“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, March 29, 2007

It keeps getting better and better

It looks like Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NM, is going to get dragged into this. A while back he hired a lawyer.

When will the corruption end.

Daddy, where does money come from?

Nowhere, sweetie, it comes from nowhere.

your dad is the Vice President / rich as the Duke of Earl /yeah you're for me punk rock girl

From comments to Let's Check the Facts -- Again, below:

good post George and a perfect example of why I tire of correcting wingnut misconceptions. You'll correct 10 people in a row and the next one will repeat all the tired arguments.

What's lame about the Globe-Republican editorials is that they're pre-debunked. The Republican spin had been addressed days before that issue was printed. I think we should start responding to Globe-Republican editorials before they show up.

Sometimes you look back on a single historical moment and suddenly everything makes sense. In the second presidential debate of the general election in 1980, President Jimmy Carter was trying to make a substantive point about Ronald Reagan's record concerning Medicare. Perhaps he suffered from the naive belief that voters can be convinced by appealing intelligently to the issues. We've all been there.

Reagan's response to Carter's criticism will never be forgotten by political history. He shook his head, grinned that amiable grin, and said "There you go again." He didn't need to respond in kind. He didn't need to know a damn thing about the issues. He only had to smile a goofy smile and remember the four words that George Will had coached him to say after Will had stolen Carter's debate preparation materials.

The subtext was that liberal Democrats were effete eggheads who went on and on about issues ordinary Americans didn't care about, and the comment was the model for everything that has happened since: nearly thirty years now of sound-bites, parodic mischaracterizations of liberals, and anti-intellectualism. Reagan-- or Will-- or somebody-- had stumbled on to the keys to the kingdom. As in cartoons, dollar signs must have flashed in young Lee Atwater's and young Karl Rove's eyes when they watched that moment.

In college, and throughout the 1990s, I regularly flew into an Irish rage when contending with conservatives my age. They inevitably adopted a snotty 'tude that channeled George Will multiplied by Johnny Rotten. In those days you couldn't even count on the reams of regurgitated talking points that they cut-and-paste into comments sections on blogs today. They would just snort like the prematurely ancient elephants they were and mumble something about Clinton and sex. There they went again. Their noses would curl as if they were driving through Hereford, their voices would go all low and nasal, and they'd say something like "didn't inhale". There they went again.

I didn't understand how young people could be so crotchety and codgerish. I also didn't understand how musicians I admired-- like Johnny Ramone-- could be such wingnuts, but here's the thing: Reagan/Goldwater conservatives were punk rock. At least the theories behind the two movements were strikingly similar. By midcentury-- Reagan/Goldwater dogma ran-- government had become an unwieldy bureaucratic mess of bloated New Deal and Great Society programs. We used to be FDR democrats, many of them announced plaintively. But it's gotten too bi-iii-ig. It takes too much of your mo-ooo-ney. It needs to be drowned in a ba-aaa-thtub. The punk rock ethic, all D.I.Y., all stripped-down, all "three chords and the truth" was much the same. Bloated dinosaur groups, controlled by Washington, D.C. the record labels-- had added too much virtuosity, guitar solos, and prog rock orchestration to the music. The layers needed to be stripped away to get back to what rock-and-roll was really all about.

Sounded good. But the stripped-down punk rock ethic didn't turn out that way and never really existed. There were the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and a few others in the 70s. After that, kids got bored with stripped-down songs with the same three chords. The layers started getting added back in. By the mid-80s, bands like The Police and the Talking Heads-- that had come out of CBGBs and the D.I.Y. ethic-- were well on their way to re-establishing virtuosity and orchestration.

Of course, you still had-- still have-- half a dozen bands in every city with the same pounding thump-thump-thump and the same screaming singer. But here's where both punk rock and the conservatives lied to us: you don't expand freedom by limiting options.

Punk counterbalanced its limitations with the creativity inherent in the D.I.Y. ethic and thus wrote the end to its own story. Conservatives chose another path. They kept the stripped-down style and ditched any ethics behind it. They used "there you go again" and its rhetorical descendants to usher in an era of government spending and centralized control that was almost beyond imagination.

