How ill-conceived was the Flag Burning amendment, which was barely voted down this week? This bad: Editorial: Put out the fire on flag burning. Anytime you see the Ghostly Voice of the Globe-Republican parting ways with a GOP pet issue you know it was bad.
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go
It's a cruel ... cruel summer"
Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Yes, according to Trevor B. Hall in today's Republican Globe News letter section, "Mr. Van Camp, those who support the defense of freedom stand with you today."
Yep, not the freedom riders, or suffragettes, but Virgil Van Racist is the only one standing between you and certain doom. . .
Posted by Barry Cochran at 2:41 PM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
The fam and I enjoyed some well-deserved R&R in South Texas last week. I'm not always happy with what comes out of Texas. It seems we're often the proving ground for bad policy. Despite that, I love this huge state of ours. My grandparents lived in Corpus Christi and until their deaths we made many treks between the Panhandle and the coast. This is the first time since I was in my early teens to make the journey as a whole and it held a fair amount of sentimental value for me.
No trip down south was complete without a stop at Opa's in Fredericksburg for some beef jerky. They're still there, after all these years. Drought and freezing weather decimated a lot of the hill country peach crops, but the fruit stands had shipped some in from east Texas. Not quite the same, but still tasty. Despite the many times we've passed through Fredericksburg this was the first time I've been to Enchanted Rock State Park. Enchanted Rock is just that, a huge, solid chunk of rock. The amazing views of the surrounding countryside make the climb to the top worth the effort.
I've been to South Padre once before, my last year of college, and let's just leave it at that. As an older and wiser adult I was glad to find the beaches there much cleaner and less crowded than what I remember before. There was, of course, plenty of Gulf shrimp consumed. Stop by B&A Seafood in Port Isabel if you are ever in the area. The smell of Old Bay in a steaming pot of water is one I have always found intoxicating.
We stopped in San Antonio on the way back. My wife and kids saw the Alamo for the first time and we took a trip to the zoo. When I was a kid the zoo had these cool machines that would mold wax figurines of the animals before your eyes. The Mold-a-ramas are still up and running and yes, I fed a dollar into one. I got an orange giraffe.
Enchanted Rock State Park, Fredericksburg, TX
Morning at South Padre Island
If you don't know what this is...
Posted by blogarillo at 9:00 PM
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
Mayor Debra McCartt will speak at the monthly Potter-Randall Democratic Club meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the downtown public library, 4th and Buchanan (upstairs meeting room). The business meeting to follow will include discussion of the upcoming visit of the Democratic nominee for Governor, Chris Bell.
This is the second time in three days that Mayor McCartt has acknowledged the existence of folx outside the Conservative Christian, Right Wing, Republican, Straight, White, Amarillo Male mainstream (apologies to Todd Snider). She ain't a perfect mayor, but she beats the crap outta Trent Sizemore.
A good crowd at this event would be a very good thing.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 11:00 AM
On behalf of the people of the city of
The Amarillo Globe-News, naturally, chose the most obvious, stereotypical picture to illustrate its item on Saturday’s Pride Day in
I only go to the trouble of saying all this, because the event was so very freaking far from the event conjured in the feverish imagination of our trolls, who have insisted in their comments that Pride events are Bacchanalian orgies, populated by thousands of sweaty and shirtless Freddy Mercury and Village People clones. And GLBT groups shouldn’t have to keep all of their events perfectly tame any more than do fraternities or conventions of dentists in
Posted by Barry Cochran at 7:47 AM
Sunday, June 25, 2006
The Associated Press reported, per the link here, a Republican from
Rep. Peter King said the Times was "more concerned about a left-wing elitist agenda than it is about the security of the American people," according to the AP.
Remember, US AG Alberto Gonzales has said that the First Amendment has limits when it comes to national security.
How many years from now will dissent like this become an issue of national security? When will speaking out against any administration become detrimental to the security of the state?
Think about it folks.
Posted by George Schwarz at 11:04 PM
Friday, June 23, 2006
A month ago, Clifford Antone died in Austin. Antone wasn’t perfect by any contemporary standard, but, without his influence, the “Austin sound” would’ve been just more grunge, another local music scene in another provincial college town. Antone brought the blues to Austin, and—even if you don’t dig the blues—you’ve reaped the benefits, if you listen to Texas music at all. (If you don’t, screw you.) For the music alone, Antone deserves forgiveness for his sins, such as they were.
I’m by no means what you’d call a blues aficionado, but one of the best shows I’ve attended to date was at the Gwadaloop incarnation of Antone’s in 1989. Albert Collins played his guitar and laughed maniacally. He resembled nothing so much as Jimmy Hendrix’s demented grandpa, and when he headed out into the parking lot—a stage attendant unrolling his guitar’s massive extension cord behind him—I blindly followed. I completely forgot that I had a Shiner Bock in my hand until a bouncer grabbed my shoulder. I handed the beer to the bouncer, and he actually held it for me until Albert came back inside.
Occasionally, in this cubicle Hell that we call a civilization, you run into people who have no music in their soul. I don’t really listen to anything, they say. They shrug in what they imagine to be condescension but which comes off as the most pathetic sort of cluelessness. I’m just not into all that, they say.
I pity such people. As I write this, a song by Urban Species feat. Imogene Heap is playing on Sirius Disorder out of New York City. It’s a gorgeous little bit of trip-hop on this summer morning as I prepare to go to the lake with my fiancée and son. I’ve never heard the song before, but in some strange serendipitous connection the lyrics run, “Music is my sanctuary; music is my blanket.” Music is that of course, but it is also the opposite: it connects you with the world, with other people, with generations dead and generations unborn. The serendipity of hearing lyrics that perfectly match one’s mood is actually not so strange at all; it is a commonplace. Music makes your life three—and four—dimensional.
