointed. First time I ever ate it, but I can promise you it will not be the last. I very highly recommend it!

One of the coolest single lyrics I've ever heard...

"...a quarter drops, and that old forty-five, shoots me down..."
Ron Williams, "There's One On Every Jukebox In Town." I don't know that much about him, but he has an excellent old-country voice and he uses it to great effect. When I first heard him I'd never have guessed he was a newer artist. With what he was singing and the way it was recorded I honestly thought he was big back in the '70s. Good, good stuff. I'd never heard him before I got Sirius, and that's a real shame. Better late than never, though.

...a guilty pleasure, maybe?

...on Classic Vinyl, Sirius Ch. 14: "...but all I really wanna know...oh, won't yooooou, show me the way..."
I'd guess a lot of people see this song as another one of those that is wildly overplayed on the classic rock stations across the fruited plain, but I still like it, and everything else I've heard from the Frampton Comes Alive album. I have that cd around here somewhere, bought it for another one of those ubiquitous cuts...the extended "Do You Feel Like We Do" jam that closes it out. Like I say, still good stuff, even though they DO play it all the time.

Yeah, I bet, what caliber was that ammuntition again?

Funny how they don't tell that part...

Ten Houston men, including three brothers, were charged Monday in a conspiracy to ship 151 military-style weapons south of the border. It’s the region’s biggest arms-trafficking case since the Obama administration vowed to do more to stem the flow of U.S. guns to Mexican drug cartel soldiers.
In addition to the M-16 style weapons, other firearms frequently bought are guns that chamber a round of ammunition that is reputed to penetrate body armor under certain circumstances, and is known in Mexico as mata policias, or cop killers, federal prosecutors said.

Reputed to penetrate body armor under certain circumstances. Yes, indeed, that really narrows it down, doesn't it? I'm guessing they don't have any cases of this, y'know, actually HAPPENING because if they did they'd cite it. And this covers pretty much any rifle ammo available to the public other than .223 Remington -- if what I've read is right, that round isn't so good at penetrating body armor, but I will freely admit I might well be wrong. Assuming they're talking about the FN Five-seveN, from what I've read about that gun and its cartridge, only certain loads available to the military are capable of penetrating body armor anyway. So here we basically have federal prosecutors, with the aid of the mainstream media, peddling what amounts to not-so-old fables spun by Mexican officials dissatisfied with the American government's refusal to infringe any more on our rights. Amazing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Whatever you say, Josh...

Sugarmann, that is...

"If you compare the pro-gun activity in the blogosphere versus the pro-gun-control activity, the scales have just tipped tremendously in their favor," says Josh Sugarmann, founder of the Violence Policy Center in Washington, which advocates for more gun control in the US. "There's much more engagement, more involvement, and they clearly have more free time than people on our side of the issue do."

I wonder if he ever stopped to think we were more engaged because of what he and his kind want to take away from us. And whatever our advantage of free time might be (I'm guessing it's probably not much considering we all have real jobs), it's clearly outweighed by things like the Illinois Department of Child Protective Services with the encouragement of rogue clerics using taxpayer money to bus students to anti-gun demonstrations. I wonder why it is that he failed to mention that?
(h/t Robb)

Just a few observations...

...on the abortion debate...
You ever notice how those who support abortion refer to it as "supporting a woman's right to choose"? Yet so many of those people who support choice in that area virulently oppose a woman's right to choose whether to carry the weapon of her choice to defend herself. I've heard some say that "pro-choice" is really a euphemism for "pro-abortion." While I don't think that's universally the case, it would seem to me that in many instances it is the case — especially that of our Dear Leader, who never met a pro-abortion or anti-gun measure he didn't like.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yep, that's about right...

Beaumont Enterprise blogger Gator nails it here:

Chin up, Nederland. Who needs silly bond issues, when the Federal government is working to shower local school districts with FREE MONEY!

Yep. I wonder if that was a factor in the Nederland bond issue not passing? It really would have been interesting to see how the vote would have gone without the federal money influence.

Why make it about race, period?

I am really tired of this sort of thing...

No need for Obama to choose Latino for high court

...because race shouldn't be a factor in picking a Supreme Court justice any more than should something like sexual orientation. The only reason that race matters anymore in this country is that certain groups of people in this country have a vested interest in making it matter. I seem to recall that it was determined long ago that race was nothing more than a social construct. And I don't think I'll ever understand why those who insist on picking a black, Latino or insert-race-of-choice here aren't called out as the bigots they are. Other than sheer cowardice, that is.

Oh, and guess what I scored yesterday?

Tickets for George at Reliant Stadium! It looks like I got fairly good seats too, not on the floor but on the next level up. $125 a pop, the most I've ever paid for George Strait tickets, but I have no doubt it will be worth it. 14 times I have seen George live, and I have yet to come away disappointed. Come ooon, Aug. 8. ;-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

don't I feel silly now...

...Now playing at Willie's Place, Sirius Ch. 64: "I'm just drivin' nails in my coffin, honey, drivin' those nails over you..."
Floyd Tillman was listed as the artist, but as the song was playing I thought, "that sounds a lot like George Jones." Right as that thought crossed my mind, he said something to the effect of, "You take over, Floyd, I'm tarrred!" So I guess it WAS George Jones singing with Floyd Tillman. I got a kick out of that. ;-)

Bleg: Who originally did this song?

"If I'd known last night was our last night, no more to look forward to...I would have given more of me, and taken more of you...then perhaps instead of lettin' go, you'd still be hangin' on...If I'd known last night was our last night, I would have loved you all night long..."
For some strange reason that song sounds very familiar. I just heard a version of it by a guy named Ron Williams, Leona Williams' son and Merle Haggard's stepson. Never heard of him before I got Sirius, but he sounds really, really good.

He doesn't have any room to talk either...

...Michael Steele, that is...

PHOENIX — Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says Democrats in Washington want to take away the rights of law-abiding Americans to buy and own guns.

I have to wonder what folks in the audience were thinking as he said that, probably with a straight face to boot. After all, Steele himself has questioned the utility of semi-auto rifles before. He might not want to restrict the right of self-defense to the extent the Democrats do, but he still supports a ban on semi-auto rifles. It's worth asking how much further he would go...especially considering he'd probably be as likely to ask who hunts with a handgun, as if the Second Amendment had anything to do with hunting in the first place.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Great minds think alike

Weer'd, on the new Ruger AR clone:

Selling for just under $2000 (Wouldn't suprise me if retail would be closer to $1500)

**Yawn** For that cost I can get a Springfield M1A and some magazines.

HA! That's EXACTLY what I thought when I saw the MSRP for that gun, but then I have lusted after a Springfield M1A for a pretty good while. If Ruger can fetch that price for that rifle then more power to them. I won't be surprised if they do sell very well though, considering the demand for semi-autos is through the roof right now and probably won't slack off for a good while. A Ruger 1911, on the other hand...I'd be wanting to check one of those out BAD, if that had been what the new product turned out to be. One can never have enough 1911s. ;-)

...again, who said anything about boundaries?

