“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"

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Another Voice - It's Your Choice

Don’t let the focus on Bush and his conservative Christian Taliban turn you away from a situation in Amarillo with people who would be just as controlling, only on a local level.

The Amarillo Globe-Snooze’s editorial Sunday sided with the good-ole-boy power structure again. See http://www.amarillo.com/stories/022606/opi_4059313.shtml

This time Amarillo’s power elite, represented by the Amarillo National Bank’s puppet commissioner, Jim Simms, wants representation of “people who ‘know how to get things done’” on a downtown planning task force. That’s code, folks, for setting up a downtown planning effort to foster the interests of ANB and its friends.

Beth Duke, the executive director of Center City of Amarillo, and Alan Taylor, the city manager, want a group more representative of various ethnic, racial and neighborhood groups. That backs Mayor Debra McCartt’s push to include more people in discussions about the direction of the city and could dilute the power of the elite.

And, of course, making Amarillo more responsive to all the people instead of the few who have controlled things up to now challenges everything for which the Globe-Snooze stands. One can’t help but wonder if the AGN’s position arises from something more personal. Publisher Les Simpson pushed Duke out of the newspaper last year. Does he resent she landed on her feet and, at Center City, contributes more good to the overall community than the newspaper?

Amarillo needs another media voice — one that represents a progressive view of local and national public policy and one that presents local news without skewing content to make the Globe-Snooze’s friends look good and its enemies look bad. The right-wing rag pulled that stunt again in Saturday story on the GOP primary. See: http://www.amarillo.com/stories/022506/new_4069519.shtml

Amarillo’s other media voice now has a corporation and a name: The Amarillo Independent.

The Indy will be an alternative newsweekly offering readers “Real News, Honest Journalism.” It will cover what alternative weeklies like the Santa Fe Reporter or the Austin Chronicle do, but with the twist of some mainstream reporting.

The publisher has gotten an initial infusion of capital and seeks to raise more capital through loans or investors. Anyone who would like to support a progressive media voice in Amarillo should contact newsguygeorge@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

open the doors, let everyone in redux

Gosh, that whole W-selling-U.S.-seaports-to-the-United-Arab-Emirates thang amazes, confuses and disturbs me!

I have nothing to add to the conversation. I just throw that out there because I cannot imagine what the right-wing talking-point defense of this action could possibly be1, and I am curious. But not so curious as to head over to LGF or Freeperville. I just took a shower, f'r Chrissakes.

So, anyway.

"Gosh, that whole W-selling-U.S.-seaports-to-the-United-Arab-Emirates thang amazes, confuses and disturbs me!"

Over to you, CT and/or Bo. Educate me.


1I'm guessing it will either be research about Clinton selling something to someone or a condescending lecture about the global economy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

open the doors, let everyone in

I wish I could get excited about the goobernatural primary. But I find myself wanting to strangle both candidates. Today it's Gammage.

Gammage seems to be racking up some endorsements and is presenting himself as a "real progressive." I have to question what he means by that, however, when he sends out e-mails like this:

On his campaign website, Bell initially proposed altering the Top 10 percent plan to eliminate automatic admission to the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University and would allow only for automatic admission to these University of Texas and the Texas A&M University systems. The UT and A&M systems would then select which university -- such as University of Texas Pan American, University of Texas El Paso or Texas A&M Kingsville) -- the student would attend removing the students freedom to choice.
Gammage goes on to claim that
Education experts and organizations representing minority interests fear that the Bell plan would create a separate but unequal system that punishes students attending smaller, under-funded or lower-performing high schools. Students graduating in the top 10 percent from these schools would automatically be at a disadvantage when compared to students graduating from wealthier, higher-performing and predominantly Anglo high schools. In addition, the so-called "feeder" universities are already experiencing rapid growth but are under-funded. The Bell plan would steer more and more students to these already strapped schools.
Frankly, the top 10 percent plan does not work in Texas. Gammage claims that the feeder schools (like WTAMU) are under-funded and "strapped" but the flagships are in similar straights. U.T. is bursting at the seams and no longer accepts students who apply after October of their senior year. The admissions office has very little latitude to accept students who are not top-10 but may have other talents because they have to keep space open for the five gazillion top-10 students in Texas.

A plan like Bell's that guaranteed acceptance but allowed students to be appropriately placed would alleviate the crowding and maintain the prestige of Texas's most elite public universities. Furthermore, Gammage's fretting that students from "under-funded or lower-performing high schools" seems disingenuous. He should find a plan that would serve to fund those schools adequately to improve their performance rather than simply giving up on them and hoping the colleges can fix the kids.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cheney Redux

OK, enough with the parsing of the softball FAUX news "interview"

The sitting vice president shoots a 78-year-old man with a shotgun while hunting illegally.

