Archive for August, 2013

The Rev. Charles Flowers is a bigoted arse.

August 31, 2013

Why do I say that? Well

More than 350 black and Latino ministers and members of their flocks rallied against proposed updates to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance Tuesday at City Hall, rejecting comparisons between the nation’s historic struggle for racial equality and current efforts to safeguard rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“While we love the people involved, we cannot allow their agenda to stain the fabric, the tapestry, of the civil rights movement,” said the Rev. Charles Flowers, an African-American pastor and early opponent of the measure.

Translation: “We don’t care if people discriminate against gay people the way we were discriminated against. In fact, we don’t care SO MUCH that we’ll show our bigotry off in a public forum. It’s not as if anyone will call us out on it.”

Seriously, when do we get to call these people out for this sort of thing without being called racist?

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More double standards on display?

August 29, 2013

Oh hey, this reminds me…

Miley Cyrus’ raunchy display offends even young viewers

Sabra and I were talking about this last night and she said one of her friends made a great point: while everyone was getting on Miley Cyrus’ case for her, um, display with Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards, no one — or, at least, a lot fewer people — was saying anything about the song she was dancing to:

“I hate these blurred lines…I know you want it.”

The “blurred lines” bit apparently refers to the fact that the object of the protagonist’s desire is, shall we say, not in the right frame of mind to give her consent. So, in other words, the song is about, well…rape. I am given to believe the video is even worse. But Miley Cyrus is the one catching most of the crap that’s been raining down this week.

I have to wonder why that is. Double standard where certain things are okay for men but not for women? You could say that, I guess. But you could also say that everyone’s taking the easy way out, because taking an honest look at this would require taking a look at the coarseness of modern hip-hop music and culture, and we all know that’s not going to happen.

I don’t know why Chris Ladd is so angsty here.

August 27, 2013

Frankly, as far as I’m concerned he can go right along to the Democratic Party and take all his like-minded friends with him. He can spout all the horseshit he wants about the Republicans pushing “white-nationalist” and “neo-Confederate” agendas, but the fact remains that when we get down to brass tacks — in his case, running people for the highest office in the land — it’s the “pragmatic, sensible, responsible Republicans” he touts who have been ending up as the party’s standard-bearers since 1996. And they just barely pulled out a win once. Practically the only reason the  Republicans have ever won the presidency since 1996 is the Democrats’ incompetence at picking candidates.

And on the flip side of that, the biggest reason Barack Obama is in the White House now is the incompetence of the Republicans. They ran those “pragmatic, sensible, responsible Republicans” both in 2008 and 2012 and lost both times — even worse in 2012, as again, Mitt Romney got even fewer votes than John McCain did because Republicans decided they’d rather stay home than vote for him. I don’t know why Chris Ladd thinks the solution is more of the same. And given that the Republicans have been running his kind of candidate on both the state and national level, I don’t know why he claims that he’ll have to vote for Democrats for the foreseeable future on the national level.

Unless, of course, he’s really a Democrat.

More blog for you later, but for now…

August 26, 2013

…have some Rainbow:

I’ve only heard the earlier Rainbow stuff with Ronnie James Dio and Graham Bonnet, and I liked it all; if I had to pick, though, I’d go with the Dio-era stuff.

So, what is?

August 24, 2013

Oh, look, a Houston police consultant telling us all what is not the beginning of a police state…

Stop-question-and-frisk must yield in the face of the Fourth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Despite its detractors, the approach is more of a velvet glove than an iron fist. This policy has its faults but, in my opinion, it is not the beginning of a “police state” that the civil libertarian critics would profess it to be.

…but conveniently fails to provide the answer to the question: “If this isn’t the beginning of a police state, then what is?” One of the commenters to that piece pretty much beat me to the punch:

How do you think police states start? Do you think they start one morning when a bunch of jack-booted thugs in uniform descend on the populace with no advance warning?

