Zippidy Doo Da

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

Friday, August 31, 2007

Eww! Get 'Em Off Me! Eewwww!

WILLS POINT, Tex., Aug. 29 — Most spiders are solitary creatures. So the discovery of a vast web crawling with millions of spiders that is spreading across several acres of a North Texas park is causing a stir among scientists, and park visitors.

Sheets of web have encased several mature oak trees and are thick enough in places to block out the sun along a nature trail at Lake Tawakoni State Park, near this town about 50 miles east of Dallas.

The gossamer strands, slowly overtaking a lakefront peninsula, emit a fetid odor, perhaps from the dead insects entwined in the silk. The web whines with the sound of countless mosquitoes and flies trapped in its folds.

Allen Dean, a spider expert at Texas A&M University, has seen a lot of webs, but even he described this one as “rather spooky, kind of like Halloween.”

Mr. Dean and several other scientists said they had never seen a web of this size outside of the tropics, where the relatively few species of “social” spiders that build communal webs are most active.

Norman Horner, emeritus professor of biology at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Tex., was one of a number of spider experts to whom a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist sent online photos of the web. “It is amazing, absolutely amazing,” said Dr. Horner, who at first thought it an e-mail hoax.

The web may be a combined effort of social cobweb spiders. But their large communal webs generally take years to build, experts say, and this web was formed in just a few months.

Or it could be a striking example of what is known as ballooning, in which lightweight spiders throw out silk filaments to ride the air currents. Five years ago, in just that way, a mass dispersal of millions of tiny spiders covered 60 acres of clover field in British Columbia with thick webbing.

Mike Quinn, the state biologist who distributed the online photos, and who runs a Web site about Texas invertebrates, plans to drive to the park from Central Texas on Friday in an effort to get some answers by collecting samples.

Record-breaking rains that flooded Texas earlier this summer inspired outbreaks of crickets and “webworms,” the caterpillar larvae of the white moth. Mr. Quinn said the rains might have something to do with the web, too.

“You’d have to get a lot of spiders together and feed them a whole lot of food to make a web that big,” he said.

Whatever caused the vast web, the sight of it has inspired both awe and revulsion.

“It’s beautiful,” said the park’s superintendent, Donna Garde.

Freddie Gowin disagrees. It was Mr. Gowin, a maintenance worker at the park, who discovered the web this month when, taking advantage of some of the first dry weather, he mowed the area around the nature trail.

“I don’t think there’s anything pretty about it,” he said, though “it’s certainly unusual.”

When Mr. Gowin drives the power mower through the area, webbing wraps across his bare face, causing him to slap at spiders, real or imagined, crawling on his skin.

The park’s staff says that while the web has killed some leaves, it should not hurt the trees.

The spiders are “spreading out for sure,” Mr. Gowin said, pointing out cedars that appeared to have a dusting of snow. “They’re going to take over this whole point.”

The staff expects the web to last until colder weather this fall, when the spiders begin dying off.

For now the concern is to defend this marvel from teenagers who might take a stick and knock it all down, or little boys wanting to push their little sisters into it.

“We’ll try to protect it, with what little staff we have,” said Ms. Garde, the superintendent. “I’ll use the web-of-life analogy. If you break one part of the web, it affects us all.”

Texas Salad Toss

Although I have heard it more artfully stated of late, I think the state of American politics and religion (of a fundamentalist variety) it could be succinctly summed up as control entirely by closeted self-loathing homosexuals, sadistic pederasts, men's room goblins, racist former male cheerleaders, criminal miscreants, torture fetishists, perverts, livestock rapists, misogynistic fisters, corrupt lap-dancing neo-con fellators, xenophobic crank-addicted chain-smoking world dominators, demented clowns, and Mormons.

And they happen to be Republicans.

What's left to report?

Fascist radio WOAI wants to burn the barn with the revelation that the Perry administration lied to the rubes about tolls on existing highways, but can't seem to get anyone to pay attention. -

An 82 year-old woman gets two years in prison for alleging an old affair with a 73 year-old Bart Starr. (Who?)

