Friday, December 31, 2004

How W Intends to Destroy the Middle Class

Here's an article I found via Michael Savage's website. I think it's a pretty articulate outline of why this guest worker crap Bush proposes is dangerous. It's probably more dangerous than anything Bush has proposed or pushed through so far.

Mehlman noted that you could double the wages for everyone in the agricultural field, and only see about a $.10 increase in the price of a food item. That's .10 cents I'm happy to pay, if it means no more illegals sneaking in to our country, stealing health care, and getting a free eduacation at my expense.

As I've noted, there are times when I wonder why in the heck I voted for Bush in the first place. He sounds more and more like a closet Communist every time he spouts off about border security. As a former Texas governor, I am really surprised he's being so obtuse.

The simple solution is usually the correct one. We have to close our borders, or our entire way of life is going to pretty much be taken away.

I think I am going to crusade in 2005 for tougher border restrictions. I won't stop until we have a Great Wall of the U.S., with plenty of people patrolling it. Like anything else, if we get enough people screaming about it, something will eventually get done.

Give me some help here, people. Let's get it done. We'll all sleep a bit better with safer borders, and less of our hard-earned money going to help someone who snuck in like a rat into our collective basement.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

It's Not A P.O.S. If I Like It, Is It??

For several years, I have heard nothing good about the Smith and Wesson Sigma series. For the uneducated among you out there, this is a polymer framed pistol created by the venerable American gun manufacturer to compete with Glock. I confess I was less than impressed with the first few guns in this series. I will also confess that I am a S&W fan, for the most part. I tend to shoot their third generation pistols pretty well, and they seem to fit well in my hands. I have avoided the Sigmas like the plague.

The early Sigmas felt cheap. They had horrible trigger pulls. Their sights were substandard, to say the least. And they were almost sued stupid over the design of the gun.

It appears the Sigma has evolved, and quite nicely.

Enter the SW40VE. This is a Sigma with a stainless slide and barrel. It also has a redesigned grip, a light rail, and sights. It is chambered in 40 S&W, though it is also made in 9mm. I have to say, I am impressed.

I will freely admit that the Glock is the first word when it comes to polymer framed pistols. Their design was pretty impressive, and the Glock 17 changed the whole concept of automatic handguns. However, there are a few nitpicky things I do not like about Glocks.

First, the trigger. This is somewhat of a conundrum, because I actually DO like the Glock trigger. For a double action, there is none better. It is basically the same on every Glock one picks up, whether 9mm or .45. It is predictable, it is smooth. It is also fairly safe, since it requires direct pressure on the trigger to make it go boom. Therein lies the one thing I don’t like about it: the trigger is pretty light. It is so light that I sometimes worry about the lack of a manual safety on the darn thing. I know that good gunhandling minimizes the chance of an accidental discharge, but accidents do happen on occasion. With that light of a trigger, I would prefer an automatic with some sort of manual safety. I suppose I could add an 8-pound trigger connector to the Glock; but I really hate mucking with a factory gun, unless it is to add new sights.

The SW40VE has similar trigger features. However, the trigger pull is much heavier. The gun in question has a pull in the ten pound range. One has to be very deliberate in pulling this trigger. The lack of manual safety makes me think the heavier trigger pull is not such a bad deal after all.

Secondly, the grip angle of a Glock has always been a bit...awkward. This is simply a matter of personal preference. The SW40VE just feels good, and it points well. It seems to be a bit thinner than the Glock, and this has always been a weakness of Gaston’s little toys. It just fits my hand well. I think Glock has done a great job of addressing this issue with the third generation frames. Those feel much better than the old Glocks, but they are still pretty wide.

Third, the SW40VE holds 14 rounds of .40 caliber. That is a respectable amount of firepower, especially with a spare magazine. It basically manages to do in 2 clips what my favorite .45 could not do in 4. It allows me almost 30 rounds with one reload. It’s on at least an equal footing with Glock on this point. Again, the grip angle is a bit better for me. In order to hold that many rounds, the grip has to be wide. The SW40VE manages to be a bit more comfortable for me.

Fourth, accuracy in a combat pistol is probably overly hyped. I think that if a person can put all their rounds into a man-sized target at 15 yards, that pistol is as accurate as it ever will have to be. The SW40VE is capable of doing exactly that. What more do I need? I would imagine the Glock can outshoot the SW when it comes to putting the holes closer together, but I am not completely convinced of this.

Finally, the price factor is considerable. Glocks are fairly affordable, I will grant you. However, the SW40VE is available for under $300, if you look in the right places. That’s quite a bargain. Most of us do not have unlimited amounts of money to spend on our firearms, unfortunately. So a bargain conscious consumer can do quite well in picking up one of these guns. That can be roughly half the price of a Glock, depending on where one shops.

I would imagine the Sigma series will soon be discontinued, since S&W has now started hyping the S&W 99 series. The 99's appear to be heirs apparent to the polymer framed line for this company. I am eager to try one out. I have shot the Walther P99, and really like it. At any rate, there will probably be some really good bargains available in the Sigma series, if one is a careful consumer. It would be a perfect first autoloader, for someone getting into the shooting thing.

The bottom line: not a bad gun at all, for less than $300.

I know, the Glock purists out there are probably spitting nails at this point. Handgun preference is just that: a matter of preference. This gun feels good. I like it. So sue me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Items Santa Again Failed To Deliver This Year

I keep asking, though. I don't care if they ARE imaginary, a man can dream, can't he??

1. A lightsaber. The utter respect one could command by firing that thing up would be worth its weight in gold. Plus, it would come in handy for slicing up and cooking the turkey during the holidays.

2. An X-Wing fighter from STAR WARS. Not as easy to pull out of your pocket as the lightsaber, but I bet still fun to own.

3. A STAR TREK phaser. In my young, temperamental days, I would have reduced a lot of people down to their component subatomic particles. Nowadays, I would just stun people who annoy me. For instance, the guy who cut in front of me at Blockbuster earlier today. In my perfect world, I would have zapped him senseless for an hour or so. AND I would have put his movies back on the shelf while he was out.

4. The transporter from STAR TREK. That would cut down quite a bit on the daily commute, I think. Not to mention weekend travel time would be nil.

5. A blaster from STAR WARS. Ok, phasers are cool and all, but sometimes you just have to blow holes in things with a particle beam weapon. It’s loud, it’s destructive, it’s all in good fun.

6. The flashy thing from MEN IN BLACK. This little item might actually be more dangerous than the lightsaber in my hands. We might all wake up to find that Kyle’s been elected President, and Jennifer Connelly’s now the Presidential Concubine.....Yeah. It’s a good thing I don’t have one.

7. The Bentley from the last Bond movie. Everybody knows a guy isn’t a guy without cool wheels. Bond has always had the coolest. Next to the Batmobile, of course.

8. The Batmobile. Ok. Everyone probably saw that one coming. Maybe Bond didn’t have the coolest car. His were actually less conspicuous, though.

9. My own pet Wookiee. I know they would be probably illegal to own, but the guy in Blockbuster no way would have cut in front of me had I had one in line with me. Not without having his arms ripped out of his sockets. Han Solo had to have gotten his SOMEWHERE.

10. An adamantium skeleton, claws, and mutant healing factor. It would all have come in handy, especially if I would have gotten the lightsaber as well. I probably would lop off an arm while getting used to the thing. So the unbreakable skeleton might be useful. The claws would just be pure fun.

Oh well. Maybe next year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The UN Thinks Our Taxes Are Too Low.....