So how much music do the Texas gubernatorial candidates have? Kinky, obviously, has the most music. His many flaws do not arise from a lack of soul. Rick Perry hosts the Governor's Annual Salute to Texas Music. Chris Bell sang for Big Star before he tragically died in a car crash. That leaves the One-Who-Would-Be-Grandma.
In 1999, as the headline act prepared to take the stage at the Sixth Street incarnation of Antone’s, Carole Keeton then-Rylander burst in with a squadron of goons, cleared about 400 blues-lovers out of the club, and collected $8,221 in delinquent mixed beverage taxes. The venerated club, it turned out, was about (only?) two months behind on its taxes. Clifford Antone admitted that the club was at fault for not paying but pointed out that the One-Who-Would-Be-Grandma could have collected even more if her goons would’ve only stood by the register waiting until the end of the night.
But, had she and her jackbooted government thugs done that, the reporters and cameramen she brought along for the show might have gotten restless and gone home. Or, worse: hit the dance floor.
The Antone’s raid was an unnecessary media event that could only have been conducted by the most vile sort of bureaucratic bean counter. As for me, I’d vote for Kinky before I voted for Carole Whatever. And I’ll take Jimmy Hendrix’s demented Grandpa any day over an incompetent publicity-seeking “Grandma” with no music in her soul.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 11:10 AM
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I've been listenin' to Todd Snider for ten years now. He's the dude that did "My Generation (Part 2)". I've gone to his shows, most recently at South by Southwest. He's one of those long-haired alt-country slash hippy dudes who somehow manages to attract an audience of frat boys from the local college who don't quite get it that he's makin' fun of them. He's not doin' it to be mean, he's just doin' it. I hope I didn't just blow his gig by sayin' that cuz Todd's an alright dude. I'm talkin' like him right now.
So anyway, Todd's got this new disc comin' out in August, but he has a few tracks up on his MySpace. If I was you and I knew what was up, I'd go check 'em out. Particularly "You Got Away With It (A Tale of Two Fraternity Brothers)". I don't want to spoil the joke, but like Yogi Berra says, "If you see a fork in the road......take it."
Posted by Barry Cochran at 2:53 PM
Based on Billy Joel's "Vienna".
From a treatment by calamus venemum.
Slow down, Van Camp, you crazy coot;
You're so damn vicious in your business suit.
But then if you're so smart, tell me
Why are you still so afraid?
Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You'd better cool it off before you burn it out.
You've got so much hate to spew and
Only so many hours in a day.
But you know that when the truth is told
That you can’t get what you want when you’re already old.
You're gonna kick off before you even
Get halfway through (your latest column).
When will you realize, Milošević waits for you?
Slow down, you're doing fine.
You can't cleanse everyone you want to cleanse
Before your time.
So many brown people on the borderline tonight
Tonight . . .
When will you realize, Milošević waits for you?
When will you realize, Milošević waits for you?
Posted by Barry Cochran at 11:50 AM
Our men and women in the armed forces were defamed Friday in the Amarillo Globe-News, that soldiers should put aside their sworn duty and become murderers. Since then two soldiers have been brutally slain. Does Saddam Van Camp now ask two-hundred more Iraqi civilians be lined up in a ditch and Hadithafied? Mr. Camp, Slobodan is waiting for you.
Posted by calamus venenum at 8:35 AM
Monday, June 19, 2006
So here’s what our friends on the AGN’s editorial page write this morning noting the
Of course, that means it’s OK to push intelligent design — the right-wingers’ code words for creationism. Has no one read “Inherit the Wind?” Has no one seen the movie?
And meanwhile, the Associated Press reports Katharine Jefferts Schori, the newly elected presiding bishop of the of the Episcopal Church, saying, when asked if it was a sin to be homosexual, “I don't believe so. I believe that God creates us with different gifts. Each one of us comes into this world with a different collection of things that challenge us and things that give us joy and allow us to bless the world around us.”
Further, asked to reconcile the her position on homosexuality with specific passages in the Bible declaring sexual relations between men an abomination, Jefferts Schori said the Bible was written in a very different historical context by people asking different questions.
"The Bible has a great deal to teach us about how to live as human beings. The Bible does not have so much to teach us about what sorts of food to eat, what sorts of clothes to wear -- there are rules in the Bible about those that we don't observe today," she said. "The Bible tells us about how to treat other human beings, and that's certainly the great message of Jesus — to include the unincluded.”
So, are John Kannelis, Dave Henry or Les Simpson better qualified students of the Bible than a priest and bishop?
Posted by George Schwarz at 9:28 PM
Sunday, June 18, 2006
On Friday, the Potter-Randall Democratic Club sponsored a fundraiser ("The Great Donkey Revival") for Roger Waun. Panhandle Truth Squad was there to chronicle the event.
Roger Waun explained to Ann Ray that Representative Mac Thorneapple has refused to debate him.
Local Democrats sang songs about Representative Mac Thorneswabble's refusal to debate Roger Waun.
calamus venenum took a bite of the aptly-named "Representative Mac Thornedingle has Refused to Debate Roger Waun" salad.
and newsguygeorge refused to be photographed for this post. He later explained that he was merely doing an imitation of Representative Mac Thorneheimer when invited to debate Roger Waun.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 6:09 PM
Friday, June 16, 2006
On June 1st Comptroller of New York State Alan Hevesi clumsily complemented Senator Charles Schumer during a commencement address by saying that Schumer was the kind of man "who will put a bullet between the president's eyes if he could get away with it.”
Though Hevesi quickly apologized, his remark naturally generated a firestorm of protest on the Right, with the requisite questioning of his fitness for office, calls for his resignation, and demands that he be arrested for threatening the life of the president.1 (Ann Coulter has not weighed in on whether Hevesi, as a public official, should simply be impeached or assassinated.)
