“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, November 18, 2010

 The race for the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives continues its nastiness, but at least I have to give Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, credit for distancing himself from the injection of hyper-Christianity and right wing silliness into the fight.
"I think it's wrong that they do it. We need to stick to the issues of the state, and that is not one of them," an article in Thursday's Houston Chronicle quotes Chisum as saying.
By recapitulation, a group of right-wing, hyper-Christian whackos have attacked current speaker Joe Strauss, R-San Antonio, because he is Jewish.
My acknowledgment of Chisum's behavior doesn't mean I believe he is redeemed as a legislator. Like most politicians, he is undertaking a politically expedient step that might get him in trouble with others who would support him.
In fact, I consider Chisum dangerous.
Like so many conservatives of his ilk — as opposed to thoughtful conservatives who understand what public policy should be about — Chisum is one of those who continues to be hypocritical about keeping government off our backs while trying to shove it into our bedrooms. I have come across a video that I have edited to show Chisum at work in the legislature in 1993. It is funny, but to some the language, even though it is spoken of the floor of the House, might be offensive. And, the late Molly Ivins quotes some folks (it's not clear who) using language that might also offend. Nevertheless, if you enjoy a laugh and are not offended by a few off-color words, take a look at the video.

But there is a more important issue at stake here. It seems there is an awful lot of silence in the Panhandle about this injection of anti-Semitism into the speaker's race. No other legislator has issued a statement; or, if they have, they have not issued one to The Amarillo Independent. Nor, has the corporately owned right-wing daily alleged newspaper jumped on this with an editorial distancing itself from this fray.
I can understand how some legislators might see this issue has too hot to handle.
I could say I don't understand why the other media hasn't reacted so negatively to this turn of events in the speaker's race. But, I do.
And for now, I will leave it at that.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Proposed downtown master developer troubled

What's it all about, Wallace?

By Gina Haschke, Greg Rohloff and George Schwarz
The Amarillo Independent

The principals in the development firm that the Amarillo City Commission is considering as the master developer for downtown revitalization are no strangers to litigation, with one of the firm’s showcase Houston area projects the subject of a foreclosure and lawsuit. And, those same principals, David G. Wallace, and Costa Bajjali, are on the periphery of an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission fraud investigation.

Last Tuesday, Wallace, co-founder and chief executive officer of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, L.P., impressed city commissioners and staff with a presentation touting his experience with developments in his hometown of Sugar Land, where he served as mayor until 2008. He also touted his firm's developments in other cities, including Waco and the Houston area.

(See the video of Wallace’s presentation here.)

But at least one development has soured — the Creekmont Plaza mixed use commercial development in Fort Bend County.

According to a petition filed June 10, 2010, Frost National Bank foreclosed on the Creekmont Plaza Development in Missouri City.

The two men took out a loan of more than $1.9 million with Frost in August 2008 as the general and limited partners in Creekmont Plaza Partners, L.P. and personally guaranteed the loan.

“Despite demand for payment of the balance due, Mr. Wallace and Mr. Bajjali have failed to pay the balance due,” the petition alleges.

The petition states that the property was sold in a foreclosure sale in April at the Fort Bend County Courthouse. But the sale, which brought $1.1 million, was almost $820,000 short of the loan amount. At that time, taxes on the property were also overdue.

“The delinquent taxes for the years 2007 through 2009 were in the amount of $157,494 if paid in March of 2010, plus the 2010 taxes and the Defendants are jointly and severally liable to Plaintiff for the taxes plus interest thereon as allowed by law,” the petition alleges.

The petition asks for payment of the shortfall of the sale, interest, court costs and lawyer’s fees.

All the defendants have entered a general denial and, as of Monday, the case is set for trial in March 2011, according to Harris County District Court records.

A search of additional Harris County District Court records shows Wallace involved in several other lawsuits, including litigation in 1995 with Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Wallace’s former business partner in several United States-based businesses.

How much Downtown Amarillo, Inc. is aware of all the court actions isn’t clear.

Melissa Dailey, executive director of Downtown Amarillo, Inc., said she had done “quite a bit” of background research on the firm. She said she had not looked into the Thatcher alliance in detail, but added, “I’m more interested in his development activities here in the United States.”

When asked about a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, she said she was “aware of the situation.”

It has little negative reflection on Wallace Bajjali, Dailey said, adding, “In fact, it’s a positive.”

Daily wouldn’t discuss the matter further, saying instead Wallace would talk about it when he was in Amarillo in the next week or two “because he knows the details much more intimately than I do.”

Several calls and repeated messages left for Wallace for comment were not returned.

The SEC investigation focuses on Kaleta Capital Management, or KCM, and a Houston business known as BizRadio, and may yet reach Wallace and Bajjali or some of their business entities.

The year-old litigation — the SEC filed suit Nov. 13, 2009,— names Albert Kaleta and KCM as defendants in a claim that they defrauded investors of $10 million.

According to a July 2010 update on the receivership website , “Based upon the recent inclusion of BizRadio in the Receivership Estate, negotiations have now been commenced with respect to potential liability of the Wallace Bajjali entities and their principals with respect to investments by members of the public in BizRadio directly, and in other related investment vehicles. To date no agreements have been reached with respect to these matters.”

On Monday, Thomas L. Taylor III, the Houston attorney who is overseeing the SEC-ordered receivership of KCM, said neither Wallace nor Bajjali or their entities are yet named in any of the court papers but he would also neither confirm nor deny that they could be pulled into the federal investigation at a later time.

In negotiations with Taylor, Wallace has paid back $92,348 and Bajjali has paid back $45,550 to date, according to the publicly available information.

