Sunday, February 28, 2010

Through the looking glass...

...or, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia...

The tea party sounds more like the Communist Party of the Cold War era. The tea party has taken America's freedom of speech to an all-time-low.

One would think this guy was a certain conservative pundit's evil lefty doppleganger, as he serves up one of their talking points with absolutely nothing to support it. From what I've seen of the Tea Party folks, as opposed to trying to silence anyone, they're just exercising their own freedom of speech and it's certain protesters from the LEFT side of the political aisle who are trying to shut them up. Not that it surprises me that this letter would run, but still, it's just disgusting.

A ten-year-old has the capacity for that?!

Are these people serious?

In the year before he killed restaurateur Viola Barrios, Joe Estrada Jr. was snorting cocaine three times a week, smoking marijuana daily and ingesting hallucinogenic mushrooms about once a week, he told a psychiatrist during a recent jailhouse interview.
Estrada, who faces either life in prison without parole or the death penalty for the capital murder conviction, has brain damage because of partial fetal alcohol syndrome, Adler surmised. He has the developmental age of a 10-year-old, he said.

In a vacuum that sounds reasonable, I suppose, but at breakfast yesterday (where Sabra and I first saw this in the Express-News' Saturday print edition), Sabra lent a different perspective. Her oldest daughter Bobbie will be eight years old on her next birthday, but she said she seriously doubts that in the next couple of years Bobbie is going to develop the foresight and thought processes to, say, attempt to burn the evidence of a murder she committed. (And I will point out that I'm sure she isn't going to go shooting people with arrows, guns or anything else to get money from them...) I may well be a heartless bastard for saying this, but damn, people, dispense with the excuses and put the needle in that monster so he can't do to anyone in prison what he did to Viola Barrios!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fundamental flaw with the business model?

Sabra and I were eating breakfast at Bill Miller's this morning, perusing today's San Antonio Express-News, and this was one of the above-the-fold stories. Pretty newsworthy, eh? Sure it was, but the thing about it is, I had already read that story a good 15 hours before on the Express-News' website. I honestly have to wonder what the people who do this are thinking as they post those stories. If one can read those stories before they hit the print edition of the paper, then what the hell's the point of having a printed paper? I like having a printed paper at least as much as anyone, but which one's better? Obviously, it'd be the Web. I'm sure there are those who will say, "Well, some people can't afford a computer or high-speed Internet." And that may be true, but if they can't afford those, they probably can't afford a newspaper subscription either, much less buying a copy at a buck a day (and $2 on Sundays) from the newsstand. I heard one publisher say he was thinking about putting on the paper's web site, "See tomorrow's news today! Check (paper's web site) at 10 p.m. each night!" And I thought, "I'm sure the advertisers in the printed edition are gonna thank you for your making it unnecessary for the townsfolk to buy said printed edition." There are those who say newspapers are in the shape they're in because of reporters' and editors' bias and such, and while that may be true to an extent, I'd say a hell of a lot more of it is due to media corporations' failure to anticipate changes in the business model and act accordingly. I don't know what can be done about it, but it sure does suck for those in the business.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where do you draw the line?

Kathleen Parker, on the tea-partiers, in today's San Antonio Express-News:
And though there's no centralized organization and no leader, some segments find nullification and, apparently, secession reasonable alternatives to failed politics and a gorging government.

I'm guessing she doesn't think those are reasonable alternatives. Which leads to the question: Is there ANYTHING Kathleen Parker and those who agree with her will take risks for? Apparently they think the American people should just take what the majority foists on them. And I wonder why it's never mentioned that the United States itself was formed by an act of secession. Oh, I'm sure they'll say "Ohhh, but THAT was diiiiifferent!"

To which I would reply, "How?" What the hell do these creatures think the Founders would have said had the British Crown required them to, say, buy health insurance? They started a WAR over less than that, for crying out loud!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So now we know the truth...

Overheard, earlier this evening, as Sabra and I were shopping at Wal-Mart:

"You think I'm just running my fingers through your hair, but I'm really just getting the pen out from behind your ear."

I was gonna buy her some, but I couldn't find 'em...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Even a broken clock... right twice a day:

Ever since Ronald Reagan, the GOP has been run by people who want a much smaller government. In the famous words of activist Grover Norquist, conservatives want to get the government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”
But there has always been a political problem with this agenda. Voters may say they oppose big government, but the programs that dominate federal spending — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — are very popular. So how can the public be persuaded to accept large spending cuts?

I don't agree with Paul Krugman often, but he actually makes a good point here. If we're ever going to get a handle on our government's spending, we're eventually going to have to confront the fact that a big chunk of it consists of programs for which cutting spending is seen as a third rail of sorts. However, what Krugman doesn't tell you here is that the Democrats have a history of taking advantage of the Republicans' efforts to do that sort of thing. Does anyone remember back in the mid'-90s when the Republicans in Congress wanted to cut projected increases in Medicare spending? The spending was still going to be increased, just not as much as it originally was. The Democrats and the media (redundant, I know) went all out to portray this as an outright cut in spending, and the Republicans took a pretty big beating in the opinion polls from what I remember. If memory serves me right, the Democrats' cynical spin of this was to an extent responsible for Bill Clinton's re-election the next year. So yeah, that's why the Republicans aren't saying about what programs need to be cut, because they know the Democrats will spin it as Republicans wanting to starve babies and the elderly. The Democrats know damn well what programs whose spending we're going to have to cut too. But you know they won't do it. They'll just resort to the old mantra of "tax the rich," as they're wont to do, and nothing is going to change.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A wicked sense of humor...

Albatross has it:

How much deeper can our national deficit go? As Lewis Carroll wrote, "One, two! One, two! and through and through / The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!"

You have to click for the proper context. I can't quote just part of the rest. But trust me, it's worth it. Damn hippies. ;-)

And he says this as if it's a good thing?!

Rascal Flatts frontman Gary LeVox:

“I think we definitely opened the door for the Taylor Swifts and Carrie Underwoods of the world,” the Ohio native said. “We’re proud we’ve been able to expand our genre of music a little bit. A lot of times their perspective of country music is sitting on hay bales and whistling the theme from ‘The Dukes of Hazzard.’ But we’ve helped other genres look at country music like country’s pretty cool now.