Dog torture that makes Mike Vick look like Lorne Green-

I have gone from weeping into my bucket to hurling.

Enjoy your labor day weekend.

Thanks to Princess Sparkle Pony

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Are You Feeling More Screwed Now Than You Were Eight Years Ago?

The Chron ran an AP story today about new census data,
“Loss of health coverage hits the middle class.”
Here’s some:

“The fastest growing group of people without health insurance? Those in households making $75,000 or more, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

The number of Americans without health insurance increased for sixth straight year in 2006, to 47 million people. It was 44.8 million in 2005.

The share of Americans living in poverty declined for the first time since President Bush took office, to 12.3 percent. And the median household income increased for the second straight year, to $48,200.

Both chambers of Congress recently passed bills that would dramatically increase funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP. The Bush administration, however, opposes both measures, saying they would result in people abandoning private coverage for public coverage for children.”

-That’s rich. This administration is more worried about poor health insurance companies than it is about poor children. I guess they’re just playing to their base of supporters, wondering, what would Bill Frist do? (You realize that former Senator Bill Frist is to health insurance as Paris Hilton is to hotels.)

This reminded me of writing last week about some states making families earning up to $52,000 CHIP eligible. That seems like a lot, at first, until you figure the cost of living in some states. That median income figure caught my eye, though, because I know the ballpark number for health insurance at my family of four is $12,000 a year. Years ago, I was advised that if I kept my housing (biggest) expense under 25% of income, I was doing OK. What in the world are people supposed to do when they pay 25% off the top for health insurance?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average family in 2000 paid 32% of their income for housing, 19% for transportation, 13% for food, and 34% for “other” which includes medical. Families with no coverage, or with pre-existing conditions, get bills for common medical procedures that can total several years salary. That’s when they find out how the republicans “reformed” the bankruptcy laws.

Again, I’m calling on all members of Congress to follow the lead of Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wisconsin, who declined his coverage saying, “I will not accept health insurance coverage until everyone I represent in Wisconsin and across America is given the same opportunity.

I know that my congressman, Nick Lampson, had bypass surgery last year, which would make him all but uninsurable now. (Ironically my former congressman, Tom DeLay, has no heart.) I know it’s a lot to ask, that he risk his life like this, but hey, it gives him a chance to be a hero, or even a martyr, in time for the next election.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dear Chupy,

Did you see this, Sunday?…

From Anne K. Ream at la Times:
“What is it about the growing "modesty movement" that makes me so nervous? On the face of it, there's a lot to like about a girl-driven "revolution" that offers an alternative to the in-your-face fashion popularized by the Britneys and Bratz of the world. When a statement T-shirt can turn a girl from a subject to an object — "I'm blond. I don't need to be good at math" — in no time flat, who could argue that a return to sartorial decency is in order?

Enter the modesty movement. On Web sites such as Modestly Yours, Modesty Zone and, the movement's adherents argue for curfews on college campuses, decry coed bathrooms and advocate a "chaste but chic" dress code for teens and young women. They call themselves sexual revolutionaries, but that might be something of a misnomer: In their world, abstinence is the order of the day and female virtue is the best way to ensure female safety.”

-This sounds more of the same male devised schemes for proper female conduct. Like that’s working for us, after all, we trail some third-world countries in measures of reproductive health and infant mortality.

“Marketers are getting modest, too. Macy's now carries "Shade" clothing, created by a team of Mormon women devoted to demure dress, and Nordstrom features "Modern and Modest" apparel.”

-Can burkas be next? If I don’t keep my opinions to myself about fashion sense, certain persons that I know are liable to react like I was cutting off their oxygen. Good luck with that; though this stuff might sell like hell to the Goth or Emo crowd.

We got our own Ayatollahs here. Just last week, Gary Trudeau recycled the old joke about how seen from the Moslem perspective, western women dress like prostitutes.

