Friday, March 31, 2006
I get bummed out like this occasionally, and have a hard time creating.
Life without paying attention, or really trying very hard, is too easy.
There is some discussion on the web today about the squirming the jingo war boys are doing post-mortem. Or nearly so. Hugh Hewitt said he feels he is doing his part for the war just by exposing himself to terrorists in his Empire State Building office. This set off howling laughter from just about every quarter.
It's too easy to make fun of these guys.
About all I have the energy for is this joke:
Man: What are you doing in my refrigerator, rabbit?
Rabbit: Is this a Westinghouse?
Man: Yes, you impertinent hare! What has that got to do with your unwelcome
Rabbit: I'm westing.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
When Super Models Attack
Model Naomi Campbell arrested in N.Y.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Model Naomi Campbell was arrested Thursday morning after allegedly striking her assistant with a cell phone, New York police said.
"We believe this is a case of retaliation, because Naomi had fired her housekeeper earlier this morning," said a written statement from a spokeswoman for the model, who has appeared on the covers of Vogue and countless other fashion magazines.
"We are confident the courts will see it the same way."
The victim was not identified. Charges were pending, a police spokeswoman said, according to Reuters.
Campbell was being fingerprinted and photographed at a police station and later would be taken to court for arraignment, the spokeswoman added.
This isn't Campbell's first brush with the law. In 2003, the London-born model was sued by a former administrative assistant who alleged that Campbell had thrown a phone at her during a tantrum two years earlier in a Beverly Hills, California, hotel, according to The Associated Press.
In February 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to an assault charge for beating another assistant while making a film in Canada in 1998.
A Word From Joel & Victoria
Put on your "world filter"
"I will set no evil before my eyes." (Psalm 101:3)
Did you know that what you think in your mind determines the direction and quality of your life? The Bible encourages you to think on things that are pure, wholesome, and of a good report (Phil. 4:8). In order to think on the right things, it is important to filter what you watch, read, and listen to. One trick of the enemy is to slowly deceive you into lowering your standards. Don't let the enemy have a single opportunity to pull you down by watching or partaking in things that are questionable.
Remember you are a temple of the Holy Spirit. As you fill your thoughts with God's Word, you'll reflect it in every area of life. As you discover His promises, you'll discover the champion in you.
A Prayer for Today
God, I confess that there are inappropriate TV shows, movies, and books that tempt me. Help me to replace these with things that are uplifting and wholesome. When I focus on Your promises of peace, joy, safety, deliverance, and provision, I become whole in Your love. Thank you for a future and a hope that is only found through Jesus Christ. In Jesus' name - Amen.
Death Comes with a Message
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
NUEVO LAREDO - The latest homicide victim found in the Sister City on Monday bore messages scrawled in marker on his bare skin, including a reference to one of the two major drug cartels believed to be fighting for control of the area. "This is for the chapos and the media," read one message in Spanish, which was written on the unidentified man's back. Chapo Guzman is the leader of one of the cartels. The other message, also in Spanish, read "we want to cook them, not dump them," an apparent reference to incinerated bodies that have been found, the most recent one on Tuesday.
That message was written on the victim's abdomen.
C-4, the city's emergency headquarters, received a call at about 10 a.m. that there was a body lying about 325 yards west of the Carretera Nacional at the 12-kilometer marker south of downtown.
State police were sent to the scene, which turned out to be less than three blocks from an office of the Policía Federal Preventiva, the federal preventive police.
Officials said the victim was wearing only blue boxers and had been shot several times. It appeared, due to the decomposition, that the victim had been dead for several days. He was believed to be between 20 and 30 years old.
Raúl Galindo Vira of the state police was in charge at the scene. Investigators recovered six 9 mm shell casings.
Monday night, at about 9 p.m., officers discovered the bodies of two people lying next to a white Ford Probe near the intersection of Privada Arteaga and Francisco Villa, in the Buenavista neighborhood. The car still had its lights and motor on when state police arrived.
The deceased were identified as Sergio Montes Arreola, 14, and Carlos Armando Paz González, 20. Paz González was identified by a younger brother at the scene. Montes Arreola was later identified as the son of Juan Sergio Montes Borjas, a state police commander who was shot dead last May as he was driving down Colosio boulevard with his partner in the Benito Juárez neighborhood.
Several hours after those two victims were found, state police reported the discovery early Tuesday of a burned body inside a 1996 Dodge Dakota pickup, which had been abandoned at the 18-kilometer marker on the Carretera Nacional.
The truck had several bullet holes; the victim has not been identified. With these deaths, the year's death toll rises to at least 61.
©Laredo Morning Times 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Thank You Texas Mix
I went to Texas Mix in Victoria and met June Bug and Jeremy Haliburton. This is the biggest station in the Gulf Bend (they play all Texas Music) and I hear they are playing the #2 and #7 cuts on Snake Farm.
Jeremy was real nice to me, which I appreciate.
Everybody try to dial up the station on-line and we would appreciate requests for our music.
Monday, March 27, 2006
What? Haven't Signed Up Yet?
I try not to be a party poop, but the war is over:
Their visit came as more violence was reported across Iraq, including a terrifying incident earlier in the week in the western city of Ramadi. On Wednesday, armed insurgents burst into the classroom of Khidhir al-Mihallawi, an English teacher at Sajariyah High School, accused him of being an agent for the CIA and Israeli intelligence and beheaded him in front of his students, according to students, fellow instructors and a physician at a local hospital.
One teacher, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because he feared retaliation from insurgents, said that most students ran from the classroom but that some stayed to watch. Many stopped coming to school after the incident, he said. Another teacher, who said he moved his mathematics class to his home to accommodate frightened students, said Mihallawi had earlier been threatened because he worked as a translator for U.S. forces in Ramadi, a hotbed of the Sunni Arab insurgency.
Mihallawi "looked at us just like he was telling us that we do not have to be scared. Even as we were running out of the door, his looks were still telling us that nothing will happen and we do not have to be scared," said a student, whose father asked that his name not be used. "I heard him screaming for a few seconds, then stop screaming."
And we are fighting the Shiite Mah'di army and the Sunni's at the same time - it's over.
Ralph Reed Skates
Prosecutors conclude Reed investigation
A county official won't prosecute Ralph Reed after allegations that the former director of the Christian Coalition was paid by indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff to persuade state officials to shut down two Texas tribal casinos.
Travis County Attorney David Escamilla started investigating Reed — not registered as a lobbyist — after three public watchdog groups complained that he was paid a reported $4.2 million from Abramoff and partner Michael Scanlon to persuade state lawmakers to close casinos operated by the Tigua tribe of El Paso and the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Livingston in East Texas.
State law requires all lobbyists in Texas to register with the Texas Ethics Commission.
Escamilla said Monday that his office had concluded its investigation and the deadline to press charges had expired.
"Although new information and revelations regarding Mr. Abramoff and his activities continue to flow as a result of his recent indictment and guilty plea, all information we have received, to date, concerning Mr. Reed's activity in Texas relate to calendar years 2001 and 2002," Escamilla said in a statement. "Texas Code of Criminal Procedure provides that misdemeanor charges may not be presented beyond two years of the date of commission of the offense."
The investigation later expanded to include a new allegation that Reed lobbied members of State Board of Education for the in-school TV network Channel One.
"We will continue to review any new information regarding Mr. Reed's lobbying activities and move forward to enforce Texas' lobby registration laws should any violations not barred by the statute of limitations come to our attention," he said.
About Channel One:
A Message from Judy L. Harris
Channel One holds its programming and content to rigorous standards. The content we broadcast is well researched and a balanced viewpoint is presented to ensure our teen viewers have the facts to make informed decisions and spark a dialogue among their peers, with their educators, and with their parents. Channel One is very serious about its role in producing content that is not skewed, endorsed, or offered to further a personal or corporate agenda. And not unlike other established media, we encounter voices who blur, distort or perpetuate half-truths to further their own, very personal agenda.
Channel One is a champion of the First Amendment and free speech. We do feel, however, that we have a responsibility to our viewers, partners, sponsors and our many advocates in education to acknowledge the misinformation that exists-- information that is often laden with opinion and assumption, dated, unfounded, un-researched, and with intent to sway or shape perception. We at Channel One find the strong-arm tack an offense and a discredit to our viewers, as we are big believers in presenting facts to inform, empower, or engage a debate.
