Archive for February, 2009


February 28, 2009

….Now playing at Willie’s Place, Sirius Ch. 64: “If fingerprints showed up on skin, wonder whose I’d find on you?” Freddie Hart. I’d seen this lyric referenced in a book from the late Georgia humorist Lewis Grizzard (any of you folks remember him?) but that’s the first time I’d ever heard the song itself. Not bad, not bad at all.

95 percent from American guns?

February 28, 2009

From today’s Chron (emphasis mine — ed.):

In its annual survey of global counter-narcotics efforts, the State Department painted a grim picture of the situation in Mexico, where government attempts to fight traffickers are hindered by rampant corruption. The battle between authorities and drug cartels killed more than 6,000 people last year and more than 1,000 so far in 2009.

It said that firearms obtained in the U.S. account for an estimated 95 percent of the country’s drug-related killings. Johnson said that should be addressed by improving the ability of Mexican authorities to identify the source of weapons and cooperate with the United States in prosecuting them.

95 percent, huh? I can’t help but call bullshit on that. With the weaponry available to the drug cartels via the corrupt Mexican military and government — including the machine guns, grenades and such — it’s more than a little preposterous to assign 95 percent of those casualties to run-of-the-mill semiautomatic rifles. The claim only seems to be undermined by a little tidbit found in comments to this story, namely that the Mexican government refuses to divulge the serial numbers on weaponry confiscated from the cartels. I haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere, so I can’t vouch for its veracity, but to be honest I would be surprised if it wasn’t true. I would also be surprised if the truth was 100 percent diametrically opposed to what the State Department says, that is, that 95 percent of those drug-related killings were due to weaponry from the Mexican military — more than a little of which is likely procured with funds from the Merida Initiative. Which would basically mean it was the American government facilitating the acquisition of these munitions. Isn’t that a hell of an irony? Hey, maybe that’s what they meant, you think? Yeah, me neither…

New discoveries of old music…

February 27, 2009

I suppose I might come off as some sort of music maven to some folks, especially considering my fondness for all the old country no one plays on the radio outside of what’s been referred to as “the Sunday-night ghetto.” It’s not the case in all the genres, though; there’s still a LOT I don’t know. Just as an example, I didn’t remember hearing much of the metal band Queensryche when I was growing up; as a matter of fact the only two songs I remember hearing from them, ever, were “Silent Lucidity” and “Jet City Woman.” Of course that’s changed in a big way now, as I’ve heard several more songs from them, all from their 1988 landmark album Operation: Mindcrime. I really liked all of them, and I heard another one this morning that really made me sit up and take notice:

…Sixteen and on the run from home
Found a job in Times Square
Working Live S&M shows
Twenty-five bucks a fuck
And John’s a happy man
She wipes the filth away
And it’s back on the streets again
Spreading the disease
Everybody needs
But no one wants to see
Father William saved her from the streets
She drank the lifeblood from the saviour’s feet
She’s Sister Mary now, eyes as cold as ice
He takes her once a week
On the altar like a sacrifice…

One could say I had more or less the same reaction I did upon hearing pre-Black Album Metallica: “Holy shit, that’s hardcore…” Not terrestrial radio-friendly by any means, but still a great song. I am definitely going to have to hunt this cd down.

The title of an old song comes to mind…

February 27, 2009

…once again, on reading these two items: Some Fools Never Learn. The GOP elite last election season basically told the base to “sit down and shut up and vote for who we tell you to vote for,” and we see where it got us. One would think with them being so damn “intellectual,” they’d have figured out their way of doing things didn’t work. But then, now that I think about it, that would probably make them NOT intellectuals. At any rate, if real conservative principles are ever going to prevail again, the powers that be would be wise to tell these people to sit the hell down and have a nice, tall glass of shut the hell up. As one of the commenters said at OTB, “I’m becoming increasingly non-plussed with the assertion that Joe represents an ‘unserious’ move on the part of the GOP. It’s that attitude, disaffection and condescension of the Republican rank and file, that led us to the nomination of John McCain, for example, wherein we saw the crowds running much larger for Palin than McCain.”
(h/t Firehand)

A sobering reminder…

February 27, 2009

…of why it’s best to answer the door armed.
I drove to my old apartment complex today to get some more stuff out of my old place. Stuck in the door was one of those memo-type things they periodically pass out to residents, reminding folks of pest-spraying and stuff like that. This one was different. Its subject? Home invasions. I don’t remember the memo’s exact wording, but it said there had been several home invasions in the neighborhood, with two people knocking on doors and forcing their way in. Latest victim was in my old complex. These guys forced their way into a resident’s unit, in broad daylight, 5 last Sunday afternoon; they took credit cards, cash and a laptop computer. I read that and I was like, “oh heeeell no.” Then I called my girlfriend after I read it and I told her, “baby, you see why I want you to learn how to shoot my gun?” And you know, stuff like that makes me wish the home invaders would target more of those people who tell us we don’t need guns, or presume they have the authority to tell us what they think we need for whatever situation might arise, be it something like this or a Katrina-type event. ‘Cause remember, friends and neighbors — when seconds count, the police are only minutes away!

