Or rather . . . how to be the governing party, part: 5622
Been thinking about this for a while, but yesterday John Cornyn (R-Amphibian) said that senate rethugs are going to try and stop Al Franken from being seated. Whatevah, but . . .
Ya know, with the world's least accountable as well as mediocre news media celebrity industrial complex, it's all about controlling the show. And who can throw up a screen of outrage like the right?
Mitch McConnell (R-Confederacy) hollered against helping Detroit. driving wages for working families down further.
Even Senator Arlen Specter (R-magic bullet theory) is threatening to drag out Eric Holder's nomination as attorney general.
Remember the Democrats the last two years? With a MAJORITY for Chrissakes? Gonzales walked away, as did Rummy, Powell, etc.
Lest we forget all the get out of jail free cards handed out, here ya go.
It's time we faced up to it. We can't be respectful to rethugs, and expect to get it back. Ain't happening. This is the same crew who placed Jim Jeffords pictures in urinals at the Capital Hill Club. YEP, they did. These POS' also HACKED the democrats computers. AGAIN, YES!
This country deserves a break.
I therefore propose the "Temporary American Republican Relief Act of 2009" where you cannot filibuster in the senate without 49%, republicans can only caucus in the cafeteria of a local DC high school, when CONVENIENT for the high school. It expires on 12/2011.
Whadda ya'll say? It's time for the Republican party to join the Whigs. Our country cannot afford them any longer.
"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"
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Or rather . . . how to be the governing party, part: 5622
Posted by Prodigal Son at 8:38 AM
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
From Brandon David Dix at Panhandle Young Democrats:
GoGreenAmarillo is a coalition of different organizations who would like to make Amarillo greener. With so many different groups varying in areas of interests that all fall under "green" initiatives (Curbside Recycling , Water Quality , Green Job Creation/Training , Transportation etc), it just seems natural that we all come together for the "Greener Good" . . .
We just want to make Amarillo a better and safer place. That's it . Not really that "radical" sounding huh ?
As some of you may know the city is actively seeking a consultant firm to update our City Master Plan and we have a petition out in the community for them to a) hire locally, and b) make sure to include green initiatives in said plan.
As a city we have yet to get the full brunt of the collapsing market; however, we would be naive to think that it will not be felt eventually . And with the environment being one of the incoming administration's priorities we have two choices : 1) Burying our head in the sand and praying that we will not be effected, or 2) taking a hard look at where we would like to see our city's future as a competitor in the green collar economy .
Please feel free to write a letter to the editor, the mayor, or anyone on the city committee to express your thoughts/feelings about Going Green . And share them with us at GoGreenAmarillo@hotmail.com . We will have a website up in a week or so and we also have a meeting in January to pregame before we go to the the City for the second time. The first time we had 200 people there . Let's try for 500 on Jan 20th. Happy Holidays from GoGreenAmarillo and from the PYD's . Let us keep in our thoughts and prayers those less fortunate than us and our brave men and women in uniform across the globe.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 9:40 AM
I'm a bit hot & cold on Greg Sagan, which probably goes some way towards demonstrating that he's the onliest columnist left at the AG-R who thinks for himself.
But when he gets on one of his periodic train kicks, I'm with him.
Only problem from his perspective with the rail program currently being batted around is that it wouldn't come anywhere near Amarillo.
Worse, though, is his first commenter, who says "state subsidized mass-transit does not work."
First, as my dear old daddy used to point out before he went stark raving mad on a diet of Fox News and Bush-worship, all forms of transportation are subsidized to some degree by the government. Who you think pays for your roads? Microsoft? Disney?
Secondly, you're talking about transportation in an age of chaotic oil prices, imminent airline bankruptcies, and the proverbial Other Shoe of environmental disaster hanging over our heads. You can pretty much complete any sentence you start about the status quo with the words "does not work."
Maybe the commenter likes his/her Panhandlian bubble, but the rest of the country is going to have to do something about transportation. Attitudes like his/hers will only serve to keep Amarillo what it is and always has been: flyover, or drive fast through, or even perhaps "rail around" country.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 7:52 AM
Has Palin donated her $160k wardrobe to charity yet?
