Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Apparently we've come so far around...

...that we're going in the other direction.

You know what's just an indescribably sad commentary on American society? That a woman like Elizabeth Gilbert can write a book like Eat, Pray, Love and not be ostracized as the selfish, narcissistic, sociopathic ingrate she shows herself to be. Not only has she not been ostracized, but she has actually been painted as some sort of sympathetic figure; and now her ode to selfishness is a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts. What would the reaction to that book have been if it had been written by a man -- if the damn thing even got published? I guess it just goes to show that whole "equal treatment" thing only goes so far with some people...well, apparently a LOT of people, if the success of Gilbert's book is any indication.

And we're supposed to think that gays getting married is a threat to the institution? All righty then...

They ask, and I offer my opinion...

...from Arlington, Texas, a referral from the Google search: "why is kscs the only radio station in dallas area playing breath you take by george strait".

Why? Well, I'd wager it's because 95.9 The Ranch doesn't play mainstream country, and 99.5 the Wolf sucks ever since they blew it up back in late '08. How's that?

Talk about making lemonade out of lemons...

Only thing I can say to this is, God bless America:

Antoine Dodson's angry, head-shaking TV interview about an attempted rape against his younger sister in her bed has turned into a chart-topping iTunes song and YouTube hit and made the 24-year-old Alabama college student an Internet sensation.
Dodson plans to use the money from the "Bed Intruder Song" selling for $1.29 a download and T-shirt sales to move his family out of the Lincoln Park housing project where they say the attack happened. But in an era when a viral video clip can rocket anyone to stardom, some suggest that Dodson and his family are being used and that his online rant plays to racial stereotypes.
Wow, I for one never would have expected that. It's only right that Antoine Dodson get the money from the song made out of his TV rant, of course, but  I don't know if I'd agree about the "playing to racial stereotypes" thing. We all have different ways of expressing ourselves. If that was a family member of mine that had gotten raped I'd be spewing all kinds of vitriol -- if, of course, said rapist managed to not die of his sucking chest and head wounds. I do hope Mr. Dodson buys himself a good-quality firearm to protect his family with, though -- and stays the hell out of Chicago. (Like I told my wife one night, "I'm sure parts of Chicago are really nice. Of course, I'm sure parts of Tehran are really nice too...")

Now that I think about it, though, isn't it ironic that people are concerned about racial stereotypes here but (as far as I can tell) never said much of anything about another, much more direct play on a racial stereotype?

UPDATE! Thanks to Dave at Silver Creek 78250 for posting this:

It strikes me as relatively tame, at least as far as playing to any racial stereotypes. Pretty cool. I got a huge kick out of it. ;-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

If I had written that book...

Blog (and Facebook) friend Mike W. made the observation that the movie based on John Grisham's The Runaway Jury was changed; that is, they changed the company being sued from a tobacco company to a gun manufacturer. I know well that the idea for suing the latter came from the suits against the former, and from what I remember the book was full of anti-tobacco propaganda; however, I still wonder why (if indeed he did) Grisham allowed the filmmakers to make that change. If it'd been my book there wouldn't have been enough money in the world to get me to let them do that.What an ugly change, especially after A Time to Kill. No doubt they'd have made much of the "easy availability" of full-auto M-16s...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Your bitter irony for the weekend...

...and I do mean bitter...the Rev. Al Sharpton ranting, "This is our day! This is OUR day! And we're NOT gonna let them take that away from us!" when, if Martin Luther King Jr. were still alive, he would have wanted it to be everyone's day, no matter his or her race, color or creed. Would that someone would have asked Sharpton the question Bill Whittle was asking five years ago:

"Have you not met and talked and laughed with people who were funny, decent, upright, honest and honorable of every shade so that the very idea of racial politics should just seem like a desperate and divisive and just plain evil tactic to hold power?"

Wow, five years on...

...and New Orleans still gets all the attention, when points to the east were devastated to much the same extent as that city was by Hurricane Katrina. Several towns along the Mississippi coast -- Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport, and Biloxi -- were all heavily damaged. I seem to remember that Waveland, Pass Christian, and Long Beach were almost wiped off the map. But no one's talking about the citizens of those towns and how they're recovering. I wonder why that is. I realize more people were affected in Louisiana, but those three counties along the Mississippi coast are home to almost 400,000 people -- and of course Katrina's devastation didn't stop at those counties' northern boundaries. Don't the stories of the Mississippians' recovery deserve to be told to the nation too?

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Isn't this a fire hazard?

