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

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

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

On Extremely Short Notice

The Law Offices of Nibon and Mitsu, LLP, Sunbeam Napsters and Feather Toy Chasers, are pleased to host, exclusively for readers of Panhandle Truth Squad, the first ever "Almost But Not Quite Entirely Unlike 'Vino Veritas' Symposium", held this Friday evening August 1st beginning at 7:oo PM at Eddie's Napoli's, located downtown at the southwest corner of Taylor and 7th.

The evening's incredibly short seminar will be on "Troll Bridges, Do We Need Them?" by calamus venenum, a frequent client recently discharged from never to be revealed government custody.

Please look for calamus venenum and his witness protection program celebrity spouse in the beer garden for an evening of food, drink and conversation without that annoying copying and pasting.

Oh, and bring mice.

Speaking Republican

Some writers in this space have gotten a little frustrated trying to talk to Republicans. Not all Republicans, mind you. Just the ones who have graduated from the RTI, Republican Training Institute. It seems that RTI grads do not speak English, but an entirely new language, unknown to non-graduates. In the effort to reduce friction in our community, I have gained access to portions of an RTI manual. Following will be Lesson 1 in speaking Republican.

We'll start with some common phrases to help understand what they are talking about.

"We respect the public."

--The public are gullible ignoramuses.

" 'A' is doing a superb job."

--'A' agrees with me.

"You can't put a number on that."

--The number would be embarrassing to me, so I won't tell it to you.

"Answer my questions."

--I refuse to answer your questions.

"I don't discuss classified reports."

--Somebody else leaked the report for me.

"We know exactly what is happening."

--We have no earthly idea which end is up.

" 'A' is just plain wrong."

--'A' disagrees with me.

"All we want is an up or down vote."

--Drop dead.

"The media are biased."

--The media do not always use our talking points.

"The Democrats will raise your taxes."

--The Democrats will make me pay some taxes.

"We won that argument."

--We got creamed, but refused to admit it.

"We lost that argument."

--We got creamed and someone was stupid enough to admit it.

"We don't make policy based on polls."

--We make policy based upon contributions.

"I say exactly what I mean."

--Sometime in the middle of the night, you'll get tired and drop your wallet.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Trolling for Troll Tolls

There has been some little discussion on how to handle what are commonly referred to in the blogosphere as "trolls." Do you:

1) engage them, countering them with informed reason and logical argument, believing rational debate is possible, only to discover the tiresome futility of squabbling with a tree stump?
2) ignore them in the hope that their narcissistic need to have their skunking of your garden party constantly affirmed will be met elsewhere?
3) ban them, as some blogs have, in effect, done?

Here we demonstrate an alternative, effective, and most satisfactory way of dealing with trolls.

A) Choose a good location, one with a clear vantage point and plenty of space in which your trolls may anticipate a rally or the burning of a Cross. Mark the rallying point carefully. We have marked our spot “I HATE PTS”, guaranteed to draw attention in Amarillo with or without the offer of free donuts, beer and the burning a liberal in effigy.

B) Having drawn the attention of a troll, expect them to have brought an axe to grind, or in this case a club with which they intend to beat in the heads of innocent, naive liberals like so many cute, cuddly baby seals. Wait for it. Remember, many trolls possess lower than average intelligence and will wonder where the rest of the trolls are. Wait for it. Make sure your troll is in position. Quit waiting for it.

C) Release the piano.

D) The piano accelerates toward Earth and the troll because of Earth's gravity. Earth is 4.5 billion years old, while according to trolls it is 6,000 years old. Gravity is caused by the Earth's mass distorting the local space-time field, while for trolls it is caused by magnetism. Today it is irrelevant what the troll thinks. Wait for it.

E) Unfortunately we must censor this scene. Here at PTS we abhor sax, violins and drunken – sorry – smashed musical instruments. A grand piano is a beautiful thing to waist. (Thanks, AGN.) The piano encounters the troll with, according to physics, F=ma; according to the troll: WHAM!

ACME Pest Con-Troll offers a full line of troll elimination products, including safes, anvils, and the ever popular iron weight, all in a variety of sizes and colors.*

So if you have a troll problem, turn to ACME Products for your troll elimination needs.

