Archive for August, 2009

You know what I hate?

August 31, 2009

Political commentary in comics that have not made their niche as overtly political comics. Those wafers might have been inherited, but who’s to say that kid’s dad didn’t get them honestly? That seems to be the implication and that really burns my arse. As if taking just “a small percentage” makes it all right.

Hey, Kathleen Parker actually makes a good point here!

August 31, 2009

Or, yet another reason the left vs. right paradigm gets more outdated by the day, almost:

…the tone on the right side of the blogosphere is rather Old Testament, with many expressing delight in the thought that the senator’s final judgment will not be light. Elsewhere, Kennedy fans have exploited the propitious timing of his exit.

One can’t help wondering, nonetheless, how those same Old Testament celebrants would have treated Kennedy had he, as recompense for his sins, embarked on a crusade against abortion and same-sex marriage instead of universal health care. My modest guess is that they would have found a way to forgive him and insisted that a man’s worst moment is not the sum of his life.
Kennedy’s life was indeed a mixed sack of good works and sometimes-deplorable behavior. A charitable person would hope that he found peace at the end of his life. An observant person might note, without pleasure, that even in death, it’s all politics.

With as many people that have been lambasting Teddy Kennedy for his advancement of liberal causes, I can’t help but think she might be right for once. Of course Parker doesn’t even realize why she might be right, as we see here that she characterizes his life as a “mixed sack of good works and sometimes-deplorable behavior.” A perusal of Teddy’s record will reveal some good works, such as getting more federal funds for cancer research, but by and large, when viewed from a libertarian vs. statist point of view, the lion’s share of Teddy’s career was dedicated to increasing the size and role of the government — which is nearly nothing but bad works. More than a few libertarian-leaning people might even ask, “why should the federal government be the ones to decide how much of the American public’s money goes to cancer research?” And as heartless as that might sound I do understand exactly where they’re coming from.
Of course, with Kathleen Parker’s near-terminal case of cranial-rectal inversion, I don’t expect her or any of the other “conservative” elitists ever to come to that realization.

Hey, wait a minute…

August 31, 2009


CHICAGO — Sixteen years after seven employees were killed inside a suburban Chicago fast food restaurant, their families are bracing to hear details of the deaths — for the second time in only two years — as the last suspect goes on trial.
…Prosecutors said the men shot and stabbed restaurant owners Richard Ehlenfeldt, 50, his wife Lynn, 49, and five of their employees: Michael Castro, 16; Rico Solis, 17; Marcus Nellsen, 31; Thomas Mennes, 32; Guadalupe Maldonado, 46.

I thought that sort of thing wasn’t supposed to happen in places with restrictive gun laws. It’s almost as if the anti-gunners were trying to sell us a pig in a poke. Imagine that.
But wait! Maybe it’s the easy access to knives…yeah, that’s the ticket…

Wow, so much for real solutions…

August 30, 2009

Reading this story, one would almost have expected somebody at some level to observe that if the people of New Orleans were more self-sufficient more of them would have been able to make it out before Hurricane Katrina hit. But I suppose that wouldn’t have fit the popular narrative that Katrina’s catastrophic aftermath was the result of the federal government dropping the ball, never mind that it was the local and state government’s responsibility to step in before the feds took over. I know there are always going to be those who need help getting the hell out of Dodge when the time comes, but it’s still worth asking why so many of them were in New Orleans — and how many of them were in that predicament because of their own bad choices. Call me heartless, but that’s just what I think.

Just another random musical observation…

August 29, 2009

upon hearing Testament earlier this morning and Metallica’s classic “Master of Puppets” as I write this…
You know what subgenre is just awesome? American thrash metal…the above two bands, Exodus, Megadeth, Anthrax…Man, I hate that it took me 20 years to discover this stuff. Better late than never, though.

Heyyyy, another favorite…

August 29, 2009

….at Outlaw Country, Sirius Ch. 63: “Sundown, you better take care, if I find you been creepin’ ’round my back step….”
Not the Gordon Lightfoot original, although it is a favorite of mine as well. Central Texas native Deryl Dodd also recorded that song. I’m not exactly sure when he recorded it, but I remember 99.5 the Wolf in Dallas was playing it pretty regularly around 2000-01. “Sundown” finally showed up on a Deryl Dodd cd called Pearl Snaps in early 2002. Pearl Snaps was a great cd as well, featuring a few cuts from Dodd’s first album that had since gone out of print — a great rendition of Tom T. Hall’s “That’s How I Got to Memphis,” Dodd’s own “She’ll Have You Back” (also recorded by Tim McGraw), and the title cut from that first album, “One Ride In Vegas.” There was also the title track to Dodd’s A Bitter End cd, and another of those songs that 99.5 the Wolf had in pretty heavy rotation, a love song to our fine state called “On Earth As It Is In Texas.” (Dear Lord, let me walk in the light of a lone star high above meeeee…)
As for “Sundown”…it seems to me that Deryl Dodd is another of those singers who couldn’t do anything but country music, as he turned Lightfoot’s pop-folk classic into a modern-day Texas country classic. Of course folk and country have always been kissin’ cousins, I guess you could say, but it was still awesome. As is that entire cd, which is another that I would very highly recommend you add to your collection.

