Archive for June, 2011

How metal is San Antonio?

June 30, 2011

This metal. I pulled into work the other day and this guy pulled in beside me, playing Queensryche’s Empire cd, specifically the song “Resistance.” (At least I’m guessing he was listening to the cd instead of the radio, as I’ve never heard that song before on KZEP.)

And earlier this afternoon, we pulled up beside a completely different random stranger blasting Rage for Order, as I heard what sounded like the tail end of “The Whisper.” Pretty nifty. To think I once thought that band was a two-hit wonder that only made one album…

Oh, and Albatross, you know what else is really great? The acoustic remix of “I Dream in Infrared.” You might already know this, but that version of that song was originally released as a B-side on the “Silent Lucidity” single and included on the remastered & reissued version of Rage for Order in 2003. That version of Rage also included a remix of “Gonna Get Close To You” and really good live versions of “The Killing Words” and “Walk in the Shadows.” I’d say the cd was worth it just for those. I lucked out, because I got into Queensryche when the remastered versions of their older albums were the only ones available, which meant I didn’t have to hunt down those elusive B-sides & rarities; they were all included on those remasters, from the self-titled EP to Hear in the Now Frontier. (Not a big fan of what I’ve heard from that album or anything after, though; I have everything up to Promised Land, which I thought was fairly underrated even though you could tell that the band was starting to lose its mojo at that point…)

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Why yes, I am going to milk this…

June 30, 2011

…for all that it is worth! (Background here.)

Overheard earlier today, as we were driving back from Taco Cabana off IH-37 & New Braunfels Avenue:

Sabra: “We should both go down to the courthouse and get our name changed to the most outrageously ethnic German name we can find.”

Me: “Yeah, one with at least an umlaut. But we’d better be careful, or Phil Cortez and his henchmen will hunt us down and force us to change it to Chavez.”

And later, rolling down FM 78:

Sabra, pointing at a white Dodge Durango for sale: “I wonder how much that is?”

Me: “I don’t know. But we can’t drive it.”

Sabra: “Why?”

Me: “Because Phil Cortez and his henchmen will hunt us down and force us to paint it brown and call it a Chavez.”

Sabra: “You are so bad!”

Indeed I am. That’s why she married me. 😉

This makes no sense.

June 30, 2011

Really, L.A. Times editorial board? This is your explanation for Project Gunwalker?

If Congress wants to stop mass straw purchases and stem the flow of guns to Mexican drug cartels, it ought to begin by confirming a permanent ATF director. The agency has been rudderless for nearly five years, largely because the National Rifle Association has publicly opposed nominees.

I am starting to see this meme more and more, and it makes no sense to me. Why would the ATF having a permanent director put an end to that agency’s rogue operations?Why would an acting director sanction the kinds of hijinks that a full-time director doesn’t? It’s as if the Times thinks any organization with interim leadership goes rogue, and they don’t offer any proof to substantiate such here. They just contend one is connected to the other as if it’s self-evident, and it isn’t. And they make the entire thing about the gun laws and the ATF sending thousands of guns south of the border is just a sidebar. Why, it’s almost if they don’t care that the United States government actively sanctioned the deaths of God knows how many innocent Mexicans — or that the guns the ATF sent south are going to start showing up at crime scenes near you!

Come to think of it, there’s one thing that Gunwalker might well have been good for — showing that cartel violence isn’t limited to the other side of the border. Of course that aspect of it is probably going to be buried, just like the mainstream media wanted to bury Gunwalker until it got to be too big to ignore.

So the mask slips a little further.

June 29, 2011

…or, This is what “common-sense gun control” looks like:

As state after state voted to let residents carry concealed guns, Illinois has held out, for a long list of reasons: A strong gun control movement. A dynasty of powerful Chicago mayors. A line-up of state leaders who oppose expanding access to guns.

With Wisconsin now on the verge of adopting concealed carry, Illinois soon will be all alone, the last state with a complete ban on carrying concealed weapons. That makes it the next big prize in the fierce national contest over gun control, with the National Rifle Association and its allies targeting the 50th state….

