Saturday, December 10, 2011

Can't we all just get along?

In the last two months since Sarah Palin announced she was not running for president, two factions have formed among those who were (are?) called Palinistas.  One group took the viewpoint that "Gov. Palin has made her decision, and we need to accept it," while the other group recalled a moment in which Sarah Palin, when asked what sort of metaphorical earthquake would be required to get her to change her mind, said, "It would have to be at least a 10.3..." and have sent in lots of postcards trying to convince her to enter the race as part of a group they have named "Sarah Palin's Earthquake".

Apparently, there have been tensions between these two factions.  (Due to family stuff, work stuff, a big vacation, and a general frustration with other tensions between supporters of the remaining candidates, I've stayed out of most of this, though I count myself as one of those respecting Gov. Palin's decision.  I don't have to like it, but I will respect it.)  As I understand it, Sarah Palin's Facebook page's moderators are removing some posts relating to the "respect her decision" viewpoint, while some of that viewpoint have harsh words for the "Earthquake" movement's apparent disregard for the Palin family.

Lisa Graas spoke to that yesterday:

My advice to the “Respect Sarah Palin’s Decision” people is that you try to be patient with the “Earthquake” people. They are acting out of pain, not hatred. They can’t see a way forward unless she runs for president, and these things take time to heal. It’s really important that we all try to give them their space and let them deal with this in their own way and in their own good time.

I have nothing but respect for Sarah Palin. I love her and respect her even though I have strongly disagreed with her. As I always say, there will always be a little Palinista in my little Passionist heart…but I am not Sarah Palin. I am Lisa Graas. Having said that, I can almost promise you that Sarah Palin is cognizant of, and able to manifest, the need for us all to love and respect each other while disagreeing strongly far more than I am able to manifest it. God bless her for what she brings to our public discourse in that regard.

It's a reminder that we need every so often.  It's okay to disagree and yet still respect those with whom we disagree.  Lisa's whole post is worth a read.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Roots drag Jimmy Fallon's show down into the depths

I happened to turn on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night and was surprised to see Michele Bachmann as a guest.  And they seemed to be having a good, friendly conversation; it was enjoyable to watch.

That was before I learned about the message that Mr. Fallon's house band, The Roots (yes, I know they're famous for more than just being his house band, but that is what they are in regard to the show) sent with their intro music.  As most people who watch late night television know, guests occasionally are greeted by the band with some sort of fitting music.  Usually, it's pretty funny.

But it is certainly not funny to greet Michele Bachmann (or, really, anybody) with Fishbone's "Lyin' A** B****".  (No, the real title does not have any asterisks in it)

Tasteless.  Classless.  I would not condone this type of behavior toward anyone.

And this was not a random occurrence.  No, it was planned, per the tweet of Questlove of The Roots (and yes, this tweet was sent before Ms. Bachmann appeared):

Since this has come out (apparently most of the people I follow on Twitter aren't familiar with songs like this one, and neither am I), reaction has been swift on conservative fronts, at least.  For example, Dana Loesch wrote, "I can’t wait for the day when progressive males can evolve to a higher intellectual level and debate conservative women on facts, not on sex."  She then compared this incident (which, from what I have seen, has generated no reaction whatsoever from the MSM) with all the hand-wringing over the booing of Michelle Obama at a NASCAR event.  Which is worse, booing someone or calling someone a bitch, really?

And Glenn Beck, for all his over-the-top antics, hit it on the head in his calling for Mr. Fallon to fire his band.  Video courtesy The Right Scoop:

Do you think any other conservatives would want to be a "guest" on a show in which the band is going to be flat-out hateful?  I don't.

And what does Jimmy Fallon have to say about this:  not much.

I'm sorry, but I think there needs to be more said.  An apology during tonight's monologue would be a good start.  But only a start.  It's time for a message to be sent that this type of behavior is not going to be blindly accepted anymore.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cap Metro does something helpful!

From the "credit where credit's due" department:

Capital Metro, Austin's occasionally decent but oftentimes maligned public transportation service (for examples of maligning, see here, here, and here) has finally done something that has caused me to give them a few kudos.

The backstory to my kudos starts here:  during a recent vacation (recounted, with some perspective, here), we used a local transportation service that had a feature that we really liked:  by texting a stop ID to a certain number, we could be texted back the next three stop times.

As the loss of the vehicle on that vacation has forced me back onto Cap Metro buses, I thought more than once about how having the ability to get stop times for my particular stop texted to me would be a great asset.  And then I thought that there was no way in the world that Cap Metro would do something, you know, that might actually help their riders.

Which shows what I know:  Cap Metro is doing exactly what I saw on my vacation.  From their blog:

Here’s how it works: every bus stop in the system has a unique ID number.  The bus stop at 11th and Guadalupe is #504, for example. With your phone and that ID number, you can:
Text: Text the bus stop ID number to DadnabTM at (512) 981-6221, and receive a reply text with the next scheduled bus arrival times for the buses that serve that stop.

Cap Metro's blog goes on to mention other ways of getting schedules.  I did notice that in connection with this new notification, the price of their schedule book ("Destinations") is going up to $3.  Whatever.

My main concern with this new texting method is this:  is it possible for the times texted back to the waiting rider to be adjusted based on the bus's real-time position?  It's all well and good, for example, to know that the #3 stops near my office at 5:29, but when the bus comes 20 minutes late, as it did on Friday afternoon, that information is not going to help me very much.  The transportation service that we used on our vacation definitely adjusted its upcoming stop times (I checked).

(Aside:  yes, it was indeed 20 minutes late, and I got no explanation when I called Cap Metro's "MetroLine".  There was actually another #3 that came by prior to the one that stopped, but the first bus had taken the route number down and wasn't picking anyone else up.  So why, at 20 minutes late, were we?  We were actually passed by the later #3 bus because we stopped to let everyone on.  That doesn't seem right, somehow.)

All in all, this is a good move for Capital Metro, but with some tweaking, it could perhaps be even better.

Update 11/22/11:  Apparently Destinations has been $3 for a while now, so nothing is changing there after all.

Sarah Palin on Congress's incredible double standards

Despite the hopes of many, Sarah Palin is not going away.  She has had a couple of prominent speeches since her announcement that she is not running for president, and in Friday's Wall Street Journal, she lets members of Congress (on both sides of the aisle) have it in a column entitled "How Congress Occupied Wall Street".  Very quickly, her tone is set as she refers to "this permanent political class in all its arrogant glory" in her discussion of a new book by Peter Schweizer (a foreign policy advisor for her PAC) called "Throw Them All Out".*  (I gotta say that I really like that title.)  She continues:

Mr. Schweizer answers the questions so many of us have asked. I addressed this in a speech in Iowa last Labor Day weekend. How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires? How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us? How do politicians' stock portfolios outperform even the best hedge-fund managers'? I answered the question in that speech: Politicians derive power from the authority of their office and their access to our tax dollars, and they use that power to enrich and shield themselves.

"The money-making opportunities for politicians are myriad," she goes on, and as it turns out, a good portion of this is because the laws that apply to us little people don't apply to members of Congress, including laws regarding whistleblowing and FOIA requests.  It would seem to breed a fair amount of corruption.

And Governor Palin knows a thing or two about corruption:

I've been fighting this type of corruption and cronyism my entire political career. For years Alaskans suspected that our lawmakers and state administrators were in the pockets of the big oil companies to the detriment of ordinary Alaskans. We knew we were being taken for a ride, but it took FBI wiretaps to finally capture lawmakers in the act of selling their votes. In the wake of politicos being carted off to prison, my administration enacted reforms based on transparency and accountability to prevent this from happening again.

