“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"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

NOLA deceased 8/2005

I was in the big easy August 16, 2005. I stayed there after visiting two clients in Hattiesburg, MS and Ocean Springs, MS. Ocean Springs is right next door to NOLA. It also pretty much does not exist anymore.

Dinner at Brennan's, a quick duck into a bar for a hurricane (weird . . .) jes' for walkin' around. Pop into preservation hall for some dixieland. A few more quick ducks, a coupla beers, and then up the next day bright and early for some beignets and chicory coffee with lots of cream at Cafe Du Monde.

Ya know, it was peaceful that morning. The coffee was strong, I almost had the place to myself, it was starting to heat up, and everything felt permanent. 50 years from now, I could do the exact same thing and it would be deja vu all over again. (Cell phone pics from that day are a little grainy. Texted these to the wife to make her jealous. LOL)

Then . . . let me repeat my post from Sept 2005:
"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."


The French Quarter survived Katrina, but do you know what? Both clients have moved. One to Memphis and the other to Jackson, MS. They are not coming back. The guy in Ocean Springs says that he has been fighting the insurance company for 2 years. The house he and his wife had for 12 years is still just a concrete slab. Kids have moved off, they left the beloved beagle dog with the vet when they evacuated for Katrina, but the vet's place disappeared along with his pup Charlie. They are just tired. They have given up. He is a financial advisor and two years later he has not heard from 3 clients. They are trying to pick up their destroyed lives too.

Bushie is in NOLA today mouthing platitudes. Strutting and pooching his lips in concern. But he doesn't give a shit.

Maybe our country is in the same spot. The Bush disasters have been legion. No one is in jail, no one has paid the price. Michael Brown is an emergency management consultant now. We are exhausted.

But me? You? At least we have your homes. For now.

-Prodigal Son

Monday, August 27, 2007

Torture Czar Alberto R. Gonzales has resigned

. . . to spend more time waterboarding his family. Or something.

Rumor is that DHS chief Michael Chertoff (pic above) will take over as AG, and bush family crony and loyalist Clay Johnson III, will take over at DHS. (Not Dumas High School)

Clay's experience? Went to prep school and college with Chimpy, and keeps a Bush action doll on his desk!

Seriously . . . what is it with these man crushes on Bushie?

Anyhooo . . . no experience with security, kisses Bush's ass, deal done! Brownie part II will be keeping our kids safe.

Gonzalas, that POS was a stain on our country. He belongs in jail.

-Prodigal Son

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Free market" my ass

Fed bends rules to help two big banks

How Bush Would Have Won in Vietnam and How He Expects to Achieve Victory in Iraq

Before writing our Bushnam letters let us pause just a moment to review how our Champagne Squadron Commander-in-Chief fought the war then and is fighting the war now.

(Not a Nibon and Mitsu, LLP Photoshop production)

Spoke Too Soon

On August 16th I commented that our beloved local nutters, though extremistly similar to Philip Atkison of Family Security Matters, still did pale in comparison to his desire to nuke Iraq and kill all the Iraqi’s and have George W. Bush make himself President-for-Life.

Leave it to Virgil Van Camp to prove me wrong today. While he once again dismisses the Geneva Conventions and expresses the desire to kill women and children (a genuine reflex to him, really – is he cutting and pasting his own work now?) he introduces
nuclear weapons as the final solution to our weary war woes.

Yes, Virg, when those terrorists use innocent civilians as human shields we'll just nuke ‘em all. There’s a vacancy at Family Security Matters. You’ll fit Right in.

Some local commentary from Kathie Greer

This is the Indy's "Across the Fence" column by Kathie Greer for this week:

Across The Fence

A jerk in County Commissioner’s clothing

I set out earlier this week to educate myself on an important local issue.

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #1 is a program designed to promote new businesses, residences and revenues in a section of downtown Amarillo.

Many of my friends and acquaintances — most with a definite for or against point of view — have discussed various aspects of the plan. I’ve listened intently from the middle of the fence, not feeling like I know enough about the plan’s particulars to jump in either direction.

As a resident of Amarillo and Potter County, I felt like it was my responsibility to develop an understanding of the issue. And, I’ll admit, my work as a journalist also prompted me to pursue the details.

My informational quest led to elected officials and staff members in city and county offices. I also prevailed upon my contacts within the community for their input and perspective on the financing plan for TIRZ.