Sitting on hay bales...? Whose perspective is this and why should any self-respecting music fan give a shit about the opinions of the people who hold such a warped perspective? I would guess that just like certain pundits, Gary LeVox pulls this shit out of his ass and expects fans to believe it based on his supposed authority as a "country music artist" (and trust me, in this case I use that term in its loosest sense). I submit the only reason that these hacks perpetuate this meme is to justify their watering down and bastardizing of the genre. I find it difficult to believe it's based in any kind of truth whatsoever, and to the extent it is, well, as the old punk number goes...So Fucking What? I would submit that those people with that warped image are the Johnny-come-lately fad-chasers at which country music was never aimed anyway. Sounds a lot to me like Gary LeVox is almost ashamed of country music.

As for the way other genres' stars look at country music -- one wonders what LeVox would say to people like Tom Petty and Don Henley, who think today's "country" music is some sort of sick joke. I would bet you that *I* have more evidence to back my side of that argument than he does to back up his. And even if I didn't, it wouldn't matter, because as a music fan, I honestly don't give a damn about what other people think is cool and what isn't. Would that I could get a personal audience with Mr. LeVox. I know exactly what I'd say to him.

"Made country cool? Whatever helps you sleep at night, dude. Your 'cool' kind of 'country' is the reason this long-time country fan is listening almost exclusively to bands like Pantera, Queensryche, Megadeth and The Cult these days."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

She keeps me rollin', yes she does... saying stuff like this:

"Why is your mother a fan of Houston, TX? I love Facebook. You can become a fan of anything...I should see if I can become a fan of scratching my ass in public."

Heheheh. She's all mine, yes she is. I am a lucky man!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Missing the point...

...David Brooks has time and time again demonstrated himself to be good at that:

Since Watergate, we've tried to make government as open as possible. But as William Galston of the Brookings Institution jokes, government should sometimes be shrouded for the same reason that middle-aged people should be clothed. This isn't Galston's point, but I'd say the more government has become transparent, the less people are inclined to trust it.

Brooks seems to be saying here that government is not trusted because it's too open. For the sake of the argument we'll grant his point and leave out things like the Democrats not wanting to let C-SPAN televise the talks on health care. One wonders why he fails to mention the possibility that Americans don't trust their government because of the outrageous things that our legislators do when the cameras are on them, seemingly not caring that they're being watched. Does Brooks think that it would be better if things like the deal Ben Nelson got for Nebraska in exchange for his vote for the health care plan were not so extensively documented? Once again, we see Brooks putting forth an argument with absolutely nothing to support it.

I also thought it was funny to see Brooks say it was "less necessary to be clubbable," considering how he prattles on about supposed intellectuals and with almost every column he writes divides people into two clubs -- the intellectuals and everyone else. In effect he does that here, as he puts forth the idea that society should have leaders, saying it's "not even clear that society is better led" and talks as if it's people in professions like finance that supposedly lead us -- breezing right over the fact that the people in finance in effect do things with money that everyone else makes. And that includes those in that other club whose members Brooks looks down on and derides. I shouldn't be surprised that he misses that from his lofty pseudointellectual perch, but it's still not a pretty thing to see someone demonstrate time after time just how "educated beyond his intelligence" he is.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ahh, my favorite song from ...And Justice for All...

....right now, at the Boneyard, Sirius Ch. 19: "I give, you take, this life that I forsake...been cheated of my youth, you turned this lie to truth..."

I discovered Metallica via the self-titled black album as I've said before, but even so I thought Justice was the last of the truly great Metallica records -- at least perhaps until Death Magnetic. There are those who defend what came after by saying that James and the guys had explored that sound as far as they could and that it was time to go in a different direction, but I don't know if I buy that. Other thrash metal bands had explored it for about the same length of time as Metallica had, and they blasted on down that road even as Metallica took that detour. Maybe it all came down to inspiration; maybe Cliff Burton's death really did affect them that much. At any rate, as I've also said before, I am glad they went back in that direction.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If it don't come easy, you better let it go...

One of my Facebook friends from high school posed a GREAT question:

"Why do you spend years trying to convince a man that you are good for him?"

Goodness, that's a question for the ages, isn't it? From a man's perspective, I would argue that a woman shouldn't need nearly so long. If a man is worthy of a woman, he'll figure it out on his own and act accordingly. And it really is just that simple. Why so many men fuck around and string women along I don't know, but I am so glad I don't have to deal anymore with the consequences of other males doing that. What do I mean by that? Read on. No doubt many of you read between the lines last summer and figured out what happened with the one Sabra and I like to call Kitty-Eater, so I don't figure I am airing any dirty laundry here that hasn't been aired before...

Like I said before, Kitty-Eater got to where she'd be gone half the time and she'd be sleeping downstairs when she WAS at home. One thing led to another and I got the whole "I feel like we're more best friends than a couple" thing. She wanted to stay friends and roommates, but I wanted no part of that after being the victim of her bait-and-switch. She blamed her actions on the fact that she'd always had problems with men, and a few months later out of the blue I got a text message from her saying she really did love me but she got the idea that I was too good for her, which I guess led to her withdrawing from me and things working out the way they did. And then there was the message I referred to in this post.

But I told you all that to tell you this. I wondered now and then if the way she did me was in any way due to anything that had happened in her previous relationships. Not that I'd ever excuse her treatment of me or try to rationalize it, because ultimately we're all responsible for dealing with our own shit instead of causing pain for other people with our failure to deal with said shit. Those issues have to come from somewhere, though. And for all I know, Kitty-Eater's issues -- her thinking I was too good for her and sabotaging the relationship -- might have come from the way men had treated her before. And THAT goes back to what my friend was talking about and what I was getting at in my reply: You don't have to spend as much time as you think, or go THAT far out of your way, to show someone that you're good for them. If they're worthy of you, they'll figure it out and they will SHOW you. And that goes for men and women too.

Of course, the flip side of that is this -- you spend all that time trying to show someone you're good for them and they never figure it out, and you get to thinking you're not good enough for them -- or (God forbid) ANYONE. And as I had to learn for myself, that gets to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. God help me, there are going to be those who think I am channeling Stuart Smalley here, but you have to say "I AM good enough," you have to think it, and for heaven's sake ACT like it. Don't settle for less or think you're worthy of less -- because as sure as God made little green apples, you WILL get it.

None of that, however, is to say that things would have worked out between Kitty-Eater and myself had Kitty-Eater gotten her issues with men resolved by the time I came along -- or that it would've been nearly as good as it is with Sabra. Like I tell her all the time, Sabra is not just a step up -- she's a turbine-powered escalator up. ;-) She dealt with her post-divorce feelings and gives me her all to make it the best it can be every single day. Instead of withdrawing from me, she comes closer all the time.

