Monday, May 31, 2010

Thomas Friedman sings the same old song...

...but I must say here, that he does so in a particularly appalling fashion. Call me crazy, but I really don't think we need any kid talk to know that we have an obligation to keep the environment in good shape for those who come after us. And I don't understand why Thomas Friedman advocates yet more taxes when the economy is still not in the best shape no matter who you talk to. Over the short term we need jobs and affordable modes of transportation to get to those jobs so we can make money to FEED those kids and keep a roof over their heads. And more taxes will make such that much more difficult to generate. It seems to me that Thomas Friedman wants to make such a task that much harder. If I wanted to channel the perverse logic of the left I'd ask at this point, WHY DO YOU HATE CHILDREN, THOMAS?

And why does he never look at this from the perspective of the oil companies? Does he not realize that they hate things like oil spills as much as, if not more than, everyone else does? Does he not realize that every drop of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico means a little less money in BP's coffers? Does he really believe they have so little of a vested interest in developing better sources of energy that they have to be forced to do so by way of what strikes me as punitive taxation? If he does, it obviously doesn't matter to him. I've said it before of other pundits, but I'll say it again here: For him to be so smart, Thomas Friedman sure is stupid.

Quote of the day, deprogramming edition...

...right here:

Any man who says he loves “Sex and the City” has been brainwashed, the victim of pop culture Stockholm Syndrome. Sexual favors were denied. Eyelids were peeled back and taped in place. After months of indoctrination, he suddenly found himself counting calories, clucking disapprovingly at feet wearing shoes from last season, and declaring “I’m totally a Samantha!” Don’t believe him when he gushes about the HBO series; pity him. Dude needs to be deprogrammed. An afternoon of empty beer bottles, BB guns, and Iron Maiden should do the trick.
I just don't have anything to add to that...except, maybe, that I have "Aces High" running through my head now...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Missing the point, yet again... comments to this story:

...isn't this a republican sect, aren't they supposed to be anti-immersion, especially Spanish?? ohhyeaa, it makes people smarter...DUH!!

the spanish speaking people don't get recognized for learning english. weird.
I don't understand why anyone would think "republicans" were anti-immersion. I seem to recall it being liberals and Democrats who were trying to perpetuate the bilingual education programs in this country, despite the studies that showed students who were taught solely in English scored higher on standardized tests and such than students who were taught in English and Spanish.

As for the Spanish speakers not getting recognized for learning English...I'd bet the person who made THAT particular comment probably also sees nothing wrong with kids getting certificates for participation in school. Since when should people get special recognition for fulfilling basic obligations?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

This is another place...

...where the rubber meets the road...

Twice in recent weeks, fishermen have been robbed at gunpoint by marauders that the local sheriff says are “spillover” from fighting between rival Mexican drug gangs.
Men armed with assault rifles robbed fishermen on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake on April 30 and May 6. They traveled in the low-slung, underpowered commercial Mexican fishing boats that are familiar here. They asked for money, drugs and guns, and took what cash was available. No one was hurt.
But remember, folks, we don't need semiautomatic rifles to defend ourselves! Susan Estrich says so and she knows exactly what she's talking about!

In all seriousness, though, I fail to understand why the good people on and around Falcon Lake should be left with (or limited to) such underpowered weaponry such as pistols and pump-action shotguns, living as they do so near what's practically a war zone. I realize that these pirates may well be armed with full-auto weaponry, but that's no excuse for handicapping Americans any more than they already are. And I am well aware of the argument that the continuing availability of the semiautomatic rifles perpetuates the arms race between the cartels and the authorities, but the fact is that the cat's already out of the bag vis-a-vis the weaponry the cartels are getting -- and we haven't even talked about the weaponry the cartels are getting that is highly regulated (and damn near impossible to get in mass quantities without anyone noticing) in the United States. Would that we could get all those people agitating for a gun ban on a boat unarmed in the middle of Falcon Lake....

Friday, May 28, 2010

Two kinds of opportunism. Which kind is worse?

So I saw this, at The 9513:

After a string of seven singles that failed to break the Top 10, Darryl Worley goes back to the well of “common sense” populism he’s best-known for.
Take that, and put it next to Chely Wright's coming out as a lesbian right about the time her new album comes out, and it poses an interesting question: Which kind of opportunism is more pathetic? Timing your coming out as a lesbian with the release of your new album after you haven't had a hit in almost ten years, or going back after a five-year dry spell to the crass political pandering that got you your last big hit? I would say the latter is worse, even if I might agree with the song's sentiments. I might have liked "Have You Forgotten" and "Keep The Change" more if they'd been done by bigger, more consistent stars than Darryl Worley, but as things are I think he's just trying to cash in on current events and that just REALLY rubs me the wrong way. I can't explain exactly why, but I just find Chely Wright's coming out at the same time as her new album to be not quite THAT grating. Thoughts, folks?

Those stats aren't that hard to find.

...or, Ignorant and self-righteous is no way to go through life.

A letter to the editor, in this morning's Chronicle:

Concealed-handgun permit holders are some of the most law-abiding and responsible citizens around. As a group, concealed-handgun permit holders have an extremely low average of committing crime — much less than the average citizen.
A commenter:
What are the sources for your claiming that "concealed handgun" carriers are "low average" perpetrators of crime? And what crime? (Do you mean only gun crime? Only violent crime?) And, how about accidental injuries and death?
BAM! Here are your stats, dude. (PDF ALERT!) Rendered with maybe two minutes on Google. Unless you're one of those who thinks hot-check writers and speeders shouldn't be able to defend themselves, in which case you're just an authoritarian asshole. Accidental deaths of kids here, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control. Accidental deaths from 2000 through 2005, for all age groups from 0-19 combined are in the low double digits. Why the emphasis on kids here? Well, that wasn't all the above-mentioned authoritarian asshole commenter said:
Maybe the deaths of innocent children is a price we have to pay for the Second Amendment.
But do not you dare go around and pretend you are a good person when you kill children with your selfishness. You legal ground is solid for now. Your moral ground is in Hell.
What do you say to that? "Kill children with your selfishness"? What the hell? That's about the most disgusting thing I've seen these cretins say yet. And moral ground in hell? Wow, what a judgmental asshole.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This is one way to do it...

...right here. I don't know how many of the gun-runners are stupid enough to try to cross the border at official checkpoints with such illegal cargo, but if we had more people guarding the border that'd get to be a moot issue. I'd think it would be much easier to smuggle mass quantities of drugs north than it would be to smuggle mass quantities of guns south, but either way I don't see why Americans' rights should be infringed upon as any resort, much less a first one as so many people seem to advocate.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Well yeah, actually, you do.

