“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"

Friday, November 30, 2007

he said, she said, they said

Appropriately in a county named Moore, Dumas is considering putting up a Ten Commandments idol on the courthouse lawn. Supporters include the helpfully-named1 Nort Mowry and Elliot Crabtree.

We’ve mentioned journalistic style books here and there. And in the Judge Roy Moore County News Press article about this foolishness, we see why such standards are necessary. Here’s how the article, penned by Kayte Cook, presented a presentation:

Crabtree pointed out that separation of church and state has gotten out of hand.
Now, normally in newspaper writing, the only word used with a quote is “said.” Not “orated,” not “held forth,” not “pontificated”. That’s because all of those words have connotations, while “said” is relatively neutral. Sure, it’s boring and redundant in an article with a lot of quotes, but at least it doesn’t carry a loaded meaning.

Consider how differently readers of the article might react to this sentence:
Separation of church and state has gotten out of hand, Crabtree drooled.
In this case “pointed out” makes Crabtree’s rant sound like it had some validity.

The article also refers to this Golden Calf these Dumasians want to worship on their courthouse lawn as a “statue” rather than the far more accurate “idol”.

And that, Mr. Kanelis, is what slant looks like.


1Helpful, at least, to a writer who will write a satire ridiculing the whole thing in future, more enlightened, times.

Formerly Known As...

Calling all progressives! The Organization Formerly Known As Drinking Liberally Amarillo will have a Celebrate Your Monkey Ancestors Day party on Saturday the 8th of December at:

Casa Spacedark

Write panhandletruthsquad at yahoo dot com for the address.

7:00 pm
Saturday the 8th of December

Bring your own bottle and come prepared to relax and talk politics with friends of a similar mindset in a Low Stress Environment.


How To Diss Your CARMA

I want to follow up on the heads-up and comments on the Amarillo Globe-News (AGN) editorial "Survey's Worth is Suspect" from 11/23/07 that Calamus offered on 11/27/07.

The editorial was a slippery exercise in how to discredit, diminish, and deride the work of an environmental organization (Carbon Monitoring for Action, CARMA.org) by back-handed implication. It used a cherry-picked story of uncertain source, selective use of facts, and guilt by association to imply that the CARMA website is suspiciously biased, that the US isn't such a bad global warming polluter, and that CARMA associates with ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS (hide the women and children)!

Implication 1. The CARMA website's "worth is suspect" and its "slant is apparent and is a detriment" because it holds a political agenda focused against power companies, the Republican party, and Bush.

I cannot find the purported link to the "news story" that AGN uses to imply CARMA's political bias, not on the CARMA website nor on the Center For Global Development (CGD) website. That CARMA has an agenda or bias is most certainly true - "Action" is part of its name. They clearly state:

"The objective of CARMA.org is to equip individuals with the information they need to forge a cleaner, low-carbon future. By providing complete information for both clean and dirty power producers, CARMA hopes to influence the opinions and decisions of consumers, investors, shareholders, managers, workers, activists, and policymakers. CARMA builds on experience with public information disclosure techniques that have proven successful in reducing traditional pollutants."

Sounds pretty good to me.

But AGN attempts to discredit CARMA and CGD with unattributed quotes from an unlinked story. I smell AGN's agenda here, too. Maybe the odoriferous scent, heavy with hedonic tone, of climate change denial?

Implication 2. The US isn't so bad, because Australia puts out even more CO2 per capita than we do.

The US and Australia are the two major nonsignatories of the Kyoto Protocol, which attempted to set international controls on runaway global warming pollution of the atmosphere. 172 countries have ratified the treaty. Australia's new Labor government, largely elected on an environmental platform, announced its intention to ratify. That leaves the US alone on the refusal list.

When you look at total per capita CO2-equivalent emissions, the United States (pop. 300 million) comes in at 20.4 metric tons per year and Australia (pop. 21 million) at 16.3. European Union countries, who share a comparable standard of living and population with the US, emit less than half the global warming gases, compared with the US.

The US is the biggest global warming gas polluter. We're most responsible for the observed global warming of the past century, and the coming temperature rise already in the climate system pipeline. The Bush administration, after denying human-caused global warming for years, now denies US responsibility to doing anything about it. Omitting the hugely significant role of the US from the editorial is also a form of denial.

Implication 3. CARMA probably doesn't have an open mind (and you might not either) because it has as a partner the Sierra Club, an "environmental activist organization", and we all know that working actively for the environment (wink-nudge) is suspect, or at least kooky.

