Blog de KingShamus

"When an entire nation thirsted to break free from PC…Andrew Breitbart opened a big bar."–Chris Muir

Archive for August, 2011

Semi-Workin’ Semi-Vacation Semi-Truckin’

Posted by KingShamus on August 23, 2011

Yeah, I might’ve made that last part up.

Anyhow, I’ve been feeling like an aggressively overused poorly maintained Apaloosa lately.  I gotta get a break. 

I know.  Blogging ain’t that physically or mentally taxing.  But I’ve got a pile of day job stuff that needs to get done.  Unfortunately, my regular gig is the one that keeps the bill collectors at bay, not BDKS.   Shock of shocks, nobody has yet taken me up on my offer to make boner jokes about Joe Biden for pay.  (Koch Brothers–call your office.)

In all seriousness, I’m sorry to take this blogging vacation but duty calls.  I’ll be back in a few.  See you soon.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | 13 Comments »

Minot North Dakota Flood Update (BUMPED 6X)

Posted by KingShamus on August 22, 2011

Orignal post under the break

Bumped 6X:  John Carey has an update on the Minot flood situation.

The slow recovery effort in Minot continued. Governors from a number of states affected by floods this past year met and decided to cut the Army Corps of Engineers out of the process in regards to developing and implementing flood protection measures. They have decided that the delays caused by the red tape involved with getting government approval to implement plans was too much. This is a good thing; states standing up for what is right and taking care of their people.

Overregulation, stupid rules and mismanagement:  Is there anything the Army Corps of Engineers can’t do?

Seriously, somebody in the chain of command screwed the pooch here.  Once Darrell Issa is done investigating Operation Arm The Mexican Drug Gangs, maybe he can look into why people have to die and lose their homes because of some brain dead bureaucrat.

In any event, we can still help Minot rebuild by voting for Oak Park in the Coca-Cola contest.  It’s for a good cause.   

———————————————————————————————————————————

As many of you know, John Carey over at the great Sentry Journal has been documenting how brutal floods have devastated the town of Minot, North Dakota.  This spring and summer have been pretty rough on a lot of folks, but Minot has really gotten hammered.  But there could be a way for us to help out.  Let John explain:

I have one last favor to ask in regards to Minot’s flood One of our city parks (Oak Park) was inundated by the flood waters and was destroyed. Coco-Cola is sponsoring an event where you can vote for your favorite park. Coco-Cola will provide a $100,000 grant to the park that receives the most votes.

I’ve never been anywhere near Oak Park, but I am sure it’s my favorite park in America.

Clickie this linkie.  All you have to do is type in “Oak Park” in the map’s search engine and it’ll get you to the voting page.  Our friends in Minot could use a win here.  It’s easy, it’s free and it’ll provide a nice boost in morale to a great American town.

BUMPED:  Just in case anybody didn’t see this, I’m putting it on the top of the page for the weekday peeps.  As I said before, there are probably a lot of very worthy city parks that could use this money, but Minot just needs it more.  Please take a minute and vote for Oak Park in Minot, ND.  Thanks, ya’all.

BUMPED 2X:  Matt over at the terrific Conservative Hideout links!  Thanks!  He hopes we can make this viral.  I hope he’s right.

MORE:   Political Realities’ LD Jackson has a cool post up about this too.   

Let’s do this, blog-o-sphere peeps. Let’s get Minot a new park on Coca-Cola’s dime.

BUMPED 3X:  Linked by the ever-rad Bob Belvedere who had this to say:

The folks in that town have been through Hell and are still on their way back, but they’ve got that good old American Mojo working for them. I know it would mean a lot to those decent people to get this grant from the good folks at Coke. Besides, haven’t you heard: Parks Go Better With Coke.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Thanks, Bob.

Bumped 4X:  There is still time to vote for Oak Park in Minot, North Dakota. 

Just remindng ya’all. 

 I punched the Oak Park lever four times today.  Why, it’s better than a Chicago graveyard vote!

BUMPED 5X:  It had been a while since I bumped this bad boy up to the top o’ da page, so I figured I’d do it today.

You can vote for Oak Park in Minot, North Dakota multiple times.  That means that you have can just keep clicking away till your heart’s content.  The voting deadline is coming up and it would be rad to give this contest a nice big push in Minot’s favor.

Go ahead, ya’all. Succumb to my totally persuassive peer pressure.

;-p

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »

Music Monday Electronica – “Let Forever Be” by The Chemical Brothers

Posted by KingShamus on August 22, 2011

Featuring Noel Gallagher of Oasis on lead vocals.

There was a point, right around 1996-1998, when electronica music was being hyped as the next phase of pop music’s evolution.  Music magazines were doing multipage spreads on Fatboy Slim and Moby.  The Prodigy was getting banned from MTV for their “Smack My Bitch Up” controversial non-controversy video.  Even guitar player magazines were fretting about the end of the six-string as the primary instrument in rock. 

The thing is, nobody really should’ve been concerned.  Electronica was just the latest permutation of the disco wave that had been ebbing and flowing since the 70′s.  What a lot of record labels realized in the late 80′s and early 90′s is that people really don’t give a damn about how they get their booty-shaking groove on as long as it happens.  So where Carter-era disco was made by full bands and important producers, the techno and house music of the Bush I/Clinton regime was created by DJ’s and other assorted underground characters.

This was 4/4 thump music made by basically anonymous guys who were paid piddling sums to get people out on the dance floor.  By the mid-nineties, some of these acts decided to get ambitious and break out of the illegal rave parties and after hours clubs that they were stuck in.  At the same time, record labels had pretty much squeezed every penny out of Seattle grunge rock and were in need of a new fad to hype.  This mix of bottom-level ambition and top-notch opportunism came together just at the right moment to create the short-lived but brightly burning electronica craze.

The Chemical Brothers had already become semi-celebrities with their second album Dig Your Own Hole.  “Block Rockin’ Beats” was a hit in their native Britain and had caused some buzz here in the States.  By 1999, it seemed like the Bros were trying to up their game.  Surrender was a more expansive, more accessible Dig Your Own Hole.  Most importantly, “Asleep From Day” and “Let Forever Be” weren’t just straight-up dance tracks.  The Chems were spreading their wings.

Unfortunately, they were going for mainstream pop stardom just at the same time that people were getting sick of the electronica genre.  The things is, it’s hard for the average non-club kid music fan to get stoked about going to a rave and seeing a dude wickety-wacking away on a couple of turntables, especially in comparison to seeing a rock music show.  The performance of a band is almost always more compelling than a guy scratching out a dance beat in a club (unless it’s Franz Ferdinand). 

The other problem with trying to make a superstar career out of dance music is wrapped up in part of the music’ inherent charm.  Because technology has had made making techno music easy and cheap, there is always another bangin’ club beat right around the corner.  A serious rave tune can be produced on a laptop.  The clubs are saturated with talented DJ’s who can crank out the jams with relative ease.

So The Chemical Brothers might not ever be mega-famous.  Daft Punk might be the only electronica-era guys to make a dent on the pop charts.  But it’s okay.  Surrender is still a great disc and that’s no small thing.

Posted in Music Monday | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Leave MLK Jr. Alone!

Posted by KingShamus on August 21, 2011

The Crack Emcee found this little gem.

Even better, check out what the MC had to say:

He [Obama] also holds himself up as so morally superior he’s special. I mean, come on, who allows themselves – even in jest – to be referred to as “The One”?

Even worse, what kind of person hears/sees that title and thinks, “Oh yeah, I’m going to vote for him!”?

Obamster is the perfect president for the Age of Talentless Self-Esteem.  He’s done nothing except rabble-rouse in Chicago, win a few elections and write two books about himself.  Naturally, this entitles him to be President of the United States.  But it also entitles him to compare himself to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus Christ or anybody else who he thinks is cool enough to be mentioned in the same breath as him.

