Thursday, December 31, 2009


...just a few moments ago, as I was wrapped in Sabra's embrace:

"Your ex-husband said you weren't any good...well, he was a fucking idiot! It was like putting a chimp in the pilot seat of an F-16, he doesn't have the slightest fucking clue as to what to do! But you put ME in that seat and I'm like Eddie Rickenbacker!"

Sabra, laughing: "Yes, honey, yes you are!" don't LET her?

That was my response upon reading this:

One local police chief went against the grain of his fellow panel members and said

"you have to remember that this is a law enforcement matter and it is for the Police to respond to. I know you all want to carry a gun, but let me say this as a Chief of Police I don't even let my wife carry pepper spray nor do my teenage children..."

Doesn't LET his wife? Oh, no. No, no, no. Goodness, how could any woman put up with such lilliputian control-freakery? I shudder to see what else he doesn't LET her do. I told Sabra upon reading that, that there was nothing I would ever not LET her do. In fact, even though I would always ultimately leave the decision up to her, if it came down to it I would almost insist that she carry to protect herself. I honestly thought we had moved beyond the relationship in which the man was the boss of the woman. How disgusting to find out that we haven't -- and that there are women out there who will still put up with that.

(h/t Firehand)

Looks like another righteous shoot to me...

...right here:

A homeowner shot and killed a man and then wounded a woman who were reportedly trying to steal tools from his pickup early this morning at a home in northwest Houston, police said.

There were some interesting comments in the comments section of that story, though. "Oh teh noes!!! He killed a man over property! Killing over property is bad, hmmkay?"

There was one that read, "You don't know that man or woman: you don't know the circumstances that drove them to commit what seems at best some petty theft, and to express pleasure at the death of a complete stranger says a lot about your own moral code."

Could be, but I for one don't give a damn about these people's circumstances. If they didn't want to get their asses shot they shouldn't have been stealing from hard-working, law-abiding people. And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It won't work on a micro level...

...what the hell makes our Glorious Leader think disarmament is going to work on a macro level?

Obama laid out his vision of a nuclear-free world in a speech in Prague in April, vowing the U.S. would take dramatic steps to lead the way. Eight months later, the administration is locked in internal debate over a top-secret policy blueprint for shrinking the U.S. nuclear arsenal and reducing the role of such weapons in America's military strategy and foreign policy.

One wonders if he really trusts the Chinese, the Russians or the others to get rid of their nukes too. I know I sure as hell wouldn't. These damned liberal idealists are going to be the death of us all.

Chronsters turning into libertarians?

I doubt it, but it was really nice to see this:

...Starting Jan. 1, county prosecutors are instructed not to file felony charges for drug amounts under a hundredth of a gram.
How much is that? Barely a speck: A McDonald's sugar packet contains 400 times more powder. But a hundredth of a gram is the absolute minimum necessary to conduct two lab tests: one for the prosecution, one for the defense. In other words, it's the absolute minimum necessary for a fair trial.
The change is good for justice — but also good for our justice system, which has focused too much of its scarce resources on prosecuting low-level addicts instead of more dangerous criminals. Of the 46,000 drug-possession felony cases the county filed last year, a third involved less than a gram of a controlled substance. Many of those cases involved crack pipes, which almost always carry traces of cocaine residue. (Very likely the bills in your wallet do, too. Those molecules get around.)

Once again, I find myself agreeing with pretty much every single word they write here. I know well the deleterious effects of crack on its users, and (to a lesser extent) cocaine. But sooner or later we're going to have to take a look at the insane drug policies we have in place and all the deleterious effects of said policies on the Bill of Rights -- to say nothing of the effects on the justice system, which were mentioned later in the piece. I realize that we're not going to get all of it at once, just like we're not going to get all the liberty-infringing gun laws struck down -- but we have to start somewhere, and this is at least as good of a start as any. It'll be fun to see how far it is from this to not prosecuting those with certain meaningful amounts of currently illegal drugs...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Would that Maureen Dowd's brother...

