Zippidy Doo Da

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Real Texans Don't Drink Starbucks

I came accross this breathless post at BOR that is, if it were art, would be called "pin heads in amber." It is so remarkably characteristic of the way the coterie of vacuous young wipes prop up the shame that is the Texas Dems.

Edited to add a new Zogby poll which further confirms the anti-Perry vote is finally consolidating behind Chris Bell:

36.7% - Rick Perry
28.5% - Chris Bell
15.0% - Carole Strayhorn
14.4% - Richard Friedman

The Houston Chronicle, with KHOU-TV, has a new poll (10/29) confirming what every other post-debate poll tells us: Chris Bell is the top challenger and we have a real chance to beat a vulnreable Perry if we can unite behind Bell. It is time to tell everyone you know the truth about Carole Strayhorn! We must unite to win.

What they don't see is that Perry isn't going to beat them; rather, Richard Friedman is. Instead of figuring out why, they just remain, well, clowns.

I am a Democrat in the mold of Sissy Farenthold or LBJ (when he was pink) so I won't pretend to lecture. However, it might help for them to get to know folks better.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Kissing Babies (not too much)

The republicans seem to want to make sure that the scourge of pederasts will no longer afflict society after re-electing them in a few days. Boy, did this issue get past me! I had no idea this was such a problem. Greg Abbott is going to call a task force to keep them out of Johnny's pants, even if he has to stand up and do it himself. David Dewherst, (the guy in the nazi suit) says life in prison, and if they rub Johnny that way again, DEATH. Of course, Johnny's teeth have fallen out by now, he doesn't have any glasses to help him read. But that doesn't matter because he has been thrown off Medicaid, and can't get CHIPs. All his special need services in school are gone so he can't read that damn well anyway.

That reminds me, how does Henry Bonilla get off saying he is getting all these community clinics funded when they are all closed thanks to him and the state republicans?

If republicans didn't have fear, mendacious lies, and xenophobia to run on, what would you do?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

District 129 Rep. John Davis

sent me a flyer this week. He says that the Republicans have a lot to brag about since they’ve been in the majority. Let’s see; last I knew, the City of Rochester New York had universal health insurance. The State of Vermont covers everybody under eighteen. And the State of Texas dropped coverage on 200,000 low income children on your watch.
Is that what you’re bragging about?
He brags about no new taxes. Hmm. Maybe he wrote this before the last special session that passed Perry’s new stopgap business tax.
$2,000 pay raise for teachers; ask a schoolteacher this week about their big raise. It’s my understanding that the Legislature raised their health insurance premiums at the same time, which ate up most of the increase. But ask a teacher and I’ll bet you get some kind of answer. Teachers are like older people, they vote in numbers exceeding their percentage of the population, and they often vote alike. I’ll be way surprised if I hear of them voting big for the GOP this year.
Oh, the litany goes on, they been fighting crime, controlling illegal immigration, making the courthouse a safer place for corporations and insurance companies, giving some property tax relief to people with expensive or multiple houses, and trying to impose their idea of “family values” on the rest of us. Makes me wanna puke.
This is the first I’ve heard from Rep. Davis. His opponent Sherrie Matula must be putting the heat on him. I heard that she cleaned his clock in a debate once before she became a candidate. I’m looking forward to voting this race.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Buckley on Pelosi

I find it disingenuous of Ur-conservative William F. Buckley to criticize the language of the out party’s legislative leader after years of hearing the jingoism and insinuation coming from Bush/Cheney.
The articulate Mr. Buckley is certainly capable of parsing the republican party line for code words, fudge, and outright falsehoods.
I’m intrigued though, by his first and last paragraphs. He mentions predictions of democratic gains, and what if they take the house, and wraps up saying “Speaker Pelosi will be heir to an important tradition, exercising an important role.” –Hope he’s right on that one.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An Echo, Not A Choice

