“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, September 29, 2005

David Murphrey, Amnesty International delegate, sends the following notice to PTS:

There will be a special planning meeting on this Saturday, September 30, 2005 at Amarillo Public Library, SW branch, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM in preparation for our lobby visitto the district office of Congressman Mac Thornberry. During this meeting, members of our delegation will have a chance to get to know one another and discuss how we want to structure our lobby meeting. I hope you will be able to attend the meeting. Please RSVP by emailing me at davidmurph [at] nts-online [dot] net

David Murphrey,
Amarillo, TX

UPDATE: Please e-mail David Murphrey with any questions

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

shit, meet fan

Bugman indicted on conspiracy charges. Could get up to two years in prison.

Have a martini on us.


Question War - If you don't, who will?

The numbers are so large they almost become meaningless. Dollars, deaths, and destruction rush by us in a cacophony of abacus clacks as God's fingers dance across the beads, as Kali bends down multi-armed and flicks us around like little toy soldiers.

It's too easy to go glassy-eyed over the numbers, the metrics of war as Herr Rumsfeld calls them. One jumped out at me the other day, though: 1.8 billion.

Not the visible galaxies in our corner of the universe. Not the nucleotide sequences in our DNA. Not the years since a ball of protein rolled itself into a sac of fat and called itself life.

No. That's 1.8 billion rounds of small-arms ammunition now blasted every year into the world by the US military.

Try to imagine it. The stutter of the guns, all those bullets ripping apart the air, the acrid bite of cordite, happiness as a warm gun... So many bullets seeking out the futile resistance of soft flesh that the Masters of War cannot produce them fast enough from the three ammo factories that the US government owns.

Here's another number: 250,000. That's a quarter of a million bullets exploded for every terrorist, insurgent, or guerilla killed in the with-us-or-against-us global war on decency waged by the Bush criminals. If you want the kill efficiency to go up, simply factor in the innocents and civilians who happened to sit, step, sleep or wander into the path of one of the 6 billion bullets the US military set loose in the world since 2002.

But there's a problem. We're running out of ammo. Too many targets, not enough production. Like oil, have we entered the brave new world of peak ammunition?

Not to worry. We turn to a dependable outside vendor, Occupations Are Us, the professionals in Israel, who know the value of a bullet and are more than willing to supply us with what we need: 313 million rounds of 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, and 50-calibre slugs to make up the shortfall. Thanks fellas, we owe you one. How about Iran? Syria?

The numbers are getting too big, the irony almost more than one can bear. Somewhere a little boy amputates a daddy long legs spider, giggling with joy just to watch us twitch and dance.

open thread

. . . because we got stuff to say, brothers. And sisters. And otherwise.


This is what science-- and its maligned twin, rationalism-- look like. It's not pretty; in fact, it' s exceedingly ugly and damned depressing. But, it's science, and, in its own way, it's as fine an hour for NASA as the moon landing. If you're still laboring under the illusion that Intelligent Design is in any way scientific, I suggest you close your eyes real tight now and try to imagine Jay Richards or Guillermo Gonzalez making such a significant admission.

And that's what we mean when we say that ID's not falsifiable.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

born a ramblin' man

The Emperor W has asked Americans to cut back on their travel to save gas. Y'know, in similar straits, President Jimmy Carter donned a cardigan and put solar panels on the White House. Do you think . . . could it be . . . ?

The White House will be looking at ways to cut down its fuel use, press secretary Scott McClellan said, although that doesn't include curtailing the president's plans to return to the region this week.

Bush made a short trip Monday night to attend a dinner for Gen. Richard Myers, the retiring chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's home, not far from the White House. The president's motorcade included more than a dozen vehicles.
I guess not.


the great green arkleseizure

Ah, it was a lot more fun just alluding to Douglas Adams, and equally useful. Creationists do not and will not respect science.

