Friday, April 30, 2010

Speaking of throwing people off the bus...

David Codrea links to someone who does just that. He has quite the visceral reaction to it too, which I share, but still I thought I'd elaborate.

While it may be true that many blacks and Hispanics vote for politicians who don't support individual liberty, I still don't think it's smart to unilaterally dismiss those groups. It only serves the enemy to do that; it makes us look even more like the racist reactionaries we're so often unjustly painted as, and it results in fewer people on our side. I might have said it before, but finding a poor black man like Otis McDonald to be the face of gun rights advocates in Chicago was a stroke of genius because it showed that the cause was not just the domain of old white guys. And just how chickenshit is it to say that enlisting minorities is only going to lead to the end of gun rights? I'm guessing that dipshit cop's not willing to use that fourth box, indeed, that he'd probably be one of the people going door-to-door rounding up the guns. And it strikes me that he'd probably even relish taking them from people like Otis McDonald. So who's really the sellout here?

The worth of the rule of law

Another letter-writer in today's San Antonio Express-News:

We have laws for a reason: to offer an environment of safety and prosperity for all citizens of this country. Should we all begin to rationalize which laws should or should not be obeyed, based on our own beliefs, and act upon those reasonings, we would, in fact, have no laws at all.
Yep, that really puts those agitating for the breaking of the new Arizona immigration law in a whole new light. They can say what they want, but the fact remains that illegal immigrants are breaking our laws. One wonders which other laws they will break, and how they'll rationalize that. I saw something the other day that made the comparisons to Nazi Germany look like the insanity they are -- if the law is THAT bad, why are people still clamoring to get in? It was the direct opposite for Nazi Germany -- most of those folks wanted to get OUT.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quote of the YEAR here, folks...

...from my wife, in conversation, regarding the choirboy in the previous entry:

He was trying to be a hard-ass who doesn't listen to the cops.
You can't really do that without kevlar.
I just can't add anything to that but, ZIIIIING! She's all mine, yes she is...

The cops didn't know he was unarmed... I'm having a really hard time working up any sympathy for this kid here, especially when his actions are taken into account. He didn't show his hands when the cops told him to, AND he charged them? What the hell were the cops supposed to do? He may have died for nothing, but it was his own damn fault.

And the grass-eaters speak...

“This is one time I'd be on the coyote's side. I'm not a Rick Perry fan,” said Nancy Williams. “Whoever heard of someone jogging with a gun? It sounds off to me.”
Yeah, whoever heard of that? Nothing bad ever happens to anyone out on the trail. Perry must have been feeling particularly small that day, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

On another note, I found it quite amusing that the wildlife protection groups offered Perry the same means of protection antis say women should carry instead of a gun. I never thought their outlooks would be so similar. Maybe they are willing to go out in the woods or on the jogging trail that unprepared, but I don't see why they have to be so smug and self-righteous about it. But then I suppose that sort of thing does get bred out to an extent when the rabid animals come down the trail. It's just a shame it takes so long.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random music musings

Hearing a certain band, I am reminded of this, from Texts from Last Night:

You had sex with him even after he literally described himself as a "coldplay guy"? There's a line you just don't cross. There is a line.
 Seriously, that band is teh suck. They make 3 Doors Down sound like Pantera (and for the record, I actually LIKE a lot of 3DD's stuff). And as far as pretentiousness -- well, I've heard a lot of people bash Dream Theater (another band I REALLY like in spite of their naysayers), but Coldplay makes Dream Theater look about as pretentious as, say, George Strait. The addressee of that text must have been some kind of desperate. I wonder if the nook was worth it.

And I understand what Five Finger Death Punch was trying to do with "Bad Company." I understand they were trying to put their own stamp on the song. That does not mean, however, that I think it worked. Nobody can sing that song like Paul Rodgers.

If only the governor had given the coyote what it wanted....

everything would've been fine...

Perry says he needed just one shot from his laser-sighted pistol to take down a coyote that was menacing his dog during an early morning jog in an undeveloped area near Austin.

When the coyote came out of the brush toward his daughter's labrador retriever puppy on a February jog, he charged it and shot it with his .380 Ruger pistol.
And if bad went to worse, he didn't need to shoot that poor thing. All he needed was a pen or a rat-tail comb. Or maybe he could have just pointed and laughed at it. Yeah, that's the ticket.

In all seriousness, I have to wonder if anti-gun people have even a glimmer of an idea how stupid they sound when they say people don't need guns. Sure, that was a coyote, but I really don't think a criminal deserves any more consideration just because he is allegedly human.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How many standards...

...will there be here?

An Arizona congressman urged the Obama administration not to cooperate when illegal immigrants are picked up by local police if a tough new state immigration law survives legal challenges.
U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat, and civil rights activists spoke on Sunday to thousands of people gathered at the state Capitol and called on President Barack Obama to fight the law, promising to march in the streets and invite arrest by refusing to comply.
"We're going to overturn this unjust and racist law, and then we're going to overturn the power structure that created this unjust, racist law," Grijalva said.
We see Rep. Grijalva going on and on about this law and overturning it, but we see not word one from him here about coming up with a better alternative to the law that would still protect the citizens of Arizona from the depredations of illegal border-crossers. I guess the congressman doesn't really care about them, which shows he really doesn't care about the oath he took either. Were I a family member of Rob Krentz (the rancher killed by drug smugglers on HIS property), I would be doing everything I could to see to it that Grijalva was ousted from office. I wonder how many of those halfwits doing things like telling the tea partiers to come up with a balanced budget are going to go to the folks in the Arizona Legislature and Congress who oppose this bill and tell them to stop wasting time flinging word vomit and come up with a better alternative. I'd guess it won't be many, considering they apparently don't understand the jobs of elected officials.

Another couple of points to ponder: Mexican flags being sold? Exactly where do these people's allegiances lie? If not with the United States, then what the hell are they doing here? And how about the "overturn(ing) the power structure" remark? How does Rep. Grijalva propose doing this? Imagine that comment coming out of the mouth of a tea partier. Or Mike Vanderboegh. How would that be spun in the media? And why is it not even treated as an aside here?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Protecting the privileges of whom, again?

Yes, E.J. Dionne really said this:

Let's remember that the truly “elitist” judges are the ones who protect the privileges of the powerful over the right of Congress to legislate on behalf of workers, consumers and the environment.
However, as we have seen before, he sees no problem with "the powerful" being the only ones entitled to their choice of the means of self-protection they wish to employ. He also sees no problem when "the powerful" see fit to deny those with less power their fundamental rights. The Citizens United decision has already been covered in numerous words here; but I still must say that I found it pretty funny that Dionne would imply that the Founders would not have known what to make of larger corporations, just as he and his ilk say the Founders would not know what to make of Glocks and M16s. Yet, again, Dionne said nothing of the fact that he was typing on a computer and that his witless screed would be seen by a multitude of people, by way of an invention that the Founders probably didn't anticipate any more than they did ExxonMobil or the 15-round pistol magazine -- an invention that may be used to spread all sorts of abhorrent, deadly ideas far and wide -- the Internet. And of course you remember the old Stalin quote:
Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?
And of course you know that those ideas can be implemented with the most primitive of weapons, with a frightful toll even without the Internet. See: Darfur, Sudan or Saudi Arabia.

Back to the screed at hand, though, it strikes me that E.J. Dionne thinks that democratically elected officials' decisions should ultimately be the last word; and I find that to be more than a little bit frightening. Seriously, does he not know what the function is of the judicial branch of government? Or does he think said branch is only necessary to say that certain planks of the leftists' platform are constitutional? Whatever the case may be, it looks to me as if the Supreme Court as of late is only erring on the side of liberty -- at least in the cases in which leftists lament that the Founders could not have known the impact of the issues at stake in said cases -- and that E.J. Dionne thinks that erring on the side of liberty is a bad thing. And, once again, I guess I shouldn't be surprised; but I just get more and more disgusted with the American left every time one of its pundits opens his or her mouth. Is there no depth to which these creatures will not sink?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ooooh, burn!

