Archive for March, 2012

Sure, he can write that now…

March 31, 2012

…but what if that dude who’d broken into Rick Casey’s house had turned out to have worse things in mind? Unlike some of the letter-writers, I don’t think Casey not having a gun in his house makes him less of a man. Stupid, maybe, but not less of a man. No, what makes him less of a man is his apparent willingness to gamble his wife’s life on the motives of strange men who break into their house. To write such a column with the benefit of hindsight shows a lack of self-awareness that’s seldom seen outside academia and the Washington Beltway. Anything for a slam at gun owners, I guess…

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As if we needed another reason…

March 30, 2012

…not to vote for Slick Willard, along comes another one as one-termer George Bush Sr. formally backs him.

Not that it was any sort of surprise, mind you, as it all boils down to one RINO endorsing another. Dog bites man, and all that. However, it would behoove any Republican who would point to this as a good thing to remember GHWB’s past; after all, he is the one who infamously referred to Reaganomics as “voodoo economics” and pushed through an assault weapon ban of his very own — by executive order, no less. I loved what one of the commenters at Chron.com said:

“With winners like Gerorge (sic) Bush Sr and John McCain in his camp, how could Romney ever lose?”

Heh. Indeed. 😉

No it shouldn’t.

March 29, 2012

Sigh. We should have seen this coming, I guess:

Shooting should spur review of law

Really? Because of one isolated incident in another state in which all the facts are not even in yet? No. I’m sorry, but just…no. It’s not even clear that George Zimmerman was covered by the SYG law. And yeah, police may well be trained in conflict deescalation, but that doesn’t mean the average citizen doesn’t know anything about it. In fact, unless I miss my guess, that’s one of the main things they teach you in the class to get your permit. And it’s something that’s discussed by gunnies, well, all the time.

And why doesn’t anyone talk about the good shoots? Why hasn’t anyone brought up the case of, say, Thomas Baker and Carlos Mustelier? (The CSGV tried to ride that one, but as everyone who pays attention knows, it failed miserably.) And how about all the people who, well, stood their ground with their guns and came away without firing a shot? Sorry, E-N editorialists, but once again you’re on the wrong side.

Paul Krugman jumps yet another shark…

March 28, 2012

….here, as he blames Castle Doctrine laws on corporations, not just the eeeevil right-wingers they’ve bought and paid for. (Yes, that sound you heard was me rolling my eyes.) Come on, even if you believe that crap, the narrative still falls apart with even the most cursory examination. While it’s not as good as it could be, the gun rights movement has much more bipartisan support than it used to. There was, for example, Harry Reid’s co-sponsorship of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and his opposition to a renewal of the Clinton gun ban, as well as the letter to Eric Holder opposing the same that was signed by 65 congressional Democrats.

Granted, Reid himself had voted for gun control in the past — the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban back in the ’90s, among other votes — but the writing was on the wall after 1994, and everyone who’s been paying attention knows why: because the anti-self-defense position necessarily taken by gun control’s supporters was shown to be political suicide. And the corporations Krugman loves to hate didn’t have anything to do with it. That was all the voters’ doing. It was all downhill from there. I know Krugman has been pushing this “corporations are evil” meme ever since, well, time immemorial, but this is just…deranged.

The best response…

March 27, 2012

…to “I don’t have any evidence you’re a racist; it’s just a hunch”?

“I don’t have any evidence you’re a child-molesting coprophiliac either. It’s just a hunch I have. An intuitive feeling, you might say.”

What does he have to hide?

March 25, 2012

Tommy Adkisson, that is. I understand why he wants to keep his personal email account private, but if he didn’t want anyone prying, maybe he shouldn’t have discussed public business in emails sent from it. And for him to claim the Express-News has it in for him is one of the most craven, cowardly things I’ve ever heard from any politician. Even if they do have a vendetta against him, he’s still wrong — and still wasting Bexar County and Texas taxpayers’ money trying to fight the AG. I am not on the paper’s side often, but kudos to them for actually standing up for the public’s interest.

I am left to draw one conclusion…

March 24, 2012

…from this: Apparently Nick Anderson thinks we should all have to run from criminals, even if we’re in a place we have every right to be — such as our cars or our houses.

I understand the outrage over the Trayvon Martin shooting, but everyone blaming Castle Doctrine for this is just wrong. All the facts aren’t in on this yet. Sabra and I were talking about this the other day and she said something to the effect that it would have been a case of self-defense, but for the fact that Trayvon Martin didn’t have  a gun. (And you know the fine folks at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence wouldn’t have it any other way…) No doubt people will seize on the city’s statement that “(b)y Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean George Zimmerman couldn’t have been arrested later.

