Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The Supreme Court has a more conservative bent than it has had in years, but is it conservative enough?
Wonder if the anti-gunners are as cautious about this? A Supreme Court ruling on the side of the right in this case would have some pretty far-reaching implications...
"We are in trench warfare and it's going to be rough,'' said Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter, a chief sponsor of the legislation. "But we are going to see the will of the Senate work one way or another.''
Excuse me Mr Specter, but with all due respect, FUCK the will of the Senate. Your business is the will of the PEOPLE, and you need to be getting to it instead of pissing about with this worthless bill that not only decriminalizes but rewards MILLIONS of criminals.
Am I missing something? Will our country benefit from this bill? Why the hell are our representatives charging ahead with this in the face of so much opposition?
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Not much about this on the news, but Michael Yon is actually there on the ground, letting us know what's going down. DEFINITELY recommended reading.
Thanks to Geek with a 45 for the reminder that we're still at war.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Refusing even in the face of the lowest poll rating EVER for a congress, even though they have been deluged with THOUSANDS of phone calls, emails and letters EACH.
I suppose you could give them a TINY bit of credit for sticking by their guns, but dammit, they're supposed to do the peoples business... and it's looking like this is NOT what the people want.
Maybe it's just me - maybe I live in a teeny evil-right-wing bubble where everyone I know thinks this whole amnesty bill idea is just about the worst idea they've ever heard. Maybe there are people out there - other than illegal aliens, big businesses and politicians - who think this is just swingin'.
They're being awful quiet though -- least I haven't heard from them.
So what do you do when your elected representatives do the exact opposite of what you expect them to? When they blatantly fly in the face of popular public opinion?
Come November of next year, you remember.
The citizens of the United States elect representatives to serve the interests of the citizens of the United States.
Serve the interest of Mexico's citizens at your political peril.
Speaking of adding to my blogroll, its about time I added Mushy - a blogger from the Free state of Tennessee - he's got some fascinating stories and great taste in music. I've been lurking at his place for a while...
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Grade yourselves in the comments.
1. What are the colors of our flag?
2. Who elects the President?
3. What are the three branches of our government?
4. Name the first 13 states.
5. How many voting members in the House of Representatives?
6. What is the supreme law of the United States?
7. Who said "Give me liberty or give me death"?
8. How many Supreme Court justices are there?
9. Why did the Pilgrims come to America?
10. Who wrote The Star Spangled Banner?
I had an appointment to get fingerprinted as part of my citizenship application process, and I came with books, gum etc, figuring I'd be in for the duration... but nope! In and out in about 15 minutes. Hafta say I was quite impressed.
The fingerprint thingy was pretty high-tech - it looks like a supermarket UPC scanner (about as big as a washing machine). They wet your fingertips (just water, she said...), press them over the scanner, and the prints appear on a computer screen... while this was going down, I told the lady "I guess I can see why you guys charge $70 for prints. This machine looks expensive".
I got done, and they handed me a study guide with some sample US history questions. I'll put some up in the next post so you guys can see what I'm up against, and see if y'all can answer them...
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The silence from the UN on this one is no real surprise. Can't pass resolutions against those nasty Jews for this one, so there's just crickets chirping over at Turtle Bay.
It's interesting that the world community could give a crap when the Palestinians are shooting each other, but if a Palestinian boy should so much as skin his knee while chucking rocks at Israelis, the howls of outrage are deafening.
So whats going down in Palestine? Basically a turf war. The two main political factions, Hamas (the terrorist organization who won a majority of seats in the abortion that passes for parliament in Palestine) and Fatah (the corrupt organization that Arafat spawned - again terrorists, but also have a long and storied history of graft and corruption) are literally fighting in the streets for control of Gaza. Fatah is losing, and it seems that Hamas has been planning something like this for a while. So, what we are seeing here is the emergence of a Hamas - controlled Gaza, and a Fatah -controlled West Bank... two mini-Palestinian states maybe?
What is the relevance of all this, you may ask?