...had the plush New York Times gig:

The Republicans, of course, got exactly what they deserved in 2006 and 2008 mainly because they acted like Democrats. Deficit spending and sex scandals are not a good recipe for success.
But by forcing through a government takeover of health care, the auto industry and the banks, the president and his congressional henchmen have brought us in a time machine to Russia 1917. These massive changes have been done in secret and along bullying, straight party-line votes.

Blogging might be sporadic this week. Sabra's here. :-)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

From your lips to God's ears, buddy...

...or, I think this guy, notwithstanding his disparagement of our state's fine cuisine and the propagation of that secession urban legend, is my new hero:

Dear big beautiful Texas with all your gorgeous pageant women and crappy food: you are the only state that joined our Union with a treaty allowing for legal secession.

Here's the "long story short," your favorite phrase, Dear Texas:

You can get out now and no one will stop you.

Do I even need to say it?

h/t Cold Fury

How many mothers' sons will they send to die...

doing the bidding of assclowns like this? From the comments to this story:

It makes no difference if guns kill people or people kill people -- they are still dead or severly injured. Get rid of guns.

Ultimately there's only one thing to say to pronouncements like this: "You can try, I suppose, but you can't have mine. What're you gonna do now, Sparky?"

I mean, I hate it as much as anyone that this little girl was injured due to her daddy's negligence, but telling 80 million gun owners to turn 'em in for the mistakes of a few, well, that's only gonna end in tears. Do people like the above commenter know this? Do they even care?

Dear God, but I do love this song.

Now playing at The Roadhouse, Sirius Ch. 62: "Two young soldiers from Fort Campbell, told me how they hate that war in Vietnam....sirens echo through an alley, and some woman said some fellow, stabbed a man..."

Man, but that's a lost classic if ever there was one, John Wesley Ryles' "Kay" from 1968. He recorded that song when he was still a teenager, believe it or not. As far as I know that was his only hit, but what a great, GREAT song. That was another one of those songs I first heard on the radio in College Station, and as far as I remember I had not heard it since I left that town.

I hope all of you got what you wanted for Christmas. All I asked for was a renewal of my Sirius subscription, and I got it. :-)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Eye-rolling amusement... David Broder's column in the Chron this morning...

Six decades after his death, one of FDR's Four Freedoms will, at long last, be guaranteed to almost all Americans. And the shame of this affluent society tolerating the denial of health care to its own citizens will be largely lifted.
But Lord, what a load of embarrassment accompanies this sense of satisfaction! What should have been a moment of proud accomplishment for the United States Senate, right up there with the passage of Social Security and the first civil rights bills, was instead a travesty of low-grade political theater — angry rhetoric and backroom deals.

I really don't understand why he would have expected it to be any other way. Did Broder actually think the Democrats were really going to be any less prone to craven deal-making than the Republicans were? What a stunning display of naivete on his part. At least now I know where Broder was coming from with his classification of health care as a "right," with his citation of Roosevelt's Four Freedoms. I am not sure if I'd ever read about this before, but it does look to be the very root of the decline of American liberalism. Freedom from want and freedom from fear?
Goodness. I shudder to think of how many laws and policies antithetical to liberty have been passed since FDR's time with the aims of expanding those last two "freedoms."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On gift giving.

How much of this could be avoided by better communication on the part of the woman and better paying of attention on the part of the man? And why don't the people who write this editorial every year ever talk about that?

You know those television ads where a ruggedly handsome guy springs a diamond ring on his gorgeous wife? And her face crumples with joy? Pure fantasy. Most males are hopelessly, appallingly, terrifyingly clueless when it comes to finding an acceptable gift. Just ask any woman.

Yawn. I guess I'm lucky that way, because I didn't have to guess what Sabra wanted. I knew what she liked, because, well...she told me. And I paid attention and kept all of it in mind when I went shopping for her gifts. And guess what? She loved everything I got for her. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A scene from Sabra's

Scene: The living room of Sabra's house, discussing Bobbie's homework with her, she says:

"Why can't I make up my own basic facts?"

As I burst out laughing, I say, "Oh, honey, she's gonna be a Democrat!"