Maya Angelou gets absolutely pwned in today's letters to the editor in the San Antonio Express-News:

Re: poet Maya Angelou's visit here to raise funds for Planned Parenthood:

I wondered if she knows the background of that organization. Does she know that Margaret Sanger, its founder, created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed undesirable to society?
I guess that's another of those uncomfortable truths about the policies that many blacks support that they don't want to face. I'd hate to think that Maya Angelou did know about that but would excuse it. Either way, though, her PP association doesn't speak well for her.

Something's missing here.

If this is true:

I see (illegal immigrants) as human beings, and I respect the fact that they want liberty. So as a Republican, I look at the Democratic Party that plays them (illegal immigrants -- ed.) like pawns on a chessboard for collectivism. And I see them as individuals who are conservative to the core and they want to be treated as individuals — and we're the only party that can offer that to them.
...that is, if illegals are this huge potential constituency for Republicans because they're liberty-loving individuals, then why is it that the Democrats are in such a rush to grant them legal status? IS there a "silent majority" of Hispanics, both legal and illegal, who want to be free and treated as individuals instead of members of a collective who are expected to surrender their freedoms and fruits of their labors to the good of the collective? If there is, then the members of said majority need to speak up and tell La Raza, LULAC, etc. that those organizations don't speak for them.

Also, I recall some folks raising hell here and there about people coming to Texas, Georgia, Florida, etc. from places like New York and California and those expats bitching and wanting to make those states more like the states they left; it got to the point in Texas, apparently, that Texas singer-songwriter Brian Burns wrote a song about it. Why should we believe the influx from Mexico will be any different? Was Mike Vanderboegh really that far off when he said this?
These folks, God bless 'em, are used to nationalized industries, gun control, soldiers walking the streets dispensing their own rough "justice" with machineguns, identity-grievance politics and, above all, the undefeatable evil synergy of crooked politicians and drug lords controlling events. They are used to being ruled by a godless oligarchy of the privileged rich who know what's "best" for them. You know, they're Democrats.
I suppose those who go through the proper channels would be more amenable to the American way of life as the Founders intended it to be, as they demonstrate at least some respect for the rule of law; but that's a moot issue, considering the fact that we're talking about the people who don't go through the proper channels and basically giving them a pass on their flouting our rules. We haven't yet even addressed the phenomenon that Sabra pointed out to me in conversation of legal AND illegal immigrants being encouraged to adhere to their native cultures rather than assimilating into American culture. We've already seen some of the values of said native cultures adhered to that conflict with our own a few times, with immigrants from Iraq and Liberia; what makes us think that the case with Mexican immigrants is going to be any different? It may not be as extreme, but it's still something that needs to be confronted, lest we find out firsthand what "balkanization" is really all about.

Friday, April 23, 2010

You just keep telling yourself that, Gene.

Just like Leonard Pitts does nearly every time he puts fingers to keyboard, Eugene Robinson shows himself here to be utterly clueless:

The overhyped tea party phenomenon is more about symbolism and screaming than anything else. A “movement” that encompasses gun nuts, tax protesters, devotees of the gold standard, Sarah Palin, insurance company lobbyists, “constitutionalists” who have not read the Constitution, Medicare recipients who oppose government-run health care, crazy “birthers” who claim President Obama was born in another country, a contingent of outright racists and a bunch of fat-cat professional politicians pretending to be “outsiders” is not a coherent intellectual or political force.
Fat-cat professional politicians? Really? I seem to recall exactly those people being a target of the tea partiers' ire. And where are these lobbyists and tax protesters? Tea partiers actually pay their taxes; they only protest taxes to the extent that they're too high.I guess I shouldn't be surprised that some Beltway media slimeball like Eugene Robinson would choose to tar the whole movement based on the attitudes of a few that the movement as a whole chooses to disavow, but that doesn't make him any less wrong, and it doesn't make him any less of an asshole. As far as him saying they're not a "coherent intellectual or political force," well, that's just him whistling past the graveyard. If the tea partiers weren't a coherent political force, then there wouldn't be so much media attention directed on them or energy spent on making them look worse than they really are. As for the intellectual  part of it -- well, I really don't think an intellectual midget like Robinson is the least bit qualified to make that assessment.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Someone who respects individual rights? Really?

Barack Obama, on his next Supreme Court pick:

One area that Obama on Wednesday said was important to him: women’s rights. “I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women’s rights,” he said at the Oval Office while meeting top senators to discuss the forthcoming nomination to replacing outgoing Justice John Paul Stevens.
 I'm sure you understand my cynicism here, considering Dear Leader has shown himself to have little if any respect for at least two fundamental rights of the individual, specifically free speech and self-defense. And it's arguable that anyone who advocates a strong, activist central government as Obama does can't honestly position himself as a champion of individual rights, considering said government's inherent property of infringing on those rights. Such shame that anyone would actually take what he says as evidence that he really cares about said rights.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Goodness, she picked a real prize...

...didn't she?

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend will not let go of my past. I didn’t level with him about a couple of relationships because I knew he was a racist. He found out, and now all I get is teasing and comments almost every day. If he sees a talk show about a liar, he says, “Oh! There you are!” It’s the same if the subject is a whore.
She was still with the guy and apparently was at a loss as to what to do. So not only is love blind, but it's also pretty stupid in some cases. You have a racist boyfriend who implies none too subtly that you're a liar and a whore. What do you do? Don't give him an ultimatum, just fucking leave! The dude CAN'T be that good in bed. Nobody is so good that one should tolerate such glaring character flaws. Really. Is it EVER that difficult or that complicated?

An interesting point for discussion.

Jonah Goldberg, in the Chronicle:

Many conservatives muted their objections (to GWB -- ed.), in part because they liked the man personally or approved of his stances on tax cuts, judges, abortion and the war on terror (we can see a similar dynamic with so many anti-war liberals who still support Obama).
Conservatives didn't necessarily bite their tongues (remember the Harriet Miers and immigration fiascoes), but they did prioritize supporting Bush — often in the face of far nastier attacks than Obama has received — over ideological purity. Besides, where were conservatives supposed to go? Into the arms of John Kerry?
I read this and thought of all those back during the last campaign for president who were supporting RINOs of various stripes. They were all saying, albeit in different words, "this guy agrees with 80 percent of the conservative platform; don't throw him away for the other 20 percent." Yeah, well, the devil's in that other 20 percent, as we see Goldberg point out here. No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, amnesty, and the list goes on. And as has been mentioned before, there was the GOP standard-bearer's abysmal record on the First Amendment, which should have shown that he wasn't fit to be elected to public office PERIOD, let alone the highest office in the land. Maybe ideological purity doesn't win elections, but when the guys on the blue team implement the same 20 percent of the strategies the red team player would have implemented (and DID implement), it really makes the folks supporting the red team look foolish. I hope to hell small-government advocates won't get fooled again, but the fact that anyone who suggests Mitt Romney is a good contender for 2012 doesn't get laughed out of the room is not an encouraging sign.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

At least he isn't being overtly beyond the pale today...

...but Leonard Pitts shows himself to be as clueless as ever, yet again. John McCain's integrity is dead just now? The notion that John McCain had any integrity whatsoever should have been throttled by 2002 at the latest, after the BCRA and his defense of it by saying "I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government." It would seem Leonard Pitts thinks as little of the oath John McCain took as McCain himself does.

I used to like this song...