Such an ill conceived statement, whether meant in tribute or in jest, simply has no place in civil discourse and can only be condemned. Such a scene conjured up is too horrible to imagine, for a projectile transiting George’s forehead would mean sudden decompression and nearby innocent2 bystanders being sucked to their deaths like astronauts exposed to the vacuum of space.
1The Right has long behaved as if George Bush were a god, that any untoward remark is a sacrilegious offense, and that anyone who does not bow down and worship him as they do are heathens condemned to Hell. This is the first time they seem to put forward the notion he could be mortal. Maybe not a mere mortal, but a mortal never the less, which will last until the Republican Party replaces the current official state religion.
2Except for Barney, the Bushs' Scottish-Terrier, implicated in International Law and Geneva Conventions violations by appearing in some of the as yet undisclosed Abu Ghraib interrogation photographs. If true this provides investigators a direct link between the torture scandal and the White House.3
It is also alleged that master political strategist Karl Rove fingered Barney as the "second White House official" in the Valerie Plame case, thus relieving himself of possible indictment.
Concerning such allegations Barney spokesperson Shep said "Grrrrrr, grrrrrr"
3 Freepers think the Abu Ghraib Barney was a Democratic plant meant to embarrass the White House. Conspiracy theorists believe the current Barney is a substitute, while the original Barney, their "C.I.A." sources say darkly, "has piddled on his last fire hydrant."
*Be it known this bit mentions acts held illegal according to United States federal law, but in a manner loosely defined as humorous by F.I.S.A.
Due to Statute -,which suspends certain provisions of Amendment , this bit has been reviewed, registered and reluctantly approved for publication under the Jape and Jest Act of , enacted , by . under his authority as in and of the of .
Posted by calamus venenum at 5:53 PM
Yesterday in the supreme court, a 5-4 vote approved that police could enter your home without announcing who they are, and use whatever they find after they enter into evidence. Before this ruling, cops had to tell you who they were before they could bash down your door. Scalia was the tie breaker, which is funny. The same group of people ruled on the whistle blower case, the opposite way. The Extreme Court seems to be highly concerned with corporate/government's rights, but not too concerned with the protections for citizens. How can it be ruled that whistleblowing is illegal, but then turn around and say something like supressing evidence of guilt is unjustified? Has Bush successfully packed the court or am I missing something?
This seems like another tie in to the intangible "War on drugs". Is someone's stash worth a cops life? If someone burst into my house, I'd shoot them. If they said they were cops BEFORE they broke down the door, I wouldn't. I thought the knock and announce was for the cops' safety as much as anyone's being as people get paranoid when strangers appear inside their houses pointing weapons at them. It seems Scalia destroyed the legal incentive for police to obey the knock and announce rule, and the upholding of no improper search and seizure.
Scalia warned that excluding incriminating evidence would have various social costs, generating a flood of lawsuits claiming violations, causing police officers to refrain from making a timely entry and resulting in the possible destruction of evidence.
Yes, 15 seconds to flush your guns and fake id documents down the toilet. Oh wait, you can't do that. The only thing this could be applicable to is drugs. There's no other sort of evidence you could ditch that quick, unless you tossed it out the window, and god knows that's easy to find. Imagine the abuses that this could spawn. People conducting home invasions pretending to be policemen, because they would no longer have to announce themselves while coming into your home. What if officers burst into the wrong home by accident and someone got seriously hurt? What if this becomes a tool to get back at an opposing politician? The possibilities are limitless.
These no knock warrants should only be used in EXCEPTIONAL situations, pursuit of murderers, hostage situations, things like that. But god knows there will be incidents. Now even if you don't have a no knock warrant, you can go ahead anyway. There will be no penalty, unless you're the civilian inside the house that kills the cop for popping inside without warning.
But why is this being brought up right now? They are ruling in this case so that evidence can be used even if they don't follow the rules. We've had more of our constitutional rights chipped away during this administration than in any other time in our history. When will the War on American Freedom end?
Posted by poptarts ahoy at 1:25 PM
We've had a few inquiries about the June Drinking Liberally event. Today is, in fact, (barely) the third Friday, but the Potter-Randall Democratic Club is also sponsoring a fundraiser ("The Great Donkey Revival") for Roger Waun. We sure don't want to screw up someone's fundraiser, so we are encouraging all Liberal Drinkers to attend this event. Tickets will be available at the door for $20/single, $30/couple. The event will be held at the American Legion Hall, 517 W. 7th from 7-10 p.m. The flyer advertises "tube-steaks, spuds & lots of suds," which I take to mean that Liberal Drinking will be allowed. Either that, or Roger Waun is going to do your laundry. I know I'll be prepared either way.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 10:44 AM
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I've had the idea of a post with the premise that conservatives can't govern competently. The mantra from conservatives is private industry does it better and government should all but disappear. The cynic in me whispers they purposely underfund and mismananage just to prove that point. Alan Wolfe at Washington Monthly has a great article, saying it much better than I ever could.
Why Conservatism Can't Govern
Posted by Abdul Alhazred at 12:13 PM
Found this interesting, what do you think?
The Bushistas have secretly (How else!) been pushing funding for a transamerican highway running through Texas from Laredo to San Antonio, Dallas, Denton and then through Okieland and up.
TXDOT is running the local show, they even have a $10 web page up that prob costed $100k. The billions for the Texas corridor will be paid out by an International consortium called Cintra Concessions de Infraestructuras de Transporte. A Spanish headquartered conglom. That prob means it is a toll road, but Texas won't get a dime that I can find out.