She goes on to argue for real solutions that "transcend political parties".  Hopefully this is a call that is heard by the American people.

Her entire column is worth a read.  Check it out.

* Disclaimer:  I get paid if you buy through this link.

Friday, November 18, 2011

2011 Online Red Kettle, and other ways to help out this holiday season

As I have taken some time today to remember what's truly important, I have remembered that this is a time of year when a lot of people think of others.  And so, I am repeating almost word for word what I said last year.

As has been my wont for the past three years, I am once again hosting an Online Red Kettle for the Salvation Army, for those who have either already finished their shopping or want to plan out their donations in advance.

So, if you would like to donate through my virtual kettle, you can do so by clicking the kettle below:

(Image courtesy The Salvation Army)

A couple of other ways to help out this holiday season (and, really, any time) are as follows:

If you are in the Austin area, the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas, where, according to what they have said, your monetary donation can go about five times as far as a food donation, as they can buy in bulk and save money.  They do a lot of good work, and we've supported them before.

Also, my online friend (though we disagree politically) Kim Doyle Wille supports (and I believe I have as well, by participating in one of those retweet-this-hashtag-and-we'll-donate-money schemes) Feeding America, which is a more national program than our local food bank, obviously.  (Feeding America appears to be matching donations until Thanksgiving.)

All of these options are well worth your support.  Regardless of your where your political and religious affiliations lie this holiday season, let's all help someone out who needs it.

What's important again? Part 2

No, my second long hiatus from blogging in a month and a half is not related (this time) to the announcement by one Sarah Palin that she is not running for President.  No, this hiatus was related to my taking the family on a cross-country trip.  And honestly, it was good to step away from the computer every so often and reevaluate things.  And did I ever get the opportunity to reevaluate.

See, while most of the trip was quite enjoyable (we visited a certain cartoon mouse and friends), one member of the family became very ill, and we feared for that member's survival. 

I refer, of course, to our vehicle. 

On the way out, the vehicle informed us that we were leaking oil.  And we were leaking it badly.  As we had already traveled several hundred miles and did not want to blow multiple days by waiting for the vehicle to sit in a shop in the hopes that they could fix the leak (as opposed to, say, visiting a cartoon mouse), we pressed on, keeping a sharp eye on the oil level.  The leak was not getting any worse, but it was bad enough that we were adding a quart every 100 miles. 

Once we reached Cartoon-Mouse-Land*, the vehicle was allowed to sit and not cause us any grief until such time as we left to return home.  And for two days of driving, we continued to add oil and hope that everything would go well and that we could get the vehicle into the shop once we were back in Austin.  We already were fearing that the cost of repairs would be more than we were willing to pay, given the age and mileage of the vehicle, and we were okay (though certainly not thrilled) with what we expected to come.

What we did not expect was for the vehicle to die on us, with (as we learned later) a non-functional fuel pump.  Between that and the oil leak, this vehicle is not worth the cost of repairing it to make it run again, and so we began the grieving process (which, as one might expect, is harder for the 5-year-old) to say goodbye to the vehicle.

So what does all this have to do with reevaluation?

I have not refrained from mentioning on this blog that I am a Christian.  Honestly, though, I would argue that American Christians don't always think about reliance on God.  With a gimpy vehicle, though, I thought about it quite a bit.  We prayed to make it back home safely, and at first, when the car broke down, I was a little frustrated...after all, we were stuck on the side of the road.  But, really, I now think that our prayer was granted.

See, what I did not mention was that the car broke down less than ten miles from our house.  We drove over 2700 miles on this trip, and the car could have died anywhere along that route.  (And anyone who has driven Interstate 10 knows that there are some long, desolate stretches.)  We were able to get a tow truck for the vehicle, as well as a taxi to get Mrs. Snowed back to pick up our family's other vehicle to come get us and the stuff, at a very late hour, and not only that, but both the tow truck and the cab arrived at the same time, so that we could coordinate everything perfectly.

Obviously, I'm not saying that everything went perfectly, but God was definitely watching over us on this trip.  I don't know that I'd say that something like this would happen like this again, as God is going to do what he chooses to do, but in this case he chose to get us home, and the way it all turned out was a great reminder for us to put our trust in him.  And that is much more important than any of the petty political things about which I normally blog.**

*In accordance with the wishes of Mrs Snowed, the chances of any pics of the family at Cartoon-Mouse-Land showing up on this blog are about the same as the chances of the Indianapolis Colts running the table and winning the Super Bowl this season.  If you want to see pics, you might want to talk to me in a location in which I don't use a nom de plume.

**Not that I'm gonna stop tweeting about the political stuff.  I mean, my snark has to have an outlet somewhere.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Austin Radio gets funnier

As I tweeted Thursday (retweeting the good folks at, Emmis has flipped local (Austin) translator K274AX to a comedy format, ending a ten-month simulcast of 93.3 KGSR (as originally reported, back when that simulcast started, here).  The new format, Comedy 102.7, is actually the HD3 feed of KGSR, so those lucky few who have HD radios won't be hearing anything new.

Over the last few days, I have checked out Austin's newest terrestrial radio station.  It is an affiliate of the 24/7 Comedy Radio Network and, as such, is one of the few HD subchannels that I have heard (that isn't an AM talk format simulcast on FM) that actually runs commercials.  From what I can tell, the commercials aren't too terribly obtrusive, though.  Mostly, the station/network seems to consist of short (3-5 minute) clips of different comedy shows (so don't expect to hear a full routine), with the comedian identified at the end of the clip (so that the listener spends the first minute or so of each clip trying to determine who the comedian in that clip is before, in my case most of the time, giving up).

Because this is a translator, its signal is not protected as full-power stations' signals are, and so those people living in south Austin (south of William Cannon, from what I can tell) will have the occasional morning (such as today was) in which Comedy 102.7 is overpowered by Jack FM out of San Antonio.  This isn't really anything new, which may be one reason why this translator has had more format flips than any other in town in the last five years (remember when it was oldies KITY?).

As for the comedy format itself, for the most part it kept me laughing for most of my commute to/from work (Comedy 102.7 may be a very good stress relief for those people stuck in traffic on I-35 or Mopac).  You will find the occasional hostility toward Christianity (it didn't take me long to find that), and I'm sure that eventually everyone listening will be offended by something.  You've been warned.  But, by and large, the only warning is that you might be laughing too hard to pay attention to the road.  It's worth a listen.

Check out Comedy 102.7's web page here (such as it presently is...current quote:  "We're for real, but this website's a joke!").
Check out Comedy 102.7's Facebook page here.
Check out Comedy 102.7's Twitter feed here.

Another day, another celeb taking a cheap shot at Sarah Palin

I have a theory that goes something like this:  a fading celebrity, in a desperate attempt to get some attention and thereby jump-start a flagging career, will get just the attention they are craving by saying something outrageous and totally over-the-top and, of course, insulting to some conservative or another.  In the past three years the conservative target has, more often than not by my observation, been Sarah Palin.  And that makes sense; after all, Sarah Palin has been the most prominent voice speaking out against the largesse of government for the past three years, even if she isn't a presidential candidate.

In the past, celebs such as Ashley Judd have singled out Governor Palin for abuse and scorn, and in most cases, those celebs have been rewarded with several days of attention because of it.  This blog has certainly not helped in that respect, what with its "useless celebrity" label, possibly best exemplified by this post from February 2009.