Glenn Greenwald explains the philosophical shift well in the column blogarillo links to below. But I wonder if it was really a shift at all. Reagan spent a hella lotta money, too, after all. Did even Reagan believe in less government? Did the Pistols and the Ramones really want every band to sound exactly the same? Did any of them even think about the natural consequences of what they claimed to be espousing? Maybe for both conservatives and punkers, stripping things down was never more than a rhetorical device, a means to wrest power away from an entrenched structure and seize it for themselves.

Sheena, empowered in the Ramones song, only wanted to break away, to go to New York City and become a punk rocker. The conservatives, of course, had something more sinister in mind.


Today's Glenn Greenwald is an excellent read

From today's Greenwald (emphasis mine):

But neoconservatism -- which is really what the right-wing pro-Bush movement has become -- doesn't believe in any of that, and Brooks' column demonstrates that they are admitting that more and more explicitly. Instead, it touts a radical and authoritarian nanny-statism that seeks, at its core, to provide feelings of protection, safety, and moralistic clarity -- "security leads to freedom" -- all delivered by political leaders using ever-increasing federal government power and limitless militarism. Whether one believes in that radical and warped vision of the American federal government is, more than any other factor, what now determines one's political orientation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

the way we were

I don't read whole diary threads on Daily Kos too much anymore. I fact, I try to limit my time in the diaries on Big Orange in general. They're such time-suckers.

But this one, titled What was your personal "tipping point" moment? drew me in. Reading people's accounts of when they first realized that "something was SERIOUSLY wrong with [Bush's] administration--something far beyond simply being a bad President with bad policies" was such a trip down memory lane. Well, not exactly memory lane. More like memory highway to hell.

There were long-ago infractions like the China spy plane incident and the USS Greeneville's Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign-contributor joyride that ended in tragedy. There were the well-known malefactions like the seven-minute-too-long reading of The Pet Goat. Taken as a whole, the thread becomes a crushing chronicle of mass loss of innocence.

It could serve as evidence in History's indictment of Bush as Divider. The politics of all who vote have been settled for life these seven years. It will be a long, long time before anyone who was above adolescence during this administration will vote for anyone from the Other Side. Bush's evil incompetence was so apparent that it drove all liberals and many independents to willingly vote straight Democratic. These people will never again look at a Republican without seeing that hated smirk. Bush's base-- the right-wingers, fundies and Amarillo Globe-News reporters who make up the 30% that would support Bush if he slaughtered that pet goat in a satanic ritual live on Fox-- were lost to the Democrats before Bush; they are even more so now.

And if you haven't chosen a side by now, you never will. What, are you too preoccupied with drooling and counting the pretty beads?

So when did I know? Well, I never liked the dude. I have written before about the time in the mid-90s when Prodigal Son and I traveled to Austin with the Texas State Employees Union and incited a crowd to chant "Junior Must Go! Junior Must Go!" But, like many people on the Kos thread, when Election Day 2000 arrived, I had no idea that he would run such a desperately, tragically evil administration if he were elected.

The first time my blood froze in my veins was during the fight for Florida. For reasons best not elaborated upon here, I was in attendance at a fundamentalist Baptist country church. And during the sermon the preacher began suddenly to rant about the "bad, bad men" who were trying to steal the Presidency from the wonderful, godly man George W. Bush.

That was when I realized that Bush had an army ready, and that they shared his contempt for the democratic process. And that they wouldn't rest until they owned every last soul in America.


we didn't do this, either



Let's Check the Facts -- Again

Just when we thought the Amarillo Globe-News’ editorial page writers couldn’t get it any more wrong — either for themselves or their columnists — Monday’s editorial about the current crisis of confidence over Attorney General Alberto Gonzales stumbles into view.

I quote it in full because it’s important:

Holding court: While we bet most Americans are responding with a collective yawn over the supposed controversy of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, there is a double standard that is most interesting. Democrats call for the head of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and accuse the Bush administration of everything but Watergate II. Where was the supposed outrage when President Clinton had his attorney general, Janet Reno, fire all 93 — that's 93! — U.S. attorneys in 1993? The dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys — for whatever reason — doesn't seem to stack up to whatever reason the Clinton administration had for handing every U.S. attorney a pink slip.

I don’t know where the Globe-News gets its “bet” that “most Americans” don’t care about the situation with Gonzales, but if that’s the case, it’s a failure of people to understand how our government should work — with integrity. It’s also a failure of the media to paint the picture accurately: Everything in this administration does is based on hardball partisan politics instead of the protection of this county’s Constitution. Further, to call this situation a “supposed” controversy raises questions about the ability to discern the difference between fantasy and reality.

