Archive for August, 2019

Heroes? Negative, Ghostrider.

August 26, 2019

…or, if you needed yet more proof that Houston police chief Art Acevedo is still a flaming pile of shit, here you go:

“I still think they’re heroes,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says of the narcotics officers who shot and killed Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas during a fraudulent drug raid at their Harding Street home on January 28. At a press conference Friday, Acevedo said Gerald Goines, the officer who instigated the raid by falsely claiming that a confidential informant had bought heroin from Tuttle at the house the day before, and Steven Bryant, who bolstered Goines’ cover story, had “dishonored” their badges and the Houston Police Department (HPD). But Acevedo insisted that the other officers who participated in the raid had “acted in good faith” and killed the couple in self-defense.

I do not mean necessarily to bash the other cops involved here. They may well have acted in good faith. They were put in a bad position by their superiors, and said superiors should fry for their actions. But calling them heroes is just a bridge too far for me. And “acted in self-defense”? Ah, no, Chief. People without badges don’t get to play that card when they’re the ones initiating the confrontation, and people with badges shouldn’t get to do it either, particularly in a situation like this.

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Wednesday political musings, 21.08.2019

August 21, 2019

Quote from elsewhere:

“The gun industry and the gun lobby are the problem. They won’t even let us do common sense reforms.”

No. NO SIR. If you’re gonna point the finger at anyone for pro-gunners’ refusing to compromise anymore, you need to be pointing the finger at Dianne Feinstein for giving away the endgame on 60 Minutes right after the 1994 “assault weapons” ban was passed.

For anyone who might have forgotten:

“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them — Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in — I would have done it.”

Also, while I say this specifically in the context of more gun control, it actually is more universal than that:

“Polls reflect that the public wants tighter gun control.”

Yeah, that and a five-spot will get you a sausage-and-egg taco and a cup of coffee at any Bill Miller’s here in San Antonio before 10:30 AM. All this supposed “silent majority” allegedly in favor of more gun laws has had to do since 1994 is vote in people who will pass those gun laws, but they have yet to get off their asses and do it, so they obviously don’t want it bad enough, if they want it at all, which at this point I frankly just do not believe. And if they don’t want it badly enough to vote for politicians who will vote for it, well, that has the exact effect of not wanting it at all.

Which, of course, brings us back to polls in general. How many polls, to cite perhaps the most infamous recent example, said Hillary Clinton was going to lay a 1984-level ass-whipping on Donald Trump in the 2016 election right up until she didn’t?

And I am really, really getting tired of the whole “b-b-b-but muh tanks and drones” when it comes to stopping tyranny with rifles. It’s as if no one has any concept of how guerrilla warfare works. That drone, just to take one example, is not going to be of much use if the pilot gets shot in his driveway, or the mechanic has his throat slit in some seedy Vegas strip joint, or the armorer has his morning coffee laced with cyanide.

Tuesday music musings, 20.08.19

August 20, 2019

I am not really big on the whole streaming music bit. I much prefer to own music as opposed to just renting it or whatever. I also believe that artists should be fairly compensated for their work, and the streaming model in general presents some huge issues with that.

That said, I got a cool new job, one that allows us to listen to Spotify while we work. Most of my burgeoning library comprises stuff I’ve already bought, because I am weird like that, but I have been sampling a pretty good bit of stuff that I have ended up buying.

We’ll talk about the other stuff later, but right now let’s talk about Gary P. Nunn. We went and bought What I Like About Texas: Greatest Hits a few years back and have played it a LOT since then…

…but, of course, you see exactly where I’m going with this.

That album featured five songs from 1993’s Totally Guacamole. The other day I was browsing the GPN albums one day and clicked on that album, and what caught my eye right away was one of the other seven songs, a tune called “You Can’t Get the Hell out of Texas.” I thought, huh, that title sounds familiar. I knew that song from way back, sort of. Back when 99.5 the Wolf in Dallas was a pretty good station and had Justin Frazell doing the traffic reports in a chopper in the skies over D-FW, they’d play a George Jones song with that title every Friday afternoon at 5:00.

I saw that title on the Gary P. Nunn album and thought, huh, I wonder if that’s the same song. Suuuurrrre enough….

Gotta say, I take a backseat to no one when it comes to my love for George Jones, but with that doghouse bass and Floyd Domino cutting loose on the piano…Lord, but that is top-shelf stuff.

I do have to say this next song kinda rubbed me the wrong way at first. Lord knows I don’t subscribe to the “’90s country is best country” thing, but I did and do think most of the folks that were called out in that song were legit, especially Rodney Crowell (I mean, shit, anyone who’s an actual country fan KNOWS that man was SO MUCH MORE than Diamonds & Dirt)….

…but then I realized it does come off as tongue-in-cheek, and taken in that context it is actually pretty funny.

And then there was “I Don’t Live Here Anymore.” For years, I only knew this version…

…and thought, “Huh, I wonder if this is the same song. Sure enough…

I really, really loved the Todd Fritsch version of this song back in the late 2000s, and it’s still pretty good, but I gotta go with Gary P. here, too. He has this tear in his voice that just makes the whole thing. I did not know that song was written by Brian Burns! Not that that surprises me; I have always thought he was a fine songwriter in addition to a great singer.

But this next song….oh my dear sweet Lord, I think this is my new favorite Gary P. Nunn song.

Look, just admit it. You heard that and got the big ole stupid grin on your face, didn’t you? (Credit Flaco Jimenez on the accordion for that.) TELL ME that is not the coolest, most South Texas thing you have ever heard in your life. Good, good stuff.

Thursday music musings, 15.08.19

August 15, 2019

I am by no means just now figuring this out…

…but Sabaton takes Iron Maiden’s game and runs with it very, very well. Swedish power metal songs all about war? I mean, how can you not love that?

This song is particularly great, about this incident from World War II:

I bought Adam Makos’ book A Higher Call some time ago but have yet to read it. That’s gonna be rectified this weekend…

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I had this meme cross my Facebook feed earlier today…

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…and really, all I could say was, Yep.

I’ve said all this before, albeit in different words, but it bears repeating: People may dismiss it as old farts bitching, but it ought to be obvious to anyone with functioning brain cells that Nashville for some time has been targeting people who think country music didn’t exist before 2010. They barely know George Strait, let alone the people who influenced him, and never mind the likes of, say, Gram Parsons, Guy Clark, or Billy Joe Shaver.

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I am not just now figuring this out either, but damn. I remember hearing Rascal Flatts back in the day and thinking they were pretty awful…but Dan + Shay make Rascal Flatts sound like Hank Thompson in comparison.

(That’s not to say that RF actually sounds good now, mind you. Think of it as stomach virus vs. stomach cancer. They both suck. One just sucks a whole lot less, comparatively speaking.)