...but now, it just makes me roll my eyes:

...A friend of mine was a-workin' hard, savin' all his pay
Like Jesse James the IRS stole most of it away
Then he got chased by a street gang and he finally found a phone
He called up the police and they put him on hold
What he needed was a real good, feel good song...
 No, dude. What he needed was a gun and the willingness to defend himself. On second thought, the guy could have been in Chicago or New York City, where the right of self-defense still isn't recognized as it should be...but then, as they say, better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

News flash: It's not their job.

I bet this guy thought he was being pretty clever:

It's much easier to criticize leaders than to lead. Let's see them do some of the work. Tea partiers, write a balanced budget.
but actually, that's a really ignorant thing to say. It's not the tea partiers' job to come up with a balanced budget. That's the job of our elected representatives in Washington. It's the entire point of why we have government. Dollars to doughnuts this writer has never read that document or he'd have never said that. Would that we lived in a better world. Thomas Lee could campaign for higher taxes on a platform of "making the tough choices that have to be made for South Texas and the country" and the media could sit down and thoroughly investigate all the money the aforementioned elected representatives throw away (and that Thomas Lee doesn't think should be cut) on things not explicitly authorized by the Constitution. (Yeah, dream world, I know.) But no. These people won't run for office and they won't get off their asses into the streets and protest for what they believe in. They'll just sit at the house and write poorly-thought-out letters to the editor wagging their fingers at those who actually do those things. I guess it's naive of me to actually expect any better than that, but I still think real Americans should be more intelligent and motivated than that.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sorry, but I don't agree...

with this. If we're going to sit on our hands, THAT is how we're playing into theirs because in a way we're letting them define us as "a bunch of racist rednecks upset over having a black president." I would think the truth about the tea partiers at the least is already getting out, namely, that they're not a bunch of racist mouth-breathing rednecks -- and this is revealed even to certain liberal columnists who, you know, actually GO to the tea parties:

Based on what I saw and heard, tea party members are not seething, ready-to-explode racists, as some liberal commentators have caricatured them.
Even without this particular phenomenon, we don't have just the Big Three networks and big-city coastal papers telling the story anymore. Even if we did, though, well, does it really matter that much -- considering that the public's trust in the media to get the facts right and report them in a balanced fashion is at its lowest "in more than two decades of Pew Research surveys, and Americans’ views of media bias and independence now match previous lows"? In other words, does the media narrative matter when said media's audience doesn't think they're shooting straight OR speaking the truth?

Similar insults, eh?

Oh yes, quite similar indeed:

Ralph Peters called President Barack Obama's mother a “screwball” and Michael Medved called Obama a “liar” and “narcissist.” Mike Gallagher says he's an “idiot.”

To be fair, Keith Olbermann and Bill Maher have used similar epithets towards Sarah Palin, John Boehner and Michelle Bachman.
Yep, everyone knows "liar" and "narcissist" are similar to "inbred snowbilly" and "Whore of Wasilla." I should note that both of the above slurs were leveled by bloggers as opposed to talk show hosts, whose audiences aren't so big, but I'd bet money you will find much more of that sort of thing on the left side of the political spectrum than on the right. As for Rush Limbaugh tapping his console, I'd say that anyone citing that "clear evidence (of) anger" is pretty clearly grasping at straws. But then I am just a bitter, gun-clinging Texan. So what do I know, right?

Speaking of dysfunctional cultures...'s another one:

Shiny, unmistakable and a little strange, the custom wire wheels of choice on some of Houston's toughest streets are the star attraction of whatever they're beneath, be it Benz or Bentley, certified slab or laughable junker.
If Houston's rappers are quick to praise the rims, they are just as eager to cite the risk, if one bothers to listen. Then again, the acknowledged, danger may add to the appeal, lessening the intrusion of imitators and wannabes. If you roll on swangers, you roll ready. Self-defense is a required add-on to the purchase price of $2,000 or more.
“The police will never admit it, but if they want to catch young black men with guns, they'll stop a car with elbows and Vogues because they know the young men will have guns,” Quanell X said.
Oh, wait. I better not say that. It might be judgmental. It must be the guns that would make these people kill for a set of wheels. It could never be a warped sense of right and wrong. No, because everyone knows that there's no clearly defined standard of right and wrong. If those people think killing over a set of wheels isn't morally reprehensible, who are we to claim to be more enlightened than them? Tougher background checks NOW! Yeah, that's the ticket...

(and yes, the above WAS sarcasm...)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A short-range solution to a long-range problem?

That's about what this looks like to me:

And at a time of seeming partisan dysfunction in Washington, a groundbreaking, bipartisan International Violence Against Women Act, or I-VAWA, was introduced in both the Senate and the House in early February. The bill comprehensively addresses, for the first time, violence against women and girls through all relevant U.S. foreign policy efforts, including its international assistance programs. U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, is the lead Republican sponsor in the House, working across the aisle with Rep. Bill Delahunt, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and many others. 
I would surely not claim that doing nothing is better, but this seems to me to be putting a bandage on a cancerous lesion. The disrespect of women in the countries spoken of in this piece is a deep-seated cultural phenomenon that has been nurtured for centuries, and I just don't see any kind of American "foreign policy effort" changing this. I know air-dropping 1911s in might not work right off the bat, but it'd be something to ponder down the road, after embarking on an effort to teach these women that they don't have to be subjugated anymore. We still haven't gotten that message imparted to women in our own country some 45 years after the feminist movement got underway. You'd think that would give government officials a clue as to how big of a task it would be in other countries.

Quick note...

Web is down at home. Catching up on work right now. Bloggy for you later this afternoon. Stay tuned. :-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Guess we should've known he'd poke his head up...

...sooner or later:

Former President Bill Clinton warned of a slippery slope from angry anti-government rhetoric to violence like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, saying "the words we use really do matter."
The two-term Democratic president insisted he wasn't trying to restrict free speech, but in remarks Friday he said incendiary language can be taken the wrong way by some Americans. He drew parallels to words demonizing the government before Oklahoma City.
He also alluded to the anti-government tea party movement, which held protests in several states Thursday. At the Washington rally, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota railed against "gangster government."
Clinton argued that the Boston Tea Party was in response to taxation without representation. The current protesters, he said, are challenging taxation by elected officials, and the demonstrators have the power to vote them out of office.
I have yet to see any language from anyone affiliated with the Tea Party calling for, say, blowing up federal buildings. Come to think of it I haven't seen them calling for any kind of violence, and it's beyond the pale for Bill Clinton to come out and try to link the Tea Party protesters to people like Timothy McVeigh. The only calls for any kind of unrest I've seen here aren't even for violence against people, and that particular segment of protesters -- which, by the way, is NOT affiliated with the Tea Party -- hammers the point home over and over that it doesn't want armed conflict and that it will not be firing the first shots. Pretty funny how he tries to triangulate here, talking about the conservatives reminding us that we all are responsible for our own actions, while out of the other side of his mouth he's more or less saying that if there's anything like the OKC bombing in the future the Tea Partiers' rhetoric is going to be responsible for it.

Also, "anti-government tea party movement"? Wow. I guess it really does take the Authorized Journalists to see that the movement largely does comprise anarchists. All this time I've been watching the coverage of it, even BEEN to a tea party protest, and never once did I see the dominant theme being "Down with Government!" Anti-big, strong centralized government, sure, but anti-government? Really, AP?

And try as I may, I still fail to see anything wrong with the "gangster government" remark Clinton excoriated. Nancy Pelosi may not have had a posse of Tommy gun-equipped thugs backing her up, but I would still love to find out how many of those "offers you can't refuse" she had to make to Blue Dog Democrats to get them to vote for the health care bill.

I gotta quote one of the commenters here, though, because said commenter sums the leftists' whole viewpoint up pretty well, as far as I'm concerned:

"I guess speech like 'smaller government, limit spending and lower taxes' is hate speech to Democrats."