For her to have gotten to the station she has reached in life, Susan Estrich certainly is ignorant:

If Barack Obama could convince Congress to pass the biggest health-care reform since Medicare and the biggest financial reform since the Great Depression, why can't he push through a bill supported by police departments everywhere to ban assault weapons? Assault weapons are not used by sportsmen. You don't hunt deer with an assault weapon. You don't need one to protect your home.
I could say something about intermediate-caliber select-fire weaponry, since everyone knows that's what assault rifles really are -- but let's be real here and not get sidetracked by semantics. What Susan Estrich is proposing to be banned here is a class of firearm that has gotten to be the hottest-selling in the country precisely because of its utility (chambered in various calibers, from .17HMR all the way up to the mighty .50BMG) for an immense variety of tasks, including, yes, hunting AND home defense. I probably shouldn't have expected Estrich to know the story of Jim Zumbo or the Algiers Point Militia, though I still don't think there was any excuse for her not to have done her research before she wrote this column.

I also thought it was funny how Estrich disputed the constitutionality of the Arizona law, considering the fact that the Supreme Court pointed out that arms "in common use" were the arms protected by the Second Amendment -- thereby making Estrich's "assault weapons ban" clearly unconstitutional. (As an aside, on one hand we have a law whose constitutionality may or may not be in question that Estrich bashes, but on the other we have a law Estrich advocates that has clearly been shown to be unconstitutional. Apparently the constitutionality of the law only matters if Estrich doesn't support it.) So it doesn't matter how many police departments support the ban. And if she wants to play THAT game, we could point out the disparity in the support of the ban between the chiefs (who are more often than not political appointees) and the rank-and-file police officers, the folks on the front lines fighting crime every day. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Susan Estrich is going to jump on board the gun ban train, but is it really too much to ask that she get any idea of what she's talking about before she puts fingers to keyboard?
(h/t David Codrea)

Oooh, favorite song EVER, at The Roadhouse, Sirius Ch. 62: "Some fools never learn, play with the fire and you're gonna get burned, it's only love when you're loved in return..."

Spin and ignorance...

...are apparently all some people have:

...Mexican President Felipe Calderón called for the reinstatement of the U.S. assault-weapons ban. In a knee-jerk reaction, Sen. John Cornyn and other Republicans, in obeisance to the gun lobby, demanded that the ban not be reinstated....
...Equally lame is asserting that regulating border-gun shows violates the Second Amendment. Assault weapons will still be available from respectable dealers, although the sale will involve filling out some paperwork.
Where are they getting this whole "unregulated border gun shows" thing? FFLs have to conduct the background checks at the gun shows just like they do in their stores. I'm guessing he thinks that private face-to-face sales at gun shows should be outlawed, and/or sales of semiautomatic rifles should be outlawed at gun shows. Which, as everyone with half a brain knows, would just drive the sales of such underground...just like outlawing the drugs has driven THEIR sales underground. And we all know that's been a resounding success, don't we? I would say the only way that would work is under a stiffly enforced licensing-and-registration authority with random auditing of gun owners and sellers, but we really don't know just how well that would work, do we? Or how well it would go over with the gun-owning public? I sure as hell wouldn't support such a thing no matter how well it would work, because the possibilities for abuse are just too great -- and really, it's none of the government's fucking business how many guns Americans have anyway.  Let them guard the border as they're fucking obligated to do by the damn Constitution.

And what is this "knee-jerk obeisance to the gun lobby" shit? Cornyn just said, "...the Second Amendment is not a subject open for diplomatic negotiation, with Mexico or any other nation." that doesn't sound like "knee-jerk obeisance to the gun lobby" to me. It sounds like Senator Cornyn upholding his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. One wonders what other constitutional rights being defended is knee-jerk obeisance to some nebulous lobby to Stephen Wentland and his ilk.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mmm, more classic metal...

I've blogged about this band and this album before, but not this particular song.

Many say that 1990's Rust in Peace was Megadeth's finest work; I don't have enough of the band's catalog in my possession to make that determination for myself, but there's no denying it's a great metal album. One of the reasons for that was the album's opening track, "Holy Wars (The Punishment Due)," which of course dealt with the Northern Ireland conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants: "Brother will kill brother, spilling blood across the land..." Rival Metallica's lyrics were the first metal lyrics I saw that dealt with more weighty stuff than getting drunk and laid (yeah, I was a real late-comer to heavy metal), but there's no doubt Megadeth ran neck-and-neck with them and still does. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I hate that it took me 20 years to discover this stuff, but better late than never.

Conservatives, liberals, libertarians and inconsistency

You know what pisses me right the hell off about liberals -- and conservatives, albeit to a lesser extent -- vis-a-vis libertarians? Both of them pooh-pooh libertarianism as a valid political philosophy right up until libertarians support things they support as good liberals or conservatives. Witness one good lefty's witless screed in which he claims libertarianism is "juvenile" and "stupid." Matt Welch at Reason eviscerates Gabriel Winant pretty well, so I'm gonna go in a different direction.

We all know that liberals AND conservatives have their own pet causes that are ultimately antithetical to liberty. Libertarians not so much, as you see if you'll examine their platform. I might concede that certain planks of the Libertarian philosophy (that many small-L libertarians subscribe to) are so weak as to be fatal, such as open borders -- because if you're going to let everyone in, that 's going to include a lot of people outwardly hostile to libertarian philosophy. I would go so far as to say that's the only part of said philosophy that's completely unworkable, with it being the self-defeating thing that it is. Ultimately it's a contradiction that can't be worked around, and so I don't understand why they hold on to it the way they do. But to take that contradiction and throw the entire philosophy out is what is the stupid and juvenile thing here. Rand Paul was rather tone-deaf in his proclamation that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be thrown out, but even still I wonder to what extent the free market would work these days, with racial discrimination not being nearly as socially acceptable as it was back in 1964. I'd argue the CRA of '64 should stay in place, but I think the principle Paul was alluding to deserves a more honest look than the one it's been getting. It was rather ironic that Winant referred to libertarianism being juvenile, when the entire philosophy is predicated on the proposition that adults should be treated like, well, adults.

Which brings me to the pet philosophies of the left in general, and Salon in particular, that Welch pointed out:

As for the main argument here–that libertarians and their policy preferences are "out of touch with reality"–the same could be said, at minimum, of Glenn Greenwald's principled fight against ever-expanding executive power, and Salon's long-running critique of the War on Drugs. (Each of those categories of government abuse, by the way, are often defended precisely on grounds that "someone else really is looking out for your best interests by saying no.")
So apparently government interference is good except for when it gores your own oxen. The right is just as guilty of this (see their calling for the continuance of said War On Drugs and outlawing of gay marriage), but off the top of my head it has always seemed that they're more aligned with the libertarians calling for less government -- at least the REAL conservatives are, as opposed to George W. Bush and his "compassionate" conservatives.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Here's your monopoly on force...

