Zippidy Doo Da

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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Civics Lesson: Government and You

Off the news wire....
Exonerated inmate dies in hit and run
Chicago - Dan Young Jr. had a $150,000 check in his name awaiting the governor's signature -the price the state put on the nearly 13 years he spent in prison for murder before DNA testing cleared him last year. Young, though, will never cash that check. He died Thursday after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. Police said they have yet to make an arrest.

Shooter overpaid child support
St. Louis - A man who had complained about child support payments before he went on a shooting rampage at the catering business where he worked was overcharged for the payments because of a data entry error, authorities said. Herbert Chalmers killed four people before fatally shooting himself last week. A spokesman for the Department of Social Services said that Chalmers was charged five times more per month in child support than he owed.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Take Names, Then Kick Butt

The Legislature is in special session. Don't hunker down and whimper. Look out over the state of this state. Keep close watch on the demented peddlers we've allowed to take up in the capitol. We need to revoke their mandate this November, even if it means electing some wifty Greens or dusty Libertarians. Most of the present bunch must go, and to do that, we'll have to lead our neighbors to the light.
This bunch in Austin is endangering the public health, letting the charity hospitals go bankrupt, and forgoing Federal matching funds ($2.50 to the dollar) that would provide health insurance for poor children, instead leaving them to more costly emergency care, the bill for which is passed on to every premium payer in the state. Not pennywise, but pound damn foolish.
These crooks and zealots are presiding over the decline of public education in the state, refusing to let any costs fall on their favored constituents, leaving us an illegal catch-as-catch-can system of school funding that leaves thousands of children on a fast track to ignorance, poverty, and the criminal justice system.
For strike three, consider what these people have done with our crown jewels, the state parks, neglecting, privatizing, spinning off or selling out these public resources by diverting funds once dedicated to their upkeep. The parks are the only setting for some children to learn to appreciate and conserve nature, to learn to see a need for such a thing, this essential everything that surrounds and sustains us, even as we ignore it. Remember that tear on the cheek of Chief Dan George, then go with your friends and neighbors this fall and vote the sons'a bitches out of office.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Huey Long Gets His Due

I knew in my heart that the public had not abandoned Huey, jazz great that he is. Hundreds of people came to his party on Tuesday. He got news coverage on TV, and a photo-documentary of some type has started. He has new management, and the public gave generously in gifts of rememberences and support. He is making a come-back at age 102! Huey, you deserve it more than anyone we know.

Many thanks and kudos to Mike Bounds who had a big role in making this all happen.;

From the Houston Chronicle:

day of affection
Heights neighborhood throwing party for 102nd birthday of music legend Huey Long

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Dee Bedford of Spring is window-shopping along 19th Street in the Heights, when she sees a cardboard sign on an easel that proclaims: "Music Legend: Huey Long."

She ventures inside Venus Hair, a tiny, kitschy beauty shop, and comes face to face with the living legend himself.

Holding court from an antique barber chair, Long, at 101, looks elegant in a pinstripe sport coat, crisp, button-down white shirt and tasteful coordinating tie. Long, the last surviving member of the original Ink Spots, a group that pioneered the genre of black vocal-group harmony, sets up shop here every Saturday afternoon, selling CDs, guitar instruction books and autographed photos. Ink Spots music blares from a CD player outside.

Bedford is thrilled.

"I just came out of the blue," Bedford says. "This is my first time in the Heights."

Bedford says her mother, who grew up in Philadelphia, was talking about the Ink Spots just last week. "She said they don't make music like that anymore."

Long offers to autograph a photo for her mother. Bedford says her mother will undoubtedly place the photo on her nightstand and cherish it forever.

"Her name is Doris, D, O, R, I, S. My mother is going to cry with happiness," she says. "and it'll make my dad a little bit jealous, too. They've been married 58 years.

"Can I get a hug? I know it's bold of me to ask for a hug as well as a picture. Was that too presumptuous?"

Long, kidding around, tells her it was a little bold but gives her a hug, anyway, before she leaves, holding the treasured photo.

The Heights has adopted Long. He'll be 102 on Tuesday, when the neighborhood is planning a party open to the public at M2 Gallery.

"I have lived quite an exciting life," Long says, "and I've been blessed to live this long."

Susan Venus, owner of Venus Hair, says she'd been cutting Long's hair for years before he literally landed in her shop permanently a couple of years ago. Before that, he had set up his display of photos and memorabilia in other Heights shops, and then out on the sidewalk in front of Venus.

"It got hot one day, and I kind of passed out," Long recalls. "I went into Venus, and Venus was real nice to me."

Venus called an ambulance and offered Long an air-conditioned spot just inside her door.

"I ended up coming inside with my exhibit," Long says. "I couldn't ask for a better place. I meet a lot of interesting people, a lot of fine people."

He pauses, opening a deli container. "Can you cut this for me?" he asks Venus, pointing to his pastrami sandwich.

"Certainly," Venus says.

