Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh, now this is going to be fun...

....right here:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether strict local and state gun control laws violate the Second Amendment, ensuring another high-profile battle over the rights of gun owners.
The court said it will review a lower court ruling that upheld a handgun ban in Chicago. Gun rights supporters challenged gun laws in Chicago and some suburbs immediately following the high court’s decision in June 2008 that struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave.

As well they should review it, and strike it down. I understand what Judge Easterbrook was getting at when he cited the principle of federalism in his opinion, but the Second Amendment should not allow for gun bans on the state and local level any more than the First Amendment allows states, counties or cities to require a license for a newspaper or to allow the newspaper to print only so many copies per day, week or month.

A bad case of teh stupids...


PHOENIX — Bartender Randy Shields was serving British brews and Arizona ambers as usual at Shady's bar in east Phoenix when he saw a customer walk in with a hunting knife strapped to his hip.
A disturbing image flashed through his mind — "that knife sliding between my ribs."
The customer willingly turned over the knife while he was in the bar, but Shields still worries about a new Arizona law that goes into effect Wednesday that will allow guns into Arizona bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
Under the law, backed by the National Rifle Association, the 138,350 people with concealed-weapons permits in Arizona will be allowed to bring their guns into bars and restaurants that haven't posted signs banning them.
Those carrying the weapons aren't allowed to drink alcohol.
The new law has Shields and other bar owners and workers wondering: What's going to happen when guns are allowed in an atmosphere filled with booze and people with impaired judgment?
All right, does anyone else here see what's wrong here? The folks carrying guns aren't going to be allowed to drink alcohol, yet the bar owners are worried about impaired judgment? Sounds to me like they should be more worried about the unarmed drunks than the armed sober people. But maybe that's just me...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Remember, folks, easy availability of guns is the problem here...

...and not the feral youths! Wow, beat him to death with railroad ties. That's some high-grade brutality for teenagers. And Richard Daley, Mike Bloomberg, et al, would tell you that when those feral youths come of age and take their predatory practices to the streets at large, we should just give them what they want. Is it so wrong of me to think that's just evil?

From just a "cultural difference"...

...right smack into lack of any morals whatsoever...

Although the cultural divide between Europe and the U.S. has narrowed over the years, the legal fate of director Roman Polanski shows there are still major differences...
"To see him thrown to the lions and put in prison because of ancient history - and as he was traveling to an event honoring him - is absolutely horrifying," French Culture Minister FrÉdÉric Mitterrand said after Polanski was arrested upon arrival in Switzerland to attend the Zurich Film Festival, where he was to receive a lifetime achievement award. "There's an America we love and an America that scares us, and it's that latter America that has just shown us its face."
"The French view Polanski as an artist and celebrity and feel he deserves a different kind of treatment than ordinary people, which just isn't an option in the U.S.," says Ted Stanger, an author and longtime resident of France who has written extensively on the differing public views and attitudes across the Atlantic.

So, apparently, Polanski's artistry excuses the fact that he drugged and raped a 13-year-old, all the while ignoring her cries for him to stop. Wow. They just don't make the words to describe how disgusting that is. I mean, I know that there is a huge cultural difference between France and the United States, and I know the United States itself is obsessed to a large extent with celebrity, but I'd like to think we as a society wouldn't excuse such abhorrent acts just because of the perpetrator's social status. So, so much more I could say to this, but this piece from Kate Harding at Salon slams it home quite nicely.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What else did they expect?

You tax the rich and they go to a state that doesn't take as much of their money? Huh, who knew... least two high-profile defectors have sounded off on the tax changes: Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano, the billionaire who ran for governor three times and who was paying $13,000 a day in New York income taxes, and radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. Golisano changed his official address to Florida, and Limbaugh, who also has a Florida home, announced earlier this year that he was relinquishing his home in Manhattan.Golisano, who created 5,000 jobs from his Rochester payroll processing company, Paychex, bristled when politicians said he was bailing on New York in the spring.
"If anything, New York state has bailed out on us," he said.

I don't think I would have been even that diplomatic. Seems to me New York state is acting like it's entitled to take as much of Mr. Golisano's hard-earned money as it sees fit. I know there's a sizable entitlement mentality on the individual level, but I never would have thought that extended to a government entity. Who do those people think they are?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

From the Department of Not Getting It...

...right here:

I think that it is great that the FDA has banned all flavored cigarettes, but what I don't agree with is that it will stop teenagers from starting to smoke. I think that the FDA should ban cigarettes altogether because it does nothing but cause harm to the user no matter what flavor or age.

Yep, because that worked so well for alcohol back in the 1930s, right?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Preach it, brah...

...My fellow Texan Tweaker is on fire rat-cheer. A-MEN!

I bet that one smarted...

...but Mr. Bay was exactly right with this:

When it came to acting on behalf of peace in the 21st century, the Obama administration weighed “sphere of influence” against “sphere of security” and came down solidly on the side of the Russian czars.
I am referring to the administration's refusal to deploy long-range defensive ground-based interceptor (GBI) missiles in Poland. For an administration that insistently congratulates itself on “smart diplomacy,” this is a shortsighted decision that sets back 21st century collective defense (sphere of security) at least five critical years and likely longer.
The White House decision also damaged relations with the Czech Republic, which had agreed to host an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) radar as part of the defensive system. Recall in 1938 in Munich, the West sold out Czechoslovakia in an attempt to “reset” diplomacy with Adolf Hitler.
...the odds are the descriptive phrase will not contain an adjective associated with brilliance or courage. A “YouTube Era” Neville Chamberlain seems more apt.

I'm sure many of the left are going to protest that, saying it's better to try to negotiate with those who would leave our allies out in the cold than always to resort to weapon deployment and the like -- but who said it has to be one or the other? As Teddy Roosevelt's much-quoted saying goes, it's best to speak softly and carry a big stick -- but it seems that the current administration is throwing away that big stick in the hopes that those in Iran and that vicinity will listen to those soft words alone. You know how often everyone says "Never Again" in reference to the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, and how often those words ring so hollow in light of the actions of some. It would seem they're ringing hollow once again, but as opposed to herding Jews into boxcars, this time around the enemies of the Jews will kill them with a few nuclear-tipped missiles. Never again, indeed...

Friday, September 25, 2009

I get the feeling...

...reading stories like this one and this one, that sooner or later the Israelis are going to have to say "the hell with this" and do whatever whatever they have to do to assure their security. It's a laudable goal, to be sure, but "nuclear nonproliferation" is still just as big of a joke as is "gun control." Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said more than once that he would like to see Israel wiped off the map, and I don't see how this sort of security theater writ large is going to change that.
Of course, I have no doubt that the Israelis are keeping a sharp eye on this whole thing and making contingency plans behind the scenes. I'd be surprised if they had not been doing such long before the last elections here in the United States. And it's not as if they haven't taken certain unpopular measures to assure their security before...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?

