Archive for September, 2010

Control of definitions = control of narrative.

September 26, 2010

And we see that on full display here, as Beverly McPhail (McFAIL?) sets herself up quite well:

Definitions of feminism by noted feminists can separate the wheat from the chaff, and by extension, the feminists from the female conservatives.

Given McPhail’s ideological bent, I’m sure all her “noted feminists” support taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, gun control and all the left’s other pet projects. So of course female conservatives are going to be cast out of the feminist movement if you let those people define it. Never mind, of course, that somebody like Sarah Palin is a great example of what the feminist movement has accomplished in this country. A mother of five couldn’t always have been elected to governor of Alaska (or ANY state, for that matter) and almost have been elected vice-president of the United States. But of course, you see, since she opposes abortion, she’s apparently not a feminist. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that bitter harridans like Beverly McFAIL are still looking down their noses at women who don’t share their ideological bent, but it doesn’t speak well of the Houston Chronicle that they still give said creatures a platform to spew their vitriol.

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Leftist intellectual midget says what, again?

September 26, 2010

He says, “Keep growing government,” and gives a whopper of a reason for it:

To create jobs, the Republicans vow to make all of the Bush administration’s tax cuts permanent — as opposed to the Democrats’ position, which is to make the cuts permanent for the middle class but allow taxes to return to Clinton-era levels for households making more than $250,000 a year. The GOP also would give small-business owners a new 20 percent tax deduction on their business income.

But on the spending side, the party would take actions that would immediately destroy jobs. Republicans propose a hiring freeze for federal employees — exempting the defense and security sectors. Since the private sector isn’t hiring, a public-sector job freeze would only ensure more unemployment.

If we’re going to go along with Eugene Robinson’s line of thinking, how about we suggest the feds create even more federal bureaucracies to employ everyone out of work now? What’s that, you say? There’d be no way to pay their salaries without more economy-strangling taxes or more deficit spending? Exaaaactly.

And maybe the private sector isn’t hiring because employers know they’re going to get sacked at the first of the year as the Bush tax cuts expire? I’m not surprised that Eugene Robinson doesn’t know any more about economics than he does anything else, but reading claptrap like this makes it quite obvious why the newspaper industry is in such dire straits.

So Joe Wilson was right, apparently…

September 25, 2010

…when he called the president a liar:

President Barack Obama says Republicans’ plan to slash taxes and cut spending if the GOP retakes the House in November is no more than “an echo of a disastrous decade we can’t afford to relive.”
Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to skewer House Republicans over the “Pledge to America” they unveiled this week. It also promised to cut down on government regulation, repeal Obama’s health care law and end his stimulus program.
“The Republicans who want to take over Congress offered their own ideas the other day. Many were the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn’t surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy,” Obama said.

Really? The Republicans cut spending when they controlled Congress? I could have SWORN that one of the complaints of the Republican base was that they INCREASED it with their own special brand of not-so-limited government, aka George Bush’s “compassionate conservatism.” Am I missing something here?

Well, why would they?

September 25, 2010

From the San Antonio Express-News:

How do Slayer’s and Megadeth’s albums hold up in a live setting 20 years down the line? Rock critic Bill Brownlee caught the two bands last month at Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kan.

“As each band performed the entirety of those albums,” Brownlee wrote in the Kansas City Star, “it became clear that neither work has lost any of its sinister significance.”

Why would that music lose any of its significance? I can’t really speak on Slayer, as Tom Araya’s singing style never appealed to me so I never explored their music that much — but I do have Megadeth’s Rust in Peace, and it’s a great record. There are those who say it’s the band’s best, but I don’t have all of them so I can’t really make a decision on that — but it is very, very good. “Holy Wars (The Punishment Due),” “Hangar 18,” “Tornado of Souls,” the title track — all those songs are timeless classics of the genre and stand quite well on their own merits both lyrically and musically. Metal itself at best is given short shrift as a genre and at worst is looked down upon by so many people, but it’s every bit as valid and vital a genre of American and world music as any other. And, yes, 20 years later Rust In Peace is still a great record. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I hate that it took me 20 years to discover this music. I was missing out on so, so very much.

What about the other side of that coin?

