Archive for December, 2009

Whatever helps you sleep at night, Dennis.

December 11, 2009

I read this from Dennis Henigan (of the Organization Formerly Known As Handgun Control) and got a chuckle out of it:

Generally speaking, Congressional offices hear more frequently from “gun rights” partisans than from constituents who support stronger gun laws. This, of course, says nothing about public support for gun control. For example, over 80% of Americans support legislation to close the “gun show loophole” by extending Brady background checks to private sales at gun shows. But it is a level of support not generally reflected in constituent communications to Members of Congress.

In other words, the American public overwhelmingly support more gun control but they’re not motivated enough to call their Congresscritters to demand it, getting themselves drowned out and their wishes denied by the noisy minority of the eeeevil gun lobby. Does that make any sense whatsoever? Yeah, to me either. I’d think that if the support for making all transfers undergo background checks was that high, Congress would be hearing from the people. I’d guess those polls were rigged to support HCI’s goals. That’s honestly the only thing that I could think of that would explain such a poll.

As for the bad reviews of Henigan’s book, well, a perusal of said reviews shows quite a few of them to be well-written, and with actual cites to back up what they say. The way he (and some on our side, regrettably) talks one would think the reviews were full of “OMG Henigan is teh suxxorz!!!!1111one!!!”-type writing from people who hadn’t read the book, but a surprising number of them are actually very well written, i.e., “Henigan is wrong and here is why.” Of course that doesn’t surprise me. We are the ones on whose side the facts and logic lie.

Taking the old saying a tad too literally…

December 10, 2009

As I was at the dentist yesterday waiting to have two wisdom teeth yanked, I had the TV on WGN watching the tail end of “Nash Bridges,” followed by the midday news. One of the items on the newscast concerned the police in a certain Chicago suburb (whose name escapes me at the moment) handing out whistles for people to blow when they were being mugged, robbed or what-have-you. I know people talk about “blowing the whistle” on crime, but it seems to me that is taking that saying entirely too literally. One wonders how many people in that benighted area would come to their fellow subjects’ assistance as they heard that whistle blow as opposed to waiting on somebody with a badge and a gun. I’d bet most of them would not. Even if the powers that be in Illinois do not actively try to “discourage people from self-help” as certain folks do in Massachusetts, you know the let-someone-else-do-it mindset is only helped along by Illinois politicians’ resolute denial of Illinoisans’ right of self-defense.

And a, well, not-so-random observation: It didn’t hurt so badly when those teeth were pulled. The dentist numbed me up right-good, I tell you what. Once that anesthetic wore off, though, I was in pain like nothing I had known before in my entire life. Seriously. I just wanted to curl up in a ball on the floor and whine. Vicodin and ice on my jaw cleared that riiiight up, though…

Making saints of devils?

December 9, 2009

It certainly seems people are prone to do that, especially when the devils shuffle off this mortal coil.

I can definitely understand BR’s daughter getting pissed off about what was being said about him before it was deleted. I can also understand her thinking he was a good person. But I can’t agree with that, or with a commenter there saying he “led a good life…despite his imperfections.” Those imperfections being, of course, that he was an elitist, vitriolic asshole who tried to divide the gun owner community even more than it already is, when it needs now more than ever to present a united front against those who would take all of the guns. The fact that a certain organization which advocates the government having a monopoly on force called him a “profile in courage” (linked at SIH) ultimately tells me all I need to know about just how “good” of a person he was. It sucks for his family that he’s dead, and I’m sorry for their loss, but that’s about all the sympathy I can muster.

Civilization suspended?

December 8, 2009

Oh, man. Leonard Pitts returns to form in a spectacular fashion this morning, with so much hand-wringing that I barely even know what to tackle. There was one thing in this column that jumped out at me more than anything, though:

Can-do fell apart, civilization fell apart, New Orleans drowning and its trapped people turning feral and mean while those whose job it was to rescue them bungled, bickered, pointed fingers and otherwise acquitted themselves with all the smooth efficiency of the Keystone Kops.

“Those whose job it was to rescue them.” I wonder if it ever occurred to Pitts how illuminating of a commentary such a statement is on how far we have fallen — that the federal government was expected to shoulder the responsibility of getting those people out of New Orleans, as opposed to the local and state governments, or — horror of horrors! — the people themselves to get out of harm’s way via assistance from their friends and family. Why was it that we saw the horrors of Katrina as an example of government dropping the ball, as opposed to seeing it as the result of multi-generational dependence on government on all levels (hence, perhaps, family members being unable to help the downtrodden get out) to do things the Founding Fathers never intended government to do? Things like that only make it that much easier for civilization to fall apart; yet Pitts has yet to address that phenomenon. I wonder why that is?

