Archive for May, 2013

A question for Bob Dole.

May 30, 2013

If moderates like him aren’t welcome in today’s Republican Party, as he claims, then how exactly is it that the Republicans have run the most moderate candidates for president in the last couple of elections?

Would that he was right and the conservatives were running things, because at least the last election might not have turned out the way it did. Not that many people were motivated to vote for Mitt Romney, to the point that 2012 voter turnout was lower than it was in 2008. I remember Bill Whittle saying in 2008, after he pointed out that Obama won only 53 percent of the vote with the deck stacked in his favor, “Folks, we are going to lick these people out of their boots.”

But the Republicans followed the implicit advice of Bob Dole and nominated arguably the least conservative of the candidates running for president — again. And they lost, again — with the deck stacked a lot less in Obama’s favor.

Tell me, why should Republicans listen to Bob Dole…again?

Some of us would say something else.

May 29, 2013

Brian Kelley, of Florida-Georgia Line:

That’s what we’ve wanted to do from day one is have a sound that when people that haven’t heard us say, ‘Well, who is that? I need to know.’ It’s not, ‘Well, they sound like blah, blah blah,’ because that’s not going to work. So we wanted to be ahead of the curve and create music that’s fresh and create music that’s real.

Yet the duo’s very first single was about a guy picking up a girl…in the summer…as he was driving through the country…in a four-wheel-drive truck. Yeah, that’s totally original, fresh and real, right?

Now, I realize that was just one song, but it certainly wasn’t a very auspicious debut in terms of “be(ing) ahead of the curve” or any of that other bullshit Kelley threw out in that interview. And how is fusing hip-hop with country visionary and ahead of the curve when other people are doing it and have done it before?

It’s not, of course. You know what would be really visionary and rebellious? Making actual country music that isn’t watered down with rap, metal, Southern rock or anything else. I realize it’s not fashionable or hip, but, well, I’m perfectly okay with that, and somehow I don’t think I am the only one.

(h/t Country California)

Something to remember today.

May 27, 2013

Back in 2009, I remember going to the big Memorial Day celebration in Orange. The Patriot Guard Riders didn’t get to make their grand entrance as planned because of the torrential rains, but they still came. Beaumont PGR chapter president Sandra Womack told everyone why they still came. She said of the fallen soldiers, “They didn’t get an opportunity to choose the weather they fought in, or to choose whether or not to go.”

We should remember that, today and every day.

Huh. LSD strikes again.

May 25, 2013

From the AP, via the Houston Chronicle:

The Stone Temple Pilots accuse former frontman Scott Weiland of misusing the band’s name to further his solo career and want a judge to strip the rocker of his ability to use the group’s name or songs.

A lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles accuses Weiland of being chronically late to concerts while the group was together and having his lawyer attempt to interfere with the airplay of the group’s new single “Out of Time.”…

In a message posted to his website Friday, Weiland said his former band mates shouldn’t call themselves Stone Temple Pilots either.

“First of all they don’t have the legal right to call themselves STP because I’m still a member of the band,” he said. “And more importantly, they don’t have the ethical right to call themselves Stone Temple Pilots because it’s misleading and dishonest to the millions of fans that have followed us for so many years.”

Wow. Scott Weiland’s full of shit. How exactly is it misleading and dishonest to call the band STP without him? It’s not as if it’s any kind of secret what’s going on, especially now. I’ve already been over this before, but it’s worth pointing out again that not that many lineups remain the same over the course of the bands’ careers. Granted, some bands have had fewer lineup changes than others, and not all of those lineup changes have involved lead singers, but the point still stands. And if the accusations of STP’s other members are correct here, Weiland either cannot or will not deliver on a professional level anymore for whatever reasons. That being the case, it strikes me that they have every right to replace him. If it revitalizes the band and protects the value of the name, then why not replace him?

Save a kid’s life…

May 23, 2013

…and get fined? Apparently so, in Washington, D.C.:

Authorities last week made an agreement not to prosecute a Northwest D.C. man who used his unregistered handgun to kill a pit bull in order to stop it from mauling a child in his neighborhood.

As part of the agreement, Benjamin Srigley, 39, was required to pay a $1,000 fine but will not have criminal charges filed against him for the three unregistered firearms and the ammunition that investigators found in his possession, said Ted Gest, a spokesman for the office of the attorney general.

Special.This right here is just one more thing that illustrates the absurdity and immorality of laws that prohibit people from carrying guns. I would say this is yet another example of the old saying “the law is an ass,” but Kurt Hofmann put it better (which is why he gets paid and I don’t):

“A law that has to be broken in order to save the life of a child–to prevent him from being torn apart by vicious dogs–is very likely an evil law. And a “justice” system that punishes a man (even if ‘only’ by fining him) for being a lifesaving hero–is institutionalized evil. Why, as a (theoretically) free citizen, does any American tolerate this?”

That’s a really good question.

The more I hear from this album, the more I like it.

May 20, 2013

What album? Why, the forthcoming Queensryche self-titled album, that is….

