The New Face Of Tyranny

According to Merriam-Webster’s, tyranny is defined as,

oppressive power; especially: oppressive power exerted by government

I know that in these combative and hypersensitive times the word is thrown around by every which side of any political issue. When I think of tyranny I usually think of the “fat, pompous, bad-tempered, old tyrant” from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. However if recent allegations are to be believed this may be the new face of tryanny (well 3 faces but who’s counting?),

Yep, that’s right, a Christian chick band = tyranny. You can read the lurid and oppressive details here.

In summary, Barlow Girl was asked to perform at some concert for the troops. The concert was not mandatory and predictably 80 out of 100 soldiers decided not to attend. I don’t blame them, their music is not in my wheelhouse either. The trouble came when the 80 soldiers were confined to their barracks and (gasp!) ordered to clean it out. They were ordered, imagine that soldiers were ordered to do something, what is the Army coming to?

The soldiers felt they were singled out and dealt with differently because they chose not to attend the proselytizepalooza. Their cries were heard by something called The Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Mikey Weinstein, the group’s president, lauded the courage of these soldiers in reporting such “egregious, unconstitutional religious tyranny”.  That’s rich…

At least they were given the option of not listening to average music crowned by piety-driven falsetto.  Sorry but I think they did these guys a favor, I would have much rather clean the barracks with a toothbrush than watch BG in concert. Like I said, not in my wheelhouse

As for Mr. Weinstein’s um, liberal use of the word “tyranny”, he would be much better served in applying it to actual examples of it.

To paraphrase Tito (below) yet another iteration of a cherished Hollywood stereotype, “Eef cleening barracks ees teeranny, chein mee to dee woll”

Putin’s Legend Grows

It is not a secret that I belong to the Vladimir Putin Admiration Society. I have long chronicled the PiM’s daring and virile pursuits, check it out here. Coming face to face with President Reagan, his nation’s sworn enemy, without flinching might just top anything else that Volodya has accomplished, until now…

Putin’s insatiable drive to unseat Sir Winston Churchill as the greatest Prime Minister of all time has taken him into the cockpit of a firefighting plane. His mission? To battle the raging fires which threaten the Rodina.


“I’m going in, cover me Porkins!”

Using the finely honed accuracy which served him well in his trek to save the Siberian tiger, Putin doused the burning inferno with some earth juice scoring a “direct hit”.

I did not appreciate the AP writer’s attempt to dismiss Putin’s heroism,

The stunt was classic Putin. In past years, he has copiloted a fighter jet, ridden a horse bare-chested in Siberia and descended to the bottom of Lake Baikal in a mini-sub. Just last month he drove a Harley Davidson motorcycle to a biker rally.

Stunt? Stunt?!?! Really? This is who the man is, a man on a quest to cure the world’s ills. To make this world a better place one tank of water at a time, all for the benefit of us the little people.

Shame on you AP journo for your nay saying.

Oh, that these United States had such a figure at the top!

You know if a piece of the Russian coastline suffered the same fate as the Gulf, Putin be the first one down there personally plugging the hole until BP or Lukoil could get their act together and cap it.

Long live Volodya!

No Putin post on this blog ends until I give a shout out to Animotion’s greatest hit

(Photo credit: AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Pool)

“Would The Devil Write it?”

A Florida church has decided that the best way for them to publicly represent Christ is to burn copies of the Qur’an on 9/11/10.

Presumably, this church headed by Pastor Terry Jones (below) adheres to the teachings of the Son of God who when asked by His opponents what the greatest commandment is, responded with this,

‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.


Like Hilary Faye, Pastor Terry Jones is filled with Christ’s love. As if you couldn’t tell by the suit…

I fail to see how this Qur’an burning carries out the second greatest commandment. The book burning in Acts 19 can hardly be used as a precedent. What the Ephesians did there was publicly making their repentance known. By burning their sorcery books they were saying Jesus trumps sorcery, incantations and the occult. I find it hard to believe that the folks at this Florida church are repentant Muslims.

Predictably and justifiably so, there has been public outcry over this church’s planned bonfire. Young American Muslim, a Houston Chronicle blogger, has chimed in with a post titled, Burn a Quran Day is Hateful and Ignorant.

Read more of this post

A Picture of a True Imbecile

Here’s the story that tells the reason for his imbecility.

Kabul: The New Live Music Capital Of The World

Look out Austin, you might have an usurper to your “Live Music Capital of the World” throne in the form of Kabul, yep, that Kabul.

At least judging by the enthusiasm and moxie of bands such as “Kabul Dreams”.  Check out their YouTube page here unless you think the Taliban’s ideology is just peachy keen.