Potter County Commissioner Manny Perez and County Judge Arthur Ware are on opposing sides when it comes to the county’s participation in the TIRZ. Perez’ complaints center on the weight of the county’s investment and return versus the city’s portion. Ware believes growth and productive enterprise in downtown Amarillo will broaden the tax base and ultimately benefit everyone in Amarillo.

Even though they disagree with each other, both men were open, forthcoming and polite in their discussions with me. Even better, each man willingly referred me to other people they felt were well informed on this subject.

That’s the response I’ve usually gotten from the elected representatives and staff members I’ve worked with over the years. Those past fact-finding missions have included people from the basic services, like water and sewer, all the way to United States senators and their staff members. I’ve always been dealt with fairly and professionally, even if my previous positions or columns about them haven’t been glowing compliments.

Imagine my surprise when Potter County Commissioner Joe Kirkwood was neither polite nor professional. Not only was he less than forthcoming, I don’t know if he was honest.

I met Kirkwood several years ago when I worked with him on a community project. He seemed both a knowledgeable and likable candidate and I was encouraged by his election.

But Kirkwood showed a completely different side to me during our conversation on Monday. His tone, accusations and reluctance to provide a county resident with information left me not only disgusted, but actually angry.

I told him, when he answered his cell phone, that I was looking for information about TIRZ. His immediate response was that it must the day for TIRZ discussions because he’d just left a meeting with other elected officials where they had discussed the issue.

That struck me as rather strange. And my suspicions mounted when he refused to tell with whom he’d been speaking or the nature of those discussions.

My knowledge of the Open Meetings Act is that private meetings of elected officials are forbidden on just about everything except personnel, contract negotiations, litigation and other specific matters. And even legal executive sessions must be announced to the public.

Things deteriorated further when I asked Kirkwood to tell me how TIRZ was structured and why he thought it would be bad for Potter County residents.
No solid information or facts about the plan were presented. He did, however, profess his objectivity repeatedly while simultaneously telling me the whole thing would only make the rich richer and that it wouldn’t help any other residents of Potter County. He said that he thought the Amarillo Economic Development Corp. had already been put in place to do the same thing that TIRZ is supposed to do.

One point where I might have found agreement with him was on the issue of fair representation between the county and the city on the TIRZ board. But as that discussion led to the committee the county commissioners have appointed to study the matter, another red flag flew in my face.

Kirkwood indicated to me that members of the committee had already made up their minds, while continuing to tell me that he himself was trying to remain objective.

He said that he knew people from the County Auditor’s Office, the Tax Department and the County Attorney’s office who were opposed to the plan. But he wouldn’t tell me the basis for their opposition. And when I asked for names so I could follow-up on the arguments against the reinvestment zone, Kirkwood again refused.

"I don’t want you lobbying those people,” he told me.


Wait a minute.

Since when are asking questions and seeking information considered lobbying tactics?

Furthermore, the names of those committee members are a matter of public record. Doesn’t Commission Kirkwood know that?

And as a resident and taxpayer in Potter County, don’t I have the right both to ask questions and to state my opinions to county officials?

Evidently, Kirkwood doesn’t think so.

Bill Sumerford, a Potter County resident who keeps a close eye on tax issues, lives in Kirkwood’s precinct. Sumerford said that he has called Kirkwood at least three times and left messages asking to talk to him about TIRZ. So far, Sumerford reported, Kirkwood hasn’t bothered to return any of those calls.

Sumerford also told me that even though Kirkwood knew most of his constituents supported a Potter County tax freeze for the elderly and disabled, the commissioner voted against it.

It looks to me like Kirkwood is out of touch and unresponsive to his constituents.

It’s evident he’s also one of those elected officials who doesn’t believe in the public’s right to know.

I still haven’t made up my mind on whether TIRZ, as it was initially structured, is the best plan for Potter County. Unlike Kirkwood, though, I think I’ll wait for the committee’s official report.

The one thing I do know is that Kirkwood isn’t the kind of representative I want at any level of government

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cut-and-run Republican terrorist-emboldening troop-haters

Why does cut-and-run troop-hater Sen. John Warner hate the troops?

