Archive for June, 2011

What perils would these be?

June 25, 2011

I don’t know, because O. Ricardo Pimentel, learned journalist that he is, just assumes they’re there:

…there are those ubiquitous signs at all those commercial establishments. You know — telling you that a world of Texas legal hurt will descend on you if you are in “unlicensed possession of a firearm” on the premises.

This tells me that although Texas has relatively lax gun laws that it periodically attempts to make even more lax, it is not clueless about the perils.

Okay. The one place that comes to mind that he’s talking about here, is the grocery store. I remember, for example, when they opened up the new Super Walmart on Highway 69 in Port Arthur, they put that sign up after the store got its permit to sell alcohol. So what, exactly, would the perils be of carrying a firearm without a license in a place that sells alcohol? Come to think of it, all those poor blacks and Mexicans that people like Mr. Pimentel here claim to stand up for can’t afford that permit. For all anyone knows that law could have been implemented specifically to have something else to charge them with. Considering gun control’s racist history, it surely isn’t that much of a stretch.

In all seriousness, though, the “public safety” argument carries no water whatsoever. We all know that so many on the right have justified the War On Some Drugs using the very same argument and we all see where that’s gotten us — little old grannies gunned down in their homes on shitty intel and hardworking fathers railroaded and sent to death row. But hey, drugs ‘r’ bad, hmmkay? Or, as Mr. Pimentel might tell us, “assault rifles ‘r’ bad, hmmkay?” And oddly enough, there is no mention of the Constitution here, or of Heller v. District of Columbia, or the Algiers Point Militia, etc. What other rights would these people throw away for the sake of “public safety”?

And what’ll ole Ricardo be whinging about next, pistols? You know he’ll be, because at least as many cops get killed with those as with semiautomatic rifles.

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The only thing eyeroll-worthy…

June 24, 2011

..about this is Amy Weiss’ reaction to it. I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised at her Molly Ivins-ish take on it, considering many American Jews’ affliction with hoplophobia. Sorry, but I just don’t see a downside to American Jews arming themselves any more than I see a downside to Americans in general arming themselves. They may not be in as much danger here as they are in Israel, but considering that we do have monsters like Buford Furrow roaming among us, I think American Jews arming themselves is still a pretty smart thing to do.

Good deeds & good feelings.

June 24, 2011

So as most folks who read the gun blogs know, Borepatch is splitting time between Atlanta and Austin lately, and last Sunday, Sabra and I met up with him in New Braunfels. I told him that ever since he told me he was coming this way, we were gonna HAVE to meet up at one point. So we did, and a good time was had by all.

I was sort of taken aback when I read this on his blog after we got back, though — in a good way. I guess I didn’t think about how much his being away from his family on that day had affected him, and to be a part of his reflections on that day touched me and made me feel pretty good. I had just thought of it as taking the opportunity to make a new friend. Such is the perspective, I suppose, of one who has not experienced what he has. (I will say, Borepatch, that I know what you felt when it came to your grandfather. I was very close to mine, too, on my mother’s side. I was lucky to have him around for a little more than 17 years of my life, though, as the line from the Vince Gill song goes, the pain of losing him cuts like a Randall knife.) And then this made me grin even bigger. Yeah, Miss Marie’s something else. 😉

Anyway, I guess I said all that to say this: I’m glad our companionship was such a gift to you, Borepatch. It was our honor and privilege to give it to you. You’re a good guy, and we’re proud to call you our friend.

He used a…what?

June 23, 2011

Hey, yet another gun-grabber meme exposed!

Authorities in New York say the suspect in the Long Island pharmacy shootings came to the store previously to fill prescriptions, and used a registered handgun in the killings.

“Registering guns will cut down on crime!” Yeah, maybe not so much. Somehow I doubt registration proponents ever really believed that, though. Registering guns is ultimately good for only one thing: finding out where they all are when the government decides it’s time to round them up. I don’t know how well-known it is, but gun registration only affects law-abiding people.

What’s that, you say? Criminals don’t have to register their guns? Why, no, they don’t, and no less than an entity than the United States Supreme Court has said so. The court ruled in Haynes v. United States in 1971 that forcing a criminal to register his gun violates his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination because the act of registration is in effect admitting he is committing a crime.

At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see how the anti-gunners spin it — probably as “every gun owner is a walking time bomb,” as they always do.

Yeah, well, tell that to them.

June 23, 2011

…or, This isn’t the way I see it.

If you call yourself Hispanic, Latino, Chicano or Mexican American, you’re disavowing being American in some circles. If you note actions of others that disproportionately affect these groups, you are divisive, a race-baiter and even a racist. This is sort of like being accused of waging class warfare when you note the widening income gap between the rich and everyone else.

Well, actually, no, O. Ricardo Pimentel, it’s not anything like that. How else do you explain those who call themselves any or all of the above spouting off the rhetoric they do, such as Luis Vera claiming that Miss San Antonio Domonique Ramirez getting stripped of her title as “these rich, white Dominion types versus the Latinos who are busting themselves to make a living” when the runner-up in the contest was black? And what about MeChA? Or the demonstrators for immigration reform carrying Mexican flags and chanting “Si, se puede” as they protested things like tighter border security and requirements to learn English? Sorry, but I think it’s quite clear these days that a lot of people claiming their ethnic identity are putting it first and being an American second. And I don’t see what’s so divisive and racist about pointing that out.

Summertime shuffle!

June 22, 2011

…or, hey, it’s that time again, for another random trip through the ole iTunes!