Taylor said negotiations are ongoing about further repayments by Wallace and Bajjali.

Nevertheless, DAI’s Dailey said Monday, “We have not come across anything negative. When we looked into it in detail, it all was positive.”

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


It's been a long time since I've posted here, and I no longer have time to make it a habit, but November is close and the Vice-President is telling us to stop whining.

I have an Orange Hat displayed proudly in my loving room. My left-leaning Democrat credentials are in order.

But, FWIW, here is my perspective, circa 2010: Dude chose to make teachers (and unions, and gays, and etc.) into his Sisters Souljah, dude should have known he'd lose those of us who prioritize those issues. That's the way the game is played.

You stop whining, Joe Biden.

Show us the light between Arne Duncan and Margaret Spellings, and we will vote for you. Show us progress on Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell, and we will vote for you.

Hell, just show us progress of any kind. Show us change we can believe in... not philosophically, but existentially.

You ran on change? Change something, dude. Anything.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Must Read

Although this is dated, it's is as true today as when it was written. The site is:


Also If you haven't read Garrison Keillor's "Home-grown Democrat" it is also a must.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

For Moderately Confused:*

On the general principle of contacting employers about the outside activities of employees you would, all things being equal, tend to be correct, but the particulars in this case are not equal.

First, it is Mr. Grisham who has drawn attention to himself, making himself a public figure. That is what demonstrations are for. By these acts he has given up a right to privacy as far as this activity and the public record are concerned. In stark contrast members of the Swingers Club have chosen to maintain their privacy and, no harm being done, should have some right to it.

Second, Mr. Grisham's motivation in contacting employers of Swingers Club members was to further his mission to expose, harass and intimidate with the explicit threat of (and realized) termination by employers. On the other hand The Amarillo Independent's inquiry could not "expose" someone who was already a public figure whose outside activities were already known. And making investigative inquiries is what journalists do (not self-appointed pastors) which was meant to illuminate, as said in the piece, whether Pantex had talked to Mr. Grisham about his outside activities.

Third, supposing certain members of the Swingers Club were in high-security positions, their private behavior (however libertine) cannot be said to pose a real risk to their employment (other than termination) or community, nor should their work influence what is essentially a passive (restricted) private behavior. The same cannot be said of Mr. Grisham, who has proven to be aggressive, threatening and deceitful, whose employment gives him access to weaponry (he’s not patrolling Pantex with a soda straw) and who therefore could, conceivably, pose a risk both to the community and his workplace.

A final and obvious point is that Mr. Schwarz’s contacting Pantex was to confirm or deny rumors that Mr. Grisham’s superiors had asked him to “cool” his outside activities. If the rumors were true it is Pantex not respecting the personal freedom of its employee, to put it in your own words, not Mr. Schwarz. In asking that this rumor be confirmed or denied Mr. Schwarz was not interfering with Mr. Grisham’s employment status or personal freedom. Mr. Grisham’s contacting of employers was to inform on employees, to deliberately harm their employment and damage their personal freedom. That is hardly the same thing.

Your proposition on all counts is therefore undermined.

Let’s not pretend here. Most anyone who believes a nature preserve is a pagan cult center or an espresso macchiato is the devil’s work has got to be off their nut. Mr. Grisham has a First Amendment right to be off his nut, but he does not have a right to impose his beliefs on others -- except in Amarillo.

Were he any other run-of-the-mill Amarillo nutcase who worked for an auto parts dealer, or ran a religious radio station, or taught history at WT, and had access to your everyday Amarillo stockpile of automatic weapons, he could be laughed off as just another extremist clown. But he is not ordinary. He works at Pantex at the pleasure of Pantex. Maybe he’s just guarding paperclips. Maybe he’s guarding W82’s. No one knows whether he’s mentally competent to do his duty or not, or whether he’s a deluded ticking time-bomb.

But we know Mr. Grisham is into taking people down, and escalating his tactics. Normally it is only a matter of time before people like him cross the line. His sympathizers want the rest of us to ignore him and do nothing. Perhaps we should just wait to watch John Alan Jones before a congressional panel trying to explain how he did nothing to stop David Grisham from blowing up an Amarillo gay bar resulting in 165,000 casualties, mostly Republican.

*With apologies for the delay. But you deserved a cogent response.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Pantex stonewalls on Grisham