Since every administration replaces U.S. attorneys when it sweeps into office, as it does with other politically appointed senior positions, how does the move in 1993, when President Bill Clinton took office, represent a double standard?

It doesn’t, of course. But since it’s another way for the Globe-News (and other conservative media) to paint the Bush administration as right and anyone who disagrees with the Bush administration as wrong, the newspaper won’t let a few facts get in the way of its harangue.

The “whatever reason” comment is the real clue to what the Globe-News doesn’t understand or doesn’t want its readers to understand. The crisis has to do with turning U.S. attorneys into prosecutors of political crimes. The reasons the administration wanted to push out these attorneys revolved around two key points. First, it was to find jobs for the closest political cronies of Bush’s own Rasputin — that would be Karl Christian Rove. And who knows what political agenda would have tainted these offices of law enforcement then. Second, it was to push out prosecutors who were moving too robustly against fellow Republicans and not vigorously enough against Democrats.

The danger to the country was that Rove, Bush and Gonzales were turning the U.S. Attorneys’ Office into an office aimed at prosecuting political disagreement, something I’ve warned about time and again in The Amarillo Independent. How ironic that Tom DeLay, in a variety of interviews over the weekend, objected to criminalizing politics while his old friends in the administration do that very thing.

In every week this saga unfolds, we’re learning something else about the integrity of the administration. Gonzales said at one point he knew nothing and now we know he was involved in the firings. It goes on and on. The dissembling upon dissembling and the spinning of spinning has gotten to the point where even fellow Republicans are turning against Gonzales. Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said Gonzales has “some explaining to do.” Two other GOP senators, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, also questioned Gonzales’ truthfulness on weekend talk shows.

Rewrite: If the administration’s pattern on almost every issue from Iraq to Katrina to you-name-it isn’t enough reason to demand testimony under oath, then the behavior of the leaders of the U.S. Justice Department fully justifies requiring these officials to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath.

And while the local populace has the right to and should hear opinions of every stripe, they should be exposed to those opinions in the context of facts.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Conservative social engineering at its finest

Texas lawmaker proposes $500 to stop abortions

Does Mac Thornberry Hate The Troops?

H.R.1591: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes.

Mac Thornberry voted "NO" on funding the Iraq War. Why does Mac Thornberry hate the troops?

The Globe-Republican hates the troops, too: War is not a special interest.

gettin' hot in herre? asks Van Camp. Just take off all your clothes.

I'm going to beat calamus venemum to the weekly criticism of Virgil Van Camp. In a poisonous screed about global warming Van Camp included his usual brew of half-truths, no-truths and defeatism of the "can't change nothin, might as well not bother to try . . . 'sides, motherfrakkers, I'm 115 years old and nearly outta here anyways" variety. But perhaps Van Camp's most telling comment was this one, in which he ironically tries to accuse leading Democrats of being out of touch:

Gore and other leading Democrats want you, the peasants, to make the sacrifices in living standards. At one time Gore advocated a $1-per-gallon tax increase for gasoline to discourage driving. He thinks you should give up your two SUVs . . .
Van Camp is the one who is out of touch. He thinks even "peasants" own two SUVs.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

George P. Bush Out of the Frathouse and into . . . Naval Intelligence?

George P. Goes into the reserves as a candidate for Naval Intelligence. Good on Him.

Details HERE:

No jokes please, about a Shrub family member being associated with the word "intelligence" after all, George Herbert Herbert Herbert was director of the CIA.

Jebby's son, who was all over the place during the 2000 prez campaign, went on to get his JD from UT, got a BLT from Mickie D's, and once caught V.D. in D.C. (Info in italics wholly mine and stolen from an old 'In Living Color' skit starring "Frenchie". LOL)

Seriously, the guy was hailed as the "Fourth Coming" by the Rethug goosesteppers. CBS news breathlessly described him as a "Heart Throb".