Republican senator: Bush should begin Iraq withdrawal

Doesn't he want our troops to succeed? Is he for or against our troops? Why does he insist on giving aid and comfort to the enemy by demoralizing our troops (whom he hates)?


Ok . . . President McCokespoon wants to now compare Iraq to Vietnam, even after he opposed such terminology in 2004.

This is a country that loves soundbites, loves small words.

Let's help Bushie out.

Join me, take 10 minutes, and write the AGR RIGHT NOW. john.kanelis@amarillo.com

And in every letter to the editor, please refer to Iraq from now on as "Bushnam", as in, "Bushnam is disaster, much like Bush's domestic failures, and pitbulls."

Sorry to be so blunt, but if our lazy paper gets loaded with letters, 100 + swamping them, maybe this will stick.

Maybe us little folks can make a small difference. Will you join me? Sent mine already.

-Prodigal Son

We'r eBack

The Amarillo Independent Web site is now active with content. Hope you all like the new look.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sneak Peek This Weak

More of PTS’s exclusive look at JJ Abram’s new film:

As our valiant hero Mac Thornsmallberrys guides his squadron into battle against the horrible beastie (from an extremely safe distance) death rays suddenly flash from the menacing monster’s eyes, vaporizing the avenging aircraft into little itty bits.

The courageous Thornsmallberrys, champion of truth and objectivity, declares the engagement a victory and retreats to his small 30,000 acre ranch to spend the last of his remaining farm subsidy millions.

Meanwhile the creature has descended upon the fairest jewel in the entire city, the last bastion of truth, justice, and equality throughout the land. Below it spies its next victim, the piddling pusillanimous paper publisher himself.

But wait! What’s this? In a freakish turnabout the two find puppy love and bound to the top of the Fisk Building, favorite haunt of drunken bums and bloggers who pee in its abandoned desiccated toilets.

Here on the romantic windswept heights of the Fisk they shall mate and produce a master race, the supreme pitiless pit bull, the ultimate baying breed of beagle bigots.

But their fanatical dreams of oppressing humanity are not to be consummated this day. Their vigorous if errant mounting is suddenly interrupted by the attack of the Pantex Plutonium Pussy.

A victim of one of the many “incidents” at a top secret installation near Amarillo, Pantex Plutonium Pussy is now America’s secret weapon against giant evil pit bulls, terrorism, and creeping liberal progressivism at home and throughout the world.

All cheer Pantex Plutonium Pussy!

Next on PTS E!: Mobs of Mutant Monster Mice created to feed Pantex Plutonium Pussy rampage across the country raiding our cheese factories! Only on PTS E!

Monday, August 20, 2007

PTS Exclusive

Rumors abound regarding the upcoming JJ Abrams monster flick, codenamed Cloverfield. Panhandle Truth Squad has obtained this exclusive image, giving you the first look at the new movie monster:

Another Viscous Attack

Dammit, these pitbulls are everywhere!

Justa Bloggin'

Dude! This guy has one of those newfangled internets! AND a color monitor and dot-matrix printer!

I have not done this in a while, but mucho thanks to everyone reading PTS. We regularly hit 100+ page views/day. When I think back to when it was just me and Spacedark, I am amazed.

Do Democracy a favor, and forward on our site address above to a few patriots.

-Prodigal Son

(Picture of Prodigal Son: Circa 1988)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Something different to do.

For an alternative to the Polk Street Block Party check out Femme II.

I won't be able to attend, but my S.O. will be performing.


**FEMME 3 at the Nat Ballroom**
Doors open @ 8 p.m.
$10 donation at the door benefiting the Women's Wellness Center

Femme is an eclectic evening celebrating women in all areas of art, including musicians, poets, painters, photographers, belly dancers, etc. All are welcome, so come on over!

I Know What I Did This Summer

Main Street and pit bull
Silverton, CO

Christ of the Mines and pit bull
Silverton, CO

Andrews Lake and pit bull

Balcony House and pit bull
Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Where's a big government handout when you need it?

A developer lost interest in spending $15 million to transform the Fisk Building into a hotel because of uncertainty about the possibility of future tax incentives for the project.

Friday, August 17, 2007

we're spending our children's inheritance

"Hope I die before I get old???" ... bit late for that, eh?

We all knew it would come to this: the fate of the Baby Boomers.

