Archive for April, 2012

Before we can get to a solution…

April 8, 2012

…we’re going to have to dispense with the lies and false solutions:

…if President Calderón ever gets a bill from Texas, he should have his accountants go over it with a fine-tooth comb. And then maybe prepare an invoice of his own. Maybe bartering for mining rights in Texas just as Larson suggests it in Mexico for Texas.

Perhaps the cost that broad access to guns on this side of the border poses for Mexico should be on that bill. Not sure how one country can put a dollar amount for that much spilled blood, though.

And surely one billing item could be the cost for Mexico posed by this country’s seemingly insatiable appetite for drugs.

One wonders if O. Ricardo Pimentel has ever thought about the link between drugs’ illegality and the outrageous profits generated by Americans buying them. Wait. We know he has thought about this because he has mentioned it in at least one previous column. So why would he even bring this — or the same old lies about the guns — up if he’s interested in any real solutions to the problems posed by under-secured borders? The answer, of course, is that Pimentel is not interested in solving the problems posed by under-secured borders. He just wants to play the same old game of racial/ethnic demagoguery that he’s been playing since he was shown to his cubicle at the Express-News.

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Random Saturday musings.

April 7, 2012

Another reason San Antonio, well, rocks: Classic rock stations that don’t do the same old Stairway to Hotel Freebird rotation that every other classic rock station does that I’ve heard. I remember when I first got into classic rock I loved “Stairway to Heaven” and “Hotel California,” but later I thought, “okay, those are great songs, but those bands do have others…” And now and then I do hear them. “Dazed and Confused,” “Tuesday’s Gone,” “One of These Nights,” and the list goes on, of course, and then there are all the real metal bands. Yeah, I love it…

Every time I walk up to the cash register at HEB and see the magazines on the racks with all the celebrities on them, I think, This, this is what is wrong with American culture. Call me a curmudgeon, a misanthrope or whatever you like, but, really. People magazine, why should I or any other red-blooded American give two shits about whether Princess Kate is pregnant? As Sabra said, didn’t we fight a war so we wouldn’t have to care about that sort of thing?

Just another car on the train…

April 5, 2012

of disrespect of the American people:

(White House press secretary Jay) Carney on Wednesday said Obama’s remarks (on the Supreme Court overturning Obamacare) were the object of criticism “only because a handful of people didn’t seem to understand what he was referring to.”

First there was the president basically referring to rural voters as “bitter clingers.” Then there was the attorney general referring to the entire country as a “nation of cowards.” Next up there was the president again, saying that America had “gone soft.” And now, we have the president’s press secretary saying that those who think the president was trying to intimidate the Supreme Court don’t know what they’re talking about.

Intimidation or not, though, Obama’s argument is bullshit on at least a couple of levels.

“I am confident this law will be upheld because it should be upheld”? Apparently our Harvard-educated lawyer president has never heard of a circular argument, or argument by assertion.

“(P)assed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress”? He has also apparently never heard of an appeal to authority.

And then, of course, there’s the old “precedent must be respected” canard. Taken on its face, one could conclude that Obama supported the decisions the Supreme Court reached in Dred Scott v. Sanford, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Kelo v. New London. (Ponder the irony of the first two.)

I can hear the lefty caterwauling now. “Hey, you know that’s not true!”

Maybe not, but why should court precedent only be respected in certain instances? Why should federal laws be exempt from the judicial review to which city, county and state laws are rightly subject? Just because the Supreme Court has let every abomination passed by Congress stand since the 1930s doesn’t mean it should continue to do so. If they’re going to do that, why have a Supreme Court at all?

Aww, listen to the poor little drug warrior whine.

April 4, 2012

From today’s letters to the editor in the Houston Chronicle:

I spent over four decades in narcotic law enforcement. I have debated the arguments about the “war on drugs” and legalization issues in many different venues throughout the world.

And while I could certainly counter the worn out presuppositions offered in Bill King’s column, I want to express my outrage, indignation and disgust at his intimation that we – who have risked our lives, we who have lost too many comrades in this battle, we who have devoted our lives to enforcing the law of the land, often to the detriment of our spouses and families, we who have led drug prevention efforts across this nation, and we who have saved countless lives from the menace of illegal and over-abused prescribed drugs – are in it for the salaries we receive.