Then he avoids the authorities.

Then the administration actively covers up key details.

Then the victim has a minor heart attack. (Such a thing as a 'minor heart attack'?!)

Stuff I wanna know . . .

Did Cheney wait 24 hours before talking with police because he had been REALLY drinking?

Texas has an open container law, where you cannot have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle. Were they drinking and driving?

How does his drinking interact with his medication?

How can we get the traditional media to ask these questions?

-Panhandle Truth Squad

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

your liberal media

I'm actually slightly amazed at the anti-administration slant the Amarillo Globe-Republican is giving to the Cheney-got-a-gun story. I mean, obviously the Panhandle Truth Squad will be here to note the oddity of the turned-away deputy and the fact that the news got out much faster the last time a sitting VP shot a dude, despite the fact that we now use the internet and satellites and not horses to deliver messages.

But at the end of the day, a newspaper worshiping the false god of objectivity ought to be left with this-is-apparently- a-tragic-accident- with-no-solid- evidence-of-any- wrongdoing-yet. I wouldn't blame the AG-R if they framed it that way.

But, no. The Ghostly VoiceTM is all "gang that can't shoot straight" and "bungled operation" and "nonsensical excuses" on this morning's opinion page. And for two days the front page has headlined Harry Wittington as Cheney's "victim". (But, really, aren't we all?)

Not that we're complaining about the slant of the coverage. But, seriously, what's up? Are the editors driven into madness with the realization that, my god, it could have been Our Buddy Boone?


Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Per Atrios:

Things I Learned Recently . . .

"-Every conservative on the internet is an avid hunter and they've all been shot multiple times.

-Shotguns aren't really guns, just toys. You can't really hurt people with them, only animals.

-It's standard hunter etiquette to yell and scream at your fellow hunters as they're stalking their prey.

-The most dangerous place to be is behind the people with the guns."

Any hunters out there disagree?

-Prodigal Son

Friday, February 10, 2006

best headline of the week

"Friday Brings New Prophet Drawing Protests"

I s'pose they mean "Friday Brings New Prophet-Drawing Protests"

But, with no punctuation to guide us, it could also be read "Friday Brings New Prophet, Drawing Protests"

Frankly, the latter is more interesting.


Not all the news today is bad...

Libby: My 'superiors' authorized leaks

Ex-CIA official: Bush administration misused Iraq intelligence

Brown says he's been made Katrina scapegoat

Jack Abramoff Describes Relationship With President Bush

there they go again

There's this wild story going around that the Emperor W has pointed to a four-year-old thwart of a terrorist plot as proof of the need for domestic spying. Let me get this straight. Obviously, this plot was kept secret in 2002 for a reason. Surely the Emperor has been protecting us from knowledge of this plot.

And there is no new reason to release this dangerous information. So why are we hearing about it now? The only reason for the Emperor to tell us about the plot now would be to save his political arse.

The Emperor has far more integrity than that. He would never knowingly expose us to the dangers of terrorism for political reasons. I mean, his whole presidency has been about protecting his American children.

So I don't believe it for a minute. Surely this story is fabricated, the product of a liberal media out to get the Emperor. Poor Emperor. So much he has to put up with.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

This passage in the Globe-Republican's post-SOTU Bush Worship caught my eye:

While alternative energy sources may be a homegrown option, the president maintained that a nation of freedom did not become that way by limiting its potential in the world.
The Ghostly Voice of the Globe-Republican is a big fan of patriotic platitudes, just like Dear Leader. "Liberty this..." and "freedom that..." At first glance, this quote appears to be more of the same. If we look at it again, however, it seems an odd pairing of concepts: "alternative energy" at home vs. our "freedom", which is apparently dependent on our "potential in the world." Like so many things in Bush's America, the truth is hidden behind pretty words. Replace "freedom" with "hyper-consumerism", "potential in the world" with "military strength" and we get a better understanding of what the Ghost is getting at, that our way of life is dependent on our ability to subjugate other countries. Ponder the Ghost's words awhile longer and another problem becomes apparent. Dependency is the opposite of freedom, so in terms of our energy sources we'd be much better off producing at home rather than importing. Of course, when Exxon Mobil is pulling down $36 billion a year in profits there will be little motivation to invest in alternative energy. The American economy is an insatiable beast, and some brown oppressed people somewhere are going to die be liberated to keep it fed free.