Sabra: "I TOLD you she was gonna have a future in Congress!"

She had to have gotten that mentality from her daddy. In fairness, though, she's still young and impressionable yet, and a very bright and articulate child to boot. She gets THAT from her mama. We still have plenty of time to put her on the right path. And trust me -- we will be taking full advantage of that!

Oooh, I bet Lisa Falkenberg won't like this.

These comments to this story, that is:

To steal from anyone is absolutely deplorable, but to steal from people who are trying to make ends meet at this time of year is beyond sorry, it's a buckshot to somebody's backside.
I have a CHL and I'm a damn good aim from that distance. Go ahead...... I dare you.

As for me, though, I can't really say I have a problem with them. I know there are those who will say that using deadly force to protect property is extreme, but I don't agree with that. What I find myself agreeing with is the opinion that someone who would steal somebody's Christmas in broad daylight probably wouldn't have any compunction about escalating his (or her) crimes to the next level. And even in the cases of the ones who keep their crimes to theft, it doesn't really matter, because they're stealing from hard-working, law-abiding people and they deserve anything that comes to them because of that. If some of said law-abiding people deem that theft worthy of high-velocity lead injection, well, as far as I'm concerned that's just the hazard the criminals face. Sonsofbitches should have gotten their own Christmas presents.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I have a hard time disagreeing with this...

...or, I know this is a couple of days late, but this item in the San Antonio Express-News caught my eye:

About 50 supporters of Republican Debra Medina's unlikely run for the Texas governorship showed up Saturday at Silo's restaurant on Austin Highway to cheer her on.
Medina may be a “David against two Goliaths,” as she put it, competing against Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, but she claims to have the stuff that voters will go for.

“I'm the only one in this race who is really fighting for Texans,” she said. “The other two are fighting for their political careers, for more feathers in their caps, rather than the average Texan.”

Based on what I've seen of this race so far, with KBH and Rick Perry slinging mud at each other constantly, I really can't disagree with that. What really caught my attention was this quote:
“I love private-property ownership and gun ownership,” she said. “Those things are bundled together in my mind and are essentially elements of freedom."

Sounds like my kind of candidate, from this and other things I've heard about her. Pro-gun minarchist, advocate for private property rights, she sounds almost like Texas' very own Sarah Palin. Small-government libertarian-leaning conservatives might actually have someone to vote for instead of against. Wonder how she feels about gay marriage and casino gambling...

Back in Southeast Texas...

...familiar territory, but it doesn't really feel so much like home anymore...Lord, but I miss that woman. She's coming HERE in a week, though! Which provides me with a sizable amount of consolation...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just an update...

I am not dead. In fact, I am far from it. I am in San Antonio with Sabra for the week. Back soon... ;-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

More irony for your Monday morning...

...vis-a-vis Houston mayor-elect Annise Parker (emphasis mine -- ed.):

Her sexual orientation did not become an issue in the mayor's race until after the Nov. 3 election produced no clear winner. Two anti-gay activists mailed fliers calling attention to her support from gay groups and to her relationship with her partner of 19 years, Kathy Hubbard. In addition, a group of black pastors spoke out against Parker for her so-called “gay agenda.
Black pastors persecuting her? Wow. It reminds me of the results of the vote for Proposition 8 in California last November, which was to ban gay marriage in that state. As I recall, the black vote for Prop 8 was very high. I remember thinking then, as I think here, that it's really sad that a group that has been the victim of so much bigotry would exhibit it toward another group. No doubt the pastors would say that Parker chose to be lesbian, but I find that argument to be absurd in the extreme. Honestly, with anti-gay sentiments as widespread as they still are, why would anyone make the conscious choice to be such a social outcast? (Remember this conversation, Sabra?) Annise Parker didn't choose to be gay any more than those pastors chose to be black. And when one looks at it that way, the pastors' carping about Parker's "so-called'gay agenda'" look REALLY bigoted.

As for Parker's almost two-decade-long relationship with her partner -- we all know there are all too many heterosexual marriages that don't even last that long. If those black pastors pulled their heads out of their asses they might even see that Parker and her partner might have something to teach them.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

To the irony...