We have no shortage of sex-obsessed bozos in our own Texas Legislature.

Planned Parenthood is the biggest provider of reproductive health services in Texas. They could serve more women and families if they didn’t have to defend themselves from right-wing grandstanders in every legislative session.

Sometimes I see foreign and domestic policies cross. If this administration uses lies, fear, and dogma to take us into war, should we be surprised to see that they promote shotgun weddings to raise cannon fodder?

What Would Jenna Do?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chupacabra Report

News that gets my goat..

From the AP:

“One in four adults read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and older people were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.

In 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts report titled “Reading at Risk” found only 57 percent of American adults had read a book in 2002, a four percentage point drop in a decade. The study faulted television, movies and the Internet.

Among those who said they had read books, the median figure — with half reading more, half fewer — was nine books for women and five for men. The figures also indicated that those with college degrees read the most, and people aged 50 and up read more than those who are younger.

There was even some political variety evident, with Democrats and liberals typically reading slightly more books than Republicans and conservatives.”

-To quote Frank Zappa, “It’s not getting any smarter out there.”

I find this most alarming. A working democracy depends upon an informed electorate.
You don’t think it’s possible to get informed by watching television, do you? I think that the more TV you watch, the less intelligent you are. Think back to the 1990’s, how Slobodon Milosevic used state TV to whip up his people into making war on the Bosnians. Think that was just a bunch of dumb Serbs? What do you think Bush and Cheney did here in 2002.

Read all about it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

More on SCHIP

I hope you’re following the Supplemental Children’s Health Insurance Program bills heading through Congress to a threatened Bush veto. While this program is in danger of expiring while Congress tries to expand it, and the White House tries to keep a lid on it at the behest of the insurance companies, Bush appointee Dennis G. Smith, director of the federal Center for Medicaid and State Operations has issued new rules that will effectively cut children from the program while raising new obstacles to enrollment.

The new rules would prevent states from offering coverage to children of families earning 2-1/2 times the federal poverty level. ($52,000 doesn’t go very far in high-rent places like New York City) Another requires that enrollees prove that the children have been uninsured at least 1 year before applying. Good grief, the Republicans in Texas did this, cutting off health insurance to 200,000 children. Even those right-wing nuts heard the public outrage and went back in the last session and tried to restore the cuts.

Very well, I propose that we deny federally-subsidized healthcare to another 535 people. That’s right, I’m talking about members of Congress. Let’s put those folks at the mercy of “the market” they’re so enamored with. Are you ready to read the human interest stories about the ones who can’t buy coverage at any cost because they have pre-existing conditions? Stories of family members who suffer and die of treatable conditions because they can’t afford to pay? Of families going bankrupt and losing their homes because of medical expenses?

What say we write our Reps. and tell them we want them to follow the lead of Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wis, and forego their federal health insurance benefits until they put the system right and end this gravy train for the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Do you feel better than you did eight years ago?

From Frank Bass of the AP:

WASHINGTON — Retail sales of five leading painkillers nearly doubled over the last eight years, reflecting a surge in use by patients nationwide who are living in a world of pain, according to a new Associated Press analysis of federal drug prescription data.

The analysis reveals that oxycodone usage is migrating out of Appalachia to areas such as Columbus, Ohio, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and significant numbers of codeine users are living in many suburban neighborhoods around the country.

The amount of five major painkillers sold at retail establishments rose 90 percent between 1997 and 2005, according to Drug Enforcement Administration figures.

More than 200,000 pounds of codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and meperidine were purchased at retail stores during 2005, the most recent year represented in the data. That is enough to give more than 300 milligrams of painkillers to every person in the country.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You Know You're a Texan If..(Vol.IV)

From when you were a kid:

You had a pair of boy-sized pointy-toe'd cowboy boots, but secretly longed for PF Flyers

You got a big pair of Wrangler Jeans from Sears when school started that your mom cuffed up half-way to your knees. They were so stiff that they sparked when walking;

Every month you got a buzz cut;

Riding bikes behind the malathyon truck was the biggest part of your day;

Skim boarding in rain swollen ditches was considered big fun;

There was one kind of bike and it had a banana seat;

There was one kind of politician and he was a Democrat;

There were two kinds of music: Country and Western;

In the summer, you were put out of the house after Cadet Don and before Dialing for Dollars - in for a raw weany or a bamoney sammich between News at Noon and As the World Turns, and in for supper before Batman;

Grandma had a green willow switch and she knew how to use it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Doomsday Scenario

Just imagine for a minute....

