Zippidy Doo Da

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chupacabra Files:

To: The Hon. Rep Frank Courte Jr,
From: The Hon. Chas. Hoarse
Subject: Proposed Legislation:
Date: Feb 14, 2007

Rep. Courte, I would like to bring your attention to the threat posed to our society by designer pharmaceuticals that encourage licentious behavior. For some reason beyond me, drug manufacturers are marketing products designed to propagate fornication and philandering.

I am asking you to take up this cause, and introduce legislation in the Texas House to educate, and thereby protect, the public from this scourge. Since prescription drugs are dispensed through pharmacies, I am directing this action to these locations. This new law, when enacted would require the pharmacy to post a sign at the counter, no smaller than 300 square inches, explaining the health, social, and moral costs of using these drugs.

Furthermore, the law would require that the pharmacist read this statement aloud to the “patient” and at least one witness, before such drugs could be dispensed. It is my belief that these measures would shame those who use these drugs recreationally,
substantially reducing the use of Viagara and Cialis, bringing about a quick reduction in yuckiness in our society.

Note that I have not included the drug Alprostadil on this list of similar acting drugs, as this one is injected directly into the penis. Sounds like punishment enough, eh?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Chupacabra Report

Walked in the room and saw CNN was on top of the big news of the day: Anna Nicole’s dead body and Brittany’s bony head. This really gets my goat!

Last week Bush signed off on the same North Korean nuke agreement that he rejected
when he came into office. No, he’s not trying to win the Nobel Peace Prize for Dummies,he’s getting ready for the next war. In Iran.

Last month he sent the John C. Stennis Carrier Group to the Persian Gulf, to join the Carrier USS Eisenhower. I’ve been thinking about how shallow the gulf is, (50 meters) And how narrow the Strait of Hormuz. (33 KM)

Senator James Webb, Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, said he didn’t like to send ships into the gulf because there’s no room to turn around.

I did a search to see how many Chinese Silkworm missiles the Iranians have. Turns out that they’ve been making their own since 2004. Last year Hizballah used one to hit an Israeli ship, the Spear. If some crazy jihadder hits a US ship with one of those, even Dennis Kucinich will be calling for war. The word here is provocative.

The White House is winding up to pitch this war, to sell it like cornflakes, just as they did in 2002. That’s why Condi Rice is over there. That’s why then hats from the Pentagon are on TV accusing the Iran gov’t of supplying Iraqi insurgents. Ready for the next war?

If we don’t stop this somebody else might. Almost half the world’s oil passes through the gulf, and any disruption could put a major hickey on the world economy. Bush has been waging war in Iraq and Afganistan all this time on borrowed money, and the Chinese and Japanese might find they’ve lost their taste for US securities, and turn off the money supply. This could necessitate a sort of balloon payment on the national debt. Remember the Carter administration when the prime rate was 20%? This mess could make that look like the good old days.

Monday, February 19, 2007

You Know You're a Texan If

You know you're a Texan if:

1. You, or someone in your family has hair higher than their forehead;

2. You, or someone in your family is a Willie Nelson impersonator;

3. You, or someone in your family owns some cowhorns;

4. You have an Uncle Junior;

5. You've killed something in the last 10 days;

6. Your church is in a mall;

7. Your church is larger than the mall;

8. You watch men in tight pants grapple on weekends, but you're terrified of gay people;

9. Your mom's car is a duely;

10. You or someone in your family is on deathrow.

Art Car Parade Gearing Up 5/12

The Art Car Parade is coming May 12th. We can't wait. Check out

In fact, check out the Orange Show while in Houston. It is life changing for everyone whose been.

This year Dos Pachangas is producing Jesus Christ Superstar, which will be great. You can see us there. Please say hello.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

More "Opportunities in the Private Sector"

Harris County Judge Robert Eckels announced today that he’s leaving his post saying “the time is right to leave.”

It seems to me that the right time to leave would have been last year, before he ran for re-election...

But I like Robert Eckels; he might be the first republican I’ve voted for since Bob Dole. I was proud of the way he worked with Mayor Bill White through Katrina and Rita. I went so far as to imagine that those two could work together to bring about a metro government, eliminating redundant government entities to serve us better at less cost.

Yeah, the County Commissioners and the City Council members are going to give up their fiefs. In what century?

I can understand Eckels wanting to leave the family business and strike out on his own. But he doesn’t have to quit to take on other employment, just ask Steve Radack. No conflict there.

And now there’s the question of who is to be his replacement. Word is that they will put in a caretaker who will not run for election at the end of the term. How they would ensure that I don’t know. A piece of furniture like Jerry Eversole might fit the bill. I shudder when I hear the name Addie Wiseman; all I see her doing is practicing “dog whistle politics” or else obstructing any useful work before the council. And then there’s Paul Bettincourt, but you just know that a self-promoter like that would never step down.