He certainly is following in Unca Shrub's path of lifetime trust-funded, non-accountability per the smoking gun.com:

. . . . "George P. Bush might be a hunkalicious young Republican, but he still seems a bit creepy. So TSG wasn't too surprised to learn that "P" was involved in a troubling 1994 incident described in this Metro-Dade Police Department report. On December 31, 1994, Bush showed up at 4 AM at the Miami home of a former girlfriend. He proceeded to break into the house via the woman's bedroom window, and then began arguing with his ex's father. Bush, then a Rice University student, soon fled the scene. But he returned 20 minutes later to drive his Ford Explorer across the home's front lawn, leaving wide swaths of burned grass in his wake.

Young Bush avoided arrest when the victims declined to press charges."

He joined up, but will his ass go to Iraq? When will his training be over? Will he desert like Unca Bush?

Will there be active duty IN IRAQ FOR A BUSHIE? Do not hold your breath.

Make no mistake, we have another aristocratic spinoff of the lucky sperm club being groomed to screw up our country again.

The NAME will stir the faithful.

The quasi-military service will tie up the military vote, and allow him to say stoopid shit like Dubya said 2000 (paraphrased), "Iraq taught me that you can't win a war when bureaucrats in Washington get in the way of the generals."

IMO, PTS needs to make sure we have George P.'s service or non-service documented so a future reporter won't get Dan Rather'd.

AGAIN, it needs to be asked, "Is Georgie P. going to active duty in Iraq? Where exactly? and When?"

-Prodigal Son

Tom Delay is proof there is no God...

Hat tip to dailykos.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blue Horse Shoe Loves Anacot Steel

The next time one of you righty chumps out there gets it into your head that the free market is some naturally occurring process that is above manipulation, be sure to keep this bastard in mind:


I know I'll be thinking about him next time my 401(k) takes a dive.

Second Verse, Same as the First

Amarillo Globe-Republican, 04/01/03:
Editorial: Patience a virtue in matters of war

Amarillo Globe-Republican, 03/21/07:
Editorial: Patience is a virtue in war

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Real Class from the AGN

Here it is, in all its tasteless glory:

Truck takes a dump

A trailer became overturned early Tuesday afternoon, slowing traffic on Interstate 40. The accident took place about 1:30 p.m. on I-40, right in front of the eastbound ramp from I-27 onto I-40.

Dozens of bags of compost came out of the trailer and spilled along the middle of the Interstate. The center lane on I-40 is currently closed because of the debris. Two eastbound lanes continue to be open. All westbound lanes are open on I-40. No injuries have been reported.

Bathroom humor, Less? Like the kids in fifth grade? Gee, Less, who are you going to suspend for two weeks this time?

in spellings / things have logic and line / in spellings / there’s a greater design

Education Secretary Margaret "Even Worse Than William Bennett" Spellings sent out a press release last week, in which she robotically used the occasion of Arts Advocacy Day to tout-- yes-- No Child Left Behind:

Statement by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings on Arts Advocacy Day

March 12, 2007

Contact: Rebecca Neale
(202) 401-1576

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today made the following statement on the celebration of 2007 Arts Advocacy Day:

I am pleased to join the many artists, administrators, arts educators, parents, and others in celebrating 2007 Arts Advocacy Day.

The No Child Left Behind Act recognizes the important role that arts have in our schools for a well-rounded education. [!!!] 1

The arts are a unique tool to stimulate and enrich learning. Not only do the arts encourage our children ' s imagination and creativity, but they can also teach lessons of history, math, and other subjects in a more memorable and profound way. The arts also, as President George W. Bush has said, "...allow us to explore new worlds and to view life from another perspective," a critically important skill for today ' s global economy.

Our education system is improving because of the concerns and involvement of so many who advocate for the arts. Leaders in states and local communities can and should ensure that the arts remain part of every student ' s education.
Grumplesnort fiddlewhack. Someone needs to tell Miss Spellings2 that Nickleby is the worst thing that has happened to arts education since Plato wrote his screed calling for poets and artists to be banished.


1My italics, boldface, and shocked exclamation points.
2Get it?

Tim Russert and the Chickenhawls

For those of you who didn't watch the Tim Republican, er, Russet show Sunday (you understandable cowards!) missed a real treat. Timmy boy pitted two chicken hawks, Tom ("I'm afraid of guns") and Richard ("I've got flat feet") Perle against retired vice-admiral, Naval Academy graduate, six sea tours, Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak and ex-congressman Tom Andrews, director of Win Without War (WWW).

Tom and Richard, the expert military strategists and brave military men they are (I don't have to tell you neither have any military service) put forth all kinds of advice, the usual republican facts and figures and republican b-s, and got eaten up and spit out in small pieces by Congressmen Sestak and Andrews.

