Archive for April, 2009

Yeah, the last couple of days have been really good…

April 30, 2009

…which would explain no bloggy for you this morning! Better Half woke up and said, “Get your clothes on, you can ride with me to (hometown in Southwest Louisiana).” So I did. We took care of some business there, and once we headed back here she asked me, “What are we gonna do today?”
Me, I had no clue. She suggested we ride down to the beach. So off we went, spent a good 3-4 hours there collecting seashells, walking through the surf and just generally having a good ole time. We came back to our town and went and got ourselves a bite to eat at a Mexican place here in town, a place with a Thursday special on margaritas. Good times, good times. We would be shooting pool right now, but she got called in to go to work. I told her, “There’s always next week!” But I am thinking one of those days is going to be spent back down at the water’s edge, with an ice chest of full of libations. πŸ˜‰ We did shoot some pool yesterday, though. It had been a long time since I had a pool cue in my hand, but with application of some of the stuff I learned in high school I held my own, even if a lot of it was seat-of-the-pants. I need to tell the guy that owns the jukebox to balance out some of the Beatles with some Stones. But yeah, life is good…

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Well damn. Another good one gone.

April 30, 2009

One of the greatest voices in country music was silenced today. I just heard about it literally one minute ago. Maybe more later. For some strange and unknown reason I just don’t have the words right now.

We’re the Only Ones Ventilating High School Kids Enough…

April 29, 2009

What’s that, again?

FORT BLISS β€” An Army soldier is charged with murder in the shooting death of an El Paso high school student.
Col. Ed Manning, the Fort Bliss garrison commander, said on Tuesday that Spc. Gerald Polanco is charged with murder, attempted murder and being absent without leave.

Hey, you know how this could have been prevented, right? If only the police and the military had guns!
Oh, wait…

So the politicians aren’t experts, huh?

April 29, 2009

It would seem that’s what one South Texas congressman is saying here

β€œIt is my hope at this time that our borders with Mexico and Canada remain open so that trade may continue to flourish between our friendly nations unless experts, rather than politicians, see a need to close the borders,” said U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio.

Who the experts would be in this case, I don’t know. But this post was going to go in a whole different direction not so long ago. I was going to say that maybe Ciro Rodriguez was bringing up this whole expert thing just because it was his ox that would be gored in the event we did close the border with Mexico. I was going to say that he’d do well to tell those Northeastern and big-city Democrats to lay off on the talk about more gun control since they don’t really know anything about guns in the first place and are obviously riding this whole “iron river to Mexico” thing in an attempt to force gun control on Americans with what amounts to a bald-faced lie. But one could say that in effect he did exactly that; he was one of the 65 Democrats to sign the letter to Attorney General Eric Holder (pdf alert) opposing a renewal of the Clinton gun ban. Whether that was out of political expediency I don’t know, and I note that Rodriguez was rated C by the NRA, but still it makes me tend to think he might not have said “leave it up to the experts” just because his district would be affected. I was honestly surprised by that.

Why don’t I mess with file-sharing services?

April 28, 2009

‘Cause of stuff like this right-cheer

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. β€” After battling a suburban family for four years over music downloads, the recording industry has agreed to accept $7,000 β€” paid in installments β€” to settle its federal piracy lawsuit.
If approved by a judge, the settlement will end a well-publicized tussle that began with five record companies accusing Patricia Santangelo, a mother of five, of illegally downloading and distributing music.

Yeah, I know, that’s one family out of how many? Still though, I’d really rather not take the chance. I know the advantages people tout of services like that, and I can see where they’re coming from — like, say, you can download one or two songs off a cd you buy before you actually plunk down the cash. But I’d just rather not take the chances of being snared in that legal net. I know the business model has changed drastically from what it used to be before the advent of broadband and mp3s, and I know people also try to justify it by saying things like “the artist makes more off merchandise and concert ticket sales than recordings anyway,” and I can see that point as well — but if the record companies backing the artists don’t want you to download the music for free, I think that should be taken into consideration, especially given that, from what I understand, the record companies front the artists at least a portion of the costs for recording and marketing the music. It might seem heavy-handed on the part of the record companies, but isn’t it just their taking action to protect their investment? I’ll freely admit I used Napster once upon a time, but I downloaded maybe 10-15 songs from one cd that was out of print. If I could have gone to the store and got the cd I would have done that; I later found the cd on eBay for what I would have paid for it in the stores. And the only other online music service I’ve ever used was the Apple iTunes store. (It’s pretty nifty too…if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a brick-n-mortar store, just go to iTunes and search for it and you’re likely to find it. I found what’s probably the definitive George Jones hits collection there.) I guess you could say I am still a bit ambivalent about the whole thing…if the artists pay for the production and marketing of the music themselves and want to make it available for free download that’s great, but if they don’t want to do that I just don’t think we as fans should disregard that either. Thoughts?