Not much, I suppose, from this vantage point... except it does point out rather painfully what a complete and utter disaster the Palestinian "state" is. Generation after generation born into "refugee camps" (that are older than some countries - shouldn't they at least qualify as settlements by now?), born into poverty that their leaders have created and maintain for their own personal aggrandizement, and breeding like frikken rabbits. Can you say "powder keg"?
I suppose I'd be pissed too and want to kill someone.
Here's the newsflash: The Jews ain't your problem. Its your leadership.
You could wipe Israel out, take the land and you'd still be piss-poor and miserable, because the guys you put into power want to keep things that way, only this time they'll be telling you the problem is America.
The last two weeks are a case in point. When the thugs in charge would rather reach for an AK than a phone to talk to the "loyal opposition", the peace and security of the people they're supposed to represent is hardly at the forefront of their priority list, is it?
And you wackjobs voted these clowns in! So, I guess y'all DO want "war to the knife"?
After all, if enough of your young men's blood fertilizes the ground, maybe you will be able to grow food in the desert...
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Never seen a car chase live before.
Glad I heard them when I did, and stayed put, rather than try to pull out in front of that mess...
The kids wanted me to follow and watch it all go down. Yeah right....
Although a tiny part of me kinda wanted to too...
This is pretty much where I hit a roadblock (read: recoiled in horror).
I turned 18 during 1989, and I have come to realize that this might possibly be the absolute worst year to turn 18, from a musical standpoint.
5 weeks of Milli Vanilli at #1, 6 weeks of Paula Abdul, New Kids on the Friggen Block, Roxette, Debbie Gibson, Bobby Brown... well, you get the idea.
1989 was a pivotal year for me, because that was when I Crossed The Pond to live in this fair nation and I remember being massively underwhelmed by the quality of music that I was introduced to. MTV was a great concept, utterly wasted on the multitude of crappy hair bands and old school rap that seemed to dominate the scene when I immigrated...
So anyway, I'm going to have to modify this tag, and I'll lay out 5 bands that exemplify the kind of music I was into (and still am for that matter) at the time:
The kind of music that was really starting to hit in the UK when I left was "acid" or "acid house", and New Order tried to cash in on the scene with this one, called "Fine Time", which was better on vinyl than live. I loved the genre back then, which has morphed into my current covert love of Techno...
One of my favorite bands of all time is Eurythmics, a love affair which started after getting a copy of their album "Be Yourself Tonight". I subsequently bought everything by them I could get my hands on, including stuff by "The Tourists", the band Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were in prior to the Eurythmics. The last album they released before I left for the States was "Savage", a song from which I shall now post:
Oh yeah. Dig that blond wig. Tell me she was not banging. I had a huge crush on Annie when I was a teenager (hell, I guess I had a crush on just about anything in a skirt at that age). Bottom line: Annie Lennox is one of, if not THE finest female vocalists out there. Her voice is flat out beautiful, and her range is unsurpassed. Check out "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with my Heart)" if you don't understand what I mean.
Kate Bush is another awesome female vocalist who has this absolutely haunting voice. She's been on the scene since the seventies, but I think this song. "The Red Shoes" is from right around the late eighties/early nineties. Her style is unique, with a heavy dose of folk, and I love it all. Her voice just enchants me.
I've mentioned these guys before, but no post about music that impacted me would be complete without a nod to the Manchester Sound, and the Stone Roses in particular. This stuff was just starting to get big as I left the old country too, and I just get lost in those funky bass lines, and the hypnotic drum beat. You can even hear the dude's northern accent peek out through the lyrics... Manchester was about 30-40 miles from where I grew up...
Last but not least I need to give a nod to another influence in my young life: Gothic. No, not that crap/discordant screaming by Marylin Manson or AFI, but the older stuff like Bauhaus:
Now, this video is of "God in an Alcove", which relates the demise of the old gods of sacrifice and the rise of Christianity, "the lily poet of our time" "love became the in theme then". Great stuff. Unfortunately, this video (the only one available on Youtube for this song, by the way) starts out about halfway in and is crap, but you can get a feel for the music somewhat.
These guys went on to create Love and Rockets, and Daniel Ash, a member of Bauhaus, pursued a short-lived (one album I think - I liked it) solo career...
So, there you have it. Five groups/artists that I was heavily into when I was 18, and I'm proud to say that none of them made that awful Billboard chart for 1989...