But what’s a Commander-in-Chief without supporters?  Voters were told, and continue to be told, that their votes (and donations) for Obama are not just smart political decisions.  To punch a Barry ballot is an act of virtue.  Simply by supporting Obama, a person can get social justice and racial healing kudos. 

Voting for St. Barry is like buying a Prius or throwing a check into the mail for an OxFam fundraiser.  You haven’t actually done anything, but you get to feel good about yourself for doing it nonetheless.  Your self-esteem gets a boost, so who cares how it happened?

We can defeat Obama in 2012; I hope that he catches a 45 state electoral beat down next year.  The problem is that Bambi’s loss won’t be the end of the Era of Big Self-Love.  There will still be politicians willing to use MLK or any other hero from America’s past to puff up their own spiritual vanity.  Worse, there will still be a large cadre of citizens who will see their political choices not in strictly partisan terms, but as moral kool kid street cred.

Posted in Chuckles, Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Hollywood’s “Obama Kills Osama” Propoganda Flick Exposed

Posted by KingShamus on August 20, 2011

I haven’t been on this story quite as much as I’d like to, so let’s let John Nolte fill in some details.

The Hill:A Republican lawmaker from Kansas wants to prevent the administration from helping Sony make a move [sic] about the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The Stop Subsidizing Hollywood Act introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) would stop the Obama administration from spending taxpayer money to share information about the killing of bin Laden with Sony Pictures, which is looking to release a film about that event in October 2012.

Let me get this straight.  The director and screenwriter for this feature-length campaign ad, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, have been granted access to all kinds of high-level clearance details about the slaying of Osama bin Laden.  In related news, regular Americans still can’t see a picture of the dead terrorist leader or hear anything other than a conflicted thumbnail sketch story of the events surrounding bin Laden’s death.  Funny how that is.

At first, I thought the Obama administration was trying to protect vital national interests by keeping details of the raid on bin Laden’s compound on the down low.  I wondered if maybe the government was trying to muddy the waters so that our stealth helicopter would remain shrouded in mystery or to protect the  identities of SEAL Team Six. 

Stupid me.  They were just trying to eliminate spoilers for the big-budget action flick they’re making with Sony Pictures.  How thoughtful of the Obama Administration Movie Gossip Website.

Speaking of which, here’s a spoiler alert for Bigelow,  Boal and every other member of the Committee To Re-Elect St. Barry Of The Holy Double Tap:  I’m not seeing this government-sponsored campaign commercial when it is released in theaters.  I won’t watch it when it comes out on Netflix.  I won’t see this when it runs on TNT after one of that network’s daily eight hour “Law & Order: Criminal Angeles Victims Trial In The UK” marathons.

I refuse to take part in some latter-day Riefenstahl’s exaltation of our totally awesome man of steel warlord.  Why? Because I’m supposed to get an Administration-mandated heartboner for KillShot Barack a few weeks before the election?  Screw that bullshit.

“But KingShamus”, you ask in a sad tone, “remember all those feature films Hollywood put out to help George W. Bush?  Movies like ‘Farenheit 9/11′ and “The Day After Tomorrow’ and “Redacted’ and ‘Lions For Lambs’ and ‘In the Valley of Elah’ and ‘Death of a President’.”

Anyhoo, even though I’m going to skip Sony Picture’s free Obama advertising, I see Doug Ross has an exclusive look at the first movie poster.

  

In theaters just in time to hopefully sway the election for the otherwise miserable failure Barack Obama!

Posted in Chuckles, Media Silliness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Blogger Tries Homeschooling, Doesn’t Immediately Scream In Mental Anguish

Posted by KingShamus on August 20, 2011

No One Of Any Import, a military wife and a proud mamma, has decided to teach her kids herself.  How is she doing so far?

So I spent a lot of the summer worrying. Will I find a homeschool community? Am I setting us up for misery? Will I retain sanity? Will I be forced to admit failure and scoot them down to Bradley in a month or two?

I’ll have the answer to that last question in, well, a month or two.

But I don’t care about the answer. Even if it’s a resounding yes oh yes for pity’s sake, off to Bradley they go . . . it won’t matter. A newfound certainty has replaced the summer’s anxiety: I’m doing the right thing. By trying it.

Read the whole thing.  It’s great work.

I think No-1′s anxiety over this perfectly understandable.  I think her nerves about making this choice are shared by many new homeschoolers.

Even though homeschooling has become a more popular education choice than it once was, it’s estimated that 1.5 million kids are homeschooled.  That’s really not a huge percentage.  And yet, even with all that, there are still parents out there that want to teach their kids themselves.  Why shouldn’t they?  Has public school been such a rousing success over the last few decades?  America kinda sucks at math and science.

We can talk about private school for all of ten seconds.  If you want your kids to pal around with Sasha and Malia Obama at Sidwell Friends, you’re looking at over 30 large a year.  Obviously, not every private school is so expensive–and some are even more pricey–but it’s still not a financial option for everyone.

So is homeschooling a crazy option?  Not when you think about it.  But there’s a social bias against it. The cultural inertia is still on the side of the folks sending their kids outside of the home for education.  Most people in America went to school outside their house

Let’s say the American edumakation system continues to produce mediocre thinkers.  Let’s also recognize that private school tuition isn’t going down any time soon.  How soon will homeschoolers go from being sorta strange to strangely right?

No-1 may have some trepidation, but I think she’ll be a successful teacher.  There are many homeschooling websites and organizations available for people interested in making this choice work.  Also, the pay might not be great, but she’s got very good reasons to be awesome.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Are Alien Invasions The Only Way That Liberalism Can Work?

Posted by KingShamus on August 19, 2011

Last week Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman said this:

Paul Krugman: Think about WWII, right? That was not, that was actually negative social product spending, and yet it brought us out [of the Depression]. I mean partly because you want to put these things together, you say, ‘Look, we could use some inflation,’ Ken and I are both saying that, which is of course anathema to a lot of people in Washington, but it’s in fact what the basic logic says.

It’s very hard to get inflation in a depressed economy, but if you had a program of government spending plus an expansionary policy by the Fed, you could get that. So that if you think about using all of these things together, you could accomplish a great deal.

If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack, and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat, and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months.

And then if we discovered, ‘Whoops! We made a mistake. There aren’t actually any space aliens,’ we’d be in better —

Ken Rogoff: So we need Orson Welles is what you’re saying.

Paul Krugman: No. There was a Twilight Zone episode like this, in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace. Well, this time we don’t need it [to achieve world peace]; we need it in order to get some fiscal stimulus.

Shorter Krugman: Fake us out Obama-Wan, faux space invaders are our only hope.

Not to be outdone, NASA scientists put out this study about the effects of anthropogenic climate change.

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by a Nasa-affiliated scientist and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future. …

The authors warn that extraterrestrials may be wary of civilisations that expand very rapidly, as these may be prone to destroy other life as they grow, just as humans have pushed species to extinction on Earth. In the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to protect other civilisations.

“A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions,” the report states.

“Green” aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. “These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets,” the authors write.

I know most folks think of NASA as that kind-hearted federal agency tasked with increasing friendship between Muslim folks and American rocket scientists, but back in the day the National Aeronautics and Space Administration did piddling small beer stuff like putting men on the moon at a fairly regular clip.  As for the Nobel Prize, at some point before it became the equivalent of an on-the-house lap dance for achievement-free political hacks, getting invited to Stockholm and receiving the award meant the recipient had done something spectacular.

Now we have a Nobel Prize winner saying that his and Obama’s ridiculous economic policies would work if only the government could convince the citizens that they are under attack from a massive alien invasion.  What does it say about the effectiveness of massive deficit spending when the only thing that can redeem it is a scheme to dupe the people stolen from a Hollywood action movie?  But not to fear, Gentle Reader.  Check out the big brain on Paulie.  He’s the smart one.  If you don’t believe me, just ask him.  He’ll tell you.