They are profiled in the following story,

We’re the Tali-band! Afghan rockers challenge hardliners to a duel… with electric guitars

Bands such as this would have been jailed under Taliban rule, no doubt for using corrupt Western practices to pollute their religious utopia. In fact, when the Taliban were in power,

Playing musical instruments was banned. Singing was allowed, but only songs praising Allah or the Taliban.

Gee, that sounds like a lot of churches here in the States, not to mention universities, looking at you Bob Jones. Same tune, different key.

As for the music that is making the rounds in Afghanistan,

Rock music has made inroads since the fall of the Taliban. A smattering of music shops sell pirated CDs of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and other bands. Indian and Pakistani groups also are popular among the youth.

What? No one’s thought of slipping The (now disbanded) Afghan Whigs in to the mix? Or  at least Mr. Mister (below)


♫Take, these broken Whigs…♫

[Photo Credit: Tonymix’s Blog]

México Makes the Sweet Sixteen…

Uruguay and México played today in their last group stage match. The match is otherwise known as the “Loser Gets Argentina” Derby and well, México lost and for the second World Cup in a row, they will square off against the Albiceleste in the first knockout stage, the Round of 16. Much to his chagrin, I used to tease an Argentine friend that his homeland’s flag had a happy face in the middle of it. He’d vehemently deny it but turns out I was right,

To avoid West Germany v. Austria Part Deux, the last matches of the 2010 World Cup group stage are being played simultaneously. There was even some talk on Univision amongst the studio people that Uruguay and México might just take it easy, produce a draw and then both would advance into the Round of 16.

That went out the window after witnessing the opening minutes of the match. Both teams played like they were ready to take charge of the match. Understandable that México would play to win since a draw would only serve to send them on a collision course with the Gauchos. Unfortunately El Tri de todos los Mexicanos couldn’t muster even a draw, losing 0-1 and earning a grudge match with Argentina.

Speaking of Argentina, what has gotten into them? During World Cup qualifying this team was a hot mess, not a Gallic hot mess, but one nonetheless. They lost to lowly Bolivia 6-1 and almost lost drew with Peru, which would have cost them them a trip to South Africa. Now look at them, by far the best of this tournament to this point.

Today, Argentina’s “B” team carved up a stodgy Greek team like a slab of gyro meat on a spit. Sure the final score was only 2-0 but it could have easily been 5-0. Argentina is so loaded with talent that Internazionale striker Diego Milito, fresh off starring in and winning the UEFA Champions League, is reduced to riding the pine. He played today of course, because Maradona fielded the JV squad, that’s just sick.

I know I sound like a raving pessimist but how many of México’s players would make Argentina’s team, much less start? Rafa Marquez would make it, might have a shot to start, perhaps even Giovanni dos Santos, but that’s it. Memo Ochoa might have a shot as the 3rd keeper…To have a shot at beating Argentina, México will have to show something exponentially greater than they have shown up to this point. I have until Sunday to think about not if Argentina will win but by how much…

Here are some thoughts on today’s match:

The BAD
Sloppy Defense
Again, the Mexican coach chooses to go with keeper Oscar “Midget” Perez. Being taller wouldn’t have helped Conejo/Midget stop Uruguay’s score. Luis Suarez’ header was a result of shoddy and lazy defense on the part of Mexican defender and oddity, Maza Rodriguez. I say oddity because at 6’3″, Maza towers over his countrymen. Rodriguez has improved vastly playing for Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, but today with this defensive lapse and his missed opportunity right in front of the Uruguayan goal, he reverted to pre-PSV Eindhoven form.

Javier Aguirre
The Mexican coach made the curious decision to start the Mexican coelacanth, Cuauhtémoc Blanco. I know he’s a legend that no one can surpass on sheer chicanery, hell there’s even a prayer to him that is making the rounds, but he’s out of shape. Someone who is out of shape is best coming off the bench if you need a late score or an emotional infusion. I personally believe Blanco cost them momentum early.

Guillermo Franco

Then there’s an Aguirre favorite, Guillermo “Guille” Franco who once again cracked the starting lineup as the point man. Guille wasted a slew of opportunities, not by missing the goal mind you but by flopping. Someone please explain to me why having a clear path to the goal, a forward would choose to flop and go down like a marionette whose strings have been cut. Franco is Argentine by birth and I know that flopping is one of the most Argentine of traditions, but Guille for the love of Madonna’s Evita, you have a better chance of scoring when you go towards the goal than when you go towards the ground. This reminds me of my previously aforementioned Argentine friend who, when playing basketball, would catch the ball under the basket and instead of laying it up would fade away sometimes as far as the charity stripe.