An incomplete view on an issue is, at best, incomplete. The other half of the picture-- and what those acting on inaccuracies or a personal agenda might fail to highlight-- is this: Channel One has been broadcasting for more than 16 years, and we're very proud of our history of educational and public service initiatives-- for example, 20 percent of our advertising inventory is devoted to the broadcast of PSAs on topics such as anti-smoking, hurricane relief, emergency preparedness and school violence.
We have countless anecdotes from teachers and students who say Channel One is the only source of news and public affairs that is reliably aired to teens. They tell us how much they value it as a springboard to discussion that moves beyond the pages of the textbook. With consistency, our programming and content have been singled out in the industry for innovation, creativity and impact. Most recently, Channel One received its second Peabody Award for a segment chronicling the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, as well as two Webby awards for content developed expressly for ChannelOne.com.
In the context of teens and education, broadcast media can be part of a solution. It is a vehicle to carry powerful messages. For that very reason, we will continue our commitment to our teens, educators and sponsors by seeking meaningful ways to message and create interaction.
Judy L. Harris
President and CEO
Our Peabody Award-winning show is the preeminent news and public affairs content provider to teens, reaching more than seven million teens in middle schools and high schools across the country, nearly 30% of teenagers in the U.S.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
At the Barbershop
The lady who cuts my hair told me she'd given up trying to keep her child enrolled in the texas child health insurance program. She's one voter who understands that the Gov and the Lege have been pulling the safety net out from under falling people. She reports that a lot of the Torys that used to sit in her chair and preach to her have been rather quiet lately.
The Chronicles Rick Casey and Shannon Thompson have each run stories this week about the state park system running on fumes. They have laid off staff and have cut back operations at 50 parks because gutless legislators have diverted dedicated funding from sales tax on sporting goods. They did the same with traffic fine money earmarked for trauma care. Money from hunting and fishing licenses is no longer dedicated to conservation and enforcement. But my fishing license cost me $38 this year. I'm telling all my hook and bullet buddies about Governor Rick doing this while he passes out public funds to the likes of the Waltons and Tom DeLays K street conspirators. It seems to work for the NRA.
-judge chief charly hoarse
Friday, March 24, 2006
Customers Quit Walgreens Over Rx Insults
Less than a month after a Palm Beach woman sued Walgreens for labeling her CrAzY!!" and "psycho" in its nationwide computer system, two more Floridians have come forward with similar allegations.
A Palm Beach Gardens grandmother, 64, filed suit Wednesday, accusing the retail chain of negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress for typing in its system in May 2003: "WATCH CONTROLS SHE SEEMS SHADY."
For nearly 20 years, Elizabeth Noah has patronized the Fairway Drive Walgreens near her home in PGA National, she said. So when the retired United Technologies financial analyst picked up a prescription for anxiety medication the evening of Feb. 6, she began to cry when she read the notation on the Drug Utilization Review -- or DUR -- stapled to the bag.
"It hurt my feelings so bad," she said. "I'm always nice. I've been going there forever. I've had secret clearance and never even had parking tickets. I'm always dressed nicely and have my makeup on and my hair done. I was raised that your reputation goes with you everywhere."
The other Walgreens pharmacy customer, Erin Cutler, 30, and a married mother of three who lives outside Ocala, was shocked when she saw that her Walgreens DUR labeled her a "b----."
The Enron Files
In dubious honor of the principles in the current legal proceedings against Enron.
The contents of certain email communications within Enron during the time of the fleecing of the American public have been made public via subpeona. I have downloaded the data and created a database to peruse and try to get a feel for what was going on with the culture and people of Enron at the time.
Much of the blame for all of this was pinned on "Big Oil Companies from Texas". This is just not the case. Big oil companies in Texas were founded on handshake deals and a strict unwritten code of ethics that essentially blacklisted people unwilling to play by the rules. Enron's downfall began when they stopped recruiting energy industry heavywieghts and starting aggressively recruiting financial deal makers. A company once run by oil men who understood the business and acted accordingly became one run by accountants who understood wall-street, "creative accounting" (this term should be an oxymoron), and making themselves wealthy.
So I submit that the public was fleeced, not by Big Texas Oil, but by underhanded, yellow-Yankee, blue-blooded, swindling, bean-counting carpet baggers.
More fun statistics and opinion later from The Enron Files.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I am feeling a little confessional.
I called some people "South Park Republicans." That might not be a very handy pejorative anymore. The makers of South Park have been quite brave standing up to the Scientologists, Tom Cruz and Viacom. Kudos.
I called some bloggers sell out, and implied as much for Kos. I found this from 1/9/06 Newsweek:
"The bloggers are not a good fund-raising mechanism. We're better as a message machine. I'm going to be following the local bloggers, and when the stuff gets interesting, I'll link to that. So we're going to have the ability to nationalize these races, and if a race gets buzz, it's easier to fund raise. That wasn't really possible before the blogespere. Netroots are crazy political junkies who hang out in blogs. They're people who use technology to participate in politics. they do a lot offline, but they do their organizing online. They're not necissarily liberal or conservative. To them, the questionis, will you take the fight to the enemy"
That sounds right to me.
Edit: Yes! I was Roy Cohn's cabana boy and Jeff Gannon's poodle walker! Are you happy now?
What Will We Tell the Children?
A Little Less Talk A Little More Action
By Hank Williams, Jr.
"Well she was fighting them off
At a corner table
She had a longneck bottle
She was peeling the label
The look on her face
It was perfectly clear
She said - somebody please
Get me - out of here
The look she shot me
Through the glass refraction
Said a little less talk
And a lot more action"
March 22, 2006, 10:13AM
Teen waitress says Hank Williams tried to kiss, choke her
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 19-year-old waitress has accused Hank Williams Jr. of harassing her in a hotel bar.
Holly Hornbeak alleged that around midnight Saturday the country superstar swore at her, tried to kiss her and lifted her in a chokehold, according to a police report.
Williams has been staying at the Peabody Hotel while his daughters are being treated in a Memphis hospital for injuries they suffered in a car crash.
Police had not issued any warrants in the case as of Tuesday evening, the Commercial Appeal newspaper reported.
Nor has Williams been contacted by police, his publicist, Kirt Webster told the Associated Press Tuesday night.
"I am shocked at such allegations," Webster said in a statement. "Hank Jr. has had to defend himself once already in Memphis last Friday from erroneous allegations, and now this.
"Hank and family is still staying at the hotel, if any issues were problematic one would think that the hotel would ask him to check out or leave the premises. Neither has happened."
On Friday Williams held a news conference to dispel rumors started by an anonymous caller on a radio talk show that he had asked for only white personnel to attend to his daughters.
The women were seriously injured when their SUV overturned on a Mississippi highway last Wednesday.
Holly Williams, 25, was released from the hospital Friday. Hilary Williams, 27, remained in intensive care Tuesday.
Hank Williams Jr. has had a string of No. 1 hits including Family Tradition and All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight. He has sung the theme for ABC's Monday Night Football since 1989.
I lifted this from Hannity's show:
HANNITY: After 9/11, you reconfigured one of your songs. "America Will Survive." And I love the line "celebrating freedom and fun." You talk about a friend in New York, doesn't call you "Hank." He calls you "hillbilly."
HANNITY: I love that song, because it captured the spirit of a country united after the worst attack in our history.
HANNITY: And we're going to survive and we're going to be united. It's no longer about the yanks and rebels.
WILLIAMS: No, no, no. It put everybody together. It really did. And boy, like we were talking — what a different world from the late '80s we're in. This is a whole different world now.
And, you know, like your little one is looking at TV. And, you know, and these people are being killed and bombed. "What is this, Daddy? Why is that, Daddy?" How do you answer those questions? It's hard.