Reporters, editors and publishers hear rumors all the time. It comes with the territory.
Sometimes those rumors can be discounted or confirmed because people who have the information cooperate and provide the information journalists can use to craft a story.
Other times, of course, rumors stay just that because the information just isn’t out there.
Then there are the rumors that should be confirmed or denied, but the people with the information just won’t cooperate.
The latter situation exists in our own community and it should not, because it concerns our collective safety and it concerns a large institution funded with taxpayer dollars.
And my telling you about this will give you an insight into institutional arrogance right in our own backyard.
David Grisham, the force behind Repent Amarillo and its aggressive attacks on those with whom Repent and Raven Ministries disagree, is a guard at the plutonium playground north of town. An armed guard, by the way.
I’ve heard for several months that B&W Pantex has told Grisham to cool it — to be less vocal and less visible.
But Grisham scares some people. After all, he and his crowd aren’t harmless little protesters who march up and down the sidewalk spouting their beliefs.
We’ve documented extensively that Repent went after members of the swinger’s club, to the extent of calling employers. In short, those who fear Repent do so because they’re not sure if he might go off the deep end and launch some kind of assault.
Remember the Hutaree in Michigan last spring? Members of this hyper-Christian group were allegedly going to attack the police and had a cache of arms that could make for a serious assault.
Richard Rhone, a co-owner of Furrbies, is one of those people who worry about Grisham’s stability. On a couple of occasions Grisham has protested in front of the eatery on Sixth Avenue. Rhone was concerned enough to call Pantex and, according to Rhone, he spoke to Terry Cox, whom Rhone described as the head of the security contractor over on the radiation ranch.
I did what any reporter would do. I called Pantex, and, following their rules, went through one of their public information officers, in this case Laura Bailey. You can’t really talk to anyone with Pantex and working with Bailey gave me flashbacks to Los Alamos, home to Los Alamos National Lab, and one of the most dysfunctional towns I’ve ever seen. The PIOs for the lab are some of the slipperiest characters you’ll ever meet in journalism. Since LANL and Pantex work so closely together, it was no surprise that Bailey’s job wasn’t really to help the public with information about a contractor who works for the taxpayer.
One indicator that Pantex isn’t really serious about working with the public is their protocol. They don’t answer questions. They put out statements.
The next time you hear or read a story from Pantex, know that it is a totally engineered response. Bailey said it’s because everything has to be “classified.” National security, my friends, is often the refuge of a scoundrel who wishes to keep public information hidden.
So, what statements did I get from Pantex?
Here is the direct response that Bailey e-mailed to me: “B&W Pantex has not spoken to Mr. Grisham about his personal beliefs or activities conducted during his personal time.
“The opinions of Mr. Grisham do not represent or correspond with that of the company, and Mr. Grisham does not represent the company during his personal time.
(Statement attributable to John Alan Jones, Chief Counsel, B&W Pantex.)”
When I asked the direct question about whether Cox had talked to Grisham about his activities, Bailey wrote Cox “categorically denies ever having spoken to Mr. Grisham on any subject.”
And when I pushed for more information, here was the written response:
No one within the B&W Pantex management team has spoken to Mr. Grisham.
B&W Pantex has appropriately considered Mr. Grisham’s outside activities and found no employment concerns.
Mr. Grisham has a Constitutional right to express his personal opinions during his personal time so long as they conform to the law and do not involve issues of security concern. The opinions of Mr. Grisham do not represent or correspond with that of the company, and Mr. Grisham does not represent the company during his personal time.
B&W Pantex has no appropriate basis of concern to this point involving Mr. Grisham’s activities outside of work. It is not appropriate for the company to speculate on issues with our employees, therefore, B&W Pantex will not provide further information on this subject.
Then there is the cute little line, “(Statement attributable to John Alan Jones, Chief Counsel, B&W Pantex.)”
It’s laughable, really, to think I am going to play this silly game. I didn’t talk to Jones and I am not going to attribute any of this stonewalling to him.
So, while Pantex regales us with its wonderful safety record, we are never going to really know if one of its guards is a risk to the community.
It’s a neat little package we’re getting from nuclear nirvana.
Our tax dollars at work.
George Schwarz: Editor and publisher of the Amarillo Independent. george@amarilloindy.com

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

UPDATE – Top Globe-News editor gone

The Amarillo Independent has unconfirmed reports that Dawn Dressler, executive editor at the Amarillo Globe-News is no longer with the paper.
Dressler’s blog is no longer on the Globe-News’ website.
And Tuesday evening, Publisher Les Simpson and Valerie Bintliff were seen going through Dressler’s office, according to a source close to the situation.
The Independent is seeking further information and awaiting an e-mail response from Simpson.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

America Founded As Muslim Nation

There are many strange and peculiar claims made by fundamentalists and right-wingers to support their notion that America was founded as a "Christian Nation". Many are cherry-picked quotations from the Founding Fathers or arguments about the origins of our laws that are entirely specious. Few "proofs", however, seem as contrived and tenuous as pointing to the original founding documents and claiming that "even the Constitution of the United States was dated ‘in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven’”.

This line is buried in the ratification clause, Article VII, the very last article of the main part of Constitution. This all too slender reed is simply evidence of mere convention, just as A.D. or B.C. is used to indicate periods in history rather than one's religious persuasion. To give "in the year of our Lord" more import is like arguing the Soviet Union (when it existed) wasn't really atheist because it used the Gregorian Calendar out of faith instead of convenience.1

Interestingly, a mere glance at the Declaration of Independence, whether in .pdf form, facsimile, or even the original in Dick Cheney's bunker being used as a coaster beside his easy lounger, shows the very first line proclaiming: "In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776."

What we should first notice is no “in the year of our Lord” but the date and its use of Arabic numerals, clearly an overt reference to Islam. July is, of course, the month named after Julius Caesar, a pagan Roman dictator. The rest of the phrase and the document are written in English, which conservatives have never given a second thought to but which has great significance.

Because fundamentalists believe the King James Bible is the original Bible, they quite naturally think English is a Christian language. They seem totally unaware that English had its origins amongst the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, who were pagans.

Recognizing this, the Founding Fathers, had they truly desired to establish a "Christian Nation" based on Judeo-Christian values, would have chosen a traditional Judeo-Christian language with which to express those values. Hebrew immediately comes to mind (from the Judeo part) thus “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.” would have appeared as

“ההצהרה האחידה של השלושה עשר ארה"ב של אמ”.

It must be remembered, however, that the Declaration of Independence was being addressed to the King of England, George III, who, like George Bush II, was not the brightest bulb in the box, and therefore a Hebrew text showing up from the colonies might have been a tad confusing for him.

Another possible language was Aramaic, the very tongue Jesus used, but perhaps there was a dearth of Aramaic speakers in the early colonies. Greek, the original language of the New Testament, was another excellent candidate for Judeo-Christian founding documents, and the famous opening line of the Constitution would have appeared as “Εμείς πληθυσμός των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών, προκειμένου να συγκροτηθεί μια τελειότερη συνδικαλιστική οργάνωση”.2 But as we all know Greek did not catch on in American life and never got beyond college fraternities and sororities.