...of blacks supporting gun control, you can add the irony of the fans of a football team in a predominantly black city having a chant which is believed to have its roots in minstrel shows making fun of black people. No doubt every Klan member who hears that chant smiles a snaggle-tooth grin as big as Lake Ponchartrain every time he hears it, too.

Sure looks like a good takedown... me:

A 14-year-old boy has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of his mother's boyfriend on Saturday morning, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
The teen's mother and her boyfriend, Juan Contreras, 33, argued at a party, authorities said. Contreras allegedly assaulted and threatened the woman before heading to their far east Houston apartment in the 13900 block of Alderson to collect his belongings.

Now, I'll admit the as-yet-undetermined facts of this case might show the boy's actions weren't justified; as this reads now, though, I can't help but agree with one of the commenters: "Taken into custody...? He should be given the keys to the city. Any low life who threatens and beats a woman deserves a knife in the gut."

I would substitute "a magazine full of .45ACP hollow-points" in place of "a knife in the gut," but hey, the kid did the best he could with what he had to work with. At any rate, his mother's gonna have one hell of a cautionary tale to tell future boyfriends: "It's in your best interests not to hit me. My son killed the last man who did that."

And another one bites the dust...

Another lefty meme, that is:

Annise Danette Parker was elected mayor of Houston on Saturday, winning her seventh consecutive city election and becoming both the first contender in a generation to defeat the hand-picked candidate of Houston's business establishment and the first openly gay person to lead a major U.S. city.

Which meme is that? You know, the one that says Texans and Southerners are bigoted hicks who'd string homosexuals up if they could get away with it. That was a particularly ugly race, too. I am glad to see that Houston voters weren't swayed by the efforts to paint the race as a referendum on gay rights. At least I would hope they voted for Parker on her merits and not just because of her sexual orientation. Harris County may be a bit more liberal than the rest of the state, as Obama did win the county in the '08 presidential election. I think this is still noteworthy despite that, though, especially considering these are the same folks who put Chuck Rosenthal and John B. Holmes in the county DA's chair.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Whatever helps you sleep at night, Dennis.

I read this from Dennis Henigan (of the Organization Formerly Known As Handgun Control) and got a chuckle out of it:

Generally speaking, Congressional offices hear more frequently from “gun rights” partisans than from constituents who support stronger gun laws. This, of course, says nothing about public support for gun control. For example, over 80% of Americans support legislation to close the “gun show loophole” by extending Brady background checks to private sales at gun shows. But it is a level of support not generally reflected in constituent communications to Members of Congress.

In other words, the American public overwhelmingly support more gun control but they're not motivated enough to call their Congresscritters to demand it, getting themselves drowned out and their wishes denied by the noisy minority of the eeeevil gun lobby. Does that make any sense whatsoever? Yeah, to me either. I'd think that if the support for making all transfers undergo background checks was that high, Congress would be hearing from the people. I'd guess those polls were rigged to support HCI's goals. That's honestly the only thing that I could think of that would explain such a poll.

As for the bad reviews of Henigan's book, well, a perusal of said reviews shows quite a few of them to be well-written, and with actual cites to back up what they say. The way he (and some on our side, regrettably) talks one would think the reviews were full of "OMG Henigan is teh suxxorz!!!!1111one!!!"-type writing from people who hadn't read the book, but a surprising number of them are actually very well written, i.e., "Henigan is wrong and here is why." Of course that doesn't surprise me. We are the ones on whose side the facts and logic lie.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Taking the old saying a tad too literally...

As I was at the dentist yesterday waiting to have two wisdom teeth yanked, I had the TV on WGN watching the tail end of "Nash Bridges," followed by the midday news. One of the items on the newscast concerned the police in a certain Chicago suburb (whose name escapes me at the moment) handing out whistles for people to blow when they were being mugged, robbed or what-have-you. I know people talk about "blowing the whistle" on crime, but it seems to me that is taking that saying entirely too literally. One wonders how many people in that benighted area would come to their fellow subjects' assistance as they heard that whistle blow as opposed to waiting on somebody with a badge and a gun. I'd bet most of them would not. Even if the powers that be in Illinois do not actively try to "discourage people from self-help" as certain folks do in Massachusetts, you know the let-someone-else-do-it mindset is only helped along by Illinois politicians' resolute denial of Illinoisans' right of self-defense.

