Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'd be interested to see...

...whether this really was an automatic rifle used here...

The teenage son of a Harris County deputy constable opened fire with his father's automatic rifle Tuesday after burglars forced their way into the family's home, authorities said.
...but in a way, it puts the lie to the contention that "you don't need an assault rifle to defend your home." Especially if said suspect's friends come back for some sort of revenge. At any rate, my hat is definitely off to that man for teaching his son the right thing to do. I am glad for them that this was not California, where guns have to be locked up around kids.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's always gotta be about race, doesn't it?

Leonard Pitts, in today's Houston Chronicle:

Yes, the War on Drugs is officially race-neutral. So were the grandfather clause and other Jim Crow laws whose intention and effect was nevertheless to restrict black freedom.
Reading the entire column, one is left to wonder: If the War On Some Drugs was race-neutral in actual practice instead of just in theory, would Leonard Pitts support it then? And why has he never said anything about the various and sundry gun control laws' roots in the Jim Crow era? I love how he and his fellow liberals claim to be all about civil rights and liberty, yet they always go back to their modern compatriots' authoritarianism in the cases in which their oxen are not being gored. Hey Leonard? How about opposing the War On Some Drugs because it's a threat to liberty in general rather than just because black people are (allegedly) disproportionately affected by the tactics used? Or would you really be peachy-keen with more white folks being railroaded for minor drug offenses just to make it fair? Good grief, how disgusting.

Any port in a storm, I guess...

...but to have a Supreme Court nominee say she respects a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution only because said respect is mandated by respect for court precedent is unconscionable. (As one commenter pointed out, Sonia Sotomayor said she was bound by precedent too, but she voted with the minority in McDonald v. Chicago. Which makes Elena Kagan's word worth even less.) And  "judges must respect a precedent unless it proves unworkable"? What about if said precedent was, quite clearly, morally wrong?

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's a great day to be an American...

...another racist gun control law on the way to being struck down, on the same day another racist Klansman dies. Yes, indeed.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Texas Democrat.... scarcely better than a California Democrat, apparently, at least when it comes to Second Amendment rights:

The Texas Democratic Convention is winding down with votes on resolutions that have included legalizing medical marijuana and requiring background checks on sales at gun shows.
The Democrats also have passed a resolution supporting a continuation of the ban on handguns on college campuses.
And apparently their supporters are just as anti-rights as they are, as seen by this comment:
Now if you are opposed to the resolution then you must feel that criminals and wife beaters should be allowed to have weapons along with the criminally insane.
Lovely. I do so tire of this line of reasoning. I really wish those on our side would take the converse line of reasoning and ask the Democrats why they support dangerous people walking free, or why they think that sort of thing is just peachy as long as they (allegedly) can't get a gun. We see them harping on this whole "gun show loophole" thing all the time, but -- and not that it matters in the big scheme of things -- has there ever been even one documented killing with a gun by a criminal who got it from a gun show or via a private sale? Of all the stories I have read, I have yet to see even one. I'm not saying they're not happening, but the Democrats seem to be making it to be a much bigger problem than it is.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yes, I still like this band...

...and this song, at Prime Country, Sirius Ch. 61: "Been a long time gone, no I ain't had a prayer since I don't know when..."

For those of you who don't remember (since it HAS been a while since that song was played on mainstream country radio from what I remember), that's "Long Time Gone," the lead-off single from the Dixie Chicks' 2002 album Home. That album was a marked departure from the Chicks' previous two albums, with a more rootsy, bluegrass flavor to it; it was, in my opinion, the best of the band's first three albums. I hate that Natalie Maines felt the need to shoot off her mouth on that London stage a few months after that album came out; I would love to have seen that album and more of its songs get more attention on country radio. Of course, I do remember it being said that if "Long Tim Gone" had been cut by anyone other than the Chicks it wouldn't have gotten played, let alone to the point that it would have been a No. 1 record. Call that another opportunity wasted, because with the Chicks' popularity they showed that even semi-traditional country was more than commercially viable...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Not considering the full meaning?

I would beg to differ:

Baldly implying an armed insurrection against the government — based loosely on the 2nd Amendment — tea partiers fail to understand that the moment that insurrection is activated, they would find themselves face to face with the most patriotic symbols and personages they seem to respect and admire the most: the U.S. military.
This is not necessarily true. There is much debate on whether the military would follow orders to put down armed revolt against the government if it turned tyrannical. Take this for what you think it's worth...
A Marine Corps officer wondered to himself whether such an order (to disarm the population -- ed.) would be carried out in the United States. He was surprised to see that most of his men would not follow an order to disarm the populace by force.
...but it's definitely something to ponder when you hear people talking about tea partiers allegedly talking about shooting "people they seem to respect and admire."