And we have to go back to our history. Even World War I, World War II. "We don't need to be in there. That's none of our business. Let's stay out. And how things have" — so this ain't our first go-around.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Absurd America - Vol. II
I am not sure why it took so long for me to become aware of the exploding whale phenomenon. In particular, the proverbial "beached whale" near Florence, Oregon in the early 1970's. In this case, the whale carcass had been rotting on the beach for some time before the Oregon highway department decided to blow it up with some (read a lot!) of dynamite. The curious public got wind (no pun intended, really) of this event, and collected around the beach to watch the blubber fly. I believe the highway department's and the public's expectation revolved around some fallacious image of a big boom, a vapor cloud, and a clean, fresh smelling beach - just like it had been before. What happened was quite the opposite. The onlookers were treated to a most foul downpour of rotting blubber and everything that might accompany an occurance that involves explosives and dead decomposing whales. It was fortunate that most people only suffered olfactory offense, with the exception of one car owner, who's Cadillac was crushed by a 300 pound chunk of blubber.
The irony of the use of ambergis, formed in the intestines of sperm whales, as perfume base is not lost on the author.
What I also found in my not so exhaustive research on the subject is the naturally occuring phenomenon of "self-exploding" whale carcasses. In this instance in Taiwan, a carcass was being transported for post-mortem examination. Many people gathered to watch the procession, complete with food and souvenir sales. In this case naturally occurring gasses from decomposition exploded; but, nevertheless, an exploding whale. My favorite quote - the power of understatement:
"This blood and other stuff that blew out on the road is disgusting, and the smell is really awful."
There is even a website www.explodingwhale.com. if anyone is curious.
The north wind has the fish on the run, so I get exorcised by reading the news, seeing what the representatives we keep re-electing are doing to us. The Wash. Post reports on Katrina aid going through layers of consultants and subcontractors before finally paying substandard wages to the pobres who do the actual schlepping. Are these the benefits of privatization we're always hearing about? Note that one of the first checks went out to a Pat Robertson group. They may be new to disaster relief but they're all over that fundraising.
And in local news, Rick Casey writes that nineteen Texas firms that donated 2 million dollars to Tough Grandma Carol Keeton Rylander Strayhorn McCormick were granted 460 million dollars in tax reductions. This is a typical cost benefit ratio obtained when the big players invest in lobbyists and campaign funding. This from the comptrollers office that axed bus service to my kids because they live under two miles from school. Now there's hundreds of SUVs gridlocked around the school twice a day, turning Arabian fuel into smog.
-judge chief charly hoarse
Monday, March 20, 2006
Hurry for Rain
Ah. Spring came to Texas today with blessed rains in the north. Perhaps too much at once, but pregnant with hope that the rain will come back to the southern plains and return a healthy cotton or corn crop to the farmers that need it. It gets very depressing when drought sets in. Lots of things die. Especially after 2 or 4 years of good moisture.
Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Today is the first day of Spring, and you know what? It's my 20th Aniversary!
And what a fabulous day it turned out to be. I hope the same for everyone.
I don't have to show you our pictures. You know when you see a couple someplace and you say to youself, or someone else, "hey, how'd he get HER"? That would be us.
She's spicey and I'm extra-crispy. She's a brick and I'm a layer. She's Masters to my Johnson. She's playing Twister and I'm color blind. She's a helpless victim of my love, and a hostage of her heart. Pity her, America, angels should weep that one so sweet should be caste with one so bitter.
Until she comes to her senses, Happy Aniversary.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
No, it's not just the 22nd congressional district, there's been skunks all over the road
lately. I don't know if it's rabies or the rut, but polecats lately have been thicker than
stink on ..... well, you know.
Reminds me of Dr. Jerry Dragoo of New Mexico, the foremost authority on skunks.
(by the way, he recommends that nuisance mammals can be repelled by leaving a radio
on outside tuned to an AM talk station) He courted and won a young lady who, upon becoming his bride, single handedly advanced the state of the art of gettin the stink off ya. This has
got to be the feel good valentines story of the century, maybe, after the one about Julia and the Beast.
-judge chief charly hoarse
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Liberals hate it.
Saw this on a billboard for a talk radio station.
Hate it? Well I guess. I sir, am a moderate, and I hate it too.
You spout disinformation that polarizes and paralyzes us at a time when
we face grave crises. And you do this, not out of any conviction, but only
in the quest for some grubby ratings points. You'd be flogging the fascist
line if they held power and influence.
Even if you were ever right about anything, you would fail to convince me
because I don't respond to diatribe. My philosophy advances through
dialectic, a liberal art that has sustained western civilization through
dark ages brought on by the likes of you.
I'll leave you with a line from the great filmmaker Max Ophuls, who
warned "If you spend your life chasing after the public, all you'll
ever see is it's ass".
-judge chief charly hoarse
Rusty Yates Remarries
Russel Yates, ex-husband of the deranged and infamous Andrea Yates of Houston, was remarried today. With all of the media coverage back in 2001, perhaps lost to me in the shuffle - an important set of details - the late children's names:
The marriage ceremony was performed in a church.
Hey Rusty, how about trying something a little different for your family values this time 'round. Buddhism, Paganism, Agnosticism, or any "ism" that maintains a modicum of personal responsibility.
Texas Round Up
Welcome back Chief! Salud.
It's raining in Moulton. Yipee!
Texas remains alive beating some Not-Texas team 60-52. Hook 'em!
"When Kimberly Marciniak first decided to take a stand against standardized testing by boycotting the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, critics from all sides begged her to change her mind.
Since public school students in Texas must pass the test to earn a high school diploma, teachers and guidance counselors worried the intelligent young girl was throwing away her chances for college. A guest on a local radio talk show said she'd made a "stupidly stubborn decision."
Now Marciniak, 18, has the ultimate "I told you so." She has been accepted to her top three college choices and offered scholarships from each one.
Marciniak is part of a growing contingent of students nationwide showing their opposition to high-stakes testing by putting down their pencils." MySA.com
"Bandak is among the throng of talent scouts, lawyers and promoters who, contrary to popular belief, go to the music festival to see if the bands live up to the hype and are worth signing, not necessarily to discover unknown talent in some obscure venue.
'A lot of bands that end up getting, say, the major label deals ... there's already a good sense that they're a viable commodity," said Brent Grulke, the festival's creative director. "These are acts that are already in a position to be signed, and they doubtless would be signed with or without South by Southwest.'" AP Newswire
"If current CHIP trends persist, about 117,000 more children could lose coverage by the end of June, the group warns.
'I think it's a crisis. We can't afford to lose any more children from the program," said Barbara Best, Texas executive director of the Children's Defense Fund, based in Houston. "Enrollments should be growing, not shrinking. It's the children who are suffering.'" chron.com
been out of pocket
Broke spring with the Sirens in San Antonio. Nice city, they haven't torn down all their past. Do we remember that big gummit built the riverwalk under FDR?
We parked the wagon downtown and rode some mass transit to a jeu d'hockey. Next morning while the girls did some market research, I lingered at the shrine, locating the walls that were, and listening for the stones to speak.
Went next to the Menger Bar for more siege mentality. Tried to steer the conversation to the battle of Medina (1813, hasn't anybody heard about that one? The biggest and bloodiest ever fought on Texas soil, it's where Arredondo taught young Santa Anna to put everybody to the sword) but instead a French Canadien gent lectured on the battle of the Plains of Abraham(1759) that lead to British control of French Canada.
We found authentic food to eat this week; mex at Jacala, wurst at Shilos, and diner at Tip Top.
This qualifies as more history. These three joints total over 200 years old. Calorific!
And now we're back in Space City, making the big bucks and raising the curve. What's President Chucklehead been up to?
-judge chief charly hoarse
Friday, March 17, 2006
Eating Their Own
Turn Around, The Fights Over There
In the darkest days of the facist take-over of government; say, between December of 2000 and Katrina, (I know it seems like a long time) I would check with certain bloggers that were important to me as if it were a crackly coded radio announcement by the French Underground in Vicy-era France. I imagined these brave stalwart heroes bracing themselves for jack-booted stazis kicking down the door and draggin them to the trunk of a waiting car only to later receive the coup de grace in some lonely ditch. Unheralded. Unknown. Doing the necessary work for democracy out of sacrifice.
I needed these guys - we were on the ropes. Democracy as we know it is flat-lining still, and just when we need to assert the power of the people while the despot is somewhat off balance, they all get freakin book deals.