Not only that, but Krugman loved the high and mighty act as he was railing against the evil lying liars of the Bush administration.  So of course a guy who hated the Cheney/Dubya cabal for allegedly not telling the truth to the American people about Iraq is advocating a policy of not telling the truth to the American people about getting invaded by aliens.  Makes perfect sense, right?

As for NASA, I dunno if they got the memo, but this whole global warming theory has been pretty much discredited.  Naturally, a space agency more focused on giving the Islamic community a big group hug than on science might not be so quick on the uptake for news they can use.  It’s almost bad enough to feel sorry for them.  Almost.  In any case, NASA wants us to slow our growth (aka not consume as much, not use as much energy, not be employed as much, not live as long) so hypothetical extraterrestrials–who act more like Earth First! eco-terrorists than one would think–will not destroy us with their energy beams and rectal probes. 

Next up for NASA:  When we die, every human should all be cremated so that they can’t be turned into zombies who can then eat us in a planet-wide undead slaughter.

Look at how the supposedly elite institutions of achievement have beclowned themselves.  Nobel laureates, NASA scientists; these used to be the top of the heap thinkers and doers of the world.  Now, all they do is provide ever more pathetic and ever more fantastical justifications for big stupid blundering freedom-choking government.

Then they wonder why people constantly question the grand wisdom of the credentialed class.

Posted in Domestic Happenings, Media Silliness | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Book Review – “After America” by Mark Steyn

Posted by KingShamus on August 18, 2011

Let’s face facts.  Dystopian non-fiction can be a total buzzkill.  People generally like happy endings in their summer reading.  Most pessimistic interpretations of tomorrow don’t have the kind of emotionally uplifting finale the paying customers are used to.  In tales of the disasters to come, the reader doesn’t often get the relief of a grand reversal of civilizational decline.  The story’s third act usually doesn’t include a great reawakening where the citizenry regain their bearings and right the ship of state just in the nick of time.  Instead, it’s all pandemic death counts, epic societal collapse and lurid Thunderdome scenarios. 

If one is going to travel deep into the territories of pessimism about the future, it helps if the tour guide is quick with the jokes as you pass by the scenic civilizational wreckage. In “After America”, prominent conservative writer Mark Steyn employs his masterful satiric wit and playful use of language to craft the most laugh-out-loud funny postapocalyptic nightmare since his last piece of doom “America Alone”.

In many ways “After America” is the logical extension of Steyn’s older work. “Alone” was the author’s reaction to the 9/11 attacks, the depopulation of Europe and the ascension of Islam in the West.  It’s main theme was that the demographic collapse of native Europeans was not going to occur in a vacuum, that the rise of Eurabia was going to have serious consequences on America’s future.  “After America”, on the other hand, discusses a USA that doesn’t have a future, at least not a future most Americans would want for their country.

What will be the cause of Old Glory’s demise?  Conservatives are familiar with many of the reasons: smothering bureaucracy, insane federal spending, the overwhelming  arrogance of elected officials, the rise of the dependency state.  What Steyn does so well is wrap his worrisome statistics and downward spiral trend lines in jaunty wit.  If a little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down, a healthy shovelful of high fructose corn syrup makes the cure seem like laughing gas, even as the book goes from bleak to bleaker.

What is most bleak isn’t the list of horribles Steyn recites.  These are mere symptoms of the fatal disease.  What really ails America?  It’s not all about the money or the dopey leaders we elect.  It’s the cultural rot that’s killing us.  Ponder this passage:

Incidentally, over half the illegal population supposedly came into America after September 11, 2001.  That’s to say, they broke into a country on Code Orange alert.  Odd that.  Even under the panoptic surveillance of the “security state”, certain identity groups seem to be indulged by Big Government. In California one notices that the same regulatory leviathan that thinks nothing of sending in the heavies if a hardware store is offering complimentary coffee to its customers seems somewhat shyer of enforcing its bazillions of building code/food prep/environmental/health and safety rules against ad hoc mobile kitchens serving piping hot Mexican dishes up and down the highway…

This multicultural squeamishness is most instructive.  Illegal immigrants are providing a model for survival in an impoverished statist America, and on the whole the state is happy to let them do so.

On the surface, the issues wrapped up in illegal immigration involve hard tangible things like borders, fences and security architecture.  Dig deeper and one sees the schizoid nature of a government too eager to punish the rule-abiders and too ready to ignore the rule-breakers.  At the bottom however, it’s about a society that’s so confused it has trouble determining why it has laws or what it would mean to reform them.

Along the way, “After America” doesn’t just point out the ideological incoherence of American life, it names names.  The feckless Barack Obama and the smug incompetent Mike Bloomberg take much deserved lumps but appropriately for a book about culture, the author doesn’t just stick it to our elected leaders.  The whiny liberal thumbsucker Joe Klein and The New York Time’s resident ChiCom fluffer Thomas Friedman–among others in the pantheon of American fail–take their hits in utterly enjoyable ways.  It’s one thing to take the bark off knee-jerk statist tools.  It’s quite another to break down the preening vanity of the cultural vanguard while having a hearty laugh at their expense.

Ultimately, Mark Steyn’s “After America” hasn’t just posited a future we must do everything in our power to avoid.  Although it is a far different book in tone and subject matter, “After America” is just as critical as Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny” if one seeks to understand the current trajectory of the Untied States.  Most importantly, it gives readers an idea of how to pull away from the brink of disaster and retake their nation.

Update:  Welcome SteynOnline readers!  Glad you could stop on by.  Take a stroll around my site while you visit.  Big thanks to the folks at Regnery.  Most of all, thanks to Mr. Steyn himself for writing a truly landmark book.

 

Posted in Critiques | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

More Info On Today’s Wisconsin Recall Vote

Posted by KingShamus on August 16, 2011

I was kinda curious if there was a breakdown of the recall vote out there.  Then I tooled on over to Hot Air’s Green Room and found some interesting data, courtesy of blogger Steve Eggleston.

The race between Republican Kim Simac and incumbent Democrat Jim Holperin is considered the closer of the recalls.  Here is Eggleston’s take on the voter breakdowns.

My “generic R-v-D” calculation, averaging out the 2008 Presidential and 2010 gubernatorial results, gives the generic Republican a 5.0 percentage point advantage. The high-water mark for the Democrats in competitive races this past decade was, ignoring minor-party and write-in candidates, a 7.0 percentage-point margin, gained by long-time incumbent state Senator Roger Breske in 2004 (who departed for a state job in 2008, opening the door for Holperin), US Senator Russ Feingold in 2004, and Barack Obama in 2008. Holperin, against the same opponent as Breske, managed only a 2.4 percentage point margin in 2008.

In other words, Holperin has the advantage of incumbency and not much else.  He’s not insurmountably popular.  He’s just the Democrat who happened to show up when the old Donkey-Puncher got a new job further up the political food chain.  That seems beatable to me.

The question that will be answered tonight–besides what the composition of the Wisconsin legislature will look like–is just how much last week’s progressive disappointment impacts Democrat and Republican turnout.  Remember that the various and sundry left-o-sphere money bags coughed up 14 million dollars in order to not win.  How much are the Dems gonna be interested in just keeping it a close loss?  Conversely, how much do the Republicans want to rub liberals’ noses in their epic fail? 

Update from Steve Eggleston’s twitter feed:

@PATR2012 Getting reports from @wisconsinreport and @mediatrackers of heavy turnout in both districts.

Well, at least one side is stoked to vote.

Update II:  I hate to get technical here, but what exactly is at stake here?  Let’s let Matt from the great Conservative Hideout explain.

The law allows teachers in districts without ongoing contracts to bargain only for salaries at-or-below inflation. Employees no longer have to pay union dues, and most public unions must hold certification votes each year to stay in existence.

Burkhalter says WEAC is busy signing up members to stay with the group and voluntarily pay dues. He said the teachers’ union has made quote, “steady progress in signing up members” – and they expect even more progress once the school year begins in a couple weeks.