And a, well, not-so-random observation: It didn't hurt so badly when those teeth were pulled. The dentist numbed me up right-good, I tell you what. Once that anesthetic wore off, though, I was in pain like nothing I had known before in my entire life. Seriously. I just wanted to curl up in a ball on the floor and whine. Vicodin and ice on my jaw cleared that riiiight up, though...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Making saints of devils?

It certainly seems people are prone to do that, especially when the devils shuffle off this mortal coil.

I can definitely understand BR's daughter getting pissed off about what was being said about him before it was deleted. I can also understand her thinking he was a good person. But I can't agree with that, or with a commenter there saying he "led a good life...despite his imperfections." Those imperfections being, of course, that he was an elitist, vitriolic asshole who tried to divide the gun owner community even more than it already is, when it needs now more than ever to present a united front against those who would take all of the guns. The fact that a certain organization which advocates the government having a monopoly on force called him a "profile in courage" (linked at SIH) ultimately tells me all I need to know about just how "good" of a person he was. It sucks for his family that he's dead, and I'm sorry for their loss, but that's about all the sympathy I can muster.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Civilization suspended?

Oh, man. Leonard Pitts returns to form in a spectacular fashion this morning, with so much hand-wringing that I barely even know what to tackle. There was one thing in this column that jumped out at me more than anything, though:

Can-do fell apart, civilization fell apart, New Orleans drowning and its trapped people turning feral and mean while those whose job it was to rescue them bungled, bickered, pointed fingers and otherwise acquitted themselves with all the smooth efficiency of the Keystone Kops.

"Those whose job it was to rescue them." I wonder if it ever occurred to Pitts how illuminating of a commentary such a statement is on how far we have fallen -- that the federal government was expected to shoulder the responsibility of getting those people out of New Orleans, as opposed to the local and state governments, or -- horror of horrors! -- the people themselves to get out of harm's way via assistance from their friends and family. Why was it that we saw the horrors of Katrina as an example of government dropping the ball, as opposed to seeing it as the result of multi-generational dependence on government on all levels (hence, perhaps, family members being unable to help the downtrodden get out) to do things the Founding Fathers never intended government to do? Things like that only make it that much easier for civilization to fall apart; yet Pitts has yet to address that phenomenon. I wonder why that is?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Hey, another rocker who shares my sentiments...

...on country music:

We all love country music - real country music, not this awful, awful, awful mockery they put out today. They should be ashamed...
(Benmont Tench, a co-founder of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.)

I've said all this before, but I think it bears repeating. It's one thing when you have the classic and Texas-red dirt country singers denigrating Nashville country, but it's quite another when you have the stars of other genres doing it. I recall Tom Petty himself saying a few years back that all this new country sucked eggs too. In a way you could say that the other genres' stars saying this actually boosts the credibility of what the folks in the country genre are saying, because those other singers don't have a vested interest in the popularity of real country music. One could say they come to it with a more unbiased eye.

Of course, the argument goes in an entirely different direction here, with this quote from Kellie Pickler:
I like the tears and the realness in the voices, and it's not overproduced — no smoke and mirrors..."Willie's Place" on XM Satellite Radio is all I listen to.

I must admit I was really surprised by that, as what they play on Willie's Place is just so radically different from the type of music that Kellie Pickler records. Granted, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that the record labels would try to steer her in such a different direction -- but the fact that she doesn't listen to the type of music the record labels want her to record, is not a good commentary on that type of music. I wonder if Taylor Swift's ears were burning when Ms. Pickler said that?

(h/t Country California)

Who are the real racists...