Last night's post about how stingy the US relief to Asia is just got worse. Drudge now has a full story linked, from the Washington Times. Apparently, the UN's relief coordinator thinks we would be able to give more if our taxes were higher.

Plus, he thinks we WANT to pay more taxes. Apparently, he forgot to ask me how I felt about the matter.

I am absolutely speechless. If this does not illustrate how insane the rest of the world really is, I don't know what it will take. I think it also illustrates that the UN is a poison thorn in the side of the US, and the world.

I think my plan last night for the UN and a new basketball arena should be implemented immediately. If we continue to fund one dollar of this corrupt and socialistic organization, it's too much money.

Note to the politicians: get us out of the UN, and shut it down once and for all. If you're not for getting us out of the UN, then I'm not voting for you.

We're the last superpower. We can handle helping out the world all on our own. We're doing it anyway. At least we'd take a middleman out of the aid loop, who seems to be stealing us blind.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Somebody Help Us Get This Knife Out of Our Backs

What do we have to do to please the UN? I mean, other than abdicating our sovereignty as a nation, subscribing to socialism, and rolling over and sticking our butts in the air like French soldiers during a surprise combat drill?

Read this headline from Drudge. The audacity surprises even me. If the link has gone away, it reads as follows: "UN official slams U.S. tsunami aid as 'stingy'... Developing..."

I’m sure the Drudge Report will fill in more details as time goes on. However, I think I’ve pretty well got the idea already. It’s not like we haven’t heard this refrain before.

The US is the largest supplier of foreign aid in the world. No other country matches our largesse and charity. We have spread more of our wealth among the poor countries in this world than any other nation has ever done, bar none.

This is the gratitude we receive? I’m glad I’m not in charge of such things. My knee-jerk reaction would be to stop all foreign aid immediately, and issue a press statement which said, “Suck on this, heathens.” This would be immediately after I abolished the UN and confiscated its headquarters in New York for a new basketball arena.

Which is exactly why I will never be elected to anything higher than dogcatcher. I know that our foreign aid is important in helping the world out. I don’t doubt that we save millions of lives out there in the cesspool we call a world. I just wish the rest of the planet was at least a tiny bit grateful for the things we do for them.

We don’t HAVE to help out. We do it because we’re a darn great country. Also, because I’ll never get elected to anything where I have a say in foreign relations. For which they should all be eternally grateful.

By the way, I hope everyone out there had a Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Reason for the Season...Like it or Not

The area where I’m living got socked with snow today. The road conditions are not the best in the world, but the city isn’t paralyzed yet. Snow in this part of Texas is sort of rare. It’s kind of a treat, to be honest. Who doesn’t like to see snow around Christmas?

Since the holidays are coming up, I’m taking a bit of a break from blogging for awhile. This will be the last post for a few days. I hope everyone out there has a Merry Christmas, and gets to spend some time with family and friends.

Let’s all plan on remembering the troops in our prayers this year. There are a lot of service men and women who won’t be able to spend the holidays with their loved ones. Instead, they will be doing the job of protecting our country, and helping to spread democracy around the world. Here’s hoping the good Lord keeps them safe, so that they may keep us safe.

Let’s also keep the democratic elections in Iraq in our prayers. The militant Muslims are going to do everything in their power to prevent the elections from taking place. I think we can see the increase in violence as a sign of just how scared these savages are of democracy. That’s a good thing, in a way. It is a perfect example of why we need to stay the course, and make sure Iraq truly becomes free.

As I noted in an earlier post this week, the freedom that America has comes in large part from our Christian heritage. A little acknowledgment of this fact would be nice. As noted, I don’t expect anyone to have Christianity forced down their throats. However, I do expect some kudos to Christianity for having fostered the greatness of this country of ours. Christmas should be a recognition of the wonderful things Christians did for this country, and for the principles that made us what we are today. Sort of like Martin Luther King day, if one wants a secular analogy. We acknowledge King’s contribution to our society. If one isn’t a Christian, one should still observe a holiday simply out of respect for what the religion has meant for the nation as a whole.

I find it funny that liberals blame Christians for the election being tipped in Bush’s favor. Within a month of his election, the media launches a full-scale smear campaign on the religion as a whole. Note Newsweek’s attack on the divinity of Christ himself. That can’t be coincidence, can it?

The year itself was full of additional attacks on the religion. Mel Gibson was attacked for making a Christian movie. Alabama saw the Ten Commandments yanked out of its courtroom, and one brave judge standing up for what he thought was right. We have seen martyrs in Iraq, as well as the slaughter of Christians in Africa and in other Middle Eastern countries. As noted in the earlier post, one can almost feel a bit...persecuted.

At any rate, I hope everyone out there has a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Vaya Somewhere Else, Pendejos!

Sometimes, you read things that just make you mad. If you’ve got a temper anything like mine, it happens several times per day. Street signs will do it. As a case in point, check out the following from our President.

There are times when I actually regret voting for the man. Then I remember Kerry and Edwards, and suddenly I feel better.

However, this immigration issue still hacks me off. I don’t give a rat’s butt whether or not they are “guest workers.” They’ll still be in my country, getting free health care, education for their children, refusing to learn to speak English, and filing lawsuits when they get in car wrecks. They’ll still get a great deal of benefits from my tax dollars and insurance premiums. They’ll still try and overstay their visas. In other words, Bush’s little guest worker scheme will do precisely nothing to alleviate the problem.

Let’s get something straight: there are ten million illegal immigrants in this country right now. More are sneaking in every day. Hospitals in the border states are shutting down because they have to care for them. Schools are being overloaded with their children. Our justice system is crowded with their criminals and charlatans. Why will our government do nothing to prevent this problem?

Vicente Fox will get to send more people over here, so that his government doesn’t have to take care of them. Every person who sneaks in here is one person less for Fox to worry about on his budget. Remember, Mexico has socialized medicine. If it was so freaking wonderful, why are people crossing the border to get treated here? Answer that one, liberals.

I’ve got nothing against immigration. I am fully aware everyone in this country descended (with the exception of the native Indians) from people who snuck in here or fled from somewhere else. I’m still all for it. However, any new citizens need to be vetted by Immigration. They need to be screened to see if they are terrorists, have some loathsome disease, or criminal tendencies. If they do, keep them out.

The argument that illegals do the jobs that nobody else will is pretty hackneyed. The market can compensate for this problem. Yeah, the cost of your hamburger might go up a bit. The cost of everything else will probably plummet. I’ve got no problems with this.

A whole lot of problems will get fixed if we curb the illegal immigration problem. Form our healthcare system to our justice system, illegals cost the taxpayer billions of dollars each year. Enough is enough. If Bush’s party won’t do it for us, we need to find a more conservative alternative.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Pop Culture From the Artistically Challenged

Nobody will ever accuse me of being on the cutting edge of what is cool in music or art. Or anything else, for that matter.

I will now gush enthusiastically about Collective Soul’s new album, called YOUTH. It’s a slow news day, what can I say? Nothing political seems to be motivating me, so you readers will just have to suffer. All three of you.

It’s great rock and roll. There’s little grunge to be found. There’s absolutely no hip/hop. No cops are killed or ho’s slapped. No pimps. All you’ll find is good songwriting, great instrumental arrangements, good harmonies, and a good lead singer. There’s a surprising spirituality in their songs. I’ve got no problems with that, either. You’ll find loud guitars, mixed in with orchestral melodies. You’ll also find a few 80’s keyboard riffs in there as well.

I first saw them on the DOSAGE tour in 1998. I’ve been hooked ever since. I remember on that tour they covered INXS’ “Listen Like Thieves.” I was struck at the time with how much they reminded me of that particular band. Again, not a bad thing, but I think Collective Soul is actually quite a bit better of a band.