If you didn't see it, it's worth a look-up!

The Liberalator

We've seen the enemy and the enemy is... uh...well... it's...you see... I ... uh...

Tony Snow declared the war spending bill up for consideration is a victory for our enemies. What he fails to mention is who that enemy in Iraq is. Sunni? Shi-ite?

Perhaps Tony doesn't realize that most Americans have now educated themselves well enough to know that the war has never really been about terrorism.

So who is the enemy in Iraq? We know you have to have an enemy Tony. We know guys like you can't live without your precious enemy, without someone to mistrust, someone to hate.

Tony I think I know who you think your enemy is... It's those damn f(*&(rs that disagree with you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Victory in Iraq

“Iraq is peaceful, united, stable and secure, well-integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.”
In other news today, March 19, 5436, President Bush CCXVI declared Operation Iraqi Freedom “Mission Accomplished” and said troops should be coming home any year now.

Can't afford that vacation home in Santa Fe or Taos?

How about Detroit?

Houses cheaper than cars in Detroit

Saturday, March 17, 2007

well, that didn't take long

Despite my attempts, documented in comments below under "I didn't do it. . ." to establish a dialog with people I profoundly disagree with-- and despite my offering of proof that I had not wronged them in any actual way-- I just now attempted to sign on to the TalkAmarillo successor Country Roads, less than three hours after I initially registered, and was greeted with this:

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I assumed the admin of Country Roads would let this discussion go forward. So I didn't bother to screen shot or cut-n-paste the comments about PTS to which I'd like to respond. Some folx from Country Roads have even agreed with the opinion that we should be able to see and respond to comments about us. So I'd appreciate sympathetic-- or even unsympathetic-- readers who believe in honest discourse and the Marketplace of Ideas to e-mail me at panhandletruthsquad@yahoo.com with the relevant text. A caveat, however: I no longer feel a responsibility to ask permission before I quote Country Roads in full.


Candidate, Drinking Liberally Party

An inside source says that during Friday’s Drinking Liberally gathering at Mulligan's a poll was secretly taken by the firm of Nibon & Mitsu, Sunbeam Nap-takers and Feather-toy Chasers, LLC.

The question was:

"If the election for Commissioner Place 4 were held today, for whom would you vote? meow"

The results and implications are quite interesting:

Jim Simms..........................0%
Fransetta Mitchell Crow.......15%
D. C. Chamberlain................2%
Erik Williams.....................55%
Shiner Bock.......................85%
Purina Cat Chow................10%

(Results have a margin of error of +/- 91.354674456389%)

The firm of Nibon & Mitsu, Sunbeam Nap-takers and Feather-toy Chasers, LLC. have been given little treats and had their contract cancelled. The inside source got a bit of cheese and escaped.

Further, the campaign fund, with the help of blogarillo’s generous donation, has now swelled to $11.83. It might have been more but the waitress thought some loose change was tip money.

What He Said

Sub-prime Loans and the Failure of Credit Welfare

I whole-heartedly oppose any lender bailout. Let 'em fail.

I wonder where our up-by-your-bootstraps Congressman will land on this issue?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Candidate, Silly Party

While we enjoy the wailing and gnashing of teeth with the defunctification of TA, let us witness another sign of the End Times.

As of Monday morning Jim Simms was running unopposed for Commissioner Place 4. As of Monday evening he had three competitors. As the race now stands:

Jim Simms
Erik Williams
Fransetta Mitchell Crow
D. C. Chamberlain
Yes, that Erik Williams: Former* guest columnist for the Amarillo Globe-News; conservative tail-twister; rhetorical bomb-thrower; bigot-basher; red-neck baiter; wine and cheese eater and all around flaming damned liberal.

*Blackballed by bigot enablers and apologists, he thinks he is feuding with the AGN over Virgil Van Camp like an ant feuds with a dead whale. Still, since they are balanced and fair, wise and courageous and apoplectically apologetic, there is bound to be a nice write up and an endorsement any day now.
Sources say he’s already raised an astonishing $3.17 this week and his wife has said she might think about voting for him. Watch out Simms!

death on two legs

He doesn't make the freakin' music. All he does is find mediocre, banal twaddle and inflict in on an uncaring public that should know better. He's a series of links, that's all.