Since union dues are now voluntary (as opposed to pay-or-be-fired), WEAC is going back to the way unions were originally conceived–voluntary associations.

…Note that what the union bosses are decrying as “union busting” is actually giving the workers a CHOICE. Unions are agents of force. If the union bosses had their way, everyone would be forced to join a union. There would be no choice. Then again, when given a choice, quite a few workers choose not to participate, and that interferes with the union’s funding and power. So, predictably, the worker must be forced to comply with the union’s dictates, whether the workers wants it or not.

Read the whole thing.

The great public-union rock and roll swindle is in dire jeopardy from Governor Walker’s reform plans.  Two more seats in the Wisconsin legislature wouldn’t only be just desserts for the Donks’ childish behavior this year.  It would also help solidify and strengthen the reforms from future attacks.

UPDATE III:  Mierde.  Both Dems won.  Bummer.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Wisconsin Recalls Part Deux

Posted by KingShamus on August 15, 2011

Al-Reuters reminds us that this week it’s the Donkey-Puncher’s turn to face the voters.

Wisconsin’s series of recall elections concludes on Tuesday when voters go to the polls in two state Senate districts where Democrats are being forced to defend their seats.

No matter who wins, Republican Governor Scott Brown and his Republican allies will retain control of the legislature, where the battle over public workers’ union rights was waged earlier this year with public protests, legislative maneuvering and court challenges.

Republicans have managed to keep control of the state senate — 17 to 16 at last count — because Democrats failed to unseat three Republican state Senators in the key round of six GOP senate recalls last week. But Democrats did pick up two state Senate seats formerly held by Walker allies.

The Dems couldn’t seal the deal last week.  Awwwwww, too bad so sad.

Say, just how much did that temper tantrum cost the progressive movement?

National and state liberal groups, led primarily by public employee labor unions, have pumped well in excess of $14,000,000 into the Wisconsin state senate recall elections.

MacIver News’ staff complied this graphic of this unprecedented spending using official reports on file with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (Totals are accurate as of 8/8/11).

These figures include direct contributions from political action committee to candidates, coordinated independent expenditure campaigns, and individual third party expenditures. The overall effort, however, is likely much larger. Member-to-member communications and issue advocacy totals are not required to be reported to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and are therefore not included in this total.

Official cost:  A 14 million dollar waste of ammunition 14 months before the 2012 Barackopacalypse elections.

Unofficial cost:  God knows how much cheddar the libs pissed down the rat-hole of The We Hate Scott Walker Angry Fun Time Super Lefty Foot Stamp.

Look, a 17-16 majority is still a majority.  In lib-land Wisconsin, that’s not bad.  But as majorities go, it’s a little slim for most people’s tastes.  The best outcome would be that these two lefties get the boot, giving Walker and the GOP a nice comfy cushion.      

Hey Wisconsin–make the statist left sob uncontrollably and elect Jonathan Steitz and Kim Simac in the recall elections this Tuesday.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Music Monday ProgMetal – “A Horse Named Golgotha” by Baroness

Posted by KingShamus on August 15, 2011

The emergence of prog-rock in the 70′s was one of the more odd ball developments in the pop scene.  Rock-n-roll in it’s earliest phases was a visceral bump and grind affair.  Bass, guitar, drums, vocals and the occasional piano or keyboard jammed out short uncomplicated tunes about love, sex, partying and having fun.  It might’ve annoyed the old folks but for most people, even if they didn’t care for the musical style, the songs and the bands were readily understood.  Looking back on the musical evolution of popular music, it seems just a little strange that within 15 or so years, Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis would help to spawn groups like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd.

As the songs got longer and longer and the pretensions of the players got bigger and bigger (Hey Rick Wakeman: The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Really, dude?) listeners started to tune out.  The punk music phenomenon was born partly out of annoyance with prog bands’ corny stage shows, meaningless lyrics and fifteen minute keyboard solos.  Prog was as cool as the square wheel for most of the late 70′s.

The thing is, even when it fell out if fashion, prog never really went away.  Punk and New Wave couldn’t ever kill it off completely.  As time went on bands like Rush, Dream Theater and Spock’s Beard incorporated elements of prog into their music.  Even an act more associated with thrash metal–Metallica–put out the progish …And Justice For All album.

The funny thing is that as progressive rock has aged, it has become less a part of the general music scene and more a component of the niche metal market.  Mastodon, The Mars Volta and Coheed & Cambria are far more aggressive than a band like Yes ever was.  Modern acts have turned down much of the medieval pomp as they’ve cranked up the amps. 

This brings us to Baroness.  (Warning–Weirdo interpretive dance/shirtless goofball music video dead ahead.)

And with this, you get both the good and the bad parts of modern prog.

I know a lot of bands like to create ironic distance between their music and their videos.  But the song is a surrealist western movie set to music, like a modern take on “High Plains Drifter” or “Pale Rider”.  What is the video about?  Ummmmm–an eclipse, faceless samurai warriors and a dude having a really intense epileptic seizure?  Ooooookay.  After a while I had to laugh at the guy’s rhythmless flailing.

That’s prog for you.  Studied, deliberate weirdness just for the sake of being weird.

In it’s favor though, “Horse” displays the band’s strong musicianship.  The instrumental section after the guitar solo at around 3:35 is a multilayered pastiche of sounds. Acoustic guitar arpeggios, distorted rhythms and complicated drum patterns swirl together in unexpected ways.  People tend to think of metal as the soundtrack for knuckledragger fantasies made by talentless droogs, but Barroness’ work here contradicts that hoary stereotype.

Posted in Music Monday | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

T-Paw: Done

Posted by KingShamus on August 14, 2011

As soon as it started, it was finished.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination on Sunday, hours after finishing a disappointing third in the Iowa straw poll.

“I wish it would have been different. But obviously the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist so we are going to end the campaign,” Pawlenty said on ABC’s “This Week” from Iowa shortly after disclosing his plans in a private conference call with supporters.

The low-key Midwesterner and two-term governor had struggled to gain traction in a state he had said he must win and never caught fire nationally with a Republican electorate seemingly craving a charismatic, nonestablishment, rabble-rouser to go up against President Barack Obama.

Pawlenty tried to turn up the heat on Obama and his GOP rivals. But it often came across unnatural and he never was able stoked the passions of voters.

Vaya con Dios, T-Paw. 

Seriously, he’s not a bad man.  In a lot of election years, a dude like him would be a winner.  Smart non-controversial guys with executive experience almost always have a decent shot at electoral success.  In 2011, it seems like voters are looking for something else. 

The one thing I thought Pawlenty had in his favor was his seriousness.  President Obama, with his constant golf outings, his wife’s gazillion dollar Spanish vacations and his use of a beer summit to settle a dispute between local law enforcement and a brittle overentitled race hustler,  is an obnoxious joke.  Compared to that, a President T-Paw promised–reminiscent of Warren Harding–to be a return to normalcy. 

I thought that if Pawlenty was to have a chance against Barack Obama’s vaulting statism, that would be one way he could connect with voters.  He could’ve pointed out St. Barry’s un-American weirdness.  US presidents shouldn’t be owning banks and car companies.  US presidents shouldn’t just blithely accept 9% unemployment as the new normal.  US presidents shouldn’t be involved in anything so ludicrous as Operation Gunwalker.

In the end, Pawlenty is not the right man for the vitally important job of unelecting Barack Putt-Putt Obama.  The Iowa straw poll, while not necessarily indicative of GOPers across America, seems to suggest a few things.  Perhaps the most important thing is that voters recognize that we are living in extraordinary times.  President Obama, the latest and greatest in a long line of government class statists, has brought us to the brink of disaster.  A conventional wisdom Republican like T-Paw might not be enough to fix the structural problems America faces.  Maybe that’s the lesson from the former Minnesota governor’s early exit from the presidential race.