When I was reading Kos today I noticed he thinks his book is being panned by some relative like-minded compatriots. That's gotta hurt. When I read these self-described bad reviews, I was a little confused. For instance, Majikthise seems to like the book, but criticises certain aspects in good faith, mentioning things like:
"Despite the merits of these proposals, there’s something missing from Crashing the Gate, namely, the gate crashing. Markos and Armstrong are really selling the fundraising power of the netroots to other people who want to tweak Democratic inside baseball.
To the extent that the book has a larger vision, it’s about how to spend the small donor dollars raised online. The authors don’t seriously discuss the blogosphere as a source of ideas or as a nexus for activism. They seem more interested in the blogosphere as a medium for placing targeted ads than as a new engine for independent news or as a novel brake on the power of the mainstream media and politicians."
So whats the problem, Kos? Is that not really true?
The other guy - gregsopinion.com - forget about it. I could not get past this statement to even finish his point:
"It's the last two chapters in particular that I found the most illuminating, even if I did follow the blog development of many of the ideas contained within the book. But seeing as to how I've got no axe to grind with regard to Dean's demise as a Presidential candidate (it's clear that the authors haven't buried this hatchet yet - cough*Lieberman*cough), so I'll leave the readers to their own devices when it comes to the chapter devoted to this."
That statement is literally akin to, "other than that Mr. Lincoln, what'd you think of the play?" I mean, do you like Holy Joe, my friend? Don't you get it?
All this stuff is just more of the same. The lefty blogs, having found some success, are selling out. I saw it coming when "Daily Howler" went off the reservation, he was instantly persona nun grata. This is causing some jealousy in certain circles (cough *all you bitches* cough).
We hang together, or hang seperately.
By the way, I am stupid as hell. Don't waste your time. I have no college degree. Hell, they wouldn't even give me my high school diploma because of late fees. I love reason, but see no reason to love people enamored in their own hype.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
MILWAUKEE - Three nights a week at Art's Concertina Bar you can step back to a time when couples went out to dance the polka and listen to the sounds of a concertina.
But now owner Art Altenburg wants to sell his polka bar — which is the last in Milwaukee and bills itself as "The Only Concertina Bar in the U.S.A." — and he doesn't know if the new owners will keep it as a polka haven.
"That would be fantastic if it could be kept up that way, but I have no idea what is going to happen if I leave," said Altenburg, who tells everyone he's 81, but won't reveal his real age.
Like the tavern, polka itself is at a crossroads.
A fragmented effort is under way in the polka community to make sure it doesn't die — through festivals, use of more modern instruments such as electric guitars and teaching the dance in elementary schools. Enthusiasts say their efforts are working with younger people, particularly on the East Coast, Midwest and in Texas.
"I believe polkas are going to keep growing, mainly because I think the younger people are very, very tired of the ... bar scene with the rap music and the loud rock music," said Barbara Haselow, president of United States Polka Association in Cleveland, Ohio.
Polka started from Bohemian folk music in the 1850s and soon spread around Europe, said Cecilia Dolgan, president of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in Euclid, Ohio. Countries including Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and Germany then put their own touch on the music and dance.
Immigrants brought it to the United States, where its heyday was in the 1940s to 1960s. Frankie Yankovic, who died in 1998 but is considered the polka king, popularized the genre with songs such as "Just Because" and "Blue Skirt Waltz." But as immigrants and their children aged, they didn't introduce it to their kids, said Ray Zalokar, director 247Polkaheaven.com, the world's first 24-hour polka Web site.
"The heritage gets washed out with each generation," he said.
Ken Irwin, one of the owners of Rounder Records, which has two polka artists, said polka devotees need a central source to promote and educate people on their music.
Irwin said the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou" changed people's attitudes about bluegrass. Polka needs something similar that shows the music and culture in a positive light, he said.
"I think it is really infectious music," he said. "There is a great amount of talent out there. People, when exposed to it, seem to really enjoy it."
At Art's, 70 concertinas — some date to the 1800s — are scattered around the room. Three dozen line the wall behind the long bar along with concertina-themed gifts he's received, including a winged-bear playing a concertina. Framed newspaper articles about the bar and photos of its performers adorn the walls.
Altenburg regularly pulls out a concertina — a small hexagonal accordion with buttons for keys — to demonstrate for visitors. On one recent Saturday night, he was playing with a tubist and drummer.
Chris Lohman, 31, and his wife Leanne, 35, were among the mostly older dancers who took to the asphalt-tile dance floor between the bar and a row of small tables. "I love it because it's really a thing from the past," said Chris Lohman.
Haselow, of the polka association, said attendance at their annual convention has doubled over the last 10 years. They get 800 to 1,000 polka dancers.
The association represents the Polish style polka and has about 1,000 members, which has also doubled over the last decade with more young people getting interested, she said. Polish style, one of the more popular kinds along with Slovenian or Cleveland style, is a lively hop-step-step-step dance.
"I think we are pulling them in because it's a nice atmosphere," Haselow said. "It's a fun atmosphere."
Zalokar said the majority of his listeners to 247Polkaheaven.com are older than 50, but more young people are listening, especially to the newer music, called Extreme Push.
Over the last decade, some polka bands have incorporated rock 'n' roll and country, and brought in guitars and keyboards. He said there is also more singing, especially by women.
Fifteen-time Grammy winner Jimmy Sturr is also modernizing his music. His two most recent CDs — "Rock N Polka" and "Shake Rattle and" Polka — feature rock 'n' roll songs made into polkas.
He's also involved in Polkapalooza, which has toured the country for nine years.
Organizer Gus Kosior said some areas of the country have stronger interest than others in the festival, such as the Midwest, Texas and East Coast, but overall the crowds have increased over the last three to four years.
Kosior, vice president of United Polka Artists Inc., based in Florida, N.Y., believes that polka is "one hit song" away from being in the mainstream.
"People are starting to take notice but it's taking some time so to speak," he said.
In Wisconsin, where polka is the official state dance, the Wisconsin Polka Boosters Inc. teaches the polka in elementary schools. In October, they tried to set a world record at Cottage Grove Elementary School near Madison when they taught 402 students how to polka.
Club president John Pinter doesn't know yet if the attempt was successful.
"The only way to get it going is to get the people to dance," Pinter said. "My generation, we were so busy having fun doing the polka all over the place we didn't teach our kids to polka dance."
Altenburg said he's afraid that if the new owners of his 25-year-old bar don't keep it as is, it will hurt the polka scene in Milwaukee. Until then, he and his concertinas will continue to greet polka lovers from all over the world.
"Polka is happiness," he said.
The late Adolf Hofner, undisputed king of polka, was from Moulton. (Thanks to Leigh Bowery)
Support the Troups
From today's Victoria Advocate
Firm failed to protect U.S. troops' water
March 16, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Halliburton Co. failed to protect the water supply it is paid to purify for U.S. soldiers throughout Iraq, in one instance missing contamination that could have caused "mass sickness or death," an internal company report concluded.
The report, obtained by The Associated Press, said the company failed to assemble and use its own water purification equipment, allowing contaminated water directly from the Euphrates River to be used for washing and laundry at Camp Ar Ramadi in Ramadi, Iraq.
Painting: Bad Blood by Elmira
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I don't want to blog about Miss Deaf Teen Texas being hit by a train; or that we killed ten people today to catch Osama's fluffer; or that the media evidently feels it is OK to coach Federal witnesses in a death penalty trial; or that they feel Russ Fiengold is a jerk for wanting to censure a despot who has stolen our liberty, dignity, and humanity. I am sick of all the smirking, irony and cynicism. And yet I come accross this today:
SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST
Get a good buzz
Bands invade Austin with high hopes of getting noticed
By MICHAEL D. CLARK
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
The South by Southwest music conference this year represents rock 'n' roll's version of the circle of life
Over five days, beginning today, 45-minute blasts of music can determine artists' fates and help shape musical tastes for the upcoming year. Some performers are fresh-faced and taking their first big musical steps; others are established veterans looking for another shot.