This week has offered yet another piece of evidence that my theory is correct, as another actor offered liberals advice consisting of "kill Sarah Palin".  At this point, naming the actor, who, honestly, I don't think I've seen in anything since about 2002, would be rewarding him for his abhorrent behavior, and I don't think it's worth my time to do much more of that.  (I linked the story on Twitter this morning, so you can go search through my ~150-200 tweets from this day if you're that interested.)  Seriously, the guy has half the followers that I do, so what other reason would he tweet such slime?  Because of this, he has gotten a bunch of conservatives to start Twitter conversations with him, and he's probably gotten more press today than he has since he advertised a second-rate soft drink (was that even during this century?).

And so I am done with this story.  It's not worth it for me to say more about it, as all it will do is give the would-be celeb the attention he apparently desperately misses...which, per my theory, was exactly the reason that he said what he said.  Plus, it would probably inspire more of this nastiness.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

On Governor Palin's announcement

After reading/hearing Sarah Palin's announcement (through a written statement and an interview with Mark Levin, available here) that she will not be running for President in 2012, I have a few thoughts, directed toward a few different, but involved, parties:

To Sarah Palin, who, I'm quite sure, will not read this*:

I respect your decision not to run.  I'm sure that you didn't make it lightly.

With that said, I am disappointed to hear today's announcement.  You, Governor Palin, were the only potential candidate (to say nothing of the declared candidates) who had truly taken on corruption in both parties in your state, and I believe you were the only one mentioned in the nomination discussion who would take it on again in the federal government.  I have generally enjoyed reading your thoughts on the issues facing our government today (much more, obviously, than I've enjoyed being continually lectured by President Obama), and while I'm sure there will be more statements from you on different policy issues, I would rather have heard them from you as a declared candidate for President.

Some have said that there is more to this story than what we have heard so far.  I'm sure that if there is more to tell, you will do so in your own time.  In any case, I wish you and yours all the best in whatever the future holds for you.

To a few Palin-haters, who, I'm quite sure, also will not read this*:

Congratulations, you got what you want.  Someone who has had more than a few insights to offer over the past three years is not going to be in this race.  And how do you react?  In more than one case, by acting like a child as you become perfect examples of a sore winner.

I would have preferred it, though, if that hatred had been confined to the left.  I expect pettiness from a hack like Andi Sullivan; I believe that to be one of his defining characteristics at this point, which is too bad.  (Sorry, readers, but there's some real nastiness on the left.  Accept it.  And no, I'm not going to link the rantings of Mr. Sullivan tonight.  Or ever.)  But I expect better from people on my side of the aisle.  And maybe I shouldn't.

Erick Erickson of, for example, gleefully posted every hour, on the hour, when Governor Palin did not announce anything on the last day of September (though I still don't recall her ever having said she would announce yea or nay by that day), and he even more gleefully "recommended" a hopelessly out-of-date RedState diary entry (posted earlier today) called "Palin's running...Here's why"...after she made her announcement.  Oh, and he also posted the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on his Twitter account this evening in the midst of rubbing Palin supporters' noses in the announcement.  Tacky, tacky, tacky.

(Mr. Erickson has, as one might expect, attempted to walk back his previous immaturity with a post tonight in which he states that he has always liked Sarah and Todd Palin.  I'd hate to see what you would have done on your site, Twitter, etc., if you hadn't liked them, Mr. Erickson.  I'll give you some credit for spelling out all that Governor Palin has accomplished over the past couple of years.  And I'll admit to being jealous of your having met her.  But your behavior in recent weeks has still left much to be desired, in my opinion.  And I doubt I'll be visiting anytime soon, thank you very much.)

But the grand champion of apoplectic rantings appears to be RedState contributor Jeff Emanuel, previously mentioned in this blog for...well, pretty much the same thing.  In the aforementioned "Palin's running" diary, Mr. Emanuel appears to aim for an all-time low with the following comment (written with the subject line "You people have a serious sickness."):

If Christ returned tomorrow, I’m confident you and the rest of the Palinistas would reject Him until SARAH confirmed that He was God, and instructed you to follow Him.

For all I know, this is the level at which Mr. Emanuel has been operating for quite a while.  Honestly, I've done my best to ignore his comments (and based on the downward trend that I saw today in his Twitter followers, I'd say I'm not the only one to do so), but I happened across this one, and it shows me that Mr. Emanuel seems to have become so blinded in his hatred of all things Palin that he has apparently lost the capacity for reason.  As for tact, of course, he lost that some time ago; this little gem of offensiveness makes that all too plain.

And as an aside, as a very imperfect follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is a huge difference in how I feel about Christ and how I feel about Sarah:

If I differ with Sarah Palin about some issue, I would hope that she would change and come around to my side.

If Christ differs with me about something, then I would hope that I would change and come around to His side.

But maybe that difference in perception is beyond Mr. Emanuel, who has amused himself this evening by gloating about Governor Palin's announcement, up to and including this gem of a tweet:

You stay classy, Mr. Emanuel.

Oh, and as Mr. Emanuel has demonstrated beyond doubt that he has no respect for anyone who might support Sarah Palin, then I have no further use for his opinions.  On anything.  Whoever his preferred candidate is would be well advised to avoid him.

To the regular readers of this blog (now numbering well into the double digits!):

If you happen to like Sarah Palin, as I do, then you'll probably understand if I run silent for a few more days.  Just writing the above section got my blood boiling.  Apparently respect is a lost art in political discourse these days.

And if you don't like Sarah Palin and feel the need to respond to this post, either use some of that respect or don't bother.  I'm not in the mood for further condescension.  I've already, just for supporting Governor Palin, had my intelligence, my sanity, and my Christianity questioned.  Rise above it or go away.

Oh, and I won't be making any signs of support for any of the Republican presidential candidates in the near future.  Someone is going to have to convince me to go any further than the "anyone but Romney" stance I adopted on Twitter tonight.

And with that I wish you a good night.

* The reader is reminded that this is, at best, a seventh-rate blog.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dave Ramsey on the President's jobs plan

Radio host Dave Ramsey, who has been mentioned on this blog at least once before, appeared this week on CBS's "The Early Show" to talk about President Obama's jobs plan (incorrectly referred to in this interview as "The American Jobs Act", though that title has now been taken by a quite different bill*).  The video, helpfully enough, appears here:

You can also access the same video at CBS News's webpage here.

Mr. Ramsey, while not saying anything disparaging about President Obama, gives what can only be described as a backhanded compliment by saying "I think the President's a great orator."  I translate that, basically, to "he talks a good game," and I would say he definitely does that.  But Mr. Ramsey, in a very unsurprising turn (for those who know him), doesn't really care for the jobs plan itself.

Some of my favorite quotes from Mr. Ramsey:

  • "I resist the tax code telling me how to behave." 
  • "A $4000 tax credit is not gonna cause me to hire people that I gotta pay for the next five or ten years."
  • "Government's role push the taxes back from the that, as the owner of the business, I have more money; then I can hire people."
As usual, I think Dave Ramsey is spot on.  Watch the video and see what you think.

* It should be obvious even to the occasional reader of this blog which of the "American Jobs Acts" I prefer.

The mysterious departure of Rhonda Lee

In what I believe is a first, I have been alerted to a change in Austin's news media by checking out the searches that led people to my blog.  Today people have been visiting my blog looking for information on KXAN weekend morning meteorologist Rhonda Lee (mentioned on my blog when she joined KXAN about a year and three months ago).  Apparently, according to her Facebook page, she has been gone for a few weeks now.

KXAN's webpage was not a great help in this area, except that their news team page has already been scrubbed of any mention of Ms. Lee.  (Her blog on KXAN's site is still intact as of this writing, though.)