Still-- and I may be overreacting-- I was frightened by the following sentence in an article which was reprinted in the AG-R yesterday:

By any measure, though, Young Earth Creationism -- which holds that the Bible is the literal word of God and that He created the universe in seven days -- has a more powerful hold on the beliefs of Americans than evolutionary theory or intelligent design. That grip grows stronger by the year.
The implication that science and intelligent design was lined up on one side against Young Earth Creationism on the other was bizarre and shows how desperate the situation is. If we have to align with the Discovery Institute in a strange-bedfellows battle, than we've already lost.

Some say that I am relying on faith as much as anybody, and that may be so, but it is faith in evidence and in the good-faith (hehe) efforts of other flesh-and-blood human beings to adhere to the scientific methods. The faith of Creationists and IDers is faith in what some have called an Invisible Cloud Being. There's quite a difference.

Now, let me say that I attend church regularly, and rely on portions of the Bible as well as texts from other spiritual and religious traditions to guide my life. I believe in the Invisible Cloud Being. I just don't believe in her/him/it/whatever more than I believe in the existence of the human mind and the evidence of my senses.

And it's not a game. As a teacher and an old debater, I like to play devil's advocate as much as anybody. But science has given us the modern world and its miracles (and, despite our problems and the Emperor W, I'm definitely not a good-ole-daze nostalgist who wants to return to some mythical bygone era). It's not a game, because specifically American science has given us our standard of living. All of that is risked when we throw science to the creationist wolves. A friend of mine is an astronomer at Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico. I asked him whither science, and he wistfully responded that science would continue to be done. Just not here.

Our society landed a man on the freaking surface of the freaking moon and then we crashed through scientific barriers for the next three decades until I could carry around most of the world's accumulated knowledge on an SD chip under the insole of my left show. And what wasn't on the chip could be accessed through the wireless network at Roaster's.

And now creationism asks us to teach our kids to respect and trust magic. If science leaves our shores, the giant sucking sound you hear will make Perot's sound like a dustbuster.


P.S. Before PTS's Resident Troll relies too heavily on the Discovery Institute PAC and its infamous list for his information, he really should read this.

Monday, September 26, 2005

File this under WTF

"Armed and dangerous - Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina"

"It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico." Heh. . .

-Prodigal Son

You Say You want an Evolution Baby . . .

The AG-R makes an attempt to lay out the two sides of the Evolution argument this am.

Science vs. ID.

Who is Jonathan Witt and Discovery Institute? (and HERE)

Interesting that they had a local Unitarian regular folk spokeswoman vs. someone who is a slick, well funded, media-saavy, fellow from a conservative think tank . . .

This is how it is done in the right wing echo chamber that the Globe-Republican is part of.

Which side of the fence are you on? Comments please.

-Prodigal Son

Friday, September 23, 2005

Question War - If you don't, who will?

Question War Amarillo

Rally and March to
End the War on Iraq

Saturday, 10 am
Centennial Plaza
between Civic Center and City Hall

We will exercise our First Amendment right to petition the government. Sign the petition that we will present to Rep. Mac Thornberry. We need your energy and commitment, your presence and your signature.

Join the hundreds of thousands across the country tomorrow. Let's Stop this War. We are now the Majority.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hurricane Rita

UPDATE 9-23-2005 6:30 am:
Post in "comments" where support for Rita folks is up here in case they need it. If ya know that is.

Gotta tell ya, If I were stuck on I-10 when this thing hits, I would be worried.

Interestingly, the AG-R editorial "Ghost" is too worried about what those big meanie Democrats might say about Christ's own unblemished perfection of a Congressman, Thornberry, and what that big meanie wanting separation of church and state is doing (The wall was officially smashed down to make room for an American Christian Talibanic Theocracy yesterday), than Rita.

The paper does have front pageRita stuff. Good.

UPDATE 9-22-05 5:30 am:
The Bushistas are already crowing, setting expectations for RITA. One absolute idiot named Michael K. Lindell at Texas A&M says the Bushies, "Had the good fortune to see New Orleans get whacked"

Good fortune! Good God!

I have an idea . . . the GOP wanted to control all 3 branches of Gov't. You got it. Now just do your frikkin' jobs. That's all we are asking.



