Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Germany to immigrants: keep on truckin’!

Posted by Richard on May 22, 2018

A couple of years ago, Shikha Dalmia wrote an important column about why immigrants in America are by and large much more likely to assimilate than those in Europe:

Immigrants don’t need job programs. They need jobs. …

Jobs offer immigrants not just a paycheck, but also an entry into their new society, providing them with both the means and motive to learn its language and customs, all of which eliminates the need for formal programs. …

Yet many European countries have gone out of their way to deny or severely limit job opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees. Until a few years ago, most European Union countries prohibited asylum seekers from any employment until their application was processed, which could take years. Even now, Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh points out, Germany legally bars them from working for the first three months, Italy six, France nine, and England an entire year. Many countries, including Germany, restrict their employment to “shortage” sectors—and some even ban self-employment.

Even after refugees obtain work permits, their upward mobility is greatly restricted in Europe, thanks to the exceedingly rigid labor market in many countries. The unemployment rates of France and Belgium are nearly twice that of the United States. This dismal job market affects immigrants much more than the native born, thanks to Europe’s tough minimum wage laws and other labor regulations that protect incumbents at the cost of newcomers.

As a result, Muslim immigrants in Europe are much more likely to be filled with resentment, anger, and hatred toward their supposed benefactors. So Germany, where “officials estimate that more than 75% of the new arrivals are unemployed, collecting benefits and are ‘unlikely to find work’ in the next ten years,” [!] should be applauded for taking even small steps to address this problem, right?

Well, maybe. But given that both ISIS and al Qaeda have encouraged the use of vehicles as weapons of terror, and many such attacks have since taken place, this may not be the best choice of jobs programs for Muslim immigrants:

… Big problems such as this call for big solutions and the Germans think they’ve come up with a winner. What better job to give to these unemployed migrants than that of… being a truck driver. (Voice of Europe)

This plan is not only bound to make some Germans, especially those in Berlin, somewhat nervous, it will surely cause many to wonder why it would take three years to train someone to drive a truck. Perhaps the curriculum runs something like this:

  • Three months of commercial truck driving training
  • Nine months of intensive language learning
  • Twenty-four months of teaching the students how and why not to mow down infidels

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Leon Russell and Eric Clapton

Posted by Richard on April 30, 2018

So, the other day I posted a video of Leon Russell and New Grass Revival. Here’s a different side of Leon. Oh yeah, and this guy named Clapton plays some nice guitar, too. Expand the description (click Show More).

Supposedly, this was recorded in either Leon’s apartment or apartment basement in Tulsa, OK, in 1974. But someone in the comments claims it was in some church instead. I’m thinking the acoustics sound more like an apartment, or maybe a basement, than a church (unless it’s one of those strip mall churches with the acoustic tile ceiling).

Anyway, you need to turn up the volume; it’s on the low side, the price you pay for good dynamic range.


[YouTube link]

UPDATE: OK, here’s a bonus. As I was writing this post, I thought I’d listen to some more Leon Russell. I ran across this version of “A Song for You,” which I think is in the running for best love song written in the past century. I still prefer the spare, atmospheric album version I posted here, but this is the best live version I’ve heard.


[YouTube video]

UPDATE 2: One more. This video is from Leon’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2011. If Leon’s thanks to Elton John don’t bring a tear to your eye, you have a heart of stone. This version of “A Song for You,” with John Mayer on guitar, is pretty great, too.


[YouTube video]

UPDATE 3: Have to share this one too. It’s another performance with New Grass Revival, and it’s a better version of “Wild Horses” than the Stones’. Fantastic piano, banjo, and mandolin.


[YouTube video]

Yeah, I’m thinking of renaming this blog “Remembering Leon Russell.” Someone’s got to do it.

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Leon Russell and New Grass Revival 1980 live concert

Posted by Richard on April 29, 2018

A friend recently shared with a bunch of us a YouTube link to a fine album by the Dillards with Byron Berline, and that got me looking for some tasty bluegrass by New Grass Revival (with the incomparable Sam Bush) to share back. I happened upon this amazing hour-long concert video.

It starts with Leon solo doing Judy Garland as only Leon can. And then he and New Grass Revival proceed to romp through about every genre you can think of: Beatles, bluegrass, country, gospel, rock, pop… They do “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” like you’ve never heard it before. The set is fantastic, and the encores are even better. Enjoy!


[YouTube link]

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Kanye give West a Chance to be free?

Posted by Richard on April 27, 2018

I’m told that there’s no truth to the rumor that Steny Hoyer is going to introduce a bill called the “Fugitive Negro Act” to ensure that runaways like Kanye West and Chance the Rapper are returned to the Democratic Plantation and “re-educated.”

The Democratic leadership apparently considered and rejected the idea after realizing that the Party of Lincoln would never allow it to pass.