-Federal tax cuts and off-budget war spending run the national debt to record levels.

-China responds to congressional talk of raising tariffs by threatening to dump the dollar holdings that it’s been acquiring at a rate of a billion dollars a day.

-Losses in the sub-prime mortgage market trigger bankruptcies in the home lending industry, lead to widespread foreclosures, falling home values, increased inflation and unemployment.

-Long term investments earn a lower rate of return that short term instruments, a so-called “inverted yield curve,” that is a traditional predictor of economic recession.

-A major storm in the Gulf of Mexico disrupts oil and gas production, causing a spike in the price of oil to over $100 a barrel.

-Meanwhile, the Bush administration labels the Iranian National Guard a “global terrorist group.” Congressman Dennis Kucinich calls this “an attempt to deceive Americans into yet another war,” saying “This new label provides further evidence for Iran’s leaders that there is no point to engage in diplomatic talks with the U.S. if our actions point directly to regime change.”

Don’t worry folks, I’m making all this stuff up.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Let Me Take You to the Beach

The excellent outdoors guys at the Chronicle tipped me last weekend that the surf was flat and that blue-green water reached almost to the beach. Motivated me to get up before dawn and drive to East Beach. It was pretty, and as I reached the first sandbar I saw a pair of dolphins porpoising with the current just yards in front of me. And that wasn’t the end of the fish, rafts of mullet floated by, diverging, converging, and occasionally exploding as creatures up the food chain slashed at them. A few mean strikes at my finger mullets, but only one hook-up, a twenty inch speckled trout who swallowed a kalhe hook, which is rare, and thus was dressed and iced. Later saw a pod of dolphins head back towards the jetty. Sure enjoy seeing the little ones.

What to do after a day like that but get up and go back. Stopped for a pint of shrimp and waded into the same spot. The water had sanded-up but visibility was still two feet plus, good for Galveston. Caught little gafftops, sand trout and croakers. Released a frisky speck, bigger than yesterdays. It jumped when I set the white bass assassin. The biggest fish pulled and ran, then ran towards the beach, where I saw the dorsal fin as it passed. I brought in, and saw that it was a twenty- some inch hammerhead. As I brought it close to cut it loose, I appreciated that I had it on the end of a 7-1/2 foot rod and not a 5-1/2 footer. The little freak wasn’t but two feet long but its eyes were six inches apart.That encounter made the neck-deep tiptoe trip back from the second sandbar memorable.

Has Conservatism Screwed Up America?

I realize that this is so out of the latest news cycle, but I want to pass on this from the Marketplace show last Friday:

-Tim Bedore: I live just three miles away from the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis last week, so perhaps, more intensely than some of you, I am asking the question "What the hell has happened to our infrastructure?"

Some of the reasons our infrastructure has been ignored and that bridge went down are, "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." That's a Ronald Reagan quote. The constant ridiculing of tax-and-spenders and the "It's your money. You earned it, you should keep it" drum beat of talk radio. The union-busting, outsourcing, we-can-do-America-on-the-cheap philosophy that has infected corporate America, school boards, state legislatures . . . all of us.

People say this is not the time for finger pointing. Is it a coincidence the very people who say that are the ones who screwed things up? If you ever intend to use a bridge in the future, this is precisely the time to ask, "Has conservatism screwed up America?"

Now, conservatism can be very useful. Conservatism is a valuable voice in the process, putting the brakes on social engineering run amok. But having conservativism's short-term, bottom-line, give-the-people-only-what-they-think-they-need-now approach as our governing theme has been a giant bust.