For most of the roughly 1,400 acts invited to the music conference, SXSW offers the opportunity to grow from an undiscovered regional group into a talked-about national act. Beck, Hanson, Franz Ferdinand, Hot Hot Heat and TV on the Radio have all gotten boosts from the conference. This year, new names include Arctic Monkeys, coming from the U.K. with a suitcase full of hype, and Australian power trio Wolfmother.
One band, neither old nor new, that hopes to land a long-overdue breakthrough is Brit-pop ensemble Belle & Sebastian. On the just-released album The Life Pursuit, the seven-piece band specializes in twee, dreamy songs that have slowly edged more toward rock 'n' roll. The group will bring this new sound to SXSW for a test-drive.
"This definitely is an unusual gig for us," said vocalist and guitarist Stevie Jackson. "It's all about trying to reach more people. The shows are short, which makes it kind of different. I guess we're just going to fire off a few fast ones."
At the SXSW music conference this weekend, careers could be made through just about every downtown doorway. The trick is figuring out where the buzz is loudest.
The problem with the people in the press isn't so much that they are stupid and lazy, which they are, it's that they don't believe in anything real, and are willing to sacrifice nothing. That is why they can't sell newspapers. The above piece, for instance, is simply crap. It is a superb example of infotainment. SXSW is for the enrichment of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and its clients. Besides the tangental comments relating to this below. Texas is now awash with temporarily homeless minstrals, once young and shiney, now wizened and grimey. The "1,400 acts invited" play for free, or worse, go out of pocket.
Of all the statistics discussed by me and others lately, only one stat counts: who has been signed at SXSW since Eddie Brickell and Lisa Loeb? Kids? Bite me.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I was having fun in Austin today. The spring weather was beautiful, crisp, and clear, (except for the chem trails) and seeing all the young hipsters, I got to thinking about SXSW music conference set to start tomorrow on the 15th.
I've tried to get us in once and had no luck. We accepted lots of advice ernestly from others about how to get noticed and get in. It was discouraging, and much easier to adopt a "so what" attitude, but honestly, it would be great to participate.
Although a slight majority (52%) of the 1,100 musical acts are from the "southwest" 20% are from overseas. The rest are from the west and east coasts.
2 out of 3 participants are between the ages of 30 - 55, and 29% earn over $100,000.00 annual income.
I guess we could enroll in the conference; that's $375.00, or we could get a booth for more. In fact, depending on how much we want to spend, we could buy a "private party," or fix up a "public performance" if the price is right. The best way to get buzz going in Austin is through a rolled up $100 bill.
I don't think we'll being going any time soon.
Payola in Radio Uncovered by LA Times
Spitzer Alleges Payola in Lawsuit
The New York attorney general says radio company Entercom sold airplay to record labels.
By Charles Duhigg, Times Staff Writer
March 9, 2006
The nation's fourth-largest radio company, Entercom Communications Corp., traded airtime for gifts and payments in a payola scam that included formalized programs to sell airplay to record labels, according to a suit filed Wednesday by New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer.
The suit's most serious allegations focus on Entercom's "CD Preview" and "CD Challenge" programs, in which radio executives allegedly solicited payments to improve a song's position on national airtime charts.
In one e-mail released by Spitzer, Entercom's vice president of programming, Pat Paxton, wrote to a colleague: "A quick lesson on how CD Preview works: Record companies buy the program to better their chart position…. It generates millions of dollars for Entercom that is found money."
Spitzer's suit comes as Entercom and at least two other radio companies have communicated with the Federal Communications Commission about settling an investigation into payola practices, sources familiar with the talks said.
Representatives of Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation's largest radio station owner, Citadel Broadcasting Corp. and Entercom have been in contact with representatives of the FCC's enforcement division to discuss pay-for-play investigations, said those sources, who did not want to be named for fear of derailing a potential settlement. The sources said some FCC officials had hinted at a willingness to quickly resolve the agency's inquiry.
But that haste has some observers worried that a speedy resolution could lessen the effect of Spitzer's investigations.
"We need to shine more sunlight on the corruption in how radio stations choose songs," said Don Rose, president of the American Assn. of Independent Music. "An agreement behind closed doors between the FCC and the big radio companies is exactly the opposite of that."
Monday, March 13, 2006
The Love Church
John Tierney of the New York Times, wrote recently, "if the specter of legalized polygamy is the best argument against gay marriage, let the wedding bells ring." I didn't get to read the rest of the article because I can't afford to get past their firewall. But I heard the matter much discussed among the bloggesphere.
It appears that polygamy is quickly becoming all the rage with the conservo-set, which is a man-centered fantasy world anyway. JC Christian shot off to religious leaders:
"If that's the case, wouldn't it compound the problems men like ourselves have when we bed a woman? It's hard enough to put up with one woman's crying, vomiting, and cutting remarks about the size and virility of our little soldiers. I can't imagine doubling or tripling it would make it any better."
However, it seems there was a personal side to the general's remarks that I was entirely surprised and delighted to learn of.
"Mitt Romney's big win in Memphis, the premier of HBO's Big Love and the endorsement of polygamy by two of Red America's most respected pundits got me to thinking about my own polygamist roots. On July 31, 1857, My great, great grandpa, Wilford Woodruff was sealed for time and all eternity to his ninth wife, Sarah Delight Stocking. He was fifty years old and a member of Mormon Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a body whose power is second only to that held by the Prophet, himself. Grandma Sarah was nineteen at the time."
He reminds us earlier that Mitt Romney made an unexpected favorable showing at the recent republican straw polling for the 2008 election. And he, too, has made no remarks condemning the practice of polygamy. Although we know it is completely illegal in the US. For the LDS church, the practice was forcibly ended, and later,
"Some Mormons, refusing to obey the Manifesto and fearful of the resulting federal crackdown on polygamists, pulled up stakes and moved to Mexico. Among them were Miles Romney, Mitt's great grandfather, and his three wives. The Romneys remained in Mexico until the Revolution, when Mitt's father, future Governor George, moved back to the States.
I suppose that it's because of this history that Mitt refuses to condemn the practice of plural marriage. Some might view such reluctance as being an impediment to his presidential chances, but now that Tierney and Kurtz are on the polygamy bandwagon, support for it may become a conservative litmus test. I hope that's the case."
What a rich history the Romney's played in the polygamist's diasporah to Northern Mexico, which I still see down there on market days, looking very much arayan and speaking very much Spanish. Just a quick search came up with stuff like this:
"As for George Romney, governor of Michigan, John Hart says: " The Romneys still live in the predominately Mormon community of Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, the Stake in that part of Mexico; 5,000 people live there. It is located some 18 miles west of Casas Grandes in a beautiful valley filled with apple orchards. There are now 3 million Mormons in Mexico and they have a goal of 30 million by 2020. Their missionaries are literally everywhere. There were also still some of the Hatch family at Colonia Juarez just a few years ago". RH: I suppose this is a reference to the family of Orrin Hatch.
Shortly after, the local general told Mormon stake president Junius Romney that the Mormons must hand over the large supply of weapons and ammunition they had been storing in case of trouble. Romney stalled. Despite the fact that flatcar-mounted artillery was trained on Colonia Dublan, he went into council with his people and decided to turn over some, but not all and certainly not the best of their guns to the rebels. In this way, he tried to gain time to get the multiple wives of each family, the women and children of the colonias, out of Mexico."
A young George Romney made his way out of the wilderness to make his fortune:
"A lifelong member and former bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mr. Romney spent two years as a Mormon missionary in England and Scotland during the 1920s. Friends said there was an evangelical strain about many of his undertakings later in life as well.
As chairman and president of American Motors from 1954 until 1962, Mr. Romney played a key role in bringing the compact economy car to the U.S. public. He oversaw marketing for the Rambler, which he promoted with a missionary enthusiasm. Lambasting the large chromium-laden cars produced by Ford, Chrysler and General Motors then, he declared: "Who wants to have a gas-guzzling dinosaur in his garage? . . . Think of the gas bills!"
Trapped once in a St. Louis traffic jam, he lectured a taxi driver that the mess never would have happened if everyone drove smaller cars. "Next time, try a Rambler," he advised as he left the cab."