Hey, you know what? The guy's a meatspace blog.

Maybe all of us out here, throwing out links and snarky comments should start whining about how we deserve $100 million.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

I didn't do it . . .

I'd like to say that, despite my well-documented, (hmph!). . .issues with TalkAmarillo and the Amarillo Globe-Republican, and the TA inmates well-documented hatred of PTS, I had nothing to do with Freeperville West's untimely1 demise. I'd like to say that, but the latter is no longer documented (rimshot!).

But, seriously, folks, I haven't posted on the place since I got booted off it back when that Wolf guy was but a Puppy.2

Also, I have an alibi. See, here we are being carried off by a giant, otherworldly insect:

Which brings me to the main point of this post. If you've driven back to the Yellow City from Santa Fe via Las Vegas (which I recommend, though it takes a tad longer), you've seen this view. It's the spot where last dregs of the Rockies run out of steam and the Great Plains opens up. And damn, if them flatlands don't look a hella lot better from this vantage:

The original graffiti on the rock read, "God Bless USA". And you know, though that sentiment has, lo these many years, been much-abused and nearly ruined by nationalistic a-holes, when you see it posted over this Lewis-and-Clark-like view, you feel its original impact, and you can get behind it.

So, anyway, if there are any old, lonesome TA rednecks out there, feel free to post here. We'll ignore you until you go away just like we have all of our other trolls.


1 Untimely because belated.
2 I know, I know. Jason Justin (stupid, spacedark! stupid! stupid!), I trust your word, man. I no longer claim I was kicked off because of politics. But I was booted, that's an objective fact, and I'm a guy who can take a hint.

An Apologia

This is a sign of the End Times. We have witnessed two apologies from the Amarillo Globe-News over chickens and hospitals. We have wondered if Less Simpson would next apologize for Van Camp’s fact uncheckered twaddle (Camp Latrine Spreads HIV).

Now comes an apology so unexpected, so unimaginably unforeseen that even atheists would think Hell had frozen over. It is so improbable that for it to happen by chance or purpose we can conceive of it occurring only after the universe had aged to trillions upon trillions of years, becoming a cold and darkened infinite expanse with every star a leaden cinder. Still, there are other desolate voids where calamus venenum may make an apology to Virgil Van Camp.

Yes, I apologize to Virgil Van Camp for taking him to task for the bogus statement that

"The newest scourge sweeping the world, HIV/AIDS, is believed to have originated in African chimpanzees being used to develop a Hepatitis B vaccine.”
Because it ain’t his.

He may think his great knowledge of civil aviation and those high flights aloft extends his expertise to the broadest horizon, when it is obvious his myopic vision has hardly wandered past his own cockpit. Whether it is Kerry’s combat experience or Muslim religion, the socio-economics of third world countries or American civil rights, he might as well be reading a British imperialist tome about the one-legged people of Mumbajumba upside down without oxygen at 20,000 feet.

But this man who lets us know he is such an expert, who reads volumes about his subject, who researches his material in depth, cannot be credited for not having a clue about the origins of HIV in Africa. He thought homosexuals in Africa gave it to heterosexuals.

Since the chimps and the Hepatitis B vaccine story was not Van Camp’s original origin for HIV, I humbly apologize.

Now, you may think this begs the question of where them African homosexuals got it. The problem is they didn’t. HIV in Africa has been and is being spread by heterosexuals. But for Van Camp it must have come from gays, cause it’s a gay disease, and his entire piece is about morality and disease punishing the wicked, and aren’t gays immoral? So once again a little prejudice has been neatly covered up.

But if the chimp/vaccine story isn’t his where did it come from? Another apology: it didn’t slip past the fact checkers at the Amarillo Globe-News. It came from the fact checkers at the Amarillo Globe-News.

Any comment, Mr. Simpson?

Pissing Contest: Enough

That's President pissypants trying to push his way past the Big Dog to be first through the door at the opening of Bill's library.

Bear with me a minute . . .

I took the fam to Disneyworld this past week, and I discovered that time travel IS possible.

You get that same sense of excitement walking through Main Street USA when you were small with a million possible rides ahead, the castle in the distance and a grin on your face, and when YOUR kid says she wants to ride on Dada's shoulders, all seems to be right with the world.