The biggest help is that of Ms. Lee's LinkedIn page, which indicates that Ms. Lee is now working for News 12 Networks, a conglomeration of regional news channels in the New York City area (similar to Austin's YNN), which would explain why she is no longer at KXAN.  Strangely, though, that page says that she has been working there since 2009 (and yet correctly shows KXAN as a past employer); this blogger indicates that she left News 12 to come to KXAN last year.  Ms. Lee simply states on the aforementioned Facebook page that she is "taking a little break right now".  Curiouser and curiouser...

In any case, this seems like a rather abrupt departure by Ms. Lee.  I certainly could not find anything on KXAN's page to show any sort of goodbye for her, as rival station KVUE has done for people such as Meghan Danahey and Olga Campos (about whom I did not write because of timeliness concerns at the time).  In any case, best wishes to Ms. Lee, wherever she is.

Update Dec 2012:  I no longer really write about local news personalities (see here for why), but as I still get hits on this post by people looking for Ms. Lee:  she apparently ended up at KTBS-TV in Shreveport, but she was fired by the station this month, apparently for responding to racist comments (directed at her) on the station's Facebook pageThis page has a video interview Ms. Lee did this week about her situation.

And again, best wishes to Ms. Lee, wherever she ends up this time.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Now this is a nice ad

I haven't done much in quite a while with my old label "your ad is lousy", which highlights exactly what you think it does.  I expect, given that there's a presidential election next year, that I might have more material for that label soon enough, but today, I thought I would highlight a fairly good online commercial from the Perry campaign.

And, since the Perry campaign (based on hearsay) is foundering after last night's debate, I had better post this before it's too late.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coming soon

My regular readers (of whom I believe I presently have as many as ten) might be wondering why I have not updated in the past week, especially given the explosion in the blogosphere/twittersphere that started from a certain Daily Caller article about someone who would exemplify my recurring label "useless celebrity", who commented recently about one of the recent salacious rumors from the recent book by a punk author (as mentioned in my last post) about Sarah Palin.

This post is not going to address that.

No, this post is here to reassure my loyal readers (including, as always, the father of the originator of this blog) that I intend to blog about several things in the near future, such as:

  • Dave Ramsey's recent comments about the president's jobs bill
  • Reviews of books by Bristol Palin and Jedediah Bila
  • Further discussion on the two types of Palin supporters (which builds on a topic started here and continued here
  • And possibly some belabored primal scream of a post about the stupidity that came out of the article mentioned in the first paragraph. 
  • Heck, maybe I'll get really adventurous and throw in a unfairly forgotten song.
As can be seen, particularly with regard to the fact that Ms. Palin and Ms. Bila's books were released months ago, the timeliness of posts on this blog is questionable at best.  (I do have a day job, after all.)  Those who want more timely opinions are more than welcome to check me out on Twitter and Facebook.

As for me, as this post has taken about 4x as much time as I intended to put into it (which fits so well with the label on this post), I'm going to put this day (and myself) to bed.  Good night, all.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    The patience of Todd Palin

    Over the last three years, Todd Palin has seen his wife and family subjected to some of the most vicious filth I have ever seen in modern politics.

    He's seen the punk kid who cheated on his daughter every chance he could doing some of the worst lying in the history of untruth (and by worst, I mean that this person--who, you will remember, is no longer to be named in this blog--is a flat-out bad liar...he can't even keep his story straight from one interview to the next) and yet being lauded by people like, well, pretty much every anti-Sarah blog, as well as distinguished celebrities like Tyra Banks and Kathy Griffin.

    And now he's seen a guy who has had an axe to grind with Sarah Palin for years come out with, surprise of surprises, a smear job of a book containing all sorts of salacious rumors, some of which have been raised, and dismissed, before.  This is a guy, mind you, who went so far as to move into the house next to the Palins in order to spy on them.  Seriously, there's no other reason to move in next door unless you're wanting to try to obtain some material surreptitiously.

    If I were the husband of someone who had been targeted like this, I'd be furious.  (Thankfully, Mrs. Snowed is not subjected to anything like this, as she has chosen to remain out of the public eye.)  But Todd Palin has, at least on the record, remained quite diplomatic, not calling the author of this book some of the names that he almost deserves to be called, but instead issuing the following statement giving this author all the attention, and then some, that he ought to receive for publishing this garbage.

    “This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife. His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears. Even The New York Times called this book ‘dated, petty,’ and [said] that it ‘chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip.’”
    Todd Palin

    (statement courtesy Conservatives 4 Palin via Stacy McCain)

    Stacy McCain, as per the same article, has spoken with Todd Palin about the punk kid, suggesting to Mr. Palin that the kid needed some sort of retribution.  He feels the same way about this author (maybe I should just call him "the punk author" to stay consistent with regard to these ankle-biters tormenting the Palins).  And he calls all Palinistas to help:

    So I’m asking readers to go make a $25 donation to SarahPAC to help defray Todd’s legal expenses when he shows up at McGinniss’s first book signing and pounds that scurvy worm into a bloody pulp.

    Now, this blog would never advocate violence in that way, but given that, as I believe, Todd's wife is about to enter the presidential race, perhaps a large influx of donations in response to this punk author's hack job would send a message of some sort to somebody, so I encourage those who are tired of the same old rumor-mongering and hate directed toward Sarah Palin to visit the page linked in Stacy's quote (and also right here!) and add your voice to those condemning the last three years' worth of behavior toward the Palin family.

    And send a few good thoughts and prayers Todd's way, that his patience may persist in the face of all that continued attacks.

    p.s.  Stacy McCain has more about the punk author.  Having now read these posts, I feel that the term "punk author" is dead-on accurate.

    Thursday, September 08, 2011

    A call for patience

    Apparently the Palin hatred about which I wrote last week was just the tip of the iceberg.  In the past two days, there have been too many people to count, all of whom have felt the need to make some sort of statement to the effect that Sarah Palin must declare her candidacy for president (or not) on their schedule, rather than hers.  And this has sparked a lot of screaming (as it were, given that this is mostly on Twitter and other online places) from Palin's fans...which, of course, is used by those sniping at Governor Palin to write her off.  Thus continues the endless cycle.

    Most notable in the recent sniping have been RedState's Erick Erickson, who, in a post titled, simply, "Enough", repeated the same old lines we've been hearing for at least a week:

    Sarah Palin is a great person. She’s a great fighter. She draws in awesome attention and rallies a crowd. She has some terrific and loyal supporters I don’t want to lump in with the loud voices largely now disconnected from political reality. Ron Paul is the same way. But at some point, Sarah Palin has to take some responsibility for her supporters as Ron Paul must for his. Palin’s dragging out the tease on her decision has compounded the problem and we’ve reached a breaking point.

    I'll give Mr. Erickson credit for at least pointing out that not all Palinistas are crazy; as I said last week, some are all too eager to lump us all together in the crazy train.  With that said, though, we've heard the rest of that paragraph all too many times before.

    Mr. Erickson was inspired to post this (and many, many more paragraphs which will not be quoted here, including one likening moving on from Palin to leaving a cult) by an appearance on Fox News the other night by Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter.  William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection has that video, about which I will not say much more except to point out that Ms. Coulter pretty much said the same thing as Mr. Erickson:  that Sarah Palin has to decide now or else, and also, her supporters are jerks who are killing her image.  Mr. Jacobson fired back at the snipers:

    So yes, I do take it personally when conservatives lash out at Palin not because of her policy positions or what she’s done or not done in her career, but with personal invective.