The Romney's can't afford to stain their souls by denying their religious heritage, because this, in part is their deeply held belief:
"(S)ome affirmed they saw a pillar of fire between him and the Cadi or Magistrates, and others actually swore that they saw it. This the credible Jews believed; those who would not believe in him, were shunned as excommunicated persons, and all intercourse with them was prohibited. 'The Grand Seignor, determined to try his faith by stripping him naked and setting him a mark for his archers; but rather than subject himself to this test, he turned Mahometan, to the great confusion of the Jews.' We have been thus particular in giving a view, of the incidents of the life of this impostor, as a specimen of the others; and because of some remarkable analogies between him and the present New York imposter.
Numerous have been the imposters among christians since the great apostacy began; especially since, and at the time of the Reformation. Munzer, Stubner and Stork, where conspicuous in the beginning of the 16th century.' These men taught that among christians, who had the precepts of the Gospel to guide them, and the spirit of God to direct them, the office of magistracy was not only unnecessary, but an unlawful encroachment on their spiritual liberty; that the distinctions occasioned by birth, rank, or wealth, should be abolished; that all christians should put their possessions into one common stock, and live together in that state of equality, which becomes members of the same family, and that polygamy was not incompatible with either the Old or New Testament."
Another reason not to deny to LDS saint's polygamist skism is that they'll come and kill you. But that's a story for later.
Doesn't everybody want these guys to run the country?
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Kinky Friedman Accused of Drinking Beer
By finger sniffing sanctimonius sheet peekers. From SA Express News:
"Gubernatorial hopeful Kinky Friedman rode in a St. Patrick's Day parade car Saturday with his trademark black hat and burning cigar — plus a beer in his hand, an apparent violation of the state's open container law."
These parsimonius Republican ring kissers will no doubt shadow the Kinster and report every little thing they can rub their sweaty little pig thighs over. Does it bother the man in black. Hell no.
"Guinness is the drink that kept the Irish from taking over the world. It would be unthinkable not to have a Guinness during a St. Patrick's Day parade. In fact, it would be spiritually wrong," Friedman said in a statement issued by spokeswoman Laura Stromberg."
The Dallas police rightly elected not to make the pinch, since none observed the alleged crime.
Pillow biting skuz snuzzling little bitches take notice. I will be watching you with my camera during Fiesta week, so you better stay away from the fruit flavored malt liquor you enjoy so much.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Get Ready for Party on the Pasture June 16th
You've Come a Long Way Baby!
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Rest in Peace
I was standing by my window
On a cold and cloudy day
When I saw the hearse come rollin’
For to take my mother away.
Will the circle be unbroken?
By and by lord, by and by,
There’s a better home a-waitin’
In the sky lord, in the sky.
I told the undertaker:
Undertaker, please drive slow,
For this body you are haulin’
Lord, I hate to see her go.
Will the circle be unbroken?
By and by lord, by and by,
There’s a better home a-waitin’
In the sky lord, in the sky.
Well I followed close behind her,
Tried to hold up and be brave,
But I could not hide my sorrow
When they laid her in the grave
Will the circle be unbroken?
By and by lord, by and by,
There’s a better home a-waitin’
In the sky lord, in the sky.
I went back home, my home was lonesome,
Missed my mother she was gone.
All my brothers and sisters crying
In our home so sad and alone.
Will the circle be unbroken?
By and by lord, by and by,
There’s a better home a-waitin’
In the sky lord, in the sky.
We sang the songs of childhood,
Hymns of faith that made us strong,
Ones that our mother had taught us,
Hear the angels sing along
Will the circle be unbroken?
By and by lord, by and by,
There’s a better home a-waitin’
In the sky lord, in the sky.
In Loving Memory of Shirley Jean Sloyan (1928-2006)
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
My Take on Things
Make me swing at Eskimos shooting rotary engines at striped water tanks near ski lodges. Merrily. Purple shoes hold more cole slaw than crab meat:
* Microbarograph fortune-teller. Quasi-perfect
* reconstitute Melrose half-reluctant done tumults, haitian shoplike handcuffing and smooth-finned unkneaded Lumbye am nonsupports may limper. Corseleted snuffcolored noncostraight. Fabrice nanocephalic will taketh. Representativenesses
* Plotinic doing old-fashionedness methenyl. Interambulacra throw-back
* Arabophil hoosier. Loudspeak Palladian MGH unbalanceably -- freemason baronry
* tentage asperifoliate
* anatomy norit kremlins doing virility
* blow-up done ropemaking -- hippocrepian? Elaphurine. Allopathic! Pulverulently: colander: testators do Concord underwit nor sanskrit
* death-come-quickly. Voltivity superidealness
* gomphosis done cherogril: canting thrusts breaded uncompahgrite, indent rosewise. Radiobiologist
* calycophoran. Neo-classicist telotaxis. Prefree-trade was email@example.com thingumajig Alle unhabituated
* suspicional, Romneya nonperversion spiricle, predictation: pseudoderm unrusticated dhurry embryoplastic, unprefixal decolourization if puboischiac
* lowlives gimbals. Indefluent. Cobaltocyanide galley-tile? Sous-lieutenant be theromorphological. Refabrication not katharine echinodermatous advertizer
* erythrocytolysis. Haven't did -able done basiarachnoiditis overprominently. Amyloplast pipe-dreaming neither hirtellous? Flaked posthospital or macrosegment should infelicity sky-scaling.
Thanks to Agglutinability
Zippidy Doo Da
DeLay Machine Delivers
Well, the hammer won his primary yesterday, though the 61 percent showing is well short of the 80-some percent he usually pulls in a primary. He polled strongest with early and absentee voters, drones and clones marched from the pews of their hard shell and mega-churches, and with demented nursing home residents who could still clutch a pen. The Aristotle Int'l software his campaign used to identify and mobilize likely supporters worked well in the newly annexed sections of the district, where he polled stronger than in his home county. Just another example of where the voters once chose their representatives, now the representatives choose their voters. The 20,000 votes DeLay won yesterday cost him more than $100 each. As he continues to spend more on legal defense than on campaigning, one wonders if he'll be able to afford a majority should he remain on the ballot next November.
-judge chief charly hoarse
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Voter Irregularities in Webb County
From the front page of the Laredo Morning Times (Cuellars Home Town):
Because of a technical difficulty, results from the Democratic and Republican primaries have been delayed.
The machine built to read the personal electronic ballots was incorrectly programmed, and as a result the votes must be extracted from flash cards attached to each machine.
Officials with the Webb County Elections Administration were unsure Tuesday how long the delay would last.
In Bexar County, early voting already has been reported. All of the 109 precincts in Bexar County that are part of Congressional District 28 have been counted; there were 6,690 votes cast there during the early voting period. U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar received 1,395 votes, or 21 percent of the early vote; challenger Ciro Rodriguez had 4,910 votes or 73 percent; and challenger Victor Morales of Crandall near Dallas had 385 votes, or 6 percent
And courtesy of Jane Hamsher media reports:
An abnormally high number of voters in Webb County aged 90 years or older prompted an attorney for the Ciro Rodriguez congressional campaign to request an investigation by the Texas Secretary of State. During the first 4 days of early voting, 93 votes were cast by people 90 or over and 51 were 100 or older.
In a message addressed to Kim Thol, Programs Specialist for the Elections Division of the Secretary of State, Luis Vera requested “an immediate appointment for an inspector for Webb County.” Vera reminded Thol, “Webb County has a long history of allegations of voter fraud.” In the 2004 primary election, Vera added, “the fraud made national news.” He was referring to the controversial election between Henry Cuellar and Rodriguez in which ballots, “discovered” days after the polls closed, eventually swung the election to Cuellar by a narrow 58 votes.
Vera also requested an investigation by the Voter Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.
It sounds like Texas Cage Match.
I predict there will be a run off. Morales hurts Ciro more than Cuellar.
This TX-28 race is much tougher than I think the folks at Kos and FDL, et al, expect. There are some heavy hitters batting for Cuellar (more in a moment) but look at what the San Antonio Express News wrote today in endorsing Henry:
"Democratic voters in the 28th Congressional District ousted Ciro Rodriguez two years ago in a close, controversial primary election.
Rep. Henry Cuellar won the primary and went on to defeat a Republican to win the seat.