More of der HopenChange, I guess…

February 26, 2009

…or as many of us would say, more of those failed “solutions”

“As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” (Attorney General Eric) Holder told reporters.
Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

Not that this is any big surprise, but still it makes it all the more infuriating that the NRA rolled over on Eric Holder. It’ll be interesting to see what the NRA does here, and how the pragmatists try to justify THAT. I would think it’ll be easier to fight something like a renewed or strengthened AWB, but since none of the cowards and fools up on Capitol Hill want to talk about any other solutions, and since Eric Holder is just as big a fan of the War On (Some) Drugs as he is of the War On Guns, it’s probably a safer bet that said bill will be pushed as a solution to what’s going on south of the Rio Grande, and a measure we should take as a “good neighbor.” One could even call a renewed or strengthened AWB…the pragmatic thing to do…
And at the risk of repeating myself…what are we gonna do when the political solutions fail?

My favorite country duet from the ’70s…

February 26, 2009

at The Roadhouse, Sirius Ch. 62: “There ain’t no good in an evil-hearted woman, and I ain’t cut out to be no Jesse James…and you don’t go writin’ hot checks, down in Mississippi, and there ain’t no good chain gang…”
That Johnny Cash-Waylon Jennings duet from 1978 has always been one of my absolute favorite songs, period, one that I don’t hear much anymore, and another one of those songs they could play ten times a day and I’d never tire of it…of all the duets the stars of the day recorded back then, that one was the best, I think.

A thought came to mind the other night…

February 26, 2009

…listening to Sirius.
You know what I’d love to hear, just once, that I don’t think I’ve ever heard? Vern Gosdin’s “Set ‘Em Up Joe,” followed immediately by Ernest Tubb’s “Walkin’ the Floor Over You.” I HAVE heard both those songs before, many times in fact, just not in that particular order. Just a thought…

Talk about moving the goalposts…

February 26, 2009

I saw bits and pieces of Bobby Jindal’s rebuttal to Obama’s speech last night, but I didn’t really get an impression one way or the other. I didn’t know whether or laugh or cry at this hit piece from the AP in today’s Houston Chronicle, though…

NEW YORK — Insane. Childish. Disaster.
And those were some of the kinder comments from political pundits about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and his response to President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress on Tuesday night.

David Brooks, a conservative New York Times columnist who has criticized aspects of the stimulus plan, nonetheless called Jindal’s arguments “insane” and tone-deaf given the dire economic challenges the country faces.
“To come up in this moment in history with a stale, ‘Government is the problem, you can’t trust the federal government’ is just a disaster for the Republican Party,” Brooks said on PBS’ The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. “It’s not where the country is, it’s not where the future of the country is.”
Fox News commentator Juan Williams focused on Jindal’s delivery.
“It came off as amateurish, and even the tempo in which he spoke was singsongy,” Williams said, adding that the content of the speech was “very simplistic and almost childish.”
Penni Pier, a political communication specialist at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, said Jindal’s presentation was overly colloquial and his message of less government and more tax cuts was substantively thin.
“It sounded like the same old rhetoric — we had tax cuts the last eight years, and look where it got us,” Pier said. “Jindal was also trying to be so familiar, he lost credibility. Obama is familiar, but at the same time always a statesman.”

Rush Limbaugh, arguably the nation’s most prominent conservative voice, defended Jindal on his radio show Wednesday while acknowledging that “stylistically,” Obama had outshined Jindal.
“The people on our side are making a real mistake if they go after Bobby Jindal,” Limbaugh said. “We cannot shun politicians who speak for our beliefs just because we don’t like the way he says it.”

Simpering RINO David Brooks. Yes, friends and neighbors, that’s how they balanced out raving moonbat Juan Williams. Good grief, is it any wonder the people think the media is hopelessly biased? Calling David Brooks a conservative is like calling a frozen TV dinner haute cuisine, or calling Rascal Flatts a country band. Of course it’s only fair to point out that they did mention the remarks of Rush Limbaugh, whose opinion I would wager is much closer to that of most conservatives; but still that was an appallingly imbalanced story. As far as tax cuts “getting us” to where we are now, I think it’s a bit disingenuous to argue that without also mentioning that those tax cuts were accompanied by vastly increased government spending — spending, one might add, that was very likely supported by the likes of David Brooks and his ilk. Not that I expected anything more from the AP OR the ivory-tower academics, but that in itself is a sad commentary on where we are as a society. I am reminded once again of the words of Bill Whittle:

The inability of external reality to become perfect is a profound disappointment for people who live in their own fantasy worlds where everything is perfect. Such people expect the external world, the world beyond the boundaries of our Sanctuary, to behave like a celebrity awards show dinner or a faculty lounge. Of course, only very, very small areas of the world behave like a celebrity award show dinner or a faculty lounge. But when enough people experience nothing else, and when those pampered, bored, hollow and guilty elites control the way information is reported, run the schools and universities in which reality-free theories are taught, and hold the keys to the manufacture of a society’s myths and stories and culture — well, then the disconnect between the Civilization and reality becomes so acute that the wing stalls and what was once a soaring airplane becomes a few tons of metal plummeting earthward.

How much longer do we have until that wing stalls? Will the passengers wake up and realize what’s going on before we get to that point? I realize things are much different now, as the old news sources don’t have the oligopoly they once did, but still it’s frightening to think how many people take those old sources at the same face value they always have.

Aaaaaand, we’re BACK!

February 25, 2009

Ready to kick some ass and take some names! Regular posting resumes, well, now. 😉