The CARMA database is well-researched and factual. It's easy to use and gives people a tool to understand an important contribution to global warming, power generation, - who does it and where. That's empowering and if it leads to activism for the sake of the environment, then hurray. We need more activism on behalf of the earth, and fast. And that is eminently useful and worthy.

Dumbing Our Kids Down Part: 3478

Flat Earthers Unite!

Texas science education chief forced out, just a few months before a major curriculum review per The Statesman.

"Proponents of the intelligent design theory of the universe have apparently forced out the science curriculum director of the Texas Education Agency. What precipitated the resignation was that Chris Comer forwarded an email from her office computer promoting a public talk by Barbara Forrest, a prominent academic critic of ID. "

By whom? The wingnuts supporting Intelligent Design (Again!).

Get ready for the boolsheet Panda book being in your kids locker, followed by your tax dollars being spent to defend and lose a dumbass position that has already lost in court in Kitzmiller vs. Dover last year!

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday Briefs: Emissions and Omissions

·Carbon based liberals. Leave it to the Amarillo Globe-News to praise the new Carbon Monitoring for Action data base with one hand and damn it with the other, finding its “slant is apparent,” but then the AGN’s editorial writers know a thing or two about slant. They find it highly suspicious that corporate influence over public policy is being exposed, and that CARMA’s effort is being supported by those dread environmentalists. If only the power companies were running the data base then everything would be just fine.

After a little tiff over a link connecting George W. Bush to a major polluter comes this funny line: “Who are the top idiots who continue to say global warming is still just ‘speculation’?” Well, how about the 98 out of 100 people who write to and editorialize in the Amarillo Globe-News you dunce?

If the AGN thinks CARMA and its “Survey's worth is suspect” let’s remember these critics are the same people that are anti-science, that believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, that dinosaurs walked alongside man, and since the Bible is inerrant, they must think the Earth is flat, the moon is its own light source, and pi is 3. Intelligent Design indeed.

·Eddie McMurray strikes again. Eddie “Mick the Stick”1 McMurray, one of the Amarillo Globe-News’ more incensed wing-nut contributors, blames the low ratings of Congress on their
"appetite for spending on social programs." Mick the Stick, apparently frustrated that his solution to welfare hasn’t been implemented by having the poor put in concentration camps and his barbed-wire investments haven’t paid off, apparently didn’t notice that Congress’ ratings fell when they failed to push back on Bush’s war policy and his undermining of the Constitution.

Poor Eddie, charming rabid ideologue that he is, does get a lot of things wrong. Convinced Clinton was impeached and found guilty and that Valerie Plame wasn’t a covert CIA agent (well, what conservative moon-bat doesn’t?), he is one certified blithering nut case always ready to tear into liberals, and so for the Amarillo Globe-News, a keeper. KABLAAM!

·Kanelis says no to
term limits. Even an argument by a Republican that enthralls Kanelis can’t persuade him to be against term limits. Longtime seniority builds power and empires within Congress, forcing other legislators to bend to their will.

“It's the power, stupid, that makes the system stink to high heaven,” says Kanelis. But his famous nose doesn’t wrinkle. Difficult campaigns against entrenched incumbents be damned. Voters can get rid of an incumbent if they are doing a poor job. Kanelis picks Democrat Bill Sarpalius in 1994 as his example, booted out by the energetic Mac Thornberry.

“What's the lesson here? It all goes to show that term limits already exist.”
What Kanelis fails to mention2 is that Thornberry rode in on the Republican tide of the “Contract on America” reform package, one of its items being term limits. Republicans used it to beat Democrats’ brains out during the campaign as the only way to curb the abuse of power.

Thornberry championed term limits, but once in office that whole limit thingy just went away, and Kanelis has been making excuses for him ever since: Well, Thornberry supported it, but he didn’t promise anything! Now JQK doesn’t even mention it.

And seven terms later Thornberry is still doing an excellent job because the Amarillo Globe-News, totally unbiased, says so. Well, there was that shield law thingy that showed a little daylight between Kanelis’ nose and Thornberry’s bottom, but until Mac the rancher does something a little untoward, like being caught in a hotel room with an underage sheep again, he pretty much has no limit to his terms.

Auf Wiedersehen!

1A nickname amongst his “friends” as Eddie, a bit of a hothead, tends to blow his top like a “stick” of dynamite. Also a veiled reference to a euphemism for a part of the male anatomy, as some think that’s what Eddie is.

2Kanelis evidently has been taking H*nry lessons and omits anything that might un-slant his argument. Well done JQK!

Post Script

Kudos to
Bruce Fielder for touching upon the inconsistency between term limits imposed on the presidency (by Republicans against a Democrat by the way) and none on congressmen and senators, and Andrea Cheryl Holman for pointing out the media’s fawning over incumbents.

