Archive for March, 2009

Kathleen Parker tries once again to be the iconoclastic rebel, and FAILS

March 27, 2009

Call it that, or call it another feeble attempt to SPEAK TRUTH TO TEH POWER!…

The GOP’s identity crisis just got more interesting with the recent media splash of Meghan McCain, daughter of the senator who did not become president.
Young McCain, who began blogging during her father’s presidential campaign, recently made waves at the Daily Beast when she picked a fight with conservative media mavens Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. This is enough sport to make the little dog laugh, to say nothing of the dish and the spoon.

McCain jammed traffic on Tina Brown’s site with her charge that Coulter is bad for the party. In a voice that is sometimes, alas, reminiscent of a coed’s twitter, she wrote: “I straight up don’t understand this woman or her popularity. I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time.”
Claiming that Coulter could be the poster woman for the “most extreme side of the Republican Party,” McCain offered herself as the opposite. Bzzzzzt. Give that girl a talk show!
Indeed, McCain’s generation is more moderate, especially on social issues. This isn’t news. Yet, reaction from the more-established right has been a tad intolerant.

…but as for me, I think it’s yet more proof that the mushy moderate wing of the Republican Party has been thoroughly infected with what could only be termed as Barack Obama syndrome; that is, they seem to think that for the Republicans to get back in the good graces of the voters, they need to elevate to high positions the pretty people who have no concept of what made the United States of America the envy of the world — who, in fact, would eschew some or all of those principles, as Barack Obama, as well as John McCain for that matter (and likely his daughter), largely have. Reading Kathleen Parker’s latest column, I almost wish I had been able to put money on her not offering any substantive reason that people like Meghan McCain should be the new face of the Republican Party…because, as sure as God made little green apples, the only thing she did was tout the younger McCain’s bashing of Ann Coulter and other firebrands. Yee-haa. I don’t necessarily agree with Ann Coulter’s take on some things, and I am surely not in agreement with, for example, a lot of what Mike Huckabee proposed to do; but if this is all Meghan McCain is — a younger, better looking version of her father (and I have neither seen nor heard anything that leads me to think she’s anything but that) — then if the Republicans are going to make her and those like her the new face of the party, then they bloody well deserve to lose, just like they did when they ran with McCain.

Random day-off Metallica musings…

March 26, 2009

One of my coworkers, who’s a bigger Metallica fan than I am, was telling me yesterday about the (not-a-)-surprise show the guys played at this year’s South by Southwest music festival in Austin, for about 2,000 people at the legendary Stubb’s Barbecue. Some lucky farkers, the folks who made it to that show. Anyway, he rattled off the set list…

Creeping Death
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Harvester of Sorrows
One
Broken, Beat and Scarred
Cyanide
Sad But True
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Master of Puppets
Blackened
(encore)
Breadfan
Whiplash
(second encore)
Seek and Destroy

I laughed and asked him, “You notice any particular time period that was left out there?”
“Yeah, about 13 years or so!” (the Load-Reload-new Garage record-St. Anger era)
I told him it seemed to me that the band was trying to win back the older fans they ran off during that time, and he agreed. Looking at some of the setlists from the North American tour on livemetallica.com gives one that impression as well, as the bulk of the sets were from the first five albums (Kill, Ride, Master, Justice and Black) and Death Magnetic. I’d be surprised if anyone really missed much from that era, although it did have its high points.
I also found out that ex-bassist Jason Newsted was going to be playing with them when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That one REALLY surprised the hell out of me, as I’d heard they did not part on a good note and that there had been bad blood between them ever since. I guess they must have made up since then…

Yeah, well, I recommend you kiss my arse…

March 26, 2009

I just got an e-mail, from the Internet site whose name starts with the letter Y and ends with something that rhymes with the sound you make when you sneeze. “(Website) recommends that you update your browser…to the newer, safer Internet Explorer 8!” Yeah, sure, safer for about 30 minutes or so till the damn hackers get ahold of it…

….yes, of course…

March 26, 2009

what Bill Hammond says makes PERFECT SENSE….