Ahem. The answer is NO, Sarah.

One Sarah Buxton had this to say, on genre inclusiveness:

"If you can put Colbie Caillat in the same genre as Fergie, then I can be in the same genre as George Strait," Buxton says. "What was James Taylor? Was he a rock singer? Was he a folk singer? I don't know - he was kind of both. I feel like I'm many things, and I'm not comfortable trying to change parts of myself to make it fit in a genre."

Ahem. No, James Taylor was NOT a rock singer in any shape, form or fashion, and this attempt to cast him as such is one of the most pathetic attempts at justifying the bastardization of country music that I've seen in quite a while. I know they play him on the "classic rock" stations here and there, and I'd guess that's where that came from, but if you're going to lump James Taylor in with, say, Queensryche or Pantera, then what's the point of having genres at all? And I'd guess this :
"With Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band at the Grammys, I think we all saw that country music is doing some pretty cool stuff," she says. "I'd like to see it be open to old-school country, traditional country, folk country, country rock, Southern rock - all kinds of different stuff."

is as good of a jumping-off point to a rant I've had percolating in my head for a while.

There are those who say that country is a big tent with room for all kinds of influences. And I don't have so much a problem with that big-tent philosophy, really. What I have the problem with is that so many people seem to see very little if any room in that big tent for the more traditional country singers -- whom I and many others see as the very essence of country music. I remember that's exactly how it came off to me right about 1999-2000, right after George Strait and Alan Jackson raised the controversy with their recording of "Murder On Music Row." I remember Tim McGraw particularly saying that some of those singers, and more generally that style of music, had had their time and it was time for them to move on. And that really pissed me off. More so when he recorded that "Things Change" song. "It's just good music if you can feel it in your soul," indeed, but I think there's a valid reason people divide music into genres and radio formats -- they want to hear a certain sound. I love Metallica and Merle Haggard too, but if I tuned into a radio station wanting to hear one and got the other I'd be a little nonplussed to say the least. The categorization of music is going to happen no matter what anyone says. It's just what humans do with things, whether it be music, food, or what-have-you. And I think there are perfectly valid reasons for that. Certain artists and bands are going to have similar sounds and those artists and bands are going to be grouped together despite protests about pigeonholing certain music into certain categories. And it works, because when you want to find more of that certain sound you have some idea of where to look for it -- whereas, if it was "just good music," that's just way too general to be of any use at all. That's just the way it is and it's one of the things about music as a concept that I see as very helpful, as it enables me to direct my finite funds toward sounds that I like. Taking the "it's just music" contention to its logical conclusion here, there are 67 Sirius channels focusing on various genres and subgenres. Should they get rid of 66 of them? Or have differently shuffled playlists on the channels still from all genres, where you have, say, Metallica followed by Rascal Flatts followed by Kelly Clarkson followed by Van Morrison and so on? I shudder to think how it'd be if that were the case. I'd probably still be waiting to hear the songs from the artists the parts of whose catalog I had yet to discover that I now may proudly count as part of my collection. So call me narrow-minded if you like, but my perspective on the concept of genres has served me quite well.

Back to Sarah Buxton -- as Sabra said, "This must be why she is finding it impossible to differentiate herself from all the other blonde starlets in Nashville." She puts forth what I guess would be a mishmash of utterly forgettable country-pop that is just like everything else out there, thereby causing yet more folks like me to seek their musical fulfillment elsewhere. I suppose if they discover all the great music I did that won't be so bad, but it's still not good for country.

Is it, now?

I am not surprised to see George Will, stuffed-shirt creature of the Beltway that he is, continuing to put forth this tired meme:

America, its luck exhausted, at last has a president from the academic culture, that grating blend of knowingness and unrealism. But the reaction against this must somewhat please him. That reaction is populism, a celebration of intellectual ordinariness.

For someone who fancies himself an intellectual, Will is certainly taking a shallow look at the reaction to this "president from the academic culture." It isn't that the proles are celebrating intellectual ordinariness. Before I go on, a bit of context for the remarks to come.

There are those who poke good-hearted fun at Kevin Baker's long essays, but there is much goodness to be found therein, one example being this joke from this post that sums the whole thing up in a nutshell:
There is a story, a joke in some ways, an allegory in others, that dates way back. In it, a British Lord travels to the Frontier West, America in the 1800's. His horse throws a shoe on the trail, so at the first little frontier town he comes to, he finds a blacksmith's shop to have the shoe replaced. As he rides up, he sees a large, sweaty, filthy man hammering on a piece of red-hot iron. The Lord sits on his horse, waiting to be served, but the blacksmith doesn't pay him any attention and continues to work his iron. Finally, the Lord, outraged to have been ignored this way by an obvious servant, dismounts, approaches the 'smith, and taps the man on the shoulder with his riding crop.

"You, man!" he barks, "Who is your Master! I wish to have a word with him!"

The blacksmith turns, looks at the Englishman, spits a stream of tobacco juice on the point of the Lord's boot and says,

"That sumbitch ain't been born."

The fact is that those "from the academic culture" are fancying themselves to play the role of our masters, and it's this fundamentally un-American idea that we should have masters at all that is causing this backlash. Working in conjunction with this is the fact that these supposedly smart people aren't making things better -- in fact, they're only making them worse, driving the country deeper into debt and plundering the wallets of America ever more to buy the votes of those who don't want to go out and make their own way in the world. We are seeing every day that beneath that shiny intellectual veneer -- and yes, beneath the shiny fool's-gold rhetoric of "hope" and "change" -- lie the same old venal, self-serving politicians that have been the bane of the Founders' Republic for way the hell too long. And that is ultimately what this is all about. I am reminded of another quote, this time from the great Bill Whittle:
We are, and remain, the descendents of people who had had quite enough of being told what to do by inbred aristocratic fops and unelected, intellectual sadists. When Europeans call us simplisme, they show themselves incapable of recognizing the difference between intelligence, of which we are amply endowed, and intellectualism, that circle-jerk of coffee table revolution and basement politburo planning that we have never had much patience with.