It's a long way to November...

...for the Democrats, too, though you'd never know it reading this story. I love how they try to make things look so rosy for the Democrats that way. Garnet Coleman might well be right that the majority of Texas Democrats are happy with the president, but considering Obama didn't even carry the state that really doesn't mean anything in the big scheme of things. And I fail to see how the Democrats are going to be making things look any better -- at least on the national level -- to make their platform more palatable on the state level. To the extent the Democrats win in Texas in the fall, I'd bet it's going to come via people voting against the Republicans, not for the Democrats. And it wouldn't at all surprise me, though I don't know that the Texas GOP would really get the message voters would be sending...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sporadic blogging ahead...

...we're going to East Texas for a few days. Stay tuned. :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What luck!

My lovely wife and I took a ride today, as it's been way too long since we did that. The plan was to ride around for a bit and stop for lunch We went across I-10 to Boerne, and then back across Highway 46 to New Braunfels. By the time we got to New Braunfels we were getting pretty hungry. Earlier in the day Sabra said she wanted some fried chicken livers. As we rode into New Braunfels we were talking about this place we ate at in Columbus called Schobel's and how we knew they would have them, but of course that did not do us much good since Columbus was about 120 miles away.

So we headed south on I-35, and I decided to turn around to see if I could find this barbecue place that was advertised on Highway 46 coming into town. Heading back north on I-35, not two minutes later what did I see a billboard for? Schobel's in New Braunfels! I had no clue they had one there. We had the all-you-can-eat buffet, with sausage, ham, chicken, pot roast and assorted veggies. It was very, very good. If you're ever in the area (Columbus OR NB) I highly recommend it. You can see the menu here.

Somebody apparently didn't read the column.

as evidenced by this comment:

Sherman is a real crackpot. What we need is fewer illegal immigrants.
The commenter is right about the need for fewer illegal immigrants, but the person who wrote the column being commented upon laid out a pretty good plan for ensuring exactly that -- less illegal immigration, that is. Among other things, he called for:

•  Foreign nationals being required to hold jobs, undergo background checks and pay certain fees, and being issued a green card with an embedded microchip;
•  Strict policing of the border by the military; and
• Illegal immigrants being given amnesty in exchange for a $2500 penalty fee, with said illegals being subject to the same conditions by which foreign nationals must abide to enter the country and any illegal who hasn't registered with the government within a year being subject to deportation.

And then there is this:
The new regime, however, would make citizenship a much higher hurdle, ensuring an extensive knowledge of this nation's laws, history, culture and fluency in English. Further, unless an immigrant becomes an American citizen, they would not be entitled to participate in Social Security or Medicare, even if they pay into them - another incentive to become a citizen. And, there would be another trade-off for a more liberal immigration policy: namely, a constitutional amendment abolishing the right of a child born in the U.S. to gain automatic citizenship. 
I can hear the cries of the illegal immigrant lobby now, as well as those of the big-L Libertarians. And, well, in this case that'd be a sign that whoever proposed such a plan is definitely on the right-track -- and we will never see such a plan being put into place in the United States, with the politicians pandering to that illegal immigrant lobby as they do.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The headline says it all, doesn't it?

As does the lead paragraph, here:

Obama spill panel big on policy, not engineering
WASHINGTON — The panel appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is short on technical expertise but long on talking publicly about "America's addiction to oil." One member has blogged about it regularly.
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that piker in the White House would put a bunch of ideologues in charge who know more about gushing tired old platitudes than about what causes oil spills, but it's still quite disheartening.

Layers and layers of fact-checkers!

...or, the Dallas Police Department issues revolvers as duty weapons?

A Dallas police officer who fired a gun in a squad car during a drunken off-duty incident faces a misdemeanor discharging a weapon charge.
While the car was in motion, Beemer demanded that the officer stop as she tried to open the door. Then she pulled a revolver from her ankle holster and fired into the floorboard. No one was injured.
Damn, that's pretty old-school right there. And I'd think the issuance of a revolver as a duty weapon would show the contention that the criminals are in any way outgunning the police as the filthy lie that it is. Why? Because however much of a disadvantage you're going to be at with 12 to 15 shots before reloading, you'll be at that much more of a disadvantage with only six or seven shots before you have to reload. So which is it? Can the police keep the criminals at bay with revolvers? Or did those layers and layers of fact-checkers go back to an old term that doesn't fit?