    It’s not religion, its a cold hard understanding of what is to come, and how those who call Palin a diva or a tease or any of the other names coming from media conservatives do damage to us all.  Palin is simply the test case for how the Republican nominee, whoever that person may be, will be treated, and we pile on her at our own peril.

    I won't go into other people's posts basically calling Governor Palin a diva, an attention whore, or whatever.  Life's too short, honestly, as is my patience with this kind of talk.  I also won't go into the further Palinista response of "go to hell" for those who want the governor to go away.  While I feel that telling Governor Palin to go away is not helpful, I also don't feel it is helpful to lash out at those who talk that way.

    I also don't want to say much more about those who cannot tolerate any criticism whatsoever of Sarah Palin.  I've already said that this viewpoint is not helpful.  Now, though, I wonder if there is more to this don't-you-dare-say-anything-about-our-Sarah faction than I thought.  Since last week's post (which I've already linked twice, so scroll up), I've been blocked on Twitter by at least two intense Palinistas, one of whom is somewhat well-known internet radio host Tammy Bruce.  How in the world is that helping?

    (Incidentally, I had intended to link a Tammy Bruce clip refuting (or refudiating, as it were) Ms. Ingraham and Ms. Coulter, but for some reason, I no longer feel the desire to do so.)

    Perhaps the best response to the people sniping at Sarah Palin was by John Hayward at Human Events, as linked by Josh Painter at Texans for Sarah Palin:

    Maybe Palin won’t run, and never seriously planned to.  Maybe she will, but she’s taking a long time to make her announcement.  She always said she wanted to see if there’s another candidate she could support.  Tonight [note:  this was obviously written yesterday] will be the first big debate appearance of Rick Perry, the last big name to join the race.  He had a pretty spectacular campaign launch.  Is it so unreasonable for Palin to wait a bit longer and see how he fares, once his campaign reaches orbit?  If she’s a non-factor, why are so many people – pro and con – being so unreasonable about her?

    If Palin doesn't run, the vast majority of her supporters will look to the other candidates.  If those candidates think they've been left with insufficient time to rally voters to their cause, because Palin waited a few extra months to announce she wouldn't enter the race, then Sarah Palin isn't the one who has a problem worthy of serious criticism.

    Regardless of how one feels about Sarah Palin's timeline or her potential candidacy, as Mr. Hayward points out, she has been a major voice in the political narrative.  And that's very true:  honestly, Sarah Palin has done as much to advance conservative objectives (Tea Party objectives, in many cases) as anyone has with her public statements.

    So why don't we all--Palin fans or not--step back, take a few deep breaths, and remember what is important?  Here's a hint:  it's not winning an argument on the internet.

    Monday, September 05, 2011

    What's important again?

    I wanted to finish up a few half-completed posts during the holiday, but ever since I saw how bad the wildfires all over the central Texas area have been, I really haven't been in the mood.

    I know one firefighter taking on the Spicewood/Pedernales fire who was on the job for four days straight until he got four hours of sleep today.  I know his wife, who has had to learn to deal with his being gone for days at a time.  I know at least one family who is out of their home in Steiner Ranch right now and is waiting at least until tomorrow to get back into their house.

    And when I see that, when I see those people--real people affected by this touch of hell--other topics just don't seem as important right this second.  Not that I don't believe that some of the topics about which I write are not important (though I'm sure not all of them are), but this is more important.  If you are reading this and are not in the central Texas area, it's really bad.  If you can do so, please help.  The Red Cross is a good place to start if you want to help.  And if you can't help, or even if you can, please pray.

    Saturday, September 03, 2011

    Palin's Tea Party Rally speech...and a warning

    I don't know about anyone else, but to me, Sarah Palin's speech at the Tea Party Rally today sure made it seem as if she is going to be a presidential candidate before too long.  It was a great speech, taking aim at the "permanent political class" on both sides of the aisle (because we all know that neither side has a monopoly on people whose first priority is to stay in power), and it laid out a great plan for helping to move America forward.  (That sounds like a good name for an that I didn't actually remember until I typed those words, but still...)

    The full speech (with thanks to The Right Scoop and Conservatives 4 Palin for pointing me in the right direction) can be found right here.  It's just over 40 minutes, but well worth watching.

    I'd include some of the best quotes from the speech, but, as usual, Jedediah Bila has beaten me to it.  A sampling of her picks are as follows:

    “What brought us together is a love of country and we see that America is hurting. We’re not willing to just sit back and watch her demise through some fundamental transformation … we’re here to begin the restoration of the country that we love. We’re here because America is at a tipping point.”

    “Politicians are so focused on the symptoms and not the disease … so this is why we must remember that the challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012, but the challenge is who or what we will replace him with.”

    “My plan is a bona-fide pro-working man’s plan and it deals in reality … My plan is about empowerment, empowerment of our states, empowerment of our entrepreneurs … empowerment of you, our hard-working individuals.

    “Real hope is in you. It’s not that hopey-changey stuff that we heard about in 2008 … Real hope comes from realizing that ‘we the people’ can make the difference.”

    I ended with that last quote on purpose.  What Ms. Bila snipped from that quote was the sentence just before, which stated that real hope should not be in any one person (at least in the political hope is indeed in one Person, which is good because I'm a bit of a screw-up on my own).  I warned years ago about people forming a cult of personality around President Obama or Governor Palin.  As I said then, the policies are the important thing, not the person.  And, as we've seen (and as I recently pointed out), the true believers react very negatively when their object is belittled in any way.  That isn't standing up for a policy, that's standing up for a person.

    But with that said, there now seems to be an Anti-Palin cult of personality as well (or would that be a cult of anti-personality?), in which the members react negatively when their object is praised.  (Yes, there's one of those for President Obama as've seen it, I'm sure.)

    So my advice (which I am mostly offering to myself, since I'll forget this within 48 hours, most likely) is not to be a member in such a cult, and not to engage someone who is obviously a member of an anti-cult.  Let them stew in their overly intense emotions, and you work toward bringing about the change you want to see in this country.  If someone running for anything shares your views (as, for example, Sarah Palin seems to share mine), then work with them.  But don't focus on a person too much, to the detriment of the country.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    New old meme: Palinistas are crazy idiots!!!!

    How do they hate Sarah?  Let me count the ways.  Let's see, I've in the past commented on people falsely characterizing her as an extremist, insulting her daughter and her son, and, of course, calling her every possible synonym for "idiot" (and, occasionally, much worse).  We can't forget the blaming her for violence having nothing to do with her, either.

    And we've even heard the "Palinistas are idiots for liking her" arguments before, sometimes (at least for me) from people once considered friends.

    But now the seemingly chic thing to do online--on Twitter or wherever--is for the "Palinistas are idiots" assertion to come, not from the Obama supporters, which would be expected, but from fellow conservatives.  A lot of these such tweets swapped "idiots" for "crazy", which does not appear to be much of an improvement.  Typical of this are tweets such as the following, both of which occurred during a very quick period during which it appeared that Governor Palin had cancelled a proposed speech on Saturday:

    @: Palin and her faction have reminded me more and more of high school girls. This doesn't help.

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Why I don't trust government at pretty much any level: Part 3

    Okay, I am going to state at the outset that there might be some backstory to this with which I am not familiar.  I hope that's true.  If not, this is totally ridiculous:  a mom may be breaking the law by letting her daughter ride her bicycle to school.  Really?

    And it gets better from there:

    Major Verran of the police department returned Ms Tryon's call.  She said he told me, "He had spoke with the District Attorney's office who advised that until the officer can speak with Child Protective Services that if I allow my daughter to ride/walk to school I will be breaking the law and treated accordingly. 

    Give me a break.