AUSTIN — Texans would be allowed to stow their guns and ammo inside their locked cars or trucks while at work and parked on employer property under a controversial bill passed Wednesday by the state Senate.

Opponents, among them a number of influential business groups, argue the bill is an affront to an employer’s property rights and are wary of potential gun violence as a growing number of Texans lose their jobs.
“We believe it’s a basic property right that should be preserved,” said Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business. “Someone who is terminated or laid off can go to a parking lot and in a matter of seconds be back with a weapon and it could be a disaster as a result of this legislation.”

…because everyone knows that those laid-off employees with murder on their minds would leave their guns at home if it wasn’t for this new law. You know, I can understand the property-rights angle…but on the other hand, what good is your right to your property if you’re dead? I mean, if you yourself wind up dead because you decree your workplace to be a gun free zone, well, that’s just you paying the price for your own ignorant or stupid choices…but your employees shouldn’t have to gamble their lives on your having your head in the sand. It’s a thorny issue, I know, but you’d think the business owners could come up with a better argument than the one Bill Hammond came up with.

Quote of the day…

March 25, 2009

…from Scott Chaffin, in comments to this post:

OK, that’s two posts about someone I’ve never heard of. I thought Sugarland was on 59 running out of Houston. Look, no one whose mama named him (it is a him, right?) Kristian with a K needs to be talking trash about anything, except how slow the courts are in legal name-changing.
Here’s your label for Big & Rich: horseshit. Here’s another one: customized horseshit for radio and tv commercials.
Yeah, it’s useless arguing, fershur, but it breaks up the day.

There ain’t a thing I can add to that but, WORD….

Hey, big surprise, anti tries to have it both ways….

March 25, 2009

…in comments here:

I’d bet if you spoke to some of those FFL guys down near the border, they’d tell you business is damn good, with a wink and a nudge. What do you think?

It seems to me that you do as much spinning as you accuse the Bradys of. No one really knows what percentage of the guns are fully automatic in the Mexican war, just like no one really knows what percentage of the other guns comes from the States. Helmke says too many; I agree.

Now, I could say say something about that outrageous slander of the FFLs. Anyone who knows anything about the way they do things knows they’d bring that wink-and-nudge arms-sales-to-cartels bullshit to the attention of the feds right quick, and that they’d help clamp down on it even if there weren’t all those laws against on the books because it would just seem to be the right thing to do. But that’s no surprise, as they pull that shit all the time. Here’s what needs to be pointed out: the fact that the above snippets, in effect, completely contradict each other. On one hand the commenter is blaming the FFLs for arming the cartels, but on the other hand he says that “no one knows how many of those are machine guns.”
Epic FAIL, Sparky! If there were evidence to support that the FFLs were arming the drug cartels, there would be accompanying stats on how many of those weapons were fully automatic. You can’t blame the FFLs for this and say on the other hand no one knows how much of that weaponry’s fully automatic. You can’t have evidence for one without evidence of the other. Nice try, but we know our stuff. Better than you and your kind do. Once again, the facts are on OUR side…

A nice change of pace…

March 25, 2009

Even with the most anti-gun administration in history, gun control still hasn’t gained that much traction even as they have that much more leverage with the Mexico drug issue, and boy, are they getting frustrated!

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress may be alarmed by the surge in Mexican drug violence and its potential to spill across the border, but they grow silent when the talk turns to gun control as a solution.

Yet when Attorney General Eric Holder suggested reinstituting a U.S. ban on the sale of certain semiautomatic weapons, many lawmakers balked. The 1994 ban expired after 10 years.

I do find it rather puzzling though, how there haven’t been any stories about how “lawmakers grow silent when the talk turns to drug legalization or tighter border security as a solution,” though. And for as much talk about how the cartels get weapons such as grenades, rockets and such…why isn’t there any talk about banning those? (Yes, I know, because they’re already banned…that was a purely rhetorical question.) I did find this part of that story quite ironic…

Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., who chaired a hearing on guns going to Mexico, said he is not seeking widespread gun control but Congress must do something.
“We don’t want to get distracted by the gun industry lobby of the NRA trying to talk about (how) every attempt to bring some sanity to the situation is somehow an attempt to get rid of everybody’s Second Amendment rights,” he said. “That’s a red herring.”