Venus says she welcomes the energy Long's celebrity and warmth brings to her shop.

"It's such a trip having all these people come in all day," Venus says, "Between the clients and the people who come to see Huey, it's busy. It's fabulous. I hope to have him around forever. To think he's almost 102 and he's out selling his wares. It's a miracle."

He's a vital part of the Venus community, which is part Mayberry barbershop, part Alice in Wonderland, part Twilight Zone.

From where Long sits, he can see a mannequin wearing a gypsy skirt, a fur stole and a motorcycle helmet perched atop an old-fashioned Coke machine, next to a Venus de Milo statue, a wall-mounted TV and a painting by local artist Beans Barton. Venus' collection of Mardi Gras masks and dolls lines the walls, evoking a mad celebratory ambience.

Venus' art car, the Venus Hairse, is parked outside, serving as her "open" sign. Its exterior is plastered with photographs and polyurethane. Inside, it's laden with colorful beads and jewelry, much of it provided by clients.

"It's a happy place," says Venus, who has owned the shop for 28 years. Before that -- for 50 years -- it was a barber shop. It still has the pole and the vibe to prove it.

Long enjoys making a sale from this unorthodox office. But he is most interested in making a connection with his public. If business is slow, he walks outside to fix his wind-blown photo display on the sidewalk of 19th Street, usually making a few more friends in the process.

For many visitors, Long is a living, breathing link to the past -- their childhoods, their parents or grandparents, living or dead.

The ukulele player

Long, born in Sealy, joined the Ink Spots during World War II, and in the course of an incredibly long career, also played with jazz greats Sarah Vaughn, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He's a wealth of inside information, confiding for example that despite "Diz's" celebrity, Fats Navarro surpassed him on the trumpet, but had his legacy -- and his life -- snuffed out at an early age by "the fast lane," a fate Long managed to avoid himself. (Navarro died in his 20s of tuberculosis and heroin addiction.)

In 1923, pre-music career, Long was running another business in Houston, also dependent on pedestrian traffic. He set up a shoe-shine stand on the sidewalk outside the Rice Hotel. It turned out the young ukulele player was in the right place at the right time.

"Frank Davis' Louisiana Jazz Band used to come to Milam and Travis, and a guy would get down off of the truck with his -- what is it called, megaphone? -- and tell them where the dance was going to be. He was ballyhooing, see? So I told Frank Davis of the Louisiana Jazz Band that I could play. That's how I got started."

First, though, he needed to do some shopping.

"I played the ukulele, so I went to the store for a banjo with a pocketful of nickels," he says. "I paid on time."

The Louisiana Jazz Band, Houston's hottest band at the time, was later known as the Dixielanders.

Despite local success, Long soon moved to Chicago, playing in Al Capone's clubs and at the 1933 World's Fair backing Texas Guinan at the Century of Progress exhibition. "I was gone 70 years to Chicago and then New York, and I've been back in Houston for a quick 10 years."

By 1933, he had also switched instruments again, trading the banjo for guitar.

But before he left Houston for Chicago, his mother offered some advice he took to heart:

"It was like a different world up North," Long says. "It was very cold. My mother didn't give me a big lecture, but she said, 'Listen, you wear your long underwear and be a good boy.'"

So while some of his contemporaries wound up in a self-destructive fast lane of women, wine and song -- and worse -- Long concentrated on the song.

"Lots of things that are good to you, are not good for you," he says. "It's better to do things in moderation." He learned to tell stage-door groupies he had other plans. "I would beg off," he says. "I'd have an excuse ready." One of his fail-safe excuses? His wife was waiting for him.

He married Louise in 1931 and they had four children. His oldest, Huey Jr., died in the 1990s. Sons Shiloh and Rene and daughter Anita all live in San Jose, Calif. He was married a second time, to Thelma, in 1957, but he outlived both of his wives. His baby sister, Robertha Gaines, now in her 80s, also lives in Houston.

By early 1944, Long had formed his first trio with C.C. Williams at the piano and Eddie Brown on the bass, which performed at the Three Deuces Cafe on 52nd Street in New York. But by the end of that year, Ink Spot leader Bill Kenny persuaded Long to leave the trio and join his band. Long was an Ink Spot for a little more than a year.

It was a busy and productive period for the band. With the Ink Spots, Long recorded the tunes If I Didn't Care, My Prayer, When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano, I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire, Java Java, Street of Dreams, To Each His Own and others. On tour, the set list of hits rarely changed.

"You get a repertoire and you keep it over and over," Long explains. Kenny, the singer known for his high tenor vocals, gave the Ink Spots their unique sound, says Long, who sang the baritone part and played guitar.

After leaving the Ink Spots, Long took his own trio on USO tours overseas in the early '50s. He was also in an Ink Spots spinoff group that played for two years in California.

In the 1960s he opened a teaching studio in New York and has taught guitar ever since. He also wrote and arranged more than 80 songs for the chord-melody guitar style, which Long describes as a dying art. Long and his contemporaries used chords to carry the melody, rather than playing single string solos or riffs.