At any rate, they’re worth a listen. I’ve spun the new record twice so far, and I’m not tired of it yet. I tend to play a new album until it melts, anyway. I so seldom find any good music anymore that when something DOES come along that I like, I play it to death.

Collective Soul gets flack for being a “stealth Christian band,” whatever that means. They get flack for not being hard enough, for not being urban enough, for not being “trendy.” No wonder I love them. I’m about as un-trendy as a human can get. My music taste is still firmly rooted in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The last cd I picked up (at a pawnshop for $3.00, no less) was Bryan Adams’ RECKLESS. That gives you some idea of the scope of my musical dilemma here in the 21st Century.

Speaking of taste, I was struck by something else funny this weekend. A cousin of mine took some pictures of my parent’s place in south-central Texas over Thanksgiving. I’ve always loved the place, and thought the scenery there was top-notch. However, these pictures really blew me away.

I’ve often thought photography is a pretty weak art. The photographer isn’t really creating anything. They’re just mechanically capturing a visual that’s there for anybody to see.


These pictures caught the morning sun coming up over a field, with just a hint of mist hanging in the air. There were trees all around the border of the field, and everything was green and lush. It actually took me a minute to recognize what I was seeing. I’ve looked over that same vista a million times, and I never saw it that way before. It took my breath away. I wish that I was technically more advanced, so that I could share the photograph with you online. Alas, I am not yet that sophisticated. Give me some time.

At any rate, I think the camera CAN reflect a photographer’s feelings about the subject. It was obvious from the picture that my cousin was struck by the views out there. This picture really captured both the scene, and what the photographer thought about the scene.

More years ago than I care to remember, I took a picture of a girlfriend sitting in a field of bluebonnets. It was one of the neatest pictures I’ve ever seen, and probably the best one I’ve ever taken of anything, period. I think I understand a bit about why the picture turned out so well. It wasn’t just because it was a great scene. It was because I managed to capture my feelings for her on the film, just a little bit. Somebody seeing the picture could get a small idea about how much I was in love with her.

Of course, she put me through an emotional wringer, until we parted ways. She was the first female that drove me almost certifiably insane. I wish I would have taken a picture of her in the middle of all of that. I could probably sell it to Stephen King to jump start his horror novels again.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Tolerate THIS, Heathens!!!

I’m starting to feel a bit, well....persecuted. Everywhere I turn, the most sacred of my religions’ holidays is under attack. There’s probably not a town in the US where some moron isn’t protesting Christmas decorations, Christmas parties, and Christmas in general.

If all of these various malcontents get their way, Christianity is going to become a dirty little secret locked away in the country’s basement. Anything remotely Christian is getting removed from every government office. For example, we’ve all probably heard the hullabaloo about the tiny cross in Los Angeles’ city seal. Weatherford does not get to put up a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn.

I’ve about had enough. I’m supposed to tolerate homosexuality, abortion, hip/hop music, and Michael Jackson. I’m supposed to put up with Robert Mapplethorpe. I have to deal with Al Franken, James Carville, and Maureen Dowd. I have to allow NEWSWEEK to publish an attack piece on Christianity. I have to pretend Kwanzaa has some actual significance, outside of what some 60’s radical claims. I am told to worry about racial profiling when Muslims are subjected to routine security checks in airports; then told to back off when my wife’s underwear is pulled out of her luggage in an airport “random” security check. (She does not appear to be Middle Eastern, by the way. Of course, we have to worry about Scandinavians bombing and hijacking planes, so her underwear is of course suspect.)

However, let me put up a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn, and suddenly I’m intolerant????

Let’s talk about tolerance. America is great for that reason. Whatever stupid, nonsensical garbage people want to believe in, America allows it. Want to worship your dog? Fine. We’ve got no problems with it. We’ll even give voodoo churches tax exemptions. Want to practice homosexuality? Again, OK. As a whole, America won’t burn a person at the stake for it.

One person’s freedom ends where the next person’s begins. Whatever weird crap a person chooses to believe, as long as it doesn’t hurt somebody else; it’s going to be tolerated here in America. It’s one of the great things about our country. It’s probably also one of our greatest weaknesses. We put up with just about anything. We don’t have to LIKE it, though, and that’s where the country is getting into trouble. That’s another subject entirely.

All of this lovely tolerance comes from one thing: our country was founded on Christian principles. That makes this society very open and tolerant. The guiding principle is, “do unto others, as you would have done unto you.” This guiding principle is built into our Constitution. It allows freedom of speech, allows freedom of worship, and guarantees other basic freedoms. All these rights boil down to a basic concept of, “leave me alone to pursue what makes me happy, and I’ll do the same for you.” These rights are not recognized in a society based on Islamic law, or Animism, or Buddhism, or Hinduism. They can only come from a Judeo/Christian morality base.

I’m not saying Christians are perfect. In fact, the basic tenant of Christianity is that none of us are perfect. We have to have the Grace of God for our salvation. Historically, we’ve messed things up a few times. By and large however, Christianity has done some great things for the world. The United States is an excellent by-product of this religion. The nation was founded on the notion of tolerance, as propounded by the Christians who set the whole thing up.

Instead of attacking Christian symbols in the government, we should look at them as a reminder of what our society is based on. I’m not saying everyone should be Christian, but at least respect the fact that it is Christian principles that allow one to be whatever one wants in this great country.

Remove the notion of Christian tolerance out of this country, and we would be in serious trouble. I find it ironic that the things liberals are attacking so hard are the very things that have allowed them to attack in the first place. Atheists would not be tolerated in a true theocracy. Freedom of speech is not allowed in a Communist regime.

So let’s show a little respect here. I tolerate all kinds of things I find abhorrent and repugnant. The least the liberals and atheists can do is tolerate a nativity scene, or allow me to say, “merry Christmas.” I’m not forcing them to worship the same way I do. After all, if it wasn’t for Christianity and its message of tolerance, they wouldn’t have the freedom to gripe about it.

So tolerate THAT, heathens.

Saturday, December 18, 2004


I had the occasion to call an old friend a few days ago. He had some legal expertise in a different jurisdiction, and I figured I’d pick his brain. This was one of the first people I met in law school. He and his wife sort of adopted me when I started school, 8 hours from home and not knowing a soul. That sort of person tends to mean a lot to me.

This is a friend who now has 2 kids, a house, a mortgage, and all the trappings of respectability. He probably lives a very stable sort of life. This is in complete contrast to my own model of entropy which I call life. For whatever reason, things have changed in this friendship.

When a person gets a lawyer on the phone, the conversation is very short. The lawyer seems to want to get off that call as quickly as possible, and get on to something else. Even if it’s the President himself on the other line, a lawyer will always cut the conversation short. There’s no time for pleasantries.

I think civil litigators tend to be so busy they cannot spare the time to engage in idle conversation. The more they talk, the less time they have to bill. If they work for a firm, they have billing quotas to fill, and they are under much pressure to get there each month. They are literally too busy to stop and smell the roses. Having lived this lifestyle, it is no wonder that lawyers drop dead of heart attacks and strokes at a significantly higher percentage than the rest of the population.

The conversation with my old friend was pretty much like that. The whole conversation was awkward, and rushed. It was like my friend no longer had time for me, and very much like he was not all that interested in talking to me at all. There was a definite chill in the whole discourse. It was not like talking to a friend at all. It was pretty much a business exchange, which is normally something I dread.