But then there’s this:

Witness: Martin attacked Zimmerman

Wait, what? You mean this might not be as cut-and-dried as certain idiots in the media and the racial-grievance industry make it out to be?

I don’t know that said witness’ account would be true, but even if it’s not — even if it went down the way everyone seems to think it did — it’s still not justified under Castle Doctrine, as Zimmerman would have shown himself to be the aggressor by chasing Martin the way he’s alleged to have. But I guess, as with the guns, it’s just so much easier to pin the blame on the laws that make it easier for citizens to legitimately defend themselves.

I have just one question.

March 23, 2012

Why?

 Sen. Dick Durbin Calls Senate Hearings Over New Orleans Saints Bounty Program

…I want to hear the policies and practices in each of the major sports and collegiate sports that are being put in place and have one explore whether federal legislation is required.”

I don’t understand why there needs to be a federal case made out of this. Of course Marco Rubio is right that there are much more pressing issues than bounties in pro football, but this goes beyond that. The NFL has punished the parties responsible for this, and not just with a slap on the wrist:

Meting out unprecedented punishment for a crush-for-cash bounty system that targeted key opposing players, the NFL suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton without pay for next season and indefinitely banned the team’s former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams….

(NFL commissioner Roger) Goodell also banned Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games next season — believed to be the first time a GM was suspended by the NFL — and assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six games.

In addition, Goodell fined the Saints $500,000 and took away their second-round draft pick this year and in 2013.

Again, this not the team punishing itself. This is the sport’s official governing body punishing the team. I suppose you could call it a case of Durbin being the “government is the best solution” politician that he is, but it’s still a sad and disgusting spectacle to see.

Observations from the last couple of days.

March 22, 2012

Death metal still isn’t my thing. I braved a bit of Skeletonwitch on Sirius the other day and they sounded GREAT — until the dude started singing.

If I ever get enough money to open my own steakhouse and play music in it, nothing after about 1987 is going to get played. Seriously, Loverboy’s original version of “Working for the Weekend” sucked bad enough. A “country” version of that song was the last thing we needed.

And I never thought I’d walk put of the Texas Roadhouse underwhelmed…but I did last night. I really didn’t think a medium steak was supposed to be that dry. I hope to hell it wasn’t pre-cooked, as the waitress implied it was by saying, “We don’t have any rare cuts left.” It was still pretty good dipped on the horseradish sauce, though…

Gonna have to go to the irony machine house.

March 21, 2012

Why? To get a new one, because mine just self-destructed.

To wit: one John R. MacArthur, the publisher of Harper’s Magazine, ranting and raving about the evils of the Internet — on a blog. And he touts this as an advantage:

At some point you’ve got to turn off your computer or your iPad, but the mail and the brochures and printed matter just keep coming.

Uh-huh. And they just get junked without a second look. A few paragraphs before, Mr. MacArthur says “I wouldn’t bet against print,” while a few paragraphs later he laments the state of the “freelance writer and mid list author.” Funny how he doesn’t say anything about the state of, say, newspaper journalism — nothing about, for example, certain newspaper chains (CNHI and Gannett are the two that come to mind) forcing their employees essentially to take four weeks of unpaid vacation every year via furloughs, or the fact that daily copies of certain newspapers belonging to certain chains cost double what they did this time four years ago. Four years ago today a copy of the Houston Chronicle or the San Antonio Express-News would cost you 50 cents, where today it’ll set you back twice that. And I know the Beaumont Enterprise was charging at least 75 cents for a daily copy when I left Southeast Texas; not long after I left it went up to a buck, too. And all of this, I would bet, has at least as much to do with the economy in general as it does the changing business model.

But if you’ll read on, you’ll see the true genesis of MacArthur’s complaint:

But I’m still offended by the whole Internet pretension of universality, freedom, and democracy. An even more radical critic than I, Patrick de St. Exupery, insists that the Internet, whether paid or unpaid, doesn’t just reduce the value of writing; it destroys value. This may stem from a whole generation growing up never learning to distinguish between a blog and an edited, thought-out piece of writing.

In other words, “Who the hell do these people think they are, expressing their opinions? They’re not Authorized Journalists!”

Keep in mind, again, that MacArthur wrote this on a blog. So he himself is implying that what he wrote is indeed neither edited nor thought out. No doubt he’d say he’s an Authorized Journalist and thus can say these sorts of things on a blog or whatever platform he wishes to express himself, but he still comes off as quite the elitist ass. And of course scribblers like O. Ricardo Pimentel and Rick Casey, almost on a daily basis, put the lie to the claim that journalists write better-thought-out pieces than bloggers.

If this piece of writing is any indication, though, those of us who don’t read Harper’s aren’t missing a thing.

(h/t Tamara)