Posts Tagged ‘Uncategorized’

How about some more Iron Maiden…

December 3, 2010

…for your Friday afternoon?

Ever since I’ve gotten more into the older, more traditional metal, as you know if you’ve been reading for the last couple of years, Iron Maiden has gotten to be one of my favorite bands. While the glam metal bands were singing about looking for nothing but a good time with girls who were only seventeen who were their cherry pie but gave love a bad name, the more traditional metal bands were delving into more serious, meaty topics like drug abuse and nuclear war. Of course Iron Maiden was among the serious bands, drawing their inspiration from classic literature and historical events. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was based on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem of the same name, and “The Trooper” — from what I’ve read — was at least partially based on Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” Steve Harris also drew inspiration for the latter from the Battle of Balaclava, which took place during the Crimean War. Another song with historical inspiration was “Aces High,” which was written about the Battle of Britain in World War II. This song embodies everything I love about Maiden, I think — intelligence, speed, guitar solos and then there’s that fantastic voice from Bruce Dickinson, one of the finest metal vocalists who ever lived. Like I always say about this song, “It’s a song about World War II dogfighting. How could it NOT be made of WIN?”

Let me put this…

December 3, 2010

..as delicately as I can…

As I was passing through security at Boston’s Logan Airport on Tuesday night, a TSA worker discovered a penny in one of the bins that had just gone through the screener.
He picked up the coin, turned to a colleague and said with a grim smile: “This is your Obama bonus.”
Which made me wonder: Is President Obama’s strategy of offering pre-emptive concessions destined to make enemies of his potential friends in the electorate without winning over any of his adversaries?

FUCK YOU, E.J. Dionne, and the horse you rode in on, you motherfucker. Potential friends in the electorate? Fedgov workers are Obama’s friends ANYWAY because he wants to employ more of them. What about those of us who have worked for literally YEARS on end without even a penny bump in OUR wages? What about those of us who have had to take unpaid furloughs that we could barely afford precisely because of those wage freezes? Not all of us work for an employer who could literally print money at its own whim if it wanted to. You of all people ought to know this, considering the industry in which you work. Of course, considering the media outlet for whom you work, it doesn’t surprise me that you would try to make a government employee look like some sort of sympathetic figure, you git.

A Freudian slip, maybe?

December 3, 2010

From Sheila Jackson Lee, that is:

Texas’ 12 Democratic House members were divided over the appropriate punishment for New York Rep. Charlie Rangel’s conviction on 11 ethics violations Thursday…

Houston Democratic Rep. Gene Green voted for the punishment, while Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green of Houston voted against it.

“His conduct does not rise to the magnitude to deserve censure,” Jackson Lee said, according to Congressional Quarterly. “A censure resolution would be used to bludgeon us.”

“Bludgeon us“? One wonders whom this “us” is of whom Sheila Jackson Lee speaks. Well, one would have wondered if it hadn’t become obvious long ago. Lee has that group-victimization mentality that is espoused by so many black “leadership” figures, and so she apparently thinks that censuring Rangel is censuring all black representatives. Does anyone really think she and those like her would’ve voted against censuring Rangel if he had been, say, a white representative from River Oaks, Trophy Club or Alamo Heights? Yeah, me neither.

Concerns over Mexican corruption? Who knew?

December 3, 2010

Well, this is interesting:

MEXICO CITY — Diplomatic cables released Thursday by the website WikiLeaks reveal deep U.S. concerns over the progress of President Felipe Calderón’s crackdown on Mexico’s criminal gangs and the two countries’ cooperation in the effort.

The cables, released to select European newspapers by the website offer official confirmation of the rivalries, corruption and inefficiencies among Mexican security forces that have hampered Calderón’s campaign.

“Mexican security institutions are often locked in a zero-sum competition in which one agency’s success is viewed as another’s failure,” warns a January cable apparently written by John Feeley, second in command of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, to U.S. intelligence and military agencies.

“Information is closely guarded, and joint operations are all but unheard of,” the dispatch continues. “Official corruption is widespread, leading to a compartmentalized siege mentality among ‘clean’ law enforcement leaders and their lieutenants.”

If you read on, you’ll see that the Mexican army — which, it was noted, is “an insular institution historically suspicious of the United States” — is criticized in these cables as not having either the training or the authority it needs to carry out its mission.