Hey, another rocker who shares my sentiments…

December 7, 2009

…on country music:

We all love country music – real country music, not this awful, awful, awful mockery they put out today. They should be ashamed…

(Benmont Tench, a co-founder of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.)

I’ve said all this before, but I think it bears repeating. It’s one thing when you have the classic and Texas-red dirt country singers denigrating Nashville country, but it’s quite another when you have the stars of other genres doing it. I recall Tom Petty himself saying a few years back that all this new country sucked eggs too. In a way you could say that the other genres’ stars saying this actually boosts the credibility of what the folks in the country genre are saying, because those other singers don’t have a vested interest in the popularity of real country music. One could say they come to it with a more unbiased eye.

Of course, the argument goes in an entirely different direction here, with this quote from Kellie Pickler:

I like the tears and the realness in the voices, and it’s not overproduced — no smoke and mirrors…”Willie’s Place” on XM Satellite Radio is all I listen to.

I must admit I was really surprised by that, as what they play on Willie’s Place is just so radically different from the type of music that Kellie Pickler records. Granted, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that the record labels would try to steer her in such a different direction — but the fact that she doesn’t listen to the type of music the record labels want her to record, is not a good commentary on that type of music. I wonder if Taylor Swift’s ears were burning when Ms. Pickler said that?

(h/t Country California)

Who are the real racists…

December 7, 2009


Amid all the headlines generated by Tiger Woods’ troubles — the puzzling car accident, the suggestions of marital turmoil and multiple mistresses — little attention has been given to the race of the women linked with the world’s greatest golfer.
Except in the black community.

The darts reflect blacks’ resistance to interracial romance. They also are a reflection of discomfort with a man who has smashed barriers in one of the whitest of all sports and assumed the mantle of world’s most famous athlete, once worn by Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.

On the one hand, Ebonie Johnson Cooper doesn’t care that Woods’ wife and alleged mistresses are white because he is “quote-unquote not really black.”

The color of one’s companion has long been a major measure of “blackness” — one major reason why the biracial Barack Obama was able to fend off early questions about his black authenticity.
“Had Barack had a white wife, I would have thought twice about voting for him,” Johnson Cooper said.

Wow. Not really black? If Obama had a white wife that person would have thought twice about voting for him? And all this time the media have been trying to tell us that it’s the white people who are the racists, while here it’s put on display for all to see that the black people have their own attitudes and tests on racial purity that would have everyone up in arms were it white people doing it. Tell me how this is any different from the attitudes of the KKK, Aryan Nations, Stormfront, et al?


Palin Reactions

December 5, 2009

If Sarah Palin can draw this kind of crowd to a book signing, imagine what kind of crowd she could draw to the voting booth in 2012. I will never understand the feelings of those who say she is a liability to the Republican Party with these reactions. It seems there weren’t any protesters to speak of — if there were, I’d think the story would have mentioned them. I know it’s just one book signing, but even so, I tend to think the mewling of the GOP elite is, well, just that.

On the Southeast Texas weather…

December 5, 2009

…I think one of my college buddies said it best on Facebook this morning:

“I was just watching the Weather Channel and Jim Cantore is in Houston, which means everyone should evacuate.”


If a certain gift works for someone…

December 4, 2009

…for the better, in ways that are not advertised, who gives a flying rat’s ass if others might think it’s tacky? I might look odd with two cell phone cases hanging off my jeans — one for my phone and one for my iPod — but I would damn sure rather have those cases than risk leaving my cell phone or iPod in my pocket and running it through the washing machine. I have lost an iPod that way; I am sure others have as well, and I’d bet more than a few have lost cell phones that way too.

…and justice for all?

December 4, 2009

Not quite

…(Martin Luther) King’s vision included more than justice for black folk. His vision included all God’s children, red and yellow, black and white.
King’s vision and struggles are important to remember as serious conversations about immigration reform are again beginning to brew, as indicated by the remarks last month of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at the Center for American Progress.

I think it’s rather disingenuous for The Rev. Clemons to be comparing MLK’s vision to that of those who advocate certain methods of untying the immigration Gordian knot. It has always struck me that groups such as LULAC, La Raza and (to a much greater extent) MEChA, as opposed to seeking justice for “all God’s children,” only seek it for their preferred race. And so it continues to this very day. I thought it was particularly self-righteous of him to admonish us all to “(l)isten not to false prophets who wrap their politics around the fear of the immigrant” as he continued to build his premise on the shifting sands of the argument that the advocacy groups share King’s goals of justice for all. It’s not the immigrant many of us fear; it’s the balkanization of American society and culture that is encouraged by these advocacy groups. Sooner or later that is going to have to be confronted and dealt with. And touchy-feely rhetoric from disingenuous clergymen isn’t going to be nearly enough to do it.