Wasn’t it Kanye who rapped “Free at last, free at last. Up yours, mo-fos, I’m free at last!”?

The editors at The Weekly Standard had some interesting thoughts about this matter. But to find that, you have to go through six pages of Google search results (search string: kanye west trump) without a single link to a non-left-of-center site.

I guess sites like Red State, Fox News, The Daily CallerReasonNational ReviewTownhall, The Washington TimesWashington ExaminerThe Blaze, Power Line, et al, just didn’t have anything to say about Kanye’s apostasy that the entirely objective Google algorithms deemed worthy of sharing with Google’s product… I mean users.

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Why you should be skeptical of what doctors tell you

Posted by Richard on March 13, 2018

Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist and best-selling author (A Brief History of Time), has died at the age of 76. He leaves behind three children and two ex-wives.

Hawking, who was confined to a wheelchair for most of his adult life, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, when he was 21. Doctors gave him two years to live.

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The left reveals itself by who and what it considers the enemy

Posted by Richard on March 8, 2018

I spent a little time tonight looking through my Twitter timeline and spotted this (click on it to see two more along the same vein):

Okay, being white has been the modern equivalent of the mark of Cain for some time now. And certain elements of the left have had nothing but contempt for the nuclear family for more than half a century.

But reading to your kids is “unfairly disadvantaging” others? You monster, you! How dare you read to your kids! Don’t you care about all the unread-to children of the world?

Paging Harrison Bergeron.

 

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A fine way to spend Christmas eve

Posted by Richard on December 24, 2017

For the first time in years, I spent Christmas eve watching a classic Christmas film. I hadn’t seen this one in years, and it was just as great as I remembered it. But I must say I was taken aback by how young Bruce Willis looked. Sigh. It has been 29 years, hasn’t it?

“NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN HO HO HO”

“Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!”

Merry Christmas to you all!

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How to get liberals to like the GOP tax plan

Posted by Richard on December 23, 2017

It’s easy! Just don’t let them know it’s the GOP’s plan.


[YouTube link]

 
[YouTube link]

There’s nothing new about this phenomenon. Back before the election, Jimmy Kimmel did a couple of similar “man/woman in the street” interviews attributing Trump’s tax proposals and some Trump quotes to Hillary. Predictably, Hillary supporters loved them.

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Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Posted by Richard on December 15, 2017

Today is the 226th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights on Dec. 15, 1791, celebrated by freedom-loving Americans as Bill of Rights Day. But as Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center likes to point out, every day should be Bill of Rights Day.

The US Supreme Court is currently considering a case of huge importance to the Bill of Rights, specifically to the much-neglected Tenth Amendment. Read about it at SCOTUSblog.

With various provisions of the Bill of Rights continually under threat or violated with impunity, this would also be a good time to think about what we can do about that. The aforementioned Tenth Amendment Center provides some advice grounded in the words of Madison and Jefferson. Take a look, and consider making a donation to them today.

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How not to be bored by the weather

Posted by Richard on November 27, 2017

Live in Denver.

Yesterday, it was 74°, a record for the date. Today, it was 81°, a record for the entire month of November.

Tomorrow morning, it’s supposed to be a good 50° colder and snowing.

Time to put the shorts away again.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Richard on November 23, 2017

“[Thanksgiving] is a producers’ holiday. The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that
abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.” – Ayn Rand

This has been my month for internet issues. I had an outage a couple of weeks ago that took a few days to resolve. Then it recurred, and my ten-year-old DSL modem was the prime suspect, so I got a new one last Friday. No joy. Long story short, I was offline until yesterday afternoon. And, with hundreds of new emails to deal with, not to mention the cats, the shopping, etc., I haven’t prepared a Thanksgiving post. So I’ll simply direct you to last year’s post, where you’ll find some worthwhile links and a great Don Henley song for this holiday that you simply must listen to and share with your family and friends.

As for what I’m thankful for, well, there’s the CenturyLink technician who came by yesterday and eventually resolved my connectivity problem. And there’s Bibi, the sweet little cat that’s the newest member of my household (I really should tell her story one of these days).

There are my friends, who are an endless source of amusement, enlightenment, and wisdom. And my sister Margo and her husband Frank, whom I don’t talk with nearly enough, but are the only family I have (since my other sister, the liar and thief, is dead to me).

I’m thankful that my investments have grown in value even as I’ve been pulling money out to live on. And at my age, I’m thankful that I’m in pretty good health, and most things only hurt some of the time.

I’ve always been thankful that my dad, the late Col. Samuel R. Combs, adopted me, the bastard son of the Austrian woman he married, so that I could become a citizen of this greatest country on Earth.

