Archive for April, 2014

And, once again…

April 30, 2014

…the San Antonio Express-News editorial board shows its ignorance:

Texas is still, fortunately, one of those states where openly carrying handguns is generally prohibited. Concealed weapons, with permits, still are restricted from most places where it makes sense to restrict them — churches, prisons, nursing homes, school sporting events, bars and CWI (carrying while intoxicated).

These last two are based on the indisputable proposition that alcohol and guns are not a good combination, a fact lost on Georgia’s legislature.

There is simply no need for gun envy here. Texas already is acknowledged to have some of the most lax gun ownership rules in the nation.

Some of the most lax gun ownership rules in the nation, whaaaaat? No open carry whatsoever, exorbitant, non-refundable CHL application, renewal, and training fees, and the Express-News considers that lax? One wonders what they’d consider the laws in a state like Indiana, where a lifetime license to carry is $100 — $40 less than Texas’ initial application fee and only $30 more than Texas’ four-year renewal fee. And if I remember correctly, you can carry in bars in Indiana as well, just like you can in Georgia now. This is nothing more than the same old “blood will run in the streets” Chicken Little rhetoric the anti-gunners have been trotting out for at least the last 20 years — in Texas and everywhere else. You’d think they’d have come up with better arguments by now, considering how many times they have been proven wrong.

But then, this is the San Antonio Express-News editorial board we’re dealing with here….

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A year and a day on…

April 27, 2014

Hard to believe it’s been just over a year since the passing of the great George Jones. I remember hearing about his memorial service a few days later and all the wrenching performances from the friends he left behind. I finally sat down and watched this one yesterday.

And, well…let’s just say that I had a bad enough time just watching it. I really can’t imagine how terrifying it must have been to be in Alan Jackson’s shoes right then, especially knowing what George Jones meant to him as an influence and as a friend.

And at the time, I might have thought the music couldn’t really get any worse, but we see how that’s turned out, don’t we?

Rant of the day.

April 24, 2014

I never said anything about it before…

…but you know what else really frosts my ass? When I see Person A justifiably bemoaning his/her situation and Person B pops in with “it could be worse” and brings up HIS/HER OWN SITUATION. Hey, Person B? Pardon my french, but fuck you. IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU. For Person A it probably really COULDN’T be worse, all things considered, and it’s the height of arrogance for you to think that it could. How do you know Person A wouldn’t trade places with you? You don’t. So SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.

I mean, really, what the hell is wrong with people?

Random news hits, 17.4.14

April 17, 2014

From the AP, via the Houston Chronicle:

Authorities were investigating Wednesday whether Denver police responded quickly enough to a woman who was fatally shot at least 12 minutes into a 911 call in which she said her husband was hallucinating and asking her to shoot him.

Wow, 12 minutes. Really gives the whole “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away” thing a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

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From the New York Times:

Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.

But remember, kids, the Koch brothers are the bad guys for funneling their own money into pet causes the American public ostensibly opposes. Harry Reid said it, I believe it, that settles it.

But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

I would say I don’t have any words for this, but I do:

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” — Proverbs 16:18

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From the AP via the Houston Chronicle, from earlier this week:

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Two parolees raped and killed at least four women while wearing GPS trackers, and there may be more victims, a California police chief alleged Monday.

But hey,  gun registration and universal background checks for gun purchases (which, again, are pretty much one and the same) will fix everything! Pull the other one. It’s got bells on it!

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And another one from the “oh, FUCK NO” department:

Shea Love, 40, said her 15-year-old son, Christian, had long been victimized by fellow students in his special education math class at South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pa. So the frustrated sophomore made an audio recording of the alleged bullying using his iPad, which school officials forced him to delete upon learning of the 7-minute segment in February. He was later convicted of disorderly conduct and fined $25 plus court costs….

Love said school officials, including Principal Scott Milburn and Superintendent Bille Pearce Rondinelli, contacted police for a possible violation of wiretapping laws, but did not discipline the students captured on the audio recording harassing her son.

You see what I mean? I really used to be skeptical about punitive lawsuits, but maybe I’m just getting more curmudgeonly and less tolerant of bullshit in my old age. Wiretapping? Are you fucking kidding me? Yes. I know what the law is. And I know the kid pretty much broke it. But this is a perfect illustration of the old saying “the law is an ass.”

What’s that, you say? Where do the lawsuits come in? Well, if that was my special-needs kid, I’d be going after the school district and the parents of the bullies for every fucking penny they had. As I’ve said before about other cases, this level of asshattery should hurt, and it should hurt like a motherfucker.

Every now and again, Buzzfeed is off-base…

April 13, 2014

…but it’s a rare moment that they’re as spectacularly wrong as this.

Okay, yeah. Marfa lights, Big Bend, NASA. All of those things are pretty damn Texan and definitely enhance the Texas experience. But there’s nothing on this list about, for example, late-night runs to Taco Cabana (or to HEB for Shiner Bock beer) or having eaten practically everything on the Whataburger menu.

But meeting George Bush the Elder? He barely qualifies as Texan, for crying out loud! And seeing Matthew McConaughey shirtless? The hell? THAT is an authentically Texan experience on the same level as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the state fair, or seeing George Strait live?

Don’t even get me started on that football-and-cheerleader bullshit, Friday Night Lights be damned. I guess those of us who were in the marching band don’t count.

