Blog de KingShamus

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

Archive for September, 2011

Elizabeth Warren, Explained

Posted by KingShamus on September 30, 2011

Say, did you hear former Obama Administration official Elizabeth Warren is running for the US Senate against Massachusetts moderate and pick-up truck aficionado Scott Brown? 

She seems really reasonable and smart, especially on the whole ‘citizen vs. subject’ debate we’re having in America right now. No really, check it out.

See, she’s totally cool.

I mean, what could you possibly have against good ol’ Lizzy-Dub?  She’s just pointing out your selfishness for wanting to keep some of your money out of the government’s coffers.  She’s also simply illustrating how it’s only the protection cash you pay to the cops and firefighters that keep your investments safe from the angry jealous mob.  The fact that the hypothetical marauding bands of pillagers she’s talking about would probably be aligned to Elizabeth’s Warren’s brand of left-wing politics should be ignored, naturally.  Just understand that it is Ms. Warren and her generous confiscation and spending of her tax revenue–whoops, I mean your tax dollars of course–that keeps the great unwashed moi polloi at bay.

Oh and look at how she says ‘God Bless!’ to business owners.  That took real guts on her part.  She didn’t have to utter that hackneyed Christianist phrase, but she decided to throw all those crazed bitter-clinger teabagging reich-wingers a bone. 

Truly, Elizabeth Warren is a magnanimous spirit for our otherwise benighted age.

But of course there are those spoiled dissenters out there, unfairly berating this giant intellect. 

See, now this is just the kind of cruel derision I’d expect from mean-hearted conservatives.

Just because Elizabeth Warren is a snippy overentitled hack who dresses from Jennifer Granholm’s Salvation Army donation sack doesn’t mean we should make fun of her.  Laughing at Warren’s waxy man-hands, deer-in-the-headlights gaze or her apparent distaste for buttoning her blouse is wrong.  Worst of all, how can you make fun of her ideas like this?  Lizzie can’t help it if God didn’t redistribute enough brains or reasoning into her thick skull when He made Wise Lady Warren up in Worker’s Heaven.

C’mon people.  Can’t we just give Elizabeth Warren a Senate seat for being a well-meaning big-hearted big spending liberal?  I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time we elected a wildly unattractive, shrewish, thin-skinned leftist ideologue to the world’s greatest deliberative body in the history of deliberative bodies.  What’s one more Marxoid dipshit from the depths of Harvard University’s know-it-all manufacturing plant gonna hurt?

Posted in Domestic Happenings, Politicians behaving badly | Tagged: , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Live Tweeting Tonight’s Debate

Posted by KingShamus on September 22, 2011

This debate should answer a few questions. 

The most vital question?  Will Michelle Bachmann continue to seek the all-important Jenny McCarthy endorsement?

See you on Twitter, my homies.

Posted in Domestic Happenings, Politicians behaving badly | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Unpopularity, Obama and the Liberal/Conservative Divide

Posted by KingShamus on September 18, 2011

Has the sheen finally worn off the Obama presidency?

Let us count the polls.

Gallup:

Rasmussen:

Overall, 45% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s performance. Fifty-five percent (55%) at least somewhat disapprove.

Ouch.

But then it gets interesting.

Allahpundit notes that some Democrats are emo about the Bamster.

“Given all that, it’s no surprise that many Democrats are running away from Obama. But here’s the problem: He did what Democrats wanted him to do. Health care, stimulus, taxes, you name it — Obama did what his party wanted. Not what the public at large wanted, but what many Democrats wanted. And now, as the negative electoral consequences of their own priorities stare them in the face, those Democrats are blaming the president…

“‘It’s ingratitude,’ says a Democratic strategist who asked to remain anonymous. ‘People are saying to [Obama], ‘You didn’t do everything you told me you were going to do.’ If you’re a member of a union, you didn’t get everything you wanted. If you’re an environmentalist, you didn’t get everything you wanted. But the left wants to go beyond what’s possible.’…

“This is a serious question: If you’re a Democrat, what’s not to like? What kind of unreasonable standard would make a Democrat unhappy with a president who accomplished those things? And yet many Democrats are beside themselves with frustration and anxiety.”