And how about that “zero-sum game” in which one agency’s loss is another agency’s win? And Mexican officials being afraid of losing of control of parts of the country? To be fair, vis-a-vis that zero-sum game, I’ve heard it’s the same here in America between the ATF and the FBI, with their own turf skirmishes; but at any rate, it sounds like Felipe Calderon has much, much bigger problems than American-made semiautomatic rifles getting into the hands of the drug gangs. And these cables make Calderon and others in the Mexican government sound like they’re trying to take the easy way out when they call for gun bans in America. Of course, those of us who knew the truth about how hard it is to get things like rocket-propelled grenades and full-auto weapons in America knew they were doing just that — taking the easy way out — but it’s nice to see that get more confirmation.

Well, I guess I don’t really love music.

December 2, 2010

Never mind all my music posts, of course. Just read the words of a commenter here:

I love, though, how different genres are mixing with country. Kid Rock, Jon Bon Jovi, ZZ Top…you can tell who REALLY loves MUSIC. (Kinda like someone who says they LOVE FOOD, but will ONLY eat meat and potatoes.)

I must really not like music, then, because I think Bon Jovi sucks as a “country” artist; Taylor Swift isn’t much better; and Kid Rock wastes what potential he has shown with banal tripe like “All Summer Long.” Never mind that on my iPod you’ll find, among other artists, Kelly Clarkson, Queensryche, Iron Maiden, Steve Earle and Merle Haggard. I hate new country because of its bastardization by other genres, therefore I don’t really love music. Gotcha.

(this is me rolling my eyes)

Florida has white sand because…lolwhut?

December 2, 2010

It’s not blogs that are the problem with journalism so much as it is their idiot commenters, as seen here:

There’s a reason why millions of tourists fock (sic) to Florida’s beaches while few tourists outside of Texas go to Galveston… Florida has white sand and clear water because they don’t allow drilling!

This is not true. Florida has white sand and clear water because of the currents in the Gulf of Mexico. You’re familiar with the Mississippi River’s nickname, no? Big Muddy? And the river’s nice brown color? Well, all of that dirt, silt and everything else responsible for that color and nickname gets deposited into the Mississippi River at a rate of more than 610,000 cubic feet per second, and the currents in the Gulf of Mexico and prevailing winds from the southeast carry it all this way, along with an unknown amount of trash and debris. I suppose it sounds good to say things like “Florida has white sand and clear water because they don’t allow drilling.” It fits so perfectly with the leftists’ false dichotomy of “the economy or the environment.” But that doesn’t make it any less of a false statement.

Of course, to be fair, the other commenters are handing this guy his ass on a silver platter, so there is that…

(and focking TO Florida beaches? No. People fock ON the beaches…)

The Chinese don’t care as much as you think they do, Tommy.

December 1, 2010

I’m sure Thomas Friedman thinks he’s a really smart guy

While secrets from WikiLeaks were splashed all over the American newspapers, I couldn’t help but wonder: What if China had a WikiLeaker and we could see what its embassy in Washington was reporting about America? I suspect the cable would read like this:

Most of the Republicans just elected to Congress do not believe what their scientists tell them about man-made climate change. America’s politicians are mostly lawyers – not engineers or scientists like ours – so they’ll just say crazy things about science and nobody calls them on it. It’s good. It means they will not support any bill to spur clean energy innovation, which is central to our next five-year plan. And this ensures that our efforts to dominate the wind, solar, nuclear and electric car industries will not be challenged by America.

Now, Friedman might sound like he knows what he’s talking about, but consider this from Eric Berger, the science writer for the Houston Chronicle:

Is there any hope that China will take the game-changing first step by adopting a carbon tax? Why would they do so? Why would this be the harbinger of a global framework?

I believe that China has powerful reasons to place a rising fee on carbon: (1) China will suffer more than most nations from changing climate and rising sea level, (2) China has horrific air and water pollution from fossil fuels, (3) China wants to avoid the enormous costs and burdens that accompany fossil fuel addiction, (4) there is great economic advantage in having the leading low-carbon technologies.

Hansen is quite correct in asserting that China would have an easier time of instituting such a carbon fee simply because it could ignore politics — “At the same time China has the capacity to implement policy decisions rapidly,” he writes — and simply impose a fee.

I’m not sure espousing the virtues of authoritarianism is the best way to win converts to your cause, but whatever. What really strikes me is that I have seen very little evidence that China would actually ever impose such a fee.