Has Palin paid back Alaskans for the per diem for her hubby as promised?
Is Palin's daughter married/had her baby yet? UPDATE: Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston born yesterday. Mazeltov! Not married yet though IOKIYAR . . .
Just asking . . .
Posted by Prodigal Son at 5:40 AM
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Again with the red light cameras.
We may disagree on whether these cameras are life-saving gifts from the technology gods or boots stomping on a human face forever. But surely we can all agree that John Kanelis is either a fanatic or a writer who has completely run out of ideas.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 1:47 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
John Kanelis is certainly not going to like this.
Using laser printers, Wootton High School students have been creating copies of innocent peoples' license plates on glossy paper, which they stick on the plates of their own cars. The students then speed by the camera in front of the school, which takes a photo of the fake plate number and sends a $40 dollars ticket to them.John loves loves loves him some red-light cameras. His obsessive paeans to the cameras in the Amarillo Globe-Republican have included such statements as "Isn't technology simply grand?" Now, John isn't normally a techno-Utopian who lovingly caresses his stack of old Mondo 2000s. "Retrogade Luddite" would ordinarily be a better description for a man who didn't own a cell phone until a few months ago and uses vaguely antiquated phrases like "simply grand". But he loves those cameras and regularly tears up as he imagines them working perfectly every-- single-- time--
He is certainly not going to like hearing how easy it is to hack them.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 7:36 AM
Insane, Drooling Texas Legislator Reacts by Vowing to Introduce Legislation to Create a Program that Cannot Possibly Exist in This Physical Reality
So much is wrong with this situation I hardly know where to begin.
A federal judge has turned up the heat on the Legislature to develop a new language program for the estimated 140,000 limited-English middle and high school students in Texas.But begin I shall.
U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice rejected the state's request to postpone his order for limited-English students, saying they have waited long enough. The state requested the delay while it appealed the order.
His original order, in July, said the improvements had to be in place by the start of the 2009-10 school year. A preliminary plan is due Jan. 31.
The first red flag pops up with the plaintiffs. This case was brought by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, represented by one David Hinojosa. Already we can see that a large number of English Language Learners will be ignored in this particular debate as both sides try to figure out how to teach their little brown racist fantasies, still wet from the Rio Grande, how to espeak.
I taught ESL for three years in a West Texas town with a population that was fifty-percent Hispanic. Many of the Hispanic kids lived in a satellite community populated largely by Mexican nationals who had come to work in the meat-packing plant. As recently as ten years before I started working there, the town had been a lily-white farming community. The year before I left, the meat-packing plant was raided by federal agents and a number of illegal aliens were arrested. Hispanics-- legal and otherwise-- and plant representatives were frightened out of their wits. They began-- slowly but surely-- to clear out, to be replaced. The first Burmese arrived in my final year. This year, I have heard, there are enough to fill an entire class at every level.
Although the majority of English Language Learners in Texas are still Spanish speakers, demographics can change in the blink of an eye. They have before.
The school at which I currently work, boasts an ESL population that speaks Farsi, Spanish, Burmese, Lao and a smattering of other languages. Because of the growing prevalence of similar populations, it's a bit nuts to create programs based on a dated Speedy Gonzales daydream.
But this is precisely the fantasy that both the plaintiffs and the federal judge appear to have in mind. The Texas Lege is working under a similar delusion, but it isn't news to anyone that Texas Legislators are nuts.
The House's education leader, Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, said he will again offer legislation to provide state funding for dual-language immersion programs to replace traditional bilingual and ESL classes. Under a dual-language program, students learn some subjects in their native languages for half a day and other subjects in English for the rest of the day.Um, no. In the first place, although the very phrase "dual-language immersion" is absurd on its face (a program can immerse students, or teach them in two languages, but not both), programs that are called that do exist. But these programs are certainly not what Texans have in mind. Programs that are called by that oxymoronic phrase are also called two-way immersion. Classes consist of fifty-percent native English speakers and fifty-percent ... something else. Both groups learn the other language. It might not be a bad idea for white Texan kids to learn Spanish, but this doesn't appear to be the goal of "Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands".