Amid all the headlines generated by Tiger Woods' troubles — the puzzling car accident, the suggestions of marital turmoil and multiple mistresses — little attention has been given to the race of the women linked with the world's greatest golfer.
Except in the black community.
The darts reflect blacks' resistance to interracial romance. They also are a reflection of discomfort with a man who has smashed barriers in one of the whitest of all sports and assumed the mantle of world's most famous athlete, once worn by Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.
On the one hand, Ebonie Johnson Cooper doesn't care that Woods' wife and alleged mistresses are white because he is “quote-unquote not really black.”
The color of one's companion has long been a major measure of “blackness” — one major reason why the biracial Barack Obama was able to fend off early questions about his black authenticity.
“Had Barack had a white wife, I would have thought twice about voting for him,” Johnson Cooper said.

Wow. Not really black? If Obama had a white wife that person would have thought twice about voting for him? And all this time the media have been trying to tell us that it's the white people who are the racists, while here it's put on display for all to see that the black people have their own attitudes and tests on racial purity that would have everyone up in arms were it white people doing it. Tell me how this is any different from the attitudes of the KKK, Aryan Nations, Stormfront, et al?


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Palin Reactions

If Sarah Palin can draw this kind of crowd to a book signing, imagine what kind of crowd she could draw to the voting booth in 2012. I will never understand the feelings of those who say she is a liability to the Republican Party with these reactions. It seems there weren't any protesters to speak of -- if there were, I'd think the story would have mentioned them. I know it's just one book signing, but even so, I tend to think the mewling of the GOP elite is, well, just that.

Friday, December 04, 2009

On the Southeast Texas weather...

...I think one of my college buddies said it best on Facebook this morning:

"I was just watching the Weather Channel and Jim Cantore is in Houston, which means everyone should evacuate."


If a certain gift works for someone...

...for the better, in ways that are not advertised, who gives a flying rat's ass if others might think it's tacky? I might look odd with two cell phone cases hanging off my jeans -- one for my phone and one for my iPod -- but I would damn sure rather have those cases than risk leaving my cell phone or iPod in my pocket and running it through the washing machine. I have lost an iPod that way; I am sure others have as well, and I'd bet more than a few have lost cell phones that way too.

...and justice for all?

Not quite...

...(Martin Luther) King's vision included more than justice for black folk. His vision included all God's children, red and yellow, black and white.
King's vision and struggles are important to remember as serious conversations about immigration reform are again beginning to brew, as indicated by the remarks last month of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at the Center for American Progress.

I think it's rather disingenuous for The Rev. Clemons to be comparing MLK's vision to that of those who advocate certain methods of untying the immigration Gordian knot. It has always struck me that groups such as LULAC, La Raza and (to a much greater extent) MEChA, as opposed to seeking justice for "all God's children," only seek it for their preferred race. And so it continues to this very day. I thought it was particularly self-righteous of him to admonish us all to "(l)isten not to false prophets who wrap their politics around the fear of the immigrant" as he continued to build his premise on the shifting sands of the argument that the advocacy groups share King's goals of justice for all. It's not the immigrant many of us fear; it's the balkanization of American society and culture that is encouraged by these advocacy groups. Sooner or later that is going to have to be confronted and dealt with. And touchy-feely rhetoric from disingenuous clergymen isn't going to be nearly enough to do it.

Quote of the Day...

Ryan Streeter, former Bush White House domestic policy adviser and and current senior fellow at the Legatum Institute, a London independent policy think tank:

California, as everyone knows, has a coolness factor that Texas cannot match...But unless one has been living in a cave, everyone knows the cool state is also the broke state.

Yep. And everyone who's paying attention knows that California's coolness quotient seems to be declining all the time, for as many know, people are fleeing the state in droves, to the point that you're looking at paying at least twice as much for a U-Haul truck to move from California to Texas as you would be paying for a move from Texas to California.

Yes, really. According to the U-Haul website, to rent a 26-ft. truck from Houston to L.A. will cost you $555 if you pick it up a week from today, whereas under those same parameters, an L.A. to Houston rental will run you $2050. Granted, a commenter to this post says it's a bit more complicated than that; but while that may be true, it still deserves to be pointed out that Texas' major metropolitan areas are growing in population while California's are shrinking.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Now, I will acknowledge I might be misinterpreting this...