We are left then with English, and forced to conclude that its use as a pagan language was quite deliberate, and that the Declaration of Independence is in fact a pagan document with a special allusion to the Muslim religion. The only nod the Declaration of Independence actually makes to Christianity per se, and this out of convention, is to the calendrical system established by Pope Gregory (Gregorian Calendar) instead of Julius Caesar3 (Julian Calendar) by setting the date as July 4th instead of June 23rd.4

Let us return now to the non-Christian influences in the Constitution of the United States of America.

Once again we discover that it is written in English, a prime indicator that it is a non-Christian document. Further, we notice that the enumeration of the Articles in the Constitution is in Roman numerals. As the founders were not papists or Jews who still use Roman numerals to date their encyclicals or movies, one can only conclude that this is a reference to the pagan Roman numbering system of Republican and Imperial Rome, which, to put it lightly, found Christians rather suspect.

Coming after the Roman numerical headers we find Arabic numerals to mark the sections and clauses. Once again this is the Founding Fathers' obvious cultural and religious reference to Islam. It even demonstrates their knowledge of history, its import, and their desire to convey it by subtle means: Mohammedanism came a thousand years after the Roman Republic, therefore Arabic numerals come after Roman numerals in their text.

Returning to the headers, the use of the term "Article" to delineate the main parts of the Constitution demonstrates that journalists (who write articles) heavily influenced the writing of the Constitution. This is further confirmed by their plug for a free press in Article I of the Amendments. Some scholars argue that English (i.e., pagan) teachers were involved and making double-entendres on definite and indefinite articles, but as this is too obscure it is not generally accepted.

The subdivision of the Articles into sections and their hidden references has long been ignored. Had journalists or English teachers determined the nomenclature of these divisions one would have expected the use of the terms "Paragraph" and Sub-Paragraph". The word "section", however, means an entirely different group is behind this organizational pattern, and considering that the Land Ordinance of 1785 had been passed just two years before, dividing up new townships into 36 mile-square blocks known as "Sections", we have our answer in land surveyors, developers and property agents crafting a major portion of the Constitution.

Further evidence of land ownership shaping the very heart of the Constitution is on display in the Bill of Rights. Each Article of the Bill is an Amendment, which would go unnoticed were it not drawn from gentlemen farmers and gardeners who used soil amendments every day. Were they telling us, cryptically, that the Bill of Rights was the soil amendment to the Constitution, allowing the nation to grow and flourish?

Finally, had the Founding Fathers wanted to establish a truly "Christian Nation" founded on Judeo-Christian principals they would not have been shy about expressing those principals in the founding documents. They had a perfect model in the Bible, and could have cited each line in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution by chapter and verse (e.g. I Book 8:15). Instead they used non-Christian, pagan, and highly secular terms. They were so averse to Christianity that the clause in Article VI against a religious test for holding office, long interpreted as an enlightened exclusion of religion from government, is in fact a reflection of the Founding Fathers' distaste for Sunday school pop quizzes.

We can now see why the Constitutional Convention was held in secret and few records were kept. In a country heavily populated by fundamentalist Christians a secular government established by Muslim-pagan-journalist-English teaching-land surveying-gardeners might not have gone over so well. Yet over two centuries later right-wing Christians claim the nation's origins as their own. This is either a tribute to the Founding Fathers' clever subtlety, or conservative Christianity's fundamental stupidity.

1 Some Christians did in fact use this argument during the Cold War so that really, we had nothing to fear from a nuclear armed Christian Soviet Union. The Gregorian Calendar is named after Pope Gregory XIII, Bishop of Rome from May 13, 1572 to April 10, 1585.
2 “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union,”
3 Also inventor of “Et tu, Brute?”, Caesar Salad, and Orange Julius.
4 See second sentence of footnote No. 1

Sunday, June 20, 2010

BP's sordid history from BBC

From BBC, the sordid history of BP's corruption:

In 2006, a US congressional hearing accused BP of "unacceptable" neglect of pipelines in Alaska after it was forced to shut down oil operations in Prudhoe Bay because of leaking pipes.

In 2007, the company was fined a total of $373m by the US Department of Justice for environmental crimes and committing fraud.

The fine included $50m relating to a Texas refinery explosion in 2005 that killed 15 people and injured 170 more.

The largest single fine of $303m related to a price manipulation scam in the propane market.

Last October, BP was fined a further $87m for failing to correct safety hazards at the Texas refinery.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jackboots On Rye

The citizens residents (AP style) of Amarillo have pretty strong opinions about private property rights and intrusive government.

Years ago there was a gentleman who had turned his property into a veritable junkyard. For years the neighbors complained that the overgrown lot, ramshackle buildings and rusting hulks constituted an eyesore, health hazard, and threat to their property values. The city commission, after numerous letters asking the owner to tidy up, danced around the idea of hiring someone to forcibly do the deed. The Amarillo Globe News editorialized that whatever menace garbage and rats and filth might pose to certain sensibilities and the public welfare, the commission was correct to proceed cautiously, to tread lightly, on what obviously constituted a government intrusion upon inviolate private property.

And who can forget the brouhaha over the proposed ban on smoking in restaurants and bars? Whatever the merits of public health or lives to be saved, private property rights trumped all. It was argued that such a ban would be government run amuck, a gross violation of Texans' sacrosanct privacy and property rights. If passed it would lead to an erosion of those rights, allowing government ultimately to invade homes and bedrooms without let or hindrance.