With the overwhelming advantage enjoyed by incumbents, JQK’s characterization of elections as job performance reviews essentially reduces them to rubberstamp plebiscites.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"When I look outside and these worlds collide . . . And everything's explodin'"

In a move reported by the Midland Reporter-Telegram and commented on by the excellent blog Grits for Breakfast-- and dutifully ignored by the Amarillo Globe-Republican-- local boy made good Kel Seliger is calling for probation reforms that include reducing maximum probation term to five years.

Most sensible people listen to the probation officers, who say they can easily tell within that time if someone will re-offend. Those of us who have worked caseloads of any kind understand that this reform-- which could reduce caseloads-- would enable probation officers to better monitor their probationers and provide services that would better help them to readjust to society and, hopefully, stay on the outside.

Of course, there are law-and-order Republicans (including the Midland DA) who will see this suggestion as being soft on crime. Which is probably why you haven't seen an article or editorial in the Globe-Republican. Imagine, for example, if our Mr. Kanelis were forced to construct an editorial that kissed up to Kel, as required by the Globe-Republican stylebook, yet simultaneously repeated the Republican party line.

Even to attempt something like that could have catastrophic consequences...


Saturday, November 24, 2007

(AP) Murder no Longer Fatal to Citizens Residents

On Tuesday, November 20, the Associated Press ran the tragic story of a Senegalese doctoral student shot to death in Chicago. Strangely it was titled “Student Slain to Death near U of Chicago.”

This author has had some run-ins with AP style, which we shall get to in a moment, but the AP may really be pushing the boundaries of whether being slain leads to anything other than death. I do not ever recall having seen someone “slain to critical condition,” or “brutally slain but recovering nicely.”

This could be another of those sloppy headlines that are occurring with more frequency with the decline of journalistic standards, or it could be an effort by the AP to redefine our language. Slain just doesn’t mean what it used to. You may be slain but you’re not quite dead yet unless you’re pronounced really, really, completely, indubitably, officially dead. Editors have since caught the gaff and changed the headline to “Killed to Death.”

And now to the trivial. Back in July The Nose invited yours truly to write a
letter to the paper wondering whether he would hold the City Commissioners to the same ethical “smell test” as he had Joe Kirkwood. There was a tussle over whether such a politically sensitive missive to such an unbiased media outlet might be altered, and indeed it was not only abridged, but certain changes were made, most notably in the following paragraph:

“During the recent election campaign some residents expressed concern that officials voting on downtown revitalization could involve a conflict of interest for those having direct or indirect ownership of property or control of downtown investments. This issue was put to Kanelis both publicly on the Internet and by private communication.”
“Residents” in the original had been “citizens,” and this change was made because, according to the Associated Press Style Book, citizens are members of nations, while residents are members of states and cities.1 Curiously only two months earlier The Nose had written a column about the Bushland Independent School District’s bond issue and Superintendent John Lemons’ efforts, using this phrase:

“Lemons and other citizens committed to supporting the bond issue have the correct answer to that criticism.”

Are we to believe that Bushland holds the lofty rank of nation? Or could it be that the AP Style Book, meant for professionals working for the newspaper, is not followed by “professionals” but instead is applied to writers who are not beholden to the AP Style Book? The Nose has not snuffled on this one.

Citizens are political beings, and there are more substantial reasons for turning them into occupants than journalistic “style.” The editors of the Amarillo Globe-News have long heaped scorn on the citizens of Amarillo for their political apathy, but then ridiculed and misrepresented any political interests they have shown, and mocked the engagement (neighborhood meetings and hearings) between government and citizenry that is part of the democratic process. Even the rebukes against voter apathy seem written to reinforce that voter apathy, not encourage more political participation.

There are times when the AGN seems outright hostile to democracy, or rather supportive of a “democracy” that is best kept confined to those who know what’s best for everyone else. The electorate can be a nuisance, particularly when they don’t see things the paper’s way, so it’s best the electorate only knows what you want them to know. Why have voters anyway? We only need a leadership that John can lavish praise on.

Changing one word is but a small sign of a larger attitude, of allegiance to the city’s corporate and political elite and betrayal of the wider community. By changing “citizens” to “residents” Kanelis stripped an entire people of their citizenship and nullified their political participation. With one word Kanelis reduced concerned citizens to little more than tenants living in their overlords’ domain. What style!

JQK you slay me.

1Merriam-Webster and Random House both allow citizens to be inhabitants of states and towns, but the AP apparently just has to be contrarian.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tuesday Briefs

●As wildfires raged through Southern California last October causing thousands to flee, Glenn Beck, right-wing talking-head, was delighted that people who hated America were being burned out of their homes.