Eventually, about 10 years ago, he decided to return to his roots in Houston. His career is commemorated in the historical museum in Sealy and in his own Heights apartment, which resembles a music museum.

Long is unfailingly polite and diplomatic about most topics, including modern music and rap, which he describes as a form of poetry. "People put me on the spot sometimes and ask me about rap music," he says. "I try to let them know I'm a realist and I'm a musician. I tell it like it is. Music is a vibration of sound. And I respect anything that's making money. I like the idea of making money, and I'm not going to knock anything that's making money. And a lot of my people are into rap."

Huey Long's fan base

Many people who meet Long make an instant connection with him.

Tommy Gay, a 75-year-old Heights resident, stops in, too, on this Holy Saturday, wearing a bicycle helmet. His bike is parked outside.

"I want all those old favorites I heard as a kid," Gay says. "I heard Huey singing my whole childhood. He's a blue blood and a treasure. We're lucky to have you here in the Heights."

"I'm happy to be around good people," Long responds. "If you try to be a good person, you attract a lot of good people."

"Did y'all know the Mills brothers?" Gay wonders.

"Oh, yes, in the theatrical world, we were all friends," Long says.

Pat Malloy of Tuscon, Ariz., says he had been thinking of his father earlier in the day, before he saw Long's display, and came in to buy a CD. "A lot of connections will happen when you are thinking of someone who is deceased," he says. "The music is my link to my father. He was from South Texas, and he just loved the Ink Spots. My father saw him perform live."

Karen Robertson of Houston has an appointment at Venus Hair but she has also come to flirt with Long, bringing him an Easter card and a chocolate bunny. She jokes that she has finally found a boyfriend who may not be able to outrun her.

"So is it going to be a big party this year? Lots of dancing girls?" she teases him. "Is everything good? Are you happy?"

"I'm happy since I've seen you," Long replies.

"Well, I am a good-looking woman," she says. "And you're as popular as ever. When you're a handsome man you can't help but be popular. Are you staying out of trouble?"

"I have to. I'm over 100 years old," says Long, who sometimes walks with a cane but admits to no serious health problems.

Robertson says she has visited Long at his home, where he played piano and serenaded her.

"It's his good looks and his charm that got me hooked," Robertson says. "My aunties and uncles in Australia grew up with his music. That they are in Australia and they know who Mr. Long is is very cool."

Last year, Robertson says, she made Long a pineapple upside-down cake for his birthday. This year, though, she has to send her regrets. She'll be out of town on business.

For the record, although he doesn't mind flirting a bit, Long's heart belongs to Juanita Marco Richardson, "his lady friend" who still lives in New York. They've been close for 35 years.

While Long is delighted to talk to any interested visitors, he becomes particularly animated when he meets another musician or someone who knows something about the music of his eras. At 101, he can lay claim to more than one era.

Marji Messer, a jazz singer who moved to the neighborhood recently, says she grew up on Long's music. They become friends within minutes, and Long invites her to participate in his birthday party.

"I'd be honored to sing something for your party," she says. "You better rest because we're going to party all night."

She confides she is almost 53 herself.

"You are a young 53," Long says, "a very young 53."

"Did you see that?" Robertson asks, as Messer says goodbye. "He got 15 years younger, and his eyes lit up."

Local musician Susan Jackson relishes the opportunity to visit Long.

"Every time I sit down at the piano with Huey, I learn something amazing about theory and composition," Jackson says. "He's an awesome teacher and so patient. I also learn the history of musical styles throughout the years. And great stories about musicians hanging out with each other, stories about people like Thelonious Monk."

When asked for advice from musicians, Long is succinct: "Hone your craft and they will come to you."

Venus manages to keep working amid all the chaos of a Saturday afternoon. Near closing time, as stylist Jill Hernandez falls into a chair, exhausted, Venus offers to style Helen Harbridge's hair. She is always the last client of the day, being in no particular hurry to leave.

Harbridge, 91, a cancer survivor, hangs out at Venus every Saturday, too, sometimes chatting, sometimes watching the Hallmark Channel on a television in the back, sometimes passing out prayer cards.

"Being here is my therapy. And Huey Long is a great conversationalist," Harbridge says.

At 5:30, artist Anne Hernandez drops by to pick up Long, who is still finishing his lunch, due to constant interruptions. Hernandez provides him with round-trip transportation every Saturday to and from Venus.

But for his birthday celebration, Hernandez confides, his friends have hired a limousine. His daughter, Anita Long, will accompany him as well as a date, whose name he isn't ready to disclose.

"He is such a character," Venus says, as she takes a rare five-minute break. "He is a super salesman. And if no one is inside talking to him, he'll go out onto the street to find someone to talk to."

That's how Robertson met him, she says. "I was walking by and out came this hand and he goes, 'You know who I am? I am Huey Long.'"