....a bluegrass rendition of "Super Freak"?! Yeah, really....from Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby. Gah, I think I've heard it all now...

Don't ya hate it...

....when you flip the channel and catch the back end of a song you've always wanted to hear?
Now playing at Liquid Metal, Sirius Ch. 27: the original version of "Blitzkrieg," by the band of the same name. Of course, Metallica covered that song early on in their career, on the flip side of the 1984 "Creeping Death" single. Sounds like they were pretty faithful to the original, too, though I only caught the lead-out instrumental part of it. I'd be interested to find out what the vocal part of the original sounds like...

Yep, that's our mainstream media...

....covering the stories the blogs were covering eight months ago...

This sort of thing isn't supposed to happen... places like New Jersey...

Gunfire erupted as a police tactical squad executed a no-knock search warrant in a New Jersey suburb Thursday, leaving four officers and a suspect shot.

...with arguably the most stringent gun laws in the country, more or less the gun controllers' model for the rest of the country. Of course assclowns like Bryan Miller will blame it on everyone else, ignoring the surrounding conditions such as the fact that it was more or less a drug raid executed by a no-knock search warrant because, hey, drugs'r'bad, hmmkay?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

If you can't say anything of substance...

...then why the hell say anything at all?

I could not vote for new artist of the year. This is unbelievable. I love Randy Houser and Zac Brown equally. Randy writes and performs like a champ, and Zac writes, sings and plays the living daylight out of a guitar. Of course, Jamey Johnson hit us with an album that's so good, it touches your heart like Hank Williams did in the early '50s. Jake Owen is so good looking, and Darius Rucker is such a star.

"Jake Owen is so good looking." Really now. CMW at Country California called it a burn, and I can definitely see where he's coming from -- but even if it wasn't it still makes Hazel Smith look really shallow. I don't have his new album, but Jake Owen's 2006 debut album was one of the best cds I bought last year. He has a great voice -- so good I think it even redeems lighter fare like "Something About A Woman" and "Yee Haw," and on the more meaty songs like the title track (the song I bought the cd for), "Places To Run," and "Ghosts" I honestly think he shows potential for true greatness. (Owen and Chuck Jones wrote "Ghosts" for Kenny Chesney; let me just say I am glad Chesney passed on it, because I am quite sure he could not have done it justice.) I don't know if he's on the level that Jamey Johnson is, but I still think Jake Owen is damn good for a mainstream Nashville artist. And if all Country Music Association voter Hazel Smith could say about him was that he's "so good looking," then it's really no wonder Nashville country music's in such sad shape -- no matter what she said about Jamey Johnson.

Hey, yet more Beatles worship!

This time, in the comments to this story, and talk about taking Beatles worship to a whole new level...

Don't tell me that you just compared an Incredible Fab Four group like the Beatles to a group of dress-wearing, makup-wearing, devil worshipping group like the Rolling Stones!! The Stones had a few good hits, but not anything compared to the likes of the four lads from Liverpool. The Beatles had more talent in their pinky than all of the Stones put together !!!!

I guess I must have missed something along the way in my study of the history of rock and roll, because nowhere have I seen anything about the Stones dressing in drag and worshipping the devil. At any rate, though, it really tells you where the commenter's coming from. I'd guess he (or she) probably prefers everything that came before about 1965 or so, or whenever it was that rock started taking on more of the edge that much of the Rolling Stones' music had. Now that I think about it I think that's perhaps the biggest reason I prefer the Rolling Stones, is that their style of rock was harder than that of the Beatles. I've always preferred the harder rock of the bands that came later, as you might have noticed by a lot of the songs I am blogging about here. And I'd really hate to think the above comment was representative of the typical Beatles fan's mentality, because even though I can't stand the music of the Beatles I can at least respect their talent and not resort to ad hominem slurs.
I might make an exception for John Lenin Lennon, though...

Hey, wait a minute...

...reading this...

DALLAS — Dallas police say two boys talked their stepfather into letting them live after he allegedly killed their mother and 6-year-old sister.
Gary Green is charged with capital murder and remained jailed Wednesday on $1 million bail. No attorney was listed, in electronic records at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center, for Green.
Police documents indicate Green had showed the boys, ages 9 and 12, the two bodies. The younger boy was stabbed, allegedly by Green, and was treated at a hospital.

and this...
BEASON, Ill. — Residents of a tiny central Illinois farming town where three children and their parents were slain in their home anxiously awaited any word to settle their nerves after authorities warned them to lock their doors and be alert.
Authorities discovered the bodies at the family's ranch-style house Monday afternoon after responding to a 911 call about possible shots fired at the address, Nichols said. He did not say why authorities did not notify the public until Tuesday, then advised them to secure their homes.

I had to say, isn't that ass-backwards? At least if one follows the logic of the authoritarian control freaks always clamoring for tighter gun laws. Five slain with a gun, perhaps, in a state with some of the most onerous gun laws in the country, and three slain with a knife in a state lambasted by many of said control freaks as one with a "Wild West" mentality because of the comparatively lenient laws. One would almost think those advocating more stringent gun laws had no clue as to what they were talking about, that the critical thing here was the person instead of the tool. But maybe that's just me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One of Metallica's most underrated tunes, probably... Liquid Metal, Sirius Ch. 27: "You will do, what I say, when I say...back to the front! You will die, when I say, you must die...back to the front!"
I don't ever hear anyone talking about "Disposable Heroes" much, but that song has always been one of my favorites from the Master of Puppets cd. It doesn't have the awesome solos like the title track and "Damage, Inc." nor is it quite as tight as those two cuts, but it's still always been a favorite of mine with James' machine-gun rhythm guitar riff and the blinding speed. I think I'll have to pull that one up on the iPod today...

Monday, September 21, 2009

A tale from a Texas honky-tonk..

...courtesy of Tom. Not gonna excerpt any of it here, but I will say it did remind me of a certain David Allan Coe song. ;-) I've always thought the songs an artist covers in concert and on record made for a good indicator of where they come from musically. Just as an example, consider the fact that Tim McGraw does songs from the Steve Miller Band and Elton John, while George Strait covers Webb Pierce and Bob Wills.
(Oh, and Sabra? Don't let that spook you. I have seen Tim McGraw live, yes...but it was while he was on the Strait festival tour. I really was quite glad to see him replaced by Alan Jackson that last year...)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I could be off base here...

...but I am not sure how this is relevant to what the guy did...

Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III rapped about the thrill of murder in songs he posted on the Internet. Police believe the fantasy lyrics became a gruesome reality in a small Virginia college town.