Meanwhile, The Other McCain has this reaction to Pawlenty’s dropping out.

I was sitting here at breakfast with Ladd Ehlinger just an hour ago when he said, “Pawlenty’s quitting!”

Tim Pawlenty told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he is ending his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination after a disappointing third-place finish at the Iowa straw poll.
Mr. Pawlenty thanked his supporters in an early-morning call, two participants said, but acknowledged that he had decided overnight that his candidacy could not proceed.

That was quick, wasn’t it? I landed in Des Moines on Aug. 3 and, eleven days later, Pawlenty quits the race. Some people will say this is merely a coincidence.

That’s great, RS.  Now how’s about you turn that magical GOP kingbreaker power on somebody actually dangerous, like Mitt Romney.

Just askin’, homie.  Just askin’.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Automatic Shotgun Demonstration. Yes, You Read That Right.

Posted by KingShamus on August 12, 2011

Courtesy of FPS Russian.

Gun dudes have a saying that the smart man is the one who brings a shotgun to a pistol fight.  If that’s the case, then the scary-smart super genius brings a fully auto shotty with a 20 round drum mag to the aforementioned handgun battle.

“But KingShamus,” you ask in a concerned tone, “what happens when I’m in a firearm melee and I need special shotgun ammo to save the day?”  FPS Russian has you covered there too.

I had found homeboy a while back, meant to make a post about his various gun fetish vids, but I just sorta braincramped.  I’m pretty sure the dude is a real Russian in the same way that I’m actually a Chinese lesbian who lives in El Salvador, but who cares?  The guns are rad.  The wacked-out gun stunts are funny as hell.  If the dude wants to put on a faux Russian accent, it doesn’t matter much.

Enjoy, homies.

Posted in Chuckles, The Social Scene | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

T-Paw Does What He Should

Posted by KingShamus on August 11, 2011

No, he’s not slamming the hell out of Mitt Romney at every and any opportunity, but by zapping Barack Obama, he’s close enough.

Watch for Barry’s magical mystery mental crutch, AKA The Teleprompter In Chief, right around :17 in.  Nice touch.

Pawlenty’s ad, which might be too little too late for him, reminds us of an important truth:  Obama is so miserable that a warm puddle of vanilla pudding like Tim Pawlenty would be an overwhelming improvement. 

In fact, with a few exceptions, there are plenty of potential GOP nominees that would crush Obama’s performance, mostly because the majority of Republican candidates don’t have a full-on chub to punish businesses in order to give public-sector unions a taxpayer-based cushion.

I found this clip via the one and only Instapundit.  Happy 10th Blogaversary, sir.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Christmas In August, Courtesy of the Wisconsin Recall Elections

Posted by KingShamus on August 10, 2011

Republicans dodged the boulder that the Democrats caught right in the chest.

After tens of millions of dollars spent by outside interest groups, dozens of attack ads and exhaustive get-out-the-vote efforts, Democrats on Tuesday fell short of their goal of taking control of the state Senate and stopping the agenda of Gov. Scott Walker.

Republicans won four of six recall races, meaning the party still holds a narrow 17-16 majority in the Senate…

…Sens. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, and Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, successfully defended their seats Tuesday.

Challengers state Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, and Jessica King unseated incumbent state Sens. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, and Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac.

Going into Tuesday, Republicans controlled the body 19-14, so Democrats needed to win at least three seats and hold onto two more next week to take over.

There are a boatload of delicious schadenfruedey gifts to be had. Let’s start with a small morsel.

“The revolution has not occurred,” said UW-Milwaukee political science professor Mordecai Lee, a former Democratic lawmaker. “The proletariat did not take over the streets.”

Thank you Morty. Thank you so much, you pathetic Marxoid hack.

Only a blinkered paleo-lib safely ensconced in the depths of the faculty lounge could make a statement so breathlessly melodramatic and so divorced from reality. ‘The proletariat’? Jeebus, dude. The only thing those crazy class-warfare inflamed proles like less than a sanctimonious tweed-head with a two inch Hegels-stiffy is a former Donkey-Puncher congressdork lamenting the fact that his party can’t just go ahead and vacuum up every dime out of the citizenry’s collective wallet.

The political loss suffered by the progressive movement is really nice too. Here’s Ed Morrissey making note of a cool effect of the recall vote.

The vote counting stretched into Wednesday morning before the last race was finally called. While one vulnerable Republican fell as expected and another lost by a razor-thin margin, Democrats failed to break away in the battleground districts they and outside groups had most heavily targeted. Closing up shop on his election night party in Madison before the final results were in, state Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate tried to claim some measure of victory, and promised to keep up efforts to recall Walker.

“We will not stop, we will not rest, until we recall Scott Walker from the state of Wisconsin,” Tate said.

They’re probably going to try, but as last night proved, it’s an empty threat. For the second time, unions had an opportunity to bring their organizational and funding advantages into a special election environment, and for the second time, Wisconsin voters largely rejected them. The union tried to unseat Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser in April, blanketing the state for challenger Joann Kloppenburg in an election that should have had a small, easily manipulated turnout. Instead, they came up empty as Wisconsin voters turned out heavily.

The lefties badly wanted this. They pined for this. And they lost.

Meanwhile in the community-based reality, Kos is trying and failing to put a brave face on this.

I’ve got to say, I expected to be torn up if we didn’t get to three seats. I expected to suffer through yet another bout of electoral depression, bummed at coming up short yet again. And we did come up short!

Short of what? Short of taking the Wisconsin Senate? Sure. That would’ve been nice.

But let me just say, if tonight was a loss, I hope we have many more such “losses” in 2012.

Try again, Marky.

Like most lefties, homeboy doesn’t really understand the concept of return on investment. Then again, Kos has always been good at spending other people’s money on liberal fever dreams.

How much dough did the various organs of the progressive movement dump into these recall elections? It’s hard to say, but probably tens of millions of dollars is a good back of the envelope guesstimate. Mind you, we’re not talking about the New York, Boston or even the Philadelphia media market, where TV and print ads are costly. Wisconsin has some big cities, but still, spreading the word through the media is not brutal.

Also, what are Scott Walker’s poll numbers? As of July, he was at something like 59% disapproval. Considering that, dude should’ve been a heavier boat-anchor around the Wisconsin GOP’s neck during the recall fight.

Instead, the Democrats once again were forced to spend a boatload of cash in a tough political fight in order to choke a mile before the finish line.

If Kos is willing to take that kind of loss, I’m sure conservatives would be happy to give it to him.

The only way this could get any better is if there were Democrats up for recall. Oh, wait.

Republicans have a chance to deliver a political coup de grâce to the national union and Democratic intimidation tactics next Tuesday when there are two elections seeking to recall Democratic State Senators Robert Wirch and James Holperin. These two were among the fleebaggers who ran away to Illinois..

The Recall Wirch campaign has been a focus here for months. The Republican challenger is Jonathan Steitz.

The challenger to Holperin is Kim Simac.

Go Jonathan Steitz. Go Kim Simac.

Professor Jacobson notes that Left is demoralized from last night’s loss. Hopefully next week’s recalls add another dollop of emo onto the Left’s shit sandwich.

More-According to Ace:

Something to keep in mind: While they claim they were playing on Republican turf, that wasn’t true in one of the districts, and the other district we lost regrettably featured an incumbent who had an affair with a 25 year old intern and then moved out of the district itself.

In addition, the left outspent us 2 to 1 on advertising, and the unions nationalized the elections, pushing hard for a coalition-of-government-dependent turnout.

Outspending by a 2 to 1 margin, and the libs still couldn’t beat the GOP.  Yikes.

With all the headwinds blowing against the Republicans, this should’ve been shooting fish in a barrel with a grenade launcher.

But Kos is getting giddy because his side was able to take down the clown who had an affair with the free office help.  Wow.  Thats nothing to breathe heavy over.  That’s basically a gimme that a political party should be able to nail without trying real hard.