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Hey! Denying their rights is OUR job!"

...or, I think Bob King is reading something into Toyota's decision that isn't there:

Toyota's announcement that it will resume construction of a car factory in Mississippi was a much-needed piece of good news for both the state struggling with persistent unemployment and the automaker trying to recover some goodwill after a recall crisis bruised its reputation.
But the decision drew fire from America's largest auto union, which accused Toyota of shifting production from a union plant to a nonunion facility.
UAW President Bob King pledged to step up efforts to organize nonunion workers at Toyota factories and those run by other foreign automakers in the U.S. King, who was elected to head the union this week, used his acceptance speech on Thursday to accuse Toyota of shifting jobs to a location where it can pay lower, nonunion wages. He also said the move was designed to scare workers at Toyota's other U.S. factories.
"We're going to pound on Toyota until they recognize the First Amendment rights of those workers to come into the UAW," King said at the UAW national convention in Detroit.
Recognize what, again? Nowhere did I see in this story that Toyota was denying workers in Mississippi or anywhere else their right to unionize. It's arguable that Toyota workers wouldn't get paid as much in Mississippi anyway because the cost of living is probably much lower in Mississippi than in California. I think Bob King is just pissed off because Mississippi is a right-to-work state, which means he can't legally enter into an agreement with Toyota to force employees to join his union as a condition of employment. If I was in his position I'd be pissed off too -- but, well, I don't think people should have to join the union to work someplace if they feel it's not in their best interests.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mama ain't ALWAYS right...

Sitting here listening to Steve Earle..."Mama says a pistol is the devil's right hand..."

Me: "I wonder if he also believed Mama when she told him if he made a face it'd freeze that way."

Sabra: "He also can't figure out why his palms aren't hairy."

I tell you, that woman riffs off what I say like no one else...

"Authorized Journalist" mentality on display...

...Several months ago, I saw an interview with Kutcher in which he declared: “We can and will create our media.” By “we,” Kutcher was talking about anyone who subscribes to the belief that their views and opinions are just as valuable as the views and opinions of media professionals who have the benefit of editors, producers, fact-checkers and tons of experience.

Put another way, this tribe believes that the views and opinions of columnists, radio talk-show hosts, TV commentators and other pundits are no more valuable than what you pick up from Twitter, Facebook or the scores of nameless, faceless individuals who blog feverishly.
...what most people don't understand is that much of what you get from the media doesn't just come out of thin air. It comes through endless reporting, research, thinking, experience, analyzing, interviewing stakeholders and processing feedback from readers, listeners and viewers.
Experience doing what, exactly? Many journalists don't have much experience in any other fields besides journalism, as that was their first career choice. That's exactly 180 degrees counter to what I've heard makes a good journalist -- that is, experience in other fields besides journalism. This is where the beauty of the blogosphere lies, in that one can get more points of view than just those from spokespersons with certain agendas due to the wide variety of professions represented therein. And fact-checking? Analysis? If people like Ruben Navarrette actually did that sort of thing, David Codrea never would have had to say word one (or many fewer words, at any rate) about the "Authorized Journalists." That's not to say that mainstream media's product is completely worthless, but by and large I still don't understand just what makes Ruben Navarrette's opinion worth any more than mine on, say, an "assault weapons ban," especially when he has cast those of us against such a ban as "those who love their guns more than they love Mexico." He's not being any more fair or accurate than he describes bloggers as being. And I think that to lump blogs in with Facebook and Twitter is outrageously unfair to those who know the topics about which they blog. I guess, once again, my expectations were too high, because I expected better from Navarrette than this.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Need cheap rotgut vodka NOW...

because I want to be sure I never get to be that bad.

Those of you with Sirius or XM satellite radio know they have some rather off-the-wall names for the channels -- The Roadhouse, Classic Vinyl, Hair Nation, etc. Anyway, overheard just a few minutes ago as we were pulling into the driveway listening to Hair Nation:

Sabra: "I wonder how much alcohol they had to drink to come up with those channel names."

Me: "I dunno. How much do you think they had to drink to come up with the slogan 'We play your kind of country'? Isn't that what they say on KJ97?"

Sabra: "That (level of banality) can only be achieved with a lifetime of teetotaling."

Yes, indeed...

"...they're not as backward, as they used to be..."