UPDATE: And so it is "hate speech" to Clinton, as Concerned American at WRSA points this out in the transcript of his remarks:
...But I think that all you have to do is to read the paper every day to see how many there are who are deeply, deeply troubled. We know, now, that there are people involved in groups -- these 'hatriot' groups, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, the others -- 99 percent of them will never do anything they shouldn't do. But there are people who advocate violence and anticipate violence.
Wow, both name-calling AND lying! Where has either of those groups actually gone out and advocated violence? Like the sidebar at Borepatch's place says:

"Dissent the highest form of patriotism? Not any more. Shut up and fall in line, hater."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Your inner elitist is showing, Clarence.

I guess we should have expected this sooner or later, given how media professionals across the fruited plain are bemoaning the rise of blogs and the fall of newspapers and other traditional media. Still, though, it's infuriatingly elitist. First it's "Authorized Journalists," and now it's "Authorized Critics"?

Sorry, but I fail to understand what exactly qualifies a film, book or music critic to decide for the rest of us what's good and what isn't. And I understand even less why the lack of them is going to make us slide into the world depicted in the film Idiocracy. I can't speak for the film reviews, but the music reviews I have seen on are for the most part pretty well-written; and they have the added benefit of being written by people who are fans of the genre as well as the artist. Contrast that with the review I commented on here, and ask yourself: ARE professional critics really any more qualified than the common man (or woman) to judge what's worthy and what isn't? I certainly don't think so.

I should note as well that even though I do read the reviews at before I buy music, I ultimately make the judgment based on what I've heard from that album before as well as the band's reputation for quality work. I have yet to be disappointed.

If she'd just gone back to that abusive POS, it all would have been fine...

...or, This sort of thing is what happens when women are encouraged to "give them what they want" or fight their attackers with things like pens or rat-tail combs...

Joseph Francois Jean had warned his former girlfriend that their relationship would never truly be over “until he was finished with her and she had nothing.”
That prediction was relayed in an investigator's report to the Harris County Sheriff's Office by the ex-girlfriend, Victoria Wiley — long before Jean was charged with capital murder this week for an act investigators said they believe would leave any mother's heart feeling empty and desolate. It transcends all the years of stalking and harassment that the courts had thus far documented since she broke off her 2½-year relationship with Jean in 2006.
What does one have to do with the other, you ask? Well, if you read the story, you will see all the different ways Mr. Jean harassed his ex-girlfriend before he torched her house and killed her daughter and niece; it went all the way up to physically assaulting her with his fists. If there was any justice in the world that son of a bitch would have had a bullet in his head before he managed to throw a solitary punch.

Why didn't it turn out like that? We all know the answer to that. It didn't turn out like that because no one taught Victoria Wiley and those like her that her life and well-being were worth protecting with deadly force. In fact, it seems women are taught in too many places that if they give their attackers what they want and don't fight back everything will be fine. And you see what her attacker wanted here -- a hell of a lot more than her money or her purse or what-have-you. I guess Abby Spangler, Paul Helmke, Josh Sugarmann and all the others in the victim-disarmament crowd would have told Victoria Wiley to just go back into that abusive relationship with her ex. After all, that's what he wanted, isn't it? If groups like NOW were worth a bucket of fermented human waste, they'd be doing things like holding shooting and carry permit classes for women instead of agitating for tighter gun control laws and encouraging women to "give them what they want" when things like this happen. But just like the ADL and the NAACP, the people of NOW don't care so much about truly empowering the groups they purport to represent as they do ingratiating themselves with the liberals in this country.

I must say, that's rather odd, especially in this case. The National Organization for Women is a feminist organization. Wasn't the empowerment of women the entire purpose of the feminist movement? It strikes me that if they were really about empowering women, they'd be encouraging women to protect and defend themselves with the best means possible as opposed to teaching meek submission or half-assed methods of fighting back that only put them in more danger.

You see here, though, that Jean didn't do any of this with a gun. One gets the idea that Paul Helmke, Abby Spangler, et al. would say, "He didn't use a gun, yay! The Brady Law prevented another gun crime!" I guess it's all right if those creatures kill with baseball bats and gasoline.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Naked bigotry? You be the judge.

...or, Hey, how about a good old fashioned game of word substitution? What would you think if you read the following statements in a news story?

“They are pushing the black (or Mexican) culture onto the community and the community is resisting,” said Ku Klux Klan spokesperson Karen Amtzen.


“They are pushing the Jew culture onto the community and the community is resisting,” said Liberty Lobby spokesperson Karen Amtzen.
“They are pushing the homosexual culture onto the community and the community is resisting,” said Westboro Baptist Church spokesperson Karen Amtzen.  
You'd probably think, "Wow, what a bigoted asshole," right? Well, how are the above statements really any different than this?
“They are pushing the gun culture onto the community and the community is resisting,” said Brady Campaign spokesperson Karen Amtzen.
Just one more example that Joe Huffman was on to something. Not that I ever thought he wasn't, but it's just really sad that some forms of bigotry are still socially acceptable in this country.

I guess that's an Oregon lefty for you...

Seeing this story reminded me of this bit I ran up on yesterday, courtesy of The Liberty Sphere:

Many have asked about the news that there may be “infiltrators” at tea parties around the nation. A website Crash The Tea Party! was recently set up. The creator, though he tried to hide his identity, has been outed; his name is Jason Levin, and he’s a middle school teacher in Beaverton, Oregon.
And then there's this, courtesy of The Frugal Cafe Blog Zone:
It turns out our ever-lovin’ conservative cyber-shark Verum Serum uncovered a “Political Manifesto” which Jason Levin published online in which he rants in favor of legalized heroin, torture, marriage for “everyone” (and groups of everyone), universal health care, Christianity is a lie, and so on.
Jason Levin, the Portland man who caused a ruckus over his plans to “infiltrate” Tea Party protests in an aim to discredit them, teaches in a Beaverton middle school and now faces an investigation by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.
Wow. I thought liberals were smarter than that. At least I would have thought that if I'd believed a word that came out of their mouths vis-a-vis the Tea Party. I'd like to think he'd leave his virulent strain of politics out of the classroom, but if my kid had him as a teacher I'd be seriously tempted to pull him/er out, as a form of protest if nothing else. And then there's this, in which we find that when you take away the raving paranoia he seems to be a closet libertarian of sorts -- but I thought this quote was pretty funny:

"I hate to break it to you Jason, but if you think a government run health system is going to let you load up on weed and heroin to your heart’s content you are in for an unpleasant surprise."

Like I said, that's an Oregon lefty for you. And what does it say that people like this feel that they have to infiltrate these gatherings to make them look so bad? To hear the rabid lefties talk, the Tea Partiers almost to a person are closet racists, sexists, and/or 'phobes. Apparently they don't really believe that, or sites and movements like this would not exist because the lefties would not perceive a need for them. They must be REALLY scared.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This was ALMOST perfect...

...all it should have had was "Carrie Underwood" instead of "Miley Cyrus."

She answered her own question...

This letter writer in the San Antonio Express-News:

Doesn't anyone study U.S. Government 101?
Still, though, I will answer it: No. No, apparently they don't. Or Economics 101, or Math 101, or...

No escape?

Really, Mona Charen?

We are drowning in salaciousness and some of us are choking on it. Like geese having our livers prepared for foie gras, we are force-fed a steady diet of infidelity, corruption, theft, drug use, violence, addiction, and sexual misconduct among public figures. Perhaps the goose is luckier. When it gets fat enough, they kill it. We consumers of American media, by contrast, seem to have no escape.
What do you mean 'we,' kemosabe? Do you have a mouse in your pocket? There's always the option of logging off the Internet or turning off the TV. That's not to say that will make it any better, as little to nothing will change as far as government officials' misconduct goes if we don't stand up and hold our elected officials accountable at the polls. But as for the rest of them, again, that's what the off button -- or the refusal to click on the headline -- is for.