...right here:

For decades, black men across Chicago described torture at the hands of former police Lt. Jon Burge and his officers, and for decades no one listened. Suspects landed in jail and even on death row for crimes they say they didn't commit after Burge and his men coerced confessions using terrifying methods including suffocation, a form of waterboarding and electric shocks.
And that, along with Anthony Abbate, is the type of person Chicago mayor Richard Daley thinks should have a monopoly on force. These are the types of people he believes should be trusted with lethal force -- the types of people he believes should have the only guns. I'll admit it's funny -- albeit in a really twisted way -- to watch Daley joke about putting a bayonet up a reporter's ass, but this type of savagery is what the "Chicago Way" of doing things comes down to. This is where the rubber meets the road. And it's deadly serious business -- especially when one considers the fact that Daley was the Cook County state's attorney during Burge and his thugs' reign of terror. Call me a cynic, but there's no way you're going to get me to believe he didn't know about any of the methods being used to extract confessions from the people his office put on trial.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Self-unawareness is a beautiful thing... we see here:

What a crazy world we live in. We say that we are good Christians, or moral people. We say that we follow Christ's teachings. Then when it's reported the doctors in Texas are dropping Medicare, people say, “Those poor doctors.” What? Who has ever even heard of a middle class doctor, much less a poor one? Get real. Christ said, “What so ever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” Doctors, do you understand the meaning of those words?
...There is still such a thing as living in a civilization as civilized people. Christ's laws still matter and they have never included hate for anyone. Remember the one about a greedy person — it is easier to pass through the eye of a needle than to get into heaven?
I don't know what exactly Jean Klein is trying to say here, but it seems that she begrudges doctors their high income. It strikes me that she either doesn't know or doesn't care about the risks doctors take to get that income, or even to get to their particular station in life. And I also sense more than a little bit of hate here, with a nice, hot side of envy -- and that last thing, as everyone knows, is one of the seven deadly sins. However, even though the "seven deadly sins" is a medieval Catholic concept, I am sure Christ still frowns upon them.

And then, of course, there is the misquotation AND misinterpretation of Matthew 19:24. I showed this letter to Sabra and she mentioned that her religion professor pointed out, the whole "camel through the eye of a needle" thing actually referred to a narrow opening in the wall around a certain town. (So, theoretically, it IS possible to get a camel through the eye...)

Beyond that, though, according to Dr. Jon Mundy, a professor of philosophy and religion at the University of Buffalo, "When Jesus says, it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, he is talking about excesses of the ego and our thinking that our own worth is superior to that of others." In other words, Matthew 19:24 had nothing to do with riches in and of themselves, but with rich men's attitudes vis-a-vis their riches and how said riches affected their worth as compared to other people. It could very well be argued that the medical profession requires more humility than just about any other, as doctors and nurses both deal with what Christ called "the least of my brothers" on a near-daily basis. But coming to such a conclusion would require one to think, and of course we all know people who misinterpret the Bible as we see here are wildly disinclined to do THAT.

Yes, yes you do...

In discussion of this post...

Sabra: It never pays to be an asshole to the cops. Never

Me: Newp. I am always unfailingly courteous to them.

Sabra: No shit.

You call the man with the gun "Sir." End of story.
Yes, yes you do!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Grey's Anatomy WTF, indeed...

I am vaguely familiar with the TV show Grey's Anatomy. And when I say "vaguely familiar," I mean that I am aware that it is a medical drama, and that's about it. I am just not a TV person so much, so I am sure you can imagine my surprise and befuddlement at so many people's obsession with it, as evidenced by Facebook statuses on both mine and Sabra's end:

grey's on holy crap. watching greys on hulu.
-- I'm so far out of the sequence on this now....
-- oh wow, I haven't cried so hard on a tv show in a while!
-- yeah, that was really intense huh? i was emotionally drained after that episode!
My heart didn't stop pounding for hours!!!
--why do I feel like I'm still recovering from Greys lasy night?
--Cause it was so intense!

ok-what the heck happened on grey's? I haven't watched it in like 2 years, but after seeing at least 20 people post about it tonight-I am curious! LOL
missed the very end of grey's my recording stopped when richard was crossing the yellow tape. what did I miss?
jesus. how am i going to get to sleep tonight? oh grey's... mercy.
-- I got my tv to finally work. I need meds now... so much anxiety!!!!
-- jeeeezuuuus. i am UP. dammit.
-- Ok, maybe the meds need to be reduced?

Just finished Grey's on DVR. Good thing....I wouldn't have been able to sit through the commercials. Oooowweeee!!
--Ok you're the third to comment on I'm really jealous I couldn't watch it..gotta wait til next week to watch it online

ok so about 20 different people are posting about grey's. I have never watched the show but I'm curious to know what the buzz is all about.
Wow Gray's is intense tonight!
will not be all spoilery, but must say WHAT THE HECK, GREY'S ANATOMY?!?!?!?!

Just sitting here in front of the computer watching the statuses pop up from all you GREYS fans...LOL. I don't watch it, but obviously it is a great show! I feel like I'm missing out! :-(
-- I finally started watching about 10-15 mins ago because of all the comments on here! Now I'm wishing I hadn't! I don't like the way it's going at all!!!
-- GIRL, I MADE JIMMY TURN TO IT JUST TO FIND OUT what in the world is going on!!!!

As my wife said: "Please to shoot me in the face if I ever start obsessing about a television show. All these Grey's Anatomy statuses are getting to me."

What the fuck, people? I do not understand this at all. Why do people obsess over TV shows like this? It's one thing if they watch them, but the ones who don't? I am just sitting here going, "urk...urk..." trying to come up with some coherent response to this but FAILING miserably. Sabra and I were talking about this last night, and the best we could come up with was that this was a bunch of not-so-special people wanting to think they were a part of something special. Call it the flock mentality in action, I guess, but I am just not getting it. Sabra said in conversation earlier that it could very well be an effort to rebuild the communities we have lost over the last few years, albeit around interests rather than geographical location. That could be, and I guess it's more understandable in THAT context, but that still doesn't explain the people who weren't fans of the show to begin with...

Speaking of those sensible moderates...

Quite often these days, they say things like this:

The message from the GOP is, apparently, that it is OK for American gun dealers to sell deadly assault weapons to drug lords - who have killed over 20,000 people in the last 3 years.
And where is the NRA on this? Do they support selling assault weapons to drug gangs?
Whoa, way to ask loaded questions, Counselor! Do you support the abrogation of Americans' constitutional, God-given, natural right of self-defense? Sure looks to me to be that way.

You see the good counselor here asking "What kind of a War on Drugs is it..." and right there he seems to go back to the old, FAILED model of doing things, just like so many people do. I'd have given the Mexican president the finger too.

For him to be so smart...

....David Brooks sure is stupid. The political center has NEVER had any sort of coherent governing philosophy other than "we're sensible and pragmatic" without ever once defining the term. And from what I know of Rand Paul, he seems to be the one who's "sensible and pragmatic" in that he looks at what works and what doesn't, while David Brooks and his ilk come off as the ideologues because they stubbornly insist on the same old government solutions that have gotten us into this mess. Witness how Brooks defines the "free labor tradition -- a tradition that uses government to encourage work, to reward work, and to uphold the (core values)." That pretty much says it all, no?