    Best comment I saw (caveat:  I didn't read them all):  "I think my whole childhood would now be considered illegal."

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Jedediah Bila: "What pundits should be talking about when it comes to Palin"

    As regular readers of this blog (of which I have none) may know, I have become quite the fan of the writings of one Jedediah Bila in recent months.  (I most recently said as much here.)  Ms. Bila, as seen on her site, has written a quite interesting book, which I intend to review at some point in the future when I learn that crucial skill of time management.  (After thirtysomething years, it's not looking terribly likely, but I'm still holding out hope.*)  Among the reasons that I enjoy her writing, as anyone familiar with both of us would know, is that we both are in substantial agreement with Sarah Palin with regard to policy.

    So with that said, it comes as no surprise to see Ms. Bila leading the way in trying to steer bunches of misguided pundits toward some proper Palin-related talking points.  This is necessary, of course, because, as Ms. Bila states in her latest column at the Daily Caller:

    While some pundits are busy calling Sarah Palin thin-skinned, claiming that there is “no space for her” in the 2012 race and incessantly speculating about her potential announcement date, some of us are sitting by laughing, sufficiently amused by typical establishment tactics that have grown tired, old and frankly a little boring.

    One of the problems with this approach to Governor Palin is that these pundits are forgetting the fairly impressive record that she put together when she was governor.  So, as a helpful reminder for these pundits, Ms. Bila has compiled a nice list of ten accomplishments from the Palin administration in Alaska, ten accomplishments that these pundits, seemingly, have either forgotten or never bothered to learn in the first place.  Here's a taste:

    1. As governor in 2007, Palin was responsible for the largest veto totals in state history, while investing $1 billion in forward-funding education and fulfilling public safety and infrastructure necessities.

    For the rest, you'll need to check out Ms. Bila's column.  It's definitely worth a read, just as Governor Palin is worth a second look.

    * It's true that I still hold out hope; it's not as true that I am actively, you know, doing something about the problem.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Snowed In hits the big time!

    I knew all my posting and tweeting of important salient points would pay off for me.

    Oh, wait.  It was a timely piece of snark.  About an earthquake.  There's gotta be something wrong with that. 

    Oh, well, in any case, I made Washington Post's Top 17 Earthquake Tweets.  As the author of the piece, Dylan Matthews, says:

    As you’re probably aware, D.C. was rocked by a 5.9 earthquake: just serious enough that many evacuated buildings, but not serious enough to keep people from cracking jokes about it on Twitter. Here are some of the better ones:

    My tweet, by the way, was as follows:

    @snowed_in: “Breaking: Carole King feels the earth move under her feet.”

    Check out the rest of them.  And pray that everyone affected by the quake is okay.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    "Big Talker" quiets; True Oldies moves

    I discovered on my drive home what many other Austinites discovered earlier today.  I was flipping around the FM dial (the family beater does not have an auxiliary port or a working cassette player at present) and was surprised to hear music coming from my radio at 98.9 FM, which, until recently, was KXBT, the "Big Talker".  Given that I heard the voice of Scott Shannon, and that the local traffic and weather reports referred to the station as "98.9, Austin's Greatest Hits", it didn't take long for me to figure out that the music of the True Oldies Channel, previously found on 92.5, has moved to 98.9.  (The station is still simulcast on 92.5, for the moment, for the benefit of the many, many people who hit my blog searching for some combination of "92.5", "austin", and "oldies".)

    The 98.9 The Big Talker Facebook page (a short-lived page, I fear), I discovered, had one final announcement:

    Hey, it's Jeff Wolf...the Program Director for what was 98.9 The Big Talker since the very beginning in November 2009. Despite our hard work to bring you more stimulating talk, our audience did not grow as quickly as we hoped it would. Please continue to follow Sean Rima on facebook; you never know what else is on the horizon. I've learned so much from you and thank you for listening to us. Until we meet again...please enjoy the music.

    There are a lot of unhappy comments on that post, but the numbers don't lie.  A quick look at Austin's ratings shows that KXBT-FM could barely eke out a 1.0 rating for July, putting it behind pretty much every other full-power FM radio station in town.  What will happen to fairly well-known hosts previously featured on KXBT, such as Glenn Beck and Dave Ramsey, is yet to be seen.

    As for the future of 92.5, Radio-Info reports that station owner BMP has a new format planned for that frequency, which is not as strong as the 98.9 frequency.  But given the better frequency at its new home, this should be a good move for the profitable oldies format.

    A quick update:  RadioInsight reports that the new format for 92.5, starting after Labor Day, will be the ESPN Deportes format currently heard on 1260 KWNX.  KWNX will then simulcast 104.9 the Horn.

    Update 8/16/11:  As expected, the 98.9 Facebook page was shut down.  That link will now take you to the main Facebook page.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Requiem for a Dog

    The variety of meals available on South Lamar has shrunk just a little, in a disappointing and rather permanent way.  Dog Almighty, voted "Best Dog" by Austin Chronicle readers not two years ago, has closed its doors.

    Or, rather, it has had its doors closed for them.

    During a quick trip to Subway this afternoon, I happened to notice that the typical lights of Dog Almighty were not on.  I walked the few extra feet to have a look and discovered a note from the landlord, dated yesterday, stating that the doors were not to be unlocked except with approval of said landlord.  Thus, with a quick changing of the locks, the landlord has sent what appeared to be a fairly popular and well-loved restaurant to doggie heaven.

    I, for one, will miss quite a few things about Dog Almighty, while definitely not missing others.  For instance, I will certainly not miss the incredible delays between ordering food and actually receiving it; the delays ranged anywhere from 30 to over 60 minutes (though, to be fair, the day I waited over 60 minutes was the day right after they had released a Groupon, making the lunch crowd that day far bigger than usual).  I also won't miss the incredibly small capacity of the dining area (along with the even smaller capacity of the waiting area for my 30-minute delay).  But I'll miss being able to call in my order and pick it up without that delay (if I timed it right), though Dog Almighty's new neighbor, Torchy's, has given me that option as well.  And I will definitely miss getting a Classic on wheat with tater tots, as that was the best hot dog meal I have ever gotten from a restaurant. 

    So, Godspeed, Dog Almighty.  You will be missed.  And here's hoping that your suite might be filled soon with a similarly tasty establishment.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Central Health drops tax-funded abortions

    In a story a year and a half in coming, Central Health (that would be the former Travis County Healthcare District) reversed an earlier decision to fund abortions for low-income women from their tax base.  Per the Austin American-Statesman:

    The move comes in response to a new state law that cuts off state funding to a hospital district that uses tax money to pay for abortions. The board included an exception in case of a medical emergency as defined by the new law.

    The money budgeted for abortions (still $450,000) will now be redirected toward other women's services that don't involve killing babies.

    Tuesday, August 09, 2011

    The Palin Plan for the financial crisis

    Sarah Palin's most recent Facebook post, "Conquering the Storm", directly addresses the financial mess in which our country currently finds itself.  Since no plan was to be found in President Obama's "we're still a AAA country" lecture yesterday, I'll start with a short excerpt from Governor Palin's plan, which is near the end of her post:

    We need to get this economy moving again, and the real stimulus we’ve been waiting for is domestic energy development. We must reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil by responsibly developing natural resources here. This will provide good paying jobs, reduce our trade deficit, increase federal and state revenue, ensure environmental standards, and actually stimulate our economy without incurring any debt. That’s real stimulus!

    There's more to it, and I'm gonna encourage you, gentle reader, to go over to Gov. Palin's full post and read it yourself.