You would think then that truly, here in Amarillo, a man's home is his castle, well guarded by law, tradition and opinion, and even should the moat alligators eat a neighbor's dog or child or two, it would be seen, however grudgingly, as their own damn fault as trespassers had it coming.

Imagine then the shock of a private property owner (i.e., yours truly) receiving a letter from the local government (i.e., city hall) charging that said property owner’s property had become a public nuisance.

It was not because of your typical, overlookable "nuisance" like radioactive drinking water or toxins in the food or cow flatulence in the air. It was because, of all things, “HIGH GRASS” (i.e., the lawn needed to be mowed).

This ominous notice was no friendly reminder like those sent by Corleone Home Savings telling you you're a week behind on a 200% interest loan. It threatens action, with another inspection to be held on a date printed in portentous bold numbers, and a contractor to come do the job if you don’t do it, plus an administrative fee and taxes, and a lien against your property if you don’t pay up, all in the name of keeping “Amarillo clean”, a city festooned with plastic grocery bags on every elm and barbed-wire fence.

There is no denying the grass had gotten a bit tall, tall enough to hide the pants on a herd of midget buffalo, if you could get them to wear pants and stand on the Chevy up on blocks, but yours truly has not been well lately and has a bad back, which has impaired yours truly’s lawn-mowering capabilities. That doesn’t carry much truck with the Building and Safety Department, but is the restricted visibility of midget buffalo britches a legitimate reason for limited government to impose itself upon a free people?

Incredibly, the law states that not only are you responsible for the grass on your own property, you are responsible for the grass and weeds between the property line and the curb, which is public (Sec. 8-3-118). That means a private citizen resident (AP style) is being held directly responsible for property in the public domain. Isn’t that socialism, or worse, communism? In Amarillo, Texas?

Perhaps yours truly would have been left alone if yours truly owned a derelict, vacant building downtown, visited only by pigeons and vagrants (9th and Harrison), or like Mr. Cumquat, had a sign in the front yard (conforming to regulations of course) demanding “GET U.S. OUT OF THE F**KING U.N.” (sans ** by the way). These offend certain sensibilities but as they comport with the collective conservative view they escape the ire of the local constabulary. Conservatives regularly excuse their offenses by responding “do not read it then”, or “do not listen to it then”. Why cannot yours truly simply say “if high grass offends thee do not look at it then”?

If conservatives can argue their green cash is free speech, why shouldn’t yours truly argue that high green grass is free speech? Isn’t the city threatening censorship? Isn’t our so-called limited and conservative government attacking our third most precious liberty (the right to bear arms and weapons of mass destruction being first)?

And if yours truly’s high grass is private property, isn’t the government threatening to confiscate it? Under the Constitution the government may take private property for the public good, but not without fair compensation. Yours truly is not being compensated, but being forced to pay for the very taking of that property. That is not only unconstitutional, it is socialistic, and probably communistic, right here in Amarillo, Texas!

Under Texas law yours truly has a right to defend yours truly’s private property, and under the Castle Doctrine yours truly has the right to use force of arms to prevent theft. Should some trespasser come to steal yours truly’s high grass by mowing the lawn yours truly has a right to shoot them down for such an illegal, unconstitutional, socialistic, and communistic act.

If this unconstitutional law is allowed to stand it will only be the beginning. It is the thin edge of the wedge. If a tyrannical government can tell you to mow your lawn what is next? Will the fescue fascists tell you what lawn you can grow? Will the Bermuda Bolsheviks take over your garden? Won’t it all lead, ultimately, to the government invading your home and regulating what size your terrarium must be and how to arrange those little stones around the fake blue pond and when to put water in it so the tree frogs don’t shrivel up? What despotism! What totalitarianism!

Now, you might be thinking by this screed that yours truly may have some objection to Sec. 8-3-118. Actually yours truly does not. It is in the public interest to have such a law. Yours truly would be worried if yours truly saw midget buffalo in the neighbor’s yard, especially if they were wearing trousers. What yours truly truly objects to is city commissioners, business owners, and Amarillo Globe News editorialists pretending that all powers of government end at the property line, while private property owners cannot be compelled to act to protect the public's welfare.

Because of them people still have the freedom to die from secondhand smoke, while the common man, forced by law, toils at his lawn to maintain public taste. Thank goodness corpses do not pile up in the street like grass clippings.

So Ron, Scott, or Les, the next time you’re having your lawn mowed think about all the lung cancer patients who have gone on to greener pastures, and what complete and utter hypocrites you are.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Report on president’s visit to Louisiana

The Amarillo Independent has e-mail access to reports from pool reporters covering President Barack Obama’s visit to Venice, La. to assess the impact of the massive oil flow from BP’s now-sunk Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

According to Anne Kornblut of the Washington Post:

Obama emerged from his hour-long meeting inside the Coast Guard station into a light drizzle that instantly became a downpour the moment he stepped outside.”

He walked to a driveway to shake hands with a line of Coast Guard members waiting to meet him, then strode to a podium to make remarks. Speaking in the driving rain — and joking about it at one point — Obama began with a statement on the Times Square incident, calling it a potentially deadly act but refraining from calling it terrorism.

He took no questions.

On the Gulf Coast, he described the oil spill as a massive and potentially unprecedented disaster, and went through the federal effort — saying, again, that the administration had been prepared for the worst from the start. The comments at the podium were broadcast live on TV and there will be a transcript. The logistics of this trip are such that a quickie transcript is impossible for now.

After speaking, Obama boarded the motorcade and drove to do an OTR nearby, meeting with a group of five fishermen under a tent by the roadside. Accompanied by the president of the local parish (county), Obama talked to the men about the recovery effort and said the first priority is plugging the oil spill. After that, he said, protecting the estuaries would be the next priority. And he assured them that BP is on the hook to compensate for financial losses. Obama summoned Thad Allen to join him in talking to the men at one point.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


John Boehner just said democrats are trying to "stifle debate through the disguise of Civility."