Huh. So are we going to start looking with a suspicious eye at anyone who writes violent songs and posts them on the Internet? I am not a fan of rap music in the least, but its purveyors have the same First Amendment rights the rest of us do, and of course there are other genres and subgenres of music that speak of violent acts too, to wit:
Slamming through, don't fuck with razorback
Stepping out? You'll feel our hell on your back
Blood follows blood and we make sure
Life ain't for you and we're the cure

Pillage the village, trash the scene,
but, better not take it out on me
'Cause a ghost town is found
Where your city used to be
So out of the darkness and into the light
Sparks fly everywhere in sight
From my double barrel, 12 gauge,
Can't lock me in your cage
And there's a lot more where that came from. Good grief, you'd seriously think we'd have gotten past that "extreme music is bad, hmmmkay?" thing after the whole PMRC controversy blew over. I could be off base here too, but I don't remember any stories about fans of extreme metal (as in a hell of a lot more violent than Metallica or Pantera, the two bands referred to above) going out and committing multiple murders. To whatever extent it might have happened, though, I don't think the music's the problem here.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

For some reason...

....the headline to this story made me think of Chris Crocker...

Jay-Z: Leave Kanye alone
Jay-Z has wants the media to back off his pal Kanye West after the notorious outburst at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, insisting the backlash isn't justified because "he didn't kill anybody."
..."Of course it was rude because it was her moment, but that's the way he really felt… I think it was rude, but the way they're treating him … He's on the cover of every paper. He didn't kill anybody. No one got harmed. (He's) a super passionate person," Jay-Z says.

So, apparently, Jay-Z thinks the only way the negative reaction to Kanye West's antics would have been justified is for him to have, oh, strangled Taylor Swift with the mike cord after he took it from her. Wow, I just really don't know what to say to that, to the point that, right or wrong, I just reflexively agreed with one of the commenters -- "one thug defending another."

One more goblin down.... Houston Friday morning...

A teenage burglary suspect remains hospitalized after he was shot Friday morning while breaking into a home in southeast Houston, authorities said.
After hearing the sound of breaking glass, the homeowner, 42, grabbed his pistol and went to investigate. He pulled back a bedroom curtain and was confronted by the suspect, who was removing shards of the broken glass from the window, police said.
The homeowner was startled and fired a single shot. The suspect was struck but fled along with two other people. All three were taken into custody a short time later, police said.

I've said this before, but that's pretty amazing that he only had to fire one shot. Surely that's not all he had. Reading through the comments, a lot of folks are bewildered at the fact that the case was referred to the grand jury. Which I can understand, but I think every case like that is, and it doesn't always result in charges being filed. I don't think it would result in charges here, but one never knows.

Friday, September 18, 2009

More music for you today...

...since I am low on time. Yeah, going to make more money. God bless America. ;-)

First up this morning, here's a great live Metallica recording of "Creeping Death," from their 1984 sophomore album Ride the Lightning. Would that I had been old enough to see them back before James blew out his voice. He sounded awesome back then.

Next up this morning, the title track from Queensryche's 1988 masterpiece Operation Mindcrime. One of my favorite songs from that album, but it's only one chapter in the story told on the album. If you wanna hear the rest you'll have to go buy it. Well worth it if you're into that sort of thing....and even if you're not it might still make for an entertaining listen if you just listen to the lyrical content.

And finally this morning, the video for the Texas version of the old Hank Snow classic "I've Been Everywhere," by Texas' own Brian Burns. I think I've featured a homemade video for the tune in this space before, but it had an official music video, believe it or not. As videos go it's not bad. I do wonder how far they had to go to get all the footage. ;-)

More later...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Traumatized, eh?

I'm sure Mr. Broom's victim was traumatized, too...

The lawyer for an inmate whose execution was halted after an unprecedented two hours said trying to put him to death again in a week could be a disaster.
Romell Broom is still recovering from Tuesday's prolonged execution attempt and is physically and emotionally traumatized, his attorney, Adele Shank, said Wednesday.
Broom was sentenced to die for the rape and slaying of a 14-year-old Tryna Middleton after abducting her in Cleveland in September 1984 as she walked home from a Friday night football game with two friends.

...but for some strange and unknown reason, I see no one talking about her and what was going through her head in the moments before her life was snuffed out. I wonder why that is.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Double standards...

...Kathleen Parker haz dem.

Rise in incivility a threat to concept of civilization
As Americans have picked their side of civilization's breach the past few days, some have justified Wilson's words because they think they were true. Sure, one can make a slim case that some of Obama's assertions weren't 100 percent accurate, but Wilson's behavior can't be justified. It isn't done. Period.
And why not? Because civilization is a fragile and delicate idea, held together by a few mere threads, bound together by little more than a wisp of mutual consent. Frays in those threads are daily apparent — from the rude tantrum of Kanye West at the Video Music Awards to the profane threats of tennis star Serena Williams when she disagreed with a line call.

So, apparently, it's ok for Kathleen Parker to refer to religious conservatives as "the oogedy-boogedy" branch of the Republican party, but let Joe Wilson call the president a liar and it's the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it. I swear, some of these so-called "conservative" pundits are so full of crap they are positively overflowing with it.

So I guess we'll see...

...where Rick Perry's true allegiances lie...

AUSTIN — A proposed lottery game that would allow players to become instant winners (or losers) without so much as scratching a ticket is under fire from critics who contend it would be a giant step toward slot machines.
Other foes include Cathie Adams of the Texas Eagle Forum. Such opposition makes the subject touchy for Perry, who is counting on his conservative base as he faces a GOP primary challenge from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Perry years ago backed the idea of slot machines at racetracks to help fund public schools, but since has emphasized opposition to gambling expansion.

I know I'm probably going to sound like a flaming lefty here, but what's more important to Perry? Furthering the financial interests of the state of Texas or his own standing with his evangelical conservative base? He's a politician, which means we probably already know the answer to this question, but it's still a crying shame. I know we're not talking about real expansion of gambling here, but since it was mentioned as was Perry's current opposition, I think it's relevant to observe that it seems all that talk about self-reliance only goes so far with him. And apparently all the talk about personal responsibility and freedom only goes so far with certain segments of the conservative base. I remember reading a story yesterday about Rudolph Giuliani coming to Texas to raise funds for Perry's reelection campaign, and the reporter said something about Giuliani's views lining up more with Hutchison's than Perry's. From what I've heard that sounds about right...and Hutchison's views on the RKBA do leave a lot to be desired, but it would be interesting to see where she stands on casino gambling in Texas. Not that I'd vote for even if she supported that, but if she'd pull her head out of her fourth point of contact vis-a-vis the "assault weapon ban" she would make for a much more attractive choice for the Governor's Mansion, especially if she did support gambling expansion.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another question...

