Daily Archives: August 5, 2007

Wow, sorta

Newt Gingrich on ‘this phony war’

By Reid Stott

“We used to be a serious country. When we got attacked at Pearl Harbor, we took on Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. We beat all three in less than four years. We’re about to enter the seventh year of this phony war against … [terrorist groups], and we’re losing.” Newt Gingrich

Minor differences that might come into play (and I’m not a military man, so there might be a few more I’ve missed):

  • Nazis, Imperialists, and Fascists generally all wore uniforms and were backed by a state.
  • There was a draft in America.
  • American industry was turned to producing planes, tanks, guns, and bullets.
  • Not one iota of American war-making ingenuity was declined.

Now, I know neither Reid nor Newt are stupid, so I don’t know why Newt made the statement or Reid highlighted it. Whatever it’s there for, it seems fairly pointless. There is a way to end this War on Terrorist Groups. We all know what it is, and it starts with n, ends with r, and some peoples’ way of pronouncing drives pedants crazy. But it is there, and as a nation, we’ve decided it’s not going to happen because (presumably) it’s inhumane and there are some serious consequences (duh). Like it or not, though, it is there and will at a minimum, destroy economies, nations, and thought-leaders that drive this Islamic bullshit, which will shut them down for 30-50 years.

So, let’s not talk about losing a war we haven’t even started to fight with all our might. We’re doing it the way we’re doing it, thanks to a whole boatload of smart people who think we’re doing it the right way. Leave it to average Joe Box-of-Wine, and we nuke Mecca, Waziristan, probably Islamabad, too. Tomorrow.

Of course, like all fookin’ politicians, Newt plans to hip all us morons to his plan sometime in the future:

Gingrich said he would lay out in a Sept. 10 speech what a successful U.S. approach to this threat would have looked like over the past six years.

No, wait — dammitt, I’m sorry. Newt is going to tell us what we should have done. Like there’s not enough of that political hindsight ass-covering bullshit going on as it is. We get Cerebral Newt in a month hectoring on us how we should have done it. Well, piss on that. Take a number, Newt…you’re a dime a dozen these days.

Why Blogs are Good

Thoughtcrimes

Thoughtcrime. What you think is more important than what you do. In 1984 it is the only crime. Not only does it violate the First Amendment, but it violates the single most important possession that one has–one’s own soul. If you, out of whoring your integrity to your social aspirations, or if you have no mind, you curtail your thinking to be accepted and be invited to good parties attended by powerful people with bad ideas coercively expressed, then you are incrementally agreeable to curtail it more so that people who challenge your views are de natura wrong, and that means that you do not have to defend your views, for you have substituted faith and fashion for facts and reason and is there a better way to control people? Debate is not permitted for it is heresy. And a live heretic is a silent heretic, living a lie. I know a lot about living a lie and I don’t recommend it.

Thoughtcrime leaves open the door for denouncers of those who do not toe the party line, as in the Soviet Union, where they were sent to psychiatric hospitals and diagnosed with sluggish schizophrenia, and given psychoactive drugs, to our Federal Government who stopped, this time, with confiscating the papers of a meeting violating Constitutional rights.

We choose our friends by the quality of their thoughts, and have a choice to forgive, or not, their deeds. It is the obligation of the body politic, however, to judge people not by their thoughts but by their deeds.

But we are headed, in this PC age, to a land where the only crime is thoughtcrime for PC is intellectual fascism. The Democrats make noises they like about Iraq and care nothing for the outcome. Their thinking is good so that’s all right then. Notice the frivolity. Algore demands that we change utterly our lives without regard to the consequences or even possibility of success, but his thinking is good, and he has a nimbus of self-righteousness and so that’s really all right then. Alger Hiss betrayed America, and is to this day defended by liberals because his thinking was upper-class, as opposed to the rather grubby Whitaker Chambers’ and so Alger Hiss is, in the teeth of the evidence, all right then. And Chairman Mao murdered 60,000,000 people for good leftist motives. So that’s all right then.