The big straw man Al Sharpton sets up here, that is:

"They have a right to rally. But what they don't have the right do is distort what Dr. King's dream was about," the Rev. Al Sharpton declared Friday. He called the tea party assembly an anti-government action and has organized a counter rally also near the site of King's historic speech.
So the tea partiers are anarchists now? I don't mean to say there's anything particularly wrong with anarchism, but I don't understand why Al Sharpton can't at least tell the undistorted truth about what the tea party is about -- SMALLER government, NOT no government at all -- other than, of course, the fact that Sharpton is an inveterate demagogue.

Speaking of inveterate demagoguery, how about this?

"As an experienced politician, I know that things do not happen by accident. If they happen, somebody planned it. And I say that someone planned to hijack the site and the message of Martin Luther King Jr. in an effort to use it against the very principles of inclusion that we talk about in America," said the Reverend Walter Fauntroy, who marched with King and was by his side during the speech forty-seven years ago.
"Fast forward now to August 28, 2010, and one has to admit that those who oppose our nation's vaunted ‘universal value of inclusion’ have seized the hallowed ground of the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of that watershed moment in time to promote their universal values of exclusion," (Fauntroy) says. "Their purpose is to turn the clock back to a time when, in America, black people and women, and native Americans and non-white immigrants had no rights to jobs and freedom that white men were 'bound to respect.'
I don't see how Glenn Beck's and Sarah Palin's smaller-government message promotes any value of exclusion. That's quite a message Fauntroy's promoting to American blacks, i.e., "Only a big, powerful, overreaching government can protect you." Talk about inclusion on his part -- that's insulting to damn near everyone, no matter his or her race.

It's insulting to blacks because it implies they can't look out for themselves and their own best interests -- it implies that they need government to do it for them.

It's insulting to whites, Hispanics and everyone else because it carries the implication that we are as blinded by racial hatred as we were 45 years ago.

And it's insulting to all those -- black, white or whatever other color -- who gave their freedoms or their lives to see to it that blacks were treated better in this country, because it implies their sacrifices were all for nothing, when an honest look at American society in 2010 clearly shows that not to be the case.

I don't mean to say that things are quite where they should be, but I don't think there's any question we have come a very long way in terms of race relations in this country. We still have a way to go, but I think Dr. King would be proud, even as he saw and observed the need for more. And I honestly don't think he would see a Leviathan federal government as the only thing ultimately standing between American blacks and firehoses, lynchings, etc. I think he might well have agreed with Thomas Jefferson that "a government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have." And I really think he would have liked what Beck and Palin were promoting because the idea of smaller government is ultimately all about personal responsibility and accountability. I mean, I'd really like to think MLK would have seen those properties as integral to the freedom he sought for blacks, because it could never be fully possessed any other way.

And, again, you will note there is not a word about King's niece speaking at Glenn Beck's event. You'd think any journalist truly worthy of the craft would have asked the good Reverend Fauntroy about that. I'm sure he has an opinion about it that he'd be more than willing to voice.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I say tuh-may-toe, you say tuh-mah-toe...

...or, Principled?

McCain need not muscle anyone out of the way to play the role for which he is uniquely fitted. He simply needs to set his own course and form his own ad hoc alliances, as he has always done, with a Tom Coburn on the right or a Russ Feingold on the left.
One of the conspicuous failings in the last few years has been the absence of a second party making principled decisions on when to support and when to oppose the president. McCain has the best opportunity - and the best credentials - to restore this.
One wonders, for example, what principles led John McCain (and Russ Feingold) to come up with that abomination to the Constitution known as campaign finance "reform." You know, the "reform" McCain defended by saying, "I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I’d rather have the clean government." It's all fine and good to be principled, but what if those principles are antithetical to those which the Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to defend -- and that millions of American soldiers have given so much to defend?

Quote of the day, banning lead ammo edition...

...from none other than Mr. David Codrea:

Let the environmentalcases run things, and before you know it they'll be banning dihydrogen monoxide.
Yes, indeed. I don't know why there seems to be such surprise coming from certain quarters, though, considering whom we elected. He came from Chicago, for crying out loud. Why would anyone NOT expect him and his people to get their agenda enacted by a bunch of unelected bureaucrats accountable to no one?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Of all the songs they could have played...

Sabra, Esther (my youngest stepdaughter) and I were at Armadillos for lunch earlier, with the jukebox playing. They had this cd on the jukebox, and someone played a cut from it. Of all the songs they could have played, guess which one they played? (Hint: The only damn CDB song everyone else plays.) I was more than a little nonplussed by that. I didn't get the chance to, but I should have played "In America" or "The Legend of Wooley Swamp." Next time I am there, I think I'll do that...