In my experience, schools experience a growing process as they deal with an increasing ESL population. They first try to deal with ESL kids as if they were disabled-- sticking the worst in a "newcomer" class and mainstreaming them as soon as possible. This never works, and school inevitably begin looking for other solutions. Eissler apparently wants to keep all the ESL kids in the newcomer class.
There are better ways. I've seen sheltered programs work, for example. I'm actually surprised that the Texas Lege isn't focusing on sheltered programs, since such programs are promoted by Pearson Education, and the Lege historically seems to want to throw as money as possible at Pearson.
Teaching math and science classes in Spanish is a step backwards that won't work, no matter how much Texans close their eyes and pretend that they've created a "dual-language immersion" program. It will cause kids to fail-- especially the kids who speak Farsi or some other non-Spanish language. It will cause schools to fail, since standardized tests cannot be translated per NCLB and state law.
ESL: I do not think that term means what the politicians think it means.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 5:32 AM
Monday, December 22, 2008
These images of the Bushes, the last official propaganda of the Bush presidency, are appropriately dull and dated. (What medium is Laura's painted in? Watercolor?)
Shepard Fairey's "Hope" print, hanging in the Smithsonian next to something that looks like it could have been painted by Frederic Sackrider Remington on a whiskey bender, will speak well over a thousand words.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 9:50 AM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Panhandle Truth Squad welcomes this guest editorial from Bob, an engineering student and old-school geek who lived on the far side of the first floor of McGinnis Hall during my freshman year --SPACEDARK
Pfft! I call Photoshop on 2008. Every other Digg these dayz is some d00d's Top-10 list about the nooz of the year, or a link to a Flickr set showing a year's worth of wars, rumorz of wars, and st0ckbr0kerz jumping out of buildings. OMFG.
How can u have a picture of a rumor of a war? That's just my point. W00t! I call Photoshop on the whole damn year. L2P, n00bs!
Take the subprime mortgage EPIC FAIL, for example. Ever d00d seems to think the whole thing was some sort of a bubble in which people were given loans with payments that seemed kewl at first but then expanded like the amount of hard drive space you need to store your pr0n. Most n00bs understand that there's something fake about the situation, but they don't grok the whole sitch. Here's a truth bomb: the whole thing, the mortage docs, the realtors and bankers, even the fraking houses themselves were Photoshop jobs, and bad ones. W00t! Those lamerz who got pwned by those mortages should have noticed the pixelation at the foundations of the houses and any idiot who zoomed in on the mortage documents should have seen that they used a font that doesn't even exist yet. Plus, I've heard that the shadowz cast by all those brick houses with wood shingles in the far southwest part of town point every which way-- even toward the sun. That's teh suxxor. How hard is it to ray trace a neighborhood?
During the erection I mean election everyone was unjustly accusing Larry Flynt of hiring a lookalike Sarah Palin to make a pr0n called Nailin' Palin. Now, I watched that movie several times, and that was no lookalike. People don't seem to understand that Larry Flynt created Sarah Palin in the first place with Photoshop and morphing software. He just pulled up his archives of secksy librarians, morphed them together, tweaked it a bit, and Sarah Palin winked into existence. Get it? Winked? But in an attempt to increase her hotness he did the bodies and the heads separately. Any idiot can see where he spliced them together.
Her nomination was a freak coincidence. After John McCain admitted he didn't know how to use e-mail, his staff had to sk00l him. They remembered to tell him not to open teh e-mails from the nice Nigerian princes, but forgot to say anything about Larry Flynt. John opened his latest e-mail from Larry and a Sarah Palin popped out of his laptop like a Gator installer in 1999. Larry made another copy and sent it to Lorne Michaels on a thumb drive. Lorne renamed the copy "Tina Fey".