At 3:36, the Boomers' final message for those of us who must pay for their decrepitude ... and live in the world they left behind.


anarchy through capitalism

(Amarillo) I won't be going anywhere near any kind of retail store this weekend. For one thing, my new mother-in-law will be in town. But that is, of course, not the only reason for my refusal to participate in capitalistic excess this weekend.

This weekend Texans will be performing the strange ritual known as tax-free weekend. Of all Texan ritualistic activity, this particular one is the most bizarre and least humane. I refuse to participate in such a horrible spectacle. As in all ritual, the value of the tax-free weekend is primarily symbolic. Although participants often claim to have "saved money," this claim is highly dubious. Prior to Zero Year -- 1999, the first year Texans performed the tax-free ritual -- merchants frequently had something called "sales," which often offered more in the way of real value to consumers than the tax-free weekend. Although sales can still be found, they frequently offer a smaller savings than they would have been before the tax-free weekend. This has led to speculation that the real value of the tax-free weekend is primarily to businesses who greedily reap the whirlwind of the crowds and their money without having to reduce their own profits in any way. Those who find it difficult to believe that a state would undertake an action primarily to help its businesses while disregarding its human citizens are advised to study the peculiar history and customs of this particular state.

I did not always refuse to participate in tax-free weekend. Early in the history of the "holiday", I went in to the very Belly of the very Beast -- The Mall Itself. And there I witnessed the teeming hordes. I saw shocking numbers of parents wearing colored brassieres underneath thin white T-shirts. I witnessed tweenage kids-- in stores in which all the dressing rooms were full-- changing. clothes. in. the. aisles. at the demands of those parents. And then in one horrible moment the nightmarish truth hit me: I was in the presence of the Great Unwashed. And I hate the Great Unwashed. I screamed in horror.

So if you do choose to venture out this weekend, please, for god's sake, be careful out there. Not all who enter a department store or a mall this weekend will come out alive. And even those who live will be forever changed by the experience, and not for the better.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

And We Thought We Had Nutters

The Amarillo Globe-News has its gatekeeper to protect us from the obscene, but civilized people may wonder where the bar is when Virgil Van Camp wishes that we emulate the ancient Romans:

They came, they conquered, they governed. The unruly Jews revolted. Not a problem. Tear down their holy temple, kill a few Jews. Problem solved.”

(Interesting that hundreds of thousands of butchered Jews are “a few.”) Or by imitating them with

“. . . a Pax Americana. We could take over troubled spots around the globe, concentrating on areas with natural resources, such as oil, that we need. We could extract the resources, use the profits to create a working society and pay for the occupation.”

And like them install puppet dictators to solve
our or other nation's difficulties. He has repeatedly said the Geneva Conventions are pointless, and called for our military, like the Roman Legions, to slaughter civilians without mercy.

Let us remember Elwood N. Stein’s solution to the war in Iraq:

drop a few bombs we have in reserve” and “with the power we have in storage . . . wind up in a Christian world.”

What a small desire it is to obliterate the entire non-Christian world. What nonchalance to publish a letter on global genocide.

We need not recount the many other offenses against human dignity and civilized behavior made by these and other whack-jobs printed in the Amarillo Globe-News. Here we shall note the inordinate and mindless worship still offered President George W. Bush by their thronging wingnuts in the face of deceit and disaster.

But these nutjobs pale in comparison to Philip Atkinson, contributing editor to Family Security Matters, Imperial Rome enthusiast, George W. Bush disciple and nuke booster.

[For more on Family Security Matters and its connections to neoconservatives and the White House see

In "America's Choice" (see comments)
Atkinson declares we must use violence to dominate others or like the Romans risk the collapse of “Pax Romana.” In shades of Van Camp’s “rape, pillage and burn” Atkinson insists we “must be ruthless, merciless, resolute and unhesitating” in the use of nuclear weapons: “inflict genocide or commit suicide.” Both Van Camp and Atkinson find triumph in the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but since then America has been in moral decline and squeamish about inflicting brutality and annihilating our enemies.

"Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy" flatly states that the Iraqi’s should be slaughtered with nuclear weapons and replaced by Americans; that democracy is the enemy of truth and justice, a threat to the United States, and that George W. Bush should use his military power like Augustus to become President-for-Life and restore sanity to America.