At first glance I am a BIG proponent of infrastructure. I am NOT a big proponent of wasted tax money. I know the bennies for this, but;
1. Who builds and maintains this thing? Does Canada and Mexico chip in?
2. How about security? Apparently the trucks just get on the highway with a 'fast pass' magnetic strip. First customs stop is in Kansas City.
3. This is definately an end run around American ports who have good paying union jobs. You can dock your container ship at Manzanillo, Mexico cheap.
4. This is a massive project. The way the Bushies have fubared up EVERYTHING they have touched, makes me want to know more.
5. What companies donating to which Republican campaigns will get the big payday?
The wingnuts are going crazy over this, with Jerome Corsi, the filthy POS swift boat liar for Bush author leading the charge. (No link. He is scum. Google if you must)
Since this thing runs through our state, you just know we will be left holding the bag for maintaining this. Hearings in Austin are next month. Anyone downstate going?
UPDATE: Huffpost has more
Posted by Barry Cochran at 8:02 AM
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Posted by Abdul Alhazred at 2:34 PM
This looked interesting
The Department of Homeland Security allowed a man to enter its headquarters last week using a fake Matricula Consular card as identification, despite federal rules that say the Mexican-issued card is not valid ID at government buildings.35 billion dollars a year is spent on Homeland Securities' budget. All the walls, guards, loss of civil liberties, databases and domestic spying in the world doesn't seem to help the situation of America's security. Instead of guarding our vital resources like water, food, energy, transportation, none of which have been changed since 9/11, we busy ourselves with spying on citizens and squashing free speech on the net.
Bruce DeCell, a retired New York City police officer, used his phony card -- which lists his place of birth as "Tijuana, B.C." and his address as "123 Fraud Blvd." on an incorrectly spelled "Staton Island, N.Y." -- to enter the building Wednesday for a meeting with DHS officials.
Mr. DeCell said he has had the card for four years and has used it again and again to board airliners and enter government buildings, without being turned down once. But he said he was surprised that DHS, the agency in charge of determining secure IDs, accepted it.
Even if this is an isolated incident (which I doubt it is, this guy has gotten into other buildings and on airplanes before), it makes you wonder where the money is going. Sure, the panhandle got a grant awhile back for a nifty bomb bot, but it can't all go to that. Some will blame it on human failure, but, your security is only as smart as the people running it.
Posted by poptarts ahoy at 5:55 AM
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Every Lib / Down in Lib-ville / Liked Fitzmas a lot...
But the Bush, / Who lived Far Right of Lib-ville, / Did NOT!
The Bush hated Fitzmas! The whole Fitzmas season! / Now, please don't ask why. / No one quite knows the reason. / It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right. / It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. / But I think that the most likely reason of all / May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
But, / Whatever the reason, / His heart or his shoes, / He stood there on Fitzmas Eve, hating the Libs, / Staring down from his cave with a sour, Bushy frown / At the warm lighted windows below in their town. / For he knew every Lib down in Lib-ville beneath / Was busy now, hanging a mistletoe wreath.
"And they're hanging their stockings!" he snarled with a sneer. / "Tomorrow is Fitzmas! It's practically here!" / Then he growled, with his Bush fingers nervously drumming, / "I MUST find a way to keep Fitzmas from coming!" / For, tomorrow, he knew...
...All the Lib girls and boys / Would wake up bright and early. They'd rush for their toys! / And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! / That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
Then the Libs, young and old, would sit down to a feast. / And they'd feast! And they'd feast! / And they'd FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! / They would start on French wine, and the Lib movable feast / Which was something the Bush couldn't stand in the least!
And THEN / They'd do something he liked least of all! / Every Lib down in Lib-ville, the tall and the small, / Would stand close together, with Fitzmas bells ringing. / They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Libs would start singing!
They'd sing! And they'd sing! / AND they'd SING! SING! SING! SING! / And the more the Bush thought of the Lib-Fitzmas-Sing / The more the Bush thought, "I must stop this whole thing! / "Why for fifty-nine years I've put up with it now! /
I MUST stop Fitzmas from coming! / ...But HOW?"
Then he got an idea! / An awful idea! / THE BUSH / GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
"I know just what to do!" The Bush Laughed in his throat. / And he made a quick Fitzy Claus hat and a coat. / And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great Bushy trick! / "With this coat and this hat, I'll look just like Saint Fitz!"
"All I need is a reindeer..." / The Bush looked around. / But since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found. / Did that stop the old Bush...? / No! The Bush simply said, / "If I can't find a reindeer, I'll make one instead!" / So he called his dog Barney. Then he headed for the door. / But first he dropped Barney right onto the floor.
Tuesday morning . . .
It was quarter past dawn... / All the Libs, still a-bed / All the Libs, still a-snooze / When he packed up his sled, / Packed it up with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings! / The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!
Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crawford, / He rode to the tiptop to dump it! / "Pooh-pooh to the Libs!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming. / "They're finding out now that no Fitzmas is coming! / "They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do! / "Their mouths will hang open a minute or two / "The all the Libs down in Lib-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"
"That's a noise," grinned the Bush, / "That I simply must hear!" / So he paused. And the Bush put a hand to his ear. / And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. / It started in low. Then it started to grow...
But the sound wasn't sad! / Why, this sound sounded merry! / It couldn't be so! /
But it WAS merry! VERY! / He stared down at Lib-ville! / The Bush popped his eyes! / Then he shook! / What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Lib down in Lib-ville, the tall and the small, / Was singing! Without any presents at all! / He HADN'T stopped Fitzmas from coming! / IT CAME! /
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Bush, with his Bush-feet ice-cold in the snow, / Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so? / It came without ribbons! It came without tags! /
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!" / And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore. / Then the Bush thought of something he hadn't before! / "Maybe Fitzmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a court. / "Maybe Fitzmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
And what happened then...?