And then there's Barack Obama. Everybody's talking about how he's the first African-American president. I call Photoshop! Everybody's talking about his white mother. I call Photoshop on that, too! He might be lily-white or he might be as black as the 175 million barrels of crude oil hidden in the basement of Dick Cheney's undisclosed location. He could be red or yellow black or white! No one knows! But he's certainly not the color everyone sees when they look at him. Because, right before he declared for president, they put Barack Obama in Photoshop and popped open the ole Hue/Saturation dialog box, and adjusted the levels until they came up with a color that was almost, but not quite, whatever u wanted it to be! Photoshop!
Photoshop! Photoshop! Photoshop! W00t!
Posted by Barry Cochran at 8:51 AM
Friday, December 19, 2008
Read calamus's immediately below. It's far more thoughtful and well-written and, ultimately, worthwhile.
But if you're still here...
A few weeks ago, Panhandle Truth Squad friend and colleague, the redoubtable Mr. Anger, began a post with the captivating words "Bill O'Reilly is certainly not going to like this." Mr. Anger went on to describe some greeting cards that were available featuring iconography such as "Charles Darwin dressed as Santa, and an evolutionary line-up going from the monkey to Santa Claus".
We immediately ordered several, and got them in time to use as decorations at our Monkey Ancestors Day party.
There probably isn't time to order these in time to send out for the Winter Solstice, or Christmas, or Festivus or anything else, but we'd like to return the favor nonetheless.
From The Onion: Santa Claus on a melting ice cap. The sentiment: "Merry Second-To-Last Christmas."
Posted by Barry Cochran at 2:59 PM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
There have been times on extremely rare occasions when we have found ourselves asking why it is stupid people believe stupid things. Put more charitably, why do those individuals with the same intelligence as that of a chicken (and you know who you are) insist on pecking away at their keyboards and come squawking about Panhandle Truth Squad only to show just how retarded they are?
We’re all quite familiar with their derangements. If these persons whose intellectual powers are marginally equal to a parakeet’s aren’t clucking about all Muslims being terrorists it’s Barack Obama being the anti-Christ or American moral decline being caused by hamsters. There has been much speculation of late that their delusional prattling is derived from a single source -- the eponymously named Jackass Magazine. While this may explain the current rash of nominally literate budgerigars, it does not account for their prevalence in history.
What is needed is a more general theory that explains right-wing idiocy both in our blog space and in historical time, a unified field theory or Grand Jackass Theory. It is therefore proposed to sketch out the beginnings of such a theory by examining some ideas divorced from reality and thus gain some understanding of fictive belief systems that have persisted in the face contradictory evidence.
First up is the discovery of the Filbert Islands in the South Seas as recorded in “The Cruise of the Kawa” published in 1921. “Filbert” (as in “hazelnut”) should have been a tip-off, but the public’s suspicions were not aroused even by the extraordinary, fantastical discoveries made in the islands. Among them was the fabulous fatu-liva bird, which laid square, spotted eggs. Photographic proof was offered, and the fact the “eggs” in the nest were identical to dice apparently was no impediment to readers accepting the tale as genuine.
For an answer we turn to one of the greatest detectives in all history: Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately his inventor, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was a dolt. The man who created the detective’s detective, able through scientific observation and deductive logic to penetrate the most impenetrable of mysteries, to thwart nefarious plots, and outwit the greatest evil genius in the world, believed in fairies.
Two little girls, the cousins Elsie Wright and Francis Griffith, claimed to be playing with the fairies in a glen and offered photographs as proof. Many thought the Cottingley Fairies, as they became known throughout England in 1917, were fakes but Doyle was absolutely convinced, using his fame to become a leading proponent and publishing a book, “The Coming of the Fairies”, in 1922. In 1981 the cousins confessed to faking the photos: the fairies were paper cut-outs held in place by hatpins.
How could Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and readers of “The Cruise of the Kawa” have been such boobs? Unlike some people they obviously weren’t complete idiots. But with the pre-conceptions of an unquestioning belief system they were prepared to misinterpret and unable to properly apprehend the evidence before them. Anything that did not fit that system was rejected, if indeed it was perceived at all. Self-delusion became “reality;” fiction became “fact.” For Doyle, he needed to believe fairies existed, to believe in another world that gave his own reality meaning, and no amount of contrary evidence would dissuade him.