Extremist? Yes. Lunatic? You would think so, but the man’s “analysis” was, until quite recently, admired and taken seriously. Only when his work was discovered by the wider media was Atkinson “disappeared” from the FSM website.

Rational people would no doubt think Mr. Atkinson a certifiable, shells and all, nutcase. Yet we must note that his insane, extremist views were quite agreeable to his right-wing compatriots. Let us also observe that the difference between Mr. Atkinson and our local nutters is not one of kind but of degree.

Let that be the "apparent difference.” Our extremists have the gatekeeper to keep out and clean up their worst offenses. And as difficult as it is to imagine even Van Camp has gone too far, but with his outrages scrubbed few are left the wiser to his true madness.

That is the virtue of having a gatekeeper. Whatever reactionaries, extremists and right-wing sociopaths may exist, we are presented those that are least “objectionable.” We sleep in our beds, safe in blessed ignorance of neighbors that are like Philip Atkinson, demanding Muslims be exterminated, that Iraq be nuked, and America turned into a praetorian dictatorship led by George W. Bush. Who knows who they are? Who indeed?

Open Thread

Anyone Around These Parts?

-Prodigal Son

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Ok . . . this has nothing to do with politics, but ever since I saw the caveman GEICO commercial where he is on the treadmill at the airport, I have been hooked on this Royksopp band.

Just me, but this video appeals to me visually. Maybe living up in beantown, and commuting on the train, maybe because the colors seem to remind me somehow of my youth back in the days when the cassette tape was cutting edge. Design was just beginning to use computer graphics . . . I dunno.

Youtube is amazing. The hazy, rosy, images and video memories of a kid in the 70's can be relived.

Needed a break. Something different.

-Prodigal Son

Monday, August 13, 2007

1 Minute of Not Bashing Dav* H*nry

While cutting the tall grass I did perchance mow over an unseen doggie landmine, and as the foul stink filled the air, I thought perhaps then was a good moment to pause and let the ceaseless panhandle wind dissipate the stench.

As I reeled and sought escape from the reek of sun-hot grass and blade-sheared excrement thoughts came unbidden to my mind of the writings of Dav* H*nry. Coincidence surely, but what were at first unpleasant reflections on right-wing rubbish strangely became a meditation on how others, and especially myself, have so harshly abused him of late.

Under the punishing Amarillo sun, in clothes drenched with sweat, I felt pangs of remorse. How could we, repeatedly and callously, attack a young man with such an obvious mental deficit? H*nry has certainly overcome this deficiency to meet his weekly allotment of words, no mean challenge for a walnut in a primate skull.

Here though was something passing strange, for as the flies buzzed over the scattered dung and a hammer began to throb in my brain, I remembered something curious. H*nry had, in asking his one monosyllabic question of a commissioner candidate, provoked a brief exchange that revealed his rapier wit to have all the dash and edge of a pudding snack.

Surely this man, as the sun seared across flesh and the heat weighed like anvils upon every limb, was incapable of filling buckets of unmitigated drivel. It was beyond his human capacity. And as I staggered against the fence, the yard gently rolling like an open sea, it came to me: 100 monkeys at 100 typewriters would eventually write Shakespeare.

Not to compare H*nry to Shakespeare, for shame! As I lay on the ground, my skin hot and dry, I watched the monkeys scamper about in the elm above. Did we really need 100 monkeys hunting and pecking at random on 100 typewriters to produce H*nry’s flapdoodle?

Men in odd suits appeared speaking a language I couldn’t hear. The monkeys fled into the blazing sky. I felt cold and ice, and lifted up. I knew monkeys were too advanced on the evolutionary tree to produce H*nry’s work. They might write Shakespeare, but not even lobotomized monkeys would write H*nry.

It was then, as the metal gates of Heaven swung open and I was jostled into the cool rolling antechamber of the hereafter, that I had an epiphany, a vision, of chickens. I had seen chickens trained to play toy pianos by pecking at seed put on the keys. In time, without the seed, they would through sheer dumb reflex mindlessly peck at the keys. Was that H*nry’s secret? I smelled alcohol and a needle-sharp pain. There was a mask over my face, and darkness came.

Now recovered from my overheated reverie, I am still troubled by these thoughts. Can it be that who we read and revile simply sits at a keyboard, just one small pecker?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Chapter 587: In Which All Is Possible and I Finally Agree with Dav* H*nry. Sort Of.