Of course my opinion on that is more than a little biased. I lettered in the marching band when I was in high school. We had a rough go of it my freshman year due to changing to a different style of marching, but the next three years we earned the highest ratings at pretty much every marching contest we went to. Meanwhile, the football team sucked hind teat every single year I was there, with their best record being 5-4-1. But of course they were still the gawds of the school every fall. I remember quite clearly my senior year in high school, one of the years we in the marching band advanced from the UIL regional contest to the area contest in Mesquite, with a berth in the state contest in Austin on the line. This conflicted with our normal appearance at the football game, with our contest taking the priority that week — and when it was announced at the pep rally that we wouldn’t be at the football game, we got booed. I remember thinking, “fuck all y’all, this is our version of the playoffs and that’s better than your precious football team has done since before I even came to this school, and pretty much better than it’s done since I came to Texas, period.” (Don’t get me wrong — the pep rallies were fun and all, as were the football games, but it’s always irked me that some people basically see the band, drill team, etc. as little more than support for the football team.)

Now that I think about it, I wonder how much of this frat-boy bullshit “country” “music” trend can be traced back to high school football hero worship. Hmmm…

Not a what, again?

April 8, 2014

Wow. I would call Luke Bryan’s merchandise manager a tool, but that’s arguably an insult to things that actually have a use. I can almost hear my Gerber multitool’s indignant sneers.

Seriously. George Strait is “not an entertainer”? What the fuck ever. I hate to break it to assholes like Hunter Jobes, but there are a lot of us out there who don’t have any more use for the dancing chicken than Dusty Chandler’s preferred audience did in 1992. And whether or not Strait’s Entertainer of the Year award was gotten by the sympathy or sentimental vote, the facts pretty much speak for themselves — 30-plus years of playing packed arenas from coast to coast, right up to the present day. When Luke Bryan pulls that off then we can talk. Until then Hunter Jobes and his ilk can just sit down and shut up.

Wow, don’t know how I missed this…

April 7, 2014

…but it’s definitely worth a read:

Re: “Streetcar essential for burgeoning city,” Henry Cisneros, Another View, March 29:

I read former Mayor Cisneros’ commentary in support of the streetcar project.

Remember, this is the same gentleman who told us the Alamodome would put us on the “map” — pretty small map. We were going to have professional football, MLB, the Spurs, etc, there.

What we got is a structure that strongly resembles a landlocked steamboat and stands empty most of the time, along with an increased tax rate to build it that never went down.

Now he promotes “the streetcar” as the development of a citywide system when, in fact, all I have heard or read about is a five-mile tourist attraction in the downtown area. When Henry talks, I lock the doors, put our money in the wall safe, and turn off the lights.

Yep. I could hardly believe Cisneros mentioned the Alamodome in that piece, all things considered. From what I understand it’s completely paid for already, and it does host big events every so often — exhibition sporting events, concerts, and the like. But considering that it failed to accomplish its stated objective of bringing an NFL team to San Antonio, it should hardly be mentioned in the same breath as the acquisition of CPS Energy and the building of the McAllister Freeway (for those of you not here in San Antonio, that’s Highway 281 between downtown and Sonterra Boulevard on the city’s far north side). And the streetcars for damn sure shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath. Why? Because they’re arguably going to be a benefit to a much smaller amount of people, many of whom don’t even live here in San Antonio. Sounds like hiding the money would definitely be the smart move when Cisneros opens his mouth.

(Same goes for Nelson Wolff and Julian Castro as well, but that’s another couple of blog posts…)

I am a bit torn here.

April 6, 2014

While I understand what Florida legislators are trying to do here, I still think we as a society need to rid ourselves of the notion that a “warning shot” — or an intentional shot anywhere other than to the head or center of mass” — is ever a good idea.

I was about to say, “never mind the fact that you’ll get crucified by an overzealous prosecutor,” but how can anyone really think that firing a gun at anyone just to scare them is ever a good idea? It’s been said before, but it needs to be said again and again — firing a warning shot is in general a very bad idea, as it will leave the impression even with the layman that you didn’t think your target was dangerous enough to kill.

Also, never mind the particular situation mentioned in the story — that warning shot you fire leaves you with one fewer bullet to use when shit really does go pear-shaped and you’re forced into a situation in which you really, no-shit have to “kill or be killed,” and then what are you going to do if you need that bullet?

And then, of course, there are the legal ramifications of the law — as a Facebook friend put it, “That’s just one idiotic judge away from REQUIRING a warning shot or some idiotic notion of shooting to wound.” You know you can hear it now. “Why didn’t you fire a warning shot at my honor student?” Of course, you hear that now already, but do we really want the horror of the family of somebody who died in a truly righteous shoot being able to sue?

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this — in the sense of the ancient alleged Chinese curse….

Well now, this just warms the cockles of my cold black heart.

April 3, 2014

Seen at Saving Country Music this morning:

Johnny Cash is once again the big man in music as his recently-released “lost” album Out Among The Stars has come in at #1 on the Country Albums chart, and #3 on the all-encompassing album sales chart according to Mediabase, with a total of 54,000 copies sold. The sales success will likely result in Cash also cresting Billboard’s country chart, and hitting near #3 on their all genre album chart when the new week’s charts are posted.

Further down in comments:

It wasn’t even close. Niemann only sold 14,000 copies of his album which will bring him barely inside the top 20 on the big chart.

Now, I don’t know exactly what that says about where country music fans are in relation to their tastes for experimentation in the genre to the level that Niemann supposedly brings it, but it would seem to suggest that, as the Triggerman says, Niemann indeed sold his credibility down the river for commercial gain. I’m sure it’ll be spun as him taking a risk that ended up being a spectacular failure, as sometimes happens — but taken hand-in-hand with him defending his music the way he has, it leaves him with a good amount of egg on his face.

And as a nice little bonus, Blake Shelton looks like an even bigger idiot now.

“Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, ‘My God, that ain’t country!’ Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do…”

“The kids do…”

“The kids do…”

You know what  I’m getting at, yes? Either the kids bought more of Johnny Cash’s album than Jerrod Niemann’s album, or Shelton’s “old farts and jackasses” still buy records — or, better yet, both.