One could say the same of those who are trying to cast the backlash against the people in charge now as disdaining intelligence. I don't know if I'd call them incapable of recognizing the difference between those two concepts. I think I'd just call them and their arguments shallow and/or dishonest, not to mention condescending and disingenuous. Considering Will fancies himself one of these intellectuals, I am not surprised he'd take this tack along with like-minded individuals on the other side of the political aisle, but it's still an ugly and disheartening thing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crack down

Yes, indeed:

It is a crime to file a false police report. It should likewise be a crime to file a report of child abuse that is clearly made for the sole purpose of harassing another person.

It should, yes. I don't know if we could ever finagle charging those who file those false reports with being accessories to child abuse, but that's exactly how it works out in real life. No one will ever know for sure, but that caseworker who was investigating Sabra's case could have been investigating the case of a kid who's clearly being abused instead of being sent on that wild goose chase by that sorry excuse for a man she was married to. Said caseworker could have even saved that kid's life. (And yes, I know it might have been someone else, but Sabra's ex's other clearly documented actions speak for themselves as to his character -- and at any rate, those reports were made by some petty, vindictive asshole.) I do wonder if the people making those false reports ever stop to think about that?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Question of the day!

Right here:

On Feb. 9 and 10, ABC News' “Good Morning America” reported the country lost $100 million in production each day because 250,000 government employees could not get to work because of the snow.

My question is: What do these 250,000 workers produce?

Frank Wehmeyer,


That's a damned good question, Mr. Wehmeyer.

Hey Leonard, two can play that game.

You really wanna do that?

In the Fox interview, you scored Obama for supposedly expecting Americans to “sit down and shut up” and accept his policies. But when asked when the president has ever said that, you couldn't answer. Obama, you sputtered, has just been condescending with his “general persona.”
More to the point, something is wrong when we celebrate mental mediocrity like yours under the misapprehension that competence or, God forbid, “intelligence,” makes a person one of those “elites” — that's a curse word now — lacking authenticity, compassion and common sense.
So no, this is not a clash of ideologies but a clash between intelligence and its opposite. And I am tired of being asked to pretend stupid is a virtue.
All righty, Leonard Pitts. Show me chapter and mother-fucking verse where Sarah Palin or any other conservative (or libertarian) has asked anyone to pretend that "stupid is a virtue." You can't. Which is quite telling, as it makes your mewling about Palin's comments to Fox more than a bit hypocritical. You know what I'm tired of, Leonard? I'm tired of lefty pundits (and those who proclaim to be conservative yet who insult the conservative rank-and-file at every single opportunity) implying that educated people are intelligent, competent AND trustworthy solely by virtue of their education, that they know what's best for us and that we should just sit down and shut up and let them do what they will. I seem to recall that being more or less what happened with one certain Houston-based energy company in the early part of the last decade, and we saw how that worked out, didn't we, Leonard? The people who ran that company were educated too -- the smartest guys in the room, as one film title sardonically referred to them -- yet the people associated with that company up and down the line were ruined, from the CEO to the shareholders. Do you and your fellow lefties REALLY want that example writ large on the United States, Leonard? Sometimes I think you do. And we all know what you'd say in the aftermath, too.

"The philosophy cannot be wrong! Do it again, only HARDER!"

Evan Bayh channels his inner Eric Cartman...

...or, Shorter Evan Bayh: "Screw you guys, I'm going home!"

Two-term Sen. Evan Bayh says ever-shriller partisanship and the frustrations of gridlock made it time for him to leave Congress.
...Bayh said voters could simply decide they want to vote out people they believe are too partisan and said Congress should change its rules of operation "so that sensible people can get the job done."

Yes, because implying your opponents aren't sensible isn't shrill partisanship at all, no sir. And you know he's not just talking about Republican senators who oppose health care, either. I would be surprised if he did not agree with this:
Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, you've probably had some very nasty town hall meetings lately, and most normal human beings don't enjoy being yelled at," said Jack Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont-McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.

In other words, "Can't these people see we're doing what's best for them?" Most folks would be thinking, "ok, if I'm being yelled at like this, maybe what I'm doing isn't the best and I should change course. After all, I work for them. They don't work for me." But then perhaps that's why I would never make it in Congress. Part of me would love to see the Democrats change those rules to get rid of the filibuster just to see the liberals overreach even more and get their tails beaten that much worse in November, but part of me says that would be a pyrrhic victory because there's no telling what they'd ram through beforehand. At any rate, good frakking riddance, Evan. Don't let the door hit you.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Yep, Sneering Scott Stroud is STILL an ass...

...and the proof's in this morning's column:

...the whole thing (the flap vis-a-vis Medina and 911 Truthers -- ed.) suggests we in the media hadn't probed deeply enough with Medina and that she, more than most hopefuls, should have been asked a few less orthodox questions: Have you ever been visited by an alien? Buried canned goods in your backyard? That kind of thing.

In retrospect, Medina might have dropped hints about her views when she talked about secession, an idea Perry didn't reject outright, either.

Wow, so those who advocate secession are now equivalent to Truthers? Way to slander those who advocate smaller government, Scotty. And yes, that's ultimately what those who advocate secession are tired of and don't want -- the bigger, more intrusive government advocated by those who were voted into office last November. They deserve better than to be lumped in with those who believe in alien abduction and the like. I suppose it's some small consolation that if it comes down to it, Stroud will be one of those that gets eaten.

A mile wide and an inch deep...

...that would be E.J. Dionne, in this morning's Chron...

But Republicans (and in retrospect, you can say this was shrewd politics) understood in 1994, as they do in 2010, that allowing these talented icon smashers (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama -- ed.) to govern differently and draw in members of their own party would be fatal to a GOP comeback.
So in Clinton’s case, Republicans voted to a person against his economic recovery plan that — combined with the first President Bush’s deficit-reduction moves — put the nation on the road to budget surpluses. Remember those? And then they killed Clinton’s health care plan.
Under Obama, Republicans have used precisely the same tactics without facing any criticism for a lack of originality. Obama’s stimulus bill got three Republican votes in the Senate — none in the House — and GOP lawmakers rail against it even as they claim credit for projects financed by a bill they opposed.
And the Republicans are doing all they can to make sure that Health Care 2.0 is ruined by the same political viruses that infected Health Care 1.0 under Clinton.

Once again, we have a liberal pundit trying to rewrite history. I don't understand how Bill Clinton and the Democrats tried to govern differently back in the early 1990s. They were for a more activist government just as Obama and his acolytes are. And it's widely acknowledged that Clinton's "assault weapons ban" was perhaps the key to the big Republican victories in 1994. I don't think it had anything to do with not allowing "icon smasher" Bill Clinton to govern differently. And I don't know what the hell Dionne is talking about here as he speaks of "political viruses that infected Health Care." The only viruses of which he speaks are inherent to the very idea of the Democrats' plans for health care -- more government regulation, more taxes, and under the latest plan a requirement to buy health insurance. (I guess that's certainly one way to achieve universal coverage...)