Well . . . in the version of the story written by the legendary Dr. Seuss and animated by the great Chuck Jones, the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes, he returns the presents, and carves the roast beast himself. That, of course, won’t happen. Our grinch will unleash the Smirk of Mass Destruction, claim vindication and demand that the Vatican beatify Karl Rove.
But we must not let it stop us from dancing and singing from the rooftops what we still know. The fact that they got away with it this time only means that we must sing it louder and longer. Fitzmas—and the ultimate justice that it will someday bring to this band of thieves and war-criminals—means much more than one indictment of one man. It always did.
spacedark (apologies to Seuss)
Posted by Barry Cochran at 8:17 AM
Monday, June 12, 2006
A woman in Northern Texas has, allegedly, sexually assaulted a student. This student though, is 18, a year OVER the age of consent. There is a law in the State of Texas that prohibits any form of sexual contact between a student and a teacher, rightfully so, to protect them from being groped to get passing grades.
So the question I pose, when is consent consent? Even the sponsor of the bill, Helen Giddings (D) of Dallas (my god, those evil democrats are protecting our children. Whatever will we do?) said she wanted to protect CHILDREN with the bill, and not have it apply to two consenting adults.
Enter Satan, from Pampa!
Alas, all the articles I have yet to find have a little tidbit from my favorite representative, Warren Jizzum, Oh, I meant Chisum. Chisum brought us such jewels as the gay marriage ban,
HB 382, which sought to ban the state from placing foster or adoptive children with gays or lesbians, and plethora of other bullshit laws that he thinks will make Texas a happy place for the righteous people in his little district. He espouses "family values" but the fruits of his labors are only the excising of any language that would create protected classes, by marking out women, gays and lesbians, or minorities, from giant chunks of human rights legislation. Yes, let's make the world safe for the righteous everywhere. Remember though, the righteous during the time of Jesus were wrong too.
Why is the government, on both the state and national levels, so concerned what a man or woman does with their own bodies (he was the one who brought up the anti-sodomy laws at a time when no one could give a rat's ass)? If people like this are OH so worried about family values, why don't they start helping families instead of leading crusades on abstract rhetorical issues? The deterioration of the institution of marriage and society is not something you can squarely blame on a single group of people. If you want to help families, provide more education. Make pre-marriage counseling mandatory so people like me and my fiance can't just buy a certificate and then have it signed three days later without a problem. But things like these don't concern him.
I can envision Chisum's dream, a Lottery-like setting in Pampa where children participate in the stoning of homosexuals and promiscuous folks to ensure god blesses the town for one more year.
Posted by poptarts ahoy at 9:13 AM
Men at Work's "It's a Mistake" seems. . . more apropo now than it did in 1984.
I remember seeing this video for the first time during one of MTV's 'Video Premieres'! They played new videos at noon and midnight. Anyone remember when MTV was not on for 24 hrs/day because they did not have enough vids in the beginning? LOL.
Anyhoo . . . I rushed in after mowing the lawn one summer Saturday for a guy up the street ($10 American baby!) to see it. Men at Work was a fav band, the music was catchy, the sax solos were cool, and their videos were pythonesque silly. The song 'Down Under' was a big hit in 1982, but after buying the cassette tape, and reading the lyrics, I still wondered what the hell a vegemite sandwich was. Now, I can just google it.
I wore that tape out until it warped (Or sounded like a degraded MP3 file for you kids out there. LOL)
Next Monday, the "Second British Invasion".
-Prodigal Son (BTW, HERE is MTV's first bumper with the astronaut for a real flashback!!)
Posted by Prodigal Son at 7:41 AM
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
I just clicked on the number of visitors/day and we are up to 122 views/day
dailykos it ain't, but I remember back in '04' when there were just THREE views a day.
Me, Spacedark, and liberalator. . .
Wow. Thank you! Tell a friend and keep PTS growing!!
Posted by Prodigal Son at 3:29 PM
governor? not so much. but she is an early front-runner for the cover of texas monthly's year-end "bum steer awards" issue
Say what you like about Chris Bell, the man's not afraid to go out on a limb. In perhaps the boldest statement yet made in the gubernatorial campaign, Bell stated that Carole Keeton R’ander Strayhorn McInerney Shaw had reached the "high-water mark for absurdity in Texas politics" with her request that she be placed on the ballot under the appellation “Grandma”. Oh, my. That’s saying a lot.
How many names does one person need?
It doesn’t matter. Carole Whatever won’t fool me. My grandma’s in Nebraska—and she would’ve run as a Democrat.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 9:38 AM
Thursday, June 08, 2006
I gotta say, I’ve always viewed Dave Henry as a bit of a Bible thumper. For one thing there were those endless reels of Bible verses that scrolled along the bottom of the Opinion page, day after day after day. I’ve heard that Dave is responsible for those. Then there are Dave’s endless demands that the Bible be taught in school. And Dave’s fundie Creationist screeds. Dave's so righteous that I certainly hope John Kanelis keeps a spare column for that Op-Ed space under the right-wing editorial cartoon. There's always the risk that the Rapture will snatch Dave away on the day his column's due. Hell, Dave's such a saint that he might just be translated one of these days. Stop clutching at your heart over there, Virgil Van Camp, I meant translated, you know, like Enoch (Hebrews 11:5).
However, today’s column on the death penalty suggests that Dave has lost his religion. Not just because he advocates a “drive-thru” death penalty process: I’ve long since given up on convincing Christians of his stripe that their Savior—who was, of course, himself the victim of an unjustly applied death penalty—would never support such punishment. No, Dave demonstrates that he has lapsed by saying
What death penalty opponents fail to grasp is the permanency of crimes committed by murderers such as Titsworth.Really. Y’know, I didn’t think that death was so permanent in the evangelical Christian scheme. I always thought that was the miracle of Christ’s death-penalty, under which he suffered death so we didn’t have to. But Dave says that we godless atheistic liberals don’t understand that death is a permanent state which never ends. Ever.
