Archive for November 12th, 2008

12
Nov
08

Eat The Words

Anthony Bourdain is one of those iconic TV personalities that succeeded despite himself. And for that, he may have become a tad bit over-exposed. He smokes cigarettes. He uses foul language, takes every opportunity available to lambaste the corn pone and jiggly of his competition (one gets the feeling he’s like to punch Rachel Ray right in the face), and can be surly and demanding. He also is not above trying anything, gastronomically speaking, and will spend an astonishing budget to do so. He doesn’t offer hollow praise, but is refreshingly straightforward when he is enthused. I still watch his shows. And now I have a decision to make.

Anthony Bourdain is participating in the Signatures Author Series.  He is being “presented” for luncheon at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott on Friday, November 21st. That’s a short drive from my house and I think that my wife and I would enjoy his presentation. However, it’s $75 a head (sponsorships are available for $1,250, $3,000, and $5,000). I wonder if there will be complimentary t-shirts? Something crass like a black and white caricature of Bourdain’s face with a slogan like “I F#$ked My Food”.

Of course, there’s also the $250 a head “night” with Bourdain and his pal Kent Rathbun at Jasper’s…

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12
Nov
08

I Want My Bailout

A very common sight in Texas is the turkey buzzard. They can be seen playing on heat thermals doing cartwheels in the sky or slow lumbering circles as they confirm that their dinner has stopped twitching. Many folks like to point and ooh and ahh at them… commenting how cool looking and majestic they are. Until they get a bit closer and realize that it’s a dang vulture. The strange head that is eerily reminiscent of pre-digested spaghetti is the first giveaway. The buzzards are circling.

I didn’t get an insurance bailout like AIG. But I do have life insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance, personal and business liability insurance, road hazard insurance… and I pay all of my bills on time every time. I’m not like GM, staring at the prospect of a federal bailout because they have been deemed “too big to fail”. But I do have two GM vehicles. Bought and paid for and was never late on a single payment. My house? It’s modest and almost paid for, too. However, if I had bought a home far swankier than what I have, mortgaged it for far more than it was worth, from a lender that was too stupid to be lending money against the house anyway… I’d be getting “mortgage relief”. Yep, the bank would be forced to write down some of the ridiculous value of the home to reduce the principal (that’s known as a gift). They would also be lowering the interest rate on the balance to something more affordable. Because I stayed within my means, I get nothing. But there’s more nothing that I will not be able to get.

President elect Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t like guns. He actually had some pretty clear statements about his gun feelings on his change.gov website. Those feelings were only up for a short time seeing as he decided to change again and take the specifics down. Here’s the exact text that used to be up there:

* Address Gun Violence in Cities: As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn’t have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

Obama would like to remove the restraints of Tiahrt. In plain terms, the Tiahrt only allows law enforcement to access confidential gun trace information in the investigation of an actual crime. The tools are in place now. Eliminating Tiahrt would give unfetterted access to every law enforcement officer wanting to find out about any gun thing they please. Obama wants to make the AWB permanent. Oh joy. The first AWB cost millions and millions of dollars to implement and according to FBI statistics, didn’t make a dent in crime. When the AWB ended, there was no surge in crime. Why spend money and resources so carelessly? As an FYI, there are already laws on the books that make it illegal for criminals to own guns. Here’s a little tip: criminals do not follow laws; that’s what makes them criminals. And there are already laws on the books that restrict children’s access to weapons. So maybe Obama and company just want to close down gun shows and the whole gun industry, too? I’m in that industry. Since this is going to be a government orchestrated closure, can I expect compensation from my government for depriving me of my livlihood? Where’s my bailout?

We think that we voted for change. We really voted for a nanny and a check.