There’s more, but that’s quite enough for now. Enjoy your turkey, your family, your football games, and the fine fall weather (if you’re in most of the country). I’m going to enjoy this wonderful fall day (sunny and a high of 72°!) by walking up to and around Washington Park while the turkey breast is in the oven. Then I’ll turn on the TV and see which teams I don’t much care about are beating which other teams I don’t much care about. (The Denver Broncos and UT Vols have both been big disappointments this season, so no thankfulness there.)

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Saluting our veterans

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2017

My DSL service has been out, so I’m just quickly reposting this from last year.

Salute

To those who have served, and to those who serve today:

Thank you.


It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005

http://www.pattonhq.com/koreamemorial.html

Thanks, Papa, for your many years of service. I love you and miss you.

On this Veterans Day, please make a contribution to an organization (or two or three!) that supports veterans or active-duty military personnel.

The Signaleer has a nice history of Remembrance Day, which begat Armistice Day, which begat Veterans Day, and he includes the classic World War I poem, In Flanders Fields. Well worth a visit.

 

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Aarr! It’s TLAPD!

Posted by Richard on September 19, 2017

Shiver me timbers! Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I’m going to head over to Aarrby’s. And then go get some rum!

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Never forget, and teach those too young to remember

Posted by Richard on September 11, 2017

Sixteen years have passed since that awful September 11th morning. That means most of this year’s college freshmen were two. They have no memory of what happened to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and to the Pentagon. They don’t know or understand the significance of what the passengers on Flight 93 did, and they aren’t moved, as I am to this day, by the words “Let’s roll!” They may have seen some brief video or images, but they didn’t live it. And I suspect that their parents and teachers, in many cases, didn’t spend much time on this topic.

Most of the rest of this post is, with minor changes, what I’ve posted in past years on this grim anniversary. It’s my hope that someone will stumble across this page who is too young to remember or who has forgotten, and that it will have an impact on them. If you know such a person, share your memories from that day. Show them this post and other information about what happened and why. Maybe watch United 93 with them.

 

Sixteen years ago this morning, we watched in horror as people jumped a thousand feet to their deaths because it was better than the alternative. Later that day, we learned that the heroic passengers of United Flight 93, knowing the fate that awaited them, had fought and died to prevent their plane from crashing into the White House or Capitol. In the ensuing days, we learned the details of that brave struggle, and “Let’s roll!” became a phrase that brought goosebumps to me whenever I heard it.

We must not  forget the events of September 11, 2001. We must keep the images fresh in our memories. It’s necessary, I believe, if we’re to retain the resolve we need to understand, oppose, and defeat the ongoing Islamofascist effort to destroy our way of life, of which the attacks of 9/11 were a part.

We must not forget that there is a large, powerful, well-financed international movement dedicated to destroying Western Civilization.

On September 11, 2001, barbarians with box cutters — primitive 7th-century savages who could never build a World Trade Center or a 747, but whose insane ideology is dedicated to making the building of such things impossible — murdered 2,996 innocent people and changed Lower Manhattan from this:

Lady Liberty watching over the twin towers before 9/11

to this:

1st tower falls

Fleeing as the tower falls

Fleeing through the choking dust

Falling to his death

Never forget.

Flag still stands

Never forget.

raising the flag at ground zero

Never, ever forget.

9/11 tribute of light

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American Saturday Night

Posted by Richard on September 4, 2017

I was watching a lawn care crew across the street a little while ago. It consisted of an Asian and three Hispanics. While one guy finished blowing clippings of the walk, the other three got in the truck and started it up. They were listening to country music.

I grinned. That’s America. Suddenly it occurred to me that I haven’t heard this Brad Paisley song in quite a while:


[YouTube link]

From MetroLyrics:

Whoa whoa
She’s got Brazilian leather boots on the pedal of her German car
Listen to the Beatles singin’ ‘Back in the U-S-S-R’
Yeah she’s goin’ around the world tonight
But she ain’t leavin’ here
She’s just going to meet her boyfriend down at the street fair

It’s a French kiss, Italian ice
Spanish moss in the moonlight
Just another American Saturday night

There’s a big toga party tonight down at Delta Chi
They’ve got Canadian bacon on their pizza pie
They’ve got a cooler full of cold Coronas and Amstel Light
It’s like were all livin’ in a big ol’ cup
Just fire up the blender, mix it all up

It’s a French kiss, Italian ice
Margaritas in the moonlight (whoa)
Just another American Saturday night

You know everywhere there’s something they’re known for
Although usually it washes up on our shores
My great great great granddaddy stepped off of that ship
I bet he never ever dreamed we’d have all this

You know everywhere has somethin’ they’re known for
Although usually it washes up on our shores
Little Italy, and Chinatown, sittin’ there side by side
Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!

It’s a French kiss, Italian ice
Spanish moss in the moonlight
Just another American, just another American,
It’s just another American Saturday night

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