See Petey. See Petey Whine.

See Petey try to make some sort of point but FAIL:

With security concerns on the rise, metal detectors finally were installed and turned on at the Texas Capitol Friday. But citizens, lobbyists and other visitors can escape the lines — if they carry a concealed handgun.
Officials are creating one line for the masses, one line for lawmakers and their staffs and then a separate procedure for concealed handgun license holders. The general public has to get scanned at the entrances. State officials and gun toting citizenry do not.
"If you're planning on perpetrating something in the state capitol, you should simply get a concealed handgun license and show your gun on the way in," said Peter Hamm, spokesman for the Washington-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "It's just ludicrous."
Yes sir, all you have to do is go through that background check, spend all that money on the gun and the permit itself, and then you walk right into the Capitol...among God only knows how many armed citizens and law enforcement officials to stop you from going on your rampage. We know they think that everyone who carries a gun is a potential killer, of course, but they're carrying it to some, ah, ludicrous lengths here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It ought to be interesting... see what a certain segment of the population says to this:

The Arizona law makes it clear that there must first be a valid “lawful stop, detention or arrest” before any investigation of immigration status can begin. The valid “stop, detention or arrest” cannot involve immigration status; it has to be independent, based upon an “other law or ordinance.” These are quotations from the text of the law.
Who wrote this? George Will, Michelle Malkin or some other LYING right-wing pundit trying to cover for the blatant racism of the Arizona legislator who penned the controversial immigration law? Oh no. This op-ed piece was penned by a law professor at the University of Houston -- an educated man, one of the intellectual elites, even. And you know how the lefties among us (and certain so-called conservatives) claim we should defer to such elites because they know what's best. What happens when one of said elites shows said lefties' opinion to be based on little more than knee-jerk ideology completely bereft of any grounding in fact? I can't WAIT to see their gnashing of teeth here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Would that I were king...

...I would have Felipe Calderon's ass escorted out of my presence, and out of my COUNTRY, post-haste after this:

Mexican President Felipe Calderón urged U.S. lawmakers Thursday to restore a controversial assault weapons ban, saying easy U.S. availability of the high-powered firearms are contributing to the escalating violence in his country.
My response to that? "You can fuck right the hell off, you fucking piece of shit. Senator Cornyn had the right of it. My country's citizens' constitutional rights are not up for diplomatic negotiation, and neither is our right to protect and defend our sovereignty by any means necessary. Your plane leaves in 45 minutes. Those gentlemen from the U.S. Marshals Service will see you to it. Bye-bye now."

Turning this around...

...could probably very easily be done:

...officials now say that members of the border Chambers of Commerce from Mexicali in Baja California to Matamoros across from Brownsville are asking that all Mexican citizens stay away from the United States on Monday.
They are asking that no Mexican national cross to shop, work or even play tourist that day.
Would that some enterprising groups along the border would organize some sort of counter-boycott, in which citizens who don't normally shop in the border towns could go shopping there for the day -- boycott the boycott, for lack of a better term. I'd bet the effect of said boycott, if there was any, could be completely neutralized.

Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if such a thing was being planned but just was not getting any media coverage...

And the pattern continues...

...or, It's always someone else's fault, even to European lefties:

Countries around the world are pledging to get tough with companies that market beer and liquor on social media networks such as Facebook, warning that such promotions threaten to entice a new generation into harmful drinking patterns.
Online sites have been used by European youths organizing massive binge drinking festivals that are being increasingly scrutinized by authorities. Last week, a 21-year-old man died in France after an accident at an alcohol-drenched party organized on Facebook attended by 10,000 young revelers.

Sorry, but this is unmitigated bullshit, too. No one is making these people abuse alcohol. They are making those decisions all on their own, and I tend to think that those influenced by advertising who go on those drinking binges and end up drinking themselves into a permanent sleep are just more examples of Darwin's theories in action. And don't you love how the WHO recommends not targeting young people because those ads could also attract adolescents? Maybe if the parents of adolescents actually, you know, acted as PARENTS to their kids maybe they wouldn't go off drinking. More of the nanny state in action, I suppose...

Well, I guess we know where he's coming from...

...not that it was any big surprise, though...

Calderón flatly rejected the Arizona law, saying it criminalized immigrants.
Criminalized immigrants? Huh. I was under the impression these immigrants had already made themselves criminals by, you know, crossing the border ILLEGALLY. One wonders what he'd be saying if the roles were reversed. I suppose for all anyone knows he wouldn't give a damn about his porous borders any more than our president does about ours, though.

And I thought it was funny how Obama mentioned the difficulties of passing what is in effect an amnesty bill in an election year. Why would it be so difficult in an election year unless it was unpopular with the voters? It's almost as if he doesn't really care about what the people want...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kelo and the slippery slope...

Bob S., in comments here, brings up an interesting point:

Something you said triggered a thought -- are we seeing the set up for the return of slavery? 

"After all, if the government can take your property and give it to another party because that other party's use of it supposedly benefits the public more than yours, do you really have any rights at all?" 

I thought about it in a different way and realized what shaky ground we are on legally. 
"After all, if the government can take THE RESULT OF YOUR LABOR and give it to another party because that other party's use of it supposedly benefits the public more than yours, do you really have any rights at all?" 

The basis of our current taxation scheme, right? The result of my labor -- earnings -- will benefit others  more then it benefits myself. 

Take it one step further and remove the results of my labor -- 

"After all, if the government can take YOUR LABOR and give it to another party because that other party's use of it supposedly benefits the public more than yours, do you really have any rights at all?" 

Slippery slope and all, but isn't that what Kelo came down to? That if others in general can benefit more by what I do, then I benefit, then I am a slave to them? 

Sure seems that way, doesn't it? We're already seeing ourselves sliding down that slippery slope in the health care debate, as so many on the left say people have a "right to affordable health care," which of course implies the obligation of some other party to provide said health care. That line of thinking, of course, completely disregards any sort of incentive on the part of said provider (as if there were one in the first place), and then where are we? Obligation plus no incentive plus government enforcement of obligation is indeed slavery. I don't really see "not having loaded government-wielded guns pointed at you" as any type of worthy incentive, because at that point your natural rights are already being violated; and respecting those basic rights is not an incentive. Respect of those basic rights is what is OWED to you as a human being NO MATTER the choices you make (if you follow our social contract and don't do things like rob, rape, murder or steal). And offering respect of those rights as an incentive of doing what Master Government tells you is anathema to every principle upon which this country was founded and for which so many have bled and died over the years. It'll be...interesting to see just how far down this slippery slope we go.

Mmm, classic Iron Maiden! the Boneyard, Sirius Ch. 19: "Water, water everywhere, and all the boards did shrink...water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink..."

The closing track on the band's 1984 album Powerslave, the 13-and-a-half-minute "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was of course based on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem of the same name. This song, like so much more of Maiden's other material, is but one more reason I've come to appreciate that less-played traditional metal so much more than the more popular hair metal of the day. Of the songs I've heard from that album, this and "Aces High" are my favorites, with "2 Minutes to Midnight" also being a great song.

