Archive for May, 2010

Thomas Friedman sings the same old song…

May 31, 2010

…but I must say here, that he does so in a particularly appalling fashion. Call me crazy, but I really don’t think we need any kid talk to know that we have an obligation to keep the environment in good shape for those who come after us. And I don’t understand why Thomas Friedman advocates yet more taxes when the economy is still not in the best shape no matter who you talk to. Over the short term we need jobs and affordable modes of transportation to get to those jobs so we can make money to FEED those kids and keep a roof over their heads. And more taxes will make such that much more difficult to generate. It seems to me that Thomas Friedman wants to make such a task that much harder. If I wanted to channel the perverse logic of the left I’d ask at this point, WHY DO YOU HATE CHILDREN, THOMAS?

And why does he never look at this from the perspective of the oil companies? Does he not realize that they hate things like oil spills as much as, if not more than, everyone else does? Does he not realize that every drop of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico means a little less money in BP’s coffers? Does he really believe they have so little of a vested interest in developing better sources of energy that they have to be forced to do so by way of what strikes me as punitive taxation? If he does, it obviously doesn’t matter to him. I’ve said it before of other pundits, but I’ll say it again here: For him to be so smart, Thomas Friedman sure is stupid.

Quote of the day, deprogramming edition…

May 31, 2010

…right here:

Any man who says he loves “Sex and the City” has been brainwashed, the victim of pop culture Stockholm Syndrome. Sexual favors were denied. Eyelids were peeled back and taped in place. After months of indoctrination, he suddenly found himself counting calories, clucking disapprovingly at feet wearing shoes from last season, and declaring “I’m totally a Samantha!” Don’t believe him when he gushes about the HBO series; pity him. Dude needs to be deprogrammed. An afternoon of empty beer bottles, BB guns, and Iron Maiden should do the trick.

I just don’t have anything to add to that…except, maybe, that I have “Aces High” running through my head now…

Missing the point, yet again…

May 30, 2010

…in comments to this story:

…isn’t this a republican sect, aren’t they supposed to be anti-immersion, especially Spanish?? ohhyeaa, it makes people smarter…DUH!!

the spanish speaking people don’t get recognized for learning english. weird.

I don’t understand why anyone would think “republicans” were anti-immersion. I seem to recall it being liberals and Democrats who were trying to perpetuate the bilingual education programs in this country, despite the studies that showed students who were taught solely in English scored higher on standardized tests and such than students who were taught in English and Spanish.

As for the Spanish speakers not getting recognized for learning English…I’d bet the person who made THAT particular comment probably also sees nothing wrong with kids getting certificates for participation in school. Since when should people get special recognition for fulfilling basic obligations?

This is another place…

May 29, 2010

…where the rubber meets the road

Twice in recent weeks, fishermen have been robbed at gunpoint by marauders that the local sheriff says are “spillover” from fighting between rival Mexican drug gangs.

Men armed with assault rifles robbed fishermen on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake on April 30 and May 6. They traveled in the low-slung, underpowered commercial Mexican fishing boats that are familiar here. They asked for money, drugs and guns, and took what cash was available. No one was hurt.

But remember, folks, we don’t need semiautomatic rifles to defend ourselves! Susan Estrich says so and she knows exactly what she’s talking about!

In all seriousness, though, I fail to understand why the good people on and around Falcon Lake should be left with (or limited to) such underpowered weaponry such as pistols and pump-action shotguns, living as they do so near what’s practically a war zone. I realize that these pirates may well be armed with full-auto weaponry, but that’s no excuse for handicapping Americans any more than they already are. And I am well aware of the argument that the continuing availability of the semiautomatic rifles perpetuates the arms race between the cartels and the authorities, but the fact is that the cat’s already out of the bag vis-a-vis the weaponry the cartels are getting — and we haven’t even talked about the weaponry the cartels are getting that is highly regulated (and damn near impossible to get in mass quantities without anyone noticing) in the United States. Would that we could get all those people agitating for a gun ban on a boat unarmed in the middle of Falcon Lake….

Two kinds of opportunism. Which kind is worse?

May 28, 2010

So I saw this, at The 9513:

After a string of seven singles that failed to break the Top 10, Darryl Worley goes back to the well of “common sense” populism he’s best-known for.

Take that, and put it next to Chely Wright’s coming out as a lesbian right about the time her new album comes out, and it poses an interesting question: Which kind of opportunism is more pathetic? Timing your coming out as a lesbian with the release of your new album after you haven’t had a hit in almost ten years, or going back after a five-year dry spell to the crass political pandering that got you your last big hit? I would say the latter is worse, even if I might agree with the song’s sentiments. I might have liked “Have You Forgotten” and “Keep The Change” more if they’d been done by bigger, more consistent stars than Darryl Worley, but as things are I think he’s just trying to cash in on current events and that just REALLY rubs me the wrong way. I can’t explain exactly why, but I just find Chely Wright’s coming out at the same time as her new album to be not quite THAT grating. Thoughts, folks?

Those stats aren’t that hard to find.

May 28, 2010

…or, Ignorant and self-righteous is no way to go through life.

A letter to the editor, in this morning’s Chronicle:

Concealed-handgun permit holders are some of the most law-abiding and responsible citizens around. As a group, concealed-handgun permit holders have an extremely low average of committing crime — much less than the average citizen.

A commenter:

What are the sources for your claiming that “concealed handgun” carriers are “low average” perpetrators of crime? And what crime? (Do you mean only gun crime? Only violent crime?) And, how about accidental injuries and death?