...brought on by listening to one of the talk channels on Sirius...
Why in the hell is it so hard for some people to tell their partners what they like, and what they DON'T like? One of the hosts, as I was listening, talked about a certain thing her partner did that she hated, and she said, "It's so annoying, and he thinks he's so good." (Keep in mind I am operating on the assumption that she's telling the truth here.). I just said, right out loud, "If it's so annoying, TELL HIM!" Seriously, I know no one who's a mind-reader, male or female. And I can understand some people's trepidation at telling these things, being afraid they'll upset their partner -- but if said partner has such a fragile ego that you can't be honest with 'em, well, that's not a recipe for a good long-term relationship, I'd think. Input from readers?

Not a fan of Beyonce OR Taylor...

...but I do have to say, Taylor Swift didn't deserve what that jackass Kanye West did to her at the MTV awards the other night, and Beyonce showed class to spare with her gesture when she won later in the evening. There are those who contend that whole thing was scripted, and it very well might have been, but I really, really hope not. I hate to think Taylor Swift would throw away her dignity by allowing herself to be used and belittled like that.
On a related note, this right here is another reason you need to be reading Farce the Music.

Another case...

...of the blind squirrel finding a nut. I do wonder though, why Mr. Pitts and so many others would deny Brian Milligan the right to carry effective tools with which to defend himself from such savages just because he's below a certain age, or because "he didn't need a gun, the police would have protected him." Yeah, and how exactly did that work out, again?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Taking advantage of the capitalist system...

...that would be what I am doing now. So, you can do one or both of a couple of things.
1. Imagine a witty, insightful and timely post here.
2. Enjoy some music until I return.

Dream Theater nails this Metallica classic. From what I understand they recorded a whole album of old-school Metallica songs. I sure wish I could find it.

Some of you country fans might remember this song from about 10 years ago. Don't know what happened to Shane Minor, but that was a great record. I wish he'd had more success.

More later...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

On the utility of arms... the post 9-11 world...
Catching up on my blog-reading after a busy last couple of days (Fridays REALLY suck about this time of year), I see my blog-friend Bob S. wrote of his reaction to the events of Sept. 11 and how it inspired him to get more involved on all levels. Several commenters to his post spoke of how they took up arms as well, and got more people to the range. And here, resident troll MikeB really outdid himself:

I don’t know how to say this without ending up calling you all names. I think your response to 9/11, as expressed above by almost every one of you, is the stuff of a type of paranoid fantasy that you encourage each other to believe in. Imagining yourselves like the 18th century colonists, fighting against incredible odds with grit and determination, is probably some kind of a psychological stage of development that young boys go through, except some never get through it.
I call this grandiose victimism. I mean, really, we’re talking about terrorist attacks on the international level, flying planes into skyscrapers, maybe next is a nuclear device smuggled into an urban center, and you guys are shooting your little pistols at the range and hoarding ammo.

One wonders why he chickened out and didn't call us names, considering he's libeled us all in worse ways before, and you see how in the above comment he was quite a nasty little asshole. I suppose the plane hijackings and smuggled nukes might make for a legitimate point; but the thing about that is, those aren't the only ways a terroristic act is going to be committed. Indeed, I've heard it said that the the specific method of terrorism perpetrated on 9/11 -- hijacking a plane and crashing it into a building -- was rendered more or less obsolete on that day for myriad reasons, among them being the measures that were to be taken in the future and the reactions of the passengers on United 93. (If you haven't seen the film, YOU NEED to. Every American needs to.)
In fact, as I went on to point out, just days ago Austin-based intelligence group STRATFOR released a study which found that terrorists were shifting their focus to softer targets such as hotels and shopping centers. We all saw one such attack carried out in India less than a year ago. And it's in those types of situations that the utility of private citizens bearing arms, the idea of the citizen militia as put forth by George Mason, makes all the sense in the world. From what I've read about India gun laws, they make Massachusetts and New Jersey look like Texas, which more or less means that the force was on the side of the terrorists in that attack -- for more reasons than just the gun laws.
What reasons would those be, you ask? Well, part and parcel of denying people arms and the carriage thereof is to say, "you don't need guns, the police will protect you." And to the extent that attitude takes root in people's psyche, it makes them sheep, as defined by Dave Grossman in this essay. Grossman said he meant nothing negative with the term, but there is something near-fatally wrong with the characteristics of the sheep. When they're confronted with danger, the sheep will cower, figuratively if not literally, in the face of the wolves coming at them, and their fates are more or less sealed unless the sheepdogs come to protect them or the wolves run out of ammunition. Eric S. Raymond also touches on this mentality in his excellent essay Ethics from the Barrel of a Gun:
...the dignity of a free man is what makes one ethically competent to bear arms, and the act of bearing arms promotes (by teaching its hard and subtle lessons) the inner qualities that compose the dignity of a free man.
Too many of us have come to believe ourselves incapable of this discipline. We fall prey to the sick belief that we are all psychopaths or incompetents under the skin. We have been taught to imagine ourselves armed only as villains, doomed to succumb to our own worst nature and kill a loved one in a moment of carelessness or rage. Or to end our days holed up in a mall listening to police bullhorns as some SWAT sniper draws a bead...
To believe one is incompetent to bear arms is, therefore, to live in corroding and almost always needless fear of the self — in fact, to affirm oneself a moral coward. A state further from the dignity of a free man would be rather hard to imagine. It is as a way of exorcising this demon, of reclaiming for ourselves the dignity and courage and ethical self-confidence of free (wo)men that the bearing of personal arms, is, ultimately, most important.
The nut graf of Raymond's work, though -- and of this post, even -- is this:
Joel Barlow, a political theorist of Jefferson's time, wrote tellingly: [The disarming of citizens has] a double effect, it palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind: a habitual disuse of physical forces totally destroys the moral [force]; and men lose at once the power of protecting themselves, and of discerning the cause of their oppression.

One could very well say that one of the effects of the palsy of the hand Barlow wrote of is the mentality of "the police will protect us." Which is, of course what the anti-gunners tell us all the time -- which, when it goes to its ugly extremes, leads to things like the Mumbai attack, and on a personal level, leads to them impugning the emotional maturity of those of us who bear arms, as seen in MikeB's nasty comment. Which is quite ironic, when you think about it, because if anyone's emotionally immature it's those who would wait for the police or the military as opposed to fighting back with the tools at their disposal -- even if it's little more than (MOVIE SPOILER ALERT) your bare hands and a drink cart. I d find the actions of those on that flight inspiring still, though; as Ambulance Driver put it, "If America is still capable of producing citizens like the passengers of Flight 93, we are still strong indeed. I suspect there are many thousands more just like them, found pretty much anywhere in America outside the DC Beltway."
I honestly do wonder why so many out there want to make us all sheep, though. The only reason I can think of is that they don't want to feel so bad about being sheep all by themselves. They don't want to be eaten alone. Which is all fine and good, but there are millions of these sheep people, and they want to make us all sheep with the force of the sheepdogs. Which really makes the lines blurry here...who among those sheep are really just toothless wolves, and who among the sheepdogs will turn into wolves? And why do sheep like MikeB want so badly to find out? Do those creatures have some sort of death wish? More and more, I wonder...

