Archive for June, 2010

Somebody apparently didn’t read the column.

June 20, 2010

as evidenced by this comment:

Sherman is a real crackpot. What we need is fewer illegal immigrants.

The commenter is right about the need for fewer illegal immigrants, but the person who wrote the column being commented upon laid out a pretty good plan for ensuring exactly that — less illegal immigration, that is. Among other things, he called for:

•  Foreign nationals being required to hold jobs, undergo background checks and pay certain fees, and being issued a green card with an embedded microchip;
•  Strict policing of the border by the military; and
• Illegal immigrants being given amnesty in exchange for a $2500 penalty fee, with said illegals being subject to the same conditions by which foreign nationals must abide to enter the country and any illegal who hasn’t registered with the government within a year being subject to deportation.

And then there is this:

The new regime, however, would make citizenship a much higher hurdle, ensuring an extensive knowledge of this nation’s laws, history, culture and fluency in English. Further, unless an immigrant becomes an American citizen, they would not be entitled to participate in Social Security or Medicare, even if they pay into them – another incentive to become a citizen. And, there would be another trade-off for a more liberal immigration policy: namely, a constitutional amendment abolishing the right of a child born in the U.S. to gain automatic citizenship. 

I can hear the cries of the illegal immigrant lobby now, as well as those of the big-L Libertarians. And, well, in this case that’d be a sign that whoever proposed such a plan is definitely on the right-track — and we will never see such a plan being put into place in the United States, with the politicians pandering to that illegal immigrant lobby as they do.

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The headline says it all, doesn’t it?

June 19, 2010

As does the lead paragraph, here:

Obama spill panel big on policy, not engineering
WASHINGTON — The panel appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is short on technical expertise but long on talking publicly about “America’s addiction to oil.” One member has blogged about it regularly.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that piker in the White House would put a bunch of ideologues in charge who know more about gushing tired old platitudes than about what causes oil spills, but it’s still quite disheartening.

Layers and layers of fact-checkers!

June 19, 2010

…or, the Dallas Police Department issues revolvers as duty weapons?

A Dallas police officer who fired a gun in a squad car during a drunken off-duty incident faces a misdemeanor discharging a weapon charge.

While the car was in motion, Beemer demanded that the officer stop as she tried to open the door. Then she pulled a revolver from her ankle holster and fired into the floorboard. No one was injured.

Damn, that’s pretty old-school right there. And I’d think the issuance of a revolver as a duty weapon would show the contention that the criminals are in any way outgunning the police as the filthy lie that it is. Why? Because however much of a disadvantage you’re going to be at with 12 to 15 shots before reloading, you’ll be at that much more of a disadvantage with only six or seven shots before you have to reload. So which is it? Can the police keep the criminals at bay with revolvers? Or did those layers and layers of fact-checkers go back to an old term that doesn’t fit?

"Hey! Denying their rights is OUR job!"

June 18, 2010

…or, I think Bob King is reading something into Toyota’s decision that isn’t there:

Toyota’s announcement that it will resume construction of a car factory in Mississippi was a much-needed piece of good news for both the state struggling with persistent unemployment and the automaker trying to recover some goodwill after a recall crisis bruised its reputation.
But the decision drew fire from America’s largest auto union, which accused Toyota of shifting production from a union plant to a nonunion facility.

UAW President Bob King pledged to step up efforts to organize nonunion workers at Toyota factories and those run by other foreign automakers in the U.S. King, who was elected to head the union this week, used his acceptance speech on Thursday to accuse Toyota of shifting jobs to a location where it can pay lower, nonunion wages. He also said the move was designed to scare workers at Toyota’s other U.S. factories.
“We’re going to pound on Toyota until they recognize the First Amendment rights of those workers to come into the UAW,” King said at the UAW national convention in Detroit.

Recognize what, again? Nowhere did I see in this story that Toyota was denying workers in Mississippi or anywhere else their right to unionize. It’s arguable that Toyota workers wouldn’t get paid as much in Mississippi anyway because the cost of living is probably much lower in Mississippi than in California. I think Bob King is just pissed off because Mississippi is a right-to-work state, which means he can’t legally enter into an agreement with Toyota to force employees to join his union as a condition of employment. If I was in his position I’d be pissed off too — but, well, I don’t think people should have to join the union to work someplace if they feel it’s not in their best interests.

Mama ain’t ALWAYS right…

June 18, 2010

Sitting here listening to Steve Earle…”Mama says a pistol is the devil’s right hand…”

Me: “I wonder if he also believed Mama when she told him if he made a face it’d freeze that way.”

Sabra: “He also can’t figure out why his palms aren’t hairy.”

I tell you, that woman riffs off what I say like no one else…

"Authorized Journalist" mentality on display…

June 17, 2010

here:

…Several months ago, I saw an interview with Kutcher in which he declared: “We can and will create our media.” By “we,” Kutcher was talking about anyone who subscribes to the belief that their views and opinions are just as valuable as the views and opinions of media professionals who have the benefit of editors, producers, fact-checkers and tons of experience.

