Archive for May, 2009

Honestly, what are the teachers so afraid of?

May 26, 2009

I don’t get it

Robert Haynes grew up around guns.
He respects them.
“But there’s a time and a place for a person to have a firearm,” said Haynes, faculty senate president at Texas A&M International University.

Haynes, an associate professor of English, said he thinks that many faculty members will be anxious knowing students in the classroom are armed.

Good grief! “Students carrying guns, oh teh noes!” Really now, what the hell would be so different? Why would they not be worried about, say, police officers carrying them? Is there honestly any reason to believe someone’s more mentally stable and a better shot just because they carry a badge? Seeing the behavior of certain members of that noble brotherhood gives one the idea they’re really not any more mentally stable than the rest of us. I don’t mean to bash the cops here. I just don’t see why they’re given any more credit than the rest of us. And I just thought of something, actually. Why couldn’t the armed students communicate with campus security and work with them so as to minimize the risk of the good guy getting shot? Maybe that possibility has been mentioned and I missed it, but one would think if it had been mentioned it’d be discussed more than it has been in this whole debate. And the fact that no one’s discussed it indicates an appalling lack of thinking outside the box. But then that’s just me…

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Food for thought, for this Memorial Day…

May 25, 2009

I went to one of the local Memorial Day celebrations yesterday. The Patriot Guard Riders were part of the program, which had to be moved inside because it was raining to beat the band. So the riders didn’t get to make their grand entrance as planned. But they still came. That didn’t surprise me, but I almost lost it when their chapter president addressed the crowd and told them why the riders came in spite of the rain. She said of the fallen soldiers, “They didn’t get an opportunity to choose the weather they fought in, or to choose whether or not to go.”
I don’t think I’ll ever forget that, for the rest of my days.

The Final Inspection
Author Unknown

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my Church have you been true?”

The soldier squared his soldiers and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I ain’t.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep…
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.”

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.

“Step forward now, you soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in Hell.”

Remember them, always…

On certain commercials…

May 24, 2009

I never thought about one particular commercial being offensive to certain people…

I wonder if I am the only one offended by the latest Jack in the Box commercials? The one featuring little people is bad enough.

…but I can certainly see why it would be. My main beef with that particular ad, so to speak, was that it seemed like Jack in the Box was trying to pass those mini burgers off as an original idea when it quite obviously wasn’t, at least to anyone who’s been outside, for example, this particular area. Um, hello, but do the names “Krystal” and “White Castle” mean anything to these people? I like Jack in the Box just fine, really, but one would think they and their ad agency could have done better than that. Next thing you know they’ll come out with a burger with tartar sauce on it and try to market THAT as a new and exciting item too, when it has also been done — with great success, apparently.

Why don’t they look at the Mexico situation for a change…

May 24, 2009

…as opposed to writing story after story after story on the way things are in the United States?

One guy was an unemployed machinist who lived with his parents, but spent $24,800 in a year at Houston gun stores, snapping up military-style weapons for a Mexican drug cartel.
His accused gun-running associate dropped $42,700 in a year, as did another who spent $27,700 in two months.
Each often shopped at the same stores, according to court records. Ten alleged buyers were indicted and arrested last week, part of an investigation of as many as 23 people who spent $366,400 during a 15-month period that ended in 2007. Two of them, including the machinist, have pleaded guilty.
But the dealers who sold the guns, are not accused of wrongdoing. The law says they did nothing wrong, even if they wondered, for example, why a customer in one pop would pay cash for five civilian variants of the M-16 assault rifle used by the military.

Ooooh, civilian variant of the M-16 assault rifle used by the military. Scary. I bet it can shoot through tank armor and is a danger to aircraft everywhere.
Seriously, though…I guess this is newsworthy in the sense that not many people know that the dealers can decline the sales if they suspect something being amiss, but what they really ought to be looking into is the other half of the equation — Mexican gun laws, border security, and just how many weapons recovered from the cartels were from the Mexican military. I for one would be quite interested to know just how and why Mexican laws are so strict compared to those of the United States. But I’m guessing we’ll never find out about any of that, as it’s so much easier to make your friendly local gun dealer look like the bad guy here.

Sooner or later it had to be crossed….

May 23, 2009

…a certain threshold, that is

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The day of reckoning that California has been warned about for years has arrived. The longest recession in generations and the defeat this week of a package of budget-balancing ballot measures are expected to lead to state spending cuts so deep and so painful that they could rewrite the social contract between California and its citizens. They could also force a fundamental rethinking of the proper role of government in the Golden State.
“The voters are getting what they asked for, but I’m not sure at the end of the day they’re going to like what they asked for,” said Jim Earp, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs, which represents the hard-hit construction industry. “I think we’ve crossed a threshold in many ways.”