And as for "spend(ing) more energy trying to win over their enemies than in rallying their friends," you will also note that Dionne says nothing about the fact that Obama's friends are running scared from his health care plan because of their constituents' opposition to it. That seems to be the elephant in the room that he and his fellow lefty pundits don't want to acknowledge. I wonder why that is?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Not so cheap, but SO worth the price...

...that would be HEB's fully-cooked, pre-sliced beef brisket. Sabra introduced me to the goodness of that when I spent that week with her in December just before Christmas. She bought one and made fajitas with it well, I don't remember exactly how we ate it, apparently, but it was GREAT. I keep thinking it's about seven bucks a pound, with the typical brisket running at about 5.5 to 6 pounds. Like I say, it's not cheap, but it's SO damn good. I have one in the fridge and think of her with every bite of it...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Who says intellectuals aren't bullheaded and stubborn?

That was perhaps the first thing I thought as I read this from David Brooks (emphasis mine -- ed.):

A distinct Obama governing style emerged, which was half Harvard Economics Department and half Boss Daley. The administration is staffed by smart pragmatists who are optimistic about the government's ability to devise comprehensive plans. Their proposals were processed by congressional old bulls who made sure the legislation served Democratic interest groups.

"Smart pragmatists who are optimistic about the government's ability to devise comprehensive plans." This, friends, is a contradiction in terms. If these people were "smart," they would have figured out long ago that government doesn't have the ability to devise comprehensive plans, at least comprehensive plans that WORK. How exactly did LBJ's War On Poverty work out, again? I seem to recall that about $5 trillion of taxpayer money has been spent since 1964 and still poverty is an ongoing issue. (Yes, I know we have the richest, fattest poor people in the world, but really that's not the point.) I find it amusing that David Brooks is still defending these people as being something like "smart pragmatists." One might say that he's bitterly (and stubbornly) clinging to that contention...

I know I'll get in trouble for this...

...but it seems now we see once again why certain college professors don't want students to be able to defend themselves with firepower:

A biology professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who authorities say opened fire at a faculty meeting is facing a murder charge after the shooting spree that left three dead and three wounded.

And yes, that was sarcasm. I know not every anti-gun college professor is a latent mass murderer. But it still deserves to be asked why so many college professors oppose campus carry, especially considering that -- as we see here -- a (however miniscule) percentage of their fellow professors would be a danger to them. You'd think they would support CC for themselves at least.

Lack of polish does not a bad vocalist make.

I was browsing through the archives at Country California the other day, and I came upon this:

Axl Rose is one of the most atrocious vocalists in popular music – his singing makes most GnR records unlistenable. Underwood and Britt (singing "Sweet Child O' Mine" -- ed.) are both far superior, and I’m by no means a huge Underwood fan.

I was reminded of it yesterday as Sabra and I were discussing singers and range. The subject of Ernest Tubb came up and she said she never understood why people thought Tubb was a bad singer, and of course I agreed with that. I've always thought Tubb worked very well with his limitations, so well in fact that I never once thought of him as a bad singer. (She wondered aloud if it was Mariah Carey's fault that a singer had to have a good range to be considered a good singer. I told her that was a good question.) And by that same token, it occurred to both of us that G'n'R's appeal doesn't lie in Axl Rose's prowess as a vocalist; it lies in the power of the band, of which the raw, unpolished power of Rose's vocals was an integral part. Underwood is pretty much the polar opposite of "raw and unpolished," and I didn't even need to make it through the first verse of her version of SCOM to see that she sang it just like she sings everything else -- that is to say, it came out sounding just as polished and too-perfect as everything else she sings, completely trashing the spirit of the original. I don't know why everyone equates range and smoothness with one's viability as a vocalist. For some genres of music, such as hard rock and heavy metal, that just doesn't work. For some subgenres of music it does, but then again Queensryche, Rush and Dream Theater weren't straight-up rock bands anyway. (I must admit James LaBrie and Dream Theater did quite well on "Master of Puppets," though, now that I think about it, even if it did lack some of the raw power of the Metallica original.) When one looks at it through the lens of range and smoothness, there are gonna be a LOT of rock bands' frontmen that suck, but I defy anyone to tell me that James Hetfield, Dave Mustaine, Axl Rose, Steven Tyler and Brian Johnson were not five of the greatest rock singers who ever picked up a microphone. They were that precisely because of the aforementioned raw power of their vocals. And I think it's safe to say that anyone who thinks that "Axl Rose is one of the most atrocious vocalists in popular music" just because he doesn't sound like Carrie Underwood honestly doesn't have any business commenting on rock music.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One wonders where he thinks that money's gonna come from...

Those of you who read Bob S. have already read his take on Farouk Shami, one of the Democratic candidates for governor in our great state. He did a great job eviscerating Shami's platform, but I'd like to address this, which ran earlier this week:

Shami would like to see the hourly minimum wage jump from $7.25 to $10 or $15.

15 bucks an hour? What the hell does he want to do, turn Texas into California? You'd think a businessman would know better than to propose such. Where does he think that money's going to come from? How does he think Texas small business owners are going to absorb said costs? Pull the money out of their asses? No, you know what they're going to do -- raise prices, cut hours and /or fire people. I've seen quite a few campaign signs for Shami here in San Antonio this week. One wonders how many of those with the signs up know how precarious their job situations are going to be if he wins and gets that implemented. I would think the Texas Legislature would have to sign off on something like that, but still it would be best to keep someon with such pie-in-the-sky schemes out of the Governor's Mansion. After all, one of those is already in the White House -- and, with apologies to Adm. Josh Painter, this business is already out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

If he hasn't already lost it...

Paul Helmke is losing his grip on reality, at quite a rapid pace...

clothing which some find offensive is different from firearms that others — justifiably — find frightening.

Sorry, but no. There is zero justifiable reason for any sane person to find an inanimate object frightening. And the fact that Helmke would resort to this argument shows just how much of an intellectually bankrupt bigot he is. Of course we knew that he was just that all along, as he and his kind are always harping on said objects to the point that they don't have any problem with violent criminals roaming the streets as long as they allegedly can't get guns. Fear of an inanimate object. Really. I honestly thought we as a civilization had progressed beyond that. Well, most of us have, I reckon...