I’m bothered at the prospect of voting for a candidate I love in what looks to be a losing battle against the evil of two lesser. Now it looks like the Chronicle editorial board has a similar problem. Sunday they endorsed John Culberson for re-election not because of the job he’s done in congress, (where he was little more than a parrot on Tom DeLay’s shoulder) but because he is favored to win in his rich republican district. They exhort him to strive toward a reasonable and responsible center rather than pursue a narrow partisan agenda at the expense of good government. They don’t even name his opponent, Jim Henley, who has been teaching history and coaching winning debate teams at Lanier Middle School for 18 years. Henley, ready to retire from teaching, is making this race as a final lesson to his students. I daresay it wasn’t intended to be a lesson in futility. Now today the Chron endorses Kay Bailey Hutchison for another term. Now Kay Bailey’s record has always looked good compared to Phil Gramm and John Cornyn, but that’s not saying much. This time the editorial mentions her opponent, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, calling her an impressive opponent and hoping that she will not be lost to the political scene. Radnofsky’s challenge forced Hutchison to re-examine her lock-step march behind the White House. What say we elect the right candidates, and not ones that we hope will see the light?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Roy Cohn Party

Dennis Hastert lives with his male chief of staff - not gay?

Ralph Reed and Gary Bauer noodle wristed pancake flippers - not gay?

Orin Hatch likes ass-less chaps and chicken - not gay

Larry Craig -oops!

Jim Kolbe scout master?

Tom Foley tech head?

Dana Rohrabacher dines alone, for 35 years.

Karl Rove - how's your leather slave?

George Bush - everybody has butt sex in a coffin, shoot! A youthful indescretion.

Scooter Libby - not your average bear.

Michael Medved: Hello, sailor!

Ken Mehlman - say no more.

Scotty McClellan: likes bars where everybody wears leather, but no one owns a motorcycle.

Duke Cunningham: couldn't wait for poker night.

Rick Perry and Roger Williams: set tongues wagging.

Condi Rice: slumber parties and pillow fights with Gwen Ifel.

Henry Kissinger: never met a fist he didn't like

Republican Party: self loathing hypocrites or family values party?

You make the call. November 7th

Happy Birthday Eldy,

you big dancy bear. Barefoot in the winter,
bathing in the river, practicing love and
liberty in this century too.

There's So Many of Us There's So Many of Us

Providence Journal columnist Froma Harrop served another ace last week with her piece about the US population reaching 300 million people. She decried “Babbitry” about population growth being necessary to keep our economy booming. Bravo, that angle always sounded like a pyramid scheme to me. If we’re concerned about the Social Security system’s solvency, we ought to insist that our representatives stop spending the money we pay into it and not look for a baby boom or wave of immigrants to pick up the tab. I’ve heard no-choice people bemoan the toll birth control and abortion have taken on our population and suspect that they’re seeking fodder for the end-time prophesies they’re trying to fulfill. Business seeks youngsters and immigrants to do the jobs Americans won’t do. Listen, business has always used any available means to keep down wages, including exploitation, oppression, and murder. They’ve always relied on our government to back them up with cops and troops. It’s high time they let those market forces they’re always raving about do their magic. Speaking of jobs Americans won’t do, immigrants make up 5% of armed forces personnel. I believe that a broad based draft system, or universal service, (children of congressmen first?) would reduce military adventurism, and might even bring us foreign policies we could be proud of.
Some who worry about our birthrate are really concerned that this country is changing color. Remember when David Duke got out of prison he said he was going off to raise lots of blonde babies. These folks are going the way of the dinosaurs. Good riddance.Ms. Harrop cited the Negative Population Growth group’s aim of stabilizing, then, reducing our population to the 150 million we were in the 1950’s. Sounds good to me. Remember Paul Erlich’s Zero Population Growth in the ‘60’s? There were only 200 million of us then. It’s time we used education, policy initiatives, and tax incentives to get our numbers trending in the right direction, and use trade and immigration as levers to encourage other countries to do the same. There’s so many of us.