Lord watch over Texas' coast. Anyone know someone who has evacuated?

My buddy spent 10 hours driving to dallas from houston. That is usually a 4.5 hour trip.

Some thoughts:
If Galveston and Houston's FEMA response goes like Katrina, may justice be served though the heavens fall. Bush should be legally and peacefully removed from office.

Watch and see, the Rita response, if even if it's only SLIGHTLY better, will let the Bushites jump up and down in pious appreciation of new proof of how good Junior's doing. Another "bullhorn moment" (which was actually boolsheet.)

Also, if it goes badly, I would bet Chertoff is gone.

The staff here at PTS are praying for our brothers and sisters in the way of Rita.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Rally to Stop the War on Iraq

(from PazAmarillo)

The Rally to Stop the War on Iraq on Saturday, September 24, will take place at 10 a.m. as scheduled, but due to a prior reservation of the Court House lawn by another group, it will take place at the Centennial Plaza amphitheater, south of the Civic Center (just north of City Hall), on the east side of Buchanan St.

There will still be a final planning meeting and sign-making this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Amarillo Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 49th and Cornell.

Come help our voice be heard.

Would your hire this man . . .

. . . to be assistant crew chief at Taco Bell MUCH LESS Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

The interview HERE

-Panhandle Truth Squad

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Have you called Your Hack Republican Senator?

John Avarosis over at Americablog has the scoop.

Your country needs you Truth Squaders!

Call or write the two hack Republican Senators of Texas, who just told 76% of their constituents who want an independent bi-partisan commission to look into Katina, to go to hell.

Post your comments of what the offices said after you call in "Comments".

Cornyn, John
Web Form: www.cornyn.senate.gov/contact/index.html

Hutchison, Kay
Web Form: www.hutchison.senate.gov/e-mail.htm

-Panhandle Truth Squad

Uncle Dick, May I Be Excused?

Go HERE Commence laughing followed by crying when you realize America has 1200 more days of this dumba** . . .

Since when does a President have to ask to go to the bathroom? (Sigh)


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

well, I never

ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever thought this day would come.


Monday, September 12, 2005

It's Time Part I

I have been holding back for a couple of weeks about Katrina. Like you, I was watching as a unique American city went the way of Atlantis. Brennan's and Preservation Hall and Cafe Du' Monde and the Garden District and 500k jobs and half a million homeless. Gray Ghosts of 9-11 like concrete dust of that terrible time jumped to mind again.

The grief and horror I felt as Americans in the Big Easy were abandoned and struggled to stay alive, or as they died in frikkin' DROVES, was . . . well it was nothing when you think about it compared to that kind of suffering.

My brother and sister Americans lost it all, kids were separated from parents, were at Thunderdome, er, Superdome and the convention center in anarchy and total hell on earth. A city was left for dead . . . IN MY FRIKKIN' COUNTRY.

And it WAS hell. People were being euthanized by doctors rather than let them suffer. People were dying as they were being rescued .
Babies were about to die of dehydration.
45 elderly patients were left to expire at Memorial. No blame. It was triage.
People . . . frikkin' AMERICANS. . . tried to get over the crescent city connection to save themselves and were turned back at gunpoint .
The convention center was anarchy.

Even so, a TINY few acted like scum.

I want you to hear this loud and clear . . . the vast vast vast majority hung on with dignity and grace. Helping each other as the Bushies dicked around preparing for their PR offensive by using firefighters for photo ops.

Just LOOK G*ddammit, you Bush apologists and Bush voters . . .

And how about the CEO/Uber-Christian/"Adults are in Charge" administration?

Bush was playing frikkin' guitar. Condi was buying shoes. Cheney was buying his third or fourth mansion and STAYED on vacation for another week!

And FEMA? Michael f***in' Brown? Two words: Negligent Homocide.

This can't be my country, Lord, no it just CAN'T BE.

No time to finger point?