Their victims never come back. Ever.
The only conclusion I can come to is that Dave no longer buys into the whole evangelical Christian scheme. Did he ever? Look: I’m not crazy about passing judgment on other people’s spirituality. I certainly am not qualified to judge anyone. But Dave has written massive numbers of Bible-thumping columns from his ivory tower in the Bible Belt. He transparently doesn’t believe a word of any of those columns. It just makes me wonder: should I have titled this post “that's dave in the spotlight / using his religion”?
Yeah, I’m being a jerk about this, but I’ve spent long years in this Bible-thumping desert listening to people who insisted that you must believe X to be a Christian, that you couldn’t believe Y and still be “Saved.” And in all of those years the number-one litmus test for True Christians has been that you MUST believe that Jeeeee-zus died so that you might have eternal life. If I had a silver cross for every evangelical Christian who has told this Methodist that I was an apostate for even thinking that the Church focused on Heaven and Hell just a bit too much . . .
Hmph. That’s the litmus test that David H. Henry violated on this sunny June morning. Welcome to the ranks of the apostates, Dave. See you in Hell.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 8:45 PM
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
What's the point of writing for the most popular liberal blog in the reddest part of the country if not to mindlessly promote your buddies? John's rock made the front page of Yahoo! this morning!
Thirteen minutes . . . fourteen minutes . . .
Posted by Barry Cochran at 9:28 AM
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
by PTS Guest Blogger, Ghostly Voice of the Amarillo Globe-Republican 1967
Constitutional amendment protects marriage
"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."
- The decision of a trial judge in sentencing Richard and Mildred Loving for violating Virginia's ban on interracial marriage.
Unfortunately, this is what it has come to in the United States of America.
In order to prevent political correctness run amok, the federal government must amend the U.S. Constitution to protect the backbone of society and families - marriage between people of the same race.
Interracial marriage supporters allege equal rights are the motivation for pushing the issue so fervently, but most can see this is a political battle for acceptance and recognition of a lifestyle that the majority of the country has no interest in promoting.
In the simplest terms, people of different races are free to live their lives the way they choose, but their choices should not be forced upon the rest of us.
Tolerance is one thing, but tearing down the time-honored tradition of marriage between people of the same race is another.
Children need both a mother and a father of the same race.
While this doesn't guarantee Mom and Dad will fulfill their responsibilities as parents, there is just no getting around the fact children need examples to follow in life - from both men and women of the same race.
Despite a recent CBS News poll that indicates 62 percent of Americans oppose laws allowing mixed-race couples to marry and obtain the same legal rights as regular married couples, the amendment faces an uphill battle, primarily in the U.S. Senate, which began debate on the issue Monday.
Perhaps senators need to listen to their constituents in states that have laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are rare, but sometimes drastic steps are required to protect the sanctity of American life.
Marriage between one man and one woman of the same race certainly qualifies.
*This post is satire and not actually written by the desperate, craven, partisan tools at the Globe-Republican, just so's ya know. Duh.
Posted by blogarillo at 10:12 PM
Of all the cultural and intellectual capitals of the world, Paris, London or New York, only Amarillo is home to one of the most extraordinary intellects of our time. He is a man of such deep wisdom, broad knowledge and high genius that men of great learning and insight are humbled before him. A prodigious writer, decorated warrior and authority on all things aeronautical, he possesses faculties of thought so lofty, so beyond the ken of mere mortals, that all might wonder a demigod did dwell amongst us.
But hark! We hear the drone of our hero's chariot, descending from the heavens, spiraling out of the billowing clouds. Praise, what new message does our winged Mercury bring from golden Apollo? To earth the sky carriage alights, and from its commander’s seat emerges the celebrated citizen, the incomparable aviator, our opinion’s pilot, the wholly remarkable Mr. Virgil Van Camp!
Long have we found ourselves regaled with the legendary exploits of this famous luminary. Who has not been spellbound reading of his Herculean battle with the notorious Hydra, the eleven-spigoted fuel inspection system of the single-engine aeroplane? Who does not recall his epic encounter and harrowing escape from the Scylla and Charybdis of prohibited air space -- the dreaded Temporary Flight Restriction zones -- that enshroud Cheney and Bush?
Monarch of the sky, Athena's rival has battled foe and anoxia alike in the blue-domed vault aloft, but here on earth he has challenged Leviathan itself, the Federal Aviation Administration, in a titanic struggle for the racial profiling of airline passengers. Implacable in total comprehension, our sage sentinel has remained constant in the knowledge that male Arab Muslims are the exclusive security threat to Western civilization, even as Al Qaida began recruiting men and women from other ethnic groups and nations immediately after 9/11.
This unyielding campaign provides only a hint of our savant’s expertise in the cross-cultural political dynamic inherent in the Christian-Muslim nexus. To even begin to appreciate his extraordinary insight, it must be understood that following Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin and Kierkegaard, Van Camp is the authority on Christian theological and historical issues, and his magisterial work on the Muslim faith is without peer.
As a world renowned scholar, Van Camp has noted that Christianity and Islam profess to be religions of peace, yet both have had their violent excesses. What he has concluded is that Muslim brutality is obviously the rule due to his supra-socio-political analysis of their barbarous culture.
Through extensive reading and personal experience with fellow Christians (completely unprejudiced by any direct interaction with Islamic persons) Van Camp has made the astonishing correlation that every institution in the Christian dominated West that make it a great civilization, from relief agencies like the Red Cross to hospitals, universities and hair styling salons, has been established by Christians. Islam, Van Camp has determined, has no such equivalents, and thus remains a primitive and backward culture.