It might be a harsh thing to say...

...but I'm not really broken up about this...

Rep. John Murtha, the tall, gruff-mannered former Marine who became the de facto voice of veterans on Capitol Hill and later an outspoken and influential critic of the Iraq War, died Monday following complications from gallbladder surgery. He was 77.

I can respect the man's service in the military, but everything beyond that is deserving of almost nothing but contempt. Gun record be damned. Sure, he "brought home the bacon" for Pennsylvania, but that bacon was bought with other people's money. And of course there was the infamous Haditha slander, in which Murtha accused United States Marines of cold-blooded murder -- accusations which turned out to be completely untrue. And as far as I know he never acknowledged ANY wrongdoing in relation to that, not a word of regret or apology to the brave men whose names he tried to sully. I am sorry for his family and I hope God forgives him for his sins, but that is about all I can say.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Oooh, burn!

...or, Scott Borchetta really said that?

I understand defending your artist obviously because I have done the same in the past for artists I like, including Taylor, so you might see why its upsetting to read you attacking American Idol for producing simply vocalists that hit ‘the high notes’. Thank you for that ‘Captain Obvious’ sense of humor because you know what, we not only hit the high notes, you forgot to mention we generally hit the ‘right’ notes as well.

The above-quoted blog post, of course, was from one Kelly Clarkson, who won the first American Idol. I will freely admit I am a fan. Indeed she does hit the right notes, pretty much all the time. I don't understand where Borchetta gets this "only-hitting-the-high-note" jazz, really. I will straight-up tell you that I can't stand Carrie Underwood, but that has everything to do with her material and the delivery thereof and nothing to do with her singing ability. It's amazing what lengths Nashville executives will go to in an attempt to try to justify mediocrity...

(h/t Joey Guerra)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

For once, Sarah Palin is wrong...

...and it's rather disappointing, to be honest...

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin stumped for Gov. Rick Perry at a rally Sunday in suburban Houston, adding some national Republican star power to Perry's re-election campaign.

“A lot of us in our states proudly cling to our guns and religion,” she told a cheering crowd.

She also said Alaskans and Texans “pretty much want the same things —a good job in our hometown, safety and security for our loved ones and we just want a small and smarter government that'll kind of get out of our way.”

“And no one understands that better than my good friend Rick Perry.”

No one understands that better? What about Debra Medina? From what I've read about Medina, smaller and smarter government is basically her entire platform. Even some gay activists think Medina might be on their side vis-a-vis gay marriage because of her more libertarian leanings. On the other hand, as everyone knows by now, Rick Perry has cast his lot in with those who think the government should be in the business of enforcing their morals on everyone else -- to the point that he rejects the suggestion that we should let certain industries (read: casino gambling) come to Texas because it offends that voting bloc's delicate sensibilities. How ironic that Palin would address the Tea Party convention and then the next day go out and campaign for the very type of politician the Tea Partiers are trying to rid us of.

I did get a kick out of Kay Bailey Hutchison's statement, though:

Hutchison, asked about the Palin appearance, pointed to her own support from the likes of former Vice President Dick Cheney and former President George H.W. Bush, who she said would be campaigning for her.

“I'm just running my campaign, and I'm very proud of my endorsements,” she said.

Proud of those endorsements. I think that should honestly tell you all you need to know about where Kay Bailey Hutchison's coming from.

Another example

...of the folks for whom MikeB302000 and his ilk wish to make self-defense more difficult:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Bernice Chamblain keeps a machete under her frayed mattress to ward off sexual predators and one leg wrapped around a bag of rice to stop nighttime thieves from stealing her daughters' food.
She's barely slept since Haiti's catastrophic earthquake Jan. 12 forced her and other homeless women and children into tent camps, where they are easy targets for gangs of men.
Reports of attacks are increasing: Women are robbed of coupons needed to obtain food at distribution points. Others relay rumors of rape and sexual intimidation at the outdoor camps, now home to more than a half million earthquake victims.

But remember, guys, guns are baaaad news for women, mmmkay?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Another favorite duet... at Outlaw Country, Sirius Ch. 63:

"Hank, let's talk about your daddy. Tell me how your mama loved that man."
"Well, just break out the bottle, Hoss. I'll tell you 'bout the driftin' cowboy band. We won't talk about the habits, just the music and the man."

I had thought that song was from the '70s, but a little research revealed it to be a top-20 hit in 1983, reaching No. 15 on the Billboard country singles airplay chart. Hard to believe it wasn't a bigger hit, but -- with a few exceptions -- there was so much good music that came out back then that almost explains that. Did you know they made a video for it too? I didn't, till about 10 minutes ago.

Racism rears its ugly head once again...

...but this time, it's in regard to the First Amendment as opposed to the Second:

In expansive remarks at a law school in Florida, Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday vigorously defended the Supreme Court’s recent campaign finance decision.
He added that the history of Congressional regulation of corporate involvement in politics had a dark side, pointing to the Tillman Act, which banned corporate contributions to federal candidates in 1907.

“Go back and read why Tillman introduced that legislation,” Justice Thomas said, referring to Senator Benjamin Tillman. “Tillman was from South Carolina, and as I hear the story he was concerned that the corporations, Republican corporations, were favorable toward blacks and he felt that there was a need to regulate them.”

Interesting. So we have a black president who not only favors more laws originally intended to disarm his fellow blacks, but also favors laws originally intended to silence them. I'm sure if you pointed this out to him he'd say that "times have changed," but have they really?

Hat tip to Rhymes with Right, who says everything else that I'd like to say here, but I will quote him:

"So today we stand at a crossroads, faced with the choice between listening to a respected jurist as he defends the First Amendment and an adjunct law school faculty member (speaking far beyond his pay grade) to defend a Jim Crow law he finds politically advantageous to support."

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Contributing to the problem

or, That's a right good question there, Grammy:

Toddlers & Tiaras is so gross it fails even to be a guilty pleasure for me. Parading preschoolers in front of judges while wearing strapless ballgowns and hairpieces and fake teeth and spray tans is at best a demonstration of poor priorities (beauty is important!) and at worst an attempt by the pageant mom (or pageant grandma... or pageant great-grandma) to use their children to attempt to recapture their own fleeting moment of the past. Before I married your father and had you kids and gained all this weight and gave up my dreams, I could have been someone!

But I watched tonight because my niece was featured.