...or, My expectations are apparently too high, because I honestly expected better from Brad Paisley than this:

"It's a very smart, progressive bunch, these people that make country music," he says. "They're not country hicks sitting behind a desk with a big cigar giving out record deals and driving round in Cadillacs with cattle horns on the front grille: it's a bunch of really wonderful, open-minded, great people down on Music Row that make this music."
Goodness. I don't think Paisley could have been more offensive if he had made an honest effort to do so. I am at a complete loss as to where he would get off saying something like that. Perhaps I had higher expectations because of Paisley's (allegedly) traditional leanings and respect for the old country. But really, Brad? Big cigar? Cattle horns on the front grille? Is there anyone who really, honestly thinks that's the way deals go down in Nashville?

And "open-minded"? What the hell does that have to do with anything? The only time I ever see that phrase come up in a country music discussion is when I am told that acts like Rascal Flatts and Sugarland are "country, just a new kind of country." And, well, it honestly pisses me off; it's like they're saying, "if you don't agree with me, you're closed-minded." It's almost as if Paisley is saying, "It's not just that twangy, whiny shit anymore, y'all." Which is quite ironic, given the original meaning of the term "progressive country."

In light of that, I wonder if Brad would also think '80s rocker Kenny Loggins going country is progressive. It wouldn't surprise me so much if he did. (We won't even get into the fact that there really aren't that many singers over 40 who have managed to keep their songs in the top 40 on country radio playlists these days, or what happened with the old guard when all the new singers came in the early '90s...)

(h/t Country California)

Sorry, but no...

this was most certainly not an accident:

When Justin Cardenas emerged from a 14th-floor room at the Emily Morgan Hotel two years ago with blood smeared on his shirt and hands, he immediately acknowledged committing a horrible accident while playing with his best friend's gun, authorities said.
The two had just checked in at the downtown hotel for a get-together with friends later that night, Cardenas, 23, told authorities. The friends were alone in the room when Halsell took out the clip of his .45-caliber handgun and put the firearm to his head, taunting Cardenas to pull the trigger, the defendant said.

Thinking it was a joke and the gun was unloaded, Cardenas said he pulled the trigger. It fired.
What's Rule No. 3 again? Never point the gun at anything you don't want to put a hole in? I don't know if the guy who pulled the trigger knew the rules, but that still doesn't change the fact that he pulled the trigger of a gun that was aimed at someone's head. He deserved exactly what he got. And, well, his dead friend was just as stupid. Sounds to me like just some more chlorination of the gene pool.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Overheard in McDonald's...

...which is, of course, supposedly a kid-friendly restaurant, early this afternoon:

"I met a gin-soaked barroom queen in Memphis, she tried to take me upstairs for a ride..."

I do love the Stones, and that song in particular, too. It was just quite a surprise to hear it amongst the, shall we say, more innocent oldies from the '50s and '60s...

Some days the comic title's quite apt.

I missed this the other day, but it's still quite timely.

I don't understand where Wiley Post was coming from here. I could be wrong, but I am thinking that Constitutionalists and tea partiers by and large aren't advocating a "return to the original Constitution," but rather being more faithful to the principles inherent to the one we have now. I guess I shouldn't have expected any better from him, but I still find it to be appallingly disingenuous.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

David Codrea asks a good question...

Why are 'researchers' using Ozzy Osbourne's ramblings to push for more 'gun control'?
If you read the column, you will see Codrea mentions an op-ed in the Washington Post from Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig. What's the significance of those names? I don't know if you remember my mention of them a few months back, but here it is:
...I am well aware of the John Lott controversy, but the thing is, his findings have been replicated by several other studies — some of which were undertaken by people who set out to prove him wrong. If I remember correctly, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck was one of those who set out to prove Lott wrong — instead, Kleck came out with a study that at least one of his fellow criminologists lauded as methodologically sound. And then we have the case of Duke professor Phillip Cook and Georgetown professor Jens Ludwig, who with a Clinton Justice Department grant undertook a study of their own as they along with the Clinton DoJ thought the Kleck DGU figure was too high...well, guess what? Their study produced about the same results as did Kleck's study, and in fact Cook and Ludwig conceded their methodology might have been too conservative and that Kleck's figure of 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year could very well be almost doubled, to 4.7 million defensive gun uses per year. Again, this was from researchers who got TAXPAYER MONEY to prove Kleck wrong....
So, to recap: Cook and Ludwig, the guys who basically said John Lott and Gary Kleck were lowballing annual defensive gun uses, took to the pages of the Washington Post peddling the same old tired, discredited arguments for gun control that they and their ilk have been peddling for the last 40-plus years. Now who are the bitter clingers, again?

And I will go on record as saying that I think Ozzy Osbourne is full of shit, even though I still love Black Sabbath.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Overheard in conversation...