Something to be thankful for...'s raining outside this morning, and has been on and off since yesterday...but not nearly as hard as it was a year ago today, and we don't have 100-plus-mph winds to contend with this morning either. I was far inland by this time on this day -- I'd evacuated a couple of days before, some 200 miles from Hurricane Ike and his 20-ft. surge -- but once again I found myself sitting far from home, with nary a clue of what I'd be coming back to. I'd done it before, with Rita in '05, but Rita wiped me out almost. In a way THAT was a blessing in disguise, as I ended up better off than I was before, but I really didn't want to do that again. For 11 days during Ike I was gone, but fortunately when I came back the only thing I had to contend with was the power being off...and if I'd figured out there was an extra switch I had to flip, I'd have had that a day or two sooner. ;-) Hard to believe it's been a year. Here's hoping we don't have another one for a good long while.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Burning money...

...apparently they do it at the local and state levels, too...

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. — Machete-wielding police officers have hacked their way through billions of dollars worth of marijuana in the country's top pot-growing states to stave off a bumper crop sprouting in the tough economy.
The amount only got bigger Thursday when helicopter spotters in Tennessee discovered a five-acre pot field near the Kentucky border and cut down more than 151,000 mature marijuana plants.

Man, I tell you what, for government below the federal level to be so strapped for cash these days, they sure are wasting the funds they DO get on unimportant things that do absolutely nothing to improve the lives of the citizens whom they govern. Helicopter spotters? Really? One wonders how much money they're throwing away that could be better spent vis disbursal to the local communities to beef up their street patrols. Or maybe buy the cops on the street better guns and ammunition, since the criminals have the upper hand with them full-auto AKs, or so the media tells us. (and yes, friends, that was sarcasm...)
"But, but, but....drugs'r'baaaad, hhhmmmmkayyyyyy?...."

That's one way to do it...

...with a car instead of a gun...

FORT WORTH, Texas — A man who was chased down by a Fort Worth woman after grabbing her purse in a parking lot was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison.
Her confrontation with the man can be heard on the 911 call.
"Where's my purse?" she yelled. "You give it to me now. I got the police on the phone right now. You give me my purse."
She said that Sample tried to get away, so she struck him with her car. He was not seriously injured.
Haha, good for her. I suppose some might call that overkill, but hey, that lazy bastard shouldn'ta tried to take her purse.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just a thought.

Call me a raging Neanderthal if you like, but all the "social change" on God's green earth isn't going to do a woman one damn bit of good when her abuser is coming at her with whatever he can grab. I mean, seriously, a battered woman, especially one in that immediate situation, is going to need something that works a teeny bit faster. Like, say, a firearm. To reprise and add to my comments from that post...
...I'd think nothing stops an abuser quite like a sucking chest wound. This "effecting social change" is all fine and good, but I don't see why victim disarmament gun control has to be a part of that. For all too many battered girlfriends and wives, that "social change" isn't going to come fast enough.
Another commenter had this to say:

It is NEVER acceptable to kill. It is NEVER acceptable to act in violence towards another.

It truly is one of the greatest mysteries of in the history of mankind as to how that attitude has survived 10,000 years of natural selection. I honestly would love to see how Darwin, if he had been living in our time, would have explained such a suicidal mentality.
As for this:
Every nut out there who Googles guns, gun rights, blah, blah so they can jump to the defense of their gravely misunderstood Constitutional rights is going to try to rip off your head and spit down your neck on this one. matter what the Constitution might say, no matter how that document might be (mis)interpreted by authoritarian control freaks, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms -- as an integral part of the human right of self-defense -- is completely independent of it. Or, as libertarian writer L. Neil Smith put it:
"The freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right -- subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility."

Good grief. I think it's been said before, but it deserves to be said again: For feminists to be all about empowering, it certainly seems like many if not most of them want to leave females basically powerless. One wonders if they're at all familiar with the concept of cognitive dissonance.

(h/t to The World's Most Dangerous Librarian)

Hey, more Beatles worship!

...this time from Houston Chronicle music critic Andrew Dansby:

The Beatles’ discography is a time capsule of a band that had the good sense to call it quits. They’re forever youthful and full of beans and ideas. Their body of work — reissued today in brightly remastered editions — was inventive, influential and finite. The band’s allure persists because the members never reconvened to cheapen it.
More than a Paul McCartney show, the highly anticipated remasters are the Beatles’ reunion tour.
Nobody has written a guide to how rockers should age. The Rolling Stones remain energetic onstage even as they’ve grown banal on recordings. ...
Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy recently spoke about aging as a rock musician while discussing his band’s arc with Rolling Stone.
“Grown-up records are usually really, really bad,” he said. “That’s why people are happy when you die or your band breaks up, you’re locked in time. As long as those records stay static, you can go back to them and relive that glorious time in your life without having to look in the mirror.”
Man, so much material here I don't even know where to begin. I've said before that the Stones made the Beatles sound like a boy band in comparison, so I can't deny that I see the "forever youthful" remark through that prism -- i.e., part of the reason, if not the whole enchilada, is that the Beatles were the '60s equivalent of a boy band, just going by their sound. I hesitate to say that the Beatles' catalog was banal as Dansby describes the Rolling Stones' later catalog as being, but a lot of what I've heard strikes me as exactly that. As for Tweedy's "grown-up records" remark, I can sort of see where he's coming from with that. I've heard it said that people go to those legends' shows to hear the old hits as opposed to the newer stuff, but still I don't see why those "grown-up records" are seen as bad by so many. Hell, some bands can go 25-30 years and rock, even if they have this really long time between good recordings. The band I speak of here, Metallica: their new album Death Magnetic, while not quite in the league of the grand trifecta -- 1984's Ride the Lightning, 1986's Master of Puppets, and 1988's ...And Justice for All -- is the first record worthy of the Metallica name and legacy arguably since Justice. But as for bands breaking up at the right me crazy, but that strikes me as no good reason to lionize them or to make their music out to be any more than what it was as has been done with the Beatles. I find it difficult to believe their music isn't seen differently because of their breaking up and John Lennon's being murdered. Call me crazy, but that's just what I think...

...and I've also been thinking, that "Imagine" is just begging for a good fisking...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Off to a whole new level...

I know I've mused about this song in this space before, but it deserves another mention. And since I heard the song today it's going to get one...
'Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" has always been my favorite George Jones song; it remains so even now, after I've heard much more of his earlier work. There's something especially poignant about that song now, considering of all the singers who were alive in 1985 when it was released, only two of them remain. As poignant as the song is now, though, the video -- which I only saw recently -- takes it to a whole new level. I am not ashamed to admit it brought tears to my eyes. It was a thing of sheer beauty.