Back to Franco, as if the flopping wasn’t bad enough, he managed to fan on a ball that had gotten past the keeper,


(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

How many more missed chances is this man going to have before Aguirre yanks him and puts Javier “Chicharito” Hernández in his place? Enough already, take Guille out of the lineup.

THE GOOD

Andres Guardado
The winger got the nod to start due to the hamstring injury of Carlos Vela. I know Vela has not been in top form lately but his presence was missed. At least the threat of him making a great play would have kept the Uruguayan defense a bit more honest. Guardado did a superb job of doing this however, not only that, he launched a rocket off his left foot that made the crossbar clang in pain. Had the shot gone in, it would have easily been the Goal of the Tournament.

Pablo Barrera
Again, he came on as a sub who made his presence felt. He was a thorn on Uruguay’s side very much like he was a thorn on France’s side. Makes one wonder what would happen if he was in the starting lineup…

Rafa Marquez
The central defender is playing at a high level and deserves to get the captain’s armband back. “The Mexican Kaiser” provides stability to the back line and once again showed today why he plays for one of the top clubs in the world, Barcelona.

Clint Dempsey’s Strike: From Nac-Town with Love

Yesterday morning at the store, I ran into a friend of mine and he asked me what I thought the outcome would be of today’s England-US World Cup showdown. My response? A draw.

Can’t say that I called it because I didn’t predict a score. Even as my prediction rolled off my tongue, I thought about the feasibility of such an outcome and came to the conclusion that even a draw would be a victory for Team USA, given how loaded the English squad is.

While it would be best to leave the tactical analysis of the match to the experten, I cannot help but discuss Clint Dempsey’s equalizer.

Yes, English keeper Robert Green made the type of mistake which should never be made at the World Cup level or any level of soccer save Fun Fair Positive Soccer . However, not enough credit is being given to the Texan Clint Dempsey, the man who presented Green with the opportunity to embarrass himself, his family and his country before a captivated world audience.

Prior to firing the fateful shot, Dempsey had to break free, and he did so by juking English captain, Steven Gerrard, out of his expensive Adidas cleats. Here’s a shot from mid-juke, (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)


Es OK Esteven, there are embittered Mexican men in Nac-Town who feel your pain

Judging by the display, one might have thought that Dempsey must have learned these skills from Hakeem Olajuwon who as we can see in Exhibit A below, just abused David Robinson back in the 1995 NBA playoffs.

But no, Dempsey honed these moves in his youth while playing in Nacogdoches’ Mexican League matches. As is reported here, Dempsey,

…beat men more than twice his age, proud men from Mexico and El Salvador who’d throw you to the East Texas dirt for trying a fancy move on them.

And according to one of his childhood friends, one time Dempsey

“did some kind of weird trick—it was so awesome—and the guy got mad and spit in his face.”

Due to the fact that us Mexicans think fútbol is our game and not the Americans’, I can certainly understand the ire of the men he schooled.

It’s hard to swallow when someone beats you at “your own game”, just ask British columnist and America’s Got Talent judge, Piers Morgan who penned this:

I honestly can’t believe we drew with the Americans. Soccer is a complete non-sport in the US. It ranks somewhere below tiddlywinks in their national competitive psyche.

Now, Dempsey might have picked up a huge assist from the wildly unpredictable Jabulani but it is certain that the glorified beach ball had nothing to do with his dissecting of Gerrard.

Major props to Dempsey and the rest of Team USA for their win draw against a tough opponent. I do feel bad for Robert Green but I’d feel worse if he played for Colombia.

James Cameron to Ask Eywa About Oil Spill

In light of the immensity of the Charlie-Fox that is the Gulf oil spill, with nowhere/no one else to turn to the Feds have asked notable movie director, James Cameron for advice on the best way to um, terminate this titanic mess.

I lost all respect for Herr Cameron after reluctantly watching Titanic. When it came out and people around me were going to the theaters in droves, I steadfastly held out. This stubborn refusal to line Cameron’s pockets lasted for an entire year until one lazy Saturday afternoon when Cinemax ran it and I plopped down in front of the telly and watched.

Needless to say, the movie was everything I thought it would be: a sappy and trite “love” story not worthy of 3 seconds of my life, not to mention the 3 hours or so of it.  For a hilarious take on the Titanic character “Rose” (nauseously played by Kate Winslet) go all the way down the page in the following Camille Paglia op-ed:

Bow-ow-ow: Obama’s painful missteps

So when Cameron’s pantheistic Smurfest, Avatar, came out, I didn’t flock to the IMAX despite entreaties from several people. While I have watched the movie, albeit blasphemously, on DVD and on a non-flatscreen TV (the horror!), I remain one of the Luddites who has not had the life-changing 3D experience. Bah! Humbug!