That’s not a comfortable position to be in for me. I have never made friends all that easily. The friends I have made I believe to be lifelong, lasting relationships. When these relationships go sour, it is always hard for me to take. I have three very close friends. One of which I have had since about the age of three. The other two have been friends for at least 10 years or more. Only one of them is a lawyer. It is safe to say that friendships are one of the things that I treasure most in my life.

What causes a friendship to go sour? Good question. I still feel the same about my friend. I try to contact him every once in awhile, just to see how things are going. We live about 5 hours apart, so it’s not like I can pop in to visit on occasion. Perhaps the distance, no contact, and general progression of life is to blame. Either way, I know the friendship is not as solid as it once was.

I guess I really knew the score when I asked this guy to be in my wedding. He refused, stating that he was busy that weekend. That hurt, but obviously it was a harbinger of things to come. It should have been no surprise that I got a chilly reception on the telephone.

In that light, perhaps he was not as good a friend as I originally thought. Or perhaps I am making more of this than there actually is. I don’t know of many people who have lasting friendships such as I have. Then again, I don’t know of many people who are up at 3:00am past the age of 20, with nothing but two marsupials for company. Like many other things in my life, perhaps my close friendships are the exception and not the rule. I feel sorry for the rest of the world if that is indeed the case.

Mental Crack

The new Xbox has consumed me these last few nights. I mean, consumed. On the plus side, I’ve almost played my way through HALO 2. That has no redeeming social value whatsoever, I am fully aware. But it’s been good to decompress a bit stress-wise. It hasn’t done a lot for polishing my writing chops, however. Oh well.

There’s something satisfying about playing a game system with a hand-held controller. I know you computer-purists out there will say that computer games have better graphics, etc. I find that hard to believe. This Xbox has great graphics, great sound, and is much easier to control than a keyboard-based system. It hearkens back to the old Atari days. The cutting edge of 1980’s technology remembered.

I can see lots of wasted time in my future.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Join the Discussion

There's a semi-lively debate in the comments section of "Rethinking the 9mm" on this site.

Please feel free to join in, fellow shooting enthusiasts.

Peace, Love, and Rolling Heads Like Soccer Balls

Little Green Footballs has a great link about what the practitioners of Islam did at a recent rally here in North Texas. It was a tribute to none other than the Ayatollah Khomeini. What a great guy he was.

Apparently, Khomeini shot the whole idea of Islam as a religion of peace right down the toilet. This is a bit scary. I wonder why the MSM seems to believe that Christians are such a big threat to this country, yet they overlook what this particular emissary of the religion seems to be preaching:

“Khomeini accordingly delivered notorious rebuke to the Islam-is-a-religion- of-peace crowd: “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies].... Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”

That doesn’t sound too damn peaceful to me. In fact, that sounds downright intolerant.

I don’t pretend to completely understand Islam. I’ve got a pretty good grasp of the Christianity thing, however. I’m positive that Jesus didn’t tell anybody to go whack the heads off those who didn’t accept him as the Savior.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Where's the Angst?

I guess if a person is somewhat at peace, it kind of takes away the creative energy. Maybe I should start drinking or something, pull a Hemingway. I'd probably knock out a novel in two weeks, tops. Oh well. I have successfully managed to make it this far in life without drinking anything alcoholic, or trying anything resembling an illegal drug. Though the morphine following surgery two years ago was pretty cool....I can see where people might actually like that stuff....but I digress. I've had to find creative inspiration outside the pharmaceutical realm for most of my life.

I have nothing really to write about. I've gone about three days without anything in particular hacking me off. I think that's some sort of record. I'm fairly sure I'll get over it, never fear. So I'll pass on some unimportant banalities in the meanwhile.

In literary news, I just read Nelson Demille's NIGHT FALL. Quite a good read. John Corey is a great character, and the story is pretty compelling. I would recommend it. However, one would probably need to read PLUM ISLAND and THE LION'S GAME, since they feature the same character. The book concerns the demise of TWA Flight 800. While the flight has been officially listed as crashing due to mechanical failure, several eyewitnesses state they saw a flash of light traveling upward to hit the plane. The book runs through several conspiracy theories, and is generally very readable. A killer ending is something else to look forward to.

The tough thing about conspiracy theories is that they are so darned attractive. They explain a whole lot more than the official explanations ever do. Somehow, they are more satisfying than reality. It's hard to accept a plane could just blow up. Its much easier to accept that someone blew it up, and the government lied about it. Not that the government ever lies to us or anything..

I also re-read the awesomeness of John Steakley's VAMPIRE$. The guy is talented, if not prolific. Kudos to a Texas writer. Those of you who have seen the movie are strongly encouraged to pretend it doesn't exist, and read the book anyway. You know, the HIGHLANDER 2 routine. It's ok if you just pretend it's not there. The book is great; the movie sucked. The movie is not even recognizable if one has read the book. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

The Walther PPK/S is a pretty decent firearm. After all, it was the choice of James Bond for many an adventure. It's tiny, has great features like double action, safeties, and a de-cocker. It fires a barely serviceable .380, which is still better than a .22. The only problem is that it weighs about a ton. It's a great size for a pocket pistol, but just a bit weighty. The sights are not all that impressive, either. The Sig 232 weighs a bit less, but lacks a few of the PPK/S's cool features.

I think a little justice got served out in California today. Scott Peterson is going to get the needle. There has never been a more fitting candidate for it, in my opinion. Perhaps the state does not want to pull another OJ. I won a small bet with my secretary on whether Scott was going to get the death penalty. So I've got that going for me..

Reasonablenut has an interesting post regarding the Brit's push to outlaw knives. They banned guns, and saw an escalation in crime as a result. Now they're going to take away the citizen's last line of defense. We might as well write that country off. They've apparently lost their minds. There's a reason our forebearers fled that place. It wasn't just the weather, bad dentistry and lousy food, either.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Rethinking the 9mm

It's time for another gun musing. Also, it's time to hack off the .45 fans out there.

I've always had a soft spot for the 9mm parabellum. It is relatively mild to shoot, is very accurate, and hits pretty hard. There are those who say it overpenetrates, but I think the newer loads out there take care of that potential problem. I've found that I can shoot a 9mm pretty accurately, in just about any make and model of pistol. I'm not a fan of the .40, but that will have to wait for another posting.

I think a female shooter would have an easier time with a 9mm, because of the recoil characteristics and grip designs. The grips are smaller, it fits easier in the hand. Plus, the caliber is adequate for defense. I know you .45 fans out there might take issue with this statement, but I don't think any of you will volunteer to stand in front of a 9mm round. At any rate, I would not hesitate to recommend a 9mm for a female shooter.

Since it is a relatively smaller caliber, a 9mm makes for a smaller, lighter weapon. For legal concealed carry citizens or a female shooter, smaller and lighter is good. One can hide it easier. For instance, a baggy jeans-pocket can hold a Smith and Wesson Model 908 or 3913 with a pocket holster, and the thing is about as well-concealed as a pistol can get. These are single-stacked 9mm's (7 rounds with one chambered), with traditional double actions. They have thin profiles for the slide and grip, and easy to operate controls. In other words, it does not look like one is packing a brick around in the pocket.

I tend to like smaller autopistols. I find that I can draw and fire them quickly, and they feel better in my hand. I know traditional wisdom would say that a larger, longer barrel is more accurate. However, since pistol shooting is relatively short- range, I do not think one gives up any accuracy at defensive-shooting distances with a subcompact or compact auto. To that end, the 9mm is perfect.

Perhaps the smaller caliber is a disadvantage, but not by much. The 9mm is still going to hit a bit harder than a traditional .38 special. Plus, you have more rounds to shoot if necessary. I have had the occassion to shoot a predator that was menacing my parent's livestock with a 9mm, and it seemed to do the job just fine. I can't imagine the animal being any deader with a bigger caliber.