If she only had a brain...

...or, Kathleen Parker shows her ignorance once again, as she harps on divisions that have been in the American body politic going back to colonial times. One wonders if in her next column she'll bitch about the fact that the sun rises in the east. If Parker had half a brain and knew how to use it she'd have mentioned the fact that Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece will be speaking at the Glenn Beck rally and eschewing a competing rally by professional race-baiter Al Sharpton because she claims Sharpton is just stirring up hate and resentment. She also could have pointed out that no one race has an exclusive claim on MLK's legacy. I guess slamming Sarah Palin was a higher priority. Perhaps I shouldn't have expected better from her, but still I do. Damn me and my standards.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I still do like this song...

...even if it's from the album that's regarded in some quarters as the band's sellout album.

I've probably said this before, but Metallica's self-titled black album was my introduction to that band; I really like it, but after I got the band's earlier releases I discovered I liked Metallica as a thrash metal band a lot more than I like them as a hard rock band. (I got Load as a gift one year but I could count on one hand the times I've listened to it. Didn't even bother with Reload; nothing I heard off that album appealed to me.) Anyway, I heard "The Unforgiven" making the dinner run earlier; that's always been one of my favorite songs off that album, even if it was a ballad. I really should dig that cd out again...

That'd do a LOT of people good.


Also, if you've grown up never doing any hard work, don't expect to excel at it right away (or maybe ever) when you're an (alleged) "adult." Everyone should spend at least a couple of summers hauling hay or watermelons or something so you know what you're getting into.
Yes, indeed. I did that for about three summers in junior high school. Never threw it on the trailer, but I did drive the truck pulling the trailer -- and I also cut, raked and baled the hay. And I didn't do those last three on a tractor with an air-conditioned cab, either; but for the small top over the tractor's rollbar, I was fully exposed to the summer heat. I thought it was a blast because I got to drive, but it was hot and dusty as hell. It'll damn sure make you appreciate hard work -- and that office job you get if you're lucky later.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Way to support Texas music there, folks...

You might already know this, but I am an inveterate channel-surfer, even with the satellite radio. I left my iPod at home yesterday when I went to work and left the satellite radio at home with my wife, so I was left with terrestrial radio. So last night when I was driving home, I came upon Y100 playing Texas music just after 11. I remember hearing the Randy Rogers Band, Pat Green and Roger Creager. Good stuff, right? So I'm thinking, "Well, at least they play some Texas music, even if it is when everybody's asleep." Then I heard the deejay talking about the show...which he said was from 11 to 12 every Sunday night. Wow. One whole hour every week. Way to support the Texas-red dirt scene there, guys.

As if that wasn't bad enough...apparently the program director or whoever programs the music for that show considers 1990s NASHVILLE also-rans Little Texas to be worthy of inclusion on it. You'd think they could and would do better to promote Texas-red dirt music here. I guess they think the Texas music would scare off the tourists, so they play it when the tourists are sleeping off their buzzes. Pardonnez mon francais, but that's just fucking pathetic. (Yeah, Scott, I know I shouldn't expect any better, but I still do...)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Man, this says it all, doesn't it?

Commenter Mongol, in the comments to this post:

If someone trys to panhandle me for "Food Money", I like to offer them $1 for every pack of cigarettes on them and $3 for their MP3 player.  I figure that if they are truely hungry, they will jump at the chance.  I plan on letting them keep their stuff if they agree to the deal, but I haven't had anybody say yes yet.
Dude, that is brilliant! I had never thought of that, though I'm sure if you raised the asking price for the smokes there might be more takers. Many times when I go to the store I look to see how much a pack of smokes costs and I am just amazed -- and quite glad that I do not smoke. There's no way I could drop $20 a day on a cigarette habit. I am also not surprised there have been no takers, considering the fact that the panhandlers obviously have their spending priorities messed up; for the price of a pack of cigs, you could buy yourself a pretty fair meal at pretty much any fast-food restaurant in the land.

More proof that some people...

...shouldn't be allowed to have kids:

A man shot his pregnant girlfriend before killing himself early Friday as police converged on him at a house northwest of downtown, officers said.
After wrestling on the bed, Corona dared her boyfriend to shoot her, prompting him to point the weapon at her, pull the trigger and then leave the house on foot.
Were it not for the innocent unborn child, I'd have said it's just too damn bad she didn't die as it would have been more chlorination of the gene pool. Really? Dare your boyfriend to shoot you as you're carrying his child?? Mother of the year material right there, yes sir...