*Keep out of reach of children. ACME Products are, like guns, tools not weapons. ACME Products not responsible for misuse. ACME Products not responsible for any association or similarity between ACME Products and products used on Saturday morning cartoon shows. ACME Products not responsible for manufacture by slave labor in China, Russia, Myanmar, Mozambique or Texas. ACME Product satisfaction guaranteed for lifetime of troll.

* * *

Euterpe was slain; yet Euterpe lives.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Evil Dewars

What's with all the hating on "Evil Dewars"? One of my fav scotches . . .
-Prodigal Son

Saturday, July 26, 2008

red meat

We learned this month from the wadded-pantastic response to that New Yorker cover that it's entirely possibly to be a part of the more thoughtful side of the political spectrum-- the side that supports education and believes in science, the side populated by college-educated, latte-sipping intellectual snobs-- and still possess a Panhandle Truth Squad troll's understanding of irony.

So I've decided to get all bent out of shape about this image, printed in the August issue of Texas Monthly.

See that? McCain, the white man, is portrayed as a player of baseball, the all-American sport. Obama, the black man, plays basketball. You know, inner city kids. Spike Lee. And is that the subtlest hint of buck teeth on the caricature of Obama?

Horrible. Simply horrible.


Songs that Rock

The anthem of the current administration.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Gotta tell ya, I cannot wait for the new fallout3 game to hit the shelves this fall. Check out the hilarious E3 promo video.

Frikkin' great! That oldie "Dear Hearts and Gentle People" Lawrence Welk-inspired tune playing while you blast mutatated, poverty stricken, and starving former humans, in a rusty nuclear wasteland once known as home, COOL!

Who gives a sheeeet? As a 10-13 year old with no car, no job (Taco Bell on Ross-Osage was a couple of years away) I had plenty of time to hang with the chums and play role-playing games. Waaaayyyy before the Atari 2600 took over my life.

Anyhoo . . . my fav put out was Gamma World by TSR. Kinda along the same lines as Fallout 3, only using paper, pen, and an overactive imagination powered by Star Trek reruns, Blade Runner, Mad Max, Tascosa salsa and chips, and a dash of Thundarr the Barbarian. Holy f**k, was I lucky I got married . . .

Thinking back, nuclear annihilation from the Reds was a threat hanging over us kids because of Pantex. Remember the nuclear drills? I sure as hell do. So why the fun in such a terrible situation?

I dunno . . . interesting to put yourself in the survival situation. Even now as a family guy, makes you wonder how you would react/make do.

-Prodigal Son

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Deception Dollar

Here's the only way ol' Dubya will ever get his mug on any greenbacks. If you like this one, there are several more versions, and can be ordered here. Of course, at the rate the real dollar is dropping in value, the fake ones might end up being more valuable.

Raygun on the Ten-Spot

Nutball Grover Norquist: Time is Right to Put Reagan on the $10 Bill".

. . . "Speaking to the Washington Examiner yesterday, Norquist suggested that the time is right to push that project again. “It sounds like a good time to re-start the conversation about getting Reagan on the $10 bill,” . . .

Time to dig up Ronnie’s corpse, so Grover can make sweet, sweet love to it.

I have a suggestion, put Raygun's face on every US Treasury bond, since this country owes Raygun a debt we can never repay.

OH! Another good one is to paste his face UNDER the stars on the US Flag.

Gawd . . .

-Prodigal Son

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I want names

Who are these "grateful Democrats"?

There's no clue in this article on T. Boone Pickens latest and greatest corporate raid. It merely notes that Pickens has "testified before a Senate committee and held meetings with Democratic leaders" and asserts that

Democrats have welcomed their new friend. In Pickens, they see a powerful political example - a billionaire oilman who doesn't view drilling for more oil as the ultimate energy solution.
Not that I doubt that many of our often-spineless Congressional Dems would be more than willing to hop in bed with the likes of Pickens. I just want to know who they are-- and I hope they don't invest more in the relationship than the cost of an hourly rate at a sleazy motel.

The Dallas Morning-News provides those names, which are unsurprising.