Hit songs recorded by Huey Long during his tenure with the original Ink Spots in 1944-45:

• If I Didn't Care
• My Prayer
• When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano
• I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire
• Java Java
• Street of Dreams
• To Each His Own Copyright Notice & Privacy Policy | Help | Report a Problem | Site Map | Advertise| Place an ad | Fraudulent Ads

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Smokey Wilson

I didn't fully have time yesterday between blogging and force-feeding my sick cat, Batman, to convey Smokey Wilson his well-deserved props.

First everybody buy his fine album shown here. Please visit his site: to get the latest low-down on the Party on the Pasture June 16th.

As I tell everybody, PIP is the last balls up feaky hippy keg buster left in Texas that is REALLY FUN, and not ruined by commercial b-s. All the money goes to Salvation Army, a great charity.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blue Bonnet Festival

Much love and appreciation goes out to the Texas Music star Smokey Wilson and his posse for the magnificent way he handled the stage at Saturday's Blue Bonnet Festival in charming Kenedy Texas.

Driftwood played some of their favorites to a crowd that assembled under the covered area. The weather was hot and dry and needless to say, there was little shade except for a few tortured old mesquites.

Incidentally, I was also up in the Hill Country for the annual Driftwood tribal pic nic near the Salt Lick and the Old Settlers Festival. Everything looked parched under the bright sun. The normally clear and cold Onion Creek was empty; the emerald Blanco River was pocked by a few scummy puddles. There were no blue bonnets to be seen, much less the usually abundent indian paint brush, primrose, holly hocks, brown eyed susans, indian blankets, flox, astors, prairie verbena, and wine cups. It looks like a dust bowl.

A cool wind with bluish clouds swept me into a pleasant dream state as I closed my eyes and listened to the gentle swishing of the dancers feet against the smooth cement floor. Later I ganced up and saw a one legged woman in a wheel chair turning circles on the dance floor. Later, she thanked us for the pretty music. I noticed that she had dried blood on her stump and old poo poo stains on the rear of the canvas seat of her chair as she turned away. What a lovely face and cheery smile she had with her gold tooth.

We care about the people who care about us. We are privileged and proud when we reach anyone with our music. To those souls we say thanks from the bottoms of our hearts.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Buy This Record!

Your old copy of chicken dance is a little scratchy.

Oil Futures Hit $70

Bloomberg reports NY crude futures reached $70.00 per barrel due to market nervousness over Bush Administration belicose Iran policy statements.

Silver has risen to $13.36; Gold to $611.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Best Band In Texas

I challenge any band to beat us.

Special Session Looms

State Rep.Sefronia Thompson of Houston announced last week that she will challenge Tom Craddick for the post of House Speaker. Be still my heart. This woman made an eloquent attack on last years gay marriage amendment that should have made page one of every paper in the state, causing Rick Perry to resign in shame. Craddicks office dismisses her candidacy, noting that they have collected 100 pledge cards from supporters. But we can hope, noting that a bunch of PTA mothers and schoolteachers just knocked his Education Committee Chair, Kent Grusendorf right off the Nov. ballot. (See Texas Observers 'Wrath of the Soccer Moms')

Friday, April 14, 2006

Texas Superfund Sites

Dedicated to the attention span of the American public and the governments reliance thereon.
I was browsing the web for some images that might be interesting and I came upon the one at left. I got to thinking back about the Superfund clean-up program and wondered what progress had been made. I remember thinking how noble it was that the government was endeavoring to clean up big messes made by big (and small) businesses, similar to believing how nice it was to finally have "peace in the middle east" back when Jimmy Carter was president. Here are some statistics about these sites in Texas:

Number of Sites: 52
Number of Completed Remediations: 24
Average Years to Completion: 9.2
Number of Sites Not Remediated: 28
Total Remediation Years: 248

The number of sites not remediated had a completion date of "N/A" or not applicable. I take this to mean NEVER. I do have a Superfund site near me, the "Jones Road Groundwater Plume". It is suspected to have been created from the waste, of all things, a dry-cleaning company, and has one of those NEVER dates on it, so now I will think twice whenever I drink well-water. All these sites have ominous names with words like "Plume", "Creosoting", "Disposal Pits", "Chemical", "Chromium", "Ammunition", "Acid", etc. It is surprising that the government did not hire a marketing company to spin these names. I am thinking of something similar the use of the word lagoon to mean a fuming pond of liquid pig shit from the pork agri-businesses on the east coast. Check for the neighborhood superfind site near you today!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Deport Dubya

Eldie has it right, when Bush comes around with a proposal, take your cue from Rufus T. Firefly and say "I'm against it"
So what's all this hooey about immigration reform? Since when do the American people pay any attention to Congress? ("There is no distinctly American criminal class
-except Congress" -Mark Twain) Was American Idle cancelled or something?
For workable solutions, let us turn to two Texas treasures. First, Kinky Friedman has a plan from a retired Texas Ranger who proposes to take a few millions from the INS budget and put it in escrow for the Mexican Generals who control the other side of the border, with the understanding that whenever we apprehend an illegal migrant, they get dinged say, $10,000. Oughta work.
And then there's Molly Ivans sage advice that to stop the flow of illegals we simply have to arrest the people who hire them.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

See Harriet Briseno at

This one is called "Border Town." I love her work and hope to feature her in an up-coming gallery section. Along with some other friends of the band.