Friday, October 20, 2006

That's More Like It, Kansas

Peter Slevin of the WaPo reports today on Kansas Republicans on the ballot this year as moderate Democrats. Tired of being cast with flat earth creationists and dead end no-choicers, nine former Republicans will be on the November ballot as Democrats.
“I’d reached a breaking point,” said former Kansas GOP Chairman Mark Parkinson, “I want to work on relevant issues and not on a lot of things that don’t matter.”Remember that this year, embarrassed Kansas voters tossed out State Board of Education members for trying to foist creationism off on the science curriculum. Here’s hoping that Texas voters are moved to overthrow our own ayatollahs.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

One Free Beer and a Professional Ass Whipping

I thought the music business had hit rock bottom, until I read this article in the Houston Chronicle. At a time when musicians are exploited by nearly everyone involved in the music business, comes this from

A recent nightclub brawl underscores Houston's tenuous relationship with the national independent music scene.
Accounts of the incident, an Oct. 13 skirmish at Walter's on Washington that resulted in multiple Taser discharges and four arrests, have exploded on the Internet. Blogs, pages and videos, many generated in Houston, began hosting accounts and fan-filmed documentation of what happened within hours of the abbreviated show.
As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 61,000 YouTube visitors had viewed a short video clip of a Houston Police Department officer chasing an indie rock guitarist around a bar. Another clip that registered views in the tens of thousands showed officer Gabriel M. Rodriguez, who was responding to a noise complaint, throwing Adam Stephens, the 25-year-old guitarist and singer in the San Francisco band Two Gallants, to the ground.
Remains on active duty
The trouble started three songs into the band's set when Rodriguez approached Stephens on stage. Each of their accounts differ as to who initiated contact, but a melee ensued resulting in four arrests. Rodriguez discharged his Taser three times; two concert-goers were struck.
Rodriguez remains on active duty, department officials said. No formal public complaints had been lodged as of Tuesday afternoon, according to HPD Capt. Dwayne Ready.
The officer has no record of disciplinary action, Ready said.
Stephens has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Houston police have not ruled out the possibility he may be charged later, however.
Four people were arrested including Two Gallants band member Tyson Vogel, Andrew James Kerwin, and Sean Gregory Kohler, all of them 25 years old and from San Francisco, and Gregory H. Johnson, 32, of Houston.
Vogel and Johnson were each charged with interfering with the duties of a public servant, while Kerwin and Kohler were each charged with resisting arrest or search, records show. All of the alleged offenses are misdemeanors.
Stephens said Tuesday that the band plans to file a complaint. "This is not over yet," he said.
More than 15 concert-goers showed up at a City Council session Tuesday to complain about the band's treatment by Rodriguez.
According to the show's promoter, 144 fans attended the show, a strong number for a well-regarded band on Saddle Creek, a hip, popular Nebraska label. But it's hardly the hundreds that go to shows in larger venues in other cities.
'This didn't help at all'
Two Gallants is the kind of indie band that could end up skipping Houston. Many don't include Houston on tour itineraries, or they'll play here once, while Dallas and Austin get multiple dates.
Some fans said they've gone online and to City Hall to take a stand to protect what's already perceived as a second-tier scene.
"This didn't help at all," said Reggie O'Farrell, 24, of Kingwood. "This band probably won't come back. Who knows, maybe all Saddle Creek bands will skip town."
Adam Voith of the Billions Corp., which books Two Gallants' tours, said the band will take a wait-and-see stance as far as playing Houston again.
"There are a lot of things to figure out," he said. "I have no idea if Houston will remain in our routing. We've been growing consistently there each time, so it'd be a shame if the situation doesn't get rectified in a way that makes sense. If they don't feel like going back, that's a shame for the fans."
Should Two Gallants skip Houston in the future, it wouldn't be alone.
The Decemberists, a buzz-worthy band from Oregon, will play Austin and Dallas on its fall tour — but not Houston. Another popular independent act, Sufjan Stevens, lined up a date in Dallas and two in Austin, but none in Houston. My Morning Jacket, which had to cancel a Houston gig last fall because of illness, won't stop here on the first leg of its current fall tour. Dallas has two shows on the itinerary; Austin has one.
Houston's 'burden'
What's with Houston? Geography and a creaky infrastructure for music promotion, booking agents say.
"Houston is burdened geographically because there is so little going on within a reasonable drive east of it," said Tim Edwards, of Chicago-based Flower Booking. "You probably lose some shows because the agent is facing a Houston/Baton Rouge or New Orleans route. If Houston is second-tier, then Baton Rouge/New Orleans is certainly third-tier. A lot of times it's easier to head north and cut over to the East Coast more quickly."
Given its size, Houston also is lacking outlets for music promotion that other large cities have. When local country radio refused to take advertising dollars to promote the Dixie Chicks tour, the band's Houston gig fell through. On a smaller scale, independent bands have no strong independent/alternative rock radio station in town to get word out about concerts.
"That makes it tough for a band that really wants to make a go on working Houston as a market," said Ryan Chavez, owner of local promoter Super Unison, which booked the Two Gallants show.
Tough city to sell
The situation is improving, Edwards said, praising Super Unison for bringing bands to Houston that might have skipped town before. But it remains a tough city to sell.
"Houston is a very, very difficult market," said Frank Riley of California-based booker High Road Touring. "It's not a very musical city compared to Austin, or even Dallas."
Some Houstonians think that perception can be changed.
Amber Wilkinson, 18, attended Tuesday's City Council hearing to support the music scene. She has driven to Austin for bands that didn't stop here.
Booking agents wouldn't speculate on whether the incident would have a negative effect on Houston's live music scene, but it's already notorious among musicians in the independent rock community.
"When things like Two Gallants happens, I really wish the city or the mayor would take note of it and see that we're trying to bring in this sort of culture of music and art," Chavez said. "Managers are trying to give their bands a chance in Houston. But there's absolutely nothing we can say to help our case to get bands into town when they're being attacked by cops. Whatever the official report is, there's no excuse for it."
Chronicle reporter Peggy O'Hare contributed to this report.