So let’s see here, one slam-dunk and one sorta tough-ish win when the Donks outspend their opponents 2 to 1 in a political climate where the libs had more than a few advantages.  Unless you’re grading on an Atlanta school district curve, there’s really no way to play this as a win for the Democrats.

But hey, keep trying juicebox mafiosi.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

Peter Beinart’s Morale Booster For Obama And The Left

Posted by KingShamus on August 9, 2011

Lots of conservatives like to call Barack Obama the reincarnation of Jimmy Carter–hell, I own this shirt–but you know it’s becoming obvious even to lefties that our current pResident is an epic fail when Peter Beinart is writing crap like this.

In retrospect, the dominant political reality of the Clinton years was the culture war, a struggle over what kind of nation America would be once being anticommunist ceased being a meaningful national identity. Politics in the Bush years was dominated by the “war on terror,” the right’s effort to reenact the Cold War struggle and the left’s recovery of its own antiwar tradition in response.

Thank God the Left recovered it’s antiwar traditions.  That explains all those massive ANSWER/Code Pink/Cindy Sheehan led protests of President Obama’s Libyan War.

Oh wait.  No.  That hasn’t even sorta happened.  Beinart is just making that up.  But it sounds good, so whatevs.   

For liberals, the Obama years were supposed to mark a return to progressive government activism, a latter-day Great Society. But the Great Society, it’s crucial to remember, was launched in the mid-1960s, at the high noon of American optimism about our position in the world. What destroyed it, among other things, was the painful realization, by the early 1970s, that American resources were more finite, and America’s international position more fragile, than Johnson and his whiz-kid advisers had understood. Similarly, it is now clear that today’s political environment is less like the early and mid-1960s, that era of liberal optimism—or even the 1980s, which were dominated by Reagan’s conservative optimism—than by the deeply pessimistic 1970s. President Obama, like presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter, will be defined by how he manages the politics of decline.

What does that mean?  America is teh suck and Obama’s gonna blame it on the GOP?

Why yes, yes it does.

Winning reelection is not the hardest part. While any president would prefer to run in boom time, it’s possible to win reelection with the country in a down mood. Richard Nixon won big in 1972, for instance, at a time of deep and convulsive national unhappiness. He did so by beginning to withdraw American ground troops from Vietnam, but also by blaming the nation’s unhappiness on his enemies in the antiwar, feminist, black-power and counterculture movements, which he hung around the neck of Democratic nominee George McGovern.

Translation-Hey meanie head Rethuglicans: Barack Obama can too win!

This is where Beinart tries to put some lead into Double A Barry’s old and busted pencil.  The problem is that unless Grand Funk Railroad is gonna drop a big platinum-selling record that nobody knows about, 2012 isn’t going to look like 1972.  Nixon could play the McGovern-is-an-extremist card because, well, McGovern was an extremist.  Can Obama do the same thing against Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry or even Sarah Palin?  Perhaps, but that assumes that conservatives don’t outnumber liberals by a nearly to 2-to-1 ratio.

We don’t yet know whether the Republicans will nominate their own version of McGovern—an ideological activist like Michelle Bachmann—or an establishment, it’s-my-turn, figure like Mitt Romney. But either way, Obama’s likely reelection strategy echoes Nixon’s: tie his opponent to the most extreme elements of his or her party, and blame him or her for the country’s woes.

Let’s just get to brass tacks.  The current political/economic/cultural milieu is really different than 1972.  To be blunt, the problems are worse.  In the early 70′s, America was in the midst of a crisis of confidence.  Things were not great, but it also wasn’t the end of the world.  In the 21st century, we face existential questions brought on by the coming collapse of the progressive welfare state. 

Not the same, Pete.  Not.  The.  Same.

That’s also what Bill Clinton did in 1996, when he defeated Bob Dole by running against Newt Gingrich. The debt deal makes that task easier, since most Americans appear to have blamed the Republican Congress—and the Tea Party in particular—rather than the White House.

Bill Clinton could play against the extremist GOPers because unemployment averaged 5.4% when he ran for reelection.  Unemployment is over 9% now.  I know the future remains doggedly difficult to predict, but does anybody see a whole lot of encouraging signs that the US jobless rate will get down to five and change by, oh say, September ’12?  How’s about a soft 7.5% unemployment by Labor Day ’12?  Do I have any takers for a solid 8 percent?  Anyone, anyone?      

Obama’s numbers—which now hover in the low 40s—are worryingly low. If they dip into the 30s and stay there, he’ll be in serious trouble. But if he can inch back to the middle and high 40s, he’ll have a reasonable shot at reelection given that, according to a recent New York Times poll, only 20 percent of Americans approve of the Tea Party and Congress’ approval rating is even lower than that. And whoever the Republicans nominate, those are the institutions Obama will be running against.

A few things to laugh at here.  Relying on a New York Times poll for an accurate measurement of reality is kinda like relying on Lady Gaga for sensible everyday fashion advice. 

The other thing Beinart assumes is that the GOP nominates somebody tied at the waist to the GOP Congress.  Some of the candidates fit the bill, but most don’t.  What happens if the Republicans nominate Rick Perry?  The Texas governor has ties to the Tea Party, but he’s not a House member, so how does Obama make Beinart’s suggested tactic work?

But even if Obama can win, the crucial question is, Can he win big enough to change the GOP? The single factor most contributing to American decline is the Republican Party’s theological opposition to raising taxes, a theology with Ronald Reagan as its patron saint, even though Reagan himself raised taxes several times as president.

Oh, the doucherocketry is very strong here.

An aversion to raising taxes is the biggest problem in the US?  For reals, homeboy?  If the US government took every penny in the American economy, it still could not pay off the national debt.  That would seem to suggest that the problem isn’t tax revenues, but spending. 

But yeah, let’s raise taxes because it’ll make a few lefty hacks at The Nation get a nice pinko heart-boner.  It’ll be an absolutely pointless, totally symbolic gesture that has a good chance of strangling an economic recovery–which is pretty much modern liberalism in a nutshell.

In the short term, America needs stimulus.

For Peter Beinart, a 30% jump in the national debt and a 9% unemployment rate means that we should have another stimulus bill.  In other counter-intuitive bullshit, lung cancer patients should take up a four-pack-a-day habit to whip those pesky tumors.

But in the longer term, virtually every graybeard ex-senator and blue-ribbon panelist agrees that the only way to confront our frightening national debt is to cut health-care spending, cut defense, and raise taxes, beginning by letting some or all of the Bush tax cuts expire.

When will liberals make Obama take responsibility for anything?  Is it ever going to be St. Barry’s fault?  

It’s amazing how much the Bush bogeyman still haunts lefty nightmares.  Think about this:  In 2001, George Bush was the illegitimate president/moronic puppet of Darth Cheney and corporate fascists.  He inherited a recession from Bill Clinton.  How often did Dubya piss and moan about it? 

Even better–Somehow the progressive’s favorite synonym for ‘idiot’ somehow managed to skull fuck the Obama presidency three years after he left office.  But wait, wasn’t President Pantscrease supposed to be an omnicompetent scary-smart genius?  If anybody was supposed to be able to handle the mess left by Bushitler Chimplerburton, it should be Obama. 

Why, it’s almost like the Left wildly inflated  expectations because they were in love with O’Bambi or something.

Obama’s real challenge, therefore, is not merely to win, but to win convincingly enough that he provokes a reassessment on the other side of the aisle, a Republican version of the Democratic Leadership Council that challenged liberal orthodoxies in the wake of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s victories in the 1980s. Unless that happens, Americans may be living with the politics of decline for a very long time.

Shorter Beinart:  Come on left-wingers, let’s do Obama a real solid and vote like crazy in 2012, pretty please.

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude.

Barring some massive tectonic shift in American politics–which is always possible–Barry ain’t winning big.