    But what of those readers who believe, as some of my friends on both sides of the aisle do, that Sarah Palin has no knowledge about pretty much anything (though certainly some on the other side don't believe this)?  For those people, the governor addresses her qualification to speak on this issue:  she warned that this exact situation would come months ago:

    Back in December 2010, I wrote: “If the European debt crisis teaches us anything, it’s that tomorrow always comes. Sooner or later, the markets will expect us to settle the bill for the enormous Obama-Pelosi-Reid spending binge. We’ve already been warned by the credit ratings agency Moody’s that unless we get serious about reducing our deficit, we may face a downgrade of our credit rating.” And again in January, in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address I wrote: “With credit ratings agency Moody’s warning us that the federal government must reverse the rapid growth of national debt or face losing our triple-A rating, keep in mind that a nation doesn’t look so ‘great’ when its credit rating is in tatters.”

    There is much, much more to Gov. Palin's post.  Check it out.  And hopefully you will realize that her ideas are indeed worthy of consideration.

    (Hat tip:, "Palin knocks it out of the park", which sums up my feeling on the matter)

    A questionable, but arguably true, headline

    Now, I would never write this headline (as seen over at The Other McCain), but, really, it pretty much sums up how I feel about this situation:

    Some Skank Gets Naked In Playboy, Disses Bristol Palin

    Now, perhaps I'm biased, given my unwillingness even to mention certain parties mentioned in the story linked over there, but I cannot trust the family of Tripp's father.  Part of my distrust of them is because I have just finished Bristol's book (which I will also be reviewing soon, I hope), and between that and what else I have seen of Bristol, I tend to believe what she is saying about her interactions with that other family.  And really, do you really inspire people to believe you by shedding all your clothes for a soft porn magazine?

    Monday, August 08, 2011

    Only in America

    On my way to work this morning, I happened to notice a bumper sticker on the car next to me.  And what did said bumper sticker say?

    "My dad can eat more than your dad."

    Now there's something to which I, as a dad, should aspire!  I only wonder if the next bumper sticker in this series might read "my dad has had more coronary bypasses than your dad".

    (Oh, and whatever restaurant was being advertised by this gem was unreadable, making this sticker doubly useless.)

    Thursday, August 04, 2011

    What do Manhattan liberals think of Sarah Palin?

    If I haven't already said so, I have grown to enjoy Jedediah Bila's writing over the last year, or however long it's been since I was first introduced to her punditry.  Ms. Bila can truly turn a phrase, which is probably why she's an up-and-coming pundit, whereas I'm a seventh-rate blogger.  But I digress.

    Ms. Bila, like me, is a fan of one Sarah Palin, which deeply colors her interactions with other people in the greater Manhattan area, where she lives.  (She wrote a whole book about such experiences, Outnumbered: Chronicles of a Manhattan Conservative, which I intend to review if I ever finish the thing.)  Anyway, she was at a cocktail party on the Upper East Side and overheard many of the left-leaning attendees talking about Governor Palin, who, it had been announced that day, would be headlining a tea party rally in Iowa on September 3.

    And what kind of sentiments were expressed about Gov. Palin?  Well, for starters, as per Ms. Bila:

    5. SHE’S SCARY BECAUSE SHE’LL ACTUALLY DO WHAT SHE SAYS. That’s right, folks. They know she’s the real deal. They know that if she says it, she means it. And that scares the living daylights out of them.

    No, I'm not including the whole list.  If you want to see the rest, as they say, read the whole thing.

    But I will say that it is very telling that these Manhattan liberals seem to think more of the potential of Sarah Palin than a lot of Washington Republicans do.  I guess we'll see who's right in the coming months.

    Disclaimer:  I do indeed get paid an incredibly small pittance if you happen to purchase through links on this blog.

    Wednesday, August 03, 2011

    Palin explains why Tea Partiers aren't terrorists

    When you think of the word "terrorist", which image comes to mind?

    Well, apparently, if you're the vice-president, and definitely if you are one of at least four editorial writers for the New York Times, this is representative of the image that comes to your mind:

    (Sarah Palin on Hannity, courtesy Fox News Channel, used under Fair Use)

    I was all ready to write some sort of response to remarks allegedly made by Joe Biden that Tea Partiers acted like terrorists, as well as to multiple NYT editorials (none of which I care to link) referring to Tea Partiers similarly or using terms like "waging jihad", but thanks to my all-too-typical delays in writing, I was beaten to the punch by Sarah Palin.  And it's just as well, really, since Governor Palin put it much better than I could, unloading on the administration for its skewed perception of what constitutes terrorism.  As she put it on Fox News Channel's Hannity last night:  

    If we were really domestic terrorists, shoot, President Obama would be wanting to pal around with us, wouldn’t he? I mean he didn’t have a problem with palling around with Bill Ayers back in the day when he kicked off his political career in Bill Ayers' apartment, and shaking hands with Chavez, and saying he doesn’t need any preconditions with meeting dictators, or wanting to read US Miranda rights to alleged suspected foreign terrorists. No, if we were real domestic terrorists, I think President Obama wouldn’t have a problem with us. 

    I can hear some of my acquaintances on the other side already screaming that Gov. Palin's statement was out of line, that she shouldn't say those kinds of things about our president.  But when multiple eyewitnesses are saying that his vice-president is saying the exact same kind of things about us (I don't know about you, but I have never hung around with an admitted domestic terrorist, by which I mean a real terrorist, not someone who uses governmental procedure to shape a debt-ceiling bill), I see no reason for her not to unload with both barrels on this administration.  Somebody needed to do it.

    The above transcript was courtesy The Right Scoop, who wanted readers to "be surprised" by the second part of her interview.  I, however, thought this portion of part two needed to be highlighted:

    [t]hat's why I'm an optimist heading into this next election cycle.  I believe that the Tea Party patriots really have been strengthened, and evidence of that is the vitriol which you see targeted towards these Tea Party patriots who just want a sound fiscal policy adopted in our nation, so we will not become a bankrupt nation.  And, now more than ever, the Tea Party patriots have got to be energized. They cannot be numb and calloused and depressed about some of the "two steps forward, three steps back" that we saw happening in the last couple of days with the debt ceiling increase. They need, now more than ever, to really be united.  Work extremely hard to get the right candidates in there, despite the boot on the neck that many of us feel that government is trying to do to us, and those on both sides of the aisle who kind of run the political machines, that boot on the neck trying to take us down and keep us down.  No, now isn't the time to retreat, but it's the time to be united, to move forward, very very powerful grassroots movement, I believe, that will grow even more in these coming months as the election approaches.

    I think Governor Palin is setting herself up very nicely, not necessarily to lead the entire Tea Party movement (according to some who only think they have a clue, the Koch brothers already hold that position, and doggone it, I'm still waiting for my check, y'all!),  but certainly to be a strong guiding force.  She isn't afraid to take a controversial stand, as she certainly did with regard to the debt ceiling debate, and she issued a fairly sharp rebuke to Mitt Romney last night for not articulating any position until the deal had been struck.  Gov. Romney's approach to this debate seems to match the typical "finger in the wind" take on an issue by which most politicians live.  Gov. Palin represents a breath of fresh air compared to that approach.

    Check out the entire interview (parts one and two) here:

    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    If only it were playing in Austin...

    Have I mentioned that I really want to see "The Undefeated"?

    I have?  Okay, good.

    The trailer is now live.  So, who wants to go see it with me?

    The Undefeated Teaser Trailer from Dain Valverde on Vimeo.

    (H/T: via Jedediah Bila)

    Monday, July 04, 2011

    Unfairly Forgotten Song #9: Whirly Girl by OXO

    Hands up:  who remembers OXO?  Hardly anyone reading this blog, that's who.