There is also the variety issue. Since it is the official NATO round, availability is not a problem. Neither is finding one that fits the shooters' preference. Almost every manufacturer makes a 9mm, usually several models' worth. There is one out there for every shooter. If one prefers the Beretta, there are a few different models out there. If one likes Glocks (and who doesn't?) there is a plethora of models available. Smith and Wesson (as noted) has several models, as does H&K. Even the 1911-style pistol is available in 9mm, just to name a few.

So let's not overly badmouth the 9mm Europill. It's not such a bad round after all.

Back To God's Country...

...for the weekend. Time to recharge the mental batteries in the homeland. So no blogging until Sunday, more than likely.

At that time, I'm sure I will return with witty insights, brilliant analysis, thought-provoking commentary, and more BS.

I might even attempt to Christmas shop. It would break a long-standing tradition to have it done before 9:00pm on Christmas Eve. I'm terrible at gift giving, which is probably why I'm really against the whole commercialization of Christmas-thing.

I also hate the fact that America is apparently forgetting the whole CHRIST thing in the word CHRISTMAS. We can talk about Ramadan, Chanukah, and Kwaanza (whatever the hell that is), but say "merry Christmas" in the MSM and you're branded some sort of intolerant bigot. Well, I'd like a little tolerance for us Anglo-Saxon Christians as well. I may even start putting up nativity scenes in my yard, just to hack off an atheist in the neighborhood. It looks like the good guys won the election. We appear to be losing the war on expressing our faith and its guiding principles. Principles; I might add, which are the foundation of this country's laws and Constitution. Face it, Christians made this country what it is today. Not Muslims. Not Buddists. Not pagans. Christians. I know that's a hard fact, but deal with it. Jesus deserves some props, here.

I digress. Back to the shopping thing. I never know what to buy people. I detest fighting crowds at malls, snooty salespeople, and trying to figure out where exactly I parked the truck while carrying 200 pounds of presents.

One day I'll get it all done by November, via the Internet. I've been saying that for about 10 years now. I might not have to worry. The whole holiday (oops. Can't say "holiday", might offend an atheist.) will be outlawed by then anyway.

I Wish They'd Bring This Show Back.....

Check out this site, about the NPR show done by the creators and stars of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, probably one of the greatest shows ever. They cancel all the good ones.

The haikus about new movies are pretty darn funny.

The problem is they're on NPR, Or National Pinko Radio, as I believe it stands for.

Who listens to that, anyway?? I know one guy reading this blog does, but I have about 30 years worth of evidence that he's insane. And he's funny-looking. And he's too chicken to post a comment.....Yeah, I'm calling you out, Lake Woebegone Boy....

This is just to see if he's actually reading this blog anymore.

The site is really worthwhile, though.

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Live In Dallas Part II

Check out this from the comments section of last night's post.

Run for the hills, Dallas-ites. If the Demoncrats are making headway in your county, it's time to move somewhere else.

Ft. Worth just keeps looking better and better doesn't it??

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Live In Dallas

Why do liberal Democrats get elected to anything other than dogcatcher in Dallas? Dallas Mayor Laura Miller reportedly bagged on the citizen patrol group known as the Guardian Angels. Gregg Knapp on KLIF carried the story today, as well as Gary McNamara over on WBAP. Miller has seen an increase in crime on the streets of Dallas since she took office. The Guardian Angels have put forth feelers about organizing citizen patrols in the city, in an effort to help cut back on crime. Miller just slapped their faces.

I’m not surprised. Since moving to the Metroplex, I have found hundreds of reasons to be glad I live in Ft. Worth, as opposed to the hellhole that Dallas has become. The school systems are a joke, the police understaffed and underpaid, and Mayor Miller appears to be a typical liberal when it comes to encouraging business in the city.

For example, Miller managed to lose the bid to move the Dallas Cowboys into Dallas proper. Their new stadium is going to end up in Tarrant County, as opposed to the State Fairgrounds. I won’t be surprised when Miller runs out the Cotton Bowl as well.

Miller was also instrumental in pushing through a smoking ban in all Dallas restaurants. According to Fox4News report tonight, an independent study shows the smoking ban resulted in an 11 million dollar loss in revenue for the city restaurant owners. It’s only been in place for slightly over a year. This is typical liberal democrat behavior: Miller knows what’s best for the rest of us, and she won’t let a little thing like free enterprise and common sense get in her way. Miller seems to forget that tax revenues are generated by businesses. If the businesses lose money, the city loses tax dollars. But everyone should be able to breathe a smoke-free atmosphere while they are being mugged.

Miller managed to shaft the Dallas Police Department out of a much-needed raise within a month of her election. That hasn’t exactly helped the crime rate or anything.

Now Miller has slammed on the one thing that would probably help out the crime rate in Dallas. Citizen patrols are probably the only solution, if she is determined not to pay her police officers more, or hire more of them.

This illustrates a point I have been arguing for the last several years: police are not the be-all end-all solution to crime control. That power lies where it always has: in the hands of free citizens.

The police cannot be everywhere. Everywhere they are not is a ripe target for crime. It is up to the citizen himself to deal with crime. For instance, let us assume a home is broken into at night. The homeowner calls 9/11, and begs for the police. The average police response time is probably around 5 minutes or so. That gives the invader plenty of time to kill the whole family, if that is their intention.

Don’t get me wrong. The police do a good job, and I’m glad to have them. They just do not do much to halt crimes in progress; unless they actually see them. A patrol car through the neighborhood might be able to keep some crimes from happening, at least while the car is in the area. Once the car goes around the block, all sorts of bad things can happen.

The police are quite handy in filling out reports. The police can also conduct better investigations after the crime has been committed. They are all but useless when the crime is actually being committed.

It is up to the homeowner to defend himself when faced with a break-in. It is up to the guy walking down the street to defend himself from the mugger. It is up to the woman herself to stop a would-be rapist. In other words, it is the citizens themselves that have to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to crime control.

In that light, what’s wrong with having citizens band together and patrol the streets? Since the police are shorthanded, why not? The Guardian Angels have done a pretty good job in the cities they have come into. Crime rates have dropped, and they have helped make metropolitan areas much safer. Waiting for the government to help is a long wait in vain. People have to take charge of their own lives, including protection from crime.

Miller’s response to the Guardian Angels coming into town typifies liberal thinking: the individual should look to the state for all its needs, including the most basic rights of self-defense. I’m glad to hear the Guardian Angels are coming to Dallas. It might actually make the place liveable again. In about ten years or so, provided they run off the Democratic mayor, run off all the school board members and start over, and try to make the place business-friendly.

Otherwise, life is good over here in Tarrant County. At least one can walk through downtown Ft. Worth late at night, with little fear of being assaulted by a bum. One can probably even enjoy a smoke, if one is so inclined.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"...A date which will live in infamy"

As we are all aware, today marks the 63rd anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War II. What an entry it was. One of the worst sneak attacks in world history was launched by the Japanese. This was in the middle of peace negotiations, no less. As Roosevelt said in his address to a stunned nation, the attack had to have been planned for several weeks, given the massive amount of planes and carriers involved.

I fail to see how people could not be aware of the historical significance of this date. I mean, it’s not like there wasn't extensive coverage of it in the mainstream media, right? Ha!

This seems to me to be an excellent thing to avoid in the future. However, we also need to remember the lesson that WWII taught us: evil must be destroyed. Not coddled. Or understood, or sympathized with. Just crush it and allow the world to move on without it.