Albatross! Once again, your thoughts?

No shield from the consequences. None.

I agree with a lot of what Kathleen McKinley posts at her blog on the Houston Chronicle website, but I think she's flatly wrong here. To wit: Dim-witted L.A. mayor proposes boycott of Arizona. Member of Arizona commission that oversees Arizona electricity and water utilities writes letter to L.A. mayor saying, all righty then, how 'bout we renegotiate those power contracts by which your city gets 25 percent of its power from Arizona plants? McKinley says:

We can't have this back and forth when real people's way of life is at stake.
To which I say:

The hell we can't. Let these "real people" be affected and see how they like it. That boycotting shit goes both ways. I'm sure there are a lot of people in L.A. going "YEAH!" to their mayor's proposed boycott, but let's see how they like it when the consequences of this boycott they support come back to bite them in the ass as they stew in their own juices. Let those "hardworking people there who have nothing to do with Mayor Villaraigosa's silly boycott" speak for themselves, hopefully as they march on City Hall demanding he dispense with such tomfoolery at once. It's WAY past time to stop playing nice with these assholes. I certainly hope that commission follows through. It'd be fun to see what happens.

Ruben Navarrette pulls a Dionne...

...or maybe a Brooks, here:

Intending to change the school curriculum, Gov. Jan Brewer recently scratched another itch. She signed a bill that forbids elementary or secondary schools from teaching courses that are “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group” and advocate “the overthrow of the United States government” or promote “resentment toward a race or class of people.”

Oh darn. There goes the secret plan of using fifth-graders to lead thereconquista. It's hard to see the point of such a ridiculous law other than to gin up nativist support for the campaign of its main proponent: Arizona State School Superintendent Tom Horne, who is running for attorney general. Horne is reportedly miffed over a Mexican-American studies program in the Tucson Unified School District that, he says, promotes “ethnic chauvinism” and teaches Latino students that they are an oppressed minority. You don't say. What's the name of the class? Current Events?

I read over Navarrette's entire column, and the above-quoted snippet, twice to see if I had missed any evidence he might have offered to support his implication that ethnic studies classes were in any way beneficial to students enrolled in them. In those readings I did not find a shred of it. So I am left to believe that Ruben Navarrette thinks teaching Latino students to resent other groups of people is just peachy-keen. Such is somewhat supported by the fact that Navarrette chose to be a sneering asshole about it.

Spinning history...

Goodness, where do I even start here:

McLeroy would have high school history classes drop the study of a landmark 1949 federal court ruling that declared schools could not legally segregate Mexican American students, even though the practice remained popular in Texas for decades. He wants to replace that with discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that governments may seize property for private development projects and another case in which white firefighters claimed they were passed over for promotion in favor of less qualified colleagues who were black.
If you're going to talk about one case, why not talk about all of them? It seems to me that all three of the cases mentioned here are more than worthy of being studied in any American history class, especially if said history class is going to be neutral as Rod Paige says it should. I may be nitpicking here, but I think to leave Kelo v. New London out of the history books in favor of, say, Mendez vs. Westminster is arguably as bad as or worse than doing the opposite. I don't mean to minimize discrimination against blacks, Hispanics or anyone else, but Kelo v. New London was an undermining of one of the most fundamental rights of humans. (After all, if the government can take your property and give it to another party because that other party's use of it supposedly benefits the public more than yours, do you really have any rights at all? Where exactly does that line of thinking end?) And even though Kelo was passed by the liberal bloc on the Court, it received bipartisan condemnation both formally and informally. Yet they would leave it out?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A local woman apparently didn't get the memo...

...that guns are baaaad news for women:

Police say a hysterical woman called Port Neches Police Monday morning to say she shot a man who was assaulting her. Police have identified Joseph Raymond Barton of Tabernacle, N.J., as the man shot multiple times. Officers were dispatched to the 900 block of Montrose Street in Port Neches at about 10:50 a.m. Monday.
That's sure as hell one way to stop an assault in progress, isn't it? One would almost think the decedent had been reading the blog of a certain New Jersey expatriate and gotten the idea that Texas women believe that shite about guns being baaad news for them. Good thing she didn't get that memo, or she'd likely have been yet another statistic. Remember, friends and neighbors: Nothing stops an abuser like a sucking chest wound!

Non-assimilation argument FAIL...

Folks this is the United States of America, “of” being the key word. South Americans, Central Americans, Mexicans and Canadians make up the “American” continents and Spanish is the language of the continents’ Hispanic majority.
Someone hasn't done his research. Majority? Not so fast there, Sparky. The North American population stands at about 528.7 million right now, with about 310 million of those in the United States and another 33 million in Canada. I am unsure of the breakdown of Hispanics in those two countries, but I'd bet it makes the population split evenly between Hispanics and non-Hispanics.

Either way it doesn't matter, though -- because the fact is that English is the dominant language HERE and it behooves everyone coming to this country to LEARN IT. I don't see how the fact that Hispanics speaking Spanish in a Spanish-language dominant country makes it okay for them not to learn English when they come to a predominantly English-speaking country, especially when the effects of them NOT learning it are relegation to a lower class.

Thanks for giving them that tool, you tools...

...or, Do you mean to tell me they have to kill someone before they can be locked up for good?

The Supreme Court took two cracks at one of the law's thorniest questions Monday: When can you lock up a prisoner and throw away the key? Not when it's a teenager who hasn't killed anyone, the justices said. But when it's a "sexually dangerous" inmate, maybe so, even if he has completed his federal prison sentence.
The court ruled in the case of Terrance Graham, who was implicated in armed robberies when he was 16 and 17. Graham, now 23, is in prison in Florida, which holds 60 percent of juvenile defendants who are locked up for life for crimes other than homicide.
"The state has denied him any chance to later demonstrate that he is fit to rejoin society based solely on a non-homicide crime that he committed while he was a child in the eyes of the law," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion. "This the Eighth Amendment does not permit."
I am not understanding how keeping people locked up for violent crime constitutes a violation of the Eighth Amendment -- especially considering that when I was 16, I had a pretty firm idea that armed robbery was not something a person does who is worthy of walking among free citizens. It strikes me as a more than reasonable thing to do considering the severity of their crime. I would say their crime showed them to be quite unfit to rejoin society no matter what. Isn't armed robbery often the first step on the road to more violent crimes such as home invasions and, yes, murder? So many times you see people arrested for murder with records for crimes less violent and they are, more often than not if I remember correctly, either parolees or people who have finished their sentences. So now the gun banners get to say, "The NRA wants ARMED ROBBERS to have GUNZ!" and the media will take that lie and run with it, as they always do, and now we get to have more thugs-in-training back on the streets because our justice system CAN'T keep said thugs locked up as they damn well should be. Thanks a lot, you tools.