Gun control advocates want to hang on to Illinois and avoid nationwide defeat on concealed carry.

“Illinois is really important nationally,” said Mark Walsh, director of the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The country needs “one state people can look to and see it’s still doing the right thing,” he said.

That pretty much speaks for itself. No kind of personal defensive arm carry, an “assault weapons” ban, and that’s what they call doing the right thing. I have said it before and I will say it again. Anti-gunners are evil.

Why? Because you’re an idiot, apparently.

June 29, 2011

This has to be the stupidest thing I’ve read in a long, long time:

I tuned into CNN.com first thing Sunday morning and discovered, front and center on their homepage a blog by this title: Why I don’t sing the Star Spangled Banner. The author, Mark Schloneger, outlines the reasons why he doesn’t sing the national anthem. Like myself, Mark is a Mennonite pastor with a deep commitment to following Jesus in all of life. He has this to say about his reasons:

To Mennonites, a living faith in Jesus means faithfully living the way of Jesus. Jesus called his disciples to love their enemies and he loved his enemies all the way to the cross and beyond. Following Jesus and the martyrs before us, we testify with our lives that freedom is not a right that is granted or defended with rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air. True freedom is given by God, and it is indeed not free. It comes with a cost, and it looks like a cross.

Mark speaks well for a wide number of Mennonites, including myself, in claiming ultimate allegiance to Jesus above the state.

That’s a nice little smear of people who don’t believe as you do, Marty Troyer. Who the hell do you think you are, implying that people who sing the national anthem have allegiance to the state over Jesus, you smirky little bastard? I hate to tell you this, but if you’d actually read the Declaration of Independence, you’d see the Founding Fathers believed exactly as you do, that freedom is a right granted by God. Unlike you and your kind, however, they (and enough Americans who came after them) were smart enough to know that to keep it, now and then good men were going to have to fight evil men who wanted to take that freedom away from everyone. And I for one thank God for that, because were it not so this country and this world would have been overrun with evil long ago. Some corners of the world still are, too. How about you go tell, for example, the women in South Africa who get preyed upon by gangs of rapists that their freedom wouldn’t defended by those willing to do violence? I’m sure most of them would rightly consider it an insult to their intelligence. You self-righteous asshole.

Too much political rhetoric poisonous?

June 28, 2011

Tell it to your fellow lefties, Wyatt Wright. They wrote just as much of the book on it as did conservatives.

The guard was…wha?

June 28, 2011

You have got to be kidding me:

An inmate granted a new trial after his 2006 murder conviction was overturned escaped the Walker County Jail early Tuesday by overpowering an unarmed guard and fleeing in a car that had apparently been left for him, the sheriff’s department said….

(Sheriff’s Deputy Butch) Davis said the jail in Huntsville, about 60 miles north of Houston, is not fully staffed at that time of night.

Jail not fully staffed at that time of night, and what staff they have is, apparently, at least partially unarmed? Really?

“Trent De’Ray Archie, 29, of Huntsville, is considered armed and dangerous…”

But remember, friends, you don’t need guns because the police will protect you! Even if because of their own ineptitude the bad guys get out of custody!

Wow, good thing Fabiana Rincon’s killer didn’t have a gun!

June 28, 2011

Someone could have gotten hurt!

Although Fabiana Ortiz Rincon, 37, rarely spoke about strife with the man she had recently married, her aunt suspected trouble and gave her advice hours before Rincon was stabbed to death early Sunday.

“I told her, ‘Don’t be fighting with your husband — he’s been drinking, so just ignore him and go to bed if he tries to argue with you,’” said Guadalupe Alvarez, 61….

Hours after the two women spoke, San Antonio police were called to a shed behind Rincon’s house in the 800 block of Denver Boulevard, where another daughter found Rincon’s body around 10 a.m. Sunday….