Besides this being another case of a right-wing-nut taking pleasure in tragedy being visited upon Americans (one hesitates to say “their fellow Americans”), it never occurred to Beck, prat that he is, that most of the neighborhoods going up in smoke were full of conservatives. What an ano grandes.

In the meantime here in Amarillo our own cat's prat ranted against "
rubber-room escapee/third-tier cable TV talking head Keith Olbermann" for blaming the inferno on global warming, pouting that no one blamed the phenomenon for the disastrous grass fires that swept the Panhandle last year.

There is a simple explanation for that: Californians believe in global warming; Texans don’t. You can’t blame it on something you don’t believe in, twit.

●Things are much better in the Amarillo Globe-News now that every other Friday has become the “Autobiography of Virgil Van Camp.” However pointless, these little vignettes about his life beats the usual ignorant, bigoted drivel, his life being, we assume, something he may actually know something about. Now we are condemned to an endless stream of inane, meaningless, nostalgic
cotton-picking stories. Still we have to wonder, for a war-mongering, genocidal sociopath, how it is he kept himself out of WWII so long and had to be drafted? Boll weevils in a pilonidal cyst?

●Amarillo votes for torture. If you can’t blame something you don’t believe in, you can still be for something we don’t do. Provoked by a letter condemning the use of torture the usual wing-nuts have come out in support of it by a margin of 2 to 1. Let us remember, these are the same folks who declare this is a Christian nation, that it was founded on Biblical principles, and will beat the crap out of you with it if you don’t believe them. Abu Ghraib was a frat prank; waterboarding a splash of water in the face. So let’s go torture us some rag-headed darkie savages. After all, as Mary Chumbley so aptly put it: “We're civilized; they're not.”

●A pleasant evening for The Organization Formerly Known as Drinking Liberally Amarillo I am told. Held in the quiet environs of Mr. Westmoreland’s “The Vineyard,” liberals could finally hear the political discourse they've been trying to have for some time now. And a happy -- if all too short -- visit from “cat’s meow.” No kitty spats, as spacedark slipped 100 mg of valium into calamus venenum’s merlot anticipating such an encounter. Calamus did make a little “rowr” sound, but it was hard to tell if it was because of the cat’s meow’s pajamas or the pin-cushioned D*ve H*nry voodoo doll he slumped over on.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Our winter of dissed content

Here's a good reason why, in the internet age, you don't screw your content creators out of money. They're better at building an message, and in the internet age, have a means of broadcasting that message to the masses. enjoy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Organization Formerly Known As Drinking Liberally Amarillo

Calling all progressives! The Organization Formerly Known As Drinking Liberally Amarillo will be meeting on Friday the 16th of November at:

Vineyard Wines
1619 S Kentucky St
Wellington Square
7:00 pm
Friday the 16th of November

Look for our mascot, Howard the Star-Spangled Donkey.

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

And we apologize for the late notice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I ran into this page on how to leave messages for those left behind after the Rapture.

An alternative method for today's Christians to communicate to those left behind on earth after the rapture is to simply post, in a highly visible location in the home, a message such as:

“I am writing this to you in the past. In your present time, the church (believers in Jesus Christ) has been raptured, and has been taken out of this world to be present with the Lord. You have been left behind. To gain eternal life and salvation, and to be with Jesus Christ, you must accept Jesus Christ as your saviour from sin and refuse to take the mark of the beast on your hand or forehead and refuse to worship the beast and his image or statue, even if it means you have to die.

So, if I read this right, they're going to be leaving notes for us in their own homes. I suppose this means that they've figured out that we'll be ransacking their houses and stealing all their crap after they're gone.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fun Facts with PTS

Hey kids,

blogarillo learned a new term recently. It's called "Level 3 Assets." Can you say "Level 3 Assets", boys and girls? ¡Excellente! I knew you could. Familiarize yourself with "Level 3 Assets", you'll probably be hearing more about it in the days and weeks to come.

Google Search for Level 3 Assets

Monday, November 05, 2007

naming names

We already know that D*ve H*nry has a problem with people in Oklahoma having a Middle Eastern name. Now it turns out that the Ghostly VoiceTM thinks that all Hispanics are illegal aliens. Really:

The new laws include a requirement that law enforcement agencies hold for federal authorities illegal immigrants who also have a felony or DUI. Opponents are stating the laws will lead to a mass exodus of illegal immigrants. Nothing much has changed in the Panhandle city of Guymon, which has seen a more than 2 percent increase in Hispanic public school enrollment as of Oct. 1.
A-rabs, and now Hispanics! Why can't those gol-dern Okies just have normal person names like "Dave," "John," or "Virgil"?