Show her some love.

My View on "Immigration Reform"

Simple. If Bush is for it, I'm against it.

I know that any policy, personal or otherwise, should be well supported by facts, reason and experience. However, anyone who ties their cart to anything associated with W gets burned. It's a suckers play. He could have a program to enrich me personally untold dollars, and I'd still be against it because he is a liar and a grifter. Ask Africa about AIDS, Louisianna about Katrina releif, schools about no child left behind, neocons about Iraq, etc., and on and on.

Any chump that stands for this guy is gonna get taken.

Even though I am against deporting people, or denying civil rights to any human - if he wants it, try again later.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Eve of Desruction

The eastern world, it is explodin'.
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say
Can't you feel the fears I'm feelin' today?
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin' away
There'll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
[Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy]

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Yeah, my blood's so mad feels like coagulatin'
I'm sitting here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace
And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don't believe
We're on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Bob Dylan

Kinky Tells It Like It Is

Kinky Friedman tells journalists he'll offend if elected governor


By PAM EASTON / Associated Press

Author and musician Kinky Friedman told a conference of media executives Sunday that he'll offend, throw career politicians out of office, open Indian casinos and consider a moratorium on the death penalty if elected governor.

Holding his ever present cigar and wearing a black cowboy hat, Friedman, an independent candidate for governor, was the final gubernatorial candidate to address The Texas Associated Press Managing Editors conference.

Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, and former congressman Chris Bell, the Democrats' nominee for governor, spoke to the group Friday.

Independent candidates for governor, such as Friedman, have to gather signatures from 45,540 registered voters who did not cast ballots in the Republican or Democratic primaries by May 11.

State comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn also is trying to make the November ballot as an independent. She spoke to the group Saturday.

All of the candidates spent a considerable amount of time discussing education reform and finance and securing the state's border with Mexico.

Friedman said Sunday that Perry has neglected the border. The governor has said securing the border is a federal issue.

"It seems to me the governor has just discovered we have a border," Friedman said, adding he believes Perry has avoided the issue because he doesn't want to offend Hispanic voters who are trending Republican.

"The good thing about me is I'm not afraid to offend anybody," he said. "We absolutely need a governor who is not afraid to offend people."

Friedman said Mexico is a rich country that doesn't share any of its wealth with its citizens. As a result, he said, many Mexicans head to America where they are taken care of.

"I want the Mexican government to step up and pay their fair share," he said.

The comedian said his sense of humor shouldn't overshadow how serious he is about becoming Texas' next governor. He says he envisions a new Texas government with non-career politicians leading the charge and inspiring people to make Texas better.

"One eye is laughing and one eye is crying," Friedman said. "And the eye that is crying is because this governor has been invisibly banning gay marriage for the past two or three years while the education has just veered into a meteor crater somewhere."

Friedman suggests opening Indian casinos to fund education.

"We invented Texas Hold 'Em here, and we can't even play it," he said.

Texans are gambling, Friedman said. They are just going to neighboring states to do it and Texas would be smart to keep that money here.

As governor, Friedman said he would take a close look at the state's criminal justice system. A moratorium on the death penalty may be in order, he said, explaining sentencing convicts to life without parole saves money and makes sense.

Perry spokesman, Robert Black, said Friedman's ideas will be hard pressed to get legislative approval.

"Until Kinky actually puts forward serious proposals that address the challenges that our state faces, his campaign is little more than a great way to sell books and bobble head dolls," he said.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Huey

I got to jam with the 102 year-old musical legend, Heuy Long at the Italian Festival in Houston, Saturday.

What a thrill and privilege that was!

We did Gypsy, Fly Me To The Moon, Route 66, and Night Train. This man shared the band stand with Dizzy Gilespie, Charlie Parker, Sara Vaughn and Count Basey ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

He lives alone in an over-heated tiny government subsidized flat. I see TV cameras at grandma's 100th birthday and cheering when she blows out candles and drinks a glass of milk. Not one was there for living history on Saturday. Shame on our sad, anti-intellectual America; the pity of the world.

Mr. Long is not bitter, though. But he said he felt like a heal for stiffing his agent for the $150.00 minimum performance fee and we would have to slip him 50 bucks under the table.

What's so important that nobody notices such greatness as Huey's?

Thank You

I don't know what gang of elves came in and restored my archive, links, and events, but thank you from the bottom of my heart. It might have been nails, or it might have been Bloggers. Nevertheless, I have been one sad blogger since my stuff went down.