Strangely, there have been fanciful tales that the Mohammedans do indeed have the hallmarks of civilization, but Van Camp is too wise a historian like Herodotus to conflate fables with facts. Despite his frequent disquisitions on the matter, these curious myths persist.
It is said hospitals were built in Baghdad as early as the 9th century. The oldest Muslim universities, such as Al-Azhar of Cairo founded in 971 or the Nizamiyyah of Baghdad in 1065, were established prior to the first Western university at Bologna in 1088, before Oxford, Cambridge or A&M.
Some believe Islam preserved Greco-Roman science and literature during the medieval ages while Christianity forgot, and that Muslim scientists made their own discoveries, particularly in mathematics, astronomy and medicine. The West’s recovery of Classical knowledge and the contributions of Muslims opened the way for Europe’s renaissance.
Today there are supposedly numerous Islamic charitable and relief organizations such as the Red Crescent, its emblem plainly visible on every ambulance in Iraq.
No doubt these stories are just that, politically correct fairy tales spun by some leftist Scheherazade long ago when Arabian nights were still exotic interludes instead of sleepless nightmares. For all his copious reading it is surprising Van Camp has not documented these fanciful legends. Driven to verify the Quran could be flushed down a toilet, such an inquisitive mind would hardly fail to rebut such challenges to the moral and intellectual superiority of European man. But just as the Olympian gods ignore the petty affairs of men, perhaps our noble Achilles finds the achievements of inferiors beneath his notice.
In a world full of uncivilized people, ignorant and prejudiced, Mr. Van Camp has been most prominent in highlighting their sad existence. There can be no greater tribute to his edification of mankind than to say his accumulated work, his high-piled monument to human understanding, shames golden antiquity’s Augean stables itself.
Posted by calamus venenum at 5:56 PM
While the media lapped up a meaningless numerological coincidence, a truly important holiday in Christendom again passed by unheralded this week. Some fifty days after Easter Sunday, on the liturgical calendar, falls the Feast of the Pentecost. The Pentecost is, in some ways, more historically significant than Easter. The myth of the Pentecost is in so many ways Christianity’s major contribution to the world’s religions. And that is appropriate, because the Pentecost is one of the few areas where Christianity acknowledges a connection to the world.
On the day of the Pentecost, the scriptures tell us, the apostles were gathered all together. They suddenly heard a sound like a West Texas wind that filled the whole house. They saw visions of tongues of fire which came to rest on each of them, and that was when they began to speak in tongues.
As they so spoke, a crowd began to gather. In a kind of reverse Diaspora, Jews from “every nation under heaven” happened to be staying in Jerusalem and all heard apostles speaking in his or her own language. Some cynics assumed the obvious: they must be drunk. Peter, however, explained to the gathered crowd that the apostles couldn’t be drunk because it was only nine in the morning. And the apostles were usually sober at least until noon.
Then, as the Church was born, just before three thousand people were baptized into the new faith, Peter made a grotesque and fateful mistake. It was the same mistake that Joachim of Fiore would later make, that John Nelson Darby would make, that Hal Lindsey would make, that Tim LaHaye would make, and that countless sandwich-boarded Christians would similarly make over and over again, down through the long centuries. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter misinterpreted Biblical prophecy to mean that the world was about to end, anydaynow. He quoted Joel, the prophet, in full apocalyptic mode:
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2)Peter had been chosen by Jesus Christ Himself to be “the rock” on which the church would be built, and J.C.H. must’ve been talking about this speech and the baptism of these three thousand, because Peter did precious little else. Instead, it would fall to Paul—who only met Jesus in a strange dream on the road to Damascus—to write most of the last part of the New Testament and carry Christianity to the world. Paul—despite the many problems I along with many modern Christians have with him—understood the true meaning of the Pentecost.
Here is what fundamentalists don’t get, when they rant about Darwin and fixate on Genesis: much of their beloved Old Testament was inverted by the New. Not simply overturned: inverted. And here’s an example. The Pentecost myth directly inverts the Old Testament myth of the Tower of Babel. In the old myth the peoples of the earth were scattered, their languages made incomprehensible to one another. In the new myth, all the children of God are reunited.
Here is what so-called Pentecostals don’t get when they “speak in tongues” and handle snakes. It ain’t about faith, it’s about communication. The original tongue-speaking enabled disparate people to hear and understand. It wasn’t random and incomprehensible babbling.
And here is what no one seems to get. What even Peter failed to understand while it was happening. At the birth of the church, Christianity was a universal religion. It wasn’t an exclusionary club for right-wing Republicans. The difficult and confusing (and not entirely monotheistic) concept of the Trinity lies at the core of the faith. God the father represents the old-school, rules-driven, for-Hebrews-only, religion of the Old Testament. Jesus, the son, is a transitory figure who took us from the letter of the Law to the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a net-neutral, connecting pipeline that communicates and unifies with infinite bandwidth.
The last words that Jesus said to the apostles included the admonition that “no man knows” the day or hour of the End of the World. But he did specifically tell them to await the Holy Spirit—and that implicit promise was fulfilled at the Pentecost. Await, if you want, some silly Rapture attended by Kirk Cameron. Dream your dreams of cars crashing as fundies float away into the blue sky. And have a bloody nice Nero Day.
But if there is any hope— and there may not be— of rescuing Christianity from the right-wing zealots who have kidnapped it and perverted it and misunderstood its message, that hope lies in the Pentecost.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 12:31 AM
Monday, June 05, 2006
There's a local connection to this CNN story. John Barentine . . . uh . . . frequently visits Amarillo. He's a good friend of mine. He occasionally reads this blog! He's dating my fiancée's roommate! He professionally corresponded with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez before Gonzalez became an intelligent-design apologizing joke and allied with local boy Jay Richards whom we have ridiculed on this blog!