I will note, that it was so great to see Phil Mickelson win the Masters, if only because it took some of the focus off Tiger Woods. It was nice to see one of the good guys get some attention.

How many editors did THAT make it past?

From the Washington Post, by way of the Houston Chronicle:

...the right of self-defense is inherent and may be exercised against current and future enemies that pose an imminent threat...
Right of self-defense is inherent, eh? I know I'm not the only one who sees the contradiction here with only God knows how many of this paper's past editorials and columns advocating various and sundry gun bans. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: If an entity is denied the means of self-defense, said entity is effectively denied the right of self-defense. Why does the Washington Post apparently think that self-defense is an inherent right of nations but not an inherent right of individuals? Must the "Second Amendment protects collective rights" myth be advanced at all costs? Apparently so.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some vintage ranty goodness.

My wife reminded me of this rant, after I made her aware of the Keith Urban quote below. I have voiced these sentiments before, and they were all originally from this piece. So, the following is a commentary I wrote back in the bad old days of AOL and 28.8k modems, in all its unedited ranty goodness...

March 13, 2002

Commentary: It's all about appreciating other genres

Recently Don Henley, the frontman for the legendary rock band the Eagles and a native of northeast Texas, had this to say in the Los Angeles Times regarding the current state of country music and country radio:

"It's a constant source of irritation to me that great country artists like Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and George Jones don't get airplay on a great many country stations today…What they call 'young country,' unfortunately, is an offshoot of what we used to do. It's our fault. I'm so sorry. I apologize to
the entire universe."

Some country fans reacted with a sort of self-righteous indignation to Henley’s statement, saying things such as "he should stay in his own backyard," "he should mind his own business," or something to that effect. But I never understood this line of thinking. It’s as if they think that Mr. Henley’s status as a country fan is null and void just because he’s associated with another genre of music. But where is it written that people who make one kind of music have no right to be fans of, or comment on, other genres of music? It’s not as if Don Henley is a lone example of someone who made it big in one genre of music and is a fan of other genres as well as his own. In fact, there are numerous examples of people who have made it big in the rock world who are fans of country music, and I am not talking about Shania Twain’s and Rascal Flatts‘ pseudo-country either:

The Beatles were big fans of Buck Owens.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is an avid Alan Jackson fan.

It may not be readily apparent from the style of music that he and his band pioneered and perfected in their early days, but James Hetfield, the lead singer of Metallica, is one of the biggest fans of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings that you’ll ever find.

Kid Rock has made it known that he’s a Hank Williams, Jr. devotee.

Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones practically worships George Jones.

What exactly disqualifies these folks from being country fans and/or offering commentary on the music’s current state? The fact that they made it big singing everything but country? Give me a break. I love country. If I could make it big singing any kind of music I wanted to, it’d be in the style
pioneered by the likes of Hank, Lefty, Merle and George. But guess what? I’ve been known to listen to a lot of music that doesn’t sound even remotely similar to what those legends did. AC/DC, Guns ‘n’ Roses, even Metallica--old and new. It’s all about appreciating more than one style of music. Which Messrs. Henley, Tyler, and Hetfield (as well as many others in the rock world) apparently do. I commend them for it, and I think they’re just as entitled to speak their minds as the rest of us are. In fact, I think their tastes and opinions might just carry slightly more weight than those of people like Merle Haggard and George Jones. This might sound like blasphemy or disrespect, but I mean no such thing. The reasoning behind it is this: All these rock stars, as has been said before, made it big in other genres of music. They don’t really have a vested interest (financial or otherwise) in maintaining the popularity of traditional country. If someone like Merle Haggard or George Jones says modern country music’s gone to hell, it’s likely to be dismissed as "sour grapes from a grumpy old man who can’t stand
that his time has passed." But if people like Don Henley or James Hetfield voiced the same sentiments, they would be less susceptible to those charges, because country music isn’t the music in which they specialize; they’re merely fans, outside observers, if you will. (I’ve never seen or heard anything about Mr. Hetfield denigrating Hot New Country, but given his affinity for Jennings and Cash, I think it’d be interesting to see what he thinks.)

As for Mr. Henley, he’s not alone in his disdain for modern country. Ringo Starr of the Beatles was quoted back in 1996 as saying that there wasn’t much new country that he liked, except for George Strait. (I’m guessing he probably likes Alan Jackson, too, but that’s merely an assumption on my
part.) In addition to that, at a concert in Nashville, Tennessee, Tom Petty said something to the effect that all this new country was a load of tripe. And Petty isn’t exactly a complete stranger to our music; back in 1984 he (along with Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson and the Reverend Ike) helped out Hank
Williams, Jr.  on--how ironic is this?--a remake of Hank Sr.’s "Mind Your Own Business."

"Stay in his own backyard"? What a superficial and bigoted thing to say!

Oddly enough, however, I have yet to see any big rock stars coming out and saying that they actually like "hot new country." In fact, the only artists I have seen actually coming out and defending the state of country as a whole--Lonestar, Toby Keith and LeAnn Rimes, among others--are the source of
mainstream country’s problems, the very people who make the kind of music Larry Cordle and Larry Shell slammed in "Murder On Music Row,"  their acerbic commentary on the state of modern country. Many people were offended when George Strait and Alan Jackson’s recording of that song got so much attention; they all derided it as nothing more than a publicity stunt to revive what they described as the dying commercial viability of traditional country. (Never mind the fact that traditional country was never meant to appeal to the masses anyway.) But you take comments such as the ones made by Messrs. Starr, Petty and Henley, which basically validate the sentiments expressed in "Murder On Music Row," and couple that with the exponential rise in popularity of Texas music over the last couple of years and the surprise popularity of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, and you have a crystal-clear sign that things are not well on Music Row. But maybe that’s a good thing. I’d love to see the end of the Nashville establishment and its virtual monopoly. And I’d love to see their partners-in-crime, the entities who ensure the perpetuation of the monopoly--the large conglomerate station owners such as Clear Channel and Infinity--go down with them. Maybe then we’d be able to
hear more real radio and more real music again. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

Both or none, not one or the other.

...or, Hey, more ragging on Chet Flippo!

I have to laugh sometimes when I read in one of the radio newsletters a profile of a country radio station program director or music director in which he or she (usually he) talks about pivotal music that was career-defining and influential. And more often than not, it's usually some artist like Poison or Meatloaf or Motorhead. That kind of mindset does not translate well to a country sensibility.
I have written of this before from the artist end of the country music business, but it deserves some examination from the radio end as well -- specifically radio programmers. If these radio programmers are going to program the pop country that Chet has defended before, then it only follows that these programmers are to an extent fans of other music. All of this only stems from marketing country music to fans of other genres and making it more palatable to them. I don't necessarily think fans of other genres getting to be fans of country is a bad thing, but I tend to think that the rise of acts like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts was made possible by people who talk of pivotal music being "Poison or Meatloaf or Motorhead." (One of those things is not like the other, one of those things just doesn't belong...) And I guaran-damn-tee you, one of these days some artist who's part of taking the genre in a direction Chet Flippo has defended, is going to be talking about bands like Queensryche, Megadeth, or Guns'n'Roses being music that defined him or her. (And if you click here, you'll see it's starting to go in that direction. "What country music artist hasn't been influenced by the Eagles?" Leave it up to Keith "I don't care if people download my songs even if that means the people who wrote them don't get paid" Urban to say something so spectacularly ignorant.) I can't WAIT to see what Mr. Flippo says then.

(h/t Country California)

I thought things like this didn't happen up there...

