Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Why I like traditional church music.

I was looking for words to explain why I like traditional church hymns, and that's it - gravitas. The churches who have some guys play guitar or other newfangled instruments strike me as (1) kitsch (okay, not kitsch. That's too harsh.) It doesn't do anything for me, and (2) without gravitas.

At First Presbyterian, our late (and long time) organist Ron Miller, liked to play loud. He openly said that. And I mean loud, like, feel the deep bass in your chest loud.

One one level, if you didn't know him, it sounded like the bragging you would hear from a teenager in a garage rock band, but that wasn't it. I think that gravitas had something to do with it. 

Just like the cathedrals were built to demonstrate the power and majesty of God, I think Ron Miller wanted to invoke a similar feeling with his music when he played.

I loved his Doxology every Sunday. It would start right at the end of whatever different hymn we would have each week, and he would start with the chords from that hymn, in that key, and transition to the familiar chords of the Doxology, which he would play really loud.

I liked that better than the sermons sometimes. It never failed to give me chills. I miss Ron and his organ. I like it loud, too.

Alan Wilson is not a happy camper.

He had a big press conference today, and he sounded pretty upset. There's lots more over at Brad's Brigade Headquarters, so go check it out there.

My take is that Wilson is frustrated that Pascoe is leaking, tried to help him, was blown off, and then is being accused of hampering the investigation.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Is this a thing?

This seems weird. Apparently, Wilson is instructing a clerk not to administer an oath to a special prosecutor (Paschoe) who is assigned to the case, so now Paschoe is asking the SC Supreme Court to order the clerk to give him the oath so he can go forward with his investigation.


Anyone have any idea what's going on here?

Friday, March 25, 2016

I'm giving up on the 2016 election, and it's very liberating.

I've had it with the 2016 election. I'm done. There is no universe in which I'm voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. They're both corrupt con-artists who will be horribly divisive Presidents with zero respect for the law or the office.

Plenty of people will vote for them in the upcoming election, and that's fine. I won't be one of them. I'll abstain. I'm not voting for either one of "those people" as Robert E. Lee used to refer to the opposing forces.

Earlier today, I tweeted this, and judging from how it was received, I think there are others out there who have also decided that we're done with this shit-show.

I'm out. I'll still be blogging, but we'll maybe shift focus for awhile. The thing is, it's liberating. I don't care about the Hillary e-mail scandal anymore. I mean, I now accept that she won't ever face any charges or consequences whatsoever. I've accepted that. I hope she really just rubs everyone's face in it at some point with another "like with a cloth" kind of comment.

Heck, I hope Trump just starts having rallies where he has WWF style fights in the crowds. Maybe he can hit someone with a folding chair.

I just don't care anymore. 

I'm going to focus on the things that I can control, like the temperature in my smoker. I really need to get better at smoking chicken and ribs, anyway. I'm also going to focus more on just enjoying my day and not letting the nasty business of politics intrude on it. I need to get back to writing some blog posts for Fig. That made me happy. I'm going to do things that bring happiness and enjoyment rather than frustration and cynicism.

I already feel better. Enjoy your election, everyone else.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

When is Enough Going to Be Enough?

At this point, I have no expectations that this will be a moment of clarity.  I don't expect anything to come of this most recent attack.

Sure, we'll get the standard trope of "I stand with Belgium" from lots of people, and there will be expressions of sympathy. That's great and all, but it's not going to solve anything. Lighting the Eiffel Tower up with the colors of the Belgian flag is a symbol. But it's not actually an action. It's more or less pointless.

We need action against the people who are at war with us. We need to realize that we are not at war with "hate" or "intolerance" or even really "radical Islam". We're at war with some particular people. They happen to claim Islamic jihadism as their rallying cry, but I don't really care about what they claim. I care about their actions.

Claiming that your god is the one true god is fine. Go for it. Knock yourself out. Feel free to believe what you want, and hey, feel free to try and convert people by persuasion.

Where we have a problem is where you start cutting people's heads off for not agreeing with you or blowing up airports and train stations. At that point, I don't care if you're trying to make a point about the one true god or whether chocolate is better than vanilla.

We're now at a point where there are mass killings across the globe on a regular basis. The really dumb thing is, we, as Western civilization, if we decided to, we could end this. We just don't have the willpower to do so.

I sort of see this like a sporting event where one team is way better than the other team. However, if the really great team doesn't play really hard because they're worried about another game next week, the game stays close. If they let the less talented team hang around long enough, the guys on the lesser team start to think Hey, we can play with these guys! We might actually have a shot at winning this thing! And from there, the less talented team gets even more motivated and plays even harder.

We can't afford to keep letting these bastards hang around like this thinking they can win. Because if we actually tried, I mean really wanted to play hardball with these people, then it would be easy. We could defeat them in short order.

However, every day that passes increases their confidence, which in turn, increases their recruiting, which in turn, makes defeating them harder, and the death toll rises all the while. At this point, we're simply a target for these people, and a target makes a poor impression.

We need to have the discipline that good teams have to put away lesser opponents early, and not let them hang around. In football, Alabama doesn't fool around with Charleston Southern. They go out there and stomp them, 56-6.

Enough of this long, slow, rising death toll where ISIS increases in confidence. Let's put these guys away. When is enough going to be enough?