Stan Furce, former director, Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program

I wonder if he’d like some cheese with that whine…

Seriously, I suppose I could understand his outrage at King’s intimation that he’s only in it for the Benjamins — but for the fact that I’d respect him more if he actually were only in it for that. But no. It’s much worse. Stan Furce actually believes all that drug-warrior bullshit, as evidenced by all his self-righteous screeching about risking his life to enforce the law of the land and saving all from the eeeevil drugs. He really thinks his going after small-time drug dealers is as much of a benefit to society as locking up the Royce Clyde Zeiglers and Gregory Longorias who walk among us. Would that someone would put him on the spot and ask him if the lives of people like Kathryn Johnston and Cory Maye were really worth sacrificing so your neighbor couldn’t roll a big fat one. It’s as the Second, Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments don’t even exist to these people.And he wonders why he’s looked down on the way he is. What a pathetic, clueless creature.

I agree with Alice Tripp…

April 4, 2012

…but not for the reason she cites.

Mission Del Lago’s suit against A Place to Shoot is indeed frivolous, but not because it hasn’t been determined that the bullets coming across the greens came from there. It’s frivolous because — if the website of APTS is to be believed — the range was there 20 years before the damn golf course. Which makes all the other arguments over little more than how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I’d believe it was there first, too, because in all the reporting over the issue, no one has mentioned which entity was there first. And this isn’t the first time a local range has gotten sued over stray bullets by people who moved into the area.

And as for columnist Brian Chasnoff, all I can say is that he has quite a tenuous grip on this issue in particular and reality in general, trying as he does to link the defense of the shooting range to the Trayvon Martin controversy. And if the Express-News’ standards are so low that they consider his caliber of writing good enough for a metro column, then maybe I should consider it a compliment that they wouldn’t hire someone like me.

Bias?

April 3, 2012

What media bias, indeed

Mexican President Felipe Calderon today linked the spike in drug-related violence in Mexico to the 2004 expiration of the U.S. ban on the sale of assault weapons.

Why is this story an example of it?

Because apparently no one interrupted Calderon to ask him about the vast majority of guns seized from the cartels that couldn’t be traced to any source. Apparently no one interrupted Calderon to ask him to provide some hard evidence to back his statements up. Apparently no one interrupted Calderon (or Obama, for that matter) to ask him about the roughly 2,000 American weapons that got walked south by the ATF and weren’t even tracked after they got across the border.

You can really tell ole Felipe’s gettin’ desperate, though. Why? Because the Clinton gun ban expired in September 2004. The American media didn’t start peddling the “U.S. gun dealers are arming the cartels” meme for another three years. Go ahead, Felipe. Pull my other one.

More musical musings: Rage Against the Machine.

April 1, 2012

Dear God, and I thought U2 sucked…

Man alive. The utter suckitude of Rage Against the Machine REALLY comes into sharp focus when they’re played right before Pantera and Metallica. (“Mouth for War” and “For Whom The Bell Tolls” FTW!) I’d heard a lot about that band over the years but hadn’t heard any of their music that I was aware of. But a few weeks ago I heard their version of “Renegades of Funk,” and I thought, whoa, this is a whole new level of bad.

And last night I had the misfortune to be subjected to the ass end of “How I Could Just Kill A Man” before the aforementioned Pantera and Metallica songs. And I do mean ass end, ’cause it stank just that bad. Hey, Zack De La Rocha, I want that one minute of my life back, you whiny little son of a bitch. You think you’re a badass, I’m sure, but James Hetfield and Phil Anselmo would probably leave you as nothing more than a grease spot in the dirt when it came time to throw down. I’d love to see ’em do it, too.

And yes, I would think that even if they weren’t a bunch of hypocritical Marxists.

Checks and balances?

April 1, 2012

E.J. Dionne has apparently never heard of the concept. I seem to remember him caterwauling about the courts supposedly usurping the will of elected legislatures after Heller v. D.C. was handed down as well. And he was off-base then, too. The entire point of the system set forth in the Constitution was to ensure that no one branch got too powerful and ran roughshod over the rights of the people. Does Dionne really not remember that? Or does he just not care because he’s blinded by his own ideology?

Which leads to another question: Who are the real ideologues here? The conservative justices or people like Dionne? You’ll note Dionne doesn’t mention the Constitution once in his little screed here, when the dubious constitutionality of the individual mandate is the entire reason Obamacare ended up before the Supreme Court. I guess he thinks it’s just a “goddamned piece of paper,” too.