Hey, wait a minute...

EDGEWATER, N.J. — Police in northern New Jersey say a 14-year-old girl grabbed a supermarket microphone and announced, "All blacks leave the store."
The case is nearly identical to what happened on two occasions at a southern New Jersey Walmart.
I could have sworn, from the way everyone talked, that Southerners had the monopoly on racism. I mean, it seems like every single time you turn around somebody's trying to spin it like that. It must be some kid whose family moved up there from Alabama. And her teabagger daddy brainwashed her and manipulated her into doing that. (Do I sound like a member of the deranged left yet? I'm doing my best...)

She sees what I don't...

My wife, that is.

I was at work earlier tackling a particularly painful task, with the Sirius stream playing. Those of you who are my Facebook friends see that I like to post random lyrics to my favorite songs as they're playing, whether on Sirius or the iPod. Well, as I was working on the aforementioned task, this song was playing (Make with the clicky! You know you want to! Dave starts singing at about 2:26), and this lyric went up on Facebook:

For this, I was chosen because I fear nothing. With confidence I tread through the dead of the night."

Not two minutes later, comes this from Sabra:

"I love the quotes you choose when you're copy-editing."

It took me a minute to figure it out, but when I did, I laughed so hard I probably shook the walls. The lyric was strangely apropos. :-)

Oh, and Albatross, TBeck and any other old metalheads who read this: There are those who say this album (Engdame) is Megadeth's best since Rust in Peace. I can't say it's their best since then, as I haven't heard enough of the stuff between RIP and now to make a fair determination, but I can say it's still very good, right up there with the early stuff. RIP probably has less filler material, but Endgame is no slouch of an album, either. Chris Broderick, the current lead guitarist, really shines here. I would definitely recommend it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hey, another elected official...

...with no sense of irony!

RICHMOND, Va. — Less than three months into office, Gov. Bob McDonnell was blindsided last week by questions his Confederate History Month decree evoked, and the national furor that ensued.
L. Douglas Wilder, a grandson of slaves whom Virginians made the nation's first elected black governor in 1989, accepted McDonnell's apology and dismissed the flap as "an honest mistake by an honorable man."
But Wilder said the abiding desire to celebrate the Old South with official declarations, most recently by Virginia and Georgia, is a worrisome sign that history's lessons have not been fully learned as angry voices again advocate states' rights and preach defiance to Washington.
One gets the idea that former Governor Wilder thinks "history's lessons" included "sit down, shut up and do what Master Government tells you to do." Which is ironic indeed, considering the fact that some 400,000 Americans of various ethnic origins died so he and his fellow blacks wouldn't suffer that fate at the hands of individual slaveowners. What the hell does L. Douglas Wilder think the Tenth Amendment was all about? One wonders what he would say to the polls Jonathan Gurwitz cited here:
...thanks to some recent polling, a less distorted image of the tea party movement is emerging. For starters, it's not inordinately composed of angry white men. A USA Today/Gallup poll found that 79 percent of tea party supporters are white — compared with 75 percent of the general population — and 45 percent are women.
Tea partiers aren't all GOP stooges either. The same poll also revealed that 49 percent of tea party supporters are Republican, 43 percent are independent and 8 percent are Democrat. In other words, a majority of tea party members aren't Republican.
To recap: They're not all angry white men, they're not all men PERIOD, and they sure as hell aren't all Republicans. Which makes L. Douglas Wilder look like just another race-baiting asshole. Sure was a nice try not to, though. But then some people aren't good at catching subtle hints, so I'm sure there are those who would peg it as nothing more than an honest disagreement.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oh, the things I almost would have given.... have heard this:

Listener: "Hey can I make a request"(kid screaming in the background)
DJ: "Whoa lady, what are you doing to that kid?"
Listener: "Uhh, she's just tired.  Can you play Carrie Underwood for me?"
(Kid still screaming on her end, silence on the DJ's end)
Listener: "Uhh, hello, can you play I don't even know his last name?"
DJ: "Lady, no I can't play that.  No wonder the kid's upset." 

(from Keith, in comments here

Like I told Sabra, I don't even wanna think about what Carrie Underwood would make our little ones do. 
Because Carrie Underwood Sucks.

A confession of sorts.

I am a Texan, of course, so I am sure this will come as a surprise to some.

You know how much of a sports fan I am not? I was reading about the implosion of Texas Stadium here, and I was reminded of the fact that I saw more concerts there than I saw football games. I saw precisely one football game at Texas Stadium, and it was not a Cowboys game. However, three of the 15 times I saw George Strait, I saw him at Texas Stadium, most recently with Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett in June 2004. Good times, and good memories too. :-)

Looks like these people don't have a clue either.

How about this headline?

Coffee party wants to make politics civil
 Siiiigh. Have any of these people ever been to an actual tea party, or have they been merely listening to the MSM's coverage of it? I'm guessing it's the latter. In fact, I would bet on it. And their so-called "pledge" strikes me as a veiled slam at the Tea Party, implying that they're a bunch of bigots intolerant of other ideas. Who the hell do these people think they are to say that the tea partiers don't value the democratic process? I would think one of the tea partiers' main beefs is that the democratic process is being subverted by various methods, such as the health bill being passed via backroom deals for individual states and arm-twisting in the name of party unity. And how the hell does one explain this?
Jeff Hunter, a 40-year-old editor from Houston, said he too was turned off by the tea party, which he considers “an extremist-type movement.”
Hunter initially supported Ron Paul in 2008, but he also likes some of Obama's ideas.
Done what, again? A Ron Paul supporter considers the Tea Party extremist? I would surely not call Ron Paul an extremist even with his opinions and ideas vis-a-vis things like foreign policy, but the Tea Party's aims are largely congruent with those of Ron Paul. These self-righteous mooks don't know whether they're coming or going! And the Houston Chronicle apparently considers this "Coffee Party" a serious political movement?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"You want me to play what, dude?"

Background: Sabra is listening to this station, which plays nothing but Texas country.

Sabra: LOL. Some dipshit just called up and requested "Chicken Fried". DJ was like "Uh, that's Nashville stuff."

Me: LMAO. "Call KSCS, you MORON. Or those flamin' nozzles at 99.5 the Wolf, since they play less Texas music now in favor of that Nashvegas phlegm!"

They didn't, but they should have...

A letter writer in today's San Antonio Express-News makes a good point, though I am sure she didn't mean to or for it to be pointed out as such by those of us on the right:

All the years President Bush was in office and he and the Republicans passed bills that spent more money than any administration has in the history of the United States, no one called them socialists.
I'm guessing one didn't hear them called socialists, yes, but that doesn't mean that they didn't have any socialist tendencies or should have not been called out for them. And there were those on the right who recognized George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" for the mistake that it was, among them none other than Dick Armey, one of the architects of the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress and the Contract With America:
Too often the policy agenda was determined by short-sighted political considerations and an abiding fear that the public simply would not understand limited government and expanded individual freedoms. How else do we explain "compassionate conservatism," No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug benefit and the most dramatic growth in federal spending since LBJ's Great Society?
 So there's that. There are those who might call a large percentage of Republicans in congress socialists or at least point out how they're not giving real conservatives a reason to vote for them, but the fact is they're not being listened to as much as they should. Back to the letter-writer who prompted this morning's entry, she goes on to say, 'No one will take their riches with them or send it ahead when we die," and she uses that seemingly as a justification for Democrats to take the money from the rich and use it to finance more vote-buying schemes. One wonders what other pithy sayings she'd come up to justify more nanny-state reindeer games.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Is this guy serious?!

I am guessing he is...