But people who refuse to take the hint, and who insist that the Emperor has no clothes, need to remember that the cure for heresy was given us by Torquemada, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler. And Mao. What a coincidence.

I’m tragically guilty of over-quoting here, but Theocritus is extremely correct. As if there are degrees of correctness, which, there ain’t. Good stuff – read it all. There just aren’t enough people saying this.

Why Not More of This?

You don’t often see much in the way of new in the gun-nut world, but this looks like one hell of an idea: a 5.56 carbine built on the supremely venerable Remington 870 platform.

Rather than go through the hell of learning a crazy new platform, as I’d have to do if I went the AR way, I’ll probably get me one of these for TEOTWAWKI. After all, everyone says that there will be barge-loads of 5.56 ammo and a like number of AR magazines laying about. Now I can use them without the strain of getting up to speed on Eugene Stoner’s genius (since I are not a genius, no way, no how.)

In all seriousness, that there’s a pretty damn sweet idea. No, it’s not going to be as fast a shooter as the standard AR, but it’ll be fast enough for 99.9% of my purposes if we ever do have that total social meltdown. Plus, it gets me into the cheapest of cheap ammo, and I can save my 7.62 Russki crap and the M1A for the long-haul shooting it’s meant for (except I need some LASIK eyeballs first, probably, or a decent scope (any suggestions?).)

Via The Law Dog, who has a more pragmatic take on it than I do, being in the business and all…

Ephemera

* I wonder…was NASCAR fully aware that ESPN was going to stick Suzy Kolber in the booth for the pre-race hullabaloo? I used to think that, at best, she was really cute eye-candy. She’s still cute, but no less of a lightweight. I want good ol’ boys talking about getting loose in the corners and how a track drives and how Coo Coo Marlin used to race against Marty Robbins whenever Marty was in town to play the Grand Old Opry. Not that it matters, but I’m pulling for Tony Stewart to pull off three in a row, and I hope he cusses in the interview again.

* Does any other state churn out genuine Guitar Heroes like Texas does? Or am I just a provincial boob? Here’s evidence for the former: skinny albino Beaumontian Johnny Winter doing his trademark slide work on Highway 61.

The Texas guitar tradition runs deep. A gutsy school of blues playing, marked by thick tones, aggressive attack and tons of technique, all delivered in a flamboyant, swaggering style that is endemic to the Lone Star State. From T-Bone Walker and Clarence Gatemouth Brown on through Albert Collins and Freddie King, Billy Gibbons and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, the tradition of the Texas guitar slinger has lived on. The one name that ranks at the top of that exclusive list is Johnny Winter, an international ambassador for rocking Texas blues and still going strong!

Lots of JW on eMusic.com, where you don’t have to overpay for DRM-less musica.

* After three weeks with Windows Vista, I’m lukewarm about it. It’s basically an overpriced XP Service Pack 3, which is a disappointment, since I’d heard a lot of hoo-ha about the databased file system and other goodies that didn’t quite materialize. I’d pass if it were possible, just because I’m older than dirt and don’t feel like learning how to get around all the junk thrown in your way to keep the hausfraus from blowing up their peecees. I do, however, love my Thinkpad T61 very muchly. I’m considering just wiping the disk and installing XP. I don’t need all the flashy crap, and the thinking for me that Mr. Softy thinks I do. If I didn’t have to run Windows apps, I’d probably just go ahead and install a random Linux distro. No, I can’t use an emulator, so don’t suggest it — these are services apps for demo purposes. One day, I’ll be enough of a Big Wheel that I’ll have people who have people to do the demos. Not quite there yet.

All right, then…they’re dropping the green flag. See ya.

Ignore this post, like you’re ignoring soccer

Yet another reason I prefer hockey as my TFG-sanctioned team sport of the moment:

When Wayne Gretzky came to Dallas in the mid-80s to help sell the NHL he wasn’t paid like he’d invented air, and he didn’t take just a token handful of shifts on the ice. The Great One not only played the ‘exhibition game’, he played about twice as much as he was obligated to. And knowing his character and sense of obligation, even if he’d been hobbled like the Black Knight in Monty Python he would have made an appearance in Big D.