Bless you.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Zombie Congressman Sends Out His Minions to Attack the Living

In Sugarland yesterday two dozen republican demonstrators (killer sheep) disrupted a Nick Lampson press conference shouting "This is Tom's country"
When DeLay quit this week I was too flabbergasted to note that Sugarland Mayor David Wallace had announced to replace him. Today the Chron's Kristen Mack tells that Wallace "had the heads up about his(DeLays) plans"
Gov. Perry announces that there will be no May election because DeLay hasn't officially resigned yet.
Robert Novak this week called DeLay the most effective legislator of his time. Isn't that like calling John Wilkes Booth the greatest actor?
And Walter Weathers of Houston answers an analogy made by Rep. John Culberson saying "The only thing DeLay and Stonewell Jackson have in common is that they were both killed by their own troops."

Support Ruben Hinojosa for Congress

TX-15's favorite son and incumbent, Hon. Ruben Hinojosa, our loyal Deomcratic Congressperson, is running for re-election against a little-known, but potentially dangerous opponent.

He really supports our troops, our children, our elders, our workers, our communities.

Give - volunteer - care enough to act. It is our duty as citizens:

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Delay Goons Assault Grandmother

No lie. Check it out. Juanita has the best coverage of the whole Fascist melt-down: Kos has it too:

Incidentally, when I checked the election code the other day, it seemed fairly unambiguous about whether or not they can pick a new candidate for November:

(b) An executive committee may make a replacement nomination following a withdrawal only if:
(1) the candidate:
(A) withdraws because of a catastrophic illness that was diagnosed after the 62nd day before general primary election day and the illness would permanently and continuously incapacitate the candidate and prevent the candidate from performing the duties of the office sought; and (B) files with the withdrawal request a certificate describing the illness and signed by at least two licensed physicians; (2) no political party that held primary elections has
a nominee for the office sought by the withdrawing candidate as of the time of the withdrawal; or (3) the candidate has been elected or appointed to fill a vacancy in another elective office or has become the nominee for another office.

She has it right when she observes:

"April 5 - There’s one thing I know sure as a Grandmother’s love: the Republicans are violating the law by putting a candidate up to fill DeLay’s spot in the November election. They can spin this until all their psychedelic colors blend into a purple haze, but Texas law does not allow you to replace a candidate because he sees that he’s going to lose.

They are violating the law and making a mockery of the electoral process. What scares me is that they’ve had so much practice that they are getting darned good at it.

Let me give you an idea of how truly wicked and arrogant their youngsters have become. Another local blogger pointed me to a perfectly serious statement a couple of local young Republican bloggers think is a dandy idea. I'm quoting directly from their blogs.

If there is any ambiguity over whether the GOP can replace DeLay on the ballot in November, won't the state legislature simply rewrite/clarify the election code in the upcoming special session in a few weeks?

It's pretty likely that this will be litigated, and equally likely that the GOP will be allowed to replace DeLay on the ballot. So perhaps the legislature will attempt to change the code.

So, if they law isn't in your favor, change the law? This is the arrogance and win-at-all-costs morality that they teach their children. Even aside from that, isn't having the State Lege act like a bunch of Republican bullies what got us into this mess in the first place?

Meanwhile, the Republican Party Chairman in Fort Bend County does not want a special election because he’s afraid that Democrat Nick Lampson will win it. Instead of letting the voters decide who will be the GOP nominee, he wants to decide it behind closed doors with some other fluffy white boy friends of his.

The intellectual dishonesty of local Republicans is what made me a straight ticket Democrat this year."

Land Negotions! Why would Tom Delays campaign manager believe this kind of brown-shirted thuggery would garner any good vibes from the voters? On the day that Gonzales testified that they had absolute constitutional authority for unwarranted domestic wire taps, and Pat Fitzgerald revealled that Bush ordered the outing of Valerie Plame, (e.g. treason) doesn't it seem that dark forces are mustering to over-throw our very way of existence? How can good people be so blind?

Why drop out now?

The only reason DeLay ran in the primary was to acquire as much hard money campaign donations as possible, which he can now use to pay his mounting legal fees.
It is disgraceful for anyone to hide behind a religious facade to advance his idealogue career, and then preach about the evils of the other party as if his own motives were nothing but stellar. Congress and America will be better off now that he has moved on.
-John Conner
Dickenson, Texas

Time for a Change

The decison by Tom Delay to quit because people were exerting undue pressure on him over the whole sex slave pimping, mob boss acting, hit man loving, stealing for fun in the hot tub thing is most interesting the closer to Houston one gets.

There is huge confusion about exactly what will happen, and what exactly Bug Man intends to do in terms of leaving office, residence issues, his criminal status, etc.. Very "inside baseball" type stuff. Disperate opinions abound, such as:


. . . Obviously, there'll be a special election called and you can bet your Ronald Reagan mint coin that Rick Perry will call it faster for a living coward of a Republican than he called it for replacing a dead Democrat. I'm not as certain that the resulting field (open primary) will have only Nick Lampson facing a squadron of rightwingers and other assorted loonies. Ambition makes for poor predictions and an open seat in an increasingly competitive district can make some interesting things happen.