I believe that the tea party followers may actually be onto something fundamentally important, but they have yet to prove to me that they are actually concerned about their fellow human beings, outside of a purely political, and most often partisan, realm. Their vocal counterpresence at the Marine's funeral would have bolstered their stature in my heart and mind tremendously. But I am left with the slogan from a bygone era: “Where's the beef?”
Could anybody really be that clueless? Could any sentient being with even a solitary functioning brain cell ask this question? I guess so, so here's mine. Why would a group like the tea party have any presence at a military funeral other than solely to pay their respects as individuals? If they showed up and protested what they generally protest, they'd rightly be derided as attention-seekers just like the Westboro thugs are. And the last I heard, the tea partiers were anything but partisan, unless higher taxes and spending and bigger government were the province of one party over another.

I'm sure he missed the irony, too

Clarence Page, that is:

...a five-minute chat on ABC's Good Morning America. Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos asked if Steele had a slimmer margin for error as the RNC's first African-American chairman.
“The honest answer is, ‘yes,' ” he said. “Barack Obama has a slimmer margin. A lot of folks do. It's a different role for me to play and others to play, and that's just the reality of it. But you take that as part of the nature of it.” True or not, can you imagine how Republicans would react if President Obama said that?
Perhaps the chairman is unfamiliar with the new conservative etiquette: Thou shalt not acknowledge that racism still exists in America — except “reverse racism” against white people.
I haven't a clue as to how Page got from Steele's "gaffe" to the "new conservative etiquette." No matter, though, I have yet to see Page and his fellow black pundits decry the racism directed at Steele and other black conservatives and Republicans, which leads me to believe they have their own etiquette, "Thou shalt not admit that blacks can be just as racist as anyone, especially toward the people that don't subscribe to the lefty herd mentality."

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Has-been says what, again?

Oh man, this is some funny stuff right here:

When asked about the comparisons between his playing and that of METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, Beach (ex-Winger/Whitesnake guitar player Reb Beach -- ed.) said, "I don't know the guy [Kirk], but I think he's one of the worst guitar players I've ever heard in my life....
 Wow, what to say to that? I hesitate to bring up how many albums Metallica has sold (compared to Winger and Whitesnake COMBINED) in the last 25 years because I don't necessarily think more units scanned means an artist is better or more talented. But on the whole I'd think the audience for heavy metal music is much more discriminating than the audience for, say, Today's Hot New Country. You take that into consideration and it does give the "more sales=more talent" equation a bit more credence. But even if you don't take that into consideration, which one of those bands recorded what many of the genre's fans consider to be the best heavy metal album ever made? And the album before that, and after it? Three heavy metal masterpieces in a row? Sorry, but I gotta go with this comment here:

"The man who played the harmony leads on 'Fade to Black', 'Creeping Death', 'One', 'Master of Puppets' 'To live is to die" and about 3 dozen other ESSENTIAL songs of the METAL genre versus some guy who was/is in WINGER!"

Yep. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

She could be right...

Sabra, upon hearing the new Kevin Fowler single and learning he is now signed to the same record label as Rascal Flatts:

"I have never been much of a Kevin Fowler fan, and it looks as though things are gonna go downhill fast.
You thought Pat Green sold out? This, this is going to set a new standard. He's gonna be making Pat Green look like Ray Wylie Hubbard."

Yep, it's bad. I made it to the first chorus and thought, "Oh, Kevin, NOOO!" I'd like to think this song will NOT be an indicator of where he's going to go, but given what Nashville did with Pat Green, I am not the slightest bit optimistic...

Anti-gunners' hypocrisy and cowardice

Not that it was any big surprise that those who would deprive us of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms (thank you, Kurt Hofmann!) are hypocrites and cowards, but it is something to see when they demonstrate it so blatantly.

First up, Mr. Hofmann writes today about some addle-brained lefty with absolutely zero sense of irony:

But I've come to believe that being able to buy and own a gun should also involve passing a fairly difficult civics exam. Before someone goes out to buy a gun in defense of their country and their liberty, we should have some kind of metric to determine if that person actually knows anything about the country, and knows anything about the roots and truths of the liberty they claim to cherish.
Of course, you know this creature would be raising holy hell if anyone ever proposed such a test and the passing thereof to be a requirement to vote. Yet he has no problem whatsoever with the respect of a fundamental human right being conditional on such a test. Of course, all of this is coming from one who, as Hofmann points out, says the Tea Partiers should be ignored but takes nearly 2,000 words to say it. It must be damn nice to be so blissfully self-unaware.

And here, we have Abby Spangler and her gang of grass-eaters promoting a very aptly-named "lie-in." Where is this lie-in going to be held? Dallas, Memphis, Atlanta or some other pro-gun state's major metropolitan area? Why no, no it isn't. It's going to be held in Times Square in New York City, right where the whole Mayors Against Illegal Guns bullshit started. Way to go, you mooks, holding your protest in a locale in which the majority agrees with you. Really courageous thing you're doing there.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

One wonders what certain black liberal pundits would say... this:

They've been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values. Now black conservatives are really taking heat for their involvement in the mostly white tea party movement — and for having the audacity to oppose the policies of the nation's first black president.
"I've gotten the statement, 'How can you not support the brother?'" said David Webb, an organizer of New York City's Tea Party 365, Inc. movement and a conservative radio personality.
Wow, what does one say to this? It's probably not that big of a secret that each race clusters around and supports its own members to varying extents, but why is it that blacks and Hispanics don't seem to be called out on this sort of thing more than they are? I understand that Anglos have been the dominant race (vis-a-vis the power they wield, that is) in the United States since its founding, and that other races have been treated unfairly by the whites in power -- but as the old saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right. Recall, if you will, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. 
 It seems to me that those who judge black conservatives are judging them solely on the color of their skin and on the fact that they don't blindly support the president just because of the color of his skin. "How can you not support the brother?" Really? MLK risked and ultimately gave his life for that?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

More proof...

...that Sabra is the female version of me:

Oh, GOD, I went to Bill Miller's this afternoon with the girls....Heard that one damn Carrie Underwood song about the apparently-delusional 18-year-old who shows up at her soldier boyfriend's funeral in a wedding gown.
And I was thinking "Has the bitch never heard 'Traveling Soldier'? Doesn't she realize this song has been done before, and about a zillion times better?"
Yes, indeed. I seriously am gonna do my best to stay on her good side. ;-)

All righty, Johnny Cougar, I have a question for you.

I hear people imply a lot, if not come out and say outright, that Old Media has higher standards about what it (as an institution) will run, whether it is in the newspaper, TV or the Web. Well, you've seen me ranting here and there about some of the letters to the editor they run in the two biggest Hearst papers in my great state, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News. I never thought I'd say this, but it seems the Express-News is the one with NO standards when it comes to what it will run in the letters to the editor, and this is the latest proof of that:

Why do the tea partiers and some Republicans seem to want our government to fail? Perhaps the visceral opposition to public expenditures and bipartisanship hides their loathing of the first African-American president.
How is this ANY different from "some guy (sitting) in his bedroom and (being) mean"? Or is it only bad when they're being "mean" to your pet politician? And who appointed said letter-writer to be their spokesman? I'm sure he speaks for many, but still, I think the overriding issue here is said letter-writer talking out of his ass. As Sabra says, this is what you get from people who have no critical thinking skills. But it certainly is aggravating sometimes.

Lessons not learned, apparently.

All those cameras, and so few legal guns, yet Chicago is still a crime-ridden shithole. There's a lesson there somewhere.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Taking my ideas and making them better, she does...

Just now, in conversation:

Me:...the only way "I Hope You Dance" could have been more banal is if it had been recorded by Celine Dion.

Sabra: LOL Or Carrie Underwood.

Me: Oooooh, burn!