One wonders...

...or could be forgiven for wondering, how far it is from this...

Families who fail to get health insurance could be fined up to $3,800 under a health care reform plan proposed by a top Senate negotiator.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is leading talks among the "Gang of Six" senators to hammer out a bipartisan compromise, offered what he described on Tuesday as a "framework" and not a "final product."
The framework of Baucus' proposal, a copy of which was obtained by FOX News, includes what amounts to a no-choice option. It would make health insurance mandatory, like auto insurance.
The plan would provide tax credits to help small employers and help cover the cost for households making up to three times the federal poverty level. That's about $66,000 for a family of four, and $32,000 for an individual.
Those who still don't sign up would face hefty fines, starting at $750 a year for individuals and $1,500 for families -- for those making up to three times the poverty level.
For those who make more than that, the penalty on individuals would jump to $950 and the penalty on families would jump to $3,800. the lead starting to fly. Exemptions and such notwithstanding, these people are getting more brazen by the day, almost. Better that this be settled at the ballot box, but sometimes I wonder.
UPDATE: My brother-in-arms Borepatch, yet again, in comments:
In a nobler and less degenerate time, the People of this Fair Republic would have horsewhipped their congressmen through the streets for less.

Indeed they would have. How far we have fallen.

Wait, what now?

Did a reporter from a big-city newspaper really write this?

“Health care reform depends entirely on holding as many of the Democrats together as possible,” says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia and author of The Year of Obama: How Barack Obama Won the White House. “That's how he gets a scaled-back health care bill passed. The big bill is dead.”
Sabato said Obama's call for Democratic unity must be matched with a private warning to anxious Democrats that inaction would be more dangerous than action — a lesson learned in 1994 when the GOP took control of the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years after the Democratic-led chambers failed to pass health care reform.

Wow, talk about a total rewrite of history here. I remember very well the last time a Democrat president tried to push through a takeover of one-seventh of the American economy. It caused just as large of a swell of discontent then as it is causing now, although I don't remember right offhand anything like the town hall demonstrations. And guess which party opposed the whole thing? Thaaat's right...the Republicans. And here we are, less than 20 years later, having the media's go-to academics telling us that the party who opposed a health-care takeover got elected into the majority because that plan did not get passed. I guess they're counting on Americans' ignorance of history being at the point they barely remember what happened two months ago, much less more than 15 years ago.
Secondly -- and you politically active gunnies know exactly what I'm about to say here -- up until now, at least, even those in the media have acknowledged the overriding reason for the Republican blowout in 1994 was -- wait for it -- the passage of the Clinton gun ban. None other
than Bill Clinton has acknowledged as much:
The NRA had a great night. They beat both Speaker Tom Foley and Jack Brooks, two of the ablest members of Congress, who had warned me this would happen. Foley was the first Speaker to be defeated in more than a century. Jack Brooks had supported the NRA for years and had led the fight against the assault weapons ban in the House, but as chairman of the Judiciary Committee he had voted for the overall crime bill even after the ban was put into it. The NRA was an unforgiving master: one strike and you're out. The gun lobby claimed to have defeated nineteen of the twenty-four members on its hit list. They did at least that much damage and could rightly claim to have made Gingrich the House Speaker.

One wonders what those who are promoting the "failure to pass healthcare reform led to the Republican takeover in '94" narrative would say to this when confronted with it. Unfortunately, we'll probably never find out, since real journalism seems to be a thing of the past.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Talk about grasping at straws here....

...or, if you wanna see just how far the antis will go to get credit for something, click here. To make a long story short:
Despite huge bipartisan support in both houses, UT grad student and Virginia Tech alumnus John Woods and Students For Target-Rich Environments Students For Gun Free Zones with their tireless activism single-handedly stopped the campus carry bill from becoming law.
I love how this lefty blogger tries to spin this whole thing, by:
1. Saying that she thinks too many Democrat legislators felt pressure from the NRA. I guess she seems to forget this is Texas, where even a lot of Democrats are so conservative on issues like this they REALLY make most Northeast RINOs look like the dyed-in-the-wool lefties.
2. Saying that the bill was "so far down the list" that it would never get to the floor. Ahem. If I remember correctly, once the Democrats cranked up their filibuster, NOTHING was going to get to the floor.
Good grief, but these people have NO shame. The fate of the campus carry bill can be laid solely at the feet of those who filibustered on Voter ID -- or, depending on your ideological bent, those who kept pushing the bill in the face of the filibuster. I guess it just goes to show how far some people will go to get credit for some things. And now that I think about it, I must admit that is pretty funny that they have to go so far to do that. It's just another indicator of how far the antis have fallen.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Thoughts on bigotry. UPDATED!

My blog-friend Mike W. engaged in an interesting little exercise the other day -- word substitution -- in which he changed some words in a comment an anti-gunner made to him:

"One of Mike W.'s problems is that he demands we all trust every black voter, and that’s just not realistic. I have no idea who these black voters are – they are strangers – and, yes, I would be intimidated if I went to the polls and there were large black men voting – because I DON’T KNOW THEM!"

Sounds pretty bigoted, doesn't it? Well, replace "black voters" and "large black men voting" with "gun owner" and "people openly carrying guns" and you have the exact comment made to Mike W. at Delaware Liberal.
Of course, the gun blogosphere's resident troll Mike B. took exception, saying, "I don't find that convincing at all....It makes no sense to replace the words with something else. And besides, if the supposed bigotry is so obvious, why would you have to substitute the words with something else? You wouldn't have to because there's no bigotry there and the substitution game doesn't work."

Of course, the point sails over his head by an as-yet-undetermined number of light-years. The fact that he and those like him don't think that's bigoted doesn't mean it isn't. The fact that we have to resort to the tactic is nothing more or less than an indicator of where we are as a society. You might even say our use of that tactic is a result of society's ingrained attitudes towards guns and the people who own them. It's so deep that it's like breathing to a lot of people and they're not going to see that attitude for the bigoted one that it is unless it's pointed out to them by substituting a group that was once discriminated against but isn't anymore.
And I see nothing wrong with substitution to achieve this end; after all, there's no doubt that in some ways we are a more enlightened, open minded and tolerant society than we were, say, back in the 1950s. And the attitude that it was okay to make black people go to different schools, drink from different water fountains, etc. was just as deeply ingrained in the minds of Americans back then as the idea is now that many if not most gun owners are walking powder kegs just waiting for a match. But with time and unorthodox tactics, American blacks helped eviscerate the institutional and individual bigotry that plagued the country, although it arguably remains in certain places to an extent.
However, in other areas, some people -- despite their squawking about being tolerant and open-minded -- are still every bit as bigoted towards guns and gun owners as many Americans were towards black people in the 1950s. Not only do they retain that bigotry -- one might even say they bitterly cling to it -- but they also flatly refuse to recognize it as it stares them in the face, rattling off claptrap like "it makes no sense to replace the words with something else" and refusing to enunciate just WHY it makes no sense. Just why they do it, I really don't know. But I do find it comforting that they yell so loud about being characterized for what they are. I hope that idea takes root and grows in the population.
For now, it's arguably still safe to say, "...the life of the gun owner is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination."
UPDATE, from Boomer Lad, in comments:
Without the ARMED Deacons for Defense and Justice, still might be separate lunch counters and drinking fountains.
Read all about it. It's a good book that should be on every gun owner's shelves and truly needs to be addressed in public schools as well. MLK would have died a lot sooner without them. Non-violence didn't win civil rights. The Deacons and Black Panthers did. As a Panther said in a forgotten referenced interview I've read, "Oakland cops didn't stop beating up niggers for no reason until we started following them around with shotguns."
Yes, indeed. One could say that was one of those unorthodox tactics, one that almost no one likes to talk about. I was quite remiss in not mentioning that. Thank you, sir. I will have to check out that book.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Well, isn't this interesting, Heather Myles covering George Strait...