Today the editors of Jackass Magazine are manufacturing a different kind of fantasy world: Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery; airliners are leaving chemical trails in the sky; Microsoft will send you money for forwarding your e-mail. It is a world where real facts have little meaning, where reason and logic are mere words, specious claims are proof, and the absurd is unquestioned. If the creator of Sherlock Holmes, surely one of the cleverest men of his time, could believe in utter balderdash, what chance has the modern moron who subscribes to Jackass Magazine today?
Posted by calamus venenum at 10:08 PM
Monday, December 15, 2008
Gary commented the following:
I hope many of you will turn out for a public hearing regarding a proposed halfway house for parolees with a history of substance abuse. This would be operated by the AWARE Program and funded by the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. Those favoring these services were underrepresented at previous hearings.I tutor adult ESL students on Monday nights, so I won't be able to make it to this meeting, but best wishes to all who attend.
I don't have any association with AWARE or TDCJ but I do know this community is lacking in services to treat substance abusers. These parolees are going to return home to Amarillo and it seems obvious to me they and the community will be better served if they transition to a program providing structure, supervision and treatment.
The hearing is Monday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m. at the Aware Program office, 1201 S.W. Eighth.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 4:05 PM
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The LIGHT ... it's so BRIGHT ...
In related news, the notorious troll gaelictexan got ahold of one of our erroneously-addressed invitations and stormed into the house at 1012 S. _____ looking for "damned libruhls". He found only a somewhat bemused elderly couple, but this didn't stop him from throwing a rack of souvenir spoons of the fifty states on the floor, knocking some Black Hills gold off the knick-knack rack onto the shag rug, and throwing several photos of grandchildren at the ficus tree while screaming profanities.
To the elderly couple at 1012 S. _____ , I apologize profusely. Anyone else who was a victim of my complete inability to type a correct number and did not find us a few doors down from 1012 should e-mail Panhandle Truth Squad. We owe you a drink of your choice.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 10:13 AM
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Thought to be permanently lost to "god knows what" a few recent photos have emerged revealing that the famous ven"e"mous one may still be around. Here is a photo taken off the coast of Newfoundland just two months ago.
Then a few weeks later this image emerged from the wild Beardlands of Pennsylvania.
Shortly thereafter more evidence rumbled in that Calamus may still be riding that "Highway to Heck" with this image taken in a bar in North Hollwood.
Then there is this image. Is this just some random pirate taken on the beardy main, or Calamus after using lots of Grecian formula?
Finally, this image was taken just two nights ago at the local strip mall just outside a small building called Santa's Wee Village. What the hell happened to Calamus Venenum? Will he be sighted at the Monkey Ancestor Day party?
Posted by lequino at 1:44 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
A couple of thoughts without any research. Being economics challenged, could someone tell me why, with the proper vetting and repayment plan, the government won’t give bailout money directly to struggling homeowners so that they could keep their houses, repay the loans and the lending institutions won’t have to deal with a bunch of empty houses to keep up? Could it be that the lenders want to sell the houses twice?
And as far as the carmaker bailout, besides laying off a bunch of workers (union folks) what will the executives do with the labor force while they “restructure”? Will they keep manufacturing vehicles no one wants to buy and add them to their already burgeoning inventory? I think Michael Moore says it best: “This new president and this Congress has to say to the Big Three, ‘I’m sorry, but this car thing isn’t working out’ . . . If we give you $34 billion, we’re going to own your ass.”
And one more – Spacedark, in that first sentence in the second paragraph, does the question mark go inside or outside the quotes?
Posted by The Liberalator at 7:24 PM
Monday, December 08, 2008
This post is personal. John Wesley is rolling in his grave.
After all, the worst President EVER has to have a library somewhere, I guess.