Friday, August 20, 2010

No wonder the education system is in such trouble...

This link at Kevin Baker's place this morning reminded me of this story I read earlier this summer in the San Antonio Express-News:

Fierce competition for public school teaching jobs this summer could be difficult enough without being seen as a second-rate candidate, as those emerging from alternative teacher certification programs are sometimes viewed. 
I must say that I never understood that. I honestly thought the folks who went through the alt-cert program would have been more valuable with their real-world experience, as opposed to education majors who know just education better than anything else. And I would never cast aspersions on elementary education majors as all being like they were in the above-linked exchange any more than any other major...though I must say it'd be quite frightening to run up on, for example, an aerospace engineering major who had that mindset.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

...but does it matter? Sometimes the answer is no.

...or, Yet another rant I've had bouncin' around in the ole noggin lately.

I recently read a review of a new song from Carrie Underwood in which the author said Underwood "has much talent." This made me think of something I've been wondering about for a while, namely this: Does your talent really matter if you don't put it to good use?

I hear people talk all the time about how Carrie Underwood is such a greeeeat singer, that she sings like an aaangel. And every time those sentiments are expressed, I think, "Well, even if she does have such a good voice, she throws it away on some really crappy songs." (Honestly, does it get any more banal than "Jesus Take the Wheel"? And it really hasn't gotten much better from there...)

And the same goes for, to cite another example, the '80s hair band Winger. If you'll recall, ex-Winger guitar player Reb Beach not long ago was calling Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett one of the worst guitar players he'd ever heard. As I said in comments here:

'...going from what I've read, I'd say both Kip Winger and Reb Beach both have some major issues going on with not only jealousy, but also insecurity. Winger has been quoted as saying his band was the "'hair band' Dream Theater" and that "Metallica couldn't play what we play." If that's the case, if Winger was so damn good, then why did they just go for the low-hanging fruit with songs like "Seventeen" and "Headed For A Heartbreak"?'

In other words, Winger might have been good, but from what I've heard they were by and large a joke among the headbangers in their day precisely because of the lowest common denominator songs that made them famous. Winger might have been the "hair band Dream Theater," but they pissed all their talent away on crappy music too. So what does it matter if they WERE talented?

I'm sure readers could probably think of more examples...

Overheard at lunch...

My wife, on the problems with modern Nashville "country" music, shortly after I asked her when Richie McDonald got castrated:

"I thought he came that way!"

And then a few minutes later...

"That's what it is. Gary Allan is going around Nashville cutting off everyone's testicles to enlarge his own."

Sounds like a logical explanation to me...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pesky Eighth Amendment!

Well, not really. I know the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment protects all of us, and the price we pay for that is certain murderers not getting exactly what they deserved. As I was telling my lovely wife yesterday, though, it would have been really nice if Peter Cantu (and his partners in crime) were to be put down the same way they killed -- to experience the terror and pain they inflicted on Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena.

But at least Randy Ertman wasn't subjected to another self-righteous harangue from a death penalty opponent this time around. So at least there's that.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not seein' teh funnay here...

...or, Hey, let's be like the Authorized Journalists and not do our research and fact-checking! (http://gunfreezone.net/wordpress/index.php/2010/08/12/why-i-hate-the-nra-not-really-but-lets-jump-in-the-bandwagon-for-a-spell/)

Here we go again with the NRA bashing. Somebody said that somebody in Texas said that the NRA is going to back some representative that they don’t like or belongs to a party or another that does not like and the blogosphere once again is filled with NRA-Sucks posts even though the NRA has not issued yet a single report/support for anybody for the upcoming November elections. But let’s not get the facts get in the way of a well traveled post that can generate thousands of hits, shall we?
Oh? Here's a fact:
The announcement yesterday that Chet Edwards received the endorsement of two of the states most prominent groups, the Texas Farm Bureau AGFUND and the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund has made news throughout the district and is adding to the momentum of Edwards’ reelection campaign.
The National Rifle Association and the Texas Farm Bureau unveiled their support for Edwards during a four-city tour through the 17th Congressional District. Their backing could prove useful in the strongly conservative district.”
– Bryan College Station Eagle
Maybe that post should have read, "Let's not let the facts get in the way of another half-witted poke at those who have legitimate gripes about whom the NRA supports." Or were the Bryan-College Station Eagle and the other papers who reported the NRA endorsement lying?

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In which I try not to cast my own aspersions...

...on fans of certain college sports teams.