At least Eckels is leaving the office unsullied, which is more than his father or John Lindsey did.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Chupacabra Report

When I heard that Rick Perry was trying to sell off the Texas Lottery I figured it was more of the republican orthodoxy of socializing costs and privatizing profits, and hoped that less crooked minds would prevail over this nonsense. But a report from the Chron’s Austin Bureau last week tells me that this scheme is truly the work of the devil.

Former Senator Phil Gramm is now a vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank, and is advising Perry on the privatizing scheme; former Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan is now a lobbyist for UBS. Sullivan lobbies with Perry’s former chief of staff Mike Toomey, who must be too busy shilling HPV vaccines for Merck to get his hands in this particular cookie jar.

I thought that Gramm was now Virginia’s problem, like “Virginia Tom” DeLay. When Gramm was a senator, some of his rich friends built him a nice house there. When these characters leave elected positions for “opportunities in the private sector” they should do just that, instead of grasping, zombie-like, at the public purse.

In my dreams, someday these folks are going to start getting their dicks caught in this revolving door.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Maybe We Can Sell T-Shirts?

Stop telling me how to do things right in the music business. You know who you are. You don't know shit. You suck at your job. To keep it up another day is to confirm you are frauds, conmen, or desperately holding on to an idea whose time has fled:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The biggest stars of the music world are gathering in Los Angeles for Sunday's Grammy Awards, while the business slides deeper into the abyss.

Every day brings more bad news for the $21 billion industry, which cannot work out how to get fans to pay $18 for a CD instead of stealing music from the Web.

Just this week, Grammy-winning jazz singer Norah Jones' much-anticipated new album opened at No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts, but its sales were less than half those of its predecessor three years ago.

Warner Music Group Corp. -- home of Madonna and James Blunt -- reported a worse-than-expected 74 percent slide in first quarter profits. And EMI Group Plc., home of Coldplay and Robbie Williams, laid off a number of U.S. staffers.

Still, don't expect the bad tidings to infect the Grammys, which begin at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT Monday) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

"It's not really the time to say, 'We don't know how to sell albums anymore. Please help us,'" said Craig Marks, editor in chief at music magazine Blender.

I will be happy to give your clients some pointers:

1. If you are in a musical act in it to sell CD's, then get out;

2. If you are competing against karioki, then get out;

3. If you think your babydoll, pillow-talk voice is going to make it, then get out;

4. If you think your musclular, fancy hat, aw-shucks stuff is going to make it, then get out;

5. Say something, stand for something, be somebody.

DJ's are committed, professional, experts on music. Let them play what they want. Pay them what they deserve.

Promote your music online with downloads.

Club owners cannot continue to promote a business model that exploits artists. Let them find a way to make money without you paying for it.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Corn Tied to Civil Unrest in Mexico

Sean Mattson: Corn controversy continues with first raid on alleged speculators

Mexico's staple, corn, has roughly doubled in price over the last year, leading to an outcry over increased tortilla prices and other food products.

The causes are multiple but the trigger was the doubling of yellow corn prices in the United States to meet domestic demand for ethanol.

This induced Mexican farmers to start buying nationally produced white corn, which was mainly used for human consumption, to feed livestock. They typically use yellow corn for feed, most of which is imported from the United States.

But the tortilla crisis has become the perfect excuse for authorities and consumers to make noise about two longstanding problems with Mexico's corn market: speculating middlemen and market dominance by a handful of companies, which stifles competition and helps keep prices high.

So far, authorities have attacked the middlemen. Yesterday in western Jalisco state, the federal A.G.'s office shut down an intermediary and seized almost 119 metric tons of corn. The seizures occurred because the owners of the corn could not prove that they had buyers, according to reports.

Jalisco is one of Mexico's leading corn producers and there are reportedly another half-million tons of corn there that is suspected of being kept off the market for speculative purposes, which is illegal in Mexico.

For many, the villain in the crisis has been Grupo Maseca, or Gruma, which is said to account for about 70 percent of domestic corn purchases, though the company says it only sells flour for about 30 percent of the tortillas produced in Mexico. (Many tortillas are produced directly from corn, an age-old process called nixtamal.)

But this analysis argues that Gruma's alleged profits from speculating aren't reflected in its share prices, and argues that any sane company wouldn't gouge its customers: All this would lead to is decreased consumption meaning that the company would end up selling less in volume.

Increasing competition won't be easy, no matter what investigations into alleged monopolistic practices by Mexico's Federal Competition Commission, or CFC, determines. The CFC is relatively toothless, if well intentioned. It recently ruled against Gruma when it wanted to take over a smaller company, but Gruma went ahead and took the company over anyway. (The CFC took the takeover to court and a final resolution is still pending.)