Of course not. Police states start when the ruling elite of the state realize they can get the people to give up their rights by promising them safety and security. As the people become more and more dependent on the state to protect them from who knows what, more and more rights are given up, until the population is completely cowed by the authority of the state.

In our country today, the civilian police forces have become militarized to the point that they are now a standing army in our midst, a situation warned against by the founders of this nation. The war on drugs continues to provide justification for militarizing the police, and spews out money for their armaments. Once the police have military style armaments, you can bet they’ll find any excuse to use them. SWAT teams these days are called out for trivial incidents, and the police seem to be taking an “us versus them” attitude toward the citizens they are sworn to protect. 

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have been able to convince people like you that it’s better to give up constitutional rights in exchange for the illusion of safety and security. They have disarmed the people of New York in violation of their Second Amendment rights, and are denying them their Fourth Amendment rights by subjecting them to unreasonable searches. Police have unlawfully entered peoples’ houses and stationed themselves there during manhunts in violation of the Third Amendment. Which amendment will fall next? Maybe the Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury, as the police decide to execute “street justice”? How about the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble?

Well, if you say so.

August 22, 2013

One of the things that always amuses me anymore is a list of celebrities that went out on top of their game that includes Garth Brooks:

Following huge success throughout the 1990s and a head-scratching dalliance with an alter-ego name Chris Gaines, Brooks retired in 2000 in order to spend more time with his family. Like a lot of celebrity retirement, it didn’t last. The country superstar returned to performing in 2009.

Sounds to me as if they’re saying that Chris Gaines was where Brooks jumped the shark, and quite frankly I don’t agree with that in the slightest. I think it was quite a bit earlier —probably the point Sabra mentions here:

The beginning of the end was actually some time ago. Right around the time Garth Brooks abandoned his “worn out tape of Chris LeDoux” for “The Red Strokes” and “Standing Outside the Fire.”

Granted, she was talking about Nashville music in general going to hell, but I think  the point of reference of “The Red Strokes” and “Standing Outside the Fire” works for Mr. Brooks as well. (It might well have been as early as “The River.”) I hardly think Garth Brooks went out at the top of his game, artistically or commercially. I really think he peaked with his first album and it was really all downhill from there; I’ll admit my fiery hatred of “Friends in Low Places” probably has a fair bit to do with that, but I stand by it. Granted, he didn’t really have much left to prove when he went out, but I think the fact that he felt like he had to re-record one of his earlier album tracks to get on the radio showed that he didn’t have much if anything left in the tank.

But maybe that’s just me…

So I am not the only one…

August 21, 2013

or so it would seem:

Regarding “Democrats push Davis to go for it” (Page B1, Thursday), after speaking with several longtime Democrats and Republicans, I realize as they do, that a Wendy Davis gubernatorial candidacy would cause one of the biggest overall defeats in Texas history – Democratic or Republican.

First, as Gov. Perry had virtually no competition in his three races, 20 to to 30 percent of the Republicans didn’t bother to vote. Have a single-issue pro-abortion candidate, Wendy Davis, and Republicans will come out of the woodwork in droves, which, by itself, will defeat her.

But the worst prospect is with the Democratic Party. You start out without the anti-abortion Hispanic Catholic vote, which you can’t win without; add in all the many other Catholics, independents and other folks who will not vote for the “pro-abortion” candidate, and you have a looming catastrophe.

But the worst situation arises when these folks do not pull the Democratic Party lever because of the top of the ticket. The down-ballot Democratic courthouses across Texas will be devastated, as every investigation of voting habits has proven about down-ballot voting.

To add to that debacle will be the election of many more tea party Republican legislators turning this election into a true, full-blown Democratic disaster, with a capital D.

Now, I am not sure how the whole tea party landslide would go. After all, that’s what was predicted for both 2010 and 2012, and it didn’t quite work out that way. But the rest of the letter was spot-on, in my opinion. We were at Whataburger this morning and a gaggle of old men were a couple of tables over, discussing politics. One of them said, “The Republicans could run any old four-legged jackass and win.”