I don't know why Renee Gork didn't grab an Arkansas hat instead of a Florida hat, but (pardon the term) it's just fucking retarded that she would actually lose her job over shit like that. Dear God, but I'm glad I lead a life so full that I can't find it in me to give a shit about the hat that some sportswriter wears as he (or she) is covering my favorite team.

Somehow this does not surprise me.

An unnamed Facebook friend spoke of discussing the meaning of being a Christian and a constitutionalist. His comment to someone else's comment on his status:

Other participants complained that the social conservatives were casting aspersions upon their Christianity.
I'd almost be surprised if such didn't happen. It has always struck me that social cons cast aspersions, directly and indirectly, on everyone who doesn't think as they do. It'd be bad enough if that was as far as it went, but then now and then they have to go off and put everyone else's rights in danger just so, for example, gay people can't get married. I am sure the folks who'd want to write a new constitution do comprise a distinct minority, but I wouldn't be surprised if more social conservatives didn't have a problem with at least trying the amendment route before they'd support writing a new constitution.

DO WANT, but don't have. Yet.

I was Googling this morning and came upon this. I don't have it yet -- the self-titled EP is the only one of the classic albums from Queensryche that I don't have yet but WANT, but more so now.

Why? Because the remastered & reissued version of it has the Live In Tokyo VHS on it, in its entirety. For some reason I was thinking that Live In Tokyo recording had just live versions of the songs on the self-titled EP. But looking at the track listing I see "Deliverance" on here -- one of my favorite, FAVORITE songs from The Warning, which in turn is my favorite of the classic Queensryche albums. It will be mine, oh yes...it will be mine.

Speaking of The Warning, Albatross, what was your take on that album? Not to detract from the greatness of Mindcrime, but IMO The Warning was the album that showed Queensryche at the top of its game as a prog-metal band...

A start, indeed...

...but just a start:

The city of Atlanta will pay $4.9 million to the family of Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed in a botched November 2006 drug raid, Mayor Kasim Reed's office announced Monday.
As Tam says, though, that doesn't bring Kathryn Johnston back. I am sure that nor is it likely to make TPTB in Atlanta or anywhere else start lobbying at least to rethink the whole War On Some Drugs nonsense and its deleterious effects, and that's just a damn shame.

Standing ovation for this guy.

I only hope there are as many more of him as the Republicans think and hope there are:

To: The Honorable Sen. Harry Reid:
Re: Your question about how any Hispanic can be Republican:

Let me explain. Not only am I a Republican. I'm also a conservative and tea party member and supporter.
One would think there were more of them than the mainstream media would like us to believe, just because of the Democrats' position on abortion all by itself; I don't know for sure, but I've heard that Hispanics are overwhelmingly pro-life and beyond that are very socially conservative. As far as belief in free markets, the right to bear arms and such goes I am not sure. Some days I am really pessimistic, though, especially as I read supposedly conservative pundits like Ruben Navarrette calling a certain segment of Americans "those who love their guns more than they love Mexico." I guess we'll see where the chips fall come November. It'll tell quite the tale, no doubt.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Everyone knows...

...what would have prevented this, right?

Two men were jailed Saturday morning after they killed a southwest-side convenience store manager in an attempted robbery, police said.
One of the men tried to steal from the Chevron near Dairy Ashford and Brant Rock around 10 p.m. Friday. The manager, who was not identified, confronted him, authorities said.
When the fight spilled into the parking lot, the getaway driver ran over the manager, officers said.
Car registration and driver licensing. Right? It's just common sense!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What kinds of considerations, again?

Oh, now this is riiiich:

An anonymous, twentysomething blogger is giving Mexicans what they can't get elsewhere — an inside view of their country's raging drug war.
Critics say it's free public relations for the cartels.
"Media outlets have social responsibilities and have to serve the public," said Carlos Lauria, of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. "This is being produced by someone who is not doing it from a journalistic perspective. He is doing it without any ethical considerations."
Yawn. Ethical considerations? Social responsibilities? Good Lord in heaven, but modern journalists have no shame whatsoever. I fail to see how publishing pictures of the havoc the cartels are wreaking on the streets of Mexico is not a journalistic act. And I have to wonder -- just how socially responsible is it, for example, to publish a list of concealed-carry permit holders, thereby giving criminals a shopping list? You know what I think? I think the journalist groups criticizing this blogger are just pissed off that they're not the ones getting the scoop or the hits. And it's their own damn fault, really. You can call it just one more example of those in charge at the newspapers being behind the curve vis-a-vis their own business model. I'm not surprised that none of Mexico's major media outlets didn't think of it beforehand, because I don't know why the people in charge at said outlets would be any smarter than their American counterparts. But this sniping at the bloggers in general is quite unbecoming of the traditional journalists.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I haz stabby things too!