    OXO* was the creation of a guy named Ish Ledesma, whose earlier band, Foxy, is probably better known.  (Foxy, for those like myself who enjoy the disco music of the late 70s/early 80s, had a big hit with a song called "Get Off" and a lesser hit with the follow up, "Hot Number".)  Anyway, after Foxy, Mr. Ledesma formed OXO, which could definitely be called a one-hit wonder.  The one song, "Whirly Girl", was a song about Mr. Ledesma's wife.  According to Wikipedia*, the song's lack of success led to the quick downfall of OXO.

    Mr. Ledesma went on after that to form a girl group called Company B, for whom he produced their biggest hit, "Fascinated".  (You don't really hear that one on the radio much anymore, either.)

    "Whirly Girl" made it to #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking the week of 4/23/1983.  Since then, the only place I have ever heard it on the radio is on the cult classic radio show "Crap From the Past", heard on 90.1 KFAI out of Minneapolis.  As usual, you'll never hear this song on Austin's local we-play-anything station, Bob FM, which rather takes away from their reputation, if you ask me, and you didn't.

    The video for Whirly Girl:

    *Note:  most information in "forgotten songs" entries comes from the always-reliable Wikipedia; as such, its veracity may be questionable.

    Free Stuff for You, Part 2

    Three years ago, I posted about small, but occasionally effective, ways for people who are in front of a computer anyway to make a little money or otherwise get free rewards such as Amazon gift cards or other items. I had expressed a hope to revisit the topic with better news or more profitable programs, and so, three years later, I'll finally follow through on that wish.

    And so, let's start with the good, the bad, and the ugly of get-paid-to programs.

    The good:  Pay to Search

    In 2008, I called pay-to-search programs potentially good; this not-so-optimistic assessment was based on programs that fizzled out about a decade ago.  I then recommended a program that I thought would be the best bet.  Sure enough, it never paid out and has since disappeared.  (Obviously, any new program offers a substantial amount of risk that you might waste a whole lot of time for nothing.)

    But now, I have found several programs that I know to be better than my previous recommendation:
    • Swagbucks:  As with most of the current search programs, this program allows you to build up points (called, appropriately enough, "swagbucks") that can be used in one of two ways.  You can redeem for prizes such as Amazon gift cards, cash paid via Paypal, music, or many other items, or you can use your swagbucks to enter into drawings for larger prizes.  As for me, I generally choose the Paypal option, and so far (and I can prove this if you're skeptical), I have been paid $110 just for using this site instead of Google to do most of my searching.  Now, you won't get swagbucks for every search, but you can win them occasionally for searching, in some cases up to three or four times a day, depending on how much you search.  The site also gives out codes (or hides them and gives out clues) which can be entered for extra free swagbucks.  This site is highly recommended.
    • Bing Rewards:  This has become my alternate search site.  It is in a preview until the end of the year.  I think it only runs on Internet Explorer, which is another reason why I don't use it too much, but you can build up credits which you can use for prizes.  Occasionally the Bing Bar (which I know only runs on IE) will show you easy clicks for extra credits.  There aren't any cash rewards available here, but there are many gift cards (including, among others, Amazon, Starbucks, iTunes, etc.) available for the taking.  (So far I have not redeemed for anything.)
    • Irazoo:  This was my alternate site, but it's kinda weird.  Like Swagbucks, you can occasionally earn points via searching.  Also, you can earn a small amount of points simply by recommending the search results.  Again, no cash withdrawals are available, but you can earn Amazon gift cards or other items (like, for example, a Wii, if you want to save up your points for a very, very long time).  I hear that occasionally the Amazon cards take a while to be delivered, but as I have not redeemed yet, I cannot verify this.  (I do have enough points for $35 in Amazon cards, if I decide to go that route.)
    • Zoombucks:  Not as highly recommended because zoombuck wins occur much less often, in my experience, than in, for example, Swagbucks.  But if you've just had a win in the other programs and maxed out your Bing Rewards for the day, you may as well use this.  What else will you use, Google?  They won't give you anything.
    The bad:  Paid Surveys

    Well, maybe that's an overstatement.  Paid surveys, depending on the program, can be good, but there are some programs that can only be described as terrible.  Some survey programs will give you surveys that are incredibly long, tedious, and repetitive, only to tell you at the end that you did not qualify.  (I believe SurveySpot falls into that category.)  Worse yet, some programs will promise some incentive for finishing the survey but won't deliver, instead giving you a sweepstakes entry.  (Toluna has done that to me more than once, but they will give you the actual incentive if you hold on to all documentation and harass them about it.  Toluna has, in fact, paid me $40...after I harassed them about an incentive I was supposed to get.)

    But here are the programs that are...if not good, than better than the ones I just mentioned:

    • SurveySavvy:  This is the only program I can think of right now that not only pays cash but doesn't have a minimum required before cashout.  (With that said, it probably isn't going to help anyone to continally request $1.00 checks.)  Their surveys are pretty quick, and they are pretty good about disqualifying users early on, so you don't waste a lot of time with a survey that won't pay out.
    • DollarSurveys:  As might be expected from the name, most of their surveys pay out $1.00.  They pay directly to PayPal.  But be aware:  some of their "surveys" are actually activities such as signing up for other programs that may cost money.
    • MySurvey:  They acquired Lightstream, where I was a member, in the last year or two.  Their survey opportunities, at least in my opinion, have gotten better since this acquisition.  (I was previously a member of this site long ago, but my membership at that time lapsed.)  You have to earn a fair amount of points to cash out, though.
    • E-Poll:  Another program in which you need to earn a fair amount of points to cash out.  As I recall, though, you will not be disqualified from any surveys you receive with this program.  However, some of their surveys are very tedious and take quite a while.
    • Surveyhead:  A large selection of surveys are available, but don't expect to qualify for most of them. 
    • Pinecone Research:  I believe you have to find a difficult-to-locate banner to get to their registration process.  However, once you do, you will receive an opportunity every so often to give your opinions on upcoming products.  They pay very quickly via PayPal.  If you can find a banner, get yourself into this program (assuming you're into this kind of thing to make money, and if not, why are you reading this?).

      All of these survey programs have paid me at one time or another, so that's something.

      The ugly:  Everything else

      There are a lot of other programs that promise to pay or otherwise reward you for your loyalty.  Some of the newer ones are not as easily categorized as the old ones.  For example, I don't know if I would place any of the newer programs into a "paid to read e-mail" category, though sometimes programs like SimpleGPT and Gifts4Points do still occasionally pay users to read e-mails (so long as you jump through the hoops).  Of course, older programs like MyPoints and InboxDollars still do the traditional paid-to-read-email thing.

      I put paid-to-read programs into the "ugly" category, though, because some of these programs, especially the newer ones, can be flaky.  I will say that all the programs in the previous paragraph have paid me as well, but not quickly.

      And what else?  Well, there's Sponsored Tweets for those tweeps who want to tweet (clearly marked) ads and get paid for it, or there's YouData, which is hoping to pay you for personalized advertising (as opposed to the large companies who just harvest your info and foist personalized ads on you in a rather creepy manner).  There's also BeRuby, which...well, I don't know what it does anymore, but I think they still pay if you click certain links (or shop through their site).

      Suffice it to say that there are many programs competing for your attention, all of which promise to make it worth your while if you play along with them.  Some of them are worth it.  Others...well, do your research if you choose to try to make a little extra this way. 

      And if you choose to try to make a little extra through these sites or others, best of luck to you.

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