F*** that, you righties. Know what? Now is the PERFECT time. Why? There is a pattern of malfeasance that even the most goose-stepping Rethugs are seeing now.

See, America fell in behind this corrupt incompetent regime after 9-11 and Liberals were soon being called unamerican, and Democratic senators who left 3 limbs on the field of battle were being called "soft on defense" and making the 3 martini lunch tax deductible was top docket and another round of "targeted tax cuts" (but not you lucky duckies) were proposed. Oh and we gotta get Saddam too.

Seein' it yet? They ignored the terrorism threat before 9-11, they screwed up with bogus intel to get America into Iraq, and they bulsh*tted us on post planning.

Back to Katrina.

Mayor Nagin screwed up? Yeah, but he did not appoint Michael Brown or that death profiteer Allbaugh. Governors Barbour (MS) and Blanco (LA) screwed up? Yeah, but they handed this disaster off to Bush ON THE FRINKKIN' 26TH OF AUGUST. And none of these people cut federal spending for their states for useless stuff such as . . . oh . . . levees.

No, you librul'-hatin, fag-hatin, Jesus Luvin', hippy-killin', war supportin', peacnik bashin' conservatives out there . . . the guy that made you feel all safey-wafey inside is a completely incompetent man-child. He has killed thousands. NOW you get it.

Katrina gave us an accountability moment. Impeach that bastard Bush. Yesterday.

Part II: Racism Right Here later this week.

-Prodigal Son

Friday, September 09, 2005

Open Thread

Anyone been to the civic center? Stories? Help needed?


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

brutal honesty from rupert murdoch

first time for everything . . . Posted by Picasa

I'll move myself and my family aside / if we happen to be left half alive

I'll have more to say about this soon, but I think some conservatives, like CT, honestly want to understand why we're so mad. Why, they want to know (and o ye gods, how it does so sound like a legitimate question): why o why do you want to play the blame game while there's still so much work to be done? The streets are flooded with water and decaying corpses, and you want to play politics! Another opportunistic chance to jump on that good man, that Christian man, our president! No one could have predicted, no one! And yet you libruhls want to blame God's President for an Act of God!

Please listen to me: because it is in that phrase, that idle shrug of the shoulders- "no one could have predicted"- that the germ of an answer lies.

All things come together, they say, at the Mississippi River delta. It is there that rivers meet the ocean. And it was there that all the flowing rivers of W administration incompetence, all the vast rivers of progressive rage, finally ran into the wider ocean of American public and media opinion.

There is, for example, the river of the Imperial W Administration's fear of science. Someone might have predicted, but in order to win a few votes, the Emperor W infamously exploited the Christian Right's inability to join the twentieth century, even as the twenty-first began. Right wingers who loves them some microwave ovens, plasma televisions and gastric bypasses talked smack about the scientific culture that made all those miracles possible. And the 'wingers posed and postured, pretending that the basic facts and data surrounding the greenhouse effect and evolutionary biology were in dispute. They wore their ignorance as a badge of honor and when FEMA's own scientists warned in 2004 of scenarios markedly similar to what happened this past week, they, well, they . . . prayed. Or, gods, I hope they at least prayed. Because otherwise, they did nothing, nothing at all.

There is the river of tax cuts for the rich. Tax cuts which handed money to Americans who were already wealthy. Money that could have paid to shore up the levees. Or at least a workable evacuation plan.

And there is the river of supporting America in times of trouble. This afternoon, Scotty McClellan faced a White House press corps angrier than he had ever seen. He responded with predictable talking points. (What follows is heavily cut-and-pasted, but I encourage you to read the full transcript. It's even worse than my edit.)