My buddy Scott Chaffin again posted a comment here that was so good I had to bring it to the front page:

Here's a Texas Limit for you: Stevie Ray Vaughn and Don Walser and ZZ Top and Waylon Jennings and Pantera and Van Cliburn. See if you can a place in there you can fit, Wade. Or go sit around with Pat and Jack Ingram and have a good cry. Idiots.

As you might remember, I was raving about Pantera last week in this space. I had almost forgotten about them being a Dallas band. And I didn't even think about the Fort Worth classical pianist Van Cliburn! So I guess one could say I am guilty of the same thing Wade Bowen is, but to a lesser extent, that is, not taking a wide-enough look at what "Texas music" really is, from classical to thrash metal. But again, as this comment so brilliantly illustrates, Texas music is ALREADY so much more than just red-dirt country. Hell, Cross Canadian Ragweed gets put in the country section at the music stores and classified by the fans as red-dirt country even though they'll freely admit they're a rock band. ("You wanna talk on the phone all day? Or d'you wanna make a rock record?") And if Wade Bowen has a problem with being classified as a Texas-red dirt country artist, still, it's ultimately his own fault — and not just because of his music. After all, he runs with those guys, Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland and all the rest. (From what I understand a lot of the guys on the Texas scene are personal friends as well, which only reinforces that perception of ALL of them as "Texas-red dirt country," in spite of the fact that it's not all straight-ahead Haggard-and-Jones-type stuff.) I know Bowen played with CCR on that live set recorded in Tulsa a couple of years ago and I remember quite well how Cody Canada referred to him and Stoney LaRue as "our brothers...the fifth and sixth members of Ragweed." It almost sounds like Bowen is actually ashamed of that. Who knows. Maybe I am reading too much into all this, but that's how he comes off to me.

What about the owners of the properties?

Seems the Houston Chronicle editorial board doesn't give a gnat's fart in a windstorm about them...

Second-hand smoke is getting a second chance, thanks to a tobacco-lobby blitz on the Texas Legislature.
Early in this session, a pair of bills — House Bill 5 and Senate Bill 544 — seemed likely to replace the state’s patchwork of local smoking laws with a single clear ban: No smoking in indoor work and public places, including restaurants and bars.
A ban much like that has been working well in Houston, and most Texans support the cancer-fighting idea. One poll found 68 percent of us in favor. And 46 cities’ mayors support the bills.
We’ll be watching that bill. How our state senators vote on it will signal clearly who they listen to more: tobacco lobbyists or Texans.

Ok, look. I understand the health hazards of smoking. I have seen firsthand what those things do to a person. And I hate the smell of secondhand smoke, whatever its effects may be. But none of that should be any basis whatsoever for passing laws like this that take a big, steaming crap all over the rights of the people who own the restaurants and bars. The people who patronize these establishments know — or at least they damn well should know — what they're walking into when they go into these places. They make that choice on their own free will. And don't you just love how the Chronsters cite the poll results as a reason to pass the bill? I wonder what they'd have said if 68 percent of us had opposed passing, say, the shield law. Money says they would have done their damnedest to sweep that one under the rug because it's something they're in favor of. As far as the "patchwork" of laws goes, I love how one of the commenters put it: there's a patchwork of laws in Texas vis-a-vis where you can buy alcohol and where you can't, so why not just pass a law making the whole state dry? But of course the members of the editorial board probably like to go out and have some brewskis every Friday night, so something like that is right out the door. "Can you say "meddling, hypocritical nanny-state do-gooders"? I knew you could.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

You should have said that to Pat Green, Wade...

...maybe he wouldn't be trying to rewrite cheesy rock songs...but seriously, what the hell?

“I am proud of Texas, and I’m proud of growing up here. But I really stress to people that I’m not a ‘Texas artist,’ ” says Bowen, calling from a tour stop in Lake Charles, La. “I’m an artist from Texas.
“I really want my music to be beyond that realm. So many people want to draw boundary lines. I think there’s a way to do it all and to stay true to yourself and to reach the entire country, the entire world, eventually. That’s the goal.
“We shouldn’t limit that by saying it’s just ‘Texas’ or ‘Red Dirt.’ It should be way bigger than that. I think everybody in this scene, including the fans, should agree.”

I don't know where in the hell this came from. Where has anyone been talking about drawing boundaries? Anyone who has seen any of the Texas-red dirt artists live or who has dug into their respective catalogs knows their influences range far and wide; just as an example, you see Cross Canadian Ragweed covering George Thorogood and Ted Nugent, while Cory Morrow sings old Buddy Holly and Billy Joe Shaver songs in concert. I don't know what exactly is so wrong with defining yourself as a Texas or red-dirt artist. It's not as if that definition will limit one's appeal to the audience. I'm sure if this interview had been with Pat Green, he'd have probably said the same thing and used it to try to justify his rapid descent into mediocrity. And I always thought that was the great thing about the Texas-red dirt country anyway, was that it didn't have certain boundary lines that one couldn't cross; to go back to one of my oft-cited examples, you're probably never going to see a mainstream Nashville artist do a song like "Walls of Huntsville" or "Loving County." I don't know...I could be wrong here, but what he said just sounds sort of fishy to me. Is it really the fault of the Texas-red dirt artists that they get pigeonholed by certain people? I don't think so, and he shouldn't either.

"...if the laws save one life, they're worth it..."

...even if innocent people get framed, apparently...

CLEVELAND — A federal drug enforcement agent has pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment that accuses him of framing 17 people during controlled drug buys through an informant.

And yes, we all know that's what so many people say, that is, "if our (insane) drug laws save just one life, they're worth it." It would fun to see how many of those people also believe that "it's better to let a thousand guilty go free than to see one innocent punished" — and if they'd even note the contradiction in their thinking.

Stronger knife laws NOW!

For the druggies' neighbors!

Late Wednesday night, Bryant Doran got upset because his neighbor Joshua Trull was smoking crack in the 2800 block of Heatherknoll, the Sheriff’s Office said.
After Doran took the pipe and broke it, Trull returned with a steak knife and butcher knife and stabbed and killed Doran, authorities said.

Everyone knows common-sense knife laws like need-based knife licensing and registration would have prevented this. Easy access to knives in this country and especially in this state is killing our people! Did this guy ever grill out? How much meat DID he eat for him to need that knife?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Well, ain't this nifty, another original!

Now playing at Outlaw Country, Sirius Ch. 63: "Wanna rock'n'roll, I wanna hoochie-coo...shake that thaaaang baby, love me do..."
Not Cross Canadian Ragweed, but the man who wrote it, Ray Wylie Hubbard. Damn good, too. I haven't heard nearly enough of him...