But then how to explain this?

al-Reuters:

See, I dunno if Democrats are the problem here.

They’re still stoked for the Barry agenda to the tune of 77%. 

Republicans never loved President GreenJobs McPassThisBill, so that 13% approval rating isn’t surprising (in fact, it’s more shocking that Obama’s GOP approval numbers are so high).

So if rank and file DonkeyPunchers still basically dig St. Bambi and Republicans continue to dislike the pResident, why is the Duffer-in-Chief in trouble?  A few things are happening here.  First, Obama is underwater amongst moderates.  These folks are basically low-information voters and people disengaged with American politics.  They’re basically going with their gut impression of the President’s performance.  They have found him wanting.

The other reason why Obama is tanking now has to do with his base.  Over three quarters of Democrats think Obama is doing a good job.  That sounds rad, but is it really so impressive?  21% of Americans identify as liberals, compared with 41% who think of themselves as conservative and 36% who call themselves moderates.  What this means is that Obama–and liberals in general–have a much tougher fight to maintain approval from the American electorate.  Seventy seven percent of 21 isn’t as good as fifty percent of 41. 

In other words, a liberal can have his base on lock-down and still be toast if the right has totally tuned him out and the middle is repulsed.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think a lot of Democrats are getting annoyed with their Messiah figure.  They’re not mad because Obama has gone too far to the left.    They’re anxious because they feel like all the statist gains the socialists have made over the last few years–Dodd-Frank, Cap-n-Tax, ObamaCare, the promise of endless stimuli/union prop-ups, are going to end or be reversed due to Obama’s inability to rally a winning electoral coalition to the Democrat flag anymore.  Most of all, they’re pissed because Obama hasn’t been able to go to the left and maintain his popularity at the same time.

In other words, the American Left once again finds itself angrily stamping their feet against a reality they just can’t accept.  This is a position they find themselves in quite often.  You’d think they’d be used to it by now.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

Dennis Kucinich versus Marcy Kaptur–When Demography and Congressional Redistricting Are Totally Rad

Posted by KingShamus on September 16, 2011

Andrew Malcolm brings us some good news from Ohio.

Well, it looks like the new congressional redistricting will help Ohio get rid of at least one long-term Democratic representative in next year’s House elections.

According to newly drawn district lines set to go to the Ohio Legislature any day, eight-term Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland and 15-term Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo are both in the same new narrow district running along the southern Lake Erie shoreline. Both have announced their candidacies.

One thing is for certain:  one noxious crusty leftist is out like a scout on a new route.

I know this is a total buzzkill for everyone.  Grab your hankies.

Funny thing about this fight; it seems like there’s an enthusiasm gap between these two candidates.

You could tell Kucinich was excited about the remapping. In an email fundraising appeal Wednesday, he used two exclamation marks in the first two sentences: “We have a district! The race is on!”

Without mentioning Kaptur, the House’s longest-serving female Democrat, Kucinich celebrated the demise of his old Cleveland district and the slicing off of its Republican areas to buttress other GOP districts.

So Congressman Marvin The Martian is stoked for this fight.

What about Marcy?  How is she holding up?

For her part, Kaptur said the pair shared no hard feelings over their upcoming struggle. “We are friends,” she said. “This is hard for us.”

Yeah.  Sure.  Lots of heavy hearts in the Buckeye State’s 9th district.

Here’s some questions for all the feministas out there.  How soon does Team Dennis start making private and public noises about the need for ‘unity’ in the party?  How soon will Marcy Kaptur be asked to step aside so that America’s political Oompa Loompa will get to keep his–not Marcy’s, but his–precious congressional seat?

Here’s what rules about the lefty sisterhood.  They talk a big game about deconstructing the big bad meanie-head patriarchy.  They scream about equal rights and Title IX and all that other jazz.  But when it comes to asserting themselves politically, they’re almost always good to roll over when male Democrats need to assert their power.

I mean, it’s almost like feminists are some kind of ironic mirror image of the old submissive housewife archetype that they say they’re fighting against or something.

