Archive for September, 2012

There’s an easy way to fix this.

September 17, 2012

Put him in front of a firing squad. A bullet to the head would be quick and painless and would render this whole issue moot.

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As soon as I saw the byline to this story…

September 15, 2012

…I knew what it was going to be about:

Killings of cops fueling concern
By Dan Freedman

That’s right, Hearst’s ever-so-reliable PR flack for the ATF is now trotting out the old “assault weapons are a danger to the cops” canard that was the argument of the day before the lie about 90 percent of Mexican drug cartels’ weapons coming from the United States. I found this comment from Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia to be quite enlightening:

“It used to be we were fearful of zip guns or low-quality handguns, but now they have firepower equal to our own and sometimes we’re outgunned.”

I wonder when it was that they were afraid of those lower-quality weapons. We’ve had background checks and penalties for prohibited persons and straw purchases for quite literally decades now. And then there was the “assault weapons ban” that the gun manufacturers found their way around after a few years. So the guns were out there, but we were ostensibly supposed to have measures that stopped bad people from getting them. But they apparently didn’t work. More gun control FAIL.

And, once again — if some people are so dangerous they shouldn’t have guns, why are they not in jail?

Friday music musings.

September 14, 2012

Saddest thing I’ve read probably all year:

“Rivers Cuomo…used to be a pretty awesome shredder in the 80’s/early 90’s. He sounded like he was influenced by Queensryche, Maiden, and Slayer.

“But then Weezer happened, and he seemed to lose a lot of that. I think he claimed in several interviews that he can’t play like that anymore.”

I must say, that’s a real shame. If he couldn’t play the guitar worth a shit in the first place it’d be one thing, but to let talent like that fall by the wayside is such a waste. More power to Cuomo if Weezer makes him happy — but then I’ve never been a fan of Weezer anyway, so I do have a biased perspective.

Speaking of Queensryche, if you needed any more proof of Geoff Tate’s desperation, click here. Glen Drover really admitted to never having met Tater before? Sounds like Tater just started calling up random musicians until he could get enough to form some remote semblance of a “band.” Nice to know you’re taking such great pains to preserve Queensryche’s reputation, Tater, you flaming asshole.

(For the record, I don’t consider Tater and his band of scabs to be Queensryche. That name belongs to Todd La Torre, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, and Scott Rockenfield.)

Hunter Hayes really needs to leave the power ballads to the ’80s hair bands. I strayed from the presets again the other day and caught a snippet of “Wanted.” Suffice it to say, the Alan Jackson song of the same name was much better…

A ritual that’s worn out…

September 11, 2012

So, today was the annual donning of the sackcloth and ashes…

…and you all know what I am talking about, too. Seriously, this whole “remembering 9-11” thing has gotten to be a joke, and not a funny one. Every single damn year, it’s “where were you and how did it make you feel.” I realize that might not be politically correct to say, or to point out that we have indeed forgotten the most important thing — that there are people out there who want to kill us just because we don’t worship the way they do — but that doesn’t make it any less true. I was damn glad to be away from the TV and radio most of the day, but I eventually got to the radio…and it was just more of the same damn thing that we’ve been hearing every single September 11.

I don’t mean to dishonor the memories of those who died on 9-11, but I think we would better honor their memories by doing what they can’t do anymore — go on living and being the infidels the radical Muslims perceive us to be — as opposed to all this navel-gazing. Eat more bacon. Drink more beer. Do the nasty with your significant other. Doesn’t all that sound more fun, anyway?

Meet the new boss, as dumb as the old boss.

September 9, 2012

From this morning’s Houston Chronicle:

In the wake of mass shootings this summer, a fusillade of a different sort erupted when gun rights advocates suggested a good Samaritan with a concealed weapon might have saved the day….

Gun control advocates counter that such “hero” scenarios don’t take into account the chances of an inexperienced gun wielder wounding innocent people.

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, pointed to New York police shooting a gunman in front of the Empire State building last month and wounding nine bystanders.

“If this is the result when you have highly trained police officers, you can only imagine what would happen with average people walking around with hidden weapons,” Gross said.

That’s really odd, because average people walk around with hidden weapons every single day in 48 of 50 states and nothing bad happens. And the “highly trained police officers” thing is by and large a myth. I don’t have a hard statistic, but I’d be willing to bet that there are many civilian gun owners out there who shoot more in a month than your average police officer does in a year. But no matter what, there’s always going to be the chance of collateral damage. Apparently Dan Gross thinks it’s better if such damage is inflicted by police officers, as if it’s some sort of consolation.