Come ooon! Jump in the fire!

Sorry, that's the only title I could really think of for this...
Over at Bob S.'s place, there's been some discussion about the trollings of one MikeB302000 (No link, just google it.) who seems to be good at purely emotional argument. In this post Bob pretty much sums the whole thing up. Money grafs:

We've provided evidence from the CDC showing that firearm fatalities are declining. We've provided evidence that some countries with strict gun control laws have higher firearm homicide and crime rates while some countries with lax gun control laws have lower crime rates. In other words, no evidence that strict gun control laws work.
We've provided evidence showing that there are other factors -- social, cultural, economic, educational-- that affect crime rates more then firearm availability.
We've provided evidence showing that firearms save lives.
Over and over again, we've provided proof, sound proof that our right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed. And what does MikeB provide to back up his opinion? Quotes & sound bites from the Violence Policy Center and the Brady Campaign. Slanted stories from the left stream media.

Discussion ensues in the comments. MikeB says something about "gun availability" being a problem, thereby demonstrating his ignorance of the history of firearms laws in this country. And I guess I could explain that one for those of you who might not know much about said history. Now's a good of a time as ever, I guess, to pull out a letter that I sent to the Houston Chronicle not long ago but never got published. It reads as follows:

Those who decry what they cite as the "easy availability of guns" in this country need to bone up on the history of American firearms law. The fact is, getting one's hands on a gun in the United States is more difficult now than it has ever been.
Once upon a time in the United States -- that is, before the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Brady Law in 1993 -- a citizen could purchase a gun, almost any gun he or she could afford, directly through the mail. The citizen could do this without going through a federally licensed dealer and with no background check whatsoever. Were it not for certain high-profile incidents in the 1960s and the federal government's being nervous about the civil rights movement it's likely we would still be able to do this. (Indeed, according to journalist Robert Sherrill, GCA '68 was "passed not to control guns but to control Blacks.") Before the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934, a citizen of the United States could acquire a machine gun without having to register it with the federal government. We could buy brand-new machine guns until the passage of the Firearm Owners' Protection Act of 1986, which (via the Hughes Amendment) outlawed the acquisition of any fully-automatic weapons not registered after May 19, 1986.
Yet before the passage of all these laws, if my study of history is any indication, this country wasn't exactly awash in the blood of innocents. Perhaps the guns (and the supposed "easy availability" of them) aren't the problem?

Mike B's response to that: "Some of our other societal and cultural problems are so acute now that we can't stand the level of access to guns we have now, even if it is less than before."
So he's saying that those of us who don't do bad things with guns should in effect be penalized for those that do commit crimes with guns. My response to that was here, to which there was no response by MikeB. I also had this to say:
"If the availability of guns is a problem, that would imply that people are getting them who should not be trusted with them. If these individuals are so dangerous that they allegedly can't be trusted with guns, then why are they not locked up tighter than Dick's hatband? Why are they still walking free? And why don't you and your ilk ever ask that question, hmmm? Why do you in effect put the "rights" of the criminals above the RIGHTS of the law-abiding?"
No response to that, either (are you detecting a pattern here?).
MikeB goes on to ask why we don't admit that our sources may not be beyond reproach, asking, "Don't you see the double standard you're always using by calling Helmke and Hemenway shills for the gun control crowd while all your sources are above reproach?"
Ok, here we go. It was not pointed out by any of us over at Bob's blog, but Paul Helmke and David Hemenway ARE shills for the gun control crowd. And that's about the closest thing to fact that there is. Were it not for Paul Helmke taking the position as head of The Organization Formerly Known As Handgun Control, practically no one outside the Indiana borders would have a clue who Paul Helmke was after he finished his tenure as mayor of Fort Wayne. And Hemenway's studies were at least partly funded by George Soros, whose advocacy of international gun control via his disbursal of funds to groups like the Joyce Foundation, Violence Policy Center and IANSA is quite well-known. Also, as Kleck and Gertz point out, " His closest and most frequent collaborator on gun-related research is Douglas Weil, currently Research Director of CPHV (Center to Prevent Handgun Violence -- ed.) while H has co-edited a strongly pro-control propaganda tract with Dennis A. Henigan, legal counsel to HCI and CPHV." As Jeff at Alphecca said some time ago, no conflict of interest there, huh? Funded and put together by those who have a vested interest in the issue.
Anyway, on we go, about the sources of those of us on the pro-gun side:
"Which of the sources we cite is not above reproach? I am well aware of the John Lott controversy, but the thing is, his findings have been replicated by several other studies — some of which were undertaken by people who set out to prove him wrong. If I remember correctly, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck was one of those who set out to prove Lott wrong — instead, Kleck came out with a study that at least one of his fellow criminologists lauded as methodologically sound. And then we have the case of Duke professor Phillip Cook and Georgetown professor Jens Ludwig, who with a Clinton Justice Department grant undertook a study of their own as they along with the Clinton DoJ thought the Kleck DGU figure was too high...well, guess what? Their study produced about the same results as did Kleck's study, and in fact Cook and Ludwig conceded their methodology might have been too conservative and that Kleck's figure of 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year could very well be almost doubled, to 4.7 million defensive gun uses per year. Again, this was from researchers who got TAXPAYER MONEY to prove Kleck wrong."
I almost didn't think MikeB would respond, but of course he did, with some throwaway lines in which he cited Hemenway's book -- you know, the one whose research was funded by Mr. Soros and that I'd think Hemenway at least partially researched with someone who, again, has a vested interest in getting more gun control enacted. Can you say propaganda, ladies and gentlemen? I knew you could! And there was then this priceless line in response to my pointing out that Kleck's findings were replicated:
"The fact that he has other unscrupulous poll-takers who amazingly came up with the same results is of no more value than you guys on this comment thread supporting each other."
Whaaa? Unscrupulous? Pot callin' the kettle black there, considering the flaws of Hemenway's research. And if Cook & Ludwig were really being unscrupulous, one would think they'd have tried a little harder to come up with a figure lower than Kleck's, let alone one that could very well be 100 percent higher. Granted, an earlier study (referenced here, PDF ALERT) concluded there were only 82,000 DGUs per year. However, Kleck in his book Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control" argues the National Crime Victimization Survey used for that study, which is the only survey out of about 15 that found a DGU estimate under 700,000, was flawed due to the way the survey was conducted. Either way, at this point we're just arguing about numbers. Even if there are only 82,000 defensive gun uses per year in the U.S. that number still outstrips the about 12,000 homicides.
Of course, all of this is assuming the social utility arguments have any merit whatsoever. I happen to agree with L. Neil Smith, again, that the right to keep and bear arms isn't subject to any such arguments. Which means all these arguments really amount to nothing more than arguments about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. But if they're there, and they're in our favor — which they have been proven to be, time and time again — I don't really see any problem in using them. As Codrea says, CUM ULLA SELLA IN PUGNO TABERNA. ;-)
And with no response from MikeB to certain things I said, it would seem that, like other gun control advocates, he doesn't have any problems whatsoever with dangerous criminals walking the streets as long as they allegedly can't get a gun, and that the population at large should be penalized for the mistakes of an exceedingly small segment of it. And he says nothing of the God-given right of self-defense and to the best tools available to effect that defense. What do you make of that?