It took two nuclear weapons for the Japanese to finally realize they were defeated. The most unimaginable destruction had to be turned loose before the enemy surrendered. They had to almost be bombed to the point of extinction before they finally got the point.

What happened after the surrender of Japan is probably just as important as beating them. Douglas Macarthur forced the Japanese to draft a constitution and set up a bicameral legislature. He forced them to have elections, and turned a feudalistic monarchy into a democracy. This was without a welfare system like the Marshall Plan Europe received, either.

Did it work? You bet it did. Within 10 years after the end of WWII, the Japanese were on their way to becoming an economic superpower. Just think, GODZILLA was made within 9 years of our nuking the crap out of them! Now that’s progress!

Did we wipe out Japan’s religion? Did we force Christianity on them? Did we insist they become the 51st state? Nope. About all we did was force them to recognize the Emperor was not a god. Look at them now: they’re a world superpower.

This is a great vision to have for the Middle East. History shows us that it is very possible, and it could happen very quickly.

I think it’s fairly ridiculous for the Islamic world to think we want to wipe out Islam and instill Christianity over there. We do not. We’ve never done it, historically. We can’t even get it instilled over here anymore. We just don’t want them blowing us up. That’s not unreasonable or anything.

The point is this: things have to get pretty bloody over in Iraq before they get better. Once they have a democracy set up, things will be much better.

It’s not like the place isn’t seeing improvements already. A reader sent me a forwarded email from a solider in Iraq. He detailed some pretty neat things going on over there right now. If the letter is accurate (and I will continue to believe it is until somebody proves to me otherwise) there are some very positive things happening over there right now. The elections haven’t even happened yet. This apparently comes from Ray Reynolds, a signalman in the 234th Signal Battalion, Iowa National Guard. For instance:

Over 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.

School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.

Over 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of the weapons stored
there so education can occur.

The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off-loaded from ships

The country had its first 2 billion barrel export of oil in August.

Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever
in Iraq.

The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did before the

100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to 35% before
the war.

Elections are taking place in every major city, and city councils are in

Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.

Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.

Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.

Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side with
US soldiers.

Over 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever.

Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques to
prevent the spread of germs.

An interim constitution has been signed.

Girls are allowed to attend school.

Textbooks that don't mention Saddam are in the schools for the first time
in 30 years.

I hope all of that is true. If so, it paints a pretty good picture of where that country is going.

History shows us that we can fight hard, win the war, and make the world a better place. So remember the lessons of WWII. Iraq is not nearly as hopeless as the mainstream media and the Democrats would have us believe. In fact, I think we’ve got great things to look forward to.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Aliens Among Us--Somebody Get The Fire Hose

It looks as though the Intelligence Reform Bill is actually going to get passed. In all actuality, it will be without any significant immigration reform. Senator Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin has been holding out. He claims the bill lacks sufficient tightening of immigration and border security. Read the story here.

I agree completely, and I hope he holds out. I cannot understand why Pres. Bush is balking at the idea of border security reform. This is one of the areas where I just cannot go along with ol’ W. In fact, I’m just about to elevate him to Pinko-Commie status, should he keep this up.

Michelle Malkin had an article a few days ago, which detailed the reforms that Sensenbrenner wanted. None of these sound like a bad idea to me. Critics are saying that Sensenbrenner’s additions have no place in an intelligence reform bill. That could very well be true, but where else are we going to put it where it could do some good? Let’s also keep in mind the bill implements things the 9/11 Commission wanted changed, as necessary for our security. Border security seems to me to dovetail nicely.

The most publicized aspect of what Sensenbrenner wanted was to deny illegal aliens drivers’ licenses. Gee, what could possibly be the problem with that?

First, the Democrats do not want anything like that because it will deny them votes. Vote against that, and the Hispanic voting bloc will go crazy. Also, this is the party that started back in the 1800’s buying immigrant votes; legal or otherwise. They know their fan base has a big portion of illegals in it. The easier the Dems make it on people to get over here and start cheating our system, the better off the Dems will be come election time. All the more people to exploit, as far as the Dems are concerned.

With drivers’ licenses, it makes it much easier to get around in this country. It also makes it easier to obtain other forms of ID, open a bank account, get a Blockbuster card, rent a car (or a Ryder truck, if one is so inclined), etc. Feel safe yet? It makes it easier to get a voter registration card. As noted, who are the sneaks going to vote for? I’ll give you a hint, it won’t be Bush or Nader. Probably not Pat Buchanan, either.

The Republicans don’t seem to want it either, with a few notable exceptions like Sensenbrenner. Why? Cheap labor, maybe? That’s a possibility, I suppose. Or are they afraid of alienating the Hispanic voting bloc? Both scenarios seem plausible.

Denying invaders ID doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

Neither does throwing out aliens who have overstayed their visas. Let’s keep in mind that several of the 9/11 terrorists had done precisely that. So what’s wrong with booting people out who have overstayed their official welcome? Not a darn thing, if we want to preserve New York City’s architecture and population density from airplane damage.

The changes also called for adding at least 2,000 new Border Patrol agents. Find one of these guys sometime and talk to them. It’s not hard if you live in a border state. Ask them in they have enough manpower to police the borders. I bet I know what that answer is.

There was also a bit in there about making stiffer penalties for people who use or create false identification documents. I guess our vaunted lawmakers figure that giving illegals drivers’ licenses will cut back on those pesky ID fraud crimes. I suppose that’s right. This is a great example of what happens when the government tries to be more efficient.

We cannot have a secure state unless we know and control exactly who is coming into it. This is not a difficult concept to grasp. I cannot see how any of these reforms are a bad thing for the security of our country. It seems the only thing preventing us from adequately defending our borders is our politicians. I’m disappointed in our politicians for not trying to do the right thing. However, I guess that if I trust politicians to do the right thing, I’m pretty misguided. Silly me. I thought they were supposed to be looking out for me out there in Washington.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Random Musings For The Night

The new dog has done a total of $200 damage to the house. I don’t know about this. I hope he ends up saving our life from a burning building or something. Otherwise this free dog will have cost me an awful lot. We left him alone for a bit this afternoon, separated from the other dogs. Calamity ensued. It appeared a small cyclone had run through the house. I found myself barely restraining murderous thoughts that would make a PETA person have a coronary if they could read minds. As it was, the air turned blue for several blocks from the language. Then the dog looked at us with really sad eyes and went and lay down on my wife’s foot. All was forgiven. We’re such suckers.

He also got a bath today. The end result was a clean dog, and owners who appeared to be part Sasquatch after all the shedding of black hair was done. brought my attention to Senator John “I Really Deserve to be President” McCain insisting the government pass mandatory drug testing standards on major league baseball. Just what we need: the government in baseball. If these guys want to get juiced up and shrivel their manhood, so what? No, they’re not good role models. We’re starting to get that picture. Let the marketplace deal with it, though. Every time the government passes a law, they screw something up. McCain’s just campaigning early for 2008. Though I’d rather vote Libertarian than give McCain any help whatsoever. I don’t trust him as far as I could throw the Statute of Liberty.

People are starting to do something else other than go to baseball games already. Baseball will find itself in the same position as hockey before much longer. They’ll continue to behave as hoodlums and druggies, demand more money, and then strike. Nobody will care, and the sport will suffer irreparable harm. Look at what happened the last time baseball went on strike. The sport was almost destroyed. Maybe that’s what it needs. Burn it, and we’ll see if a new bird rises from the ashes. has an interesting post about the relative speed involving the reloading of an AR vs. an M-1 Garand. Food for thought.