Sooner or later, though, it was going to happen. And I really don’t see what’s so wrong with the voters not wanting the California state government to “balance budgets with higher taxes, complicated transfer schemes or borrowing that pushes California’s financial problems off into the distant future.” And I think it’s worth asking how many of those prisoners they speak of releasing were nonviolent drug offenders. Seriously, after how the Willie Horton fiasco bit Michael Dukakis in the ass when he was running for president just over 20 years ago, are people really so gullible as to think somebody as dangerous would be let out again? And it’s also worth asking how all that government spending got to be justified in the first place…and why it costs almost four times as much to rent a U-Haul truck to move your stuff from L.A. to Houston as it does to move your stuff from Houston to L.A….and why the California media had to be such assholes to the California voters the morning after the vote.

Leave it to whom, now?

May 22, 2009

The Only Ones, apparently…

I would not feel comfortable carrying a weapon on a college campus. I feel it is better to have a professional carrying out that job.

…Yep, ’cause they’re The Only Ones Professional Enough.

One of the things I REALLY hate about authoritarian statists…

May 22, 2009

…is their “Let them eat cake” mentality, as well as their self-righteous moralizing and finger-wagging, as seen here

The new fuel-efficiency and emission standards may lead to smaller cars with lighter engines. This is not what consumers prefer, auto analysts tell us.
They may be right that Americans want big, cheap cars. They also want free gasoline, clean air and complementary cocktails in coach. Meanwhile, they don’t want to send their money to petro-financed terrorists. And they don’t want to bail out U.S. carmakers going bankrupt in part because, when oil prices soared, Americans stopped buying big vehicles, as much as they might have preferred them.
The moral here is we can’t always have what we want. Life is a series of trade-offs. Had the previous administration gone to bat for tighter fuel-efficiency standards, U.S. automakers would not have been caught flat-footed when gas prices spiked last year. They’d be in better shape today.

Big, maybe, but cheap? Has Froma Harrop ever priced, say, a fully loaded Dodge Ram 2500 with the Cummins diesel? We’re looking at about a $45,000-$50,000 set of wheels here, which is something that could hardly be described as cheap. And, of course, reading this column you’ll see one critical component here that wasn’t even addressed. Just for grins, what would you rather be in when you hit a deer at 50 mph? A Toyota Prius or the aforementioned Dodge truck? Funny how the leftists are harping all the time about the dangers of liberty as the Founders intended it to be, whining about how “we need to (insert liberty-abrogating action here), for the CHILLLDREN!” and on the other hand we have missives such as this. I guess when it comes to Mother Gaia, potentially tens of thousands of deaths — tens of thousands of orphaned or dead CHILLLLDREN, if you wanna put it like that — are just so much collateral damage to those cretins. Which just goes to show, once again — it ain’t about safety. It’s about controlling OUR lives because THEY KNOW BETTER.

Chickens coming home to roost…

May 22, 2009

…or, The crap just keeps rolling downhill

Only Sanford and his few political allies dispute the need for the cash. Sanford says the stimulus cash takes the pressure from legislators to reduce government spending and get rid of waste. If the right cuts are made, the need for federal stimulus cash would fall.
But legislators say plenty of cuts already have been made. The current year’s budget started at $7 billion but the recession forced cuts of more than $1 billion. Without the $700 million over two years from Washington that Sanford has rejected, educators predict hundreds of teacher layoffs, colleges forecast tuition hikes and lawmakers say prisons won’t be able to operate.

All of this, of course, brings a question to mind: Why didn’t the state of South Carolina put back money for situations like this? Shouldn’t they have known the economy wasn’t going to be good forever, that sooner or later something was going to go wrong? It’d be interesting to see what kinds of cuts would come out of a third party with no vested interest in any of the items in the budget. And then, of course, it’s worth asking how many nonviolent drug offenders are locked up in South Carolina prisons…

So what exactly is wrong with those lists?

May 21, 2009

I would really like to know

Each camp has its list of outrageous court decisions, which it denounces as deliberate distortions of law, cavalierly imposed by “judicial activists.” That epithet has become little more than a verbal grenade, hurled, too often, simply to impugn any decision with which one disagrees.

Maybe they do, but…so what? There are some court decisions through American history that deserve to be held up as outrageous injustices. You know the names…Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Kelo v. New London, and the list goes on. And of course Mr. Souter cast his vote on the wrong side of that last one. Heller v. D.C. was one vote away from it, and Souter came down on the wrong side of that one too. And those decisions (not Heller, mind you), as well as the lines of thought behind them, were bad for liberty no matter what school of constitutional thought one subscribes to. I would like to see, though, exactly what actions the “living Constitution” contingent thinks would be so dangerous and antithetical to liberty that the risks outweigh the public benefit, especially considering those folks think decisions like Kelo are a good thing. I tend to think people who write pieces like the above-quoted column would really just like the “strict constructionists” to sit down and shut up (especially considering it’s mainly the SCs who come up with the lists of bad cases). They’re just too spineless to say it outright.

Thoughts from daytime TV…

May 20, 2009

Law & Order: Criminal Intent is on the USA Network as I write this. Crime of this episode was a literal gay-bashing. Guy was jumped by about three or four punks. Watching it I thought, “you know, if he’d been almost anywhere but New York City he’d have been able to defend himself as opposed to having to just lay there and take it.” I’m thinking the producers of the show probably didn’t intend for that thought to come to mind, but it did.