One of Willie's best, even if he didn't write it.... the Roadhouse, Sirius Ch. 62: "Georgia, Georgia....a soooong of you....comes, sweet and clear, as moonlight....through the piiiines...."
I haven't a clue as to how many times that Hoagy Carmichael composition has been recorded over the years, but the two recordings of it that stand out are those of the great Ray Charles and Willie Nelson. Many if not most folks would probably consider the Ray Charles version the definitive one, but I think Willie topped it. Ironically enough, that was the only song from Willie's Stardust record that I liked. But I like it a LOT.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spew alert!

...Now this is just WROOOOONG....

Just some food for thought...

...upon reading this story...

Around 2:30 a.m., witnesses said a man entered the Scottish Inn and Suites at 8109 West Little York and appeared to recognize a woman waving from a balcony...
The man, brandishing a semiautomatic pistol, fired several shots and hit another woman, who was hospitalized with a non-life threatening arm wound. Another man wrestled the pistol away from the gunman and shot him dead...

All right. You know how the antis say, "carrying a gun to defend yourself isn't a good idea because your attacker will only take your gun away from you and shoot you with it." Well, I could be wrong here, but it seems to me, in all the stories I've read of any kind of armed self-defense, the attackers have been the ones being disarmed by their intended targets. And I know some of us say in response to the antis, "Well, I'll just take it back from him!" I know that's largely tongue-in-cheek, but stories like this do give that response a fair amount of credibility. From what I remember, in all the studies I've seen on defensive gun use, there is a small percentage in which the defender is disarmed by his attacker but that percentage is so small as to be of practically no significance. Now that I think about it, I wonder how many of those were of attackers being disarmed, especially in certain studies funded by anti-gun Justice Departments...

And yet another one of those songs that'll remain forever new.... the Roadhouse, Sirius Ch. 62: "She said so long, country bumpkin....the frost is gone now from the pumpkin..."
I don't remember exactly when I first heard that 1974 Cal Smith hit in its entirety, though I do know for a fact it was when I was in College Station. But I remember the first few times I heard that last refrain I got to where I just couldn't stand it because I thought she was leaving and that those were her parting words. But when I heard the whole thing that changed things completely. It got to be one of my favorite songs and remains such to this day.

Mmmm, George doing some good ole Western swing... Willie's Place, Sirius Ch. 64: "in your heaaarrrt, please just remember, right or wrong, I'm still in love with you..."
Written by Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan, "Right Or Wrong" was the title track to Strait's third album from 1983 and his fourth No. 1 hit. Strait's always had an affinity for the Western swing and he's proved himself to be damn good at it, especially on stage. (Ironically enough, from what I remember reading, Merle Haggard's Bob Wills tribute album was how Strait discovered him.) He hasn't played "Cherokee Maiden" in years, but "Take Me Back to Tulsa" has been a staple of his live show probably since long before the first time I saw him 13 years ago. I'd love to have been old enough to have seen him back at those south-central Texas honky-tonks like the Cheatham Street Warehouse and Gruene Hall. But I'll take seeing him live wherever I can.

Quote of the day...

...right here, in a story talking about the Ike baby boom...
“You can only do so much when there’s no television, nothing open and there’s nowhere to go.”
Yes, indeed... ;-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh, hells yes. I WILL be there.

So I've been getting a lot of hits for this search ever since I posted it way back when; as you see, that post is No. 1 with a bullet. Just this morning I got a hit from Lubbock. I go to The Man's official website to look and see how the '09 tour's looking, and what do I see?

8/8/09 Reliant Stadium Houston, TX 5/16/09
I summoned my Google-fu, and found this:
George Strait has added a date in Houston's Reliant Stadium to his upcoming spring/summer tour, his first full-length concert in the Texas city since 2001.
The Aug. 8 show--which will also feature Sugarland and Julianne Hough--comes at the tail end of Strait's current schedule, which kicks off Saturday (5/9) in Hidalgo, TX. Though he hasn't played headlining dates in Houston of late, he has been a regular at the annual RodeoHouston concerts, which take place during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Oh, HELL YEAH! *insert fist pump here* Strait was only making two stops in Texas this year, down in the Rio Grande Valley Saturday night and the show in Dallas next month at the new Cowboys stadium. Neither one of those quite worked out for me for varying reasons. I thought I was going to have to say "maybe next year." Looks like I won't now. Come hell or high water, you will see me there. I don't CARE if I've seen him 14 times already. I'm going to keep going until he goes home to his South Texas ranch to stay. Yeah, it's that good.

It's only a "slogan" if you don't agree...

...with the underlying philosophy:

such matters as a nominee’s sexual preference should not be a consideration, and an authentic debate will involve ideas, not slogans — notably “judicial activism,” “legislating from the bench” and “strict constructionism.”

Mr. Dionne might be surprised to find that as a small-L libertarian, I for one would agree that
sexual preference should not be a consideration...but those three terms in quotes, well, they are ALL ideas. He just doesn't see "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench" as bad things. And I must say I find his feigned concern for civil rights laughable and hypocritical in the extreme, considering how loudly he whined when the justices handed down their decision in Heller v. D.C. last June. Like I've said before, apparently he and his fellow lefties find some protected rights to be more equal than others. There are those on the right that do it too, of course — if you'll remember, there were some who wanted to call for a constitutional convention a few years ago because they couldn't get any traction with an amendment banning gay marriage — but at least most of those on the right would let us keep our guns in the event the fecal matter hit the rotating air circulation device. Whether we would ever be willing to use them in defense of our rights is another question entirely, but at least we would still have the option.

Well now, this is quite interesting.

A story about Beltway sniper John Allen Muhammad's appeal here has nary a mention of the type of weapon he and his partner John Lee Malvo used. If you read it and didn't know anything about the case beforehand you'd almost think they actually did use something like a scoped bolt-action deer rifle as opposed to an intermediate-caliber semiautomatic piece. Interesting. In pretty much every story I've seen on this since the story broke it seems like the fact that he used a Bushmaster AR variant has been played up pretty heavily — so heavily, in fact, that those who knew nothing about guns could almost, ALMOST be forgiven for not figuring out that they could have pulled it off with just about any good deer rifle/scope combination.
I don't know if this is a sign of anything, though. I just thought it was noteworthy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I really don't have anything witty to say...

... about this...

WASHINGTON — It was the hottest ticket in town, a black-tie dinner gathering of Washington's political and media elite but Dick Cheney couldn't make it.