I still listen to all this stuff today - I think my music taste froze in around the year 1992, because I have absolutely no appreciation for what I've been hearing on the radio lately.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Number One Son started flag football and Saturday was week 1. His team is the Eagles, and they played the Falcons. They got stomped, but hey, it's all about the kids having fun, right? Yeahhh.... I found myself screaming madly every time my little boy touched the ball. He made a couple of good stops too... I think I'm gonna have to watch myself, because I may be in danger of becoming one of those "enthusiastic" parents that we all despise. Gonna hafta check that pretty quick, even if MY boy is a completely under appreciated talent...
Saturday night found us in LA (the top of Topanga Canyon to be precise) enjoying a luau-style barbecue at a friend's house. Nice people, but man that's a two hour drive!
Now when I'm at social events in the Big City, I'm usually pretty circumspect about my political views, not really wanting to harsh my buzz by throwing down with some loopy Libs telling me how it ought to be, but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. My buddy did go there, and discovered that most of the people we were hanging with were actually - gasp! - Republicans. Reminder to self: must not stereotype - not everyone living in LA is a lefty nutjob...
After all, staunch gunnie Dirtcrashr lives in the Bay Area...
I also got to talk to an Iranian chick there, and I grilled her about the mullahs in Iran and public sentiment. She told me the leadership's not real popular over there (she goes back all the time I guess) and that during the election, Ahmadinejad came out of nowhere to win. She said the folks over there think he's as nutty as we do.
Sunday was yard work. Much yard work.
Since our weekends had been so busy the last couple of weeks, the yard needed some serious attention. Finally cut the grass in the back, trimmed a couple trees and built my wife a raised-bed herb garden... I hate yard work. It is the lot of the white suburban male to be chained to his yard on the weekends. Bleh.
Monday, June 04, 2007
What better way to spend a Sunday in June than to take the offspring to The Happiest Place on Earth? That's exactly what we did this last weekend - spent the night before at a hotel suite nearby, courtesy of the kids' grandparents, spent a leisurely morning at the pool (grandma, wife and kids) or in front of the TV (me and grandpa), and then rolled on into Disneyland around 12:45 (gasp! OMG! I've never been that late!).
Man, we were hitting everything ON POINT that day. We'd roll up to a ride, wait 15 minutes, get on, come out and see that the wait had suddenly gone to 45 minutes. We did more in that particular 7 hour trip than we've done by getting in at opening time and closing the place down. Plus we did some stuff I've never done before -- like ride that bigass sailing ship - The Columbia - it's like a floating museum! Pretty darn cool, let me tell you...
Anyway, without further ado, I shall bombard you all with some pictures of our day at the Magic Kingdom...
This is My Little Princess putting the hurt on Darth Vader during Jedi Training Academy (I was so jazzed! both my kids plus their cousin got to participate). It's blurry because I was extremely emotional at this point, and obviously couldn't keep a steady hand...
Check out this rhino - pretty cool huh? Part of the Lion King "segment".
Anyway, that'll do for now... suffice to say, we had a great time, got out at a reasonable hour and capped the day off with a fine meal at Joe's Crab Shack.
Two robbers dead, the other two in custody, all the guns recovered. Not a bad ending. Better than May 10th, when the Riverside store actually did get hit. The PD put up a copy of the surveillance video here, looking for leads. Maybe they're related - both robberies were right before closing time, both seemed to use the same sort of tactics.
I have to admit, a gun store would not have been my first choice for a robbery. I always thought those guys behind the counter were packing. Guess not. Maybe it's illegal here in CA - that wouldn't be a surprise...
That's right... I got me some Carbon Offsets, baby!
From left to right we have the Mexican Lime Dwarf Carbon Offset, the Sweet Lemon Dwarf Carbon Offset and the Algerian Tangerine Dwarf Carbon Offset. (Note the grass - still luscious - nope - haven't killed it yet... though I do need to cut it).
One for each of our three vehicles (I reckon the Harley gets a pass at about 50mpg).
We're good to go - years of guilt free utterly wanton fuel burning ahead (plus some tasty fruit).