MLBaseball has the roided-up a-hole Bonds tying the greatest record in sports by one of the classiest gentlemen ever to hold a bat and wear a glove, and can do zippo about it, except pretend that it means something. NFootballL has a premiere QB (who never quite lived up to his hype, did he?) under federal indictment organizing dog fights. NBasketballA (a thuggish, boorish collection of mutants these last couple of decades) has referees throwing games for the Mob.

Now, the wanna-be-your-favorite-sport MLSoccer has hired this past-his-prime soccer whiz named Beckham to come to LA and single-handedly make you love the game like you did when you were 10. By all accounts, Becks is a good sportsman who loves his sport and is/was a crackerjack player. Fine and well. Problems come up when he’s hyped beyond all natural expectations to sell tennis shoes, soccer jerseys, and ducats — yet can’t take the field because of a bum ankle. His megalomaniac wife, Boobs Spice, and her voracious appetite for publicity and celebrity, just makes it even easier to dismiss the Nike-hyped Coming to America LA storyline. As in, seriously, nobody gives a dang.

Things to do in Denver…

…when you only wish you were dead instead of biz traveling.

Listen to Martini on the Rockies, 101.5 FM. They call it cosmopolitan, which is just too preciously twee for me. I call it lounge. The bottom line, though – it’s easy listening. Which represents another milepost on the road to being an old fart. But there’s no Third Coast radio in Colorado and who the heck doesn’t love Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett? Tell me you don’t sing along with Dean-o: “when the moon / hits your eye / like a big pizza pie / that’s amore.”

Eat at Big Hoss BBQ on Tennyson. Pretty good ‘cue for not-Texas, and I was ready for some serious eating. The house sauce is way too sweet for me, but the meat and the smoke were good. Satellite radio playing the blues at all times (thanks, Stubbs!) I actually went twice, dinner and then lunch the next day. Hoss himself was in at lunch and kindly took me back into the kitchen to see his pit. There were three briskets and countless rib-racks in a 7x5x5 concrete-block pit. Heaven in a closet. The man’s smart enough to mix in mesquite with his hickory, which is a good trick.

Play a round of golf at The Heritage in Westminster. Really pretty course, and I had a good round where I could keep it on the fairway (about half the holes). I had that one good hole where I parred a monster uphill, split-fairway par 5. They rent Callaway Big Berthas. The golfing experience was almost ruined by the combination of a high-handicap foursome in front of us, and a trio of beer-soaked low-handicap youths. They got angry at us for, get this, not hitting the greens often enough, which they felt was impeding their round, and thus poor etiquette. After a brief verbal battle about the retiquette of staying in contact with the group in front of you (we were) and playing through (they did), we pulled up behind them at the next teebox, where they were stacked up (just like we had been for the last three holes). Needless to say, I needled them quite harshly about being wrong and hopefully ruined their round, as two of the three got tilted and put their drives in the drink. I’m sure they wanted to take a poke at us, but since society has deemed it improper and even illegal to whack a rude-talking man with a large-bore pistol these days, needling is about all you can do, so I did it. I’m not particularly proud of it, but damn, I hate rude, over-privileged punks who think it’s in their purview to lecture me about golf etiquette. I would have taken a beating, just to be able to sue their rich daddies. Bottom line, though – I was outdoors in beautiful country for 4½ hours, and how can you beat that?

I had dinner with a long-time friend whose (3rd) wife just up and left him last weekend, a couple of months after losing his last job to downsizing. He’s running into the age ceiling in the job hunt, and the little lady ain’t coming back. After enough beers, my advice to him was to sell out everything he gots, buy a fishing rod or two, get in his RV, and drive around the country, enjoying life. He’s got no kids, no dogs or cats, no responsibilities outside of feeding himself. Sounds to me like the perfect time to excuse yourself from the rat race. He might even find himself some old gal out there with the same set-up, and they could fade into a boozy, fishy, golfy sunset together.

OK, then…