...just now, as I was singing along with Charlie Robison's "Loving County":

Sabra: "There you go again with the woman-killing songs!" (I have a particular affinity for those, it seems -- "Walls of Huntsville," "Wanna Rock & Roll," etc.)

Me: "But his lover isn't the one who dies!"

Sabra: "But that's not the point!"

Hey, I tried...

They may not understand it, but a lot of their readers do.

...or, Way to gratuitously slam those who carry, guys...

In explaining his recent lethal encounter with a coyote, Perry has acknowledged he has a fear of snakes. That’s perfectly understandable, even if his practice of jogging with a laser-sighted sidearm isn’t.
Yeah, I can't understand it either. I mean, like I said when this was in the news, it's not like anything bad ever happens out on the hiking trail, right? And if you read the entire editorial, you will see that entire paragraph was really quite out of place, Anything to bash the governor, right?

Friday, June 11, 2010

How about teaching them to do things right?

But then, putting crying kids on the stand always seems to serve people like Silvia Rodriguez well:

Silvia Rodriguez, a 23-year-old graduate of Arizona State University who has been living in the state with an expired visa since she was two years old, said she has lived under a blanket of fear her entire life of being deported.

"I've never been called to or referred to as American. The only time I felt proud was when President Obama won his presidency, and for him to not step up and fulfill his promises really, really breaks a lot of promises," Rodriguez said.
I just really don't know what to say to this. I hate that Silvia Rodriguez has "lived under a blanket of fear her entire life," but I don't understand why situations like hers warrant letting all the people off who have illegally entered the United States. One wonders what her never being called or referred to as American has to do with any of this. As for the "crying kid" remark, well...
Catherine Figueroa, a 10-year-old girl whose parents were arrested and detained for three months, said through tears that she lives in fear of law enforcement agents, and called on President Obama to help repeal the law passed in her state.

"I want to tell President Obama to stop putting parents in jail," Figueroa said through tears. "All they want is a better life for their kids."
 If we're going to let crying kids influence our decisions on which laws to enforce, we might as well just call it quits now.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Too hip for its own good...

...or, call this another example of Kid Rock not living up to his potential:

The CMT Music Awards usually skew lighthearted and with the rowdy Kid Rock hosting, things quickly got interesting.
The good times started immediately when he was joined on stage by surprise guest Hank Williams Jr., who rarely attends awards shows, Trace Adkins, Zac Brown, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Martina McBride and Kellie Pickler for a medley of "Cowboy," "Bawitdaba" and "Good Ol' Boys."
"Cowboy"? "Bawitdaba"? Better if Kid Rock and Jamey Johnson, Zac Brown and maybe Randy Houser and Kellie Pickler had stayed up there and done a medley of their favorite George Jones or Merle Haggard songs. Kid Rock's talent and respect for the old country shows him to be better than this. Why pander to an audience that doesn't like real country music? Oh, yeah, I forgot: This is Nashville and fan-voted awards we're talking about here.

I can see where this blog could go.

One of the first blogs I ever read was a Houston-based blog called -- what else?-- blogHOUSTON. Blogger Laurence Simon called the site "an excellent rolling rebuttal to the Houston Chronicle's horrid op-ed pages and news coverage." I could almost see this site going that way as I keep buying the dead-tree edition of the San Antonio Express-News. Why is that, you say? (In addition to my ongoing critiques of Scott Stroud, Jan Jarboe Russell, et al.) Well, with all that that went on in San Antonio and South Texas yesterday -- the flooding in Comal County, Mir Imran's establishment of three new companies bringing a good bit of high-paying jobs to San Antonio, Rick Perry's urging Bill White to drop out of the governor's race because of a potential conflict of interest -- what does the Express-News copy desk decide to make the day's top story? Across the strip. at the very top of the page? This:

Huskers set to shuck the Big 12
I could understand that if this were the Lincoln Journal Star or the Omaha World-Herald, but San Antonio? The only connection to the Big 12 that San Antonio has is the fact that the football championship game has been played here now and then -- three times since the conference's inception, most recently in 2007. Yet it was the biggest news of the day in the city's major daily paper. Good grief. I don't know if the Express News' circulation numbers have declined as precipitously as many papers' numbers have, but if that's the best layout they can do on such a big news day, it wouldn't surprise me.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

All they did was put a gang of terrorists in charge!