...or maybe it was Jim Lauderdale, at Willie's Place, Sirius Ch. 64: "Stay out of my arms, take my advice, it's easy to break the same heart twice..."
Written and first recorded by the great Jim Lauderdale, the Texas shuffle "Stay Out Of My Arms" was also recorded by George Strait on his 1993 album Easy Come, Easy Go. I don't know if the Jim Lauderdale version is still in print, but it'd be interesting to know if it was George's rendition that influenced Myles' cover. Either way though, it was great. Heather Myles is another one of those folks that could sing something from just about any genre and make it sound country. Good, good stuff.

Random Sunday music musings...

My wallet's giving the evil eye much good music out there, yet so little money. I used to not like Rush. At all. But I've come to see that Geddy Lee's voice is an acquired taste, like a lot of things, and to be honest I've more or less gotten to be a convert. Once you get used to his voice -- some might say get past it -- it's more evident that the band made some really, really intelligent and thought-provoking music. "Red Barchetta," Manhattan Project," Limelight," "Bastille Day," even "Tom Sawyer," the musical part of which I still don't like. Of course the thoughtful, introspective, sometimes-a-bit-out-there lyrics are a hallmark of the prog-rock genre, which itself could be said to be an acquired taste. But once you get used to it you really see music differently. I know I certainly have.
Speaking of seeing music differently...I've been asked here and there why it is that I dig the heavy metal like I've gotten to, yet turn my nose up at the modern country, considering that the heavy metal is so different from the traditional country that I love. Well, I've come up with what I think is an accurate answer to that. From my perspective, so much of what's being passed off as country music comes off as just product to make money. It just seems that it's had the soul, the bite, the passion researched, consulted and focus-grouped right out of it. I know that from the start musicians have been in it to make money to an extent, but the thing about all those metal bands is, unlike so many of today's Nashville acts, they weren't trying to pass one genre off as another or water down their own genre under the guise of "bringing new influences" to the genre. They went balls-to-the-wall and there was absolutely no mistaking what kind of music they were making. And with that it seemed to me they were saying "this is what it is, if you like it, great, but if you don't we're not going to water it down." And the thing about it is, metal is to a large extent a niche music just like country is -- perhaps even more so. I know a lot of people will say they became "country music" fans because of people like Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift, but I think it'd be interesting to see how many people have drifted away from the genre like I have precisely because it's gotten so far away from what it was and because more and more of them are bastardizing and watering down the genre. And I'd also be interested to know how long it's going to be before these new fans go to the next big thing and country music's once again in the same position it was around 1985. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I see absolutely no connection whatsoever between Underwood, Swift, Rascal Flatts, etc. and anyone who came before them in the country music genre. Which leads me to think that ultimately people only call this stuff country because Nashville and country radio tells them to. But no matter what it is, so much of it is still soulless fluff at its core. As for the '80s pop-rock retreads like "She's Country" and Carrie Underwood's new single "Cowboy Casanova," I've also said this elsewhere: if this is what they're going to market as country music, I for one am just going to go for the original stuff as opposed to half-assed rehash of it. And by and large I have done just that.

Now that's some high-grade stupidity.

...or, Only a government employee could peddle this:

Q: Are we winning the war on drugs in Houston?
A: It's one of the toughest questions to answer. The opposing view is, “Let's make drugs legal.” I can never see that; I can't go down that route because in this job you see the human casualties, the human toll, that is brought by illegal drugs. So it's one of those prolonged wars that we're going to be fighting at least in your and my lifetime and our children's lifetime. But it's the war we need to fight, and we have to fight. Do I believe we're winning? Yes. I think every time we lock up a drug trafficker, every time we identify and dismantle a cartel, every time we capture their assassins, every time that we capture large loads of drugs, lives are being saved.

Ah, yes, the old "if it saves just one life, it's worth it." All righty then. You know what? I will bet you, right here and now, that more good people's lives are ruined, and more money wasted, as a result of the War On Some Drugs than on the drugs themselves. And we have not even gotten into the detrimental effects on our Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. You're probably wondering how the War On Some Drugs affects the RKBA, I'm sure. Well, that one's quite simple: As long as we have a War On Some Drugs, we are going to have a War On All Guns -- because I would also bet you that most of the violent acts perpetrated with guns are due to turf wars and other disagreements rising directly from the black market on illegal drugs. And you know what? That right there takes the statistic of how many people's lives are screwed up by drugs right out of the realm of debate. (Or at least it should, but you know it doesn't because we continually insist on spending our hard earned money on bailing people out when they make the decision to get hooked on drugs.) Because if the number of people whose lives are screwed up by those illegal drugs is a legitimate statistic to use in this debate, then using the same logic the number of people killed with guns each year is a legitimate statistic to use in the debate over gun control. If our Second Amendment rights are not subject to arguments grounded in social utility -- and they are not -- then neither should our Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, or any other right protected by the Bill of Rights, be. Human casualties. One wonders what he'd say about cigarettes and alcohol being legal, which also exacts a high toll on our society. Why is the freedom to choose worth it in some cases but not in others?

UPDATE: Borepatch slams it home in comments with this:
Not to mention the difference of someone doing themselves wrong, vs. the government doing them wrong.

What was it the lefties used to say? "Not In My Name."

Why yes, it was. Not In My Name, indeed, you authoritarian nanny-state pricks.