Now, Rodriguez is trying to regain the job. Dallas-area schoolteacher Victor Morales also is seeking the post.
Cuellar has worked hard and demonstrated an independent nonpartisan mind-set that angered labor unions and other liberal interest groups.
Rather than change horses again, Democratic voters should keep Cuellar, a Laredo lawyer, in Washington. He has earned another term.
No Republican is seeking the post this year.
Standing up to fierce partisan pressure, Cuellar voted for the Central American Free Trade Agreement. It was the right decision for a border congressman, particularly one with Laredo in his district. Laredo has blossomed under the North American Free Trade Agreement, and increased trade with southern neighbors is a boon for the border region as well as San Antonio.
The congressman angered some Democrats with his willingness to work with Republicans, but extreme partisanship is a cancer that threatens to destroy the nation's political system.
Cuellar's willingness to place his district ahead of his political party is refreshing.
The Laredoan's decision to challenge Rodriguez two years ago was surprising because the two had been friends.
Animosity and controversy from two years ago is not reason enough to retreat, and Cuellar is far more politically skilled than Rodriguez or Morales.
The congressman is attuned to the key issues of the region, including border violence and infrastructure needs.
Cuellar's first term has demonstrated that voters in the district, which stretches from Laredo through South San Antonio and north to Hays County, will be best served by staying the course with the incumbent."
Look, 38 people have died on or near the International Bridge in Laredo since January. Vicente Fox has mobilized the Mexican Army from Laredo to Matamores search cars at random (i.e. harrassing Americans) for drug interdiction. The wait at the border to cross is four hours on the average. The highways are still unfinished, there is no affordable housing, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, food stamps, HUD, school funding has been slashed. The Express is tanking for Boy King, and who knows why - they live in a Democratic city. What possible reason could they have for going ass up on this...hmm...
From the Laredo Morning Times:
Cuellar leads the pack in contributions
By TRICIA CORTEZ
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Candidates seeking election to the U.S. Congress often raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for staff, political polls, advertising and consultants, among other items.
Henry Cuellar, Laredo's freshman representative for District 28, has raised $645,791. San Antonio opponent Ciro D. Rodriguez has raised $192,382, according to reports on the Federal Election Commission Web site.
The FEC campaign summary reports only cover the current election cycle through Dec. 31, 2005.
The third challenger, Victor Morales of Crandall, has taken the unusual step of refusing to accept special interest money and had raised only $101 as of Dec. 31.
Amounts raised by Cuellar, Rodriguez and Morales do not include personal or bank loans.
Morales has about $11,126 in cash on hand - a carryover from his previous campaigns for U.S. House and U.S. Senate - but it's still a far cry from Cuellar's $290,833 in cash on hand and Rodriguez's $43,070.
While Cuellar had spent $341,715 on his campaign through Dec. 31, Rodriguez had spent $160,433 and Morales had spent $10,648.
Roughly two-thirds of Cuellar's contributions are from individuals, but the largest checks are from special interests and political action committees.
Some of the biggest PAC donations to the Cuellar campaign from October through December came from USAA, Altria, Wal-Mart, Koch Industries, Home Depot, Centerpoint Energy, Chevron Texaco, Intel, Proctor & Gamble, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association and others.
Larger individual contributions to Cuellar included USAMEX Logistics, the Austin law firm of Johnson & Johnson, Laredo housewife Carmen Wright, Austin lobbyist Mario Martinez, John and Cecilia Keck of Laredo, and Rod Lewis of Lewis Energy, among others.
Cuellar also received contributions from physicians, attorneys, developers, builders, ranchers, bankers, architects, top management from SBC and Philip Morris, and other businesspeople.
Those businesspeople include B.J. "Red" McCombs, Tom Frost, Russell Deutsch, Luis Portugal, Arturo Bazan, Edward and George Beckelhymer, Gerardo Garcia, and many others.
The latest report, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, shows that Cuellar personally contributed about $104,263 to his campaign and is still paying an outstanding loan from IBC.
As for Rodriguez, some of his biggest contributors were unions such as the AFL-CIO, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers and the National Association of Letter Carriers."
Ciro's only hope was for this race to be a referendum on Bush because the BIG ASS institutional money is going to Cuellar. They are robbing the poor on the border and in Mexico, and nothing like justice is gonna stand in their way. They don't need no stinking badges. (Thanks to Alfonso Bedoya)
Monday, March 06, 2006
"Governor, you have never looked better."
It's Hard Out There For a Pimp
Sunday, March 05, 2006
I don't have a hunch about what film will win the Oscar this year, but I have never witnessed in all my days media exert itself so much to declare Broke Back Mountain as irrelevent to society and anathama to American values. CNN's Friday piece about film choices of theater owners in Kansas is just one example. At one point they asked three old crones about what kind of movies they would want to see, and they lamented Holloywood doesn't make movies like Sound of Music anymore. I know I had heard this someplace before. This today from James Wolcott
"Think of the movies now considered classic (or semi-classic) from the great grunge stretch of the late Sixties and Seventies, movies such as Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, The Last Detail, Five Easy Pieces, Blazing Saddles, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Nashville, The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, A Clockwork Orange, on and on--do these movies speak to the pieties and platitudes that William Bennett holds dear? Even back then during all the noise and excitement I remember sweet old ladies wondering why they didn't make nice movies like The Sound of Music anymore, and they're still asking that same question today. It may be the same old ladies, having gone through two generations of floral muu-muus. Get over it, grandma! They're not going to make movies like Sound of Music anymore, they barely made them back then."
(Thanks to FireDogLake)
There is a whole genre of closeted homoerotic westerns in literature starting with the Virginian and old western movies in the 50's (see Audie Murphy). Broke Back is just out of the closet, that's all.
I hope they win.
Zippidy Doo Da
A visit with the Kinkster
We met Kinky Friedman outside a cigar store today and he charmed my checkbook open. Very friendly and down to earth, he courteously listened to my warning about the iniative and referendum process some would bring to Texas. What sounds like a grass roots-up process ends up a lever for big money. Think of that group "Texans for Clean Air" that ran TV ads for Bush, (they turned out to be people that owned refineries and coal-fired power plants) and you'll get a pretty good idea of what I & R would get us.
I heard a lot of talk about education from Kinkys' supporters. If his campaign gets legs, it may well be because the schoolteachers get behind him. Wouldn't that serve Rick Perry right.
-judge chief charly hoarse
Texas Round Up
You thought I forgot. Almost. That box of Italian wine Ivan gave me nearly wrecked me.
From the AP wire:
2 guys died from chemical exposure in a Corpus chemical plant last night. They won't say what they huffed. My guess would be carban monoxide; it kilss in seconds and is odorless. Why the Advocate has not run this story puzzles me.
Tom Delay has three Puke opponents in the primary on Tuesday. He will likely go into a run off against Tom Campbell, a millionaire with boodles of money that he didn't steal or get from bribes. Plus, he doesn't pimp his daughter to foreign businessmen or screw Mexican hookers and asian child slaves. Based on thier current rep, you'd figure Sugarland is the swinginest hot-tub coke snortin' district in Texas, instead of the tight-as McJesus fetus huggers they pretent to be.
Speaking of coke. It has replaced X as the disco party drug of choice amongst swank Londoners. $50 a gram, baby! Something that cheap might replace meth for the disco party crowd amongst the trailer trash of Lavaca County. Not!
Speaking of trailor trash. 2 folks were injured in a punk concert riot in California last night. Police had to form a tear-gas firing phalanx to subdue the 20K crank raged younsters. Sorry I missed that.
Mayor Nagin is visiting Houston today. You go, Ray.
The entire police force of Troup, Texas in Polk County was fired for corruption. Moulton take note.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Welcome Judge Chief Charly Hoarse
AKA Charles Chaveaux AKA The Horse
You might recall he is the famouse jurist who heard the controversial Johnson's Nipple Creme vs. Panola (Fed 2d, 1972) He has written extensively on the legal concept of finderus keeperus. He is often to my right in his opinions and brings insightful wit and intelligent commentary to this forum. We are privileged to have him.
Friday, March 03, 2006
It's roundball season again. Heard Rock and Roll Part Two played
at a game tonight and thought of old Gary Glitter jailed in Viet Nam
for doing a Roman Polanski. Hey Hey.