So this band probably got paid barely enough to cover travel expenses, maybe a free beer, essentially giving away (actually not giving but paying someone to allow) a performance on the slim chance they might get some meaningful exposure. What they got was a taser-shock and kick in the ass. I am sick of this crap. This reminds me of Farenheit 451, but it’s music the American society is trying to burn, not books. One more nail in the coffin of American culture. Sigh.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Worst President Ever?

I sometimes refer to the GOP as the “Party of Harding” out of disgust from hearing them call themselves the “Party of Lincoln.” If they were to field candidates like Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt today, I would vote for them. Hell, the republicans only made Roosevelt Vice-President to get him out of New York. They thought they’d buried him there, but then McKinley got shot in Buffalo.
Anyways, Warren G. Harding has grown in the view of some revisionists, (don’t they all?) see if maybe he looks good beside the current suit-in-chief.
Harding was an undistinguished Ohio politician, willing to let machine bosses set policy. His father told him “it’s a lucky thing that you weren’t born a girl because you can’t say no.” During his term in the Senate, he missed two thirds of his roll call votes. An Ohio supporter backed him for higher office because “he looked like a president.” A dark horse nominee, his campaign slogan “A Return to Normalcy” expressed the machine’s wish that he undo the radical measures from the Roosevelt administrations, like anti-trust legislation, the civil service, and the Food and Drug Administration. In office he was known to play golf and poker twice a week, and to be a fan of baseball, boxing, and burlesque. His administration brought us the Teapot Dome scandal, in which his appointees sold off Navy reserves to what later became the Sinclair Oil Co. Harding complained that his enemies were no trouble, “but my friends are killing me.”
Harding was known as a murderer of the English language. Democrat William Gibbs McAdoo called his speeches “an army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea.” H.L.Mencken called his choice of words “Gamalielese,” after Harding’s middle name, likening it to “stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights.”
In the summer of 1923, he took a trip out west, discussing with his friend Herbert Hoover how to deal with the scandals brewing in his administration. Before he could face the music, he died of a heart attack that August in San Francisco. There was speculation at the time that he committed suicide, (two of his appointees had already killed themselves over bribery scandals) or been poisoned by his wife. (He was said to have had affairs)I would say that the best thing he did as president was to pardon socialist leader Eugene V. Debs, who was convicted of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 for encouraging young men to resist the draft in World War I. At his trial, Debs spoke his most famous lines: “While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” While we’re rating presidents, we ought to think about Debs. He ran for president five times, the fifth time from a Federal prison, when he got 1 million votes. If he’d ever been elected, he’d be on Mount Rushmore today.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Eye of the Needle