The Onion for country music?

April 27, 2009

Whatever you wanna call it, there’s some funny, funny stuff here…and even the more serious stuff is worth a read.

Interesting point…

April 27, 2009

…raised by reader and blog-friend Bob S., in comments here:

I think we need to try to reframe the debate from “states rights” to limiting the power of the federal government.
States rights has a very negative connotation, limiting the power of the federal government on the other hand is something easier to understand.
I also see a conflict with the argument we gun owners use for the 2nd amendment. We state that the militia argument isn’t a ‘state’s right’ because states don’t have rights, they have powers.
Just my two cents.

A good point indeed. I am quite surprised that no one’s called out the advocates of that argument yet for in effect arguing out of both sides of our mouth. But then that’s largely a semantic argument, from my perspective anyway. I guess one could say “states’ rights” is a ham-handed attempt at shorthand for the Tenth Amendment, but it would be a better idea, as Bob says, to argue that certain things are better left to the states than to be micromanaged by the federales, than to argue something with such a negative connotation as states’ rights. Either way, though, sometimes I think the people are just going to have to see for themselves the consequences of that Leviathan federal government the Founders warned us about. Which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t want to drag those of us along who didn’t vote for that monstrosity.

This is rich…

April 27, 2009

coming from someone who’s shadowed by 24-hour Secret Service protection, a portion of which carries the very weapons he derides.
(h/t Codrea, who says everything else I’d like to say about this)

"Civil liberties. Civil rights."

April 27, 2009

You keep using those terms. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

MADISON, Wis. β€” Progressive magazine has a century’s worth of battles under its belt.
Through internal disputes, money troubles, a First Amendment clash over nuclear secrets and more, the fixture of the American left celebrates its 100-year anniversary still fighting for peace and social justice.

Editor Matthew Rothschild promised the magazine would oppose Obama when necessary even if it means alienating its liberal readers. He has already criticized Obama for refusing to nationalize troubled banks.
“We are defenders of a set of progressive principles,” Rothschild said in the magazine’s small, cluttered office across the street from a Catholic church in downtown Madison. “These are principles of civil liberties and civil rights and preserving the environment, combating corporate power.”

We’ll leave alone the “peace and social justice” shibboleth. That should have been seen long, long ago for the self-evident horseshit that it is. What really stood out to me was the claim that those cretins are “defenders…of civil liberties and civil rights.” Considering the fact that, for example, many of them advocate keeping from my 5 ft. 2 girlfriend the one thing that would best help her defend herself against her 6 ft. 4 ex-boyfriend, I am thinking they have a different definition of “civil rights and civil liberties” than most of the rest of us do. Since the first time I saw her use the term in that legendary column from 1993, I always got a huge kick out of lefty standard-bearer Molly Ivins describing herself as a “civil libertarian,” considering how she showed herself to be an authoritarian fascist on the level of, say, Benito Mussolini. Call me crazy, but I didn’t think civil libertarians would advocate measures like taking things from people β€” by force of arms if necessary β€” for acts they didn’t commit. I didn’t think civil libertarians would brush off the concerns of other civil libertarians by saying things like “You want protection? Get a dog.” But then, maybe that’s just the bloodthirsty, warmongering, unenlightened Texan retrosexual in me.

I bet Reid wasn’t even aware…

April 27, 2009

…of the incongruity of his own words

WASHINGTON β€” Everyone knows President Barack Obama can deliver a great speech, including the president himself, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Reid, D-Nev., writes: “‘That speech was phenomenal, Barack,’ I told him. And I will never forget his response. Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: ‘I have a gift, Harry.'”

Mmm-hmmm. More of those narcissistic tendencies, I suppose. Reid thinks Americans are going to swallow this crap? Call me crazy, but saying anything about your own gifts is a display of anything but humility, no matter how you say it. As for Americans taking those words without even a hint of doubt about the creature they put in the big chair…well, I’m sure many of them will, unfortunately. It goes back to that lack of critical thinking skills addressed in this space yesterday. And the destruction of the Founders’ Republic proceeds right on schedule…