Pelosi, Reid and others should keep history in mind. Pickens' new understanding that his ilk have drained the oil and the fact that he is now looking to steal an entire nascent industry-- wind energy -- as his last act doesn't make him our "friend".

Ask John Kerry how trustworthy a "friend" he is. Ask West Texas A&M. Ask yourselves when you need a shower or a glass of water in a few years.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Captain Nolan Comes To Town

At Sunday's Democratic Party Ice Cream Social at Memorial Park, among the hundred or so guests was a family who arrived late because, they said, they were just passing by, noticed the signs and decided to visit. What an interesting visit it turned out to be.

Captain Patrick Nolan and his family are from Dallas, but were visiting family in Amarillo last weekend. Captain Nolan, a company commander in the 1st Armored Division who had been in Iraq (in Anbar province, to be exact) in 2006, described for about 2 dozen folks both positive and negative aspects of his deployment, and of the strategic situation overall. He noted that the Army in Iraq has had some real accomplishments in the time since Saddam's capture. Those include spreading electrical supply around the country, while during Saddam's rule, almost all the production had been for Baghdad. Another, he noted, was the cultivation of many of the Sunni tribal chiefs who until 2006 had been either directly part of or at least condoned the insurgency. That, he said, was at least as responsible for the reduction in violence there as the increase in troop strength.

On the negative side, however, Captain Nolan said that in his experience, those same tribal chiefs were no more reconciled to living democratically with a Shiite majority than they had been before the so-called "surge". It is not surprising, he noted, that Senator McCain, who says explicitly that the "surge" has "worked", is not eager to begin troop reductions in spite of this "success". McCain even acknowledges that if the American troop presence were removed, Iraq could "go right back to where it was". So, what the good Senator seems to be saying is that we have achieved "success" in the same way as someone marooned in a boat in the middle of the ocean, with no food, no water, no sail and no working engine can claim "success" because they were able to stop the leaking by standing on the hole in the hull. We are succeeding beyond bin Laden's wildest dreams.

Capt. Nolan, a thinking-man's soldier, is a Democrat. He noted that while Republicans talk a good game regarding national defense, "there are more service veterans among Congressional Democrats than among Republicans, and there always have been." He described his personal success in getting his buddies in Iraq to rethink their support for Republicans. And he encouraged those of us in the Panhandle to take heart from that "one heart, one mind at a time" approach. He also recounted the history of Dallas county, which, over the past 20 years, has gone from a staunchly Republican stronghold to a county in which Democrats won every important election in 2006. Those of us who talk to others can see these same changes happening locally. We just have to keep fighting, keep encouraging turnout, and then use the increased support to encourage more candidates to step up and run.

Thanks, Captain, for the visit and the pep talk. We hope to see you again soon.


Bush-McCain Challenge?

It may be tough to tell John McCain from Dubya, but you know, Senator, I've known carrots. I've eaten carrots. And Senator, you're no carrot.
Take the challenge, here. See if you can tell who's who. Or what.

Free Market

The de-regulation and free market faith based pricing sure works dandy! Via salon.com.

"In 2002, Texas sweepingly deregulated its electricity market. Today, a page one story in the Wall Street Journal by Rebecca Smith informs us that citizens of Texas are paying some of the highest electricity rates in the United States."

"Power costs are rising in the rest of the U.S., but everything is bigger in Texas: On a hot day in May, wholesale prices rose briefly to more than $4 a kilowatt hour -- about 40 times the national average."

. . . is there anything about conservative economic policy/Reaganomics that's NOT bullsheeet?

-Prodigal Son

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Potter-Randall Democratic Club Ice Cream Social photos


all you need is love and money

I'll admit to having been something of an apologist for Mayor McCartt, but, frankly, Kanelips, I don’t give a damn. If people really wanted to go around looking for a conflict of interest in the mayor's office, they’d do better to look at her husband's real estate signs that dot downtown which, of course, has been promoted so heavily by the current city commission. I don't give a damn about that, either. If the quality of life in this town is going to improve someone's going to make money off it.

Obviously most Yellow Cityzens share my apathy about potential conflicts of interest in downtown, so it's doubtful that anybody but Kanelips will get their panties in a wad about this Texas Tech employment abstraction.