What does Boehner know about civility? Let have no civil debates - curse folks, put cross hairs on their locations, "reload," spit on them, call them derogatory names, obstruct - that's the way toward bipartisanship and getting things done!


Bringing Dignitude Back To Presidenting

Like I needed one more reason to think Dubya is a sociopathic f***, he gets caught on film in Haiti, wiping his hand on President Clinton's shirt after shaking hands with a Haitian.

Seriously, though. . . Dubya is an as*ho** is NOT breaking news . . .

But if Clinton had done this, FAUX would run this video 24 hrs straight, with the headline "Bill Clinton; Haitians Are Diseased?" or some such horse sh**.

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Fair and Balanced"

For those of you not familiar with the (cough, cough) Amarillo Globe the headline on Monday the 22nd, the historic day following the signing of the Insurance Reform Bill was "Top Tech execs spend $112k."

Back on page four (at least above the fold!) was "Congress clears historic health bill." Certainly shows who runs the paper. (It goes without saying that Mac "the poor man's representative" Thornberry voted NO.



Here is a wonderful column that you will never see in the (cough, cough) Amarillo Globe.

click here

From the link: "This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry."

Go read the whole thing - it's worth it. (Written by Bob Herbert)


We Have Overcome

This is a long post. It is ripped COMPLETELY from Russell King at talking points memo.

This must be passed on, communicated, posted everywhere, OVER AND OVER.

Just Read IT ALL, it is manifest.

-Prodigal Son


Dear Conservative Americans,

The years have not been kind to you. I grew up in a profoundly Republican home, so I can remember when you wore a very different face than the one we see now. You've lost me and you've lost most of America. Because I believe having responsible choices is important to democracy, I'd like to give you some advice and an invitation.

First, the invitation: Come back to us.

Now the advice. You're going to have to come up with a platform that isn't built on a foundation of cowardice: fear of people with colors, religions, cultures and sex lives that differ from your own; fear of reform in banking, health care, energy; fantasy fears of America being transformed into an Islamic nation, into social/commun/fasc-ism, into a disarmed populace put in internment camps; and more. But you have work to do even before you take on that task.

Your party -- the GOP -- and the conservative end of the American political spectrum has become irresponsible and irrational. Worse, it's tolerating, promoting and celebrating prejudice and hatred. Let me provide some expamples -- by no means an exhaustive list -- of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred.

If you're going to regain your stature as a party of rational, responsible people, you'll have to start by draining this swamp:


You can't flip out -- and threaten impeachment - when Dems use a prlimentary procedure (deem and pass) that you used repeatedly (more than 35 times in just one session and more than 100 times in all!), that's centuries old and which the courts have supported. Especially when your leaders admit it all.

You can't vote and scream against the stimulus package and then take credit for the good it's done in your own district (happily handing out enormous checks representing money that you voted against, is especially ugly) -- 114 of you (at last count) did just that -- and it's even worse when you secretly beg for more.

You can't fight against your own ideas just because the Dem president endorses your proposal.

You can't call for a pay-as-you-go policy, and then vote against your own ideas.

Are they "unlawful enemy combatants" or are they "prisoners of war" at Gitmo? You can't have it both ways.

You can't carry on about the evils of government spending when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts.

You can't refuse to go to a scheduled meeting, to which you were invited, and then blame the Dems because they didn't meet with you.

You can't rail against using teleprompters while using teleprompters. Repeatedly.

You can't rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening.

You can't be for immigration reform, then against it .

You can't enjoy socialized medicine while condemning it.

You can't flip out when the black president puts his feet on the presidential desk when you were silent about white presidents doing the same. Bush. Ford.

You can't complain that the president hasn't closed Gitmo yet when you've campaigned to keep Gitmo open.

You can't flip out when the black president bows to foreign dignitaries, as appropriate for their culture, when you were silent when the white presidents did the same. Bush. Nixon. Ike. You didn't even make a peep when Bush held hands and kissed (on the mouth) leaders of countries that are not on "kissing terms" with the US.

You can't complain that the undies bomber was read his Miranda rights under Obama when the shoe bomber was read his Miranda rights under Bush and you remained silent. (And, no, Newt -- the shoe bomber was not a US citizen either, so there is no difference.)

You can't attack the Dem president for not personally* publicly condemning a terrorist event for 72 hourswhen you said nothing about the Rep president waiting 6 days in an eerily similar incident (and, even then, he didn't issue any condemnation). *Obama administration did the day of the event.

You can't throw a hissy fit, sound alarms and cry that Obama freed Gitmo prisoners who later helped plan the Christmas Day undie bombing, when -- in fact -- only one former Gitmo detainee, released by Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, helped to plan the failed attack.

You can't condemn blaming the Republican president for an attempted terror attack on his watch, then blame the Dem president for an attemted terror attack on his.

You can't mount a boycott against singers who say they're ashamed of the president for starting a war, but remain silent when another singer says he's ashamed of the president and falsely calls him a Moaist who makes him want to throw up and says he ought to be in jail.

You can't cry that the health care bill is too long, then cry that it's too short.

You can't support the individual mandate for health insurance, then call it unconstitutional when Dems propose it and campaign against your own ideas.

You can't demand television coverage, then whine about it when you get it. Repeatedly.

You can't praise criminal trials in US courts for terror suspects under a Rep president, then call it "treasonous" under a Dem president.

You can't propose ideas to create jobs, and then work against them when the Dems put your ideas in a bill.