And I said — loudly enough for them to hear, I am sure — “It’s not the Republicans’ fault that Abortion Barbie doesn’t poll for shit!”

(For what it’s worth, though, Sabra had the perfect retort to the running-a-jackass-and-winning thing: “That’s what they did in the last couple of elections!”)

Sauce for the goose, and all that.

August 20, 2013

You know what’d be really great?

If Eric Holder had his phalanx of armed guards stripped from him because of this. After all, if regular citizens under a restraining order are too dangerous to have guns, they probably shouldn’t be trusted to have people carry guns for them, right?

Hoo-boy, somebody got worked up into a high dudgeon.

August 19, 2013

Behold, media conceit on display:

You were attacked last week.

As the old saying goes, it’s the hit dog that yelps.

Cooper, Petty and so many others confuse not liking something with it being bad, unable to be enjoyed or otherwise lacking merit.

And whoever wrote this unsigned editorial confuses liking something with it being good, able to be enjoyed, or having artistic merit, as we see below.

If 70 million people are deliberately listening to, buying albums of and tickets for – and seem generally pleased with – the mainstream music played on Country radio, doesn’t that have value?

No. (Can you say argumentum ad populum? I knew you could…) Just because 70 million people like crap music doesn’t make it NOT crap music.

Evidently, Cooper has no problem condescending to millions of his fellow Americans and, by extension, mainstream country artists, labels, producers, songwriters, musicians and countless others who work tirelessly to reach those radio listeners.

Oh man, if they’re going to get that worked up about Cooper’s comments, if they saw half the things I’ve said about mainstream country and its fans in the last few years, they would be demanding I be hanged!

Unfortunately, it’s probably too much to expect Cooper and The Tennessean to actually have country music’s – and Nashville’s – back.

Attn. Country Aircheck: Having country music’s back and having Nashville’s and country radio’s back are not one and the same, hmmkay?

I thought Peter Cooper’s piece was defensive enough, but this makes that look like child’s play. As wrong as I thought Cooper was, he was actually right when he said country music doesn’t need country radio anymore, at least as far as traditional over-the-air listening goes anymore. Granted, terrestrial radio does come in handy in a few select instances, such as when you have stations like 95.9 the Ranch out of Fort Worth and KNBT out of New Braunfels. Both of those stations are niche stations, playing stuff no one else does, but they’ve both carved out a pretty sizable online presence. I don’t know about KNBT, but 95.9 the Ranch doesn’t even show up in the Arbitrons for DFW. Yet they’ve been at it for what has to be a good 10 years or so, they’ve played nothing  but Texas country since 2008, and they’re still chugging along.

Honestly, with the way these people are trying to persuade others of their relevance, you’d think they were in the newspaper business instead of radio.

(h/t Country California)

Hey, you learn something new every day!

August 18, 2013

So, I was listening to Sirius Saturday as I was lounging around the house, and Willie’s Roadhouse said Ernest Tubb was coming up, with a song titled “Thoughts of a Fool.” I thought, Huh, I wonder if that’s the same song George Strait did on the Pure Country soundtrack 20 years ago:

And sure enough, it was.

I thought it was really good, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Ernest Tubb. I’m sure a lot of people would say that Strait was a much better singer than Tubb, and on a technical level that may be true — but as for me I think they’re both great, just in different ways. ET might not have had the expressive, weepy voice of a Jones or Haggard, but he always did a great job of making what he had work for him.

(I would have blogged earlier, but I woke up this morning with a crushing headache, with accompanying weakness & nausea. Stayed in bed till noon, then went out for a bite to eat, laid down about 2:30 and didn’t get up till almost 5:30. (Thank you for letting me nap, honey!) And then it was time to do laundry, eat supper, and all that good stuff. I do feel much better now, though.)