One of the things I remember as a youngster was the hall of Presidents and watching Lincoln come alive and give the Gettysburg address, so you just know I dragged the family in. It was nice and cool in the auditorium.

The plain vanilla animated intro started, the curtain/screen parted and all 43 presidents were standing there, not just Abe. Ok, kinda cool. They looked at each other, the audience. A narrator says (paraphrasing), "At all times in our history, the American people have chosen the best among us to lead in time of trial and peace."

Wait a sec . . . isn't Nixon up there?

Moving on, he names all 43 prezs', and then, HOLY SHIT, the Bush animatron stands up and gives a stumbling attempt at high falutin' flag wavin' complete with musical score and a whole lot of 64 cent words. Robotic, but oddly lifelike anyway. And then I notice . . .

Bush and Clinton both have on dark navy suits. Both have red (power) ties. Both look near identical and it hits me.

All of the Bush years in office have been about getting back, at those hillbilly Clintons, those damn dirty hippies, the enemy (Bush calls democrats the enemy in a past Texas Monthly article), those meanies who called Poppy Bush wimpy, but especially those Clintons.

Do we need this anymore? Do we need another cycle of paybacks with us in the middle? If Hillary wins, what Republican offspring/scion will be called forth next to "FIX" our country. George P. Bush followed by Chelsea?

Any democrat is better than a rethug, but if Hillary is in and serves 2, we will have had two families as head of state for 24 years.

No aristocracy and their courtier infighting for this guy.

Am I way off?

-Prodigal Son

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Drinking Liberally, March

Calling all progressives! We will be having a Drinking Liberally event, Friday the 16th of March at:

Mulligans Sports Pub
2511 Paramount Blvd

7:00 pm
Friday the 16th of March

Look for our mascot, Howard the Star-Spangled Donkey:
What is Drinking Liberally? . . . from the national website:
"An informal, inclusive progressive drinking club. Raise your spirits while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher. Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place to talk politics. You don't need to be a policy expert and this isn't a book club - just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent frustration and hang out in an environment where it's not taboo to talk politics.

Bars are democratic spaces - you talk to strangers, you share booths, you feel the bond of common ground. Bring democratic discourse to your local democratic space - build democracy one drink at a time."

Come prepared to relax and talk politics with friends of a similar mindset in a Low Stress Environment. The first pitcher is on us!


Friday, March 09, 2007

Camp Latrine Spreads HIV 03/09/07

Looming apologia from Les Simpson? Don’t be stupid.

Here is another one that got by the Amarillo Globe-News’ stable of expert fact checkers and even past Les Simpson who reads and vets every column before allowing it to see the light of day before his reading public.

In Mr. Van Camp’s screed on “We can choose to live without sexually transmitted diseases” he favors Darwinian evolution so he may reinterpret “survival of the fittest” to enfold the millions dying of AIDS in Africa. His message is that the entire African continent of darkies are unfit and catch HIV because, unlike us in America, they are immoral and promiscuous. One gets the feeling Mr. Van Camp would feel right at home directing a eugenics program.

His most outlandish claim?

The newest scourge sweeping the world, HIV/AIDS, is believed to have originated in African chimpanzees being used to develop a Hepatitis B vaccine.
This is completely bogus, an urban legend amongst the right-wing conspiracy crowd. HIV originated in chimpanzees and was transmitted to humans through “bush meat.” The virus can be traced back to the 1930’s long before any vaccine research it is supposedly connected to. Cheeta is really beating the bushes mad about this lie.

Van Camp then rambles on to the current brouhaha over Governor Perry, Gardasil and protecting women from the papillomavirus. The main nonsense he extracts from this is:

What does it say about our society that 11- and 12-year-old girls might need protection against a virus which can infect them only if they are sexually active?
What does it say about Mr. Van Camp and his ilk making bogus assertions and misleading statements, all to deny protection to adult women from cervical cancer?

AIDS and other STDs are what a doctor friend of mine calls "lifestyle diseases."
Let us remember that good Dr. Frist thinks AIDS can be transmitted through tears and sweat. Is that a lifestyle? For Mr. Van Camp people should simply be moral and wait until marriage. That will solve everything. Let us neglect the fact women still contract the disease even then.