Put another way, this tribe believes that the views and opinions of columnists, radio talk-show hosts, TV commentators and other pundits are no more valuable than what you pick up from Twitter, Facebook or the scores of nameless, faceless individuals who blog feverishly.

…what most people don’t understand is that much of what you get from the media doesn’t just come out of thin air. It comes through endless reporting, research, thinking, experience, analyzing, interviewing stakeholders and processing feedback from readers, listeners and viewers.

Experience doing what, exactly? Many journalists don’t have much experience in any other fields besides journalism, as that was their first career choice. That’s exactly 180 degrees counter to what I’ve heard makes a good journalist — that is, experience in other fields besides journalism. This is where the beauty of the blogosphere lies, in that one can get more points of view than just those from spokespersons with certain agendas due to the wide variety of professions represented therein. And fact-checking? Analysis? If people like Ruben Navarrette actually did that sort of thing, David Codrea never would have had to say word one (or many fewer words, at any rate) about the “Authorized Journalists.” That’s not to say that mainstream media’s product is completely worthless, but by and large I still don’t understand just what makes Ruben Navarrette’s opinion worth any more than mine on, say, an “assault weapons ban,” especially when he has cast those of us against such a ban as “those who love their guns more than they love Mexico.” He’s not being any more fair or accurate than he describes bloggers as being. And I think that to lump blogs in with Facebook and Twitter is outrageously unfair to those who know the topics about which they blog. I guess, once again, my expectations were too high, because I expected better from Navarrette than this.

Need cheap rotgut vodka NOW…

June 16, 2010

because I want to be sure I never get to be that bad.

Those of you with Sirius or XM satellite radio know they have some rather off-the-wall names for the channels — The Roadhouse, Classic Vinyl, Hair Nation, etc. Anyway, overheard just a few minutes ago as we were pulling into the driveway listening to Hair Nation:

Sabra: “I wonder how much alcohol they had to drink to come up with those channel names.”

Me: “I dunno. How much do you think they had to drink to come up with the slogan ‘We play your kind of country’? Isn’t that what they say on KJ97?”

Sabra: “That (level of banality) can only be achieved with a lifetime of teetotaling.”

Yes, indeed…

"…they’re not as backward, as they used to be…"

June 15, 2010

…or, My expectations are apparently too high, because I honestly expected better from Brad Paisley than this:

“It’s a very smart, progressive bunch, these people that make country music,” he says. “They’re not country hicks sitting behind a desk with a big cigar giving out record deals and driving round in Cadillacs with cattle horns on the front grille: it’s a bunch of really wonderful, open-minded, great people down on Music Row that make this music.”

Goodness. I don’t think Paisley could have been more offensive if he had made an honest effort to do so. I am at a complete loss as to where he would get off saying something like that. Perhaps I had higher expectations because of Paisley’s (allegedly) traditional leanings and respect for the old country. But really, Brad? Big cigar? Cattle horns on the front grille? Is there anyone who really, honestly thinks that’s the way deals go down in Nashville?

And “open-minded”? What the hell does that have to do with anything? The only time I ever see that phrase come up in a country music discussion is when I am told that acts like Rascal Flatts and Sugarland are “country, just a new kind of country.” And, well, it honestly pisses me off; it’s like they’re saying, “if you don’t agree with me, you’re closed-minded.” It’s almost as if Paisley is saying, “It’s not just that twangy, whiny shit anymore, y’all.” Which is quite ironic, given the original meaning of the term “progressive country.”

In light of that, I wonder if Brad would also think ’80s rocker Kenny Loggins going country is progressive. It wouldn’t surprise me so much if he did. (We won’t even get into the fact that there really aren’t that many singers over 40 who have managed to keep their songs in the top 40 on country radio playlists these days, or what happened with the old guard when all the new singers came in the early ’90s…)

(h/t Country California)

Sorry, but no…

June 15, 2010

this was most certainly not an accident:

When Justin Cardenas emerged from a 14th-floor room at the Emily Morgan Hotel two years ago with blood smeared on his shirt and hands, he immediately acknowledged committing a horrible accident while playing with his best friend’s gun, authorities said.

The two had just checked in at the downtown hotel for a get-together with friends later that night, Cardenas, 23, told authorities. The friends were alone in the room when Halsell took out the clip of his .45-caliber handgun and put the firearm to his head, taunting Cardenas to pull the trigger, the defendant said.

Thinking it was a joke and the gun was unloaded, Cardenas said he pulled the trigger. It fired.

What’s Rule No. 3 again? Never point the gun at anything you don’t want to put a hole in? I don’t know if the guy who pulled the trigger knew the rules, but that still doesn’t change the fact that he pulled the trigger of a gun that was aimed at someone’s head. He deserved exactly what he got. And, well, his dead friend was just as stupid. Sounds to me like just some more chlorination of the gene pool.

Overheard in McDonald’s…

June 15, 2010

…which is, of course, supposedly a kid-friendly restaurant, early this afternoon:

“I met a gin-soaked barroom queen in Memphis, she tried to take me upstairs for a ride…”

I do love the Stones, and that song in particular, too. It was just quite a surprise to hear it amongst the, shall we say, more innocent oldies from the ’50s and ’60s…