There was an official premiere of another song from it, “Where Dreams Go To Die,” last night on Seattle’s KISW 99.9, but it was at 11 p.m. Pacific time and I was quite asleep by then…but I heard the song earlier this morning and an official Century Media YouTube clip popped up. Have a listen.

My thoughts? Wow, this is totally badass. It sounds better than pretty much everything I’ve heard from the band at least since 1994’s Promised Land. The twin-guitar harmonies, the vocals…this sounds more like classic, real Queensryche (sort of like Rage for Order meets Promised Land) than what they’ve done since then. And if what I’m hearing is correct, this song was actually written by lead guitarist Parker Lundgren. I’ve said before that I thought it would be intriguing to see what he brought to the table, and he delivered. Man, did he ever. I can hardly wait to hear the rest of it.

I have to wonder why.

May 19, 2013

Why what? Why Chris Ladd even considers himself a Republican or a conservative anymore. It seems that with every blog post he writes he has something bad to say about Republicans, at least the ones who don’t toe the establishment party line. They might not like what the IRS has to say about why tea party groups were targeted? This seems to imply that the IRS had legitimate interests in targeting these groups. If that’s the case why didn’t the people in charge at the IRS come out and explain themselves, getting out in front of the whole thing?

And we haven’t even gotten into the appalling spin on Gunwalker. The ATF let guns go to Mexico with no effort to track them whatsoever because of allegedly lax gun laws? Sorry, but that’s bullshit too, at least to anyone who’s been paying attention. Fast and Furious wasn’t about tracking guns. It was about padding statistics to push for more gun control.

Honestly, how does he think anyone’s going to take him seriously?

I just can’t get all worked up about that.

May 18, 2013

A comment from My Kind of Country, about a Rodney Crowell-Emmylou Harris show in which Crowell didn’t play any of the Diamonds and Dirt hits:

Funny that there’s no mention here of Rodney Crowell’s songs from his commercial heyday–”After All This Time,” “She’s Crazy,” etc.–Does he actually give a concert and skip over his string of #1 hits?

It sure looks that way, but I for one can’t get too het up over it. Radio played the shit out of those songs and continues to do so, while all his other stuff gets practically ignored anymore — not just the brilliant stuff from The Houston Kid and the two albums that followed it, but also the music from the albums after Diamonds and Dirt. I didn’t not like all those songs, but the only one I really, actively liked was “She’s Crazy for Leavin’.” To be fair, most of that had to do with their being overplayed, though. Still, though, I would gladly trade any of them for “Telephone Road,” “Earthbound,” or this lost gem from 1989’s Keys to the Highway:

“Look for me, where the four winds blow…”

This does not surprise me either.

May 17, 2013

Houston Chronicle tech blogger Dwight Silverman:

Shortly after Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smartphone made its way into early buyers’ hands, complaints about its storage capacity began to fill the Web. The 16-GB model comes with just under 9 GB of free space – nearly half of it taken up with the operating system and pre-installed applications from Samsung and carriers.

So it would seem that the same problem that besets Windows PCs also is manifested on Android phones. It would seem that a lot of people are surprised by this, which just goes to show you the public’s ignorance of technology and how it works from the business end. Just as no two Windows PCs are going to work exactly the same, no two Android phones are going to work exactly the same. That sort of thing is generally what happens when you have different types of hardware to choose from.

Of course, I’m a little different. I have to wonder what the big deal is. I’m pretty sure I have most of the space left on my Android (HTC Sensation 4G from T-Mobile, for the record) that was there when I got it, and I don’t even know how much space was on there to begin with. I have a few apps on it that I use, but as far as music and games, my main entertainment as far as that goes is the iPod classic. I know a lot of people are using their phones as their all-in-one device. Of course, a lot of ’em don’t back it up either and don’t have the slightest idea of how to do so, so they also have that to contend with…

Thoughts? Do any of y’all use your phone as an all-in-one and have space problems?

Fail on top of fail.

May 16, 2013

Or adding insult to injury, whatever you want to call it…

A House Democrat inspired by the last James Bond movie has offered legislation to produce handguns with “personalization technology.”

The idea is to produce guns that can only be used by the gun’s owners. Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) cited the latest James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” as inspiration for the bill….

Under his bill, guns made in the United States would have to be built with this technology two years after the bill becomes law. Older guns being sold by a business or individual would have to be retrofitted with this technology after three years.

The bill says the cost of retrofitting these older guns would be paid out of the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund, where confiscated assets from criminal investigations are placed.

Wow, this is just beyond the pale. An infringement on the Second Amendment, paid for by funds gathered by infringements on the Fourth Amendment. And of course Tierney would cast it as a gun safety issue. For teh childrenses, natch.

And yes, of course those gun accidents are preventable…by, you know. following the Four Rules and using the brains God gave you. And that would explain everything about why this bill was introduced. Anti-gunners don’t have common sense and they don’t use their brains.

Gah…funded by goddamned asset forfeiture funds! I can almost hear the Founding Fathers screaming in rage!