No, I haven't gone soft and Republican now that I'm married. And Dav* H*nry certainly could've found something better to reference than the archaic and boring "Our Gang."

But we should give our old adversary a Scooby Snack for stepping up to the precipice of criticizing his corporate bosses. In today's column, he all but admits that the Amarillo Globe-Republican has focused way, way, way too much on pit bull attacks.

Don't get me wrong. I'm scared shitless of my new father-in-law's pit bull, but that's my problem. When Chili Pepper crawls up into my lap, she's only trying to be friendly.

H*nry sez:

  • "'Dog bites man' didn't use to be news, but when it is a pit bull doing the biting, stop the presses."
  • He quotes Mike McGee, Amarillo's director of Animal Control as saying, "This whole thing about the pit bull is blown out of proportion. That's my personal opinion."
  • And he even does research, pointing out that "From 1994-2005, the city received at least 25,547 calls a year (that in 1994), with a high of 37,617 in 2005. With that number of calls, one call a day pertaining to a particular dog breed doesn't seem that high."
Sadly, this is as far as it goes.

While Dav* never has any problem damning the torpedoes when he criticizes liberals and Democrats, he simply doesn't have the balls to be so aggressive in criticizing his corporate bosses or the city of Amarillo.

He avers that "the local media coverage of pit bulls is fair and understandable," and that "the pit bull backlash is understandable," and concludes with a whiny-ass but "that's not the dog's fault".

On second thought: Sorry, Dav*. I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. But you just don't deserve it.


No End in Sight

The thing about all of these documentaries about W and the apple dumpling gang now, is that when we were marching and writing editorials to the Amarillo Republican, being called traitors, and the Dixie Chicks were dealing with this boolsheet, NO ONE was giving voice to our warnings.

That was 3600 dead Americans, and 500k dead Iraqis ago.

Which leads me to . . .why the F*** does Dave Henry have an opinion column? Broder? Krauthammer? the entire wall street journal ed page?

In a non-corporate owned media country, these a**holes would be out. They have been deadly, dangerously wrong.

It is my patriotic duty to call them out. Every day.

-Prodigal Son

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

everybody knows

"Haight Ashbury Victorians" by Kevin Roach of Creativity Explored (digital media (c) CE 2006)

Early in our honeymoon we visited Creativity Explored, a nonprofit where "artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell art," my new wife and I weren't particularly burdened by the well-meaning condescension favored by most visitors to such places. We've both been around mentally challenged people for so long that we can remember when they were called just "disabled"-- or worse. Basically that means that we didn't talk to the artists like they were children. (Hell, we're both educators so we don't talk to children like they're children, but you get the idea.)

So we had a good conversation with artists like Peter. Peter was- how do you say?- fairly "high-level" it CE, he had a good grasp of what was going on around him and even, to a large extent, in the world. That would make him "fairly high-level" on the streets of Amarillo, but you know what I mean.

When we told Peter we were from Texas, he naturally recoiled in horror. We were used to that reaction by now from San Franciscans. What made his reaction more, um, honest was that Peter had fewer-- how do you say?-- "filters". So he said just what most merely thought. "Bush!" he hollered. And then he embarked on a reasonably well-informed rant about The Emperor W's many, many sins.

We lowered our eyes in an approximation of meekness and said, yeah, unfortunately.

We should have taken from that experience a lesson about our mouths and discretion, but we didn't. Later, as we left the big room another artist asked where we were from. We did the same meekeyes act and said, again, Texas.

The next thing we knew, a roomful of developmentally-disabled artists were shrieking "Bush! Bush! Bush!" and shaking their fists and doing the thumbs-down thing and and stomping as we hightailed it out of there. So even though I've laid kinda low and concentrated mostly on hearts&flowers&love&stuff this summer, it was nice to know that I could still start a halfway decent political riot.


Hey Founding Fathers . . . Stick it!

Yeah, you heard me . . . I mean that bill of rights thingie was written in 1789.

This is 2007 fer' Chrissakes'!

That whole whiny-ass IVth amendment "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." is a pre 9-11 mindset.

We have terra'sts that want to kill us because we are free and buy houses. And we need to get rid of those pesky bureaucratic hindrances to keeping your families safe from the Islamunofascists.