Oooh, my favorite Queensryche song.... Hair Nation, Sirius Ch. 23: "...Now the applause has died, and I can dream there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on?..."

I've blogged about this song before, but it deserves another mention. Most of the times I listen to that album (1990's Empire) these days, it's on my iPod through the Apple earbuds...but before one of my recent trips west, I bought a little audio input/output cord so I could listen to the iPod on my truck's stereo. I figured I'd see how that song sounded through some real speakers, and holy shit, Batman! gave me goosebumps, it did. It was like hearing the song for the first time again, with the highs and the lows, and the bass coming through loud and clear. It was magnificent. I need better headphones...

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's always gotta be 'for teh childrenses'...

...doesn't it?

His testosterone-charged youth filled with Harley-Davidsons, ultralight aircraft and ski-slope derring-do, Richard Lee hardly fit the mold of social warrior. But when an accident left the Houston native partially paralyzed, fate intervened to transform him first into a millionaire, then into one of the nation's top advocates for legalized marijuana.
Lee, 47, now a purveyor of medicinal marijuana in Oakland, Calif., is credited with engineering a successful effort to get an initiative legalizing the drug for adult consumption on his adopted state's November ballot.
John Redman, a Texas A&M University graduate who heads California's Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth, complained that legalizing marijuana for adults would make it seem less harmful and, indirectly, increase its availability to minors.
Now, I will say that I don't know much about the harmfulness of marijuana vs. tobacco. From what I understand, cannabis doesn't have nicotine as tobacco does -- but cannabis does have more tar, so I don't know exactly how that balances out. And nicotine, as most folks know, is the addictive component of cigarettes. I'd be interested to find out to what extent marijuana is addictive (as many claim it is) due to the impurities added to it to make it last longer. At any rate, again, from what I understand marijuana is already less harmful than tobacco.

However, no matter how harmful marijuana is, John Redman's argument is still full of FAIL, on a couple of levels.

First off, it's rather obvious, given his position, that Redman's advocating that teh ganja be kept illegal because of its deleterious effects on teh childrenses. Now, let me be unambiguous here. In no way do I condone partaking of any mind-altering substance by those who are not of the legal age to partake of it. Just as I would not advocate those under 18 being able to drink, I also would not advocate them being able to smoke, whether it be tobacco or cannabis. However, the harm of other already legal substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, is and has been well-established. According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 2001 to 2005 some 79,000 deaths occurred due to excessive alcohol use -- which breaks down to about 15,800 deaths per year. Far, FAR more deaths are attributable to excessive tobacco use in the United States; according to the CDC (again), some 443,000 people die each year because of it. Yet those substances remain legal; in fact, we already tried banning one of them, but said ban proved itself to be a massive failure. And I hear no one talking seriously about banning the other. Why is that? And how exactly, looking at the big picture in its entirety, has drug Prohibition produced a net benefit for society that alcohol Prohibition did not? (Ask Kathryn Johnston about that. Oh, wait...) For the life of me I don't think I'll ever understand the fundamental difference between the two.

Second, there's the matter of availability. Someone in the comments made an interesting point that I don't know that I ever would have thought of:

" isn't minors who have trouble obtaining the stuff. Had I wanted to, I could have gotten it during middle school. I would estimate that it is more difficult for the average schoolchild to obtain a cigarette than a joint. Tobacco, at least, has a legal outlet, so vendors are less tempted to peddle it to children, and its distribution has oversight."

Try as I may, I can't argue with that. There are probably still those who would grow their own and sell it to kids if it were legal, but you can get into trouble for selling weed to kids anyway, and those penalties shouldn't be any looser. There are other, arguably better ways to combat kids doing drugs anyway, among them being parental involvement in the kids' lives. Meet the kids' friends, get to know the friends' parents, ask 'em what's going on at school, that sort of thing. It strikes me that "ban it!" is a much more passive and ineffective approach, but the easiest -- and that's why so many people go for it. It's the easy way out, a short-term, shallow solution that doesn't get to the root of the problem. And the sooner we realize that, the better.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Some of us see something else...

...than the nostalgic, sepia-toned image promoted here:

“We hope a whole new generation will come to appreciate what he (Walter Cronkite --ed.) did for professional journalism and objectivity and the critical role journalism plays in democracy.”
I'd be interested to see if there's an objective look at Cronkite's remarks after the Tet offensive and the consequences of said remarks on the course of the war, and how much that horrendous course would have been different for the better had he kept his analysis to himself. Like one of the commenters to the American Thinker piece said:

"Like Rachel Carson, Cronkite is remembered as people would like to have seen the world. Nobody does the body count."

The chickens spawned by another well-meaning modern liberal policy...

...are coming home to roost:

Demographers have long projected dramatic population changes for Texas, and the state's leaders have acknowledged the economic, social and political impact they will have — but hardly ever in the present tense. Now, they must confront the realization that the state is not adequately funding the education of a growing population (Hispanic -- ed.) that is generally poorer and less proficient in English.
Less proficient in English. You know why they're less proficient in English? Because of said well-meaning liberals insisting that they don't need to learn it, even though bilingual education has been proven to be at best woefully inadequate (and at worst a resounding failure) when it comes to teaching non-native English speakers. I was talking with Sabra about this, and she told me that students educated this way are much more likely to drop out, and that the ones who don't score a lot lower on standardized tests. As she put it, "...these touchy-feely liberal dolts are basically creating an underclass in the name of cultural sensitivity."

Because, of course, you can't have these immigrants learn the language of their adopted country. That would be RACIST! And IMPERIALIST! Never mind those pesky facts!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Random observation...

...prompted by some bullshit Arkansas Razorback vs. Texas Longhorn football fan word vomit-slinging on Facebook...

You know what I have never understood? Fans of certain college sports programs get to talking about these programs, and when they say WE this and WE that...and they didn't even attend those colleges, much less get diplomas from them. That just always sounded really stupid to me. Some people get way too emotionally invested in things they don't have even a tenuous connection to...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just a note...

I am in San Antonio with my wife. Blogging will be sporadic till about Sunday, maybe. Y'all stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On freedom and risk...

Leonard Pitts is actually right for once here. Risk IS a part of freedom, and so living with risk is indeed part of being free. I wonder, though, just how far he's willing to take that line of thought. There are those who say that the access to guns that we have here in the United States leads to thousands of preventable deaths. (Yes, I know there are quite a few elephants in the room that go ignored, but for now we're going to look at focusing on the guns for the sake of the argument.) From what I've read, Pitts seems to be among those. Is he willing to say that the freedom to own and carry the weapon of one's choice is worth the risk of armed robbery or death at the hands of those who violate the social contract by which we live? Or is he just using the "living with risk is the cost of freedom" line to advance his own arguments and/or agenda? Somehow I think I know the answer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Why not give people a choice... opposed to telling them they just have to use one method of bear repellent? That bear spray might have worked 12 out of 14 times, but as for me I honestly wouldn't want to bet my life on just getting scratched that 13th or 14th time. If the park rangers are so concerned about bears getting killed unnecessarily, why don't they just keep the people out of the parks and be done with it? And people "not being able to read these animals" goes both ways...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

You know what's just a really low thing to do?