...other than...
Can you say circle-jerk? I knew you could. As for the joke about Rush Limbaugh being a troubled asset...don't such topical jokes have to have some ring of truth to them?

My sentiments exactly...

...right here:

We should never apologize for considering strong actions that secure our nation. Nor should we allow concerns about alienating our neighbors to prevent us from frankly discussing the problems. We may discover shared interests that will demand a coordinated approach.

Yep. It might be nigh-well impossible, though, to have any fruitful discussion about getting ourselves border security worthy of the term -- precisely due to our politicians' pandering to a certain voting bloc. It seems like every time the issue is brought up, those on the Mexican side of the debate will invariably point to the supposedly lax gun laws and the demand for drugs in the States when the topic turns to the drug cartel violence in Mexico, seemingly blind to how exactly the drugs get here and the (minuscule number of) guns get there. And it seems that no one ever talks about what else could get into from points south or even via the Pacific Ocean. I seem to remember it coming out some time ago that Hamas used some of the same routes into the United States that the drug traffickers do, but it never got that much play in the media. I guess that's because they were stuffing so many column-inches with the American-guns-fueling-Mexico-violence meme and all the variations thereof. But that's still a piss-poor excuse for American politicians sitting on their hands here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Oooh, more old George Strait... Willie's Place, Sirius Ch. 64: "...Well I come and go as I please, from down here up north and in between...but baby, it's a shame, 'cause I always feel the same, when I can't see Texas from here..."
A jaunty little swing number from his 1982 sophomore album Strait From the Heart, "I Can't See Texas From Here" was the only self-penned song George Strait ever recorded after he got his major-label deal. Not a bad little tune either. I'd like to have seen George develop his writing skills more and seen what else he could have come up with. He later said he had so much success with other people's songs that it was hard for him to get motivated.
But that's quite all right, because he still has an ear for great songs almost three decades later. And it certainly doesn't hurt when folks write songs with him in mind. I could be wrong here, but I seem to recall someone saying "Troubadour" was written specifically for Strait. Even if it wasn't, though, it fits him better than it would have fit anyone else recording today.

Hey, wait a minute...

Something's not quite right here...

The tiny stilt house flying a rebel flag from the roof has a sign posted in front scrawled with this warning: “Trespassers will be shot. Survivers will be reshot!! Smile I will.”
It was at this most unwelcoming spot on Friday that homeowners Gale and Sheila Muhs were arrested and accused of firing a 12-gauge shotgun at four people, including two children, who were riding in a jeep and a sport utility vehicle.
About 9 p.m. Thursday, investigators said, the vehicles were passing in front of the Muhses’ house when the couple came outside with their 12-guage (sic) shotgun and shouted for those in the two vehicles to “get out.”

A 12-gauge shotgun? But, but, b-b-but...that's a duck gun just like my great-grandpa had! No one ever does anything bad with those! It's those damn black rifles that are the problem, no one ever does anything bad with an older, more traditional design like the one this guy used! If I didn't know better, if the antis didn't keep trying to tell me different I'd almost be thinking that it was the person behind the gun that was the critical variable in this equation instead of the gun itself...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Random Friday morning musical musings, 5-8-09

1. A couple of lyrics from the Atlantic Starr hit "Secret Lovers" go like this:
"If we're found out, it will mess up both our happy homes....I wish we didn't have to keep our love out of sight."
Really. Well, if your homes were so happy, why did you look outside those homes for that kind of fulfillment? And if you had the spinal and intestinal fortitude to leave, well maybe you wouldn't have to keep your love out of sight, hmmm? I do not understand. Shit or get off the pot already!
2. Another set of lyrics, this one from Keith Anderson's "Every Time I Hear Your Name," goes, "When the conversation turns to you, I get caught in a 'you were the only one for me'..." Well if that's the case, then maybe it's too soon for a new relationship, eh?
3. Hayes Carll sounds a hell of a lot like a younger version of Billy Joe Shaver. He has that well-worn, somewhat gravelly voice, it seems, at a much younger age than Shaver, with the accent and many of the same vocal mannerisms and inflections. I don't know if he's ever covered any of Shaver's songs, but I bet he could pull it off better than anyone.
4. How many of you remember the old song/recitation about the deck of cards? I remembered it once I heard it this morning (T. Texas Tyler, for all of you fans of the REALLY old country), and I didn't expect it to bring a lump to my throat...but it sure did.
5. Of all the odd things I've heard, I never thought I would ever add to that list a post-grunge/alt-rock remake of a Wham! record. Seether's cover of "Careless Whisper" actually turned out to be quite good, though -- if you're into that sort of music.
6. Led Zeppelin is ten kinds of awesome -- even taking into account that if I ever heard "Stairway to Heaven" again it would be too soon, another example of a pretty good song that seems to be wildly overplayed. But Robert Plant's solo records never did a thing for me. "Tall Cool One" is especially grind-your-teeth annoying.
7. I thought it was somewhat ironic to hear Johnny Bush's "Whiskey River" on Willie's Place (Sirius Ch. 64) this morning, considering the version I've heard so often is the live version recorded by the man who lent his name to that channel. My favorite is still that cut from Willie And Family Live, but Johnny Bush's recording of it is still great. I did not know he was the one who wrote it, until I found out that his real name was John Bush Shinn III ("J.B. Shinn III" was how it's credited on the record.) You learn something new every day, it seems.
8. Another example of how I am not nearly the music maven I try to come off as: I heard the title cut from Pantera's Cowboys from Hell album this its entirety...For. The. Very. First. Time. Damn, but that RAWKED. Now I know exactly why I always see them mentioned beside other thrash greats such as Metallica and Megadeth. It was such a low-down dirty shame what happened to Dimebag Darrell on that Ohio stage in December 2004. My gimpy arse is going shopping real soon.
9. Freddy Fender's "When The Next Teardrop Falls" would be an almost perfect anthem for the Nice Guy lampooned by so many people. "If he brings you happiness, then I wish you all the best, it's your happiness that matters most of all." Well yeah, that's true, but then it's off the rails...
"If he ever breaks your heart, if a teardrop ever starts, I'll be there before the next teardrop falls....I'll be there any time, you need me by your side." No, no, no. Dude, how long are you gonna be carrying the torch for this woman? If he makes her cry you'd do well to stay away, especially if you drop that torch like you should and find someone new. If you tell her something like that and he does make her cry, and you're with someone new, you're caught between breaking a promise to a "friend" and giving what your new girlfriend might think of as inappropriate emotional support -- and she'd be quite justified to be angry about it. Those things happen and if he makes her cry, well, them's the breaks, as they say. Maybe I sound like a Heartless Bastard, but that's just what I think.

That's all for today's Random Musical Musings, folks, but there'll be more to come! Stayyyy tuned!

Why is this bizarre?