My favorite song of all time….

August 28, 2009

…at the Roadhouse, Sirius Ch. 62: “…and you don’t know it, but I came over tonight, there was somebody’s car parked outside…Damn my eyes…Damn this heart of mine, I drove off into the night…Some fools never learn, play with the fire and you’re gonna get burned…it’s only love when you’re loved in return….”
Despite his pop leanings, Steve Wariner was one of my favorite singers from the ’80s, largely because of that one song, a No. 1 hit the week of Nov. 2, 1985. I guess you could say “Some Fools Never Learn” was such a great song that it made up for a lot of that. 😉 But I also liked the earlier hits from Steve’s MCA days. “What I Didn’t Do” and “Heart Trouble” were particular favorites. I’d like to have seen him do more in that vein, but still his pop-flavored tunes weren’t THAT bad.
I should add, though, that for all I know he did do more traditional music with the unreleased album cuts on those early MCA records. By the time I started getting into that older music all those albums were out of print. After all, to hear the 1998 No. 2 hit “Holes in the Floor of Heaven” no one would have ever guessed that the Wariner album from which it came — Burnin’ the Roadhouse Down — was one of the more traditional-sounding country albums of ’98, and that year saw albums from George Strait, Alan Jackson and Randy Travis, who of course have been keepers of the flame ever since they’ve been on the scene. (And if you don’t have that particular Steve Wariner cd, I highly recommend it…)

Another bad thing…

August 28, 2009

…about having to deal with sprawl

Walter’s on Washington, a popular live-music venue on Washington Avenue, will close this fall and reopen at a new location. Club owner Pam Robinson can’t reveal the new location until it gets approval from the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, but she says it will be downtown in a 1928 warehouse.

The new venue will also be removed from residential areas. As the area near Walter’s began to gentrify, noise complaints about the venue became more common. A noise complaint in 2006 led to a skirmish between police and fans, resulting in multiple arrests and taserings.

I know those people have to have a place to live, but are they selfish or just stupid? “Hey, let’s move next door to a live music venue!” Lucky for the owner of this particular venue she found a bigger and better place to go, but even so other amenities like shooting ranges are left with fewer options. I see that’s become a bigger problem in certain places as well — people moving into the vicinity of a shooting range and complaining about the noise and safety. (Hey, that’s generally what you’re gonna deal with when you do that sort of thing!) That’d be like people moving to this area and complaining about the chemical plants. Were it not for the fact that so many people rightfully refer to it as “the smell of money,” no doubt those complaints would be as loud as the complaints of the people who move next door to the shooting range or live music venue. Some people just think the world revolves around them, I guess…

What he said.

August 27, 2009

Historian Robert Dallek, that is:

“Jack and Bobby, they were martyrs, and martyrs’ reputations live on,” says Dallek, author of “An Unfinished Life,” a biography of John Kennedy. “And so it’s almost as if their achievements have become second to their martyrdom.”

Yep. Had it not been for the Kennedy brothers being cut down in the prime of their lives and careers, that Kennedy mystique might not have been nearly as potent as it became to the American people, and Teddy’s role as the runt of the litter would have been much more obvious as his brothers’ achievements were seen more on their own merits as opposed to being seen through the light of their respective “martyrdoms.” I can’t speak so much for Bobby’s achievements, but as for JFK, everyone knows about the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis — and who knows what would have happened had they not been cut down. For all anyone knows, at least we might not have gotten the Nazi-inspired Gun Control Act of 1968, which would have only been a good thing….

Another thing to be thankful for….

August 26, 2009

…the fact that I was born decades before this madness started. But then as far as I know it’s always been an issue to an extent. Believe it or not, I honestly thought it was standard medical procedure with boys. I remember the first time I was asked about it. My answer: “Well yeah, isn’t everybody?” I am quite glad that was the case, too…because if I had not been, that first time might well have been with someone else, and it wouldn’t have been the beautiful spiritual and physical experience that it turned out to be. Of that I am certain…