1. “Branded Man,” Merle Haggard

2. “Wide Open Spaces,” Ed Burleson

3. Weight of the World,” Evanescence

4. “Loving You Could Never Be Better,” George Jones

5. Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand,” James Hetfield

6. “The Lady Wore Black,” Queensryche

7. “Good Time Charley’s,” George Strait

8. “Heresy,” Pantera

9. “Somewhere Down in Texas,” George Strait

10. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” Guns’n’Roses

11. “Designated Drinker,” Alan & George

12. “Empire,” Queensryche

13. “Hells Bells,” AC/DC

14. “I’ve Been Everywhere (In Texas),” Brian Burns

15. “Limelight,” Rush

16. “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean,” Waylon Jennings (I also have Travis Tritt’s version of this song from I’ve Always Been Crazy, and it makes me pine for a TT album of Waylon covers. Seriously, he NAILS that song.)

17. “The Duellists,” Iron Maiden

18. “Creeping Death,” Metallica

19. “Still Doin’ Time,” George Jones

20. “Broken,” “Seether (feat. Amy Lee from Evanescence)

Brought to you once again by the fine folks at Country California! Anybody wanna play along?

Yeah, let’s see Jason Aldean do this.

June 22, 2011

Now, as we all know, a lot of folks can talk about how they were influenced by the greats, but not many folks can channel them that well. A fair amount of Travis Tritt’s stuff found me going “meh,” but I have to admit, vocally speaking, he did sound a lot like Waylon. He never really channeled Waylon that well musically, to the point I seriously did not think this would sound as good as it did.

That cut appeared on 2003’s I’ve Always Been Crazy: A Tribute To Waylon Jennings, and it ended up being my second favorite song on that cd behind James Hetfield’s “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand.” There are a lot of folks who say that a note-for-note cover of an original is pointless, but I can’t say that I agree with that; when it sounds this good, why not?

Longing for the days of Rick Casey?

June 21, 2011

I wouldn’t be surprised if longtime San Antonians were doing just that today after reading the latest ramblings from O. Ricardo Pimentel:

Summer in Milwaukee, however, is a tad different than the rotisserie we call San Antonio in summer. It turns out, though, I was actually doing myself a favor. For a time, before I got the a/c fixed last week, I got a glimpse of Texas after climate change….

Yeah, I know. San Antonio’s heat has long been infamous. And perhaps it’s natural for a gas and oil state like Texas not to warm up to the idea. But I’m certain that midcentury or so, if we don’t start taking necessary steps, we’ll be looking back and saying, “Remember that long, cold summer of 2011? Did we really elect all those deniers? We should have listened to Ricardo’s car.”

Special. I wonder what Ricardo’s car would say to this? Or this? Or this? Especially that last thing. I wonder why the Kyoto Protocol didn’t require China to cut its emissions? Probably because China strong armed its way out because the country’s PTB figured that the KP as implemented was going to strangle the Chinese economy, that’s why. So who could blame them? No matter the science or history, I really like being able to afford to pay my electric bill, put gas in my truck and keep food in my refrigerator. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

And wind energy? Even 20 years from now the U.S. Department of Energy was saying that wind could only supply 20 percent of the United States’ energy needs. Why is there lack of political will in the Texas Legislature or anywhere else to reduce greenhouse gases and develop means of alternative energy? Oh, I don’t know.

His finger on the pulse of country music…

June 21, 2011

…Keith Urban does not have:

I think that’s one of the reasons country is so big today is because it’s always found a way to evolve with the times whilst not losing its identity.

And I thought Brad Paisley was a fount of cluelessness. I could have sworn one of the biggest complaints about modern country music was that it was — wait for it! — losing its identity. It’s hard not to see, what with people like Sugarland, Colt Ford, Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift doing, well…what they do. Nobody might well say that “U2 should sound like Bill Hailey and the Comets,” but I’d bet that’s because U2 would probably be put in a different subgenre of music entirely. Which makes what Keith Urban said as ludicrously obvious as saying “Nobody would say that Metallica should sound like Bad Company.”

And how…apropos that he would mention Patsy Cline, considering I for one have never been shy about saying how I was not a big fan of Cline, Jim Reeves or Eddy Arnold. I don’t know that saying the countrypolitan subgenre held country music back, but I would hardly say it helped country music move forward. Sure, music has to incorporate new things, but some influences are better than others. On that note, so to speak, I find it quite telling that Urban seems always to mention countrypolitan when he gets off on this tangent but never mentions, say, Roy Nichols and his prominent guitar solos on all those old Merle Haggard songs. (“Here comes that workin’ man!”) Why do you think that is?

(h/t Country California)

Gun what?

June 20, 2011

So that’s what they’re calling it now…

PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama yet to act on gun safety

What’s that, you say? This was not a piece about teaching the Four Rules in school? Why, of course it wasn’t. It was yet more bitching and moaning about the president not pushing for more gun control, that’s what it was.

Obama said that “if we’re serious about keeping guns away from someone who’s made up his mind to kill, then we can’t allow a situation where a responsible seller denies him a weapon at one store, but he effortlessly buys the same gun someplace else.”

Sure, you can’t allow it…unless one of the agencies you oversee is telling the FFLs to go ahead and sell those semiautomatic rifles to Mexican drug cartels, but then I guess it’s just peachy. Ends justify the means, eggs, omelets, etc.

And as far as any so-called loopholes go…we still don’t see them talking about, you know, keeping dangerous people in jail. So I’m guessing they still don’t give a damn about that.