You know, for the MSM to have the reputation they do as a gang of raging leftists, they sure can come off as a bunch of prudes sometimes...

The e-mail came in with a subject line that demanded a double take: “News — First ever online sexual compatibility profile service launched.”
Wait, really? How does that work? And what happens if you’re not, you know, matched?
PillowTalk Profiles “eliminates the fear that one member of the couple will think the other is strange for his or her desires,” the press release promised.
Clearly this merited a little investigation. And it turns out that the scoop on the service is less smutty than first appeared — but no less bizarre.

What's so bizarre about helping couples determine their sexual compatibility or lack thereof? Hell, I'd think it was bizarre if couples didn't explore and determine how compatible they were in that department. Sure, you'll have instances in which one person will settle for less because they'll think that's the best they can get, but I would lay money on the proposition that in more instances one person or another will eventually get dissatisfied, so to speak, and start looking elsewhere for someone who's more compatible. I am certainly no relationship guru, but this sort of thing seems to me to be just common sense even if no one wants to talk about it in polite company. Really, is my perspective that skewed?

So Toyota lost money too...

...according to this report from the AP. But I guess that was only natural, considering they make a lot of money on the pickup sales and those have taken such a big hit in the last couple of years. And going back to yesterday's musings, both Toyota and Ford, even if they're not in the best of shape right now, will be in a prime position when the new car sales pick up again, if their marketing departments are savvy enough. Maybe it's because of my perspective on this whole thing, but if I were one of the advertising gurus at Toyota or Ford, I'd be looking at ways to capitalize on that taxpayer anger over the GM-Chrysler bailouts. "Hey, we've lost money too, but we didn't come looking for a handout of more of your money like GM, Chrysler and the banks did, and we're still making quality vehicles." Of course, considering who's in charge now I wouldn't be surprised if there was some sort of reprisal against that. And we all know how the media would try to spin that -- "Toyota and Ford are taking advantage of circumstances that GM and Chrysler couldn't avoid!" -- but I still think that'd make for a great ad campaign.

Not that often do folks get exactly what they deserve...

...but at least one man did last night in Houston:

A fight between a woman's former boyfriend and her new one ended in the death of one man late last night in northwest Houston.
The ex was banging on the door, woman let him in, new boyfriend told him to leave and ex proceeded to start a fight. One more of those at least 1.5 million defensive gun uses that occur each year. Like one of the commenters said, "Forced entry meets a can of whoop-ass." God bless Texas. ;-)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

"Pistolero, Life's calling on line 1..."

More bloggy for you later. I am going to have some fun with my girlfriend. (No, not THAT, gitchermind outta the gutter! Although...)

Maybe buying American wouldn't be so bad...

...or, George Will may be an out-of-touch elitist prick, but every now and then he does get something right. To wit:

...He (the president -- ed.) hopes buyers will choose American cars. A sensible person might add: Buyers should choose cars made by the Ford Motor Company.
This is so because Ford has, so far, avoided becoming an appendage of the government. And because the national interest will not be served by GM and Chrysler flourishing. It might cost taxpayers more in the short run, but in the long run it will be less costly for the country if the government finds its confident plunge into industrial policy so unpleasant that, sadder but wiser, the incumbent professors and others will flee from such adventures in extracting sunbeams from cucumbers.

Yep. Depending on Americans' outlook on the whole thing -- if they indeed think as some do, that buying a Chrysler or GM is out of the question considering they've given enough of their tax money to those companies, as JR so eloquently put it -- this could be a huge boon for Ford. And considering Ford has thus far not needed government money I'd say they deserve it. I got a kick out of Will's observation on how Toyota can justify continued production of the Prius by basically selling enough gas-guzzling trucks to make up for the lack of profits made on that car. No doubt if Obama thought he could get away with it he'd try to strongarm Toyota into making more of those hybrids using taxpayer money as the carrot and punitive taxes as the stick. But I'd better shut my mouth, lest I give those cretins any ideas...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wringing humor from an unlikely situation

...right here, with this scalpel-sharp conclusion: "...all of Music Row observed a moment of silence in (Vern) Gosdin’s honor before returning to their usual task of chipping away at the core of everything he stood for by marketing soulless ’80s pop/rock as modern country music."
Never mind Gary Levox. Gosdin was indeed "The Voice," another of those singers who could make even a singing of the phone book sound good. "Today My World Slipped Away," Chiseled in Stone," "Do You Believe Me Now," "Set 'Em Up Joe," all his records were great ones. He was always one of my favorites and he'll be missed indeed, but his work will live forever. As a fan of Real Country Music I hope his influence does as well.
On a related note, upon Gosdin's passing I thought of the great comic actor Jim Varney, one of whose famous roles was as Ernest P. Worrell. I could be wrong, but I seem to recall that Vern, the off-screen neighbor Ernest was always talking to, actually got his name from Vern Gosdin. I know Mr. Varney and Vern Gosdin were good friends, but I never knew that's where Vern got his name. I always thought that was pretty cool.

Oh yes, another of those songs that'll remain forever new, at The Roadhouse, Sirius Ch. 62: "Bet it ain't a-rainin' back home, bet your sister's still on the phone..."

Seven years for blowing off someone's face?

Am I really reading what I think I am here?...

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Five years ago, a shotgun blast left a ghastly hole where the middle of her face had been. Five months ago, she received a new face from a dead woman.
Connie Culp stepped forward Tuesday to show off the results of the nation’s first face transplant, and her new look was a far cry from the puckered, noseless sight that made children run away.
Culp’s husband, Thomas, shot her in 2004, then turned the gun on himself. He went to prison for seven years. His wife was left clinging to life.

Seven years. Thomas Culp blew off his wife's face with a shotgun, consigning her to a fate arguably worse than death, and for that ghastly deed got only seven years in prison. What a disgusting commentary on the justice system. And presumably those who support stricter gun laws, or even the gun laws we have now, will tell us with a straight face that he'll be fine walking as a free man as long as he can't legally procure a firearm. Ahem. Pardon me for objecting to that, but NO. If you do something like that to someone you don't deserve to live PERIOD, let alone live as an even semi-free human being. I suppose there will be other conditions attached to his getting out of jail, but the fact that Thomas Culp isn't pushing up daisies right now makes everything else vis-a-vis the penalty for his actions quite inconsequential, if you ask me.

An interesting little statistic...

...right here:

Recent polls show shrinking support for new gun control measures and strong public sentiment for enforcing existing laws instead. So strong is the shift in public opinion that a proposed assault-weapons ban — once backed by three in four Americans — now rates barely one in two.
Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll, told reporters Tuesday that “every bit of data is showing us that Americans are getting more conservative about gun control.”
A CNN poll conducted in April found that 39 percent of Americans wanted stricter gun control laws, down from 50 percent in 2000. Another 46 percent said the gun laws should stay as they are, while 15 percent said they should be loosened — up from 9 percent in 2000.
Even an assault-weapon ban is not the political “sure thing” it once was. An April poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal found that support for curbing the sale of assault weapons and semiautomatic rifles has dropped from 75 percent in 1991 to 53 percent today.