As an alumnus of St. Thomas University and having been reared in a Catholic family, I would like to respond to your article in Sunday's Chronicle regarding Cardinal Daniel DiNardo's opposition to abortion (“DiNardo not going to ease up criticism of health bill issue; Cardinal says church has a duty to voice its views against abortion,” Page A1).
I regard the church's stand as extremely hypocritical and insensitive to women who risk their health bearing the burden of having more children than they can afford. This issue should be decided within the family without coercion from any church.

...but it seems to me that the author of the above passage is saying the Catholics should be fine with using abortion as birth control, and for the life of me I can't get my head wrapped around such "reasoning." As for not having children than one can afford, well, what happened to using some sort of, um, more conventional contraceptive? I would think that was far preferable to abortion, and cheaper to boot. As for this...
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Pope Benedict don't seem to understand the difference between lobbying and blackmail. When you threaten a member of Congress with withholding of church rites if they don't vote a certain way, that's blackmail, not lobbying.

Huh, and all this time I thought the Catholics were just asking the politician members of their church to adhere to one of their most fundamental beliefs. Hey, wait a minute, I still do think that....

Everybody knows this is the fault...

...of American gun shows...

Mexico cartels buying officials with campaign cash

Yep, and everyone knows what would remedy that, right? An "assault weapons ban" in the United States...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

You can't have one without the other...

...or, Cry me a river, Chet Flippo...

"Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," Trace Adkins (2005) -- I know Jamey Johnson was a co-writer, but I don't hold it against him. I respect Trace as an artist, and I don't hold it against him, either. It's a tough business climate in country music these days. But "Badonkadonk" and especially its accompanying video represent the absolute bottom for country music. And this opened the floodgates for even more vulgar songs and trashy videos and even gave skin a bad name. Everyone involved is capable of much better.
I'll admit he's absolutely right here. The thing about it is, though, is that this sort of thing is what's going to happen when you introduce those pop influences in country music in an effort to get the younger audience. You're not going to get one without the other, because they're both part of an effort to gain new audiences for the music. Just like the music itself evolves, so does the marketing for it. This isn't going on in a laboratory in which one can keep undesirable elements out. And if Chet Flippo is going to defend country music going pop, which of course he has done in the past, then he doesn't have any business whatsoever bitching about it taking on the characteristics of pop music or it being marketed like pop music. Different audiences call for different marketing schemes. If I can see that, then why can't he? Is it really more complicated than that?

(h/t Country California)

If they don't condemn him for this...

...then they nigh well should...

Regarding “4 officers shot dead in ambush” (Page A1, Monday), since Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted the suspect's sentence, I assume the Republican Party will now condemn Huckabee with the same fervor as it did Gov. Michael Dukakis, who afforded a convicted murderer a long weekend.
I am sure the guy who wrote that was an Obama voter, but even so he does have a point. It'll be quite interesting to see if Huckabee comes back for another round in '12...

UPDATE: Quote of the day, from a commenter at Hot Air, in response to a Huckabee quote from this Politico story:
“It is disgusting, but people use anything as a political weapon.”…Mike Huckabee

You mean, like referring to your opponent’s (Romney) religion (Mormonism) as being in league with Satan in the midst of a campaign? YOU MEAN DISGUSTING LIKE THAT YOU SANCTIMONIOUS PILE OF DEMAGOGUERY?
Ooooh, burn!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Interesting contrast here...

...that I just HAD to blog about...

Now playing at Hair Nation, Sirius Ch. 23: Queensryche, "Jet City Woman," which of course has the line: "Fortunes are lost on the women I've seen, but without you, I can't're the air to me..."
As I was listening to it, I saw today's Quigmans. I thought that was pretty funny. But maybe that's just me...

I'm just not seeing anything suicidal here...