This story has been bothering me for a while:

HAWKINS — Judging from the matted grass alongside the tracks, they watched trains rumble by for a few hours that night before they tied on their blindfolds.

Seventeen-year-old Christopher Ladell Hill used a piece of sheet. Harry Tyrone Rutledge, two years younger, hooked his sweat shirt hood over his face and knotted the strings under his chin.

Then they lay down on the tracks.

A Union Pacific freight train, eastbound out of Fort Worth, was going 30 mph when it hit them. The engineer sounded his horn and leaned on the brakes. The boys curled up in the center of the railbed. They flinched or ducked to miss the onrushing wheels, or so it looked to a police officer on the scene.

"A moving train creates a suction, and it has pieces of metal hanging down," said Lt. A.J. Randell, chief investigator for the Police Department in Hawkins, a town of 1,300 residents about 90 miles east of Dallas. "Something snagged them and rolled them down the tracks."

Two green plastic circles nailed to the tar-stained ties mark where the two bodies settled some 300 feet from impact. They died instantly, Randell said, from massive blunt-force trauma to their heads.

From what he has seen so far, Randell says he thinks the teenagers, both deeply troubled youths who had recently run away from a group foster home near Tyler, committed suicide. Neither was restrained, and they were uninjured before the train hit them Sept. 21. The medical examiner in Dallas agrees with him, Randell said, although that finding will not be official until next month.

Randell's theory is met with disbelief from the boys' relatives, and by the director of Azleway Boys' Ranch, a privately owned facility that takes care of about 75 youths, most in the custody of Child Protective Services.

"You get a pretty good sense of kids," said Monte Osburn. "When you match this up with our experience, it seems unbelievable."

But for Randell, there are ample signposts pointing to suicide in the teens' psychological files, their harsh family histories and his detailed reconstruction of their final five days on the run.

"These boys were abandoned by their families. They were running from Azleway and from us," he said. "If you track their last days, they were living in the woods, eating nothing but a little candy and sodas. You can maybe see how they decided to end it all."

To me these poor children personify what this election is about. The photo graphic represents to me how clueless this state and nation continue to be about the plight of the weakest in society, and that we take for granted this stuff gets taken care of.

I am sick of excuses not to cover children's health needs with a crooked CHIPS program, and cuts in Medicaid; a system too complex and corrupt to be accessable to those who might qualify. Slashed reimbursement, and a rapid decline in providers. Very limited coverage and co-pays. A gutted CPS agency that can't keep up. Privitized and religion-based programs that can't replace a need for family intervention, drug abuse counseling and rehab, social workers, clinics and MHMR resources. An unresponsive, uncaring government that victimizes most in need.

This should not happen in a wealthy "christian" society. I refuse to accept the that the leading cause of death amongst teens is suicide.

Heaven help us.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I'm Back

Just flew in from Scottsdale. Been to a compulsory conference, and I appreciate the Honorable Judge Hoarse for holding things down in his immutable way.

Thanks to all our recent visitors. We don't deserve you. We are humble.

I know there are people in Scottsdale, I just didn't see many. It is nice to be in a place where I could buy a caddy, a fur coat, diamond ring and a steak at Morton's without having to leave my car, I guess. I did ask about UFO's on the way in and locals have a "spit on all quisitors" policy, which is wise considering I know I saw a couple between drinks, and it is logical to keep a lid on such things.

The BEST thing, and entirely made the trip worthwhile is that big palooka, J.D. Hayworth's flop sweat. Harry Mitchell's kicking his ass, and that fat piece of shit is fighting for his life.