For my poor mother's sake, I'm glad that Gracie was but a bit player in the episode. Grammy is supportive of her granddaughter, of course, but she doesn't buy in to the pageant scene. "Why would they put all that makeup on those little girls?" she speculates.

Why, indeed. I first became aware of this whole phenomenon around the time JonBenet Ramsey disappeared and even back then I was aghast at the whole thing. I never could understand why any parent would want to make his or her little girl look like a teenage beauty queen, with in many cases the accompanying suggestive outfits. (And I'd love to know what those little girls' fathers think of such a spectacle. I have a feeling I know what at least one father would think.)

Honestly, is there any GOOD reason to be putting a five-year-old in high heels and a swimsuit, with enough makeup on her to outfit the entire Dallas Cowboy cheerleading squad? I'm more than a bit ambivalent on the whole concept of beauty pageants anyway, as they put entirely too much emphasis on looks and seem to disregard almost completely the intellect. (That's the last thing we need to be doing with young girls, especially those at that age considering how impressionable they are.) But this, this is a whole new level of disgusting. There are a lot of people who say this is borderline child pee-oh-are-en, and to be honest I can't disagree with that. It should be noted that (and I have Sabra to thank for reminding me of this) dressing children this way was once considered a warning sign of sexual abuse. And even if it isn't so much any more (and I'm not willing to let those who dress their kids like this completely off the hook), I refuse to believe the mentality nurtured in these pageants is not responsible for things like this. If you're going to sexualize toddlers this way, then you shouldn't be surprised if they carry it on as they get older. I would be very, very interested to see if any of those pageant kids from a few years ago are going to be wanting items from that clothing line -- and what their parents say to their demands for it.

While I would hesitate to level accusations of abuse at the parents of these kids, they're still not doing their little girls any favors. I've seen people here and there defend it by saying "the girls WANT to do this," and I think, "well, if those girls wanted to eat Nerds for breakfast, Snickers bars for lunch and Hershey's Kisses for supper, would it be okay if the parents indulged that too?" I suppose you could probably say this is another example of a parent wanting to be the child's friend instead of the parent.

And if all of that wasn't bad enough, how about this?
On one episode, a little girl won...and she burst out into tears. But these tears weren't tears of joy. Little Bella cried because she was relieved she won back the money the family spent for the pageant. Poor little Bella, who is five years old, was worried about the money. When a Kindergarten age child feels the weight of the family finances on her shoulders because of a beauty pageant, it's not fun anymore.

No, it really isn't. If you wanted to you could call it child abuse. Harsh? Maybe, but there's no good reason for a five-year-old girl to have the family's financial well-being riding on her shoulders -- and no good reason for TLC (or anyone else) to be enabling that sort of thing.

No new ideas? Rejected ideas?

Is Ruben Navarrette serious?

...while it might have been wrong for Democrats to taunt the Republicans as the party of no, it is fair to say that many of the ideas being proposed by House Republicans are leftovers from the economic policies of the Reagan administration more than two decades ago. Maybe Democrats should have said that the GOP doesn't have anynew ideas. Besides, there was indeed a presidential election in 2008, and Republicans' ideas and policies were put on the table — and rejected by the voters. Republicans need to accept this and show a little humility.

Ahem. No, Ruben. Republican ideas were most certainly NOT rejected by voters. The Republican standard-bearer was rejected by the voters -- a Republican standard-bearer who made his reputation as one who rejected various and sundry Republican ideas throughout his career. As far as the Republicans not having any new ideas, this implies that Democrats DO have some new ideas -- which should be self-evident horseshit to anyone with any more than a solitary brain cell. The only ideas the Democrats have are the same old ideas that have been tried and demonstrated to be FAILURES here and who knows how many other locales around the globe. In contrast, as one commenter pointed out, the "old" policies of Ronald Reagan resulted in economic growth and jobs. I don't understand the harping about the "no new ideas" anyway. Pretty much every idea along the political spectrum has been tried by now, and the results are evident for all to see. Personal responsibility, minimal government interference (and the accompanying lack of drains on citizens' income via crushing tax burdens to PAY for government interference) and letting the free market work as intended with the private sector taking care of as much as can be taken care of has clearly been proven to be the engine of prosperity here. It is only when we start letting our emotions do the talking, and saying that government should take care of things that private citizens can (and should) take care of, that said engine starts to sputter because of the burden being put on it.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sounds like sour grapes to me...

...or, is Phil Stephenson saying this like it's a bad thing?

(Debra Medina) began attending political conventions at the county and state levels and got more involved with each election cycle. In 2004, she ran for county chair and won with support from a core group of Libertarian-leaning Paul supporters. She defeated Phil Stephenson, a longtime Wharton CPA who later ran unsuccessfully for the state Legislature.
Stephenson, 64, still fumes about being beaten by a woman he considers a disloyal, fringe Republican. He charges that she did not support the party’s presidential ticket in 2008, that John McCain campaign signs were nowhere to be found. “She’s into Ron Paul — that’s it,” Stephenson said.

Honestly, I don't see that as a disqualifier. If anything it makes me like Medina more because it shows she doesn't play the party politics game. I don't agree with all of Ron Paul's positions, but even so I think if we had more principled people like him in government, who didn't blindly support someone just on his or her party affiliation, the United States would be so much better off. As you might imagine, this caught my attention as well:
Others rallied to her signature issue — replacing property taxes with an expanded sales tax — and for her support of “nullification,” the idea that states have a right to ignore federal laws they deem unconstitutional. Those with libertarian leanings agreed with her willingness to at least discuss decriminalizing drugs.
A fierce opponent of federal gun laws, she keeps a Springfield 9mm in a zippered case in her car. She believes landowners along the Texas-Mexico border have the right to arm themselves against illegal immigrants coming across the Rio Grande. She also wants to post the Texas National Guard along the border.
Perry talked a good game vis-a-vis secession, but as far as I remember he never said anything about nullification or gun laws, let alone decriminalizing drugs. And no doubt many of the big-L Libertarians are shitting themselves regarding the stationing of the National Guard along the border. At any rate, it seems many had said once upon a time that Perry as the true conservative in the race, but this bit from the reader comment section nailed it:

"Rick Perry. He's been acting more like a Democrat up until this election cycle. A True Conservative Texas Governor, doesn't ask conservatives for their vote, then turns around an endorses Pro-Choice, Rudy Giuliani for president. That's not acting like a conservative."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Wow, has it really been 15 years...