I mean, it's not as if we might spy on Americans for no reason and no oversight . . .

More patriotic than you troop-hating, Osama sympathizers,

-Prodigal Son

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Honorable Ethics

The following is posted at the request of Erik V. Williams, former commissioner candidate:

On July 12, 2007, I wrote to Mayor Debra McCartt and the city commissioners to find out what they might have to say about John Kanelis’ “smell test” regarding conflicts of interest and how it might relate to Amarillo’s elected officials. I here present the letter addressed to them and all responses received.

* * *

To The Honorable Debra McCartt, Mayor of the City of Amarillo; The Honorable Madison Scott; The Honorable Brian Eades; The Honorable Ron Boyd and The Honorable Jim Simms, City Commissioners.

In his Sunday editorial “'Legal' and 'right' don't always match” (Amarillo Globe-News, July 1, 2007) The Principled John Kanelis took the Honorable Joe Kirkwood to task for failing to absent himself from certain votes made in his capacity as Potter County Commissioner. While John Kanelis acknowledged these votes were “legally correct” it was his contention these votes benefited the commissioner and that Joe Kirkwood therefore should have recused himself.

We can only applaud The Principled John Kanelis for his stand and agree that our elected officials should maintain a high standard of ethics. A conflict of interest beyond the legal definition, one that does not pass “the smell test” invoked by John Kanelis, should oblige an elected official to absent him or herself so as to remain above reproach.

Strangely the Amarillo Globe-News seems unprepared to hold the mayor and city commissioners to the same high standard as Mr. Kirkwood. With “the smell test” one might discover a conflict of interest in a city official’s direct or indirect ownership of property or control of downtown investments and the benefits of voting on downtown revitalization. Though posed the question the Amarillo Globe-News remains silent on whether it would suggest the mayor or any of the commissioners should recuse themselves were they to be in such a situation.

One can only speculate as to the publisher’s motivation for failing to uphold the ethics of the Honorable Mayor and City Commissioners, especially those whom the Amarillo Globe-News has so readily endorsed. I will therefore ask you to address, where the Amarillo Globe-News has not, whether the principle invoked by John Kanelis should be applied to Amarillo’s mayor and city commissioners.

Thank you.


Erik V. Williams
Former unwelcome guest columnist and Commissioner Candidate

* * *

July 13, 2007


I haven’t heard from you, so I thought I would respond the best I can. I agree, as do all the commissioners, that when we have a “conflict of interest” item to vote on, that interested party will abstain. As far as downtown is concerned, I feel certain that if we vote on something that someone owns or has financial interest in, then that commissioner will abstain.

Thank you for the question. (not sure why you would think we would do otherwise)

Debra McCartt

* * *

July 21, 2007

I am all over your email.

First, I want you to know that just because it is "legal" does not mean it is moral". Just because attorneys and legislators got together and made a law does not mean it is moral.

We need to always hold ourselves up to be both legal and moral. Your email is duly noted and I thank you for your reminder that I need to always watch what I am doing.

Madison Scott

* * *

I would like to thank Mayor Debra McCartt and Commissioner Scott for their timely responses and affirming they will hold themselves to the highest ethical standards.

Lets Talk About Market Meltdown

I have been getting pummeled by friends/family about the last 3 weeks. Yikes . . . lets call it a correction and move on. What does it mean, and why did Cramer go into hypertensive meltdown? (Sorry for the poor vid) BTW, every biz school will be showing that vid for the next 100 years. LOL

If you took out an adjustable rate mortgage in the last 2 years, your payment is going waaaayyyy up next Jan or Feb. So much equity was withdrawn from homes (to pay for lifestyles that people couldn't afford) that despite a housing boom, people now own less of their homes than before the housing boom in certain areas.

Four points on the macro level:

1. Without mortgage equity withdraws, America's economy would hardly have even budged these past few years. We have seen $197 billion of mortgage resets so far this year. That is less than we will see in two months (February and March) of next year. In the first six months of next year we will see more than the total for 2007 or $521 billion. This means that the number of foreclosures will dump MORE homes into the market.

2. The direct effect of all this real estate implosion is leaking out onto the rest of the bond market in the form of higher interest rates. The higher rates mean companies that want to expand/build or buyout competition can't afford it anymore. And the banks lending the money to theses companies were backing it up with bonds holding . . . you guessed it. Real estate.