Hey, this could be a big nothing.  I might have this completely wrong.  Perhaps Kaptur and Kucinich will have themselves a nice polite little primary and be done with it. 

On the other hand, this could get fugly in a hurry.

I’m hoping for some delicious nougaty schadenfreude.

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

September 11th, 2001–A Decade of Grieving and War Intertwined

Posted by KingShamus on September 11, 2011

On September 11th 2001, ordinary Americans were caught in the horror of al-Qaeda’s monstrous sadism.  The victims of the 9/11 attacks were a more or less random sampling of people from a broad spectrum of life in the States.  While none of them could’ve known that they would be murdered by pure human evil that day, many men and women rose up and became America’s first heroes in the war against radical Islam.

One of them was Betty Ong.

The 45-year-old flight attendant was on American Airline Flight 11, the first of two that crashed into the World Trade Center. During the hijacking, Ong hid in the back galley, picked up a crew phone and bravely called the airline reservation desk.

“The cockpit is not answering their phone,” Ong said during the hijacking. “There’s somebody stabbed in business class and we can’t breathe…somebody’s got mace or something.”

The call lasted 23 minutes. Ong spoke calmly, giving important details of the chaotic last moments.

The 9/11 Commission declared Ong a hero.

Indeed.

Here is the phone call she placed–in the midst of the hijacking, with murder surrounding her and in danger of being killed by terrorists–telling authorities what was happening on her flight.

And then this valiant woman was gone.

What did the 9/11 attacks cost us?  We can talk about the trillion dollars that simply evaporated from the American economy in a single morning.  The destruction of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon was meant to be a symbolic demolition of the United States’ economic and military dominance.  But as important as these things are, they pale in comparison to the human price America paid on that day.

Think about the hopes and dreams of the three thousand people who died on that day.  What did Betty Ong want for her life?  Was she saving for a house or new car?  Did she want to get married?  Were children in her plans?  Did she have career aspirations? These are questions that seem so banal, at least for the living.  Tragically, they cannot be answered when it comes to Ms. Ong–or anyone else who died because of Osama bin Laden’s perverse ideology.

Three thousand people are no longer with us, which means three thousand sets of families and friends were victimized on September 11th.  Those people who had a connection to the 9/11 victims not only had a part of their lives ripped away from them, but they had a part of their future destroyed as well; the weddings that didn’t happen, the children that won’t be born, the birthdays that have become a time of mourning.  When seen from that perspective, the 9/11 attacks take on an almost unthinkably barbaric and inhuman dimension.

It was Osama bin Laden and his followers who decided to make war against us in this fashion.  It was bin Laden, one of the most extreme adherents of a religion that has trouble reconciling itself to democracy, human rights, free market economics and the rest of modern civilization, that elected to use large scale terrorism on the United States.  America did not seek out this fight.  The fight was brought right into our home.  We had no choice but to bring war upon bin Laden and all those that would stand with him.  We have no choice but to continue to fight against all who follow in al-Qaeda’s path.

On this day, we should mourn.  We should mourn for those who had loved ones taken from them.  We should mourn for our country and all that it lost on that day.  But we should also celebrate the men and women that gave their lives in order to save us.  We almost never think of our neighbors and coworkers as potential heroes.  As it turns out, the 9/11 attacks showed us that America is full of people who will rise in the face of unimaginable danger to help others.

At one of the darkest moments in this country’s history, there were many like Betty Ong who put themselves in harm’s way in order to do the right thing.  During the worst attack on America’s soil, there were citizens that sacrificed their own lives in order to save the lives of others.  These folks were not sports icons, blowhard politicians or members of the celebrity class.  Our fallen 9/11 heroes were in fact ordinary Americans who were placed into unspeakable situations and performed extraordinary feats of selfless bravery.

On this day of sadness and pain, we should leave some room in our hearts for wonder.  Hopefully we never stop marveling at the feats of our fallen champions from September 11th.  The valorous dead deserve our remembrance and our reverence.  We owe them far more than we can ever repay.