Actually the only way to absolutely, positively guarantee the end of sexually transmitted diseases, even after marriage, is to not have sex at all, period. Let the religious right protect themselves with that for a generation or two. One wishes Virgil’s parents had done that.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In Honor of the Libby Verdict

As we move into the fifth year of the war in Iraq, we now hear Vice President Dick Cheney serve as the point man for an administration that continues to lie to the American people.
Words mean so much and this despicable man is using them in a calculated way to denigrate and defame those who disagree with him and his administration — isn’t it clear by now who is really running the show? — by saying they give aid and comfort to al-Qaida.
This rude, insulting and arrogant vice president said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Penn, validated al-Qaida’s strategy. How far away was that from calling Pelosi and Murtha traitors?
Cheney didn’t say it outright, but his goal was to get us all to feel that way, so he came pretty damn close as far as I’m concerned; and perhaps as far as Pelosi and Murtha are concerned, too.
Pelosi complained that Cheney had attacked her patriotism because of her suggestion that American troops should leave Iraq. Cheney’s rejoinder to her demand for an apology, as reported in The Boston Herald, not a lefty rag, was: “My statement was that if we adopt the Pelosi policy, that then we will validate the strategy of al-Qaida. I said it and I meant it … I’m not backing down.”
These verbal hand grenades came during Cheney’s trip to the Far East and gave more support to Samuel Johnson’s aphorism that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
But there are some dirty little secrets about the war and this administration’s lies you’ll want to think about critically.
For example, last week, British Prime Minster Tony Blair, ever the administration’s lapdog, announced a major draw-down of his country’s troops from Iraq.
Cheney and his spinmeisters decided to claim this was a good thing. The British troops were leaving, according to Cheney in an “exclusive” interview with ABC, because things were going well and it was an affirmation of the administration’s policy.
Of course, when the Democrats, or anyone else for that matter, suggest we draw down or otherwise reduce our role in Iraq, they’re accused of “cutting and running.” I can’t for the life of me understand why, then, the Brits aren’t accused of the same.
Let’s review some of the lies from this administration that relate to the invasion of Iraq:
• Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
• Mission Accomplished!
• The insurgency is being defeated.
• There is no civil war.
• Our troops are well equipped.
• The returning wounded troops are getting the best medical care possible.
Need I go on?
But there’s more to this than the administration wants you to know and it affects every soldier on the ground.
First, let me note that an Internet search of “rules of engagement” and “Iraq” will bring you more hits than on a doobie at a rock concert.
Second, and here’s where folks need to pay attention, after you wade through the Web sites to understand the Rules of Engagement, you should talk to some of the grunts on the ground. I have and I have talked to some of their officers and got some solid information.
No, I won’t rat out my sources, and no, I didn’t check with the Pentagon because their PR machine is part of what’s keeping Americans from knowing what’s really going on.
At the start of the invasion, the ROE let us fight right. If a sniper shot at our people from a rooftop, we responded by destroying the house. Civilian casualties may have ensued, but the effect was that neighbors wouldn’t let the enemy use their area to fight the good guys — and make no mistake, American soldiers are the good guys. Responding with overwhelming force prevented American deaths.
The rules have changed. Now, our guys have to call back to headquarters, get permission to return force and then can do so only proportionately to the force dished out.
This is the bottom line. Our military’s hands are being tied and it’s sacrificing the blood of our young, of Iraq’s innocents and of some 800 contractors
Last fall’s election were much more of a call for change than an endorsement of the entire Democratic party. But with a two-party system, it’s the only way we can change the course of our foreign and anti-terror policies.
Now, George “I am the decider” Bush, in the face of democratic elections at home, has unleashed this execrable man, Cheney, to besmirch his own countrymen while he and Bush rattle sabers at Iran.
We need to remember the lies now and through the next election.
Our soldiers deserve no less.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Pitbulls Terrorize Amarillo

Pitbulls are savaging Amarillo. These animals are killing our pets. These beasts are attacking our peaceful citizens. There have been editorials. There have been many letters to the editor, including two more today, yet still these ruthless, illiterate creatures are brutalizing our community.

While these animal attacks are real are we focusing on them not for themselves but because of something else? In psychology there is a defense mechanism called “projection,” where a patient or even an entire society will project onto another individual or group issues they cannot admit or resolve.

Our entire community is being abused by something beyond our control. Our sensibilities are savaged by uncivilized brutes every week and we are told we can do nothing.

We could call the humane society, but not all pitbulls have four legs.