Believe it or not, that is one of the main thrusts of this letter:

(Charles) Krauthammer never mentioned the suffering of the inhabitants of the even smaller Gaza Strip (population, 1.5 million; area, 254 square miles) when their only crime is that they elected a government of Hamas.
Yep. All they did was elect a gang of terrorists whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel and driving the Jews into the sea. Why on earth would the Israelis want to marginalize such people?

Speaking of job creation...

...they're also making it harder on the federal level now. These entrepreneurs not only follow the proper channels to come to this country, but they also work to create jobs when they get here -- and now the damn feds want to make it that much harder for them to do that? One would almost think the government was on the side of the people who willingly break the law.

And the anti-gambling insanity continues...

...only now, people's jobs are apparently in danger, because casino gambling is baaaad, hmmkay?

A plan to rescue the struggling Texas horse racing industry could end up killing live racing at Retama Park.
Under the plan, Retama and Sam Houston Race Park would give up live thoroughbred racing for one year in 2011 by transferring their dates and purse funds to the state's largest Class I track, Lone Star Park, in order to establish a single, 65-day schedule next year at the Grand Prairie facility.
Texas racing officials say the plan would increase daily purses to about $280,000 at Lone Star, boosting efforts to make it more competitive with tracks in Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma that offer gaming options — such as slot machines — not available under Texas law.
This is something to keep in mind when Rick Perry and the Republicans in the Texas Legislature talk about Texas being a great place for job creation. Apparently not all legal industries are welcome here. I don't think allowing casino gambling is going to be any kind of panacea to what ails the Texas job market, but the last thing we need to be doing is creating an environment in which we lose jobs to bordering states because a vocal minority of Texans doesn't want it. I know there are more factors at play here, including the influence from those border states who want those Texas dollars to keep coming to them instead of staying here, but the opposition of Rick Perry and the Republicans in the Texas Legislature doesn't help matters.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

So now we know...

why Helen Thomas was anti-gun: She apparently thought neo-Nazi skinheads should be able to bash Jews' heads in with boots, bats, pipes, etc. without the threat of meaningful reprisal. Like Jonah Goldberg said, "Spare me Lanny Davis's wounded outrage. Everyone knows she is a nasty piece of work and has been a nasty piece of work for decades."

Details, details...

...or, Same great blog, just a new location!

Back when Sabra and I met, we both agreed that for varying reasons if things worked out between us, I would be the one to make the move to San Antonio. That wasn't a big issue for me; between 1998 and 2001 I moved three times, from Texarkana to Bryan-College Station, from B-CS to the North Texas town of Sulphur Springs, and finally from there to the Beaumont-Port Arthur area. So I really wasn't any stranger to relocating, as you see; when I did it, I did it big. And I loved San Antonio from the first time I visited the city; from the first time I came to see Sabra, it felt like coming home. And I knew I wanted to come back as soon as I could, so I did just that. We're still in a bit of a transition here, but I'll be blogging as often as I can. I don't think it'll be slowing much if at all, but at any rate, here I am in San Antonio, and here I will stay. ;-)

UPDATE: Albatross in comments suggested a name change. I had thought about doing that, yes. So I went ahead and did it. URL will stay the same for now, but the new title is at the top now. I trust "Alamo City" is an acceptable nick for my new city, eh?

I am not understanding something...

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with raping a 13-year-old neighbor who got pregnant and burying the body after the girl performed a home abortion.

Lisk was arraigned Monday on charges of rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse. He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Concealing the death of a child? Abuse of a corpse? I thought it wasn't a person until it was born...

Monday, June 07, 2010

Lucky me...

We had to take my middle stepdaughter to the doctor today, for a spider bite. Sabra told her best friend about us being called back to the exam room over an hour BEFORE the actual appointment (though I should note we spent another 45 minutes in said room for what amounted to about a two-minute exam):

"At least it got us away from Oprah."

Which, indeed, it did...but lucky me, I was in my own little world with Iron Maiden courtesy of my iPod, so I really had nothing from which to be rescued as far as that went. ;-)

(Speaking of which, Albatross, you were right about Powerslave. I also liked "Flash of the Blade" and "The Duellists," and "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)" is one of the finest instrumentals I've ever had the privilege of hearing. I can see this album will be played quite frequently...)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Why can't Americans do those jobs?