Excuse me . . .

. . . you sub-literate, bleeding gums, squirrel eater. When you come to these NASCAR events, who is tending to your meth lab?

-Prodigal Son

Sunday, November 04, 2007

live from amarillo, it's sunday morning

Kanelips gets another opportunity to rave about how much he hates democracy.

It's a good thing that I'm no longer writing serious political posts, or I'd be tempted to devote thirty seconds or so of my life to refuting the grumpy old man's latest rant.

But, thank the gods, this tripe is mind-numbingly easy to refute. So, I'll just post a couple of quotes and you can put on an orange apron and do it yourself.

One county commissioner, Manny Perez [see picture above], kept arguing on behalf of his Precinct 2 constituents [see picture above] ...

The city, under McCartt's leadership, has made a point of making important symbolic gestures...
OMFG! Commissioners might argue on behalf of their constituents! Exactly why, though, is anyone's guess! I mean, the city's making symbolic gestures!


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Another Great Git 11.01.07

D*ve H*nry makes a most extraordinary discovery. The Amarillo Globe-News’ ace detective, never one to miss a clue, has found that Oklahoma’s “Ethnic American Advisory Council,” which officially is to be composed of “five to 15 representatives of Ethnic Americans of the Middle East/Near East community of the state of Oklahoma” has, no kidding, people of Middle Eastern ethnicity on it! The man’s a sleuthing genius!

What will this crack investigator uncover next, that the Pope is, and his cardinals are -- wait for it -- Catholic?

Evidently Sherlock doesn’t even read what he writes. More like the dim Dr. Watson, he can’t discover on his own that Native Americans, Hispanics and others have their councils in Oklahoma. But those sinister Muslims have got one! They plot to contribute to the community. They conspire to improve community relations. How dare they!

Yes, there is a pattern -- of willful ignorance and stupid bigotry, but that’s what the Amarillo Globe-News pays him for. What a cat's prat.

This has been brought to you by the opinion editor providing us the best in complete idiots, loonies and great gits for a long, long time, "The Nose." “If I can't smell it, does it stink?”

POST SCRIPT 11/05/07


I have received a number of complaints about having called D*ve H*nry a “cat’s prat” in the above piece. However alliterative the term may be, a number of cats have found it offensive, as they consider it beneath their dignity and do not care to have their buttocks associated in any way, shape or form with Mr. H*nry. As one put it:

“Finer crap has slipped my bowels than words have tripped o’er his vowels.”

Snowflake admitted to napping through Wordsworth and Coleridge, but sent along a photo so that we might judge which puss has the more handsome cheeks and sphincter.

These objections have given me paws to reflect on having placed Mr. H*nry in the series “Another Great Git.” D*ve is not just another great git, but in a great git class by himself. In a series devoted primarily to amateurs -- the letter writers to the Globe-News -- Mr. H*nry is a professional great git, and thus out of place.

These amateur great gits are also brought to us by “The Nose,” editor of the Amarillo Globe-News, and it may be entirely unfair to credit him with presenting us a professional cat’s prat. While The Nose is nominally responsible for the opinion page, with the cat’s prat’s political sentiments and prejudices far, far closer to those of his publisher, he may not be answerable to The Nose, and enjoy a freedom The Nose can only envy.

Not to say The Nose is irrelevant. There are still all those letters to sort through, selecting the reactionary conservative ones that comport with the paper’s agenda and putting the liberal letters that don’t into the circular file. And then there are those little corrections to make the Amarillo Globe-News’ honored editorial writers look even better: “The AP Style Book suggests you use ‘African Americans’ instead of ‘nappy-headed jungle bunnies,’ Mr. Van Camp,” or “instead of ‘Anti-American, troop-hating, Saddam-loving, terrorist-supporting, Bush-bashing, God-loathing, me-obsessing, blog-writing, faggot-banging, child-molesting, gerbil-raping, evolution-teaching, Muslim-sympathizing Marxist-communists,’ AP suggests you use ‘liberals’ Mr. Henry, sir.”

I therefore believe an apology is due The Nose for implying that he is a conduit, that he has any real control over the cat’s prat, as it could very well be the cat’s prat has free runs of the page.

In the meantime, as it is congenitally inevitable D*ve H*nry will continue to dedicate himself to the profoundly obtuse and overwhelmingly insensate, a more suitable venue to recognize and comment on those achievements will be found.

As Iraqis Stand Up, We Will Stand Down

hoo boy. . .

Iraqi Army Training

And the Afghanistan border police are a'rockin' too. . .

-Prodigal Son