Well, Ill be seeing ya.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chupacabra Report

-more news that gets my goat. The AP reports on a study published in the Journal of the AMA showing whooping cough more extant now that 48 states allow parents to exempt their children from immunizations for personal or religious reasons. This highly contagious disease, which can be fatal to infants has grown from 1,020 cases in 1976 to over 25,000 in 2004. Faith based epidemics ahead? This reminds me of how polio has made a comeback in Africa because some Mullahs believe that the vaccine is a Jewish plot to spread sterility through the Moslem world. Lord knows what our homegrown wackos are thinking. From John Broder of the NYT comes a story about Americans for Honesty on Issues, a 527 group making a million dollar media buy attacking Democratic congressional candidates in the last weeks before the November election. The donors are anonymous, and the groups address is a mailbox service at an Alexandria Virginia UPS store, even their website is anonymous, the administrator Domains by Proxy, Inc. The group is headed by Sue Walden, a maximum donor to the Bush and DeLay campaigns and former lobbyist for Enron. This may explain what these people have against daylight.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Security Moms, Are You Listening?

They're going to have to do something special with the guidance package if this is going to work. Cruise missiles (e.g BG-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missile) use a mix of TERPROM/INS/DSMAC and latterly GPS (in Block III+) to get CEP down to the few metres level. Ballistic missile warheads have never had this sort of accuracy, because when you've got a 475kT W88 warhead (or eight of 'em on a Mk5 re-entry vehicle), then a CEP of 100–120m is ample, even against buried structures. It's not true to say that warload on a cruise missile is small compared to an ICBM. Re-entry vehicles weigh less than half a ton total. The standard Bullpup warhead on a TLAM is 1000lb. The issue is flight time, not yield.
I think they'd be better off adapting something like the B-61 Mod 10 tactical bomb which you can dial-a-yield from 80kT (kill a small city) down to 0.3kT (kill a terrorist village). Airbursts with a micronuke would cause very little residual fallout, blast and thermal would be short range, and the prompt radiation would kill enemies within hours even if they were under cover. What's not to like
(from Dvd. Gilles, 5/06, Ace of Spades HQ site)
Republican pollsters are always trying to show that people feel safer when their party is in charge. That begs the question ‘safer from what?’ From Mexicans? Canadians? People in Funny Hats? Last year Rumsfeld approved a Navy plan to arm sub launched Trident missiles with conventional weapons. This is not a ratcheting down of threats, it’s more a matter of ‘what good are they if we can’t use them?’ mentality. Think of it as another option in responding to a North Korean threat? Think again. Imagine Chinese or Russian missile defense people seeing eight warheads coming their way from a sub-launched missile. In the next fifteen minutes they decide whether to launch their missiles in retaliation. Feeling safer yet? This almost happened in 1995 after a scientific launch in Norway. Yeltsin came within minutes of raining hell down on us.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

That Feeble Debate

Sure didn’t leave any blood on the floor. I was looking for something more like the monkey knife fights on Homer’s cruise ship. The Kinkster stayed on his feet, but maybe he should have poured a few Jamesons down his neck before he got on stage. Time is short, Kinky’s got to get back to his schtick, which is pissing people off. If he can’t stay on the front page for the next three weeks, he’s not going to finish in the money.
Which leads me to the unthinkable: Governor, remember The Duke in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence?” If you don’t gain traction in the next weeks, would you consider endorsing the Democratic candidate so as to spare us further ravages from the evil Rick Perry? It might be the cowboy way to shepherd us to better government.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Capitol Crimes