But as someone who grew up in the Methodist church, having Dubya setup shop at SMU, (I used to jokingly call it the "Republican Replication Machine" because of all the rich rethug kids that attend, and then go to work for Daddy's firm), is disgusting. He is not an alumni (But Laura is), or connected to it other than claiming he was Methodist. The only reason to have it there was that he intended all along to live in highland park Dallas where the university is, the movie-set "Ranch" not withstanding.
But that is by-the-by. The real issue at stake is the fact that it sickens me for Southern Methodist University to agree to slip a neocon partisan policy center into the mix.
And does anyone really believe that the "Think Tank" will NOT be devoted to “polishing” the GWB legacy, as Dubya lied about last week? Yes, a Frikkin' LIE.
Remember that Dubya has sealed up his records, and that Karl Rove is heading up the "Bush Legacy Project", and you get a stinking pile of historical revisionism.
Bill Berkowitz sums it up, "The really big extra embedded into this project appears to be what Bush insiders are calling the Institute for Democracy. Modeled after the Hoover Institution, a long-time conservative think tank located on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, Bush's institute would hire conservative scholars and "give them money to write papers and books favorable to the President's policies," [emphasis mine] one Bush insider told the NY Daily News. "
After just a little of my own research, I found that such an institute is EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED by SMU’s own Articles of Incorporation, which stipulate that church-owned land can be leased for religious and educational purposes ONLY. I guess kissing Bush's ass is now educational?
Coupla questions here, because I paid my own way through school:
1. How much $ will the students have to pay for maintenance of the damn thing?
2. How much $ does SMU get from our offering plates through the Methodist church?
Just asking. Anyone know? Thoughts?
UPDATE: more HERE
Posted by Prodigal Son at 8:02 AM
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Judging from the number of comments and "helpful advice" under Prodigal Son's post, my opinion, stated above, is the minority view.
And it flies in the face of all advice on how to build a following on a blog, but I've been thinking about the old-fashioned virtues of waiting until you have something to say before you say it.
In the political season recently ended, I personally haven't found much to say that 100 million other bloggers haven't also been saying.1
But, over 4 1/2 years, much of our writing has been as solid as anyone else's in Amarillo. Our signal-to-noise ratio beats that of most blogs. We're not usually news-- few blogs are, and I doubt any of us will ever have time to be unless someone wants to start paying us for this-- but there is still, in this brave new OMFG and LOL world, a place for saying what you do say with style and panache. And for waiting until you can do so. Here's my advice for anyone who likes what we say, but gets frustrated when they check our site and we don't have any new material: get an RSS reader and put us on it. I like Google Reader myself, but there's a ton of them out there. That advice might sound a bit let-them-eat-electronic-cake, but we're not Marie Antoinette and our readers aren't peasants (not yet, anyway: give this economy Bush left us with time).
My point is twofold: this is a hobby for all of us, and hobbies weren't meant to be stressful. And more content doesn't equal more quality.
At least that's what I think.
1Well, maybe only half those blogs are political, so 50 million. And maybe only 3/5 of them lean leftward, so 30 million. I haven't found much to say that 30 million other bloggers have also been saying.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 7:58 AM
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Last Sunday (11/30) Tom Paukin, genius former republican party chairman, quoted the Wall Street Journal which said that other states should "be more like Texas" as an economic model. I quickly pulled up a list giving Texas rankings (a little dated, but still close to accurate), and wanted to mention just a few from about thirty scores: Texas teachers' salaries, 38th of 50; high school completion rate, 44th of 50; highest number of children living in poverty, 2nd in the nation; highest number of children without health insurance, 2nd in the nation; highest percentage of Texans without health insurance, 2nd in the nation; per capita funding for public health, 48th of 50; delivery of social services, 47th of 50; number of executions, number 1 in the nation; pollution in Texas, 1st in the nation; public libraries and branches, 47th of 50; spending for the environment, 49th of 50; highest home insurance rates in the country, 1st place; and best place for raising children, 48th of 50.
At least, if the other states would follow our example, more than likely some of our ratings would improve!
Posted by The Liberalator at 7:16 PM