Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

There was an interesting letter in the Chronicle yesterday concerning calls from Texas GOP Congressmen Culberson, Olson, Poe and McCaul for the firing of V A Cemetery Director Arleen Ocasio, after Focus on the Family’s Liberty Institute charged her with banning God and Jesus from the cemetery.

“Regarding "Lawmaker says he'll zero out VA official's job" (Page B3, July 21), I am a pastor and a veteran. I've done many funerals at the Veterans Affairs cemetery, and no one has ever tried to censor my speech. That's because when I'm there, the family has invited me. It is their choice to have a religious ceremony.

“Military honors are every veteran's right. They are not in themselves religious. They are meant to be simple and austere — taps, a volley, the silent folding of the flag and its presentation with a standard formula.

“Some veterans groups have their own rituals, but these are not military honors. If someone wants the ceremonies of these groups, they can ask for them. You only get 15 minutes to do a graveside service at a national cemetery. It is not fair to the family or the pastor for any other organization to interject their ceremony unrequested - just do the standard military honors, nothing more.

“Finally, a funeral is not the place for volunteers to inject their own beliefs when these are not requested by the family. The VA is doing the right thing here. Please, leave politics - and politicized religion - out if it.”

William J. Cork, Houston

Saturday, July 30, 2011

We'll Take a Rain Check

Mom and dad are at it again. She will remorsefully sweep the broken plates and chine into the dustbin for Monday pick up as unsual; they'll promise not to fight in front of me, or use me as the foil. Again.

The doctors and therapists are divided about whether or not this fueding will psychically harm me is some way. Although, I say distinctively yes, the experts believe that communication geared towards problem solving (read democracy) is the better end.

Verbal violence coupled with threats and calumny are simply what they are in the final analysis. TV politics crave the brinkmanship story because it keeps the cameras around and the story going. Men make names for themselves by pretending to be strong (or, in Perry's case- not gay) once matters are settled, the whole system gets ready for more brinkmanship. It's exciting TV!

I believe American hubris has finally gotten the better of us. The current"debt crisis" negotiations have taken us to a place that I fear spells the beginning of the end of the American Empire. They'll just fix it after zero-hour negotiations and shake hands, and our bond rating will be just fine, right?

I don't think so.

We seem to have forgot these last ten years that the rest of the world firmly believes that mom and dad want to kill each other; that they are the number-one most dangerous threat to peace and civility in the neighbor hood. Dad has so many guns, they are laying around in the yard, and he shoots people all the time, like the mailman and screams, "castle law, castle law! No one goes there anymore. Mom and dad have an ugly trash fire in the backyard that they burn tires and PCB's in 24/7. They have about 20 strange men in battle fatigues living in the garage that the call, "Uncle Carlos," or, "Uncle Xieu."

And now they want the neighborhood to come buy everything at their yard sale cause the need the money.

Naw. I don't think so.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I met a girl the other day who did not use FaceBook. Bravo!

She sensibly pointed out that no real communication exists betwteen partites and getsured by cupping her hand that a telephone call (old school) is much more effective.

I'll admit that she's not so very popular as those measues from young people stand. I mean, she doesn't have hundreds, or thousands of friends.

Back in 2004, my idea for a blog was very trendy. The word "blog," was trendier still, and became fodder for comedians that pointed out that we're were hitting comunication saturation rate that would be our downfall.

However, this platform was intended to be interactive. If I told everyone I was going to swim the English Channel (seeVol XXIV) covered in steak fat and goose berries, I had expected anyone who had a comment to offer one in the comments section. It would be a lot like Facebook except without the weird stuff, and by that I mean, huhm..posing.

The system seems to work well (kinda). But there seems something difficult at getting members of the tribe to use this vehicle as opposed to social networking sights as there first choice.

The thing that bothers me the most is when some issues about rehearsing or musical engagements immediately pinned on "wall paper." If I have no ability to talk to one person without speaking with several others at the same time, I'll remain content to use the phone.

If you find me Twittering about putting on my socks in real-time, shoot me dead as an act of mercy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Deadbeat Show

The radio gig went really well. The phones wrang off the hook during the show from listeners marking their approval. We were invited back, and got a gig out of it.

We just need to keep pressing on and get back in the flow.