But if we are going to play the stats game, besides the Family Dollar assistant manager, how many other innocents have been inadvertently killed or injured by concealed-carry permit holders as opposed to police officers? And how does that number compare to the number of times in which guns are used in self-defense, or the total number of concealed-carry permit holders? The Violence Policy Center’s “Concealed Carry Killers” study has already been thoroughly debunked more than once as inflating the numbers with incidents such as suicides and cases in which charges were thrown out or dismissed, and even if you take the VPC’s numbers as true, it’s still an infinitesimally small percentage of permit holders, let alone the gun-owning population as a whole.

Of course, again, I would never use statistics to justify anything, but it is still worth pointing out.

Shorter Leonard Pitts…

September 8, 2012

“Barack Obama’s hope and change failed, and it’s all the fault of the evil bastard Republicans, those racist white devils.”

Leonard Pitts usually keeps his racism better hidden than this. He must be getting frustrated. If I shared his political beliefs I’d be getting frustrated too, but he seems to forget the president’s attitude toward bipartisanship as summed up in this quote to House Minority Leader Eric Cantor in the wake of the 2008 election:

“Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”

And I love how he cites it as significant that RINO hacks like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dick Lugar are whining about the party’s direction and completely ignores things like what happened to Joe Lieberman — and Lieberman is arguably much closer to Democratic core beliefs than Lugar and Schwarzenegger are to Republican beliefs. Perhaps Pitts thinks diversity of opinion is more important for Republicans than Democrats. If I remember correctly, the fact that Richard Lugar had not actually lived at the Indiana address he claimed as his residence for some 30 years was just as much a factor in his defeat as was his voting record.

But even if it wasn’t, so what? The two parties may be similar in many ways, but if Party A wants to take your guns and your money and Party B wants to let you keep them, why should Party A tolerate someone who would vote to take your guns and your money? Why are the Republicans the extremists here?

Apparently because Leonard Pitts says they are.

They must be insane.

September 8, 2012

Who? Democrats. Why? Because they apparently haven’t learned a thing in the last 18 years in regards to the American people and guns. The relevant part of their platform reads:

“We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms. We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements – like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole – so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.

Almost 18 years after they got their tails handed to them at the polls for such a ban, and a little over 4 years since the Supreme Court ruled that semiautomatic rifles were protected by the Constitution as arms that were “in common use,” the Democrats are still loving their gun bans. I guess that shows just how much regard they have for the Constitution, to say nothing of their regard for the basic human right of self-defense.

And then there’s this, from District of Columbia councilman Jack Evans:

“We still feel very strongly about guns in the District — and people not having them.”

Hide your guns, indeed. And why is Jesse Jackson still considered a “civil rights leader,” even though he wants to effectively nullify the most important civil right of them all?

(h/t David Codrea)

Yeah, I called this…

September 4, 2012

…but I did not think about Tater actually doing it if he lost his bid for an injunction:

Tate‘s personal web site, GeoffTate.com, was upgraded with a new banner that reads “Geoff Tate: The Voice Of QUEENSRŸCHE.” In addition, he is billed on the web site for booking agency Monterey International as “QUEENSRŸCHE Starring Geoff Tate: The Original Voice.”

In a new post on the Queensryche.com web site, which the singer still controls, Geoff has revealed the lineup of his version of QUEENSRŸCHE.

I have to hand it to Tater, sort of — he actually did pull off getting one really big name, former Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover. But as for the other names — bassist Rudy Sarzo of Whitesnake, Quiet Riot & Dio, and drummer Bobby Blotzer of Ratt — the only thing I can say is meh. And of course Tater bootlickers Kelly Gray and Randy Gane are along for the ride.

Not much I can say to that, other than that I guess I should have expected Gray and Gane to star in Tater’s clown show in some capacity or another. I realize Kelly Gray has already proved his loyalty to the Tates on numerous occasions, but I still find this to be a disgusting move on his part. Gray was quoted in Eddie Jackson’s declaration as saying something to the effect that the direction Tate wanted to take the band was not a direction they should be going. Gray also allegedly vowed never to work with Tater again after the Brazil fiasco. Guess that shows how much character and integrity he has, doesn’t it?