Q Scott, the reality at hand right now is that the President said that we still live in an unsettled world. This is an administration that has told us since 9/11 that it's not a matter of "if," but "when" that we could
be struck by a terror attack and, obviously, other disasters that are the result of Mother Nature. So at this point, where is the accountability? Is the President prepared to say where this White House, where this administration went wrong in its response to Katrina? . . . And how [about the b]iggest tax cut, permanent tax cut for the richest people in the country -- in view of the national crisis, in view of the deficit --
MR. McCLELLAN: The highest priority for this administration right now is the ongoing response and recovery efforts --
Q . . . [J]ust to be clear, though, you're saying that Katrina, if you need to spend the money on Katrina, that comes first, and tax cuts would have to wait?
MR. McCLELLAN: No[!!!!!] . . . I'm saying that there are a number
of important priorities. . . You don't want to take away from the efforts that are going on right now. [cf. Ariel Fleischer's post 9/11 "Watch what you say"] And if you start getting into that now, you're pulling people out that are helping with the ongoing response. . . [and why do you hate America?]
Q And there are people in Louisiana and Mississippi who are doing that job very well. Your job is to answer the questions . . . [W]ould it not behoove the efforts to, in fact, save lives and secure property if the people and procedures that are responsible for the inadequacy before are excised as quickly as possible? . . . The person who says that he found out about the Convention Center [by] seeing it on the media -- the
FEMA director -- is still in place. Is that satisfactory that somebody would have responded like that? . . . Is "Brownie" still doing a "heck of a job," according to the President?
MR. McCLELLAN: We've got to continue to do everything we can in support of those who are involved in the operational aspects of this response effort. And that's what we're going to do. There will be plenty of time --
Q Does the President really believe we could respond to a terrorist attack with any -- amount of weeks, months?
MR. McCLELLAN: We've actually done a lot of exercises [jumping jacks?], David, to prepare for possible attacks
Q I'm asking a direct question. Is he confident . . . that he can secure the American people in the event of a major terrorist attack?
MR. McCLELLAN: We are securing the American people by staying on the offensive abroad and working to spread freedom and democracy in
the Middle East. [oops! Wrong tape, Teddy Ruxpin!]
Q That's a talking point. That's a talking point [well, duh] . . . Can you cite for us a specific bureaucratic impediment that has been identified and corrected today?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that in terms of the specifics, that the Secretary -- Secretary Chertoff, or FEMA Director Mike Brown can provide you the operational aspects of the specifics of what have occurred on the ground today. They'll be doing a briefing later today. But there continues to be good progress made when it comes to evacuating people. [and why isn't the media reporting the good news?] Like I said, most of the people have been evacuated. I think there's a relatively small number. All those that were sent to places where people were evacuated, I think have been evacuated out of New Orleans. The levees, those are getting repaired. [Keep in mind: Scotty is Presidential Press Secretary, the public voice of what used to be unironically referred to as the "most powerful person in the free world." He
should have good communication skillz. It's kind of in the job description.]
Q What do you see that's not working right now? What is not working? Because these people are dying from dysentery now -- . . . Does
anyone in this White House know anyone that's there, beyond Trent Lott, that's lost a home, that has lost family, that's displaced?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President visited with a number of those who have been affected by the hurricane.
Q I think they might want some answers, too.
MR. McCLELLAN: And they're going to get them. But now is not the time, Terry.
Q No, it is the time, Scott.
Actually, Scott, it's way past time.

So we're angry because of all of this. But most of all it is the memory of 9/11. After 9/11, Republicans led by the Emperor W, demanded that we all get in line, put politics aside, support America.

And most of us did. Most of us- myself included- gave the president the benefit of the doubt. It was a national crisis after all. It wasn't the time for the blame game. We needed to stay focused on helping those who were in need right now and helping them rebuild their lives and get back up on their feet. It was a time of many challenges, enormous challenges. We needed to stay focused on the task at hand. We were problem-solving. That was what the President was doing and what we were doing.

Heh. And there's a saying, goes something like this:

"Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again."
And that's the last thing I'll ever believe out of those particular lips.


Monday, September 05, 2005

here there be dragons

On Sunday morning, the Amarillo Globe-Republican Ghostly VoiceTM put its hands on its hips, took a good look around the room and decided that we all needed a good scolding. Dern kids! screeched the Ghost. Looks like you've been forwarding e-mails during work time again!