Beinart can keep trying to pump up the Left’s morale all he wants.  He can continue to have these wacky delusions to his heart’s content.  It isn’t going to change the shitty economy Obama has overseen, President Unprecedented’s unprecedented credit downgrade, the wars Barry has gotten us into or any other miserable symptoms of failure this Admnistration has wrought on America.

Posted in Media Silliness | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Music Monday 90′s Limeys – “Wonderwall” by Oasis

Posted by KingShamus on August 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Pilgrim Soul.

Remember when the big debate in Britain was whether Blur or Oasis was the better band?  From this American’s admittedly distant perspective, it seemed like the Brits were well and truly preoccupied with that question in the mid-90′s.  Oddly enough, America never really got swept up in that particular hype circus.

Then again, when was the last British band to really take American music by storm?  I know Radiohead sell gajillions of records whenever they put something out, but with the exception of the brilliantly dour OK Computer I dunno if you could say they’ve ever captured the US rock fan’s imagination.  The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy could barely scratch out a few almost-hits before going back to the underground rave circuit.  Robbie Williams had a brief flirtation with pop success with “Millennium” before he figured out that he was already too rich to bother conquering the States.  The Cure and Depeche Mode had big hits in the early 90′s; people still rave about Disintegration and Violator.  The late lamented Amy Winehouse was set to be a worldwide star before she became a tragic casualty of her own excesses.  Nowadays, it’s hard to come up with an English band that really puts a dent in the American market.

It’s kind of amazing when you think about it.  America and Britain might be separated by a common language, but the internet makes accessing bands and artists a snap.  Americans can learn all about the British music scene (and vice versa) at a mouse click.  Yet even with all that access, it seems like the American and English markets have become insulated from each other.  Somehow this feels counter-intuitive.

As for Oasis, I was never a huge fan, but they had an interesting dynamic.  The love-hate relationship between brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher made for fun theater.  I remember seeing them in concert a while back and wondering when the two chaps would start kicking the shit out of each other on stage.  It didn’t happen–the boys must’ve had some particularly soothing blow that night–but the tension of waiting for a public dust-up to happen kept the audience interested.

The music is strong too.  “Don’t Look Back In Anger” is a loving homage to The Beatles and a terrific song to boot.  “Champagne Supernova” and “Live Forever” are great pop-rock tunes.  They will never get awards for innovation, but for what they are, they’re pretty good.  “Wonderwall” is sorta played-out for some people, but to my ears this is still one of best songs put out in the last twenty years.

Just for shits and giggles, here’s an unplugged version with Noel Gallagher on vocals.

Savor the flavor, ya’all.

Posted in Music Monday | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

US Credit Rating Downgraded! US Funemployment Upgraded! Chinese Sabre-Rattlers Jaded!

Posted by KingShamus on August 6, 2011

Ya know that thing that Obama said would happen unless we raised the debt ceiling by August 2nd?  Well, it still happened.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday downgraded the United States’ credit rating first time in the history of the ratings.

The credit rating agency said that it is cutting the country’s top AAA rating by one notch to AA-plus. The credit agency said that it is making the move because the deficit reduction plan passed by Congress on Tuesday did not go far enough to stabilize the country’s debt situation.

…S&P said that in addition to the downgrade, it is issuing a negative outlook, meaning that there was a chance it will lower the rating further within the next two years. It said such a downgrade to AA would occur if the agency sees less reductions in spending than Congress and the administration have agreed to make, higher interest rates or new fiscal pressures during this period.

I know this is going to shock some folks out there, but it seems that TurboTax Timmy once again made a boo-boo in his normally trustworthy calculations.

April 19th, 2011-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Tuesday there is “no risk” the U.S. will lose its top credit rating amid a new analysis that revised its outlook on American debt to “negative.”

In another similar risk-free move, I decided to go without the condom.  The way I figure it, when will I be in Haiti again?

Speaking of foolproof plans, remember the trillion dollars we absolutely had to spend on the 2009 stimulus package in order to avoid an economic collapse ?  It’s a good thing we did that because the jobs report that came out yesterday was, in a word, AWESOME.

U.S. stock futures fell Thursday after a report that the jobs market remains stagnant.

The government said that the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits for the first time last week rose to 400,000 from 398,000 the previous week. The increase was slightly less than Wall Street’s estimate of 405,000 claims.

Stocks have been volatile this week because of concerns that the U.S. economy is weakening. Manufacturing, consumer spending and hiring by private companies are each below what typically signifies a healthy, growing economy.

Glass half empty:  Unemployment remains sky high.

Glass half full:  The ever-growing number of FUNemployment participants means there are more folks to share in the excitement of collecting food stamps, selling off family heirlooms at pawn shops and getting drunk on weeknights without the hassle of going to some buzzkill job the next day.

See?  It’s all about accentuating the positives.

Let’s move on to more cheerful international news.  The Chinese government, which from now on will be referred to as ‘America’s Co-Signer’, is super-stoked about the US credit downgrade.

 In a harshly-worded commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, China gave its first official comments on the United States losing its gilded AAA long-term credit rating.

“China, the largest creditor of the world’s sole superpower, has every right now to demand the United States address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China’s dollar assets,” Xinhua said.

China also urged the United States to apply “common sense” to “cure its addiction to debts” by cutting military and social welfare expenditure.

“The US government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone,” Xinhua wrote.

It’s always a blast when the scumfuck statist asshole ChiComs lecture the US about fiscal responsibility.  Next up:  The Sudanese give America a stern talking-to about race relations and Dominique Strauss-Kahn wags his finger at the States over the evils of sexual harassment.  

This massive debt stuff is just the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it?  Not only is it crippling the economy and putting our grandkids into fiscal slavery, it’s also a national security threat.  If China had a rage-boner to do something imperialistic, like fomenting a hot war on the Korean Peninsula or invading Taiwan, could America really do much to stop it?

But hey, it’s not a total loss.  A fun time was had by all at Barry O’PartyHearty’s birthday bash.

President Obama and his A-list pals danced barefoot in the East Room on Thursday night, after dining in the dramatically lit Rose Garden to celebrate his milestone 50th birthday. Obama Foodorama was told by guests who attended the “fabulous” but “casual” five-hour barbecue for more than 200 people that the President “let down his hair” and literally danced for hours, finally leaving his own party shortly before midnight.

Stevie Wonder gave a “surprise” performance during the celebration after dining with the President and First Lady Obama, leading the crowd in a soulful rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Wonder’s hit “You and I” was the President and Mrs. Obama’s wedding song. Guests included Jay Z; Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson; Chris Rock; hoops legends Charles Barkley and Grant Hill; Whoopi Goldberg; Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith; Steve Harvey; and actor Hill Harper. He’s one of the President’s closest chums from Harvard law school, and star of CSI: NY. Jazz great Herbie Hancock and his ensemble played four songs; R & B singer Ledisi dazzled the crowd with two selections.

Look, I’m not gonna get on Team Bamster’s case for having a birthday party in the President’s honor.  Obama is an undersmart over-entitled brat of a man after all.  Not giving our widdle baby POTUS a celebrity-filled celebration would’ve just led to a whiny tear-soaked temper tantrum.  The foot-stamping in the West Wing would’ve been monumental.  So you’ll get no complaint from me about this fabulous bar-b-que soiree.

No, it’s more annoying to think about the glitteratti that populated Obama’s birthday party.

Look at the cavalcade of clueless morons on display.  Back in 2008, these sports and entertainment megastars were the first to tell us just how fucking rad Obama was going to be as God-King President of The Whole World  America.  Tom Hanks made a man-crush video thinly disguised as an endorsement.  Chris Rock was a big Obama supporter and continues to flack for his BFF, saying the Tea Party are a bunch of small bratty children who are also racists.  Whoopi Goldberg uses her perch on The View to spout pro-Bambi talking points at every opportunity.