Yes, indeed. God, but I HATED that song. Like I said on Facebook, everybody made such a big deal out of that song, but I much prefer Lee Ann Womack when she's singing Real Country Music. See: "I May Hate Myself in the Morning." Or anything off that album. (2005's There's More Where That Came From)

Wow, this is a pretty flimsy piece...

...even by the Houston Chronicle's abysmally low standards. I fail to understand how the Chinese putting people to death for fraudulent business transactions and extracting confessions by way of torture is in any way comparable with the United States and Texas putting people to death for, say, crimes such as this. I understand the system is flawed and that many on death row have been exonerated. And I agree that we should be testing every last piece of evidence to make sure those on death row are guilty, but the sleazy thing here is the Houston Chronicle making a comparison that doesn't stand up to the slightest bit of scrutiny. I see them doing the bidding of Amnesty International here. One wonders what Amnesty International-backed project they'll be shilling for next.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

In defense of Apple: Allow me to retort... this.
As Sabra said, "I don't understand why looking at a product before you buy it would be such a big deal." It's not as if the information on mp3 players is that hard to find on Algore's Internets. And I REALLY don't understand the bitching about Apple here. It's not like they have a damn monopoly on mp3 players. I was tempted to say, "dude, if you're that hard up for a cheap mp3 player that works with your bitchin' phones, go buy a damn Zune." But a perusal of reveals even fewer choices there, all more expensive than the iPod when everything is taken into account. I showed it to Sabra and even she said, "Holy shit! No wonder Apple remains the standard!" And she is, to say the least, not a fan of anything Apple, to the point she was commenting the other day about how she hates the fact that Windows 7 has a dock like Apple's.

And there's some grade-A examples of Apple Derangement Syndrome to be seen in the comments, too:

Seriously, Apple makes unique and creative products that STILL remain strangely antiquated and just WRONG…????
For instance, WHY can’t I buy an IPOD with a AM/FM Receiver/Tuner on it ?????
My question would be, why would anyone WANT an iPod with an AM/FM tuner on it? Terrestrial radio sucks. And I thought it was funny how they'd refer to the standalone iPod as "antiquated," considering the iPod Touch has wi-fi capability, which means that if you were within range of a wireless network you could stream the radio station of your choice. And even if you weren't, well, so?

And then there's this gem:
Never owned an Apple or Mac, never will. They seem so quaintly metrosexual, almost French in their ponsy (sic) appearance, and then there;s (sic) the whole issue of the frothing fanboys that try to be the firt (sic) to kiss Steve Job’s (sic) butt.
Please… real computer users have PC’s (sic), not Apple wannabe toys.
Completely free of any substantive criticism of how the machine actually works, they instead harp on just how it looks. Like I said in comments there, I'd think real computer users wouldn’t cast aspersions on other computers based solely on how they look, but I guess I’m just quaint that way…

At any rate, more perusal of renders this from Sony, at about the same price as the iPod shuffle. I am unsure if it is compatible with iTunes, but there *are* ways of working around that. And I don't understand why a workaround would be such a big deal. Unless, of course, one just wants to find a reason to use words like "phaggy."

Well, they sure did it before...

...didn't they?

“The courts are not supposed to overturn the will of the elected representatives of people; that is something that's generally anathema to conservatives,” said Paul Rothstein, a law professor at Georgetown University. “Conservatives may not like the health care plan, but they don't want to be put in a position of judicial activism, overturning what the people's elected representatives put in place.”
The Washington, D.C. gun ban overturned with the decision in Heller v. District of Columbia was put in place by that city's elected representatives too. So it would appear that Mr (Dr.?) Rothstein was wrong in at least one instance. One could very well say that his comments were another illustration of how useless the liberal vs. conservative scale is, because it's arguable that neither a conservative nor a liberal would argue the legitimacy or (lack thereof) of a certain action based on its approval or disapproval by the people's elected representatives, but on how it furthers said liberal's or conservative's political agenda.

The story goes on to say, "Critics of the lawsuit say the U.S. health care system is national in scope, transcending state lines, and that extending benefits to the uninsured is an economic activity that requires the participation of all in the insurance pool." Well, from what I understand, here's where we get to throw the health plan out on that 10th Amendment technicality, because again, from what I understand insurance companies aren't allowed to sell insurance across state lines -- which makes it a state matter, which means that the feds would appear to be overstepping their boundaries, just as the Supreme Court ruled they did in the case that struck down the Gun-Free Zones Act of 1990. Beyond that, it'd be quite interesting indeed to find out to what extent certain tort laws (such as caps on punitive damages and restrictions on venue shopping) have on each state's health insurance premiums. Would the federal government override those laws, too? Could the government attorneys argue that's regulating interstate commerce? Sure seems that way to me, if they're going to argue the same of the universal insurance requirement. After all, it's arguable tort laws have just as much to do with economic activity as whether or not people have health insurance. Where does that line of reasoning stop? It'll be interesting to see how far the Supreme Court lets it go.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Hey, wait a minute!

Something's not quite right here!

Rowan Tower has a bad reputation. Gangs walk the streets nearby, and police are a constant, and some say ineffective, presence at the 15-story apartment building a stone's throw from the Statehouse's golden dome.
The reported gang rape of a 7-year-old girl who police say was offered for sale by her 15-year-old stepsister to a group of grown men has shocked residents and put them in a quandary. If they identify the men responsible, they risk violent retaliation from the street gangs that stalk the neighborhood.
"We are mothers," said tenant Shawntel Abner. "If we aren't here, there is no one to watch our children. You are asking a lot of us. You are asking us to put our lives on the line."
What's that, you ask? Well, the anti-gunners tell us all the time that we don't need guns, and the police will protect us. Yet here these people are, being intimidated with threats of injury and/or death, and the police are pretty much powerless to do a damn thing to help that little girl. And New Jersey is the American anti-gunner's paradise, perhaps the second-most-anti-self-defense state in the country after Massachusetts. Some paradise, isn't it? I realize that there are more factors at play here, but the fact is that not only are the police powerless to do anything, but those people living under the gang's ruthless watch can't do anything to protect themselves from reprisals if they do the right thing. And, well, that just isn't right.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Armored vehicles, explosive devices and grenade launchers, oh my!

Where are the cartels getting all that hardware? Must be all those damned American gun shows. Even though most of that stuff is highly illegal in this country without the accompanying paperwork. I saw a link to a podcast in which the Mexican ambassador to the United States said we needed to stop the flow of guns to Mexico, but "he says he is not challenging the Second Amendment." Somehow I am absolutely certain he mentioned some sort of new gun ban, though. If anyone wants to take the time to listen to it, be my guest, but I'm pretty sure nothing in there has not been put forth by the Mexican government before.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Don't know why I didn't think of this...

...but here it is:

Regarding “The first trickle” editorial, we can expect more advertisements like those by KDR Development in the District 11 Republican primary. But far from demonstrating any dangers of corporate speech during the political process, the District 11 race demonstrates a healthy political ecosystem at work.
KDR spent money on advertising in an effort to defeat Chuck Hopson. Voters rejected this message and voted for Hopson anyway. Corporate speech does not have some magical hold on voters. Indeed, as here, voters may actually take corporate speech less seriously because of the identity of the speaker.
The decision in the Citizens United case allowed all corporations — rather than just media corporations — to speak during the political process. The Hopson race demonstrates that there is nothing dangerous about this. In the end, voters will make up their own minds at the ballot box.
Indeed they will. Of course, the media's assumption that these newly authorized expenditures are going to be foolproof investments is the only leg they have to stand on here. Like TOTWTYTR said in comments here, the media are just pissed off that they don't have the monopoly in shaping opinions anymore. Of course, you could say that they still do, as no one says they HAVE to take the corporations' money and run their ads. Capitalism is a bitch, sure, but one with a hell of a sense of humor sometimes. ;-)