BAM! Here are your stats, dude. (PDF ALERT!) Rendered with maybe two minutes on Google. Unless you’re one of those who thinks hot-check writers and speeders shouldn’t be able to defend themselves, in which case you’re just an authoritarian asshole. Accidental deaths of kids here, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control. Accidental deaths from 2000 through 2005, for all age groups from 0-19 combined are in the low double digits. Why the emphasis on kids here? Well, that wasn’t all the above-mentioned authoritarian asshole commenter said:

Maybe the deaths of innocent children is a price we have to pay for the Second Amendment.
But do not you dare go around and pretend you are a good person when you kill children with your selfishness. You legal ground is solid for now. Your moral ground is in Hell.

What do you say to that? “Kill children with your selfishness”? What the hell? That’s about the most disgusting thing I’ve seen these cretins say yet. And moral ground in hell? Wow, what a judgmental asshole.

This is one way to do it…

May 27, 2010

…right here. I don’t know how many of the gun-runners are stupid enough to try to cross the border at official checkpoints with such illegal cargo, but if we had more people guarding the border that’d get to be a moot issue. I’d think it would be much easier to smuggle mass quantities of drugs north than it would be to smuggle mass quantities of guns south, but either way I don’t see why Americans’ rights should be infringed upon as any resort, much less a first one as so many people seem to advocate.

Well yeah, actually, you do.

May 26, 2010

For her to have gotten to the station she has reached in life, Susan Estrich certainly is ignorant:

If Barack Obama could convince Congress to pass the biggest health-care reform since Medicare and the biggest financial reform since the Great Depression, why can’t he push through a bill supported by police departments everywhere to ban assault weapons? Assault weapons are not used by sportsmen. You don’t hunt deer with an assault weapon. You don’t need one to protect your home.

I could say something about intermediate-caliber select-fire weaponry, since everyone knows that’s what assault rifles really are — but let’s be real here and not get sidetracked by semantics. What Susan Estrich is proposing to be banned here is a class of firearm that has gotten to be the hottest-selling in the country precisely because of its utility (chambered in various calibers, from .17HMR all the way up to the mighty .50BMG) for an immense variety of tasks, including, yes, hunting AND home defense. I probably shouldn’t have expected Estrich to know the story of Jim Zumbo or the Algiers Point Militia, though I still don’t think there was any excuse for her not to have done her research before she wrote this column.

I also thought it was funny how Estrich disputed the constitutionality of the Arizona law, considering the fact that the Supreme Court pointed out that arms “in common use” were the arms protected by the Second Amendment — thereby making Estrich’s “assault weapons ban” clearly unconstitutional. (As an aside, on one hand we have a law whose constitutionality may or may not be in question that Estrich bashes, but on the other we have a law Estrich advocates that has clearly been shown to be unconstitutional. Apparently the constitutionality of the law only matters if Estrich doesn’t support it.) So it doesn’t matter how many police departments support the ban. And if she wants to play THAT game, we could point out the disparity in the support of the ban between the chiefs (who are more often than not political appointees) and the rank-and-file police officers, the folks on the front lines fighting crime every day. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Susan Estrich is going to jump on board the gun ban train, but is it really too much to ask that she get any idea of what she’s talking about before she puts fingers to keyboard?
(h/t David Codrea)

Oooh, favorite song EVER, at The Roadhouse, Sirius Ch. 62: “Some fools never learn, play with the fire and you’re gonna get burned, it’s only love when you’re loved in return…”

Spin and ignorance…

May 26, 2010

…are apparently all some people have:

…Mexican President Felipe Calderón called for the reinstatement of the U.S. assault-weapons ban. In a knee-jerk reaction, Sen. John Cornyn and other Republicans, in obeisance to the gun lobby, demanded that the ban not be reinstated….
…Equally lame is asserting that regulating border-gun shows violates the Second Amendment. Assault weapons will still be available from respectable dealers, although the sale will involve filling out some paperwork.

Where are they getting this whole “unregulated border gun shows” thing? FFLs have to conduct the background checks at the gun shows just like they do in their stores. I’m guessing he thinks that private face-to-face sales at gun shows should be outlawed, and/or sales of semiautomatic rifles should be outlawed at gun shows. Which, as everyone with half a brain knows, would just drive the sales of such underground…just like outlawing the drugs has driven THEIR sales underground. And we all know that’s been a resounding success, don’t we? I would say the only way that would work is under a stiffly enforced licensing-and-registration authority with random auditing of gun owners and sellers, but we really don’t know just how well that would work, do we? Or how well it would go over with the gun-owning public? I sure as hell wouldn’t support such a thing no matter how well it would work, because the possibilities for abuse are just too great — and really, it’s none of the government’s fucking business how many guns Americans have anyway.  Let them guard the border as they’re fucking obligated to do by the damn Constitution.

And what is this “knee-jerk obeisance to the gun lobby” shit? Cornyn just said, “…the Second Amendment is not a subject open for diplomatic negotiation, with Mexico or any other nation.” that doesn’t sound like “knee-jerk obeisance to the gun lobby” to me. It sounds like Senator Cornyn upholding his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. One wonders what other constitutional rights being defended is knee-jerk obeisance to some nebulous lobby to Stephen Wentland and his ilk.

Mmm, more classic metal…

May 25, 2010

I’ve blogged about this band and this album before, but not this particular song.

Many say that 1990’s Rust in Peace was Megadeth’s finest work; I don’t have enough of the band’s catalog in my possession to make that determination for myself, but there’s no denying it’s a great metal album. One of the reasons for that was the album’s opening track, “Holy Wars (The Punishment Due),” which of course dealt with the Northern Ireland conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants: “Brother will kill brother, spilling blood across the land…” Rival Metallica’s lyrics were the first metal lyrics I saw that dealt with more weighty stuff than getting drunk and laid (yeah, I was a real late-comer to heavy metal), but there’s no doubt Megadeth ran neck-and-neck with them and still does. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I hate that it took me 20 years to discover this stuff, but better late than never.