From Tom DeLay vs. the World:

The big loser in all of this is Nick Lampson. He's a pretty solid underdog to any credible Republican candidate.

Lampson lost 43%-56% in 2004 to Ted Poe in a slightly more Republican district. That was a district that included his long-time home of Beaumont. Lampson had to move into his aunt's house to live in this district, and despite the fact that he's been campaigning for the last year, his ties to the district are not nearly as strong as they were

This is a solidly Republican district. Peg it conservatively at 60%, and you're behind by 20% already if you're Lampson.

I know these guys must understand the TX-22 better than me. The district is solidly conservative, but not necessarily Republican. It is increasingly Latino, Asian, working class, and decreasingly agricultural. Although Stafford/Sugar Land, etc., have miles of McMansions, times are not good. Foreclosures, and banckruptcies are sky-rocketing, gas for the long commute is up - no promised rail line. Opportunities and jobs are down. The district's state park is overcrowded, run down and too expensive. There are no new promised green spaces. The sprawl is not family friendly. Everyday Enron, and unpopular war, a disappointing president, and unrelenting corruption is in the news. Delay has disgraced the district and the party in Ft. Bend is divided. Who says this won't be a referendum on Tom Delay and George Bush's failed leadership? Time for a change?

Don't count your chickens yet, pukes. The people will decide who wins, (unless you cheat).

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hey, Water Traps Are Wetlands, Stupid


You folks have a great paper. I wonder if you guys had a german language paper like the Herald Zeitung? There is an interesting and rich heritage in that part of the country, as you know. I have observed that Fredericksburg has always been a cool-headed bunch, but not to be pushed around.

That's why I got curious when some friends of mine seemed extremely put out about some interloper wanting to drain the Mason Creek water table in a fit of wanton profligacy. Boots Ranch, I believe. They seem ready to organize.

Is there anything about this you could fill me in on?


O.A. "Liquid Daddy" Murcheson
Moulton, Texas


Mr. Murchason,
Perhaps this information will be helpful:

A group of approximately 90 citizens focusing on water issues relating to the Boot Ranch Development met Friday at the Gillespie County Agriculture Building.

The group decided to form a non-profit group to oppose the developers’ request to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to take additional water from Palo Alto Creek.

The group, to be named POWER (Protect Our Water Equity Rights), will be authorized to obtain legal and technical support to assist the TCEQ contested case hearing.

POWER is planning a meeting later this month.

Friday night, reports were made about meetings held during the week with state Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs, members of the Fredericksburg City Council and Gillespie County commissioners.

The group is hoping that due to numerous protest letters written by concerned citizens and Gillespie County officials, TCEQ will hold a contested case hearing on the Boot Ranch request, group representative Jim Schonaerts said.

“While several complaints were made by property owners on how their lives, livelihood and property values would be affected by the reduced water flow in Palo Alto Creek, the overall concerns expressed at the meeting appeared to be centered on two issues,” Schonaerts said.

The first was that granting the Boot Ranch request would set a precedent that any developer could come into the Hill Country and take the water from other creeks for their private use, he said, drastically changing the ecology of the Hill Country.

Palo Alto Issues Prompt

Water Group’s Formation

Contesting Boot Ranch Request For Additional Water

The second was that granting the request would set the precedent that water usage for recreational activities like golf was a higher priority than agricultural use.

102nd B-Day Bash for Legend, Huey Long

We are excited at being invited by Dos Pachangas to back up Huey Long when he plays at his birthday party coming up in April. Mr. Long, is formerly of the Ink Spots and other great bands of the 20th Century.

I'll be passing on details as we go along.

Here is a brief bio of Huey's by his friends and seen at Venus's site

"A living legend appears every Saturday at Venus Hair. The weekend headliner is 101 year old music master Huey Long whose remarkable career included the Ink Spots and bands in Chicago and New York alongside such notables as Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

Huey has a history of being in the right place at the right time, starting in 1923 with a shoe shine box at Houston's Rice Hotel. Flush with a pocket full of nickels, he bought a banjo and headed for Chicago where the versatile virtuoso switched to guitar, setting in motion an eighty-year international career of playing and teaching.

On Saturday afternoons, Venus Hair customers are treated to Ink Spots music and Mr. Long's stories. Helen Harbridge, ten years his junior, described Huey as " a people person." Indeed, he shows no sign of tiring as fans stop by to chat, get an autograph or purchase a tape.

Longtime Ink Spots fan Virginia Sparks buys four tapes while Marsha Kudela and her children Molly and Will, are Venus Hair customers discovering the sounds and stories of Huey Long.

As a music stylist setting up shop with hair stylists, Huey Long is once again in the right place at the right time. Stop by Venus Hair and meet this living legend whose eyes make you want to keep up and not miss a beat."

by Nan Blackmon McCant

Chicks are crazy for Huey. His hair style is a dapper "natural."

More later..