Monday, March 21, 2016

More Marines to Iraq

Insignia of the 26th MEU
So, we're sending more troops to Iraq. It looks like more Marines.

More U.S. military troops are going to Iraq in the aftermath of an Islamic State rocket killing a Marine and seriously injuring others this weekend, the Pentagon said Sunday.
The attack occurred Saturday in the northern Iraq town of Makhmur, roughly 75 miles southeast of the ISIS-stronghold Mosul. The undisclosed number of troops will be a detachment from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and will support Iraqi forces and international ground operations, according to the Pentagon, which issued the announcement for the U.S.-led Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

In case you don't know anything about the USMC, the Marines are the tip of the spear. They aren't there to "support" people. Marines are there to kill bad guys. The motto of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit is: "A certain force in an uncertain world."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Good morning and happy St. Patrick's Day.

Don't forget to wear something green.

In other news, Obama named some guy to be his nominee for the Supreme Court. If you ask me, Merrick Garland sounds more like a Civil War general than anything else. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

In Praise of Daylight Savings Time

Sun in the late afternoon? No problemo, Dad, I got shades. Let's party.

Yeah, there's a lot of haters out there for Daylight Savings Time. I see you out there on FaceBook, Twitter, and elsewhere. You know what? You're dead wrong.

Case in point:

Yesterday, Mrs. Permanent Press and I had a great time playing with our four and half year old son and (almost) two year old daughter yesterday after work in our backyard. We played t-ball, soccer, climbed and did slides, and generally enjoyed the day. The above picture of our daughter is her (attempting) to blow bubbles. We're still working on the proper form, which means not touching the wand to your lips.

This wouldn’t have been possible without DST, as I didn’t get home until 6:30PM or so. Even then, we had a good solid amount of daylight left. We even went for a family walk (down the street for a 100 yards and back) after we fed them an early dinner. The whole neighborhood was out walking and enjoying the sunlight after work. It’s brought my neighborhood outside, and we all visited a little.

Yeah, I hear you DST haters talking about not liking the sun being up late. What are you, cave trolls? Morlocks? Enjoy the late evening sun. Get outside and talk to your neighbors.

P.S. If you run your kids around and tire them out during the day, bed-time isn’t a big problem. I have the most trouble getting my son to go to bed when he’s been cooped up inside all the time.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

All those evil guns are...helping save the environment?

Picture of father and son enjoying the natural world that they're helping preserve.


"State wildlife agencies play an essential role in the conservation of America's wildlife, while also generating billions of dollars for the nation's economy through increased hunting and fishing opportunities," said Dan Ashe, the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. "It's fitting that those very sporting activities help sustain wildlife, their habitats and the agencies that manage them. Our role in administering these funds reflects our long-standing partnership with the states across a broad spectrum of wildlife conservation issues."
The revenue is collected for land and environmental restoration projects under two laws: The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts.

You're welcome.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Post, Because That's My Policy

Sorry for not posting for the last few days. Hopefully, you've been able to get your needs met in other ways. In any event, I will give you a post from one of my favorite lines in Dirty Harry. No, it's not the "make my day" line. I like this one actually a little better, because it shows Callahan's chaffing at authority in the Mayor's office.

What's your policy?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Some of My Favorite Quotes from Pat Conroy

Pat Conroy, one of my favorite authors, passed away last Friday. I meant to say something then, but I didn't. He was truly a wonderful writer, and he expressed the ethos of the South, and the lowcountry of South Carolina in particular.

A few of my favorite quotes from his books:

“Charleston has a landscape that encourages intimacy and partisanship. I have heard it said that an inoculation to the sights and smells of the Carolina lowcountry is an almost irreversible antidote to the charms of other landscapes, other alien geographies. You can be moved profoundly by other vistas, by other oceans, by soaring mountain ranges, but you can never be seduced. You can even forsake the lowcountry, renounce it for other climates, but you can never completely escape the sensuous, semitropical pull of Charleston and her marshes.”

“It’s impossible to explain to a Yankee what ‘tacky’ is. They simply have no word for it up north, but my God, do they ever need one.”

“The water was pure and cold and came out of the Apennines tasting like snow melted in the hands of a pretty girl.”


“In Charleston, more than elsewhere, you get the feeling that the twentieth century is a vast, unconscionable mistake.”

Monday, March 7, 2016

Lindsey Graham Endorses Ted Cruz (kinda, sorta anyway)

It's not exactly a ringing endorsement.

The senator is now warming up to the Texas senator, the candidate he said is making the biggest strides toward being a possible alternative to Trump. "I would support Cruz over Trump. I'd prefer Rubio over Kasich; Rubio and Kasich over Cruz. But if Ted's the alternative to Trump he's at least a Republican conservative," said Graham.

Like I said, it's not overflowing with praise, but it's better than a finger in the eye.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Parenting. It's not rocket science.

The only two children who did not pick up the gun were the ones who had guns in their homes–and were told how dangerous they could be by their parents. You know, exactly what the National Rifle Association teaches in their safety courses. So, gold stars to the parents who told their children what to do if they see a firearm in their vicinity without an adult present. For the parents who never told their kids what to do, it’s very simple: A) don’t touch it b) leave the immediate area c) find an adult. Lots of accidents can be avoided with these three easy steps.

No kidding.