There are all kinds of local/PTS connections here!
A bit strained, sure, but it's still a cool story.
Congratulations, John. Enjoy your fifteen minutes.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 5:18 PM
The Ghostly VoiceTM of the Amarillo Globe-Republican, writing in this morning's "Monday Briefing" wails and gnashes its spectral teeth over reports that immigration officials aren't allowed access to schools in Albuquerque, N.M. The Ghost is shocked and horrified by these reports.
We have to wonder: did the Ghost even go to high school? I mean, this is hardly the first indication we've had that the Amarillo Globe-Republican is being largely written and edited by Jed Clampett and the two mountain men from Deliverance.
In the first place, no law is enforced in high school the way it is in the outside world. You may think that sentencing a kid to in-school suspension for smoking pot on campus is excessively lenient-- and maybe it is-- but the quickest way to make someone a criminal is to send them to prison for a first offense . . . and education remains the best way to turn them into productive citizens. If this means purposefully looking the other way on occasion so a rebellious kid can get through school, so freaking be it.
Secondly, I teach high school ESL classes to a number of immigrant kids in various states of legality. I couldn't teach if la migra was poking around my classroom all the time. I couldn't teach the undocumented alien kids, I couldn't teach the documented kids, I couldn't teach the citizen kids, I couldn't teach your kids.
Thirdly, you will notice the common thread in the previous sentence: kids. At teacher school, the education faculty go on and on about providing a "safe learning environment". The campus police officer-- who periodically decides that U.T. shirts are "gang apparel"-- is intrusive enough in my high school. What happens when the doors are thrown open to Border Police, National Guardsmen, and Minutemen to come in and enforce their own immigration agenda?
That's the point: the schools and law-enforcement, though both necessary, have different agendas. The old American system-- the one that sort of worked-- was built on checks and balances. There's nothing wrong with different agencies of "the government" opposing each other. Checks and balances keep everybody from overstepping their bounds. There's nothing in the Constitution about "seamless integration" of services and enforcement. And there shouldn't be.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 12:40 AM
Saturday, June 03, 2006
There is no shortage of opinion in Blog World regarding Enron, with many people more qualified and capable of addressing the topic than I, but I want to comment for one reason. Over the years I've moved to the left from a moderate, or more accurately, apolitical, point of view. For the most part it has been a gradual process with little steps taken along the way. However, if I had to pick a single moment that cemented my status as a liberal, a giant leap forward as it were, it would be when the Enron scandal first erupted. It's when I first fully realized what could happen when corporate power runs amok. I'm not going say that Enron was strictly a conservative problem. There are more than a few conservatives who suffered at the hands of those criminals. Many conservatives have been appropriately outraged that Enron happened. I'm not going to say that Enron was strictly a Republican problem. Many of the changes to accounting law that allowed Enron to happen occurred during Clinton's watch. What I will say is that Enron happened because liberalism was taken out of the equation. Oversight and accountability were scaled back. If you take down all the speed limit signs it's only a matter of time before some jerk is doing 90 through a school zone.
The Cunning Realist is the only conservative blog I read on any kind of regular basis and for the most part I agree with TCR's take on the Enron scandal (Whither the Pitchforks?). Ben Stein, who TCR references, makes good points, too. They're both disgusted with the Corporate America Gone Wild we've seen for more or less the past decade, and it is questionable what impact the Lay/Skilling convictions will have on the Culture of Corruption. Whether or not I spend my golden years taking it easy and enjoying the good life, or working part-time and eating catf ood for dinner, depends heavily on the conduct of people like Lay and Skilling. Millions of other people are in the exact same position.
So when will people reach the boiling point? If Enron, WorldCom et al don't do it, what will?
Posted by blogarillo at 12:00 PM
Thursday, June 01, 2006
I’ve criticized Mayor McCartt in the past for a certain . . . lack of courage in standing up for people who stepped out, so to speak, for her.
So I was gratified and pleased when I attended a yoga class with my fiancée and another friend. A flyer on the door of the downtown building advertised Pridefest 2006, the annual gay celebration and awareness festival. And on June 24, in Thompson Park, after local band Kickin’ Wookies and Austinite Ginger Leigh perform live, Mayor McCartt will speak.
That’s freaking fantastic, and the political courage that it takes in West Texas should be acknowledged. It is mind-numbingly impossible to imagine any previous mayor of this town speaking at Pridefest. They were too busy attempting to intimidate—just as an example—local writers in their Gaston-from-Beauty-and-the-Beast-furnished RV-dealership offices. Midway through their bile-spewed harangues, these mayors would leap onto their oak desk and belt out, “I use antlers in all of my deee-corating!”
But, I digress. And exaggerate. But not by much. The point is that previous mayors, manly as they might have been in their garish Recreational Vehicles and their “Utimate Hunt” jackets, weren’t so ready to speak during a week of events that also features a Gay Day Celebration at Splash, the Miss Gay America USA pageant, and screenings of such movies as Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Psycho Beach Party, as well as the far more obvious Academy-Award nominees.
Granted it’s not saying much, but Debra is, hands-down, the best Amarillo mayor in this blogger’s memory. The only campaign promise Mayor McCartt made that mattered was to invite all Amarilloans into the invitation-only secret society that this town’s political culture has been for so long. She shows up at Pridefest, and she shows up at the groundbreaking for fundie mega-church Trinity Fellowship’s new sanctuary, and she holds City Commission meetings all over town and at all hours of the day and night.
All that’s a start.
But y’all know damn well what the next step is. Single-member districts.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 5:26 AM