Yes, sir, headin' on down the Wolf Creek Pass... the Roadhouse, Sirius Ch. 62: "Well Earl grabbed on the shifter, and he stabbed her into fifth gear, and then the chromium plated, fully illuminated, genuine ac-cessory shift knob, come right off in his hand...I says 'you wanna screw that thing back on, Earl?'"
Lol...thaaat was yet another of those songs from an artist that radio seemed to think had only one song ("Convoy," in this case), because that was about the only one they ever played, C.W. McCall for those of you not familiar with the old country. I hadn't heard this song in a very long time. Wasn't so much a song as it was a recitation a la Red Sovine, but McCall's deadpan delivery just makes it immensely entertaining. I wonder what else he's done with that...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Wow, stop the presses...

You mean to tell me, the Houston Chronicle editorial board actually takes a stance that something many lefty legislators oppose could be beneficial to the country?

The success of exploration and drilling efforts in the Gulf of Mexico convincingly makes the case for opening up the nation's other offshore areas for drilling. Yes, that should mean offshore California and the East Coast.

Wow. I don't often agree with the Chron editorial board, but they're exactly right here.

Well, thing is, we DON'T..

...arm the drug cartels, that is....

MONTERREY, Mexico — Washington's new ambassador to Mexico says the United States must stop the flow of weapons smuggled south across the border to improve security.
Carlos Pascual says "we cannot continue to arm the cartels," referring to guns bought in the United States and sold to drug gangs in Mexico.

Amazing. The "iron river of Mexico" has been long discredited, yet still they continue to peddle that malicious lie. I guess they think if they keep telling it, sooner or later people will believe it. Wonder what he'd have said if someone had said Mexico must stop the flow of drugs to the United States.
"But, but, but, if the Americans did not have such a voracious appetite for them this would not be happening!"
"Hey, if the drugs were legal and regulated the black market wouldn't be so damn lucrative and they wouldn't be coming over here to get the infinitesimal percentage of weapons they can't get there. Hey, what about the machine guns and RPGs, though?"

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Morning Country Musings...

...brought to you by a couple of tidbits from the fine folks at Country California...
First off today, I know a lot of folks get really teed off when you call it "kiddie country," or "country music for people who don't like country music." I suppose I could understand that, but what do you say when even the fans of that music agree?

"I mean, I'm not really a fan of country but [then] I heard Taylor Swift," Adally, 16, from Lynbrook, New York, told MTV News before Swift's sold out show at Madison Square Garden. "[It's] kind of pop, so it's a good kind of country that kids can get into."
"I was never into country but this is like pop so it's good."

I think that pretty much says it all right there. And I suppose there's a place for that sort of thing under the country tent, and for all I know those kids might find out later that they actually like folks like George Strait, Patty Loveless, Merle Haggard and Tammy Wynette, but I still think that's a pretty thin argument considering Taylor Swift and her contemporaries are so different from that. I've said it before but I'll say it again: I find it much easier to buy the argument that, for example, the folks who got into Metallica, Queensryche and the like via their mainstream breakthrough albums would find it easy to get into their earlier music because, for all the caterwauling of the old fans who cried "sellout!" there were still elements of that earlier not-so-mainstream sound in those albums. And you can't say that about a lot of new country; a lot of it that they market to the next generation seems to be completely disconnected from everything that came before. Call me stuck in the past if you like, but I will never see this as a good thing.
Next up in the crosshairs, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles on the duet with the B-52s:
Irreverence can be really powerful. It’s like subversive rebellion. You’re not screaming, “I’m going to change the world” Performing with the B52’s, we weren’t waving a flag and saying “Look at us—we’re bringing this iconic gay band into CMT.” We just did it, and people had to accept it. They loved it without even thinking about it.

Wow, and all this time I thought it was just one more example of country music's continuing slide into mediocrity. I said over at CC that I don't really give a damn about any agenda, but I'll tell you now that I do find it appalling in the extreme that Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush would contribute to the continuing bastardization of country music to promote said agenda. As for being daring, yeah, well, not so much, I seems to me that the daring thing to do now would be to pull out some old song that they only play on the classic country shows anymore. I'd guess folks like Reba McEntire would say they weren't "keeping up with the times," though...
Finally this morning, we have more great album covers from Farce the Music. As you might guess, the first one was my favorite. ;-)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

This is what happens...

...when we have easy access to computers:

James Gordon Rogers admitted his guilt and shame in the Dec. 7 suicide note he mailed to officials investigating the Ponzi scheme the 50-year-old Houstonian ran to make his financial services company look successful.
Rogers told police he had changed his mind about killing himself when they found him in New Braunfels eight days after he sent the letter. He agreed to drive back to Houston, where he detailed the country club golf games in which he sold shares of his phony company.
To pay dividends for the nonexistent company, he used his home computer to make more than $650,000 worth of certificates of deposit he sold to 12 friends.

Everyone knows what would have prevented this? Background checks and computer licensing and registration, of course. It's just common sense!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Another reason....

....that I thought the Rolling Stones ran all over the Beatles, at Underground Garage, Sirius Ch. 25: "I see a red door and I want to paint it black..."
My favorite Rolling Stones song, the first time I remember hearing "Paint It, Black" was during the closing credits of Full Metal Jacket. And I think of that every single time I hear it. I remember thinking, "what an appropriately dark song for an appropriately dark movie." Well, maybe not those exact words, but you get the drift.

That was a great flick, I have not seen in a very long time...

Just a thought...

...prompted by this proposal, from Bob S.
How many people whining about the supposedly high cost of health insurance have cell phones, cable TV and broadband Internet service? And why is no one talking about that?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Best Buy saves the day once again...

I went cd shopping again this morning. Went to Barnes & Noble to pick up a cd I special ordered, prog-metal band Dream Theater's Images and Words. While I was there I thought I'd look for Megadeth's So Far So Good...So What! No luck, though. They didn't have ANY Megadeth on the shelf, in fact. So I swung by Best Buy, thinking they might have it, and sure enough they did, along with several other cds from the band's catalog. Like I've said before, they have an awesome selection. I also picked up some classic rock, from one of the bands I was raving about not long ago...good, good stuff.

Not that this was any big surprise...

...but guess who else is a bigoted, ignorant assclown? Mike Peters of the Dayton Daily News. Such a shame too, because Mother Goose and Grimm was a great cartoon. Don't think I'll be reading it anymore, though.

Back to the bad old days?

Or did we ever even leave them?
If you saw this lede to a newspaper story, what would you think?

The city that became a post-civil rights movement emblem of the political power held by Caucasian-Americans could have a black mayor for the first time in a generation — a possibility that has some in the white community scrambling to hold on to City Hall.

Let me guess. You'd probably think the locals in that town were stuck in, say, 1955. If you were not a particularly charitable sort, you might even think the town comprised a great deal of folks with hoods and white sheets in their closets. Well, reverse the races in the above-quoted graf and you have the exact lead paragraph of a story about the mayoral election in Atlanta. Why is that sort of thing okay for blacks and Hispanics to engage in but not whites? If it's wrong for one it should be wrong for all. I really do wonder what MLK would think. I'd like to think he'd be outraged.