Update I:  Robert Stacy McCain shares his rememberences of 9/11.  He also knows who the real enemy is.

Update II:  Manhattan Infidel posts a poignant piece about his 9/11.  The Infidel speaks a hard but necessary truth:

What happened that day makes me angry. It still makes me angry. To call Islam Medieval is an insult to the middle ages. Islam is pre-medieval. It is stone age. It is barbaric.

Read the whole thing.

Update III:  Karen Howes of the terrific Eastern Right has this to say:

May we always continue to be Americans.

Amen, Karen.  Amen.

Update IV:  Matt of the Conservative Hideout has some thoughts about American unity.

Update V:  Chris Wysocki of WyBlog reminds us that we still need patriots.

Update VI:  Edge of the Sandbox is annoyed at Muslim imams getting invited to places they don’t really belong.  Preach on, sister.

Update VII:  The Crack Emcee gives us the enduring strength of George W. Bush.  He kept us safe and we ended up hating him for it.

Update VIII:  David Wong of Cracked.com tells the story of how “Loose Change” poisoned the 9/11 tragedy.

Update IX:  Right Hand Man of the superb Sentry Journal talks about heart.

Update X:  Angel of Woman Honor Thyself honors those taken from us on 9/11 with a heart-wrenching piece.

Update XI:  CG Hill takes a look at his September 13th 2001 reaction and fisks it.

Posted in Domestic Happenings, Foreign doings | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

Beer Review-The Samuel Smith Brewery

Posted by KingShamus on September 6, 2011

Back in February, I reviewed a whole bunch of imported beers.  In the process of getting tipsy on a nightly basis critiquing random foreign brews, I came across Britain’s Samuel Smith brewery and it’s Oatmeal Stout.  Reviewing that bottle of suds was a pleasure.  I figured I’d try to find as many Samuel Smith beers and give them a whirl.

I didn’t hit the Oatmeal Stout again; I stand by my review from the winter.  I was more curious about the Samuel Smith beers I hadn’t gotten a chance to drink.  Would they taste as good as the Stout?  Can Smith Brewery deliver the goods with other types of beers?  Will I enjoy getting tipsy over the course of several weekday nights?

Yes, Yes and YyeEeeEesssssSSsssssSsssssss.

Old Brewery Pale Ale

Ya know, I’m not really seeing a ‘pale’ ale here.    Instead, I get almost a Newcastle Brown Ale vibe.  Like that, this beer has lots of carbonation.  Kinda surprising  amount of fizz, to be honest.  On the initial pour, it almost has the look of a glass of Pepsi.

Thankfully, that vibe goes away pretty quick.  The Pale Ale shows a thin white head that dissipates very quickly.  Lacing is minimal, but I’m not a lunatic for a lot of foam hanging on the glass, so I don’t care.  The burnt red appearance is really quite handsome.  This is a nice beer to look at.

Even better, it’s a nice beer to drink.  The hoppy scent had some bready notes running around in there.  The taste basically follows the aroma.  The beginning is a little sweet, but it had a slightly tinny finish.

Again, is this a ‘pale’ ale?  Eh, maybe.  Does it matter?  Only if you’re a die hard beer purist.  No matter what you call it, it’s a quality beer.

Pure Brewed Lager

I was most curious about Samuel Smith’s Lager.  In my mind, lager suds are the best style of beers.  If a brewery can nail a lager, they can do good business.

In this case, we have a lager that pours out with a frothy white head, over a finger thick.  It leaves some lacing on the glass as it dissipates.   The beer itself is a bright translucent golden orange.  At first sniff, the beer presents a nice floral scent.  Not hoppy per se, and not flowery in an obnoxious way, but just very pleasant.  Unlike the Pale Ale, there was not an exorbitant amount of carbonation.

As for the taste, the beginning is rich.  For a lager, this feels just a little thick.  Still, this is a very drinkable beer.   The beginning is smooth, with a touch of hops.  The finish has just enough bite at the end to make it interesting.  This is a great lager.

Nut Brown Ale

The Nut Brown pours out thick, with a sort of toasted reddish brown coloration.  The head is a thin greyish dirty tan which kinda reminds me of dishwater suds.  I’m not exactly sad that the froth leaves almost no lacing.