I'm outta here. The hour grows late, and I must be in the coffin by sunup....

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Once A Hero...

I have written before about the need for heroes in the world. I watched SPIDERMAN 2 tonight, and was reminded again that heroes are important, and few and far between.

Anybody who thinks heroes are defined by superpowers is flat-out wrong. The real heroes are just fairly ordinary people. I think we need our superheroes, because it gives us a standard to shoot for. I know it’s a heroic standard, and these are not real people. However, they do noble things, and that’s something that we all need to aspire to. They are not defined by super strength or the ability to fly.

Again, this is my opinion. I love comics, but some of the superheroes deserve more respect than others. Superman is far too perfect. There’s just no stopping the guy, short of some weird meteor. Bullets can’t hurt him, he can fly, move faster than almost anything known, can survive without oxygen, has a genius level IQ, etc. What CAN’T the guy do? There’s nothing heroic about jumping into a burning building when the fire can’t hurt you.

Spiderman is a better hero, in my opinion. Still tougher than anything, but more human that Superman. Spiderman has all the same insecurities the rest of us have. He doesn’t know if he will have enough money to pay the rent next week, he likes a girl that’s out of his league, and he doesn’t really know what he’s supposed to do with his life. Sounds familiar. He’s compelled to go out and try to fight the good fight, but dies not really want to do it.

Batman’s a bit better as well. He’s a guy who was so screwed up by his parents’ murder that he dresses like a flying rodent and beats the snot out of criminals for the rest of his life. It could happen. He’s basically got the same M.O as the Punisher, but a better wardrobe. Again, these two characters are not outside the realm of possibility. I think I know at least three people who are that screwed up.

I don’t consider someone like Alexander the Great as any sort of hero. Someone who sets out to conquer the world isn’t a hero; he’s a tyrant. Most generals seem to fall into this category as well. Custer (though demoted to Colonel at the time of his death) was a glory hound, and that got him into trouble. Notice I said, “most.” I think the US has produced quite a few excellent generals in the last 100 years or so, but we’ve put out some real egomaniacs as well. I don’t think that anyone who seeks glory is very heroic.

I sure don’t see much heroic in Hollywood actors anymore. There’s nothing heroic about pretending to be heroic. Likewise, there are few sports figures who qualify in that regard. Pat Tillman is one of the few sports heroes that come to mind.

To me, a hero is an ordinary person thrust into an extraordinary situation, and doing the right thing. It’s the normal person who sees what needs to be done and does it, while the rest of us run in the other direction. They do what needs to be done despite the fact they are about to mess their pants thinking about it. It’s the guy who enters a burning building, looking for victims. It’s the cop who walks into a closed business late at night when he finds the door kicked open. It’s a Marine in Iraq who walks into a house where seconds before, enemy fire was pouring out at him. Death is staring them right in the face, but they do what needs to be done anyway.

These sorts of people are just ordinary folks who do extraordinary things. Why? Nobody else will do them. They do what needs to be done despite the personal risk, and no matter the cost. They’re perfectly ordinary people, in far from ordinary situations. That’s a hero to me.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Home For Wayward Animals

I watched THE BIG LEBOWSKI tonight. That is a great piece of warped cinematography. The Cohen brothers, the geniuses who brought us RAISING ARIZONA, FARGO, and O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? really did a great job with this movie. It's a case of mistaken identity, with some really bizarre characters in it. Well worth seeing.

We have adopted another animal. I'm starting to feel like an animal shelter for weird creatures. We have a blind dog, a crazy dog, and two sugar gliders that seem to run the household. Now we're adding another hard-luck case. A friend of mine came across a black lab that's two years old, and slightly smaller than a horse. He has no name, and has apparently been abused to the point where he almost has no spirit whatsoever. He doesn't know rudimentary commands, though he's housebroken. He is very nervous, and does not like to be out of our sight. He whines and cries if left alone. Our insane dog Lucky has been trying to get him to play, and he seems to be breaking through some barriers. But it's going to take time. I feel incredibly sorry for the life this dog had. We managed to rehabilitate Lucky, and see him through distemper. Hopefully we'll be able to save this dog. But I don't know how much we can afford to do. He almost took our back gate off its hinges. I'll have to spend a good bit of tomorrow repairing the damage he did.

I am a hunter. Yes, that means I have killed animals. It's part of the natural cycle of life, and we all benefit from it. There's an appreciation of what God has given us that can only be gained through hunting. Plus, I think it taught me early on the awesome responsibility of gun ownership. With a touch of a trigger, a life can be snuffed out, never to return. I think that people who grew up hunting appreciate that, and do so from an early age. Other than this ignorant Hmong up on Minnesota, you don't really hear many stories about hunters going crazy and shooting up the town. Hunters know what a gun can do, and what an incredibly overwhelming thing it is to take a life. Find me a punk gang-banger somewhere who has a tenth of the reverence for life the average hunter has.

Random cruelty to an animal is something else entirely. I cannot understand for the life of me how someone can be so heartbreakingly cruel to a dog that it cannot even look you in the eye. It's one thing to kill an animal for population control, meat, or other natural function. To cause an animal to suffer just because it seems fun is a sick thing, about as demented as it comes. Out little Lucky was an abused dog, cowering when he was looked at. He's over it now. There are still aftereffects of whatever abuse he went through as a puppy. He does not like strangers, and he is very protective of the rest of the household. But I doubt that he even remembers what life he had in the pound before us. I hope not.

We have been able to give one little dog have a better life. I hope we can do the same for this dog, who did not even get a name from his former masters. Any suggestions on a name would be welcome. We are having a hard time coming up with anything meaningful.

Friday, December 03, 2004

The Blog Ate My Homework

I had a great entry last made me laugh, though sometimes that's not a good sign. Unfortunately, the blog ate it. I mean, literally ate it. I don't know what's up with this website sometimes. It doesn't like entries on occassion, and sometimes I can't post at all. Schwein blogsite. At any rate, I'll have two posts for tonight. The one last night, and something scintillating for tonight. It's saved at home, so I should have no problems re-posting. The one last night concerns the greatest movie monster of all time. And a penguin. And four topless dancers with m-16's. And a cute and fuzzy bunny. Something for everyone.

I know you're all just eagerly waiting. All three of you.

Ode To Godzilla

One of my earliest exposures to science fiction movies was the 1970’s remake of KING KONG. I made my Dad take me to see it, and I was all of four years old. I loved it. That same year, I got my initial movie exposure to the greatest movie monster of them all: Godzilla. A UHF channel (remember those?) ran a screening of GODZILLA VS MEGALON. I begged to stay up late and watch it. From there on out, I was hooked.

Every Saturday afternoon, I waited with bated breath for the creature features, hoping I’d get a Godzilla movie. There was also a great little show after STAR TREK on Saturday nights called NIGHTMARE THEATER, which ran cheesy movies. And of course, ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK started around that time. (I didn’t really start to appreciate her for her other talents until a bit later.) I wasn’t too disappointed, most of the time. I also got exposure to Gamera (the flying giant turtle that spews flames out various orifices) and Rodan, to name a few other great movie monsters from the twisted little minds at Toho Studios.

Godzilla received a star this week on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s about time. Forget James Bond. Godzilla has now been around for 28 movies, including the American remake in 1996, but not counting the classic film short BAMBI MEETS GODZILLA. Name any other movie franchise that has made it that far. We’re talking 50 years of the Tokyo Stomp, baby.