...or, Jan Jarboe Russell tries to make a coherent argument for what I suppose is some sort of amnesty but FAILS miserably:

San Antonians understand the economic consequences of unfair immigration laws. They are: Without workers, crops rot in fields; young undocumented students with graduate degrees from U.S. universities face deportation; and many manufacturing plants sit idle. One statistic tells the story: The U.S. economy needs about 600,000 low-skill workers a year. About 5,000 visas are issued a year.
Crops rot and manufacturing plants sit idle? I would think those crops rot because the people who grow them get those government subsidies too late. And yes, THAT was partially tongue-in-cheek. But those manufacturing plants are by and large sitting idle now because of the bad economy. Either way, I don't understand why Jan Jarboe Russell posits that the only way those jobs can be done is by illegal immigrants. I understand there are a lot of factors at play here, but there isn't any reason those jobs can't be done by Americans who are here now, especially with the economy the way it is now. I know how the old saying goes, that immigrants "do the jobs Americans won't do," but we need to get away from that. And the sooner the better.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

No shortage of hateful, judgmental people in the world, is there?

(FOUL LANGUAGE ALERT. I don't normally talk like this, but I don't take kindly to people talking shit about my wife.)

Click. Read through the thread. Ponder the judgments of those who have never met my wife in real life. I don't remember who first said this, but I first encountered it via Kurt Hofmann at Armed and Safe, and it applies here quite well:
"I believe that being despised by the despicable is as good as being admired by the admirable."

And then, there was this line from Guns 'n' Roses' "Shotgun Blues," which reading that thread also evoked:
"You think anyone with an IQ of over 15, is gonna believe your shit, fuckhead?"

Nothin' but a bunch of fuckin' Mean Girl harpy cunts who never escaped that middle school mentality. It's a sad thing to see, too.

I should note that they're slinging yet more word vomit about me now. Big words I don't understand? Ohhh, if that half-witted snot only knew what I once did for a living and the recognition I got for it. People and their propensity to mouth off about shit they don't know anything about.... And there are more things I could say about said word vomit -- but it'd be more or less a re-wording of what I said above, being despised by the despicable and all that.

I-35 is the quickest way out of there, Cal...

I guess I should have expected this, coming as it does from a big-city academic, but even so I still have to shake my head...

The biggest liability for (Houston Mayor Bill) White is his past membership in a New York-based gun control group. White says he resigned after finding its positions too restrictive, but his participation in Mayors Against Illegal Guns riled up those who live to preserve Texas' pro-gun culture.
"Anywhere in the civilized world you would be able to make the argument that everybody should be able to be against illegal guns. But we're not in the civilized word. We're in Texas," said Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson.
You'd think Cal Jillson would have done his research -- because if he had, he'd have seen that it isn't nearly as simple as "be(ing) against illegal guns." If he'd done his research he'd know that the group in question advocated banning importation of certain guns and ammunition because they were allegedly "non-sporting," without actually defining the term. Not that it would ultimately have mattered, because either way the group would never have stopped there; it would have basically said such was "a good first step, but we must do more!" And we all know that "more" would have included things like semi-auto rifle bans and onerous licensing and registration schemes. I thought it was funny how Jillson didn't really say anything about White himself resigning because he found MAIG's positions too restrictive. Maybe Jillson thought it was a purely political move, but at any rate, if he thinks Texas is "not in the civilized world," it's worth asking why he's still here.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Observations from the road

Most folks in Texas ARE a cut above in every way, but they still can't drive for shit in the rain. I drove through a couple of downpours west of Houston yesterday, going 65 mph and I STILL had people riding my ass. What the hell? Do those people not recognize their self-destructive behaviors? Or do they just not care?

As much as my music tastes have broadened, death metal and its associated subgenres STILL isn't my thing. I heard Children of Bodom covering Iron Maiden's "Aces High" rolling down the interstate between Sealy and Columbus. The instrumental part of it was still pretty good, but when those guttural shrieks came in...well, let's just say I was not impressed, especially since I had heard the original a few minutes earlier.

What was I doing on the road, you ask? Well, more details later...but it all boils down to this: I am in San Antonio for good now. :-)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

More accurate headline?

Headline to this story:

Amid spill anger, Obama asks cut in oil tax breaks
Call what I'm about to do here "spin" if you like, but I defy you to tell me it's not right:

Despite economy not fully recovered from extended recession, Obama presses for tax increases
Because we all know good and well this is what that boils down to, right? We all know those new taxes are ultimately going to be paid by the American people, right?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"...have we come too far to turn around?"

...or, Yet MORE vintage Queensryche...just because it's my blog.