Luckily, the aroma is nice and hoppy, which takes my mind off the idea of drinking used sink soap. I’m also detecting hints of caramel.  All in all, the scent is rather complex.

This is a different sort of ale.  It feels quite thick to drink.  Not shockingly, the beginning is very nutty.  I’m catching some shades of walnuts and almonds in the front, which is very cool.  The finish is very bitey.  This might be a little jarring for some drinkers, as the front was pretty smooth.  As for me, I liked it just fine.

Taddy Porter

This is the only beer in this collection that I had drank beforehand.

The porter pours out black.  There is no accent coloration.  Just…none more black.  There is a itsy-bitsy off-white head with little lacing.  I’m not seeing a lot of carbonation going on after the initial pour.  It pours out fairly thick as well.

I dig the scent a lot.  The main vibe here is roasted coffee beans, which are very pleasant.  The flavor follows the aroma. Maybe because I have my fridge’s thermostat set almost as low as it can get, the Taddy is very cold.  This might explain the fact that the beer has an iced java feel.  I’m not a coffee drinker, but this is a delicious beer.

The Porter is also surprisingly light on it’s feet.  For something that pours out like wet cement, you’d think the beer would be almost unbearably heavy.  Instead, I find it just a little thicker than the Lager.

Winter Welcome Ale

Some of you might be wondering why I am reviewing a winter beer in the middle of summer.  I’m kinda surprised by that as well.  In my travels looking for various Samuel Smith beers, I came to a liquor store that had a whole case of the Winter Welcome just laying around.  I figured I’d give it a shot.  The fact that there were so many leftovers didn’t strike me as a good sign.

Because this is a cold season ale, I am drinking this down in my basement, where it gets kinda frosty even in the summer.  Let’s see if that makes this beer work.

The Winter Welcome displays a reddish amber coloration.  Like most of the Samuel Smith brews, we get a thin white head with little lacing.  I’m catching a strong malty scent with some bread notes in there too.

As for the taste, it’s not really spicy like some winter warmer ales.  What it does have is a really hoppy almost tinny bite at the end.  This isn’t all that great.  For the first time, I don’t care for a Samuel Smith product.

To be fair, the alcohol content on this feels high (6% alcohol by volume, so yeah a little stronger than normal) .  I’m definitely getting a little toasty.  This might’ve tasted a slightly better if the temperature was closer to 45 rather than 85.  You definitely feel the buzz with this one, which isn’t the worst thing considering the kinda not-so-rad flavor.

Conclusion

The Samuel Smith Brewery has a fine line of beers.  With the exception of the Winter Welcome, the brews I tried were all very drinkable.  This was sorta surprising because I’m not a huge fan of ales.  The Nut Brown and the Pale Ale were both strong products.  The Taddy Porter was a great beer which packed a few pleasant surprises into the mix.  As for the Pure Brewed Lager, that was one of the best lagers I’ve ever had.

Could you slam these beers?  Fo’ shizzle.  We’re talking about very easy-going beverages.  They’re all quite gentle on the palate and on the stomach.  Even the Winter Welcome, with it’s kinda yucky taste, could be annihilated in fairly short order with little ill effects.  In fact, if you were just looking to get drunk, the Winter Warmer might be the quickest route to get there.  After a pint and half of that stuff, you’d probably stop noticing the taste.

The only issue with the idea of chugging these beers is that they’re a little pricey.  You’re looking at almost $4 for a 1 pint 2.7 ounces of product.  It seems like a waste to use Samuel Smith beer for your next turbo cups tournament.  The Taddy Porter would be sorta out-of-place being the featured suds at a beer pong rally.

But really, who cares?  You pretty much can’t lose with any of these brews in nearly any setting you’d drink them in.  Whatever your preferred style of beer and how ever you choose to enjoy them, this company probably has something good for your quaffing pleasure.  If you like well-crafted beers that get you to HappyLoaded Land in very pleasant ways, Samuel Smith is for you.