We hung our heads in shame, painfully aware that no one on the Globe-Republican staff would ever forward or write a personal e-mail while on the clock.

The Ghost was, of course, referring to the e-mail that shot around the city last week claiming that Greg Mitchell of Toot-n-Totum made snobbish comments about the riff-raff of Amarillo.

At this writing, there is no proof that the comments were made, and an employee of a local law firm has been fired for sending the e-mail. The e-mail may be a hoax, a misunderstanding, or a misrepresentation, but two caveats:

  1. PTS e-mailed KGNC to verify the e-mails and received two e-mails in response, both posted here last week. Both e-mails deny that Mitchell said exactly those words in exactly the context suggested by the e-mail. Both also stop short of categorically denying that Mitchell had said anything at all of the kind.
  2. KGNC is also claiming that no tape of the morning interview exists. We've been interviewed before and those interviews were recorded. And we've interviewed before and recorded those interviews. We find KGNC's claim suspicious, but . . .

. . . will give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt. Since no proof exists, we'll just assume that Mitchell said something totally innocent that was innocently misunderstood by the original sender of the e-mail, whomever it might have been. We'll assume that neither had the time to drop by Roasters for his/her morning coffee that morning.

So, just one question remains, the question blogarillo alluded to in this space: Why did the quote hit such a nerve with Amarilloans?

E-mail hoxes are a form of urban mythology. And urban mythology, like all mythology, seeks to allay fears and explain things that people don't understand.

This particular e-mailed mythology referenced both Toot-n-Totum and oil. The two intersect at the street corners of Amarillo, where we buy our gas. Citizens who are not corporate CEO's worry about the escalating cost of gas and fear not being able to pay bills. They do not understand corporate America and fear its power over their lives. There is no healthy outlet for such fear: how can one confront a corporation? How does one demand answers from a convenience store chain, especially when one feels powerless to construct meaningful questions?

Rumors, myths, and e-mails such as this one are symptomatic of this nameless fear. It is the fear of the black thing in the forest. It is the fear of death, of god, and of the devil. It is the fear of all things we don't understand.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, America harbors a superstious fear of corporate America that will only grow as corporations become simultaneously more ubiquitous and more unaccountable. This fear is a far, far bigger problem for Greg Mitchell than damage-controlling an arrogant, offhand comment he may or may not have made.


Katrina Open Post

Tell us all you know about needed help for victims in the Panhandle, where, etc.

Anything you email us we will pass on ASAP.

Post a comment to give out the info as well as tell your story.

-Panhandle Truth Squad

PS: Someone please tell the AG-R or Dave Henry or WHOEVER . . . to STOP frikkin'' carrying water for the Bushites as they spin frantically to try to lay blame on Mayor Nagin.

Blame later. We gotta take care of our own right now, dumbasses.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hurricane Katrina: Amarillo Edition 09/04/05

The first of an estimated 750 evacuees from New Orleans will begin arriving in Amarillo today, perhaps even as I write this. A meeting was held this afternoon at Believers Way Church for people who wish to volunteer at the Amarillo Civic Center over the coming weeks and months. The organizers of the meeting, the Red Cross and Texas VIPERS, were totally unprepared for the large crowd of volunteers that showed up, though I question whether they could have handled even a small crowd. My wife and I left after about 30 minutes because our son had fallen asleep and the meeting was going absolutely nowhere. Up until that point no information was taken that would match volunteers to schedules or particular tasks. I don't know if the session improved any after our departure.

I understand these organizations are under a great deal of strain. Hopefully they will get their affairs in order over the next couple of days and make good use of the people who are offering their time. If you were there for the full meeting and have additional information to offer feel free to post it here.

Dereliction of Duty

I am working on a couple of thoughts. Like you, it is hard trying to absorb what is going on and not feel so angry that it freezes the blood.

It does not help when the Commander of the Louisianna Nat'l Guard says the 'Big Easy' I was in just three weeks ago is going to look like, "Somalia". HERE

No criticism there, he is abso- frikkin'-lutely right. More later. Our brothers and sisters need mercy. Yesterday. But I want you to keep the title of this post in the back of your mind.