Better regulation of the intermediary process and greater aperture to white corn imports (which would drive Mexican corn prices down) would also help avoid further crises, but it remains to be seen what concrete measures will be taken in this regard.

Thanks to

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Met Exhibition

I confess to being one of the philistines that show up at the art galleries for those blockbuster shows. Yes, I know there’s been great art made in THIS century too, but like the jazz I heard behind classic cartoons, the impressionists are the painters I saw as a young dog and have been trying to channel ever since. I was not disappointed by the Masterpieces of the Met show at the MFAH. I love the pictures, the crowds, and am always thrilled to know that more Americans visit art galleries than attend pro football games.

These paintings were made between 1800 and 1920, some give a sampling of the Realist school that eschewed religious/mythological subjects and instead looked to elevate the common people or skewer the bourgeoisie, and needed no excuse to paint nude figures. Oh, the nudes; these women were ample; zaftig. Not like today’s models, that could be extras on the set of a death camp movie.

Some showstoppers here;
Jean Bastien LePage’s Joan of Arc, a hundred square foot canvas, looked to me split in the middle, as if she, beset by angels, turns from her spinning, upsets her chair, and steps into the world she is about to change.

And Gustav Moreau’s Oedipus and the Sphinx; what gets me on this one is the story; Oedipus answers the Sphinx’s riddle to save the city. What monsters do we face today, and who has the answers to the riddles they pose?

Van Gogh’s Cypresses, from the last year of his mad life, when he painted 100 pictures, has the same swirling skies as Starry Night or Wheat Field under Threatening Skies.

Renoir’s Young Girl with Daisies attracted a lot of eyeballs. I would have named that one Young Girl with Jugs.

And the show ends with two by Modigliani; the notes on one tell of the suicide of his wife upon his death from consumption. But the last canvas is his Reclining Nude, this stylized figure looks human and appealing. I’m startled, and wonder if this means that someday I’ll “get” cubism too.

This show goes home to New York on May 7th.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Blog Rolling

I had noted with great interest that Lord Kos and other 1st tier bloggers are wiping out their blog rolls. I thought this was snooty at the time and I still do. I read and inspriring blog by Mr. Swift on the subject today, which I recommend, that has led me to the following:

1. I will return to expanded links again (starting with princess sparkle pony); and,

2. Anyone who links to me will be linked here.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Pots and Pans for Senators

Dear Senator Hutchison,
I am writing to you because I have been impressed over the years by your willingness to vote your conscience even when your party dictates a different position. Next week the Senate will debate measures to express a lack of confidence in the President's plan for escalating the Iraq war. I urge you to apply rational thought, moral authority, and fiscal responsibility to this decision. The congress has a constitutional responsibility to oversee the executive's war making powers and I'm afraid that we have been remiss in exercising that responsibility. I'm asking you to say no to the surge.

Dear Senator Cornyn,

Never mind, you blockhead. Go give Tom Coleman another medal. Being an improvement over Phil Gramm is nothing to hang your hat on.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thank You Miss Molly

Came home this morning to find one of my daughters playing hookey. I’m so proud.
I took the opportunity to read to her from a piece on Texas Women from Molly Ivan’s first book. It was so gratifying to see her eyebrows shoot up upon hearing that married women in Texas did not have full property rights until 1969. That the “unwritten law” was codified in the Texas Penal Code until 1972, but that women didn’t have equal shooting rights. That until 1918, all Texans could vote except “idiots, imbeciles, aliens, the insane, and women.”

In 1990 she wrote this about the first Gulf War:
“There are two kinds of bottom line in this deal; one is that war costs hell’s own money. Sooner rather than later, it will be much, much cheaper for us to conserve energy than to kill tens of thousands of people.
The second is what we put on the tombstones when they start shipping the bodies home: HE DIED TO KEEP OIL AT $17-A-BARREL? MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR FEUDAL ISLAMIC FIEFDOMS doesn’t have much of a ring to it. Everyone who has ever lost someone he or she loved in a war has an obligation to talk back to these chest-thumping jackasses who are so anxious to get other people’s sons killed.”

Now this from her last column:
“We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!"

Molly Ivins Dead at 62

Molly Ivins is dead from a long battle with breast cancer. Persons more eloquent than I will supply moving eulogies in the coming days. I feel great sorrow for her family and friends. Saying that she will be greatly missed is a huge understatement. She personified the archtypical Texas ladies I grew up with, and reminded folks that all Texans are not narrow-minded, bone-simple thugs.

The wonderful thing about life is when it becomes hilarious with poetic irony, which was Ms. Ivins all over. She bowed out on a day when America became hysterical over a publicity stunt for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. She would have loved it.

Rest in Peace.