To me “Pandora” will always be the 80s Mexican pop group (below) and not some idyllic living world which doesn’t take sides but does,

[Photo credit: Salva Vinilos’ Photostream]

While, I fervently hope that Cameron can provide a solution to widening mess in the Gulf, short of him having a queue which links him up to Zonama Sekot Gaia/Eywa, AND he gets her to take sides (like Jake Sully did) I don’t see the director na’vigating the feds, BP or Gulf Coast fisherman out of this mess.

SB 1070 visits the Recent White House State Dinner

According to Forbes, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim is worth $53.5 billion, making him the world’s richest person by em, a slim margin over American Bill Gates.

Slim, son of Lebanese immigrants, made his fortune in telecommunications. Recently, (e)Slim (below) was present at the State Dinner held at the White House in honor of Mexican President Felipe Calderón.


[Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images North America]

What I find interesting is that Slim is wearing some sort of ID badge. In looking at pictures of other luminaries present at this shindig (i.e. comedian George Lopez and actress Eva Longoria-Parker), you’ll find that they’re not wearing badges.

Everyone knows who George Lopez and Eva Longoria-Parker are, Slim? Not so much, hence he has to rock a badge. That’s probably the reason, not to mention his complexion, that White House security might be “reasonably suspicious” that Carlos is the “help” who is trying to mingle with the VIPs.

Might it show that even the world’s richest man isn’t immune to being SB1070’d?

I guess the cowardly Mr. Lopez and the bubbly Longoria-Parker are living proof that it is better to be famous than stupefyingly wealthy.

Today in Houston…

The Mexican National Soccer Team (FIFA ranking: 17), will square off against Angola’s team (FIFA ranking:85) at Reliant Stadium. It’s a friendly match which means that

  • It doesn’t count for anything except extracting my countrymen’s hard earned lawn-mowing money
  • No Barkleyesque elbows will be flung in the direction of Angolan athletes.

Because it is my beloved Tri that is playing, expect to see this in the stands,


[Photo credit: Me. Took it during a México v. Belize match at Reliant Stadium]

The festivities will em, kick off later today.  No news if the wonderful folks at the so-called Minuteman Project will stage a whinefest.

That’s today in H-town, yesterday there was a protest led by none other than “local activist”, one might say “community organizer”, Quanell X.

As one might have guessed the protest had to do with racism, perceived or otherwise. Recently, a Bellaire officer, Jeffrey Cotton was acquitted of aggravated assault on Robbie Tolan, a Bellaire youth. Sgt. Cotton shot Tolan while the latter was in his front yard. By all accounts it was a misunderstanding, since Cotton believed that Tolan had stolen a car (the officer punched in the wrong tag number).

A confrontation ensued with the boy’s mother and the officer believed Tolan was reaching for a weapon and opened fire, wounding the young man. Personally, I believe the situation could have been avoided if Tolan had simply followed orders and waited for the misunderstanding to get cleared up.

Maybe it’s just me but if a cop tells me to do something, I’m going to do it and not put up any resistance. Remember folks, there are more of them than there are of you and they carry radios (not to mention guns). Besides, if you’re free of wrongdoing then that will come out in the wash, why aggravate the situation?

Quanell the Tenth decided to stick his nose in all this because Tolan is black and Cotton is white. At the protest, Mr. Tenth said,

This cop is a criminal, this cop should be in jail. If you shoot one more black man in Bellaire in cold blood, then your damn city will go up in flames.

I find his tone very interesting. Yes, it is possible that Cotton’s demeanor was influenced by the fact that Tolan is a young black man. Young black men and the police don’t seem to get along very well. I don’t find it outside the realm of possibility that the officer might not have been so trigger-happy if Tolan was white.

That said, Quanell the Tenth just made it more difficult for young black men in Bellaire. His passionate and extremely careless threat just paints a very negative image of blacks in the minds of Bellaire residents. In their minds, he’s painting an image (if not reinforcing) of black men as being violent, hot-tempered and not too hesitant to making threats. That’s a disservice to the very people he claims to represent.

To me, it’s very similar to when Muslims get their knickers in a twist when anyone suggests that some professing Muslims have violent tendencies.

As I’ve said before,

If someone says that you have a tendency to get out of control, and you don’t like it, then probably it’d be better if you didn’t get out control with your reaction…