Consider the following comments from Huang Huikang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special representative for climate change talks, on the eve of the Cancun climate talks that began Monday.

“China’s overriding priority will be to develop its economy, eliminate poverty and raise people’s welfare, and our energy consumption and (greenhouse gas) emissions will experience reasonable growth for some time,” he said.

That’s pretty unequivocal for a diplomat communicating in public, as opposed to private cables, of course.

Now, we already know about Friedman’s love affair with China’s authoritarianism, so we’ll leave that alone for now. What you wanna keep in mind is what the Chinese diplomat said — namely, that his country’s No. 1 priority was developing its economy, and that greenhouse gas emissions were going to be increasing for some time. Now, you’ll note he said nothing about raising taxes on fossil fuels and such, which would seem to imply that he knows that said taxes would hamper that goal — at least that’s how it sounds the way Berger put it, but either way it doesn’t seem so farfetched. So yeah, the Chinese do come off as pretty smart if Huang Huikang’s comments are representative of their mindset — just not smart in the way Thomas Friedman would like you to think they are. Apparently Friedman thinks those who read his columns are going to take his word as gospel as opposed to using their own critical thinking skills and seeking out alternative sources of information with differing and potentially more valid viewpoints. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me, but being the visionary he thinks he is, you’d think he’d try harder.

There’s a lesson here…

December 1, 2010

…if only our elected officials will learn it:

AP IMPACT: Cartel arrests did not curb drug trade

On a sleepy boulevard of motels and fast-food joints near the Mexican border, police stopped a car with a broken tail light. In the trunk, he found a trash bag containing 48 pounds of narcotics, and in the driver’s pocket, scraps of paper scrawled with phone numbers.
Almost four years later, a grave Eric Holder called his first news conference as attorney general and announced where those phone numbers had led — to a sweeping investigation called Operation Xcellerator, which produced the largest-ever federal crackdown on Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, with 761 people arrested and 23 tons of narcotics seized.
Standing with Holder that day in 2009 was acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart, who declared: “Today we have dealt the Sinaloa drug cartel a crushing blow.”
But just how crushing was it? An Associated Press investigation casts doubt on whether the crackdown caused any significant setback for the cartel.

Now, as you know, a lot of those on the left contend terrorists should be fought in the courts and on the streets with police and lawyers as opposed to on the battlefield with soldiers. One could say that the drug cartels are every bit as powerful as international terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda. If the law-enforcement approach works so dismally with the drug cartels, what makes liberals think it’s going to work with terrorism?

Hey, sanity!

December 1, 2010

On at least one Texas college campus, anyway:

Texas State University’s student government has become the first in Texas to endorse carrying concealed handguns on campus.

Two weeks ago, Texas State’s newspaper, the University Star, became the first student newspaper in Texas to publicly endorse the bill.

That editorial is here. As you’ll see if you read said editorial, the Star had run editorials opposing concealed carry on campus, but as the editorial board’s membership changed, so did the board’s opinion. I can only imagine what the board had said before, but this is a nice reversal:

Students with licenses permitting them to carry should not be forced to unarm themselves before they set foot on campus. The idea of a university being a “safe haven” where guns are not allowed is the status quo, but why? This campus is not a high school full of minors. It is a place where adults come to learn and prepare themselves for reality — and guns and gun-enthusiasts are real.

I surely never thought I would see something like that appear in a college newspaper, even in the heart of Texas. That last line reminds me of an exchange I saw somewhere…

Anti-gunner: “I don’t believe in guns.”

Pro-gunner: “Ma’am, I assure you, they exist.”

Sure is nice to see at least one campus newspaper acknowledging reality as opposed to going into full-bore hysterics as so many media outlets do.

Another feminist contradiction

November 30, 2010

…right here:

I am a 20-year-old college student who has found the man of my dreams. We both believe it is acceptable (and in our case, preferable) for a woman to be a stay-at-home mother and wife.
However, the number of people who have deemed our views “unacceptable” and “disgraceful” is astounding. I was actually spit on by a woman who accused me of being “the problem with women.”

Wow, what does one say to that? It’s as if the feminists say, “You should be free to make your own choices without fear of judgment, as long as you make choices we approve of.” The treatment of Sarah Palin would seem to indicate they do the same thing vis-a-vis abortion, too. It strikes me that feminism really, well, isn’t.