This is my knife. There are many like it but this one is mine:

Gerber EVO. Specs from the Bass Pro Shops website:
Titanium nitride-coated 440 stainless steel blade; featherweight anodized aluminum cut-out handle; pocket clip; 3.5" blade, 8" overall length. My lovely wife bought me this knife for Christmas, and I carry it with me wherever I go. It's come in handy quite a few times; I could have used it to cut open the package in which it came. ;-)

And then there's this one:

This is a Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier. As you see, it comes with a host of different tools, including
needlenose pliers, wire cutter, wire crimper, partially serrrated knife blade, cross point screwdriver, small, medium and large flat blade screwdrivers, can opener, bottle opener, file, saw and scissors (as per the Gerber site). This one usually stays around the house, as it's a mite large to carry in my pocket. My EVO fulfills my cutting needs as I'm out and about some 99 percent of the time, though.

Those are all the stabby things I have right now, but I do hope to get more in the future. I told Sabra that knives make good gifts for any occasion. No doubt most of the guys reading this would agree. ;-)

This guy must be a Democrat...

...because if you read his letter here (second one down), you will see he doesn't say a word about cutting spending. I guess he's one of those folks who thinks Medicare and Social Security are perfectly sustainable with current levels of spending and projected increases. Of course, with that mentality probably comes a host of other sheep-like tendencies -- which means, of course, that he'll be one of the first to get eaten.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Does Cal Thomas want to stone gay people?

...or, anti-gay marriage argument FAIL, from a corner that's not so surprising:

The decision by a single, openly gay federal judge to strike down the will of 7 million Californians...is judicial vigilantism equal to Roe vs. Wade.
One wonders what Cal Thomas would have been saying had the judge struck down a handgun ban endorsed by those same 7 million Californians. This is why I don't really consider myself a conservative or Republican so much anymore; just like the liberals and the Democrats too, they'll only stand up for the civil rights they agree with and make bullshit arguments like "x number of people voted for this!" I see Cal Thomas says Muslims are right about what's wrong with Americans. One wonders if he would endorse the same fate for gays that the Muslim fanatics do. After all, Thomas seems to imply that gay people are an abomination before God -- an opinion shared, no doubt, by those Muslim fanatics Thomas says are on to something when they opine about what's wrong with America. I'd like to think Cal Thomas doesn't want to stone, shoot, hang or behead gays, but it almost sounds like he really wouldn't have any problem with that...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The PMRC, Iron Maiden and hypocrisy

(Holy smokes, it's a JayG-and-Borepatch-a-lanche! Welcome, new people! Main page is here, pull up a seat and stay a while!)

I've been mulling over this post for a couple of weeks, especially since I read this post from Borepatch.

No doubt everyone who has at least a cursory knowledge of rock history knows about the shenanigans of the Parents' Music Resource Center back in the 1980s, and their witch hunt of sorts targeted at certain rock and metal musicians. I was pondering this the last couple of weeks, and thought once again of Iron Maiden.

Maiden was, of course, one of the bands the PMRC accused of promoting Satanism. If I remember right the gang accused the band of promoting Satanism with backmasking, as well as the lyrics to "Number of the Beast." I can't really speak to the backmasking thing, because, well, I never listened to an Iron Maiden record backwards. However, anyone who listens to the song "Number of the Beast" should be able to tell that the song isn't promoting Satanism. For one, the song was written about a man who ran into a satanic ritual in the woods. And for two, he wasn't making that out to be a good thing, as you know if you've heard the song:

This can't go on
I must inform the law
 In other words, he was wanting to get the hell outta Dodge and tell someone what was going on.

And I feel pretty certain that Maiden wasn't promoting Satanism even with backmasking. Why is that? Well, consider once again "Rime of the Ancient Mariner":
The curse it lives on in their eyes
The mariner he wished he'd die
Along with the sea creatures
But they lived on, so did he.

And by the light of the moon
He prays for their beauty not doom
With heart he blesses them
God's creatures all of them too.

Then the spell starts to break
The albatross falls from his neck...

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. 
 In other words: The mariner sees the beauty of the creatures as a creation of GOD, prays for them, and as a result good things happen to him -- namely, he finds redemption and travels about telling his tale, "teach(ing) God's word...that we must love all things that God made." Does this honestly sound to you like a recording of a band that says Satanism is the way to go?