Of course, it’s not as if Randy Gane has a shred of character or integrity, either, as evidenced by his opinions of the Queensryche fan base as it is represented at the Breakdown Room. I’ll admit my bias as being a member of that forum, but the decline in album sales over the years combined with the general opinions of the fans at the forum would seem to suggest that it’s a pretty good representation of the fan base.

What do Randy Gane’s opinions of Queensryche’s fans have to do with any of this, you ask? Well, it’s really quite simple — if you don’t give a damn about the fans, you don’t give a damn about the band, as far as I am concerned — because without fans, you go back to selling insurance or manning the checkout line at Walmart.

Of course, the very formation of this band of scabs suggests that no one involved here really gives a damn about anything related to Queensryche or the standards they set for themselves. Geoff Tate can’t sing the songs — that much I do know for damn sure — and Kelly Gray and Bobby Blotzer can’t play them, if the assessments of their abilities that I have seen are accurate. And looking at Glen Drover’s resume, I am struck by the thought that this isn’t nearly metal enough for him, although I know I could be wrong there. There’s always the possibility that Tater would try to go in a more metal direction, although considering Tater (in an appearance on VH-1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” with Eddie Trunk) recently defended the train wreck that was Dedicated to Chaos as “redefining metal,” I just don’t see that happening. I don’t see him doing anything other than the supposedly avant-garde artiste-ic bullshit that he seems to be so fond of — let alone with anyone who doesn’t blow sunshine up his arse and tell him how great and forward-thinking he is.

But considering those “all-stars” lowered themselves to this — I mean, really, Glen Drover!? — they just might do that.

At any rate, there’s also an interesting little twist vis-a-vis band management and commercial viability as far as being able to get well-paying gigs goes. On one side you have Tater and the Scabs being managed by Geoff’s wife Susan. On the other side you have Queensryche being managed by Live Nation Entertainment — who also books for a significant number of major entertainment venues in almost every major market around the country. Just as an example, some of the venues they handle in San Antonio include the AT&T Center, Bass Hall, Cowboys Dancehall, Freeman Coliseum, the Lila Cockrell Theater, the Majestic Theater, and Sunken Gardens. The significance of this is that it could very well work out that all the Live Nation-managed venues will be given the word to book Queensryche and tell Tater and the Scabs to go screw so as to protect Live Nation’s investment in Queensryche. Which doesn’t leave Tater a lot of options. I don’t know if this is going to happen, but it does make perfect sense. We shall see.

It was a joke, really.

September 3, 2012

What was a joke, you ask? Well, first, check this out:

 Ticket dismissals cost Houston, thanks to plea bargains

We live close to Castle Hills, one of the small bedroom communities around San Antonio, one with a fairly notable police presence. Whenever I see them with someone pulled over, I am always making the joke, “Well, it looks like the revenooers got ’em another one.” Same thing whenever I see someone pulled over in Windcrest, another well-to-do community over on the northeast side.

I figured those tickets would be a fair source of revenue for smaller communities, even though that is honestly just me joking — but I never thought they’d apparently be that way for the state’s largest city, let alone to the point that there would be a headline like that in said city’s newspaper. It’s worth asking if the next story along these lines will be one about the Houston cops not writing enough tickets, as if there were — wait for it! — a quota that each officer has to meet. I guess it’s more about the money than all the officials would like us to believe it is.

Random Sunday musings.

September 2, 2012

Quote of the day, from comments to this story about a motorcyclist slamming into an SUV at 100-plus mph:

What a waste. That crotch rocket still had a long and useful life ahead of it.

Heh. Yes, indeed. As Sabra said, “That’s cold. Impressively cold.”

New Braunfels will still be more than worth the drive for Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ, Oma’s, Naegelin’s, the Gruene General Store, and other things, but Lone Star Music’s impending move to San Marcos is just so very disappointing. LSM is arguably the best place on the planet to go for Texas music, and we’ve gone up to New Braunfels several times just for music — but San Marcos is almost twice as far for us, and I just don’t think that it would be worth that 50-mile drive, even if I don’t think about that sub-prime rib I got at the Texas Roadhouse the last time we were there.

And I just found out about this Friday night. I was a fan on Facebook and they had a post alluding to it, which was the first I’d ever heard of it. I have to wonder if they were expecting some backlash. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were. At any rate, I certainly hope something worthy takes its place.