A Town Without Pity

When you're young and so in love as we
And bewildered by the world we see
Why do people hurt us so
Only those in love would know
What a town without pity can do

If we stop to gaze upon a star
People talk about how bad we are
Ours is not an easy age
We're like tigers in a cage
What a town without pity can do

The young have problems, many problems
We need an understanding heart
Why don't they help us, try and help us
Before this clay and granite planet falls apart

Take these eager lips and hold me fast
I'm afraid this kind of joy can't last
How can we keep love alive
How can anything survive
When these little minds tear you in two
What a town without pity can do

How can we keep love alive
How can anything survive
When these little minds tear you in two
What a town without pity can do

No, it isn't very pretty what a town without pity

Gene Pitney

Rest in Peace

Trash Day

A wonderful picture courtesy of the wonderful Juanita, at She tells everybody up front that she ain't no frilly wine and cheeze blogger outfit:

"This website is dedicated to ground zero for Tom DeLay. It’s mostly about local politics. Nevertheless, you folks from foreign states can better understand what kind of people go the polls and make a concerted effort to put a pencil mark beside Tom’s name every other November. Trust me; it ain’t pretty."


Based on her prose style, I tend to think she is the patriot that corrected the Ft. Bend rape allegations against George Bush a couple of summers ago by immediately outing the deranged individual responsible for the accusations, thus saving the lefty blogospere from looking silly. Good save, fellow Texan!

My personal feeling is we'll hear from her again, because believe it or not, there are other creatures under many rocks in TX-22 and the same set of voters. Will it be "Matress Mack"; "The Ryan Express"; George Foreman, Ken Lay? The freak list is endless, too.

Thanks, Juanita.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Would you like some opium with that?

Let's see.

French youth street riots are a threat to everything holy.

Mexican Americans waiving Mexican flags are a threat to a free America.

Cynthia McKinney is a dangerous threat to society.

It rains too much in Hawaii.

Oh yeah, and Tom Delay quit. Scottie McClellan quit. shhhhh.

This Made Me Thirsty

Thanks to the General

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tom Delay Quits in Shame

The Bug Man cries uncle. I think he is flight risk and should be jailed like in any mob boss. What a cheap punk this glistening chunk of human sausage grissle is? People of Sugarland, he cares so little for you that he intends to live in Arlington VA now. The decent hard-working, but gullible people of Ft. Bend County are just foolish hillbilly jerks and rubes to Mr. High Pockets.

The prince of shame thinks he gets to pick his successor through his Texas puke hand puppets. I don't think so.

Here is the relevant portion of the Texas Election Code. I don't read it as Bug Man having the right to withdraw.

§ 145.036. FILLING VACANCY IN NOMINATION. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), if a candidate's name is to be omitted from the ballot under Section 145.035, the political party's state, district, county, or precinct executive committee, as appropriate
for the particular office, may nominate a replacement candidate to
fill the vacancy in the nomination.
(b) An executive committee may make a replacement nomination following a withdrawal only if:
(1) the candidate:
(A) withdraws because of a catastrophic illness that was diagnosed after the 62nd day before general primary election day and the illness would permanently and continuously incapacitate the candidate and prevent the candidate from performing the duties of the office sought; and (B) files with the withdrawal request a certificate describing the illness and signed by at least two licensed physicians; (2) no political party that held primary elections has
a nominee for the office sought by the withdrawing candidate as of the time of the withdrawal; or (3) the candidate has been elected or appointed to fill a vacancy in another elective office or has become the nominee for another office.
(c) Under the circumstances described by Subsection (b)(2), the appropriate executive committee of each political party making nominations for the general election for state and county officers may make a replacement nomination for the office sought by the withdrawing candidate.
(d) For the purpose of filling a vacancy, a majority of the committee's membership constitutes a quorum. To be nominated, a person must receive a favorable vote of a majority of the members present.
(e) A vacancy in a nomination for a district, county, or precinct office that was made by primary election may not be filled before the beginning of the term of office of the county executive committee members elected in the year in which the vacancy occurs.

I don't know. What do you guys think?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

On Ralph Reed Skates

As Eldie pointed out last week, Ralph won't be coming to stay in Huntsville, but he's hit a rough patch on his race to be Lt. Gov. of Georgia. The Journal Constitution reports that he's fallen behind his primary opponent both in fundraising and in the polls. Now twenty-one republican state senators have asked him to withdraw from the race. Let's hope this pious prick is not the last to do a swirley with Jack Abramoff.
-judge chief charly hoarse

Tony Rudy Cops a Plea

the second Tom DeLay associate to plead guilty of influence peddling with Jack Abramoff, and more on the way. If DeLay's not a crook, he's some kinda dumbass to miss all his buddies selling out the system. And he shared in the swag: the trips, meals, entertainment, campaign money, charitable contributions and consultant gigs for family members. This from the sanctimonious little shit who wanted to call out the National Guard after Hurricaine Rita to protect South Main Street from lawbreakers. He should have called in a raid on his own offices.
-judge chief charly hoarse