Last night PBS ran Capitol Crimes, a documentary by Bill Moyers about the Abramoff / DeLay lobby scandal. Having followed this story for years, I was thrilled to see it all wrapped up on film, but I still find people in the district who don’t know the story so I’m still trying to spread the word. (does that make me some kind of anti-evangelist?)
This show had it all, and it left me with the feeling that “Congressman Number One”
will end up convicted and jailed like Bob Ney. Moyers got footage from Red Scorpion, the action movie Abramoff produced for “the people who kept Nelson Mandela in prison for 27 years.” There was film of DeLay touring sweatshops on Saipan. After the tour he went to a cockfight with Willie Tan, the Chinese garment mogul who later gave $650,000 to preacher, now convict, Ed Buckham’s U.S. Family Network charity/front. They had the Indian Chiefs who paid Abramoff $25,000 apiece to go to the White House and meet Bush, film from the Scotland golf trips, ($100,000 in green fees for the DeLay party) and the story of how Russian oil gangsters got DeLay to change his position on an IMF bail-out for Russia by giving $1 million to the American Family Network. This last one made the bell ring for me, that sounds like illegal influence peddling if there is such a thing.Moyers called this story the biggest scandal since Watergate. That one probably kept the GOP the minority party for 20 years. I’m hoping it achieves critical mass by November 7th.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Music Review 3rd Coast Music


Liquid Daddy ***1/2

Rather illustrating the point I made last month about musicians needing
the expertise of indie labels, this folk-rock septet from Moulton, TX, seems
to have been galvanized into actually promoting its second self-released album,
at least to the extent of getting a copy to 3CM Towers, by the publicity Ray
Wylie Hubbard’s album of the same title, which came out almost a year later,
has been getting. Maybe they realized that a website is not enough, which is a
pretty good start, many indie artists don’t even get that far. Describing itself as
a co-operative rather than a band, which may explain why the personnel on the
website differs from the credits on the album, Driftwood is remarkably good
example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Its members,
Paula Higgins, lead vocals, Jimmy Jowell lead vocals, harmonica, piano, Frank
Nagel lead guitar, Gary Hoover rhythm guitar, Craig Higgins bass/lead guitar
and Matt Wickham drums (plus some interesting use of ambient sounds) are
competent enough individually, but the gestalt produces many quite remarkable
moments. With a solid set of 13 originals (or so I assume, there no writing credits
given), the band chugs along to create a very engaging sound, though personally
I would have put the warm voiced Higgins out front more as Jowell’s dry delivery
gets a little samey, though he does have one of the best lines, “If you think I
care, then you know more than me.” John Conquest-3rd Coast Music

Thanks, John. You are among the best and the brightest. We couldn't think of many we would rather receive notice from.

Just a note, all the songs are original. We eschew to much individual credit because it takes everybody working together to make things happen.

There are other fine review in this month's magazine, now on the shelves, at places like Threadgills, Waterlou, Casbeers, etc (see

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Protect the (sexy) Children

There are some phrases that are non-starters from the beginning. "My drug use is...........," never gets off the ground because it is indefensible to use drugs. I think the same is true with "my relationship with boy pages is.........," gonna go nowhere fast.

Of course, if you are a minority, or poor, or powerless in some way, the line is drawn much harder about what is mitigated. I saw in an interesting story that adds a truth worth reminding people about double standards:

Houston-based Dope House Records today plans to release the latest album for Latin rapper Carlos Coy, also known as South Park Mexican, who is currently imprisoned for molesting a 9-year-old girl in 2001.

When Devils Strike is Coy's first album release since he was sentenced to 45 years in prison four years ago.

"If people want to buy the record, well that's just a sad commentary that people are interested in what a child molester has to say," said Assistant District Attorney Denise Oncken. "He was convicted of it. The jury found that he abused a 9-year-old little girl."

As far as Pagegate is concerned, the Hon. Mr. Foley, or any of the other soon-to-be revealled congressional pedophiles will never see a single day in a prison cell. I love the General's summary of this growing scandal:

Dear Rep. Shimkus,

Take a deep breath and relax. I know things look bad for you now, but it's going to be okay. You just have to remember that even though you procured pages for Mark Foley after you were warned of his predatory nature, Speaker Hastert was okay with it.

Indeed, the Speaker, after discussing Foley's page problem with you, Rep. Reynolds, Majority Leader Boehner and former House Clerk Jeff Trandahl, declared "Mission Accomplished" on the PR front. That's why the Speaker and the Majority Leader didn't lift a finger to stop you from holding a slave auction where eager young pages could bid for dream date with Foley. The House Republican Caucus had already "turned the corner" in its battle to suppress negative news about one of its members.