How's Reagan's service economy looking to you now? How much of your $200, $300 tax cut would you give back to know that bridge you cross every day has been checked out, and the money necessary to keep it safe has been spent?Middle class, have you gotten rich off the trickle-down economy? How are those tax cuts to the rich working out for you, middle class?

My fellow Americans, things that work, like bridges, cost money. Things that work really well, cost lots of money. Things that work really well and don't break because they've been inspected, maintained, improved, replaced, cost lots and lots of money. Tax money.

My daughter was on a school bus that crossed that bridge a few weeks before it went down. Now is indeed the time to point fingers and give a failing grade to the political philosophy that says we can run America on the cheap.

Tim Bedore lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mustache Rides for Jesus

American's United for the Seperation of Church and State, has released interesting information of the Texas School Board that Texas net roots is either too lazy or stupid to get out.

<"The Texas Freedom Network (TFN) on Tuesday revealed a side of "intelligent design" proponents rarely seen by the public at large. The group released a transcript and recording of an extraordinarily candid speech given in 2005 by recently named State Board of Education Chairman Ron McLeroy.

McLeroy told a gathering at Grace Bible Church in Bryan, Texas, of his efforts to expunge evolution from the state's high school biology textbooks. "Back in November 2003, we finished [the]…adoption process for the biology textbooks in Texas…. I want to tell you all the arguments made by all the intelligent-design group, all the creationist intelligent design people, I can guarantee the other side heard exactly nothing," he said.

He went on, condemning other Christian board members for not following his lead....>

"McLeroy lamented the fact that he failed to convince fellow board members that "are good, strong Christians" to see it his way in 2003. Even though they were active in church, he said, they didn't even care that evolution conflicted with their Christian worldview. He was sure he would have gotten a few more votes if he'd just mentioned evolution ignores God."

I called Mavis B. Knight, a board member, (District 13 - Dallas) as dedicated to Jesus Christ as anyone I have encountered, but had to leave a message. I would like to know if he took her to the woodshead for Jesus. In fact, it would be interesting to know who he has been ministering to, and weather such stunts amount to violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

I will get back to you. In the meantime, here is the vita on Bro. McLeroy. Note his solid background in science if dentistry and elctrical engineering count as forming the basis of his anti-evolution views.

Don McLeroy
9277 Brookwater Circle
College Station, TX 77845
979 255-2538
979 846-1174 (FAX)

January 1, 2007 - January 1, 2011

District 9 - College Station

Don McLeroy of College Station was elected to the State Board of Education in November 1998 and re-elected in 2002 and 2006. McLeroy was appointed Chair of the State Board of Education by Governor Rick Perry in July of 2007. McLeroy serves on the board's Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund. He previously served on the Committee on Planning and as vice chair of the board.

McLeroy is a dentist in Bryan-College Station. He served on the Bryan Independent School District Board of Trustees, to which he was elected in May 1997.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Doctor of Dental Science degree from The University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston.

McLeroy is a fourth-grade Sunday school teacher at Grace Bible Church in College Station and has been active in youth soccer and Boy Scouts. In his Boy Scout work, he was honored with the "District Award of Merit." He also served in the U.S. Army. McLeroy and his wife, Nancy, have two children.

Last Updated - July 17, 2007

Ironically, The General was on the spot, as usual, to fix the problem where it counts: in Heaven.

Asking Jesus to kick some ass

Dr. Wiley S. Drake
Second Vice President, Southern Baptist Convention
Pastor, First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park

Dear Dr. Drake,

Most pastors would panic upon learning that Americans United for the Separation of Church (AU) and State had filed an electioneering complaint with the IRS against them. Not you. You simply responded by coolly commanding your followers to call upon our Lord and Savior in imprecatory prayer, to cause AU press contact Joe Conn's teeth to fall out.

I understand that you support Mike Huckabee in his quest to be our next president. Indeed, it was your endorsement of Huckabee written on your church's letterhead that prompted AU to file it's complaint.

I also understand that you are an Ambassador for the Presidential Prayer Team, and as such, I assume you are employing the power of prayer to assist Huckabee. But have you considered how much more his campaign could be helped by imprecatory prayer. Imagine how voters would react to a hairless, toothless, boil infested Mitt Romney. And why stop there, why not ask God to make Mitt fart loudly and scratch himself during interviews. Heck, I can't wait to see Tim Russert squirm as he tries to explain that sharting live on Meet the Press is a savvy campaign move. How about you?

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Democracy Comes to Clear Lake

We had some fun in my neighborhood last weekend. You see, the maintenance association here held elections recently and the race for Oakbrook ended in a tie, 72 to 72. The board, who ousted a dissident member last year, voted to seat the incumbent, George Muths. George voted to seat himself. The challenger, Roberta Toppin, had to sue the association to force them to follow Texas election law and hold a runoff election.

I was nervous about the runoff. In the days before the vote, hundreds of yard signs appeared in the neighborhood. Mr. Muths also had a website, where he claimed to not be influenced by any political party, while he pointed out that his opponent, Ms. Toppin, was a democrat and a precinct chair. (Democrat! Mercy, she might be a Stalinist, or Satanist or something.)

The runoff was Saturday, but it wasn’t until Monday that we heard the results through the grapevine. There were as many early votes as total votes in the original election. Mr. Muths more than doubled his total. But Ms. Toppin almost tripled hers. Got to vote for a winner for a change. The board will be installing her tonight. Next, they’ll be ginning up some scheme to remove her, but for now the people have spoken. I’m proud of us the way I was when we crossed party lines to vote for Bill White for mayor, just because he was the superior candidate, or when Tom DeLay had to look for votes up in LaPorte, because people here already knew him.

Viva la revolution!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Civics Exam?

Well, it appears that the Chronicle has replaced Cragg Hines with Jonah Goldberg. They could do worse, I suppose. Goldberg hails from The National Review, which may be rightwing, but still has a legacy of integrity coming from Bill Buckley. I wasn’t down with Goldberg when he was defending his mother and Linda Tripp for sandbagging the Clintons, but at least he hasn’t run anything from Ann Coulter on National Review Online since she wrote that bit about “invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity” after the 9/11 attacks. And he finally admitted that the Iraq invasion was a mistake, albeit a “noble” one. Goldberg wrote a piece last week that I about agree with. Here’s some:

“A very high percentage of the U.S. electorate isn't very well qualified to vote, if by "qualified" you mean having a basic understanding of our government, its functions and its challenges.

So, maybe, just maybe, we have our priorities wrong. Perhaps cheapening the vote by requiring little more than an active pulse (Chicago famously waives this rule) has turned it into something many people don't value. Maybe the emphasis on getting more people to vote has dumbed-down our democracy by pushing participation onto people uninterested in such things. Maybe our society would be healthier if politicians aimed higher than the lowest common denominator. Maybe the opinions of people who don't know the first thing about how our system works aren't the folks who should be driving our politics, just as people who don't know how to drive shouldn't have a driver's license. Instead of making it easier to vote, maybe we should be making it harder. Why not test people about the basic functions of government? Immigrants have to pass a test to vote; why not all citizens?”

-I often feel this way when I see those surveys that show people, say, the Bill of Rights, and ask them if they agree or disagree. People not only don’t recognize them, they disapprove! The republicans seem to think that the democrats have a lock on the ignoramus vote, but to paraphrase H. L. Mencken, the boobus americanus is a bird that knows no party. I’d put our idiots up against theirs any day.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stop Doing Weird Things to My Banana

I regulary purchase and consume bananas because they are heathful, tasty and plentiful. I have become increasingly concerned lately about not being able to find a banana at an edible stage of ripenesss. At the supermarket they are all either green or black. I have bought the green ones and watched them carefully, ready to seize and consume when they ripened, but they all went straight to black. I have tried many brands, Dole, Del Monte, Turbana and the ubiquitous Chiquita - all the same. I even had one bunch that was green on the outside, but black on the inside!