...since Bill Watterson put down his pen? It seems like only yesterday. "Calvin and Hobbes" has always been my favorite comic strip and I hated to see it go, but there's a fair point made here:

If I had rolled along with the strip's popularity and repeated myself for another five, 10 or 20 years, the people now "grieving" for "Calvin and Hobbes" would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I'd be agreeing with them.
And Jay G voices my own sentiments here:
I have a lot of respect for Watterson for not riding the strip to the lucrative world of licensed merchandising - yes, all of those various and sundry Calvin or Calvin and Hobbes T-shirts, bumper stickers, truck decals, etc. are all counterfeit and rip off Mr. Watterson. Turning C&H into yet another Garfield would have cheapened it significantly, as pressure mounted to mass-produce C&H merchandise and come up with hilarious saying after hilarious saying to sell more shirts/commemorative plates/feminine products/etc.

Could have been worse. "Calvin & Hobbes," God forbid, could have reached "Family Circus" levels of banality. I'd like to think Bill Watterson's creative well was deeper than that, but thank God we never found out. He did go out leaving the audience wanting more, and as bad as I hated it I can understand and respect that. Like JayG I always had a lot of respect for BW for refusing to let C&H be used for merchandise. More than that, I always thought the stickers showing Calvin taking a leak on various and sundry company logos or what-have-you were a huge insult to the spirit of the strip. And I always wondered how many of the people who bought those stickers knew that they were counterfeit and unauthorized and that Watterson wasn't making a dime off them. With this in mind, I always think it ironic when I see, for example, a sticker that has Calvin with a Bible smiling and point to the sky, Calvin praying in front of a cross, etc. I wonder how many of the people with those stickers know that the folks making them are violating the commandment that says "thou shalt not STEAL"...

(h/t Borepatch & Kahr40)

Casting pearls before swine..., apparently, what George Strait did when he played Baltimore recently:

Reba McEntire (pictured, top) showed Friday night at 1st Mariner Arena why she is arguably the queen of country music, while veteran crooner George Strait (pictured, bottom) left me wondering why he hasn't been kicked from his throne.

Strait's dry performance lacked the flare and persona of McEntire. Strait's songs sounded pretty much the same in both lyrics and tempo. After the 10th reference to honky tonk, Strait's act started to wear thin.

It was a different story with McEntire and Lee Ann Womack, who went on before Strait. They both showed more style and flair. The two were dressed to impress, and flexed their vocal muscles with a good mix of songs. Their performances definitely delighted the crowd. (McEntire brought the audience to its feet on several occasions.)

Strait, on the other hand, sang one sad, whiny, slow song after another. It's a shame because the concert had so much promise. ...

...As I can see from some of the other comments, I was not alone in my assessment of George's performance. It was long-winded and at times--boring. If that wasnsn't the case then there wouldn't have been so many people noticably leaving the concert before he was finished.

I know I'm a fan, with all the biases that come with such -- but I am just at a loss here. Perhaps it's all in personal taste, but it seems to me that they sent someone to review the show who had little to no appreciation of the genre. One sad, whiny, slow song after another? Really? I was unaware that "The Fireman," "The Seashores of Old Mexico," and "High Tone Woman" were whiny and slow. I am reminded of the late '90s when Houston's KIKK 95.7 had the slogan "We play all the hot young country without all the tired old stuff to get in the way," as if songs like "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line," "The One I Loved Back Then," and "It's Been A Great Afternoon" were tired, worn-out songs. And don't you just love how the writer tried to defend his opinion by essentially saying, "Other people think the same thing"? I bet they're also not really fans of the genre, so their opinion really doesn't matter either, does it? No doubt more than a few thought the whole "Young Country" branding of KIKK in Houston was genius too, but that didn't make it so, either. Memo to the Baltimore Sun: You really shouldn't send pop music fans to review country concerts. They really make for a skewed perspective.

Needing it right then

From the San Antonio Express-News:

Capital murder convict Gabriel Gonzales returned to the same Bexar County courtroom Monday where, 13 years earlier, a jury had condemned him to die for killing a pawnshop owner during a robbery.

But this time, with his previous sentence voided by an appellate court, he was ordered to serve life in prison.
Gonzales was a 20-year-old member of the Crips gang who was known as “Capone” when he and four others were alleged to have stormed into Louella Hilton's Austin Highway store on the morning of June 20, 1994.

During his 1997 capital murder trial, prosecutors described him as the one who planned the heist in an attempt to gather more guns for his gang. He was also accused of serving as the triggerman, shooting Hilton three times through a closed door as she dashed for a 12-gauge shotgun in her office.

Shotgun in her office? Goodness. Having a loaded gun handy is great, but not if you can't get to it. On second thought, though, it's not really handy if you can't reach it, is it? I know everyone says the purpose of a pistol is to fight your way to your rifle -- or in this case, your shotgun, perhaps -- but I am pretty sure a loaded 1911 on Ms. Hilton's hip would have served her well enough to save her life. Maybe she could have put that punk six feet under and saved the state's taxpayers the trouble.

I don't think that's how that saying was supposed to go...

...or, do what, now?

Why don't we like our president?” I overheard a child ask the adults at his table the other day in a restaurant.

“Because he is trying to destroy our country,” was the adults' response.

We have never had a president who felt that way. Have we lost our Americanism in our hate and discontent? I hope not. For if we cease to support our president and our government, whether Republican or Democrat, we'll cease to be a great country.

So, apparently, instead of "My country, right or wrong," it's "my president and my government, right or wrong" according to this letter-writer -- even if said government spits on the Constitution and the principles contained therein that so many over the years have fought and died to protect. One wonders just how far people like this will go.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Random Monday morning musings

Some adrenaline dumps are great. Others are made of teh suck. The dump you get when a state trooper rides your ass is one of the latter -- even when you don't get pulled over.

You know how you can tell you really like a song? When you pull in the parking lot as the song comes on and you make the circle so you can listen to it. I couldn't pull into my covered parking space because the satellite signal does not penetrate the awning. (For the record, it was Asleep at the Wheel's "Boogie Back To Texas.")

Speaking of Asleep at the Wheel, I heard "Don't Ask Me Why (I'm Going To Texas)" this morning, a song that features the line "You can hear Bob Wills, Bill Mack and me, on your radio." I thought that was ironic, considering the fact that Bill Mack talks so much on his show on Willie's Place that it seems Ray and the boys can hardly get a word in edgewise...