You have nothing to worry about. You were only doing your job as Chair of the Page Board, ensuring that the pages serviced every Republican member's needs.

It looks pretty clear that the congressman was having sex with a teenager in San Diego. That's child rape.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What People Think

Unlikely polls, between March and September 2006:

Austin Business Journal (Austin)

Total votes: 1,227

March 2006

Kinky – 47%
Perry – 20%
Strayhorn – 25%
Bell – 6%

San Antonio Business Journal (San Antonio)

Total votes: Were not released

April 2006

Kinky – 59%
Perry – 20%
Strayhorn – 12%
Bell – 6%

Brazosport Facts newspaper poll (Brazoria County)

Total votes: 169

April 2006

Kinky – 52%
Perry – 22%
Strayhorn – 16%
Bell – 9%

Lone Star Times (Houston)

Total votes: 945

May 2006

Kinky – 61% (577 votes)
Perry – 20% (190 votes)
Strayhorn – 14% (136 votes)
Bell – 4% (42 votes)

KGNC Radio 97.9 FM (Amarillo)

Total votes: 140

May 2006

The question was: Kinky Friedman - Yes, No, or Maybe?

95 votes: Yes
34 votes: No
13 votes: Maybe

KRLD, Dallas/Fort Worth

June 2006

Kinky – 68%
Perry – 14%
Strayhorn – 13%
Bell – 4%

Texas Monthly magazine

July 2006

Kinky – 58%
Perry – 18%
Strayhorn – 10%
Bell – 13%

KLBJ, Austin

July 2006

Kinky – 50%
Perry – 42%
Strayhorn – 6%
Bell – 2%

Dallas Business Journal

July 2006

Total votes: 887

Kinky – 45%
Perry – 26%
Strayhorn – 19%
Bell – 8%

Midland Reporter Telegram

August 2006

Kinky – 44%
Perry – 34%
Strayhorn – 17%
Bell – 4%

Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel

September 2006

Total votes: 450

Chris Bell – 9%
Kinky Friedman – 48%
Rick Perry – 28%
Carole Keeton Strayhorn – 14%

El Paso Times Online

September 2006

Total votes: 843 voters

(Did not provide % breakdown)

1st place: Kinky Friedman
2nd place: Carole Keeton Strayhorn
3rd place: Chris Bell
4th place: Gov. Rick Perry

The Ingleside Index

September 2006

Total votes: 80

Rick Perry - 24%
Chris Bell - 4%
Carole Keeton Strayhorn - 8%
Kinky Friedman - 61%
James Werner - 4%

Thanks LS

Oh the Benzene Clouds

The Chronicle has been doing good work on air pollution this year. With the quality of air we have in Houston, they should be able to win a Pulitzer. Their stories are of educational value, and could provide cover for Mayor White’s leadership on the issue.
Their lead editorial today challenges legislators to act on the findings of the Houston Endowment funded study on The Control of Air Toxics by eight scientists from five area universities. Even better was a letter in the Saturday edition from Sabrina Strawn of GHASP, who called for local industry to recognize public opinion and limit these toxic emissions now. That would allow our sold-out legislators to get behind the issue, since they’re too gutless to lead on it.

Kafkaesque and Orwellian

Hearing a news story last week about suspected terrorists or enemy combatants being tried using secret evidence made me think that I ought to go back and re-read Franz Kafka’s works.
When the Bush administration started ginning up the Iraq war, I revisited 1984 because it kept coming to mind when I heard the Neo-Cons talk about “the long war.” Orwell didn’t write in a vacuum, he was talking about totalitarianism. He saw how a big lie, repeated over and over, becomes believable. And when you hear the language get bent beyond meaning, remember “newspeak,” like when congress passes bankruptcy reform measures at the behest of the credit card companies, and call it a “consumer protection act.” War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. As seen on TV.