To top it all off, Toho Studios is releasing GODZILLA: FINAL WARS. The big G takes on all comers, including his alter-ego from the American remake a few years ago. He earns his title of “King of the Monsters.” And why wouldn’t he? He’s 400 feet tall, armored, and can breathe radioactive fire. Sounds pretty imposing to me.

To a certified film geek, this is great.

There’s just something incredibly fun about watching a guy in a rubber suit stop the crap out of beautifully-done model cities. Remember ONE CRAZY SUMMER? The highlight of that movie was Bobcat Goldthwaite’s homage to Godzilla in the middle of the film. Godzilla’s roar is the sound I most want to have as my cell phone ring.

There’s probably not many people in the US nowadays who haven’t heard of Godzilla. He’s a definite cultural icon. I noticed he’s made his way into an advertisement for irritable bowel syndrome. You know you’ve made it when that happens.

So what’s so compelling about Godzilla, you ask? I have no idea, really. This is a movie monster that got its start as a protest against Japan’s getting nuked, and the Bikini Atoll atomic tests. He’s probably one of the first social protest movies, which normally would cause me to hate him. The special effects are usually third-rate (though the aforementioned models are usually great), the acting is substandard and not even in English, the plots are corny, and there’s usually too much acting and not enough monsters.

Maybe those things in and of themselves are what makes Godzilla so great. There’s seldom any CGI, and I find that wholesome. No Jar-Jar Binks anywhere. We have gone too much for the CGI thing in American movies, and I think we are suffering as a result. Anybody see VAN HELSING? No substance, but a lot of movie flash. The werewolf looked like he crawled out of a computer. It did nothing to scare me like the werewolves in THE HOWLING. Even though we all know it’s a guy in a rubber suit, there’s something a little more “real” about the way Godzilla eats a subway train in these movies, as opposed to when it’s all generated in a computer. After the original; there’s no pretense anymore. They are what they are, which is unapologetically corny.

So bring on the big G for his 50th anniversary. Toho says this is the last Godzilla movie. Somehow, I doubt it very seriously.

In fact, I’d like to suggest further movies:

Godzilla vs. Freddy and Jason (throw in Michael Myers and Chucky, nobody’s taking the Big G out.)
Godzilla vs. the DNC (I’d see it just for a scene where he stomps Hillary into communist jelly.)
Godzilla vs. James Carville. (He’d make a great movie monster, admit it.)
Godzilla vs. Greenpeace (If it had not already sunk, imagine the Big G eating RAINBOW WARRIOR. I’d pay big bucks to see that one.)
Godzilla vs. Al-Quaeda. (Imagine him running around in Afghanistan, little terrorists screaming in terror with their turbans ablaze. Happy Ramadan!)
Godzilla vs. Jar-Jar.
Godzilla vs. The Borg (Assimilate THIS!)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

"And now, for something completely different..."

I can’t help it: I have to sleep tonight or lose what’s left of my mind. So instead of wowing you with my mental flights of fancy, I will direct you to some thought provoking pieces done by those more talented than I. I’ll also add a couple of purely random thoughts, just because it’s sometimes funny to see what a sleep-deprived brain can come up with.

The religion of peace kills a filmmaker who had the audacity to be critical of them, and no outrage from Hollywood?

Pat Sajak (yes, the Wheel of Fortune guy) makes a few interesting points in this article. Well worth your read. (Hat tip: Michael Savage)

Another great blog to look at. Please go read “Football, and the Ballistics of Chuck’s Head” at this website. This cracked me up.

In regards to last nights’ post, the more I think about both subjects, the madder I get. Not healthy.

Fans of Cajun food (well, sorta Cajun food) are encouraged to try the blackened chicken fettuchini at Boo-ray’s, a small Cajun place in Weatherford, Texas. Tell ‘em I sent you. They’ll have no freaking idea who I am. They’ll just think you’re trying to score a discount.

Let’s all be honest: Julia Roberts has a horseface.

I found out Clay Aiken has his own Christmas special in a couple of weeks. Didn’t he lose on AMERICAN IDOL? The guy that won had a breakdown of some sort last week. That's real fair. The kid who stuck his finger in a light socket gets his own special. The fat guy who won almost dies.

Fans of big firepower in small packages are encouraged to check out Smith and Wesson’s Chief’s Special in .45 caliber. I’m holding out hope for the .500 S&W Magnum in a derringer. That’s my solution to creating a “Noisy Cricket” that actually works, and does everything the one in the movies did. That’s from MEN IN BLACK, for the culturally uneducated out there.

My question for the evening, in a shameless attempt to see if anyone is actually reading this stuff, is as follows: assume you could have a real, working phaser from STAR TREK. What would you disintegrate with it? To head off the closet sickos, you may only use the “stun” feature on people.

That oughta provoke SOME thought out there. Admit it. Who among us hasn’t wanted a phaser?

You’ll never watch PRETTY WOMAN again without thinking “Seabiscuit” every time she’s on screen. Wait and see.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A Culture of Life

There’s a couple of articles I found this evening on the web. Both of which disturbed me.

The first clip concerns parents who were so absorbed by drug abuse they allowed their baby to die. The baby either starved to death, or something else horrible happened.

The second article indicates the Dutch have been euthanizing babies, and are now making the practice official.

It always strikes me as cosmically unjust that crack addicts and prostitutes can have babies almost without effort. Compare that to the scads of good, deserving couples out there who can’t get pregnant no matter what they do. These folks would love to have that baby the crackheads killed. I can guarantee the baby would not have died of neglect with one of these sad couples.

Anybody can create a child. It seems to take something really special to be a parent.

Add to that the babies that are killed by abortion every year. Every one of these babies could have found an adoptive home. Since the biological parents do not want to be bothered, the child is killed before it ever gets a chance to draw a real breath. The tragedy there is almost too unimaginable to bear.

It all goes back to the lack of responsibility our culture seems to be developing. For every action, certain consequences can result. Having sex could very well create a child. That’s the bottom line: a child is created. Not a fetus, not an embryo. A baby. One that will grow up, go to school, pay taxes, and do everything the rest of us do. If that doesn’t constitute life, I don’t know what does.

That child will have to be taken care of. It didn’t ask to be born, but it certainly has all the same rights the rest of us do. First and foremost, it has the right to live. If it’s created, the parents have that responsibility. And it’s a big responsibility, probably the biggest one any person can face.

I was proud to see President Bush stand up for what he termed, “…a Culture of Life” in the debates and on the campaign trail. I don’t think we grasp why this is so important.

The Dutch have taken it upon themselves to officially sanction termination of babies they determine have no chance. They are already euthanizing adults who want it.

What right have they to determine who has no chance? Where does that line get drawn? That’s a power I don’t think I want a hospital to have over me. They might quit trying a little too early. They might decide since I’m conservative, I don’t need to be saved. They can write me off as a hopeless case, when in fact I am not.

The possibilities for abuse are almost limitless. Hitler was big on the idea of killing mentally retarded people, too.

A government’s sole purpose should be to allow and encourage law-abiding citizens to live free. Abortion and euthanasia seem to trivialize existence, and that’s a dangerous thing. We need to encourage life, not sanction the death of innocents.

This is not even the same thing as the death penalty. I can hear the whining already. Notice I said “…the death of innocents?” The parents of the neglected baby have now put themselves right out of the “innocent” category. They need to be taken out of the gene pool before they do this again.

C.S. Lewis warned about naturalism, the tendency to think human existence is simply a naturally occurring phenomenon. It creates moral relativism, which takes out a higher power altogether. Read this article by Chuck Colson, and check out some of Lewis’ stuff for yourself.

At any rate, if we start to view death callously, we have started to thumb our noses at God himself. Not a practice I think we need to encourage.