Posted in Critiques | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Music Monday Boogie Woogie – “Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers” by ZZ Top (Live Show Review)

Posted by KingShamus on September 5, 2011

I give you the enduring genius of Frank Beard, Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, because I saw that little ol’ band from Texas just last week.

First, let me just say that the New Jersey Performing Arts Center is a great place to see a show.  Newark has a fearsome reputation for crime-ridden urban blight–with good reason–but sitting in the courtyard outside of NJPAC, you’d never know you were in the middle of abject fetid squalor.  Well played, Newark.  Well played.

In any event, the opening act for the show was The Cadillac Black.  Like ZZ Top, they’re a three-piece rock band with plenty of attitude.  I had never heard of them before the concert, but even going into the show blind, I still liked their music.

Funny thing; I kept hearing a lot of bass, even though there wasn’t a bass player to be seen.  Drums/slide guitar/lead guitar is kind of a different line-up and not really one made for a lot of deep groove stuff.  I couldn’t quite figure out how they were getting that ribcage-rattling low-end thump.  As best as I could tell, the slide player was hitting bass pedals with his feet.  Pretty cool.

Most importantly, the warm-up act did what it should, which is warm up the crowd for the main event.

 ZZ Top wasn’t touring to support a new album–that’s next year’s road show–so they were basically free to play whatever they wanted out of their vast back catalogue.  This meant songs from 1971 rubbed elbows with 21st century tunes.  This was much cooler than one might expect.

One great thing about a band that’s been around for over forty years is that there’s a good chance that the bullshit will be kept to a minimum.  In this case, there were no bloviating dissertations about the plight of the oppressed Touareg people of East Bumblesnatch or some other nonsense.  There were no dead spots where the band rambled on about the time they were in an Estonian museum and they shook the hand of the underminister of ministering agencies while contemplating some random horrifying modern art masterpiece.  Instead of that sort of uberdouche lameness, the guys shared some laughs with the audience, revelled in sexxxed-up imagery and played the hell out of their material.

Another great aspect of watching true professional musicians do their thing is how much better the songs sound in concert than on the record.  ZZ Top’s studio work is top-notch, but hearing them live is a revelation.  The songs are faster, groovier, raunchier and just much more fun in a live setting.  You haven’t properly heard “Cheap Sunglasses” until you’ve shouted the refrain in a massive concert hall alongside several thousand other totally stoked people shaking their booties like pagans.

By the way, have you ever really given any thought to how many absolutely great ZZ Top songs there are?  I’m a fan of the band and even I got schooled.  “Brown Sugar”, “Under Pressure”, “Jesus Left Chicago”, “Legs”, “La Grange”; the list of flat-out ace tracks goes on and on.  Their hits are classic rock radio staples, but even the deeper cuts on their albums are tremendous.  Last week’s show was a strong reminder of the amazing songwriting talent these guys have been blessed with.

The show should also be seen as an educational moment for a lot of bands out there.  As a music fan, I listen to a lot of truly mopey groups.  Having said that, when rock and roll is at it’s best it’s not tortured angst-ridden therapy sessions set to music.  While it doesn’t always have to be happy or dirty, rock should have at least a healthy dollop of bump-n-grind fun thrown into the mix.  ZZ Top is a band steeped in the blues, a genre marked by sad laments and woe-is-me subject matter.  But the blues can also be party time music celebrating sex, barfights, hot cars, alcohol, single entendres, double entendres and every other kind of naughty goodness.  ZZ Top recognizes the greatness of the blues, but doesn’t let the sadness overwhelm the great time they are determined to have.  Scads of music groups could learn a thing or three from Billy Gibbons & Co.

ZZ Top’s show at the NJPAC was, in a word, spectacular.  I’d see them again in a heartbeat.  If you get the chance to catch them live, you really should not miss it.  Before Kid Rock, before Guns n’ Roses, before any of that other happy horse shit, ZZ Top was the original American badasses.

Oh, what the hell, here’s “Tush” too.

I know you’ve heard the song a zillion times, but how can you not love that track?

Posted in Music Monday | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,334 other followers

%d bloggers like this: