Zippidy Doo Da

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

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I spotted Charles "Charley" Gonzales, (D-Sleepyville) at "Charley's" restaurant (no relation) on Broadway tonight with the Mr's. Steve Spruster and and Steve Brown from KSAT were there too watching the Spurs game. I didn't bother them.

But I walked up to Charley, who was casually dressed but sharp. Stag. I reminded him I was a friend of a friend, and like any good politician, he remembered me. I asked him to make a prediction on the election and that I would keep it strictly confidential. He said it was to close to call.

I'm not so sure.

Some have remarked that O'bama might have been victim to the "Bradly Effect" in New Hampshire by voters lying to exit pollsters about voting for a black man. They say they did, but they really didn't. If such a thing exists, this seems a polite form of racism. And after all, it's impolite to ask a guy who he voted for.

Maybe the biggest hurdle will be bad old fashioned, George Wallace-style racism? We saw its ugly cousin in the form of the frothy boogaboo Cunningham, braying about "Bar-ock Hoo-sane O-baama!" over and over on CNN yesterday. What Barry wasn't counting on, maybe, was this unfortunate situation today, that nobody seems to report on, involving a phenomena I've observed: Mexicans don't vote for no zambo:

"Kris Alingod - AHN News Writer

Washington, D.C. (AHN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) distanced herself from another overexuberant supporter on Thursday, this time a Hispanic civil rights leader in Texas who said in an interview that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "simply has the problem that he happens to be black."

The controversial statement was made by Adelfa Callejo, an 84-year old Clinton backer from Dallas, when asked during an interview with CBS 11 News to comment about Obama's efforts to reach out to Hispanics.

"When Blacks had the numbers, they didn't do anything to support us. They always used our numbers to fulfill their goals and objectives, but they never really supported us, and there's a lot of hard feelings about that. I don't think we're going to get over it anytime soon," Callejo had said."

Ahem...ur...(cough) Oops.

Although many men (and women) of color fled to Mexico from the U.S., and a long time previously the Spanish brought some black men as slaves, they all became free by the time Mexico became a republic. Thus, encouraging more flight from the south. Even though these people lived free, they were to become victims of social prejudice that was not based on race, but rather cast. The problem is Mexico's insane caste system that is the madness dripping from the unhealed wounds wrought from Spanish murder of the Children of the Sun, and schitzophrenia when they then became their enemies by co-mingling their bloodlines.

To the extent that time has washed these foolish institutions away into the shadows is Mr. Obama's and America's journey to find.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bill Buckley Dead at 82

William F. Buckley, author of over fifty books, was editor of the National Review Magazine, host of PBS’s Firing Line, a CIA agent, avid sailor, and crack pistol shot. He was a conservative intellectual who kept a sharp eye out for the preposterous, be it the John Birch Society or George W. Bush, a conservative with the balls to debate Noam Chomski, who kept up a lifelong correspondence with John Kenneth Galbraith.

Check out his column from 1990, in which he deconstructs the much-loved John Lennon song, “Imagine:”

“The widow of John Lennon asked rather more, in the memory of her late husband, than some of us are willing, let alone anidous, to give, however much we regret the tragic circumstances of his passing.

John Lennon was a source of inspiration to many people (including my son), and it is unwise to insert oneself into other people's religious quarrels.

But Yoko Ono is asking not merely that Lennonites celebrate Lennonism, but that all of us do.

I am reminded of the clerk at the London pub who read and reread, quaffing his curiosity along the way, the personal ad that asked for volunteers for a two-year trip up the Congo River, the payment for the entire period E100, with the warning that the probability of death or pestilence was very high. After his fifth rereading and fifth beer, he called the telephone number given, carefully spelled his name, gave his address, and announced that he was not volunteering to go on the trip.

You see, Yoko wanted the whole world-every radio station, in every country-to sing out, at a given hour, the song, Imagine,"nominating it in effect as a kind of world national anthem."
Now I do not know the melody of Imagine, but I have the lyrics in front of me, and what it amounts to is a kind of Bible, as written by the sorcerer's apprentice.

Imagine there's no heaven -
It's easy if you try.
No hell below us,
Above us only sky.
Imagine all the people
Living for today.

I venture to say that those who imagine in that direction ought to make every effort to restrain themselves.

The homilies of John Lennon have a hard time up against those of Christ and his Apostles, such as, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him."

It is quite difficult to understand Mr. Lennon's point in wishing that all that life stood for was the present moment, today.

And the notion that there is only sky above us suggests a kind of ethereal vapidity that is downright depressing.

And what are we to say about the word heavenly if heaven doesn't exist?

It is hard to say the song gets worse, because there is hardly anything worse than to think that John Lennon is a mere memory, rather than a companion of the angels. But the next verse says:

Imagine there's no countries - It isn't hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for,
And no religion too.
Imagine all the people
Liviving life in peace.

Well, we certainly want to imagine a world in which everyone lives in peace, but, you see, that is only possible in a world in which people are willing to die for causes.

There'd have been peace for heaven knows (assuming heaven existed) how long in the South, except that men were willing to die to free the slaves, and Hitler would have died maybe about the time John Lennon did, at Berchtesgaden, at age 91, happy in a Jewless Europe.

There have got to be reasons that even affected John Lennon to prefer one country over against another. I happen to know this to be the case, since a long time ago he asked me to help him get papers permitting him to live in the United States.


Imagine no possessions - I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger - A brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world.

No, thanks, I don't want to imagine a world in which Yoko doesn't possess the goods that John left her, with which possessions she is capable of exercising a great deal of charity, though not so profusely as to leave her penniless and a public charge.

The person Who invented Heaven passed along a commandment ordaining that one must not covet other people's goods, and most thoughtful social philosophers agree that property is an important basis, indeed probably the most important basis, of human freedom....

So it goes, and the chorus of "Imagine" is-well, it is too subversive to appear in a family publication.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sustainability and Survival

Sunday the Chronicle devoted page two of the Outlook section to an editorial listing “Ten things the nation must do to avert an energy crunch (and protect the planet)”
This editorial reminded me of Dr. James_Hansen telling a Houston audience that it’s a mistake to think that there is some magic solution that will save us, because there are many problems that threaten us. The Chronicle list briefly:

1) The mileage (CAFÉ) standard must continue to rise.

2) U.S. energy needs demand that government and industry engage in a program to develop alternative energy sources — wind, solar and hydrogen, to name a few.

3) Industry should not be hobbled by a windfall profits tax that would only discourage exploration and production, limit supply and drive up consumer prices. Also, industry needs greater access to domestic oil reserves in the Arctic and off the East and West coasts.

4) Americans need to voluntarily adopt conservation measures — both as a personal virtue, as Vice President Dick Cheney put it, and as a strategy to curb energy prices.

5) Full exploitation of nuclear power plants demands that the government quickly provide a safe site for the disposal of radioactive waste.

6) A carbon tax or cap-and-trade system is the best means to decrease emissions without putting industry in a straitjacket.

7) The United States gets most of its electricity from burning coal. The U.S. government must revive its research into carbon sequestration so the country can safely continue to utilize this abundant resource.

8) States need to invest in adequate transmission capacity to get clean, green electricity from the wind farms to the cities.

9) Congress must stop mandating use of ethanol made from corn as a motor fuel.

10) The Green Building Rating System should be incorporated into local building codes where ever reasonable.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The "Hispanic" Vote

Lately I've been wondering if the old Mark Twain saying, "news of my death is greatly exaggerated," isn't perfect to describe how often I hear about Hillary Clinton's political demise. It's easy for me to see how deliciously cold the pundits are serving up revenge these days. In fact, they make it look so good that a certain piling on effect occurs with folks on the left that are way too young to be holding any grudges from when they were playing Power Rangers in the back yards of America, safe and sound from any attacks by a chubby, hello horny Bill Clinton. Hilariously, Skippy was waving Clinton's catering bill around with a righteous "Je Accuse!"

You see, there are a lot of "fundamentals" that are way out of whack here. For instance, since when is "the young latino vote" who are supposedly politically estranged from their parents, counted on to even exist, much less appear at the polls, even much less to contribute to a landslide as predicted? Every time I am informed in sincerely rendered fashion by supposed professionals about this army of energized and engaged Mexican-American youth, chomping at the bit to come out for Obama along with a big "fuck you!" to tia, mama and abolita, I just have to shrug. Oh, well.

When I was watching TV last night, you know who appeared on the screen with his shiny halo and everything? Henry "Brown Moses" Cisneros. In the words of the bard:

"Dey callin' me BROWN MOSES,
Fo' dat id sho'ly what I am,
Ancient an' re-lij-er-mus
Solemn an' pres-tig-i-mus
Wisdom reekin' outa me
'Long wif summa dis baby pee
'Minds me of dem River Weeds
'N all dem ignint Bible deeds"

He looked none the worse for wear after his involvement in a shocking DC love triangle.

"Growed up in de Pharaoh place,
Lef' de sucker in disgrace!
Some dem boys refuse to loin
Somthin' smokin': Somthin' boin!"

He was calling on all his people to vote for Hillary. Not just commit to vote, hell, vote right now, and gives a number to call for just such a purpose. If not, call anyway; they'll drive you to the polls.

Now lookee here all you pundits, pointy heads and wiseguys, if you live in San Antonio and Henry f-in Cisneros tells you to vote for somebody then you better damn well do it. We'll see if los cholos and their betty's, 50% who dropped out in HS; 50% who had children in their teens; 25% who have no jobs, turn out to vote for the first time in their lives.

Oh, they mean the latino middle class. Right. The ones who voted for Bush last time?

Friday, February 22, 2008

At Least She Didn't Beat Them

Speaking of Hot Tub Tom, there is news from Washington today about his heir-apparent that I know he would be proud of:

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

After most of Shelley Sekula Gibbs' Washington staff quit during her seven weeks as a congresswoman, she alleged they had erased the computer research she requested on immigration, Medicare and other issues.

"As public servants, they have harmed the 22nd Congressional District and they have brought shame to this office," the Houston dermatologist said in December 2006.

But House officials now say their investigation of her charge found no wrongdoing by the six aides.

"Our computer security analysts did look into then-Rep. Sekula Gibbs' concerns around the integrity of computers in the office she briefly occupied and found no traces of purposeful erasure of data," Jeff Ventura, spokesman for the Office of the House Chief Administrative Officer, told the Houston Chronicle. "It was determined that any lost data may have been inadvertent or the result of standard methodology employed when any member of Congress transitions to another."

In response to that written statement, Sekula Gibbs, who is running for the seat again in the Republican primary, said this week that with the help of House technology experts, she was able to recover most of the material she had accused the staff of deleting on purpose.

She had no further comment about the House findings.

The aides, who had worked for Republican Tom DeLay before joining Sekula Gibbs' staff, walked off the job five days after she took office.

"Never has any member of Congress treated us with as much disrespect and unprofessionalism as we witnessed during those five days," ex-staffer David James said then. He is now an aide to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

I really am awfully glad that Countess Sekula is running again. It should make for endless fun and politcal hijinks. She is sort of a poor man's Katherine Harris without the fabulous rack. I can't wait.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

GOP Candidates Praise DeLay

Republican candidates for the Houston-area congressional seat once occupied by Tom DeLay praised him for his political outlook Wednesday but said they would not mimic his legislative votes or actions on several major issues.
The 10 GOP candidates in the March 4 primary for the 22nd Congressional District job made their comments at a meeting with the Houston Chronicle editorial board.
DeLay, once a powerful leader of congressional Republicans, resigned in 2006 and awaits trial on state charges involving the use of campaign funds. The seat is now held by Rep. Nick Lampson, a Democrat in a district DeLay designed to favor a Republican.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hillary Clinton for President (of the Senate)

Eldy asked me about an endorsement prior to the March 4th Texas Primary. As you may be aware, I’ve been voting for losers for thirty-five years, most of them Democrats. This year the best looking losers, Kucinich and Edwards, are out of it before I even get to hurl my vote.

My best hope now is that the Democratic race stays open, and is hopelessly snarled at the convention, with the ultimate result that we re-elect Al Gore.

Seriously, I like Clinton and Obama alright. I have bones to pick with some of their positions and votes, but they’re both a big cut above the specimen that’s in office now. Hell, I could have gone with McCain before he sold his soul to Dobson.

But to me the biggest issue is electability. I fed up with getting hosed by dirty tricks, voter challenges, bad counts and court decisions. Who knows what they’ll come up with this time to try to steal the election. I expect that the fix is in with Diebold et all. University studies across the country have shown computer ballot systems to be susceptible to hacking and tampering.

Nevertheless, I think the American people are fed up with Republican/Corporate rule and are ready to give Democratic/Corporate rule a shot. But we have to supply the votes, and plenty of them. And I think that the momentum demonstrated by the Obama campaign, if sustained through the remaining contests, prove that Clinton has too much negative opinion to overcome in a dirty general election.

That’s why I’m calling for Obama to select Clinton as his running mate. There is precedent for this, in the early years of this republic, the number two vote-getter became the vice president. And Abraham Lincoln, an astute politician if there ever was one, brought his rivals for the nomination into the cabinet. This mostly worked, with the exception of Salmon Chase.

An Obama/Clinton ticket would unite the party, and provide assassination insurance for Obama, as Dan Quayle did for George H.W. Bush. And I bet she could be an even better hatchetman than Dick Cheney, only popular, and not so evil. Think this over when you head to the polls on March 4th to vote for the tool of your choice.

Keep Your Eye on the Sky

I spent some time down in Moulton this weekend, which is Ron Paul Country. The doctor has a diehard following there, and I think the country might be surprised when He and Rev. Huckabee garner quite a few votes come election time. It would be satisfying to me if the national journos took a little time to understand better what makes the Texas voter tick.

It has been getting around, for instance, that unidentified flying objects about a mile long have been languishly trolling along the Texas skies over folks who 1. Don't trust the press; 2. Don't trust the "government; and 3. Have deeply held religious convictions that don't really accommodate the notion that intelligent life exists in other dimensions or galaxies.

Imagine the personal crisis this would invariably cause to people who just don't appreciate this happening only to encounter the press who make laughingstocks of their honest testimony and threats on their lives or livelihoods by men in black along with all the attendant horrors acquired by viewing mass media on the subject.

Some folks related to me that the beat reporter in Stephenville that tried to investigate this weirdness was fired for her efforts. They'd heard this from Coast to Coast, a major source of real news for lots of AM-listening rural folks in Texas. I though that in order to contribute further insight into the mind of a big block of traditional Texas votes I would offer that reporter's story of the plight of one witness in this whole mess:

More twists in the Sorrells' saga
Published: Monday, February 4, 2008 11:19 AM CST


Ricky Sorrells just wants answers. And, in light of what he's been through, it doesn't seem to be a lot to ask.

Witnessing an unidentified flying object four times since the beginning of the new year, then having military aircraft whizzing over his land and disrupting his sleep and livestock, followed by a string of mysterious phone calls and in person encounters from individuals demanding he "shut up" about what he saw, and landing unexpectedly in the international spotlight, has taken a toll on the 37-year-old man accustomed to the simple life.

"If you told me a while back that I would be sitting here talking to you about UFOs I would have said, ‘No way, not in a million years," Sorrells said. " Now, I know for the rest of my life I'll keep looking to find out what it was."

Sorrells said he is receiving a lot of support from family and friends helping him to keep an eye on things. He said that support has been a great help to him.

"I'm not going to freak out or anything," Sorrells said. "I just think the government should come forward and help us to figure out this thing. I think people should write to their congressman or something."

Sorrells said soon after his Associated Press interview went around the world in mid-January - not only was he allegedly contacted by a Lt. Colonel telling him to keep quiet about what he saw, he was also contacted by a woman named Linda Moulton Howe.

Sorrells said he vaguely remembered listening to her on a radio program years ago while on a road trip and her name clicked with him. It was the only familiar name he knew and she promised to do an investigation so he agreed not to talk to anyone else until she could make the trip from New Mexico. Howe arrived in Dublin last week and stayed with Sorrells and his family to conduct the investigation and left late last week.

"I told her everything I knew and showed her my property," Sorrels said. "After she left, I felt I had honored my commitment with her. Things have settled down a little and I feel free to talk about the experiences I have had. I just didn't want to do anything that would interfere with her investigation because I want the truth."

He said the last time he saw the object he was able to get a video on his camera phone and said he has seen some other "pretty good footage" taken by others.

One night Sorrells said he had four helicopters flying at such low altitude that when a spotlight was shined up at them from Sorrells' pickup he could see the pilot throw his arm up in front of his eyes to block the light. But there has been another strange occurrence recently on his property that leads him to believe the military is involved. It was an unexpected visitor about 1 a.m. who may have left something behind.

"I was in bed asleep," Sorrells said. "I keep my bird dogs on the east side of my house and three others on the west side. The black lab doesn't bark until someone comes across the cattle guard and the Catahoula doesn't bark until she actually sees someone. They were all barking so I got up to see what was going on."

Sorrells said he walked to his bedroom window and looked out to the top of his driveway - he saw someone.

"I went around the bed and grabbed my rifle," Sorrells said.

His family was still sleeping, so with one hand on his gun and one hand on his backdoor knob, he peered through the window of the door to see if he could spot the intruder again.

"He had positioned himself in between the car and the pickup 40 to 50 feet from my back door," Sorrells said. "He stood staring at me rocking back and forth. I didn't think his feet were moving but the next morning when looking at his tracks I could tell they were."

Sorrels said it was cold and misting rain and it was obvious the guy was "dressed for the elements with a heavy parka-like coat."

He said he strained to see if the man carried a gun but could not see one but could clearly see the face of someone he thought to be in his late 20s or early 30s judging from the way he "walked and acted."

"I'm trying to decide whether or not to open the door," Sorrells said. "We're just standing there face to face looking at each other. I'm thinking he's dressed for the elements and the dogs are raising such a ruckus he must know he's in danger of being caught. That's when I realized he wanted me to see him."

Sorrells said the trespasser had positioned himself in such a way he decided he could be vulnerable if opened his door. He thought of his family and then the man slowly turned and walked into the woods.

"He walked through an area where I'd cleared the brush so apparently he'd been there before because he knew where to go," Sorrells said.

Sorrells said shortly after the unwelcome caller disappeared the dogs calmed down and he stayed up the rest of the night to keep watch.

Later, when walking through the woods on his property with Howe, he decided to return to a bare spot where his property line ends at a fence.

"It is washed out there and I like to go there to look for deer and turkey tracks." Sorrells said. He said he's an avid hunter and keeps abreast of the wildlife on his place. He said he had not been to this particular spot in about a month.

"The first thing I saw was a man's footprint," Sorrells said. "Ms. Howe videotaped me putting my foot beside it. The sun was going down and I saw something shiny."

Sorrells said he walked over and picked up a bullet - a shiny new 25-06 Remington - with some dotted tarnished smudges.

"I think the man that I saw that night dropped this bullet and the tarnished spots are from the misting rain that night," Sorrells said. " I just think it was the military showing me they could get to me if they wanted to."

Sorrells said he just doesn't think a hunter poaching on his property would've dropped the bullet. He said he doesn't have trouble with poachers. While he knows there is no way to prove it could have been from the same man it's something he keeps mulling over. Sorrells returned home with the bullet in hand and took it apart to look at the powder to see if he could glean any information at all. A local gun and ammunition authority said there was no way to identify if such a bullet was from a military source.

"Talking about military powder is like talking about military gasoline," he said. "There is no difference."

Meanwhile, Sorrells said he and other witnesses are considering setting up a Web site to encourage people to do what they can to influence government participation in finding out about the curious, sometimes frightening, sightings.

"I've heard that other countries are releasing information on what they know," Sorrells said. "We're thinking of calling it (the site) ‘Stephenville Lights.' Too many people have seen something not to try and continue finding out about it. We want to know what it was."


UFO witness claims harassment
Published: Sunday, February 3, 2008 3:11 PM CST
Ricky Sorrells is frustrated and a little angry.

Since his interview with the Associated Press, Sorrells has stayed quiet regarding the daytime UFO sightings on his property near Dublin.

And, there is more than one reason for his silence.

Sorrells believes military officials have been harassing him by flying military aircraft over his property at low altitudes, at all hours of the day and night. Sorrells runs livestock on his place and said the cattle don't react well to the disturbances. It's also been hard to get any sleep.

Sorrells made international news along with other witnesses on Jan. 14 after the Associated Press contacted him for his story and took video of the exact spot the UFO was seen along with Sorrells' description of the object.

Not just once, but four times, he claims to have seen the massive flying object he estimates to be the length of "three or four football fields." He said he's not sure about the size because the first time he saw it was the best view. At that time, the craft hovered directly over him in the woods about 300 feet above his head and his view was blocked by tree branches.

"I don't know why it keeps coming back here," Sorrells said.

He's convinced that someone representing himself as a Lt. Colonel knows what it is — and Sorrells wants an explanation.

He said the man contacted him by telephone on Jan. 15, one day after his interview with the Associated Press.

"I didn't worry about writing his name down or taking notes," Sorrells said. "I didn't know what was about to happen. But, I think he said he was with the Air Force."

Sorrells said the conversation started out nice enough.

"He was sort of nice to me right off," Sorrells said. "He asked to come and talk to me."

Sorrells said he told the man that he needed time to think about it and then, "He (the man) became really arrogant."

The caller told Sorrells he wasn't taking "no" for an answer and would be out to talk to him. Sorrells again tried to politely tell the man he did not wish to have company.

After that, Sorrells said the conversation became heated and he told the man not to cross his cattle guard.

Sorrells said the man responded with, " Son, we have the same caliber weapons as you do but a lot more of them."

Looking back, Sorrells said he believes the man was in his area but not able to pinpoint exactly where he lived because he recently built a new home.

"I actually got up and looked out my window to see if I could see someone at the cattle guard. So I said if he was who he said he was, why didn't he stop flying over my air space with all those helicopters," Sorrells said. "And he informed me that it was not my air space — it was his. He told me if I'd quit talking about what I saw he would stop the helicopters."

Sorrells said since that conversation, the helicopters have quit flying over his property but the F-16s haven't slowed.

Before the conversation took place with the suspected military officer Sorrells related a late night experience with a large transport helicopter and three smaller helicopters.

"I get up at 2:30 a.m. to go to work and these helicopters kept flying over and I couldn't sleep," Sorrells said. "Because it was about time to get up and go to work, I just got up and went outside to see what I could."

Sorrells said he has a spotlight on his pickup that he uses to look for coyotes.

"I went to my truck and turned on the spotlight and shined it up at them," Sorrells said. "It was so close, I could see the pilot's reaction. He threw up his arm to block the light. He was in one of the smaller helicopters.

"Then he turned toward me and I still have the light on. I started to feel uncomfortable so I turned off the light and waved and went back inside. I was thinking I had pushed the envelope."

To top that off, Sorrells said an acquaintance, whom he would not name, and formerly a member of the military, told him, "You need to shut your mouth about what you saw."

Sorrells said he tried to pull the man aside and asked him to explain his statement.

"He just kept saying the same thing and wouldn't explain," Sorrells said. " Now he won't speak to me."

Sorrells said because the helicopters disappeared, he now feels the gentlemen was actually a member of the military, and was high enough in rank that he was able to stop that type of air traffic.

"If it is a military craft the American people need to know," Sorrells said. "A lot of people have seen things around here. I know what I saw and so do they."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Can you say Byzantine?

To anybody out there that has a preference in the Democratic Presidential Primary, I would like to remind you to plan on voting twice on February 4th. That is, after you have cast your ballot, (into the electronic nethernet of e-slate) you would be advised to show up again at your precinct polling place at 7:15 PM to stand for your chosen candidate at the precinct convention, or caucus.

And bring a friend. Because about a third of the 126 delegates in play will be awarded through the precinct conventions, where it’s possible for a candidate to collect the lion’s share of the delegates after winning as little as 15% of the vote, providing those voters show up to caucus in greater numbers than the other side has.

And then there the 102 superdelegates or “X-Delegates” who will fly to Denver in their VTOL Blackbird “X-Jet” to cast their ballots in whichever direction the wind happens to be blowing in?

Really, nobody knows quite what to expect in Texas March 4th. We’re not used to having our opinion matter. Hell, lots of us don’t even have an opinion of our own. It will have to be manufactured. The Texas Primary could turn out to be a total clusterf*#k, and we could end up famous like Florida in 2000.

Monday, February 11, 2008

70's Show

72% -Percentage of Democratic voters that told exit polls that they would be happy if Hillary Clinton is the nominee.

71% -Percentage of Democratic voters that told exit polls that they would be happy if Barack Obama is the nominee.

75% -Percentage by which the total number of votes cast in all Democratic primaries to date exceeds the total number of votes cast in all Republican primaries to date.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Help Stop CPS Danger

Carlos Uresti is a state legislator working really hard to bring Child Protective Services to task for gross mismanagement, crushing caseworker turnover, underfunding, corruption and neglect.

It is not unusual, in my experience to see three or four case workers in a row on single file. Turnover last year was 75%. Many promises from the government to make sure the agency is funded and managed in such a way as to avoid children being left in abusive families and kid's from loving homes are taken away are broken time and again.

Mr. Uresti was able to force a judicial audit of Bexar County to expose these problems. That's a start. Show him some love at:

Honorable Carlos Uresti
2503 SW Military Drive, Suite 103
San Antonio, Texas 78224
Toll Free 1.800.459.0119
Fax 210.932.2572

or at

Saturday, February 09, 2008

George Bush Is Sharing His Fortune


Read carefully…


To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages, But this is from my friend Harriet Meyers and she really is an attorney.
If she says that this will work - It will work. After all, what have you got to lose?

SORRY EVERYBODY.. JUST HAD TO TAKE THE CHANCE!!! I’m an attorney, And I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest assured The White House and Congress will follow through with their promises for fear of facing a multimillion-dollar class action suit similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.

Dear Friends: Please do not take this for a junk letter. George Bush sharing your fortune. If you ignore this, You will repent later.

The White House and Congress are now the largest criminal conspiracies and in an effort to make sure that corporate freebooting remains the most widely used program, The White House and Congress are running an e-mail beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, the NSA can and will track it under provisions of the FISA (If you are an American citizen) for a two week time period.

For every person that you forward this e-mail to, George Bush will pay you $245.00 For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, George Bush will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, You will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, George Bush will contact you for your address and then send you a check.

Regards. Mike Duncan, Chairman, Republican National Committee, Ph# 202 863-8500.

Thought this was a scam myself, But two weeks after receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on, George Bush contac ted me for my address and within days, I received a check for $24, 800.00. You need to respond before the beta testing is over. If anyone can afford this, George Bush is the man.

It’s all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many people as possible. You are bound to get at least $10, 000.00 We’re not going to help them out with their e-mail beta test without getting a little something for our time.
My brother’s girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When I went to visit him for the Baylor/UT game, she showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped ‘Paid In Full’.

Best Regards,
Tina Benkiser, State Chairman, Republican Party of Texas, Ph# 512 477-9821.

Friday, February 08, 2008

They Send Letters

Office of Senator Dole
Alston & Bird LLP
The Atlantic Building
950 F Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20004-1404 USA

January 28, 2008

Mr. Rush Limbaugh
%The Rush Limbaugh Show
1270 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Dear Rusty,

I know you hadn't heard from Bob Dole in a while, but I think you are fantastic, and I try to listen when I can, but by gosh I'm busy between walking the dog, and my naps here. Gee, your family is chalked full of federal judges, and fine lawyers, but you did just fine with the radio show, and all. I knew your dad, Rush, Sr. from back in W-W 2, and I go to tell you, he was one tough bastard; he was stuck in a plane crash in Burma once and chewed off his own foot. If that gets in your head a little, Rusty, what with your war deferment from an infected asshole and all, don't let it, Tiger. Sure, some people say your listeners are paranoid incontinent shut-ins, toothless brain-sick hillbillies, and retired viagra jockies, but I tell people that just because you broadcast endless adds for boner pills, hair cream and security locks, your listeners are great.

Speaking of pocket rockets, I heard you had some trouble with the little blue pills and a 15 year- old cabana boy down in Santa Domingo. I got to tell you as an old veteran of those little devils not to mess with them. I know I once said that those who cultivate moral confusion for profit should understand we will name their names and shame them as they deserve to be shamed, and all, but to hell with it. I walked around with a stiffy like a Kewanee elevator for weeks. Brittney laughed at Bob Dole, and Libby just reminded Bob Dole that her snatch blew away years ago. Dust in the wind, buddy.

I just wanted to set you straight on my dear friend and colleague, Sen John McCain. You ought to try to lighten up a little, if you can. I've known John a long time, and just because people say he's crazy as hell, and liable to bite your nose off, he's a pretty good egg. Don't let him near you, if you can. He can be a little rough; used to want arm wrestle all the time. He likes to win, that's a good thing. If something happened along the route and you had to leave your children with John McCain or Hillary Clinton, don't.

Take it easy.

Bob Dole

Federal Man Date

I’ve been sickened lately to see poll results saying that the #1 voter issue is the economy. This just proves out the administration ploy to make the wars invisible. Not in the news, not in the budget, not an issue.

But the issue that I’d like to take up today is healthcare. I’ll start by dismissing the Republican approach because I don’t see one. What I hear mostly is the old shibboleths about “socialized medicine” or “Hillarycare.” Their ideas seem limited to tax deductions for insurance premiums for those able to itemize deductions, or the sort of plan Schwartzenegger proposed where everybody is marched at gunpoint into the clutches of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

On the other side, the bold planners are already out of the race. Foremost was Kucinich’s death penalty for insurance executives/ single payer plan, and then there was Edward’s plan that was set to evolve into a single payer plan.

The remaining candidates have proposed hybrid plans that carry some hope of passing Congress, providing that we voters elect enough Democrats to give them the courage to smite the entrenched powers.

You may have heard Clinton and Obama sniping at each other’s proposals. One thing that I heard reported recently was the fact that Clinton’s plan would REQUIRE everybody to get health insurance, an angle sure to incite many libertarians out there. Sure gives me pause…

In Paul Krugman’s column this week, he elaborated on the subject, citing studies by economists at MIT and at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Here’s some:

“Both plans require that private insurers offer policies to everyone, regardless of medical history. Both also allow people to buy into government-offered insurance instead. And both seek to make insurance affordable to lower-income Americans.
But the big difference is mandates: The Clinton plan requires that everyone have insurance; the Obama plan doesn't.

Mr. Obama claims that people will buy insurance if it becomes affordable. Unfortunately, the evidence says otherwise. After all, we already have programs that make health insurance free or very cheap to many low-income Americans, without requiring that they sign up. And many of those eligible fail, for whatever reason, to enroll.

An Obama-type plan would also face the problem of healthy people who decide to take their chances or don't sign up until they develop medical problems, thereby raising premiums for everyone else. Mr. Obama, contradicting his earlier assertions that affordability is the only bar to coverage, is now talking about penalizing those who delay signing up – but it's not clear how this would work.

So the Obama plan would leave more people uninsured than the Clinton plan. How big is the difference?

To answer this question you need to make a detailed analysis of health care decisions. That's what Jonathan Gruber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of America's leading health care economists, does in a new paper.
Mr. Gruber finds that a plan without mandates, broadly resembling the Obama plan, would cover 23 million of those currently uninsured, at a taxpayer cost of $102 billion per year. An otherwise identical plan with mandates would cover 45 million of the uninsured – essentially everyone – at a taxpayer cost of $124 billion. Overall, the Obama-type plan would cost $4,400 per newly insured person, the Clinton-type plan only $2,700.

That doesn't look like a trivial difference to me. One plan achieves more or less universal coverage; the other, although it costs more than 80 percent as much, covers only about half of those currently uninsured.”

-So there’s a case for mandates. After all, we already spend enough to cover everybody, it’s just that our public health system has become a gravy train for some powerful interests. And like our foreign wars on the QT, it can be easy to ignore the fact that people are dying over unequal access to healthcare.

Willard Suspends Campaign

Former Massachusetts Governor Willard “Underwear Dog” Romney today suspended his presidential campaign saying “in this time of war, I can’t let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Republican primary voters for leaving this oleaginous putz by the side of the road.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I'm Mike Huckabee and I Support This Message


Ain't a nobody gonna tell me an my lovely bride, cousin Queenie that we gotta vote for nobody! Damn straight!

Anda iffin weez do, ain'ta nobody gonna make us vote for no a slick talkin Osamalama city-nigga! Hellno!

Yeehaw! (guns firing) - hold on girl! shees nervous-like steady!

And sezza we vote, ain'ta nobody gonna go makin us vote agin da Bible teachins, Praze Jebbus!

Hey! You a lookin funny at my lil darlin? That's better - iz alrite baby girl.

And you know a what? We did vote by golly.

We voted for Mike Huckabee!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAW!!!!!!!! Wuh!? Dars a tornayda yonder girly soo! Let's head for the holler!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Chupacabra Report

“TEHRAN — In one of the coldest winters Iranians have experienced in recent memory, the government is failing to provide natural gas to tens of thousands of people across the country, leaving some for days or even weeks with no heat at all. Here in the capital, rolling blackouts every night for a month have left people without electricity, and heat, for hours at a time.

The heating crisis in this oil-exporting nation is adding to Iranians’ increasing awareness of the contrast between their growing influence abroad and frailty at home, according to government officials, diplomats and political analysts interviewed here.

“I think the Islamic Revolution is going through an identity crisis, and is trying to mature,” said Nader Talebzadeh, a filmmaker who supports Mr. Ahmadinejad. “We are maturing, gradually.”

There are increasing signals, however, that the government is not interested in hearing other voices and is geared instead toward maintaining power by silencing critics. For the parliamentary elections, so far about 70 percent of all reform candidates have been disqualified.

Last week, the government shut down Iran’s most important feminist magazine, which had been published for 16 years. The authorities also arrested a small group of students after a protest at Tehran University over poor conditions in their dormitory.

In the middle of a snowy, icy winter, women have been arrested for not wearing proper Islamic clothing. Hats over head scarves, boots over pants, can bring trouble.”

“ANKARA, Turkey — Some 125,000 Turks, mostly women, denounced the government on Saturday over its plans to lift a decades-old ban on Islamic head scarves at universities in the mainly Muslim but secular nation.

Many Turks, including the country's influential military establishment, see the move as a serious threat to the country's traditional separation of church and state. The government has defended its plan as a reform needed to give its citizens religious liberty and bring Turkey in line with European Union human rights guidelines.

"We want to lift all ridiculous bans in Turkey; we want everyone to freely walk and receive education, either with their miniskirts or head scarves," said Egemen Bagis, a close aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is a devout Muslim.”

-These stories caught my eye on the week-end wire, and I saved them for a Chupy report, but before I got around to posting, I picked up a copy of “The Magdeline Sisters” at the library and watched it last night.

What a story. A nineteenth century “rescue movement” out of Britain and Ireland to take women off the streets and redeem them as washerwomen worthy of paradise grew into a system of Magdalene Asylums where girls in trouble, or girls deemed trouble by family or priests, were locked up to toil in laundries, unpaid, for indefinite terms.

Especially striking is the fact that this film was set in the year 1964. This made me wonder about the “homegirls” that hired out to do domestic work in my little town when I was a kid. As a pyro-feminist, I get indignant at the state of women’s rights in some quarters of the world. Just last month I heard a woman reporter knock the President for talking freedom and justice in Saudi Arabia, where she was barred from the hotel fitness room because of her gender.

Reminds me of John Lennon’s line, (yeah, he’s a great one to ask, I know) “I gotta ask you comrades and brothers, how do you treat your own woman back home?”

The film’s epilogue notes that the last Magdalene Asylum closed in 1996. They disappeared with the changes in sexual mores - or, as historian Frances Finnegan suggests, as they ceased to be profitable: "Possibly the advent of the washing machine has been as instrumental in closing these laundries as have changing attitudes."

The Final Word

This whole bloggers thing has been a lot more interesting and gratifying than I ever imagined. I have learned a lot.

One thing I learned is it is important to raise our evilness quotient, hence the image. This effort to give Satan props is very much not like us, so this is it. Moving on.

A big lesson learned is that our humble site is pathetically under dressed. We should be festooned with blogger adds and banners proclaiming must-use services. I think I'd prefer to keep what we got, but I'm not against tasteful accessories.

With all kidding aside, (The Judge, Nails and myself are careful not to be to serious too often) the most important thing to have in this endevour is what Pam's House Blend says is an undefinable ability to reach readers. (see previous post on chimp consumers)

It has been a joy to visit the massive network of "small" blogs (much larger than us) and see the amazing way each and everyone is different. If MSM or right wingers think the so-called left blogosphere spend their time constantly bitching about George Bush, I don't think that's correct. Although that sort of thing happens here and elsewhere, Bush hate is only one facet of a constellation of ideas produced for daily consumption. The difference between the left and the right is stark and sad. They aren't funny, and they're not very smart. I think their days are numbered.

Thanks to Jon Swift and Skippy for holding down a large part of this weeks' movement. I'm proud to add a number of links for people I have read and followed in the past under "It Takes a Village." Please peruse and enjoy.

Finally, let me proclaim to all the world my undying love for my spiritual guru, (although I know she'd cringe at the word) my sister in Christ, Nancy Beth Eczema.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Smoke Signal

Some folks think it's make believe
Other folks ain't so naive
About a smoke signal
Could see it coming
A smoke signal
Hear the drums drumming
You don't believe what you read in the paper
You can't believe the stranger at your door
You don't believe what you hear from your neighbor
Your old neighborhood ain't even there no more

-Robbie Robertson

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Mo Monkeys!

In keeping with my mental noodling on the subject of the power of a unified small blogger community and its similarities to rock and roll, I urge everyone to regard Super Happy Funland (SHF) in Houston, Texas.

They don't make any money, or pay the bands who play there, but they manage to sell a few sock puppets, as we see here, and keep their head above water.

Bands that don't function as human karioki machines have a real hard time finding venues. SHF invites musicians who play their original music, and wind up selling a few beers and pretzels. Many groups traveling from town to town find a welcome community of artists and fans and even a place to sleep if need be. A pot of vegetarian something is invariably simmering away. The walls are covered with work from local artists. Comfortable old couches are everywhere.

Sadly, listening parlors such as SHF are few and far between. The Red Room in San Antonio who moves from one empty space to the next relies on the kindness of others, having very little money to show for themselves, forbids smoking and shoes. You can bring your own liquor, but Red Room only sells water. There are a few "house party" 503C organizations that feature mostly folk singers, but even these are very much money-driven concerns.

When it comes down to it, money IS the root of all evil. People need to get over that. Very few, barely any, bloggers will ever make any cash, and once they do it is rather difficult to remain totally independent. I think Mr. Kos' ratings are going down because he has become MSM; not by nature of his shear size, but because he has been adopted by the powers at be as one of them.

What is true of small bloggers, though, is that they have a national forum in which to create without having to pay rent, or sell beers, or sock puppets.

Please embrace this gift and never take it for granted.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Blogger Week

This is week that small bloggers band together in part by writing about blogging. Go to Jon Swift or Skippy the Bush Kangaroo for details, and please participate if you can. There are links for these guys on the right if you don't already know them.

My theme this week is, resolved: blogging is like rock and roll.

Rolling Stone Magazine has a story on the business this week that they didn't trouble with putting on their site. Bottom line is that records sales continue on a free fall for a total in lost sales of 36% since 2000. I find this drop in consumers as nearly parallel to the drop in readership and viewers of newspapers and television news. The tiny difference being that the music industry doesn't seem interested in knowing why people don't want to buy CD's anymore. "lalalalalalal I can't hear you!" is the industry's response, while dishing up more crap nobody wants to listen to. Like the MSM, they lost control of the monopoly they held for fifty years and have not been able to adjust to the new technologies people would rather use. Music is air, once it's out, it's gone. When recorded on to a disc, CD, tape or whatever, a clever person can sell it to someone else. This has been the industry formula forever. Now it doesn't work anymore because people don't need the delivery system anymore - they can use a handy computer to capture that music filled air. Neither do they need TV's or CD's. The industry hubris is the same as the MSM's: leave this to professionals. You can make your own noise but that doesn't count. You have no discipline; you lack standards.


Artists/bloggers own their content, image and means of production, now. No stifling orthodoxy, no "standards," no rules. The people are still there. Like I've said before, if your jokes are funny, people will laugh.

Run with it, chilrin', go forth and multiply.

Attention Pulitzer Prize Board

Look what Dan Piraro’s got for us today.
He’s giving us the state of the nation on the comics page. Meanwhile the “news organs,” (las nalgas) are reporting the Clinton/Obama race like it was mud-wrestling starlets, or the corpse of Anna Nicole Smith.

Here’s another one. Doonesbury is the real deal. The formerly helmet-headed BD has been making a significant journey. Through him, Trudeau has been covering wounded Iraq war veterans since way before the Walter Reed scandal broke. He's the only person in Washington really bringing the troops home. How many wounded vets have you seen on cable news lately?