Potential conflicts appear to remain among us, unfortunately, that I think probably can't, and shouldn't - it is natural to have artistic differences, and the resulting tension can be healthy.

Thanks to Sandy and everyone at KPFT, and those who listened.

Dos Pachangas is slowly recovering from back surgey and deserves everyone's well-wishes, as well as Beato who is getting better.

I had a heart stent put in a couple of weeks ago, and since then, my brother has left to hospital.

So, there is no reason not to again look forward to some normalcy.

God bless everyone.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Party Like its 1937

I’ve often said that a good president is one ready and willing to piss people off on both sides of the aisle. So maybe Obama’s attempts to reach a compromise with the Republicans on budget cuts and tax increases in order to raise the debt ceiling is not like Charley Brown expecting Lucy to hold the football. Maybe he is going out on a limb to prevent an economic disaster. He must be aware of the parallels with FDR, who cut back on New Deal spending in 1937 to bring the budget back in line, only to see the country start slipping back into recession. Obama must be familiar with economists such as Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong, who are saying that contractionary fiscal policy now will only aggravate future debt problems.

The GOP might talk a lot about jobs, but they’re killing them. Here in Texas the Republican governor and legislature refused to fix the structural deficit caused by their property tax cuts and the loophole-ridden business tax that was supposed to make up the lost revenue, and passed a bare-bones budget that will cost 100,000 schoolteachers their jobs and put tens of thousands of state employees out of work.

And the teabaggers are all against raising the debt limit. I heard them at Pete Olson’s town hall meeting, as I’m sure he did, from the sound of him pledging allegiance to the Paul Ryan budget plan. But those tea-nuts are mostly older retirement-aged folks; what are they going to do when their Social Security checks are late, when Medicare doesn’t pay their doctor bills? They’ve got this cognitive dissonance going, like “keep government out of my Medicare.”

Here’s what business writer Loren Steffy says will happen if the Congress lets the treasury run dry:

Soaring interest rates — think 30 percent or more - that would crush U.S. households, and make homes and cars unaffordable, plunging those industries back into chaos.

“Further devaluing of the dollar, causing the price of petroleum products from gasoline to diapers to skyrocket even as oil-exporting countries abandon the dollar as a reserve currency.

“A Black Monday-style stock market collapse that would wipe out whatever savings Americans managed to salvage from the recession.

“Scores of small businesses, already struggling to find access to capital, wiped out because what loans are available will be too expensive for many to afford.

“And widespread job cuts as a result of plunging consumer demand and sky-high interest rates.

“Unable to borrow, the U.S. would be powerless to shield companies or individuals from the ferocity of the economic crisis. At least we couldn't complain about bailouts. The government wouldn't have the money to pay for them, but it wouldn't matter. The economic instability that is likely to follow default is the kind that causes nations to collapse.”

-That’s what these ass-hats in Washington are playing with. Think it might be worth your time to call or write your representatives and tell them play time is over? Here’s a link:’

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Chronicle ran this cartoon from right-winger Michael Ramirez last week. Mothballing the Space Shuttles is a sore subject around Clear Lake, where thousands of NASA employees are worrying about their jobs, and blaming the President; but I have to wonder how many people noticed the following, from the second GOP debate in Manchester New Hampshire last month. From The Chronicle blogs:

“Republican presidential candidates agree: No more federal money for human space flight

“The Republican presidential field sent a clear message to NASA workers in Texas and Florida: They don’t see a federal role in funding human space flight.

“The unanimous verdict came during a New Hampshire presidential debate tonight and following a scathing assessment of NASA management by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.

““NASA has become an absolute case study in why bureaucracy cannot innovate,” he said. “What we have is bureaucracy after bureaucracy, failure after failure.”

“Gingrich, a longtime supporter of space research, said the private sector and not government should lead the nation into the future of space innovation.

““Unfortunately,” he said, “NASA is standing in the way of it.”

“Debate moderator John King of CNN asked the other six candidates in attendance — including Texas Rep. Ron Paul — whether they would continue federal funding for human space flight.

“Not a single candidate — Paul, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain — raised their hand.”

Saturday, July 02, 2011

"There's only two kinds of music: the blues and zippidy doo-dah." - Townes Van Zandt