....or, Maybe Kathleen Parker has a different definition of "suicide pact" than I do:

Just when independents and moderates were considering revisiting the GOP tent. Just when a near-perfect storm of unpopular Democratic ideas — from massive health care reform to terrorist show trials, not to mention global warming hype — is coagulating over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Just when the GOP was gaining traction following gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey … Republicans perform a rain dance at their own garden party.
Things were just going too well.
Thus, some conservative members of the party have come up with a list of principles they want future candidates to agree to or forfeit backing by the Republican National Committee.
The so-called purity test is a 10-point checklist — a suicide pact, really — of alleged Republican positions. Anyone hoping to play on Team GOP would have to sign off on eight of the 10 — through their voting records, public statements or a questionnaire.

Okay then. Let us, for just a moment, look through this checklist (PDF ALERT) and its essentials:

1. Support of smaller government, lower debt and lower taxes.
2. Support of market-based health reform as opposed to government-based health reform and government-run health care.
3. Support of market-based energy reform and opposing cap-and-trade;
4. Support of workers' right to secret ballot.
5. Support of legal immigration and assimilation and opposition to amnesty.
6. Support of troop surges in the Middle East.
7. Support of containment of Iran and North Korea vis-a-vis their nuke threats.
8. Supporting retention of the Defense of Marriage Act.
9. Opposing government funding of abortion and rationing and denial of health care.
10. Supporting the right to keep and bear arms by opposing further restrictions on gun ownership.

Now, granted, this list does have its flaws, in particular No. 8. As a libertarian who thinks the government has no business telling people whom they can and cannot marry, I find the DOMA to be a tremendous affront to personal liberty in this country, even being quite heterosexual as I am.

However, I see absolutely nothing wrong with any of the other nine items in this list whatsoever. After all, for example, if you support higher taxes, more gun control and amnesty for illegals, for all practical intents and purposes, you're...a Democrat. The only problem I might see in some of them is their phrasing, i.e., "support this by opposing this." To that extent I might agree with Kathleen Parker that taking positions on certain issues might "require more than a Sharpie check in a little square." On the other hand, I think it's safe to say this list takes all those so-called "nuances" and distills them down to their bare essentials. And I don't really see anything wrong with that either.

I am not surprised that Parker just preferred to take the list at face value and proclaim it to be some sort of Manichean litmus test, as that's the only spin on it that gives her "argument," if you want to call it that, any credibility whatsoever. It is, however, ironic that she would contend that "the problem is that many conservatives have lost faith in the ability of Republican leaders to think" considering how she leveled every other accusation in that piece off the cuff, evidently with no other reasons to back them up than "because I said so and my status as an elite media pundit matters." Such a method of argument, of course, requires absolutely zero thinking.

Just some random observations...

...prompted by this story:

The brazen escape early Monday of a pistol-wielding rapist — a career criminal with a penchant for abducting and assaulting girls as young as 7 — had prosecutors and police scrambling to notify past victims while state lawmakers, once again, demanded a crackdown on prison contraband.

There are those who want to make it harder for average citizens to get a gun, all the while saying, "you don't need guns, because the police will protect you." Well, what happens when this guy takes down someone who's not in blue? Why should ordinary citizens be left to wait on the police to save them from monsters like this when, as the courts have ruled, the police don't have any responsibility to the individual citizen, just to the public at large?

I should note I would never argue that the police DO have a responsibility to protect the individual citizen. After all, that would leave the door open to huge liability when the individual citizen has harm visited upon him or her. And there are only so many people out there who are willing to put on the badge and gun. However, even if there were enough people to assign a cop as a personal bodyguard to everyone, it still wouldn't be feasible, because, well, those cops have to feed, clothe and house themselves and their families too. And the money for that has to come from somewhere.

So it only follows that at some point, individual citizens are necessarily going to have to take responsibility for their own protection at some point -- and this responsibility is not going to end when they step out the doors of their homes. Which puts Doug Pennington's mewling about being forced to live with concealed weapons in a whole new and quite unflattering light. I guess he and his kind would prefer that my Sabra and her beautiful little girls be at the mercy of monsters like that. One more wonder why I think gun-grabbers are by and large evil, despicable people who deserve whatever harm criminals might wish to inflict upon them? There's your answer.