Now, one more time, the disclaimer: Even with their positive results, these polls only matter in the context of certain politicians wanting to keep their jobs. Our rights shouldn't be subject to the democratic process, and the fact that they are is a sadly illuminating commentary on how far away we've gotten from the principles of the Founding Fathers and those who influenced them. Now, with that said, yes, these figures are quite interesting. I would love to see someone do some digging to find out just what exactly got the polls swinging back the other way in the last 15 years or so, specifically how much of it was influenced by events such as Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina and the Virginia Tech shootings. I would also be interested to find out how many of those who supported a ban on semiautomatic rifles way back when now own one of those rifles. At any rate, this is quite heartening, especially with so many pushing for more restrictive gun laws in the wake of the violence in Mexico. Question is though, will gungrabbers like Schumer, Feinstein and McCarthy listen? My guess is they won't, because of course their seats are safe.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Why is voter ID a good thing?

'Cause of things like this right here:

Nevada authorities filed criminal charges Monday against the political advocacy group ACORN and two former employees, alleging they illegally paid canvassers to sign up new voters during last year's presidential campaign.
ACORN denied the charges and said it would defend itself in court.
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now had a handbook and policies requiring employees in Las Vegas to sign up 20 new voters per day to keep their $8- to $9-per-hour jobs.
Canvassers who turned in 21 new voter registrations earned a "blackjack" bonus of $5 per shift, Masto added. Those who didn't meet the minimum were fired.

But remember, folks, a voter ID requirement is nothing more than a plot by those Evil Bastard Republicans to keep Democrat constituencies away from the polls!

Different issue, same boogeyman!

This time, it's the liquor lobby in Lubbock!

...While many areas (in Texas -- ed.) to this day remain “dry,” on Saturday the biggest teetotaling town in Texas may be going wet.
Voters in Lubbock will decide whether beer, wine and liquor will be available in stores around this town of about 210,000. For decades Texas Tech University students and anybody else looking to buy their own beer, wine or spirits had to make their way to a quarter-mile patch of pavement that serves a handful of stores on the southeastern edge of town.
...Brant O’Hair, co-chairman of the group Truth About Alcohol Sales that opposes the measure, said he believes most liquor “package stores” will go in poorer neighborhoods.
“The people who are most vulnerable in our society will be affected the most,” he said. “Follow the money. It’s the liquor lobby.”
The liquor lobby. As Dave Barry would say, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. Apparently the liquor lobby has hired guns ready to go out and threaten people at gunpoint to go to the newly established liquor stores and buy their wares even if the people can't afford them. It's not their fault, really, what would you rather have, Johnnie Walker Black Label in your hand or a Speer Gold Dot in your head?
Seriously though, I don't understand it. Not only does this modern-day American Temperance Society absolve the lower-income people of their proper personal responsibility for their own bad choices, but they also think the rest of Lubbock should effectively have to pay the penalty for the bad choices those few MIGHT make. To paraphrase L. Neil Smith, these people are lecturing about the bad choices some people might make, but what does that have to do with the vast majority of Lubbockites who will continue to spend their money wisely? They shouldn't be penalized for bad choices they don't make, and that's exactly what those who oppose Lubbock alcohol sales are doing. I think it would be interesting to see in what other aspects of life those people think the lower-income demographic should be absolved of personal responsibility.

Heyyy, my favorite Joan Jett tune, at the Boneyard, Sirius Ch. 19:" I think of you every night and day, you took my heart, and you took my pride, a-waaaayaaayayayayay...."

Just a random observation for the morning

I posted on my Facebook page a few weeks ago how it ticked me off that so many more people made such a big deal out of Cinco de Mayo than they do April 21. Not long after that I got a reply from my little sister:
"Cinco de what? YAY for San Jacinto Day!! Nos patearon el trasero de Santa Anna!"
Why yes, yes we did. I was proud of her for remembering that. ;-) As for my thoughts on that whole thing...well, click here and here. I did not write that first thing, but I agreed with it wholeheartedly.

Monday, May 04, 2009

It's all in the definitions...

From Joe Huffman's Quote of the Day, comes this from Saul Cornell, a well-known figure in the debate over the right to armed self-defense, on a new book from two more well-known figures, Joshua Horwitz and Casey Anderson (emphasis mine -- ed.):

Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea recasts the gun debate by showing its importance to the future of democracy and the modern regulatory state. Until now, gun rights advocates had effectively co-opted the language of liberty and democracy and made it their own. This book is an important first step in demonstrating how reasonable gun control is essential to the survival of democracy and ordered liberty.

Well, of course it is. Assuming, of course, that one uses these definitions:
*reasonable gun control -- blatantly unjust malum prohibitum gun laws, the body of which comprises every gun law other than the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, or, Anything besides The Four Rules and "hitting what you're aiming at";
*democracy -- the system of government in which if 51 percent of the people vote away the rights of the other 49 percent then that's just too bad for them; and
*ordered liberty -- you have only as much freedom as the nanny-statists allow you

Because, of course, you can't have those 49 percent whose rights were voted away be able to say "No" and have the capability to make that "No" mean something. Where in the hell does anyone get off saying the United States is a democracy anyway? And why does no one point out the differences in pure democracy and a constitutional republic, which was what the United States was set up as in the first place?

Another one of those genre-blurring records...

...from the '70s, on Classic Vinyl, Sirius Ch. 14: "Well I built me a raft, and she's ready for floatin', oh, Mississippi, she's callin' my name..."
For those of you who aren't classic rock fans, that's "Black Water," the Doobie Brothers' monster hit from 1975 featuring Patrick Simmons on lead vocals, the band's first No. 1 hit. That's my personal favorite song of theirs. I loved all the songs from that era, most of which had Tom Johnston on lead vocals. I liked the earlier incarnation of the Doobie Brothers, with the country-rock hybrid sound, much, much more than the Michael McDonald era. When he came in after Tom Johnston's departure it was as if they turned into a completely different band. I know there are a lot of people who like that soft-rock sound, but compared to what they were doing before Johnston's departure...well, from my perspective, to say they sucked would have been a charitable assessment. I don't know how much of a backlash there was from the older fans after McDonald came in and they effectively turned into The Doobie Brothers In Name Only, but however much there was I can't help but think it was fully justified.

If he hadn't had a gun...

...he would have used a knife:

Murder charges have been filed against a 20-year-old man accused of killing another man in parking lot of a southwest Harris County bar during an argument over a woman early Sunday, authorities said.