September 24, 2010

I’m not surprised that E.J. Dionne looks at things the way he does

Judge the tea party purely on the grounds of effectiveness and you have to admire how a very small group has shaken American political life and seized the microphone offered by the media, including the so-called liberal media. But it’s equally important to recognize that the tea party constitutes a sliver of opinion on the extreme end of politics receiving attention out of all proportion with its numbers.

The tea party drowns out such voices because it has money — some of it from un-populist corporate sources, as Jane Mayer documented last month in The New Yorker — and has used modest numbers strategically in small states to magnify its impact.

Just recently, tea party victories in Alaska and Delaware Senate primaries shook the nation. In Delaware, Christine O’Donnell received 30,563 votes in the Republican primary, 3,542 votes more than moderate Rep. Mike Castle. In Alaska, Joe Miller won 55,878 votes for a margin of 2,006 over incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is now running as a write-in candidate.

…but it’s incredibly disingenuous of him to focus only on how many votes Tea Party-supported candidates have gotten. Ultimately it doesn’t matter if the Tea Party’s influence is out of proportion to its numbers, because Tea Party activists exercise their power by voting. Does the support of the majority of the electorate really matter if said majority stays at home when it’s time to vote? Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller and Sharron Angle might well have gotten the support of a minority of the electorate…but the flip side of that is that Mike Castle, Lisa Murkowski, Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian had the support of an even SMALLER minority of the electorate. One more time, this is nothing more than a lefty whistling past the graveyard. I’m not surprised that Dionne would be so disingenuous — that’s just how he rolls, and he’s shown it time after time — but you’d think he’d try a little harder.

(h/t Borepatch)

Oh, man, this is funny.

September 23, 2010

My wife and I often talk about the fact that I grew up in Texarkana, a town much smaller than San Antonio. She has told me a few times that there was no way she could live in a small town after growing up here. I told her that living in smaller towns never was either good or bad for me, it was just something that well, WAS — though I will readily admit I love San Antonio. What bugged me about the town I grew up in was that it was not only not that big, but it was so damn far from, well, ANYWHERE. Three hours from Dallas, a good 5 1/2 hours from Houston and about 7 hours from San Antonio. Sure, there were Little Rock (two hours) and Shreveport (1 hour), but there’s only so much to do in either of those locales. But I got a huge kick out of this:

Maybe the best apocalyptic novel I can think of is “A Canticle for Leibowitz”, by Walter Miller. It is a post-nuclear holocaust novel, where the world slowly slowly recovers, over the centuries, to the point that the realization dawns on the reader that they are going to do it all over again.

And sure enough, they do it again, but apparently for keeps the second time, though it appears a few may escape into space. An amusing side light is that much of the action occurs in a future Texas, where one of the new empires that leads to the second nuclear holocaust is the Texarkanan Empire, with capital city of Texarkana, which apparently escaped the first holocaust due to its obscurity.

Not that I hated living in Texarkana, but this was just too funny. It struck me that in the other Texas metro areas I’ve lived in (Bryan-College Station and Beaumont-Port Arthur), I’d tell people where I was from and a lot (if not most) of them had no idea where it was. It was…obscure to them. 😉

Wow, what a surprise.

September 23, 2010

No, really. I actually agree with pretty much every word Ruben Navarrette writes here. I’d be interested to know which of the “gaggle of right-wing radio talk show hosts” have been “discourteous and childish” towards Christine O’Donnell, though; as far as I can tell, all of the Big Three talkers on WOAI every day — Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity — enthusiastically support her. One of the reasons for that is that she was NOT anointed by the establishment. And then, as Navarrette points out, “It also didn’t help (Mike) Castle with GOP primary voters that he has been seen over the years drifting to the Democratic side of the aisle.”

What I’d like to know is, if O’Donnell’s too conservative for Delaware, how exactly DID she manage to win? Do moderate Republicans in Delaware really hold such weak beliefs in their principles that they won’t get off their asses and support people like Mike Castle on the primary level? (You can say the same vis-a-vis Lisa Murkowski and Joe Miller in Alaska.) It’s not as if no one saw it coming. The writing has been on the wall AT LEAST since Scott Brown took Teddy Kennedy’s Senate seat back in January. Moderate supporters have had almost a year to open their eyes to what’s going on, and still their preferred candidates went and are going down in flames. It strikes me that all those people saying candidates like Joe Miller and Christine O’Donnell can’t win are whistling past the graveyard.