…She had been stabbed several times in the chest, neck and jaw, according to San Antonio police. Officers found three knives in Rincon’s home and near her body.

Let us all give thanks that Ms. Rincon didn’t have a gun, ’cause guns ‘r’ baaad news for women, hmmkay?

It’s certainly going to be interesting to find out if her husband’s criminal record was what prevented him from getting a gun. Even if it wasn’t, though, this is just one more death that the anti-gunners don’t care about.

Shameless second shuffle….

June 27, 2011

…or, something to tide you fine people over till I get home from work!

1. “You Can Have Her,” Waylon Jennings

2. “Cajun Moon,” Ricky Skaggs

3. “You’re My Witness,” Clay Walker

4. “Waitin’ For the Sun To Shine,” Lee Ann Womack (I think I like her version better than that of Ricky Skaggs, and RS’ cut is pretty damn good!)

5. “Operation: Mindcrime,” Queensryche

6. “Some Kind of Wonderful,” Grand Funk Railroad

7. “Ghosts,” Jake Owen (great cd, and this was the best song on it!)

8. “Dry Town,” Miranda Lambert

9. “Brooklyn Kid,” Cross Canadian Ragweed

10. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Iron Maiden (13 1/2 minutes of heavy metal perfection, as has been noted in this space before. If you think of Bon Jovi and Poison when anyone mentions ’80s metal, you are sorely deprived.)

11. “The Fugitive,” Merle Haggard

12. “Walk Away,” Kelly Clarkson (No, I am not ashamed of this. KC’s a great singer who’s recorded some really good-quality pop songs.)

13. “The Door Is Always Open,” Jamey Johnson

14. “Troubadour,” George Strait (perhaps the best single song Strait has recorded in 20 years)

15. “Boats to Build,” Jimmy Buffett & Alan Jackson (recorded live at Texas Stadium in 2004 — Great show, too, I was there)

16. “One Of These Nights,” The Eagles (favorite song from that band)

17. “Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra),” Iron Maiden (nifty little instrumental piece, with a lead guitar line that’s almost like a lead vocal)

18. “Stewball,” Robert Earl Keen (from his first, and IMO best, live album)

19. “Red Bandana,” Merle Haggard (one of The Hag’s most underrated songs, I think)

20. “Jet City Woman,” Queensryche (one of my two favorite songs from that album; frontman Geoff Tate rarely sounded better than he does on that song)

More later…

Sometimes the threats are closer to home…

June 26, 2011

…as in, right on the gorramed front porch.

First, a bit of background. We live in a duplex. And our neighbors — or rather, their adult children — like loud shit music. Loud enough to keep the kids up after their bedtime. We would ask them to turn it down and they usually would, but they’d be right back at it the next night. We finally talked to the landlord and he left them a letter, the exact contents of which I don’t know. I’m thinking it was something pretty drastic, as in threatening to throw them out…

…because tonight, as I was leaving to get ice for my Mexican Coke, I heard the patriarch of the family yell at me, “Imma TALK to you when you get back, boy! You got yo’ winda down, I know you can hear me!”

I thought, oh, no, you’re not, homes. I went looking for the back way in so I could maybe park the truck on the next street over, sneak in through that alleyway into the back door and get the .45. (Why yes, stupid me left it again. Not gonna do THAT again, nuh-uh.) I didn’t find that alleyway, but I did find a friendly San Antonio police officer finishing up on another call to follow me home and watch me go in the house. I made sure to give her the above background.

Before I went in the house, though, she talked to the neighbors, who, including the aforementioned patriarch with a ‘tude, were all still out on the front porch. And of course to a person they denied that anything was said. Such lovely people.

Did that man have a gun? A knife? Hell, what could he have done to me with his damn fists if he’d gotten close enough? He may be a middle-aged man, but I’m a gimp. What was I supposed to do?

Molly Ivins would’ve told me to get a dog. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence would have told me I was asking for trouble being out that late. Yeah, anti-gunners are fucking evil incarnate.