Speaking of sex tourists, Michael Jackson has relocated to Bahrain,
where they apparently allow the sale of children to perverts. Next
never-neverland? I hear that he has finally released his song to
benefit victims of hurricaine Katrina. If it's anything like his other
recent releases, he and Quincy Jones have spent $100 million
producing it and it will gross thousands of dollars.
-judge chief charly horse
Ivan Maltz's Table
I wish totos los gentes borachos de San Antonio could step inside a Spec's Liquor Warehouse just once. All others are inferior pretenders (including the Western Beverage who sneered at me today for buying discount sotol with the rusty cap).
In the meantime, Zippy's resident contenental, Ivan Maltz is kind enough to share his notes born from a recent bender:
Ivan’s Wine Review
Rating: 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest.
Fontana Candida Pinot Grigio: Excellent, Best in price class – 10 Very well balanced.
Fontana Candia Frescatti: Excellent, Semi-Dry, Well Balanced - 10
Kris Pinot Grigio: Excellent, Best in price class; Very well balanced and good fruit – 10
La Villita Pinot Grigio Veneto: Excellent – 10
Placido Pinot Grigio: Good -7
Villa Del Borgo Pinot Grigio: SoSo - 4
Santa Rosalia Pinot Grigio Veneto: Bottle was sour at purchase - 0
Caviro Tavernello Box: (Only At Fiesta Foods) Very Good, Great Value – 8
50% Pinot Grigio 50% Pinot Blanc
1 liter box
Zonin Terre Palladiane: OK Nothing Special – 6
Tierre Di Chiete Pinot Grigio: Nothing Special – 4
Stella Pinot Grigio: Ok, Full Bodied - 6
From Umbria District
Black Opal Barossa Shiraz: Excellent – 10
Lindenmans Shiraz 2000 Bin 50 SE Australia: Good – 6
McPherson Shiraz 2000: So So - 4
Peace Chardonnay: Lacked Flavor - 4
The Reserve Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio: Nothing Special - 6
Funky Llama Chardonnay: Ok nothing special - 5
Marques De Caceres 2001 Rioja: Very Dry - 5
Vega Sindoa 2001 Rose Wine
50%Granacha & 50% Cabernet: Good - 6
Caliterra 2000 Valle Central Chardonnay: OK nothing special - 4
Wilhelm Bergman Spatlese Mosel Saar Ruwer Very Good, Sweet, Fruity - 9
1999 Bernkasteler Kurfuslay Reisleing Spatlese
KVW – Steen (Chenin Blanc) Excellent – 9
Messina Hoff Chenin Blanc - Texas Excellent, At $4.99 A Bottle
Bryan College Station A Great Value – 10
Toasted Head Chardonnay - California Excellent - Woodsy - 10
Copper Ridge Chardonay – California Excellent - 9
Chateau St Michele Chardonay – Oregon Excellent - 10
Francis Ford Copola Bianco Pinot Grigio Lacked Body & Fruit – 4
Jackson – Triggs Pinot Grigio - California Lacked Body & Fruit – 4
65 Miners Declared Dead
"We have to leave here now. We console each other because it is all God's will," said Juanita Artiaga, the sister of one of the missing miners as she and other family members went home on Saturday night.
No bodies have yet been found because rockfalls blocked the tunnels and some men were 1.5 miles underground.
Even as almost all the other families packed up their things and headed home, a few insisted they were staying.
Maria Guadalupe Hernandez, a 38-year-old mother of six whose husband of 22 years, Jose Alfredo Silva, was among the missing miners, said she was not giving up just because company officials and rescue workers said all the men were dead.
"Whatever they say, they are nobodies. For me, only God can have the final word on whether he takes him away or leaves him with me," she said at the mine entrance as two of her children slept under blankets on the ground.
"All the others can go, but I'm not leaving until they give him to me, dead or alive, however long it takes."
Around her, skinny dogs scrabbled for food in the dirt. Candles stood at a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's most revered Catholic symbol. In all, it was a desolate scene.
Army troops deployed at the mine all week left overnight, as did many volunteers who had made meals for the families.
Efforts to recover the bodies will begin as soon as experts clear lethal levels of methane gas over the next two days."
I have been to Nuevo Rosita and Sabinas where some of those mines are. What I like about going to those parts of Mexico, besides the beauty, is the character of the people.
The miners make $67 per week. They are trapped by their circumstances just like the miners in West Virginia are to a large extent.
Mexican coal in those parts can be extremely wet and nasty, with a sulfur content as high as 3.5%; it produces a huge amount of methane. The coal is used to run their large electric plants Carbon I and II. Mexico only exports about 1/3 of their coal. Ironically, the mines produce enough methane to run all of those plants in purpetuity. They don't have to mine a single rock. Mexico does this, evidently, because mining the coal is cheaper than converting to methane.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
The number one record in America right now is Soundrack's High School Musical on Disney records, followed by Kid's Bop Vol 9! Super! Curious George soundtrack is a close third. WEEEEEEEE!
Oh, and Barry Manilow is at number six.
Isn't the music business doing great?
I sure would like to hear more advice about what people want. It seems to be working out so well for you guys.
An interesting article I pinched whole cloth from www.chron.com
March 1, 2006, 11:24PM
Activists beseech HISD officials to safeguard students
School district chief says campus security measures are under review
By JENNIFER RADCLIFFE
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Concerned about two recent sexual assaults on school campuses, minority community activists urged HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra on Wednesday to take more aggressive steps to safeguard students.
Saavedra, who has held the top post in the state's largest school district for 15 months, needs to add officers, ask for community help to patrol campuses and make sure the public receives accurate information about campus crimes, activists said.
They also want security cameras on every campus and extra officers at schools in neighborhoods with high numbers of registered sex offenders.
"The honeymoon is over. We gave him his learning curve. Now it's time for him to implement what we believe is in his heart," Robert Muhammad, a minister and southwest regional representative with the Nation of Islam, said after a two-hour, closed-door meeting with Saavedra.
Muhammad and others are angry because they think district officials downplayed a sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl at Westbury High School in February and the sexual assault of a 10-year-old at Burrus Elementary School in January. Both attacks occurred in girls' restrooms.
They said that claims that HISD spokesman Terry Abbott questioned the integrity of the girls involved should be investigated. If they're true, Abbott should be fired, they said.
"No rape victim, no sexual assault victim, no crime victim should be further victimized while an investigation is taking place," Muhammad said.
Abbott said Wednesday that the allegations are incorrect, but he declined to comment further.
After the meeting, Saavedra said he has already discussed the incidents with Abbott and does not plan to launch an inquiry into how the events were handled. "I can say emphatically that Terry has my full and total confidence," Saavedra said in a statement.
Saavedra added that HISD is reviewing security measures at all campuses.
The 160-member school police department grew by 10 percent earlier this year, and additional random drug and weapon searches will start within the week, district officials said.
Saavedra's also expected to meet today with the families of both victims.
School board member Kevin Hoffman, who represents Burrus Elementary, said Wednesday's meeting was positive. "I left the meeting feeling confident that the administration is going to take the proactive steps necessary to address the concerns that have been expressed by some community members," he said.
Hoffman said he couldn't comment further on the criminal investigations.
Local New Black Panther Party leader Quanell X said he expects HISD to take swift action, despite concerns over budget shortfalls.
League of United Latin American Citizens officials who attended the meeting said they anticipate immediate improvements from HISD.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Watch for the Fall Out
Uber-conservative William F. Buckley must be hoisting neo-con hackles with his
latest column, calling for Bush to come to terms with failure in Iraq. Look
for Rove and his minions to try to demonize him. Good luck, they'll walk
unarmed into a battle of wits. Buckley is probably still a crack pistol shot
Reminds me of what LBJ said when Cronkite came out against the Viet Nam
War -"If we've lost Walter Cronkite we've lost the country" Unfortunately
few of those backing the President on "the schlong war" knows or care who William. F. Buckley is.
And once again, The Onion has scooped reality with their story of Marines in
Iraq devising their own exit strategy, "Operation Screw This"
-judge chief charly hoarse