UPDATE: Quote of the day from blog-friend and fellow San Antonian Scott Chaffin, about what O’Donnell said on Bill Maher’s show 11 years ago…

“Speaking as about a red-dirt, black-clay, gun-hugging, Jesus-loving, Constitutional-demanding mustachioed redneck with enough ammo in my garage to cause Bill F***ing Maher to faint, I can’t find myself possibly giving one lousy Mexican centavo about what is uttered in the Evil Dwarf’s presence on a show distinctly labeled Politically Incorrect, in which youthful persons of the teevee-lens seeking variety are encouraged to sit around and utter vapid bullshit for the poli-dorks sitting at home watching a show called Politically Incorrect….

“Can you seriously not see that you’re doing nothing but taking the Tiny Man Maher’s bait? Really? But screw that, that’s your problem. Mine is — are you that fucking dumb? Al Fucking Franken is a senator, and I’m supposed to reject Christine O’Donnell over a Bill Maher scripted set-piece of dipshittery? Give me a break, turn off your idiot box, read a book.”

Wise advice, my friend, wise advice indeed.

This is nice…

September 23, 2010

…but there’s still a hole in it big enough to drive a B-52 through:

Six weeks before midterm elections, House Republicans vowed to cut taxes and federal spending, repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law and ban federal funding of abortion as part of a campaign manifesto designed to propel them to victory in November and a majority in the next Congress.

It calls for every bill to cite its specific constitutional authority, a vote on any government regulation that costs more than $100 million annually and a freeze on hiring federal workers except security personnel. It also has a “read the bill” provision mandating that legislation be publicly available for three days before a vote.

Specific constitutional authority. How has pretty much everything the government does been Constitutionally justified by those who promote big, activist government? Thaaat’s right…the general welfare clause and the commerce clause. Of course you might remember that the feds got their pee-pees smacked by the Supreme Court with U.S. v. Lopez, but as we see it hasn’t slowed them down much if at all. It’d be fun to see, well, pretty much every government employee attempt to justify his or her job — and every senator and representative attempt to justify each bill he or she introduces — by citing specifically which part of the Constitution authorizes it other than the above-cited clauses. Hell, if nothing else it’d slow things down.

Hen to fox in doorway of hen house…

September 23, 2010

“We’re about to be attacked!”

President Felipe Calderon announced a plan Wednesday to protect journalists in Mexico, where violence against reporters has surged since the government launched a crackdown on drug traffickers nearly four years ago.
The plan includes an early warning system in which reporters would have immediate access to authorities when threatened, the creation of a council to identify the causes behind attacks on reporters, legal reforms, and a package of “best practices” in journalism, according to a statement from Calderon’s office.

A council to ID causes behind attacks on reporters? Something so stupid could only come from government. As for the title of this entry, well, Boomer Lad had this trenchant observation in comments here:

“…no sector of society should negotiate with criminals…” is SERIOUSLY PROBLEMATIC. 

How are they supposed to interact with their government, with la mordita being part of the way their government is structured, if they aren’t allowed to negotiate with criminals?  The whole government would fall apart if citizens didn’t negotiate with criminals on a daily basis. 

I thought of that when I read about the “early warning system.” God only knows to what extent the Mexican police and military have been infiltrated by the drug cartels, so who’s to say that any number of those journalists who are feeling threatened won’t unknowingly go straight to one of the cartels’ informants? How can those journalists rely on the government to protect them from criminals when there are so many of them IN the government?

Yes, it really does taste better…

September 23, 2010

Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico with real sugar, that is. My first taste of it was here in San Antonio; I could almost immediately tell the difference between it and American Coke bottled with the high-fructose corn syrup, and one day after drinking the Mexican Coke right after a bottle of the American Coke….yeah. Less carbonation, not overly sweet and next to NO aftertaste. It’s pretty much your Platonic ideal of soda. I’d love to know who’s doing Coca-Cola’s “…consumer research (that) indicates that from a taste standpoint, the difference is imperceptible,” because from what I’ve had of both of them, I’d have to say it’s anything but. Let ’em compare it bottle vs. bottle rather than sip vs. sip and see how it comes out. I bet it’d be a different story then.