One of my selections on the iPod last night at work was 1984's The Warning. This was the band's first full-length album, released about a year after the self-titled EP, and I think it probably showed Queensryche at its most progressive; every song on this album is one more reason I am baffled at people lumping the band in with the other "hair metal" bands of the day such as Poison, Bon Jovi, Winger, etc. Geoff Tate and his bandmates really were coming up with some cutting-edge metal back then. Contrary to the go-to glam topics of getting drunk and laid and other such pretty-boy posturing, almost every song on The Warning is rife with science-fiction imagery, mostly tales of apocalyptic visions and war, and even a glimpse at a future totalitarian dystopia -- a lot like early Metallica and Megadeth, albeit with a sound that was not so raw and in-your-face. I'd been planning to get this cd at some point anyway, but "NM 156," the aforementioned totalitarian tale, was the song that finally prompted me to get a sense of urgency about doing that, about a month or so ago. I've heard it said that the song was inspired by George Orwell's 1984, and a listen to the song certainly gives one that idea:

"Erratic survey, freethinking not allowed/My hands shake, my pushbuttons silence the outside crowd/One world government has outlawed war among nations/Now social control requires population termination."
The whole album is great -- it's probably my favorite of the classic Queensryche remasters up to Promised Land -- and "NM 156" is perhaps the biggest reason for that. Good, good stuff. Have a listen.

And THIS is a special kind of stupid.

Calling your ex-girlfriend from a CITY PHONE and threatening to kill her if she doesn't drop the charges against you. I don't know if calls from those lines are recorded, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were. On a more serious note, though, I'd say that guy was not only stupid, but also quite dangerous. I wouldn't be surprised if he followed through on that threat if ever he got out of jail -- which he very well might, of course, and he won't be able to buy a gun when he gets out. But you know he'll get one anyway, or he might even get a bat or knife and go at her. I hope for her sake she realizes that and acts accordingly to protect herself.

That's a special kind of greedy, right there.

Suing the railroad company because the engineer couldn't stop the train on a dime, that is. I understand the family of that kid was grieving after what happened to him, but I don't understand why they couldn't accept that the kid was injured because of his own bad choices -- or someone else's, in the case that it was the family of someone besides the driver.

And if it was not the driver's family that sued, I don't understand why they could not have sued the driver of the truck instead, because he was the one who made the conscious choice to drive in front of the train. Honestly, 8,000 tons of steel going 55 mph? It's not rocket surgery to figure out such a thing is not going to handle like a Ferrari. And I almost understand Travis Benke saying, "we’ve been killing people since Day 1," but for the fact that, ultimately, it was the fault of the people running in front of the trains that they met the fates they did. I could have sworn that one of the first things I learned in driver's ed back in the day was that the train always had the right of way. Even if I didn't, again, it's not hard to figure out that it's practically impossible for the train to avoid a collision. I suppose acknowledging that would take some sense of personal responsibility, though, and we all know the aversion people have to that.


What's this, you say? A mass shooting where?

British Prime Minister David Cameron says at least five people have been killed in a shooting spree in rural England.
This cannot be! Handguns are banned there, and guns you CAN own there are heavily regulated! Why, it's almost as if gun control laws don't work!

You never know. That story does say AP, but they HAD to have gotten it from The Onion...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Yeah, I'm goin' to hell...

...because after I read this, I thought, "I wonder if he was listening to any of that devil-worshippin' music and if that had anything to do with it?" ;-) It is a sad thing, though. I do really wish them all the best.

While I'm at it, speaking of hell, I do wonder what Tipper, whose PMRC accused Iron Maiden of promoting Satanism with "The Number of the Beast," would say to this...

The mariner's bound to tell of his story
To tell this tale wherever he goes
To teach God's word by his own example
That we must love all things that God made.
...from "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Did she or any of those other committee members EVER acknowledge that they were full of shit?

And the pot calls the kettle black...

...right here:

(Sarah) Palin posted on Facebook last week that she wondered what (Joe) McGinniss would gather "while overlooking Piper's bedroom, my little garden, and the family's swimming hole?"
McGinniss called Palin's comments "ugly innuendo" and "revolting."
Ugly innuendo? Revolting? Says the man who's going to write a book about Sarah Palin whether or not she agrees to say a word to him? What's he going to be doing, going through her trash?

What's this?'s almost if the market is punishing BP!

BP lost billions more in market value Tuesday as its shares fell steeply on the first trading day since the weekend failure of its latest bid to cap the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Billions more in market value. Quite possibly as much as, if not more than, the government would be extorting out of the rest of us via Thomas Friedman's "carbon tax." And, again, we haven't even gotten to the carbon tax's deleterious effects on the rest of the country. The way things are is not perfect, but I think it's far preferable to the way those want it who would use the government to influence Americans' behavior, as Friedman and his ilk do.