Wow, though, how many laws didn't work here? At least four, five if the 20-year-old was drinking at the bar:
*minimum age of 21 for handgun possession
*same for being in the bar
*same for drinking at the bar
*carrying without a CHL, since he wasn't even of legal age to have the gun in the first place
*carrying in an establishment that derives at least 51 percent of its revenues from the sale of alcohol

But yeah, the "easy availability of guns" is the problem. What the hell ever. It should be noted though, that every single one of the laws this guy broke -- save for the law against killing people -- was little more than a malum prohibitum law, i.e., having a gun at 20 and carrying it without a license at a bar is wrong because the government says it is. And no one ever says word one about any of that. I wonder why that is?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Taking up Gary Larson's mantle

Ever since The Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson put down his pen almost 15 years ago, it seems there have been attempts by various cartoonists to fill the gaping niche left on the comic pages by his departure. Lo all these years later, no one has quite done it; but since Texas native Scott Hilburn's The Argyle Sweater has been in the Houston Chronicle, I must say I've thought it comes closer than anything I've seen. This is but one of the reasons. And he does it damned consistently too, just about every day.

Every now and then, I feel the need... apologize for my gender, and phenomena such as this are more often than not a reason for that:

In the world of dating, I’m an anomaly: I’m 42 and unmarried. It’s not ideal, but there is a positive side to it: After 20-plus years of dating, I’ve developed a keen ability to recognize bizarre dating games when I see them — and I see one.
This newest dating game involves single males who, having moved on to a new relationship, still feel the need to be with animals … that belong to their ex.
Whether your guy’s occasional stop-ins at his ex’s are really about the pet or have more to do with the fact that his ex walks around braless and in yoga pants, I can’t be sure; but I do know that pets seem to be the justification du jour for keeping a foot in the ex’s door while testing the waters elsewhere.

All righty then. Who the hell does this and why the hell would ANY woman put up with it? Would these men put up with it if it was the woman doing it? Or would they be thinking something was up? I mean, custody of the kids is one thing, but going by the ex's house to see the dog? ALONE, natch? I am just at a complete loss for words here. I mean, I can understand being attached to the dog, but why not just get another one when that one stays with the ex? I just don't get it. Lord, but I am so glad I am off the market and don't have to worry about playing those sorts of games anymore. Fortunately I never ran into anyone who did anything like this, but I know there was always the danger of it. Better Half only deals with her ex out of necessity, since they have shared custody of the kids. No doubt if she didn't have kids she'd have nothing to do with him, and thank God for that.

The truth. It is written here.

By professors, no less!

Mass public shootings are a particularly horrific feature of modern life. Many of the bloodiest examples of this scourge have occurred on college campuses, so as professors we are particularly sensitive to this danger.
Despite this — no, because of this — we support a bill currently pending in the Texas Legislature that would permit the concealed carrying of firearms on college and university campuses in the state by holders of concealed-handgun licenses. We therefore call on the Legislature to follow the example of the Missouri House of Representatives, which recently passed a similar bill by an overwhelming margin.

You should read the whole thing. It's good to see someone from that side take a look at this from a more logical view as opposed to the more emotion-laden fact-free rhetoric so often seen from supposedly learned intellectuals.

Keeping it in the public eye...

Good for these kids for doing this...

GALVESTON — A month after Hurricane Ike, Austin Almanza felt as though the world outside Galveston had forgotten about the terrible pounding his hometown had suffered from Hurricane Ike.
“I heard nothing on the national news,” said Almanza, 17, a junior at Ball High School. “After hurricanes like Katrina you heard about it months after it happened.” So Austin, along with the seven other students who showed up on the first day of school after the hurricane for Robert Weiss’ advanced media technology class, readily agreed to make a documentary about Galveston’s recovery from the most damaging storm since the Great 1900 hurricane.

Yep, I remember that very well, the media saturation of the airwaves with Katrina in the storm's aftermath. Of course it was a big storm and deserving of the coverage, but there was and seemingly continues to be a huge imbalance of coverage of Katrina's impact and the impact of every storm that came after it, in a couple of ways. When you look at just the coverage of Katrina by itself, it seems like it's been all-New-Orleans-all-the-time, from the moment the Katrina coverage started in the waning days of August 2005. And I can understand that to an extent -- major American city under water, potentially tens of thousands dead -- but the thing is, people were affected in other places too. Many of the smaller Louisiana towns surrounding New Orleans were inundated, and a good chunk of the Mississippi Gulf Coast was, you could probably say, washed and blown right away, being on the bad side of the storm as it was. But it seems all those people were completely ignored in favor of the impact on New Orleans, and don't even get me started on that little storm that blew in barely three weeks later a couple hundred miles to the west. And of course, there was the relative dearth of Ike coverage, which seemed to me to be basically equivalent to that of Rita; that is, they gave it a few days and then they left. The more cynical among us might say that the media gave those other storms so little coverage because they couldn't use them as a cudgel with which to beat on President Bush. That seems to me to be as good of an explanation as any. If anyone has a better one I am certainly all ears.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Shared constitutional values?

Patrick Leahy didn't really say that, did he?...

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who will preside over confirmation hearings as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he hoped Obama would consult with lawmakers in both parties. He then issued something of a gentle challenge to Republicans. "I hope that all senators will take this opportunity to unify around the shared constitutional values that will define Justice Souter's legacy on the court," he said.
Shared "constitutional" values revolving around more government power, as evidenced by Souter's votes in, for example, Kelo v. New London and Heller v. D.C. I knew Pat Leahy was a lefty, but I didn't realize his perspective on the Founding Fathers and the Constitution was quite that twisted. I for one would hope they get as far away as they can from Souter's legacy, but maybe that's just me.

Friday, May 01, 2009

He said what, again?

Our learned and erudite Dear Leader, that is, who everyone knows is the Smartest Man on Earth...

In his Thursday presentation the president made what many American auto workers toiling for the likes of Toyota and Honda will consider a serious misstep by encouraging U.S. consumers to “buy an American car.” These days, when parts and assembly can be done most anywhere, it’s hard to say exactly what’s an “American” car and what’s not. If a Chrysler/Fiat product built in Canada is an American car, as Obama seemed to be saying, isn’t a Honda built in Ohio or a Toyota truck built in Texas just as American?

Well yeah, it is. I'd say that could be a big selling point for the Toyota Tundra here in Texas, considering that all of them are made in San Antonio. At any rate, I thought the whole purpose of encouraging consumers to "buy American" was to preserve American jobs. Which can be done now just as easily by buying a Honda or a Toyota. The more cynical among us might say that "buy an American car" really meant "buy a Chrysler after they emerge from bankruptcy" and that Obama was encouraging Americans to "buy American" to justify his throwing taxpayer money at them. I wonder what TOTUS is thinking right about now...
Of course, none of this is to disparage the quality of a Chrysler product. I drive a Dodge truck and have a had very good experience with it. I've kept it maintained regularly and it's given me no problems whatsoever. I wouldn't have any hesitation about buying another.