Sorry for the light posting. Please give to the following ASAP, or take some food, formula, water, diapers, etc. to a collection point in Amarillo:

Red Cross: HERE

America's Second Harvest: HERE

Habitat for Humanity: HERE

Salvation Army: HERE


IN AMARILLO 750 or more people will need help. They will be housed in the civic center. Go help.

To Volunteer call: 378-4285

Take food, hygiene and other donations to High Plains Food Bank, 815 Ross St.

The Salvation Army, 2101 South Van Buren St.

John Chandler Ford, I-40 and Ross Street.

May the Lord show mercy.

-Panhandle Truth Squad

Friday, September 02, 2005

we dress like students / we dress like housewives / or in a coat and tie

Back in the day, late 80s Dallas, I affected a variety of looks. I wasn’t sure where I fit into the grand spectrum of humanity, so I adopted a kind of punkish prepish nouveau wave-o sort of thing. My hair was sometimes a wedge, sometimes a mullet (sorry; it was the times), sometimes just a can’t-afford-a-haircut unkempt tousle. The look was guaranteed to attract hostile saliva and BMW-generated mudbaths from the frat rats who attended SMU with me as well as Doc Marten stompings from the skinheads who frequented the Deep Ellum clubs I hung at.

So I know something about the fact that hate “is not limited to one side of the political spectrum”. And like our favorite local troll (who honestly isn’t so trollish; it’s just fun to call him one), I bemoan the death of “reasoned discourse”. But like our chief blogger Prodigal Son, I also know that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight and fear that liberals have lost way too many fights because of a tendency to be nice like Alan Colmes.

But Colmes exists solely as a foil for Sean Hannity. We have our own foil by the name of Curious Texan, and he tells us that he read on Little Green Footballs about a former liberal who

claimed he was so appalled by the insensitive comments many of his fellow liberals made when it was announced that President Reagan had Alzheimer's that he's now a conservative.
Hm. Now I don’t trust much of what I read on LGF and I do think that some quarters of the regressive blogging world known variously as Freeperville and the 101st Fighting Keyboarders work to deliberately invent memes of this nature. Nevertheless, in what's left of the real world, CT is right that progressives do sometimes indulge in these same bad behaviors. You can find it in the liberal blogosphere. But these same behaviors are also a trademark of mainstream wingnuttery from Rush Limbaugh to Hannity to Bill O’Reilly to Ann Coulter to Mona Charen to Charles Krauthammer to Michelle Malkin to the Ghostly VoiceTM of the Amarillo Globe-Republican.

There’s a difference. The blogosphere folks—whether right or left—who spew hate generally do so from behind the safety of a screen name. All of the regressive hate-mongers listed above (except for the Ghostly Voice) feel comfortable using a real name. It amused me that the denizens of Freeperville West seemed to assume that I would fear public exposure of my real name. I think that belief says more about them than it does about me. My name’s not exactly a secret: it’s always been listed under the contributors link and this blog has (rather ironically) been featured on the front page of the Amarillo Globe-Republican with two big ole pictures of me. I use a screen name because it’s fun and makes me feel like a Revolutionary War-era pamphleteer.

But to some, an anonymous screen name is the twenty-first century equivalent of a white sheet.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

What Goes Around Comes Around

Well, the emails were flying around the office today. Rumor has it Gregg Mitchell, owner of the Toot 'n Totum convenience store chain, quipped to a local radio host "The only people complaining are the ones who don't work hard enough to be successful" when he was asked about rising gas prices. I don't know if Mitchell actually made those remarks, but those of us who frequently argue for universal healthcare or criticize corporate hegemony have heard plenty of similar comments from conservative friends and acquaintances. If it is true I find a fair amount of dark humor in it. What goes around comes around and the middle class is going to start feeling the pinch.

I guess that's what happens when you put a bunch of oil whores in charge of the country. You voted for it Amarillo. Enjoy.