These celebutard assholes are always on hand to pump up their high-powered buddy and tear down opposition to Obama’s reflexive nanny-state socialism.  Meanwhile, as the swells do the Electric Slide at the taxpayer’s expense, the feedback loop of epic failure stemming from Obama’s policies stacks up like cord wood.  The disconnect between the fantasy land inhabited by these entertainers and the reality of St. Barry’s repellent ideas could not be more stark.  

The famous folks at Barack Obama’s b-day party love to lecture the rest of us about our political choices.  They think because they can dribble a basketball or make pretend on camera, they have carte blanche to tell us how to think.  Meanwhile, the entertainment community’s track record of picking winners is pathetic.

In 2008, the song and dance troupe and jockstrap aficionado caucus made their feelings heard.  These rich-without-merit douchenozzles got to pick our President for us.  Look at their decision–a sanctimonious hopelessly corrupt socialist ratbag who has done everything in his power to wreck the economy.  Thanks a bunch, celebrity jag-offs. 

To be frank:  Eat shit, Hollywood.  Blow yourselves, pro athletes.  In fact, all of you should get fucked in the dookie-hole with a dirty rubber sideways with no lube, you useless sleaze-ridden pack of brainless bootlicking sycophants. You suck at politics.  You suck at life too.  You worthless hacks who contribute next to nothing in society besides shitty movies, unlistenable music and out-of-wedlock children don’t get to give normal folks constant third degree couch lectures from your insulated mansions.

No.  In 2012, just stick to what you’re actually good at–which ain’t much, you dickstains–and let the republic sort out who should lead us.  You picked America’s boat-anchor.  You chose the Alinskyite Marxoid that has driven us to default and rampant unemployment.  Now own your stinking wretched incompetence, sit the hell down and shut the fuck up.

Posted in Domestic Happenings, Foreign doings, Politicians behaving badly | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Making Sense Of Michelle My Belle’s Fashion Choices

Posted by KingShamus on August 5, 2011

Did I say ‘making sense’?  I meant ‘making fun’.

The great blogger Edge of The Sandbox has spent the past few days deconstructing the style decisions of America’s First Fashion Victim.  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 in Edge’s landmark series are up and they’re all good for a laugh at MoBama’s expense.

Here’s an excerpt of Edge’s latest look at Lady Obama’s couture choices.

What do you get when you put together a flowing, bright skirt of indeterminate aesthetic that cuts FLOTUS in the widest part of her butt, a shiny belt that sits on the most protruding part of her tummy and a white t-shirt?

A food pyramid:

FLOTUS style

Oh, SNAP.  

Ya gotta read the rest.  Edge does the work compiling Michelle’s fashion fails so you don’t have to.

What is truly amazing about Edge’s compilations is how often Mrs. Obama just completely misses the boat when it comes to dressing herself.  It isn’t just a tacky belt or bad choice of shoes.  Most of the time the First Lady’s style miscues are total.  The disasters are head-to-toe affairs. 

It doesn’t have to be this way.  There are sensible people out in the fashion world who know what looks good.  They understand stuff like body shape, flattering cuts and tailoring.  Instead, Michelle My Belle’s stylists seem to think the FLOTUS is a five foot one inch 105 pound fifteen year old girl from Tokyo.  The results are predictably calamitous.

For whatever reason, Mrs. Obama thinks she looks good in these problematic get-ups.  I think the main reason for this is the soft media surrounding her has spent the last four years writing about Michelle’s supposedly stunning beauty.  Gallons of hagiographic ink has been spilled trying to convince the American public that Mrs. Obama should be graded as a 10 when in reality she’s more like an iffy 6.  As a result, the First Lady believes her own press clippings.  

In addition, like most of the public figures on Team Barry, Mrs. Obama has surrounded herself with an entourage of fawning yes-people.  These folks like getting paid.  They’re also dealing with a client who thinks she knows everything about fashion.  What are the FLOTUS’ stylists supposed to do with a customer like Michelle?  They could tell try to help  Michelle make better clothes choices, but that would put the fashionistas in jeopardy of losing their jobs if they cross Know-It-All Shelly.  So it’s easier to just say yes to the First Lady and keep cashing a steady paycheck.

As it turns out, the Empress does in fact have clothes.  She’s just too stupid to figure out that she looks like a clown.

Posted in Chuckles, Politicians behaving badly | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Picking Fights With Liberals (If You Must)

Posted by KingShamus on August 5, 2011

The great CG Hill takes a look at noted liberal chiquita Amanda Marcotte, with not-so-sexxxy results.

It’s safe to say that we didn’t agree on a whole lot, and I suspect she’ll never get the hang of appreciating art forms without regard to political context — but I offer this as a small piece of evidence that it’s possible to read some of her stuff, even to comment about it, without becoming utterly bilious. The question of whether this is any fun or not is left as an exercise for the student.

Read the rest. 

In his post, Mr. Dustbury makes note of The Other McCain’s shameless–and hilarious–baiting of one of the nastier and least talented feminist sob sisters in teh intertubes.  McCain loves to tweak the pious left whenever he can.  Usually it results in some good theater.  That’s always cool.

The thing is, I know I should try to engage the Left in debate at least once in a while.   This whole blogging/internet/twitter cybercommunity thing practically begs for back and forth discussion.  But, ehhhhhhhhhhhh…I really can’t be fucking bothered.

There is some laziness wrapped up in that, I’ll admit.  Then again, making all this crazy blogger money might be blunting my work ethic a tad.  Beyond my lack of motivation is something even more important.

The truth is that debating the Left is almost completely goddamn pointless.  Before I started this dippy little webzone, I would go on various sites and throw darts at the mouthy leftists.  I would debate liberals and socialists at work and at college.  I gleefully engaged in political debate with the opposition.  It was a lot of fun, at least for a while.

What I started to notice was that in almost every instance, the progressive I’d be in the conversation with would accuse me of racism, sexism or homophobia.  Mind you, this would be in an argument over the flat tax or defense spending or gun control.  In fact, most of the time it was clear that the liberal believed I was a spittle-flecked bigot before the debate even began.  To them, I wasn’t just arguing a particular position because I truly believed it was right.  I had been brainwashed by corporate greedheads or raised in a racist family or I was a religious hypocrite; whatever the lefty explanation, it was assumed that I was arguing from bad faith.  

For a long while, I made it a point to fight through that and make a point about the topic at hand.  I thought that if I simply persisted in bringing the discussion back to the actual issues, progress could be made.  I never really expected to ‘win’ the debate, but I figured if I pierced through some of the hollow shell of progressive idiocy, maybe that would jostle a few of the smarter knee-jerk libs out of their narrow pinched ideology at some point.  I also had this idea that if non-political folks happened to be watching or listening, I’d be the one making more sense than the progressive.  That would maybe influence the moderate/independent types to lean more to the conservative side.

Silly dreams, but I was a young stupid pup, so forgive me. 

After a while, it became clear that debating a committed leftist was more aggravating than it’s worth.  The amount of work it takes to just fight through the ‘I HATE YOU EVIL REICH-WING CAPITALIST SLUTS!!!!!!!!1111111eleventy!!!!!11!!!’ stuff is exhausting.  The best part?  After you finally convince the progtard that you truly do believe the things you’re saying, the person will finally say, “Well, maybe you had a point there about letting people keep some of their own money, but you’re still wrong, so whatever.”

So now, I basically avoid talking to liberals about politics unless I really have nothing better to do.  I’d much rather have a conversation with libertarians, neocons, crunchy cons, compassionate conservatives, fiscal hawks or anybody else in the broad right-of-center caucus.  They’re smarter than liberals, they know far more about the issues than liberals and they don’t immediately accuse you of burning crosses on peoeple’s yards just because you read National Review from time to time.  Even when I disagree with a conservative–I might be one of the few righties still holding out hope for a Herman Cain win in Iowa–the conversation isn’t going to start with an insult.

Posted in Domestic Happenings, The Social Scene | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

 
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