You can't be both pro-choice and anti-choice.

You can't damn someone for failing to pay $900 in taxes when you've paid nearly $20,000 in IRS fines.

You can't condemn critizising the president when US troops are in harms way, then attack the president when US troops are in harms way , the only difference being the president's party affiliation (and, by the way, armed conflict does NOT remove our right and our duty as Americans to speak up).

You can't be both for cap-and-trade policy and against it.

You can't vote to block debate on a bill, then bemoan the lack of 'open debate'.

If you push anti-gay legislation and make anti-gay speeches, you should probably take a pass on having gay sex, regardless of whether it's 2004 or 2010. This is true, too, if you're taking GOP money and giving anti-gay rants on CNN. Taking right-wing money and GOP favors to write anti-gay stories for news sites while working as a gay prostitute, doubles down on both the hypocrisy and the prostitution. This is especially true if you claim your anti-gay stand is God's stand, too.

When you chair the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, you can't send sexy emails to 16-year-old boys (illegal anyway, but you made it hypocritical as well).

You can't criticize Dems for not doing something you didn't do while you held power over the past 16 years, especially when the Dems have done more in one year than you did in 16.

You can't decry "name calling" when you've been the most consistent and outrageous at it. And the most vile.

You can't spend more than 40 years hating, cutting and trying to kill Medicare, and then pretend to be the defenders of Medicare

You can't praise the Congressional Budget Office when it's analysis produces numbers that fit your political agenda, then claim it's unreliable when it comes up with numbers that don't.

You can't vote for X under a Republican president, then vote against X under a Democratic president. Either you support X or you don't. And it makes it worse when you change your position merely for the sake obstructionism.

You can't call a reconcilliation out of bounds when you used it repeatedly.

You can't spend tax-payer money on ads against spending tax-payer money.

You can't condemn individual health insurance mandates in a Dem bill, when the madates were your idea.

You can't demand everyone listen to the generals when they say what fits your agenda, and then ignore them when they don't.

You can't whine that it's unfair when people accuse you of exploiting racism for political gain, when your party's former leader admits you've been doing it for decades.

You can't portray yourself as fighting terrorists when you openly and passionately support terrorists.

You can't complain about a lack of bipartisanship when you've routinely obstructed for the sake of political gain -- threatening to filibuster at least 100 pieces of legislation in one session, far more than any other since the procedural tactic was invented -- and admitted it. Some admissions are unintentional, others are made proudly. This is especially true when the bill is the result of decades of compromise between the two parties and is filled with your own ideas.

You can't question the loyalty of Department of Justice lawyers when you didn't object when your own Republican president appointed them.

You can't preach and try to legislate "Family Values" when you: take nude hot tub dips with teenagers (and pay them hush money); cheat on your wife with a secret lover and lie about it to the world; cheat with a staffer's wife (and pay them off with a new job); pay hookers for sex while wearing a diaper and cheatingon your wife; or just enjoying an old fashioned non-kinky cheating on your wife; try to have gay sex in a public toilet; authorize the rape of children in Iraqi prisons to coherce their parents into providing information; seek, look at or have sex with children; replace a guy who cheats on his wife with a guy who cheats on his pregnant wife with his wife's mother;


You really need to dissassociate with those among you who:


If you're going to use words like socialism, communism and fascism, you must have at least a basic understanding of what those words mean (hint: they're NOT synonymous!)

You can't cut a leading Founding Father out the history books because you've decided you don't like his ideas.

You cant repeatedly assert that the president refuses to say the word "terrorism" or say we're at war with terror when we have an awful lot of videotape showing him repeatedly assailing terrorism and using those exact words.

If you're going to invoke the names of historical figures, it does not serve you well to whitewash them. Especially this one.

You can't just pretend historical events didn't happen in an effort to make a political opponent look dishonest or to make your side look better. Especially these events. (And, no, repeating it doesn't make it better.)

You can't say things that are simply and demonstrably false: health care reform will not push people out of their private insurance and into a government-run program ; health care reform (which contains a good many of your ideas and very few from the Left) is a long way from "socialist utopia"; health care reform is not "reparations"; nor does health care reform create "death panels".


You have to condemn those among you who:

Oh, and I'm not alone: One of your most respected and decorated leaders agrees with me.

So, dear conservatives, get to work. Drain the swamp of the conspiracy nuts, the bold-faced liars undeterred by demonstrable facts, the overt hypocrisy and the hatred. Then offer us a calm, responsible, grownup agenda based on your values and your vision for America. We may or may not agree with your values and vision, but we'll certainly welcome you back to the American mainstream with open arms. We need you.

(Anticipating your initial response: No there is nothing that even comes close to this level of wingnuttery on the American Left.)

Written by Russell King

Monday, March 15, 2010


Absofrakkin'lute GENIUS!

Excerpt. . .

"Study Questions:

1). During a televised 1954 confrontation with McCarthy, Harvard-educated liberal lawyer Joseph Welch melodramatically declared, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" Do you think this was a case of "shooting the messenger" because liberals were so embarrassed about their woeful record in fighting Communism?

2). Compare and contrast Senator McCarthy and Vice President Dick Cheney. Based on your personal experience, explain why liberals are so reluctant to face up to the dangerous threat from Islamic terrorism.

3). How many card-carrying Communists do you believe are currently in the State Department under the leadership of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?"

-Prodigal Son

Update From the Armed State of Jesusstan (Formerly Texas)

OH FU**! Obama is going to INDOCTRINATE our children!!!! Oh . . . IOKIYAR

Seriously, the Texas Board of Uneducation wants to glorify St. Ronnie? Don't forget to include. . .