Use your dead mother to make and score political points. I understand that Chris Bell's mother had a certain political philosophy, but it's just really low of him to even think he could claim to know what she would think of the tea party phenomenon or of the movement's supporters, considering the fact that she's been dead for more than a decade. And how convenient of him NOT to elaborate on just WHY his mother would think the tea partiers are part of the problem. I suppose all the talk about guns might have turned her off, which is all fine and good, really; but it was never about the guns in and of themselves, but the liberty inherent to the un-infringed right to own them. Somehow I get the feeling she might well have known that, if she was of the political stripe he claims she was. And I'm sure she probably wouldn't have gone for the liberals' implication that their Ivy League educations make them fit to lord over the rest of us and make us their guinea pigs for their socialist experiments. Good grief, and assholes like him accuse US of being the simplistic ones?

If I'd been in this guy's class...

...and I had any sense at all, I'd be demanding my money back after reading this column:

As far as I can tell, whenever we try to remember the past, we condemn ourselves to make new mistakes. Past events are like snowflakes: They are by their nature unique, as are the ways in which they interact.
Pardon my french, but this is ever so much bullshit. Certain aspects of history have a commonality about them that needs to be noted so as not to be repeated. See Nazi Germany and Communist Russia, for starters. Could it seriously be argued that we don't have anything to learn from the rise and fall of those regimes that could help us avoid the mistakes they made -- the mistakes they WERE? I can't believe a professor of history could make such a fatuous observation, even if it's French history he teaches.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Say what, now?

Really, what does one say to things like this?

If the U.S. can send a man to the moon, why can't we develop safe, renewable energy? It's because the big corporations don't want us to. That must change.
...other than, "the stupid, it burns! Get it away!"

Nooo, of course the big corporations don't want us to develop safe, renewable energy, because everybody knows spills like what happened in the Gulf of Mexico are such GREAT public relations for companies like BP, aren't they? Energy companies could NEVER have a vested interest in developing safe, renewable sources for ENERGY, could they? It could NEVER be a boon for research and development, could it? And Lord knows the energy companies could NEVER make nearly enough money off safe, renewable energy sources, even though it'd guarantee survival for years to come. Oh, neeever...

Or was she saying "the big corporations don't want us to" develop alternative energy sources because they're already investing in it?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Yep, it's all those evil conservatives' fault...

...that "liberal" has gotten to be a dirty word.

It could NEVER be the policies of the modern American left that has gotten the word to hold such a negative connotation  -- among them bigger and more activist government, higher taxes to finance said government, less freedom, and less security.

It could NEVER be that liberalism as a political ideology has changed so much since the 1960s that someone like John F. Kennedy, the patron saint of the Democratic Party, would likely have been a Reagan Democrat in the '80s.

It could NEVER be the contempt that so many on the left hold for those of us in "flyover country," as evidenced by the "teabagger" slur so popular among leftists and Dear Leader's infamous remark about rural Pennsylvanians "get(ting) bitter (and) cling(ing) to guns or religion."

Newp, it's all those evil bastard conservatives' fault for pointing out the numerous flaws of policies championed by lefties.

Always someone's else's fault. Are you detecting a theme here?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Another spew-worthy moment...

My wife says I have a way with words. But she beats me many times, as she did just now, speaking of Gary Allan in the video for his very first single, 1996's "Her Man":

"Fat head. Huge hat. It's not good. It's like Garth Brooks, only not as ugly and with talent."

I never would have thought of that, not in a million years...

Thursday country music musings...

Someone at Sirius has a sense of humor, I see. Riding in the truck today, I heard Alan Jackson's "Gone Country":

"...some of that stuff don't sound, much different than Dylan...I hear down there, it's changed you see, well they're not as backward, as they used to be, he's gone country..."

You know what I heard right after that? The opening strains of Shania Twain's "Rock This Country," which was the perfect example of what Bob McDill was lampooning when he wrote "Gone Country." I'd guess Mutt Lange more than Shania Twain would have been the song's target, considering that Lange was the '80s rock producer (his credits include AC/DC's Back in Black and Def Leppard's Pyromania), but the song sucked no matter whose influences it incorporated..

Also -- Note to Justin Moore: I don't give a shit what you're singing about, how much you turn up the twang in your voice or how much twangy electric guitar you put on the song, dude, you are not going to make (what is essentially) a rap song (CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK) sound country. And it's all the more grating that the tune is yet another one of those grating compositions about how country you are. Between that and "Small Town USA," we GET IT, all right? Sweet zombie jeebus, dude, can't you come up with something more original?

Viva la raza, eh?

Well. I guess we see where this letter-writer's coming from:

(George) Will says there are 460,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona, but he doesn't ponder where those 460,000 work. Realistically, Arizona, like the rest of the U.S., needs the illegal immigrants.
Bad enough to take advantage of illegal immigrants; now Arizona threatens the constitutional protection of U.S. citizens who look like our brothers across the border.Viva, la raza!
One wonders exactly why we need these illegal immigrants. There are those who say "they do the jobs Americans won't do," but that only really holds in better economic times when more people have better jobs. I'm sure there are quite a few Americans now who are or would be working at jobs they wouldn't be taking otherwise. Still, though, an even better economy would not justify leaving the border unprotected and not enforcing strict immigration laws, because those Americans who wouldn't be doing those jobs need to pull their heads out of their asses and see that honest work is honest work, no matter what it is.

Good question...

...but I certainly don't get the answer, even coming as it does from an 11-year-old:

But in whatever language, why should Cinco de Mayo matter to Texans?

Because, said Lily, “the country's just right there, and those Texans here in America, we're Mexicans.”
I must admit I am a bit unnerved by this. They may be Mexican expatriates, but still I wonder just how much that kid's being taught she's a Mexican living in America as opposed to being an American of Mexican descent. They should have asked her why it should matter as much as it does to Texans and Americans when it's a comparatively minor holiday in Mexico. There are those who would say kids that age are too young to understand the nuances of the whole thing, but if that's true, the kids shouldn't be asked questions like that anyway.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

On the 'Latino giant'...

Froma Harrop actually makes sense here, too, believe it or not -- more so than the talk show host Ruben Navarrette spoke of here. The Democrats know that Latinos, just like blacks, are socially conservative but don't vote that way, and that's why they're in such a rush to legalize the illegal immigrants that are here now. I am not surprised that Lydia Camarillo would say the Republicans pushed Voter ID because of this, even if it's true, because a little Google-fu showed her to be just another Democrat party hack.