The whole thing made the members of the PMRC and the groups supporters look extremely hypocritical, really -- especially Tipper Gore. She and Al are both big fans of the Grateful Dead, and from what I understand, way back in their day if you wanted to get yourself into a, shall we say, altered state, there were few better places to do it than at a Grateful Dead concert. And there's no way you're going to persuade me that Tipper didn't partake of any of them. So who the hell was she to condemn anyone?  They all acted as if the themes of sex, drugs and violence had only recently found their way into rock'n'roll, and that just isn't so. Consider the Rolling Stones classic "Honky Tonk Women":
I met a gin-soaked barroom queen in Memphis
She tried to take me upstairs for a ride

What kind of a ride do you think the character in that song was talking about?

How about Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit":
One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall

 Was Grace Slick really smoking an innocent little Marlboro when she penned that? Do I REALLY look that naive?

Or how about The Doors' "The End":

Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother...I want to...(fuck you)

No, the songs of the 1960s and '70s were certainly not all "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," not by a long shot. They were every bit as deviant as their 1980s brethren. In an ironic twist, I'd have to say the rock and metal fans of the '80s probably turned out better than the rock fans of the '60s because as far as I can tell, none (or at least fewer) of them got on their high horses about what others were listening to -- except perhaps to complain about its banality, and I do that damn near every day so all I can do is agree with them...

UPDATE: I did like how JayG pointed out the hypocrisy on the other side of the equation, that is, the Grateful Dead lending assistance to the Gores later on in their political lives after the Gores tried to put the Dead's fellow musicians out of business. As I said in comments there, you could call that the musical equivalent of the hunters throwing the semiautomatic rifle owners under the bus not thinking about the gun-banners coming after their "high-powered sniper rifles" later. Both of those are quite infuriating, yes. I am also not surprised at the media's not exposing the Gores for the hypocrites that they were; that's just the way they roll with the Democrats. Would that the PMRC had come along now, or even 5 or 10 years ago, as opposed to 1985. I am sure things would have been quite different, what with the traditional "gatekeepers" of information not having the monopoly on information disbursal that they had back then.

What kind of country, again?

How anyone could write this about Rascal Flatts with a straight face is completely beyond me:

The two-hour set featured an eight-piece band and showcased the group's musical diversity, with songs new and old, from From Southern rock (“Bob That Head”) to traditional country (“Mayberry”) to soulful ballads (“Feels Like Today”).
I remember hearing those first two songs, and at no point did I think the first one "had a really cool Southern rock vibe to it!" Neither did I think the second one "had a refreshingly traditional country sound to it compared to pretty much all the other bubble-gum pop crap they've been foisting on us for the last ten years." I might have bitched at the time if they were trying to ape the Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd, but now I think that actually might have been an improvement. (Fun fact: Skynyrd did a fine cover of Merle Haggard's "Honky Tonk Night Time Man." Also, Haggard's "I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am" was played as Ronnie Van Zant was laid to rest.)

And "Mayberry" was supposed to be a traditional country song? Really? I honestly never would have guessed. I wouldn't think Rascal Flatts could do a real country song if the band members' lives depended on it. But maybe that's just me...

(h/t Country California)

Who'd have thought...

...that I'd like Toby Keith even more, even if it's not particularly as an artist?

Q: What song out right now do you wish you had written?
A: You’re going to stump me on that because every one of my vehicles has satellite radio in them — my motorcycle, my boat, my plane, my cars, my trucks, everything — and they’re all on Roadhouse, which is ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s country. I haven’t listened to modern radio for maybe five or six years, so I have no idea. I haven’t even listened to myself!
 When I got my Sirius radio, The Roadhouse got to be the first preset on it, followed by Outlaw Country and Willie's Place. After that it was off to the pop and rock channels; I didn't even bother with the newer country channels, though they do play good songs on Prime Country now and then. I'd love to know how many other new Nashville singers don't listen to country radio...

(h/t Country California)

Wow, even some of the Mexicans are on board...

...with legalizing drugs. I am not surprised that there are some who don't get it -- namely the Citizen's Council on Public Safety, who argues that the main problem is the government's loss of monopoly on the use of force. Why do they think the government has lost that monopoly? Where do they think the money for the cartels' weaponry comes from?

And then, of course, there's the old implication from this side of the Rio Grande: "drugs 'r' baaad, hmmkay?" But they think banning the guns will fix everything, even though the lion's share of the cartel's weaponry is highly illegal here...

Another question...