…because the fact is, every single word, every single sentence spoken by our lawmakers in favor of another “assault weapons ban” is the true red herring here, as it’s what distracts us from the real causes of the carnage south of the border — namely the corruption of the Mexican military that facilitates weaponry going to the drug gangs (no doubt some of which was purchased with Merida Initiative money from the United States), and the full-auto weaponry from China and Venezuela. And then there’s the old “We must DO something!” canard, never mind that the government’s “doing something” is part of what got us here in the first place. Not that I’d expect any different from a Northeastern Democrat, but still Mr. Tierney comes off as not having a clue as to what he’s talking about. At any rate, another benefit of having our Republic of Texas back…we could militarize and fortify the border as much as we wanted to and those Washington leeches wouldn’t be able to say a damn thing about it. Hey, a Texan can dream, can’t he?

Hey, waitaminute!…

March 25, 2009

You know how this could have been prevented?

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — A one-time Army paratrooper was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for killing a fellow soldier and wounding nearly 20 others in a sniper attack at a North Carolina base more than a decade ago.

Kreutzer’s victims were preparing for a morning run on Oct. 27, 1995, at the massive Army base in eastern North Carolina when he opened fire with a rifle from a concealed position.
He hit and wounded 16 soldiers from the division’s 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment as they left an athletic field. He also shot three other soldiers who tried to stop him, wounding two and killing Maj. Stephen Badger.

If only the police and the military had guns! Oh…wait…

Just one last music question for the day…

March 25, 2009

…of these hypothetical music fans with Sugarland and Metallica bumper stickers on their cars, how many of these folks would like anything in Metallica’s catalog older than the self-titled “black” album? My guess is not many. (You will do, what I say, when I say…back to the front!”) Just a thought…

Just some more music thoughts…

March 24, 2009

I suppose some folks might read that last post and wonder, “why is it that somebody like Cody Canada can rag on mainstream country but it’s not ok for Kristian Bush to do the same thing to the alt-country folks?”
Well, that one’s rather simple. It seems to me that, where Cody Canada was talking about the quality of the music itself, Kristian Bush was more or less pulling a Toby Keith, mouthing off because of his own insecurities and not really offering a blasted thing as far as a well-grounded argument goes. (I wonder, does Bush think Johnny Cash was some kind of poseur because Cash didn’t shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die?) It’s funny, really...the one song that Sugarland’s gotten the most recognition for is more or less the polar opposite of the three-minute positive-not-too-country uptempo love songs that they’ve become known for. And if you wonder where that came from, it was actually the title to an Alan Jackson album cut from a few years back…

This is a three minute song
To tell her that I love her
And how wonderful we get along
A sweet sentiment that’s borderline slick
A lotta right and not much wrong
It’s a little bit edgy, but softer than spaghetti
Weak yet redundantly strong
It’s a three minute positive
Not too country up-tempo love song…

Sometime during another interview, Bush also said, “Eventually what you get is: ‘I can’t figure out which George Strait record to buy because I don’t know which song is on which record. All 50 of them are great, but you can’t tell them apart.'”
Spoken by someone who has maybe one or two Strait albums from a certain time period and never really sat down to take in the nuances of each one. And he seems to be saying it like it’s a bad thing. Yeah, I’ll admit a lot of George’s stuff sounds similar, but, huh…silly me, I thought that was part of having a signature sound. Strait’s not the only singer one can say that about, honestly. Just for another example, at a glance how was Alan Jackson’s Drive really that much different from Who I Am, the album that came eight years before? I know both Strait and Jackson have had a monumental impact on the genre, and it’s a delicious irony that their respective catalogs will very likely be remembered 40 years down the road by a hell of a lot more people than that of Sugarland, but I still don’t understand why Kristian Bush has to be such a jerk. It’s not the fault of the people he slams that he’s barely worth the shit on their shoes.