The fact is, though, that according to certain exit polls, Latinos voted Democrat in the last presidential election by a pretty big margin. Let's see Ruben Navarrette explain that one. For the record, I don't think it was because of the reasons Bill Richardson cited. I think it very well could have had more to do with this, which, interestingly enough, the Express-News cut out of the column before it went on mySA:

Latinos do want universal health coverage and pre-kindergarten classes for their children, she (Camarillo -- ed.) noted.
I don't know how opposing the first could have that much to do with opposing the second, because I'd think that a lot of more conservative voters don't think pre-kindergarten is another arguably unaffordable entitlement as universal healthcare is -- but that's ultimately an argument of degree, because what Camarillo was getting at was that Latinos are a more liberal voting bloc. To what extent that is we will see, but over the short term it doesn't look so good.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Overheard in conversation...

Context: I am hungry.

Me: Oh, you had to go and mention pigeon, didn't you? ;-)

Sabra: LMAO You can eat squab.

Me: Mmmm, baby bird. The only thing better would be freshly-clubbed baby seal.

Sabra: LMAO I love you! And you could make me a fur bra too!

I have truly gone to teh dark side...

In the category of "a picture is worth a thousand words"...

this mentality is what Leonard Pitts and his ilk offer no solutions to combating:

(thank you, Linoge)

No doubt he'd roll over for the simple solution, too...

Leonard Pitts, that is. No doubt he'd argue for keeping the status quo of the American welfare state and Americans' accompanying sense of entitlement vis-a-vis said state, and not weaning Americans off that sense of entitlement -- which makes his lambasting of the new Arizona immigration law and those who support it all the more ironic. And I'm sure he probably has no problem with peaceable, law-abiding citizens who carry guns being demanded to produce their papers, and they're as a group a good bit less threatening than illegal immigrants. Which makes his whinging about a "police state" so much hot air....

Monday, May 03, 2010

This might sound good...

...but how easy is it going to be? I would say it'll be impossible, at least in this order. The fact is that the socialist services are here, and if amnesty goes through, which it arguably has a good chance of doing right now, you and I both know what all those new voters are going to voting for -- yet more of those socialist goodies. I think what we need to be doing is weaning our own people off said socialist goodies and mentality before we start doing anything else. Whether that's possible at this point I honestly don't know, but that's the only way it's going to work. And the same could be said for minimum wage laws, the shrinking of the IRS and all that other stuff. Like Sailorcurt said in the comments there, as long as we live in the welfare state, we're going to have to control and limit immigration.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Just a note...

...for those of you who also read Bob S.

He said he was having technical difficulties, but he hopes to be back up and running soon.

Point to ponder... yesterday's protests, and an answer.

San Antonio and Dallas are about the same size, 1.3 million in San Antonio vs 1.2 for Dallas. Yet there were only 600 at a San Antonio protest yesterday, while some 20,000 showed up in Dallas. I asked my San Antonio native wife what she thought about the reasons for that and she had this to say:

Most of our Mexicans are law-abiding US citizens who fucking hate the wetbacks coming across the border and a) taking their jobs and b) making them look like shit to everyone else.
Makes sense to me. I would really like the media to track down more of them...

It's always someone else's fault.

First it was Bill Clinton saying it, and now it's Barack Obama...

In a blunt caution to political friend and foe, President Barack Obama said Saturday that partisan rants and name-calling under the guise of legitimate discourse pose a serious danger to America's democracy, and may incite "extreme elements" to violence.
Fuck him. Fuck him right in his arugula-munching ear. Those extreme elements are in their own damn echo chamber and they will just have to be held responsible for their own shit. I only speak for myself here, but I will be damned if I am held responsible for acts that are not my own. This is nothing more than Chicago-style thuggery dressed up in the flowery rhetoric that empty suit's so famous for.

And how about that straw man? Who, pray tell, is saying that all government is inherently bad? I don't see the tea partiers clamoring for no government, just smaller government. I don't see them calling for the disbanding of the military or anything else authorized by the Constitution. (Which, of course, brings another thing to mind -- it's not government agencies that build and maintain those roads. And what Constitutionally-authorized role does government have in funding those researchers?)

As for government being painted as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, yeah, well, people started doing that long before 2009. Why in the hell did the Constitution put so many limits on it? Because the people who wrote that document knew that government as an institution was not a benevolent entity. Hell, they had just fought a menacing, threatening foreign entity! Of course one could argue the government we have now is different, but I don't see how, considering the people who purport to represent us in Washington spend our money like there's no tomorrow on things it never should have been spent on.

With that in mind, ponder these words from Thomas Jefferson:

"This is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering... And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression."

As for the vaunted democracy...

"Democracies have been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death."--James Madison

We have the public debt now, and a shitload of it, thanks to the democracy championed by Dear Leader. The taxation's here too. How long till the wretchedness and oppression? And as for those opposing ideas? Heard 'em a thousand times, found 'em to be lacking very single time. What now?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

That's not the only thing that'd stop 'em...

....from coming to the beaches...

In conservative northwestern Florida, where Republican politician Sarah Palin's battle cry "Drill, Baby, Drill" is still visible on car bumpers, some are reconsidering their support of offshore drilling as a growing spill in the Gulf of Mexico drifts closer to shore.
Charter captain Jim McMahon, who spent Thursday catching cobia and King Mackerel, said the spill changed his mind.
"I am pessimistic about this," he said. "It could be devastating to the fishing and tourism industry. People aren't going to come to a beach if they have to step through tar balls."

Indeed, but people also aren't going to come to the beach if gas is $4.50 a gallon and they have to spend their vacation money on trifling things such as food and utilities.

Hey, at least they didn't have guns, right?

I bet you know exactly where I am going with this...

A San Antonio man was convicted Friday of helping his younger brother abduct a woman who then was raped, burned and had her teeth pulled out during an hours-long torture session.
...but I'm still going to do it.

You know what Kirk Gaither is? Kirk Gaither is yet another creature that Paul Helmke, Abby Spangler, Josh Sugarmann, Michael Beard, Josh Horwitz, et al. seem to have no problem with walking the streets, free to predate at will as long as they allegedly can't get their hands on guns. Not only that, but they would have also left his victim with little more than her bare hands to defend herself from her attackers until someone else with a gun showed up to rectify the situation -- and this is assuming his victim ever would have been able to get ahold of this other person with a gun. Yet again, this is why I think every one of those people are evil to the core and deserve to be defeated by any means necessary.

What if it didn't run?

Houston mayor and Texas gubernatorial candidate Bill White:

"And I have always, on those coyotes, as soon as, as soon as they see me, and I am coming along, I've seen them on a bicycle, they run away," White said. "But you know, I don't know. Different folks.
"To me, I would not, I don't intend to be afraid of coyotes."
Yeah, well, what happens when you run up on one who doesn't run, Bill? You gonna kill it with your bare hands? And I'm sure Rick Perry isn't afraid of coyotes either, considering he can actually defend himself and whoever's with him against them. I'd love to see what all these people would've been saying had Perry let that coyote kill his little girl's dog. You and I both know they'd all have brought down the wrath of God on him.

"He hates dogs! Oh teh noooes! How could he let his little girl see something like that! Oh, what an evil, eeevil man!"