  • The 29 members of his administration that were convicted of crimes.
  • His quadrupling the national debt.
  • The Iran-Contra scandal.
  • How he thought trees were the cause of air pollution.
  • Ketchup is a vegetable peeps!
  • How he often failed to recognize members of his own Cabinet when he met them in public.
Any other Ronnie Raygun hits from the 80's I am missing?

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Especially for THIS reason:

Rush Rumproar: I'll leave the US if healthcare passes.

Responding to a caller who asked him where he would go for health care if Congress enacts reform, Limbaugh replied,

"I don't know. I'll just tell you this, if this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented -- I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica."

Have a listen:

WAIT FOR IT. . . Rushie, we all KNOW how much you love those viagra filled SEX romps in the carribean!

WAIT FOR IT . . . Costa Rica has GOVERNMENT run universal healthcare. LOL

Ahhhh. . . FEEL the irony!

-Prodigal Son

Saturday, March 06, 2010

For those who know Bruce Beck

I have been asked by Tanya Beck to convey to Bruce's friends that his condition is more grave than she thought earlier this week. Bruce had a seizure and fell out of bed last night, breaking his wrist and cutting his left eye. He was admitted to Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital this morning and is expected to go to home hospice tomorrow.

While the oncologist has tried to hold out hope so Bruce would keep fighting, the doctor said today that the brain has shifted, in part due to swelling.

Tanya would like to sell one of their cars, a 2008 Toyota (I think Camry) for $13,900 (23K miles). So, one way you can help is pass the word on a well-maintained car being available.

Otherwise, thoughts and prayers are the only things we can think of now. I will keep folks informed as I finds out more.

Amarillo On Dailykos! Wait. . . .Oh, F***!

Christian 'Army of God' Militia terrorizes Amarillo Texas is the headline, and I think that about covers this unholy Taliban domestic terror group located in yellow city.

Yes, Taliban. Yes, terror group. Terror is a tactic. These supposed Christians use the power of the mob to scare the sh** out of people minding their own business. Just like the Taliban, they believe they are called to repress anyone not of their twisted mindset.

Just look at their website, NO I WILL NOT LINK. It has an overwhelmingly military feel to it. These domestic terrorists showed up in hoodies and fatigues.

On the other hand. . . looking at their map, who knew Amarillo was such a rocking place! Woo! HELLLOOO Vegas east! LOL

The Texas Observer has a great article HERE

WE NEED TO UPDATE OUR RECANT AMARILLO MAP, can anyone please help? Post suggestions in comments please.

-Prodigal Son

UPDATE: Is it wrong to hope that a high profile Rethug gets caught up in this hooha?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Stupak is as Stupak Does

Holy sweet frakkin' Mary mother of God. . . Bart Stupak has reared his Christianist FAMILY approved head as health care reform finally gets close to a wrap.

His beef is that he does not want taxpayers to pay for abortions. HEY BART. . . it is already illegal to do that.

This does not stop the crazy from manifesting itself however . . .

And what is this Family thing? A far-right evangelical house in DC that the "Correct" kind of Christians get to stay in for minimal rent.

Governor "appalachian trail" Sanford, and Senator "Cuckholded husband makes payoff" Ensign were also residents. SEE HERE

This place brings you closer to the message of the Lamb of God by helping you rendezvous with your mistresses, cover up lying and graft, and promoting the belief that you are chosen by God himself to be a political bigwig.

-Prodigal Son

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thursday Accountability Check

Just googled "Vernon Hunter" and "Amarillo Globe News": Hits?


No mention = acceptance of domestic terrorism for the local bird cage liner. Prove me wrong guys?

Take a sec this AM, and PLEASE READ David Cay Johnston's article in the Huff Post mentioning Mr. Hunter.

It is outstanding.

-Prodigal Son

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Rangel, another corrupt one

George Schwarz wrote:

The Associated Press reported the following Wednesday

The Associated Press reported the following Wednesday, “Rangel, 79 and a member of Congress for the past 39 years, stepped aside just days after being admonished for breaking House rules by accepting corporate-financed travel.

He called his exile temporary. But he still faces inquiries by the House ethics committee over late payment of income taxes on a rental villa he owns in the Dominican Republic, his use of House stationery to solicit corporate donations to an educational institution that bears his name, and belated disclosure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in previously unlisted wealth.”

It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle the person is on, this is what has created a plutocracy in Congress. If every incumbent hits the bricks in November, it can only help us.

America Founded on Christian Principles: Jim Bunning, Horrible Bastard Edition

"Brother Can You Spare A Job?"
From the "Bush in 30 Seconds" Contest in . . . 2004! WTF!

That cartoon is six years old, and it hits home even more NOW.

Can anyone really argue that the senate is not broken when one jackhole from KY (Jim Bunning) can crap on tens of thousands of our most vulnerable American families for 5 days by holding up unemployment and cobra benefits? Shout obscenities on the floor and pay no price?

Why the f*** would someone do that? He stated that any new spending should be paid for. . . . oh, except for Iraq, the irresponsible Bush tax cuts, and eight years of budget busting sh*t he wanted.

If you watched Harry Reid's press conference about it the other day . . . he sounded less like the FRIKKIN LEADER OF THE SENATE's majority party, and more like gramps bitching about the nursing home cafeteria moving Salisbury Steak day to Monday's from Sunday.

How did Texas' . . . ahem. . . representation do? Cornyn voted against American families today, and Kay Bailey Rocket Scientist did not show up. HERE

If we had ANY kind of self-respecting media in this country Bunning would be made a laughing stock.

This comity thing as a virtue in the senate . . . I dunno, this country deserves better methinks.

-Prodigal Son