I don't recall it being this way growing up. We would buy already ripe bananas and they would be good for about a week. We never bought green bananas because they would take way too long to ripen. We believed that these bananas were taken from the tree too soon, thus inferior.

I suspect they are doing unseemly things to my bananas. Things like bagging them while they are on the tree to force ripening. Giving them way too much fertilizer, water, and everything else to make them yield more, faster. Even the possibility of the existence of genes from genetically modified organisms(GMO) is a concern. My biggest fear is that bananas (and all consumable plants) will slowly become lifeless facsimile's of what they once were. So, a banana will look like a banana, but the pulp will be devoid of flavor and nutrients. The end result may well be more gross volume (i.e. profit) and less net nutrition.

New energy products like bio-diesel may seem the perfect solution to our energy needs, but if food products are grown without the intent for human consumption won't corporate scientists tinker with these crops genetic makeup so they yield more energy? This spells slow demise for our already questionable food supply. I might get a gallon of gas for under $3.00, but I won't be able to get a decent ear of corn for a good price because it's all a GMO, being grown to make ethanol. Already I can't seem to find a decent hamburger, or a plate of enchiladas that dont' taste like an American cheesburger!

The signs of a food supply in crisis are everywhere, but, for now, please just stop doing weird things to my banana.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I'm Back!

I went to the best places in the great American West. Boy, was that fun!

Thanks to all the hippies and shit diggers in Colorado. Your food sucks down there: mid-western blandness, without the huge portions, except for burgers as big as one's foot. When a body has to fight off the cold, calories are important, I guess.

We love you Karla W. (The only people we hate are those who hurt members of the tribe.) Much affection to Theo the Love Goat, too. We miss you badly.

New Mexico. Brave, proud little NM. I want to make a suggestion: park your cars and find some other way to travel. You drive crappy. Also, you want to scare the Texans with your reputed chilli heat. Hermanos, please. However, I have never visited a place so lovely - your future is limitless.

West Texas is looking good from all the rain. The Davis Mountains are glorious.

Judge Hoarse, thanks for holding things down with your usual flare.

Folks, please write. I have deleted some posts lately from stupidity. Persy Tutwieller, for instance wrote me something nice and I accidentally trashed it. I promise to do better, and we deeply appreciate hearing from everyone.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Chupacabra Report

More news that gets my goat:

Now that the state legislature’s been hung up wet, it seems strange to be reading about the Children’s Health Insurance Program, but it’s still in play in Washington, where the House has voted to increase funding from $25 billion to $75 billion over the next five years. The Senate’s version calls for a $35 billion increase over that period. (Our senators have split on the measure, with Cornyn voting against, of course.) President Bush is threatening to veto any bill that adds more than $1 billion per year.

Congress intends to pay for this measure by cutting subsidies for private Medicare insurance plans, and by increasing the federal tobacco taxes. I have my doubts about funding this worthwhile program with sin taxes. If the goal is worthy, I say we should pony up and pay for it, and not rely on human weakness to pay the fare. Plus, there’s not that much sin to go around. Soon the state and federal authorities may resort to making book on monkey knife fights, like Homer did on Burns’ yacht.

I relish the anticipated Bush veto as I expect it will incite the voters to throw republicans out of office next year. But you could make the case that halfway measures like CHIP only postpone the day when we join the rest of the developed world and provide universal health insurance. In this light, every unreasonable action by insurance bureaucrats, and each slimy move by Pharma execs, hasten the day when we get a workable and affordable system.

I recently heard of a congressman who decided to forego congressional health care coverage. Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wis. said “I will not accept health insurance coverage until everyone I represent in Wisconsin and across America is given the same opportunity.” Fair enough, if we can’t afford health coverage for five million poor children, why are we supplying it to 535 congressmen making $170,000.00/year.