3. Under Bush, the U.S. now borrows $2 billion a day from the rest of the world. So what? A weak dollar makes food/gas/living more expensive, which means fewer bucks to offset a higher mortgage payment.

4. The financial troubles aren't limited to America. The rest of the world has been buying our mortgage-backed securities for years, and in an interesting call last week, Jochen Sanio, head of Germany's financial regulator, warned of the worst banking crisis since 1931.

The good news is that this is for the most part simply a re-pricing of risk and that this will get done over the next few weeks and months. It will take longer for Wall Street to come up with new, more credible securities to package debt to get deals done. Transparency will be the watchword.

The bad? If the overseas lending slows down, we will go into recession this year, and President Numbnuts will be the first Pres to be in office for two.

-Prodigal Son

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Oh boy, here it comes...

Glad I'm not retiring anytime soon. I can't believe I just said that.

Bond turmoil worse than Internet bubble: Bear CFO


Jim Cramer is a jackass


Senate passes Bush-backed spy bill

Somewhere in the remote Himalayas, sequestered deep in the recesses of his Obsidian Fortress, the Cigarette Smoking Man smiles.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

When Dav* Attacks

Small-time wing-nut Dav* H*nry took a swipe at lefties this morning in defense of big-time wing-nut Bill O'Reilly. You see, jackass O'Reilly (having taken a break from harassing his producers while sodomizing himself with a vibrator) unwisely picked a fight with DailyKos and spin-off convention YearlyKos, allegedly because of so-called hateful remarks left in the comments sections. O'Reilly pressured JetBlue into dropping it's sponsorship of the YearlyKos, or at least having it's name taken off the list of sponsors. Lefties went through Papa Bear's hate site and turned up threats of varying nature:


Turn about being fair play, lefties trained their sites on Bill O'Reilly sponsors JetBlue and HomeDepot and persuaded them both to drop their advertising. And now Dav* is pissed. Waah waah. Big mean liberals. :(

Something of an interesting side note is this quote:

If Sam sells more right-wing thick-and-juicy T-bone steaks than lefty veggie burgers, this tactic probably won't work.
Dav* engages in the worn-out, unimaginative and easily discredited stereotyping that lefties are all vegetarians. It's like having KISS pass through town, singing the same songs they were 30 years ago. Man, get some new material.

Dav* wrote:

One local Amarillo car dealer representative, whose company advertises on Fox, is almost hoping to get a call.

"That would probably help us," he said with a laugh. "In this part of the country? Bring it on."

Just out of curiosity, Dav*, what dealership are we talking about here? See, I'm in the market for a new car and I'd feel just terrible if I sullied the hands of Good and Righteous Conservative with my hard-earned, terrorist-appeaser dollars. Kind of hard for me to "bring it on" if I don't know who they are.

the rainbow ain't enuf

Only Tascosa High School received the state's lowest rating among campuses in Potter and Randall counties, but ratings do not show the whole picture, an official with Amarillo Independent School District said.

Tascosa received the academically unacceptable rating because less than 45 percent of black students passed the math portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. Only 38 percent of the 154 black students who took the exam passed.

"That is why the entire campus missed being acceptable," Amarillo ISD spokeswoman Becky McIlraith said. "You've got to go deeper. You've really got to understand what's going on."

"It's all about looking at each individual child," McIlraith said. "Some students just need more one-on-one attention."

Oh . My. God.

What folks just have to understand is that Tascosa has a lot of nigras in attendance. Our nice white kids did just fine but them black boys brought us all down. Fortunately, Bush’s Supreme Court is working on overturning Brown vs. the Board of Education so Amarillo can put our colored back where they belong.

This excuse is entirely unacceptable to me, both as a parent and as a human being. I choose to live in Tascosa school district because it is the only interesting part of town, in part because of its diversity. And I believe that my son will be better off for the experience of attending a diverse school.

Furthermore, I teach in a diverse school. Many of my students have only recently learned English. And we are not ranked unacceptable nor do we use our diversity as an excuse. Instead, we seek out solutions that are appropriate for our student body. As a sheltered/ESL teacher, I have been a part of one of those solutions for the past two years

The Tascosa cluster, AISD, and Becky McIlraith owe an apology to the Tascosa community, African-Americans, and Amarillo at large.