Will anyone point out the obvious?

City commissioners in this town-- including the mayor-- are paid $10 per meeting. That means that, if people in this town want full-time city officials, the pool from which they have to choose those officials includes the independently wealthy and no one else.

Not that the McCartts are po', but a regular person elected to the city commission has no choice but to work another job. And many jobs would involve potential conflicts of interest.

This is a companion issue to single-member districts which this blog has rightfully promoted. This city will never have diversity on the city commission until city officials are paid a living wage.

Since there seems to be no desire for that to happen -- and little desire for single-member districts -- we can only assume that Yellow Cityzens are perfectly happy to be ruled by the rich.


if you give a rat's behind...

Apparently, the only Starbucks rumored to be slated to close around here is the one in Plainview.

View Larger Map


Potter-Randall Democratic Club Ice Cream Social

When: This Sunday, July 13, from 5-9 p.m.

Where: Memorial Park, west of the gazebo, along Washington St., just south of Amarillo College


  • Hot dogs and ice cream floats, and lots of entertainment
  • Play the Bush/McCain Challenge
  • Dunk Dubya and Dick (and all comers)
  • Sack Race
  • Prizes
Why: Raise some dough for the Democratic Headquarters (there will be a modest fee), come network with local Democrats and have a great time!

See you there...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Today's the-economy-is-going-to-hell news is brought to you by King Decider and his MBA:

Government mulls Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac takeover: report

Is it cynical of me to go looking for an increase in news about Iranian threats after reading an article like that?

Update 7/12/08
Somebody got rich off it all. I guess that's all that really matters, right? Regulators Seize IndyMac

Thursday, July 10, 2008

From the Dept of No Shit Sherlock

Adding to Blogarillo's post below:

Senate bows to Bush, approves surveillance bill

And then:

Congressional Approval Falls to Single Digits for First Time Ever

Connection? Yuh think?!

UPDATE: best comment by socalmonk on kos so far this year, "By the time the election rolls around... the only people left supporting Bush will be the democrats in the House and Senate."

-Prodigal Son

Friday, July 04, 2008

kid, have you rehabilitated yourself?

Gotta say, I despise sanctimonious liberals of this stripe. Longstoryshort, Christopher Hitchens (not the sanctimonious liberal) used to believe that waterboarding wasn't torture until he was shamed into trying it out for himself. He changed his tune, but didn't really call attention to the fact that he had been wrong before. So Chet Scoville (the sanctimonious liberal) at Shakesville sez

Let's not be so fast to say nice things about Hitchens, though ... I still prefer to listen to people who got it right the first time.
One problem-- one of many-- with this self-righteous netcrap is that we, um, lost the last Presidential election. If we are to win this one we will have to depend on many people who have been wrong before to get it right this time, no?



Whothefrak does he think he is, dying on July 4? Thomas Jefferson? John Adams? As if.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

why does the amarillo globe-republican hate the flag?

...on the ground and in the rain!

They should know better!


a question

With Bennigan's closed, and iHop still scary no matter what they say, where will we go for a late night snack in this godforsaken town?


Hey FB f****n I . . .

. . . racial profile this.

POS Tim McVeigh

. . . and this . . .

"Christian" Eric Rudolph

and finally . . .

don't forget about Ted Kaczynski, Harvard Grad.

Any others I missed?

-Prodigal Son

No not "always", probably just "usually".

Reganne Scarborough makes a good point in this LTE. When I was a junior in college a freshman from my hometown was still dating his high school sweetheart. He was 18 and she was 15. It wasn't a big deal until she had a falling out with her parents and fled to Canyon to stay with him. Then the law got involved and charges of statutory rape were being bandied about. The situation was resolved without arrests or anything like that, but he could have very well had that charge follow him around the rest of his life.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

She might be hurting her own cause

I don't know if this kid considers herself a success story or not, but 18 is way too freaking young to be having a baby. She should have followed her own advice for another 7 or 8 years. Whether or not the pregnancy is intended, I still feel sorry for her.

Maybe I should have printed off my advice to Class of '08 and dumped copies from a helicopter on top of all the local high schools?