...raised by this story:

If Valerie Andrews is guilty of what she is accused of -- driving drunk, running from the police and killing four people -- is there any justification for NOT putting her on the fast track to a date with the needle in Huntsville? If she is guilty of that, she is in my opinion little to no better than the murderers and rapists that walk among us. She surely knew of the consequences of her actions and she did what she did anyway, with what strikes me as zero regard for the lives of those around her.  Is there any justification for letting people like that continue to breathe, let alone have a chance of once again walking free one day?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A few questions...

...inspired by this story:

• How stupid do you have to be to try to carjack someone in the parking lot of a store that sells self-defense firearms AND ammunition?
• What is it antis always say about the attacker taking your gun and using it against you? It seems that NEVER pans out that way. In fact, you more often see it working the OTHER way. Why is that?
• Would there have been ANY chance of the defender being charged if he did NOT have a Texas CHL?
• Is that moral, right or just? Why should the right of self-defense be limited only to those who have the financial wherewithal to jump through those hoops?


Who said there was a complete distinction?

David Hardy, on the nation's third-largest city:

Chicago -- the city where criminals need not fear the police (and courts).

Perhaps many times that's because of professional courtesy?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Yeah, that's about right.

This requires a bit o' background info, which may be TMI...

Back when I was with the ex-girlfriend (aka Kitty-Eater), she claimed to be so good at fellatio that she could make me climax in five minutes. She made that claim on several occasions; however, I never got to see if she could back it up because, well, she never did. Didn't try even once. I mentioned this to Sabra early on in our relationship, and she said, "If she can make a man come in five minutes, she's not doing it right."

I also mentioned to Sabra that the ex also would never kiss me with tongue because she thought it was nasty, to which Sabra said, "If she's not gonna let you stick your tongue in her mouth, she sure as hell won't let you stick your dick in it." Which explained it all, really.

Anyway, I told you all that to tell you this...

My wife, on the Kenny Rogers song "Ruby (Don't Take Your Love To Town)":

"That song sucks like Kitty-Eater claimed to."

Yeah. Yeah, it sure does. ;-)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

"Honestly, officer, I ran into the door!"

...or, does Anita Richardson really believe that?

Stephen Richardson's temper had gotten him in trouble before, his wife said.
There were occasional fights, verbal skirmishes, lost jobs and arrests — including one for hitting her.

Maybe looking at the possibility of never coming home will give him time to really think, she said, about exactly what his temper and anger has caused.
Uh-huh. And maybe I will have barbecued unicorn for dinner tomorrow. You know, I've had people make gestures at me while I was driving too, but I knew better than to follow them and escalate the situation. It almost surprises me that Stephen Richardson hasn't killed anyone before now. Such a shame he himself hadn't been put down like the feral vermin he showed himself to be before he did kill.

Monday, August 02, 2010

"I'm in love with somebody, oh, yeah, and it's not you."

...or, Things I'd like to say to the ex-girlfriend (previously mentioned here, here, and peripherally here) who tried to friend me on Facebook AGAIN...

"Woman, take a damn hint. I defriended you on Facebook after we broke up for a REASON. I'm not so mad at you anymore; what's done is done. But I still don't want anything to do with you, even if I DID move 300 miles away. You were the one who effectively broke up with me. (I'm glad you did too, because your doing that freed me to find a woman who's orders of magnitude better than you could ever be, in every way. I thank God damn near every day that I didn't end up marrying you, because it would have meant being condemned to a lifetime of -- among other things -- bad sex, worse music and (speaking of which) 'You need to turn that to something we both like.' You sure as hell didn't have any problem subjecting me to that hip-hop shit. I don't know why you couldn't deal with it when I was playing the heavy metal.) I thought I made it pretty clear that I didn't want to stay friends. And you know I had damn good reasons for that too, with you taking, taking and taking from me and never giving anything back (literally AND figuratively). I'm glad for you that you finally figured out what you really wanted out of life, but leave me the hell out of it already."

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Does this make sense to anyone else?

...or, Leonard Pitts once again does not get it:

Blogger Andrew Breitbart was so desperate to push a narrative of the NAACP as a hotbed of anti-white bias that he posted an excerpt of Sherrod's speech to that organization as “proof” she was a racist without caring if she was.

 Were the NAACP and Shirley Sherrod one and the same? I didn't think they were, and from what I understand the video showed the NAACP members clapping when she said what she did. That seems to be the thing in that whole affair that is completely overlooked. Funny how he mentions Palin's feeding the narrative about her but doesn't say a word about the racism that WAS on display during that speech. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but once again, it was still quite disgusting.